Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

The past few days have consisted of a lot of cleaning and packing as I try and get ready to move.  As I go through my stuff there's been a lot of reminiscing involved as well and I got to thinking about the last time I packed up to move off to college.  It was August 2006; some things have changed drastically and some things have stayed the exact same.  We have a new president but we're still fighting multiple wars in the Middle East.  The Housing market was just starting to plummet and we're still trying to climb out of that hole.  I deleted my Myspace account and switched to Facebook which was two years old and earned $52 million in revenue at the time.  It is believed to have earned $1.1 billion by the end of 2010.  So I thought it would be fun to look back at what was going on in the world and my life then and see how it compares to now.

One of my favorite ways to call up past memories is through popular music.  When I hear Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' I'm instantly 16 and enjoying a carefree summer.  So I decided to see which songs were on the Billboard Top 100 in 2006.  Some of them I still hear being played on the radio frequently such as 'Gold Digger', 'What Hurts the Most', and 'How to Save a Life'.  Others don't get played much anymore but are still fun...Grillz by Nelly (so glad he's making a come back!), Hips Don't Lie by Shakira, and one of my all time favorites Chain Hang Low by Jibbs.  One of my favorite viral videos from that year was these kids dancing to it.  

I started looking back at some of the big news stories from 2006.  Some of the stories seemed like they happened yesterday and others seem like ancient history.  Can you believe its been over 4 years since the Crocodile Hunter died?!  Or that we were all freaking out over Mad Cow Disease?  Some horrible things happened that year: Hezbollah activities in Lebanon, genocide in Darfour, and Pluto was stripped of its planetary title.  Ok, so the Pluto thing isn't that big of a deal but when you've been taught your entire life that My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas it's hard to accept that those pizzas never existed.  Or that they were not significant enough to be part of the equation anymore.  My Very Educated Mother didn't Serve Us Nine nothing.  That doesn't make sense and definitely isn't very educated.  Next thing you know we we'll be Excusing Dear Aunt Sally with no Please or manners at all.  Pluto, you'll always be a planet to me.  

As far as personal experiences go 2006 was a big year for me.  Between graduating high school and going to college I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Zimbabwe.  Those 3 weeks probably did more for my education than the previous 12 years of school.  It was my first time outside of the United States and the first time to be completely immersed in any culture other than my own.  I owe a big thanks to my parents, friends Cindy and Steve, and Bob for making that trip possible.  It completely changed the way I saw myself and the rest of the world.  

So what were you doing in 2006?  Were you reading 'Dear John', jamming out to 'Chain Hang Low', wishing you could speak Shona and sneak a pet Elephant on a plane?  While I'm 4 years older and slightly wiser I guess things haven't really changed all that much.  I still read Nicholas Sparks novels, listen to cheesy hip hop and if this whole social work thing doesn't work out my back up life plan is to return to Zimbabwe and learn to be an elephant trainer :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Warning:  This post is a little long.  But for those of you brave enough to stick around Feel free to listen to this as you read :)

So Saturday was the big day.  I graduated with my bachelor's degree in social work.  Kind of weird.  I guess I never thought I'd actually get here.  But I am finally a college graduate.  I feel...so...employable?  Which is even more weird because I'm going back to school instead of looking for a job.  Oh well, Saturday wasn't weird, it was great!

The greatness actually got started on Friday when my awesome brother got to come home for the weekend.  He's so sweet.  That night I helped my mom prepare all of the food for my graduation party for the next night.  By help I mean dance around the kitchen and mostly annoy her and get in the way while she worked hard.  She loves me so much.  I did have a big hand in making the fudge though.  And it turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself  ;)  

Then Saturday morning we put some finishing touches on the food and got ready to head to campus for the big event!  We took a bunch of pictures and then the fam went to find seats while I went to line up for graduation.  This was the least fun part of the day and I have a few suggestions for my school and/or any other institution.  I am under no illusion that anyone important will read or adhere to these suggestions but lets list them anyway shall we?  I love a good list.

