Picture Update

I really didn’t mean to disappear for a couple of months but every time I came to the computer to write something I decided against it and before you know it, it’d been nearly two months.  So here’s what I’ve been up to during that time.

I had a month long break from school before starting back up again about three weeks ago.  This first summer term I’m taking Research Methods and just typing it out makes me snoozzzzzzzzzze.  In about another three weeks I’ll be adding Child Development to my load before getting a two week break before starting fall semester.  See what I mean?  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

During my month of May break, I had a whole list of stuff I wanted to do but you know, time passes quickly and I didn’t do nearly half of it.  I did manage to read 8 or 9 books which more than doubled what I had read this whole year up to that point.  Yay me.  And I’ve still been keeping up with my garden which has yielded barely any vegetables so far:

I have since picked and eaten the veggies in these photos and they were really good.  I’m sure more cucumbers are to come because the plants are huge and full of flowers.  So is the watermelon plant and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that one because I have become obsessed with watermelon this summer.

I added to the backyard by planting a lot of flowers and bushes.  It needed it badly and I was in the mood to experiment.  So far the majority of the flowers are thriving and slowly but surely our backyard is looking better and better.  I can’t wait for the sunflowers to finally get big and bloom but it might not be for a couple more months.  In the meantime here are some pics of just some of the flowers I’ve got back there:

I did notice the other day one of the flowers looked like it had been chewed and it didn’t take long to discover the culprit:

Every year we have wild rabbits that seem to roam through our neighborhood.  I have no idea where they actually live and I usually don’t mind them in the yard.  Just not when the eat my plants.

I also went on a little trip with my mom and sister down to Hot Springs.  We did some horseback riding and went to a wax museum among other things.  I’ve gotta be honest.  The wax museum was horrible.  It was so random and no one really looked like anybody they were supposed to.  Here are some of my favorites:

Ack!!  Seriously?!  Prince Charles reminds me of a rat and Queen Elizabeth hasn’t looked like that for at least 60 years.  I had to read the plaque to know who she was.

It was so dark in this section of the museum I took this picture mostly just to see what it was.  And then I had to laugh.  But the laughter really got going when we went into what I suppose was the kids/Disney section and saw this:

Gah, let’s take a closer look:

Hey what do you know, my new facebook profile picture.  I absolutely love his face.

In the beginning of May our town celebrated its annual Toad Suck Daze celebration.  In its honor, we had the kids at the preschool bring toads to school for some toad racing.  Imagine 16 preschool kids with toads but believe it or not, it was fun.  There are a couple of toads that live in the yard of the preschool and the kids LOVE to play with them.  I feel bad for the toads.  We had a frog fatality and I’ll spare you the details but will say barefeet = dead frog.

I hadn’t actually gone to the Toad Suck festivities since I was in high school but my brother and I decided to go and check it out this year.  This included walking the parameter and then leaving.  Too many people and a lot of lame stuff does not a good time make.  Trust me.  Although, one of the booths had a karaoke machine and was inviting participants.  When we waked by some white trashy girls (I know that sounds harsh but you weren’t there) were singing quite loudly and off key to R Kelly’s song Ignition.  It. Was. Hilarious….and terrible.  My brother got some video of it that I will have to get and post.

The only other thing I’ve been busy with is watching TV.  While I’m waiting for the summer shows like Burn Notice to start, I’ve become obsessed with Bones.

I’ve seen the show a number of times and like it but can’t watch it during the season because it’s on at the same time of a number of other shows I watch.  Lucky me, the reruns are on constantly.  There are about 12 episodes that get put on the DVR each week and I recently discovered all the seasons in their entirety on Netflix that I can access through my brother’s Xbox.  Lucky me indeed.  It’s taken me a while to actually be able to tolerate the character of Temperance Brennen.  Admittedly I watch the show for Seely Booth and his sarcasm.

I also spent a day making a ton of homemade strawberry jam that was/is absolutely heavenly and could quite possibly make applesauce a little later in the summer.  I might just be one of the oldest young people I know.

