Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Tender Mercy of Darth Tater

I found a reason to smile in the silliest and simplest of things this week. It was one of those "tender mercies" moments for me.
2 simple little things happened at work. One was the office fantasy football draft. The other was a bet. It turns out my co-workers love to bet on just about anything.
Do you remember the long-since-gone TV show, "Ed?" I loved that ridiculous show. So cute. One of the more charming parts of the show was how the titular character and his BFF would dare each other and bet on just about anything. My co-workers are not unlike this.

And I'm not complaining. It's amusing.
This week I launched a new campaign this week. And therefore, my co-workers placed bets (in a spreadsheet, shared on the company network) on how well it will go. I suppose this could intimidate or bother some people. It just made me happy. First, I know I have their support. And second, it's just nice to be a part of a team again.
The fantasy football draft was nothing spectacular or different. It was just a fantasy draft. But it made me happy to get to be a part of something simple and social again.
These are the exact sort of things I have missed these last few years. I missed being a part of something, part of a team, part of a group dynamic.
I got a little sad and down in the dumps today. I don't even remember why. It was just a fast pang of homesickness, and I missed my "Baby Ducks." So to distract myself from my woes I cleaned my office. In doing so I decided to change "Darth Tater's" outfit. (Yes, my office has a Darth Tater in it. Doesn't yours?) (Further proof of the betting thing- Darth Tater is our team prize we pass around to who got the best sales that week.) And then I decided I didn't want to look at Darth anymore. So I put him in my spare office chair, and turned the chair to face out the window into the hallway. And raised his light sabre. He was quite menacing for a Potato Head.

He got a few laughs from co-workers as they passed by. But I knew I liked my office when one guy walked by, saw it, and knelt down before Darth Tater. And I don't even know that guy's name.
I like being in an office again. I like being on a team. I like the funny atmosphere of our office. (And that people have velvet Elvis paintings, and pictures of the Rat Pack in their offices, and that Darth Tater's omniscience is not questioned.)
It sure beats working from home.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mr. Darcy is not born, ladies, he is made.

Folks, if you have not yet discovered the incredible wonderfulness that is Verily magazine, I highly encourage you go go discover them now. Good, clean, interesting articles for real women on a variety of subjects from fashion to careers to relationships. And written with a more Christian and conservative point of view than any other publication I have ever found.

Be sure to check out today's article, "Gentlemen Speak: A Gentleman in Progress. Are men completely out of touch with how to treat a lady? Well, one of them has given us an answer!".

My favorite quote, "No boy is born opening doors or laying his jacket across puddles for his sisters and girlfriends. A boy doesn’t naturally keep his word or forbear a slight when an excuse or a score settled is within easy reach. All those things we might call virtues, and good manners must be learned. But to be learned they must be taught, and that requires first of all that they are esteemed. So you’ll immediately see our predicament: Mr. Darcy is not born, ladies, he is made."

Monday, August 26, 2013

From the Dating Archives of My Brain

This week I got to thinking about some ex-boyfriends and past relationships. And you know what? Hindsight really is 20/20. Now I can look back and see the relationship was always doomed.
The nutshell version-
Once upon a time, I dated a really great guy for over a year. For most of the relationship we went to his parents' house for Sunday dinner. Without fail the meal was always the same- a very tough pork chop, applesauce, biscuits from a can, jello salad, and a can of creamed corn.
The problem? (Besides being the most bland, boring meal ever?)
I am allergic to corn.
As in deathly allergic.
So naturally I never ate the corn. (I rarely ate the jello salad. Why? I really don't like jello "salad.") Why would I eat something that might kill me?
And every Sunday, without fail, my boyfriend's mother made a comment about how I did not eat the meal she made. And every Sunday, I would politely explain I am allergic to corn. She would sniff and dismiss the conversation.
I would remind my boyfriend in advance and ask him to remind his mother that I was allergic to corn. I offered nearly every single week for over a year to bring a side dish, specifically a vegetable. She always said no. I often did it anyway. She never once served anything I brought.
It was not uncommon for his parents (actually the whole family) to completely leave me out of the conversation. Sometimes the boyfriend attempted to include me, sometimes he was oblivious. When I would point things out to him later he would be surprised. He never noticed how rude his family was to me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Inside the Shopping Side of My Brain

