Monday, March 30, 2009

Delta Lambda Sigma Δ Λ Σ

I just joined a sorority through my online college. I had never joined one when I was actually IN college, and I have severe regrets right now. This morning I was looking through my college yearbook, and noticed that some of my friends were in a fraternity, played tennis, and joined other various clubs. I was in a few clubs but have no lasting memory of good times or close friends. Of course, that begs the question, "what did you actually DO in college?"
I have no idea. I studied, I know I cut a lot of classes, and hung out with my boyfriend a lot. I never made any close friends during those years, however. I'm still in touch with high school friends and people I worked with over the years, but I don't talk to any of my old college buddies. 
Anyway, back to the sorority. I'm quite excited to be a member, and am looking forward to wearing my "greek gear" as soon as I can. All this excitement and regret got me thinking. Why am I such a joiner? Earlier this year I was looking into a unitarian church, because I felt the need to "belong" and be a part of something ritualistic. I know I would find comfort in this. Unfortunately, the church was a little too far away for me to go every week and participate. 

What is lacking in my life that I need to be a part of something bigger than myself? Does that mean I feel like an outsider? Am I comforted by meaningless rituals? How would I know, I've never participated in something like that. 

Right now I have a lot of regrets. I truly wish I had gone to another college and been smart enough to participate in meaningful relationships. I wish I had been mature enough to find things on my own. 
I don't like to feel regretful but I can't shake this feeling right now. Perhaps I can fall back on the fact that I went to college in the 80's, and there was not as much "stuff" out there to join. (In the back of my mind I know that's not a good excuse, I was just lazy. It just looks like there is more out there due to the Internet and social networking sites.)

So what to do? I know wishing and thinking "could have, should have" is no good. I suppose I will wallow in self pity for a few more days, and then try to get out of it. I will offer to help get this new sorority off the ground, perhaps participating will help me feel like I'm finally a part of something. 
Maybe I'm just having a mid life crisis. I thought I had one a few years ago, but as I get older I've been thinking more about my own mortality and analyzing what I've accomplished during my life. 

I know I should not waste time with regrets. Hopefully I can find what I'm searching for and will finally feel fulfilled and happy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A New Pair Of Jeans

This post will clearly illustrate why women get crazy at times. I discovered, much to my dismay, that my favorite jeans were developing holes in them. And they weren't even cool holes to be in style. The jeans were ripping right where the back pocket was attached. Upon further examination of 2 other pairs, I found tiny rips in them too. 
Time to go shopping!
This is where the fun begins. I went to Walmart, sure I would find a pair there. I tried on at least 7 pairs, with no luck. I even had my husband scouring the racks to help me find the right pair. I must be getting old, because the last time I shopped for jeans there were only a few choices. I was bombarded with Loose Fit, Flare, Boot Cut, Boyfriend, Relaxed and Classic. Don't even get me started on what size I was. Depending on what style I chose, I was either a 4 or a 6. And in most cases the 6 was too big and the 4 just a little too tight. 
Off to Target I went. There was a tiny selection, none of which excited me. At this point I became disgusted and went home.

Last night I figured I would try again. I went to Old Navy, my husband's suggestion. There my choices were Flirt, Sweetheart and Diva. The difference between them was the "rise" of the jeans. Lovely.

I tried on 6 pairs, once again finding too tight or too loose. There were plenty of size 4's, even 2's but nothing really fit me. I also had the option of Short and Regular. 
There was a Sears store in the mall. I still had some energy and desire, so I went in. To my surprise, I found racks and racks of jeans. Levi's (my former favorite brand). Lees (my current favorite brand). Gloria Vanderbilt. Stone Creek (or something like that, the Sears brand). 

I tried on NO LESS than 15 pairs. The short was too short. The petite was kind of tight. I almost found happiness with a Gloria Vanderbilt but it was a tiny bit too short. Then there was the issue of the flare. I don't want flared legs! I just wanted regular, comfortable jeans. 
I happened to see a pair of Tapered Classic Fit. They didn't stretch. They didn't flare. They didn't have some weird pigmentation. I tried on a 6..almost, but not quite. I was ready to call it a day when my husband (genius that he is) suggested an 8. I was very skeptical, not because I'm in size denial, but most of the 6's gapped madly at the waist and were tight in the butt. The 4's fit in the waist but were tight in the thighs. As you can see I have serious issues. I weigh 118 and there is no reason why I would think an 8 would fit. 

I tried them on.

