Friday, July 31, 2009

Who's bad?

Last night, My Friend and I went putt-putt golfing. I can't tell you how excited I was. It has been years since I have played putt-putt. I thought for sure I would be horrible and, as My Friend continuously boasted about his putt-putt skills and talked smack, I was even more certain I would make a complete fool of myself...or was I? I will admit that I did not beat him, but man I should have. Or at least tied. If I hadn't completely choked on hole 17, we would have tied. I was a lot closer to the hole than him, but I thought about it too much and over putted. Four times! It should have easily been a two stroke hole. Alas, he won by four strokes.

I do get to rub in the fact that I was a lot better than he expected and it will never be easy to beat me. Never count out the quiet ones! Sharpen your skills My Friend. Game on!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Photo courtesy Daytime Night Owl
This is the rainbow of colors that I am sporting since I got my hair done yesterday. Blonde, red and a little bit of blondish-brown (dirty dishwater blonde they say). Because my hair is curly, I think it is kind of hard to see all fo the colors when my hair is done. It's fun and different though. I had been itching for a change.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day off to-do list

Yesterday I decided to treat myself to a day off. The idea of taking a day off started with the fact that I have been holding on to a gift certificate for a massage since February and it was set to expire August 3. Since I had to travel back to the town I recently moved from for that, I decided to try to kill several birds with one stone. This made me realize that I may need to find places near my new home that provide these services. Ugh. What a chore that will be! For now, I'm content making an occasional return trip to the land left behind.

Yesterday's To-Do List:

  • Pick up package at Post Office - check

  • Hair appointment @ 10:00 a.m. - check

  • Shopping (use coupon) if time permits - time did not permit :(

  • Oil change and tire rotation - check

  • Ask sis's boyfriend about my brakes - check

  • Lunch with friend, time permitting - time did not permit :(

  • See mom - check

  • Massage appointment (1 hour) @ 2:00 p.m. - check

  • Chiropractor - check

  • Alltel store with My Friend - check

  • Drop old pants off at cousin's house for daughter - check

  • Meet mom and Grumpy Old Grandpa for sandwiches - time did not permit :(

Overall, I would say I had a very productive day. My hair turned out beautifully. I had several comments right after having it done. My massage was so relaxing (aside from my face going numb in the little face pillow thing). It was great to see mom even if it was a very brief visit. It was definitely a jam-packed day. Now, I think an uneventful, relaxing day home alone is in order.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Visitor and Visiting

Aside from my family who so graciously helped me move and My Friend, I have had one visitor to my new home. One of my dearest friends in the whole world came to visit me. I worried about her traveling the 45 minutes from her town to mine because, as you can see, she is with child and almost full-term. (I have covered her face because I do not want to post it all over the www without her consent.) In fact, she is due to be induced on Friday if she does not go into labor on her own before then. I am so excited for her. I cannot wait to see whether the baby is a boy or girl. The added element of surprise is exciting.

Photo courtesy of Daytime Night Owl

A few days after my visitor, I went visiting. Another dear friend had returned to Michigan briefly from her home in Florida to do some prep work on a house she is trying to sell and to see her family. We spent all of Saturday afternoon together. I felt a little bad because I was so extremely exhaust from having to work that morning. Getting up at 5:30 am is extremely early for a night owl. It was nice to see her though. I am hoping the next time I see her will be at her home in sunny Florida.

Photo courtesy of Daytime Night Owl

Much ado about nothing

I haven't had anything to write about lately. I find this blog thing challenging. I guess, though, that is the point for me. To step outside the box and try something new, something different.

Lately, there has been so much going on in my personal life, but deciding how much, if any of it, to share has been challenging. What do people really want to read about? Do they care about the silverware in the dishwasher debate that My Friend and I have had that we find hilarious? Do people want to hear about how I've struggled with the fact that I can hardly stand to be around my family because they are so judgmental of me and others and, yet, claim whole heartedly to be humble servants of God and it drives me nuts? Do people want to read about how my job is changing and I am so glad and invite the change? Does anyone want to read about how my mother, in a state of drunkenness, proclaims that I will hate having moved away and will be back soon and is adamant that she doesn't like me moving one bit?

