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Reintroduction

9 Jan

Well, hello again! You might have noticed it’s been a while since I was here. That’s because grad school has completely consumed my life, what with homework and internship and class. Not to mention meeting all my classmates and getting adjusted to all the wonderful things DC has to offer. Then there’s my addiction to Pinterest and Observando…you get the idea. My focus hasn’t been here in quite some time. I’m attempting to get back on track now. Wouldn’t you know that I save this goal for the last week of my break, rather than trying to get back into the blogging habit during my three weeks of vacation. C’est la vie, I guess. Anyway, I’m slowly going back and trying to recreate posts for the last few months. This might seem like a ridiculous goal, but I am nothing if not OCD. You’ll see posts appear that were supposed to go up many weeks and months ago, but for whatever reason were neglected. So, my life is retrospectively being posted here.

As I said, I have one week left before I go back for my second semester. I’m hoping to get out of the house a bit and do some more exploring and touristy things in the city, such as museums and galleries, but the weather isn’t exactly cooperating. It snowed here today – can you believe it? – after such a lovely, warm weekend. I don’t think that most of it stuck, though, but there is a bit of accumulation. I think I’m trained to stay inside and not go anywhere when it snows, thanks to my dad’s belief that I’m incapable of driving or being away from the house in the snow. I don’t really have anywhere to be, anyway, so it’s a good day to sit around and catch up on blogging.

In the meantime, I’m excited for the LSU game tonight! I’m a bit conflicted because part of it will overlap the premier of Castle tonight, too. I can’t pick which I’d rather watch, because I love them both (although Castle will be online later…) Anyway, I’m having a toasty day in the house preparing for some major TV-watching tonight!

History with an Exclamation Point

9 Jul

Just in case you don’t watch ESPN, or have been living under a rock to avoid all coverage of baseball this season, Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit today. And, fittingly, it was a home run, putting the icing on a rather large and impressive cake. Congrats to a great athlete and a classy guy!

What makes this even better, though, is the fan who caught the ball graciously gave it back to Jeter, without demanding any money. He was still rewarded with box seats for the rest of the year, as well as autographed memorabilia, but he’s still a real class act to just want to make sure Jeter got his ball back.

Read about him here.

Cock-a-Doodle Two

28 Jun

Last year, South Carolina became the last team to win the College World Series played at Rosenblatt Stadium. This was, appropriately, called “The Last Bat at the Blatt.”

Tonight, they became the first team to win the CWS at TD AmeriTrade Park, the new home of the CWS. Back-to-back championships from a sort of underdog team, from a school not really known for winning national championships. All I can say is, there is real synergy going on here. You know, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I saw these guys play earlier in the season while visiting my brother. I know he’s incredibly proud to get to see them play on a regular basis. They’re fun and exciting, and most of all the really love to play.

Congrats to a group of well-deserving guys!

Stuff I Want Wednesday

15 Jun

One thing I love, but don’t do as often as I’d like, is have outdoor adventures. Whether camping, rafting, or roasting s’mores over a fire, I love doing things outside. You’d think that, living in the middle of all these mountains and rivers, that I’d spend much more of my time doing those things. Not so. It might have something to do with the fact that I can’t be outside in the sun for more than 5 minutes without looking like a cooked lobster.

Perhaps if I had this awesome kayak, I would spend more time out of doors. You have to admit – you don’t get a much more scenic view than that!

