Motivation, and thanks.

5 10 2011

Most of my motivation to go back to school has to do with myself and my family.

I want a job that I will love*, that I will be proud to do, and I want my family to be proud of me.

So I started school again, and we’re just about half-way through the semester. (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I FEEL LIKE I JUST STARTED YESTERDAY!)

The support of my family has been awesome. (Thank you, so much.)

Some other friends who have had A&P in the past have been awesome, willing to help and offering to help me in any way they can! (Thanks, all of you!)

And my sister, a former A&P HS teacher, has been invaluable with her tips & tricks & ideas to help me. (Love you for that, Lili!)

But I now have more motivation.

When I show up for work, usually someone I work with, or a regular, will ask me how school is going. My reply is usually, “It’s very tough, but I’m working really hard!” Their questioning how it’s going? Means the world to me. Really.

And when something kind of important (to me) happens, I usually post it to my personal Facebook or Twitter account… And sometimes I get a “like” or comment here or there, but lately I’ve been getting more “likes” and comments. Even comments from my mom. Even “likes” from NE (who is SUPER BUSY at his job right now, so that counts x10).

And I have to tell you, these questions, comments and “likes” from my friends – and Family – really are motivating me so much more than when I started.

I want to be able to tell them I did well…  My parents, Lili and NE, and my friends.

So, thank you, friends, co-workers and family. For making me want this so much more than I did 5 weeks ago. Your support and encouragement mean more to me than I could ever tell you.

*side note: I started my clinical observation (40 hrs of observation this semester) today and I TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I spent 90% of the day in the ER x-ray room, with a 2nd year student and a tech. I cannot wait till I can do what the 2nd year students do! (Thank you to the tech, and the 2nd yr student I was with. I learned a TON! Thanks, guys!) I appreciate it!

I’m still trying to figure out how to explain what I’m going to school for to Little C, when she saw her Papa and Grandpa Bob in the hospital, Lili said they were at the doctor’s. Hopefully she’ll be older when I have to explain this… As long as I say “I love you” and she blows me kisses via phone, I’m good with it. (I totally caught those kisses on my face, btw.)

Thankfully, when G-man is old enough for me to explain my job, it will probably be easier! (Here’s to hoping that neither of them have x-rays between now & then.)





The wheels on the bus…

27 09 2011

I have lived in Pittsburgh for my entire life, save for a year or so after I was born, and my years at Ohio U.

Sunday night was the very FIRST time I rode a PAT bus on my own. I was terrified.

I’ve only ever rode the busses here in the ‘Burgh with my friend, Nix. She KNOWS the busses. (I also asked her what bus & what time to get home from So Side, after I consulted the schedule. And I asked another co-worker. I was *that* freaked out.)

I’ve rode the subway and busses in Toronto and Montreal with less fear than I had tonight…

Why did I have to ride the bus? Well, there was something wrong with my Cobalt.

It started Friday on the way to work. At a stop sign, where I stopped fully, I noticed my speedometer showed I was still driving at 10MPH. Uh, no, I wasn’t.

I wrote it off as crazy Chevy stuff (things have happened kind of like that with my last three Chevy’s, so yeah…)

And on the way home, on a down hill, I hit the gas and nothing happened…  I had to pull over, stop  and re-start the car to get home… Still with the same issues.

But then on Saturday, the MPH when from 10 to 5 to 25 to 15 to 35… But it only happened a few times. Not always.

I was terrified to drive Sunday night to work. But I couldn’t NOT work, so Cboy and his lovely picked me up on their way to the South Side from the Pgh Zoo.

(Side note: I’m totally jealous of Cboy and his lovely. They had a great day at the zoo and saw more than I’ve ever seen!!!! Yay for them. Also, thank you.)

I got to work so early, that even Viking commented that I was even earlier than usual. (I’m ALWAYS early for work. Always. But this was definitely earlier than normal.)

