Saturday, November 28, 2009

Random Rambles

Still ages behind, I know. However, I'd like to take some time today to blog about an assortment of random things that I should have included in previous entries, but they just didn't seem to fit anywhere at the time. Enjoy.

Text to A. Barbay, August 23, 2009: "It's strange because I really appreciate alone time where I don't have to worry about others, especially this past week, but now I'm starting to really miss the intimacy we all had. It's kinda lonely."
About a week after arriving in Raleigh, I tweeted about how I enjoyed the solitude and lack of responsibility for others, which was a change from the previous 7 months. The transition from tour guide-in-charge-mode to camp counselor was a bit strange, but by the end of the summer, I'd developed a new pattern again. At camp, I was surrounded by people day after day, so it was definitely different to be in charge of myself and myself only.

Tweet, August 25, 2009: "There's just something about getting my *fourth out-of-state library card in six months that makes me chuckle."
Yes, I do think it's funny that I acquired three out of state library cards in six months. That brings my grand total to five...Vermilion Parish (LA), Montgomery County (MD), Library of Congress (DC), Pulaski County (AR), and Wake County (NC). Too bad I didn't get one in Idaho, or that would have been six, lol.

Tweet, August 27, 2009: "Just got letter and string bracelet in the mail from my summer sister. It's in the colors of camp cabins. Me = teary."
Allie, my "Summer Sister," mailed me a short letter and string bracelet with all of the Aldersgate cabin colors (Orange, Lime, Khaki, Yellow, Blue, Moss, and Eggplant). I got the letter just before I went into class and it made me all sad and teary for my camp family. The bracelet was added to my "camp shrine" that has been ressurected in my car. It includes a button from The Purple Cow Restaurant, my archery whistle, an arrow, Bobo's bracelet lei, and probably a few other things I can't remember right now.

Tweet, August 30, 2009: "Two week anniversary in NC. Second fire alarm after sleeping hours."
The very first night in my new apartment, the fire alarm went off just before Midnight, so Dawn and I (practically) rang in her 21st sitting in my car waiting to be allowed back into the building. Exactly a week later, it happened again...but this time Sunshine wasn't there.

Tweet, August 30, 2009: "And yes, the idaho friend vehicle is ironically parked right next to my louisiana one this morning. imma leave a note one day...Hehe."
Tweet, September 2, 2009: "Idaho girl found me! Turns out she lives right across the hall from me! Omg my life is complete...Sorry it sounds cheesy..."
For those of you who don't know, on the very first day I moved into my apartnment, I noticed a vehicle from Idaho parked here. I became sort of stalkerish and left a note for said vehicle owner a few weeks later. She responded to the note, and I then discovered that we live across the hall from each other! Plus, she's from Nampa (near Boise), so that was even cooler. We met each other but haven't really hung out. Maybe one day, since I brought something back from Idaho for her...

Tweet, August 31, 2009: "Note to self. Don't wear flip flops when it rains. Literally just walked all of campus barefoot to avoid slipping on the brick walkways."
Tweet, October 24, 2009: "You would think I'd learned the first time--falling flat on your face when wearing flip flops on campus in rain is inevitable."
The entire campus of NC State is made up of bricks...buildings, sidewalks, everything. Therefore, it didn't take me long to realize that wearing flip flops on rainy days was hazardous to my health. ...Even though I did make the mistake twice.

Tweet, September 1, 2009: "Just found out one of my cancer kids from camp is very ill..."
Though losing members of the camp family is to be expected, five in the last year and a half surely wasn't exactly what I imagined. Between the end of camp in 2008 and the start of it in 2009, 3 campers passed away, one of which had been in my cabin the year before (Muscular Dystrophy Week). Since camp ended in August and the middle of October, we lost two additional campers, both of which were rather unexpected. Also, both of the girls (one from CAK-Cardiac, Arthritis, Kidney Week, and the other from Oncology Week) were in my cabin, so the news hit close to home once again. They will never be forgotten...

