Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Personal Year in Review

I came across this idea on First 30 Days via The Frisky and thought it would be something neat to put on my blog (and really, I've already run out of things to write about right now). It lists 10 questions to consider about the past year and some that include the future...but for anyone reading this please keep in mind that I have horrible memory so my answers might not be as deep and meaningful as expected.

-What was the best thing that happened to me this year? I started dating my boyfriend Alister and proved to myself that although long distance relationships are miserable to be in that I'm fully capable of surviving one (although not without sacrifice, frustration, and hardship)
-What did I do this year that I’m really proud of? I finally got accepted to nursing school; I was starting to think I'd be wasting my time as a professional student for life
-Who did I really help? I guess I could say my former boss...since no one else was going to do her animal work for her; and I'd like to think I've helped random people with little things along the way (trying to balance out all this bad karma)
-Who do I need to thank and acknowledge for having been there for me? Always my parents- without them I would have ended up in bankruptcy (and for so any other reasons); my former boss for giving me a job when I really needed one; my old boss at Duke for always giving me suggestions and support when I need a semi-neutral point of view; I'm sure there are tons of others but as many know my memory never serves me quite well enough...
-What are the top three lessons I learned? 1. School is expensive and I should have made the effort to kick-ass the first time through; 2. Good friends are always there for you...even if you don't see them for months, years, or decades at a time; 3. The bank should not have given my poor butt a mortgage
-What increased my happiness and joy this year? Knowing I'm fairly intelligent and proving that to myself in school; falling for my difficult yet well-meaning boyfriend; my pets all staying healthy; getting into nursing school; most time spent with family and friends
-What’s something I got through that was really tough? My life seems to be one big pile of toughness...but I'll go with those 2 months of unemployment; for someone who hasn't been unemployed since I was 19 years old, it's a hard thing to handle
-What did I avoid that I must pay more attention to in 2009? I don't tend to avoid much; I like to get things out there and fixed or I suffer miserably in the meantime
-What character trait did I develop most this year? Determination- I'm thinking that combined with stubbornness are the only things that got me through
-What new people did I meet that are now in my life? My boyfriend; everyone else has pretty much been there, even if I haven't see them for years!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I thought it was only appropriate to get on here and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. My family unwrapped gifts around 9am this morning and we all received some nice items. My mom is especially excited with her new Wii console and Wii fit game and my dad is now discovering what a Kindle is. In a few hours the rest of the typical holiday family crew is showing up for some standing rib roast and mashed potatoes. Hopefully everything goes smoothly, because as some people know my family can be a bit...out there (I do love them to death though). Key West t-4 days.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Catching Up Again

Okay so I haven't exactly been the best on keeping up with this blog recently! Alister is actually in town for the month so I've been trying to spend as much time with him as I can before he abandons me to go back to freezing cold Colorado. I mean seriously, who in their right mind would want to live in Colorado and not North Carolina?!?!? Some of those people have never even seen a beach! Kidding (I'm so not a fan of Norf Cackalakey), but I'm definitely a warmer weather, sandy beaches, cold girly drinks on the boat kinda girl. In other words, I'm not loving the current weather even here right now but I guarantee this time next week, as I'm sunning myself in Key West, that I will be in heaven.

I'm also looking forward to the next few days. I always enjoy spending the holidays with family and although I can't eat quite so much this year (hello, gotta be in a bikini in December!) I will definitely munch down on some extra delicious food. Alister is making chicken cordon bleu tonight for my family and then there's always my dad's amazing standing rib roast Christmas day. I can't complain!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catching Up

Now that it's been a few days, I guess it's time to catch up on my writing. I flew out to Albuquerque last Friday and Saturday morning Alister and I began our incredibly long drive back to North Carolina. Because I'm not a fan of driving at night, I drove from New Mexico until right outside Little Rock, and then Alister took over and drove us straight on through until Winston Salem. At that point I felt bad that he had driven all night so I did the last little bit into Raleigh. That's right; with the exception of gas and bathroom stops, we drove straight though. Wow, do I hate driving! We arrived early afternoon Sunday and I promptly slept for a good part of the day since my sleep totalled about 4 hours over the course of 2 days. I know, I know- it's always safest to drive cross country with no sleep; definitely the best idea (sarcasm in case anyone missed it). However, I was glad we did drive straight through; stopping at hotels every night makes the trip seem way too long.


