Friday, February 27, 2009

Hotter than your Average Bear!

With lofty aspirations of cut arms, I paid a hefty chunk of change tonight to the Bikram Yoga College of Houston. After four bikramless years, the prodigal yogi has returned, and it ain’t pretty. I remembered the classes being hot and causing next-day soreness, but to be honest I spent A LOT of time during this first 90 minute sweat-fest sitting on my mat, hoping not to pass out. The heat is oppressive. I love it.

Yoga is so mentally-demanding, something that separates it from running, my other drug of choice. With running, the goal is turn the mind off; with yoga, it’s entirely switched on. At any given moment, you are pushing your hips forward, tightening your glutes, sucking in your stomach, lengthening your spine, contracting your arm muscles, kicking out and stretching up. There’s no time for worrying about life outside the studio, or if there is, I’m not getting my money’s worth, and it’s my own fault.

And it’s different than a gym setting where I usually enforce a 30 foot bubble around myself to keep others’ smells and moistures at bay. This studio makes everyone scoot up close and personal, which is both exciting and challenging. As weird as it sounds, if it wasn’t for the fact that the room is over 100 degrees and we are all sweating gallons, I might mind the proximity more, probably because heat or not, I’m a sweater (I sweat;
I’m not LITERALLY a sweater, kids, come on).

I’m writing a book. It’s always been a goal of mine, and I’m really doing it now.

Speaking of books, I’m reading three books right now, two I’m excited about and one I feel will be a dud. The latter is The Shack. I couldn’t not read this book. Everyone’s talking about it, and the ladies that sit near me are having little office book club meetings about it. I’m maybe two chapters in and can already tell I am going to have fundamental issues with the plot and message. Not sure I will even both finishing it, to be honest.

The other two are Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy and a Suze Orman book…can’t remember the title right now. Both are great and get my recommendation.

I'm going to Galveston tomorrow and I hope I get to see Ben Seals this weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


For no discernable reason, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Houma. The fellas here are so interesting and not very couth or pleasant, but I’ve loved meeting them and entering their world. From my perspective, Houma is synonymous with dust, oil and too-old, two-lane roads. For them, it’s home. Beautiful, comfortable home. It’s where they grew up, fell in love and made a living. I can’t wait to get back to high heels, an office obsessed with cleanliness and food that comes with the option of no fat, no butter, no salt and no cheese; these guys probably couldn’t see the logic or appeal in such a place at all. One’s not better than the other in any way, and I’m thankful and inspired that happiness comes in different forms for every single person on God’s green Earth.

I didn’t give up anything for Lent this year. Sacrificing Diet Coke/Coke Zero has been traumatic enough for my diet. Instead, I’m eating at least one veggie a day, and salad, carrots and potatoes don’t count! This will probably end up being a futile attempt to expand my vege horizons,but I have to at least try because pretty much the only vegetables I’ll eat are lettuce, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and bell peppers.

I met a woman recently who practices Holy Yoga, hatha yoga where you chant and meditate on scriptures and Biblical principles. She’s getting certified and hopes to open a studio – so cool! Her testimony is full of stories and thoughts I can relate to and grow from, so I’m super pumped that we had a random, yet honest, vulnerable, encounter.

LOST. ZOMG. Brain explosion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m driving back to Houston tomorrow. Makes me miss our roadtrip. I can’t wait for the next......................

Friday, February 20, 2009


It’s Girl Scout cookie week here at NOV. They are like tiny, delicious little demons turning up everywhere! If I haven’t gained 5 pounds, it’s only because I’ve gained 10. I’ve been trying to make myself work out, but taking Jackie on our walks is as far as I’ve gotten. She is ridiculous (stubborn and moody) and definitely needs help from Cesar! In Australia (and I saw it on some weird channel here, too) there’s a show called “It’s Me or the Dog.” Terrible imitation – the kind that only makes you miss the original even more.

Since I’m still in training, but my trainer is in Louisiana, it’s been a super slow week. Not fun. I’ve been working on budgets and personal expense reports today, trying to figure out the best way to pay off my student loans as soon as possible. Excel, baby!!!!! I’m not really that excited about it….

I need to stop drinking white wine before bed.

San Marvelous tonight, probably SA tomorrow! Obviously the gas piece of my pie chart is ENORMOUS, even for such a sexy little fuel efficient car, and my goal is to take it down next month. Other reductions include clothes, fast food, the doctor visits, books and Walgreens (how do I spend so much there?!?).

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This summer, in Colorado, Travis, Nessa and I went to Coldstone Creamery every weekend, and usually I went at least once during the week too. There weren’t chain restaurants up there, except for fast food and Coldstone.

