Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Omega Quadrant? Lame, but holds an Interview!

I actually got a ton of stuff done today very early. Still only 1 of 6-8 pages written for my Shakespeare paper due tomorrow...but hey, 5 for 6 ain't bad. Does anyone else feel like a failure if they don't get up before 9 in the morning? I always feel like I've wasted half the day if I get up at 930 instead of 845.

POST EDIT SECTION: I just got an interview! For tomorrow at the daycare center that I thought I had lost the job at yesterday, because she called me back thinking she hadn't called me yesterday. 4pm tomorrow. I may have let her think things...like that I could get there, no doubt, by 1pm t-th-fr when really it'd be more like 115pm, and that I was an early childhood ed major instead of secondary. But hey, I got the interview...lol.

But some funnies!

First, you need to go see Monsters vs. Aliens. B and I went and saw it in 3D this week and it was HILARIOUS. There was so much adult humour in it that I have no idea how kids laughed at anything. It was amazing. Plus you get to wear these nifty glasses:


The Vietnamese woman who does my moms nails, whose name is Nikki, had this conversation with my mom yesterday about my cousin:

Nikki: You have niece who come here.
Mom: *blink blink*
Nikki: You niece, she come here. (not her real name but we'll say) Her name Patty.
Mom: Oh, does she? Yea, she's my niece.
*long pause*
Nikki: She kinda....different.

Nikki then got all embarrassed like she said something wrong as my mom busted out laughing. Patty is not one we speak highly of, and it's good to know that people who don't know her feel the same way :] and very funny!

Tax time at my parents house:

Mom: How much do we owe this year?
Dad: Actually, we're getting something back.
Mom: *long pause* Oh God, we're going to jail.

And this just plain scares me, as it was a grown woman and mother who said it:

"All my friends say they love Edward Cullen but I'm like, no that's stupid. I love Robert Pattinson because he's real."

...because having a love obsession with a fictional character is much better than a real obsession with a teen actor because of the fictional character he plays. And both are completely normal. ...I will be shipping a straight jacket her way immediately.

Moving on to the Expo.

Most the companies there were for full-time, graduate position as I figured they would be. But a couple weren't...and if any of them call or are within like a half hour from here I'll take them but I'm not holding my breath. And I definitely did not grab more information on the Peace Corps than any actual job, either, nor am I considering putting all my effort into volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters instead of getting a paying job. Because, why in the world would I do that?

I did get to wear a fabulous jacket today, though...


This is me dressed up. Fashion...is not really my thing. I'm more of a Target and Kohl's shopper than pricey brand name shopping (and by "more of" I mean I don't buy pricey brand name things). In fact, that's not even my jacket. It's my moms. And three sizes too big for me. Boots and jeans? Mine. Did the heels come off the instant I got home? Absolutely.

I'll probably post again tomorrow before I leave, but I fully intend on leaving the computer here while I'm gone so I'll be around on your blogs but probably won't post much on here :D (Of course that does means I'm loading you up with enough to hold you over beforehand).

No Job+Procrastination=Daily Blogging, Apparently.

Yes, apparently, this is a hearty combination that results in daily blogging. Are you excited? Because everyone knows my endless babbling is not enough every other day. :]

I am leaving on Thursday morning and heading to the Land O' Lobster to spend the remained of the week/weekend with my best friend. Distance? Yea, it sucks. So I'm fixing it. I will be flying out of an airport about an hour from here at 615am. Yes, you did hear me right. I know what you are thinking: 615am flight, have to get there two hours early: 415am, have to drive an hour first: 315am, have to get up and shower before departure: 215am. Right. TWO FIFTEEN AM. I'll add this to the list of things I should think about before booking a flight on impulse next time.

B is also headed to Delaware tomorrow for a base visit. Yea, we definitely planned this, because the Air Force always tells B exactly what's going on ahead of time so we know how to plan. (Sarcasm: just another service I offer.)

The list of things I must accomplish before leaving continues to grew daily:
-Write 6-8 page Shakespeare paper (due Wednesday. So far? 3 sentences)
-Do 9 loads of laundry (I have wayyy too many clothes...but it was nice during dorm days)
-Write a 5-7minute speech about the color yellow
-Fill out two scholarship applications, including 500 word essay.
-Do Art worksheet
-Attend Job Expo (Tuesday)
-Borrow a book from the shop for the trip. (believe it or not, totally legal)
-And, of course, pack. And the list will be longer tomorrow.

