New Year's Eve

I did this last year so I figured I'd do it again this year. It's a long'un...props to you if you get to the end :-)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Moved 2,000 miles away!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I said I wasn't going to make any resolutions, so...I kept it :-) And I don't think I'll make any for 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

More time for charity and such. I've worked feeding the homeless several times while I've been home on break, but I'd like to do more up north.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

There are several...Feb. 17 is one. Moving up to DreamSchool City was big, so Aug. 31. And Dec. 14 :-)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making all A's my first semester and getting on the Dean's List!!!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not giving back as much as I could.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, but just this. Thank goodness it's over with!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

LOL the first semester of college? :-)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

No one that I can think of.

14. Where did most of your money go?


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

College (even though I was so nervous!) and spending time with D. and friends.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

None stick out. To the shock and chagrin of my friends, I'm not a huge music person. I like it, but I don't go out of my way to listen to it. I don't have an iTunes account or anything. We play a lot of Beatles songs at school, though!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder?

Happier. Much, much happier.

b) thinner or fatter?

Thinner--not too much, but it still counts!

c) richer or poorer?

Wayyyyyyyyy poorer. It's slightly depressing getting my bank statements every month and seeing my bank account quickly draining!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More reading!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasted time doing nothing on the computer or watching mindless TV.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my parents' house with them & my little sis.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

With so many people and things!

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Office or House. Or Scrubs (sorry, D.!). (Ha--this didn't change at all!)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

I'm really loving the Anne of Green Gables series.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Little-known Beatles songs?

26. What did you want and get?

Another year of happiness and health.

27. What did you want and not get?

Enough free time to spend with friends.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

No clue. I don't see many movies!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

A woman never reveals her true age! And I don't remember...is that sad?

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More money in my college fund would take a big weight off my shoulders.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Uhhh...I try to look cute? I've got a pair of good jeans and I wear them with almost everything--changing out cute shoes and tops and accessories.

32. What kept you sane?

It's actually "who." My BFF D. Without question.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

No idea.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

A certain Republican woman whose name rhymes with "Farah Salin."

35. Who did you miss?

D. while I was gone. And pupster Max. And my familia.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I really like a lot of people at school here!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Hmmm. Really just how to prioritize and be independent at college.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"It's true, look how they shine for you." (Coldplay, "Yellow")

If you guys do this make sure to leave a comment and let me know so I can look at yours! I'm spending New Year's Eve babysitting (go figure!), but I do wish you all a happy and healthy new year, and nothing but good things to come!



Um, can I just say how much I *love* my sister's new blog idea?

Just thought I'd throw that out there.


A short quandary

So I'm kind of short.

Like a lot short, actually.

Like a smidge under 5 feet, even.

(Officially I'm 4'11 and 3/4, but I always try to get people to say 5 feet. Alas, people at doctor's offices usually have to be accurate, so I'm usually always put down as 4'11 and 3/4. *sigh*)

But this shortness? Presents a few problems. For instance, I could never be a flight attendant. I'm too short to reach the overhead bins. Not that I would ever be a flight attendant since I dislike flying, but I'd like to have the option, thankyouverymuch.

The other problem, though, has been troubling me quite a bit as of late. I like to call it "The Hug Problem."

See, when I hug people (if they're taller than, say, a 12-year-old) I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Ain't no way I'm tall enough to be able to rest my head over peoples' shoulders when we hug. Sometimes I can go up on tip-toe and have my neck craned awkwardly upwards so that it just barely reaches their shoulder. But that's no fun cause I just end up with a crick in my neck.

Or, I can just go straight in. This usually results in either a) a face-plant straight into the boobs/chest area or b) the side of my head smashed into the boobs/chest area. Which isn't awkward AT ALL.

Oh yes, my head has visited many a boob/chest area.

