Monday, December 27, 2010

Coming to you from the icy tundra (aka Michigan)

It's freezing here and everything is snow covered. One of the reasons I don't live here anymore though not the main reason because I really don't mind having a white Christmas. My parents don't have Internet at their house right now because my Dad's a procrastinator. Meh, it's ok because I found wi-fi at the McDonald's here which is weird considering I spent so much time working here in High School.
The flight to Michigan was good and we barely touched ground and I was already shopping with my Mom. That woman does not waste any time. I was able to pick out a present (a purse) from the Fossil store and helped to choose some other gifts for family. At times I feel like I revert back to 'teenagehood' when I visit from out of town because I don't have my own vehicle, I'm staying in my old room at my parents house and I have to give my whereabouts and ETA whenever I do leave the house.... I have no desire to relive those years in high school. Though I do like the idea of school clothes shopping and no bills, reaffirming my belief that I need to marry rich.... ha.
Visiting also reminds me of how disconnected I feel from a lot of people here and how much goes on that I miss when I'm not around. I suppose it's the price I pay for moving to a conservative state where I live above my means and continue to look for something more. That's another can of worms.
My Christmas was good. I was able to spend time with both sets of grandparents and see my brother and his family. We went on our annual trip to the casino which involved a lot more laughing than money winning and texting my Mom in the car. Didn't foresee that happening. I came out ahead and am happy about that. Plus my Aunt and Mom get together and feed off of each other, they get silly and a little crazy but hilarious... I wonder if I'll be like that when I'm older...I kind of am at times now.
Now it's time to figure out how to see a bunch of people I really want to see in just a few short days while borrowing my Mom's car. Hmm.
As much as I like being here I realized that I feel more at home now in Tennessee, or at least more comfortable. That doesn't mean I want it to be my permanent home but I suppose I'll enjoy it while I'm there and meet people and learn new things, finish my Masters and then head out... I've been toying with the idea of Colorado or Oregon, maybe Northern California...who knows I've got a few years to figure it out.
On a totally unrelated and semi-cryptic note I have been thinking alot about emotional maturity lately. I definitely agree more so now with the studies and research about how the brain is still developing until the age of about 25. All of the growth is taking place in the frontal lobe where the emotional processing and higher thought happens and I can see a difference in myself over the last few years I think. Not that I'm fully developed after hitting 25 but comparing myself to people I know in their early 20's I feel like I've got a better handle on myself. Maybe not...just thinking aloud. I do know I'm not as emotionally crazy or self conscious as I was.
I'll end by saying 2010 was by far one of the most life altering years I've had thus far and I look forward to more change and adventures in the next year.
Until next year....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You can't tell meth jokes in the South.

This week I found further motivation to get stuff done. Well motivation to plan to get stuff done and found a legitimate excuse to put things off, going to the gym. I need to schedule my GRE and write a professional statement, oh I should go for a run....Ha, I did not miss a day this week. Yesterday I got to experience what it would be like to have a child at the gym and it added to the 'Cons' category of having a child...not that it's happening soon, but mentally preparing years in advance. Anyway, my 'gym' is in the apartment complex and is the size of my living room. They have 5 different weight machines, a stair climber and a treadmill. TINY. Also quite inconvenient when other people are there. I got to the workout room and both cardio machines were occupied as well as a weight machine by a two year old. I saw the toddler running around the gym sticking fingers between the weights, attempting to climb on the climber and also attempted to join his mother on the treadmill, luckily she kicked him to impede his success. Selfish baby, it was Mom's turn on the treadmill. He then decided he wanted to climb on my legs as I was doing leg lifts. I thanked him for offering the extra weight but told him I wasn't quite ready to move up. I also kept him from pinching his fingers in the weight machine two different times.  His mother giggled and continued running. I wanted to throw a stick on the treadmill.
I'm flying out to Michigan on Wednesday and am pretty excited to be spending 9 days with my family and friends. Not so excited about the snow and crappy weather though it will be nice to have a white Christmas. I'm not sure if New Years Eve in the mitten was the best decision but I think it will be a good time. The flight home the next day will likely be rough. Having that much time off of work is going to be crazy and I may get bored.
When I'm bored here, which I often am at night I turn to my best friend in Nashville, Netflix. I'm very reliant on this netflix character and he seems to really know what I like. I feel like Miranda and Tivo (Sex and the City reference, fyi). I'm currently watching a documentary on biological sex appeal. Apparently I'm lucky to have a relatively symmetrical face, hurrah. Netflix is teaching me alot including how to be a drug dealer, I hear meth is pretty big in the South.
I found something else I want for Christmas if anyone is interested:
I like Miss Kate Spade and her purses.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why is all the bread gone?

It's currently snowing steadily outside, cold and quite pretty. It makes me want to go sledding or throw snowballs or stay inside watching Weeds for 4 hours while I watch it fall from my patio. It's freezing outside. I was told that here in Middle Tennessee people have a tendency to freak out a bit with this weather so I had to see for myself. I went to the grocery store to pick up some fruit and to see if all the bread and the milk was gone. The trip took an especially long time due to the drivers being extremely cautious, more so then when it's raining. The bread and milk appeared to be attacked by food pyramid zealots leaving skeleton-like shelves in the store.
The week was interesting. Work has been a bit more daunting and stressful than usual. Mostly because the kids have a tendency to lose their damn minds close to the holidays. I am used to this because in residential it was significantly worse. So, the week drug on and when Friday hit I did the Friday dance like never before. My sister and I went to watch her boyfriend play at a bar downtown for some charity. The bar was relatively busy and provided some excellent people watching as per usual. I'm pretty sure that at least one of the women dancing on the stage was pregnant. The bathroom attendant called me princess and felt the need to talk to me while I tried to pee. She was a hair insane. We attempted to avoid returning to the restroom and went to the extent of leaving the bar to look for another bathroom before returning and biting the bullet. I loathe being called princess. Afterward we went to a rock bar that had the potential of being cool if it wasn't trying so damn hard. After that we went to the Riverfront for beer and hang outs. It was a lot of fun and I got a chance to meet some really cool people. I continue to make an effort to be more outgoing and make friends, I think it was a success. Well that is until yesterday when I decided that I liked being angry and a hermit. Sometimes I ruminate myself into an angst coma that keeps me from doing anything social or productive...yesterday was that day. I stayed home and made art, or my version of art that's now hanging on the wall of my bedroom. I felt better once I had an outlet and danced around to 'Girl Anachronism' by The Dresden Dolls.
I miss my friends terribly and I think a lot of it had to do with this rut I've been in for the last two weeks. Who knows, I'm still trying to process and not be a bitch in the meantime. (more of a bitch than normal)
I want this for Christmas:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

