Thursday, March 29, 2012

If there was a replay button...

Everyone thought my class in high school would lose someone before graduation. There were a lot of people who didn't always do things the safest way and it hadn't happened to a class in a while. Seems like those kind of things happen every so many years doesn't it? We made it through high school graduation without a scrape, but sadly would not make it to the typical college graduation. Recently, one of my classmates died.

Again, it's not my story to tell and I'm not going in to the details, I wasn't close to the girl and it's just not my place. But it did get me thinking again about how none of us are guaranteed a certain life span. And what we are given goes by all too quickly.

But what if someday we sat down with God for a cup of coffee. Or Republic of Tea in my case. What if he gave us the chance to watch our life played back to us?

If you had to sit there and watch your life on replay, would you be happy with how you spent your time? Would you find it interesting? Would you see meaning in it?

I've come to the conclusion that the people who enjoy their lives the most are those who do things for others. They make things for others or volunteer to help others or are the best friends imaginable to others. It never seems like the people who make billions and drive fancy cars and live in huge houses and never share their resources are happy. It doesn't seem like the most powerful people are happy.

If you watched your life on replay, would you regret the time spent getting drunk? Sleeping off a hangover? Maybe this happened while someone you know was going through a really rough time and could have used a friend. Who knows. I'm not saying partying is inherently wrong but there are those who do it every weekend or more and I feel like personally in the long run I'd feel like I wasted time.

I already feel like I waste time.

I sometimes feel like I have done nothing big or meaningful. I did help out at a mission once but I rarely even do stuff like that because I can never make myself go alone. It's pretty lame and I get pretty annoyed with myself sometimes. I have donated money to various relief efforts and programs but it just seems so minuscule. It really gets under my skin.

I think what I really want is to feel like I'm making a difference. Feel like I have made a positive influence on someone's life. And I don't always feel that way. I really feel selfish with my time and money and things like that.

And so I wonder what I'd feel like if I had to watch my life on replay. I'm not so sure I'd be proud. I am not sure I'd want to finish watching it.

It's sad that it takes a death for people to look around and reevaluate their lives. But if I am sitting here contemplating all of this I can only imagine what her friends are going through.

Live a life that makes a difference to someone other than you. Be the best friend you can be, help people when they need it, follow through on what you say, and don't begrudge people for things they can't change. I know, sounds a little disgustingly optimistic. But no one is happy when all their energy is poured inward. Make someone smile. It will make you smile. Make someone hurt and you will hurt too.

You get back in life what you give, and I hope we all can manage to give it all we have. Just like Donald Miller, we need to live a better story. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Inner Workings of a Female Mind

Well sadly it was brought to my attention that maybe my freezer was not the most interesting topic by a friend of mine (I'll get him back for that later, mwahahaha).  It was only a matter of time before I was going to blog about females anyway, so why not right now.  Everything from here on out is merely my opinion as it follows my own personal experiences either with myself or other females.  First, a little what we mean versus what we say:

What the girl over there says:
"I told my roommate nutella will make her fat.  Most of the meals I eat are under 200 calories."
"I am super insecure about my weight, am somewhat hoping you will answer back with some comment on how I look good or something along those lines, and possibly am somewhat jealous of my roommate."

This seems to be pretty consistent amongst girls- most times if we are saying something derogatory about another girl, it is related to something we are insecure about.  We comment on how hoochie that girl looks in her bikini, while really wishing we were secure enough to wear one or had the "bikini bod".  We don't like to come out and just say what is on our mind, but we do end up doing it in a roundabout way.

Girls (though not only girls) are often under a lot of self-made pressure.  We see stars like Megan Fox, or Angelina, and naturally assume that every guy wants us to look just like them or we don't have a chance.  So we do dumb things- we bake in tanning beds, we buy shorter shorts, we dye our hair- some of us basically try to look like the Playboy Bunnies because we think that is the kind of girl that every guy is looking for.  I am not saying that we never think we are good enough for someone, but we do get a little high strung in the looks department from time to time.  Not every boy is looking for a centerfold, but there are just times where we have a hard time believing that.  We go through crazy workouts and treatments to get that illusive bikini body that we always see or we try to alter something on us thinking that it is what will make all the difference.

