Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christmas arrived in our apartment today. Michelle brought home a 4-foot Christmas tree, which is now adorned with colorful lights and filling our apartment with a fresh, pine-y aroma. The presence of the Christmas tree inspired me to bring the holiday spirit up a notch with Christmas lights strung around our fireplace and the window pane we have hanging above the couch. Our living room is now a very cheery spot indeed. I also have a little 2-foot tree in my room with white lights. It makes me happy on the inside. Hooray for Christmas! Now if only the weather would cooperate...

Tonight Phyllis and I talked about what we want to do with our lives. It's crazy to think that we're actually old enough to be thinking about these things. But 6 months is not a long time. Before I know it, I will be thrust out into the real world and forced to live my life as a real person. The idea still terrifies me, but I think the slightest bit of excitement is starting to work its way in admidst the terror. I'm still not exactly sure what kind of nursing I want to go into, but tonight I was looking online for nursing jobs in Texas, and I got 65 pages of results. Holy cow! That's a lot of possibilities! Looks like I'm gonna have to work on developing some decision-making abilities here before too long. It's crazy to think how much has changed in my life in the past year. I'm very interested to see what God has in store for me in the coming year...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Last night, as I sat at Starbucks realizing that I had not brought the book I needed to do the homework I brought, I made a list of all the things I need to do this week. It is quite a lengthy list. And I am proud to say that today I accomplished exactly none of them. Probably not the wisest of decisions, I'll admit, but I won't say I regret it. I think I needed today. I needed a day off. Granted, I just had 6 days off in Arlington where I also did nothing of much value, but that wasn't so much out of choice as having nothing better to do anyway. But today, I had plenty I should have been doing, but instead I did what I think I really needed to do. I spent the day with people I love and had a blast. We had poster presentations in Theory and Research, and I'm very happy with the way our presentation turned out. (The coloring books and bubbles served the double purpose of providing for our entertainment while we waited for people to come check out our poster.) Afterwards, I met up with Sarah for a late dinner/early lunch and spent most of the evening with her, TJ, TJ's sister, and her boyfriend. We went out to Albany for TJ's brother's basketball game. Here I learned that small town people get very excited about 7th grade basketball. It was fun. Brought back memories of those 2 or 3 weeks my junior year in high school I spent as a manager for the girls' basketball team. How that ever happened, I'll never know. Around 11:00 I picked up a pizza and went over to Phyllis' apartment with the intention of studying, but we ended up just talking. It was needed though. We both needed some time to just destress and regroup.

This semester has without a doubt been the hardest I have ever had. Not so much the school part of it, but just life in general. Honestly, as far as school goes, this semester has probably been my favorite, but I've been so distracted with everything else going on that I know I haven't done as well as I could have. But oh well. Sometimes life just happens and you have to go with it. I have a feeling that 20 years from now, I couldn't care less about what grades I made this semester, but I will still be thanking God for the lessons I learned and the growing up I did, painful as it has been.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

And...back in Abilene. It was good to be home for a while, but I must admit that I'm also glad to be back. Never thought I'd say those words...Weird.

Only 2 weeks left of my next-to-last semester of college. Scary thought!

Phyllis and I had quite the adventurous trip back to Abilene. The traffic was insane in general, simply because it is a holiday weekend, but it was compounded by the fact that there was a grass fire raging right along the edge of the highway. (See below.) This was the larger of the two grass fires we passed between Arlington in Abilene. Unfortunately, we did not capture any photo documentation of the second. By the time we reached Ranger, we were in need of a pit stop. Aparently so was the rest of the world. I have never seen a Love's Truck Stop so packed. The line for the bathroom was out the door, and by the looks of the empty shelves where bottled water should have been, you'd think the Apocalypse was approaching. It was nuts. We did make it safely to our destination, although it did take an hour longer than it should have. All I have to say about it is: God bless the man who invented the access road!

