Archive | February, 2008

Hobby Rant

29 Feb

I’ve been bothered lately that I don’t really do any of the activities that I say are my hobbies. I like scrapbooking–haven’t done it since August. I like writing–that is like pulling teeth. I like cooking–I use being tired and not having enough grocery money as excuses to not do this often (although this is one thing that I do still do).

So tonight, I finally made my personalized travel coffee mug all cutsy (until now, I had been using the insert that came with it). You have to see all three angles: the front, the side, and the other side (it’s round). Isn’t it cute? The pictures aren’t so great because of the glare and I didn’t want to go to the trouble of taking the paper out again (because it isn’t very easy to get in there).

But there is one hobby of mine that I do on a very regular basis (nearly every day) but I feel like I would get scoffed at if I actually said I enjoyed it…exercise. I really enjoy exercise. I like going to the gym, I like lifting weights, I like running (except in CO where the air is so freaking thin!), I like feeling healthy and strong.

But there’s this aura of jealousy and sabotage surrounded weight loss efforts and health. It’s the reason why overweight co-workers jump on the free food in the lunch room and get disgruntled when I don’t. (My fellow Nesties know what I’m talking about– Anyway, I’m not going to get on that soap box.

Actually, I am. Why do people think that they can comment on healthy choices, making the person feel like they’re being stuffy and boring by eating right, saying “Wow, a salad, you’re being so good today.” I mean, it would be a major faux pas if I said, “Wow, you’re eating a really big burger. You’re being so bad today.”

And it’s not just limited to food choices either. I had a person at work (who happens to have a louder personality) ask me the other day if I was “always this quiet.” I replied, “No, I just don’t say anything if I have nothing to say.” For a couple days after that, I was really bothered. What if I asked that person, “Are you always this loud?” They made it sound like it was a bad thing that I don’t talk all the time. Being shy/quiet has been a source of beef with me since I was little. People always say I’m shy but I correct them saying, “I’m not shy, I’m just quiet.” There’s a big difference between those two, believe me.

Man, what happened here? I came to post my new coffee mug and I got riled up. Sorry.

Picture Perfect Success

28 Feb

For my job as Creative Resources Coordinator, I work a lot with pictures of our resources. Who would’ve thought, right? Well, the whole desktop publishing/Photoshop thing isn’t my training. I know more about it than the average Joe (or Josephina in my case I guess) but overall, it’s been “Here’s what you have to do…figure it out as you go.”

So I was very proud of myself today when I made a collage of our conference preview incentives. I downloaded the product images from their respective websites, made a logo with transparent background, placed the logo on the product, made the product’s background transparent (that alone is a feat for me), AND placed all the products into one file as a collage. And the collage had an transparent background. Man I’m good!! At the end of it all, I really couldn’t believe that I had done it. I’m learning!

I also devoted my time tonight (since Travis is still gone) to updating my Picasa web album with all the pictures that had just been sitting on my computer that I never use anymore (because it is slower than molasses). So check them out! Voila–pictures galore!

My judgment of movies = bad

26 Feb

I always get on Travis’ case about never letting me choose the girly movie that I want to see. He absolutely refuses to go near a movie that even remotely looks like a chick flick (although I am going to make him watch Pride and Prejudice with me once we get it from Netflix).

So I enjoy the freedom to watch whatever movie I want when Travis is gone. But I’ve noticed that my choice of movies isn’t so great. Maybe I’ve just had a run of bad luck (or most likely it is just that Netflix doesn’t have many good movies to watch instantly on the computer) but the past 2 movies I’ve seen have been horrible.

Granted, the first bad movie I watched was Perfect from the 80s starring none other than Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta. It’s about a Rolling Stones reporter (Travolta) who falls in love with an aerobics instructor (Curtis) while writing an expose on the health club industry–or shall I say “the singles bar of the 80s.” I just about threw up during the aerobics class scenes. There is more pelvic thrusting in that movie than I have seen in my entire life. Yuck.

