FESTIVAL OF TREES | NOVEMBER 30, 2006
Guess what I did tonight?
I told Santa what I wanted for Christmas!
Just kidding! I actually went to the Ames Festival of Trees with Kelsey and Santa just happened to be there. I got the impression that Santa thought I was a bit old to be ... well, calling him Santa. Oh well.
The Festival featured trees sponsored and decorated by businesses and some families. Some were for bidding on, and some were just to look at. I think there was about 25 or 30 there! Here are some pictures so you can decide which ones you like... #10 is my favorite. Can you guess why? (Hint: you will have to look at the ornaments closely!)
THE U.S. CURRENCY PROBLEM | NOVEMBER 29, 2006
Yesterday U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the Treasury Department to redesign the American currency because it discriminates against blind people. All of the U.S. bills look and feel the same, making it hard to discern one from the other if you cannot see them.
I think it is great that they are doing something about this problem. Blind people currently have to rely on others to tell them the bill amount they have, and that is not always reliable.
But seriously, how often is our currency redesigned? When I came back from Rome and saw a $20 bill with all the new colors in it, I thought it was fake! It seems like our currency has been redesigned every year for the past five years to prevent counterfeiting.
If they are going to redesign the bills, I think they should redo the coins too. Of course, you can tell the coins apart because of their size and the way the edges feel. But the problem with the coins is that they do not have their numerical value on them. They say "penny," "nickel," "dime," and "quarter". This is not a problem for you and me, but it is for the tourists who come to our country and do not know enough about our language to know what a "quarter" is.
It's not as important as changing the bills to be more identifiable to the blind, but I think it should be considered. When I lived in Europe, I was appreciative that the coins and bills said their numerical amount on them.
COMPLETE? | NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Here is my first attempt at creating a website completely in Flash. It was honestly the most difficult thing I have done all semester. But now that I have done it, I have learned a lot about what NOT to do next time, so I am happy about that.
Click on the image to load the website. Warning: It is a 2MB file - I am still having problems figuring out how to make the files smaller. And there is no spell check in Flash (that I know off), so let me know if you find typos.
"CYBER MONDAY" | NOVEMBER 27, 2006
I was going to write a post saying how lame it is that the media is trying to call today "Cyber Monday" - the Monday after Thanksgiving when everyone goes back to work and starts freaking out about buying Christmas presents so they buy gifts online during work.
But I can't say anything because Steven just told me he was ordering a gift online tonight. Granted, he is not at work, but he is ordering a gift online. So I am going to pass on saying how stupid I think this new catch phrase is.
Maybe I can complain about being super busy instead? I am trying to finish this new flash site about Frank Lloyd Wright's work in Iowa. It is coming along quite well, but of course, it is taking FOREVER to finish! It is due tomorrow and I think I will be up until sunrise working on it. Oh well, that is love for web design I suppose.
I will just be happy when in three weeks when the semester ends. Then I will worry about the important things - what Christmas song to listen to, what kind of cookies to make...
ALONE FOR THREE DAYS | NOVEMBER 25, 2006
I guess this is what we get for leaving Data home alone for three days - a failed amputation on my Merry Trio.
IF ONLY | NOVEMBER 24, 2006
Lately, as more and more people in my personal life drive me nuts, I wonder what it would be like if this website was not so public. I wonder about all the wonderful and b*tchy things I could say about my family and friends and not have to worry about them reading it, or thinking that I am an awful person for saying the things I want to say.
The truth is, everyone gossips about everyone else. You say you want to kill your roommate because she refuses to take out the trash. You are sick of your self-centered aunt. You wish your friends would quit behaving like whores and telling you about it. You want to stay away from the people in your family who have awful attitudes - but you just can't, because of the holiday.
The only way to avoid gossiping is to shut yourself in. Don't talk to anyone. Don't visit anyone who could potentially piss you off.
But that's not really possible is it?
So I keep my mouth shut here because I don't know who will read what I write and interpret it wrong because they were not there with me. But if you ever ask me in person, I would be more than happy to tell you.
