New Year's Resolutions

I came up with three resolutions for 2008.
1. Get into a regular exercise routine.
2. Create and stick to a budget.
3. Leave the country.
I decided to get to work right away. And I began with the last. 
For the past year I've really wanted to head to Europe. I've made lots of, uhh, wishes with friends about a European trip. I have lots of options. But here is the concrete thing. I want to go to France. I don't really care about any other country right now. So I began fulfilling my goal by looking up flights. 
I am on salary now so I can expect a certain amount of money. It's also real money, meaning I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. I can save and invest and buy big ticket items. I want to have all my ducks in a row so I need help. I need a financial advisor. I did a bit of a search online. I think I am going to need more time to look into that. Anyone know anyone?
Lastly, exercise. My work offers a $3/month membership to the local rec center. I looked it up and it has some pretty awesome classes. Problem is the local rec center is local to work, not local to me... living in suburbia... with my mother. I like my mother but I need to grow up. And moving out will also help me to make the rec center local to me. And then maybe I would go there and do the classes. So, in order to get fit, I looked up some apartments.
So those are the resolutions. I am throwing them out there to the universe. 
Hey, Universe! I am throwing you some wishes!


Hair Dye Insights

I'm waiting for the timer to go off and announce that the hair dye has set in and I can shower. (Was that a run-on sentence or just a lot of conjunctions?) So I have time to think and a few things have occurred to me.
  • Flirting isn't really taking me to "the next level."
  • Some hair dye kind of stings. Or it makes me itch. I don't know what to call that.
  • We should all be more righteous. Not in a California sort of way, but spiritually and morally.
  • Good people are everywhere. 
  • Your soul and body both thrive on good nutrition. When you take in crap, you feel like crap. So stupid/amoral/inappropriate entertainment makes you feel stupid. Get my drift?
  • Jordan Bluth is the Mormon Josh Groban. 
  • Cook books don't make you a chef. But they do make for good reading.
  • Saying thank you ten times goes a long way.
  • People really do like to talk about themselves more than any other topic. We should indulge some people more often. It makes me feel like a winner.
  • It really doesn't make you feel better when people say, "You are so wonderful/pretty/smart/etc. that I can't understand why some guy doesn't just nab you up!" It makes you doubt men's intellect and then they are less attractive. 
  • My family's okay. 
  • Sometimes when you don't know what else to say you shouldn't think of something and hope it flies. 
  • Stories like And There Eyes Were Watching God and the Outsiders remind me that everyone has a story to tell and something to offer the world.
Hair's done baking. What insights have you gained?


The Nutcracker

 The Nutcracker ballet should only be undertaken by those artists whose talents assure perfection. Last year I attended at Nutcracker ballet performed at a large theatrical barn. It was awful. They added to pieces which were blasphemy in themselves -- an Irish dance piece and something that reminded me of a disco. There were many other awful things about last year's performance which caused me to feel betrayed, upset, and ripped off.

This year I returned to the Nutcracker company of my youth -- Utah Regional Ballet. The ballet begins with the party guests arriving. Among the pack is the ├╝ber-creepy Godfather Drosselmeyer. He gives Clara, our heroin, a Nutcracker (every little girl's dream) which her brother Fritz breaks a bit. I find Clara a bit over-dramatic. She runs to stage right and cries something fierce. Oh my entitled child! Finally everyone goes to bed and there's a crazy dream sequence where the Christmas trees grow! Mice, including the matron mouse with a pink bow, start a fight with the Nutcracker who has now come to life. At this point in the ballet I start to feel uncomfortable. True confessions, male ballet performers have the most awkward costumes of anyone on any stage. It takes a moment before I can forget about my discomfort. The Nutcracker defeats the Rat King and flies Clara to someplace where it's really snowy. Then there is kind of a boring dance with snowflakes. My mom really digs this part but for me the second act is the best. After the intermission taken to sweep the snow off the stage, Clara finds herself in the land of the Sugar Plum fairy. She sits in audience as the coolest dances are performed to the coolest music. The Spanish and English dances are short but full or energy and momentum. The music constantly drives the ballerina at a fast pace around the stage. The Oriental and Russian dances are full of quirky and energy and each one is a prize. But my favorite is Madame Ginger. Always played by a man, this huge woman produces tiny girls from her skirts. How awesome is that! Everyone loves the dance of the sugar plum fairy and the Corps de Ballet and Grand pas de Deux.

Every year I yearn to be a ballerina. They are true athletes and make something absolute gorgeous to behold. Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas than a good Nutcracker ballet.


Pushing Daisies

So my appointment canceled on me and I had a couple hours to kill before the next one. I was at home and flipping channels and came upon the coolest thing ever. ABC's Pushing Daisies is a new show about a man who can bring the dead back to life with a touch and with another touch they are dead forever. He teams up with a detective to solve the mysteries of the people's deaths. And he brings to life his childhood crush, whom he calls Chuck, and there is still love there, but they can't touch each other or else she will drop dead forever.
It isn't creepy like CSI or anything. In fact, it's really witty and clever, and watching it feels and looks a little bit like watching "A Series of Unfortunate Events." The set decoration is gorgeous and the characters are quirky.
Granted I've seen a whole half-hour of the show, but what I saw was really impressive. And if what I've said so far isn't enough, the has a neat narrator and costars Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked!). Check out this clip and let me know what you think.


Bite me!

I was sitting in supervision. That's a once a week occurrence with my supervisor which amounts to therapy. I was telling him that I wanted to put one of my kids on a special program to help him stop biting the skin around his nails, an  unhealthy coping skill for an extremely anxious kid . Long story short, it's not bothering the kid; it's just bothering me. I left supervision feeling anxious. And then I was anxious all week long. I'm still feeling anxious. It's like my supervisor brought something to the surface, something that was doing very well buried deep, deep in my soul.
Truth is I don't know if I am doing a very good job. I don't think I've hurt anyone. But I take it personally when a kid doesn't improve.  I'm not confident enough about my own abilities to blame a lack of progress on the kid. So my kid's biting issue had less to do with him and more to do with me. I see it as a lack of progress; he's still anxious, and that means I'm not a very good therapist. Logically, I see the thinking error; in my heart --  or rather in my stomach -- I don't. I still get uptight when my kids don't improve. 
What crazy beliefs do you have about other people that have nothing to do with them?