Ka-ching, sort of

So I've mentioned before that I got a job in DreamSchool's admissions office. I started work this week and I love it! I'm memorizing a BUNCH of facts and information about various locations so I can (eventually, once I'm certified) give tours, and I'm answering phones and sorting through applications.

The last bit, the applications bit, is the BEST part of the job so far. The things people name their children...oh lord, if only I could tell y'all! (I signed a contract and I'm not allowed to by law. And just in case they're ever able to connect this blog to me I don't want to be liable.) But anyway. I'm working a few hours a day, two days a week. It's not much, but with the way my workload has increased because of classes it's certainly keeping me busy!

The double-edged sword is that any money I make from this job will be subtracted from any financial aid DreamSchool will consider giving me for next year. I'm really not making much here (it's about a 50% drop in hourly rate from nannying) but still--this money is really for my weekly expenses, and it sucks that they'll take it out of whatever they'll offer me for next year.

In regards to money, though, I'm working on my R.A. application. If I become one for next year, that's another HUGE responsibility but it's free room and board. I'm also going to apply for the honor's track for next year. That's half-tuition. That works out to be about the same amount of money either way (I couldn't do both, logistically), so if I did get into both I'd be an R.A. So perhaps there is hope for some financial help cause lord knows we need it!

Yeah. So I don't really have much else to say, except that I discovered that one of the cafes on campus makes DELICIOUS red pepper hummus paninis (with carrots, onions, cucumber, roasted red pepper, tomato, and olive oil on grilled sourdough). So I? Am ridiculously happy.

That's all.


Funny funny funny

Ben & Jerry's created "Yes Pecan!" ice cream flavor for Obama.

For George W. they they asked for suggestions from the

Here are some of their favorite responses:
- Grape Depression
- The Housing Crunch
- Abu Grape
- Cluster Fudge
- Nut'n Accomplished
- Iraqi Road
- Chock 'n Awe
- WireTapioca
- Impeach Cobbler
- Guantanmallow
- imPeachmint
- Heck of a Job, Brownie!
- Neocon Politan
- Rocky Road to Fascism
- The Reese's-cession
- Cookie D'oh!
- Nougalar Proliferation
- Death by Chocolate... and Torture
- Freedom Vanilla Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip On My Shoulder
- Credit Crunch
- Mission Pecanplished
- Country Pumpkin
- Chunky Monkey in Chief
- George Bush Doesn't Care About Dark Chocolate
- WMDelicious
- Chocolate Chimp
- Bloody Sundae
- Caramel Preemptive Stripe
- I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of
thousands...with nuts


A wooden spoon?!?

So apparently we're supposed to get some snow within the next few days. A fairly significant amount, if the weathermen are to be believed (which I hope they are!). I was talking with the roomies last night about the possibility of school being canceled (HA) when they both suggested we help Mother Nature along a bit.

"Um, excuse me?" said I.
"You know, do stuff like the rain dance, except for SNOW," said they.

Um, okay.

Turns out you need to do these several things if you want school to be canceled because of snow the next day:

1. Finish any and all homework you have
2. Do the "snow dance" (though only one of my roommates claimed this worked, and when prodded she couldn't remember how it went)
3. Wear your pajamas inside out AND backward
4. Put a wooden spoon underneath your pillow*

*(Now, at this point, I repeated, "A WOODEN SPOON under your PILLOW?!?" for which they teased me mercilessly because apparently I say "pillow" like a southerner. They said it sounded like I was saying "pill-uh." Which I was not. Crazy Yankees...)

ANYWAY. I found it funny that they had both heard of these things and yet they were both from opposite sides of the northeast (which is not that far apart, but still). They assured me that there MUST be something southerners do to bring on SOMETHING.

"Bring on what?" asked I.
"We don't know...tornadoes?" asked they.
"UM NO," said I, and almost referred them to this post (#5) but I didn't want to give out my URL. See yesterday's post.

I've been thinking all day and I can't seem to come up with anything southerners do to bring on anything.

And I'm also a bit wondering if my roommates were pulling my leg. Wooden spoon, really?!?


Exploding blogospheres

Most of my friend here at good ol' DreamSchool know I have a blog. I've kept the URL and subject matter private, but they know I have one nonetheless. I don't really know why I don't want them to know about the blog...but I guess it's because I'd like to have this as an outlet in which to vent about roommates, situations, etc. (as I sort of have in the past). Also because I just don't want them to have access to my innermost thoughts. Semi-relatedly, that's why I've locked my Twitter updates, because I'm almost always more candid in 140 characters or less.

