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Tag: lists

A different list

So, I’m not quite a year into my 30 by 30 list and already I’m making changes. Not a huge one though.

A long time ago a friend of mine linked to a list of 100 books on Facebook. They were all classics that (in my opinion) everyone should at least know about if not have read. It was fun seeing which ones I’d already read and I was a little ashamed at the amount that I have yet to read.

When I started my 30 by 30 list I knew I wanted to give myself a reading goal. I love to read but lately I’ve been too occupied with mindless television to pick up a book. I tend to like to do 5 things at once (Joel always gives me grief about the number of tabs I always have open. Apparently it slows the computer down. Whatever.) and I can have a show playing in the background while I chat on twitter, check my email and read blogs. If I read I have to give the book my full attention. Focusing on just one thing is actually something I should work on more often. I’m quite the scatterbrain lately.

So, when I googled top 100 books and top 100 movies the best ones I found were Time’s. I read through the entire movie list because I added all that I could into my Blockbuster queue. However, I just basically copy and pasted the book list. As things went along and I tried to start going through the list I realized that it wasn’t the list I had been thinking of. I tried searching for the other list but other than reading through a year or two of my friend’s Facebook wall (um, stalker much?) I couldn’t figure out a way to find it.

The thing is, I didn’t just want a list of novels. I’m sure the novels on Time’s list are fantastic but I only recognized a handful. My goal wasn’t to read a bunch of books that I’d never heard of, my goal was to catch up on all the books I thought I should have already read.

So, I finally found the list I was looking for thanks to my resident Google guru. I swear Joel is like the search engine whisperer. I can search for hours and find nothing and in 3 minutes he has what I was looking for and more. It definitely is never annoying.

I don’t consider this cheating since this was the list I intended to read in the first place. I’m still going to cross a 100 books of a list, it’s just a different list than I originally posted. I think this particular list is a lot more comprehensive. It includes non fiction as well which I very rarely read.

I already have read a few of the books. Others I’m almost positive I’ve read but I’m leaving them uncrossed because I want to be sure. I read quite a few abridged books growing up so I want to make sure I read the full versions.

I’m actually excited about this list, much more so than I was about the other one. I feel like I’ll be a much more well rounded person when I finish.

Things I learned in India

My trip to India was amazing. Some parts were fantastic. Some parts were really, really hard. We both had at least one melt down. India and it’s culture is so vastly different from any culture I’ve ever been in. In some ways that was incredible and exciting and fun. In other ways it was just confusing and frustrating.

The best part was how much it caused me to grow. I learned so much about myself, Joel, God and others. I realized how strong I really am. Obviously there’s no way to sum up my trip up in one post. I don’t think I thoroughly could in 15 posts. I’ll do my best to keep it to as few as possible.

For today, I’ll share with you a list of a few things I learned while I was in India:

1. I really can do or eat anything. No really. Anything.

2. Wood is actually comfortable to sleep on after sleeping on marble for 3 days.

3. When you can smell yourself, you know it’s really bad.

4. Taken enough days in a row Pepto Bismol turns your tongue the most disgusting blackish brown color. But it prevents other, um, problems so it’s worth dealing with. But seriously, ew.

5. Indian clothes are the most comfortable things ever. I’m going to do my best to bring them into style here. You can thank me later.

6. A little blow up neck pillow is a lifesaver.

7. There are different levels of dirty clothes. What seemed too dirty a couple days into the trip seemed acceptable by the end.

8. There are different levels of “civilized”.

9. Being happy and content really is a choice. I can choose to have a good time and enjoy the moment even when things are really hard.

10. The national bird of India is a peacock. When you see a city street with all the women dressed in saris you understand why. Gorgeous.

11. Eating in the dirtiest places is scary but God really does protect me and neither Joel nor I got sick from the food. Trust me, we really should have.

12. Driving in India is like a massive game of chicken. Lanes mean next to nothing, three cars can fit where you’d think only one could, and the biggest car almost always wins.

