Friday, April 29, 2011

They Were Right All Along

I think it must be a cosmic rule, an irrefutable truth, that at some point in your life you'll come to the realization that your parents really were right about everything. All those times they'd say, "One day you'll understand..." Yeah, that's true. And all those times they told me, "Enjoy where you are right now. When you're older, you'll wish you could go back." That's true, too. My scrawny eight year old self scoffed. My twelve year old self scoffed even more. And my fifteen year old self would've straight up committed murder to be sixteen and driving even a week before legally able.

But now, as I'm wrapping up this semester of college and faced with only one more semester after this in the undergraduate season of my life, I finally have had The Epiphany. The "They were RIGHT!" epiphany. The "How did they KNOW?!" epiphany.

Now that I'm that age I used to dream of being, I keep thinking to myself...what was I thinking? Being eight, being ten, being fifteen was awesome. Life was more laid back. When I sit down and compare the stresses in my life now to the stresses in my life then, there's simply no comparison. It's interesting to see how my focus has changed, and what I now consider to be important. Or unimportant, for that matter. Life or deaths situations as a child—do I use the blue crayon or the purple crayon? Or do I use the silver glitter pen?! AH! How do I choose just ONE?!—now seem utterly simplistic and easy to solve (I use the purple crayon, duh.). Things that bothered me or stressed me out in high school—OMG I have to actually present my project to the whole class?!—now aren't monumental at all (Okay, I'm still not thrilled with presentations. But I can totally do them).

It may seem too little too late, having this realization at nearly twenty four years of age. I mean, it's not like I can go back in time and tell my teenage self, "Hey, just shut up and listen; they really do know what they're talking about. They really were young once, too." But it's not just hindsight that The Epiphany affects, oh no.

Because the thing is, now more than ever I realize out of all the people I can ask for advice, my parents are number one on my list. Because now I realize that chances are, the troubles I'm having, the stresses, the issues, they've been there. They understand. I don't know about you, but I find this to be such a relief. Who better to advise you, share their wisdom with you, counsel you, than those who want only the best for you? That's my Mom and Dad. Sure as the sun rises, they just want what's best for me. So I can count on the fact that any advice they give me is truly going to be meant to better me. To help me.

And you know what? That's pretty cool. So cool, in fact, that I'd even tolerate a rowdy bout of "I told you so!"s from Mom and Dad.
My wonderful Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My New Kindle—The Unboxing

So, today was a pretty exciting day. Today I bought myself a brand spankin' new Kindle! Well, actually, my parents bought it for me. Best belated Easter present ever. Just sayin'.

Anyway, so far I'm totally loving it. It's lightweight, has a nice crisp screen, and the e-ink display is, quite simply, awesome. When I first started researching e-readers, I found the unboxing articles, photos, and reviews to be extremely helpful. And as such, now that I've made my purchase, I wanted to share my unboxing with you guys. After I use my Kindle for a few days, I'll be writing up a review.

So, here we go.

The box. This here is the Kindle box. But I'm sure I didn't need to tell you that. Inside is where the goodies are kept!
Voila! The outer sleeve is off. I'm getting pretty excited at this point. Like a kid at Christmas morning, opening a most anticipated new toy.
This was genuinely just as easy as it says.
My new Kindle! Sittin' pretty and waiting to be held for the very first time.
Hello, Kindle! We'll be fast friends!
Hiding underneath the Kindle itself is the Quick Start Guide.
All the basics of what you need to know are tucked away in there!
Last but not least, under the Kindle and the Quick Start Guide, the power cord!
The box and all its contents.
Set up instructions. Straightforward and simple.
The legit Amazon power cord.
First-time start up!
Congratulations? Why, thank you!
Officially registered and belonging to me! Excitement ensues.
So, there you have it! My brand new Kindle, unboxed and in my hot little hands. I hope you enjoyed joining me in unwrapping it. I know I had fun sharing it with you guys.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of the Kindle itself, and my experience using it!

Until then, happy reading! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tucker Turns Three

Portrait of a handsome young pup!
It's Tucker's birthday today! I can't believe he's already three years old. It just doesn't seem possible I've had him that long.

We actually got him over the summer, but as an obsessive doggy mother, I also celebrate his actual date of birth. He was so tiny when we first got him! I can honestly say I remember it like it was yesterday.

