eudaemonic- (adj.) producing happiness and well-being

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The sun will come out tomorrow... bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there will be sun

Today was so much better than yesterday. I remembered how to do things, I got to go on a really neat tour of the Capitol (the Capitol yea!), I answered my first two constituent calls, and my intern coordinator is back from vacation and gave me exciting info.

This tour was good.. oh my word it was good! One of the guys in the office (the backup intern boss) took me on it and he is a history buff.. he is a Schwarzenegger strength history buff. He knew everything! Like the office I'm in, it's called the Cannon building, named after Joe Cannon the Speaker of the House in 1903-1911. They called him Uncle Joe and, according to the buff, he was "powerful and ruthless." I can't remember all the stories, but long story short, he knew what he wanted and normally got it. We went through the tunnels (which is where I eat lunch) and just went right on in. I got my badge today so I'm cleared to enter! I got to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and stand behind the podium that the Congressmen use to make comments. He showed me where a bullet hole went through a desk from a spat many years ago. I got to stand in the whispering spot in the old area where they used to meet.... AAAH and so much more! He took me over to the Senate side and I got to see offices for really neat people, for example I stood outside Vice President Cheney's office! I really wish I could remember everything! I got to walk down a staircase that is normally just for Senators and went in the area where Congressmen can get away from the public. Yowza, it was awesome!

And.... it gets better! I won't be spending my whole time answering phones and sorting mail. She said I could go to committee meetings, or other meetings if I wanted. She said if there was something that I wanted to do, I should just ask; normally they're very accommodating. Another person told me to tell the press fella that I want to do something in his area and press releases could be in my future. I get to help with letters tomorrow. Yea for extra assignments!!!!

But, I'm just happy not to be so nervous handling the phones anymore.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Phew… looong one today.. actually, I can’t focus on this computer screen because I’ve been staring at one all day :o)…. A list will have to suffice for the days happenings because I’m done in.

*got up
*got on the metro with the crew
*Met Michael (my intern “for the day” coordinator (the other coordinator will be back tomorrow), and the other Gonzalez team
*Spent approximately 8 hours answering phones (and messing up), sorting mail (and messing up), sorting faxes and e-mails (and messing up), greeting visitors (and looking dumb), and putting a stack of business cards 5 inches deep in a database. Does everyone feel like an idiot their first day of interning? I really hope it’s not just me!
*I work 9-6
*I rode the subway home by myself! I read the map and went home! How proud are you of me?

I talked to my Tam and Kat today… I miss them. I need to talk to Edith, Megan and Crystal (I promise…. I’m coming)

Random D.C. observation of the day…. The people on the subway looked a lot like herded cattle…. It’s bizarre. There were tons of them. They didn’t even look at each other. They just mindlessly followed the other person up the escalator without taking their eyes off their book or newspaper or even just the ground. Strangeness… they just followed the crowd. As my pawpaw says, “never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions.” Not that I want one of them to start tap dancing up the stairs, but I guess it’s just a little push to not follow the crowd (you know I’m not talking about the subway now right? :o) ). I’m a little nervous working for a Dem’s office. We’re just… different. Really different and I like it that way.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Well, I’m here and … wow. The plane ride up was pretty good. On the first flight the plane was half empty and on the second, I was sat next to a Washington whiz. He is a tour guide for a local university so he pointed out all the monuments through the window. Hannah and Whitney came and met me at the airport; that was extremely nice of them. We caught a cab back to the apartment. I will never forget where I live because the entry way looks gilded! Gold mirrored and "sparkley." Hahaha! The apartment is HUGE! I’m talkin’ mucho grande big! There are three bedrooms and Hannah and I were lucky enough to get the master. We have a balcony overlooking… well, not much, but it’s still a balcony!!! We had a cookout for all the Texas (TU and Tech) interns down at the pool and that was nice. Then I went to the local pharmacy and somehow I spent $40 on 3 bags of things like shampoo, conditioner, Slim Fast, Advil and laundry detergent…. BUT, finally I’m here, sitting on my couch on a Monday morning. I don’t know what I’m going to do today, but hopefully I can get everything unpacked! I start work tomorrow!


Okay, now I know what I will do today because I already did it! Time flies by fast when you don't check the blog in the morning :o) hehehe.

