Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bad habits

Sometimes our careers foster bad habits. As a side effect of working as a speech language pathologist, I have developed the bad habit of laughing at my own jokes. It’s really a result of trying to teach elementary school students elements of humor. Each week I post a joke on my window. They are cheesy and are often based on multiple meaning words or puns. I have the pleasure of sharing the joke with 60 kids each week. They have mixed reactions, but I always laugh (each time). Usually I explain why it’s funny and how it works as a joke. I get excited when a kid laughs. I get really excited when a kid explains why it’s a joke.

Now I laugh too hard at my own jokes in the real world, which isn’t really socially appropriate. But, hey, it’s honest. Life is funny (especially my life). Laugh!

Q:What grows down when it grows up?

A: A goose!

Q: Why won’t bicycles stand up by themselves?

A: They’re two tired!

Q: What weather did the doughnut predict?

A: There will be lots of sprinkles!

rambouillet harfang hilare 130705 by Jean Yves et francis

Photo by koller93

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crickets Chirping

There I was minding my own business...

The cricket by William Cho 

Photo by williamcho

For some reason, I really have been minding my own business lately. I go to work on time. I ride my bicycle on the weekends. I participate in a book group. I go to church. I pay my bills on time. I somehow managed to live a month without much drama.

My mom sent me an email because she wanted to make sure I was all right since I hadn’t been tweeting. A few weeks later she called concerned because I hadn’t shared any fun stories on my blog. I told her I had finally figured out how to mind my own business without getting into car accidents, putting my foot in my mouth, or being completely ridiculous. She laughed. I don’t think she believed me.

Really, I’ve just been busy adjusting to my new work assignment. With all my creative juices going toward creating schedules, learning names, memorizing goals, and trying to stay on top of paperwork, I haven’t had the need to stir the pot in other arenas. Don’t worry, I’ve been busy this last week. Mischief and meddling have commenced, just ask Whitney.

Friday, October 15, 2010

You may have noticed

The school year started and my blog posting stopped.

Learning new skills - Peanuts Style

Untangling is well underway, which means more blog posts soon. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It’s here

In case you’re not aware…

end of august

the end of August has arrived. Summer vacation has been delightful. I start back to work on Monday. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A search for loneliness brought peace

When I searched flickr for a picture for my blog post about the fear of loneliness, I found images that encapsulated peace and contemplation rather than the anxiety of being lonely. Hopefully my private escape designed to explore solitude will bring similar results of peace and clarity. I welcome the poetic parallel.

You Are Sunshine, You Are Rain by Ben Heine

You Are Sunshine, You Are Rain by Ben Heine via flickr


Another Place

Another Place by Deepinon via flickr

Welcome to Wadi Rum...(...Back from Jordan!!)

Welcome to Wadi Rum…(…Back from Jordan!!) by Marcelo Ruiz via flickr

Man Jogging

Man Jogging by back to menu via flickr

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I <3 the San Diego Zoo

Besides spending time with my parents and seeing old friends, visiting the San Diego Zoo was the highlight of my trip to SoCal.

My mom and I are very similar in many ways, but we definitely have differences when it comes to taking pictures.

Here are some of the pictures she took from our outing to the zoo:

IMG_3271 IMG_3133IMG_3055 IMG_3073 IMG_3053IMG_3193 IMG_3183

Here are a few of my pictures:

IMG_0991 IMG_1001 IMG_0990 IMG_0989IMG_0994 IMG_1003 IMG_1004 IMG_1013 IMG_1014IMG_1008 IMG_1031

I’m all out of love…I’m so lost without you

Air Supply

It’s Spring Break 1998. I’m visiting my idolized sister at Rick’s College in Rexburg, Idaho. The taste of freedom, independence, and autonomy makes this 16 year old girl hunger for the end of high school and the beginning of a new adventure. Of course, there’s a soundtrack to this preview week: Air Supply plays on the boom box on repeat over and over as we sing our hearts out in the cinder-block lined dorms. My all time favorite song is Making Love Out of Nothing At All

The beating of my heart’s a drum and it’s lost and it’s looking for a rhythm like you.

