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Showing posts from January, 2011

Help me help you (or someone you know) get a job!

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I'm bringing back the $500 referral deal. Go check out my job listings website, and send in some resumes! If you send in a resume (yours, a family member's, or a friend's), and that person gets hired in the next 45 days, I will pay you $500.


A little side business promotion

As most of you know, my professional training is in marketing, with a strong emphasis on social media marketing. If you have a business that could use a little extra online push right now, I am offering a special "friends and family" deal.
For $100 I will help your EXISTING or developing website with simple SEO, back linking, directory submissions (in other words, bump up site traffic in target audiences), give content guidance, and create you a "badge/button." And all of this will be done within one week of a signed contract between us.
For an additional amount (to be discussed privately), I can also provide you with a detailed marketing plan that you can take and implement as you see fit.
If you are interested, let me know! We can discuss details directly.

Highs and Lows

Ooh, the highs and lows of this week will be hard to pick from. There's a few too many options!

The lows are a tie between getting stuck for 5.5 hours in a snowstorm driving home from Richmond in a near whiteout. (Normally a 3 hr drive.) And the furnace going out the very next day and spending 48 hours in a very cold way.

The highs are also a tie on those same events. Several people were very kind and made generous offers to help me out during both events.
The other highs will be when the guest bloggers all send me their posts today! Yeah!

CityDeals on Sale!

My fellow CityDeals addicts! Today is an important day! 10% off of everything on the site!
Use code EXTRATEN (in all caps) to get the 10% off EVERYTHING.
This is big people. Very big.

Silver Lining

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Today was part 5,373 of my PC physical. And we are still far from over. 2 more doctor visits, a buttload of paperwork, and another drive back to Richmond, at least, and then it will be over. I hope.
I've been on a very strict diet ever since Dec 26. I've been consistently losing weight. Today I got weighed at the hospital as part of my physical again. I was 10 lbs less today than I was 2 weeks ago when I was originally weighed for my physical! (Total weight loss is 18 lbs.) And on top of that, I had another weight loss related surprise.
I've always had the lowest blood pressure ever. We're talking 90/60 was on the high end for me. But after I gained the nasty 30 lbs I've been trying to shake for 4 years, my blood pressure skyrocketed right up into the completely normal range (110/60). It was no big deal. It was in the completely healthy normal range. But I knew. I knew it was high for me, and it was because of those nasty evil 30 lbs.
Today's surprise? 90/60 o…

Highs and Lows

The highs and lows for last week!

High- my birthday! And my sister and cousin pulling together a birthday dinner for me, without me knowing. It wasn't a surprise party- I was told a few hours prior to dinner. But it was a surprise, because I had no idea they were planning something! And we went to my favorite restaurant in Roanoke, Taaza Indian Cuisine. This time I tried the goat curry (it seemed like a good way to practice for the PC Morocco where goat is apparently a regular food item). And I LOVED it. Phew!
Very high- My Meridian column got over 100 comments! Crazy!  (And I have a new column up today!
Also high- my brother sending me an awesome, thoughtful present.
Not as high- went to the dentist as part of the PC physical. No "new" cavities. But an old filling has to get replaced. And it isn't cheap. So I'm going to be trying to get in at the dental college and see if they can do it cheaper.
Low- total plateau on my diet. And my brakes need to get fixed.

To…

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for setting the example that you are never too old to live out your wildest dreams! Love, Me

More Peace Corps stuff

Anyone else in love with these little xtra normal videos? They crack me up, regardless of the subject matter. Of course, this video managed to strike a chord with me for obvious reasons!



(If you haven't seen the xtra normal video on "quantitative easing" yet, you are missing out. My favorite part is "the ben bernanke" and his beard.)

Knowing that I am going to Morocco has really helped ease my more neurotic side. I know it may all change, but it is really nice to have a plan, even if it isn't a solid one. I decided to tempt fate this week. And by that, I mean I decided to risk jinxing myself. I went out and bought a French textbook and an Arabic textbook. I'm going to attempt to be fluent in French before I leave, and at least be able to read Arabic and speak a tourist level of it. Of course, by doing this, they will change my placement and send me to Nicaragua or Thailand.

I can see that I am getting a ton of traffic referred to me from the PC Journal …

Love is Actually... for guest bloggers

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I'm welcoming guest bloggers again! With the month of love, chocolate, Valentine's, roses, and broken hearts quickly approaching, I'd like to turn the time over to lots of guest bloggers. I'll still be throwing out my 2 cents here and there. But I'd like February to mostly be guest bloggers. The subject- LOVE, and whatever that word conjures up for you. Parental love, love of a friend, dating, heart ache, romance, marriage, a love poem for your dog, little candy hearts with words on them, it is up to you. If you are game, and would like to be a guest blogger for me, shoot me an email (check my profile- it isn't hard to find on here)! And if you are a lurker on this blog that I have never met, you are invited to guest blog as well! The floor is open!