Length: good.
Butt/thighs: had room.
Tapered: check
Waist: not too gappy, room to tuck in a shirt.

Could this be it? Was this too good to be true? They were Levi's, so they were $30, but I really needed a pair and did not have the heart to continue shopping. 

I bought them.
 I'm wearing them right now and they are perfect. I hope they don't shrink when I wash them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Bad Memory

I just realized that this title could be taken 2 ways: I could be writing about something terrible that happened to me in my past, or the fact that I can't remember things. 
I'm writing about the latter. I have a lousy ability to recall things, events, people, you name it. I was thinking about this last night whilst trying to fall asleep. There was a picture in my head, and I was trying to recall where or what it was. It was of some storefronts and brightly colored kites. As I searched through my available memories, I concluded that 1. I've forgotten so many things, and 2. I think it was a street in Massachusetts where I went on vacation. 
That led to my next train of thought. I tried to recall my honeymoon (Mystic Seaport and Cape Cod) and could only remember a few things. I tried to remember trips that I had been on; only a few memories surfaced. Then I went way back to my childhood...the only things I can consistently recall are things that I always think about, or events that I have photographs of. 
When I talk to my friends, they often will refer to things that we did together. I will immediately have a quizzical look on my face and then they will have to refresh my memory. 
The worst part is that even when they tell me stuff it doesn't ring a bell.
How sad, that I had such a good and fun life and now I can't even relive the good times! I'm not that old, but it seems lately my ability to recall things has diminished. How I made it through school I'll never know. 
The final turn my train of thought took was: why bother trying to do things & to make memories to think about in the twilight of my years, I won't remember them anyway! Basically I should just work, eat, watch TV and go to sleep. 
I don't know if that is a sad attitude or what. 

I just wish I could remember more about the things I HAVE done already.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Banana In The Garbage

I usually do not include links in my posts, but I had to write about this:

This is an article and video about a teacher who was arrested for allegedly making a pupil take an unpeeled banana out of the garbage and eat it. The student threw away his lunch, the banana was in the garbage for a few seconds, and it was unpeeled. 
The boy's mother was almost hysterical, saying her son could have contracted a "serious bacterial infection". 
Once again, I reiterate: UNPEELED banana. I believe it was a classroom garbage can, which probably only contained papers and the like.
The teacher said she was concerned about the boy not eating an adequate amount of food. Of course, she was arrested for her trouble.

Is this ridiculous or what? I shudder to think of a society where people get arrested and possibly sued for nothing at all. The teacher was charged with risk of injury to a minor, which is a felony.
Can you imagine this? I'm sure we can all think of incidents that took place when we were younger that carried a much greater risk of injury to us as minors, than this one. Heck, some of us used to eat food off the FLOOR when we were little. And if our parents found out that we threw food away, there would be punishment for us!

The superintendent of the school thinks the case is being blown out of proportion.
I agree. There is something other than a simple banana going on here. It's almost like a witch hunt. 

I hope this teacher's career and life is not ruined by this incident. She intended no harm to the child. 
This is just another example of the "blame everyone else" hysteria that is gripping this nation. I can't imagine what this country will be like in about 20 years.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rest In Peace, Heidi Q

