Monday, February 23, 2015

Merry Monday

This past week was extremely busy and stressful.  I'd hoped for a break over the weekend, but had a particularly heavy homework load.  I had to write two essays (finished one, now I need to finish the other one by Thursday), complete an online quiz,  work on two class projects and do a tooooooooooooon of reading.  This week is filled with various meetings and I need to finish up that other essay, so it'll be just as busy as last week.  There just never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything.

I feel like this semester is sucking my soul dry.  I took on more than I can handle and am desperate for it to all be over with.  Sadly, I won't get much of a spring break,  because I'll be busy with my internship.  I can't just tell them I'm not available, because it'll be ending shortly after that so I need the hours for my credits.  Just a few more months, and all of this will be worth it when I can walk across that stage and pick up my diploma.
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Took this from here.
 
1.  What is or was your relationship with your parents like?
 
I really disliked my parents as a kid.  It seemed like I was always getting yelled at for something or another, and felt like my parents were always annoyed at anything I did.  I didn't really have a very good relationship with them until I became an adult.  Once I graduated from high school, I moved out for awhile and then moved back home.  I know my dad was not happy about that, and he often expressed that.
 
My dad had a heart attack, and that changed things a bit.  Eventually I moved out, and things got better with both parents.  I actually do feel like my parents love me now.
 
2.  Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
 
I'm very negative by nature, so I have to really force myself to see things half-full.  I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but I still feel myself falling back on bad habits when things are bad.
 
3.  Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?
 
I feel like MOST things can be funny, but not everything. 
 
4.  Show and tell.  What comes to mind first when you see this picture?  Or tell a story if it reminds you of one. 
Overall, it's been a pretty mild winter here.  We only really had one bad snow day, and it was a doozy!  We've been experiencing spring-like temperatures here lately.  And then this morning we woke up to a smattering of snow.  It melted pretty quickly, but it's still really chilly.  I'm looking at the glass half-full (see what I did there?), and am just extremely grateful that it hasn't been worse. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

What I've Learned This Semester!

This is where I share the wealth of knowledge I've gained with my lovely readers.  If all goes well, this will be my very last post on this topic!  I'll miss it but at the same time, it will be a relief not to have an overabundance of homework always pressuring me to get it done every second of every day.

POLS 403 Introduction to Public Administration

I'm really enjoying this one so far.  I just wish it wasn't a night class.
  • Closed vs. Open Systems
    • Closed systems focus on the organization, its internal structures, internal dynamics, and decision making processes.
    • Open systems assume the external environment influences the organization in a wide variety of ways.
    • Organizations are dynamic entities impacted by both internal and external factors.

POLS 403 Urban Politics

This is much more of a history lesson than politics.

  • Three Factors of Production According to City Limits (book by Paul Peterson, 1981)
    • Land:  This is the only one that cities can control.  Land use decisions are critical.
    • Labor:  Cities can't control the movement of people, but they can try to attract only the "right kind" or residents
    • Capital:  States can't control the movement of capital.  It can, however, minimize taxes, and build good infrastructure.  Cities compete with one another.


POLS 414 Comparative State Politics

This one comes with a lot of homework, but it's been pretty interesting.

  • Elazar's Political Subcultures
    • Individualist:  Limited government, politics viewed as dirty/corrupt
    • Moralist:  Emphasizes the commonwealth, government is a political force
    • Traditionalist:  Government used to maintain existing social hierarchy, politics are for the social elite


POLS 414 American Political Thought

I took this on the advice of a friend who swore I'd absolutely love it!!!  Yeah, not so much...  This is my third class with this professor, and it's *CONSIDERABLY* more difficult than the other two.  It's the only class that I seriously dislike this semester.
Brief summary of Federalist 10:

We must break and control the violence of factions.  We must remove the cause for factions, or control its effects.  The only way to remove it is to remove liberty, or to give citizens the same opinions.  Since this is not possible, we must control the effects by creating more factions.  The more we have, the weaker they become individually.

**All pictures courtesy of Google Images

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chewy.com Review

I owe a HUGE apology to Chewy.com for not doing this earlier.  We ordered this way back in December, but didn't get it until almost a month later.  School started, and I got waaaaaaaaaay busy!  Then when I finally had a moment to type up a post, my iPod no longer wanted to synch with my laptop so I couldn't post pix.  I figured out a way around that, so I'm FINALLY getting around to posting this. 
After looking over all the delicious choices, the chi's finally settled on Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Turducken Canned Dog Food.  We were sent several 12.5 oz. cans to try.
It kind of reminds me of a thick stew with chunks of meat, potatoes, and carrots.  While it might not look like it here, it's actually quite moist!  The boys usually get dry food, so any time they get something like this, it's a real treat.  Here they are scarfing it down.
Shiver
Chico
You can tell how much they enjoyed it because Shiver is going back to lick the last little bit of taste he thinks might be left behind. 
 
