Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 2 in WV. An embarrassing moment and a scary experience.

This is the end of my second week in West Virginia. This has been quite a crazy week, once again.
Here are some of my experiences here, and what it has been like adjusting to living in West Virginia for the summer. I'm telling it all with the good the bad, the embarrassing, and the scary.

 After much begging, my landlord finally sprayed pesticides after I had a close encounter with my first and (we will just go ahead and say only) black widow experience. I went to get the mail a couple of days ago, reached my hand in the mail box, and saw a black spider. I thought I would be brave and try and kill it myself, so after the little bugger continued to thread itself down through a hole outside of the mail box where I was unable to smash it, I asked one of the young men for assistance who my landlord had hired to power was some of her property. (She owns a few houses around us and behind her house). It turns out, the black spider, was a black widow. The young man killed it for me, but I was so freaked out, I went and had my car washed and swept out just in case (the mailbox is in the driveway, just a little to close to my car).

     I decided I needed to get out of the apartment for a while. Ross works all day and I am stuck in the house working on my Art History 2 summer class and mostly surfing the web. I am enjoying not having to work right now, and I should be studying spanish a little bit more before my spanish 4 class next fall, but I am just so in need of a break from school, it's hard to always study all the time. I haven't had a semester off of school in over two years now. This is my second year taking two summer classes in a row, so I'm feeling a bit burnt out from school, and trying to work would only burn me out even more. Not to mention, I feel really guilty lying to someone to get a job here when I will only be here for a couple more weeks. Anyways, I decided to go to T.J. Max and check out their deals. I'm not sure I have ever mentioned this before, but am quite accident prone. I'm not sure if I have terrible depth perception, or don't always pay attention to things, but I seem to get hurt a lot. Normally though, I do this in the privacy of my own home. But this must have been my lucky day. I'll just blame it on being shaken up from sticking my hand in a mail box with a black widow inside. I saw a really cute pair of shoes...see below.

I looked around and there wasn't a place to sit down and try them on in that aisle, so I just took off my sandal crocks, and slipped on the first pair and fell in love with them, then as I attempted to put on the second shoe while balancing on one foot, I lost my balance, the heel of the shoe got caught in the cuff of my cropped jeans, and I literally fell right over in the store on my side, and it hurt. Of course there had to be a woman standing right next to me when this happened. She was really nice and asked me if I was okay, and I told here my ego hurt more than anythings else. Ha! Another woman who was in the next aisle over popped around the corner and asked "Did you just fall?" She seemed legitimately concerned, but once again I was beat red and felt like an idiot. "Yea, I'm fine," I said rolling my eyes at myself. Really? Did I just fall over trying on a pair of heels right in the middle of a store? I am awesome! Ha. "They look really cute on you though," the lady next to me said. "Yea, they do!," the other woman said. If the were just a bit cheaper, I would have gotten them just for spite of the fact I suffered embarrassment over putting them on. Instead, I decided I would take it as a warning and put them back. 
There's really nowhere to wear heels in West Virginia anyways, and when I go back to our small town, I can't wear heels when I walk around campus with a heavy book bag. I hardly ever go out anywhere, so why do I need to have heels? I guess I'll stick to flats and flip flops for now. 
     On a more positive and lighter note, Ross and I went and checked out the local WV tourist stop called Tamarack.  It's a place full of locally handmade items such as knitted scarfs, woodwork, homemade jams, wine, and other food, blown glass items, figures made out of coal, food, live music, jewelry, and other homemade knick knacks. It's a bit overpriced, but I did get two postcards, a birthday card for my dad, and a blown glass ring holder that is really pretty. The shop is right there and you can watch them make the blown glass. 

Ross rocking at Tamarack.

     After we got home, Ross and I watched The Green Hornet, and it was one of those funny stupid movies. I was really surprised that Cameron Diaz was in it.

     Ross and I made tacos tonight. I had a failed attempt at making guacamole. I tried to follow a recipe online but the avocado I used didn't seem to be ripe enough. Does anyone have any advice when it comes to picking out a good avocado? 

Fail. (Yes this is supposed to be guacamole at the moment,
sad I know)

Our taco's turned out good though! Ross used some kind
of really healthy beef, and I put just a teeny tiny bit on mine,
 though I couldn't stand the smell when he was cooking it,
 I attempted to eat a little bit of meat tonight to make him happy.
(He is not taking to my desire of vegetarianism well).

