Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Today's Random Thoughts

No idea for a post, and I don't want to feel like I'm slacking...so here are some of Today's Random Thoughts:
--Why do some people always have to ruin the fun for everyone? For example: Viruses and Spam. They serve NO purpose, they do not HELP the people who create/spread them, all they do is bug the heck out of everyone else. C'mon, we know you're so smart to make miserable little computer bugs...go bug someone else.
--Why do I have to feel uncomfortable around someone who doesn't like me? (See previous post on lack of professionalism.) I didn't hurt you. I didn't do anything to you. Why do you have to be so rude and treat me like I'm stupid? If you're so unhappy with your life, Do Something About It. Don't hang around here to make everyone else miserable.
--Why can't I just take this class online? I'm in this way crowded classroom with a bunch of snickering sorority girls behind me (one keeps kicking my butt with her foot on the back of my chair). The desks are very uncomfortable and way too close. I want to tell the people next to me that I Need Space. And our teacher doesn't even teach the material. He's foreign (I don't have a problem with that) and he's a little hard to understand. He reads directly off his powerpoint (Thank You, I Can Read, Too) and I've heard that the book is really all you need.
--I miss my "puppy." I know he's happy with gramma, but now that I'm trying to do this workout thing (See previous posts on Working Out and Abs Class), and I see my neighbors out walking their dogs...I'm a little sad. We had to take him to gramma's because we're not allowed to keep him outside and he's too big and active to be inside all day. I love you, Guapo.
--I like having company (See previous posts on Houseguest), but the best part is when they leave. Now I can have my remote control back, walk around the house in my pajamas, answer the cell phone and talk in the living room, and only have to worry about MY mess. (This is true in most cases, but not all.)
--I think I am getting carpal tunnel from spending so much time on the computer. This is only made worse by my job, which requires similar hand motions with a pipettor (See previous post on Lab Research).

Friday, August 19, 2005

A few of my favorite things

I'm at a loss for an interesting (in my opinon) post, and I've seen others do this sort of thing on their blogs, so enjoy:
A Few of My Favorite Things
1. Richard. My husband. He understands me. He knows how and when to push my buttons. I want to share every mundane moment of my day with him. Even when I'm mad at him, he can make me laugh.
2. Cats. They're not needy like dogs. They have unique and sometimes demanding personalities. Sometimes they want to be loving and sweet and sometimes they want you to leave them alone. I understand and respect that.
3. Sweet tea. This is the Ultimate, Number One Thing that I will miss the most when I move out of the South. Going into a restaurant (American, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, fast food) and having the Perfect Sweet Tea with my meal.
4. Letters. I love to get letters and I love to send letters. They are so personal. And, it's not just the words that you write; it's also the paper/card/stationary you use, your handwriting, color of ink/pencil/crayon, and all the little things/doodles/stickers you add on.
5. My Truck. Sure, it's a 1988 Toyota Pickup without air conditioning, cruise control, power windows or locks, comfortable seats, clean carpet, perfect paint, or a powerful motor, but it's my baby! I've had close calls (stuck in the mud, ran out gas, overheated, flat tires), but my baby has Never Let Me Down. One day I'll have a nice new car, and you can bet my Toyota will be parked right next to it.
6. Winter. Keep in mind, I live in Mississippi. So, I'm not talking about -50F or something. I just like cooler weather. The 60s are good, but the 30s-50s are the best. I love snowflakes in my hair, building snowmen, bundling up in marshmallow jackets, and cuddling in front of a fire.
7. Science. I was given a brain with infinite possibilities. I always want to know why, how, what. I want to contribute to the good of mankind.
8. Books. Of course I have my favorite authors, genres, etc, but overall, I will give anything a try. Dean Koontz is my ultimate favorite mainstream author, but I also like real literature. I really like Dr Suess, too (what's the book with all the toungue twisters? That's the Best!). If I am really into a book (like I get with my Koontz books), I can read a 500 page novel in 4 or 5 hours! I really get into them. You'll find me laughing and crying, I probably look a little crazy sometimes.
9. Brad Pitt. Ok, this one may be a little silly, but I really love this man! He's just, oh, Perfect. I love his movies, I love his hair, eyes, body, voice, just Everything Is Perfect. And, yes, my husband knows about this infatuation. I'm not crazy-obsessed or anything, I just think he is the most beautiful man on Earth (or the moon, or Mars, for that matter).
10. Mountains and Stargazing. I put these together because I like them for pretty much the same reasons. They make me step back, take a good look, and deeply appreciate the Amazing-ness of our World. How Great is God that he put these here, sometimes I feel, just for MY enjoyment. I feel so small and insignificant in the big picture, and at the same time I feel like they have been waiting all this time (hundreds of millions of years) for me to acknowledge them. Wow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Don't eat the crayons

