Friday, July 31, 2009
Although I will admit I flipped to O'Reilly's show the other night after my dad came in my room to inform me the leprechaun in Mobile, AL video from YouTube was about to be discussed. If you haven't seen it, go here, and prepare to laugh hysterically. It's one of my all-time favorites.
Anyway, I'm strongly considering writing to some sort of political mastermind with a new policy that I feel would help make our world a better place. That's their job, yes?
See, I drive a car. Not an SUV, not a mini-van, not a massively huge F-450 super-long truck. Just a car. And while she is only a 2-door, she's still a pretty decent sized vehicle. She's definitely no Smart Car--she's got a butt. Well, I've been having a terrible time pulling out of parking spaces lately because there always seem to be two huge SUVs (or the equivalent) parked on either side of me. And it doesn't matter how hard I try to slowly (I mean snail-pace) inch out of my spot, I always have to pull out blindly, just hoping there's not another car zooming by in the lot.
Therefore, I think it would be a good idea to start getting some designated parking going on. Now I know every once in a while you'll drive through a lot that has, like two spots, for "Compact Cars," but let me tell you, I don't drive a "Compact Car" and yet this is SUV-neighbor-thing is still a huge problem for me. I'm talking about having a special section for SUVs and anything else not considered a car. That way I can see. And better avoid ramming into the side of zippy little VW Beetles wheeling way too fast through the parking lot. Yes, this almost occurred today, but thankfully my guardian angel saved the actual wreck from happening.
I really might do it--write somebody I mean. It's just gotten really bad and today almost culminated in disaster. I want to note though that I'm not necessarily against SUVs. There are three in my driveway right now, so my family is not made up of tree-hugging hybrid-lovers. I simply wish those of you who are SUV-drivers would consider us baby cars when choosing a parking place. Sorry if that sounds complainy-janey. It's just my opinion and small plea, that's all.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I took this from the car. I had to stay in and babysit this crazy hooligan so he wouldn't start barking hysterically and bite off the hand of an innocent Walgreen's customer passing by.
Yep, the Benjamin thought it would be a good idea to let good ole' Lucky tag along on the short trip down the road. He loves going "bye-bye" and Ben's nice enough to take him once in awhile, despite the layer of white hair on his car seats and dried-up slobber drips on the windows that Lucky leaves behind. But look how happy he looks with the wind in his face...
See? He's precious, I don't care who tells you otherwise. And it's a good thing I like him since mom rudely desserted us for the beach this week (sorry, just the jealousy speaking). Usually she's in charge of making the dog feel loved and what not (and she spoils him to no end...hence why he's fat), but in her absence I guess I'll take on the job as best I can. The Benjamin can help. He loves Lucky even more than me I think. He actually enjoys taking him for runs in an attempt to help him lose that barrel-like belly.
He needs a dog, doesn't he? Yep! Well we ended up watching some movie I'd never heard of called Defiance, which I paid little attention to. Must not have been the best, I suppose. I was too busy switching up my fall class schedule for the upteenth time. I'm now taking some crazy ancient Hebraic traditions course, but it's supposed to be interesting and easy, and it fulfills a requirement I've been stressing over for some time now, so I figure it will be a win in the end.
I'm now back on the couch, anxiously awaiting my evening of reality tv to begin! Tonight's line-up is my favorite...Next Food Network Star followed by HGTV's Design Star! They are both excellent and I highly recommend them to anyone in need of some Sunday night entertainment. Hope everyone has a great start to their weeks!
Friday, July 24, 2009
For Rachel, I envision Katherine Heigl. Now I don't remember if the character's blonde or not, but I feel like Katherine has more of an understated, classic beauty. She's not just drop dead gorgeous and stick-like. Sure she looks amazing in this picture, but on a rainy Sunday afternoon, sans make-up and in sweats, I'd say she's a total Rachel.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I took part in the History Channel's festivities this evening, watching a replay of the original broadcasted moon landing (which was way cool), followed by a made-for-tv movie (I think?) detailing the story behind the Apollo 11 mission. I feel sufficiently patriotic and historically appreciative for the day.
I shall now return to my regularly-scheduled nerdiness. Toodles! :)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Props to the Benjamin for skinning and de-scaling the salmon before it was cooked. I had never bought fresh fish from a counter before, but will next time take advantage of the butcher's kind services. Now for a close up...