Monday evening, several PetHell ex-employees (Kenny, Jake, Alex, Heather, and me) and guests (Wil, Kris, and Alister) got together at Kenny and Will's house for hors 'douvres and sangria. It was great to see everyone again and I can't complain- the food was amazing (thanks to Kenny's mad cooking skills) and I love some Mario Party on the Wii.

Today was mostly spent writing and mailing Christmas cards, and driving all over town looking at cars. I have to be honest; I am not a fan of looking for cars, mainly because they're pretty much doomed to be wrecked or lemons. I'm grateful Alister is here to help me because otherwise I might be sitting in my ass in the midst of an anti-car buying tantrum.

Tonight Alister and I and the 2 dogs are heading back to Greenville for a week. I'm missing my cats and although my friend takes great care of them I'm sure they'd like some love and attention for a bit. I think it will be nice to just relax at home for a bit; every time Alister and I get together we always seem to be doing something- now we can see how we do without constant activities!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

30 Things Men Love That Woman Don't Understand

...and as a follow-up to the previous post, the other part of the list: things men love that women don't understand. Once again, from The Frisky (and once again, with my small bit of commentary on the side).

1. Crotch grabbing
2. AC/DC (What??? I love AC/DC!)
3. Skid marks
4. Nascar (Well I like really attractive NASCAR drivers...ie David Ragan)
5. Fake breasts (I would love some so I won't dare complain about them)
6. Scars
7. Car shows
8. The WWE
9. Fart jokes (I don't care how old I get; farts are hilarious to me)
10. Titty-twisters (I don't like them being done to me but I think it's entertaining when Alex does them to someone else)
11. Sports bars
12. Mowing the lawn/washing the car (Mowing the lawn is relaxing...washing the car not so much)
13. Collecting weapons (Gimme guns! Big loud ones!)
14. Explosions/Fire (Okay not a fan of explosions but I like playing with fire)
15. Pimping out their sound system
16. Paris Hilton (And in Alister's case, with her new BFF's)
17. Taking long poops (I don't know anyone- man or woman- who doesn't enjoy this at some time or another)
18. Listening to everything at a really high volume
19. Videogames (Bring on the Wii...or Playstation...or some good old Mario Kart on Nintendo 64)
20. ”Ninja Warrior”
21. Martial arts movies
22. Classic rock (LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT)
23. Dimeslots
24. Fantasy Football and Baseball
25. Anal sex (My mom reads this so no comment)
26. Any movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme or Sylvester Stallone (True- can't stand either of them)
27. Chicken wings (Depends on where they're from; I don't care what any guy says, Hooters wings are horrible...and their beer is warm)
28. Watches/time pieces
29. Ribs (Drool)
30. Binoculars

30 Things Women Love That Men Don't Understand

I had to add this one on here; yet another article from The Frisky. It's called "30 Things Women Love That Men Don't Understand" (just in case anyone reading this missed the quite obvious title at the top). My comments are to the side...b/c as a previous post stated, I have an opinion about all sorts of things.

