Posted in College


Our chapter of Toastmaster’s “President’s Award” – given for catching that people were using the word “Arise” instead of the word “Arouse” during the meeting and presenting the correct definition of the words.


Are you looking for a place where you can:

– Talk (and have people listen)
– Listen (to interesting things)
– Learn new words
– Correct people on their use of words without being called a Nazi

Then Toastmasters is for you!  I recently joined Toastmasters at work and it was a lot of fun.  The first meeting that I went to had one of the presenters giving a speech about a “Day in the Life of a Commercial.”  She talked about how she uses her phone as an alarm clock [AT&T – Your world, delivered.] Then she has to let her dogs out [The Humane Society – Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty.] Next, she makes a pot of coffee [Folgers – Good to the last drop!]… You get the idea.  Goodness, she was so animated as she was telling us about her day and she used the intonations of the actual commercials a lot of the time, too.  We were laughing so much when she talked about her heart burn medication [Side effects include: headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, confusion, lethargy, agitation, rash…]  Goodness, wouldn’t it be better to have heartburn?

Aside from some wonderful speeches, there are also other components of Toastmasters that appeal to me.  One of the things that I look forward to experiencing each time is the presentation by the Grammarian.

As the Grammarian, I will be listening for poor usage of grammar as well as exceptional instances of word and grammar usage.  I have chosen a “Word of the Day” which is ________.  (give word, what it means, and an example of how to use it in a sentence.)  I will listen for the proper usage of this word throughout each person’s speaking time.  I will give a report during the evaluation portion of the meeting.

As I learned about the role of Grammarian, I started thinking about all of the wonderful words that are out there that are not often used.  Defenestration.  Couched.  Cognizant. Untoward.  The challenge, of course, is that the word of the day should be able to be used and easily incorporated into a speech.  When my computer came up with yet another error, it was in danger of being defenestrated.  The IT crowed couched their response in technical jargon.  They should be cognizant of their audience and whether they are fluent in geek-speak.

I’d be an awesome (read: terrible) grammarian…

What are your favorite words?  How would you use them in a sentence (or two)?

Posted in Emotional Eating, Food, Life + Living, Overeating

Artificial Will Power…aka Abstract Art?

So I had kind of a rough day yesterday, and ended up blanking on the fact that I was supposed to give my brother’s girlfriend, Stephanie, a ride home from work.  I had just gotten home from grocery shopping–glad that I had beat the storms, and was talking to Jeff about developments with our wedding when my phone rang and Steph’s number came up on the screen.

My heart sank and I answered the phone “Please don’t hate me, but I forgot and I’m on my way right now.”

She, of course, is a complete sweet heart and was totally understanding and chill about the whole thing.  I called back and invited her to grab a bite to eat with me–my treat. We went to Broadway Pizza and split a burger.  It was easily enough food (a burger is 1/2 lb standard these days!) but we ordered cinnamon sticks anyway.  We were having fun talking and laughing but knew that we were eating the sticks just because they were there.

I decided to introduce Steph to my alternative form of will power.  I still wanted to hang out for a bit and chat because we were having such a good time, but I did not want to continue eating the cinnamon sticks… I explained this to Stephanie and said that the best way to stop eating something if you have no will power is to make it unappealing.  She was game, so I asked her to grab a condiment from the table.  She choose mustard.  I choose ketchup.  We squirted the ketchup and mustard all over the cinnamon sticks!  She even squirted some on my hand.  We were laughing and having a good time.

Steph: “It needs sprinkles!” *dumps red pepper on it”

She’s a pro sabotager, let me tell you.  By the time we were done, the cinnamon dessert was covered with ketchup, mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, water, and ice.  On the one hand, we felt bad wasting food, but on the other–they would have just thrown it out anyway, or we would have continued eating it for no good reason.

We left a good tip and a fun note… with no guilt, and our tummies just right.


Posted in BTHR, College, Life + Living

No More Pencils, No More Books…

…I would say that there would be no more teacher’s dirty looks, but my online instructor has never met me, and my classroom professor is going to be the officiant in my wedding, so there are no dirty looks to be had.

The above is from the final in my Intro to Business class.  This is the type of humour that my professor has demonstrated all semester, and little surprises in the text like this make it easier to keep up and keep reading.  I passed my Intro to Business class with an A.

Since this is my 3rd whack at going to college, I really intended to give it my best shot.  I took one class online (as above) and another in person to try to get a feel of where my learning style is better suited.  I found that I adapt well to either but that the in-person class serves as a reminder that I actually AM in school and that I am not doing this just for funsies.  It also builds better connections with my classmates, and for that, there is no replacement.  When I consider all that went on this semester, what with my bestie moving, my mom moving, my roommates moving, myself moving–and being involved with all of it, plus a full time (if not more so) job, AND school–I am extremely thankful to say that I passed my English course with a B.  It was intense for a while there.

Somewhere through all that, though, I managed to make it to the 100th Entry here at WordPress:

I have really enjoyed getting to use the WordPress tools and blogging to an audience unknown.  Concurrently, I host a blog at  There, I know that I have an audience of about 8-12 people.  I can see exactly who they are and I can read their blogs in turn.  Bloop is in the same genre of websites as WordPress, but the two could not be more different when it comes to content.  Bloop is where I write the personal things, the things that I want to get out or share, but not necessarily with the world.  It’s comfortable.  It’s where I’ve written for neigh on 9 years.

But WordPress… Oh WordPress.  I stumbled upon this gem when Cassie from BackToHerRoots came over here from What I knew was that WordPress made it easy to post entries that included photos.  I hadn’t been able to do that very easily at all either on Spark People or on Bloop.  I am a very visually-driven person, and so to have the ease of the Gallery Tools here on WordPress is awesome.

The content here at WordPress helps me (I hope) to become a better writer too.  Some of my favorite bloggers include Minnesota Transplant, The Ranting Chef, and FamilyHaikus.  There are more that I subscribe to, but these three light up my e-mail inbox and I look forward to reading what they have to write.  I don’t just glaze over it.  That type of excitement over entries makes me want to strive to make *MY* entries ones that are worthwhile as well.  So, hats off to you–you’re in my inspiration.

Along the lines of inspiration and growth, I also wanted to give thanks to BTHR and The Ranting Chef for including awesome food photography.  Although mine will never really be on par because my love is for food (and eating it) and not photography, I try to toggle the settings on my camera phone to at least make my food pictures palatable.  Thanks for the influence.

And thanks to you, the reader, who obligates me to come back again and again.