Thursday, March 31, 2011

All night long: A Solution to My School Ailments

I am contemplating pulling an all-nighter. How does everyone feel about this?

I'll tell ya I'm a little nervous about it because I have never done one. Now I have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning hanging out with friends, kicking it at Relay for Life with my sorority sisters, or dancing it up in downtown Little Rock.

But never have I ever pulled an all-nighter for school.

When I got out of class last night with a huge assignment on my plate and many more assignments ever looming over me, I felt completely defeated. I mean full-on pity party mode. "Why am I doing this?" "This is stupid and hard and it won't help me in the real world with a real job...." harump! Sad face. I know very "whoa-to-me" I was after a three hour lecture and assignment beating.

As I laid down in bed with my eyes wide and mind abuzz, it hit me. Thought: I should pull an all-nighter. Other people I know do it all the time, multiple times in a row. Why can't I do it.

I realize sleep is important, and I am one of those people who need all the sleep. But I am to the point of desperate. Completely at a cross-roads of grad school life. Do I stay up and work all night? Or do I get the rest and stress about all the things I need to do tomorrow?

Something has me sold on trying it out. I think I'm to the point where insanity has set in, and I need to try something different to see if it can bring me back to a sane frame of mind. So as of Sunday night...I am pulling an all-nighter. I will fuel myself with inconceivable amounts of coffee and snacks and just hack away at all the stupidity that is my school life.

Maybe this will help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it won't. Never know til you try, and apparently the way I've always done things isn't cutting it because the stress level is at 110 out of 100 and my anger/rage meter is basically on edge all the time. Plus I feel like crying any time anyone tries to hand me another assignment (at work or school).

Pray for me. Your prayers are much needed and appreciated. The Big Guy will know what to do with them while I'm still binging on coffee and snacks.

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? How was it? Success or just one more reason to stress out?

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Starbucks Can Have Creepers

So I didn't have time to post today at work, and I wasn't planning on posting today because I always need to recap before class, which starts at 6 P.M. But this couldn't wait until tomorrow. It is one of those things that needed to be shared immediately after it happened. So here it is...

I am a frequenter of Starbucks. And I am one of those people who like to go to a particular Starbucks. I love being able to form bonds with the people who help fuel my daily caffeine addiction. But today something different happened. It seemed like a normal trip to Starbucks, but it turned out to be pretty creepy.

It starts with my choice of outfit today. Since I've been working later in the day, I get to come in later in the mornings. So I didn't have to be at work until 10:30 A.M. today. So I had time to get up, shower, pick an outfit, do my make-up and fix my hair. I must admit it was one of my better days (not to toot my own horn).

I chose to wear a new outfit consisting of a cute light-weight black and white striped sweather and black ankle dress pants with black patent heels (which are work appropriate). I did the "sorority poof" with my hair and a little teasing of the bangs to keep them from being unruly, and I did my usual make-up routine. NOTE---I usually dress up for work and wear make-up. The hair is a rarity since I don't have time to poof it to my liking at my usual time I get ready.

I received a lot of compliments at work today from my beautiful co-workers. But it wasn't out of the ordinary since they are a loving bunch that dish out compliments on the reg. But today was different...I blame the hair.

Back to Starbucks...I go there every day before class so I can stay awake during a two and a half hour lecture. Today was no different. I came through the door, walked up to the counter and ordered my usual. The Barista a.k.a. Cloud Jacobs-look-a-like took my order and wished me a good rest of the day.

I walk over the area where everyone waits to get drinks. As I am waiting, I notice a couple curled up on the couch staring at me. I take a quick look their way, see them snuggled up, silently gag to myself because they look like any other couple into PDAs and move on. But it was weird because I could feel them staring at me.

Barista No. 2 hands me my drink, and I make a beeline for the door. Just as I'm halfway to my car and think I am scott-free I hear a girl yelling at me, "Miss!! Miss!!!"

I turn around, and it's the girl from the couch. She asks me where I got my shirt. I point to the store across the way showing her. She proceeds to tell me I am the best dressed girl in Little Rock that she has seen, that she just moved here from Fairfield Bay, and that she was dressed down because she had doctors' appointments all day.

I say okkkaaaayyyyy. And I try not to be creeped out and be as nice as I can be....but my creep-o-meter is flashing off the wall.

She continues with the following:

"OMG, you are just the prettiest girl I have ever seen. Me and my brother were talking about you the whole time you were in Starbucks. Did you see my brother? He was the one I was cuddled up to because we were trying to get your attention and make you jealous because you know that works in making girls jealous, right? So where are you from? What are you doing here? How old are you? I just love you. You are just so pretty. I mean my brother wanted to talk to you, but he doesn't know how to come up to girls. And you just look so great and pretty. So I was like watch this, I will go talk to her for you. So did you see him? By the way my name is Leah."

I was completely overwhelmed and a little freaked out to say the least.

