Thursday, June 26, 2008

please take note: the other shoe has officially dropped.

my head is a jumbled mess. i'm not kidding when i say that there are literally 13 different trains of thought all trying to run full speed ahead through there right now. and you know what? i'm not even sure i have enough track cleared for one good one. i feel burned to ash. i'm really not sure that i have much more to contribute to the GNP (or anything else) at the moment.

will i be all right? sure. i'll be fine. i always am. but it's going to take more than a weekend to make me that way. ever since the spring when i completed my horrendously demanding marketing course, i have felt like i'm nowhere near the top of my game. it's affecting me in every area of my life, and i hate the way that feels. and what's worse - i don't feel like i have the resources to get myself out of this place, because sometimes there is nothing more that can be done but to let things grind to a halt for awhile and just rest.

the funny thing is that i've been greedy with my free time of late and have basically been doing a whole lot of nothing (or so it seems) and yet NONE of it has helped. this is how i know that it's time for something more drastic to occur.

so, unless something changes before august 25 and some spring magically re-enters my proverbial step, i'm leaning heavily in the direction of taking a term off from school. eight weeks. it might just make all the difference. i hope it does, because i can't go another year feeling this thinly spread. i just can't.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

even the queen of england....

as of this monday, i started a new course - accounting for business management. sounds interesting in a way - something i might be able to use at some point.....except for one thing: the entire book and all materials? in british POUNDS. people, i ask you - who even uses those things anymore?

anyway, i'm annoyed about this - and what's more, i have some assignment that i have to complete this week that has no due date on it. um, hello? is anybody out there?

so, all of that to say i'm in a fabulous mood about school right now.

at least today is the halfway mark of the week; this weekend my folks drive up and we have a mini b-day celebration for me and my mom (hers is june 26, mine is july 1). we're going to see a play at a local theatre, have some dinner, hang out. should be good times...

between now and then, however, it's all about number crunching and trying to figure out whether my inherent love for all things british can carry me through this one. perhaps if it gets rough, i shall just lie back and think of england. that usually works for me....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

comfort me

as of sunday, i've been reading this book, and i have to say - i love it. so much, in fact, that i almost don't want to finish reading it, because then i won't be able to look forward to the next page, and the page after that, and so on. i hate the thought of endings, sometimes.

what i also can say is that now i want to own all of ruth reichl's books, and i'm quite sure that i will delight in each page of those memoirs as i have with this one.

i've realized that delicious words satisfy a hunger like nothing else can. perhaps that's why i like blogs so much. the ones that are well-crafted give me a hit....a little something to munch on as i go about the business of my life. and even if i don't know the person first-hand, his or her life somehow becomes a part of mine in the way that a character in a good book squeezes itself into the crevices of my heart and mind.

writing opens us up; it teaches us; it connects us in our humanity. this is partly why i chose to work in a field that allows me to spend my day with words on a page (or a screen, as the case may be). i am comforted in the midst of the chaos by the apt turn-of-phrase, the clear exposition, the question or statement that makes you think to yourself yes, that's it exactly!

today one of my bosses asked me what i love most about my job. there are several things, actually - the opportunity to impact others' educational experiences, the chance to learn almost constantly. but the best thing for me are those moments where true collaboration takes place...where i can sit with a colleague and tease the meaning out of a convoluted paragraph or awkwardly written phrase, figure out how to make it flow (AND capture the statement's true intent), and then sit back and enjoy what we've created together. when it works well, it's a beautiful thing.

enough about work, though. tonight, after slogging through some homework and watching another addictive reality tv program, i shall return to my little book, sink under the covers, and let the words take me where they will. i'm all too happy to follow along for as long as i can.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

two weeks' notice

so, two weeks from today i will turn 33. to be honest, i'm kind of excited about the identical double digit thing (although i'm not sure why). in preparation for turning another year older, i have been thinking some thoughts about what i want for myself in my 34th year of life. and with that, i present you with the following list:

1. although i am in grad school and feel like my homework and accompanying reading are always weighing heavily on my mind, i really want to broaden my scope a bit. in the last year, a number of my friends have moved out of town or, for whatever reason, out of the landscape (harder to see one another, busy schedules, etc.) and in some cases, this has been a hard pill to swallow. don't get me wrong. far-away friends are still friends, but it's hard not to be able to grab coffee or sit in the same room for a few hours on a regular basis. i've made one or two local friends at my new job, one of whom has become really important to me - a great thing. but i think it's good to build one's friend and acquaintance base to a comfortable place, and i'm not quite there yet. relationships really ARE key, after all, so it makes sense that this is #1.

2. again, time can be a difficulty, but i really don't want it to limit me from doing some service/volunteer work this year. it's really important to me to get out there and (in whatever way i can) make a difference in the lives of those who don't have the means to do better for themselves. i may have found one or two opportunities that sound promising, and my company even lets us take up to 8 hours of work time to do volunteer work each year. love that!

