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?

Three Days and Counting

…until I leave on vacation!!!  Here’s the official breakdown for the next 2 1/2 weeks (because if I have to remember it all, you at least have to read about it)

– July 21st: Mom and I fly from Little Rock to Salt Lake

– July 22nd: Drive from SLC to Idaho Falls/Rexburg with mom

– July 23rd:  Attend brother’s graduation

– July 24th:  Drive from IF to SLC with mom and possibly brother.  Fly out of SLC to Spokane, WA to hang out with friend (VERY excited about this part!!)

– July 29th: Fly from WA to SLC

– July 30th: Drive from SLC to Burley, ID with mom, sister,  and brother.  Meeting brother’s fiance there.

– July 31st:  Attend sister’s triathlon in Burley.  Drive from Burley to SLC with all of the same people.  Attend family reunion in SLC

– Aug 1st:  Fly from SLC to LA with mom, sister, brother, and brother’s fiance to meet up with other sister and her family and head to Disneyland

– Aug 4th:  Fly from LA to SLC with brother and brother’s fiance.

– Aug 6th/7th:  Drive from Utah to Arkansas with brother

– Aug 8th:  Sequester myself in my room away from human contact

– Aug 9th:  Emerge from room to go back to work at preschool

Will we all get along the whole time and still like each other when it’s over?  Probably not.  There’s too many possible high stress situations for one trip: college graduation, triathlon, a family reunion for pete’s sake, and Disneyland.  Multiplied by all the time we’ll be trapped in a car for long periods of time.  I also predict that I have a dormant illness that will manifest itself the afternoon of July 31st.  Guess the reunion is out for me…darn it.  This trip is one for the books and should be interesting to say the least.  At least there should be good blogging material right?  RIGHT???  Despite my misgivings, I’m actually pretty excited.  Ahh, the naivety of beginnings.

I’ll Take One Uneventful Day Please

It started with a band staying the night at our house and ended with a blown out tire on the interstate.  That’s how my last 24 hours have played out.  Two Christmases ago I wrote about driving with my brother to return a guitar to a guy in a band.  The guitar got left in the club they had played at in Little Rock and it wasn’t discovered missing until they were at home in Texas.  My brother saw an opportunity to help out this band that he liked and so he offered to pick up the guitar and drive it half way.

Well this same band (their name is Resident Hero) is back on tour and were driving from Mississippi to a town in northern Arkansas to play a show.  Since they had to drive on I-40 to get there, my brother saw another opportunity to help them out and so he offered up our house for the night.  They took him up on it and while I have no idea what they might have actually thought of the house or their sleeping accommodations, it beats sleeping in a smelly van right?  Plus I helped my brother ended up making breakfast for them in the morning and one guy did his laundry.  I didn’t really talk or hang out with them but they seemed pretty cool and I think they were grateful to get out of their van and stay in a house, even if it was only for one night.

The town they played in is about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from our house and I told my brother I would go with him so he wouldn’t have to do the drive alone.  We got there and the show was pretty good and I was especially happy that they were one of the openers, so they were done by 9:30.  We listened to a lot of the next set and then talked to the lead singer for a little bit and headed out around 10:30.

About 14 miles outside of our town there’s a fast thumping sound and smoke coming from the front of the car.  Keep in mind this is a rental my brother had to get because of the car wrecks he was in last week.  We pull over and wouldn’t you know the front passenger side tire is not only flat, but has exploded leaving a 2 inch gash in the tire.  And there’s some kind of liquid leaking out from the tire.

We pull out the spare and my brother starts fiddling with the jack but neither one of us have actually had to change a tire.  I’ve seen it done but never had to do it myself.  Here it is, 1:00 in the morning.  We are on I-40 heading east about 14 miles from our town.  I don’t know what night time looks like where you live but down here in Arkansas it’s complete and total darkness.  You can barely see your hand in front of your face so we were using our cell phones as flashlights.  And I should say that we ended up only being 14 miles away from home but we really didn’t know exactly where we were at the time.

My brother was working on getting the jack on the car but it wasn’t looking promising at first.  So I found a road service number and gave them a call.  Their estimated time for arrival was sometime in the next 75 minutes.  Oh goodie.  By the time I finally got off the phone with them, my brother had gotten the jack on securely so I loosened the bolts.  Once the bolts were off, I called the road service people and canceled the service keeping my fingers crossed we would be able to get the spare on and not have to call them again.  It took us about an hour (maybe a little more) to get the tire changed.  I’m just glad we didn’t have to wait an additional 75 minutes.  I have no idea if it’s really on the way it’s supposed to be.  I would assume so since it didn’t fall off or explode but who knows.

It’s now 3:30 in the morning and I’m exhausted.  Oh man, did I mention that my mom got sick and I almost had to take her to the ER?  I didn’t?  Well, that happened too.  She probably won’t like that I put that in there but it adds to the drama craziness excitement that is my life sometimes.  By the way, I got her to her doctor’s office and she’s fine just really tired.  Here’s the recap:

Make breakfast for a rock band staying in our home – check

Almost took mom to the ER – check

Went on mini road trip with brother – check

Went to a rock concert with brother – check

Had to change an exploded tire on the interstate in the middle of the night – check

Let’s see…yep, that about sums up my day.  I’m going to be flying to Salt Lake City this weekend, can’t wait to see what madness happens there.  In the meantime I hope tomorrow is a complete and total bore.