Ice cream has always been my Achilles’ heel, my greatest weakness, and from May to September I completely surrendered to its power. What a glorious defeat!

One night, towards the end of my time there, we were going into Coldstone, and I slammed – crushed – my thumb in the car door. It wasn’t flat against the car, either; it was perpendicular, meaning my nail was being flattened from the back cuticle to the front end, not side to side, if that makes any sense. Painful, just imagine very, very painful.

Travis and Nessa had already gone ahead inside, so I was standing there, trying to yank my squashed thumb out of the door, not realizing for too long that the door was locked. By the time I had unlocked the door, I was in fainting territory.
I hobbled into Coldstone, got some cold water, plopped my throbbing thumb in and tried to stay conscious. It was the worst digit pain I’ve ever felt in my life!

Needless to say the thing turned purple and rather than release the pressure that night, I went to bed as best I could. The next morning, I let someone heat up a needle till it was screaming-hot and puncture my nail bed to release the blood and ooze. One word for the moment of contact: geyser. Yuck!

My point is this: six months later my poor thumb nail is not back to normal. It’s been through all different colors, shapes and sizes, and it’s almost there, but I fear it will never quite be the same. All that ice cream caught up to me and has finally made its permanent mark. Blast you, Coldstone, and your delicious Cheesecake Fantasy temptations!

Final thought: I am always thinking about food. Tonight is my parent's ritualistic Thursday night Mexican food night. Since I'm living with them now, they have to invite me. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD! Therefore, Thursday night is one of the most anticipated nights of the week for me! Yummmm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I got really freaked out today when I realized my houndstoothish skirt matches my chair! It’s like I’ve been sitting so much my lower half and my throne have become one.

Wednesdays are always and only filled with LOST thoughts. I’m terrible at spoiling things for people but only because knowing what happens in a book/movie/show doesn’t diminish the overall experience for me. I’m DYING to talk about LOST to people, but always, without fail, the only people around are people that aren’t caught up! TIME TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, that’s all I’ll say. I was so pumped about going to Aus because the trip there literally skips a calendar day. When people ask me what super power I’d most like to have, time travel and the ability to read people’s thoughts.

Church last night was great, but you probably already knew that. We talked about claiming our territory, standing firmly on our ground. We defined our “land” with the following “borders:” our relationship with God, our past (the painful parts), our life experiences (the other stuff) and our spiritual gifts. Beth talked a long time about dealing with the pains of our past, and how if we aren’t claiming that ground because we’re scared or wary of it, Satan will. No matter how hard it was, it’s MINE, not his, and it happened to somehow bring God the glory. In faith, with courage, we claim that and retrieve our territory for the Lord. Love it.

I don’t know why, but pay weeks are always more tolerable than not pay weeks. Okay, maybe I do know why…

It’s been super drizzly here in Houston, but since going home during lunch and taking Jackie for a walk is a great way to break up the day, we’ve still been doing our thing! We had an encounter with an opossum yesterday; those things are so other-worldly creepy! Jackie broke her leash trying to get at it. Every time we get back inside the condo, she gets a drink of water then looks up at me, waiting for a treat. Usually, she’s eaten cat poop, disobeyed my every command and then pouted once I’ve directed her back up the stairs to home…yet still she looks as though I’m the jerk for denying her a treat. Devil dog.

Anyways, I’m an hour away from going home and cooking a chicken and mozzarella manicotti dish that Charlie made this weekend. SO DELISH, perfect for 8 pm tonight. LOST!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Consider yourself updated:

Best Valentine’s Day ever. In every way I could be wowed, I was.

Come to me for all your Excel queries; I am officially a spreadsheet wizard, whether I wanted to be or not.

Only one more doctor to see, but everything feels fine!

Coraline. LOVE the name almost as much as I disliked the movie. I prefer a movie without a moral as opposed to one with a poorly constructed plot centered around a weak message. But the 3Dness was pretty rad.

I will be in Houma, Louisiana next week, Tuesday – Friday. Houma?, you say. Yes, a tiny, dirty, industrial little town in LOUISIANA, no less! But guess what next week is…..

Mardi Gras.


I’ve never been anywhere near Louisiana during Mardi Gras, and Houma is actually an hour away, but hopefully at least one night we’ll make it down to some of the festivities. I’m not one to get crazy, but from a cultural standpoint, I can’t wait for this experience!

I’m not reading any good books right now, and this greatly depresses me. My masochistic nature sometimes prevents me from doing the one thing I know I love: reading. I’m thinking Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) for my serious book and maybe In Cold Blood (TC) for fun.

