Monday, July 30, 2007

I Have A New Little Friend

And I call her "Pretty, Pretty Princess." Yes, some of you may remember when I got my first Blackberry, and then again when I got the Pearl/8100... but today I was upgraded to Princess. She is the creme de la creme. She's a pretty, pretty red - and I love her.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekends Are Too Short

Well, I've spent countless hours and over $85 on supplies, but I've managed to create 24 greeting cards this weekend. To those of you who don't craft, that may not seem like a big number, but trust me, it is. (Side note: Is there a way to buy mono adhesive in bulk? I've gone through 6 in two days...)

[Sample card made today shown above.]

I bought an album, too - but what I'll do with it I have no idea. Marie - what exactly is a circle journal? Can my album be a group thing? I can easily manage a blog that is all about me, but an album all about me seems a bit narcissistic. What do people scrapbook about when they don't have kids or travel?

Although the purpose of this weekend was to have some quality 'me' time, I fear that I've relaxed too much. I have to go back to work tomorrow, after all, and I'm more in the mood to watch movies and eat popcorn than work. That's the life of a grown up, I suppose. The goal is to more properly balance work and 'me' time - perhaps better than I've done in the last few months. I've allowed myself to get too absorbed in work, and as rewarding as it is for me, I need a better sense of balance.

So, I'm off to clean up my mess and get myself ready for tomorrow morning. Hopefully, I can lay on the couch and enjoy TV before bed if I work quickly and efficiently. I'll try to have some fun and exciting 'single girl' stories for you all later in the week. ;)

Creativity Galore

Creativity was seeping from my pores today. Finally...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All in a Morning's Work

I am crafting today. I haven't crafted in well over a year, and the lack of a proper creative outlet has been wearing on me. I'm in lazy clothes, watching lots of tv, and sitting on the floor of my living room among papers, glues, inks and eyelets.

My living room is a mess, but my soul is in order.

The Dangers of Internet Dating

Thursday, July 26, 2007

** Fantasy Big Brother 8 Draft Results **

So here are the results of our Fantasy Big Brother Draft. The houseguests not chosen are placed in the pool. FBB8 players can choose houseguests from the pool if one of our chosen draftees is voted out.




The Pool

Let the games begin, baby!

** Fantasy Big Brother 8 Begins! **

So it looks like John has decided not to join our Fantasy BB8 competition this year - John - shameful! It's obvious that with three whole players in our BB8 league we are a game in demand. Haha!

A summary of this last week:
Dick wins Head of Household.
Dick nominates Jen and Kail.
Jen wins the Power of Veto.
Dick places Mike on the chopping block.
Mike gets booted.
Dustin wins the new Head of Household.

So here we are. The chemistry between the houseguests is so odd this season. Last year I had clear favorites - and I had confidence (although flawed) that they could win. This year? I just don't know. It's an interesting bunch of folks, and with no clear leaders, it will be interesting how my fellow fantasy players draft. With Joh's exit, we each get three players, so the draft order will be: S-C-R-R-C-S-S-C-R.

So, Sandi... you're up!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sounds Like?

Dumb teen: Hey, look at this! It says "Train for jobs in biotch."
Smarter teen: Fool! That word is biotech. Why you gotta be ignorant all your life?

Compliments of Overheard in New York.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Aaaahhhh, funny.

Giving a BIT to Charm City

Bags in Trees has had some more press lately, and it was quite positive. Baltimore 21201 called our copy "clever" and our "images "captivating." What a treat! We're so proud. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

** Fantasy Big Brother 8 Draft Update **

So, yeah... I stayed out at Artscape yesterday and watched Sunday's episode of Big Brother this morning on the Internet as I got ready for work rather than last night. Certainly it's no big surprise that Dick nominated Kail and Jen. And there isn't anything shocking in America's Choice to have Eric kick Jen out of the house either. Overall... a mild episode. I didn't miss very much.

I let down my Fantasy Big Brother 8 players this week, though, because my lazy butt didn't get on the ball and start the draft. My apologies to you guys - work is really kicking my tush right now. I've worked every day for 15 straight days, so I'm distracted, but I won't let you down again. So here is the order of our draft starting Thursday night, courtesy of

What does this mean? With 11 people left after this Thursday's show, we will each claim two houseguests during the draft. In order of the list above, please post your draft pick as a comment to my Thursday night blog post. Once each of us has drafted one houseguest, we will reverse the draft order with Richie going first, then John, etc. to choose the last four houseguests. We will do this until 8 houseguests are drafted.

