Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't tag me, bro! [Edited to add questions]

Seriously, though, go for it if you want... I just like making bad jokes.

Anyhow. Shane, who blogs at the wonderfully hilarious and openly honest blog Argyle State of Mind tagged me, so I guess it's my turn to share and share alike.

11 Facts About Me
(1) When I was in kindergarden, I was sent to the principal's office because I was reading on such a higher level than all of the other students in my class. I had read a poem to my teacher about April Fool's Day, so she had me read it to the principal. Apparently, the principal pointed out words to me because she thought my parents had me memorize the poem.

(2) My paternal grandmother, who I never met, gave birth to twin boys on my dad's second birthday. Neither twin made it. I often wonder what life would be like with twin uncles, and how it might have changed some of the things that happened later in my dad's life and even my own.

(3) I'm going to be twenty-two next Thursday, and I've never gotten my ears pierced, gotten a tattoo, broken a bone, or had a cavity.  I have had stitches, though, and I've come close to breaking my thumb and wrist (two separate incidents).

(4) I've been Tweeted to by a few celebrities, including: Alimi Ballard (NUMB3RS; also retweeted me), Cheryl Heuton (NUMB3RS co-creator), Styx, PostSecret (was actually a retweet), Helen Popkin (MSNBC), Bill Prady (creator of Big Bang Theory), Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory), and Michael
Ausiello (writer for EW).

(5) Collecting autographs is one of my strange hobbies. I have them from Bowling for Soup, Green River Ordinance, Gaye Adegbalola, Tommy Shaw from Styx (initials only, though, my dad caught his water bottle when it was thrown off stage), Eric Carle, Christopher Paul Curtis, Frank Warren, Tommie Smith, Mr. McFeeley, Michele Michaels, David Roche, Jessica Mendoza, and Alimi Ballard.

(6) Similar to #4, I've also received an email from Dane Cook.

(7) I've been told more times than I can count that my handwriting looks more like a font than actual handwriting.

(8) In 7th grade, I was in the county spelling bee and the word I missed was "posse."

(9) I didn't get any academic scholarships to fund my undergraduate education, but in the time I've been at my university, I've won two $500 scholarships just by attending an event (once sophomore year, once this year).

(10) Even though I have been 'of age' for almost a year, I hardly drink at all. I spent my 21st birthday in New York City, and even then, I didn't drink. I've never really seen the appeal. I'll try drinks, but I'm not a huge fan of most...except for the occasional Cherry Lime Flips at Red Robin (which is ironic because I don't like most cherry-flavored things).

(11) Despite there being some things I would change about my job as an RA, I love the vast majority of it. As I type this, one of my residents is playing Beatles songs on his cello. How awesome is that?

11 Questions from Shane that are actually from Tina
(1) If you could go back and change one thing that happened in your life, what would it be?
I would probably spend more time with my great-aunt and great-grandma when they were still alive.  They both lived incredibly long lives, which I'm eternally grateful for, but I wish I could have told them how much they mean(t) to me and what an impact they had on my life (and still do).

(2) What is your astrological sign, and how does it reflect your personality?
I'm a Pisces. According to the website I looked at for what a Pisces is *supposed* to be like, the personality is modest and unassuming; generous, honest, unselfish and trusting; and scholarly, but do not like showing off knowledge. From what people have told me about me, I'd say this fits pretty well.

(3) Which would you give up for the rest of your life: sex or food?
Well, considering that you can only last so long without food, I think the answer here is pretty obvious.

(4) If you had to choose between killing the person you love to save the world or killing the rest of the world to save the person you love, which would you do?
I'd have to say saving the rest of the world.  Despite this, I could never see myself causing harm to anyone.

(5) What is the most valuable lesson you have ever learned, and who taught it to you?
"Whatever happened, happened."  I have the TV show Lost to thank for this one.  I'm beginning to realize that things beyond my control are going to happen in my life, some good, some bad, and it's all for the best.  I can't let the bad define my future, but I can adapt to see how it could possibly be a good.

(6) If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
If I had to change my name, I'd probably go with Eleanor.  It's one of the names my parents were considering naming me, after one of my grandmothers, and they would have called me Ellen or Ellie.  I love the name.  (I do like my real name though.)

