Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Walk the Line

Hmmmm, that last post was really too long and probably should have been broken up into two or three. Gotta stop doing that.

So, went to see Walk the Line with Andy and Jay. I was never a huge Johnny Cash fan though I did appreciate his talent and legendary status, and I was familiar with most the songs used in this move. A few comments: Reese Witherspoon is WAY prettier than June Carter, and I think sings better, but she did a fabulous job. Joaquin Phoenix is weird, but a really intense actor, and as the movie progressed he just sort of BECAME Johnny Cash, somehow. Let me just say that the two times they sang a duet of Jackson, I got goosebumps. Both times. HUGE amount of chemistry between the two. Great movie. No nudity. Very few cuss words. Go see it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Holidays . . .

So, I've taken a seasonal job at Kohl's so we will have some Christmas cash. Now, most people don't give much thought to the workings behind a powerhouse department store chain like Kohl's, but let me tell you they take their business very seriously, especially in the area of customer service. I went to a three hour orientation, then two days of 6 hour training, including watching several videos and taking two tests on the computer. Kohl's believes in a "Yes We Can" policy, and gives the Associates (that's what they call the worker bees there) the power to do quite a bit, including honoring a sale price on the customer's word rather than checking, giving some extra discounts up to 50%, no more than two customers in line at once (Christmas time being the exception but they set up a queue line), etc. I have been quite impressed. Except for the fact that the training CD and booklet I used to train on the register told me to do some things that were incorrect and not how they do them (being anal retentive as I am, that really bugged me a lot). But, all in all, everyone I've met has been extremely nice, and I think it will be fun, though the first night I worked a shift at the register, my feet were hurting so bad (partly because I wore some shoes that were a little tight). But I saw several people I knew come through my line, and I think I did a pretty darn good job for someone who hasn't done retail in 20+ years. I just hope I can keep up the pace along with building my massage business and working 16 hours a week at my office doing insurance stuff.

I've been stressing a lot in the past week or so, to the point I have a knot in my trapezius muscle (the one between your neck and shoulder), and at one point yesterday I just had to step outside and take a few deep breaths. And worse than that, yesterday I actually got teary-eyed when I heard the Christmas Shoes song (which I normally hate), on the radio. You know I'm on the edge when that happens since I'm just not a weeper. Though Christmas music can put me there quicker than any - it's just that so many Christmas songs have powerful memories attached to them - both bitter and sweet. Jay says, and he's right of course, he's always right, darn him - that my problem is that I've lived my entire life in a very structured way and all of my coping skills are aligned with that paradigm, and now my life is very unstructured, meaning that each day has a little bit different schedule, and I just don't have a set of coping skills for that kind of lifestyle, and consequently I am stressed and anxious about being able to get everything fit in somewhere, and juggling a lot of smaller tasks and time frames. Sometimes I'm not sure what the schedule is going to be until that day, and believe me, if you know me, you know I am a person who likes to put things on my calendar WAY in advance if I can. Jay and Andy call me The Scheduler, and they are only partly kidding me. These days, I work 4 hours a morning, four mornings a week, plus whatever Kohls gives me which will never be consistent, plus whenver I can schedule massages here and there, plus making time to pick up Andy every day, plus finding time to clean the house, do the laundry, pay the bills, run errands, market my massage practice, and schedule various social things, not to mention it's the holiday season so there's decorating the house, Christmas shopping, two birthdays and Thanksgiving in November, etc., etc. I honestly have no idea how I got everything done when I was working full time, but I think that what happens is that when you know you just have this many hours in the evening plus the weekend, you are more diligent about making sure you get everything done at certain times, etc.

So, bottom line, I've been a very tense person lately. It's been a really weird year - first working at MISD, then going to school half days and having free afternoons, then doing my internship all day, then being completely unemployed for two months or more, then slowly getting hours to work and stuff. When I had too much free time I didn't manage it well, and was griping about needing more stuff to do. And now, well, you get my drift . . . there must be a happy medium somewhere. I also have gained several pounds in the last six months, enough to put me up another size. Very depressing. My own fault. Too much time sitting in front of the computer or TV, and eating and snacking late and poorly, and no exercise at all. It's getting serious as far as clothes fitting. I have begun trying to walk several times a week, not only for weight loss but stress control, but I am having a hard time fitting that in too. I need to walk in the afternoon, because it's dark in the morning and at night and I don't walk in the dark. Lindsay and I are talking about trying to walk together and pushing Sam in the jogging stroller, but we'll see how hard that is to schedule. I find it way too easy to postpone. And then I try to find something to wear and everything's too tight and I look at this belly and just loathe the way I look. Geez, I sound like someone on Oprah or Dr. Phil. This entry has turned into my therapy entry I guess. Started out to be about Kohl's didn't it?