Note: The undrafted houseguests will be placed into the 'pool' from which the Fantasy BB8 players can choose after our selected houseguests are eliminated. (For a full list of rules, please click HERE.)

So you all ready? Richie? Sandi? John? "Hey batter, batter, batter...."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Artscape: What A Day (Updated!)

My feet hurt. Oh my. But what a day.

My girlfriend Katie picked me up early, and we headed to Artscape with her little sister and friends in tow. The kids were really sweet, and they got a kick out of the ferris wheel and kids' activities. After some walking around, Danielle showed up, and we checked out some of the vendors before realizing that Brian [Brian Sacawa] was scheduled to play a few blocks away. Katie had to leave us (sorry, Katie!), but she's so cool for doing what she does. I don't think I'd have the patience to be a 'big sister.'

After we said goodbye to Katie, we headed over to see Brian play. Danielle and I ran into JWER totally unexpectedly, and then Angie and Donna showed up. But before we could see Brian, we decided to get a bite to eat. At Dionysus (AKA Dionysus Restaurant & Lounge), we had HORRIBLE service. We waited fifty-five minutes for our food to be done, and (to be honest), I walked out before it arrived. I politely informed the bartender that I was leaving and that I didn't feel my friends should be responsible for the food I ordered (did I mention it took 55 minutes??). They all stayed to wait for the food, and I went to see Brian blow some tunes. As it turns out, after I left they messed up Danielle's order, too. I don't think we'll be going back there anytime soon, and I wouldn't recommend it to any of you either.

Back to Brian... Believe it or not, I've never seen him play live, which is weird since we've been friends for a year now, so it was a real treat to see him and theHybrid Groove Project. His stuff is really contemporary compared to what most people expect from a saxophone. I highly recommend it if you have a chance to see him play. I'll definitely take him up on his offer to see him at his next CD release party... I'm sorry I missed the last one.

So we had tons of fun (and a delicious gyro because I walked out on my food earlier). I bought this GORGEOUS handbag designed and sewn by Miyasol (see photo right), and a print by Robert Jones. (I bought the photo that shows up first when his web site loads - the one of the single tree.) We didn't leave until after 8 pm... and I came home and soaked my poor feet in the tub.

Here I am FINALLY eating... gyros are dee-lish-ous.

Here's a group snapshot of us gals, courtesy of JWER's photo skillz.

What a day. What a cool day. I'm so not looking forward to wearing heels tomorrow...

Weekend To Do List

Today's list is boring. I feel boring today. Hopefully Artscape this afternoon will make me feel more interesting. I feel dull. Ah well... this morning: I clean.

1. Tan with CJ - Done
2. Work on work - In progress (always)
3. Laundry - Done
4. Iron work shirts - Done
5. Put away clothes - Delayed
6. Vacuum - Done
7. Artscape - Done
8. Cook for lunches - Delayed
9. Clean cat box - Done
10. Trash out - Done
11. Go through dog toys - Done
12. Watch Netflix movies - Done
13. Clean balcony - Done
14. Transfer remaining CDs - In progress
15. Go through mail - Delayed
16. Clean medicine drawer - Done
17. Organize bookshelf - Delayed
18. Clean kitchen - Half done
19. Launder all blankets - Done

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Elliott Is Weird

Yes, that's the bathtub. Elliott the cat often sits on the edge of the tub when I shower trying to lick the water from the air, but this? This is new. He's laying in the tub after my shower. Deaf cats are so strange.

The Best Intentions

I was going to work last night. I have plenty to do. But I didn't. I went out for one drink that turned into three, and then had two glasses of wine. Dumb. So my heads hurts today, and I have to get some serious work done - but not until tonight because I'm spending the major part of the day with CJ.

Tonight I'll work. I really will. I have to. My plans for Artscape are tomorrow.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Flashback Fridays

In all honesty, I think the contest started as a coloring contest, but I'll tell you what - I'm a mean colorer. My mom is also a a fabulous colorer, so I must have inherited it from her. But the task so many years ago in kindergarten was to color 'Ticky Tooth,' a dental superhero from what I can recall. And I won. :)

I remember that Mrs. Parks, my kindergarten teacher and winner of Akron's Favorite Teacher Award (she was an amazing person), called me out into the hallway during class to tell me I had won. I also remember that I was escorted to the teacher's lounge to take a phone call - was it from my mother? Was it Ticky Tooth? I can't remember. All I know is I went from completely scared for being called out of class, to confused (because when does this ever happen?), to elated. I was only five years old after all.

