Thursday, December 29, 2005

Last day at Kelly's
So today last day at Kelly's...obviously. I think its going to be nice to have just one job again. I was thinking about going back to full time earlier, wondering if I'd get tired or burned out, and then I happened to remember that I worked SIX days a week practically this whole month and loved it. So I think I'll be fine...

Christmas was wonderful. Jim's family has a lot of fun traditions. I really enjoyed the time up there...but I always do.

More about that later. I need to get ready for work.

Cramps suck BIG time.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The whole fam damily's here...
I woke up this morning and walked out of my room to be greeted by mom, dad, Mel, Nolynn, and Jimmy all in the living room and dining room. This is rare, but nice.

Well, tonight after work Jim and I are off to Schaumburg to be with his family through Christmas morning. We're traveling back that day to be here with my family for about half the day. This will be my first Christmas ever not waking up in my family's house. Kinda weird... Actually, this is my first time ever splitting the holidays between families. Jim and I were together last year during the holidays, but we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas apart with our own families. This year, Jim spent Thanksgiving here with my family and we're spending all of Christmas eve and half of Christmas up there with his.

This trip is going to be fun. Aside from the holiday festivities, I also get to take a train into Chicago tomorrow, spend the day downtown, an then see the lights on Michigan Avenue when it gets dark. I can't wait. I'm like a kid when it comes to stuff like that. I'm also excited to see Jim's sister's new condo she just bought with her boyfriend, Tony (who is from South Africa and has a very cool accent-exactly like Adrienne's from The Benjamin Gate for those of you familiar with her).

Ok, enough babbeling. I'd better get ready for work. And maybe pack something.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!! LOVE!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

And now a lesson in coffee (courtesy of an old email from Aimee):
"Regular coffee is just brewed coffee. Espresso is a specific brew method where you take darkly roasted coffee that has been ground very fine and force hot water through it at a high pressure. The machines that are used to do it here produce only several ounces at a time. This is thought to be the standard serving. (that sentence sounds funny). A latte and a cappuccino both start with espresso. Then you add milk. When you warm milk by using steam you create two distinct things. Steamed milk, and the frothed milk that sits on top. A latte is espresso, with steamed milk, and a little froth on top. A cappuccino is espresso, and equal amounts steamed milk to froth. If you had two cups that were of the same volume and one was a cap and one was a latte, the cup with the latte would be heavier than the cup with the cap because the steamed milk is much denser than the frothed milk. And the latte has more steamed milk than the cappuccino. A mocha is a latte with the addition of chocolate syrup."

RTQ 12/20/05: What is your favorite coffee drink (hot or cold or both)?

Monday, December 19, 2005

An e-mail from WHOM?
So something I never expected happened yesterday. I was checking my e-mail and saw an e-mail with the following subject title: "A surprise Merry Christmas from Liana".

*excuse me?*

Maybe a few of my current circle of friends have heard me mention her in regards to a theatre troupe I was in, or something random here or there, but basically she was my best friend from sixth grade through half of high school. She and her mom moved away after our sophmore year. Long story short, our friendship suffered some very troubled times, and we didn't leave on the best of terms. This is something I've always regretted.

So I opened the e-mail, not really knowing what to expect, and found a warm letter, with an update on her life inside. She's been with a wonderful man for three years now, and they're getting married in June. Her hubby-to-be is a song-writer by passion, and she is still writing too (something she really enjoyed when we were best friends).

The funny part about all of this is that she has been on my heart constantly for the past few months. It seemed so random at the time, to be thinking often of someone you haven't seen in a decade, but now I believe it was God preparing me for this reunion of sorts. I even tried to find her online a few months back, unsuccessfully. You know how she got my e-mail? She found THIS BLOG. Well, whattya "Hi, Liana", if you're reading this!

I've since e-mailed her back. She lives in Minnesota now, so she isn't really a short drive away, but perhaps we'll be e-pals :)

I told her this in the e-mail I replied with--it feels really nice to have resolution after such a long time. And as for the past, I choose to just think about our good memories. That's how it should be.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I don't need an alarm clock.
I have a boxer who will either sit by my bed, or, if necessary, climb onto it in the morning, place his face within an inch of mine, and whimper loudly until I get up and let him out. If I'm lucky, this occurs at 7am. If I'm not, it occurs at 5:30am.

