Monday, January 31, 2011

Things You Might Not Know About Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette is everybody's favorite forensic scientist on the Naval Crime Drama NCIS, Abby Sciuto. I tend to like her character because she is witty, funny and smart, which means she is altogether entertaining. So for kicks, I thought I would find out a little more about the actress behind the character. I think what I found out is interesting enough to share.

1. She was born in New Orleans, LA.

2. She has lived all around the South in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and, of course, Louisiana. She has also lived in New Jersey, New York, and California.

3. She attended Valdosta State University in Georgia.

4. As an undergrad, she studied sociology, psychology, and criminal science and graduated with honors.

5. She began studying for a master's degree in criminal science before deferring to the entertainment industry (reports of whether she finished her master's degree or not are conflicting).

6. She is a singer in an all female band called Lo-Ball.

7. She is a published poet, writer, and photographer.

8. Is reported to attend the Hollywood United Methodist Church.

9. She is 5'10".

10. She was born on March 27, 1969.

My disclaimer here is that all this information was found on the internet and if it is incorrect, I would have no way of knowing.

So there it is. You learn something new everyday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Goodbye Caffeine

I'm giving up caffeine. You would think this would be an easy task. I don't like chocolate, which contains caffeine. I don't like tea, which also has caffeine. I don't like coffee. But, alas, nothing is ever that simple. And I have a friend in caffeine.

I love to start the day with a fizzy and caffeinated Coke Zero. (Disclaimer: Nobody involved with Coca-Cola is paying me to say that. I just like the drink.) That first fizzy, carbonated sip delivers just enough shock to my system to jolt me awake so that I can be my wonderful, perky, morning-person self.

Stop laughing.

Okay, so the whole reason I drink a soda is because I'm very much NOT a morning person, and I hate coffee. Coffee often smells delicious, but I just don't like the taste, and if I do like the taste it's because enough sugar and flavorings have been added to take down a small horse. No, thanks. But Coke Zero doesn't let me down. The fizzy carbonation tickles my nose and wakes me up, and then the caffeine takes over. It's really a beautiful partnership, I must say.

Alas, though, I am saying goodbye to my sweet, aspartame filled friend. I mean, I made the very reluctant step to only diet drinks a while back, but now it's time to take it a step further. I'm giving up caffeine altogether. At least my daily dose of it. I mean, I can let myself have it every once in a while, but only occasionally, sporadically, every now and then, not on a regular basis.

I have tried this before. Actually, I've tried more than once. Obviously, it didn't take. But this time, I'm more dedicated. Now if I want to drink something besides water, I'm going to drink juice or something else that at least has some vitamins in it. But mostly, I'm going to try to drink a lot more water.

As you can see by the fact that I'm rambling on and on about it, it has been super easy. I barely think about it at all. I don't miss that sweet and (fake) sugary taste. Not one little bit. I mean, it's only been four days and I'm totally over it.

Nope, don't miss it a bit. Not one teeny-tiny caffeinated little bit.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Randomness Part 6

1. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael King Jr. His father changed both their names after a trip to Germany in 1934, in order to honor Martin Luther.

2. I know some people in New Jersey who complain about how people in their state are being portrayed in shows like Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious. Hahahahahahaha. Welcome to the pity party, kids. Thanks to the stereotypes that reality shows and news crews seek to perpetuate for the "entertainment" value, those of us from the Southern states get asked things like if we grew up with shoes when we visit them there cultured places of the wonderful and faultless Yankees. I kid you not. I have been asked, by someone at YALE UNIVERSITY ya'll, if I grew up with shoes. So the next time you complain when someone asks you if your dad is in the mob, or if you have partied with Snooki, just remember, we still appreciate you, y'know for taking the spotlight off of us for a while.

3. For the record, I did grow up with shoes. Lots of them. I've never spent an absurd amount of money on any of them, though, and if that makes me a hick then YYYYEEEEEEE-HHHHHAAAAWWWWWWW.

4. Did you know that Yee and Haw are actually directional commands often used with mules and donkeys? One means right and the other means left. I don't know which is which and I'm not sure why those are the commands, but it's true.

5. Some historians believe that Henry VIII had Type II Diabetes and possibly Gout. This doesn't explain his man-whore like ways, but it may help explain some of the other strange behavior later in life.

