Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Am I blue?

I was going to write a nice long post with lots of pithy observations about life, the universe, and everything, and about how I’m much more normal today.  Then of course, everyone on earth had to point out every mistake I ever made after I missed a deadline by an hour and got chewed out for it.  And the person the report was for didn’t even get in until an hour after I completed it.  Oh, and I basically had it driven home again that I’m not an important part of the team when a major issue arose and I couldn’t do anything to help, but of course it was my fault the stupid tools were wrong even though I never use them and was never taught what the numbers mean and even though they’ve apparently been wrong for about a year and nobody has pointed it out.

Oh, and I think the professor took the opportunity my decision not to renew my e-harmony membership presented and has decided to stop talking to me.  Sigh.

So instead, I’m just going to say that today sucks, yet again.  Maybe I’ll feel better about things somewhere else down the line.   Then again, life from the cab of a big rig is looking pretty sweet right now…

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Life More Ordinary

If you are looking for a campaign update, it will be delayed a little. I feel that I need to address the hot-button political issues of the week (immigration and Medicare for this past week), but they changed the dosage of my thyroid medication on Friday, and that always makes my brain work too fast and upsets my stomach. It's hard to be political when you feel like that.

Anyhow, I have other stuff to write about.

I was driving to the store this evening when "This American Life" came on NPR. I think it must have been the first ever episode because it was called something else, and Ira Glass said something about launching a new show. But that part really isn't important to the story.

The first piece was about a photojournalist who had a conversion experience when he was in the Holy Land to photograph Passover/Easter. He said that as he stood in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and looked out over some tombs, he had this sudden belief that Jesus really did die and rise agian. Well, needless to say, a revalation like that needs some time to be processed. He said that as he lay in his bed a the hostel where he was staying, he felt...well, he didn't really have a concrete description of what it was, but he knew that he had to live his life as if he had only six months left to live.

Well, he began by spending more time with his parents. He then put all his affairs in order, wrote his will, and anonymously gave his friends all the money he had in savings. He also bicycled across country to visit his siblings. He wrote letters to people he felt he wronged apologizing for what he did.

His six months were up on Halloween. He was at his parent's house that night, and he said what he remembers is how pleasant their conversation was. It wasn't about anything in particular, it was just...pleasant to be with people he loved, to share that small initmacy. He handed out candy to trick-or-treaters, and went to bed, fully expecting it to be his last night on earth.

When he woke up the next morning...well, he was really broken up as he was relating it on the radio, but the long and the shot of it was that he felt he had his whole life given back to him.

Well, he concluded his piece by saying that as he processed this experience over the years (he was telling the story 20 years later, and he had never actually told anyone the story before), he tried to place the experience into a religious context. His first instinct was to say he was born again, but in the common usage of that term, it didn't really fit. He wasn't suddenly "on fire for Christ," as someone at an evangelical church might expect when hearing that.

Despite the common connotation of that phrase, he concluded that he truly had been born again, but he said that he had been "born again into the ordinary."

Now you may be asking yourself why I just retold this long story, when you could just go the website and listen to the podcast (and I'm too lazy to find the link). And there's a really good reason.

Today at church we had a baptism. I've written before how much I like the way that Sacrament is celebrated in the Lutheran church, so I'm not going to bore you with that (you can search through the archive if you are interested, though). There wasn't anything special about it, just an ordinary baptism (though the hymn after the rite was amazing, and if I'm ever lucky enough to have kids, I want it sung at their baptism. Heck, I want it sung at my wedding - if the Professor and I ever get that far).

There were also more people in church than usual, again for no special reason. In fact, there was nothing remarkable about the whole service.

But at the passing of the peace, which my congregation does in a big way, I felt something. I dind't have the words for it until I heard that piece on the radio. I had an experience of the joy of the ordinary. I looked around the church and watch people wish each other peace with handsakes and hugs. People walked all over the chruch just to exchange that simple symbol. And it didn't matter if the person was of a different race, or was homeless, or gay, or whatever. There was a genuine sincerity in that ordinary greeting.

I think that that is maybe why the longest season in the church year is ordinary time. When you think about it, Christ spent most of his life in the ordinary. Even in his public ministry, much of His teaching, healing, and other miracles took place in the context of the ordinary (like the wedding at Cana). The ordinary is the stuff that life is made of.

But how easy is it to overlook that? We want to see the big dramatic signs. We want to see walking on water, and water into wine, and the casting out of demons. But that isn't where Jesus is.

Jesus is in the baby who just discovered that if he pulls on his shoelace, it makes his foot move. Jesus is in that guy you stopped to help when he ran out of gas. Jesus is in the old lady slowly pushing her cart down the middle of the aisle, blocking everyone else. Jesus is even in that jerk who cut you off in traffic.

