Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quickest Update In History

Just finished my first paper and turned it in online. Now have to wait and see.

I got a job on campus and it's in a wonderful department and in an excellent location and the pay is pretty good and that's all I'm going to say about it. For now, anyway.

I have been a zombie for the last couple of days. After being off work for a month, I'd returned to my teenage schedule, you know: staying up until 1:00 or 2:00, sleeping until 9:00 or 10:00. So, when I went back to the full-time working life on Monday, my body wasn't ready to cooperate and I've been trying to adjust to that, and my classes, and a new town, and no family around, and a new job and IT HAS REALLY BEEN DIFFICULT.

I'm happy, though. Tired, but happy. And, my mom and Auntie Linda are coming up tomorrow night and staying for the Labor Day Weekend. Words can't express how excited I am to have some company.

Have a good holiday and I'll check in next week. Love to you all!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

If I Didn't Like Shopping Before, I Loathe It Now

In order to begin a new job, which I’m thinking I have and will know for sure early next week, I needed some work clothes. The last few months I lived in Arkansas, I didn’t care what I wore, and therefore never shopped for clothes. Wednesday I went shopping. I’ve lost a few pounds lately, so I was unsure of my size when I walked into the store. I selected a pair of pants and a shirt and went into the dressing room to get an idea of how they would fit. I thought, why drag twenty items into the dressing room if I don’t know what size I wear? So, off I went with my selections. Remember, it was Wednesday afternoon at around 1:00. Store shouldn’t be too crowded. Hate crowds. I walked into the dressing room and heard a man and woman talking and a baby crying in one of the dressing rooms. The baby never stopped crying and the couple never stopped talking over the crying. That would have been bad enough, but what was a man doing in the dressing room? He was critiquing everything “his” woman tried on. “Oh, no no no no no!” He would say. Then she would whimper, “doesn’t look good?” Then he’d snarl, “No, your butt looks HUGE in those!” I have never heard anything quite this disturbing in my life. His tone was hateful and evil and I half-expected to hear him hit that woman. This went on the entire time I was trying on the pants and shirt. I left the dressing room with my clothes and went to select some more things to try and was gone at least twenty minutes. When I returned, they were still in the dressing room. The man kept up the compliments the entire time, as did the crying baby. “There’s no way I’m going to be seen with you in THAT.” I remember that one verbatim. Then, they argued about how to pay for all of her items (although I never heard him approve of anything she tried on) and he said, “well, did you remember to pay the Visa bill for once?” Thankfully, for his sake, I finished trying on all of my clothes and left before they came out of the dressing room, because the entire time I was in there I was thinking of things to say to that guy. Things I won’t publish, but things you are probably thinking, too!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Haven't Kissed These Cheeks In Over Three Weeks

I know, cute, huh? Dawn took this Monday morning just before they left for their first day of school. Reece is in the third grade and he loves it. He told me his teacher was really nice and he ate corn dogs the first day. That's about all I got out of him, but Tuesday morning he told his dad that Monday was "the best day, so far!" So, he's happy. Emily is now in junior high school. I'm dying over that. She's loving every minute of it, though. She's playing volleyball and is also on the basketball team and there are lots of boys to look at and she has a great locker, so yes, she's as happy as she can be, too! She did, however, get scolded by a teacher for wearing leggings. My guess is, that teacher is jealous of Emily's gorgeous legs.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Slow Simmer Is Finally Beginning To Boil

You'd think that with all this time on my hands right now I'd do lots of writing, huh? Nope. Stuff actually has to happen in order for me to write about it. I've been so bored the past two weeks, but I got my assignments for my classes last night and this morning and now I have so much to do I'll never get it all done. Completely overwhelmed. And, I have a second interview tomorrow morning for a job that I think I would actually enjoy. (I can hear you laughing all the way up here, Auntie.) So, wish me luck and I'll keep ya posted.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Cousin Will!

