Wednesday, January 30, 2008
  Big-ass truck.

Big-ass truck., originally uploaded by estacey.

This is the vehicle. It's quite fun to drive, and excellent because the rear window rolls down. You get some convertible-like wind action goin' on when all the windows are down.

However, anyone that is familiar with my lack of driving/parking skills will be amused when trying to picture me trying to park this bad boy. I had to try in three different spots the other day at a shopping center parking lot. Tights spots = no good!

At Christmas, I went to the mall and ended up stuck with a tight spot. I was trying to park it, and it was much like the scene from Austin Powers: forward, back, forward, back. The best part, probably, is that to passers-by I look really pathetic since I probably have five feet of space but am taking no chances, so go forward and back, repeat. Anyway, so this dude in a big Ford truck stops to watch the spectacle, along with his buddies. (They probably thought I was leaving and they were going to snake the spot, but then they just decided they'd stay and give me a hard time.) Now, it's hard enough for me to park this truck without an audience, but having them laughing at me (I assume) while I do my thing... That's too much! So finally, hot and red, I rolled down my window and said, "Could you PLEASE go away?!" The guy is like, "What, am I making you NERVOUS?" Exasperated, I yelled back: "YES, YOU ARE!" Taking pity upon me, he laughed and drove away. Oh, those chick drivers!

Chris assures me this thing is easier to back in than it is to pull in forward. I'll have to practice that someday, but maybe I have to find an empty lot since I don't want to practice on OPP. 'Til then, I'll keep hoping I can find a nice spot at the back of the lot. :D

(Long, so I'm breaking this into lots of paragraphs. Hope it makes it easier to read!)

So we just had to work for this class in a group of three. The teacher assigned our groups, so we were working with new people. We had to read a paper together that someone else in class had written, then make suggestions for revision.

The one girl was totally adorable. Pre-med. She wants to be a pediatrician. The other was this girl who talked non-stop. The adorable girl was sitting in between us, thankfully. I was done with the article and the poor adorable girl was only on page 2 because the motormouth was ripping on the article the whole time, even though she had only read about a page. Saying how the arguments were bad. I'm thinking, "Um, you haven't read them? You have 5 pages to go?" Considering the teacher introduced the assignment by saying it was a strong paper, but needed a little work, there was no grounds for her opinion that it was shit.

I finally cut in and said something along the lines of the fact that it would help us a lot if everyone would READ the article first, and we would talk about it afterwards. Like we had agreed to do at the beginning. She half-read, but mostly just talked. And talked. And talked. The adorable girl and I kept exchanging looks. We had questions we were supposed to answer, such as, "How do you feel about the paper's organization? What do you like about the paper?" Getting her to talk about specifics or admit something was good was like pulling teeth. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be biased," she kept saying. "But I just don't like the way it's written." On and on and on. And how someday she's going to be a teacher, and how she knows she needs to set her biases aside then, but she really just can't help it.

She didn't care if we were reading or writing or anything, she would just PLOW AHEAD WITH HER OPINION. Even after we had agreed with her, or said good point, or said, "Okay, we'll write that on the paper, you're right." She'd just keep explaining how she was right. It was almost like she was talking to herself at one point. OH MY GOD. The poor girl typing would steal quick glances at me (turning away from the girl), like, "Get a load of this girl!"

Or, like, she claimed the paper had no thesis. We pointed it out to her. I'm like, Jesus, what do you have against this paper?! You haven't even READ IT!!! It was a draft, so it had some grammatical errors, and it went on a bit too long, but it was a good paper!

I sat there the whole time, just wishing this thing were over.

After class, I go back to my seat and open my email. The room all but clears out. That girl goes back to her section of the room and starts blabbering to the girl she sits next to, all pissed. The teacher goes over and asks if everything is okay. With three other people in the room, and me in the back corner, she starts saying how the group he put is in was out to get her.

"Obviously the two girls you put me with were close-knit friends and they were against everything I said. I can't help my opinion." She started going on about how everything she said was wrong, etc. Her opinion, her opinion, her opinion... (Maybe thinking the teacher would say, oh dear, everyone is entitled to their opinion!)

The teacher was apologizing for her being in a difficult situation, but then pointed out the fact that this assignment wasn't supposed to be about her opinion; she needed to back up her arguments with fact. (Insinuating that maybe her group partners had merit...?) And then reminded her that group projects were just that; they weren't all about her. Much more diplomatically worded, of course. But she responded with more whining about her opinion.

After about 30 seconds of this, I started to feel a little funny about being here, even though, in my defense, I was visible. I said, "Um, I'm still here." She looks at me like, "Awwww, shit." The other people in the room were probably very amused.

