Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just Call Me Master Rachel

With Gilmore Girls off the air, Lost not returning until February, all of that clean air making it impossible to enjoy time outdoors in our beautiful mountain town, Steve and I decided we needed something to fill our evenings, weekends, and any other smidgen of free time we may have. So we did what anyone would do in our situation... applied for grad school, got accepted, and registered for classes.

We figured going through the process together would make it a little less painful. One of us wouldn't be up to our ears in homework while the other one was playing MarioKart. We're both getting a Master's in Educational Leadership with a Community College/Higher Education emphasis, the standard degree to get when you see years of employment at university stretching out in front of you. To be honest, there are about three other degrees that I'd love to be getting as well, but I guess this is a good "starter Master's."

Without making any promises, I'm hoping to be done in the summer of 2009. That means 6 credits a semester (including summers) on top of work. At this point, it really doesn't sound that daunting. But I may feel differently around Thanksgiving. And then in the fall of 2009 we can decide what we want next. A year off to bum around Europe or South America? Kids? A move to colorful Colorado? Another Master's? A PhD? A stint in the Peace Corps? The possibilities are endless. But for right now, I'm glad that we're going to be staying put for a couple of years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Top Five Reasons Our Montana Weekend Rocked My Socks

1. Thanks to the amazing generosity of family, I don’t think we had to pay for a thing all weekend, which made it much easier to relax and enjoy.

2. Montana is really beautiful. There were these big gorgeous trees and huge backyards. It definitely felt like the kind of place where you would want little kids to grow up. Besides the whole crazy conservatives with guns thing…

3. My cousins are cool. They were cool when we all played house, Robin Hood and circus together way back when, but now they’re cool on a completely different level. Now they’re caring, genuine, funny adults. I feel so lucky to have them.

4. Becca and I got along. We’ve been ok for a while now, but this weekend was finally better than ok. I felt like we connected, and finally figured out that it’s ok to be very different and still really love each other. Hopefully it'll last at least a few months.

5. The Ks, Grammy, and my immediate family were all really happy to see us. We’ve gotten so used to dropping everything for family that it was nice to see how genuinely appreciative everyone was that we made the trip. They made it very clear that they understood it was a big sacrifice to spend our anniversary weekend in the Billings Super 8. I love my family, and it never feels like a sacrifice to be with them, but it was really nice to be recognized for going the extra mile. And the anniversary celebratory eggs Benedict were superb.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This is so cool

Due to the Mets taking the series 2-1 against the Yankess, the Empire State Building lights are blue and orange.

Tonight, I hope to upload photos including the ones from our recent Montana trip so keep an eye out.

I can't believe I can say that I have been married for over a year now! Crazy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

To answer your question

Kim commented on my last post asking if I purposely sought out that particular YouTube video.

I am so pleased she asked because I always love tracking the sequence of thought (weird I know)...

Occasionally when I am bored at work I open iTunes and look for new music. I noticed in the new release section of the iTunes Store that the band They Might be Giants had a new CD released and I thought, "Wow! They still make music?" I then had a memory of a Tiny Tunes Adventure episode where they made music videos for two They Might be Giants songs, Particle Man and Istanbul. I thought first to link to those YouTube videos but when I saw Plucky, I remembered the episodes where they show him as a baby, the elevator one and the toilet one.

Thanks be to YouTube without which I may never be able to share with you all of my random memories.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nostalgia Part 2

Part 1 was Swan's Crossing

I love YouTube!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You gotta getcha getcha getcha get your head in the game

So there seems to be a lot of political game playing that goes on in any office. My office is not immune. I trust that they're all good people, but I have to say I'm at a loss for some people's motivations. In other words, I'm really bad at this stuff.

When something goes wrong, I try to accept responsibility for my part in whatever happened and then fix it. I don't brag about how much work I do or how well I do it. I'm polite to the higher ups, and I'll talk to them like I would any other human being, but my nose is clean. I don't got to church with the President, or take my child to the same day care as the Provost. So on and so forth...

I mentioned to my supervisor the other day that I really hate the get-ahead game because I just don't feel right about it. I told her, "Anything I can't get by working hard and being a good person, I don't really want." She looked at me and said, "I hate to tell you, but I've been here a long time, and it just doesn't work that way." So I guess I better brush up on my golf game and get used to saying, "That's just a great suit, you look so dignified."

In other news, I'm excited to go to Montana this weekend. I can't believe it's been a year since we've seen all of the Schmitzes. However, I must admit I'm also really looking forward to having next weekend at home. We're really excited to have the Schulz family come up to see our place, and it will also be nice to spend more than 11 waking hours in our place in a 7 day period. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting family, but it's also exhausting to be on the road every weekend. Unless we had a tour bus with a bed, a Wii, a DVD player, satellite Internet and a driver. Then maybe it would be different.

Date: 5/10-13/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: In Phoenix for the weekend

Date: 5/14/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes, but we did bike 7 miles
Pathetic Excuse: Biking 7 miles is tiring

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mr. McFeely is my hero

Rachel and I purchased bikes yesterday in order to participate in Bike to Work Week which began today. I am very excited and I have decided that I want to bike everywhere. Of course that would be difficult so I will just settle with making a conscience effort to bike more often (i.e. going to Blockbuster to pick up a movie). We just went to Target and I just a Schwinn mountain bike and Rachel a hybrid cruiser that has the ability to change gears. We got up early today to make sure we would get to work on time and wound up getting to work about 15 minutes early. We also brought food so I rode my bike to a field next to Rachel's office where we had lunch in sunny 70 degree weather. It doesn't get much better.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So what does that say about me?

