Monday, December 29, 2008

It'sJust Like I Imagine Prison...Minus the Prison Sex


I am very familiar with standardized testing...I think I've taken nearly every possible test in my life minus the GRE's, which I took Saturday...well, sort of. But, GRE's aside for a minute, I want to talk about the testing facility.

I know they want to keep people honest, but really how much cheating can you do on these things...seriously?? I walk into the testing facility and handed over my ID and sign in. This I understand. But after that I have to go to another woman not three feet away who takes my picture (really? this is necessary?) and makes me not only sign a confidentiality statment but makes me write the statement out...IN CURSIVE no less. This is completely insane to me since anyone over the age of ten writes in a printing/cursive hybrid anyway. Then, I get escorted into another room (more like a hallway) that is no more than a foot away from the woman who just made me write a paragraph of useless information. This hallway is not just a room. I swear I had more security watching me than OJ. The back of the room is all glass and the paragraph lady has her desk on the other side of the glass. On the side of her desk is a TV with the picture cut into four with different angles of the hallway room. And then there was a microphone in there so every time someone coughed you could hear it via the microphone in the waiting room.

I ask you..is all that necessary? If I lie on my GRE's or cheat off of someone, won't I just fail out of school anyway? And what are you going to do with the picture of me? Will I show up on the internet somewhere on Jennifer Aniston's body (I give my full permission for this to happen by the way so if someone could make that happen it would be fabulous).

Oh...and after having everything short of a strip search, I don't even get to actually take all of the test...something about a "GRE Global Meltdown"....

***ahem ... Prison Riot?? ahem***

On the bright side, I came out with some pretty sweet new GRE tats....a bunch of vocab that I have no idea the definition of....

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Stumped...Seriously Stumped

It's true. I am. I'm overwhelmed almost to a crippling degree. I am in the mist of finals, which for me really just amounts to finishing up a paper I've written on organizational communication and socialization, which actually turned out alright. I'm happy enough with the topic I chose and think I could go farther with it if I decided to use it as a portion of my thesis if I decide to go that way. But just because its one paper doesn't mean that I'm lacking for things to do. I still have about four pages left to write on it and then I need to clean up the rest of what I previously wrote.

I am also in the mist of studying for my GRE's which is probably one of the more stressful things I've done. I've started studying for them but quite frankly it still stresses me out enormously. There is just SO much riding on this.

In addition, I need to decide which classes I want to take next semester. Now, here is my problem. I need to take a Mass Comm Theory class, but, it is only offered once every two years, and it was just offered this semester. So, it won't be offered again until the fall of 2010, which would mean that I would have a December graduation. This to me is unacceptable. I want to graduate in May!! So, I've found a class that is offered online through the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. I'm hoping that I can take that next fall and it will fit into my requirements and let me graduate on time (assuming of course that I'm accepted). But, this also creates another dilemma. Since I am a non degree student, I can only bring so many classes into the degree. I'm scheduled to take two classes next semester that I really want to take (future of news and health communication). If I take those two classes than I can't bring any more into the program when I swap to be a regular old grad student instead of a non degree one. So, either one of those classes won't count towards my degree of the Mass Comm Theory class won't. I'm trying to get it all figured out, but I don't want to take less than the two classes next semester because it will cause me to have to take too many classes next year while also doing thesis work and working full time. So many decisions!!

Work has been insane these last couple of weeks and is not looking at getting any less busy before Christmas, so I don't even have time to think there! I should be happy that I'm busy, and really I am, but everything all at once is just slightly overwhelming. It's hard coming home to homework and still having to think about what needs to be done at work as well.

Add in Christmas and I seriously want to scream. I still have to mail some presents and buy some other ones, and we're trying to cut down our Christmas list this year as well, so it is all very stressful. I have decided though that the Christmas cards just aren't going to happen this year. There is just too much to do and not enough time to do it.

The good thing?? Next weekend we're going to Quebec City. We'll probably only spend a night there, but it will give us both a little bit of a break, and quite frankly, I've been itching to go on a vacation for a while now. I usually can only make it 3 months or so before I'm ready to go and hit another country. I just get restless. So, this mini vaca will hold me over until the first of March when we'll go to Iceland.

Alright...I'm done whining...any advice??

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bad Decision? Maybe

I've made the decision that I will be applying to grad school for full time enrollment for September, which means I need to get everything together in December with my application needing to be in by January, which really doesn't feel that stressful to me, I don't think the application is that bad. But, it does mean that I need to take the GRE's, which kinda freaks me out. I'm certainly not the best test taker in the world, and there is a lot riding on my scores.

Regardless of how things turn out, I'm taking two classes this spring which will be difficult for me. I'm not a TA, I don't work 20 hours a week. I work 40 hours a week with a 10 hour a week commute. Add in homework and class time, and I'll be booked solid. I did the math, and unless I can find a summer class or two, and I'm not sure how likely that will be, I'll need to take two classes each semester and three classes another one (this includes doing a thesis class over the summer which I think will be possible because I'm guessing that is pretty much on your own).

Super stressed out about it...I've been told by my interim adviser that it isn't possible for me to graduate in two years since I'm working full time, which is actually pretty upsetting. But I'm determined and REALLY want to get it done in that amount of time. My biggest concern? Where in the hell am I going to find the time to write a thesis? I'm picturing myself in some foreign country (maybe I'd go back to my favorite place in the world, Bangkok), sitting on a beach or on a park bench, computer in hand writing an endless amount of pages! That could work right?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You Know It's Bad When...


It's a Tuesday, 7:10pm and I'm sitting on my couch, reading blogs and watching the true Hollywood story of Valerie Bertinelli.

It's not that I have anything against Valerie. I'm sure she's a fun girl, but has she done much since One Day At A Time? The show was well before my time, but I have to admit to seeing a show or two when my mother watched the reruns. (This was actually one of the better shows that my mother forced me to watch...anyone seen press your luck? Seriously, it's a miracle I have any social skills at all). So, I thought I'd give you all some little known facts about Valerie Bertinelli...

1. People really liked her bangs. No really, they made a point of saying this in her THS. I've rocked the bangs from time to time in my life. I had the claw bangs in the 80's and I even had bangs as recently as June (not claw bangs, more like Katie Holmes bangs) but decided because of the upkeep it was easier to grow them out, so I give props to Valerie for hanging in there with them so long.

2. She thought that Eddie Van Halen was cute. This is something that Valerie and I disagree about because I actually find him to be an ugly bastard.

3. Valerie tried to be the Yoko Ono of Van Halen. To this I say "you go Valerie". I don't like Van Halen so much.

4. Valerie Bertinelli wants to be like me!! She didn't go to college and wishes she did. I'm going to help you out with this one Val, I went to college and your doing a whole lot better than me, so I think you made the correct decision. But you know what, it's never too late, you jump up and enroll in your local college and get your degree, or perhaps an honorary degree from NYU??

While I'm on the subject, I'm feeling really good now because I just saw that Nick Verreos from Project Runway season 2 is in a Sears Commerical?! Good to know I'm doing better than someone....

And finally...

5. One of her series Cafe American (Valerie played an American working at a Paris coffee shop) was up against Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman in the same time slot. Dr. Quinn won. I didn't watch Valerie's show. I watched Dr. Quinn. I really liked Sully.

What's scarier than the sad state of my life? This website I found while searching for my fabulous picture of Valerie. Whoever created that site is seriously deranged...really.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This Is The End...For Now Anyway...

Everyone has had a couple of fun filled days of getting to know me...now its all ending. Don't be sad, you've learned a lot about me and you'll continue to learn about me, but this is my last official get to know me post. I'm doing the ever popular, 100 things list!