2006 THANKFUL LIST | NOVEMBER 23, 2006
I was going to post a super cool thankful 2006 list, but my brain is too fried from eating so much food today! So I will just state the obvious:
I am thankful for ... family and friends and the support they provide.
I am thankful for ... having the opportunity to live, study and work in Europe for so long.
I am thankful for ... meeting so many new friends this year - both in real life and through other blogs.
I am thankful that ... this is my last year of school.
I am thankful that ... Steven and I will be married within a year.
I am thankful that ... I have such good luck and a strong will to get through all the challenges I meet.
I am thankful that ... I have been able to spend so much time with my family since I came home in August.
I am thankful that ... I have learned how to manage stress better.
I am thankful that ... I have the ability to teach myself.
I am thankful that ... Steven and I noticed that Data was about to throw up the other night so we put him in the bathroom so we did not have to clean vomit out of the carpet.
I am thankful that ... I have avoided most of my annoying classmates this semester!
What are you thankful for?
PAR-TAY!!! | NOVEMBER 22, 2006
Since when is Thanksgiving "Eve" the biggest party night of the year? I have heard that on three separate radio stations tonight during my drive from Chicago to Ames!
Steven and I came up with two possible reasons why this may be the biggest party night of the year - 1. You need to get really drunk to put up with your relatives on Thanksgiving or 2. It is a four-day weekend and you want to drink your way through it.
I have never been at a party or in a bar on Thanksgiving "Eve" so I have no idea what all the fuss means. Any ideas?
MY LAST THANKSGIVING "BREAK" | NOVEMBER 21, 2006
This is officially my last week-long Thanksgiving break (I highly doubt I will be able to find an employer to give me a whole week off for this holiday after I graduate in May...). I should be spending my days sleeping in until noon, lazing around with the cat, flipping through tv channels, watching movies, snacking and napping.
Instead, I am exercising, getting up early to do school work, baking, cleaning, organizing my things... etc. I am not busy 100 percent of the time, but I normally spend my Thanksgiving break doing ABSOLUTLEY nothing, so this is a bit of a change for me.
On top of designing and completing a website about Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture in Iowa and doing plans and 3D drawings of my studio project during this one-week break, I am also now involved with a re-designing a website (for profit) for an organization at the university.
Can I get all that done in a week? Ha ha! Probably not, but I will try to get as much done on each project as I can. I am going to work hard during the days, but I do not plan on losing any sleep. It's a holiday after all! I want to take Thursday off and enjoy the time with Steven's family - not worry about school work!
FLASH IS ON THE BOTTOM OF MY "FUN THINGS TO DO" LIST | NOVEMBER 20, 2006
Learning Flash is still making me go crazy. Everything I try to do takes me such a long time to do it. I know that it is one of those programs that you learn and get better at as you use it, but I am seriously losing my mind.
Here is my not so lovely attempt at a drop down menu.
100% TRUE? | NOVEMBER 19, 2006
CAN'T SLEEP (AGAIN) | NOVEMBER 18, 2006
I am having problems sleeping again. It takes me awhile to fall asleep, then once I do I cannot stay asleep for more than six hours. I know that does not seem like too big of a deal, but it means that I am going to bed at midnight, and waking up at 6:00 a.m., full of energy.
Yesterday my younger brother decided to call me at 6:30 a.m. (for some crazy reason), and I was actually awake, laying in bed, wondering why I couldn't sleep!
I think that exercising so much may be giving me more energy than I know what to do with. I do not mind waking up early when I have the motivation to get out of bed and be productive, but most of the time, I just lie there upset that I cannot sleep.
BRIDAL HAIRSTYLES | NOVEMBER 16, 2006
A while ago I told Steven I wanted to buy a "Bridal Bootcamp" book. We found one at the bookstore, but I ended up buying a book on toning instead. The Bootcamp book did not seem very user friendly - at least for an exercise book - it was full of text and didn't have color photos.
So I was very excited when I found a magazine yesterday at Target called Modern Bride beauty&fitness. It was full of exercise moves and healthy eating tips as well as ... "75+ Terrific Hairstyles" (as advertised on the cover)!