Some girls (you know some like this I'd bet) do this so much that they completely ignore their individuality and personality.  We have idolized images like the classic blonde valley girl, without every really finding out if the opposite sex is truly attracted to that.  For instance, I was walking by a group of guys today and one of them mentioned how this girl said "like" every other word and it was driving him insane.  So while these girls were all trying to pull the ditzy "like" valley "like" girl "and whatever", the boys were wanting a normal girl.

What we sometimes fail to realize is that the boys don't always want to bring home a centerfold to their momma.  Now they may still want to get with them, but that's not pertinent to this blog.

You know those bombshell girls who date those loser dudes?  Ever wonder what in the heck is going on with that?  I propose that there are a couple different possibilities:
  1. That boy is incredibly sweet, very attentive, and looks at her like nothing else in the world exists when she walks in the room.  I find this to be somewhat rare, as I dated guys who were arguably below what I should have been looking for (mainly hugely lacking in personality and any romantic ability including having the guts to kiss me first).  But there really are occasions where guys will manage to get in good with a gorgeous girl and they really go the extra mile for her.  If you can deliver the look that says "You are everything to me" instead of "Get in to bed with me", you can do pretty well (although we like the latter look now and then, for the record).
  2. She thinks she can't do better. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we really undershoot what we deserve (guilty) and tell ourselves that whatever jerk/loser we are with is as good as we can do (recovering from being guilty, haha).  We let people treat us bad, ignore us (very guilty), things like that, because we get in this mindset.  I'm not always sure how this comes about, sometimes we are insecure after previous breakups I believe, maybe something happened in our life, or someone may have said something to us that really dug in deep.  It can take a good while to come out of this mentality and go for a guy who isn't a loser.  Not to mention we hate admitting that they were a loser and we were wrong in the first place.  And every now and then we just do it because we are afraid of ending up alone forever.
  3. One of them is a complete jerk.  Maybe she is, and he is so happy to be with a girl that looks like that that he would put up with it to the ends of the earth.  Or maybe he is and just like the second scenario she thinks she deserves it.  Or, maybe he has the cash and support to back it up.  I am not saying that every pretty girl is shallow and is all about money, but it happens now and then.  Some girls are really weird, and just seem to like jerks.  I personally can't explain the money or the liking complete tools one, as I don't understand it.  
Whatever the reason is, it can pretty much be chalked up to we don't always make sense, and a lot of it stems from insecurity.  You want to find out though? Get her talking about her guy.  Say "he seems like a nice guy" and go from there.  One thing about girls- most of us will spill.  We will either gush about the ways he is fantastic or you will start hearing hints of disillusion in our stories.

Another thing that is very common to many girls: At almost all times during the day we are sizing someone up and comparing ourselves to them

This can take a variety of forms depending on our mood, but we are either looking at a girl running in her sports bra thinking about how we need to work out more, or we are looking at that girl and really not liking her at the moment because she looks really good and fit in that stupid sports bra.  We can think we are fat or not good looking enough just because we see those Victoria's Secret models and don't quite compare.  Sometimes, we just can't help seeing all the girls on TV or the ones in the magazines and wondering if that is what we are supposed to be looking like. 

On the other hand, if we are the girl being stared at, we automatically assume that something is wrong with how we look (oh dear God are my jeans unzipped?!?!) or basically trying to figure out what is making someone stare.  Some of us will divert to the nearest mirror or window just to make sure that we don't have something on our face, no wardrobe malfunctions, etc.  The more people staring, the more strange we feel.

(You know the song "She Don't Know She's Beautiful"...that applies to so many of us.)

I think most of this goes for single girls.  Society sometimes makes us feel like we HAVE to have a guy at all times or we are somehow a failure, so girls with boyfriends probably aren't so insecure.  But I have seen some of the prettiest girls question whether or not they are homely or ugly after long periods of not having a guy.  It is really somewhat scary how much society can get under our skins.  We feel like there is so much at stake when it comes to finding someone, or that we are going to blow it somehow.

I don't think guys are exempt from this either.  Society teaches them that they all need to have ripped muscles and 6packs and super hot girlfriends. 