1. Drunk online shopping (Never done this so I don't understand it either)
2. Trapeze dresses (I don't understand those either unless you're trying to look preggers)
3. Having a good cry (It's as stress relieving as an orgasm...except your eyes feel really sore afterwards)
4. Dark nail polish (I'm lost on this one also...it's just not...pretty...)
5. Reality TV dating shows (I like to gawk at other people's desperation for a date- The Bachelor/Bachelorette is the best)
6. Brunch
7. Constantly changing one’s Facebook status (In my defense, guys do it too!)
8. Frozen yogurt (Not a fan...I prefer some nice, tasty, extremely unhealthy Coldstone or Ben and Jerry's)
9. Gossiping—about real life people we know, don’t know, or only know through magazines, TV, and movies
10. Cooing over adorable pictures of baby animals (B/c they're ADORABLE!)
11. Sexless cotton brief underwear (B/c they're comfortable! And I've reached an age where confort trumps sexiness)
12. The Swiffer (Every guy I know that cleans has a Swiffer)
13. “Twilight” (I don't understand this one either but I can't lie; I'm addicted)
14. The music of Beyonce, Chris Brown, and Madonna
15. Musicals (Sometimes you need a good balance in life...and it's relaxing to be able to walk around and hum something from Fiddler on the Roof)
16. Short haircuts (B/c hair is a pain in the ass to keep up with- sometimes it's ncoe to just whack it all off)
17. Chuck Bass (I definitely don't think he's sexy but he's one rich badass)
18. Shopping during a crisis (BAD idea!)
19. Multiple bed pillows (Most guys I know use more pillows than I do...so don't know about this one either)
20. Girly drinks (Most guys I know secretly like girly drinks)
21. $50 scented candles
22. Movies starring and/or produced by Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon
23. Men who appear dirty and grimy, but are actually totally hot, i.e. Robert Pattinson, Justin Bobby, etc. (Dirty and grimy is hot)
24. Michael Cera (I'm behind...who is this???)
25. Miniatures
26. Astrology (Incredibly inaccurate unless you're good at finding a link or connection between anything)
27. Collecting magazines (B/c when you're in the bathroom reading it doesn't matter if you've read it 10 times...and pictures are always entertaining...and mindless)
28. Dancing (I hate dancing so who knows?)
29. Jeans tucked into boots (I LOVE my jeans tucked into boots; and I've never heard a guy complain!)
30. Foreplay (That tends to be overrated)

Opinion on Infertility

I have always been known as a strongly opinionated person, and unfortunately, my opinions tend to not run alongside the people around me. Before I go any further, let me just point out that I had an awesome childhood; I spent a large amount of time playing outdoors, had plenty of close friends in my neighborhood, went to good schools, and was blessed to grow up in a very loving and supportive family. The only reason I felt the need to point that out is because of all the over psychoanalyzing that people do when someone doesn’t fit into the mainstream’s mold of thinking. I had a great childhood- I swear!

Anyways, the point of bringing this up is because I recently read a short article (again, on The Frisky) about a woman who paid over $100,000 to have another woman surrogate her child. Now, I’m not going to judge her, because maybe her intentions were completely unselfish, but I am not a fan of ANY kind of fertility assistance including surrogacy. Although I’m not a hugely religious nor scientific person, I have always thought that infertility (including inability to maintain a pregnancy) was nature’s way of keeping a balance in the world and God’s way of saying you should adopt. Unfortunately, science has given women the opportunity to have kids even when all of the other signs are saying stop. I’m sure there are many good and respectable reasons to pay thousands of dollars to force a woman’s body into having and/or carrying a child, but I personally cannot think of any off the top of my head. Then again, I would never consider paying more for a laboratory assisted pregnancy than for a house or luxury car when I could just adopt; or even better, have a few dogs and horses.

I’m guessing some people reading this will have picked up the slight consistency of one specific word in here: adopt. I am definitely an advocate of adoption (yay Angelina Jolie) because, in a slightly twisted way, I think of homeless kids kind of like I think about homeless pets. They need love, affection, attention, and a chance at life just like anyone or anything else. Granted, adopting a child is a lot riskier than adopting a dog b/c you have no clue what unknown expensive problems hide within their DNA, but at the end of the day they’re still a human being that needs caring for just like anyone else. And besides, why do people think their genes are so awesome that it would warrant paying oodles of money to make their own baby? Unless you have the mind of Einstein and body of a Victoria’s Secret model, I would reconsider!

