Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ahem! You CAN Overdo Wii Fit!

My right arm has been the size of a grapefruit from shoulder to wrist for about three days and it was bruised until this morning where the flab flapped against my body every time I played too many games of tennis, bowling, and golf. So pay attention when the little Wii Mii suggests that you take a break or give it up for the day, will ya?

It doesn't hurt at all, but I feel like a fool! It's beginning to resolve now, so thought I'd report it to y'all "after the fact."

I have still been walking twice daily but I'm "off" the arm-swinging game-playing until my arm returns to its normal size, unless I decide to try it left-handed at some point.

I'm laughing at myself for being such a goofball and overdoing my exercising -- but it truly is so much fun that I didn't even know I had a problem until I stopped and found it hard to bend my elbow because of all the fluid build-up under my skin! I knew my upper arm muscles were getting sore and tired, but that's the only indication I had that I was being a nutcase... well, that and the little Wii Mii warnings that I should take a break... which I ignored.

Ah me... Live and learn. I will read the little promptings and obey from now on.

But I've lost seven pounds in nine days!

So... that's a good thing!

That's all for now. Just thought I'd check in and tell you about my numb-skull behavior so you don't do the same thing when you get one! I'm all for learning this way rather than by "do it yourself"!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've Lost Five Pounds Already! And.. I'm a Premier Provider at Elance Now

Good grief! I've lost five pounds in just four days from walking twice a day and playing Wii Fit 1-2 hours every day. Amazing! I'm sore, but getting better as the days pass. Today when I walked the first time I even jogged for about three minutes straight. I figured I could do it since I do it in the house on the Wii Fit program, and sure enough!

Been busy the rest of the time writing non-stop for a client in San Francisco. I'm about six articles away from finishing up her project. (40, 400-word articles on various diversity awareness topics and copy-editing, enhancing and SEO-optimizing her six page website). Whew! It sure keeps my juices flowing, having to create unique articles on similar topics all day for almost two weeks straight! They have to be GOOD articles, so each one takes quite a bit of time to do. So... I feel very accomplished!

I also fitted a press release into the mix yesterday for a fellow in Chicago who sent me a request on Elance to bid on his project. The PR went together very nicely and much faster than usual. It was a God thing, I think... The client gave me a 5-star review! WOO HOO! I think most of my feedback is 5 stars now. They're ALL positive.

In fact -- I forgot to mention this until just now -- I just earned a "Premier Provider" symbol at Elance because of my 100% positive reviews and three certified credentials (from Warner Bros, On-Hold Concepts, and Church For All Nations).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm Walking On Clouds!

The new diversity client in San Francisco calls my writing "awesome" and "perfect" while one of her diversity trainers call it "magic." I can live for a month on compliments like these! I still have 30 more articles to write for these folks, and after that I'll be creating a media kit, a blog and some other collateral materials for the company. It's going to be a fantastic relationship. It already is, but there's lots more to do in upcoming weeks and months.

My other diversity client (on the east coast) is appearing regularly on a well-known cable network reporter's blog, so we're going like gangbusters there, too. It's great to be involved in this field with two terrific diversity professionals.

Before I started working with facts and figures regarding diversity, I thought we were making great strides to have recently elected a black President and to have a black Attorney General. And we are better as individuals, in most cases, than we were.

But just because we're no longer lynching black people, running around in Ku Klux Klan capes, and mandating separate water fountains and eating counters doesn't mean that every last vestige of racism has dissolved. Blacks and Hispanics still make $200-300 less PER WEEK than white folks do on average. They still face racial discrimination and sub-par education in most cases, which is why there are so few people of color in the upper echelons of society to date. And when, during a recession, people get laid off, guess who's first to go? People of color, even when they are producing more, and have superior education, than less-qualified and less-productive whites. That stinks. And I'm white! When push comes to shove, we seem to still prefer to huddle with people who look like us...

So I'm happy to be working with folks who are working to change all that. We have to enter the 21st century and realize that, in a global environment, we all need to "get over" tribalism and ethnocentric prejudices, start working together, and find out how to understand and honor each other to a greater degree.

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I was very sad to hear about Natasha Richardson's untimely death. It's tragic that a lady so young, with a young family and a devoted family life, should be taken away so suddenly, for so surprising a reason. I pray that her husband and sons will be given solace by everyone they come into contact with, and that her lovely spirit will remind them often of her love and nearness.

Monday, March 16, 2009

OMG! Busy, Busy Girl!

I am busier than a cat covering... than a beaver building... than a bee buzzing... than a deer running...

