31 August 2010

Thank you, Penn (not Penn State)

Students are returning to college campuses around the US, which means that I'm being forced to procrastinate by reading Facebook Newsfeeds, FmyLifes, and Texts From Last Night all about the stupid decisions that they are making. In honor of their bad decisions, I've decided to make a list of things I miss now that I've been out for over a year. Some led to bad decisions, others I just plain miss.

  • Day drinking - Now when I pop open a beer at 1pm I look like an alcoholic, in college I looked normal.
  • Eating whatever I want - I used to love cheese fries. I haven't had them in at least 6 months.
  • Close proximity to friends - It was so much easier walking up a flight of stairs to see my good friends. Now I have to fly all the way up the East Coast.
  • Close proximity to, well, everything - Going to school in Philadelphia meant that I didn't need a car. I could walk to the grocery store, to class, to work, take the subway downtown. Now it's a minimum 15 minute drive to get anywhere. Life was so much better when I could go for strolls around campus whenever I wanted to. (Except at 2am when the real residents of West Philly strolled about.)
  • Parental Funding - Granted, I worked all four years of college, but having my parents back me up with grocery money each month made day drinking and eating whatever I wanted at 3am far less of a financial strain.*
  • Lounging on The Green - When you had an hour to kill between classes, you could lounge around on the grass and quickly accumulate a large group of people with nowhere else to go. Lounging to college students is like honey to flies. Who wants to be a motivated, prosperous human being when the sun is shining and friends are amassing?
  • Making bad decisions - If someone goes out now, gets wasted, and ends up sleeping in their underwear on the couch they're frowned upon. In college, that was a normal Friday night.
I was hoping that I'd be over my four year affair with college by now, but the sad part is that the bitch (pardon my French) ripped my heart out. We had a good, no great, thing going for 4 years and I was just shoved out there door with no more than a piece of paper stating that I'd been there. It's no better than an "I survived Pike's Peak" t-shirt. I want to go back! I want to survive it again, and again, and again.

I'm painfully bringing myself to believe that this feeling, this desire means that I got out of college what I was supposed to. A great experience, great friends, great memories, and a great education. So, as much as I miss it and hate it for dumping me, I have to thank Penn for 4 of the best years of my life.

Hurrah for the Red and Blue!

*I must apologize to my parents, who I'm sure knew about all of these shenanigans. Mom, Dad, your money went to groceries, I swear. A girl's gotta eat.

30 August 2010

Reliable References

A few months ago I read a book called Reading the OED by Ammon Shea and found myself seriously enjoying the read. Shea spent one year reading through the whole OED, chronicling his adventure in this novel. Each chapter is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet. He begins each chapter with a little anecdote dealing with how he began his obsession with dictionaries (he owns thousands) to the horrible headaches he got each day as he read through all 21,000-plus pages. After each anecdote he lists his favorite words beginning with the designated letter of the alphabet and random connections he has to them (different dictionaries he's seen them in, varying definitions, etc).

To many this book would be a total bore - reading about someone reading the OED?! Sounds crazy to someone who doesn't have a love for the English language. I don't ever see myself reading page 1 to page 21,730 of the OED, but I can, honestly, see the appeal. Since I read this book I have bought myself 3 new dictionaries/thesauruses (i) and constantly look-up words I do not know. You can never have too many reference books, whether they be your run-of-the-mill dictionary to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. I know that all of this can be found online (I am now the proud owner of a bouncing, baby Nook), but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats having a hard copy on hand.

I hope to one day have a room in my home that I can call my library, filled with leather-bound tomes, ratty classics, and shelves of reference books. If you see me when I'm 50 and I do not own the OED, then, please, slap me then split the cost of it with friends as a birthday gift for yours truly. You may want to find many, many friends to split it with considering it is over $1,000. And preferably find a nicely bound set. Thanks, friends.

24 August 2010

iPad Adventures

A friend and I were just discussing new music videos (something we do on a pretty regular basis) and we came across the new Jason Derulo song. I happen to seriously enjoy this song and turn it up much louder than necessary when I'm driving (just ask my husband). I hadn't seen the video until today. I posted it below for your viewing pleasure.

What I came to my blog to discuss today came up during our chat about this video. My friend asked me "Who brings their iPad to the club?" I thought it was an excellent query. This then got me thinking, if I were to own an iPad where else would I bring it besides out clubbin? Below I've listed a few of the options:

  • Toilet -Who doesn't already surf the web while using the facilities on their smart phone or laptop?
  • Opera - Quick translations!
  • Alligator hunting - The iPad is crucial to the sport of gator hunting. You never know when you'll need to read up on gator facts or play the gators a soothing tune to trick them into coming to the surface. And, if it comes to it, bash the gators' heads in with the iPad as they swarm your boat. (Just think how happy the people from Lake Placid would be if they had iPads to battle the giant gator!)
  • Operating heavy machinery - A woman needs her reading materials to help the time pass while operating the crane that's about to smash -- oh, wrong building...
  • Walking on the moon - AT&T 3G coverage makes it out there, right?

