Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Truths for A Mature Human

Read, Absorb, Agree, and Repeat as many times as is fit for a week like this one., where no one seems to be on the same page.

It's only Wednesday and I feel like I've been suffering from a week-long headache.  Things like this replace my headache with laughter. I can appreciate that.

Truths For Mature Humans

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. 
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. 
3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font. 
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? 
6. Was learning cursive really necessary? 
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. 
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. 
9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired. 
10. Bad decisions make good stories. 
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.
13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this – ever. 
15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? **** it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. 
18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 
19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
20. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option. 
21. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.
22. I would rather try to carry 10 over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in. 
23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text. 
24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. 
25. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?
26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. 
28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year? 
29. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate bicyclists.
31. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. 
32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet my *** everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

*can't take credit for this, I'm simply a fan. I found it here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  What condiments are always, always in your fridge?
Mustard (lots of it), ketchup, and salad dressing (usually a balsamic variety.)
2.   How do you like your steak cooked?  Your burgers?
I like my steak medium, and my burgers medium-well (but closer to well-done.) And I like my beats fast, and my base down-low. 
3.  What’s your favorite use for fresh tomatoes?
In Salad with balsamic vinaigrette - yumm-o. 
4.  What’s your go-to dinner when you haven’t planned anything in advance and you don’t feel like going out?
Anything wrapped in a tortilla: greek salad rolled in a tortilla, quesadillas, tacos. easy and delish! When not even that is available, I can always depend on a nice bowl of cereal.  Nothing like breakfast for dinner to save a dinner-less pantry! 
5.  What’s your favorite snack food lately?
Chocolate covered acai-and blueberries.  Heaven. Wish they were more snack-friendly and less indulgent so I could feel less guilty eating them by the handful! 
6.  What’s your favorite weekend breakfast to make at home? 
Pancakes and bacon! I also love when Katlyn makes her infamous waffles and we lay out the ultimate spread of jams, berries, yogurt, syrup and honey for toppings. Sunday breakfasts are the best. 
7.  What’s your favorite thing to grill?  How do you do it? 
I don't grill unless it's on the George Foreman ... but I love when my parents grill veggies and red potatoes on their fancy outdoor grill in the summer time =] 
8.  What’s your favorite wine for under $10? If you’re not a wine person, what brand of beer is your favorite?
I don't buy my own wine ... but I like sweet wines, riesling perhaps? 
9.  Give us your most delicious cocktail recipe.
Diet coke, Rum, lime. 
10.  How do you like your eggs?
White, in omelette form.  Or fried with porkroll and LOTS of ketchup on a hard roll! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your cleaning style like?
I actually hate the process of cleaning, but love the satisfaction of a clean, organized abode. I don't clean as often as I probably should, but every once in a while I get an overwhelming urge to purge! My strategy is large to small - deal with the big areas first (organizing clothes, vacuuming floors) and then get into the nitty gritty (dusting and spot cleaning -blehhh). Whenever I go home I get rid of at least one Hefty bag of old "stuff," whether it be clothes to give away or knick-knacks I don't know why I saved.  

Now that I think about it, I think I need to make a better effort to become an expert cleaner.  My busy schedule this semester has definitely taken precedence over cleaning (maybe that's why my health has been suffering this semester??) Ut-oh.  

2. What is your favorite thing to add to an outfit to take it from casual to classy?
Shoes! Adding boots or heels just makes me feel classier.  It may just be the click-clack of nice shoes that makes me feel sophisticated, but either way, I wish I could wear heels every day! 

3. Do you like stormy weather?
In the spring, yes - but only because Thunder Storms remind me summer is approaching! And only if I'm safely inside. Otherwise I'm terrified!

4. What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day?
Rita's Mango Gelati with Vanilla Custard! mmmmm

5. What is your favorite warm treat on a cold day?
Lindt Hazelnut Hot Chocolate! 

6. Who is your favorite animated character?

7. What do you keep your jewelry in?
My Tiffany jewelry stays in it's original packaging to keep it clean.  My rings are displayed in a pretty white "couch" I got from my favorite European jewelry store LaLa, and my costume jewelry hangs on a Fleur de Lis jewelry holder I got from Claires! 

8. Do any of the rooms in your house have a theme?
My bedroom at school is black-and-white-blinged out.  And my mom's Sunroom is License Plate themed.  

9. Do you watch any interior design TV shows – if so, what is your favorite?
I used to watch Trading Spaces religiously after middle/high school. Now I'll watch whatever is on HGTV if I'm bored. 

