Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not just another shooting

I usually turn off the TV after the 10:30 episode of the Wonder Years comes to an end but for some reason tonight I decided to watch the news. Big mistake. A teenage boy was shot four times in a parking lot where I grocery shop. The Cleveland news has an entirely different impact on me here than it did when I would watch it at home. I used to be able to brush things off thinking it doesn't effect me but now that I live here, it's not just another shooting to me. It's a reality of the new world I live in; one that I'm not quite comfortable with. This is "only" one of two shootings that I know of in Lakewood in the last few months. I hesitate to say only because two shootings is still two too many if you ask me. Of course it's a much smaller number than Cleveland shootings but that isn't really comforting to me. Pat assures me that both of the recent shootings were isolated incidents, domestic disputes or personal grudges. That doesn't really comfort me either. Shelby is guilty of many things, but shooting and killing people isn't typically one of them. I talked a big talk about getting out of the small town life but now I'm questioning whether I am really cut out for this.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's a cat thing...you wouldn't understand

For those of you from the very large population of people who hate cats, please don't bother reading any further. I've had about all of the negative feedback regarding the new addition to my family that I can stomach. When the day comes that I feel minorities and homosexuals are being treated equally, you better watch out because my next activism movement is going to be: All pets are created equal. You don't have to be a cat person to appreciate the important role they play in other people's lives. Before I get carried away ranting and raving about the negative attitudes in this society toward cats, let me focus on the real issue at hand. I for one, am a cat lover. I'm a firm believer that like dogs, cats too can provide companionship. Yes, each play a different role in our lives, but in my mind there is no hierarchy of pets. One of the things I missed most during my college days was my ability to be around my pets. Now that I'm living by myself in an apartment that allows animals, I'm finally able to get a pet of my own. Last Saturday I rescued a kitten, Sadie May. Again, no negative feedback about the name of my cat is necessary. I've also had enough of that too! I now appreciate the difficulty my sister experienced when people disagreed with every name she chose for her son. Although my kitten has many less than endearing qualities such as destroying every aspect of my apartment that she can and her stinky smelling butt, I have to say that I've noticed a huge difference since I got her. Before getting Sadie, whenever I was alone in my apartment I was constantly scared about being alone and whether or not I was safe in my apartment and neighborhood. Now that I have Sadie I don't really feel alone anymore. She follows me all around the apartment. Of course, sometimes she scares me more when she knocks things over at night and makes extremely loud noises but I guess you have to take the good with the bad. She isn't a gray cat like I wanted and she doesn't really sit on my lap much like I had hoped she would, but she does provide me with a sense of companionship in my new journey and perhaps that's the most important thing she could do.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No, I'm not smarter than a 5th grader...

Let me start by saying, if you relied on the television show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" to indicate whether or not our school systems are successfully teaching our youth, you might be misled into believing they are and that No Child Left Behind actually worked! I give them credit, these kids are smart! But I am a bit cynical when watching the show. First of all, I think they picked the most elite of all 5th graders known to man. They are all probably students from the gifted and talented programs who have tested out of grades 5-12. Most of them are probably receiving college credit already. I will admit, I may be a little bitter because these kids continue to outsmart me week after week. However, I believe knowledge is somewhat like a vacation day at work. You either use it or you lose it. There comes a time in your life when nothing, absolutely nothing requires you to know where the first Inca civilization was located or the name of the ship that brought the pilgrims here. I wonder...after this knowledge is no longer being beaten into these 5th graders heads....how much will they really know?
Am I at age 24 smarter than these kids in 5th grade? No. Was I in 5th grade as smart as these 5th graders? Probably not. Am I at age 24 smarter than these 5th graders will be at age 24? Maybe! Those little sponges can only absorb for so long. Soon these children will realize that at age 24 knowing trivial things such as whether or not the ostrich is the fastest bird, is useless unless you're on game show or by chance actually being chased by one. After they come to this realization these children will then divert their attention elsewhere and learn more important things like what "No Stopping During Rush Hour" signs mean. So I challenge you little 5th graders. Come see me in 12 years and then we'll see how smart you are. I'm willing to put money on the fact that the cops in Lakewood won't care if you can tell them the largest country in South America. You will still get a ticket if you park in a No Stopping zone.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Missing where I come from...