I know it's entirely possible that either of my roommates may have stumbled across my blog while using my computer, which they do from time to time. They know I don't want them to read it, and I hope they respect that. But at the same time, I've been censoring myself even more just in case they have.

After my family (sister and parents) started reading my blog, I felt a bit violated even though I had given them permission to read (sort of out of feelings of obligation, even though they in no way pressured me to give them the address...). I absolutely started censoring myself then.

It's a funny thing about blogging, how I'm perfectly comfortable with all y'all strangers reading my innermost thoughts, but I get uncomfortable thinking that my parents or roommates might be reading, too. I've thought about password-protecting my updates again but I really hated having that done.

On a related bloggy note, a huge chunk of my friends now have blogs. Whereas previously they were pretty much out of the blogosphere altogether, at least four of them have started blogs within the past month or so. Which, I feel, makes me even more vulnerable. I always have to remember to check "anonymous" when posting comments on their blogs so as not to post under my "The Nanny" address. And I feel like them having blogs will make it easier for them to potentially stumble across my blog.

I suppose this is a rather long-winded explanation for why my posts have been rather empty lately. I went through a rather dark period for a while but even then I wouldn't write about it because a) I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer and b) I didn't want my parents on the phone giving me the third degree (sorry, mums and pops. Love you).

Suffice it to say, though, that I'm doing well. I'm enjoying my classes. I start my new job this week, working in DreamSchool's admissions office. My sister will be coming up to visit in a few weeks, and hopefully D. will be able to after that, also. D. and I are still crossing fingers, toes, etc. that she'll get into her own dream school up here too. She'll find out about everything mid-March. So all is, well, rather uneventful right now.

In the meantime, I'm doing a LOT of homework, taking daily 2-3 mile walks with friends (and my butt is looking fabulous! Yeah!), and playing inordinate amounts of MarioKart. In other words, life is good.


I can't find my eye*

*Title inspired by this. (Fast-forward to 1:19 for the exact bit, but the whole thing is funny.)


A chance for brownie points

So I've been summoned for jury duty in DreamSchool City. Unfortunately, here they do not accept being a full-time student as an exemption. I've talked to several people about it. Basically, I have to show up on the day they've summoned me and ask the judge for an exemption. I met up with a fellow blogger today and we were talking about excuses I could say to the judge to get me out of duty--besides, you know, the normal "I'm a student, I have 2 classes this day and I can't really afford to miss them, especially if I get picked to serve," etc., etc., etc.

SO. If y'all have any clever excuses, I'd love to hear them. (One excuse that we had talked about was the woman who claimed that she was psychic, so she already knew how the trial would end and therefore couldn't be expected to serve on the jury. Something like that is what I want. Because y'all know how I love to make a statement.)

Best suggestion wins brownie points! (And if I get no suggestions, well, I'll just have to pull the whole boring student one. But that's pretty slow motion lame.)



taken around dusk this evening


From the airport bathroom

This confused me slightly...

What I have learned:

There is no such day as a calm, normal travel day. At least for me. But I think that's probably true with everybody...isn't it? Am I the only one who has such insane travel days?

SO YESTERDAY I drove/flew/flew/drove/rode/rode back to DreamSchool. Ready for the rundown? Cause here it is:

~ 45 minute drive to airport #1
~ Wait. Why can't they find my reservation? What's going on? HELP.
~ We're at the wrong airline. That's why they can't find my reservation. Oops, and FRICK.
~ 2.5 hour flight to airport #2. It's a really cool landing because looking out my window, all I see is black and white--all the buildings, trees, roads, etc. are dark and there's a great blanket of snow covering everywhere. It's beautiful.
~ Talk with the guy at the service counter. Why can't they find my reservations *again*? I'm at the right airport! Good grief!
~ Oh. I'm not flying into DreamSchool City. I'm flying into the adjoining state and taking a van to DreamSchool City (DSC). DUH. I *knew* that. I just went temporarily crazy.
~ (temporarily?)
~ 1.5 hour flight to airport #3. Male flight attendant was HILARIOUS, really. He had the whole airplane laughing almost the entire time. I only wish I could remember the stuff he said--it was the best part of my day!
~ Land slightly late. Supposed to be getting in a van that'll drive me to airport #4 (in DSC) in 15 minutes. Still haven't gotten bags. Slightly stressed because the next van doesn't leave for quite a while and it's still a 1.5 hr drive after that, plus subway ride.
~ Van will leave in 10 mins. Where are my bags?
~ Van will leave in 5 mins. WHERE ARE MY BAGS?
~ Van leaves in 2 mins. WHERE THE FRICK. ARE. MY. BAGS? (Nanny is NOT HAPPY)
~ 1.5 hr drive to airport #4 in DSC.
~ 15 min bus ride to subway station
~ 30 min subway ride
~ Collapse.

