Friday, December 29, 2006

It doesn't suit me...

...lounging around the house all day. I feel bored and useless. I've only watched a little TV--mostly General Hospital, Judge Judy (I mean, who in the world decided that was a good show to follow GH???), and HGTV. I've also made chocolates, painted Christmas houses, and organized a few scrapbooking things. I've made way too many trips to Wallymart, Zaxby's (by now, I think it's considered an addiction, R!), and the post office. I've happily received more Christmas cards than ever before (I think we're up to 21 now). We've only had one ornament fatality. And, I think I've finally convinced R that he really doesn't need an XBox 360.

I'm still anxiously waiting to hear back from that one job (expected call: Tuesday), and I will be starting back in the lab on Wednesday. I'm still wondering what I should do, though. If I am offered the job, do I take it (the first)? Or wait for some of my other application responses? The pay at this place won't be very good (according to what I was told at the end of the interview), but the location is good (hello, mom) and the benefits would be good. I'm not really counting my chickens, or whatever, I'm just trying to consider the "what ifs."

But, I have so many other concerns weighing on my mind. I haven't been sleeping very well for the past couple of weeks (besides the past 2 nights--those have been pretty good). With the holidays come all the emotions of realizing that a few members of my family are missing. I catch a whiff of a burning wood and think about grampa and the old furnace that was in their old house. He'd spend the warmer afternoons chopping wood, stack it up in the foyer (with extra on the front porch), and wake up through the night to load the furnace. Although I haven't spent a Christmas with my family since 2003, it's hard just knowing that he's not here anymore. Second AWOL is my sister, Jeannie. She didn't pass away, but is gone none the less. Nobody in my family has seen (or heard from) her since that Tuesday (Dec. 5) when she met mom at the house to get her stuff. I'm still trying to figure out how/if I should contact her (via phone or letter). On the hard nights I lay awake for hours going over the things I "would" put in her letter. I honestly don't know if it would even matter, or make any difference to her, but I feel like I should (want to) get a few things off my chest (out of my head and heart).

We don't have any plans for New Year's (we usually just stay home anyways), but if you know of a great fun party, let me know! If I don't "talk" to y'all before then, I wish you all a hopeful and blessed introduction to the New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What a Weekend!

So, Christmas is over, and I'm happy and comfortable in my own home... ahhh!
You know what I mean? It's great to go other places, see family, exchange gifts, and spend time with all the little ones. But, boy-oh-boy, the best part is getting back home, adjusting the thermostat to my preferred temperature, and staying in my pajamas all day! This holiday was a little more difficult for me, but I think I did okay not letting my "bah-humbug" feelings show (at least, not too much).
My MIL happily entertained and cooked for a full house, and the 5 kids (3, 18mos, 18mos, 14mos, and 7 mos) were only slightly overwhelming. I saw more toys unwrapped and tossed aside than I've ever seen, ate the best dressing (MIL does it best), and even had chef-prepared french toast at my best friend's house (thanks Mr. AJ)!
I took lots of pictures, but don't really feel like uploading them... so they'll have to wait. Oh, and I DID try to post before today, but the "new" blogger thing was giving me all kinds of problems.
Okay, well, I have a lot of errands to take care of today, and I only have another week before I start work back in the lab! (I had that interview last week, and it went very well. I should hear something back from them by Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll keep y'all posted!)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blogger was in a mood...

I've had several ideas for posts over the past couple of days, but Blogger has been extremely uncooperative. Now that I'm actually able to get on, I can't think of anything interesting to say, go figure. Sunday we're heading down to the coast to have Christmas with my in-laws. I think it will be fun, but we only get to stay 3 days. I'm currently cooking a chicken (momma, you should've seen me trying to remember how to separate the breasts) so I can make enchiladas for his work Christmas party. Then, for Christmas lunch/dinner, I was asked to make my favorite, the Green-Bean Casserole. Two days ago I made brownies for my honey and the morning before that I made Lemon-PoppySeed muffins. Who am I (Ms Suzie Homemaker)??
On the job front, I still haven't had that phone interview. The weather in New Mexico got pretty bad, and all non-necessary employees were sent home. But, I think I might be hearing something today... *crosses fingers*
Other than that, nothing else new, besides a few more completed applications.

