Sunday, May 16, 2010

Go Padres!

Summer of fun adventure number one: San Diego! I can't think of a more perfect way to kick off the best summer ever... And while it wasn't exactly beachy goodness (it was kind of hazy, cool and cloudy) it was a great day to go to a Padres game! I'd never been to a pro baseball game before... and man, did I pick quite the first game. The Dodgers were the visiting team, but you wouldn't know it based on the amount of Dodger fans in Petco park... they FAR outnumbered Padres fans. And they were about 76,935 times more obnoxious too. I have decided that Dodger fans are the equivalent of Raider fans... awful. They would scream at any poor Padres fan that had to leave their seat for any reason, and just didn't shut up the whole game. I mean, I get it, you're at a baseball game, but you're not even the home team! So, Dodgers suck. But I like the Padres :) Giants are still the fave though, so now I guess I need to head up to San Fran for a game :)

Otherwise, had a great weekend with Nicole in San Diego! Went outlet shopping, bought a new coach purse for the first time in YEARS!

This picture doesn't really do the color of the bag justice, but its a nice cream color. Neutral enough to go with almost everything... So that was exciting. Good start to the summer of fun... stay tuned!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer of Fun

I'd be shocked if any of you were still following this thing... as I've said before, I am possibly the world's WORST blogger. Its too much like journaling, and I've always hated that. So, I apologize for being M.I.A... I've been a little busy.

Since you've caught up with me last, I've proposed and defended my dissertation, which sounds so simple when I put it like that. But I proposed my study in November, got university approval in December, did interviews in February, wrote the last two chapters in March, and defended May 4. So, I'm officially a PhD. Exciting stuff.

What that means to you (hopefully) is more blogging! I have deemed this the summer of fun. So come along with me as I set out to have as much fun as I possibly can... we'll see what random adventures arise. I, for one, can't wait.

Here's what I'm doing right this second to start it off:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

good news, everyone!

(I hope you pictured the professor from futurama saying the title of this post... because I did :)

Soooo I haven't updated you guys in a while. Who knows how many of you read this anyway! But, for my faithful public, I will update.

Brandy got a job!! WOOHOO!!! Are you wondering if I'm totally super excited to be doing therapy again after a YEAR off? Well, you can quit wondering. This is California after all, I don't know if a therapy job actually exists in this state. So, no therapy. For now. I miss it dearly. (I really do.) The job is actually being a nanny, and its going pretty well. I'll spare you the details because its a long, sad, tragic story, but know that I am coming into a situation that is very very difficult. In all honesty, some days I leave "work" pretty depressed because of the hardships that the woman I work for has to endure on a daily basis. But, slowly, I'm figuring it out. We're all getting to know each other and getting more comfortable day by day. The woman (my boss?) is a really really fantastic person... one of those people you feel lucky to know. She is actually a local celebrity too, which makes it that much more strange for me. I hope that I will be a help to her, even if it is just in a small way.

What's weird is that although the first week was difficult and kind of depressing, I feel really sure that this is where I am supposed to be at this point in my life. I almost have a PhD and I've spent 12 years in college to be a nanny? How in the world did that happen? But I am confident that this is one of those times when God's plan really does make more sense than our own. I would have never chosen this over a therapy job (where I would get to use my education and make decent money)... and yet, I know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. It makes me feel like this is why I wasn't able to find a job for so long. I don't really know how I'm going to help this family yet, or what God's plan for me and them really looks like, but I know its a fit. I have a calm about it, and that's encouraging. Its not often where I can see God's direct influence into my life. Now is one of those times, and man is it cool. The job is challenging and humbling though (someone calls me her nanny... not teacher, or therapist, or counselor like I'm used to being called). Its different, but humbling. I think its good for all of us to have that sometimes.

Its good to be working again. Its not a ton of money, but gives me a little breathing room again, which is definitely a plus. Phew!

