Monday 28 April 2008

This Is Only A Test...

Tee hee... that made me think of a skit we did in 8th grade, for the talent show. There were five or six of us, and we did a little set of three or four skits. We placed, but sadly I can't remember where. Oh well. It was funny. The good old days.

Anyway. That is not the point. The point is this: I enjoy writing this blog. I like being able to share my thoughts with all the random people who might come by to read them. I like getting to talk about silly stuff (like my celebrity crush, although I don't find that silly at all, ha) and serious stuff (like how I'm afraid I'm going to not get done with this thesis and will have wasted four years and many, many, MANY thousands of dollars). I started it to keep in touch with my friends and family, because I have become a total slacker at writing emails and letters, or even making phone calls. But it's been ever cooler that people I don't know in person stop by, and I get to know even more folks that way. I love that about this.

So this isn't really a test, per se, but I have been curious about who all does pop by and read this. Even if it's only occasionally. So, you there. Yes, you, the one reading this right now... please, please, PLEASE take two seconds to leave me a comment. Just so I know you were here, and I can get a rough idea of who is coming 'round. Because I'm curious like that. Enquiring Minds Want To Know, after all. You don't have to post a comment every single time you come by, I'm not gonna be a comment nazi. (I've been wondering lately, is that now an insensitive phrase? Like being a 'indian giver', or 'what a gyp', or any of those other common phrases that are now seen as slurs? An ideological slur? What do you think? Sorry, I digress.)

I think I can probably speak for most blog posters, and I know I speak for myself, when I say: we love comments. That's a big part of what makes this worth doing, to hear back from people, to get their opinions and thoughts, to turn this into a conversation more than just a soapbox. So please, do comment today and let me know you came by, and think about commenting occasionally when something I say sparks a thought. Any thought. Even if it's just to tell me I'm a dork. I am okay with that.

And thank you to those of you who do comment regularly: Jen, and Maggie, and Barb, and Jennifer, and Mrs.4444, and Masimba sometimes. I really, really, really do appreciate it!

Thursday 24 April 2008

Now You're Speaking My Language, Part Two

I forgot to say yesterday, please do let me know if there are Scottish things that you are interested in trying, or simply cannot live without any longer, or whatever. Honestly. Make me a list, so that I can have it on hand when I ever have some extra pounds. Cash, not weight-- got enough of those extra already! ;)

If the darn postage weren't so dadgum expensive, I'd send y'all stuff a lot more often. I hope you realise that. Make sure I have your addresses, just in case.....

Oh, and if you know what your 'love language' is, let me know. Then I can learn your language, too. I can say and do nice things, and give hugs and stuff. I can, and I will, if you want me to. =D

I think that's all. And I am very, very serious when I say that yesterday's post was NOT a hint, despite my sister's teasing. I hate sending out graduation invites, etc, because I feel guilty thinking that people see them as me expecting gifts. I don't. I mean, I love gifts. But I do not feel that everyone should send me stuff. I do not expect it, and I am NOT trying to make anyone feel guilty. What's the fun in getting something because someone felt like they had to? No fun at all. Is that clear?

Oh, and because people have asked... my birthday is 5 May. ;)

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Now You're Speaking My Language...

Before I go on here, I need to say one thing, by way of preface.

Yes, I am hooked on Facebook. Yes, I know that makes me a dork. No, I don't care. I've been a dork for many reasons before now... this is nothing new. =D

Anyway. Here's how this fits in...

I took a quiz on Facebook the other day-- *What's your Love Language?* I know there is a book out there about this, and I've even had discussions with people about it. But I've not read the book, so for all I know my results from Facebook could be totally bogus. It does, however, make good sense to me. The premise is that there are several *personalities* when it comes to how we express love, and what speaks love to us the most. You answer a few questions, and you find out what your particular *love language* is-- things like physical touch, kind words, helping actions... you get the idea. This is supposed to help you and those you love know how best to communicate love in meaningful ways, or something like that. Like I said, I haven't read the book.

My love language is *receiving gifts*.