We'd gone to Vernon to take Super Granny back home, and she knew I'd been wanting a pup. Ever since I lost Cowboy, my childhood dog, there'd been a sort of hole. I love dogs, I always have. I always will. And I wasn't looking to replace Cowboy—let's face it, no dog could—but I was ready to move on.

It just so happened that Super Granny knew a guy in town who'd just had a litter of pups. Boston Terrier pups. We stopped by to take a look at them, but the guy wasn't home. I stared longingly at the puppies through the fence. Two left; a boy and a girl. That was the first time I saw Tucker.

I was worried, though. Since the man wasn't home, I was nervous he wouldn't get back in time and Dad and I would have to head home without a new little friend for me. So we killed time by grabbing lunch—a burger and fries—at what used to be Vernon's Dairy Queen. The whole time I was eating, all I could think about is how much I hoped someone would come to the door when we went back after eating.

Fortune was on my side, and when we had filled our bellies and trekked back to the house, someone did indeed answer the door. And he was more than willing to show us his pups.

I can't lie—growing up with Cowboy has made me partial to boy dogs. So I was the most interested in the boy. We chatted for awhile, me holding a squirming (and then sleepy) little black and white bundle of adorable in my arms. I had fallen in love. All that was left was hoping that Dad would agree and let me take the little guy home.

As I'm sure you can imagine, he did.

The car ride home was awesome. Tucker, who was then still unnamed, slept in my lap the entire time and was a perfect gentleman. The poor kid was covered in fleas, though. A result of being kept in a yard with absolutely no grass and several other dogs, I assume. Needless to say, since we had other pets at home, he had to get a bath before he could come inside.

Anyway, long story short, that's how I got my dog. Tucker. Three years ago this summer. He's been a blessing and a complete joy in my life. I can't imagine being without him!

Today, he's gotten several treats and lots of lovin'. And I even sang him the Happy Birthday song. Yes, my dog is a spoiled only child. (Just like his Momma!)

I'm thinking I'll have a legit birthday party for him when I can go home again. Mom and Dad can join us. There can be presents. It'll be awesome.

Happy birthday, Tucker. You're my number one special little guy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have a blog to share with you guys. I thought you might find it interesting! It came about in my Senior Seminar class—we were all split up into groups to work on a final project of sorts, and this blog is one particular group's project.

I give you, "Bathiti".

Bathroom Graffiti, if you will.
"I'm writing on the wall. TAKE THAT SOCIETY!"
The purpose of Bathiti is to expose those aspects of Texas A&M's campus culture that are rarely addressed in the open.

Since I'm suggesting you guys take a look at it, I feel it's only fair to give a disclaimer. There is definitely some 'inappropriate' material. So if you're easily offended...well, view at your own risk. But I promise, not everything is wildly inappropriate. Yes, a lot of the pictures are admittedly a bit shocking—especially if you know anything about Texas A&M—but there are some straight up funny pictures, too.

Like this, for example.
"To Mordor"
It would be awesome if you guys could check out their blog, and of course any feedback is welcome! These photos are pretty darn interesting, if I do say so myself. And I do.

It's kind of wild what people say when they have the freedom to remain anonymous.

So go on! Run over and check out Bathiti! And you Facebookers, you can even 'like' their Facebook page!

What are you waiting for? :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bad Things Happen

I've often heard bad things happen in threes. Sometimes I see a connection there. Like, maybe I stub my toe (bad!), get overheard cursing about stubbing my toe (bad x2!) and then subsequently trip as I try to hurry away from such an embarrassing series of events (bad x3!). But most of the time, I have to try pretty hard to really draw parallels to the bad events in my life.

Not this weekend.

The events of this weekend ganged up on me, slapped me in the face, and screamed, "We DO happen in threes! Sometimes MORE than threes! Just watch!"

I drove home this weekend. I left College Station on Thursday so I could meet up with my friend Heather, who's about to move out of the state. In all likelihood, this was my last shot at seeing her any time in the near future, and I wasn't going to miss it!

Earlier in the week, I'd noticed some sort of rash taking up residence on my stomach. This was, as you can imagine, an unacceptable development. Since I was planning to be in town anyway, I had my Mom set up a doctor's appointment for me.

When I left on Thursday, I was battling a serious sinus headache. By the time I woke up the next morning, it was a full on sinus assault. Every step was painful. Moving my eyes, focusing, blinking... All those things hurt. A sneeze or a cough, even clearing my throat, made me feel like my head was going to explode.