I just finished the second bad movie–Suburban Girl with Alec Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I thought it looked like a cute movie, other viewers rated it well. But the story has no real plot. The whole relationship between Baldwin and Gellar is immoral and juvenile. She’s a young associate editor for a publisher and he’s an editor-in-chief for a huge publishing house. She wants to learn about life; he wants to teach about life. He is a closet alcoholic who incidentally slept with her boss. She’s a weak little girl who wants nothing less than to prove to her dad and the world that she can take care of herself. Blah blah blah blah. The whole movie is boring. Like my Venezuelan profesor de cine used to say, “Fue un flop.”

So maybe Travis’ taste in movies–and the fact that I rarely get my way when it comes to the girly movies–is a good thing. I would be wasting a lot of time otherwise watching crap on the ‘puter. Time that I could be spending writing crap on the computer.

Speaking of writing, I can find no motivation to write more of my memoir. I worked on it this past Saturday but that time was spent retyping what I had already written (and lost, thanks to my hard drive crashing) and rereading what I had written in my journals back in 2004. I know that it’s probably just a case of writer’s block but when I only have a limited amount of time in the first place (because of that darn full-time job), sitting down to force myself to put words on a page (that I don’t intend to immediately post on the web for public viewing) just seems like too much to ask.

Attempting the possible?

25 Feb

So Travis and I decided that we’re going to run the Colorado Half Marathon in Fort Collins on May 4, 2008. Yikes!

I have been running more lately but I’m still only up to 3 miles. I can do this though! Back in 2006, I went from running 2 blocks in August to 10 miles in November. So I know I can physically do it–but can I do it mentally?

I have found that running is more of a mental sport than a physical one. True, there are a lot of physical ailments that go along with running (lost toenails, torn muscles, shin splints, sore calves, chafe like no other). But for me, the days that I struggle most with running are the days that I either don’t feel like running or I’m being a wimp and telling myself “I can’t do this…it’s too hard…I just want to walk.”

Anyway, today is the first day of my Hal Higdon training program. Mondays are for “stretching and strengthening.” When I told Travis what I was going to do today, he said, “Aren’t you ever going to run?” because I did the elliptical yesterday at the Y instead of running and then I’m not running again today.

It’ll come! Tomorrow I run 3 miles, Wed is 2, Thurs is 3, and Sunday is FOUR! I have only a little more than 2 months to prepare. Wish me luck!

Random side note: Last night after we went to the Y, we stopped by the grocery store. There were Girl Scouts outside selling cookies so naturally, we bought 2 boxes–samoas and thin mints. Both have chocolate! I’m going to hide my half in the freezer though because I know that Travis will eat them all otherwise.

Ten random observations of Colorado (by a Minnesotan)

21 Feb

1. The same street can have two completely different names. On one side of the intersection, it’s South Boulder Road and on the other side, it’s Table Mesa Drive. Makes it kind of hard to follow directions.

2. They never plow the roads when you need them to and they do plow them when the snow is gone.

3. They’re not very creative with street names. The same name, for example Arapahoe, is used in any combination they can think of: Arapahoe Street, Avenue, Road, Boulevard, Circle, Square, Lane, Pathway, Alley, Sidewalk, Gutter, etc.

4. They named the road in front of our apartment Table Mesa Drive. Mesa means table in Spanish. So technically they named the street Table Table Drive. ???

5. No matter what the temperature, Coloradoans always complain about it being cold outside. It can be 65 and sunny and they’re still complaining. Try living in Minnesota for a week. That’ll shut you up.

6. There are organic, overpriced grocery stores everywhere and they’re just as big as the regular grocery stores. There are literally four in Boulder alone. I personally have not yet stepped foot in one, anywhere.