And then, since we were so not busy at work, I took a bus home, the 54C, all by myself. I thought I had to walk from 22nd to 18th to get the bus, but I had an inkling that the 54C stopped outbound at 22nd… Many thanks to the nice girl who works at The Library in So Side for helping me when I asked her about the bus. And also to her to telling me that the bus ran late on Sundays, and would be there in maybe 10 minutes at one point. So. Helpful.

I didn’t have to pay for my ride, the fare thingy box was broken.

I called the dealership around 9am on Monday. They said since I didn’t have an appointment, I’d have to leave it or wait. Uh, I don’t have people (aka my parents when they lived here) to pick me up, so I have to wait. My “assigned” guy said it could be up to 5 hrs.

He reinforced this when I actually got there around 10 or 11am… I again told him I didn’t care, I had homework to do, and had no one to pick me up.  I was willing to sit, do my homework, and wait…

He seemed perturbed. But that isn’t my problem.

The only issue is the temporary waiting area at Baierl. No television as before. And the magazine selection? Hunting, guns, wine and cigars. Where am I???? West Virginia? Plus a single copy each of: Redbook, Good Houskeeping and Consumer Reports… Good lord.

I at first,  sat next to a woman who was filing her nails. No, I’m wrong, she was FILING HER NAILS LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. In the Baierl Chevy waiting area. I removed myself from her to sit by a nice man at a table. He was kind, and wished me an early reprieve from the dealership.

The dealership fixed up my car. It wasn’t my fuel pump. Thank god, since I’ve heard many horror stories on fuel pumps. It was just corroded electrical connections, which, apparently, many other Cobalt owners have had issues with.

I have missed hours of library time this weekend because of this car. (okay, also because Viking added a Friday shift for me, but still) The same issue will plague me this coming weekend. At least I seem to have a working vehicle…

Dear gray Cobalt, I know I have no name for you, as I had for the past 5+ cars I have owned, but I love you. I really do. I do enjoy driving you, and littering you as I please…  Please make this up to me and be the bestest car ever….





School stuff.

22 08 2011

Holy cats. I start school tomorrow. TOMORROW! At 8am!

I have to wake up at 6am to get there in time. OMG. 6am does not exist in my life right now.

But it does tomorrow. Surprise to ME!

My classes are as follows:

Tuesday: Anatomy, 8 – 9:15am and Lab 9:30am – noon. Radiology 3:40 – 5:20pm.

Thursday: Anatomy, 8 – 9:15am and Radiology 2 – 3:35pm.

I’m going uber early on Tuesday because I have NO IDEA where the classrooms are. I also want to stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a Wake Up wrap. (The wraps are very yummy!)

But, nice studying built in time in there… On purpose. So that I can STUDY! And continue to work at My Living Room and make some money.

But OMG I start school tomorrow.

My scrubs are washed and hanging waiting for me to step into them tomorrow morning.Same for shoes, socks and the under wearings, n’at.

And since I have to be at work after school, my work clothing is waiting for me as well.

I spent nearly $50 on paper, a few binders, folders, pens and a two highlighters yesterday. FIFTY dollars! For binders and paper! And pens! So much money for a few things. dumb.

Good grief, I can’t wait to get started. But OMG I’m scared. So nervous.

But I I KNOW I CAN DO IT. I know I will pass these classes. I know I will.

Please send me any anti-ADD vibes you have, because I can’t deal with that right now… I need to focus. FOCUS, you guys. For a huge ADD girl!

I’m ready for this. I really am. I need something new…

I’m kind of excited to sit in a library and study again. I loved it last year when I took my biology class. So here’s hoping that carries over to two classes this fall.

Good luck to me.

Why am I doing this school thing?

I’m doing this for me. To have a better life.

To make my family proud. My parents, specifically. And also my Lili, Little C, NE and G-man, Semester by semester.

To see Little C and G-Man every time I want to see them.

And, I want a a house. In Pittsburgh. (at least until Lili and NE move elsewhere)

A house where I can modify or hang anything I want. To plant things outside. To use a lawnmower again. Yes, I want to do that!

A house that has at least two guest rooms. Specifically designated to Little C and G-Man.  And one or two couches that pull out to beds. Or room for an inflatable matress for me when they visit. Room for Lili, NE, The Nana and Papa.

