Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Epic Fail

So, NaNoWriMo is officially over and I failed horribly. The last time I posted any kind of word count update was the beginning of November and I had under 2,000 words. It predicted that I'd be done with my novel in April. That was the beginning of the month though....I have no idea what it would predict if I looked at it now. Probably November of NEXT year. lol.

But I'm not really disappointed that I didn't finish...just that I didn't look at the winner page ahead of time. You get all kinds of cool stuff as a winner of NaNoWriMo...you get your manuscript published for free by a random, generic publishing company (just one copy of it of course) and a whole bunch of special offers on cool stuff!! If I had known that I would have cheated...no lie! I mean seriously how mnay of those people ACTUALLY wrote 50,000 words?! I am curious to know. 

But anyway. I did have a really cool idea and I will probably keep working on it and maybe next year during NaNoWriMo I'll finish it for good and win. I'll keep you updated on that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clean Bill of Health!!

Today I took Caramel to the vet! This is the first time we've been to the vet together. Now, I've taken my guinea pigs to the vet when they were sick, but I've never taken them for a well visit. So this was kind of a new experience for me.

It went a lot better than expected. I was not sure how Caramel was going to react. She does not like to be handled at all...or well, she only likes it if SHE initiates it and not me. She'll hop into my lap or hop over to be pet...but she does not like to be lifted up out of the air and she won't let me put her in my lap to be pet...she wants to be the one who says when she sits in my lap and when she doesn't.

I got her this cute little fabric carrier and put a garbage bag and towel on my car seat and put a towel and some lettuce in the carrier with her. She seemed to enjoy the car ride. Then we got to the vet and I filled out paperwork and then the vet saw her. She got weighed and her nails were clipped and her ears were cleaned. Then the vet let Caramel run around the office for awhile. Of course we had a hard time picking her back up when it was time to go, but she really enjoyed running around for a bit.

Overall, the vet said she was very healthy, but a little overweight. She said I should let her run around in a bunny proof room instead of restricing her to a small area with a pen. Once in a while she needs to run around...not hop...run. So my mom and I let her out in the hallway. We used a little card table to block her from running into the living room and we used the pen to block the way into the dinning room. Then we closed all of the bedroom doors. She had the whole hallway to just hop around and run around in. And boy can she run! Sometimes she just races up and down the hallway! She goes so fast we can't video it!

The vet said we should also get new food for her. She asked what I use and said she was familiar with the brand and knew that it had a lot of alfalfa in it. She said alfalfa is what contributes to obesity in rabbits and other small animals...also she said it can give her bladder stones which I knew because my brother's guinea pig, Cocoa, had bladder stones one time. I just didn't know her food had alfalfa in it. I didn't even think to read the ingredients. So I bought her pellets that were made with timothy hay instead. At first she was a little disappointed because it did not have all the extra stuff she likes like seeds and stuff. But she does like it. And we kept the other food and give it to her as a treat once in a while.

And finally, the vet said she was in heat. She strongly suggested that I consider spaying Caramel. She said that bunnies live longer, healthier lives when they are fixed. Also, female bunnies are prone to getting uterine cancer later in life if they are not spayed. So spaying it is. She goes to have her surgery sometime in January so that she is better able to handle the anesthesia.

So that was our adventure together at the vet. It went well! And I seem to be doing most things correctly!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunge, Parry, Riposte

So yesterday (the 14th) Mike and I went to a fencing tournament which we hadn't done for a very long time. The last tournament we went to together was sometime in October. We went to the tournament on Saturday (neither of us did well) and then Sunday we went to the Steelers game. But that was October.

Yesterday we went to an open tournament which in fencing terms means that anyone who was old enough to could participate. In order to participate in some tournaments that are "sanctioned" which means they were approved by the United States Fencing Association you have to be older than 13 years old. Also, at sanctioned tournaments it is possible to earn your rating which is really just an award for doing well at that particular tournament. Everyone is a U (or Unrated) until they do well enough. It's kind of confusing, but it depends on how many people go to the tournament and how many rated fencers there are, but some people as low ranked as 20 something-th could walk away with some sort of rating. They are letter ratings starting at A as the highest and E as the lowest (lowest above U anyway). Some tournaments are restricted, for instance, some tournaments only let E rated fencers and under participate (so E's and Unrated fencers) while some, like the one yesterday are open to anyone regardless of rating. So we had some A rated fencers and Us and Es etc.

