Archive for January, 2009

Job fairing for dummies

January 31, 2009

On Thursday, I attended a job fair. I found out about it about a week ago when I arrived super early for my Wednesday morning class and they had flyers sitting out near where I was sitting.

So I was excited, as I have been searching and searching and searching and searching for a job. Frankly, it’s getting kind of ridiculous.

So, I went. I had copies of my resumes printed out and looking spiffy. I was dressed for success and even kept my glasses on, which I think makes me look older than fifteen. At least, I’m hoping they do. My hair even turned out fantastic. I was ready to get a job!

So let’s give a little run-down of the conversations I had with every job prospect:

Me: Hi! My name is Stephany!
Job Prospect: Hi! My name is Yoda.
Silence.
Me: So! What kind of jobs do you have?

I mean, am I supposed to work that hard? I thought they were just supposed to start talking about their company and the jobs they have. Is there a Job Fairing for Dummies book that I missed?

And, seriously, I love the Internet as much as the next guy but does EVERY JOB have to have an online application? I feel that every time I submit an online application, it goes to Egypt or something. I never get a response and it usually gets sent to their corporate office where they decide if I’m a “right fit” for their company.

Ehhh. I don’t know. I have a lot of online applications to fill out, I guess. It should be a blast…

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Week 4

January 30, 2009

Starting Weight: 151 lbs
Weight (as of 01/29/2009): 147 lbs
Weight Lost: -4 lbs

No, don’t get all excited. That’s my starting weight since starting in early January. Still, I lost 4 lbs this month. Pretty durn good, if I do say so myself. If I can keep losing at this rate, I’ll be supremely happy.

Anyway, this weeked sucked. Let’s list everything I did wrong, shall we?

  • I didn’t track my food (except for 1 day)
  • I exercised just twice this week (and the second time was a laughable attempt)
  • I definitely didn’t drink enough water. Somedays, I didn’t drink any!
  • My lunch consisted of chocolate and popcorn most days.

The good news is, I was THIS CLOSE to buying a bag of Valentine Reese’s candy on Monday. Seriously, I’m like an alcoholic. I just pictured myself standing in CVS with a bag of Reese’s in one hand and a bag of pretzels in another, calling my mom to talk me out of the Reese’s. Luckily, I was good and just got one of those Reese Easter eggs, or whatever they are. It was sooo good. I still felt guilty getting it, though, when I didn’t really need it.

My tracking was terrible. Here’s how bad it was: On SparkPeople, you get SparkPoints and earn “trophies.” Call it corny but you can’t contain my excitement when I see that I’ve earned a new trophy! Anyway, you get SparkPoints from tracking your food (5 points a day), tracking exercise (1 point per 5 minutes of exercise), and other things like writing on their message boards, editing your SparkPage, reading e-mails, taking polls, and spinning the SparkWheel to earn log-in points. So, on Sunday (the only day I tracked), I had 9 points until my new trophy.

Do you think I have a new trophy? No sirree Bob. I’m still 9 measly points away. Blegh.

And let’s talk about my lunch. POPCORN? See, two Christmases ago, my grandma bought Mom and I a real popcorn popper. You buy the kernals and oil and popcorn salt and it pops the popcorn for ya. It’s really cool and fun to watch. And the popcorn is sooo good. For me, it’s so much easier to make that than a real lunch. Why? I’m not sure. I have a reason for it. I know I do. I just don’t know what that reason is. So, while the popcorn itself is not a bad choice (just 100 calories), it’s definitely not enough for lunch. I need more than that. So on Wednesday, I made this pasta salad. And it was so, so good. Delicious! I put some cucumbers and tuna in it as well. Yummo! I loved it so decided to get it as my lunch this week. So, hopefully, I actually have a LUNCH to eat now!

What else did I do wrong? Ugh. I just felt as if I did everything wrong this week. I did manage to drink 2 bottles of water on Tuesday and Wednesday. So there’s a plus! Mom didn’t let me gorge like I wanted to. She used to give in to me all the time. I had a bad day? Gorge. I was on the first day of my period? Gorge. I stubbed my toe? Gorge.

