Thursday, September 30, 2010

What? Personal Responsibility?

My response to this quote goes something like this: "YEAH, but..."
... but I'm not the type of person that sweeps only in front of my own door.  I sweep in front of a lot of others' doors, too.  (Seriously, I stop and straighten up my neighbors' welcome mats in front of their apartment doors, which is so not my responsibility.) I assume responsibility for a lot of things that are none of my business - I can be quite the nag.  For some reason, I feel it necessary to assume personal responsibility for a lot of things because I feel something won't be done correctly  and the outcome may directly affect me (selfish much?) Aren't we all up in other's beeswax?  Every single one of us?  Is it preventable? Do we spend way more time assuming others' responsbilities than our own? Is it better to be nonchalant about our jobs, conversations with friends, and daily responsibilities as wives, mothers, sisters, and friends, rather than be all up in everyone's everything?  As I ponder these thoughts, I start to wonder what the heck personal responsibility really even is. Before I get in way over my head,  I think I'll revert back to what my initial - and simple - idea was when I first found out that I would be sharing my thoughts about personal responsbility as part of Susie K's Blog-Gang attempt to take over the blogosphere:

Today, you will be learning about a few personal traits and hang-ups of mine that are quite flawed, somewhat unreasonable, and maybe even a little surprising to my faithful readers.  That's right - Miss Chirpy Blogger has issues!  I'm hoping some of you can relate, rather than hate! :D

Personal Responsibility. I really suck at it sometimes.

When I'm having a bad day, occasionally i'll blame it on everyone and everything else except for myself - I have a way of twisting things around so that I'm the victim. Before I know it, a large chunk of time has been wasted on feeling all crazy, unhappy, and hostile. I'm aware that I perform this immature, unfair act - so why do I continue to do it?  I'm a girl... I'm PMS-ing... I have a short fuse, i'm a fiery redhead... pretty soon, my lame excuses run out.  When it comes down to the matter at hand, I need practice. Practice with personal responsbility.

Someone said something that was offensive and disrespectful.  And now, I am MAD!
Certain "types" of comments get under my skin.  I'm not real great at handling close-minded claims, bragging, hurtful teasing, or jealousy.  Instead of brushing off these types of comments that I know are silly and don't deserve an ounce of my energy, I go nuts.  Never to the person's face - always later. That's when I start thinking.  I think about past offensive comments of similar subject matter that have been made to me, similiar situations where I was forced to bite my tongue and nearly choked on it, the earlier days when the mean girl in high school said something that hurt my feelings.  Pretty soon, I'm wishing I could go back to 5th grade when my lockermate told me my lunchbox smelled funny (bologna does smell funny, but still), and scream at her.  (Do I have a mental problem? Maybe.)  Usually, I don't feel better until I tell my husband about the initial comment that caused me to blow up. His gentle reminder that "I borrow trouble" somewhat angers me, but after I take a "time out" and think for a little while, I realize he's right.  Then I'm cooled off. and totally over it. Until the next time. 
Why can't i assume personal responability and simply... not pay any attention to nasty folks and their silly sayings?  Why can't I be the bigger person and let go of the emotional hang ups I have?  I really don't know.  As I said before... I'm a girl, and I have PMS. haha. I know you're nodding your head because you've experience a similar situation/reaction.  You do this too, don't you?!

I straight-up rolled out of the wrong side of the bed this a.m.
Trudging to the bathroom in complete darkness, I already feel bad vibes.  I should take personal responsbility and turn the shower radio on to my favorite radio station, use my favorite citrusy shower gel, and try to get chirpy and happy. Instead, I bathe in silence, use my husband's bar soap, and wait... for something good to happen.  Using this technique, I could be waiting all day!  I typically try to see every day as special, but sometimes, I just settle for a "so-so" day - I'm sure others do it, too.  Every day needs to be a GREAT one! Except, I'm lacking in the personal responsibility department and for some reason can't seem to succeed at viewing every single day as a blessing.  I need to make it a special day - no one else is responsible for that.  I realize this after I've had my "so-so" day and am getting ready to go to sleep.

