Tuesday, January 27, 2009
My sister's step-son is currently serving in Afghanistan, his birthday is coming up, and I wanted to send him something to let him know I was thinking of him. So, off I went to try to find a funny card... About ten minutes in, I found one that I thought was pretty good and I thought I'd share...
"So anyway, I'm standing in line to buy you a freakin' birthday card, and the line is like seventeen billion people long 'cause the only thing the dumb teenage boy at the register is thinking about is the dumb teenage girl at the other register, and some lady is turning her purse inside out to come up with 'exact change,' like she's gonna win some kind of 'exact change trophy' or something, and some idiot starts up his 'This item was marked with the sale price' crap, and I just really hope you like this card..."
" 'CAUSE I STOLE IT."
Hahaha... I almost bought several of them to use for future birthdays, but it turns out I'm too cheap. If you'd like to inundate David with cards or other mail while he's serving Afghanistan, I know he'd love it. Let me know if you'd like his address and I'll pass it on. If anything, please pray for him when you think of it.
Monday, January 26, 2009
"WASHINGTON — In between figuring out how to save the economy, adjust to a new president and lead the free world, Congress took time out this week to overwhelmingly pass a resolution honoring the University of Florida Gators.
But not without some staunch opposition from the biggest Georgia Bulldogs backer on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Jack Kingston, the Savannah Republican whose district starts at the Florida state line, just wouldn’t bite on the bill to honor the University of Georgia’s arch-rival for its recent college football national championship.
He was one of only five opponents to the resolution and the only one from Georgia. A total of 399 representatives voted for it — including all five from Oklahoma. Florida beat the University of Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 on Jan. 8 to win the national championship.
Other members of Congress who opposed the resolution said they did so to protest the controversial Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system.
For Kingston, saying nay was a matter of principle.
“Why endanger a longstanding, traditional rivalry in one weak moment of love and kisses?” he said. “It would be a hard thing for me to do.”
Anybody who knows Kingston, who grew up in Athens and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1978, knows he’s true to his school.
The lobby of his D.C. office has pictures of Kingston shaking hands with George Bush, sitting on a plane with Dick Cheney and hanging out with other political top dogs.
But the first pictures visitors see are of Uga, the university’s mascot. One is a “signed” photograph of the bulldog addressed to “Uncle Jack.” The other is a drawing of Uga sitting atop the USS Georgia submarine, done by cartoonist and Atlanta native Jack Davis.
This isn’t the first time Kingston bucked the majority in voting against the Gators.
In 2006, when Florida beat Ohio State in to win the BCS, Kingston cast the sole vote opposing a similar resolution honoring the school’s football team.
Kingston spokesman Chris Crawford said the congressman got more phone calls on that vote than just about anything else he did that year — from Georgia fans congratulating him, and Florida fans chastising him."
By BOB KEEFE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, January 23, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
So, here's the deal. Supposedly my husband grew up in this tiny town in the heart of America's breadbasket (do you like my sixth grade social studies reference?). His childhood was the epitome of a small town upbringing-- he'd walk home for lunch in the middle of the school day, the whole town turned up for the highschool football games and the county fair, and his first paying job was a paper route. He even stood before the city council when he was 16 to petition for a stop sign at a certain intersection after getting into a car accident there (and won!). Okay, so that doesn't have much to do with being from a small town, but it's SUCH a Tyler thing to do. I had to share.
Anyway, I've recently developed suspicions that he may be lying about where he came from. Everything fits his story-- I've been to Holdrege and seen the evidence for myself. Heck, his mom's massive collection of his football pins on the refrigerator are proof enough alone. But every once in awhile, a bit of information reveals itself that causes me to stop and think, "Did this guy really grow up in smalltown America??" Or better yet, anywhere in America. Here are a few clues that suggest he may not:
1.) I asked him if he liked Dreamsicles and he had no idea what I was talking about. Literally, no idea.
2.) There was an incident this summer where his cousin and I started lining our sandwiches with potato chips and he stared at us like we were crazy.
3.) He's never played Boggle or Sardines (I'll give him a break on Boggle, but Sardines?? Every kid played Sardines...)