First, the brother-sister duo cuddled up to try to make me jealous. So many things are wrong with that besides the obvious.

1. Brothers and sisters should not cuddle in a public and/or private setting. That is just weird.
2. Cuddling on a couch in Starbucks is not the best way to get girls.

Second, she kept wanting to know all about what I was doing, where I was going, where I came from, where I lived, where I worked, how old I was, etc. All personal things that you don't tell a person who stares at you in Starbucks and chases you out of the place.

Third, if the brother was interested he needs to grow some gonads and approach me himself. There is nothing worse than a guy who isn't confident enough to come up to girl on his own. (Not that this guy would have gotten a good response since he was cuddled up on the couch with his SISTER!!)

Moral: The total package (A.K.A hair, make-up and dress clothes) should be worn with caution. Be ready for anything to come your way, even if it is a creepy set of siblings.

I guess next time I will have to leave one thing out. Example: Hair and make-up with jeans and a t-shirt. or dress clothes with make-up and straight hair. (This is usually what I would look like...and nobody creepy approaches me like this).

But it would have been great if my total package had attracted a Rob Pattinson or a John Mayer or something of that nature...but noooooo I attract creepy siblings.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Awesome Things Happen

Three really awesome things happened yesterday while I was in Little Rock.

  1. Anthropologie's Sale room is my new favorite place on earth. While I was a little upset that the store's regular priced items were WAY out of my price range, the sale room proved to be a hit. I got a sweet pair of black ankle dress pants and two beautiful silk dress shirts. AMAZING. I was like a kid in a candy store. Anthropologie also has the BEST dishes and houseware items I have seen in a while. I use to be obsessed with anything from Pier 1, but now my home items will be coming from Anthropologie.
  2. When I was leaving Target yesterday, I saw quite a sight. The parking lot of the Target on University has a lot of weird curves and stop signs. A Mammaw in a Buick was in front of me. She seemed to be having a tough time remembering the rules of the road because she stopped at the parking lot stop sign for at least 1 full minute. She proceeded to turn right to take her to the part of the parking lot that leads to the main road. She putted along, and when she got to the stop light that connected the parking lot to the main road she got in the left turn lane. The light was red. And she turned. Straight up ran that red light. I was sitting in the right lane waiting for my right on red opportunity, and this little old lady just tootled on out into oncoming traffic. It made me chuckle since nothing bad happened. Very bold move.
  3. I had to work yesterday afternoon. I went to one of the Little Rock schools and interviewed some of the kids because they are sponsoring a child in Honduras. Sponsored kids sponsoring a kid is too good to pass up. So I talked to three kids, one third grader and two fifth graders. Kids say the best things. And when a kid talks about helping another kid, it really is too good. I talked to a little Hispanic girl in the fifth grade. She speaks Spanish at home with her parents and English at school. I had a letter from the boy in Honduras. I showed the letter to the little girl, and she read it aloud in Spanish. I was so moved. To watch her speak fluent Spanish, make connections and laugh at some of the things the little boy wrote really got to me. She was so absorbed in what he wrote. And she completely understood what he was talking about because it was a letter from a sponsor child to another sponsored child. She understood his struggles and his thankfulness. It was very eye opening.
Awesome things happen. Funny things. Unexpected things. Wonderful things. What kind of awesome things have you witnessed this week? Feel free to tell me about it. I would love to hear it.

Until next time...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Three Girls and a Baby

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I am throwing my first baby shower ever. It is really the first shower where I have been solely in charge. Exciting, yet makes me nervous. Since it is the first shower my sweet friend is having, it will set the pace for the other showers.

Not to worry. My mom is coming to help me. She is going to help me out since my ghost hostess can't make it this weekend. So we get to have much-needed and awaited mother-daughter time. She is on her way now, and I can't wait to see her.

Last night my sweet friend came over. Hands down she is the cutest pregnant girl I have ever seen. At about 5 feet, this girl is all baby. Her belly is the only thing that has changed about her. She is still just a little tiny thing. She just started her 7th month so she will only get bigger until the big day.

It's so exciting. After we all ate dinner, my friend looked at my roommate and said feel this. Apparently baby girl was moving around. So we all crowded around her with our hands on her belly and waited.

For a while nothing happened. (Sidenote---I have been waiting to feel this sweet baby kick or move ever since September when we found out she was pregnant.) So I was pretty anxious and excited.

And then it happened. Baby girl gave me a little bump. She just wanted to say what's up. And I was beside myself with joy. It was the craziest, best, strangest feeling ever. I can only imagine how it feels for it to happen inside of you. She nudged and bumped a few more times, and then the show was over. Baby girl went back to sleep.

It was the best feeling. I am so excited about meeting my friend's sweet baby girl. She is going to be so beautiful and perfect. This is my first close friend to get pregnant, and we (the roommate and I) have learned so much about babies and body changes and stuff that it's a little un-nerving.