I figure I can make this happen. In two years. School. Here we go. I’m ready. I’m taking it head on. Bring it.





Clutch.

28 07 2011

I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but my musical tastes are very random. Broadway, classical, country, hard rock…

I’ve been super lucky this year to see so many bands live, mostly because of friends who needed someone to take a ticket that could not be used…  See my “About” thing…

Last weekend I had the chance to see Clutch live in Pittsburgh at Stage AE, with some amazing friends!

It was awesome. I’m so glad I went, and I would go see Clutch again the next time they are in town.

Some of my fave songs are below… Clearly I like Blast Tyrant.

And WordPress is not happy with me and is refusing to allow me to imbed videos. So I just have to give you the names of songs and a link… Sigh. Anywho…)

Mob Goes Wild

(In the wake of the) Swollen Goat

La Curandera

Loved the show. So happy that I went – I nearly didn’t.  It was $25 better spent than the $50 or so I spent on Kenny Chesney (although, to be honest, I didn’t realize our tickets would be in the LAST ROW ever of Heinz Field…)

It was a great night, no matter what.

I may or may not have sat on someone’s lap on the ride back to My Living Room as well… That’s what happens when one girl and 5 guys try to fit themselves into a small car.





Love Changes Everything…

14 07 2011

I totally believe this to be true… But this isn’t a post about love.

It’s a post about the CLO show, Love Changes Everything. I posted after Christmas this year, that The Nana and The Papa bought me 3 shows at the CLO as a present, on the recommendation of Kells Bells… Tonight was the first one…

KB, thank you so much for the suggestion! I loved last night! Even if I sat alone! (I managed to not cry, though I thought I might during Memory…)

If you can mange to see this show, and especially if you like Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, DO IT. DO IT NOW.

It was amazing. I LOOOOOVE my seats for all the shows I’m going to see (same seats, each show) first row of the top tier. No looking over people’s heads to see the stage. (looking over heads isn’t really a problem at the Benedum, but I’m happy I have 1st row seats in that section) I was so excited tonight when the lovely usher showed me to my seat… I can’t wait to see Jesus Christ Superstar and Wicked later this summer….

Love Changes Everything is an experience of all Andrew Lloyd Webber’s amazing songs from his Broadway shows.  The shows featured were:

Amazing.  I wish The Nana was still in town so we could have gone together! I’ve already told her to see Love Changes Everything if it comes near her or Lili…

They featured shows I haven’t even seen and ones I have, and love.  Ones I’ve seen? Phantom and Cats. I haven’t seen a large number of them, but I’ll add Jesus Christ Superstar to my list of seen in August!

The orchestra was up on stage, and holy crap did I wish I went through with my HS dream of playing music for movies or live music… I was so jealous, and kept an eye on the clarinet player the whole show… That man played the clarinet, the bass clarinet, the flute, the sax and other things I couldn’t see through the piped-in fog… So. Jealous. (I couldn’t see the Euphonium player from my seat… I know he was there, because I could hear it, but OMG live orchestra or symphony makes me so sad I didn’t follow through!!! I’ll keep going though!)

I saw Phantom in Toronto with my family. With the original cast. Sara Brightman and Michael Crawford… It was different hearing other people sing what they did. The woman who sang tonight did it beautifully. They guy wasn’t the same as Crawford, but hot damn, did he do great with Music of the Night…

The songs from Cats were great as well… Memory was amazing!!! (Pseudo-Twin and I talked about the show tonight, and we both thought Memory was the best!!!)

I really wish they had included Mr. Mistofeles… And All I Ask of You… And a few others.

Overall, I think this one show was well worth the money my parents spent to give me this gift… I really, really loved it… And I cannot wait for the next one…

I’m probably going to ask for this gift of CLO Broadway for this Christmas as well. I love it… That or Pittsburgh Symphony tix. Or both.

Band nerd, reporting for duty, and proud of it…

The only thing that disappointed me was one dancer/singer who really just didn’t seem to be into it. She was the red-head, and in one number, she just seemed to NOT. CARE. At all.