Anyway, at the tournament yesterday because of the lack of high rated fencers, we had to place in the top 8 to get a rating. I placed 21st out of 37 fencers after the pool portion of the tournament (you are broken down into small groups of fencers and you have to fence everyone in that group). Then I won my first Direct Elimination bout (it is exactly as it sounds...you lose and you are done fencing for the day)....against the 9th place person!!! I was so excited!! I ended up moving to the top 16 bracket of the elimation portion. Then I fenced this kid that I've fenced before...and he's really good. He's been fencing as long as I have and he's been really working hard at it. Well the last time I fenced him he clobbered me 15-3. But this time....I really fought for those ponts..I wasn't going down without a fight. I ended up losing 15-8. If I had won, I'd have my E rating right now. Oh well. In the end, I improved to 16th place out of 37 fencers and I felt really good about how I did! I know it wasn't a rating like I wanted, but I did my best and I know that I am getting closer to my rating every time I go to a tournament.

Anyway, aside from doing really well, the other really cool thing about the tournament was that it was at the college I attended this last five years. My old fencing club hosted it. They had such a great tournament for having been the first ever open tournament they did (in the past we had restricted the types of fencers so it wasn't so overwhelming since we were a pretty new club). And then on top of that the directors they had hired remembered me from when I was the President and they all congratulated me on the success of my club and commented on how well it was run. They said I did a great job preparing my successors!

Also, several of the curernt fencers complained about the new officers being terrible which kind of made me sad since I picked one of them (the one they've been complaining the most about). They are all really worried about the two officers that will take over for the current President and Vice President. But it is out of my hands (which is not easy for me to say believe me). As long as they last the year under the regime I chose, then my job is over. Then the success or failure of the club is no longer linked to me and anything I have or have not done.

But several of last year's rookie fencers hugged me and said: "I miss you as President!!" That made up for it and that was pretty much the best part of the day! That and my boyfriend did pretty well in epee (a different type of weapon than what I fence...which is foil) and did better than most of his club even though they've been really stingy about giving him practice time on epee.

So it was great to get back into competing again since it had been over a month since I had done a tournament.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

(More than) Twelve Angry Men (and Women)

So yeah, I got called in for jury duty today. I think it would have been a pretty cool experience had they actually needed me. I was kind of worked up about the fact that I  hadn't told my boss so I was stressing out about whether or not she'd be angry, but once I called and told her and she didn't flip out, I actually got kind of interested in it.

I went in to the court house at 8:30 in the morning and waited like twenty minutes. Then we watched a really short video (it was kind of clever actually...and quippy if that's a word) and talked about what was going to happen that day. Then she gave us our juror numbers and put us in numerical order. In all it lasted about 1/2 hour...then we went on break for like another twenty minutes. When she came back she told us that the defendant and the judge had agreeded to a bench trial instead of a trial by jury. We never even got to find out what the case was.

My mom said that I get paid for jury duty. Which is true....I get paid....$9. Jury duty is not worth $9. I'm not saying it'd be worth $100, but I mean I was expecting like $50...just enough that not showing up for work would have seemed worthwhile. I mean, I guess if I had called in and said I'd be serving on the jury and then showed them the paper I got, I'd get my day's wages plus $9 for doing nothing, but it wasn't worth lying about.

I wouldn't have minded going all the way out there for nothing, but this morning I got called in for a sub job! Now, I don't mind doing my civic duty, but it was kind of annoying that I couldn't take the job. Sub jobs come up so infrequently that I try to take them when I can. And if I had gone down there and actually served on the jury then it would have seemed worth it. But we weren't needed and I lost valuable classroom experience. That school probably won't call me for another month.

That being said....the people at the catholic school where I'm trying to teach Spanish seem interested in me. We haven't talked much, but they asked for my contact information and such. So....we'll have to see how that goes...

I am really really hoping that I get the Spanish thing.....I DESPISE subbing!!! I really do. I can't stand not knowing what I'll be doing the next day. And it sucks that I can't make plans for during the day since it is possible that I may end up rescheduling so that I can take the sub job. And I HATE getting a call the next day at 6:00 in the morning! Who can go back to sleep after that? I'd much rather be just working at the nursing home until I found a teaching position.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Day Another Dollar

Well, another day subbing for me. I went in at 11...I'm not sure why I've been subbing only a half a day lately...the full day sub jobs must all be taken already. I'm not sure why this particular teacher left all of a sudden and it seemed like the kids had no idea either. This time I was subbing for a high school social studies teacher. It was pretty easy...the AP Euro kids were just supposed to work on an essay (which none of them did) and the kids in American Cultures had a test. So pretty much I got to just hang out and read and make sure no one cheated. Then, randomly, around 1:30....the teacher came back! Now, why would you do that? Why would you cheat the sub out of work...even if it is a half a day. He had to know that I was probably just starting out as a teacher and would not only need the money, but also the classroom experience!! How lame!!