4.) He's never seen Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music (granted, he is a male, but he has a sister). And he never watched "Hey Dude" when he was little. Yep, no clue who Ted, Christine, or Mr. Earnst are. Blasphemy.
Proof enough? You tell me.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I just finished watching the Inauguration kick-off concert and it has evoked a mixture of emotions in response. Immense pride, anticipation, curiosity, disappointment, skepticism, and hope.
Pride: Pride in my country for uniting under an umbrella of support and excitement, not allowing tragedy or disparity to be the only events which draw us together. Pride that racial barriers continue to crumble. Pride that a huge population of this country have finally realized the dream of being represented by a man who has known their racial struggle, not just empathized with it. Pride that our country may once again be seen by those who haven't agreed with us as leaders in something good.
Anticipation: This past election cycle lasted and lasted... It seems that Obama's presidency has been a long time coming. For all of the promises and expectations, which will he fulfill? Which won't he? We've heard his speeches, we've heard the rhetoric. What will actually come of his leadership? On some promises, I hope he follows through; on others, I hope he does not. I am interested to see.
Curiosity: I watch this crowd of millions on the Mall and wonder how long this unity will last. Will it fade with the emotions when the reality of a country trying to overcome difficult times settles back in? Will the unity of experiencing history fade as everyone falls back into their divisions, just as many did in the mere months following 9/11? Will it fade as Obama begins to make real decisions, hard decisions, ones where no one wins? Or will we support him, try to understand him, even in times when we don't agree? I hope it is the latter.
Disappointment: What a difference it makes when a country supports their President. What a difference it makes when celebrities, media, and everyday people choose to see a man's good intentions and forgive him his faults. I don't suggest our current administration is faultless or that we shouldn't question our government, but I am truly disappointed in the huge sect of the country who never accepted George Bush as their president, and who have failed to acknowledge his sincere intentions to keep us safe, regardless of the failures and difficulties that resulted. I am disappointed that many can find no good in a good man who made hard decisions, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Disappointed that many fail to understand the difference between disagreeing and disrespecting. I respect President-elect Obama and only wish my counterparts had done similarly for President Bush. What a difference it makes when a President has the respect of his country.
The term "American renewal" was used this afternoon and I was disappointed to hear it. I believe the election of a black president contributes to America's greatness. But to say we are now renewed or restored because of this election suggests that we were once finished, dead, destroyed. Our country has faced tragedies and decisions that many of our younger generations have never faced. Because the world, or even our own citizens, disagree does not negate what America has tried to stand for and has stood for since the ground was lain by our Founding Fathers. We are not renewed, we are bettered.
Skepticism: Since the election results came in, I've continually needed to remind myself that this ongoing celebration is not over the failure of one candidate or one party, but the celebration of the first black president, the celebration of a people once beaten, abused, and enslaved, now fully empowered, many fully realizing for the first time the limitless world of opportunities that await them. But from a few, I sense some "ninny, ninny, boo boo," thumb in your face, celebrations of a party's failure that are done under the guise of celebrating a moment in history. I am skeptical of the sincerity of the revelry of only handful of those cheerleaders (who will remain nameless), but skeptical nonetheless. To better summarize my thoughts, how much of this is really about Obama, the first black president, and how much of this is about Obama, the Democrat who took back the presidency, the one who finally beat the Republicans, the one who will finally replace Bush? I know, this may rub a few the wrong way, to question the excitement of some in this time in history, but it does occasionally cross my mind. Just being honest.
Hope: No, not hope in Obama. Not hope in our government. Not hope in my country. My faith, my sense of security, my hope lies in Christ Jesus. I hope that through my leaders, government, and fellow citizens God will work and will restore His people, that we will look only to Him to heal our disunity. No, I don't hope for theocracy, I just long for people to understand that while we lay our trust and hope in man, we will continue to be disappointed and divided. I want less hope in Obama and more hope in Him. I truly hope that our country is better off in the coming years. I hope that our standing in the world is redeemed. I hope we learn from our past and present troubles. I wish my president well and pray for his success, but my hope is in the name of the Lord.