Fire #1 (Note the frighteningly close proximity to the major thoroughfare.)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I can officially begin to be excited about Christmas. Yay!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We had a houseful of crazy relatives, and it was fabulous. We got to share the family insanity with some guests this year, as well. My aunt and uncle invited some friends who are a couple that was evacuated from New Orleans during hurricane Katrina. They were very nice people, and very interesting to talk to. As I listened to Frankie tell about everything they went through and all the horrors of living at the Superdome and on crowded buses, and the uncertainty of not knowing where relatives were for days or weeks, I realized that we really do have much to be thankful for during this season of thankfulness, and all the other seasons, too.

After everyone had stuffed themselves to satisfaction with Thanksgiving goodness, the cousins decided to take a little outing for some holiday bowling. I continue to be a horrible bowler. I keep waiting for the day that my hidden insane bowling abilities will suddenly surface, but, alas, I am beginning to fear that day will never come. Sad day. As it is, I must satisfy myself with the knowledge that at least I am amusing whoever happens to be unfortunate enough to have to witness my fruitless attempts at bowling victory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I hate drama. I hate school. I want to go home.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Why, one might ask, would a person who has a list of tasks to be accomplished in the next 15 hours, and has had ample time to start accomplishing said tasks (time of which she has not taken advantage), continue to procrastinate, knowing that she will regret it the next day? Why, indeed? A very good question. And in response I say to you...I have no clue. But I do know that this has become my usual pattern of behavior. And I love it. Well, maybe not love it so much, but I have learned to function this way. Something about knowing that I still have time makes me not want to hurry to get things done now. True, if I went ahead and did the things I had to do now, I could enjoy the free time later, but I'd much rather enjoy it now. And I find that I am much more efficient when under pressure. If I feel that I have more time than is needed to accomplish something, then I tend to make very slow progress and become distracted incredibly easily. But, on the other hand, if I know that I have a very limited amount of time in which to do the things I must do, I go into super-focus mode. I am able to drown out my surroundings and get done what needs to be done. It's a very strange phenomenon indeed. Perhaps if I set time limits for myself I could become more responsible by the rest of the world's standards. But I have a very strong suspicion that it wouldn't work. Because, you see, I would know all along that the time frame I was under was not a real time frame at all, and so would never acheive the super-focus mode that comes of being under an actual time frame. (It's kind of like setting your clock 10 minutes ahead to avoid being late, but knowing that you actually have 10 more minutes than it says you have, and so being late anyway.) And so, I must resign myself to my fate as an over-achieving, perfectionist procrastinator. Such a difficult life I lead...

So I love it when teachers decide that class will start 30 minutes later than usual, but don't feel the need to inform the students of the change. That's really special. Oh well.

My trip to Dallas was fantastic! I loved working at Scottish Rite. On Thursday I got to take care of a 12 year old girl who had just had surgery on her leg to correct the fact that her toes pointed in when she walked. On Friday I got to observe in various clinics. I learned a ton, and all the staff was super nice. Yay for getting out of Abilene! (And wearing fun scrubs!)

So I just got back into town yesterday, and I get to leave again tomorrow. To go right back where I came from. I'm kind of wondering if the 2 days of classes I came back for are actually worth it, but I suppose I should at least pretend to be a concerned student.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm tired. Physically tired and emotionally tired. I'm tired of school. Tired of studying. Tired of work. Tired of confusion. Tired of hurting. Tired of crying. I'm just so tired...

Why is that I've never struggled with forgiving anyone until it comes to forgiving myself? Why do my emotions have such control over me? Why do things have to be so hard?

