Sunday, August 19, 2012

The man of my dreams.

Wow. I looked back at my last post dated at the end of March, and couldn't believe I'd let so much time elapse without writing a post. This was especially shocking since so much has changed in my life, and also because many of you have harassed...some to write more. Yeah, the very end of that last sentence was a lie. :-)

Anyhow, let me catch you up to speed. I'll try to do this quickly, as the main reason I was dying to write a new post today has nothing to do with this paragraph. In February, I resigned from my job working in Ag marketing for Farm Credit and began a new career with Alliance Grazing Group (Alliance Dairies). I'm now working as project manager and marketer ( and future cheesemaker) of Alliance Grazing Group's up and coming artisan cheese business. This move in my life was totally unexpected, but my innate excitement at the opportunity proved to me that this was God's plan for my life. This was further confirmed when I met a handsome, yet smelly (he only smelled at the time because he was hard at work!), young man during one of my tours of the grazing dairies. This young man (still handsome and smells very nice when not hard at work) is now my boyfriend. Was it coincidence that my new job lead me to meeting David...AT A DAIRY? I think not.

Now that I've concluded that last paragraph, I realize that it has everything to do with this whole post. "What's that?" you ask. It's having complete faith in God and recognizing that as much as you want to go your own way sometimes, He always knows best and will provide if you follow. Luckily for my stubborn lil' booty, my eyes have been opened.

Several weeks ago, my dad, mom, grandma and I came before the church we've been going to for several years to become members. My dad and I, having been Methodist most our lives, had to be baptized for this to happen. We decided last week that we would be baptized in church today.

Knowing the symbolism behind the action of baptism made this a very exciting and emotional day for me, but it was what happened last night in my sleep that really made this an emotional and meaningful day. Somewhat anxious that I would miss my alarm (I had to get to church earlier than usual and still had a 45 minute drive to get there), I woke up several times to check my clock. It was sometime in between those breaks that I had this dream...

It felt like it was real. Everything was present day. I knew it was Sunday and I needed to get to church. I was dressed in my Sunday best only to get to church and realize I'd forgotten I was supposed to bring clothes to wear under the gown for my baptism. I freaked out and made an emergency trip guessed it...the Super Wal-Mart. I ended up buying something and tried it on at my Granny's house, and of course, it didn't fit. I began searching my grandma's house looking for an old work shirt and some type of shorts. I found nothing. Defeated, I walked into Granny's living room and was about in tears. That's when my grandpa "Papa" entered the room and looked at me. I was frozen in disbelief knowing Papa had passed away more than 10 years ago. He gave me a big grin like he used to do, but didn't speak because, just as I remembered him in my early high school years and his last years of life, he suffered from a major stroke he'd had many years before. He couldn't speak back then, but you could feel in his eyes and through his facial expressions that he understood what was happening. Sometimes he would grunt or make gestures, but as frustrating as it was for him, he was not able to verbalize his thoughts. I smiled back and asked him a question. He answered me plain as day.

I awoke in tears trying to separate reality from my dreams. It seemed so real, and the only thing that was out of the ordinary from present day was my Papa, who had found his voice again. He was as he'd been born. He was whole.

Many people claim to have had near-God encounters. While, I've felt the presence of God on a beautiful day in nature or through special moments with my family, I've never felt anything like this. Some may say this was just my brain's imagination making up things in my head, but I cannot discredit the closeness I felt to my grandpa and, through him, the closeness I felt to God.

I'm known by many of you as an amusing person and blogger, so I hope you got some chuckles from the first couple of paragraphs of this post. I know the remainder was certainly not a laugh fest. And...if you thought it was...shame on you. :-) I'll do my best to work on a comedic topic for the next post. Until then...take care!   

Picture of a rainbow David sent me this morning with text: "Sign of good things today!" He was right on target!

P.S.- I posted something on Facebook this morning about my upcoming baptism, and was overwhelmed by the "likes" and responses I received. It's good to know the community of believers is alive and well!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eating for a future of two.

When I first began toying with the idea of having my own blog, my biggest fear was not having enough material to write about. I mean, what would happen if I got through three posts, and then realized I was a cow who'd dried out of the good stuff? To solve this, I invested in a small notebook that would fit in my purse, and I always kept it with me to jot down funny things I thought, witnessed or experienced firsthand. After about 22 thoughts were recorded, I decided I was safe to invest my time in creating a blog. Tor's Circus was born.