I originally thought I would wear my hair half up-half down, but since I will be wearing a veil (no blusher) and hopefully a small tiara (I say hopefully because after spending $150 on a veil, spending another $150 on a tiara seemed a bit ridiculous), I think I will end up doing an updo. At least that is what appeals to me right now.
I used my mad Flash skills to make a little application of the updos I like. Just click on a small icon and the photo will get bigger (Sorry for slow downloads. I am still learning. It took me 1.5 hours to make this stupid thing!).
Eventually, I would like to reformat the entire photos section of this website so it operates in Flash.
THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS | NOVEMBER 15, 2006
Warning: I think I am in an argumentative mood tonight.
To celebrate the National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week, the city of Ames hosted their second annual Skip-A-Meal Day today. There were events at the City Auditorium during different meal times during the day to entertain the participants who were skipping a meal.
Did I participate? No. Did I think about it? Yes. In fact, I was planning on participating for the breakfast hours (6-8 a.m.) but when I woke up with a pounding headache, I knew that the combination of skipping meals and a busy day would only make me feel worse. When I skip a meal, whether on purpose or not, my body lets me know it is upset by punishing me with a headache.
Instead I ate very small, light meals today, since I was not going to participate completely. I spent a lot of time thinking about hunger and the feasting holiday that is approaching us - Thanksgiving!
Yesterday there was an article in the school newspaper about how to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving. Here's a crazy idea - maybe we could avoid overeating by avoiding cooking too much! Why prepare so much food at Thanksgiving when everyone is so worried about their waistline, and the leftovers just go to waste?
Do I really need to eat six dinner rolls and have a third helping of mashed potatoes? No! And you probably don't either (unless you are my younger sister). Cooking in abundance is a holiday tradition in my family. It seems that by the time we sit down, there are twelve different dishes on the table, and the desserts are not even out yet! And I eat and eat and eat because it tastes good and it is there. But what I am really enjoying? The food, the company of my family, or a little bit of both?
No one likes to feel deprived, especially during holidays. If I did not eat at least one slice of pumpkin pie with equal parts whipped cream during the holiday season I would be upset. And I love my grandma's vegetarian chili. I love my other grandma's Christmas cookies. And nothing beats fresh rolls. But what if there were just a few small dishes prepared instead of a buffet line?
Us eating less is not going to solve world hunger. It's probably not going to solve any problems, except personal ones - perhaps we will be a bit slimmer and have more money in our pockets.
It is only something I have been thinking about. Heck, I will probably be a hypocrite soon enough - making Christmas cookies, planning special dinners for my family, stuffing my face with those delicious little Christmas tree cakes...
I just wonder how things would be different if our American lives did not center on food.
ANXIETY | NOVEMBER 14, 2006
I started having a mini-anxiety attack today. I felt insecure, anxious, and really, really stressed out.
I was stressed out about my school projects and all the deadlines I have to meet. I am at one of those points where I feel like I have so much to get done and not enough time to do it (and still eat and sleep and take time to relax). I know I am in college and I am supposed to be working my ass off, but I have already done that for the past 3.5 semesters! What is the point of working so hard if I am not going to be happy?
I have been slowing down and relaxing this semester, and generally, I I have been a lot happier. But today, I felt like it was all catching up with me. All the anxiety and insecurity I normally feel during the semester seemed to hit me all at once today while I was working on my architecture project.
So for an hour or two I fretted and felt crappy. But then I said to myself, "What the hell does it all matter in the long run? You are graduating after next semester, you have family who loves you, a wonderful fiance, and overall, a wonderful life. If any of the projects don't turn out great, so what?!"
So I quit worrying. It's a waste of time. I will work hard, but I want to be happy and I am not going to kill myself of my stupid school projects.
BURRITOPHILE | NOVEMBER 13, 2006
Steven and I are both very, very obsessed with burritos - the big fat ones filled with grilled vegetables, rice, beans, cheese, guacamole, and salsa, all wrapped up in tin foil... yum! We could eat them for every meal (we have before!).