And there you have it – a run down of my two month hiatus.  You missed me didn’t you?

Book List From 2010

Some were great, some were crap.  Some were repeats and some were just random fillers.  Here’s my book list from this past year:

1.   Good Luck

2.   Bet Your Bottom Dollar

3.   Quentin’s

4.   A Rumor of Bones

5.   Questionable Remains

6.   The Heretic’s Daughter

7.   Let Them Eat Fruitcake

8.   Fallen Idols

9.   Archangel

10.  Little Children

11.  Far From Home

12.  The Undaunted

13.  The Help

14.  The Scarpetta Factor

15.  I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This (Bob Newhart autobiography)

16.  Second Helpings

17.  Hope in a Jar

18.  The Frog Prince

19.  A Year on Ladybug Farm

20.  Chill Factor

21.  Hour Game

22.  Murder on a Bad Hair Day

23.  Two Girls in a Blue Dress

24.  The Pink Ghetto

25.  Total Control

26.  The Winner

27.  The Associate

28.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

29.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

30.  The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

31.  Split Second

32.  The Camel Club

33.  This Time Together (Carol Burnett autobiography)

34.  Here We Go Again (Betty White autobiography)

35.  The Alchemist

36.  Where the Sidewalk Ends

37. Sideways Stories from Wayside School

38.  Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars

39.  The Girl Who Played with Fire

It’s an Update

Hey remember when I used to do updates all the time?  No?  Well I did.  I haven’t logged on to wordpress for a few weeks so I thought if one was appropriate I guess it would be now.

Thanksgiving was nice.  My oldest sister and her family came down for a few days and it was nice to see them.  I even went shopping on Black Friday.  This is HUGE for me because I hate shopping on regular Fridays (and every other day for that matter) so to go on the busiest shopping day of the year is a little mind blowing.  No I didn’t get up early or camp out at a store.  Matter of fact, I don’t think we even went until 10:30 the next morning.  At most places “early bird” sales were still going on and there was still plenty of stuff still in stock so ha ha all of you who got up and stood in line in the cold all night.

School, school, school.  What can I say except I can’t wait for you to be over this semester.  Only two weeks to go and I hope the time flies.  Thanksgiving really messed me up motivation wise and for that I almost wish we hadn’t had a week off.  Trying to get back into this week has sucked.  Tonight I turned in an assignment not due until Saturday.  Which would be awesome except I submitted it to the wrong place and couldn’t take it back.  I emailed my professor and hope she’s cool and fixes it for me.  It’s an easy fix for her but she may want to teach me some lesson or something.  Hope not.  I’m really not interested in learning anymore lessons of any kind, especially a life one and it could really screw up my grade which would be a shame because for the first time ever, I’m actually doing really well in school.

And the preschool, what can I say about that?  Except ’tis the season…for coughing in my face and wiping snotty noses on my sweatshirts.  If I don’t end up sick it’ll be a Christmas miracle for sure.

I got my hair done last week.  I had the girl cut almost 4 inches off, shorten up the layers, thicken the bang area, and do an overall darken.  It feels so much better and it’s still kind of long which is good b/c I prefer my hair pulled back most of the time.

And finally, what’s with everyone searching the word gumby?  And why does that bring them to my blog?  I checked my stats for the first time in forever and 61 people alone used that to find my blog today.  Is this the seasonal-comeback-retro-fad toy this year?  I’m so out of the loop.

A New Kind of Geek

Right now the #1 movie is The Social Network.  I haven’t seen it and don’t really plan on it.  Not that I’m hating on the movie, but I’m on facebook enough and don’t need to sit for two hours to learn about its origins.  But I imagine geeks everywhere are feeling vindication that finally, FINALLY, they are making headway into being “cool” with mainstream pop culture.  The Big Bang Theory is high in the TV ratings, Steve Wozniak competed on Dancing with the Stars, and I understand Comic Con is a pretty big deal.

