Monday, October 31, 2011

I grew a pair today.

Super Attractive Man was leaving work today, so I called him over and asked what he was doing on Saturday. Well, now he's going dancing with me, and that settles that. Super excited! He also appeared pleased that I decided to wear a skirt (with 3" heels) to work today, rather than my usual boring black slacks. I received a several compliments at work - both from him and others.

I put in my time-off requests today for the weekend before finals (crossing my fingers for that one) and for my Alaska trip, which I already cleared with the manager. I also left a note with the days I'm able to work extra hours (time and a half on Thanksgiving!), so hopefully the paychecks will beef up a little. And I guess the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year, so that should be exciting.

Fantastic day. I have a ton of cleaning to do in the next few days. Have to take a trip to Goodwill and get rid of some things. Maybe find a place for my miniature table, so it doesn't look like I just moved in. (This restoration business still has me stressed out. I wish my house could actually look like a home. And it would be awesome if I could actually sleep in my room, on a bed. Ugh.)

I should probably get started on my P-Chem homework. Don't worry; I'll be doing it with a grin on my face. Nothing can bring me down from my high today. :)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

I love my job.

I truly have the best job ever, and I work with the most amazing people.

Last night as I was leaving, my manager Biker Dude was outside in the parking lot. He had ridden his Harley to work, so we chatted about it a little bit and I gave him shit for riding a Harley. Called myself a Harley Hater (because I am).

So this morning, I get into work. Things are slow; we're chatting. I apologize and say I don't really know him well enough to give him shit about his bike without sounding like a bitch, so I'm sorry. He says it's all good - he used to give his buddies shit about riding Harleys, too. And life is grand.

Then one of the other women comes into work. She's helping out a customer, and the customer is looking for a particular beer, wondering if we carry it. So she uses our handy dandy headset radio system and asks if we have a beer called "Raging Bitch." Biker Dude is feeling pretty feisty, so he replies that in fact, we do have Raging Bitch. It can be found in the front, and has red hair.

Could not stop laughing.

Next, the HR manager comes in. She's having man problems (from what I could overhear of the conversation, the guy she's been dating for the last three years is a total d-bag). Her, Biker Dude, and Super Attractive Man are chatting about it. I'm sorta listening in, but not really paying attention. Then all of a sudden, Super Attractive Man pipes up, "That's why Brianna and I are staying single. We're just going to hook up every once in a while." I look over all confused, with an apparently displeased look on my face, because Biker Dude looks at me, laughs, and says something along the lines of, "Judging by her expression, I don't think she's totally on board." And so we laughed some more.

But the most entertaining part of my day - it's time for me to close out for the day. Super Attractive Man heads over with his keys to do his thing with my register & print out all the reports. I see him walking over and tell him to "work his magic." He looks at me, holds up his hand, wiggles his fingers, and says, "With my hand!!"

Totally wasn't expecting that one. Definitely laughed.

He takes me back and lets me into the cash room. I do my thing, and call him to count my deposit and go over all my paperwork when I'm done. He tells me I'm finished and can go, and I hang out talking for a few minutes. Asked if he would be working tomorrow. He's working a nasty shift, so I commented on it. Just banter.

I walk out of the cash office and see Biker Dude and my shift supervisor standing at the front desk, looking at me / the cash office door, with shit-eating grins on both their faces. So I walk over there and notice they're standing in front of the video feed for the fancy camera system we have set up. (There are two different cameras in the cash office.) They've been spying on us!

Biker Dude gets on the headset and says "Hey Super Attractive Man, need some cold water in there?"

Embarrassing. Laughed some more.

Super Attractive Man responds that he's had plenty of cold water for the day, thanks. I go and do my thing, grab my crap, and go back to return my radio and clock out. Super Attractive Man is walking toward the desk, and Biker Dude is still standing up there. Biker Dude makes some comment about how he was just looking out for Super Attractive Man (who is wearing athletic pants), to avoid an awkward situation.

Couldn't decide if I wanted to die, or die laughing.

In other news, I think I'm going to ask him if he wants to come out dancing with Kris and Dave and I next weekend. We'll see if I grow some cajones between now and tomorrow late afternoon.

As a side note, Super Attractive Man impressed me during some of our brief conversations today. He is pretty awesome. The conversation that impressed me the most was him talking about languages. He walked up to me and said "Por que?" (or however it's spelled), which got us started talking about Spanish. I mentioned I am not a Spanish fan; that German is more my thing. He said German is one of the languages that has always interested him, along with...

(wait for it)

GAELIC. Because he loves all things Irish.

My heart just went pitter-patter, a little. Perhaps when I'm back visiting the parents in December, I'll take a picture of my room, to show everyone just how perfect that comment was.

Enough gushing about attractive men. I'm off to finish my German homework, and take care of what's left of the roast and potatoes in my crock pot. Ciao!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I love my mama!

I have pretty much the best mom ever. <3  [Even my ex used to say he loved my mom. He probably loved her more than he loved me! Haha]

I used to say that my mom was my best, best friend. Then we kinda got into it over a night of debauchery back in April, and I got a little stand-offish. I've been that way for the last 6-ish months. Not that I get plastered all the time, or often, or ever, really. But I have drank more now that I'm single than I did before, and my mom has a big problem with alcohol, so I just haven't been quite as chatty. I know she would love me no matter what, but I don't want to feel like I've disappointed her. So I just didn't call as much. Then I left the country. Then shit went down when I came home. And school started, so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Then I started working at my amazing job so I have even less time. You get the picture.

Anyway, Mom texted me tonight, and I called her. We chatted at first about pants, because I need some of my fat pants that are still at her house. Then about a former friend's dad, which morphed into growing up and friendships and decisions. That moved on to facebook (since that's where I found out the drama encircling the old friend), which prompted a conversation about the ex. Mom had accidentally added him on facebook when she got her new phone. It went through and added all her phone contacts on facebook, I guess. So she got a message back from him saying it was not appropriate for her, as the mother of his ex, to be friends with him. And that moved into a conversation about me. And us.

I didn't really talk about it when it was happening - partially because I didn't know what was going on myself, and mostly because I didn't want to feel judged. But Kyle and I spent a lot of time together when I first got home from Europe. Even before I got home, he talked about getting a hotel room in Sedona. It never happened, but the discussion continued for the first two or three weeks after I got back. He mentioned asking off from work so we could go up there. He came over on a fairly regular basis (yes, even though Dad said he was not allowed in the house. My bad. I don't learn very quickly). He changed my air filter. He brought me bread from Great Harvest when I asked him to. He brought over dinner and wine the day after I got home. We even had a conversation about getting back together.

Well it all ended in a protective order. To the best of my knowledge, he was served on September 15th. (I never actually got anything in the mail about it, so that's a guess.) And I told Mom all of that tonight. She asked if we had had any contact since the protective order (she found out about it online the weekend after he was served, which I feel a little bad about. Probably freaked her out). I said no, and realized that for the first time, not out of anger, I truly don't care about him anymore. I used to say I no longer care for him, but I will probably always care about him.

I'm not there anymore. I don't regret the last 4 1/2 years of my life, and I don't regret our relationship. I have learned SO much about myself, about what I want (and mostly what I don't want), and how to communicate, as a result of our relationship.

But if I thought I had baggage entering that relationship, I have a whole hell of a lot more now. I finally felt comfortable enough to voice to my mom that I was seeing a therapist for a few months, that I have not been diagnosed because I haven't seen a doctor, but that I firmly believe I have Secondary Traumatic Stress. And I told her about the manifestations of it for me. The ridiculous urge to flip someone off a few days ago, when the poor guy was just sitting at a red light. How hateful and negative I am now. How judgmental I am. My lack of ability to sympathize/empathize.

And I feel so much better. It's like I told Victoria earlier - a load has been lifted off my shoulders just being out of that toxic relationship. And I feel even lighter now that I've talked to Mom about it. She listened without judgment, and did everything I needed her to do. She even suggested I see a therapist again, which I have considered.

For the first time, I told my mom that Kyle had tossed me around. I told her that when I turned him down for sex, he shoved me across the room and into the corner of his desk. I told her that I've raised a hand to him before. I told her that I've had dreams that I shot his mother (hilariously, more than once!).

I got a lot of things out that I'm not proud of, and a lot of things that needed to be said. I couldn't be happier.

