Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh girls just wanna have fun

I think I blinked and the week was over. 
Why is it always the fun stuff that goes so fast?
This week consisted of seeing the people in Michigan that I adore. The first night I FINALLY got caught up with Stew after not being able to see each other the last time I was in Michigan. He was my first stop because geographically it just made sense. We are pretty much the same person with different anatomical parts. We think similarly, we scrutinize and analyze and therapize similarly so it's no wonder why he would be one of my favorite people. The conversation well did not run dry. We spent several hours talking and drinking Michigan beer and adoring his cat. 
The next day I traveled to Lansing to spend time with my Lansing people, and spent some quality time with the raddest girl I know. We walked through East Lansing, ordered margaritas, waited so long that we walked out and then went home and made lunch. After hanging for a few more hours we met with friends for dinner and then went on to get drinks, catching up with everyone. We then left the bar and a very reasonable time only to go home and play games until 3 in the morning. I'm so glad I was able to see my good friends and spend some time with them, especially when they commit to spending time with me. I have some amazing friends.
The next three days I stayed at my parents. We had meals together, my Mom and I went shopping and I finally found a suit at a store I didn't even think to look in because its out of my price range, but the jacket and pants were both over 40% off, more in my budget. Then my Mom offered to buy it for me, I figured $0 is definitely in my budget. While I was in the thumb I was also able to see my brother, sister-in-law and my adorable niece and nephew. It blows my mind how much kids grow in change in as short of a time as four months. It's madness. I love spending time with those kids, they are both super funny and my nephew has grasped how to use sarcasm. "Yeah, Aunt Shannon I'd looove to play Barbies, NOT." It's the elementary Borat level of sarcasm but this solidifies that he is definitely like his Dad. My niece is three and sassy which I adore. 
That's the tough part about not living close to family it that you don't get to watch them grow. 
This week I was also finally contacted by my second practicum option and we've been playing phone tag since then. I decided last night that I am not going to freak out and worry and wait by the phone. I have until July, I need to cool my jets. I also need to get back into the school groove and start working on school work....ugh...I don't wanna. 
So, back to the grind. I've got a busy week ahead and it begins with seeing The Head and the Heart tonight at the Cannery. PUMPED.
Have a wonderful week, I know I will. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hand dancing and awkward moments

I've officially been on Spring Break since Friday around 4 p.m. and my attitude has improved immensely. I'm happier, carefree, singing out of tune and looking forward to the week ahead. Grad school makes me crabby, or stress does, either way I feel pretty damn good.
The week went by really quickly which was fantastic because usually when you're waiting for things to get here time seems to move even slower. 
My supervisor at my internship gave me an assignment to work on before I left that I'm pretty excited about continuing to work on. I was also very glad to have ended my week on a good note. 
Friday I went out with a friend to watch the NCAA tournament. I didn't fill out a bracket this year but so far my Spartans are still in it. They played a close game today that I listened to on the radio on the way back from Atlanta. Any way, after watching the win we continued on to another bar for more drinks and laughs. A very drunk woman started a conversation with us that turned into her talking about how awkward she was then told me I was beautiful and motioned for me to kiss her on the cheek. Awkward wasn't the only adjective I was thinking to describe her. 
Saturday I hit snooze for an hour and then went to the airport to get a rental car so that I could drive to Atlanta. It's a four hour drive, my air conditioning doesn't work and honestly I get so paranoid about my car I don't trust that it will get me there in one piece. I also need to get my rotors replaced so I'm trying to drive it as little as possible. The drive involved a lot of terrible singing and hand dancing. I headed down to visit with my friends from college and their little family. We often talk a lot about how much the South is different from Michigan, kids, marriage, family, the crazy things kids say and normalcy. I love going to see Stacie and catching up with her. We don't see each other often but I'm thankful when we do get to spend some time together. Plus her kids are right up there with my niece and nephew in the running for cutest kids on the planet. We caught up over a bottle of wine (which disappeared quickly) on Saturday night and then over coffee on Sunday. We used to get chai at this coffee shop in East Lansing all the time. It was 84 degrees out and I couldn't even consider trying to drink hot tea while getting a sunburn. And burn I did. We sat outside for maybe over an hour and I ended up with a very red face and awesome three quarter sleeve tan lines on my arms. My pale ass can't handle that Georgia sun apparently. I left after the coffee and perusing at a nearby mall. The drive back went by pretty fast because I was yelling at the radio for a good hour telling my team to 'stop with the fouling' and 'C'Mon! Rebound!' I'm assuming anyone driving near me thought I was schizophrenic. Oh well.
Tomorrow morning begins my trek up to Michigan. I'm stopping for the night in Louisville because, let's face it, I want to spend some spring break time with Jason too. I'll officially leave for Michigan on Tuesday and travel to a few different places. Then I'll come back and rock right on through the last month of school. 
Have a lovely week, everyone. I know I will. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Countdown to sanity