So after I won, my mom, sister and I attended a luncheon (I think), where I won an actual award and received a prize - an electric toothbrush. I also had my picture taken with Ronald McDonald (see below). I was so proud - how cool is that for five years old??

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Props to John for the Find

All Big Brother Season 8 viewers:

Go to my friend, John's, blog and watch the "What the Buck?" YouTube video. I laughed so hard that I cried. I will definitely be tuning in to this guy for the rest of the season.

He's so funny that he's almost as good as Graham Norton.... not quite... but almost.

My 30th Birthday Photos

These are over a week overdue, so my apologies on getting these posted. I can't include ALL of the photos, so I'll include a few of my favorite photos with people who approved being posted.

This is from dinner - this is Richie, Me, Keith and CJ.

Angie, Me, and Jodi

Me and Jill (IDK my BFF, Jill)

Danielle and I

Angie and I getting our groove on!

Jodi and Angie

The Boys - Wes and Drew at Claddagh Pub.

Me and Wes

Hmmm... I think I was pretty drunk by this point.
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Big Brother 8 Tuesday Update

I wish me head didn't hurt so much. It would've been a lot easier to enjoy Big Brother tonight. Remember those eye drain plug thingers I got a month ago? Yeah... well one of them has been severely irritating my eye, so I went to the doctor and had it taken out today. That sent my headache on a downward spiral, but it didn't start my headache. Work started my headache. Today was crazy. Tomorrow will be crazy. Next week will be crazy. Such a shame, because I love my job.

It's just two weeks...

That all said (and 2 Tylenol PMs later), I did watch Big Brother 8 tonight. Let me just say it again for fun - I can't stand Jen. I'd go on and on, but most BB8 update pages are going to be saying the same thing, so... moving on...

That Danielle is something else. Two vetos in a row. It's cool that she won, but I must admit that strategically, Amber should have won. Why? Because she would have taken off Danielle and saved herself. At the end of the day, Jen didn't put Amber up, but it was a stupid move on Amber's part to give it up so easily. I guess she's playing it safe, though. She's trying not to be a target (although no one would have blamed her except for Jen).

What was great about tonight is that Joe is one step closer to getting kicked out of the house. Other than standing up for Lameka Lakesha Latrecha (what's her name?), he's pretty lame for viewers. He's not even yelling at Dustin anymore, and as ridiculous as that was... at least it was partially entertaining.

Okay, so Joe will go on Thursday, right? And it would be cool if Nick wins HOH, although he won't because he's laying low. What's weird is that Jen probably won't be put up next week. As irritating as she is, she's hardly a threat.

Oh man.... SO - we have four players for Fantasy Big Brother 8: Me, Richie, Sandy and John. Any other takers? Four players makes for decent odds, but five makes for more money. (Ha!) Deadline is 8 PM EST on Thursday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

How 'Bout Them Apples?

I'm back to a size two pant. Hahahaha! I was a comfortable size 4, but all of my work slacks have been loose and baggy the last week or so and it was getting aggrivating. So today at lunch, I went shopping in Hunt Valley and bought myself some presents. I really shouldn't have spent the money, but I am anti-baggy butt. I just can't say it any clearer than that.

I Would Like To Introduce You To...

... my dinner.

Okay, so it's not a boy or a new puppy, but it's almost as delicious. This is brown rice (non-processed), green beans (grilled slightly), and salmon with a tiny bit of garlic butter (mostly garlic). Seriously. Have you seen anything so delicious? I mean, I'm not sitting at a restaurant or anything. I'm looking at this food while I sit at home in a t-shirt and pajama pants. This is like four star restaurant quality!! And oh-so-good.

So I've never been a calorie counter, but my appetite has started causing me some problems the last few days, so I've been counting in my head to keep myself in line. Today's list:

150 Dr Pepper (the first in 3 weeks!)
120 Apple cereal & grain breakfast bar
0 Cucumber snack
270 Lean Cuisine Chicken Lunch
100 Apricot/yogurt snack bar
50 Sunflower seeds

Best guess on the items below:
300 Salmon
80 Butter
40 Green Beans
210 Brown Rice

That's just over 1300 calories (approximately). Not bad! Actually, it's less than that because I didn't finish my dinner (salmon, butter, rice), but that's okay. I'm not a stickler. Haha.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Big Brother 8 - Sunday Update

DAMN THAT JEN. Not only is she one of the most irritating people on TV, but she makes horrendous choices. She nominates Dick out of spite and Danielle out of jealousy. How obvious.