1)  Graduation gowns should have pockets.  I am a girl and cannot stand in line, walk outside on a windy day, then wait for a couple of hours before getting a very important picture taken without a quick lip gloss re-application and running a brush through my hair.  Where am I to store these essential items when I have no pockets to hold them?  I did find a place for the lip gloss and my keys but no need to go into detail.  

2)  Along these same lines there should be mirrors placed around the room where the graduates are standing around waiting.  Again, I'm about to take a picture that my mom is bound to frame and put in a prominent area around the house.  I want to look good in it!  Fixing my hair in the reflection of the phone of the guy standing next to me is not sufficient.  

Well this list is only 2 items long and I'm already sick of my whining.  So on to good points of the ceremony.  When we finally walked into the arena it was overwhelming but in a good way.  We walked in on floor level, Pomp and Circumstance blaring, and a crowd full of proud family and friends cheering and hooting for their loved ones.  I looked around with a stupid gape mouthed grin on my face trying to find my family.  When I finally wiped the goofy look off my face and realized it might as well be impossible to find them I started looking around and paying attention to what was going on around me.  A quick glance to my left and what did I see waiting in one of the tunnels?  Men in kilts with bagpipes!!  Okay, so if you know me at all you've probably already come to the conclusion that I'm a little odd and a complete nerd.  Included in my nerdiness is a love of bagpipes.  So needless to say I was super pumped about spotting the kilt clad men.  I tapped the shoulder of the girl in front of me and said "Look! Bagpipes!" She gave me a nice smile that said "Oh, that's nice. Why is she telling me that?"  Okay, so we're not all bagpipe fans but if you can listen to Scotland the Brave and it not touch your soul even a little then I guess you really don't like bagpipes.  Or maybe you're Irish.  Alright, moving on.

The ceremony itself was done well.  As soon as I sat down I was finally able to spot my family waving from the stands.  Then I was able to focus on the task ahead.  Getting across the stage.  The college of Arts and Sciences was the first to be recognized so I didn't have long to be nervous.  Made it across the stage, stopped to shake two hands and never fell down.  Pretty impressive considering there were two sets of stairs involved.  Stairs are my second largest arch nemesis.  The first being gravity.   Bad thing about going first though is you have a long time to wait while everyone else goes to shake the hands of people they've never met.  At least the guy reading the names was entertaining.  He looked like a professor from Harry Potter and was very theatrical with all the foreign names.  I think he was given the job because he was the only one who could pronounce the Italian, Russian, Arabic, and Afrikaans names.  

When it was all over I went outside and began the hunt for my family.  This would have been much easier if I had kept my phone with me but seeing as how I didn't have any pockets to put it in...  We probably should have set up a rendezvous point.  I now see why the firemen always stressed that when they came to school and taught us about safety plans.  Anyway, we finally found each other and headed home to grab all of the food we...mostly mom prepared and set up for the party.  The party was a lot of fun and I had a great time celebrating with some wonderful family and friends.  Special thanks to everyone who helped make the day one to remember.  

Got to give a big shout out to my amazing family.  I would never have made it this far without their unwavering love and support.  My family rocks!  Alright, that's enough for one post.  If you actually read this far then I'm impressed.  Your prize for tolerating my babbling is this hilarious video clip that has absolutely nothing to do with my graduation... Turkey?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Week

♫ It’s been one week since you heard from me
Read about my dog and said she’s crazy!
Five days since you laughed at me saying
This girl needs some serious help please! ♫

If you're not familiar with the Barenaked Ladies that probably seems extremely random.  If you're not familiar with the crazy way in which my mind works the rest of this post will probably seem extremely random as well.  So its been a week has it?  My dog is fine by the way.  Lets see what else has been going on lately...