Let's take a little walk through the mind of a woman and how she approaches picking out an outfit for work.
My new job is awesome in many ways. One way you might think I love my job is because we have a very flexible and easy dress code.
But no.
Somehow it's the flexible dress code that causes me the most stress.
Dumb, I know.
But yes, it is the pretty much, almost anything goes dress code that stresses me.
You can't be too formal and professional (men don't wear ties or suit jackets), and you can't be too casual (although some of the less professional departments do wear shorts and t-shirts). Jeans are acceptable, but jeans and a t-shirt is a little too casual for my department. (A t-shirt and a nice skirt is okay.)
Of course, when I packed and moved I purged a ton of clothes. And I'm really wishing I hadn't done that. I really could have used some of those shirts now. 
So even though I have no money to buy clothes, I spend a ton of time online shopping for the perfect classy, nice, but not too professional outfit.
I'm in love with this dress-

Who doesn't need another little black dress, right? And hello, it's $300 off right now!
But honestly, it's probably too nice for work.
Which means I'd need some other place to buy it. In theory, I could wear it to church, and I would. If there is anything you can say about my new singles ward, it is that it is a weekly fashion competition. (not that there is anything wrong with that) I'd love to pretend I'd wear it on a date, but when is the last time a date actually called for a dress that nice? (How awesome would it be if dates actually involved hot dresses and sexy shoes?!?)
Speaking of hot little black dresses that could go on a date, to church, and to work, I'm also loving this one-

 But really, I should just be looking for shirts.
And after an hour of pouring over Amazon, this is the only shirt I could find that I liked (for work). (It comes in several colors. I liked all but the white.)

Depending on size and color it's anywhere from $17-34 in price. I might actually have to buy this one. 
When did shopping become so complicated??
I miss my teen years where I liked everything and everything looked almost good on me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Quest for the Perfect Plain White T-Shirt

I am on a quest.
I did not know when I began this simple search that it would turn into a quest.
All I want is a plain white, opaque, v-neck, short sleeved, t-shirt (that is not so long that it covers my hips and butt).
Why on earth is this impossible to find?
I have searched multiple stores. I can find variations on it, but I cannot find the exact, perfect, t-shirt that I want.
I have found white, v-neck, tees, but they are almost never opaque enough. And far too many have those obnoxious mini-pockets on the breast. (Why?!? What purpose does the mini-pocket serve??)
Tonight I took my search to Amazon.
I found this shirt, which appears to be exactly what I want, but opaqueness can only be determined in person-
The problem?
It's $44! Who spends $44 on a plain, white, t-shirt?!
Not me!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Channeling Creativity

I feel like all I ever do is complain about how exhausted I am. I'm sure no one wants to hear that, but really, it's true. I'm exhausted. Yesterday I woke up early to attend 8 a.m. church, turned off the alarm, put my head back down, and slept for 5 more hours. I never even got out of bed yesterday except to walk the dog a few times. I took a few naps plus went to bed early.
You could say I was a little bit tired!
But today I feel like I'm almost back in the game. Or maybe I've just finally accepted that I will have to live with this level of exhaustion? Either way, I'm good to go.
I've joined a new writing group which has helped me get more organized and motivated to finish writing book 3 in the Haley and Cam series. It will be titled, "Coming Up Next!" to continue the news theme. This book takes a bit of a departure from the pacing and day to day style of the past two books. But we get to know Cam and Haley in ways we haven't seen them before. I think Haley and Cam fans will like this unexpected twist to the story and storyline.
It is nice to feel creative and motivated to write again. It isn't a skill I can just turn on and off like some people can do. I have to be in a creative mind set with few distractions in order to write fiction. I've tried to just churn out material before, and it is always a disappointment, and gets tossed out before long. But balancing day to day life makes it hard for me to flip the switch to the right brain and channel my creativity.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's not about the nail

Have you seen this video yet? It's been ALL over Facebook for weeks now.