I was so close to a job today it was scary. It's a 1-7, M-F position at a daycare with infants and/or preschool kids. But, I have a stupid Shakespeare class until 315 on M-W, so I'd have to give up 2/5 days and she needed someone all five. Told me to call if anything 'changes'....you know, like if my professor suddenly dies or decides to impulsively buy a plane ticket somewhere far from here and not come back. But as I was complaining about this, one of my friends showed me this and it made me incredibly happy (it's worth the entire 1:25, please ignore the random language caption):


I had hoped to have the Huichol project done before I left, but I don't see me having the time, unfortunately. It currently is stuck at this point (excuse the crappy cellphone pic again, because I can't seem to find my camera USB cord, it's much cooler in person/on a real camera):


I'm sure you'll hear from me again before I depart :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Was Africa A Mission Trip? About Kenya.

I am asked that question every time Africa is mentioned. Was it a mission trip? No, it was not a mission trip. But, I figured in the past few months I have gotten enough questions about Africa, that I thought I might as well go ahead and tell the story. Not that I'm putting off a massive Shakespeare paper, or anything... (P.S. All of the photos/collages are clickable, and they go to a nice blowup version of them so you can actually see the pictures)

So, first things first, Africa was not a mission trip. It was, however, a service trip. It's what the British call a "Gap Year" trip, which is the year between high school and university that British kids spend traveling. I am not British, and I didn't go until several years later than a typical Gap Year-er would, but that's what it was intended for. I went with a group called Camps International that is based out of England, and I went with 11 other British kids that I had never met. I was in Kenya for one month, but was gone for upwards of six weeks because I hung out in England for awhile before hand. And I went during the tribal war that occurred last year over the Elections in Kenya, but we were far from the main violence areas.

Where

For most of the trip, we were in a little village called Muhaka. It's about an hour and a half from Mombasa, and is nearly in Tanzania.

We didn't stay in a hotel. We had a mud hut with open holes for windows that is pictured in this little collage below with other scenes from our camp area like our tree swing (which really became the "cellphone swing") and our beds covered with mosquito nets:

We had electricity at this camp, but it was only for lighting and charging phones/MP3 players. We also had water here--it came from a well, and while we were there the well collapsed so when we had water (which was about 70% of the time) it was 50/50 on whether it would be clean or muddy.

Muhaka Primary School Project

The first week, we worked on building another school room for the primary school in the area. We made the foundation out of broken up rocks, dust, and dirt before the cement was mixed and poured. This school had 400+ students, 8 grades, 6 teachers and 6 classrooms.

We finished the foundation, and the next month the wall frames went up.

Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary Project

Mwaluganje has the largest concentration of elephants in all of Africa. Here, we stayed in tents and had 3 hours of electricity a day. We learned quickly to go to bed at sundown and get up at sunrise. We brought our own water. Here, we planted trees around the perimeter of the sanctuary to try to keep the elephants in (it was during this that I was stung by a gigantic ant), as people who live in the communities surrounding it are constantly being killed by the elephants. We also made elephant dung paper and notebooks to sell at the gift hut, ran an elephant census, and got our butts handed too us in volleyball by the local primary school kids.


Chanukeni Orphanage Project

This was the newest project that had just started the month I got there, so it was very underdeveloped. We worked on mixing concrete and pouring a foundation. We also played with the kids. A lot. The orphanage had one room, and it served as a school room mostly. I was very confused on where these kids stayed at night...nothing was very clear here. But, they loved bubbles and iPods!


