Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The obligatory 'what I am thankful for' post

Yeah, I know everyone else is doing it. So am I. Got a problem with it?


I have so much to be thankful for this year, it will be hard to fit it all in this post. Don't worry, I'll try and shorten it up by using pictures a bit. I'm told I can be a, at times.

Though I do have so much to be thankful for, this year has been a a rough one in some ways. Because of this, I have had to learn to search for things to be thankful for in some situations.

One such situation is that of my Gramma.

Earlier this year, my Gramma fell ill, spent some time in the hospital, and had to recuperate for a month in a nursing home before getting to come home again. This was a bit of a wakeup call for me, and for that, I am thankful. I realized that my gramma is 78 years old, and I really don't know how much longer she will be around. I began chiseling out some time, at least once a week, every week, to spend time with her, despite having three jobs, and then two jobs and school. I have done so faithfully for nearly six months now, and have gotten the chance to become incredibly close to her.

She had a horrible accident in September that she somehow managed to pull through, but unfortunately she is far from being able to take care of herself. She spent a month in the hospital, and has been living back at the nursing home since.

I am saddened to say that she is once again back in the hospital, this time with Pneumonia. As difficult as this has been for me, I am so very very thankful that so far she has fought through everything that has tried to take her down....and I have been able to have the time to get to know her better than I did before.

I am thankful, as I stated previously, for the amazing teachers I have met so far in my time at college.

I am thankful that I have finally found out what it feels like to NOT feel like I have to have a man in order to be 'whole'.

I am thankful that I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends on God's green earth.

Did I tell you I got to meet Stu finally?

I am certainly thankful for that opportunity. Stu and I are a lot alike. Because of this, we usually know pretty much how the other is feeling when nursing a broken heart, pulling our hair out from frustration, or overjoyed about something that seems so unimportant to most others.

...and on occasion, we also drive each other a little nuts. I mean, who wants to hang out with an opposite-gendered version of themselves all the time? :P

I am most certainly thankful for Stu.

I am thankful for all the times I have felt lower than low, and he made me laugh my way back up to the real world.

I am thankful for the times in which he has felt lower than low, and has trusted me enough to open up and let me in so I can return the favor.

I am thankful that that 30 minute phone call to Canada last month didn't cost too much. :P

I am thankful that there is a place called Betseyville, that someday, I will visit, along with some of the most amazing women (and maybe a man or two) I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I am mostly thankful that I have had the chance to get to know two people who, for the last 2 years, have made my world go 'round.

The trio of Joe, Sky, and me is one of a kind. Put the three of us together and you create the kind of magic I never thought I'd have with one friend, much less two.

When I am with them, I all my insecurities, all of my cares, all of the negative thoughts in my head just dissipate.

If I were to list all of the reasons why I am thankful for them I'd never stop typing.

They are the reason I am single and happy about it.

They are the reason I am in college.

They are the reason I have confidence in who I am.

They are the reason I can smile in the face of hardship.

I am thankful that I have been given the chance to love them and miss them as tremendously as I do.

With that sappy note, I end today's post. As of three minutes ago, it's Thursday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nuclear Holocaust: Survival Guide tip #1

Have you ever wondered what you would do if there was a nuclear holocaust, and there was no electricity to charge your iPod? I know I have!

And now, thanks to this guy, we can all listen to our favorite tunes while foraging for food in the darkness -- assuming we all have a Gatorade tree in the backyard, and an onion bush in the front.

Charging your iPod with an onion with an onion and Gatorade:

Originally found here:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Youtube Feature: The Hoff

This is the single greatest video ever, HANDS DOWN.

The singing is superb, the dancing is awesome, and the special affects are out of this world!

Ok, to be honest, I seriously don't think he's a horrible singer! :P

David Hasselhoff singing "Hooked on a Feeling."

The Bonfire

What makes a good teacher?

If you would have asked me that question 10 years ago, I'm not certain how I would have responded. Perhaps with something like "Someone who is nice and makes it easy for you to learn the stuff".

However, I spent 7 years away from that time, I've grown up a little, and changed, well...a lot. The dreams that I had created in the first 18 years of my life have been lying dormant, patiently awaiting the time when someone or something would light the spark that would finally give them a chance at life.

I went back to school this fall, finally. One of the most important things I have learned so far is that, a good teacher will not only create those sparks, but he will pile on the firewood and fan the flames until your dreams are a brilliant, roaring fire, capable of taking on a life of it's own.

Teachers of this caliber seem to be rare in this day and age. It is because of this that I consider myself to be genuinely blessed to have classes with not one, but TWO such teachers this semester.

They have both found those dormant dreams deep inside of me....they have both grabbed onto them and started pulling it out into the open. They have both been encouraging, highlighting the areas in which I am already skilled, but not ignoring those that need some attention before I can truly shine.

Growing up, I've always wanted to write. If I were to dig through my parent's attic, through the boxes upon boxes of notebooks and journals...alongside the thousands of drawings of horses, you'd find stories and poems galore, mostly unfinished. I loved to write, but I simply didn't have any sort of direction, or a solid foundation to build upon.

