Sunday, July 31, 2005

Survey Says......

From time to time I get those fun little surveys from my friends in e-mail that ask a little about myself. You know, the ones where you answer the questions and then you in turn send your answers on, and so on. Well, my friend Deana sent me one the other day, and I thought it would be fun to answer it here. After all, I'm sure you all want to know more about me! LOL Here goes:

1. Time now: 4:09 P.M.
2. Name as it appears on birth certificate: Bridget Ann Derbyshire
3. Nicknames: Bird, Bee, Ms. Derb, some I can't repeat here
4. What is the most recent movie you've seen in the theater? Sharks 3D at the IMAX
5. Eye color: Brown
6. Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
7. Favorite Foods: chicken fingers, artichokes, BBQ
8. Ever been toilet papering: Who me?
9. Love someone so much it made you cry: Yeah
10. Been in a car accident: Sadly, yes
11. Anchovies: Yeah, right. Get real.
12. Favorite day of the week: Saturday
13. Favorite restaurants: Arabi Diner, Wow, Chili's
14. Favorite sport to watch: Football, baby! Geaux Saints!
15. Favorite drink: Diet Coke & Diet Sprite (it's a tie)
16. Favorite ice cream: Anything chocolate
17. Favorite movies: Gone with the Wind, Forrest Gump, Shrek 2, Airplane!
18. Favorite Fastfood: McDonald's Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
19. What color is your bedroom carpet: Beige
20. How many times you failed your driver's test: Once
21. Who is your favorite singer? Elton John
22. Which store would you choose to max out your creditcard: Old Navy
23. What do you do most often when you are bored: Scrapbook, do crossword puzzles, or read
24. Bedtime: 11:00 on school nights, much later on summers & holidays
25. Favorite TV shows: Survivor, American Idol, Monday Night Football
26. Last person you went to dinner with: Mom & Dad
27. Favorite make of car: Saturn (why else would I drive one?! :-) )
28. What are you listening to right now? "She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer. It's on a CD I burned.
29. What is your favorite color: PINK
30. How many tattoos do you have: Absolutely none
31. Time you finished this e-mail: 4:18 P.M.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Who Let the Owls Out?
I have always been a night owl. It started way back when I was an itty bitty baby. I never slept at night. I did a great job of keeping my mom up all night. I was a few months old before I slept through the night. Mom was still up all night because she thought something was wrong with me. Well, I never outgrew that. As a teenager I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning watching MTV. I wasn't much of a party animal, but there were a few times in college where I stayed out until very late. Now as an adult I still enjoy being up late, although I'm still not much of a party animal. I use the wee hours to watch TV, scrapbook, do crossword puzzles, or play around on the computer (which I'm doing now). I spent one night a couple of years ago at an all night crop at my favorite scrapbook store. I created one of my favorite scrapbook pages at four in the morning! Sometimes, though, I'm not awake because I want to be. Last September my family evacuated to Texas because of the threat of Hurricane Ivan. When we returned home I went through a period of several weeks where I had trouble sleeping. I don' t know if it was the stress of the situation or the change in routine, but I couldn't fall asleep at night if my life depended on it.

Since I like to stay up so late at night, I also like to sleep late in the mornings. As a kid I'd sleep sometimes until noon. Mom used to fuss and say that I was sleeping my life away. I didn't see it that way. Nighttime was prime time. There was a lot more going on at 2 A.M. than there was at 8 A.M. It's kind of funny now because if I get up too early on my days off Mom will ask me why I didn't sleep in. I told her to make up her mind, am I sleeping my life away or not sleeping enough!

