Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John McCain

Check out John McCain's video: Courageous Leadership.  He has a really compelling story.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Beginning of Wonderful is Now.

I'm tired right now, so forgive any overtones of melancholy.  I just got back from Knoxville after spending a really great weekend with the boy.  We used his fireplace for the first time (two nights in a row) and had fun entertaining a few friends for a dinner party.  His new place is really very nice. An unbenounced back injury afforded us the chance to have a lazy Sunday watching Star Wars movies, which I admit I never saw before (I fell asleep through 1 a long time ago) and I'll also admit I like them.  Next time the boy and I spend a weekend together, I wouldn't be surprised if it came with the new Star Wars movies in tow.  

Elsewhere on my plate is school and getting the nitty gritty of my scholarly research paper undertow.  I think I've finally nailed down the topic after really only circumventing what I knew was there all the time. Language, semantics, etc. Welcome to the world of academia.  My best friend here at school got engaged (congrats!) and has the prettiest ring ever on her finger.  Over dinner she told about colorless degrees of diamonds, circle shapes and how that combination yields the most shiny sparklyness. Oh the things you learn.

Other then that my job search is on, and I find myself hitting up a few regular sites to see what leads I can find.  I'm not quite sure how folks could handle being in graduate school longer then oh a year and a half, but hey according to one of my relatives I'm an SOS - Student on Steroids. Bottom line, I like to keep moving ahead. I have certain goals in mind, and well enjoy watching money grow.  To me there's something very rewarding about putting cash money away into a savings account and watching it mount up - and then using it to really reach a goal (like now paying for my rent and not worrying) and eventually for a house, or European vacation. (Can't wait to take the boy to Constance Germany). If you ask me it's well worth it.  There's nothing like knowing you have the discipline and know how to hold out for what you really want, plus the added wonderfulness of not feeling any stress once you get it.  I look forward to all that lies ahead.  But God has always been good to me, and provided as long as I keep one foot in front of the other.  

We all have the moments where we feel - will we ever make it - but in those moments we just have to pause and remind ourselves, we already have.  This is just the beginning of wonderful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Direct Routes.

I've worked really hard on becoming a better direct communicator this past year, maybe longer then that, and I'll be darned if I am going to give that up for a few noncommittal eyes.  Yes, the girls in some of my classes (okay maybe only like 1 or 2) are giving me the feeling that I'm a) intimidating or b) they are competitive against me.  Do I give off the competitive vibe? I'm not a competitive person, I'm a motivated girl.  It striked me tonight in class that while most of the girls had gone out of the room during break, I had stayed behind to chat with the prof. and a few of my classmates. I glanced around, it was all guys.  The fact of the matter is that guys seem to handle my direct communication better then girls. Truth be told, I think for girls direct communication comes off as aggressive, at least that's what I remember it once feeling like, until I found my voice and the much more succinct way of communicating. I'm open to a good debate and critical thought. I like it. So if you disagree, talk back, or question, don't sit there with an ugly stink eye. It's much easier to go around in life and know where you're going and who you are, and what you are about then to beat around the bush. I'm going somewhere, & women need to know how to handle that.

Just Being.

This is what I picture my upcoming weekend to be like. The boy and I enjoying coffee while devouring the newspaper or a good book and then each other (hehe). Everyone deserves to have someone they can just sit and read with. (but still be silly later). To be able to just be together. The best part sometimes is the not saying anything, but glancing up, looking at his tousled red hair, and knowing I'm the luckiest girl ever. And then catching him doing the same thing.

Monday, January 21, 2008

All a Girl Needs.

A Scene Straight from Cinderalla

It seemed like a regular, chilly winter morning when I tried to pull myself from bed. But the most special winter spectacular occurred. Puttering around the apartment, and cleaning up leftover remnants of the weekend, I stopped to stare out my window. The fluttering of wings and bright red breasts caught my attention. Birds. Birds, robins, everywhere. They were fluttering all about the tree, which I've learned is the Holly Tree, that stands right outside my window. Filled with a glee that reminds me of Spring ahead, I grabbed my camera to take a few shots. I thought the birds might fly away at the sight of the camera, but they stayed in the tree, sharing their happy song and nibbling at the bright red berries. What a sight to see. I imagined they were all greeting me with a chirping hello, and saying "you may have a cold, but spring will be here soon." Every once in awhile we all are reminded it's the little things, and when added up they are the big things in life.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


So perhaps you've gone through this stage in life where everybody and their poodle is getting engaged. Really, is there like a national "engagement" day that I am unaware of? The bride and wedding magazines around the apartment, as if they are everyday accessories. And talks of colors, and diamond shapes, and flowers clutter the conversations. If you don't announce that you are engaged, they still ask if you are. But we all know the true test is when the facebook status changes.