Someone I love is having a bad day, so I'm going to have a bad day, too. 
I do two things: 1) I assume responsibility for the other person's worries by trying to make everything better, when in reality, it might be best if i keep my distance - or at least, shut my mouth a little.  2) When doing this, I channel all the negative energy surrounding my loved one to myself as well - it's like i try to fight it FOR them, and in turn, I absorb it... but they're not any better, and I find myself feeling worse than I did on the day my little friend made fun of my bologna scented lunch box. 
I know we all do this, and it's only because we care- but why can't I stay strong for my dear friend of family member, and not let myself get down because they're down? It's hard to see someone struggle and go about your business like nothing's going on. 
If we simply adhere to sweeping our own doorsteps in situations like these, who's going to help us out if we need it? How much "help" is too much? Is it really even "help"?  (I believe so.) 

What does all of this mean? Should we simply stick to sweeping our own doorsteps only at work and in class? I'm not sure, but I wish someone would've stepped up and swept my doorstep when my lockermate made fun of my lunchbox.  I was too feeble and meepy to talk back to her then, and would've appreciated the help.  But maybe if she would've swept her own doorstep, my lunchbox wouldn't have been insulted!

Be sure to swing by Susie K's blog, MotherHoot, on Thursday for more takes on Personal Responsbility!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's cool to be a Reds fan!

Last night, the Cincinnati Reds became NL Central Champions and clinched a spot in the
MLB Playoffs

One of my favorite things about living in Ohio the past few years has been getting to know the sport of baseball and cheering on the Reds. Baseball season has eliminated the "drought and depression" of sports that tends to occur after the NFL season is over for my husband and I.  We truly have grown to love the Reds, and I honestly believe that no matter where his professorly job search takes us, I will have a little soft spot in my heart for that big red "C" and the Queen City.

Since the Reds have been working to clinch the NL Central title for a few days, I thought it best to avoid the games on TV. For some odd reason, we're very super (or should i say "stuper")-stitious, and feel that when we pay careful attention to the game, the team doesn't perform as well. They LOSE.

It's after 10 p.m., I've just finished Glee and watching my love, Michael Bolton (who was a horrendous dancer and kind of a cranky a*hole) say his good-byes to Dancing with the Stars, and I decide to check the Reds score - they're tied with the Houston Astros at the bottom of the 9th inning! WHOA!  Jay Bruce stepped up to the plate as Cincinnati fans hoped and prayed for a home run to seal the deal, and what do you know... it happened!  My husband and I weren't bad luck!  We actually watched them win the game and celebrate their spot in the playoffs!!! I wish I could've been there as the fireworks were set off... how cool!

As I sat in the Great American Ballpark this past April and watched them get pummeled by Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals on opening day, I had no hopes or expectations that the Reds would eventually become champions of their division and return to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years! Regardless of what happens in the playoffs next month, I will be excited to cheer on the Reds!

The home crowd, April 5, 2010

Reds Opening Day 2010

Go Redlegs!

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Quotes from a Dove Chocolate

10 random things (in 60 seconds) that make me smile:

1. The lovelies in the pic above!
2. The song "Animal" by Neon Trees.
3. My husband, all dressed up in cute Banana Republic, when he comes home from teaching.
4. My kitty's sweet face.
5. Hearing my mom's laugh when we chat on the phone.
6. A great shade of lipstick.
7. A half decent job of polishing my own nails!
8. My hair stylist is transforming me into a redhead tomorrow!
9. It's COLD!  And RAINY!  And the leaves are CHANGING! It's FALL!
10. Bath & Body Works has launched their Holiday Preview

What makes you smile?

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Let the Rain Sing you a Lullaby - L. Hughes

Yes, the rain can even make a college dorm cozy. Some of my most vivid rainy day memories are of the times I spent snuggled up in my freshman college dorm room studying.  I loved watching the rain fall over Marshall University's campus and the city of Huntington from the 13th floor of Twin Towers West - I could see the Ohio River stretching for miles and nearly all of downtown Huntington.  I could see everything.  And on those cool, drizzly days, after my early classes were finished, I would perch on my bed with the window blinds wide open, the lights turned down low, books in my lap, Matchbox Twenty playing in the background... and enjoy. 