I love my mom! (Too much to add her on facebook. :P ) I am so thankful that my family always supports me, no matter my decisions. I am so lucky to have a mom as amazing as mine. I am so grateful to be born into the family that I was. And I'm excited to go visit them for Christmas!

Ironic that "Kiss with a fist" - Florence + the Machine just came on my Pandora station? Perhaps. I realize that's satire, but I am so glad I don't subscribe to that mindset any longer. A kiss with a fist is not better than none. It took me long enough to realize that, but I couldn't be happier that I did.

I'm off to be an old lady before bed. I have some dishes to put away, some clothes to fold, and a comfy bed waiting! I have to work again at 10 in the morning. Ciao!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's a blog party!

Ain't no party like a followers fest party...

A group of four awesome ladies are getting together to host a followers fest tomorrow! Link up, chat about your fall favorites, crafts you're working on, life in general, or whatever strikes you! Click on the button for more info. :)

I'm home after watching Im Juli tonight, and think I'm going to do some picking up around the house tonight before a super long day tomorrow. School, then work. And I'm working all weekend. Joy! Hopefully I'll have time to snap a few pictures of my Halloween costumes (we get to dress up Saturday - Monday!) and put 'em up.


Let's go to Japan!

I came across this article today. Could life get any more perfect?! The Japan Tourism Agency is giving away 10,000 free round-trip tickets, starting in April. The "catch" is that you have to present them with a full itinerary, and blog about your trip. So I guess I should start building followers on my food blog between now and then!

I found an online deal through Target a few days ago and got 3 pairs of jeans and 3 t-shirts for $14.47 or something. Just under $14.50, including shipping. [When my order shipped, the dollar amount changed and I still have yet to hear back from them after I emailed customer service yesterday. Not totally pleased about that.]

Anyway, everything was sent out in three different shipments. My jeans got here today. And since I don't have morning classes anymore, I've been lounging around in my pjs... which consist of nothing but a pair of sweatpants right now. So. UPS man knocks on my door, and since I'm not expecting anything (I just placed the order three days ago), I'm hanging out in my sweatpants. I reach for the nearest top I can find, which just so happens to be a cardigan. Of course, it's not the button-all-the-way-up kind. It's the one where the buttons start at your navel. So I answer the door with one hand holding my stupid sweater together so I don't end up flashing the UPS guy. With my luck, it's a package that I have to sign for. So I'm holding my sweater with one hand, trying to hold the little signature pad thing with the same hand, and signing my name (badly) with the other. Then trying to hand everything back, grab the big bag of jeans, and still avoid flashing the UPS man. It was hard work; let me tell you!

All that, and the jeans don't even fit. I'm having the same problem with them as I have had with the majority of my jeans since I came home from Europe. I did so much walking that my ass nearly doubled in size. I can't even start to get them over my huge butt now. And they're a 5! So frustrating - especially considering I have size 1 shorts in my room right now. These are the biggest size I own now, and even they don't fit.

I give up. Maybe I'll start shopping in the "jeans for girls with a huge ass" section. I don't think I even have any of my jeans from when I did have a big ass, four years ago, at my parents' house. Note: Banana Republic pants are not for big butts. Also of note, I no longer like big butts. And I don't lie.

At least now I can take some comfort in knowing that of the 25 lbs. I've gained since June, a good portion of it has gone to my substantial badonkadonk. Now Mom can't say I don't have a butt anymore, or I look like a rail. Because that certainly isn't the case. Baby got back.

And with that, I'm off to shower before class. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Registered for classes!

I registered for my Spring classes this morning! 16 credits. I ended up signing up for the German Theater class instead of the Holocaust class. I may end up changing my mind, but I also think it might be a little easier. Then again, the Holocaust class could end up being like Doug's class, and be simply amazing. I'm debating emailing the prof to see what he's thinking as far as syllabus, etc.

I used up all my fresh spinach today, and boy was it tasty. I'm about to post the recipe on my new food blog (which I'm too lazy to link here right now, but you can find in my profile).

I found a scholarship today where basically you play a game on facebook, be environmentally conscious and have other people vouch for you, and then you can enter to win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Just when I had successfully weaned myself off facebook games completely.

In other news, have you tried being mad while listening to "Get Low?" Because I'm pretty sure it's not possible. Go ahead. Try it.
Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I need a dance night some time soon. Maybe I'll have to pick up the house until it's presentable so I can have Kris and Dave over for a night at Graham which will certainly involve them spending the night. Maybe I even get over my awkwardness enough to ask a certain mister out dancing with me.

I've been in a ridiculous mood today, so this Pandora station was the perfect choice. I think I'm going to work on the house a little bit and see if I can scrounge a Halloween costume out of what's in my closet. Ciao!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Such crap.

Warning: I'm probably going to do a lot of whining and feeling sorry for myself. So if you don't want to hear it, you might want to make your way to the next post, or click the little red X and go on your merry way. 

I feel like crap. I felt fine when I woke up this morning, and most of the afternoon, but right now I just feel like ass. My tummy hurts. My back hurts. My bra has decided to be an inadequate boulder holder, so I've spent half my day shoving my boobs back down in it. Good times, right?

Then I had an appointment this afternoon. Paid $30 to hear something I had already figured out myself. Tres unhelpful, doc. Thanks. 

I ended up dropping my German comp class this morning, too. This is the prof who has marked me absent when I haven't been, has grading policies that... I disagree with, let's say. She also gave me a B on my first essay but the one I just got back last week? Failed me. Sorry, my writing style hasn't changed that much in the last month. And it certainly hasn't gotten that much worse. Rather than argue about everything, I decided to drop the class and use that time to be more productive in my other classes. I'll just retake it next fall. Pain? Yes. Worth it? Also yes. 

It always astonishes me how much food I can have in this house and still not find anything good to eat. Looks like I will be going to the grocery store later this evening, if I can muster up the energy. 

Lying on the floor, I'm noticing what a crappy job the restoration team did. The paint on the walls is uneven and streaky. There's a dent near the french doors that looks like a bad patch job when they swapped out the bottom two feet of sheetrock. The hall wall outlet is crooked. Spectacular workmanship, Pinnacle Restoration. Thanks a million. I'm still waiting on my old sink back. My favorite part of this whole ordeal was getting a shittier faucet contraption than I had before. This one is reminiscent of the one at my parents' first house in Alaska... built in the '80s. Just what I've always wanted. Two thumbs up, guys. 

I started a new blog today. Yeah, I know. Just what I need - another time waster. I've thought about having a food blog for a while now. I looked up the requirements for the FoodBuzz program (not only do they send you cool stuff to try every once in a while, but you can earn money through their ads - and actually earn money; not just think you can like the Google program), and 9/10 posts have to be food related. This one definitely doesn't qualify. 

So I started a new one! It's going to be food- and wine-centric. I love food, and experimenting in the kitchen, and I love wine, and can get discounts on some awesome bottles. So there we have it! I only have an intro post up right now. I don't think I'm going to transfer any of my food posts from here over, since my photos are all crap. I'll post a link to it when I get things more up-and-running. In the meantime, I'm using Blogger's boring Dynamic Views layout. If anyone comes across a good wine layout, please sent it my way! They're apparently few and far between, and most of them suck. 

I haven't been very productive all day, so I should probably make my way to get some groceries before I hunker down and finish memorizing this ridiculous German script for tomorrow's performance. Ciao! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't mind if I do.

I got a 500 point coupon for Fry's a month or so ago. I forgot that if you redeem it at a Shell station, you only get $0.10/gal off every time. So my gas light went on today, and I stopped at the Fry's gas station on my way home. Picture 38!

$2.77/gallon? Don't mind if I do. I filled up for less than $27 for the first time in... I can't even remember how long.

Jess and I studied in BioDesign today for our German presentation on Wednesday. We're doing a scene where I'm laughing outrageously - over and over and over. We practiced it probably five or six times inside before we moved outside. I finally made the comment about moving outside since I'm sure the guard and the poor reception lady were getting tired of my maniacal laughing and us repeating nonsense in German. The guard piped up and said he was enjoying it, and we started bantering in German a bit. That was pretty fun.

I have O-Chem homework due tonight, so I should probably get on that. Ciao!

So much for bed.

