Friday, April 29, 2011


My brother and Lianne are visiting me! They are on their way here RIGHT NOW.  I am so excited I can't focus or do anything.  Well, I will stop and see the kittens on my way home...they are a priority after all.

Tomorrow we will run a 1/2 marathon!  This is our fourth year being part of it (normally we just cheer people on).  It's a big party.  The spectators get out grills and lawn chairs and drinks and cheer on the runners.  I will see Montgomery Gentry at the concert tomorrow night (free for runners).  I don't really know who he is at all or they? Is it a band or a person?  But I will find out.

I was in Denver on Wednesday and Thursday.  I drove out to Evergreen on Wednesday night and watched my cousin, Will, and his band play at the One World Cafe.  Last time I was in Denver I saw them play there too.  It's a small place, 33 people capacity, that is upstairs and the kitchen is downstairs.  Will and the band know everyone there and people really like hearing them play.  They closed the place down.  It was tons better than sitting in my hotel room watching CSI: Miami!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Life of Fail

Today I woke up very stressed...maybe anxious would be the better term?  I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I know when things "aren't right" in my head.  When I'm stressed my tummy gets the tingles, which are like butterflies, but imply high school, when the tingles started, I used to think that it implied that something terrible was about to happen and I would get afraid.  Now, when I realize it's the tingles, I tell myself, it's just me, I'm not really afraid, nothing bad is happening or will happen.  That helps me to ignore them and not focus on them.  But they are still there, and I get antsy and my hands move faster and twitchier when I's like the adrenaline from the stress is kicking in but there is no fight or flight, just tension in me.  It also makes everything else I generally worry about magnified and oh so much worse.

So this is what I worried about today before I realized it and forced myself to ignore it:

1.  That I haven't been training for the past few weeks for the marathon.  I'm afraid I'm going to let me and everyone else that says "good job!" down.  This will be the first time that I set a goal and didn't give it my bestest best effort. (like school).
2.  The laundry isn't done...what am I going to wear to work?
3.  Nathan and Lianne are visiting and the house isn't clean.

So, numbers 2 and 3 are stupid.  The laundry is NEVER done and I never have anything to wear at the beginning of the week and it always works out.  And I vacuumed this weekend and the house is in general, cleaner than normal.  Not things I should worry about at all...but it's the stress.

Then what don't I worry about???  I'm going to Denver this Wednesday and Thursday.  No thought put into that at all.  Complete confidence and excitement for the trip.

I'm messed up.

I told all my worries to my bible study today, and felt stupid about it.  When I was done talking, we all sat there and it was awkward, as usual whenever I say anything.  Then it was prayed about in the closing prayer (cause I had said it was prayer request). 

Do you know what happened?  I got into my truck to drive home and my brother calls me.  The very first thing he asks is "First things first, how's the training coming?"  My worst worry and fear coming true.  Someone who really knows the importance of training asks me about my mistake of not training...and I had to admit that I failed and am a horrible person.  (see the anxiety leads me to believe that any single mistake is a failure and my life will end...that's the messed up part I know).  So I told him, and you know what?  The world didn't end.  I felt terrible having to say it, and he was still supportive and said, that's okay, we'll just work on your mindset of preparing for the race.  How nice is that?  This coming from the person growing up who loved to make fun of me for anything and everything!  Someone who once sent me a letter when I was in college...a hand written letter, addressed by himself that said "Someday your butt will outgrow the moon. ~Nate".  He's always been saying things like, Did you run two miles today?  No? Then you can't eat that cookie.  And I told him, what in my mind was my most recent large failure in life was, and he didn't make me feel bad about it.

me gusta

Thursday, April 21, 2011


What a day.  I think I was cynically optimistic.  I know that doesn't make sense, but I was very angry and very happy and excited at the same time.

