Is it over yet?

Seriously, this week could not end soon enough. I know it’s only Thursday but I had so much for school this past week it’s not even funny.

The quarter system for school is kicking my hapa booty something fierce. I’m so used to having four months to slack off but that doesn’t work when you’re only in class for 11-12 measly weeks. Weeks?! Weeks go by quickly if you’re not careful.

So everything kind of came together this weekend. Big surprise, I know. I had an Economics midterm [thankfully it was a take home!] to work on PLUS I had to bust out a slab of my fudge for my Marketing class project for a focus group I conducted this week AND write up a chapter summary. Wonderful way to spend the weekend huh?

But I’m so glad that I’ve got what I needed to do done. What a relief. Now I’m just waiting for the results of my midterm. I’m usually not this nervous over an exam but the professor had mentioned that people don’t tend to do well on his exams by writing a few paragraphs. At which point my heart sunk because that’s my exam writing style [kind of hard to believe huh?]. I get in, write what needs to be said, and then get out. What’s the point of writing 3 pages when you can say the same thing in 1? That’s just wasted time and energy. I’m like the exam ninja. Or the Marines. We don’t mess around.

The only time I do wander around is when I don’t really know what to say. Alas, that happened a few times on this exam since I was so freaked about making sure I had all the information in a vain attempt at not making my answers consist of a few paragraphs. But by the end of it, I was just so mentally tired that I just wrote what I knew and tried to pretty it up. That is why my first answer was two pages and my next two were merely 3-4 paragraphs.

I think he broke me.

But that’s okay. Now I have a better idea of how he writes his exams and soon will know how he grades so I can be on the up and up for the final. That’s next month [see, the weeks are getting out of control!]. And maybe this time I’ll actually make sure to read the chapters? That would probably be for the best.

This coming from the girl who wrote an entire term paper on a book she didn’t read.

And got an A.

Man that was awesome.

Let’s hope I can score a repeat of that feat.

Anywho, so the fudge focus group amounted to rave reviews. The hard part is always going back over the feedback and hearing the dissenting views, mainly: too much maple or too sweet – though I did get a few “I don’t like nuts” [that’s what she said!] as well. But the sweet and maple thing I already know. I have to make some revisions to the recipe and try it again. I’m hoping to keep some of that signature flavor in the fudge but just tone it down a bit.

But I am most excited about making time to create and try out new flavors. I have a few ideas at the moment but I just haven’t had the time to fully investigate them. Would this be something I could eventually pursue as a real business entity? I’m hoping I can use the analysis that I have to create for class to help figure that out but I need to make time to really figure it out. Seems to be a constant theme. I need more time. I can probably squeeze more time if I spent less of it on the internets. Hmm.

<b>Quote of the week:</b> “I don’t think you can legally sell your fudge. It’s like crack. Save me some of that chococrack.”

Yeah, they certainly did try…

Anyone else been watching the Olympics? I watched the past couple of nights off and on. My mom, however, plants herself in front of the TV to watch it on the nights she’s home. She is so adorable; she enjoys watching the gymnastics [both men and women] and swimming and apparently synchronized diving. That was a new one for me. But I must admit that I did sit there and watched. First critiquing the divers whenever they fell out of sync and then was happy the USA team snuck into third place and then sad when they slid back out. Of course, the big show for us was the men’s swimming and one Michael Phelps [and it was so awesome seeing fellow Wolverine Peter Vanderkaay win bronze].

I know there are some fringe groups out there saying we should boycott the Olympics because of China’s dismal human rights history but I wonder what those same people would say if the world protested the USA hosting the Olympics with our less than stellar human rights recent history. Yeah uh huh. I’m not condoning what China has done/is doing but just let them be…they’ll trip themselves up and make themselves look foolish all on their own.

Case in point, the lip-syncing controversy. Have you heard about that? Apparently during the Opening Ceremony [which I heard was 4 HOURS LONG] they had some pretty little girl singing some song. I didn’t watch it because I got bored soon after that awesome light up drums sequence. But now reports have been coming out about how the girl who was singing wasn’t actually the girl who was singing. The Chinese government came in and deemed the original singer “not good looking enough” and switched her out for the prettier other girl but the wackiness doesn’t end there! Oh no, they are much too good than that. Taking a page from C+C Music Factory, they prerecorded the original girl singing because she had the best voice and had the pretty girl lip sync. And the best part is they thought they did a good thing!

Now lean back and pat your stomach with a happy satisfied smile. Oh yeah, political bumbling…so very comical. Yeah, that’s it.

Of course there has already been a few rumblings of misgivings about this year’s game and there will be plenty of dissection once everything’s over but for now, I’m going to set down any political inklings and enjoy the games for what they are: exhibitions of sports.

So what if a few countries can be deemed as “Olympic factories?” If I let every issue dictate whether or not I enjoy something then there really wouldn’t be much left to do besides sleep. You can barely eat without some kind of offending issues [human rights, animals’ rights, vegetables’ rights, anti-soy, avoid fake organic, trans-fat, etc].