Have you ever had so much pressure in your head that you thought your brain might start leaking out of your ears? It's allergy season here in the bible belt.
These allergies do not stop me from getting out and people watching at the cafe. Unfortunately there are no odd people here today for me to gawk at. I'm just waiting for the weather to get even warmer, that's when it gets really good.  
This week involved a lot of near panic attack moments in regards to school and then a lot of being lazy and sick toward the end of the week. 
I had a huge group project due on Wednesday so I spent much of the beginning of the week stressing and meeting with my group in order to bang it out. I'm really proud of the outcome of all of that stressing and hard work (aside from the gray hairs I swear have cropped up). The project was worth 40% of our grade and we won't know what we scored for a week or more but I'm just glad it's over. On Tuesday night after putting in several hours at the computer lab working on the project I was pretty much useless and decided to meet up with my friend for a drink or two. Two turned into about six and getting home at nearly 2:30 a.m. I guess I really needed that respite from school work. We had a great time and a lot of laughs. It made me realize how much I miss going out which I've been neglecting due to my recent bout of hemit-ism. That's apparently not a recognized word but you get my drift. That night started my battle with sleep deprivation. After finally falling asleep at 3:30 I woke up the next day feeling not so amazing but fought through it and attended class and took part in the huge presentation. After classes Jason got to town and we wound up going out to get dinner and drinks afterward. We then woke up at 5 a.m. so I could take him to the airport. I went back home to get a few more winks of sleep before going to my internship. I woke up feeling awful with a sore throat and raging sinus headache. My supervisor sent me home early because apparently I looked about as good as I felt. I went home and watched way too much t.v. then ventured to go babysit. I would have cancelled had it not been allergies that were plaguing me. I got there at 8, played ninjas with the eight year old til 8:30 and sent him to bed. They didn't get home til nearly 2 a.m. I went home and slept for about 10 hours. Much needed sleep I will say that. This Nashville weather and pollen infested air is wreaking havoc on my head. I still attempted to take advantage of the nice weather by studying outside at my favorite cafe all weekend. I continued on my quest to look for a suit even though I am STILL waiting to hear about my internship interviews. 
This waiting is a large cause of my underlying anxiety. I've been keyed up for the last month trying to make plans around fictitious appointments. I just want things to happen and waiting for other people to get back to my advisor is  driving me bat shit crazy. CRAZY. I just want to know where I'm going to be placed so I can start worrying about other things like moving, a job, school assignments and other things I prefer worrying about. If you looked up the Criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) you'd probably see my face next to it. 
Thankfully, among all this craziness is a silver lining. My spring break starts next Friday. FIVE days from now I am officially taking a week off and doing nothing school related. I am going to see my friends in Atlanta over the weekend and then driving back to Nashville. On Monday I get to pick up my love at the airport and spend the day with him. On Tuesday I will be on the road to Kalamazoo to start my trek across Michigan. I can't wait!!! I'm so ready to see my friends and relax. Oh vacation, I adore you. 
So as of now, I'm working on school stuff and counting down the days til I can start my week long hiatus from all things responsible. Yipee.
Have a wonderful, stress-free week. I hope I will. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

ankle update, 5 months out

Lately I've been thinking about skateboarding. The weather has been so nice lately and this is definitely the time I'd be at the concrete park. Every time I think about skating my mind immediately goes to my ankle. My desire to never break a major bone (or 2) again is greater than my desire to skateboard right now. It's frustrating. 
So on the 17th of this month it will have been five months since I broke my ankle. The good thing is, my ankle is relatively back to normal. I thought if anyone else experiences a broken ankle and a dislocated foot followed by surgery with pins and a plates, this is how it goes. My flexibility is at about 90%, I still get some swelling if I walk long distances or run at all. I'll get there eventually. 
On October 17th:

On November 2nd:

I was in a boot after the stitches were removed on November second. I had a follow up appointment on December 7th, I was told that within 10 days I could walk without aid of the crutches. I ditched the crutches by December 13th. I kept the walking boot on until January 20th after yet another follow up and set of x-rays. In total I ended up with a metal plate (the length of the incision), 7 pins, 1 large screw, was on crutches for a solid 8 weeks and in a cast or boot for 12 weeks. 
So what does a post-op ankle look like 5 months later?:
As you can tell my ankles are still not the same size. I don't know when that's going to change. Soon I hope. 
So there it is folks. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thoreau vs Kaczynski: A battle royale