So as much as I enjoy some huggin' lovin', it's always a problem. My BFF D. always bends down to hug me, for which I am eternally grateful and is another reason why I love her to death, but it always looks slightly ridiculous and like she's hugging a 5-year-old. Which, I suppose, is partly why I love nannying. I can hug on my kiddos all I want and there's no neck-smashing or face-into-boobs/chest-ing! (At least not for me, that is.)

The one good thing, though, about being so short? If my boobs are well-hidden under clothing, I can sometimes get in for a kid's price at the movies.


Winner winner chicken dinner!

Congratulations to Amanda B. for winning the Obama sticker!

Amanda, I'll e-mail you for your address. Congratulations again!


A Christmas Tale, by Pupster Max

Hello everyone! It's Santa Max. I'm here at Nanny's to deliver all sorts of great presents for her! Shhh, don't tell anyone!

Gah! No! I've been found!

Maybe if I duck my head (and show off my adorable Santa hat in the process) and look pathetic they'll let me go...

Oh, fine. I'll pose for one picture. I'm just too cute not to!

Merry Christmas!


I saw Santa driving a Buick*

So, um, not to brag or anything, but...

Yup, solid A's, baby. And I made the Dean's list! I wonder how long I can keep this up? See what happens when I don't have to take trivial, unimportant classes like math and science?!? (KIDDING. Math and science classes are VERY important. I just happen to royally stink at them.)

Also, I've been shocked at the number of entries for the Obama sticker! Keep 'em coming!!!

*And, in reference to the title, I did see Santa driving a Buick this morning on my way to a doctor's appointment. He was with woman I presume to be Mrs. Claus, but these days, you never know.


A giveaway, a giveaway!

All right, everybody! I've got something for all you Obama-lovin' readers out there! (And if you're not Obama-lovin', but you want this anyway, you can certainly enter but you must PROMISE not to do anything bad to this if you win, mmmk?)

I have an extra sticker from MoveOn celebrating Obama's win. I have my own hanging on my wall in my dorm room (right next to the fire alarm cause Barack is so hot) and now you can TOO! Here's what it looks like:

It's a really cool sticker and I think it can even work as a bumper sticker. It's approximately 4 x 7 inches and completely and totally awesome. You know you want it, all the cool kids have it.

All you have to do is e-mail me (theonlinenanny@gmail.com) with the word "STICKER" in the header by this Friday, 12/26, at noon. One entry per person, please*. I'll use the random number generator to pick someone and announce the results on Friday on the blog! Good luck!

*(And no family members may enter. Sorry.)


Christmas chez Nanny

Merry Christmas, Y'all

The Kiki Tee (psssst--see the angel on top? I made that when I was 3. And that's my dear Maman in the pic)

Oh, and LOOK! Mrs. PuppyClaus dropped by to help us decorate!


The day with 5 airports

Y'all, I'm starting to think this whole traveling-from-DreamSchool-to-home thang ain't for me.

As evidence, I present to you MY DAY TODAY:

8:15 a.m.: Wake up! Shower, get dressed, put on make-up, finish last minute packing.
10:15: Frantically open drawers and look under beds to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
10:25: Conclude that I haven't, and unplug all appliances in the room (we're going to be gone for a month).
10:30: Head downstairs with two large, heavy suitcases and my laptop bag. Curse not having enough money for a cab, and hope that people on the subway are nice today.
10:32-10:40: Bump...bump...bump...bump...make my way s-l-o-w-l-y down the stairs to the subway. By myself. The station is deserted.
10:44: Train arrives. Kind Stranger helps me lift my bags into the train. "That's a lot of heavy bags for such a small person!" he says. I agree.
10:50: Switch subway lines. Go down more steps. S-L-O-W-L-Y.
11:05: Get off subway and onto bus that'll take me to airport #1.
11:15: Arrive at airport #1. Run inside (er, run inside as fast as I can with approximately 80 lbs of suitcases and a rather heavy laptop bag), pee, and run outside to wait for the van that will take me to airport #2.
11:20: Van arrives.
1:20 p.m.: Arrive at airport #2. Buy a yogurt parfait. YUM. They're also training drug-sniffing dogs in the terminal. Um, SO ADORABLE.
2:05: Board airplane.
2:35: Take off 30 minutes late. I've got a REALLY tight connection for my connecting flight, so I'm starting to sweat. Weather's acting up so if I don't make connecting flight, I may not get home tonight.
4:20: Land at airport #3. My next plane started boarding 10 minutes ago. SHIT SHIT SHIT. I have to wait and pick up a carry-on bag that I ended up having to check, and then start running like a madwoman through two terminals.
4:40: MADE IT THANK YOU LORD JESUS. I am the last person on the plane. I also cannot breathe or feel my legs.
5:00: Captain announces we'll have a slight delay in taking off as there's ice on the wings. Oh, and we'll be making a short detour in another city.



