Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Know Jared Never Had This Problem

In my quest to live a healthier lifestyle and balancing that with a life on the go, I often find myself at a Subway. Sure, I guess I could plan better and pack a supper everytime I have to rush from work to church or other food-less function, but alas, I don't. In the past, a swing through Mickey D's or Wendy's did the trick, but it doesn't really work well with my new regime. Confession: Yes, I do still eat at those places periodically.

Over the past few weeks, I've encountered challenges with my local Subways. You'd think ordering a sub sandwich wouldn't be so tough, but you'd be surprised. A few weeks ago, I headed to one of these joints after church. Wednesday nights are a challenge as I don't have time to eat prior to our Bible Study, so I normally grab something afterwords. I drove up to one of the three Subways on my route home to find this sign on the door: "We ran out of bread - closing at 8pm" Now, what is a Subway without bread...a "way?" So, I headed on to the next Subway, which was packed, probably due to the bread shortage a few streets over. I shared with the staff about my plight with store number two and they said, 'Oh yeah, that store runs out of bread all the time.' Nice.

The next week I decided to try a completely different Subway in hopes to avoid the breadless trend and encountered a worse scenario. This Subway happens to be located very close to two hospitals so I assumed they'd be tops on providing great service for the traffic their store surely receives. Bad assumption. I walked in and got in line behind a guy buying five footlongs. Don't blame him with the current $5 footlong promotional going on. I don't know that I've seen two more slow-moving, depressed Subway workers in my life. They needed a hug. But, since they were two steps from a comatose state, I was doing good to get them to understand my order, much less communicate my sympathy.

As I slowly progressed through the line, the next customer came in. She was on her cell phone, which is a huge pet peeve of mine that I'll address in a future post. But, to shorthand it....people, put your phone on silent for 15 minutes while you order, that's what voicemail is for! Thankfully she was behind me so as not to make this molasses-style progression any worse. She got off the phone right before her order was taken and then her phone burst into song and she was back on it again, just as the Comatose Subway Chick was trying to determine her order. At this point, it became hilarious...but it had only just begun...

The nice footlong-purchaser man had arrived at the register....only to be told that his bill was $30. What? For five footlongs? Oh, minor point Comatose Subway Chick failed to point out...not ALL footlongs are $5, just some. Nice. Sandwiches made, the nice man just coughed up the buckage to get out of there. Moral of that the fine print in those ads.

Thankfully, there was enough bread and my order was finally done. I grabbed a Coke Zero from the fridge and, oh, um, it's broken, so the drink is hot. Fine, I'll just take it home and put it over ice. Sigh. It's tough eating healthy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Musings for the Week - Clean Teeth, Nutella, and Survivor

1. I had my six-month checkup at the dentist on Monday. Of all the myriad of doctors I visit, the dentist is, by far, my favorite. The quirky enjoyment comes from the fact that I have really good teeth. Only one cavity my whole life! I learned something quite valuable during this visit. The new hygienist at my dentist's office told me how to reduce the plaque build up before my next visit. Take my toothbrush dry before I begin brushing and brush the area most affected for one minute each time I brush. This technique is supposed to reduce build up by 50 percent. I'll find out in six months.

2. I heard some tragic news on Tuesday. The Pastor at FBC Bell Shoals in Florida, the home church of one of my friends, the Barretts, was killed in a plane crash on Monday. Forrest Pollock, 44, and his son, Preston, 13, were both aboard the plane when it crashed. He leaves behind a wife and five other children, all under the age of 16. I've been praying for this family and church since I heard the news. It's a stark reminder that life is but a vapor and we all need to be ready for eternity.

3. After backpacking through Europe for two weeks, one of my co-workers, Johanna, came back with lots of stories and pictures of their tours. She introduced me to a delicacy that I've seen in my local grocery but never had tried before - Nutella. This chocolate and hazelnut spread is to die for. I'm now hooked. She and her husband ate a lot of this while traveling on a budget and it's now become one of my favorite snacks or breakfast selections slathered on whole wheat bread. Since I'm on a kick to be healthy and lose weight (12 pounds to date!), getting a bit of chocolate in my day hits the spot. Don't be deceived; Nutella isn't health central, but a little bit once in a while is good for the soul.

4. I watched the Survivor finale last Sunday night. Of all the reality shows on TV, this one knows how to reinvent itself. After 16 or so seasons, it's still worth watching. This past season of the Fans vs. the Favorites was the season of blind sides. It definitely made for some good TV and keeps me coming back for more. And, for the romantics in the crowd, Ozzy's sappy speech to Amanda at the final tribal council was sweet and sets the course for the next Rob and Amber for the world to monetize.

5. When you've been single as long as I have, with zero prospects in the pipeline, you begin to wonder if you'd ever have that heart flutter, word fumbling feeling again. Well, I felt affirmed as I crossed paths with a guy this week that did just that. Now before my friends start planning my wedding, it's a mere passing flutter. But, it renewed my faith that I can still get that feeling. And, when the right guy comes along my heart is ready for action.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Table Topics - The Case of the Disappearing Numbers

I love a good mystery to solve...until it affects me. A few days ago I was looking up a phone number in my cell phone and it was missing. Given my verbatim brain super powers, I could almost note the date and time I entered that number three weeks ago and was certain it was there before. I dismissed it as a blip in my powers and moved on.