I am here, and in one piece, and completely unpacked. I've got my textbooks ($265 worth, and they were mostly used, lord have mercy), gone grocery shopping...and now I'm about to head out to CVS. I'm going to try to take some pictures of the snow--it's so pretty!


A few flightly thoughts

So I don't like flying.

At all.

I *extremely* dislike flying. Period. I especially don't like flying alone. I've had to do that a lot lately, what with DreamSchool being almost 2,000 miles away from my home in good ol' Texas. But the plane crash today? DOES NOT HELP WITH THE FLIGHT ANXIETY ESPECIALLY SINCE I WILL BE FLYING UP NORTH AGAIN VERY VERY SOON.


As I watched footage of the plane in the water, all the people being rescued, I first thanked god that everyone survived. That, in itself, was truly miraculous.

I also spent quite a bit of time fighting off an anxiety attack as I obsessively replayed, in my mind, exactly what those people on board must have been thinking. What they must have been going through. How scared they must have been, not knowing that if in five minutes or ten minutes they would be dead. Gone. No longer here. Then where would they be?

That thought has always haunted me--just how fleeting life is. We can be here, fully aware, one second, and literally gone (poof) the next. A plane crash. A heart attack. Anything.

A student who goes to DreamSchool died last week in a car accident. Here one minute, gone the next. I didn't know him, and neither did any of my friends at school, but still we were all simultaneously reminded of the reality that we are not transcendent. We are not immortal. It could be any of us.

My mom is flying for business tomorrow, and I don't think I'll breathe until I know she's landed safely. I'm flying a couple of days after that. I don't think I'll breathe until I've landed safely.

Perhaps I need to look into getting some Valium for the ride.


I'm thinking about taking up crochet

Is it sad that I didn't participate in National Delurking Day yesterday because I was afraid I'd only get 3 comments?


A cheesy tale

FYI: I tweeted snippets of this several days ago. For all those who follow my tweets, forgive the repetition.

SO. Several days ago, my father sent me to the grocery store to buy two things: spaghetti, and parmesan cheese. While this is a seemingly innocent little shopping list, the latter item sent me into quite the panicked tizzy. Why, you ask? Because I don't *eat* cheese. I don't know how to *buy* cheese.

*SIGH* I lead such a troubled life.

But, good daughter that I am, I said I would. And asked for a specific brand, description, etc., to make my first ever cheese-hunting experience a tad bit easier. His reply: "Just get a GOOD parmesan cheese. You know, in a little block or something."

Uhhh yeah. Thanks.

Unfortunately, he couldn't give me any more details since he had to start teaching again. So off I went, panic flooding my body, to the grocery store. I wasn't nearly ambitious enough to travel to somewhere like Central Market, where I would be surely overwhelmed by their ENORMOUS cheese section (and through which I always plug my nose because, well, it stinks), so I settled for the safer Albertson's. I only hoped there wouldn't be a large selection.

When I got to the store, I immediately bolted to the pasta aisle and had a box o' spaghetti in hand in approximately 16 seconds flat. I do not mess around with my pasta.

I then proceeded to spend the next five minutes wandering around the store trying to find the cheese section in the first place. By the butter and yogurt? Nope. By the milk and cottage cheese? Nope. By the pre-packaged lunch meats? NOPE. THESE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO ARRANGE A STORE.

But I digress.

I finally found the cheese section -- a large, stick-out black freezer case thingy (with other things like hummus, duh) and circled it a few times, eyeing the surprisingly large selection suspiciously.

Then I went in for the kill.

Or, at least, I tried to. I found ground feta, blocks of cheddar, pre-sliced American...but no parmesan. I found more cheese than I knew existed. I began to get dizzy and spots appeared in front of my eyes so I grabbed the nearest employee.


