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(no subject) [Mar. 29th, 2009|03:55 am]
This is going to be a pretty long update - it has been quite a while since I updated after all. So long that I'm not sure I'll be able to finish my book list, as I've probably forgotten several books I've read, but at least I'll try!

To start off with, Nick is finally working. It took a lot of running in circles and we're now having to get the federal government involved, but finally, he's on the road. He finished training in Indiana, and two weeks later he started orientation with the company he was supposed to work for. They pulled a couple illegal tricks and figured out a way to release him (they were over-hiring and finding any excuse to cut people) so Nick set to work immediately trying to find another company.

The good news is, he not only found another company within a week, he's doing what he wanted to do to start with - expediting. He's the second driver on a team, for a small trucking firm. His co-driver is the fleet's owner's father, and he's contracting through Panther Expediting. He left on his first load on Friday and will be gone for a couple weeks at a time, but he's enjoying it, he likes his team driver, he's doing what he wanted to be doing and he'll probably be making more money. Right now they're in Reading PA waiting for another load.

I finished last quarter on the Dean's List, and raised my overall GPA from a 2.9 to a 3.4, so that makes me pretty happy. Spring quarter starts on Monday and I'm ready to get started. I'm getting pretty close to finish my associate's degree, which is nice. I'm tired of not really having a degree, and the A.A.S. is one step closer to the B.S. so it finally feels like I'm moving forward.

I'm getting involved with the Unitarian Universalist fellowship, which is really exciting. I've already made one really great friend there and we are starting a music group together for instrumental musicians to have something to do in the community. We're hoping to get involved in community service as well, and I tossed out a project idea that I've been kicking around in my head that went over really well, so I'm excited that it might be getting off the ground soon with the right support. I love going to MVUUF because there are so many like-minded people there, and it's really a great opportunity for religious exploration and education, which is something I've been doing independently my entire life. It's nice to have a community of support who are interested in helping me figure out where I stand in my life (or don't stand, as there are many humanists/atheists in the fellowship) and helping me to learn about all the world's religions. I am fascinated with religion in general, and I love learning about the different cultures, religions and belief systems world wide.

I've got the next two months of my life pretty well planned out. I'm going to be doing a little bit of traveling, and a lot of roller coastering. I'm spending opening weekend and the following two weekends at Kings Island, with a possible visit to Holiday World on May 2nd with some people from KICentral. Then during the last week of May, I'm going to see my brother and his wife in Virginia for a week, and while they're at work I'm intending to visit all the nice parks within easy driving distance of their place - which includes Kings Dominion, Six Flags America, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Six Flags Great Adventure. Depending on how I work out Six Flags Great Adventure (in New Jersey) I may end up getting a stop in at Morey's Piers too. It's going to be a week full of coasters and fun, that's for sure! My brother is probably buying my Six Flags season pass for my birthday present, which will get me into all the Six Flags parks, since I'm going to visit at least three of them this year, and my mom is renewing my Cedar Fair Platinum pass for my birthday, which will get me into Kings Island, Cedar Point and Kings Dominion. I don't know yet when my first Cedar Point visit of the year will be, but it might be one of the currently un-planned weekends in May.

While I'm in Virginia, I'm going to be doing something very, very interesting - meeting my half-sister. A couple months ago, I learned I have a younger half-sister. I didn't know her name, just that she was about a year younger than me, and had contacted my dad to find out if she had any brothers or sisters. Her brother tracked down my sister-in-law via MySpace last week, and she wants to meet us. When he contacted Stacey, we all found out that not only do Brian and I have a younger sister named Angela (she's our dad's only other biological child), we also have a brother-in-law and a year old nephew. She just joined the military and is going to be in Virginia in May, so that's why I planned the trip out there.