Will and Auntie Linda
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I love this photo of Auntie Linda and her baby boy, Will. Or, as I call him, Cousin Nephew. Linda's in Alabama right now visiting Will and celebrating his birthday. Wish I were with them; I know they're having cake. Kisses to you, Will!

My New Little Kitchen

My New Little Kitchen
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I finally found the cord that connects my camera to my laptop. I'd put it someplace safe, where I wouldn't lose it, of course, but then couldn't find that safe place. This is my generic little kitchen. There are more photos over on Flickr, so if you want to see a few of the apartment just click on the photo here. I haven't hung any pictures in the other rooms, so I'm not going to photo them until I do. I sort of have to get a feel for my place before I start placing pictures on the walls.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How About A Joke Instead Of Anything Worthwhile?

Still not much going on here. I met with my advisor today and he's great. He's the assistant director of the program and he was very helpful. Not only did he answer all of my questions, he put me at ease and offered some suggestions regarding my areas of interest, so I was very pleased. So far, everyone I've met has been friendly and helpful. No complaints.

My cousin, Rebekah, sends me tons and tons of jokes every day and this one was particularly appropriate, since I'm no longer an Arkansan. Well, technically I'm not, but you'd never know by my Suuuuthern Drawl.

Things I learned living in ARKANSAS:

1. Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in ARKANSAN.
3. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in ARKANSAN plus a couple no one's seen before.
4. If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.
5. Onced and twiced are words.
6. It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.
7. Fire ants consider your flesh as a picnic.
8. People actually grow and eat okra.
9. "Fixinto" is one word.
10. There is no such thing as "lunch." There is only dinner and then there is supper.
11. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.
12. "Backards and forwards" means "I know everything about you."
13. "Jeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
14. You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
15. You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.


1. You measure distance in minutes.
2. You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
3. You use "fix" as a verb. Example: "I'm fixing to go to the store."
4. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.
5. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
6. You know what a "DAWG" is.
7. You carry jumper cables in your car...for your OWN car.
8. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup.
9. The local papers cover national and international news on one page but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.
10. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
11. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit "a little warm."
12. You know all four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Christmas.
13. You know whether another ARKIE is from the north or south as soon as they open their mouth.
14. Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time known as "goin' Wal-martin" or "off to Wally World."
15. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good pinto bean weather.
16. A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or pop; it's a Coke. Example: "You want a coke?" "Yeah." "What kind?" "Dr. Pepper."
17. Fried catfish is the other white meat.
18. We don't need no stinking driver's ed....if our mama says we can drive, we can drive.

Not EVERYONE can be an ARKIE, it's an art form and a gift from God!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trying To Get Back To Normal

Finally got my internet connected at 7:30 last night. I waited all day and called them to make sure Cable Guy was coming, and finally he showed up. I was telling Auntie Linda about it today and I told her that I was so happy to see him, I could have kissed him on the mouth and she said it’s a good thing I didn’t say that to him or I never would have gotten him to even walk into my apartment. She’s getting funnier in my absence, huh? I was about to die without the internet. I hadn’t read a blog since last Friday! What are all my blogging buddies up to?

The move was dreadfully hot. It was about a hundred degrees here last Saturday, and we were hauling furniture and boxes and about to pass out with every step, but somehow we managed to get it all done. Auntie Linda and I drove up here together, with my mom in her SUV, and David driving a truck pulling the trailer. Linda and I took a wrong turn, or, actually missed the correct turn and drove almost two hours out of the way before we realized what we had done. We are idiots. Panic set in and we drove like maniacs to get here, leaving David and my mom alone to begin the unloading. I felt like a dog for that and apologized a hundred times, and they were quite forgiving, but I still feel terrible about it all. After we got everything moved in, David put some furniture together for me (thanks, Dave!!) and then he took off for home, driving the truck and pulling the empty trailer. I tried to get him to spend to night here, but he needed to get back home, so he left, not arriving home until sometime after midnight. Bless his heart. I still haven’t figured out what to do for him as a show of my gratitude, but will definitely think of something good. We continued to work like dogs for the rest of the day, and poor Mom and Linda were as exhausted as I was. They were really the worker bees, though, and helped me significantly with the unpacking. I don’t know how to thank them enough. I also should thank my brother, Don, for helping me load the moving trailer the day before the move. He and Mom and I worked on that all Friday morning and that wasn’t fun, either. Thanks also to Uncle Fred for the truck and Uncle Geno for the trailer. You guys saved me some serious bucks by not having to rent a Uhaul.

