Thursday, May 22, 2014

3 Stages of Zinnias on my Plant

It's so neat to watch the stages of growth when you garden. Here's one of my zinnia plants and the three stages that it's currently displaying:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fun at Dallas Comic Con!

Man, I ran into so many fantastical beings at the Dallas Comic Con! Here are but a few...

Who wouldn't want to hang with a Ringwraith?

Chillin' with Chewy

Krystle and I found some live Ewoks!

Groovy skulls

Not sure who the girl is. Oops!

Then we got to see the Nightmare on Elm Street reunion cast Q&A panel!

Characters (L to R): "Nancy," "Tina," "Marge," and "Freddy"

Robert Englund, who plays the infamous Freddy Kreuger

Fun tid-bit: as we were driving in downtown Dallas, trying to find our parking lot, we passed Elm Street. I nudged my husband and made some crack about seeing the cast from Nightmare, and as it turns out (according to the panel), Wes Craven named the movie after that very street because of what happened with JFK. So there really was a connection!

We had a lot of fun. Glad we got to go!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Update 2014

I haven't posted in a while.

I know.

I'm sorry.

But I've been busy doing this...

And this...

And going on long walks with this guy...

I'm gearing up to start teaching at the ELI in a couple of weeks, and while I wait, I'm trying to get my garden set up and get in the habit of doing some daily Spanish. I've also been catching up on some reading - specifically Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. It's one of those brick-sized fantasy books that I've been waiting for a little break like this to read, and I'm enjoying it.

What are you all up to this spring? Gearing up for summer next month? Got any groovy plans? Leave me a comment!

UPDATE 5/25/14: Finished Wizard's First Rule...and it took a turn I didn't much care for. Read my mixed review --> here <--.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Little Peek into my Personality

Every now and then I come across a decent personality test. Here are the results of one I took this afternoon that are pretty accurate!

Your personality tendencies in a nutshell...
You are very dependable and almost always follow through with your commitments. You value different and aesthetic experiences more than the average person. You are calm and logical for the most part, but some things worry you more than others. You are typically respectful toward others and dislike confrontation. You show some tendency toward being outgoing and sociable.'s guest psychologist Dr. Peggy has a little more, uh, informal interpretation of your traits... 

To always be responsible and dependable gets too heavy at times and you just have to shirk it all sometimes of and do something that is wild and crazy, like going to sleep WITHOUT brushing your teeth. Come and do your worst, dental bacteria! No one is arguing that you are not reliable; it's just that you differ from your very high conscientious peers in that you also have some streaks of impulsivity and can make some spontaneous decisions, rather than lumbering through all of the alternative scenarios. Maybe you're disorganized (God forbid), or perhaps you like to leave your dirty socks all over the house (the horror), or you're a procrastinator (that's the worst one of all). Whatever is the case, you are not conscientious to the extent that you bore people with your stodgy ways.

Your scores indicate that while you are clearly a non-traditionalist, there are some aspects of your personality that are rooted in the comforts of the mundane. You may value artistic expression to the extent that walking through museums full of antiquities is your favorite thing to do. Perhaps you revel in the abstract and the unknown. Yet, you also shake your head in wonderment as to why some people choose to live their lives or decorate their bodies so non-traditionally. At times, you may also find yourself fixed in certain ideas, even though you pride yourself in being open to novelty and creative thinking. In the end, all this suggests is that you take a pinch of convention along with a scoopful of whimsy in your drink of choice.

To quote the Hershey chocolate company, "sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." That pretty much sums up your score on the trait of emotional stability. There are times when you feel such intensity of emotions, mostly negative, that you just want to lie down and spend the day thinking about how you can score Prozac. In other contexts (like when you are on your meds), you feel just fine - calm, happy, ready to face the day. The emotions cancel each other out and you look like you are dealing with life fairly well statistically. Another possibility for your middle scores on emotional stability is that some things push your button more than others and when your buttons get pushed, you stress and freak. What's that I hear? Is that your mom calling? For the most part though, you are the epitome of grace under pressure.

Your scores would suggest that you tend to be more agreeable than you are competitive. What does that mean? For starters, it means that you have a fairly strong tendency to believe in social harmony and cooperation. You are a nice person. You want people to get along and do the right thing - for each other, for the greater humanity. That's not to say that you are a total pushover, but that you believe in the niceties of life. This is probably why you are very popular with people and have many friends. The difference between you and someone who is very high in agreeableness is that you have a bit of an edge. Maybe you laugh when people fall down and hurt themselves, maybe you secretly occasionally think people suck. Whatever it is that's holding you back from winning Ms. or Mr. Congeniality, that's also what makes you more interesting.

I have a friend who can strike up a conversation with anyone: Nobel Peace prize nominees and winners, muppets, sanitation workers, perfect strangers, my crazy uncle Harry. My friend is a bona-fide extravert. Your scores indicate that while you tend to be extraverted, you also have some degree of reserve. Perhaps in some situations, you prefer to say less or maybe you have duct tape over your mouth. Either way, you may save your high energy for the situations when you have a need or desire to be "on" and your quiet moments for those with whom you feel most comfortable.

Summer Job Score!

So I've been trying to love myself more lately. It's been brought to my attention that I have been doing some things to sabotage myself due to subconscious self-doubt. I had this revelation a week ago, and since then, I've been trying extra hard to think positive thoughts about my self-worth and my unique abilities, and I've also been trying to live in the present moment and wash out all the negative, fear-based, monkey-mind junk patterns that have been distracting me.

Not only have I felt more confident and happier in my own company, I also landed an awesome summer job at the university I'm attending! I will be instructing a speaking and listening ESL course, as well as teaching what they call ESL "modules," and also picking up some substitute teaching work at the ELI! This is not bad, not bad at all, considering I've only gotten one semester of the master's program under my belt, and normally you have to hold a master's (at least!) to work as an instructor at that university! I consider it an honor. Also, I give great thanks to the connection that I had--my husband's long-time best friend's mother (did you follow that?) has worked at the university for a long time in the ESL dept., and although I don't believe she's full time anymore, she still does some work there. Well, I talked to her last week about being in the program now and how much I'm loving it, so she put in a good word for me, which got me the interview, and here we are!

I'm glad I came to the realization that I had some buried self-doubt. I think clearing the air and getting honest with myself about some personal things was the first step in removing that road block.You never know what junk from your past might be holding you back in a completely unrelated area. I think doors will continue opening for me now, simply because I like myself more and believe in my abilities to rise to higher expectations.

I want to encourage all of you to examine yourselves, to look at your thought patterns, and see if there's any area in which you're beating yourself up. Are you constantly berating yourself for some failure or something you feel guilty about? It doesn't have to be career-wise; it could be some relationship that went sour years ago, or something your parent said to you that damaged your self-confidence, or maybe you hurt someone else and haven't been able to get over the guilt. Look at these things inside of yourself, forgive the person who you believe hurt you (aware or unaware), and most importantly, forgive yourself, even if you didn't hurt anyone else. Forgive yourself for beating yourself up for so long. Take the needle off of that old, skipping record, and take it off the turn table. Play a new record. Fill your mind with thoughts of beauty and confidence. Even if you don't think you're awesome yet, start acting like it, and soon your mind will follow.

A book series that is really helpful with looking at life in this light is the Four Agreements series. Check it out if you're ready.

Taa-taa for now!