1. My name is Sara Elizabeth
2. My Grandmother's Grandmother was also a Sara Elizabeth
3. My parents didn't know that when they named me
4. My Grandmother name was Elizabeth but they say I wasn't named after her either
5. She died almost three years ago
6. A year before I was married
7. I wish she could have been at our wedding
8. She visited all the continents but Antarctica
9. She said she never cared about going there
10. I get my traveling from her
11. She brought be to Kenya and Egypt as a present my senior year in high school
12. We were gone almost a month
13. She told me (and apparently a lot of others as I learned at her funeral) that it was her favorite trip
14. It was mine too
15. My next favorite was Thailand
16. I went there on my honeymoon
17. We were gone for 2 1/2 weeks
18. Three days of that I spent in the hospital
19. Actually I spent one night in one emergency room and then moved over to spend a couple of days in Bumrungrad International Hospital
20. The nurses there wore hats
22. I wish I had pictures of it
23. but my husband didn't think he'd want to remember the event
24. They thought I had an ulcer
25. But when I got home they found gallstones
26. I had my gallbladder out 2 months later
27. I have scars from it
28. I wish they would go away
29. That's the only surgery I've ever had
30. But I've broken plenty of bones
31. I did gymnastics when I was younger
32. and once dislocated my finger doing back handsprings
33. It hurt a lot
34. It was my ring finger
35. and had to be splinted to my middle finger
36. I had a teacher who used to make me put all my fingers down except for the one in the splint so it looked like I was giving people the finger
37. He thought it was really funny
38. I didn't go to the high school in my town
39. My parents made me go to a semi private high school in the next town over
40. Someone told my mother that the town hs didn't make the student do term papers
41. My mother thought that was wrong
42. so she sent me to the other school
43. They didn't have term papers either
44. Had the catholic school still been open in my town she would have sent me there
45. I lucked out
46. I had to go to sunday school until I was in high school
47. Towards the end I was the only girl in the class
48. The boys in my class used to try to make me laugh during the class
49. I would get in trouble
50. My mother let me drop out of sunday school if I would join a club/sports team at school
51. I joined one but then dropped out
52. She didn't like that so much
53. So I never got confirmed
54. We thought that might be an issue when we got married
55. but it wasn't
56. We thought about going to Prague to get married
57. but we didn't think that my nana would get on a plane to go
58. so we got married in town
59. I still want to see Prague
60. And all of the continents
61. I've been to them all except for Australia and Antarctica
62. I wanted to go to India
63. I'm not sure about that with recent events
64. but it was going to be my grad school graduating present
65. so I've got another year and a half
66. I'm going to school for Mass Communications
67. I'm going to look at technology and the media
68. That's as far as I've gotten on my thesis idea
69. I need to get working on that
70. I haven't been officially accepted though
71. So there is a chance that it might not even matter
72. I might go on to get my PhD
73. I'm not sure though
74. It all depends on what my husband does with school
75. He's getting his B.A.
76. to supplement his associates degree
77. He has three and a half years left in his program
78. He just started
79. I hope he finishes early
80. If not, I might look at the PhD program at UMaine
81. It's interdisiplinary so I would do work bridging two departments
82. I'd look at political science and communication
83. Look at terrorist groups and how they use technology to communicate
84. I took an undergrad class in middle eastern relations
85. I really liked it
86. I could always do something like that for my masters too
87. I can still change my thesis
88. sometimes I wonder if I'll have enough to say to write a thesis
89. I wrote for TV news
90. so I tend to write in short all encompassing sentences
91. I don't have an academic writing style
92. I can usually say what I think I need to in a paragraph
93. My thesis will probably be around 100 pages
94. I'm probably screwed
95. I'm worried that my maiden name will be put on my diploma
96. The school still hasn't made that change in their records
97. I hyphenated my name when I got married
98. So did my husband
99. Some people think its a good idea, most think its just odd

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving? Ehhh...


Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than sharing what I'm thankful for with strangers, or pretty much anyone for that matter...So, in keeping with the spirit of my last post and really my personality, I decided to do an anti Thanksgiving post....

So here it is....the five things that annoy me and really just make me angry...

1. In appropriate questions. I come from a family that appreciates privacy and respects mine. Not everyone does that. For example, my husband and I moved in together about a month into our relationship and then waited five years to get married. In that time my parents didn't once ask when we were going to get married. In fact, the question never came up. They were the minority. Now that we are married and have been for two years, the new question turns to babies. It's never appropriate to ask me when/if I'm going to have any. If I wanted you to know, I'd tell you. In addition, just because I'm tired, sick to my stomach etc, that does not mean that I'm pregnant. In fact, just assume at all times that I'm not. Look, I'm in grad school full time and working 50 hours a week with the commute. The husband is working full time and going to school full time as well. For the next year and a half I'll be taking between two and three classes a semester along with work and writing/researching a thesis. My legs will be permanently sewn shut for foreseeable future. And while I'm on the school subject....

2. Why do people tell me I can't do something? I know that working full time and going to school full time is going to be difficult. Really, I do. In fact, I'm the only one in my program doing it. Yeah, the program isn't geared towards working adults, do I wish it was? NO! I like the fact that when I have my degree I'd be able to apply for a PhD program, if I so choose. I like that I'm pushed to publish papers. Things will be more difficult for me, but that doesn't mean its not doable. Instead of telling me I can' do it, maybe you should spend that time doing something more productive.

3. Women's pants. Every girl out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. You can go into five stores and the sizes all run differently. Plus, when you try them on in the store they always fit you differently from when you wear them once and have to wash them. I just want a size 4 to be the same at NY and Company and the Gap...is that so much to ask?

4. Slow walkers and people who walk side by side on sidewalks and won't move when they see you coming. This is just rude. I've already outlined how I am a busy girl and really don't have the luxury of poking around behind you while you're window shopping. Honestly...speed it up or move out of the way. Don't you hear me almost walking up your back?

5. Clutter. I like my house to be clean and clutter free. That rarely happens. They say on Paranormal State that clutter encourages the devil to stop by and make himself at home. I don't know if I believe in the devil, or if there is a devil he'd just stop by because my place was a little messy, but I do know that I get angry when things are everywhere and a giant mess. Maybe that means the devil is stopping by and checking me out. I don't know.

Yeah I know its Thanksgiving and most people are all feeling grateful and everything, but I'm sure there is SOMETHING that annoys you! Come on...lay it on me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ask and You Shall Receive

Alright, so maybe you didn't ask, but Andy over at Wild ARS Chase did, so how could I say no? I'm pretty sure you all wanted to know just a little bit more about me. So here it is...

1. My husband and I have an open relationship. Oh yeah, you know what I mean. Let me clarify. We have, lets call it an understanding. We are both able to have a person on the side, however, we must designate the person in advance, and they must be a celebrity....an A, B, C, D celebrity whatever, it doesn't matter...oh and we can each only have that one person, so I've put a lot of thought into who my celebrity would be. I've had a number of people run through my head, I've thought about Prince because he is fabulous in concert and has a ton of energy, on the other hand, I think that he'd be pretty intense (how many people would change their name to a symbol to spite a record company) and I'm not sure I could deal with his intensity. I tend to run a little on the high strung side and quite frankly I think he might just scare me. Then there was David Bowie, but he's with Iman and she just looks like an amazon woman to me and I'm pretty sure she could and would take me. So he's out. So, that left me with Dr. Drew Pinsky and Anderson Cooper. A battle of the silver hair fox (foxes? hmm..). Since Dr. Drew is spending a large portion of his time babysitting drug induced celebrities, I'm choosing AC. He's at the top of his journalism game so he has people to do everything for him, therefore he would have plenty of time for me. I'm happy with this decision, if any of you know him, have his people call me. On a related note, I'm sure you are all wondering who my husband would choose. I'm thinking that he'd go with Yanni. No, I'm being serious here. he really does enjoy Yanni and even dragged me to one of his concerts. Matt really likes his long flowing hair...and his Greekness. He even dragged me to see him in concert two hours away. Normally I would say don't judge, but I think its perfectly acceptable in a situation like this, in fact its almost mandatory. Judge him, he needs to learn this is wrong.

