Sunday, February 28, 2010

I need to be productive

There are SO many things that need to happen today and over the next few days...

And I cannot seem to make myself DO anything about it.

Ok, so I clipped coupons and cleaned out the newspaper holder of the old ones... and I cleaned the upstairs bathroom... and I cleared out the mail holder and put the "to file" items in the "to file" file.

But that does NOT count as being productive today.

There are a million things I need to do to promote the upcoming shows I'm working on plus make a comprehensive PR plan for the theatre.

But I cannot do any of them. I want to sit here and read blogs and watch TV.

Is that so wrong?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I have accomplished absolutely nothing in my life compared to these kids

Because I'm an alumnae of SLU, I was asked to sit on the interview panel for the Presidential Scholarship weekend. The main part of the event was today.

The University brings in current scholars, faculty or staff members and alums to help decide who will receive this scholarship. It's basically a full ride and is a highly sought after award. The numbers aren't announced but I think it's something one in twenty interviewees will be awarded the scholarship. CRAZY.

Let's just say that I wasn't even invited to interview for these things when I was a senior. These kids are SMART.

After hearing those kids talk about their amazing accomplishments and what they would do with their scholarship and their dreams and hopes for the future, I'm struck with the thought that I haven't done ANYTHING in my life.

It's the same feeling I get when someone tells me that they're in medical school and hope to cure cancer someday. I plan events. I know what I do is important - non-profits exist for a reason and I'm doing what I can to help them continue to exist. The events I plan are for cultivation of major donors or to raise money for the institution directly. But sometimes, I feel like what I do is not as important as my friends' jobs.

So interviewing future doctors and aerospace engineers and lawyers, I just wonder about what I've done with my life. They have done over 200 hours of community service in their four years of high school. They plan to do the same in college. I donate my time and talent to SLU right now, because I don't have the treasure to do so. But sometimes I wonder if its enough.

These kids are absolutely amazing. I was so glad to spend just twenty minutes getting to know them. There are a few that were outstanding and I really hope that I can connect with them after they find out about the scholarship outcomes and get them to attend SLU even if they didn't win.

Because SLU needs these kids. They're the future, as corny as that sounds. I hope they become Billikens.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good Will Indeed!

This afternoon, in the middle of a very long day and an even longer to-do list, I thought to myself….

Jessica: Self, I feel like shopping.

Self: But Jessica, you don’t have any money! You can’t go shopping.

Jessica: Yes, Self, I know that, but I have the urge to buy!

Self: I know, I know.

Jessica: Where can I scratch the itch and not spend a fortune?

Self: This is beginning to sound like a cheesy commercial.

It’s at this point in the recap that I realize I’m better at reading other’s scripts rather than writing my own. A playwright I never will be.

So yes, in the middle of the afternoon, I decided to go shopping at Goodwill. There’s a very nice one – clean, smells good, has a nice selection, brightly lit, good parking – near our favorite movie theatre. Husband and I peeked in there one day and really wanted to go back and explore.

I decided today was the day.

And I was NOT disappointed!

Here’s what I came home with -

Goodwill trip 001

This is a JONES NEW YORK skirt, size 8P. Oh. My. Goodness. $3!!!

Goodwill trip 002

This is a cute shirt in a color that I love but don’t have a lot of. This was $3 as well!!!

And the pièce de résistance … an amazing Chenille-like jacket. I hope I can get it to the dry cleaners tomorrow morning and get it back before a big meeting/event I have on Thursday. I’d really like to have it to make a great impression! It will look perfect with black pants and my boots.

Goodwill trip 003

But yeah, definitely have to get it cleaned. It smells like an old woman! But for $4, it was TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!

It just goes to you that Goodwill is absolutely worth your time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sherlock Holmes - that starts with "S"

We saw Sherlock Holmes on Saturday as part of my Valentine's Day celebration with my Husband.

He spent the morning at Mardi Gras while I was painting the set. I was running late as usual (it's always hard for me to get out of the theatre on time, no matter what I'm doing) and I had to rush home and shower and scrub bits of primer off my fingers so I could be presentable for the movie and dinner.

