I’m switching things up a bit. Recipes and Pictures will be switched this week (but only this week). To make amends I will be posting Pictures (note the s as in plural, multiple pictures).
On to the recipe.
I first started using this amazing soup recipe in high school, and have loved it ever since.
This recipe makes about 1-2 servings (depending on our idea of a serving).
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 oz. barley
1/2 Tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 small onion
1/4 tbsp olive oil
Drain and rinse white beans and set aside. Finely chop onions and slice mushrooms. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add broth, milk, beans, barley, and parsley. Cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Season with black pepper and enjoy hot!
I’m starting my first set of work for the Census on Tuesday. I’m headed to Bon Secour, Alabama. Given everything I know about Bon Secour, I’ll be posting about it later this week (I see great seafood and scenery in my future (did I mention I’m psychic)).
On to the most important business. Contests!!!
So many amazing people are having contests this month in celebration of reaching an impressive number of followers. You should swing by all their blogs, not just for the contests, but because they are awesome! Also, Wednesday is a certain amazing person’s Birthday!!! Be prepared to celebrate!
Contests/ Celebrations Carol’s Prints
Carol has reached 300+ followers!!! In celebration, she is having a contest where she will be giving away some great books to 3 (or possibly 4) ‘bloggie friends’. Head over to her blog and check it out!
Julie’s “200 Awesome People Contest” contest ended on Sunday (I think, stupid me for getting behind) but she still needed mention on here. HELLO, she has 200 Awesome People following her (and happens to be awesome herself). Mention is necessary.
About a week ago, I heard some very disturbing news.
My Barnes & Noble is closing.
According to rumor, they can no longer make the lease payments and have to be shut down. Their location has never been that great. They are located across the street from a mall. This means they get all the mall traffic without actually being in it. Also, there is a Books-A-Million in the mall. Not to mention that the parking lot for this shopping center is very awkward.
Barnes & Noble and I have had a long committed relationship. When I was little, their children’s section was one of my favorite places. They had all my favorite books and plenty of places to sit and read.
After my parents’ divorce, my father would pick me up every Wednesday from school and we would hang out for a couple of hours. Sometimes we went to the movies or the park; but, more often than not, we went to Barnes & Noble. We would look at books for a while, then pick our favorites and get something at the café. In the café, we would catch up on each other’s lives, or browse through our books. We would discuss what we were reading, which would generally lead to more discussion on our beliefs or opinions. This was the time when we would get to know each other. When so many of our problems would float away and our common interest in books would bring us together.
Toward the end of high school, I began looking for a job. I really wanted to work in a book store and preferred Barnes & Noble. Luckily, one of my father’s patients worked at Barnes & Noble and gave me a recommendation. My obsessive organizational skills shined. I loved being surrounded by the books. I loved my managers; Shiny Shoes, Grumpy Bear, and “Angel”. I loved spending my break reading books. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the discount.
Since graduating college, I’ve been on a budget crunch and have primarily been using the library or used book stores. In a way I feel guilty for not buying more from my trusty BN.
When I talked to one of my former co-workers last week they informed me that May 30th will be their last day. Corporate will not be opening another Barnes & Noble in our city because they figure the Barnes & Noble about 45 minutes away (on a good day) is close enough to our city. Corporate also believes that our Barnes & Noble workers can simply commute to the other location and the Barnes & Noble customers will follow. However, our town also has two Books-A-Millions and several nice small bookstores. I don’t see many people commuting to the store across the bay.
My father, sister, and I will be having a “Farewell, Barnes & Noble” day next month and will forever miss our lovely Barnes & Noble.
Don’t Knock It Till You Try It!!! (Yes, I am yelling at you)
When my mother first told me about her Chocolate Omelets I figured that it would be disgusting, but I am not one for turning down a new dish (as long as it’s meatless). What I found is that this is a delicious treat that is actually, relatively, not bad for you. Kinda.
It may sound strange (or not), but it is actually really good. My mother and father claim to have “invented” this while my father was a Resident at Duke. However, I have found several other recipes online. Some of the recipes I’ve seen online seem complicated, but this recipe is simple.
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa
4 tsp sweetener (sugar or artificial)
2 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp butter
Blend eggs, cocoa, sweetener, and milk. You can blend them by hand or use a blender. Make sure not to over blend the eggs, a few seconds should do the trick.
In a preheated saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Then, add the egg mixture. Continue to cook as you would any omelet. Some people like to finish it in the oven to ensure it is thoroughly cooked, but I generally just cover the mixture while cooking.
