Friday, February 27, 2009

Where Did The Time Go?!?

...oy. When I realized how long it had been since I posted in my blog, I just about squeaked. However, I DID end up getting an A+ in English Comp and an A- in Anthropology (which I was firmly convinced I would be getting a B in!). This semester I am taking Astronomy, and it is a COMPLETELY different beast. I might actually not get such a hot grade in this class and it kinda scares me. The tests over each unit do NOT match the information in our books so when you go to take the test, it's easy to get like a 70 percent on the quiz. "All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me" to quote Elvis. Oh well. Just gotta keep on truckin'!"

And what in the HELL is up with another season of "Dancing With The Stars" and there being no frickin' Fabian?!? I was REALLY hoping he would be back this season but alas, it was not to be. However, Dimitry is pretty cool so I might tune in to see him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Time At A Premium!

Oy...I haven't blogged recently. Eeek! My two online classes are eating most of my free time these days. I'm taking English Composition 101 and Introduction to Anthropology with Music Appreciation and Astronomy to follow in January.

It's the rainy season in Washington and the joke is that we're going to have to build an ark soon if it keeps up like this! The cloudy days don't really bother me, though.

I have a little bit of a social life now...woo hoo! Been going to some church things as well as hanging out with some pals from work. In fact, me and one of the people I work with along with their girlfriend have a date with a Dance, Dance Revolution machine in the mall on Thursday. I will prevail!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Food Meme!

1. Venison: Yes
2. Nettle tea: Nope
3. Steak tartare: No. I like my meat dead, thanks.
4. Alligator: Yep
5. Black pudding: No! *shudder*
6. Raclette: No...what is it, anyway?
7. Natto: No
8. Carp: No
9. Borscht: Sadly, yes
10. Baba ghanoush:
11. Calamari: Yes...yum!
12. Pho: Nope
13. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich: Yep.
14. Allo gobi: No
15. Dirty water dogs from a street cart: Eww~ No~
16. Epoisses de Bourgogne: Nuh uh.
17. Black truffle: Nope.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes: Nope!
19. Steamed pork buns: No
20. Green tea ice cream: No
21. Ugli fruit: Yes. Love it!
22. Fresh, wild berries: Yes
23. Foie gras: Nope
24. Gumbo: Oh yeah, baby!!!
25. Head cheese: HELL no.
26. Raw habanero: Yep
27. Dulce de leche: Yep
28. Raw oysters: Never
29. Baklava: Oh yes.
30. Bagna cauda: No
31. Wasabi peas: Yep
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl: Yep
33. Salted lassi: No
34. Kim chee: Yep
35. Kangaroo: Nope
36. Cognac: Eesh, no way!
37. Clotted cream: Bleck. No!
38. Jello shots: Nope.
39. Buttermilk straight: Oh good lord no.
40. Oxtail: Nope
41. Curried goat: No
42. Insects: Does a chocolate covered grasshopper count?
43. Phaal: No
44. Goat's milk: No...unless goat cheese counts!
45. Whiskey that cost more than $200 a bottle: Nope. That's not how I roll.
46. Fugu: No
47. Chicken tikka masala: Yes. Mmmmm....tasty...
48. Eel: Ick! No!
49. Warm Krispy Kreme original glazed donut: Yeah...but Tim Horton's is better.
50. Sea urchin roe: Uh, no way Jose.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Little Different Blog...

Well, despite my best efforts, my blog got me into trouble with The Man at work, so sadly I had to go through a delete a lot of my best entries. I shall have to find a way to be more vague, and sneaky I suppose.

Not too much happening...I don't think I'll be watching Dancing With The Stars this year. No Jonathan Roberts, and no Fabian Sanchez!!!! Plus, I thought that for the most part, the cast wasn't one that I would particularly care about when all was said and done. Drat.

In September, I start 2 more online classes, English Composition 101 and Introduction to Anthropology. I got a 4.0 in History 101 this summer, so all is good!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Meme

6 Unspectacular Quirks, courtesy of Leigh's Blog.

1. I have to separate my M&M's by color, and eat the blue ones last. Always.
2. Whenever I eat any kind of snack, I have to end on an even number, i.e. if I just ate one, I have to eat two to finish.
3. I HATE wearing socks, so I go barefoot. Even in winter (at least indoors)
4. Whenever I sit down, I always have to move some part of my body, like swing my leg back and forth, or even just move my foot. Sitting perfectly still would be TORTURE!
5. While listening to music in the car, I have to wait for the song to finish before I will get out upon reaching my destination.
6. When I play the trumpet, I subconsciously raise my eyebrows when I go for the high notes. Occasionally, I will actually look upward. According to my band teacher back in high school, I looked like I was praying to the trumpet gods to just let the note come out!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

5 Favorite Things

1. Not being sick. I have a cold right now and I REALLY hate having to blow my nose every two seconds...gross!

2. Reading. I love to pick up books on any subject under the sun, curl up, and either learn something new or else allow myself to be swept off on an adventure.