Here are things that I think are excellent ways to get in good with a female in the current day:
  1. Become her friend.  This is risky, it can land you in the friend zone but if it does you weren't gonna have a chance with her anyway.  I speak from experience when I say that my relationships happened because I was comfortable with someone.  Almost all my relationships were with someone that I considered to be my best friend at the time.  All of them were with friends.  I may not be the average case, but when I am used to hanging out with someone and they have been there to see my highs and my lows already, I am much more secure about dating and handing over my emotional ties to that person then I would be with a random guy.  You develop so many memories and bonds, and you really know how you and that person work on a personal level.
  2. Get creative.  You want to meet females? Go play on their turf.  Yoga class, zumba, if you are secure enough with your man card, find a friend who can be your wing girl and GO.  Or fly solo, which I think is more high risk- high reward.  I might at first question whether a guy in a yoga class was straight, but let's say he is in there to train for football or MMA or something like that, and I am going to be really interested.  AND I will be even more interested because I am in a class with mostly females and therefore the stakes are high that I need to get to you first.  Plus, you have little to no competition in there, which helps your case in all circumstances.  I also wouldn't go with a wing man really, because that I think puts you at a higher risk of seeming anything but straight.
  3. Don't let the first thing you say to her be a pickup line.  That is old.  Try some interesting small talk instead.  This is probably obvious...but still.  I would personally rather hear someone say "This weather is awesome, I've been going insane couped up at work" or something like that instead of some cheesy line or comment about how hot I look.  I'd look for the nearest exit after the "hott" line, but I would get in to a conversation about this amazing sunshine and how it makes me want to go to a park or something. (In which case you could mention walking your dog at the park yesterday, and I would be sold)....(although you may have to borrow someone's dog).
  4. In fact, don't call a girl hot before you call her beautiful. It just sounds like you want in her pants.  Which maybe you do.  But many of us are suckers for the words "beautiful" and "gorgeous".  Hot registers deep in our brains as cheap.  And we don't want to feel cheap. 
A lot of us do eventually come out of most of our insecurities.  We are not crazy and psycho, we aren't usually consumed by all of this stuff, it just happens to us from time to time.  It can be intimidating talking to a new guy and it takes us a little time to find our footing. 

Basically, the inner workings of the female mind are constantly telling us to be more impressive, do things that make us stand out, to hide our flaws, and to look "perfect" (or whatever we believe that is, which tends to be counterproductive to standing out {sea of orange and platinum blonde}).  Then someone comes along, tells us we are absolutely perfect just the way we are, and next thing you know we are giggling like a third grade girl and texting our best female friend about it (who, if single, is hating us at that exact moment, which you knew if you learned anything from this blog).  When we feel like we are pretty high on the boy's most important things list, we thrive. 

So there you go boys.  Stop acting like jerks, stop acting like you are too hott in your plaid shirts and Bieber hair, and start doing what works for the long term. 

No really.  Enough with the Bieber hair. Pin It Now!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Money Saving Tips as told by a 21 Year Old.

Hopefully the title hasn't thrown you off too much, I do realize that many young people are not all that mindful of saving money. But here again, I am a little bit strange on things. So if you are looking to save money I offer up a challenge:

Make a list of everything that is in your freezer.

To easy? Fine, add the number of servings of pasta and rice you have along with other things such as vegetables, premade pizza crusts, bread, etc.

On my freezer right now there is a handy little paper hanging there that tells me I have 11 snack size bags stuffed with frozen tortellini from SAMs, 3/4 lb ground beef, various chicken strips, etc. I am a college student and I share a freezer, so your list would conceivably be much larger than mine. But regardless, I made this list and soon discovered that I could easily make it to the middle of April without having to by anything such as meat, or really anything that has to be in a freezer. I will of course have to keep buying eggs and things.

Not only has this list helped me see what all I have and what I can pass on buying, but it's helping me meal plan. For instance, I can look and see that I have a whole lot of rice, compared to just a small amount of a certain kind of noodles, so maybe I choose rice this time instead. It also helps me keep a good variety of meals being cooked because I see what I have not checked off in a while and therefore might choose that over the pasta I have eaten multiple nights in the month.

I originally did this so that I could spend a minimal amount of money before I moved back home for the summer and waste as little as possible. Now I could see me doing this long term because I am really enjoying the benefits.

My next money saving tip is cut chicken breasts in half through the side to make two chicken breasts, especially for sandwiches. I usually do this or I use chicken tenderloins and cut them in half just shy of completely through to make one breast sized piece. I personally like to pound my chicken out a bit to make it thin and to break the stringy tendons and connections inside. It's the perfect idea for frying because they will cook so much faster. And when you order something like chicken di pana at Cheesecake Factory, I am nearly certain this is what they do as well. It stretches your chicken twice as far, and you still get that yummy bird taste.