6. I'm done. I just don't like odd numbered lists.

Peace out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quality Time

As you can imagine, with my recent life decisions that include test taking, career changing, and general emotional draining, it is always nice to have some encouragement and a break. I got both this week. Thanks, God.

A friend of mine met me for lunch on Tuesday. She has her own emotionally draining insanity going on in her life and it was nice to be able to sit down and just talk. We spent the afternoon together and it was so wonderful to be so busy doing things with her that I didn't have time to worry about my own schedule or studies. It was refreshing.

And then it got better.

Yesterday my dad called. He was about to leave to visit the house my grandparents lived in. They both passed a couple of years ago, but we haven't sold their house yet. I told my dad I would like to join him and that I could meet him there, but he made the day even better. He drove out of his way to come pick me up, so we could ride there together.

It was nice. We got to spend some quality time together in the car. We got to talk about my grandparents, my uncle who recently passed, my own recent revelations, and a lot of other topics. It was so great to spend time alone with my dad. What can I say? I'm a daddy's girl. And I think that will be true no matter how old I get. It is still nice to spend quality time with my father.

Plus, as a bonus, we got to see my aunt during our short visit. It was a good trip. I'm glad I had the chance to go.

My dad brought me home and we continued our great conversation, and since it had gotten a little late, he stayed the night at my house. It was especially nice since my wonderful husband had to work late. Such is the life of an accountant! So my dad kept me company while we waited for him to get home.

So, while all of this definitely cut into my house cleaning, studying, obsessing over every little thing extravaganza, it was totally worth it.

Thanks to my friend for needing me.

Thanks to my dad for, well, everything.

Thanks to God for all of it.

Thanks to you, my readers, for pretending to care long enough to read this.

P.S. It's snowing really, really hard outside. I'm not jealous of those who have to be out in the harsh weather right now. Good to luck to you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to My Quarterlife Crisis

I studied International Business in college. I received degrees in Business and in a Foreign Language. I finished my five year program a semester early. International Business was the major I chose as a Freshman. And you know what? I was good at it.

I graduated in December of 2008, as the economy entered into a tail spin of epic proportions. I took it in stride, though, and eventually found employment. Unfortunately, my job was doing something I was good at, but didn't really enjoy. After a little while, I found a new job. I was good at what I did there, too. I had a skill set that matched the needs of said job like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Even so, there was something missing. Oh yeah, I still wasn't happy.

I did a lot of thinking. What was I doing wrong? Should I look for another job? Probably. And then the big, scary question presented itself. Did I even want to continue in this line of work?

Bombshell.

How could I even THINK that? I had worked my tail off for this. As a student, I was on the straight and narrow. I never wavered. I was a geek, but a focused geek. There was a goal and I worked towards that goal. However, once I reached that goal, I was lost. And then the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. Just because I was good at it, didn't mean I enjoyed it. But how could I not enjoy it? I REALLY wanted this. I had actually chosen my university partly based on its International Business program. But....that was six years ago when I entered college. So what changed?

A lot of things changed. What I wanted changed. Who I was changed. That tends to happen as you grow up, I guess. It's inconvenient, but true. My dreams had changed. And I had been so focused on reaching my initial goal, I never even noticed.

Well that just sucks. I'm in the middle of what has been dubbed the "quarterlife crisis". The good news is that enough other people have experienced this that it has actually been acknowledged and even given a name. It is, as its name suggests, like a midlife crisis, only this tends to hit in your mid twenties when you first get out of college and realize that life isn't exactly what you expected and you start searching for answers.

Yep, that's me. Unfortunately, knowing that my state has been given a name doesn't exactly help me. I mean, it's always good to know you aren't alone, but it didn't exactly deliver the answers I was looking for on a silver platter.

So I began praying a lot. We Christians tend to do that when we are lost and need help. I did a lot of it. I did some soul searching. I got mad at myself. I got scared for my future. I laughed at myself. I whined because I basically wasted my tuition money. And then I decided that the tuition didn't really go to waste, because I wouldn't give up my college experience for anything in the world. I mean, maybe if I could go back and do it over I might change my major. Wait! That's it! I'll go back to school!

And then I remembered a line from the Broadway musical Avenue Q. It goes a little something like this, "If I were to go back to college, think what a loser I'd be. I'd sit on the quad and think, 'oh my God, these kids are so much younger than me.'"

To hell with Broadway musicals! I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'll never say that again. Forgive me. But back to my problem.