As a finishing touch, I like to add whip cream and strawberries or raspberries (be sure to let it cool first, melted whip cream can just make it soggy). Some people also like to mix in flavored liqueur. I recommend playing with the recipe to find your perfect mixture of cocoa, eggs, and sweetener.
Also, to make it a bit "healthier" you may want to reduce the eggs to1 yolk and 2 whites.
The Census Bureau called the Friday before last and asked if I could begin training early and I, of course, said yes. Training was long, easy, but long. I ended up working a 37 hour week in 4 days. Also, I am now trained in fingerprinting. Job skill? I’ll go with it. While the training started last week, I still don’t know when I’ll actually start work. Also, we (the trainees) kept getting varying answers on how long the job will last. O well, I'm getting a paycheck.
I did manage to go to a lecture by E. O. Wilson last Wednesday. To name a few of his titles; he is a sociobiologist, naturalist, theorist, and author. He lived much of his childhood in my hometown of Mobile, AL and earned his B.S. and M.S. from The University of Alabama (my Alma mater) and his PhD from Harvard. Among many other awards, he has won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction twice. Also, he has written a novel titled Anthill.
My favorite quote: “You can remember it best by thinking of us as being a Star Wars civilization: We have Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions and God-like technology. That's the source of all of our problems.”
I don’t necessarily agree with all of his beliefs, but he is a very interesting man with interesting views.
It’s so amazing watching my nephew grow and reach new developmental milestones. He is so amazing! I brought him with me to UU this weekend and it was great watching him interact with the other children.
The other day I took my car to Wal-Mart for an oil change. I had an hour and a half to kill so I browsed and then went to the waiting room. I sat down and had pulled out my book when I realized that two small boys were sitting in the corner staring at me. First, I performed the self-conscious ‘what’s wrong with my appearance’ check. Then, I smiled politely and went back to reading my book. The oldest boy moved a few seats closer to me, with brother in tow, and began telling his brother stories about his classes and mentioning other bits of information (while repeatedly looking to see if I was paying attention). I am a frequent eavesdropper, which means I learned a few things about these boys.
The oldest is in Second grade and his brother is 2 years younger.
Their mother is a worker in the Auto Department and can’t afford any type of after school care. The boys wait at Wal-Mart till the youngest boy’s father can pick them up and take them home. They like waiting there, but their mom worries that one day a supervisor may get mad or a customer may complain. She worries a lot.
They are getting evicted because their mother can’t pay the rent.
The oldest cannot be beat in math. He is in fact a ‘Math Scholar’. This was proven by him answering math problems myself and several of the workers posed.
At one point the oldest began to talk about one of his classmates, Danny, and how he got in trouble for ‘humping’ a chair. He made a few comments about other things before bringing the conversation back to his friend Danny. The oldest turned to his younger brother and proclaimed that Danny was a child molester. At this point I was more deeply involved in my book and just caught the last bit of his statement. I figured I had misheard something and continued reading. The oldest boy then described a child molester to his brother, in detail. At this point I realized what was happening and interjected before he defined ‘rape’. I told him that this was not the proper place to discuss that topic. His younger brother then told me that he already knew what that word meant.
While my studies have taught me that some children younger than these two know about these topics and worse, I was still taken back.
Then, the boys gave me a greater shock.
They began discussing what the Easter Bunny was going to bring them. The Easter Bunny that they both completely believed in.
It always surprises me how much children can know and still carry these magical beliefs.
I think it speaks to their resiliency, but also to what they are exposed to. So many keep Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy alive, the secret safely hidden, but then allow* children to be exposed to horrible facts of life no child should ever have to know.
*By allow I mean society as a whole seems to be allowing this to occur. I realize that individuals don’t always have control over what children are exposed to.
*Corn Maque Choux is one of my absolute favorite dishes!
Here’s a bit of information about Corn Maque Choux.
Corn Maque Choux is a Cajun side dish that was introduced to the French settlers by the American Indians. Today’s recipe is more of a collaboration of French and American Indian recipes (it really depends on who you ask, but some will say it is French with American Indian influence and others will say it is American Indian with French influence) . There are a lot of variations of the recipe and it can be a lot of fun to change it up or mix recipes to make your own. It is generally served as a side dish, but adding meat (my friends like sausage or chicken) , fish, shrimp, crawfish, tempeh, ect can make it a great meal in itself. – I recommend the shrimp!
