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Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone! Ok, I guess wishing people a happy day isn’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, so never mind.

First of all, can I just say, “God Bless Steven Page“? Well, I don’t care how you answer–I just did! 🙂 I love his comment about John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change”. I had actually been thinking of writing a blog post in response, but he did it nicely and quite succinctly. I heart him.

Also, just a note about what I’m giving up for Lent. I am giving up stupid internet things! Basically, I decided that I can only use the internet for communication (email, this here blog, and livejournal–where I read my friends’ journals and comment, oh and also facebook, because that’s how I keep up with like 3/4 of my friends and my brother) and to keep up with the news and do legitimate research. I will not read blogs of people I only know via the internet, and will definitely steer clear of celebrity gossip blogs and YouTube. (I have a few exceptions to this rule–I will read PostSecret and the She Walks blog once a week.) I have spent WAY too much time on that stuff lately. And also games, since I usually play web-based puzzle games every night while I watch TV. I will also attend at least 1 church service per week.

My aim this Lenten season is to figure out what I should be doing with my life and with my faith. Recently, I have taken to identifying myself as a Christian, a Methodist, and have even gone so far as to say that I am religious. I am–I just haven’t been attending services. A lot of times when I attend services, I get so angry because I feel that the clergy members are very hypocritical. I don’t expect them to be perfect, and I do recognize that they are human, but I cannot stand for any intolerance and double-speak, which I found a lot of in my more recent forays into church. But lately, I have been feeling the need for a little more guidance with regard to my faith, and how do I expect to get that when I don’t go to church? This is something I can’t do on my own.

In addition, it’s time for me to figure out where I’m supposed to be, and the ways my life can be used to serve others. I work for a non-profit, but since we serve a population that, often, is wealthy and entitled, I sometimes feel like I’d be more useful elsewhere. I am considering making a run at public policy grad school, so I intend to do some reading in Public Policy, and some soul searching about what I really want to be doing with my life, and then get started.

And on one final note, I think Duke Basketball players should be banned from church services. Ok, not really, but it’s really hard to focus on repenting when Jon Scheyer and Greg Paulus walk by you right after you get your ashes on your forehead.

Today has been a mostly wasted day at work. Mostly because the thing I need to do most–tell people they’re not going to get a job with us this year–is not the kind of thing you want to do on Valentine’s Day. Well, I’m not that big of a bitch, anyway. Also, there was the worst phone interview ever, where I still swear that the woman who filled out the application and the woman who answered the phone are not the same person. There is just no way. Afterward, I kept going, maybe we should call her references for more information!* Maybe we should call her back!! This can’t be happening!!! Basically, I was expecting a total ROCK STAR, and got William Hung. No, William Hung had personality. Sigh.

The worst part about that interview, though, was the fact that it made my entire department miss the February Birthday party.** It was a fondue party, which, because there were plenty of leftovers, we got to enjoy. However, there was some kind of mythically amazing cheese fondue that got eaten up before we got there. Mmm, gooey deliciousness. Of course, being the graceful and couth girl I am, I dropped chocolate fondue all down the front of my sweater on the first bite. I keep Shout Wipes in my desk drawer specifically for this reason. However, here’s the thing I didn’t know about Shout Wipes until today… While the get the stain out really well, they don’t get the scent out. So, hours later, I’m sitting at my desk getting nauseated at the smell of chocolate. Now I understand why most cocoa farmers in Ghana have never eaten chocolate.***

Anyway, since I spent the last 15 minutes staring out my office window****, I figured I’d just go ahead and post from work.

I’ve never***** been that big a fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t despise it, as some do, but I don’t really care about it. I’ve broken up with guys in early February just to avoid celebrating it. I’ve had a couple relationships start just after (February 15th and 17th to be exact). I just don’t think it’s that big a deal, and I’d love to ignore it, if anyone would let me.

Like for instance today, when one of our temps, who has been sucking up to me lately****** asked me if I have any big plans for tonight. I said, “Basketball tonight–that’s always big plans!” and just kept walking. He responded with, “AWW, that’s just sad!” Which almost made me explode, but I took a deep breath and said, “Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not sad. I love basketball.” He started backpedalling, saying, “Oh, I was just saying that there’s something wrong with the world when I a girl like you doesn’t have a date on Valentine’s Day.” Gag me.

Anyway, I thought I’d share 2 funny Valentine’s Day stories…  One about people in love, and the other about bitter people.

Funny Story #1:
When I was in grad school in Texas, I also worked as a live-in staff member in an all-female freshman residence hall.  I ended up getting assigned to be on duty on VD night because I was the only person on our side of campus who was not in a serious relationship.  So, I was sitting alone in my apartment, doing homework, and praying that the pager wouldn’t go off.  Suddenly, I heard a knock at my door.  It was odd, because I wasn’t expecting anyone.  All of a sudden, I had visions of my crush showing up with flowers to spend the evening with me.  (How would he get in to the secure building?  Well I didn’t have time to think about that.)  I opened the door, and a making-out couple nearly fell into my apartment!  Apparently, they weren’t knocking on my door, they were just humping!  They didn’t even detach themselves, but the guy mumbled “Sorry” (I think) and they just rolled themselves down the wall, away from my apartment.  EEEEWWWWWWW.  Still, good for a laugh.

