Thursday, March 25, 2004

So, do you have any actors that you are passionate about? The kind of actor that when you see them in a preview, you know you have to see that film? My three favorite actors are Hugh Jackman, Viggo Mortensen and Angelina Jolie.

Right now, I'm about halfway through Angelina Jolie's recent movie "Beyond Borders." So far, I really like it. It's a great reality check movie. You can see why Angelina is so passionate about refugees and relief work. But it also makes you feel helpless. You wonder what is actually in your power to do to help. In the movie, Angelina's character brings about $60,000 (of her own money) worth of food to a camp in Ethiopia. She is crushed to discover the food will only last a few days. We even have people who are hungry and without shelter in our own countyr. It's frustrating. I wonder if we can ever find a solution. Maybe someday, I can travel somewhere to help.

I am off to Texas now for the weekend so I won't be blogging but I'll catch you up when I get back. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

So, have you ever had to offer a disclaimer about one of your friends? I have. When I am introducing two friends who have never met before, I tend to make small disclaimers about them. Mostly because I know some of their little foibles that might not go over well with others and I want to warn people so they don't misunderstand. It's not because I'm embarrassed. I just don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. I want everyone to be friends and get along.

My friend C.B. recently had some friends coming in from out of town. She warned me ahead of time that one of them might come off as unfriendly. After meeting the woman, I could see how people would get that impression. But it got me thinking about what disclaimer my friends might give about me.

Here are some thoughts I had:
Amy can jokingly say things that might unintentionally hurt your feelings
Amy can be a real loudmouth
Amy can sometimes be overly shy and might come off as quiet or rude
Amy gets overly excited about politics
Amy has a quick temper
Amy is quite sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily
Amy sometimes has to be the center of attention
Amy can be clingy

Not all things I'm proud of (or that I even believe are true about me) but things I'm sure my friends warn other people about. Isn't it weird to have disclaimers for people? It's almost like a rating system.

Amy M. --- Rated R for foul language and violent temper

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I'm a "joiner." I like becoming a part of different groups and I often overextend myself. There is just so much I want to do and be a part of. I'm still really enjoying Junior League. I will be on the Facilitator committee next year which I think will offer me some valuable training. I will learn about running meetings, agenda planning, conflict resolution, strategic planning, etc. Things I hope will become useful skills to have in the long run. Since I am starting to think about a new job, I have been joining some organizations that may have networking possibilities. League of Women Voters, Wild Things Society (young professionals supporting the Denver Zoo), the Young Fund (young professionals supporting the Children's Hospital) and Young Democrats. I'm hoping to meet some new people and network. I need more friends. I rely too heavily on the ones I have. Which are terrific, by the way. But it would be nice to spread myself around a larger group. So, that only a few don't have to be in charge of dealing with me. Of course, my levels of involvement will vary with these different groups. I can't give 110% to all of them. But hopefully, it will pay off in the end and I'll be able to find a good non-profit job or something political.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

So, my friends Greg and Sara gave me a gift certificate to a spa last year for my birthday. I've been saving it up but finally decided I better use it. I decided to try something different this time. Instead of a facial or a massage, I decided to try a Moor Mud Body Wrap. Sounds exotic, huh? Well, it was. A little TOO exotic.

My spa person ended up being a cute man my age. Definitely not gay. Which would have made me more comfortable. I figured it would be like a massage. Where they uncover whatever body part they are working on. wasn't. We walked into the room and there were two washcloth-sized towels on the table. I gave the guy a very dubious look. Well, you guessed it. One (folded in half) was to cover my boobs. The other was to be placed like a diaper between my legs. Are you kidding me?!

I guess you have to be basically naked so they can spread mud all over you. But when you are down to washcloths, it's like...hey, I'm naked, why are we kidding ourselves with towels at this point? So, first he loofahed me off. Then he spread the mud all over and wrapped me up like a fat-laden Hot Pocket. (He had to leave my arms out since I'm claustrophobic) While I was cooking, he massaged oil into my head. Then, he removed the mud with hot towels. After that, I had to shower off any extra. I thought the worst humiliation was over. The last part was to be more of a traditional massage with oil. I was so relieved to walk into the room and see blankets and sheets on the table. Well, everything was going along fine until he got to my legs. Then, he didn't just uncover my legs. He uncovered an entire cellulite-ridden buttcheek. Thank God my internal monologue wasn't audible. "Is that my right buttcheek exposed to the air? Is this cute young guy actually going to be rubbing oil into my cellulite? How humiliating!!" And then he moved onto my left buttcheek! My buttcheeks were seeing more action than they had in years!

