Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Year Anniversary

A year ago today, I started my new big-girl job as Administrative and Editorial Assistant for Southeast Missouri State University Press. 

I can't believe it's been a year. What did I do on my first day a year ago? Left for Chicago for the AWP Conference. I had very little money--had to ask my parents for money to pay for my food while I was there--but I bought as many books as possible and got several signed by the authors. I still haven't read all of them yet, but I'm working on it.

It was my first time in Chicago--I loved it and hated it all at once. It was freaking February. It rained. It snowed. It was sunny and warm one day so we walked all the way to Navy Pier. It was painfully windy. And somewhere along the way, I lost my coat--go figure.

We got to see the premier of Being Flynn, which is based on the memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn (if you haven't read it, you should--it's fantastic...and how can you not want to read it with a title like that?!). I couldn't get my book signed by him because I had loaned it to a friend :( Getting to meet and talk with so many authors and other small presses was pretty awesome though.

A week later I was back in my apartment in Cape and learning my new job. I feel like it took a really long time to understand everything. And it took even longer to get things cleaned up and organized (the lady who worked here before me was not super organized, and by that, I mean not at all).

A year later and I still feel like there's a ton I don't know or understand and still have a lot to learn (which I guess is good in a way). And my office is not currently all that organized. Like most other "spaces" in my life, my office is an organized mess. Everything isn't neat and perfect, but I know where to find things (most of the time).

I started grad school last fall--being a full-time employee means I only have to pay for 30% of my tuition (as long as I pass). I was nervous last semester--worried about having enough time for work and classes and homework, etc. Last semester went pretty smoothly though.

This semester? Not so much. My research class is quite possibly the worst I've ever taken. I'm quite thankful that I only have one other class this semester (although only taking 2 classes a semester kind of kills me inside when I think about how much longer it will take to get my degree). I will be one of the happiest people in the world after finals are over in May (the other happiest people will be the other 15-20 people in my class).

Overall, it's been a good year. So much has changed since I started here. I moved twice. I went to Chicago twice. I bought a new car (all by myself the way grown-ups are supposed to). I've gotten to proof/edit several of our magazines and books. I had to take 4 sick days (which feels like a lot, but considering how much I used to get sick, that's a major improvement). I was kind of excited Monday morning because I felt good and realistically thought I could make it to today without getting sick, which would mean I would have only used 2 sick days (back in the fall when I had that awful UTI).

My stomach had other plans. You can read the full sick post here, but I was really, really upset when my boss sent me home. Partially because I had just thrown up and I'm a big baby and partially because I knew this meant at least 3 sick days in the year (which turned into my 4 total). And being sick means getting behind on work (she wouldn't let me take anything home to work on), behind on homework, behind on chores at home, etc.

I'm excited for this next year. We've got some really great books coming out this year (one that's almost ready to go to the printer!), I'll officially be finished with my first year of grad school (assuming I survive my research class), I'll be taking my first vacation in July, etc. Here's to another year!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Worst Feeling in the World

Warning: Things are about to get gross. If you can't handle it, I completely understand if you choose not to read today's post.

So I got sick on Monday. At work. Like, throw-up sick. First of all, I think throwing up is by far one of the worst feelings in the world (including the minutes/seconds leading up to it). Safe to say I will never be bulimic.

I started feeling light-headed and nauseous. I went into the bathroom and sat down for a few minutes. I felt a little better, so I got back to work. Probably less than five minutes later I was making a mad dash for the bathroom. I seriously almost didn't make it. In case you forgot, this was at work. And of course it couldn't have happened first thing in the morning when no one else was around to hear. Nope. Interns were there. My boss was there. I was mortified.

I tend to break out in a cold sweat minutes before I have to puke. That's how I know to make my way to the bathroom asap. I didn't have quite as much time to do that as I normally do. So after I finally finished puking up my breakfast and whatever else, I washed my hands, tried to rinse the taste of vomit out of my mouth, and tried to wipe off the mascara running down my face (yes, I was crying--vomiting turns me into a gigantic baby).

