Friday, February 25, 2011

cat at a mat...inee and other random funs

I hope you all are well! I am doing marginally better (thanks for asking) but alas, I'm still sick. Whats that you say? How about a song called Sleeping Sickness while we're on the topic of being sick? Your wish is my command (at least this wish...)

You want something else? OK you asked...

BLAM!!! Freaking cute puppy. Take that. Got you when you least expected it.
(maybe now is a good time to mention that I'm on some sort of feel good medicine and I feel a little drunk... where'd that other curvy mark go so i can finish this aside...i can't find it, how about this} that'll do donkey

Oh yeah, how about this song?

cool, yes? actually I'm not sure if I embedded that correctly but hopefully if you click on it you will hear a cool slap acoustic guitar songy deal to your ears.

but wait

via 1 via 2

two cute kitty cats. AHAHAHAHA You didn't know. You had no idea I was going to hit you with that, did you?

ok. I should stop. My head is all fuzzy. Yes? Anyone? Meg Ryan. You've Got Mail. That's the answer.


hahahaha. Hit again. That was for those of you who think humans can be cute.

not this human. not today.

ok have a good weekend friends.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

taking cues from you've got mail

I'm sick (ala this scene below)

I got a virus of some sort (according to the doctor that I went to see yesterday). My throat is killing me and the rest of my body is down for the count. The doctor told me the good news is that I should only have this for 10 - 15 days. THATS GOOD NEWS? That happens to coincide perfectly with the number of days I have left to work on my thesis. Awesome.
So I'm trying to trick myself into feeling something other than miserable.
I went so far as to purchase a glass jar and fill it with hershey kisses like Meg Ryan does in this scene (cue to 1:48) from You've Got Mail.
Now I know those of you who are movie buffs might gafah at my love of this movie, but let me tell you a few reasons why I love it.
1. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have chemistry without being sexy sexy hotty pants movie stars. They are a handsome enough couple but they are no Daniel Craig and (fill in the blank with any sex appeal mainstream actress). It feels more believable.
2. I love the setting of the movie and the fact that it goes through 4 seasons.
3. I love the irony, I mean everyone does, right? That's what makes the movie.
4. I love that Meg Ryan is not your typical damsel in distress. She owns her own business. She is brilliant. She is kind. She is modest.
5. I love children's books and bookstores in general. I know every book that Meg Ryan's character references in this movie which either shows my love of books or my creepy knowledge of this movie. I'm fine with what either of those options says about me.
5. I have lots more reasons why I love this movie, but if nothing else - it reminds me of my best friend Leah. We both love this movie and we watch it every fall and we quote it all the time and who doesn't love a great movie that reminds you of a great person? You can check out Leah's blog here.
I plan on doing an entire post about Leah sometime when I'm not emotional and I can tell you all why I love her without crying. For now though, you should know we both love You've Got Mail and that should tell you something about her...I don't know what...but something.

Oh and also, if you check out her blog today - she is also sick. SEE we are best friends. We even get sick at the same time when we are 2000 miles apart.

Monday, February 21, 2011

weekend report

I'm happy to report I got a chunk of my paper written this weekend. Not on a beach or on a typewriter, but while wearing a hat and while petting a cat where I quietly sat on a m... ok, ok. I'll stop....... Stat. hahaha. Ok really I'll stop.
Actually, I wrote in a dungeon of sorts with no music and no snacks so as to eliminate all distractions possible (My dining room is to be interpreted as a dungeon when there are no snacks or music and I'm forced to write my magnum opus). But,

I also made this beef brisket recipe from Pioneer Woman for Sunday dinner. I do believe it was a big success. I have LOVED her recipes thus far. So I suppose the weekend wasn't completely awful. ;)

I must admit, though, that I'm starting to feel the itchings of spring fever coming on. It starts by wanting to wear peep-toe shoes and short sleeve shirts, even though there is still snow on the ground. It then works its way into wanting a whole slew of new additions to my wardrobe. Then it turns into wanting to spice up my home - so I'll buy daffodils and tulips to hold me over with a smile. But then pretty soon I want a different couch and a different something else and then before you know it I want a dang baby!

Damn you, spring. Why you got to do me like this?

Ahem...but how was your weekend?

