Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Long Weekend...

I can't believe how fast the weekend went by! I'm on a roll--I've now seen TWO movies that are out in theatres. But now I remember why I don't go to the movies very often--it's likely to break my bank!

I saw X-Men 3 on Saturday with Easton. I knew no one else would want to see it with me, and Easton and I had a great time when we saw Harry Potter so I asked him to go with me. I was not disappointed. I love the X-Men movies. They are a lot like Spiderman--not so cartoony and cheesy, but have a real story behind them. Anyway, it's quite action-packed.

We also did a lot of swimming this weekend. My mom's neighborhood has a pool, so we went there on Friday and now Arni and Nina have a pool in their backyard as well! It's one of those 4-foot deep inflatable pools. Just big enough for the family. So, I have no excuse to not be a waterbug this summer for sure!

John and I went with Matt and Robin on Sunday to see "The DaVinci Code". I'm not sure if that makes me a terrible Christian or not. There's a lot of controversy behind it! To top it off, I never saw "The Passion of the Christ", which was apparently the Christian must-see movie. Anyway, "DaVinci" was very good. I'm such a sucker for history and mystery and movies that make you think. My brain hurt at the end of the movie there is so much in it. I'm ready to go see it again, and I'm wanting to read the book now.

I do not think it's going to cause people to leave their faith or believe something sinister about Jesus' life. I do not think it drags down the church. I do think it portrays some of the Christian fanatics in an unflattering light--but I don't think it does it on a sneaky level. We all know there are certain aspects of different faiths that we don't understand, beliefs we don't quite comprehend, behaviors we don't agree with. But this movie didn't make me think they were all murderers or extremists. In fact, it made me more interested in trying to understand some of those beliefs, to get the real story.

At the end of the day--it's just a story. After much discussion with John (there's another good thing the movie does--furthers intelligent discussion with your spouse!), I finally decided that faith is your own. Only you can decide what you believe in. A fictional movie is not going to make me want to change my faith, change my belief, or become an atheist.

Also--I made a scrumptious dessert, straight off the Food Network this weekend! It's called an Eclair Cake and it's a Paula Deen recipe. I love that lady. Anyway, it's like a chocolate eclair in a cake form....very easy to make and quite tasty if I do say so myself. You can find it at Food Network website...called Eclair Cake by Paula Deen. I'd post the link, but then it would mess up the layout of my blog...

A Farewell

One of the best and one of the worst things I deal with in my job are the restaurant owners. It's interesting because outside restaurant world, most of you see the restaurants and think of a big, pie-in-the-sky corporation. Since I began working at the agency, each restaurant now has a face to it. An owner, or a franchisee as some people call it. These men and women are small business owners, more often than not very ingrained into their communities. They work in those towns, live in those towns, go to church in those towns, pay taxes, pay bills, send their kids to public schools, etc. etc. etc. So, just like Joe Bob of Joe Bob's Cafe is considered a small business owner, so are these franchisees. They just happen to have a powerful name on their door.

As I'm sure you can imagine, these men and women provide me much humor and much frustration. They are ultimately my bosses. They hire my company, which hires me. I report to each and every one of them, whether they own one store or 20 stores. More often than not, they make me smile. I have great relationships with them, many of them think of me as their daughter even.

One of the first owners I met when I started at the agency was Charlie Altom, who owns all 7 stores in Norman. Because of my love for all things Norman and OU, Charlie and I developed a special bond and he has been one of my favorites for a long time. After 21 years in Norman, and 35 total years with the restaurant Charlie and his wife Monte are retiring tomorrow, selling their stores so they can go fishing with their granddaughters. So, I will miss Charlie A LOT. He was never bogged down by the corporate mindset, and always gave you an honest piece of mind. The Norman Transcript wrote a very nice article about this lovely couple. You should read it if you get a chance. Luckily, these are the kind of people I get to work with every day!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Best Buddies

Best buddies, right?! Notice he has his paw around her. It's so nice when they're getting along!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Best Jobs

I just realized something....as a PR Specialist, according to Money Magazine, I should be making over $84,000. That would be a higher salaray than the engineer listed, the physican's assistant listed, and the veterinarian. Hhhmmm...