Corn Maque Choux*
Recipe serves 6
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups corn kernels (4 – 6 fresh ears)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (you can also substitute a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies for the stock)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk or cream
Melt 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add corn, onions, bell peppers, and green onions, stir just enough to keep the vegetables from burning***. Sauté until the onion is limp and transparent. Add the garlic and sauté about a minute more, continue to stir so as not to burn the garlic. Add the seasonings, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to very low; add the stock and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, stirring often. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter until melted.
In another bowl, whisk the beaten egg and the milk until frothy. Gradually add the egg mixture to the corn mixture, stirring briskly to keep the eggs from scrambling. Add sugar, stir and increase heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally to keep mixture from scorching.
Remove from heat. Enjoy while hot!
* Camera is temporarily out and no online picture really works for this version. I will hopefully add a picture later!
** I always prefer organic and fresh ingredients, but availability and budgets don’t always allow for them.
***When stirring or scrapping the bottom of the pan a wooden spatula is best. It works well and won’t scratch your pan.
This picture was taken during my first trip to Venice, Italy. It was taken on the Riva degli Schiavoni outside of the Palazzo Ducale. In the background you see gondolas on the Canale di San Marco and the building is the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore.
The woman in the picture was advertising for an opera.
I’m Back! I’m Back! It’s been a while, but now I’m Back with a vengeance. I like plans, I am good with plans and I need a plan or I put things off and randomly ramble. Spontaneity and I may be great friends, have had many good times, share some fun stories, but we don’t get much accomplished. SO, here I am with a brand new template (Thanks Courtney), a brand new title (subject to change), and a brand new plan!
Now for some Updates!
I made it to the last round (final in-person interview) for Teach For America and now I am waiting to hear back. The interview went well and my practice lesson went smoothly, but from my understanding you never know with Teach For America. Only 15% of the people who apply are selected. I don’t find out if I get a position till the 19th! I am quite nervous, but following the philosophy that what should happen, will happen!
The closest interview location happened to be New Orleans (one of my favorite cities). Now who wants to drive two and a half hours for an interview, interview all day, and then drive back? Not me. So, I recruited my lovely sister to come with me and spend the night. Two single girls in New Orleans for one night… enough said.
I got a temporary job! It is with the Census Bureau and lasts up to 8 weeks starting the 27th. Hurray!
A lot has been going on with my family lately. Most of it I won’t post because it’s not my story to tell, but it’s been a bit stressful. I have a tendency to worry worry worry for everyone around me. Hopefully everything will clear up in the next couple of weeks and my worry will be for nothing.
Anyway, as the week progresses I will be sharing some of my plans and I will get my blog rolling!
--In fact, because this post- intended for Monday- has been posted so late I will be posting again immediately after so that I now fit my plans!!!
My nephew has an ear infection which gave him an eye infection, so Boy and his Mommy have been home for the past two days and he has had trouble sleeping (pout). Normally, Boy is not allowed to watch television with the exception of 1 movie or a few shows on Sundays while he plays. However, a sad sleepless baby (with a sleepless Mommy) gets to “bend” the rules. This “bending” of the rules has led to Boy repeatedly running up to the computer, pointing, and exclaiming “Ki-eh! Ki-eh!”
For your viewing pleasure, I present-
Also, Sister has given me my graduation present!
The top necklace was a Christmas present from Father a few years ago.
The bottom necklace is my graduation present from Sister.
I started a series last week by an author I thoroughly enjoy. Only, it did not meet my expectations. I know I’m picky and judgmental about my books, which is why I generally rely on recommendations made by my family and friends. Well, dear friend, who will remain nameless, you have failed me. Miserably.* Now I am stuck in a series that is full of historical inaccuracies** and really really annoying leading ladies. The author’s other series are historically accurate and well written (and set in a different time period). This series, however, is not. There are jumps in logic, a surprising number of typos (which I am blaming on the publishers), and the character development for said leading ladies is horrible.
Has the author written so many books she has stopped caring? Does her publisher figure she already has a fan base and can get away with this?
I cannot stop reading. I have done this, and do this, all the time. Once I start a series, it is very hard for me to put it down. I do like the male leads, the idea is good, and I want to know what happens next, but I probably won’t be looking for Book Three. I will stop myself. Really. Ok, maybe I am lying. The series could get better. Maybe. Probably not.
