Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Philip Pullman, I Believe I Like You Very Very Much

I have found a new author that I am very much in like with. The author is Philip Pullman and you should run now, quick like a bunny, and read something he has written.

Sometimes, I develop this sort of obsession for a particular author. I go on a jag where I read absolutely everything they have written. This can go pretty quickly for new authors (like Joshilyn Jackson, whom I love, love, love) or it can take years, like the first author I did this with waaaaay back in elementary (Christopher Pike, whom I have long since outgrown, but still holds a dear place in my book-loving heart).

My newest author kick is Philip Pullman, and he is awesome with a side of kick-ass. My Pullman obsession started with the Golden Compass series (which the movie does no justice). On our recent road trip, John and I listened to a short story called "Once Upon a Time in the North" and now I'm wrapping up the first in his Sally Lockheart series.

On his website, Philip (he and I should be on a first name basis, right?) says,
"As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means."

He sounds like a pretty cool guy to me. I can't wait to read all his books and figure out what they mean to me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

For weeks, I've been planning that today would be the day I decorated for Christmas. John documented the entire process. I, literally, rolled out of bed and got started. So, even through I'm still recovering from yesterday's 17 hour car ride and look like complete poo, I'm sharing the pics here with you, loyal reader. (Imagine if you were married to me, you too could be treated to this sight each morning.)

A trip to the attic yields all my accumulated Christmas booty. Yea, decorations! John said we have too much. I disagree. Only 2 medium tubs, 1 large tub and 2 trees. Not enough if you ask me.

First things first, I switch out my fall wreath for my winter one.

Hey, look! Non-frog decorations! I have a few of those.

The giant frog tree goes up, next. Hoppy Holidays!

Then we take a break to dance.

The OSU tree is crazier than ever this year, thanks to a Crazy Days sale at the Alumni Center.

I headed out into the cold and wet on my own to hang lights on the house. John was "working" something about a book deadline, blah blah. So you won't see any pics of me on the roof.

It got incredibly cold as the day went on, so we called it quits after 10 strands, but the front of the house looks pretty awesome if you ask me. (blame a very slow low light shutter speed for the blurriness.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

5 Ways to Procrastinate

A work-related writing assignment that I really was not feeling inspired this post.
  1. Go for walk. At work it seems I always need to jump up to check on something when I not into whatever task is at hand. Of course, I may just notice it more when I'm procrastinating. In general I tend to pace around a lot as I work.
  2. Do something else that really needs to be done. Because as long as you are being productive, it doesn't count as procrastinating, right?
  3. Clean. Does anyone else do this? It's like I'm punishing myself for not doing the task at hand.
  4. Be genuinely distracted and forget what you're doing. Oh, shiny!
  5. Blog! and speaking of blogging this is part of the second go-around of the 30-day blogging challenge.

Friday, November 27, 2009

100th Post!

Happy 100th post to me. To celebrate here are 100 things about me.
1. My favorite color is yellow.
2. Orange is a very close second favorite.
3. I love the Harry Potter books.
4. I've worked as a grocery checker
5. I've worked as a nursery attendant
6. I've worked as a camp counselor
7. I've worked at a library for the last 14 years
8. I've worked in PR for 10 years
9. I'm accredited in PR
10. I am often accused of being perky
11. I'm a natural redhead
12. I enjoy being the center of attention
13. I don't enjoy spending extended periods of time with other people who need to be the center of attention.
14. I have two sisters who look just like me.
15. I've been happily married for 4 years, 4 months and some change.
16. I have a bachelor's degree in environmental science
17. I have a master's degree in mass communications
18. My master's thesis was a discussion of PR ethics in government communications.
19. I think it sounds more impressive than it is.
20. I'm a home owner
21. I named my house "Little Blue" the day I saw it.
22. I was born in Germany.
23. Next summer I'm visiting Egypt.
24. I would not even consider eating a pickle for $500,000.
25. My husband thinks I'm an excellent cook.
26. I'm growing my hair out for locks for love.
27. I have a dog named Boogie Woogie.
28. I almost always have my toes painted.
29.I took ballet lessons for over 10 years.
30. I took belly dancing lessons for almost 2 years.
31. I graduated from Westmoore High School in 1995.
32. I'm now on the WHS Alumni Association Board.
33. My husband calls me "Boo"
34. I love gummi anything
35. I've send the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert 3 times
36. The next concert I'll see is Billy Joel/Eton John
37. I have season tickets for Cowboy Wrestling
38. I came in 3rd in an Iron Kids Triathlon when I was 12.
39. I collect all things frog
40. I have an entire xmas tree decorated in frogs
41. I wear mascara every single day.
42. I once went 2 and a half months without shaving my legs.
43. I still shaved my armpits, though, because that's just gross.
44. I'm a certified Irish Whiskey Taster.
45. My husband keeps me in fresh flowers.
46. Coming up with 100 things takes a long time.
47. Maybe I was just kidding about the whole 100 things.
48. Does anyone really want to read 100 things anyway?
49. No probably not.
50. How about 50 things to celebrate my 100th post. Yeah, I think that sound good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Week I Love: Thanksgiving