And I got to one song I’ll hear at the show in August.





Kiwanis Pool

7 06 2011

It’s that time again. Summer. Pool time. And we’re starting Pool Tour 2011 already. I don’t know that I’ll make a lot of new places this year due to working day shifts and still trying to save money for school and bills. But we’ll see what happens.

I wanted to get out of the house last weekend, so on Saturday, I met Burghseyewife and Shellrenee at Avonworth Pool. We’ve been there before, and we like it. They haven’t changed anything, but the water was freezing! I think I’d up the grade I gave them last year to a B.

On Sunday, I wasn’t sure where to go since most of my pool friends were busy. I checked Facebook and saw that Denise was looking for something to do. We agreed to meet at a pool I haven’t been to before. Here’s my review.

Crawford Pool – Kiwanis Park – Shaler

Cost: $8 for adults; $6 for ages 0-17 and over 62. Prices are reduced by $1 after 6:30pm.

Hours: Monday – Saturday noon – 8:30pm; Sunday noon – 7:30pm

This pool is pretty big. There is a separate section for diving and laps, and they have a pretty decent slide. The slide closed around 5pm on Sunday for some reason.

The prices I listed above are for non-residents. I think charging $6 for a 2 year old is a bit much, but if you’re a resident, it’s free for kids under 5. And a few bucks cheaper for the other age ranges. But I doubt many of my pool friends will want to meet up there, considering most of them have at least one kid, if not two or four. It’s way to pricey.

Speaking of kids, they do have a separate kids pool area. I totally forgot to go take a look.

At the top of every hour, a whistle blows and the kids have to leave the pool for adult swim. That was nice because there were a lot of kids there on Sunday.

They have a separated concession area also. You aren’t supposed to remove any food from that area, but we did see people doing it. The menu is quite extensive as compared to other pools I’ve been to, and the prices are relatively low. You can also bring in coolers, but you’re supposed to take whatever food you have into the concession area to eat.

The strangest thing I saw about this pool is that as you enter, and on their website it states, “Swimmers must wear commercially manufactured swimming suits.” Which makes me wonder what the heck someone tried to swim in in the past to warrant such a statement.

I’d probably go back if I had something to do in the North Hills, that was nearby, but not on a random day as the admission and distance are a little much to get over.

Overall Grade: C (mostly due to the admission price being the highest I’ve encountered thus far.)





Mother/Son X Games 2011

15 05 2011

Earlier this year, I was contacted by PghRugbyRef. He wanted to know if I would participate in the Mother/Son X Games with his son, D, as D’s mom passed away. I was so honored that he thought to ask me, that I immediately said yes.

Not only was I really touched by the invitation, D and I go WAY back. When he was an infant, he was the first baby I held. And back when he was a toddler, I’d go to rugby games that PghRugbyRef was refereeing, and I’d watch D. D and I used to play with this huge yellow ball that had a smiley face on it. I don’t have a photo of the ball, or D and I kicking it around. (That kinda makes me sad.)

But, YES! Of course I would help out my buddy!

Today was the Mother/Son X Games. I was so excited!

We checked in, got our “team tags” and went off to play some games. Here is my recap of the games we played. If you are friends with me on Facebook, I’m sure you’ll see tagged pictures of me from PghRugbyRef.

