Monday, October 30, 2006


Jake and I went with some of the people from the patent office to King's Dominion for Fearfest. I decided that I can't suspend reality the way I used to be able to...I can't get scared watching movies or in haunted walks/houses. I mostly just find everything mildly entertaining. It really amuses me to see other people get scared, though.

I read that people that watched the first exhibition of a motion picture in Paris in the 1800s freaked out. They screamed and ducked under their seats. The film was of a train pulling into a station and there wasn't even any sound at that time. I wonder what it was like to be in that audience.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Adventures in Nature

This is Jake in Shenandoah National Park this past weekend. We picked up a couple of hiking trail books and did a couple of hikes on Saturday. We're considering getting a season pass next year so we can do more hiking and camping. The season pass is 30 dollars, while a day pass is 15, so if we go more than two times it will be worth it. See the stick in Jake's hand? He started using a walking stick after we walked up the steepest, most difficult part of the trail. So, he just walked around with the stick while we walked along the easy, flat part of the trail. Haha.
We also made it to see Daine in Charlottesville. We ate at a restaurant called the Bistro and then went to a place for tea. I made everyone drink a pot of tea called "Golden Monkey". My favorite part was when a worker at the tea place walked into the room and shouted, "Who had the Golden Monkey?"
Saturday was a long day. I was so tired that I almost got into the wrong car after getting out at the gas station on the way back.
Well, hopefully the weather will be good this weekend, because I'm planning to go to Kings Dominion.

Use it or Lose it

I get the feeling that my brain is constantly being turned off all day long. Working with students in special education requires a lot of repetition of simple concepts and commands. I feel like I am banging my head against a wall. I tried to read a bit of a magazine at work the other day and a coworker informed me that we aren't allowed to read at work. brain is going to atrophy...I feel like I need to force myself to pursue intellectual challenges outside of work. But, I mostly just come home and veg out. Someone speak to me about something so that I learn...please!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Goings On

Well, the new job has been interesting. The worst that's happened to me so far is that I've been slapped by a kid and another kid peed her pants to avoid doing what I was asking her to do. Nothing, really, in the scheme of things. I'm sure I'll probably experience worse. Brendan, a guy I work with, told me a story about how one kid he worked with dug poop out of his ass and then tried to slap him with the poop. I'm sure that experience was much worse.

On Wednesday, I suddenly had this bout with homesickness. It came from out of nowhere. I cried to Jake about missing my friends and family. I think the stress of figuring all this new job stuff out got to me.

I need to go and get a physical for work. My health insurance doesn't kick in until I've been employed for 90 days I'm afraid I'm going to really get screwed and have to pay a lot of money once I go.

I went out for a bit with some of my new co-workers on Friday to happy hour. They all seem friendly and I think things will go well with them.

I went to the Maryland Rennaisance Festival with Jake and some of the patent office people. We drank a lot, saw people in crazy costumes, watched some shows, and ate a lot of food. One highlight for me was trying a "beesting" which is a combination of cider and honey mead. I was exhausted by the end of the day and when we got home (at 8pm), I promptly fell asleep.

People from the patent office seem to always be planning some kind of get-together. On Thursday this week, they are going out to dinner and then taking a Ghost Tour of Alexandria. Jake and I might go. A week ago, some of the Work-Life people (who plan all of this stuff) were trying to convince Jake and I to go on this dinner boat cruise on the Potomac. They had dinner and dancing on a cruise ship. We were told that it would be romantic. Jake and I passed on going because it was kind of expensive. We're glad we did, because later about 40 people from the patent office who went on the trip got sick. Tonia (a patent office employee) told me about how she had to take a sample of her own stool, divide it up, and make sure that it got sent to Richmond to the Health Department. The people who got sick are filing a complaint.

I called Daine today and I think next weekend Jake and I will try to take a drive down to Charlotesville to visit him. We're hoping that the Blue Ridge Parkway will have some nice fall colors.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Soccer Star

Yesterday, I was checking out at Whole Foods when the cashier said to me, "Hey, do you play soccer?"

I replied, "Um...yeah, I guess I've played soccer before."

He said, "Oh, I mean, because you look like a soccer player."

I thought about it a minute and said, "Maybe it's my jacket?" (I had on this red and black jacket that made me look kind of sporty.)

He said, "No, it's not that. You look like that one soccer player. What's her name? Maria Sharapova?"

I said, "Oh, umm...thanks." I didn't bother to tell him that Maria Sharapova plays tennis, not soccer.

But apparently I look her. Or, you know, that tennis player...what's her name? Mia Hamm?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hey, is there a spare parachute somewhere in back?

Okay, I have the next week to get everything in order before I start my job. Can I cram in enough "me" time to make it worth it? I'm so pumped to have time without all the anxiety of finding a job. I'm sick of reading stuff like "What Color is Your Parachute?" and Jake's "Job Almanac". Yay! No more prepping for interviews, no more writing cover letters, no more tweaking my resume, because now I have a job! Jake says that if he had time off, he'd sit around the apartment in his underwear, play video games, and drink Miller High Life. Maybe that's what I should do...haha, just kidding...

The whole job search thing made me realize how much I'm really thankful to be with Jake. He's helped me a lot throughout my search. He did a good job of making me feel better after my crap interview last week and he's been patient enough to sit down and help me do interview practice with me, etc. Yay for Jake!

I'm sure this job is going to be stressful and I'm pretty sure it's not what I want to do forever, but I am thankful to be working. Right now, I'm going to take this opportunity to write out what appeals to me about the job so that I can come back to this when I get frustrated with it in the future. First, I will definitely will be using knowledge that I gained in grad school. My education will not have been an entire waste. Secondly, there will be opportunities for me to move up and to get a teaching license, which will make me more employable elsewhere in the future. Thirdly, it seems that there will be plenty of opportunity for affiliation within the job. There are lots of people about my age employed there, and hopefully that means that I'll be able to make some friends at work. Also, I'm pumped that the commute to my job won't be too bad. I think it'll take me about 15-20 minutes to drive there. I was scared that I'd end up getting a job that required me to drive on 495 everyday...I just don't want to have to deal with crazy traffic and I'm pretty sure that I won't have to deal with that on my drive. I think that overall this job will be an interesting experience...hopefully one experience in a series of varied life experiences. Hopefully I will learn and grow from this. I don't know if it'll help me gain the confidence I'm really looking for, but hopefully it makes me more comfortable and knowledgable about something...