Thursday, October 31, 2013

Aging


I'm fairly used to the fact that I look a little young for my age. I don't mean this in any sort of bragging way. If anything, I wouldn't mind looking a little bit more mature just so I could get a little more professional respect. When people think you are half your age, you get treated that way (and paid that way).
But truth be told, I'm starting my mid-life crisis. And I'm attending my 20th high school reunion this weekend.
It's so cliche to say it, but it's hard to believe it has been 20 years since I graduated from high school. How is that even possible?
I mentioned to someone today that I would be going to the reunion this weekend, and he responded that I still look like I am in high school.
Ha.
That's just what you think!
I may look 18 now (really, I don't think I do. I think I can pass for mid-20's, but 18? not so much.), but I promise you, I did not look like this at 18.
Shall we go to the photographic evidence? And mock my awesome looks in the 80s and 90s?
Here I am at age 18 and my high school graduation. Please note: I did not exactly have the blond, golden locks I have now.
I would be the short one in the graduation white robe. My younger sister Natalie is taller than me. (Has been for many years now.) Sidenote: today I was mistaken for the little girl I am holding in this picture. That is my baby sister Stephanie, who was only 4 years old when I graduated.
As you can see, my natural hair color  back then was a much, much darker blond, bordering on brown.
Next we have a lovely picture from my college years.
Don't ask why we are posing with Citrucel. It's a ridiculous story.
This picture was taken a few weeks before my 20th birthday. (And was before I discovered eyebrow waxing/tweezing.)
And just for good measure, here's what I look like now-

Me and little cousin Lexi Doodle. Who doesn't love a little kid missing their teeth?
Okay, now I realize I haven't really proven my point very well. Apparently my hair has changed, but not much else. In my mind, I really don't look anything like I did when I was 18. But in these pictures it is hard to prove that, other than my hair. But really, at 18, I was 50 lbs lighter, very flat chested (often went without even wearing a bra), had short, curly blond-brown hair, and would never dare have left the house without makeup and earrings on. Now? I might wear mascara if I didn't get much sleep the night before. I can't remember the last time I wore earrings. My hair is light blond and elbow length. And I wear bras that come with gravity defying money-back guarantees.

And now, just for fun, here are some fun 80s pictures of my hair for you-

Behold my 8th grade class picture! I worked hard to get my hair to wing out on the sides like that. 

And 9th grade! Complete with perm and tall bangs! And an acid wash pleated jean skirt. I should be so ashamed, but mostly I'm just greatly amused. I thought I looked totally rad in this outfit!

And no self-shaming high school post would be complete without a prom picture. I was 17 in this picture. And clearly already showing my not-big-on-glamor side.

With all of this humiliation out of the way (not really. i really don't care what i looked like back then.), I am totally ready for my high school reunion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seasons Change


From the frequency I've been posting on this blog lately you might think I forgot I have a blog.
That's kind of true. I really do tend to forget about blogging.
It's possible the rumors are true- blogging is dead.
I can't even really think of anything to share or say. My life is pretty dull lately. I have come to accept something new about this iteration of my life. My social life won't really be daily or even weekly activities. If anything, most of my social interactions will probably be on long weekends, or for special events. I really didn't see that coming, so it's an unusual development to acknowledge and accept. But it's a little liberating to see it and accept it. It takes the pressure off feeling like my weekends need to be more social, or that I need to be "putting myself out there" more.
This past weekend I had a great time with a small group of friends down in southern Virginia. We had a nice little weekend country/mountain escape with great food, music, and scenery. The truth is I would rather socialize in these settings where you can really get to know people better, than the typical alternatives (parties, dinners, etc.).


I'm starting to appreciate this "season" of life a little bit more. Sometimes it isn't easy to love and enjoy this stage/phase/season of life (that stage being an 'older' single) because the world tells us we're not supposed to like it. Supposedly we're supposed to be a little depressed and down on ourselves because we're not married with children. And if we express how much we like our lives, well, then that's the reason we're not married. There's a strange Catch-22 that isn't true.
The truth is, I'm making the most of the life I have and I am always open-minded about the future and change. I wouldn't want a life devoid of change. It's not who I am.
But for right now, I am enjoying my current situation. I enjoy my job. I enjoy my side ventures and projects. I enjoy meeting new people and making friends. I enjoy my personal time and privacy.
It's an unexpected development to wake up and discover I like my situation. But I hope it stays (and by 'it' I mean my acceptance) for a while. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This is why you need a husband (apparently)

Asian Maid Admits Use Of Black Magic

An Asian housekeeper who was jailed after stealing SR40,000 [roughly $10,000] from her employer’s house reportedly called her sponsor and told him she used black magic on his wife as a way to get back to him for putting her in prison. The husband has been having difficulty dealing with his Arab wife, whose behavior he said has changed utterly after the maid was incarcerated. The maid even told the husband that he should give up on his wife because she will never be cured. However, the husband said he would do whatever it takes to help his wife recover.