I worked most of the day on changing my master's thesis charts from color to black and white.  It took 3.5 hrs and my hand hurt at the end b/c of all the clicking I had to do.  That's okay, I'm done with what I can do at the moment.  Calvin and Guil need to email me a few more charts and I can change them too.  Then we are submitting our final version to Mineralogy and Petrology Special Addition.  It's a special issue solely focused on accessory minerals, which is what sphene is, which is what I studied.  Only the official name is titanite but only lame geologist call it that.  By calling it titanite, that's implying that it's chemical composition is TiO2, but that's the chemical composition for Rutile, sphene (titanite)'s chemical composition is CaTiO2.  Big difference.

I sure do love minerals.  Minerals make up rocks, so I love minerally rocks...which is why I don't love limestone (the only rock in nashville besides chert nodules) because it is only calcium carbonate.  Boring...  Don't tell any of my soft rock friends this though.

Scott (a coworker) and I have a squirrel friend at work now.  The squirrel (yet unnamed) likes to crawl on the ledge out our windows and lick the dirt off the ledge.  I don't know why.  Scott put peanuts and crackers out there for him, but he ignores the crackers.  I think he either ate or knocked down two of the peanuts.

Exciting news!!!!  Sarah found a stray, but very friendly, sweet, and nice, cat in her car the other morning!  The sunroof had been left open to let the car dry out b/c it leaks when it rains.  The kitty, Esmeralda, is very pregnant...which means....KITTENS!!!!!!!  They are going to keep her and the kittens until they are old enough to be adopted out.  I can't wait to see them!  I want 6 kittens but the vet says there is probably only 3 in her.  She is very young and it's probably her first litter.  They are going to have giant heads and tiny ears and look kinda not cute until they grow into little fluff balls.  I've been craving kittens soooooooo bad.  We had a litter maybe once a year growing up and it's been so long since I've held and played with kittens.  The last time was when I visited Megan and she was fostering kittens.  That was probably 2 years ago or more.  More like 3 I bet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Never Trust A Casino No Matter How Nice The People Are

I'm in Atmore, AL today with the Poarch Creek Indians.  This morning I was in Mississippi with the Choctaw.  Everything today went wrong, one right after another...starting last night. 

Actually, starting Sunday.  Sunday is when I went to the library and picked out a novel.  A novel about a girl who goes to England on a whim to go on a Jane Austin tour and falls in love and also goes crazy and goes on dates with Mr. Darcy.  It was suppose to be mysterious and other worldly but the book wasn't that well written.  BUT I couldn't stop reading it b/c I'm a sucker for crappy love stories.  You should see how I am about the good ones!  And when I mean I couldn't stop reading it I mean I read more than half of it last night and stayed up to 1:30 in the morning.  That's why I don't read anymore unless it's a non-fiction or educational book, because once I start it takes over my life like an addiction and I make poor decisions.  No self control, no will power.  I should have brought my book on personal financial decisions I checked out from the library.

So this morning, I wake up...barely.  Get ready and go and arrive 10 min. late.  Lame.  How professional is that?  Then I try to teach the woman at the Tribe (she's very very nice) the computer programs I'm working on.  Only there was a problem in the installation of it, and I have to call our IT guy, who can't figure it out, and has to call the Fish Commish in Washington State.    Then there's another problem WHERE THE DATABASE IS EMPTY OF ALL THE PRE-LISTED LISTS.  Basically it's useless and I had to call the guy at Windsor who we work with on this.  Who told me that John installed the wrong thing, which is impossible b/c he installed what he always installs. Also, the program was uninstalled from my work laptop and I don't know when or why it happened.  It was there during the Impact Week meeting in February.  So I had to teach her all of it on programs that aren't working properly...which is what I would say about everything that deals with these programs.  I think only once have they ever worked properly.  AND there's no user manual except the one I created.  Comforting right? (that was said in sarcasm).

Then I was socially awkward and it bothered me this time.

