Saturday, September 27, 2008


Alrighty folks! With the election coming up, I couldn't help but get in the voting mood! If it's one thing i love, it's making a fool of myself for the laughter of make people smile and remember what it's like to HAVE FUN! One of the ways I find I can do that is by making music videos....featuring ME. hahahahahahaha!

The first time i ever filmed one of myself (which was actually filmed at 3 a.m. by the BEAUTIFUL and TALENTED Grace Robinson) was a last minute project to promote MCA Media team to students at MCA Uncut (Campus Days). Thankfully, I've deleted every trace of that video, except the raw footage. But every now and then I get in that quirky mood where I want to make more music videos.

So, to celebrate this quirky mood and to get in shape for the upcoming elections, I'm asking you- my blog readers, to rock the vote! You get to choose which song i use!

I am holding the poll until the 1st of October, after which I will storyboard and scope out locations. And next weekend, I will film and edit. My goal is to have it on the blog by the next week. :)

So your choices are:

"Scar" by Missy Higgins

"All The Way Around" by Ali Lohan

"Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" by Selena

"Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson (theme song from Free Willy)


"Life Is A Highway" by Rascal Flatts

All the songs can be found on iTunes! So take a listen, and ROCK THE VOTE!

* to vote, select your choice from the song list on the poll on the right hand side of the blog page at the top.

PS: your votes ARE anonymous, so if you vote for something "atypical" to what society would assume you would choose, you're safe! ;)

Friday, September 26, 2008

a wise man once said...

one of my favorite authors/distant leadership mentors is John Maxwell. Now i know that there are a lot of people who are not huge fans of J.Max (as i call him.. ;) ) but let's get real, this guy has lived a long life and has so much wisdom to share! I have read so many of his books, and regardless of how redundant a few things may sound in them, they really have helped me so much through the years! Well, I am signed up on his email list for LEADERSHIP WIRED, which is his periodic leadership/mentor newsletter of sorts. I was reading it today and was just so excited to get some great insight on i figured i would share it on here. if you want to get the emails also (as this is a single post, and i will probably not be re-posting every one of them i get), you can go to and sign up for yourself. (did i mention it's really great stuff?? ;) )

Starting - The First Step Toward Success
By John C. Maxwell
Salespersons are coached in the power of a first impression. Orators devote hours to opening statements. Journalists are admonished never to bury the lead. Sprinters practice racing out of the starting blocks. Interviewees are taught the importance of their initial handshake with a potential employer.

In leadership, as in many other areas of life, the beginning often determines the end. False starts and weak foundations can be ruinous. Here are five insights to help you start successfully.


1. Start With Yourself

As Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you want to be in the world." By starting with yourself, you build the self-confidence needed to attract and inspire others. Leading yourself well is a precursor to accomplishment, and accomplishment earns respect. In order to make deposits in the lives of followers, you have to have a beginning balance in your leadership account. Start leading by proving your mettle - to yourself and to prospective followers.

2. Start early

Sadly, many leaders squander their early years and spend the rest of their careers trying to make up for lost time. In leadership, as with finances, decisions made early in life accrue the most interest. When we choose poorly or establish bad habits, we put ourselves in debt. Then, we must not only repay our loans, but the interest on them as well. On the flip side, when we invest our time and talent wisely from a young age, we reap the benefits of compounding interest on our leadership.

Specifically, where should leaders start? What areas should take precedence at the beginning? From my experience there are 10 things you should do as a leader prior to reaching age 40:

Know yourself

Settle your family life
Determine your priorities

Develop your philosophy of life
Get physically fit

Learn your trade

Pay the price

Develop solid relationships

Prepare for the future
Find purpose for your life
If you're over 40, it's never to late to make improvements. Unfortunately, an old dog doesn't easily learn new tricks. Undoing years of misplaced priorities and poor self-management will take extra effort.

3. Start Small

Don't expect to understand what it takes to get to the top, just take the next step.
Think big, but start small. Doing so encourages you to get started, and keeps you from being frozen by the magnitude of the vision in front of you. When you accomplish a small step, you gain confidence that you can accomplish the next step.

The success found in starting small comes when you diligently apply the lessons you learn. As my friend, Dick Biggs, has said, "The greatest gap is between knowing and doing." Commit to mastering the details under your control, and follow through when experience has given you instruction.