Catchy, huh? Especially for a girl who has NO RHYTHM. Love it! Please be sure to sing those lyrics at the top of your lungs. That’s what you’re supposed to do with Air Supply.

But I'm never gonna make it without you. Do you really want to see my crawl?

But I don't know how to leave you

Somehow I incorporate their words into my vision of what a relationship looks like. This independent girl, decides to adopt codependent behaviors. LAME!

…'cause everything I know well it's nothing till I give it to you

Flash forward to the present day. I’m trying to squeeze my accumulated belongings into the smallest bedroom I’ve ever lived in while my iPod plays on random. Ah…Air Supply comes on and I hear the lyrics with new ears. I realize: this is BOGUS! This is everything I’m fighting against in my quest for parity, sanity, respect, individuality. This is where I mess things up. On one hand I’m a die hard feminist who balks when gender roles place me in holes I don’t want to be in, but on the other hand, I have ridiculous lyrics running through my head that tell me that my life does not have meaning unless I share it with a mate and that I cannot make it without a partner. I talk the feminist talk, but do I walk the feminist walk? We call this cognitive dissonance. People go to therapy to deal with cognitive dissonance.

I’ve had some good talks with friends the last month. I’ve been challenged to build quality friendships with men who aren’t on my dating radar and with people who are vastly different from me. I had a heart to heart with a kindred spirit about how we subconsciously measure our own worth and other women’s worth based on validation from men. We see ourselves as feminists, but we still look to men for affirmation. How many of my conversations with acquaintances and friends actually pass the Bechdel Test? It’s time for some change.

I am a daughter of a God. My life has inherit meaning. While I want to be a mother and a wife, that is not my solitary purpose in life. I used to do things to prepare myself for motherhood. Now I do things because I find joy in them. That’s the lesson I want the Young Women program to teach: joy.

I am not out of love. “I have all my life to live. I have all my love to give!” Love is a renewable energy source: you can’t run out of it. I know who I am and where I’m going. The beating of my heart may be a drum, but it’s not lost. The arrhythmia gives my beat character.

I can make it on my own. (I can buy groceries just for myself. I can make delicious well planned dinners for myself.) You’ll probably see me crawl, but that’s because I really enjoy the sensory input from army crawling. It’s actually a lot of fun. (Thanks, Tamara, for teaching me about ways to deal with my sensory seeking, and thanks, Jack, for teaching me the real way to low crawl – it’s good to have a brother-in-law who knows the Air Force Way.)

I do know how to leave, and being alone is powerful and beautiful – nothing to be afraid of.

Cause everything I know, well it’s the sum of hard lessons. They’re lessons that are written on my heart and have great value to me.

Air Supply has been deleted from my iPod.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I should have paid her more…

I knew her when

I introduced my friends to my sister last month. She had stories to tell. What was going to be my friends picking me up at Tamara’s to head to Mexico for a week, turned into a missed flight and 12 people under one roof. Thank you, Tamara, for being such a flexible and accommodating hostess. Less than 24 hours after saying she’d prefer to sleep on the floor than to share a bed with me, she invited me to share her bed since we were a bit short. Tamara entertained the gang during dinner by recounting our childhood adventures including swinging on cabinet doors, using the ends of green onions to transform ourselves into walruses, and eavesdropping on dramatic story time. I really should have coughed up a bit more to keep some of those stories quiet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How to be alone

Why is it that when you learn a new vocabulary word (a word you swear you’ve never heard before) that you discover it around every corner: in books you read, in articles you digest, in your friends’ descriptions of life?

So there I was minding my own business, trying to catch up on the abundant reading material that has collected in my Google Reader while I’ve been away on vacation, when I stumbled across this gem: Dancing…Alone.