I thought I would be super productive today, and do some multi-tasking. I woke up late and didn't get up until noon, so my morning was already shot. I ended up taking a load to the recycler on the way home from the Water & Ice store to refill my water bottle.

Then I got home and put some laundry in before I left for my run. Came home and put it in the dryer when I was in the shower. I turned off the dryer as I was leaving for work, since it doesn't always turn off on its own, and I wasn't interested in coming home to a house fire.

Then, 12:45 AM rolled around and I realized my damp sheets that belong on my bed are still in the dryer. That is one of the few reasons it's now 1:05 AM and I'm still up while my dryer is running.

Despite the typos, I really like this image. Not only do I have goals surrounding running as part of my 101 list (to run 1 mile without stopping, which is obviously the first of the two that will be accomplished, and to finish a half-marathon), but running is something that I have used in the past - especially to get emotions out. I remember a day when I must have been in 9th grade. I don't remember what exactly had happened, but it had something to do with Matt. I want to say that I had found out Matt was cheating on me, but that was a few years later. Anyway, I laced up my shoes, left the Red Talon house, and went for a run. I ran all the way down 68th, weaving through the neighborhoods, down to Dowling. I ran and ran and ran, until I felt better. Until I was too exhausted to be angry anymore. Maybe that's the reason why I ran so much that year. I just need someone to get mad at, and then I'll get skinny. Running has always been a way of relieving stress and anger for me. And though I haven't used it that way in a while (okay, okay, a month), I love this image for that reminder. Run when you feel fat. Run when you're mad. Run when you're upset, or lonely. Run when you're happy. Run when you feel thin and beautiful. Because no matter the reason why you run, it always produces positive results. I think possibly even more than yoga, running produces more positive results for me as far as my STS is concerned. Yoga helps me relax and puts me in a more positive mindset. Running releases endorphins. So not only does it make me too tired to care, but it makes me happy... to a much greater degree than an hour of crow pose and standing bow pose does.

I passed 150,000 grains of rice today. I'm ranked #1315 so far this year as far as quantity donated. My goal is to be top 1,000. I would actually like to be much higher than that, but I didn't start taking this seriously until pretty late in the game (last month) so unless I put in a lot of time between now and December, that's not really realistic. And I don't have the time to put in, so I'll be fine with top 1,000.

Sitting here listening to Mumford & Sons. Their most recent album is pretty awesome. Before Sam (and Ryan, from my May CA trip onward), my music library was pretty limited, I'm finding. I have listened to some indie music (The Strokes) in the past, and even some on a fairly regular basis, but some of my new favorite bands (Carbon Leaf, Matt & Kim, Mumford & Sons) I hadn't even heard of before this year.

I have O-Chem homework due at 11:30 tonight, so I suppose I should head to bed now, since I certainly won't be going to bed early tonight. Ciao!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I fail at life.

But first, before I tell you my ridiculous story of embarrassment, I will share photo #37. Because it makes me feel better about myself. Actually, it makes me feel better, period. I LOVE having a clean house, and one of my favorite things is seeing lines in the carpet after vacuuming.

So I took a picture of it today.

I'm actually too embarrassed to even share my ridiculous tale of fail, so perhaps I will say this instead. It involves an attractive coworker, and then me, being a fool. And saying / doing dumb things. I hate looking/feeling like an idiot.

I'm listening to my Matt & Kim Pandora station right now. Their "Sidewalks" album cover reminds me of my trip to Hollywood with Ryan. What an awesome trip that was. Looking like a booty call when I showed up at the gate at 4AM. The first morning, when Ryan forgot he had to go pick up his friend from the airport. He called me when he was out on his run and asked me to meet him downstairs pronto. Met me at the car and told me I looked great, or nice, or something. I thought he said something about it being a nice DAY, so I said "Oh, I know," and then felt foolish. Our trip to Hollywood and blowing money on stupid "museums." 4PM beers. Shooting at the archery range... or watching the guys shoot, because I'm a weak girl. The awesome day at the beach, where I proceeded to burn and look like a ridiculous tomato. Meeting his friends at the 4th of July party at Pat's parents' house. Waking up the next morning after going to bed with Pat's cousin, feeling totally awkward because I was the only one that had spent the night. Pat's parents still being awesome in the morning, making me coffee and breakfast. Going out to the bar and having... drunk, memorable moments with Mike and Ryan. Going out to the bar the next night and having drunk moments with Jessy. Going out to breakfast the next morning and having mimosas.

That's why I love California. Not because of Ryan, but because I feel like I have friends there. I have one really good friend here that I hang out with on a regular basis. She rocks, and her fiance rocks, but I miss trips to California, where I had Ryan, Mike, Blayne, Sam, Jessy, and my amazing grandparents. People in Arizona suck.

Need to get started on this German homework before midnight, so I'm outta here. Ciao!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another recipe success!

The picture is crap. I forgot to take a picture before we dug into it, and then I put the small bit that was left into a snapware container... dumping the contents of my big pan right in there. The marinara left a lot of "juice" behind, so it looks like some sort of strange soup rather than a lasagna. But oh well! It was amazingly delicious.

Spaghetti squash lasagna!!

1 roasted spaghetti squash
Mozzarella cheese
Ricotta cheese

And that's it! Super easy. To roast the spaghetti squash, cut it in half, scoop out the innards, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake (on a baking sheet) at 350* for about an hour. When you take it out, grab a fork and scrape the sides. It will produce some awesome stringy bits that resemble spaghetti noodles.

Take your casserole dish. Mine was 8x8 and could have been bigger. Put down a layer of marinara. Cover with a layer of spaghetti squash. Top that with more marinara, some ricotta, and mozzarella. Do it again. Spaghetti squash, marinara, mozzarella. (I didn't top it with ricotta because it doesn't look as pretty that way.)

Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.

Delish! It's fairly healthy, and tastes amazing.

I also altered my usual marinara recipe when I was cooking yesterday. I like it more than what I was doing before, so here's the new recipe! (And photo #35.)

olive oil
1 large yellow onion
~4 cloves minced garlic
4 ribs celery, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper
~ 1/2 c. red wine

Saute all the veggies in olive oil. Dump in the canned tomatoes. Stir in the spices. Finish off with the red wine. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. Success!

No, it's not the most beautiful sauce you've ever seen. You'll get over it.

I had a wonderful day at work today, and a wonderful night with some of my best friends. Looking forward to going for a run (or a mostly-walk) in the morning, as well as crossing off several things from my to-do list before I have to go in to work tomorrow evening.

A side note: FreeRice is one of my 101 goals - to donate 1 Million grains before my 1001 days are up. But more than that, it's something small that you can do that truly makes a difference. All you have to do is answer a few questions on the topic of your choice. For every question you answer correctly, rice is purchased to feed the hungry. If you are bored and fooling around the internet, searching for random crap to entertain you, consider doing something to help others. You can make a difference and help solve world hunger without ever getting off your butt, and without donating a dime. So why wouldn't you?

I have some things to finish up, and then I think I'm off to bed at a decent hour tonight. Ciao!

Well... fail.

Guess I'm starting all over again. No blog for yesterday means I didn't blog 31 days in a row. I was so close, too!

Oh well.

Things I love:

  • a house that smells amazing (like the marinara I made this afternoon!)
  • the tradition of parking lot shots
  • my fantastic coworkers. (Though I suppose they're probably people and not things.)
  • 7-layer bars
  • compliments. Period, though ones on my cooking are probably most well received. 
Kris and Dave are coming over for dinner tonight. I'm going to improv another recipe and see how it turns out! I'm pretty excited about this one. 

Things I need to do: 
  • vacuum (in the morning)
  • roast my spaghetti squash (in the morning)
  • empty the dishwasher and clean the sink (in the morning)
  • shine the sink (some time this weekend)
  • empty out the fridge and totally clean everything (before the end of the month)
I'm off to bed. Long day of work that starts early in the morning, and I have to get cookin' before I leave the house! 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello, heartburn!

I have had ridiculous heartburn all day, so I decided this afternoon after my P-Chem test (which I ROCKED, by the way! More on that later), I needed to quash it with some dairy. Dairy neutralizes the acid in your stomach somewhat. Or something. I've never really had problems with heartburn before, so I could be spouting nonsense, but I could have sworn I heard that somewhere.