Now I'm an adult, and rarely have time to write for myself, as can be evidenced by this intermittently updated blog. Starting college, I was required to take an English Composition class. Though it focuses on analytical writing, I have an instructor that is great enough to have drawn out my potential for all to see. He has encouraged me, and given me the power to boost my self-confidence immensely. I now feel that, though I have a long way to go yet, I can not only write, but write WELL. I still need to hone my skills, and learn to be more consistent with my abilities, instead of relying on writing during times in which I feel "in the zone," but I will get there.

Another thing I've wanted to do since I was very young, is to get involved in music. I can remember being 7 or so, and receiving a small electronic keyboard for Christmas. Along with it, I got 3 or 4 keyboarding books with dozens of songs in them. I taught myself to play nearly every song in them, many of them by heart. I remember softly singing simple songs to myself as I played around on it, eventually learning by ear, to play those songs. How badly did I want to REALLY learn to play an instrument, but sadly, my parents could not afford an instrument, much less lessons. I was in percussion in the 4th grade, at school, but since I had no way of practicing at home, in 5th grade, the teacher told me I could not participate.

But that desire to infuse music into my soul has not gone's merely been waiting in the shadows. It started to make it's way back out into the open when I befriended a clarinet-playing photographer whom I may have mentioned before in this blog. He set up the kindling, my Music Appreciation teacher lit the fire.

I look forward to his class every Tuesday and Thursday, more than any other class I have. For that hour and fifteen minutes, I become completely captivated by the passion he has for both music and teaching. I watch him perform -- and I say 'perform', because you couldn't possibly call something you love so much 'work' -- in front of the class, and think to myself, "That's what I want to be when I grow up." No, I don't want to be a music teacher....I want to be that passionate about what I do in life.

As he goes through each chapter of the book, he talks about so much more than just the music. The beginning of each chapter, there are 2 or 3 pages on the art and architecture of the era...he goes through it in detail, with incredible, detailed knowledge of each painting and sculpture shown...from the artist, to the subjects, to the artists intent. He talks about what life was like during that time period, and really gives you a much deeper understanding of both the music and art. He puts so much feeling and passion into it, that you can't help but start to feel a bit passionate about it, as well.

School has become an incredible part of my life, largely due to both of these outstanding teachers. I am only on my first semester of college, so I am hopeful that my remaining years in the world of academia are littered with many more heroes like those I discussed above.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Youtube clip of the....whenever I decide to post one!: Rives

My good buddy Sky introduced me to this poet last night, with this clip, Rives Def Jam.

It is both funny and profound at the same time, and I was rather moved by it, and wanted to share.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Youtube clip of the week: Rob Paravonian

Yep, another Rob Paravonian clip! What can I say, he's great!

6 Minutes at Zanies:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not feeling the 'writing bug' at the moment..., how about some HORRIBLE jokes from my Laffy Taffy wrappers?

Q: Why did the matador trade in his sword for a gun?
A: He wanted to shoot the bull!

Q: Do doctors still make housecalls?
A: Yes, but your house has to be REALLY sick!

Q: What pounds in your ear?
A: The drum!

(I'm not making these up)

Q: What bee does well in school?
A: A Spelling Bee!

Q: What is a parasite?
A: Something you see in Paris!

Q: Why did the chicken cross the playground?
A: To get to the other slide!

Q: Why is it hot inside a stadium after a football game?
A: All the fans have left!

Q: Why is a lost Dalmatian easily found?
A: Because he's always spotted!

Q: What is an owl's favorite subject?
A: Owlgebra!

Q: In what month do people talk the least?
A: February-because it's the shortest month of the year!

Yeah, sorry guys...I've got nothin' today.

Oh, and I think I'm gonna turn the Youtube post of the day into the weekly youtube vid, or maybe the bi-weekly vid.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Youtube clip of the day: Gunther, Tutti Frutti Summer Love

Ladies, you know you want him.

Gunther and the sunshine girls, singing Tutti Frutti Summer Love. There is a split second flash of nudity, so you might not want to watch at work.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Youtube clip of the day: Charlie the Unicorn!

Yes, it's very weird. I love it with all of my heart. :P

"It's a Leopluridon, Charlie!"

"A MAGICAL Leopluridon!"

I wish my high school teachers could see me now!

Just wanted to share's my grade sheet that I got back today from my English Composition essay I turned in a week or so ago. :)


My current grade in that class is a 98.64%.

I think I'm ok with that.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The music that fills my soul

I stayed after class today to get some advice from my Music Appreciation teacher about learning piano. I haven't GOTTEN a piano yet, but I will. Mark my words, I will.

Since my meeting yesterday with my counselor, I now have at least 2 credit hours I need to fill up at some point between now and when I graduate from here. (We re-worked my education plan and eliminated something I didn't need or want to take, leaving me with only 64 credit hours --assuming I pass everything, and am able to take everything I plan to-- and it takes 66 credit hours to graduate). I would LOVE to fill those credit hours up with learning the piano, if it were offered as a class in which I get credit.

Good news! It is!!! So, next fall, or possibly even starting in the summer, I plan to take music lessons through the college, AND get credit for them!!! :) Oh, and while I was in there, he told me that I am getting more than straight A's in his class....I'm over points. :D I'm getting more than a 100%! How cool is that!?