After dinner, Ross and I went for a bike ride on the bike path in our neighborhood before sunset. I decided that for now on, it might be best it we ride our bikes a bit earlier in the day. That's the one thing I miss about our small town back in Ohio, it's safer. There may not be as much to do, but we can ride our bikes out at night without coming in contact with some suspicious characters. It's give and take, and it really makes us think about where we want to live one day. The more there is to do in a place, the less safe it seems to be. I'm sure there are places that are more of a happy medium. 

     On the best note of all, I am doing really well on keeping up with my exercising and eating healthier, as well as recycling. You don't have to wait until the new year to start doing the things you have been meaning to improve on. It helps that we actually have recycling available to us in this apartment though. The one thing I still miss, is having a washer and dryer. We really thought we would be sharing a washer and dryer with the person who lives in the top part of the house above us, but apparentally only she gets to use it, and we have to go to a laundry mat. Let's just say, going there is a very humbling experience, and it makes you count your blessings more. I know there are people who have much less, but it rather sucks paying to do your laundry, it's not cheap! Having one parking spot and two cars, and all of the other issues we have, makes us wish we had better options for staying somewhere else this summer. But the truth of the matter is, we just didn't have a lot of options. Not many places will let you sign a lease just for a summer, and if we had stayed in a hotel, we wouldn't have had a kitchen, and could have had a lot more noise to deal with when random people would come and go in the middle of the night. The best part is, we only have to be here for less than two months now. I'm so looking forward to going home next weekend for the 4th of July. I'm only sad that my best friend will be driving right past me to go on vacation next weekend. But I will get to see my dad on his birthday weekend, so that's pretty nice too. 

     For now, my next feat will be passing my two summer classes, starting my first novel, studying up on my spanish, working out, eating healthy, recycling, and spending some quality time with my boo. A.k.a. Ross. I'm really hoping I can get more practice with our new camera while we are here too and take some great pics of some of the sights! My next feat with also be finding a new furry friend for us to either adopt or purchase at the end of the summer. We have decided on getting a Siberian cat/kitten at the end of the summer when we move into our 3rd apartment back at school where we are allowed to have a pet. Trust me, if I could have one here, I would get it now! In the meantime, I have to keep doing my research and seeing if I can find a retired breeder, or a mix that Ross won't be allergic too. The adventure continues. Until next time!

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

West Virginia

Ross and I have officially arrived in West Virginia for the summer. Things to note.

-We only have one parking space (which we didn't know about) and luckily, the neighbor next door is a lawyer who is renovating his house is allowing Ross to park in the driveway! Thanks nice landlord.

-speaking of land lords, can I just say that having ours live right behind us is like living with my mom again? 

-On the bright side, we live within walking distance of the city we live in, and Ross's sister and brother in law came to visit yesterday and we checked out some cool local bars and walked home just before the rain came. 

-We also live super close to the library and a YMCA! So I can stay smart and stay in shape ;)

-Our apartment looks very modern. I love modern so this is good. The only thing is we are renting out the basement of a house, so we deal with ...spiders! eek! You would never believe I used to work at a summer camp. ha.

-We get to recycle here which is so awesome because we only had a dumpster at our last apartment and it left us feeling super wasteful! 

-This apartment came fully furnished so we didn't have to move anything but our clothes and whatever else we needed (like make-up). However the landlord is VERY specific about what she decides to put in the house, and it's hard not having control over where you are living. 

-We have a cleaning lady, which is nice not to have to clean, but also weird having a complete stranger who we are not even allowed to meet come through where we are living with our personal belongings here. (apparently she is shy, and we are not allowed to be here while she is here.) 

-We got to go see a huge bridge in another town that is taller than two statues of Liberties standing on top of one another. We drove over the bridge and got to walk down wooden steps that led to an amazing outlook over mountains and a river where people were white water rafting at the time. It was really cool and beautiful!

-I have been so busy with my summer class and going places and seeing people that I haven't continued with my ripped in 30 which I plan to pick up this week now that I am caught up with all of my school work. (Moving put a damper on things) 

-The bachelorette and the Secret life of the American Teenager are my new summer guilty pleasure shows. 

-We are hoping to get a membership to the Y this week since it will be stormy all week, we probably won't get a chance to ride our bikes yet. 

