30 March 2009

Ten Life-Defining Moments

When called to obey
When seeking to be known
When faced with failure
When pursuing your purpose
When taking a stand
When engaged in suffering
When asked to forgive
When experiencing temptation
When needing to repent
When deciding on God

The above is a list from a little book I happen to have. I thought this little blurb was really interesting not only because I am in complete agreement that all of those things are life-defining but that they have all happened to me in the last 5 months. Another interesting thing about the list is that (I believe) they are in a very specific order. Still another observation I made about the list was that, as with anything, really, the items listed here can be greatly aided by engaging in prayer.

The list, applied to my life:

When called to obey - letting go of a person I did not want to let go of
When seeking to be known - witnessing to that person
When faced with failure - realizing I should have put God first a long time ago
When pursuing your purpose - reviving my relationship with God
When taking a stand - not backing down on my journey; not giving in
When engaged in suffering - nights of crying myself to sleep for missing a piece of my former life
When asked to forgive - needing to forgive myself, requesting the forgiveness of the person I hurt
When experiencing temptation - focusing on who I'm becoming instead of reverting to my old self
When needing to repent - asking God for his mercy, grace and guiding hand
When deciding on God - fully trusting in Him

I wonder how this list applies to the lives of others...


17 March 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I wore my favorite green work top today. I hope you, too, took measures to avoid the pinches!

I have this little mug that I once received as a gift. It has my favorite Irish saying on it: "May your joys be many, your troubles be few. May the luck of the Irish be always with you!"

So, I've never celebrated St. Patrick's Day. The one in 2008 was the first I was ever old enough to celebrate, but it wasn't very big in Australia. Today I intend to celebrate with Kevin et. al. I've yet to make arrangements, but I'm sure I can scrounge something up for tonight!

Here are a few links for your Irish music enjoyment:






09 March 2009

A Birthday, Brothers and Blessings

I just got off the phone with the lovely Miss Kristin! Today is her 23rd birthday! I called to wish her a fabulous day and catch up a bit. We have some flights to book and needed to discuss some logistics. It was so nice to hear her kind voice. She had the day off and Aric was baking her a cake; I'm so happy she's having a pleasant birthday!

So yes, I have a flight to Iowa coming up at the end of May. Earlier that month I'll be in Indiana for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon, so it'll be a lot of traveling that month. Fine by me!

I ordered home delivery from the library last week. I ordered SATC Season 2, discs 1 and 2 but only disc 2 arrived today, along with the SATC Movie Soundtrack. I hope disc 1 shows up soon! I'm excited to see what happens to Carrie and her friends next!

Today was a long day at work but not at the same time. I snacked a bit through the afternoon. That wasn't good. But I did have some yogurt instead of buttery popcorn, so that's a plus. Right now I'm fixing jambalaya for dinner (and left-overs, naturally). It smells wonderful!

My weekend was good and bad. Friday was a great day, work included. Kevin and I had fun at Happy Hour at the Orlando Ale House. We had a nice time, and I was one ball away from winning at pool! Saturday I had a great run with the Orlando Women Runners. We ran at Lake Baldwin. I ran two laps around for a total of 5 miles in 47 minutes (I walked a tiny bit and that time includes a short cool down, but my main average was around 8:30 minutes/mile, which is fantastic for me). Here is a photo of me and Marsha, a masters student at UCF:

After the run I saw that Raven had a flat tire. Great. So I fixed that up, got home and washed Raven (she's so purdy now!), napped, read and had a very pleasant evening at King Tut's hookah lounge. I met a guy named Omar who managed to get me on the floor to dance for a bit! It was certainly an entertaining night.

Sunday morning was frustrating. I drove 40 minutes to my destination church only to find that the church had relocated. The sign only had a website - not even their new address! I was really bummed to miss out on another sermon and the opportunity to mingle with other Christians. So I turned around, drove the 40 minutes back while focusing on relaxing to some Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. I turned the morning upset into an productive afternoon: I planned my groceries for the week, cleaned up my computer nook, sorted papers that needed sorting, and did a few things online. I felt much better afterwards. Then I had a great nap and read a little. The evening was topped with some journaling (with pen and paper) in a comfy chair across from a cute guy at Starbucks.

I just finished a phenomenal conversation with my brother, Chucky. Heart-lifting and faith-building, we learned a lot about and provided support to one another. Thank you so much, Chucky. I love you so much!

Time for some reading and then to bed. I'm running at 6AM tomorrow. Gotta get that sleep.


04 March 2009

Great News

After some patient waiting, I have an official assignment at Lockheed Martin! I will be on the Assured Identity program, providing support as a requirements and test engineer. I'm not exactly sure what all that entails, since I've not done it yet, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless! I'll be posting about the Assured Identity program in the near future.


03 March 2009

Unstructured Post

It's time I catch up here with the random going-ons in my life. Currently I am enjoying a bottle of wine by myself for the very first time. It is a mark of fabulous independence. I'm drinking a 2008 Yellow Tail shiraz, a product of Australia! Obviously this makes me doubly happy. I'm listening to the soothing melodies of the Feist Pandora Internet radio station, and I'm having a delicious Greek salad. It reminds me of happy evenings during my final semester at Purdue.