I am not sure what made us this way, because we don't know anyone else who loves burritos the way we do. We take our friends and family to our favorite burrito joints, and they just don't seem to have the same response as we do. It makes us sad.
Anyway, we love burritos so much that we thought about opening our own burrito store, or buying a franchise of our favorite burrito place - El Famous Burrito. While Steven was looking into it, we found the burritophile website - a place where burritophiles - burrito enthusiasts - can rate and review burrito joints in different parts of the country (see if you can find my review for the Flying Burrito in Ames). When you are traveling, you can use it to find burrito joints in the town you are in.
The only reason I am sharing all this is because I AM SUPER HUNGRY FOR A BURRITO!!! AND I DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY TO BUY ONE!!! My stomach is depressed. Pretty soon the depression will rise up from my stomach and affect my brain. Then I will feel too depressed to get any school work done, all because of a stupid burrito.
Maybe my sugar daddy (aka Steven) will treat me to one this weekend.
Are you a burritophile?
FIRST TRY | NOVEMBER 12, 2006
If you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer you will not be able to play the movie below. I can't imagine why you wouldn't have it though... and a lot of this website will be Flash-oriented soon, so you will need it anyway.
I am learning Flash right now - that fancy animation program... you know, the one they make all the hallmark e-cards with and most of the animations on the internet?
[And a note to anyone reading this blog who is still young and has not attended a university: universities are where you learn how to teach and discipline yourself. Your "professors" teach you nothing. All of the computer programs I have learned have been self-taught (Dreamweaver, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), and I imagine it is like that in most majors. If you don't have the gumption to learn something, you won't.]
Anyway, I am teaching myself Flash as part of my independent study class this semester. I have to design a Frank Lloyd Wright website by the end of November, and I think it will be better with Flash. I also have to re-design the portfolio section of this website, using flash. And I applied for a job designing websites, in flash (of course, I told the professor I was still learning it, but he replied anyway).
Flash does a lot of neat stuff, but wish me luck, because it sure is a b*tch to learn!
NIGHTMARES | NOVEMBER 11, 2006
I was going to use this post to complain about how I felt crappy yesterday, but why let it linger? Instead I will share my wedding dress nightmares with you.
I have been in a suspiciously good mood ever since my family came to visit and we picked out and purchased my wedding dress. I wasn't worried about finding the right dress, but having it hang in my closet and being able to see it everyday makes me feel all giddy and excited (I know, what a girl).
But I have already had two nightmares about it. In the first, I woke up from a nap and found out that a burglar had come in while I was sleeping. My things were all a mess in my apartment. I immediately ran and opened the closet and all of a sudden there were tons of dresses hanging in my closet, but none of them were my dress.
I had the second dream just last night - I was in my apartment and Data was here. I remember thinking in my dream, "Why is Data here? Why isn't he in Chicago?" Anyway, I saw a mouse run across the floor in the bedroom and wondered why Data wasn't going to catch it (lazy gatto). Then I started to worry that the mice would chew through the bag that the wedding gown was in, so I went into the spare bedroom and sat on the floor to look at the bag. Data followed me of course. Then, out of no where, all these mice appeared and started climbing all over me! I was trying to protect the dress so I ran outside screaming and flung them off of me. Data started to run outside and I had to chase after him.
I chose to bring the dress home because I was paranoid that if I left it there and purchased it later, it would be gone. Sh*t happens, but I do not want sh*t happening to my perfect (for me) wedding gown.
Now that it is here though, I am so nervous about it! Last weekend when I left to visit Steven, I thought about it the whole time. I was worried that my apartment would burn down or get broken into (definitely a possibility here).
I think it is time to bust out and get renter's insurance.
BULLET POINT THURSDAY #1 | NOVEMBER 9, 2006
Some bloggers do a bullet point list once a week to give a run-off of what has been on their mind lately. I usually try to keep each post to once topic, but today, I seem to be thinking a million things. So hurray for my first bulleted list!