Two years ago today was one of the saddest days of my life. That was the day I had to say goodbye to my beloved greyhound Heidi Q. She was 15 and 1/2. That is pretty old for a greyhound, but I still wish I had more time with her.
She was my first greyhound, my "heart" dog. I loved her more than I thought possible. Because of her I started volunteering with my local greyhound adoption program. I met many fabulous people. At my wedding, the majority of the guests were "greyhound people". I fostered greyhounds, in all shapes and sizes. 
I reveled in Heidi's quirky behavioral traits, like when she would see me eating and get close to me and then sit (yes, she loved to sit!) and wait for me to share. She would run circles around my coffee table, like a miniature track. She loved the cold weather ( I found out she came from New Hampshire. That made sense.) and would run and play in the snow. 
She had a pretty good racing career, as she came to me when she was 3 and 1/2. I was told she sustained a racing injury that ended her days at the track. For all her aches and pains, however, she still loved to run, and she was quite fast!
Heidi Q hated her crate. When she was told to "go in your crate" she would bark and grumble and wheedle at me not to put her in. Of course, all that cuteness won out! 
Heidi and my other greyhound girl, GiGi, were faithful attendees to Greyhounds Reach The Beach at Dewey Beach, DE for many years. Heidi loved to run on the sand and jump into the ocean. 
As Heidi Q reached the twilight of her years, she slowed down, struggling to rise from her "sit" or when she was lying down. Towards the end she could not get up at all without aid. I did not mind helping her up to go outside, or feeding her as she lay on her dog bed. She was still happy and her quality of life was good. 
One day after I had taken her outside, she started having trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis years ago, so I was used to the coughing and gasping at times, but this was different. She appeared to be panicking. I soothed her and spoke to her, after all, there was nothing else I could do. In a few minutes her breathing evened out and she calmed down. 
I was concerned at this new development. What should I do? She was ok for the rest of the day, until it was time to go out again. Once again she panicked and couldn't breathe. 
It was at that moment I realized I had to say goodbye. I could not stand by and watch her struggle to breathe every time she had to go outside. I still do not know why she had this problem, as she was fine when she was lying down. 
With a heavy heart I called my vet. In tears, I told them I needed to bring her by for a last visit. The appointment was made for the next day, March 19, 2007. 
That night I put Heidi on my futon bed and slept with her by my side, as we used to do when I first got her. I spoke to her and petted her all night. She snuggled up close to me, as I think she knew what was coming. 
You cannot stop time, and the morning came quick enough. Our appointment was for 2 pm, so I did have some more time with her to take pictures and give her more love. 
My husband carried her into the vet's office wrapped up in her favorite blanket. As the vet came into the room, she lifted her head up and looked at him, as if to say, "thank you for granting me peace". 
I held her and told her she was a good girl. She passed away quietly, in my arms. 

On the ride home I felt as if my heart had been broken irreparably. Why did I have to love her so much? I felt terribly guilty for the times I had yelled at her or was angry with her. I should have treated her better!
I later learned that guilt is the main emotion, after sadness, that a pet owner feels after euthanasia. I was told to remember the good times, and understand that since I forgave Heidi for her transgressions (like peeing in the house, eating the remote control and my sunglasses!) she always forgave ME for the times I may have yelled at her. Slowly I came out of my depression and realized that GiGi was still there for me to love and care for. 

It was soon after that when I realized I wanted to become a veterinary technician and help other pets live a healthy life. 
I gave my Heidi Q a final gift: a peaceful end to a good life lived, and she in turn gave me yet another gift~ambition to return to school and make a life change.

The pain has dulled a bit, but I still think of my girl every day. She will always be alive in my memory.

Resquiescat In Pace, Heidi Q

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Cable Went Out

Last night I was ensconced in front of the TV per usual. It was just after midnight and I had SportsCenter on (shocker there). All of a sudden the picture flickered and then the screen went blank. I flipped to another channel to see if maybe ESPN had fallen victim to a studio fire or picture on the Weather Channel either. Hmmm. I went to the computer, as my internet provider is my cable company, and....nothing. The cable was firmly and undeniably OUT.

I called them to see what was happening and was told "we are doing routine maintenance, the problem should be fixed by 6 am."

6 AM?!? It's 12:30 now! What am I going to do?!?! (of course, GO TO BED was not an option. This is why I can't get OUT of bed before noon.)

I looked around the living room, bereft and adrift. My husband was sleeping on the other couch, the schnauzer was sleeping on my couch, the greyhound was sleeping (see a pattern here?) on her bed in front of the now useless TV. 
Maybe I should follow their lead and go to sleep myself? Naah, I wasn't tired yet. I couldn't even surf the Internet!

As I sat on the couch nonplussed, I realized there was only one option (other than the normal thing, sleep) for me. I grabbed my copy of A Few Seconds Of Panic by Stefan Fatsis. It is a true story about a journalist that becomes a kicker for the Denver Broncos. I settled back on the couch, arranged the blanket over me, and started to read. 

When my eyelids grew heavy I figured it was time to finally go to bed. It was after 1 am, which is my usual bedtime. I hoped the book would make me sufficiently sleepy so as not to toss & turn until the wee hours. I also marveled at how dependent upon the TV I had become, and hoped that it would be back on for me to watch tomorrow night. 

As promised, when I got up today (at 11:45 am) the TV was up and running.
Thank goodness!

Monday, March 16, 2009


One of the more interesting aspects of Twitter is that you can do a search for certain keywords, and then be linked up to tweets corresponding to that word. For instance, if you type #oneword, all the resulting tweets will be a single, usually esoteric, word. I typed in #haiku and was rewarded with pages & pages of the familiar poetry. (Haiku is a japanese form of non rhyming poetry that consists of 3 lines, with the 1st & 3rd line having 5 syllables and the 2nd line having 7 syllables.)