But at least I was able to get some litter and food for my bunny, call about this potential Spanish position and start on my story for NaNoWriMo. I have three diary entries written....but I'm not sure if the diary thing is going to work....it seems like it'd be pretty boring.....but I guess the point is just to write it and make it more interesting later....I'm thinking it might be interesting to start a new blog and make the posts the diary entries for my story. That way people can keep up with it and tell me what they think of it as I go. It might be fun......

So anyway...that's really it so far for me. I'll have to update tomorrow with word of how the phone call went to the school district. The lady in charge of the world language department at the PDE is going to call the school tomorrow and "sell me"...so to speak. She is going to request that they meet me and is going to put in a good word. After that we'll see how it goes. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I know for sure whether or not they want me....cuz they want to start the Spanish program in January! I'll need time to write up lessons...especially since I'd be doing the whole curriculum by myself...from scratch!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween...and now October is done...

So yeah, Halloween was pretty much amazing! I saw this costume last Halloween of a warrior goddess and I really wanted it, but it was so expensive so I didn't get it. But I splurged and got it this year. :-D I was so happy I did! I looked freakin' hot!! I almost got something to show off my new belly button ring, but that'll have to wait for next year when it heals a little better. My boyfriend went as the Dos Equis Guy from those commercials for that beer, Dos Equis. He looked great!

Anyway, I was really bummed out that I wasn't going to be able to go up to visit my boyfriend at his school (my alma mater) cuz they do Halloween so well up there, but I originally had to work. So, to make me feel better my boyfriend convinced me to hold a party at my place instead. Then, I got taken off the schedule at work! But I decided to hold my party anyway instead of canceling it and going up to my old school. That was the best decision ever! My party ended up being a blast! My boyfriend invited a bunch of his friends, my old roommate came by, and a bunch of friends from high school that I hadn't seen in FOREVER dropped by too! It was so exciting. We played beer pong and some other drinking games! It was great!! I have a feeling that the party I almost went to instead included playing rock band, not drinking games.

The next day my boyfriend and I went to celebrate my Uncle's birthday at a museum. Neither of us had ever been to a museum for a party before! It was a transportation museum...they had old cars, old horse buggies....and basically showed how transportation had changed over the years. My uncle is on the board of directors at the museum and owns a small portion of the museum. So they closed down the museum and we had a party in the party room and the museum was just for us to explore! No screaming kids on a field trip or anything like that! It was pretty neat and I think my boyfriend had a really great time.

That night, we went to a costume party at a bar that we found over the summer. We went there a lot for trivia nights and to watch the Steelers games on Sundays. They had a HUGE costume party....there were SO many people. And there was this DJ and he said that if you changed your facebook status to say that you were at "Pregame" (that's the name of the bar), then you would get a free round of toxic shooters. Neither of us had any idea what they were, but they were SOOO good so we got another round. LOL! There was a costume contest too, but we didn't win.

So then, October was over....it was so sad. Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. I am sad it is over. I love to dress up. :-(

But now it is November...time for NaNoWriMo which I had heard about in high school before it became a really big event. Now there are millions of people that are doing it....I  kind of wish I had done it before it was so popular....cuz now I feel like a bandwagoner. But I've known about it for years, it's just that November is right around the time that the high school play would be doing dress rehearsals and would be consuming my life....so novels were not happening. Although, I write stuff regardless of what month it is. But I plan to interpret National Novel Writing Month as literally novel writing month. In other words, I think I'm just going to work on whatever novel floats my boat that day instead of trying to write a whole new novel in a month. I have so many started and I'm pretty sure I have nearly 50,000 words written of at least one of them, so I may get further on a few novels I've already started, but I don't imagine I'll finish anything, but you never know. I have two ideas that I plan to expand upon, but I have a feeling both ideas would make better short stories than novels....but we'll see how it goes. I'll keep everyone (all one of you) updated with how things are going.