This morning I ordered groceries on-line... yes on-line! They are going to be delivered to my apartment. Man, why don't they do this service in small town Texas... Stephen and I were always put on "bring the groceries from the car duty" when we were little... well, I guess not just when we were little because we still hear it :O)

After my web cuisine experience, a fellow intern and I caught the metro and went to the National Mall area. We went to the top of the Washington Monument, to the WWII memorial, to the Lincoln memorial and most excitingly, we found my office building! Yea! You know, from everything I've ever read about Lincoln (which I'll admit, isn't extensive) I don't take him for being a big fan of the "look at me" tactics. Quite modest he was! But, here comes the irony, he has a HUGE statue of himself right in the middle of the Washington hubbub. I'm talking HUGE, but I'm sure you all have seen memorial, so I won't talk anymore about it. However, here's a small size survey.... would you welcome a big giant statue of yourself or shun it? Just wondering because most of the people I know don't even want their picture taken, let alone have their body carved into rock!

Later on tonight we’re having a roommate dinner. I’m somewhat nervous about that happening.

P.S.- I miss you Reed McDonald and house amigas!
P.S. no 2- Megan.. word of the day application... niiiicccceeee

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Arg…I’ve been foiled again Batman!

It’s official, I’m the most blessed girl in College Station! I have proof… but it’s in my tummy :o) My office threw a surprise going away party. But it wasn’t just any party. Oh no. It was a TEA PARTY!!! Isn’t that the sweetest most thoughtful thing in the world? Edith made a absolutely to die for chocolate cake (mmmm mmmmm MMMMMM), Crystal made delectable cookies with Reese’s P.B. cups in the middle (w-w-w-what you ask? Yes, I said a p.b. cup in the middle!), and Megan (my Betty Crocker) made charming little tea sandwiches that you just had to eat with a pinky extended! Edith brought real true-life tea cups from Estonia, flowers, honey for the tea, and lacy tablecloths.

I’m not good with attention (a strange attribute to round out my uber strange persona) so I don’t know if I adequately showed how special it made me feel. But, oh, it did! Edith and Austin even made me something! Edith created this gorgeous lamp with Estonian coins and two Estonian buttons on it! Oh my word, it’s great! What’s a better word than great? It’s downright wonderful! And Austin… well, with what I’m sure is the most manly glue gun known he took buttons (my favorite thing) and glued them to a decorative box! AAAAHHH! I know! These people!

So, now I’m savoring the moment… luckily, I’m going to get to savor it everyday for a month, because that’s how long I’m going to have to run to make my jeans fit after the smorgasbord of chocolate! Oh yeah, I didn't mention that... they even considered making everything chocolate, risking their lives, teetering towards chocolate overdose just to make me smile....awwww I forgot about the surprise part. Edith sent me on a run to Wells Fargo to deposit a check… sneaky sneaky.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I filled out my last time sheet for Ag Comm- Aug. 18 through Sept. 1. I started working here Feb. of 2004. It seems like a long time ago, but it really wasn't. I was pretty nervous when I came in for the interview... I wanted the job a lot. A lot a lot. I left the interview and a week passed, along with it the date that Edith said they would have a decision. Garrett (my friend and previous holder of the student worker position) kept telling me to go and ask Edith (the boss) if they had made a decision. Of course, I was too nervous to do that, so I just resigned to the fact that I was not going to get the job. A few hours later I got a call from Edith on my cell, but because I was still scared, didn't answer and she left a message with the good news. I don't think I've ever told her that :o). My first article was about goats, and man did I feel special when several papers picked it up! I printed out every single one of those babies and took them home to my family. I thought I was pretty cool (a condition I've previously been cured of :o) ). Well, one week from today, I will no longer be part of the Extension family... and I'm pretty down about that. I was asked yesterday when my last day was so that the office can fill out termination papers.... termination papers. Eeek. No es bueno. I've learned so much by working here.... more than this blog can take, and honestly more than I can take too... I don't like to be sad. But this job has really made a difference in my life. OKAY! Enough of that!

Megan, Crystal and I went to Houston yesterday for an off the cuff trip to the Cheesecake Factory… and… it was really really really good. Megan and I split a delicious dish called lemon herb chicken (although there's really no name to describe its taste... okay, I'll try.... nope no words), and even with it split, I brought home a normal sized portion as leftovers! Then.. here’s the really good part, we ordered cheesecake. Mmmmmmm. I had Godiva chocolate cheesecake and a FRESH brewed cup of decaf. Our waiter brewed it just for me. It was so amazingly, wonderfully, I’m floating above the table good. So, as you can tell, the trip was “okay.” I brought more than half of my piece in a handy dandy to-go box, so I’m going to be happy for a long time. I also brought home 2 extra pieces for Tam and Kat, and a whole cake for my family. I don’t want to say what the grand total was for that night, but lets just say, the Cheesecake Factory is for EXTRA special occasions, like celebrating friendship and the gift of tastebuds!