This has put me in a really good mood.

Oh, and it didn't hurt that I REALLY enjoyed what we learned in class today. To explain, let's travel back in time to a little over a year ago.

August of 2006, I spent 12 days with my best friend, Joe. He is from Houston, and goes to school in Baltimore. We had planned for me to make the drive back to school with him, from Houston to Baltimore, as it wouldn't really be a fun trip to make alone.

The trip, for me, included a week of hanging out in Houston, 3 days worth of driving to Baltimore, and another 2 days there before going home. During this time, Joe had to practice everyday for his audition for school. Now, I must point out that listening to Joe play his clarinet is one of my favorite things in life to do. It relaxes me, and takes me away from whatever is going on in my life.

At this particular time, one of the pieces he was practicing was an excerpt from Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique."

I thought it was some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. After 12 days of hearing that every single day, it was surprising just how much I MISSED it once I was back home. I longed to hear it again.

I told that to Joe, and he sent me the recording. It's been over a year, and rarely does a week go by in which I don't listen to it. If fact, there have been many times in which a week goes by and I don't listen to anything ELSE while at home.

This is one such week.

I woke up this morning and sat down at my computer. I maximized the media player window, and un-paused it from the spot in which I had stopped the night before. I let it play through the entire time I was getting ready for school, and paused it again, about halfway through the final movement, just before I walked out the door.

It sits there, waiting for me to come home from work tonight, hit play, and once again fill my apartment with that spectacular, emotion-filled masterpiece.

So, you can imagine my joy when the first thing Mr. Pecherek writes on the board is "Hector Berlioz," and we spend a good portion of class time talking about him and "Symphonie Fantastique." I only wish we would have listened to the entire thing, or at the very least, the final movement, but unfortunately, we didn't have time.

It is so wonderful to be able to learn about things that I love so much.

The prospect of 10 years of school used to be daunting to me...but at this moment in time, I think I'd be happy to be in school for longer! (I'm sure that'll change in a few years! :P )

You Tube video of the day: Treat Your Mother Right

This gem has provided me with hours upon hours of entertainment.

Mr. T singing "Treat Your Mother Right."

***This apparently wasn't working earlier...trying again!***

And I swear I'll get some actual substance, other than you tube vids, posted soon! School keeps me busy!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You Tube video of the day: Pachelbel Rant

I've decided I'm going to do a You Tube Video of the day, and post up some of my favorite clips that I've come across.

Today's clip is by Comedian Rob Paravonian.

And yes, I do have a thing for musical comedians.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Meet my future husband...

Stephen Lynch, a comedian whom I've recently become re-obsessed with.

Don't watch if you're easily offended. ;)

That's not his funniest clip, but one of the tamer ones...I strongly encourage you, if you liked that at ALL, to go to you tube, type in Stephen Lynch, and watch em all.


Remember that concert review from a few days ago?

I got it back today, the only comments he made on the entire thing, was on the last page:

This is a terrific review. Exactly the kind of thing that I am looking for. 50/50"

Yep, I got a 100% on that baby! WOOT!!!!

Made my day. :)

Did I mention that he's the best teacher I've ever had?

He is.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The overacheiver disease

I may not be an overachiever in all aspects of my life, but when it comes to school, I am. Granted, I've been out of school for 7 years, and this is my first semester back, but that shouldn't make my 98% and higher that I'm getting in every class any less significant.

I'm doing so much better than I ever thought I COULD do in school, and I'm loving every sleep-deprived second of it. However, I've begun to notice a downfall to this fierce drive that I seem to have... A test or assignment with a grade less than an A seriously affects my immediate mood. Why can't a B be good enough for me?

Today, this overachiever disease reached new heights. I had a test in my psychology class...I've gotten good grades in there so far, and have twice gotten the high score of the class on my tests. But I've gotten it in my head that the high score isn't good enough...that I need to get a perfect score.

I wizzed through the multiple choice questions, fairly confident with my selections...pounded out the essay questions, having no doubts at all on those...then moved on to the extra-credit. The extra credit was a large chart of the 8 senses, the organs, receptors, types of energy, and what lobes of the brain were related to those senses...the entire chart was blank, and we had to fill in every last cell, each worth a 1/2 point...but if you didn't get the scientific term for the sense correct, you didn't get any of the points for that sense.

FORTY cells to fill in on this chart...not an easy task...but I had this puppy in the bag. I zipped right through vision, had no problems with audition, in no time got through olfaction, cutaneous sense, vestibular sense, gustation, an kinesthesia. I had every cell filled out for prop...propec....propio....WHAT THE HELL IS THAT WORD!?

I sat there for 10 minutes...everything done but that one cell. I was the last student left in the class. I finally gave up. No chance of getting that perfect.


I was in a pissed off mood for two hours. Because of an extra credit question.

Folks, I think I have a problem.

The true college experience.

I believe I've now had the true college experience.

3+ weeks of sleep deprivation due to multiple essays and tests piled one on top of the other.

Yep, it's official. I'm in college.