Goodies &Grub

So yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to eat everything in sight. That being said, I became acutely aware of all the food around me. I thought I’d share some things that caught my eye.

Dial -a-dog? At first I thought it was a hotline for guys that would sleep with you and then never call you again…..image

I love, LOVE sweet potato fries, and the burgers at The Nugget Grill are pretty tasty!

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This threw me for a loop. Can anyone please explain why this may even be remotely tasty? I can hear Bubba and Forrest talking now-“Shrimp Cabobs, Cajon Shrimp, Shrimp flavored chips”  And squid-in-a-bag?? Hmmm. I’ll take some Lays Sour Cream n’ Onion any day!

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I laughed at this. F’REAL!!! Plus, this is the devil. I wish I could, but my system goes Chernobyl……image

Now we are talking. Sour, Sweet, Chocolate, Sugar…. everything a  crazy hormonal girl may need or want. image

I wonder how it would taste if a grabbed that Squid-in-a-bag and mixed it with the chocolate covered pretzels and some Sour Patch Kids and finished it with a F’Real Milkshake?  One Word: YOBOGOYA!!!!!

Inconvenience & Icebergs

Today brought upon a myriad of emotions and a breakthrough that I think every graduate student has experienced.  My girlfriend has the most amazing wardrobe, and to her credit, she takes the time to shop, try on clothes and network with boutique owners. I appreciate her style and get the privilege of borrowing some sexy pieces from time to time.  I, however, NEVER shop, NEVER take the time to look for clothes, and what makes it worse is that * gasp* I’m cheap when it comes to clothes. I really struggle with spending hundreds of dollars on clothes when I firmly believe I can buy it elsewhere cheaper, or without the fancy designer label. As a woman out of my twenties, I am struggling with finding my “grown-up style”, and most comfortable in jeans, flip-flops and a ponytail. I acknowledge that I need to spend more time shopping,  networking with boutique owners,browsing through fashion magazines and trying on clothes, but there is that one little detail.

Money.

You see, 9 months ago I made a choice. On the surface, it was a very simple choice. I want to go to grad school. When that choice became a reality,  the tip of the iceberg was so easy to see.  Below the surface was a hidden mass of sacrifices, compromises and inconveniences that were so much  bigger than I had expected. We moved out of our totally awesome 100-year-old Craftsman bungalow in the heart of San Diego, to the boring burbs of North County to ease my commute and save money. We moved away from all our friends, our favorite hot spots, and noshing joints.

I reduced my work schedule from full-time to “barely there”- which led to essentially a demotion and losing out on an opportunity to move into the managerial position that I have essentially been waiting 2 years for. Talk about frustrating.

I am a total workaholic if I allow myself to be. If I weren’t married, I’d be eating, sleeping and breathing work. So reducing my work hours, getting demoted and getting passed up for the promotion was hard. To rub salt into the wound, every paycheck is filled with fear and disbelief at how small it is and how I am going to survive on it.

If it weren’t for my hubby, I would have to rely on student loans to survive school, and since we both have student loans from our times as Undergrads, taking out more loans was out of the question. This left us with the reality of paying my tuition out-of-pocket and making big sacrifices to be a student. It’s no surprise that the single biggest issue married couples fight about is money.

So now that I am a broke college student, it magnifies all the things I want, need, have to have and don’t have. It puts life into a triage of needs and wants, with many things getting left for dead. So naturally, I avoid the mall like a diseased leper!

Of course, today I accepted an invitation to go shopping with my girlfriend, and I watched enviously as she dropped $300 on shoes, pants, a blouse that I had seen and coveted before, and other items that, at this point, I can only drool over. I had emotions of anger, frustration, jealousy and uncertainty wash over me, not at her, but about the position I was suddenly in. All around me were things that I was attracted to, and wanted to buy, but couldn’t afford.  I had to keep reminding myself that the inconveniences I was putting us through now was only going to benefit us later, and that someday in the near future, I am going to be in the financial position that will allow me the luxury of nice things.

I had to repeat the mantra of “short-term, loss-long term gain”. I reassured myself with all kinds of cheesy self-affirmations: You can do this. Hard work pays off. This too will pass, it’s only money. You’ll be graduated before you know it. Blah, blah, blah.

They didn’t help. The self-doubt is still there… like a child’s voice taunting me. It’s really is hard being so broke all the time, and I hate that my hubby is shouldering the added financial burden.  Thank goodness he has been nothing but totally supportive during my moments of uncertainty and doubt. I never really knew that my one little decision to go back to grad school would require the understanding, patience, acceptance and flexibility of so many people, on so many levels. It’s also very humbling. I have learned that early on in this journey.  Humility. Respect. Grace.

I KNOW I am making the right decision by going back to grad school. I know it. But DAMN, it takes a village to…..I keep reminding myself that those villagers are helping me travel down this path, and for them, I am really grateful.

It was an ‘A-ha!” moment that lead me to the understanding that when I  examine my emotions through those lenses do I realize that being jealous over the inability to afford a cute top is worthless, and in order for me to keep my eye on the proverbial prize, I need to stay humble, my nose in the books, and my ass OUT of Nordstrom Rack!

