Michael Fassbender Love

Photos courtesy of photovisi.com.

I’m just a little obsessed. Sigh…

– An American Twenty-Something

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Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

November has always been one of my favorite months, and this year it has also become one of my busiest. All of my “free” time has been consumed by school projects. I sincerely envy those students who can financially afford not to work while they are in school. It would be so nice just to focus on studying. This past week alone I wrote a policy critique for Tuesday, conducted and transcribed an in-person interview on Thursday, and met with the Public Administration PhD Program Director on Friday. And of course, all of these things have to be researched and prepared for preceding the actual task.  Before the end of the semester I have three more exams (two of which are essay-based), two 20+ page research papers due (one of which is a group project), and a group presentation. Somewhere in there I’m also supposed to submit my PhD application and work 40 hours per week as well. You notice I didn’t include sleeping or having a social life in my laundry list.

Speaking of laundry, since today was Saturday I decided to run a few wash loads and start purging my closet. This purge was nowhere near as exciting as Carrie’s in Sex and the City: The Movie where she prances about in her classic designer clothing. I started dividing my clothes into the following piles:

  • Too big – Donate to the battered women’s shelter
  • Still too small – Try on again after losing 20 more lbs
  • Clothes to pack for my cruise
  • Clothes to wash
Many people who lose weight talk about how fun it is to go shopping for new clothes, but rarely do they mention the expense. After you’ve lost 88.5 lbs like I have, there is very little in your wardrobe that fits well. I’m constantly in a limbo stage where clothes are too big or too small, but never just right. Piecing together outfits is a challenge, and so I tend to wear the same things a lot. There is little point in buying new things in every size because in a few months they don’t fit any more, but at some point you have to because public nudity is not an option. Ultimately, you spend a lot of money on clothes that you don’t wear for that long.

This afternoon I headed out to the annual Tallahassee Greek Food Festival with two goals: spanakopita and baklava. Spanakopita is a Greek pastry with spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo. Unfortunately, they were sold out, but I did have Greek fries (spiced), tiropita (think spanakopita minus spinach), and I bought baklava to go. In addition to food, there were a few tents set up up with interesting wares for purchase, such as belly-dancing attire, jewelry, pottery, fragrant oils, and other mystical items.

Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church

Assorted baklava and Greek pastries.

The obligatory Shiloh picture.

– An American Twenty-Something

Happy Halloween!

It may be snowing in some places, but in Tallahassee today it was a gorgeous, breezy 63 degrees. I spent the better part of the afternoon holed up in my favorite coffee shop working on a policy critique and reading random news articles. Also, I was rather pleasantly surprised to find out that I was paid early, so now I don’t have to be broke for the rest of the weekend. Yay!

Later, I went to the pumpkin patch with Louise who had some creative ideas for carving. I mainly went along because I like pumpkin patches and didn’t buy anything. Although I enjoy carving pumpkins, I’m not such a fan of the smelly disemboweling and cleaning. Awkwardly, I saw that my archnemesis was also at the patch, but thankfully I managed to avoid her.

Here are some pumpkin patch pics:

Radio Flyer wagons were their equivalent of shopping carts.

White Martha Stewart-esque gourds.

Baby pumpkins.

And one completely unrelated Shiloh picture:

Sometimes she forgets she isn't a human.

Happy Halloween!

– An American Twenty-Something

Fall Update

Before the tomato-throwing commences, yes, I am aware that I haven’t posted much of substance lately. Here I will try to encapsulate much of what has been happening in my life, and I promise to make more of an attempt at regular updates in the future.

Probably the biggest change this fall has been going back to school. Most people think I am crazy for taking classes in pursuit of another graduate degree (being that I already have one), but truthfully I am most happy when I am learning, studying and intellectually stimulated. Normal everyday life just doesn’t require me to perform the brain acrobatics that school does and I bore easily. Right now I am considered a non-degree seeking student, and I have to make a decision as to whether I should apply to a Master’s or PhD program. My professors are encouraging me to apply for the PhD which is incredibly flattering and such an ego boost. When I talk to my professors about the PhD and my future it makes me feel so hopeful and happy. I wish there was a way to bottle up that emotion and save it, so I could always carry a bit of hope with me.

On the work front, I have officially been working in the education field for six months now. It has taken me about that long to mentally transition out of suicide prevention and mental health. Anyone who has worked with social issues understands how they can become ingrained in your life and I believe this to be especially true of suicide prevention. I really defined myself as a preventionist, and when I rather forcibly left the field it caused me to re-examine my inner purpose and goals. I think I am finally starting to understand that my job does not make me who I am. I know I can excel at many things in many different jobs, although it is of course preferable that I enjoy those jobs.

Regular readers will have noticed that my running ambitions tapered off a couple months ago. I have not given up. Let me repeat that. I have NOT given up. I have been walking several times a week, and when I feel secure that I won’t be in pain I’ll start running again. Thanks to keeping a close watch on my nutritional choices I have now successfully lost 86.5 lbs. I will most likely write a separate blog addressing that issue in the future, but right now I’m still processing this change in my body.

In three weeks, I will fulfill #18 on my Thirty Before 30 List and go on my very first cruise! I booked the trip so long ago I can hardly believe it’s finally here. The next three weeks are going to be crazy with all the deadlines I have to meet and tasks to be done, but I want to get everything out of the way before I go. Sipping mojitos on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean sounds absolutely blissful.

– An American Twenty-Something

Photo courtesy of Carnival.com.

– An American Twenty-Something

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