Jobs Applied For: 14
Rejections: 1
Call-Backs: 1
Accepted: 0

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Great American Novel

So, here's another Family Guy skit that I really like. It's a little over two minutes, but Stewie is just so funny! And, R has started sounding like this when he asks me about my "Job Search" progress...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Traditions

Even my mediocre feelings towards the holidays this year couldn't keep me from buying a tree. This time I actually had family members to help decorate it. The evening before my graduation, I took my little sister to Lowe's to help me pick out a tree. Until then, I hadn't even taken my "Christmas" storage box out of the shed.
Here are my MIL (left) and mom (right) putting ornaments on the tree. It was strange watching other people put my ornaments on my tree (I tend to be very controlling over my decorations), but I was so, so happy they were here! When I thought about it, it's been 6 years since I've decorated a tree with anyone besides R!

This was some artsy thing R tried to do by wiggling the camera. Eh, whatever.

This is probably my most favorite "ornament." It's called "Santa's Band" and it's made up of 7 bears and santa playing the bells. They actually turn on their base and strike the bells to play "35 songs." Actually, it only plays the first minute of each song, just enough for them to be recognizable. I don't even know how long this has been in my family (maybe since around 93), but I didn't get it until 2001 (when dad was packing their house stuff, he got rid of a lot of their Christmas stuff). Every year I set it up with the same garland and "icicle lights." Last year I added the little houses (I painted them). I usually only play it a few times during the holidays, but it's funny how ingrained those songs are-I can even tell you what song is next after a whole year of not hearing it!
Finally, this is the tree on campus. This is the first time one has been set up, and it was pretty nice. I kinda like the way my camera wiggle made the lights look like little Cs!

Jobs Applied For: 10
Rejections: 1
Call-Backs: 1 !!! (Will do a phone interview this week! YAY!)
Accepted: 0

Christmas "Quizzes"

You Are a Snowman

Friendly and fun, you enjoy bringing holiday cheer to everyone you know!

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

Friday, December 15, 2006


  • Reconnecting with old friends. What a nice thing MySpace has done for me. Over the course of 2 days I've been contacted by 2 girls I used to know back in high school. One of them was our across-the-street neighbor and the other was a good friend who was in colorguard with me (I've known her since, like 4th grade). We've only had initial contact, but it's interesting to see that these people went through the trouble of "finding" me!
  • This might be one of those things that you're not supposed to talk about, but we got a notice from the IRS yesterday. Apparently, one of our forms was filled out incorrectly (we have a friend who does our paperwork for us) and I have to go back and fill out another 1040 (the 1040X). It's not a big deal, just kind of annoying, especially since we're only a few months away from filing our NEW tax returns. I don't think the new forms will affect us much, although we may end up getting/giving a little more... we'll see.
  • Today I mooched at yet another Free Meal. I didn't even know about it until 11:15 (it started at 11:30) and I had already bought a sandwich at Wendy's. But, I went anyways, and yum, yum, yum! It was a pot-luck thing, though, and I felt a little guilty about not bringing anything. Fortunately, there was a LOT of food--turkey, ham, 3 different dressings, 4 different veggies, green bean casserole, 3 types of pasta salad, and oodles of desserts--so my guilt didn't last too long!
  • Not much new on the Job Front (besides the aggravating variations in "application processes"). Thanks for your well-wishes, I really appreciate them!
Jobs Applied For: 10
Rejections: 1
Call-Backs: 0
Accepted: 0