The employee must have noticed the wild look in my eyes because she immediately put down the stack of salami she was putting up and came to my aide. Approximately two seconds later, she handed me a small, perfectly triangular block of parmesan cheese.

I gaped at her. She had merely thrust her hand down into the cheese bin and come up with the perfect wedge of cheese.

"How did you do that?" I whispered, bowing to her prowess and ability to stand plunging her arm into, um, CHEESE.

She shrugged. "I know my cheese," she responded. And went back to stacking her salami.

Meanwhile, I staggered, drained to my very core, up to the checkout line. Scan, pay, leave.

It was over. My father pronounced the cheese perfect, and we had lovely spaghetti for dinner that night.

Except mine had NO CHEESE WHATSOEVER on it.


Questions part 2

From Saint Richard...

1) How do you compare DreamSchool City to Texas (what's better, what's worse)? I absolutely love it up north. LOVE it. It's very, very different than Texas, though. One obvious difference is the weather--I'm really enjoying the cold, but I've been grateful for all the warm days I've had while home for break. Really, though, the best part about the cold is getting to wear scarfs and gloves! I *love* them. Another huge difference is the people. While I am loving all the liberals up there, people just aren't as warm and friendly in general. I do miss some of the old-fashioned chivalry of the south--having doors opened for me, seats given up, etc. And it's also bizarre because there's so much MORE human interaction up there because we either walk or take the subway everywhere. I'm always around strangers whereas in Texas, I was always boxed up in my car. That was definitely something I had to get used to. I don't mind it at all!

2) Do you see yourself coming back to Texas when you've completed your education? This one is tough. Probably not right away, but that depends on when and where I can get a job, as well as a few other factors. I'd like to live elsewhere, too, around the country. And I'd love to live abroad for six months or a year. Eventually when I settle down and start a family, I want to be close to my parents. I only get to see my grandparents and extended family about once a year, which I don't like, so I'd definitely want my kids to be closer to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. But like I said, it all depends.

From Furrow...

Of what religious/spiritual persuasion are you, if you have one at all? I suppose I'm technically a Christian. I was raised (literally) in the Methodist church as my parents were church musicians and my sister and I were AT church most days of the week while they worked and practiced. Church has always been a "comfort" thing for me--I can walk into any church and feel happy, just because it reminds me of a happy childhood. I went through an atheist phase in high school, but I do believe in a god or higher power (just not necessarily the Christian idea of God) because the thought of there not being anything else *out* there really freaks me out. Ha. That may not be the best reason to believe in god, but hey, it works for me :-)

Who are your favorite authors? Oh, this is so hard! I LOVE books and reading. I really like Audrey Niffenegger, E. Annie Proulx, Dodie Smith, Silas House, Kent Haruf...the list goes on. I have so many books that I just love to reread over and over.

And on a related note, what are you reading for fun right now? I'm reading through the Anne of Green Gables series and loving it!

One more: have you picked a major yet? What is it? Yes, I have picked a major. I actually had to declare my major when I applied to DreamSchool. I'm not going to say specifically what it is, but it is in the communications field--and has to do with writing :-) While that's not necessarily what I want to do full-time after I graduate, I do want to do it at least part-time. Is that cryptic enough? After I graduate I'm really looking at getting my teaching license to teach elementary school, or becoming a labor/delivery doula. I know, I know, I should really make up my mind, eh?

Okay, that's it! Thanks for all the questions, everyone!


Questions part 1

Okay, so I got more than 5 comments, so Nanny is happy. (And you know what they say--if Nanny ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Or is that supposed to be Momma?) I know I said I'd answer the questions on Friday, but I got more than I expected so I'll do part 1 today and part 2 on Friday!

From Monica H:

When do you start school again? January 20. Which is the day of the inauguration. I'm strongly considering skipping class so I can watch it live...should I? Shouldn't I? I'm conflicted!

What did you get for Christmas? Gift cards, and lots of them, which is exactly what I asked for! They're mostly for food (dining hall food gets SO old) and clothes. Also, long underwear and socks, both of which I asked for, and the Anne of Green Gables series! (Among other things.)