And speaking of plays...I made the executive decision to drop out of It's a Wonderful Life. It's just too hard to work 8 hours a day and be in the play...especially since most of my 8 hours are during play practices. I think if my hours were less sporadic and more consistent, I'd be able to do it. And I have a Spanish class during practices too. So, yeah...that didn't work out....

Anyway, off to see what I can do about writing....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"No, I am pretty sure your clasroom teacher does NOT let you do that!"

So I FINALLY got a sub job today. It was only half a day, but it was better than nothing. Well, actually, I had been called twice before, but was not able to take the jobs. I was called a long time ago, but I had scheduled an appointment that I could not back out of so I couldn't take it. Then I got a call to sub at the high school and I really wasn't comfortable with that idea yet...maybe with a bit more experience, but not the first time! But today I was called to sub in the afternoon for a third grade teacher who my cousins had when they were in Kindergarten!!

It was great! The kids and I had a lot of fun! I think they liked me! I had this poster that I put up about me and the kids were looking at the pictures on it and they were very excited that I know how to fence and had been to Italy! I only had to enforce the discipline program with the one kid who just would not stop talking. Most of the other non-intrusive methods we learn about in college worked just fine. For example, saying their name or just stopping all teaching when they were talking over me....I also am partial to "Clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if you can hear me..." It's something I use at camp and it is very effective. I also used the "quiet sign" and "one two three eyes on me" which I despise, but I used it anyway.

I used a smart board which was pretty exciting. And the teacher was in the room for the first hour of my experience so it was so much less nerve racking. Then I was all alone....which I was SO excited about it! In the past, I had always had my cooperating teacher or a superviser with me, but for a while I was alone. We did have an aid come in for science, but other than that it was just me and the kids! It was great.

Math class was different than what I am used to though. At the school where I student taught, they used a program called "Everyday Mathematics." It was designed very differently than anything I had ever seen, but I got pretty comfortable using it. The program outlines the lesson very carefully and very strictly. Though it seemed to move very fast, it also seemed like everything in the lesson was tied together. But in this school, the teacher had me reading a story to them about bargain hunting and then the lesson was on patterns. I did not really see how they had anything to do with each other and many of the kids had a really hard time with the pattern thing. We spent a lot more time on it than I expected.

But we had a very interesting science class and the kids ended up suckering me into playing heads up seven up during dismissal. There was one thing in math we did not get done, but other than that we did everything the teacher asked me to do!

Overall, I think it was a great first experience subbing. I hadn't been in a classroom for so long that I was starting to get really comfortable at the nursing home. But this experience made me very excited for what I hope is in store for me in January. I am working towards getting my teaching certificate for spanish and when I called the department of education to ask about how to do that, the lady there told me about a school in my area that is hoping to start a spanish program in January. I'd be running the program and teaching the whole school spanish AND writing my own curriculum. I really really hope it works out for me! I'm hoping that now that I am in good with this lady, dropping her name will land me the job, but she and I haven't talked to the school yet. I've been working 37 hours at the nursing home all week and havent had a chance to call her to talk more about it. So we'll have to see how that works.

But something that did pan out for me is the reading program that I will be starting in February. I will be hosting a program at the local library where kids who are struggling in reading can be paired up with a reading tutor to practice reading once a week. The program was approved so I just have to put up flyers at the library and talk to the superintendent at the school district by the library. I am hoping the teachers at the school will recruit struggling readers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wow...It's Been A While...

So I finally found a pet store that sells rabbits. I got a brown Holland Lop. She will grow to be about 4 or 5 pounds so she won't be very big. Piccolo, the mini lop I was looking to adopt, was 7 pounds. They bred Mini lops and dwarf rabbits to get Holland Lops...that's why they are smaller. I'm not sure what she weights now, but it can't be much more than 3 or 4 pounds so she's probaly as big as she is going to get.

So, after much debate, we finally named her Caramel. She is approximately 3 or 3 1/2 months old. She is still a baby so she is very destructive. She chews on EVERYTHING and she loves to dig (even though most things she digs at do not move when she digs at them). She also loves to move her litter box around the cage which causes her to accidently dump it all over her bedding....she's actually doing it right now as I'm typing this.

It was a bit rough in the beginning. She was from a breeder but I guess she had been at the pet store isolated for a while and didn't interact much with humans. So she was really skiddish when we first brought her home. But I left her in her cage for abour 36 hours without taking her out. I put my hand in to pet her and stuff and she got used to me that way. Then, little by little I'd let her run around for a while out of her cage.