under the sea

As of late I've been feeling a bit....indecisive. About a lot of things. People love choice, people live for choice. You can get overwhelmed by choice when ordering a coffee. I, on the other hand would almost prefer to not have any, or just have them limited for a little bit until I get my shit straight. Maybe I could hire a life coach to make my decisions for me and if it's the wrong one I'll just blame her....if only.
The week flew by and I was glad for it. I thought it was going to be rough after the holiday break but it was pretty smooth and quick like pulling off a band aid. My sister's dog stayed over for two nights and I nearly lost it. She will put anything in her mouth, she's like a blind hooker looking for cab fare. She nearly ate a wooden owl and destroyed my slipper, which is also an owl so I'm beginning to think she's got a bit of an issue with them. After giving her back my house felt a little empty and less active. It kind of made me want to get a pet. Preferably one that doesn't eat all of my stuff.
Friday I sat down at my computer at 4pm and got to work on the paper I had been procrastinating for weeks. Got it done and sent it in by 10pm. There was no reason for it to take 6 hours but it did and I had to cut it down because it was too long. I hate that.
Saturday I got crafty and decided to buy a big mirror to smash into little pieces to make something to hang on my wall, it sounds stupid but once it's finished I'm pretty sure it's going to be awesome. If not that shits still going on my wall based on principle alone. So....I went to Goodwill to look for a mirror and nearly gave up after scouring the home good sections until I was walking toward the door and saw a huge mirror for the top of a dresser. It was in a fancy wood frame that looked like something I would never put in my house so I knew I would smash that as well. $6 later and I'm in the parking lot attempting to shove this massive mirror into my trunk, and then into my back seat....front wasn't budging. Some friendly gentleman even attempted to help me get it in the car. It was freezing and his family was waiting so he gave up as well. Well I was taking that damn mirror home if I had to strap it to my hood. Sadly the only thing rope-like I had was my scarf and I needed that to keep my neck warm. No dice. Instead I decided to rip the backing off and ditch the wooden frame. After a lot of struggling and the pure strength of my fingers I set that mirror free and put it in my trunk. As for the frame it took a little walk with me behind the Goodwill and found a new home next to the padlocked dumpster. Sorry. My next adventure was to the craft store to get the rest of the supplies. During my hunt I found an entire line of BOB ROSS art supplies....I know what I want for Christmas. haha.
Bob Ross: The white painter with the 'fro from PBS.
I have a small obsession.
Anyway. I'm beginning to enjoy what I now call 'domesticated sundays' as in 'you bettah getcha self domesticated'
I'm also going to be making cookies for my teachers because I'm poor and am not buying them gifts. Let's hope for no food allergies I don't want to be responsible for sending a 64 year old teacher into anaphylactic shock. That would be a bad day at work....
So this week will hopefully bring some more clarity to me and my decision making. One can only hope.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

planes, trains and automobiles...

It was only five hours ago that I was exiting a plane at Nashville International Airport and a little relief and a little sadness. This vacation felt way too short and rushed. It felt good to get back to a little bit warmer weather and my apartment that now feels like home to me. The vacation consisted of this: drive, see amazing person, drive more, see more amazing people, drive some more, see more amazing people, and so on until today.
I woke up at 3:15am wednesday morning excited and exhausted. I was concerned about the airport security and long lines so I wanted to be at the airport early for my 6:15 flight. Early I was and totally underwhelmed by the slow and steady motions I went through in the security line. No protesters, no body scans, and no one screaming or crying. I did hear a lady yell 'My dildo' to her friend at 4:30am and that pretty much set a precedent for awesomeness for the rest of the trip. After boarding the plane I realized I had a window seat (score!) next to a couple and baby (frowny face). Don't get me wrong I love babies but I don't love babies as much at 5:30am on an airplane. I kept my mouth shut and my headphones on, nodded off for about 15 minutes of the short flight and became a bit more alert as the plane descended toward Metro airport. I shut the window screen to keep the sun out of the baby's eyes and realized he was pretty damn cute once I became less grouchy. I chatted with his parents a bit and felt bad for assuming they were sucky people for sitting next to me with a child so early. The baby didn't even cry, he kept trying to touch me and smiled a lot. Once leaving the airport I got a rental (enterprise rapes people during the holidays-theoretically of course, literal rape would have set a different tone for vacation) and I drove immediately to see my best friend and hang out before she had to work. After that I got to see two former clients at TPYC, hung out with Greer and the Scubes and ended my night pleasantly surprised. Family hangouts were excellent. My niece is developing into a sassy 14 month old which is awesome and my nephew never ceases to amaze me. China Lite with Grandma haha, because it is a requirement while in the mitten to get the world's best egg roll with the world's coolest Grandma. More hangouts, friends, and fun. Not living in Michigan makes me appreciate my friends and family even more so considering the effort that takes place to see me. The trip overall was amazing and the only thing that would have made it better was more time. Thankfully my job allows me more time for the holidays in December and I get to go do it all over again for longer.
The flight back left much to be desired. I was sat next to a couple that apparently had just reunited or were just obnoxiously happy to be sitting next to each other because they would not stop touching and groping one another. I was waiting for a cock to come out which would have given me the opportunity to punch them both in the face. Thankfully all genitalia was kept in the pants and I did my best to ignore them for the most part. Shut up, I'm bitter.
I came home to the Brindle Beast and my upstairs neighbors participating in a Lucha Libre match (I assume) that has went on for the last 4 hours. I don't know who is winning (I'm rooting for the baby) but from what it sounds like there are a lot of body slams taking place everywhere in the apartment. Not much talking though oddly.
I discussed planes and automobiles but left out trains.... but now I'm reminded of an Always Sunny episode I watched last night involving trains being ran by multiple Santa's on Charlie's Mom. Happy Holidays.

