Tuesday, April 29, 2008


After much contemplation, tonight, I finally did it.

I just spent 90% of my tax return on a volunteer vacation to Jamaica.

I'll be gone June 14 to the 28th, two weeks. I'll be living and working in Mt. Vernon, doing "light" construction (read: paint) and helping with a kid's day camp.

This is a huge thing for me. Yes, that money could've paid down debt. Yes, I could've made upgrades to my condo.

But, I wanted to live brave. I wanted to take risks.

So here I go.

I am so, so, so excited.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

no hablo amor??

There's a book, recommended by a friend (read: therapist) about The Five Love Languages. I'm not big on the self-help genre, but I tried reading it about four years ago when I was in the Very Terrible Relationship. I got through most of the book. Basically, this theory states there are five ways we express love. Behold:

1. Quality Time
2. Acts of Service
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Physical Contact
5. Gifts

Ideally, you will meet someone who speaks your love language. Or, if your significant other speaks another love language, you will both learn to unconsciously translate.

For awhile, I thought myself more a "Words of Affirmation" girl. My love affair with the English Language filters into my life on a daily basis. Sometimes for the best, when I'm searching for the perfect word to describe something. Sometimes for the worst, when I'm trying to decode every syllable in an email for hidden meaning. Still, I love my native tongue.

Then, I was all about the Physical Contact. Touch my body!!! But, at that point, I was just starved for affection. I was off the "being single is so fun and glamorous" train and on the "I need to get some" express.

Sometimes, I relate a lot to language of Quality Time. I like when people make time in their busy lives to return my phone calls or spend time with me. It hurts when they aren't there for special occasions. Quality Time is hard to find.

This book didn't help me with the Very Terrible Relationship, because the only cure for the Very Terrible Relationship was an Extremely Dramatic Breakup and Much Needed Separation. At the time, it did give me an interesting view in communicating with my family. And since my family isn't communicating as of late, I thought I'd get on the 5LL website and see if I could find the cure.

So, I logged on to diagnose my Love Language again.

My findings? I don't speak any of the love languages. They all made me feel a little uncomfortable. Therefore, I'm unable to love. Or be loved. Therefore, I am screwed. Awesum!

This really pissed me off.

Until I realized, I speak all those languages with myself.

I love myself when I spend quality time doing things I love, like an impromptu trip to the library or a walk on the beach with my dog. I love myself when I help other people, and know that I'm using my talents to make someone else's day a little better. I love myself with words when I stop myself from making jokes about my insecurities. I love my body when I'm eating right and buying clothes for the fit, not the size. I love myself when I spend money on something I really want, like a volunteer vacation or the secret weapons in my skin care arsenal.

It's been an uphill battle and a long time coming. But, right now, it's pretty easy to say "I love me." I'm proud of that. Besides, I think it's better to be quint lingual when it comes to love. If I can love myself in every language, I can surely love other people and let them love me. Don't you agree?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

do-gooder alert

There is a way to increase your vocab and give back at the same time. Be careful, it's addictive!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

shameless plug

Leave your name in my blog comments.

Once you do that, this is what I’ll do ... (I will respond to you here on my blog page)

1. I’ll respond with something random about you.
2. I’ll tell you which song or movie you remind me of.
3. I’ll pick a kind of food and/or drink to share with you.
4. I’ll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
(if possible. if not, I’ll say something that only makes sense to me.)
5. I’ll tell you my first memory of you.
6. I’ll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I’ll ask you something I’ve always wondered about you.

Remember - I L-U-V you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

black ties and baggies

I went to an awesum event this Saturday for First Coast SurfRider Foundation. The event was "Black Tie and Baggies". At first I thought Ziploc Baggies, but my surfer friends were kind enough to let me know that 'baggies' is slang for 'swim trunks' or 'board shorts'. I put my new surf jargon to practice at this awesum fundraising event.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Like Emily, I love reading my friend's blogs to find inspiration for my own posts. Recently, Kim posted about "Living Brave". I wrote a similar post about this a few months ago, and I declared 2008 The Year of Risk.

Um, yeah. I can't say that I've done much risk tasking so far this year.

I am very interested in going somewhere this summer with this company.

Do I have the money? Actually, yes. I recently got a tax return that would enable me to fund my trip.

But, as we know, this blog started as a way to get out of debt. This tax return could be a big help in paying off a credit card. Granted, I haven't used my credit cards since August. So, I could pay for this trip in cash, but it comes at the price of still being in debt.

I feel like I never take risks because I am always focused on doing the responsible thing...especially with money. Ugh. Dilemma.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Heart These Blogs

If you're looking for a new link for your blog roll, try these babies on for size:

- My entire life I wanted to be just like my big sister. Our relationship can basically be summed up with the lyrics to "Wind Beneath my Wings". This blog explains why.

Paris Daily Photo - Thought the phrase "Friendly Parisian" was an oxymoron? Think again. Eric is an adorable Parisian photographer who snaps a shot of his hometown each and every day. The cheapest way to see Paris through the eyes of a local.