4. Start with the end in view

"Most people spend more time planning their grocery shopping than designing their future."
~ Tom James, Personal Development Coach

To start with the end in view, you need energy and direction. Let your passion pull you forward, and let your planning give you guidance. In order for passion to be a driving force in your life, you must identify a purpose for you life. To locate your purpose, consider your strengths, interests, and past successes. What roles do you find most enjoyable? What brings you the greatest sense of satisfaction? Examine the areas that make you feel strong and angle your career toward them. Also, find people who have been successful in the area of your interest. Listen to them and watch their lives.

For planning to give you direction, you need to write down goals. Goals lend structure to your purpose, and they keep you leading "within the lines." They focus your action and move you toward your overall vision.

5. Start Now

We exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow, and underestimate today. Embrace action daily. Don't wait until it's too late before you begin to pursue the visions implanted in your heart. Make each day your masterpiece; you'll be surprised where you end up after stringing together a few months of superb days.

I'll leave you with one final thought:

"How wonderful it is that we need not wait a single minute before starting to improve ourselves and our world." ~ Anne Frank

Review - Five Steps to Starting Successfully

Start Early
Start with Yourself
Start Small
Start with the End in View
Start Now

Thursday, September 25, 2008

a tribute to dynamic duos

Okay, so yesterday I found out (as did she) that my co-worker (only co-worker, mind you that is in the office with me all day), Marlys (mar-liss) is no longer going to be working here. Yesterday was her last day and it was such a bittersweet day. Alice (my boss) was out of the office for most of the day yesterday, so we were just laughing and chatting while updating lists and databases for the orginazation we work for. And we had lunch together and walked to office depot together. Now, i've only been here for like 4 weeks, but Marlys has been so much fun to work with! She's a bit older, and kinda out of the loop as far as pop culture and technology go, so it was so fun to share stuff with her! Sometimes it was silly stuff, like the difference between "COMPLIMENTING" and "FLATTERING" someone, and how to use google maps to get directions, and how to minimize applications on your computer, and introducing her to the fact that you can buy pizza at the store and bake it in your oven at home...which led to the discussion about what is better- Freschetta or DiGiorno... :) (Di Giorno Stuffed Crust the way). And it was just so fun to share stories with my Kel about my days with Marlys, who I loving referred to as MJ :) . She is actually from Houston, TX, which is way cool and moved up here a few months ago to get a new start in life... :) She knew that her job here was temporary just until they were able to hire someone that could do what i am doing now... and sadly, her last day was yesterday. I miss going to A BURGER PLACE with her! I really hope she gets a good job, where she can challenge herself to learn more and do more! I will miss her mucho! Hopefully we'll still be able to get together and hang out... :)

But now, our dynamic duo is down to just me... :(

So, in order to make the day brighter, I would like to take some time out to recognize some of my FAVORITE dynamic duos!

1. Lucas and Peyton (One Tree Hill)

So I am a super huge fan of the show, One Tree Hill, and Mark Schwan (the exec. producer and writer) has done a great job of creating drama on the show...and through the past 6 seasons, has created MANY different love interests for Lucas and Peyton individually, but the greatest part of it all is when they are together! They are both so broody and artsy and just perfect for each other. I've been rooting for them since the first season, and you can imagine the ULTRA EXCITEMENT i experienced when watching the season premiere for season 6 where he chose her to marry over Brooke and Lindsday (man faced lindsay)! Plus the fact that Chad Michael Murray, who plays Lucas is a mega hottie, and that Hilarie Burton, who plays Peyton is so stunning is just an added bonus!

2. Booth and Bones (BONES)

These two are HILARIOUS to watch! if you've never seen an episode, go to and check out one for free online and you will laugh so hard at the banter that goes on between the two of them. He is an FBI agent and she is a forensic anthropologist, who is so literal and genius that his street smart character compliments her so well!! I laugh so much during each episode...and like Jim and Pam (the office) i'm hoping that one day the romantic tension will dissapear and they will just get together already! hahahahaha!

3. Benson and Stabler (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)

I love that they are grown adults, able to be friends without being romantically involved with one another, and fighting for a good cause! don't get me wrong, i love romance, but their partnership just works best without all the romance. They care about each others' lives, and are a great team!

4. Mac and Stella (CSI: NY)

Lieutenant dan!!! hahahahahaha!! Okay, so mac and stella are my favorite CSI dynamic duo! And I know i'll probably get a lot of flack (not don flack, also from csi:ny...har har har) for this but NY is actually my new favorite CSI! I mean, there are great duos in each of the others- Grissom & Catherine (Las Vegas), Callie & Eric (miami), but really... NY takes the cake! Again, mac and stella are able to be great teammates without all the romance drama. I think the thing I love the most about them is that they understand one another without speaking, and can tell others what that person is going to say or think, etc. And i love their leadership approaches- firm, steady, but not overbearing or selfish.