I timidly walked into my boss's office and she just looks at me and tells me "You need to go home. And take some plastic bags with you in case you need them." I packed up my stuff, grabbed a couple plastic bags just in case, and then left, praying I wouldn't throw up on my drive home.

I made it home without getting sick again--barely. On the plus side, I was looking forward to cuddling with Copper and just laying around all day. Copper would have none of it. She wanted to play and go outside and then back in and play some more and bark at me for no reason. What a pain in the ass.

I took Tuesday off as well. I had stopped throwing up, but still didn't feel great, and I wanted to make sure that whatever I had wouldn't get anyone else sick. I laid around and watched a day-long Law and Order: SVU marathon. And continued to let Copper in and out and throw toys at her and whatever else to keep her somewhat entertained. I got no sleep.

So I came back to work today. I have now gone 6-ish days without working out. I just didn't have the energy today to do any sort of workout today. I'm going to try and do something tomorrow though.

Unfortunately, I missed the study group for my class last night, so I'm way behind on my homework and have no idea how I'm going to get it done before class tomorrow night. We have twice as much to get through this week because class was canceled last week, so I'm really hoping we just don't have time to get to it and I have an extra week to get it done.

I hope you're all having a better week than me! And here's a picture of that pain in the ass:

She likes to pretend she's all cute and innocent.
Lies. All lies. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was pretty much just a normal Sunday for us. We went to the Factory Diner for breakfast. Chris had the ridiculous pancake, sausage, and egg "sandwich" and I had the Mediterranean omelette. And I actually remembered to take a picture this week!

We got there before 9, so it wasn't crowded.
Cute place, good food. 
After breakfast we did our grocery shopping. We went to Walmart this week because I needed an oil change, so we figured we'd do it all at once. We spent wayyy too much money :( 

We saw that the Petco is finally open, so we decided to take Copper to the store and get her some dog food and treats (I had some coupons) and a new toy. She did not behave herself. She barked and whined and jumped on/at people. It was awful. So needless to say she won't be going back there any time soon. I think we're going to sign up for the training classes they offer though so hopefully she'll learn something. 

Having two days off (not really "off" since I was working from home) really screwed up my workouts. :( By the time I got home on Thursday I was entirely too exhausted to even attempt working out. And Friday I was just lazy. And I can't remember the last time I worked out on the weekend, so I didn't do anything for the past four days. 

Time to get back at it this week. I was doing great up until that point and hadn't skipped a day (although I had considered it more than once), so hopefully I can find that motivation again and stick with it. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snowpocalypse Recap

So I didn't take a picture of the snow/ice Thursday because I hate it that much. It started raining ice pretty early on Thursday, so my boss decided we were just going to call it quits and go home even though the university hadn't officially closed.

I emailed my teacher and told her that I wasn't going to make it because I had a long commute and couldn't risk getting stuck in Cape because if Chris got stuck in St. Louis, no one would make it home to take care of Copper.

The roads got terrible fast. I wasn't even half way home when my windshield wipers froze. I had the heat and defroster on full-blast (I was sweating a ton--so hot) and it was barely enough to keep the ice from freezing to my windshield. Ice had frozen to my side mirrors, and pretty much the rest of my car. I got home and there was already quite a bit of ice on the ground, so I decided against pulling in the driveway and parked on the street instead.

I came home, played with Copper, and got back to work. I had texted Chris to tell him I was on my way home but I hadn't heard anything from him since he told me things were getting bad in St. Louis too. I figured he'd be staying up there. He pulled up in front of the house a little later though! His work decided to close early and send everyone home. I loved getting to spend all day with him and Copper :) We all snuggled on the couch while I worked. It was a good way to spend a snow day.

And the university officially canceled all classes/events after 3:15pm (my teacher decided to cancel class about an hour before that), so that was a bit of a relief.