I have a new favorite quote...

"It's pomposity gone mad," said the former Australia Labor Party prime minister when he heard of a new ban on Parliament House security guards vocabulary. They can no longer call visitors and lawmakers "mate."

Click for the whole article, but this is about the only good part :O)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I've been thinking more and more about graduate school. What should I do and if I do do, where do I go? Humph. I've been praying about it for so long, without any secure answers, that it almost feels like time hasn't passed... oh but it has, and the time has come for decisions. It's not like the Lord is silent... but sometimes my heavenly hearing aid isn't always turned on. There's this older lady that my family sits next to at church back home. She has the kind of hearing aid that has an ear piece and a external box that picks up sound and controls the volume via knobs. Now, I've never seen her do this, but I believe that once we're settled in from singing and welcoming one another, she turns her hearing aid down and takes a pew-inspired, drift off to dream land. Oh, I've seen her snoozing, but I've never actually seen her turn down the hearing aid...... but I have witnessed me turning down my own hearing aid. Yep, with every rationalization on what would be the smartest thing to do, every plan made and every minute lost worrying about this I lose a decibel. Not because the Lord quiets down, (nooooo... that would be better than what it really is) but rather I'm hollering so loud that I don't even know what I'm saying in my own debate! I can't deny that I do this now because I've pointed it out in myself.... so.... why can't I stop?

Time to cut the circumlocution and choose a word..... I choose trust.

*aha, you thought I forgot the word didn't you!
circumlocution the use of an unnecessarily large number of words to express an idea, evasion in speech
Ha! Take that!

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Love is in the air, love is in the air, oh, oh, oh, oh, uh, uh, uh, uh."- John Paul Young

A super close friend from home just ringed me up to say that she's been ringed. No, she's not sporting a new fancy jewel on her right hand. Nope, she hasn't turned hip and gotten a thumb ring... Yes, it is true, that left ring finger, reserved for a promise has been claimed in the name of marriage! Like the conquistadors of days past, the boy put up a flag.... and it sparkles!

I leave for Washington in 2... TWO weeks! What?! Yowza. I'm afraid the time has come to do some packing, but boxes just don't become me :o). I've become a post-it-note faddist . Post-it on the fridge. Post-it on the steering wheel of my car. Remanent of Jan Brady's cry of Marsha...."Post-it Post-it Post-it." However, I think the post-it can help me in the quest to get things done. They're the perfect size for to-do lists... and we all know what I like to to with those... CHECK THEM OFF!

***Blog notice: Did you notice a new word? Megan, my fellow lover-of-words bud, and I enjoy a service provided by called word of the day. I used an older one in this post. From now on I will be including random words for your enjoyment and enlightenment :o)
faddist: from fad, practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.- R.D. Laing

It’s raining today. The sound of thunder and sight of lighting is somehow soothing. When did that happen? When did a concern of thunderstorms, turn into contentment?

I’m done with school and don’t really have anything pulling my attention away from the present. Somehow, when there’s nothing pressing, my attention is drawn to the past. I guess you could call it the mental law of gravity… if there’s nothing holding a thought in place, it will fall, and hit deep.

Someone who shares my heart for showers said that rainy days are a time to curl up, to slow down and to smell furniture. Genius thought, I just can’t remember who said it :o)… although I will admit, rain clouds don’t necessarily send me running for Pledge so that my tables smell like lemon. It is a time however to curl up. It’s a time to relax. Thank goodness, I was given the opportunity to take this moment for what it is… a plug through which I can recharge.

I was thinking about a time when it rained here… nope, not just rained, I’m talking the skies in C.S. opened up and released droplets as big as your eye. I got caught outside without an umbrella, and got soaked. It was pretty chilly that day too, so my teeth were chattering once the bus came. It sounds like an awful time, but it was actually pretty fun. When you’re already wet, whatever hurry you were in before, just kind of dissipates like it was dissolvable. I just resigned to the fact that I was going to get wet, and had fun splashing in puddles and drinking rain from the sky. Aaaah, good times :o).