2. I have my own language, and apparently my own unique accent. I know I don't talk like the other Mainers out there, but there is not a one native Mainer in my family. We hail from Lynn, MA...Lynn Lynn the city of Sin...etc. I think I have a Maine/Lynn combo but ehh...who knows. And, I don't' think that I really have my own language, sometimes I just forget what something is called and either describe it or name is something close to its actual name. For example, anything I drink I call juice.... soda, beer or apple "juice", whatever. I might not use the same words as you, but you know what I'm talking about...seriously, people respond to me so they must know right?

3. My use of language has caused others to think I may be part sailor... I use some foul language. In fact Jesus Christ is my favorite foul word of the moment (sometimes I try to class it up and use JC, it's less harsh and you could get away with saying it at church). I think I like it because I think its so trashy, which is something I definitely am not. (I did try unsuccessfully to be trashy for a day in high school but people just laughed) In fact if you looked at me, and talked with me without getting to know me, you would never think that such language would be in my head, let alone come out my mouth. But it does. My second favorite word...Fuck. I know, you would never think I would say that...but I do....wash my mouth out with soap!

4. I fear having children. Not so much the actual act, although I think the experience of giving birth could be unpleasant...mainly the pooh and stuff (seriously, they should give some of this information to high school kids and watch the teenage birth rate fall exponentially), I'm really in fear of what my child will end up like. Who really knows how two peoples DNA will interact. I could end up being the proud mother of a serial killer, or worse yet, a sports fan. I would rather have the serial killer, at least there are specialists who can lend a hand with that one. Plus there are established societal rules on how to deal with serial killers, sports fans not so much. I don't enjoy sports, in fact I think they are ridiculous...grown men slapping each others asses and grabbing themselves? People all pissed off because their team didn't win? What? If my child wants to participate in a sport I'll steer him to ballet, maybe he could be the next Baryshnikov, or the next drag queen. I don't know, but either would be better than (name famous sports person here...no really, name a person for me, I know none so I need your help).

5. I like to pretend that my life is a musical. I don't get to have all of the drama associated with one, but I do occasionally like to break into song. For example, husband "do you know where the flour is" me "do you know...do you know...do you know what it feels like...etc etc."



I apologize for not using the video that had more of Mike "Boogie" whoever in it, but sadly youtube decided that particular clip was unavailable to be embedded. That saddens me too because I really wanted to talk about his rise to fame in big brother and his subsequent fall...last I saw him he was on Dr. 90210 with the other guy from big brother who was checking out his junk and cutting off genital warts...alright, maybe not warts but it had something to do with some STD...I look at that and think that even on my darkest days I would never be so desperate to go on national tv and expose my wart ridden genitalia to the world. Let's everyone say a quick prayer for Boogie...he needs it. But yeah...back to the original subject, although far less exciting than man junk...we do break into song sometimes in my house, which I believe makes us some of the most exciting people around...

For the one person who read all the way to the end....thank you! I know the majority of you skipped numbers 3 and 4 and skimmed your way to the end...I know that happens. It's okay, I had a teacher this semester who told me that in time I'll learn how to do that too...so I say good for you! But, now that you are here, I want to know what it is that makes you bizarre or shall we say quirky? I know there's something...let's hear it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And Today it Snowed


Yes, today is a snow day. Not the kind that closes school (because lets face it, its a saturday) but the kind that puts a dusting on the ground. This is the first one of the season for us and it sems really early. I don't remember having snow this early the last couple of years.

So, in honor of the first snow fall of the year, I thought I'd share so
me pictures with you...

Charlotte wasn't to
into the snow this morning. It may have been too cold for her this early in the morning! It was 7:30a
m. Plus it is currently 23 degrees (F) out. Which I've got to tell you is pretty chilly, although it isn't the coldest it
will get here! January and February will be WAY worse!!
I'm hoping that this isn't a sign of wha
t we are in for this winter. I myself am pretty sure that I am destined to live in a warm climate, and can't take too much cold weather!
I also uploaded a video of Charlotte in the snow on vimeo but can't get it to show up here...something with the code...hmmm...guess I'll have to upload it directly!

video

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 things I learned during my year abroad in Israel


No, I didn't spend a year in Israel, but my blog swap buddy Alana did! Today we swapped blogs, so today you can find me on her blog http://goodgirlgoneblog.typepad.com/. Make sure you check her out and give her some love!! :)

So, here they are, Alana's top five from Israel!


1. Just because it looks like a tomato, doesn’t mean it is one- it could in fact be a persimmon(…which looks like an orange tomato with funny leaves. I tried to put it in a vegetable soup, but luckily I tasted it first)




2. Never buy hair dye from a lady with Ariel the little mermaid colored hair- I made that mistake and ended up looking like a punk rocker, when all I wanted was a hint of chestnut.




3. You can pick up guys on public transportation- I met a (very attractive) soldier on a bus once. I pulled a slick move of “accidentally” dropping my sandal on his foot. He returned it and sat next to me. We got to talking and he asked me out. Sadly, it didn’t go anywhere, but it makes a great story. His mother was British, so when he spoke English, he had a very delicious accent. I never remember his name, so my friends and I refer to him as “Manchester,” his mother’s place of birth.




4. The best hot chocolate is made with mekupelet- which means pieces, and is a delicious Israeli candy bar. Think about it this way: hot milk + real chocolate (not the powder). It’s creamier and absolutely amazing. It costs a few sheqel more than the powder kind at a coffee shop, but it’s definitely worth it.




5. Sometimes, it’s ok to pee outside- when you’re on a 3-day desert “survival” hike, there’s nothing else you can do, and it’s totally acceptable. Apparently, it’s also ok to pee outside at the bus station, although that’s not something I would ever do. Eww…


That’s my friend Mari and me on a clearly very strenuous hike.


I’m the really tough looking one in the front…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Laws of Air Travel = Horrible Travel Experiences

We've been hitting the friendly skies lately, and for better or worse, all of the places we've gone have required upwards of 24 hours inside a plane (forget about the layovers!!). But, strangely enough, our flights have pretty much gone as planned.

My worst travel experience was actually flying from Maine to Memphis, probably 5 years ago. I can't remember which airline we were on, however, I do remember that we have 3 layovers and at each new airport our flight was either delayed or canceled. I'm sure, everyone agrees, hours in an airport is not a fun time!

I take back my earlier statement about my worst travel experiences. Our flight from Johannesburg to Paris was pretty awful. It's a long flight (maybe 8 hours or so??) and we were in the middle two seats of the four seater in the middle. Not only were the seats really close togather, the flight was a night one so you were crammed next to your fellow passenger who was inevitably sleeping when you needed to go to the bathroom. Horrendus!! Then to top it all off the flight attendant wouldn't give me soda with breakfast (and I know they had some in their little galley because they gave us some earlier). But, get this, they served sandwiches for breakfast. Not like egg mcmuffin types of things...these were like ham sandwiches!! That made me really angry...it happened four months ago and I'm still fuming!!

I started thinking about all of this after reading Murphy's 13 Immutable Laws of Air Travel. Luckily none of these rules have happened to me, although I will say that the loud child is ALWAYS next to me at a restaurant, hanging over the back of a seat or talking to me!