13. When an Indian tells you “it’s not spicy” it will probably still make your nose run and your eyes water.

14. When an Indian says a time that can mean an hour before, two hours after or anywhere in between.

15. I get unreasonably happy every time I kill a mosquito.

16. How to eat, drink, dress and use a squatty potty like an Indian. Yes, they eat (with their hand) and drink differently (their lips never touch the cup and they swallow with their mouth open). Basically everything is different.

17. An ice cold shower feels wonderful when it’s hot and nothing feels as good as being clean.

Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow. I will sort and start posting them if it kills me.


The past several days I’ve been in what is best described as a funk. Moody, irritable, snapping at Joel or Phoebe over the littlest thing, bawling my eyes out for no reason whatsoever… Very unlike me. My life? Is really good. I have no reason to be feeling so down.

Tonight Joel, knowing how sad I’ve been all day, did his best to cheer me up. He brought home stuff for taco salad, watermellon and surprised me with one of my favorite movies, The Great Mouse Detective. After I ate dinner and 3/4ths of the the watermellon (not kidding) we snuggled and he teased me and tickled me until I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breath.

I don’t know that it fixed everything. I do know I’m fighting to be in a better mood though. I have so much to be grateful for. I’m trying to focus on all the amazing blessings I have in my life. It may not always be 100% effective at pulling me out of this funk but I’m not just going to lie back and let these feelings drown me.

However, when I can’t quite do it on my own, I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband who knows how to make me smile. And sometimes even laugh until my stomach hurts.

Six Months

I don’t know how many of you were reading my blog six months ago. If you were you might remember my 30 by 30 post. The list by itself is also a page in the upper right hand corner if you ever just want to look over it. So far I think I’m doing pretty well. I’m working on several of my goals. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have 6 years and I don’t have to do everything at once. Here’s an update on my progress so far. I won’t go through every number, just the ones I’ve been thinking about or have made progress on.

1. Travel to India. This is so close to becoming a reality I can taste it. Really it deserves it’s own post and I will work on one in the near future. Basically it’s been my dream to go on a mission trip to India since I was 12 (half my life) and we have one set up to go in October.

We are working on fundraising right now. We’ve had some very generous donations from some amazing people. We’re still a ways off from the total needed though. If you have any ideas for fundraisers please send them my way. You can get more info at HelpSend.Us

2. Become a mother: Still not ready for this one. I have time ::grin::

4. Read all books on Time 100 best novels list: I have a few books marked off but honestly they’re ones I read prior to making the list. I need to step up on this one.

5. Run a marathon: I’ve taken the first step. Or steps. Check out Running Between Tweets for updates on mine and all my fellow tweeps progress.

9. Visit every US state: I have 12 more to go. I still have my flight benefits so getting to the states isn’t a problem. The main thing is having a place to stay once I get there. I don’t have tons of cash but I have so many wonderful blog/Twitter friends spread all over the country.

Would any of you from the states that I’m missing be willing to host me? Even just over night so I could meet you and buy a spoon (yes I collect spoons. What?) I don’t need anything fancy. A floor and a blanket would be more than enough. Who’s first? ::wink::

10. See all movies on Time 100 best movies list: I’ve gotten about a quarter of the way through the list thanks to our Blockbuster online membership. I’ve loved some and been bored to tears on others.

14. Earn an award with Phoebe: I’m entering us in our first rally obedience trial the middle of this month. I’ll let you know how it goes!

16. Join a book club: I get to mark one off! Woot! I’ve written about my book club a few times so you already know I have met some really neat girls there including the one who invited me to be on the soccer team.

I don’t know that I expected to have so much fun. I love reading but the book club is so much more than just discussing books. In fact, as we’ve gone on I could almost care less about the books that I’ve read. None of them are probably ones I’d pick out myself. The great part is, it doesn’t matter because the group of friends we’ve built is priceless. It’s just what I didn’t know I needed.

26. Keep a blog or journal daily for one year: That is where the title of this blog comes in. As of today I have successfully completed six months of that year on I’m actually really impressed that I’ve come this far.

Before this I was always a sporadic blogger. I would post several times a week for awhile and then go for months with nothing. I felt like if I didn’t have anything big to blog about I couldn’t post.