We have more pressing issues we need to deal with first before we start trumping around the world complaining about what they’re doing wrong. Like our sagging economy and wimpy American dollar, the rising unemployment, the obvious weaknesses in our own government [yup, the cracks are there and they’re huge], rising food costs and shortages, sub-par health care that’s still expensive or even more locally, how the Governator wants to cut the wages of people who don’t make decisions on the state budget as a way to spur those who do to finally get a budget voted upon [or more accurately to make sure the state has money in its coffers] and how those decision-makers continue to drag their feet anyway and how he’s now going to sap MORE money from a strapped budget to sue the state controller who doesn’t think this is a good idea [because it’s not], or how Vallejo continues to slide into obscurity as police force is shrinking and the police chief is making veiled threats to their apparent and potential inability to fight crime unless they keep their wallets fat. Uh, y’all weren’t doing much before the city filed for bankruptcy, remember how you managed to get about 74% of the city’s budget flowing your way?

So how about we use some of that energy you’re projecting outwardly to help fix ourselves?

Quote of the week:

“And then there’s Japan. At least they tried…” – Mom

I have to add that she said this with an impish smile on her face. Classic.

Is this the way it’s supposed to sound?

I’ve got a slight crush on my hair right now. I curled the ends yesterday before twisting it up so it still has a little of that curl and my bangs are doing this flippy thing over my eye. I can’t explain it at all but I love it so.

Anywho, the weekend. Oh what a weekend. It was super hot on Friday. As in, I didn’t need a jacket AT ALL THE ENTIRE DAY. Crazy people, crazy. Even crazier was that I started eating my lunch inside and staring out the window before I finally admonished myself for doing such a thing and packing my things to head outside, which was the best decision ever. It was perfect; the sun was out, it was warm with a slight breeze to keep from melting and there I sat, in the sun with my sandwich and newspaper outside. Oh if I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I’d make a killing.

I came home after church to a hot, hot house and a sinking feeling that maybe baking wasn’t a very good idea but hey, I needed to. Plus, Lindsey had already baked her cookies so it wasn’t like I was going to make the house any hotter. But it was so warm that we didn’t need to leave the butter out for too long before it had softened. I plugged away and baked my cupcakes and made the dulce de leche but I didn’t let it reduce as much as it needed to so it didn’t set up the way I had hoped the next day. Oh well.

The Youth group’s car was turned out to be a pretty good success. They ended up making about $200+ on the car wash alone. I don’t know the full total with the results from the lemonade, baked items and other miscellaneous things we sold. My cupcakes were gladly received and later dubbed “Dolce&Gabbana” cupcakes though too bad we couldn’t charge a D&G price.

So here’s the exciting thing that happened that day; because there always is a story. I had my car washed and after it was done, I hopped in to move it since I was still going to be a bit with helping push the baked goods [something I’m so good at]. I couldn’t get the handbrake down at all; in fact, I couldn’t even push the button in! Anywho, I fussed with it and then the gearshift in a few different combinations before calling for help, which elicited tons of laughs because only I would ask for help driving the car I always drive. He got in, muscled the brake down and hopped out…and then the car starts rolling backwards! Apparently in my shifting haste, I had put the car in reverse and not park! Everyone’s freaking out and I hopped in the car and slammed on the brake and stopped it from running into the truck parked behind me by mere inches. It was like thisclose. Ooooh.

The rest of the car wash was thankfully uneventful. I volunteered with Laketa to stand on the sidewalk with signs to get people in [we managed one new customer] but mostly we stood there and yelled random things and danced around a bit and got honks from guys driving by, which doesn’t help the cause at all. I now know how the sign people feel. Its not always fun.

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Cake: its more than just dessert

Weekends should be longer; two days just goes by way too fast in my opinion. One day you wake up and it’s Saturday and then before you know it, it’s Sunday night. That just doesn’t seem fair.

Anywho, so instead of going to Christina’s birthday dinner like I had planned, I made my way to Friday night prayer. We had a rap session for JCCAM [the young adult’s ministry] and boy was that something. It was one of those times when the Spirit moves at will and we were all over the map in our discussions but still managed to veer back on the chosen topic of sacrifice.

One of the main things we randomly started talking about was how some people don’t feel comfortable being around church folks because they feel like they’re surrounded by goody-two shoes which is far from the truth. I know I’m not perfect and that I HAVE to ask for forgiveness every day because of something I did or didn’t do. The best thing about this whole thing is knowing that God knows we’re not perfect people [he knew since Adam and Eve messed things up all those years ago] and has built in a system in our relationship where we can atone for those mistakes and I’m glad that all I have to do is kneel and ask him myself. It’s humbling in and of itself to get down on your knees and ask for forgiveness but I always feel better afterwards.

To me, being a Christian is more than just being religious. It’s about having and maintaining a personal relationship with God that goes beyond traditions; you can easily go through the motions of any tradition but it’s nearly impossible to go through the motions in a relationship. It becomes clear very quickly that that is what you are doing. I’m always saddened when people take the Bible out of context to fit whatever it is they want to do without any consciousness to the damage they’re doing. That’s a common complaint among people who are against religions – that any verse in the Bible can be skewed to fit anything. But that’s not a surprise; the Devil has often misquoted the Bible to fit his desires but there needs to be more people who can stand and clear up the confusion with contextual verses.

