Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I watched a pair of college-aged lesbians for awhile, as they were sitting right in front of me. One spoke loudly on her cell phone about how some of her friends were hooking up, and needless to say, it caught my attention (and the attention of most surrounding gates). And, when did "college-aged" get so young?
Anyway, these girls were still in the stage where they were trying to shock all of us old fogies at the gate, and made a point of liplocking every time one of them went to the bathroom or had to get some food. It just made me laugh. Also, it was clear that one of them was more masculine than the other...but someone should tell her that to be truly effective, she should stop wearing jeans made for girls.
I think that stores need to be banned from airports. Every time I fly somewhere, I'm compelled to stop at Nine West and buy shoes. This day was no exception - not only did I buy them, but I immediately went to the bathroom and put them on. I love them! But they eventually started to pinch my toes - I think Nine West has changed their sizes. I'm normally a solid 8 1/2, but when I've tried them on lately, they've been too wide so I've opted for the 8...and then they pinch my toes after awhile.
Speaking of shoes, boots. The boot trend has been around for a year or two now, and every other female that I saw at the airport sported pants or jeans tucked into their boots. I'm not anti this trend, but it's not okay that every woman under the sun thinks she can pull it off. So many women seemed to think that they were being fashion forward and so thought they could get away with a clever combo of boots and pants - not so much.
Women should be required to take a test before purchasing boots, especially boots with the fur. Anyone over the age of 35 should be automatically eliminated (maybe younger than that). Even fur trim should be severely restricted. If a woman does not pass the test, she should be required to take lessons on the best type of pants to tuck into boots and locations where this look is appropriate.
(For anyone wondering...I have never, myself, tucked my jeans into my boots. I don't think I can pull it off. I think it looks terrific when it's done correctly, but the plethora of examples available at the Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Indianapolis airports reinforced my thought that only certain people can make it look good.)
I suppose my people-watching and fascination truly translates into criticisms of what everyone else is wearing. LOL. Hey, I was entertained!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band - okay, I was the alto recorder in high school but it still counts!
4. Visited Hawaii - darn, broke my streak
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - that will hopefully change this summer! And I have been to Disney World, so I'm giving myself half points (hence the italics)
8. Climbed a mountain - my friend Laurel and I felt like it was a mountain in Edinburgh, Scotland, but the locals called it a hill
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - we did Annie for my first grade play and I was absent the day they cast the roles...I was always convinced that, had I been there, I would have had the lead, instead of stupid "Narrator 3"
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - and after seeing Carrie & Samantha's adventures on Sex in the City, not sure I ever want to!
21. Had a pillow fight - of course I have, I went to sleepovers when I was little!
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - how do you think I was able to interview for jobs in Pittsburgh? Not that it helped...I still moved home unemployed
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held an alligator
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - and I don't see this one ever being bolded...
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - I've ridden one at the Venetian...definitely counts for half!
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - I should get double, I've watched both (really, who hasn't??)
31. Hit a home run - Yay, Sarah Heinz House kickball!
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - someday I will blog about how we used to drive up there and drink when I was 19...love that the drinking age is lower in Canadia!
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - we will be going to Ireland in 3 years!
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - definitely counting my Pig Latin expertise and my slight Spanish knowledge
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - again, who hasn't?
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - hope this one's never bolded!
47. Had your portrait painted - my mom's friend painted one of all of my grandparents' grandkids for their 50th anniversary present
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - definitely half points; we were outside of it and they closed it before we could get in line....not sure why....
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - in Cancun and Key West
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie - home movies definitely count!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - no. The city of Pittsburgh has Camp Fire Girls, not Girl Scouts. And I wasn't allowed to join.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - definitely on my To Do!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - grrr
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Been to Canada - oh those crazy days in college...
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - never want this one bolded, either!
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London
77. Broken a bone - pretty sure I had something broken in my foot the last time I was a klutz, but I never got an x-ray
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - I should get double points - I was drunk!!
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - we flew over it, that totally counts!
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Seen Bon Jovi in concert - we saw NKOTB, that totally counts for half!
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read Gone With The Wind
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - ewww
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - Kirk Cameron was in a wedding that I served when I was in high school. How jealous are you??
92. Joined a book club - didn't last very long...
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit - my sister and I got rear ended and we won some cash
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own
Okay, I have some things to catch up on...43 bolded and 7 halfsies.
This is bad for two reasons: 1 - since I'm not mentally prepared to leave, I'm also not mentally prepared to student teach...and I'm going to need all the help I can get!