It's too bad I'm so uptight. It probably would have been relaxing if I could just ease up. After all, I had a good-looking guy covering me with mud. But I felt a wee bit exposed. I hope all that moor mud really did help my skin and cellulite. I guess we'll see. Don't think I'll be trying the treatment again anytime soon, though.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

So, today the sun is shining and the temperature is near 70 degrees here in Colorado. The weather makes me feel good. It was a beautiful day at the state capitol yesterday as well. I had such a good time. We started the day with breakfast at the Colorado History Museum where we listened to a lobbyist speak. Then, they showed us the perennial favorite "I'm just a Bill on Capitol Hill" from Schoolhouse Rock. We walked over to the capitol building and my group headed to the House gallery. The whole thing was so interesting. It was like watching a good sporting event to me. I was literally on the edge of my seat. Would this resolution pass? Would that one be defeated? After awhile, we had a mini-tour of the capitol and then split up to go to committee meetings. I attened the Senate committee meeting on education and the House committee meeting on education. It was really interesting but very frustrating. I had a strong opinion on one of the issues and I had to sit there quietly while the four Republican senators on the committee passed the resolution 4-2. Of course, it could still die when it gets to the Senate or the House but it is very sobering to realize that so few people make the big decisions that affect our lives. I didn't want to leave and come back to the library. I wanted to stay there and work on those issues. Maybe someday I will. At the event, I met a young female lawyer who invited me to join the Young Fund which is a group of young professionals supporting the Children's Hospital. Because I am a JOINER, I said sure. Anything to meet new people, get involved, network and maybe find a new job in the nonprofit sector.

Since I am half-Irish, I stopped in at the Celtic tavern to have a beer with some hashers. The crowd was too much though so I headed home after one beer to relax at home with a few DVDs. A pretty quiet but productive St. Patrick's Day. I hope I make it to a job in the Capitol someday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

So, here is something you may or may not know about me. I love festivals. And benefits. I enjoy attending the Greek Festival and Cherry Creek Arts Festival every year. I love sampling foods, looking at wares, riding rides, watching entertainment. Of course, the mother of all festivals for me is the Texas State Fair. I love that thing! You get to go see all the latest cars and innovations. And you can eat til you puke. One of the few times I eat cotton candy and caramel apples. This past year, my mom and I spent an entire day at the fair. We even sat and watched a sheepdog herding exhibition.

And I love benefits. I like the idea of having fun and it benefitting someone or something. In a few weeks, I will be attending a comedy night with heavy hors o'euvres and a cash bar. Sound like fun, huh? And it benefits Rape Assistance and Awareness.

If it's a festival that benefits something, well...fabulous! Even if it's the Asian Cherry Blossom Festival to benefit aging bald men with gambling problems. Sounds good to me! Sign me up!

Tomorrow, I'm spending the day at the state capital. I will sit in on different sessions and committee meetings. I get to tour the capital and lunch with legislators. I'm very excited!

Of course, if I see Senator Allard, I'll have to bite my thumb at him. I can't believe he is the sponsor of the Federal Marriage Resolution. How embarrassing for Colorado! Like our legislators have nothing better to do than persecute law-abiding homosexual citizens! By the way, did I tell you my friend Brandon is a gay ninja? How cool is that!

Monday, March 15, 2004

So, in one of my Lenten devotionals I've been reading, the writer talks about how other people (especially his wife) become mirrors for him. You can see the effects of your actions and choices mirrored in others. I have very specific ideas about how I want to comport myself. And sometimes, I think I am living according to those standards but when I see myself mirrored in the people around me, I haven't been. Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest fears in life....the one thing I really can't the thought of intentionally hurting someone's feelings. Even with the people I dislike most in the world. To me, it's one thing for someone to get angry with you. I can deal with that. But to hurt someone. That to me is the worst thing you can do. And I have recently been accused of deliberately hurting someone's feelings and that is devastating to me. Especially because this person believes I do it intentionally and with frequency. That is not who I am. And I can't believe anyone, especially someone who knows me, could believe that I would intentionally do something like that. But maybe sometimes people don't know us as well as we think they do.

I actually had a really nice Saturday. I spent the whole day with my friend Amy. We had a nice lunch and hit a bunch of consignments shops. That night, our friend Chucky took us to dinner and a show. "Patsy DeCline." The show sort of makes fun of country music. We had a good time. I wish things could always be that effortlessly fun. Just to be able to enjoy the company of your friends without drama.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Hey Bad Buddha. I just caught up on your blog. (see FLAMING HOBO) Since you don't have a comment engine, I'm going to comment here. I see a little of myself in all the women you are describing. I can't wait to see your description of the Bitch. How exactly would you categorize me? Who knew a Belgian could be such a Don Juan? Perhaps Life by Candelight should respond with the typical types of men in the dating world.

