If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

~ Lewis Caroll

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have to say that friends are what make a girl lucky. I have some of the greatest girlfriends in the entire world--I'm not exaggerating.

These friends have agreed to take on the duty of bridesmaid! A duty that sometimes is underappreciated, but I have to say, I am completely grateful for their support! Even though we don't see each other often, or speak every day, I know they are true friends. Each one has a ridiculously busy life with their own boyfriends, fiances, husbands, and children, but each has selflessly devoted a little bit of themselves to ensuring that I have a fantabulous wedding day. Plus some good times along the way.

So to all the bridesmaids out there, THANK YOU! And to all the brides, be thankful you are a lucky girl.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do you ever just wake up in a good mood for no apparent reason? I'm having one such day. It's strange because I've been in bitch mode for a good week now. I definitely haven't run out of things to complain about, but I think my psyche is ready for a break.

And I've noticed that things are going rather well in cubicle hell today. I think I'll meet all of my deadlines, should I say it, early! Chip-chip-cheerio! Nothing helps brighten ones day better than speaking with a cheesy British accent.

Also, I've cut out grease from my diet. I think my colon is thanking me. Hours on the internet have led me to believe that my gallbladder is disgusted with my choice of weekend foods, so I've decided to jump on the grilled, baked, and steamed wagon for a while.

All in all, today is pretty rockin' and rollin'. I even remembered my umbrella.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wedding Planning Blues

I think I'm experiencing something that all brides inevitably do, the "planning blues." It's not that I don't want to get married, because I do. It's not that I don't want an unforgettable wedding, because I do. I just don't want to plan it all. My mindset now is "I just want to be married." Most people would agree that this is a good thing; I'm focusing on the marriage and not simply the wedding. However they go hand-in-hand.

Why is it that when we ask for a man's input, then get his input, we instantly regret asking for it in the first place? I really want my fiance to help make decisions and get as much enjoyment out of the process as I am. But I find myself more and more frustrated at his suggestions--"hey, let's let our friend who knows nothing about photography take our wedding pics!" or "won't people just know to come to the rehearsal, we'll just send them an email." I truly appreciate his effort to amuse me or offer actual input, but it's not really helping me make real decisions. I need a wedding planning fairy godmother to come put all the pieces together.

I believe these fairy godmothers are called wedding planners. However, my budget is seriously lacking, and a wedding planner is completely out of the question. I need to make a list (you know how I love a good list) and then tackle one thing at a time.

Easier said than done. I just needed to have a little rant. I will take any suggestions, though. Because I'm all about free wedding planner input!

Monday, January 18, 2010

When I Grow Up

Since Fortune did not smile on me during this weekend's lottery drawing, I've turned my daydreaming elsewhere. I will continue to hold out hope for the "big win," but a girl's gotta have a backup plan, right?

After a week of "I hate my job" syndrome (I know I'm not the only one), I started thinking aboutall the careers I would love. What do I want to be when I grow up? I think it's a question weshould all keep in the back of our minds as we grow older, because that's all 'up' is, is older.
As a child I desperately wanted to be a ballerina, something I regret not becoming everytime I venture out to support the arts. I also wanted to be a veterinarian at some point. Otherthan that I never had any childhood dream job. Weird, right? My indecisive nature followed methrough high school and college. I declared an English major because it's what I'm good at, but it's a pretty useless degree to be honest. Nevertheless I perservered through a Master's degreein English. Hey, if you got a good thing going.

All in all, my bountiful college education provided me with no career guidance whatsoever. I love teaching part-time, but I'd rather do it full-time, and it's becoming more and more apparent that I will need to obtain my Ph.D. in order to make this a reality. Long story short, I came up with yet another list! These are careers in which I think I could succeed and have limitedbouts of the "syndrome."

1. write professionally (books or a weekly syndicated column in a newspaper)
2. shoe designer who brunches with Manolo and Jimmy and Brian
3. the head of a successful non-profit, probably in an effort to promote literacy
4. travel, and write about it
5. eat, and write about it
6. book reviewer (for the everyday reader, not the uptight book snobs who secretly love predictable thrillers with trashly love scenes)
7. housewife and avid volunteer

If anyone out there is hiring for any of these positions (number 7, I'm afraid, is dependent on my fiance. Maybe he should make a list?) I am available and can start immediately.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Luck of the Draw

Upon reflection of yesterday's post, I daydreamed about winning the Tennessee Lottery.

I'm not biased towards the Tennessee Lottery over other state lottos, I just figure that my odds are better since I live here. However, I'm so close to Georgia and Kentucky that I could invest in both of those and exponentially increase my chances. But if my TN numbers hit on the KY lottery, I'd be devastated, or I could just play the same numbers in all three states, but I digress.

I've watched in awe and horror as those A&E channel documentaries reveal the evil that befalls lottery winners. How could these lucky average joes let that money ruin their lives. Easily, I suppose. Even the rich who work for their money get a touch of the curse. Just look at Nicholas Cage.