10. When was the last time you did something risk-taking?
I'm not much a  risk-taker.  Sometimes I wish I was.  I'll work on it and let you know ;) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"If You Think Education is Expensive...

Try Ignorance."
-Derek Bok


I came across this quote today and couldn't help but smile.  After immeasurable amounts of financially-induced stress, I finally completed my FAFSA forms this week. I find relief in the fact that while I may not leave College debt-free, at least I have comfort in leaving with an education. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Word-of-the-Day Wednesday

A couple of weeks ago my Methods of Reading professor introduced us to the word "cacophony."  Her mother is a reading specialist at a local elementary school where she encourages her students to be detectives to decode the meaning of unfamiliar words.  One week they were told to decode the word cacophony. 

caco - Greek, meaning "bad"
phony - Greek, meaning "speech sound" 
Cacophony = bad sound.

Or, more techinically, 
ca·coph·o·ny [kuh-kof-uh-nee]:
harsh discordance of sound; dissonance: a cacophony ofhoots, cackles, and wails.

The funny thing is (and the reason I chose to share this word today) is that I heard it for only the second time in my life (the first being from my teacher) at the CYC today.  One of my  nerdy brilliant students' father used the word cacophony in reference to the chaos that erupted in the Yellow Room after meeting; the student understood perfectly what his father meant.  I always thought I had a decently large vocabulary, but up to a week ago apparently a preschooler had one up on me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Birthday C

Today is my handsome boyfriend's 21st birthday.  I wish so so badly that I could have spent this day with him, but unfortunately, school in Maryland got in the way of that.  
I can't believe he is already 21. It seems like just yesterday I spent hours creating a giant 17-shaped birthday card to put on the front seat of his new car, praying he would view my efforts as a clue I wanted to date him.  
By the time he turned 18, we were completely, officially boyfriend and girlfriend ;) Being the dedicated girlfriend I am, I planned a surprise party for my loverboy at his friend's shore house.  I put him in my car without telling him where we were going, headed south on the Parkway and pulled off at a rest stop where I blindfolded him so he couldn't predict the destination! (Later he told me he got really nervous at this point, because he thought I was taking him to a strip club...) I made him wear the blindfold until we stepped through the front door - He was more than surprised, and it was certainly a night to remember. 
For his 19th birthday I put him on a north-bound train without telling him where we were going. (I guess I forgot that I had similarly surprised him the year prior.) Half way through our train ride I gave him a birthday card with a clue to where we were going: NYC's ESPN Zone.  We ate the most delicious burgers before we competitively challenged each other to every game inside the 'zone' -- for the record, I won every time we played the basketball.  Once we got tired enough we walked down broadway to JR's for some decadent cheesecake.  The night was perfect. 

For his ascent out of teenaged years into adulthood, I took C to the Liberty Science Center - a magical place for the kid at heart that he is.  After we explored the science center (and after C almost got in a couple fist fights with children half his age and size over whose turn it was to use the machines) we met his sisters at Barnum & Bailey's Circus! He had never been to the Circus, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than petting the elephants (his favorite animal) eating junk food and pretending like we weren't growing up.  

This year, we had to celebrate slightly early due to the fact that we would be in different states on the actual day he turned 21.  I drove home to take him out to dinner at a small Italian restaurant by our house where he ate hearty portions of an appetizer, a main pasta dish, and two desserts (his only request for his birthday was to have ice cream. check.)  Afterwards we went to the movies. The night may have been low key but I don't think I wanted it any other way.  It's our third year lasting in a long-distance relationship and the only thing I want to do when I get the chance to be with him is relax and enjoy his company without distractions. While this may have been the least creative date-wise, I think I did a pretty good job getting him gifts - twenty-one to be exact.  Ranging from a bottle of Captain Morgan's Rum to a Lacoste Polo to a motorized helicopter toy, he chuckled every time I made him open presents, in order, from #1-21.  

This weekend he will come to College Park and we shall celebrate like a 21 year old should! A party bus, a club in DC, and a ton of friends will be present to celebrate C's legality.  I couldn't be more excited for him to come down to Maryland and to see him for the second weekend in a row. 

It's hard to believe we're growing up, but I wouldn't want to be doing it with anyone else.  I love you Christopher and I hope you remember these celebrations as fondly as I do xoxo 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Baby Naming 1.0

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
Easy - My father's mother was named Margaret.  My mother's mother was named Margaret.  I am Margaret by default.  Oh, and my middle name is also my mother's first name.  Original yet sentimental. I love it! 