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Waiting, Patiently

As of January 3, I will "officially" be an Intermittant Research Assistant in the same lab I've been working in for the past 3 years (1 year as a student worker, 2 years as a grad student). It's not exactly what I had hoped for, but it does ease some of the stress while I'm looking everywhere for a job (any job). The position is only available for 3 months, max, so it's not like I can get lazy again and just stay in my Comfort Zone. It's just long enough for me to send out as many applications as I want, and to wait paitiently for call-backs and interviews.
I'm now up to my 3rd Resume Version. It started with the "generic" resume including a little "splattering" of everything. Then, I upgraded to a Curriculum Vitae that includes more details of my coursework and lab experiences. Finally, today, I wrote up my "official" federal resume. This one has to include my SSN, information about citizenship (Yes) and veteran's preference (No), and more details about my previous employment (including supervisor's names and contact info). Of course, there are still those odd jobs that require their very own version of a resume (fill in the blanks), or that want you to print out their application and fill it out (by hand).
Now, if only I could stop chatting with the guys in the office and spend the 4-6 hours actually doing application stuff! Oh, and we're starting to really consider Albuquerque as the place to go, because, you know, cheap-to-free rent is something you just can't pass up!

Jobs Applied For: 6
Rejections: 1
Call-Backs: 0
Accepted: 0

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I did it!

It's finally done. I have graduated. Friday afternoon, before the commencement ceremony, we took some pictures by the chapel. I think I look silly in this pic, but I like that you can see the colors of my hood. The "sienna" is for my college (Forest Resources) and the maroon and white are for my university (Mississippi State).

Here are me and R after the ceremony. Fortunately, the whole think only lasted about 1.5 hours, although we had to get there an hour earlier than that. Doesn't he look so handsome in that suit?!

This is my mom. I know, I know, I look a lot like her. Of course, I would never perm my hair! :)

This is my little sister, Ruthie. Isn't she a cutie! Now, if only we could convince her to stand up straight all the time--she's at least 3 or 4 inches taller than me (and only 14)!

My MIL also came down, but I didn't get any good pics with her (my camera was messing up). Now that I'm officially finished, I have to find a job. As soon as we're moved and settled somewhere (anywhere) else, all I can say is: R, it's your turn! Why does he look so goofy in this pic? I guess it's that "guilty smirk" or something?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Expecting Visitors

Tomorrow morning I will be driving a few hours to pick up my mom and sister! I got 95% of my housecleaning done today (everything but the dog bath & bathroom). Of course, once R got home, the place looked like I hadn't done anything! Anyways, sometime tomorrow afternoon my MIL will be here, too. How great is that?! Then R's aunt, uncle, & cousins will be here friday evening (right before graduation).
I feel so fortunate to have so many people who care about me and want to be here to support me. Since Friday will be an extremely busy day, we're planning a family cookout thing at our house Saturday afternoon. Everyone will be going home on Sunday. It will be a really quick weekend, but I think it will be a great time!
On another note, I took my last exam yesterday. I think I did okay on it, but you just never know about these things. I also boxed up my stuff in the office and cleaned out my "leftovers" from the lab. For now I can just relax. Next week, the real work begins. Then. Then, I will have to find a job.
Thanks y'all for your comments. Nothing (new) big with the sister, just that dad finally got the keys (house & car) from her and she picked up her stuff (clothes, books, & etc) from the house. I also heard a few things that have given me some very sad revalations about her. (I just don't want to talk about it right now.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Guess This is IT

I mean that in more ways than one.
First, for the Sister Stuff. I called the guy's phone again last night, and whaddya know, he actually answered. Here was our interaction:
Him: Hello (very gruff)
Me: Hello, is this T***?
Him: Yeah, who is THIS?
Me: This is Celina, Jeannie's sister. It's very important that I talk to her, is she there?
Him: Her sister? The one from Mississippi?
Me: Yes.
Him: Yeah, hold on.
(mumble, mumble)
Jeannie: Hello (oh, the attitude was just dripping off that word).

