Sunday, December 20, 2009

return of the jedi?

I've been inspired by all the blogs I've been following lately. I have no idea what I am going to write about or what my focus is going to be. Do I even need one? I think so if I want to be a "successful" blogger. I won't do recipes/cooking. Not because I don't like it, but because there are a lot of people out there who are a lot better than me.

More likely than not, I will update about my random thoughts and adventures. I am having an extreme adventure starting tomorrow. My mom, dad, sister, 2 dogs, and I are packing up the car and starting our weekish-long trip to the Midwest. Tomorrow we are driving from Atlanta to Springfield, Illinois. We will stay with family there. Tuesday we will drive from Springfield, Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa. We will stay in Des Moines for 2 days. My mom's birthday is December 24, aka Christmas Eve, so she has requested to have lunch with her mom and sister as her birthday present. Then we will continue north from Des Moines to Mora, Minnesota. The city of Mora has a population of less than 4,000. They also have 2 lakes (that makes this a legit town in Minnesota). The city covers 4.31 square miles. Basically what I am trying to say is that you should be jealous of my really exciting Christmas destination. CLEARLY a better choice than last year's cruise through the Panama Canal. Right. We are leaving Mora, Minnesota on Saturday and starting south - first stop, Rochester, Minnesota. Clearly we aren't going very far. However, from Rochester we will be making the 16 hour and 23 minute journey back to Atlanta, going straight through Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Chattanooga, and finally back to my beloved Atlanta. It's unclear if we will make this journey in one day or two. We've done it in 1 before. I guess that's not really something to be bragging about, though.

I am preparing by packing a bag full of books (even though I get carsick, I can't help reading in the car, it just makes the time go by so fast!), updating my iPod, charging my portable DVD player, and that's about it. As painful as it sounds, we have traveled extensively by car as a family and it's really not that bad. The Midwest United States with GPS has nothing on middle-of-nowhere Germany with 2003 version of a map. Yes, a real, unfolded, size of the backseat map got us through Germany (among other places in Europe). Now that, my friends, was painful.

Enough about my past travels, for now. Merry Christmas to all, and to all safe travels!

Monday, March 2, 2009

#8: When I'm not falling asleep in front of the television, I'm busy recording terrible TV shows.

My DVR lineup:

All episodes: Law & Order: SVU, Intervention, Platinum Weddings, Dateline NBC

Daily 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30am: Saved by the Bell
Daily 4pm: Oprah

Monday 8pm: The Bachelor, Intervention, Gossip Girl AND Secret Life of an American Teenager (yes I have to choose which one to watch in the other room and which one to not record...)
Monday 9pm: The Bachelor, Intervention
Monday 10pm: Jon & Kate Plus 8
Monday 12am: Jon & Kate Plus 8

Tuesday 8pm: American Idol
Tuesday 10pm: Law & Order: SVU, Toddlers & Tiaras

Wednesday 9pm: American Idol

Thursday 9pm: Grey's Anatomy
Thursday 10pm: Private Practice, America's Best Dance Crew

Friday 9pm: Friday Night Lights
Friday 10pm: 20/20

Basically, I watch a LOT of TV shows, but I know people who watch even more!! I'm overwhelmed by the number just on this list. I guess there aren't that many that are that difficult to keep up with the plot... for example, while the Bachelor is fabulous, I picked it up when there were only 3 girls left and still got highly involved, which also explains why I can have 4 Monday night 8pm shows!!

I guess my TV highlights aren't all that embarassing, but still... I think the best (or worst) is Toddlers & Tiaras, which I'll be honest, I'm not completely gung-ho about anyway, or maybe Platinum Weddings? But really, who doesn't want to watch a show about a single day that costs $1,000,000!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

#7: I almost ALWAYS fall asleep during movies, tv shows, and plays.

In fact, my last boyfriend eventually refused to take me on dates to the movies because he considered it a waste of money. When we were in Florida, he tried to convince his dad to drop me off at home before going to see The Simpsons Movie because we both knew that was a double waste of money.

I turn the TV on so I can fall asleep. Even if it's my favorite TV show... there is no stopping me. I really don't mean to fall asleep, and most times when I do I really didn't want to. In fact, for a long time I was not allowed to choose the "goodnight" television show because everyone knew that within the first 5 minutes I would be sound asleep, and whoever was watching would be stuck watching the other 55 minutes. Well, first I was limited to 30 minute shows, then banned from choosing altogether.

The best place I have fallen asleep? The iMAX theater at Fernbank Museum. Yep, I took Grace & Wyatt to see the dinosaurs and all the exhibits, and first I thing I do when I sit down in the comfy chairs in the Fernbank? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The munchkins woke me up for the cool parts. They rock.

Also, I am pretty sure this "habit" stems from my father, surprise surprise (but that is another post for another day...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

#6: I really enjoy talking on the phone (and in general).

You know how some people say they just aren't phone people? I'm not one of them. I truly enjoy talking on the phone, I like listening on the phone, and I am just in general a phone person. In fact, I even recently purchased a new phone because I use mine so much!

On top of being a serious phone person, it really bugs me when people aren't phone people. I get seriously irritated. I realize that this is a personal problem and nothing more, but come on -- is it that hard to pick up the phone and make a phone call?

I think half the reason I enjoy talking on the telephone so much is because I have so much to say. Just how much do I talk? Let's take today for example:

25 minutes at 9am - Shayelyn (boss)
20 minutes at 12noon - Amanda
30 minutes at 1pm - Mom
30 minutes at 2:30pm - Mom
1 hour at 8pm - TEFL Institute
15 minutes at 8:55pm - Mom
20 minutes at 9:15pm - Greg
45 minues at 10pm - Dad
20 minutes at 11pm - Amanda


Sunday, February 22, 2009

#5: I hate getting my hands dirty.