What cool gifts did you give? The most creative I gave was a gift certificate for a Fashion Bible for my mom. I gave her one for Mother's Day, too. Basically I go through her entire wardrobe (did summer, now this is for winter) and put together outfits for her. Then I take pictures and notes and put it all together in a booklet so she doesn't have to worry about anything! Badda-BING, I *am* a good daughter!

What sign are you? ha! I'm a pisces--a water symbol! It very much describes me. One of my roommates is very into astrology and such and she's told me all about pisces' and it sounds eerily accurate. I've decided I love astrology.

What's your favorite/least favorite food? Color? sound? Favorite food? That's a tough one! Probably either my world-famous guacamole (that I copied from my father), or a Hallie pizza--thin crust with JUST sauce, no cheese, and salad on top! I also love raw red bell peppers for snacking. Least favorite would probably be cheese or mushrooms. My favorite color is yellow, and my favorite sound? The ocean.

Do you cook/bake? What do you make? Very limited cooking. I heat up things exceptionally well. I make a mean PB&J, and I make very good guacamole. I'm also very good at making cookies and brownies, though not from scratch ;-)

(I answered Minivan Mom's (and the rest of the Posse's) question via e-mail. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be!)

Annnnnd from Life of a Dancer:

My favorite memories that involve my sister....hmmmm...that's a tough one. I can't really think of any...
I like when we take pictures together in the backseat. And when we text each other about our parents in front of our parents :-) And when we talk to each other through Max.

All right, that's the end of part 1! You can still submit questions below if you want to. I'll do Saint Richard's and Furrow's on Friday!


Dry spell

It's odd, but when I'm home now I rarely have anything to post about. I'm having a ridiculously good break and loving all the time spent with D. and pupster Max and, oh, my family too. So I'm going to be a total cop-out and make this one of those annoying posts where I ask if y'all have any questions for me which I will then answer in my next post.

See? I'm knocking out two posts just like that! Shazam!

SO. If y'all have any questions for me/about me/just about life in general (I make up really good answers, I promise), let 'em loose. I'll post answers on Friday.

(P.S. If I get less than 5 comments on this I may cry. Cause, you know, Auntie Flo is just around the corner. So help a girlfriend out with some blog material here!)


A late night post

As much as I've been trying to avoid thinking about it, money woes have caught up with me. BIG TIME. See, this whole college thing? Is rather expensive. I know, you're shocked.

The crushing realization is that if I continue to go to DreamSchool (which I really, really want to do), I'll have to end up borrowing around $80,000. Which is really, really daunting. Especially if you break that down to it being about $600 a month for thirty years. THIRTY. YEARS.

I have a few options to consider to help lower the costs. One is to be an R.A., which would save me approximately $10,000 a year. Which would help A LOT. One problem, though, with being an R.A., is that at DreamSchool you have to live in your own room. Alone. And unfortch, I *hate* sleeping in a room alone. It just makes me feel lonely and depressed, and I get a LOT of anxiety. But for $10,000? I may just have to be lonely/depressed for a while.

The other option is to apply for the Honors track. My grades are good enough for it, but I could only get in for next year if one of the freshmen drops out. Which is highly unlikely. The other thing is that it's a t-o-n TON of work. I have a few friends who are in the program and they very rarely see the light of day. The Honors track is HALF tuition, though.

So it's a sticky situation--pay the normal amount for an amazing, fun college experience (which is what it's been so far), or pay half as much and be fairly miserable? I really don't know. I think I may apply for the Honors track, just to see if I'd get in. Then I could make a decision. And I may apply to be an R.A. too, even though I don't know if I'd get the position.

BLAH. MONEY. It doesn't help that I lost a fairly significant chunk of change in the stock market, either. But enough with this money talk! I'm going to bed.


Uno? Una? mas

Sorry to do this again, but there's a pretty darn ridiculously cute new post on my sister's photoblog.

Huh. This is my first post of 2009. I feel like I should be more...um...pensive? Projective? Philosophic? Alas, now is not the time. Another day, perhaps. In the meantime, I hope you all had a great night last night and a wonderful start for the new year. I myself rang in the new year by losing spectacularly to my father at cards. Twice. I hope that's not a premonition of things to come!

The thing that really weirded me out, though? While watching Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve With Ryan Seacrest or whatever the heck it's called and hearing Kellie Pickler say, "We'll be back here for 2010!"

That blew my tiny little mind. 2010 sounds so far away. And yet? A year from now, we'll be *in* it.