Saturday, September 30, 2006

The New Dog

At a customer's house, my fiance made the acquaintance of Joey, a young Maltese. After spending some time with the happy-go-lucky, lovable dog, his owner offered to give my fiance the little guy. About a week later, and after much thought on the part of both families, the purebread Maltese has joined our family.

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We have renamed him Paulie because of the over-use of the name Joe in both of our families. He is adjusting to life with us and our small zoo. Nosey hasn't even seemed to notice him, or doesn't seem to care. Mr. Rochester can't decide if he's a cat or a dog. Vermont, on the other hand, seems fairly alarmed. But he's the baby in the family and has never had a new pet introduced to the family.

Paulie is a little horndog who has a "red teddy" as girlfriend. Hopefully, when we get him neutered, he will lose some of his desires. He is a jolly little companion who looks forward to meeting his extended family when they have the opportunity.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Simple Request

Rant on Acceptable Social Behavior: If you have to blow your nose in class, fine. Please do. It is when you honk into your tissue and then open it up to examine the contents that I object. A repeat of said action into the same tissue does not improve the situation. Nor does the digging-with-tissue-covered-finger repeatedly, followed by more inspection. This is not OK. You are a graduate student, which means that you are an adult. Please behave like one.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Wonders of Modern Technology

As usual, when it comes to things technology-related, I am a bit slow to get in the game. But once in, I do fully appreciate the wonders of modern technology. I resisted the digital camera craze until my mother (the proud owner of trillions of digital cameras herself) gave me the Kodak Easy-Share. And easy, it is. Easy to download, easy to print, easy to take snapshots with (for real photography though, I wouldn't recommend it).

My most recent addition to the collection of technological wonders comes in the form of a cordless optical mouse. Yes, I know that these are nothing new. Afterall, both of my baby boomer parents own them. I broke down and bought one this past Saturday (like chocolate, it was futile to resist), and I love it! I also had to buy a USB hub so that I could run everything without swapping cords. A mere week or two ago I didn't even know these existed.

Of course, I also just saw those USB keychain doo-hickeys in action for the first time two weeks ago. Where have I been? And how can I justify buying one?

Monday, September 25, 2006

In Honor of Banned Book Week

As someone who believes in everyone's freedom to choose what they want to read, I am celebrating Banned Book week by reading one of the many books that has been challenged over the years. It is not listed on the top 100 list, but it is mentioned as one of the frequently challenged books on Google Book Search. I decided it was about time I read some Hemingway, so The Sun Also Rises became my Banned Book selection for 2006.

I am just about halfway through it and have run across what I can assume is some of the questionable content. I think that if people find certain things offensive in the books they read or that their children read, it provides a perfect learning opportunity.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Morning Ramble on Autumn

I slept until 10:00 this morning! Certainly it's been years since I did that. But I sure was tired. Not from doing anything, mind you. That would be so unlike me. Just from a week's worth of not getting enough sleep every night. I'm one of those must-have-a-minimum-of-8-hours-a-night people.

It's officially Autumn now. But all it's doing day after day is raining. I would like some crisp, dry weather so I can do fall things, like apple picking. I am a huge fan of all things agricultural. I love watching the farm fields through the seasons. Right now the corn that still stands is that dry, papery, bleached-looking tan. The soybean fields have turned golden. I'm sure there's pick-your-own pumpkin patches doing their thing, but I haven't been out that far. More rain forecasted for tomorrow.

I've finshed my English Breakfast tea, so I will spare you any more natterings and attempt to go do something productive.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Way in Which I am Green

Our office took part in a team-building, touchy-feely session hosted by the Human Resources department yesterday afternoon. Among other activities, we completed the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI). My results put me squarely in the Green: Analytic-Autonomizing category.

Valued Relating style:
-Being objective
-Being right
-Being principled
-Being in control of one's emotions
-Being practical
-Being cautious and thorough
-Being fair
-Being resolute
-Being serious
-Being their own "judge and jury"
-Being their "own person"
-Thinking things through before acting

There was lots more to it, but one interesting point was:

You feel distant from and contemptuous of people who... never seem to take anything seriously; try to push their help on you or try to push you to do things their way.

It's like an elaborate horoscope. But I like being GREEN.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Random Bullets

* I'm afraid that what I thought were just allergies may well be developing into a cold.

* I am beyond bored. Work is lame.

* It took me an hour to mow less than half of the lawn last night. It's mid-September, when is the grass going to slow down with all this growing?

* According to the neighborhood gossip-lady, a 16 year old boy who lives on the back side of our block pulled a gun in someone's face. After being released (why?!), he then beat his little sister over the head with a wrench. And yes, apparently he's been released again. Lovely. My fiance has asked me not to go walking past their house. I've had this boy and his cronies follow me while I'm out walking, whistling and making crude comments. I thought that was bad enough. Clearly, I was mistaken.

* My class has been moved to a new (literally) classroom. Hopefully, this one will be more spacious and comfortable. And have a rear entrance. LOL

* I love this time of the TV watching year when all the new shows premiere. I also love that Fox starts their shows earlier. I am so hooked on Prison Break and Vanished. Two thumbs up for the serial dramas.

* This bra is evil. I can't wait to get home and take. it. off.