Transparent Kayak

Recap

12 Feb

For some reason, I’m writing less and less about my life. It’s been relegated to one weekly post, and that seems to suffice. Here’s what’s been happening the last week or so of my life:

It’s been rather a slow week this week. I feel like I wasn’t nearly as productive – in any aspect of my life – as I intended to be. The only thing of value that I accomplished this week was making chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. It was totally worth the effort – they were divine. I’m craving another, despite the fact that they’re gone. We had a staff meeting on Monday, and it’s become my habit to bring some delicious baked good for everyone. These cupcakes were also made for the Super Bowl, which my family sort of watched (well, my dad did – everyone else, being women, watched The Holiday and the puppy bowl). We didn’t have a party or anything, but we made festive Mexican food and had cupcakes for dessert. Might as well turn it into somewhat of a holiday. I took a couple of them to Amanda’s house on Monday, where we got caught up on Vampire Diaries and watched The Bachelor with her roommate. I have to admit, as much as I was resistant to it, and as much as I don’t get and have tried to avoid the vampire obsession, I do like that show. It’s dramatic, for sure, but it’s interesting. Something different than what I normally watch. Anyway, I sometimes feel like Amanda and I have very different interests, so I’m trying to open up and have more things in common with her.

My mom spent most of the week in bed with the flu. I can’t believe she actually went to school during the week, but she did. I’m not sure if I passed off what I had to her, because her symptoms were a little bit different and lasted much longer than mine. It was rather quiet around the house, with her spending so much time in bed. We mostly just sat around watching TV without her, and eating dinner around the couch instead of the dining room table.

On Tuesday I went to a Boy Scout pack meeting to do a Silly Putty program. It was a lot of fun – making silly putty usually is. Those boys were so loud, though! We’d had a rather large, loud, obnoxious group in the Museum that day, so I was bombarded by noise pretty much the entire day. It was a lot to handle, and I just couldn’t escape it no matter where I went. Anyway, the program went well. It’s kind of weird to get back in the habit of doing programs again, after not doing any for so long!

On Thursday I was supposed to go to a local school for a BioFuels program, but they were cancelled for snow. Again. I can’t believe how much it’s snowed this winter! I’m so tired of it, because it’s messing up all my plans for everything. Not to mention all the stuff you have to carry around in the winter – coat, gloves, hat, scarf, purse – it’s too much! Anyway, I spent Thursday helping to clean out the art studio storage closet with Liz. Because I was supposed to be out at a school, I didn’t have any other projects planned for the day, leaving me with not much to do. The day just flew by – we were on a one-hour delay already, and before we knew it, it was 1:45 before we stopped for lunch. Liz, Kim, Heather and I all went to Cookout for lunch. It’s been open a while, but I’ve never been, despite hearing how good and inexpensive it is. I got a delicious peanut butter fudge milkshake – I’m craving another one right now because it was so amazing! I’m enjoying having lunch dates with staff again – either I’m not here, or Heather was home taking care of her son, or something else like that that kept our lunch dates from happening. It’s been a terrible week for dieting, despite my resolve to do better and my pact with Akinya that we’re going to be long-distance diet buddies.

Something else that kept getting put off is our first planning meeting for Earth Day. You remember what a challenge that was last year, so I’m not especially looking forward to it again. Altough surely it will be easier, having done it already, and having somewhat of a sense of what needs to be done. We were supposed to meet on Wednesday, but the lady from the Girl Scout office hurt her back. Our meeting was postponed to Friday morning, but she was still feeling badly, so it’s put off til sometime next week. It’s starting to make me nervous that we’re having to reschedule, just because I hope this doesn’t mean that we end up scrounging around at the last minute trying to get everything done (like last year). I’m much busier than I was this time last year, so I really hope I don’t end up having to devote extra time to this project.

Now that it’s the weekend, I’m trying to finish up a couple of little projects around my room that have been lying around for some time. They started back in December, when I was off work, and doing so much cleaning and organizing. There are a few little leftover things that need to be taken care of, so that’s what I’m up to. I’ve got a little bit of spring fever, so despite needing to save money and a totaly lack of need, I’m considering heading off to Target later to see what they’ve got in the clothing department. Maybe Kohl’s, too. I really, really shouldn’t. But I just can’t help myself!

Ten Things Tuesday – November 30

30 Nov

Ten random things I’ve found while ceaning my room:

1. Prom coursage. I don’t know why I’m still hanging on to it. It’s all dried up and crumpled, but still in good condition. It still has most of its yellow color, but of course looks very different than my prom more than five years ago. Why do I still have it? Memories. It’s hard to get rid of sentimental things.

