Good morning! Now where's my food?
life sucks

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Why didn't I do this sooner?
I must admit I'm really enjoying being a gerbil-mamma. For the record my little girl's names are Carrie (an agouti) and Miranda (charcoal). I can't find my camera stuffs so I can't post pictures yet, but I love them!! Getting Carrie a companion was the smartest move I could have made. She's a completely different gerbil now, and even takes treats out of my hand. I've tried taking her out and offering her more, but she she doesn't seem to be interested in them unless I hand them to her in the cage. She's turned into a little glutton as she knows that any time I open the cage I offer her a treat, so she just perks up and waits. It took Miranda a lot longer to catch on to the treat deal though, she seems to think my entire hand is the treat and usually  comes back and nibbles for a bit. I'm trying the puff of air thing to let her know that isn't cool, but so far she just glares at me like  "Would you knock that off?!" They get along really well, but I still get a little anxious when I hear random squeaking from the  cage. Also, I've never actually seen Miranda sleep. Every time I look in, she's curled up with Carrie, but her eyes are open.  I suppose this normal as she's only been with us since Thursday. They are both a little bit better about being held. No more awkward moments with squeaking and freaking out. I think I'm satisfied  with these pets right now. I'm thinking there is still a dog in my future once I get my own place. 

To the weekend and beyond
Carrie and Big
After being with my parents and sibs for 3 weeks w/o a break, I finally decided to get away. I took the road, via greyhound and went to visit Scott for the weekend. Despite the fact that it is a 5 hour ride, it really wasn't that bad. I'd downloaded some Madame Bovary to listen to on the way there, plus I'm still finishing up Tami Hoag's A Thin Dark Line. I'm actually afraid to read the last 30 pages, because I don't want the love affair to end. This one was really really good. I might finish it up tonight. I've decided not to order a new one until after the job interview tomorrow. I really really want this job. Everything that I want will fall into place if I get it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Plus my bank account is dwindling, and it would be nice to have an actual job again.
The visit to Iowa went well.  We sat around and watched Psych and Monk on Scottie's new big screen (Which I detest, but you know boys and their electronics). I got to see the cats, which was a true highlight of the trip, because the last time I saw Moli, she had ear infection and Tobi was just being Tobi. Moli was super affectionate this weekend and even took a nap on top of me. Also, she didn't try to shred me  for which I was hella apreciative. I'm still trying to negociate taking Tobi, I just need to find a job and a place to live. I don't know when I'll be in Iowa again, though next time I'd like to stop off in Iowa City and see the gang.

I have to say it's really odd to know that school is starting up again in the IC and to not be a part of it. This just reconfirms my belief that I was meant to be in the college environment forever!!!  :D

This weekend, I think I'm going to finally see District 9. It's sort of a weird circumstance. I was supposed to see it last week by myself, but I got lost and couldn't find the theater. I mentioned it to a friend and he offered to see it with me. I'm really not sure if this is a date. I would like it if were, but I'm really afraid to ask. I'm not even sure if he still really wants to go, we talked about this last week and haven't since. Either way, if he fails to make it, I'll still go by myself.  

There is no sunshine when she's gone...
life sucks
When I got my rejection letter from the Nonfiction program, I knew it was bad.  I've always loved writing but never thought it was good enough or that it would bring me any money. If it weren't for the prodding of a teacher, I never would have applied. I love her for the inspiration she gave me. For months before the letter, I felt great about everything. Then it came. I said I was fine. Honestly I thought I was. Then my therapist pointed out that I was sleeping... a lot. Then I realized i was angry. I was honestly angry. The anger eventually turned into resentment. Not against anyone else, but more for myself for 1. not being good enough and 2. not being good enough and applying to such a prestigous program.  I stopped caring about school, half did my homework and thought about not getting into grad school. I decided I would live in Iowa City for another year. Then I got into Loyola and the game plan changed. I told all the teachers who helped me get in. They all told me not to give up writing because of the rejection. I told them I wouldn't.  I promised them I would spend the summer reading, trying to refine my craft, learning the ways of the masters. I didn't realize I already had given up on writing. Aside from homework assignments for class, I have not written anything in Months!  Anything. A few of my friends from my writing classes have asked what I've been working on, and honestly I keep telling them nothing. I have no drive in me to put my narratives down on paper or have them appear on the screen. I'm just tired of it. But a part of me, that hasn't been creative in months and just spent 4 years learning how to write keeps trying to form an offensive. I'm really not sure what it is going to take to get me back in the mood. I've been reading a lot, as I promised I would, but no nonfiction. My feet won't let me woke up to the 2nd floor to the library, unless it's to use the computers.  I don't know how to get back into writing. I keep remembering freshman year when I wrote that one awesome story that I am still proud of today. Also I'm not sure how to start getting back into writing w/o the drive of classes. This might be the end of me as a writer. 

