Friday, December 18, 2009

Just call her Miss Daisy

Whenever I watch Izzy, I try to have at least one activity that is little kid centric for her to do. I had a ton of shopping to do this week, so one day we spent about 3 hours running errands. I had to do some Christmas present buying at our local mall, which has a merry go round in the food court. I told Izzy that if she was good and listened while we went shopping, she could ride on the merry go round when we were all done. She was a STAR. When we went up to the merry go round, the operator was on break. I told her we could either wait until the operator came back or she could ride one of the little cars that shake for like 90 seconds after you put some quarters in them. She chose to ride in an ice cream truck and was super excited about it until it actually started. Then she was frozen, her eyes peeled open and her fists clenched. She didn't cry or say anything, but she was obviously freaked out. A younger girl came into the ice cream truck while it was going and started "driving" it and playing with all the buttons. Fine with me. When the ride was done, Izzy and the little girl got out and Izzy said to her, very sincerely, "Thank you for driving me."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drunken ramblings

Does anyone read this? Hello, is this thing on? I am wasted (after one drink, congrats me) and just want to write in no particular order. Here's to you, internet.
1) My mother in law seriously is so great. I can't think about my MiL for too long or I will seriously start crying from happiness. She is so selfless and wonderful. I am so lucky to have her in my life. I can't wait to change her diapers.
2) Watching Izzy is bittersweet because it makes me want to adopt. I have no affinity for infants and am scared of being pregnant, but put me in front of a three year old who wants to ride in the car so she can hold the robot girl (my GPS) and my maternal instinct goes into overdrive.
3) Gary the waiter is the best waiter ever. He is our waiter every Wednesday night for trivia and is taking the Series 7 exam tomorrow. At 7 in the a.m. I left some bottles at the bar and I called him to ask if he could see if they were still there. Yeah, I have his cell phone number. We're cool like that. Before I called he had gotten the bottles and was waiting outside in the freezing cold with them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I can compete about anything

Good news for us (and many of our friends)! 2009 has turned out to be the year that our friends get engaged. FINALLY!!! Now it's on to bridesmaid competition time. I'm off to needle John to reignite some of his friendships that have cooled off. I MUST WIN AT BRIDESMAIDING!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dangerous indeed


Since my classes for the semester are almost over, I've been spending a few afternoons watching the daughter of friends of ours. Her name is Izzy and she's 3 1/2 and she is a spitfire. We have an awesome time together. She has no fears and last week was over at our house and played with Snakie. Izzy was so good! She wasn't intimidated at all and took quickly to petting him and being totally cool with him. In fact, she told me that "All the snakes like her." Photographic proof is above. We hung out again today and she had a toy to show me: her own snake, named Snakie Snake. He is rubber. As we were driving to my house she was telling me how Snakie Snake is old (He can't walk or crawl, he is so old.), he is dangerous but nice, she likes him, she knows how to hold him, he is from Madagascar, and he doesn't eat anything. We were talking about how much I like Snakie Snake and she restated that he is dangerous. She told me that he will cut me. I thought I misheard her, so I asked, "Do you mean he will bite me?"
Izzy: "No, he will cut you."
Me: "Hmm, snakes don't have arms. What will he cut me with?"
Izzy: "He is dangerous. He will cut you with a knife!"
She was so dramatic as she said it, I laughed so hard that she asked me if I was crying. Her manner of speaking was more like, "He will cut you...WITH A KNIFE!!!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A dog's life

Most of the time I'm envious of my dog. Yes, he has a shorter life span and can't see the tops of the counters and has no food variety, but he gets to do nothing all day long, except for the when he is at doggie daycare, where we pay for him to play with other dogs. He sleeps on our bed. All of his needs and most of his wants are taken care of and he has no responsibilities. HOWEVER, it is pouring rain outside and at some point I will have to take him outside so he can pee. Working sucks. Worrying sucks. However, peeing in a warm, dry house trumps ALL of that. Take that, dog!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MUSIC CITY BOWL!?!?!?!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TMI

My wonderful low alcohol tolerance has met its match. John, a female friend and I went out to Wednesday night trivia and John was the DD. He is so wonderful. The bar that has Wednesday night trivia also has $1 well drinks for ladies on Wednesdays. John had like 2 beers and the 3 of us split a plate of nachos. The total tab was $49, not including tip. You can do the math. Congratulations me, I am sickeningly hung over AND hosting Thanksgiving. I imagine being a hostess is alot easier when it doesn't feel like parts of your forehead are floating around you.
On the plus side, I got brazilian bikini waxed and was queef free. Small victories, my friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm going to pretend this isn't creepy, okay?

There's a doctoral student who is always in the computer lab. He's very loud and outgoing. He friended me on Facebook. No problem. I go by a different first name on Facebook because my husband doesn't want his relationship status to say that he's in a relationship with someone with a male name. NO ONE at school knows me by this name. No one calls me it. I don't refer to myself by it. Dr. Computer Lab now only calls me by my Facebook name and he thinks he's doing the right thing. I guess I could unfriend him. What gives me the creepies is that this dude has also sent me an email complimenting me on how good I look in my facebook pics. Oh well, I guess weirdness comes in all varieties.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To Love's Eternal Glory

When people who are clueless about demonstrating love, fidelity, kindness and truthfullness get engaged, it makes me want to smash stuff with a frying pan. It also makes me want to run up to their unsuspecting fiance and scream at a million decibels "I effing GUARANTEE you will be cheated on!!! She cheated on her FIRST fiance! She lied to her best friend! She lied to many people who I love! About two months ago, she agreed to drive to meet up with her first fiance for sex!" Then I would calm down and say "I mean, because of bad weather they didn't meet up for sex, but she agreed to do so, and this was while she was dating you, soooo...that's not like, a good indicator."

Friday, November 13, 2009

The nicest man I ever talked to on the phone just got 13 years in jail.

Yup, that sums it up. The nicest man I ever talked to on the phone was sentenced to 13 years in jail today.
Rep. William Jefferson from Louisiana will have a fascinating movie made about his life in about 20-25 years. Walt from Lost, this is your Ocscar calling. The Federal police raided his home to find tens of thousands of dollars in his freezer, yet he was re-elected. During the investigation, he was on the House Committee for smalll business, prompting many jokes that he would now be keeping his cash in mini-fridges. When the FBI raided his office without a warrant, both sides of the aisle were outraged for the liberal Democrat.
When I worked in DC I, like anyone who is there a while, has some random "celebrity" sightings. Working at a lobbying office increased my chances of this. I saw Ted Kennedy at the Mayflower Hotel (Where Eliot Spitzer arranged his dalliances), President Bush's sister in law had an in-depth conversation with my then-bf and I at a charity event, so on and so forth. One day Rep. Jefferson called one of the people I supported at my old job. The person I supported wasn't able to come to the phone, so Rep. Jefferson left a message with me. While he was talking to me, he got another call. I was seriously on hold for about ten minutes. When he got on the line again, his reaction was along the lines of, "My goodness gracious! My dear, dear girl! I am so sorry! My greatest apologies! I forgot I had you on hold! Please forgive me! I am so sorry!".
Nicest. White Collar Criminal. Ever.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Proof


Heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak...

My Husband Rocks: Part 1 in a 4,000,000 part series

John and I went out to dinner and fun times with 2 couples tonight. We went to one couple's house and had an awesome time playing games and eating DELICIOUS food. Apparently if you want to have an ice cream orgasm, try Publix's Eggnog Ice Cream. This was a pretty big deal to me because I have been strapped to the computer for the past 2 weeks and will be for about another week. I have two papers due on Thursday and just got a part time free lance writing job, with my first assignment due on Monday. I only intended to stay for about 2 hours but we were there from 4 pm till about 9, which was fine. I had a GREAT time, as did John. My workload came up several times in the conversation, and two people made disparaging comments about how I could just put the paper off, or how easy it is to write a paper. I take my graduate school very seriously and comments like these hurt more than the people who say them probably realize.
This made me so grateful that John is so kind and thoughtful and respectful when it comes to my education. He has NEVER made me feel like my classwork can be pushed aside for something that he considers more valuable. I know I am lucky, but it's nights like these that really slap me in the face with how lucky I am.
Also, there was a good chunk of time tonight that I held a sleeping 7 month old baby while John had a kitten sleeping in his lap and massaged my feet. That is my heaven.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Daddy Gaga

My father in law loves to show people how cool and pop-culturally aware he is. His recent kick is Lady Gaga. I honestly don't think he would know a picture of her or any of her songs, but the name is catchy. EVERY TIME we heard a song from a female singer this weekend, he told everyone it was Lady Gaga. This man was born to rock my world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have...

Huge, wonderful plus: John patiently listened to me read "Gone with the Wind" to him for 2 hours last night. It was the 3 chapters where Mellie has her baby as Atlanta is burning. It's a fantastic piece of literature and my dear husband listened intently as I read every word. Swoon.