Tomorrow I get to go home. This is good. The actual purpose of my trip is to go to a clinical in Dallas, but it's doubling as an escape. A much needed escape.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tonight, as I drove to Phyllis' apartment for our weekly gorging/Gilmore Girls night, I passed a house that already had Christmas lights up. I object. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas festivity as much as the next person. Probably more. But I hate it when Thanksgiving gets completely overlooked. What did it do to deserve the obscurity that comes of living in Christmas' shadow? Maybe I sympathize with it because my own birthday falls in the same immense shadow. I always hated it when people combined the two. You know, wrapping birthday presents in Christmas paper, or the dreaded "Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas" combination. That's the worst. Anyway, all I am saying is, Thanksgiving deserves a little more attention and respect. Are we really so consumed in the materialism and commercialism surrounding Christmas (I hate to admit it, but it has all but lost it orginal meaning to most) that we can't take the time to be thankful for the things we already have? I sure hope not...Ok...stepping off the soap box now.

Have you ever felt like God has just put an awesome opportunity to reach out to someone right in front of your face, but you have no idea what to do with it? That's me right now. I totally want to step up and let God use me, but I'm terrified of falling on my face. God, you're gonna have to lead me by the hand on this one...I'm clueless.

Sometimes I wish life would just make sense. There are areas of my life right now that are so uncertain. I wish I could just have a peek into my life 5, 10 years from now, so I could know if the things that are totally consuming my thoughts right now are worth it. But I guess the mystery of it all is part of what makes life interesting. And I'm definitely learning some valuable lessons along the way...

What better way to follow a post about how productive I can be than with one about my insane time-wasting abilities? It is currently 2:41am, and I am still awake. Why, you ask? I don't know. Earlier today I decided that it had been far too long since I Mod-Podged something. So tonight I turned our ugly Wal-Mart shelf excuse for a coffee table into a work of art. Or a work of something...Anyway, as I dove into the creative depths, I watched this movie on the Oxygen channel that I think qualifies as an after-school special. Only it started at midnight. It was about this girl who graduated from high school, moved to California, started doing porn, and became a crack addict. She pretty much alienated herself from her entire family and any friends she made along the way. At the end of the movie, she shot herself in the face with a very large gun belonging to the man she had lived with, but who was currently in prison for dealing crack. And then she died. End of movie. Quality, I tell you. I have never seen anything like it. And during one of the commercial breaks, I saw a mini-infomercial about a product called Urine Gone. No joke. It's this spray cleaner that you use to get rid of urine smells from pets, bed-wetting children, etc. The opening line of the commercial? "Is your pet a peeing machine?" I'm not making this stuff up. I only wish I was. Who makes this kind of stuff available to the masses? And who even watches TV late enough at night to know about it? Oh wait...that would be me...definitely going to bed now. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Today I tasted the life of a housewife. Minus the wife part. I cleaned our apartment, did laundry, went to the grocery store, cooked dinner, and washed dishes. (Are you proud of me, Mom?) It felt good to actually do something productive in my life. I don't think I could do it everyday though. Mostly because, if you do it all one day, it doesn't need to be done again the next day. No, I think I will definitely need to have a job. Something to force me to be productive. If I spent my life relying on my own urge to feel productive, well, let's just say that has the potential to be a pretty scary existence.

Holiday Countdown:
15 days till Thanksgiving!
42 days till my birthday!
46 days till Christmas!
(I know my birthday is not an actual holiday, but it's only a matter of time...)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I think that someone else inhabited my body today. Seriously. This morning I had to do a group presentation at 7am. That meant I had to be on the other side of town by 6:45. That meant I had to leave my apartment at 6:30. That meant I had to get up no later than 5:45. And I did!! That never happens. I typically push the snooze button on my alarm without waking up at least 3 times, so that when I finally do wake up, I barely have enough time to collect myself and get where I'm going. But not today. Oh no. I was up and gone on time, arrived for our presentation on time, and everything. After our presentation, I grabbed some breakfast and went to school for our 8am test. And I was completely awake and cohesive. That doesn't happen even when I get up at more human times! Following the test, I sat through a total of 5 hours of class without falling asleep. I didn't even have to consciously remind myself to keep my eyes open! And after class, I went to Hendrick and walked on the treadmill for an entire hour. Who am I? I normally have to force myself to make it 20 minutes without dying of boredom. I think I owe that one to Oprah. I got really interested in her show, so I had to stay and watch. So then, I came home in plenty of time to take a nap before Gilmore Girls, but I didn't. Very uncharacteristic. So here I am, having been up for almost 16 hours now, and not feeling like falling on my face. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Completely random sidenote: tonight, Phyllis and I made possibly the fastest Sonic run on record. We were totally engrossed in Supernatural, and didn't want to leave, but our stomachs insisted otherwise. So, we prepared ourselves for our departure, and the second the show went to commercial break, we dashed out the door. We made the entire trip in under 10 minutes. I was quite impressed. We didn't even miss any major happenings in our show. We were quite proud.