Tsavo Wildlife National Park

This is like Yellowstone, only HUGE and with cooler animals...and dirt roads. Ok, it's not at all like Yellowstone but let's pretend it was a good reference. This was our safari. We did nothing by way of service for this, but it was 2 days of safari. We didn't stay in Tsavo, as that's illegal if not at the lounge, but we stayed at a different camp (whose name escapes me...I'll have to figure that out. I think it was called TES but I can't remember what it stood for) 3 hours away, so each morning we left around 5am to get to Tsavo. In this camp we had electricity until late night, and then it went off until 430am when the lights flew on and woke us up like it was a UFO landing on our faces. And, not only did we have water here, but it was luke warm in the shower, we had Coke to drink with dinner, and real food--it was like a dream! This is where we stayed, and views around that area (and the specifics for Tsavo):


And this is a ridiculously small sample of the animals we saw at Tsavo (if I don't limit myself on pictures, you'd see my entire album):


Cultural Day

The families in Muhaka set this up for us and it was amazing. The best experience of the entire trip. We spent the entire day living the lives of Africans. We farmed, cooked, took care of the babies and kids, wore the proper clothing, fetched water (and carried it on our heads), the men hunted (and brought back a turtle...), and it was just the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life. Afterwards, although I didn't do a collage with pictures of it, we visited the local witch doctor and then climbed coconut trees to get the sap/wine from the tap at the top. And by climbed, I definitely mean we went 6 feet up and then chickened out and let the natives get the Palm Wine for us (which, I must say, is thoroughly disgusting wine).


Marine Conservation Project

This was our last project, and was the last week of my trip. We did research in the mangroves, which is what all the pictures in this next little collage are from (even the guy walking through the ocean) except the picture of the house. Marine required that we stay in a new camp on Diani Beach called Chale, and that was what our house looked like. It was actually very nice, and I loved it. Unfortunately I didn't get to do anything more than the mangroves with this project and missed the big Mombasa trip that weekend because on my second day at Chale, after being sick for 4 days, the camp staff finally decided I had to go to the hospital no matter how many times I told them no and I was there for a few days. I wish now that I had documented that experience, too, because when else are you going to be able to say "I had third world medical treatment" (I mean, besides every time there is ever a blood drive or hoxworth calls you asking for your blood and you have to turn them down because of it, of course)? I took a couple pictures (and I mean I have two pictures from the hospital) but I was just so sick I couldn't have cared less about taking pictures.


Of course, we had time when we just got to hang around and be leisurely, as well. We hung out mostly in a place called Forty Thieves Beach Bar on Diani Beach (they had pizza!) and at a place called Tiwi River with a group of South Africans we had met (and their friend, the European face of Nivea). And we rode camels.



All-in-all I loved it! I would love to go back, and still keep in contact with many of the Kenyans I met. However, since I'm still trying to pay for the first trip, if I go back it won't be for a looong time. I tried to keep things short yet explanatory, because I really don't shut up once I get on this subject, but if you guys want to know more about anything just ask and I'll answer! :D And I limited the pictures a lot, but I have them all online, so if anyone wants to see them just let me know and I'll send you the link and password!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hullabaloo!

I used that word yesterday, and I was not trying to be funny. It just came out, like it was a normal, everyday word for me. I suddenly feel as though I should be wearing a poodle skirt.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging messages on the last post regarding my, um, new role as a stay-at-home student. I won't say I'm entirely over being bitter about the situation, but I don't base all of my thoughts on it anymore (you know, there's that whole sleeping period where I have no control over them ;]) so I'm getting there. I waited until the next day to remind myself that there are starving children in Africa and then it was all better. Of course, it helps that I've met some African kiddies who have it hard, and are just so darn cute that I must show them to you:

^Mwanaidi

^Alfon (2 months old) on my back...excuse the get-up, that's proper.

^A couple kids at the orphanage. Please don't focus on my hair...I was actually really sick that day. (The only time I've ever been glad for the statement "TIA," aka "This Is Africa"...aka we don't care what we look like.)

But, anyway, now that we have seen all the cute children, back to less important things like...a job. The search will start again on Monday, although I have no idea where, and hopefully will hit on something. I know there is a new pub that just opened up in our general area that is looking for everything from hostesses to bartenders, and I'm willing to bet I'd make a lot of money there due to it's location. However, B has formally forbade me from working at a pub (because he's a jealous fool). Is it bad that that kind of makes me want to do it even more? Hmm!

I'll keep you updated on how things go, but for now I'm going to hop off here and work on a huge Huichol yarn art studio project (of which, you will be receiving pictures of upon it's completion) that will eventually look like a slightly-less-detailed version of this:

Ciao!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

For Unemployment, Please Press 1 (Por Espanol, Prensa Dos)

I lost my job tonight. I wish wholeheartedly that I could say this surprised me, but it doesn't. I think, and this is solely from what I can see and make assumptions of, that our company is in trouble. We only sell three things (all media) and we're clearancing out our entire stock of one of them, and a good part of another, and the reason all the people in my department were laid off today was because of a 350 hour budget cut for April. That's...insane.