On the other hand, he just really tap danced on my last nerve. He decided we needed to take down the hammock and when he took it down, he put it in the room off of our kitchen (as opposed to the crawlspace or garage or any other logical place.). When moving the hammock in, he knocked over the ironing board, which knocked over the trash can and recycling container. This isn't HIS responsibility to clean up, because apparently HE didn't put the ironing board in an inconvenient place. So please excuse me as I go clean up some trash.

Halloween 2009: A 4 from the Russian judges

I love Halloween. Not for the costumes or parties or candy, but because since kids are a long way in the future for us, if they're there at all, Halloween is my day to ogle many, many stranger's kids and make them happy. I love it!

This year John and I gave our fathers tickets to Clemson's homecoming as Father's Day presents. Little did we know in June that homecoming would fall on Halloween. My parents were down and we had a great time. The game was at 1:30 in the afternoon, which I thought would give us plenty of time to get back to Columbia in order to hand out candy and for John to start his rounds of Halloween partying. We left Clemson in the fourth quarter but decided to go out for a nice dinner, so we didn't get home till about 7:45. "That's not too bad", I thought to myself. When we lived in Greer I had a job that didn't end till 8 pm and I only missed the first few trick or treaters. The majority of them came between 8 and 9:30. Last year I bought $120 worth of candy (toldja I like being the favorite candy house) and we only had 2 bags left. This year I bought 9 bags at Sam's Club of all different kinds of candy. I couldn't wait! Apparently things are different here in Columbia. We got two trick or treaters. Two. All that candy and two trick or treaters. Oh well! I know for next year to be here nice and early if I want to become the favorite candy house! The best part of the night was definitely this:

John's Halloween costume of a chef, with Cujo being a lobster in a pot. Life is good.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Covet, covet, covet

I wish I was as creative as SushiBooties over on etsy! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6949881



Not only does she have a ton of pet and baby sushi stuff, but she has personalized fortune cookie slippers!!! I want a job just so I can give these as Christmas gifts!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TMI

I was getting my monthly Brazilian bikini wax today. How nice. I'm talking to the waxer, who has waxed me several times before. She's very reserved and a little older. I use my abs to lift my head and shoulders to see how her masterpiece is coming and when I lay back down I COULD NOT STOP QUEEFING! OMG!!! THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!!! I wish Allie could have been there with me. I was like, "Whoops!" for the first 2 but then I kept laughing, which made it worse, and the waxer kept acting like nothing was happening, which was funny, so I kept laughing. And so on and so forth. I seriously could not control it. I wish I could make this stuff up.

TMI

I'm trying something new. I love oversharing. However, some people don't like to hear about the lovemaking and pooping and boogers and Brazilian waxes of my life. Cool. If for some reason someone is on my blog and does not want to read about stuff that may make you blush, I'll be posting it in white. So you'll have to highlight it to read it. So no one can get mad at me for posting information that is too personal online because in order to read it you would have to come to my site (indicator one that you have some active interest in my life) AND THEN highlight the information. Active participation, people. (For anyone who hasn't talked to me in the last 6 months, this is a direct reaction to my entire family's reaction to my wedding pictures on facebook. More accurately, the fact that John got married to me in a shirt that says "I shaved my balls for this?" and my aunts, uncles, brother, parents and cousins saw this on facebook and decided to act like John had gotten married to me while simutaneously taking a dump on a kitten, doing a line of blow off a hooker's ass, burning the American flag, and giving the finger to a bus filled with orphans. Apparently by posting the pictures I made them look at something that they didn't like, and yet they kept clicking. And talking. And clicking. It's cool, family. John didn't need to be accepted by you. It's not like his family in South Carolina has welcomed me with open arms or anything.) Ahem. Now, on to our regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Said the flea to the fly, let us flee! Then I killed them.

I am on a mission. I HATE FLEAS. There is so much back story here. Deep breaths.
Cujo is on monthly flea control. The way this works is the fleas have to bite him to get the poison, which kills the fleas in a day or so and disrupts their reproductive cycle. So they still have a good 24 hours to eat his delicious blood. Since he has hair, not fur, he has less protection and the fleas REALLY wail on him. He itches and itches and and eats himself raw. I spent a good bit of money earlier this year to get the infections in his skin cleaned up. I HATE FLEAS.
Since we moved down to Columbia Cujo has occaisionally picked up fleas either from other people's houses or from doggie daycare. So I thought. SO. I. THOUGHT. We figured out this weekend that the fleas are coming from our backyard! The assault begins.
John ordered some insane pesticide online that is actually illegal in South Carolina. Take that, natural wildlife! All of the carpet inside of our house has been sprayed and powdered, along with the cloth furniture. Cujo had lots and lots of flea baths and I've washed all of our linens. I have to get them away from me!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm back!

I've been away dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean:
I dipped my toes in the Gulf of Mexico:
Most recently, I've been sick with nasty, nasty swine flu. But I'm back! I'm blogging! YAY!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He will NEVER be mistaken for a local.

We are headed off to Cancun this week for my sister in law's wedding. EXCITING!!! I've been looking forward to this for months and months and months. John and I had lunch with my father in law today, who is NOT known for his Spanish skills. While asking bathroom directions in Puerto Rico, he said, "Where is the pee-ario?"
While discussing our trip today, he informed us that he would start talking like a local. "I'm going to Cancun. Cancuny, is that how they say it?"
So if you run into a man who looks like a garden gnome and he tells you he went to Cancuny, you have the backstory now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First day of school!

I feel like Nemo in "Finding Nemo"... First day of school! First day of school! First day of school! I found out in late August that I was accepted into USC's Masters in Public Health program. YAY! I achieved this goal after months of hard work and I'm very proud of myself. I love that I'll be able to graduate with a degree that allows me to help people every day. Enrolling in school was alot less painless than I thought it would be. I was accepted late and didn't have any of my paperwork submitted when I went to orientation just 2 days ago. Now I'm all registered with the IT department, student health services, parking, bursar's office and of course being an actual student. I'm so excited! The only thing I have left to do is get my student ID. I'll be wearing a Clemson shirt for that picture. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I win at housewife-ing!

My favorite part of the day is making John's breakfast and lunch. He gets a fresh smoothie for breakfast and I pack his lunch and put a little note on a heart shaped post it in his lunch box every day. Last week at lunch one of John's married co-workers saw the note and said, "You get a note with your lunch? That's very...domesticated." to which John replied, "Yeah. Jealous?" The co-worker said that he was jealous and another one of John's work buddies commented, "You get a smoothie, lunch and a note? My wife is just like, Have a great day!" The additional comic element here comes from the fact that the second co-worker's wife is a professional housewife. Ha ha! I beat the pros!

Oh shoot.

My part-time job as a liquor promoter takes me to a local Army base almost every week. Since my vehicle doesn't have a fancy Army approved decal on it, I have to check in with the MPs. This is a usually painless process of showing them my driver's license, registration and insurance and explaining why I'm coming on base. Leading up to the entrance area, which looks like several toll booths, there are signs warning about prohibited items. I was waiting in line to get checked in and was getting out my registration from my glove compartment and OH CRAP...there's one of John's handguns in my glove compartment. Yikes yikes yikes! All I could think was how NOT fun it would be to have to explain to several MPs why a civilian was taking a concealed weapon that did not belong to them on an Army base. WOW. Fortunately my car wasn't searched so I was in the clear but my lesson was definitely learned. The car is now a 100% gun free zone!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

He was injured. Injured bad.


Sorry there haven't been a ton of new posts. These past 2 weeks have been really busy. One of the things that's been keeping us from settling down is that John got into a car accident 2 weeks ago. I know that God was looking out for John and I.

Remember how I hate T-Mobile with the burning passion of a thousand suns because they can't get signal in our house? John bought a cell phone booster and installed it on Wednesday night. I had just gotten in the shower on Thursday morning when I heard the phone ring. I figured it was John calling to remind me to do something or just asking a general question, so I didn't answer the phone. The phone rang 2 or 3 minutes later and I got out of the shower to answer it. As I heard John say that he was in an accident and wanted me to come be with him, someone started banging on our front door and ringing the doorbell. John's accident happened in our neighborhood and one of our terrific neighbors ran to tell me what just happened. I got to the scene and saw the mangled Celica, John, and an ambulance. Someone had parked a U-Haul with an attached trailer on one of the main streets in our neighborhood instead of on a side street or in their driveway. Since John drives east to work, the morning sun temporarily blinded him and he couldn't see the unusual vehicle. He didn't even hit his brakes. Needless to say, the Celica is gone forever.