3. Music. I've been playing the piano since I was 8, and music has always been an intrinsic part of my life. Even as a little kid, I remember my mother playing "The Blue Danube Waltz" on the piano and I would spin around in circles until I got dizzy. She would also play ragtime and I would bounce around the living room. Music is how I relax, or even get myself ready for my day. I associate memories and people with songs. Music is pretty much everything to me.

4. Laughter. A lot of times, things may look very bleak but if you can just laugh about it, somehow it seems less bad. Laughter can truly be good medicine and it's also a way for people to come together. I've found that sharing something funny with people and laughing with them about it encourages them to share something of themselves as well. It's a great equalizer.

5. Friends. There are times in my life when I NEVER would have made it through without friends around me, constantly supporting me, trying to help me when they could, and just generally making sure things were okay. I wouldn't trade any of my friends for the world.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Relay For Life

Today and yesterday were my town's Relay For Life days at the high school track. Our store donated money and asked people, if they could spare the time, to go down and walk. My Aunt Christine is a cancer survivor, so I said of course I would.

Since we're a grocery store, our team motto was "Pushing For A Cure" and someone would push a shopping cart as they walked. I took it for 5 and a half miles today and just thought about what my life would have been like without my aunt.

For those of you who don't know my Aunt Chrissy, let me tell you a little bit about her. She's always been a joker and someone who likes to make other people laugh. She was always the aunt who would get me the new game for my GameBoy or Sega that I wanted instead of books or clothes.

I still remember being sat down and told that she had cancer. It was a scary word then and it still scares me now. She had breast cancer and had to have some of her lymphnods removed. As a result, she doesn't have feeling in the upper part of her left arm.

But she was able to joke about it, and get through it. Everytime I get a present from her, I can hear her laugh in my mind and I smile, grateful that she's still around.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day Off and Underrated Musician

Today was a day off for me, so I picked up my check, deposited it, went to the library (one of my most FAVORITE places on earth), bought some new socks, made a payment on my college loan, and did some housework.

I've started reading my way through Madeline L'Engle's Time Quartet, starting the first book, A Wrinkle In Time. For those of you who've never read this book, I can't say enough about it. It's got science fiction elements to it, but it's not all about robots and spaceships.

For my underrated music pick, I decided to go with a guy that I was introduced to by the Disney movie "Enchanted". His name is Jon McLaughlin and if you've seen the movie, he was the guy that was singing the song in the ballroom when Giselle and Robert are dancing at the King and Queen's Ball. He plays the piano and writes his own material, which I highly respect and his first single, "Beautiful Disaster", talks about how the media expects girls to change and be things that they're not, a topic that not many people talk about so he gets brownie points from me for that. In my music, I like it to either make me feel good, or have something to say and Jon's music does that for me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Online History Class and Reflections

I'm starting an Online History 101 class online the 19th and I'm looking forward to it, but at the same, it's sort of a downer. Most of my friends will be graduating next year...and here I am, a freshman for the second time. Part of it was beyond my control, but part of it wasn't.

I don't know how many people really read this blog, but I guess the whole point is to share and put yourself out here I go.

I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Clinical and Manic depression. I flunked out of college and when I returned home, everyone knew something was wrong we me. I had graduated 10th in my class in high school, an Illinois State Scholar and various other achievements and this failure was shocking to them.

After talking to a counselor, the diagnosis was made. Some people might have been upset...but for me, it was strangely liberating. I FINALLY knew why I sometimes felt the way I did and I also finally knew...that it wasn't because there was something wrong with me.

I faced a crossroads; I could either curl up in a ball and rail against my circumstances, or I could say, "Okay. I have this disease. I will have it for the rest of my life and nothing is going to change that. How can I better cope with this?"

I chose the latter. I've been off medication (since it really only helps short term) for almost 2 years now. I do a lot of things to try and naturally boost Seratonin (the chemical my brain lacks) production like eat foods rich in Vitamins B and C and get out every day. It hasn't been easy, but I think that I finally might be able to get my life in some semblance of order now.