So let's hear it. I know you all have some awful experiences to share!! Or maybe some really good ones?? I want to know who to avoid and who I should book with!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quebec City Isn't Just For Drinking...Or So They Tell Me


I've been to Quebec City a couple of times, mainly just a quick trip with the purpose of hitting the bars (for all you non-mainers the drinking age is lower in Canada). But now that I can legally drink in my own country, I'm looking to QC for more than a late night of intoxication and a really unpleasant ride home the next morning.

This year, I really want to see the city. I'm very much into Christmas, especially this year and I've always wanted to go to Europe during the Christmas season, but it just is never really possible with all of our other commitments. So, I've decided that QC is as close as I'll get. I haven't decided the dates, but we'll spend a weekend and visit the shops and see the lights, which will hopefully be up! I'm thinking this will be a quick little get away that will hold me over until our trip to Iceland comes around.

Seriously...Look at how pretty it is...


Anyone been there this time of year? Any thoughts/suggestions?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wake Up Call To Me...Sara You ARE NOT Adventurous!

I've said before on this very blog that I consider myself adventurous, I'll do a lot of things and the older I get the more game I am. How very wrong I was.

I came across this post about "How to travel the world for free" and realized that a lot of the options presented were SO out of my league. Okay, so I agree with some of the ideas presented here. For example, the author says that world travel is cheap and easy. Well, I don't know that I'd go that far, but I would say that my trip to Thailand probably cost as much as it would had I gone to Disney for the same length of time. Granted though, at Disney I wouldn't have had to deal with 24 hours on a plane and countless hours sitting in an airport. I would however, have to wait in long lines for all things Disney, so I'm calling that one a draw.

Trust people and you will receive free food and lodging? I'm going to have to say are you fucking kidding me? on this one..I don't open the door to my house if I don't know the person so there is no way that I'd be staying with a stranger in a foreign country. Certainly wouldn't do it in my own and I live in a pretty safe area. I know that there are people who do this and love it, I'm just thinking that I couldn't be one of them.

What do you think? Am I WAY too conservative and need to let loose some? Could/would you do it?

Monday, November 10, 2008

There is a Protest in Your Country? Sweet, I'll be Over!

So, the title pretty much says it all...Should these protests continue into the beginning of March, this will be the second country that we've visited that is experiencing some political turmoil!

Last time it was Thailand, who you may remember had a coup in October of 2006. This happened literally just days before we were to go there on our honeymoon and quite frankly had us a bit worried. I found this all out from a coworker, who I actually didn't believe until she showed me the video. I remember seeing the tanks and wondering if it would impact my honeymoon...little did I know that my gallbladder would have more of an impact on our trip than any political unrest. We saw a protest our last day in Thailand and that was about it.

There were protests in Soweto when we went to South Africa (at least I think it was Soweto but I can't be certain). People were burning their neighbors homes so we didn't get to see a school that we had hoped to see for fear of our presence making the problem worse...

Now there is Iceland, which we chose because of its uncertain economic future, hoping that we'd be able to get a deal and have an inexpensive vacation since South Africa pretty much wiped out the check book!!

So, am I surprised that there are protests? Yeah. Should I be? I guess not. I went to Egypt shortly after a bus full of Nuns were killed and drove by millitary men on the corners with machine guns in hand... At this point a little shouting in Iceland isn't going to keep me away!! Will I be part of the protest? No, but I'll sure get some good pictures!!

Am I crazy? Would you go to a country where people are protesting and the economic future is uncertain?

Check out more pictures and video of iceland...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Don't Be Thinking Your Getting Anything From Me This Year!


I LOVE Christmas. I really love everything about it. Today though, things changed for me...at least for today anyway!

My family all lives too far away to see for birthdays, holidays, etc. So, obviously I have to mail everything out. One of the worst things in life however, is the whole mailing something out process. Typically I'm pretty good about getting the present in time, getting it to the person it needs to get to is another story!!

So, Halloween was my aunt's birthday and guess what, I forgot. There is just so much going on here right now, it is so hard to remember every birthday etc. I'm just not good at it. I actually bought her a present shortly after her birthday and have had it at my house until today. I also bought a cat blanket for my Nana (which I kept on my dining room table and found that my cats had bitten a hole through the plastic to try to get to the cat nip in the blanket...lovely).

The weekends are pretty much the only time that we have to do anything errand related, so Matt decided that this was going to be the weekend that everything gets mailed out. Of course my dining room table is filled with clothes to be put away and other junk that's congregated there during the week. So I have no way to wrap presents. My solution...we'll just stop at the dollar store, buy some gift bags, stuff them in a shirt box and be done with it. Good plan.

So we go to the dollar store and I have to say, this was the most awful store I've been in for a long time. The place had shredded paper stuff all over the floors and it was just disgusting!! But they did have the stuff we needed cheap so it worked...oh and a related note, we saw a guy with a full on mullet...not a "I just haven't got a good haircut for a while"...this was a full on curly haired below the shoulders mullet. Classic. The worst part about this...no wifi ANYWHERE so no documenting the moment on twitter! And the camera that I bought so I could have it with me should I want to take a picture...at home. If I didn't think a pocketbook aged me by 10 years I'd have a place to put that stuff!... I digress...

It turns out that boxes we bought are pretty small so it is a major deal just to stuff the gift bags into the boxes and takes two of us to do ... I'm sure we were a site, the two of us sitting in Matt's truck trying to smoosh gift bags into boxes. Then I get a lecture from Matt on where to write the addresses on the boxes because apparently one time I wrote the return address on the wrong side of a box (for some reason I have a hard time remembering which side the stamp goes on...I pay my bills online...why do I need to know these things). Anyway, apparently when Matt went to the post office to have the thing mailed the mail lady felt the need to tell him that boxes are made out the same way that a letter would be. She wanted to "educate" him and he felt like an idiot, although honestly it amuses me!!

We get everything in the boxes and go to the post office which is packed, had to park out back. I swear we were probably there 1/2 an hour and again, no wifi so I could go online and do something...ended up playing some monkey in space game on the touch and listening to the kids in front of us shake their toys that kept saying the same thing over and over....

FINALLY leave the post office (where can I say there was a guy there that apparently did the same wrong thing that I did and put the return address on the wrong side. I would say that it made me look better in my husbands eyes, but no, he thought I should just hang out with the other guy. I said that maybe the other guy was my soul mate... a guy like that doesn't come around all the time!! He didn't seem so bothered by my comment...hmmm...

By this time I'm starving and though I'm small, I'm a strong eater! I needed something and I needed it immediately. So we go to Wendys, which also has no seating, so we end up doing drive through which isn't always so easy when you are ordering cheese burgers without meat. Sometimes they just don't get it. But, thankfully they got it right and we ate in the parking lot of wendy's and still no WIFI even though we are right next to starbucks. Irritating.

We make our way over to old navy where I get the most fabulous coat. All for $35!! Some girls are into their shoes, but me, I'm a coat whore. So my day is redeemed.

The picture up top is the new jacket along with Charlotte who always seems to find her way into a picture...

Friday, November 7, 2008

I've Made it to the Top!! I Have THE BLOG OF THE DAY!!


So, I've been blogging for around 4 months and I have my first award...I'm the blog of the day on Fuelmyblog.com... Now, I don't know how prestigious this is, maybe they just pull someone out of a hat, I don't know. BUT, I have to figure that they wouldn't put something up that completely sucks right??