Friday, February 18, 2011

on being named Jo

Sometimes I like to pretend like I was named after the character Jo in Little Women. She's brilliant and talented and fiery and witty.
Or perhaps Joanna from the Bible, who was one of the women to come to Jesus' tomb on the morning of His resurrection. I imagine her to be poised and elegant and loyal and sweet.
In reality though, my mother just liked the name. She had a friend in highschool named Joanna who I've never met or heard anything about. I think she informed me of her as more of an aside than a source of name genesis.
I've never actually gone by Joanna. I've been Jo for as long as I can remember. I sometimes forget that my full name is Joanna. I think the only people who call me that are my mother and my brothers, though my brothers didn't call me that when we were kids. No, when we were kids they called me "G.I Jo" or "Sumo Jo" or any name they could think of that started with the letter "R" because I couldn't say my "aws" for yeaws and yeaws. :)

But names are interesting. When I was a little girl and would play make-believe, I always named myself Sally, after the most beautiful woman I ever met as a little girl. She was a botanist at the state botanical gardens. I went to the gardens all the time with my father and now years later I realize it was probably no coincidence that my divorced father always happened to take me to the gardens when Sally was working. Its funny to look back on situations as an adult and realize what was really going on.

Anyway, I've determined that when I have children all of their names will have real meaning and be a real source of strength to them and their identity. They'll be named after beloved relatives and friends and admirable historical figures. Doesn't that sound like a good plan?

Now I just have to figure out how to work Sojourner Truth into a middle name without my husband raising his eyebrows...

Have a good weekend all! I'll be working on my thesis and wishing I was doing all the fun things you guys are going to be doing... (sigh longingly) :)

...77 days...

Thursday, February 17, 2011


On Sunday night we are having a little get together that our church calls a fireside (even though there is never any fire but whatever) where the youth and the youth leaders will learn/discuss a topic. We have these every other month or so. This month is on the afterlife.
I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I've realized that I don't really know if I believe in heaven and an afterlife. I'd like to, but I just don't know. So many people have such a surety of our existence after this life. I am not one of them. I find that I think of heaven more as a place that can give my mind rest, a place where I don't have to worry about the person who has passed away. And I seldom think about it until someone dies. And then I wrestle with the idea all over again.
And everyone has a different idea of what its like and who gets to go and what we do there when we're there. The baptists believe that we will see our family there but we won't know them as our family because we will all be family and it will be a type of paradise and we will busy ourselves by worshiping God, and that will make us happy. Mormons believe that you will still be married in the afterlife and have your family and that there are different levels of heaven and you go to the one that corresponds with your level of relationship with God and that we will busy ourselves by worshiping God through honoring Him through emulation. And don't even get me started on Hindu and Buddhist or especially Muslim beliefs of heaven. Suffice it to say, they all have very different interpretations.
I think it all sounds strange. People think that one interpretation sounds weird or the other, but the truth is - any type of understanding of heaven different than the one you grew up with and are familiar with probably sounds weird.
Anyway, we asked the youth to write down questions they have about the afterlife. You'd be amazed at the type of questions they have for being only 12 - 18 years old. These are deep and profound questions and ones that I, the supposed learned adult, still have. And while I hope that they find answers for themselves, there is a large part of me that wants to say to the authority we have coming to speak to us on the topic, "How do you know?" And maybe he will have an answer about faith or a sure faith that he understands to be knowledge, and maybe that works for him...
But I still don't know. And I fear that experience that would bring me to a faith in heaven. So for now, I'll just continue with my surface level faith of heaven and hope to learn from those who believe.
Do you believe in heaven? and if so, why?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'll admit it. I'm in a bit of a funk. I'm having a hard time staying motivated right now. I keep thinking that if I take a short break, then I'll come back and hit stuff hard and get at it. But then breaks just make me want longer breaks and pretty soon all I want to do is think about my crocus that is about to bloom and our second Europe trip that we are hoping to squeeze into May/June. But like the good influence I am, rather than get us back on task - how about I share with you things that can distract you as well?! Hey, what are friends for?

First, have you been following Oh Happy Day or DesignMom? They are sisters (actually related to a guy I went to school with in Virginia and wow are they cooler than he is...uh that wasn't very nice...sorry...but its true) ahem anyway, they both moved to France for a year. They blog about their adventures and it makes me miss our time in Europe so much. These pictures are so iconic of the little produce shops we walked by on our way to the little flat we stayed at in Paris.