I'm glad the ambulance came so quickly, but once John realized that he wasn't critically injured, we turned away the ambulance and a trip to the emergency room and opted to go to the urgent care facility close to our house. John initially wanted to just go to work, but I told him that there was no way I would let that happen. He was bleeding from a large cut on his head and wasn't able to remember certain things, so I asked him to think how I would feel if there was something wrong with him and I didn't make him go to a doctor. Plus, I rationalized, a doctor would be able to at least give him very strong pain medication which he would CERTAINLY need. We went to the urgent care facility where his Mom and sister were waiting. (Most amusing part of the day: we were waiting to get checked in and a nurse comes into the little waiting area and asks, without looking up from her clipboard, "And who are we seeing today?". Hmmm? I wonder?) A CT scan and X ray showed there was no bone damage and no brain swelling or bleeding. John did get 14 stitches at 2 different cuts on his head. It looks like his head hit the steering wheel and then the roll bar.

We are so fortunate. If John wouldn't have installed the cell phone booster, there is literally no way I would have known what was happening until someone came to our door. We settled on the house in Greer less than a week after the accident, so we have enough money to get John a nice used car without having to take out a loan. I moved in with John barely 3 weeks before the accident. If I wouldn't have moved in with him I don't know what would have happened. He may have just gone home, changed clothes and gone to work. It's a scary thought.

All's well that ends well and we now get to have alot of fun picking out a new (for John) car. YAY! I think that's a pretty great silver lining.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great news!

We closed on the house in Greer! YAY!!! On Tuesday we drove up to Greenville to officially sign all the documentation and close on the house. What a feeling of relief! John and I were both anxious up until the last minute because we know several instances where a potential buyer has put down earnest money, started a contract on a house, and then backed out of it. Only paying one mortgage is SUCH A RELIEF!!! We didn't turn a huge profit on the house but we got back every penny we put into it.
Tuesday really exemplified a lot of the reasons why I love John and why we are good together. Children and money tend to be the main catalysts between many couple's fights and we see perfectly eye to eye on those topics. I am a hoarder with money; all I want to do is save, save, save. Things don't make me happy. Having a large savings account and retirement savings makes me happy. John is more of an investor. Either way, neither of us are tempted by new cars or toys or vacations or things like that. We poured money into the house in Greer and, if John would have stayed at his job up there, would have had it completely paid off in November of this year. Since we did this, we weren't upside down on the house. We can pay for at least one semester of my education, a car to replace John's car (more on that later), put money in our retirement savings, and purchase a few items for our new house. I am just so happy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Best Cuddle Ever

At about 5 this morning, John reached over to snuggle with me. We faced each other with my head tucked under his chin and his arm around my back. Cujo was on the bed with us and was pressed right up against my stomach. I could feel his little doggie sleepy breathing. It was the BEST CUDDLE EVER.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's like a cult initiation...

Thus ends my 2nd week of being a housewife. Last week was truly manic. I had 3 close relatives in the hospital for different things and didn't have time to call or send a card. I truly was unpacking/ cleaning/ organizing 13 to 14 hours a day. We did the big, U-Haul rental move last weekend and are going up to Greer for one last time (sniff sniff) tomorrow and Sunday to clean up the house and meet with carpet and vinyl repair people. I'm happy with the work I've done planning Allie and Alex's wedding (location decided on, deposit made for location, caterers narrowed down, wedding cake baker procured, invitations purchased) and feel like I will be busy but managable until all the awesome festivities are over. I've been reading the Bible much more than I have in the past several months and having a closer relationship with God makes me feel wonderful. However, this week I have had several moments of wondering, "What do housewives DO?" I don't mean stay at home Moms, I mean housewives. For real, I have a house to unpack and even I'm done my daily errands by noontime. My goal for the rest of the summer is to learn to drive a stick shift. However, there is one housewife-ish habit that is slowly, lecherously growing on me like a barnacle or mold or kudzu...Jon and Kate plus 8.
SWEET SASSY MOLASSY THOSE KIDS ARE CUTE!!! First, allow me to list all the very legitimate, well considered reasons why I despise the show. 1) I am totally against fertility treatments. Hey Catholics, do you recognize that, in theory, fertility treatments are just as much messing with God's procreation plan as abortion is? And yet no fertility doc is killed at his church. NOT THAT I AM SUGGESTING THAT AT ALL. AT ALL. However, there are FAAARRRR too many children in foster care and for domestic adoption who need loving parents to legitimize using fertility treatments. 2) Whoring kids out without the kids' consent is horrible. At least the Duggars (http://www.duggarfamily.com/ ) have older, consenting kids to whom their show gives most of it's attention. There's a very thin, wavy, gray line between mother and madam when you have basic cable videotaping your infants coming home from the hospital. 3) It really irks me when people think their kid is super special. There's a difference between being happy that your child really practiced hard and won the soccer regionals or whatever and feeling that everyone needs to be intimately aware of your totally normal kid's totally normal goings on. Like, when parents have blogs or YouTube channels or whatever, that's for a specific audience who chooses to participate. I mean, I guess America can turn the channel, but still, TLC, come on, stop telling me about these kids.
BUT THEN THE TIDES TURNED. OH MY GOD Y'ALL. Alexis and her Aldergator? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhYB4IxXPTQ Joel telling the camera crew he has a weiner? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhzLXvndXgs Alexis telling people Aaden will throw up on their hands? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAbF6FI85S0 Collin eating everything, all the time? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOvLI9zpj4E&feature=fvw

OVARIES SET TO DESTRUCT! OH MY GOD THESE KIDS ARE CUTE!!!
P.S. If any more advanced bloggers, or like, people from 2004 or something can tell me how to make words into links without having to paste the actual link into my blog, that would be awesomesauce.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open Letter to T-Mobile

Hey T-Mobile,
I hate you. You make my life difficult and you make every day tasks annoying and arduous. I have NO T-Mobile reception in my house. I am a housewife. We have no landline. The only way I know if someone's called me is if I leave the house to check my voicemail. Oh wait, there is about 5 square feet of space in the living room where I get reception. I have a house to unpack, termite exterminators to contact, grad school to apply to, floor repair people to schedule, and I have to tether myself to this TERRIBLE PHONE THAT I HATE WITH NO SERVICE. I have to look up, say, carpet repair online, write the number down, go across the street to my neighbor's yard where I do get reception, and call from there. Oh, and pray that a live person picks up, because if I leave a voicemail and someone calls me back, I only know if I have a voicemail when I leave the house. If there was an emergency that didn't happen in the living room in the teeny area where I get service, I have no way to contact anyone. My husband ordered some cell phone booster gizmo from the internet and you best cross all your fingers that thing works, or else I am off to the Sprint store down the street so fast I will leave a hole in the wall, Wile E. Coyote style.
Sincerely,
A Girl Named Stewart

Friday, July 3, 2009

Goodbye job

Today is my last day at my job and it's bittersweet. I'm glad that I'll get to be with John all the time now and having a summer vacation is pretty freaking awesome!!! I don't really like goodbyes. They make me feel awkward and I think they make other people feel awkward as well. It's a slight surprise that today is my last day and that helped eliminate alot of the long goodbyes, which is a good thing for me. One of my bosses asked for a picture of he and I together before I left. He is on vacation today, so I took some pictures of me at his desk for him in lieu of a group shot.

Somehow I don't think he'll be too mad that he missed getting a picture of me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I HAVE A SECRET!!!

IT'S A GREAT SECRET!!! IT IS SO GREAT!!! IT IS SO A SECRET!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Last Friday night John, John's Daddy and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants for a delicious dinner. There was a three year old in the booth next to us who became our new best friend. (Ok, I didn't want this to be a long winded, when-is-the-train-coming-into-the-station post, but oh well. My father in law is the sweetest man ever. He is really could be one of Santa's elves. As we were waiting for dinner he told us that he was the Pied Piper and that when he had our dog, my sister in law's dog and his dog at his house, he relished that they followed him around because he always had treats. He told us that dogs and kids always love him because he has treats all the time. At dinner, our booth neighbors were two adults and a small girl who was eating a piece of pizza and standing up in the booth and staring at everyone. She looked at my father in law and he smiled and waved at her. About 4 minutes later the little girl and her mom came over and the mom said, "She has been talking about you nonstop. She wanted to come over and meet you because when she was looking at people, you were the only one who smiled back." Yeah, a random kid sought out my father in law because he is so sweet and wonderful.) Here are some choice exchanges from our conversation.

AGirlNamedStewart: "When is your birthday?"
3 Year Old: "That's the day I was born."

AGNS: "Do you have any pets?"
3YO: "Two. One is a dog and her name is Lilly and she is a black dog. She lives at our house. One is a cat named Bean and she lives in cat heaven."

The little girl also had an invisible friend named Sauncy who was very, very bad and does bad things all the time.

It goes without saying that Friday's dinner was one of the best meals I've had in a long time.

Feeling Scrappy!



My wonderful friend ButtercupGurl has passed the Honest Scrap Award to yours truly! I have to list 10 honest things about myself. What a great way to combine my 2 favorite things: honesty and talking about myself. :)

1) I am an honest person and I'm happy most of the time. It irritates me when negative people with no couth say, "Well, at least no one has to wonder if I'm lying. I always tell my opinion." I always tell my opinion too. I'm just happy and upbeat and usually don't have anything negative to say.

