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Monday Music Moment – I Miss Philly Edition: “Heart It Races” by Dr. Dog

25 Mar

 

The past few days have suuuucked regarding the amount of work I have to get done. However, I shouldn’t be surprised: I’m a first-year PhD student. It’s not supposed to be fun. However, I only have to go through 1 “first year”. I have to keep reminding myself that….

Anyway, I’ve been missing Philly ever since I came back from my impromptu trip a couple weeks ago. Dr. Dog is a Philly-native band and this particular song just gets me in the mood for Spring – even though that groundhog is a dirty liar. I am no longer taking meteorological advice from a rodent. Look out, Punxsutawney Phil. You might not have a job for much longer.

 

Have a kick-@$$ Monday, everyone!

 

Distally Located Social Support / The Best Birthday Gift Ever

18 Sep

Instead of reading a meta-analysis of research on role ambiguity and role conflict (Jackson & Schuler, 1985), I figured I’d write a little bit. This particular topic has been floating around in my head for a little while and I finally have some substance to fill in the skeleton of my thought.

Today marks the 7-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already. On the other hand, I absolutely can. He passed a few weeks after my 17th birthday, while I was a senior in high school. I miss him from time-to-time, but I know he’d be proud of me. That’s what keeps me going.

Appropriately, this week’s readings for seminar deal with work-family conflict and job stress. If there’s one thing you experience in a PhD program, it’s job stress. However, according to Zellers and Perrewe (2001), certain personality characteristics can mitigate job burnout and strain. Also, they discuss how emotional social support can really be beneficial to those who exhibit extraversion (a dimension of the Big 5). I happen to be one of those people.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who really care about me – even if they’re not in the same time zone as I am. From my sister in Rhode Island who sends me hilarious and sometimes vulgar text messages, to Blian in New Jersey who sends me funny and punny Reddit-worthy stuff, to Sophie in Philly who listens to my bullsh*t and sent me a birthday card with googly eyes, to GSL in Nebraska who shares bitchin’ music and advice about getting through a PhD, to Jake in Cali who never fails to make me laugh hysterically and sent me the most amazing birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. (Note: this list is not all encompassing. There are so many people in my life who are loved and make me feel loved!)

I’ve known Jake for about 5 years now. Holy cow – it’s strange trying to remember how long you’ve known people. About a fortnight after my birthday, I received a package from Jake. I had been out studying and came back to a white package in my mailbox. He said he would be sending me something, but I didn’t expect an actual, full-on birthday gift! I opened the box to find a handwritten note, 7 pictures, and the cutest stuffed owl I’d ever seen. Here’s the most amazing thing: the owl was in all the pictures! Jake had gone around San Francisco and taken pictures of the owl in his favorite locations! I can’t believe how blue the West Coast is.

Of course, this owl needed a proper name. Through the magic of Reddit and some slight modification, my owl’s name is Sir Hooty McOwlface. A noble and fitting name for such an adorable creature. Thank you for making me smile, Jake 🙂

Sir Hooty McOwlface!

Guess What I’m Doing Right Now…

22 Aug

image

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

20 Aug

“Your Gypsy Name is Philana, meaning Loving”

Childish Gambino got his rap name from a Wu Tang Clan  name generator, so I thought I could find my gypsy name that way. I have been a gypsy this summer. 

If you remember, I traveled all around the Northeast and Midwest this summer. When I left Philly (the first time) my odometer read 73,338. Currently, back home in Upstate NY, my odometer says 82,123. That’s right – I’ve driven almost 10,000 miles this summer! Here is an outline of my adventures:

  1. Philly to Home – goodbye Villanova!
  2. Home to CBus – started my new internship 🙂
  3. CBus to Home – Tayls and John got married!
  4. Home to Philly – yeah… I still had a *lot* of stuff left there… (Thank you for your help, Josh!!!)
  5. Philly to Home – my mom’s garage is now the proud holder of all my sh*t.
  6. Home to CBus – gotta finish my internship!
  7. CBus to Chicago – Lollapalooza, bitches!
  8. Chicago to CBus – wow, I am exhausted…
  9. CBus to Home – what??!?! Do I *have* to go???