So today was my first day of school, again. I have now officially begun my 19th (consecutive)school year. Wow! Granted I only have 2 classes and 1 seminar, but still, EIGHTEEN YEARS of school behind me...and the light at the end of the tunnel is only 1.5 years away (Dec 2006)!
Do other graduate students (or just college students in general) think about that too? I mean, come on, I have been in school since I was FIVE! Yeah, it is definitely time for a break. It's a good thing I decided to continue to grad school now, because I think that if I had entered the workforce...and started my family...I probably would NOT have gone back to school.
I feel so much more confident in myself--and I have been here so long--that I don't really have first-day nervousness. I know which building I need to be in. I know where the classrooms are (or how to find them easily). I know what to expect from the teacher (my name is ___. you can call me __. this is the syllabus. this is my e-mail. these are my office hours. you need this book. we will have x number of exams. they are worth x number of points. you may/may not drop a grade. let's get started on chapter 1...). And so it begins.
Yesterday I was telling Richard about how funny I feel starting ANOTHER school year. I remember in elementary and middle school. Mom and I would always prepare a few weeks early by school-clothes shopping, getting new pencils, notebooks, and crayons, and trying on my new clothes to pick the perfect outfit. Where's mom now? I need a new bookbag. One with the little pocket for my mp3 player--like everyone else has. And I need a new lunchbox. One with Troy or Napoleon Dynamite.
I was thinking back to all my other school years. Kindergarten at Pearl City Elementary (Pearl City, HI). My teacher was a heavy set Hawaiian lady named Ms Len. She was nice. I was sad, though, because my friend, Nickolas, was in a different class. First grade, Ms Kato (skinny Hawaiian lady). I think she didn't like "whites." So I was always in trouble in her class. Second grade I started at Bel Aire Elementary (Gulfport, MS). I had 2 teachers: Ms Washington (heavyset black lady that taught math--I really liked her) and...I forgot the other. I remember one time I was bored in math class and I pulled the eraser off my pencil and stuck it in my ear. I couldn't pull it back out, so I went to the bathroom. Still couldn't get it out, so I went to the nurse. She couldn't get it out, so they called my mom. She had to take me to the emergency room and call my doctor from home to take care of me. I think that's where I discovered my dislike for math! 2nd grade is also when I had my first crush!! His name was Eric. I thought he was soooo cute! Of course he wasn't interested in girls, and he especially didn't like me! One time we had some activity in the gym and one of my friends was sitting next to him. And I asked her to switch seats with me. She got up and I was getting ready to sit down and he stood up and said "you can't sit by me!" I said "Yes I can!" He said "NO!" and kind of pushed me. I said "I can sit whereever I WANT!" and pushed him down. We both got sent to the principal. Back then the principal had permission slips from our parents that allowed her to spank us. He went in first and came out crying his eyes out. I went in and she said "I know you didn't start it, but it's not good to push people, ok." I said "Yes ma'am." And she barely touched me with the paddle. I'm pretty sure he never talked to me again after that. Ah, love hurts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Old Memories