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler. Nietzsche

RIP Penn State As We Know It.

Today was the saddest day for The Pennsylvania State University. Joe Paterno is fired, Graham Spanier is fired, Curley is on administrative leave.  I’m going to keep this short, since there has been so much press written over the last week, but I have never loved Twitter so much. Twitter posts have been blowing up all night describing the scenes as the Board of trustees came and announced their decision.

Since I am a proud graduate of SDSU, and attend CSULB, you may wonder why I care so much.  Let me explain:

1. I’m a kinesiology lover. Penn State has one of the most well-respected Kinesiology programs in the country. I wanted to     move there to pursue higher education, but I met my husband….

2. By sheer coincidence, my husband is a Penn State alumni, whose father works at Penn State. Who’s parents live in State College,Pa.

3. All of his friends are Penn State Alumni, which affects us all.

4. Our house bleeds blue and white!

4. I’m an aquatics professional, and their former and current aquatics personal happen to be well-respected peers.

Today is such a sad day, but what is even sadder are the lives that have been destroyed by Sandusky and all that knew about it, and kept quiet about it.

The ripple effect of their decisions have not only affected innocent children, but have destroyed the Sandusky family, the Paterno family, Spaniers family, the McCreary family, the trust  of the BOT, the Alumni and the student body.

Let today be known as Black Wednesday. May the healing process begin for the victims and their families.

 

 

The Subtextual Connection

I haven’t posted in a while because I had nothing worth writing about. We are in a lull before all the final projects get assigned, and I can breathe for a moment.  I cannot believe there is only 5 weeks left in school!

So, my inspiration for this post came from Starbucks,a novel, and the ideal that while life, like coffee, can be dark and mysterious,can be very sweet too.

I happened to be sitting in Starbucks, watching and listening to all the people around me. As I watched, I reflected about all the things these people weren’t saying to each other.

It’s the things that people DON’T say to each other that I find fascinating. Can you hear the silent subtext? It’s really loud,you just have to listen harder for it. Things people want to say, need to say, they just can’t come out.  One of my most favorite movies is Lost in Translation, with Bill Murray. The subtext of the experiences between Bob and Charlotte  really help shine a light on the struggles we share as we navigate relationships.Whether they be friendships, sexual, business related, it’s all essentially the human connection. Why then must it be so complicated?

Imagine if your relationships came from a truly sincere place? Imagine having organic, authentic relationships with people regardless of your differences. It could be age, race, gender, station in life.  Do you ever wish you could speak to the people in your life from an honest place? And, also be free of the possible fallout that may arise from it? Have you ever spent a significant part of your life with your heart devoted to someone ? Someone unattainable? Do you ever wish you could simply hit the “pause” button on your current life, just to hit “play” on an alternate one.Why is it that we don’t ask for what we really need? Why don’t we spend more energy on the things we really want in life?

Why do we  exhaust so much energy on the subtext of relationships?

Ever read “Sentimental Education” by Gustav Flaubert?  Frederic Moreau and his endless quest for the impossible love of Madam Arnoux.  Yet, upon their final meeting, and nothing happens.  Kills me every time. 

“Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”

 Is the energy we expand on the subtext  due to the reward that comes from it?  As Flaubert believed, is the sweetness of anticipation the greatest form of pleasure, because it is the most reliable? Is the not knowing enough? Is it because the things that don’t happen to us can never disappoint? Thus lending a sweet impression in the memory that never fades?

Can we fondly remember something that never happens?

This is one of my favorite examples of the power of subtext,and I always wonder if the power in this scene is because of what is not said.

The relationship between Bob and Charlotte is a unique one, and we should celebrate the ideal that “connection” is unconditional. Take the  cult classic Harold and Maude. I am a firm believer that people enter our lives for specific reasons. It’s up to you to listen to all the signs. Dont ignore those signs. Dont take them for granted.  Again, recognize when you connect with someone, don’t be swayed by their station in life, their age, race, gender, occupation.  Treasure it for its uniqueness. Who knew that a death obsessed teenager would share such a relationship as with someone three times his senior.

Harold: I like you, Maude.
Maude: I like you, Harold.
 
Maude: [at her 80th birthday party] I couldn’t imagine a lovelier farewell!
Harold: Farewell?
Maude: Oh, yes, dear… My 80th birthday.
Harold: But you’re not going anywhere… are you?
Maude: [long pause] I took the tablets an hour ago. I’ll be gone by midnight.
Harold: [after a long pause] WHAT?
[immediately cut to an ambulance]
Again, kills me every time. I always wonder what he might have said, had Harold had the opportunity. What then?
 
So I guess it’s the “what then” that intrigues me too.The last time I was in Starbucks, I was listening and watching all the people around me, wondering about their relationships, and more curious the conversations not being had. The connections that people seek, yet, miss. The conversations we want to say, and if we did… what then…..?
 
Aren’t we all guilty of conversations that are never had…………
 
What then?