To end on a happier note, I love, love, love Christmas music, and I found out yesterday that KLTY, the station I rarely listen to anymore, is already playing it all the time. Christmas music can lift my mood like nothing else. I love the holidays, even when we are too busy. I love the food, the music, the decorations, visting with family and friends, all that stuff. I have incredibly fond memories of watching all those sappy Christmas variety specials on TV when I was a kid - never missed the Andy Williams one or A Charlie Brown Christmas, which I have seen every single Christmas since 1965 when it first showed on TV, and watch several times each season now since we have the video. Yep, I love Christmas, and not for the presents, but all the other stuff, the things that call forth the sweet memories like a genie from a lamp. Happy holidays!!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

At a loss for words . . .

One of Andy's friends on the Martin Cross Country team was hit by a car yesterday while riding his bike, and today he died after being taken off life support. I did not know him, but he was the same age as Andy and he says that he and Kevin and Taylor were good pals on the team. I am totally at a loss of what to say to my son. He seems sad but mostly just says it doesn't seem real yet. I have never, at least so far in life, lost a friend, only parents and grandparents, so I have no experience to call on to comfort him. I don't know if the boy was a believer in Jesus or not, but I hope so. Andy made a t-shirt that said "Kevin Wood Is My Hero." I asked him about it and he just said it was the kind of thing Kevin would have liked. I just told him that whatever he felt like doing to honor his friend was appropriate. He is taking an extra shirt to school, and if there is a memorial of some sort set up at school, he will leave the shirt that he made there. I think we will drive by the spot where it happened (Bowen and Green Oaks) to see if something is set up there as well. I want to say something, do something, to help him feel better, but he doesn't seem to want to talk about it much. Maybe in the days to come he will. It makes me so sad that he has to deal with something like this at 14 - you shouldn't have to be mourning your friends at 14.

All I can seem to think about is the parents - how devastated we would be if it had been Andy. It's hard to even get my mind around that thought. It just brings home the fact that you never know when today is your last day on earth, and so you better live like it was. Hug those you love just one more time, tell them you love them, do something nice for someone, let the housework and laundry go and do something fun with your kids . . . those all seem like cliches, but think about it - what's gonna matter at the end . . . whenever it comes. Tomorrow will be a very hard day for the freshmen at Martin (and the others as well). Pray for them, and for Kevin's family, especially his parents. There are no words . . .

Has it really been 30 years?

I am a huge Good Morning America fan. I've been watching that show for a very long time. I remember watching when Lindsay was a baby, but I probably was watching before that, and pretty much have watched it every morning since at least 1980 or sooner, excepting vacations, illness, etc. when I wasn't near a TV at 7am. I should say, watched a portion of it, depending on what time I had to be at work. But for sure at least the first half hour to hour.

Today they are having their 30th Anniversary Celebration Show, and it's quite a trip watching it. Seeing news clips from the last 30 years really takes me back. Man, the stories, the history, the clothes, the hairdos . . . I'm really old. But it is so fun to go down memory lane with this show that has been a part of my day for so many years.

GMA was the background of my life, especially during Christmas vacations, etc. when I would get the pleasure of seeing the whole show (they were playing the old theme music and I had a major flashback). I loved David Hartman and Joan Lunden, and was crushed when they left. I was there through the days of Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford) - meh, and several others. I was there when it was Joan and Charlie Gibson, who had to grow on me. I was crushed when Spencer Christian left, but now I love Tony Perkins (who I hear is leaving also, dang it). When Joan Lunden left, I thought the show would never be the same. She had a baby around the same time I had Lindsay (she even had another daughter named Lindsay). Eventually they brought on Diane, who I loved from the first day. I was there during the unfortunate period when Charlie and Diane left and some new people who I don't really even remember filled in and it was just not the same. But then Charlie and Diane came back, and it was a good day in GMA land. Yep, I'm old, but it's been quite a party.

Wow, Carlos Santana is on GMA now, doing Black Magic Woman. Man, he's still got it after all these years. Great music. And he looks really cool in an all white suit and beret. I guess he'd look cool in anything. Yeh, I'm reaaaaalllly old. But I'm still cool. . .

I know this topic may be of no interest to most people, but it's what I'm thinkin about today.

Charlie has become my favorite all time news guy. And Diane Sawyer is funny, smart, and just seems like the coolest chick ever. In fact, when someone asks what famous people you'd like to meet or have dinner with, they are on my list. I would love to just hear stories about all the interesting people they've met and places they've been, and they are both so brilliant. And of course I once had aspirations of journalism, so I guess I'm a Diane Sawyer wannabe (not necessarily on TV, but the journalist part).