Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writer's Block

I've got it and I've got it bad.

I have one question on my exam that I have barely touched. Yeah, there's a bunch of jumbled information pulled from various sources. All color coded to remind me where they came from and that I need to change them up and reverify previous sources. I have no thesis. I can't even come up with one. I look at the question and read and then reread it and still have no idea where to start. The only thing I've been able to do is move around the jumbled mess into the three categories the question looks at. It's a start. But still a mess.

We're not even going to get in to what still needs to be done to the other 2 questions.

I know everyone keeps saying I'll be fine. That I'll get it done. I always get it done. I'm actually afraid this time it's not going to happen. I mean yeah, I'll have a jumbled mess that I can turn in and it will get turned in, jumbled mess and all, but it doesn't mean that this jumbled mess is going to be what they're looking for. I'm actually afraid this time my work just isn't going to cut it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to John

Today is John's birthday!

Last year we also had a Halloween party for him:

The year before John decided to kidnap me and throw what he called a Hobbit birthday - where you give gifts to everyone else. It was the night that he proposed.

So he doesn't start to hate me, here's a normal picture of us at a friend's recent wedding.

Happy Birthday to John! He's a whopping 29 this year. Hope you enjoy the last year of your 20s babe!

Keep on lookin' fierce hon!

What's That you ask?

That would be a sign I'm a bad wife. That pictures says, I did not have time to bake my husband a birthday cake until this morning so it is currently cooling on my desk at work and yes, I brought a knife and frosting to finish it off. Oh, and that's his unwritten card sitting under the knife. At least I remembered the card right?

Friday, October 24, 2008

At Home Today

I took to day off to hopefully spend today and the next two days finishing my comps exam. Wish me luck! The first part of the morning was spent doing some additional research. There is this one theory in one of my questions that I just cannot find information on. I haven't even heard of the guy's name before! I've found book reviews of his book, a few articles that he's written, but nothing that really goes into his whole theory. Well today my expert research skills pulled up a book that I used in my classes, only it was the newest edition. As in my book was from 1999 (not old compared to the one I used from 1989 or some of the theories that were developed in the 60s and 70s), I took the class in 2006 and so of COURSE I never had the book because it didn't even exist yet! Can you find this book in our library. Nope. Thankfully a Barnes and Noble across town has a copy for $55 that I'm going to go and buy. Yeah. $55 for one little theory. You can bet this book is getting returned when I'm done with it.

I did not have luck finding the book that covered situated learning that the library DOES have, but someone checked out. NO OTHER library in the city has it either (yes, I looked into paying $35 to get a research pass from the other libraries) and I can't wait 2 weeks for the stinkin' book to get in. Maybe I'll luck out and they'll return it in the next few days (it's checked out until the 22nd of December so I'm kind of dreaming on this one) otherwise I'm just going to have to wing it.

Oh and on a random note. I have a brisket in the crock pot right now, yet about 2 hours ago I kept wondering why the house smelled like hot dogs. Weird. I know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Muffin Craze

So the Sunday after I spent all day in the kitchen I decided I hadn't had enough and went muffin crazy.

I found two DELICIOUS recipes and they both turned out awesome.

The first were pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Now those were good, but these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins were off the hook.

This recipe makes a TON of muffins. I took a bunch to work and had to bring more the next day because people were all over them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post Secret

I took a break from writing and checked out Post Secret, something I usually save for Monday mornings. Someone sent in this secret:

and someone emailed the following comment:

-----Email Message-----
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 2:02 AM
Subject: It's only a matter of time...

That is my greatest fear. I hope that you're fearing it too, and that that's a concern you wrote about, and not a threat...

I agree with the person that sent in the email comment. I know a lot of people are still undecided about the candidates. For many it's going to come down to, for lack of better term, "the lesser of two evils."

However, I also think it's important to look at the VP candidates. John McCain is older, he's suffered through a lot and you can see the toll just the campaign has taken on him as well as Barack Obama. You hear that McCain could have his cancer come back, he could suffer some other illness, who really knows? Depending on the sender's intent of their secret, I think Barack Obama could unfortunately suffer a tragedy just like the men pictured on the postcard. It's sad that in 2008 there are many people who do not believe an individual is qualified or even worthy to be president of our country just because of the color of their skin. It's even worse to think that there are some that would even consider attempting to assassinate that individual. Have we still not come very far as a society?

What my brain is currently like

Check out Wordle to make your own!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stickin' it to the bill company

John's car loan company has been a pain in the rear lately. I don't know why. They're a big company. They're even one of the few banks that aren't going under right now. Yet for some reason for the past 3 months I've had my payments returned and it's always been an unexplainable issue on their end. Once I paid online. Once I paid over the phone with an actual person and another time it was just through their pay by phone option. I had to use the phone option because for some sudden and unknown reason the online bill pay says it will no longer accept online payments for my account. Ummmm....hello? You've been taking them for the past 2 years!