On my way to work this morning, the DJ's on Q104 (my new favorite radio station in my new home) were asking their Cleveland listeners to call in and tell them something they miss from their hometowns. I found the topic somewhat ironic as I am spending my first week in my new apartment in my new city. As listeners were explaining trivial things they miss such as candy and pizza, I started thinking about really important things that I miss about my previous home:

1. Roommates: I never thought I'd be saying this since I was so eager to get out there and be on my own but I really do miss having roommates. I've spent the past 24 years with roommates and I really took it for granted. I felt so much safer knowing someone else was in the house or apartment and it was nice to have someone to talk to.

2. Knowing my way around: It's hard for me to remember what it was like in Bowling Green before I knew my way around. It's been a period of adjustment for me lately in my new city. I know how to get to about three places. My apartment, my boyfriend's apartment, and work. I guess they're the three most crucial locations for me to know at this point but I'm really looking forward to the day when someone asks me how to get somewhere in Lakewood and I can actually give them an answer.

3. Turn signals: I miss people using their turn signals when weaving in and out of the lanes around you. Driving is much more enjoyable when these features are utilized. Now that we're on the topic, a little common sense when driving would be nice too but I don't think they have that where I come from either.

4. My sister: Wow... I honestly never imagined myself saying this one either. I really do miss her though. She was in Shelby with me most of my life and then only 20 minutes away in Toledo for my five year duration at Bowling Green. It was really comforting knowing that she was so close and she really is one of my closest friends.

5. My nephew: Boy was I spoiled for the first 6 months of his life. I got to see him every week if not more. Now I think I'll be lucky if I get to see him every month! I'm going to be the Aunt that he knows he has, but doesn't know what she looks like. That makes me really sad. I love that little boy more than I thought possible.

6. My family: The reality is, I've actually moved closer to my family than I was in Bowling Green but for some reason I feel so far away. Maybe it's because I'm so unfamiliar with my surroundings or maybe it's just because I feel so isolated from everyone here.

7. Feeling safe: I'm sure this comes hand in hand with not being aware of your surroundings but I miss feeling safe. When it comes to city life, I've lived a pretty sheltered life. Shelby, Butler, Bellville, and Bowling Green aren't exactly big cities. It's a whole new ballgame here and I'm not sure I know the rules.

8. Properly marked street signs: Bowling Green was known for their ridiculous parking situations. But looking back, it wasn't that bad. Sure the rules were strict and heavily enforced, but at least they made the rules clear. If you weren't supposed to park somewhere, they put up sings that said: NO PARKING. It's as easy as that. Not Lakewood, however. Lakewood prefers to use signs that are open to interpretation. Instead of saying No parking, they would rather say No Stopping and let you figure out what that means. I for one thought it simply meant, don't stop to turn or parallel park. When I went to leave for work the next day and realized my car had been towed, I found out I had interpreted the meaning incorrectly. $125 later and 3 hours late to work, I now know what "No Stopping during rush hour" means.

When thinking about what I miss from home, these are just a few that came to mind. What I don't miss, however, is my boyfriend whom I now get to see everyday. I don't miss being in a long distance relationship for the past year and four months, and despite the harshness of waking up at 6:30am for my "real world job," I don't miss grad school either. And obviously, I don't miss complaining because I'm still quite good at that. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Job searching is like running a marathon...