It's been an odd day. I kept track of the MSU game while I was working on my school work. They lost, I wanted to cry. I then got wrangled into a political debate with four people after a conversation started about Detroit Coney Islands (I'm wearing a Michigan State shirt). A man asked me about the economy in Michigan and then it spiraled into a conversation about President Obama. He started it, I promise, and I tried my hardest to be objective until he started making claims that Obama hasn't done anything, he's increased the debt, got us into war and gives welfare and benefits only to black people. AHHH! Wrong. Wrong. I want to punch people. Wrong. I always have to remind myself that I am outnumbered here in the great state of Tennessee. Another man joined the conversation saying that he made a good living (a million a year!) and that 'bums' are getting the same benefits as he is. AHH! Come on! After these two older women chimed in about Obama being useless I walked away. Don't ask me my opinion if you're not going to listen and don't tell me I'm one-sided after you say that you support our current Congress and democrats are doing whatever they want. AHH! Ok. I'm done.
This week I continued to let my anxiety get the best of me. I can feel it throughout my body. It's not just about the grade, I want to make sure that I am doing absolutely everything I can in order to feel satisfied with the outcome.  I'm working on three group projects at once and the stress of it is beginning to get to me. I know I can handle it. I just need to keep telling myself that. So a large majority of my time this week was spent working on stuff outside of class and my internship. I also squeezed some time in there to volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank. Come to find out they get upwards of 25,000 volunteers a year! That is impressive and I'd like to figure out their strategy. When I wasn't doing what I needed to I was sleeping. I continued to look for a suit for my upcoming interviews, which I still haven't been able to schedule. I've tried on clothes everywhere and kind of want to give up on that venture.
I avoided socializing with pretty much anyone I didn't have to because my anxiety makes me want to be as reclusive as Ted Kaczynski. Not like constructing bombs, maybe I should have said Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond years. I wonder who would win in a fight between the two of them. They are a little more alike than one would consider. One was a poet and the other was a murderer but I think Thoreau could have taken him. I think there needs to be an Epic Rap Battle at least.battle it up!
 I think I'll start feeling a little better after Wednesday but who knows really, it may be after April. There is so much to get done between the four classes, internship and some volunteer work for the Phi Alpha honors society which I am eligible for due to my gpa. J was super stressed too until he made the decision to change some things around with school to minimize it. I wish i had that option right now, but I'm glad he's feeling better because I thought we were both about to go into meltdown mode. He's coming to visit Wednesday night before starting his Spring Break in Seattle, lucky. My Spring Break is in about two weeks and I can't wait! I get to see some friends and family while I visit the mitten. Now I just need for things to fall into place with the internships and school. I am closing up shop on school work for the night and am going to buy Across the Universe and go to bed early because I'm really cool like that. This week there were a ton of exhausting debates about religion, politics, the homeless, and legislation. I need to turn my brain off for a night and not talk about any of it. Then tomorrow morning it's back to NPR and social justice. 
Have a great week, I just need to hang on til Wednesday. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The right girl, the wrong city.

Lately I keep finding myself confronted with the question, 'so how do you like Nashville?' I've been here for about a year and 8 months but every time I meet a new person and they know I'm not originally from here they always have to ask. Asking me how I like Nashville implies that I like it to some degree, which I can't even decide is true. I'm never sure how to respond. For one, I don't really want to offend someone that is a Nashville native (though they seem few and far between-this city is a city of imports). Two, living in Nashville for 20 months in no way makes me a good judge on what the city has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I've been from one end to the other exploring but there are still a few things I haven't done. I want to visit the Adventure Science Center. Anyway, to answer that question I usually shrug my shoulders and say, 'it's ok.' I think that is the first sign that there really no draw for me. I don't enjoy country music or the country music culture. I don't like hunting, NASCAR, or conservative ideologies. I don't like most fried food or vegetables cooked in pork fat. And one of the things that most bothers me about Nashville or Southern culture is the fake niceness, that saccharine sweet demeanor to your face but never having any intentions of carrying out plans or just being mean behind your back. And the drivers, OH DEAR GOD THE DRIVERS.
Now don't get me wrong, I have more than just negative things to say about Nashville. Unfortunately those things I have to say can be said about most cities. There's a music scene, there are great coffee shops, great restaurants, etc. Though I don't think I'll find another cafe like Cafe Coco or better people watching than the watching at Fan Fair. The best parts about Nashville are the friends I've made here and the people I've met. I was talking to a woman that works at Vanderbilt this morning over coffee and she was trying to convince me not to leave. She asked me why I wouldn't stay, but why would I? 
It's funny because as soon as I started feeling settled here, comfortable with where things were at, finding favorite spots I was already thinking about leaving. When I moved to Nashville I gave myself 2-4 years and then it was time to move on. It took me less than a year to figure out that I wanted to be anywhere else. I've never felt connected to this place. Some would say that it's because I haven't given it a chance, but I've worked here, I've been in school here and day in and day out I have LIVED here. There's just no spark. It's like telling yourself that you should stay in a relationship because, 'he's really sweet' or 'at least he doesn't beat me' well sure those are good qualities but not enough reason to continue a long term relationship. I view my relationships with a city the same way I would with a good friend or partner, if there isn't a spark it's just not going to last.'Music City, USA' is not my soul mate even though the name might lead one to believe we'd be a perfect match. Nashville and I just aren't connecting. As much as I loathe moving, in a couple months I'll be doing it again. For god's sake let's hope this next one sticks. In the meantime I'll keep adventuring and learning.

Sorry Nashville, I'm just not that into you.