The next day wasn't so much fun. We had at least 4 inches of snow and ice (pretty sure the bottom and top layers were ice). Chris had to be at work at 10. Unfortunately, we were literally snowed in. He couldn't get his car out. We tried to get my car out since it's in a little better shape than his is. That didn't work either. So we both stayed home again yesterday. I got back to work. Chris decided to make homemade doughnuts:

Not bad. Not the best doughnuts ever, but not bad :)
Eventually Chris called a tow truck to get his car out and he went to Walmart to buy a shovel and fish for dinner. 

We had tilapia and leftover mac 'n cheese with cauliflower for dinner. It was delicious. I think we're going to do that again next week. 

It almost got up to 40 degrees today and with a little more shoveling, I was able to get my car out. Not that I had anywhere I absolutely had to go. 

Fingers crossed this is the last snow of the season and things start warming up soon! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowpocalypse 2013

What does a predicted 4-6 inches of snow and/or ice look like the next morning you ask?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

On the bright side, since all the schools were off and many business decided to close, I hit zero traffic this morning until I got to Cape. Everything surrounding Cape is closed in anticipation of what was supposed to happen last night. 

I'm a tad upset I still had to get up and come to work today, but I didn't have to scrape snow or ice off of my car to do so. Win.

And there's still hope that my class will be canceled tonight. The snow/freezing rain/sleet/whatever is supposed to start sometime this afternoon. SEMO is not known for canceling classes due to weather (it's only happened twice in the 6-ish years I've been here), but they have canceled night classes on several occasions. So fingers crossed for that! 

If my class isn't canceled, my plan is to go to Starbucks for coffee and attempt to get at least a little more homework done before class (although I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who will be showing up with an incomplete assignment). 

I'll keep you all updated on the snowpocalypse. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Copper Went to the Vet Today

Copper had her first vet appointment today (not her very first, but her first since we've had her). She is healthy, weighs 25lbs (!), and she got a shot and flea vaccination. She has to go back again in three weeks. I think she behaved herself for the most part (if she did anything terrible, Chris didn't tell me). He sent me this pic of her:

Isn't she precious? :) 
In other news, I'm still not finished with all of my homework for my class tomorrow night, even after spending almost two hours at the library yesterday after work with a terrible migraine. I'm sort of kind of hoping they'll at least cancel night classes tomorrow because of the storm and then I won't have to worry about getting my homework done by 6 tomorrow. *Spoiler Alert* I probably won't finish it whether we have class or not. It sucks. And it's not my week to "lead the class discussion" so it's not the end of the world (although this storm may be hehe). 

In all seriousness, I hate snow. I hate winter. If I have to venture out in this storm tomorrow (which is very likely) I will be extremely unhappy. I'd rather stay at home and snuggle with Copper and bake brownies or something. Or just snuggle and watch movies and sleep and forget I have homework and stuff for a day. Whatever. Anyhoo, if you're like me and have to get out in the storm, be safe!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Recap

I left work early on Friday thanks to the extra three hours I worked at the event last Wednesday night. I went to Staples to return a couple things and buy a few more things. Then I drove home, stopped for gas (which is way expensive right now), and stopped at Walgreens to pick up my prescriptions. And almost the entire way I had to pee. I didn't even let Copper out right away when I got home. After that, I cleaned, because the house was a mess, and I couldn't relax/nap knowing the house was so messy.

So after all that nonsense, I finally got to lay on the couch and cuddle with Copper until Chris got home. It turned out to be a good evening--she's a pretty good cuddler, and she's warm too! :) We went to A&W/Long John Silver's for dinner because it was Friday and I had to have fish, and that was the only place I could think of to get it. This Friday we're going to attempt to make our own (on the grill I think).

Saturday I did the usual and got up around eight and started on homework. I didn't get too far though because the last half of it requires me to go to the damn library. I'm guessing this is going to become a weekly thing. It's really irritating. So I'll be hiking my butt up to the library after work tomorrow.