THIS IS WHY I AM NOT A VETERINARIAN | NOVEMBER 8, 2006
Before last Sunday, Data's claws were so long and sharp that he was progressively removing more and more fur off of his ears when scratching them.
Data only has his back claws, and the only way Steven and I knew how to trim them was to take him to the vet. But that costs money and takes time, so we decided to do it ourselves. One of us would hold him down, and the other would trim the claws, being careful not to cut them too short and hurt him.
I tried to hold him, but then Steven grabbed him and I tried to trim Data's claws. Steven had to hold Data's body with one hand, and use his other hand to separate his toes and push out a claw.
Well, along with my nervousness and Data making noises I had never heard him make before, it was not working out. I was not cutting the claws quick enough because I felt too nervous to do it, and as soon as Data saw the clippers, he got scared and tried to squirm away.
I gave up and told Steven that Data would have to just live with 3 trimmed claws and 5 un-trimmed claws. But one look at the pathetic little fur-less patches on his ears and I knew we had to try harder.
So I held him tight and covered his eyes while Steven clipped away. He did a much better job than I did - he did not let Data make him feel nervous, and he was quick about it.
Last semester, a very rude classmate of mine asked me, "If you like animals so much, why don't you just be a vet and not an architect?" WELL, THIS IS WHY! I get too nervous in situations like this - I hate forcing pills down an animal's throat, feeding them trough a tube, giving them a shot, re-hydrating them with a needle, trimming their nails... If I feel uncomfortable doing something, I am inevitably not going to do it very well!
I am compassionate and caring with animals - just not very medical.
MY MUSICAL AGE | NOVEMBER 7, 2006
I often wonder when adults make the transition from listening to music geared towards younger people (hip hop, R&B, rap, etc.) to music geared towards older people (easy listening, jazz, country, classic rock). I tend to enjoy music from all genres, except for country (Steven and I dislike country music so much that it is banned entirely from our wedding reception, along with the chicken dance, electric slide, the hokey pokey, line dancing, and any other stupid dance we can think of before we get married) and hard rap.
I generally listen to only three types of stations though - Hits and Hip Hop stations, classic rock, and classical. And during the holidays, I love to listen to any station I can find playing holiday music 24/7!!!
Of course, there are songs and groups played on these stations that I despise, such as Panic at the Disco's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and anything coming out of the mouth of the evil Canadian dwarf Avril Lavigne. I listen to them on the radio then try to erase them from my memory. I am very prone to changing stations or switching to a CD when I hear the beginning of a song I loathe. Usually I hear a song once and know that I never want to hear it again (on a side note, it may be fun to make a list of all these songs I loathe and share them with you).
So tonight while I was transferring some of my old songs to my computer from a CD, I realized a lot of them were from artists I had not heard about in awhile such as Usher, Ja Rue, Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, etc. I still like this music. Does this signify the beginning of my journey away from the genre of hits and hip hop?
I am only 22, but how old can you be and still listen to the hits and hip hop genre? Maybe you can listen to it as long as you can still move your ass to it?! Ha ha.
BROKE | NOVEMBER 6, 2006
I have become poorer each year of school. When I started at Iowa State University in fall of 2002, I had a lot of money saved in my bank account from working throughout high school. I don't remember taking any student loans that year. I used my own money to pay for tuition, room and board.
Steven and I had just started dating, so we went out on a lot of dates that year. I had a job, and all that money saved up, so I was able to pay for a lot of things (and he was too). It felt good to pay for some dates, and still have a bit of cash in the bank.
I have worked every summer since then, and worked throughout the school year too. But each year, I have less money to spend.
Not many people know this - but I did not get paid for my work at Fuksas Architetto last summer. I worked completely FOR FREE. This is how it is in Italy (for all jobs as an intern) and many large architecture firms. They know that students like me will work for free for the experience.
Steven's parents gave me a very generous amount of money - that is how I got by all summer. That, and I did not pay any rent, and rarely went out to eat or spend any money on entertainment.
Now I am really hurting from working for free. Of course, the experience was worth it. It really was. I would do it again if I had the opportunity. But now I am flat out broke.