2) I have no desire to birth children. I really want to be a parent and the best way for John and I to do that, I feel, is adoption. There are so many children, especially brothers and sisters who want to grow up together, who need a loving home.

3) I miss my iPhone! I LOVE my iPhone! I stepped on it in late March and gave it a nice big crack in the screen. I ordered a replacement screen but it hasn't been installed yet.

4) I have never seen the Pacific Ocean. I'm looking forward to it when I visit Oregon in August!

5) I think that a wedding day truly is the bride's day. If she wants everyone to wear bathing suits to the wedding then everyone wears bathing suits to the wedding. If she wants to have pie instead of cake, eat pie and be happy.

6) I had no clue how rewarding doing my own home repairs is till we bought our new house. It's not fun or easy but I'm learning alot and we are saving a ton of money!

7) I have the best in laws in the world.

8) I hate it when people have bad breath! Carrying some mints or gum is easy and cheap. I always offer gum to people and sometimes when they turn it down, I want to shake them. (Note to people who read this blog who I've offered gum to: I don't ONLY offer it when someone has bad breath. I also just really like to share yummy gum!)

9) I think that one spouse is required to take care of the other spouse to the same degree, if not a greater one, than they take care of themselves. Marriage is both a lifelong expression of love and a responsibility. If you want your spouse to change some aspect of themselves or their lives you can't nag and whine. You have to take action and work together to do it.

10) The only illegal drug I have ever done is drink moonshine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back from vacation

John and I had a WONDERFUL 5 day long vacation in Bermuda! It was part honeymoon, part family vacation. My dad does research there most summers so Brandon and I are really familiar with it. The first 3 nights John and I stayed in a dorm with my parents and in an inn/ bed and breakfast for the other 2 nights while Brandon and Emily were in the dorm with my parents. Though the vacation was relaxing it wasn't ideal. The weather was the worst I've seen on the island in all of my trips. John was a trooper but I felt badly that I couldn't take him to all the beautiful beaches and gorgeous sights I love on the island. It rained steadily our first day there so we went to the Royal Naval Dockyard. There are alot of sights to see there, but there is a large area that's a museum with several buildings on it that I've never seen before. It costs $10 to get it, but it was really worth it! It's the home of the highest ranking officer at the Naval Base and it's so beautiful. Some of the other buildings had exhibits about sailing in Bermuda, electricity in Bermuda, and one of the buildings had an area where you could swim with dolphins! Since it was a windy, rainy day, John and I just watched other people swim with dolphins. Our second day was the only day that it didn't rain. It was pretty windy and a little overcast, though. We went snorkeling at Tobacco Bay and it was GORGEOUS!!! I forgot what a site it is to walk up the hill to Tobacco Bay and go around the corner and see the bay, the beach and the ocean. Due to the wind John had to help me swim outside of the reefs that surround the bay. We saw beautiful fish: parrotfish, seargant majors, squirrelfish, and so many more! It was totally beautiful

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm not kid-ding

I buy and wear kid's clothes. I've stopped shopping EXCLUSIVELY in the kids section because I really don't want to be on "What Not To Wear", but I will sing the praises of the girls sections of Target, Gap and Old Navy to anyone who will listen. Why pay $25 for a cotton tank top when the girls XL costs 1/3 of that? When I tell people this they are shocked because it must mean that I'm SUPER SKINNY and that I LOVE LOOKING LIKE A SIX YEAR OLD. Allow me to present photographic evidence that the girls (not juniors, actual girls) section could be the best friend to all petite gals.
The multicolored plaid shorts on the hanger are women's size 5 shorts from Target. The blue and white shorts in front are a girls XL. I didn't have a ruler to break out, but the women's shorts are about 3/4 inch longer in the waist than the girls shorts are. So, chances are that women who wear Target's size one and three have smaller waists than girls wearing the XL shorts. Also:
Do you see how the girls shorts are LONGER than the women's shorts? The rise is a smidge longer and the inseam is at least an inch longer. It's especially evident in the caboose:
That is a good deal more coverage with the girls shorts, my friends.
Guess which pair I bought? Yup, for $5 less, I bought the pair with more fabric. So the next time you think someone has to be skinny as a rail, not dress fashionably, or wear ill-fitting clothes to shop in the kids department, consider yourself schooled.

Though our ability to write more than 2 relevant sentences has.

This was in our little Sunday ad/ coupon/ topical news delivery we get:
Yup, it hasn't gone away yet. IF ONLY MORE PEOPLE WOULD USE THIS PRODUCT! THEN SWINE FLU WOULD GO AWAY! Rabble:roused. Good job, reaaaallllly lazy editor.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

There's a reason his name isn't Lassie

Last night I was playing with Cujo after his bath and I decided to see what kind of rescue dog he would be. How would he respond in an emergency? I lay down on the bedroom floor, face down, and started saying "Help! Help!" Cujo tried to move my hands so I would pet him. I continued to cry for help, and he ran out of the bedroom. I heard him running around like crazy in the living room and kitchen. I thought, "Oh great! He's going to the doors trying to get out and find help, or he's looking for another person in the house. He would try and save me! He understands!" After a little bit of running around, the dog gallops into the bedroom with a toy in his mouth, jumps on the bed, and drops the toy on me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So mad I could blog!

Last night we had prosepctive buyers come look at the house and the feedback we got was that John and I needed to remove the fridge or clean it out because the agent and her clients didn't like that we have frozen mice in the freezer. OH MY GOD. The fridge doesn't come with the house, so screw you. Also, why in the HALE were they going through our personal stuff? I am SO LIVID.

Friday, June 5, 2009

All the different kinds of missing

Since John moved out over Christmas, this is the longest amount of time we've been apart in our relationship. I moved in with him after we dated for 5 months. John moved to Columbia during Christmas time last year. By the time I move down to Columbia over July 4th weekend we will have been apart for over 6 months.
When he first moved out I really missed him, but in a different way than I miss him now. John and Mike both moved out at the same time, so our house went from having 3 people in it to just me. It was the middle of winter and it sucked to be home all by myself when it was cold and dark. Plus, alot of exciting events were happening in DC and Maryland and that only compounded my feelings of alone-ness. During the inaugruation almost all of my DC friends and coworkers were busy doing all kinds of exciting things. One of my cousins had a baby in late January so my family was busy and happy and I couldn't be a part of it.
In the recent weeks I've missed him in a different way. Our 2 year anniversary was a few weeks ago and it seems like every little thing around the house reminds me of him. He used to lay out on the hammock and talk to me on the phone, so every time I see the hammock I think of him. The Mexicans in the trailer park next to us play their music super loudly and I remember being on the phone with him and hearing it, so the Mexican music reminds me of him.
I know that we're very lucky to see each other every weekend, but I still can't wait to move in with him (again)!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Memorial Day recap

I'm back! I'm in a meeting but blogging my face off! We did a grand tour of furniture shopping this weekend. We picked out 2 recliners that were a great compromise: they are slim and modern but still are comfy when you lay down in them. We also got this AWESOME sofa that beats all the other sofas in the world:
It's so comfy!!! It's some space age magic material that we can clean really easily. Dogs and dirty feet are A-Ok! The 2 end seats are recliners and the middle seat folds down and is a tray with 2 cupholders. The big wonderful selling point for me was that the reclining pieces MASSAGE. So you can sit on our sofa and get a nice, relaxing massage. OH YEAH. If all goes well John and crew will be picking the new furniture up today. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day weekend fun!