It's all good! I may make $3K this month as a copywriter at Elance. That means many hours of work, days, evenings and weekends, but that's okay. I'm never happier than when I'm writing!

On Saturday before I went to see Slumdog Millionaire, I went to lunch with a long-time friend. We ate at Applebee's in Lakewood. Neither of us could decide between two of the meals we both wanted, so I decided, "You get that one and I'll get this one, and we'll share!" So we both had shares of pork ribs and steak and prawns. Yummy for the tummy. Then I drank three glasses of raspberry lemonade over the course of two hours, which sent me scurrying to the bathroom after an adequate amount of time (more than once!). (This is more information than you wanted to know, I know.)

This is my last week as a note taker at Clover Park Technical College. The student I've been helping finishes her last course (Medical Terminology) on Friday. I don't have to go in tomorrow at all because it's test day, but I'll be there Wednesday through Friday, then I'm scott free again. It has been a good gig. I like helping people, and "my" student is a real trooper and a fun gal. I'm busy enough via Elance that I don't need to take on another student after this one... I hope that continues!

A temp agency is after me, but right now I can't even imagine working part time anywhere else and still keeping up with my weekly tasks for Elance clients. But it's nice to know I'm in demand if demand for my writing services drop significantly. (Please, God, no!)

I've decided to issue to new De Kelley book as an e-book via PayLoadz or Clickbank when it's ready. That way it can sell online and people can even register as Affiliate Members and get little payments for recommending the book to others. I would love it if readers could also make a little money that way. Let's share the wealth, shall we? If I issue it as an e-book, I can always update it as I get new submissions. I plan to have it available before or on the tenth anniversary of De's passing (June 11th this year).

What else? Not a lot! The weather is rainy and pathetic. We've just run out of firewood, so we hope there will not be any power outages until next fall, after we've gathered wood again because we're running on electricity now. If there is an extended power outage, I'm sure we can get some emergency wood from Sue and George Rebar, so don't worry if you hear of a power outage up here in Tacoma. The wind was so extreme yesterday that I though we might lose our electricity, but we didn't. (And we had wood yesterday. Now we're down to just kindling... lots and lots of kindling!) We now know we have to really fill the shed with wood in order to make it through the winter at this place (because electricity is outrageous). We've been through one pretty severe winter at the new place and know what we have to do to prepare for next winter.

Chop, chop, chop that wood!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I spent a few hours on C-Span this afternoon, watching whatever came up. One of the programs had President Obama talking to the CEOs of a lot of top-drawer executives. He spoke for about 35 minutes and then took questions and comments from the audience for another 30 minutes.

God, it's great to have a smart, articulate, interactive President again. It feels so refreshing!

Then I watched members of Congress asking questions of Cashkari about the economic stimulus plan. That was illuminating. C-Span is a lot better place to gather information and insights about politicians and other Capitol Hill players. The viewer is allowed to come to his or her own conclusions. No one is being vilified. Important questions are being asked and answered.

The exchanges at C-Span usually give me hope that reasonable minds can prevail, and generally do on average. The "talking heads" on other cable news channels often just make me want to pull out my hair because no one seems to be listening to anyone else -- the interactions between rivals resemble gladiatoral combat in Rome without the bloodshed. Just a bunch of barbarians getting their jollies out of bashing people with whom they disagree. I'm speaking of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, even of Keith Olbermann and at times Rachel Maddow, although they are much "friendlier" about it than are their counterparts on the other side of the issues. I don't think we'll ever come together and reason as a nation as long as there are hotheads out there stirring the pot of discontent with wild-eyed, paranoid visions of "raging socialism" or "conservative back-sliding into caves."

That's one reason I find Obama so appealing. He looks, responds and acts like a level-headed, very sane, very committed statesman. Whether you agree with his policies or not, he makes it easier to sit still long enough to realize that he has thought it all through, has a plan that seems more likely than not to work (for once!), and that he has America's and the world's best interests at heart. He reminds me a lot of DeForest Kelley in that way. He's thoughtful, he waits and thinks thngs over before deciding on a plan of action, and then he commits to getting it done. He's not a cowboy. He's more a surgeon. (How do you like those metaphors? They fit both De and Obama!)

I'm very happy with what Obama has done so far and with what he is hoping to accomplish.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thanks so much for all your birthday wishes. I'm grinning ear-to-ear today. Some of these e-cards have me in tears (of gratitude). Others have me in stitches. They're all terrific!