Need proof this story is real? Here's the link - http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20131011183317

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dating and Doctor Who


This past weekend was a large mid-singles conference (ages 31-45 yrs old) hosted by my local church congregation. There were 340ish singles in attendance. Approximately 80 were male. 4:1 odds.
I was not a true attendant at the conference. I volunteered at a few of the activities, and participated in a few portions. I preferred to be an observer rather than a participator this time around. Consider me Doctor Who in the middle of a regeneration. It's not a good time to touch the Doctor or upset the delicate process.




Not unlike the Doctor, I need some alone time, space to think, and new companions. Hence the limited participation.
And not unlike the Doctor, sometimes I like to just sit and watch people, rather than be one with the people.


A few days before the conference a male friend told me he was attending because conferences "always give him hope" that there are good women out there and maybe he'll meet Mrs. Right someday. I laughed and said I always feel the exact opposite when I leave conferences. With 4:1 odds (and that's only if all the men that registered attend every event), I usually leave wondering what the point to it all ever is.
Events such as these require a certain amount of go-getter-ness and charisma that I lack. Actually, I don't lack it. I have been that go-getter girl in dating, and it has backfired on me. every.time. And made me wish I had never made the first move.
None of this is a commentary on whether or not the conference was well produced. I think they did an excellent job.
But it all makes me wonder if events like this turn meeting and dating into too much of a competition? I look around at all of these beautiful women looking their best, sitting around a table in groups of 5-8, with one man in the middle. And I mostly feel bad for the women. It's not that the men who are there are not quality material. But no man has enough charisma to make that many women feel special at once. It must be nice to be that one guy sitting in the middle.
But back to me.
For the time being I'm happy to be out of commission, regenerating into someone new. Gain from experiences of past, take them with you, and emerge with a new face. More Doctor Who regeneration.
I'm probably not making any sense. Just rambling on incoherently as I try my hardest to not say too much, and yet share what's on my mind. Sorry about that. Not really sure what my point is.
And last but not least on my ongoing list of non-sequitur, here's one last one for you- (click to enlarge. it's a good one. enjoy)

(source: http://maxcdn.zenpencils.com/comics/2013-03-05-hadfield.jpg?9d7bd4)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Coming to Grips with Dating


I found a fun new blog post about dating today. I'm not saying I completely endorse everything she said. But I did agree with a lot of it. And thought #5 was funny stuff.
Check out her non-dating posts too. She's got some clever stuff.= "Coming to Grips"

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Reason #567 Why I Love Amazon Prime

You can thank me later.
I just discovered that Amazon Prime is doing a free trial for all of October. Free shipping, free shows, special deals. All the good stuff. FOR FREE TO YOU. 


Tomorrow I am canceling my cable (I've been planning this for a while), going to Amazon, and buying myself this-

And then I will be watching TV pretty much only via Netflix, Amazon Instant/Amazon Prime, and Hulu (all on my TV, via the blu-ray player). And by doing so, I will be saving about $90/mo.
And I could really use an extra $90/month. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Free Book on Amazon by BFF Juli Today!


 


Yes, it is true! My very BFF, Jules, has a book up for free on Amazon* today. AND YOU SHOULD GO GET IT! It's fun, creepy, and did I mention fun? You'll love it. It's a "young adult, paranormal thrill" that adults and teens will love. So go get it. RIGHT NOW!


*What? You don't have a Kindle? No worries, neither do I. But I have lots of Kindle e-books because you can always just read them on your regular old computer, phone, or tablet, with the free, and not space consuming, Kindle app. EASY STUFF!

Great reviews for Psyched!

"This is one of those books you just can't put down. What I love about Psyched in addition to a great, spooky story is strong characters and narrative voice. Aisi is the most awesome chick, strong-willed, sassy, and deals with some crazy stuff happening with a spunkiness that I loved... Psyched is well-written, riveting, surprising and genre-busting. Teens will love this book, but it definitely has a more wide-ranging appeal."

and...

"Aisi Turay is one awesome girl. She has power to see the dead...as in their souls...This is a great read, filled with suspense. I NEVER knew from one chapter to the next what was happening. It is well written and a very enjoyable...and a bit scary!"

