Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 6: Your day, in great detail

This is totally not a great day to do this. I had a crappy day and really need a nap so that I can make all the crankiness go away. Never the less....

9:00am: Woke up. Later. Again. Wanted to be at the DHS (Department of Human Services) office around 8am but that didn't happen. Got up, dressed, did hair, quickly scarfed down a banana and chugged some apple juice then headed out the door. I also grabbed a Slim Fast for the road and threw the garbage in our bins for pick up tomorrow.

10am: Arrive at Halle Library to print out income verification and current checking/savings account amounts.

10:30am: Arrive at DHS office to apply for food stamps. End up waiting around for almost 2 hours and never being called to see my case worker. Not happy AND had another appointment at 1pm that I eventually pushed back to 1:30pm. Will now have to hound case worker and may not even find out about food stamps for another month or so.

12:15pm-1:15pm: Try and make my way from DHS office to Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor. I take the wrong freeway (there are three freeways with 94 in them) and try to figure out a way to get around AA but hit construction the entire way there. I may or may not have cried a bit in traffic. Car was also throwing a major hissy fit since it was 91 out today (at least).

1:20pm: Arrive at Planned Parenthood for 1:30pm appointment. Fill out paperwork. Talk to medical assistant. Wait in the tiny room for at least 20 minutes then finally meet with the RN. Have a consultation about various things and well, not a great appointment. Nice woman though. I had to pay for the visit and a few other things today but luckily they take payments so I just add it to the list of bills accumulating. I will be seeing them again next week. A bright side to this visit? I lost 7lbs since my last appointment in early July.

2:25pm: Have an emotional breakdown in the car for roughly 5-8 minutes. Decide I need to get moving.

2:30pm: Swing through McD's since I haven't eaten since 9:30am. Grab a strawberry banana fruit smoothie and a delicious cheeseburger. I don't care--I love them.

3:00pm: Make my way to several thrift stores. I am on the hunt for at least one kitchen chair so that I can do my homework on the table rather than on the floor. I hit up a total of 2 and couldn't find the third one which probably would have proved fruitful. Car continues to get hotter and hotter and I am sweating like I was running a mile or something so I decide it is just not my day and return home.

Between 3:00pm-5:00pm: Decide I am moving to Alaska and that I despise traffic with everything in my being. Also despise construction. Decide that I need something comforting.

5:15pm: Drive-thru at the Dunkin Donuts. I have seen the iced coffee on many blogs and it looked like just what I wanted PLUS I couldn't deal with having two McD's charges on my card in the same day (not that it hasn't happened before, ahem). Get the largest iced coffee with two Splendas and skim milk and ask the nice man with the donuts to pick out five donut holes for me. He picks out a nice assortment including one filled with raspberry. Glad I didn't choose the 25 assortment.

5:30pm: Arrive home. Park car and whisper happy thoughts to car. Check mail. Strip off the disgusting, sweaty clothes and throw on pjs. Turn fan on full blast and make sure to drink a lot of water. Start up computer and check emails.

5:45-at least another hour or two: Check blogs, figure out something to watch on streaming television, think about what to make for dinner, think about making something artsy to relieve stress of today, may or may not just have a good cry and get it out of my system.

Later: shower (possibly a cold one), making dinner, taking out recycling, taking some Excedrin, and getting things together for everything I have to do tomorrow.

No pictures of today (although I bet that would have been much more interesting) but it was so hot and I was so lost with traffic and crazy people. The six pictures above are pretty much the main points of the day.

Monday, August 30, 2010


What a weird word, right?

From wikipedia:
A blog (a blend of the term "web log") is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or addcontent to a blog. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.

I follow A LOT of blogs, too. I find it so interesting to read about other peoples' lives and learn new things every day. Some of the ones I am religiously following are:

And on a "recommended" blog today I found this amazing quote:

Maybe you never really are done with your issues. My yoga teacher tells me that our demons resurface in times of stress. They prey on weakness.

Amen, sista.

Day 5: Your definition of love, in great detail

Love, love, love.

My definition of love is when you care so much for another person or animal that you are willing to sacrifice your own needs, wants, or desires. You care so much for this person that you do anything in your power to make them happy. You want to spend time with them. You genuinely like them as a person and respect them.

I find love to be an excuse for some people to act a little crazy, myself included. They say that being in love is like a drug and gives you the same high as heroin or cocaine does. It takes our hormones and emotions, twists them all over the place and then displays them for the world to see. It can be damaging and it can create this mask to which we can not always see the truth.

On the better side, it is this amazing feeling to love and be loved in return. The greatest human need is to be loved and yet it can also be the most elusive.

