Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A move

No, I'm not referring to my upcoming physical move (though that is happening in roughly 6 weeks), I am referring to an electronic move. This blog never really took off to what I had hoped it would be. There's no real reason why unless it's maybe because I was trying to be so private about my identity. Well, in the spirit of all of the new happenings in my life (moving, new job, getting married) I have decided to start a new blog. It will be some personal, some photos, and some opinion. I have had sooooo many ideas over the last couple of years as to what to write on here, but then I stop myself before hitting "publish" because I don't want to offend anyone. But what's the point of having a blog if you don't express your own opinion sometime??? I will probably be closing this one down soon. In the meantime, feel free to take a look. It's a major work in progress while I'm trying to figure how how to use Wordpress, so please be patient with me. The new blog is

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Old fashioned letter writing

I read an article today about how two teenage girls decided to keep their long distance friendship by using old fashioned snail mail rather than texting. I think this is awesome.

I love a good letter from someone. A real one - not one where someone is trying to sell me something or just fill up my mailbox. Letters from living, breathing, non-automated people. I like cards (birthday, Christmas, etc.), but there's something about a letter that is a million times better. And email is no better than snail mail these days. I open my inbox and at least 95% of it is spam or something related to a bank account or an upcoming bill.

I had a few friends that I used to swap letters with during the summers while we were in college. I was usually doing some kind of research while they were being camp counselors or something. But it was always fun. It was exciting to come in on a random day and have a letter waiting for you to devour and then getting to sit down and fill more pages to send to them. It's so much more personal than sending a quick text saying "thought about you today." I mean, I'm glad you thought about me, but was that worth the text? (Disclaimer: I'm just as bad about this as anyone else... well, maybe not "just as bad" because I don't really text that much, but I'm definitely guilty of this type of exchange.) I've kept most, if not all, of the letters that I exchanged with friends over the years (not necessarily the cards, but definitely the letters). I want to be one of those old ladies that you see in the movies who can pull out stacks of cards tied together with a ribbon (note to self: buy ribbon). I said that I was going to be better about mailing people, but then I haven't done as well with it as I had hoped. This year looks like it's going to be mostly filled with thank you notes for wedding and engagement gifts. Maybe next year.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wedding planning

So here is what Dr. Dude and I have decided so far for the wedding:
Reception location (at a hotel so that's two birds with one stone)
Catering (taken care of by the reception location so that's a third bird)
Attendants and their clothing (or at least my attendants' clothing - we're still debating on his)
Dress (though I haven't ordered it yet)

I have an idea on bouquets but I have to find a florist or decide to do silk flowers (which would actually be quite easy because my family is full of people who are DIY goddesses and my grandmother used to be a florist so arrangements, etc. would be a breeze for her), we've contacted a photographer for engagement and wedding pictures, and today I was looking at wedding cakes. I found a cake maker who has a picture on her website of an armadillo gooms cake that she made. As a southerner and a Phi Mu, I am highly tempted to change my mind on the grooms cake just so that I can have that one. (For those of you who don't get the reference, you need to watch Steel Magnolias. The character of Shelby is based on a real woman who was a Phi Mu. No, my wedding colors are not "blush and bashful.")

To be quite honest, I'm not overly thrilled at all the planning. Sometimes it's fine, but most of the time it's just stressful because everyone wants to know all the details and they're just stressing me out. If I were left to my own devices, I feel like I'd be pretty laid back about it because I really don't care that much other than the ceremony. And by that, I mean the priest, me, Dr. Dude, and our necessary attendants. I feel that other than those things the rest should just be fun, but people put so much pressure on you that it's not that much fun. That's why I'm glad I found the armadillo cake. The giggles that seeing that gave me made the work of looking for a cake totally worth it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thoughts on Boston

I am a runner. I am not a good runner, nor a fast runner, and there are many days that I don't even like it. But by all definitions of a runner - I am a runner.

Monday was the Boston Marathon - a race that I have absolutely no desire to run, but highly commend those who do. The people who run to push themselves. The people who run just to run. The people who run for charities. And the spectators- the people who stand there for hours and hours to cheer on the runners and encourage them to keep going. All of these people are amazing. Monday's attack on the Boston Marathon was nothing but a terrorist attack. To call it anything else would be to dismiss it. It served no purpose other than to invoke fear into the lives of people and to injure those in the vicinity. In the wake of the tragedy, stories have flooded the media about the heroes who potentially risked their lives to help their fellow man. They made tourniquets from their clothing, carried people from the wreckage, and held arteries closed. They donated blood, hosted people in their homes, and just gave out hugs (never underestimate the power of a hug). All of these people are amazing. Every single one of them. In the midst of the tragedy we see humanity at its finest.

