Monthly Archives: March 2012

Shouldn’t Be Left Alone

Originally, I envisioned this post to be about how I maneuver in an airport, especially when I’m alone. I’ve done this a couple of times and I pride myself on being prepared and not being the  dumb girl with too much jewelry on and fumbling through security checkpoints. I keep my id out and wear shoes that are easily removable and very minimal jewelry. I have my liquids pre-bagged and ready to be set apart. I wear clothes that don’t look like I’m concealing anything and I try to look like the mature and thinking adult that I am.

I assume you know where this is going…

I’ve only been in the airport for 30 minutes and all I want to do is hang my head in shame and I’m wondering if I can get facial reconstruction in the airport so the others that were around me, won’t recognize me.

Or I might just buy an Obama mask and call it a day.

For this trip, I decided not to mess with arranging drop offs and pick ups with my parents, and instead I would park at one of those places across the street from the airport. I had a coupon and I like feeling wholly independent. Also, when I get back, I want to just hop in my car and get back to my husband.

First off, I somehow managed to take the wrong exit. No big deal. No one else around me knew and I just looped around and figured it out.

But as I pull up, I realize that the type of parking I was planning on using was full, but they put the signs so close up to the entrance, that by the time I realized it, I couldn’t turn around and I had a car behind me.

Luckily, they had valet roof still available, so I didn’t have to park it, but it wasn’t covered so it was only going to cost me about $1.50 more a day. Fine. I can handle that.

But then I am apparently an idiot when it comes to reading signs on ticket machines and I kept fumbling trying to figure it out all. Then I, of course, didn’t park in the correct spot because I simply misread the lane signs.

Again, I am an idiot.

The nice man didn’t laugh at me, at least to my face, and helped me get all my bags to the shuttle. The driver was nice and the shuttle was full. One guy had on a polo from my undergrad, and we had a nice little chat about our awesome basketball season that ended too soon. Everything was great. Until it came time to get off the shuttle.

You see, I never carry cash. I just don’t. I am rarely in positions where I am tipping separate from paying for a service, and therefore I usually put the tip on my card. And today I had cash that my husband wanted to make sure I had. But it was a large bill.

So I couldn’t tip the very nice shuttle driver that helped me with my bags.

I looked like a moronic high school girl running away from the shuttle while all the other passengers tipped and thanked.

MORTIFIED.

But my embarrassment doesn’t stop there. Oh no. That, while embarrassing, I could deal with. I would just hope that he was the driver when I came back and tip extra.

As soon as I got off the shuttle, I was practically in a line for curbside check in. Everyone was doing it and seemed good to me.

Again, a very nice and funny gentleman greeted me and went to print off all my stuff and get the tags for my bags.

Again, realizing too late that this was another situation where people tip the bagging guys.

I always check in inside, where people don’t tip, so it never even occurred to me until people all around me were getting out small bills and I heard the workers saying “Thanks for the tip!”

Repeat: moronic girl running away, mumbling thank you and trying to hide the red creeping up my face. (I’m  still not convinced that my bag will make it on the plane…)

Of course the people that were on the shuttle were in line behind me at curbside check in and I’m more than positive that they saw the entire thing. Effffff

Sidenote: I get embarrassed easily, especially if I deem it something that makes me look rude or impolite or improper. I relive the scenarios in my head and turn 5 shades of red all over again.

So as I ran to get into the security line and hoped and prayed that enough people got in line after me, before the people from the shuttle, i just kept thinking how awful I must have looked to all of these workers when I am known for giving very good tips. I want them to know that I appreciate their hard work in a not so glamorous job.

As karma would have it, I wasn’t done yet.

As I walked through the metal detector, it beeped. I just started to laugh thinking I had left my phone in my pocket or something or that my very small and discreet jewelry had set it off.

Nope.

I was “randomly” selected for additional screening.

……

Seriously?

I of course assumed this meant I was going to be embarrassingly patted down and the poor TSA women who had to pat my sweaty self down.

I don’t think it was in any way random since it had to do with my laptop, but the woman made it seem like I had said some word you never say in an airport. She was making a much bigger deal than it needed to be, which only added to my embarrassment. So I had to stand behind some red line, looking like I was in timeout, without shoes on, and wait while they diligently searched my laptop, even though I took it out of the bag and put it in its own bin, so I don’t really know what the deal was. She wiped some sheet on it and had it analyzed in a machine. No clue what it was for or what they were checking for, but I passed. Thankfully.