So now that baby girl has officially made her presence known, the baby shower has to be good. So here is a sneak-peek of what I'm working with for this most exciting event.

Two super cute frames I got at Target with the invitation the roommate made and a picture of baby girl in the womb. These will be decor for the table. Super exciting.

Sweet napkins I found. They are the only thing that is baby related for this shower. Love them.

So exciting. I can't wait to take all the pictures so I can show you the finished product and all the good food my mom and I make.

YAY for babies!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Save the Coffee Pot!

There are few things in my daily routine that need not be messed with: 1) the alarm clock and 2) the coffee pot.

The alarm always needs to be set for the time I need to get up. I use to only set one alarm, but after sleeping through a marketing management test in college, I now set two alarms. In January, I had an incident with iPhone's alarm when it decided not to work. And the same thing happened when the time changed for Daylight Savings Time.

This morning I got up and completed my morning routine with ease. I had about 20 minutes of spare time to eat breakfast and make coffee. I go over to the coffee pot, fill the canister with water and put the coffee and the filter in the basket. I flipped the switch to on...and nothing happened. No red light. Nothing.

So I flip the switch on and off a couple times just to make sure it's really not working, and then I decided to check the plug-in. Plug-in had no green light. Green light means good to go. First, thought: Glorious, now what will I do for my morning coffee.

My mind instantly goes into Fix-It mode. I have a Bunn coffee maker, and it keeps water hot in the reserve so it can make coffee in less than 3 minutes. So I make the executive decision to switch plug-ins and junk up the counter, while I set out to make my morning joe.

First attempt: Coffee came out brown-clear and cold. When I say brown-clear I mean just that. I like my coffee like motor oil. I don't want to be able to see the bottom of a white cup. Nice and strong for an early morning pick-me-up. So I dump it out, and start over. But I get the brilliant idea of refilling the reserve with fresh water so it can heat up.

Second attempt: No coffee in the basket. Just run water through the coffee maker. As it fills up the canister, I think "Hmmm...I hope it is getting warmer." I feel the side of the canister, and it feels warmer. (I didn't think at the time that the warmer/burner under the canister is on). So I think "Sweet, I almost got it now."

Third attempt: Refilled the basket with coffee, filled the canister with water, poured it in and waited. Coffee looked like it should, nice and dark. I pour some into my travel mug with sugar and cream and then tasted it. Lukewarm, not good.

So I gave up. It was 6:35 A.M. I decided it would just be a better idea to leave the roommate a note to put in a maintenance request with the apartment since it doesn't open until 9 A.M. and pray they come fix the plug-in. That way when I get home, I can try to revive my coffee maker.

What I think happened: The roommate has been blowing a lot of breakers the past few mornings while she gets ready. My guess is the straightener, hair dyer and Hero morning marathons via instant-watch Netflix on the computer has taken its toll on the system.

Since the 900 Square-foot box only has so much space for outlets and such, I'm betting the coffee maker outlet is somehow attached to the other outlets she blew, but they are on different breakers. Not her fault. It's just something that happened.

So no homemade coffee for me this morning. But I did get to stop at Starbucks before work. So I'll call it a lose-win situation. Lost my coffee pot power, but gained an expertly-made coffee bevy.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Fine Day

So I had a successful day at the zoo Sunday. One of the best days I've had in a while. I've got some highlights of my little trip. I provided some commentary of my thoughts and views from the animals perspective. Something about giving animals human attributes makes it much more fun.

This is Karen. I'm pretty sure Karen is a male, but when I saw him my mind said "Your name is Karen." He gave me some pretty great poses. I think this one really captured the essences of Karen. Look at those lashes!

This is Ernest. He did not like the fact that I put my iPhone in his face to take a photo. I loved the ways his eyes look, even if it's kinda strange and maybe a little gross with all those knots. Regardless, he is a very handsome pelican.

My most favorite: The Penguin. I was all too happy to watch these little guys swim. The Little Rock Zoo has a total of nine penguins so far. They hope to have baby penguins in the future. This African penguin loved to show off for the crowd and get his picture taken.

This is Bo, the Sloth Bear. When this picture was taken, he was in the middle of his daily exercise routine. I watched him flex his paws and lean over to touch his head down to his feet. This was the oh-so-important neck stretch. Pretty photogenic, if you ask me.

This is Camille. She enjoys sitting in the shade while all the roosters and chickens walk around acting like fools. She's a goose and wants nothing to do with the poultry. Camille is a bit diva-ish with her flowery feathers, but that is what makes her such a looker, don't ya think?

Pinnacle Mountain was saved for later in the afternoon. Probably not the best idea since it was so hot. I have officially gotten my first sunburn out of the way. But I burned in some strange places. I'm pretty sure I will have Farmer's Tan and a sweet line from my V-neck shirt on my chest. Great. I love the hodge-podge of suntan lines. But I think the view was totally worth it.