Love should feel amazing. There shouldn't be a constant struggle or drama. It should be simple and carefree. It should be like when you were little and you LOVED your puppy so much. Nothing complicated, you just knew you loved that puppy more than anything else in the whole wide world. Having love in our lives should make us feel complete. It should make us feel connected to one another.

There used to be a show called "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and some of the quotes kids came up with when asked about love are hilarious! Here are a few I found...

"I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding fourth grade hard enough." (Regina, 10)

"Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold.
Other people care more about the food." (Brad, 8)

"Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." (Bobby, 8)

"I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful." (Harlen, 8)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 4: What you ate today, in great detail

Today wasn't necessarily a typical day in my eating habits. I was hoping to get something there and instead went with something there, I skipped proper meals, yadda yadda yadda.

Woke up at 10:30am. Later than I wanted to by the way.
11:45am: Strawberries 'n' Cream Slim Fast.
3:00pm: Seattle's Best Large Iced Tea with two packets of Splenda and a lemon muffin.
Starving but was trying to get errands done. Went grocery shopping and instead of making a lovely dinner when I got home.....
7:00pm: 2 servings of Meijer brand Whole Grain Delights in French Onion flavor. I thought they would be more like tortilla chips but they are the generic version of Sun Chips; a lovely surprise. Also downed at least 20oz. of water because I could tell I was getting dehydrated.

Coming up....
Would like to get some substance for the night so I might grab some carrots and grapes to snack on until bedtime.

I went grocery shopping earlier. Want to know what I bought?
Generic sun chips
grapes (the most expensive thing I bought, absolutely addicted to them)
prepackaged and diced summer squash
bag of baby carrots
angel hair pasta
canned diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
low sodium black beans
french cut green beans
Honeycombs cereal
can of plain tomato sauce
deli ham
small block of 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
quart of skim milk
Buy 1 get 2 free on whole wheat bread (I have the sandwich thins but am dying for a hearty sandwich or grilled cheese; froze the other two loaves for later and they were low calorie)
Total: $32.65

It was more than I was hoping to spend on food but I have been dying on a carb heavy diet with very little to no fresh produce. Now my fridge looks somewhat normal and I can make great lunches and dinners for the week.

Question: How do you eat your muffins?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 3: Your parents, in great detail

Let's see how much detail I can get in to here.

Her heyday was definitely when she was younger. She has four sisters and grew up in a pretty typical household. She had my brother when she was 18 (a very big pattern in our family) and she was with his dad for a few years before he got busted for a drug charge, I believe. My brother and mom have a very different history than her and I do. They struggled to makes ends meet all the time and my brother was always into mischief on some level. She met my dad later on and they got married in a simple ceremony; my dad wearing a pale blue suit and my mom in a flowered dress. Not sure the exact year though. She had me when she was 33 and stayed with my dad for a few years before getting a divorce. My mom and I also struggled with money growing up but my mom loved working at the library and we had a house (rented) to live in that had a huge front and backyard. My parents would get together off and on up til the middle of high school. She has dated a few guys here and there but she is pretty much a loner. Friends have come and gone and her the biggest thing in her life seems to be work and me and my brother.

I respect her for raising two kids on her own because we all know how hard that is. It was pretty much her and me growing up. I saw her side of the family on large holidays but otherwise we did our own thing. She is very close to her sisters (3 of them at least) and has resumed talking to her mother in the past year. She holds a lot of resentment for one of her sisters who always got more attention and affection than she did. She is stubborn (where I get it from) and keeps grudges and emotions going far too long. I have lived with her for the past 10 months while I got things straight in my life. I appreciated the safety net but it was a grim reminder of what I don't want to end up like.

My mom works as an embroiderer at an athletic company in Vancouver, WA. She has been an embroiderer/screen printer for at least 20 years now and once worked at Nike. I have no idea why she does her job because she doesn't necessarily like it but she fell into it and doesn't think she could get out. I told her I would help her with everything but she never took me up on the offer. She has depression and thyroid issues that can be difficult to deal with at times especially since I suffer from the former as well. She isn't a very social person but did join a 40 and older group last year and goes to the meet-ups occasionally. That is pretty much her in a nutshell.

The dad I like to remember is the one from when I was little. He would come over and hang out with me, take me down to see his family in Southern California and whenever he was around for extended periods of time, life was good. We had money, went out to eat, and things were nice. He was always funny and nice to me, even if he and my mom were fighting. See, the good with the bad here.

My dad has always been a construction worker. Great money during the spring/summer but in the winter, the money just wasn't there. He always had dark skin because he was in the sun a lot so he had tons of birthmarks, which I also have. He always had a beard, a beer belly and always wore a baseball cap. Our bonding "thing" was watching WWF (now WWE) wrestling ever since I was really little. He would get Pay-Per-View events and we'd make food and watch them together.