Ok so we'll start with my new favorite guilty pleasure t.v. show--The Sing Off on NBC.  I love it!  It is a happy, upbeat show.  Its fun and you can dance and sing along.  Also, there is an amazingly talented and uber cute group from Alabama called Committed.  Here are the reasons why I love them and want them to win:

1)  They are all super smiley and happy
2)  They seem genuinely humble and appreciative of their opportunity to sing on a national stage
3)  The big one looks a lot like Terrence Cody
and 4)  They are crazy talented 

check them out on youtube!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTDwsouD7Zg&feature=related  How can you not love them?!

On a sad note my brother had to move down to New Orleans this week.  He's working on a job down there and will be gone for a few months.  Sure we're both in our 20's and its normal to live far apart from your siblings at this point, but my family isn't normal by any stretch of the imagination.  Luckily we got to spend a good bit of quality time as a family before he left.  And for our family quality time usually involves game time.  Our latest board game obsession has been Clue.  And let me just say if you haven't played Clue with my family you are missing out.  My sister provided most of the laughs while playing this past week.  From her 'detective intuition' to her deductive reasoning skills--"Well I'm in the kitchen so it must have been Colonel Mustard"--she kept us in stitches the entire time.  I'm thinking about going to NOLA for New Years with my bff so if that works out I'll get to see my brother then!  And he'll be home for Christmas of course, which leads me to harmonicas.

Harmonicas?  Yes harmonicas.  The day my brother left my dad gathered the family around for a quick surprise...he got everyone their very own harmonica!  My brother was on his way out the door but we all got to try them out for a few minutes.  His birthday is the day after Christmas and my sister and I have decided that we are going to learn to play 'Happy Birthday' by the time he comes home.  She has already mastered 'When the Saints Go Marching In'.  All I've mastered is dancing around and doing a pretty sweet Stevie Wonder impression minus actually sounding like Stevie Wonder.  

So lets see, we've covered The Sing Off, brother moving, family game night, and harmonicas.  That pretty much sums up what's been going on other than getting ready for graduation.  2 days until graduation! Then only 21 days until I move.  After that this blog may actually even cover what I started it for...chronicling my adventure as a resident advisor.  Until then you'll just have to endure my ramblings :)  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ahhhh Freak Out!

So typically I am a calm and rational person.  Even in the midst of a crisis I tend to remain objective and am not easily frustrated.  Typically.  However, every now and then I have a lot going on and my brain is full I have a brief anxiety episode.  With this whole graduation, moving, starting a new chapter in my life thing going on and repeatedly questioning whether I made the right decision, it was only a matter of time before I had a little bit of a freak out.  This particular freak out is brought to you by my adorable Labrador Thor.

See?  Isn't he adorable?  Anyway, this precious pooch of mine came down to my room whining about 2:30 a.m. this morning.  Very out of character because he never whines.  He looked at me with sad eyes and I asked "what's wrong buddy?"  Of course he didn't answer seeing as how he's a dog and all but I figured he just needed to go outside.  I let him outside and he went straight for the water bowl which was a solid block of ice given that it was 24 degrees outside.  So I brought him back in and got him a bowl of water.  He drank the entire thing and then gave me the Oliver Twist "A little more sir" face.  Ok, here's a second bowl.  Drank that whole thing too and again the Oliver Twist eyes.  Then I remembered that he had been extra thirsty the other night too.  Ok, so its not that big of a deal but let me set this up for you.... Its 2:30 a.m. and my dog who never whines comes to my room and starts whining.  At the time I'm reading an amazing book (The Kite Runner) but I'm at a very doom and gloom part of the book.  I have a list a mile long of things I need to do tomorrow and then after 2 full bowls of water I'm still getting the Oliver Twist face.  So yes, this is when I have my break from rational thought.  I start googling why my dog is extra thirsty and the results are freaking me out.  Diabetes?! Kidney failure?! Thor baby, what is wrong with you?!  