I have always enjoyed haiku; it's easy to write yet challenging also. The writer must convey a picture for the reader in only 3 short lines. 

I made a resolution to put one haiku on my twitter page every chance that I get. With that being said, I composed 5 haikus over the course of the day yesterday. The 5-7-5 composition makes it hard to say certain things; therefore my mind is challenged to convey my thoughts using different words or imagery. 

You can see some of my work on my twitter page. Feel free to comment.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Nothing To Blog About

Nothing really happens in my life from day to day. I get up, eat breakfast, shower, get on the computer, walk the dogs, eat lunch, put the TV on at 4:30 to start the Required Daily Allowance of ESPN viewing, eat dinner, watch more TV and then get to bed in the wee hours of the morning. 

As you can see, it's hard to get something worthy to blog about. It just struck me that my dogs have the same kind of life. Except they sleep a lot more than me, and eat less. Jury is still out on whether they like ESPN as much as I do. 

I envy their ability to fall asleep instantly. And they are just as quick to get up if I ask the magic question "do you want to go OUT?". It takes me forever to get to sleep, and it's just as hard to get up in the morning (even if it's 11:30, when I usually rise).

So I apologize if there are no new blogs from time to time. Once I get back to work or school I'm sure there will be many interesting things going on. But for now....there is nothing to blog about.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm Loving Twitter

As you can see if you check the right hand side of my blog page, I have joined the twitteriffic world of Twitter. It's yet another social networking site that keeps you up to date on what your friends are doing. You "follow" others and they "follow" you, so whatever you write is seen by your followers. You can post anything from the sublime to the ridiculous on Twitter. Some of the posts are really funny, others mundane (hey, just like a blog). The idea is to convey a thought using 140 characters or less. I believe the proper name for the posts is "micro-blogging". The colloquial name is "tweet".
You can post from your phone, your computer...anywhere.

I must admit, since I've joined, the urge to tweet comes over me quite often. 

Last night I was watching Around The Horn. I'm a follower of the show on Twitter...and the host will tweet during commercial breaks about what just transpired on the show. It's like an additional layer of inside information.
I can see where all this updating can cause mental overload, however. By the end of the night I was ready to put the phone and the computer and the TV aside for some quiet reading. 

So now I'm completely in tune with these modern times. I have a MySpace and FaceBook page; I blog, and I tweet. 

What else will they think of next?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Scan Your Own

Yesterday I was visiting my Mom. One of our usual activities is going food shopping together; I can carry heavy things for her since she is older and doesn't drive, and she helps me with the cost of my groceries since I'm unemployed.
Our regular store was undergoing renovations so she directed me to a Stop N Shop in another part of town. I have never been to this particular brand of store, so I was very surprised to see the new twist on grocery shopping that they were touting. As soon as you walk in to this "super" market (the store was huge) there was a girl exhorting us to scan our own shopping. This was sort of like the checkout counters where you do the work that the cashier is supposed to be doing...but much more fun.
I was given a small hand held scanner and taught how to use it. Basically the premise is if everyone scans their own stuff as they put it into the cart, checkout will be much faster. You can delete things out of your cart easily and also see a running total as you go. 
The shopping trip went like this: walk down aisle--pick up package of rolls--scan barcode--put in bag. Pick up milk--scan barcode--put in bag. It was really awesome to see the item description and price pop up on the screen. When I told my Mom that the cheese she just picked out was $6.99, she asked if we could "put it back". 
No problem. There was a "remove" button on the scanner. Just hit that button, scan item you want to put back and VOILA! it's done.
Up and down the aisles we went, choosing our stuff. The only downside of this store was that ground beef, 80% lean, was $4.99/lb.
$4.99!!!! ShopRite sells it for $1.99 or maybe $2.29.....there was no way I was going to be buying any meat at this place. 
I guess those little scanners have to be paid for somehow.
At the end of our trip, we went to a checkout line, and scanned an "end order" barcode. The items were then printed onto a receipt and the total popped up on the register. We paid the bill and off we went. 
I can see where this scan your own thing may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it made shopping more fun for us. If you are on a budget you can control your spending by keeping your eye on the running total of the items in your cart. You can even save money by noting the "coupons" and specials that pop up on the screen when you are not scanning items. And of course saving time by having your groceries all bagged & ready to go in the trunk doesn't hurt either. 
All in all, another fun day spent with my Mom!