Monday, September 18, 2006

In Memory

I just learned that Walking Boy has died from injuries sustained in a car crash over the weekend.

He was a neighbor that my fiance and I both enjoyed seeing on a daily basis. We did not know him well, but his presence will be missed even by us.

My thoughts are with his family. I can't begin to imagine how they are feeling.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Second Home Nature Center

After reading chapter 8 and taking the on-line quiz, I decided I had better get outside to take advantage of the perfect weather. My fiance did not share those same concerns, so I went solo to Second Home Nature Center.

I walked around the lake, encountering many people who were anxious to soak up every bit of the warmth before the seasons officially change. In the bog and along the shoreline, you could see evidence of things to come.

Each and everytime I make my way to the nature center for a solo walk, I am again reminded of what it seems that I've forgotten. That my body and soul crave to be there. The sights, the sounds, the smells. They all leave me feeling replenished and washed clean.

How can I let so much time pass between visits? I used to go there daily, but now I'm lucky if I manage to get out there once every couple months. I need to try harder. Bottom line.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Don't Worry

My first oral presentation for class was last night. I think it went well, although it's all kind of a blur. But most importantly, it's over. Now I can worry about other things.

Last Wednesday I had my annual girly-doctor visit. I have noticed that there does seem to be a trend for bloggers to discuss rather personal aspects of their lives, so in an attempt to not disappoint my two and a half readers, I shall now consider a foray into such lands. Because of a family history of ovarian cancer, my doctor had my blood drawn for testing and had me set up an appointment for a sonogram the following day. I've seen those baby-having shows on TV where the mom has goo squirted on her tummy and they roll the thing around picking up a nice fuzzy picture of her innards.

My expectations were, of course, shattered when I showed up for my sono and heard the word "internal." Huh? Your putting that probe where? Granted, the images on the screen were entertaining for the first minute, but that got boring after a while.

When she was done, the technician says to me that my uterus looks good and my right ovary looks good, but that I have a cyst on my left ovary. "I don't want you to worry," she said. "Women get cysts all the time."

Fine, I had plenty of other things to worry about (like standing up in front of 37 people and making a complete fool out of myself), so worry, I did not. Then yesterday I got a letter from the doctor's office requesting that I call to set up another sono in two months (oh, goody). But heck, I'm still not going to worry because I do better worrying about the little insignificant things in life.

Like the darn upcoming poster project.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

2/4 Meme

As seen over at RussianViolets':

2 moments in your life you'd like to erase:

1. throwing up in the garbage can in Savannah on St. Paddy's Day
2. not telling Charles to go the HELL when he broke my heart

4 moments you'd like to relive:

1. summer session at Huntington Wildlife Forest
2. our Family Bonding Excursion out west (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Badlands, Black Hills, etc.)
3. camping at Raquette Lake as a kid
4. getting my own apartment in FL

2 places you wouldn't willingly go to again:

1. Los Angeles
2. DisneyWorld/Orlando

4 places you can't wait to visit:

1. Tuscany
2. Paris
3. the Southwestern US
4. Greece

2 foods you can't stand:

1. caraway seeds
2. cantaloupe

4 foods you love:

1. brownie batter
2. french fries
3. cheese (especially havarti & gouda)
4. dense, chewy bread

2 songs that make you change the station:

1. anything by Phil Collins
2. anything by Bette Midler

4 songs you play over and over:

1. "King of Spain" Moxy Fruvous
2. "My Heros Have Always Been Cowboys" Willie Nelson
3. "Bouncing Around the Room" PHISH
4. "No Rain" Blind Melon

2 books you'd never finish/read again:

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
2. Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

4 books you have read more than once, and/or will read again:

1. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
2. DragonFlight - Anne McCaffrey
3. A Ring of Endless Light - Madeleine L'Engle
4. Jane Eyre
- Charlotte Bronte

Friday, September 08, 2006

Oh, The Stress

It's times like these that I start second guessing my every decision.

Why am I taking this class? What was so wrong with my mundane, ordinary office job? Do I really need something more fulfilling? Did I really need mental stimulation?

And why did I get involved with this house-buying bullshit? What was so wrong with my current living arrangements? Do I really need space of my very own?

Why did I commit to volunteering this weekend when I have so much going on? Do they really need me? Shouldn't I be working on my presentation or reading chapter 9?

I know that all of these things will be worth it in the end, but right now, I'd like to forget about them and just flop on the couch and watch bad TV. Oh, for the days of old.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Student Again

I had my first class a week ago tonight. It's amazing how things have changed in the years since I got my bachelor's degree. A large part of the class will take place on the internet, even though it's a regular class and not distance learning.

I was pretty nervous walking into a classroom where I didn't know a soul (wouldn't you know the room had front access only, so I had to walk in front of a full room and the professor!). It was rather overwhelming at first, but after class let out I found the other women who were also taking the class as non-matriculated grads. We exchanged email addresses and commiserated on how out of the loop we felt.

In the last week, I've set up my access to the web portion of the class, taken part in an on-line discussion there, posted my wegpage there, and taken a quiz on chapter 7 there as well. Needless to say, I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the whole thing. Now I can focus my worrying on the poster project and other group assignments the professor mentioned in the first class.