Thursday, May 31, 2007

Don't Forget Your Sunblock!

Yesterday I had to go to the dermatologist to have a mole looked at. Kind of gross thing to write about, I know, but bear with me! My primary physician sent me because she was sure I had a potential skin cancer that needed to be removed. (thankfully I didn't!)

The dermatologist put on magnifying glasses and scrutinized every skin imperfection he could find. I hate those glasses.

But it made me think--maybe we should stop every now and then and look at our lives through a magnifier. Would we see lots of tiny imperfections? Undoubtedly. Would there be some cancers that need to be removed? Quite possibly.

The doctor told me that you can't always see everything with the naked eye and that's why he needs the special glasses. Just like in life. I think sometimes we can convince ourselves that everything is fine, because maybe it is on the surface. We're on the right path and doing what we should. But if we really examine our lives, there may be some things we need to work on and need to change.

And it might be painful to do, but just as necessary as getting checked for skin cancer.

Thankfully, God provides "life sunblock" in the form of the Bible, which should be our guide for living. And sometimes we may forget to put it on. And that's usually when we really get burned...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fall Down, Go Boo

So Miss USA (from Tennessee) had a pretty bad time at Monday night's Miss Universe Pageant. By now pretty much everyone in the world with TV or Internet access has seen her infamous fall during the evening gown competition.

But it sounds like her bad experience started long before she fell. Earlier in the week, she was booed during the "Parade of Nations" as she represented Tennessee/the USA in an Elvis suit. Booed not because she was ugly. But because she was from the USA.

Now I am probably one of the most patriotic people you'll ever meet. I get teary-eyed during the National Anthem, no matter how poorly sung. And I also have pretty strong political views, which I'm going to try not to go into too much. (for those I need to start a new blog entitled "I am an angry white woman" or something like that) So I am going to try and be nice as I write this.

Most news outlets are saying that Miss USA was booed because of the Immigration Laws here. Interesting, because aren't there at least 12 MILLION illegal immigrants from Mexico living here? Hmmm.

And let me say for the record, I am a fan of immigration. LEGAL immigration. That's what our country was founded on. Immigrants from all over the world have come here to make better lives for themselves. And I think that's great.

But don't boo Miss USA because there may be stricter immigration laws. While she is a representative of USA, she certainly doesn't have anything to do with immigration. And I can't help but think that if the pageant were held in USA and an American audience booed someone from another country, it would be a national scandal. The headlines worldwide would blare about "Rude Americans" and such.

Incidentally, when the lovely Miss USA took her unfortunate tumble, she kept her composure. And when she was booed again, this time on national TV, she was very gracious, even speaking Spanish to the crowd.

I guess we can all learn a little about grace under pressure from that.

And to think people say you can't learn anything from beauty pageants!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Out of Town/Out of Touch!

So maybe it was a mistake to launch a website and blog, then go out of town for several days and be unable to update!

But I'm back and exhausted! Funny how vacation days always leave me needing more vacation days. We went to Knoxville to see Tim's family and had a blast. It was so nice to see hills and mountains and be away from the humidity that constantly hovers over Mobile.

I haven't even watched TV since last week, so I don't have any interesting (or not!) commentaries about reality television or celebrity court cases. Most of you who were bored stiff with my Floyd Landis trial blogs are probably cheering.

Instead I will tell about my excitement at getting the phone call/e-mail last week from my category coordinator in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest! A Walk in the Park, my chick lit manuscript, is a finalist in this year's contest. I had been nervously watching the calendar as June 1st crept closer and closer--we were supposed to find out by that date.

I tried to put it out of my mind, but it kept popping up. I was actually getting re-certified in CPR (something my office encourages) when the call came in. I got back to my office and checked my voice mail on my cellphone. When I heard who it was, I started squealing so loudly people came running. (probably thinking they were about to get the chance to put their newly learned CPR skills to the test!) I had to listen to the message twice before it sank in. It was my most exciting moment as a writer (so far, but I'm still hoping for the even bigger moment of getting a contract!).

I was so excited I was shaking and had to pretty much leave my building or else I would explode! After all the phone calls (mom, Chris, Tim) I finally settled down and could come back inside. But I admit I was pretty useless the rest of the day!

And it was really nice to get the score sheets back from round one. I just wish I could take those judges comments and re-work the chapters before the second round of judging! But even so, I am thrilled and thankful to be a finalist!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Too Much Pop Culture

Okay, here's a little bit on all the things I've been following this week:

1. Whew! I'm glad to see Apollo win Dancing with the Stars! I think he was the most deserving of the two. (I still wish Ian had made it to the finals...) I guess you have to be a professional athlete or an ex-boy bander to even be competitive on that show?