2. My first driver’s license. Again, I don’t know why it’s necessary for me to still have this, other than the fact that it’s a nice picture of me and reminds me of a time when I was nervous to drive with cars in the lane opposite mine. Maybe it will be part of an art project someday. Minus the personal information, of course.

3. Huge stack of research from my senior thesis papers. I had to do two senior papers my last year of college (thankfully in different semesters, otherwise I would have gone completely crazy). I ordered many books from interlibrary loan and copied hundreds of pages of relevant (and not-so-relevant) information. Despite the fact that I still have hard and electronic copies of both these papers, I found it necessary to keep all my research. Probably several hundred, close to a thousand pages worth of copied books. It’s a massive pile of papers that really needs to be recycled. And it’s finally leaving my room.

4. Old trophies. I’m sure most of us have old trophies and awards lying around the house. You don’t really know what to do with them, but you don’t want to get rid of them. Old soccer trophies, high school awards, random plaques. They don’t exactly look good on display (I mean, it’s not an Oscar or anything), but throwing them away seems wrong, too. I have mine in a plastic box, wrapped up in tissue. I didn’t even bother going through the box, because there’s no point. I’d end up putting them right back in and shoving them under the bed.

5. Yarmulke. When my mom went back to school for her Master’s in teaching, she made friends with a woman who is Jewish. They got to be pretty good friends, and she invited us to her daughter’s bat mitzvah. Neither of us had been to anything like that at all, so of course we wre curious about going. It was part of their holy day, on Saturday, so it’s like we went to their worship service, too. The whole thing was really cool, and we got yarmulkes as favors. Of course I have no use for this, but it’s a good reminder of something you don’t get to witness every day.

6. Money. Not just random dimes or pennies here and there. We’re talking a collection of Euros ranging from 1 cent coins to 2 Euro coins, and several bills as well. Then I found just as many British pounds sterling, probably every coin they mint. Several random Canadian coins, one peso, 2 silver and one gold US dollars, one 1/2 dollar, one Susan B. Anthony and Eisenhower dollar, and some unidentified coin with what looks like Korean writing on it. Maybe it’s Japanese. I can’t read either of those languages. All totaled, I found €22,36, £3,91, 26 cents Canadian, as well as the random coins mentioned above.

7. Old notes from middle school. Out of everything I’ve found (with maybe the exception of some pictures from this same time period) these have probably been the most entertaining find. I have no idea why I kept these – maybe I knew subconsciously that I’d get a good laugh over them someday. Whatever the case, I kept quite a few of the many, many notes I received from friends between 6th and 8th grade. And we’re talking the fancy decorated ones – with elaborately drawn names and designs in marker and gel pen. And folded so intricately you’ll never get them folded back again once they’ve been opened. I kept one or two, to show friends later who I know will get a good laugh out of it.

8. Wristbands. Probably leftover from concerts, youth conferences, amusement parks, and random places that all require such identification for entry. I think I’ve only kept one or two that I know exactly where they came from, but other than that they’re all gone now, because I cannot for the life of me remember what they’re from.

9. Photo keychain from Dollywood. If it weren’t in a plastic cover, I would scan the picture and post it here. Take my word for it that it’s hilarious. It’s of me, Amanda, and my ex-boyfriend Baird on one of the roller coasters, at the point where you’re going down a big drop. We rode it several times and figured out at what point our picture was taken, so we rode it with the specific intention of getting a crazy picture. I’m sitting in front of the two of them, in a seat by myself, gripping the handle as though I’m going to fall out, eyes shut and screaming my head off. Amanda is right behind me, laughing hysterically with her hair flying backwards (it looks like it’s hitting the kid behind her in the face). Baird is beside her, eyes and mouth wide open screaming. This was both purely intentional and accidental. It’s so, so funny. Words don’t do it justice.