This weekend was SO WONDERFUL! There were 2 holidays rolled into 1 since Friday was John's birthday. We did SO MUCH this weekend! It really felt like I had a 2 week vacation but in a good way. Friday night we had a wonderful birthday dinner at one of John's favorite restaurants. It's the sushi restaurant where we had our wedding reception. John HATES people making a big deal out of his birthday. Before John and I got there his parents told our waitress that it was John's birthday. At the end of the meal our adorable waitress comes out with a little rice ice cream scoop with a candle in it. We start singing, the waitress starts singing, and by the 2nd verse of "Happy Birthday" almost the entire restaurant is singing. Here is John's priceless face:


PRICE.LESS. I love it! After that yummy birthday dinner we had to leave and go get a good night's sleep for a weekend full of furniture shopping! Not exactly excited? Well, I HEART saving money. I think of it as a game that I have to win. Earlier this month John, Mrs. Davis and I drove to the IKEA in Charlotte to look for furniture. John and I have decided that the best way to use our wedding war chest is to buy furniture for our 2 living rooms. We've done alot of footwork and internet searching and thought we found the perfect set at IKEA. We were planning to pick it up on Memorial Day weekend but then we started getting waves of Memorial Day sales flyers from furniture places, so we stayed around Columbia to have a look. One of the furniture places (where we didn't end up buying furniture) was about 30 minutes outside of Lexington in the same town as a semi-famous restaurant, Shealy's. It's a huge and adorable barbeque buffet. It's cafeteria style so you grab a seat and chit chat with your neighbors. It's also where I ate my first fatback:
UUUGHHH. This is obviously taken before I ate any piece of this disgustingness. I should have had Mike videotape me. UGHHHH. Have you ever eaten a fatback? They're the fat and skin of a pig and I used to think they were fried, but I think they're just heavily salted. So one layer (shuddershudder) is the pig's skin and has the consistency of a damp pork rind and the other layer is just fat. The consistency is HORRIBLE and there is no taste aside from salt. It was like the Morton's salt girl was pouring her little blue container straight onto my tongue. I think this is what they serve to the people in Gitmo when they really want to punish them. Aside from that, however, the meal was FANTASTIC. As John likes to say, I didn't stop eating when I was full. I stopped eating when I hated myself. :)
Off to a meeting! More Memorial Day fun coming up soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You get what you pay for

As I've mentioned before on here, one of the easiest places to trim fat from my budget was on my girlie pampering and primping. I don't tan anymore, I dye my hair at home, I don't get bikini waxes, I don't get manicures or pedicures, and I get my hair cut with coupons. Well, with scissors, but I only get my hair cut when the local branch of a big hair cut-o-matic has a coupon in the paper. The last time I went to get my hair cut there, about 3 weeks ago, my hairdresser wore a wig. That's not a good sign. It had purple tips on the end and I can definitely understand why someone wouldn't want permanent purple tipped hair. However, when your job is to cut people's hair, a wig of any type is not a good way to impress clients. One of my co-workers went to the same salon (?) last night and the woman cutting my coworker's hair CUT. HER. FINGER. The hairdresser cut her own finger with the scissors. Seriously. For real. She apparently had to stop the haircut to get something to stent the bleeding. Yikes. Maybe it's time to stop paying for haircuts with coupons.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm a walking advertisement for Princeton Review

I can see that my GRE classes and studying are really paying off! I have so much homework now I basically have no life during the week. However, my GRE score has gone up by 240 points! THAT IS SO MUCH!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The shirt isn't helping

This is high fashion on the job site. It's a safety shirt. All the safety crew wear these bright yellow shirts and a subcontractor gave me a spare shirt as a little gift. It didn't help. I'm still not safe:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Early night!

Whew! I got done my homework at 8 pm. I don't know what to do with myself.

Here are some differences that I've noticed between living by myself and 3-4 people living in a house:

Here are all my dirty dishes for a week









Here are John, Allie, Alex and Mike's dirty dishes for a week:




Yeah, smidge bit of a difference.

Happy Secretary's Day to me!

HAPPY (belated) SECRETARY'S DAY!!!
I had a GREAT secretary's day! In all candor, I think it's an anachronistic and condescending holiday. Why don't sales people get a day? Why don't project managers or waitresses get a day? Nevertheless, the day was fantastic. I got breakfast and snacks for the 2 women who I supervise and for the wonderful document manager who covers the phones, signs for deliveries, etc when needed. Two project managers from site also took 2 of us out to a DELICIOUS lunch. It was such a great day! Plus it was finally springtime weather. Two thumbs up in my book.
I haven't blogged in a while, so here's some abridged blogging:
- GRE prep is effective but HARD!!! I'm taking a 9 week GRE prep course. It's paying off in spades. My score has gone up 140 points and I'm learning alot of new study techniques. I'm impressed by how easy the math is. It requires less application of formulas and theories than the SAT. It's much more applicable to everyday life. For the first 3 weeks or so of the class the homework was manageable. There was about 8 hours of homework to do a week. I try to get it all done during the week so that I can dedicate my weekends to spending time with John. In the past 2 weeks the homework has really ramped up. I have about 3.5 hours of homework a night so I really have no free time. I'm hoping it all pays off and I get into school!
- It really irks me when people use Facebook, or any other social networking site, to broadcast their malaise. If something is really shocking or negative or hurtful; if it's really IMPACTFUL, then by all means, share. Part of social networking is support. However, when I see that someone's having an "off" day 3 or 4 times a week it makes me think that they just really like to whine.
- I'm so happy for one of my best friends! She moved to OREGON this week! She did a cross country drive in 4 days. Holy cow!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So pretty...

I am such a girly girl. I love all things pink and delicate and feminine. I totally found what I want for my birthday gift this year:

No, not Dolly Parton (though that would be AWESOME). The pink rocking chair! YAY! Dolly designed these beautiful pink rocking chairs for Cracker Barrel. They're only available in stores and only 1350 were made. I could buy a rocking chair and pink spray paint, but where's the Dolly-ness of that? I'm not the only one who wants to get their grubby country-loving hands on them. Some are already on eBay. Oh Dolly, how I love thee and thy synergizing, c0-branding ways.

I don't have pics from Easter, but it was great! One of the things that made it really special was that it was the first time I used our "wedding" china. One of my great-aunts wanted me to have her wedding china and it is BEAUTIFUL. It is the Lenox "Rhodora" pattern and it is perfect. Here are some example pics I found online:

The sorbet/ champagne glass and luncheon plate that are clear in these pictures are peachy/pink in my collection. It is SO PERFECT!!! It is exactly what I would pick out. It means even more to me since it's been in my family for 3 generations now. I LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh, what a difference a realtor makes!

Our house is on the market again, and this time the real estate agents seem MUCH more promising! I thought I picked a winner with our last real estate agent, but I was dead wrong. There was a house in our neighborhood that is the exact same as ours that he sold in about 2 months and I really thought he could help us sell ours. I won't enumerate all the reasons why he sucked, but John and I let him go/ took our house off the market after less than 2 months with him.
The new real estate agents actually want to sell our house! It's amazing! It's a family team of real estate agents and John and I feel much more confident. They came and took actual decent pictures of our house, and even mowed the grass and did yard work! I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that we get the house sold in a decent time. The agents are motivated, we're motivated, let's hope there's a buyer who's motivated!

Friday, April 10, 2009

You know what it probably is? Feces

It's a SLOW, rainy day at work. I haven't had a slow day in about 10 months, so I'm relishing every internet-surfing minute.
This whole week I've had a very interesting problem. I keep smelling poop. Phantom poop. Last week and this week Cujo's been sick and he's crapped yucky, sick dog craps in the house (the house in Columbia, the house in Greer, a relative's house...). I'm very poop concious because of that. Now I'm randomly smelling doodie in places where it does not exist. Not fun.

Getting excited for Easter!

YAY!!! Easter is so close to being here! This is the second year that John and I will host Easter. I really want it to be "our" holiday. We have 15 people coming. It's a real grown up holiday now! I'll post pics!

Monday, April 6, 2009

MARRIED!!!



I had the perfect wedding!

And the perfect reception!
I am sooo happy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I have a dissenting opinion.

