Thursday, July 27, 2006

Welcome to the Stage Part II

A big welcome back to my favourite fan!
Check out this hilarious email:

Hi Amy

After googleing for nearly half a day - I have finally found your website!
I tried so many different words:
Amy carlan random ( knew the website had random in it!)
Blog amy
Blog clover girl
Blog clovergirl
Amy carolin ( I knew it wasn’t carlan but didn’t know how to spell your last name)
Amy hillsong blog
Clover girl hillsong amy
Then I came across your old web site - Angel fire.
So then I tried it all over again with angel fire as the next word
Then after about seriously 100 tries I typed in:
Amy clovergirl and clicked the im feeling lucky button instead of search ( im sure you know what it means but it taqkes you the first website it finds) and guess what..
And it came up!!

So for the last couple of days I have been reading what u have been up to for the last 3 months!

Don’t you just love to hate google!

Welcome back Sonnie!!

The Golden Child

It's been busy at work - BUS-Y!! We've been busy entering orders, responding to customers requests, chasing back orders and shouting at the courier company. Not kidding about the shouting.
So the unfortunate thing is that any requests from our accounts department have been being put on the back burner (ie ignored). This means that we have a whole heap of outstanding invoices that have not been paid, which is not a good thing. Especially when you have a bonus that hinges on the company making a lot of money!
So the idea was put forth that one of us from customer service would take the day off the phones and help the accounts team with all of these old enquiries. Closing down old enquiries involves searching through the filing cabinets for old orders; rabbiting through the archives which are in folders, in boxes, in the warehouse; chasing down old invoices; more shouting at the courier company; and putting the hard word on finance people from hospitals and telling them how good it would be for them to pay these old invoices.

Nobody wanted to do this. Heidi put it to our manager that she would do it if needed, but that she wouldn't be offended if he didn't think she was the best person for the job. Gold star for Heidi, what a great strategy! Could you guess who he chose? Yep, me. Being a good employee (and a very well trained host!) I said yes, of course, I'd love to do that, what a great opportunity etc. etc.

Check out the folder of requests that was on my desk this morning.

Yes that's my very own angel wings and halo!

Good one girls.

Yep, thanks a lot.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Surfing the information superhighway

I love spending time on the net. I don't think I could ever get bored if I awlays had the net around. Of course there's blogging - and you know I love talking, so that's perfect for me. I like researching things too, on wikipedia (which I still find it a bit suspect) but also on other more integrous sites. If I ever hear a word that I don't understand I look it up straight away. I read the news all day long. I check the slightly less integrous news sites as well ;-) But my two favourite sites to browse?

Engrish and Postsecret.

Engrish is so great. It makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. (and then laugh a little bit more)
Q. What is Engrish?
A. Engrish can be simply defined as the humorous English mistakes that appear in Japanese advertising and product design.

I've included a few recent pics from the site. They update it with something hilarious nearly every day, it's definitely one to be bookmarked. Beware if reading at your desk at work though, holding in the laughs can be difficult and, at times, embarassing! (I tend to snort!)

Postsecret is an entirely different kind of glory.
Q. What is Postsecret?
A. PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.
Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes I'm totally bewildered, sometimes it strikes very close to home, and sometimes it makes me want to cry - I'm always impressed with the creativity and honesty though. Postsecret is updated every Sunday with new images. Check out a few of this weeks secerets... trying to add the images but for some reason blogger isn't posting them. Check out the site for yourself, and I'll keep trying to persuade blogger that it's not stealing - it's just borrowing...

What are you hiding behind?

A few weeks ago at church, I met a lady with her face painted. She was maybe in her late 30's, with a big glittery heart painted on one cheek, and a sparkly star on the other. She had a little child with her, and at first I thought the child must have been painted as well, but when I glanced down I saw that his face was paint free.

"How funny is that?" I thought to myself, and noticed that nobody around me made any reference to the face paint, or smiled or laughed or even commented to each other, let alone to the lady. I thought that they were all very good for not saying anything, or joking about her. Privately I thought to ymself that she must be a bit weird.

I had a quick chat to her later in the night, not mentioning the face paint (although it was hard!) but just asking her what she was up to in the evening. She told me she was there for the SAFE course. Feeling like a bit of a dill, I didn't really know what else to ask her, and she made a hasty escape from me as soon as my attention was focussed elsewhere.