And now, number 10: Home to Buffalo. Buffalo is going to be my home for the next 4 years (…oh boy…). I’ll be packing up all of my earthly belongings (again!) and moving to Buffalo on Wednesday. I’ll be honest – I’m not particularly fond of the city, but I know that I’ll meet some great people and learn some great things. Also, they say it’ll take 4 years, but I’m going to do everything in my power to finish it sooner. I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’m going to work harder than a one-armed wallpaper hanger. I’ll work harder than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. I don’t know why all of my working analogies have an appendage missing… I need to work on that.

Just know that when I go on the job market in 3 years, I’ll be looking to move back to the Midwest 🙂

Running Outside is Awesome / It’s a Cute Overload

18 Aug

I have found 2 panaceas for having a **blerg** day. Running and the Internet.

I woke up feeling sh*tty today.

  1. Because I had only put a small dent in the packing I needed to do.
  2. I’m leaving tonight and my Buckeye State adventures are over (until next summer? :)).
  3. The person with whom I’ve spent every weekend this summer, except for two, has already left Ohio.
  4. I can’t bring my dog with me to Buffalo. She really is the best dog ever.

However, remember when I wrote about feeling sh*tty before? That’s right. I ran like a mad woman. I ran like I stole something and I was being chased. And you know what? It felt AWESOME. I ran in the park that I pass everyday on my way to work. It’s so cute there. I turned on some hip-hop and just ran.

The best thing I’ve found about running is that you can’t feel anything but peace and exhaustion. I was thinking about the above list, but I couldn’t be sad. My legs started to get tired, but I couldn’t be upset with the world. I’m still running on some of that high right now. If you don’t live in an area that lends itself to outside running, I highly suggest you find a park or something similar like I did. It’s 1,000 times better than running on a treadmill.

And now for the Internet. I swear the Internet was created for cute things. Have you seen how many pictures of Corgis, Poodles, and other freakin’ adorable puppies exist?? Allow me to demonstrate:

So cute!

Poodle puppy! This is what Puppet looked like when she was smaller.

Look at them! They’re so happy!!

Even though these pictures are heart-warming, add some babies and throw it in a video, and you have Internet gold. Whenever I hear a baby laugh, I can’t help but feel a little bit of joy start to bloom. One of my favorite technology blogs, Mashable, has compiled the 10 best infectious YouTube clips of babies laughing at dogs. Please click the link to watch all 10 videos and enjoy them as much as I did.

Here’s one:

 

“Save Your Tears For The Bathroom” / Things I Learned This Summer

16 Aug

My advisor gave the advice above to us in one of my first grad school classes (shout out G$L!).

Full disclosure: I cried last night. I cried this morning. However, I’ve gone through an entire work day and haven’t cried yet. I don’t plan on “losing my sh*t” for the rest of the day.

“But Beezy, why are you so sad?” Thanks for inquiring, friend.

It started with an email. A fairly harmless beginning, one would assume. The email came from a blog I subscribe to, letting me know that they had put together what they claimed to be an all-encompassing list of the best apps for back-to-school. Sh*t. I should probably start thinking about that.

So I did, which meant that I should probably recharge my iPad. I haven’t touched it in 2 months and it was dead-er than Ryan Lochte’s potential career as a particle physicist. As soon as it had enough juice to come back to life, I updated my neglected piece of technology and sat down to add the new apps that were supposedly sure to help with my education. Hey, if it’s free, I’ll give it a go. I had it in my hands and felt an odd sensation: I’m going back to my old routine.
“NO!,” I thought. “After being in CBus for so long, I’ve developed a new way of doing things; my new routines are better! I don’t want to start over AGAIN.”

And then I thought for a really long while.

I thought about how my experiences here have really transformed me into the person I want to become. I now go to bed at an appropriate hour and am early to rise and start my day. I’ve learned that I’m more productive in the morning and that I dislike the feeling of wasting the day away in bed. I like my new bed and my new bedtime routine and how often I go to the gym. I want to keep all those things and I know how hard it is to transport it all.