I have the next 3 days off from any sort of school-related activity. This makes me a very happy girl. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tonight I hung out with a group of girls at a gathering affectionately known as "I-dub." In normal-people language, that's "IW," which stands for "Independent Women." The female response to "He-Man Night." These assemblages of the girls of Sigma Pi Phi occur on a somewhat regular basis, however, I ususally have to work so I miss out on the festivities. But not tonight! I was very excited to get to be in on the fun. These are the girls with whom I used to spend practically every weekend, but with the onset of nursing school and other life events, I've found myself increasingly estragned from them. It was good to see everyone again. And meet new people. It seems "the group" has expanded quite a bit since my time. New friends are always fun. And so are girly movies. And excessive laughter. Girls' night = goodness.

Friday, November 04, 2005

If I had known this morning the way today was going to go, I think I would have slept until tomorrow.

Some highlights of my day:
  • Taking my car from one mechanic to another because the first one couldn't fix the problem.
  • Getting in a really random, stupid fight with a friend online.
  • Having to stay at work an hour later than ususal because old people like to sit and talk.
  • Getting someone else's car towed.
  • Driving to the shadiest-looking car towing place in the middle of the ghetto at 1am to pick up the car I got towed.
  • Not finding the registration for the car I was trying to pick up and having to drive to the police station to sign an affidavit to have the car released to me.
  • Not finding a notary at the police station.
  • Hearing police radios about drug busts and shootings occurring one street away.
  • Driving back to the shady car towing place at 1:45 with a sob story about not being able to get the affadavit signed.
  • Having my sob story rejected by the tow truck man.
  • Having to get up at 8am tomorrow morning to go get the affadavit signed and pay the $120 to get my friend's car out of the tow truck place.

I think that about sums it up. Oh, and I proposed online to Phyllis' 28-year old friend in Mexico because he knows all about Gilmore Girls. I think I was rejected, but I'm not really sure. I don't speak Spanish.

I also have a canker sore in my mouth. It hurts.

I hope tomorrow is better.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

In case anyone was ever wondering, this is what a mammogram machine looks like. Yes, we did go into a hospital and ask if we could take a picture with the mammogram machine. It was for a project that we spent way too much time on to have it only be worth 10 points of our grade. But it was a fun day. Yay Buddy Mam.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Today was the day I've been looking forward to for weeks: HAIRCUT DAY!! It's funny how something as simple as having someone whack some dead cells off your head can make life seem so much better. But it does. Michelle and Whitney took me to this place called Salon Serendipity (I know, even the name makes life seem happier!), where the cutest lady ever worked magic on my head. The goal was to make me feel better about life. Mission accomplished. :) Obviously, a haircut won't solve all the problems in my life, but at least now I can go from being the confused, stressed out girl to the confused, stressed out girl with cute hair!

Sad story: today, I was kicked out of elementary school by the school nurse. I was supposed to be observing all day for my community health clinical, but when I got there, the nurse looked at me like I was insane. She said she had no idea I was coming, nothing for me to do, and told me to go home. I tried to see if I could at least stay and watch if any sick kids came through, but she made it quite clear that she had no desire to be graced by my presence today. So, reluctantly, I came home and went back to bed. It was pretty rough. But I guess I'll survive.