I was miserable.

I moved up my doctor's appointment, as no self-treatment was working. I was hoping I could reschedule my day of fun with Heather for some other time that weekend.

When I went to the doctor, two different people had to look at my rash to confirm their diagnosis. Shingles. Often brought on by stress. (Oh, I've got plenty of that, let me tell ya.)

So there's the first bad thing. Bad Thing #1. Shingles. OUCH. It's kind of weird, the way they hurt. Because they also itch. So sometimes you forget about the hurt, focus on the itch, and when you so much as think about giving them a good scratch, the pain swoops back in like an evil surprise. Also, I tend to sleep on my stomach, so the fact that they chose this particular location to set up shop was really frustrating to me.

Then we moved on and discussed my headache and all the symptoms it entailed. I got diagnosed with Bad Thing #2. A sinus infection.

I was prescribed antibiotics, some sort of antiviral medication, Zyrtec-D, Mucinex, and a pain reliever of my choice. Yikes.

I'm not sure if you could call this Bad Thing #3 or not, since it was a result of #1 and #2, but it still sucked big time so I'm calling it #3. I did not get to reschedule hanging out with Heather. By the time I was feeling remotely human again (Sunday), I had to drive back to College Station. I have classes on Monday—that Monday I was worried about a group presentation I had to give later that afternoon. She'll be gone before I could drive back home again, so...Bad Thing #3 indeed.

But Sunday was looking up.

I took a different route back to College Station. I'm not sure which road I was on—what would I do without GPS?—but it was scenic. Beautiful. The day was wonderful; just the right temperature, sunny, lovely. I made good time getting back. I dropped my dog and my bags off at my apartment and got out again to run a few errands. I was finished with almost everything. I had one more stop to make before going back to my apartment. Food.

And I was thinking, what could happen? I've already had my three bad things.

Then Bad Thing #4 came rushing at me in the form of a black Mercedes. Yep, that's right. I got into a car accident.

I'd already been planning a blog post about my horrible weekend, and how I had managed to walk away with a positive feeling about it—about how sometimes you just need to slow down anyway, and if you won't do it yourself, God and your body will set you down and put you in time-out whether you like it or not—in fact, I'd been planning to write it up after dinner that Sunday night.

Obviously that didn't happen. The accident put me in a heck of a mood. The screaming, belligerent passenger in the Mercedes didn't help that. And the seemingly endless minutes...hours...spent on the phone with insurance companies and independent adjusters have been absolutely exhausting. I am not even going to go into all the drama going on with this whole affair right now.

But you know what?

I am STILL determined to walk away from this with a positive attitude.

Sunday night when I was crying to my Mom on the phone about woe is me and why is this happening and I can't take this, she told me to make a list. Of all of the things I can be thankful for in these awful situations. I admit, I never literally wrote a list, but it did get me thinking. It really could have been so much worse.

After all, my car is drive-able. I'm alive. Uninjured. My dog was NOT in the car with me. At least only the passenger was an absolute demon. At least I have insurance, and a great support system of family and friends (one of whom drove down to see me—and back again all in one day!—because she knew I needed cheering up) who I know I can rely on and talk to. At least no one was hurt.

If nothing else, it's one more thing I can add to my list of Life Experiences. (Filed under "But I hope this never happens again!").

It's also another opportunity to sit down and re-evaluate the things that are really important in life, and how I have countless things to be thankful for.

One of them being, "I'm thankful most of those bad things are OVER."

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Little Things

It feels amazing outside tonight.

I just spent the last half hour or so driving home from a rendezvous with a friend of mine and her boyfriend. We spent several hours chatting at Starbucks before relocating to Macaroni Grill to continue our conversation over dinner.

I'm stuffed beyond reason, just by the way.

On the drive home, I opened my sunroof and rolled down the windows. I hung my arm out the driver's side window for the majority of the trip. I put my new favorite song on repeat (Meyrin Fields, by Broken Bells, if you're interested). I let the wind kick up my hair, I sung at the top of my lungs (even though I didn't know all of the words), and I took the long way home.

It was exhilarating.

Nothing fancy, no speeding, no big deal really. But then again, that's something I've always appreciated.

The little things.

Like moments alone in my car, a cool breeze, great music, and soothing darkness.

Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference.
"Strong and content I travel the open road."
—Walt Whitman