Plus their online sign in is soooo screwy. I forgot my password once and their solution is just to reregister. Ever since then I've had to reregister to log in to my account. Every.Time. Seriously!? I sent a complaint via email about the log in problems last month - wanna know what they said? Please reregister!

So today I log in to try to pay my bill online and get the same crap we can't take online payments for your account. I call to ask what's up with this (as the red error message instructed me to do) and after waiting on hold for what felt like a century I get a person with an accent so thick I can barely understand him.

Now, I am an EXTREMELY patient person. I will talk a TON of smack post whatever happened, but in the moment, I am the calmest person you will ever find. Plus after years of working in the service industry I know what it's like to be yelled at for something that's out of your control and is not even your fault. I am always very kind to these people because I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of a pissed off person and have to go to a crap job like that everyday. I freaking lost my shit with this guy.

It all started off very well. I gave my 8 different identity verifications, I explained my problem and that this had been going on for a few months. He said the system was currently being updated. I said, well were you also doing updates last month? Because last month I also got the same error message and your site doesn't say that it's down for maintenance. His response - well ma'am you will need to go back online and reregister your account.

*Faith's head explodes*

Then he tries to explain that my username needs to be at least 6 characters and my password needs to be at least 6 characters starting with a capital letter and ending in a number. At which point I tell him that my account is set up EXACTLY like that and it's still not working.

The rest of the conversation involved me calmly yelling at this poor man that their online system is a complete piece of garbage and I would really appreciate speaking to someone that could give me some other solution than reregistering every freaking time I log on to their system only to have my payment returned the very next day for a reason that not a single person at their company has been able to explain and him telling me that my online sign in must be at least 6 characters long and my password should be 6 characters starting with a capital letter and ending in a number and me wishing it could be possible to reach through the phone and grab someone by the neck and bash their head into their desk so I politely thanked him for not being the least bit helpful and promptly hung up.

Then I signed on to my online banking profile that is not in any way associated with this piece of crap bank and signed up for their free online bill pay so I could prove to these stupid mother f*ckers that one way or another I am going to pay my car payment online like a normal person that doesn't have to reregister their account every freaking time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Things that make me laugh

Reese: *Big stretch and a yawn*

Me: Reesie you look tired.

John in his Reese voice: I was up all night worrying about my investment portfolio.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Big Pad of Stress Fat

That's what I have on my upper back at the base of my neck.

It all started on Monday. I was in the restroom at work and just happened to glance in the mirror and got a view of my profile. I had this hump on my back. I know a lot of people have a little hump there at the bottom of their neck, but they're usually a bit older than 26. I asked my coworkers, I asked John everyone agreed it looked a little bit strange. I just assumed it was swollen, maybe I had slept REALLY funny, who knows, but I decided I would wait a few days before going to the Dr. to see what was up.

This morning I got up and the hump was still there. I showed it off to a few other coworkers and everyone thought it was kind of weird. Then sometime this afternoon I was pressing on it to see if it was painful at all and something popped. I freaked! I called my coworker into my office and she looked at it, said it pretty much looked the same, but I should go to the Dr. I called and had an appointment in 45 minutes.

Now lets go back to February. At my annual exam my Dr. said I had a large thyroid and asked if anyone had ever told me that. Nope. Blood work and everything came back just fine. I was sick a month or so ago and the Dr. noticed the large thyroid again and decided to order a sonogram. Well I hadn't heard back - it had been 2 weeks - and just happened to call this morning to see if they had the results. They did and said it was large and I needed to go see a endocrinologist. Made the appointment for the 7th of next month.

Back to present time. I'm at the Dr. trying to explain the hump that has appeared overnight on my back. She's telling me I do have a fat pad there, but that's normal (I hear my mom telling me, I told you so). I tell her, "not when it just appears overnight it's not!" She continues with her exam and starts feeling up my thyroid. After what seems like a full minute I tell her, "yes, it's enlarged" and go into the whole sonogram/endocrinologist story. She pulls up my sonogram results and explains that I have a goiter (I told you my online self diagnosis was right mom!) as well as several little nodules all over my thyroid. She said that the goiter is large enough that they may do a biopsy when I go to the endocrinologist.