I guess I should probably clarify and say that I did not actually lose the job. They just didn't schedule any of us for the month of April. My manager came up and talked to me today and said "hopefully it will only be for a month." Well, if you have ears or eyes that function, you know the economy is not getting better (Where the crap is the Easy Button for that?!) and if it only last a month I'll be the first to admit how very wrong I was, but I don't see that happening. That's basically like a "sorry we had to can you because no one has any money, but you can keep your health insurance and discount for at least a month" story. I mean, I was only getting 12 hours a week anymore as it was, but that was 12 hours...and that was enough to keep my bank from knocking on my door demanding money. I literally had $9 in the bank yesterday. $9. This is not a good scenario.

Between the time that I found this out tonight, 30 seconds before my shift, and the time I told B...maybe half an hour later...I went from "eh, whatever" to "holy crap, what am I going to do?" to "if anyone says one word to me about this, I'm going to cry and be that girly hormonal chick who cries at work" to "I really want ice cream after this, but I can't afford it." But then I told B and, bless the man of greatness, he knows me way too well and his first instinct was to offer to take me out for ice cream after my shift (he also brought me a rose. have I mentioned how much I love this man lately??). I thought I had completely suppressed by awesome emotional state when my manager came over and apologized for having to cut all of us, but I was apparently wrong, because it took all of maybe 20 seconds for my eyes to tear up. But I was tactful and grabbed my water bottle and took a drink while he was talking and straightened things to avoid both the conversation and looking him in the eye, and I never passed the tear up stage. Phew.

I don't know where I will go from here. I also lost the job I was to have this summer this week, which was a fantastic addition to my Unmentionable Monday (returning people suck). I was serious the last time I said something about looking for a second job--I was looking, I put out applications, and got a couple hits but they weren't things I could logically do (i.e. full time, office 8-5 hours, etc. etc.). I'm currently trying to get a part-time position at an 8-5 medical office where they need a full-time position, but so far have been unsuccessful at persuading.

I know I'll figure it out, but right now I am not bothering to look at the happy side. Tomorrow, I'll be smiling and fine. Today, I'm embracing my whiney side.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When Money Overpowers Brain

The discovery of the house in the last post (which, by the way, has a total of 18 rooms in it and is, actually, gorgeous and zoned for commercial property...not that I looked, or anything...) made me want to flip through a few other houses in the pricier neighbors surrounding our city to see what they are going for and how extravagant they really get. The conclusion: people have wayyy more money than sense.

I mean, come on. Unless your name is Harry Potter or you are running a real Hogwarts (in which case I suggest you also build a white padded room), what the crap do you need with a Great Room?


And how much traffic are they anticipating on these stairs?


Never fear, rush hour stair traffic! You can always take the elevator!


Although I'm pretty sure I've figured out the logic behind this pool being so far away from this house. You're dry by the time you get back inside. Never fear, all-wood floors!


All I have to say is I hope they plan on fixing all the holes in this wall whenever someone with a butler (to use the butler/service kitchen, of course) decides to buy this house. I can't blame them, though, I'd need pictures to remind me of what all the other rooms and inhabitants looked like if I lived here, too.


And for the record, if you 'only' have 9 bedrooms...why in the world would you need 8 full baths and 4 half baths? Just in case 3 friends are visiting and everyone conveniently has to pee at the same time?? But, why do you need all those bedrooms anyway? Unless you breed like The Duggars, you don't. And from what I've ever seen...if you breed like the Duggars, you can't afford that many bedrooms.

So where are these random millionaires breeding like rabbits? And how can I get one to adopt me and then leave me all their money? ;]

P.S. None of the homes showed here were below $5,000,000.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And Today Was a Day Just Like Any Other

Yesterday, however, was like a day from the devil and I'm currently pretending like it never happened. Which is working out fantastically for me :) And this post says absolutely nothing of importance, except the link, and is only for me to blog about today and ignore yesterday!