Monday, November 22, 2010

rosie the riveter

So I have come to the realization that I can take care of myself, fend for myself and make some pretty cool shit on top of that. I've noticed lately that I multitask like a mofo. Making lunches, cooking dinner, cleaning, bills, laundry, and all of that. I think my Mom raised me right...which leads me to believe all of those years I thought she was crazy there was a method to her madness. I'm probably going to be the same way if I have a daughter. First I have to work on that whole boyfriend/relationship thing. Meh. In time I'm sure.
So I bought a dresser on craigslist and drove to Clarksville to get it. The entire time I'm thinking "Craigslist Killer, Craigslist Killer, sodomy..." I think it would be terrible to be sodomized then killed, do what you want to my dead body, you can do that the other way around if you want. Turns out it was a pretty normal girl who was moving and needed to get rid of her crap. I took advantage of that situation and made a sweet little purchase for all of $30. After the paint and handles it totalled out to be about $60 and honestly it looks a whole lot sweeter than $60. And it is sooo nice not having clothes all over the floor in stacks because I have quite the tee shirt collection. On top of all around badassery in the design department the weekend consisted of games, beer, and UFC fights. I went to BDubs by myself with the intention of meeting up with friends, unfortunately they called it a night early and I'm sitting by myself surrounded by bloodthirsty dudes waiting for a table. I finally was able to get a table and saw a group of 3 guys standing around looking forlorn and all around inconvenienced. I offered to let them sit with me so a) I didn't look like a huge creeper sitting by myself in a sea of dudes and b) I was being ballsy and was trying to make friends. It turned out well they were really cool and I had fun. One of the guys was the keys/guitarist for Automatic Loveletter and was now in the PhD program at Vandy, the other two were in school as well. The Vandy guy and I made observations and cracks at the people at BDubs for being all hillbilly and southern (he's from Florida mind you). It was nice to talk to someone with that kind of sense of humor. The fights were disappointing due to all of my guys losing but all in all a good time. I was proud of myself for being so assertive.
That move also made me reflect on myself a little more and how much I feel like I've changed over the last 2 years. It's crazy I don't even feel like the same person. I'm overall happier, sillier, and more myself. I take less shit from people but haven't compromised being generous or easygoing. There are obvious hang-ups I still have but I'm working on those.
Can't wait for Wednesday and a much needed trip to the North to see my people and get away from that god forsaken accent for a few days. whew. Now the weather I am not looking forward to but I can't always ask for 70 degree days in November.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

take what you take

Well there's a very good possibility there is a tiny faux diamond floating through my intestinal tract right now. Not by choice obviously but I just spent the last ten minutes laying in the prone position on my dining room floor searching for a tiny crystal ball and nearly ate a metal post. Hello Sunday evening. ha. It's difficult to replace a tiny piece if metal back on a post when 15 minutes before that you sliced your pointer finger while cleaning a knife. The bastard is still bleeding, probably all over the keys. Thirty minutes before this I was being asked by a man at the gas station where my boyfriend is because he needed to be with me before I got stolen away. I got eye raped as I was being told this and may have avoided being kidnapped by simply saying 'no thank you' and walking away. I don't know what it is about gas stations that makes me extremely attractive to some men or if men just hang out there to pick up chicks. I guess with the bad economy it's a lot cheaper than going to the club.
This weekend I became fairly acquainted with Mr. Samuel Adams. He makes me giggly and less thirsty, I love him and his wheaty goodness. I finally had friends over my place to hang out. It turned out well and we played those ridiculous drinking games that embarrass me. Oh and Apples to Apples and I LOVE that game. We then went to IHOP and I had difficult keeping in mind it's a family restaurant and use of the word 'fuck' should be kept to a minimum. Oh well. The week was relatively uneventful. I went shopping with my sister and found some more dressy clothes for work because if anyone needs more clothes its me, especially cardigans. I also finally found some boots today that will work with a dress and tights or skinny jeans because apparently I'm trendy...what happened to me? Whatever I'll put my own spin on it, the kids at work with me will call me a 'rocker girl' and I'll feel validated. kidding...sort of..
I have one class left at school and then I'll turn at paper in the 24th and be done with it. I met with an advisor on Thursday and we sat for 45 minutes attempting to figure out how I could go to school full time and work at my current job...turns out, it's impossible unless I do all online classes which I am not a fan of. So at this point I'm just going to apply to UT and another school here and we'll see what happens. I do know that there is no way I'm going to stretch out my Masters degree into 3 or 4 years. Its just not going to happen. I don't even plan on being in Nashville for 4 more years.
I also started running. I pretty much hate running and so does my knee but I've been kind of inspired by one of work friends to get into it. He's training for a marathon while his gf is training for half of a marathon. So I started off at 3 miles a day, I'm going to work on cutting time and then add miles once I get used to it. I ran 5 days this week and my hamstrings, quads and knee protested the entire time. I feel good overall though, I'm going to try to keep it up.
I've only got 7 more days of work until I get to fly to the mitten to have an actual Thanksgiving with my family. I don't even remember what that's like so I'm quite excited for it. On top of that I get to see friends and visit some of my old clients. Yay. Now I just have to figure out a schedule so I can fit everything in those 5 days.
In the meantime I need to find a hobby quick because my down time results in a lot of bored text messages and irritating people. Maybe I'll take up sewing? I need to Shannon this apartment up a bit more...especially with paint.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

If you want to destroy my sweater.....