Now, the first time I let her out I thought I had everything thought out. I moved everything she could chew on and I got her a ball to push around with her nose. I read that instead of reaching in to grab her, I should open the door and let her come out on her own terms. She came out and pushed the ball for a little. Then, a teeny tiny spider crawled over my mom's leg...she screamed and Caramel darted underneath my brother's bed! It took us a half hour to get her back into her cage. She kept running around the room hiding behind stuff. I am not sure if she was actually frightened or if she thought we were playing.

But I bought her a pen so she doesn't escape again and she and I sit in the pen and watch tv together. She runs around and chews up the blanket we put in there for her. I also got her a stuffed bear that she throws around and tries to tear apart. I got her this ball of grass and she LOVES it and grunts at me whenever I touch it. She lets me pet her now and even comes up to the cage door to greet me when I reach in to change her food and litter. She even jumped into my lap of her own accord the other day. So it took a lot of work but she is definitely warming up to people.

I am hoping that with some more work I can one day begin training her to be a therapy animal. I think it'd be a lot of fun to take her to nursing homes and let the residents sit with her and pet her. Many times, elderly patients cannot bend down to pet dogs or cats, but a bunny would be perfect for them. They can hold on to them and pet them and they don't have to worry about bending over which could be painful for them. But, Caramel is definitely not ready for that. She is not comfortable being grabbed and she would rather chew on things and run around and play instead of sit and be pet. But she is still young yet, so once she matures she'll be more able to do that. Even if she could do that now, she is too young to be spayed and all therapy animals need to be fixed regardless of what kind of animal they are.

Anyway, so that's really all that is new with me. Caramel and I have been spending lots of time playing. I've been working long hours at the nursing home as well so between working 8 to 12 hour days and spending time with my bunny, I haven't really had much time to blog about her yet......or even about the Steelers game I went to see last weekend. Which, Caramel was not happy about....my going away to see the steelers meant I went away and left her for my mother to care for which I don't think my mother is well liked yet. And also my mom was not comfortable letting Caramel run around and play so she was cooped up in her cage all weekend. But the game was a ton of fun even though the Steelers lost. :-(

And things with Mike are going well...I mean apart from the distance thing. Mike went with me to the game and we stayed in a hotel. We went to a fencing tournament the day before the game and we both did not do as well as we hoped. But I think we learned a lot and know what to work on now. We downloaded skype and we've been staying in contact through our webcams. I am thankful we can do that cuz I can see him and hear him.....but sometimes I hear about how bad his day was or how much work he has to do or how painful his toothache is and I wish I could hug him though the webcam too. I need a stargate.

There's Caramel. :-D

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"License and registration please"

So I haven't gotten the chance to rant about this yet. I thought I was over it and then I saw my bank statement and it got me all fired up again.

A few weeks ago, I was pulled over for speeding. Here's what happened. I was going 75, the speed limit was 65. Then, I entered a work zone. I slowed down to 65 since I thought....eh ten over, that should be okay. It's not even an active work zone so I'll be alright. Then, I saw the speed limit sign. The speed limit was 50. I slowed down again and noticed a cop behind me. I  pulled over so he could go around me and lo and behold, he pulled over too and got out! And I was like: Are you serious? He's pulling ME over?? I had no idea what I even did.

So when he came up to the car I asked him and he said he clocked me at 67mph in a work zone where the speed limit was 50. I was apparantly going 17 over the speed limit. I explained that I just saw the sign and was slowing down just before he pulled me over. It didn't matter. What mattered was that for 3 seconds (he timed me) I was going 17 mph over the speed limit. If I had a guess, I'd say he clocked me WAY at the beginning of the work zone right when the speed limit changed. HOW IS THAT FAIR?

Luckily he didn't give me a ticket. I think he believed me when I said I had no idea that I was that much over, I thought the speed limit was 55. He DID give me a "citation." With it being a work zone, he couldn't just let me off with a warning. The difference being that a citation doesn't show up on your record and doesn't put points on your license. Just pay it and then forget it happened. So I paid it and much to my chagrine....the fine was over $100!! WTF?!?! First of all, the fine itself was $25, but they doubled it for it being a work zone...I can handle that. But then, I paid a fee for the car that pulled me over. I paid a small fee to the police company itself AND I paid the EMS...THEY WEREN'T EVEN THERE!!