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
The initials "MY" can be confusing when labeling personal items in elementary school - the possessive form of "I" is not limited to Margaret Yelencsics' items.  (i.e. anyone could claim "MY" lunch bag to be their own.)

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
Can I add my maiden name after my childhood middle name? I would never think of eliminating my middle name given to me by my parents. But then again, I never thought about having to change my last name! I think a happy compromise will have to be solved somehow... 

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
Probably not.  I usually find themed baby names more cheesy than cute. 

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
Of course. Listing my favorite baby names has been my favorite past time since I could spell.  I still plan my baby names.  The list used to change often, but it hasn't recently.  We'll see what I end up with over the next (many) few years! 

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Margaret.  I would like to keep the tradition going, but I'm not sure if I want to name my daughter after myself.  Maybe a middle name? I will definitely incorporate my Grandfather's last name when naming my own children as well. 

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
Both.  For instance, I would never name my son Dick because a) I don't like the thought of calling my son a slang term for his genitals and b) it simply sounds bad. (no offense to the Dicks of the world!!) 

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
My fish growing up was named Natalie.  But my childhood Dog was named Keyzer, after a character from the movie "The Usual Suspects."  I think it is hilarious when people name their animals with human names, but I don't think it's actually for me unless it is after a fictitious character.  I will most definitely name my next dog Atticus Finch. 

 9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
Yes, but I won't go there to spare the feelings of anyone possibly reading this blog. 

10. What are some of your favorite names? 

Sofia (although I have a student with this name currently, and I don't think I will ever be able to use this name for my own daugter.)

And the Award for Most Predictable Movie...

goes to the new romantic comedy, Hall Pass.  

Owen Wilson's character, a married middle-aged suburbanite with a seemingly pubescent addiction to sex, is given a week-long hiatus from marriage where he is free to do as he pleases.  Cue male bonding. Cue tasteless pick-up lines. Cue happy ending. 

Despite it's painfully predictable plot, the movie had some hilarious one-liners that left me and my handsome date (who also happens to be the most generous movie critic alive) laughing out loud (in my case, really loud.) 

Chris loved the movie while I thought it was okay. Maybe it will be one of those movies I have to see a second time to truly appreciate the immature, racy, and trite humor. Or maybe I need to see it a second time without a pregnant woman who took 3 bathroom breaks and her husband who ate two pungent movie theater hotdogs loudly sitting immediately next to me. Yes, maybe then I would enjoy it more. 

The important thing though, is that Chris liked it. I took him to the movies after a (romantic?) birthday dinner. It wasn't much, but I think he appreciated it.  This weekend he will trek to Maryland to really celebrate the way God intended young men to celebrate their 21st birthdays.  Happy birthday Christopher! Love you tons! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fitness Expo

Last weekend I ventured on a road trip with the rest of my Group Fitness family to Raleigh, North Carolina for the Southeastern Collegiate Fitness Expo.  NC State hosted the expo this year, and while I have no previous expo-experiences with which to compare, it was a successful, informative, fun and exhausting fitness event! A '10' in my book.

We arrived on Friday night and went to a local sports bar for dinner at happy hour.  We took advantage of this time to get to know each other and appreciate some true "family" bonding.  I guiltlessly enjoyed my chicken fajita wrap after over a half hour of waiting on poor service, but what I enjoyed more was the company shared and the information I learned about the truly interesting, amazing and inspiring co-workers I had yet to get to know prior to this trip.

The first morning we woke up bright and early, ate our free breakfast courtesy of the Holiday Inn, and jumped right into our first work-out.  At precisely 8:00am all group fitness instructors from UMD, UNC, NC State, Virginia Tech, James Madison U, George Washington, VCU, U of Florida and Georgia State gathered in a large multipurpose room to participate in a seriously sweaty bootcamp session courtesy of a fitness professional, Greg Sims.  100 pushups, 200 squats kicks, and 300 lunges later (no exaggeration necessary), I was sweaty, sore, and ready to go home.  But that was just the beginning of a 10 hour day loaded with fitness activities :) 
OH yeah, and then a Sunday morning repeat. 

Amongst my favorite classes: 
- Les Mill's Body Pump Challenge
- Zumba Full Throttle (courtesy of our very own Zumba kick-ass instructor, Camille)
- Guts, Butts and Thighs
- Cardio Belly Dancing Beyond Borders
- Cycle Chisel

The most exciting part of the weekend occurred during the Demo Team presentations.  Each school created a "Demo Team" of willing instructors to choreograph a 5-minute long presentation of their best exercises in accordance with Yoga, Muscle Works, Cardioboxing, Step, and Zumba/Hip-hop classes.  UMD's theme: Jungle.  We  practiced at least once a week since last semester, and I think our practice definitely paid off.  We looked awesomely threatening in our animal print leggings and the Lion King-meets-Zumba inspired music was a hit! (Video to be uploaded shortly ... I know you are all dying to get a look at our performance.)

