Aug 27, 2007

Wicked Weekend

I had a truly fabulous weekend. The weekend before that was also truly fabulous (don't remember if I told you - basically Ross and I did nothing together for 2 days straight and it was glorious).

But this weekend, man, what a weekend. It started with some shopping with Shannon for goodies for Haila's baby shower. On the clock shopping, always the best kind. Then a little trip to a store I'll just call "Vicki's" and then home where Nate made some rockin cheeseburgers. Watched the Sox win AGAIN. Checked out Opal Divine's Marina with Nate and Dora. Good times had by all, especially Dora who schooled us in yahtzee despite that we had to teach her how to play. And that's just Friday!

Saturday I had lunch with Ross and then we spent a lazy afternoon together. We had dinner with his Mom and Grandma who I love more each time I see them. The food, steak and mashed potatoes, wasn't bad either. Home for a little football on TV and a nap at halftime. Out with his friends for some barhopping on 6th Street.

And all day Sunday on Lake Austin with Shannon and Chad. He hit it off with Chad so well! It's like we have couple friends (which I enjoy but makes me feel old and very couple-y). Dropped into his mom's place for a moment where she gave us tons of food. We then had this conversation
Me: Thank you for all the food. It's going to be a great dinner.
Mom: Oh honey I don't mind. Besides, you took him. (pointing to Ross)
Me: haha, I suppose that's a fair trade.
Mom: No, you got the short end of the stick, I've come out way ahead.
Ross: OK time to leave. Thanks Mom.
And then home for dinner, which Ross both cooked and cleaned up from. Ain't he the best? I'm pretty smitten with him and fab weekends like this just reiterate it. I'm so pleased (and sometimes surprised which he gives me a hard time about) that we can spend the whole weekend together and still want to see more of each other. Love it.

That about wraps up my weekend. In other non-weekend news, my old delta friend Erin (aka Emo)from Boston, who since moved to Dallas has recently relocated to New York City. Check out Emo's NYC blog :) She's a real life character from Sex & the City, I swear

Aug 24, 2007


In my family, my cousins all have very identifiable talents. Megan is a softball player, a wicked good one at that. Robin sings. Alan does film. Kelley rows crew. Rhoda can draw better than any of us. Becca and Anthony excel in the band. Kev is the computer whiz and in his day, not a half bad lacrosse player. Of those who have gone off to college already, they all employed these talents.

I can't sing, Lord knows. I can line dance but that covers that. I throw like a girl. What's my talent? Oh me, I'm social. I'm a club-joiner.

It's just kinda what I do, join clubs. But in the past week or so I may have gotten a little carried away.

I'm excited to say I will be writing the newsletter for the Austin Area Tri Delta Alumnae Chapter. I'm pretty excited. It seems like a good way to use what I am good at to get involved and stay busy.

The BU Alumni Chapter, or lackthereof, is also something I've embraced. With the help of my new fried in the BU Alumni Office, Amy, I'm planning our first happy hour of the new school year. Hula Hut, Sept. 24, 6p. Be there.

And I haven't officially joined the Young Women's Alliance of Austin but I will be for work. More importantly though, I think I have convinced Maggie (super nice girl who works in development at GSCTX) to go to their happy hour with me on Sept. 7.

On the one hand when I think about all these things, I feel really busy. On the other hand, I feel like I finally am starting to meet my social interaction quota. Woohoo!!

PS Nate moved in Tuesday and the Sox are about to win their second game of the day. SWEET

Aug 20, 2007

No Boys Allowed

Every morning at work, I check my email and read the headlines as the Austin American-Statesman gives them to me. Today there was a feature story about the new Ann Richards School. I can't remember the school's official name but it is a junior high, and eventually a high school, for girls who are academically gifted and show potential to be real leaders. In a way it reminds me of Boston Latin for girls.

I love the idea of helping girls with potential have better access to the resources they need to realize their potential. But I'm left with two questions.
1) Does this really require a single sex school?
2) Why don't they have the tools they need at the school in their community?

I suppose there is some irony to wondering if girls need a single sex school. In all fairness, I have been a part of many many single sex organizations and I think each one has affected me positively. From my own days as a Brownie, through drill team and even as a Tri Delta member, girls only clubs have been a reoccurring theme in my life. I think these organizations are great. But if we really want girls to succeed in life, don't we need to give them the skills to work and reach their goals in the real coed world? The world is not girls only. Perhaps school is not the place to go single sex. To keep the world of our girls most realisitic, shouldn't their "job" (school) be coed and requiring hard work and perseverance? Can't we foster an environment of success with boys in the classroom too? The Statesman article cites that girls tend to do better in math, science and technology when not competing with boys at the junior high/high school level. And by the time girls who attend single sex K-12 get to college, they perform just as well as the boys and, unlike their peers who went to coed schools, are bold about speaking up in class. This sounds good. But is it really the single sex aspect of the schools that leads to this or something else that we have yet to put our finger on?

