Monday, June 20, 2011

Shrinking Summer

The Summer of E is shrinking...

I head to Dallas Thursday for 5 days to work at my dad's show. Then Joe & I are going on our last summer trip leaving around July 2 for about 9 days. (We're thinking of camping in New Mexico. I'm thinking of ways to combine camping with art shows in Santa Fe.) That gives me one more week in Austin, and then I start quantitative boot camp at UT on July 18.  Orientation starts August 1, and poof... summer is gone!

Can time slow down just a little bit???!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's Girl 101

For Father's Day, I was recounting some of my favorite moments with my dad. There was the time we went on a daddy/daughter date in London and got icecream sundaes at Tootsie's. There was the time we went to the haunted house in San Fransisco and he had to coax me out because I was so scared.  There was the time we explored the Roman Forum together early on a summer morning. There were all the times we sung a song about one of his lines, Schott Zwiesel. (The Schott group is the leader... it's ahead in every class! And all our products are world leaders... it's a special kind of glass!) There was the time we danced to "The Wind Beneath My Wings" at my cousin's wedding, and he swirled me around the dance floor like a princess. There was our most recent date in Chicago visiting the art museum and drinking at the hotel bar. There are the turkey trots we now finish together. There are the often daily calls we share as he drives home from work. There are all the times I see him work and I'm filled with pride. There are the times when I do something well and can't wait to share and make him proud.  And there are all the countless & silly "dances of joy" we have done over the past 20 years.

I can't pick a favorite. To be honest, any time I spend with my dad is my favorite time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reading Kick.. i.e .Lots of Bold, Italicized Book Names

Maybe it's a last ditch effort to make something with my free time, or perhaps it's a long overdue drive for books, but I have been on a huge reading kick over the past few weeks.

It started with Remains of the Day, but Kazuo Ishiguro. I'm not sure why I wanted to read it - although the reference of Remains of the Day lunchboxes from Waiting for Guffman probably had something to do with it. Anyway, I read it, wasn't sure what to make of it, but liked it still. I also would really like a RotD lunchbox, please.

Upon talking with my friend Rob about RotD, he suggested Never Let Me Go, also by Ishiguro. I'd heard of this one because there was a movie based on the book and had been intrigued, but it was because of Rob's glowing review that I downloaded it immediately and read it pretty much nonstop. Wow, that was a good one. I still think of it nearly every day and it's been at least a week since I finished it.

Next I read Tina Fey's BossyPants, which only confirmed that if I somehow had lived a previous life, died 40 years ago, and been reincarnated- I would plead anything to the reincarnation gods to return to Earth as Tina Fey. Or, maybe I could just be her minion... that would be fine, too. Damn she's awesome.

Next I read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. Interesting stuff. That's for a later post, though.

Next, Joe said I should read Richard Russo's Empire Falls. I'm about 100 pages into it, but I'm just not loving it yet. However I'm going to keep trying because I think it's in bad taste to give up on one of my boyfriend's favorite books. (Please get more interesting, book! Please please please!!!)

After relaying my love for NLMG, Rob suggested I read some Michael Chabon. So I immediately headed to the library (i.e. heaven) to pick up Wonderboys. As I was browsing the "books to go back to the shelves" cart, I found Chabon's first novel Mysteries in Pittsburgh. I guess it was meant to be that I should read it, which unfortunately happened later that night at 12:30am when I couldn't sleep. Anyway, it reminded me a lot of Catcher in the Rye... I liked it but I'm not quite sure what to make of it.  I liked Chabon's writing style a lot, and Rob keeps his 100% score in book recommendations.

Sitting on my desk is Impro by Keith Johnston, Shark Tales by my GMW mentor Barbara (do a google search for my name + Shark Tales and see what it says... I mean, it's pretty cool when I've actually made a few pages of a national bestseller. Next I will actually read the rest of the book!), Wonder Boys + the rest of Empire Falls.  To be honest, Jame's Michener's The Source is also sitting on my nightstand, but since it's been a fixture of my nightstands since I was 16, I don't feel the rush to finish it. Oh, there's also the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Brazil... but that's not technically a book book. (I'm not quite sure what defines book book, either.) I'm gonna read it anyway, though. Cause... IwannagotoBrazilrightnowplease! Obrigado!

So, I still have lots of books to finish before my accounting homework from UT arrives, which is any day now. Something tells me "The Life and Times of Debits & Credits" won't be so engaging...But until then... read on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun things about a kitchen remodel...