Now, I know I was in the wrong. But seriously, the punishment should fit the crime. I wasn't going 30 or 40 over...I wasn't cutting people off....I wasn't endangering anyone's life...I wasn't tailgating anyone...I was going 15 over!!! The fine should be $15...double it for the work zone if you like, but I was going 15 over so I should pay $15. And if you want me to pay an extra fee for the car or the police department that's fine...but don't tack on all these dumb fees that have nothing to do with what I was pulled over for. I didn't need a freakin' ambulance so I shouldn't be paying the EMS!! I should be paying at most $50 for that fine. That's it! Save the big fines for the big crimes. When I'm endangering people's lives THEN you can tack on all those dumb fees.

All those times I go 80 or more on the turnpike and I was pulled over for doing freaking 67mph!!! What a joke!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bunny Update

So yeah this bunny thing was so much harder than I thought it would be.

Like I said: I found a rabbit I'm sort of interested in. She's very cute. But the animal shelter that has her is an hour and a half away from where I live. When I emailed them for more information about other places to find mini lops they said: You shouldn't choose a rabbit by its breed, you should choose a rabbit by it's personality and how it blends with your household. Are you serious?! Basically I need to meet the rabbit before I can adopt it. So I need to travel an hour and a half away TWICE. Once to meet the damn thing and once to pick it up to take it home. And it'll take two weeks to be approved and process the paperwork. It'll probably be a month before I actually get a rabbit. HOWEVER....I pay $75 for the rabbit, a membership to the House Rabbit Society of America and a book about caring for rabbits AND it's already spayed/neutered. Good deal. But it's so far away.

So I've been furiously searching for breeders just so I can compare pricing information. I found one that has the kind of rabbit I want BUT they won't sell to me because they don't sell rabbits as pets. In order to buy from them I have to be intending to either show or breed my rabbit. They won't even give me any info or anything so I don't know where they are located. If I knew that then maybe I'd just tell them I was gonna show it. What are they gonna do if I don't? Take it back from me? They can't repossess a rabbit, right?

The other breeder I found seems like a nice lady. I have no idea what she has because her site is not updated. She was not really specific about where she is located, but from what I do know I know she is about two hours away. So I'll pay less for the rabbit, travel about the same ammount, I'll probably only have to go there once though BUT I'll have to pay to have it nuetered/spayed. Not sure about the quality of the breeder though because her website is one of those geo-shities sites which suggests it may not be the most reputable.

That's it. Two breeders. The petco by me doesn't sell abbits. There was a pet store by me that had rabbits...not the kind I wanted though....but I wouldn't buy animals from it...I don't think it's very reputable (for those of you who know the area...Q Mart is all I'm saying). The little ma and pop pet store by me doesn't advocate buying from breeders so they won't give me any breeder information. The animal shelter, obviously, doesn't advocate buying from breeders either so they won't give me any information either. They say it's because breeders cause over population. I really wanted to ask: Where would you get your rabbits if all the breeders shut down? There'd be no pets to abandon and it'd put you out of business. Real smart.

So.....maybe I'll need to just get another guinea pig....though I think my quest for a guinea pig would be just as trying unless I buy it from a pet store but people always say don't do that.....so I have no idea where to go from here....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Long Distance Sucks

Ugh.....this long distance thing is terrible.

Some days I can handle it better than others. I mean, I know that this is the best situation right now for both of us. I would love to be with Mike every moment of every day, but right now, he needs to focus on finishing up his school work. He needs to get himself a job and make some money so that he can come back home when he's done and find somewhere for himself (or both of us) to live. And I need to be at home getting my foot in the door of the teaching world, making an impression on schools so that next year they'll hire me as a full time teacher. I tell myself that we just need to make it until the summer. Then, we'll be together again every day. But secretly I wish a school in ****** would call me and hire me...even if it was just as a teacher's assistant for a year, I'd take the job in a minute to be closer to Mike. But beggers can't be choosers. I have to take what I can get.