Firsly, however, please hop over to MckMama's blog and keep her and her family in your thoughts. Her youngest child, Stellan (aka MckMiracle) was placed in the PICU yesterday and having life-threatening heart problems.

Today was actually quite nice. I had actual plans, and didn't actually do them (which happens about 80% of the time) because I got a call this morning that Lily, my four year old cousin, got sick at school. Also that my Grandmother needed to run errands, which is rather difficult to do without a car. Translation: leave Lily with her and go run her errands (she also called me yesterday because someone had left Baby K, the 6 month old with serious separation issues, with her and she wouldn't stop screaming).

This actually turned out to be kind of nice, because I needed to go get gas and since it just went up today to $2.09 a gallon, I needed to go the direction my Gram needed me to go because that's where the Kroger Gas Station is, where I have a $.10 per gallon discount (thanks to the Kroger card I have, the ownership I do not know...I found it on the ground one day and they never use their point so I figure it's free game ;]). Then I stopped at the post office, and ran over to the IKEA (it's about 45 minutes from my house) and got some hotdogs for lunch. Have you ever had IKEA hotdogs? They are the best hotdogs I've ever had. And it's $2.50 for two hotdogs, a soda and a bag of chips. And yes, I would drive all the way over there for the IKEA hotdogs.

But while I was over there, I thought I'd stop by my old work since it was only about 15 minutes farther. On the way I was the recipient of a seriously excited wave from a guy in a truck who obviously thought he knew me, so I waved back because the look on his face said he was so excited to see whoever he thought I was that he could have possibly peed his pants. But it was very nice to see my old coworkers (Er...Alison), because they are fantastic, and I kind of miss being there. Kind of.

On the way back home I found this adorable new little tea place with a catchy name and stopped for some Chai. Met the owner, and he's a ridiculously nice guy, and found out it's not a chain and has no plans on becoming one. It has a bakery and such inside as well as all kinds of coffee and tea. I approve. I shall be returning.

And I also found this house. It's a gorgeous, Victorian style, amazing house. It's for sale. It's location is absolutely horrendous, however, which explains why they are having problems selling it. It's right next to the highway and surrounded by multiple truck factories with dirt roads and 9823982392893 cars pass every 2 minutes, I'm sure. But, it doesn't change the fact that it's gorgeous. You'll have to excuse the horrible picture as I took it with my cell phone....while I was driving. ...don't act like you've never done it.

EDIT: I just found the house on the realtor website. So this picture is better. Also, they could be having a hard time selling it because it's listed for $750,000. Excuse me while I laugh histerically. It was built in 1904.

The inside foyer and staircase:


Then I ran home to poor sick Lily, and although I try my best to stay away from sick kids, I usually fail. Lily is four years old and sick, and all she wants to do is be held. So, that's what she got. Aka I would not be surprised if I ended up with her awesome illness.

(we entertain ourselves with cellphone cameras)

I just left her with her aunt maybe fifteen minutes ago, because I have to work in 45 minutes. However, I'm blogging instead of getting ready for it. I did actually shower today, but I just threw my hair up into a messy bun without drying it and pulled on a tank top and jeans. The only time I ever go to work with my hair looking like this is when I'm sick. So I guess it counts because Lily is sick?? Yes, I say that's a decent logic! I've also accomplished exactly 0% of the schoolwork due tomorrow. And I'm positive B is pissed at me, because it was plans with him that got canceled. Although I feel like he should be used to this by now, I can't even begin to tell you how many of our plans get overruled by children and/or family things. But, that's life! And this was a boring post!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Awards and Things!

This week I had this award kindly bestowed upon me by the fantastic girly over at High Heels & Combat Boots! Thanks, lady!



I guess that means I have to come up with my 7 most favorite things ;)

1. Creatures in the infant or toddler stage. Really, anything this age. This includes children, puppies, kitties, hamsters, birds...if it's little and has that awkward head-too-large-for-body-size thing that Mickey Mouse has evolved into, I love it. This rule, however, does not apply to creatures with more than four legs or less than two.

2. Grilled Cheese. This was my first love, and will be my last. I am constantly made fun of for going to nice restaurants and ordering a grilled cheese. Even places without grilled cheese on their menu, I can probably be found asking for it anyway. And yes, it is usually from the kids menu. And yes, I am secretly 10 years old still.