Nate complained yesterday about our names not being posted on our blogs, until I told him he needed to check the bottom first to see who wrote it. He seemed quite disturbed that Steve might like his women covered in choclate syrup, but seemed totally cool once he found out it was me... Hmmm..


Sometimes I wonder what being in a "normal" relationship would be like. Steve and I have both heard horror stories about watching separate TV shows or separating on Fridays to have guys/girls night. I'm glad it works for those people, but I just don't get it.

Although, we did have quite a fight last night. It went something like this:

Me: [sniff]
Steve: Aaaaah!
Me: Aaaah!
Steve: You scared me!
Me: No, you scared ME!
Steve: You can't just sneak up on someone and go [makes incredibly scary noise].
Me: I didn't do that, I was standing right here the whole time and I sniffed!
Steve: Well, it sounded like the Grudge cat.

I still think we could have the boring reality show ever.

Date: 5/8/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Second to the last Gilmore Girls episode

Date: 5/9/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: We counted walking to the park and playing frisbee as our exercise for the day

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This isn't really working, is it?

Date: 5/5/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Too busy eating Mexican food, watching the Mets, and eating more Mexican food...

Date: 5/6/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Laziness and laundry

Date: 5/7/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Hunger, frustration, strife

I think we need a reality show in order to be able to get into shape. We need some big ex-marine with a heart of gold who won't let us quit, a nutrition expert to analyze every bite we take, and a counselor who makes us promise to take time for our inner child after we have a complete breakdown. That's really the only way I see this working.

And I'm depressed because I looked up nutrition facts for Starbucks' white chocolate mocha, my drink of the moment, and it has 510 calories in a grande. That's about a third of the calories I'd like to eat in a day. But what can I do? I like my coffee like I like my women - sweet, hot and covered in chocolate syrup. I guess I'll be skipping lunch.

Right now I'm banking on being motivated by our beach trip, which is only 8 weeks away. There needs to be less of me so my swimsuit covers more. Or something like that. Also, the weather is nicer so maybe we'll be inspired to run outside. But if I were a betting girl, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Was it really that bad?

I believe it's my turn

Trying to blog more often is rough even since Rachel and I combined forces. Not enough significant activity occurs that provides me with anything to say. Sure, I almost jumped out of our window when the Mets were down 4-3 in the 9th only to muster up some much needed offense resulting in a convincing 9-4 win. Damion Easley? Really? DAMION EASLEY? Hope we get to see a good game on Saturday.

Work has been going very well. I can't tell you how nice it has been having a 5 minute drive to work and not dreading every second that I am there. Also, the ability to have lunch everyday at home with Rachel is great. I certainly do not miss my 143 to the 202 to the 51 commute home in Phoenix.

In addition to work, the weather is getting nicer by the day and I am constantly reminded of how much I love it here. I am not sure why I was so down on Flagstaff before. I will happily trade a 20 minute drive to Kierland Commons for a 30 minute drive to Sedona. As long as the Buckle doesn't go out of business as it remains the only place Rachel and I can find casual clothes we like. Commercial Zen remember? I am not quit ready to where clothes naturally dyed by the red rocks of Sedona.

Date: 5/2/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Haircut, food, LOST

Date: 5/3/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Residence Life banquet, Mets vs. Dbacks, The Office, Scrubs

Date: 5/4/07
Time/Distance: My crystal ball tells me 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Going down to Phoenix. I don't know. Are you up for it Michelle?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Another boring blog from Rachel...

I have a very hard time living in the now. I think it's one of the sources of a lot of my stress. Not only am I trying to deal with all of today's issues, I'm trying to figure out which brand of support hose will be best when my knees finally go, when the right age will be to switch over to a smaller place (after we've had a bigger place, or just a place period), or what brand of adult diapers will be the most discreet.

I think that this bad habit of mine has kind of rubbed off on Steve. Over lunch we tried to figure out if we could afford to raise a family here with one less income and a mortgage payment, and what other options would be available for us. If we moved further away, how much would flights cost and which months would we visit family. And now I get an e-mail from Steve with the restaurants in Eugene, OR that have panang (making it an acceptable place to live).

I guess it's good to plan ahead, but all of these things are at least a few years off. Thousands of things could change, and worrying about it right now won't really help. Right now we should just be swimming at Oak Creek and eating fondue at Beaver Street Brewery and going to far off places whenever we get a chance. Our dog, house, baby, pre-school choices and college funds for our grandchildren will all fall into place in due time. Wow, I almost convinced myself with that one.

Date: 5/1/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Tired, hungry, two episode of Gilmore Girls to watch...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Can I buy just a few minutes?

The past few weeks have been extremely busy for us. And I know I said I wouldn't say that because everyone is busy, but these past few weeks have just been a lot busier than I would prefer. And I'm grateful, because work means money, which means we've been able to spend a little bit on ourselves. But in the end, it all just seems kind of shallow and unsatisfying.

The whole notion of consumerism as a religion is really dead on. We buy to comfort ourselves and to give ourselves a sense of worth. It's the quick and easy alternative to find real purpose in our lives. Finding purpose would take time, and even though time is money, it's a lot easier to cut out the middle man and just buy shoes.

Date: 4/30/07
Distance/Time: 2 miles in 21:56 (Steve) and 23:37 (Rachel) minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Even though we went, there were two fairly threatening looking people in the gym that almost prompted me to turn around...