Going Green
Woke up with swollen uvula? Check
Freaked out? Check
Googled the condition immediately? Check
Turns out I'll be fine? Check
Shower? Check
Morning cup of coffee at 3 in the afternoon? Check

So I wanted to write about all the craziness I posted about last week. First off going green. So far...really good, but with tons of dilemmas. For instance, I can no longer justify having Leah on, as well as the TV and the over head light. So I turn my computer off/ put it to sleep a lot more now. If I'm not actively looking for something, then I turns it off. No more being on line constantly anymore. Also, the light situation. Because I do not own a lamp, the overhead light is my only source of er...light. It's a constant battle. I turn it off, or try to, whenever I leave the room, which is often time stupid because I'm never going farther than the bathroom or kitchen most times. The other day, I was dying to read, and since I had Leah on (I was waiting for Scott to come online) and the tv on, I really didn't want to turn on the light. So I found one of those booklights I think Laura and Eric gave me for my birthday when we were freshman (yes I do hold on to things). I tried it for almost 15 minutes before giving myself a headache. I really don't understand the point of that thing. But I suppose when your eyes are as bad as mine, nothing helps.

I finished up my non consuming yesterday. I must say, it had its perks. For most of the time, I would think of what I wanted to get once I was allowed to spend money again. But then I began to rationalize it and I realized that it really wasn't worth it. For instance, most of my money is spent on my hair. I know dredlocks should not be that hard to maintain, but honestly, they are. There is the moisture factor, the retwisting, tightening and the fact that I have to find a shampoo that will get all the "stuff" out of my hair plus a conditioner that will soften dead hair that ordinarily would have been combed out had my hair been loose. I must say all of this very hard; after a year of having locks, I am still not satisfied with my shampoo and am in the market for a new one. Before this week of not consuming, I probably would have just stopped using the shampoo and bought a new one that I thought would work better. Now I'm trying to finish the bottle before I think about going after anything else. Turns out I have 3 bottles of half finished shampoon. What do you know? Speaking of which...if anyone wants a bottle of Burt's Bees healthy living lotion, let me know.

Yesterday, I went shopping at the Co-op in my attempt to be healthy and I must say it is not something I will be doing again. Okay, wait...let me clarify. I will not do all of my grocery shopping there. I did find a few things that I liked. I bought some "Green" toilet paper, which I love. I was really sure it would melt when used hasn't. It's quite comfy acutally and I like the fact that it is maide out of 100% recycle paper. I knew it would be expensive, but I wasn't expecting things to be that much. For instance, I cannot justify spending $7.59 on a bottle of spaghetti sauce that would otherwise cost me $3.00. I think Pollan was right. This completely real food cannot be done by everyone. I think I can try though. Like buying my soy products and toilet paper from the Co-op might happen in the future, but not so much other products...namely spaghetti sauce.

My days are filled with pluses and minues
Going down
In my effort to avoid consuming, I apparently lost my debit card 5 days ago and did not even realize it until today. I was trying to buy stamps (which in my opinion don't count as consuming).

But on the upside, I snagged Skin Trade today! Can't wait to finish The Queen's Virgin and dig in. Next on the List: The Dirty Secret Club. Don't judge me, it's been a while since I could read for pleasure.

Before you write me off...
any questions
Okay gaiz...I'm probably going to be a hermit this week. Now before you call me a cruddy friend, I apologize, but let me explain. This past week, I finished reading Gorgeously Green and I have taken up the challenge: Avoid being a consumer for one week. I didn't even last today, so tomorrow I'm starting over. Basically this means, not buying anything, whether it be food, coffee, a snack or anything like that. It's supposed to instill restraint and make me think about my purchases more and cut back on how much waste I contribute to our community. So if you invite me to something this week...I'm probably not going to show up. I still love everyone though...

...And yes Coffee Town is next week...