Psyched is part ghost story, part suspense, part demon-hunting thriller, part budding romance, the story of a girl named Aisi who's doing her best to keep it together for her wreck of a family. She is smart, sassy, and sarcastic enough to keep things interesting. When she meets Vance on the single worst day of her life, she finds a guy who just might be the first person ever to get her, to believe in her, and to out-random her with bizarre observations at the worst possible moment. There's just something about him that she knows she can trust.

Together, Aisi and Vance wander through the memories of others to unlock the secrets of her past while battling a demon who wants to ensure she never finds what she's looking for. Aisi vanquishes demons all the time, but Malus Indolus is too strong. And he has plans for her...and her family.

Psyched is Caldwell's second novel, the first as an indie writer, and her first experiment with her true love as a reader: paranormal fiction. Her debut novel Beyond Perfection is also available.

You can find Juli on her webpage, Twitter, Facebook,  and blog.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Where is my solace?






Several months ago I applied and interviewed for a job that led to some unusual experiences. Forgive me for keeping a few of the details aloof, but I feel it is best to do so.

I had applied on a whim. There was a chance I was qualified, and a chance that I was not. When they called me in for the interview I was surprised and excited. They told me they had conducted a nationwide search, mostly by word of mouth and networking. They also posted the job on their website, where just one day before the opening closed, I saw it and applied. I was one of very few people who applied blind like that. And I was the only local candidate brought in to interview.
The interview went really, really well. I was shocked how well it went. When I left I told a few of the close friends/family that knew about the interview that basically if I didn't get it, I knew the person who got it must really be better qualified than I was, because interviews just don't get better than that. And I could live with that.
Several people were fasting and praying for me to get that job. It seemed ideal for me. It really did.
A few weeks longer than anticipated I got the call. They explained that I did not get the job. They had decided to hire from within- something that had not anticipated doing. But they wanted me to know how much they liked me, yada yada.
I was devastated, but what can you do? I allowed myself a few days to shake it off, pick myself up, and move on. But like I said, I was very disappointed.
(It wasn't long after that experience that I applied (again on a whim and blindly) to the job I have now.)
Almost 2 months passed when I got a call out of the blue. The president of that organization called me personally. I was so stunned I could barely speak on the phone. He asked if I could come in to his office- the very next day. Having no idea what he could possibly want to talk to me about, I went in.
He related some very unexpected personal experiences to me. He's a religious man and the job was tangentially religious. I would be working with a lot of fellow Mormons had I gotten the job. He told me something that really stuck with me. "He doesn't pray about who the new marketing director will be." Those were his exact words. He prays about personal things, and he prays about important things. But rarely, if ever, in his life has he ever prayed about business matters, let alone employee hires.
He went on to explain that he did not pray about who to hire for the position. He said it was clear to him, and to everyone on the search committee, that I was the best fit. When they went to sit down and make it a formal agreement to offer me the job, I believe he said they went around the table and all agreed to it. But then one person paused, and another. And they asked for more time. He explained that then and there he had a very personal, spiritual witness to hire someone else. Interesting note on that- that other person was also on the search committee and had also voted to hire me. He was as surprised as anyone else when this happened. (I know this because I went on to meet with him later and talk about a few things.)
It wasn't fun or easy to hear that for some reason God passed me over. That people had a spiritual experience that led to not giving me a job. But it did make it somewhat easier to accept that this had happened. (It helped that during the course of this conversation I knew I had a job interview lined up for the very next week. And yes, that was the job I did get.)
It gave me some clarity and closure as to how and why I did not get this ideal job and seemingly perfect situation. It gave me peace in spite of my disappointment.
This week I've had a lot of other disappointments and confusion to sort out in my heart. Things that seemed so obvious, so easy, and even at times spiritually guided did not work out. Something I prayed at great length about many times, and had some very personal spiritual experiences with, came back to break my heart and hurt me in the end. Tonight I prayed and asked why did I have to be led into a situation that would only hurt me in the end? Why couldn't I be spared? I got nothing from it. There was little happiness along the way. I am not a better person for the trial. There was no growth or challenges overcome. So why did I have to do it? Why couldn't I be told no, not to pursue it, somewhere along the way?
I have no answers.
But I do have the memory of the job interview and the knowledge that sometimes spiritual guidance comes when and where you least expect it. You can do everything right, but sometimes, it just isn't going to work out, and it isn't your fault.
That all being said, my poor, repeatedly bruised and broken heart, looks forward to not being hurt or disappointed someday.

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