Here's a picture of our last master class - a Yoga class presented by a professional Yogi.   It was wonderfully relaxing and I was more than happy to stretch my tight muscles.  Actually, I was just excited for a chance to lay down on my mat. I fell asleep during final relaxation. Full-on, REM sleep on my Vera Bradley yoga mat.  

I finally worked the lactic acid out of my muscles by Tuesday evening, and can appreciate the experience now even more that I am no longer in pain. This weekend made me so thankful that I decided to become a fitness instructor; this experience alone added to not only my physical health but also to my mental health thanks to the motivation and inspiration radiated from my peers. I can't wait until next year's event at Virginia Tech! 

Preschool Flattery

In a matter of 2 seconds and 1 full breath, I was greeted in the yellow room today with,

 "Ms Alensis remember when you came yesterday and I said hi I wanted ice pops but we played inside then outside and you looked pretty, where did you get all of those jewels, will you rub my back?" 

Shocked and impressed with the munchkin's ability to recall, summarize, flatter, and inquire all within the limits of one long run-on sentence without breathing, there was only one way I could respond; I laughed.

"Ms Alensis why you laugh?" 

I don't know, munchkin, you just make me happy.

I can appreciate that he's learning to butter up the women in his life prior to asking favors.  I wonder if he knows this is the exact tactic my boyfriend uses to get everything he asks of me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rising Senior

"Good Morning Rising Senior,"

... who, me?

This is the greeting in an email I received this morning from my Academic Advisor in reference to next year's block-scheduling. Since freshman year I've dreaded registration day because my indecisive nature makes choosing classes a much more long and grueling process than it ought to be.

This year, I don't even have the option to choose my classes for next semester, as senior year for Education Majors means block scheduling and student teaching.  I've looked forward to simple registration for quite some time now, but the reality that fall 2011 begins my final year in college has proved to be more daunting than all my registration dates rolled in one.

Am I the only one unprepared for the beginning of the end?  It's hard to accept the fact that I'm moving past a period of my life where my biggest stressor was choosing what time to take "Children's Literature" on a Thursday morning...

10 on Tuesday

1. What type of cell phone do you have and how would you rate it?
I converted to the Blackberry World Christmas of 2009.  I absolutely loved it at first, and it's probable that I wouldn't have survived two months in Spain without it! However, three Balckberry 'Tours' later and a dismissal from my insurance company, I am ready to make the next cell-phone transition.  Iphone for Verizon anyone? 

I'd give my BBtour a 7.0. 

2. What has been your most serious injury?
(Knock on Wood) I've never really had any serious injuries.  I may or may not have broken my little toe last year and refused to wear anything other than my cowgirl boots immediately after the event ... bad choice.  I also got my jaw knocked out of place when I was around 11 during an indoor soccer game.  I sprained my wrist playing soccer once too.  But in hindsight, I probably overreacted and just really wanted one of those cool velcro braces.  

3. What is one movie you hate and why?
Alfred Hitchcoks' "The BIrds."  I watched it at a young age and it severely bolstered my fear of winged animals.   

4. How many email addresses do you have?
Two: one for school and one for junk mail. 

5. What website do you waste the most time on?
It's a toss up between, facebook, and most recently, Twitter. 

6. Which mexican restaurant makes the best salsa?
CHILIS!!! I don't know if this tex-mex chain counts, but I would gladly sip their salsa through a straw.  

7. What is your dream car?
I always wanted a BMW X5 - white, tan leather interior.  I think I would look really good i a luxurious white SUV ;) 

8. If you could spend up to $100 with no strings or restrictions or guilt, what would you buy?
A new pair of jeans! 
... or sunglasses, or pumps, or a cocktail ring, or...

Ok $100 is entirely too easy to spend. 

9. What is your favorite board game?
Scattergories! My family and I play every Thanksgiving and it always becomes unnecessarily competitive but I love me a good word game. 

10. How often do you change your hairstyle?
Rarely. I always yearn for change but don't have the time to style my hair myself, nor the courage to ask for a brand-spankin-new style at the salon.   Right now my hair is nearly elbow-length and easy to blow out or throw up in a low pony.  
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