I decided to take a break from homework and I baked Chris cookies. I was kind of guessing at most of the measurements because my measuring cups kinda suck, so I was worried they wouldn't turn out okay, but they did, and they're almost gone! And I've only had a few ;)

We drove to a different Walmart Saturday night in search of two things: 1. A rubber piggy for Copper that oinks. 2. The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-Ray to watch on our new tv. 

We found the pig and bought it. And Copper oinked it out within a couple hours of playing with it. It was hilarious while it lasted though. We did not find Batman. We've been able to find it on DVD, but we can't find it on Blu-Ray anywhere. :(

Sunday was a busy day. We got up, went to breakfast at the Factory Diner (where I forgot to take pictures, again) then did our grocery shopping. Later we drove up to St. Louis. Chris's mom did my taxes for me because she's awesome. :) I'm not getting much back though, so that's kind of disappointing. 

We dropped Copper off at my parents' house and Chris and I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought a vacuum! Our other vacuum (which was free) did not work at all. Our new one is amazing! My mom made chicken and dumplings for dinner and they were delicious. Can't wait to eat the leftovers :)

All this crazy wind blew our trash all over the yard, so I guess I'll be cleaning all that up when I get home if it's still there. Our trash gets picked up tomorrow, and we have a lot to put out there this week so I'm hoping this wind lets up and I can put it all out tonight. 

And Copper was so cute this morning. She just wanted to snuggle on the couch, but I had to leave for work :( Poor baby doesn't like the wind. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy V-Day

I had to stop for coffee this morning on my way to work. I'm not quite sure why I'm so exhausted. We had an event last night (which went really well!), so instead of going to class, I worked the event and left only about a half hour later than I would have normally left from class. That half hour apparently makes a huge difference.

I went home, showered (because, you know, I've been working out every day so I get sweaty and gross), and went straight to bed. Oh and I said hi to Chris and tried not to step on Copper as she weaved her way under my feet. Silly pup.

The event was a Veteran's Recognition Reception for our book Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors (which, if you haven't bought it yet, you totally should). Much like the first event in St. Louis back in November, there were several vets there who read some of their work that was published in the book. There was a pretty good turn-out, too. And the president of the university read a nice little proclamation from the governor, so that was cool.

All of the readers got a fancy pen (and my boss gave me one too because she's awesome):

The engraving says:
"In Their Own Words"
Also, in case you were wondering, I've decided not to give anything up for Lent this year. Instead I'm going to work on doing something nice for other people (kind of like the Pay it Forward Friday thing I did last week, except more frequently). It can be anyone--a friend, family, a total stranger. And it can be anything. Just as long as I'm making the effort to do something for someone else. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you and remember to show some love to others (not just your significant other)! And if you're in Cape, I'm pretty sure there's some random dudes on the street corner by the English building holding large paper hearts and giving out chocolate and/or hugs. I'm not saying you should take candy from a stranger--or hug one for that matter--but it might be worthwhile to stop by and see what they're up to. 

And again, if you haven't bought Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, you can purchase it from our website or you can get it from  and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Lent is right around the corner (literally, it starts tomorrow). I struggle every year with trying to come up with something to give up for lent (as if meat on Fridays wasn't enough).

I've done many in the past few years to help improve my health. I gave up dark soda a couple years ago and can honestly say I haven't had it since (and surprisingly I don't miss it!). I've given up all forms of caffeine--tea, coffee, soda, basically everything but chocolate. That also went surprisingly well once I got past the headaches, except for the fact that I was in school and not having caffeine really sucked. I gave up fast food one year. That did not go so well. I'd love to try that again, but given our current schedules, I think it's near impossible to cut out fast food altogether.

I've given up chocolate/desserts in the past but I don't really see that happening. I'm really racking my brain on this, trying to come up with something. Perhaps give up something I buy on a regular basis, like new Vera bags--but then again, I don't usually buy those for myself regularly (unless there's a really good sale!).