I think it's all about Karma; you just can't get a gift like that and not expect to return the favor somehow. It can't be all bling-bling and poppin' Cristal (apparently wealth equals instant hip-hop status). There has to be a balance of normalcy with excess. I do believe I have the smarts and determination to be a lottery success story!

This is my "to-do" list in no particular order, since this order doesn't really make sense:

1. Pay our (yes, I will share with my husband-to-be) parents' mortgages
2. Pay off all our debt
3. Choose a place to live and buy a home (just one home to start, I can't live two places at once anyway, and I like being pampered by hotel staff)
4. Get my Ph.D. (I can donate and get into any program I want)
5. Use my Ph.D., for a while, just because I can
6. Take a Meditteranean cruise for our honeymoon
7. Get married in Las Vegas with all our family and friends, not just Elvis
8. Retain a trusted money manager
9. Give to well-deserving and carefully selected charities
10. Take exclusive cooking classes in Paris
11. Visit NYC and stand in the Today show's plaza until Matt and Meredith come talk to me (Ann and Al, too)

I think that's a pretty good start to spending my new found fortune. I'm easily entertained and am a pretty uncomplicated person. My needs are few.

Oh, I purposely left off "shoe buying" as that's a given.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Why is it that the more we try to be fiscally responsible, the less money we seem to have?

I'm desperately trying to pay off all of my credit card debt, as is much of America I suppose, before the end of the year. I'd prefer to do it before I get married in August, but I'm not overly optimistic. I have a goal to overpay the credit card with the largest balance and highest interest until it is paid off. For the others I try to pay just over the minimum. Then I'll work my way down through each card until they are all at a $0.00 balance. This is what the "experts" say is the smartest way to approach debt. Somehow, my monthly funding is running out before I can make this huge payment. I make the same amount of money and I'm spending less . . . where is it going!!!??? Ughh, this is so frustrating! I can't tell you the times I've burst into tears just thinking about what a mess our country's finances are in. I count myself lucky that I have not one, but two, jobs. One I'd even like to make a career out of, if I'm ever given the opportunity (but that's another blog entirely). My debt isn't even that astronomical compared to some.

I'm just ashamed that we aren't all more responsible for our actions. I'm as much to blame as the next person, but I truly know better. I want to have a retirement fund, I want my future (possible) children to have a college fund, I want to own a home someday, and I want to take an annual vacation. I want what all Americans want . . . security. I want to know that I'm free to live in the land of the free and not be a slave to "the man." However, as much as I'd like to prove that the American Dream is alive and well, is it? I think we're crushing it and we don't even know it.

However, for those who know me, I can't spend my entire rant being negative. There is a silver lining. I do have the freedom to miss a payment and not get my hand chopped off or be thrown in some hole of a prison. I can drive my foreign made SUV with pride and ignore the dirty glares eco-friendly soccer moms throw my way. I get to teach college students of all walks of life who choose to go to college and make their own dreams come true. I get to be a burden to the state of Tennessee should I choose to further my own education one more time! All in all America is a great country because even in the midst of the economic crisis we've created, we are responsible for getting ourselves out of it--which is possibly the best freedom of all.

Thanks for listening. Meanwhile if anyone from Comcast could fix your customer service outage, I'd like to pay my bill.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The new year is here. Welcome.

Happy 2010. It started out with the best of intentions on the last night of 2009, but quickly 2010 decided to kick us in the ass. I won't dwell on the negative, but simply state that 2010 can only get better!

I have high hopes for this year. I have accomplished many things since 2000; this first decade of adulthood has flown by, and I have learned so many lessons (some the easy way, but most the hard way). I have many things left unaccomplished, but that's irrelevant in the new year. I'm thankful for my family, my friends, my jobs, and my life. I have all of those things, so I must be doing something right.

In honor of being a grown up (hehe) for 10 years, I present my 10 resolutions for 2010:

1. Decide what I want to be when I grow up. (possibly continue in the teaching field full-time?
possibly become a famous author? possibly revert to waiting tables until my true calling
comes along?)

2. Join Facebook and the 21st century. (I can scratch this one off my list, but if Myspace
becomes cool again, I'm gonna be pissed)

3. Pay off all of my credit card debt before I get married in August. (Matthew, if you read this
please don't roll your eyes)

4. Be the best fiance and new wife ever! (or at least the best Matthew will ever have)

5. Accept all the things I cannot change. (then bitch about them in my blog)

6. Give more of myself to my friends because they give so much of themselves to me.

7. Run a half marathon without stopping. (you should always have an expendable resolution--
this may be that one)

8. Make all the other new husbands on my honeymoon wish they had married me. (a.k.a.
accomplish my fitness goals before August 7)

9. Read the original translation of Dante's Inferno on my Kindle.

10. Successfully teach all of my students subject-verb agreement (this may also be an
expendable resolution based on previous experience)

Bonus Resolution: Find out what the hell is going on on that Lost island! (this can take the place
of either #7 or #10)

For those of you who like being spontaneous, lazy, or just think resolutions are stupid, you need to check out http://moninavelarde.com/newyears/.

Happy New Year Everybody!