Serpentine, Shadow! Serpentine!
I also got my degree at RISD for Drawing with a minor in Finger Painting, can't you tell?

19 August 2010

School Supplies + Mo = True Love

My husband and I stopped into Walmart today on our way to the Post Office. There were 2 things on my shopping list: Skirt hangers & a specific shade of OPI nail polish. Sadly, Walmart does not sell OPI and my quest for the shade "Got a Date To-Knight" is still on. I did find myself a bunch of new hangers which will aid in my never-ending quest to perfectly organize my closet.

Why am I telling you about my mundane, uneventful journey to Walmart? BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING. It slaps you in the face as you walk into Walmart, Target, or any major store and makes me wish I could be back in school.

I have always loved back to school shopping. Not the kind of love I have for hangers or chips and salsa, but the kind of love that makes you giddy as a school girl, that makes it impossible to sleep at night, that makes your hands shake as the day Mom has designated as back to school shopping day draws near. This isn't back to school clothes shopping that I'm referring to, however. No, that shopping was left to kids who went to public school and had the option of jeans and fun t-shirts every day. I'm talking supplies. Folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, colored pencils, pencil cases, everything.

I used to immediately scan my list of necessary items for each class with sheer bliss. What color 1-in binder for Social Studies will I get this year? What color book covers should I get for my textbooks? Do I want to write in blue or black ink? Should I get gel pens to decorate my covers or a stash of Yikes! pencils? Do I get a Lisa Frank folder or a Trapper Keeper? (Yes, I went to middle school in 90s. Jealous, much?)

The options were endless! As I grew older and went to high school, I was forced to fit in and buy less exciting folders and binders. This didn't squelch my excitement for back to school shopping, though. I still heavily weighed the benefits of a green binder for Biology and a red binder for Math. Even in college I spent far too long in the school supplies section of the book store debating whether I wanted a yellow folder or a red folder to carry my notes in.

Now that I'm graduated, I won't get the excitement of back to school shopping until I have children of my own. I hope that at least one of them gets as excited as I do. Then again, if they don't want to pick out their supplies I'll have to color coordinate their Earth Science notebooks for them! For now, I must satisfy my craving for office supplies by stocking up my home office with colorful pens, Moleskine notebooks of various sizes, and post-it notes galore.

Where's Lisa Frank now? The woman knew her target market so well.

First Kiss Follow-up

Last week I went home for a few days to see my family and attend my cousin's wedding. It was great to see my parents and brothers again, having not seen them since the hectic week of my own wedding.

My father brought up the topic of my blog the second day I was there. I know my mother has been reading this since my first post (Hi, Mom!), but I assumed my father simply skimmed it if he even looked at it at all. I was excited to hear his analysis, but what he had to say only reassured me, once again, that I am my father's daughter.

I was waiting for a comment on improper grammar or language usage, but, instead, he exclaimed, "I did the exact same thing for my first kiss!" Apparently, an inability to think on one's toes when the big moment was upon us is, in fact, a genetic trait. I wonder if I will pass this on to any of my children, and when will it be appropriate to ask them if they did the same thing as their mother and grandfather had. Will it ruin my relationship with them if I stand in wait at the door while they are on their first dates and pounce like a puma that hasn't eaten in weeks when they step foot in the house? I'd be doing it for science!

Geneticists across the globe would thank me for my groundbreaking work!
You disagree? Really?
Well, I think they would, loyal readers. I think they would.

Oh, DNA, why do you have such a strange sense of humor?

08 August 2010

Snooki: Keeping Our Government Honest Since 1987

Everyone's favorite Jersey Shore mini-waste of space (please, don't read too far into that. I love the show.) has something she'd like to tell President Obama. E! Online has the details.

This show, focusing on the exploits of 8 self-proclaimed "guidos" and "guidettes", is one of the few that I look forward to watching each week. No, it's not for the educational value or the hilarious wit. I watch because these fame-seeking, drunkards provide excellent drama and stupidity for one hour each week. (I can't explain to you my elation when I saw that MTV had wisely extended the weekly episodes from 30 minutes to 60.)

Jersey Shore is a cultural phenomenon. These 8 people signed on to do a start-up show, and have turned into celebrities. Everyone likes to say that they are "too intelligent" or "too classy" to watch a show about 8 kids running around Miami getting drunk, but if they watched, they would get at least a little pleasure out of it. None of them are especially attractive. None are especially mature, although JWoww sometimes "wows" me with the way she handles different situations (note: not capitalized, but she does have to deal with that Situation at times). None of them are great decision makers.