The not so good stuff is that he was an alcoholic and the bar often took priority over having a family. As far as I know, I am his only child. I haven't seen him since I was 22 I think? And I can't really even remember the last time I did see him. The main reason my parents split was because of the drinking and the lack of responsibility my father had for life. They had some pretty huge fights for various reasons but I have a feeling that they all came back around to those two issues. I remember a time when many family members were around and they were fighting. I hid under the kitchen table until everyone stopped and found me there. They were quiet after that.

So that is the good/bad of my parents. It's almost funny but I think that as we get older and see our parents as they truly are, we either fully embrace or fully rebel against them. My mom likes to list her least favorite traits and I seem to have all of them. I also happen to have all of my father's best traits. If I do something like watch a particular movie 100 times, my mom will comment that I am just like my dad. I have developed tendencies like my mother since I grew up around her and I desperately rebel against them once I realize they are here. I always keep in mind that the thing you complain most about someone else is something you also hate in yourself.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 2: Your first love, in great detail

I am going to use "first love" as the first real relationship with emotions and love and laughter and all the good stuff.

Back story before the back story: I have been overweight most of my adolescence. Before beginning high school, I lost a decent amount of weight and also had a few birth marks removed. I was not picked on at all for the first time in a long while and actually got positive attention from people. I had some little crushes and flirts that are now incredibly embarrassing but this boy, M, was the first person that I was in a relationship with.

Things are a bit fuzzy on how exactly we met and how everything turned out to be. There are two events that I remember: 1) a friend of mine was going to an Aerosmith concert with a bunch of his friends (including M) and asked me if I wanted to go 2) another friend knew a nice guy who I could take to homecoming. All of my friends went to homecoming, some with just friends and a few with their boyfriends. It was a hodge-podge of people but we were all somewhat friends or friends of friends so it worked out well. It was my first dance (for most of us, actually) and I had my big girl heels on and a cute little green dress.

(Pardon the terribly blurry pictures here. The lower right picture is a dance later on after we had been dating a while. See, awkwardness had subsided by then!)

We had a really good time and hung out and became friends after that. Again, this is where it gets fuzzy as to a first date or what came next. I do remember specifically that he asked me out by bringing a rose to school and giving it to me during lunch. I cut out a horoscope for that week (November '97) that told me this could be a pretty promising relationship. It was sweet and so much fun! We used to wrestle a lot and tickle each other which left us both with bumps and bruises. We went to all of the dances (even the really lame ones) and I went to his intramural basketball games. We went to Cannon Beach for the day and played on the swings and in the sand like little kids. We ate salt water taffy and took geeky pictures of each other. I remember going to the zoo at least once and the Rose Festival at least twice.

It's funny how things get so fuzzy once time has passed but still I get little shots of clear memories and feelings. Hmph.

(16th birthday party with all my friends huddled around the ice cream cake. We had no plates!)

My crew in high school was pretty great now that I think about it, if not a little incestuous. (Inside story: some of the guys and girls in our group rotated through each other. I was never one of them though!) We went to football games, Red Robin afterwards, planned little excursions and liked hanging out with C's house all the time. It was why I always look back fondly on my high school times while others were hopeful to get out.

M and I dated for over a year which by high school terms is pretty long. Our parents liked us and we ended up staying friends even after we parted ways. He was overprotective when I dated assholes and I was there for him when his mom passed away. Even after over 10 years, we still manage to keep in touch.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 1: Introduce Yourself

Although I have several posts waiting to be...well...posted, I stumbled across this fun "meme" and thought that since I am online all the time, I can totally get this done. Here are the stats:

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

Day 1 - Introduce yourself
Harder than you would think. I am a 29 year old girl (I feel like I am 23-24 most days) originally from Portland, OR but currently in Michigan (of all states). I've been here for two full weeks tomorrow and still am in shock that I a) drove here b) alone and c) actually have my own apartment again. I am attending Eastern Michigan University for my masters degree in higher education administration/student affairs. I want to ultimately become an advisor/academic support person for those struggling to achieve their education which is HIGHLY ironic given that it took me 10 years to complete my bachelors degree.

Personally, I have a very small group of friends and got out of a serious relationship last year. I would love, love to be in a relationship again but don't see that happening anytime soon for various reasons including the fact that I have all sorts of crazy baggage to get rid of first. I am a very creative, insightful, and gentle person who varies between all sorts of extremes: I am outgoing/incredibly shy, self-assured in my skills but very self-conscious otherwise, can be assertive when I need to but hate confrontation and I am both frightened of turning 30 but also looking forward to getting out my 20's because I have hated them.