To accompany the salmon I served a jasmine-cashew rice (again taking the idea from my Disney deliciousness) and fresh green beans with olive oil (straight from the Benjamin's garden). If you've never had jasmine rice, I highly recommend you try it next time you have Asian. They go so well together! Here's the end result all nicely plated:
And of course I can never forego dessert! This idea came from an episode of Giada's Everday Italian I was watching yesterday after the munchkins went down for their naps. Chocolate-strawberry paninis...yum! They too were super easy. Just slice up some pound cake, spread some nutella (which I had truly missed since using it daily in Greece), and top with sliced strawberries! Then you make a little sandwich and pop it on a panini press...or a George Foreman grill, for those us with less-fancily-equipped kitchens.
Mouth-watering, yes? It tastes like a cross between strawberry shortcake and chocolate-covered strawberries...I mean how could that go wrong?! I strongly recommend these as a late night snack next time your sweet tooth starts craving something delicious. They will not disappoint!
Well now I'm off to begin my Saturday adventures! Ben and I are going to try and go kayaking over at the Cove. Unfortunately there just happens to be some huge boat/band party on the lake out there, so it could be a failed attempt. We shall see...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Clutter cleaners do just that-they focus on clutter. From a distance, their rooms look spotless. Everything has a place, and every night before bed, clutter cleaners make sure the floor is clear and all the knick-knacks, laundry, and other random items have been placed in their proper homes.
Then there are the deep cleaners. These folks share the clutter cleaners' love of a nicely picked-up room, though they also take things a step further. Not only do deep cleaners work hard to maintain clear floors and ordered shelves, they also are best friends with their vacuums and dusting cloths. Deep cleaners desire for their living spaces to appear clean even under a microscope.
I consider myself to be a mere clutter cleaner. My room (pre-apartment explosion at least) stays rather orderly, but I must admit, on any given day, if you were to run your finger across the surface of my dresser, it is likely you'd discover a thin layer of dust. I despise dusting...a dislike I was aware of, but I don't believe I truly understood the consequences until this evening.
I have this old but dainty bookshelf in my room that doesn't get much attention. It's full of books from my younger days and random knick-knacks I've acquired over the years. Tonight, in an attempt to bring some order to the pile of junk that was my sophomore year apartment, I was forced to tackle the state of this sorry shelf. Let's just say I've never quite seen so many dust bunnies in my life. It was terrible. And despite my exhaustion and frustration, I became a deep cleaner for the night and took care of the nastiness. I had to shower afterward, even though I wasn't that dirty going into the project. It was that bad.
I don't want anyone to get the impression I live in a constant state of dust and dirt, because I do take the necessary precautions to avoid this. I guess I'm just quick to avoid the notoriously difficult areas, allowing the dust bunnies to move in and live quite comfortably for long periods of time. I'm determined to be more careful though from now on. I can't take another ordeal like tonight's.
Babysitting every day...sometimes twice a day (like today). No thanks...
And I got approximately 3.5 hours of sleep thanks to the midnight showing of Harry Potter last night. Pretty good movie, yes, though I believe I was only awake for about half of it. I did learn a lesson...really really sleepy people like me should just not go to midnight movie showings, especially when the premiere is sandwiched between two early mornings and full days of babysitting.
Why do I do these things to myself? I'm having trouble functioning at the moment, but by all means allow me to go get ready and spend my morning with three children under the age of four...woo hoo, eh?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Congratulations to my amazing, awesome, and apparently athletic Benjamin, who awoke at 5:30 in the a.m. in order to partake in only his second triathalon, where he seriously crushed the competition and won first in his age group! I'm so impressed, and somewhat inspired to train for my own go at this type of race, though that's easier said than done. Regardless, I am oh so proud of him...and don't worry, I rewarded him with peanut butter cup cookies to re-fatten him up after his morning calorie blast. Tee hee :)
Warning to any and all of you who, inspired by the harsh but hilarious Sascha Baron Cohen flick Borat, are right now thinking it would be a good idea to go see his sequel. Because my friends, I'm not sure there is any worse idea that possibly exists. I had the unfortunate opportunity to see Bruno last night, and well...I was appalled, I was shocked, I was embarrassed, I felt extremely guilty and violated, and when it was over, all I could do was pretend it never happened. I can't really describe details because even a summary would be too inappropriate for my innocent little blog, but let's just say I was awkwardly looking down at my phone for more than half the movie. Please just understand and abide when I forbid you from seeing it.