Hmm, I may have to come back to that sometime. We’ve been discussing that very thing in Bible Study the past few weeks so it’s on the top of my mind. But that’s a topic that deserves some prep work instead of the fly by the seam of my keyboard and let’s see what I end up pounding out approach that I usually write my posts.

So with that said, I’ll continue on. But I love that I have this group to talk to and be encouraged by as well as encourage. They definitely make staying on this path a lot easier. My Saturday was non-descript. I did have cake for breakfast with my Mom. At her suggestion. Her co-workers got her a cake for her birthday and it was divine. A white cake wonder with whipped cream frosting and a medley of fresh berries between the layers [strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry]. Then I had breakfast nachos. What made them breakfast nachos? I added bacon of course. Of course! The rest of the day was spent on the couch. Literally. I did get up to wash my hair but I soon returned. Then I ended up staying longer than I had anticipated just to wait out my dad who was trying to wait me out so he could watch the NFL draft downstairs, never mind the fact that it was already on upstairs in his room where he was previously watching it. I had no intentions on staying downstairs until he announced that he just knew I would be getting up soon. So there I stayed and soon I was declared the de facto winner of a sad little war that resulted in nothing in terms of spoils. But I was still oddly pleased. And it wasn’t like I didn’t do anything in the mean time; I was doing my laundry so it was quite the productive day.

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The ABCs of Friday…

It’s Friday! Break out the funky “‘Its Friday, let’s boogie!’ happy dance [that’s really just a sad silly – but cute, wiggle].” My boss came in and practically sung, “It’s Friday!” I have never heard her do that before and I was quite startled. But that is just another sign that it is a good mood day so sing out loud for all I care.

The office manager walked by my cube and took pity on me. When I started working here, I inherited an already pretty full cube of STUFF. Just random stuff and it’s steadily grown with each year [plus with the addition of a full size filing cabinet] that my workspace is starting to crowd in on me and I’m surprised I haven’t developed a weird case of claustrophobia. So this afternoon we’ll be working on clearing out a few cubes and hopefully freeing up some space so I can store some of the STUFF away and out of my cube. Plus, with a couple of the boxes I have underneath my workspace, it’s a risk on the company’s part since I’m not being provided an ergonomically appropriate work area. The things you learn on a Friday morning.

I also learned that I’m a complete lame-tard as well. Sigh. So one of my old friends [I’m talking we were best friends in the fourth grade old!] is celebrating her birthday tonight with a dinner. I was excited to join her and said that I’d be coming. Well, last night I checked my bank statement and noticed a discrepancy in the amounts they had for me and what I had in my check register so after doing a quick little personal audit, I realized that my register was correct and my yoga teacher has yet to deposit my check. It’s always the yoga teacher. Anywho, long story short, since we’re taking my mom out for dinner on Sunday to celebrate her birthday [today] I can’t afford to pay for two dinners, my offering AND the gas I will be needing to get this weekend. So I had to call her and explain my eternal lameness and politely un-rsvp for her dinner. I wish I could do both though. I haven’t been able to go to a party she’s thrown in a while since I always have something else going and this was the first time I didn’t have plans.

But yes, today is my mom’s birthday. I brought in her gift when I went to wake her up so she could watch her Andrew Wommack show this morning and she didn’t even notice that I had a gift for her. Then she asked if she could just open it tomorrow. Only my mom would ask to open a gift the next day. She ended up opening it up anyway [maybe because I was all, “TOMORROW?!] and when she finally got the box open, her face lit up and she squealed herself. I had managed to find a flat whisk [for sauces and whatnot] that she’s been coveting for a couple of years and she was so excited to finally have one. She actually kissed it.

It was also brought up to my attention that my Fantasy Baseball league has started. I completely forgot I had signed up for that at Pat’s urging. Oops. They held an automatic draft with was why I forgot. I didn’t have to make any decisions. So far my team “The Great Hambinos” [extra brownie points if you know the reference] are in last place but maybe they can bring it up. Maybe we can become the virtual equivalents of Lou Brown’s Cleveland Indians.

I’m glad my mom finally convinced me to start using my check register. I did at first but always noticed that my totals never added up [I’d be off by dollars] so I stopped. But then I started writing more checks than I used to and keeping track of all of them was hard because I’d always forget about one of them and wouldn’t you know, that one would always trip me up and I’d get docked for having insufficient funds. The check wouldn’t bounce…I have overdraft protection so I automatically get money transferred from my savings into my checking to cover things but then I’d get charged $10 for the transfer! And while I’m completely embarrassed to admit this, I’ve had that happen to me twice in February [or March…I don’t remember] and I’ve finally had enough. Had I not checked my register today, I could have potentially been flirting with another penalty. Yikes.

Anywho, it’s finally time for lunch. Yay! Though now that I’m not going to dinner, I wish it were more than the hot pocket I brought. D’oh!

Quote of the day: “You better be careful; she’s only two left turns from a rabbit in a pot…”