Why didn’t I just put down Book One? Well, I began reading the series because a dear nameless friend of mine let me borrow a bunch of books she was going to sell to the used bookstore. This stack of books contained Book Two. I, obsessive about reading a series in order, quickly went to my library’s database and placed a hold on Book One. When I realized Book One was bad I kept reading. I figured that Book Two must be better and wanted to be able to understand all of it (after all my friend and I have similar tastes). Now, I am about halfway through Book Two and it is not better.
I could live with the historical inaccuracies (after all it is fiction), a few of the typos, and some of the jumps in logic, but the character development is ruining it for me. I could even deal with the annoyingness (I am not sure that is a word) of the female characters, if they were actually developed.
--For example, I am constantly annoyed and frustrated by Faythe, the leading lady in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series. But, and this is a big but, I know why she thinks and acts the way she does. I can understand her selfishness, because her life has supported it. Also, in each book she grows a little more, she evolves because of the events affecting her, as she would (hopefully) in real life. Also, when Rachel Vincent states something about one of the characters I know it is true because I have seen it or will see it in the character’s actions.
In this series, however, I, the reader, am constantly being told about the female characters, but never shown these traits they supposedly possess. I am told they are strong and smart, but only see their weakness and stupidity. The male characters, however, seem to grow and change. Their characters are actually developed. I can see their point of view and their reasoning. When the male characters change, I know why. I see them struggle. I see them evolving, and consequently, they are the only characters I can connect with. It is as if I am reading a half good and half bad book.
Earlier today (okay, while writing this) I decided to look at online reviews and see what others thought. It looks like most agree with me. These books are really bad. The reviews also commented that they liked the author's other books, so I am not alone.
In all fairness these books are not the worst I have read. I could still, objectively, give them a 2 out of 5 rating. An ‘I didn’t like it’ opposed to an 'I hated it', but I will not be recommending them to anyone.
Originally, I wasn’t going to post the series’ name and author, as it was originally simply a little rant. But the rant grew and now I have decided I should tell you the author and series, for your own reading protection.
Series- The Masters of Time
Author- Brenda Joyce
Brief Description- Time traveling highlanders, known as Masters, fight against evil and protect innocents.
*If your reading this, I believe we are now even for the several hours of your life I owed you for making you watch horrible movies with me. **I am not talking about things like ‘Location A never existed’ or ‘Character B’s real life counterpart was not like that’ (which the author actually explains in the back of the book) but things like ‘that was not invented yet’ or ‘someone from that time period would not have understood that’.
PS - If you have read the series and disagree let me know, and let me know why.
PSS- Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming has reached 200 followers! She is now giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and a query critique by Elana Johnson accompanied by a copy of Elana Johnson's ebook From the Query to the Call! I highly recommend stopping by her blog!
I’m completing my application for Teach For America and have now become quite nervous. A girl I went to middle school with is apparently working with them and sent me an email with a link about the recruitment process and some additional info. Basically, it said what they look for in people. I think I have many of the qualities listed, but the article also mentioned how many apply and how many are actually recruited. I don’t like rejection, but with every path I wish to take – graduate school, Teach For America, ANY JOB- rejection is plentiful.
On the Job front, I’m sending in more applications and resumes. So far I’ve been told I’m either under qualified or overqualified for every job. Another job simply told me that I had enough qualifications, but that there were just several others who applied with more qualifications. I have enough to pay this month’s car payment and credit card, but I’m worrying about next month. Once again, I am so thankful that I have a wonderful mother who is letting me live in her house and eat her food free of charge!
A very important matter to address is a contest over at Shannon’s blog Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. Shannon is giving away a signed copy of Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur by Laura Joy Rennert.
Also, having a contest is Falen Formulates Fiction. She has reached and passed 50 followers (HURRAY!) and is now giving away a gift card!
Last night I was reading blogs and posting comment when somehow my clock magically changed from 12pm to 4 am. Blogs are apparently my new addiction. Reading one blog leads to reading someone who follows them or that they follow. That leads to me going through several blogs before I finish reading the blogs on my Google reader. Of course something will also spark my interest on a blog that will lead me to researching some obscure fact, before returning to the blogs I was initially reading. Oh well, Insomnia suits me for a day or two.
Since graduating college and moving back to my hometown the best part of my day has changed considerably.