While I’ve been meditating on the concept of being alone, I run into affirmations of the beauty and tranquility that comes from being comfortable with solitude. Enjoy this video: How to Be Alone

I don’t think I’m quite ready to go dancing by myself. Maybe…someday.

Post Script: I was going to wait until next week to post this blog; however, this morning two of my favorite bloggers have touched on this same topic…so you’ll just have to deal with 2 posts from me in one day because I want to join the throng. Enjoy!

Adri wrote about this same video: –If you are at first lonely

Joshua Becker wrote a great post on becoming minimalist: Solitude:Where Your Life is Waiting

Distracting thoughts


Photo by

During church I want to think about the sermon. I want to receive personal revelation. I want to understand God’s will for me. However, it takes all my energy not to wonder if I could army crawl underneath the pews without hitting my head.

After watching this video, I’m pretty sure I could…if I really wanted to.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A picture says a thousand words

…but what do a thousand words say?

A wordle

Whitney sent me a Wordle of my blog which I think captured the essence of my life quite beautifully.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do what you fear the most

 Hellingley abandoned asylum by andre govia

“Its the loneliness thats the killer”

Photo by andre.govia

The National Stuttering Association Convention was amazing. Even though I’m not a person who stutters, I had a week of epiphanies.

With avoidance reduction therapy for stuttering, we challenge people who stutter to do what they fear the most whether it be openly stuttering while giving a presentation or purposefully stuttering when introducing yourself. What’s the worse that can happen?

While I was sitting on the edge of Lake Erie, trying to figure out my life, I had the following conversation in my head:

What do I fear the most. Being alone. That’s why I hate grocery shopping because it accentuates my status of being alone. Alone. So much of my effort is to stave off the existential fear of loneliness.

How do I jump in and do what I fear the most? How do I embrace loneliness?

I’ll plan a trip. I’ll take a journey in which I am alone and can delve into enjoying the world by myself. No blogging. No twittering. No texting. Just absorbing. Journaling. Praying. Pondering.

What kind of trip do I want to take. I could go camping. I’m sure Whitney’s family would let me borrow a tent and some gear. I’ll do it when I get back from Tennessee. It needs to be somewhere conducive to swimming and cycling.

I wonder who would want to go on my alone trip with me?

Perhaps this is going to be harder than I thought.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Never again!


Even though summer vacation for public schools has shrunk to two months, I couldn’t agree more! I never have to go to work again!

Woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good friends ruin all your fun, part II

Little Red Suitcase

Photo Credit: Little Red Suitcase via MySpace

As I am thoroughly enjoying the concert…I hear a murmur from my side…um Jocelyn…people are starting to look at you. Yes, I noticed that too, but the girls are just too delightfully funny for me to laugh quietly.

Continue enjoying the concert. Don’t stop and write a blog post….They looked and smiled. They didn’t look and judge.

It’s official: the Hamiltonian is my new favorite place to frequent. (Yes, you’ll notice that I’ve been there two nights in a row now and am contemplating going again next week.) Tonight my group of friends was introduced to Danish Jazz as exemplified by Little Red Suitcase who were delightfully humorous with their randomness. I felt like we would have been best friends when we were kids.

I was a bit disappointed with the crowd. I don’t think they understood that the girls were joking and that the audience was supposed to laugh. In fact Elena had to tell the audience that their music is infused with humor. They still didn’t laugh, but I did.

I bought their CD.  I’m a fan. Checkout their music:

> Corriendo
> What a Wonderful World
> La vie est belle à Paris
> Together they were fearless

Sweets and Tweets

sweets and tweets logo

Last night I found myself sitting at a discussion panel focused on the influence of women in the world of tech. Of course I was minding my own business when I pulled out my phone, so excited to be part of the backchannel conversation, and realized that my battery was on the last dregs of energy.

