Happy New Me

Happy New Me

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hello again, bloggers!

Hi.. It has been a while since I've had any real time to post any substantial blogs.  I still find myself with just enough for a quick update, since my boss sent us all home early because it is such a nice day :).

Well, I have a job.  Frame Factory - Ann Arbor.  It's on Washtenaw across from Arborland.  Stop by for your framing needs or decorating ideas/tips/other cool stuff!

I have a band.  Nixon Omollo and the Survivors.  I am singing backup/lead on some songs.  We have an awesome keyboard player, so I'll probably just play the morracas or tambourine or something.. lol

I think I have plans for my b-day.  :)  Mount Pleasant for CMU's homecoming weekend.  It will be good to see old friends and revisit what was my home for a year and a half..  I'll be doing a little tailgating, and just catching up! :)  We'll probably make our way to the Wayside for a quick dance.. of course I have to make it to O'Kelly's and Coco Joes!!

Speaking of tailgating and football and stuff... who was watching the Michigan/Michigan State game last week?  Was that not an amazing victory?? GO GREEN!

Pics from last weekend's shenanigans:

Friday, September 17, 2010

The lines on my face

The lines on my face are becoming, well... LINES.  Time for some preventative/proactive/reactive measures.  It's hard being broke, but fortunately, I found some of Christi's old eye cream upstairs in a bathroom drawer.  I hope she doesn't mind that I'm using it.

I was also very tempted, as I scrolled through the volunteer section of Ann Arbor's craigslist to respond to an ad for people who are interested in skincare products.  I haven't signed up for that yet (kind of hesitant because I have sensitive skin), but I did send an e-mail to FIDO (Finding Incredible Dog Owners) a dog adoption program, and am getting things in order to help them out with transport and working weekend events.  I figure since I can't adopt any dogs of my own right now, I can help some of them find good homes :).

I got a call back from MC Sports today to go in Tuesday to fill out some paperwork and talk to the GM.  I also interviewed yesterday morning at the Frame Factory (a surprisingly AMAZING store) that would be able to offer part-time work.  Hopefully I hear back from them soon too!  I am looking for any way to get my foot BACK in the door of design.

Revisited the volunteer section just now and found a link to a Detroit Urban Transformation Plans.  I think I'll shoot them an e-mail now!

Well, time to get this day in full-swing (it's been a little slow-going).

Oh.  If anyone has ideas for what I should do for my b-day, I'm open to suggestions.  And if you'll be around, I'd love to have you help me ring in another one.  It's just over a month away :).

Have a wonderful, blessed day!

Much love...

Susie Q

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Silly me... I forgot my phone was in my pocket!

I wasn't even thinking about my phone being in my pocket as I balanced on the rim of our pool, pruning branches that hung out over the edge (trying to control the amount of leaves that clog the skimmer basket, and improve the amount of sunlight the pool receives).  One moment of weakness -- or loss of balance... whatever-- and... SPLASH! I fell into the pool. 

I'm an idiot.

Oh well, worse things have happened, and I got my phone all dried out and working again, so things are okay.

It might interest you to know that I sent my resume to a family seeking a french-speaking nanny.  It's full-time, in Chicago, they travel a lot (international and domestic), and need someone to care for their one (1!) preschool child while they're in the states and abroad.  DREAM JOB!!!

So, while I was at the library to update my resume/contact list, and get a new library card, I picked up a few things from the foreign language section.  I'm sure "at home, abroad french", "Learn French Now!", and "Baby's First Steps in French" -- a combination of literature and interactive media-- will help me brush up on my conversational French.  (I got the baby one to learn more children's songs and activities in case, by some stroke of luck, I get the nanny position).

Now, I'm off to learn (or re-learn, rather).

Take it easy, y'all! (I CAN say this because I do have a few southern roots...)

Susie Q

Monday, September 13, 2010

I love weddings!

It seems wedding season is here again!  The first wedding of the year being my cousin Meg's to a fine young addition to our family, Nathan Hyuck (pronounced, "hike").

Next, will be Becky and Landis's wedding at the end of October... I cannot wait to help them celebrate!  I am currently dateless for this wedding, so if anyone really likes being a wedding date, just let me know...