Of course, there are other days....like yesterday and today....when I just can't handle this. I am two hundred miles away from the most amazing man on earth. I can't be there for him to help him study like I could last year....I can't be there for him to celebrate a new job with him...I can't be there to fence with him....Take yesterday, I texted him at 3:30 in the afternoon, didn't get a response and then I texted him at 6, and then again at 8, and then again at 8:30. I started to worry when I didn't hear back by 9 so I called him and he didn't answer. I called his roommate who had no idea where he was and I called another friend of his who had no idea where he was. So I texted a friend and asked him to run over and knock on Mike's door to make sure he was okay. If I had been up there too, I could have run over and seen for myself and made sure he was okay. I know it was a little silly to think so, but I was picturing Mike in a ditch somewhere bleeding to death! He just got a new car...a stick shift...that he only sort of knows how to drive. He could have taken it somewhere and then gotten himself into an accident or something like that. I almost called the police to have them go check on him too!! But I mean, anybody would have been worried after not hearing from someone for almost SEVEN hours that they normally hear from within minutes of sending a text. I mean, I know he's taking classes and can't always text right away....but seven hours without hearing from him was a bit uncharacteristic. After all that time and all that worrying, he ended up being okay, just left his phone in the other room while he was playing on XBOX. Such a man. :-P

So yeah....this long distance thing is definitely a bit unnerving at times. I sometimes day dream that he'll find this amazing internship and they'll want him for a year after he graduates. So, when he graduates, I would move up there for the summer and get a summer job and then a job as a teacher and we'd live in his little apartment for a year. Of course, I don't really care where he ends up working....cuz I'd do anything for that little house that I want....it's a dump but it's so cute! We'd have so much fun fixing it up together! Oh my god...I'm such a girl....

Monday, September 20, 2010


I am in the process of getting myself a rabbit. I have been researching furiously for days now and the more research I do, the more excited I get. At the moment, though, I have quite a dilemma about this.

First of all, I have no idea where I will put it. Rabbits, from what I read, seem to be extremely shy, anxious, and withdrawn. The best way to help them adjust better to your home is to let them have their own space (i.e. "cage") somewhere in a central location in the house that gets a lot of traffic. This will help them adjust better to you and your family and will help them to be more outgoing. So I guess the best place would be in the dinning room or living room or even the kitchen. I just am worried about putting it in the dinning room where the backyard animals (such as the hawk we have in the back) can see her. She wouldn't understand that there is glass between her and the hawk (or other predator). I don't want her to be frightened by a hawk or escaped dog running up to the sliding glass door to investigate. Rabbits can get so frightened that they could have a heart attack and die!!

I also have a dilemma about where I should get one. I am dying for a black and white mini lop. They are absolutely adorable. But I found this really cute bunny up for adoption. Her name is Piccolo and she IS a mini lop, but she's not black and white, she's tan. So, should I compromise what I've always wanted and do a good deed by adopting or buy a black and white mini lop from a breeder? The good thing about adopting, aside from doing a good deed, is that the animals are already spayed and neutered so I won't have to worry about getting that done. But Piccolo is two years old already and I've missed watching her grow up! But I have no idea where to find breeders that sell rabbits...not that I have any better idea where this animal shelter is that has Piccolo. *sigh* Guess I have some more thinking to do.....

This is Piccolo: 

Friday, September 17, 2010

On a Happier Note....

Anyway, so that my blog isn't so depressing, I just thought I'd publish some happier news.

Today is my betta fish, Benjamin's, birthday. I mean, of course, he's a fish so I actually have no idea when his birthday is, but today is the anniversary of the day that I brought him and his friend Walter home from Walmart. At the time, I was going through a horrible break up and to fill the void left by my idiot exboyfriend, I bought myself some fish. It actually helped.

I was surprised at how much I ended up liking my betta fish. I had never had betta fish before. But they are really neat fish. I had always had gold fish or tropical fish as a kid. But bettas are different. I feel like they might be smarter than other fish. They react to people when they walk into the room. It almost seems like Benjamin "greets" me when I come home from a long day. He swims right up to the corner of the tank and puts his nose against it like he's saying hi!! It's cute.

Benjamin is the blue one. Walter is the red one.
But bettas are also very lazy. Once in a while he'll just stop swimming and take a nap. No seriously. He just floats there at the bottom of the tank or in his favorite corner. And I'll seriously walk up to the tank and go, "NO! You can't be dead!" So I'll shake his tank and he'll swim around and flare his gills at me for waking him up! I can't tell you how many times I thought he was dead.