7. It must be a hoppin’ auto market out here because I see more people driving around with the registration paper taped to their back window than I do people with actual license plates. (When you buy a car and are waiting for the registration to be processed by the DMV, you put the paper in your back window…we are one of those people.)

8. People regularly drive under the speed limit. This is unheard of in Minnesota. Absolutely unheard of. Are people just happier out here? More laidback? Or maybe their feet are lighter on the gas pedal because of the higher altitude?

9. Everybody loves to talk about how the weather is so great in Colorado. Except for this winter. And last winter. And the winter before that. Well, the weather is great in theory at least.

10. I love Colorado: 300 days of sunshine…………….5 days of winter.


20 Feb

Just a little side note: I didn’t really notice how much chocolate I had been eating until I stopped eating if for Lent. It’s everywhere and I ate a lot of it! And as much as I have desired some–and been offered chocolate chip cookies, Milano cookies, expensive chocolate/hazelnut things, and even made a giant chocolate chip cookie for my husband–I haven’t caved! Only 32 more days to go!!

A heavenly country

20 Feb

Everyone has their own interpretation of heaven. Some people think that it’s an endless expanse of sky with white puffy clouds and nothing to do but play harps and eat Philadelphia cream cheese. Others think that heaven doesn’t exist at all. Once you leave earth, there’s nothing. Or maybe they think that heaven is part of earth, like the white sandy beaches of the Cayman Islands. Some people might think heaven is whatever you loved on earth all together in one place, like in the movie What Dreams May Come.

But for Christians, it’s none of those things. Instead, it’s a city where the streets are gold and there are no lamps and no sun; nevertheless, it is always day because the light of the Lamb reaches to all places. It’s the presence of God, intimate and forever. It’s no longer having sinful flesh but rather, gloriously resurrected bodies. It is perfection beyond any human expectation or imagination.

That’s what I have to look forward to. That’s what makes my life here on earth worth living and indeed, worth enduring. Even though my daily troubles seem puny compared to the human suffering I hear and read about–like just tonight, I read about female genital mutilation in countless third world countries–my life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t have such an end. I am always confounded by those who don’t believe that anything happens when we die. My roommate in college believed that. What do we have to live for if there is nothing after this life?

Moreover, if the glorious new earth described in the book of Revelations is not true, and if Jesus Christ did not die and rise again for the forgiveness of sins, we who are Christians have nothing to live for either. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: “…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Christians–and I believe all people–need something to live for beyond this life. For “…If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people to be pitied,” because this life is hard and messy.

I have felt that truth about life living out in Colorado. I love my job and the people we’ve met and I’m with my wonderful husband. So I have a lot to be thankful for. But I miss my friends more than anything. Humans were made for community. Not just Christians but humans in general. I believe that God designed us to need each other. So leaving behind my very best friends has been very hard.

I feel at times like Travis and I are going through life alone, just the two of us vs. the Great Big World. It may be because when we became Christians 4 years ago, the first Body of believers we plugged into was a group fully bought into the value of discipleship. We had the importance of one-on-ones and intentional relationships drummed into our heads day after day. And I loved it. I loved being in a discipleship group and meeting once a week with a group of my girlfriends. We talked about boys, bodily functions, random things, and the Bible. We related our insecurities, our longings, our struggles, our joys and successes. I felt so close to those girls, not only because we shared the bond of the Spirit but because they bared their hearts to me and I to them.

But out here, I have not found this. I have met some great women through our church that I am excited to get to know. But it seems that the potential of that deep relationship forming is small when we only get together once every other week and everyone has husbands, kids, and full-time jobs. It looked different as a college student in a campus ministry.

So I have been delighted by the reminder of my real home: heaven. C. S. Lewis writes in his book The Great Divorce, “I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in the ‘High Countries.'” The fellowship I so desire, the bridge over the gap in human intimacy and vulnerability, will be waiting for me in heaven. And more than that, it will be beyond expectation: all believers will be together in perfect union as we worship and adore the Lamb of God forever.