I think I’ll make a rain memory today!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm a sucker for those paid advertisements on television. I'm currently enamored with "The Ladies of Motown," boxed CD set being advertised on the TAMU PBS station. Diane Ross, The Supremes…I'm not going to buy it of course, but there's something inside me that says, "get it get it." hahaha The songs really make you tap your toe. They just played "Please Mr. Postman," and it made me dance around the kitchen. “On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined.”- Lord Byron :O)”.....
Back when Elizabeth and I lived together, we listened to music from the 70s all the time. We dug around the garage and found an old record player and jammed out :O). We would turn it up and just dance and dance and dance in our pajamas. Good memories! I love that girl!
Man, these people doing the talking are good! And have you ever seen the 30 minute commercial for the magic bullet? Oh my goodness, it looks awesome!!! It's like a miniature blender that makes everything from pancakes to ice cream! All for just two easy payments of 15.99. ooooohhh :O)
What's another good one that catches your eye... oh yes, how could I forget! The Mauri Winsor Pilates workouts. Yes yes, sweet talkers these salesmen/women are. They're exceptionally good at their job!

Nothing of depth today, just doing the mashed potato and twist in my socks :o)

Monday, August 08, 2005

buds that are such a blessing Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Has the Lord ever offered you an illustration of just how big He is? A visual that you know was made just for you… by that I mean, it fit your brain cells, nerve endings, optical senses…A visual that hit the nail right on the head, and left no questions remaining because it truly was made “special order” just for you. Oh, was I blessed with one of those this weekend as I left for Wisconsin.

The first plane trip to Chicago was wonderful. The airplane was almost half empty. Not only did I not have a seat partner, but there was also no one sitting behind me so I could lean my seat back without guilt that I was causing someone to be uncomfortable. None of this is important, except it was the way the Lord set it up. I was completely comfortable.

I lounged, enjoying the space and full possession of the window. Preparing for the landing, the solid blue sheet that was once my window view started transforming… and for the first time, I watched. I have been on a plane many times before, but normally by the end of the flight, I’m feeling a little green. It’s not fright, but rather the up/down/up/down motion that the captain has to follow to make the perfect landing. But, since I was able to sleep and stretch out, the greenness was kept at bay!

So, as I sat there and watched as Chicago turned from blue to green… I started making observations. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the journalist in me, but I pulled out my steno pad and wrote a few things down.

“Substantial forest transformed to broccoli patch.” Okay, maybe this needs a little explanation :). There was this rather large patch of trees… so large that from the air, it just looked like grassland. But, as I got closer the trees lost their massiveness and looked like a broccoli patch that had been over seeded. Their miniature size made me feel that if my widow would’ve opened, I could have stuck my hand out and popped the vegetable right off their stems.

“Massive bus fleet looks like 2nd grader’s thrust aside pencil bag.” I have no idea how many busses were parked at this bus barn, but it was a lot. Walking through those busses on the ground would’ve been scary and confusing since their size would prevent me from seeing the exit. However, from the sky those colossal vehicles looked like scattered standard number 2 pencils. You know what I’m talking about… the yellow ones that we had to use for the TAAS test?

“Houses with hinge roofs.” Neighborhoods looked like a dollhouse block. My dollhouse had a hinge roof and a missing back so I could position Barbie where I wanted. If I opened the tops, I could see what was going on inside all the homes in Chicago.

I know what you’re thinking… what I saw was standard/cookie cutter for any flight. But you’re wrong! This was something special. Verses kept coming, pairing themselves with what I was seeing.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you.
Search me Oh God and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
With my God I can scale mountains.
Know that the Lord is God.
He is not far from each one of us
I will sing of the Lord’s love forever
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Can anyone hide in secret places so that the Lord cannot see him?

And then there’s the not so scriptural spiritual popups :) “My God is so BIG so STRONG and so MIGHTY there’s nothing that my God can’t do. The mountains are His. The valleys are His. The stars are His handiwork too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there's nothing my God cannot do.”