As for the back hump, she explains that she would normally do a bunch of tests and blood work, but since I'm going to the endo it would be a little redundant. Her best explanation of my new hump would be that because my thyroid is acting all crazy, my hormones are out of whack. Because of that and my current stress level - thanks to the must pass in order to graduate exam - my body overproduced cortisol and it manifested itself as a big pad of fat on my back. Why it decided to go there and not my ass like all other fat on my body I'll have to ask the endo.

Why is life so unfair!?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Look What I Got!

That would be a 2008 Nissan Rogue. Did I plan on buying a car this weekend? No. But then John and I drove by one of the many car dealerships that line I-10 and I happened to glance over and see this car for sale. It's one of 4 cars I have been lusting over in my dreams and I asked John if we could stop and take a look. Because like almost everyone woman out there I just see it and I want it. Do I know anything about it? No, but everyone else has one so it HAS to be perfect doesn't it? Of course the car turned out to be fabulous and I was instantly in love, but knew it was well above my price range. However, I was surprised to find out that I could easily afford a more expensive car than I had previously thought, yet not one of my beautiful 4 cars fell into that price category - go figure right? So that night I got online and started browsing the internet to see if just by some act of God that one of those 4 cars just happened to be for sale somewhere in this city within my magic price range. There it was. My Nissan Rogue. Sitting there, staring back at me from the website. Right smack in the middle of that magic price range. A good $4,000 cheaper than I had ever seen it ANYWHERE. I thought it had to be a joke. NO WAY would this 2008 with only 10,000 miles be priced that low. Something had to be wrong with it. The next morning I called the dealership and spoke to the Internet Sales Rep. Even he was surprised that the car was priced that low. He told me I had better get over there quick because that car wouldn't last that long at that price. I told him I would be there that evening. I was working a wedding with Erin and discovering that being a florist is A LOT of work. So after the wedding I call the guy, my car is still there and I tell him I'll be there in 45 minutes. An hour and a half later I am going home in my sweet, new car.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Must Pass in Order to Graduate

Friday afternoon I picked up my Comprehensive Exam for grad school. It's a take home essay exam. I have 6 questions to choose from and I have to choose 3. I have to have a minimum of 5 single spaced pages per question with at minimum of 5 references for each. I am terrified. I had HORRIBLE professors for my core classes which my exam questions cover. Each one of them was thrown into their teaching position 2 weeks before classes started. They were handed a book and a syllabus. I take that back. One professor didn't get his book for 3 weeks and then he decided the book was useless and we didn't use it. Of course I had already bought the useless book. After this first awful semester they decided they weren't going to offer my program anymore. Did they tell us this though? No. So we went to register for courses only to find there were none to sign up for. So they created another program and moved us in to that one. Only the classes weren't quite ready yet and I ended up in classes that were similar to the classes in my old program. For instance, my Adult Development class was no more so I took a Development Across the Ages class instead. Did we cover Adults? Nope. Not even close, yet I have an Adult Development question on my exam. So I have a question covering a topic I never studied, only one question jumped out at me, 2 I had no clue what they were talking about, leaving the other 2 that I will somehow research and try to come up with 5 pages worth of information. Wish me luck and I apologize if I bite your head off sometime in the next 3 weeks while I work on my exam.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm a Slacker

Although I haven't posted these in a timely manner, at least I did them. Today in pictures for August 31st.

My mom had surgery on her back for 2 ruptured discs. Well the Dr. had to go back in to repatch her dura that was nicked during surgery. We went up to see her and spend the weekend with her before she had her second surgery. So John and I drove up to the wonderful city of Waco for the weekend.

Sunday morning - Had some breakfast and swung by the hospital to see mom.

Then John and I grabbed some lunch at a place I hadn't been to in FOREVER. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered though.

Then we headed over to the Dr. Pepper Museum

Afterwards we swung back by Fazolis because I promised Mom some breadsticks. Her response to eating the warm, salty, garlicy goodness, "Now that's what bread is supposed to taste like."

We hung out for a bit longer and got to see my two brothers and most importantly the babies! I hadn't seen Josh Jr. since Christmas and it was crazy how big he had gotten!

Then it was time to head on home. Of course once we got to Austin we had to stop at another old favorite of mine for a steakburger, shoestring cheese fries and a shake.

I think I actually saw a pig fly

I'm pretty sure I was born with a black thumb. My first plant was for my office and I really believe that it succumbed to the sub zero temperatures at which facilities likes to keep my office. The only plants I have ever kept alive were a jade plant (it lasted about a year) and a little pink flower plant. Both were given to me by my sister in law Kristie. The jade she left at her desk when I took over her position. It was somehow overwatered (which is apparently the ONLY way those suckers can die) and met it's death. The pink flower plant she gave to me, our fried Laura and our other sister Denise. I'm not sure how long Denise's lasted, but Laura and I turned keeping the plant alive into a competition. We would even send pictures to one another to show how our plants were flourishing.