Need I say more? While Thanksgiving is not my absolute favorite holiday, it's pretty darn good. I means what not to love about a holiday that is basically food-based. I think every holiday should have a food component.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is green bean casserole. As my sister Sarah said as a toddler, "Bean Beans!!"

What's your Thanksgiving fave?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Internship Best Practices

Over at the PRSSA blog they summarized the newly released PRSA Internship Guidelines. I can't wait to read through the complete report. (How dorky is that?)

Based on the summary PRSSA provided, it looks like really good stuff. From my own personal experience, I think these are some of the most important things to get from an internship. We'll see if my thoughts line up with the PRSA report.

1. Build a mentoring relationship. You should leave an internship with at least one relationship that will continue to foster your professional development after the internship is over. This means you have someone you can call for advice as well as a reference.

2. Do real work. I hear what I consider horror stories about interns doing noting but fetching coffee and filing. An internship is certainly going to be a time to pay some dues, but you should be doing professional-level work as well. Yes, you'll run errands and wash some dishes, but you'll also participate in planning meetings and write stories for the annual report.

3. Be treated like a professional to learn how to be a professional. When you are held to professional standards, you learn to meet those standards. So even though you probably are the lowest paid employee in the office, you should be treated like everyone else. This can mean you get some pretty critical feedback. You'll prove you're a professional, if you learn from it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Time I Met Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson of NOVA/Origins fame was our 2009 speaker for the Cobb dinner. One of the perks of my job is when we bring in these "super famous" people, I get to act as the media escort. When they are nice and fun and motivated to fulfill their contracts, this is a really fun job. When they are rude, stuck up and generally don't seem to care if they get the other half of the speaking fee I'm holding onto until after the event, this can make for a miserable evening.

In case you're wondering, Neil probably falls somewhere in the middle for me. Not the best (I love you Ken Burns!), but certainly no where near the worst.

Emily and Dad got to come this year! I was so excited for my family to get to see one of the biggest events I coordinate each year.

I like when the authors come prepared for the book signing. I always have backup pens ready for them, but I'm impressed when they bring their own. Neil had an arsenal of various colors and inks.

Here I'm trying to explain to Neil why he needs to follow people on Twitter. I don't think he was impressed with my explaination of two-way commincation tools.

Here's my awesome team that worked hundreds of hours (yes, really) to make sure this was a great night for our 232 guests.

At the end of the night, Neil took us outside for a private tour of the night sky. There was a very impressive laser involved, but it's hard to explain without sounding dirty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holidays Begin... Now!

It's officially Thanksgiving week and I've spent the last 30 hours getting my house ready to start holiday season. This is such fun time of year; there is so much to look forward to! Here are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in the next 6 weeks.
  1. Lights on houses, especially my house
  2. Holiday blockbusters
  3. Yummy "holiday" flavors at Braums, Starbucks, etc.
  4. Office parties
  5. Seeing family that I only get to see once a year
  6. Seeing family that I see all the time
  7. Snow tubing at the ballpark
  8. Ice skating at the Civic Center
  9. The nutcracker (even if I don't get tickets, it makes me happy just knowing it's there)
  10. Presents!
  11. Stuffing, it is prime stuffing-eating season
  12. Santa Claus
  13. Mistletoe
  14. Pets get snuggly because it so cold outside
  15. My frog Christmas tree
  16. Road trips, to go see some of those family members from #5
  17. Cajun-fried turkey, I really hope I get some at some point
  18. The Christmas Story, it's good no matter how many times you see it.
  19. Time off of work
  20. Our annual John and Bonnie Drinks and Treats!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hello, Vacation!

Today is the first day of my nine day vacation. It feels wonderful!

No matter how much you may love your job, there are always times when it gets to be a bit a much. And that's what vacation leave is for! One of the best parts of my job is the very generous leave allocation. In fact, I get so much vacation time I'm often in peril of losing it. And, I'm a firm believer that you can't be a good employee if you don't take care of yourself first.

This week I'm taking care of myself and my husband and some family too. It's a bit over due.