(7) If you could get a degree in anything without having to worry about finding a job in that field, what would you get a degree in?
Hmm. I've considered studying a lot of things, from education to law to medicine to archaeology.  I'm actually pretty content with what I'm studying now, but if I could change it, I would have added some classes in law and leadership studies.

(8) What do/did you study in college and what will/did do you do with your degree?
I'm currently in the last few months of attaining my Bachelor's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology (which, in a nutshell, is the psychology of the workplace).  I originally considered going into Management or Human Resources.

However, I am now looking to attain my Master's in Student Affairs Administration.  My goal with that degree is to work as a Residence Hall Director for a few years and then move into admissions or career counseling on the higher education level.  (But that could always change.  Life has a funny way of doing that when you least expect it.)

(9) What song/movie/food/book is your guilty pleasure?
- Song:  I don't have too many guilty pleasure songs, but one of my absolute favorites is the song "Send Me on My Way," by Rusted Root.  It reminds me of the movie Matilda, which I also adore.  It's just one of those 'happy' songs.
- Movie:  I also don't have any guilty movie pleasures per se, but I love Up, Shrek, and Juno.
- Food:  Just about anything with peanut butter in it - Reese's cups, fluffernutters, buckeyes, etc.  I'm a peanut butter fiend.  I've been known to eat an entire bag of Reese's cups by myself in less than two days.
- Book:  I don't know if you'd call it a guilty pleasure, but I've read the book The Firm by John Grisham more times than I can count. Even though I know what's going to happen at the end, I still
love reading it.

(10) You have a fortune that will make or break your country's economical state. Would you give it to your own country to prevent a decade of substandard welfare, or would you give it to a Third World country to start a lifetime of quality living?
I would give the money to a third world country.  There's poverty everywhere, but seeing how much of a positive impact something can have on so many people, at least to me, is incredibly inspiring and worthwhile.

(11) How would you spend your last day on earth?
I'd want to spend it with friends and family, just having that last day together.  I would also want to find a way to thank all of the people who have had an impact on my life somehow.  Whether it was just a single piece of advice they'd once given me or a more profound impact, I'd want them to know what that meant to me.  (Perhaps this is why I have a very similar goal on my bucket list)

11 9 Tagged People
Admittedly, I don't follow too many blogs that do tag-ish things, but here are some awesome people nonetheless! (Also, the two that are in italics are actually Tumblrs, but who's being formal about this anyway?)
- Michael @ Badass Geek
- Clayton @ Dad to Libbs
- Stephanie @ A Few French Fries Short of a Happy Meal
- Dakota @ Koda-no
- Amy @ Losereality
- Cherie @ Refractions/Pink Nightmare
- Jon @ Sort of Sorting Through
- Sarah @ Shades of Shayes
- Melissa @ 20 Going on 80

My Questions for Those Tagged
(1) What were/are your favorite and least favorite courses in college? Why?
(2) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
(3) If money wasn't a deciding factor, where would your dream vacation be?
(4) What is your favorite book?
(5) If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
(6) What three bands would you love to see at one concert? (They don't have to be actively performing, still together, etc.)
(7) Do you have any quirky habits?
(8) Do you have any phobias?
(9) Do you prefer being with a large or small group of friends?
(10) Would you rather teach young children or college students?
(11) If you could volunteer for any charitable organization, what would it be and why?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Troubled thoughts and thanks

This was a really tough entry for me to write. If it jumps around a lot, I apologize. It's been a tough few days.

Last Thursday, I realized I hadn't been eating much (which is definitely not normal for me) and was exceptionally sleepy. Considering how much I do, I just shrugged it off and ignored it. I figured I just needed a good night's sleep and that would solve it. I also played it off to the fact I played Monopoly with some friends into late night/early morning on Friday.

On Friday, I hung out with a friend and we had dinner. Then, we walked around campus and chatted, watched a movie with a mutual friend, and just hung out. Saturday, we decided to hang out again, just the two of us. We went to his apartment. He made dinner for us, although most of it went uneaten because of how much we were enjoying each other's company.  I hadn't been that happy in a while.

However, despite that, I still hadn't been feeling like me. I don't know where the breaking point started, but today it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to talk to someone who wouldn't judge me, wouldn't think that I'm crazy, etc.  So, around 3:30 or so this afternoon (Sunday), I went to my school's health center.