It's really supposed to be about bettering yourself, right? Hence all the people giving up certain foods and whatnot? It's kind of a way to get back into your resolutions if you fell off the wagon at some point over the last six weeks.

I'm trying to remind myself that just because today is "Fat Tuesday" doesn't mean I can eat like a total pig. We'll see how that works out the rest of the day...

I'll be heading over to the library after work so I can do the last portion of my homework for Thursday. Fingers crossed that this will be the last time I'll have to do this for this class. It's frustrating.

What about you guys? What are you giving up for Lent this year (if you're Catholic)?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentines Day Came Early at Our House

We had a pretty good weekend. Friday night we attempted to play a video game on Chris's X-Box. Hilarious. I'm pretty terrible at video games anyway, and trying to race cars was just plain awful.

On Saturday I spent most of the day doing homework which sucked, and I'm still not finished because large chunks of it require me to go to the library. Lame. Saturday night we had Jack in the Box for dinner (the bacon cheddar potato wedges are even better than I remember!) and then headed over to the world's worst movie theater. The popcorn machine was BROKEN. We were pretty grumpy about that. We got a Sprite and some Junior Mints and Raisinettes instead. Not the same.

We saw the movie Identity Thief. I thought it was really funny. Chris didn't think it was that great, but I'm not 100% sure he was awake the whole time (although he claims he was) :p They do spend a good chunk of the movie in St. Louis though, which I thought was kinda neat.

Yesterday we finally found the only place in Farmington that's open for breakfast on Sundays! It's called the Factory Diner and it's possibly one of the strangest places I've ever been to, but it was kinda cool too. I should have taken some pics. Maybe next time. The food was surprisingly delicious. I had a Mediterranean omelette which had beef, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and feta cheese. Chris had some other kind of omelette that had similar stuff, but more meat and mushrooms (YUCK).

After breakfast and a little exploring of the "factory" we went grocery shopping--my least favorite thing to do ever. Except maybe doing the dishes. Gross.

Later, Chris decided to head up to St. Louis to buy my Valentine's Day present. I'm not going to name names here, but one of us is too impatient to wait four more days so he handed me my gift(s) as soon as he walked back in the door (no cards or fancy wrapping for this girl).

A new Vera Bradley bag which I'm absolutely in love with! 

And a Blues jersey! Finally!
(apparently this isn't part of my V-day present
since it put him over our limit...whatever)
I bought Chris a Weber grill because he's been begging for one since we moved (even though it's been way too cold to grill anything). He grilled us brats with onions for dinner and we had broccoli on the side. Delish :)

Today I went to yoga during lunch and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite exercises. The positions are getting a little more difficult, but it's so relaxing and I love all of the focus on breathing and whatnot. Tomorrow I'll probably get back on the elliptical. I gave my legs a slight break on Friday since they were unusually sore and spent most of my time at the gym lifting weights and doing ab stuff.

And here's a picture of our precious little Copper because these posts just feel incomplete now without them:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pay it Forward Friday

Yesterday kinda sucked. It was busy and I had class. Class was long and I had to meet with my teacher afterward about my thesis project. And then it rained the entire way home. Also, not sure what I did during my workout, but my left leg was killing me.

I got home and Chris had dinner ready. He's so wonderful :) He made homemade mac 'n cheese with cauliflower and it was yummy! He's a better cook than I am :( He's also just better than me in general because he always waits for me to get home so we can eat together and he cleans up after dinner and puts the dog to bed. I suck.

So I woke up this morning, leg feeling a little better, but freaking exhausted. I've been at least 20 minutes early to work every day this week, so I figured I'd stop at Starbucks for coffee (my fourth in three days...oops). I decided while I was sitting in line in the drive thru that I was going to pay for the woman behind me as well. I figured I was having a rough morning and maybe she was too, and maybe it'd make her smile and make her day a little better, and hopefully she'd pay for the person behind her too.