I started blogging on myspace while we were in Africa as a way of telling everyone at home what we were doing, and I'm so glad we did it, and quite frankly wish I had done the same thing in Thailand and Costa Rica. I never really thought that anyone outside of maybe a couple of friends would ever check the thing out. But at Matt's (He who doesn't read my blog) suggestion, I moved over to blogger and am pretty happy I did so.

So, I don't know, maybe I'm flattering myself...I don't know. If you haven't checked out my blog in the past, maybe you'll check it out now that I'm an award winner? Oh yeah, I'm also doing an interview with them that will be up on their page somewhere...more details to come..!

If your interested in joining go to www.fuelmyblog.com !!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You Can Use Duct Tape For That??


You know they say that you can use duct tape for anything, especially here in Maine...and apparently they were right!

Apparently a woman on a United Airlines flight had a few too many and slapped the ass of a flight attendant, then fell on the head of a blind person and started pulling that person's hair. So, the flight crew along with some passengers had to duct tape her to her seat and redirect the flight so she could be removed.

This leads me to the following questions...Could I ever be so drunk that I think it's okay to slap one person in the ass and then start pulling another person's hair. I've had my fair share of drunken escapades, but I am proud to say that I've never come close. But then again, part of me thinks that after the initial embarrassment, and criminal charges, it would be a great story to tell. Imagine sitting around with your grand kids at 80 telling them what Nana did...what a priceless family moment that would be!!

I'm probably alone on this one....feel free to chime in....or check out the original story

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh Yes...a Post About Voting...But Not Politics???


So yes, I voted today. And...I was actually into voting this year. I've been following the polls and I listen to talk radio on my way to and from work pretty consistently. So, I was driving home from work today and I believe it was on FOX News they were talking to some Gen Y'ers. Which actually struck me because (and correct me if I'm wrong) you hear about the youth vote, but you don't have major networks with almost a youth commentator. Like an actually Gen Y'er talking about the election from the perspective OF a Gen Y'er.

So, this got me thinking...I think that it has been pretty clear that Obama has had the youth vote. That has been pretty well documented throughout the long election period. But, my question is why?

So, what does a card carying Gen Y'er do?? Obviously I hit the internet. And I come across this article and I think that it makes some good points.

Obviously Barak Obama did a great job of relating to the generation. You can't go on facebook without someone "donating" their status to him. And it's not just facebook...he is everywhere online. Somewhere along the line his campaign really figured out how to make our generation want to be a part of his campaign...it almost has the feeling of a club.

Obama really understood how to reach our generation and used technology very effectively, something that McCain doesn't seem to have figured out. Do you think that so many people our age are drawn to Obama because we got his message through means that we use ourselves? Do you think that if McCain had used the same methods as Obama he would have had a higher percentage of the youth vote?

Keep in mind I'm not asking who you voted for or why you do or do not like Obama, I'm stricktly talking about message deliverace.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Husband Formerly Known as Matthew


So, I'm sitting on the couch minding my own business when my husband randomly announces that he thinks it would be cool if he had a nickname on my blog. The first thing out of my mouth...I really don't talk about you very much in my blog...seriously...I've got other stuff on my mind.

But...a happy marriage requires compromises, so, from now on when I do mention Matt, which I remind you is on very limited occasions, he will now be called "He Who Doesn't Read My Blog".

Because really, he doesn't. I'm not sure why. When I ask he says that its because he thinks that I should have my own place to say what I want without having to worry about what he read. I know some of the readers of my blog. In fact, I know his sister reads it (Hi Katie!) and he knows that too. So, why he thinks I'm trashing him is beyond me. But I do admit, is does amuse me that he thinks his life is more blog worthy than my own..come on, is anything more exciting than my life!!

So, I'm asking you, my favorite blog readers...is it his husbandly duty to read my blog??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everybody Else is Doing It!!


So, I'm going through my reader and at least three of the blogs I keep up with had a post this weekend...I'm joining NaBloPoMo. So, I figured, if all the blogs that I read are doing this, then I need to do it too!

Call me a follower, but I can't let this one go by me! So, I've done it, I've joined. I have no idea what I'll write about every day for a month...oh, and I'm already behind.

Hopefully I can find something interesting to write about every day. We'll see. I'm currently taking suggestions!

Join me on NaBloPoMo!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

They'll Let ME Drive There...Seriously??


I'm ready for an adventure. A trip that isn't all planned, that's a fly by the seat of your pants kind of trip. We've been on a couple of trips in the last two years or so and all of them have been with a tour group of sorts, or at least pretty planned out. I always knew when someone was picking me up and taking me to the next place. (Except of course for the first week we spent in Thailand..Who REALLY plans for a 3 night hospital stay on their honeymoon?)

I'm ready to change. I want to go it alone. So, where better to try that out than Iceland. I've bought the plane tickets, I reserved the hotel (which, I must say I'm pretty proud of the deal I got...but the Ritz it certainly is not), and next comes the transportation.

Now, we do plan on using some local transportation. Apparently there is a bus of some sort that you can get a pass to and you can basically just jump on and off where you want and you also get free entrance into some of museums and so forth. However, we are going to push ourselves and get international drivers licenses and can I say that I am pretty psyched about it.

I don't like driving in places in this country that I'm not familiar with, let alone a foreign country. The only international driving I've done is in Canada. Now picture me in a foreign country where you get into remote territory relatively fast. We may get lost, who knows, BUT I can guarantee that we'll get to see parts of the country we wouldn't have experienced on a tour, and that's what it's all about right??

Sunday, October 26, 2008

He Wears Skinny Jeans...and That's Hot...

Everyone knows that I'm a travel gal...I'm getting to the point where I'll pretty much go anywhere and do almost anything, unless of course it involves bugs or heights. Looking for someone to hang with in a third world country in some roach motel?? I'm down. But, I'm not quite the traveler I want to be.

And this Matthew, is where you want to turn your computer off...

Don't get me wrong, this post certainly shouldn't be rated X or even R for that matter. I'm not the kind of girl who can realistically pull that off without people laughing. I'm going to rate this a hard PG...

But here is where I will officially and publicly pronounce my love for Anthony Bourdain. I want to be him, or at least be close to him. I want to be the type of traveler he is, uninhibited and is always willing to try something new. But I also love the way he talks...I love the way he writes...I love his program all together. Seriously, there is nothing about him that I don't like.

If you haven't read his blog, it is a must read for all travelers and foodies a like... He inspires me to want to see the world in a different way, far from the normal tourist traps and tours. He makes me want to go it alone and see things like the locals do.

So, the journey to Iceland will be Bourdain style. Sure we'll see the hits, but there will also be time away from the everyday tourist spots, into the world of the locals. Matt will try the whale and the rotten shark, and I will document the occasion through photographs and video since I have a stronger gag reflex when it comes to that sort of thing.

Thank you Anthony Bourdain for your hard drinking, cigarette smoking, foul mouthed way. And thank you for helping me to become a more ambitious traveler.

And yes, he does wear skinny jeans...and yes, it is incredibly hot...

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Not Scared!!

I'm in the minority. Definitely. I LOVE to travel. I couldn't see my life as being complete without seeing new countries and experiencing people and cultures that are the exact opposite of myself. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, pretty much since I met my husband. We both come from very different worlds. I had a grandmother who loved to travel and spent a great deal of her time seeing the world. She instilled in me the love of all things travel related and when I was younger I loved to hear her stories of the places she'd been.

My husband on the other hand, came from a very different family. They did not travel. In fact, he didn't leave the country until our honeymoon. This was and really still is, absolutely incredible to me. After experiencing the world outside of America, he has been bit by the travel bug, but up until we went to Thailand, he never really cared so much.

