Procrastination (But I Digress)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Yi Ha

Saturday we had a meeting for the 2006 National Conference for ABWA and met the General Chair for the event this year in Grapevine Texas. She is a hoot and I cannot wait to go to Grapevine Texas (where ever that is).

Change of plans for Lake Tahoe next spring--instead I'm going to go to one of the ABWA Spring Conferences back east so that we can have people selling Anaheim at all the conferences. They have one in Munsey Indianna, April 20, 21 & 22. How far away is that from you Erika? I figure that I'll take the week before (Easter) and fly into Detroit or Chicago, rent a car and do the rounds with family visits and then hit the conference for the hard sell and swing back up, kiss Jackson and head on back home Sunday. So start checking those calenders. Someone will need to feed me ham on Easter, but otherwise I am very flexible. And if you promise that Little Ceasars is open on Easter, you don't even have to feed me ham.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A total inability to acheive my stated goal

I do not have a fear of public speaking--I embrace it. If I do say so myself, I'm pretty good at it. I have good body language, good eye contact, a good memory, an easy going style--I think, I'm pretty good at it. My problem is that I either have too much to say or not enough, hence joining Toastmasters to practice this craft. My stated goal--give a speech within the alloted time frame. But did I focus on this goal--no, no, no. I wanted to show up the normal everyday first time speaker at toastmasters and wow the crowd with my incredible speaking abilities. I came up with a creative and lovely title and cute plays on ideas and lots of fun little moments to make people smile. The speech was supposed to be 4 to 6 minutes with 3 or 4 points. I whittled it down to 5 points (1 was really two points, but they were small enough to put together) and straight reading, it took 5 minutes. A whole extra minute for a cushion, I thought. The green light (4 minutes) came on during my second point, but I did not worry. The yellow light (5 minutes) came on while I was starting my third point and I thought fleetingly, it must be a mistake. The red light (6 minutes) came on right before my fourth point and I started to rush. The buzzer (6.5 minutes) went off during my fifth point, but I finished my conclusion anyway cutting out about four sentences and burying the last joke. I didn't close with my best line. A complete failure to achieve my stated goal. 6 minutes and 41 seconds. The girl who won best performance (not me) failed to make eye contact, but she did involve the audience really effectively and so I must bow to her. She also finished within the alloted time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Solution

I am always a little disappointed when the only new post is Erika (well Jackson), but if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, so here we are. I went to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith this weekend--not the best movie on the planet, but they were kind of cute shooting everything in sight. They got beat up really badly and shot a lot (not a regular lot, an exponentially exceptional lot), and lived to go to marriage counseling looking none the less for wear. There were a couple of really funny lines ("You forgot my Mother's birthday" "Your fake Mother." I guess you had to be there.) Next week, I'm going to see Bewitched--I'm trying to have zero expectations--I find I like movies a lot better when I have zero expectations.

Tonight is my long awaiting "ice breaker" speech at Toastmasters (and I get to have pizza for dinner). The speech is supposed to be 4 to 6 minutes and when I read it, it is exactly 5 minutes (it is really, really good pizza). The problem is that I can't read it and I've cut so much out of it that when I try to say the speech without reading it, some of the stuff I cut out creeps back in (the first time I had the pizza, I ate all 8 slices so I wasn't allowed to have it for a while). Now I'm trying to practice the speech over and over to remind myself not to say the stuff I cut out (but then I was able to stop at four slices, so I'm going to try again tonight. I figure since I have to give a speech, there will be a natural time when the food will have to be put aside and hopefully that will be before all eight slices have found their way into me.)

Today is also the PTA board meeting. PTA seems like more work than ABWA and Kiwanis combined. They change the meetings with every holiday and school break to whatever day they feel like--very disconcerting to my schedule. ABWA is tomorrow and I'm expected to have all the chairships filled, lucky me. And next week the district govenor wants to meet with me to discuss our goals for Kiwanis next year--my term doesn't start until October--it's June for crying out loud.

I'm taking one day over the 4th of July weekend and cleaning the rest of my closet. I took all the clothes that don't fit out, but I still have boxes of junk in the bottom. I'm afraid to open them because I'm sure that there are spiders in them, so I'm devising a plan to open them outside and be brutal about throwing stuff away. Adrienne, you are not allowed to help--we have totally different realities for "brutal".

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ah Spring--no wait this is supposed to be summer

It is cold and damp--reminds me of the first day all the snow is melted and gone in Spring. So much for going to the bright summer colors.

You are all officially jealous--wireless mouse and keyboard are so cool. And the keyboard has so many extras--I press one button to get into Jackson's site in the morning. I made it number three which is right in the middle and prominate, but not number 1 or 2 which are the court and westlaw--I mean it is my computer at work and I should set an example for my employees and all. But then again, it's not like they'll ever use my computer or even know how I've set up the keys, so it's really more of a psycholgical thing for me to remind me that I am at work and I shouldn't just be visiting Jackson all day long. I have things to do like, well I'm sure I'll think of something to look up on westlaw.

