Archive | February, 2008

wikiHow of the Week: You can thank me in rolls of hundreds

28 Feb

How to Convince Yourself You Will Receive Money from God

One person claims to know the techniques used to work with God in attracting money. If you want to convince yourself that this money is coming, keep reading.

Steps

  1. How much do you want?  (Uh, a billion trillion dollars?)
  2. Your job is to STAY POSITIVE and believe that you will receive what you’ve asked for. If this means forgetting about the request, then do that. If you need to continually remind yourself of what you’ve asked for, make sure to also remember that you aren’t in charge of making it happen. Feel good, and remember that God answers. Your job is to ask and to accept.   (Are you there God?  Its me, Julie.  Please see above.  I feel good.  Please answer).
  3. Listen for instructions! Let’s say you’ve asked for a certain amount of money, say $500. You may have no idea how this money will come to you. But you asked- so God will answer. So listen for the answer. You may hear a song on the radio, or a friend may call with an idea, or an email may come with an instruction… Anything that happens around you may clue you in on an action for you to take.   (Praise Jimmy!  I just got an e-mail from a Nigerian man claiming that he’ll send me a million dollars if I give him my bank account #.  I’ll just sit back and wait to collect).
  4. You might not have to do anything but remain positive.  (Does being positive that this will not work count?)

 Tips

  • Write yourself notes to remember who is the Boss.  (Note to self:  God is the Boss.  Note to J: Julie is the Boss)
  • Do whatever you need to so you don’t worry.  (Maybe the rubber band trick will work here)
  • Be clear on what you want.  (Money money money money — Money!)
  • Make a list of what type of money you are looking to get (new money, money owed to you by another, or even a solution to money you borrowed — your debt)  (I’m not picky.  Any kind of money will do).

 Warnings

  • First, try and get the money within your own means.  (Like, say, working?  I think not).
  • Don’t put your blind faith in information you get from the Internet.   (Uh, like this?)
  • God provides for those who ask, but only if the need is genuine and the asking is sincere. Seek out advice from God to make sure the money you requested is part of His plan as well as yours — to do good, not evil.   (I’ll do good with the money.  Not necessarily good for others, but for myself).
  • If you catch yourself being negative (oh, that’s not enough!) fix your head. What you think and feel are vitally important in working with God on getting money.  (Check yo-self!  I guess I don’t need a billion trillion dollars.  I’ll settle for a billion).
  • Money can come from anywhere, at anytime. You don’t have to “deserve” it or “earn” it in ways you may already think. Don’t limit God!  (I like the kind that grows on trees the best!)
  • Bouncing checks is illegal in some places, bouncing checks knowing that you do not have the money in your account is a crime is most places and “Gee, I thought God was going to come across with the dough!” is not a defense. In any event bouncing checks is certainly bad for your credit rating. While faith is a good thing, wait until you get the money before you write the checks.  (AKA: Don’t write checks your body can’t cash!)
  • If you actually want to pay your bills on time, sending a check in the mail for money you don’t have in your account is a very poor idea and most likely illegal. Don’t spend above your means.  (See above.  Apparently this “no bouncing checks” thing is very important)
  • I Sam 3:10 reads, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.” It does not read, “Speak servant, for thy Lord heareth” (KJV).   (Amen!)
  • God can say no to requests too.  (Boo!)
  • It is okay to have doubts. After walking on water, Peter had doubts. After Jesus had risen, the apostles still had doubts. You can learn to trust more, but it will be a rough process.   (True dat)
  • By convincing yourself of something that may happen, you could just be deceiving yourself.  (This does not sound promising)

Rock Band

26 Feb

Because I’m the best.wife.ever (snort), I bought J Rock Band for his birthday.  Now, those of you who know J will realize his birthday isn’t until next week, but the box came to work on Friday, and I hightailed home early in fear of the impending STORM OF THE CENTURY 2, box in tow.  (Note to my coworkers:  I did not participate in any Rock Band playing until 5pm, when the work laptop was shut off.  Really).