As I continue this elongated process of job searching (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the hell I call grad school is officially behind me and I've now moved on to a new kind of hell - job searching) I came across this quote: "Applying for a job is like running a marathon. Don't stop until the race is over. The best runners are often the ones that persevere until the end." Well, as many of you may know, I absolutely hate running. There is no way I could ever complete a marathon and I definitely wouldn't persevere until the end. It's no wonder then why I'm not persevering in this whole job hunting business either. My grand total is now up to 29. That's right. I have applied for 29 different job positions. So far I've received five rejections, two postcards confirming my resume was received, and two interviews (one of which I haven't heard a word back). As August is quickly approaching and the end of my lease in Bowling Green is staring me in the face, I can't help but to feel a little anxious about what's going to happen within the next month. Will I have a job? If I don't have a job will I move to Cleveland anyway and deplete the first savings account I've had in 10 years? Or will I move back home until I have a job lined up? So many questions, so few answers. Like it or not, I'm living the life of spontaneity until August. It is uncharted territory for me to live moment to moment without plans to follow. Maybe it will be good for me to "fly by the seat of pants" for a little while. As long as I know that when I land, my palm treo and iCal will be there waiting for me to start planning my next move.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I just got done watching the movie United93 and I'm not going to lie, it really freaked me out. I expected it to make me cry, which it didn't, but not to scare me, which it did. Don't get me wrong, I knew what happened and unfortunately I knew how the story would end. I guess seeing it reenacted took me back to that day and made me feel scared and uncertain like I did in 2001 when it happened. It's sad to say but I don't feel any safer in our country today than I did 6 years ago. I know that technically I should feel safer, but I don't. I never want this blog to turn political but Osama Bin Laden is still out there and even when/if he's not, there are many more people just like him who hate us and are probably plotting against us as well. This movie showed how relatively easy it was for these men to hijack the plane and really got me thinking about what the future might hold as far as terrorists attacks go. What else could people get away with? Don't mind me... I get like this sometimes and I have for as long as I can remember. Every once and a while I start to fear all of the bad things that could happen in this world and I feel really hopeless like no matter what we do to protect ourselves, we are never really safe from all of the harm in the world. How's that for a good attitude? On a positive note, these moods usually don't last too long...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Can See the Light!

Yes, it's true. I can finally see the light. No, not that light. Not the light you see right before you die. Although I swear I've seen that light many times this semester too and I answered it by saying, please. Be my guest. Take me. No, I'm kidding. I'm talking about the light at the end of the tunnel. As far as educational tunnels go, this has definitely been the longest one I've ever been through. It's a funny thing about this post because I actually started to write it a week ago when I thought I could see the light. Seems I was mistaken because I got very overwhelmed again and just like that the light was gone. So I waited until I could really say, I do see the light. And finally, I can say I do. And boy does it look nice! Don't get me wrong. My work isn't done. I'm finishing up the last few pages of my 25 page paper, I have 2 exams next week, still need to grade my students' last speech and will have to grade their final exams next week and turn in their final grades. That being said, I don't feel overwhelmed anymore and I finally feel confident that I'm going to make it out alive. What a great feeling! My grades are going to be far from stellar. But you know what? I made it. And that's enough for me to be proud of myself.

Next order of business...I would like to wish my Mom and Mark a very happy 52nd birthday. Opps...did I just tell everyone how old you are? Sorry, I won't say anything else about how extremely old 52 is. Shoot. I did it again. No, but really. I am extremely happy to have you both in my life. You mean the world to me and I don't know what I would do without you. I wanted to let you both know how much I appreciate you so I made you this cake. I got a little crazy with the silly string and the letters aren't edible but other than that, and the fact it's not real, it's a great cake.

I babysat Max today, as I do every Thursday, and already that kid does not listen to a word I say. I've been telling him since day one we do not poop on Thursdays. Save all of your poop for your mom and dad. But what does he do? Like clockwork today, I go to change his diaper and there was poop in it. So I asked him. What part of not pooping on Thursdays don't you understand? He just ignored me and started laughing. How rude. What is wrong with kids these days? 3 months old and we're still pooping our pants? Come on Max. You've been playing the "baby card" a little too long now. Next week I'm going to try the old kitty potty training method and rub his nose in it. Let's see if that works.I think it goes without saying but just in case, I want you to know I'm totally kidding. You can put the phone down and stop looking for children's services phone number. I'm actually quite good at changing the poopy diapers now. I don't even gag anymore. But let me tell you this. If he's still pulling this crap (no pun intended) at 5 months old, we're really going to have a problem.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Living Scan to Scan