Unfortunately, we also see humanity at its worst.

When I say that we see "humanity" at its worst, I don't mean the person (or people) who created the bombs. They are not "humanity." They are only one or two or ten people. Individuals. Since the tragedy I have seen over and over in comment sections of news stories - stories which actually highlight the heroic actions of the people in Boston rather than the terrorists - comments filled with hate. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that the one(s) responsible should have to face the consequences of their actions, but I don't think that it does anyone any good to share such anger and hate. The victims of the bombing are going to go through a mixture of emotions - sadness, happiness that they're alive, anger at losing limbs or being hospitalized, and so many others. The victims are probably going to be angry at the one(s) responsible. They have every right to be angry. But the people of the world who were not there should be pouring out love, kindness, and help to those in need rather than spreading hate toward the terrorist(s). People say over and over that we can't let the terrorists win. If we allow them to bring out the negative emotions - the hate and the anger - into a public forum, then we've done just that. We've let them win.

Pour out your love, generosity, and kindness to the victims. Don't let the terrorists win.

I will be participating in a half marathon in a few weeks. I will patiently deal with any extra security measures that are taken and be grateful that the organizers are showing concern for my life and the other participants' lives. I will remember the victims of the Boston Marathon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Memory Triggers

They say the sense of smell is the sense that is most closely linked with memories. I can attest to that. If I smell chlorine I immediately think of the pool at my aunt and uncle's house. The exhaust from the leaf blowers that they use around here makes me think of my dad cutting firewood since the exhaust from his chainsaw smells exactly the same. Today, though, I realized that sometimes this works on a more subconscious level as well. I have recently had a number of strange dreams that involve my ex and I couldn't figure out why. I have only seen him once in the nearly three years since we've broken up (has it really been only three years? It seems like so much longer). I don't really ever think about him. So why the dreams? Well, today I figured it out. A guy walked into my office today to ask for something and the smell emanating from him just hit me. I thought, "Wow. You need to lay off the Pacific Breeze Old Spice, dude." Then I realized that he was why I had been having those dreams. The ex wore Pacific Breeze scented Old Spice. I must have been bumping into this guy in the stairwell or the hallway just long enough to trigger some memory that would jump to my dreams. (By the way, I don't want you to think I'm some kind of weirdo who goes around sniffing men's deodorant products. I can only tell you exactly what that scent was because the ex wore it. I can also tell you what original scented Old Spice smells like since my father, grandfather, and step-grandfather wear it.)

I was telling this story to a friend of mine at work and she started telling me about this guy that she worked next to in grad school. She couldn't figure out why she was so attracted to him until one day she realized that he wore the same type of cologne as a guy that she dated in college. I laughed and told her about this guy that I had a crush on in high school. I started babysitting for a professor in college and her husband wore the same cologne. I was never actually attracted to her husband, but when he would walk by my thoughts were always "mmmmm.... that Curve smells good on you" (no, I never said it out loud). My friend was like "oh my gosh! That's what those guys wore!" So we decided that there is just something about Curve.

What about you? Is there a smell that just takes you back to days passed or reminds you of someone?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dr. Dude got a job!

Dr. Dude has been applying for jobs since he found out that he was being forced to finish his PhD early. He found out today that he has been accepted for a job. His start date will be sometime between April and June (he hasn't decided when yet). So I have to start applying for a job of my own. Time to spruce up the resume and CV!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

13 books - two down...

I finished reading The Awakening this weekend. It is often regarded as an early feminist novella, and it certainly wasn't what I expected. It takes place in southern Louisiana in the late 1890s. The main character transforms from a woman in her late 20s who is living her life in the manner which is expected of a woman of her age and social standing to a woman who realizes that she may be able to live life in the way in which she actually desires. I won't go into details on the plot, but I will warn that the first half of the story trudges along rather slowly. It really starts to pick up shortly before the characters leave their summer home on Grand Isle to return to New Orleans for the winter season. There are a couple of sections (not very many) which you may have to read more than once in order to grasp what is happening. Chopin was required to be extremely subtle in her writing in order to get it published - something that we are not as accustomed to any longer. I recommend it if you enjoy early feminist novels or have a taste for southern authors. Chopin's writing style influenced quite a few southern authors, but her style is not as convoluted as much of her contemporaries' works.

1. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
2. Hideous Kinky, Ester Freud
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
4. The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe
5. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
6. Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote
8. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
9. 1984, George Orwell
10. Out of Africa, Isak Dineson
11. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
12. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
13. The Awakening, Kate Chopin