Every night my mother, sister, and I watch one of our shows together. Then, at 8:00pm the best part of my day begins. I rise from my comfy chair and walk over to my nephew. At this point he is either tugging on his mother, sitting with his Nona*, or playing on the floor with his dogs and toys. I tell him it’s time for bed and he either reaches his hands for me to pick him up with that tired look in his eyes, or he begins fussing. After all, who would want to leave a room full of their favorite people? We head back to the room he shares with his momma, where I change his diaper and dress him for bed. Then, we go around the room and turn off all the lights but one small light in the corner. We grab a pacifier and walk over to the rocker by his crib. The moment we sit down he calms and curls up in my arms. I begin singing** to him as we rock back and forth. By the third chorus of ‘Redemption Song’ he is fast asleep. His little hand still clutches my hair; his breathing is slow and even. This is one of those rare moments when I don’t think, when all the troubles of my day disappear. I am still singing to him, but I am not really aware of the words rolling off my tongue. I know that eventually I need to put him in his crib and go back to the world, but I don’t want to. I wish moments like this could last forever.
*Nona is his name for my mother, his grandmother.
** I am not a good singer, and never will be. Between my mother, sister, and myself he will be tone deaf.
Who Dat?! We Dat! Geaux Saints! (Just had to say it)
M.I.A. No, not the singer.
I apologize for the lack of posts. I’ve been away from the computer for the past couple of days. I even spent a whole day without turning on my computer (gasp). I have several posts I will be posting this week and I will not let myself fall off the planet again. Promise! My next blog posts I’m actually going to plan! Maybe even an outline or an idea of what to write before I start typing. I have several ideas for blog posts and now I may just use them. I think this will be better than my method of sitting, writing, submitting, and then rereading with disgust(I get pickier as time passes).
Now…… on to the Awards *cheers from the crowd* (What? You don’t hear them?). I am so excited to have received 3 Awards! Two of the awards come from the amazing Courtney, an aspiring author with immense talent. She has bestowed upon me The Over the Top Award and the Honest Scrap Award! Also, I have received my second Picasso Award from Kayleigh at Kayleigh’s Kaleidoscope! Kayleigh is also an aspiring author with a wonderful blog, who constantly puts me to shame with her accomplishments.
Deciding who to pass these awards on to next has been very difficult for me. I know many have already recently received it, but they may just receive another from me! Also, many of the bloggers I follow don’t even know who I am, but they will be receiving these awards from me regardless!
First- The Over the Top Award
Thank you so much Courtney for this wonderful Award! I think it is supper cute!
Rules: Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though. Your Cell Phone? Dying Your Hair? Braid Your Mother? Sweet Your Father? Complaining Your Favourite Food? Spaghetti Your Dream Last Night? lol Your Favourite Drink? Tea Your Dream/Goal? Happy What Room Are You In? Bedroom Your Hobby? Reading Your Fear? Inside Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Working Where Were You Last Night? Home Something That You Aren't? Sure Muffins? Pumpkin Wish List Item? Cash Where Did You Grow Up? South Last Thing You Did? Book What Are You Wearing? Jeans Your TV? Off Your Pets? Amazing Friends? Dear Your Life? Still Your Mood? Ok Missing Someone? Unfortunately Vehicle? Berry Something You Aren't Wearing? Hat Your Favourite Store? Dollar Your Favourite Colour? Red When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today Last Time You Cried? Today Your Best Friend? Away One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Out Facebook? Stalk Favourite Place To Eat? Sushi
Once again from the amazing Courtney! For this award I must give 10 “honest” facts about myself.
1. I have a tattoo of a bear on my hip. It is for my dog Ursa, and it represents the place she will always have in my heart and mind.
2. I love snakes. I think they are beautiful and often misunderstood. I also believe a fear of snakes is natural and is generally a good thing (if you don’t know what it is, or the individual snake, stay away).
3. I am jealous of everyone with a strong faith.
4. I’m a geek freak. I love to learn and spend hours researching obscure topics for no useful reason. – see Picasso #6
5. I have a huge collection of shoes that I rarely wear.
6. I believe in Ghosts (or something like ghosts).
7. I like to think that there is a possibility that everything we imagine can be real, both the good and bad.
8. I believe in Karma, but that we cannot seek Karmic retribution.
9. I love crime dramas, anything that explores crime and motive.
10. I have no very little personal space. My personal bubble does not exist. I understand that others do have a personal ‘bubble’ and respect it (unless of course you are my older brother). Somehow, all of closest friends have been non touchy/huggy people.
And last, but not least, the Picasso Award from the wonderful Kayleigh.
Thank you so much for this Award!