On another interesting note I did get a raise today! How convenient is that?!

Monday, May 22, 2006

I Should be Wallpapering my Bedroom in Money


Money Magazine rated the Top 50 Best Jobs, and Public Relations Specialist was listed as #20. Funny, it also said the average salary is over $84,000.

I checked my paycheck stub again, and apparently I'm missing that boat. I guess I should look at the bright side--there is still a LOT of room to move up if I'm going to be making that $84,000 one day!

I should not complain--I have a lot of fun and the agency invests a lot in me. It's a great company to work for, seriously!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Random Thoughts of the Day

My debit card was stolen today. I found out before it was used again, but still a very scary few moments. Have you seen that commercial for the company that says you'll always get a live person to answer your phone calls, not a recording? I kept thinking about that as I was punching numbers and praying for a live person after I found out it was gone. It took way too long to get to a live voice.

However, once I did they immediately canceled the card. They were also very friendly and caring, kept asking if I was ok since the card was gone. I continue to love Bank of America. I've been with them since 1998! They really are great, and have a great program called "Keep the Change which helps you watch pennies grow into savings. Good stuff.

Ok--who watched "Grey's Anatomy" on Monday night? How good is that show? Monday night was SOOOO great. If you have not watched this show, you MUST get into it. I have the first season on DVD so just let me know if you'd like to borrow it.

Bad news--they are moving "Grey's" to Thursday nights, opposite "CSI". Luckily, my trusty DVR will record two things at once. But I'm going to have to figure out how to get "The Office" recorded as well. Amazing--all three networks will have great shows on at the same time next season.

We are loving the gym. Well, I am at least. I think John is. I've been going to Pilates on Thursdays and Sundays and it's great! Last night I went up there and ran into several friends from church. Apparently I'm going to have to start going to the Circuit class on Tuesdays because that is the happening place. It's on my calendar for next week girls!

This morning I had radio interviews. While I was there, many of the stations had guys from Tiger Safari on, and they had a 3-week old white tiger in the studios! I went in to pet him and ended up holding him and feeding him....he was sooooo cute. Whenever you took the bottle away he would do this little growl that sounded like Simba the lion cub on "The Lion King". It was so, so cute.

He actually only weighed about 4 pounds--that would be 17 pounds less than my cat.

John and I are going to be eating at home for a while. We added up how much money we'd spent on eating out last month alone and it was quite disturbing. Luckily, pinto beans, hamburger helper, and rice don't cost that much. We'll be eating cheap for a while to see how much money we can save this month! We'll see how long it lasts...


That's about it for now. Just a few random thoughts...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are you ready to get your Styx on?

Yes, this was an actual question asked at the concert last Friday. I'm talking major cheese the whole night and I loved it! Styx wore tight leather 80s pants and I don't think they have cut their hair since their stint in the 80s. The best part about their show? The keyboard player had a spinning keyboard. I think he spent more time spinning the keyboard than actually playing it! Biggest disappointment with Styx: they only played the chorus one time of Mr. Roboto. Seriously--that was a song that should have been played in it's entirety.

REO Speedwagon was good....but I was a little annoyed with the constant talking and blatant political agenda. He gave quite a speech about how the war in Iraq is basically a new Vietnam. I don't necessarily agree or disagree--the point is that I didn't go to the Zoo Ampitheatre to talk about issues that bog me down day after day. I went to hear "I Can't Fight this Feeling Anymore" and "Time for Me to Fly". And I certainly don't want to entertain the political musings of a strung out 80s band lead singer!

Which brings me to my next annoyance with REO--they played more "new" stuff than old stuff. Apparently they have a new album coming out in 2008 and decided to play it for the audience. But, they played new stuff practically the whole time. I'm sorry, but we're not there to hear new songs coming out in 2 years from a band who hasn't had new stuff in 10+ years. Obviously, we're there to hear the golden oldies.

Anyway--the old stuff they did play was great. Even greater: the people watching phenomenon. I swear, I should attach a camera at my hip so that it's always with me. There were some unprecedented photo opportunities when you combine giant cans of Miller beer and the fresh smell of weed wafting through the air.