10. Rosie the Riveter action figure. Complete with working-girl’s lunch pail and some kind of rivet gun. Or something. She inspires me to kick butt every day.

Any Given Saturday

14 Nov

Amanda called and woke me up at 8:30 yesterday morning. I would have rolled over and ignored it, but I knew she had a rough day on Friday, and was also potentially calling me about weekend plans. I turned out to be right about that, so the phone call was definitely worth waking up for. She called wanting to drive down to Knoxville to scalp tickets on the street for the UT/Ole Miss game. We’d had plans to get tickets from a friend of hers, but that never panned out. So she woke up really early Saturday, thinking it was a school day, and still thinking about those tickets. I’m glad she called me, because we both just hopped out of bed, got dressed, and drove down for the game. There are always people selling tickets on the streets – you can usually negotiate some fairly cheap ones. We got really lucky with our seats – right in the corner of the endzone on the Mississippi side, about 30 rows back, right on the aisle. Excellent view of the field, the fans, and the jumbo-tron. It was warm and very sunny – I even got a little sunburned from it. You know me and my paper-thin skin and awful tanning record…

We only paid $30 for our seats, a significant discount from face value. That’s the beauty of college football – there are always people looking to sell tickets, and plenty of people on the street wanting some. The game ended up being really great – something like 52-14 or something. Really a blowout, and not at all expected. I’m not especially a UT fan – I’ve got to support my brother at South Carolina and the perpetually exciting and stress-inducing LSU. But today I was a UT fan, even though I don’t own a single orange thing. Traitor, I know. But at least the game was fun. I just love college football – there’s nothing else like it. The thrill of cheering for your team, all the exciting and gutsy moves, the adrenaline, the band. Nothing compares. I don’t know when I got so into it – I’ve always loved it, but this last year or so really gotten invested in it. I don’t know what happens to them when they get to the NFL, but it’s just not the same.

And an even more exciting turn of events – South Carolina stomped Florida to win the SEC East! They haven’t done that in many, many years. And they’re going to the SEC championship game in Atlanta. I’d love to go see that.

I’m starting work fewer hours at the Museum each week, because I don’t have that many left. I’m down to about 60 for the rest of the month of November and December. Combined. That’s not much at all. So it’s going to be much more sporadic that I’m working, pretty much only to staff currently scheduled programs. It’s nice to have some extra time off, although I don’t know what I’m going to do to occupy myself. I’ll still be getting paid through the end of the year, which is nice. I’ll just need activities to fill my days, to avoid that incredible boredom I suffered last summer when I wasn’t working. I have started the massive project of cleaning out my room, top to bottom, every drawer and box and corner. In my mind, I’m already moving out again, and this is just the first step in that process. I really want to purge my life of the things I don’t need or want anymore. It’s difficult, because I’m terribly nostalgic and a notorious pack rat, making gettin rid of anything a challenge. But I have to be honest with myself about how much stuff I need and how I want my future home to look. I need to get rid of the things that really aren’t going to be useful anymore, and that won’t be fun to pack up and move here in about a year. My goal is to tackle on thing at a time – my dresser, my closet, under my bed, the spare room where I store all my art supplies – and go through everything. I’ve already made considerable progress on this, even if it is just little places here and there. If I spread this job out over several months, I won’t have a constantly-cluttered room, and I’ll be able to actually see what I have and what I need to get rid of.

Other than my spontaneous football game yesteray, life hasn’t been too interesting lately. Mostly working, working, working, as usual. My mom and I went to yoga the other night, for the first time in quite a while. We keep saying we need to get back into the habit of going to the gym, but haven’t actually done it yet. Maybe this coming week…

Another habit I’m getting back into is going to Nikki’s for Lost marathons. We haven’t watched it in at least a month, because we’ve both been busy and out of town. We’re about halfway through season 3, the midpoint of the series. I can’t exactly remember everything that happened, but I’m dying to find out what’s going to happen next! It will be nice to have these plans again and feel like I have a social life outside of work.