Essentially, that has been what's been going on lately. In the grand scheme of things, does any of it matter? Or is it much ado about nothing?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting to know you (me)

Photo courtesy of Daytime Night Owl

Since I am new to this blogging thing, I thought it would be fun to write about some things that an outside person may not know about me. I always find it intriguing when bloggers post interesting facts about themselves. So here goes nothing.
  1. I comb my hair in the shower while the conditioner is in.
  2. My favorite colors are green and purple.
  3. My mother wanted to name me Lacy, but my dad didn’t like it. Even though my name is common, I prefer Jessica over Lacy any day.
  4. My favorite food would consist of most anything to do with potatoes, especially mashed and fried potatoes. Exceptions include french fries and potato chips. (It isn’t that I do not like them, but I do not have a great desire to consume them either.)
  5. My hair is, in fact, naturally curly.
  6. I am addicted to Mountain Dew.
  7. I have read 12 of 13 books in the Left Behind series. After the 13th, it’s on the prequels.
  8. Countries I have visited:
    a. Canada (I was young. I barely remember this.)
    b. England
    c. Scotland
    d. Mexico (Literally, drove into Juarez and turned around to come back just to say we crossed the border.)
  9. I moved a total of eight times (that I can recall) between fourth grade and my senior year of high school. This includes three different schools and a repeat of the first at the end. (Make sense?)
  10. I AM A NIGHT OWL! (Hence the blog title.)

What interesting tidbits can you tell about me yourself?

(On a side note, why does Blogger turn all of my numbered lists into flowery bullets? Even more weird is that they appear as numbers on Google Reader, but not on Blogger.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Get your juices going!

Photo courtesy karindalziel

Yesterday I started helping out in another department at work for a few hours in the early morning. One thing I love about working in this department is that they always, always have a stash of goodies. Today's goodies: Starburst! Oh how I love thee Starburst.

I grabbed a couple of pink Starburst (my fav) from the bag, went over to my station, sat down, and started to unwrap the luscious little strawberry candy. Suddenly, I was reminded of My Friend who has a unique way of consuming Starburst. Said Friend does not unwrap the Starburst. At all. Instead, he consumes the entire thing, wrapper and all, claiming that you cannot even taste the paper.

My Friend tried to coax me into trying it, but I just could not bring myself to eat the waxy paper. My thought is that it would ruin the whole thing. So what if you don’t taste that wrapper. What about the smooth, chewy, sticky texture? Seems to me that consuming wrapper and all would ruin the lovely consistency of the delicious fruit-flavored chew, don’t you think? In addition to ruining the whole flavor-bursting, mouth-watering bliss that goes on inside your mouth, one has to consider the fact that your body has to try to digest this foreign substance AND eventually get rid of it. (Gross. I know.) The thought makes me cringe.

Please tell me that this is a random phenomenon and that most people really do not do this.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It was a pleasure meeting you

Photo courtesy of pixelstar

Part of the reason I moved to a new town was to get out there and see what else the world has to offer instead of sitting home and doing absolutely nothing day in and day out. Fortunately, I have a dear Friend who can help me do just that. Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to meet a few of My Friend’s friends. Though I am really not a people person and I spend most of my time sitting there listening to everyone else’s conversations, I felt fortunate to be included (as opposed to secluded).

I met several people over the weekend. All seemed open to meeting me and friendly. As such, I was stunned to learn of one individual’s comment regarding me. Now, I promise you that My Friend had good reason to tell me this. In venting to a good co-worker and another friend, both stated that this comment is something that they would have kept to themselves and not shared with the person the remark was about. To be quite honest, I am actually glad to know as it tells quite a bit of this person’s character, in my opinion.

The following morning after meeting this individual, whom we’ll call Bob, My Friend received a phone call. Bob was apparently calling to give his stamp of approval regarding me (as if My Friend had asked for or needed this endorsement). Bob’s only concern was that My Friend should consider dropping $5,000-6,000 on me. Insinuating (are you ready for this?) that I need to have my bust surgically enlarged.

Um….WHAT?!?!?! Seriously? Excuse me if I’m taken aback a bit here. At first, I was seriously hurt by this remark. My thought was, “Who in their right mind goes around saying things like that after meeting a person for the first time?!?!?!?! Who would ever say anything like that???!?”