Beth Moore again tonight! No doubt I’ll come back inspired and refreshed.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This is one of my favorite acronyms. What you see is what you get. So true when it comes to me. If I'm sad, I cry, usually a lot and loudly. If I'm happy, there's probably even more tears and loudness. I don't have best friends because my life is whatever's more transparent than an open book, and I'm much better at disclosing the darkest parts of my life than the not.

And the biggest threat to my own happiness is myself. Get on a roll, things are lookin' good, start to look around at what other people are up to, feel like I'm not quite the stud I thought I was, lose steam...surrender and slunk away. I'll never be like anyone else (repeat 42 times a day while smiling, forced or not); my successes and my failures will not look like anyone else's. Alanis has a song about not realizing one's greatest potential for fear of being ostracized from the masses -- yes. Beth Moore said two weeks ago that she's dealt with fear her whole life and felt God tell her one night, "Fine! You're scared. DO IT SCARED THEN!"

With painstaking slowness, I'm learning that my path is not yours, nor yours, mine. Neither is one timeline better than another, and your tastes/opinions don't nullify my tastes/opinions. My mistep begins when I take my eyes off my one great Love and buy into all these lesser loves. It makes me itchy and restless, which I believe causes this rush into "safe" emotions like bitterness, jealousy and gossip. Yuck. No more please.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inherit THIS!

Tonight was very, very good. The Inheritance study is about what God promises those who love and live for Jesus. It's not a prosperity gospel thing at all; in fact, Beth is very clear about the fact that yes, in the OT, God promised land, wealth and crop to those who were obedient. But in the new Covenant, He promises the wealth of Jesus and the spiritual fruit that comes from obedience to Him as our reward.

So we've been talking about OUR inheritance as a daughter of the Most High God. We studied Levi and the Levites: God promised them an inheritance beyond their imagination. Something that would out-gift the best present anyone had every been given. Obviously, they were chomping at the bit for their God-given inheritance, but when the day came, God said, "I love you so much, you get nothing...but Me." Confused and feeling more than a little misled, the Levites realized the Lord's message is this: nothing compares to I AM. There is no earthly, tangible thing we could receive that would even slightly, barely, remotely, minutely compare to even one iota of Him.

Tonight, we looked at passages that blew my mind...scriptures that said that we are God's inheritance!

Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. For the Lord's portion is his people, Jacod his allotted inheritance.

Deut. 4:20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.

Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints...

We (!!!) are his rich, glorious inheritance! Knowing that, it makes me want to live as such.

Like a creeper I wrote down some of the things she said, some quotes that just strike me as "so BETH:"

"Lord, with all my heart I cannot think of anything more I'd ask for but hearts to love You. WE WOULD persevere. WE WOULD love others. WE WOULD...Hallelujah and Amen."

"You think living holy is boring? The kind of boring that speaks and seas are calm? The kind of boring that heals? That touches, and eyes are opened? The kind of boring that raises the dead and rolls away the stone? Being holy brings FREEDOM! We have no idea."

"When everyone else is tired of the length and breadth of your need, when everyone else thinks you should have been OVER "this" issue long ago, God stays with you, tells you of all his undying, incredible love for YOU."

Mmmm. Hallelujah and AMEN!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Office... my favorite (except for LOST, duh). It took me many seasons to actually like this show; I thought the characters were so unbelievable and unrelatable. Now, adoring the show as much as I do, I'm ashamed to have judged so harshly, so incredibly cruelly! Dwight was my least favorite. Dwight is now a golden spectacle of what a real man should be.

My stitches are out, my scabs are healing and now I've got some cool tribal-looking scars on my stomach. I'm not mad about it.

Mark Driscoll is my favorite pastor ever, and I've never even been to his church. He leads at Mars Hill Seattle, but I'm able to hear him speak every week through podcasts. He did a series called The Peasant Princess that focused on the Song of Solomon, and it rocked my world. I love hearing about relationships. I've always been this way; it's not a nosyness but a genuine desire to hear and understand how different people relate to those they do (or don't) love. The series was about relationships for both singles and marrieds. It was great, great, great on both levels.

Anyways, nobody but Driscoll can deliver God's Word with such unapologetic love and fear for the Lord. He speaks with insane conviction, power and desire for everyone to know and love Jesus, and it blows me away every week. For the next 8 months, he's preaching on 1 and 2 Peter - I'm very excited.

I'm reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Now that I'm making a couple bucks I might need to learn about stuff.

My best wishes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My life is now Excel. I've learned more in the past 2 days than I ever thought Microsoftly possible, and I'm not unimpressed. Unfortunately I have no idea what the data I'm reporting means, but Excel is a super cool program and is certainly a necessary skill for my repertoire. A former NextGen (another NOV program) is tutoring me, patiently answering my million-a-minute questions all day long.