So yesterday outside of HEB they had tons and tons of mums. I just couldn't resist and at only $5.99 I had to buy a big pot of them. So here it is - the 2nd plant I have ever bought for myself.
Let's just hope I can keep it alive. Although you all may need to place some virtual bets out there to help me and the plant out.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What I'm Lovin' Right Now

One of the 100 Calorie Mini Bites and quite yummy!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Weekend Spent in the Kitchen

So the other day Julie and I were discussing about how tiring it is to work all day and then come home and have to make dinner. The worst part is getting home and wondering, "what am I going to make and do I even have the stuff to make it?" We agreed that it would be SO MUCH easier if the guys would come up with the dinner idea and at the very least defrost the meat that is usually involved. I suggested this to John and much to my surprise he was all over the idea. The next day I had 16 meals (I asked for 4 a week) in my hand. A lot of them were casseroles or bakes so I decided I would try something new - freezer cooking.

I got my shopping list in hand, headed out to Costco and HEB, and hopefully will only need to make trips for fresh vegetables and things for the rest of the month.

I started off with beef and pasta dishes because I had some chicken, but it needed to be shredded. So I threw some chicken breasts into the crockpot with some water on high while I did my other dishes.

I started with some rubs while I waited for 2 lbs of lean ground beef to brown and for some pasta to boil.

Pork chops were on sale so I portioned out one half that I'll just grill regularly one day. The other set I put a spice rub on:

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients and rub!

I also did a rub on a brisket that I'll later throw into the crockpot. It's a variation of this recipe. The rub is what I used, but when I put it in the crockpot it will be with bottled BBQ sauce and brown sugar.

By this time my ground beef was ready to go. I added some minced garlic and Italian seasoning to it while I browned it since it was all going into Italian dishes. I also used Low Fat or Fat Free versions of all cheeses and lean ground beef in all the recipes. Gotta cut the fat out where you can!

Baked Ziti was the first since it required the least amount of work.

Notice the plastic wrap and the foil? I had 5 bakes that I planned on making today - that's a lot of pans to give up! So to reclaim your pan you line it first with foil and then with plastic wrap. Put your dish (it should be cool since you're not actually cooking anything) on top of the plastic wrap. Wrap it first and then wrap it again with the foil (it's very easy even though it doesn't sound like it) and voila!

Be sure to label your items (although I will most likely go back and add another foil layer for extra protection). Throw this into the freezer and when it's frozen, take the foil wrapped pack out and you can have your pan back. When it comes time to cook, defrost in the fridge during the day, remove the plastic and foil and put it back into it's original pan to cook.

Using my ground beef I also did baked spaghetti and lasagna.

Then I moved on to chicken. I realized that I forgot to buy enchilada sauce so there went one more of my casseroles. My other two dishes called for raw, cubed chicken so my cooked and shredded chicken just were not going to work out. So I decided to make some salsa chicken, but added some black beans. I'll probably throw this in the fridge in the morning and then throw it in a pot when I get home. I also used FF cream of chicken this time around too.

I also did another recipe I found on Weight Watchers and is only 5 pts a serving.

It's a Chicken and Stuffing Green Bean Casserole.

You mix 2 chicken breasts, 1 can Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup, 2 cans of Green Beans and put it into a pan. You make the stuffing according to the directions on the box and top the green bean/soup/chicken mixture. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for another 5-10 or until chicken is cooked through.

To finish off the day I made Bruschetta Chicken which is one of John's favorites.

I probably worked in the kitchen for about 4 hours total, but that's a lot of meals to have around. Plus since it's just the two of us there will be TONS of leftovers!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And Just to Make Things Fair

Here's another game for both sides!

In Case You Still Want to Play a Game

but like me you have to work tomorrow and don't want to wake up with the hangover that YOU KNOW you're gonna have from playing Sarah Palin drinking games you can go here instead.


This has got to be one of Letterman's best lists ever!

Who Wants to Play?

Although my beverage of choice will be something other than Moosehead.

Sarah Palin Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game
Stock up on your Moosehead now to play the Sarah Palin Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game.
View more »

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I did it!

I got up and ran! Thankfully it was dark outside so no one could see me huffing it around the track at the park across from my house. I admit to being one of those mean horrible people that laugh at those that are trying to run and are so out of shape/exhausted it looks like they're doing this weird hopping kind of walk. I'm glad no one was about to witness my own version this morning.

I did learn two things from my run today:
1. I am INCREDIBLY out of shape
2. I need to take the time and not worry about waking up my husband in order to find my big boob sports bra.

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