Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vacation Time!!!

Well, almost vacation time. Where the summer went, I have no idea. (Well, that's a lie. It went to working 2 jobs, choreographing a show, and getting ready for school. That's exactly where it went.) But now the summer is about to come to a close (anybody else notice that August happens in 3 days?). And that means-TIME FOR END-OF-SUMMER VACATION!

Exactly 2 weeks from today, I'm heading down to Miami to hang out with friends, celebrate some birthdays (not mine), and introduce my Goddaughter Ainsley to the awesomeness that is Universal Studios. Yes, I realize she's a one-year-old and will never remember any of this. But I don't care. Start 'em early, raise 'em right. Behold the cuteness I get to hang out with in Orlando (pictured above). Come on. Admit it. She's the cutest thing you've ever seen.

Needless to say, I'm uber-excited. Roller coasters, water parks, Harry Potter World (!!!!!), comfy Universal hotel room...I could get used to that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

When Did We Get So Old?

Remember back when a year seemed like the LONGEST WAIT EVER? When that 4 months between getting your learner's permit and your full license seemed like an eternity? When the idea that you'd know anyone with kids seemed laughable? Yeah.

I don't know why, but today the fact that life is just flying by hit me particularly hard. My sort-of Goddaughter/pseudo-niece (if they're not baptized but I'm in the will to gain custody if her parents both die, does that make me her Godmother?) Ainsley turned one last week. The fact that it's been an entire year since she was born is one thing. But now she's walking, talking (sort of), and displaying personality traits. In my head, she's still a barely-conscious lump of baby. But nope. She's like a mini-person now.

As of today, Matt and I have been together for 2 years. When I told Arianne that during one of our ritual marathon phone conversations yesterday, she said, "Oh my God! You moved back from the UK that long ago?" I hadn't even thought of it in those terms, but yeah. It's been almost 2 years that I've been back-the same amount of time I spent in London. Which is crazy to me. That was such an influential period of my life. And although the last year and a half has been fun, I feel like pretty much nothing happened to me in that time. And suddenly, in a blink of an eye, it's gone.

I realized the other day that if I wait until school is over (roughly in 2016/2017) to have kids, I might be on the brink of being too old to have them safely. And that's terrifying.

I'm no longer at the age where it's weird to get married (though I still feel WAY too young for it). In fact, people are starting to look at me funny and go, "You guys live together? You love each other? You know you want to be together? So...why aren't you married?"

Three of my good friends are now mothers or expecting. None of them are young enough for it to be weird.

Exactly when did we get this grown up? Did anyone else miss that happening?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again...

So it's happened...I'm finally back on the wagon. (The school wagon, to be exact.) A lot has happened since I stopped posting regularly. I moved back to DC from the UK, Matt and I are living together (and hopefully moving to a reasonably-sized apartment soon), we'll be celebrating our 2-year dating anniversary on July 25th (2 years without a single fight! Who knew?), I now have a full-time job with insurance, and I'll be starting school on August 30th at Catholic University.

I realize that as of the last time I posted regarding school, I was supposed to be starting a year ago. However, life doesn't always work out the way you want it to. Unfortunately, my program doesn't have enough money to fund everyone, so only one student per year receives full funding. Needless to say, I was not that student. And although I was approved for student loans, it wasn't quite enough to get me through the program full-time, and I decided to actually make a good financial decision for once in my life and not sink myself even further into debt than I already am.

Hence, I spent the last year trying to figure out what to do with my life. I continued to work at a museum part-time (in fact still worked there on the weekends), and although I loved it, and may choose to work in a museum field after I've completed my PhD, I had this nagging feeling that school is where I'm supposed to be-that I would never be completely happy unless I pushed on through and finished my degree. So I set about trying to find a way to pay for school. Savings was out, loans were out, funding was out. My only options left to me were either A) kill an obscure relative for the insurance money, or B) get a job at the university I want to attend so I can go to school for free as an employee benefit. So, after reviewing murder and insurance fraud laws and deciding on the latter course of action, I did some snooping around and I found an open position as an administrative assistant at Catholic. And lo and behold, I got the job! Now, don't get me wrong, a trained chimpanzee could do my job. But it's not the job I care about. It's the free tuition for attending school part-time that's my main concern. My boss is great about letting me out for class during the work day as long as I make up the time by giving up lunch or getting there early, which is perfectly OK with me-on the scale of personal sacrifices, I can think of bigger ones.

So that's where I am now. I've signed up for my classes, bought my text books, and now am just ready and waiting for the school year to start. And because I'm the biggest nerd EVER, I naturally went to the library the other day to do some homework for a class that hasn't started yet. (You can never start too early, right?) And as I found what I'm sure will be my regular library seat for the next 5 years, spread my stuff over the desk, breathed in the smell of musty old books and listened to the sound of pages turning and index cards flipping and students sighing, I couldn't help but think, "Now I'm home."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You Should Read These

So I've decided this year to start making a list of books I read as I go along. I'll be totally honest, it's mostly for narcissistic purposes so I can bask in my smart-ness and productivity. But it's also just fun, and really interesting to see my shifting moods and reading tastes. Thus far this year (2011) I've read:

Mindhunter-John Douglas
A Month of Sundays-John Updike
The Cases That Haunt Us-John Douglas
Mapping Human History (currently reading)-Steve Olsen

I've got to say, Mindhunter and The Cases That Haunt Us are among the most interesting books I've ever read. They're both by John Douglas, the man who single-handedly created psychological criminal profiling. (Ever seen Silence of the Lambs? The lead investigator character, Jack Crawford, is based on him.) In Mindhunter, he describes his interviews with such killers as the Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, and Charles Manson. (But beware, because he spares no gory details in describing crime scenes.) It's a fascinating look at the inner psychology of killers. In The Cases That Haunt Us, he goes deep into history's most famous unsolved cases, such as Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, and the Lizzy Borden case, and looks at them from a profiling standpoint. I would definitely recommend these books to anyone who's not squeamish.

A Month of Sundays? A little weird, to be honest. Extremely sexually graphic, which doesn't bother me, but for anyone who's offended by language or explicit sex, it's definitely over-the-top. Also, Updike uses words like "prestidigitoneous" in everyday language, which to me is just weird. I'm all for an extensive vocabulary, but there's a fine line between good vocabularly and being pretensious. (I KNOW I spelled that wrong. Pretensous? Pretencious? Why am I blanking on that?)

As for Mapping Human History, I personally find it fascinating. Although, I will be the first to admit I don't understand most of it. There's a lot in there about mitochondrial DNA. I got a C in 9th-grade chemistry. But it's fascinating nonetheless.

Any book recommendations for an avid pretensious (?) bibliophile?