At first I thought, great. Confirmation for all those people out there who think I'm selfish and greedy. Gimme gimme gimme. Lovely. But when I read the description, I though to myself, *Self, that IS you!* And it's not as negative as it at first sounds. Here's the description:

"Your primary language of love is receiving gifts. Gifts are visual representations to you, either big or small - even a small gesture through a gift can make your day, your week, your year. Not to say that all gifts are good - but sometimes, a small thoughtful gift is worth more than a thousand words."

Now here is a bit of why I think this does describe me. And no, this is not just a ploy to get everyone to send me stuff (even though I do have a birthday coming up.... No! Just kidding! Not about the birthday, about the hint.)

I keep things. Ticket stubs, dried flowers, random bits and pieces from the people, places, and events that have shaped my life. I like to have them around, to remind me of special occasions and special people. I have boxes and boxes of these things, both at home (even though I did pare it down considerable before I moved here... sorry, mom, it's still a load of stuff!) and now here. I am not a packrat for the sake of keeping things... I don't mind throwing stuff away. But not stuff that has meaning or sentimental value. I find that very, very difficult.

I also love giving people things. I'm a poor student, so these days it's generally cheap stuff (like noodles for Nathan, or a toast holder for mom, or Primark pj's for the bubbs). But there is really nothing better for me than finding the Perfect Gift for someone. I love it... even if I'm not there to see them open it. I love gift-giving holidays for this reason, but I equally love surprising someone with something random. It makes my day to share something tangible, to say *I'm thinking about you* with some actual thing that made me think of whoever it might be. I would love to have more money one day, a nice paying job, so I can buy stuff for my friends and family. So it's good to be my friend, you see. =D

And then there's the ultimate: getting a parcel in the post. I have always loved getting mail, ever since I was a kid. I longed to be one of the kids at camp who got called up at mealtime to get their letter or package. I wished all through college and seminary that I would look in my little box in the sub or the SPO and have a notice to collect a package. Now, being here, getting anything in the post is great (even if it's local)... but a parcel from home is the absolute best! It just makes my day-- my week-- my month-- even if it's just peanut butter, or bacon, or a burned cd, or, well, anything! It doesn't really matter what kind of stuff it is, it's just the getting stuff that makes me happy.

Of course, because I also keep things, it makes it hard for me to use the stuff sometimes. Like eating the Girl Scout cookies, or drinking the hot cocoa, or use the nice smelly lotions.... And now that I know what my love language is, this makes perfect sense to me now. I've always felt that it's stupid for me to want to save rather than savour, but I can't help it. Now I don't have to feel stupid about it. I know it's just my love language, and that I should just dig right in to all that stuff. ;)

What is the point in all this, you ask, if not a very elaborate hint that my birthday is coming up? It's not a hint. (Honestly. I love getting things, yes, but at the same time I also feel guilty about it, too. At least in cases like birthdays and graduations and stuff, where it seems like it's just expected-- especially if you have parties or send out invitations-- that people should get you gifts. So please, please, please do not take this as a hint.) No. The point is how happy getting random things in the post makes me. And to say thank you-- to all of you who send me things. Big things, little things, old things, new things, food things, anythings. I can't tell you how much it means to me. Because you're speaking my language. =D

Some things that have made my day lately:

To keep me warm, and remind me of Pulaski... I can't even tell you how excited I was to pull this blanket out of the box! Maggie, you are awesome!

Yum... peanut butter.... *drooling* This is the best stuff. =)

It's probably hard to tell from the photo, but this is a hand-made card from my church family. They made them and sent them on the weekend-away (I didn't go). This is the first time they have done something like this, made some effort outside of Sunday service to say they notice when I'm not there and all. It made me feel really good. =D

So there you have it. If you get some random thing from me-- gifties of little stuff, you never know-- know that's just my way of saying *I love you*.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Chores I Wish I Could Avoid

I started to title this *Chores I Hate*, but really, if you don't hate it, it's not a chore. Am I right or am I right or am I right or am I right? (Know where that's from? Anyone?) There is, though, a spectrum, I think. A sliding scale of dislike, if you will. So here are the ones at the very bottom of my list. The ones I put off as long as I possibly can, and I would gladly give over to someone else to do, if there was someone else to do them.