About birthdays. I usually don't celebrate them in a big way, but this evening Jackie "and a few of our closest friends and family" (perhaps up to EIGHT of them) are going to Red Robin for dinner. That is, we'll have close to eight if the McNivens can get away to do it; that isn't certain yet.

Eegads. It's just a dinner -- no presents or toasts or anything to embarrass me -- so I agreed.
Don't know WHAT Red Robin will do, since they know it's my birthday (they sent me a card for a free hamburger). If they do anything outlandish, I will end up under the table, fer sure, fer sure... and may never return again on my big day, free burger or not!

One other thing about birthdays. I have always thought we should celebrate OUR MOTHERS on our birthdays, since they went through nine months of pregnancy (and all of the hormonal and emotional challenges and risks it entails) and God only knows how many hours of labor and anguish to push us unto the world. I guess that's why I don't feel I "deserve" to be feted on my birthday -- although I'm more than willing to fete others on THEIRS. (What is wrong with this picture?)

I want to thank my mom, who's in heaven now. That is, I THINK I want to thank my mom.

I sometimes wonder, if I'd had a choice in the matter would I have thought it was such a grand idea to produce me? I mean, life is hard. As blessed as we are in this country with all that God has provided us, it's STILL hard. Hard to make a living that sustains us; hard to find reasons to want to get out of bed in the morning sometimes. It's hard when loved ones get into trouble, or get sick, or become deathly ill and we can't help them. It's hard when WE get into trouble or get sick. Of course, that's when we grow the most and learn the most, but it's still a struggle.

I'm the least depressed person you'll ever meet. I'm a joy-filled person nearly every minute of my life, with lots of smiles and laughs and good feelings. And it's STILL hard to get through life. I don't know what people do who have less natural ebullience (and less faith) to lift their spirits.

I really do love my life -- especially the life I've lived the past several months where I'm actually living my dream of being a writer and supporting myself (by the skin of my teeth!) doing it. I couldn't be happier -- and it's STILL hard! Not as hard as many others have it in this tanking economy... not as hard as third world countries have it every day of their lives. I'm blessed and fortunate. AND IT'S STILL HARD!

So... I ask myself, "Did mom do me a favor, giving birth to me?"

Maybe that's the wrong question to be asking.

Maybe the right question to ask is, "Did Mom do the world a favor, giving birth to me?"

I hope that when the verdict is in on THAT one, the response will be, "Yes, she did."

Our lives aren't about us; they're more significant than that (or should be, anyway). Our lives are about what we do with them to lighten another's load or share another's burden.

If I can reflect the character, the compassion, and the wisdom of my mom, DeForest Kelley, and Robert Kennedy (who were three image-bearers of the same wonderful Creator), the answer will be "Yes." To the degree that I mess up, the answer will be, "Not exactly."

Maybe that's what keeps me going, wanting to have a life that balances in favor of, "Yes."

Mom, thank you SO MUCH for the opportunity to be a blessing
. You sure were!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Are We a Nation Of Cowards Re: Racism?


View the URL above and let me know your thoughts.

Happy Almost Birthday to Me!

Busy, busy week. I'm helping out at Clover Park Technical Institute as a note taker four hours a day this week and over the weekend I got two more, unexpected projects (what a good problem to have!), so I'm up to my neck in work. It makes me smile.

We also got two 55-gallon yard waste barrels delivered this week, so I've been busy filling them with the blackberry bushes and salal and other perimeter brush that surrounds our property. It's quite the task! We've bought all kinds of bush-whacking tools to make the job as easy as possible, but guess what? It still ain't even close to easy. It's a serious workout. Which is good for me. I just want to get it all finished before spring and summer arrive and it gets HOT out there and the bushes start filling out again. Right now the project looks do-able. During the summer it resembles a jungle, and there are spiders, bees and mosquitoes in the bushes.... NOT a good time to be messing around out there!

On my birthday (March 5th) Jackie is taking me to Red Robin, where I'll redeem a free birthday hamburger. Red Robin has the most decadent, high-calorie, cholesterol-ridden hamburgers on the planet, so I just go there once a year. I told Jackie I'd share my burger with her, but she said H No! She wants her own decadent, high-calorie, cholesterol-ridden hamburger. It's a good thing we both have low cholesterol. After Thursday it'll bump up a notch for a day or two, I'm sure!

Are you getting your De Kelley memories written up for me? I've received two more contributions recently. Time is winding down. If you tell me by Thursday that you plan to write one, I'll extend your deadline to March 30th, but you gotta tell me QUICK! Mary Doman, I already have a chapter reserved for you. Where are the rest of you Kelley kids? Let's get going, here! Time's a'wastin'!