I felt really bad for judging her initially, and wondered if she was perhaps using the sparkly facepaint to try to cheer herself up. Maybe she'd had a sad life? Maybe she needed a bit of colour and glitter to like herself when she looked in the mirror? Was that so bad? I shouldn't be judging her, I should be feeling sorry for her.

Actually it took a while for me to realise that this was entirely the wrong thing as well. Who am I to judge someone else? I do exactly the same thing myself! I have lots of sparkly glittery props to cheer myself up when I'm feeling down. I don't even feel like I'm properly dressed without a sparkly accessory on. I actually have a policy of having at least 1 'special' thing on a day. Something fancy and beautiful that makes me smile when I look at it. I don't like to save things just for special occasions.

Left: not one, but TWO pink flowers for my hair. Not just reserved for special occasions - why save glam for once in a while?
Middle: glitter earrings, sent to me by Mandy, the perfect amount of sparkle
Right: the bargain basement beads - guaranteed to draw compliments, but also double as a beautiful wall decoration.

Left: my Wonder Woman wrist cuffs (wearing one generally cheers me up, but when I had a break up last year I needed 2 to feel equipped to face the day!)
Middle: I bought this for 1 pound, I love the sparkles but alsoI think I love it because it was such a bargain. I gesture with my right hand A LOT when wearing this ring!
Right: The bright red hair - yes it's back!

The glitter shoes, they make me feel special!

So that's it really isn't it - maybe I don't feel like I'm special enough by myself without having a bit of extra sparkle? So does this mean I'm a attention seeker? A bit of a glitter floozy? Does it mean I don't value myself unless I have something fancy on me?

A while ago I was going through a very low self esteem phase, and I kept getting random compliments from strangers - I love how God looks after me like this. I recall having a very specific tantrum with God while putting my old boots on one day and standing up and addressing him loudly saying "God this is TOO MUCH that I still have to wear these stupid old boots! I deserve some pretty new boots! I want some new boots! Lord, I need some new boots!" I left the house and on the way to the tube station, some random middle aged man with his wife stopped me in the middle of the road and said "Hey, those are great boots!" and then kept walking. How funny is that?

I used to get random people in Leicester Square whispering - "Great hair" to me, little old ladies would tell me "You have a beautiful smile!", young children would say "You're really pretty!" I once had a guy from a building site (and you know how crude they usually are?) call out to me: "Oi! That's a great outfit!" I love how God chooses to build me up through random people!

Walking home from work shortly before I left London I remembered allt hese funny things that used to happen, and I advised God (just quietly) that even though I was pretty okay self-esteem wise, it would be nice if I could get just one more random compliment every now and then. God does fast work :-) Not 10 seconds after I had prayed that, while running across a cross street, a van pulled up to let me pass and then the man called out "You've got a lovely smile love!" and his young son gave me a thumbs up!

Nice work God :-) Who says that London is a lonely city? If God wants to look after you, then you definitely feel the love. I'm going to try to stop hiding behind the sparkle and remember that God loves me just the way he made me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Oh precious is the flow

I'm on early shift this week. I love early shift because I get to finish at 16.00! The only drawback is having to get up and get here before 8.00. Luckily I live very close to work, and I have my glorious Gina to get me there, so I don't have to get up too early.

I prioritised sleeping this morning instead of breakfast though, so check out the breakfast I had to grab at work!

Feeling pretty sick now though. Don't feel sorry for me though, it's entirely self inflicted. At least I'm not alone, I know Phoenix had a day like this too.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's nice to help!

I sponsor a beautiful little girl called Peace, who lives in Uganda. She's 7 years old and an only child, she lives with relatives as her mother died some years ago. One year for her birthday I sent her a gift of $10 and she wrote back to let me know what she'd bought with it - the list was so long! She even bought a hen, which she now makes some money from by selling the eggs. She writes me the most beautiful letters, and even says that she is praying for ME! It's so humbling.

I also donate money monthly to Mercy Ministries, a charity that I wholeheartedly believe in. The founder of Mercy, Nancy Alcorn, wrote an inspiring book called Echoes of Mercy, which I read and loved, and she also spoke at our Colour Conference in March. Her compassion, her courage, her vision - were so inspiring. I've met someone who has spent time in a Mercy home and she is an amazing girl who has really overcome the world to get to where she is now, and has done so through the support that she received and still receives from Mercy.