Now, I look back and I find it funny that I ever had this fear of running out of material. Anyone who knows me, knows I am rarely caught speechless (any men who have caused this to happen have been truly impressed with they should've been). My mind is always churning, and the situations in which I find myself usually evoke a decent story. As is life. Isn't that where the best comedians find jokes for their acts? Life? Sure, sometimes someone will crack me up with an absurd scenario I know will never occur, but it's usually the jokes I can relate to..."Yeah, I know exactly the person she's talking about..." that are the most hilarious.

The reason behind that whole last paragraph: life has dealt me so many funny stories and thoughts since I bought that notebook, that I haven't even used up all the ideas I initially recorded. Who's ready for throwback night? I came across one of my recorded thoughts, and it struck an interest in me again because it's something I've been around a lot lately...pregnant women.

The recording in my notebook was from a time when I recalled seeing one of my friend's pictures on Facebook. She had an entire album dedicated to her pregnancy growth. There was a shot of her almost every week, revealing how much bigger the bump had become. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not knocking my friend. I think it's very sweet, and it's crazy amazing how much a woman's body will change for that little person growing inside her. However, having never experienced this before, I'll admit it made me laugh.

Now that all you pregnant...or once pregnant...women think I am the most horrible person ever, please let me explain myself. Seeing these pictures reminded me of how my figure can change drastically, but it's usually the effects of a very large meal. Wouldn't it be hilarious if I started a photo album dedicated to my meals? Pictures of my belly hanging over my pants with captions kinda like this..."Brazilian Steakhouse: three pounds gained...fried cheesecake with two scoops of frozen heaven: pack on another two pounds." The thought of this made me hysterical. I may do it someday, but right now the thought of my mother killing me from embarrassment outweighs the hilariousness. You're welcome, mom.

Baby showers. I've been to a lot of them lately. Okay, just two. But...they were within two weeks of each other, so with the Target gift registry, it sure seemed like a lot of baby going 'round. Shopping for baby you really want to get me started? One would think it would be so simple with the very helpful gift registries available nowadays. Wrong. Both times it took me at least an hour to leave with three or four items. I teased one of my friends at her shower and told her I did what any single, non-parent friend would do: I went straight to the toy aisle. She and I both knew this wasn't a joke. That's exactly where I went first. Who wants to buy diapers or miniature nail clippers? I'm not responsible for a child yet, so until that day comes, I will still be the friend buying the fun stuff the baby could probably forgo.

Baby shower bonus: food. Where there are pregnant women, there will be good food (although sometimes the combos might be weird because of strange cravings. Luckily, those throwing the shower know not every guest will be pregnant and craving dill pickles, leftover milk from Cheerios, hot wings...). I was waiting in the food line at the last shower I attended and was talking to a soon-to-be mother (not the baby mama of honor). She mentioned something about eating for two, and it made me feel a little left out. And then it made me angry. What if I never get a chance to have kids? Is it fair that these women get to pig out "for two" while I stand by and eat for one? No way! I grabbed three desserts instead of one, and told myself I was eating for future possibilities. The anger subsided and a sugar coma crept in to fill the void.

That's pretty much all I've got for this post. Plus, I know pregnant women are hormonal, so I'd like to stop this before I get any hate Facebook messages, or one of them makes me watch a Baby Einstein video. I really do think pregnancy is a beautiful thing (unless you get those 4-D pictures taken of the baby...those things are downright creepy, in my opinion) and am very excited for all my recently new mommy friends...or soon-to-be baby mamas. I'm sure at one point, before the times of baby fever set in, you were just like me...trying to understand why you were frowned upon if you took more than one piece of cake, right?

Happy Lamaze class to you ladies. Thanks for sharing these ideas for my blog post, and thanks for sharing your baby shower food for my ambitious future.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Music: The song of my life.

Hello. My name is Torie, and I have an addiction called music. I allow it to take over my body, mind and soul pretty much whenever it wishes. It can take me to a crazy high or a depressing low. With music, I have no self control.

Yeah, so maybe it's not an addiction (like my apparent addiction to stay up late and type these insane blog the way, sorry it's been so long...missed y'all!), but it is a huge aspect of my life. I always knew how much I loved music, but didn't realize the control it had over my mind until tonight.