This particular flavor offers several key benefits: 
  • Made with real chicken, turkey, and duck
  • Free from harmful by-products
  • Balanced, nutritional content makes a great everyday food
  • Made without wheat, a common allergy trigger for dogs
 
In addition to being made without wheat, it is also corn, soy, and grain-free.  My mom's beagle has wheat allergies, so it's nice to know that I could feed him this and be worry-free.  Best of all - it's made right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.


A case of 12 cans is $32.28, which is a 13% ($4.80) savings.  If you set up autoshipping, you can save even more - $30.67, which is an additional 5% savings.
 
Thank you to Chewy.com.  My boys have never been disappointed in any of their products, and this was no exception.  They both gave it four paws up each, for a total of 8 paws.
 
We were not compensated financially for this post, but were provided free samples of dog food in return for our honest opinions.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day

 
Have ya heard of Lung Leavin' Day before?  No?  I hadn't either until just recently. 

I received an email about this a couple of weeks ago and wanted to help promote it because of my father.  Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that he died about three and a half years ago.  We know he had at least two kinds of cancer and suspect a third, although we aren't 100% certain of what kind he had when he passed away.  No biopsy was able to be performed when he was alive as he couldn't tolerate the procedure, and my mom chose not to have an autopsy after he passed away. 

To paraphrase from the email that Cameron sent me:  His wife, Heather Von St. James, was diagnosed with mesothelioma nine years ago.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos.  Heather had just given birth to their daughter when she was diagnosed, and what should have been one of the most exciting times of their lives turned out to be anything but.  She was told she'd only have about 15 months live.  She had her lung removed, and fortunately Heather is still with us today! 

Heather was more afraid about the surgery than she had ever been about anything in her life.  Her sister named operation day Lung Leavin' Day as a way to help lighten the mood.  The name stuck, and they've been celebrating it ever since!  I encourage you to click on the links for Lung Leavin' Day to read more of Heather's amazing story.

Today is the 9th Annual Lung Leavin' Day.  What's it all about, I'm sure you're asking yourselves?  Lung Leavin' Day was started as way to encourage others to face their fears.  The family gathers around a fire in their backyard with friends and family, write their biggest fears on a plate, and smash them into the fire!  They use this time to celebrate those who are currently fighting cancer, for those who are no longer with us, and for those who are currently going through a tough time in their lives.  Most importantly though, they celebrate LIFE!

The event has grown bigger every year, and they also use it to fundraise for mesothelioma awareness.  They've raised over $7000 to date.      


I love this idea!  All of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another.  Even if you say you haven't been, you likely have been and may not even realize it.  And we all certainly have our fair share of fears, even if we don't want to admit to it.  While I don't have a fire pit in my backyard to join in, I'll figure out something special as a way to participate.  What will you do to celebrate?
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With the extenuating amount of homework last week, I wasn't able to blog hop.  My load is considerably lighter this week, so I'll be around for sure.  If I can get my iPod synched back up to my computer again, I'll post a Chewy.com review on Wednesday.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Is it Friday yet?

Adjusting to school seems to be so much harder this semester.  I think it's because it's so busy.  No matter how much sleep I get, it never seems to be enough.  I have three essays due by Friday this week, so I'm not sure when I'll get around to visiting everyone.  I try to make a point to blog hop once a week, but it doesn't always happen.
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Took this from here.

1.  If you spoke English with an accent other than the one you currently have, how would you choose to sound?

I used to work with someone from New Zealand.  She had the coolest accent, and sometimes I'd ask her questions that I already knew the answers to just so I could hear her talk.

2.  Be honest:  How do you feel about people who smoke?

I don't usually mind the people themselves, but I hate their habit.  While I'm not asthmatic or anything, I find it difficult to breathe in the smoke when I'm around it.  I also don't like the smell it leaves on you afterwards.

When I worked at my last job, I resented the smokers because they got to take smoke breaks.  The rest of us were expected to work without one.  That was very unfair.

3.  Whose death touched your own sense of mortality the most?

There was a big group of us who used to go to the movies once or twice a month, or go out to the bars or whatever.  Within that group was a woman I didn't really get to know that well until a few months before her death.  She was a recent widow and her children were grown.  I felt like sometimes she glommed onto me more than I liked, but because I wasn't working much and had a lot of time on my hands, we started to hang out more.

She'd been going to the doctor for awhile, but they couldn't seem to find anything wrong.  She went to one after another, it seemed.  Finally one doctor looked down her throat and saw a very large mass tumor there.  He told her she probably only had six weeks to live.  She was immediately admitted to a hospital in another town that could properly care for her and she never came home.  I would try to visit her once a week or so, but missed the last week.  From the very first visit, she was no longer the same person I knew.  She couldn't talk, or walk, or eat, or really do much of anything.  Because she was on so much medication, I don't think she even really knew that I was there.  But I knew...