It just seems that the past couple of years has seen a rise in geekhood.  Go Geeks!  Right on the heels (fine, it’s not on the heels but a random survey that was forwarded to me) comes out a survey listing the top 10 geekiest cities in the US.  Go ahead and look at #6.  Seriously?  Conway, Arkansas made it on this list?  It states that one of its contributing factors is that it’s a college town – one of those colleges being where I attend.

A lot of adjectives come to mind when I think of my hometown but geeky has never been one of them.  So I looked up the definition of geek (yikes, is that a geeky thing to do?) and read this:

“Formerly, the term referred to a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs.”

Err, what?  So what this is really telling me is that Ozzy Osborne should be teaching my theory and analysis class.  Well that would definitely make it more entertaining.  Remember the episode of the Osborne show when Ozzy couldn’t figure out how to use the TV remote control?…..oh the irony.

My So Called Life

Two words: Jordan Catalano.  *sigh, swoon, melt*  Yesterday Netflix sent a DVD to our house that was really supposed to go to my brother’s fiance in Idaho.  I opened the envelope and found three episodes from the show My So Called Life.  I LOVED this show!  It premiered in 1994 when I was 15 (same age as the title character Angela) but thanks to those corporate network execs that I love so much, it only lasted one season.

Angela was me.  I couldn’t believe they created a show that so perfectly thought what I was thinking.  And while the show was great in its own right, I really tuned in every week for Jordan.  Re-watching it now, I realize there wasn’t much to his character.  He wasn’t deep by any means, hardly had any lines at all come to think of it but he really didn’t need to.

That picture on top graced the back of my bedroom door for close to 12 years before I finally gave in to imaginary social pressure that told me I was too old to have a collage of men on my bedroom door.  I may have taken him down but I didn’t have the heart to toss him in the trash with everyone else so somewhere in a box in the garage there Jared Leto sits.  But he’s not alone, I’m pretty sure I salvaged Mark Wahlberg as well.

A few years ago I went to a 30 Seconds to Mars show and got to meet, albeit incredibly briefly, Jared.  And while it was brief, it was long enough to look and see that his eyes really are that blue.  And at least I didn’t pull this little stunt when he asked me a question.

Anyway, watching the show took me back in time to my freshman year like it was yesterday.  The clothes, the hair, the makeup, how I thought everything was dramatic and no one except my peers knew how I was feeling.  It kind of felt exciting.  Everything was new, you hadn’t been around long enough to experience anything yet.  Looking back through the years I have some good memories and some bad ones, but they’re all a bit hazy in comparison to what I remember about high school.  I’m sure my recollection is slightly warped but didn’t it seem like we were so much more mature than the kids in high school are now?  I’m sure of it.

Then I remembered during my senior year there was a sophomore that reminded me of Jordan Catalano.  He was the oldest looking sophomore I’d ever seen.  Had the same blue eyes, easy smile, and same sort of laid back style and vibe that Jordan had.  Only this guy hung out with the popular crowd, probably for those same reasons.  I didn’t have the same sort of mad crush Angela had on  Jordan…well crap, or the way I had on Jordan, but noticed him in the halls from time to time.

For a few summers while I was in college, I worked on the landscape crew at the local university.  It was my second summer working there when who should get hired?  None other than this guy from high school.  To be honest I don’t really remember that much about him.  How’s that for an anti-climax?  I’m thinking he was a nice guy, we probably had some fun here and there but the overall memory is vague.  Geez, talk about a bummer.

Well, I decided to look this guy up and naturally found him on facebook.  Ack!  Not looking so much like Jordan Catalano anymore.  Not that he looks bad but when your vague memory looks like guy in the above pictures, all I’m saying is be prepared to be disappointed.

And just like that I remember it’s not 1994.  It’s 2010.  I’m not 15, I’m almost 31.  And I think, high school was limiting.  It was the same thing spit out again and again for four years.  It was the same people year after year.  What was exciting and new your freshman year, became an overplayed song on the radio that you either grew to hate or numbly ignored by your senior year.

But then I think of the Jordan Catalanos in high school and can’t help but smile.