Rock Band, for those of you living under a rock/not a 29 year old woman trapped in a sixteen year old’s mind, is like Guitar Hero on steroids.   The giant box contains a game, a microphone, a drum set and a guitar.  Much to my dismay, all components have wires, unlike my snazzy wireless Guitar Hero guitar.  Up to four people can play at a time: two guitars, a drummer and a singer.  Now, if J & I had two friends, we wouldn’t need kiddie games to keep us occupied, but that’s a whole other story. 

There’s a whole new set of songs on Rock Band.  When I read the box and saw that “Don’t Fear the Reaper” was included, I exclaimed, “Sweet!  We’re gonna need a cowbell!”

J loves the drums.  He was a drummer in a previous life, and misses it.  FortunatelyUnfortunately, we don’t have the room/soundproofing to set up a drum set, so this will have to satisfy his inner rock star.  So, he’s in his glory, pounding away.  There are even places in the song where you can freestyle, and he makes it sound good.  I, on the other hand, have no rhythm at all.  Hitting the bass pedal at the same time as hitting the drum (or, heaven forbid, more than one drum) is way more than I can handle. 

So, I chose to sing instead.  As I mentioned, the game comes with a mike.  The mike can magically tell if you’re singing the right words (scrolling across the screen) at the right pitch.  There are times when no words are required, and you can play percussion by tapping the mike against your palm (More Cowbell!!!)  I did particularly well with Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” and now I can sing the actual words, and not just the ones I made up.  (Apologies to the late great Kurt Cobain for my butchering of his song).

The guitar parts seem easier than the songs on Guitar Hero, and I was bummed to learn you can’t play the Rock Band guitar on GH.  You can use the wireless guitar from GH on Rock Band, which is cool.  It would be cooler if we had more friends to play with us though.

So, you locals are invited to visit and play anytime.  And if you’re lucky, I’ll sing for you!  And J will howl like a dog while I sing.  Fun times.

Spirit of the Marathon

23 Feb

Thursday night, a friend and I went to see Spirit of the Marathon in Boston.  Now, when I told people I was going to see a movie about running 26.2 miles, I got a lot of “Gee, that sounds like fun”s.  But it was!  And since this showing was the encore showing of a “one night only” event, I’m going to tell you about it!

The movie followed six different people as they prepared to run the 2005 Chicago Marathon.  The runners included a 70 year man running his fifth marathon (and his first with his daughter), two first time marathoners, a Boston hopeful (in case you didn’t know, you have to qualify to run Boston by running another marathon at a pretty good clip.  Qualifying times are here.  Or get an invitational entry through a charity or friend, like I did), and two elite runners, Deena Kastorand Daniel Njenga.

The movie gave a brief history of the marathon, from its inception in Greece to today.  Did you know that the first person to run “the marathon” (25 miles at that time) died upon completing it?  Who was the second guy that decided it would be a good idea to try again?  It featured many big names in the running world, including Amby Burfoot, Dick Beardsley, Alberto Salazar (who talks me though one of my workouts!), and Paula Radcliffe(who also speaks to me in my iPod, and won the NYC Marathon just ten months after popping out a kid).  

One of my all time favorite stories about the marathon is the one of Katherine Switzer.  She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and she was not welcome.  So unwelcome that race director, Jock Semple, came onto the course and tried to physically take her off of it.  Switzer’s boyfriend gave Semple a good shoulder check, and she went on to finish the race.

The movie had all the stereotypical adjectives associated with it: Funny, Sad, Pain, Heartbreak, Humor, A Happy Ending, A Sad Ending.  But it was all true.  Each of the athletes profiled went through quite a journey through 18 weeks of training.  Some had the results they wanted, others did not. 

Since the marathon was 2-1/2 years ago, I’m not giving anything away by telling you that Deena Kastor did indeed win the race, her first major marathon victory.  At the end, she was literally using her arms to keep her moving.  You could see that her legs were lead.  She beat out Constantina Tomescu-Dita by only 5 seconds.  Daniel Njenga, however, came in third.  The winner, Felix Limo, beat him by 12 seconds.  When  you think about the fact that 12 seconds is less than 1/2 second per mile, its amazing that long distance events are that close.  Njenga lost in 2006 by 5 seconds to Robert K. Cheruiyot, who slipped on the finish mat and hit his head, suffering a brain contusion. 