Houston is cool. I need to make friends here and then I might even love it.

When I was growing up in Katy, my family and I went to Houston First Baptist Church. Unbeknownst to me, a woman named Beth Moore attended the church and would eventually start to lead a small Bible study there. Fifteen years later, the rest is history. Last night, I went to a seminar at HFBC she's doing called "The Inheritance." I could be wrong, but I think she's filming the episodes for an upcoming Bible study (probably called The Inheritance). The whole night was super moving, both the worship and the message. I went by myself (no other option), sat in the upper balcony (sometimes I like to watch the crowds worship) and didn't actually speak a word to anyone (except 'No, that seat's not taken!"). Beth Moore will be at the church every Tuesday til middle of March, and I plan to be there every week!

Since it's a Baptist church, it shouldn't be surprising or unfair to say that worship is a little tamer than I'm used to. As I was surveying the land, I saw some people raising hands and most, clapping. In one particular section, though, a group of women were rocking out, getting down and worshipping like few I've ever seen! This was the deaf section, and it was so powerful to see a whole section of women all signing in unison and with incredible passion. It brought tears to my eyes. I thought, we can't see our words, but when we sing with that much desire for the Lord, our voices must have that same breath-stealing effect in Heaven (as well as Hell).

I'm waiting for someone to tell me I'm healed through and through so I can join this Bikram yoga gym by the condo. I also need to find some artistic outlets because Excel is like negative amounts of creative.

The end for today.

Monday, February 2, 2009


God bless the USA. I’m so spoiled, so unapologetically spoiled, by the comforts of this country. I’ll probably hate it after a month, but right now I’m in love with my empty cubicle. First days, I’ve decided, will always be as pointless as the first days of class, which is why I always skipped those. Since there hasn’t been much for me to do today, I’ve been mentally planning how I want to arrange my cubicle. By the time I’m done, nobody will even be able to tell it was once a cubicle, except for the fact that this is cubicle-topia. I’m thinking 8 foot palm trees, a straw canopy and definitely a margarita machine.

Right now I am a report analyst. No idea what that means or if I’ll like it, but my boss – John Paul Lind lookalike – has made it clear that if it’s not my cup of tea, we’ll move me in a new direction. I also found out today there’s a chance I could go back to Australia for my final 6 month rotation. Something to think about, but if it’s possible I could spend the last 6 months in marketing, I would definitely take that opportunity.

One of my favorite parts about working here is the coffee/tea machines which all of us interns fell in love with our first week here. I gave up Diet Coke/Coke Zero/carbonated soft drinks for New Years. It’s been SO, SOO hard, and I did have some Sprite while I was sick, but other than that, I’ve stayed true. This tea machine keeps me up and moving throughout the day more than anything else, and keeps my mind off the tempting, tantalizing bottles and cans of sweet elixir I see all over the place.

If you are in need of busi-cas work clothes, Gap has these incredible pants – the style is “hip slung” – that I’m in love with. Plus, Regina Spektor is my favorite. And I can’t get enough of light chocolate Silk. I made mashed sweet potatoes last night, but they’re not as good as sweet potato fries.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Someday Never Comes

There was a Canadian boy we hung out with a lot in Australia. I never learned his real name, but everyone called him Jiggy. Jiggy was about 5 feet tall, hefty, with bleach blonde hair and what the other Canadians called a "fag tag." This tag was a lock of hair Jiggy had grown out and then wrapped with the most colorful thread he could find.

I don't know how long Jiggy (~ 22 yrs old) had been in Brisbane when we got there, and I don't know how long he plans to stay in Australia, but there's no doubt that he follows the ebb and flow of life with the least resistance of anyone I've ever met. Everywhere he goes, he gets a tattoo, and right before I left, he got a huge tattoo on the underside of his forearm that said "Someday Never Comes." Obviously, I loved it.

Alanis, my sage, is all about travel and personal, spiritual, phsyical growth. Her newest CD - better than Blue Bell on a hot day. The first track is called "Citizen of the Planet," and there are just a few lines I love:

Then I fly back to my nest, I fly back with my nuclear but everything is different. So I wait, my yearn for home is broadened, patriotism expanded by callings from beyond. I pack my things nothing precious all things sacred.

And so, the next few years are blurry, the next decade's a flurry of smells and tastes unknown. Threads sewn straight through this fabric through fields of every color one culture to another.

I already can't wait to travel again. I'm overwhelmed with excitement for the wee one and her trip to California! Viva la vida!

Tomorrow I start in Houston. My parents made me a makeshift bedroom in their tiny condo, so I'm sitting in "my room," listening to them eat dinner and watch The Boss perform at halftime. I'm super glad to be home.