Sara Brown
Read the "About" section and you will be hooked.

All the blogs on my list to the right are AWESUM, but most are connected to each other. These are ones you might be less inclined to read, but I hope you'll give them a glance or two.

Monday, April 7, 2008

pet finder

Today I was hit with a high school memory. In an effort to claim the title of Biggest Nerd on Campus (most of which banked on my status as a band member), I was the PRESIDENT of Key Club. As president, part of my duty was to start the Key Club Pledge at each weekly meeting.

It goes a little something like this:

I pledge, on my honor, to uphold the Objects of Key Club International; to build my home, school and community; to serve my nation and God; and combat all forces which tend to undermine these institutions.

So, as I am trying to build my home, school and community...and serve my nation...and God (cause She rules)...I must THEREFORE combat all forces which tend to undermine these institutions. I never really stopped to interpret those words, which, in retrospect, seem a bit harsh. But today, I had to remind myself to COMBAT the forces that were trying to undermine my efforts. Maybe it's going back to work after being on spring break, maybe it's my impending surf on the crimson wave, maybe it's the cloudy weather, but it seems like EVERYTHING annoyed me beyond belief today.

Since I'm only one ex-nerd and I can only combat a certain number of forces, I decided to make a list of my Top Five Pet Peeves. At least, for today.

1. Sending someone an email, and instead of getting a reply, opening your inbox to find three forwards from said someone. Especially when that someone is "my boss". What is that - a sick mind game? Re: don't try me.

2. People who crowd me in the checkout lane at Publix. Go ahead, grab the separator stick and smack it on the belt before I'm even done unloading. That's right, just try and bump my booty with your cart when I'm at the debit machine. Bring it on, supermarket bitches!!!

3. The sound of knuckles popping, cracking, snapping, etc. Those noises are strictly for my Rice Krispies and not your freaking phalanges.

4. When the listing on Digital Cable is wrong. I ALMOST MISSED the end of an America's Next Top Model Marathon because I thought it was Rock the Cradle. Sweet Jesus, I need my Tyra Mail!!

5. When no one comments on my posts. Where is the love, people? I need THE LOVE! SHOW ME SOME LOVE! Do I need to spell it 'LUV'? Because I'm not above that. Really. I promise.

Let's hope there are less forces to combat tomorrow. This totally goes against Emily's 21 Days of Happy Posts. Boo positivity!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


This is why I don't watch local news:

"Tonight at 11 - After a student plot to attack a 3rd grade teacher in Georgia was discovered, parents want to know what's being done to protect their children."

Yes. Apparently it's the children who need protection.

awesumness continues

I've never been the "Woo! Spring Break!" type of girl. Oddly enough, the desire to hear men yell "Show me your boobs!" while trying to relax on the beach never appealed to me. Body shots and belly piercings and dirty hotel rooms never found a way to my radar. In high school, I'd do volunteer trips with my church and fix peoples houses or work in a soup kitchen. In college, I worked to pay the bills. A myriad of drunken Spring Break memories is something I'm glad I don't own.

Now, as a teacher, I'm on the flip side of spring break. For the first time in my life, I could probably afford one of those Spring Break Debauchery excursions. I actually don't have to work during Spring Break because, um, they won't let me. Now, I'm the "Woo! Teacher Perk!" girl. Woo! Teacher Perk!

On most breaks from work, I find myself watching too much reality tv. And sleeping. I always say I'm going to paint my house and it never happens. I realize that this a desperate cry for help. In order to break this habit, I've been saying yes to whatever is presented to me this week. This theory worked extremely well last night.

I went to Art Walk for the first time. Art Walk is an awesum event hosted downtown the first Wednesday of every month, rain or shine. Local businesses shut down and serve as impromptu art galleries. The new main library, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Hemming Plaza were hosting spoken poets and jazz musicians. I also really liked the exhibits in the "old library", a 60s retro building being renovated into offices.

I met up with some friends from my travel group and wandered around for awhile. Another awesum thing about Art Walk is after parties. Two bars were offering free drinks to anyone attending AW. It was great to spend the evening getting to know new people and drinking a deliciously free martini.

The not-so-awesum part of the evening was having my car locked in the parking garage and also being stranded. Luckily, my travel buddies were awesum enough to stick it out with me and flag down a MOCA employee. This guy just happened to know the man who ran the parking garage and a three second phone call was all it took to bust me out. Sadly, though, my reality tv habits die hard. I got home a little after midnight, but you better believe I was up til 2 watching Top Chef.

Woo! Spring Break!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

recipe: spring break awesumness

Pour four drag queens into large mixing bowl. Remove excess testosterone. Add equal parts silicone. Stir in the phrase, "You must be the straight people." Serve chilled in shot classes at a gay club. By a shirtless midget.

(no, sadly, that's not me in the above picture, but you get the idea!)