2 - when it does hit me, it's going to be much more emotional than I'm okay with. I'm not a crier in general, and I really don't like to do it in front of people...I'm afraid that I'll be a mess whenever the "going away" things culminate.
One of the best and worst things about leaving is that you discover how valued people really think that you are. It's great b/c I feel like I truly am a respected member of our HR team, and people have been slowly and steadily coming out of the woodwork to reinforce that. It's bad because I feel as though I have under appreciated my colleagues.
I have only good memories of when I left my last position. I lived and worked in the Virginia Beach area, and I worked in a company's distribution center as the Assistant HR Manager for about a year and a half before my position was eliminated and I was moved to the corporate office. I was lucky enough that they had a position to move me into, but it was a job that a smart monkey could have performed. I only lasted six months before I moved back to Pittsburgh.
Yet, in those short six months, I made inroads into my new co-workers. I joined a group of ladies who walked around the parking lot twice a day, I chatted with the employees in Benefits who sat by my cubicle, and I became friends with the receptionist who worked for the CPO (that's Chief People Officer - no, I'd never heard of it before either). All of this resulted in a surprisingly touching response when they found out I was leaving. Cards, tokens, a happy hour...I was really shocked at how everyone reacted, and I know how heartfelt it was.
Since then, I have occasionally gone back and read those cards whenever I'm down in the dumps. I have a picture of my closest corporate friend and me in my room at home, and I stay in touch (okay, sporadically - I'm so bad at that!) with my boss from the distribution center.
So it's beginning to be time to gather the newest additions to my collection. It may seem silly, but I really appreciate every small thing that people have been saying to me. I got a random e-mail this morning (in response to a sassy remark I made about how she's not going to have to nag me anymore) from someone in my department who told me what a joy it was to work with me.
I can also see my co-workers sneaking around, blatantly hiding things from me. That sounds like a contradiction, but it's not - they'll ask me to leave the room and then I hear peals of laughter coming from behind the closed door...
I just need to remember to gather these comments and keep them with me, so that I can examine them whenever I'm feeling discouraged in a new job or down about changing careers.
Friday, December 12, 2008
There are so many requirements for a student teacher that I'm glad I never followed through and got a part-time job. It looks like I'll be doing prep work every minute that I'm not in school and I'm a little intimidated by that. I really hope that my cooperating teacher is wonderful. I think I'll need all of the support I can get.
And, I have a dilemma. During our first student teacher seminar, my professor made a point of saying that we had to make sure that we didn't have any crazy "websites" like Facebook or MySpace. I, of course, have both. But I don't think I have anything outrageous posted on either, and both are set to private. Not to mention that I have this blog. But I don't think that anything on the blog account has my full name, and I have tried to keep most things fairly anonymous, so I think as long as I don't mention any students or teachers by name I'll be safe.
What do you think? Do you think I should delete my Facebook & MySpace pages? What about my blog?
I would hate to do it but I don't want to have anything tarnish my reputation this early in the game...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1. Candy Canes - I love them! All that pepperminty goodness, curved into the fun shape of a cane. Although that darn bend does make it harder to enjoy that part, the rest of it is fabulous. When I was little, I only liked the multi-colored ones that tasted like cherry, but now I only like the traditional peppermint ones.
(Okay, this pic is obviously a few years old)
In the evening, my parents' best friends and their kids always come over to my parents' house before mass, and we visit with them and then we all walk up to church and go to mass. Afterwards, we pile into the car and head to my Grandparents' house. Their house is wonderful. There's always a roaring fire, homemade Bailey's, all of relatives from that side of the family, lots of food, and laughter. My cousins and I (same ones from the morning) always sit in the living room and sing Christmas carols. After dinner, we nag the "adults" to come upstairs so that we can open gifts.
Then the flurry begins. The youngest cousins pass out the gifts, and my Grandma always tries to make people open one at a time so that everyone can see what everyone else received. This never lasts very long - soon there's wrapping paper everywhere and "thank you's" being shouted over the noise.
The last tradition is pajamas. My Grandma buys all of the cousins PJs every year. And every year we immediately put them on after the gifts are opened and then wear them home. Keep in mind our ages range from 6 - 38. And it never fails. We tell her annually that she always has to get us PJs.
Christmas Day is always wonderful, too. I stay at my parents' house and open gifts with them and my sister in the morning. We gorge ourselves on a big breakfast. The afternoon/evening is reserved for my mom's side of the family. We go to someone's house and we get to see all of my relatives on that side. A lot of my cousins on that side live out of state, but there's usually someone home for the holidays, and it's always great to catch up.
