Thursday, January 26, 2012

Volunteering Experience 2

Through Wells Fargo today, I volunteered for Second Harvest Heartland. The group of us, who were mostly strangers who just happen to work for the same company, helped repackage food from bulk to smaller packages for distribution to different food shelves and soup kitchens.

What was our food that we were repackaging?

Dove Chocolate.

We took it from 24lb boxes, and put them in 2lb bags, then sealed the bag with a label and put them back in the boxes. My job was to seal the bag. The whole time, that episode of I Love Lucy was in my head, the one where she and Ethel get a job in the chocolate factory and end up eating and hiding all of the chocolates. I restrained myself, and only had 2 of the leftovers.

Proud of me, Mom? Mom has amazing will power, and restricted everyone in the house to eating only 2 dove chocolates a day. So tempting, but I've never broken that rule. Even when I'm not at home, I only eat two.

This is what I wanted to do, though.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Well, finally! After missing the bus and ending up in Minneapolis somehow instead of St. Paul the first time, and getting the flu the second time, I finally volunteered this month. I helped the Minnesotans United for All Families call voters to talk to them about voting against the ban on marriage for gays and lesbians (and bisexuals in same-sex partnerships, but in typical mainstream lesbian and gay issues, bisexuals are never mentioned).

Out of 41 times I dialed the phone, I had 2 conversations. 9 other people stopped me and told me they didn't want to talk to me. It was fun anyway, though. I helped convince someone to vote no on the marriage amendment. Yay! I helped!

I'm going back next week (fingers crossed; my luck was not so good before). I'm also going to box food at Second Harvest Heartland later this week through work.

Volunteer resolution so far? Check!

As for the gym membership, I don't really like exercising. If I get the 12 month membership, I know I will go 3 times a week, even if I don't really want to. However, I've been going 4-5 times a week so far this month, and I've already noticed I'm more toned, and down a notch on my belt. My skin is clearer, too. I think I am getting healthier, so it might be worth the $17 after insurance. I thought about just doing exercise videos at home, but I know I wouldn't do it.

So the real question is: Is being in better shape worth $17 and 5 hours a week? I still have a couple weeks to decide, but I am just not sure. I was fine before. I wasn't overweight. I wasn't out of shape, but I wasn't in shape either. But if I don't start now, will I when I need to?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great TV Show: United States of Tara

I started watching a TV show called the United States of Tara.

It's about Tara, a 35 year old mother and wife with DID (or multiple personality disorder). It's a very funny, but with very serious issues. Tara has three main alters: Alice, the perfect housewife; Buck, the Vietnam vet who loves guns and pussy; and T, the 16 year old party girl.

Tara is married to Max, who is probably the best husband in the world. They have two teenage kids: Kate and Marshall. Kate is a little lost and trying to find her way, and a little rough around the edges. Marshall is little mister perfect, who wears ties and suspenders and is looking for love from a bicurious pastor's son. Her sister, Charmaine, is a single woman who just wants to be normal, and had lot of love and resentment for Tara.

It's a really funny show. It's available on netflix, both instant watch and dvd. There's a lot of swearing, but it's really funny. And sad.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Progress on New Year Resolutions

So far my New Years resolutions are moving along nicely.

~I bought a month-long gym membership for $30 from Anytime Fitness through Group-on, just to test it out and see if I like it. I'm going there the first time on Monday.

~I just signed up to volunteer for an hour this week, and 3 hours next Wednesday, so there are my 4 minimum hours of volunteering for January. Plus I get to watch a movie in theaters for free, so it is saving me money, too.

~I went to the mall yesterday, and only used $2 beyond the gift cards I had from Christmas. That is pretty impressive to me, that I left with a bag full of kitchen swag, and only spent $2. Good job saving money!

So far, winning this year. I also had an awesome day at work, so that's pretty cool. It's an unofficial resolution is to do an exceedingly good job at work, but that isn't something new at all. I should always strive to exceed expectations at work.

A photo that I took in New Mexico, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I normally don't make New Year's resolutions, but now that I'm not in school, I actually have some time and mind to prioritize my own betterment.

Anyway, so I have a couple general goals, with some ideas of how to achieve those.

1) Get more physically fit
~Exercise regularly, likely by joining a gym and going at least 3 times a week
~Get some upper arm strength
~Push myself, even when I'm tired and all I want to do is lay down.

2) Get out more
~Volunteer at least 4 hours a month
~Have a social event at least once a week.
~Keep my house clean so I don't feel embarrassed to invite friends over.

3) Be responsible
~Keep my little obligations, even my little obligations to myself
~Save money! Don't drink at bars, don't buy dessert, stay in and cook!
~Make doctor/dentist/vet appointments promptly, instead of procrastinating like I normally do.