Then I drove 10 miles in the wrong direction to go to Sonic.  Then I drove back the 10 miles and the Sonic that was there a year ago had turned into local "Sonic" knock off and sold crappy food I didn't want.  I got a foot long chili cheese dog, only it was 1.5 hot dogs that were hot pink.  I didn't get any napkins and had to eat it on my lap in the car with a crappy plastic fork that didn't cut the hotdogs.  As expected, I spilled the very last bite all over my pants and shirt.  I had one napkin I had brought from home that I was using, and at this point it was all dirty...and I had to find a clean spot to help wipe up the mess.  Then my deep fried pickles weren't as good as I thought they'd be.  I did get some fried cake fries for desert and they were delicious, but I didn't enjoy them because I was impatient to leave.  That was my fault.  I had put the open plastic container of ranch (for the pickles) in the hotdog case thing with the napkin.  I grabbed the napkin out to wipe the powdered sugar from the cake fries off my fingers and discovered too late that I had shoved the napkin into the open ranch container.  Yay.

Then I drove 4 or 5 miles to Atmore.  Through back roads, which I liked.  I listened to a new book on tape and it was pretty good except it is read by a female and all of the male characters still sound like females and the main male character sounds like a Russian and she gets all of his inflictions wrong.  And he's not russian...he's part wolf part human or something.  It's a sci-fi love story.  I didn't know it was going to be more of a romance novel than sci fi movie and it's much more closely related to Twilight than any other book I've read, only the word penis and cock were used.  And that made me uncomfortable hearing it read outloud, alone, in my car.  Pathetic really.

But I really got into the story anyways and was listening to it, and my car beeps at me.  I'm like, car, why are you beeping?  Because I'm very much on empty.  I had forgotten to get gas...  only it had been 2 hours since I had seen my last store or sign of civilization.  I searched for fuel in my gps (after stopping of course!), and there was one only 8 miles away.  I start following hte gps and it wants me to turn left into a not very well kept tiny dirt road, and I was like, no way gps you're stupid.  And I had to stop again and look at it.  Did you know that a GPS machine will not ever tell you to turn around or make a u-turn?  no it will make you drive out of your way forever so that you can turn around by taking a bunch of right or left turns in a row.  Which is what it wanted me to do then.  I just turned around and was pissed b/c it made me drive further out of my way on empty. 

I got to a gas station that looked suspiciously like it was no longer a gas station, and I drove around all of the pumps for a while and then stopped to get out and ask inside.  There was a lady leaving, I guess it was diner closing?  Not really sure, but she told me that this was not a gas station despite all fo the pumps and price sign (it was missing the middle numbers), and told me that the nearest one wasn't far.

After I got 15 gallons of gas for 51$, the GPS made me drive on all these super scary back roads through trailer parks to get back to where I wanted to go.  Only it was still stupid.  Eventually I had to stop, zoom out and look at the map on the GPS to decide my own route.  I had no other map and my cell phone was beeping with a low battery.  And I had literally no idea in the entire world where I was, except the middle of nowhere.  But I got here fine.

And I don't understand valet parking and I had way more luggage than I can carry alone (a big box full of useless laptops (yes I brought 2) and heavy binders full of manuals.) and I didn't know what I was going ot do.  So I parked far away and walking to check in.  Then I went back to my car b/c I asked about valet and figured it out.  Only it took me 5 minutes of walking around stairing into all the white impalas (yes there were many out there) looking for mine.

The valet people where very nice and they brought all of my stuff up to my room for me.  That was good.

Then I decided to get dinner and I have been dreaming of room service all day.  My options were fried chicken tenders, fried shrimp, or fried catfish.  All of which are my least favorite.  So I went down to the casino floor to see what the resteraunts offered.  Let me tell was worse than airport food and more expensive and smelled of cigarette smoke.  So I bought a sandwiche with wilty lettuce.  We'll see if I eat it.