And if you want to see the cutest photo series, check out these by Lauren Fleishman. They are a series of photos of couples who have been married over 50 years and have sweet little quotes next to them. Who doesn't love to see an adorable old couple?

Also, I figured out how to play this song in its entirety.

and also, I really love this tea pot (below). Its lovely, yes? I think its much cuter than the generic one I currently have. It reminds me of something you'd find in an old pop-up camper. I dig it.

And finally, I went to a Ted event on Friday to secure a speaking slot of one of the founders/authors (which I did - look at me doing my job!) and the event was, of course, amazing. The videos from the event are not up yet but I will post my favorite one when its up. In the meantime, here is a video of one of my favorite talks by Sir Ken Robinson. IT. IS. FABULOUS. Its about 17-18 minutes long (that's the limit for a ted talk) and its worth every minute.

So there you have it. Some of the many things that are distracting me right now. Hope you enjoy them all.

80 days till graduation. Not sure if the countdown is helping or hurting at this point...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

change anything video

Ok this is a really quick post but I wanted to show off a new video our production team just cranked out. It is a promo for our new book coming out called Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success. Friends - ITS SO GOOD! I wish they paid me every time I said it because I'd be rich (well I guess I work for them so in a weird and indirect way I get paid but I'd tell you if I thought it was poo. In fact - I'll say this, our first book wasn't that great. It was called Balancing Act and it flunked for book sales and training. So don't read it. Ha. But read Change Anything. You'll love it). Anyway, the point is I LOVE this stuff. Its based on the same social theory as Influencer but it's applied to personal change.

Check it out

You are probably all geniuses (especially if you read my blog) but have you ever thought about some of this stuff? OF COURSE you eat more when you have a bigger plate. OF COURSE you are more likely to spend when you are with friends. And it goes on and on. I work for some incredibly smart people and the content in this book is gold. Change Anything helps you start to recognize the power of all of these types of influences adding up against you and then teaches you how to flip these influences on their head and get them to start working FOR you.

okay, starting to sound like an infomercial... stepping down from my soapbox. Sorry. But thanks for indulging me!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the grind and the grinder

Well last week was pretty tough but highly enjoyable. My presentation/observation went well. I had a meeting yesterday and it looks like I did good enough that I'm going to move on to stage 2. This means that I'll do my first training in June, another in July, another in August, and then I'll work with clients from September through November and by the end of that month I should get a decision whether I get to do this full time starting in January of next year. In the meantime, I have 87 days till graduation, and this full time project manager gig that I need to keep, a non-profit to get off the ground, and a program with around 20 people at church to lead twice a week. Soooo life should be sufficiently challenging for a while. WOOT! .... ugh. I'm in the grind but I"m the grinder. Yuck.
But it really is all good. I actually really enjoy each of those things separately - combined they cause me some stress but individually they cause me happiness. And I was able to negotiate my first training to be in June so that I have some time to focus on school, so that's good. My thesis is due March 8th and after that, everything should get much easier (knock on wood).
Anyway - that is all pretty boring. Let's get to some exciting things -

liiiiiike PAPER!

haha. I'm serious actually. I love wrapping paper. Its a weird fetish I have. When I find cool wrapping paper I buy it immediately. I found some really cool ones online but I can't bring myself to purchase them. I also can't come up with a good story to tell my husband about why I spent $30 on wrapping paper...

doug: "Did you order $30 worth of wrapping paper online?"

me: "ummm...maybe"

doug: "What do you need $30 worth of wrapping paper for?"

me: "ummm...maybe?"

If I don't have a good answer I usually just try my first response again and see if it will work. It hasn't worked yet but you never know.

but check these out (and the one at the top of the post)

They are from a store called The PaperSource. They have tons of cool paper.

And speaking of cool, check this out

Luke Aleckson, Just Do It, Imprints in Snow, 810ft x 850ft (15.7 acres), 2005.

and he did the entire thing with bread baskets tied to his feet...

Now that is some dedication to art, my friends. After about 1 acre I'd be like - " um this is pretty but I'm in the middle of a snowy field with bread baskets tied to my feet... and I'm starting to crave wheat rolls, so I'm done."

And because I'm random, check this out. Yikes!