What's my problem tonight? I don't know. I didn't sleep particularly late this morning. OK, so I got up at 10 A.M., but that's early for me. Maybe it was the frozen coffee I drank earlier. (Note to self: Don't drink too much caffeine so late at night!) Perhaps I'm trying to be nocturnal like my cats. In fact, my sweet Kirby girl is on my lap now, wide awake and wanting to be loved. I guess I'd better try and get to sleep though. 10 A.M. comes awful early.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Cleaning Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
I have a confession to make. I hate to clean. I don't just dislike it. I hate it. I do keep a clean classroom, but when it comes to my own bedroom I hate to clean. My mother has been on my back all summer to clean my room, but I made tons of excuses. Well, I finally ran out of excuses. Slowly but surely the room is getting clean. Today I decided to tackle my armoire. I don't use it as a closet; I keep stuff in there that I have no other place for. I actually got it neat and organized. I called Mom in to show her just how good it looked. I opened the armoire door for her, and I caught myself in the forehead with the corner of the armoire door. Can you say OUCH? I now have a lovely little cut right about my left eyebrow. Thank goodness it wasn't big or deep, but it does hurt. If anyone sees me with my little cut and my busted knee, they're going to think I'm abused or just plain clumsy. (Well, I am clumsy!) The only good thing is that the cat scratches and bruise have healed. Oh, I haven't told you about those. We'll save that story for another day.

All these years I've had such an aversion to cleaning, and now I know why. I could get seriously hurt! I still have to dust the furniture in my room, so I'm not out of the woods yet. I'll let you know how that one turns out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity
Ahhh, summer in New Orleans. It's such a miserable time of year. Don't get me wrong, I love the city I live in. I just can't take the summertime weather. New Orleans summers aren't just hot, they're also horribly humid! I start sweating just walking from the house to the car. When I'm cold I can just put more clothes on. When I'm hot I'm just hot. There's no taking clothes off for me unless I want to be arrested for indecent exposure!

What just cracks me up are the local weatherpeople. I could do the weathercast in the summer and give the same info they're giving. "It's going to be a hot one!" they say. Well, duh! My favorite are the days when there are heat advisories. Another well, duh! When it's 95 degrees out with 100% humidity, it's going to be oppressively hot. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. Every summer it's the same thing. You'd swear we've never heard it before.

I do feel for those poor souls who have to work outside in the summer. It has to be just miserable for them. There was a story on last night's news about some elderly people who cannot afford air conditioning. Several groups are working to provide free fans for them, but is that really enough? Bless those poor souls!

I'm anxiously awaiting winter. It should arrive sometime around Christmas and last until at least mid-January. Well, maybe we'll be lucky this year and have it last until Mardi Gras.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What Goes up Must Come Down
No, I'm not talking about the law of gravity here. Tonight I attended my weekly Weight Watchers meeting. I've been on this weight loss journey for a year and a half now. Yes, I've had my ups and downs, but happily the downs are winning!

I wasn't a very happy camper when I joined WW. I was at the highest weight of my life, and my self-esteem was in the toilet. Sure, I had a job I loved, family who cared for me, good friends, and of course my faith, but I wasn't happy with myself. I knew losing weight wasn't the only answer for me, but it was a great place to start. And believe me, as the pounds came off, my self-esteem came up. Now I realize that losing weight isn't what makes me a better person. It's the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to. This weight loss journey is something that I have control over. I may not be able to control other factors in my life, but I can control this. I am invincible. I can do anything. I am woman. (OK, sorry about the tangent.)

Of course this isn't the only great accomplishment in my life. I graduated from college with a 3.0 GPA. I changed careers and went back to school. I've survived unemployment. But this gives me such a feeling of control. I'm also much healthier. I'm also willing to try new things. Last year I danced on stage in a dance recital. It was an awesome feeling. I love to exercise, and I decided to share my passion for exercise with kids in my school's after-school program this past year. In the past I would have been embarrassed to get up in front of teenagers and work out, but I'm not anymore.

I don't like to pass on unsolicited advice, but I will today. Do what makes you happy. I have. :-)
That's What Friends Are For
All day I have been thinking about how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends. Nothing in particular happened to remind me of this, but every now and then I just think about it. I was thinking of writing today's post about what my friends mean to me, but I decided I should after an online conversation about being able to tell your girlfriends anything, even gross stuff. (Thanks, Lena!)