I give blood too - once every 12 weeks. The next trip is scheduled on my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! I'm a bit sad about that, but will still go. My blood type is B+, and only 8% of the population have this blood type. I found out that only 3-4% of Australians donate blood regularly, yet as many as 80% of us will require a blood transfusion or blood product at some point in our lives. They have these great pressue bandages now too, which means I don't end up with big junkie-looking tracks up my arm any more ;-)

I'm also doing the 40 Hour Famine this year. I'll be going without food for 40 Hours! This is to raise money for hungry kids in East Timor, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. So far I've raised just over AUS$500. Want to help raise the total and feed some kids? Click here to sponsor me.

So how holy am I??

Don't even start.

Yes, it's nice to help, but really, I end up feeling a bit patronising. In the developed world - we are so lucky. If the worst thing that has happened to me in the last 6 months is that I haven't been able to blog at work, well then I really should be thanking my lucky stars. I have a house to live in, my own room, a job that keeps me well above the poverty line, disposable income, enough food to eat (maybe even too much food to eat!), a support network who are all just as well equipped as me... It's so frightening to think that there are so many people who right now are close to dying from starvation. Not because they can't blog, or they couldn't afford a Hillsong conference hoodie, or don't have an iPod yet - all the problems that we think of as important - but because they haven't eaten in so long. What they are needing is something that we consider mundane, and standard, not even an option to go without. Food is such a normal every day thing to us that we throw it away, leave it in the fridge to go bad, leave it on our plate if we don't like it...

I heard someone say once that they considered it the responsibility of every person in the 1st world to sponsor someone in the 3rd world. I agree! I say get moving! Start now! Sponsor a child, donate to building homes for orphans, give blood, support a charity that you believe in, open your eyes and realise that just a little bit of sacrifice on our part can change someone's world. Be part of somebodies story - and be the hero!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

When someone tells you that you can't do something

(a little something I was sent by an angel!)

When someone tells you that you can't do something...

Look around...

Consider all options...

Then GO for it!

Be creative!

Don't give up!

In the end, you will succeed and prove them wrong!

Always remember: Where there's a will, there's a way.

Random Glory

I've changed the blog's name! Not because it's not brilliant any more (clearly that is not the case) (right kids?) but just because glory is the word du jour, and really - couldn't everyone's world use a little more glory?

“True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier and better for our living in it.”
Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus)

“Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in rerun.”
John McCain

“Go where glory waits thee;
But while fame elates thee,
Oh! still remember me.”
Thomas Moore

“Glory is like a circle in the water, Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself Till by broad spreading it disperse to naught”
William Shakespeare

“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”
Oliver Goldsmith

“The deed is everything, the glory is naught.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“No man ever was glorious, who was not laborious.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Who pants for glory, finds but short repose;
A breath revives him, or a breath o'erthrows.”
Alexander Pope

“I am climbing a difficult road; but the glory gives me strength.”
Sextus Aurelius Propertius

“Popularity? It's glory's small change.”
Victor Hugo

“Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.”
William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The oldest jokes ever

I work in customer service. I've worked in customer service for years and years - I love it, I'll be in customer service for the rest of my life! I love being able to help people with problems, give them answers to questions, and I even love the grouchy customers. I like the challenge of being able to help them out too and maybe even make their cranky little day a bit smilier :-)

But the one thing that really makes me weary? The jokes, the lame jokes people, they have to stop.

If a customer service person asks you a question? Just answer it, don't try to be funny, chances are they've heard it a hundred times before and didn't even laugh the first time.

I'll list a few of the (MANY) examples, just so you can strike them out of your repetoire...

Me, at the end of the call: "Is there anything else I can help with?"
Customer: "Well, not unless you have next week's lotto numbers...!!!"
Me: "Ahahah."
(This is entirely not funny.)

Me, while working on a pie counter: "Would you like sauce with that?"
Customer: "Don't you think I'm saucy enough??!"
Me: "Ahahah."
(This is not clever at all.)

Customer: "I need help with my mobile account/mobile bill/mobile phone"
Me, while working for a mobile phone company: "May I have your mobile number?"
Customer: "Oh.... I don't remember it... well, I don't phone myself do I??!!!"
Me: "Ahahah."
(You probably don't write to yourself either but I bet you know your address)

Me, while working in a call centre: "Welcome to C0mmonwealth Bank/Testra Shop/B@rd Australia, this is Amy, how may I help you?"
Customer: "What? What do you mean? How did I get through to AAMI? I called the bank!"
Me: "Ahahah."
(This is taking stupid to a whole new level)