Mark got another MRI today and the doctor reported "no brain activity." Normally, one would think this is a bad thing. Shouldn't a brain be doing SOMETHING?!?! However, in the world of cancer and brain tumors, no brain activity is a very good thing. It means there are no new brain tumors since his last MRI. As far as the activity in Mark's brain... of course he's having activity up there. He's looking at the kitchen counter wondering what clutter he can get rid of and who's full can of pop he can throw away. :) But that's the kind of brain activity we have come to accept from Mark and maybe, maybe even find humorous at times. When Mark tried to get answers about the "big picture" of this "clean" MRI, the doctor simply explained to him this scan isn't any indication as to what the next scans might reveal. Mark, and the rest of us, will have to continue living scan to scan. Good news one day, maybe bad news the next. For right now however, I'm focusing on this good news and taking it day by day, scan by scan. Mark turns 52 on Thursday. On Mark's 50th birthday, we weren't sure if he would ever be celebrating his 52nd birthday. Mom and Mark are having their 3rd annual birthday bash this Saturday. They started it the year they turned 50, and a few months after Mark had been diagnosed. We have so much to celebrate! In the words of Dave Matthews, "Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Between Hope and Denial...Where's the Line?

Uh oh, you're thinking. The title of this blog sounds pretty deep and philosophical. Some of you may be enticed by the thought of me writing about such deep matters rather than my usual trivial nonsense. Others may have stopped reading immediately after seeing the title. That's okay. I don't blame you. Emily and philosophy is a scary combination, like Britney Spears and hair clippers. But yes, I am feeling deep and philosophical so be warned. It's a rare occasion, but this time I'm writing for me. No jokes, no sarcasm. Just me and my raw thoughts. They're thoughts I need to get off my chest or else they will just keep lingering in my brain and my brain can't handle many lingering thoughts these days.

Being the pessimist that I am, hope is never something I've struggled with because it's never really existed to me. The very reason I struggle with religion is my inability to be hopeful and believe in things that I don't have hardcore evidence to believe in. That all changed when Mark was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, being hopeful was the only option I could bear. The alternative meant not being hopeful. It meant believing all of the statistics and evidence supporting the fact that he probably wouldn't be around for much longer. That was much more difficult to bear than believing in something the odds were against. It's been two years since the doctors gave Mark 6 months to live. For 2 years now, Mark has proven that hope does exist and being hopeful is worth the risk. He has defeated all of the odds and all of the statistics. His determination and will to live has made being hopeful so easy, even for those of us whom the emotion is so foreign. In my mind, there were no alternatives to being hopeful. Mark will beat this disease. Mark is not going to die anytime soon. Mark will be at my wedding. Mark will be a grandfather to my children. The list goes on and on. It wasn't until this past Saturday that it hit me: am I being hopeful, or am I in denial? It hit me when Mark made an offhand comment about my mom and his birthday party this month possibly being his last. I kind of laughed it off and said, yeah right. He then got a little more serious and told me that we really don't know what might happen in the next year. These words pierced my heart. A lump filled my throat, just as it's doing now. My eyes filled with tears, just as they're doing now. I started to wonder if my two years of being hopeful have sent me in a whirlwind of denial.

Denial is another emotion I'm not too familiar with. I've never really had the opportunity to deny the circumstances in my life. The most pain-staking events that I've ever incurred have happened with absolutely no warning and no time for denial. Cancer is a whole other animal. There are those people who are hopeful, "we can beat this." And there are those people who are realists, "the odds are not good." So where does denial come into play? Are those people who are hopeful actually just in denial? Or are those people who are realists too afraid to be hopeful in case the odds actually come true? We are people who like to prepare. We are people that stock our basements with water, flashlights, and canned foods before New Year's eve in 1999 just in case Y2K really did exist (Yes, Mark really did that - we called it his Y2K kit.. shoot...I said no humor). Planners must be realists. They must plan for all outcomes. I'm a planner myself, and I too like to be prepared for all possible outcomes. So why have I not faced the fact that I don't know what is going to happen within the next year? I don't know how much longer Mark has on this Earth and I don't know that he will be around for my wedding (this is hypothetical here... no wedding is actually planned at this point - just FYI) and I don't know that he will be around to see my kids grow up (again...just hypothetical - no kids on the way - shoot.... another joke). I don't want to be in denial. I don't want to ignore the fact that the statistics aren't good. And I don't want to ignore the fact that Mark might not be around forever. But I don't want to lose hope either. I believe that Mark has defied all odds so far and that he can continue to do the same. The thought of losing Mark any time soon is too much to bear. I can't imagine my life without him, so I don't. Where should the line be drawn? Can I be both a realists and an optimist? I know there are no real answers to these questions, but still I must ask them anyway. I know that there is no script to follow in these situations, but still I'm longing to hear someone say..."this is how you should act..." and "this is how you should feel." If only life were that simple. Instead we have to throw things like hearts and emotions into the mix to screw up any chance of logic and structure. I don't know what the future will bring. I do know that the only emotion my body can handle at this point is hope. Whether that makes me in denial or not doesn't really matter, because for once in my life I am hopeful about something and it would be such a shame to destroy that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Misery Loves Company