And then I said, "And the whole problem was that you started ripping on the paper before you had even read it. I was done with the paper before you had barely started, and the girl sitting between us, who I had never even talked to before today, couldn't get hers done because you kept talking. She was only on page TWO when I was done with mine."

The teacher is, like, "Oh." Like, that's how it was.

I continued: "And part of the assignment was that we were supposed to find good points, as well as points for revision, but all you wanted to point out were the things wrong with it, even though it was a pretty good paper."

The teacher's like, "Okay, I think I'm going to leave now." :D

Anyway, she apologized, she didn't mean to get all upset. I said it's okay. I'm annoyed. I mean, c'mon - let's take it up with the teacher that you were a mess? I mean, it's kinda crazy, because I found her annoying, but I certainly didn't think we were engaged in a CONFLICT. Apparently she did. Whatever.

She'll be a fun teacher someday, I guess!
Monday, January 28, 2008
  I'm such a brat.
A spoiled brat. Really.

See, Valentine's Day is coming up. Saturday Chris announced that he knows what he's going to get me, and do I want to know now or do I want him to keep it a secret. I gave him a look. The look meant, of course, I wanted to know but that he shouldn't tell me. He told me anyhow. And it's a laptop! Yeah, it's not a very Valentine's-y Day gift, but that's my Chris. I really need a laptop, and it's a holiday, therefore... It's an excuse to get me this thing that I need. At least, that's how I interpret it.

The only problem was that I wasn't expecting this. Well... he did say something maybe hinting to it the other day, but it was by no means concrete. So in the meantime, I've been checking the Dell website, trying to figure out which computer I would buy for myself. I don't have much money, but the financial aid did finally come in, and there's really no getting around the fact that I need a laptop.

Anyway, Chris's way of doing things is not always mine. Now, Chris is by no means cheap. Seriously. He's about the least cheap person I know. I'm pretty used to it now, but... to think of an example, when we went to Universal, he paid, and he didn't even mention it. That's $140 in admission fees. Plus breakfast and dinner, and a $5 caramel apple with nuts. And he doesn't bat an eye. But he never spends money where he doesn't have to. This is why he drives a '96 Corolla to work. This is usually quite amusing...

But we're definitely different there. Example is that when I was in the market for a bike a few years back, I bought one on sale from Sports Authority, a respected brand name. Sale from $400 to $240. When he wanted a bike, he went to Toys 'R Us and spent $70. "It's all you need." And he's right; he's perfectly happy with his $70 bike. It has wheels. It propels him forward. Of course, his bike is something like eight months old and it's making funny noises already, a fact which I like to point out when he reminds me he could buy three of his bikes for one of mine (and mine is 4 years old and still running smooth!). (For the record, I ain't saying my way is superior... In some instances, I definitely have wasted money; Chris's mindset is actually a very good one to emulate on many subjects.)

So I asked which laptop. He responds: "The cheapest one!" You know, the cheapest one they offer. Um. Then he said something about the fact that it's a depreciating asset. But, um.. um.. I've never had my very own computer before! Well, not since that desktop I had in high school. So I want it to be a decent one! His logic, which does have merit, is that he is going to get the cheapest one, because it will do the job. This means, you know, it's a laptop - I can do my homework on it, access the Internet, etc. "Good enough," is how he puts it, I think. Of course... But... but.. this is going to be my computer, you know? Not saying I need the top of the line, but I also don't want to be worried that I am lacking in RAM when an upgrade costs something like an extra $50. Not to say that the cheapest one isn't going to be good enough, but I don't want that to be the one and only deciding factor for it being chosen, so...

I immediately went to work on the Dell website to see what I was in for. I yelled out questions to him in the other room, like am I going to have any problems running Photoshop with 512 MB of RAM. (I know nothing about computers, but I know Photoshop takes FOREVER to open.) I decided that I really would have chosen a different computer for myself, if I were paying for it even, but then I said to myself, "Okay, this is a gift. Be grateful."

So I got up from the computer and said, in a cheerful voice,"Well, the cool thing is you can get it in green!" They make it in my very favorite color of green - cool.

His response was: "Nope, that costs extra. You're getting it in BLACK!" He may have been kidding.. It's all of $25 extra! Oh please let him have been kidding.. But probably not. He's a boy, so he sees $25 'puter paintjobs as pointless.

At this point, shot down on such a small thing, on my VALENTINE'S GIFT, I got annoyed. It's $25 extra. I said this, and then told him he was cheap, and I'm pretty sure I used the f-word to do so. And then I stopped talking. I mean, c'mon -- $25?! I don't think I have to explain.