My oldest friend is Vicki. I've known her literally since she was born. (I was a mature 10 month old at the time.) I think we did everything together growing up. Until last year she always lived down the block from me. I was maid of honor at her wedding, and I am godmother to her son Jonathon. We used to work together. When my beloved grandmother died, she was the one who had me over to her house to have a little fun and forget about the pain for a while. She helped me through my breakup with my longtime boyfriend. Last summer she moved, and for the first time she wasn't three houses away. Distance doesn't matter, though. Vicki will always be my friend, no matter what life has in store for us.

Kim and I have been friends since we started high school. I consider her my wise friend. We know how to make each other laugh. We have had some crazy adventures together. We took our very first plane trip together, a trip to Disneyworld after our high school graduation. I still cherish those memories. Her children call me Aunt Bird, and I consider them to be part of my family. It was wonderful when she and my next door neighbor met, fell in love, and wound up marrying each other. The best part was that they continued to live next door until just a couple of years ago. With Kim I can totally be myself and not worry about what she thinks.

Another dear, longtime friend is Maureen. We met in high school, but we became really close when she opened her dance studio several years ago. She is one of my most thoughtful friends. She remembers everything even though she juggles an extremely busy schedule. She's also been a very good friend to my sister. When my sister broke her leg eight years ago, Maureen visited at least once a week. She always brought some kind of goodies--snacks, coloring books, puzzle books. She will make time for anyone who needs her, no matter what. We can be and have been very goofy together.

There are lots of other friends who mean so much to me. I wish there was enough room here to name them all. I still have friends from my school days. I may not see them on a regular basis, but I still call them my friends. I have made some wonderful friends at the school where I teach. I've also met some great girlfriends through dancing. All of my friends, old and new, have left an indelible mark on my heart. I will always treasure the special part you have played in my life.

Please feel free to leave comments after reading my posts. Do you like what I have to say? Do you wish I'd stop rambling so much? Let me know! :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

All Hail the Queen!
OK, you may be wondering what I'm talking about. After all, this blog is titled "Confessions of a Wannabe Princess." Well, I'm referring to the title a group of students gave to me about five years ago. They crowned me "Queen of the Spastics." I hope I don't offend anyone with that, but I've always thought it was funny. Let me explain how I got to that point.

I have been clumsy since I could walk. My mom even asked the pediatrician if something was wrong with me. It's so bad that I have tripped over cracks in the tile. Many times I've just tripped over my own feet. One time when I was about 13 years old I opened my front door and fell out. These acts of clumsiness are not limited to the confines of my own home. I've had many mishaps in public. At one point three years ago my students wanted to buy me knee pads since I fell twice at school within a two month period. It's bad. Imagine me as a little kid learning to ride a bike. It wasn't pretty. Even though I'm in a mom's dance class, I have no rhythm. I can do our dances for the recital, but otherwise I stink at dancing. You'd think having athletic parents would help. Also, my mom and sister were both dancers. Guess I missed out on those genes.

Well, today the Queen of the Spastics struck again. I was in church by myself this morning after Mass gathering my things and picking up reserved signs off of the pews. I was walking up the main aisle juggling everything when I stepped out of my shoe. Yep, you guessed it. I went down on both knees. Once I got up and dusted myself off I had to laugh. What else could I do? I do have a lovely souvenir from this trip--a brushburn on my left knee.

I hoped I'd eventually grow out of being a klutz, but I guess it's not going to happen. I could try and take a positive approach to this whole thing. It makes me unique. It's part of who I am. No, as a kid I never aspired to grow up to be a klutz, but I did. And I have to live with it. I just have to be more careful, that's all. I may start wearing knee pads to church, though, just in case I have a repeat performance.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's a cat's world. We just live in it.
I really do have a great life, but sometimes I look at my three cats and think they have it made. Imagine what life would be like if all you had to worry about was eating, sleeping, and pooping. I shouldn't talk that way. My three cats have brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined.