If you remember the last time I was at the Hamiltonian, I had managed to leave my notebook at home. This felt like a sad repeat of unfortunate events. Fortunately, this time I at least had a receipt, library book, and pen. While I couldn’t join in the live conversation (#sweetevent), I was at least able to record my thoughts, feelings, questions, and impressions on the back of my receipt for lunch. I felt so tech backwards.

During the conversation, it was stated that technology gives women in other cultures a voice. That resonated with me since as a speech language pathologist, I give students who struggle with communication a voice (well, I facilitate students as they develop their own voice).

This year, as I’ve worked with high school students, I learned that if I wanted students to engage in my lessons, I needed to incorporate technology. I’m in the perfect position to use technology to facilitate language development and communication. There is so much technology to access and learn and embrace. It’s there, knocking at my window through blogs that I read.

Technology is ripe for speech language pathologists; however, we have the age old conundrum: men tend to be more adept and comfortable with technology and speech language pathologists tend to be women. How do we get women to join the technology conversation and community?


I could write a blog on each note, but I will spare you, dear readers.



Friday, June 11, 2010

One cheesecake to rule them all and in the darkness bind them?



Image Credit: Matthew Page from By Common Consent February 24, 2010

I’ve heard my cheesecakes described as heavenly, coveted, delightful. Here’s a new analogy:

From: Joe
Date: Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM
Subject: cheesecake
To: Jocelyn

So...  last night Rachel and I were discussing how great homemade cheesecake is... particularly Jocelyn's.

You know how if something that is bad for you tastes so good, then it's evil... Well we decided that not only is Jocelyn's cheesecake evil... but it is so evil that it must have been forged by Sauron himself in Mount Doom, in the land of Mordor.

In the beginning, there were cheesecakes given out:

three cheesecakes for the Elven-kings under the sky,

seven cheesecakes for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

and One cheesecake for the dark lord on his dark throne.

This particular cheesecake we have rules them all and calls to all!! No one can resist it and it is back to the lava in Mount Doom in the land of Mordor that it must be returned and destroyed!

And you have to be ever so careful because "Sméagol wants his precious!"


I think that this may be the first time I’ve been compared to Sauron.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A visit with my dad

Now if I could just get that Okapi to stay out of the pictures. Okapi really likes to be in the middle of everything.



 IMG_0933  IMG_0935



Good friends ruin all your fun

I love words. I love dictionaries. I love understanding the nuances of language; nevertheless, sometimes I have incorrect definitions in my head.

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Jocelyn wrote:


This comic made me think of you. I'm glad to have you as a make the scary things more palpable.

Calvin and Hobbes 6-6-10

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Whitney wrote:

more palpable? is that like friends who ruin all your fun?

: capable of being touched or felt : tangible
2 : easily perceptible : noticeable <a palpable difference>
3 : easily perceptible by the mind : manifest

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Jocelyn wrote:

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Haha, that's a different definition than what I have in my head. Hmm. Maybe I'm thinking palatable? Ugh. I hate using words incorrectly!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Running some numbers

Three is a magic number

photo by michele cat

Days off this weekend: 3
Hours it takes to drive to Aunt Carmela's: 3
Weeks left before summer vacation: 3
Dates I've been on in May: 3
Sisters: 3
Car accidents since moving to Virginia: 3
Events in my race: 3
Creatures that have taken to biting me: 2

Uh oh, I'm not sure what to expect after the dog and mosquitoes.

Calvin and I are tight

Here is the conversation that transpired while visiting teaching this month:

Me: Do you read comics?

Carly: Yes, I love Zits. I can always relate. Haha.

Me: I can see that. They’re pretty funny. I should add Zits to my list: I haven’t read them in years. I love to read Calvin and Hobbes. I completely relate to Calvin. I’m totally that kid who’s off daydreaming about starships and dinosaurs.

Carly: Yeah, you just need a giant stuffed animal that talks to you.