Then we had dinner -- pancakes, which he made, because we couldn't find an IHOP when we left Orlando (it rained when we parked, so we didn't get to do Animal Kingdom - bummer) and I had to have Taco Bell for breakfast. And would you believe, that HELLISH place didn't even have seven layers? What kind of Taco Bell doesn't carry seven-layer burritos? I was disgusted. Anyway, so yeah, Chris made me blueberry pancakes for dinner. Yes, he is a good boy, and yes, I am spoiled.

Then afterwards, we looked at the computers again. He gave me the green light to go up $100. We first checked out a different computer, with more RAM and more memory. Then I figured out if I went back to the original computer, I could add that extra stuff à la carte for that same $100. And THEN I realized that they had it all bundled - for the $100-more package on the computer he originally wanted to get me, you got $300 more of stuff; a better processor, more RAM, lots more memory, a built-in webcam, a longer-lasting battery (and we're ordering a spare), etc. And I can get it in green. All for that extra $100. Well, an extra $124, with the color. :) (I'll write a check for the $24, if I need to.)

So now I'm really excited about this computer coming. But also, am I a jerk?

I asked him if he thinks I'm an ingrate. He said no. But still, I feel a little like one.

I dunno. I think I would've been satisfied with the one he was going to buy had I not already been researching. Had it been a surprise. But I had time to give some input, you know? Maybe I just should have shut up and been happy and said thank you and that'd have been the end of it.

At the same time, I'm really, really excited about this computer now, and I think I'll be a lot happier when I receive this, and all it cost was an extra $100. So maybe it's good we talked about it? I dunno.

Spoiled brat, or choosy consumer, even when it comes to stuff her lovely boyfriend is buying her?
My sister, Kelli, is probably going to visit, and will be bringing her son, Kyle, who is three, and our niece, Amanda. Kelli's pregnant, so she figures this will be the last opportunity she'll have to visit for a while. And since Amanda wants to visit, this is great timing.

They're thinking of coming in March. I have spring break during the first week, but since I wasn't expecting company, we've already planned a long weekend trip to the Caymans. When I told her this, I thought this would be a bad thing, but then it turns out she doesn't get her vacation time until mid-March anyhow.

My niece gets her spring break at the end of March, so they think they'll come then. I'll have to go to school while they're here, but that's not so bad. I can probably skip my last class of the day here or there so I am home earlier, and when I am at class, they can hang out here, swim in the pool, watch movies, walk to the beach, etc.

I'm excited! Kelli hasn't been here in YEARS. And Kyle has never been here. Amanda was here last year, but I would like for her to start thinking of visiting REGULARLY. There's always room, and there's always time for her. Maybe I can get her to come again in the summer or during her winter break! She may appreciate visiting when she isn't expected to help out with her little sister or little cousin, too. :)

Chris is cute. When I told him about it last night, he asked how old Kyle was, and then said we should probably install a pool fence. We read so much in Florida about little kids drowning in backyard pools... It's a necessity for someday anyway, so we may as well do it now. Thoughtful and sweet, right?

So anyway, yay - that's just next month! Yay!!!
  There are lots of birds at school.

These are ibises. I counted a flock of 36 the other day, foraging for food by a pond.

There are also egrets, herons, anhingas, and lots of iguanas.

Gotta start bringing my camera soon!

  Ahh, kids
There are a few kids who speak up in my Shakespeare class that are really bright, and really insightful. I said a few things during the first couple of weeks of class that were way off the mark. In my defense, those things were about the sonnets, and now that we're into other Shakespeare, in retrospect it would seem that the sonnets were written expressly to be deep in coded language and confusing metaphor. (Although I have to admit that it is satisfying when you crack the code!) But anyway, I've kept pretty mum since then, for fear of looking like a dope, especially in front of these really insightful presumable lit majors -- unless I'm really sure I'm right about something and no one else is getting it.

Today we were discussing Midsummer Night's Dream. The prof asked why the fairy king Oberon would want to take the Indian boy away from his wife, Queen Titania, when he had so many servants already. We reviewed the passage about where the Indian boy came from, where Titania explains:

Set your heart at rest.
The Fairyland buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order,
And in the spicèd Indian air by night
Full often hath she gossiped by my side,
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking th' embarkèd traders on the flood,
When we have laughed to see the sails conceive
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following—her womb then rich with my young squire—
Would imitate, and sail upon the land
To fetch me trifles and return again
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die.
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.

So, again, the prof asked why on earth Oberon wanted this Indian boy so bad.

The students raised their hands and said things like, "He's worried the boy will take his place" and, "When he grows up, she may be attracted to him." I'm sitting there thinking, "Okay, gross, she's raising him FROM BIRTH. That'd be like being attracted to your SON."