Obviously, I have no idea what happened, but I felt a little better after I drove off. Maybe she didn't pay for another person's (who knows...maybe they ordered a lot) but I hope she does something nice for someone else at some point today. We all deserve it. And it just feels good to do something nice for others. I'm also thankful that today was payday and that I could afford to pay for someone else's drink ;)

So what do you say? Let's all do something nice for someone else today--even if it's as small and simple as holding the door open for someone. And if you feel like sharing what you did--or what someone else did for you--leave a comment below! 

Thanks everyone for being amazing and have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Mmmmm coffee! Pass it on! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Workout Updates

Yesterday's workout was 40 minutes on the elliptical. I've been increasing the resistance/intensity each week. I started at 15 and I'm currently at 25. I also somehow managed to forget to pack a t-shirt to wear during my workout. Seriously, who does that? Well, me apparently. So I ended up wearing my jacket zipped all the way up for my entire workout.

Today I did core strength and it was rough. I'm finally starting to get better at planks--especially side planks (those are tricky!). We also did a lot of leg stuff and ab stuff that involved legs and I'm getting really sore and tense in weird places. Not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. There are some ab exercises I may never get the hang of. Like bicycles, for example. The whole elbow-to-opposite-knee-thing is pretty much impossible for me to do, especially at a fast pace.

Even though I took my inhaler before the class, I was still having a really hard time breathing. And it seemed to take longer afterward for my breathing to get back to normal. Boo :(

I'm really enjoying these classes and my other workouts though. I really wasn't sure how I'd feel about working out on my lunch breaks, but I actually like it. It gives me a break (one that I actually take unlike most of my previous "lunch breaks") and I usually feel a lot better once I get a workout done, even more so if I've been having a bad day.

The only downsides are being all sweaty and not having time for a shower before I go back to work and being really exhausted by the time I get home after work. It's worse on the nights I have class. But it's totally worth it.

I haven't noticed too many changes with my body like weight loss (although I can't remember the last time I actually weighed myself anyway, so I really have no idea what my current weight is). I haven't noticed my clothes fitting any differently, which is slightly disappointing but I'm sure that will come eventually. I've been trying to eat healthier. I make sure I have fruit and veggies in my lunch. Breakfast is usually just cereal. I try to eat veggies with dinner, but that doesn't always happen.

I've been keeping track of my meals, hoping that it would give me some insight to my stomach issues but I haven't had much luck with that so far. Then again, it's only been a week and a half. The only thing I know for sure that gives me lots of problems is fast food, which I've only had once since I started this. As bad as it is, it's so hard to cut it out completely. I'm working on it though.

PS Did you notice it's Wednesday and I'm still posting a blog? Go me! I learned how to schedule my posts! Still, posts on Wednesdays and Thursdays might remain pretty rare. :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Adventure

I made broccoli cheddar soup last night after work. Lemme tell ya: it's not so fun to do after a long day at work and while letting a puppy in and out several times.

Overall, I think it took me about an hour and a half to cook which was just painfully long for someone who doesn't enjoy cooking and was starving.

There was a lot of stirring for 20 minutes and simmering and chopping and measuring. Blah.

The end product:
Okay, this is leftovers, because by the time I finished,
I was too hungry to bother with taking pics for you all.

It wasn't bad. I personally think it could have been cheesier. I also didn't follow the recipe exactly (I swear I can hear my mom tsk-ing me all the way from here), so that might have something to do with it not tasting amazing. 

I added more carrots than the recipe called for: I bought a 10 oz. bag and only needed 8 for the soup. Well, I wasn't going to measure all that out, and what the hell would I do with 2 oz. of carrots other than throw them away? 

Second I may or may not have used too much broccoli. Scratch that. I didn't use enough broccoli. I bought a 16 oz. bag of broccoli and guesstimated half as it called for just 8 oz. of broccoli as well. 

I do think that those extra 2 oz. of carrots made the soup a little too sweet so maybe next time I'll follow the recipe more exact. ;)

I initially used the exact amounts of cheese, but when I did a little taste test, it didn't taste very cheesy at all. So I added more. That seemed to help--I still don't think it was cheesy enough though. 