I realized in talking to the nurse at my university's health center, as well as an incredibly caring person on a hotline that I let a lot get to me.  I broke down in tears telling her all of this...
- This year marks the 4th and 5th anniversaries of losing two family members (I discovered today that I held onto a lot of my emotions from those deaths because I wanted to be strong for my parents. My great-grandma and my mom were incredibly close; as were my great-aunt and my father, she basically raised him from the time he was in 4th grade).
- The second shooting at Virginia Tech really scared me due to my cousin having been there during the first one.
- There are some big changes in my family this year. Both of my parents have big birthdays coming up (Dad's turning 60, Mom's turning 50); my brother is graduating from high school and going to begin his undergraduate college career; my mother is graduating with her Master's degree and beginning work to attain her CCC (Certificate of Clinical Competency); and I'm graduating with my Bachelor's and potentially starting graduate school in the fall.
- I have an interview at my top choice graduate program in less than a month.
- I've realized that because I put too much effort into my RA/CA job sometimes, I expect others to have the same standard of work. This job has provided me with so many incredible opportunities, I hate to see others not taking better advantage of what's available.

After our conversation, which lasted over an hour and was more helpful than I could have ever imagined, she also helped me make an appointment at the counseling center on campus. She wanted me to get another opinion of how I can control this and not let it control me.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks, readers. You're an amazing group of fellow bloggers and friends. As I wrote on my Facebook status earlier:

Dear You,
Yes, you, reading this right now. Thank you for being in my life. Whether you're a friend, family, or a friend who might as well be family, thank you. You are all incredible people who deserve nothing but the best the world has to offer you.
Love, Cary

I count you all in this group. You are all so incredibly supportive of each other. It gives me so much hope. In this journey called life, you meet so many people. And while I haven't met the majority of you in person, I hope one day I can, just to thank you for the impact you have had on my life.  I'll keep you updated of my progress.

PS: My MacBook's screen has decided to flicker off and on again. I'll be taking it to the Apple store over break. I'll keep you updated as much as I can.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Being alone doesn't have to mean being lonely

Being single isn't the same thing as being alone... But sometimes, it sure does feel that way.

From eighth grade through the first month of my freshman year of college, I dated the same guy.  For those counting, that's five years... which is a long time.  At least it felt that way, anyway.  He was the first guy who actually talked to me for me.  Most of the guys I'd talked to before that were just friends.  I never saw them as boyfriend material.  After my ex and I broke up, I had somewhat of a crush on a guy, but he turned out to be a jerk.

I was always (and probably always will be) the geeky, semi-introverted girl who has a few close friends.  Of my 195-ish friends on Facebook, apart from family, I completely trust maybe 15 of them or so (and, of course, my family on there, but that's a lot more than 15).

In my sophomore year of college, I fell for a different guy.  It took me a while to finally come out and tell him.  We decided to be just friends, and for that, I'm grateful.  I didn't want to ruin the friendship we already had, and I'm glad we were/are able to maintain that.

The summer after my sophomore year, I went on a date... My first since senior prom.  Like the aforementioned gentleman, this too ended in the "let's just be friends" chat. (Go figure that this year, I had to have the same conversation with someone.  Oh, life.)

While there are some days and nights that I wish I had that special someone to talk to, to ask for advice, to hold me when I need it most... Being in that sort of situation is scary. It's not that I have complete trust issues, I just often wonder, is this what I want? Right now, I know I need to focus on school. But it's times like those when I don't do so well on an exam or what have you that I just want to have that person who will tell me it's going to be okay.

As seen on PostSecret.
I was talking to a guy friend a few hours ago and we decided to hang out this weekend. Just us. It's been a few years since I've gotten to hang out with a guy friend, just one on one. I'm really excited for it, I'm not going to lie. Even though we're just going to walk and talk, sometimes that's all you really need. We chatted online for three or four hours a few nights ago, and I brought up some things I don't talk about with most people.

It takes a lot for me to mention some things. Granted, we didn't talk about the deepest, darkest inner workings of our psyches, but who knows. Maybe this will go further, maybe it won't. I'd love for it to. But to quote something I read once, "Take every risk. Drop every fear." Sometimes, you just have to jump in feet first and hope you don't sink. Everybody has their inhibitions, fears, and doubts. It's just human nature.

However, I've said it once before in a previous entry and I'll say it again...