1. I cry during most Disney movies and have skipped scenes from most of them as well. For example, I’ve never seen all of the Lion King (I skip the part where his daddy dies) and refuse to finish The Fox and the Hound.
2. On a similar note, the villains’ songs (in Disney and other kids’ movies) are always my favorite.
3. I have traveled through part of Europe once and Italy twice. I traveled around Europe with my family the summer between my 6th and 7th grades. Sadly, I don’t remember a lot about this trip. I remember the friend I met and some of the locations we went, but most of my memories from this trip are like snap shots. My first trip to Italy was the summer after I graduated from high school. I went with my father and we traveled to Venice, Rome, and Florence. I fell in love with Venice instantly. Then, the summer after my freshman year of college, I went with a group from the Italian language department of my University and studied language and culture in Italy at the Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri in Florence. I lived with an Italian family and had the most amazing experience.
4. I have a pure black cat named Meshach (yes, as in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). He was actually named after another cat that was at our local SPCA when I volunteered for them. While his name is Meshach, he is generally referred to as Baby Kitty or BK.
5. I don’t think I could ever live somewhere far from water. I prefer the beach, but a large lake or river will do.
6. It really bothers me when authors make historical mistakes. For example, in a novel I’m currently reading a Highlander in the 1400s couldn’t understand the term hypnotize, but understood the word mesmerize (he was talking to someone from our time). The word mesmerize came into being to describe what happened to those who where “healed” by Franz Mesmer in the 1700s. Mesmer was a German physician and astrologist who “healed” people through animal magnetism. His method was referred to as mesmerism and eventually the word mesmerize arose. Mesmerism actually led to hypnosis (mid 1800s) (thank you PY 470 Cognitive Psych– this is actually the thing I remember most from that class). I know this is small in the grand scheme of things, but it bothers me.
7. Often, I enjoy cleaning. There can be something calming about doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, or just tidying up- as long as you have music or an audiobook.
Today I just feel like posting bits.
I’ve lost 3 pounds! This isn’t that much for me given that I set a goal of -20 pounds about 15 days ago, but I think once I actually start going to the gym again it will pick up. Also, this means just 17 more pounds till I reach new goal!!! Woot woot!
I’ve kept my resolution not to buy anything (the lack of income helps). My only recent purchase was hair dye, paper clips, and mascara. I used a Wal-Mart gift card I received for Christmas to buy this so I’m going with ‘this doesn’t really count/ it was all useful’. Plus, I view these as job finding expenses. I needed the paper clips for my resumes and you have to look presentable to get a job right??? I’m especially proud that I went in knowing what I wanted, and came out with only what I went in to get.
Because I know you’re dying to know... I’ve dyed my hair medium ash brown. My hair was dyed light ash brown in my pic (yeah, I’m going wild right?).
On the job front I just got a semi-job! Last summer I worked for a local Unitarian Universalist church in my hometown. They were really great people and my job was the summer infant and toddler teacher. Basically, I played with infants and toddlers then cleaned and sanitized every Sunday for a few hours. Last night I received an email from them asking if I would be available to work for them again and provide some other babysitting services. My response…HURRAY!!! The extra cash will definitely help!
I’ve put 58 of my DVDs up for sale and have gotten a few bites!
My sister has been ahuge help in the job search. She has helped with my resumes and is generally supportive. She has had a lot of experience with a lot of things (and is generally successful) so I know I can ask her anything and she will have a great answer. If she hasn’t had an experience with it, she at least has an idea of where I can find an answer. I am so grateful for her.
I’ve given my resume to several animal hospitals and a medical clinic, applied to Blockbuster and Books-A-Million, and will give my application and resume to a local daycare tomorrow. I really hope one of these works out.
I’ve also submitted an application to Teach for America. I would have to move and teach in a disadvantaged area, but this is something I think would be fulfilling. It is, however, a two year commitment. Basically, I would be deciding between this and grad school. On the plus side it is an instant salary and I would be doing a good service. Also, getting into a graduate program would mean moving as well. I actually would like to move. My only hesitation on leaving to go far far away is my nephew. I love him so much and I want him to really know me.
I have scheduled my GRE and have given myself a deadline of Monday to ask for teacher recommendations. I am extremely nervous about the recommendations.
Well, so far I’m failing (maybe I jinxed myself by calling them New Year’s Resolutions). I have yet to get a job. I still don’t know what to do with my life, and we can go on from there. I am actually excelling at finishing all the books I start, but I really really really want to drop There but for the Grace of God by Fred Rosen. His books look so interesting (of course my library doesn't carry most of them) so I thought I would check out the only one my library carried. It is supposed to be about seven survivors of serial killers. However, it really isn’t and I’ll probably expand on that at another time.