On another note, I do not judge people that go through extreme and expensive measures to have their own child; I just personally would never even consider that as an option. Then again, I don’t want to have children. Yes, I know I may change my mind. Yes, I know people change their mind all of the time. Yes, I know I’m still young. Yes, I know my biological clock may get some batteries in my thirties. Yes, I know every argument under the sun for why a healthy young female should not rule out reproducing in her future. Despite the arguments for having one, I have various reasons for not wanting to bring a child into this world, and although people have and will judge me for my decision, I just want to remind those same people that I don’t judge you for your decisions. Besides, I’m counting on my baby sister to pop out a few cute ones for me to spoil and then send home at the end of the day…I’m looking forward to being the cool Auntie with all the ponies to ride.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Small anniversary

Today is Alister and I’s 7-month anniversary. Yes, I know…7 months, big deal. But for me, it is. For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a proven failure at long distance relationships. I have attempted two in the past; one in Colorado (of course) and another in California. Neither one managed to make it more than 3 months, and neither one went even remotely smoothly, so that being said 7 months is a huge success for me. The relationship has NOT been easy and there have been many times when one or both of us wanted to throw in the towel. How we’ve made it even this long, I’m not sure, but I’m going to guess it’s a combination of love, stubbornness, and blind determination to survive it all. Despite the difficulties, I think it has been worth it, and hopefully we survive many more months to come (although I’m not going to say years because Alister is going to have to come back to NC sooner or later…we all have our limits and mine stops with years).

Aside from that, nothing else spectacular is happening today. I have 2 more days left of work and like I’ve said before I am THRILLED. I received my booklist for next semester last night and will go ahead and say that I am FAR from thrilled at the 17 books we’re required to get with a price tag of over $1000. Textbook prices are absurd.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Frisky

One of my favorite websites to waste time on is The Frisky. I came across it (surprisingly) on the CNN website one day under the life section. It's definitely geared more towards women but those that post comments include the male side also. Along with relationship, sex, and celeb/style info, it also has little articles about random life things. I came across this one today and wanted to share it (since I could definitely try being a better person, if not to just even out all this bad karma that follows me around all the time!):

10 Ways to Become a Better Person

1. Pack Your Lunch: Instead of spending $10 on a sandwich that you don’t really enjoy, bring your lunch from home—you’ll save money (which can then be spent, guilt-free, on martinis at the end of the week), you’ll hopefully eat healthier, and you can use up leftovers instead of letting them rot away in your fridge.

2. Call Your Mom For No Reason: It’s easy to go days and weeks without phoning home because of how busy we all are with work and the holidays, but make it your mission to call your mom for no other reason than just to say, “Hi, what’s new?” It will literally fill her heart with joy.

3. Volunteer: Hit up a soup kitchen, read to the elderly at a nursing home, or even just donate your old winter coat to a clothing drive...there are so many easy ways to make a big impact on someone’s life. And, of course, selfishly speaking, doing good for others will make you feel good too.

4. Tip, Even If Your Order Was Messed Up: Everyone, even the most amazingly cheerful people, have an off-day. If your Starbucks barista accidentally makes your Skim Chai Venti Latte with whole milk, tip her anyway—she didn’t do it on purpose.

5. Get Over A Grudge: Still super pissed at your EX-friend Camille for ruining your favorite skirt? Get over it, chick. There’s very little in life really worth fighting over and if you’ve got a good friendship worth saving, try and forget whatever made you mad in the first place. Make plans to get together, catch up, and finally squash whatever bitterness remains. Heck, pay for that round of martinis while you’re at it, with the money you saved packing your lunch.

6. Call Up An Old Friend: Speaking of friendships, instead of going home after work and immediately turning on “Gossip Girl,” set your DVR and pick up the phone instead—call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long while and catch up on each other’s lives. As adults we often let physical distance create emotional distance, but thanks to technology, that isn’t inevitable, so long as we don’t allow laziness to get in our way. I’m actually going to visit my childhood best friend this weekend!

7. Bake Cookies For Your Coworkers: My favorite part of baking cookies? Eating the raw dough. My second favorite part? Bringing in the finished product to share with my coworkers. I feel like effing Santa Claus.

8. Finish Your Book: We all have that one book we’ve been trying to get through for what seems like forever, but something—the “Twilight” series, new episodes of “The Hills,” Perez Hilton—keeps getting in the way. Finish it. Edward Cullen, Lauren Conrad, and the Queen of All Media will be waiting for you when you’ve finished the last chapter of “War & Peace.”