I hope this wasn't too controversial (if Tyler ever runs for office, he will probably make me delete this. :)). It was my intention to respectfully convey and document my opinions and emotions during this time of history, not to offend or disgruntle. My best to you both, President Bush and President-elect Obama.
(Side note: I realize my posts have been quite lengthy lately. I intend to cut back, but didn't feel this was the right topic with which to start!)
Update: I missed the beginning of the concert, just watched it, and have a new emotion: annoyed. Denzel Washington, who I adore, made a statement congratulating those who campaigned and voted for Obama because they achieved a government that is "truly" by the people and for people. Perhaps I'm being too sensitive, but I read between the lines and hear him suggest that had the majority vote gone to anyone else, it would not have been a government by the people or for the people. That annoys me, offends me, and is the kind of statement that divides people. I believe we can all celebrate a new president and a turning point in history without being divisive. There are two major parties and but one president. Every few years, a new leader will be elected. One party wins, one loses. To ever suggest that one party only truly represents the voice and attitude of Americans, that only true democracy exists when your candidate wins, displays flawed reasoning and poor sportsmanship. Those kinds of statements and insinuations annoy me to no end. Overall, it was a great concert, but it had it's moments. And I do love Denzel...
Friday, January 16, 2009
It's called... Hurricane 4 million people.
The Washington, DC area is on lock down. Literally. For the next four days (at least), Tyler and I are lying low. We're grocery shopping like a blizzard's coming, stocking up on Blockbuster rentals, and not leaving the house. I would LOVE to take part in the inaugural events but the mayhem that's ensuing has changed my mind. History's still going to happen, we'll just be watching from the couch.
Every night on the news, there's some new controversy on what streets will be open and confusion on where you can cross the street. Practice parade runs have failed. The police department doesn't know what's going on, the city council knows less. The city as been declared to be in a state of national emergency and miles of barricades are set up everywhere. 5,000 policemen will be on patrol, 7,000 National Guardsmen are coming in, and there's one port-a-potty per every 5,000 people. Businesses are being shut down without warning, hotel and B&B owners are upset because some guests won't even be able to get to the hotel, you have to show ID to come and go from your own apartment, and to top it all off, the city council has decided it's a good idea to keep bars open 24 hours a day for four days straight. Throw in the notoriously bad weather of DC in January and you've got yourself one heck of a party. And what's helpful in a time of chaos, confusion, bad weather, and celebration? That's right reader: lots and lots of alcohol. News reports estimate it will be like the 4th of July ten times over...and I've done 4th of July on the National Mall. It's no walk in the park.
All of the bridges are also being shut down, as well as most of the surrounding interstates (in case you're not up to snuff on the geography of DC, it's surrounded by water on three sides.). The only direct way in from Virginia is by bridge. So if you want to enter the city, you have to either drive up and around through Maryland or take the metro in. But the metro can barely handle a Nat's game.
I hate that this is my first inauguration (and a history making one at that) and I'm not willing to go, but every night the news further confirms my decision. We're going to a friend's house to have an Inauguration Brunch, so at least we're celebrating! My refusal to attend is not a political statement, merely an act of self-preservation. So, if you're sad you can't make it, don't be. Snuggle up and watch on the couch like the rest of the locals. And if you ARE going, I wish you luck, you crazy, freezing people! Don't forget to pack your adult diapers.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
1. I SWEAR, I'm moving on from Christmas... But I was cleaning off my DVR this week and watched a Dr. Phil from before Christmas about people who take the holiday to extremes and people were talking about the worst Christmas gifts they'd ever received. This one guest gave her 30-year old daughter HER UMBILICAL CORD inside of clear plastic Christmas ornament and her son their old CREMATED FAMILY DOG. I laughed. Hysterically. Who does that?? Another audience member claimed she'd received a ceramic vase for Christmas in which to keep her ashes after she died. Another, a fruitcake from her neighbor that was half-eaten. Where do these people come from??
2. The college football season is over as of Thursday, but I'm just not as sad as I usually am. I know Georgia doesn't win the national championship every year or anything, but for whatever reason, I was SUPER disappointed in my team this year. Heartbreakers, those Bulldawgs.