The best view in Arkansas. The top of Pinnacle Mountain is one of my favorite places. The only thing that could top it is a beach. But I'm not complaining. The perfect view to end the perfect day.

I hope you liked the zoo pictures. I am going to try to do better about posting photos. I love looking at photos so I should do better about sharing some of mine.

Until next time...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Break de Spring

It's officially Spring Break. And I will not be breaking. I have too much homework and research and papers to work on. Plus I still have to go to work, the prison for good people.

I am building in some good things in between all of this studying and working.

Today: I got a pedicure. My toes were in need of a spring makeover, especially since flip-flop weather is just round the corner.

Tomorrow: Birthday party for my my friend Abby's boyfriend.

Sunday: MY OFFICIAL SPRING BREAK (that I am allowing myself). I will spend the day doing nothing school related. So I am going to hike Pinnacle Mountain and going to see penguins at the zoo.

Monday: Work and homework.

Tuesday: Work and homework.

Wednesday: Work and homework.

Thursday: Homework and getting my ducks in a row for a baby shower I am hosting.

Friday: My mom is coming to stay with me and help me get ready for the baby shower. I also have to do homework and clean up before mom gets here.

Saturday: Baby shower for the most deserving friend. :)

Sunday: Homework.

Monday: Homework.

Then, sadly the Spring Break is over. Hopefully you will have more luck in the fun department. I will be cracking away at my school life. Who can't wait for May? This girl.

I hope everyone who gets an official Spring Break has a safe and happy time off. As for us that don't get one, let's be thankful for our jobs and all the other good things in our lives.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something I Love Right Now

I have discovered Adele thanks to Mrs. SPJones. She is a co-worker of mine and fellow music lover. I have always heard of Adele, and I have heard some of the songs off of her first album 19.

Her new album 21 came out recently, and I was curious. Mrs. SPJones had the CD at work, and she burned me a copy before my trip to Memphis.

Here is the video of my favorite song off the CD. It's called "Someone Like You". It's about a love she lost and now regrets. She is super talented, and her voice quality is superb. The story of her lost love is something anyone can relate to, and her choice of words was perfect. It's too good. A little sad. But still too good.

Listen and love.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nerves of Steel

Last Friday, I drove to Memphis to visit my oldest and dearest friend who is in dental hygiene school. I was so excited to see her since we hardly ever get to because school rules our lives.

I printed out directions because nobody wants to get lost in Memphis during rush hour traffic, and I set out for the even bigger city.

Now, Little Rock traffic is no biggie for me. I can pretty much navigate it with my eyes closed. People in Arkansas are pretty predictable as far as their driving habits are concerned: If it rains, we stop. If a car is pulled over on the shoulder with its flashers on, we stop. If state troopers are spotted, we slow way down as in 15-20 miles under the speed limit or stop. (I'm sure they hate that).If there are wrecks, we stop. Traffic will be bumper to bumper coming down 430 and 630 at 7:30 A.M. and 5 P.M. no matter what.

Memphis is a completely different ball game. My friend forgot to mention that I would be driving through the old Memphis. As I was getting off the old bridge, I had to exit immediately onto I-55 South going toward Jackson, MS. My handy-dandy Google map informed me that I was to take exit 289. First exit I saw was 7. I thought I had completely screwed up.

There were cars everywhere. The area was run-down and scary. There was an abandoned train yard to my left, where I'm sure someone was shot. On right were old warehouse buildings looking too much like gloom and doom. Not my cup of tea, especially when you don't know what you are getting into.

So I called my friend and started spitting out exit numbers and street names. She said, "I don't know the names of streets, Ashten. Just take exit 289." I said, "I just passed exit 3 this can't be right." She said, "Call Vicky!"

At the time, I didn't know Vicky was the Direction Queen. So I called my own personal version of a direction queen, my momma! Thankfully, she helped me figure out that I was on the right road going the right way. She told me there would be another place where I would have to merge and that I would start seeing signs for Southaven.

I did not realize that merging in this case would mean merging into crazy traffic with 8 lanes of pure hell. I hate the feeling of not knowing what to expect and then getting a BIG surprise when it happens. It felt like one of those times. Cars were zooming by me like I was sitting still, and clearly I wasn't. I was driving 70 with my hands at 10 and 2, praying the whole time I would get to my exit and not end up in a body bag. Seems a little over-dramatic, but seriously abandoned train yard....umm no thank you.

I'm surprised I didn't have a panic attack. And I don't have panic attacks, never have. It just seemed like the opportune time for me to have my very first one. Thankfully, I didn't, and I made it to her house without anymore major hang-ups.

Saturday was productive. My friend cleaned my teeth for four straight hours. Like I said, she is in school so she has to be meticulous and make sure she covers all the bases of a dental check and teeth cleaning. Although I got the flossing lecture, I was in pretty good shape. No cavities. Nice pearly whites.