We also do a grab bag on this side of the family - everyone buys something and then we draw cards to determine the order of who opens when. You can open a new gift or steal someone else's (everyone calls this something different). There's usually one gift every year that moves through the ranks, and it's hilarious.
Mission accomplished - I'm in a much better mood now!! I love the holidays :)
The longer this goes on, the more irritated I get about the whole situation. It's making me hate my choice to attend this school, and that's terrible. I am so frustrated with the entire department - no one will return my calls. My advisor was unsympathetic, saying that my classmate who already has her assignment just got hers early. Okay, I'll buy that for a week or two - but it's been almost a month, and my mailbox remains empty.
This program is really geared towards people in my exact situation - someone who has a Bachelor's degree in a subject who wants to get a teaching certificate and earn a Masters. It's for people who already have a first career and are working; that's why all the courses are at night and we don't have any actual time in a secondary classroom, b/c it's understood that we have jobs during the day during the week.
So why would you make someone wait so incredibly long to let them know where they will be spending the next four weeks of their life? Another classmate also hasn't received her placement, and she has to give notice to her employer. As someone in HR, that's not something to be taken lightly. Obviously, my situation is a little bit different, but I haven't talked to my boss about when my last day will be since I have NO IDEA when I will be starting my assignment. I know, vaguely, that it will be after the new year, but that's just not good enough. Every time I think about it, it makes me angrier and angrier. If I didn't respond to someone or allowed this to happen, my job would be in jeopardy. It's unacceptable that it's just "the way things are" at my university. If it's a problem with Pittsburgh Public Schools - then don't send student teachers there anymore!! We are lucky enough to have numerous school districts surrounding the city, so why depend on one entity. I had to turn in my paperwork in APRIL - yeah, six months ago - and I haven't heard a peep.
Okay, I'm done. And I feel better now - I swear!
Okay, one more thing - my co-workers are making me sad :( I don't know why, but today my boss just kept looking at me with a sad, puppy dog face. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that it's hitting him that I'm leaving soon and he's really going to miss me. My counterpart won't let anyone talk about it b/c she's an emotional person and will just start crying. I keep telling them they may wind up stuck with me until June since I still don't know where the heck I'm going to be, but they're not buying it. Although they have said that they are going to call my school and tell them to keep my paperwork lost....hmmm....
Anyway, how 'bout them Stillers?? What a game, eh? I'm still hoarse from screaming on Sunday and I was still cold all day yesterday. That wind was not fun. Even my beer coat didn't protect me from that.
It's been so cold in Pittsburgh lately that I stepped outside today and thought it was positively balmy. "Wow," I thought, "I guess the temps did get up into the 50s like the weather chick said."
I got in my car, started my engine, and looked at my temp readout - 33 degrees. What?!? Okay, this provides yet another reason for me to move south - 33 degrees is not warm! It's not balmy! And it's definitely not okay that I thought that this morning!! LOL.
I need to get back into Christmas mode. I haven't finished decorating my apartment and I need to get my cards together. I haven't sent out Christmas cards since I moved back to Pittsburgh (not sure why, too lazy and cheap, I guess) but I've already bought them and I need to make it happen. I keep getting mail asking for donations for various organizations. I hate receiving them. I always feel guilty b/c I rarely donate, and this year I have to be even more careful with my money since I will be unemployed soon. At the same time, I don't really have the opportunity to donate my time since I'm still so busy with work. I'll have to figure something out.
Friday, December 5, 2008
1) How do you like your grilled cheese?
With more than one type of cheese (preferably pepperjack and provolone) and tomatoes. Sometimes bacon, too.
2) Where did you go on your last vacation?
Key West, FL
3) Who are your godparents?
Um, I think my Uncle Rich (dad's brother) and Aunt Nancy (dad's sister)
4) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Teaching somewhere, possibly getting ready to move back to Pittsburgh or loving my life so much in my new locale that I never want to leave. I can also see myself teaching abroad.
5) Where are you at noon everyday?
I am never in the same place at noon every day. If it's a "normal" work day, I'm probably either in the cafeteria or already eating in our conference room. If I'm at a job fair - I'm at a job fair. I may also be in the car. On weekends, I could be anywhere - tailgating, reading in my bed, shopping...you name it!
6) How many speeding tickets have you gotten?
7) When was the last time you swam?
Probably on a day we went on the boat....
8) What do you order at Subway?
Roast beef w/pepper jack cheese, toasted, w/pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and southwest sauce.
9) Do you keep your closets organized?