Today, I launched a full fledged attack on the mess that has become my house. John was in full support and has been right there with me as we wage war on dust and clutter.

I consider it the start of Christmas decorating. Because you can put up all the glitterly light-up clutter until you clear out the dusty, dirty, where-the-heck-did-this-come-from clutter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Quickly I Become One of Them

So yesterday I complained about OSU sports, and today I get to put on my Posse hat. John and I are starting the weekend with the Cowboy Wrestling opener.

We've been season ticket holders for three years now, which officially makes us Posse members. But we are nowhere near the level that we would get to kick someone out of their parking space. Moot point anyway since they would never rearrange campus for a wrestling match.

Which is completely backwards! Because our wrestling team is awesome, and our football team is, well, you know.

So cross your fingers for the Cowboys! They take on Arizona State at 7 pm tonight!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

OSU Wants You to Know They Care...

...about football, and posse members, and television schedules, and donors who support our mission, students, research, academics, football.

If you work or go to school at OSU then today you lost your parking spot (which you paid for) to Posse Parking and were relocated to overflow lots along the perimeter of campus. I was "lucky." As a staff member I was able to park in a new parking garage on the north edge of campus and only had to walk 5 blocks to get to my building. One of my interns parked over a mile away and will still need to be out of the lot by 3:30 pm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Your Favorite Car Game?

The holidays are here and that means we'll be driving here, there, everywhere. Sometimes short drives and sometimes looooooong ones. Like any planning planner, I'm looking for some cheap and easy ways to entertain in the car.

Maybe I have it easy (or maybe actually I have it harder) because the folks I need to entertain in the car are only me and John. No kids for us, a puppy perhaps, but no kids.

On the agenda are
  • Books on CD, whatever I can find at the public library the day I stop by.
  • Podcasts, whatever I've managed to save up on my MP3 player. Stuff You Should Know and This American Life are good for road trips.
  • Who Am I? Guessing game much like 20 questions, but we don't play with a limit.
  • The Alphabet Game, locate the entire alphabet in order on any item outside the car.
  • Slug Bug. Need I say more.
  • Trivia Pursuit, minus the board.

So what's your favorite car game?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Dog Has a House Key

It seems everyday John and I treat the dog more and more like a real kid. Yesterday we gave her a key to the house.

Not the kind of key you're probably thinking, but an infrared key to her dog door. Boogie's dog door (the purchase and installment of which was a saga worthy of several blog entries) is very fancy and it allows us to lock, unlock or limit access.

The limited access means only an animal wearing a programed key can open the door. It's designed to keep out vermin. We use it to keep the vermin in, namely the bad cat, Mr. Mojo.

It took a bit of training to get Boogie comfortable with the door. At first she was afraid of it, then she'd sit and wait to use it until we gave her permission to use it, but finally she comes and goes as she pleases. So, we decided it was time to start using the key.

We'd put off this part because the locking mechanism makes a noise and there is a slight delay in the unlocking all of which were hindering our doggie-door-training efforts.

Boogie's first attempt at unlocking the door went a little something like this: I take out a treat and ask her go outside. In her enthusiasm to be treated she charges at the door and totally wipes out cartoon-style as she slams into the locked door. After a dazed moment, it unlocks and she pops right through. Surprisingly, her first rough encounter with the limited access door hasn't fazed her, and she's only unlocked the door for the cat once.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Train is Coming to Guthrie

The Christmas Train is coming, the Christmas Train is coming! I love riding the train, and soon it will be coming to my hometown, Guthrie.

The Guthrie Chamber of Commerce has been working with ODOT and Amtrak to set up a special visit to Guthrie by the Heartland Flyer. The Heartland Flyer is scheduled to arrive in Guthrie December 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th: the first weekend of the Territorial Walk.

If this year's Christmas Train is successful, there is a chance we could have train service for all of Guthrie Festivals. Amtrak has agreed to provide this year's service for at no charge to the city and use it as a pilot for future endeavors.

The train holds 200 passengers. It will leave from OKC, Thursday December 10 at 9:35 p.m. and arrive in Guthrie at 10:55 p.m. Passengers can expect an after-hours reception before they take a walk through town for a little late night shopping. There are plenty of hotels or B&Bs where you can stay over. You be able to get around town via the trolley or rental car, or weather permitting, even a horse drawn carriage.

Amtrak tickets are currently $7 per person for one way, the price could go up to $11 the longer you wait! For Tickets Call: 1-800-USA- rail or visit (use the code GUT to bring up the Guthrie Christmas Train).

What a great way to have some holiday fun and do your part to show the powers-that-be that Oklahomans want and will use a light rail system.