Watching the show you have to wonder if she's really as flighty as she seems. Let me rephrase. Yes, I think she is self-absorbed and self-centered, but is she intelligent at all?. I just can't tell.

My nominations? I'm glad you asked. They would have been Joe and Jessica. They both kinda make me want to peel the skin off of my face. With toothpicks. (Does that seem drastic to you? Hmmmm...)

** FYI. We are still looking for one or two more Fantasy BB players. Right now we have: me, Richie, Sandy, and John. If anyone else wants to get in, make sure you let me know by Wednesday, because we'll start the draft after Thursday's eviction. **

"Everything is Work, Work, Work..."

[Name that movie.]

Well, I have worked my ass of the last few days. After staying late at work on Friday, and after spending four hours at the pool with CJ yesterday, I came home and worked until 2 AM (in front of the TV) yesterday. The issue is that one of my coworkers is leaving for two weeks on vacation, so I wanted to get as caught up as I could on my own projects to prepare for any 'coverage' issues that may come up.

It's too bad... today is going to be super hot and yet it's cloudy, so there won't be any pool time. I might as well stay in and work today too. UGH.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pure Exhaustion

I slept horribly last night. I fell asleep early on the couch only to wake up at 1 AM or so, watch TV a bit, and fail miserable at falling back asleep at 2ish. I had nightmares all night long after that - about crashing cars, crashing planes, aliens - and woke up every hour kind of freaked out and desperate to fall back asleep. It has been a long day.

I finally left work today at 8 PM... and now it's a bit after 9 PM and I'm in PJs on the couch ready to pull a blanket over me, turn out the lights, and fall asleep to the TV.

Tomorrow? Hopefully some pool time with CJ. Tonight? Just this.

** Fantasy Big Brother 8 Draft **

Okay, Richie and I talked at my birthday party, and we are definitely re-instituting the Fantasy Big Brother 8 Draft. For those of you who weren't reading last year, we drafted houseguests after a few weeks of watching the show, and whoever had the winning houseguest at the end of the season won $50 from the other.

This year we want to open the game up to a few more players - ideally five or six. We already have interest from Sandy (you all don't know her - she's Richie's girlfriend), and we are looking for up to three more participants. Check out the rules (written by Richie, but edited by Charissa):

Official Fantasy Big Brother 8 Draft Rules:
1) Either 5 or 6 can play with a $50 entry fee.
2) The draft begins after we've identified all 6 players.
3) Draft order will be determined randomly.
4) Whoever drafts 1st also drafts 10th, 2nd drafts 9th, 3rd drafts 8th, 4th drafts 7th, and 5th gets two picks in a row, also picking at 6. This is called a snake draft.
5) Only two players will be drafted per player.
6) After the first post-draft eviction, the person who owned the evicted player gets to choose an undrafted player. If we have only 5 people in the fantasy league, this will also be the case after the two following evictions, until all unclaimed players are claimed.
7) Last one standing takes all of the cash.
8) Trading is allowed. Charissa must be emailed by both sides to confirm the trade, and she will post it on her blog. Charissa's blog is the authoritative league page (Fantasy BB logos will be immediately accepted for review and approval).
9) Any disputes (We can't imagine there will be any, but who knows what weird twists the BB producers may throw into the show) will be settled by majority vote. In case of a tie, Charissa will flip a coin.

So here we go - first three responders who can agree to the rules above are in for the draft. Ongoing Fantasy Big Brother results will be posted on my blog, so liking me and trusting me to be "fair and balanced" is probably required of you as well.

So... who's in? :)

My Shiny, Shiny Car

My Company is really cool, in that we occasionally have special events at our HQ. Since I've been working there, we've had a retired NASCAR race car come through twice, where we could view the car, check out the trailer, get free stuff, etc. When we had our fiscal anniversary, they planned a picnic lunch for the whole company and an ice cream sundae break in the afternoon. And today, partially to raise money for our charity committee, the Company sponsored car detailing, with partial proceeds going to our charity fund. They do this stuff all of the time, so these are just a few examples, but it's a neat place to work.

