Archive for April, 2011

My fam, who I get to see next week.

Not a whole lot to say this week, apart from the lists. Work is…well, it’s work, and still Not Much Fun, and the week was uninspiring. But I had a nice restful weekend with Jamey, and I get to go to Albuquerque to visit my family (and meet my new niece) next weekend. So that’s good.

So I don’t start whining about all the things that are getting me down, I’ll just get on to this week’s lists so we can all remember that there are at least 20 good things to celebrate at the moment. Enjoy!

top 20

  1. golden hour

    Golden Hour at Brazos Bend (photo by Jamey)

  2. In-law Birthday Boys: My father-in-law Jack turns 75 on Tuesday, my brother-in-law Rich turns 35 on Saturday, and my other brother-in-law Evan turns 25, also on Saturday.
  3. In-law Doctors: My sister-in-law Jen successfully defended her PhD dissertation a few weeks ago. We’ll be there to watch her graduate in Lubbock on May 13.
  4. the Kahn Academy
  5. Jamey, because he knows about things like The Kahn Academy and shares them with me
  6. Thin Mint cookies
  7. freshly brewed iced tea
  8. Jon Stewart
  9. knowing that this too shall pass
  10. Lobster Mac & Cheese. (I’ve actually never eaten it, but it was the featured dish on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on Saturday afternoon and it looks fantastic)
  11. geckos
  12. sarcasm
  13. Says You! on public radio. Hilarious.
  14. Houston public radio listeners, who helped KUHF reach their goal of $1M in last week’s Spring fund drive
  15. my bed
  16. Dario Franchitti
  17. the Triple Crown races
  18. cheese puffs
  19. free ice cream
  20. springtime

bottom 10

  1. stagnation
  2. having pasty white legs
  3. Lack of rain, which means that I have to water my own flowers. I’m very spoiled, I know.
  4. burn scars
  5. Japanese tempura. I always expect it to be like fried food in the deep south, and I’m always disappointed.
  6. unrealistic expectations
  7. stale chips
  8. Allergies. Even my CAT has allergies. We’re both sneezing and scratching our noses all the time.
  9. having the Bottom 10 finished before I’ve even started the Top 20
  10. The price of gas. Seriously.

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Dorothy Parker

This past weekend was, in the words of Dorothy Parker, Not Much Fun. On Saturday we had our annual Budget Retreat, which was NOT in an exotic location, but in our Police Station. That lasted all day and was kind of a downer. Sunday I worked the Second Annual Celebrating Wellness & Technology Festival at Clear Lake Park. It was a BAHEP event, and since I’m on the Wellness Committee, I kind of had to be there. My job was to pop popcorn, and I think I did a pretty good job. But nonetheless, I worked the whole weekend, so now I’m dragging a little bit.

The weekend wasn’t all bad. On Friday Jamey and I went to  the Astros Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. The Astros lost by a point, but it was a great game and we got to see fireworks afterwards, which I always love. Saturday night we had a nice quiet night at home watching The Ref with Dennis Leary (hilarious) and drinking very aptly named Titanic Tea. Then Sunday night we caught up on our TIVO, which sounds boring but was actually quite nice. So–not all bad, but still lots of work. I’ll be very happy when this Saturday is finally here.

In the meantime, enjoy the lists and have a great week!

top 20

  1. NASA. They have some important anniversaries today, and I’m proud to live where NASA is.

    One of my favorite NASA photographs.

  2. enjoying the part of the weekend that I did have
  3. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He’s fabulous (see Bottom 10, Item 6).
  4. Astros opening night
  5. Disney Cruise Lines in Galveston
  6. Our Parks Director, who sat next to me during the Budget Workshop on Saturday. He kept me amused.
  7. Nicholas, the eighth grade volunteer who helped me scoop popcorn most of the day on Sunday. The popcorn machine kept him amused.
  8. the new iPad  commercial
  9. NBC’s Castle
  10. People who support public radio. Your local station is likely in the middle of a fundraising campaign right now, and I know from experience that they really do count on you to support them.
  11. Sweet-Tarts
  12. Titanic Tea
  13. Getting a pedicure. I wear very high heels most of the week, so pedicures are a little piece of heaven to me.
  14. having a helpful husband
  15. This recipe that Jamey sent me for making lobster. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks divine.
  16. Zite, a really neat news magazine on the iPad
  17. people who love their jobs
  18. looking forward to a trip to visit the Fam in Albuquerque
  19. rain
  20. winning the Carnival Cruise Lines Scholar Dollar trivia contest

bottom 10

  1. Budget talks. Between the Federal government, the State government, and our local budget retreats, I’m about budgeted out.
  2. not really getting a weekend
  3. the price of gas
  4. a dearth of Starbucks where I live
  5. The Southwest Airlines website, lately. It’s too cluttered and complicated, like the airline industry in general.
  6. not RSVP-ing in time to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s free lecture at UH this week
  7. The color currently gracing my fingernails. It’s too pink.
  8. uncertainty
  9. Getting lost. It happens a lot.
  10. small town politics