I really enjoyed the movie - we hadn't seen it yet and had been looking forward to it for a while! Rachel McAdams is adorable, Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr. were great as usual. The movie was cut in a way that you didn't see any of the reveals coming so even Husband was surprised at some points. This is a major success! Husband always guesses what's going to happen in movies and TV shows and it really bugs me. It was so good to be able to enjoy the movie with him as it happens.

I'm filing this under 101 in 1001 days because it counts as my "S" movie. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Watch that first step - it's a doozy!

I've spent most of my free time outside of work at the theatre these past few weeks. It's my calling, it's my passiong, blah blah blah. Sometimes it's just a helluva lot of owrk and it makes you tired!

Last weekend, Husband and I were at the theatre from 7-10 Friday night, 9-3 Saturday and 11-2 on Sunday. Now granted, that's not as much time as the director and producer spent at the theatre. But Husband and I had a bunch of other things vying for our time (me: sleep, him: homework) so we could only give so much.

So I don't have a picture of the completely blank stage but I wanted to show some of the progress we've made in just a few days. And so much has been done since these pictures were taken!

This is on the second day of construction, after creating a 16' platform on 20 castors. These are the supporters going in for the second floor.

This shows Husband in the green shirt, at the end of our work shift on Sunday. There weren't walls, but there would be some soon!

It's a small photo, but this is the look from backstage. You can see the various walls and a bit of the theatre beyond.

I just want to point out that the director of this show has been SO careful to build everything TO CODE. He's a professional carpenter who used to frame houses, so he knows what he's talking about. That means that when the cast of ten starts running furiously up and down stairs, opening and slamming doors, and generally trying to kill themselves on the set, it SHOULD stay together. We've got to make it last until late March, so we'll see how that goes! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I can't believe Thursday has come around again so soon! It seems like this week is flying by - which can be a good thing AND a bad thing, depending.

Seeing as it's Valentine's Day week, most of us are focused on loved ones. Here's what I'm thankful for this week:
  1. My loving Husband of almost three years - we have been together four years this past October and will have been married three years in April. It's been an adventure and getting crazier by the minute, but I love him to pieces. He's my best friend, love of my life, my soulmate.
  2. My mom. She's the best mom a girl could ever have and I miss her terribly now that we're not in the same city. I hope someday we can change that. A few days ago we started talking about a trip to Europe while Husband does his study abroad trip and I I just can't stand it! I don't know if I can wait a year!

  3. My dad. Pretty much ditto for my mom. He retired when I was just starting middle school and has been home raising us ever since, while mom worked for a big corporation. I thought it was weird at first but after a while I couldn't imagine not having him home every day, cooking dinner and helping me with my lines. It made me so happy to have him walk me down the aisle because I know it meant SO much to him, me being his only little girl, his duckie.

  4. My brother. He's almost five years younger than me so we have only recently started to really talk to each other. The kid's gonna turn out alright, methinks. I can't wait to see where he lands after college and what world problem he'll solve before he's 30. He's that kind of guy.
Valentine's Day shouldn't just about those of us in couples - but giving thanks for ALL the loved ones in our lives. Have you told someone you loved them today?

Check out what everyone else has to say at Marissa 's blog [Married to a Medical Student] and the Thankful Thursdays posts!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bloggy Blog Designz is giving away a free blog design - and I want it!

I really want a new blog design. I've been blogging since the middle of last year and I've admired everyone's amazing photo headers and designs that aren't standard. Right now I'm using a free template and tweaked it a bit - but I want something more. That's where this contest comes in!

Bloggy Blog Designz is doing it all over again!

They are giving away blog designs and all kinds of goodies. Plus ALL entrants will receive 15% off their purchase! Be sure to check out their website ( for more information, or to enter yourself. The giveaway will close on Feb 14 at midnight.

If you want a new blog design, it's a great place to win one!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I need a good book

So I just finished the Betrayal of the Blood Lily, the last book in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. It's about women in the Napoleonic wars in France and England and the espionage that took place! Really, it's a quick read and just fun to enjoy.

Now I'm on the second of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. This is about a woman who gets transported from WWII Scotland to 18th century Highlands and the romance that ensues. I've waited for 16 people to borrow this ahead of me at the library so I'm very happy to have it in my hands. In fact, it's hard to do anything but curl on the couch/bed/floor to devour the words. It's that good!