Another fail, I bought new books. But does it really count if I didn’t pay for them? I went to the used bookstore with B (it was peer pressure really) and traded some of mine in and got three. I think I did good considering that I could have gotten one more book but instead I opened an account. And I got books I couldn’t get at the library. Also, it doesn’t count if I simply acquire the books. Right? I went through the books B was turning in and found about fifteen I wanted to read. So now I have that stack sitting in my room. Also, my father just gave me another Joseph Campbell book to read. Anyone else feel like there just isn’t enough time to read everything that you want to read?
I think I also failed with how often I am supposed to blog. But for this I have an excuse! Kind of. I was planning on writing on Monday, but I woke up with a no good, horrible, evil migraine. Then, I had to take my best/worst frenemy Imitrex, which left me nauseas and wiped out on Tuesday. Hurray. Fun. Time. On Wednesday I had to pick my father’s stepson up from school and watch him till after nine. I got a lot of reading done, but felt wonky from spending so much time at my father’s house. So, I dove into the wonderful sea of fiction and let its waters cleanse me.
The gym is also a failure. I still haven’t been yet, but tomorrow is the day. I swear!
About applying to graduate school… If I apply to graduate school this go around I need to schedule my GRE and email my Professors for recommendations. This is the part that terrifies me. Not the GRE but asking for Professors recommendations.
Every other resolution is going quite well. So !Hurray! for that.
Well, now I’m tired. So I will finish my fish-shaped bottle of white wine (thanks to my sister) and read until I fall asleep. Love to ALL!
Last night I was thinking about New Years Resolutions. Mostly I was thinking about how I haven't made one for the last several years. I make resolutions randomly throughout the year, but rarely at New Years. This year my random resolutions have landed on New Years. Since I know your dying to know them here they are: 1. Get a JOB. 2. Get some idea of what I want to do with my life. 3. Apply to Graduate School. 4. Volunteer (after finding a job). 5. Finish all the books I start. 6. Read all the books I own before buying new ones and check library before buying. - Or sell the ones I don’t wish to read. 7. Don’t buy frivolous things. -This should be easy since on the 15th I will have no money and need more by the next 15th. 8. Improve working vocabulary. – Apparently normal people use more than just psych and criminology terms when talking. 9. Write in blog at least weekly. (Hurray!!!) 10. Start writing short stories and poetry again. 11. Lose another 20 pounds. 12. Go to the gym at least twice a week. 13. Walk Ursa whenever weather permits.- Ursa is my amazing 11 year old (her 11th birthday was New Years Day!) Miniature Schnauzer. 14. Make friends that live in the same general area. (Most of my friends live out of town….. I have no social life now) 15. Stay on top of cleaning. 16. Get rid of junk. -I like to be surrounded by stuff. It doesn’t have to be nice stuff, just stuff. That needs to stop. 17. Try not to let family hurt my feelings. –Trust me, easier said than done. 18. Try not to fight with family. -Trying is the best I can offer. 19. Limit TV time. 20. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. – The job should help with this.