And finally...today I came to the realization that I have a mere three weeks of summer left. Three. Tres. One, two, three. Are you kidding me? Keep in mind this does not include my week of recruitment-readying house party up in Pigeon Forge, which is not as bad as class, but there is still a lot I'd rather do. Still, though, I can't believe this crazy wonderful gift called summer has been so fleeting, but it's now nearly gone. Sad day people.
Although I will say I'm totally stoked to see my out-of-town friends at the end of those three weeks...that will make everything about 67 times better. :)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Within these multitudes of summer jobs, career-furthering prospects, and sometimes just "things that take up my time," you'll find those who love what they do and those who really don't find enjoyment in the activity. It's also not uncommon to hear of those who hold a two-tiered opinion of their job. I'd say I fall into this category. For me, it's quite the love/hate relationship.
So what's my job? Oh you know, I just babysit. It's funny, every time someone has asked about my summer work of choice this year, I've responded with, "Oh you know, I'm just babysitting." Like it's some easy, no-biggie, random employment that doesn't require much in the way of effort. Which is true. Almost never. Still, though, there are definite perks.
Do you witness my love/hate reasoning beginning to form? You see...
Babysitting equals time with cute little kids, and I adore cute little kids. I love my job.
But cute little kids require frequent diaper changes, can cry at the drop of a hat, and tend to throw their entire lunches on the floor just for the fun of it. I hate my job.
Babysitting means you can pretty much wear whatever form of clothing you want and you never have to dry your hair if you don't feel like it. I love my job.
Actually, though, the dress code sort of has to be old, raggy clothes since you will experience muddy shoes on your shirt and snotty noses on your pants. Ick. I hate my job.
Babysitting has a fantastic hourly wage, and the word FICA is non-existent on your paycheck. I love my job.
Yeah, there's no downside to that aspect...I once made $15 an hour to watch tv and read a book while the kiddies slept. I really do love my job.
Babysitting is very flexible, because if somebody calls to ask, you always have the option to just say no. I love my job.
But then, having the option to say no means a lazy, busy-doing-other-things-that-cost-money person like myself frequently turns the offer down, frequently making this job one guilt trip after another because the economy sucks and I should be taking these people's money every chance I get. Whew. I hate my job.
In babysitting, your boss is typically a very cute and sweet mom or dad who offers you free access to their excellent kid-food-stocked pantry and usually wears a nice "I'm the parent of three children" casual outfit instead of a stiff and scary suit. I love my job.
These oh-so-innocent-looking parents will then turn around and slide your name to all their friends and family, meaning you now get a phone call every hour from a total stranger wanting you to watch their hooligans screaming in the background. I hate my job.
See what I mean? It's a love/hate thing, and I could go on for hours.
Now in response to this post some might think, "You should just hush about hating your job. Mine is definitely ten-times worse." And they're probably right, which is why I love my job.
But then others might say, "Riding bikes for hours on end with a three-year-old and twin two-year-olds in the blazing July heat? No way, I'd absolutely choose my nicely air-conditioned, easy and mindless desk job where I don't have to talk to anyone but can go chat with intellectual adults if I do so choose." And this I too understand, which is why I hate my job.
And that is all.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
They are so easy, and relatively cheap too, considering there are only two ingredients. I suppose you could create a fancy homemade peanut butter cookie dough, but I used a nice refrigerated roll a la Pillsbury, and it worked wonderfully. Start by molding bits of dough into the wells of a mini muffin tin, bake them up (it will probably take even less time than the package calls for), and when they come out of the oven, pop a mini peanut butter cup in the middle!
That's all there is to it! They aren't wildly inventive, and they sure aren't impressively complicated, but they are homemade and they are delicious. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Here are the Benjamin and myself at the game! Please note that I was absolutely freezing from about the fourth inning on...we've had beautiful weather all week, but it's been getting a little chilly after sundown!