Apparently because of the weather in Texas, we have to make a stop at airport #4 to refuel and wait out the storm. It'll only take 20 minutes, they say.

5:10: Take off.
6:00: Land in detour city (airport #4). Since it will ONLY TAKE 20 MINUTES, we are not allowed off the plane. GUESS WHAT? It takes OVER AN HOUR. Oh yeah, we were all reallllllly pleased sitting on that thar airplane.
7:05: Take off again for Texas.
(Time change, lose an hour.)
8:50: Arrive in Texas (airport #5). FINALLY. The flight was so turbulent from airport #4 that they didn't even get up to serve drinks. SO. MUCH. FUN.

But now I am home again, exhausted and ready for bed. And sooooo glad I won't be traveling again for a month.



D. was put on the wait list for ReallyHardToGetInToSchool. While this isn't an outright rejection, it still leaves no room for her to re-apply during the regular admissions cycle. She'll find out for sure in late March.

Oh a different note, what is up with the weather down south?!? I move up north and it starts snowing and icing like crazy down there!



Earlier today my "Booya Obama" post showed up in Bloglines as a new post. I have no idea why. No, it's not news about D.'s school. Though perhaps it's a good omen?


Big money, no whammy

Yay: All went well with the other blogger today. I had a great time talking to her! We talked for over an hour and a half and I was sad to leave -- but I had to get back to school projects. Woohoo! (OH, and I didn't spill any coffee, because I didn't get any coffee. I got green tea instead, and only spilled a little on the table :-)

Oh no: Roommate #3 is exhibiting flu-like symptoms. I got my flu shot, but still. She looks so poor and pathetic all curled up in bed :-( NannyMode kicked in and I tucked her in, gave her medicine and got her some chicken soup. Nanny to the rescue!

Eeeek: We have an exact date and time for when D.'s ReallyHardToGetIntoSchool results will be available. I'm not telling the exact date/time, but you'll know soon enough whether it's a "nooooooo" or a "BOOYEAH!". Really, really, really hoping for a BOOYEAH!.

YEAH: I got a job!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be working in an office on campus doing stuff I wanted to do. The pay is pretty crappy, but it's a job and it's money and I'll take it!!!

The end!


Heinz ketchup and a Pillsbury doughboy

I'm meeting up with another blogger this weekend for coffee. I'm ridiculously (and unnecessarily) nervous because I've had a bloggy crush on her blog ever since I first discovered it (the pictures! the writing!).

Anyway, I'm a horribly awkward person in real life, truth be told. I'm always afraid I won't have enough to say, or I'll laugh the whole time (I do that when I'm nervous) or I'll accidentally say the wrong thing. That, or I'll make a horrible first impression. That, or I'll spill my coffee all over.

Which I am known to do.

*Note to self: perhaps don't order anything to drink. Is it acceptable to meet for coffee and not actually drink coffee?

ANYWAY. I'm sure all will go well and she'll love me.

Or what if she doesn't. GAH.

I don't know how often she reads my blog (if she does...hey fellow blogger!) because if she's reading this, it could be potentially mortifying. That, or it'll be a good thing because she'll know to lower those expectations one or two or twenty-six notches.