Now on to that lovely Picasso Award from the amazing Courtney . Hmmmm 7 facts about myself... 1. Like Courtney, I love horrible horrible horror/sci-fi movies. I can watch them for hours and hours. I also love good horror/sci-fi movies. But, more often than not, I find myself gravitating to BC D list movies. The best part about these movies, you can laugh your arse off and still get scared. When a horror movie filled with A list actors and a big budget fails, it just sucks. But when a low or kind of low budget movie with not so big actors fails, it is almost always hilarious. Stilted dialog , plot holes (sigh) a good night. 2. Another vice of mine is Romance Novels. I read my first Romance Novel while spending the night at B's house in high school. She always reads to go to sleep so she handed me one of her books. It was Brenda Joyce's The Prize. I began reading, skeptical. Around 5 a.m. B rolled over pulled her eye mask off and croaked (in the way only someone disturbed from their sleep can croak) "why the hell are you still up? Go. To. Sleep." I obeyed reluctantly, woke up an hour later and finished the book. This is a nasty habit I have. I start a book and several hours later I have neglected everything I was supposed to be doing. I often tell myself "Just one more chapter and I'll go to sleep." I'm such a liar. Anyway, that night started my love affair with romance novels. At first I was obsessed with Pirate themed historical novels. They often involve a kidnapping and while my mind is screaming "Stockholm Syndrome!" I'm still loving it. Pirate historical led to historical and if memory serves me correctly Courtney led me to paranormal good paranormal romances (I'd tried a few bad ones first) and mystery/crime romances. Now I read a mixture of the genres, and love them all! 3. I am an Aquatarian. This is like a vegetarian only I also eat water dwellers. Some refer to this as a pescetarian. *I originally had a lot more written after that but I have decided to save that for another day. Right now, as part of me is saying "Save this for later. It can wait! Don't make this too long!" another part of me is saying "Write! Write! You must explain yourself!" But I'm going to revisit this another time. It could easily be its' own post... or 3. (don't worry it won't be 3) 4. I suffer from an undifferentiated connective tissue disease (or a Mixed Connective Tissue Disease MCTD). Basically I have had really bad joint and muscle pains since I was in high school. My freshman year in college I started getting hives associated with it and in my sophomore year I developed a sensitivity to sunlight and must always wear sunscreen. Lately I've been feeling a lot better. I had to recently have my knee injected but other than that I've been comparatively pain free. (Hurray) I'll probably post about this at another time as well. 5. I have the most amazing dog in the world. Her name is Ursa Noir. She was born January 1st, 1999. My family got her in February of that year. I am extremely close to her. When I was very depressed she was always there for me. She always lets me know I'm loved. 6. I am terrified of daddy long legs and mosquito hawks. I don't know when it started, but for as long as I can remember they have terrified me. 7. I get really attached to Jewelry. I have worn the same necklace (actually I've gone through 4 chains, but kept the same pendant) for over a year now. As well as the same ring. I only take them off for medical reasons (like getting an X ray) or when I do take them off I keep them with me in my purse or somewhere on my person. I've done this with various pieces of jewelry since I was in Middle school. Generally the only reason I stopped wearing the item was because it broke or fell off and was lost. I think the habit of wearing the jewelry comforts me. Well there is that part of my fulfillment. I will send this out when/if I get more Bloggie friends! Love to ALL!
I feel like a very, very, bad blogger. I start a blog and then just ignore it for days. Bad, Bad Blogger (shaking pointed finger at myself). I've been distracted, what with being out of school and unemployed. Also, I was in a funk for a few days.
So here is an update.
Christmas Eve was interesting. My father's power was out so the scheduled movie at his house was canceled. This somehow led to us meeting him and his step-son at a Waffle House and having dinner there for Christmas Eve. That's a new one for my family. I personally preferred it over going to his house. A house that objectively I would love, but instead it just makes me uncomfortable. I bet your wondering where my father's wife was. Well, she was taking her youngest back to his father (She doesn't have custody). There is a path I could go down now, but I'm not going to (working on this whole personal growth thing).
On to Christmas. It was rather uneventful. I felt the wicked pangs of depression. All the bad thoughts came rushing at me, threatening to bury me under their weight. However, I managed to shield myself and move on. All holidays, birthdays, etc. seem to bring them on, but they were not as bad as they used to be. All was fine. We exchanged presents. Nothing big. I received a beautiful ring from my Granny. It was given to her by my parents when she retired and now she's passing it to me. The best part of Christmas was dinner time. My Sister and Brother decided to throw a Scandinavian Christmas dinner (no we don't have any Scandinavian ancestry). It was great. Also, while reading other blogs we came across a great Buttered Rum recipe thanks to Jenny Mac. Warning: It makes a lot.
The next days were mostly uneventful. I spent New Years with my mother and sister (both of which fell asleep before midnight). I, of course, stayed up. Reading. Till 6 am. I know, I know, I'm wild. I swear.
I did get to spend some time with my friend B. She's been in town for Winter Break so we've been hanging out. We've known each other since 4th grade and have been friends since middle and high school. At times we were off and on(mostly due to drama caused by mutual "friends"). But luckily all that died down back in high school and I have a friend for life. One of the reasons we get along so well is that we can not talk for months and then pick up right where we left off. I always know that if I call she'll be there for me, but I don't have to call. Our mutual love of romance and crime novels, paranormal anything, crime anything, and horror movies helps.
Now, I've been given an Award by the wonderful Courtney at Work in Progress ! As new to the Blog scene as I am, I don't know seven people to pass this on to. And I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. So.... I'm waiting to post on it till tomorrow. But then I Promise I will.