From one year of school, I took out a 13 thousand dollar loan...and flunked out. So I've been paying on that for the last 3 years and only now, with my DOL job, will I be able to have it finally off my back. Yeah, there are some crummy things about my job, but I can't and won't complain (too much, anyway). For having no education, this is going to mean that once a year is up, I'll be debt free...and I'm really looking forward to being able to remember what it feels like to not have this monkey on my back.

So I guess in closing, I'd just like to tell people that depression is a LOT more than just "feeling sad". Imagine your worst day, multiply it by two, then imagine feeling like that for weeks, even months at a time. That's what I, and people like me face on a regular basis. And a lot of times, we don't know when it's coming next. Sometimes events spark it off, but other times, it'll come on of it's own accord. I wish that more would be said about it so people would know the symptoms and be able to alert those who can help. I had two great roommates, but they didn't know who to call and get help for me.

Parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles of college bound to them about this. There's something called "situational depression" which people can get when they go through a drastic change and they don't really have the full blown condition that I do. If it doesn't happen to them, statisically speaking, it WILL happen to someone they know. I figure if by sharing my story, one person doesn't have to go through what I'll all be worth it.

I don't say this to get sympathy or to have people feel sorry for me. It is what it is and I've accepted that. But not a lot of people are willing to talk about this, and I if you have questions, PLEASE ask me. I'm happy to answer. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thursday Thirteen

A) Four places that I go to over and over: Work, the mall, the bank, church.

B) Four people who regularly e-mail me: Rachel, my Yahoo Groups, blogs peeps, Facebook

C) My favorite places to eat: El Ranchito, Pad Thai, Hawaiian Noodle House, Ivar's Seafood

D) Four places I'd like to be right now: North Bay Ontario Canada, Nice France, Anywhere in the South, New York.

E) Four people you will tag: Hmmmm....dunno.

F) Four TV shows I watch all the time: JAG, NCIS, Star Trek (any incarnation), Law and Order.

G) Top four priorities in life are: God, Family, getting my debt gone, staying healthy.

H) Four people I would like to meet in my lifetime: Garth Nix (one of my favorite authors), James Taylor, Josh Turner, Fabian Sanchez.

I)If you could bring back the dead, what four would you invite over to chat with? My sister Col, brother Steve, friends Nicole and Daniel.

J) Four favorite pieces of Clothing: Shorts, t-shirt, baseball cap, nice socks.

K)If you were stuck on a dessert island, what four Cd's would you hopefully have with you? The Greatest Hits of Bobby Darin, "Welcome To The Monkey House" by the Dandy Warhols, Taylor Hicks' self titled album and "The Best of the Moody Blues"

L) You can have four things for breakfast, what do you order? Biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash, toast, orange juice.

M) Four things you often say: "Yo", "Can I help you?" "Dude!" and "Shazzbots!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Meme Before Work

Got this from Leigh.

  1. Gone on a blind date? Nope. I might, if ever given the opportunity.

  2. Skipped school? Not unless going to orthodontist appointments counts!

  3. Watched someone die? Not directly in front of my eyes, but I was kept notified by phone and was "almost" there when my sister passed.

  4. Been to Canada? Yep! Spent about 3 weeks in Peterbourough.

  5. Been to Mexico? When I was very small and my mother was still married to "The Slime", aka my biological father.

  6. Been to Florida? Oh yes. Junior year in high school, my high school and another high school took a combined band down to play during the "Disney Music Days" at Disney World. VERY good times.

  7. Have you ever been on a plane? Too many times to count.

  8. Been lost? Yep, but I never hesitate to stop and ask people if I have no clue where in the freak I'm going.

  9. Been on the opposite side of the country? Yep. Been to NY.

  10. Gone to Washington, DC? Yes. I stayed with a college friend who lives in a burb of D.C. over spring break 3 years back. Her father lived in D.C. for awhile, so one day she, me, my roommate, her brother Conrad, her parents and her grandparents all piled into 2 cars and, armed with 2 2-way radios, Cedric proceeded to point out places of interest to us.

  11. Swam in the ocean? When I was young.

  12. Had your booze taken away by the cops? Don't drink no. Now, if you asked some of my friends on the other hand...

  13. Lettered in a high school sport? No, but I did letter in band!

  14. Cried yourself to sleep? Yep. Especially these last few months.

  15. Played cops and robbers? Heck yes. Good times in AZ with Brian.

  16. Played dolls? Some, but even from an early age, I preferred to read.

  17. Recently colored with crayons? Not recently.

  18. Sang Karaoke? Of course. LOVE to sing.

  19. Paid for a meal with coins only? Yep. Do this at work all the time.

  20. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yeah. I told myself I wouldn't get attached to people again...but I did.