I took out as much as I could of loans. Steven's parents were very generous, again. My parents buy me groceries often. I try not to eat a lot, and I rarely buy things for myself. I try not to drive a lot, except when I go to Chicago.
But I am having an awful time making ends meet.
I feel awful that Steven always has to pay for things and that I ask him if I can borrow money. I feel awful that I cannot buy Christmas presents for anyone this year. I am trying to think of Christmas presents to make, but materials COST money. Steven's birthday is on the 22nd of December, and I am trying to think of some way to get/make him something.
I feel so crappy and stressed out about money. I am not familiar with this stress, because I was always financially stable before.
I am so desperate that I called a number today in the school paper about filling out surveys for the Psychology Department for a monetary reward.
I will be grateful when I have a steady job, can start paying off my debt and help Steven pay for things around the house.
THE CAT WHO WANTED TO BE AN ARCHITECT | NOVEMBER 5, 2006
HALLMARK OBSESSION | NOVEMBER 4, 2006
I must say, I have been blessed to inherit all of my mother's good traits - nice, caring, generous, thoughtful... but also an obsession with Hallmark.
First and foremost, I love Hallmark for their greeting cards. I love to send and receive cards in the mail - for holidays and just for fun too. I can spend hours browsing the cards in a Hallmark store, deciding which ones to buy for my Hallmark Greeting Card Organizer.
But right now, I am really loving Hallmark for their 2006 Keepsake Ornament Collection. When I was growing up, my parents would buy tons of Hallmark ornaments each winter holiday season. I think they bought them on sale after Christmas, then would store them in big plastic bins. I never understood why they wanted them, they were just silly ornaments! All they did was store them in those bins all year; they didn't even put them onto the Christmas tree. We used other random and handmade ornaments instead.
But then Hallmark started making Star Wars ornaments, and I had to have them. A lot of them have special lights in them, or make noise, like Darth Vader saying, "Luke, I am your father." I now have enough to decorate a small Christmas tree (according to Steven, they are not allowed on the large Christmas tree, on account of them not being classy enough).
And this year, I like the Star Wars ones (of course), but there are also a lot of others that will appear on my wish list...
I am so excited about decorating the house and putting up the tree. That is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season!
FOUR THINGS MEME | NOVEMBER 3, 2006
This meme has been everywhere, time and time again...
Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Newspaper Courier
2. McDonald's Swing Manager
3. Fume Hood Inspector
4. Architect Intern / Slave
Four jobs I wish I had:
1. Lucasfilm Model Builders
2. Web-site Designer
3. Ice Cream Developer
4. Cat baby-sitter
Four movies I can watch over and over again:
1. Any Star Wars film, I-VI.
3. Any movie with Natalie Portman, ha ha.
4. Mars Attacks!
Four cities I've lived in:
1. Evansdale, Iowa.
2. Ames, Iowa.
3. Round Lake, Illinois.
4. Rome, Italy.
Four tv shows I love to watch:
I don't own a tv, but I like to watch Sex in the City on DVD on my computer.
Four places I've traveled to:
Four websites I visit daily:
1. ALL OF THEM listed under "Blogs" on my link page, so check them out!
2. yahoo.com (for news and email)
3. iowastatedaily.com (our LAME university newspaper)
Four of my favorite foods:
1. ice cream (for a special treat)
3. dark chocolate
4. Ramen noodles
Four things I won't eat:
1. Meat (even fish and chicken)
2. brussel sprouts
3. olives (if I can avoid them)
4. mushrooms (if I can avoid them)
Four things I wish I could eat right now:
1. Pizza Bianca
4. a burrito
Four things in my bedroom:
1. A sleeping fiance
2. A cat, Data
3. A treadmill
4. A beautiful jewelry box
Four things I wish I had in my bedroom:
1. Drapes to go over the shades
2. painted walls (in a shade other than white)
3. A glass of water; usually Steven grabs one for me but tonight he didn't
4. Data (he just left)
Four things I am wearing right now:
1. Sleep pants from Old Navy with green winter trees on them
2. A matching top
4. A Hair Clip
One place I would rather be right now:
No where - I am where I want to be, with Steven and Data.