All I really told her is that I had heard what she did, and I had "nothing" to say about it. But, if she could stop thinking about herself for one second, she needs to realize that she owes it to mom & dad to talk to them. I told her that they weren't necessarily mad, just extremely concerned. "As far as we knew, you could've been dead in a ditch somewhere!" I told her there were other issues that they needed to sort through before she decided to remove herself from our lives, and it was extremely important that she call dad. I asked if she had anything to say, and all she said was "No." She did say that she would "try" to call them today. I told her that I cared so much about her, and it was "nice knowing you," and that I hope whatever decisions she makes for herself that she has a "great life."
Me: Iis that all? You really don't have anything to say?
Her: No.
Me: Well, that's really sad. Bye.
And, I hung up the phone. The whole conversation was less than 3 minutes. I don't know if she really will call them, but it's out of my hands. At least she knows that we all know. We know she's alive.
I think the worst part of it was her voice. I've never heard such contempt and attitude from anyone! I felt like everything I thought I knew about her was made up of lies. She is her mother! And, I wish she read this, because I want her to know that. The person she's claimed to "hate" (after never visiting them in MS and backing out of a visit for her graduation this summer) is the exact person she is. And, that's very very sad.
I don't know if I'll call her again. I mean, if she wanted to get in touch with me, she knows how. But I feel like there are so many things I need to say to her. I feel like we (the family) deserve to know why she hates us so much.
All I can hope is that when the smoke clears, she's safe, we're safe, and life will go on. I guess you just can't protect your heart, no matter how hard you try. I love her so much, and I don't think she even knows that.
Mom just called and said that she told Gary (my brother, Jeannie's "full-blood" brother) about my conversation with her last night. He got very upset so mom is on her way to see him now. He's so much stronger than Jeannie and cut his own mother out of his life after only 2 years. (He called her one day and told her how much he hated her for hurting him & Jeannie for so long, and that he didn't want to hear from her again. He even told Jeannie that if she came to her graduation, he would not see her.) I can't imagine how much it hurts him to see that his sister is the same person. I'm sorry, bro, I love you.
I had some other stuff to talk about, but this took longer than I though and I really need to go over my notes a few more times. I have my last final (ever?) at 3:00, and this one is killer! ACK! Quick, tell me everything you know about PCR, cloning vectors, genomic libraries, and recombination!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Sister Update

Still no word from Jeannie, but at least we know she's still alive (she was at work today). Mom and dad went to her work and took the car (it's "hidden" somewhere now). (They didn't go in or see her at all.) And, she was scheduled to work today at a time that she's "supposed to" be in class. So, I guess that answers that question.
I called her 2 best friends today, and they were very sweet, and offered a little help. Neither of them has heard from her (one last talked to her on Thursday, the other on Saturday) either. The one thing I did manage to "get" out of them is that it is a guy, and that she's moved into an apartment with him (Jeannie had told them that mom & dad knew about it). They seemed very upset that she left like that, and they were surprised that none of us knew anything about it (the guy or the apartment).
I don't know who this guy is, and mom said she's heard his name, but never met him. Apparently, he works with Jeannie and is "a little older" than her. Mom thinks he may be one of the "guys" she's talked about being "into drugs." So, some of my assumptions are true. But, there are still many things left unknown. I did get the guy's phone number from one of the friends, but there was no answer when I called earlier. I'm thinking I'll try again, although I get the feeling he'll be screening his calls.
Anyways, I know this sounds selfish, but I am so mad that she had to do this right now! I don't think mom & Ruthie will be coming for my graduation. Like I said before, the three of them were planning on coming together, but obviously that isn't going to happen. Plane tickets might just be a little too much, and mom is very worried about leaving the house unattended for even a few days. I accept that she's decided that this is what she wants to do with her life (screw it up), but I hate that she has to do it in a way that affects the rest of us so much! Okay, that does sound selfish, but what I mean is that I believe every person has a right to make their own decisions (whether anyone else agrees with them or not). But, I DO NOT believe a person is allowed to make decisions that can/will hurt other people!
What if this guy really is trouble and his "enemies" start to cause trouble for the rest of my family? What if he convinces her (or she decides on her own) that mom & dad are terrible people and it would be okay to trash their house? Maybe that just the Soap Opera inside my head, but hey, you never know about people! (Did y'all hear about that woman who put her baby in the microwave and killed it? Or the woman who had a fight with her boyfriend and lit him on fire while he was sleeping? Or the 12-year-old girl who set her mom on fire while she was sleeping, then ran off with her 2 younger siblings?) But, that's a whole other thing. You just don't know about people!
Well, I appreciate your comments, and I'll keep you posted on what's going on.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What Have You Done Little Sister?