Meet Lulu

Isn’t she just the cutest?  I was on my way to Wal-Mart when I saw her trying to cross the road.  Naturally I pulled over and she became Lulu, my pet turtle.  It’s not unusual to see these little guys walking in the streets, so I’m sure she won’t be my only one this summer.  Almost as sure as I am that she will escape and be well on her way to the Mexican border by morning.  Or at least to the entry of the neighborhood.  Assuming of course a dog doesn’t get to her first.

I haven’t even had her for 12 hours and I’m already turning into some crazy turtle lady.  What would she prefer to eat? (Good grief.  She’s a turtle.)  Will she know there’s water in the bowl? (Pretty sure a turtle can find water.)  She seems to like to burrow into my shirt.  She won’t suffocate herself will she?  See, what I mean – crazy turtle lady.  And the list goes on and on.  Someone needs to start making some local friends stat!

I even went to Home Depot to get some chicken wire so I could fence her in the backyard.  When I asked the guy working there where the chicken wire was he looked at me and said, “What do you mean by chicken wire?”  Well….I mean chicken wire.  Not sure how much more clear I can be on that.

My mom asked me how I know Lulu is female and I was telling her what I had read on google.  So basically it comes down to the males being more colorful and attractive.  I guess there are a lot of species where the male is more attractive than the females.  Which I suppose makes sense if the female is choosing her mate.  I remember hearing of some species of bird where the male has to do some sort of mating dance for the female.  If she likes what she sees, then it’s on.

Sometimes I think of questions I should ask a guy on the first date and always mean to write them down.  Usually I’m thinking about them because a friend is talking to me about a bad relationship they’ve had (or are in) and I start thinking about the things I should find out beforehand.  Like, “what’s your credit score?”  “how much debt do you have and what’s it for?” “toilet paper over or under?”  “Crest or Colgate?”  “Mayo or Miracle Whip?”  You know, hard hitting questions like that.  Well now I think maybe I should take some pointers from the birds and have the guy do a little dance on our first date.   Can you imagine asking someone to do that?  Or being asked?  Hilarious.  Maybe I should do a blog entry on how we should mimic the different behaviors of species in our own relationships.  Hmm…..

Anyway, here’s one more of Lulu for the road just because she’s so darn cute.  And yes, I do realize I would never be able to tell her a part if she were next to another box turtle:

I’m Not a Productive Person but I Play One on TV

For the past two weeks I’ve had Back to the Future Syndrome.  Usually this is when you move back home after a year or more and it feels as though you never left but you can’t remember being there.  And things have changed while you were gone but since it feels like you never left, you aren’t sure when all the changes could have happened.  And there you have the final scene when Michael J. Fox wakes up after only a night and yet a week had passed and nothing was as it was before: Back to the Future Syndrome.

Well I haven’t gone anywhere but the days have gone by so fast, I can’t really remember them.  And yet I was here.  Maybe it’s a Back to the Future in reverse.  Or sideways.  Maybe I’m actually in an episode of Lost.

What I can sort of remember is that my brother was in town for a week during semesters at school.  Has he really been gone four months already??  I’m still around kids ALL THE TIME which has really just blurred into a collage of sand, snot, building blocks, and funny conversations.  Earth Day was yesterday and I helped the kids create the Earth in art form using blue/green paint, a magnet, a coffee filter, and a save the Earth sticker.  It was as though I had transformed into a craft version of Macgyver.

I’ve been tanning so I no longer have to write CLEAR on forms that ask what race I am.  And I got my hair highlighted this past week and absolutely love it.  I don’t know why I don’t get my hair done more often.  I come out of there feeling like the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I’ve been feeling so good the past few days I’ve been bust’n a move to old school Madonna in my car.  You’re welcome people I pass on the road.  Road workers outside my neighborhood, I’m talking specifically to you.