Moving from Philly, it was easy to give up my former routines because they were unhealthy and difficult to transport to CBus. It was so easy to start over. When I was in Philly, I was in an, um, interesting relationship. I felt dead for the most of it, I’m not going to lie. Just going through the motions. It started when he cheated on me, and I – unlike the strong, confident woman I would have liked to be – took him back. After that, I forgot what it was like to really feel something special for another person – and that I should be valued in whatever relationship I’m in. My work suffered. My personal well-being suffered.

Until I ended it. That was the beginning of my rebirth, if you will. I started some new routines that I was able to bring with me (like blogging more frequently, spending more time with friends, taking charge of my health and wellness, etc.) and surrounded myself with people who were supportive of my new way of life.

I think one of the reasons I’m so upset is the fact that I can’t take people with me to Buffalo: The people who have listened to me, given me advice, went on fun adventures with me, shared their successes and failures, and taught me how to be a good friend and person. I know I’m not saying “Goodbye” – just “See you later.” They make phones and Skype and cars and airplanes for a reason. I know I’m going to meet new people who are going to make my experience fantastic, but I’m still in that “I’m scared for the first day of school” stage.

Uncertainty and ambiguity make me uncomfortable. I do my best with them when I can, but if I am given the opportunity to gain some clarity and solidify some things, you better believe I’ll jump all over it.

Besides the whole “having to uproot once again” thing, I’ll be honest, I’m sad that Josh left last night. I’m glad that I got to spend as much time as possible with him, but still sad that this concludes our Columbus adventures. For now, of course :). I’m always eager to visit a new state and I’ve never been to the Dakotas before. He’s a really special person that makes me feel really special too. You can tell that I like him.

For now, I’m going to go home, continue packing my things, and rock out to some sweet, sweet tunes. But first, my department is throwing me a going-away party tonight. I’m going to eat pizza, and laugh, and enjoy my last Thursday night here. I’m sure I’ll have some more “upbeat” posts when I actually start as a doctoral student, but for now, thanks for allowing me to work some things out. 🙂

 

 

Pity Party Turned Pants Party

17 Jul

Have you ever had one of those days? The ones where no matter what you plan for, nothing seems to go right? While I absolutely love being busy at work, today I just had a crapton (which is a metric unit) of work piled on. I had my whole day officially set – I’m on a couple of tight deadlines and I knew this week would be packed. I got an unexpected project which ended up taking twice as long to finish as I’d hoped. Normally, this wouldn’t bug me – I’m an “improvise, adapt, overcome” kind of gal – but I woke up feeling a bit less like me than normal. By the end of the day, I had just about used up all of my willpower to not just freak out on someone.
When something like this happens, I can do one of two things: sit on my couch and feel sorry for myself with a big ol’ bag of salt and pepper chips, or listen to some angry music and just punish the first piece of gym equipment that falls in my path. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a treadmill that is just asking for it. 😉

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

8 Jul

This was pretty much my mantra during my week-long vacation-extravaganza. I had more fun and did more things than I thought I could handle.

I watched two friends start their lives together.

Congrats, you crazy kids!

I said goodbye to both the amazing and terrible times I’ve had in my Philadelphia apartment.

I saw the Rocky Statue, the Liberty Bell, the Art Museum, Betsy Ross’s house.

I drove a multi-ton death torpedo (or a rental truck, depending on how you look at it) with all of my earthly belongings strategically placed inside.

I collected a ton of bruises from cramming said earthly belongings into the multi-ton death torpedo.

I saw more shapes and colors of glass than I knew existed.

I drank lemonade and watched fireworks with someone fantastic.

Thanks for the .gif, Mashable 🙂

I got a sunburn from not paying attention to the time I was outside talking with my sister on the phone.

I made iced tea from scratch.

I watched some great movies.

Most importantly, I laughed. I laughed until my face hurt. I laughed until I thought my sides were going to tear apart from the sheer joy I felt.

I’ll probably post more detail about my Summer Shutdown adventures later, but for now, I’m going to revel in the last few hours I have until vacation is officially over…

“It’s 11:30…..On a Work Night….” or How I Rode a Motorcycle

12 Jun

I have friends from work here in CBus and they are boss.