So now here's my plea: have your details ready; know your account number; tell me quickly but clearly what the problem is so I know how to direct your call or help you - I don't need your life story first; don't shout at me that you spoke to someone else and they were rude to you - odds are I'll side with my colleague and immediately judge you as a tosser; be polite - it will probably get you further; speak clearly; don't ask me if I can 'do you a deal' on a price - because that's likely to make me try my hardest to put the price up; don't make rascist remarks while on the phone to me (the number of people who say 'Thank God you're not Indian!' used to PERPLEX me); don't talk over me; don't ask me a question and then not listen to the answer; when I say my name at the start of the call write it down - there's nothing more annoying than someone calling back and saying 'I don't remember who I spoke to, it was some girl' and I have to say 'Er.. that was me remember??'; if I don't know the answer I'll find out for you so DON'T JUMP DOWN MY THROAT STRAIGHT AWAY!

Right - so got that?

Good, now you're equipped to call me ;-)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hillsong Conference (a small update)

The glory of conference is going to be very hard to put into words! Have you noticed that I've been putting it off? I still haven't gotten all my pics from my digital camera, but I have a few on my phone. First up, check out the glory of the Acer Arena filled with 26,000 Christians...

The cutest people there were this youth group from Queensland sitting up on one of the elevations. There must have been about 60 of them, all in matching red t-shirts, bless their little cotton socks. There were a few other large groups who we could spot too, we were sitting right in front of another large youth group, but they didn't have matching t-shirts on. One of the nights a friendly little worship competition developed between the two youth groups, I was nearly on the floor gasping with laughter! The first group would go: "We love Jesus yes we do! We love Jesus how bout you?" and would all point in unison at the other group, who would then retort "We love Jesus yes we do! We love Jesus how bout YOU?" and point back to the first group! All the way across the arena! They tried pointing at other random sections of the crowd, but apparently none of the other sections were really that into Jesus, because nobody else would play the game!

There was a group of very LARGE men in black t-shirts sitting together too, and one night before the rally started they all stood up and did the haka! Resounding applaused resulted... (we were all too scared not to clap!)

Some fabulous people were there also... not just the speakers (although they were wonderful!). I literally bumped into my beautiful, beautiful friend Rachel. (I look crazy in the picture, can't figure out why) (no smart comments please!)

I got to hang out with the very talented and inspiring Sarah, who now LIVES in Sydney so we get her ALL THE TIME HOORAH!!

And, what post would be a complete without a picture of my fabulous new glitter shoes? They might create small amounts of pain, but honestly, the glory is so worth it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Things my body has said to me lately...

* Go back to bed, I'm exhausted
* I know you've just woken up, but really, go back to sleep
* Let's have another Tim Tam Slam, you can do it!
* That was too many Tim Tam Slams, I feel sick
* No really, I feel sick
* Nah, feeling better now, are you really going to leave that Tim Tam sitting on the plate?
* I'm tired, can you go back to bed please?
* I feel sick, take some medicine
* I'm thirsty
* That was too much water, too soon after the medicine, I feel even sicker now
* Still TIRED! Please lie down.
* I want to lie down, don't make me threaten you
* Fine, I'll pass out, is that what you want?
* Ah, bed, thanks, now let's sleep for a hundred years
* Okay, night time, I'm awake now, don't feel like sleeping!
* I want something healthy to eat
* I said HEALTHY not boring
* I'm not eating that, I'm not hungry any more
* Can you go back to bed, I'm exhausted
* Sinus pain, where's that nasal spray
* Do you have to go to work? Couldn't you just sleep for a while longer instead?
* Really? Work? You just try it sister.
* Ah, bed, thanks, now lets sleep for another hundred years
* I'm cold
* I'm hot
* I'm tired
* I'm thirsty
* I'm too full of water I feel sick!
* Did I mention that I'm tired?
* I'm bored, I don't feel like sleeping, let's watch tv
* I've got a headache, don't watch tv, but don't sleep
* I've got no energy, don't try going out anywhere or I'll strike
* Bored!
* Tired.

Omg talk about getting sick of listening to my body's demands! It's like a difficult child throwing a tantrum! Well last night I had a showdown, and it went something like this:

Me: Listen here body, you may not like me and I can tell you I'm getting pretty sick of you...
Body: I feel sick
Me: That's enough out of you! No more sleeping! No more coughing! No more sneezing! And if that nose is runny just one more time so help me-
Body: *sniff*?

So today I got up early (only 2 snoozes, good start) took my vitamins, ate my NutriGrain (Iron Man food) and went to work. Small step maybe, but quite an achievement in my world. So I've gone through nearly a whole box of tissues since I've been here, nobody can understand my stuffed up little sentences, and I feel like I'm floating in a world of my own (someone sympathetically offered me a Soother, which was nice) but at least I'm here! And not being held captive by my sickness anymore! Halleluiah!