Given that this was my first ever attempt at making any kind of soup, I'd call it a success since it was edible. And Chris said it was "delicious" (his word, not mine)--although I did tell him last night to let me know what he thought, and then added that since it took so long to prepare/cook, anything other than "it was good" was going to get him in trouble ;)

I definitely want to try making this again sometime soon, but it's going to be a weekend meal when I have more time and patience to take the time to cook. 

And seriously, cooking while trying to watch a puppy is nearly impossible! 

Bucketlist for 2013

If you're new here, welcome! I'm participating in a blog-hop with other writers and we're going to be talking about things we want to cross off of our "writer's bucketlist" this year. I hope you enjoy it and check out some other blogs as well!

I've already done the obligatory "goals/resolutions/plans" post for 2013. But not a whole lot of those had much to do with my writing.

Here are some things I want to accomplish with my writing in 2013 (both academically and here on the blog):

1. Get one of my poems published. I have to submit my poetry at least once just this semester for my poetry class, so I'll probably send out to more than one and hope I get something other than rejection letters in the mail :)

2. Build my readership here on the blog and get all of you wonderful people more involved! I get very few comments on my posts, even though I seem to have a lot more readers than I've had in the past. So I want to work on that and get to know you all better!

3. I want to spend more time blogging about fitness, since that's why I started this in the first place. Of course it helps if you're actually doing "fitness-y" things. I'm working on it.

4. Get started on my thesis. I've officially decided that I'll be doing the editing project rather than a creative thesis. I'm really excited about it and although the editing project will contain a little less writing and a lot more editing, it's still going to be a lot of work.

5. I want to read more. Reading improves your writing, so I really want to be able to spend more time reading--other blogs, novels, poetry, etc. (especially things that aren't required for my classes). And in case you're wondering, I'm still on Book 4 (American Psycho) of the 100 Book Challenge, but I'm making progress (mostly thanks to the fact that I forgot some of my homework at work over the weekend--oops).

6. I want to make a difference. I read quite a few blogs that regularly raise money for a certain cause or family or group and I'd like to somehow be a part of that. I'm not sure when or how I'll make that happen, but it's definitely something I want to try sometime this year. Plus, it just really feels good to be a part of a community that will band together and do nice things for others.

That's all for now. I suppose the next step is finding ways to implement these things. Some will be easier than others, but I hope to accomplish all of them, or at least make progress toward each of them, this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was a pretty fantastic day. We got ZERO snow, unlike everyone in St. Louis who got between 3 and 4 inches (ha!).

We attempted to go to breakfast at a coffee shop in town that Chris had tried but they are not open on Sundays. The only other place besides fast food that we could find that was open was a donut shop and neither of us were in the mood for donuts. So we had Jack in the Box for breakfast.

First and most importantly, I discovered that the bacon cheddar potato wedges ARE BACK!!!! Those are my most favorite thing on their menu and they've been gone for soooo long. If you're wondering whether I had them for breakfast or not, well, I seriously considered it, but decided to have a steak and egg burrito instead.

Unlike the tiny burritos you get at McDonald's (and now Sonic--boo), it was a nice full-size burrito and it was pretty darn good.

After breakfast we did our grocery shopping and got our foods for the crock pots. We got all fat, unhealthy things like little smokies, rotel dip and chips, and taquitos. Yummm.

After a nap and finding nothing on tv to watch, we decided to go to Walmart. Here's what we came home with:

A Lamb Chop for Copper

And a 46" tv for Chris (and me too, I guess)
It was a good deal and all that blah blah blah. So we "watched" the Super Bowl on our new tv. And by "watched" I mean ate, napped, and I read. The game was fairly boring (especially since I don't really like football anyway), and most of the commercials sucked. I felt like it was a pretty big waste of time. But what else were we gonna do? 