This picture was taken of me tonight after I took my huge exam (that I'm pretty sure I bombed - not literally - I don't do bombs, just guns and yellow high heels). Now that I've calmed down a bit, I feel kind of bad for shooting the computer because I know that it wasn't the real source of my frustration. I displaced my anger. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. I've heard the saying "misery loves company" many times throughout my life and I've met many people who have demonstrated this concept quite clearly. It wasn't until recently, however, that I actually became one of those people who, intentionally or not, bring other people down just because they are down. And since I'm down now, and "misery loves company," I figured why not try to bring you down too? :)

I wanted to start this evening by talking about right and left hand turns. Now before I go any further, I want to give you a moment to go back in time to driver's ed. For some of us that was about 7 or so years ago. For others, it's been much longer (yeah I'm talking about you, Mom). If I learned anything from my exam tonight, I know that memory recall is something that respondents struggle with, so take as long as you need. Okay, so we're back in drivers education class. True or false: when turning onto a 4 lane road, drivers should turn into the lane immediately closest to them. If you answered true, then you have confirmed my belief. If you have answered false, please leave a comment citing your source of the contrary belief and please use APA formatting. You know us grad students, all about the APA. I am sick and tired of turning into the lane closest to me, turning my blinker on to get into the other lane that I really wanted, only to look in my review mirror and see that I can't get over because the car behind me skipped the whole blinker/switching lanes deal and just went right to the lane they wanted. Now believe me, I'm all about taking short cuts here, so I'm not faulting the other drivers if it is indeed legal. However, I'm pretty convinced that it's not. As a result of my recent evil personality, I constructed a plan to turn this pet peeve of mine into something constructive (for me anyway). My new plan is to get rear-ended by this person while innocently switching lanes using my turning signal and the whole nine yards and then get all of the parts of my car fixed that need fixed now, at their expense. Smart plan, aye? (or an evil plan, depending on how you look at it - the glass is always half empty on this side of the computer screen). It's imperative to this plan and to my insurance policy, that I first confirm that the other car is in fact in the wrong. Until I find out for sure, I won't take any further action.

There are so many more miserable things I wanted to talk about but it seems that I must go to bed. Isn't it funny that as I get more and more stressed, the more and more I want to vent on my blog, yet more stress = less time = no time for blogging. Next time, I would really like to talk about my frustration with tests as a means of measuring ones aptitude. If we're speaking social scientifically here, it seems like we have a problem with validity and measurement error. Are we accurately measuring what we intend to measure by issuing tests? More to come on this at a later date. The wounds of today's test are still fresh and I don't want to be too harsh. Yeah right. Like I've ever had a problem being harsh. The truth is, I'm tired and don't have the time or energy to get into it right now. In the meantime, please feel free to share with me any times that you too have been miserable and wanted the other people around you to be miserable as well (if you are completely altruistic and have never experienced this feeling - lying is definitely okay in this situation to make the author of this entry feel better about his or herself).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Procrastination Survey

1. Where were you 1 hour ago?
Sitting in this exact same spot on my bed, writing note cards

2. Who will get your next kiss?
Probably my nephew Max when I babysit on Thursday

3. When is the last time you went to the mall?
Just so happens I spent two days at the Mall of America in Minnesota last Thursday and Friday

4. Are you wearing socks right now?
Yes, but they will definitely come off before bed

5. When was the last time you went out of the state?
Last week (Minnesota) and two weeks before that (Paris) but it usually is a rare occasion

6. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
Nope

7. What was the last thing you had to drink?
I'm drinking Diet Dr. Pepper right now to keep me up all night

8. What are you wearing right now?
Big T-shirt that says "I hear voices and they don't like you" - classy I know - and fleece pajama pants.