Life's a journey, and I just want someone to live and love it with. Love and life are two funny things...  You can have a life without a significant other, but to have life without having loved something, I think, is terrible. You don't have to love someone, but loving something so much that it gets you out of bed in the morning and excited... Now that's what makes life worth living.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quick Post/Apology

Hey, all...

Somehow, my formatting got totally and royally screwed up. I'm trying to fix it.

Sorry it looks terrible right now.

- Cary

Woohoo! It's finally fixed! :D

Sorry for any ridiculousness that may have occurred. I'm finally happy with how this looks.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

West Coast Friendship

First, new theme! I was bored last night/this morning, and this is the result. I'm taking full advantage of Picnik while I still can. I'm still working out a few things, so hopefully the end result won't be too crazy looking. (I'm always open to feedback, too.)

Second, actual entry! I don't know why I'm such a fan of these music shuffle games, it's a little ridiculous.  Nonetheless, I snagged this from Kathy at That's What She Said.  You should totally check her blog out... It's awesome!

Rules of Ze Game
(1) Put your music player of choice on shuffle.
(2) For each new question, skip ahead to the next song.
(3) Use the song title as the answer to each question. (I always skip holiday songs and comedy acts, but that's just me)

And a forewarning... I have an incredibly varied selection of music. Just sayin'.

(1) How am I feeling today? "Feels like the First Time," by Foreigner

(2) Where will I go in life? "Unforgettable," by Nat King Cole, with Natalie Cole
I guess I'll be unforgettable to someone...sounds good to me.

(3) How do my friends see me? "Broken," by 12 Stones
Well, maybe in some way, yes. But I think anyone can be broken by something.

(4) What will my marriage be like? "If I Fell," by The Beatles
"If I trust in you, oh please, don't run and hide..." Seems appropriate to me.

(5) What is your best friend's theme song? "Breathe," by U2
I certainly hope that all of my best friends breathe.

(6) What is my life's theme song? "I'm Waiting," by The All-American Rejects
What am I waiting for? Granted, an answer about grad school would be awesome (but my interview isn't until next month).

(7) What was high school like for me? "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," by U2
I wasn't terribly crazy about anything in high school. I liked most of my classes.

(8) How am I going to get ahead in life? "It Was Written in Blood," by Bring Me the Horizon

(9) What is the best thing about me? "Somewhere in the Dark," by Punchline
"I've got some news/I might like it better without you, baby/What does that prove?" This seems appropriate. I'm able to put things from the past behind me.

(10) What is in store for you this weekend? "F*ckin' in the Bushes," by Oasis
Hahahahahaha. I think not.

(11) What song describes my parents? "Moment of Surrender," by U2
First, my iTunes apparently loves U2 today. Second, I don't see how.

(12) My husband? "Inertia Creeps," by Massive Attack
I don't have a husband (or fiance or boyfriend), so...

(13) How is my life going? "I'll Meet You There," by Owl City
Considering some of the song lyrics, I guess I'm waiting for that special person in my life.

(14) What song will play at my funeral? "Swan Dive," Ani DiFranco
It could be somewhat appropriate... I guess. Wouldn't be on my list of songs, though.

(15) How does the world see me? "Help," by The Beatles
One of my favorite things in the world is to help others.

(16) What will make my life happy? "Mona Lisa," by Harry Connick, Jr.
This song is one of my absolute favorites by HCJ.  The lyrics "Do you smile to tempt a lover, mona lisa/Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?" are chilling.

(17) How can I make myself happy? "She's Electric," by Oasis
Hmm. Perhaps lighting up a room?

(18) What should I do with my life? "Jerry Springer," by Weird Al Yankovic
Noooooo! I don't want to be on Jerry Springer!

(19) What will my children be like? "Voyager," by Daft Punk
Considering this song is all instrumental, I don't even know what to say...

(20) What is some good advice for me? "Fault Line," by 10 Years
I'm beginning to think that iTunes wants me to forget the past on move on.  "Leave me, I'll shed my skin these scars will mend."

(21) What is my signature dance song? "Piggies," by The Beatles
I have no idea how anyone would dance to this...

(22) What is my current theme song? "War Paint," by Rush
Well, there are some things that aggravate me in part.  Ugh.

(23) What does everyone else think my current theme song is? "It Ends Tonight," by The All-American Rejects
I promise it doesn't end tonight.  There are some things that I never want to end.

(24) What should I do right now? "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall," by Coldplay
I already have my music on.  I guess I should actually do something productive now.  Haha!