Anyway, today's car detailing cost me $125 plus tip, but when I picked up my car at 5 PM, it was the prettiest, shiniest car I'd ever seen. $125 seemed steep for me, possibly because I can be, uh... hmmm... cheap.... but my car really needed cleaned and it was for a good cause, right? The interior is completely wiped clean, but it actually glistens. The carpets and seats were shampooed (water marks on my seats are gone, dad), and the outside just sparkles. I decided immediately that I would quickly write another check for this the next time I need it. No question. It even seems like the car drives better.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Next 30 Years...

True to the rules of The "30" Project, I am going to share 30 goals for myself for the next 30 years. Instead of one a day, which creates a lot of posts, I'll post them over the next few weeks in groups. Many of these are ongoing goals or lifetime goals, and some of them are very new. Thirty is a really big number when you are referring to a list of accomplishments, and although goals are much more open-ended, I am choosing goals which add value to my quality of life. At work we say, "What does success look like?" That's the question I am asking myself here. These goals define success for my life... at least from the vantage point of a youthful 30.

So without further adieu, my first five goals:

1. I want to learn how to drive stick shift. A few friends have tried to teach me, but my timing in life in general has never been spot on, and timing is key when driving a stick shift. Anyone out there who wants to teach me and is willing to risk their gears?
2. I want to own my own home. I've spent the majority of my 20s creating debt and paying it off, so as my finances continue to improve, this is key for me. I love my apartment, it is definitely "home," but I'm itching for some real estate. Too bad Baltimore is so dang expensive.
3. I want to pay off my bills. This was so close a year ago, but with the added cost of my eye surgeries, this has been extended. A year or two more and I should be golden.
4. I want to make a piece of furniture. This sounds dumb, but I want to create something with my hands - something I can use and look at and say, "I made that."
5. I want to lose a few more pounds and maintain a lifestyle that will help me to keep it off. I'll be honest about how far I've come, but first, keep in mind that I'm 4'11", so you are just going to frustrate me if you tell me that I'm not allowed to care about being at a healthy weight. Pounds are relative to height. That said, my heaviest was 116, but I spent a few years at 114. I weighed in this week between 107 and 109, so I've lost as much as 9 pounds, or as little as 5. I am so proud of myself. My goal is 105, so 103-105 variable would be ideal. (Note: 103 is well within "average" for 4'11".)

The "30" Project #30

I am completely capable of throwing a kick ass party.

Wow. Thanks to all of you who came out last night. Photos will be posted in a few days, but I need to collect a number of them from attendees to see exactly what I've got. It was a rocking night - that's for sure. Dinner was so yummy, but I was so excited that it was hard to eat (never good before drinking). I believe it was Jodi who led the table in "Happy Birthday" which was just the absolute coolest thing ever. Yes, I know... I'm easily pleased.

We continued our party across the street where Wes and Drew were playing. Details towards the end of the night are a bit blurry, but Jodi assures me that I wasn't too much of an embarrassment to myself, so I feel confident that my good name has been kept in tact. (Ha!) I am actually rather functional today (and better by the hour), but that is probably because I was sick last night rather than this morning. So far... no headache. :)

There's some strange sort of empowerment in throwing my own 30th birthday party. Over the last thirty days I have taken a good hard (and sometimes silly) look at myself and who I've become. I have to say, whether egotistical or not, that I have turned out relatively well. I am proud of what I've accomplished in my life, and yet when all of those accomplishments are stripped away, I am pretty happy with the person on the inside, too. Life seldom turns out the way you plan it, and I think I've done a pretty good job rolling with the punches.

Over the last month, quite a few people have told me that their thirties were their best years. Life has been pretty good to me so far, and I can only wish that as I grow older my dreams continue to be realized, opportunities continue to present themselves, and health and happiness continue to follow me along my path.

Happy Birthday me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guest Blogging: Charissa's Mom

Happy Birthday Rissa.

It was a good day thirty years ago when you were born. You were so small, my little armful.

I had read before you were born how to make connections with a newborn so I tried it, I looked into your eyes and you looked back, your eyes were locked on mine …… I stuck out my tongue. I did it whenever I held you and you just stared. On the third day though, you copied me, you stuck you tongue out at me. I checked and yes you were mimicking me. Maybe that doesn't sound like much to you but I knew that you were connected. That you were thinking. Three days old and I knew that my baby was going to do well.

Your sister and you have always been the light of my life. You are both so different but have so much in common, it is a delight.

You have always made me very proud. You are strong and determined, kind and have a lot of love to give, you are generous and willing to help a person in need, you are loyal and forgiving, you are smart and funny (funny is good, boring is bad). I could go on my love but I want you to know that your dad and I have always thought you were the bees knees (you like that old expression – from the 1920’s).