Have you ever heard the expression "When God closes a door, He opens a window"? I have felt lately that a friend of mine is trying to close the door on our friendship. At that the same, a friend that I thought was lost, Guillermo, just contacted me. Maybe he's my window. I don't want friendship to be hard. Maybe we should all keep it at a superficial level. Maybe it's easier to get along that way. The more complex things get, the harder they get. First it's just you and your friends, then you add boyfriends that may become husbands, then children, etc. The more the group extends the more the dynamic changes and it can be hard. Especially when some of you have very short fuses. Maybe it just gets too hard. But I never like closing any doors on people. I hate failing at friendship. What a rotten thing. In small towns in Texas, people seldom use the front door. Typically, friends and family enter through the garage. The front door of our friendship may be closed. But Anna....I'm leaving the door to the garage open for you.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

So, I was listening to one of the CDs my friend Brandon made for me and there is this song by Jimmy Eat World that says "If I don't let myself be happy now, then when?" It made me think about how much control we have over our own happiness. Sometimes, I think I keep waiting for certain things to happen. If only "this" would happen, then I would be happy. But I guess it's more important to just be happy as you are. Not to let it be contingent on other things. I think right now I need to figure out exactly who I want to be and what I want. People tend to rush into relationships because they feel good but may not necessarily meet their ultimate needs. A friend of mine was married for several years and there was no lack of love there but they finally realized that they both wanted different things out of life. Maybe they always had or maybe they had grown in different directions but when all was said and done, they had to divorce. I think friendships can be like that too. Sometimes, you have to part even when there is no lack of affection. It's always hard but I remain hopeful that maybe those relationships can be repaired in the future. In the meantime, I need to decide what I want and to let myself be happy now. Even if I don't have everything I want.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

So, I've been talking about this spiritual makeover I'm trying to achieve right now. I'm also trying to achieve a physical makeover. For the first time in my life, I'm actually ashamed of my appearance. And it doesn't help that I am contrasted with my good-looking friends. That's the thing about friendship...your friends always look great to you. In high school, my friend Maya (who is about 5'2" and at that time a voluptuous size 2) had a lot of great clothes. Maya has never really been into clothes and one time she offered some of her stuff to me that she didn't care for and knew that I liked. I just stared at her with affection. Only a true friend would look at her 5'7" very curvy girlfriend and think she could honestly fit into a size 2 dress. Those are the eyes of love right there. To her, I always looked thin. And when my girlfriends now complain about their weight or body problems, I just don't get it. I think they look fabulous. I'll keep you posted on my progress. So far, I have been working out regularly for three weeks and I have managed to control my temper and bitchiness for three days.

I got the new Keb' Mo' CD today. If you like blues and you don't know Keb' Mo', get your booty to the music store right now. His stuff is so great. Here are my Keb' lyrics for the day from the song "Let Your Light Shine." It goes with my makeover theme.

"Step Aside
Let Your Light Shine
Let Your Love Show
It's a short ride
Down a long road
When the rains come
And the winds blow
Let Your Light Shine
Wherever you go"

I'm trying, Keb'.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

So, I got my friend Greg who is a cartoonist to make a Post-It for me for my work computer. He drew a frowny-faced cherub shaking a finger at me as if to say, "No no! Don't lose your temper!" I am reminded of the Christian musical I loved as a child called "Music Machine." It focused on the Fruits of the Spirit. Well, I could definitely listen to the songs on "Patience" and "Self-Control" right now. I have an image in my mind of the kind of person I want to be. There is this good-looking African-American guy who works at the Chipotle on Monaco. Every time I go in there he is humming a tune, laughing and smiling. He seems genuinely happy to work there and I always feel like he's happy to see me. His pleasant smiling face usually makes me feel really good when I leave there. I want to be that happy smiling person people look forward to seeing at the library. Not some crazy bitch screaming about fines. I'm working on it.