My speech was rescheduled to next Tuesday since I couldn't present it last week while I was off be awarded the Thanks badge for girl scouts--highest award out there--woo hoo. So I was supposed to be the Grammarian next week, but now that I have a speech, I have to hand that off to someone else. But I already picked my words for the topic summer: Flaxbalm (wrong spelling in case you are looking it up--it's from an Emily Dickenson poem about Summer) and solstice--I could be wrong, but I think the group won't miss trying to put these words into their speechs for the night. The alternates were heat (with a long explaination of all the different meanings and connotations) and sunshiny (such a cool Beatlesesk word). I like those better, but where's the challenge. Oh well, the next available topic to be the grammarian for is Vacation--does anyone know some really good words that go along with the theme Vacation?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Mystery Hum

I am a light sleeper, so I am happy that my bedroom is way at the back of the house away from the street noise. But lately I've noticed a hum--an electronic hum that is constantly on in my room. I do not hear it in the sitting room or the back yard (although there are lots of other noises in the back yard competing for attention). It sounds like a refrigerator hum, but our refrigerator does not make that hum. It sounds electronic, like maybe from a tv, but I unplugged everything in my bedroom and sitting room (even the cable box) and the hum was still there. I thought it was the watering system on the side of the house, but I put my ear really close to it and there's no hum. I thought it was the electrical converter box at the back of the property, but I cannot discern the hum outside at all. Dad suggested that my bed frame is channeling some sound from within the house, maybe the front of the house and I'm tempted to shut the power in the whole house down to find out (but I don't know where that switch is or if it's even a switch). Of course the only time this hum bothers me is in the middle of the night when it is highly inconvenient to get up and start playing with the power in the house. There has to be a reasonable explaination. I must destroy that hum.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Refinishing Earplugs

So it is extremely noisy in my office right now. There are two guys with really loud machines refinishing the parking lot across the street. They have ear plugs--where's mine is the question.

I'm preparing the programs for next years PTSA--I'd like to set up programs that students want to hear also. I'm thinking comedy is the best delivery on any topic, but I don't know any comedians. I heard about a speaker who teaches people how to juggle and it's motivational about juggling all the different things in your life. If I were that speaker I'd charge a lot and I wouldn't come out for 20 people. Such a dilemma--grand plans, small world.

I had a great birthday and it's not over yet--we're going to a big birthday lunch on Friday. Adrienne got me an ipod, but my computer doesn't have the right version of microsoft. Adam strongly suggested that I wait until I have the right program rather than trying to load music at work. He is the resident expert on ipods. My fear is that I'll start singing while I'm walking to the gym.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Summer Time--not quite.

I went to a barbecue last night, but it was so gloomy and cold, it really didn't feel like summer. We ate indoors. Last Sunday I went to the beach. It was drizzling in Glendale, but it was sunny at the beach. And cold. I had a tee shirt around my neck like a scarf and a towel around my shoulders. I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and I though I was going to die of frostbite. But it sure was pretty.

I bought a pink sweater a few weeks ago and now it's harder and harder to wear black--I'm ready for those bright colors of summer. Yesterday someone said how lucky I was to lose weight, that now I'll be able to buy clothes I really like. In fact it is the opposite. I already had a lot of clothes that I really liked a lot bought over years of shopping at sales and not sales, just because they were too great to pass up. Now I have to have smaller clothes all at once and I have no money and no time to wait for great sales, so I'm stuck buying whatever I can afford when I absolutely need something else. I'm wearing an old extra large top today and it's just so big, that I have to buy more tops, but I have no money this month for clothes and so I'm thinking, well I'll just get some weekenders and put them on a card, but then I have to pay interest on a card for something I don't even like, but I look like a clown in these extra large clothes. Nordstroms is having a sale. I think that I'm going to go to Nordstroms and buy stuff I like and pretend I'm buying it just because, but it's really on sale so the interest that I pay will be like paying full price for it otherwise which I'm totally capable of doing anyway. Can you tell I'm reading that "Shopaholic" series that Adrienne liked so much.

I'm still five pounds away from my goal--sometimes three and sometimes six--very frustrating. I told Adrienne that I'm going to take up bike riding and she warned me that I'll put on muscle weight and can I handle that. I'm pretty sure I can handle muscle weight, if I have some measure that it's actually muscle in them there thighs. Of course, I'm still not too sure about the helmet and I sure hope I don't have to wear those skinny little bike shoes and bicycle pants. Maybe I ought to rethink this bike thing some more. It's not really summer yet, I have time.