Now to the more far reaching predicament: Why do students need to transfer to charter schools to achieve optimal success? A story from last week's Statesman tells us that 18 Austin area schools are not meeting federal standards. The solution? Let the kids transfer to a better performing school. This does not fix the problem. Sure a couple hundred kids might receive a better education but what becomes of those poor performing schools? Well for one, they are not improved. Funding is often withheld until the school performs up to par. Isn't that counter intuitive? Shouldn't we provide the school with more resources to reach these children? Might they be performing poorly because they have out of date textbooks or overcrowded classrooms?
And second, it stands to reason, at least in my mind, that the poor performing schools actually appear to become worse. Chances are the students who are transferring to other better schools are those who are excelling in the classroom and need more of a challenge. So they go to the neighboring school or to a charter school like the Ann Richards School. Now the poor performing school is losing their high test scores and solid attendance record, thus letting their averages fall. Is this the fault of the school? Well, some for being a subpar school. But not wholly their fault. The system is letting these strong students leave, helping them any, and withholding the funding needed to improve. Aren't there other alternatives? Can we ask our brightest students to help tutor those who are doing poorly? We could compensate them with credit hours and resume building opportunities. Can't we offer our teachers higher pay to attract stronger candidates? We can also be willing to hold a student back if that will improve the student's overall education. Do not let unprepared students advance on to levels they cannot succeed at. Why don't we bring the teachers who would teach at charter schools in to teach advanced classes? Why not try new and different teaching approaches to see if they reach our students better? Why just let kids leave their school instead of improving the school to make it one they want to attend?

And that folks, is my food for thought on schools here in Austin (and probably, across the country).

Aug 17, 2007

Le Blog Chain

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My eight random facts and/or habits:

1) I have an uncontrollable love for the frozen margarita. It is such a delicious concoction. I don't even care if you take the alcohol out of it. Just make it fruity, frozen and with salt please.

2) I eat ketchup on pretzels. Not all the time but every once in a while I get a wicked bad craving. It dates back to day care when I was 7 or so.

3) I've started saying wicked since I moved away from Boston. It's like I am trying to recreate the verbage of New England or something. I never said it when living there but now, it creeps into conversation. And people look at me funny because of it.

4) I love shopping for gifts. I've already bought Brittany and Ken's wedding present (the wedding isn't until almost Thanksgiving) and Haila's baby shower gift (shower's not til September). I love to start Christmas shopping the week of Thanksgiving. It's just so much fun. They may not be big gifts but I have the best time picking them out. It's like Christmas morning for me - for a whole month. And while we're talking about Christmas, I love that darn holiday. Everything about it. The music (I really love Christmas music), the food, even the cleaning house all day Christmas Eve so the WHOLE family can come over Christmas day.

5) I'm a sucker for cheesy lines. Ross is the king of cheese. That's how we ended up together.

6) I've got a habit of rereading everything I write. I proofread my emails for Christ sake. Even the ones I am just sending to friends. Thank you COM. (And in case you haven't noticed, I LOVE writing in parenthesis.)

7) I sometimes miss the cold. Shhh! Don't tell anyone, it's unnatural. But sometimes, when its 107 in Texas I think "damn if only it could be like 40 today. Just for one day but still, 40 sounds great." Please note thoughts like this never last more than a day, ever. And except when living in Boston when it was -50 and snow would WARM it up and possibly cancel class, I have never wished for a blizzard.

8) I'm actually really excited to one day be a suburban soccer mom. Don't get me wrong, I want to enjoy my 20s; travel, be a yuppie, only be responsible for myself etc. But I think I will really enjoy and basically rock at being a soccer (and by soccer I mean football) mom. And I want to be one of the moms who still wears mildly cute clothes and enthusiastically piles all the kids into her oversized SUV. No babies for 5 or 6 more years, but just you wait. The land of super cute little people clothes and little league practice was made for me.

OK, now for y'all to try.

(PS yes I reread the whole thing and even went back to correct some of my punctuation.)

Aug 14, 2007

Miss You Man

@ the Tent
Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
I miss my friends. Just check out this picture. Don't you kinda miss them too? They are funny, loud, absurd, wicked smart, usually a little tipsy, sometimes unshowered, not too tall, mostly on the east coast, random, blunt and this this crowd, there are no limits.