I wish you lived closer but it is ok that you are in Baltimore. I love the city too. It was foreshadowed that you would go where you wanted and do what you wanted to do. Determined people can be like that.

You come home as often as you can because you love big.

We miss you, little punk. Have a good birthday.

All my love, mom

Ten on Tuesday: Birthday Edition

1. I am 30 years old today. (Gulp.)
2. What is totally cool is that my mom's birthday was just last week on the 4th of July. HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY, Mom!
3. I am going to work today. Yes, it's my birthday.
4. Big Brother 8 on Sunday was pretty good - but those were some pathetic nominations if I do say so myself. That Joe kid irks me to no end, and although it may be strategy to keep those boys in the house so that they are a constant target, I'd probably have to kill them if I was in the house. Just sayin'...
5. There is an INSANE amount of people coming to dinner tonight. We may just take up the whole second floor up at Mammas.
6. You know what's more insane than the folks coming to dinner? The INSANE amount of people coming out afterwards. I dunno, maybe I'm not very popular, and no one will show, but if even half of the people show that RSVP'd, it will be packed.
7. Did I mention JODI is coming tonight to celebrate with me? She's actually taking a bus to Baltimore to be with us on my birthday. Isn't she crazy awesome?
8. Due to #7 above, I spent my birthday-eve cleaning. I have prepped hangover supplies - you know - on the off off chance I don't feel so well tomorrow...
9. Oh yeah. I took tomorrow off work.
10. I am a lucky girl to have this many friends in my life. I truly am. I'll probably get drunk and tell you all how much I love you later tonight, but I'll take this opportunity to say it now. I have good, loving people around me, and you are all proof that I have done well in life. Thank you so much.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The "30" Project #26, #27, #28, & #29

This is the "30" Project make-up edition... haha. I'm getting more excited about my goals at this point...

#26 I am a crafter/scrapbooker-like paper-crafter.

Or... I do papercrafts. This is actually a really important hobby for me, although my small living conditions don't allow me to have a craft room like Marie does. Well as the story goes, years ago when I was recovering from gallbladder surgery, Marie and BJ showed up at my house with well wishes and presents. One of the presents was a 'get well' card which I learned was handmade by Marie. I was shocked. It was the cutest little card I'd ever seen, and shortly thereafter, Marie had me marathon scrapbooking and car-making right next to her. I hope that in time I will have enough room to craft regularly, but for now i have personal crafting sessions once or twice a year to make birthday cards, holiday cards and handmade invitations.

#27 Stephanie and I are still friends.

Haha! I warned her that I might do this. Stephanie is one of my best friends from college. We are both "A" personalities and extremely competitive. I'm not entirely sure if we liked each other right away or not, but we ended up in many of the same classes in college and eventually learned that, together, we were a pretty mean team. Together we managed to get a lot of excellent grades and we even worked together a few years later, but through it all, we fought like champions on occasion. I am pretty sure Stephanie was the first friend to make me break down and cry, and unfortunately, she did it more than once. But we were young and stubborn and crazy competitive with each other, and even though we've had rough patches, she is a kindred spirit and a very important person in my life.

#28 I can drive backwards.

Seriously. When my dad was teaching me to drive, he made me only drive backwards for hours and hours. We were in the parking lot at the high school, and it has curbs and trees and plenty of obstacles. My dad made me drive in reverse, park, pull out and drive in and out of parking spots backwards. My opinion, of course, is that I am now and excellent driver because of this skill that I have. But of course I'd think that about myself. I'm me. :)

#29 I was the Secretary at Camp Christian.

For seven years in middle school and high school, I attended Camp Christian one week every summer. This experience was one of the best of my life. Although I have many religious and faith questions as I grow older (that's normal, right?), I was raised in a Christian family and church. It was a source of safety and strength for me, and Camp Christian was powerful each and every summer. Our junior year, the seniors nominate and elect three leaders for the next year - a boy-co, girl-co and secretary, who can be a boy or girl. Well, low and behold, even thought I wasn't in the coolest crowd at Camp Christian (yes, there was even a cool crowd there), I was elected secretary. I was so, so happy that summer. It was such an honor, and I will be honored every day of my life to have served. It sounds silly, but it was just that important.