But she was firm with me. I told her I needed her to be more firm. So, even though I wanted to, she wouldn’t let me and I feel good that I didn’t. I get one evening a week to gorge (Thursday nights) and then I get right back on track on Friday.

On Sunday, Mom and I went on a 7.6 mile walk on the Pinellas Trail. Yep. That’s right. SEVEN POINT SIX MILES. Insane, I tell you. We were dying by the end of it. And I ended up getting two blisters on one toe and pulling a muscle in the arch of my left foot, causing it to swell. And the muscle was, like, poking out or something. When I showed my mom, she said it looked weird. So we didn’t exercise on Monday because we were still recuperating and on Tuesday, my foot was still hurting so I barely attempted to exercise. I did more strength-training which is always fun for me. I love feeling powerful.

Anyway, my goals for last week will be the same goals for this week. I’ll also put my February goals again.

Goals for February:
– Lose at least 5 lbs
– Run for 2 minutes on the treadmill (6.0)
– Eat at least 3 servings of fruits/veggies a day
– Get down to only 1 (or none!) soda a day

Goals for Week of Jan. 30th – Feb. 6th
– Drink 2 bottles of water a day
– Get up to running a minute on the treadmill
– Do 30 minutes of strength-training, 3 times this week

I really, really, really, really, really want to be 135 at Anisah’s wedding on March 28th. So that’s just 12 lbs in 8 weeks. I think that’s attainable.

We’ll see! I’m going to have such a hard time on Sunday with the Superbowl! Mom and I host it and we go all out. Cookies, cake, brownies, nuggets, chips…blegh. I’ll definitely be getting lots of exercise in beforehand. (I still don’t know who I want. The Cardinals with their Cinderella story, adorable Kurt Warner, but are in the 49ers division so it’d be like Mark rooting for the Pats, yuck. Or do I want the Steelers with future hubby Ben Roethlisberger, gorgeous coach Mike Tomlin, and all-around great football team. I. DON’T. KNOW. I’ll be happy either way.)

Is there such thing as a good cry?

January 28, 2009

Honestly, I’ve never understood that expression. “A good cry.” Whenever I have a nice, long, snotty-nosed, hyperventilating sobbing cry, it just makes me feel worse. And I feel I’m entitled to gorge on chocolate and caffeine.

I had one of those cries on Monday night. See, the thing with me is I keep everything inside. My emotions are locked up so tight that every once in a while, it’ll all come spilling out and I’ll just let out a nice, big cry.

I think it’s started to hit me that I have to find some way to pay for the rest of my schooling. Because the school system is stupid and I’m not allowed to change my mind, my financial aid is kaput. My mom actually called my school yesterday and was a little “Mama Bear” with them and they told her that they “cannot keep paying for someone who keeps changing their mind.”

OK.

This is my 3rd year of college. When I entered USF in Fall 2006, my major was elementary education. And this is the FIRST TIME I’ve changed it. Yeah, it took me way too long to figure that out but it’s not like I’m off robbing banks or popping out kids. No, I just want an education.

I’m wondering if I move to another state, if they’ll let me use financial aid. I would love to move to Georgia where my favorite two people in the entire world live. Hey! I could be my own news story! “Girl Spends 10 Years Using Up Funds in 5 Different States And Still Has No Degree.” Hm.

Anyway, I don’t know what to do. I petitioned my uncle (the one my father stabbed, insert horror movie stabbing noises) for some money for books. Yep. I’m 4 weeks into the semester with no books. So he, along with 2 other aunts and uncles were able to get me a check. That was nice.

I still need money for this semester, due by March 13th. I need to get a job. My mom thinks she’s going to use her tax return money to help me pay but that’s not gonna happen. If I can get a job soon, I should make enough to pay that off. Hopefully.

I’m trying for scholarships as well. USF has a bunch and I’m waiting on 2 letters of recommendation from 2 teachers who probably don’t even remember me. And I need to write an essay for another scholarship I found (It’d give me $1,500!)