5. Brian and Hannah (my mentor and his wife)

Okay, so they are not TV stars, but they are CREATIVE ROCKSTARS! He is my mentor and taught me everything I know about media, and has taught me a WHOLE LOT about building relationships, living selflessly, and using creativity in everyday life. And his wife is not only GORGEOUS! but she's super talented as well! He has done graphic design/web/and video production for lots of great people from John Bevere, to Jason Morant, to Hillsong, and even for the college ministry at New Life in Colorado Springs. And she is a VERY TALENTED photographer and artist! Check out the link to her blog [audreyhannahphoto] on the right hand side of my blog, and you'll understand why i'm dead set on saving up to have her take my engagement and wedding photos when the time comes around... :)

and finally....

6. Me and Shia LeBeouf! (hahahahahahaha!)

Okay, okay. so this one is just a joke, but for reals- he's a hottie! He was hilarious in HOLES, inspiring in THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, spectacular in TRANSFORMERS...and i can't wait to go see EAGLE EYE on Friday! And then... TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN! oh me oh miah...oh shia! hahahahahahahaha!

alrighty, well...that's the post for the day! feel free to comment, if not here, on facebook or myspace. peace out homies!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Washington as my Second Language

Okay, so granted, when you move to a new place, you can expect people to talk differently than you. And I think one of the FUNNEST things for me here is learning the lingo. Things are pronounced so different up here and I love it! Some words are so funny! Now granted, Austin has some funny names that you gotta get used to... like Koenig, Manchaca, Guadalupe, etc. But here's some funny ones from Washington in general:

Alki = Al-kye (rhymes with pie)
North Yelm
Chehalis = Sha-HAY-lis
Cle Elum = Clee Ell-um (sounds country)
Cowiche = cow-ITCH-ee
Deschutes = dez-shoots
Kittitas = kit-it-tass
klickitat = click-it-tat
Mukilteo (this one took me a long time to get) = Muck-il-tee-o
Pend Oreille = Pawn-do-ray
Peshastin = Peh=shash-tin
Puyallup = Pyoo-al-up
Snohomish = sno-hoe-mish
Tlingit = klink-it
Tulalip = too-lay-lip
Kalkala = ka-lock-a-la

Go ahead, say some out loud to yourself. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm A Little Bit Country, But A Whole Lotta Rock And Roll

Okay, so I know that by posting this, I kinda take a blow to my known association of being a fan of awesome Alternative Rock Bands like Foo Fighters, Jack's Mannequin, and Paramore... but if I have one weakness, it's the need to get a fix for "early Christmas anticipation" by listening to songs from the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton TV special: A Christmas To Remember. I remember watching it a few Christmas' in a row while I was growing up, and after a while, just kind of forgot about it, but now I think about it often.

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's: A Christmas To Remember is a TV special based off of the songs from their album ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS. And I must admit that last night, as I got antsy thinking about Christmas decorations (sad, i know...) I couldn't help but listen to the whole album before I went to bed. Ha hahahahahaha! It's true!

And I know it's kinda justifiable because I'm from Texas, but all growing up, I've fought against the sterotype of Austinites being country hicks who ride horses and blast country music from their double wides... but i am occasionally, a sucker for country music. It's true.

And I think what is so extra funny about this whole thing is that I'm so desperately anticipating Christmas here in Seattle. Like, already thinking about how I want to decorate the house and the outside, and what kind of Christmas tree theme to do, and what kind of presents to get my housemates, and what to put in their stockings and what to cook for the big Christmas feast! AND IT'S NOT EVEN OFFICIALLY OCTOBER YET!

Oh boy oh boy. Well, in honor of the upcoming holidays, here are some song suggestions to ease your anxiety if you are also anticipating Christmas like I am:

- The entire CD of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS
- O Holy Night by Stacie Orrico
- All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
- The Chipmunks Christmas Song
- My Favorite Things by Tony Bennett (thanks, kel!)
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland

ho ho ho ho ho!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Art of the Scarf

So, I really must confess... I feel like a sore thumb sometimes here in the great emerald city. For 2 reasons:

1. I love Starbucks coffee and I don't drink coffee at Tully's... my cup is obvious among the crowd of natives who despise the corporate greatness that is Starbucks... not local enough i guess
- even though starbucks started here in Seattle!!!