Absolutely not. My friend is dying to come over and organize mine - and I want to let her, but I need to pre-clean before that happens!
10) How do you make headaches go away?
Keep popping ibuprofen. When I get headaches, they normally last a week or more, and ibuprofen is the only thing that works on them, so I just keep taking them until it's finally gone.
11) Have you owned a beta before?
Yes. At my college, only freshmen live in dorms, after that you live in on-campus apartments and then townhouses. So my three roommates and I were so excited to have an apartment that we went to Wal-Mart and each bought a beta. I can't remember what we named them. But most of them were dead within a month. That first flushing was tough!! Eventually, all went to the great septic system in the sky. Then, our junior year, one of our friends gave us a plant with a beta in it (remember when that was the really popular gift??). Our neighbors got one too, and it was right after the South Park movie had come out, so we named one "clit" and the other one "orus." LOL. Bet that was way more than you thought you'd get from a question about beta, huh?
12) If you moved out of state where would you go?
What a relevant question to my life!! I would like to move south - South Carolina, Georgia, maybe Florida or New Orleans.
13) Did you attend pre school?
14) What do your shower curtains look like?
Different shades of gray with squares, I think. I don't really pay attention to it!
15) Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
Not unless the New Kids on the Block count...I was convinced they'd come perform for me any day...
16) How do you make eggs?
17) Where do you wash your clothes?
In the washer.
18) Who are the neighbors who live to the right of you?
Joe, our landlord (if you're facing the back. No one lives on the right if you're facing the front).
19) What are your thoughts on Tom Cruise?
He's a whack-a-do.
20) What is the next vehicle you wish to buy?
Hmm...either a Pontiac G6 or a Saturn Vue....or a Nissan Rogue.
21) Do you pay bills online or by mail?
All online except for the gas bill - there's a charge to pay online, so I mail that one.
22) What would be the best gift someone could get you right now?
My student teaching assignment.
23) What is something stressful you will deal with next week?
Going to Indianapolis to observe a school for my thesis. Also turning in my portfolio project for my current class.
24) What is something in your home that you collect?
Books, Steelers stuff.
25) What did you do last night?
Had a meeting at a restaurant in the South Side, did a wee bit of shopping (there's a new Nine West store there!), went home to take a quick nap before going to see Frost Nixon downtown...and didn't wake up until my roommate got home until after 9. Oops!! Guess I was sleepier than I thought....I didn't really want to see the play, anyway (it came in the 6 pack we got for the Pittsburgh Broadway series).
26) Who did you last see?
27) How do you take your coffee?
Splenda and creamer, preferably flavored.
28) What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
Who knows? Probably condiments...it would be worse but my roommate cleans it out :)
29) On your keyboard what key is wearing out from pressing it so much?
30) Where do you put your keys when you come home?
On the counter or in my purse.
31) Where do you go for Thanksgiving?
Either my aunt's or my parents'. This year it was at my aunt's.
32) How old will you be in 2010?
33) What actor or actress would play you in a movie?
I have no idea...
34) How much cash is in your wallet?
A few singles...
35) Would you have a one night stand with your favorite movie star?
I probably wouldn't be able to handle it...I'd get flustered just talking to him.
36) What color is your phone?
37) If you were starving to death would you eat a pet?
38) Ever been to Alabama?
39) What kind of accent do you have?
NOT a Pittsburghese one, although I use many Pittsburghese words. I'd say just a Yankee accent.
40) What kind of alcoholic drinks are in your fridge right now?
In my fridge? Maybe a beer or two. Most of my alcohol is behind the bar.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
But - I did get a summer job! I applied online over a month ago for this program called SD. It's for academically-inclined high school students who take advanced courses over the summer at various college campuses around the country. They have a variety of programs and courses, and the duration is either 4 or 6 weeks.
I got a job as a Residence Counselor, so I'm basically going to be an RA on one of the campuses. The pay isn't fantastic, but the position includes all room and board, travel expenses to and from the campus, and entrance into any events I have to take the kids to. That could include museums, theme parks, concerts, movies, etc.
So where am I going to be? I told the person who interviewed me that I wasn't really particlar (after she said there were no openings in the International program), but that I'd love to go to California since I've never been. She told me that she had a stricter budget than usual due to the economy, but she'd see what she could do. She spoke with the director and e-mailed me that the director would love to have me at (drumroll, please...) UC Santa Barbara!!
It's a six week program, so I expect to be gone about 8 weeks (mid-June through mid-August). How cool is that??? I'm so excited! California, here I come!