Jesus is all around us ever day, in everyday things. But so often, we are too busy to see Him. Maybe we should all live as though our time is short. Maybe then we will learn to lvoe the ordinary.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


TG just told me that a guy I went to college with, a guy I in fact shared a home with for a year, committed suicide.  He was a priest and he hanged himself in his church’s rectory.  I’m in shock.

J was a good guy.  He would debate anyone on just about any subject.  He loved to play racquetball.  The only thing he was capable of cooking was canned soup and canned hash and canned stew.  He pretty much lived on that and the kindness of others his year in the house.

J was a very devout, very traditional Catholic.  He was also a political conservative.  He would engage anyone who was willing (and some who were not) in rigorous discussion and debate on any subject you can imagine.  I seldom agreed with his viewpoint, but I admired the logic and zealousness with which he defended it.

J had an intellectual sense of humor that I appreciated.  Nevertheless, he could sit in front of the TV with us on Saturday night laughing at the broad comedy of SNL.  He had an easy laugh, and went to happy hour with his friends every Friday night.

J was also amazingly driven.  He had a double major in Math and Philosophy.  He worked hard in school, and he worked hard for anything he cared about, especially the anti-abortion movement.

J…was a friend.  I may have lost touch with him over the years, but I thought about him and prayed for him often.  He will be missed.

If you happen upon this blog, please pray for his family.  This is the second child they have lost now.  I can’t imagine how his parents are coping.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

...And I, I Took the Path...

You know what my problem is?  I’m pent up.  

Get your minds out of the gutter, folks.  That’s not what I mean.

(though truth be told – that applies, too)

No, my creative energies are just sitting somewhere in the vicinity of my stomach with nowhere to go.  That’s what I blame for the heartburn I’ve had the past couple weeks or so.

What about the Great American Novel, you ask?  The Great American Novel is stuck in outlining limbo.  The previous structure didn’t work because I ended up with way, way too much narration in the form of flashbacks, which is annoying.  The new structure works better, but I’m just not very interested in it.  And yes, in this particular case, I have to outline, or I’m going to end up writing a book as long as an unabridged dictionary.

Add to that the fact that I haven’t been given anything even remotely interesting or creative to do at work lately.  I love the people I work with, and I love my job in theory, but in practice I’m not too crazy about it lately.  Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to the wall when I’m talking to my boss.  I know she is crazy busy right now, and I know she is stressed, etc.  But it would be nice to know that she acknowledges my existence when I speak.

Sometimes I just want to give up on everything.  I want to chuck it all and learn to drive the big rigs.  I’d be wasting my $70,000 education, you say?  Bah, who cares?  I’m not exactly using it now.  I’m the only person in this department with the ability to write well and effectively.  Do they take advantage of that skill?  No.  And it grates on me when I have to put together a presentation binder with an executive summary that isn’t perfect.  Oh, the people who will be seeing it probably wouldn’t know that it isn’t perfect.  When I told my boss once that she lacked parallel structure in something she wrote, she said, “What’s that?”  I told her once that she had pronouns that lacked antecedents.  She didn’t know what that meant either, and she didn’t make the correction.  And the big boss, in doing a presentation in which she was talking about a saturation marketing campaign wrote on a slide that it was a “Gorilla” marketing campaign instead of a “Guerilla” marketing campaign.  I think I was the only one who realized the mistake, and it drove me crazy.

What is the point of all this?  I’m not sure.  I dreamed the other night that my toes were falling off.  When I looked up the symbolism of missing toes on a dream site on the ‘net, it said that it meant that I was following the wrong path.  In fact, several sites said that.

If I’m following the wrong path, doesn’t that mean that somewhere there is a right one?  Why isn’t it marked?  

I feel like I’m wandering around looking for giants’ thumbs.  And if you don’t know what that means, ask and I’ll share.  At least I’ll get to tell a story.


Sometimes, I wish I were someone else.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I’m generally not horribly discontent with my life.  I usually like my job, even when I’m in a downswing.  I don’t hate my apartment, or my car, or any other possessions.  I have the Professor to write to.

But sometimes I want to be a different person.  I want to be someone who is chronically chipper.  I don’t want to have random crying jags at my desk like I am this afternoon.  I want to be successful and pretty and financially comfortable.

Instead, I’m me.  And no matter how much I may want to, I can’t change that, even for a little while.

That sucks.


Despite the successful kick-off of my presidential campaign, I find that I am sad.  I don’t really know why, except that I seem to have hit a lull at work and feel like I’m not being utilized as fully as I could be.

Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that I haven’t been taking my thyroid medicine regularly.  I can’t get my prescription filled until Friday (I’m poor, and the antibiotics cost me an arm and a leg), so I’ve been rationing it for the last two weeks.  Every three days is not a good thing.