9. What was your last purchase?
Clothes as the Mall of America

10. Last food you ate?
Just had a brownie and dried banana chips

11. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Patrick

12. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
Too many, please refer to questions 3 & 9

13. Do you have a pet?
At home, my dog Jackson and cats Allie and Ezra (there are many more but I only claim ownership of these three).

14. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Basketball - national championship in which Ohio State lost to Florida yet again. :(

15. What is/was your favorite class?
Any of my SOC and IPC classes. Actually, any class that wasn't a grad class.

16. where would u like to be right now?
Anywhere but here - in a place where grad school doesn't exist

17. What is the last thing you purchased online?
some songs from iTunes

18. One thing you hate about your appearance?
Only one, huh? My out of shape body

19. What's your favorite soup?
Vegetable beef (ask my roommates how often I eat it)

20. Do you miss anyone?
Haven't seen my family in a while, always miss Patrick no matter how often I see him, and always miss my brother

22. What are your plans for the day?
Staying up most of the night to study, waking up to study, then teaching tomorrow, followed by more studying. Jealous?

23. Who is the last person you messaged on myspace?
Pat's sister Traci

24. Ever go to camp?
Yes, church camp and cheerleading camp

25. were u on the honor roll?
Most of the time

27. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
About 14 hours ago I sprayed Clinique Happy on myself but I can assure you the smell no longer lingers

28. Where are your best friends located?
All over the state (and one in Boston)

29. Do you have a tan?
Absolutely not, unless by tan you mean glow-in-the-dark white

30. What do you want to name your first kid?
Hmmm... I'm still trying to figure out if I want kids. But I've always liked Kaleb & Kamden for boys... not sure about girls

31. Last person who made you cry?
Not really sure. Probably myself by getting so stressed and worked up over school

32. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
My ears are pierced and I have a tattoo on my lower back

32. Have you ever drank your soda through a straw?
Sure! Just did yesterday at Subway. But we call it pop here in the North, just FYI.

34. Do you like hot sauce?
As a matter of fact, I've become obsessed with medium hot sauce lately. Jed's fireballs anyone?

35. What would you do with $10 right now?
Buy Jed's fireballs. :)

37. What is your mood?
Overwhelmed and anxious (what's new).

38. What is your relationship status?
In a very happy relationship for a year and a half :)

39. What do you want for your Birthday?
A diploma and a job, I'm greedy I know.

40. What are you doing right now?
Procrastinating my studies by filling out this survey.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!

HELP! I've fallen into a rut and I can't get out! I'm not sure what has happened to me over the past month but I've become extremely unmotivated. It's probably the hardest semester of my life and the worst time for me to feel this way but I guess we don't choose our ruts now do we? Maybe it's the fact that I've been in school for the past 20 or so years. Maybe it's the fact that I'm so close to being finished. Maybe it's because I'm so overwhelmed by the semester that I've just given up. Whatever the reason, I have to do something about it because quitting or failing is not an option for me. On that note, I'm hoping that my trip in a little over a week will be just what I need to rejuvenate me.

March 7 through the 17 I will be in Paris, France with a class from school. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so excited! As you can probably tell, the Eiffel Tower is the sight I'm most excited to see. I don't think it has really hit me yet that I'm going. You would think the passport with my ugly mug shot would be enough to make it seem real. Or maybe the checks for large sums of money that I've written should make it sink in that this trip is really happening. I guess my body is just making me wait to get excited until I've finished everything that needs to be done before I leave. This list includes grading papers, writing a 7-10 page paper, grading speeches, and more. Yes I know I only have 5 days to complete it all, no need to be stressed for me. I'm stressed enough for both of us. I guess you're right. I could be doing work right now instead of typing this blog. Good point. Touche. But now that I've started this entry I have to finish it, right?

Okay then. Moving on to my next point of business. I haven't introduced to you my nephew born on January 28, 2007. Max William meet everyone. Everyone, this is Max. He looks a little older than 4 weeks doesn't he? He's not a lot of fun yet. He eats, sleeps, pees, and poops. But yet, I love being an aunt so much already! Everyone who is already an aunt told me that it's amazing how much you can love your nieces and nephews and I just kind of nodded and smiled thinking, yeah you don't know me and babies. But they were so right. It's an indescribable feeling. He started smiling today my sister tells me. I can't wait to see it!