I also divide my ground beef into 4ths. I understand that this would not necessarily work for a family of 4, but I still would argue that almost everyone and every family could cut the amount of beef they put in any pasta dish, spaghetti, and similar in half. I cook up fourth pound sections at a time and still usually split them between two meals.

I really haven't found any amazing secrets for pork yet, other than using thin tenderloin sections that a pack of 6 costs under 3 bucks. That's pretty good as far as I'm concerned.

Always throw cherry tomatoes or slice up big tomatoes and toss them in the freezer when they start to wrinkle instead of tossing them out. You can use these for roasted veggie dishes later and they work just as well as fresh, if not better. Also, save the broth off a big pan of roasted meat and veggies and make soup! You likely have all the ingredients like noodles and such to add in, and it won't contain nearly the sodium and preservatives that the cans will. And it's just that much more you save in money and don't waste in products you bought. That is one of my favorite things to do.

Hopefully I can get better and more creative about this, but seriously make the freezer list. You will be SHOCKED just how much stuff you have in there. Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's a Loose Reign in an Open Field.

First, and not pertaining to my topic at all, I am nerdily excited that my page has 700+ views.  Now, I do understand that this could be my mom logging in over and over and over again to my blog to pad my stats and make me feel better, in which case...

THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM!!!! She knows just how to make my day haha!

No but seriously, anyone and everyone out there who actually takes the time to read this, I really appreciate it :). I can only hope that every now and then I am somewhat entertaining.
Also not pertaining to my title (I might as well change it at this point), I really don't understand most people.  I actually know someone who was willing to move to a different city in hopes that we might start dating (not naming names, and hopefully they won't be mad if they read this, but if they are just for the record you never said don't blog this).  Anyway, I for one would never move anywhere just on a wing and a prayer that something might work. 

I think I might be a little strange about relationships.  I really don't want someone who likes me way more than I like them.  Ill conceived plans to say "I love you" after a week and buying me a ring at 4 months have ended two relationships of mine.  I just really panic.  I need to be eased in to things.  I need to be really good friends with someone and hanging out with them quite a bit.  Then you can tag a title on.  Then in a week or so I am fine with being kissed but stuff like the L-bomb needs to be saved.  I really am not sure you can love someone after a week.
I personally can't love someone unless I respect them.  People who are incredibly smart, or funny, or ambitious, or dedicated to something, I respect those people.  You don't have to be making a million dollars but you better be making a difference in someone's life.  Don't get me wrong I love a good looking boy as much as the next.  But I like a little substance behind those gorgeous eyes.
I already tried one with no substance behind them and I am fairly certain a piece of my soul died.

I also have a type.  I only go for the guys who are fairly slim- think track runner build, cornerback build, wide receiver, stuff like that.  Guys with muscle but not body builders.  I don't mind if they aren't solid muscle, but I'd just prefer they not outweigh me by like...twice my weight.

Sounds terrible, but it's my blog I can be as honest as I want.  And, you're still reading so how terribly shocking was it, really?

I used to date my very best friends.  They didn't always make the best boyfriends but we were really all too young at the time anyway.  We had no idea what we were doing, we just wanted to feel like grownups.

And now, I am extremely low on best friends who are boys and it sucks.  But I think I can change that at BSU.
OK, back to the title and my original purpose.  Put on your ADD hats and change topics here. 

I am almost official on having an apartment near BSU and I am super excited about it.  I have been looking for ways to decorate it...and that's when it hits me:

What is my design style???


I can take this apartment in any direction.  Am I an edgy type, a soft naturals type, what am I? Who am I?

I have some pretty cool things that I am going to decorate with, including a huge wall map and some vases and such.  But it is really strange to have such freedom to make it whatever I want.  But that's just the thing...

What do I want?


No really...what DO I want in this apartment (and in life)? 

Somebody cue some epic soul searching music, we have to get down to business.

It's just like being a horse given the reigns in a wide open field... Pin It Now!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Please Forgive My Deep Angst, Society.

Well you know when I am blogging from my phone right before I go to bed it is because I am on a tangent. Well. This time is no different.

First things first (obviously, or they wouldn't be first now would they). I am deeply saddened by the fact that I am only 21 and feel like a minority because I am not married (or un married) with a baby (or three). You know, the first one that gets knocked up in your class, fine. It's going to happen to someone. But the next 10? You would think they'd learn how to prevent that. The thing is, I swear one girl gets pregnant and it triggers our competitive jeans and next thing you know all the rest of the girls are pregnant and hoping their baby is cuter than yours.