And in the on-deck circle is Pride and Prejudice on my new nook e-reader (it came standard, but everyone says it's the best of Jane Austen, and I was planning on reading that one anyway). Whenever I mention that I've never read any Austen, everyone is always shocked - I have NO idea how I managed to get thru middle/high school and then college without ever picking it up. I also don't know why my mother didn't go ballistic one day and sit me down with the whole series. I really hope I enjoy it as much as everyone says I will. [I tried to read Madame Bovary because it's a "classic" and couldn't get past page 50. Husband was APPALLED.]

If you can remember from my 101 list, I have a whole section devoted to READING:

65. Read five Jane Austen books (0/5)
66. Read 5 “classics” that I never read in high school or college (0/5)
67. Join a book club
68. Ask 5 friends to recommend a book, read all 5 (0/5)
So dear readers and friends, I need your help. I know the first Jane Austen book to read, but I need help figuring out the others and in which order. PLUS I need some suggestions for number 68. What are your favorite books that I should read? I love fantasy and romance and a good story.
Thanks in advance!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friend Makin Monday - Super Bowl Edition

Did you watch the Super Bowl?
Is the Pope Catholic? This is an annual tradition for us. It's really the only football game that I pay attention to all year long. Husband has to remind me about a bunch of rules during the whole thing, though.

If so, who were you rooting for?
I didn't really care about the outcome, so I started out rooting for the Colts because I like Peyton Manning - he's so cute! Towards the end, I had to switch allegiances because I realized the Saints just deserve to win.

Where did you watch it/not watch it?
We usually have people over to watch the game on the big screen TV in the mancave but one of Husband's law school friends beat us to the punch - he sent out the Facebook invite before we could. So we were guests this year!

What did you eat?
I didn't have time to make the bacon-wrapped little smokies like I wanted to, so we ended up picking up nibbles at the grocery store. My favorite was the Lofthouse cookies decorated for Valentine's Day - and I was SURE to bring home those extras. :)

Plus some amazing Smirnoff Green Apple. Oh my, they are my favorite!

Favorite Super Bowl commercial?
I absolutely LOVED the Google search commercial. After it was done playing, a collective "aww" went up from the crowd. It was so simple and just lovely!

Least Favorite?
I don't have a least favorite... after the Google and Doritos-slapping-baby, I thought they were all pretty lukewarm. Nothing stood out to me as absolutely horrible.

What did you think about the halftime show?

Who do you wish would have been the halftime show?
Anyone whose songs I actually knew. I would have preferred Carrie Underwood to do that rather than the Anthem.

Check out how other bloggers thought of the Game at Friend Makin Mondays!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

'Cause I gotta have faith...

75. Join a parish closer to my new townhouse

I haven't found a parish that I really felt at home at since I graduated college and left the College Church. There, everyone was welcome and it was so amazing. We've lived in three places since then and all the churches that we were zoned to just didn't feel right.

A friend who used to live in the townhouse complex where we live now suggested a church that she liked so much that they drive a bit farther now just to attend Mass there. In fact, the pastor is going to be doing their wedding service in a few months - so she must really like it, right?

I took her up on her suggestion and attended Mass there a few weeks ago. Just walking in there made me feel at home again. Listening to the music and having the consecration sung (which not all priests do anymore) just felt right. It was a good mix of classic Church songs plus new arrangements that didn't let it feel stale. The homily spoke to the Gospel and modern life and left you thinking - always a good thing!

This morning, Husband and I went along with that friend and her fiancee and enjoyed Mass again. We became parishioners and I'm hoping to sign up for lectoring and other ministry opportunities. I feel that when I'm a lector in a parish, I'm much more connected to the community and more likely to attend Mass! Kind of like a public accounting, you know?

I'm just working towards my 101 in 1001 list goal. I think I'm doing pretty well so far! More to come... :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Marissa at Married to a Medical Student is hosting a Thankful Thursdays this week and I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

This week, I am thankful for...