Surprisingly, I didn't cry when she died.  I don't know why.  It made me think about how we'd gone shopping just weeks before she went to the hospital.  She'd bought shorts, groceries, and a variety of other things.  I thought about how she'd never wear those shorts, or use those groceries.  She had no idea when she bought those things that she'd never have an opportunity to use them.  It made me think about life and how you just never know when your time is up.

I had an answering back then with messages recorded on a tape.  One day shortly after her death, I came home and found the machine blinking back at me.  I listened to the message and it was an old one from my friend.  The message was something to the effect of, "Hi, it's Mary.  I'm home now, give me a call when you get the chance."  I think this was the very last message she had left me, and I am certain that I'd deleted it.  There was no reason to save it!  I tried to delete it repeatedly, but it never would let me.

4.  Show and tell.  What comes to mind first when you see this picture?  Or tell a story if it reminds you of one.  
I have no idea what those big bugs are, but I don't like them!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy MLK Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. is my hero today because I get to sleep in!!!  And because I don't have work/classes/internship today.  Last week was absolutely exhausting, especially since I was still trying to figure out my class schedule.  I have it figured out now; now all I need to do is get the necessary signatures and turn in the proper paperwork.

This semester looks to be my busiest one yet.  When I was scheduling classes last semester, I tried to give myself an hour between them so that I wouldn't feel rushed.  Unfortunately, I have a zillion things to take care of in between classes so I have not been able to enjoy that free time.  This week doesn't look any better either, sadly.

And the homework -- every semester, I sit down and write down all of my major assignments on the calendar so that I don't miss anything.  This semester, I have at least two essays due for different classes almost every week in addition to other various assignments.  I feel like I'm never gonna see the light of day until graduation!  I'm worn out just thinking about it all.

So please forgive me if I'm not able to get around to visiting everyone as often as I might like.
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Took this from here.

1. What's the worst advice you ever took?

Back in my younger years, I seem to recall being very drunk at a bar one night.  I knew that I was drunk, yet continued to drink.  The people I was hanging out with bought several rounds and kept telling me to drink up.  I remember going to the bathroom at one point during the evening to pee.  For some reason beyond my sober comprehension, I decided to lay down on the floor next to the toilet for a little while.  I don't know how long I was in there, but someone eventually came in and found me.  She asked me if I was alright and I said yes.  She left, then came back a minute or so later with one of the people I was at the bar with.  My friend said that it was time for me to go home.

Listening to my friends who told me to continue drinking was really bad advice!

2.  Pick a divisive issue currently in the news.  Explain to the best of your ability both sides of the issue as if you believe each side.  

A big issue in the news here is gay marriage.  Our state governor is against it, and is taking it all the way to the Supreme Court.

For - We should not discriminate by not allowing gays to marry.  It has no bearing on anyone else other than those entering into marriage.

Against - God meant for marriage to be between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.  Marriage between two men or two women is going against nature.

3.   When you were a child, who were your favorite relatives?

Because my father was in the military, we didn't live near any of my parents' relatives.  We would go to visit them maybe once every 5 years or so, or maybe they'd come visit us.  I never really got to know any of them.  My favorite one was always my aunt on my mom's side.  She was always so nice!  Even today, she's still my favorite.

4.  Show and tell.  What comes to mind first when you see this picture?  Or tell a story if it reminds you of one.  

I couldn't tell what this picture was of at first, but discovered that it's Niagara Falls when I went to save it.  About a year or two before my dad died, he and my mom went there.  They took a bunch of pictures, and it was really beautiful.  My dad bought me a souvenir there, but I don't remember what it was.  I do remember him telling me that he forgot his jacket that day, so he bought one at a shop there.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hard to believe...

...today is the last first day of school as an undergrad.  It seems like I blinked and it's already over!  Well, almost.
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Took this from here.
 
1.  What is something you do well?
 
I don't know.  Whatever it is, I haven't figured it out yet. 
 
2.  Name all of the vehicles you have owned in your adult life.
 
That's pretty easy, since I've only ever owned 3 vehicles.
 
The first one was a piece of s*^# Chevy Citation.  It was old when I got it, and not in the best condition.  My father bought it for me without me having any say in the matter, then told me that I would need to pay him back for it. 
 
The next car was a Pontiac Sunbird, which I really loved!  I only got rid of it because it was old and I wasn't sure how much longer it would hold out.
 
Then I bought a brand new Chevy Cavalier.  It's old now, but it's all I have.
 
3.  If you could be a fly on the wall anywhere and at any time in history, when and where would you choose?
 
There are so many options that it's hard to choose!  It might be interesting to watch Leonardo da Vinci in action, or to watch Beethoven compose, or maybe even to watch President Kennedy speak.  What would you choose?
 
4.  Show and tell.  What comes to mind first when you see this picture?  Or tell a story if it reminds you of one.  
It reminds me that I'm one of the few who does not have a cell phone.  People look at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them that.    
 

(c) Copyright 2010 Zany Dezines. Premade Layout from Zany Dezines.