Mmm, m m m mmmm, m m m m mmmm, (humming of the song :) )

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Failure is rarely fatal.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

HOWDY from Wisconsin, home of cheese, dairy farms, perfect weather and polkaing agricultural communicators! So, I didn’t win- just wanted to get that out there first…. Well, that’s not true, I did not win the contest that I was in, but I did win the experience, which I got a TON out of. Speaking of ton, I’m going to weigh a few after this week. Man oh man, do these LPC folks know how to eat. I just consumed pure sin in the form of chocolate. I’m talking, the baker must have made a deal with the devil because there’s no way that something this evil could come from any “angel food making chef.” Um, yeah, I’m still relishing the experience!

Today was really long! Went to a few sessions, which were good; I learned a lot. The governor stopped by; that was neat. Then had we had our awards ceremony.

I’ve discovered something… something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. I do not like politics. Make sure you read that right. I like policy and political happenings, but not politics… or, as they call it here, “networking.” As I stood in the middle of hobnobbing and complete game playing, I just stopped and looked around. No one cared about who they were talking to. They were in it for number one. It hurt my heart. That brings up a good question, why did it bother me so much? I used to love “shaking hands and kissing babies.” What changed? I used to think that because I cared, so did other people. Unfortunately, that’s not true. I don’t want to look back at my life and determine success by how many business cards are in my book. I don’t want my goals to be written on my resume, I want it to be written on my heart. At the same time, I know that contacts are important and we need to use each other’s talents. I’m cool with that… but just as long as I can care about what I do and the other people that do it too :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."- Yogi Berra

Why Mr. Berra? To hold all the cool free stuff you get at conference trade shows! I don’t want my PBS “America’s Heartland” cap to be crushed or fall out of a faulty suitcase. I got some awesome stuff today. Since I’ve already highlighted handouts as one of my favorite things, you can only imagine how it felt to walk into the trade show. It felt like promised land of fliers! John Deere, Monsanto, Pzier, USDA, National Beef Board, National Farm Bureau, and the list continues and continues! I’m not just coming home with 10 extra pounds of tree slices either. No way! I got pens galore, a zip up steno portfolio, backpack and a personalized calendar.

So, I ate tons of WI foods at the “Taste of Wisconsin” tonight. I actually consumed more cheese than I knew even existed. I even tried cranberry cheese! Then my roommate from MO and I went out with Garrett and his boss from D.C. to an Irish restaurant. I was so full, but it was neat to chat with her. But that was the end of my day.. let’s start at the beginning shall we?

The day began with the interview... and, it was good. I don’t know how good, but oh well. I’m having fun and having the chance to make friends and contacts. Went to a few sessions, you know how that is my Ag Communications homies. Although sometimes they can be a little long on the words and short on useful information, there was one I attended by Don Ranly, a professor from the Missouri School of Journalism that was exceptional. He would be a GREAT prof.! I took a crazy amount of notes. Here are a few things that I learned.. or at least reaffirmed.
*CAPTIONS! It’s proven that readers look at pictures… and if they look at the pictures, they’re going to read the caption. Take that chance to reel them in to enjoy your whole story (what a simple, yet great thing to do!)
*Use words like your, you, how and tips in your blurbs.
*This guy said it’s okay to use quotes as your captions.
*He recommended buying a book of quotes to set on your desk and use liberally in stories (hummm... See how I’m applying that info in this post?!)
*He said it’s okay to be creative (aka: corny) in your leads- HIP HIP HORRAY! I can use alliteration, rhyme, allusion, allegory, metaphors, and can even twist common phrases for my headlines… (you know something like, if coffee prices were going up you could say, “Bean costs are amounting to a hill of a lot more.”. I loved this one!)
*And most importantly, have the mindset of “how can I help you,” when writing and doing your layout. Color code, use graphs/graphics, actually say something, make the story the type that is cut out and put on the fridge because it’s so helpful. Make your stuff useful, useable and used.

There is a lot more, but I’ll tell you in person!

If you are ever looking for a good idea to make your sponsors and exhibitors in the trade show feel special while writing out a big fat sponsorship check, I think the LPC has shaped the perfect way to do it. They had a red carpet intro, complete paparazzi, flash lights, roped off red carpet, announcer and tuxed men and ball gowned women escorts. It was perfect. They had 2 strobe lights that looked like flashes and about 4 real picture takers at various places on the “red carpet” going into the InfoExpo. As the exhibitor was announced, an escort would take them down the runway and into the big conference hall. It was cool!

So, I learned a lot, ate a whole lot, but want to go to sleep even more!

P.S.- Thanks for caring for Annie-Annie-Bo-Fanny Meg. You’re a nice girl :)