This all brings me to my point. I read this article on Gadling. The article talks about why American's don't travel. This is a question I ask as well. Ask around, most American's don't leave the country and I'm not sure why. Any ideas??

Monday, October 13, 2008

Going to the Land of Bjork...Maybe


My roommate in college was obsessed with Bjork, I on the other hand never really saw the excitement around her. I'm still not into her, but I do hope to visit her country.

Last week I had found a tour to China on sale, and I thought that we would be going on it, but after actually looking at the length of the tour, and the fact that we'd have to fly out of NYC, we moved on from that idea.

We are now looking at taking advantage of the declining financial climate in Iceland. We had planned on going to Iceland last year, but when my father bailed out of the trip, Matt and I decided to take advantage of the time and go to South Africa. The trip to South Africa pretty much emptied our wallets, and realistically we weren't even sure we'd be able to take a trip at all this year, but with prices the way we are, how can I say no!

My father is looking at coming with us this time (and even if he doesn't we'll still go on our own). I plan to hopefully book the flights and hotel this week!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yeah...I need a new new topic...

Yesterday I had my last "welcome to grad school" class (at least my last one until December). Our homework for the class was to do some research for our topic and then come to the class and talk about whether or not we'd be able to do it for a thesis project.

So, I had decided that I'd do something related to work. We had been talking about having a welcoming committee (which sounds REALLY stupid, but trust me, I think that it will be good). My thought was that I could use that and do the whole kill two birds thing and use it for my thesis, or at least a research project. I was going to look at how organizational culture is formed and how to get people more engaged in an organizational culture and how that relates to the length of time people are with a company. But, I started doing some reading on organizational communication and found that it is SO incredibly boring! I really don't like it at all.

Now I am back to the drawing board. I have a lit review due in two weeks and I'm hoping that I can change my topic to a new one and use it for my research project as well. Now I'm thinking that I want to do something with online media and the legitimacy of polls. I'm still not sure though...My original idea was self disclosure in social networking, specifically look at if there were differences in people's level of self disclosure online based on culture, age and sex.

Any suggestions on other possible topics in the same realm?? Please bring them on!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is It Supposed to be THIS good??

Today is our second second anniversary, so I feel the need to reflect on how life has been for us in the last two years. Quite frankly its been great!

Matt always knew that he wanted to get married, I on the other hand wasn't sure. To me, it just seemed like everyone got married early, had kids, and then that was it. I knew I wanted more than that. I had actually not even considered getting married until I was 30. Obviously I forgot that idea and I'm very glad I did!!

At this point in our lives I can safely say that we are both the happiest we've ever been and have grown so much.

Matt FINALLY went on a vacation outside of the country. (As a girl who had been to several countries by 16 it just always seemed past due for me!) Not only did he leave the country, but he also picked Thailand for our honeymoon which was his first trip outside the US , Talk about culture shock!! Add into that sitting with me in a Thai hospital for 3 days and you'd think that he'd never want to leave the country again. But Thailand gave him the travel bug and since our honeymoon we've been to Costa Rica and most recently South Africa and we're hoping to plan a trip to China the beginning of next year.

We're in the final stages of finishing up our house after 5 years of working on it and have put in our own touches to make it OUR home.

We both also took the plunge and did something that we've wanted to do for a LONG LONG time, go back to school. And, while it is a lot of work, I know that I can say it makes me incredibly happy to be doing it....

So, tonight we'll go our and have our traditional anniversary meal....Thai food and then home for chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting (that was what our wedding cake was).

So, hooray for us for two years down and may the next two years be even better!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ideas Needed...PLEASE!!



Okay all you creative people, I need your help! As some of you may know, we will soon have a new bride here in HR and I am planning the bridal shower. So, my question to everyone, How do you have a bridal shower for a girl that has no feminine bone in her body??

Here are my thoughts:

Harley Davidson themed shower. I don't know what I can get for decorations...we'll see

It will be a pot luck

I'm collecting money for a group gift and/or gift cards

Yeah, that is pretty much all I've got right now. I am in desperate need of some suggestions and thoughts about the whole thing!! Keeping in mind that this will be a work party and I have less than a week to plan it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Decision Has Been Made...WOOT..WOOT!

Thanks to everyone who offered up an opinion, I will be taking your advice...After much though I have decided that I am going to go the Mass Communication route. I'm a media junkie...it's true. It's better that I accept this now than spend 2 (or 3) years studying regular old communication when I could be writing about the impact of television violence on children, or the impact of left and right wing blogs on the main stream media. It just sounds so much more fun than talking about Plato right??

So, as of next semester, I will be taking Mass Comm theory, law and other related classes. Oh yea, and someone in my research methods class wrote a paper analyzing Gossip Girl...Ummm...Plato or Gossip Girl?? Yeah, it'll be Gossip Girl.

SCORE!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thinking of Making Some Changes

Okay, I had a minor breakdown, but now I'm back on track. I still have the same issues that I had previously, and they probably aren't going to go away, but I think that my Rhetorical Theory class may have had something to do with my anxiousness. Lets face it, I'm someone who likes structure. I like having things clearly written and directions and plans in place. Rhetorical Theory was the exact opposite of that. Our syllabus was off, directions weren't clear...overall it is a major disaster for me personally and I'm not sad that I dropped the class.

But...

I am back on my kick of getting school done in 2 years. I know, this will take a SUBSTANTIAL amount of work on my part. It won't be easy. It will involve working on my thesis over the summer and also taking 2 classes a semester, and most likely defending my thesis in August as opposed to May. But I think that I'm okay with that.

Also thinking that I'm going to change from a Communication major to a Mass Communication major. I liked my mass comm classes from my undergrad and I think that I'll be able to mold it to whatever I want it to be. At this point I actually am in an okay place to make that change, so I won't loose anything because of it.

My only fear of a mass comm degree will lock me more into the media jobs which don't always pay wonderfully, but if I stay with communication then I may be stuck as well because the first thing to get dropped is the education/organizational communication employees.

So, is it better to go with something you know that you will like (Mass Comm) even though there are no guarantees??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Are Relationships Doomed?

Today I'm coming back from my Intro to Grad School class. It is actually a class that I love because I'm with other first years students, so you get to meet people who are in a similar situation as yourself. At the end of class we always are asked what is going on this week and how we are feeling about things this week and how/if it differs from last week. One of the girls raises her hand and starts talking about the pressures of school and how it takes a WHOLE lot more time than she had imagined and how she is having far less time to do the outside things in life that she really loved, something that I very much can relate to.

So...our teacher gives the following answer...

Grad school takes a lot of time to do and there are a lot of sacrifices. Many people have relationship trouble during this time and it is very normal for people to have strains on friendships and partnerships during this period.

Then he says...

You will come out a different person than you went in.

My question...are all relationships doomed if you are spending a significant portion of your life in school or doing school related things? And if so, is it because you are spending so much time away from each other or is it because you change in a way that is incompatible with your partner?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Signs of a Nervous Breakdown??

Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary defines a nervous breakdown as the following:

Main Entry: nervous breakdown
Function: noun
: an attack of mental or emotional disorder especially when of sufficient severity to require hospitalization

There is nothing in the definition about dreams. I've never been a big dreamer, but the last two days (when my stress has peaked) my dreaming has become vivid.

Wednesday night dream....

Frankie (who I work with) was living at my house too...and she was upstairs in the bathroom. I knew that there had been a serial killer out looking for me. I was upstairs as well and I walk down stairs and look at the front door (when you are at the front door in my house you can see all the way up the stairs). I'm standing at the front door and it is slightly ajar. I yell up to Frankie to see if she left the door open. She comes to the top of the steps and says no. As she's saying no, I feel a pinch on my arm as I'm being stuck with a needle. Then I wake up. Wonder if its significant that Frankie works in the health office...