Funny thing is, my boy won't even put "in a relationship" up. Silly boy...who makes me deliriously happy everyday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Choice, Love, and Faith. In this I find my Peace.

Over the past two years I've really come to know the meaning of choice, love, and faith. Choice has been watching someone close to you choose a different way, actions that hurt themselves, and others. Choice has been choosing a different path myself, choosing to move forward, and choosing happiness everyday.

Love has been learning to love the man still, even though I despised his actions. Love has been growing closer towards someone and allowing them to get to know all of me, experiencing the strengths, and helping me during the weakness. Love has been being kind to myself even when it got tough. Love has been loving, and expecting nothing in return.

And faith, above all, faith has been trusting and leaning more on God. Faith has been knowing that he desires to make our paths straight, and that if we choose him, love does abound. Faith has been courage to break patterns, behaviors, and habits. Faith has been the ability to see things through till the end, until it was time to move on. It's a desire to move closer to compassion and kindness for all things at all times. And faith has been a steady source of joy in my everyday.

This is my peace.

I choose happiness. I choose love. I choose faith. And in this I find peace.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Established Idea in a Different Context = Funny

Fantastic little video with hilarious choreography. Taking an idea and putting it in a different context, business folks could take some tips.

Some New Form of Love

I have a new fascination with my keyboard.  It was given to me as a gift by my Oma and Opa for my most recent birthday. I took piano lessons when I was back in middle school, but ended up having to stop because my teacher had a baby.  Instead of finding someone else, I think I took it as a chance for me to take a break.  Now when I look back, I stopped right when I was getting good.
Since graduate school classes don't start until tomorrow, I've had roughly a week of alone time with my keyboard. I wake up in the morning and want to play, need a break from working, and want to play, and especially at night after dinner instead of watching tv want to sit and play. Of course each of our definitions of playing may differ. But it feels as if I'm experiencing some new form of being in love.  Between me, my fingers, and those lovely keys.

The funny thing is that I don't even have sheet music right now.  I've been looking online, and placing the computer by my bed, or printing a few things out.  In addition, I've been learning Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven by listening to it on youtube and watching other pianists play. Rather funny approach I know.

All in all, it feels good to be picking the piano back up and continuing to develop another part of my personality - the musical side.  

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Brand New Year

     I haven't written a lengthy post in some time.  With the holiday season upon me and visits to various cities to spread and receive Christmas cheer, there wasn't much time for writing. Besides, cooking has become one of my new found hobbies.  But I promise more frequent updates.

     In the New Year I find myself with a fullness much greater then before.  A playful nature has emerged, and along with it creative energies.  Whether that be for cooking, playing around on my want to be piano, or even organizing my closet space, this new creativity is fuel for energy every day.  It's wonderful and has made me uncover parts of me that I knew from years ago.  It's infusing my relationships and really infiltrating each part of my life with a zest.

     Besides creativity, exciting things are happening in life.  The Boy graduated from UT with his MBA in December, and we were blessed to spend a great deal of time together this break- moving him into a new apartment, and celebrating the Christmas season.  I know for years to come I'll remember all the memories we made this past season - cooking in his new kitchen, going through his memorabilia and listening to the stories that accompanied them, driving a forklift, and playing rockband late into the night.  We even formed our own band.  I am very happy I had the opportunity to help him transition into this next phase of life, and am cheering him on each and everyday as he begins his exciting career.

     As for me, I'm now back in DC and gearing up for another semester that lies ahead.  I've been sending out my resume and getting some good feedback thus far.  I'm looking forward to a new set of classes, 2 being taught by our awesome director.  In addition, my work at the Women & Politics Institute will also be changing, and it looks as though I'll get to be a bit more creative and acquire some grant writing skills.  I'm looking forward to what lies ahead over the next few months and happy to have some great people to share it with.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote. A great piece of advice to keep in mind as my professional career begins to take its leap.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cooking w/ ETM

I'm very into cooking right now, after receiving a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for Christmas. Having a break from school and work helped spur on my creative energies and I've really enjoyed cooking for my loved ones. I've decided I'll be highlighting some of my most recent cooking endeavors on here.

Last night's conquest:
Bucatini noodles with mushrooms, spring peas, and prosciutto.
Accompanied with Smoking Lune Merlot

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Servant Leader

The servant leader is servant first.  It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve first.  Then the conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead...the difference manifests itself in the car taken by the servant - first to make sure that people's highest priority needs are being served.  The best test, and difficult to administer, is: do those being served, grow as persons; do they while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servant leaders?  And what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or at the very least, not be further deprived?

This is an excellent thing to contemplate as the new year begins.