She gave me dental sealants to prevent any future cavities in my uber-groovy molars. And then we went to eat, and then I found myself back on the road again.

Moral: I have nerves of steel.

Reasons I know this:
  • I endured 6 hours of interstate driving to a place I had never driven before and survived the 8 lanes of terror. (BTW, the 8 lanes of terror should be a scary ride at Six Flags).
  • I endured a 4 hour dental check up and teeth cleaning. Sidenote---it's safe to say I'm not fond of the dentist and all the teeth scraping. Hands down, one of the worst sounds ever.
  • I did 4 days worth of homework in 2 days. This included a 2 question essay test (which turned out to 9 pages printed), a historical discussion paper and reading, a bibliography for a 25-page paper I haven't had time to work on, numerous reading assignments in all the classes, and the ever-dreaded online homework from hell.
Yep, nerves of steel people. Nerves of steel.

Sidenote----Notice the sweet subscribe bar I put on the page last week. If you enter your e-mail, all my posts will be sent straight to your inbox. Pretty schnazzy! Check it out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It's official. I have been approved to move April 23rd. Hands down it will be the best day ever. My roommate and I are so pumped to move. The place we live in now is just not right for us. We named it The Box.

That is just not something you want to go home to after a long hard day of school and work. The thing is we went about it all wrong.

After freshman year of college, we moved into a house. An amazing house. It was oh so perfect. Three bedroom, two bathrooms. Big kitchen. Garage. Big lawn. Good neighborhood. Patio. Stained-concrete floors. Perfect. I loved everything about that house.

After graduating college, we downsized to a 900 square foot apartment. Two bedroom. One Bathroom. No lawn. No patio. Smallest dishwasher ever made in the history of all the dishwasher (most of our cups have to lay on their sides). No extra storage. And people on the top floor that have hooves.

I don't think I have ever talked about David and Tina David. They are my upstairs neighbors who were born with hooves. I have no idea what their actual names are, but David and Tina David work for me. I do know they are a recently married couple who moved into the box above mine about the exact time we move there.

David is a tall, gangly fellow. And Tina David is a short, slight girl. No sign of hooves at first glance, but they gallop back and forth every night for hours on end. I don't understand how two people can walk so much in a 900 sqaure foot box.

The sad part about it is I can tell which one is which by their gaits. Tina stomps. Everywhere she goes she stomps. It is a fast-paced stomp. Like the balls of her feet never get the chance to hit the ground because she is too busy stomping with her heels. Hands down the most awful sound ever.

David is quite a bit tall than Tina so his gait is less frequent. His heels hit the ground a tab bit softer than hers. Sometimes when he is home alone, I can't hear him walk about. But if Tina is home, girl is walking. Stomping. Slamming cabinet doors. Washing 01391938 loads of clothes. And taking 985720487 showers and baths.

I swear those people bathe more than any person I know. Reason I know they bathe often: Every time their water turns on I can it hear it when I am in the bathroom, and I can hear it in my bedroom because the drain runs down my bedroom wall. And they usually take a shower right as I am about to fall asleep.

This issue with the Davids has gotten so bad that we have tried to let them know we hate their hooves. First we started lightly throwing a tennis ball at the ceiling. That didn't work. Now we stand on the kitchen counter and beat on the ceiling with our hands or some other object that will make a loud noise.

I think the message finally got through to them. Because one day not that long ago, I was beating on the ceiling with a tupperware bowl, and Tina beat back. She intentionally stomped on me. At first I was seeing red. But then I calmed down, and Tina kinda calmed down after that. But they are still stomping and loud as ever.

I know beating on the ceiling isn't the best way to solve the problem, but then it wouldn't be a good story. Asking her to quit is not as interesting as have a hate war with the upstairs neighbors. All I can say is April 23rd can't get here soon enough. No one will walk above me anymore. It will be the ultimate.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Words of The Godfather: A War Cry

This weekend proved to be a complete mess. In last Thursday's post, I listed all of my weekend plans and homework assignments. I am happy to report that all the homework was completed. Success. But I did hit a huge road block along the way.

Friday, I spent my day working on PR Cases homework, which consisted of a discussion board with 2 posts and a PR Case proposal. Let me preface the story with this: The professor provided no instructions or examples on what the proposal should look like. I e-mailed her last Monday to ask for guidance. She said it's a one-page summary, give the 5Ws and H, and tell me what sources you plan to use. Pretty general. Or so I thought.

I found the Tylenol case from 1982 where seven people died, and I thought it would be cool to compare that incident to more recent Tylenol recalls to see if the company maintained its crisis management skills. Sounds promising.