I attended a TRX class (it involves weight resistance with straps hanging from the ceiling...look it up) at my gym, in attempts to take my personal workout goals to the next level. It worked. I thought I was going to puke and maybe die. Whatever the case, it was intense, but my abs and arms are much tighter for it. And...I already hurt. I hopped on the treadmill to slow my heart rate...aka-stop my panting. I got lost in the music coming from my iPod, and soon found myself playing air drums and guitar, and even mouthing the words to the song. My realization of this soon lead me to grinning ear-to-ear, just because I now know the secret everyone else knows: I am, in fact, a hopeless moron. It's okay, I've accepted it and am prepared to live my life with this social disorder.

When I was finally able to stop grinning, I looked around and realized that all of the people working out looked like they fit into the beat of my song perfectly (no, I am not on pain killers right now...and wasn't then). It's like those commercials where they show a neighborhood, and all the sudden all these conflicting city sounds come together to harmonize beautifully. Unfortunately, not everyone in my mental gym music video was beautiful...but hey, they're in the gym. They're obviously trying to do something about it. That was a joke. I'm sure they are beautiful in their own ways.

Then another thought hit me. Luckily, I don't mean literally, because it was quite an impressive thought. Had it literally hit me, I would've gone flying off the treadmill and into the full length gym mirror like that first vampire movie. Don't play. You girls (and some guys) know exactly what I'm talking about..."Bella! Bella!"

Okay, so about this impressive thought that figuratively hit me. You know how flash mobs are all the craze these days? None of this would ever happen without someone's buy in. Someone has to start with this crazy idea...set the time, place, music, dance moves...and this amazing thing comes to life. I'm sure it took one out-of-the-box person to figure this out and say, "What the heck! It may be crazy, but let's see what happens..." I mean surely that initial person knew if no one bought in, he or she would look like a total idiot. But, he or she was prepared to take that risk, and creativity and imagination came to life.

After this profound thought, I pondered about starting my own gym flash mob. I mean heck, I already have the air drums and guitar in place. My decision: some things are much more fun to leave in my head. I really believe that secret smile gives me the "mysterious girl" look. Or...maybe, just maybe, someone thought the nasty gas the guy on the treadmill beside me passed (if you don't understand this, read the earlier posts) really belonged to me.

Moral of the story: great ideas are born from people who aren't afraid of stepping forward and looking like a complete idiot sometimes. Get caught red handed for birthing a genius idea, not for passing gas.

This is how I think outside of the box. And dressed to go to work in on Halloween last year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"What? I'm not giving you the stinkeye. I'm trying to give you the pinkeye."

I would like to preface the message in this post by saying that I should really be finalizing the edits to my company's business plan right now. However, even though it's sitting on the couch right beside me, I was inspired to write today. I feel that's what true writers do. They get inspired, a stirring in the soul, and they can't rest until their message gets out. So, here I am...with nothing of much importance to tell you. It won't save your life in a time of crisis, but it might save me from going crazy if I can get it out for you to read.

Also, I was supposed to call one of my best friends today to chat. Friend, if you are reading this, I apologize. We will chat tomorrow...and that is why you are one of the best: you understand my absurd need to communicate my crazy little inspirations. Thanks!

In a movie entitled "Juno", one of the scenes shows a display of jealousy between two high school girls pining after the same guy. "Tell your lil' girlfriend to stop giving me the stinkeye," the girl Juno says. "She wasn't giving you the stinkeye...that's just the way she looks," replied the guy. This particular part in the movie is one of my favorites because "stinkeye girl" turns around and she looks just like I remembered looking nearly five years ago when I suffered from a terrible case of pinkeye.

Ahhh...pinkeye. Have you ever had it? If not, you should never experience it. Pinkeye is one of those illnesses that is miserable (a really bad case of it, anyhow), but in my opinion, a funny story is usually gained. Why? You look funny during it, sometimes you can't see, and even after it's gone you usually don't want to risk contaminating your eye makeup (this applies to women...and others), so you force yourself to go all nat-u-ral. By the way, men are such liars when they say women are more beautiful without makeup. Or...that's what I've always thought, but maybe there is some truth to that statement...

I woke up with a mild case of pinkeye yesterday morning, went in for half a day of work and managed a whole day of work today (sans eye numero dos!). I went to Publix to pick up a sub for a late lunch. I decided 2 p.m. or so would be an attractive time (not for me personally...I was a walking disaster all day). I mean, really, who but retired people and stay-at-home moms are at Publix at 2 p.m.? I got my sub with great service and a smile (Publix does top my list as one of my favorite places to go in town. This may seem weird, but the people are friendly and helpful, the store is well organized and I always make at least two new friends), picked up Fontina cheese (my sister turned this girl into a class act, that's right!) and crackers, and headed to check out. A decent looking bag boy was insistent on carrying my two grocery bags out for me. I was thinking to myself, "Dear goodness, fella! You gotta get a new shift with the good times. I look like Quasimodo (without the hump), and here you are trying to take a stroll with me! Weird." I left the store somewhat amused, somewhat confused and very impressed with myself. "Maybe if I just think pretty..."