Tweet, September 24, 2009: "Early to bed. Shorter the day. Faster I get them out of the way."
Obviously I wasn't very happy with North Carolina or Graduate School at the time. 'Nuff said.

October 1st: Happy October...NIFA Day!
On October 1st, CSREES (Cooperative State Research and Extension Education Service), one branch of the USDA, officially transitioned into the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For all the aggies and 4-H kiddos out there, this is kind of a big deal. For all our lives, we have grown up with CSREES, and it seems like only yesterday I finally got that acronym down--then they went and changed it! Booooo. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of this change, for the name seems to isolate itself even more than before (come on--food and agriculture?). I am told it is all for the better...increased development and funding for important programs. We shall see.

October 7-11, 2009: Fall Break in Idaho
October 12-13, 2009: 4-H Brand Advisory Meeting at Council
October 15-25,2009: NC State Fair
You've already heard these stories. If not, read my previous two posts.

Tweet, October 15, 2009: "About to take first midterm exam as a graduate student. Have I studied? Nope. FAIL."
Yeah, that's right. I took my first midterm (AEE 501: Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education) as a graduate student without studying. Well, Lendy helped me review a few things in the hour leading up to the test, but I didn't make any real effort to study. I had been busy in Idaho and DC and really didn't have time or care to study. However, between Lendy's efforts and Dr. Moore's single-pair-group test process, my partner (Jess) and I ended up making 90(A-)s on our test. Pretty good if I do say so myself. (One can only hope finals go the same way, lol.)

Text to D.Leavitt, October 19, 2009: "Well apparently after we left, a friend of our coworker's husband said to her, in the best southern country accent...'If I'd known those two pretty brown haired girls were gonna be here, I'D HAVE PUT MY GOOD JEANS ON.'"
Two of my coworkers and I went to a birthday party for another coworker's daughter. The next day, she relayed this conversation to us. I thought it was funny.

Tweet, October 21, 2009: "What are my options?"
Still, not thrilled with stuff here.

Tweet, October 27, 2009: "Finished my volunteer hours and didn't even realize that time had come!"
I'm sure I mentioned somewhere that I have been volunteering at a local library as part of my Volunteer Mangement Class (AEE 595). On this day, I finished my service requirement without even realizing that I had come to that point. It was an exciting I then had more time in my schedule to do all the things that had piled up. The following few weeks were insane, but more about that in a future post.

Okay that I've caught up...well, caught up until November (now that it's almost December, fail), I need to stop. I've got papers to write, chapters to read, and laundry to do. I promise to keep working at this whole update thing. However, this may be my last post for the month of November. I've got some major projects coming up, and then finals, and then I get to go hooooome for the holidays! We'll see what happens. Just know, I haven't forgotten about you blogworld! :)

A few days late, Happy Turkey Day!

Gobble, Gobble

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frolicking at the Fair

Another blog--yay! This one's kinda short...just another event that I wanted to share.

NC State Fair: October 15-25, 2009

On October 16th, I attended my first ever state fair (LA doesn't really have a 'typical' state fair). Seriously, I had been looking forward to this event pretty much since I arrived in Raleigh. The concert lineup was amazing, and I had heard many great, wonderful things about the state fair experience.

One of my co-workers/friends/classmates (they're really all the same people), Lendy, offered to take me to the fair and show me around. However, before I really had any friends here, I signed up to volunteer at a recycling booth as a way of getting a free ticket into the fair. (We all know Lauren is a cheap-o, don't worry.) So, before Lendy could show me the full NC State Fair experience, I had to volunteer with the booth. That was an interesting experience, but I suppose I learned a few things in the process.

Once I was released from my volunteer duties, Lendy and I walked around the fairgrounds, looking at everything, and tasting all of the wonderful (bad-for-our-health) goodies. There, I had my first ever homemade cider and a (crazy) fried snicker bar. In between the two, the chicken pita was incredibly amazing, too. I also got to hold some baby chickies and see lots of "aminals." Heh. The horticulture and garden exhibits were beautiful, too.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to attend any of the awesome concerts, but I still had a wonderful time, nonetheless. It's incredible all the hard work, time, and effort that goes into state fairs. I only wish I could have grown up in such surroundings, but I definitely have a strong appreciation for those of you who did. Maybe my own kids will have an opportunity such as this one...?