But yeah, me and ALL the tourists- we drink Starbucks! :)


2. Apparently, I missed the part in school where they talked about how to properly wear a scarf. Because I've had to wear a scarf a few times here, and every time I do, I am surrounded by tons of women who are wearing them in a classier way. I feel so out of the loop! I've got to learn to wear a scarf properly! I seriously stick out like a sore thumb! Okay, so let me just show ya what I'm talking about....

Here's how I wear my scarves:

and here's how the classy Seattlelite women where theirs:

so i guess i still have a lot to learn! I wish i would have learned this before!!! I'll try to be cool, i really will!! :)

In other news, I was hit on today by 2 different guys- one at the bank, one at starbucks. guess the girls must've been working over time.

The Bus

Okay, so on my way to the bank of america and to the post office, I was walking back towards work, knowing i was going to stop by at A BURGER PLACE to grab lunchar. yes, lunchar. So on my way, a homeless lady stopped me for a moment and was like, "will you buy some of my poetry for some spare change?" and i was like, "no, i have to go..." knowing that I COULD have easily stopped and at least said something nice to her, instead of just rushing by like she wasn't important. So i got about 2 stores down, and felt the stirring in my heart to go back. I knew that I needed to go back and apologize to her and buy some of her poetry- her art, her voice. So I did. I went back, and instead of spare change, gave her a dollar and a huge apology, letting her know that she shouldn't be ignored and that I hope that other people will notice her today. And I told her that I would love to buy her poetry and that her voice mattered. She looked at me with tears in her eyes, and just smiled so big. I walked away with tears in my eyes, impressed by what God can do when we are obedient. So, here is her poem, her voice:


Too many poems to write. I have an idea.
Suppose it's fun to push pen in palm
Sitting on a bus looking around.

Somebody sees someone step on.
I'm taking my time before I'm gone.
Yesterday's past has haunted me once too often
in the sea.

Don't carry me before yourself or we'll both be
caught on a shelf.
Stuck in the back like a piece of junk, waiting to
be put in what, a trunk?

Open the door and I'll walk out, say goodbye but
do not shout.
Don't worry about me. I'm not alone
I'll catch a bust to take me home.

By Diane L. Bradburn

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i could kick MYSELF in the butt...

for deciding to wear high heels today! SERIOUSLY! Okay, so sometime last night, when I was ironing and planning my outfit for today, (which included my shimmery white blouse with cap sleeves and my pinstripe blue jean trouser pants... and my brand new champagne colored high heels) I didn't think about the possibility of waking up late and having to rush down 3 blocks to catch the bus which i would take and forget to get off at the right spot, thus making me walk an extra 4 blocks to work to get there on time. I also didn't think about the fact that I would need to walk to the post office twice and then later walk over to the university book store to get some office supplies. And I sure didn't plan on walking an extra 4 1/2 blocks to go make a bank deposit! Oh yeah, and I apparently forgot that I had a UM Temple Staff Meeting (we rent a room in their building) in the Pastor's office, which is up 2 flights of stairs! oy vey! I know that I'm famous for saying "SOMETIMES, FASHION WINS" but uh... today... Fashion Sucks! hahahahahahahahaha! I think I'll just wear socks to the office tomorrow.

Speaking of the UM Temple staff meeting, okay... so there was a big email sent out saying that it was going to be a special going away celebration meeting for Akiko, who is taking a job elsewhere. Well, so first of all, the meeting group includes me, the pastor, the maintenance guy, and 2 other workers, and Akiko. So... that's all 6 people ready to party right!! No. So the party consists of juice, 2 plates of cookies, and 2 bowls of fruit. Which is a pretty nice snack, don't get me wrong... but I WAS THE ONLY ONE EATING THE FOOD! So not only do I look like a PIG, it's also awkward cause it's quiet, save the sound of me crunching on the mint milanos. And the pastor is passing around the goodbye card in front of Akiko, who's leaving, by the way.. and one of the other workers calls her out on it RIGHT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! the pastor was so embarrassed and apologized, then proceeded to hand Akiko the card with an awkward smile. So then we go over the church schedule, any concerns building wise... and then it gets really quiet for like 4 whole minutes and the maintenance man brings up the fact that he's sad that Akiko is leaving, but says it without any inner emotion and with a half smile on his face. Then it's quiet again... and he tells everyone how much she has meant to the team, etc. And then the pastor says something nice, and then we all say something nice... but everyone is so emotionless, it's super awkward. So then we all had our say... and it gets quiet again... awkward silence for like 5 minutes. And then the maintenance guy is like... uh.. well, i guess that's the end of the meeting... you can all go now, unless there's anything else you all want to bring up.