One fictional place I would rather be right now:
Willy Wonka's Candy Factory
Four people I would love to have dinner with: (all at once or separate?):
1. George Lucas
2. Natalie Portman
3. Hillary Clinton
4. My uncle Tom
Four things I am thinking right now:
1, I should not have come to Chicago this weekend; I have too much school work.
2. I am thirsty.
3. How does Steven fall asleep so fast?
4. Where is Data? Is he getting into trouble?
Four favorite things to do:
1. Spend time with family and friends.
3. Write sh*t here.
4. Play soccer.
HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS | NOVEMBER 2, 2006
Was I supposed to stay in touch with my "friends" from high school? Was there a memo detailing a precise way of doing this at high school commencement, or I am just a bad friend?
Truth be told, not many of my "friends" (notice the continuing use of quotation marks) from high school were of a worthy caliber. When you want to stay in touch with someone, you make an effort to do it. I have done it with Rixa, my friend from the animal shelter in Rome, and Claire, a French coworker of mine from over the summer. I write emails and letters, or call, and I look forward to their response.
If I am not making the effort, chances are, I don't care.
Sometimes I wonder, "Why does everyone else have a lot of friends from high school that they keep in touch with, and I don't? What is wrong with me?!" And when I take the time to think of my college friends that I will make an effort to keep in touch with, I can only think of about three. And that is a maybe.
Today I was driving to Chicago and I stopped to see a friend of mine in Iowa City. We went to grade school, middle school, high school, and one year of college together (until she transferred). We were best friends in grade school, drifted apart in middle school (our school was divided by whether you were in band or orchestra - I was in orchestra, she was in band), tried to keep in touch in high school, then visited each other once a week in college. Now that she lives in a different city, we email.
But nothing bad ever happened between us (like my other "friends"), so I have no reason to not keep in touch with her. I just don't because I am, well, lazy.
The funny thing is, I probably have a lot more in common with her than with the other people I socialize with. We are both driven and dedicated to our careers, and take a lot of pride in our work. We are both also in serious relationships, but we don't let that define who we are.
What I am trying to get at with all this blabbing is that I am the type of person who purposely lets the not-so-spectacular "friends" slip away. I would rather surround myself with a few close friends (including family) that understand me that with a bunch that don't listen to me or care about my best interests. (On a side note, when you are a true friend, you let your girlfriends know when their own actions are going against their best interests).
But I also think that I am not grasping at relationships that I could - like with my friend that I met with today. And I love meeting new friends too, as long as they take the time to listen to and understand me, and give me the opportunity to listen to and understand them in return.
WANTING TO VOLUNTEER | NOVEMBER 1, 2006
Is it really already November? It doesn't feel like November!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... I emailed the Ames Animal Shelter to ask them if they needed more volunteers. I sent the email in September, and got a call telling me they would call me back in October when they needed more volunteers. They called me in the end of October to tell me to come to a volunteer training tonight.
I miss volunteering with animals. It was a big part of my life from January to August, and I felt like something was missing from my life when I stopped doing it.
So I was really excited about the training tonight. I hoped that I would go to the training, and start volunteering next week. But I found out that they already have over 50 volunteers there! And they do not need the new volunteers to start until December!
I guess this is what happens when you have a Veterinary College at your university. There is a surplus of volunteers. In Rome, I felt like we were begging for volunteers, so I expected it to be like that everywhere. Oops.
Volunteering is continuous feel good cycle. You commit time to make someone feel better, or to make the community be cleaner, etc., and in return you feel better yourself. I used to wonder, "should I feel so good about myself for volunteering?" but I do not think there is anything wrong with that. If I get a buzz off of volunteering, rather than doing drugs, or drinking, or spending money, or eating french fires, that is a good thing!
And I think if I spent more time volunteering, I would be more productive in my free time, and happier, overall. But I am waiting, waiting, waiting... maybe I need to broaden my spectrum to include more than just animals!
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