Off To Bed... again

Somehow I go from having very little to do on weekends to having TONS to do. I spent today with CJ at the pool, and I am getting browner and browner by the day (is browner a word?). Then tonight I went out for dinner and some comedy (did you know Damon's has amateur stand up on Sundays?), and here I am going to bed at 1 AM!

Oh my - getting up will be fun tomorrow. I'm a few days behind on my "30" project now, so Monday night will be a catch up night with many posts... mamma mia.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Off To Bed

I spent the afternoon and evening with a group of (mostly) police officers and attorneys. I actually had a really good time, but my head has been on the edge of a headache all day, so I'm heading to bed. Pajamas are on, blankets are in sight.

By the way, did I ever mention that dating is fun?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I'm One of Those Girls...

... who stocks her freezer with Lean Cuisine.

Dear God.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fifty States in Five Minutes

I remembered 48:
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia
New Hampshire
New York
New Jersey
N Carolina
S Carolina
New Mexico
Rhode Island

I forgot:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Brother 8 - Season Premiere!

Oh blessed, blessed summer of Big Brother. Oh how I love thee. I am PUMPED that my favorite show EVER is back on. Pumped!

For those of you that don't know the show, Big Brother, click HERE for some basic background.

So this year there are 15 house guests, and three pairs of them (six people) are enemies who didn't know their enemy was going to be in the house. The pairs are: an estranged daughter/father, two high school enemies, and a couple of gay guys who used to date. The daughter broke out in tears at the sight of her estranged father, so God only knows the history there, and the gay guys were AWFUL to each other from the get-go, airing dirty laundry almost immediately. (The high school girls are boring so far.) So as complicated as it seems, this is all somewhat standard for Big Brother. Two seasons ago, there was a "DNA" theme, where people inside of the house were related to each other and didn't know it.

The cool twist on this season is the "America's Player" house guest. One of the house guests will do as America says (via votes) and for every five tasks he successful completes, he makes $10k. What does this mean? It means that viewers can tell him to cry, fight, or make out with someone and he'll do it. It's CRAZY! And yet... it TOTALLY ROCKS!

Here's the Wikipedia site for this season. Voting stats and updates will be made regularly.

This show is on three times a week for the rest of the summer. I'm so excited! And I can't wait until Sunday now... I'm so done for this summer.

The "30" Project #25

I was a semi-finalist for Big Brother Season Two.

Yep. I absolutely LOVE this show. It's like MTVs's Real World on steroids. Gone are the calls the participants can make home, the newspapers/tv/movies they can access, or any contact to the outside world. These people are locked in a house for months with CBS and their housemates completely ruling their lives - and we get to watch every minute of them going crazy. I love it.

So after Season One I sent in an audition tape for Season Two. The whole premise of the video is that I'm small and I won't take up too much room in the house, so there was footage of me crawling out of cabinets, boxes, a freezer (more to come on that later) and a car trunk. It was a pretty good video, and what do you know - I got a call to interview in Philadelphia. My significant other at the time lived in Baltimore, so I flew here and we drove up to Philly for my audition. Well, I didn't make it past that audition - I think it was how I answered a few of the questions - but if I would have the next step was being flown to LA as a finalist. FUN! Oh well... I think it's enough to say I was ALMOST on Big Brother.

Oh - and is anyone up for a Big Brother draft this year? Richie? Anyone else? C'MON!!!

The "30" Project #24

I have lost 5 pounds.

Yep. I may have lost 6, but my goal is 10 pounds whether I do it before my 30th birthday or not (5 days!). I haven't exercised as much as I should have, but it still shows how much diet affects your body. My sides have thinned out (no more love handles), and many of my pants don't quite fit me the same way anymore. Maybe this is incentive to let myself go shopping? Maybe?

The "30" Project #23

Just for the record, I can wipe my own a$$.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Single Best Thing

This is the single best thing I have seen in a long, long time. Like long long. Like years, maybe. This is my friend, Julie's daughter... and you must go and watch this video. Right. Now.

The "30" Project #22

I have the coolest job.

I really do. And it has been quite a road to get here. In Ohio, I worked at Kent State University during school, and then at a company called XtraSource as a call center trainer during my junior and senior years. When I graduated, I worked for First Energy as a Marketing Rep for six months selling landscape lighting, and then moved on to First Energy Solutions as a Sales Coordinator - initially on the Industrial sales team, and then on the Retail Chains team. In 2002, I was laid off from First Energy and then came to Baltimore when I couldn't find a suitable place of employment in Ohio.