So then we get ready to leave and i decide that since i pretty much embodied The Cookie Monster, may as well take a plate of the untouched fruit and snacks down to the office.

So it's me, a plate of cookies and fruit, 2 flights of stairs, and my high heels shoes which are making my feet blister really bad! And the whole way down all i kept saying to myself is, "Seriously? Did this just happen??"

Sorry Akiko... better luck next time i guess.

Things That Make Me Say...."ahhhh..."

Okay, so one of the big projects as Office Manager here is to maintain organization of the Organization's on site files. So having just recently moved the offices to the U-District from Occidental Ave. near Safeco and Qwest Fields, they kinda just put the file cabinets in a row, unorganized. Files are scattered everywhere and very unorganized. So when daily office tasks get slow, this becomes my big project. So far, I've catalogued every single file folder in each of these 28 file cabinets! And I just got done printing and cutting the file drawer title cards, which were just scribbled on paper before and put in the slots... and now they are organized and color coded! Which will be easier to remember where things are because now a color is associated with each batch of files. General files (a-z) in red kicks off the set left to right, then Major File batches are broken down into their own, like WAC Employee Personnel files and RCCG files...all of which have their own alpha-log. So now I just have to go through the catalogue and figure out which files go in which drawer! Hopefully I'll get to have this all done by Friday, which would make life so much easier! Well, I've always been into show and tell, so here are some pics of my progress!

[the original filing cabinets]

[the newly updated filing cabinets!]

[a closer view of the left side]

[a closer view of the right side]

Well, I feel very accomplished and can breathe easier now that things will be easier to file away!

oh and if you're wondering what goes on the bottom row, it's extra green hanging folders, which we have 4 drawers worth of!

Songs In My Pockets... and in my head

Okay, so you know how you walk through life with music orchestrating situations? Maybe it's just me. But like when I'm walking and it's dark at night, my head is flooded with the song and lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA. And when I'm waiting for the bus, the song and lyrics from LOST IN YOU by Frontline plays over and over in my head. And when I'm about to board a plane, Chantal Kreviazuk's LEAVING ON A JET PLANE is the melody in my head. Well, last week I talked to my sister on the phone and she shared with me that my mom had told her a few things about me being here in Seattle that were completely discouraging. Basically, she said that my mom told her that I would never make it out here on my own and that I would fail and would be moving back to Austin in the next couple of months. Talk about Debbie Downer. It's hard enough as a young woman with a career to face the obvious societal and corporate expectations and pressures- but when your own mom doesn't believe that you will succeed... it SUCKS.

I finally got the courage to ask my mom about it and she said that she never said that to her. But I've known my sister for years (duh) and although she lies to my mom about her personal life with Jaime and Vanessa to get my mom off her back or to make things seem better than they are... she knows better than to try to lie to me.

But over the years, I've lost trust, not faith, but trust in my mom. I still love my mom and honor her, and that's why her support in me moving in the first place was such a big deal. But she's hurt me a lot through the years, and she knows it...we've talked. But when I hear things like that, and don't know why that would even cross my sister's mind to lie to me about that- it really does wonders for making you feel like a (pardon the phrase) red-headed step child.

So since that day, I've had one song play over and over in my head everytime I replay the conversation in my mind: Elsewhere by Sarah McLachlan. And granted, in one part of the lyrics, she talks about someone holding her, and i'm not going to be dumb and rationalize it to be that she MEANT or was REFERRING TO God...cause let's face it... she most likely wasn't. But that still doesn't negate the power of the lyrics. And if you have itunes, you should take a listen... Sarah has an amazing voice!

but here are the lyrics that play over and over in my head...


I love the time and in between
the calm inside me
in the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a
distance I have wandered
to touch upon the years of
reaching out and reaching in
holding out holding in

I believe
this is heaven to no one else but me
and I'll defend it as long as I can be
left here to linger in silence
if I choose to
would you try to understand

I know this love is passing time
passing through like liquid
I am drunk in my desire...
but I love the way you smile at me
I love the way your hands reach out and hold me near...
I believe...