If nothing else, this will be the fire to really get started on my book. But then, if I’m a published author, what do I need school for?

Blegh. Something will work out. It has to.

Dieting is not for the weak

January 24, 2009

Well, I made a promise to myself when I started blogging that I was going to say what I feel, no regrets. As you may have read a previous post of mine, I am sticking true to that statement.

I had previously started other blogs to chronicle my weight loss journey but decided to scrap those and just put my journey on this blog. I didn’t want to embarrass myself but to heck with it! I will. Maybe that’s the motivation I need to lose this stubborn weight!

Anyway, I could talk about when I began my weight loss journey but I’m so sick of saying the same thing over and over again that I’m not going to do that. Needless to say, I was at my lowest weight in December 2008 and now I am back at my highest in January 2009.

I did what 95% of Americans did and started my “diet/healthy lifestyle” in early January, weighing in at a whopping 151 lbs. Yowza. Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve managed to lose 4 lbs. My goal was to be 130 for Anisah’s wedding in March but, yeah, I can’t see that happening unless I become anorexic in which case I might faint while walking down the aisle and steal Anisah’s spotlight. So I’m just looking to keep losing weight until then. If I can be in the 130’s, that would be fantastic.

I had been doing Weight Watchers since May 2007 but I quit in December because the program simply wasn’t working for me anymore. I wasn’t putting all my effort into it. Basically, I was paying to gain weight.

Since then, I’ve been doing it on my own, using SparkPeople.com which is a fabulous site. You plug in all your goals, how much weight you want to lose, how much you plan to exercise, yadda yadda yadda and it gives you a target calorie range, target carb range, target fat range, and target protein range. It worked super for me when I was up at the dorms in 2007. I managed to lose about 10 lbs doing it and it’s been working for me so far.

I have setbacks. There are times when I just feel I’m never going to maintain control over my eating habits. Heck, my mom, who had lost 80 lbs doing Weight Watchers still feels like she is out-of-control when she eats. So it’s a learning process every single day. It’s an uphill battle every single day. But I’m determined to get to the top of the mountain.

I’m doing good with my exercise. Sort of. I’ve slacked off for the past four days. The thing with me is that if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I can make 75,000 excuses on why I can’t exercise (Numero Uno is usually that I don’t want to). Honestly, I hate exercising. I mean, you sweat, your heart rate accelerates, and you become short of breath. Where else but in exercise is that normal? Anywhere else, you’d be in the ER getting checked out! So, for me, it’s not fun but I have to do it. So I do. And when I’m finished, yeah, I feel great! I am Superwoman. But it’s that point of getting there and exerting all that effort that makes it hard.

My eating habits, blegh. This is the area I need to work on the most. More water, less soda (plus, my complexion sucks right now). More fruits/veggies, less candy/chocolate.

So I need to set some weekly/monthly goals. And since it’s almost February, I’ll make these February goals.

Goals for February:
– Lose at least 5 lbs
– Run for 2 minutes on the treadmill (6.0)
– Eat at least 3 servings of fruits/veggies a day
– Get down to only 1 (or none!) soda a day

Goals for Week of Jan. 23rd – Jan. 29th
– Drink 2 bottles of water a day
– Get up to running a minute on the treadmill
– Establish a consistent 30-minute 3-day-a-week strength-training plan

Ah, the joys of weight loss. Why couldn’t I have the metabolism my brother has? He eats and eats and eats and eats and has never had to worry about his weight. I mean, he came over to watch the games on Sunday and had FIVE pieces of pizza! That’s over 1,200 calories! But that’s my lot in life and it’s just going to get worse if I don’t try to gain control over it right now.

Wish me luck! I hope to get my posts out every Friday so we’ll see.

Don’t put all your eggs in Obama’s basket

January 21, 2009

So, of course, as any good blogger would, I have to write a post about the most historic day in history. (Is that redundant? Oh well.)

Yesterday, January 20th, 2009, our first African-American President was sworn into office. I watched all the pomp and circumstance from 8 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. And it was magical.