Isn't it strange how much people impact our lives. Friends that I haven't seen or talked to in years can suddenly pop back into my life. I see or hear about ex-boyfriends who played a small role in shaping my ideals for the Perfect Man. So, what brings on this sentimentality you might ask? Well, this one is for BL. I hope he will read this and know who he is and what a special guy I think he is.
We met in 9th grade when I had just moved back to Gulfport to start high school. We had a few classes together, and shared a lunch period. A few months into 9th grade I started my first "semi-serious" relationship with KD. We went out for 3 or 4 months, but he was super shy--I guess too shy for me. After we broke up I found myself being "wooed" by a few guys that I was friends with: KJ, BL, and MS. I ended up saying "yes" to MS. We dated about 4 months, through the end of the school year. That summer I tried out and was accepted into the high school colorguard (9th grade is separate from 10th-12th). Let's see...how did BL and I end up talking? Maybe we had a class together, or rode the same bus (yes, I still rode the bus in high school). Anyways, we started dating at the beginning of 10th grade. We went to dinner and Homecoming together (his mom and soon-to-be step-dad were our chaperones to dinner). Only one month after we started dating I found myself on a band trip with a certain guy, PR. Little Ms Nosy-body, AA, who had been very close friends with (and had a serious crush on) BL, told me I "better call him and break up" before I 'cheated' with PR (in our minds, talking and holding hands was 'cheating'). I think I did call him (either that night or the next day) and told him I wanted to break up. So, that was the extent of our relationship. And, in that whole month we dated, we never even kissed.
Now let me describe BL to you. He is a very good looking guy. With his hair is long-ish or buzzed, glasses or contacts, dressed up in a suit or wearing workout clothes--he looks GOOD. But, I don't know if he knows that. He always had a kinda shy but smart-alecky personality. You never get a strong response or emotional output from him. But even so, he was always very kind, funny, and fun. So, what was I, silly high school girl gonna do with a guy like that? I didn't have the time to "teach" him how to be a more attentive boyfriend. Or "teach" him how to be more outgoing and sensitive. So I moved on.
We remained "loose" friends through high school (but he wasn't in my usual-band-crowd). Once I came to college we actually talked a lot more. We started IMing almost every night and shared a lot of personal experiences. I really started caring about the person that he is. That lasted through our freshman and sophomore years (at different universities)...then it slowly tapered off. As Richard and I got more serious BL backed off (as a friend) and I didn't want to give the wrong impression...so we talked less and less. Now, we catch each other on IM every couple of months or so. And sometimes when I'm down in Gulfport I'll run into him and we say hello. But I think we both have the little thought about "what if." You know that game.
So, like my previous post about "Lasting Impressions" I'd just like to thank BL for being the person that he is. We both have our lives. Now you know my "side" of the story. And I sincerely hope that we will be friends for a long time to come. Even if we go months and months without talking I know that the instant I see your name on IM, or see you around town I will smile and know we have something to chat about. Thank you.

Monday, August 15, 2005


My wonderful husband finally fixed my computer...let's see how long it lasts this time. Yay for working computers!!

Where would I rather be?

OMG!! Our heat index right now is 109F and almost 60% humidity!!! So, while I probably should be at home helping with the shed...I would much rather be sitting here in my nice air conditioned office. But dang it, my tummy is grumbling & I need to go home to get something to eat...Alas, such a dilemma!
All weekend I have been painting and caulking...no fun stuff for me (sawing, nailing, etc). I don't know if it's because I'm a girl or because D is a control freak, but either way, it's not fair. I just keep telling myself that I am very grateful to him for doing this project for us. I know that I am completely capable of doing all of these things, and I would probably only have a hard time with carrying some of the big & heavy stuff (i.e. shingles) long distances or up ladders. I don't know? At least Richard hasn't been able to use the nail gun either! Ha ha! I think it's just the control thing. But isn't that weird, personally, I would recognize that someone was interested in learning/experiencing something new (using a nail gun, installing rafters, laying shingles) and share my knowledge/experience. Richard & I decided that he's one of those people who would rather just do everything himself to know that it's done the way that he wants--instead of taking time to teach someone else, and not know if he or she will do a good job.
So, Richard & I were left to painting. Saturday it was just me & D, and Sunday all 3 of us were out there working. Richard & I painted to our little heart's desires! For a total of 3 coats of Kilz on the exposed walls and 2 coats on the covered walls. He was even up on the roof until almost 9 last night painting the...umm...fascia. I decided that it would have been much easier to paint them when they were still on the ground, duh, instead of waiting until they were installed 12 feet above the ground (with only rafters to stand/balance on). But, I guess D doesn't think like me. Today D was planning to sheet the roof and start the roof felt and maybe shingles. I left the house at 9 this morning, so I'm really excited to see the progress! Mom has been asking lots of questions, so I'm going to have to post pictures later!
Let's see how much longer I can "keep busy" and not have to go home (and work in the HEAT)!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Special Guest