I had the worst New Year's Eve of my life this year and I vowed I would never plan another event again. Well, I broke down and hosted an Oscar party. It actually went pretty well. I had a lot more control over that than I did on New Year's Eve. Few things give me greater pleasure than filling my house with friends. I feel glad to have a nice house to entertain in. And I love seeing my friends getting to know each other better and having fun together. Pretty much everyone I invited came: Greg and Sara, Amy and Greg, Andy and Amy, Erica and Mark, Anna and Michel, and Gary and Erin. And Marc. Chucky was out of town and Brian had the blues so they didn't come. And my ever-absent boyfriend came for about an hour before he bowed out. But everyone else stayed a long time. I had everyone dress up and walk the red carpet. I videotaped it, had Chinese food in honor of the Chinese theater in L.A. and gave out prizes. I pretty much stayed on the sidelines but I enjoyed watching my friends all together in one room. It gave me warm fuzzies. Andy and Amy were victorious in the Oscar predictions. No surprise there. I think Andy's head is full of trivia. I was glad when it was all over though. It is hard to coordinate those parties and I'm always stressed about whether it went well or not. But I hope everyone had a good time.

I'm not organizing Easter this year though. No way. Uh uh.

Monday, March 08, 2004

I was going to finally talk about the Oscars today but the events of the morning have made me change my mind.

In Keb' Mo's song "Better Man," he says "I'm gonna make my world a better place. I'm gonna keep that smile on my face. I'm gonna teach myself how to understand. I'm gonna make myself a better man." I've always liked those lyrics. I would like to do those things too. But sometimes I'm all too human. I would like to face the world with love and envelope it with my heart but I constantly fail. I have a very quick temper and I am also very demanding of people. I always place expectations that are too high on people and when they don't meet them or exhibit behavior outside of those expectations I get angry and think "what the hell is his problem!" I've always thought one of the best things you can do is try to always put yourself in the other's person's shoes. Lately, I haven't taken the time to do that. I tend to react immediately. And in this season of Lent, it makes me realize how un-Jesuslike I really am. When attacked, I tend to attack back even more viciously although sometimes I'm able to reign it in before speaking too quickly. I wish God could just give me more patience and understanding. Because I feel more alienated from my fellow human beings every day. Even those I call friends. I don't like things or people to change. And when they do, I react strongly Especially when that change seems negative to me. But we all grow in different ways. Hopefully, vertically towards heaven rather than laterally or downwards. I just wish relationships didn't take so much effort all the time. It seems like it should be easier dealing with those you love than with perfect strangers. But that is seldom the case. It seems like I try and try to be more calm and loving towards others but the more I try, the more I fail. I think God is testing me with the most difficult people. And sending them to me right in a row. I think I'm going to stick a Post-It on my computer at work with some sort of symbol to remind me to try harder. That way I'll see it all day long. Now, if people in my life would just stop pushing my buttons, I might make some progress and become a "better man." But then again, anything that comes easily usually isn't worth having.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

We are entering the second week of Lent. Most people give up something for Lent. I add something. I'm not always good with bible study and prayer so I try to take up a daily Lenten devotional every year. My mom gave me a book a few years ago that I love. FAITH ODYSSEY: A JOURNEY THROUGH LENT by Richard Burridge. The readings all draw on science fiction and fantasy and connect them to Christianity. It includes everything from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Star Trek to the Narnia books. And the readings are fantastic. Really thought-provoking. I like the idea that SciFi and Fantasy can have Christian connections. (Frank--You would love this book.)

I have been a Scifi/Fantasy fan for a long time. I don't read too many books. Mostly movies and the occasional comic book. But I love Fantasy because it claims to show how things once were. Like Lord of the Rings. Could there really have been a time when elves roamed the land? Probably not. But I love the imagination and magic behind it. And SciFi imagines our future. In cases like Star Trek, it imagines the very best our world can be. In some ways, I think it's harder to imagine things like that with science behind it that seems plausible. I think we all try to imagine what the future will hold. Maybe my nerd roots are showing but I think that stuff is cool.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

So, have you ever noticed that some people just seem to naturally exude success and confidence? I grew up around a lot of those people. They are typically born to wealth and privilege. They seemed destined to succeed even as children. Everything seems to come easily to them and they naturally fit in. They are wildly confident and at ease. When I went home to my reunion, I saw that those people with those qualities had indeed succeeded. I'm meeting more of those types of women in Junior League. I met one woman at a recent League event who I seemed to have a lot in common with but I know we will never really hit it off because she has those qualities of success. It turns out she went to UT and often hung out at Trinity with an underground fraternity called the Alpha Psis. I knew who she was talking about and realized she and I had had very different college experiences. She was partying and living it up. Experiencing popularity. While I was mostly hiding in my dorm room and doing nerdy things. I doubt we would be that different now. I think in some ways, people don't change. Not fundamentally. I will always feel like a geeky nerdy wallflower deep down. And I don't think that will ever change.

By the way, I saw Keb' Mo' in concert last night. I just love him. His music makes me feel so good and in some ways, it can be inspirational.