It was just amazing to see all those people show up, to hear all of their stories, and to see how hopeful they are. President Obama is coming into office with a 71% (that number might be skewed, but it’s in the 70’s) approval rating. If I remember correctly, the last time a President came into office with numbers like that was President John F. Kennedy.

So yesterday was a day filled with celebration, parades, and balls. President Obama had to go to TEN balls last night! And today the real work starts.

I voted for Obama. I am a Republican and quite conservative by many standards but I like the way Obama ran his campaign over John McCain. McCain spent a lot of his campaign bashing Obama. Of course, bashing your opponent is nothing new but I feel like McCain spent 80% of his campaign bashing and 20% letting the people know what he would do if he became president. While Obama spent 80% of the time letting the people know what he would do if he became president and 20% of the time bashing McCain. And his ideas made sense.

And, honestly, George Bush screwed us up. Big time. I was never a Bush hater. I rolled my eyes at “Countdown to 2009” bumper stickers and tuned out the bashing. He was my president and I was going to respect him no matter what. But he really didn’t do a good job, plain and simple. Our economy is terrible, this situation in Iraq is such a mess, and important issues such as healthcare and education were never addressed it seems.

And I’m not putting all my hope in Obama. Yes, I think he’s the change we’re looking for. He is new, fresh, and young. He has some great ideas. But he’s not going to solve all our problems. He is going to do his best but he is just one man.

Honestly, if I’m going to put my hope in someone, I can think of Someone much better. I got Someone on my side who rose from the dead, walked on water, and made blind men see. Jesus didn’t give a year-long campaign saying what He was going to do if you would just accept Him as Savior. He did things, whether people liked it or not. He’s the one I’m putting my hope in. Someone I know will deliver on His promises and could never, ever disappoint me.

I am looking forward to the next 4 years with President Obama. I think he will bring a lot of needed change to our country. I do think his approval rating will go down within the year but that’s life.

And, come on, his daughters are just way too cute! Malia, who is 10, is gorgeous and so composed and confident. It was so cute how she was taking pictures during the inauguration. And little Sasha, who is 7, makes me smile every time I see her. She does like to bounce, it seems! They are adorable and it’ll be fun watching them grow up!

Dutchy-Wutchy

January 19, 2009

So I meant to write this post a few weeks ago but first I knew I needed to snap a few pictures of the baby before I wrote it and then time got away from me. But here he is: Dutch, my new dog.

dutch5

He is turning 7 years old on March 2nd but we got him free and clear from my great-aunt, who is in North Carolina helping her daughter with her 3 children. Dutch was developing a problem nipping the kids when they would provoke him so they decided they needed to get rid of him. And we got him! 🙂

Another picture?

Another picture?

He is such a fun, little guy. It’s funny because he is completely different from Minnie but then again, so similar. I love how each and every dog will have their own set of quirks. Like Minnie always had to have something in her mouth (i.e., a shoe, a piece of paper, a stuffed animal) when she greeted anyone at the door. You never knew what she was going to greet you with when you showed up!

Dutch has this quirk when he sleeps. He has to be under the covers. I’ll get in bed and pull the covers and he’ll nose his way under the covers until his body is completely under the covers. At first, I was worried about this and worried he would be smothered but he seems OK.

His favorite way to sleep

His favorite way to sleep

He is completely and 100% spoiled by us. We are dog people. We love spoiling dogs and he is definitely spoiled! I mean, we don’t go overboard but he is so cute and we just can’t help ourselves. I think I fell in love with him within 5 minutes. He’s that lovable.

Perfect little poser

Perfect little poser

We take him on walks everyday, which he loves. And he’s such a boy! He loves sniffing poop and lifting his leg every 5 minutes to show the world he. is. a. MAN! It’s cute, though. He’s cute.