This describes how I am feeling all too well today.
The truth is that at the end of the day, women really do just want someone to listen to them, hug them, and tell them it will be alright. (And for men, whether they are right or wrong, to stop telling them how to fix it, or what the root of the problem is!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I Won't Date Him

I've done something today I've never done before in my 10 years of blogging here.
I've deleted the post that was here, but I've left up the comments.
I felt I was addressing a serious problem (the mistreatment of women), and in return I have been insulted in more ways than I can count (both on this blog and in an LDS mid-singles FB group).
Maybe I will re-address the issue some time but in a more carefully worded way. I will take the blame for the poor reception of the blog post because I was the writer. The fact that so many people thought this subject was open to mocking and insults tells me that I did not write it in a serious and factual enough context.
So if you came here looking for that blog post, sorry, it is gone.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Due West, "I Just Wanna Go There"

Sure, maybe I am a little biased when it comes to the awesomeness of Due West.
But you know what? This may be their best song yet. I just want to snuggle in bed, turn off the lights, and listen to this song on repeat over and over and over again!


Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mongolia, Money, and More Money

I recently read a fascinating [to me] article in Bloomberg Markets magazine regarding mining in Mongolia. To sum it up in simplest terms, a very large multi-national corporation has a very large copper mining project going on there. (And some other smaller companies too.) The company, Rio Tinto, stands to make a great deal of money over many years off this project. It is one of the largest known copper deposits, if I recall correctly.
In an interesting case of corporate responsibility and working with the government and the people of the country, Rio Tinto not only paying the country for permission to be there, plus paying taxes, and employing many local nationals, they are going a few steps beyond that. For instance, Rio Tinto paid taxes in advance.
Did you know Mongolia is a democracy? It's true. It is. And that's what makes the next part more interesting.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Thank you!

I almost forgot to thank everyone for all their support last week!

"You Heard It Here First" made it to the #2 Political Fiction Bestseller (free) on Amazon!!

The very next day, "This Just In!" made it to #5 on the Political Fiction Bestseller list (free)!

And "Increase E-Book Sales with Social Media Marketing" made it to #4 in its respective genre!
Each of my books were promoted on different days and given away for free during the promotion, which is how they got so much sudden attention. "You Heard It Here First" was downloaded/purchased over 1,500 times in just 3 days!! "This Just In!" didn't get quite as many downloads, but still broke 1,000 as well!

It was very exciting for me to see my books get so much traction and to see them at the top of the lists so unexpectedly!! And it's even more fun to see sales improve so much this week as a result of the promotions last week!

Thank you again to everyone for your support and shared excitement!

Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!" on Amazon. Both are just $2.99 on Kindle.

Back in the Saddle Again

Why has blogging suddenly becomes such a complicated thing for me to do?
Hmm... I may have to contemplate that internally a little bit more.

I'm settling in to my new apartment and my new life in Falls Church, VA, as well as my new job. All of my stuff has been moved in, and I'm starting to get it all put away the best that I can. Unfortunately I'm starting from scratch on much of the furniture, so there is a lack of places to put some of the stuff away. I've got several bins of books, gadgets, and supplies that just don't have a home yet. And my poor white walls are so barren! This apartment needs some serious love!

But I love it here so far. I love having my own place again and setting up my own home. I can handle barren walls for a bit while I work and earn money to provide for myself. A lack of artwork won't kill me!

That being said...

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I have plans to just go out and "be me." I have a long list of things I have wanted to do in the DC area for years now. Things I have missed doing since I moved away. For instance, I can't wait to go visit the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress. Both are on my list of things to do tomorrow. And I want to have breakfast in Eastern Market! And go to Screen on the Green! And walk around National Harbor at night! And have dinner in Georgetown and Old Town! And just walk around Courthouse and Clarendon because I can. And see a show or two or twenty at Wolf Trap! And today I got it in my head that I want to ride a bike along the C&O Canal. And go golfing. Or at least go hit a bucket of balls at the range. I haven't done that in years!

Yes, I am happy to have a job again and to be earning a paycheck and to be back in a big city with so many options!

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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