3. My family. We are crazy, nuts, and 99% of the time there is a huge tiff (currently it's the fact that too many of the guys want to use the barn at the same time and no one wants to clean it...life altering). But we love each other, I love the way I grew up, and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. Some people think we're nuts for all living on the same road right next to each other, and from the outside I can easily see this, but from the inside I'm very glad it's like this.

4. My friends. I don't see them as often as I used too, and many don't live anywhere close to me anymore, but the few I still keep in decent contact with know when something's going on before I tell them, and are always there. Especially my bestie. They are amazing.

5. Boy Meets World. When the crap are all the seasons going to be released? Seriously?!

6. Music. Country, pop, rock, alternative, jazz, score, even rap on occasion...anything. I love it, and I need it, and I have it all the time (even now, sitting here, there is music playing). Especially 90's music--it melts my soul.

7. B. No one is better. We've known each other for 9 years, and he knows exactly who I am...and he loves me despite it. He's there when I need him, and there when I don't. He accepts the fact that I never remember our anniversary, and that he does more future-talk than I do, and lets me have control of the radio in both cars. If I ask him to do something with me, even if he really doesn't want to, he willing does it because he knows it's important to me. He is amazing, and the most important thing in the world to me.

Now to tag my 7 people...

1. Lindsay over at And we'll just laugh along the way...
2. Melissa over at New Girl On Post
3. D.A.R. at Just Another Day in Paradise
4. Air Force Wife at Sunflowers and Dragonflies
5. Emily at Of Course I Like You
6. Meshele at Intimations in the Intime
7. Jay at halftime lessons

Thanks! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Meant for Me, This Dress Was.

(First...do you see the new background? And does it look huge to you? I swear I followed the directions, but it looks oversized to me...)

That's right! I went on Monday to Dillard's (which I try to avoid at all costs, but they tend to have more gowns that look less like a crayon thrown up all over them than most other stores) and found a Dining Out dress! Please excuse the excessive italics used to show dramatic effect in the following paragraph..

I walked in, and I saw it from afar like we were long lost lovers. It was the only one in that style. And I walked over with Angelica and I said "It's probably like a size four, as if anyone can actually wear that size." No, no. I checked, and double checked, and triple checked and it was my size! Plus it had the magic tag on it: the 70% off tag. And then I thought 'well, it couldn't possibly look good on me, it's meant for boobless women.' But just for kicks, I took it into the dressing room and tried it on--figured I might as well start out my gown search with a real loser. Well, lo and behold, sucker had a built in bra! So I bought it. And I love it :D



I won't lie, I did alter the front a little. Because it is meant for those random boobless women (who I despise, just for the record) and I felt it was slightly too much of the cleavage for a formal military night, so I closed the front up just a little bit. It even has a little trail in the back that's amazing (which means I'll be tripping over it all evening, but I still have unconditional love for it). Of course, I'll post pictures afterwards!

Moving on...

It was 70 degrees and gorgeous for a few days here this week! I am so happy in the heat. Sooo happy. I'm pretty sure if I had any kind of disorder (or syndrome or whatever they are calling them these days to avoid calling them "pleaseplaceyourselfintoastraightjacketimmediatelydisease") it would be that seasonal thing where certain seasons are depressing. I mean, I could win the lottery on a day when it's 5 degrees outside and still not be as happy as I would without the lottery on the first 70 degree day of spring. It's sad, but true.

Also, paint.net lost and I removed the program from my computer. However, I'm impatient and want to remake the background (which did not save, by the way), so I might give it another go tonight or tomorrow. Might. ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Technology Wins Again

I was introduced to this fabulous knockoff, free photoshop-like program called Paint.net today from thecutestblogontheblock.com. I have never used photoshop, I have never used gimp, I have never used anything for anything other than Microsoft Paint and the Kodak picture editor program that came with my digicam four years ago.

So, after spending an hour pretending to learn what the crap I was doing on Paint.net, my Norton Security Scan decided to run. It has never, ever run before...three years, not one scan. Instant freezage of the Paint.net program.

I spent another hour trying to finish the background I was making by making one movement every five minutes, when it decided to unfreeze to let me anyway. Failure. I finally just shut it down when I got home a half an hour ago. I'm hoping it saved, but I'm not crossing my fingers. It's a shame, too. It was an adorable background I made using a kit from Tony's Mama Designs.