Alright, I'm sure it's not that superficial. But it's the only thing I can come up with for why half the people my age that I know have at least one baby.

Maybe I am a strange breed, but I have enjoyed being in college. I've enjoyed rooming with new people and learning to cook and having a (paid for) period of pseudo freedom. I have had time to mature and to grow. Babies are just not on my radar.

And really, is your life defined by the number of babies you have or how early you have them? I mean would people look at me with sad puppy eyes of I never had one and think I haven't been successful even if I was an awesome Urban Planner by then?? I'm not saying I don't want to have a baby, I'm just asking why people don't think they can wait. I mean ok sure some people can only have babies up to a certain point but there are tons of babies out there who need a home and someone to love them so if I couldn't have a baby I would just try to adopt. I mean it would be sad but it would not mean my life was over.

Freedom is something some people I swear are terrified of. They are afraid to be out on their own without a spouse or significant other. They can't go do things on their own or function on their own. This makes me sad. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to cook what and when I want and experiment with whatever meal I want and just be myself. During my graduate studies I have a one bedroom lined up that will allow me even more freedom. I am very excited.

Society has really started to focus on odd things. So many people are having babies at very young ages and we give them TV shows so that other kids can see people who had babies way too young? I consider this rewarding bad behavior not raising awareness. And I really thought the tanning bed obsession would have died down by now. I see people post it on Facebook like going to the bed is the highlight of their day...

Really? Are you honestly that shallow?

I am sure for some it is a very relaxing time but go relax by a lake. Why on earth ANYONE would go to a tanning bed during the spectacular weather we have had here is nuts. Go the heck outside. It's free, all natural, and you might get brown instead of fake bake orange.

But I'm extremely pale so maybe I am just bitter ;). Actually, I love being pale. I love standing out in a sea of orange and platinum blonde. I like being original or different. That works for me. The natural skin toned, virgin hair, single girl who doesn't want to get pregnant right now. Yup, that's me.

This is harsh, but I'd your life is consumed by tanning, partying, and whatever is on sale at Victoria's secret...GET A NEW LIFE. I mean I really am not trying to be mean but go get something with meaning. Change someone's life instead of being narcissistically focused on your own.

Oh. And ladies, if you want guys to stop treating you like a piece of meat, stop dressing like one.

Well. That is definitely enough soap boxing for one night :). Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Mishmash of Mishaps and Other Random Ponderings

This is probably going to end up more like multiple mini-blogs in one. 

First, I believe that a woman with a good track record in solid instincts should always go with her gut.  I had thought to myself that a friend of mine's guy was up to no good a few months ago, and I was right.  That is all I am going to say about it because it is not my story to tell, but next time my spidey senses fire up, I'ma be better prepared.  (Yes, yes, I know, I will chicken out and not say anything just like this time.  Unless...see below).

Second random line of thought.  I have mentioned in previous posts that I am reading a Donald Miller book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".  It is really good.  Right now he is talking about writing our lives into a better story.  A better story for a character almost always involved going through hardship.  Here in the US, many of us spend our whole lives trying to avoid any sort of hardship.  Our relationships hit a rough patch so we abandon them.  We take a class that is going to be a lot of work and we drop it (been there done that).  However, I think Miller brings up a good point.  If we would face some of these things we see as hardships we could potentially come out much better people in the end.

I have seen plenty of people go through Hell and back.  And almost every one of them bounces back stronger and better. Do we still have scars from the pain? Yes. But we also have the lessons learned.  I agree with Miller when he says that our attempts at cushioning life are holding us back from living a better story.  Some people give up everything they have and practically live nomadic in other countries just to spread the Gospel, give medical aid to those in need, and tons of other reasons.  And these people truly feel meaningful and like they have a purpose.  I am definitely not saying that is the only way to feel like you have purpose, you can have that without selling all of your stuff.  But if someone asked you right now, why are you on this earth? What is your purpose? 

Would you have an answer?

In response to Miller and what I read, I am now much more excited to go on this DC trip.  This gives me the opportunity to break out of my little rut, my nervous little shell, and do something other than what I am so incredibly used to. My travel consists of cars as transportation, and mostly just one of two paths: south to Florida or states in between, and up to the Great Lakes Region.  That really sums almost all of it up.

