Feeling Random

November 20, 2008

  • It’s freezing.
  • I’m working.
  • My throat hurts.
  • I seriously thought my house was on fire, there was so much smoke in the street when I drove in on Tuesday.  Luckily it wasn’t.  My neighbors must have had a fireplace malfunction.
  • There are things I want do to that scare me.
  • Maybe if I did some of those things I wouldn’t feel so chronically bored.

Moving on

November 6, 2008

  • I should have a new job by Wednesday.  Step one.
  • I stepped on the scale again because it’s the one year anniversary of starting Weight Watchers.  I lost 20 pounds in the three months I was active in the program.  Now I’m 35 pounds down from my starting weight.  Which I think is okay for not trying.  I could tell because my jeans fit me much better this winter. Maybe I’ll go back to really trying.
  • I think I need some stinking goals.
  • I don’t know what my stinking goals should be.
  • I’m moving on. Not in a direction that I know yet (is it forward or back), but the brakes are off and I’m moving on.
  • I will create my own happiness.

Here’s the Deal. Bold the ones you’ve done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote article for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey

135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Well I suppose some of those are open to certain interpretation.

It’s quiet around here…

October 25, 2008

I think there’s been a dirth of substantive posts here on my corner of the internet.  I can tell by my list of topic ideas that are piling up.  So I’m gonna try to go back to 300 words everyother day.  Ok… just after i finish my children’s sermon… peace.

She’s so nice

October 4, 2008

I’ve always thought of myself as a nice person.  But I have subjected myself to some introspection recently and I have cast some doubt.  Now I am fairly sure that I do plenty of acts of kindness, so that maybe enough in the truest sense but I’m talking here about people’s perceptions.  See I’m quite shy so I mainly have two ways that I relate to people.  One in a socially awkward, quiet…”shy” kind of way and the other is with confidence and even aggression maybe?  See I’m also a performer.  It makes for a weird mix.  I have no problems with public speaking or leading a group, but put me in a cocktail party and I’m like a different person.  But I think ultimately both of those ways are pretty cold.

When I was in tenth grade, my English teacher told me that I ought to smile more on the first day of class.  Like from the front of the room, in the presents of all my classmates.  It was harsh.  Hear that teachers?  Don’t do that.  I do find myself scowling occasionally when I’m thinking but I don’t mean to.

In college one of my best friends told me that one of her friends who had become a mutual acquaintance found me intimidating.  That’s really the first time I thought about that I could intimidate anyone (well except maybe a second grader.)    And speaking of that, I don’t have that “kids-want-to-sit-on-my-lap” thing anymore.  My VBS kids loved my high school co-teacher, but not me so much.  And when I’ve worked wit the youth they just don’t think I’m as cool as some of the other helpers.

And I even got in trouble when I was working on “Once on this Island” for being too mean to the cast.  I told them in notes one night that I was going to come hit them if they did not stay quiet backstage.  Of course I was joking, I mean that’s not a hard one to figure out.  But on the other hand I was basicly left to be the long arm of the law, with the director whinning about behavior but not setting any standards or doing things like start rehearsals late.  But the one good thing that came of that was I may not have made any best friends, I came out the end with everyone still respecting me (something the other staff couldn’t say.)  The good word from that whole fiasco (the show was great somehow, I mean the offstage drama) traveled far and wide I’m sure and it makes me wonder if that’s some of the reason that I’m having issues with the directors selection commitee and the excutive director.  One would hope that they’d give me a chance to tell my side of things.

So I guess that’s it; I’m not a warm and fuzzy person. I’m not so nice.  But I try to be good…sincere, friendly, loyal, loving. And I try to think about smiling more.  That’ll have to be enough.

To Tallahassee Utilities,

I am writing to protest the 56 dollars of connection fees that I am being charged on my utility account that I have had connected with no interruptions for over three years.

Let me take time to explain the situation.  When I moved to Tallahassee four years ago my father was kind enough to activate my utilities in his name and social security number so that the deposit would be waved due to his good credit with his utility company.  But since that day I have received and paid the utility bills with my own money.

Three years ago I moved across town to a new house.  At that point I decided it would be logical to change the name on the account from my father’s to my name.  I called and inquired and was told that I would have to pay a deposit (approximately $250) in order to do that.  That of course was unsatisfactory to me.   So I asked about what would be done if someone had died or gotten a divorce or sublet a house and needed to change a name on an account.  The customer service representative told me that I could add my name to the account and then after two years of good history I could remove my father’s name from the account.  To do this we had to both (my father who lives out of town and I) appear in person at the Renaissance Center.  So we did that and in June of 2005 my name and social security number were added to the account so that in two years I could remove my father’s name.