I thought that bugs in the apartment were bad. Then I found one of these little guys.
Yes thats a salamander. So you can imagine my surprise when I casually looked around the room whilst watching a moving and see something squirming. I had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn't imagining it. He was quite small so I trapped him in a glass. It was suggested that I keep him. He was an uninvited guest, you don't let them stay long. That and he could have telepathically signaled his other bigger slimy homies. No dice. Needless to say I contacted my apartment office to let them know that if they don't want me to burn down the apartment to ensure there are no bugs they would need to come out and do something about it. I'm not sure if they did but I haven't seen any more. I understand they're getting in because it's getting colder and I live near woods but I am not a habitat for creepy animals. I can't stop thinking about a snake getting in and I also had a dream that I ate a tarantula, I'm done with bugs.
Aside from my brush with amphibious intruders the week went pretty well. I worked, went to class and got shit done. I finally got around to going to the skate park again and I'm glad I did. It made me feel more motivated to get out and be active. I've been rather sedentary lately which isn't really like me. I also booked the plane for a visit to the Mitten. Oddly my best friend will be in KY three hours from me now. sucks...I'm hoping to see a few of my friends while I'm in the middle and west side of the state. I'll also be visiting some old clients. I've been getting letters and cards from them and I'd really like them to know I still root for them even though I'm not there anymore. Plus I just kind of miss them and would love to see some of my old coworkers. A majority of my time will be spent with family, hopefully some scrabble playing with Grandma ha. This is the first Thanksgiving I have had off in 4 years so that's pretty exciting.
In the meantime I'm looking for an indoor hobby. The temperatures been dropping significantly and I can't just roam around outside and waste time like I used to and I'm getting cabin fever already (not the movie kind..gross). I'm not the scrap booking kind so that's out. I'm looking at home DIY stuff to make my apartment look more like my style. I'll be doing some painting soon I think. I've always wanted a sewing machine and maybe I'll try my hands at guitar again....because my loud music doesn't irritate my neighbors enough. There is rarely silence in this apartment while I'm here.
I hit my target and made 2 friends outside of work lol. Poor kids, they have no idea. And I haven't weirded out or offended anyone this week. It was a pretty damn good week.
Next week I'll be working, meeting with my advisor and attending my second to last class of the semester. My prof asked me if I was going to continue in the program, when I said yes she said she was really glad to hear may be a great time to ask for a letter of recommendation hehe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ants in my pants

Ok, for as much as I love living alone and having the freedom to leave my clothes strewn across the couch, write out my schedule in my underwear and sing all day long in my apartment there are a few issues.
In order of importance:
1. on the ground floor of an apartment often leads to creepy crawly insects getting into my apartment and making themselves at home. The problem isn't killing them (I'm a professional) it's the fact that there is no one else to freak out to about the massive (insert disgusting insect name here) that's crawling on the bathroom floor. I find myself getting all grossed out and talking to myself about how grossed out I am and it's a little weird. Thus far I have killed a long flying bug, a MASSIVE wolf spider and the world's largest cricket. My skin crawls just thinking about it and that's no exaggeration.
2. Night time.... sitting on the couch by yourself trying to figure out which DVD you want to watch tonight because you're too cheap to pay for cable is sad business. It's too quiet so I often have the tv and my itunes going (not so green) and still find myself checking my windows. Also laying in bed knowing that if someone broke in to my apartment I'd be alone and in my underwear attempting to thwart any burglary or rape attempts. My mind wanders quite a bit at night and I've thought through many scenarios.
3. is impossible to cook a meal for one person if you want something that doesn't come out of a box in the freezer. I get really tired of eating leftovers. AND it'd be nice to have someone share dishes responsibility every so often.
4. you have a guest and they see a crusty old plate that looks to have been growing mold for weeks sitting on the coffee table. Of course you could easily say 'I'm a big lazy slob, excuse the mess' or you could do what everyone else does....Blame the roommate. Usually it's harmless and saves you the embarrassment of explaining why there are 2 empty boxes of chicken in a biscuit sitting next to a stack or diet coke cans by the couch. Blame. It's easy and no one really gets hurt.
I'm still traumatized by the bug this morning, if any one cares. ha. Anyway....
The week moved as slow as molasses until Friday when it turned into a cheetah...literally. Work was work. Hang outs were hang outs. I enjoyed spending time with anyone that kept me company until Friday.
When Friday finally came it was like my birthday all over again. My two best friends drove all the way from Michigan to visit. We packed in a lot of activities; movies, drinking, the Parthenon, the Grand Ole Opry and touring the city. At times I felt guilty. I felt guilty because it was my fault there was this separation between the three of us and it felt weird. It made me worry that I wasn't a good friend. I'm aware I worry too much so I tried not to let it ruin my time with them. I love my friends and appreciate everything they do for me. Spending 9 hours each way in a car is above and beyond. I think they know that but it never hurts to say it. I felt like me when they were here, I didn't worry about offending anyone or saying something stupid that they wouldn't understand. I miss that normalcy I feel when I'm with them. I'm sure I'll get to that place here in the Bible belt but it will take some time. Also seeing La Dispute yesterday didn't hurt.
On an unrelated note; the accents here still crack me up, the boys never cease to amaze with their tendency to be much more chivalrous (comparatively of course), and I'm still trying to get used to the smiling and friendly strangers. Also the massive amount of Baptist churches that I see every two blocks I drive. Huh.
The juggling will continue this week with friends, work and school. Hopefully I don't drop any balls.....hehe.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

25 whole years and I still can't dance

To say that things have been interesting lately would be an understatement. I don't want to get too personal so I won't, but I will say that I have made some awesome friends down here and have met some really cool people. I've forced myself to put myself out there and talk to people and make friends. So far I've got a pretty high success rate. Plus I always tell myself that I don't ever have to see this person again if I don't want to, I'll just avoid this bar, venue, cafe or whatever. I have used this trick several times and I've found myself not feeling bored or lonely as of late. Romantically lonely, yes, but that's another can of worms entirely. I've been in my apartment for a whole week as of today and overall it's pretty rad. I love the freedom of putting my stuff anywhere I want to, walking around in my underwear and singing aloud any time I want. It doesn't quite feel like home yet but that will take some time no doubt, ha by the time it happens I'll be ready to move somewhere else. For now I'm enjoying how quiet it's been around here and the fact that my balcony has a view of a cluster of trees that are changing colors daily. I love the fall, though it's a little different down here. It's still getting up to the high 70s and I'm not as pale as I would be this time of year in Michigan, that's a feat in itself.
Sooo, this week involved minimal work (due to Fall Break) and a whole lot of hanging out in and outside of work. On wednesday we randomly ended up at this bar in Rivergate where the people watching was prime. As soon as we got there some guy wanted to beat up another guy for pulling out his cock...? I didn't get all the details but I think it involved some miscommunication and homophobia. Maybe there was a glory hole involved, one could only imagine. Some old guy told a balding 40's something guy that were both sitting next to me at the bar to not take me home because I looked to be trouble.....I wasn't aware that conversations like that were supposed to be overheard by the girl in question... I also didn't know that I had any intention of taking the balding man home with me...huh. It still has me wondering what part of my actions led the old man to believe I was interested, maybe I said the 'F word' one too many times and thats a big turn on for him or what. Or it was the fact that I took no interest in his conversation about Roger's City, Michigan. Oh well. Friday night involved some margaritas and spontaneity, something of a quarter life crisis. Saturday I finally got to watch UFC at BDubs and then it was 'Hey let's go to some dive biker bar and people watch' Oddly not even my idea. Glad I did because I met two (TWO!) people who liked good music and didn't treat me like a leper. I'm moving up in the world. Had a little too much to drink and said some questionable things. Oops.
This week I'll be counting the hours until Friday when I get to see my best friends!! I can't wait! Maybe before then there will be more hang outs with new friends....we shall see. Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