And it was almost always with friends and family.  But I can learn a lot from this trip.  I think it can help me live a better story.  I will learn so much more than I ever knew about the history of America and where some of my distant relatives fought and what they fought for and the things they went through.  I feel like it will give me a better sense of where I came from.  Not that my family is from that area, but many of us have some sort of connection with it. 

Robert Frost writes in his poem that taking the path less traveled made all the difference. 

Now for my final mishmash which includes none other than the Asian Invasion himself...

I have had this gigantic Dell Laptop for close to a year.  You can't miss it, it has a 17.3 inch display.  I call it laptopzilla.  I have used it nearly every day of this school year and have had it with me in the lab every day I have been in here for the last month and a half since I have been using it at my internship as well.

So the conversation goes like this:

AI: You have a new laptop?
Me: No I have had this one.
AI: I have seen you with a different one.
Me: I haven't carried my Lenovo this whole school year.
AI: (frustrated) I have seen you with a different one.

I'ma just throw this out there.  If I am going to lie about something it is going to be a lot better than whether my laptop is new or not.  Just sayin.  And clearly I, the purchaser who spent over a grand on this thing (terabyte hard drive, lots of memory, awesome display, subwoofer, WORTH IT), would know best how long I have had it.  This whole find a random thing to say to a girl just so she is forced to answer is getting old and it is especially annoying when someone is acting like I don't know what I am talking about on a subject I clearly do. 

Oh, and facebook has informed me that Frattitude is now single.  Which I have no idea why his crap is popping up on my news feed when I unfriended him.  But whatever.  As per the comments, it seems as though she did the splitting.  I hope she stays gone, because if she hasn't figured it out already he seems anything but loyal.  And that never ends well.  Cheetahs never lose their spots they say. Pin It Now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Double Shot of Perspective with a Side of Humble Pie

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.  I am a Gemini, so really this is not all that out of the ordinary, and I am fairly certain that a Gemini is permanently haunted by thinking about every single thing on their radar and at least 155 things that aren't.  I don't just feel guilty sometimes about things that I do and how it affects someone close to me, but I feel guilty about things that people close to me do that affects someone else close to me.  Thankfully I have a ridiculously big head so there is room for all this.

Just another way God planned ahead.

Anyway, I got to thinking about what drives our lives here in America.  It all started because I have been reading 5 books at once for a good couple of months now (I finished one of them a few weeks ago though).  Anyway, I bought a Kindle and subsequently had to buy another book.  I bought "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller.  I was reading this book and it was talking about commercials and how they affect us.  You know, buy the new dodge charger because this hot skinny chick likes it.  Things like that.

And this led me to think of other things that completely affect us.  For instance, we are so trained by media, TV, and fashion to believe that we have to be a size 2, when there are women in other countries who probably envy the fact that we have extra body fat when they don't even have enough nourishment to produce breastmilk and feed their crying babies.

(I used to not be the type to throw out the starving children in Africa bit, but I am making a point.)

What if we all looked at it a different way.  We all have the freedom and choice to be any size we want.  We are rarely limited by anything (in most cases), we have copious resources at our disposal to be size 2 or size 20 or any other number.  I am not saying that some people don't have health issues that restrict this, but you get the point.

What if we looked at everything in our life a different way?  Why is our vehicle not good enough? The one on tv has more chrome, more features, more hot chicks? Really? I have a Durango.  It is not fuel efficient, she is picky as the day is long, and quite frankly I lovingly call her the Diva.  She's got years and miles on her.  People trade vehicles when they get to 80k miles, but I fully plan on getting that Diva well over 200k (granted I am already at 160 and I am thinking that it could top 200 before I graduate from grad school).

Other people have no cars.  Plenty of people in THIS country have no car.  I get the opportunity to drive a Durango with Charcoal colored paint with little glittery bits in it.  I get to look at a few door dings and wonder how she got them.  I look at the 162,000+ miles and get to remember the trip to Niagra, the drive through Canada, the trips to Nashville (both TN and IN), and all the memories that those miles entail.  My rebellion against driving the Durango in the first place all the way up to my deep love of her now.

Sidenote.  I did not like the Durango because my mom brought it home on a 100 degree summer day and it had really freaking dark leather seats.  My first time sitting in it in short shorts, HURT.

But, with a double shot of perspective, I would now say, I got the opportunity to burn my legs on leather seats that some people may never get to experience.