  • Tug O’ War – we had to wait for a few more moms and sons for this one. I think we were 5 vs 5. I was the anchor at the end in the loop of the rope. The moms won the first one, we let the kids win the 2nd and on the third? I stepped out of the loop, and when I said “banana,” all the moms dropped the rope and let the kids fall backwards. Hahahahahaha!! So much fun!
  • Pumpkin Seed Contest – for this one, we grabbed a handful of “pumpkin” seeds (D and I agreed that they tasted more like sunflower seeds, but whatever) and had to stand near targets stuck to the ground and spit the seeds, one by one, onto the target. D beat me 1,500 to 900.
  • Outdoor Relay Race – well, this involved more action than I expected. We had to weave around a few cones, go across a balance beam, hop with two feet through 4 hoola-hoops, do 5 rotations with a hoola hoop, do two rounds on the dizzy bat… and then do everything back again to the start. Poor D fell on the balance beam. I thought I was going to, and stepped off of it a few times. (Cheater, I know, but I was wearing new running shoes that seem to have zero traction!)
  • Nature Trail Challenge – for this one, we were given a quiz to take with us. Things like how long is the Great Wall of China, what Pirate last won MVP and when, what we’d do with a million dollars (D? Buy flat screen tv’s. Me? Vacations.) There were also various activities on the trail. We were joined for this one by PghRugbyRef and D’s 4 year old brother, Q. And Q took part in a few of the games. So much fun! Stack metal nuts using a chopstick, try to bounce ping pong balls into a bowl on your partner’s head, tie different knots, (the knots? they were fun!!!!) and the killer? One partner holds a string and the other tries to hang five regular nails on the string. We failed bad at this one.  But it was a really great nature trail, and all the games were fun!
  • Water Balloons – your classic water balloon toss. Q joined us for this one as well. We did awful. Mostly because my tosses were terrible! (Sorry, D!)
  • Minute To Win it Games – this one was great! The games:
    • A Bit Dicey – balance 5 dice (die?) on a popsicle stick held in your mouth. We did this twice. We succeeded the first time, but had issues the second time.
    • Breakfast Scramble – reassemble pieces of the front of a breakfast cereal box that has been cut into even pieces.  We didn’t do so well on this one. Boo.
    • Nose Dive – D did this one. Put petroleum jelly on your nose, pick up cotton balls on a plate, and drop them on a 2nd plate. He did great!!!!
    • Office Maximus – knock over 3 reams of paper, using a ball made of random rubber bands. You got three tries. We both won this one. And Q was there to pick up the random rubber bands that ended up spraying about (thanks, Q, you were quite the helpful little brother today!)
    • Maybe Bottoms Up? I don’t know. We had to wear nylons on our waist, with a tennis ball in one of the legs, and knock over pop cans. (Guaranteed to be embarrassing pics for this one!)
    • Can’t remember… we had to kneel on sliders (little boards with handles and on 4 wheels) and weave in and out of a 5-6 cone course, and back again. We also did this one twice. D won the first round. I won the second. By seconds.
  • Snowball Fight! – for this one, the moms were on one side, the kids on the other. You had to grab a small whiffle ball from the mom basket, run to the kids basket, drop the ball in… Lather, rinse, repeat. Kids did the same from their basket… The moms won! Woo! (I have no idea how we won, but I was grabbing and sprinting and trying to watch the boys at the same time… I’m dizzy trying to remember it!)
  • Then we went onto Creation Station. And we did this one twice as well. The idea is you pick a card from the container. It has 4 pictures. You pick from a container of Lego’s and make your selected item… D and I both got each of our selections, each time. We even went back after visiting Minute to Win It Again.
  • Smarties Game – this was a mini Minute to Win it game… Bowl of Smarties. A straw. Remove the smarties to the napkin with the straw. I lost.

I had SO MUCH FUN today. Even the running (hello, as D pointed out, I play rugby, I should be fine… I nearly died after the Snowball Fight sprints!)

But really, it was more fun than I can remember having lately.

D is a great, fun kid. I love him. I always have, to be honest.

And Q? Good grief is he a hilarious little one. Hysterical! He’s a good little boy.

When I was leaving, he shouted to me, “Was nice to see you!” “Hope to see you again soon or at next year’s Mom/Sons X Games!” He’s a character, that one.

PghRugbyRef, I am honored that you asked me to be there for your son. You have no idea. I was so proud to be with D today.

I had the best time with the boys (both of them!) I love your boys so much! They are both such wonderful kids.

You are a wonderful father, A. I’m impressed, not that I haven’t been the whole time, but today was excellent.

If you need me next year? I will be there.  Also, like Q said, I need to come see your boys more. Really.

Thank you. SO much.

I was so HONORED to be asked. It was a day I will never forget.