Luckily, this case of pinkeye wasn't nearly as bad as some I've experienced. Those are the REALLY good stories. For instance, the worst I can remember came about the last week prior to my college graduation. Good thing for me, all I really had to do at that point was find a graduation dress (that no one really even saw) and live it up with my buddies. I remember waking up one morning, and BAM! Pinkeye hit before I even knew what was happening. Before I knew it, both eyes were infected, and I looked like a baby cat (the overfed, fluffy kind). To my advantage, I was not at the trailer alone...

I had two other roommates (we lived in a trailer our last year...yes, I claim being South Alabama Trailer Trash...and will admit it was one of the greatest years of my life). Both roommates (at the time) were finishing up classes, so I was fortunate the friend we had moving into my room immediately after graduation was already in the trailer and in transition mode to getting her stuff squared away. This meant I was parked on one couch the final week of my college career, and she was on the other (because she didn't have the motivation to actually get things arranged...she had the whole summer for that).

The "new roommate" Marion and I, to this day, joke about our setup in the living room that one week we were roommates. I'm all about being personable, so instead of packing all my photos away, I kept a few frames out and adorned my desk (sitting beside the door, ready to hit the road) with them. Marion did the same. It was really quite homey.

What I appreciated most about Marion's presence was her ability to be my "guide dog", per say, during my most terrible case of pinkeye. For the record: Marion is a very attractive girl, so please don't take my "guide dog" comment to mean I'm bringing her looks into this comparison.

Anyhow, back on subject, my pinkeye was just starting to get really bad, and luckily, Marion didn't really feel like doing much that week other than watching "Everyone Loves Raymond" reruns. I remember waking up on the couch one morning, and not being able to open my eyes. Either of them. They were stuck. I began wailing like a dying zoo animal (not sure what kind, but I would guess a more exotic breed). "I can't see! I can't seeee!!!" I thought I was saying to myself. Then there was a burst of laughter and a, "Torie, I'm right here." She brought me wet washcloths to pry my eyes open, and even when I couldn't open them, she was right there on the couch beside me, explaining what Ray Romano was doing during the episode (whichever episode it was). I will never forget the faithful friendship...and now look back and laugh. Thank you, Marion, for laughing and (literally) leading me back to healthy sight.

Now, I live alone, and I pray to the good Lord that I don't get attacked with another case of pinkeye like college days past. My fish can't do anything to help, and I'm pretty sure my cat Mick would take advantage of my handicap by tripping me. If you are a personal friend and like to watch "Everyone Loves Raymond" reruns, give me a call or hit me up on Facebook. I'd like to be proactive in case this deal goes bad.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The sweaty brunette's guide to picking up men at the gym.

Ahhh...2012...a new year. As New Year's Eve approached a few days ago, a minor amount of depression set in. What had I accomplished in the past year that was great and significant? I found myself focusing on the negatives: I still hadn't forced myself to learn Espanol via the Rosetta Stone; I hadn't run a marathon like I promised myself; I hadn't made astounding progress at work; and I was single another year, reminding me not only that I would spend New Year's Eve without a midnight kiss, but also that I had once again failed at a romantic relationship in 2011.

Luckily, pensive Torie came to the rescue with some positive thoughts. What had I accomplished in 2011? Well, I had a new blog that seemed to make people laugh (whether is was with me or at me) and make my mom cry; I welcomed a dog-cat into my family of three (me and my two fish Jeeter and Clio), and managed to keep him alive and liking me; and I somehow fit into the same clothes I did last year (although they're a little bit snug after the holiday feasts).

Health: there's a biggie (no pun intended...haha...but seriously, I'm cracking myself up with that one). Why does health and losing weight always land the nation's top three New Year's resolutions? Maybe it's because America's idea of "more for your money" is making us all obese. Maybe it's because we enjoy feeling good about ourselves and know good health is where that "natural feel good" is at (hippies are completely at liberty to disagree with that statement). Or...maybe it's because the New Year strategically lands right after Thanksgiving and Christmas, and right before bikini and sundress season. I take back the last bit of that last sentence...this year I was wearing shorts on Christmas, and am pretty sure it was warm enough to go swimming a couple days ago. Anyhow, you get what I'm saying.