3. Stafford and Moreno left for the draft. I wasn't shocked, but I wasn't fully prepared for it. My opinion? They're not true Bulldawgs... Green and Pollock stayed all four years, these guys should've. Stafford gets more leeway from me than Moreno. As much hype as Moreno received, he played A SEASON AND A HALF of college football. He might be awesome in the NCAA, but I'm not sure a season and a half is enough time to prepare a 21 year old for the NFL. I sincerely hope they do well and represent Georgia, but I'm a skeptic. All I have to say is: Musa Smith.
4. The Braves didn't re-sign John Smoltz after 22 seasons with them. ARE YOU KIDDING?? Disappointing week for me in the wide world of sports.
5. Resolutions are going well, but I still have many things to get done before I start school on Monday. Most of them falling under the "Get Organized" category, which I will write more on later.
6. The Florida Gators are the national champions. I know, as a resident fan of the SEC that I should be pleased, but it's Florida. Ugh. And Tim Tebow. I know he's a good guys. I used to say, "I hate it that Tim Tebow's such a good guy, because I just want to hate him...but I can't." That's slowly changing. I don't know what it is. I respect his faith and find him to be a sincere person, but... it's just not as hard for me to not like him as it used to be. I get kind of a cocky vibe from him on the side lines (and the whole let's-run-up-the-score-on-everyone-we play-even-when-it's-the-fourth-quarter-and-we're-beating-them-54-3 kind of thing). Everyone has their faults and for all of the Tim Tebow worshipping the commentators do, it'd be hard not to have a bit of an ego. But did anyone HEAR the commentators in Thursdays game? Give me a break. And then that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Tebow confirmed it all. I hate that gator chomp. H-A-T-E it.
7. My little brother Casey is now eight. Hard to believe. I still have voice mails saved on my phone from when he was three and four... Now he's a big ol' second grader. I'm heading west next month and I'll get to spend a few days in Arizona with my brothers, Dad, and stepmom. I can't wait.
8. I went to the fabric store this week to try to find fabric for different projects I have in mind, but I was a little overwhelmed, left empty handed, and think I'm now scared of sewing... Looks like I'll have to watch the free DVD from Martha Stewart to summon up the courage...
9. It's now 2009. Do you know what that means? I can now say, "I'm graduating from PT school next year," or "I'll have my doctorate next year," or "I'll have a paycheck next year," or "I'll never have to go to school ever again after next year," or "That's DOCTOR Grassmeyer to you" or best yet... "We're going to Italy next year!" I'm excited for everything that's in store for 2009, but 2010...that'll be a good year.
I was going to try to bring the count to 10, but... You just can't make things come to be that aren't. So, those are my thoughts for the week... Thanks for reading, readers!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
So, for all you automobile afficianados, is my car a) normal, b) fancy, or c) mis-wired?
So here are the resolutions in a nutshell:
1. Get healthy.
2. Get organized.
3. Live on a budget.
Today's topic: Get healthy
When it comes to exercise and nutrition because of my degree and current schooling, I know a lot. All day, everyday for four years I learned about the body, the role exercise plays in essentially every function of our bodies. I took several nutrition classes. In my DPT, I've learned literally every bone and muscle in the body. I have seen, smelled, and removed pounds and pounds of fat from the human body. It is disgusting. You'd think by now I'd be some fitness, health nut. I'd have it down. But I don't...obviously...
I know what to eat and what not to eat and usually I'm pretty good at sticking to it. I'm ready to take it up a notch though. There are tasty treats I eat that aren't necessarily nutritious, but are were low cal. Things I sort of "get by" on. And I'm ready to replace them without feeling deprived (Side note: if you're kicking off a new eating plan, I think it is ridiculous when people expect themselves to go from eating hamburgers to tomatos and cottage cheese. Give me a break. Find what you normally eat in a healthier version, and eat it in smaller portions). For me, this means cutting out my fat free pringles for lunch and possibly my 100 calorie cookie packs. With my daily turkey sandwhiches, instead of my pringles, I need to start eating fruit. Handfuls of antioxidant rich blueberries maybe? With my yogurt in the morning, I'll start stirring in ground flaxseed. And I started this last semester-- baby carrots. I love to eat. My mouth just likes to chew things up. So when I'm at school all day and forget to pack a lunch or just end up staying longer than planned, I pull out my trusty carrots and can eat as many as I want. As long as my hand is continually moving to my mouth, I'm okay. This way, by the time I get home, I'm not so hungry that I want to just pullover at Micky D's on my way home... I've also been eating a small box of raisins after lunch because I absolutely have to have something sweet at the end of my meals.