I guess karma was just letting me know that it knew I had been rude and needed to be put into place. Also, my chips and salsa taste burnt, but I hate leaving so much food as waste, so I’m begrudgingly eating them.

PS- went to the bathroom for the first time today and realized that the shirt I’ve had on all day is a little see through. I had student conferences all day. And talked to our program director. And department chair. I think I will just hide in my hotel room for the night since I can’t be trusted to be in public.

 

 

[[ADDED]] The trip got worse, but I have to get ready, but I will be sure to write all about it tonight. WOWZA.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, WTF

Awareness

It’s become a common trend for groups and charities to promote awareness for their cause. You can get ribbons for your social network pictures. Some even believe goofy statuses about where you put your purse will raise awareness for breast cancer.

The biggest problem with these awareness campaigns is just that- it makes people aware, but nothing else. Awareness is great if followed by action and results, but a silly status isn’t going to raise money or fund research for cancer cures.

However, I believe there needs to be more awareness about depression and other mental disabilities in order to get rid of the stigma surrounding them so that those with them, can get the help they need before resorting to drastic measures.

More and more young people are facing depression and severe anxiety due to the world in which we live. Jobs are hard to find. Bills don’t get paid. There are social, political, and cultural issues facing us at every turn. Our country can’t seem to get out of wars quickly enough before joining in another one. Children are being assaulted. People are starving. Healthcare is too expensive and people are dying.

It’s stressful and depressing.

But there is still a stigma in our society about mental disorders, especially for those seeking counseling and therapy. Add is prescription drugs and the entire topic becomes taboo.

But why? Many people face these issues and it should be something we can talk about. Maybe if more people talked about it and their struggles with depression, others wouldn’t feel so alienated and might find solace and peace in simply knowing they aren’t alone.

This is one of the few causes that awareness and understanding can actually make a difference.

I’m not asking for people to donate money or to call their congress representative, but simply being more willing to understand that some people’s brains are wired differently and they have difficulties. (Now if you want to donate or call Congress, please do so, but awareness works too.)

I, personally, have struggled with depression and anxiety. Any of you that followed me last year know this. I was a wreck. I had previously been in counseling during college. and while we decided medicine wasn’t necessary at the time, counseling was amazing. Getting to talk to someone unbiased and who would simply listen without judgment was the best thing ever for me. She would tell me when I was looking at something from the wrong perspective and help me to realize where my issues were and how to cope with them and fix them.

Currently I am on a medication for my migraines, but it’s actual intended purpose is as an anti-depressant. Now, I really was prescribed it for my migraines, and it has done a fantastic job with them, but I am much calmer and easy going. Mr. A could tell a difference within about two weeks of my starting it.

I still have bad days. I still get stressed out and cry and rant and rave. But those are fewer and farther between, and they are shorter in duration. I can also see logic and reasoning through my anger.

I am a big supporter of therapy, and if necessary, medication. I also believe that the two should go hand in hand so that the medication doesn’t become a permanent fixture in a person’s life. I won’t be on this medicine forever, mostly because it has side effects for pregnant women, and I would like to have children eventually. I may have to start again if my migraines return with a vengeance, which is fine by me, and I will enjoy the calming side effects of it.

I just hope that as a society, we can be more accepting of those struggling and lend a supportive hand or shoulder to lean on instead of shunning the person and treating them like a leper.

We all have difficult times and it’s time for us to quit alienating others and work alongside them to help them through their trials.

 

[Edited]: If you can also keep my undergrad in your prayers. A student, presumably, jumped from one of the campus’s building in an apparent suicide. I didn’t know the student, but I am heartbroken for the community, especially since it’s a small school and this will probably affect many people.

**This post was inspired by Mr. A’s classmate who, presumably, committed suicide last week. I wish he had gotten the help he needed instead of feeling like, as a future attorney, he couldn’t ask. Still praying for his friends and family.

***If you are struggling with depression, please get help. You are loved and cared for and we all want to see what amazing things you will do.

1 Comment

Filed under A little More About Me, Learning More

Running Noob

I…am not what people consider “athletic”.

I was the kid on speech team and in choir and plays and was friends with all sorts of athletic people. I just wasn’t one of them.

Neither of my parents are sporty, but they were both born with amazing genes and they have metabolisms of race horses. My brother inherited the same, so growing up, good eating habits were not instilled in me.