This morning, we made coffee in the bathroom. It is kinda convenient having the coffee pot, sugar, creamer, etc... right next to the toilet.

The other day I stepped on the dish drying rack in the shower. I didn't realize that was where we now dry the dishes.

The house is covered in dust. Every room, every piece of everything. Dust dust dust. Luckily my mom had supplied me with 10 years worth of swiffer cloths which can now be put to use!

I eat almonds for breakfast every day because we can't make anything else. (I really really want some scrambled eggs. Oh well, soon enough!)

I recommend doing a remodel when you're already in a boot. Built in foot protection!

I get to practice my toastmasters speech while contractors yell at each other in the background. Good practice speaking through distractions.

Alright, that's it for now. Carry on.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Be Great.

A few months ago, I was tasked to create a vision board. Honestly, I thought the idea was pretty ridiculous at the time, but I figured I would try it out.  After a bit of soul searching, I figured out my personal mantra: "Be Great."

I think my mantra is easy enough to follow. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it as best I can. This applies to anything and everything, and I just love the simplicity of it. Additionally, it serves as the overriding theme to my other themes of being empowering, healthy, successful, and deserving.
Back to the Vision Board. I haven't looked at it in a while, but I think it's time to print this baby out and put it over my desk. And... just because I believe that putting things out to the universe helps make them happen... I'm posting this to the blog-universe. 

Friday, June 10, 2011


Hi. My name is Erin. I'm a closet-afraid-of-public-speaking-holic.

What's that? I used to speak competitively on my high school and college mock trial team? I've spent the past 8 years speaking in front of various associations of 100+ people each month? I've taught continuing education classes to groups of all sizes? I appeared on national television giving a 3 minute pitch and made it through? And I'm afraid of public speaking?

Yes. I admit it. I hate that it freaks me out so much. In 2003, I joined Toastmasters to overcome the fear. It started to work, actually! But then life got too busy, and I got complacent, and well... the fear came right back. Before pitching GMW on ST, I took a public speaking class for 6 weeks. I learned some good tips. Minus my tv moment which I promise you can hear my voice quiver at first, it didn't take. Later I thought, why don't I create a Toastmasters group for my work associations? And... with lots of help... I did! However, I never actually gave a speech and then I quit.

Time to think outside the box. Well... how about improv classes? Yes, those certainly help, but I still felt that horrible shortness of breath/elevated heart rate/panic feeling at times during class. So... back to what works... I'm joining another Toastmasters group for the summer. (Thanks Taline for getting me back!)

I went to the first meeting last week and gave a Table Topic Speech about one time I snuck out of the house in high school. (Bad Erin! Very bad Erin!)With a table topic, you have about 10 seconds to prepare a 1-2 minute speech. I knew I was going to be called on, and I started experiencing all the usual panicky symptoms, but then once I started speaking I realized, "I'm okay." In fact, I even had fun talking! I don't think my voice quivered, I used tips from my public speaking course, and I channeled my inner improvisationer (is that a word?) to tell my story.

It was fun, I dare say! It gave me hope that improv is working and that toastmasters will help even more. In fact, I jumped right in and signed up to give my icebreaker speech (a 3-5 minute intro speech) next week. I have no idea what to talk about yet, but I have some ideas. In fact, I shall brainstorm them now!
1) The journey of my fear of speaking
2) How I like to take on 100 projects at once, and explain some of them.
3) Why I am learning from improv classes.
4) What it's like being an only child.
5) How I have bit off more than I can chew this summer, and how I need to prioritize.
6) I like robots.

Okay, that's about it for now. (I mean, it's 6pm on a Friday, what can I say.) I'm welcome to suggestions! And I'm also welcome to positive thoughts on my road to a return of enjoyment of public speaking.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

More than I can chew...

Can someone please explain how it is already Thursday? I can't think of anything that I have accomplished this week... only growing my "to-do" list and matching it with an equally growing stress level. What happened to the Summer of E?! I honestly don't know how people who are about to start school and are still planning on working up to school start do it. I have been unemployed for nearly a month and I am having issues.

I have officially bitten off more than I can chew. I admit defeat!!!

By the way, how come it is so easy for me to write a blog post and so equally difficult for me to write a cover letter? Why are cover letters so hard? Why are resumes so hard? Why is my brain a pile of mush???

Oye! Maybe I need lunch.