I believe
this is heaven to no one else but me
and I'll defend it as long as
I can be left here to linger in silence
if I choose to
would you try to understand

Oh the quiet child awaits the day when she can break free
the mold that clings like desperation
Mother can't you see I've got
to live my life the way I feel is right for me
might not be right for you but it's right for me...
I believe...

I believe
this is heaven to no one else but me
and I'll defend it as long as
I can be left here to linger in silence
if I choose to
would you try to understand it

I would like to linger here in silence
if I choose to
would you understand it
would you try to understand...

you can listen to the song online at:

So mom, if you're reading this... I'm doing fine. I'm loving it here. I'm not running from you. I'm not failing. I'm getting stronger. I'm finding my voice. I'm faith and in knowledge. I'm going to succeed. Don't worry about me. I'm not slumming. I'm making great friends and surrounding myself with positive people who are helping me grow in my relationship with God. I will succeed. I still love you. And I can't wait to see you. But until then, I have to do what i feel is right for me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GREAT UPDATE and prayer request!!

God is so good! I got an email this morning from my dad!! Just what I needed!!! Here is what he wrote:

Hey Mandy Pandy,
I was not sure if you knew that Cindy was in the hospital since Thursday until today (Tuesday). She had an exploratory surgery done on her heart and arteries. All is well there but she is still having a hard time breathing. So she is going to see an internist in a couple of days. And she still is having to go to doctor Besperka (dentist) to have two teeth removed/extracted. I'm sorry that I can not SKYPE you nor Messsage you since I don't have internet access yet. It's kinda expensive so I will try to email you as much as possible daily.. I recieved your cards and enjoyed them. So far your the only one who has sent me any mail except for the "SOLDIERS ANGELS" organization. They are awesome. So keep praying for us and thank you again for the cards.

How are things with your job and housing? Let me know how all is going. I love you my daughter. Later.

---[here is an email he sent to our pastor's secretary in austin]---


Thank you for responding to my email about Cindy being in the hospital. I understand Pastors, Minton White and Mary Stinson, went by to see her. I just called her early this morning at 2:00am your time and she was in a little pain. Her grandson is the only one at home watching her. Which I think is sweet of him. He loves his nanna very much. Cindy's phone number is [ask and i'll give it to you] and I'm sure she would appreciate a call from our church family.

I have a favor to ask of someone willing to help Cindy and her daughter. We need to move our stuff from our commercial storage location to our apartment storage/garage in North Austin/Cedar Park. If anyone is interested in helping her once she is felling better I would appreciate it very much. Cindy is not yet out of the woods she is having a hard time breathing and is having to go see an internist to check her lung capacity and she still is dealing with going to the dentist to get her teeth extracted. If anyone is willing to take over this task for her I am willing to pay them for their labor and gas. My vehicle should be available upon getting in touch with Cindy and/or if someone with a truck would'nt mind doing it I would appreciate it very much and will compensate them for gas and labor.

Thank you very much in advance.

All is fine so far here in Iraq. It has been one dust stormy week, with no fresh air for three days. Please pray for clean air here in Iraq. Lord willing.

God bless ya'll and let everyone know I miss and love them in His name.

So the great news is that my dad is alive and safe!!! The bad news is that my stepmom isn't doing so hot and needs a lot of prayer! Please lift her up as she comes to your remembrance!


Monday, September 15, 2008

My Father The Hero

Okay, so my dad has only been in Iraq for 3 weeks and 2 days and i am missing him like crazy! I'm not quite sure how I'm going to make it for a whole year. Seriously!

And what sucks the most is that I haven't been in communication with him for the past 8 days... and before that, we were on Skype every day talking.

For the past 3 nights, I've woken up in the middle of the night, sweating and scared because I keep having nightmares about him dying. And then i stare up at the ceiling for about 5 minutes, pray for peace, and then toss and turn till my body finally decides to go to bed. The first night, I woke up and cried for a good 10 minutes. In my dreams, I am either right there with him when he dies, or I'm watching him from a distance and a bomb goes off, or I get a phone call saying that he's dead.

The fact that I haven't heard from my stepmom since last Thursday is kinda reassuring, because I'm sure she would email or call me if something was wrong...

and then the mind begins to wander...

"What if she forgets to call me?"
"What if she doesn't want me to know?"
"What if it's too late?"

so many questions... so many thoughts... none of them peaceful.

I have been reading verses on PEACE for the past 2 days, hoping that as I continue to hide the words in my heart, my day will get better...

but I'm still fighting I guess because the thought keeps jumping into my mind periodically through the day.