Also, over on my totally wonderful, and yet completely underappreciated blog "Cutting Back and Going Green" I am looking for guest bloggers as well. Potential subjects- organic Valentine's gifts, gree…

Mormon, Single, and Ready to Mingle

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Have you read this yet? Mormon, Single and (Sort of) Ready to Mingle!
My favorite LDS, single, female, hilarious author, Elna Baker is interviewed by The Huffington Post.
Miss Baker is the author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir,a book I pretty much recommend it to everyone, LDS or not.
The article on Huffington Post even quotes my favorite line from the book. "Me, in the corner by myself, with too many cookies and a notebook. To make matters worse, I just witnessed a 35-year-old man -- definitely a virgin -- dressed in a duck costume doing the electric slide.""
Which reminds me. I accidentally joined Match.com. Seriously, it was an accident. As was the completely ridiculous charge for 6 months on the site to my debit card. Ugh. Anyway, since I apparently have 6 months on the site, I'm making the most of it. Adventures in "online meeting" coming soon.

Thank you, please come again

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No blogging here today folks!
But that doesn't mean there isn't new content over at -

Cutting Back and Going Green (PooGloos and making your own recycled paper!)

Jobs By Erin - software architect, business analyst, game designer, art designer, java jobs, and more. And in several different cities!

29th birthday anniversary

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Ah yes, another birthday has come and gone. Thank you to all who wished me well on this the anniversary of my 29th birthday!
Some funny factoids about my birthday (if you are a long time reader, you've probably heard this before)-
I share it with Benjamin Franklin, who just happens to also be my favorite founding father
Nearly every year since I was 16 a major national or natural disaster has occurred within 1-3 days of my birthday (eg- Haiti earthquake, Desert Shield/Storm began, Kobe earthquakes, LA riots, Challenger disaster). Every year on my birthday I have a tendency to check the news compulsively to see what will happen this year. So far, we are good this year.
There is a freak warm spell in Virginia every year right around my birthday. When I was a kid I always wanted to have a sledding party for my birthday. More than once we ended up having backyard picnic parties instead! This year is the first time in my (Virginia) life that it has snowed on my birthday. (It was proba…

Golden Globe Predictions

The Golden Globes are tomorrow night. And I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favorite shows get some awards! Here are the nominees, with my choice for winners in bold. There are a few categories where I just can't vote because I haven't seen any of the nominees.  Also, I'd like to add my name to the list of protesters about True Grit getting shut out of the nominations. I'm sorry, but Emma Stone for Easy A? And not Hailee for True Grit? Seriously? Emma Stone sucked, as did the movie! That's just wrong on too many levels!
Best TV Series (comedy or musical)-  30 Rock Big Bang Theory Big C Glee Modern Family Nurse Jackie My vote goes to Modern Family just because everything about that show is perfect- the cast, the stories, the set, etc. All of it. Who do I think it will go to? Glee or Big C. Why? The cable shows always do better, and Big C attracts a more adult, mature audience. And Glee just because Hollywood types (those who actually vote on this stuff) love how G…

TV Talk

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Let's talk TV!
I actually don't have a TV in my house. I watch all my shows online (CBS.com or Hulu- why won't CBS just put their shows on Hulu?!?!), or on my sister's DVR. So I'm a little out of the loop on new shows coming in. I can't remember the last time I watched a commercial (hallelujah!).
So what shows do you like? What are you enjoying this season?
I always love the mid-season introductions. I seem to find all my favorite shows at mid-season replacements!
That being said!
Shows I'm loving, new and old!

The Good Wife- It can be gritty, and is definitely TV14, but I love it. I love the tension between Alicia, Will, and Peter. I love Kalinda, Carey, all of them. Hands down the best casted show on television.

Royal Pains- it comes back in a few more weeks. I can't wait. I will rate this one a G+. Kids wouldn't enjoy it or get it. But it is clean, and yet still intriguing!

Castle- this show keeps getting better and better. Again, a TV14, as all goo…

Let's get physical!

Yesterday I went to Richmond to the Veterans Admin Medical Center. They are kind enough to do the Peace Corps physicals for free for applicants. I really had a wonderful experience there and I just want to share what a good experience that was.
First, the coordinator handling getting me in to see half a dozen different doctors is a total sweetheart. I arrived 30 minutes late yesterday, due to the obnoxious weather we have around here (and a faulty GPS unit). When I arrived the first thing she said was, "I saw that bad weather, and that you were late, and sent up a little prayer to God to deliver you safely to us. I thank Him you made it to us." I love the South for the people who so openly say things like that.
Second, the doctor that did my physical told me I would be her last PC applicant she could work with. The hospital is too busy, and they just can't do freebies anymore. She said they told her to turn me away, but she put her foot down and insisted. She supports t…

