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Archive for the ‘February Challenge’ Category

Note: I just realized that this has been sitting in my drafts since Sunday! oops! Better late than never!

27. Paper or plastic? And why?

If I remember to bring them, I use reusable papery-plastic-whatever bags, otherwise I use paper. (But probably not for the reasons you think.)

I like everything to be organized in my grocery bags, which is much harder to do when you have a plastic grocery bag (which cause everything to fall all over everything else.)

Also, I sort of just love groceries in paper bags. It makes my heart happy in a weird way.

As for the reusable bags, yes, I care about our environment, but to be perfectly honest, my use of these is more because I really hate plastic grocery bags and it’s usually a pain to get your sacker to use paper bags. (And paper bags aren’t an option in the self-checkout.)

Which do you choose?

❤ LF

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Confession: I forgot about today’s post until about 9:00 tonight.
I think I can be excused, however, seeing as how I took at brutal, mind-zapping four hour exam this morning. But enough about that, since exam = boring and embarrassing moments = funny (hopefully).
Enjoy the last day of the February Challenge! It has wiped me out so I might stay under the radar for the next several days.

28. Describe an embarrassing moment you had in the past few years.

I chickened out from posting the entry I orignally wrote for this question. Here is a different situation that contains much less TMI.

A few weeks ago, I was at my weekly community group dinner meeting with my husband. The theme was Asian food and there were various dishes prepared, including edamame. As I went through the food line, I noticed that there were two plates of edamame, one a little fuller than the other.

“What’s the difference between these plates?” I thought out loud / asked my fellow food-line members. When no one really answered, I decided that since they looked the same, they must be. I put a few on my plate and continued on my merry way.

A while later, about halfway through dinner, I picked up my first piece of edemame. As I brought it to my mouth, I realized it didn’t have anything inside.

“That’s odd,” I thought, “but I’m sure that happens sometimes, I mean, I’ve found empty pecans before.”

I picked up my second piece and put the end of it in my mouth. This one was empty as well. And then it hit me.

There were two plates because one plate was for the empty edemame pods that people had already eaten!!!!!

About that time, it also hit the girls who were sitting around me observing me not being able to eat my edamame. I think there were a few screams and a few unfortunate laughs.

I mean, when you think about it, it is SO gross.

Lukily, I am pretty good at not thinking about things.

(Also, I like everyone in my group and am not incredibly grossed out by any one of them, so, I think I’ll survive, but I’ll probably pass on the edamame next time around.)

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26. Do you cry during books/movies? If so, what cues the waterworks?

A) Yes

B) Everything.

More specifically: If a beloved pet dies, if a couple becomes permanently separated (emotionally or physically), when parents and their kids are tragically separated, when hearts are broken, when the underdog wins, when the enemy succeeds to the demise of the good guy…this list could go on forever.

❤ LF

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25. Which do you prefer: the mountains or the ocean? (Or both?)

Both. 

I love the magic and magnificence of the mountains. I visited Alaska a few summers back, and I fell head over heels in love with the blue, snow-capped mountains that lined our drives through the countryside. I still miss them even now. 

Also, one day during our honeymoon, we went snowshoeing in the mountains of British Columbia with just a guide and another guy. In the middle of our hike, the sky opened up and we were caught in the middle of a snow-flurry. In the middle of a forest, on a mountainside. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the most magical moments of my life. 

But the beach, oh the beach. The exhilaration, the rush, the power. 

I am not the kind of girl who is content to sit on the sand and read a book. If I had wanted to read a book, I wouldn’t have slathered on sunscreen and traveled all the way to the beach, I would have curled up in a comfy window-seat in the shade. If I’m going to be at the beach, I am going to be in the water. Hopefully with a boogie board in my arms, wrestling with the amazing force of the waves. It is one my favorite outdoor activities. I become a completely different person in the ocean. 

But also, the ocean instills so much awe in me. I have been pulled under and thrown around by more waves and more times than I can count. I have also been pushed way further out to sea than I would ever choose to go without a boat. The ocean has made sure that I fully understand that I am no match for its power and that it will do as it chooses. How amazing then must our God be that He controls the sea? This giant force that stops for no man is completely under His control. So beautiful!