Whatever the case for weight loss topping the charts, I've developed some thoughts on health and working out. I can say I did something productive when the end of 2012 comes around, please say my first blog post of the year made a significant impact on your life. least made you laugh.

Although I'm very much a runner, I joined a gym when I first began working after college to (attempt to) keep things tight. The gym is also good for other things like scoping out men and laughing (not necessarily together...but sometimes it happens). Why do I say "scoping" instead of "picking up" men? Because...c'mon, let's get serious, the only girls who pick up men at the gym are the blondes who don't sweat. If I didn't sweat at the gym, I would not be truly working out, therefore, I would not have been able to fit in the same clothes this year. For this reason, I am totally cool with the fact that I only "scoped" at the gym again this year.

Actually, I almost did pick up a man at the gym once...with my truck. I was jamming (as usual) to the radio, pulling into the gym, and almost hit this guy in the parking lot. I saw him at a machine later inside, and gave him the wave and nod. He removed one earbud, and I said, "Sooo...I wasn't trying to run over you in the parking lot. Close call, but glad you're okay." That must've been the trick because he introduced himself and then just happened to be working out where I was 30 minutes later and started a 30 minute conversation. Turns out he was the type of guy who wore long hair and high socks to the gym (guess he was a modest man, and was trying to ensure he was covered). Lesson learned: I can pick up guys at the gym. I just need to start trying to run over the cute ones.

Long before the thought of scoring dates at the gym occurred to me, I had just moved to town and was looking for ways to meet cool people, make new friends. Why not the gym? I quickly decided the gym was just to workout, after this jerk broke my "gym friendship" spirit. He was in front of me at the water fountain, filling up his water bottle. He looked like a friendly guy, so I decided I would make a friend. "Geezzz, you gonna fill up that entire bottle?" I asked him jokingly (or what I thought was jokingly). He got this scared look on his face, and backed away apologizing. I laughed and said I was kidding, but it didn't help the matter. Through trial and error, I've come to accept that my style of joking can be rather abrupt, and people aren't sure if they should laugh or run. I would say 99.9% of the time you should laugh.

Other things you need to know if you're about to immerse yourself in the land of hot bods: how to react if your treadmill neighbor lets out a really horrid fart; how to properly communicate with others when your iPod is on full blast; and how to gracefully fall off an ab crunch ball.

Horrid farts. Wow, let me tell you...this one is a doozie. It's bad enough when you accidentally let one slip, but it's almost just as horrible when your neighbor does. Why? Well, when this happened to me, I was confused at what reaction to take. Naturally, I was about to gag because it smelled so bad. Then, I wanted to laugh because...well, c'mon, someone just let one rip on the treadmill. While I was doing my best to hold my giggles in, it occurred to me that no one was certain "who done it", so if I looked like it was my personal joke, they would choose me (the brunette, who was sweating really bad) to blame it on. How did I resolve this? I ended my expression with one that was a mixture of horrified and disgusted. With that said, if you can avoid the earlier stages, I believe the disgusted look is the best one to take.

iPod communication. This is critical. It took me awhile to realize exactly how loud I was speaking when I said hello to a friend (these were all friends I met outside of the gym...we've already established making friends at the gym is impossible for me), while leaving my earbuds in. One day I witnessed a guy singing a rock song really loud, and decided I best take precaution with my gym communication. People will give you the stink eye really quickly ("stink eye" in this case doesn't...but could...refer to the previous paragraph) for things of this nature. Sometimes, though, you just can't help it. For instance, one day I was doing box jumps and ran out of breath and felt myself making this absurd grunt noise. Luckily, only guys with long hair and tall socks were around, so it didn't embarass me too terribly bad. Just be careful...they can hear what you can't.

Regarding the "gracefully falling off an ab crunch ball"...there's no way to do it. I've done it at least three times (with an audience two of three times), and it's never looked like I meant to do some cool trick I was practicing for the circus. Laugh it off and take a bow. Falling is okay at the gym. Farting is not.

Now, go forth into the gym world and achieve those buns of steel! And...if you learn how to make friends and/or pick up a good-looking man (while still maintaining a high enough heart rate to burn calories), while you're there, please give me a call with this insight.