1. Dishes. I hate washing dishes. I got used to it, when I worked at the Porch-- I had wash tons of them, and clean out all the gunk in the drain strainer. Ewww. I mean, really ewwww. But working with (mostly) lazy college students, someone had to do it. Thank goodness for my friend Andrew, who shared the duty with me. But still. I hate washing dishes. I don't mind putting them away... or just taking them off the rack as I need them. ;) The sink fills up here pretty fast-- it's never-ending-- and spills over to the counter (as if we have much space as it is...) and I ignore it for as long as I can (until I run out of dishes or cutlery, or Kenny does the washing up).

2. Ironing. I hate ironing. I'm not bad at it, I know how, I can do it. I just hate that I have to. I mean, in the States I could get away with hardly ever ironing anything, because the dryers take wrinkles out. I never ironed jeans, or tee-shirts, or most anything else, really. Here, the dryers put wrinkles in. How annoying is that?! So I do the laundry, and try to go for as long as possible wearing things that were already ironed. Until I have a nice big stack of new clean things to iron... I figure I might as well save up and do a lot at once, rather than having to do little bits every few days (our laundry is teensy, weensy sized, so I have to do smaller loads more often). At least I can watch tv while I iron. But still. Ugh.

3. Scrubbing the tub. Mainly I hate doing this because it hurts my back, bending over like that. I can usually get away with ignoring the tub, until I want to take a bath. Then I scrub it. Good.

4. Mopping. Again, this has to do with it bothering my back. And the fact that I have to wait forever for it to dry.... I got pretty proficient at this when I worked at the Porch as well, especially the summer that Andrew and I were pretty much the only employees, and we had to mop the whole place every day. Here, I just don't do it, unless we are having people over. I'm just that lazy.

5. Changing linens. Okay, not all the linens. I don't mind the pillows and the fitted sheet... even on my loft bed. Which makes it a bit more of a hassle. But still. What I really don't like is putting the duvet into the cover. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with duvets-- I grew up with quilts and blankets and comforters. So I don't know the best, or easiest, way to get the dang thing back into its cover. Maybe it's partly because I have a loft bed in a room the size of a glorified closet, which means there is very little room to maneuver the big fluffy behemoth. Maybe I'm just an idiot and can't figure it out. Whatever the reason, it's so bad that I change out all the other linens, and then just sleep with the duvet uncovered until I can't stand it anymore. Which is scratchy, and static-y, and not so great. Seriously.

6. Cleaning the litterbox. Oh, how I cannot wait to not have pets for a little while. I'm tired of the smell, and the hair, and cleaning the dang box. Kenny does it most of the time, but still. I like our cats, and I'm glad they are here. But when I leave here (eventually...), I won't have any pets for a bit. Honestly.

Okay, I guess that's enough griping for now. =D

Saturday 12 April 2008

One Reason Why I'm Glad I'm in Scotland...

America is stupid.

I guess I should clarify that: those people in America who vote on American Idol are stupid. I'm a few days behind, but I just watched the results from this week and I am not happy. Not happy at all. The biggest cheater is still there, and should have gone home this week for sure. Her performance was awful. Seriously. But who did America send home? This guy:

Why? Why send him home when he's clearly one of the better ones? He was in my top five, for sure... and I'm pretty confused about what went wrong here. What is America thinking? It doesn't make sense to me, and this show (in my limited experience, since this is only the second season I've followed) always seems to have at least one of these upset votes. It was a shock for lots of people-- judges, fellow contestants, audience-- and not just for me. But man. He's really good. And seems like a genuinely nice fellow. His song choice for this week may have hurt him a tad, and of course this show is as much a popularity contest as a talent one (case in point: Sanjaya last year...). But still. So for what my opinion is worth: America, you got it very, very wrong. And if he puts out an album, I'd buy it.