Oh and last night at the other casino, I bet a dollar at the nickle slots and on my very last credit I won 2$!!!  I cashed that baby out! I was one dollar ahead!  Tonight I decided to do the same, only the first machine ate my dollar and I had to wait to get it back.  Then the next machine didn't take my dollar and I had to put a different one in.  And the machines are stupid...I was only allowed to bet 15 credits as my minimum, not 1.   And so that didn't go into 1$ evenly, so I had to cash it out at 26 cents.  I put the ticket into a 2 cent machine that also only let me bet 15 when I had less than 15 credits left it would no longer let me play.  I cashed out my 11 cents and couldn't find a machine to change my printed ticket into money.  And I'm pissed b/c the casino tricked me into giving it that 11 cents.  That's just no right.  Piss on them.

My bed is huge and soft though and my shower has two heads (on the same side, but there are still two).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taxes and Packing

I'm suppose to be packing.  Do you know how much I hate packing?  So much that I did my taxes instead!  It's true.  And it took me three tries.

The first time around I owed about 600$.  I was doing the 1040, and I wanted to do the one where I could deduct Josh's college expenses.  Oh, and I forgot to print out my interest paid on my student loan forms too.  Luckly I remembered to get them off the internet.  So I did them again, with my loan interest paid and I ended up owing about $400.  Then I did some major internet research to find a deduction form to allow me to deduct Josh's school expenses.  I finally found it and it required the 1040A.  So I printed out the worksheet for his deduction and realized it only counted payments on books.  Well well well.  I went to my credit card website and printed off the statements for the months that Josh spent money at the bookstore.  I highlighted those and added them up and then filled out the correct form.  I received two different credits/deductions/something I don't really understand from that.  Then I did the Make Work Pay credit which is new.  I got a huge credit from that...(I did it wrong first, and almost credited ALL our income for the year...that wasn't right at all).  Now the government owes us a little less than $200.  Josh spend nearly $1000 on books in 2010, and I didn't count the ones he bought for this last semester and I didn't count the ones he got from amazon b/c I didn't feel like going through my email to find all the amazon reciepts.  But maybe I should do that.  Money is money.

I don't know.  It's sweaty and hot here and I still have to pack and fold a ton of clothes.  All of which are worse than taxes.  I think it's the heat.

I'm so glad I'm so smart.  Otherwise I'd be writing a $600 check write now.  Smart as in good at following directions!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fairy Dream Story

I had a dream that I was younger and fell in love with an older fairy man.  He looked just like us humans, but could do magic and was a fairy. (No wings...sort like how wizards are to humans in Harry Potter).  He brought me to the Fairy council, but didn't tell me that's what he was doing or why.  It was very secretive...and the other fairy's were unwelcoming of humans.  But I wasn't the only one there.  There were other humans who had fallen in love with other fairies.  One was a douchbag guy who looked more like a fairy (piercings/tattoos etc) from a Neil Gieman book, but was human.  His story was that the fairy who brought him made a human woman fall in love with him so that she would do stuff for him, but this other guy did things better, and the woman died of a broken heart when the fairy left her.  But the guy and the fairy didn't care.  The fairy council didn't like him because the fairy didn't truly love him and the other guy loved himself more too.  He was taken out and I don't know what happened to him, but it was nothing good.  Then the council ended for the night.  I was in the back in an area full of books with the other humans still their.  They were nice and we were practicing for a presentation/play we were going to do the next day for the fairies.  The one I was in love with rushed in on his cell phone and didn't see me and was talking about how he was in a hurry and forgot something and "Yes! I know you are my wife."  He was already married!!  Then he saw that I heard that and didn't know what to do b/c I do think he really cared for me, but I refused to talk to him.  Then I was at home and someone knocked on my door and it was a Catholic priest who was all out of sorts because a dude (the fairy I was in love with) told him to come talk to me because the priest was from my world and would know how to help me, and then the fairy made him fly through the air straight to me...which was impossible from the Christian viewpoint.

Then in real life my mom called.

