Consistency Check In

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

So I wanted to give a quick check in from my New Year's goals. So recap: I was wanting to be more consistent in my life. This was in regards to my health, my blog and every aspect of my life. I was so excited to have 50 posts this year! I was hoping for one blog post a week, but considering I have 28 posts once this is published. Three months in and I am more than halfway to the goal I had set, although, not quite the picture of consistency I had pictured!

What I failed to realize when I set those goals was that part of the diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome is a complete lack of consistency. There are some days when Paula appears often and I can get ten good stories in one day and spend several weeks trying to record all of those stories. Then there are days where she doesn't show up much. Maybe she shows up, but it's the same story I have already told. Paula is not exactly helpful when it comes to my consistency goal.

I guess I should at least be grateful I get stories at all from her! She can at least keep me stocked for a while with stories I simply haven't recorded yet before she disappears on me! She's kinda hard to keep tabs on, but that is just what makes her so... Paula. can't help but love her anyways!

Paula's Full Name...

Friday, March 25, 2016

So I'm writing a book, right? I wrote a post last year in September about making Paula a co-author. I've since decided it would be more fun to simply publish under a pen name. Paula would be the pen name of course, but I don't have a full name for her. It's been harder than I thought trying to come up with a full name for this crazy personality known as my Tourette Syndrome.

She already has a full personality, and I have to find a full name to match! Addy suggested Paula Jenkins... but it didn't fell quite right, as nice as it sounded. I have put a lot of time and ideas into this, so this is ever present in my mind. Today at work, we had a "soul-food" potluck. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, pie, mac n cheese and all sorts of goodness. Leading up to the potluck, Addy and I were coordinating who should bring what. "Anything fried and/or covered in butter!" The comment on butter got us talking about none other than Paula Deen.

Well, at the mention of the name Paula, of course my Paula would appear. This made Addy a little tongue tied as she tried to chastise my Paula. However, saying her full name, it came out Paula Jean. Deen + Jenkins = Jean. I liked it. As did Addy! I had also been toying with the idea of putting a family name in there somewhere. I have lately been doing a lot of family history on my Italian side and am currently obsessed with all things Italy related. The only Italian family name I can find is Tagliaferri. (Tahleeuhfehrree) I promise it's pretty. Ask me when you see me. Might be a bit complicated. However, when my great-grandfather came through Ellis Island, he changed it to Ferri.

Paula Jean Ferri.
Paula Jean Tagliaferri.

The second option (when said correctly) is simply beautiful! The first option is more simple... This is not an instance when I can choose my default answer of both. Tell me your favorite and help me decide!!

Paula is Contagious? Or Motivational?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Medically speaking, Tourette Syndrome is NOT contagious. I promise. Sometimes it sure seems like it is though. I find that some will speak back to Paula in here Paula-ese. Sometimes I will just hear Addy, who sits next to me at work, make random noises trying to see if she can spark a response from Paula. Little kids are the best though. I will make a noise, and then we have a mini staring contest while they try to figure out what just happened... some will make noises right back at me.

By all appearances, it might seem like it is contagious. Once you hang around me for a bit, funny noises just start coming. I was speaking about this phenomenon with my friend Melanie. She told me that I "help release [her] inhibition." Well, who would have thought that Paula is a motivational speaker? At least in her own little way.

Paula Gets Attitude

Thursday, March 17, 2016

We always knew Paula was sassy, but lately she has gotten some real attitude! She has yet another new tic. Sometimes it is in response to a comment made at work, sometimes it happens while I am making a culinary masterpiece known as dinner. She must have been really proud of my grilled cheese or something. No matter when she does it, it is always fitting to the situation and gets a good laugh from many.
Now if only I could make my sandwiches look this nice...

Paula continues to expand her vocabulary with this new tic. She says, "What, what!" For a while, I had one of my team leads at work, Clint, respond with, "Raise the roof!" She liked the response so much it became more common for that tic to appear. As always, her timing is impeccable! I love her new attitude, it fits her sassy side!


Monday, March 14, 2016

The other day, I was walking through the grocery store. Who knew, a crazy like me walks among normal people! Grocery shopping may not be my favorite, but even that has it's perks it seems! After going through the checkout line, I was waiting for a friend to pay for their groceries. As I stand waiting, I look to the next line over and see a gentleman bagging groceries. He was impressively fast. Especially considering how much he was TICCING!! I spotted a random person who had Tourette Syndrome!

I may or may not have gotten a little excited by this. And if you didn't read the excitement in which that last sentence was read... I sure hope you can tell by the next. Paula must have gotten the attention of half the store she was so loud! I figure Paula must be all for solidarity or something. As numerous heads turned my direction, all I could do was stand there with a stupidly large grin on my face. I wasn't even able to explain to anyone what was going on. No one really bothered to ask anyways. At least they got a good story out of it, I know I sure did!

New Friends

Saturday, March 12, 2016

One of my favorite things about Paula is her ability to help me make new friends. Sometimes, I do manage to make new friends on my own though. When they finally meet Paula, it is always an entertaining experience. I met my friend Williamson at church. He is originally from Haiti and is one of the sweetest people I know.

We were at a church function and while we were chatting, Paula decided to show up. Williamson's jaw dropped. Still smiling, he just stared for a bit, not quite sure what to do or say. I wish I knew what had been going on in his mind. When he finally spoke, he asked me to do it again! I got a good giggle out of that and explained that it wasn't something I could do. It doesn't sound the same when I try.