In the meantime, I'm chomping at the bit waiting to hear about D.'s ReallyHardToGetIntoSchool. She could potentially find out as early as this weekend as to whether or not she's in. She sent me a rather dismal statistic last night, though, about that school's early admission...there were 5,000 early action applicants. They have a 6% acceptance rate this year. That's the lowest in that school's history. So it's not lookin' good for the home team.

Which means: if we find out before I meet with the blog friend, I may or may not arrive, burst into tears, and bawl the entire time.

How's that for a good first impression?

Max update

Poor little pupster Max had to spend an extra night in the hospital since he was still not doing well. Fortunately, though, he's home and well now! Hopefully this'll make him not want to eat chocolate ever again :-)

In the hospital, waiting to see the doctors. Feeling very yucky and thinking, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

With his IV still in his arm, poor puppy.

Finally home and conked out!


Food for thought, a flying tale, and Max

Food for thought: You know you're beyond exhausted when you spend approximately three minutes trying to go UP the DOWN escalator with a suitcase behind you. And you just can't figure out WHY you're not going anywhere but instead are tripping all over your own feet.

Also, it's always painful and humiliating when you manage to trip UP a staircase in front of a building full of people. Don't ask me how I know this. But: ow.

Flying tale: So I'm on a flight coming home to Texas on Friday. I'm starving. I haven't eaten in forever and I'm exhausted, hungry, and cranky. I didn't have time to get any food before my flight so I figured I'd just buy a snack box on the plane and get a drink.

Unfortch, this particular airline is now charging $2 if you want a drink. Like any drink. Like...Nanny's a college student who doesn't have $2 to spend on a cup of ginger ale. But I still thought I'd buy a snack because, um, I'm really, REALLY in need of food over here. But they don't say anything about selling snacks so I page the flight attendant.

The flight attendant is very tall, and very blonde. She reminds me of a 40-year-old Barbie. She leans over, smiles VERY widely, and coos, "What can I do for you, sweetie?"

Um. Hi. I'm not 12, but she obviously thinks I am. Must be the fact that I'm pretty short...and I look 12. And when the boobs are hidden, I don't have much going for me. But anyway:

Me: "Hi, I'm really sorry, but I'm starving. Do you have any snacks for sale on this flight?"
Barbie: "Oh! Poor thing!" *LARGE WINK* "I'll take care of you. Don't you worry!"
She disappears for a few minutes and then I see her reemerge. She's holding something behind her back and looking very secretive. She winks again (and I almost start calling her Sarah Palin) and produces two bags of Harvest Cheddar Sunchips (NOOOO--I don't eat cheese! Dammit!) and smiles widely.
Barbie: "Here you go! I got these just for you!"
Me (in a very over-cheerful, loud voice): "Ohhhhh, THANK YOU!"
Barbie: "Enjoy!"
Me: "Ohhhhh, THANK YOU!"

She disappears for about 10 minutes and I hide the chips in my carry-on bag (so it looks like I've eaten them). In the meantime, I contemplate eating the Cold-Eeze I have stashed in my purse, but refrain, because ew. Next thing I know, Barbie has returned.

Barbie: "HI!"
Me: "Oh, hi!"
Barbie: "Sooooo, how were those chips?"
Me: "Oh, they were WONDERFUL, thank you!"
Barbie: "Oh, good!"

She leaves again but returns 15 minutes after that.

Barbie: "So, how're those chips working out for you?"
Me: "They were great, thank you so much!"
Barbie: "Oh that's wonderful!" *WINK*

So yeah. That's really my story with no point at all. But I thought it was slightly amusing after I landed and stuffed my face with celery and red pepper hummus.