If this was a real story in a book, the ending would go like this:

All of that really did happen, but the next day I refused to be a part of all of that because he was married and like Jane Eyre, I couldn't be with a married man...fairy or no.  So the fairies sent me back to my real life now and put a spell on me so that I would think it's all a dream.

And I'm okay with that because the Fairies didn't really know about compassion or empathy or true love  in any way. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Putting Things in Order and Adding Filler

I have been sick all week with a sore throat and a light head with stomach problems.  I'm not sure if it's sickness or allergies or an imbalance of my stomach cultures.  Or all three.  It's a bummer though because it's cutting into my prime training for the marathon time. I was unable to run Monday or Tuesday or do much like clean.  Today I felt slightly better and tried running even though I didn't want to.  I ran 1 mile straight, and then walk/ran the second one.  I couldn't do any more after that.  My legs and muscles hurt and burned sooooo badly!  At least I wasn't out of breath much at all.  Mentally and endurance wise I was great!  It was just my muscles and knees and feet were very weak and painful. 

I looked in Publix (Pube-licks as Josh calls it) a grocery store chain down here for some probiotics but they only had the dried out kind and I have it on good authority that the kind stored in the refrigerator are better.  I got some activia yogurt instead.  We'll see, we'll see.  I'm trying to cut out dairy so that was sort of a fail there.  I need to find a health food store but I'm not sure where one would go for that in Nashville. 

At work I worked up a manual to give a step-by-step how to use the computer program I am working with and am going to train some Tribes how to use next week.  I must say I didn't really write it.  The actual How-To part was written by a friend at the BIA for my training session at our last work meeting and the newer part on how to use SEQUEL and import an excel data sheet was written by the Fish Commish.  All I did was put it in the correct order and write up some filler.  Then I took the manual for the other program that goes with the first one that the contracting agency we worked with for this project wrote and I put it at the back.  I designed a cover though all on my own and it's sweet!  I also made a mock up of it in a binder and brought it to the printing place and they are going to make them for me.

That describes my job well I think, putting things in order and providing filler.  It sounds like something I'd be good at really.

I'm going to give a presentation on my organization's experience with these two programs at the end of April to the NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) Exchange Network meeting.  Someone there made all of my travel arrangements and itinerary for me.  I like that a lot. :) I'm also excited about the's something I know I'm good at.

What are these computer programs?  Well well well.  Good question.  One is a form that the Tribes fill out and it enters data into a database (think Microsoft Access) and the second one takes the data in the database and sends it to my organization or to the EPA or where ever else has a Node and the Tribe has a contract to share data with them in place.  It sends the data over the internet.  Sounds so simple, so easy, so straight forward. It even looks like it is!  But there is this thing called "Business Rules" that make it so you have to follow a complex flow chart (choose your own adventure but you better choose right or nothing will work) that tells that if you fill in one part then you have to fill in 5 other parts, but if you don't fill in the first part the 5 other parts don't matter.  And these programs are actually easier than the other way provided by the EPA to submit data straight over the internet.  I know because I have done both ways and the internet way nearly did me in....but I worked it like a boss.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What I Want

I just want to let you know that a I want this: CLICK LINK

I want it in the light green tweed with the red cording on the side.

So if you are the type that has lots of money and buys me gifts (parental, husband, sister, brother) or has influence on these people, now you know.

It's an adult trapper keeper basically.  It will hold my phone, pens, notebook and will be perfect when I travel and go to meetings, cutting down on the size of purse I need to bring and carry around with me.  It will also work when I travel around Nashville and journal.  I don't do that yet, but I'm working on it.  I go to  a coffee shop in East Nashville on Mondays for 1.5 hrs.  I knit now and read about good ol' Abe Lincoln, but I could be journaling just as easy.  I would fit in perfectly... 

I would fit in better if someone bought me a macbook.  Just sayin.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Banana Bread Muffiny Muffin Tips

I just made the best banana muffins I have ever made.  Ever.  Unimaginably good.  Crispy, fruity, nutty...actually, I forgot the nuts...and they are still that good!! 