Little known fact: I went to a very exclusive all-girl's boarding school in Connecticut for my freshman and most of my sophomore year of high school. In December 2008 a student sued the school, Miss Porter's School, and the headmistress. Since the lawsuit was announced, many alumnae of the school have denounced the lawsuit: it's unwarranted, the student got what she deserved, it's not representative of their experiences at the school, the media are sensationalizing it, etc. I've read comments these "ancients" (MPS code for alumnae) have left on comment boards, posted on MySpace and FaceBook, and blogged about. I've been thinking about this since I first read about the lawsuit in December. I disagree with alot of the women with whom I attended school. I'm glad the student is suing MPS. I'm glad the student is suing the headmistress. I wish my parents would have done the same.
The situation has been re-worded dozens of times in the newspaper and online articles. Here's the gist: Student is living American Dream. Athlete, well liked, strong academically. She's elected to essentially be MPS's social chair. The position involves planning weekend activities, large seasonal events, and prom. The student suggested that MPS's prom be open to other schools. Many of the students disagreed with her, which opened the floodgates of catty tormenting for which teenaged girls are infamous. The student took Adderall and was called "retarded" by her peers. Mean texts were recieved, mean FaceBook comments were made. The student was so unnerved by all of this that she skipped class to avoid teasing and couldn't study, and cheated on a test. The student told the headmistress that she cheated on the test. During a three day suspension, MPS told the only college to which the student had applied early admission that the student was suspended for cheating. When the student returned to campus, the bullying was exponentially worse. The girl's parents filed suit against both MPS and the headmistress, alleging long term damage was inflicted on their daughter's academic career. The suit is asking for an unnamed damages, and for the student to have the chance to complete her studies and earn her high school diploma from MPS.
Here is my story: when I was 14 (and 13 and 12), I hated life. There was general teenage angst, but there were more specific things as well. I lived in a family with addiction and abuse problems, I was shockingly unattractive, I went to a tiny school where I had 2 friends and was tormented constantly, I was (I thought) super smart and not challenged at all. Let me clarify two things. When I say I was shockingly unattractive, I mean it. I had cystic acne that developed when I was in elementary school. My face and back and chest were constantly coated in huge, scarring pimples. Not blackheads or gross, easy to pop whiteheads, but acne that was cyst-like. It was like driveway gravel under my skin. It was hard. It scarred. The pimples would stay for weeks and become red and purple. I started going to the dermatologist when I was in third grade and was on various topical and oral antibiotics from the time I was about 9 until I was 18. This was not the normal, Marcia Brady type of pimple. Second, the teasing was unrelenting. I never went out to recess because I didn't want to be around anyone. Those two friends? One of them was only my friend after school. She mocked me during school, then we would ride bikes and play pick-up games of baseball after school. Yeah, kids are weird. When I got into MPS, it was the high point of my little life. I could get OUT of my house with the yelling and crying. I could go be a smart kid. I could meet new people. I could kick up my heels and shake the dust loose from my tiny town.
For most of the spring of 1996 (the year I would become a freshman) and definitely the summer, there was no doubt in my mind I had anorexia. I carried a little bit of "baby fat", but the real reason is plain to anyone who's watched Lifetime or Oprah: my body was changing, I couldn't control my family, I couldn't control the teasing, I couldn't control my acne, so I tried to control my corporal self. This was made MUCH easier by a medicine I was on for my acne, Accutane. This is the hydrogen bomb of acne medicine. It essentially saps everything dry; dry face, dry scalp, dry mouth, dry lips. The side effects include anal and/ or vaginal bleeding because your body can't lubricate itself. It has some way baaaad juju in it: women who are on it have to be on at least one kind of birth control because it causes very serious craniofacial birth defects. It also increases triglycerides in blood, which meant I had to be on a low fat diet. Ah, enabling. It's pretty amazing how accomodating people were to me since I was on this medicine. I refused to drink 1% milk: I HAVE TO WATCH HOW MUCH FAT I CONSUME. No butter, nothing fried, no cream-based anything, certainly no dessert...yeah, it became pretty easy to hide my disease. The night my parents drove me up to MPS, I had one banana and some Diet Coke the whole day. My mom actually brought it up to me in the car ride that she thought I had an eating disorder. Of course I had some flippant remark to deny it.
My first year at MPS was pretty par for the course, except for the fact that I had NO social skills. Funny, years of being mocked will do that to a kid, huh? I was a slightly above average student but found it hard to make GOOD friends. Everyone was always really, really nice to me though. The summer before I got there I, like all entering students (or "new girls", another addition to the MPS lexicon) was assigned an "old girl". An old girl is a senior who is your instant amiga. She guides you through your first year and is almost like a fairy godmother, giving her new girl hints and tricks about "traditions", another element to MPS. My old girl was everything you could want. (She also had horrible, horrible acne, and I can't help but wonder to this day if that's why we were paired together.) She was a tree hugger. She wore Birks and read Descartes. She wrote me letters that summer and decorated the envelopes with trippy ink and pastel sketches. She had a hot boyfriend. We went to dinner about once a month and she was a dream. I lived on a hall with other freshman girls and a J.A. A J.A. is like a cross between an RA and a counselor. Each hall had one. They were junior girls who lived with their junior roommates, but gave advice to the girls on the hall. Every hall in every dorm, except for senior dorms, had them. The girls on my hall were really friendly and nice. Everything about the superiority of a girls only environment is true, in my opionion. Despite still being on Accutane and still having scarring acne, no one ever singled me out or mocked me. I was comfortable in my own skin and never thought about what I looked like. There was one girl who stood out, in that "perfect storm" kind of way. She was also far away from home. She was bulimic and she cut herself. We kept diaries and would read them in her bed almost every night; mine about what I ate and the calorie count for each item, and hers for how many times she threw up. I hid sharp objects from her and would only give her her razor when she would shower. She would proudly show me her fresh cut marks when she got back. The school knew about this. She went to off campus therapy at least once a week, and saw the on campus counselor sometimes. In this weird camaraderie/ competitiveness, my anorexia and self hatred flourished. I remember staring at my naked self, stretched out in front of the bathroom mirror, and wishing for more "rib definition". Yeah, I made up that term and yeah, it means I could see my ribs, but wanted to see them more. That year I got my first inkling of the apathy of the MPS staff/ administrators. The girls on the hall knew I wasn't eating. They talked to me about. They cried to me about it. They wrote me letters about it. One fall afternoon, a girl who lived across the hall from me took me to see the school counselor. The counselor was out of her office, but the door was open. The girl left a note for the counselor to call her or me; we had stopped by and wanted to talk. The call never came.
My sophomore year was much more difficult. I really hit the wall academically. My freshman year, I had WONDERFUL teachers. I had the teachers I read about when ancients defend MPS. I had teachers who invited the class to their houses for dinner. Not one teacher, I had TWO teachers who did that. They were totally invested in my learning. In English, we read a Dickens novel I read in 8th grade, so the teacher let me read a different novel, but do similar assignments to what the other girls were doing. We met 4 times a week during his office hours to discuss it. I can't speak highly enough of the classes and teachers I had my first year. My sophomore year the classes were much more difficult. For someone who only knew success and was in a competitive environment, this was really hard for me. Getting Cs and Ds, and especially not understanding material that seemed to come so easily to my peers, broke me emotionally. The friends I had on my hall my first year were all in different dorms. Noticing my poor grades, my parents invested in a tutor and an educational psychiatrist. The educational psychiatrist diagnosed me as having executive functioning disorder, which means that I can't organize thoughts very well. Examples of how this affects my everyday life are that it's hard for me to pick out the topic sentence of a paragraph and I can't prioritize. The educational psychiatrist gave me some wonderful hints: color code my subjects, meet with teachers during their office hours, find the student guides that textbooks print and use those in addition to my primary textbook, and find one teacher or adult who was very organized, who I really admired, and meet with them regularly so they could go over my organization skills/ daily planner etc. I incorporated some of these hints into my daily life. Things still got, well, darker. My depression was so obvious it's almost satirical. I didn't socialize at all; I hid in my room with the lights out to avoid any social setting, even required non-class events like Morning Meeting and lectures (hmmm, sound anything like the student whose family is suing the school?). I became a huge slob. My clothes dropped where they fell from my body. I ate food that I left laying out, days after it had gone bad. I re-wore dirty clothes again and again. I spoke often of suicide. I started cutting myself. Each dorm had dorm parents who were supposed to be in charge of the girls; I know mine were aware that I was changing because they asked me time and again to clean up. My classes were not only harder, but my teachers, well, sucked. They may have been someone's Mr. (or Mrs.) Chips, but not mine. My math teacher was very young and several times missed class. I remember all the students writing their names on the board to prove they were there and leaving after waiting 15 minutes. Each time it happened, we were penalized as if we missed a class. My science teacher, quite honestly, had it out for me. On quizzes and homework, she would mark my answers wrong and mark other students' identical answers correct. She mocked me for answering incorrectly when I raised my hand. My Spanish teacher outright refused to help me incorporate my educational psychiatrist's advice into my homework or studying. She told me she wouldn't do it. All this time, I still had girls who I was friendly with, but no one was super duper best friends forever with me. Conversely, no one, not once, not ever, not a little bit, made fun of me or talked down to me in any way. My poor grades led me to be on academic probation, which meant I had to report to study hall in the library during my free period and attend supervised study hall from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm 5 nights a week. I also had to meet with the dean of students once a week. It was during this time that some of the girls I was hanging out with (different from the girl who took me to the counselor my freshman year) noticed that I was speaking of suicide and told the school counselor. Nothing was done. One day, very shortly after they told the school counselor about me, I found a pack of matches on a side walk. I can't believe how effed in the head/ depressed I was, but I knew just what I wanted to do with them when I saw them. I went to my bathroom, cut the insides of my arms, lit matches and put the burning matches inside the new cuts. It was satisfying. I did this with two matches when I heard a knock on the door and the dorm mother calling my name. I opened the door and looked at her face. She asked what I was doing. I told her, "Lighting matches". It was such a relief. I knew I was in trouble and I knew my time at MPS was almost over. It was lunchtime. I was immediately taken to the headmistress's office (The headmistress then is not the headmistress now). I asked to go to the bathroom and tried to hold back tears until I could cry like crazy in the bathroom. In a meeting, the academic dean and headmistress determined that I needed to "stand trial" before a the student governing body. I didn't tell anyone about the self-harm. I told them I was just lighting the matches to do it. I was put on the three day suspension, just like the student in the law suit. My parents were told I was on three day suspension. Since they lived close to 400 miles away, their hands were tied as to what to do with me for three days. My father suggested that my parents reserve a room for me in the local hotel. The headmistress scoffed that that was unacceptable. I spent the first night in the infirmary and my parents came up the second day to get me. That morning they met with the headmistress and the academic dean to discuss my future at MPS. My mother mentioned that she and my father would order the student handbooks that went with my textbooks. This image is seared into my brain: the academic dean LAUGHED. She laughed at that idea. Like, she laughed out loud, because it caused her so much amusement. While I was at home for the remaining 2 days of my suspension, I attempted suicide. My mom told MPS and it was only then that she was told that just a few weeks before, some girls told the school counselor they were concerned with how much I was talking about suicide. MPS told my mother I could come back to school when a mental health professional diagnosed it was safe. The next day that my parents could get me an appointment, the LPC who saw me said I was "Ok" (Exact words) to go back. When my mom told that to MPS, they told her I was a liability and needed to stay home much longer. For over a month I was at home. I followed my syllabi, I took tests. I was tutored in my hometown for papers that I had to write. That sucky Spanish teacher? Told me I would have to retake the same Spanish class I took in 9th grade. Yeah, the passing work that I did all that fall and the first month of the spring semester wouldn't count. I went back to MPS for one week. It was the week before Spring Break, and my parents decided I could go back for a week, then come home for a week for Spring Break to see how things were. In that week I asked one of my teachers if she could be the person who helped me get organized. That teacher was my science teacher (was I a glutton for punishment or what? I just really, really wanted her to like me) and she told me that she didn't have time to help me. I met once that week with the same off campus psychiatrist my freshman roommate met with. I went to the same Spanish class I had my freshman year. That Friday morning I'd decided I had it. I couldn't do it any more. I was on anti-depressants and finally knew what happiness, or at least not gut chilling sadness, was. My parents were supposed to come pick me up for spring break on Saturday morning. I called some airline (you can SOOO tell this was before teh intertubes and 9/11/01) and bought a one way ticket over the phone. My dad gave me cash when I left Maryland and I told the airline I would pay for the ticket with cash once I got to the airport. I was packing up when the dean of students called me to check in on me. I told her I just bought a plane ticket and I was leaving. She called my parents, who came and got me that day. Thus ends the story.
I kept in touch with many of the girls but the friendships faded after a few months; I spoke on a regular basis to one of my roommates until we were freshman in college. Here is where my story and the current student's diverge: All of the students were kind to me. The worst I can say is that I was passing friends with some of them. No one singled me out. No one mocked me. On many levels, these intelligent, generous, thoughtful young women tried to help me. My parents and I were failed by peers of my parents, not of mine. The teachers who denied me help, the counselor who was told twice in two years that I needed her services and took no action, the administrators who told my parents several times that what my parents wanted for me was wrong: these people are completely incongruous to the wonderful souls whom ancients mention when defending the school. This institution promises a home away from home, and my parents made big financial sacrifices so I could attend. There were no systems or procedures to ensure my mental and academic best interests were attended to. My parents had to seek (and pay for) help elsewhere, and even that help was rebuffed by MPS. I'm so sorry that another young woman who was far away from home had to be hurt so badly at a place that's beatified in so many women's minds. I'm sorry that more than 10 years after I went there, the school seems to not take it's students mental health as seriously as it should. I'm glad the school is being sued.
This is just my opinion. I know many women truly did find a home away from home. I don't want to take away from their stories, their experiences, their legacies. They have every right to vocally defend an alma mater. Good for them for doing so; it proves that the school does help to mold articulate women who can intelligently and proudly state their opinion, even if it's different from the opinions expressed in the Hartford Courant or the New York Times. I wish them all happiness and success. I love reading their blogs and status updates and new pictures they post. I just can't muster any MPS pride.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's the little things...

