Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I need a hand

I'm down to three non-stubbly fingernails. (This is why I need spare hands...)

I have a lovely stress-induced mountain on my face.

I collected quite the handful of hair in the shower this morning.

I made brownies this evening and have eaten my way through one row of them.

Why?

Because I have area exams starting on Monday! Then Friday! Then the following Thursday! And I am rubbish at dealing with test stress. I need to keep running so I a.) will relieve some stress and b.) will remember to shower. If you see me, please give me a toothbrush and set your phone alarm for 15 minutes and put me down for a power nap. 

See ya in a couple weeks, fair readers. I need to go conquer some stuff...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carpe diem: seize the fish

A friend from ONU posted this on his Facebook wall. Since I'm all for procrastinating via interesting (or not) web articles, I settled in for a good read. I have to agree with my friend: I like this. And I'm not even a parent!

Why?

I felt like everyone was telling me this every other day while I was in college at Ohio Northern. Oh! College was the best 3/4/5 years of my life! Enjoy this experience because you'll never have anything else like it again! The real world is cruel and harsh and unforgiving, so screw around and take advantage of your lack of responsibility now!

Now, don't get me wrong and jump to the conclusion that I was an introvert who hated college. Au contraire! I loved college. I was involved in so many (too many?) things and tried my darndest to squeeze every cent out of my college tuition/experience. Late night runs to Mac or Taco Bell? Check. Drinks on my 21st at the Beagle? Check (but about 3 months late...whatever). Collegiate athletics? Check, check, check. Music? Sports? Sorority involvement? Girl Scouts? Mortar Board? Academic honoraries? Done-skis. Great roommate experience? But of course! If ONU ever needed a white American female to sell it, I'm your girl.

Don't get me wrong. The BEST YEARS EVER had their downs too. Terrible homesickness as a freshman? Oh yeah. Late nights and tears over homework, counseling sessions to help manage my fear of change, and some heartbreak made things spicy. But at the ripe old age of 22, college was definitely the shiny cherry on top of my life sundae.

And then...grad school happened. Unlike many of my friends, I did not find my ~*tru luv*~ in undergrad. I headed off to Purdue with a boyfriend (in another state far, far away), a trailer full of my life, and a gnawing hamster of fear in the back of my brain. Then I met Jen. And Paul (both of them). And found a great church. And started getting involved in Purdue and community groups. And I got a cat. The boyfriend faded out. I started running like a madwoman. I was stressed out more than I ever was at ONU but the result was a Master's degree and a couple of conference presentations.

So here I am at 25. I don't have a sparkly ring or 2.3 kids or a house with a white picket fence. Instead I have a small apartment, great friends, a newly found unicorn, and a big furry cat. My relationships with my parents and sister are way better now than when I was in college. I have new friends and old friends and friends with husbands and kids and dogs and friends who are still trying to find their other half. Some days I feel that fear hamster gnawing away at my mind, telling me that I'll die an old lonely cat lady or that I'm going to fail out of school. Other days I'm practically peeing my pants because I'm laughing so hard at what my friends are doing, or I'm enjoying a night out on the town with a bunch of fellow grad students because it's the summer and the undergrads are finally gone.

At 22, I guess college probably was the best time of my life. If that's as good as life got, I'd be a sad, sad panda right now. I guess all those 'carpe diem!'-ers never got the experience of grad school, or even life as a single post-college adult. There's something a little exhilarating (and scary, yes) about life on your own. I know that once I find a career I love and a guy I love that my life is going to get even better. But until then, I'm going to seize that fish, appreciate what I have, and enjoy the best time of my life: right now.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On this day in history...

...lots of famous people were born, people like Shannon Lucid, LL Cool J, and Andy Rooney (pick your famous based on your age). I'm not famous, but I am celebrating the big quarter-century mark today!

Now, I ask you, what would a birthday be without a fun recipe? A big pile of lame, that's what. To keep my birthday from being lame, here's a recipe that my mom usually only makes at Christmas, so it's kind of a big deal. I made it last weekend (with a slight modification) to kick-start my birthday celebration (because a big surprise showed up at my door). I ended up eating Bubble Bread for breakfast every day this week and it was probably the best week of breakfast (except for that time I went to Portugal...)

Bubble Bread
2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed (stick in the fridge and wait a day...it must be thawed)
1 box (4 serving size) butterscotch (or vanilla if WalMart fails you and doesn't have butterscotch) pudding mix -- NOT INSTANT!!!! (cook and serve style)
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Cube dough (use a pair of scissors to make it easy) and put into a 13"x9" pan. Mix remaining ingredients well and pour over dough cubes. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake 30 minutes at 350*F. Enjoy!

Nom nom nom...so easy and so delicious :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is this normal?

I just unsubscribed from all types of Groupon emails since I'm too far away from Indy for them to be actually useful. Apparently Groupon was so sorry to see me go, they gave me the option to 'punish Derrick'. (Derrick was 'the guy who though you'd enjoy receiving Groupon emails'.) There was a 'punish Derrick' button and everything.

I was a little weirded out by this.

So: Are the folks at Groupon nuts? Am I the crazy one? Most importantly, is this normal?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm so serious guys!


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 2600 miles. 9 states. 14 days?

I have friends at every stop except Rapid City, SC SD (Mt. Rushmore and Badlands) and Cawker City, KS (huge twine ball). I should probably eat at some crazy places too.

I think I need a SpeedyRewards card and more music. And some sunscreen.

I AM SO EXCITED. Bring it on, summer...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In which the world does not end

With all the 'The world will end in 2012 according to the Mayans!' press going on, I can't help but be reminded of all the crazy surrounding 2000 and how the world was going to end then because somehow computers wouldn't be smart enough to handle all those zeros. (As my dad likes to point out, the computer is only as smart as its builder/programmer. I can't think of anyone whose head exploded because they either a.) couldn't handle 2000 or b.) switched to 1900 instead of 2000 and the possibility of time travel just *poof*. The end.)

My dear friend V made 12 resolutions for 2012, one for each month. If you follow my running log/diary, then you've already had a preview of what's to come in the Wonderful World of Sharona for 2012. So without further ado....

My 2012 New Year's Resolutions/Goals:
  • Stop being late to basically everything.
  • Pass area exams and become a bona fide PhD student!
  • Have my prelim defense either done or scheduled by Christmas.
  • ROAD TRIP! Probably to Rocky Mountain National Park (sans Manwich)
  • Run a marathon (and not Oprah-run either...)
  • 2500 miles for this year!
  • Be the absolutely bestest friend I can be...so no more mail slacking this year! Maybe I'll even get a monthly update email together!
  • I will stop dicking around with Rhapsody in Blue and learn the entire thing.
I figure that 8 resolutions/goals will probably be all I can handle this year. 2011 had some crazy ups (Yay! PhD! Portugal! 24th birthday! Graduated with my Master's! Running success!) and downs (Relationship fail! Stress! Spider infestation! Stress!). I know that 2012 won't be all peaches and sunshine, but I have great friends, a fantastic family, and a cat that loves me almost unconditionally :)

So here's to you, 2012. Here's hoping for a slightly less stressful and way more successful academic campaign at Purdue, another year of injury-free running, and enough faith, hope, and love to weather the tough times.