Anyway, quashing it with dairy turned into a trip to the store, since I am all out of everything but soy milk, which is too sweet for me to drink on its own. And a trip to the store had me walking out with graham crackers, another bag of nuts, and some sweetened, condensed milk. Curiously, those were the missing ingredients I needed for 7-layer bars.

The recipe I've used in the past is for a 9" x 13" pan, and I only had an 8" x 8" and a 11" x 15", so I used the bigger one and came up with something similar on my own. It's not totally perfected, but it wasn't bad.

Delicious Seven-Layer Bars!!

1 c. (+ 2.5 Tbsp, because I wanted to use up the last of the butter in the fridge) unsalted butter.
1 package low-fat honey grahams, crushed
1 package cinnamon grahams, crushed
12 oz. chocolate chips
11 oz. butterscotch chips
2 oz. walnut chips
2 oz. sliced almonds
~ 5.5 oz. sweetened coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk.

They're a little sweet, even for my taste. I think next time I would opt for unsweetened coconut, if such a thing exists. Probably more nuts, to cut the sweetness a little bit. And maybe mix the condensed milk with some regular, unsweetened stuff.

Melt the butter. Make sure you butter the bottom and sides of your pan. Mix the rest of the butter with the crushed graham crackers. Spread that layer on the bottom of your pan and pat it down. Top with a layer of chocolate chips. Add some butterscotch ones. Then sprinkle with nuts. Add the coconut, and top everything off with a can of condensed milk. Pop in the oven at 350* for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.


Things I would change:

  • not use so much butter next time. The crust is not quite crispy enough for me. 
  • cut the sweetness somehow, without taking away any of my precious butterscotch chips. 
And that is all. Because they are super delicious. 

About that test that I totally rocked - Definitely finished it in under half an hour. I feel really good about it! Like, probably better than the last one I took, that I got a B on. Bonus!

I had an appointment with my awesome new adviser today. I could hypothetically be out and done in two semesters if need-be, but I think I'm going to wait and do it in three. Not super interested in overloading myself - especially this late in the game. My course load for next semester is totally reasonable (15 credits, though half of them are 400-level courses). Another programming class, Linear Algebra, Mathematical Structures, Applied Statistics, and my German course. I talked to her about petitioning for the financial aid nonsense ASU is trying to stiff me with, and she didn't really give a hint as to whether or not I would be successful, but did offer to help me with completing the paperwork which was pretty awesome. 

I invited Kris and Dave over for dinner this Saturday. I am in desperate need of a back massage, and hoping I can con him into bringing his table over here. <3 

I'll finish things off with the picture that made my morning. 


Can't sleep.

I'm sure I probably could if I actually headed to bed, but for some reason I can't actually motivate myself to do that right now. So here I am instead.

I feel like I'm going through some sort of ridiculous crisis. And by that, I mean I have found myself craving a new tattoo out of nowhere. Or a piercing. Or a trip. And the hilarious alternative - a cigarette. Yes, apparently that is in the same league as inking myself. At least in my head right now, anyway.

My house is such a mess right now. I feel like my life is a mess right now, too. And to keep me feeling overwhelmed, I have a test pop up every once in a while. Like this super awesome P-Chem test tomorrow afternoon. Spectacular, right? I would love just one week where I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. This upcoming weekend was supposed to be spent in Tulsa, but Andy is working so it wouldn't make sense to fly me out there. That probably would have been the perfect little getaway. Oh well.

I had 30 things on my to-do list this week. It's Thursday, and I've completed 8 1/2 of them. That's ridiculous. I don't even know what I'm doing with my time that I have so little left to work on my to-do list.

I'm just so discouraged, I guess. I want it to be this summer again. I want to be in Europe, completely carefree. I feel like I'm never going to be an "adult." And I feel like, even if I was out in the real world, I would hardly know what to do with myself. I'm so tired of having my entire life revolve around school, but I don't know anything else.

I'm not even accomplishing much on my 101 list. I have donated a ton of rice this month, yes, but so many of the goals require either time or money - neither of which I have a whole lot of right now. And yes, writing that down did just motivate me to do something about that, since that's exactly the line I've used. But that doesn't make things any less frustrating right now. And even that venture is frustrating sometimes. I know it's my own fault, numbers and all that, but it's hard not to get discouraged sometimes. One of my goals was to make five phone calls this week, and I still plan on it. I think I'll carve out some time tomorrow evening after I get home from my test.

I was daydreaming earlier today, and I dreamt that I went "camping" with Josh & Miranda at the same spot a group of us went in January, and that I had an awesome, huge silver truck. Guess what won't be happening any time soon. And that's almost frustrating, too. Not that I won't have a gas-guzzler, but that I have three friends here that I would call up to go camping. And two of them probably wouldn't do it to avoid the drama that would probably ensue.

I need a shower, and then some sleep. Pouting never does me any good. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A freebie! And life as I know it.

Attention caregivers!! Caregiver Village is a new site for caregivers that just recently launched. They are offering a 12-month membership for free to get the word out! By clicking through this link, one dollar will be donated to the amazing non-profit I volunteer for. Caregiver Village is for all caregivers. I know most of my amazing friends and followers that are caregivers are caring for their veteran. But no matter if you are caring for a veteran, a special needs child or loved one, a disabled parent, or if you are a home nurse or professional caregiver - they have resources for everyone. There is a caregiving game section, a journaling section, a book club to talk about articles you've come across that have helped you, and many other resources. I've heard some pretty positive things about it. Check it out! Please pass on the link if you know a caregiver or someone who might be able to benefit from their resources. 

Today was the German Reception on campus. Free German food and sweets (marzipan! yum!), as well as information about study abroad programs and the courses that will be offered next semester. I hadn't actually planned on taking a German class this spring, but they are offering a Holocaust class that I don't know that I can resist. Especially after visiting Auschwitz this summer, I would love a class like that. The Holocaust and Jewish history has always interested me. I read Anne Frank's diary at a very young age. I'm interested in seeing what the class is like. 

Picture 33, from today. My little monster was hanging out on top of the kitchen cabinets. Yes, that is my microwave at the bottom of the photo. Raj was being super adorable today. She hung out on my shoulder for quite a while - something she rarely does. No complaints here! Plus, she didn't poop on me. Always a bonus. 

I have a raging headache. I think I'm outta here for the night. Ciao! 

Women and media

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook earlier today, and I'm actually really looking forward to the film now. It looks like another take on the "women are hypersexualized in media, the portrayal of women is unrealistic, etc." topic that has been around for ages. But they also interview several women in powerful roles. I think that part will be the most interesting, actually.

Women hold only 3% of high-ranking positions in the media and entertainment industries, yet they are 51% of the US population. An equal number of male and female 7-year-olds aspire to be president, and yet only 17% of Congress is female.

I attended a seminar on campus last semester on women and body image. It focused on portrayals of the female body in media, and how society is bombarded by images of something unrealistic and made to think it is the norm. Even if people don't think they are affected, many men idealize the body type they see in magazines, and most women aspire to look like that. A size 4 is no longer modeling material. Celebrities can afford to maintain that body type because they are paid to. Normal women starve themselves, or purge, or exercise for several hours a day, just to achieve what they have been told is ideal.

This is a really sensitive subject for me as well. Not only am I really struggling with my weight and the way I look right now, but I have been in recovery from an eating / compulsive exercise disorder for several years now. Some days, I still struggle. Particularly when I first came home from Europe, I kept food journals so I could keep myself accountable and know I was not eating too little and exercising too much. I was so unhappy with the way I looked (and still am some days) that I found myself skipping meals without even thinking about it.

Anyway. Media and body perception. Even men are affected. The woman who presented on campus in March mentioned something her husband had said offhandedly unintentionally idealizing the "skinny mini" image. And it reminds me of February of this year. I was the thinnest I've ever been - sub 120. I haven't seen that number on the scale since I was 13, probably. (I was 127 at my thinnest in high school, at age 14.) I had seen an awesome deal on designer skinny jeans. I usually wear a 26, and these were a 25. They were also about 80% off, so I figured I'd buy them, try them, and if they didn't fit, I could still probably sell them and make a profit.