Which are your favorite? Do you have any great stories about your love for either?

❤ LF

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24. Write about your favorite character from a book or movie.

I love Mr. Darcy (specifically the Colin Firth version.) I also love Lyra Belacqua (and Iorek Byrnison!!!). And Alice Cullen. And Kahlan Amnell. But, it’s sort of hard to explain why I like each of them so much.  

That said, there is one more character for that list for whom my interest is easily explained, even if it’s not extremely obvious at first. But, after writing an entire post about this character, I’ve realized that I can’t actually tell you about him or her. Why not? Because it is a character in my favorite book. The reason this character is my favorite is due to a hugely unexpected plot twist at the end of the book. If I explain to you why this character is so amazing, I will have completely ruined the story for you, should you ever chose to read it. I can’t betray my favorite book like that. 

So, instead, I will tell you about Sousuke Sagura (pronounced Sose-kay).

(The rest of this post is going to be pretty nerdy, but please don’t quit being my friend!)

Sousuke is the star of the Full Metal Panic! tv show, but, as I recently discovered, the show is based on a “book” series, so it still counts! 

Sousuke is part of an independent military group, Mithril, that sort of works at keeping the peace around the world. He doesn’t have any family and has basically grown up in the military, so obviously he takes his job very seriously. When Full Metal Panic! begins, the main task he is charged with is pretending to be a high school student so that he can guard Kaname Chitori from enemy attacks. He has to guard her because she is a “whispered.” (Meaning that she is gifted in a special way and could provide a huge advantage to any opposing forces who happen to capture her and tap into her abilities.) The other main part of his duties involve operating a special man-powered-robot that only he has the ability to control  (sort of like Iron Man, but the size of a giant).

From this description, the plot line seems fairly masculine, war-themed, and deep, but in reality it’s more of a dramedy.

Anyways, because Sousuke takes his job of guarding Kaname so seriously, he never really fits in to “normal” high school life. He perceives absolutely everything as a threat and will go to any means necessary to protect Kaname from any possible danger. 

For instance, when another student leaves a love letter in Kaname’s locker, Sousuke detects that someone has “tampered” with her locker and decides that, clearly, the only way to save everyone from this possible hostile situation is to detonate the explosives he conveniently carries for just such times and blow up the entire hallway. Clearly. Kaname doesn’t really appreciate his over reactions, so she yells at him a lot. 

So why is he my favorite?

Because if there’s one thing you can count on in this series, it is Souske being hilarious, passionate, and loyal, almost to a fault. If I were an anime character, I would want to be his friend

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23. What was the last significant decision you had to make?

I am sort of dramatic, so, in general, most decisions I have to make are significant to me.

But currently, the most significant decision I’ve made is whether to obsess over this question and write a mini-novel in response, or to study for my CPA exam.

Since my exam is on Monday and this post is less than 500 words, I think my choice is obvious.

What about you?

❤ LF

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22. What is/was your college major and how/when did you decide it was right for you?

Short answer: It was business/accounting, I didn’t specifically choose it, and I’m still not sure it was right for me.

Novel-length answer: In high school, I contemplated attending a theatre conservatory for stage lighting. In Chicago. Then, I realized that I would graduate from college knowing everything there was to know about stage lights and nothing else. /end dream.

Then, I found a liberal arts school with a great theatre program in Tennessee. I researched it and fell in love with their theatre facilities. But then I chickened out. Or lost site of that dream. Or decided I didn’t like Tennessee. Or something, I honestly can’t remember. /end dream.

I turned my sites to a state school not too far away. I visited their theatre program and hated it. I decided I would go there and just not do theatre. Besides, if I studied theatre and stage lighting I would end up with a job like a friend of mine had, and then I would work a ridiculous schedule and never see my family and not be able to be a stay at home mom like I wanted to be one day. So, I gave up theatre. /end dream.

When I finally got to college, I thought I would give their theatre program a second chance. My parents thought I should balance out a theatre major with a more practical minor, like accounting. I had always been good at math and never minded it much, so I complied. (Excluding geometry which is an abomination of all things good!) I tried to be involved in the theatre department and the productions in addition to attending my technical theatre class, but it never really caught on. So, the next semester I didn’t take any theatre and instead took my first accounting class.