I thought I would give you some banana bread muffin tips.  I usually wait until the banana is super black and disgusting.  A day before it melts into goo.  This helps the banana break down easier and not make the bread taste banana-y.  I don't actually like banana bread that tastes too much like bananas. 

I put the banana and some old fruit.  Last time it was apples that were too soft to eat.  This time I squeezed orange juice from oranges that were too old to eat into the thing.  I put it into my off brand magic bullet blender thing and blend it up until it's all smooth.  This also helps in the breakdown of the banana.  My friend, Adiar, once added frozen raspberries, and I almost added strawberries today.

I used whole wheat flower today too.  I don't know if that made a difference or not.  Oh and I added ground flax seed for health.  I think the whole wheat flower thickened up the batter nicely and it was easier to scoop.

Finally I sprinkled wheat bran flakes on top.  I got the wheat bran from Whole Foods, but I think you can find it at Kroger in little bags in the health food area.  The wheat bran crisped up a little and added a subtle flavor and texture.  Other toppings I have done is brown sugar, or brown sugar mixed with butter and rolled oats.  You could also do cinnamon sugar, or just plain cinnamon I bet.  I don't like cinnamon so I don't use it.

There are other things I did tonight that make life easier too.  The wheat bran, flax seed, and also buckwheat flour I bought the other day all came in plastic bags that are not resealable and annoying to store in my little pantry.  I save larger glass bottles, such as instant coffee jar, pasta jar, other jars.  So I grabbed them and filled them with the flours and labeled them.  I twist tied up the bags with the left over flour in it (the jars were not large enough to hold all of it) and stuck it in the freezer.

Oh, something else unusual happened when I was making the muffins.  I didn't have eggs, so I had to run to target to get some, and then I was stuck there mulling over feminine shavers, nail polish, and deodorant...none of which I bought.  While I was doing this, the banana/orange mixture, the sugar and crisco, and milk were all sitting in the bowl together.  I wonder if that affected things??

There's sooo much fiber in these muffins.  I bet that's why they are amazing.  Fiber is my favorite.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Building Stuff and Working Hard

Every morning during the week there is a man who drives around all of the apartment complexes looking for scrap metal.  He has an old pickup truck that is blue and he welded bars on all the sides to make a pen.  I followed him out one morning to and got a good look at the truck.  The best way I can describe it is that he took parts of a cow pen (area surrounded by metal bars that holds the cows in a small area) and welded it to the bed of his truck to make it taller.  He then welded something to the front of the "cow pen" over the cab of his truck that holds a blue plastic tub. The tub is for the smaller metal bits.

I find this all genius. He has to be pretty smart in engineering to rig all that up, and then dedicated to drive around early every morning and pick up metal garbage from the dumpsters.  I'm assuming he sells it for a profit.  Sometimes he has washing machines and the like.  It's usually full every morning.  That's how much junk American's just throw away. 

I collect furniture in the same way...sort of.  I always keep an eye out for tables, bookshelves, dresser things that people are getting rid of.  I all of our furniture is second hand, except the two nice tables that my dad built.  But I'm not as smart as that guy, or as dedicated.

Speaking of amazing things that my Dad built, I just fully realized how much he has built.  I always knew he built my Oma's house, but I didn't know he built it by hand, nail by nail, built it!  I didn't really know that one person could build a house.  Then when Oma's house was done, a year or so later my parents go married and my dad built our house on the river.  It's on the Muskegon river near Reed City.  When I was one, we sold that house and moved to Fremont, where my parents and I (as a baby) lived in a little trailer in the part of our property where I got married, and he built ANOTHER HOUSE!  That's 3 houses in like 5 years and he was my age now.

All of that so I can get a cushy office job helping the Indians and blog about my life.  I need to get on top of things...I'm doing pretty poorly if I'm going to be great and amazing and change the world and all the stuff I said I would do when I was in 8th grade.