I'd lost weight since I bought them, so I figured I'd try them on and see how they fit. I think I was getting ready for date night, because Kyle was over. Well they didn't fit quite as well as I had hoped. Kyle thought it would be funny to try to pull them up as far as they would go so I could button them. It took him lifting me up off the floor by my belt loops, but I finally got 'em on and comfy. They still were obviously a little small, though, and not super flattering. Kyle made a comment about how fat I was, because I had love-handles. Let's be clear - I was far from a heifer. You could see my hip bones and ribs. At the time, I was wearing a size 0 pants. I shouldn't have been fat by anyone's standards. (I can't actually say that the media influenced Kyle's perception of my weight. It was most likely him just being an ass. Still, it boggles my mind that people actually think that way, and would vocalize thoughts like that.)

All that to say, Miss Representation. No idea when it's coming out, but check out the trailer. I think it looks pretty good.

Friends and relationships

I got an email today from one of the countless list servs I'm on. I love this. I rarely felt valued over Kyle's friends when we were together, and it was an ongoing battle for us. To hear from someone who has no investment in my life that yes, that is wrong, is a small victory for me.

Friends. We all love to have them. Some of our friendships began when we were in grade school. Others are as new as last week. Friends add vibrancy to the fabric that we call life.
It is wonderful to maintain friendships but it is also wise to let some fade away. Some friends are unhealthy influences from the start. Others can become that way as one or both of you change your values for living.
While good friends can bring much joy and aid to your marriage, bad friends can possibly destroy it. How do you know if your friendships are unhealthy? Here are some clues.
  • A friendship needs to end if that friend doesn't get along with your best friend (your spouse).
  • You know you have an unhealthy friendship if they entice you to do things you feel you shouldn't be doing. That could be going to bars, smoking, swearing, being unethical at work or spending too much money on unnecessary items.
  • A bad friend constantly puts down other people and their negativity gets you to be super critical too.
  • A bad friend encourages you to seek revenge or "make your spouse pay" if they hurt you in some way. They tell you to only care about yourself.
  • A friendship is unhealthy if a friend doesn't respect your spiritual values and beliefs.
  • A friend is no friend if they don't give back to the relationship. If you want to improve your marriage, you probably should fade away from friends who are financially, physically and mentally draining.

 The biggest mistake I made in that relationship was staying with him for so long. I am surprised at how often I am reminded of that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Starting month 2 of photos!

I forgot to put picture #30 up, from Sunday!

I got a new pair of boots. Love them. I didn't have any flat boots, so I decided I needed a pair after forgetting to cancel my shoe club membership, so they charged me for the month.

Not the best picture ever. They're adorable.

And picture #32, from today!

I've been craving 7-layer bars for a while now. Last week, I got coconut and toffee chips at Albertson's before remembering that I needed butterscotch chips instead. Today, I went into Fresh & Easy to get some onions (I had a list. Onions were the only thing on it, sadly) and walked out with four bags of butterscotch chips. I think I'm about to have enough 7-layer bars to feed an army.

I snuck the bag of coconut in the picture, as well as the toffee chips and slivered almonds, for some reason. I still keep forgetting graham crackers, and I don't feel like going to the grocery store again tonight, so I'll just have to wait.

Today was pretty much the best day ever, btw. I woke up at 7:30. Showered, had breakfast, emailed my German teacher and told her I didn't feel well (because I didn't), went back to bed, and slept until 1. Amazeballs.

Great Harvest has some awesome breads now that it's pumpkin season!! <3 Super excited. I think I might need to treat myself next Friday, since it'll be payday!

I ran across the funniest blog I've ever seen tonight. And the comments might even be better.

Terminal Lance. I laughed so hard at this one. And this one, because it's disgusting but true.

Also, this explains a lot. Mostly about why I haven't had good sex in over four years.

And I thought this article was pretty awesome. As someone who doesn't have a tv, it's obviously not something I'll have to worry about - at least not for a long while. I don't understand the whole babies and tv thing. There are plenty of shows out right now (Yo Gabba Gabba is the one that I used to tolerate with Riley and Ben) aimed at very young children, and I really just don't understand that. Put your kid in front of some toys if you need a break, or if they need a distraction so you can get something done around the house. Watching tv isn't a mind stimulator for normal adults. It certainly wouldn't be for someone whose brain isn't capable of processing what's going on. TV CAUSES developmental delays. Way to parent.

Now that I've talked about absolutely nothing productive, I am off to do some more German homework! (See a pattern here? That's the downside of having a German class first thing every day.) I also have a P-Chem test on Thursday, so I might do some studying. Ciao!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

How moving.

I saw this video on facebook today. I don't cry often, but this definitely had me in tears.

He's not the best vocalist I've ever heard (though he is pretty good!), but his story is astonishing. And his mom's reaction throughout the entire thing was so heart-warming.

If I ever get down about the hand I've been dealt with in life, I'm going to watch this again.

On another note, today was pretty fantastic. I had such an amazing talk with Shari, and then I got in a few extra hours at work. Austin came in with a migraine, and asked to go home early. Nick said she could, as long as she could get me to work for her. So she asked, and I said yes. As she was leaving, she came over and handed me this note, with $10 clipped to the back of it.

My coworkers are awesome. Nick and I spent the evening chatting about his old sun conure, our mutual love of everything John Grisham and Michael Crichton, the Gunslinger series, historical fiction, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, road trips, and snow.

I suppose I should get some homework done before I shower and hit the sack. Ciao!

365 Questions: 141 - 150

141. Is there ever a time when giving up makes sense?  Of course. Some things just aren't attainable. If you continue to pour all of yourself into an empty or unattainable goal, you will lose yourself and/or be miserable.  

142. What makes you proud?  Of myself? Doing well in school. Completing a difficult task or goal. Of others? If they are proud of themselves, then I generally am as well. 

143. How do you find the strength to do what you know in your heart is right?  That has never really been difficult for me. If I know it to be right, I do it. 

144. Where do you find peace?  In myself, ultimately. I get there through yoga, or a good book, a long blogging session, a chat with a friend, or an awesome soak in the tub. 

145. When have you worked hard and loved every minute of it?  When working out. On a regular basis, I don't work as hard as I should. 

146. How short would your life have to be before you would start living differently today?  If I knew I would die in the next 10 - 15 years, I would make different decisions. 

147. Is it better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all?  Loved and lost. To never know love would be so sad. Everyone deserves to know love. 

148. What would you do if you made a mistake and somebody died?  Yikes. I would hope never to be in that position. The only thing you really can do is apologize profusely, learn from your mistake, and move on. That sounds callous, I'm sure, but if you dwell on something like that - particularly the responsibility for taking someone else's life - you will be miserable. 

149. Who do you trust and why?  Erika. Nat. Jacey and Mike. My parents. Ryan. Kris and Dave. I trust a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. Generally, either they have had plenty of opportunity to hurt me and haven't, or they have and have made things right. All of the people I mentioned, I would trust with my life. I trust that they ultimately have my best interest in mind. With the exception of the two couples, they are people that I have known for more than 15 years. And the two couples - I don't even have words for how much they have changed my life. They both mean the world to me and I trust them to the ends of the earth and back. 

150. If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?  My phone, my laptop and portable HD, my eReader, my math clock, my purse, my wallet, my new boots, my green lace heels, a few pairs of cute undies, some of my closet favorites... How big is this backpack we're talking about? :P 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yoga for PTSD.

Back in August or early September, I talked to the owner at my yoga studio about getting a free voucher for a veteran with PTSD, to see if it could help. Then I invited Kyle along. Of course, he wanted "science" before he would agree to go to yoga with me. And since I wasn't willing to do all the work for him and he doesn't care enough about his mental health to look into any therapy other than marijuana, he didn't go.

Today, when rooting around the site for a new independent film on PTSD (please donate here if you have a few extra dollars!), I found a link to something that couldn't have been more perfect. When asking for "science," Kyle wanted something saying yoga was good for anxiety, basically. That it would make him less of an angry asshole. Fort Campbell's Warrior Transition Unit, a rehabilitation unit for soldiers recovering from wounds - most of them sustained in war, practices yoga as a group. There was a veteran with PTSD interviewed for the article, talking about the difference yoga made in his life, and it mostly just made me smile inside.

And yesterday's photo (day 29):
Me at Oktoberfest. Possibly one of the worst pictures of me ever. However, it's the only one I have. And I was eating a plate of sauerkraut with a sausage thing. I don't know why it looks urine-yellow.

Today's picture is of my rockin' new boots, but I haven't uploaded it yet.