I spent a few hours this week laying sod (thank you tetris for giving me mad skills that finally came in handy – I knew you weren’t a waste of time) and tomorrow I’m going to donate blood so my “humanitarian” efforts for the week can be checked.  I also made 5 dozen cookies and have dough to make another two – just thought I would randomly throw that in there.  This time next week I’m going to be back in Illinois visiting my sister and her family with my mom.  Next weekend is also Toad Suck Daze here and for those (all of you) who don’t know what that is don’t worry, I’ll explain in my next post.  But speaking of traveling, my family has been trying to get a mega trip together this summer.  I don’t know all the details yet but I can tell you it looks like I’ll be going from Arkansas to Utah to Idaho to Utah to Idaho to Utah to California possibly back to Utah or if not back to Arkansas.  All in two weeks.  And I’m trying to squeeze a side trip of my own in there to Spokane for a few days.  If you feel like contributing to that fund by all means, go with those feelings and help a fellow blogger out.  No?  Well, you can’t fault me for asking.

Oh and did I mention I’m sort of thinking about going back to school?  Oh how I love that I can make my life seem more busy and productive than it really is.

Toe Rings = Marriage?

This is a conversation I had with a 4 year old at work today:

4 yr. old:  Why do you have a ring on your toe?  Are you married?

Me:  Uh, no I just like it I guess.

4 yr. old:  When are you going to get married?

Me:  I don’t know.  When are you going to get married?

4 yr. old:  (cocks her head to the side and thinks) Well…a few days after I get older.

Me:  Yeah, me too.  High five.

A Good Day

Picture this, it’s about 80 degrees out with a slight breeze with little to no humidity.  The smell of grass being cut is in the air (I happen to really like that smell) and Bob Marley is serenading me on my Ipod as I walk around my neighborhood.

The lady whose pre-school/daycare I helped out at a couple of months ago asked if I could start back up again in a couple of weeks after her daughter leaves for school.  AND I have an interview at another school on Monday to see about doing some part time work there.  No promises on that but an interview is more than I’ve had in over a year.  Neither are my dream jobs but I’ll take them both.  And do so with a smile, work is work and money is money after all.

Then I found out this afternoon that I’m getting money back from my taxes.  I was fairly certain I wouldn’t get anything and almost just as certain I would end up owing some.  A good day indeed.

The only thing that could make today better would be to head to the ball park and take in a game while munching on a hot dog.  Ahh, spring, I love you.

Career Options

It’s no secret that I’ve been out of a job for a little over a year.  And it’s no secret that I’m not too sad about this.  However, the numbers in my bank account are getting smaller and since spring is coming quickly and I need money to buy a tanning pass, I’ve been thinking of what I could do for work.

Give me a C!  Give me an H!  Give me an E E R!  What’s that spell?  I don’t know because I’m only four!  Yeah!

What little girl wouldn’t be a professional cheerleader given the option?  You get to run around and dance, wear sparkly clothes, and shake noisy plastic ribbons around.  And as an adult, if you can look past the fact you have to run around and dance, wear sparkly clothes, and shake noisy plastic ribbons around, it could be a perfect job.  I bet the association even pays for the tanning.

Ok, so it’s not EXACTLY a bull but that plastic Dumbo served it’s purpose.  If only it hadn’t popped and leaked air, you could be reading the blog of a fearless bull rider right now.

Still trying to keep the rodeo dream alive.  This one could have totally worked except for two things 1) I did not own a horse and  2) I did not own a pair of cowboy boots.  It’s just not the same in sneakers.

Bet you can’t guess what I going for in this picture.

Told you, you couldn’t guess.  Peter Jackson wouldn’t return any of my calls but I know I could have played a better Legolas.  Unlike Orlando, my hair was real.

…everything i wanna do has already been done.
why would i wanna go and do it again?
everybody…plays guitar.  -Reel Big Fish

And that’s why I went with the plastic trumpet.  Gotta keep it fresh, ya know!  Naturally my aim was to be the guy who plays at the start of the horse races

And don’t think his snazzy outfit intimidated me.  No sir, I did what I could by accessorizing my trumpet with not only my own outfit but with my mom’s next to me.  I don’t see how this one could have failed.

Ooh yeah, the money shot!  I was born to be a rock star.  Check out my ubber cool tutu I was stylin back in the day.  Take that Avrail Lavine, I was rocking this look long before you were born.

I was just too ahead of my time.