Camels, Haiti, Singles, and Me

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The past 48 hours have been busy, emotional, and did I say busy yet? for me. Between writing articles for Meridian Magazine, the Examiner, recruiting for Phase 3, driving to Charlottesville and Richmond, visiting relatives, getting a physical, the anniversary of the Haiti quake, and finding out what my official Peace Corps nomination is for, I am exhausted today! Can I just stay in bed and read for a few hours?
Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Nook?
This week I wrote two fairly emotional pieces for Meridian Magazine. The first was on Seven Ways to Better Serve the Singles (in the LDS Church). This was one of the hardest pieces I have ever written. I had to dig up a lot of bad memories and ask myself what went wrong in those situations in order to write it. And then I had to go back through multiple times and remove any trace of personal emotion from the story. The result? I have written nearly 100 pieces for Meridian over the past 10 years. This was my third headline articl…

Eastern Caribbean

I was thinking about the Peace Corps again today. Okay, so I think about it all of the time. Some applicants have a fairly good idea of where they might end up, due to their specialties. (For instance, "water and sanitation, sub-Saharan Africa." They may not know which country, but they can narrow it down to a geographic area.) Some applicants are nominated for the ever broad reaching category of "education." Which means they could end up just about anywhere teaching English, math, or science.
Me? I got nominated in multiple categories. This is fairly unusual. I know I requested a certain continent (Africa), but I made it clear I was wide open to anything. (And have since changed my mind, and have decided I'm afraid of cold locations. Hot I like. Cold I hate.)
So today, as usual, I was playing with the Peace Corps calculator, putting in the different things I was nominated for, and looking up the different countries. And I just discovered "Eastern Caribbea…

Getting over myself

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For the past few days I have been in one helluva bad mood. Stressed, frustrated, angry, and yelling at the moon, bad mood. Tonight I decided to get over myself by reading Peace Corps blogs. Reading these blogs, about volunteers, trainees, and other applicants helps me stay focused on what really matters. It got me to thinking, I don't think I have shared with the cyber-world (or my personal, private world) why it is I want to join the PC, and where I want life to lead me after that.
In the past few years I have learned a lot, some of it first hand, about having and meeting human basic needs. This has become a passion of mine, and something I can't let go of. When I was younger I was far more concerned about individual's rights (for instance, anything Constitutional). But I find myself less passionate about rights, and more concerned about basic needs. As you look at the world stage, you will notice that is the countries and locales that have trouble meeting their own basi…
I've been trying to think of a cute, pithy, amusing way of blogging today. Let's see how badly I fail.
Some days are just easier than others to be light-hearted and amusing. I've had nothing light-hearted, cute, or pithy on my mind this week.

Peace Corps Application Status Update

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Things are still plugging along over here. I'm still trying to get all of my medical work done for my PC application. I was warned this is the most time consuming part, and they didn't lie. Oh how I wish all it took was one phone call to a doctor's office, and a quick physical. But oh no! That is so not how this works. Especially not in my case.
Allow me to elaborate!
A few months ago I filled out a 200 question form about my health background. It asked everything you could possibly imagine about your medical history. Even if you think you are the picture of perfect health they would have found something on you in this form.
Then in my in-person interview, they asked a lot of the questions all over again and documented it again. And now, anything I may have said yes to on that form I have to get checked out. Have you ever had pink eye? Sore joints? Headaches? Liver problems? Brain tumors? A freckle on your left big toe?
The basic version of this is I have to get a full ph…

Dear Haiti - I miss you

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Dear Haiti,


You've been on my mind all day. Including some pretty intense flashbacks that made me want to sit down and cry. The first trigger was getting an email this morning saying that our operation in Haiti has closed up shop. They have determined that it is too dangerous and unsafe to continue building a much needed hospital for you. Knowing how very badly you needed a new, up to date, functioning hospital this just breaks my heart. As my fellow volunteer Claire said, "I wasn't ready for that closure." I've been waiting almost a year for "closure" with you. And I was so badly hoping it would be a hospital. I'm sorry we failed you Haiti. I wish we could do so much more.

The second trigger was a funny one. A happy one in many respects. I was helping my cousin renovate her basement, and I had to fill a hole with concrete. Just hearing the word concrete makes me think "2 parts sand, 1 part gravel, 1 part water." And then, "who can I m…

Trust, heartache, and other touchy subjects

High - Lows

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Let's have a little fun with the highs and lows of the past week-
Best of the best- it isn't 2010 anymore. That sucker is long gone, never to return.  Most surreal moment- a flaming gay man with a lisp dressed as a Johnny Cash cowboy, tapping me on the shoulder in the mall and saying, "This shampoo would be great for your hair. It's colored. I know, I'm a professional." While I was shopping for wallets. Funniest moment- Holding my cooked, whole lobster, I opened the bathroom door that I knew my little sister was standing behind. I slowly inched the lobster up next to her. She turned, she saw it face to face, and she screamed. A lot. Priceless.  Most cathartic- writing a 7pp character statement about my vile ex-boss. Getting to legally and officially put everything in writing about all of her horrible acts felt really good. Knowing she may finally have to pay for her crimes, felt even better. 
Low moment- my dog is sick again. This will be our 5th trip to the vet i…

Ravensburger Labyrinth

Has anyone ever played this game before? I discovered it on New Years Eve, and LOVED it. In fact, I liked it so much that I bought it today off Amazon. And now I'm looking for suckers players to play with!