Note: Thanks, Lendy, for showing me what the NC State Fair is all about!

Aaaand.......That's your story for the day!

Have a good one,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jet Setter

Back so soon!? Heck-a-yes-a!

I'm gonna try to work on catching up with all of my adventures...hopefully it won't take two months to do so!

4-H Brand Advisory Group: October 12-13, 2009
So, the day after I returned from Boise, I got back on a plane...for DC this time. DC, again? For why, you ask? A few days before I'd left for Idaho, I receieved an e-mail from someone at National 4-H Council; it was an invitation to attend a 4-H Brand Advisory meeting at the National 4-H Conference Center in DC (er, Chevy Chase, MD). Myself and about four other former Collegiate Facilitators had been invited to attend the meeting. Long story short, only three of us (Benjamin-MI/OH, Jennifer-UT, and I) were able to go.

We all flew into DCA on Monday afternoon/evening for a meeting the following morning. While waiting for Benjamin and Jennifer to arrive, I hung out with some of the old (and new) WaHa crew. Amanda (WaHa 2008-2009) rode in from Columbia Heights to hang out with us. She's the only former WaHa'er who's still local. Justin's still there, as is Craig (who moved in after I left in May), and two additional girls moved in recently. Shar (who was supposed to take my place when I left in May, but lived elsewhere instead) and Katie (who worked as a CWF PA in '08, and something in '07) are now living there. Craig's fiance moved in soon after, also. ANYwhoo. It was fun to hang out with all of those folks and be back in my glorious WaHa.

After a while though, I had to say goodbye because I knew Benjamin and Jennifer were hanging out in our (amazing) hotel rooms. The three of us talked forever about our predictions for the meeting the following morning, reminisced about Conference, and watched endless YouTube videos. It really was a grand time; I'm not sure I had laughed that much in a long time.

The meeting was an interesting one. For the most part, I'm pretty sure we all felt like our ideas were valued and considered. We're not totally sure what the result of our discussions will be, but whatever. Less than 24 hours after arriving in DC, my return flight to Raleigh departed. (Despite the fact that we'd been there waiting for almost 2 hours, I was distracted visting with Benjamin and Jennifer, and almost missed my flight as a result. oops.) In any case, we're always up for a trip to DC at someone else's expense, lol.

Alrights. There's another one of my many adventures that have been keeping me busy over the last month or so. I shall hopefully continue the updates again soon.

Ta-ta for now.

PS: My dearest American-English roommate (whom I lived with in Idaho) is returning to England for good (?) tomorrow morning. I wish her all the best and will miss her greatly. One day, I shall visit her homeland. I will hold Tessa and her beautiful, amazing, sweetness in my heart forever.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Off to See the Wizard

[Seriously, this whole blogging thing (or lacktherof, really) is getting kind of ridiculous. I feel like a failure, and almost as though I shouldn't be allowed to continue claiming the title of "blogger," if I'm only going to find time to write once every 6 weeks. Just say it...FAIL.]

Guess I've got lots of catching up to do (story of my life these days). Sigh.

Fall Break: October 7-11, 2009
idaho.idaho.idaho.IDAHO! For the first time since finishing my internship there last December (2008), I finallyyyyyyyyyyyyy returned to Boise for a visit! Seriously, as I sit here, it's hard to take the excitement from my heart and channel it into writing some coherent description of my time there, but I shall try.

Wednesday--> Left Raleigh in the late afternoon; layover (and delay) in Minneapolis, for a (30 minute) late arrival in Boise around 12:45 a.m. There was a whole welcoming committee there to greet me (Kim, Joey, Jason, Jeff, and Derek). I hadn't eaten in many, many hours so after a few failed attempts, we managed to grab some grub at one of the Pie Hole establishments. Afterwards, we all went over to Jeff's to hang out...well into the weeeee hours of the morning.