After having some time to mull it over and think about it, I have come to the conclusion that I will not let this bother me. It is pea-brained thinking like this that is killing women and men alike. As a teenager, I starved myself for days upon days to be thin even though I was already naturally thin. Into my early twenties, I continued this same pattern. I was compared by my mother, an alcoholic, that I would never be as skinny as her. And my step-mother who grabbed me by the waist one time and said, “We aren’t our skinny little Jessi anymore, are we?” I have been told that I have a big butt and a small chest. These are the kinds of comments that cause people to stick their finger down their throat, to binge and purge, to look in the mirror and criticize every little imperfection they think they see because the world is telling them that it is in some way a deficiency. People literally kill themselves trying to be perfect and, all the while, those criticizing are the ones who are less than whole, less than perfect. They are lacking love in some way and projecting it onto others. They do not know how to value what is truly beautiful.

I believe in God. I believe God created me exactly how He wanted me. He made no mistakes in creating me or any other person anywhere. He gave me this body and I am charged with taking care of it. I am not charged with altering the physical design that He bestowed upon me.

It has taken me years to come to this place of acceptance and understanding. It has taken effort on my part to stop comparing myself to others, to stop allowing others to compare me, to accept lack of perfection as perfection, to step back away from the mirror and to stop being so stinking picky and harsh on, not only myself, but others too. I am happy with the person that I have become over the years. I do not feel that having a boob job will make me feel more whole as a person nor will that complete the package. I enjoy my, so called, inequities and prefer to say that those are the things make me unique. I refuse to allow one person’s comment to cast a dark, gloomy shadow over my life.

So, Bob, it was a pleasure meeting you. I only hope you can learn something from me as I will continue to be myself when you are around and show you that there is more to a woman than a perfect hour glass shape. Maybe you will figure out what exactly it is you have been missing all this time by chasing your idea of perfection.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Real Job

Photo courtesey of sylvar

It is an ongoing joke at work that, if you make it three years, you’re considered a lifer. I have worked here for eight and a half years. As I reminisce about this from time to time, I worry that I have not occupied many real jobs. In my thirty year tenure on this earth, I worry that I have not gained enough employment experience to be a seasoned employee or an adequate accountant. As I thought about this more, I began to list the different jobs that I have had over the years and I laughed out loud.

During my high school years, the rule at my house was, if you were playing sports, you didn’t have to have a job. I played one sport every season so I wasn’t forced to work during the school year. However, once I got my own car at 16, I had to pay for gas and my own car insurance. This resulted in working summer jobs to save up. Though I do not recall which job I held first, I know that I worked at the College Bookstore stocking shelves and doing inventory and a fruit farm making donuts and various other baked goods during high school. The summer after high school (and before going off to college) was spent in production scheduling at factory that makes playground equipment. I was extremely excited about this job. The job had actually been promised to a classmate of mine (a fact that I did not have knowledge of at the time), but, instead, she got stuck in shipping and receiving. Ha! (Oh, I’m not supposed to be all catty and tell you that I celebrated over this because this particular person had helped make my high school life hell. Neener neener! I do actually like this person now. I have forgiven. See, I've grown up too!)

Once I finally made it to college, I considered getting a job. I did. Really. I even secured a work study job in the Business department there for a short time. College was really hard for me though. I was so mixed up mentally and emotionally and I lacked a considerable amount of social skills that it became too much for me. Eventually, I just stopped showing up. That sounds horrible, but I cannot begin to tell you the emotional turmoil that I went through during those first two years in college.

During the two summers between academic years, I worked for the county road commission as a flagger. That was a blast. It was probably the best job I have ever had. I loved that job and all of the guys that I worked with. They were a great bunch and I miss them a great deal. I cannot believe I loved that job so much. As a night owl, mornings are really rough for me. For most of the summer, we began working at 6:00 am. It was really rough for me to make it to work before the rooster crowed, but I managed. I loved every single minute of it.

After two years in college, I decided I could not handle it anymore and I moved back home. During that time, I attended a community college part-time and worked at a local accounting firm. Since I planned on eventually getting an accounting degree, it seemed a perfect fit. I gained some good experience here, but not as much as I had hoped for or that I knew I was capable of. My boss had a tendency to treat people, myself included, like idiots as well and I did not feel as though the environment was progressive enough for me. After being talked down to a few times and told that I could not attend school during tax season, I decided that job was not for me and I quit. I quit without a plan.