Monday, December 12, 2005

...just so you all know...
I haven't always gained the kind of respect I've really desired.

I've decided that's changing. As of now.

And now for some wisdom from Jim:
"That man should be wearing a du-rag. Why? Because he is black."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

So last week, I went into Carpenter's Son for the first time since before Jim and I started dating. I'm not sure why I didn't go sooner; maybe it was subconscious. At any rate, I went to get one of Jim's Christmas presents. I could have gone to Family, but I had two coupons for a total of 35% off of the item. When you're poor, you go with the discounts. So I went in, and of course, didn't recognize anybody. That is, until Tricia, Cliff's wife, saw me.
Here's a bit of background. I worked at Carpenter's Son from '97 to '99 when I was in college. Then I quit to pursue a job elsewhere more related to my major. I went back in 2000 and worked there for two years, but this time, as the music department manager. A real job. I loved it. Unfortunately, there were certain people working there at the time that sought to manipulate and divide and I got caught in the middle. Because I was naive. Yay for being dumb. Eventually the situation smoothed itself out, but not before I got the opportunity to go to Master's. So I took it. I quit with about 10 days notice and moved to Canada. Two years of ministry later, I came back to Lafayette. I got a job in a place I like to refer to as Hell, a.k.a. Smith Office. I was let go from there due to cutbacks (thank GOD) and found myself at Kelly's doing framing. I am thankful for this job, but let me explain my dilemma there. I apparently lack flair. Those who have seen Office Space know exactly what I mean. I have been "talked to" three times about my job. What is wrong you ask? Well, I've been told that I am excellent with customers, my layouts are wonderful, I sell expensive stuff, my finishing is excellent, and I am great to work with. So what's the problem? Well, the best I can figure is that they want me to "take more ownership" in the company. They explained to me how they will work 15 days in a row if neccesary to keep caught up. I respect that, but the funny thing is, when I came in I told them I was looking for a PART TIME JOB. What part of that entails working 15 straight days (especially for the meager wage they pay me)? I just don't think I can fit the mold they have in mind. That and I heard a woman who came in who didn't know I was there make a JOKE about me being on the internet all day (which I would NEVER do). That hurt my feelings. But I didn't say anything. I kept working. It's just confusing. My coworker, Sarah, could goof off all day and my boss would give her a bonus for coming in when she didn't feel well. I could come in on my day off to help (which I've done several times) and then get a speech about my work ethic. It's just frustrating. One day I'm getting a "talk" and the next week I get a small cash bonus for my "extra effort". Am I a good employee or a bad one? My head hurts just thinking about it...
So back to my trip to Carpenter's Son. All of this had been going through my mind, and Tricia walked up to me to start chatting. One of the first things she said is that I look skinny. Good start. Then she said she'd been thinking a lot about me lately, how she regrets the situation I was put in, how bad decisions were made. I agreed with all of it and also confessed to making some bad decisions in the whole situation. I found out that the "trouble-makers" were gone and that business was good. And then, out of nowhere, she asked me to pray about coming back. I replied with, "how many times does someone have to quit before you guys won't take them back?" We laughed about it, but apparently going to school or moving away is an exception to the no-rehire thing. Kinda wish I'd known that a year and a half ago...anyway...I went back the next night to talk to Cliff. He said he'd be open to me either just helping for the holidays OR coming back full time. Hmm...stay at a job where I'll never measure up, or go back to one I really enjoyed. Tough choice. So I am now officially working at both, until January. I already talked to my boss at Kelly's and she's happy for me (or maybe that was relief...hmm). And, pending one more conversation with Cliff, will start full time back at Carpenter's Son in January. They have three positions opening up or already open, and I'm specifically interested in one. No, it's not music, but I'm okay with that. I'm not quite as obsessed as I used to be anyway...
I'm looking forward to being at a place where I know I'm appreciated and make a difference. And where I will, by working only a few more hours a week than I do now, will double my income. And that's starting out.
Hmm...enjoying what I do AND getting paid for it...weird.

So that's my life right now. And just so everyone knows, I work EVERY day this month at one or both jobs except for Sundays and a couple days before Christmas. So...yeah...

LOVE to all.

And chocolate.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Work-a-holic wannabe
I now officially have two jobs. I've gone from a part-timer to a two-timer.

Details to follow soon...probably in the form of a short novel. Prepare yourself, Steve.