handicapper's paradise

I'm currently updating from the cafe due to the lack of internet connection I'll be experiencing until between the hours of 5 and 7pm tomorrow. Comcast better make it quick. This could mean one of two things, I've recently moved into my own glorious aparmtment or I've been kidnapped and have been forced to set up an internet connection in a remote location for my kidnappers so they can still update their facebook statuses and email my parents for ransom. I'll leave that open to debate.
On a totally related note my parents came to visit the (erhmm) great state of Tennessee to be totally awesome and kick some furnishing and moving ass. My Dad is insistent on never listening to me and doing whatever the fuck he wants, damn those stubborn people, but typically I benefit fully from this because his actions are usually generous and helpful. Translation: he buys me things for my apartment after I've repeatedly told him no. I'm hard-pressed to do everything on my own without the help of other because quite frankly it makes me feel like an adult. I like that sense of accomplisment I get when I drain my bank account and purchase furniture for my apartment. I guess it's very adult of me to constantly be broke as well. Oops. My Mom was quite impressed with my taste in furniture and carpentry skills with the coffee table. She took it upon herself to congratulate herself on my good taste. I let her have it ignoring the fact that she collects ceramic birds. I fear that one day I'll be there myself, which was agreed upon by my sister.
Basically I spent the last week working and preparing to move and doing the necessary things that come along with that. I came across some more southern hospitality with the dude from Comcast. For the long wait on the telephone he locked in my cheap rate for internet and waived any installation fee. While we were waiting on his slow computer and talked about breeding pitbulls and going back to school. I listened patiently and humored him with my sarcasm, so I got a deal. Either that or he enjoyed my sexy, nasally voice and thought that I was a part time phone sex operator. It's an easy assumption to make. hah.
I also presented in class with my group and am relieved to be finished with that however I am now avoiding a paper that's due in 4 days. Oops.
I'm thinking about buying stock in target considering the large amount of cash I've dropped there over the last few weeks on stuff for my apartment, holy crap Super Target is amazing. I'm going to live there if I ever get evicted for not paying rent. I mean housing me is the least they can do considering the percentage of my pay check that goes to them.
After moving all day yesterday and visiting Target twice I was tired and really wanted to go chill with friends but couldn't muster the energy. Instead I finished unpacking and hung out with Jill and ate sushi. While doing so my friends decided to harass me for not coming out via text message. My favorite was 'Shannon you're a pussy and a five dollar hooker-Love Paul and Jason.' There were some random numbers and punctuation in there which leads me to believe they were already hammered at 10pm. The kids are on Fall Break so I imagine there will be some hang outs mid-week due to the lack of work we'll be doing. I'll get my revenge.
I hung some paintings and picture this morning including a framed picture colored by my best friend. She does amazing things with those crayola crayons and the evidence now resides on a wall in my bathroom, which is HUGE by the way. I think in constructing the apartment they intended for a differently-abled person (perhaps in a wheelchair) to use the pisser. My Mom said I could fit a treadmill in there (thanks Mom) and my sister suggested a cot. Instead I constructed a large storage rack with my bare hands and placed it in there. It was a win.
I think I'll like living on my own as long as I don't creep myself out with thoughts of intruders or abductions (human or alien) or talk to myself so frequently that I develop a second personality. (I would call her Sophia Danger and she would be the singer of a four piece prog rock band)
Next weekend will likely suck considering my birthday will be spent alone due to my sister working and friends being out of town. BUT the weekend after I will have visitors and it will be amazing. I just need to make sure I don't go into some kind of sugar induced coma on my birthday. One never knows what I'm capable left to my own devices on my birthday (number 25 at that).
I've been at the cafe for nearly four hours and the grooves of this chair are probably tattooed into my ass at this point so it's probably time to go. Until next time..

Sunday, October 10, 2010

an empty box of IOUs

Currently I'm sitting on the front porch of Jill's house thoroughly enjoying the weather and waiting for some paint to dry. It's still in the 80's here and the leaves are beginning to change. The weather in one word: ama-za-zing. Ok that's not a real word but its fun to say. Today I've been productive enough to legitimize sitting on my ass for the rest of the day. Oil change, brakes checked, car washed, table clear-coated and part of my 50 page chapter read. It's just 3pm and I'm spent. The rest of the week was pretty similar but included some fun things too. Met with my group twice for our class presentation this coming Wednesday, they annoy me plain and simple. (I'm not going to be mean...I'm not going to be mean...) Bought a couch which was awesome and I'm back to broke, ha. Also bought a coffee table and a TV stand on which I will place the TV I'm getting for my birthday, no more tube tv's for me I've joined 2010. I bought the coffee table at a thrift store that was stocked with Jesus paraphernalia and very helpful people. The lady made a boy carry the table for me out to my car (it weighs max 15 pounds) just one more show of southern hospitality. It is true when people say that people are typically much more friendly and helpful in the South. There's a lot more small talk and 'hellos' 'hows your days' and 'baby's' the last one I hate. What people don't tell you is that the more friendly and hospitable people are that it makes it that much more likely you are going to get into conversations that you don't want to have, namely with a boy wearing a terrible mohawk and hawaiian shirt 3 minutes into the conversation disclosing he's been institutionalized twice and has severe clinical depression. Hey thanks for lurking over my shoulder while I'm wearing ear buds attempting to read and interrupting me so we can have a 45 minute conversation about your depression and why you enjoy time travel. Cafe Coco is frequented by interesting people some of which you DO NOT want to get into an accidental conversation with and feel creeped out for the rest of your time there. My sister says I'm too nice and should have told him to politely fuck off 5 minutes in, but I just can't do that and I don't know why, however it's something I need to work on. Other than that there was fantastic sushi with friends, Project Runway night, enjoying the weather, and overall good things happening. I'm psyched to move into my new place next weekend and can't wait to see my parents. Yes I said it. (shh! don't tell them)
I've always wondered how I've been so lucky with things and bad things happen to good people all the time....Better not press my luck I suppose.
Next week will be swell, after the presentation that is, because my kids will be starting Fall Break on Friday which means a week without class hooty hoo. I still have to work but the hours are really limited and it'll be a lot of online trainings and whatnot.
I'm too proud of myself for this stupid coffee table but I took before and after pictures. I sanded and painted and sealed. I think I'm not quite finished yet and was considering painting a small pattern on each corner to make it even more me. It will go nicely with my framed portrait of a stenciled raccoon playing in the weeds. AHAHAHA. oh man, my apartment will look like it was decorated by a special needs child. Pictures to come when I'm all done with it.