  21. Cheated on an exam? Nope. I was always a straight arrow.

  22. Made prank phone calls? Yep. Me and my friend Rachel did, and I even pulled out my Scottish accent for the occasion.

  23. Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose? Yeah. My uncle Lance made me laugh while I was drinking some water. Not pretty.

  24. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes.

  25. Danced in the rain? Yep. Me and Byron (my partner on my university ballroom dance team) once did a waltz in the rain. It was cool.

  26. Written a letter to Santa Claus? Never.

  27. Been kissed under the mistletoe? *snort* I've never been kissed period, lol!

  28. Watched the sunrise with someone you care about? Ummm...does my cat count?

  29. How about Sunsets? Yeah. Saw some nice ones in Florida with the band.

  30. Been arrested? Never.

  31. Gone ice-skating? When I was REALLY small...but I remember enjoying it.

  32. Been skinny dipping outdoors? HELL no. The Western World at large does NOT need to see me "au natural".

  33. Had a nickname? Yeah. Most of them have not been very nice, but in 1st grade, I was called "Monkey" because I frequented the monkey bars, then I was "Fresca" for a few years. Once I got to high school, I was "Frodo" all 4 years. Once college came, it was shortened to "Fro" and that's what I go by to this day, although Byron has (and always will, I think,) called me "Ska."

  34. Been to Africa? Nope. I have a friend, Simon who has and he would send me letter and tell me what he saw.

  35. Eaten cookies for dinner? Last night, as a matter of fact!

  36. Been on TV? Once, and in a crowd.

  37. Stolen any traffic signs? Nope. I'm so boring.

  38. Been in a car accident? Yes. 2 years ago, I was driving my mother's car when I over corrected twice, the car did a 180 into the opposite lane before rolling two and a half times and going right into a ditch. Amazingly enough, the only injuries I had were some small glass cuts on my hands. Not even a mark from the seatbelt. A lot of people told me I was "lucky", but I firmly believe that I was blessed.

  39. What is your mother's name? Cheryl

  40. Favorite drink? Water.

  41. Favorite alcohol? Don't drink.

  42. Birthplace? Emmett, Idaho.

  43. Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with lots of ethnic food for me to eat and music to go listen to.

  44. Favorite salad dressing? Any kind of Ranch.

  45. Favorite pie? Blueberry.

  46. Favorite number? 22

  47. Favorite Movie? Probably "The Shadowlands". It stars Anthony Hopkins and Deborah Winger. It's based on the life of C.S. Lewis and it is AMAZING.

  48. Favorite holiday? Don't particularly like holidays.

  49. Favorite food? Hands down, Indian curry. I could eat that FOREVER.

  50. Favorite day of the week? My day off, lol.

  51. Favorite body wash? Anything, as long as I don't stink.

  52. Favorite toothpaste? Whatever's on sale.

  53. Favorite smell? Basmati rice cooking on the stove with beef curry simmering in the pot beside it.

  54. Do you have any tattoos? No way, yo! I hate needles.

  55. Body piercings? One in each ear.

  56. Do you drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4 door vehicle.

  57. What do you do to relax? Talk to friends, surf the web, post on my blog, sing, play guitar, write, read.

  58. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully with my debts paid off, and a bachelor's and master's of education under my belt and rooms full of middle schoolers that I will convince to like Social Studies...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Underrated Guitarist

I'm a musician myself, and I like helping people discover new music, so here is a video of a man named Andy McKee playing an acoustic version of the Toto song "Africa". He's AMAZING.

People like this should be famous instead of the Paris Hiltons and Lindsay Lohans of the world.

Friday, June 6, 2008

10 Things I Will Never Do

Here are 10 things I will never do.

1. Dance with my brother Steve at my wedding.
2. Make fun of anyone with any sort of challenge.
3. Let my illness get the better of me again.
4. Stop dancing or singing. I did for awhile and...just never again.
5. Stop writing. I've been writing since I was young and it's too much a part of me.
6. Stop playing my instruments. They keep me sane.
7. Let anyone tell me what kinds of music to listen to. Life's too short-listen to it all!
8. Forget about my sister, Col.
9. Not remember Nicole when I play "Crazy Train" on my guitar.
10. Throw the kindness of others away.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Documentaries and Remembering

Today, I watched a documentary that I got from the library about the Dutch resistance during WWII and found myself thinking about the people that I've lost over the past few years as I reflected on how one event can truly change people's lives.

During my freshman year of college, a friend of mine was killed the day after I came home from Spring Break. Her name was Nicole and we'd been friends since 6th grade. We were pretty different, but at the same time I always knew I could count on her to watch my back. She was 18 years old.