The prof was being all patient and asking for more theories. Similar ones were offered. Then a hand went up and a voice said, "Oedipal complex?"

At this point, I'm like, okay, this is ridiculous. I raised my hand, and said something along the lines of the fact that maybe Oberon was threatened by the close friendship Titania had with the boy's mother, and now the boy reminds him of that. "Bingo!" the teacher said, and then asked, "You're married, right?" As if that's the only way I'd get it. ;)

Nothing against the kids. I think it's quite cute and quite amusing, actually, that they're grasping at Freudian concepts to explain away a situation, rather than a much more obvious, simpler explanation... in this case, simple jealousy. Ahh, kids!
  Like I said...
I knew I would pay on Sunday for my 4-day weekend.

It's 3 a.m. and I'm still awake. I have to be up at 7. Chris just came to check on me. Cutie.

Anyway, on top of that, I've been working on a from-hell assignment that I'm going to just have to turn in as-is. I have 2 of a minimum 3 pages. Thankfully, it's just the first draft of a paper that's due Wednesday, but he's going to grade this draft too, so that's not really much of a consolation. Hopefully the final will count as more, and hopefully I'll get more of a clue of what I'm doing tomorrow so I can actually write it decently on Tuesday. The assignment is something like: we read this paper for another assignment. Then we read a second paper for another assignment. For THIS assignment, we have to say what we think the author of the second assignment would analyze the argument of the first assignment, tying all of his analyses into the whole shebang as well. Yeah, complicated.

I've been working non-stop since 5 p.m. with only a half-hour break to eat dinner and watch The Simpsons. First finished my mega time-consuming TESOL homework, then read the second half of Midsummer Night's Dream, then re-read everything for tomorrow's test, including Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus (them thar are page-turners!), then did this paper (not very well).

But yeah, I've reached my limit. At 3.5 hours of sleep, I risk not waking up with the alarm, so I should probably hit the sack now. Maggie has been keeping me company this WHOLE time. She's such a good buddy. I sure am going to miss her when she goes to live with Patty, but I'm glad she's stayin' in the family, if you can call it that. :)

Grr! Why does everything have to fall tomorrow?! Out of the three classes I have tomorrow, I have tests in two of them and a really difficult assignment due in the other. F-U-N.

Anyway - nighty-night!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
  This new gig ROCKS!
You know, the one where I go to school?

We're in Orlando right now.

See, Chris has a conference to attend here, starting Friday. Because of this new schedule, I was able to come along. We came here on Thursday, and I just had to skip my two Friday classes. This wouldn't always be possible, like if I had a test or something, but nothing crucial was happening, so it was possible. (In the future, I'm going to try to schedule classes for Tuesday and Thursday instead. I have no idea if that's possible to get 5 classes in on two days, but I can certainly try!) Of course, Sunday at home is going to be a little slice of hell. I have LOTS to do - a paper to write, a whole bunch of studying to do for my first Lit Theory test, etc. But it all evens out... Three days of chillin', 1 day of working hard. S'all good.

Anyway, so Chris has to go to his conference and learn about fun stuff (I won't even go there), and then we get to go and do fun stuff. Today was Universal Studios. We discovered that apparently winter on a weekday is the best time to be at a theme park here -- there were no lines! Seriously! It would say "15 minutes" as the wait time at the entrance to the ride, but then we'd just literally run through to the actual ride and board. It was awesome. We went on everything, but we're old so we only went on everything once. Rollercoasters are great, but afterwards I have a generally-icky feeling for a little while. And after, like, six things that make your stomach go into your throat, it's kinda like, um, okay, I've had enough for a while.

There was a movie theater there, too, so we decided to see something. I said, "Hey, how about 27 Dresses?" Chris, having seen the previews for this movie, wanted to avoid it at all costs. "Rambo?" he replied. I firmly nixed this by saying, "Remember the last Rocky?" Chris conceded to my point. We shot around a few ideas. I said the 2nd National Treasure would be alright, if he liked the first one? No, he didn't. We talked some more about our options. I came back to 27 Dresses. And then he said, okay, let's see National Treasure. "Nuh-uh!" I said, looking disappointed. "Oh, OKAY." Chris walked up to the ticket counter. "Two for 27 Dresses." The ticket lady started to ring the tickets up. Then Chris asked, "Is this a chick flick?" The lady looked at me and looked at him and said, "Um, yeah." I could tell she wasn't sure if she should tell the truth or not, for my sake, but there was really no getting around the fact that THIS WAS A CHICK FLICK. Chris is like, "Aww, MAN!" I just started laughing and said, "He must really like me." He must. :)

Of course, I had to hit him numerous times throughout the movie to stop being so cynical. And there was one time he dropped my hand and said he was going to leave. That had to have been during a mushy part. Ahh, my Chris. He really is too funny. We're all sorts of mushy, but he likes to pretend he hates it in the movies. :D

By the way, it was a pretty cute movie. Much better than Knocked Up, the last romantic comedy I dragged him too, also starring Katherine Heigl. Chris agreed with that point, although I don't know if he would agree with the "'pretty cute" part.