Friday, May 12, 2006


OK. As I've worked on preparing the special announcement tonight, I watched Legally Blonde 2. And I liked it. Almost as much as I liked Legally Blonde.


My name is Sheryl, and I enjoy chick flicks and light romantic comedies.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Atencion, Por Favor

The big announcement scheduled for Friday will now take place on Saturday. I had that abscess drained yesterday, and I'm feeling less than wonderful today, so I doubt that I will be able to pull together what I need to pull together to make the announcement by Friday.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Oh, and Professor ND and I are in open communication now. Yay!

Monday, May 08, 2006

So, two antibiotics for my current abscess. I go see a surgeon Wednesday to see if it needs to be drained.



Yay! Professor ND replied! And his answers were wonderful. And I think he knows we are meant to be together. I'm waiting to be swept off my feet now.

Yes, Tim, I do have a healthy fantasy life.

Did I mention that I picked out a wedding dress this weekend?

Oh, and TG? The Dictator needs to meet Biker Boy, my friend's three year old. He's going to be all grown up when he's five and gets his "new teeth."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Alphabet MeMe

Seen it a few places, but this version is from LutherPunk (and yes, if I ever replace my sidebar, I will add him, too)

Accent: Basically midwestern, with a little bit of Pittsburgh, a little bit of northeast, and a little bit of Louisiana thrown in.

Booze: White wine. Riesling is my favorite.

Chore I Hate: Dishes. And windows. Oh, and laundry. And did I mention vacuuming? And I can't forget taking the garbage to the dumpster. I think not having to do that is reason enough to get married.

Dog or Cat: Allergic to both, though I had dogs when I was little, and prefer them to cats.

Essential Electronics: Computer, TV. I'm a pretty simple person.

Favorite Cologne(s): I don’t wear perfume or cologne very often because all the kinds I like, I can't afford. Plus, oxygen irritates my skin lately, so I don't want to risk yet another foreighn substance.

Gold or Silver: Silver.

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Insomnia: Occasionally, though not too bad of late.

Job Title: Project Manager

Kids: None, though my biological clock is not only ticking, but the alarm is starting to go off.

Living arrangements: 450 square foot apartment near the campus of a major university.

Most admirable trait: empathy
Least admirable trait (added): procrastination and pessimism

Number of sexual partners: I don’t think I'll be answering this one, so I'll substitute...
Number of cars in your lifetime: Seven

Overnight hospital stays: None, except for my birth.

Phobias: Balconies, dying alone and being found days later with dead fish and little fish hats all around me (see dog/cat question).

Quote: Glory be to God for dappled things! (from the poem Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Religion: Lutheran, but I grew up Roman Catholic.

Siblings: None, but my parents lost a son before me, and had a miscarriage before me and one after me.

Time I wake up: Well, I should get up at 7, but reality is more like 7:45 or 8.

Unusual talent or skill: My mind is a vast warehouse of useless information like the starting lineup of the '79 Pirates and sitcom theme songs.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Cauliflower. I have never, ever liked it, and my parents used to make me eat it.

Worst habit: Picking at the skin around my cuticles

X-rays: Lots. Feet and ankles, mostly, but also hands, chest, and a couple contrast X-rays of my digestive system.

Yummy foods I make: Warm Chicken Salad.

Zodiac sign: Taurus (my birthday is on the 13th).

Friday, May 05, 2006


North Dakota professor finally responded to me! Maybe I don't repulse him. Maybe he has come to realize that it is our desitiny to be united in holy matrimony and to bring pale, blonde children into the world.

Or maybe he just felt sorry for me and is responding out of pity.

Who cares? It gives me a chance to indulge my fantasy life for a little while.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quick Update...

  • That broken tooth just lost a filling and I can't get a dentist appt. until May 22. That stinks.
  • I'm truly madly deeply in love with a college professor in North Dakota that I know virtually nothing about and who knows nothing about me. Got you wondering on that one, huh?
  • I think I have another abscess. I'm hoping it gets better and doesn't need to be drained - it's in a place I'd rather not have packed.
  • I restarted my novel this past weekend. Still the same plot and title, entirely different structure. The title now doesn't make sense until the last third of the book, but that's OK. This structure works much better from a narrative perspective.
  • My car's noises seem to have been caused by low power steering fluid and low brake fluid. Added both this weekend and it's much better.
  • I think when I see my doctor in July, I may see about getting off the antidepressants. I can't find a time to take them when they don't interfere in my life somehow. Of course, not being anxious about everything under the sun and crying every two minutes has been nice too...
  • Make sure you come visit me next Friday (5/12). I have an important announcement to make.