-Ross and I got to stay at Glade Springs, which is a really new resort in WV where he had a convention for work. I got to go horseback riding and it was so much fun, though my pictures didn't turn out well because I gave my camera to a young girl working at the barn and she was moving the camera while taking the pictures. A little bit of camera shake going on there. 
Smokie, the really sweet horse I rode this week.

-I miss my friends at home already. I do live below a 30 something young woman, so hopefully her and I can hang out sometime. So unless I get any visitors, this will be a long summer without my girlfriends. 

-If the drive home wasn't so long and if gas wasn't about 4 bucks a gallon right now, I would go home more often, but an almost 12 hour drive can be a bit exhausting! Yuck! 

-Ross cooked me an amazing Stir Fry dinner tonight, though I need to take some more pictures of the apt soon, here are a few for now!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The end of Spring Quarter 2011, The beginning of Summer quarter 2011.

Today was officially my last final exam of the Spring 2011 quarter. Thanks to the fact that I got my quiz and assignments for my summer class done over the weekend, I could officially take a night off from studying for any classes! It was so wonderful, but yet boring. I could begun to read for my Art History 2 class that I am taking online for the summer, but I am burnt out from studying, and took a much needed night off! I rented two movies today from the good old Mcdonalds red box down the street. I watched The switch with Jen Anniston, and it was actually okay, Though the guy who played her love interest wasn't a very likable character,  and then I watched Burlesque with Cher and Christina Auguilea, and it was kind of slow, but midly interesting. I don't think xtina is a very good actress.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting ready for day 2 or Ripped in 30!

     Yesterday I started Jillian Michael's "Ripped in 30" workout, and at first, I thought the warm up was pretty easy (Ya I know, I shouldn't have gotten ahead of myself, it was just the warm up!) But I was able to get through the work out just fine through out the first 10 minutes. I was thinking, "Okay, I can do this no problem!" I haven't worked out in a few weeks since I bruised the bone of a few of my toes, and had trouble wearing shoes for the first week, so to be on the safe side, I took a break from exercising to let my toe heal. But now that bikini season is here, it's time to get in shape! 

     I originally had no desire to post any before pictures, especially since I didn't have any make-up before my work out. But then, Jillian suggested that I should take before pictures, because I am not going to believe my after. The only full body picture I managed to take of myself yesterday was by setting the timer on my camera, and my fish tank was in the way. (I was going to take the tank over to a friend's house for the summer, but that didn't work out, so it was still sitting by the door at the time). Anyway, with the fish tank moved, I used the timer on my camera to try and take some better pictures today. Once again, no make-up on, and they are not the prettiest pictures ever of me, but are before pictures ever good? Not really, so I'll post them anyways! I wasn't sure how I felt about anyone seeing me in my work out clothes, but a sports bra actually covers more than a bikini, so what they hey! Not to mention, I know I don't have a vast amount of readers right now, so most likely just friends and family will read this anyways. Maybe I'll get some more followers eventually when I have time to comment on other people's blogs and get some comments sent my way? 

     Anyways, after the first ten minutes were past during my week 1 workout. I took a couple drink breaks, a bathroom break, and soon it was taking me longer than 20 min to get this work out done that was supposed to be only 20 min, though the dvd case says 24. The actually workout ran for just a little over 30 min. Which is good, because I have read that to simply maintain your body weight, you are supposed to work out for 30 min everyday, however this is supposed to be getting me ripped, so hopefully I can do that but only working out for 30 min a day, and not an hour which is recommended to lose weight. I'm not trying to drop any pounds, I am trying to tone my muscles and improve my health. 
By twenty minutes, I was tired, and feeling the burn as I finally began to sweat. Something tells me each work out will get harder sooner as my body is more sore from the day before's work out. 

     Last night I didn't feel too sore, only a tiny bit, but when I woke up this morning, I could definitely feel it. I know that I will be more sore as I work out more this week, so I am not taking my day off yet. I have 4 days to study before my final exam, so I have no excuse to not workout today. As a matter of fact, I plan on doing just that after this post. I was told by a medic once who worked in Iraq, that it is best to give your body a little time in the morning before you start working out. Most people are more prone to injuries when they first wake up. So, I always try and give myself a little time to loosen up and not be so stiff, which would in turn make it easier to injure myself. 

     I can work out 5-6 days a week, and depending on how I feel the rest of week one, I plan on taking it slowly at first since I don't work out on a regular basis, and I don't want to push myself to hard and risk an injury. I would rather make it all the way through. I am also following along with the modified version since I am a beginner. My goal is to get through this DVD in 30 days. I am also following Jillian's meal plan which anyone can download for free off of her website.