Within a month, I was able to secure a part-time job as the secretary for the department that served students at the community college that I had previously attended. This afforded me a great deal of opportunity. Soon I transitioned to the secretary for the dean of students. Still a part-time job, I was able to continue to go to school full-time and partake in a cross culture trip to England and Scotland for three weeks. Eventually my boss was able to have my position moved from part-time to full-time. Within a year of obtaining my degree, I was able to transition to the business department as an accountant where I could utilize my skills and degree and fulfill my career objective.

Looking back, I can say that I may not have held the most impressive jobs, but I have held some unique jobs. I learned something from all of them and I am who I am because of those experiences too. I used to think that I wanted to be somebody and to make lots of money. Now I think that I am somebody to the people who are important to me and a lot of money isn’t going to bring happiness to my life. Not to mention, I really do not like to work that hard. Some people are cut out for it and some people aren’t. It takes all of us to make the world go around. I am happy for the experiences I have had and the person that I have become because of them. Everything fell into place just like it is supposed to. For that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All you have to do is ask

It is no secret that I am not a people person. I don't like crowds of people. I don't like groups of people. I don't even like small groups of people. One on one conversations, I can do. You add just one more person to the equation and you would probably check to see if I had a pulse.

It isn't that I don't like people. I do. I love people. People that I know, that is. I even love people watching. But, mostly, I lose all brain function around people where conversation is expected. And isn't that, like, everywhere?!

I am, also, what one might consider a people-pleaser. People-pleasing is a very common characteristic amongst co-dependents (something I've written about before, but have since deleted). My instinct is to keep the peace, to not make waves, to make sure that everything is kosher and everyone is happy. I make sure of this, often, at the expense of my own happiness and well-being.

When I initially looked at my apartment in May, there was a special running. The website said, “Move in by May 31st and receive one of the following: $500 off move in costs, $500 pre-paid Visa or a golf package at Extravagant Local* Golf Course”. When I signed my lease on June 15, however, my lease paperwork said nothing about the special. I inquired with the Leasing Agent and was told that, since I was signing in June, I would not be able to take advantage of the offer. I was extremely bummed by this, but, as is my non-wave making way, I went about business as usual and signed the papers.

In doing more research, I found that the same special was being run for move-in by June 30th. What the…??? I was upset as I had planned to stretch the $500 out over the length of the lease as a reduction to my rent. That results in a savings of just over $41 per month. And if you know me at all, you know that I am, we’ll say, frugal. (Don’t you see all the links on the left to fellow frugallers out there in the world?) Now, I knew that I needed to go in and talk to either the Community Manager or the Leasing Agent. This, however, in my book, is considered making waves. This is way out of my comfort zone. This causes me a great deal of anxiety. Typically, I would have just paid the money and gone about my business. We are talking a year’s worth of payments though.

With my rent due date just around the corner, I had to somehow muster some guts and talk to someone. I know in my head that I cannot expect people to do things for me my whole life just because confrontational circumstances (or perceived confrontation) scare me. At some point, I have to pull on my big girl pants and step up to the plate. That is exactly what I did today. And guess what? I hit a stinking home run people!

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated! I had to prepare what I was going to say in advance. That is just how it works for me. If I go in unprepared, I draw a blank. I get defensive. I get emotional. I become standoffish and resistant. I don’t really hear the conversation. I get sweaty and hot. I tremble. I get nowhere.

When I walked in, I did not recognize the lady working. I have met just about all of the lovely ladies there except this one. When she asked how she could help me, I politely said, “I was wondering if you could help me understand something.” I went on to explain how the same special was running in June when I signed the lease as was in May when I first looked at my apartment. She said she would pull the file and take a look. Then, as she grabbed for the file from the drawer, she said, “Oh, I’ll just credit your account.” I was taken aback a bit. How easy was that?! “Really?!” I exclaimed. Little did I know, I was talking with the Community Manager who is the authority on such matters. It required a reprinting of my move in agreement and my lease, but she graciously made the changes and spread out the $500 over the next 12 months and sent me on my way.

Later, I received a phone call from the Leasing Agent who had gone over my lease with me and gave me the keys the day I moved in. She squealed and said, “Jessica, good for you! I’m so happy for you! I thought they should have let you have the special too, but they had said no. Anyway, I had to sneak in a call and congratulate you. Good for you girl!” She made me laugh. That is part of what attracted me to this place, though. Everyone is so friendly, pleasant and truly caring. And, the thing is, all I had to do was ask.

(I've been patting myself on the back ever since. Little feats mean big progress.)

*The name has been changed to protect…me.