On Saturday, I went to the pool for the traditional GP July 4th fiasco, which was fun, but not as good as in earlier years. There was of course the terribly stressful task of locating a lawn chair upon arrival, but once we solved that issue, I was able to take a seat, relax, and enjoy the delicious potluck lunch. After an afternoon nap and shower, I headed to my aunt and uncle's for dinner and family visit time. Finally, later that night I went with a whole crew to watch the fireworks show over on Pellissippi's campus. We had originally planned to head downtown to the World's Fair display, but upon learning of the estimated crowd of 75,000, we opted for something a bit more low key. It was a good choice.
Hales and me at fireworks fun! I have no pictures of the actual show thanks to my somewhat ghetto camera. I've tried and tried to capture the fabulous artwork of the sky before...and it always results in a miserable failure. So I've stopped trying.
Hah! And there's Thomas looking oh so patriotic. Thank you, Goodwill, for making my night. :)
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Let's see...the college journey began with a focus in Public Relations, which I knew little of at the time, but when my advisor mentioned event planning as a possible direction within the field, I was quickly on board. Well, once I took a course in PR and learned the true ropes and the unfortunate news that event planning did not always mean creatively organizing wealthy women's parties and whimsical white weddings, I decided the field was not for me and moved on to look for other options. Approximate time of career path: 2 semesters.
With the possibility looming of sliding into the dreaded "undecided" status in the university record system, I quickly changed directions and settled on a career path very familiar to me and well within my grasp: elementary teaching. Thanks to the many years of watching my mom perform the feat, I felt I understood the job well and would learn to love it. After all, I did spend every afternoon of my own elementary days playing school in my mom's classroom and purchasing my own lesson plan books so I could get a head start on organizing my solar system lessons of the future. It was destiny, was it not? Apparently no. A few months later I realized perhaps this teaching thing was only a fall-back, my go-to job that I knew I could do, but not actually what I really wanted. And so another switch was in order. Approximate time of career path: 1 semester.
Thanks to UT's brilliantly planned and completely logical path to earning a teaching license (please note the sarcasm), my previous switch had landed me in the department of psychology, a field I had come to love during my freshman honors intro class. Although I was a bit cloudy on an exact path at this point, I felt psychology was still a logical choice, so I remained enrolled in classes with the future plans of possibly working with autistic children. Seems interesting enough, yes? I learned that psychology was indeed a good subject for my major if autism would be the name of the game, but I also started to discover the graduate school requirements and immense amount of research work I would have to do in order to achieve a level of education suitable for my goal. Suddenly I was going to become a scientist. But I hate science. Yeah, this will not work either. Approximate time of career path: I don't know, a month maybe?
Following this latest realization I dabbled in a few other ideas before reaching my current state. There was the human resources notion that called for the business minor, the switch to advertising that required a complete upheaval of major, the child and family studies possibilities that really got nowhere, and yes, I admit, even several returns to that trusted back-up I knew was always there: the teaching license.
Nothing fit the bill. Well great. Halfway through college and no direction whatsoever? It's a lovely situation, really. Except not. I recently, though, stumbled upon a love of mine, resurrected by an English class focused on The Lord of the Rings and the formation of this little baby here: my blog. I love to write. I do. It's crazy, but it's true. And hey, I don't think I'm half bad, either. Pair this hobby with summer's freedom to read my life away, and poof, we decide on the English minor. Great match, if I do say so myself.
And so, the whole point of this endless and probably quite boring and pointless post is to say that as of tonight, I am in serious contemplation of in fact turning my whole collegiate attention to the field of English by switching my major for the upteenth time to the subject. The more I learn about psychology and its scientific hypotheses and theories, the less I like it and the stronger my desire to change becomes. I spent a while reworking my schedule for the next four semesters and found the transition to be completely possible. So now the question is: is it really what I want? Shoot, don't make me answer that.
With an English background, I could choose to write my own novels, possibly work for a publishing company, maybe even be a magazine writer or editor...and the list goes on. If this endeavor continues, I'm hoping to find an internship with a publishing company next summer to get some experience and finally have me a "big girl job." For now, though, I will just continue praying for God to show me what He thinks is best and watching CPO for English classes to open up! Perhaps this latest hunch will last more than a week. How great would that be? :)