So I wrote a little one-page summary of what I was going to look at. I generalized the sources saying I would look at Tylenol press releases and other literature, the news media, academic literature on crisis management for theories, and what people said in reaction to it. Turned it in. Moved on to the next thing on my agenda, which was lunch at Panera Bread and reading old Arkansas Gazette articles for my research paper.

While I'm eating lunch and reading over articles, I check my e-mail and see a response to my proposal. At the time I did not anticipate the full-on rage and anger that would consume me in the few seconds after reading the e-mail. She wrote and I quote:


Since we have the Tylenol case in our text, I don't want you to spend a lot of time on the original case. I know I made it clear on the first day that you had to find a case not covered in our text. Plenty has been written about the Tylenol case for sure, so you need to concentrate on something more original. The last graph of your proposal offers that chance: has Tylenol followed it's own best practices in other recalls since the original crisis in 1982. Again, I don't want you to rehash what's already been written about extensively, including in the text we're now studying. It needs to be something beyond the text.

I also had hoped you would have your sources more defined by now -- the purpose of having you submit this proposal was to make sure you started that research early enough to determine if you had the resources you need to complete a case study. You don't want to be pursuing a case and find out a couple of days before it's due that there's not a whole lot out there to help you. You need to be specific about those resources.

The bottom line: let me know if you plan to pursue the Tylenol-since-the-crisis angle exclusively (without going over plowed ground except to reference in a sentence or two). Also let me know which resources specifically you plan to use.

Grade on this proposal: 38/50 points (Just so everyone knows, 38/50 is a 76%)
This sent me into hysterics. Luckily, I made it to my car before the tears started flowing. (Looking back on it now, the e-mail wasn't really that big a deal). Here is what I have a problem with:
  • The professor provided no instructions on the assignment, hence I would have turn it in complete and correct.
  • She makes it sound like it was my fault I got this grade, which I could care less about the grade.
  • She didn't say how specific she wanted our sources cited. For a one-page thing, generalizing should be good enough.
  • She forgets that I have two other more demanding classes that require my 110% of attention and participation. I don't live and breath PR Cases, sorry!
I'm pretty sure the crying was always going to happen. The stress level this semester has been over-the-top. It was easier to deal with last semester, and I never thought I would say that. Like I said, I have classes that demand time set aside for working purely on them. Sometimes I feel like I could work the rest of the semester on just one class and still not feel satisfied with my effort. And I have three classes that are like that.

In the midst of the waterworks, I managed to pull it together enough to e-mail her back. I asked to set up at time to meet IN PERSON to talk about the final project. She said yes.

Then I texted a professor from UCA, my alma mater, to have him talk some sense into me. Thankfully, he was able to reason with me like always. He told me I buried the lead, which I did. He told me how to talk to her during my meeting, which helped. Then he allowed me to talk about how stressed I am and let me be a baby about grad school without passing judgment.

Needlesstosay, he knows me all too well. He provided the advice I needed, the constructive criticism I needed to avoid another incident like that and the kind words to keep my motivated. Thank you. It was much needed. :)

So I was down, but not beaten. I let grad school win the battle, but I will win this war. That is a promise. It sounds crazy to suffer such psychological beatings. And even though I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet, it's there. I will get there.

Grad school does not make you smarter in the sense of academics in your field of study (I'm sure they would kill me if they knew I said this).

It makes you a smarter person who is able to manage time, juggle activities, stand up for oneself, work toward an unseen goal, self-motivate, self-educate and shout praise for an accomplishment nobody close to you understands. It's life changing. And I'm in it to win it. I will be the last one standing in this war.

As they say in The Godfather: Let's go to the mattresses!

Until next time...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Numbers Game

Happy Thursday Everyone!!!

It is a beautiful day here in Little Rock. Perfect weather for the perfect mix of music, see yesterday's post. I feel like today will be exceptional because it is my Friday. Tomorrow I will spend hours slaving over grad school's version of hell. Homework.

Just so you can get an idea of what is loom over me, this is what my weekend will look like: 1 PR case proposal, 1 online discussion board with two different, highly-detailed posts, read one chapter in Media Theories book, read historical methods handout and write detailed paper critique, read old newspaper printouts for looming 25-page historical methods paper, literature search for looming 15-20 page theories paper, and maybe read some assigned theories articles, if the teacher decides to send them out through e-mail.

And that is just the homework side of things. Saturday, I will be shopping for a bridesmaids dress for my best friend's wedding in August, and I promised the roommate that I would come out and play this Saturday. I will call it my last Hoorah before the paper writing begins. So there you go. A detailed account of what I have planned. Sounds great.

Now, I've been doing some number watching the past few months. And let me just say I am impressed. Blogspot allows the blogger (me) to keep up with the number of view my blog gets per day, week, month and all time. It also tells me how many views per country. Don't freak out. I can't see exactly who you are or when you check it out. I just think it is pretty cool. So I thought I would share the info.