I don't have too much to say right now.

I interviewed today at MC Sports in Ann Arbor, and I feel really positive about that interview.  I guess I could do retail for a while. :)  Things are looking up with music too, but I'll be able to give you a better update on that arena of my life after this Friday.

Here are some of the pics from the weekend (just a select few)!  I hope you like them.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone!

Susie Q

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paducah, here I come!

My Uncle Sam passed along his Martin backpacking guitar to me, and I'm so grateful for that.  It has renewed my interest in guitars and has inspired me to try to learn to play again. He has been on my mind this week, heading into the weekend because my cousin, Meg (his youngest daughter), is getting married Saturday, and his presence will be so very missed as we celebrate such a beautiful thing.  It is bittersweet.

The guitar is coming on the road with me to Kentucky, in memorium...  after all, it is a traveling instrument.

My mom showed up for a slightly unexpected (but very timely) visit a few days ago.  We got to spend some good "quality time" together, laying out on what was probably the last warm Michigan day of the season, making our way to a songwriters' open mic at Oz's Music Environment, where I got to play a few (it was taped for public access tv, but I don't ever watch that, so...), cleaning the house for yet another showing, and having a mini lesson in chord theory.  I'm so thankful to have such musical parents (and aunts and uncles).

I went to another open mic, at the Ark, last night.  This time, solely to observe.  It's weird, they have it set up where you put your name into a raffle and they only pick 16 performers for the night.  I doubt I would have gotten to play anyway, but I will do something there in the future, I'm sure.

It's funny because right when I got there, this guy that I had seen the night before was playing, and I ended up seated very close to him in the audience.  He probably thought I was rude because I didn't say hi (in fact I'm almost certain I heard him say something about it to his friends), but what people need to understand is that I may be beaming with confidence when seated in front of a mic and piano, but in reality I am very SHY.  Hard to get-to-know, but worth knowing (at least I like to think so). 

I was really irked by this, because that sort of thing used to happen to me all the time.  If a girl is shy, and people don't think she should be, she comes off seeming "stuck-up".  Oh well. 

So, on a lighter note... I'm becoming very domesticated.  I baked a big batch of cookies the other day (bad idea, since I just decided to cut back on sweets), and I canned some tomatoes and peppers with the help of my friend, Lindsay!  My Grandma McMillian would be so proud of me.

Oh, don't believe me... here's proof:

Alright, I have GOT to stop blogging so I can clean, pack and GET ON THE ROAD!  So much to do, and so little time, but I'm so excited to be going down for Meggy's wedding!!! :)  And my sisters and I are singing in the wedding, so I have a lot of practicing to do still.  I guess we will have the car ride to get things down-pat, but... you know.  You can never be too prepared when it comes to music! 

Our realtor is having an open-house this weekend, while I'm gone, so I want things spotless for that.  Still no offers, but I'm still optimistic. 

Well, for those of you who will be at the wedding, I CANNOT WAIT to see you.  For those of you that won't, I hope our paths will cross very soon!

Love and peace,

Susie Q

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I wasn't ready then. I may still not be ready, but I'm more ready than I was.

So, Sarah (my good friend, neighbor, running/lake/v-ball/walking/puddle jumping/everything buddy) just made my butt get out of the house for a walk.  We hadn't walked more than half a mile when her seemingly innocent invitation for a quick stroll turned into something more like an INTERVENTION.

Ahaha.  She got me. 

No, it was good to catch up and discuss, well...  LIFE.  Sarah gave me a lot to think about and helped me work through a lot of issues.

Issues like: Why have I gained 12 lbs since I've been back from Chicago?  I haven't actually weighed myself, so it probably isn't THAT bad, but I've been eating everything (mostly tomato, turkey, mozzarella, and basil sandwhiches and "Supreme Bars"- YUM!) at odd hours.

But now, it's time to get on the road to recovery, and back on the health and fitness wagon!

Oh... "Miss Intervention" also helped me address other major issues like:  "Why did I give up facebook, but not twitter?"  and  "What should I do for my birthday?"