But a dead betta isn't hard to miss. They grow white bacteria all over them just hours after they die. Walter only lived until December. I found him one morning like that. It was sad. I put him in the toilet and waited like fifteen minutes hoping he'd move. I do not deal with death very well. Also, that same bacteria grows on bettas if their tank is too dirty and then it kills them. Twice now, that's happened to Benjamin, but I cleaned his tank and he was all better!! He is a gorgeous blue color and you can tell when he's healthy and happy because his scales are very dark blue and he blows bubbles at the top of the water.  :-D

Anyway, here's to our happy year together, Benjamin and here's hoping for more! <3


I just had to post this. Earlier this morning, George N. Parks, the band director of the University of Massachusetts, passed away from an apparent heart attack. It was totally unexpected. He was only 57 years old. It has touched me deeply and I just had to post this in his memory.

I never went to U Mass, but I was the drum major of my high school band. The band director sent his drum majors to training every year to learn how to be drum majors. George Parks was the guy responsible for running the Drum Major Academy (DMA). It was so much fun! He broke us up into little groups so we could practice teaching each other how to march. He called the groups "pods" and referred to them as our "family." He understood how intimidated some of us were (especially those of us who were sent as Freshmen such as myself). He taught us all how to be effective leaders, teachers, and role models and more importantly, how to overcome the fears of a new situation and be all that we can be in all that we do.

George Parks was one of the most important influences in my life. I remember what he says every day. After drum majoring in high school, I went on to teach fencing to college students. I remembered what he said about PSP (Praise Suggestion Praise) every time I taught. Now, I am a substitute teacher still remembering all he taught at DMA. I kept all of my notes and packed them up with my other teaching resources. Even though I will probably never use them to teach marching again, I will use his lessons every day as a teacher. The stories he told at DMA were so inspirational to me especially the one he told about his blind student. Blind or not, this particular student marched as well or better than the students who could see! It taught me that there is nothing a person can't do if he or she puts his or her mind to it.

Last thought: While at a collegiate band festival, a bunch of friends and I sat around until the very end just to see Mr. Parks. All day it was cloudy and on and off rain. But then, the U Mass band came out and blew us all away. But the most memorable part of the performance: As soon as George Parks got onto the stand, the sun came up out of the clouds! The mere presence of George Parks brought out the best in everyone....even the weather!!

Rest In Peace, George Parks.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A new beginning

So, I haven't done this blogging thing since Xanga and Live Journal was big...a million years ago. But I thought I'd try again. I'm not really going to be all shaken up if no one reads it, this is really just a personal thing I am doing for my benefit. But if you are reading it feel free to let me know you're here.

Just a bit about me: I am 23 and just graduated college and returned home to live with my parents for a year. I am secretly saving up for a house that I am hoping the township does not tear down before I have enough money for it. I graduated with a degree in teaching and Spanish. I also am a fencer. I've been fencing for about five years and I recently took up archery and dart throwing as well (I have no idea why I love playing darts).

I have an amazing boyfriend who at the current moment is studying computer science at the place I graduated from. We have been dating for eight months (as of yesterday). He is very sweet and caring. I have dated several guys in my life, but this is the first time I feel honestly and passionately loved. Right now we are working through a long distance thing for the first time since we started dating, but we are doing our best to make it through. 

Something a bit more personal: I have an anxiety disorder. So I find some things hard to deal with. For example, I do not deal with stress well and I am often very critical of my actions. I also tend to have vivid and very disturbing nightmares. Writing helps me clear my head of things when I am frustrated and helps me deal with feelings that are otherwise too difficult to deal with. This is the first September in three years that I am dealing with this on my own without my counselor. I want to do this alone, I don't want to find another counselor. So I am doing this blog thing to track my progress and sort through my thoughts until I make it to Christmas.

Anyway, last bit about me: My favorite flowers are roses. So in honor of my favorite flower and the new beginning I am hoping to make for myself, I have titled my blog: Black Rose. Black Roses do not always mean death, instead they symbolize a new beginning of things...a major change or upheaval. Or it can mean death...the death of old habits and the beginning of a new era. Black roses inspire confidence, hope and joy. So this is the end...the end of my fears and negative feelings....and the beginning of a new me.

So what does this year have in store for me? I am on a list of substitute teachers for a few different school districts in my area and I will be running an after school reading program as well. At night, I am a receptionist at a local nursing home and I will be acting in "It's a Wonderful Life" that my adult drama group and I will put on in November. I hope to start dancing one night a week, but I haven't quite figured out where I am going to squeeze that in and I also fence with a local fencing school.

After that....we'll see where the year takes me....