I think I'm off to finish up the German homework and go to bed. Ciao!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


One of my favorite times of year.

The Phoenix Oktoberfest was today. Like in the past, my German professors offered extra credit for volunteering our time. Last year, I manned the beer tent and served beer for four hours. Tonight, I was in the wine & Jaeger tent serving more drunk morons, but having a blast.

Speaking of drunk morons, let's just say that I was the only sober one in the tent. I was working with someone else who readily offered up that she pre-gamed for a volunteer shift. Especially toward the end of the night, she was spilling more alcohol than she poured. It was pretty incredible.

Anyway, because I was so awesome, I ended up walking home with tip money! The conversation behind the first tip of the night went a little something like this.

Guy at Oktoberfest: "You know, it's super lame that you aren't allowed to have a tip jar."
Me: "Eh, not a big deal. We can't take cash for the drinks, so it's probably just easier this way."
Guy: "Well what would you do if I high-fived you with a $5 bill in my hand?"
Me: *laughed* "That would be awesome."

And so he did. And it was awesome, just as I had predicted.

Donated some more rice tonight. I'm up over 110,000 grains. Tomorrow (Sunday) is World Hunger Day! Consider donating a thousand grains. It only takes five minutes of your time.

My heart is absolutely breaking for my bff tonight. She went up to Alaska to help her aunt through her double mastectomy surgery which happened yesterday. Today, Aunt G came home from the hospital, and the kids are just holy terrors. I literally listened to the 12-year-old tell Erika while I was on the phone that she was going to put a knife through Er's skull. I don't even have words. I was so appalled. I still am, in fact. Absolutely astonished. What a little bitch.

It reminded me (because Erika said she was going to pack her shit and leave) of our freshman year of college, when we would cram both of us into a twin bed at the end of the day. I absolutely love those memories.

And with that, I suppose I'm off for the night. My back is hurting a bit, so I might walk around a little bit and see if I can get these nasty cramps on the left side to go away. Ciao!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheesy chicken enchiladas!

I will admit, these aren't the best-looking enchiladas ever. They also aren't the tastiest enchiladas ever, since I went the lazy route. But they're still tasty and super easy. Quasi-recipe, coming right up. :)

chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, trimmed)
canned enchilada sauce
canned green chiles (I used about 12 oz.)
canned black beans
canned corn! (see the pattern here?)

Put everything in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours. Then get out some tortillas and a 9x13 baking dish. Stuff your tortillas, roll 'em up, and line them in the greased dish. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake at 350* for 45 - 50 minutes.

Voila! Chicken enchiladas.

I had made them right before I left for Europe, and decided to make a ton of extras and freeze them so I would have food handy when I stepped off the plane. I ended up going grocery shopping the first day (and pretty much slept the entire day away), and Kyle brought over dinner the next day, so I wasn't hurting for them. Finally decided to get 'em out and cook them tonight. Even for being frozen for almost three months, they were pretty tasty.

I'm pretty sleepy, and I have to get up for hot yoga in the morning. I am going to try to be in bed before midnight tonight, so I should probably start getting on that. Ciao!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photos 25 - 27

Tuesday's photo (Day 25):
I mentioned I went and bought that 3 gal. water jug thing. Well here it is, being a hog in my fridge.

Yesterday's photo (Day 26):
I love it when Raj runs around on the floor. She is such a ham, and I had to take a picture. Yes, I do need to vacuum my floor. She knows how to make a huge mess.

And today! Day 27. I tried to get a part of the display that wasn't quite so gruesome. Looks like I wasn't quite successful, but hopefully the picture is small enough that it doesn't matter. We had some people from (or I'm assuming, since that's the web address that was plastered up) on campus today. They had their huge fear-mongering abortion display boards right outside the MU. I really can't stand these campaigns. People are going to have abortions whether or not you try to tell them that it's genocide, or throwing their baby in the trash, or any of the other things the posters said. Ugh.

I took an amazing 2+ hour nap earlier, and now I'm ready to do something productive! I think after I finish my German homework, I'll come back and review an article on PTSD that I read earlier today. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

100,000 grains of rice donated!!

Right there, at the top, where it says "My totals." I rock!

Today was... certainly eventful. Made a few phone calls. Had a small freakout. Did some hot yoga. Had another freakout.

I have to finish up my German newspaper article I'm writing tonight. More tomorrow, perhaps. Ciao!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life just got so much better.

I withdrew from my math class tonight. I was really wearing myself thin between my 18 credits + work, and my math class is one of the ones that makes me a little concerned I won't reach my 3.5 GPA goal for this semester. I looked at my major map, and if I retake it next semester along with Linear Algebra (which I took 6 years ago, but need a refresher before I move forward with my 400-level math classes), I can take Advanced Algebra this summer and still be on track. My life just got a lot less stressful, and my Tuesday and Thursday schedule just opened up a lot more. I will have more time to be a better student in the rest of my classes, and more time to spend on myself, which I can always use.

There were some young teenagers wandering around the complex tonight for a birthday party, playing a game called "Bigger or Better." The first group wanted something bigger or better than a dinner plate, so I gave them one of the plants that was here when I moved in. I should have given them the fake one instead of the one in the awesome glass vase, but I didn't. I grabbed the one that was closest to the door, thankful that I didn't have to toss them myself. The second group wanted something bigger or better than a pogo stick. I didn't have anything I felt like giving up for that, so I sent them on their merry way.

A week or so ago, on one of my frequented forums, someone asked a sweeping "if you had twins today, what would you name them?" question. I've always had two boy names picked out, and one girl name, but I was having trouble with the second name. It came to me when I was laying in bed last night.

Boys: Owen Michael and Gavin Patrick.
Girls: Caoimhe Marie and Caelan Olivia.

And if you don't like my names, you can keep your opinion to yourself. I've heard more than enough feedback on Caoimhe (pronounced Kee-vah) than I care to.

I inadvertently made progress on one of my goals tonight. I headed to Water & Ice to fill up my gallon jugs that I got a while ago and keep refilling. Well I took the tops off, and three of the four smelled sour. So I ended up purchasing a 3 gallon refillable jug thing that they had there - a smaller version of the 5-gal ones you usually find inverted on top of a cooler. So now I have my first jug to go on top of the cooler. I just need the cooler to go with it.

I was doing a bit of research earlier this afternoon on hybrid vehicles, and I found that Tesla is coming out with an electric car - the Tesla S! It is pretty sexy. If it wasn't nearly $60,000, it would be on my wishlist. Unfortunately it also has a battery life of about 160 miles, with a 5-hour recharging time. No more trips to California in that thing.

I suppose I should go put together my "cheat sheet" for my programming test tomorrow. I'll update tomorrow with today's picture. Ciao!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bath time with birdy!

I used to take Raj out every morning and have her in the bathroom with me when I'd take a shower. That was her usual social time. Then, I went on vacation and after I came back, she would scream and yell and hoot and holler every morning and I didn't feel like spending time with her. I usually felt a little bit like wringing her neck when she started screeching at 7AM.

She has since re-learned how to behave, and I got up early this morning, so I brought her into the bathroom with me again. She usually hangs out either on the shower rod or on my head. The latter is not so conducive to showering, so usually I'll go about my business as usual, and she'll fly off somewhere when I dunk my head back under the water. Today, it was to the top of my little storage shelf thing I have in there.

So, without further ado, my adorable birdy!
She was trying to eat the string on my loofah. Goofball.

Mark was leaving as I was heading into work this morning. We chatted a little about my awesome beer chili, and I think I just agreed to bring in Thanksgiving dinner if I work on Thanksgiving.

And to top off my awesome day, I got a 94% on my German oral exam this morning! It would have been even higher if I hadn't fed Jessica all the talking points. I didn't realize that as a tourist, I was supposed to provide half the knowledge. She had only said I had to do half the talking, which I certainly did. Oh well! An A is an A.

I read an article about this amazing woman today. She completed the B of A Chicago Marathon (yes, all 26.2 miles) and gave birth 7 hours later. I want that to be me. I want to be in such amazing shape that I can run a marathon pregnant - hell, even run a marathon at all! And she completed it in something around 6.5 hours.

I found some really fantastic articles today. I have three tabs open with PTSD articles right now that I want to say something about, but I want to give them the time and thought they deserve. With this hellacious math test coming up tomorrow, I definitely don't have the time right now.