Uh oh. The Oscars have ended which means my little freedom I was allowing myself to write this blog is now over. Back to work for this girl. I hope you're all doing well and you'll be hearing from me soon (like it or not). :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Winds of Change...

Change is such a strange thing. In some instances, it can bring great excitement and thrill to life's monotony. In other cases, it adds to life's uncertainties and hardships. So much has changed, both good and bad, since I've last written. I'm not sure what type of person you are, but personally I like to start with the bad news and then end on a positive note and since this is my blog that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Mark's most recent MRI found another brain tumor. I learned at a very young age how unfair life is, but yet it never ceases to amaze me. I hate to sound like such a pessimist but I get so angry when I think about all of the rotten people in this world who don't know what suffering even feels like. Yet this man who has been putting everyone else before himself since I've known him has endured more pain and suffering than even the rotten people deserve. I know that even trying to rationalize this does no good whatsoever and is just a waste of energy but yet I do it anyway. Mark has undergone the treatment to remove the brain tumor and is now on his 4th round of chemotherapy. He will get re-scanned in 2 months. Let's keep our hopes up for good news. His attitude is just as positive as it has ever been. He called this just "another bump in the road." I'm hoping that his road gets smooth for a long time very soon. He deserves it.

Another unfortunate change occurred in Cincinnati last weekend. My cousin's house caught on fire and he lost everything. His smoke detectors woke him up and saved his life. He does have some 2nd and 3rd degree burns, but he is lucky to be alive. I am so glad he's okay!

Grad school seems to be even more stressful this semester than it did last semester. I didn't think it was possible, but apparently it is. I have decided not to write a thesis which means I will be graduating this August (in less than 7 months!). After this semester, I will only have 5 credit hours to take this summer and I'm taking them all in the first session of summer so my classes will be done on June 22 (in 5 months!). My degree will look exactly the same but when I do go on for my PhD someday, I may have a little more difficulty getting accepted than I would with a thesis. I think it was the best decision for me and I look forward to being done with school for a while. I am officially burnt out. Now I've opened up an entire new door of stressors as I have no idea what I want to do with my life other than teach. I could teach at a community college with my master's and I'm considering that, but the pay isn't very good and the jobs are pretty unreliable. Nonetheless, there is a light at the end of this tunnel I call grad school and I can't wait to be done!

Another change seems to be that everyone is getting engaged! I don't know if it's something in the water or what but everywhere I turn people are getting engaged. Many of the people are just acquaintances of mine but two of my former roommates, Lisa and Emily both got engaged over break. I am so excited for them both but it makes me feel like we're getting old! I know we're not, but we are growing up so fast and it's scary! As our ages continue to increase, so do our responsibilities and this is the part of growing up that I dislike the most. We take for granted little things like vision insurance, which is why I've been wearing the same disposable contacts for about 3 months now. Don't worry, I'm sucking up my lack of eye insurance and am going to Wal Mart's vision center on Friday.

On that note, I must get to bed. There are a few things in my life that haven't changed. I still have terrible sleep patterns and I procrastinate by doing things such as writing in this blog instead of doing homework. :) Good night and I hope you will be experiencing nothing but positive changes in your life!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sweet Victory

Do you smell that? It smells really nice doesn't it? If you're wondering what that wonderful scent is, it's a new fragrance called VICTORY. As usual, I counted on Google images to help me illustrate my feeling of victory (refer to the picture to your left). You may have guessed by now that I beat Pat in our 2006-2007 college football bowl game bet. I'm not sure how many of you are football fans, but for those of you who witnessed the intense game between Boise St. and Oklahoma, it is the game that determined my winning fate. Although the bowl games are not over, Pat can no longer beat me so the competition is over for us. I know this must be very disheartening for Pat. And for .2 seconds, I did feel bad for him. The look of defeat in his eyes was a little upsetting. I have to admit, the victory is a little bitter sweet for me as well. Of course winning is wonderful and that is the sweet part. Getting my room cleaned and organized is going to be really nice as well. However, if Pat would have let me bet what I really wanted to bet, I could have won an evening filled with him scrapbooking with me. It is knowing this fact that is very upsetting. But let's not fill our minds with thoughts about what could have been. I did win the bet and that is a great thing. What can I say? If you know your sports, you know your sports. :)