Next was my "grande frere" (big brother) Steve. He was killed in December, the week before Christmas by a drunk driver. Steve loved life and tried to treat everyone well. He loved Mitch and Col like nothing on this earth. He owned his own music store and whenever I listen to music, I remember Steve.
An incident happened and I lost all of my U2 Steve bought every single CD U2 had put out, along with their new DVD just for me. I'd never had anybody do something like that for me before and I wondered why he'd just drop all that money on me.
I miss talking to him so much...he was a great listener and I could tell him anything without him passing any kind of judgment on me.

Col died in February, and I have to admit that my emotions shut down for a little while. I really haven't been able to write any songs or poems since her passing. Since I couldn't be there, Dad asked me to write the eulogy... but how do you encapsulate a life into words? How do you tell people everything that someone meant to you? I gave it my best shot though.
Some of her family don't like me and one of her aunts even went so far as to say that I didn't care about her.
Just because those people are not with me in the bitter watches of the night when I've cried and wondered why my sister and brother were taken from me does NOT mean that I don't care about her. I keep my emotions to myself for the most part and then I might write about it.

It was her fondest wish that I go back to school and today, I registered for two classes, one for the summer term and one for the fall term (I may add another class to the fall term). She always told me that one day, I'd be able to go back and for me, this is do or die. This is my last chance to start making something of myself and even if I don't want to do it for myself...I'll do it for her. That's one thing that I can still do here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's In your Car?

Okay...after running out to the garage, here's what we got:

1. Various receipts from the Food Pavilion (where I work)
2. LOTS of pens (as a DOL Subagent, I have to have pens on hand for people to sign stuff...and my boss always STEALS MINE!!!!)
3. A baby blanket that I need to send off to a friend.
4. My nephew Mark's car seat.
5. My "bro" (actually cousin), Jeremy's hair brush (don't ask me, I have NO idea why it's out there)
6. My "Working Class Dog" cd by the one, the only Rick Springfield.
7. Jeremy's "Dancing With The Stars Megamix" cd he made on his computer.
8. My green apron from the FP.
9. A cup from Burger King with watery Coke in the bottom.
10. Some straws, also from BK.
11. A pair of Mark's socks.
12. Lastly, 4 quarters. I found 'em, they're mine now!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Soldiers I Know

Since tomorrow is Memorial Day, I've been thinking a lot about soldier I know.

I've had quite a few friends go into the military. Currently, my friends Jimmy and Chris are serving their country, Jimmy in the Navy and Chris in the Army.

I don't mind saying...I'm scared for them, especially Chris. He and his high school sweetheart, Arica, are married and she's pregnant with a boy. From what I've heard, he's going to have to deploy to Iraq at some point. Jimmy is a mess hall cook so hopefully, he'll be safer.

Also, someone else I think about around Memorial Day is my Opa Joe. He is originally from Croatia, but he chose to serve in the Army during the Korean War. His feet are still messed up to this day from his service, but he doesn't complain about it.

I admire all of them and so I can only say...
Thank you, Jimmy. You were always the class clown and made everybody laugh and I bet you're still making people laugh when you serve them food.
Thank you, Chris. You were one of my best friends in high school and were willing to stand up for anybody. I'm going to be praying when you go over.
And thank you, Opa Joe. I know you shrug your service off, but nobody forced you to do it, and I'm proud to be your granddaughter.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Seeing The Sea"

(This is a poem I wrote soon after moving to Washington. We live on the very western coast and the ocean is very close.)

The waves stretch out before my weary eyes,

A line of blue that never stops moving.
The sun beams down, rays of yellow light
That become clear as diamonds when they hit the top of the sea.
I have never seen anything like this before,
I, a child of mountains and flatlands.
The sea has always been a mystery to me,
Not something that I would expect to be living near.
The air is cooler here, the musk of salt ever present in the air
As I sit on my driftwood seat, a log from somewhere far away.
The sun is warm on my face, but it doesn't burn my dark head
Like it would ordinarily do at home.
The colors shift and change as the water ebbs in and out.
I smile at the chatter of the sea gulls and the exasperated shouts of fisherman.
Uncertainty drains away from me until I am truly at rest
For the first time in many moons.
I know where I must live to have my peace.
I must live seeing the ocean.

Friday, May 23, 2008

First Blog

Hello fellow bloggers! Have you ever had someone dare you to do something, then regretted it? I had one of those moments tonight and boy, do I ever feel like a stooge! I'm a pretty smart person but this friend of mine really took me for a ride and I hope that what I did won't get back to someone I rather admire. Guess I just have to wait and see how things turn out, I suppose.