I'll be turning 25 in just over a month, and it seems to be the trend to set some sort of goals for oneself at any significant birthday.  So, I've decided to come up with a few and share them:

1.  First and foremost - get a job. 

Obviously.  At this point, almost any job will do.  As aforementioned (see blog #1), this is key on my path toward my present and long-term goals. 

The more I think about it, the more I realize that yesterday's interview did not go well at all.  Oh boy.

BUT today's interview at Homewatch Caregivers of Ann Arbor was a little bit better, and it seems like a good company to work with, with a strong mission and dedication to serving the community. It also seems like it would be pretty easy to get lots of hours and move around (and possibly up) within the corporation.

(I was invited back for a second interview tomorrow! YAY!)

2.  Get in the best physical shape of MY LIFE! 

This will be hard because I was in REALLY good shape in junior high and high school... Team sports and off-season conditioning, jump training and weight-lifting kind of make it hard not to be fit... BUT I will do it.

THIS means:  running at least 3 times a week (probably 4+ mile runs), lifting weights, YOGA (I'm turning into a yogini) and eating right.  THAT means: cutting out sweets, fatty foods, soda, alcohol, some of my carb intake, and eating more veggies and lean, protein-rich foods.

Helllllo muscles!

3.  Become a more active member in my community.

Since I have decided to settle down in Ann Arbor for now, I will be getting involved in local community groups and service projects.  If you know of something going on, or need help putting an event together, PLEASE let me know!

4.  Work on meeting Mr. Right (or being set up with him, since some of my friends reeeallly love playing matchmaker).

Now, I know people say that you shouldn't look for love, but can't I look for friends?  Aaaand if one of those friends happens to be a man, and we happen to hit it off, and we happen to have great chemistry, and happen to fall in love... would that be a problem?

I don't really think so...

5.  Be more patient.

This is something that I've already been working on (well, actually I've been working on all of these goals, just haven't put them in writing).  I could stand to be more patient and understanding with everyone in my life.  And, so I will try to be.

6.  Pray more.

Aaaannnd that's all i've got for meow.

I'm sure I'll come up with more, and I'll let you know when I do.

But for now, that's going to have to suffice.  I have to do some deep cleaning in my house because we have a showing tomorrow.  I really hope it sells soon!

Take care and best wishes! (so formal, I know ;-)


Susie Q

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I am bad at interviews.

I interviewed today for a receptionist position at a law firm in Ann Arbor.  Met with a very nice HR person, told her I was shy (which I am, but I don't know why I told her that), and am praying that it went well!  You know those things where you leave not knowing whether you bombed or passed with flying colors?  It was one of those...

I'm hopeful.  I guess I do have a few backup plans, but would just prefer to go with "Plan A": stable, steady office job at a good company with regular hours.

My thoughts are pretty random right now because I didn't get much sleep last night (I think my nerves/RLS kept me awake), and my alarm at 6:00am came WAY too early.  I think I'll try to take a nap. 

I'm supposed to can veggies with Lindsay (former co-worker), but I don't have as many ripe tomatoes and peppers as I thought I did, and I'm hoping she'll take a rain check until they are ready for canning.

I just tried to vacuum the pool, but what i thought was loose algae is actually an algae stain-- stuck to the base of the pool-- and it seems no amount of vacuuming or scrubbing will get it up.

So... instead of doing work, I'm headed down to the basement (the darkest, coolest place in the house) to hopefully catch up on rest.

Hope you liked my "one big status update" (which is what my Aunt Juanita pointed out to me that a blog is).  Love you, Auntie!

Hope you all have a great afternoon/evening/night!

Susie Q

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The neighbors must have thought I had a tick or twitch or something

The neighbors must have thought I had a tick or a twitch or something as I carried dead limbs to our brush pile on the far lot.  I, being too spontaneous (or lazy) to put on bug spray, was flipping my head quickly to the left and blowing in my own ear (not at all sensually), slapping my arm, and laughing at myself, thinking about how CRAZY I must have looked while trying to "shoo" the mosquitos away.  Nevermind that the mosquito population in Michigan is completely OUT OF CONTROL (we joke that they are our state bird).  This act of lunacy, added to other slightly eccentric things I do around my house (only because I think nobody's watching)--  things like mowing the lawn in a bikini, playing (banging on) my piano late at night, having wrestling matches in the basement, and excercising in high heels-- could definitely ruin my pristine reputation of being "normal"... 