We had to “discipline” him yesterday. He was in a grumpy mood (maybe he wanted the Eagles to win?) and my mom was just petting him and he snapped at her and made 2 little cuts that were bleeding on her fingers. So we put him in my room (i.e., the “naughty chair”) for 6 minutes where he whined the entire time. Seriously, I was like one of those mothers on Supernanny where they stand outside their child’s door as they’re being disciplined, biting their nails and wanting to cave but knowing they can’t. I’m going to have such a time disciplining my own children!

Anyway, Dutch is a blast! He is so much fun and he makes everything OK. He really does.

Just a little bit spoiled?

Just a little bit spoiled?

His own fault

January 11, 2009

Well, he’s done it again. Yesterday, I received a message from my uncle on Facebook letting me know that my dad had been arrested. This is his FIFTH arrest. It may not seem like a lot when you think of other repeat offenders but this is my dad, so, yeah, it’s a lot to me.

All I could read from the PCSO’s website was he was arrested for domestic battery which means he probably did something to his girlfriend, Sindy. In April of 2007 they were both arrested for domestic battery (ironically, my dad’s was a felony and her’s was a misdemeanor).

I’m not surprised at the charge. He has a really bad temper that he doesn’t seem to know how to control. I can’t tell you how many things he ruined because of his bad temper. I know he put a hole in our wall once and he broke my mom’s glasses. I remember sitting at our kitchen table when I was maybe 6 and my mom was cooking dinner. My dad got mad about something and he actually put a knife up to her neck – in front of his young daughter! I’ve never forgotten that.

So, his bail is set at $25,000 which is muchhh more than his other bail’s have been set at. His other’s have been $500 or $0. So I think he’ll be enjoying a nice, long visit in jail. Plus, he hit the only woman who would bail him out.

He’s an idiot.
He’s a loser.
I hate him.
I love him.
He’s my dad.

Why couldn’t I get one of those sweater-vest wearing, overprotective, dorky fathers? One who could hold a steady job and love me without string attached?

Well, we can’t always get what we want, right?

Donations welcome

January 9, 2009

Well, it seems as if the devil is hard at work in destroying my life. He seems pretty good at that, don’t you think?

So I changed my major to journalism in December, after spending 2 1/2 years in education. Unfortunately, financial aid will only cover 90 hours of coursework for transfer students. So I talked with the staff at the Financial Aid office last week and filled out 3 forms I needed, including a petition to receive additional financial aid.

I found out on Wednesday that my petition was denied. This also means my Florida Medallion scholarship (which pays for 75% of my tuition) and my Stafford loan also disappear forever. (Doesn’t that sound ominous?)

Basically, I’m up you-know-what creek without a paddle.

So the ladies at the Financial Aid office suggested looking into private loans, like Sallie Mae and Chase Student Loans. So I did but wasn’t approved for either. Chase wanted me to have a cosigner but my mom’s credit isn’t that good (but is getting better!) so we decided to just try it on my own. For Sallie Mae, we tried having my mom as a cosigner but I still wasn’t approved.

So it’s a big letdown.

But I am going to look on the bright side, because that’s what I do. I’m not a half-full type of girl for no reason! Obviously, God has other plans for me. For some reason, He doesn’t want me to get in more debt (I’m almost $20,000 in debt due to my Stafford loan). He has another way to help me pay for college. Maybe it’s through scholarships or from a friendly donation (wink wink, nudge nudge). I don’t know yet.

I was taking 4 classes but have dropped 2. I was taking an online criminology course just to keep me at full-time for Bright Futures but since I don’t have that anymore, there’s no use. Another class I was taking I can take while I’m in the College of Journalism (or whatever it is). So there’s only 2 I need right now in order to take other classes. They are pre-req’s to take any more.

I also have a tuition deferment until March 13th so we’ll just have to somehow come up with the money to pay for classes. I also need money for books (although, for some reason, financial aid approved me to buy books…). I only need two and, luckily, they are both out of stock at the moment.

God will prepare a way when there seems to be no way. Isn’t that the saying? And through it all, He is faithful. I was listening to my Chris Tomlin CD (his Hello Love CD is just amazing) and a simple verse stuck in my head: Yahweh. Holy is Your name. Through all of this, through all my tears and frustrations, God is still holy. And that’s never going to change! Even if terrorists bomb New York City or hurricanes wipe out a city or a girl can’t find the money for college, God is holy. Always and forever.