I've wanted to go to Animal Kingdom for a long time, so tomorrow we're doing that. I've always been apprehensive about it. After all, it's like a theme park with a zoo, basically. Sounds like a horrible combination, right? And everyone assumes I love zoos, but that ain't the case. Almost every time I go to a zoo, I end up getting depressed, worrying over a particular animal showing that depressed-captive behavior. Like that damn hyena in the zoo in Madison that was obsessively pacing back and forth in its cage. You couldn't pay me to go back to that zoo. Other zoos are better, of course... The National Zoo was alright; I don't remember leaving there depressed. But anyway, Disney actually has a really good reputation. They're accredited, they support the AZA, etc. So I hope their reputation is reflected in the exhibits so there aren't a bunch of bored animals tomorrow.

It's late, so I guess I'll go back to bed now. Waking out of a deep sleep for the evening shower is always such a mistake...
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
[while standing in line to treat myself to an i'm-30-dammit $4 latte at the on-campus starbucks]

Girl, to guy standing with her behind me in line: I'm totally not into younger guys. I like guys that are about... 22.

Oh, kids.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
  here's a pic of that iguana we had in our garage

he's all better now, though - off eating someone's hibiscuses, no doubt!

turns out that they can only stay in that hibernation state for 6-8 hours, after which they die.. which explains the dead iguanas i've seen around. i guess it's a good thing i didn't just let him sleep!

  oreo really got lucky

oreo is so over cage life, originally uploaded by estacey.

i was trying to figure out when oreo came here to see when she was due for her shots again... i used flickr for that. flickr is so handy for so many things, esp. when you're meticulous about tagging pics the way i am.

she was at the petco or whatever that place was for 6 weeks or so, during which time she turned really mean, out of misery in the situation. not only was it sad, but was a pretty self-sustaining thing: she got mean from being at the adoption center, no one would adopt her since she was mean, she would stay at the adoption center, she would get mean from being there, etc. that's when chris said, "bring her over here." and so i did.

she's still a little asshole; for example, she waits at the door when i open it JUST to make sure that kitten doesn't dare to come in. of course, i don't tolerate this behavior at all and have taken to kicking her out whenever she's mean to the poor docile kitten. she always knows what's up, too. when she's mean, i get angry and come after her. she run-waddles in her little fat-cat way into the bedroom to get away from me. it never works and she makes horrible "she's killing me!" noises the whole time i walk her to the door. fun stuff.

but all in all, she's a pretty good little cat. she spends 95% of her time in the house... the only times she goes outside is when we kick her out or she wants to eat some grass. most of the time, she's in here sleeping, playing, or eating. she spends a lot of time talking to us. whining, i should say. it's kind of a joke around here. "mrow! mrow! mrow!" ALL THE TIME.

also, she has some totally weird behavior that you cannot sit on the toilet without her jumping on your lap. seriously. you could sneak by her, fast asleep on the bed, and the SECOND you sit down, you see her making a mad dash into the bathroom. i guess it's because it's the one place she gets undivided attention, but.. you know, sometimes you're not really in it for the long haul. sometimes you just wanna pee! it's seriously weird. she's, like, OBSESSED with sitting on our laps when we're in the bathroom. it's really... well, it's weird. but it's funny, too. anytime you see her running at you with that concentrated look on her face. "i'm gonna DO this!" well, you just have to laugh.

so all in all, i got to thinking tonight.. when chris was having a "mrow?" "mrow!" conversation with her... that she really does add enjoyment to our lives. even if she's a little jerk to the other cats and makes going potty a never-solo experience.

now looking at these pictures, i am thinking - wow, she's lucky i'm the one that got the call when she was found knocked up at that boatyard. and she's really lucky that i found me such a good boy, who gave her a home and, well, puts up with her too. (and even talks cat back to her!)

we're all very lucky. the thought doesn't often escape me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

  SMILE! Stacey has a 4-day weekend! :)

Yay! Yay for weekends and federal holidays and Tuesdays off, too!

The kind lady who cleans our house was here today... I would have felt bad hanging around, crampin' her style, so I took Gretchen & Sebastian off to the doggy park. We stayed for a good TWO HOURS... They are totally worn out; both are sleeping now.