But don't worry.

I will NOT lose any sleep tonight over the fear that my neighbors might consider me slightly lunatic.  Thanks, in part, to a quote from Jane Austen's, Pride and Predjudice, "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" And also largely in part to the the fact that I know myself (and other people) well enough to believe that I'm not THAT weird.

*I have pulled a few examples of  "crazier than me" neighbor stuff off the web for your viewing pleasure.

This is funny because I used to practice baton/flags in my back yard, but my legs never looked nearly that good...

If any of my neighbors are reading this, don't worry... I'm probably not talking about you, and I DEFINITELY don't take pictures of the things I see in Leland Acres.

...or haven't yet, at least.

I'll probably frequently throw in these "asides", addressed to neighbors, friends and family members, because I never do know exactly who reads these things, and I would hate to offend or make anyone uncomfortable with the stuff I write. 

One person I DO know is reading... MY MAMA! :)  Hi, Mom.

She called me today to say that she really enjoyed reading my blog (aaaand to check up on how things were, of course).  Her phone call and positive feedback (along with all the responses I've had from all of you), were greatly appreciated and almost providencial in their timing. She called after I heard a message about "encouragement" at this church I visited this morning. The words really impressed upon me the need to share hope, strength, kindness and positive thoughts with others, and left me very open (almost broken) to thoughtful words of encouragement from others!

(I've been a little discouraged lately)

Well, I just pulled a pan of "Supreme Bars" -- half brownie, half cookie (100% delicious) -- out of the oven and think I'll go for a little swim to cool myself off while I wait for them to cool off (Dad and Christi have both helpfully checked to see if they're still too hot to eat).  Playing "Susie Homemaker" in the summer with no air conditioning can get pret-ty steamy. 

Oh boy! Speaking of hot... Things have heated up again, here in Ann Arbor. haha

I was beginning to believe that fall was upon us, but it looks like we'll have a few more warm days, and who knows... maybe even a little Indian Summer.  Wouldn't that be nice? :)

Well, this is me, signing off...

Until next time!

Peace and love (yeah, I'm a wanna-be hippie)...

Susie Q

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A little Sauvignon Blanc where the sidewalk ends

Welcome back for day two of this new blog.  I hope you are... well... alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic about something! 

I'm still going pretty strong.  I guess.  This cup of lukewarm coffee is helping me out quite a bit. 

It's funny because I was always the girl who couldn't understand how people would allow themselves to get so hooked on anything like coffee-- a bitter substance that stains your teeth, has a tendancy to keep you up at night, gives you stomach issues, and turns your breath that hearty, sour smell, that DOESN'T mask any other odors (as my sister has kindly informed me).

BUT then, I got a big girl job.  One that required me to walk into a room of elderly residents everyday (usually residents with some form of dementia) with a BIG SMILE on my face, enough patience and good will to make their lives (and mine) enjoyable, and enough energy to play WII, ring toss, sack toss, word games, lead armchair aerobics (and one, and two), bible studies (I'm no theologian) bake cookies (watch out, Rachel Rae), sing karaoke (okay, I AM a bit of a prima donna), and do arts and crafts (right up my alley).  These are all things that I actually really do love to do, so it probably doesn't SOUND like work, but somebody had to do it. 

And so, the GREAT SACRIFICE was made in order to "pull through" such tedious tasks ;-) -- I began drinking coffee.  Thus seceding from the "anti-coffee, anti-speed" society (of which I may have been the only member), to join the world of hopped-up, keyed-up, happy professionals.  But it has been so worth it, having more than enough energy to do what I have to do to touch lives is such a blessing to me!  Can I get an AMEN?!     

Speaking of touching lives...

You, fortunate ones, should be thanking your lucky stars to be getting to read this blog entry so early today. :)

I had decided I wasn't going to write anything until I had applied for this receptionist position a friend from college so graciously forwarded to me, but in the process of accessing my jump drive (to review/edit my resume), realized that Microsoft Office must have been removed from my system! 