3. in the last several months, stress has definitely taken a toll on me physically, and i've recently discovered that my skin has become incredibly sensitive to things that never used to bother me before (a very mild lip balm). i'm really trying to limit anything scented from coming near me these days, and i'm staying away from alcohol as much as possible. oh, and then there's sleep. i need more of it. and vegetables? them, too. i'm trying. i really am. cook more. eat out less. get back on a healthier track for myself. it can happen this year. i'm believing for that.

4. anyone who knows me well knows that i love a road trip and being able to explore new places. in 2007, i managed to get myself onto airplanes TWICE and even saw the pacific ocean for the first time (it wasn't nearly as magical as i was hoping it would be somehow. and it smelled quite a bit, but i digress....). LA and chicago were both graced with my presence for a few days, and in the coming year, i hope to visit some other new-to-me locations (other than pittsburgh, of course) and see what kind of adventure i can drum up.

5. i'm paying off non-school debt, slowly but surely. this time next year, i hope to be much closer to that goal than i am now. 'nuff said.

that's about all for now. i know that these are some pretty important areas to focus on, and i think it's good to make time for all of them. in between the work, i hope to live it up, relax, sing more, and savor what there is to savor. and knowing this world and all the people in it, that's a lot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

all wrapped up

i should be sleeping right now, and i am quite tired, but i got myself into a book that i haven't been able to put down! i'm reading one of ruth reichl's books, comfort me with apples. it's really engaging and delightfully foodie-ish. it's the first pleasure reading i've done in ages, and it's making me wistful for the days when i'll have hours of time to spend doing whatever i want!!

in the spirit of my book, i did a bunch of cooking today. for lunch i made tilapia lightly slathered in olive oil and sprinkled with a cranberry-herb salt; steamed green beans; and a small red potato that i mashed up on the plate and blanketed with shredded asiago cheese. later i seared some ordinary beef burgers (sometimes plain is best) on my grill pan and served them up with roasted grape tomatoes (apparently safe) bathed in olive oil and herbs and some cheesy macaroni bake with a breadcrumb topping. i also cut up a bunch of strawberries and bagged up some grapes to take to work with me, and with all the cooking i did, i have lunches and dinners for a few days. that feels tremendous.

today was the perfect weekend day: i slept in until about 9, showered, ordered a couple of things from online, cooked, read cookbooks, started and became engrossed in a non-school book, watched some cooking shows, caught up on DVRed programs, made some sun tea (and drank quite a bit of it, i might add), had some great phone convos (happy father's day, dad!), washed all my dinner and lunch dishes, and plan to fall into a delicious sleep thinking about words and sentences and the way that i want to someday tell a story that other people will stay up past their bedtime to read.

and speaking of bedtime, i'm off to it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


a couple of weeks ago, i got sick with a virus that turned into a sinus infection. it took me two weeks to fight it off, but i managed to do it (and it did NOT turn into bronchitis, which i consider no small miracle). since then, however, i've noticed that my energy has been waxing and waning. now, i know, it's midnight, so i have nothing to say about all of this because i should be sleeping, but the thing is i'm not feeling well tonight, and it's making it difficult to lie down and rest. ugh. i think i just need a break from my life.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

if a picture paints a thousand words....

inspired by another blogger, i must do a photo mosaic. here's how it works:

The rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

here is mine:

1. Meeting a Diva: Sarah Brightman, 2. Breakfast 7.11.07 (breakfast meets bento), 3. GL 036, 4. Romans 12:1, Painting with Light Art *, 5. J.C. Chasez, 6. first day of summer, 7. Gondola*, 8. Fruit Tart, 9. Ok, I'm sorry! Go back to your novel., 10. Cissi's Market: Roasted Sea Bass, 11. Brushed, 12. TREES & SHRUBS 5 - 775

quick recap

whew! okay, i haven't blogged in awhile. there are a few reasons for that, the main one being that i was very sick for more than a week! i'm better now, though, so i'm back in the proverbial game....

i just finished writing a paper on emerging energy technologies. fascinating stuff, really, although i wasn't in the mood to spend the majority of my sunday sitting at my computer doing research. not that this is any sort of surprise lately...i'm sure that anyone who knows me is aware of my homework situation. hell, even people who DON'T know me are aware. moving on....

as i mentioned above, i was sick for more than a week. i actually took two WHOLE sick days to try and recover from some flu-like thing that settled in my sinuses and knocked what wind i had straight out of me. i mean, really, i was beyond exhausted. not a good combination when you're in grad school AND under a work deadline.

let's see. what else is going on?

oh! well, in addition to recently buying a new LCD high-def TV, i also finally upgraded to HD cable AND DVR. i heart this, people. now i don't have to feel so tied down to my programming! before i would get all stressed out at the thought of having to miss a show that doesn't repeat (i know, i know - pathetic), but now all stress is removed because DVR has stepped in. hello, flexibility!

i also decided to try bare minerals. i have to say - i love it! it totally evens out my somewhat red-in-the-face look and is light as a feather. thanks to those of you who recommended it - i'm a believer now! with that and my new short haircut, i feel like less of a schlub. ALWAYS a good thing.

although i want to wax poetic about how my birthday is coming up in 3 weeks, i have to go and make dinner. i've only eaten breakfast today and i'm feeling pretty ravenous. will check in again later and regale you with tales of my upcoming adventures.