Mom and Auntie Linda stayed with me until Sunday after lunchtime, and then I was alone! What was I thinking, wanting to move away from all of them, I thought? It took me a few days to recover from the shock, but I’m okay now.

I had a job interview Wednesday and I have another one Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Meanwhile, I’m still unpacking boxes and taking little jaunts around town, trying to find my way around, but it’s not that difficult. I’m about a fifteen-minute drive from campus. This is really a pretty town, and it has a small-town feel to it, although it’s twice as large as what I’m used to. I’ll take some pictures soon.

That’s about it regarding the move and everything else up to this point. I think Abby and I are about to take a walk. She’s enjoying getting to know the other dogs in the apartment complex and all the kids around here already know her and speak to her every time we go out. She loves that. And, I love you guys and will check in soon!

Monday, August 07, 2006


I got moved on Saturday, and I still don't have internet in my apartment, but I found the library, so I wanted to say hi to everyone! I'll write more later, but for now, my time's almost up on this computer, so I gotta run!

Take care, and love to you all!!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kids, Food, Gambling, and Poop

Had a good time at the casinos celebrating my birthday. Sorry, Candee, but NO PICS of the bash. I only took a couple and they are not so hot and Auntie Linda and my mom would come over and murder me in my sleep if I published them. Anyway, we had the best meal, with the best steak I've ever eaten, and I had too much wine and blabbed to the waiter that it was my birthday, and he brought me a cheesecake with a candle after the meal, and I know I cried a little. I am SO weepy right now. After the food, I gave all my money to the casino and went, with my head hanging, to the room and crashed. I was exhausted, but in a good way.

I spent yesterday afternoon running errands with Emily and Reece in tow. Bless their hearts, they were so sweet and didn't complain at all about having to run all over town in 96-degree weather. I hated to drag them out with me, but I absolutely had to get some things done and I wanted to spend time with them, so I bribed them with the promise of a trip to the newest frozen custard place after I finished all of my errands. I hugged and kissed on them all day. They have no skin left on their cheeks.

Last night we celebrated with a little belated b'day dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. Emily looked gorgeous in her new outfit she bought in LA. She's the only girl I've seen who looks great in leggings. She's 5'7" now, and five feet of that is legs. Reece was adorable, too, of course. I posted a couple of pics below. My mom was there, too, but the only pic I have of her has me in it, also, and I look atrocious right now, so that explains that.

Reece made me read his b'day card to me out loud and both he and Emily gave me cards they had selected themselves, and since I don't have a scanner, I'll tell you about the cards.

Emily's was a drawing of two women eating ice cream sundaes with the inscription:

A Birthday Thought: If you put a crouton on your sundae instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad.
I love that! Thanks, Em!

Reece's was drawings of a dog, and read:

How Dogs Celebrate Birthdays
1. Rise at 5:30 a.m. Wet-nose the master.
2. Go out and pee on the world.
3. Make poopy.
4. Sniff poopy.
5. Seriously think about eating poopy.
6. Eat funny-looking bug instead.
7. Throw up bug parts on living room rug.
8. Drink out of magic well. (This one really tickled Reece.)
9. Sleep for 17 hours. Start all over again.
10. Roll around in filth, then lavish Master with kisses.

After I read that card, my brother said, "there's nothing funnier to an eight-year-old boy than poop!" How right he is.

Dawn and Emily

Dawn and Emily
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I love this photo of my sis-in-law and niece. Hard to believe Emily's only twelve when you see a photo like this.

Reece and David

Reece and David
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I took this last night at my belated birthday/going-away dinner. Is Reece not adorable?