Now I’ve realized that isn’t the case. Granted, all of my posts haven’t been stellar but I feel like I’ve learned so much and improved as a writer and blogger by making this commitment. There are days when I have no idea what to blog about but I sit down and start writing anyway. And sometimes? Those are some of my best posts. Apparently my brain has a lot rolling around in it.

I don’t pretend to be a professional blogger or to have everything figured out. I am having fun though. I’ve also gotten more involved with Twitter and have made some wonderful friends out of it. I seriously wonder what I did without all you guys. I look forward to the next six months of blogging and beyond.

I am so excited about how far I’ve come. I have a long ways to go and a lot to accomplish in the next 5 1/2 years but I’m confident I can pull it off. I’m doing really well. Working through this list has already improved who I am as a person. I am much more focused and excited about life. I have goals and I am working towards them. I highly recommend everyone make a list similar to this. It can fit where ever you are in life and drive you to where you want to be. You’ll be surprised how inspiring it is.

Letting myself dream and get excited is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s already taken me places and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in six months, a year and on my 30th birthday. I have a feeling, it’s going to be somewhere amazing.

Random Confessions

1. I borrowed a two shirts from my little sister the other day. I gave one of them back. I’m really hoping she forgets/doesn’t ask about the other one. It looks really great on me. Aaand I ripped a hole in the sleeve.

2. When I do laundry I rarely wear shoes. That wouldn’t be so bad if the laundry room wasn’t a community one down the hall from our apartment.

3. The last of my “real” bras broke two weeks ago. I’ve been wearing sports bras ever since. Flat chested FTW!

4. Lately I have been sleeping in till noon or later. I generally wake up when Joel tells me he’s coming home for lunch. I hate sleeping in this late because half my day is gone by the time I get up. However, I do not hate it enough to set an alarm clock. Fail.

5. I always buy and read my book club books no more than a couple days before the discussion. I say it’s because I’m a fast reader and I’ll forget what I want to say if I get it sooner. Really? It’s because I just put it off until the last minute. Thank goodness the fast reader part is true.

6. Speaking of book club, our discussion is at the beach tomorrow. For the first time in my life I really don’t want to be seen in a bikini. My body is not bikini ready. There’s a slight chance of thunderstorms and I’m praying that they come through so I don’t have to stress about it. ::sigh::

7. In related news, I’m actually starting C25K over on Monday. I have a lovely group of ladies who are doing it with me and that should be the motivation I need to actually finish it this time. Clearly I have an issue with self motivation.

8. You can probably buy my love in the form of Starbucks caramel Frappuccinos. Just Sayin’.

9. I always have to look up how to spell Frappuccino.

10. Actually there are a lot of words I look up. Most of the time I spelled the words right. However, if I look up the word after I sent a text or tweet? I inevitably spelled it wrong. Why doesn’t the iPhone have built in spell check already? Hmph.

So those are my confessions.* They say confession is good for the soul and I’m inclined to agree with them. Whoever the heck they are. Anything you’d like to confess? I’m a great listener 😉

*Totally have that one Usher song stuck in my head now.

Top 10 most “catchy” songs

Or: The one that makes you want to stab yourself in the ear with a pencil

I love fun, upbeat music. However, some songs are so catchy they ought to be in the same classification as herpes. You never get rid of them. Ever.

Here’s my top 10 list of songs that should be classified as STDs:

10. Blue (Da Ba Dee) – Eiffel 65

Confession: When I was a teenager this was my very favorite song. It still kind of is. Funny story about it though, my dad is extremely conservative. He didn’t want me to listen to it because he said the lyrics were about being depressed. I argued that no, it was in fact about actual blue people. He didn’t believe me until I went online and found the music video. After I played it for him I was allowed to listen to the song. Win.

9. Around the World – ATC

Actually I kind of like this song too but it definitely hangs around your head for awhile.

8. Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue

This song does warn you in the title so I guess it’s your own fault if you can’t, in fact, get it out of your head.