Next opportunities: Chicago and Huey Lewis are coming together in June, followed by Cinderella and Poison later this summer. As Renee said yesterday--the day Whitesnake comes to OKC--we're there!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I’d like to talk a little about what I love about my mom.

1) She never brings up my past mistakes. Ever. Seems like she totally forgets the crazy stuff I did in high school or the classes I almost failed in college, or even the old boyfriends! She never teases me about them or complains to people about it, or even says “I told you so”. She just forgets.

2) She always sees the good in people.

3) Anytime I make a hard decision, she always supports me. Even if she’d spent months giving me advice to which I totally ignored, once the decision has been made she never questions me. She always figures out a way to support it.

4) When I was younger, never once did she miss a performance for choir or band. Never once did she forget to get copies of the monthly school newspaper to send my articles to the family. She was always there to pick me up from camps and mission trips and never had me ride with anyone else. She volunteered at my events, got me registered for the ACT, and threw the biggest and best birthday parties.

5) She remembers my doctor’s appointments, even to this day and always remembers to ask me about them.

6) She is the reason I am with my husband today. She knew from the beginning that he was the one for me, even when I didn’t know it. She kept up with him during the years we were broken up, taking an interest to him and spending time with him. Then she would tell me about it and it drove me CRAZY! I thought she loved him more than me and we weren’t even together. But in the end, she’s the glue that kept us both a little interested in each other. The night we got back together, I could feel her beaming from across the phone.

7) The night before my wedding I spent the night at her house. When I woke up on the big day, she was already up and had given me a framed poem about a mother’s pride on her daughter’s wedding day. I started to cry because I was so scared and so happy and so nervous and so excited. But she just gave me a hug and said “don’t cry—this is what I raised you for!”

8) She has always shown an interest in my life and the people I choose to spend my time with. I never feared bringing friends to my house to meet her or spend time. She opened the doors and made sure everyone was comfortable and happy. There was always food in the fridge and toilet paper in the bathroom—and that’s pretty much all it takes to become the hangout for teenagers and college kids!

9) She’s always been open and honest with me. She’s never tried to cover anything up or explain it away. She just tells me everything: good, bad, and ugly. That has been very important as everything from my family to my looks to my living situation was changing. It continues on today—and accounts for the great amount of respect I have for her.

10) She has never, ever, ever made me feel bad about my appearance. Never once has she said my hair looks bad or I’m too thin or gaining weight or too pale. She always comments on what looks right, but never what looks wrong. She may hate the way I look but I would never know. As a teenage girl, to have your mom accept you for the way you look is a huge thing that I don’t take for granted.

11) I never wanted for anything growing up. She found a way to make sure I had everything I needed and most everything I wanted. I now can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t have.

12) She instilled in me a work ethic. These days I know a lot of people who want the easy way out, and who jump from job-to-job when it gets hard. Not my mom. She worked and worked when I was growing up hardly ever missing a day of work or calling in sick. Never did she call in for a “mental health day”. I like to think I have a good work ethic. That I work hard and don’t make excuses and I don’t quit when the job gets hard. That’s entirely thanks to her example.

13) She just loves me all the time, no matter what.

I say all of this because many of my friends have young children and are just starting on this parenting journey. Know that you don’t have to do fancy things or buy fancy things or make every single outing perfect. I don’t remember a lot from when I was little, but I do remember that I was happy, healthy, and my mom was always there. Loving your kids and doing your best is all that matters. What I remember and cherish most is that, at least in her eyes, I’m perfect.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I really need to get some pictures on here. It's been a while! We just haven't taken the camera many places lately, and there are only so many pictures you want to see of our cats. I'm starting to feel like the crazy cat lady!

Speaking of cats (indulge me), we took our little one, Faith, to the vet today to get her front paws declawed. I know, I know it's apparently very cruel. But even more cruel than that (in my opinion) are the people who don't have their cats declawed and then dump them or put them in the pound because they tore up a couch or scratched their kid or something. Isn't it better to encourage people to do what it takes to keep their animals forever in a healthy, happy home? I guess I ask because I was really torn on whether to get her declawed. Max is declawed, but it took him a long time to recover. Anyway, I'm still waiting on word from the vet that she's ok and if I don't hear soon I'm calling. She's going to be so mad at me when we pick her up on Saturday!