The gray paint has 'paint crystals' in it which are kind of hard to see due to the lack of sunlight on it. It makes me happy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The one I met on that day you moved to town from michigan (union pool; Plushgun)

So it's officially October! Woot. I'm pretty sure this will be the best month of 2010. This week went about like a leaf in a windstorm quick and a little out of control. It started off pretty well aside from the loud popping sound emanating from my front end which started when I got back from Kentucky. It began worsening throughout the week and by thursday I knew it wasn't going to just go away like I had hoped. My car is a bit of a jerk and doesn't listen to me. I got a lovely phone call on friday morning describing the extent of douchey my car was being which meant ridiculously expensive repairs. The mechanic blamed it on Michigan roads and weather and being that he was from Michigan I was a little more apt to believe him. I was also more apt to believe him because I asked my Dad to call him to translate for me. My Dad is pretty fantastic. So by the end of work on Friday I was nearing a stint of homicide and binge drinking and I had prime targets for murder considering what work was like that day. I'm so very thankful for my coworkers and their ability to empathize and drink hah.
I'm really liking this recent weather and the fact that its already dropped to like 50 degrees during the day in Michigan. It's been in the 70's and cools down at night. Best time of year and Tennessee is so pretty in the fall. Today I especially got to enjoy the weather when I went to Centennial Park and the Parthenon.
There was some sort of festival going on that had ended just as I was getting there so it was pretty busy. The park is gorgeous, there is a ton of vegetation, a pond and lots of places to sit and relax. I wish I had found it sooner. Conveniently is right by Cafe Coco and my other favorite places to go. Except for Super Target which I am now obsessed with for good reason. It's amazing. Other parts of the week that were good: sushi and Project Runway, text messages, jokingly being told by my professor that she's going to steal me from my current job and having family members there to have my back with advice, car rides or a roof over my head. Also I bought a newspaper off of a homeless guy on the off ramp of an expressway.
I can't wait for visits from my friends, a possible road trip, fall break, my birthday and moving into my own place. On a related note I almost bought a lamp that had a carving of what looked to be Gorton's Fisherman as the base of it. I told myself that even though it would have been worth the $15 I had to be a responsible adult and not put ridiculous things in my apartment. The gawdy owl painting and the creepy girl picture will be more than enough. I'll also have squirrels on my shower curtain so it may have just pushed it over the edge of sanity. I'm a 24 year old child. It's going to be rough to admit that I'm 25 in a few weeks, yikes. GOAL for Shannon's 25th year: find some direction and focus less on pretending like she's a rockstar. (My kids at work tell me I dress like a rockstar and it's pretty clear they listen to rap)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A 1,000 Ways to die and farmer's markets

This week was full of pleasant surprises. It was also a weird work week. Friday at 2pm was very welcomed after there were two fights in school before 8 a.m. on Friday morning. It hasn't been frequent but I was not prepared for it, which is like a one-eighty compared to the last job. Things at work are still going well, I'm really beginning to like the kids on my caseload regardless of how much they frustrate me at times. My coworkers rock and so does my boss, I got really lucky in that respect.
Class is going well and I feel mostly competent. Weeks here have been flying by and I can't believe its been 5 weeks of class. I'll be done with the semester the first week of December and haven't figured out what the plan is for next semester...or if I'm going to go full time or part time in the fall or work full time...decisions. My work schedule still does not fail to rock. I LOVE having nights and weekends off.
I was introduced to my first rude southerner at the gas station the other day. Haha, an older man got mad at me for being in his way when he was attempting to leave the gas station. My car and another kids car were blocking his exit so he rolled down his windows (mind of course already were) and said 'You're fucking everything up.' I cracked up and politely said 'Thanks'. I was attempting to move for him and said fuck it. Ha, that's the rudest thing thats happened to me since I've been here so I'd say thats a pretty good track record.
I drove to Lexington on friday to go hang out with a friend from college. The town is pretty cool, much more 'hip' than I expected and I had a lot of fun. Too much wine and food but totally worth the drive. Found some Oberon and walked around a farmer's market. I stayed entertained on the drive as well so...overall excellent trip. Came back to Nashville and started to feel relieved to be 'home' and thats the first time I've had that sense of home. I feel much more comfortable with the city and things are becoming more familiar. Hung out with some friends and discovered the ridiculousness of the show 1,000 Ways to Die. Oh man, cheesy and fantastic.
I'm happy. I miss my friends and can't wait for mid-October to get here quick. I'm also pumped for the holidays. Ohhh and Stars next week at the Cannery. My goal is to also make friends with someone outside of school or work...this should take some doing considering how awkward I am out of my comfort zone.
Things are good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How come your dreams are always so bitter?