We get to experience so many things that others may never get to experience. 
  • Some people will never be anything other than starving
  • Some people will never drive a car
  • Some people will never have health care benefits, insurance, or a place to call their own
  • Some people will never get to go to school, much less advanced schooling like college and graduate school
You get the point.  Life is tough, there is no denying that.  But some of it we bring on ourselves by refusing to be happy with what we are giving, or maybe just never taking the time to look around and appreciate what we have. 

Maybe the grass looks greener on the other side because we haven't looked at the patch we are standing on. 

I really don't know where the humble pie part of my title came in but it sounded so good at the time. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Painful.

Well so much for the Cosmos being against me. Turns out, it is completely against Southern Indiana. As you have probably heard, much of the area got absolutely bashed by f3 and f4 tornadoes. Towns just down the road from me are completely gone.

And my house sustained no damage.

This is one of those times that luck doesn't even BEGIN to cover it. I had originally planned on staying at my internship until around 1 or so. This would have put me in Indy by 2, and crossing paths with the tornado probably somewhere around Scottsburg, and not being able to get home. A particular road on my journey had the tornado go right across it and completely obliterate houses.

However, I started to get really antsy around 11. I check the radar, multiple times, and finally asked if I could leave. My boss new there was bad weather, and he agreed that I should while there was an open window. I got home an hour or less before it all broke loose. There was very little activity at my house storm-wise, and I'm truly greatful for that.

Henryville, however, wasn't so lucky. Henryville is maybe around 25-30 minutes from my home, but not all that far geographically speaking. It was demolished. It's so sad to think about the Seniors at Henryville High who, months before graduation, don't know where they will be able to go to school, have prom, or graduate. I am sure they will all get these details worked out, but it has to be difficult.

So please, anyone reading this, of you feel the inspiration, donate to the red cross or anyone helping in these efforts. Words cannot describe the destruction of all the places affected. Honestly it didn't even look like a tornado. It looked like a bomb went off there. And tornados are such interesting things to me. They will demolish house after house yet one right in the middle will be perfectly fine. In Marysville, an entire intersection was obliterated, except the church which hardly sustained damage. They are truly unpredictable forces. Extremely powerful and terrifyingly impressive forces.

Now for some good news. I have managed to secure a tuition remitting scholarship and stipend from Ball State! It was exactly were I wanted to go and I am incredibly excited to be involved in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. It was a godsend.

And I do mean godsend. I prayed like mad for this, begging and hoping for the letter to come from Ball State. They have much better facilities and I was just not as in love with the University of Louisville as I had hoped. I rewarded myself with a Kindle Fire, even though I had spending anxiety since it was over $50. I am not the type who easily spends anything that I consider a large amount.

However, with the recent news of a different grant that I will be receiving, I convinced myself that the $200 kindle over the $500 iPad was a reasonable purchase. So far, I couldn't be happier!

As a former weatherman skeptic, I strongly suggest that people just assume the weather guys might actually be right, and take their advice. Better to be in a basement and not need to be versus being picked up and battered by a tornado.

I also rejoice in how much everyone has pitched in to help those in need during this time. Hopefully the rest of the season will not bring more vicious twisters like these. Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Like A Sleep Ninja

The past few days have been somewhat rough.  At one point I was fairly certain the cosmos was against me.  Then I heard a friend mention that their whole week had it turns out the cosmos is just on a general rampage.

But on a quick sidenote, the Indiana weather has been amazing.  This time last year we were getting blasted by icepocalypse.  This year's February has been mild and at times positively amazing.  Now the environmental side of me is concerned about whether this is a warning that climate may change much more quickly than we suppose...

But the side that hates cold weather is throwing a party.  Not that I like 100 degree summer days either, but that is mostly due to the fact that I have dark leather seats in the Durango and that's just painful.

Now, back to the cosmos hating my guts.  I do not know what I did to anger it, but I have some serious apologizing to do. 

I went to a meeting about this trip that a group from my school is taking to DC and I ended up completely in panic mode by the end of it.  I haven't exactly been the most visible member of this group so I don't really know anyone, and maybe I am just not nearly as confident as I figured I'd be about doing it on my own.  Not that I will really be alone, but it's a whole week without anyone I am really close to.  That somewhat intimidates me.  But I can learn a lot on the trip and it IS a free vacation.  So I really wish my brain would just focus on that one. 