Next week is my last week to teach the 2-year-old class at church on Wednesday nights. It's been an interesting experience, but a lot of fun. I am just amazed at what kids can do at such an early age. It's so fun to watch them put puzzles together, and to recognize more and more of the songs each week! There seriously isn't a better sound than listening to 10 2-year-olds sing "The B-I-B-L-E" in unison. I've really enjoyed the experience.

John and I are both off work tomorrow. We'd planned on trying to take a vacation, but we didn't get anything together so we're just going to bum around. I'm trying to convince him to go see "MI:3" but he's not big on Tom Cruise anymore.

I've been reading on MSNBC about the Top 1000 High Schools in the U.S. Pretty interesting stuff...Classen in OKC was ranked 17th in the nation! I think it's fascinating to look at the success stories in American education, because it seems like all we talk about is how horrible American teenagers are. There are some really great kids out there. I know it sounds cheesy, but the client is a sponsor of Oklahoma FFA this year so I've been working with this group for a while. I have been so impressed with the kids that are involved in that group, and it really helps restore your faith in teenagers. Not that I'm that far removed!

My point is to tell you all not to write off all teenagers or expect the worse--this list I was reading about is proof positive that their are great programs out there full of great kids. This is good news!

Anyway, another random comment. Most often the interesting things are happening outside of my little world!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Is it obsession, or good hygiene?

Would it be considered obsession that my spring cleaning this weekend including scrubbing the shower curtain hooks by hand? Probably....cleaning is my obsession and I'll probably have sloppy kids that remember their mom as a clean freak one day.

I've been talking about spring cleaning since John and I moved in last summer. I'm so pathetic. I have all kinds of things I want to do for spring cleaning....and I decided this weekend I can't do them all at once. I have to take one room at a time. And, the master bath was the winner Sunday. Hey--the shower hooks were getting rusty and tarnished. If you don't clean them, they only get worse!

Anyway, that is boring talk. We're not very exciting. This weekend was a big weekend in Anderson family world. Renee's graduate recital was Friday night and she did a great job. Loved it when she sang "Out Tonight" from Rent. Also, if you know Renee at all you could appreciate the song she sang called "All the Good Men are Gay". Ha! Then Saturday night we went to a fundraising auction for Easton's school, Oakdale. We didn't buy anything but watched a lot of other people spend LOTS of money! The first grade class project (2 paintings that each of the kids contributed to) went for $10,000!!!

I've been a movie-watching mood lately. I haven't been for a long time, because I'm usually so behind on DVR I don't have time to watch movies. Spent Saturday morning watching "The Notebook" and cried and cried. I didn't think I would cry again because I knew what happened. But I did. Then when I was trying to tell John about the movie at lunch (he's never seen it) I started crying again. Right there in Texas Roadhouse, surrounded by peanut shells and Toby Keith songs I started crying about this movie!

Of the movies I've rented lately: I would highly suggest "Derailed" because for once I didn't predict the turn of events. I liked it, though it's a little slow at times. I would not suggest "Match Point", because it's another one of those British movies that make little sense to me and really just frustrate me because they drink tea and talk about "manors" and "crumpets". However, I do really like Scarlett Johanssen. I also watched "Crash" because I heard it's very intense and very moving. I definitely think my expectations were too high. It was an excellent movie, but I wasn't shocked or awed and wasn't blown away. I guess if you're in the mood for a drama, it would work. I guess keep an open mind and don't expect too much.

'Tis the season for season finales. It's about that time for all my TV shows. I'm only officially losing one show this season--The West Wing is headed for syndication in 2 episodes. NBC really did this show a disservice by moving it around so much. It is fantastic, and I'm sorry to see it go. CSI: finale is supposedly a life-changer for one of the CSI's. Which cracks me up because last year the season finale was one of the CSI's (Nick) getting buried alive. Must be a very dangerous job!