9 resolutions for 2009

January 1, 2009

9. Become a mentor.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I think it was on my list for the past 2 years. At my church, we actually have a mentoring program and we even have one for children whose fathers were in prison (perfect for me, right?). I love kids and I’d love to be a mentor. It would be nice to be needed and for someone to bond with. I just really think I need to first become closer to the True Mentor before I can be successful at it.

8. Reconnect with old friends.
There are so many friends I’ve lost touch with, in college and high school. I have one friend from high school that is actually going to be in Anisah’s wedding and I’m meeting her and Anisah for breakfast on Saturday. Sarah was the mother of our group. She is a girl so full of life and hope in Jesus and will knock down anyone who gets in her way. She’s amazing. She’s the type of friend you can go to when you have a problem and count on to tell you the truth. And there are many others I’d like to become closer to.

7. Have a heart-to-heart with my dad.
This is going to be the toughest one. I haven’t spoken to my dad in over 13 months and I hesitate to even pick up the phone and call him. He doesn’t take any blame but I think I need to tell him how much he has affected my self-esteem and how much he’s affected who I am as a person. This might be in person or it might be through a letter. I’m not sure I can face him and say the things I need to say. I’m not expecting tears from him. I’m expecting him to deny everything and lay everything on my mom and on me. But in order for me to be in a successful relationship, I need to sort out my feelings for my dad.

6. Get serious about writing a novel.
So, the way I’d like my life to pan out is me marrying, have a family, and writing novels. That’s the way I want to live my life. So I’d really like to get serious about writing a novel. The first thing I have to do is sort between the billions I have circulating in my head and on my computer. There are so many story ideas I have and I need to find one and stick with it and do some real writing! I’d like to be halfway done with writing a novel by the end of 2009. And I’m going to work real hard to make that happen!

5. Go on at least one date.
I know I made you chuckle with this one! Honestly, I haven’t been on a date since August 2004. FOUR AND A HALF YEARS! I’m not going to find my future husband by sitting on my hands. I need to get out there! I need to flirt and be cute. I need to have some sort of social life and some sort of dating life. And I will. My goal is one date this year! I can achieve that. Right? And, yes, my friends, I am all for blind dates. SET ME UP!

4. Attend my first gynecology appointment.
I didn’t mean to make you cringe with this one. But I’m 21 years old and I need to start going. UGH! I really don’t want to. I know I’m just another patient with the gynecologist but it still makes me nervous. But I know I need to see one and make sure everything is in proper working order. Yuck.

3. Get a good job and pay off my credit cards.
I really need to find a job. A good job. One that pays well and can be flexible with school. I’ve been looking (albeit half-heartedly) for one and I think I have some good leads where I know they are hiring currently. So I’ll be following up on those next week to see if I can get hired anywhere! Plus, I have some serious credit cards that need to be payed off. While they were godsends when I first got them, they’ve become nuisances ever since!

2. Start living a healthier lifestyle.
Obviously, this is a given for about 90% of people. We all want to lose weight and be more healthy and fit. This is true for me. I was wayyy fitter a year ago. I was actually at my lowest weight since middle school a year ago. And I’d definitely like to be there (and skinnier) by this time next year. I just need to buckle down. Drink more water, work out more, and watch my portions. I also need to seriously cut down on my junk food. My lifestyle needs to change dramatically.

1. Fall back in love with Jesus.
This is suchhh a big one for me! Me and Jesus haven’t exactly been on the same page this year. We’re in two completely different books. And I’d like to be in the same one again. I’ve been half-heartedly attending church because I don’t believe in going just to go. If I’m going to go to church, it’s because I believe in it and what they preach. And that I am practicing what they preach. I need to fully surrender myself to my Lord and Savior. Easier said than done, right? But I think I’m happiest when I’m following Jesus and letting Him steer my car.