It turns out that Sebastian comes out of his shell, and out from under my legs, after the first hour or so. Note for the future. Gretchey, as always, was outgoing from the first second.

Wednesday is my long day at school... Yeah, I get to spend my birthday (a big one, at that) at school ALL DAY. But Thursday we're going to Orlando for one of Chris's conferences, so I'm playing hooky from class on Friday. I feel bad about it, but.. uhh.. I guess I gotta take this scholastic liberty where I can. The weather is going to be kinda cold, but I'm thinking we may do a manatee dive or something. !!! Also, uh... Yeah, another four-day weekend. I can't complain. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

love it there., originally uploaded by estacey.

it's 65 and rainy out. it feels awful.

the weather is always a toss-up.

winter is nice because it is cooler out. you can go without a/c. use blankets. windows-down in the car is sufficient.

but then... well, summer is nice, too. especially on days like today when it's TOO cool out and you get anxious for hot summer weather. today i started talking about how nice it'll be when it gets warm again so we can go to the bahamas. it was so pretty there.

of course, around that time i'll be bitching about it being hot for most other things (homework in the car between classes? ha! not without the a/c), but.. well, like i said, it's a toss-up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
  yay for technology!
i finally figured out how to get in on the wifi network at school... so i'm writing this from the parking lot, before my next class. :)

i had to access a document, and of course my laptop wouldn't work in the classroom i was working in (the battery is nutso), and of course i can't print anything because they CHARGE for printing and i don't have a card to pay for that yet... so i had to do a drive-by the whole foods to load the page, then came back to school and configured the settings. and now.. voila! i'm in!

this is good and this is bad. one certainly gets more productive things done on the computer when one cannot go look at flickr everytime one hits a stumbling block in one's schoolwork. but, at the same time, i don't feel totally cut off from everything all day when i'm here, which is good.

it's INSANE how dependent i am on the internet, which i don't realize until i'm away from it. i need to call people (look up on switchboard), or figure out where things are (google maps), or access things in yahoo (email, notepad), and i couldn't do any of that.

alright, time for my last class, and then i get to go home! thank gosh.. i slept horribly last night. i'm tired and am barely making it through the day.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
  Time fliiiiiiies
My third day at home on a weekday. And MY GOD where does the time go?

Woke at 9. This was an accomplishment. Many thanks to Miss Maggie, who was awake and kept licking my face every time I turned in her direction. Also, thanks to Oreo, whose food bowl was empty and WANTED ME TO FILL IT NOW, GODDAMMIT. Her request sounds more like Meow, meow, meow, meeeeeeeeeeow, but she really gets her point across.

Tended to all the animals: fed food bowls, gave George his daily chunk of trail mix bar (he stands on his little hind bunny legs every morning, with his little feet on the cage bars, until I give him SOMETHING), did the musical-chairs thing with Gretchey & Maggie to get them both fed and to the bathroom without having them cross paths.

Decided to pick out a recipe for dinner, and make a shopping list for what I needed still. Black bean soup... And all I need are a couple of spices! Woo! But going through the spice cabinet, of course, led to reorganization of the spice cabinet and the cabinet where we keep all our easy-access cooking supplies.

Talked to my doctor (later post will explain that), wrote some emails, did laundry, made some oatmeal, checking course websites, school email, Flickr, drank tea, checked my course syllabi, started on Comedy of Errors for class tomorrow, printed some things for an assignment for another class, applied a clay face mask, hung laundry out to dry, ate a PB&J, started lifting weights... and already it's 3:30. Three freaking thirty! And I really don't feel like I've accomplished much at all. I wanted to make some phone calls today, upload some pictures, and get some more schoolwork done... But it didn't happen.

I am off to finish with the weights... I can't lift much, but being a bit healthier is something I'm integrating into this whole lifestyle-change thing. I'm using the opportunity of going to school and opening up some more free time to make some positive changes, and what a better time than when you find out you have high blood pressure?

We have a weight set in the library. Chris uses it all the time.. I was going to go to the gym today, but I really can get everything done here, with the soundtrack of my choice, so I decided not to leave. So I'm stepping up exercise, having jogged with Chris a few times last week... He's helping me stay motivated. And not complaining that I run slow. Et cetera. :) I'm eating oatmeal for breakfast every day, and one of these days I'll get up early enough to make it for Chris, too. Also, eating a small & healthy lunch -- typically a sandwich with fruit... This is especially easy at school, since I bring my lunch.. They have places selling food there, but I really can't spend money these days, so I'm sorta stuck eating what I brought! :) We're trying to keep dinners healthy.. I cook dinner two days per week now, so am scouring all my little books about healthy eating for recipes. Last night, we ate a quick dinner of Boca burgers & tater tots, but I made green beans from the CSA to complement... I'm really trying to use all the CSA veggies and I am quite proud of myself. I made cauliflauer last week, and it was delicious. Now what to do with the radishes? Also, plain tea.. No more delicious chai.. well, maybe once a week or so. I was really late yesterday so stopped at the Dunkin Donuts across the street for a forbidden coffee, and my god.. I felt horrible from it. I felt like my heart was beating fast all morning. Yick. I forgot how bad that makes you feel if you're not used to it. Today it was green tea with blueberry. Much better!

