1. Yesterday was the last full day with the in-laws. To celebrate, I took the day off work and we went to the Coast range for a hike. We hiked along an abandoned railroad, through two tunnels, over a few trestles (which I was not actually warned about ahead of time; a perhaps wise decision on the part of the architect, because I may have actually gone to work if I’d known I’d be crossing abandoned trestles), to our destination – another trestle. For someone with a fear of plunging to her death, this was an interesting hike. Also interesting? Apparently hiking along rail lines & having to step on rail ties, thus rendering the gait jerky and uneven, causes great soreness. Ow. (The last photo is more of a dramatic re-enactment; the other photos are from yesterday’s hike.)
2. I know everyone’s been on pins & needles about my Toast contest. It was an interesting contest. There was the humorous speech contest for two areas (5 contestant, 2 winners) and then the Table Topics contest for the same two areas (6 contestants, 2 winners). My club had one contestant in each category. The contest itself was one of the most disorganized things I’ve ever experienced. What should’ve taken no more than 90 minutes took 2.5 hours. We had to fill out bio forms before the contest, but they lost a few of them in that 2.5 hours. There weren’t enough certificates for everyone, and the names on the program were incorrect. CRAZY.
So – the humorous speech contest. The other area’s contestants went first. As they spoke (it was three men), I found myself wishing I was in their area – I would’ve kicked ass. Then, it was my area’s turn. There were only two contestants from my area. Me and another woman. I drew first speaker. My speech was about overcoming fear, and was pretty funny. Near-death experiences always make an audience laugh (seriously!). It was my best delivery of the speech EVER! I sat down knowing I had the contest in the bag.
And then, the other woman got up to speak. I’m not sure if her speech was better than mine, but it was definitely funnier. When she sat down, I knew it could go either way. We’d both delivered excellent speeches. Hers was funnier – and it was a humorous speech contest – but mine was both funny AND inspirational. I had a feeling that she would probably win. And I was right. I did get 2nd place, but since there were only two of us, that wasn’t as meaningful as it could’ve been!
But – at least I know that I didn’t lose because I did poorly, but rather because my opponent did better. And even more awesome? Although I was nervous as the speech time approached, the second I got on stage, even though I was speaking in front of more people than I’ve ever spoken in front of before (and lots of people I didn’t know, as well as my husband and in-laws), I felt fine. No nerves at all. I stumbled over a word in my introduction & skipped the 2nd line of my speech (I only memorize a brief intro and conclusion, and the middle parts are outlined, but I don’t try to memorize the entire speech).
So – I didn’t win, but I think I’m kinda sorta still a winner, and all that crap! 🙂
3. Tomorrow night I am hosting a fancy (more or less) dinner party (see #17). I am very excited. Because of limited space (and the number of plates I own), I had to limit the number of people I could invite, so if I didn’t invite you, it’s not because you’re not the awesomest person I know! You are! I promise! Anyways, I hope I remember to take lots and lots of pictures, I hope no one notices that my table settings don’t all match, and I hope the wine is delicious and no one leaves hungry (my greatest fear!).