7. Barbie Girl – Aqua

The cutest annoying song ever. Actually all Aqua songs could probably go on this list. That would be really boring though.

6. Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

I hate that I love this song. Miley Cyrus drives me crazy and yet when this song comes on the radio I can’t help but turn it up and dance. Then it’s stuck in my head all day. Bah.

5. Dragostea Din Tei – O-Zone

I have a story about this song too. I went to Romania in 2004 with my Au Pair family. While I was there I discovered this fun, catchy tune. I bought the single (with like 6 mixes) and planned to show it off as cool European music when I got back to the States. Unfortunately, once I got back I found out that the song was old news because some dumb kid’s video mocking the song went viral. ::sigh::

4. I like to Move It – Madagascar

Kids cartoons are great for catchy yet annoying songs that you love to hate, aren’t they?

3. The Picard Song

Obviously Joel was the first person to play this for me. Obviously. It’s one that I find myself humming in the shower every once in awhile. I wish I were kidding.

2. Hamster Dance

Oh my this song. Actually when I hear it all I think of is Disney’s Robin Hood.

1. We Like to Party (Venga Bus) – Vengaboys

The official song of Six Flags Great America. How do I know? Because we bought season passes and now this song will be in my head for the rest of my life.

There you have it. That is, if you’ve lasted this long without stabbing out your eardrums. Have any other incredibly catchy songs that should have made the list?

Summer Dreamin’

I love summer. I’m cautiously welcoming the summer weather here. I hope it’s going to stick around. It is memorial day weekend after all. If you’re familiar at all with Chicago though you know any kind of weather can be here one minute and gone the next. They say if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Anyway, it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s for almost two weeks now so I guess it’s time for me to pack away my sweaters and get out my summer clothes. Yes, it’s almost June and I still have my sweaters out. I didn’t want to jinx anything.

Anyway, it’s a shame Chicago isn’t like this all year round because I am never more comfortable than when I’m in shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. Is there a better season than summer? I don’t think so. Since I’m kind of a freak about making lists I thought I’d just list some of the top things I love about summer.

*Outdoor festivals: Outdoor concerts, movies in the park, plus, each town has their own special festival or parade. I love all the stuff happening outside when the weather gets nice

*The fair: This one is mostly about the food. I’m obsessed with fair food. Cotton candy, elephant ears, corn dogs, corn on the cob. Then of course there’s the walking around seeing crafty things I’ll probably never make, large produce I’ll probably never grow and farm animals with signs behind them about what parts are best to eat. 4H is kind of weird when you think about it….

*Going for walks: Is there anything better than going for a walk on a warm summer evening? Plus I have to walk a lot to counteract all that fried fair food I love to eat.

*Fresh fruit: I crave fruit more than anything else hands down. Chocolate has nothing on a giant bowl of fresh berries. I’ve also been known to polish off an entire half of a watermelon on my own, in one sitting. Nom!

*Six Flags: Joel and I are getting season passes to Six Flags Great America this year. I’m an adrenaline junkie and the season passes are cheap this year. It’s only about an hour away so if anyone wants to join us we’ll be spending many free days up there.

*Clothes: I may not be 100% happy with how I look all the time but I love wearing as little as possible. Obviously I try to stay classy but flip flops are almost being barefoot and shorts and tank tops aren’t much either. I hate having to bundle up so the warmer it is, the better.

*Swimming: I love to swim. Floating in a pool or laying out next to one is one of the most relaxing things in the world for me. It’s slightly less relaxing since I became obsessed with sunscreen but in between applications I’m in heaven.

There are probably five dozen other things I love about summer. These are just the ones I’m day dreaming about right now. I’m so happy summer is here. Hot weather, please stick around. You are very, very loved.

On being a flight attendant: the best and the worst

I was asked by High Flyer on Twitter what the best and worst things about my job are. Since there’s no way to fit that into the 140 character limit I thought I’d list my personal best and worst here. If you’re considering applying as a flight attendant take note.