2. Jordin wins Idol! Okay, this was really not much of a surprise, considering the "winner's song" wasn't one that anyone in America wanted to hear Blake sing, let alone have to put on an album. She is much more the "Idol" type and now Blake will be free to do his own thing. I have no doubt though, that we'll be hearing from both of them on the radio very soon.

3. Floyd Landis trial wraps up...sort of. Closing arguments have been made. It could be 2 months before there is a verdict though. And even then, I suspect it will go on to another court. My opinion? As mentioned before, I believe in him more than I do the system. However, I think there's a good chance he'll be stripped of his Tour de France title, which will really be a shame. I just wish they'd get it all over with before this year's TDF--I don't want to hear the commentators talking about it during every stage.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Whatever the Verdict, Landis Suffers

Today seemed to go pretty well in the Floyd Landis hearing. It's hard to predict which way the panel will go, but I have 2 observations:

1. If Floyd wins, there will still be people who say "he's a cheat, blah, blah, blah."
2. If Floyd loses, there will still be people who say "he got screwed by the system, blah, blah, blah."

So I'm thinking that no outcome is going to satisfy everyone. However, my own personal opinion for what it's worth...I would rather see a guilty man go free than an innocent man be convicted.

But of course, I firmly believe he's innocent and I think he'll be okay in the end. Whether cycling will ever be okay again is another story.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Things Looking Up for Landis

So I'm much happier with the way things went today in the Floyd Landis hearing than I was yesterday. The circus that was the LeMond testimony seems to have died down. And in it's place was a very credible witness who seemed to poke some big holes in the case against Floyd. Yay!

And although I'm barely holding out hope that he will actually be cleared of the charges, I do think that maybe in the court of public opinion, he'll come out a winner.

I read an excerpt from his book that's coming out in June--it was really good and I think will cause lots of doubters to change their minds. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

Floyd himself is scheduled to take the stand tomorrow--should be interesting to see what he has to say.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Landis Vs. LeMond

I'm avidly following the Floyd Landis trial proceedings that are going on--thank goodness for the great bloggers who are covering it.

First off, let me say that I believe 100% that Floyd Landis is innocent. No matter the outcome of the hearing, I believe he's telling the truth. And not just because I'm a fan--I've followed this whole thing since the news first broke right after the Tour de France last year. I've looked at the evidence and read all the scientific crap. And I think he's innocent.

I don't believe anything Greg LeMond says regarding the Landis case. I think he's got pretty shaky credibility given the accusations he's thrown at Lance Armstrong in the past.

I didn't start really disliking him until last year, when he came out and publicly encouraged Floyd to come clean. I think he really wants to go down in history as being the only American cyclist to win the tour without any doping rumors hanging over him.

So the events at the trial today are a little hard for me to buy. It's awfully convenient that he just happened to get that phone call last night, isn't it? I'll be interested to see what Will has to say if they actually put him on the stand. And honestly, if Will did call him, why does it really matter? The whole testimony has no bearing on the issue--did Floyd dope or were the tests skewed in some way. Whether or not Floyd and Greg had a conversation last year and whether or not Will prank called him last night is just a smokescreen. Obviously Floyd has never been a LeMond fan. So who buys that he would've admitted guilt to him? Not me. No way.

And poor LeMond. If he was really abused as a child, is helping to bring down Floyd really worth letting his secret out?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the rest of it plays out. And really, maybe it doesn't matter anyway. His amazing win is tarnished forever. And no matter what the outcome of the trail is, he'll always be riding under a cloud of doubt. But not to me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Confessions of a Reality TV Junkie...

So I was devastated by Ian's departure last night on Dancing with the Stars. I wasn't surprised really, but I was hoping his Elvis dance would save him. I admit that Joey is entertaining, but he's such a cheese ball I was hoping he would be the one to go. Oh well. I think I'm rooting for Apollo now.

And for some reason Fox was blank last night for the first 15 minutes of American Idol. I missed everyone doing their first song. And on this one, I'm going to have to shy away from the popular vote...I'm hoping for a Jordin/Blake finale. I realize that Melinda Doolittle is the one everyone seems to think is the hands down winner, but I just don't see it. I'm way more entertained by Jordin and Blake. We'll see tonight I guess.

So now my secret's out. I love reality TV. And yes, I'll be tuned in on Friday night for National Bingo Night. And I'll probably play along...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just Write

I went to a writing seminar last week and the main theme was "Just write." I'm trying to take that advice right now and actually post a blog. I've spent way too much time trying to make everything pretty and testing out different colors and such. When what I really needed to be doing was just putting pen to paper. (actually fingers to keyboard, but you get the idea) I'm such a perfectionist though, that the most daunting task for me is just getting started. So here it is. My first post. Yay me!

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