Yesterday was a GREAT day for me. Good things happened, and I had what I really think is my first epiphany. Normal day at worky (not really, but that's another post) and I had a GRE tutoring session at 5:30. I get off work at 4:30, so that gives me about 20 minutes to get home and feed the dog, then get to tutoring at a small university about 30 minutes away. I thought I had way more GRE work due than I actually did, so I was going to take a one hour lunch and crank through some more homework during that time. I ended up not taking my lunch, so I emailed the tutor and told her that I didn't get done all the work, but would be all caught up for our next session on Sunday. I left for site for my 4 pm shuttle run, came back to the office at about 4:15, and I'm thinking things will be all on schedule. As I come back into the office, one of the Site Managers is at about a 4 out of 5 on the panic scale. His tradesmen's paychecks come every Wednesday and they hadn't been delivered. He called FedEx, who said that they were delivered and signed for before 10 am that morning. The person who signed for it wasn't anyone who worked for us. I go onto FedEx's website to track the package, which has been delivered to the BMW Performance Center, about 1/2 a mile up the street. Time is ticking by for me to get outta the office at 4:30. I call the local number in the Yellow Pages 4 times, and every time I end up speaking to someone in California. On the 4th try I wise up and explain my situation, and say I need to talk to any live person at the actual Performance Center. I'm transferred to a very nice woman, who tells me that the mail room guy has gone home for the day, but she will check the mail room for me. This is about 4:40. By 4:55 I haven't heard anything from her, and I'm freaking out that she will go home before this is resolved. I call again and speak to another woman, who is magically in close proximity to woman #1. I hear them talk about calling the mail room man at home, what the mail room dude said, another phone call that was made...this lady wants to get this done. Woman #2 says they will figure it out and call me back. A few minutes after 5 the phone rings; they've found the envelope! YAY! I drive over there to pick it up at the front desk, where woman #2 says she'll leave it. As I'm picking it up, woman #1 comes to the desk and I thank her times ten. She really didn't have to put all that effort in and yet she did. Woman #2 comes up to me and I shake her hand and thank her. Here is where the epiphany kind of starts. Both women are young (in their mid 30s) and very, very professional and very, very nice. Woman #2 has 2 big cookies in her hand, bottled water and 2 fancy tea bags. Woman #2 tells me that she can tell that I'm stressed and that some sugar might make me feel better and tea is supposed to calm you down. I laugh and say thanks. I get into my car (it's now about 5:20) and realize that I am so keyed up that a stranger is telling me I need to calm down. Sure, the food was probably left over from a conference that afternoon/ was free from their company kitchen/ was 2 weeks old. Doesn't matter. I literally took a deep breath and realized that my plans are so petty and trivial and stupid, and not one good thing will come from me worrying and getting upset. This is the second time in 4 days that someone who is basically a stranger inferred that my level of worrying is abnormal. (On Sunday at our first GRE tutoring session, the tutor told me that she would gladly give me an extra hour of coaching on how to take the test because she could tell I would get really nervous about it). I worry about everything. I worry about money all the time. I worry about my family. I worry about John. I worry about my education. I worry that I'm not skinny enough. I worry that my wedding will upset my parents. I worry about being a mother. I worry about John being a father. I worry about buying a new house. I worry about selling this house. When someone goes away I worry that they will die before I see them again. I have an IUD and I worry that I'm pregnant. Often I can feel my mind running around and I really don't think that I can control it.
My grandmother does this, too. She has been on anti-anxiety medicine for several years. When she worries, she shakes and can't talk. You don't even have to ask her if she's worrying; when someone talks about something that worries her, her chin and lower jaw start quaking. And the woman worries about EVERYTHING. When I sent her a Valentine's Day card and she didn't have one for me, her jaw started trembling. My Mom doesn't worry that much, but apparently Mom Mom has been a worrier all her life. It's an annoying cycle. I ask John all the time, "What can I do to be better? What can I do to make you happier?" and he usually tells me to not worry so much. Then I worry about being a worrier, and therefore being a bad wife. I have a psychiatrist appointment later on this month and I hope to get on medicine for this. This makes John SUPER happy. When my parents were down here last weekend, John asked my Mom if she was a worrier, and asked several questions about Mom Mom's worrying. I often feel like I can't stop it: both that my mind is out of my control and that if I stop worrying then something that I haven't planned for will go wrong and I won't know how to fix it. I've been praying alot about this, too. I know God wants me to be happy and to not worry. I read the Bible, I pray, I actively try not to worry, and it still consumed me. Sitting in my car that afternoon, I just felt glorious and content and weightless. It was a beautiful early spring day. The trademen would get their paychecks. I wouldn't go to tutoring. Que sera, sera. My life is so little and short. There is no reason to NOT celebrate each day. Why should I only push my own agenda and only worry about my teeny tiny little world? I'm here to glorify and praise God, to be a good daughter and a good wife, maybe to be a mother, maybe to make a difference to health care policy. My life is good and I know it. I want to be like Paul in Philippians 4:11. I want to be content no matter what state I'm in.
I'm still going to the doc later this month, but my new outlook is wonderful.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

These are facts

Scene: I'm volunteering at a preschool, trying to get a very tired toddler (17, maybe 18 months old?) to go to sleep. I'm rubbing his back and stroking his hair and forehead.
Very Articulate 3 year old with STRONG Southern Accent: "Excuse me. He is not a dog. You shouldn't pet him."
Me:"You're right. He's not a dog."
End Scene.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello Interwebs!