Maybe it is the fact that I am completely terrified when it comes to big commitments.  A boy tells me he loves me too soon and I am bolting.  Always have.  It took some serious soul searching to finally get myself committed to taking the GRE and looking for a grad school.  I am really happy once I get in something, but that whole starting something new bit is the hardest thing for me to get over. 

And it's an entire week.

So there I am back in my car completely panicking and nearly hyperventilating and I guess I ran myself low enough on oxygen getting to my brain that I calmed myself down.  So I drove back to my apartment, tried to put on a solid face and socialize...and in about twenty minutes went to my room, closed the door, and restarted my panicking from the safety of my covers....

Right up until the fridge broke.

My roommate came in to tell me and all I could think to myself is:
      "Oh dear God, what will I do in the morning without a cold Diet Mountain Dew."

Ha, yea I am that addicted to dew.   We moved our most expensive stuff (meat, etc.) to her boyfriend's freezer to make sure we wouldn't lose it and put in a work order so someone would come take care of it.  Turns out, it just needed someone to hit the reset button.

Where I come from, fridges don't have reset buttons.  I did try unplugging it and plugging it back in, just for the record. 

I didn't sleep that night.  Hardly at all.  I didn't sleep well until last night, so I had a couple days of compounded exhaustion.  However, when I woke up that morning after the fridge had broken, I checked the ice cube tray just in case, and there were 6 little half ice cubes left- just enough to chill a dew.  And oh was it the most glorious tasting dew yet.

My day was a little better after that, except the scruffy-haired boy was a bit of a tool in class.  I had helped him get to the right view in Revit Architect (you can't build a roof on the footing layer, after all).  I mentioned something about GIS and the guy next to me asks what that is and Scruffy goes "Oh great here we go..."

Ok maybe to him my major is not all that interesting, but my software-based major is what got him out of the footing view because he couldn't possibly manage to read the instructions on his own. I really don't care what he thinks about my major, but the cocky jerk facade is really starting to get old.  I don't know if maybe his feelings are hurt that I am not desperately lusting after him, if he is intimidated by smart females, thinks I am trying to show him up, or something like that, but he needs to get over it.  Me on little sleep does not allow for many snarky comments to get by without me snapping back.  I am apparently not well equipped for freshmen fratitudes.

So then the next night comes, I don't sleep well again, and didn't fall asleep until about 1.  I get to bed and then I wake up around 2:30 with BOTH arms completely numb and tingly.  I sleep on my side in most cases.  I literally do not know how I managed to lose feeling in both of them.

What I wouldn't give for a video of that night haha.

So I am trying to move my arms because of course since they are asleep and I can't do much with them, I have to try everything possible to get them to move.  So I get my right arm moving up and it is stuck in my blankets.  I am trying to use my other arm to get the blankets off and I am yanking them and pulling my arm and end up freeing it.

WHICH results in me practically judo chopping a water bottle off my desk next to my bed.  This in turn sends me into a complete panic, wondering whether the bottle has managed to spill water on my iPhone that wasn't even anywhere near it.  So I am flailing about with my very much still asleep arms trying to grab my phone...

Again, I so badly wish I had video.

Later on in the day (yesterday), the Asian guy (I think I will call them Asian Invasion and Fratitude now for my own personal entertainment) was asking me seventeen million questions about a map I was making for my professor.  It was along the lines of:

AI, heavy accent: You have the chemical data?
Me: Uh yea it's phosphorous.
AI: No, uh, no, you have the chemical data?
Me: (confused and attempting to redirect the convo) This is for my professor.
AI: This paper has already been written.
Me: (getting agitated) It is NOT for the grad student's thesis.  This is for my professor.
AI: The thesis was written.
Me:'s not for that...
AI: You are trying to get published?
Me: IDK I don't ask questions I am just here to make maps.

Today I have my earbuds in hopes of not having to play 20 questions again.  I got around 8 hours of sleep last night...but that still does not make me want to play.  So far so good, my lair has not been infiltrated by invaders.

In other news, I really don't think I like Truvia.  I think it makes my tea taste wacky.  Considering I have tasted the same wacky undertones in two different teas and I used Truvia in both...I think we have the common thread.

Speaking of, sign up for Republic of Tea's emails, they will give you free shipping on your first order!

Maybe I really should never get it considered spousal battery to judo chop them if your arm is asleep and you can't control it?  Pin It Now!