That's pretty much it for now... feeling pretty good about things at the moment. Still a little unsure about things (like in the last post, but that wasn't really about me as much as me thinking about someone else's situation and thinking about how life isn't fair), but I'm sure everything will work out one way or another. They always do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

comfortable mediocrity.

I have come to realize that I am definitely a play it safe person. If it comes down to taking a huge risk that has the potential to really pay off or really crash and burn OR to just stick with the status quo, I'm going to stick with the status quo every time.

Its hard not to get caught up in faulty logic sometimes. It just seems like no matter how good you try to be (to yourself, to others, whatever...) its only a matter of time before you're slapped down fiercely and left to huddle by yourself in a corner. Life is just not fair, and its never going to be fair. People who work their whole lives to do the right thing are not rewarded as often as they should be. There's no guarantee that because you live your life the "right" way that its going to pay off here on Earth. There are a lot of douchebags out there who are just complete assholes all the time, and yet, they never seem to get the proverbial smack down. And then there are people who work their asses off to do the right thing, and they are forced to endure pain beyond their wildest imagination. It's just not fair.

But back to my original point... if the smack down is inevitably coming (which it seems like it kind of has to... somehow) do you invest in your dreams and shoot for the stars if it means that those things will be what is possibly taken from you? Do you go for the moment of greatness and hope that it lasts? Ugh. I just don't know. If I end up single forever, this is why. At the heart of it, I almost think that its better just to live a life of mediocrity and be mostly content almost all of the time if the alternative is to be sublimely happy for a limited amount of time. The higher you go, the longer you have to fall...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm such a bad blogger.

I always forget to update! I've said it before-- its too much like journaling, which I am also awful at doing consistently. I'd make for a really bad therapy client, I probably would never do my homework.

Sooooo what's new... not much, really. Dissertation on the brain pretty much 24/7. I have a deadline (finally), so I've really been focusing and trying to make solid progress. Its a tight deadline, and to be honest I'm unsure if I'll make it. But I think that's what makes a good deadline... it should be challenging enough to not be a sure thing. So here was the brilliant plan I concocted in order to motivate myself: If I tell my dissertation chair that I'll have it done by a certain day, I'll have it done (because to not have it done after I tell him I will would be embarrassing). So, I told him I'd have it to him on my birthday, August 12. I then booked a ticket to the good ol' LBK for a week from that date... Aug. 19. He has a week to read it so that we can chat about it in person once I get to Lubbock. I'm thinking I'll have some pretty hefty revisions, since its qualitative and I have no idea what the shit I'm talking about when it comes to qualitative research. The bonus: I get to see Mike and Amanda and Kate and Steph!!! Holla! That's worth getting a rough draft of the proposal right there. So I get to hang out with them while I am in Lubbock setting up my committee and hopefully setting a proposal date. That's the plan anyway.

I booked the ticket through, and if you haven't heard of them you should definitely check them out. It was HALF of what I normally pay to do the Fresno to Lubbock flight... and I am on the exact same flights that I always take. I don't know how its so cheap, maybe its run by the mob or something. That would be pretty cool... I'm going to assume that's it. I don't know what it is with my mob fascination... but I kind of wish I knew some mobsters. But that's a whole different post altogether.

Lined up a few ways to make some cash while I continue to look for jobs... tutoring, babysitting, things like that. Good thing I almost have a ph.d! I could have NEVER done those things otherwise... :/

I think that's about it. Oh yeah, I finally saw the transformers movie (while babysitting). It was good. The saddest part may have been that I would have known that Optimus Prime had a valley chrome bumper even if the fam hadn't told me. I can just tell its theirs. Kinda creepy. Maybe I should have gone into the fam business? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Friday, June 26, 2009

we're all modern to some extent...