I've sat/stood through many rainy football games, but two specific games have special "rainy" memories that I'll never forget.  My freshman-year roommate and I accompanied my then boyfriend (now husband) to a Marshall football game, hoping to see what this Byron Leftwich guy was all about (at the time, i had no idea that he would eventually be picked 7th in the 1st round of the NFL draft.) The precipitation started out a little damp and misty, but soon became a full-fledged downpour.  We, along with several other fans, decided to call it quits and leave the game early.  My roommate and I  swung by the cafeteria to get a late dinner - which, for some reason, was unusually calm and cozy.  We ate as other soaked football fanatic students trickled in, and enjoyed some girl time.  That's when I heard DJ Sammy's "Heaven" Candlelight mix - you know, the slow version - for the first time.

Last year, my husband and I remained faithful Ohio Bobcat fans and withstood the freezing rain and wind to see our team win a close game.  Most fans left, but those that stayed were in for a treat (Bobcats win!) I snuggled up to my husband, bundled up in cute mittens, earband, and a fleece scarf, but still so cold that I started saying goofy things to laugh in an attempt to stay warm and distract both of us. I suffered from total cold-induced delirium - and honestly, I wasn't miserable.  In fact, it was one of my favorite ballgames, ever.  How often do you get to cling to your husband for warmth during a close football game?

I remember the rainy Sundays when my mom would cook comforting country dinners for my brother and I when were were still young, living at home in WV. I was a teen, didn't have a care in the world, and loved curling up on the couch after stuffing myself with mom's homecooked yumminess. I often fell asleep with a Real World marathon on in the background.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I spent a rainy day in Pittsburgh with our aunt and uncle.  It was the first time I'd visited, so I sludged through the steel city in my trouser jeans, soaked up to my knees, to take tons of photos... and I actually had a great time. The rain toned down the typical hustle and bustle of the city, and I calmly enjoyed my little touristy adventure.  On this day, I heard Poker Face by Lady Gaga for the first time.

It was raining when:
*I ate Italian gelato for the first time (my 19th birthday, at Gino's in Huntington.)
*I celebrated my 20th birthday with friends at IHOP in Barboursville, WV
*My husband and I ran from the limo, across the parking lot to our reception site on our wedding night.
*I moved to Athens, Ohio.
*My husband told me he loved me for the first time.

I love to reflecting on those great times!  I'm thankful for this rainy day (even though I think I'm feeling a scratchy throat coming on), and I'm totally going to enjoy it.  Even though I have to work and have no window, I know what's going on out there, and I know what awaits me this evening - NO workout, heading straight home, making something hot and rich for dinner, and curling up with my book until DWTS comes on!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Watch out for Rufus!

We made it! It's FRIDAY!

As I read blog posts early this a.m., I sensed a lot of excitement for the weekend - I hope you all have a great one!

As for me, here's what's up for the weekend. Yes, it involves that brown leather ball thing:

The Ohio University Bobcats will visit the Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, WV for the "Battle of the Bell" and 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl rematch against the Marshall Thundering Herd!
My new home vs. my old home, my husband's current school vs. our alma mater, a team I've grown to love vs. a team and a school I'll love forever.
It's going to be one of those days when I look up at the sky and say "ain't God great!?!?!?", because the football heavens has blessed me with a football game that is a win-win situation. There will be no tears at this game - I get to kick back with my m&ms, my camera, and enjoy w/the fam! I can't explain how much I'm looking forward to this! 
I just need to make sure that I watch out for this guy:


You know, the guy that did this last weekend:


Run, Marco, RUN!!!

In addition to the football game (which on Saturday evening), I'm hoping to get some lunch at the Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe, grab some Cold Stone at Pullman Square, and hit up the Marshall bookstore.  I love weekends in Huntington with the fam! And my sister-in-law has a new yellow-tom kitty, Charlie, that I cannot wait to meet.  I'm a sucker for cats!