BURRRRRR... it's cold in here! There must be some Clovers in the blogosphere...

Following the blog chain... I love blogs. I love blogging and I love reading funny blogs by people I know. When people I know haven't updated their blogs lately (no hurry guys, really) I like following the links on my friends blogs and seeing where I end up. It's usually quite far away, but somewhere interesting!

Started out at The Adventures of Sez which is my current favourite blog (sorry Phoenix) but doesn't have enough pictures
followed her link to The story so far (hello Bronwyn, I don't know you but I like your blog!)
jumped almost immediately to Snacked which was very good looking
got attracted over to Literally which I really liked! But sometimes you feel a bit funny reading thoughts of people you don't know -
so I skated on over to My life sucks but the special effects are awesome which seemed to be a different format and nearly fooled me, but I found a link to...
The Chicken or the Egg (and I'm thinking that I'm really far from home now)
where I followed a laugh and ended up at !Viva Chuck Norris! which - well I'm not really a Knight Rider fan, so it was a bit beyond me, still I noticed a link to
K.I.T.T is the one which turned out to be in, er, Spanish? but nevertheless quite entertaining and from there I surfed nonchalantly on over to
La Stella Nera but when I saw the pics there I realised that it was in fact ITALIAN as there were pics of the football team who won the world cup... feeling a bit uncomfortable as clearly I was going for AUSTRALIA to win the world cup... starting to feel a bit threatened...

I'd like to say that this post has a point to it, but you must know that I could surf all day if given the opportunity and this is where I stopped today as my lunch break was over!
Anyone else found anything interesting in a blog chain? Ever notice how a word sounds funny when you say it too often? Like blog?? Although to be fair, it was already pretty silly to being with. Much like this post I must admit. (Did you get the title?)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Driving Miss Amy...

We went on a trip to the Blue Mountains a few weeks ago - it was so amazing! As soon as I get my cd with pictures on it I'll post them and you'll all be as excited as I was of the glory!

This email is totally worth posting though, I received it the Monday when I was back at work, sent from my 'friend' Darren...

>Good Morning Amy Snowball,

>It was a pleasure to to be your nominated driver yesterday. I took the liberty of snapping a photograph of you yesterday....enjoy!

>Darren ;-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

I keep an eye on this every year, and this years entries have just gotten better again!

Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The contest was the brainchild (or Rosemary's baby) of Professor Scott Rice, whose graduate school excavations unearthed the source of the line "It was a dark and stormy night." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Conscripted numerous times to be a judge in writing contests that were, in effect, bad writing contests but with prolix, overlong, and generally lengthy submissions, he struck upon the idea of holding a competition that would be honest and -- best of all -- invite brief entries. Furthermore, it had the ancillary advantage of one day allowing him to write about himself in the third person.

This years winner:
Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
Jim Guigli Carmichael, CA

Winner: Children's Literature
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe who had so much equity (because our story, dear children, is set in Miami's hot real estate market) that she upgraded the exterior to blue suede siding as a tribute to her idol, Elvis, moved her kids to a bootee out back, and then reopened the place as the "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" motel (but you'll have to wait until you're 18 to read any further).
Barbara BridgesSierra Madre, CA

Dishonourable Mention: (and my favourite!)
Christmas Eve fell upon the piazza, and the pealing, the tintinnabulous pealing, (perhaps not a pealing but an incessant tinkling, albeit an appealing incessant tinkling) of the street performers reached my ears, masking the shot, which would have rung out had not the tintinnabulations raised such an incessant tinkling that the sound died as dead as the musician who fell like Christmas Eve at my feet - his bell having been rung.
Ben RossLexington, NC

Definitely worth a look. The above blurb about Scott Rice also raises a great idea for a game that I heard about a while ago - referring to yourself in the third person! It's great. Might sound easy, but actually it's harder than you think! Every now and then Amy gives it a shot and ends up feeling a bit silly, but she perseveres and finds that it's fun in the end :-) Amy dares everyone to try it for themselves! Amy bets nobody could last a full hour, though she'd like to hear stories from anyone who does!

Traditional costumes...

Found this online at smh today.

East Timorese men wearing traditional outfits attend a ceremony for the hand over of weapons to the government.
Oh it really made me laugh! Who would have thought that the East Timorese traditional costume was a Chesty Bonds singlet??