But, what they have is chemistry. A 30-year old egomaniac who calls himself The Situation, a 5-foot nothing firecracker, a tumultuous couple, a tough, double-d chested fighter, a trash-talking exile, a stiff-haired DJ, and a quiet Casanova all mix together to create a show that you can't turn away from. No matter how hard you try, once that show is on, you must watch. The situations they get themselves into (bar fights, boardwalk fights, cat fights - a lot of fights) make for great television.

You can say otherwise, but the fact that they have already begun filming Season 3, and there seems to be no end in sight, shows that this come-out-of-left-field hit show isn't going anywhere for awhile. People will continue to watch until the hilarity and drama die down or they realize that watching these people drink in excess and make stupid decisions at the age of 40 has become sliiightly sad.

04 August 2010

Oil, Oil Everywhere...

This CNN article is all about the beach 10 minutes from my house. It's extremely depressing to hear of all the people and wildlife that are suffering from the millions of gallons of oil spilled no more than a week after we moved down here. The only benefit I see is that I don't have to worry about crowded beaches when I meander down to the Key.

Just me and my good friend, Oily Bucket, soakin up the rays.

Below are a few links to sites with ways to help out:

Help The Gulf Coast - Etsy shop -- 100% of the proceeds are donated to charity
Donate Hair - Article with details on how to donate your/your pet's hair to help soak up oil
World Wildlife Federation - WWF link takes you to their Oil Spill Crisis donation page

03 August 2010

First Kiss Fail

I'm sitting at my desk attempting to write up wall notes for the museum's upcoming exhibit on WWI, but am happily sidetracked by this link from Cute Overload in my RSS feed:

Awkward First Kiss

It brings back memories of my first kiss. I will admit to the world here that it was horribly awkward and I was the only one to blame. I had seen plenty of kissing scenes in movies, on tv, and witnessed a few pecks in real life, so one would think I would have been prepared for the big moment. Hardly. (Warning: Serious embarrassment ahead!)

He was an experienced, older boy, while I was new to the world of kissing. We were sitting on a couch in my parents' basement and, if memory serves, we had just finished watching Seven. Horror films are supposed to be great first date movies because they get your adrenaline going and the fear makes you want to be closer to someone. I don't recall the exact details that led to the kiss, but, boy, do I remember the kiss.

He leaned in, ready for the kill. I froze. Literally, froze. Mouth open. Eyes open. Breathing stopped.

We might as well have been twins.

After a solid attempt on his part to involve me in this event, he pulled away. There was no beautiful moment of looking into each other's eyes with a slow smile of satisfaction curling on our mouths. No, I just gasped for oxygen. Heaving gasps of desperation. Why he decided to date me for another couple of years is beyond me.

I haven't had any complaints since that horrendous first attempt. I'd like to think that I improved tremendously since that fated evening in my parents' basement. You'll have to ask one of the poor men with whom I had lip-locking sessions with. Or ask my husband, who will be beaten if anything other than "amazing" or "perfect" escape from his mouth.

01 August 2010

Plastic Not So Fantastic

I have been watching a lot of the show Nip/Tuck in my free time, which has led me to ponder my thoughts on plastic surgery and the show's portrayal of the real world. Here are a few principles of life that I have gathered from this over-dramatized (but fun) show:

A. Everyone needs or wants plastic surgery.
B. All plastic surgeons are superficial.
C. Everyone murders.
D. It is impossible not to cheat on your significant other.
E. It is possible to have hundreds of sexual partners, but somehow never get a STD.
F. Everyone is happier after they have plastic surgery.

I think A is the only point that is true in the real world. I have yet to meet a single person who is 100% satisfied with their body. We would all like bigger breasts, a smaller nose, thinner hips, a more shapely behind, and so on. I would like to think that most people understand that looking good on the outside does not equal true beauty. Considering the amount of people in the world who choose to have plastic surgery, I'm forced to see that this is untrue.

People seem to think that going under the knife, since it is something that happens so often nowadays, is completely safe. They ignore the serious risks that come along with going under anesthesia or having their bodies cut open to the world making them vulnerable to airborne contaminants. I have had a few orthopedic surgeries in my young life due to athletic injuries and I can say that having an elective surgery is not worth it. Recovery and rehab are long and painful (a lot longer than Hollywood wants you to think).

People need to be willing to embrace their imperfections. I constantly remind myself that everyone is perfect because of their imperfections. Why do we all want to look the same? I liked my Barbie when I was little, but attempting to emulate her literally impossible waistline was never on my To Do List.

Medical Coding
Via: Medical Coding