A few hours later I was text messaging and noticed some of my recent texts were displaying phone numbers, not names. Hmmm, a sign those numbers were missing from my phone as well. Panic set in as I did some random searches of newly-added numbers and some numbers added over a year ago and realized I had an issue. I've lost numbers in the past by saving them inadvertantly to my phone instead of my sim card, but since I use the sim card exclusively, I've had no problems...until now. I don't really have a phone list or backup plan. I suppose if I lost my cell phone or my sim card died, I'd be doing what the rest of the world does and emailing folks to alert them I need their phone number and setting up Facebook "I lost my cell phone" groups to procure the forever lost numbers. I came to the stark realization of how dependent I am on my cell phone.

As a T-Mobile customer for almost nine years, the customer service folks love me. They were baffled by the problem but after a quick reset of my phone, the numbers mysteriously reappeared. It seems that my phone's software had some sort of glitch that caused these numbers to disappear, but the trusty sim card was protecting them all along.

Today's Table Topic question is this....

Do you depend on your cell phone for all of your contacts? If so, what is your backup plan?

I tried to recall what I did before a cell phone, and I think I had one of those cute little phone books tucked away in my purse. But honestly, most common numbers I committed to memory (see "verbatim brain" above). Technology is wonderful as long as it works.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Being Thankful When Life Stinks

A week ago today I was lovin' life. I was feeling good, the weather was great, and I was getting things done. Saturday is really my only free day of the week, so when I'm in a groove, I'm a happy girl. But, about 9:30pm, the glorious day turned bad. I was doing my laundry, just two loads away from completion, and I heard my guest toilet gurgling. Being the drama queen that I am, I immediately assumed an animal was crawling up through the sewer into my home. I went in to check things out since that toilet hadn't been used all day and flushed. It wasn't working properly, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and plunge away. Still not working.

I'm far from gifted to deal with these kinds of issues and it's one of the many discouragements of being single. Even if I wasn't married to Harvey Handyman, I could at least let him handle it. I knew things weren't right when there was water seeping around my clean out plug in the garage. Back in December, I had a sewer back up and decided to call my neighbor, who was the culprit the last time. He said he wasn't having any plumbing issues. At that point, I should have called my Dad, but trying to be independent, I decided to solve this on my own, and boy, did I.

Grabbing the plunger, I was determined to clear out whatever plug was causing the problem. Look out neighbors, you may get a backup, but I'm taking control! I plunged like there was no tomorrow and voila, the toilet flushed! As I strutted proudly into the laundry room, I got a whiff of something that deeply concerned me. When I stepped to the door of my laundry room I saw a vision I hope never to see again. I fixed the toilet all right, and the plug, wherever it was, exploded into my laundry room. Imagine a baby elephant had a blow out in his diaper, and you've got a pretty good visual. I wanted to cry. I wished it had been an animal crawling up my sewer. And, at that point, I broke down and called my Dad.

We got it cleaned up (well, he did much more than I did) and a plumber came on Monday to clean out the plug in the sewer. It was about six feet from my house and could have come from anyone on the same line, but I was the lucky resident to suffer.

As I finally went to bed Saturday night at 2am, I really needed some encouragement. My life really did stink that night (literally) and I needed God to show me the blessings in my life as I lamented my singleness. And He did....

  • I have the best Dad in the world. He was the ultimate pooper scooper and didn't falter. No weak stomach, no complaints. Even though I spent the whole night apologizing for making this happen, he reassured me that it wasn't my fault, I was just trying to fix the problem. It reminds me once again why I'm still single - I've got an example in my Dad like none other. I don't know what I'd do without him.
  • One of my best friends, Beth, has a husband that looks out for me. When deer season started, he went out and bought me deer horns for my car and installed them. Beth had hit a deer before and knowing that I live in an area with wildlife (and that I visit them periodically in their wildlife home) he wanted to make sure I was safe. I'm so thankful for friends' husbands who think about their single sisters.
  • The night before the sewer backup, one of my fellow co-workers in college ministry, Suzanne, took me to dinner. It was such a sweet time and so good to get to know her since she and her husband have recently joined the team. She really blessed me by asking me "How can I minister to you as a single person?" Her encouraging words, and just realization that being single isn't easy, is something I rarely hear. I'm so thankful for moments like that when God appears through the flesh of a person to encourage and lift me up.
  • That same Saturday afternoon I was doing my semi-monthly grocery shopping. I ran into my Pastor and his wife at the store. As timing would have it, I was checking out right in front of them. When I finished, my Pastor asked if he could help me to my car. For a single gal who does all these kinds of things by myself, I was taken aback and said, "Well, sure, if you'd like to!" It's such a small thing but each time I go to the store, I load up my trunk, come home, unload and de-bag, just like everyone else in the known world. But, I never realized that others may have a mate to help them. I'm so thankful for the godly example of a husband my Pastor exhibits.

I know these types of trials are temporary and nothing compared to more severe trials that others endure. But, I'm thankful that even through the stank of a sewer, God can show me how blessed I truly am...even without a husband. If you are married, give your hubby some lovin' and thank him for something he's done that you didn't have to do. And, one day when God brings that man into my life, I'll try to remember to praise him when he helps out with the poo in my life and not nag him about the small things that really don't matter.