Alright, I'm wide awake now and having quite a moment.  No one else is awake and since I'm the only one who doesn't have to get up early I should put on my big girl panties and deal with this.  And by dealing with this I mean writing a crazed note to my mom explaining how I think our dog may be dying and asking if I should take him to the vet in the morning.  Here's a picture of the note and what it says...

"Mom I'm worried about Thor.  He keeps drinking more and more water.  Woke me up to get some in the middle of the night.  Bunch of websites say it is a sign of kidney failure! Should I take him to the vet?  My whole 'always calm' thing has vanished b/c its 2:30 a.m. and I'm worried about my sweet baby.  I'll never make it as a mother.  But more importantly should I call the vet?  Please wake me up when you read this.  <3 your concerned daughter who should never have real children (Molly)  

P.S.  His tail is wagging so that's good but what if he's just putting on a brave front because he knows I'm worried?!"

These are not the words of a mentally sound person and in the logical and sane light of day I realize that I may have overreacted just a tad.  Ok, a lot.  But the good thing is I've had my moment of crazy and can now move on  and tackle everything else that is pressing and demanding my time.  Here's to making it to the middle of the week and good mental health!

Oh and by the way, if you've never read "The Kite Runner" pick it up.  I'm about halfway through and its amazing so far.  Hopefully the ending will prove just as good.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

So long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye.

Today I slept until 10:00 a.m.  I cannot remember the last time I did that without being sick.  It was glorious!  So why the special treat?  Last Thursday was my last day of school and interning!  Last days are normally slow, low key and a time for goodbyes.  And that's exactly how mine went...for a little while.

Started off with my super nice supervisor having a farewell breakfast for me which was totally unexpected.  She mentioned the day before that she wanted to bring in breakfast but I thought she meant for the two of us.  Wrong.  I get to work and a few minutes later I hear the intercom buzz "Everyone is cordially invited to the conference room for a special breakfast to say farewell to Molly".  Wasn't expecting that.  I may be outgoing but I hate being the center of attention.  It was highly embarrassing but still extremely nice and I appreciate her doing it.  Anyway, I finished up everything I was working on, cleaned out my desk and was given another nice suprise, "Go ahead and go home early and enjoy the rest of the day." Awesome, thanks!   So I said goodbye and be-bopped on down to my car to leave.  Not so fast.  I forgot to mention that my battery died earlier that morning.  My mom had planned on coming to jump me off when she left work and since she's amazing she just went ahead and came over when I got to leave early.  No big deal, hook up the cables and let it juice up.  Wrong again.  The battery is completely dead.  Time to call my favorite people, AAA.  Going to be about 45 minutes.  Alright, we'll go grab lunch and come back.  Get back from lunch right as the AAA man got there.

Friendly AAA Man:  Yes ma'am you're definitely going to need a new battery.
Mom:  Ok, well I guess I'll need y'all to tow it for me.
Friendly AAA Man:  Well that's not necessary.  I've got a machine in my car that will get it juiced enough to get you to a car place.  Don't shut it off, you'll have about 20 minutes before it dies again so don't go too far.

No big deal, I'll go to the Wal-Mart up the street, pull into their auto care place and tell them what I need.  Except the Wal-Mart up the street didn't have an auto care place. Ok, no big deal, I've still got a a few minutes left and I can make it to the Autozone.  Make it to the Autozone and shut off the car.  I know I'm not supposed to shut it off but I've already called and they have the one I need and can install it.  It will be fine.  Oh except now that I'm there in person the girl isn't so sure they have the battery I need.  Well you better find it lady because I shut off the car and its not going to turn back on.  She finally locates the battery and says that Daniel will install it.  That's great, thanks Daniel.  Daniel was a friendly Puerto Rican man who likes to chat while he works.  Normally I have no qualms about shooting the breeze with strangers but at this point I'm just ready to get home and am not feeling chatty.  However, Daniel was persistent and won me over with his broken English and adorable dimples.  He was friendly and asked a lot of personal questions.  I was friendly and answered vaguely.  It was a pleasant exchange that ended with him offering to take me back to Puerto Rico with him.  No gracias Daniel, it'll just be the battery today.  So anyway, 3 hours after I get to leave work early I finally head home.