Dick Beardsley (who came in second to Alberto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon “Duel in the Sun”) spoke my favorite line of the movie: “When you cross that finish line, no matter how slow, no matter how fast, it will change your life forever.” 

This is so true for me.  I never thought I could run a marathon, even after I started running.  Heck, I wasn’t even sure I could run a marathon the day of the marathon.  But crossing that finish line proved to me that I could do almost anything.  I hate when people say “I can’t run,” because 90% of the time its not true.  They usually just think they can’t.  This movie gave hope to those people who think they can’t.

As for me, its given me the motivation I’ve been lacking.  I spent the T ride home plotting out my year of racing, from the 5K in a month to the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  I’m ready to stop sitting around and going to the gym twice a week, and ready to start running again. 

Just not today.  There’s too much snow out there!

wikiHow of the Week

20 Feb

How to Eat in Front of Your Crush

Eating in front of your crush can seem very nerve-racking and embarrassing because you never know what he’ll say or think about the way you eat.

Steps

  1. Realize its not a big deal. Many guys like it when a girl eats their meal because it makes them feel less awkward about eating. If you are going on a dinner date it is essential to eat, since no one likes to feel like they are being stared at as they chew their food. It is a fact of life that everyone must eat, so no one should feel afraid to do so.  (I fear many things.  Food is not one of them).
  2. Chew with your mouth closed. Although you should feel free to eat, no one else wants to see your chewed up food, including your crush.  (This applies to everyone eating in public.  Ever.  And “public” includes my house).
  3. Eat carefully and slowly. It is not a race to see who can finish their food in four minutes. Converse and laugh, and remember to enjoy your food AND your crush’s company.  (Someone should note the speed eating comment to my husband).
  4. Wait until you’ve swallowed your food before talking unless it is very important. (Please refer back to #2)
  5. Just pretend he or she is not there or that you’re not really eating. Forget any worries you had and focus on having a good time with your crush and enjoying your food.  (Yes, this is helpful.  When dating, pretend the other person on the date is not there).
  6. Know that your crush should want you to eat, if he makes fun of your eating, he’s not worth even having a crush on in the first place.  (This is a big turnoff for me.  I could never be with a guy who I couldn’t eat in front of.  I’d be hungry, and I get bitchy when I’m hungry).
  7. Remember that eating is not a bad thing! Once you get used to thinking that eating in front of your crush will become a natural thing and you will no longer have to worry.  (Food good).

Tips

  • Imagine if you someday got married! Would you never eat in front of him? Obviously, you would. (Thinking about marriage won’t make you nervous in front of your crush.  Nope).
  • Try not to eat anything that will give you bad breath, major turn off.  (What, no garlic & onion pizza?)
  • Try to take small bites WAY more ladylike and appealing (Is belching considered un-ladylike?)

Warnings

  • Make sure you’re not shoveling food into your mouth like a pig or chewing with your mouth open and making a mess or anything that really should be embarrassing (Bottom line: Food = good.  Pig = bad.  Bacon = best)

Baseball Season Begins! Oh, and I’m Effing Matt Damon!

19 Feb

Finally!  Pitchers & catchers have reported to spring training.  Manny still has not shown up (shocker!)  Spring and baseball are in the air.

But the best story of the still new season is the prank Brett Myers and the rest of the Phillies organization played on Kyle Kendrick, telling the pitcher he had been traded to Japan for a player named Kobayashi.  Kendrick’s face is priceless.  Check out the video for a good laugh. 

And, just in case you’ve been living under a rock, my recent favorite video of Sarah Silverman singing to Jimmy Kimmel.  I don’t normally really like Sarah Silverman, but this video cracks my shit up every time I see it.

House Hunting

13 Feb

So, J & I have decided to move out of the small apartment in the large complex we’ve lived in for three years.  I’m so sick of this place.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved it at first.  The rent was cheap, there are two pools, and the unit we rent is a larger one bedroom.  Plus, we even got white cabinets instead of the yellow and green seventies style ones. 

Recently, however, the place has kind of gone downhill.  There have been thefts of car rims, an attempt at getting airbags, and even a break in across the hall from us (in all fairness, the idiots left their door open.  That’s just asking for trouble).  Plus, we’ve kind of outgrown the place.  I don’t think the rug will ever come clean, and I would love to have more than two total rooms. 