Earlier this month I happened to be in the Renaissance Center to meet with Gwen Lightfoot about affordable housing issues on behalf of Tallahassee Equality Action Ministry.  I remembered that it had been plenty of time now and I was in the building I could stop by the Customer Service desk and remove my father’s name from my account.   I got to the front of the line and told the representative what I wanted to do I was first told that had to pay a deposit.  But I explained that I had been on the account for over two years had been told that I could now just remove his name outright.  She looked up my account and told me that was okay and she had me fill out a form and show my ID.  I asked “So now my father is off my account?” and was told yes.  At no time during this meeting or during any of the other conversations and meetings three years ago was I told that there would be any charge if I followed the procedure proscribed.  So that is what I did.

Three days ago I received a bill in my name that included 56 dollars combined of “connection fees” for gas, water, and electricity.  Since my utilities had never been disconnected and I was not expecting any charges I called the customer service line and spoke to a representative.  I asked about the charges and she said, “it says that you had one account that was closed and another that was opened.”  So I explained the situation to her and the steps that I had taken.  She then told me that the way I had handled the situation forced them to send a meter reader to my house and that is what the fees were for and that I was lucky because I only had to pay 56 dollars instead of the $250 deposit.

There are two major problems I have with this.  One, I was never told that I would be charged anything.  The bill I received was the first indication. Had I been told about the charges I would not have done it this way.  And second a deposit would be potentially refundable; where as these “connection fees” I will never see again.  And again, nothing was ever disconnected.

I have over four years of good history with Tallahassee Utilities, three of which are under my own name.  I feel like I am being taken advantage of by an unfair and unclear policy that now I see little way out of.   I hope that I will receive satisfaction by getting a bill that reflects the removal of these unfair fees.

Thank you,
Erin K. Thompson

I promised one more so here it is; I’ve been stewing on it for a while now.

You know how during the coverage they’d cut away to do special interest pieces sometimes about the biography of the athletes sometimes about Beijing?  Well one that I saw was an piece about the reason the athletes do what they do.  They interviewed all sorts of people and to a man they all said they do it for themselves.  That it’s not for the country or the glory or their parents or anything else.  They spend so much time and effort on training and competing and sacrificing only because they want to.

A couple of things that struck me… First their level of achievement was separate from the accolades that they stood to achieve.  And second they were not trying to prove anything.

So I was trying to come up with the things in my life that I approach with this attitude and the things that I don’t.  What have I really worked on to get better at?  Two things I think psychology and theatre.  Both things I really love.  One that I had to work on but mostly comes naturally and one that I still have to work really hard at to make even the barest improvement.

But the issue is that I have approached my psychology career and well most of my academic career with let’s say that anti-Olympic attitude.  I spent all my time trying to prove myself, to my family, to my teachers, to people that I just met.  Prove that I’m smart and special and worthy.  And it was always about accolades and achievements; what’s the next thing you can get?  When I say it, it makes sense why I’d be dissatisfied right?

So I guess what I need to do is decide if I can or I want to change my attitude about it.  To do it just for me.  I still don’t know.

Boy I’m glad that I don’t use dream logic in real life, and who knows where all these convenient “plot devices,” as it were, come from. But let me tell you the story that came from my twisted subconscious.

I dreamed I was in a big city trying to hail a taxi I was with my friend Becky from college, my friend Shana from grad school, and get this… Hillary Clinton who was still a senator and had run for president, but was inexplicably my age (I think that’s unconstitutional, whatever.) We were on our way to some meeting together and were running really late. We tried a number of times but with no luck. So Shana went to the other side of the street, and left the rest of us to keep trying.

After she left this guy in this like really beat up black car that looked like it had been burned out pulled up to where we were. It was one of our ideas to ask the guy to give us a ride. He was wearing a business suit and looked really agitated. But he said that he would let us ride with him to his meeting a few blocks away and then we could have the car. (Why would he do this? whatever) So we said OK and planned to come back and pickup Shana.

So we got in and started driving. But then we just kept driving and driving. It was getting dark and we were starting to get worried. The guy continued to be agitated and was not talking to us. (I don’t know why it took us that long to get worried, whatever.) We were driving further into the country. Finally the guy pulls over in this field. And he told us that he was doing this because he didn’t like Republicans. I said that’s stupid because we are all Democrats and Hillary even ran for president (whatever.) I wasn’t very scared because the guy didn’t have any sort of weapon and we were in the middle of a field and he was obviously a lunatic. So I told the girls “I think the three of us can take him.”