I moved to Baltimore without a job, but I had enough severance and cashed-in bonds to last me a few months until I could find one. Initially, I interviewed at the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. I really wanted the job, and I was second in line for it, but I just didn't know Baltimore at all back then, and that was a major weakness given the mission of the organization. I obviously didn't get it. My second interview was at Williams Scotsman in White Marsh, and low and behold, I was offered a position as a Marketing Analyst, then was moved into a Product Management role a year or so later. So after three and a half years at WS, I interviewed for my current job at The Company.

As my current coworkers know, the interview process at The Company is extensive. I had a one-hour phone interview, two six-hour interviews, and a number of personality tests... and what happened? They hired me! Without giving away what I do or who I work for, this position is exactly me. Like I always say, I wanted more responsibility when I left WS, and boy did I get it. It is often explained that my coworkers and I run their own little companies, and it's so true. There's a lot of responsibility, but there's an even greater payoff when you do your job well. I'm almost 9 months in now, and working for The Company is one of the greatest accomplishments I've made in my life - certainly the greatest professional accomplishment. It's a challenge, that's for sure, but it's also the hard work and the excitement that I've always wanted. (Now cross your fingers for my upcoming review!) KIDDING!

Box89e and Me

I really, really like this photo.

Nuff said.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The "30" Project #20 & #21

I have accomplished quite a bit today given that I spent three hours at the pool again. Today I met CJ's friend, Nicole, who I've heard a lot about over the last year but never met. We're all actually a lot a like and it was a lot of fun. We're planning a reunion of sorts really soon, so I am looking forward to it. Thanks for hosting, CJ. :)

Now on to the project...

I've "fixed" the two major things I didn't like about myself. I've paid to have my teeth and eyes done.

Maybe the accomplishment here should be paying them off (which I haven't done yet), but I guess my point in this post is that I grew up self conscious about my eyes and teeth, and as an adult, I have made strides to fix what I didn't like and reverse those feelings.

First are my teeth, which had staining on them due to medicines I took when I was very little. People often referred to them as 'fluoride stains,' but that's not what they were. The staining, or discoloration, was mainly on my two front teeth, and when I was about 23 or so, I paid for veneers for my front teeth. I can't tell you how much my vision of myself improved after this. It sounds so vain, but I was always paranoid that people were looking at my teeth and I'm sure I smile 100x more now that I had this done.

Second are my eyes. I've posted about these procedures (all four of them) quite extensively, so I won't torture my readers with details (again), but my poor eyesight was always a hindrance for me. I had a few long term relationships where the guy didn't see me in my glasses (sans contacts) for over a year because I worried what he'd think of the 'nerdy' Charissa. I looked so different in my glasses that I worried guys would see the 'ugly' nerd in me and run the other way. Of course, as I have grown older this feeling has faded, and one of the strongest driving points to get the surgery for me was actually safety. I felt really vulnerable knowing that without my glasses or contacts, I would be 100% vulnerable to any sort of attack.

So this post sounds vain, I guess... but to those who know me - I know you get my drift. It's a great feeling to have the power to change your life, whether it's five pounds (still working on it!), education and learning, or whether it's completely superficial.

Busy Saturday & Busy Sunday

I am a day behind on my project again. Ugh. Oh well, I have good excuses because I had a jam-packed day yesterday. :) I went to lunch (Caribbean Salad at Chilis - yum!), came home and went to the pool with CJ (belly is a bit red today - hmmm...), came home, showered, and went to Danielle's for food and good company. I really enjoyed my day, although I am sure Antonio felt a bit lonely. :(

Today? Today I am in a mad rush to clean (the 'to do' list is below), go to CJs again for pool time, go to the grocery store for necessities, and work on my 6 month review for work which is due tomorrow. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I hadn't planned to have this busy of a weekend, I swear. At least I slept in two days in a row. That was nice.

So here's my start.

To Dos:

1. Clean kitchen - done
2. Run dishwasher - done
3. Unload dishwasher - done
4. Reload dishwasher - done
5. Run laundry - started
6. Put laundry away - started
7. Run Vacuum - done
8. Clean cat box - done
9. Clean carpet - done
10. Dust - done
11. Clean bathroom- done
12. Wipe down inside of car
13. Collect and take out trash - done
14. Work on 6 month review
15. Go to pool (haha) - done
16. Go to grocery store - done
17. Fill up gas tank - done
18. Swiffer floor - done
19. Trim Antonio's nails - done
20. Brush cat - done
21. Clean balcony - done