I have very little furniture right now but have been able to rig up a decent sleeping situation. I haven't had a "proper" bed for about 12 months but have been able to sleep in "proper" beds while dog/cat sitting and at hotels and hostels on my recent road trip. If I could, I would live at the DoubleTree Hotels. Excellent beds. And cookies.

My upbringing was fairly typical I suppose. I remember playing in the front yard with the kids on my street. I had a Kool-Aid stand and picked cherry tomatoes in the backyard. My brother is 14 years older than me and we didn't really grow up together. It was mostly me and my mom except for the handful of years that my dad was around. My mom made all of my Barbie furniture because we were too poor to buy the fancy stuff. Her stuff was way better. Grew up in southern Oregon then a little bit of California then Beaverton and after high school, it was all over the place for me. I am the first one in my family to have traveled overseas, graduate from college, attempt my masters, and live on the east coast. I was in Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (community service program) in 2003 and it significantly changed me and allowed me to travel to areas of the country I would have never been able to. It was dramatic and intense but a great experience overall. After that, I was a nanny to two adorable little boys and they also changed my life. It was hard to say goodbye but I decided to attend college full time at Oregon State University and really made the effort to get my degree finished. After three years there, I just barely survived. I worked at the college and saw the kind of support that is given to students, both good and bad, and that inspired me to pursue higher education as a career. After a very rocky and difficult time after graduation, I knew that I needed to get my masters so that I could create the kind of life that I wanted and support myself. So.....I applied to a bunch of universities with my horrible GPA, excellent personal essay and some lovely letters of recommendation and ultimately decided to attend EMU.

So that brings me to today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things You Don't Know

(From Nataliedee.com, hilarious!)

5 Things You Don't Know About Me:

1. My favorite CD right now is Eminem's Recovery. I listened to that CD the most on my trip but immediately turned it down whenever I entered a rest stop. Language!

2. I play Bejeweled on Facebook to help me sort out my thoughts.

3. I am terrified of crime and the potential of crime happening.

4. I have almost finished the entire series of Arrested Development in a week.

5. I have a problem spending over $10 on pretty much anything. For me to buy it, I have to really love it. IKEA was a weird exception to that rule because I was under the fantasy of coupons and gift certificates.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

I read "Give Me Hope" website pretty much daily. These are little shout outs to people who have made a positive impression on someone else. Today this one had a video along with it.

Here is the website detailing Nicholas Winton's heroic efforts to save children.


Foods Knowledge

(Image from go.compass-usa.com)

Monsanto is evil. If you haven't seen this documentary, Food Inc., then you need to immediately. Among other things (Tyson is evil as well) you will also learn about Monsanto and its supreme power over the food industry. I had a class that went over in detail about Monsanto's use of Roundup (a supposedly safe herbicide) and how they have changed our foods for the worse.

This article at Huffington Post talks about rBGH, a artificial hormone that certain cows are pumped full with that is then passed on to use through dairy products. Some companies do not use cows that with rBGH while others are still continuing to use them. I had no idea it was such a big issue but I do distinctively remember seeing on the Ben & Jerry's containers (while scarfing Coffee Heath Bar Crunch) that they had a whole blurb about their cows and rBGH. Pretty interesting stuff.

Anyway, some literal food for thought this morning.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I was reading through "O" magazine this week and stumbled upon an interesting website. Beliefnet.com talks about all kinds of faith and has a function called the "Belief-O-Matic" which matches up your beliefs to particular religions. I was interested to see what I would come out with.

Here are my results:

Neo-Pagans are a community of faiths bringing ancient Pagan and magickal traditions to the modern age--including mostly Wicca but also Druidism, Asatru, Shamanism, neo-Native American, and more. Neo-Pagan is an umbrella term for various and diverse beliefs with many elements in common. Some Neo-Pagans find no incongruence practicing Neo-Paganism along with adherence to another faith, such as Christianity or Judaism. (More info here)

Wiki page (in case you're interested)

My beliefs are pretty standard and as I don't adhere to any sort of particular religion, this is a nice way to sum up things. I believe there is no heaven or hell. I believe that we should better ourselves for ourselves rather than for some mysterious higher power. I believe there is something, some force or fate, that helps guide us along on our journey as humans but not all of us are in touch with that. When people get lost or decide to do something horrible, it is because of their own mental illness or their need to put themselves first. I believe we are all connected and all a very small part of history and of the evolution of the world. Everything we do has a consequence. I believe in karma, what goes around comes around. I don't think people should be judged for who they love or what they believe as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. I also believe that electronics and the Internet have made us incredibly lazy, detached and numb.