Friday, January 31, 2014

Old Foto Friday

This is my friend Tina and I at her wedding. We met at Snow College in a Chemistry class. She met a boy and got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding. This was summer 2002.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Everyone knows that co-workers make or break any job. I've been at my jobs almost a year now and I'm pretty sure I have the best co-workers. At the City, a common refrain used around the office is, "Julie's in the room!", in reference to anything from swearing to conversations that turn even a little unseemly. I don't know how I've portrayed that I'm some innocent girl who can't swearing, but I just roll with it. I think it's awfully nice that they try to "protect" me.

At Metro they're just as awesome. I was a little less my normal self today. My coworker noticed and sent me an email inquiring if everything was ok because normally I'm always smiling and today I wasn't. He said he always looks for my smiles to counteract his grumpiness, especially on meetings. I was touched that he would one, notice, and, two, follow up on it.

So glad to have such nice coworkers.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lipstick and Black

A Girls' Night with my friends where the only requirements were to wear lipstick and black. I never wear lipstick because it is a hassle and I don't like hassle. We had so much fun at dinner, took about a million photos, talked about all sorts of things, then closed out the night with a viewing of (500) Days of Summer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Awkward Work Situations

Today at work there was not one but two extremely awkward situations during committee meetings. I  really dislike tense, uncomfortable situations where words have been spoken that completely change the mood. I wanted to crawl away and take a nap, or just start talking randomly to diffuse the situation. I didn't do either in any scenario, but just let them be.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MLK Day of Service

Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I had the day off work. Instead of seeing a movie, this year I participated in a service activity at the request of someone else. We were able to find an opportunity in Baldwin City playing bingo with the residents of a senior center. I'm not sure how useful we were, though. We arrived only a few minutes late, but the good cards and seats were already taken. We didn't sit by any seniors and never won a bingo.

However the day was not a total loss. For us at least. Hopefully the seniors enjoyed us crashing their bingo party.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Gave a Talk in Church

I gave my second talk in my ward today. My ward is pretty small, so everyone gets to talk about every six months. It's really fantastic (sarcasm does not come across in type). But really, giving a talk in church is really not that big of a deal.

I was able to choose my topic, and I chose to focus on forgiving others. This has been an issue in my life, and there have been recent issues where it was brought back to me that this is something I struggle with. I based my talk off a General Conference address from President Faust called "The Healing Power of Forgiveness" and the scripture 1 Nephi 7:22, where Nephi is able to "frankly forgive" his brothers. I also decided to share some experiences where I did not forgive immediately and what I learned from those experiences.

One of those instances was when I went through a divorce. This is not something I share with a lot of people. Even though it was nearly 8 years ago, I still had this fear that people would judge me for it. So I only told close friends. But I decided that it was a time in my life that happened and I can't go back and change it, and if someone did judge me for it then that was their problem. It was also a time in my life where I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. I shared my road to forgiveness in that situation and I truly believe there is power in forgiveness.

The response after sacrament meeting was amazing. So many people told me they really enjoyed my talk. My friend Jess said it was great I shared such personal stories because it helped her to apply it to her life. Two of my other friends sincerely told me they appreciated what I said, then gave me a hug. I am glad that from something so awful can come an opportunity to learn and share with others.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oklahoma Joe's

Kansas City if famous for its BBQ, and its most famous BBQ place is Oklahoma Joe's. Since my first trip to Oklahoma Joe's was thwarted by it being a holiday, I was eager to join my friends on Saturday afternoon for some dinner and a movie.

The food did not disappoint. I'm not a huge fan of BBQ, but my pulled pork sandwich was amazing. As were the fries. I'm glad it lived up to the hype. If anyone ever decides to come out and visit me, I will take you there.

 My friend Kate and I in line for the famous BBQ.

We then headed over to the AMC 25 to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Now this is a real movie theater, not like the lameness that is in Lawrence (Topeka's theater is surprisingly better than Lawrence's). We sat by some interesting people who kept the night full of fun.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis

I love watching trailers because it's like shopping for movies. When I was in Salt Lake I went to the Broadway to see Philomena and saw the trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis. The trailer was full of folk music and starred a dude with a beard who carries around an orange cat (I have an orange cat). It was also set in New York City. Clearly I needed to see this movie.

Yesterday I made the short drive to Lawrence to see it at Liberty Hall. The movie did not disappoint. The Coen Brothers almost always make great films that are cinematic. They're always shot and staged with meticulous care. The characters are quirky but always relatable.

What I liked about the movie is that it wasn't bogged down in exposition. We're just plopped into Llewyn's life and figure things out as we go along. He's a folk singer who used to be part of a duo and is now trying his hand at a solo career. Sometimes he's unlikeable, but I find that in life people aren't always likeable; we have moments where we're intolerable. But he has his reasons, and he's trying his best to make his dreams come true. The person I found the most unlikeable was Jean, the female part of the duo Jean and Jim.

Llewyn ends up having to take care of an orange cat, and they take a ride on the subway from the Upper West Side to the Village. They take the 1 train and pass all the stops I used to pass myself when I'd take the 1 train to work--66th St, Columbus Circle, Penn Station, 23rd St, Chambers St. If  my cat had to be carried around for an extended period of time, it would be quite a chore because she weighs as much as a two-year old.

The movie also has small moments of hilarity that lighten the somewhat somber mood. And is also full of fabulous folk music. And beards. So that just added to why I loved it. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Laser Tag

This week wasn't overly stressful, but I'm always glad when Friday comes. I had made plans in my head to see a movie here in Topeka (because there was a movie playing here that I was sure would never make its way to Topeka) and then have the night to read (one of my goals of 2014 is to read more non-fiction). But then a friend invited me to play laser tag, and really who turns down laser tag?!

We drove to Olathe (I still find it strange that we have to drive to different cities to do things) and played three games of laser tag. I am awful at laser tag, but that doesn't really matter. We closed out the night with Pizza Buffet, where I ate far too much pizza but didn't care because I love pizza.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Old Foto Friday

Since today is my cousin Rachel's birthday, it seems fitting I start my Old Foto Friday again with a picture of us at Snow College. Of course we were always cousins, but while at Snow we became friends. This is us one evening dancing in our living room. Fall 2001.

No, that is not a mark on Rach's face; it's left over sticky stuff from when a photo with tape on it was stuck to this one.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Standing Out

All morning I was in a meeting for transportation issues in our region. There were a lot of men in the room (in fact, I think there were only 4 women total, myself included), all dressed in various shades of gray, black and brown. I was also wearing black slacks and a black shirt, however I paired it with a bright yellow cardigan. My boss was wearing a pink shirt. We were clearly the stand-outs in the room.

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