Oh no!

How do you like the dramatics?  Too much?  Yeah, you're right.  It's not really a mystery to me, so there's no need to for theatrics...

In thinking back, I'm pretty sure my dad did wipe out everything (other than virus protection), in efforts to thwart some nasty malware, disguising itself as an "antimalware" software.  I'm so thankful to have a functioning computer again (thanks, Pops!), but could really use even the most antiquated of Office programs right now.  I don't have any form of word, and had to type something up in Notepad a few weeks ago!  If any of you have ever done that, you can surely feel my pain. :)  Oh, the joys of technology... 

Well, hmmmm.  There's no way to smoothly segue into my next bit, so I'll just give it to you straight.

No, wait!

I just thought of something clever.

Christi and I shared a $6 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a little poetry last night.  Romantic, I know.  Come on now, she's MY SISTER and it was CHILDREN'S poetry!  We revisited a book of poems I pulled out of our collection in the basement, "Where the Sidewalk Ends, the poems and drawings of Shel Silverstein" --one of our childhood favorites!

Silverstein has a poem that reminds me of my love/hate relationship with technology and what is happening with the social networks phenomena...


I'll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet--
And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set [substitute computer, if you'd like]
Almost as much as you.   

He watched all day, he watched all night
Till he grew pale and lean,
From "The Early Show" to "The Late Late Show"
And all the shows between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial,
And antennae gew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes,
And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying "VERT." and "HORIZ."
Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of watching TV
We all sit around and watch him.

Shel Silverstein, "Where the Sidewalk Ends", 28-29.

And there's your "food for thought" for the day.  Read it, anylize it, remember it, do whatever you want with it actually, I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live their life.

However, with that being said... If you DO have a copy of this book, I would strongly ENCOURAGE you to reread some of the poems in it (add wine, if you like).  As an adult, you'll find the playful social commentary a little bit nostalgic, a little bit refreshing, a little bit fun.

Have a great day, people!  I'll be watching you.  lol

Yours Truly,

Susie Q

P.S. I'm still working on my 95 theses... you can't rush something of such large proportion!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I've decided to number my days as an American migrant...

Sorry, I couldn't come up with a more clever title...

Having spent all morning in bed, doing job-searches on my laptop, I have decided to move my life to the kitchen for a little lunch. And  no, I don't have enough food to go around, but you might not like what I'm having anyway... they're LEFTOVERS I think my dad must have fixed before he left for Alaska :).

I am back in Ann Arbor after a mini-vaca in Chicago, and I've decided to number my days as an American migrant (which is what it seems my spring/summer has been). 

I left my band (Big Bad Plaid) and my job as a CNA/Activity Aide in Mount Pleasant, MI around Christmas, moved to Las Vegas, joined a new band, couldn't find work, new band fizzled, and my sister (who I moved out there to live with) decided to move back to Chicagoland, so I packed up my things and headed back to the midwest, to re-group, reevaluate my life's options and plan out a new course of action.

Little did I know that my time spent being able to re-group would actually be very limited, having a close uncle pass away, and a number of family events, responsibilities, and social engagements (ROAD TRIPS!), taking me all over The States, including stop-offs in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, West Virginia and Illinois (big shout-outs to each and every loved-one in each and every one of these states).

So now, after more traveling than one 24 year old girl should really be able to take, I am forcing myself to buckle down, and find even the most menial of jobs, in order to move forward in some way.  I have 1/4 of my plan of action, and finding gainful employment is my first REQUIRED step.

Wish me luck!  And if you know anyone that's hiring in Ann Arbor, I have decided to set down some shallow roots in this area again, and will be mainly looking for work here.  I have a B.A. in Interior Design, some sales experience, quite a bit of experience in food service/barista, 2+ years as an Office Assistant, CNA license in the state of MI, First Aide and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certification, and a strong work ethic!  Help a girl out! :)

Well, peace and love and blessings, and every other good thing!

.... OH! And stay tuned for my 95 theses for why I have decided to leave facebook!

Always and Forever,

Susie Q