     I have read some reviews on the DVD, and the biggest complaint is how tough it is. But come one people, she is from the Biggest Loser! It's her job to be tough and whip people into shape! I want to do it! I have watched the show with my parents, and wished she would put out a DVD for people like me who just want to be more defined. When I'm doing her work out, she reminds us that if,  300lb people can do it, so can we! It's so true! She is very motivational. I am going to see if I can check out her new book from the library this summer. 

Stay tuned, while I get Ripped in 30! 

Water Break

Mat work included

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When Semesters and Quarters collide

I finally finished my 15 page paper tonight! Yay! Now I have another chick lit fiction story to write for my final exam in my fiction writing class, then I have to study for my final exam in spanish 103. Then, I have a quiz due on monday for my summer classes! I am taking two online summer courses through Kent State. I'm taking Art History 2, which starts monday, though I have to listen to the lecture online and take my quiz by monday (it's not like I have final exams to complete on top of this or anything) and then submit an online discussion for Art History by wednesday, which is the day of my final exam in Spanish. Not to mention, I am moving to West Virginia on sunday and I have to pack up and clean my entire apartment this weekend. (It's not like I have final exams to complete and a summer class quiz to prepare for or anything). Are you noticing a pattern here? Taking classes for two different colleges at the same time is a little challenging. But I'll get it all done. I always do. 

In the mean time I'm sleeping out on the futon in front of the air conditioner since it doesn't reach the bedroom and it gets mighty stuffy in there at night. Ross is already living in West Virginia and we are keeping in touch via text message, web cam, and cell phone. Kind of reminds me last year, (see )

Soon enough...
-I won't hear the cars thudding over the rail road tracks every time they drive by.
-I won't have to listen to the people walking around on Main Street right below my window.
-I won't have to hear the immature college &/or high school students driving by honking every time they pass the bar I live across from (really? every day you have to do this?) I want to yell out at them "Shut up!" But I don't. 
-I will be with Ross again. (I'm not a fan of sleeping places by myself)
-I won't be living in disarray. (This apartment is officially undecorated and a mess)
-Someone else will have my fish, hopefully! 
-I will only have one class to worry about at a time. few
-I'll have more free time. To do things like, read, watch movies, catch up on shows, work out, and just relax! 

I can't wait to move to West Virginia for the summer. It will be like a nice long vacation. 

Here are some pictures I took tuesday night of the really cool sunset here. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photographing the alphabet

My first assignment in my photography class was to go around and find objects that formed letters of the alphabet and photograph them at different times of the day, including sunrise, midday and sunset, as well as some time in between. They had to be made from 1-3 ft, 3-5ft. or 15-100 ft. We were not allowed to have more than five with only one surface, some with 2 objects to make a letter, some with three, and 4 plus if possible (backgrounds and objects in background count as other surfaces in photos).
The photographs had to be in focus and exposed properly. These are my photographs from the class.

Midday 2 objects 15-100ft.

2 objects (ground and hose) 1-3 ft. Sunset

Midday 2 objects (brick and tube) 1-3 ft.

3 objects (shadow, handle, siding) Midday 1-3ft.

3 objects (grass, mulch, bricks) sunrise 1-3 ft.

3 surfaces, deck, water, rail. sunrise 1-3 ft. 

2 objects less than 1 ft. Midday

many surfaces 15-100 ft. sunset

3 surfaces/objets (sky, pole, light) midday 15-100ft.

2 surfaces. midday. less than 1 ft. 

stones, pavement, rocks, implied lines. sunrise 1-3ft.

4 surfaces (grass, wood, fence, mulch) sunset 1-3ft.
sunset, many surfaces/objects. over 100 ft.

midday 2 surfaces. 3-5ft.

3-5 ft. many surfaces 

3 surfaces (window, bushes, siding) 5 plus ft. sunrise

2 surfaces sunrise 1-3 ft.

sunrise. many objects (background counts)  1-3 ft.

2 surfaces midday less than 1 ft. 

15-100 ft. sunset 2 surfaces

many surfaces. sunset 3-5 ft.

1-3ft. one surface. 
midday 1-3ft.

2 surfaces 1-3 ft. 

3 objects midday 100+ ft.

midday 3-5 ft. multiple surfaces

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