I know that it is obviously hard for wives or husbands whose spouses are in the army... but I can't even begin to describe the strong, deep emotion that comes from a daughter's heart when she continually knows that there is a risk that she might actually lose her dad. That he won't be there to give her away when she gets married.. that he won't get to hold her kids when they are born.

The thoughts crowd my mind daily... and sometimes I just refuse to open SKYPE because I know I'll be crushed if he's not on there...

And I even wake up hours earlier than I normally would, because of the time difference...

but I still haven't heard back.

I just hope and pray that he's safe...

and that if something does happen, someone calls me!

... sorry, i know this post is sadder than most, but hey, it's my life, in my words.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

me and gwen stefani...

apparently have something in common"

We're both "Walkin' in the Spiderwebs..."

Except she's not walking through the same ones. hahahahaha

Seriously though, if it's one thing I don't like, it's spiderwebs on me... so gross.

But walking up and down our sidewalk on Roosevelt Way, there's SO MANY cobwebs that just latch on and they feel so weird and gross. i hate it!

oh well. at least it's not actual spiders on me. that would be terrible!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

it's all about the benjamin baby!

So my coworker, Marlys, showed me these today and I must admit, I was a bit inspired...

Ben Franklin's RULES TO LIVE BY:

1. Temperance - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. Silence - Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality - Make no expense but to do good to others or to yourself; i.e. waste nothing.

6. Industry - Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation - Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

11. Tranquility - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

amanda panda had a great fall

Okay, so today was a fun day cause i got to get out of the office and do some "off-site" meeting stuff. But you know me, a day can't go by that I don't get the opportunity to laugh at myself! hahahahaha!

So I was waiting to catch the bus today and i thought i saw the bus that I needed, but it was a different one. So i went to go sit back down on the bus bench...

but i missed

I over-estimated the length of the bus bench and went to sit down, only to fall on my butt on the ground. All I could do was laugh and all the people around me were like, "oh are you okay... are you hurt..."

talk about embarrassing! And to make it worse, the bus that i thought was mine was still stopped at the bus stop loading people up, so everyone on that bus got a chance to laugh! oh man. but in better news, after i got back on the bench, the lady next to me was like, "well you know, it could happen to anyone..." and then we got to talk and she gave me some gum to chew and just opened up to me about her life and her dreams. It really encouraged me and gave me a chance to share life with her. Which was WAY cool.

but man, if you were there, you would laugh so hard! it was so hilarious!!!

so yeah, today was fun(ny)! ha ha ha ha...

it's okay, you can laugh!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I guess I'm pretty Sweets

(yes i know, i will FOREVER regret posting this picture in the future.) :)

Okay, so in my job, as an administrative assistant, I get to go to a LOT of board and coalition meetings. And more often than not, I feel like the odd chick out because my vocabulary is nowhere near as developed as theirs, and the fact that I have a greater lean to my generation's slang doesn't help. I have to continually catch myself before i say things like: for sure, no prob, it's a done deal, and no way man. Trust me, it gets pretty tricky... but i'm dedicated to learning to get better! so wish me luck!

So the reference to Sweets is this: There's this scene from the TV Show BONES, which i love to watch, where the FBI Psychologist named LANCE SWEETS has to go on trial against "bones'" dad. But Booth usually calls him Sweets, not Dr. Sweets and he gets a lot of flack for being young too. But this clip taken from and episode called THE VERDICT IN THE STORY, pretty much shows you how i feel when i'm in big meetings. :) enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

a tale of two drags

(the ave in seattle)

okay, so working in the u.district is a ton of fun, but everytime i walk down the ave (which is the seattle version of austin's drag)I get all nostalgic and miss the drag a lot. Now there are many things that separate the ave from the drag... mainly that the ave is not located in downtown seattle, it's located in the u.district in north seattle. So as opposed to the drag in austin, there's not as many people crowding the street. There's also a higher number of asians living in seattle and attending the Univ. of Washington (U-Dub), so a lot of the places to eat on the ave are asian cuisine... which is not my favorite and i really have to be in the mood for, and even then, more americanized asian cuisine is my flavor... read- panda express, china buffet. ha ha ha! But there's also not a lot to do around here in my opinion. I mean, there are a lot of the same things, and some things unique to the ave, and then there are things that just aren't there that i wish were there. here's my breakdown list:

Same Things:
Urban outfitters (my fave)
Buffalo Exchange
University Book Store
Locally Owned Eateries
Vintage Clothing Store
Small Scale Theater

Unique to the Ave:
Birkenstock Store
Bicycle Recyling
Huge Post Office
Schultzy's Sausage (yummo)
Varsity Theater
Tully's Coffee (ever competing against starbucks)
lots of unique stores i can't remember

Unique to the Drag:
Kirby Lane Cafe
Union Underground
Dobie Mall
Mellow Mushroom
Craft Fairs

Things I wish were on the AVE:
Apple Store
Union Underground
Moe's Southwestern Grill (which, sadly isn't even on the drag anymore... boo.)