But I’m sure you are thinking that if both my parents have awesome metabolisms, then I should too, right? Nope. They seem to be rarities in their family and their siblings are heavier. And I’ve always taken after my aunts. I love them, but why did I have to inherit hips, a low metabolism, and migraines??

So now I’m in my mid 20s and REALLY not happy with how I look and I know I’m not healthy.

And while I’ve tried to get healthy plenty of other times, they all seemed to fail for no other reason than I enjoy food, and typically bad food. And working out does not come naturally to me. It’s a struggle and I tend to hate it the entire time.

However, I have recently gotten addicted to one program and that is the Couch 2 5K program.

I LOVE IT.

I had tried and failed the program in the past, but something in me changed this time and I was determined to follow and finish it. I am on week 5 and so happy with the progress I am seeing. Seriously. If it can get ME to run, it can get ANYONE to run.

I’m slightly nervous about this week, though. Today wasn’t bad, but tomorrow I have to run in 8 minute intervals. While a little daunting, it seems doable.

But on Thursday- 25 minutes!!!!!!

The longest I will have ever run continuously in my life will have been 8 minutes, and then I jump to 25?!

It seem impossible.

But I’ve put full faith into this program and I plan on doing my absolute best on Thursday. I’m really hoping I can do it, but I won’t let it defeat me if I have to take a couple 30 sec breaks.

Also, I’ve been running on the treadmills at the gym. I know eventually I will be running outside, but since I am so out of shape, I figured it would be easier to become a better runner by starting on a treadmill where I can monitor my speed.

I also discovered that some of the treadmills have televisions built into them and they are connected to all the cable channels, even the HD ones. So today I got my Bravo fix while working out. This is amazing since we don’t have cable, so one more motivating factor to keep me going while I’m getting used to running. Hoping to find a movie on Thursday so I won’t get bored during commercial breaks.

But to make sure that I keep going, next week I am planning on finding and registering for a 5K so that I have to keep practicing and getting better. I’m hoping to finish the program on the treadmill and then start running outside to get prepared for my race. Might also be an excuse to buy some cute running clothes because I certainly can’t show up to a race in my current gym attire of cheapo yoga pants and an old tshirt that is either too big or so faded and stained that I’m kind of embarrassed I’m willing to wear it outside of my house. Now who wants to make me a hilarious sign to keep me going instead of passing out halfway through the race? :o)

So, if you are considering getting into running, I saw give this one a try. And even if you have quit it in the past, like I did (several times), try again. If I am loving running and how I’m feeling after, I am a believer that it will work for anyone.

And yes this post sounds like an infomercial, but this blog is where I share my life, and this is a new, big, and exciting part of my life, so I share it.

2 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me, Wannabe former couch potato

Spring Break for Grownups

Today was the official first day of spring break for Mr. A and myself. And it has been a much needed break.

For most, when they think of spring break, they think of beaches and sun and sand and overly intoxicated young people wearing little to no clothing.

And while that would have been fun a couple of years ago, Mr. A and I are far too mature for any of those shenanigans.

Really…we’re just too broke to go anywhere. We would totally be on a beach drinking right now if we could. And we would be laughing at all the obnoxious undergrads and taking bets on who lost their swimsuit first.

Also? I leave for my first conference in Orlando next week, which means I have a MILLION things to get done before leaving. Like writing two papers. And finalizing my thesis proposal. And reading two novels. And packing. And grading (because I am oh so behind on grading).

Spring break on a beach is definitely a thing of the past.

However, Mr. A and I were determined to make the most of it.

We spent Saturday and Sunday inSTL and enjoyed time with family. We did a little shopping. I FINALLY found a black blazer after looking everywhere. Ann Taylor LOFT was having a big sale and found some super cute tops, in a size smaller than I thought I would need, which is always great.

But the best part of break so far has been today.

When we woke up, it was cloudy and gloomy and looked like it was going to rain all day, but, much to our surprise, it turned in to an absolutely gorgeous day. It was windy, but around 77 degrees today, which is ridiculous for early March, but  definitely enjoyed. (This summer is going to be miserable…)

I worked out and discovered that some of the treadmills at the gym have tvs built in and you can watch any of the cable channels at your own station. So much  better than having to watch ESPN or CNN in the cardio room.

We then ran some errands. Discovered that my drapes project was going to be far too expensive since we have two massive windows in our bedroom and trying to buy enough fabric when we have no clue what the windows might be like once we move isn’t feasible. I was sad, but means more money for something else.