(25) What will I name this post? "West Coast Friendship," by Owl City
This makes me miss California and my family there so much.

My next post is probably going to be about my next program that I'm holding for my residents, possibly a picture of my next bulletin board, and the insanity that March is going to be...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Almost Cried in Class (a mobile post)

I have never cried in class. I have been terrified of a teacher (elementary school music class). I have almost failed a college level class. But today, I almost cried in class.

One of my classes this semester is a split distance course. Half the weeks of said course, my professor lectures on campus; the other half, he is at a branch campus. He alternates every week. Last night, he was at the branch campus.

During his lecture, he was discussing pay differences between men's and women's basketball coaches' salaries. I was taking notes on my computer, but he was still rambling. Anyhow, during his rant, I decided to check my email. Maybe a resident had emailed me or eBay had sent me another "Make HER Valentine's Day Special!" email. So, not only does eBay think I'm a dude, but one who's in a relationship. Umm, last I knew, I'm a girl who has been single for four years. Thanks, eBay.

But I digress. I deleted some emails and almost had a coronary when I saw three letters in a row in one subject line: SAA. Those of you who either read this blog regularly or know me in real life (or both) know what those letters mean to me.

Student Affairs Administration.

My dream graduate school/Masters program. I excitedly clicked the email. I couldn't believe what I read. I've been selected, by my top choice graduate program, to partake in a visit/interview day.

Oh. My. God.

Thank goodness my professor wasn't there to witness this... Even if the whole signing on to read emails and nearly having a coronary after reading a single occurred within a matter of three minutes. I could barely sit still for the last twenty minutes of class.

As soon as I got out of class and texted two of my best friends and my residence hall director. I called my dad as soon as I got back to my room and after I hung up with him, texted my mom to ask her to call me (I wasn't sure if she was still in class).

Needless to say, I've been in an incredible mood since about 7 pm... Even if I almost did cry tears of happiness in my night class.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dearest Margie

It's officially the February of my senior year of college.  In February of my senior year of high school, I lost one of the most important people in my life:  my great-aunt Margaret.  She was - and still is - one of my heroes.  She would have been 97 this year.

She went to college at Bucknell in the 1930s (during the Great Depression) and studied Commerce and Finance (which, of course, was unheard of at that time for a woman to study that field). After graduation, she worked at various companies, eventually winding up as an Office Manager. Following her retirement, she volunteered over 6700 hours of community service at the local hospital.

Typed below is a letter written to my great-aunt when she was in college. I may continue to transcribe more of the letters from her parents and post those as well.  This is the first of those letters, and is my favorite. It was written to her from her mother on her last day of college. I absolutely love it. So, perhaps, it'll be a mini-series of blog entries from time to time. [PS: Anything in brackets are my little comments here and there.]
Friday Morning
Feb. 4 - 38
Dearest Margie: 
Well this will be the last letter I will write to you at college. I almost didn't get this one off. I didn't realize I hadn't written you this week. I knew Dad was writing and that was from both. Then when I awakened this morning and realized this was your last day. I hurried breakfast and now, I want to get this to the office by 9:30 so you will be sure to get it. [In the 1930s, and possibly even a little beyond then, there was morning and afternoon mail; much like how there's a late edition of some newspapers.] 
Now have a nice time at Johnstown and don't worry, every thing will be all right. We have thought of a possibility of you getting something at Harrisburg. Anyway it won't hurt for you to have a little vacation. 
I'm so anxious to have you home a while even if we do just talk. You know all there is to do here. 
Kathleen [my dad's mother, who I never met], Bob [my great-uncle who's still alive], and I went to see the Prisoner of Zenda up here last night. It was very good. [According to IMDB, The Prisoner of Zenda is about "an Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday (who) must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped."  Also, Ruritania is a fictional country in Europe where three books, including Prisoner, take place.] 
We have had horrible winter weather this year. I think the sun is going to shine today but that makes every thing look so dirty. I wish we could have snow instead that covers up the dirt. 
Well dear not much news in this letters but I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you on your last day of college. 
Loads of love from Mother and Dad
Unfortunately, I forgot to grab my great-aunt's yearbook so I could scan in some pictures, but when I go home next weekend or so, I'll definitely grab it as well as another letter.  I'm interested in what you guys think, if you like the idea or not, etc.