I'm baaaaack! Yay! No Lenten internet exile for me. I was playing Laura Ingalls Wilder and didn't have TV or internet for about 3 weeks! The weekend of February 22nd John took the internet and Dish TV with him to Columbia. At first, I was completely fine not having either. I missed watching national news, but there's enough stuff to do around the house to keep me busy. We are moving, after all! Also, I can get modified internet on my iPhone, so I could still check my email, Facebook, MySpace, etc. I am pinching every penny and didn't want to sign an agreement that I would have to cancel and pay an early termination fee, since I will be moving to Columbia sometime later this spring. All well and good, yes? Plus, I get to engage in my favorite sport, being a snot, by telling people that I didn't watch TV.
My mind is changed for several reasons. Primarily, I realized I had been dragging my feet (for several reasons, some normal, some therapist couch-y) on applying to grad school. The GRE is now given online. My study guides can only do so much. To competitively compare, I HAD to study the GRE online. Secondarily, a woman who I work with shot my money saving idea to pot. Her husband works for AT&T and she told me about BellSouth's DSL service that has NO contract. She is completely accurate: NO CONTRACT and you keep the service for up to 48 months, month by month. We don't have a landline so DSL is a little more expensive, but it will still cost me $40-$45 per month to have internet access. I can totally swing that. Additionally, up until this week at work, my schedule has been more hectic than I can describe. Since January 2nd, it has (figuratively) been balls to the wall. In February 2008 people started telling me that the first quarter of 2009 would be NUTS and would be busier than I could ever imagine. Right now my company is 1) Building a new paint shop 2) Will be running car bodies from the existing paint shop to some areas of the new paint shop beginning April 1st 3) Beginning demolition of the existing paint shop. It is INSANE. I am so glad I take Adderall b/c I don't have time to eat. I don't have time to DRINK in the mornings; my coffee or tea gets tepid before I can finish it. I have very seriously considered wearing Depends to work because some days I very genuinely do not have time to go to the bathroom. We have employees, and I do mean Durr employees, not tradesmen in the field, working every hour of the day. We are on 2 12 hour shifts every day of the week. This leaves me no free time at work at all. Things that I can't do on my phone (book hotel rooms, navigate between multiple bank websites, sign up for GRE prep courses) were impossible because I didn't have time for them at work. I needed the internet do to personal stuff at home.
So here I am! With only two phone calls to AT&T, I am all DSL-ed up!I am ready to roll! Blogging here I come! Well, now it's sleeping here I come, hahaha.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just in time for Valentine's Day...

The worst date ever! It seems that there's a constant battle between who has it better or worse...single people or couples. Singles have plusses (get to make your own plans, have autonomy) and minuses (no one to snuggle with, the annoying questions of "Why are you single?") as do couples (Much less autonomy but usually way more snuggling). Let me end the debate. Single women in DC, you have it WORST. I don't say that because I lived there, I say that because of this article, and particularly this man:

THIS GUY SUCKS. His only saving grace is that his jackassery is immortalized here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/06/AR2009020602082.html
What a huge tool! I am lucky enough to NEVER, EVER have been on a date with someone this...ugh, cloying and full of themselves. Well, I have once or twice, but I totally recognized it. Sweet sassy molassy. Singles, couples, everyone who isn't this dude...you are LUCKY.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living Large and LOVING IT!!!

I have a new love in my life. So beautiful, so American, so BIG. I had to rent a vehicle for work and the guys always whine about how there aren't enough vehicles and the site vehicles we have aren't big enough. We have/ had 3 minivans, a Jeep Cherokee and a Hyundai Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is now riding around in heaven, so we had to get a replacement vehicle. I got a FANTASTIC corporate rate on my new dream car, a Ford E350. I love it. I am so in love. As soon as I stepped it, it was like Shangri-La. For real, I heard harps and cymbals. It is GREAT!!! It is SO BIG!!! The cupholders are ginormous! There are TWO steps up to this thing! I am the king of the world. I totally see the appeal of large vehicles now. Driving my new chariot is a dream. It cracks me up because several guys freak out about driving it; they don't like to drive it because it's "too big". AHAHAHAHAHAH SUCKERS. I drive that thing like a freaking ballerina. Darned if I can't ever park my sedan straight, but I sure as heck will do a 19 point turn with this beast. At first I was freaking out about gas mileage, but guess what? It gets 19 miles to the gallon. That's the same as my current 4 door car. WOW. Another reason I love this boat? According to Ford's website, the entertainment features are: (drumroll please) AM/FM radio with seek and scan. OH YEAH. I am so sick of kids having TV and DVDs every single place they go. When my brother and I were little, we had a tape cassette player in the car. Not integrated into the car, but a little hand held cassette player we would position between us in the back seat.

I can't say it enough: I LOVE THIS CAR!!! We've already extended the rental date from the 6th to the 10th, and I really hope we keep pushing the date back. Each additional day is one more day in paradise.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

6 more weeks of winter!

Silly Phil! Punxatauney Phil saw his shadow, so we'll have 6 more weeks of winter! F-f-f-freezey!And yes, winter in South Carolina is still winter. We're up in the Blue Ridge mountains and it is chilly at night!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recessionista? Or Cheap Cheap Cheap?

When I lived in DC, I was lucky enough to have a contract position at a company that booked all the students at the Redken and Matrix Academies in New York. I searched the database to find a colorist and spent close to 3 years going to a WONDERFUL woman in Elkton. With a huge discount my haircut and dyes cost $100, including tip. When I moved to Greer, I went to a high end salon twice to get my hair cut. I knew I had to cut costs, so I started dying my hair at home. I at least went to Sally Beauty Supply to get salon brands of hair dye, and I went to Hair Cuttery to get my hair cut. That was at least SOMETHING. Almost all stylists at Hair Cuttery go to one Redken event per year, right? And it's not a BAD haircut as long as I can curl it, right? Wal-Mart has cheaper haircuts. John suggested I go there, and my exact words about it were "I have SOME standards." Well, I have in fact gotten my hair cut at WalMart while I was getting my car's oil changed. Klassy with a K, my friends. I need to get my hair cut and I really am pinching pennies now. Cujo has been sick twice this month and his vet bills total over $300. With a new home purchase on the horizon, I can't spare a penny. So today I did something I thought I'd never do. I got a haircut with a coupon. At Great Clips. Because I cannot afford to get my hair cut at Wal-Mart. I paid $5.99 for my hair cut. Is it a bad hair cut? No. It took less than 10 minutes and the stylist didn't ask me what my name was, but that's OK. I don't have dead ends, my hair doesn't look like it's been styled with a hand mixer, and I have some money for things that are important.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

re-post, but it counts as something!

I posted this on facebook today, and I'm really dedicated to blogging as much as possible. Here we go!
25 Random things
1) When I was little I used to think Dolly Parton was my Mom.
2) I wish I had a better relationship with my brother.
3) Getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me.
4) Not forwarding your email about Jesus to five people in five minutes does not make me a bad Christian.
5) I've never done my own taxes.
6) My wedding date has moved twice. Both times weren't my decision.
7) Obviously gay celebrities who don't come out of the closet irk me.
8) "Lost" is my obsession. It's one of the few things after college graduation that makes me feel like a smart person.
9) I'm uncomfortable around obese people.
10) I look at wedding pics on facebook and myspace for amusement. Looking at them makes me so happy that John and I are going to the courthouse.
11) I'm afraid that if I get my Master's I will get too late a start on biological motherhood, and that if I don't get my Master's that we won't be able to afford to give our children the lives we want to give them.
12) I can't wait to get rid of my last name.
13) I am afraid of the dark.
14) Michelle Duggar is my ideal wife and mother. When I have a choice to make or I feel myself getting frustrated, I ask myself, "What would Michelle Duggar do?"
15) Moving away from Kent County was a fantastic feeling.
16) I avoid honey at all costs because honey is the vomit of 2 bees and that's disgusting.
17) I have a pink handgun.
18) I think that I'm going to deeply regret not being with my Mom Mom in her last days, even if she is comfortable and happy.
19) People who refer to themselves as their pet's "parent" irritate me. I love my dog. I keep him healthy, exercise him, care for him, clean him, and train him to be a good canine citizen. However, he did not come out of my vagina and if you try to argue that I "adopted" him, I will think you have a very weak grasp of English.
20) I think that women who don't do their hair, wear make up and wear workout clothes/ pajamas out of the gym or house have no self respect or pride.
21) My adult life is so much better because of Al-Anon and Adderall.
22) I miss Mike.
23) I don't think there's any excuse for being an adult, living off of your parents' generosity, and not being honest about it or appreciative for it. This is one of my hugest fears about parenting.
24) I've dyed my hair the same color (basically) for close to 10 years.
25) I like to get up early during the week, but on the weekends I really like to sleep until 10 am or later.