So, we signed a month to month lease (with a $100/month penalty — Oy), and set out to look for a new place.  I won’t bore you with the details of the mortgage seminar that took 3 hours out of our Saturday, for a mortgage we ended up making “too much” too qualify for (HA!), or the fact we’re still not entirely sure where we want to live.  But I’m sure things like that will iron out in the end!

We looked at a few open houses, all townhouse style.  Most of them were freshly painted, with large closets and neutral rugs.  But, they come with condo fees, and a lack of yard.  Before settling on a condo, and to appease my nagging loving mother, we went to look at single families last weekend.

Now, I realize that houses often need work.  And that there’s work, and then there’s work.  Painting a room is one thing, and replacing a roof is another.  And our realtor was kind enough to only show us homes with newer roofs and furnaces, as those are hefty repairs. 

Still, I was amazed at what people do to their houses.  Most of them were just so outdated, and in dire need of major cosmetic repairs.  As in, I couldn’t spend a night in a house with purple walls and purple carpet.  Or a bathroom with plastic walls meant to “look like marble.”  Yes, repainting a room isn’t a big deal, but ripping up carpet and 50 years of wallpaper while demolishing the kitchen is. 

The realtor told us that rehabbing a house and making it our own really strengthens the bond of marriage.  He clearly doesn’t know J & I well.  When we got home that night we tried to glue a drawer from our dresser back together and ended up getting half the glue on the rug, plus hit a few thumbs with a hammer.  I don’t think we’ll be rehabbing anything soon.  

Foiled Again!

10 Feb

Remember when I told you all about my dismay at Sea World San Diego after being tricked onto thinking poor Missy would be mauled by dolphins?  It happened again!  This time, it didn’t involve mating or drowning of any kind.  (By the way, whoever found me after searching for “sea world dolphin mates woman,” I hope you weren’t too disappointed!) 

Last Sunday, J & I went to see Monty Python’s Spamalot in Providence.  I bought the tickets awhile ago, because J is a huge Monty Python fan.  I didn’t realize the play fell on Superbowl Sunday, but luckily, I was cheap smart enough to get matinee tickets, leaving us plenty of time for sketchy Chinese food before heading to watch the game. 

I should mention that I was also wicked hungover, after attending a 30th birthday party the night before with the bad influences I call my college friends.  The word “no” is apparently not an acceptable answer to the question “Who wants another shot?”  I had to cancel our brunch plans due to the puking, and instead chose to have the thinnest cheeseburger ever at the greasy spoon near our house.

So, we get to PPAC, and I’m sneezing and nauseous, cramped into my seat like a sardine.  J got up to hit the men’s room as I perused the little book they hand out to keep you occupied before the show starts.  I open it to the middle, past all the ads, and find the play info. 

But instead of anything about Spamalot, I found:  “Bin Faaarkrekkion’s new Moosical DIK OD TRIAANENEN FOL (Finns Ain’t What They Used To Be).”  Including musical performances such as “I Hear Your Nokia But I Can’t Come In,” “It’s a Bleeding (Economic) Miracle” and “Foek You, Farmers.”  “Featuring the show-stopping, foot-stomping East Finland Moose Ballet — 45 magnificent creatures in high-stepping harmony.  Believed to be the greatest display of horn ever seen on an American stage.”

When J sat down (without the peanut M&Ms I wanted), I whispered, “I think they gave us the wrong program.  Look at this play!  Its 7-1/2 hours ong!  And the cast includes moose trainers and a guy named Sad Aaarse!  I looked through the rest of the book and I can’t tell when its playing, but who would go see this?!?!”  J looked at my book, flipped the next page to the Spamalot information, and said “Its a joke, babe.  Monty Python has a whole songabout Finland.”  Luckily, I don’t think the guy next to me heard my stupidity, despite the fact I was practically in his lap.  I just shook my head and said, “Its like that damned Missy incident all over again.”

Even though I was fooled again, the play was hilarious and very entertaining.  It even made my hangover almost go away!  (“Always look on the bright side of life!”)