The week was relatively busy and I didn't have much down time to just sit and relax. I had a group meeting on monday with two of my classmates to discuss our paper and presentation. I usually really enjoy working with people and I have a tendency to kind of take the lead on things but I found myself getting heavily annoyed this time. Our presentation is on FAS/FASD and infancy, my job is to think of an activity to involve the whole class...who likes BINGO? ha. I have no idea what I'll be doing yet, we've got a month to figure it out. 
So, group presentation, a paper and moving. I officially have an apartment and will be moving in on October 16th, I cannot wait! I may also be taking on a babysitting job with two kids, one of which has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's. It works well because I could use the extra money and having a child with a diagnosis like that usually requires lots of extra help and support. Coincidentally my next paper is on observing a toddler and the parent, score.
Aside from work, which has been about the same, there were hangouts, football games, sushi with the family and fighting a cold. The driving skills of the people of Nashville still never fail to amaze me. There were at least 3 incidents of me being cut off downtown. I have developed an extreme case of road rage and a colorful vocabulary....well more colorful than what I already had. 
Today I went furniture shopping to look for a couch. I felt old immediately. Yesterday I also felt old at the Jonny Craig show. There were quite a few young people there. I've been wondering if there is like an age limit for things like that. The same kind of age limit there are for things like 'walks of shame', mini-dresses, dance clubs and swing sets. Not really prohibited, but just frowned upon after a certain age. The show was decent, not amazing. His voice is amazing and I think he has the very same opinion of himself. 
I have been informed my first visitors will be here during halloween weekend. My excitement level is at like an eleven. I know I've only been here for 5 weeks but I miss my friends like crazy and I feel so far removed from everything. I am still having trouble getting adjusted to the thought of this being very much my life now and my 'new' friends are the people I'll see more often and come to depend on and learn things from, so I just need to remind myself of that. Yesterday I attempted to talk to a guy at the show, actually I just asked him a question because I had never heard of the band. I don't know if I offended him or what but he answered and quickly moved away. I have leprosy? I'm creepy? Being that my limbs aren't falling off I'm going to assume he thought I was hitting on him...I don't hit on people and if he was attractive I would have not said a word to him at all. Meh. I am thankful that my TN friends understand or at least tolerate my sick sense of humor and foul mouth...I was a bit concerned about that. 
I bought a hot pink blazer with black piping and am DYING to wear it. The amount that I love fall is out of control and it's not coming soon enough. I want hot apple cider. My TN friend from Michigan and I reminisced about all of the wonderful fall things that we like to do. I'll be recruiting people for haunted houses and scary movies soon enough.
Next week will involve seeing Touche Amore, class, work, papers and reading. I'll also be alone for much of the week since Jill and Jason will both be out of town. I plan to be searching for furniture, throw pillows and the other crap that makes apartments feel like home. I also want to get some work done for class ahead of time and figure out what I'm doing next semester. We shall see.
Also, I want one of these:
Yes, thats a baby panda.
I saw 'Easy A' on friday, I have a bit of a girl crush on Emma Stone or her character in the movie, she was witty and had an impressive vocabulary especially considering the movie was produced by MTV. I thought it was funny and it taught me not to be a whore or pretend to be a whore, oh life lessons.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

some seeds they just don't ever grow

The week went quite fast being that it was only a four day work week. Things were pretty typical. Talked to kids, called parents, emailed my boss about aggravating people and continued fighting for the underdog, though most of the time that's what I feel like. I loved class again this week and we're going more in depth with neurodevelopment and the brain. The material that we're required to read is usually pretty interesting and not toooo dry. My patience was definitely a bit shorter this week and I had a hard time not focusing so much on my feelings.
I felt super lonely this week. It's weird because it seems like the more I go out and hang out with my new friends I miss everyone else so much more. I guess over all just kind of a rough week. The nice thing about the South is I feel like people are more friendly, which everyone says, but also I feel like they are much more open and welcoming making efforts to make you feel more comfortable. I have not felt unwelcome or like an outcast the entire time I've been here. I've also noticed that stereotyping is more present and out in the open. My new clients and some of the other students like to imitate me when they say I sound 'white'....not really sure how to respond to that, usually I just laugh and agree cos I am white and am a huge nerd. I went out on Thursday and Saturday with the same group of people that I've been spending time with and the people that have kind of welcomed me in. One of my new friends is even making attempts to set me up with his friends...ha, I think I'm going to handle that on my own when I'm ready. I just need to remember that feeling lonely is part of being in a new place and not to make silly or uninformed decisions just because I don't want to feel lonely at that time. If that makes sense....I've also come to the conclusion that there's no way I'm ready for a pet of any kind. Not even a goldfish.
This upcoming week will be busy with trainings and a group meeting for class, we have a very large paper due in a month about infancy and FAS and I'm pretty psyched to research it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tell us your plan we're waiting eagerly drunk on the streets of some bad memory.

Since friday I've spent roughly 19 hours combined driving to, from and all over Michigan and it was totally worth it.I spent most of those 19 hours listening to The Banner and River City Extension and singing terribly. 
The work week was relatively uneventful; staff meeting, texting mean things, vanquishing evil, oh and you know, saving the world...or just yelling at teenagers for acting like dumbasses. I'm getting into the groove at work and feeling pretty good about things. I have a lot of trainings coming up so it should be interesting to figure out how I'm going to get in my hours with my clients...guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there....
Speaking of bridges, just before getting on the bridge to Louisville I got caught in a traffic jam and found this little gem:
it says 'I miss having a PRO-LIFE President'
It made me laugh really hard. Between Iraq and Afghanistan there have been over 5,500 American casualties, that's just AMERICANS, not considering our allies or 'enemies' casualties. That does seem relatively low considering that approximately 3,700 abortions are preformed daily in the U.S. I wonder how many of those could have been avoided were more preventative action taking with education. Just something to consider. And how can a person be 'pro-war' and 'pro-life'? Those seem to be conflicting ideologies to me. Back to less controversial topics... I missed my friends more than I even realized. Seeing everyone was awesome, I got to spend a good chunk of time with my three favorite people and that was all I needed. Sometimes I wonder if those people understand how important they are to me.
My stomach hurt from laughing so hard on Saturday night. Sunday involved a game of putt putt and some awful movies. I shouldn't be allowed to play mini golf if there is water nearby, without fail my ball goes in the water EVERY time I play. I'm terrible. I'll be glad to have more time the next time I visit though I fear that the larger the gaps and the longer I'm away there will be less people to see each time.... I know that's growing up and moving on there are just some people I don't want to grow apart from anytime soon.
This week begins tomorrow morning and will hopefully involve some productivity on my part. Lots to do.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

You don't have to be sincere just tell me what I want to hear.