1. Getting paid to travel the world

I am lucky enough to work for a major airline. This has meant being able to explore various major (and not so major) cities all over the USA during my layovers. Not only have I been able to explore the good ol’ USA but I’ve also been lucky enough to have been sent on many international trips. During my two years flying I got layovers in 13 different international destinations, some of them several times. I can’t tell you how many times, while lying on some exotic beach or standing in front of some major landmark, I’ve thought “I just can’t believe someone is paying me to be somewhere so amazing”. It’s really incredible.

2. The travel benefits

In addition to my assigned trips I have been able to take numerous amazing trips in my time off. Joel and I spent our anniversary in Buenos Aires, we traveled to Sydney Australia for a major motion picture world premiere, we went to The Netherlands to visit my former host family… I could go on and on. On my own I’ve flown to dozens of other destinations, often in first or business class. I could never afford to pay full fare for a first class seat normally. This job has allowed me to travel the world like a rock star, without all the annoying paparazzi.

3. Meeting new people

I have met so many fascinating people. I’ve made good friends during training, worked with some fantastic crews and met some incredibly interesting passengers.

4. Flexible schedules

I have 11 guaranteed days off every month. Even that is more than most people working a 9 to 5. In addition to that I am almost never used on all my days on call. Plus, I have the option of getting a schedule with several days off in a row. I’ve had up to two weeks off at a time and that isn’t even when I had vacation. How many jobs allow you to do that?

5. Lots of down time

Being on reserve means I work flights when other flight attendants call in sick, misconnect or can’t work the flight because of contract legalities. Some days, even though I’m on call, they simply don’t need me to cover any flights so I get a bonus day off. This sometimes happens several days in a row. Also, every time I get to my layover hotel it’s my free time to do whatever I want. Whether that means exploring the city I’m in, laying out at the pool or the beach, getting something to eat, reading a book or just sleeping for a long, long time.

6. Pride in my work

I am so proud to be a flight attendant. Only 1% of those who applied to work for my airline were hired. I completed 7 weeks of flight attendant training even though not everyone who began training completed it. I’m responsible for the lives of all the passengers on whatever plane I’m working on. My job is generally thought of as glamorous. While glamorous is not always the word I’d use to describe my job, I’m always proud to tell people that I’m a flight attendant.

7. A “fast pass” through security

Because our job often requires us to get to our flight quickly, most airports have a dedicated employee line. We’re allowed to use those lines even when we’re off duty. We still have to follow the same rules as everybody but it’s nice to be able to go to the front of line. Now that I’m on furlough and had to turn in my badge I really miss my “VIP” status in the security line.

8. Did I mention the travel benefits?

Because yeah, they’re awesome.


1. Irregular schedule

We have to bid for our schedules every month. They are assigned based on seniority. I’ve only been an employee for about two years so that puts me at the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes I get the days off I need in a month and sometimes I don’t. I never really know and that can be frustrating.

2. Weird sleeping and eating patterns

I could work a red-eye one day and a mid day flight the next. One day I could be in Des Moines Iowa and the next I could be on a 14 hour flight to Tokyo. Sometimes I get a long layover and have plenty of time to sleep and other times I barely have six hours at a hotel. I just never know. There are also times when I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to get my next meal. When I’m on a plane there may or may not be food. Also, I might get to my layover hotel after all the local restaurants are closed. There are times when I have to force myself to eat when I’m not hungry simply because I have no idea when I’ll get another chance. It’s not the healthiest way to live.

3. Missing major events and holidays

Only the most senior flight attendants get their first choice when it comes to getting holidays off. Sometimes I get to be with my family and sometimes I’m at an airport hotel alone. I’ve missed many birthdays, sports games and special events. Bidding for my schedule is always stressful when I have something important coming up.

4. Lots of down time

I know I listed this as one of the benefits but it can also be a pain. You have to be really creative to make a long Oklahoma City layover interesting (no offense to any Okies out there). Also, when the weather is good and not many people are calling in sick it’s really hard not to feel useless sitting at home for days on end waiting for a call. You can’t really make plans because you could get a call so you just sit. Because inevitably when you do make plans with someone that’s when you get the call and have to cancel.