I bought an iPhone a few weeks ago. As a Mac user it made a lot of sense for me to choose it over the BlackJack 2, which is Windows Mobile and basically identical to my old phone, the original BlackJack. Naturally, I love everything about the iPhone with a couple of exceptions. One, I can't get my Bluetooth headset to make a relationship with the iPhone; I think the iPhone only plays with a particular headset. I'm not sure. Two, no picture text messaging. Other than that I think it's genius. Apple knows how to please its customers. They create things that flow with the mind's train of thought. Their products just make so much sense.

Lately I've become obsessed with Pandora, the aforementioned Internet radio website. The best thing about the website is that you give it an artist or a song to work with and it plays songs similar to your request; makes for a great way to discover new artists and songs. I've been very keen on the Frou Frou and Feist radio stations. Look 'em up. At least check out Pandora. You can thank me later.

I recently received word on my high school's 5 year reunion. It's hard to believe that it was five years ago that I graduated from high school. It will always return to memory with a sense of pettiness. A couple months ago I had a discussion with an old friend about whether or not we would attend our high school reunions. We both agreed that we probably wouldn't: people only want to show off at these sorts of functions. However, I have been in touch with some old friends from school, and it may be a nice opportunity to meet up with them. Any way, I was originally set against attending, but I'm rethinking my decision. I doubt it, but it would make for a good reason to have a trip up to Indiana in the fall. I might go for that reason alone.

Orlando is treating me well. I'm making it a point to scoop out the interesting places to grab coffee, dine, and relax. Yelp has been a great aid in that endeavor. Yelp is a reviews website; a great source of information.

I officially start my mini-marathon (13.1 miles) training today. Since the new year I've been training several times a week, no slacking! I'm quite proud of myself. Now it's time to start upping the mileage! Speaking of races, Lockheed Martin is sponsoring me to run a corporate 5K race in downtown Orlando at Lake Euola. I'm excited for that one! As a side note for training, I've been doing a great amount of cross-training with cycling and swimming!

Great news: I'm going to be at Purdue on Saturday, 2 May! I'm running the Indy 500 Mini that morning, but the plan is that I'll be well trained and able to move my body later that night, haha. That's the current plan.


01 March 2009

Interesting Stories

Lately I've come by some interesting stories online. Here's my latest dose of online entertainment for your amusement.

New Medical Disorder Linked to Gaming, known as "PlayStation palmar hidradenitis."

Crocodiles With Frickin' Magnets Attached to Their Heads. I, too, would like to know who has the job of affixing the magnets to the crocodiles.

Designer Babies. This really irks me. Reminds me of A Brave New World. Why can't people just accept life as it is handed to them? People want to customize their children! Where is the fun in that? You know the mystery of what color their eyes will be, what color their hair will be... For goodness sakes. Really? What about 6 years after the kid is born. Everyone else will have the perfect blond-haired, blue-eyed, tanned child at the play ground. If your parents couldn't afford to design you (or if they preferred to take you as you are, genetically), you'll be made fun of for having freckles and brown hair. As if children didn't face enough growing up. Designer babies. Good grief.

Gamer claims identifying as a lesbian lead to Xbox ban. Why does Microsoft care about their customer's sexuality? I don't get it.

Double-amputee New Zealander has mermaid dreams fulfilled. My dream every time I was playing in the "lagoon" (aka shallow end) of the pool when I was growing up in Cincinnati, haha!

Data copy and Internet connection sharing dongle. Interesting gadget.

Cross-domain ID. Makes perfect sense.


Why Sparrows?

Perhaps you are wondering why I've settled on sparrows for my potential tattoo? Here is an array of reasons if you are interested:

Sparrows symbolize many things. Freedom, for one. Who doesn't want to be free in any sense of the term? In the last several months I've become free in a number of ways, and the sparrow represents those freedoms to me.

Biblically speaking, in the New Testament, Jesus reassures his followers that not even a sparrow can fall without God's notice, and that their own more significant suffering is certainly seen and potentially forestalled or redeemed by God (Luke 12:6; Matthew 10:29).

Sparrows are a unique bird because when they find their mate, they stay together until the end. Isn't it absurd that birds can manage that but we humans fail to remain completely loyal? True, birds don't have the emotional complications that we have, but we are intelligent creatures and still make poor decisions when it comes to who we spend our lives with. I was raised to believe that marriage is forever, no matter what. I hold that belief strongly, but would probably allow for exceptions if the relationship turned abusive, etc. I like to think that I can read people well enough that I could rule out the possibility of a sour relationship with regards to abuse. That said, I can say that I will remain with the man I marry until the end; this is another way I relate to the sparrow. Sparrows symbolize finding true love.

Even journeys are linked to sparrows, though mostly in a nautical way. Tattoos of two sparrows are common among sailors because one represents a safe journey, the other safe return. Every 5,000 miles sailors add a banner from the sparrows' beaks (I think I got that part right; I read a few different things, but that seems on track for the most part). In addition to this, sparrows often travel great distances, but always return home. Life is a journey, and we hope for a safe one. Reflection is a sort of journey, and, to me, is the safe return, no matter the distance crossed. Here sparrows represent life's adventure and self reflection; those are two things I hold very dear, especially since my trip in Australia.