  1. A nice drink with good friends at a pub trivia night.
  2. Having LOTS of things to do at work - means they still need me!
  3. Burning a candle in the dining room and making the whole townhouse smell yummy.
  4. Books. I'm loving that I have time for books again!
  5. Booking a secret trip to surprise someone quite special to me. I can't wait to talk about it!

What are you thankful for? Head over to Marissa's blog and let her know!

Women's Conference

A week ago last Thursday, I attended the St. Louis Business Journal Women's Conference.

I don't want to say it changed my life, because that sounds way over the top, but it kind of did.

I had amazing food (the Hyatt Regency makes a great breakfast, lunch, snack, cocktail and appetizer buffet, I must admit!) and learned a ton - about work and myself.

The first keynote was Maxine Clark, the lady in charge of Build-a-Bear. She spoke about how she lost her own teddy bear when she was ten and has been looking for him ever since and has found him 80 million times over - that's the number of bears made in their stores!

My first session was with Valerie Burton, of life coach fame. I took away the idea that we can't control the thoughts that enter our mind but we CAN control what we deal with/obsess over/worry about. That may seem like a simple concept, but it was absolutely eye-opening to me.

It made me go to her website and follow her blog, plus pick up her latest book about how we've become so busy as working women. I'll let you know what I think of it once I read it.

After the session with Valerie, I decided to attend a moderated panel with three physicians - an internist, OB-GYN and a neurologist. There were around 150 women in the room just firing questions at the female doctors left and right. It was great because with so many ages represented, we had a pretty good gamut of questions.

I even ran into the doctors later in the day in the vendor booth area, and got their cards. I would LOVE to have them as my physicians but they are all based in a suburb which is about 30 miles away from the house. It's just not practical to have a doctor that far away from the house and work, when I usually have to get appointments during the day.

The lunch speaker was Claire Guadiani. Her speech was absolutely amazing. She speaks about the power of the American woman and how we can change the world, because we've already done so. As women, we have inherited such a wonderful tradition - did you know that it was American woman who created the first bake sale? It was to help widows in the community who couldn't support their families. Her thirty minute presentation was not long enough! I wanted to hear so much more, so I'm going to look into getting her book.

After an amazing lunch we had time to wander through the vendor booths and I met a few business contacts, so it was a good time.

In the afternoon, I went to a customer service session presented by the CVC. She spoke about how you start good customer service by giving the employee some kind of benefit in order for them to give good service - they want to be happy with customers when they get something like a salary or some other tangible something. Hearing it spelled out step-by-step (even though I knew most of it intuitively), it was great to hear it.

The final keynote was Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

It was amazing to hear her story about her life from the Jim Crow south to apartheid South Africa. It's sometimes hard to remember that some people living today have had such a drastically different experience in their lives than I have. I mean, Ms. Hunter-Gault was the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia. I'm not sure I would have had the strength to do that, if I was faced with that situation. The strength of character and the resolve is staggering and so inspiring to me. Definitely a great end to the day!

I'm really looking forward to next year's Conference. If you have an opportunity to attend something like this, for both personal and work development, I highly suggest you go! It was a wonderful day to recharge and reconnect.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Start out at the doctor, end up at the pub - really, it's just Tuesday

46. Go to a pub trivia night.

Tuesday was a rough one.

Started out at the OB-GYN getting everything down there taken care of. I'm happy to report that I have a clean bill of health where my lady parts are concerned. Always good to know, don't you know!

But that just starts off the day with a sour note - not that my doctor isn't amazing [because she is] but because all of that business just doesn't make one very happy at eight a.m.

Then it was a day of meetings, like usual, plus a grant proposal to write that was due on Monday. Whoops! Even though we received an extension, I hate doing that - I like being early, not late!

After working late, I zipped over to the theatre and had rehearsal for Noises Off. As funny as the show is, it always takes it out of me, especially because I was feeding the actors lines all evening and had to be on-book to make sure they weren't skipping anything that was VITALLY important to the plot.

So it's nine p.m. and I call Husband to let him know I'm on my way home [no matter that he knows I leave rehearsal when I do because it's on the Google calendar, but it's just to let him know I'm on the road] and he asks me how long it's going to take me to change before we leave for trivia.

Hold up.