9. Get Up 30 Minutes Early & Make Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day and something tells me 90% of us skip it! Set your alarm for a half hour earlier, force yourself out of bed, and make breakfast. Eat it, drink coffee, and read a smidgeon of the paper before heading into the office. I am pretty sure this combination makes you a smarter person as well.

10. Learn Something New: Instead of only reading the sections of the newspaper that always interest you, crack open a section you usually dump into the recycling bin and read about something unfamiliar; DVR “The Rachel Maddow Show” for once and see what all the hype is about; ask your friend with the job that’s the most opposite of yours to explain exactly what he or she does. In other words—get OUT of your own little bubble.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Where's the spirit?

I finally brought my Christmas decorations downstairs so I could attempt to put a few up. Unfortunately with everything else going on, I just don't seem to have the drive to really decorate like I usually do. That and I left my 7.5' fake tree at home for my parents to use, and without a tree to play with I'm really struggling with wanting to put anything else out! I did manage to get the nativity scene set up, put a few garlands out, and hang my pets' stockings over the fireplace but that's about as far as I got. I thought that wrapping gifts might help put me more in the mood but after wrapping one gift I promptly pulled out my gift bags and that's what everything else went in to. Oh well. The only thing left to do is write my yearly Christmas letter (an update of the past year) and mail some Christmas cards, but most likely that won't get done tonight either...although hopefully before December 15th.

On a better note, I'm looking forward to this week. It's my last week working in the lab and I am thrilled. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I work with; they helped me survive the past year and a half in Greenville, but killing animals is just not my thing. It's one of the main reasons I decided to go back to school in the first place, and yet I ended up doing it for another year or so. So needless to say, I'm thankful to be done. Also, on Friday I fly to New Mexico to help Alister drive back to North Carolina for the holidays. I'm really excited to get to see him, and for an entire month, but the thought of having to be in the car for 25+ hours is not appealing to me at all (especially after the recent accident). Love makes you do all sorts of things you wouldn't otherwise consider.

I am looking forward to the holidays, even if they're a bit cheaper this year than in the past (money is tight but that shouldn't affect things overall). It will be nice to not have to worry about work and get to spend as much time as possible with family, friends, and Alister. I'll be doing a lot more baking for Christmas gifts but thanks to Nicole I have a killer recipe for pumpkin-cranberry bread, so that makes things a bit easier. Now if I could only get up the urge to decorate some more!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why not?

I have a blog. I have no idea why, but so many people I know have one so I figured why not? I have no clue what to write about, and although people have always told me I tell great stories, when I'm actually pressured to put one down in writing it never...quite...works...

Aside from the intense story telling brain farting, my life is really not all that interesting. I go to work,come home, walk the dog, care for the pets, cook dinner, go to bed, and repeat. Occasionally I'll sneak something exciting in...like going out for sushi (ooooo, ahhhhh!) or sucking up my newly acquired cheapskateness and paying to see a movie in the theater (Seriously? $8 to see a 2 hour movie???), but in general life is very routine. I'm hoping that will change once I start nursing school, but in lieu of being a pessimist, I'm not letting those hopes get too high.

Surprisingly there have been a few mildly interesting events that have occurred recently. The most exciting is my youngest sister not only getting engaged last month, but actually planning to get married...this month. So much for long engagements! I'm very happy for her though, and I think she found herself a good one...and I won't even deny the fact that her wedding taking place in Key West in the middle of the winter doesn't help but add to the good news!

On a less happy note, my car- yes, the multicolored ghetto Honda- was totalled last weekend by a...wait for it...bad driver! Who woulda thunkit? The best part? He tried persistently to blame it on me. Unfortunately for him, in America, if you pull out in front of someone who has the right of way while you have a stop sign AND flashing red light, it's considered your fault. Crazy stuff, I know. Luckily there were no injuries other than some muscle pains from the seat belt and more importantly (to me anyways) my dog was completely unharmed. He's my kid; I can't help it. And to top it all off, his insurance company is actually paying me a fair amount MORE than what I paid for the car in the first place. An agreeable insurance company? That's a first. So again I begin the search for yet another car. Maybe the next one will survive longer than the last one.



That's about it. A wedding, tropical vacation, and totalled car. Things could definitely be worse.