Then off to jog and to the store to buy some bay leaves and cumin! Then the day is over and Chris will be home! Crazy!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
  i guess i'll be changing the name to BJORK then?

at the trough, originally uploaded by estacey.

this morning i woke up to some snorting noises.. snort, breathe, snort... i laid in bed thinking, "what on earth is THAT?" and then thought, "oh, no, it couldn't be!"

i get up and hop over to the bedroom window and, sure enough, there's wailey... mounted upon little bjorn. doin' the nasty.

so i guess bjorn is a girl after all. (i had my suspicions.)

i went to get the little camera, to get it on video... the noises were pretty amusing... but chris, as usual, was out of space on the camera. by the time i got rid of some already-uploaded videos, they were done.

it remains to be seen whether or not i'll wind up with some baby redfoots from this coupling. i hope not - what will i do with them? then again, they'll be damn cute. and maybe i can place a few around south florida with folks with nice enclosures for them.. i dunno, i guess it's too early to figure out if i will have to worry about that or not. interesting thought, though!

Friday, January 11, 2008
  time to admit it...

got some new glasses, originally uploaded by estacey.

i'm old!

yep, got me some glasses.

chris said i look like a teacher wearing them.

i hesitate wearing them at school...
see, this chick at work found out i was nearing on 30 and was like, "what?! you're older than me!? i thought you were 24 or something!" and she called me a BABYFACE. bless her heart!

but i think the glasses make me look older. and i am VERY SELF CONSCIOUS about being old at school. everyone there is, what, 20? 21?

my one class is filled with a mix of ages (my wed. night class - surprise) and there is a MUCH OLDER WOMAN in another of my classes. other than that, though, everyone is card-able. for cigarattes.

why should it matter than i'm older? i don't know. i guess, hey, i lacked the foresight to do this when i was younger! but, well, when it comes down to it, i got a pretty good thing going on NOW. only OMG, yesterday, chris got home from work late and it seemed like FOREVER.. it was 8 o'clock.. normally i would've only beaten him home by 2 hours, but since i was home all day, it was FOREVERRRRRR. i felt like one of the puppies, following him around, begging for attention. :D

as for the youngsters, it's really kind of amusing, actually... to listen to these kids on their cell phone, snippets of conversation. today some chick said, as she walked by, "and she told me i had to get all my stuff out now or she'd get it out for me" and another was saying how she didn't want to be no fucking whore or nothing and then, uh, it would seem that her interlocutor hung up the phone on her. ahh, to be young and dramatic! THANK GOD those days are over.

one thing that kinda sucks, and i really have to keep telling myself that it is the FIRST WEEK, is that... like, hi, the stuff is hard! i went from classes i didn't have to even THINK about to having to read shakespeare and plato's 'republic' -- much different. we got our first round of paper topics today in the literary theory course and i'm staring at the four topics thinking, "can i do ANY of these?" of course, i've only read one of the three stories we base it on so far, so i am guessing it's hard to even judge at this point, but... i am not used to doubting my ability like this, outside of math! i feel like this is a big leap into stuff i'm not used to.

but then again, it's the FIRST WEEK. and i take comfort -- the girl next to me, on her notes, wrote: "PLATO'S IDEA'S WERE...."


i figure, well, at least i'll be doing better than SOMEONE...

Thursday, January 10, 2008
  Macy is 2! :)

Macy pics, originally uploaded by estacey.

How cute is she?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

lunch by the waterfront :), originally uploaded by estacey.

This week has been interesting! Monday was, as expected, a bit of a disaster... There was an accident on the highway, I couldn't find a parking spot, I couldn't find my building, etc. I was so late for my first class that I may as well have missed it; I picked up my syllabus and that was about that. The rest of the day went much more smoothly. And I got some time outside, which was NICE.

Yesterday was at home.. Which was surprisingly BUSY. After the sleeping-in part. Maggie Moo (yes, she's back) and I woke up late, then all the doggies got baths, I reorganized the kitchen closet, did some other organizing, did schoolwork, then made a nice dinner. Ha ha.