In Defense of Food
So yesterday I finished reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Awesome book. It isn't a diet book or recipe guide or anything like that. Pollan basically goes through history of food and shows that what we are currently eating (unless you buy from the co-op or farmer's market) really isn't food. I have to say it surprised me. I knew that certain foods should be avoided or eaten in moderation anyway, it never occured to me how crappy the things I consider real actually are. For instance, bread. What are it's ingredients? Well they should be water, flour, salt (just a pinch), and yeast. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a loaf of bread? Very rarely are the ingredients quite that simple. There are rules of course. I won't list them all (cuz I want to all to read it) but two of them is: Don't eat food with more than 5 ingredients or with ingredients you can't pronounce. And 2: Avoid High frutose corn syrup. Pollan does not say you should overhaul your life. He recongizes the fact that sometimes its difficult to buy real food. I don't plan to go out and spend a lot of money but I really want to aim to try. So I went into the kitchen an hour ago to grab something to eat. I really wanted a snack but when I picked up a cereal bar and was astounded by the ingredients. High fructose corn syrup was in there a long with a list of crap I couldn't pronounce or recongize. So I kept searching. The only thing I could find in accordance with the rules (You don't really have to stick to 5 ingredients, I'm sure that is just a suggestion) was peanut butter. Peanut butter always makes me nauseous but I was willing to try it because it was "real" food. I slathered some on some bread (yeah I cheated with the bread) made 2 sandwiches, and cut a banana and that was lunch. I got some 100% grape juice which was in line with the rules as well. I managed to eat one of the sandwiches before I got sick. Eating real food seems harder than it sounds, but I really want to make an effort.

Huff Huff Huff
My trip to Chicago today did not go well. It actually started off really well. I bought my ticket, I got on the train, made it to Chicago. When I arrived at about 1:30, I got turned around. I was hungry and suddenly panicked because it was my first trip to a big myself. My stomach led me straight to a McDonalds and after I had eaten, everything was right with the world. How I feel about McD's and all other fast food will come later (I just finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food).

I started on my journey and admittingly got frustrated. It seemed like it took forever to get there and by the time I made it to the Mag Mile, my directions suddenly stopped making sense. Loyola has an 820 N. Michigan Ave address despite not actually being on Michigan Ave. So after consulting a fireman I found them hidden away on Pearson St. Once I arrived I had to convince the people at the front desk that I was at the right address because they kept insisting that this was not 820 N. Michigan. It took a few minutes for me to convince them that there was no 820 N. Michigan and leaving and going back to Michigan Ave was not going to help me. I was right. They let me in. The Orientation started promptly at 4 pm and despite telling me that I was going to be there until 5:30, I was done at 4:45. I'm really not sure why I needed to come to Chicago for this since all they showed me was how to log on and resgister and made me sign a document that I'd read their handbook. Also they told me I need to either take down my facebook or modify it since apparently they look at that when you begin clinicals. I start clinicals in the Fall. Awesome!

I left Lewis Towers at 4:50 and hightailed it back to the station. I knew a train was leaving for Naperville at 5:32 so I ran back to the station and jumped on the first one I saw. The first one that happened to be in the spot that I'd left earlier that day. Wrong idea. Had I boared the other train that left 4 minutes later, I might have actually made it to Naperville. Instead I wound up on an express train that did not stop in Naperville. This led to very embrassing calls to my parents who I haven't had to call about anything like that since I was in high school. I got off two cities from Naperville and took a taxi that cost me $30. Great. I must say this is a bad omen. I am not looking forward to anything this fall at this point. Not to mention that that I may have to take summer school. Are you kidding? I had not even started the program yet and I have to take summer school. GRR!

The children are cute though and it's good catching up with my parents. So far everything is going well.

It is possible to fail at life during the summer
Gah! So today was a messy messy day. Shiz! I got a ride home from work at which point my co-worker got caught in the driveway because our next door neighbors don't know what an oncoming car looks like. I was so embarassed...but she got out safely. That is probably the last time she gives me a ride home ever. It doesn't acutally matter, because today was important. I get off work at 4:30 and I had to go home, finish packing, return The Duchess (that I never got a chance to watch) and get to the bus station before 5:10 when the bus to Chicago left. I made it and as the bus prepared to leave Iowa City and turned on to Governor...I remembered that I left my sports bra hanging behind the door as it was soaked from last night's late night rain run. This is a huge disappointment as I had just mapped out 4.1 mile run in my parents neighborhood. Of course I'm still going to run it...I just have to do it when there is less traffic so people don't see me *flopping* around.

On the ride home I tried to forget my troubles, but I must admit my stress levels are through the roof lately. Major stressor? This dang orientation thing with Loyola. They emailed me about it 2 months ago and despite reading the emaail 4 billion times, I missed some key the fact that I needed to make an appointment? How did I miss that? *faceplant* So now they know my name and the fact that I'm a screw up and probably not Loyola material. Did I mention I'm having cold feet about this whole grad school thing? When I was through with my last final as an undegrad...I took a breath...and loved it. I felt free of every burden ever. This disappered rather quickly. The thought of doing another 2 year program terrifies me. Will there be 12 page papers? Senile old men who forget where the class is located? So many worries...

But I got home safely. Now I just have to map out getting to Chicago and back. Why can't I drive!!!??!


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