Growing up we always had dogs. In fact, we had our beloved Labrador retriever Ginger for over 16 years. When she died in 1999, it was like losing a family member. After that my mom announced that there would be no more dogs. After a while we missed having a pet, so my dad and I decided we'd get a cat. Mom didn't say we couldn't have one! Puddy joined our family in 2001 when he was six weeks old. We weren't used to having a pet who climbed on the furniture and liked to lie on top of us, but we all adjusted great. Then in May 2002, we took Kirby in. She is Puddy's sister. Their mother disappeared when Kirby was only three weeks old. We couldn't just leave her all alone without her mother, so we took her in too. Since she was so tiny, she had to be fed whenever she was hungry because she didn't have a mom to nurse from. I never thought I'd do two A.M. feedings with a kitten, but I did. Kirby grew quickly, and she and Puddy formed a great relationship. We thought our cat family was complete until last year. A cute little furball showed up. He was obviously someone's pet because this little guy was too sweet and friendly. A couple of weeks passed without anyone coming to claim him, so that's when Ollie became our third cat. Boy did he have us fooled! Once he came inside he was holy terror! He is bad, always into everything. Surprisingly, he is our most affectionate cat. Ollie loves strangers. He is especially good with children.

There are many times when I feel like our house belongs to the cats and they are just nice enough to let us live here. Cats are nothing like dogs. I once read a quote that is quite true: "Dogs come when they are called. Cats take a message." My furbabies do what they want when they want. They want to be loved when they're ready to be loved. They'll come to bed with me at night when they're ready to, not when I am. They chase each other around the house and cause a ruckus whether it's 3 P.M. or 3 A.M. Forget having a quiet meal. I've learned to eat with at least one of the cats vying for my attention.

Would I change any of this? Absolutely not! These cats have brought me more joy than I could have ever thought possible. Puddy is very aloof, but he's the first one to console me if I'm sad. Kirby waits for me at the door when she hears my car pull up, and she's in my room waiting for me before I can even make it back there. Ollie likes to be loved and to lie next to us in bed. They are just amazing animals, and I know I'm blessed to have them in my life.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If only I knew then what I know now...
Today I was at the mall pursuing one of my favorite pastimes--shopping! Shopping has become more fun over the last few months. In the last 18 months I have lost over 25 pounds on Weight Watchers, and I still have at least 15 more to go. Since I've lost the weight, I now get to shop at some of the "younger" stores at the mall. As I was surrounded by teenagers in Forever 21, an interesting thought occurred to me. Would I want to be a teenager again?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. My teenage years were fabulous, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. The truth is I like being 35. Do I like the gray hairs? Heck, no! There's so much more to being mature than gray hair, lots of good things. First of all, I am much more self-confident than I was in my teens and twenties. I feel like a woman who can do anything she puts her mind to. I have a better sense of style, but more importantly, I have a better sense of self. I feel free to make mistakes and act silly. I also feel free to take chances and enjoy life. I feel younger now than I did at 25. Back then I was worried about the future. Now I live for the present. Don't get me wrong, I do think about what's to come down the road. I just don't take little things for granted anymore. I enjoy life. I feel like I have a purpose. I don't have everything I hoped I would have at this age, but I am happy with the hand I've been dealt. Life is definitely good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My dance recital photo, April 2005 Posted by Picasa
Who is this girl? And why does she want to be a princess?
Both of those are legitimate questions. Let me start with the first one. My name is Bridget. I live in Meraux, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. But really, who am I? Let's see. I'm a daughter, a sister, a friend, a cat mommy. I am a teacher, a dancer, a scrapbooker. I am outgoing, yet shy. I am emotional, but reserved. I love to laugh, but I understand the seriousness of life. I seem pretty complex, yet I'm really not.

Why do I want to be a princess? Well, that stems back to my teenage years. Being the pampered, snotty brat that I was, my parents concluded that the only job I was qualified for was princess. It became a joke over time, and the title has stuck all these years. I'm still trying to figure out how I can live in the lap of luxury! Of course, I know real life doesn't work that way, and I'm OK with that. I'm happy with my life, and it doesn't get much better than that. Maybe that makes me a princess after all. Well, at least in my own mind maybe.