Ok, so my laptop still isn't fixed, but I've been wanting to tell this story, so I'm using my at-work desktop.
Like I mentioned in the previous post, this week I have a special houseguest. It is my father. I say "father" and not "dad" because Dad is the man who raised me, helped to shape the person that I am, and who I love very much. My Father, is just that. The man with whom I share half of my DNA. He didn't marry my mom and he didn't want the responsibility of raising a child, so he lived his life separate from me and mom. According to various family members, I met him a few times when I was a baby (of course I don't remember). The first memory I have of him is when I was about 5 or 6 and he came to visit me and mom in Hawaii. All I really remember is that he held me on his knee and tickled me until it hurt (then mom told him that it wasn't funny anymore and to let me go). This story is not supposed to be disturbing, it's just something that sticks out in my memory. On the side: I have not been ticklish ever since.
After that, I would get birthday cards or random postcards from him, but never saw him again. His parents were always very friendly with mom and they DID want a relationship with their granddaughter. They also came to visit us a few times in Hawaii and once more after we moved to Mississippi. When I was 9 my mom married my dad (technically step-dad) and I got a birthday card that year with a $$ gift. Mom said that if I wanted to keep the $$ gift I would have to call him and tell him "thank you." That was the last time I talked to or heard from him (no phone calls or letters/cards). Fast-Forward to 1999 (I was 18): I graduated from high school. When we were addressing invitations mom asked: "Do you want to invite D----?" Oh boy, I figured "sure, why not. He probably won't come anyways." Surprise, he did. I was able to spend a little bit of time with him--the chance to get-to-know him, and he was an okay guy. He even helped me out with paying for my college tuition. During that time, I would get a quick letter or phone call every 3 or 4 months, and he invited me to visit him at his sister's house in Washington (state, not DC). He bought my plane ticket and I stayed up there with them (him, my Aunt--who has always sent Christmas cards and pictures, 2 cousins, and gramma E----) for almost 2 weeks! I had a great time and I really got to know these "new" members of my family. Fast-Forward to April 2005: We continued to keep in touch (phone calls and letters) and then he wanted to come and visit me and Richard for a few days (since he couldn't come to the wedding back in November). Richard had met him back in 1999 when he came to my graduation, but not seen or talked to him since then. We got along really well and really had the chance to get-to-know his personality. Then, in May-June we took our 3-week vacation and a few days of that were spent in Wisconsin (where he was building his sister's new house). We met my aunt L, uncle-in-law R, 2 cousins C & A, my uncle W, aunt-in-law J, and 2 other cousins M & M! It was great! They are terrific people and they made us feel completely comfortable and at home!
So, now it's August and he's back down here visiting. Not just visiting, he's also building a shed/laundry room/deck for us!!
It's been fun and he's a very interesting person, but boy-oh-boy could I tell you some stories! :) He's just so UNIQUE from ANYONE else I have EVER met!! Trust me, if you ever met him, he is one of THOSE PEOPLE who you would NEVER forget! Ah, you know what they say: You can't choose your family.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Computer Issues

My laptop has been having some problems lately, and my dear, sweet husband has yet to fix it...so I may be a little slow and short on blogs for a few days. Once he (my computer is a guy) has his issues straightened out, I will get back-to-blogging. P.S. I have a "special" houseguest this week. Will tell all about it later.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Abs class...WHAT was I thinking??

So, my friend, TR, and I have been sticking to our workout plan. We play tennis twice a week and go to the Sanderson once a week. We've been doing this for, um, 3 weeks and so far we've only missed 2 days (once was his excuse, the other was mine--and we made both up on differnet days). Anyways, tennis is good, but my shoulder started getting really sore so we've been trying to take it easy. Yesterday we went to the Sanderson at 6 to catch the "20-minute abs" class (it's actually 30 minutes). I thought I was going to pass out! Seriously! I thought the heat from playing tennis outside (over 90F) would get to me, but, no! The fifty-million crunches, leg lifts, scissor kicks, pushups, etc, etc....almost did me in! And today, today I cringe everytime I try to get up out of my seat, into and out of my truck, walk up stairs, or lift something over 5 pounds!
Boy, oh boy am I out of shape! And I think back to when I was in high school (6 years ago) and I was in much better shape! Not only was I thinner, I also had more stamina: I could run a mile without keeling over, I could climb stairs and still keep my breath, and I could work all day and still have the energy to play all night. Back then I didn't pay attention to what I ate and I didn't feel like I got much exercise, but I must have been doing something right? Maybe it was being in colorguard? I don't know, there were some "big girls" in guard too.
So, what is it that causes people to gain the "freshman 15" ("Freshman 30" in my case)? Since I have come to college I have been on a tight budget (so I eat less), I walk all over (between classes, up hills--ask me about "hernia hill"), and I used to go to the Sanderson almost every day (freshman & sophomore years--when I gained the most weight). Are my genetics finally catching up to me? Am I past the age where I can "eat anything" and get away with it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy with my body, I just wish it would be a little nicer to me. I just want to be able to make it to class without looking and sounding like I just lost the Tour de France!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Might as well face it, I'm addicted...