I've been wondering how to make sense of the whole "right vs. wrong" thing. I know the cool thing to do is to act all post-modern, like you can't "judge" someone or tell them what's right. It's cool to think that there is no ultimate Truth, and that we're all here to figure out our own places in the world. But most of you out there know that I'm an old school modernist, and I believe that we live in a world of rights and wrongs. But my question is this: how does someone like me live in a world and see "wrongs" and be non-judgmental? Is it even possible? Can any of us truly be non-judgmental? I don't know.

For me, this relates to ideas that many of you would never think of judging. For instance, gay marriage. My views on gay marriage have definitely changed in the past few years, and at this point, I don't really have an objection to it in the government sense. But for me, that's because marriage is a religious institution, and the Catholic Church is very clear about the rules. Maybe I get to hide behind the Church on this one, I don't know. But it doesn't change the fact that I believe that gay marriage has no place within the Church. Is that judging? Or can I say, "I don't agree with your actions, but you have every right to do what you want". Is that being apathetic and bowing out of the conversation? I wonder if telling people that they can do whatever they want is our way of just shirking our responsibilities. We no longer have to worry about it. We can sit up on our high horse and tell others that we're "postmodern" and that we believe in peoples' right to run their own lives.

But are we neglecting (and dumping on, in a sense) the Truth by doing this? What if this happened in every aspect of society? "Hey, I don't personally believe in beating my wife, but who am I to say you can't?!" or "Your rage is completely understandable. I can really see why you shook your baby until it was limp." See what I mean? What can we stand up for? Think about the things you oppose... in a sense, doesn't this make you "modern" too? You believe that there is a RIGHT and a WRONG. I don't understand where this has led us... If we have a duty for the big things, don't we have a duty for the small? Or do we just have to wait and let society tell us what its okay to be against? (At one point, both previous examples were completely legal and mainstream).

It feels like we've lost our moral compass. If you stand up for what you believe in, you're a bigot. The poison of our times is apathy, and I think that we all suffer from it to some extent. Its much easier to bury our heads in the stand and either embrace the mainstream views or to just not fight against them. I, for one, am tired of not being able to take a stand on things that matter.

Where is John Galt?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

so I lied...

I'm still on my reading kick. I don't really know why, it feels like its been forever since I've read books for fun like I have been... and I have a new obsession.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It changed my life.

You may think I'm being dramatic. I might be. I also cannot imagine reading another book that I will like as much... I just don't know if its possible. First off, the book was written in 1957 but it could have been written yesterday. Its a commentary on society as much as it is a love story or fictional novel, and each aspect of Rand's writing works together to create something powerful and prescient. Her writing style is more descriptive than anything I've ever read, and you end up being able to envision the characters and their surroundings as if you were standing right next to them. And the characters... wow. I finished reading it a few weeks ago, and last night I actually thought about missing Dagny. Like I need to pick up the book again because I actually miss her. I want to go visit her again. How ridiculous is that?!

Part of the reason that I loved it so much was that it articulates my beliefs about the world in a way that I could not have ever explained... and makes you think about how you see yourself in relation to society, what you deserve, what you owe... here is one of my favorite passages. It might not make sense to you if you haven't read the book, but this passage was one that I really identified with.

Whenever anyone accuses some person of being "unfeeling", he means that that person is just. He means that that person has no causeless emotions and will not grant him a feeling which he does not deserve. He means that "to feel" is to go against reason, against moral values, against reality.

I mean, is that me or what? Ugh. I am IN LOVE with this book. So I read "The Fountainhead", which came more highly recommended than Atlas... and it was okay, I guess. If I would have read them in the correct order I probably would have loved it. But it just doesn't hold a candle to Atlas. I think that people who love Fountainhead probably haven't read Atlas... because Rand intended Atlas to be her culminating work, where she lays out her total philosophy on life. Which happens to coincide with mine on almost all levels (except the atheist part). No matter what, Atlas is superior. The characters and plot are more developed and likable.

I think I need to look up her non-fiction stuff now... I just can't get enough Ayn Rand.