5. Mistreatment

I’ve had my share of difficult passengers. I can deal with someone who’s frustrated or angry. The worst is when it’s my own company. I watch the executives make muti-million dollar a year salaries and take huge bonuses while we’re not even making enough to live on. On top of that it seems like at every opportunity the crew schedulers try to bend or even outright break the contract rules. It’s frustrating to have to have to be on the defensive and feel like you have to fight for your rights with someone who should be on your side.

6. Crappy pay

I don’t care what you’ve heard, most flight attendants aren’t well paid. The very most senior flight attendants get paid fairly decently but even they are making up to 40% less than they were before 9/11. Their pensions were lost and hours were cut. If I wasn’t married, at my salary I qualify for food stamps and other government assistant programs.

Being a flight attendant is really hard work. It’s exhausting, frustrating and extremely rewarding. It’s not a job for everyone. While there are certain things I’d fix I believe the good definitely outweighs the bad and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s my dream job and I feel so lucky to be able to say that I’m a flight attendant.

Ten Things I Should Like but Don’t

I saw this on a friend’s blog and thought it was an interesting idea. So here it is,

Ten things I should like but don’t:

1. Cilantro

I love Mexican food. Love, love, love it. It’s one of my favorite ethnic foods. However, I can’t stand the taste of cilantro. There are very few flavors that make me feel nauseous and that is one of them. Thankfully there are many Mexican dishes that don’t use cilantro heavily.

2. Girly movies

I am not really a girly girl. In some ways I suppose I am but for the most part I’m perfectly happy in jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes. This extends to my choice in movies. I would much prefer so see a gory horror movie or an exciting thriller than a formulaic chick flick any day.

3. Thongs

I hate feeling like I’m walking around with a wedgie all day long. They may look sexy and I do own a few but I much prefer, er, full coverage.

4. High heels

See number 2. I need my shoes to be comfortable.

5. Wine

I really try. I would like nothing more than to be one of those classy ladies who relaxes with a nice glass of merlot or knows what kind to order with any entree. I just can’t get over the flavor. Yet. I’m working on it.

6. Make up

Who invented make up? I have a thing or two I’d like to say to them. Seriously, it cakes, it runs, it gets in your eyes, it clogs your pores and if you forget to take it off before you go to bed you wake up feeling like your face is going to crack off. Ugh! I swear if I wasn’t cursed with dark circles under my eyes I would never wear make up at all.

7. Waking up before noon

I am not a morning person. I would love to be but, despite my best efforts, if left to my own devices I never wake up long before noon. It doesn’t matter how many mornings in a row I get up early or how early I go to bed. If I don’t set an alarm don’t expect me to wake up before at least 10:30am.

8. Stubble

Some women think a five o’clock shadow is sexy. I admit there are some men on whom it actually does look pretty darn good. It’s not actually the appearance I don’t like, it’s how it feels against my face. I hate it when I start to really get into a kiss only to be snapped out of the moment because it feels like my face is rubbing up against sandpaper. Shave please!

9. Ring tones

I used to think ring tones were pretty nifty. I often downloaded the themes of my favorite shows or one of the hits off the radio to my phone. I don’t really know what happened. Maybe I sat next to that person on the train one to many times. You know the one whose top 40 ring tone is so loud you practically wet yourself when it goes off. Or maybe I had my own ring tone go off in an embarrassing setting one too many times. I don’t remember. At some point I decided that vibrate was a perfectly good way of being notified my phone was going off and now if anyone’s ring tone goes off, even my own, I feel annoyed.

10. Internet surveys

Ironic since I’m doing one, no? I don’t hate all of them but I think I got burned out on the endless bulletins on MySpace. You can only hear about someone’s first kiss, what color shirt they’re wearing right now, and have them coyly not answer if there’s someone they’re interested in so many times.

So there you have it.

People whose answers I think would be hilarious are:

Ex Hot Girl

Okay Seriously

Baby Rabies






Plus, anyone else who feels the urge to post their own answers I would love to read them. If you do, please leave me a comment so I can enjoy your post. *smile*

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