This morning I got a phone call from my mom. A very sad and dissapointing call. My little sister, Jeannie (remember, she came to visit me this summer:
Sister,Sister, Medieval Times, Around Campus, Vacation Plan) has moved out. I had a feeling this would happen eventually, but I had really hoped she would at least TRY to be an adult about it. Instead, she came home late from work (around 11) last night, told mom she was home and "went to bed." This morning, when she wasn't in her room, mom went in to find a NOTE left on her bed. It pretty much said that she was tired of being treated like a kid (she's 20) and all she wanted to do was be able to go out with her friends and have fun. She didn't want to have to tell mom & dad where she was going, where she had been, or who she was with. She said that she was "sorry" it "had to be like this," but she didn't know how else to tell them. She also said that she would go to the house today to get her stuff.
Apparently, she was scheduled to get off work between 3 & 4. When she wasn't home by 4:30, dad went to see if she was still there, and her car was parked outside her work. Mom called to talk to her, but nobody answered the phone. It's now nearly 8 (their time), and there has been NO WORD from her.
I am extremely sad and hurt by all of this. Who knows how long she has been lying to all of our faces: "I love you, everything is fine." And EXACTLY what are her reasons for leaving? Is it a GUY? A GIRL? Are mom & dad really that unbearable? (I know they do get a little annoying sometimes, but they really are good people.) Is she even in school (or has all that been lies too)?
See, I have a lot of "feelings" about some things that she's been getting into, and it's not a very good road she's headed down. I know for sure that she drinks & parties. I also know that she "sleeps around" (but to what extent?). I think she may be into drugs, and maybe other "extracurricular activities." But I think she's just one of those people who thinks all of that is okay. (I know lots of people feel that way, but I never have.) She's also gotten piercings and tattoos (when she was underage) then lied to mom & dad about them.
I know mom & dad are mad and really HURT, but I was mostly concerned for my baby sister, Ruthie (14). But, after talking to her this afternoon, she almost sounds "relieved." Jeannie has been using her as a "sounding board" when (I guess) none of her friends are available. So, my 14-year-old sister has been hearing ALL about the WANDERINGS of her 20-year-old big sister!
I just pray that the mistakes Jeannie is making (and is going to make) are not the kind you can't TAKE BACK! Tonight I've tried texting her (her preferred method of communication) and calling, but can't get through. In fact, she told mom & dad that her phone had been cancelled. But, when I called the message said "At the subscriber's request, this phone is not acceping incoming calls." And, there's no option to leave a message.
A little back story: About 3 years ago (about a year after they moved to NM), Jeannie had gotten in a "little" trouble. One of her co-workers (a guy who already had a 1-year-old and another on the way) was getting "involved" with her. The only way mom & dad found out about it was when his girlfriend (or ex) kept calling the house harassing mom & dad & threatening Jeannie! Mom & dad were so mad they told her to GET OUT! But, when they actually saw the guy, they realized that she'd probably end up pregnant, knocking back on their door in no time, so they told him to get the HELL out and "punished" her. I think the punishment included her quitting her job, and being banned from the car.
I know all of this may seem like "normal" teenage rebellion or whatever, but there's more to the story. I think I've talked about it before, but here goes. When I was a sophomore in high school, mom & dad got a call from her mom (my dad--step-dad, technically, is her bio-dad) saying that she "couldn't" take care of "his kids" anymore & they needed to go get them. So, they rented a uhaul and drove 12 hours to Orlando, FL, packed up their stuff and brought them home. That was back in 1997 (wow, it seems like SO MUCH longer ago than just 9 years). Since then, they've been provided with everything any kid could need. Mom & dad even busted tail to get Jeannie CLOSE to caught up in school (she graduated this summer at 19-years-old). She has new glasses, had braces for a year (just got them off last month), and dad even co-signed for her NEW FREAKIN CAR (I got an 11-year-old pickup truck when I graduated)!! She has never been spanked, grounded (besides after her "episode" with that one guy), or deprived of ANYTHING.
So, it's not like she's kept under "lock & key" and she's whipped every night before bed. Heck, she's never even been given a "curfew" (I wasn't allowed out on school nights and I had to be home by 11 on weekends--12 on prom night)! So, where does she get off?
What would you do if this was your daughter? Should she be allowed to take whatever of "her stuff" she wants (i.e. TV, radio, laptop, furniture, etc), or just the stuff she's bought with her money (i.e. clothes, CDs, etc)? Should mom & dad change the locks so that she can't come in the house unless they're there? What if she tries to "sneak in" tonight after their in bed, or tomorrow when they're all at work/school to get "her stuff?" Finally, what about the car? I seriously doubt she will be able to keep up payments for long (she has NO IDEA about the price tag that comes with ADULTHOOD), and it would end up falling on dad. Should he just take the car and give her their other car (the 6-year-old Kia she was going to buy from them before she got the new car)?
Anyways, I just needed to get all this off my chest. It's a new development in my Family Saga, and it will be "interesting" to see how things unfold. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Final Countdown