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If you know me even moderately well, there are some things you’ve probably figured out. For instance, if you’ve been around me in the morning, you know that it’s best not to speak to me  until after 10 a.m. or several cups of coffee. You may have realized that I have excessive amounts of energy and I’m something of a multi-tasker. And if you’ve spent any time at all with me participating in a relaxing activity like watching television, you’ve likely come to the realization that I don’t do down time very well. At all. But once in a while my multi-tasking gets the best of me, I run out of energy, and my body insists that my brain TAKE A BREAK, ALREADY!!! I come down with some indefinable sickness that wipes my energy and forces me to do something I don’t do naturally…relax. Such was the case last Thursday and Friday.

I was obviously sick in more ways than one–my body was exhausted because I hadn’t had a full night’s rest in days, and I was all achy and my throat hurt. But I was also just at the end of my rope, emotionally and spiritually: nothing seemed to be going right, I was grouchy and irate, and everything anyone said to me seemed to be a slight of some kind, so I was touchy and just off my game in every sense of the word.  I won’t go into the details here, but I’ve been super worried about what the future holds, and I’d forgotten the things that matter and lost perspective in lots of respects.

So when my body insisted that I stay home and get some rest, I did.  I sat down and had a nice cup of tea while  I listened to beautiful music and then I watched a completely ridiculous movie. Then I read one of those books that holds a place on the Read When You Lose Perspective shelf in my library. The tea was English Breakfast, the music was my eclectic playlist from our Apple TV and the movie was Welcome to Mooseport (I just like it). The book was The Art of Possibility, by Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander*. Designed for management professionals, it is much better and more practical than any other leadership book I’ve read–and infinitely more wise.  As has happened so many times in the years since I first read it, I found myself shedding my heavy feelings of frustration and fear of the unknown, and falling, as Zander puts it, back “…into the radiant realm of possibility.”  Cheesy as it sounds, it helped me, and I felt like I was back on track and a little more in touch with who I am and where I want to be, and I’m excited, rather than fearful, about the future.

So now that you’ve learned more than you likely wanted to know about my little mini-breakdown and recovery, I’ll move on to this week’s enlightened, full-of-possibility top 20 and bottom 10. Enjoy!

* Other books on that shelf include  The Gift of Change by Marianne Williamson, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, Theophilus North by Thornton Wilder, and Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger.

top 20

  1. relaxing

    My cat George, demonstrating relaxation techniques.

  2. The Butler Bulldogs. They didn’t quite make it at the end of the Big Dance, but they were great all the way through the tournament.
  3. the One Shining Moment video montage
  4. Jamey, who keeps us in technology
  5. Disney
  6. finally planting some flowers in the front yard
  7. Kings of Leon
  8. the story about the dog that survived the Japan Tsunami
  9. Fernie Aceves, our CPA in El Paso who still does our taxes every year
  10. HEB (my favorite grocery store)
  11. Fry’s (Jamey’s favorite electronics mega-store)
  12. blooming roses
  13. rain
  14. this recipe for the braised pork ribs and risotto that I made on Saturday night
  15. the green chile chicken enchiladas that I made on Sunday Night (that recipe is in my head)
  16. Five Guys and Fries
  17. MythBusters
  18. ADELE. I resisted for a while, but I’m on the bandwagon now.
  19. flat bread pizza
  20. the Angry Birds Rio iPad app

bottom 10

  1. WalMart
  2. Inane leading questions from sports reporters. Example: “How frustrating was it to miss that shot?”
  3. my very dirty car
  4. remembering the dozen green bags I have in my car when I’m at the check-0ut line, being asked about paper or plastic
  5. allergies
  6. budget cuts
  7. addictive Easter candy
  8. measuring work productivity by number of hours rather than actual work productivity
  9. working all weekend
  10. paying for valet parking unnecessarily

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