Funny Story #2
Freshman year, I dated this guy we’ll call J.  (We’ll call him J because all the guys I’ve dated since high school have a first name that starts with J.  It’s kinda starting to bother me, actually.)  We dated for most of fall semester, until just before Thanksgiving, when he broke up with me on the off chance that he could hook up with his high school girlfriend while home for the holidays.  (Hey, at least he was honest.)  We ended up getting back together in mid-December, but in the meantime, I had started hanging out with a big crew of guys from another dorm.  (For the record, I remained friends with these guys all the way through graduation, and even a few years after.)  Getting back together with my lame boyfriend didn’t really fit into my new social life of playing hearts until 2am every night and sledding on cafeteria trays behind the dorm, especially since the new guys really, really didn’t like J.   By the end of January, I knew I had to GET OUT.  Of course, I was not so good at these things, and deep down in my soul I am a conflict-avoider.  (I have learned to battle this now, but hey, at the time I was 18.)  So, after a week or so of completely avoiding him (and also one of the new guys pulling J aside and telling him to just let go), he broke up with me about a week before VD.  One of the RAs in the building saw us breaking up and asked, “Aw, did you two get back together again?”  Apparently I was that giddy.  So, I was really shocked, when I came home from work on VD and my roommate said, “J stopped by.  He left a present on your desk.”  There, wrapped in printer paper with hearts drawn on it in red pen, was a mix-tape.  When I opened it, I totally cracked up.  On the actual mix-tape cover, amid the song titles, were this little broken hearts that were crying and possibly gnashing their teeth.  And the song choices were totally random, I mean, you would think he would have put some of “our songs” on there.  But there were songs by Weird Al, from the soundtrack of Annie, by Nine Inch Nails, and a handful by Liz Phair (this was the mid-nineties, when she was still all bitter and angsty).  Hello, bitter party of one?  I couldn’t even bring myself to listen to it, because it was SO weird, but I did hang on to it for several years (until I lost it in a move) because just looking at it made me laugh.

So, yeah.  VD=Good times.  🙂

*We don’t call references; we have them fill out an evaluation of the candidate.

**Our birthday parties must always occur on the second Wednesday of the month at either 10am or 2pm. It just happened to coincide with VD. What’s that Milton? Just pass.

***This is a fun fact I learned on NPR on my way to work this morning. Of course, they were saying this is because it’s so hot there and there’s not a lot of electricity for refrigerators and such. WHATEV. I ate plenty of melted candy bars left in the car during the summer as a child. They were still delicious.

****Thank goodness my office has a window. Otherwise, I’d just be sitting here Googling myself, and that seems extremely pathetic for VD.

*****Ok, when I was a little kid, I loved it because we did presents on VD in my family. This was because, when I was two, my grandma died a few days before Christmas and we had to fly to Illinois. My parents couldn’t pack up all the presents in their suitcases, so they saved it for VD. Thinking that a two year old would remember this when she was three (she wouldn’t) it started a tradition that is carried on today. Though it’s more like $20 in a card nowadays. (Hey, I’m not complaining!)

******Because I will be an official judge of the “Great Peanut Butter & Jelly Cook-off” next week, and he is a contestant.  (It was supposed to be this week, but half the office is sick, and there’s been a nasty outbreak of the norovirus at a nearby hospital.  Oooh, yum!)  Yes, I will post about the GPBJC when it happens.  Hopefully, with pictures.

…is not Christmas. It’s March Madness, for which we are really starting to gear up. I can hardly wait!!!

More inspirational goodness in preparation for tonight’s showdown can be found in this article!

With this being the “money” quote:

With Latta, virtually everyone who watches women’s hoops has an opinion of whether she’s passionate/exciting/irrepressible or annoying/really annoying/incredibly annoying.

(Uh, hello, incredibly annoying!!)

And over on DBR, the MulletMan is running this (non-monetary) pool:

I find her shtick extremely tired. How many times can a person get knocked out of a game only to make a miraculous recovery?

I shall set the line… pick a before or after for each…

1. Knocked to the floor in a heap without cause when she gets picked – 11:00 mark 1st half

2. Removed from the game with the help of at least 1, if not 2 teammates – 13:00 mark of the second half

3. Returns to game gimpy during non-play, but amazingly agile and fleet-footed during play – 11:20 mark second half

Have at it.

And finally, a comment I made last night that I think is totally worth sharing here (if I do say so myself!):

(Upon seeing that Tyler Hansbrough returned to the game after the half with a band-aid on his forehead, even though his injury had occurred long before the break…)
“Aww… Did Tywer need a band-aid for his booboo? Well, if that had been Ivory Latta, we’d still be in time-out, watching her writhe on the floor in pain.”

GTHC, GTH!

Hi, my name is CandyButtons, and I’m a sports-o-holic. And I’m a Duke fan. Because of that, I have some things to share…

Just to get everyone psyched up for tomorrow, here’s a cute article on the Waner girls:

And in case you’re not yet psyched up for tonight, posters almost as good as the ones on Despair

Oh, and then there’s this!

And then there’s the fact that everyone over at the Duke Basketball Report has started referring to Carolina as “Carowina” (pronounced Ka-row-WHINE-uh, not Ka-row-WIN-uh, as they were quick to point out over there). Very appropriate I think.

OMG, two Carolina games back-to-back… I don’t know if I can handle the excitement!!!

GTHC, GTH!