My husband is hanging out with scholarly folks on campus all day and evening, so when I'm finished with work, it's pretty much Stephanie/girl-time!  I need to take advantage, so I'm going to plan some blogs in advance, read some more of Sparks' Safe Haven (I'm trying to take my time with it! Sparks only comes but once a year!), and snuggle with my kitty.

Have a wonderful weekend! And if you have any recommendations as far as how I should spend my girl time, please - shoot 'em at me!  
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's true. I love my job.

Additional job-related posts:

Mama's Losin' It

Have a wonderful Friday-Eve, lovely readers!
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quotes from a Dove Chocolate

"I feel like I'm running", I frequently say to my husband.  Not from anything, necessarily - my past has been a great one, the present is pretty cool, and I'm thinking the future is going to be full of awesome adventures, too.  I don't think I'm trying to fast-forward life... I think I'm just excited. Daily. It's like that "YESSSssss!" feeling you get when you're working out and you've reached the halfway point, not even realizing it because you've been rocking to some awesome tunes on the iPod. 

 I'm excited to live life. My little heart beats fast when i get excited for future events, but it pitter-patters quickly when I'm on a natural high on a simple, happy day, too.  I'm eager to experience small things, like a great TV show or my next Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I'm eager to experience big things, too, like moving this year, eventually having children, and traveling abroad one day. The older I get, the more I realize that time is precious and you've just gotta live.  And remember - tomorrow's another day!

Miss Positivity? Well... not all the time.
We all have those ultra-crappy days, the days when everything seems to be off kilter, everyone seems to be a jerk, and/or nothing seems to go the "right" way.  I have them - and often. I'm slowly improving on how to manage those days, and have found that looking forward and knowing that better things are ahead is a simple concept to believe in - and it works (most of the time.)

Some personal examples:
"I don't feel well today" - there are people that feel worse. You will eventually get better.
"My check engine light is on" - you could be walking everywhere. Besides, it's probably just the gas tank cap thingy.
"There is cat hair EVERYWHERE - it never feels clean in my home!" - you have a feline friend who loves you, looks up at you with big trusting eyes, and will always be on your side.
"My co-worker made me mad!" - you have a job. And your co-worker may be having a bad day, too.
"My football team ALWAYS loses!" - you could be one of the players, or one of the player's mothers. 

See?  Simple, right? Unfortunately, simple positive thinking doesn't always get you out of the rut of the negative present... but it's a start at dealing, then looking forward to better days. New adventures always lie ahead.

Wow, Dove Chocolate Wrappers are really inspirational! Everyone should buy a bag of Dove, like, NOW!

*Hello to all of those stopping by from Welcome Wednesday!* Link up below!

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My husband has combed the first wave of Fall 2011 academic job openings carefully, and together we have narrowed them down to form "The LIST".  Without disclosing super-secret squirrel information, I can reveal that in less than one year I will likely be living in the Midwest, the deep south, the northeast, the Atlantic coast, the northwest, a large city, a small college town, a snowy climate, a rainy climate, a humid climate, or a dry climate. Seriously, I really don't know. "We've narrowed it down to America!", my husband exclaimed last night. I totally laughed out loud!

Trailmodel Rain Coat
(me likey!)
     What will my outerwear needs be in the middle of February? Will it be a light layer of L.L. Bean Trailmodel Fleece? or Trail Model Rain wear? (or both?) The Stormchaser 3-in-1 Jacket, or a Goose-Down Bubble Coat?  Maybe a Casco Bay Windbreaker will do the job (I'm obviously asking for some new L.L. Bean - anyone want to help me out here?)     
    My super scholarly man of a husband, God love him, is submitting over 20 job applications via online or snail mail during the next two months.  Surprisingly, I'm managing to hold it together.  I'm loving every single college and university on "The LIST".  I've spent the past five years of his educational journey preparing for this phase - all I can say is BRING. IT. ON. My L.L. Bean outerwear and I will adjust accordingly!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Let's Go Dancing - Favorite DWTS couples of all time!

In honor of tonight's premiere of Dancing w/the Stars, I'm sharing the DWTS celebrity couples that I absolutely adore! There's no way I could've counted them down - I love them all equally!

{Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani, season 8}

{Mark Ballas & Mya, season 9}

{Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer, season 7}

{Erin Andrews & Maks, season 10}

{Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas, season 6}

{Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson, season 4}

{Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke, season 10}

{Mario & Karina Smirnoff, season 6}

Nicole Sherzinger & Derek Hough, season 10}

{Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya, season 10}

{Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas, season 5}

{Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo, season 7}

{Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani, season 6}

{Mel B. & Maks, season 5}

{Lil' Kim & Derek Hough, season 8}

Yes, I have a LOT of favorites - hopefully you didn't get bored scrolling through all of those! If you're tuning in to Dancing with the Stars tonight, I hope you ENJOY!

I'm totally all about Michael Bolton & Chelsea Hightower (aka team "BOLT TOWER"! haha)

Have a great Monday!
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pigskin Heartbreak = more Sex in the City!

Last night, early in the 2nd half of the Marshall University vs. Bowling Green State University football game, I retreated - ok, more like seeked refuge - in my cozy bedroom, where I stuck Sex in the City in the DVD player and curled up with a jar full of Dove dark chocolates.  With a sweet yellow tomcat keeping my feet warm and my knock off Louis Vuitton tote full of blog ideas and composition notebooks by my side, I should've felt better.  Right?  Yes - I should've. (Except for the bag.  Most women prefer the authentic Louis.) 
I didn't feel better.
At the time I was wearing a green Marshall hoodie, my knees were covered with a throw, a hand-woven image of the Joan C. Edwards Stadium and the City of Huntington, and I couldn't look up without seeing the degrees that my husband and I together had earned from Marshall, along with all of my MU game day purses and spirit beads hanging on various wall hooks.
I can't get away from it!

Marshall University will always have a piece of my heart.  I love football, but loving the Thundering Herd has been tough as of late (like, the last ten years.) Simply put, my favorite green team is going through a rough patch.  Their games break my heart and drive me to tears.
So last night, as Bowling Green routed Marshall 44-28, I listened to Carrie Bradshaw's wit and wisdom... and made a vow: to take sports a little less seriously and enjoy a little more girl time - a little more *me* time!
So to the guy who commented on my one of last week's posts, "This looks like one of those girly type of blogs", you're damn straight!  I'm a girl that cries over sports, and I also whine when my nail polish smudges, my lipstick bleeds, and I can't find my size in a sweater that I love.  NO MORE football heartbreak!  MORE girl time for myself (and more crying over smudged nail polish!) 

I wonder how this plan will work out for me? I need your encouragement, girls!

P.S. Does anyone else think that Jennifer Hudson's role in STC is super fabulous? Love her!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Conference Crawling: Louisville Countdown!

Occasionally, a day in the life of a grad student's wife involves hanging out at an academic conference.  After five years of poking along when my husband attends these things, I've learned that it's a true artform.  Poking along... it requires some actual skill. Who knew?
I pay my own way - and enjoy comfy hotel beds (please resist the urge to warn me about bedbugs!), bagels and croissants that are layed outside of presentation rooms (I dress like I'm smart and important, walk around, and steal my husband's free breakfast), and fun evenings out after the conference presentations cease for the day. How do i fill my time while he is "conferencing" during the day?  I always attend his actual presentation. I think it's important that I understand his field, even though I am an "anti-intellectual" (his term, not mine.) I don't ever want to be the completely estranged wife of an academic, so I mill around other academics like an annoying fly in an effort to understand what rhetoric is.  and I'm still learning. After I fulfill my wifely duties at my hubby's presentation, I EXPLORE!  Yes, I play.  Play about the town - coffee, snacks, shopping, touring, taking photos... I love it all.

And I love, love, LOVE Louisville, Kentucky.  We always end up traveling there at least once per year for various conferences, and I've completely fallen in love with the place.  In one month, we will be heading to "Luhvull" once again! I feel so comfortable in the home of Muhammad Ali and the Kentucky Derby; there's so much do to, so much to see, tons of culture, friendly people, and great food!  In celebration of our upcoming trip to Looeyville (seriously - i'm dancing in my chair a little), I've decided to share some photos from our most recent trip there! Enjoy!

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