I could go back to school. But to study what? My dreams and wants had changed, but changed to what? What did I want to do? I didn't even know. Super.

More praying. More soul searching. More of me being an emotional hot mess.

And then I had a crazy thought. What if I became a teacher? I mean, I loved tutoring. I wasn't just good at it, I actually LIKED it. I taught ESL classes at my church when I was younger. I enjoyed that. I tutored kids in my classes during college. I still liked it. I helped teach Spanish to some friends of mine. They are a homeschooling family and needed a little help in the foreign language department. I had fun with that, too.

So there it was. I was going back to school. But this time? I'll be the one handing out homework and grading tests and papers.

I have to take some tests and do some of my own school work first, before I get my certification, but I'm gonna be a teacher. Don't worry. I'm not going to be an English teacher. I know my limits.

So there it is. Welcome to my quarterlife crisis.

Wish me luck.

And pray for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Sister, The Genius

Don't tell her I said that.

My eldest sister is a parenting genius. Her oldest child turned 13 recently. Thirteen, ya'll. I changed the kid's diapers and now he's a teenager. Oh. My. Stars.

Anyway, my sister was not stressed out about the hugely momentous birthday for her son. Even though her middle son and her husband were going on a trip that very same day, leaving her alone with the birthday boy and her five year old. There was no mad rush involving decorations and invitations. There was no headache inducing search for extra chairs, or even a Flight of the Bumblebee performance of running through the house making sure every last inch of it is clean for the guests. Nope. I mean, she probably wasn't sitting on the couch eating bon-bons or anything, but she also wasn't caught in the birthday party whirlwind.

How did she manage such a feat?

Get ready. Here comes her genius. She negotiated with her son over it. She told him he could either have the money they would have spent on the party to buy the laptop he has really been wanting (he had saved up quite a bit, but needed a little more to get the model he wanted), or he could have a party. It was his choice. The ball was in his court. She let him choose to not have a party in favor of getting something he wanted more.

Okay, maybe you might not think that's genius, but as someone who doesn't have kids yet, this tactic had never crossed my mind. It isn't really bribery, it's simple negotiation. I love it.

I have to remember to start taking notes on this stuff.

My sister, the genius. Who knew?

Hey Sis, don't let this go to your head.

Unrelated Side Note: ENJOY THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Random Kind of Day

Let the randomness begin.

1. My uncle's funeral is tomorrow. At least at this funeral they won't play "Taps". That is possibly the saddest song ever and is almost guaranteed to send me into tears.

2. Ben Stiller gets on my nerves.

3. I'm reading a book by Celia Rivenbark. I'm only fifty or so pages into it and that woman is cracking me up. Being a Southern woman myself, I can't help but laugh at things I know to be true. Especially when I know they're true because I do them. Yeah, I do.

4. I really love peanut butter.

That is all for today. Class Dismissed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All Good Things Must Come To An End

That is perhaps not the best title for this post, but I can't think of a better way to put it. Perhaps, I should explain.

I had a great time over the holidays. I got to see family and friends and spend some quality time with my husband. I had a birthday and my Mississippi State Bulldogs gave Michigan an absolute beating at the Gator Bowl. Good Times.

Christmas Day my family got our own little miracle. My great grandmother woke up in the wee hours of the morning and was having breathing trouble. For the first time in years, my parents spent Christmas Eve with her. My father heard her and they were able to get to her to the hospital and she is going to be just fine. She's 97, but God isn't done with her yet, and He let us know it! She gave us a scare and He gave us a miracle. Merry Christmas!

Alas, the holidays are over now and it is back to business as usual. The Christmas decorations have been put away, everyone has returned home, and it's time to get back to normal.

Well, that was the plan anyway.

Today was my biological mother's birthday, God rest her. This is not a sorrowful day for me, it is a day to remember her. Happy Birthday, Mama. Of course, there is a twinge of sadness, but I know I will see her again, someday.

And then the call came in. My uncle, my father's brother, left us this morning. He has been ailing for quite some time, and though I am certainly sad at his passing, I can't help but think that he finally has relief. His funeral is at the end of the week. If I am a little absent during that time, please forgive me (I mean, c'mon, you forgave me for being kind of absent for like two weeks now, what's a few more days?).

If you are the praying type, please join me in praying for my uncle's daughter, and also his siblings (my father, his younger brother, and their sister).

May you rest in peace, Uncle B.