Me: Does a miniature, plastic animal work in a pinch?

Carly: *Rolls her eyes* I can’t believe you carry that toy around with you everywhere.

Me: He’s actually on top of the fridge right now.

Carly obviously does not understand my relationship with Okapi.

My BFF @ the baseball game (don't tell Whitney, she might get jealous)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smart Alarm

My days as a zombie are coming to a close. The swelling is almost all gone. The bruise is now a lovely shade of yellow-green rather than vibrant blue. I remember why I am doing tasks. I slept for 7 hours last night (pretty decadent these days).

Before my zombie days, I was suffering from snooze-button-itis. For some reason I never got my patented Light Therapy program fully up and running in my current place. I’ve been mulling over the idea of rearranging the furniture in my room, but I happened across a better solution thanks to my new phone.

My Samsung Moment is pretty much amazing. Not only do all the letters function properly, but it also has the Smart Alarm app. The Smart Alarm is amazing and despite my necromancer tendencies, I haven’t had any problem getting out of bed in the morning.

Here’s the description from the designer:

Smart Alarm AppThis application tracks body movements and calculates the best time for starting the alarm sound. Just put it somewhere on your bed: your phone's movements sensor (also known as accelerometer) is sensitive enough to work from any part of the bed.

It apparently figures out when my last dream is over and wakes me up right at the perfect time in my sleep cycle. A side effect that the website warns about is an increased likelihood of remembering your dreams. I have definitely experienced this.

I used to be an introvert

I don’t know when the transformation occurred. I’m guessing sometime in 2008, or perhaps 2007. I used to be content spending hours on end by myself. I remember being so torn when my older sister threatened to run away if I didn’t play with her. I loved her and didn’t want her to leave forever, but I just wanted to do my own thing quietly in my room. I had enough stories in my head to keep me entertained for hours, days, years on end. I remember feeling so alive and free when I’d come home and have the place all to myself. I loved running for miles on end in solitude.

Now, when no one is home to greet me, I’m disappointed and wonder where everyone is. If I’m free, I want to fill the space with friendship. I would much prefer to have a companion join me for a workout. I do my best cleaning when my friends keep my company. My friend Stephanie worded it so well, “Life is just better shared with someone you're comfortable with.”

My officemate is out of town for the week. My office is quiet and lonely without her here. (And I was so worried in August when I heard that I would be sharing an office!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The bite

zombie dog

Image by Hugh Rose AKA DRED (ReadersWives Collective)

Zombies have been the buzz here in Fairfax following Tommy’s zombie themed birthday party/tag game. I did not attend, but 98% of my friends did, so I have been involved in the zombie themed conversations that this event sparked.

It was only natural that my first thought as the golden retriever clamped down on my forearm with his jaws on Monday was Too bad I can’t be like Spider Man and get some crazy cool abilities out of this bite. Instead I just got a gnarly bruise and sympathy points from friends and coworkers…or so I thought.

Little did I know that this dog was part of the legion of undead my friends had been running from on Saturday. My zombie transformation has been happening slowly, almost unnoticeably. My first symptom was staring blankly at my calendar yesterday for long periods of time, followed by walking to the main office but having no clue why I was there. I had been attributing this behavior to my lack of sleep as I told myself that 5-6 hours a night was really not enough.

However, today the pieces of the puzzle began to shift into place as I motored through my morning routine mindlessly. Standing at the side of the pool in a daze, I realized the cause of my zombie-like behavior as images from 28 Days Later and Resident Evil flashed through my head along with the memory of the dog chomping my arm playing on a continuous loop in my mind.

I am embracing my inner zombie and have come to the conclusion that zombies can operate just fine on 5-6 hours of sleep. I really do not need to change my schedule, as long as I’m fine with living life undead.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The recording is available

Here’s the link to the NoVA choir performance. You can hear my narration on track 2:

The Glorious Restoration

Glorious restoration