At my "Farewell Lunch" yesterday, as we (8) sat and placed our drink orders (sweet teas, all around), I heard this song playing over the speakers... It was the Rocky IV Theme Song, "Final Countdown" (apparently by the band Europe). Go ahead, look it up, you'll recognize it, I'm sure! Nevermind, I'll just get it and put it up here for you...
Let's see if my little venture into html works (nah, it didn't work, so I'll just use Castpost, whatever). Okay, I'm going to try this ONE MORE time (I didn't realize that was the music-only version)!! This time I'm getting really mad! That only works if you are reading my blog on MY computer... and now Castpost isn't working! ARGH! Now blogger doesn't even have the "quick buttons" for me to put in a link & I can't find a darn html for it, so you'll just have to look it up yourself, if you're so inclined...
Now things are starting to work again...

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Anyways, I just thought that song was entirely appropriate for the occasion, as did the rest of my group. The lunch was nice, and I was happy that everyone (minus the one person with whom I do not get along) was there and enjoying themselves. The 4 student workers are relatively new, and I haven't spent much time in the lab this semester, so this was my first chance to sit around and chat with all of them together. They're all really nice "kids" and I wish they had been there when I was a student worker (back then, there were only 2 of us)! We had an interesting conversation, covering topics such as childhood diseases, haunted houses, the COLD weather, and cartoons.

Well, I was in the middle of studying when I got the urge to post this, so I better get back to work. Saturday is usually my housecleaning day, but my NEED for some SERIOUS studying, and the fact that I KNOW the house will get dirty by next Thurs--when my family is getting in, convinced me to just wait until next week. I think Wednesday is a good day. I'll just cram it in there between: Show Doc where all my DNA is in the lab, get rid of my old media (and other useless lab stuff), and box up junk from my cubicle (it's unbelievable how much stuff I've managed to cram in there, and in only 4 months)!
It's weird to think that after next weekend, I can PICK which days to do my housecleaning! Today, R told me that he is "excited" to finally have a "little housewife" (for a few weeks anyways) to do the cleaning & cooking... Okay, he only said that as a JOKE, so please, don't any of the women of his family HURT him! :)