Today was back to school, for my long day there (it ends with an evening class). I'm lounging on the couch now, watching Law & Order. Ahhh.

So hmm, life is quite a bit different now. It's nice not going to work every day, for the same thing, day in and day out. I'm a little nervous about this semester, though; I have a lot of work ahead of me. And I have NO idea how these classes compare with the ones I'm used to... For sure, the subject matter is more difficult. Eesh.

Tired for now. Tiiiiired.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

startfish, originally uploaded by kellysheehan.

so today i went to the bookstore. enjoying one of my last days as an earning person. see, monday is my deadline - as of monday, i am a full-time student. no more $4 teas from starbucks, no more $40 trips to the bookstore, etc. but that's not until monday, so today i enjoyed both. :)

one book i looked at was by photographer norbert wu, antarctica under the ice, or something along those lines. there was the usual - penguins, orcas, etc. some interesting/sad stuff about how orcas follow the ice-cutting ships to get into water where they have access to fish they wouldn't otherwise, but how sometimes they get trapped in pools of shallow water when the ice-cut channels close back up. the caption of one of the orcas read: the speed of the orcas shows they may somehow understand their precarious situation. interesting.

what i never thought about, though, is that under all those layers of ice there are.... sea stars. jellyfish. and fish. fish that are so well adapted to that cold that they will die if they get as "warm" as 40 degrees F. there are really.. things to see if you went diving there.

really a pretty cool book, but it was $40, and although monday is my tighten-the-belt deadline, i decided i would visit this book rather than buy it.

anyway, my whole point is that the book reminded me how freaking awesome photography is. not only are the images that wu captured beautiful, but they tell stories about the way things are in a world that is completely foreign to us. i put the book down thinking about how much i LOVE photography. :)

Friday, January 04, 2008
  Closing up shop....
Today is my last day at work, so I’m going through all my emails to make sure I don’t leave behind anything important.

I have this email from 9/7/06 from Chris. It made me laugh, especially the part about the Super Ball:

well, if it makes you feel any better, the following is my mom's email to me today (unprovoked):

"Our Steelers are the champs, your Dolphins are peanuts. Your Dolphins never won a Super Ball under that neighbor of yours. We have won 6 Super Ball. You? Hanh. How dare you are thinking you can beat us."

{Dan Marino was my next door neighbor while growing up in pittsburgh}

Thursday, January 03, 2008
  Frozen Leaves in Florida

Frozen Leaves in Florida, originally uploaded by turtlepatrol.

How do you people do it?!

We're hitting near-record/record lows the last couple of days.. last night we got into the 30s. Even Elliot came in! (And actually, Kitten wanted out. I felt bad, like she didn't know what she was getting into, but I gave her plenty of chances to come back in... That damn Oreo must emotionally bully her so.)

It was something like 40 when I went to work today. Oh my god. I was only wearing a tank top and thin coat, so... Jesus. It's now 53. This is ridiculous. You should see everyone around here, walking around with their winter coats. It's really quite the spectacle, not to be repeated for years. Well, actually, we'll whip them out again next year when it gets down to the 50s, but it won't get into the 30s again for a long time -- hopefully.

Ellie slept in bed with us. He did happy paws all over the bed, violently. He's pretty cute. You have to trick him into coming in, and then the second he's in, he's like, "Ahhhhhhhhh!" and all happy. Stomping all over the bed, demanding we pet him, burrowing under the blanket, biting our thumbs while we sleep. Pretty weird little fella. He's actually spending the day under the bed today since he wouldn't come out for anything, including wet food. Hey, whatcha gonna do?

Anyway - burr. I know it ain't no -17, but 38 is just as bad when you're used to 80!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008
  okay, it's official.

nye scene, originally uploaded by estacey.

i just really can't drink anymore. i had three drinks last night.. three. THREE. and i have basically felt like hell all day. well, i'm also having horrendous cramps, which doesn't help, but i'm definitely hung-over. from three drinks. well, and some champagne.

i can't even figure it out... i mean, i do realize that this bartender makes stiff drinks. but c'mon now... THREE DRINKS!?

we were both so tired last night. we actually went back and forth on just staying in, but dean's girl was outta town -- so he needed company -- and, well, chris's mom was IN town. this necessitated getting out of the the house. it was nice just going to the local place, though.. a walk there, a walk home..

chris's parents left today. it's real good to have the house back to ourselves. we've remarked upon this a dozen times today. his mom is apparently mad at me for talking back to her the other day - ha ha. she's a real peach.

i've done NOTHING today. nada. but ah well, i guess that's what days off are for...

  Bjorn bites Chris's toe

I forgot to warn Chris that tortoises do this sometimes...

I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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