See what I did there…?

I usually TA on Monday nights for an online statistics class. I was particularly excited about last night’s class because GSL was making a celebrity appearance in place of the normal professor. However, I didn’t know that last night would get even MORE awesome.

GSL and I chat before class starts and catch up on life, talk about music and how awesome the Midwest is, etc. When she went to run a quick errand, my friends Mike and Jenn knock on my door. Mike is teaching Jenn how to ride a motorcycle. I saw her scoot around the parking lot and she’s already really good. “Wanna ride?”

Ummmm…. YES!

Remember how I said I liked to play it safe? That was the old me. I’ve recently decided that I’m going to say yes to life and yes to all of the experiences I can have as a twentysomething. I’m not going to be this spry my whole life. However, true to my still playing it safe character, I did wear a helmet (you’re welcome, Mom).

Fun fact: I don’t know how to ride a bicycle. I know – I’m a super lame-o, right? I just never learned. So, of course, I was hesitant to just jump on the back of a bike with a friend I literally made a week ago. I was nervous that my lack of balance was going to throw him off, but I felt surprisingly comfortable. It was such a rush.

It felt like we were going 100mph, barreling down an open highway, when in all reality, we were probably going about 30 in an apartment development parking lot. But hey, a girl can dream, right?

After that, I went back inside and got ready for some bangin’ statistics – I dare you to find another person who will willingly say that. Mike, Mike’s roommate Josh, and Jenn were all going to go grab dinner at that point, which I couldn’t. But, because they are the coolest, we ended up having Taco Night at my apartment! My class ended at 10:15 and at that point we were all still chatting. It was midnight by the time I got ready for bed, but I didn’t care. My need for affiliation had been fulfilled.

I have a high need for affiliation, but that’s for another post. 🙂

How Old is Too Old?

21 May

Technically it’s my last night in Philly, but it’s not really. I’m moving out temporarily because my lease isn’t up until 1 July, but I have an internship beginning next week(!) in Ohio. Luckily, this gives me the ability to move out little by little and allows me to rent a smaller moving van for just my furniture instead of the massive amounts of “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the past 2 years. Holy hell – you can accumulate a lot of stuff in a 1 bedroom apartment.

Maybe it’s the cleaning fumes I’ve been inhaling during my frantic rush to pack stuff for Ohio, or maybe it’s the fact that I have a Master’s degree now (YESSSS!) but I’ve been thinking about growing up and growing older. Note: these are mutually exclusive events 🙂

In thinking about this topic, I’ve wondered, “When do I significantly decrease the amount of metal in my ears?” Quick refresher: I have 8 piercings – in each ear. 10 in my lobes, 1 industrial, 1 daith, 1 tragus, and 3 anti- or forward helix piercings. Side note: it’s really hard to find 10 matching lobe earrings at a student-friendly price made out of a decent material, so I’m forced to mix and match.

A picture reference of ear piercings

I love all of them and each one represents a different time in my life. I can remember why I got each one and with whom I went to the parlor – just like when people go to get tattoos. I have one of those too, but that’s for a different post.

I don’t want to take any of them out, but I’ve been thinking about how people perceive me with them in. While I could really give a sh*t what people think about my earrings, I do care if it prevents me from getting my dream job. On the flip side, I do care about being somewhat appropriate – I don’t have my earrings spell out cuss words or have demon insignia on them. My earrings don’t look trashy. I’m not a lawless hooligan, you know.

I’m in an interesting situation. My future job will be teaching at the college level, but I’m unsure of the norms and standards in that environment. I’m lucky now, because my job as a tutor is completely online – no one has to see my ears. That aside, is there an age where multiple piercings are no longer societally acceptable? Like when Moms wearing their daughter’s Ugg boots? That’s “no bueno.”

To look at it another way, I think my generation has made crazy, cool ear piercings more commonplace and therefore not frowned upon as in other generations. But when does it stop? Is there a cutoff age? Is it when you have your first real job? Is it if you become a grandparent? What do you think?

 

In the meantime, I think I’ll go buy some new earrings 🙂