As of today, 12 countries have checked out my blog. Pretty cool. Now I have no idea if they were really checking it out, or if they just typed in the wrong URL. I'm going with the first one because I like to think people read because they like what I write or how I write and find me entertaining.

So here are the numbers:
  • United States - 813
  • Ireland - 24
  • Canada - 13
  • Australia - 7 (Thanks Miranda)
  • Denmark - 6
  • United Kingdom - 5
  • Germany - 3
  • Belarus - 1
  • China - 1
  • Czech Republic - 1
  • Morocco - 1
  • Portugal - 1
All time pageview history = 880

Thank you so much. I write this thinking no one really reads it. That it is just me writing to appease some part of myself. But then I get people saying "Hey, I read your blog. Keep it up." Or "Hey, I need you to post everyday. (LRM)"

I try to write stuff I would like to read about. But if I posted every day, it would not be as funny. And you would probably get tired of reading me. I don't want to be a not-so-funny blog burden. So you will get me three times a week. Maybe more if something really great/bad happens.

As for the numbers, thank you family and friends who read and tell me about it. It keeps me confident. Thank you blog readers I've never met for keeping me excited. Even when my family doesn't read, you guys keep coming back. As for the one time visitors listed, thanks so much for stopping by, even if you did just typed in the wrong URL or pushed the "Next Blog" button at the top of your screen. If all you guys keep coming to read, I will keep cranking out words.

Love you guys. Until next time...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I Am

For me, blogging is therapeutic. It is a stress reliver.What I write is how I feel at that moment. It is a snapshot of my life or a temperature reading, whichever you like better. It helps me filter through the good, bad and funny.

For the most part, I tell stories. Stories I fund humorous or interesting. When I was in college learning about how journalists find stories, the one aspect I was always drawn to was "is it unusal"? Unusal can be so many things. But sometimes I choose to get real. It's good to be funny ha ha, but there come a time when I feel like I need to share bits of myself.

For example, yesterday's post and the post about my birthday. That was my real life with my real feelings. While unusal stories are good, sometimes sharing something personal makes for an even better story.

Music is also a form of therapy I choose to partake in. 1) It's free. 2) It's fun. 3) It helps you relate to other people. Music is one of my go to subject when I meet someone new. It helps me find a common interest. I've written a little bit about the types of music I like, but today I am going to add to it.

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful. Perfect blue sky. Not to hot, not to cold. On days like that, I find myself drawn to what I call "feel good" music. Yesterday was perfect for the following:

  • Dave Matthews Band - "Crash into Me" Live at Radio City
  • Switchfoot - "Always" and "You're Love Is a Song" from Hello Hurricane
  • John Mayer - "Another Kind of Green" from Try
  • Mumford and Sons - "Dust Bowl Dance" and "Awake My Soul" from Sign No More
  • Eddie Money - "Take Me Home Tonight" from We Are the 80s
  • Gavin DeGraw - "I Don't Want to Be (Stripped Version)" from Chariot - Stripped
  • Needtobreathe - Any song from The Outsiders and The Heat (two AMAZING albums)
  • Ray LaMontagne - "Shelter" from Trouble (One of my all time favorite songs ever)
  • REO Speedwagon - "Keep On Loving You" and Take It On the Run" from Hi Infidelity
  • Amos Lee - "Violin" from Mission Bell
I really love all kinds of music. I love the different sounds and beats. My mom says I love guys with guitars that sing nothing but sad songs. I can see where she gets that considering everything I listed above is sung by men. I do listen to some women, but for the most part I stick with the guys.

Now let's take a different turn in the music department. I just talked about how I love soft, acoustic music with men singing beautifully written songs. But I do love to hear some rap/R&B. A few favorites as of right now:

  • Waka Flocka Flame - "No Hands" (I really can't get tired of it. I LOVE it)
  • Lil Wayne - "Right Above It"
  • Jeremih - "Imma Star"
  • Soulja Boy - "Turn My Swag On" and "Pretty Boy Swag"
  • Usher - "DJ Got Us Falling in Love" and "More" (Makes me want to dance)
  • DJ Khaled - "All I Do is Win"
  • DMX - "X Gon' Give It to Ya"
I am sure there are many I am leaving out. Some I can think up off the top of my head are the Ying Yang Twins, Chris Brown, Flo Rida, Ludacris and Pretty Ricky.

So there you go. I am bipolar in my music taste. I love it all. It just depends on the day. Some days I mix it up. I have also been known to go on 80s Hits kicks while in the library looking at microfilm for hours. It keeps me on my game. I listen to classical piano music with no words when I work on projects that take a lot of brain power.

Music is personal. Listen to what you love. And share it. Tell people what you like to hear. Maybe it will help you form a common bond. Who cares if it the common bond is over Justin Bieber or 3 6 Mafia.

I will leave you with this. A mix of my two favorite genres.