So I should probably head off and study! Ciao!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photo 23

Apparently I can't get away from this site today.

I am the proud owner of a stand mixer! It's not super fancy, and not the KitchenAid I've dreamed of, but it's more than I had before, and I'm pretty excited about it! Just in time for baking season. :)

I donated another 1,000 grains of rice tonight, so I'm up to 96,000 total right now. My goal for the month of October was 100,000, so I'm pretty excited about that! I'm super close!

I sat down a little earlier with my 101 list and a calendar, and outlined what I want done in which months. Obviously I didn't plan everything (like the hot air balloon ride, or going to the pottery studio) but I made a list of several goals that I want to complete before the end of the year, and noted the progress I want to have made on others. I penciled in a few other things all the way until December '13, when this project ends, but it's nowhere near completely done, or set in stone.

Did some studying for tomorrow's German test this evening. I have three small cards - one for each of the three cities we might be called on to talk about. I'm a little nervous since Jessica was supposed to send me the questions she is planning on asking me but hasn't yet, so I tried to prepare for everything (which obviously is a little difficult). I'm hoping for the best, though! Actually, I'm hoping for Köln, since that's the city where I'll be asking the questions rather than answering them. :)

My neck is really sore tonight. It feels like it needs to be popped, but when I try, nothing is moving. It's times like these where I would appreciate having a man around... or a professional massage therapist on speed dial. I definitely think that by the end of this nasty week ahead of me, I'll be hurting for a massage.

I'm going to try to head to bed a little early. I'm giving the whole in-bed-before-midnight thing a shot this week. Maybe making a conscious effort to do that will help me be more awake and alert during the day.


365 questions: 131 - 140

131. How have you changed in the last five years?  Five years? Wow. Five years ago, I was 18. I was just starting school at the University of Idaho. I had just joined a sorority. I was heavier than I am now. I drank like a fish and was absolutely boy crazy. Five years ago, I was still stuck on the stupid ex I followed to school. I lived 8 miles away from my best friend and we had sleepovers in my twin bed. I was surprisingly much more involved in church than I am now. 

What's different now? I moved 2,000 miles away. I'm 2,000 miles from my best friend (though she still is my bff!). I live alone and am MUCH more capable of keeping my space clean. I am "wiser" than I was. I cry much more often. I am much quicker to anger if I don't watch myself. I have a much better relationship with my parents, and a worse one with my sister. I have stopped playing the piano - haven't done so in more than three years. I no longer sing, really, other than along with the radio. I am much more concerned now about success, as opposed to the fun I focused on five years ago. 

But in a lot of ways, I'm still the same person. I am simultaneously surprised by how much I've changed, and how much I am still the same person I was. 

132. What are you sure of in your life?  I am sure that happiness and success are both attainable. I am sure that good friends make the bad days easier and the good days brighter. 

133. When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of?  Normally when I think of home, I think of the house I live in and the memories I've created here. My wonderful little birdy that sits in the living room. If I'm referring to Alaska when I say 'home,' I usually mean the house my parents live in currently. The room I spent my high school years in. My hometown, where I have 21 years of memories. 

134. What’s the difference between settling for things and accepting the way things are?  To me, settling implies that you think you deserve better. It has a negative connotation. Accepting things the way they are has a positive spin to it - accepting that you can't change things that you have no control over and being okay with that. 

135. How many of your friends would you trust with your life?  A small handful. Erika. Ryan. Jacey and Mike. Kris and Dave. Probably a few others. 

136. What’s your definition of heaven?  Hmmm. Good question! I believe heaven is a place free from pain and suffering. A place of eternal happiness. I also believe that there aren't relationships in heaven as there are on earth. I'm not really sure how to put all my beliefs into words, to be honest. I haven't thought much about it. 

137. What is your most prized possession?  I wouldn't say my awesome birdy counts as a "possession," so I suppose I would have to say my phone or my computer. Those are the things I would rush to save in a fire, anyway. Phone, computer, purse/wallet. Everything else, I can live without. 

138. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?  I am a life-long learner. I think that sentence best describes me. I love doing new things, learning new things, trying new activities, eating new foods, traveling to new places. There is something to learn from every experience, and I want to experience it all!

139. What stands between you and happiness? Only myself. I am the master of my own happiness. If I am not happy, it is because I have not chosen to be happy. 

140. What makes a person beautiful?  I think surface/outward beauty plays a very small part in overall beauty. Beauty is a reflection of your inner self. Kindness, generosity, loyalty, service, sacrifice, dedication, honesty - your character is what makes you beautiful. I am a firm believer that you can be the most attractive person around, but if you are nasty and hateful, you are not beautiful. 

And the decision was made.

No Symphony today. :( I would really love to go, but knowing it would probably be 2 hours, plus a 20+ minute drive each way - I don't have three extra hours today, with as busy as this upcoming week is going to be.

I've made huge progress around the house instead. I did laundry, dishes, cleaned the bathroom mirror, the hall mirror, made some headway on cleaning out the car... I'm pretty pleased. I have a coupon for a free full-service car wash, and my poor car desperately needs to be washed this week, so I'm trying to clean it out completely so they can give it a good once-over with the vacuum.

As of 2:30, I have 14 of my 25 items crossed off this weekend's to-do list. Not too shabby.

I desperately need another massage. My shoulders are killing me again. The whole "I store stress in my shoulders" thing really is a downer sometimes.

Shari and I had an AWESOME chat about money and the "rich bitch" stereotypes this afternoon. I went into the office to print out some bank paperwork to dispute some more charges, and got started chatting about someone we both know that squanders her money and then is jealous of people that have more. I really am so sick of the people who make comments about how I must be rolling in cash because my dad is loaded, or how life must be so easy because I'm going to school on my parents' dime, or how if they had the money my family does, they would never have a bad day, or any of the other ridiculous things I've heard. Lemme just tell you right now: none of those things are true. I am paying for my education on my own. I have $75,000 in student loans - hardly rolling in dough. Money brings problems of its own. It might solve your financial worries, but creates others - particularly for the people that make comments like the one I mentioned. People don't wish they were rolling in dough when they're hurting to pay rent one month. They make comments like that when they wish they could have a big house and a fancy car and a trophy wife. If you are not satisfied with what you have, no amount of money is going to change that.

Shari also told me I look like I've lost weight, which is super awesome! After being told I look pregnant last week, that was a huge confidence booster.

I just realized that after the spring semester, I will have to petition ASU in order to continue receiving federal financial aid, since I will be over their credit limit. I hope to greatly improve my GPA in the meantime, so I can prove to them that I have been working, and working hard, toward accomplishing this degree.

I'm off to do some more homework/studying. Ciao!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Work! Around the house and otherwise.

Today was my first day of work on my own! Much more exciting than shadowing someone else, for sure. I also talked to Nick a little bit about upcoming classes. There's another one in two weeks, but it's M-F, all day, which obviously wouldn't work for me. Nick mentioned something about coming to what I can, and him training me when I'm available outside of the scheduled class times. That would be super awesome! Not sure that it would result in an immediate pay raise, but it would be spectacular just to be doing a little more than what is in the scope of my responsibility right now.

And work at home! I have had so little time lately to clean the house, and I'm just really unhappy with the state of my living quarters right now. So I have been doing some important things around the house this evening that have been pretty neglected lately. Most notably, I cleaned the tub! It's finally bath season again, and the state of my tub made it... not very inviting.

Since a picture of the tub would not be very exciting, I took a picture of my amazing shower curtain. Partly because I really love it, and partly because there's a clean(er) tub behind it. (Day 22)

I have also made huge progress with my FreeRice lately! I have donated over 85,000 grains so far. Admittedly, that's not a whole lot, and I'm still super behind where I should be right now (1,000 grains per day since March. Yikes!), but over 70,000 of those grains have been donated since September 1st. Not bad for less than 40 days.

I made up a weekend to-do list last night, and have crossed off 8 of 25 items so far. I know that doesn't seem like a whole lot, but considering that's on top of an 8-hour work day today, I'm pretty happy with that number!