Although I suppose it's just as well, as I have no idea what I'm doing and it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. I need teknulogy edumacation.

P.S. If you are reading this and the background is actually different than it was before, I regained some patience and fixed it :) Or killed it...depending on what you see...

Monday, March 16, 2009

This Will Be (A Post About My Everlasting Love for Florida)

As promised, pictures and fun times!

First, the most important thing: the ocean.

It wasn't clearwater, but it was a small, non-crowded, five minute drive away beach that burnt me just the same (trust me). I'd post pictures of the burn, but then you'd see my leg.

Spent most of the time hanging around with the family. Apparently the cool thing to do in florida two years ago was to get pregnant have have a boy...at least in my family...because we have three boys: 18 months, 15 months, 12 months...all in Florida. And they are all equally adorable. My favorite kid pic (the 12 month old):


But on Friday we went to the Flea Market. I know what you are thinking and no, I am not a hillbilly. Well...not that big of one, anyway. But I love Flea Markets because you can find some of the most unique things at prices that are at least closer to what you should have to pay for them. My purchases (except the dog crate in the back...that was not mine):

The bracelets are actually magnetic, and you unravel them and then roll them back around your wrist or neck or ankle or wherever you want. For $1 each, I decided I could have them. The elephant is spectacular and goes amazingly well in my room (I should probably take a picture of my room so that you understand this...maybe next post haha). The hat is for B, because he certainly does not have enough Air Force hats and I certainly did not just buy him another one a month ago. The bag was just too adorable to pass up. The other things I probably could have left there and not have been hurting, but then I would have been disappointed :]
I also fell in love with this dog while there, an 11 week old siberian husky/retreiver mix:


But onto Busch Gardens - Africa!



This place was awesome! So gorgeous, and had some of the best exhibits (attractions? I don't know what to call things in a zoo/amusement park). They just opened a new thing called Jungalla, which is a Bengal Tiger exhibit. underneath the main area there is a place where there is a bubble stuck up into the middle of the exhibit and you can go up into the bubble (just big enough for one person) and get up close and personal with the tigers. Well, while we were there the tiger decided to lay on top of the bubble.

(p.s I have no idea who that child is, but I thank him for posing automatically for my photo)
The tigers were very cool.

(things I need: a camera that will let me have control over the focus)
The gorillas were fascinating as well:

And these elephants made my life:

Bang Head Here
The landscaping was absolutely gorgeous:

Although I was unaware that there were electric lanterns on stone walls in Africa. But, this was also very close to the "Stanleyville trainstation". Because everyone knows the famous Stanleyville, Africa.


And there you have it! A weeks worth of photos! ...well, 6% of the weeks worth of photos :]

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shrimped Lobster Diving

A few incredibly short things:

I spent more money at the flea market down here than I did the mall. And I got a seriously amazing elephant that I will post pictures of next week when I'm home. :)

I cannot eat fish when it looks like a fish, and I do not really enjoy it when it doesn't. My vegetarian friends find this thoroughly fascinating and don't understand why I am not one because of it.

I absolutely hate the new facebook. They just changed the damn homepage a few months ago, can't they just leave it alone? I barely got a hang of that one as it was. I'm considering running a little boycott, because I don't have time to figure it out, and it's making the computer incredibly slow.

Technology and I are not people who keep up with each other. I do not have a twitter, and just recently started hearing about it and have no idea what it is. I had to look up what "FML" meant when it started showing up all over facebook. I have a playstation (the original, thankyouverymuch), and the cheapest laptop I could get at the time, and when it freezes, I just turn it off and hope it fixes itself. I think I'm getting old.

Upon my return on Sunday I am fully prepared to promise B a year of no-air-force-hat-buying-for-him because everytime I go somewhere I come home with one and his collection is ridiculously large now (But I find the coolest ones, I just can't pass them up!)

I also come home with many books that I could have bought at home for cheaper.

Men in Florida have zero confidence issues. And I apparently appear to be a native.

B got the list of bases that house his top job choice. The closest one to us? Georgia. Which is actually great, because I have family in Georgia and my parents are there often to visit--and my family there has a beach house in NC that we would most likely be granted access to :) Everything else is out West or in Delaware.