Can you tell I made the mistake of looking at old pics? Yeah, thats why I miss this strange bunch so much at the moment.

But on the upside, I have talked to all the girls lately. So you can have an update. AJ and Joe are playing house as they are living at La Casa de Boo now. AJ makes him lunch every day before work. As a result, Val and I are trying to move in so she can make US lunch every day. AJ's game. She says she's already bought our bunk beds and got a trundle bed so Emal can have slumber parties with us on school holidays. Meanwhile in PA, Emal is trying desperately to educate her peers about the glory of 10-cup beer pong. And dealing with me when I have the occasional moment of insanity and call her complaining. A little farther south in DC, Val's finally coming to peace with her stylist who has fixed her hair, which he dyed BLACK on Friday. He added some highlights and they are friends again. Val is also giving Bob financial advice but what else is new.

When someone figures out how to attach friends to an email, will they please let me know? I think that may be the most cost efficient way to see my friends.

Killin Me Smalls

You're killin me Smalls!! And by Smalls, I mean Sox. Good Lord, thank God they won tonight and the Yankees lost. But this 4 and 5 game lead business. It's not good for my heart.

Lake Travis, you on the other hand are great. Had a fab time with you Shannon, Chad and Dora on Friday. Must do it again soon.

Aug 7, 2007

Sunny Side Up Please

Stay on the sunny side, Always on the sunny side, stay on the sunny side of life

Girl Scout songs to live by.

Aug 6, 2007

Whatcha Know

A phone call to my Grandma goes like this, every time:
Me: Hi Grandma, it's Cheryl.
G: Cheryl Lynn! It sure is good to hear from you!
Me: Thanks Grandma
G: Whatcha know?
Me: Oh not much

But then of course we both launch into the "not much" that we know. It always turns out to be more than not much.

Taking a page from my favorite reflective 20-something, Jake, here's what I know. At least what I know today.

1) MY JOB ROCKS. I get to play the sorting hat at Harry Potter camp. I work with the media. I work with volunteers. My boss is a fun happy lady. The big boss lady likes me too. The in the middle boss lady sends me nice emails. My most direct co-workers are a riot in a half who share things both personal and professional with me. And I have a never ending supply of Girl Scout cookies at my disposal.

2) LOVE IS MUSHY. I just wrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted and have come back to square one on all my thoughts on love. My only conclusion is that love is mushy - mushy in that the word "love" can be changed to fit a million types of love and related situations. And thats all I can say on the subject. Oh that and I generally think its a good thing.

3) MOVING IS TOUGH. No matter how much I say "I've moved all around. It's exciting." It is exciting but it is also tough. It means a few wrong turns, both in driving and other things. It means making new friends. It's just tough sometimes.

4) BASEBALL IS GREAT. It means summer, it is lazy. And on good days, it means the 'stros beat the Cubs.

5) I AM A TYPE A PERSONALITY. And therefore I feel the need to number my musings instead of just free thinking and writing. I wish I could ramble in the wonderful fluid way Jake can. He can go from sports to world hunger to loving his dog all in one piece without you ever thinking it's random.

That's what I know for now.

Aug 5, 2007

Congrats Miss Nikki!

Miss Nikki (soon to be Mrs. Nikki Something, I really should learn her fiance's last name) got a new job!! She and I had lunch together yesterday and she told me all about it. She was really excited, 1) b/c its a sweet job and 2) b/c she had just found out a couple hours before.

She'll be the asst. manager for the Alfred Angelo bridal shop near her house. It comes with all kinds of good things like a liveable salary, quarterly bonuses and a short commute. Be excited for her; I am. :)

Aug 3, 2007

San Angelo: the GSCTX Version

Thursday marks the farthest west in Texas I have ever been: San Angelo.

Etta, Dora, Brenda, Joel and I loaded into the car at 5a and drove west forever and a day. In San Angelo we held a press conference to announce the formation of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. All went well. Check out the pics of it. Met with some volunteers - the San Angelo gang is great! I'm really looking forward to working with them.

During my 20 minute tour of San Angelo, led by the lovely Melinda, I discovered an amazing place: Devine Winery. I don't even like red wines but their cranberry shiraz was to die for. I went back and bought two bottles.

Ross took great care of me post my 13 hour day in San Angelo. He picked me up, took me to dinner, showed me the sweet lookout spot off 360 that looks out to all of Austin (the place where had we been in high school, we would have parked to make out), back home to the hot tub and ended the night with a massage. Sounds pretty swell huh? Oh it gets better. Courtesy of Ross, I also have Cadbury hot chocolate mix on the way. Mmmm hmm, he got me some. Best Boyfriend Ever? Yes. I think so.