The Greek Festival is this weekend. Tomorrow is the last day, and I really wish I could make it down there, but I just don't think I will. On top of the cleaning I have to do around the house, I will be absolutely swamped with school this upcoming week. German oral exam on Monday. Math test on Tuesday. Programming test on Wednesday. German essay due on Thursday. And that's on top of the homework I have due. I would like to get a head start on that rather than spending money on tasty food when I need to lose weight as it is. So, since there will be another Greek Festival next year at the same time, I suppose I will do the responsible thing and stay home.

I think I'm going to head out. I have a lot more to do before bed tonight! Ciao!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

My boss rocks!

And today's photo is just part of the reason why.

Photo #21. Bailey's Mint Chocolate.
Apparently there is somewhat of a tradition surrounding "parking lot shots." And I was treated to my first one today.

I updated my "I'm fat" blog today. I realized yesterday when I walked into my old place of employment and had someone tell me I look pregnant, that something desperately needs to change.

I heard today that Mrs. Walatka, my second grade teacher, has passed away. In celebrating her life today, and talking to others that I went to school with, I was reminded even more of what an amazing woman, a wonderful role model, and an awesome teacher she was. There will be a service held tomorrow in Anchorage for her. I wish I was able to go. All of my teachers at Northern Lights helped shape me into the person I am today, and I wish I could thank them all.

I found this image today, and absolutely love it.
How true that is. Drugs. Alcohol. Facebook. Texting. Other forms of social media. Beauty products. Being thin. The things America's young people focus on are not the things that will make them into the best person they can possibly be. They are not things that matter. They are just that - superficial.

I have started another post that will be more substantial; I just don't have the time to finish it right now. Hopefully that will be up in the next few days! Ciao!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First day of work!

Finally home, at 10:30. I absolutely adore the people I work with. And apparently this weekend should be really low-key, so it should be a blast.

I spent almost half an hour on the phone earlier today talking to a reporter who is doing a piece on PTSD and addiction, and how it affects the family. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final product! I feel like Family of a Vet has given me so many opportunities to share my knowledge (today, a large portion of it was on PTSD itself, the brain changes associated with that, and how that translates into personality changes, etc.) to help others. I truly feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Today's photo (#20):
Laura posted a few days ago about the crazy lady who both complimented and insulted her Danskos at the same time. Well today was the first day beautiful enough to wear mine, so I had to take a picture!

I have an Organic Chemistry test in the morning so I should probably do some studying. Just wanted to update quickly with the exciting happenings of today! Ciao!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's finally fall!!

75 degrees outside right now, at noon. We had an awesome monsoon last night with the best thunder I've heard in a long while. I love fall in Arizona! We might not have changing leaves, but we have monsoons which are so amazing.

Had my German test earlier. Blech. I didn't study nearly as much as I should have. I tried studying last night but wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed early. I set my alarm to get up half an hour early this morning to study, but didn't do that either. So there was very little studying done for this test. Thankfully we had a few extra credit questions. Hopefully those will give me a little boost.

Tonight is my last "free" night this week. I'm had planned on going to the Chris Young concert with Lori, but she wasn't able to switch her work schedule, so she isn't able to go. I suppose I'll suck it up and not go, then, since I don't want to find someone else to go with me at such late notice. (Plus, I have an O-Chem test on Friday and my time could be better spent studying.) A little bummed, but oh well. It's the better decision for sure. I think I'm going to go to the Trace Adkins concert with her husband next week, and the three of us are probably going to see Darius Rucker later this month.

I paid off another chunk of tuition today. I only have $3500 left! I definitely had not planned on taking this long to pay everything off, so I'm a little irritated - mostly about the ticket insurance situation, since that's an extra $1600 that could be in my pocket right now, but I'll make it happen.

My tire pressure is low again. It always happens in the fall, with the change in weather. That's one of the downsides of being single, and of no longer living/working at Wilshire. I don't have a man to air up my tires anymore, and I hate having to pay for air at the gas station. I'm thinking about stopping by Wilshire tomorrow anyway and seeing if Mohammed has a minute to fill 'em up.

Yesterday's photo! (Day 18):
My adorable little birdy likes to hang out and take a bath in her water dish. She also has a toy, made from a wooden cooking spoon, that hangs right above said dish. I've noticed lately that she likes to scratch her head on it when she's bathing, and was finally able to snap a photo yesterday.

Today! (Day 19):
My favorite place to unwind.

In other news, Sarah Palin announced today that she will not be running in this presidential election! Amusingly, the caption of the video at the top of the CNN announcement page, is "Palin 'thankful' not to be running." Don't worry, Palin! You're not the only one!

I have some studying to do for Friday's O-Chem test since I won't be around much tomorrow evening. I should probably get on that. Ciao!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dear Math professor,

<insert any number of rude comments here.>

Over half of your students (two classes, combined) failed your test. AFTER THE CURVE. With an A having a 20-point range, and an E being anything under 30%, that's pretty ridiculous.

Please readjust your grading scale. Please also re-evaluate your teaching style. I can assure you it is not our fault that more than half the class received a 48% or lower on the recent test.

Ugh. That class makes me so frustrated.

I have a rockin' headache at the base of my skull. Those are my favorite kind.

It was suggested to me today to have a little more substance here. I've been checking out the At War NYTimes blog, and it's giving me a lot to mull over and maybe chat about in the next few days. I'm already 10+ days into my 30 day blogging goal, so perhaps instead of spending the next 20 on nonsense and daily musings, I will chat a little bit about how much I adore Michele Bachmann (kidding!), how I feel the military should take better care of our veterans, why Sarah Palin is a hypocritical lunatic, and perhaps some school politics (because I can't stand Michael Crow either).

I have class in 10 minutes that I have apparently decided to skip, so I'm going to spend the next hour and a half doing something productive and school-related. Ciao!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beer chili!

I have had some ground beef in the fridge for a few days now and decided I needed to finally get around to making chili with it. So I headed to the grocery store just before 10 tonight, and grabbed some essentials.

Beer chili!

1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
chili powder
1 bottle beer

Cook the onion, garlic, and peppers in a little bit of EVOO. Add in the hamburger after the veggies are soft. Cook until meat is done. Dump in the beans, chili powder, and a bottle of beer. Let simmer as long as you feel like! (I cooked it for 15 - 20 minutes.)

I also usually put an orange pepper in there, but I didn't feel like cutting that one up tonight.

Here's tonight's dinner, topped with some shredded cheese!

I used an amber ale that Mark recommended. I have used something a little lighter in the past, but this was still tasty. I might have liked it a little more, actually.

I have 12 of my 50 weekly items crossed off the list. I'm glad I'm a tiny bit ahead - especially since I work both Thursday and Friday!

Went to Mellow Mushroom for a late lunch today, thanks to my Groupon that expired tonight. I wasn't totally impressed. It's definitely no Moose's Tooth. And really wasn't worth the $28 that my bill came to. I suppose I'll review it as one of my new restaurants visited... you'll probably see more about it later.

I have some homework to do before bed, so I'm outta here for the night. Ciao!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Photos 15 and 16!

Saturday (day 15):
The sunset with the dust looked so pretty. Plus, I managed to capture two of my favorite people.

Sunday (day 16):
My haul from the commissary case lot sale! I spent a whopping $32 (only because I wasn't selfish enough to snag all the coupons in sight so I could get overage). I got 3 cases of the new Trident gum (10 boxes in each case), two things of Ziplock baggies, 4 Odwalla bars, some chai concentrate, some other stuff... and MANNER WAFERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I originally fell in love with them in Austria. Theresa had some waiting on my pillow when I got there, and I devoured them. Then I got to Vienna, where they originated, and had to visit the Manner store. I might have spent a pretty penny (or Euro cent!) there. I haven't been able to find them since I've been back, except on Amazon, until today! Pretty sure I'm going to be making a lot more trips to the commissary with Kris before her divorce is final.

I had orientation today at work! Four hours and 45 minutes later, I had a new appreciation for Mark and Gina, and am so looking forward to starting this week! I already love the people there, so things are bound to be awesome!

With that said, I also haven't had much time at the house today. I slept in after my amazing massage last night, went to the commi this morning, made the 45 minute drive back home in... less than that, made up my face, and headed off to orientation. I have been catching up for the last two hours. Need to run to the grocery store and get stuff to finish off my chili (Mark recommended a craft beer for me tonight, so I'm super excited to see how it tastes!), and get gas since I'm almost totally out.

I'm out for the night. Ciao!