Thursday night dreams....

First dream. I'm back working in TV news again and I'm somewhere away from the station. For some reason I have to do the sports segment of the news. Someone there gives me a sheet of paper with things to read off of it, it isn't a script though. The same person also gives me a jar (one of the big tall plastic ones) and tells me that I need to read the story off of that as well. I am then immediately live on air. I read the first story and then am supposed to read off of the jar but I don't know what part of it to read, so I whisper to the person who gave me the jar asking what I need to read and there is dead air and some whispering. I then try to read everything and it leads to a bunch of ahh...umm's and then It's over.

Second dream. I'm at a beach somewhere out of the country (which should really be a plus!) and I'm in some sort of beach house. The beach house is just like a cement box with some small windows up high and a big sliding door on the front of the house looking at the beach. I'm there with a local kid. On the way in I'm told that this is a dangerous area and that there are gangs there. I still go and am in the house with the kid and a bunch of local gang members come by and are walking all around the house. They go away and I end up walking down to the beach. I see a local woman and her child and she tells me not to stay there because it is dangerous and they will kill me. I leave and walk back up to the beach house and am putting my things next to the door of the house. The gang members come back up and are knocking on the door of the house and looking in the glass sliding door. They start trying to break the glass and one of them opens the other door to the house. I grab the phone and dial 911 and tell them to take anything they want. They grab my laptop and I'm yelling at the police on the phone to come and help me. I tell them the area where I am and they say that it is a dangerous area and I should never have gone there...they say they are sending someone and then a gang member takes the phone out of my hand and I wake up.

Scary dreams.

While the dreams might not signal a nervous breakdown, they are definately indicative of stress and the lack of control I have over my situation.

I spoke with my advisor on wednesday who told me that it will be impossible for me to graduate in 2 years while going to school. In fact, he steared me away from taking 2 classes. Good news, bad news, I'm not sure. I had really wanted to graduate in 2 years. He told me that I'd be lucky to do it in 3 years while working full time. On the bright side, that takes some of the pressure off. He also told me that I was currently signed up for the 2 hardest classes in the program (why he would sign me up for those my first semester while he knew I was working full time I don't know.) This information, along with my lack of any time to do anything other than study, sleep and work, has lead me to the decision to drop one of my classes. I barely have the time to get the reading done, let alone a 20 page paper in that class, along with all the other papers I have in other classes. So, this will leave me with 1 three credit class and 1 one credit class. I'm now in the process of dropping the class.

Feeling kinda like a failure for having to drop though...

Oh and apologies to my teachers for not citing my source in APA format...

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's been a while...like 5 years!!

This is me in a former life. Yes, things do change very quickly!

Today marks the end of my first full week of school...a VERY exciting week for me. Even though I have only been in school one full week, it feels like I've been taking these classes for ages!

I know, its still very early, but so far I love everything about grad school. It is everything that my undergrad degree wasn't. The classes are small, try 15 people in a class tops! My classes are discussion and not just sitting and taking notes during a lecture. The people in my class do the homework and reading! Shocking!

Even more shocking is the fact that I am doing the reading and the homework, and going to class. For anyone who knows my undergraduate academic career, it is in stark contrast to my new graduate student mentality. I look forward to going to class. Really, I do. Rhetorical theory, I'm psyched to be there...seriously. Who thought that Plato would get me excited. I actually had a conversation with someone in my Research Meathods class about whether I considered myself a positivist...which I do. Instead of questions like, is Isis getting nixed on ANTM (America's Next Top Model), I see myself thinking things like, If Plato is so opposed to the body and wants to separate it from communication and the soul, how does he justify non verbal communication. Thinking these things is NOT normal. At least for me. But I guess it is just an example of how things are changing.

That's not to say that things are always Hunkey Dorey...I have a tremendous amount of homework to do...I'm looking at 500 pages of reading a week along with papers and postings and etc, etc. In addition, I am one of maybe 2 people in my classes that isn't a TA. Which I believe actually makes it easier for them. They aren't working full time jobs, let alone full time jobs an hour away. Add in the upwards of 20 or more hours of school work per week, and I've definately got my hands full. But my hands are full in a good way and I'm extremely thankful to have the oportunity to take the classes I'm taking. My next hurddle will be the GRE's and actually seeing if I will be accepted into the program as a matriculating student. Fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thinking of Myself as a Writer

I was all prepared today to talk about my day yesterday and how my classes went. They went well. But there was so much more than just sitting in a chair and listening to a lecture. The thing that really struck me the most was when our professor (and my interim adviser) told us that we need to change our perception of why we are in Grad School. We have to think of this as our time to work on our writing, because he said, we are all writers and just improving our craft. I have never considered myself a writer. I've always been defined by what I did for a living, and certainly writing in Grad School isn't paying my bills. Have I got it all wrong? Should we be defined by our passions and interests? Or should we be solely defined by what pays our bills?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Is it REALLY fair to give our homework BEFORE school starts??

I thought I had it all figured out. School on Monday and Wednesday nights and then the rest of the week study and do all of that stuff right? I've been thinking about it more lately since I start grad school in less than a week. I've been thinking about how things will change with both me and Matt in school full time and how I'm going to manage full time work and school for a while now. I thought that I was good with everything, until I got an email from my teacher.

I have a homework assignment and I don't even start school until Wednesday! It isn't a huge assignment, only maybe 15 or 20 pages of reading. The part that scares me is that the first class is considered a "working" class. I know what "working" means....it means participation.

I'm not a joiner.

I went to the University of Maine for my undergrad degree. My smallest class probably had around 25 to 30 people. Some of my intro classes had a couple of hundred people in it. A class where you have to show ID to pass in your test lends it self to anonymity. That I can do.

Not only am I going into a class that requires participation, but it is a class with 11 people in it. With only 11 people you can't sit in the back row and expect people to leave you alone. You are forced to participate. Plus, this class is Rhetorical Rhetoric. My reading homework is Aristotle. Not the easiest read.

Can I really handle full time Grad School and full time work? Not only am I working, but I'm working an hour away. Add in the fact that I worked full time and went to school full time for my undergrad degree and I had a less than stellar performance there. With that said, I am going to need to have nearly perfect grades to even get accepted into the program...right now I'm only accepted as a non-degree student.

I am certainly not the most low key person on the planet...am I just over reacting??

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reverting back to a College Freshman

Grad school starts in less than a week, but does that mean I need to revert back to my college freshman days? Other people my age have kids and are doing adult activities, I on the other hand am reverting back to my 19 year old self...

Case in point. Last weekend we go to the Folk Festival. Am I excited about seeing the performers and hearing new music. Yeah, not so much. My first stop, the beer tent. I have a very low tolerance for alcohol. I really don't drink that often and I'm not a huge person, so any minor amount of alcohol will have an effect on me, especially if it is hard liquor. So, what does any normal girl do while she's drinking? That's right, smoke the cloves.

This very similar to my college freshman year. Every weekend was a beer fest and along with the beer fest came the cloves. Granted I'm not drinking nearly as much as I did in college, but what are other people my age doing? They are having kids. We are one of the few couples I know that don't have children.

So, the question that begs to be answered...am I reverting back to a 19 year old? Should I be growing up and doing the "grown up things?" And more importantly, can you still live my current drinking/smoking/traveling lifestyle and have kids. And if you can't, does having a baby somehow trump all of the other things that I so look forward to doing now? Answers....please!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can we make it in time?