We were in a group and the conversation continued, since everyone else knew what was going on, so I didn't really get a chance to explain to him about Tourette Syndrome and what it is. He did learn that I have Tourette Syndrome, but I don't know how much he knows about it or what it means... He survived the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I am pretty sure he can survive Paula's antics!

Shakin' Things Up!

Friday, March 11, 2016

I found this sweet kitty while living in Hawaii in 2009.
Back when I was tan.
So Paula has recently thrown in her new trick with laughing. She hasn't done it much, but she has done it when it has been applicable, always laughing at something funny someone has said. Turns out, Paula also likes to do throwbacks once in a while. It isn't even Thursday!

Today at work, Paula made a noise. I didn't think much of it. I've heard all of the noises Paula has made so far. Go figure, right? Sometimes I forget that other people haven't. Stephany turned to me and said, "That was a new one!" It wasn't. I had done it before. I haven't made this particular noise in years. Sometimes I forget it hasn't surfaced in a while. As often as I hear new noises, I guess it happens even more often for others!

So in honor of Paula's throw back, here is a throwback of my own!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

So I work a shift in the Salt Lake City Temple. I love this place. It is so incredibly peaceful and I love the occasions where I get to sit in silence and think. The hazard is that while I have occasions of silence, I am never fully alone. Paula decided to make her boldest appearance in the temple.

Normally she is quite respectful in the temple. It is a sacred place. In the cafeteria, however, she appears to have gotten a little carried away. Paula made a nice loud appearance tonight. She also happened to make it when my stake president walked through the door. After Paula's shouts of joy, I said hello to him. A respected leader in the church, leaned around the corner and said, "Please remember where you are."

I informed him that I had Tourette Syndrome and he instantly apologized. I love that this gentleman was instantly worried about offending me and making sure that I still felt loved after the incident. He told me, "That's great. Well, not great that you have Tourette Synndrome, but great that you let me know!" I simply laughed and said, "Really? I think it's quite great!"

He has a medical background, so he let me know that he knows what it is and that he understood, so we got to skip the medical discussion. He was so sweet about the whole thing, even putting his arms around me in a great hug. I understood when he didn't want his name to be used in the blog, but he was more than willing to let me share the story.

I'm not normally one to get chastised very often, let alone by a leader in such a reverent place! At least there is yet another advantage of having Paula around, I get to rub elbows with some pretty important people!

Throwback to the Mission

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Yesterday I got to spend the day with a friend from when I served as a missionary in Hawaii. It was great fun and made me think back to several great stories before I knew Paula was Paula. Quite frankly, it was even before I knew my noises were Tourette Syndrome! I simply made noises back then, having no idea why.
Love this mission
There was one meeting where our leaders wanted to say something good about each one of us that would uplift us and help us feel better about ourselves, as serving a mission had some very difficult moments. This came from some very wise boys, considering the group consisted of 4 guys and 20 girls. When it came to my turn, the question was asked to the group, "What is our favorite thing about Sister Smith?" followed by a chorus of various chirps. It made me laugh hearing so many echos and variations of Paula.
Our wise, energetic leaders
Great people, great friendships

Many of these attempts, were a far cry from the real deal. Paula has a unique sound that is really hard to imitate. I can't imitate her noises, though I am often asked to attempt the feat. There has only ever been one person who was really able to sound like Paula. No one else has nailed the sounds coming out of my own mouth, including me!

Back then, Paula was going through a phase where the were like a creaky door taking it's time opening. These were some of the hardest noises to imitate. Most in the group chose the simple version of her noises. Even then, they were still a little off.

Sister Bolo, on the other hand, could imitate almost perfectly anything that Paula could throw at her. She hit these noises so dead on, some were never sure if it was me or her that were making the noises. As always, Paula liked the attention and gave Sister Bolo every chance she could to imitate her. Bolo was always up for the challenge and kept up quite well. As much as Paula has changed in recent years, I wonder if she is still able to keep up with Paula's sounds. I'm pretty sure she could, though.

The talented Sister Bolo (now Bacigalupi) herself

Paula Steals the Show

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Whelp, she did it again.

So I have recently auditioned to be a part of a musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and get to play one of Jacob's wives. Tonight was my first rehearsal I was able to attend. I can't even tell you how good it felt to be singing in a group again! Paula was apparently excited as well. Either that or she was upset that I wasn't playing the part of a narrator. There is normally only one narrator, but there happen to be five in our particular performance. Not gonna lie, if I could have chosen a part, that would have been it.

Once we gathered everyone together (having been sectioned off before), we were singing the opening number about Jacob and his sons. Paula, being her bratty self, jumped in and sang along with the narrators. Louder than all five, I might add. While I have several friends in the room with me, a majority had no idea what was going on. Watching the confusion and a few stink eyes thrown my way, I doubled over with laughter, which only made things more confusing and got a few more stink eyes.

After we stopped singing, I got the attention of the person in charge and asked for a minute or two. I had spoken with her earlier, so she knew what was going on, and gladly gave me the floor. I made sure to let the narrators know I wasn't trying to steal their thunder, it was just so well-timed! I also told the crew to please ask any questions they had. I am SO excited to be a part of this group and this musical!

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