And if there's anything that any of you think i forgot (either on the ave or the drag) post a comment and let me know! i miss the drag, but the ave is a pretty cool substitute. :)

(the drag in austin)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

summer sure feels like winter

okay, so now i know why there is no central air and heating in most seattle homes- it's fah-ree-zing!! seriously! yeesh! last night i was watching the season premiere of bones (which was amazing by the way) and my feet were fah-ree-zang! it was crazy! In other news- I get to put together a Video Conferencing Proposal for work and I get business cards next week- that i designed! woot! They're pretty fly. not as trendified as i could get away with at mca, but still pretty fly. and today i have a morning meeting and then i think i'll grab lunch at chipoootle. not NEARLY as good as Freebirds, but hey, whaddaya do? :) Then another meeting at 2 p.m. and then off at 5 ready to go home and get some cleaning and shopping done! :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

my blessing, my curse...

Okay, so you see the little logo up there- yeah... seems harmless and friendly right?? well think again. as much as fedex kinkos is my blessing because in the past, i've been part of ministries that run on last minute approvals so you gotta get things done at kinkos... it's like they say: if it wasn't for the last minute, things wouldn't get done. ha ha ha ha! Anyway, so part of me is grateful for a place like fedex kinkos cause a lot of times i'm in a last minute bind to get things printed, cut, etc. But here's the thing... in the many hundreds of times i've used them.. they generally tend to screw things up royally. and then they say that it's my fault for trusting them to do a job that they should know how to do... but because my margins are off by a point of an inch, things get messed up.. and it's my fault. okay, okay, finkos, maybe it is MY fault. maybe i'm just glutton for punishment and this is like my own personal beach house in the outer circle of the seventh circle of hell. who knows? hmpf. but anyway.. so i haven't gotten much graphic design print stuff done here in seattle yet. but there's a finkos just down the block from where i live.. and so i go there for important things- black and white forms that need to be printed and mailed to my family to help get the final details of my car settled with the buyer and such.. bank forms mailed, etc. Anyway. So my habit is to drag and drop the forms from my mac to my thumb/flash/jump/sex... whatever drive. And then take it to finkos and have it printed then and there so i don't have to use the little computers that charge out the butt. (literally) jk.

Today was not so successful. :( I had to use one of the in house computers to print stuff because the lady behind the counter doesn't know how to put said thumb drive into their computers, pull up the pdf files (which by the way, are the only files on there- on purpose) and print them from their little computers under the sign that says: print and shipping kiosk.

Thanks Finkos. Not only are you not training your employees to do the simplest of tasks, which is sad considering you hold yourselves to such high standards of... well.. i'm not quite sure what they are yet.

So she was like, well you're going to have to use one of the computer stations over there (computer money grubber stations) and I had to surrender and just take it. uggh!

So here's the thing about these seemingly harmless stations:

They are money hungry!

Not only do you get charged by the MINUTE (20 cents on a PC and 30 cents on a MAC) but the print charge is considerably higher. If I were to get it printed at the service kiosk, it would be 9 cents for a black and white print. But at these sucky computers, it's 49 cents a print for black and white! oh man! talk about highway robbery!

So it's like a race- you gotta outsmart the system and spend as little time on those machines as possible or else you'll need to take out a loan to pay for your stuff!

So while it's loading (doesn't charge while loading) I quickly double click on MY COMPUTER (which, by the way i used the pc- no offense MAC, but kinkos charges more for you.. sad.) and open my documents right when it starts the timer. So i print my two documents in record time, but because of the freakin' print charges, I ended up paying $2 for what should have originally cost me 27 cents if the chick behind the counter knew how to do her job. sucks.

Well, that's finkos for you... outrageously disappointing yet high in demand for the services that they provide. oh my blessing.. and my curse!

hope you enjoyed my 2 bucks FINKOS! Heaven knows I didn't need them for anything important. oh wait...