The pressure was on before, but it is REALLY on now. Today the drywall is going up in the bathroom. I was hoping that it would have gone up during the week, but it is always so hard to get things done when your working all day. Matt worked on getting the electrical done during the week, but the drywall just didn't happen. So, this weekend I was desperately hoping to tile, but it just isn't looking like it is going to come to play.

If we can get the drywall done as well as the backerboard for the tiles this weekend, then we'll be able to tile over the long weekend next weekend. The problem is that Monday Matt will go back to school next week and will have a class on Monday and Wednesday.

I really wanted to have the whole bathroom done by the time we both went back to school full time (which will be the Wednesday after labor day). I just think that there will be too much going on with full time school and work to be able to work on the house as well.

Cross your fingers for me that it will all work out!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Pressure is On...

So, we are actively working on our bathroom remodel. The goal last weekend was to get the walls up and the electrical wired in and also to get the insulation up and the backer board up on the walls along with the drywall. A very aggressive goal...It clearly wasn't met, not because a lack of trying on anyone's part, there just wasn't enough time to complete it...especially when you add in 2 hours spent at Lowe's trying to fix a problem that they caused by not holding the tiles that we had paid for and had sent here from the Ellsworth store, somehow our order got deleted so we had to go through tiles to get ours and then they also didn't hold the grout for us either, so, I have some waiting for me in the Ellsworth store. As you can imagine, I was fairly irritated with this since we had our time pretty much scheduled out. So, I expressed my frustration with the tile woman who had ordered our tiles and she gave us a 10% discount. Helpful, but I still would have preferred to have the 2 hours instead and paid full price. But, what can you do.

Currently we have all of the walls up and the insulation in the walls, ceiling to come sometime this week) and the electrical is mostly done. We just need to get it wired into the basement. The goal is to have the drywall up and have it ready to tile for this weekend. I REALLY want to have it all done by labor day. I'd prefer to have it done prior to that so we can just put on the final touches that weekend and have some time to relax seeing as how school starts up for both of us that next week and since its been a while since either of us was in school we're not really sure what to expect.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bathing is now possible

It is official. We now have a tub and a fully functioning bathroom. The plumber came and did the rough plumbing. When they took off for lunch, my Father and Matt pulled out the floors and put down the subfloor. The plumbers ended up being here for nearly 10 hours, but they stayed until they finished...Thank God because if they didn't we wouldn't have had a working bathroom at all! This weekends plan...electrical and walls with drywall. Hopefully it will all get done!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

WTF MTV...Don't Destroy Frank N Furter!!


MTV has made me angry. VERY Angry.

I read today that there will be a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show...MTV style.

Why?

Was the original not good enough? Why would someone choose to remake a cult classic. They have to know that there will be a backlash and that it could not possibly be as good as the original.

How could they be allowed to do this? This is a cult classic...a national treasure if you will.

Perhaps I'm over reacting. I do have "special feelings" for Tim Curry. He IS in my safe zone (My group of five men where if I meet them I am allowed to have sex with them no repercussions...my list includes: Bob Dylan, Tim Curry, Prince, Robert Downey Jr. and John Cusak).

Regardless, this may cause me to become a cutter...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you Lowes!!

So, it turns out that we bought the wrong side mount for our tub, so yesterday we went back to Lowe's to swap it out. I called ahead of time to see if they would just change it over for us since we hadn't picked it up yet. Well, come to find out, you can't do that...it has to be a return and she couldn't look in the computer because they were doing inventory. Fine. So, we go over there after work. The plumbing department was VERY busy so we ended up waiting a while to talk with the guy there, Mike, who was a plumber. It wouldn't have taken so much time, but he was busy helping a woman who was making him measure the height of every toilet there, and then she was testing out the heights on the ones that were on display. She actually asked him what the difference between a wooden and a plastic toilet seat was. No, I'm not kidding.

So, she finally ends her laundry list of toilet seat questions and we have him all to ourselves. It turns out that they do have a left mount sink outback. So, he says he'll just switch out our tub for the left mount one, but we'll have to pay again since we had to return our original one. We head over to the cashier and it turns out that he hadn't put down that we were going to pick up later so for them to be able to do that they'll have to void our new purchase and rerun it. The problem is that it can take a while for the credit to come, so, with the other return of the old tub we did, we'd have a total of 2500 being put on the credit card for an $800 tub. So we told them that we'd just take it home instead of going that route. Good news for us though because the head cashier guy gave us 20% off our next purchase there. YEAH for us!! and THANK YOU LOWE'S!! We'll probably save at least $100 if we put all of the stuff we need to buy togather and get it all at once, which we plan on doing...

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's like peeing in a field!

This weekend was the weekend of demolition! Matt and my father built the floor that is going to extend into our hallway/staircase on Saturday. Then, Matt and I ripped out the bathroom and the wall between the bathroom and the old master bedroom.
The hole to the right was once a built in bookshelf/towel holder and the wall you see to the left is the one to the master bedroom.This is what our bathroom looks like now...minus the 2x4 in the middle...that is now gone! There is still more work to be done. The ceiling isn't completely out yet, Matt will be working on that tonight. Plus, the floors have to come out before the plumber gets here as well...and the new wall between the bedroom and the bathroom has to be built. The plumber will be here a week from tomorrow to get it all done. So, until then...or actually, until a couple of days after that...we'll have limited privacy in the bathroom!!

It's a MESSY job...but will be well worth it in the end!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What could I have possibly done in a former life??

The question of the day...How does one deal with an in your face, constantly in your shit mother-in-law??

Is the answer a conversation where you calmly and logically explain to her where your business begins and hers ends? Do you take it a step farther and say exactly what is on your mind and make her just deal with it? Or do you just ignore her completely and thank god that you live 2 hours away??

This was the very dilemma I faced this morning. After sending her a nice email explaining what is goign on in our lives and how busy we have and will be for the next couple of months, my (what should I call her...oh yes...Spawn of Satan who happened to birth my husband ... SOSBH for short....) decided that she wanted to respond to my cheery, albeit bland email by telling me that we need to make an effort to stop by and see his Memere while we are on our way to Massachusetts. She goes on to say that we shouldn't be mad at her for not attending our wedding and its only a couple of minutes off of the interstate and blah blah blah...

Now, several months ago she was told explicitly that she needs to stay out of our relationships with members of his family. In fact, they didn't see each other for nearly a year because of her meddling...

So, even putting the facts aside which would proclude us from even thinking about stopping to see his Memere on the way home (She is about an hour off of the interstate and because of the hours of the kenel where we have to board Charlotte, we have to leave Massachusetts around 12pm and we won't be able to leave for there until around 8am which will give us only 24 hours in the great state) it's just not something we want to do. It has nothing to do with the fact that she didn't come to our wedding...although it would have been nice if she could have been bothered to tell us she wasn't coming! And quite frankly...I'm tired of the SOSBH constantly bringing up the people who didn't attend our wedding. We had a fabulous day! I wouldn't change it. But it is hard to have happy memories when you ha someone constantly telling you that you shouldn't.

Getting back to my original question...what is the best thing to do??

My original instinct was to send her an email back telling her that her meddling was the exact reason she has a strained relationship with her son, and it can very easily head back that way if she continues with constantly getting in our business....(The original email I had drafted to her was much more forceful and quick witted)

I also could have calmly and logically explained to her that it would be impossible to see his Memere with the time we have available and maybe another day...I suspect however that this would lead to more talking about how she is sick...blah blah blah...

Or I could simply ignore her. This is the route I chose. I will not be responding to her email. I will not be initiating contact. I will be avoiding the woman at all costs.

Did I make the right decision?? Or by doing nothing am I just giving her the message that he actions are okay??

Is this an American thing? Are mother-in-laws in other countries much more respectful of their grown children?? Or is it universal??