I could never be a bartender because I would have to constantly wash all the stickiness off my hands. I suck at foods that are supposed to be "finger foods" because I typically eat them with a fork, or else I go through nine thousand napkins trying to keep my hands clean while eating. Ex: hot wings. I eat them with a fork and one finger, and even then I get dirtier than I prefer. My way of eating chicken wings irritates a lot of people.

I clean out underneath my fingernails at least twice a day, and feel like I am constantly washing my hands to get SOMETHING off of them.

Yesterday we went to Oysterfest, and I wanted so badly to shuck my own oysters, because let's be honest, there is a sense of satisfaction in doing that. Well, I shucked about 3 before I quit becaue I had used 9 moist towelettes and my hands still weren't clean enough. Instead someone else just shucked for me and I ate the delicious oysters.

Friday, February 20, 2009

#4: My favorite food is Mexican food.

I eat Willy's, Moe's, or La Parilla at least 5 times a week. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I always get the same thing and it never doesn't sound good. My obsession started in high school when my best friend and I would skip our 3rd period lunch and go to Cazadores. Then, freshman year in college Whitney and I would go to Moe's and eat just cheese dip... and we spent a LOT of time drinking at El Amigo. Clearly I've stepped up my taste in Mexican food, but it's still my absolute hands down favorite.

When I go with friends, I know what they eat too because that's how often we go. Kind of sick, I guess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

#3: I've always wanted to be a teacher.

When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. At one point, someone told me I was "too smart" to be a teacher, which now makes no sense. Teachers are the smartest people I know. Whoever told me that was right, I am smart. But I'm not "too smart" to be a teacher; I don't think there is such a thing.

If I were to teach, I would want to teach 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. Why? Children at that age are like little sponges, and they still actually like to go to school and learn. You make the biggest impact. Two of my favorite teachers were from those grades, and I still remember projects and things that we did in those grades.

I have recently started looking into teaching as a career path. Georgia Tech obviously doesn't offer an education degree, but there are definitely other options for me to obtain certification. What I really want to do is move to Spain and teach, but after some extensive research, it seems like such a daunting adventure. Right now I am leaning toward participating in a month-long training session coupled with teaching English at intensive summer camps. It seems like there is no better time than the present to take advantage of this opportunity. Plus, obtaining the TEFL certification would give me a lot of experience and perhaps I could even come back and be an ESOL teacher. But, going to Spain means being super prepared and basically bringing everything I could ever need with me. Plus, the TESL certification is really freaking expensive (like $2500 expensive...). This whole issue is stemming from the fact that I don't have a job, so I guess I have to be really sure before I put that kind of money into it.

On top of having the experience of teaching abroad, living in Spain would help my Spanish skills tremendously, which is something I have been trying to do. I can't really figure out how to enhance my Spanish-speaking ability while living here, but living in Spain would be awesome! Plus, I had the best time last summer and am really interested in spending the same amount of time in a different region.

Anyway, long story short, I've kind of gone back to the thought of being a teacher. After mentioning to a few close friends that I was interested in teaching abroad, they both said that they have thought all along that I should be a teacher. Now if only I could decide which path I want to take... to stay in the US or go...

Monday, February 16, 2009

#2 :: I've been to 5 out of the 7 continents

I was born in Minneapolis, MN and then moved to Atlanta, GA, which are a part of North America. Also, I've been to various cities in Mexico. I need to get to Canada!

In 3rd grade, I went on my first international trip. My parents took us to Hong Kong and China. I kept a journal the whole time. Pretty smart of my mom to make us do that, except I journaled about things like my dad almost stepping in dog poop, not about the differences between Hong Kong and the United States in 1995. We did go to a really awesome amusement park though!

During the summer before 8th grade, I went to Europe for the first time. I spent a week with family friends at their family home just outside Lisbon, Portugal. I ate fresh snails for the first time and also flew without my parents for the first time. I got to fly first class on the way there, too!

In the summer of 2002 (after 10th grade), my family spent 2 weeks traveling through Spain and Portugal. One of our stops was Tarifa, Spain, where we crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and went into Tanger, Morocco. I wore shorts and a tshirt that day and spent the entire day feeling self-conscious because all the African men stared at me. Finally I wrapped my dad's jacket around my legs. This was the same day I rode a camel for the first time. We also went whale-watching in Tarifa and saw some pretty huge mammals.

My most recent continent visit was this past winter break. My family took a cruise through the Panama Canal, and one of the stops was in Cartagena, Colombia. I was expecting machine guns and drug lords on every street corner, but really it was just like any other city I had never been to. There were a lot of police officers, but they seemed more concerned with ogling the American tourists than protecting us. I was really bummed that no one tried to sell me cocaine. I did get some really awesome Colombian coffee to bring home as Christmas gifts for friends, and I got some bangin' Colombian emeralds!

I think I want my next continental conquest to be Australia. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to brave Antarctica, but really they are both kind of far away, and with my newly acquired fear of flying, it might not work out so well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Avoid the Grass

I really cannot stand to walk in grass, especially when I'm wearing flip flops and the grass can actually touch my feet. I have no idea where this phobia stems from, and sometimes it's actually quite annoying. I would walk all the way around a large patch of grass to get to the other side, even when everyone else walks through the middle. Wet grass is even worse than dry grass, too, because not only does it feel all gross and grimy, but it sticks to you, too. Ugh, I hate grass.