Tonight I'm going to attempt to make broccoli cheddar soup. Hopefully that turns out okay--I'll be sure to let you know! 

HughesNet Sucks (Still)

From now on, I will never buy a product or service that has not
A. Been used before by myself or someone I know
B. Been highly recommended to me by someone I know and trust
C. or been thoroughly researched on my own.

After spending nearly a half hour on hold on Friday (after speaking to a recording--which I absolutely despise!), and hearing several messages that they are experiencing a "high volume of calls and customer service is also available online" (it's not), I finally got through to HughesNet to change my payment method.

It should have come as no surprise that the person who took my call barely spoke English. Once I had finally given her all the information and whatnot and finally hung up, I wasn't entirely sure she had the information correct. Now I'm kind of hoping and praying she screwed up and they won't be able to charge me.

I started doing research online and OH MY GOD the things I've read that I wish I had read back in October. Complaints from people saying that HughesNet has essentially stolen money from their bank accounts, refuses to refund money for any purpose, and several have had my experience--totally unaware of the extremely low data allowance.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this, but I eventually just canceled my Netflix because I'd occasionally be able to get through one episode before my internet slowed down so much that it was impossible to watch (or do anything else even).

I figured even though Netflix is pretty cheap, it's stupid to pay for something that I can't use because my internet is entirely too slow. I'm still trying to come up with other ways to get internet so I don't have to go through HughesNet anymore. The main problem is that, from what I've read, it's not easy to get out of a contract with them (whether you try to pay a fee and break early or wait until the 2 years is up). Again, a lot of people have reported having money stolen from their accounts, even after they've paid the fees (which are a ridiculous $400 or more) and had the contract and services canceled. They also will not send anyone to remove the equipment--you have to do it yourself, no matter how dangerous, and then send it back to them. Some people have reported that even after sending the equipment back (and receiving confirmation from UPS that it was delivered), they were still charged and HughesNet said they never got it.

I don't care where you're living. If you absolutely need internet, find another way--any other way--than going with HughesNet. They are overpriced, offer extremely shitty service (which some people have compared to dial-up), and apparently will steal your money (hopefully I don't have to experience that). Right now we're looking into getting an iPad with an extra data plan (which isn't nearly enough for Netflix, but it would work for doing research and stuff) or we're going to look into getting one of those wireless cards. I don't know anything about those, but I think maybe next weekend I'll head over to AT&T and see what my options are. I know going the iPad/data route won't be a lot cheaper than what we're doing now, but the service will be better and more consistent.

If you know anything about wireless cards (or any other options) please let me know. I'd appreciate any help/advice!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Fun

Today got off to a rough start.

First of all, it was NINE freaking degrees when I left for work this morning. NINE!!!

Second, at least one of my tires was extremely low on air (probably the one I lost the little cap-thingy to the last time I filled it with air) so I had to drive to the gas station and get out on the ground, in the dark, and figure out which tire it was and then fill it up.

By the time I got that taken care of, it was 6:30. Normally, I'm half-way-ish to I55 by then. And of course, I got stuck behind all the grandmas and school buses.

I managed to make it to work and walked in the door at 8am. Idk how in the hell I did it (okay, I do know...I was speeding...a little), but that's probably the latest I've ever been to work. Crazy.

My classes weren't too bad this week. And I'm actually starting to sort of enjoy my research class. Not a huge fan of the homework assignments, but I am enjoying the in-class discussions we're having (both on- and off-topic).

I don't have a ton of homework this weekend either! I'm hoping I can get it all done tomorrow so I can just relax on Sunday and eat and be lazy and watch the Superbowl. We have no plans. No party to go to. And I'm perfectly fine with that. :)

In other news, I worked out every day this week and it feels amazing to be able to say that! Working out during my lunch breaks has been the best part of my day. It seems to make the day go by faster, and I have more energy in the afternoons.

When I got home, I was greeted by a puppy soaked in her pee. So I had to give her a bath. What fun.