There are so many things you need in your diet (antioxidants, omega 3s, protein) and I don't have enough room to eat my usual stuff and STILL get in all of the nutrients I need. And if your body is getting it's nutrients, it won't keep craving more food. Your body craves what it needs, so even if you eat 2,000 calories worth of junk, you'll still be hungry because you haven't yet gotten what your body needs.
Something else to tackle. Lean Cuisines. Tyler and I are both busy and want to stay healthy, so our regular habit is to have LCs for most dinners with a sides of veggies. And they're good! Believe me, if Tyler will eat it... We usually buy the pasta ones (Chicken Carbonara is our fave, Shrimp & Angel Hair pasta, the lasagnas, etc...) and have green beans or peas from a can and it's actually quite filling! It's easy, it's fast, it's yummy, and a better alternative to fast food, which we don't do. But I think it's now time... Green beans from a can don't cut it. And frozen dinners won't either. I'm going to try to only buy fresh veggies-- green beans, broccoli, squash, beans. And we're going to try to only do ONE LC meal per week. As long as we plan our meals ahead of time and decide who cooks on what night (more on this in my Get Organized goal), we should be able to do it. Fresh chicken breasts, salads, salmon. I don't use butter or oil when I cook. I use Pam and lots of herbs and seasonings.
It is also a rule that we eat healthy Monday through Friday (for me this also includes no alcohol, which usually isn't a problem). Saturday and Sunday are free game (within reason). It's easier to stick to healthy eating during the week if you're allowed to indulge every once in awhile. And I NEVER, ever skip dessert. Maybe I'll list some of my recipes and dessert ideas later. And I WELCOME your own ideas. Having more meal options makes it easier to stick to, but it can be hard to be creative.
Last step: exercise. Tyler and I started a plan where we each have to work out 21 times per month. This is at least five days a week, but still allows ample breaks (9-10 days off at your choice). Exercise is at least 30 minutes of cardio. Most days we'll do 60, but some days you just can't do it... Simply walking for 30 minutes a day completely changes your mortality and disease risk, so if that's all you can do, DO IT. We're also lifting more weights. I usually get too focused on cardio because my goal is weight loss, but lifting weights (though you think will make you bigger) increases your muscle mass, which increases your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn fat more easily... We have a chart in our closet with a column for each of us that lists out 21 days. In it, we track how long our workout was, how far we walked, ran, or eliptical'd, how many calories we burned, and what weights we did. There are five bonus days listed in case either of us gets particularly motivated. We're trying to think of a punishment/reward system in the case that we don't meet our 21 days or do exceed the 21 days, to keep us motivated. The chart is in our closet so we see it every morning and every night...
So, there it is. The get healthy portion of my New Year's resolutions. So far, so good.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
"If grief is a feeling of loss, then December 26th is a day when I feel grief. The few radio stations that carried quality Christmas music the 25th drop it the 26th. TV shows Christmas trees going to recycling stations and shoppers reverting to their consumer addiction. It’s the world pressuring me, “Get on with it; get over the Baby!”So this day, Epiphany, helps me deal with the grief. In eastern Christianity January 6th is the day Christ’s coming is celebrated. For western traditions today recalls the story of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) and reminds us that Christ not only came for Jews but also for Gentiles, which includes me and probably you. But that’s not why I value Epiphany. As a kid I was impressed that our church left its two huge Christmas trees up several weeks into January. The reason was…and still is…that Epiphany is more than a day; it’s a season designed to continue Christmas. Through Scripture and hymns the Epiphany season plays out the ramifications of the Savior’s coming for our lives. So I protest our culture telling me to get over the Baby. Our tree and decorations are defiantly still up."
“Now, though daily Earth’s deep sadness may perplex us and distress us, yet with heavenly joy You bless us!” (Philiipp Nicolai)