I realise many of you will think this post is a cop-out, just to get my one a week in. I guess it is partly... but still. Take what you can get. =D

Saturday 5 April 2008

Everybody Ready?

Tonight is the night. Actually, less than one hour from now (at 6.20pm BST) I will be watching. The Doctor will return. And, sadly, so will that Donna woman... I'm apprehensive about her, but I am so excited for this, the (possibly) final season of Doctor Who. But still... The Doctor. Will. Be. Back. Oh yes. He will.

On a related note, Torchwood is now done for the year. Last night was the season finale, and I haven't cried so hard in, well, I don't remember when. It was amazing. I love that show. Now I can't wait to see how they will carry on next year... ahhhh.

Everyone ready? Get set... GO! And find/buy/download these shows. You won't regret it.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Tag! I'm It...

My friend Jennifer tagged me yesterday. I've never been tagged before... but I always like these kind of things, so here goes!

What are your top 3 favorite foods?

Mexican (anything), chocolate (anything), and pizza, I think... but this is really hard, because I love food in general!

What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
*The Inimitable Jeeves* by PG Wodehouse is the last book I finished. I would totally recommend it-- it was so funny.

What are your top 3 favorite places?
The beach (preferably a warm one), with my family and friends (especially my bubbee), and Disney World. =D

What was the last lie you told?
Does it count if you didn't know it was a lie at the time? *I'm going home to do some more reading*... but I haven't read any. The last one that I told on purpose? *I'll do the dishes tomorrow.*

What are your favorite 3 sports (to watch or participate in)?
Rugby (national, not club so much), football (European, not American and national, never ever club), and most of the Olympic stuff-- winter and summer.

What was the last movie you watched and would you recommend it?
*10,000 BC*, with Kenny. It was enjoyable.

List 3 things you can see outside of the nearest window.
The drunks smoking outside the bar across the street, traffic on the busy main street, and two trees in the little green space on the corner of the flats across the road.

Where was the last place you went?
To Costa for coffee with Carrie and the boys before hanging out with the boys at the Children's Library while Carrie and Scot went to the cinema, and then for dinner at McD's.

What are your top 3 favorite "good causes" or charities?
Just three? Let's see... Children International (where I sponsor a great kid), Make Poverty History/The One Campaign, and just because it's coming up next week, Idol Gives Back, tee hee.

What was the last thing you did for someone else?
Babysat twice this week at short notice-- once on Monday morning at 9am for Ainsley, and this afternoon for Matthew and Adam.

Name 3 places you have never been that you want to visit.
outer space, New Zealand, and Egypt... although narrowing it down to three is hard!

What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?
In the garbage, the Charmin wrapper. In the recycling, an empty dishwashing liquid bottle.

Name 3 things on your bedside table.
Alarm clock, books, and Carmex

Describe or name the last piece of art you looked at.
Marischal College, a very fancy baroque granite building here in town.

What are the top 3 things that your job requires you to think about?
How Christian parents should raise kids, why reading is formative and important, and how quickly I can write 100,000 words on those topics.

What was the last musical or theatrical event that you attended?
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Christmas concert, back in December.

What are the first 3 things you would do if you won the lottery?
pay off my debts, pay off my family's debts, and invest as wisely as possible as much as possible

Describe or name the last serious injury or illness you had?
I don't know that it would be called serious, but I was running a fever for close to two weeks this winter... that last thing I'd call *serious* would be all that mess with my heart rate being so low, about a year ago.

What are the top 3 things that you wish you could do?
Get paid for performing (drama, choir, flute, whatever), travel the world, and finish my thesis by May 15.

What was the last thing that someone said to you that you will remember forever?
Honestly, I don't remember. Perhaps my sister telling me she was having another baby?

So, there you go. Now I have to tag five people-- so Masimba, Maggie, Dan & Nancy, Barb, and Abson & Lara, y'all are the lucky five! Mainly because you are pretty much the only five who I know personally or haven't already been tagged. =D