Thursday--> Pretty much everyone had to work, but Stew agreed to hang out with me for a while. We ate at a cafe downtown and watched a movie (Leatherheads) at the boys' house. Later, Kim came to get me and we went over to she and Tessa's apartment to hang out and get ready for the evening of dinner with friends. The whole boys' house (Joey, Jesse, Stew, Jason, and Brin), as well as Ashley, Jeff, and Derek, came over for dinner, cake, and tv time. It was so fun to be with didn't feel like 10 months had passed, minus the whole gap in common experiences thing, lol.

Friday--> Jeff and I walked over to the Depot (he lives right behind it), since it's my second favorite spot in all of Boise. He also drove me up to to see Bogus Basin for the first time. (My professor and I tried to drive up there when she came to observe me last November, but we turned around before we made it to the top.) There was some patchy snow and of course wonderful views, as well. That afternoon, I visited St. Luke's to see the Child Life gang. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see everyone, but I still very much enjoyed the visit. I miss those wonderful ladies so much and will forever be grateful for the experiences I had there. Friday night, some of us (Tessa, Kim, Joey, Jason, and Derek) hung out at Bardnay for a bit; Jeff came to join us after he got off of work, but by then everyone was dispersing...

Saturday-->Sooo...Tessa and I stayed up really late the night before, talking and catching up, finally. But we also woke up early because of the plans that we'd made to go 4-wheeling with Derek, Kim, Joey, and Jason. As it turned out, Joey, Kim, and Jason backed out because Joey and Jason had the flu and weren't feeling well. But, Jeff got out of work, so rather than backing out on Derek, we figured the three of us would show up and get a good laugh out of the circumstance. Yeah well, that backfired. Joey told Derek that the 4-wheeling expedition was off, so when Jeff, Tessa, and I showed up to meet him at his parents' in Melba, he had already gone home to Nampa and gone back to sleep. Hoping he'd return our calls eventually, Jeff showed Tessa and I around Melba. The coolest part was this interesting Native American area called Celebration Park. There, we explored a mini-trail of petroglyphs and threw some archery-type things. Jeff also took us to eat at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, at which Derek finally returned our calls and showed up to meet us. From there, we ressurected the 4-wheeling idea and ended up riding all the way up to Silver City. Of course, it was nearly dark by the time we got to the top since we left so late, but it was fine. We rode through some snowy parts, saw some great views, and made it back to the truck around 9 pm or so. Back in Melba, we parted ways...Jeff brought Tessa and I back to her apartment, where Joey, Kim, and Jason were waiting with dinner, and the bacon lung (flu--rolls eyes). Stew came over to hang out for a while too.

Sunday--> A bunch of us (Jesse, Kim, Joey, Tessa, Jeff, and I) went to brunch at Rocky's Diner, the cute little 50's restaurant near our old apartment. It was fun to see everyone for one last little outing before I headed out to the airpot to meet my plane. I'm also fairly confident that it was about the first time all weekend that I got to see busy boy Jesse, lol. Anyway, after saying some goodbyes, Tessa, Kim, and I drove downtown to stop in and say bye to Ashley who was working at Anthropologie. Sadly, we didn't get much of a chance to hang out this time around, but we shall do it again someday, definitely. Aaaand finally, the ladies brought me over to the Boise airport, and I bid my adieu to my dearest city...with the full intent of returning again someday.

Of course, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to spend four short days in the place that I love so much. Everyone was so wonderful and absolutely cannot wait to see them all again at Joey and Kim's wedding in New Orleans next summer. Man, I could write forever about my sincere yearning for this place...but I'll go ahead and stop there.

Though I had high hopes for writing about all that has occurred since my last entry, I have written plenty and really ought to pause for a time. With some newly acquired "extra" time (more about that in a future blog), I shall hopefully continue the update again soon. Forgive me.

Until then, I bid thee "adieu."