That night I also had my last seminar.  It was bittersweet.  I can't wait to graduate and be done with undergrad but I've been with these people for the past 2 years.  We survived so much together and became a family.  When I first transfered to this school I was certain my time there would be miserable.  I missed my friends and didn't want to be there.  Boy was I wrong.  The people I've met since starting there are amazing and I can't imagine not knowing them.  Thanks for everything social work family, I love you and am going to miss you terribly.

So now I have 4 weeks to organize my life and get ready to move.  Hope that is enough time!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Blackest of Fridays

My beloved Crimson Tide lost today :(  That's more black than any department store bank balance. But alas, the world moves on.  Okay, lets back up a wee bit and cover Thanksgiving.

Thursday my immediate family and one of my brother's friends went to a cousin's house for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  All of the food was muy delicious and the group was entertaining as usual.  My grandmother is afraid I've gone off to college and become "one of those liberals" but its okay because she said she'd still love me if I was "a good liberal".  Probably the first time she's ever admitted there was such a thing :)  Anyway we watched a little football and then some episodes of an Office marathon.  All in all a successful afternoon.  Muchas gracias to my wonderful cousin for hosting!

So this week I've been watching some people's dogs and cat while they have been out of town.  They don't live very far from my cousin's house so I asked my parents to swing by on the way home so I could feed them.  We got to the house and only one dog was in the backyard.  Oh no! Where is fido #2? Wait, didn't cousin B---- say he saw a dog on the side of the road this morning?  Doesn't he live right down the road?  NOOO!  Oh man I really don't want to have to call people on Thanksgiving and tell them their dog has been run over.  So naturally we drove up and down the road inspecting anything that resembled a dead animal.  No dogs.  Shew!  Please let that be a good sign.  Called the owners to let them know what was going on.  No problem, she'll roam and come back soon.  Hooray!  So I went home and spent the next bit of my day off watching some Dharma & Greg reruns (my latest addiction).  Drove back over later and what do you know Lassie had returned.  Great news!  Only problem...I should have filled the hole where she dug out earlier when it wasn't dark...or raining.  Nevertheless my hood and flash light app did the trick.  Operation Fence in Fido's Freedom was a success!  And she was still there this afternoon :)

Moving on, mom has been in desperate need of a new computer and what better time to buy a computer than Black Friday?  I can't think of any.  We decided we'd be "sensible" about it though.  We won't go until 3:00 a.m.  We're only so crazy.  Alright, well then I should probably get in bed because its 9:00 p.m. already.  Would have worked too, except for the whole Dharma & Greg addiction.  Seriously people I watched all 6 seasons of lost in less than 2 months.  I have a problem.  Ok, so its 12:30 and I'm setting my alarm for 2:15, all is well.  Brief nap, scared to death by my alarm and off to Wally World it is.  Turns out the crowd was fairly civil and everyone got along nicely, although we did hear the midnight sale crowd was a bit more unruly. We bought some drinks and a box of doughnut holes and even shared them with the Auburn fans in front of us in line.  Just like Pilgrims and Indians. Obviously we were the Indians this year.  *Disclaimer: I love Native Americans and mean no disrespect. Ask my friends, I wish I were Pocahontas*  Anyway, Black Friday was a success, mom got a new computer and I got a new printer for when I move in 5 1/2 weeks.  Whoa! 5 1/2 weeks!  Ah man, looks like time sneaked up on me again!  And btw, spell check just informed me that "snuck" is not a word.  Who knew?  haha.  Happy Saturday to all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stumbling Upon Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is when? In two days? When did this happen?