Apparently I had agreed to a pub trivia night that begins AT TEN P.M. Why in the world would I have done this, you might ask yourself? Given that at that point in the evening, I'm usually in my pajamas, on the papasan chair, wandering in the blogosphere [thank you, Brad!], and watching whatever's recorded on our DVR. I don't usually go out past seven, because I need my wind down time and what-not.

As hard as it was for me to drag myself out of work clothes and into something cute [that could withstand the smoke of the bars], I actually had a GREAT time. I don't think any of my answers were right because I got overruled by the rest of the time. Did you know that a sonnet only has 14 lines? Because I was sure it was 16.

We had a drink as evidenced by the photo above plus some amazing flash fried green beans with chipotle ranch - not on a diet, but SO yummy!

I'm glad I've got this list to get me to do things I might not otherwise do. That's the point of it, right? I'm having a blast doing them!

WFMW: My new mail system

We finally came up with a solution to our continuing issue with mail coming into the house and not having anywhere to go. I hope this one lasts for a while and we can both really embrace it!

So, because pictures always hit home a situation, I give you...


This is the dumping ground for papers and mail. I love that little blue table we found somewhere and repainted to make it work in the room. In order to show it off, we need to get that pile of mail off it!
I have to admit, this is only a few days of mail. YIKES!

We found this magazine holder at the Container Store [honestly, I could spend my paychecks there. I cannot WAIT until my budget allows me to get an Elfa closet solution. Oh a girl can dream!]. We hung it near the door to the "man cave" which is somewhat near the front door but still out of the way so I won't see it right when I walk in.


You can't see it, but I've labeled one section "to file" [for anything that needs to go into the filing cabinet at a later date], "for Husband" [things that he needs to deal with], "for Wife" [things I need to deal with shortly], "Outgoing" [self-explanatory]. This outgoing section also holds return address labels, stamps and a pocket that was clearly for something else but holds our small letter opener perfectly!

After a few days of using this system, we have realized we need a small light in that little nook because the light from either window or the rooms on either side of the hallway just ain't cutting it.

But I'm really excited about this solution - I think it works for me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Fancy Hotel? Why, yes, thank you!

23. Spend at least one night in a really classy hotel

I totally forgot that I did this one a few weeks, number 23 on my 101 in 1001 list.

When planning for the Barrister Ball, we decided to stay the night at the hotel where the event was behind held. Honestly, the dance was over at midnight and I knew we'd probably want to do an after-party and I hate worrying about whether or not one of us is sober enough to drive home. Definitely need to play it safe in that regard!

The event was at the Chase Park Plaza - this was the PERFECT place to spend the night! After the dance, we headed upstairs and were snuggling under the most luxurious covers in the biggest bed I have ever seen. It looks a lot like this one:

We even had a suite no less - an entire room with a small area for a desk and chair, a huge couch and two side chairs with which to watch the flatscreen TV plus a closet and minibar.

There was the entire bedroom with the aforementioned AMAZING bed. Plus a beautiful bathroom that was entirely too fancy for me to even contemplate showering in. It was quite complicated in the bathtub.

And I'm pretty sure the closet could have held my first college dorm room with space to spare.
It was so nice snuggling in the big soft robe while doing my make up and letting Husband have the bathroom for shaving. I could get used to it!

But alas, I cannot. We would need a small fortune to keep me in the ways to which I could easily become accustomed! We'll just have to save it for special occasions, like Law School Prom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week in Law School: Getting Back to Basics

After a nice long Christmas vacation, Husband had two weeks of classes and then the Barrister Ball, so really, he hasn't had time to concentrate on school this semester.

This past weekend he buckled down and really spent some time in the law library to review his notes and get a head start on the week. I'm so proud of him, because he got about a third of his work done for the whole week, plus reviewing last week!

He's determined to really keep on top of work this semester, so I guess that means I'll be a single woman again - he'll be studying so much that most of the housework falls to me. At least I can spend some good time with my Google Reader! I've been crazy busy at work the past few days with a big event, and my blog reading has suffered. I hope to get that "1000+" number down in the coming week.

So it just goes to show you that every semester is a new beginning and allows you to start over! Even though some of your classes continue... hmm.

Husband will finish his 1L year and then start his MBA in May. Different school, but same game! Should be nice for the variety, though.