Max: Today pupster Max managed to eat almost 6 ounces of 70% cacao dark chocolate. Needless to say, he became a very, very sick puppy. I know he threw up some but he was also shaking, acting very lethargic, and bloated in weird places. My dad and sis took him into the emergency vet clinic and it now pupster Max is hooked up to an IV, getting his system flushed out, and on a medicine to slow his heart rate (so he doesn't go into convulsions and die). It's been a pretty freaky evening especially since I'm 2,000 miles away, but he's going to be OK, so I feel better. Poor puppy :-(



Today was Kathleen's service, and it was beautiful. I can't tell you how many people were there. They were packed all in (lots standing) and the service ran almost two and a half hours...it was just incredible. I cried a bit at first but then managed to keep it together for the rest of the service. I'm so grateful that I was not only able to say goodbye to her, but that I was able to come home for her funeral. I'm just so grateful.

I am flying back tomorrow. Early flights, once again, but that's okay. I can sleep on the plane (I hope). And then get back into work. So many projects to do, so little time!

Okay, so I've debated posting this next bit, but I'm going to anyway. I have a rather selfish request of y'all. And I feel especially bad doing this in the wake of what's been going on with Kathleen. But anyway.

So here's the deal. Y'all know my best friend D.? Whom I love and adore? She's applying to a really, really prestigious and really, really, really hard to get into school that's literally 20 minutes from DreamSchool. It's her first choice school and it'd be so amazing if we were both up north together. I miss my best friend desperately while I'm gone and the idea of being together for college? Makes me squee.

So. If y'all could send some good vibes up to ReallyHardToGetIntoSchool for D., I'd really appreciate it. She's absolutely qualified to get in, but it's one of those schools where there are SO many absolutely qualified people that it ends up being random who gets in and who doesn't. Fingers crossed, she'll find out in the next 2 weeks.

Also, shoutout to my sis who danced beautifully in the Nutcracker tonight. Now I gots to get to bed since I'm getting up at 3:45 (GAH).



The sunset on the night Kathleen died

I was able to find an amazingly cheap flight home so I'll be flying home this weekend for Kathleen's funeral. I am very, very grateful that I'm able to do that. In other news, I'm buried under mountains of projects and preparing for final exams...it's exhausting and I'm emotionally and physically drained. Thank you for all of your sweet comments, e-mails, tweets, etc.


Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind

Kathleen passed away early this morning.

This is the last picture I have of the two of us. It was taken in July 2008 on my crummy cell phone camera, and it's horribly unflattering of both of us. But it is us, and I will treasure it.

*The title comes from one of my very favorite poems. It's called "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and it is beautifully sad. Just like those who will miss Kathleen with all our hearts.



I struggled with what to write about my visit with Kathleen, torn between wanting to get out what it was really like and what I actually wanted to remember.

It was hard, the visit, but not as hard as I thought it would be. Physically, it was excruciating. She was a skeleton, a ghost of her former self. When I saw just how much she had changed in the few months since I'd seen her last my heart ached. My god, I thought, look what cancer has done to her. It has stolen her beauty and vivacity completely. But at times, little glimpses of her were still there.

She is exhausted, but outwardly at peace. I can't fathom what's going on in her head, but throughout her visit she was calming and comforting all those around her. Til the very end, she will be reassuring all who are so deeply saddened by her illness that it is okay, that everything will be okay. She is frustrated because now that the cancer has spread to her brain, she has lost a lot of herself. But her beautiful spirit remains intact. Her grace remains, and for that, as she has said so many times, we say, Glory Be.

The calmness that radiated from her soothed us all. We talked and sang, and she spoke of how she wanted her funeral to be. I held her niece's baby and buried my face against his when the tears came. We watched her beautiful four year old boy bounce around the living room, somewhat happily oblivious, but enough in the know that it was almost painful to see. As it became time for us to go, she held us all and repeated again and again how much she loved us. No tears fell from her sad eyes but they fell abundantly from ours. Yet there was a peace about everyone, a peace that only she could have passed on to us. As I prepared to hug her for a final time in this life, I felt so peaceful. Devastated, but at peace.

I wanted her to preach at my wedding someday. I wanted her to baptize my babies. This won't happen, but for all of eternity I will have the memories of an amazing woman to pass along to my children.