Week two was filled with all sorts of new things. I'm beginning to get a better handle on my job expectations and I've already set up a contract with one of my clients, my boss seemed relatively impressed so that's good news. I've been able to talk more to my coworkers as well and have realized I don't need to censor myself as much as I thought I'd need to. Whew! They all kind of give each other shit and are pretty sarcastic so I seem to fit in pretty well. This week also included my 'supervision' meeting which I found out I have to do weekly with my boss until I've been there for a year, everyone else does once a month. It's kind of nice though because it gives us an opportunity to discuss particular clients or issues we're having and bounce ideas off of each other and I'll be seeing a mix of different people every week. The work week ended with an invite to drinks with two of my coworkers at a bar that included free cover for ladies (another perk of having a vagina) and free drinks until 11. I spent zero dollars which was awesome. The coworker that invited me brought his girlfriend, who is randomly from Grand Rapids and another one of his dude friends. I quickly realized that everyone I work with is dating, married, engaged or pregnant. SWEET! It was still a good time and we all got to know each other a little better. I'm feeling a little more hopeful about this whole making friends thing. Oddly though it made me feel kind of homesick and really wanting to see my friends from the mitten. Soon enough I suppose.
This week's class was also pretty cool. We jumped into the content very quickly and I was on the ball. The gist of the lecture was genetics and how during development (in the womb and after birth) is effected by the environment. They've linked nuturing to changes in your genetics (epigenesis). There is no good way to explain it without going way into depth and I'm just too fucking lazy for that right now. Look it up. Moral of the story is I spoke up with my opinion and asked questions, those of which came with the mention from my prof of being 'excellent questions' so I'll take it. No class next week which is kind of a bummer.
I did some extensive apartment hunting online and went to 2 different apartments to check out. One is in Antioch (its kind of in the scrotum in relation to Nashville if we're speaking in genital terms, which i often do) and the other was supposedly in the West End, if by 'west end' they meant ghetto. Antioch was nice, good price and seemingly safe. 'West End' was everything else. So it seems I will be choosing the 'smart' choice even though I'd much rather be in the west end area where all the hipster and Vanderbilt kids live. I found a puppy when I went to visit the antioch apartments and I almost took him home, he was a tiny French bulldog and I loved him immediately after I got done cussing at him for running out in front of my car. He came up and licked my hand and basically said 'I love you take me home' but alas I was  getting honked at for pulling off onto the side of the road so I set him down away from the road in someone's yard. I may or may not have driven by later on to see if he was still there....just to make sure he was safe.
Today I went to the Frist Museum to see an exhibit on 'The Golden Age of Couture' showcasing high fashion from the 1940's and 50's. I LOVED it. I fell in love with a Christian Dior dress...and wanted to steal it..and go shopping immediately after. Who knows what next week will bring.    

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One week in.

So I'm one week in to living in Nashville. So far I have learned most of the ropes at the new job, survived rainstorms and driving with my fellow Tennesseans during said rainstorms, found a replacement coffee shop for Biggbys (its called CoCo's) and attended my first masters' class. Not too bad for a week. I'm really trying not to overwhelm myself with everything that I need to get done; GRE, apartment finding, moving, classes, continuing to learn the job, etc. I've gotten a bit better at navigating myself around the city and learning some of the areas, mostly West End which I seem to favor. My garmin has saved my ass several times.
I miss my friends terribly and I've been texting and facebooking tons. I'm considering making a trip up for Labor Day already, ahh, we'll see.
I saw an excellent mullet today at Home Depot and have been on the lookout for many since I've been here. Mostly things are pretty similar to Michigan except for the fact that No ONE ever uses a turn signal around here and it drives me effin crazy. The traffic is way worse but the people seem to be nicer. I've yet to meet anyone outside of work that I'd even consider befriending. It is nice being able to see my sister everyday and hanging out with her puppy, even if she is insane.
I'm making an effort not to allow myself to be sad or mopey, I'm rarely at home unless I'm sleeping or reading.
One of the kids at work told me I sound like I'm from Boston. Ha, I asked him if its because I don't have an accent and then realized that, yes, I do in fact have an accent compared to everyone else.
Adventures of the week: navigating home without a GPS, avoiding getting picked up at a gas station, going to a music Showcase, looking for hangouts and people watching all over downtown.
Next week will involve tons of reading for school and trying to not screw up at work. Onward!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rock stars and social workers

Today was pretty fantastic.
I'm a casemanager at a high school that specifically works with kids with behavioral issues and I got my first caseload. For me it just feels like I'm finally being recognized as responsible, which is also kind of scary. I'm beginning to really enjoy my job and feel relatively confident. Plus I love working with teenagers as crazy as that sounds. day got more interesting and sweet when I went to my first class. The professor is really cool and no nonsense and is really open to discussion. I spoke up early and often through much of the class which is my intention throughout the entire semester so I can get a good reference letter and stay on top of the readings and assignments. We all introduced ourselves and I found out there was a fellow Spartan in the class and also the ex-bassist for Ben Folds whom I promptly made friends with, cos we got paired up. I realized also that I need to tone down my sick sense of humor around people I don't know. Some laugh and some look horrified. However my supervisor uses the word 'fuck' more than I do.
I've also recently learned that if its raining in Nashville then people automatically lose all driving abilities and freak the fuck out. I almost said 'ya'll' today and promptly bit my tongue. It seems like if you're constantly surrounded by it you just can't help it. Yikes.
So far I'm really liking things just missing my friends like crazy. I'm trying to keep busy to think less about it. This weekend I may be going to the Frist to check out an exhibit on 40's and 50's vintage couture, then I may just go shopping, heh.

Monday, August 16, 2010

So it goes.....

Well, I accomplished what I set out to do 3 years ago after I graduated from college and I hit the jackpot and ended up in Nashville, TN. Ok, so maybe it's not everyone's ideal place to live, including mine, but it is certainly a change of pace.
My wonderfully tolerant sister took me into her house (temporarily) which she will soon regret (eternally). I hope to get out of her hair before the domestic violence starts. Or before she permanantly makes me her dog-walker. I'll be looking for a place to live as soon as I can find an apartment that is not in the ghetto where I need to worry about knife fights or gang rape. I can't decide what color to wear so none of them will let me in.
The first day of work was today and it was a bit underwhelming. I would even go as far as saying boring. I'm not used to being able to sit down and listen to one person talk at one time. I need multiple distractions to function in the workplace so these kids better start calling me names soon or its just not going to feel like I'm doing my job. I miss my coworkers terribly. I looked forward to their verbal abuse and sexual harassment and all these damn social workers and therapists at this school are too politically correct. Maybe that will change....we'll see.
I'm trying to keep and open mind and look for adventure and opportunity. I'm also excited to go out and about and really do some people watching. It doesn't get much better than a tourist town.

Nothing crazy has happened the first 72 hours here, I'll need to shake things up this weekend.