We were all standing around the car when the guy told Becky that she had to go check the mailbox that was a few feet away. She did and he followed after her. Hillary and I started running away until we saw a set of town houses off in the distance. We started to got toward them and I stopped and said one of us need needed to stay with Becky. (Um, duh… I was obviously the brains of this operation, whatever.) So she turned back and I kept running toward the townhouse. There was one with it’s lights on. I thought my to myself I haven’t run this far since elementary school, but my adrenaline was going so I kept running.

I got there and knocked on the door and no one answered. So I tried the door and it was open. So I went on in and was screaming “hello hello.” This girl came into the room and I told her that my friends and I had been kidnapped and they were with the guy across the other side of the field and could I use the phone. She said sure and there were some security guards outside. I said, “Well, go get them.” So she left and I went to go find the phone.

Well apparently I forgot how to use the phone because I could not manage to dial 911. I finally figured it out that you needed to dial 9 first but I still kept misdialing. I was getting more and more frustrated when the girl came back in and said that my friends were coming. I said that I couldn’t get the phone to work. So she took it and I went outside.

There came Becky and Hillary and one other girl being carried across the field by three men and also some children were walking with them. I was so relieved that I was not weirded-out by “where did this other girl and the children come from?” And the fact that the girls were wearing peach and aqua satin gowns and the children were wearing all white. (Wow, whatever.) So we all walked in the townhouse and… That’s all I remember.

What happened to our lunatic? Was the phone finally bested? What’s up with the matching outfits? And what happened to poor Shana and the meeting we were going to?

Your ending is as good as mine.

I’ve been thinking about whether I want to be more intentional about what I write on the blog.  Do I want it to have a more definite theme?  But I think since it’s been mainly an exercise for me so far I’ll just keep it free form.  I’ll be funny if I want to and if I want to vent you all will just have to deal with it.  It’s just me.

Here’s the background information… I got into the blogging thing from reading Christian blogs. Most of these blogs were written by men in full time ministry. Most of the commenters on the blogs that I read are women. Then I started writing my own blog and got introduced to the crazy world of stat tracking and authority, and my favorite… google reader. This allows me look at as many blogs as I want in just one place. It allows me to be much less picky about the blogs I read and I have found many new ones that I like to read.

Among these new blogs that I’ve been reading are the previously mentioned commenters. I have also since found out that something like 75 percent of blogs are written by women. And many of these are mothers who usually write about there kids (among other things.) I think that it’s kind of like the scrapbooking craze… Mom’s just like to document stuff their kids do and stuff that they do for their kids.

So… now I get down to what I really was going to say. I have this aversion to reading about family theme nights. Not a blogging mom, mommy blog reader, husband of a blogging mom, or perhaps just a woman who was ahead of her time? Let me just fill you in. A family theme night is pretty much what it sounds like. Once a month the mom comes up with a theme that she can plan a whole evening of family entertainment for her husband and small children around. Absolutely imperative is themed food, decorations, and at least three games. Extra points if costumes are involved. And you also must spend less than thirty dollars on it. Then in you write your blog post about it including lots of pictures of your dinosaur shaped sandwiches and digging for dinosaur bones in the sand box. That way the other moms can read about it and have ideas for next month’s family theme night.

So join me on my self diagnosis couch. Erin what is your deal? Why does reading about these things make you mad? Here’s what I know about myself. If I had a husband and young children I would be all over family theme nights. I love themes and uber-coordination, and I do a lot of stuff that’s like the cousin of family theme night. Those who have seen my office can attest. And I love a good theme party. Heck, I just finished doing a brochure that has all these cute little ducklings on it for the church children’s ministry because of the imagery of the mother ducks and also our church is right on a lake. It’s like coordinating/theme nirvana. So maybe it’s jealousy? Definitely could be.

But also, you know how they say often the faults you see in others are ones that you possess yourself. So before I say this I know it’s my issue first. Doesn’t it all seem a little self obsessed? Who’s it for? The husbands I’m sure could care less and the preschoolers are not even going to remember. It’s like a way to be in control. I find it easy to critique these women and say can’t they find something better to do with their time. So maybe I need to address my control freak issues? Definitely could be.

And finally even if these things are absolutely free they are like the definition of ostentation. I think we in the US (me too like I said it’s my issues) need to learn to live more simply. The same people who write about humanitarian disaster, turn around write about their laptop. Do I need to give more and take less? Definately could be.