...to blogging. Yeah, great, just what I need. Y'know, another distraction from all the things I SHOULD be doing. Another excuse to put things off "til later." Of course, this summer I haven't been extremely busy...just kinda busy. I have things that only take like 30 minutes to prep, then I have to wait 2-4 hours for them to "do their thing," then it takes me 10-15 minutes to see the results (or lack of). Actually, I would prefer to have stuff to do than just sitting here spending time! Well, the AGEM Summer Bridge Program is over this week (closing ceremony Friday), I am having my thesis committee meeting this afternoon, and school will start in 2 weeks (from tomorrow). Soon, soon I will have THINGS to do. And I sure can't wait!
Lately I find myself sitting in the office for extended periods of time...see, I do lab work first...then I know I will have to wait a few hours so I do paperwork...then I get tired of reading professional journal articles, writing notes from the articles, editing my thesis, etc. So I check my email, then I check my blog for comments, read my favorite blogs, leave comments (when I feel moved to do so), then I click "Next Blog." Read a little, read a lot if it's interesting, skip to "Next Blog" if it isn't. Then I will go back to my blog and add any that I found entertaining. Then I will think about what I can post. Google miscellaneous things, maybe look at facebook (that reminds me, I have to reply to a message I received yesterday), check my email (again), think to myself: "Celina, we need to do some more work." So I read a few more articles.... And that is my 8-hour workday (lately I have only been in here for about 4-6 hours each day). Right now my research is at a standstill (hopefully will have some fresh ideas from today's committee meeting, and tomorrow's meeting with my major professor).
And, to top it all off, I was up sick all last night and I'm really tired today!
So, today I am busy AND bored AND tired.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Ph.D. or Bust?

So this AGEM Summer Bridge Program I have been participating in this summer has brought me to some new ideas. Can you believe it, I am actually considering going for a Ph.D.!! I thought I was finished with school after 5.5 years getting my Bachelor's. Then, my boss (I was a student worker in a research lab) presented me with an AWESOME opportunity to get my Master's. After a little research online, I realized that I would make a good bit more money starting out with an M.S. instead of "just" a B.S.. Anyways, I guess I probably wasn't really READY to get out in the "real world" yet, so continuing with school was a good choice. My husband has a good job with great pay, we actually OWN our home (a 30-year-old trailer, but it's OURS), and we're comfortable here, so hanging around for another 2 years isn't bad.
Well, I thought I had it figured out. I will finish in December 2006, and the plan is to find a job ASAP (hopefully in southwestern Montana), I will move and settle in, then my husband will join me a few months later. Like Richard says: "If the Good Lord says the same, and the creek don't rise."
Well, this AGEM program is very focused on getting minority students into not just grad school, but into Ph.D. programs!! We have heard talks from several different people in various fields and they all have the same basic message: The Ph.D. will OPEN every door for you, you will have 40+ years to WORK, so spend a little time NOW to PREPARE.
And, I'm actually thinking about it. But, you know, I'm not entirely convinced. I have been in school (continuous) since I was what? FIVE? I am now 24, newly married, and I am ready to start my LIFE! I want to move into a real home, start a real career, (consider) expanding my family. Maybe I'm in too much of a hurry, but I really want to do something new.
So, I am still open to the idea, and I do think that one day I may want to get a Ph.D., but for now I feel confident in my decision to STICK TO MY PLAN.

Monday, August 01, 2005


So, school starts in 2.5 weeks and I'm trying to start on the right foot. Which means that I am attempting a "weekly schedule." Since I've been at college I have slowly transformed into a more organized and list-oriented person. I write lists for everything, not just groceries, but lists for "to do today," "to do this week," "to call," "to write," "to look up online," "housecleaning for the weekend," etc. Sometimes it gets a little ridiculous, but I feel more accomplished when I can look at the list with EVERYTHING crossed off!! Nevermind that the things are done, I need to see them XXXXXX'd off my LIST! And, when I've been asked (by Mr.I've-worked-soooo-hard today) "What did YOU do today?" I can say: "Look at this list! I did all of this!"
Anyways, this "weekly schedule" is my attempt at fitting classes and time in the lab together with "planned study hours" and my new workout schedule. I guess my reasoning is mostly to MAKE set hours for when I WILL be in the lab and when I WILL spend time studying. I can look at the schedule and tell myself: "You have to get off the computer at such-and-such time and go study for Statistics." Or: "You have an hour to watch TV before you go to the lab at whatever 'o clock."
Well, I guess I'll just have to see how it works out. We really have gotten more organized around the house too. Like our bill schedule--that has REALLY helped us get on track. And, I keep a planner/calander in my purse so I can always see what things are coming up. Maybe this schedule thing will work out after all?