Because I couldn’t stand wasting such a gorgeous day, we went to the brand new frozen yogurt place in town and enjoyed some delicious treats in the sun. To top it all off, we are going to grill out tonight for dinner and probably go on a walk. (Can it be summer yet? But stay in the 70s-80s range? Please??)

So while our break won’t be filled with drunken debauchery and stories we only know about because our friends remind us what happened the night before, we’re enjoying our adult spring break. We get to spend time together, and while I have some serious work to get done, it can happen in sweat pants on my couch which catching up on episodes of tv shows.

I’ll let the youngsters enjoy their beaches. I have cheaper drinks and and less of a hangover. I think I win.

1 Comment

Filed under Grad School?, Home Sweet Home, Married Life

Prayers

One of Mr. A’s classmates has gone missing. His car was found on a bridge, with the keys in the ignition. His phone was in the trash at his house and no one has heard from him.

His family is currently planning a funeral.

If you could keep Mr. A and his classmates in your prayers, I would appreciate it. Mr. A is pretty shook up, and any kind thoughts sent his way would help.

Thank you all and if know that each and everyone one of you are cared about.

5 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me

So…

Scout, in one of her crazy hyper modes, was running and jumping off of things around the apartment.

She must not have been paying much attention, since as she went to jump on Mr. A’s lap, she instead jumped into a giant bowl of chocolate pudding. I saw the whole thing happen and while she was mid-air could only think “Oh…this is going to be a big mess.”

She managed to somersault out of the bowl, and in her panic, bolted up the stairs before Mr. A or I could stop her. Her entire back half was covered in pudding and she left pudding paw prints on about every 5th step. She then cowered behind the bed and Mr. A had to lure her out. At first, he was going to just let her clean herself off, until I reminded him that was chocolate pudding and we decided that self cleaning was not an option.

She was not happy to have a bath. (Side note: Mr. A is NO HELP when it comes to kitten baths. He just feels bad when she meows and can’t hold her. The man power lifts and can’t hold on to an 8lb kitten. Such a softie…)

I wish we would have gotten a picture because it was hysterical. We were able to get the couch and carpet cleaned up pretty quickly and it doesn’t look like anything is going to stain, thankfully.

More adventures for first time kitten owners. She’s so lucky she’s adorable.

1 Comment

Filed under Home Sweet Home, Kitteh

Time Out

I called it.

As soon as I tried to get back into blogging, life stepped in and halted it.

I mean, who needs a job? (Kidding. Obviously.)

School and teaching have come crashing in and I am having one heck of a time staying on top of everything.

Admission: I never even opened the novel for one of my classes. Terrible, yes, especially since I adore this professor and class, but I simply did not have time. His class has over 100 pages of theory a week, plus a novel a week, so I will just step it up for next week.

And teaching. TAKES. SO. MUCH. TIME.

I know this is an obvious statement to anyone who teaches or has experience with the education field, but add that on top of 3 graduate classes that require insane amount of reading and responses, and it’s completely overwhelming.

I still haven’t even touched papers that my students turned in a week ago. My goal is to get them back by next Friday, but the way things are going…who knows. Oh, and my students turn in another paper today. And another one next Friday. It never ends.

And no, I can’t do anything about spacing since the course is standardized. However, this is the first semester with this layout, and I am going to talk to the program director and say, “Hey. This is entirely too much to keep up with. Something needs to get cut or I’m just giving everyone a B and moving on.”

Doesn’t help that I am feeling a bit frozen in place since I haven’t started a single paper of my own. And I leave for Orlando in 3 weeks. And will be in Boston two weeks after that. And then there’s like 3 weeks left before finals.

I have 5 papers to write between now and then. 3 of which are 15 plus pages. 2 involve no fewer than 7-10 sources each.

Cue panic attack.

Just writing all that out makes my heart race. My goal this weekend is to get one of them written, or at least a draft or detailed outline done. Looks like the library and coffee shop will be my home. Too bad I can’t bring Scout…

So, I am dedicated to keeping this blog going, just bear with me. Some weeks I just simply don’t have time, even though I have a million things to tell all of you. And to catch up on all of your blogs! And please don’t think I’m not reading. I am. Just sometimes I’m reading between breaks or classes and don’t have time to comment.

So what’s going on with all of you? And what are some of your favorite stress relievers? Because I sure need them.

3 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me, Blogging, Grad School?, Teaching in College