Heading to Busch Gardens tomorrow (never made it Thursday) and then driving into Georgia directly from there.

B and I may be coming back down here to the keys to do some SCUBA in August. Lobster diving. Although, I have zero idea what Lobster diving entails.

My best friend is leaving for Turkey tomorrow. I'm excited for her. But nervous that I won't hear from here for two weeks!

I 100% love the 80 degree weather down here and would have no problem with it all year round. But, I am incredibly ready to be home with B and my family. It would be different if I was with people I typically spend time with, but I'm very out of my element since I haven't been here or traveled with my father in 7 years, and it's nerve wrecking. I'm very ready to go home and have normal conversations with normal people.

/whine. ;]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Worst Lies I Tell Myself

Every year, without fail, I tell myself a mixture of these lies upon my first encounter with the heat that I love so much:

"15 is good enough sunscreen."
"It's not that hot out."
"I'm not burnt, I'm barely even brown!"
"I don't need sunscreen on my stomach."
"Nah, my legs aren't burning. They're just red 'cause they're hot."
"Take aloe? No, I won't need it."

This year was no exception. I just got back from spending a glorious four hours on a little tiny beach (because the water is too cold to swim in anyway). I did put sunscreen on my face, because it always burns, and a little bit on my shoulders because it really, really sucks to put a bra on burnt shoulders. But I ignored my legs and my belly, and spent most the time sitting in a (devil) chair so my back is fine and my front is completely burnt. My Italian/Czech (or as my relatives down here say, "Eye-talian") half is easily coaxed into brown-ness, but the German/Welsh half of me fights it and immediately turns my brown to red upon prolonged sun exposure. Damn Germans. ;)

(I was affectionately referred to in these sentencee today: "Via, you're already brown! You little shit.")

Yup, learned my lesson this year, yet again!

Florida is glorious, though. It's turned out to be wonderful weather this week (in the 80's and sunny with no rain, in fact they are in the middle of a drought!). Thinking of venturing out to Busch Gardens tomorrow (...and wearing 50 sunscreen).

Hopefully I'll have some good pictures up for ya by next week!

-Via

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bon Voyage! And other tales.

The weekend went wonderfully! Really!

Friday night we headed off to the circus, and E was a perfect child the whole night. No sarcasm included here. He was every parents best dream. Really! So much so that I was afraid he wasn't feeling well. He's star at the circus, looking completely bored, and then he'd suddenly turn around to me and say "I love the circus, don't you love the circus?!" and I'd agree and then he throw out an incredibly quick "I love you." for no reason and turn his attention back to the circus. Repeat this process every five minutes for the first half of the show. He didn't ask for one thing the whole night. Cotton candy, snocones, flashing toys...they all went by, and he didn't even hint to wanting any of it. It was my decision to get the snocone and the flashing sword for him, he didn't ask for it. I couldn't believe how great of a kid he was.

Things that suck: my camera in the dark.

The best part of the night, though, was thirty seconds after we sat down. There was a clown out who had kicked off his shoes and was trying to show us the holes in his socks. A little kid, maybe five or six years old, that was sitting behind us goes:
"We don't care 'boutcho feet!"
I laughed for upwards of ten minutes.

B got his new car. A mazda 3, 2009. It has good cupholders. But no powerlocks or powerwindows. He promptly pointed out the carseat holster in the back to me, however. I have no idea how I got so lucky to find a guy who likes kids as much as I do.


And Baby B came about two hours after E left on Saturday. She was a delight all weekend. Happy as a clam (...although, I really don't understand how a clam can be happy) and just giggly the whole time.


(yes, that is me in shorts. why? because it was 75 degrees out yesterday. the baby in socks is Baby B's cousin K. and the jeans is my mom.)
And she learned how to play the organ, and got a little Stevie Wonder/Ray Charles on me (excuse the darkness. things that also suck: my video camera):

Also, Beyonce makes all things better:

(and I keep forgetting that I can't take a portrait video)

And I have just finished packing, and have decided that I packed more skirts than I even knew I owned. I don't know how to pack for heat anymore, since it's been winter here for an eternity lately. ;] But I did my best. And I'm sure I'm forgetting something I'll regret later. Off in the morning!