Seems like all I've been doing for the past two months is counting down time to different events and Thanksgiving wasn't even on my radar.  I'm completely blown away that today is November 23rd.  However, my family would say that's not surprising.  According to them I have no concept of time passing.  Typical morning conversation:

Me: Hey Kels what time is it?
Kelsey:  7:25
Me:  WHAT?! How did that happen?
Kelsey:  Molly, you do this every morning. You have worse time management skills than Les Miles.

We're obviously a football family :)  Anyway the past few weeks have been the epitome of "hurry up and wait". Filled with deadlines, due dates, and excessive amounts of wasted time trying to ignore said deadlines and due dates.  My new favorite procrastination friend is stumbleupon.com My fellow intern got me hooked and I literally stumbled for over an hour yesterday.  Yes, I do realize how pathetic that sounds.  Move over sporcle.com, I've got a new way to not do anything productive!

So now that I'm aware of how close Thanksgiving is its time to list the things I'm most thankful for this year.  On top of every list would of course be God and his love, my amazing family, the blessings I receive everyday and the best friends anyone could ask for.  So we'll skip those and keep it light...in no particular order:

Tweets from pro soccer players-they are a funny bunch
Iguana Grille-mi restaurante favorito!
Spare keys-I believe I locked my keys in my car about 8 times this year. Anyone else have this problem?
Despicable Me-best movie of 2010
Adult league kickball
Friends that keep lortabs around for when you fall down ginormous hills 
and the best of all, being ever so close to graduating from college!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why Blog? Why Now?

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while and what better time to start than the beginning of a new adventure? Four and a half years ago I was 18 and moving out of my parents house for the first time.  I enrolled at a university about an hour and half away from home and moved into a dorm.  I wasn't thrilled about dorm life but freshman were required to live on campus.  So I filled out my housing application and crossed my fingers.  At the time the school had about 10 dorms that freshman girls could be assigned to.  There was only one where I REALLY didn't want to live. However, the odds were stacked against me (that particular dorm housed 900 freshman girls) and I was assigned to the dreaded traditional style dorm with teeny rooms, no privacy, strict rules about visitors, and community bathrooms.  Thus began my freshman year.

It wasn't that horrible but definitely not my ideal living arrangement so Sophomore year my roommate and I, along with two other friends got an apartment off campus.  Now that was more like it! I signed my first lease and foolishly thought of myself as such an adult.  Oh the curve balls life likes to hurl our way.  Things were changing for my family and I had to make some grown up decisions.  Take out supplemental loans and remain at the school I loved or swallow my pride, transfer to a college back in my hometown, and do what I never imagined...move back in with my parents.  I decided that since the degree I was seeking didn't promise a lucrative salary that incurring more debt was not in my best interest.  Move back home it was.  There was a brief adjustment period where I thought I was going to lose my ever loving mind but it passed and moving back in made me grow up more than moving out ever did.  Funny how that happens.

Anyway, fast forward 2 1/2 years and I'm 28 days away from earning my Bachelor's degree in Social Work and ready to move out again.  No big deal, that's the natural course of life right? Get a degree, get a job, move out, move on.  Not so much.  I have an opportunity to go to graduate school at the university where I first began college.  Hip hip hooray! Only problem...how am I going to be a full time student and have a full time job, pay the bills, and make it on my own?  Well I'll tell you how, I'm going to be a Resident Advisor (RA).  And so the process started over. Filled out a housing application, only this time as an RA, and crossed my fingers.  I was thrilled to learn I got the job but any guesses as to which dorm I was assigned?  That's right!  The same one I moved into 4 1/2 years ago.  Well if that's not full circle I don't know what is.  Anyway, being a 22 year old graduate student living among 18 year old freshman ought to be an interesting experience.  So I'm going to chronicle this new adventure in my life here.  Fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen, its going to be a bumpy ride.