It was SO easy. You make a little “t” on your paper and you put the debits on one side and the credits on the other. Everything had it’s own little place and it was organized and simple and looked like the perfect thing to study.

Enter my brother-in-law. (Now B-I-L, then, former-youth-pastor/mentor/friend.)

When I told him that I had been thinking of transferring to another school (the reasoning behind which is a whole ‘nother post altogether, probably one I will never write), he told me I should come to a small private school in my home town so I could date his brother. Other pluses were the fact that, since the school’s program required a double major, I could study accounting and mass communication. Not the same as theatre, but I had already given that up, and this program did include photography and television production, two things I also really enjoyed.

Later that year, I started my second year of college at the new school, dating my now husband.

After jumping through a lot of hoops (and a terrible, terrible professor/student issue in a required news-writing class), I decided that it was just too much trouble to major in mass communications as well as business/accounting, so I gave up mass com. /end dream.

At that point, I hadn’t actually taken any accounting classes at the new school. The only thing I had to go on was my first “Intro to Accounting” class at my old school. So, I took my second ever accounting class.

It was nothing at all like the first one. AT. ALL. And then I took more accounting classes. Each one more and more different than that original class. I wasn’t completely sold on the subject, but I liked my classmates and my professors, and they all loved accounting, so I stuck with it.

Then, I was informed that the “normal” job post-graduation was public accounting. I was also informed that in order to pursue that, I would need to sit for the CPA exam (this part I was already planning to do). But THEN I was informed that in order to sit for the CPA exam, I needed to take extra classes and that the best way to do this was to get my Master’s in accounting. So…that’s what I did. A degree in accounting wasn’t worth much without a CPA certification, and I couldn’t get that without the extra classes, so I got my Master’s.

About a year before I graduated, I had some pretty solid second thoughts. I don’t really ENJOY accounting like everyone else seems to. Maybe I should be pursuing something else? But I had worked so hard and was so close to finishing, AND had a “great” job lined up post-graduation, so I stuck with it.

I graduated in December 2009 and started my big, fancy public accounting job in January. (And, you know, got married in between. NBD or anything.)

During my job training, I had more second thoughts. I hated the training. Instead of any real instruction, they sort of just threw things at you and expected you to know how to do them. Even when you asked questions, you weren’t given any actual information to point you in the right direction. Little did I know how much of a resemblance that bared to the actual job I would be doing.

In the middle of the second week of training, my roommate and I visited the hotel bar for some Jack and coke after a terrible, grueling day of training. I remember thinking to myself, “If the TRAINING for this job is making me want to drink, what will the actual job be like? Maybe I should just go home and quit this job?”

But I stuck with it. Because I’m really not a quitter.

To summarize the rest of the story, the job was horrible. It took over my life. During the first five months of my marriage I wondered if I was actually married at all since I never saw my husband. (Maybe I had made a mistake, maybe it was my job that had been at the altar that day instead of Chris.)

After taking a month-long leave of absence from work (to study for the CPA exam and look for another job), I returned to work only to remember why I had been looking for alternate employment in the first place. I lasted two weeks back at my job before I turned in my resignation. My last day of “the job from Hell” was August 27. (So glorious.)

I am still in the process of taking all of the parts of my CPA exam and am hating every second of it.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because it’s the end result of me not ever really choosing my major. I sort of just did what everyone told me I should do. I’m not mad at anyone and I have no one to blame but myself.

The most ironic part about this whole issue, though, is this: If I had followed any of my first dreams about theatre, I would have had an equally busy schedule but I would have actually enjoyed what I was doing. And I could have quit when the time came to start a family, just like I plan to do with my job in accounting (or whatever I end up doing with my pre-child life.) /sigh

So what now?

I have no idea.

Part of the reason I just went along with accounting was because, other than my early inclinations towards theatre, there weren’t any other careers that really called out to me. I didn’t feel like I was giving up anything to major in accounting.

I am still currently trying to finish the CPA exam before we move overseas. I’ve gone through enough studying-hell to get where I am with it now that I need to make that work worth it. (But it’s getting harder every day.)

But after my exam? God only knows. (But hopefully nothing remotely related to accounting.)

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