Enjoy! Until next time...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

A few good things have come about this weekend that need to be shared. The sickness has died down thanks to a doctor visit and prescibed medication. While I'm not totally healed, I would say 90 percent is better than last week's 30 percent. This should mean a more productive work week. So more sick posts and me being whiny.

BIG HUGE THING: This girl is moving to the big city. Little Rock better get ready for me. I am so excited to say that it is almost official---pending paperwork evaluation. I have been commuting for six months now. As I have said before, it is for the birds. Still not sure how a 25 minute drive can turn into an hour. But that is another rant for another day.

As of April 23, I will no longer be a resident of Conway, AR. I will be living the life in West Little Rock with access to everything I could ever need. Library. School. Work. Fine Dining. Mountain Climbing. Nightlife (when there's time). And I am sure other things that have not been brought to my attention yet.

I am so excited that I could practically burst. Just blow up. Explode. Once we get settled, I will post pictures of the new place with all its fine amenities. Hopefully, I will hear back from them in just a short while because the waiting game is killer. Patience is not one of my finer qualities. It is something I have to work on every day.

While I am uber-excited about moving, the actual move itself is another story. There is nothing I dread more, especially since the new place is on the third floor. This fact will make for a not-so-thrilled Dad when move in day rolls around.

My bedroom furniture is a little extravagant. Four post bed with tall, skinny, long dresser. Average bedside table. You get the general idea. Beautiful to look at, but a pain to move. During this last move, we had to take it completely apart. I am was a nervous wreck about it, but it simply had to be done. This time will be even more interesting---hence the three flights of stairs, narrow stairwells, and  a dad whose hobby isn't moving.

Pray for me.

Last thing on the agenda: a boy.

Three years ago, I ended a relationship. While the end was horrible and painful, it was necessary. We two people did not go together, and we kept trying to find ways to make it work. But it was just broken. So we ended it after a 6 month period of torturing each other. It was like the break-up that wouldn't end. It turned out to be more painful for me because I was more emotionally invested in it. I lost that relationship along with many mutual friendships made during the course of its two years.

During my recovery time, which I like to call the Dark Days, I was a complete wreck mess. True story. I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything, hang out with anymore, nothing. I didn't trust anyone, especially boys. Every boy turned into my kryptonite.

I dove into a new major that semester of the Dark Days, and I started meeting new people. People with like interests. One of those being writing. I met a guy during this recovery time. I liked him a lot as a person. He was someone I really enjoyed. We laughed a lot---probably one of few people who could get a laugh out of me during that time. But we were both not in good places in our lives.

I was completely messed up from the relationship that wouldn't end. I was totally hung up on my ex and what was happening with that. It was not a good situation. This boy was shy and not sure of himself, even though I could see there was a big personality in there dying to get out.

Well this boy asked me out. Not just once, but multiple times. And I said no. Not once, but multiple times. Every time to be exact. And then it kind of just fizzled out. I'm sure I was very persistent in avoiding him at all cost. I was 19 and stupid. He quit asking me out, quit sending me texts, quit asking me just to hang out. He just quit. And I let him quit.

The point? I am now fully recovered from the Dark Days, and he is doing life. We are both completely different people now than we were then. Completely different. As I recovered, I kept up with him on the side by reading his blogs. Creepy? Yeah--maybe a little. He has done some awesome stuff with his life.

And I guess I've always kind of wondered what it would have been like had I not said no and been so scared to trust him. But I can't go back, only forward. I recently read that he's been working on a book proposal and has now finished it.

I don't know what happened, but something in my mind clicked and said "Contact him." Well I, of course, ignored it, but it became a reoccuring thought. The thing about reoccuring thoughts is that they should be acted on. I feel like it's God's way of telling me to do something.

So last night, I finally did it. I sent him a Facebook message since I don't have his phone number anymore. I told him Congrats for finishing the book proposal. And that it was a big deal. I hinted at what I was doing now. And just tried to keep in light and friendly because for all I know he could hate me.

I felt instantly better about it. The nagging urge to make contact was subsided, but my anxiety of if he would respond took its place. Now let's get this one MAJOR thing straight: I am not expecting anything to come of it. I just want to be friends. Am I hopeful? Yes, ever hopeful and optimistic. But expectant? No, he has every right to not say anything at all.

As I said, I just want us to be on friendly terms again. Just establish some kind of relationship...and see what happens. Friendship is a beautiful perfect thing, and I would really love to re-get-to-know-him. Because as I said, we are completely different people now.

If it turned into something else, then it would be a whole other thing. Let's just say I would be open-minded, unlike the first time. So here's to hoping and dreaming big. I felt like this was completely necessary to say because 1) I needed to own up to it, 2) I would have forever lived with what if I never say it and he never knows, and 3) when he does know, he can act on it however he chooses---Worst case senario- Things stay the same as they are now.

If you don't take chances, you never know. So there it is. Ever hopeful, never expectant.

Until next time...