Peripatetic Nomads

“Peripatetic nomads” are mobile populations moving among settled populations offering a craft or trade.”  And right next to this definition should be a picture of me because I’m pretty sure this is what I am.  Granted wikipedia says these people are generally either gypsies or traveling showmen like circus performers.  Ok, so I’m not a gypsy or a carnie but even still I could be a more modern day version of this, someone moving to settle populations offering my skills in exchange for work or to perform services (and no, not those kinds of services).  Since I graduated from high school 12 years ago I’ve moved back and forth between 21 cities/towns.  That’s not including moves into different apartments within the same town.  Though maybe one of those shouldn’t really count because although technically it was a different city it was only 15 min away.  And yes some of those towns are repeats but months or in some cases years, separated the time in between.  The point being that I had to pack everything up and move it, only to pack it all up and move it again later.  This last stint in Utah really slowed me down.  I was there four years which is by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere since high school.  The next longest was one full consecutive year in Hawaii.  Every other place less than a year.

I bring this up because every day it looks more and more likely that my time in Arizona is coming to an end.  I’ve been here for four months and haven’t been able to find work. I’ve been unemployed for six and while I may be great at budgeting, there comes a point when that doesn’t matter.  No money means no money.  And as I’ve been going over all my options and seeing this move as a real possibility, I’ve started getting that restless feeling and slight adrenaline at the prospect of packing and starting over again.  How I was corralled for so long in Utah at one time is a bit of a mystery I suppose.

I haven’t made any decisions one way or another, just trying to look ahead and be prepared for anything.  There’s still a real posibility and chance that I could get a job and stay put here.  Or not.  It’s like a coin toss and I’m just watching it rotate in the air not knowing what side will land on top.  And that’s kind of exciting, slightly stressful, but mostly exciting.

Looking Forward to Some R&R

Next weekend I’m flying out to LA to hang out and chill with my sister for the weekend. The days can not pass quickly enough! Not that my life is stressful or agonizing….just incredibly boring. Even work has lost the challenge and what used to keep me occupied and pass the day quickly, I can now do even faster with time to kill. I have 6 operating stations and while the machines are doing their job, I surf the net to pass the time. So I was a little perturbed when I discovered last week that the company I work for blocked WordPress from the system. Out of the hundreds of thousands of sites I have no clue as to why this would be one they would block. I wouldn’t really care except that it just so happened I lost internet connection at home a couple of days before this fiasco. Well I’m computer illiterate but something sparked in my brain, whether it was from boredom or sheer disdain from this new development I’m not sure, but I figured out a way to maneuver around the system and access the page. Hooray for me!! Take that corporate America.

Things are also at a standstill after work as well. We’re getting more snow than the state’s had in 5 years. I’ve stated more than once that I hate snow and being cold. But I also will openly admit that I don’t know how to drive in it very well, either. So I opt to do everyone a favor and stay off the roads whenever possible. This means I go to work and head back home. Home leaves me with limited options. I do go to our clubhouse to work out but aside from that it’s basically TV or books. After a while both get mundane. Although I’m currently reading Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome and it’s pretty good.

So I’m more than anxious to head out to LA for a couple of days. I’m ready for some warmth, time off work, and the company. And as an added bonus, I fly out on Valentine’s Day so I get to bypass that lame “holiday”….I can’t wait!!

It’s Not Just Security That’s a Pain

Lastnight I was talking to my sister about going to LA to visit her during President’s Day weekend.  So we get online to book a flight.  What should have taken 15 minutes ended up taking over an hour.  After finding the cheapest airfare, the process went something like this:

Computer: Please enter the following information (the usual stuff)

Me:  Ok done.  Continue

Computer:  Please check to verify all information is correct

Me: Ok done

Computer:  Please fill out the following form to ensure Visa security

Me: Um, ok.  Never done that before

So I start to fill it out

Me:  Enter my username?  What username?  Enter my password?  What password?  What the crap!  Enter my Social Security number??  What’s my zodiac sign? (ok so I just made that last one up) 

I delete all information on this form and click continue only to discover that I didn’t have to fill out that form in the first place.  Good.

Computer:  Please verify all information is correct.

Me:  Yes I already did that

Computer:  Please enter credit card information

Me:  Again, I already did that

Computer pop up:  If you would like to save an additional 20% on your flight please click here to see offer.

Me:  What? No.  Just give me the flight I already said I wanted. 

Computer: Please verify all information is correct

Me: For the love!!  I’ve already checked.  So unless you’re going to change the information I’ve already entered….it’s correct!

Computer pop up: Would you like to receive advertisments on great deals for future flights?

Me: GRRR!  NO!!  Just book my flight already!

Computer: Thank you for choosing us for your travel needs.  Before the final process is complete please check to verify all information is correct.

Me:  AUGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!