Learning you have a younger sister is one of those things that is just hard to react to. I'm still really in shock. When I first learned about her, it was one of those things that I was kind of like ... well, that's neat, but I'm sure I'll never meet her. One of the conditions that her mother set was that my dad have no involvement in her life at all, so when Angela contacted him was the first time he'd ever seen her. I figured she'd have no interest in our side of the family. But then when her brother contacted Stacey, and she does want to meet us .. I'm really in shock. I'm excited, but it still hasn't all sunk in yet, that I have a younger sister. I've always been the youngest and I never really had a sister - just step-sisters that are much older than me and I've only met a handful of times, and an adopted half-sister that's old enough to be my mother. To find out that I have a sister so close in age to me, is just .. wow. I don't even really know what to say, but I do know that I can't wait to meet her and her family. I'm a little bit nervous about it, but looking forward to it all the same.

So my life has been pretty eventful. I've made several new friends in the past few months from KICentral, including Angie who doesn't live all that far from me. We're going down to KI next week together to process our season passes and will probably hang out in Cincy for a few hours. We went to Krazy City in the Tri-County Mall last weekend with several friends and had a total blast, so she wants to go do that again. I'm glad that I've made so many friends up here since we moved back, and especially with Nick being gone for so long. At least I'll have a social network to get involved in and a lot of people to hang out and have fun with while he's out.

2009 Book ListCollapse )
link2 called my name • |save me

(no subject) [Feb. 18th, 2009|10:46 pm]
[mood |flirtyflirty]

Signed up for spring quarter classes, woo! All online again.

Art 101 - Art Appreciation/Intro to Art
Music 115 - Music Appreciation
Communications 225 - Small Group Communications
Math 116 - College Algebra

Classes are doing ok. My sociology teacher is insane - I'll be lucky to get a B in that class but according to ratemyprofessor the problems that I'm having are very typical of her. She takes off points from essays and discussion posts for no real reason (like not citing the website that she directed us to use and because she claims that my logic didn't make sense, when it made perfect sense to me) and her tests have questions that aren't in the lecture or even in the book. Whatever. As long as I pass it, I guess. English and math are doing much better and the profs are much much better. I don't know my current grade in English because she hasn't posted the most recent essay grade, but it should be in the B range. I was off by a week on the homework for some reason so I missed one entire week of assignments, that's the only reason it dropped. Math is currently a 95% with a 97.3% on my last test, woohoo! The subject matter is pretty easy for me, it's just a matter of getting the homework in on time in a normal classroom setting. The online setting for math is just absolute perfection for me.

Nick's training is going good too. He should be done either this weekend or first thing next week. The biggest problem is that they have too many students and not enough instructors, so there are some days where he literally does nothing. I've been up here in Ft Wayne since Sunday, I decided to come for the weekend and ended up staying for the week. I really have no reason to go home yet and I'm enjoying myself here. I'm getting to spend time with Nick, and his roommate is really cool too. Speaking of his roommate, Martin will probably finish the class tomorrow if he passes the DMV test and be on his way home. Nick's got 2 tests for the school left before he can go to the DMV for testing, so it's all a matter of how soon he'll be able to test on those. He's been doing awesome on his tests so far - one of the tests he has left he only missed by one point so he's confident that when he's got a chance to take it again he'll pass it. I'm excited for him to get out on the road and I'm excited for when I'll be able to go out on the road with him in May or June. Essentially free travel, what could be better? I love being on the road, and I love traveling - I'm one of the people who think getting there is most of the fun, so just driving through places I've never seen or places I like will be wonderful for me.

I've only finished one book since my last book update, but I'm posting it at the bottom of all my posts, so here it is!

2009 Book ListCollapse )
linksave me

(no subject) [Feb. 8th, 2009|06:10 am]
Once again, I fail to update in a timely manner. Trying to improve that, I swear. Here's a quick run down of how things are going in my life.

Nick started CDL training in Ft Wayne Indiana last week. He got to come home for the weekend, which has been great. It sucks not having him around through the week, but being able to see him fairly often and for several days where he has no plans, I think we'll be able to manage it. The biggest thing that sucks is from what he's been told, he won't get his first paycheck until April 9th. So, we've got to figure out how to make it through the next few months until he starts having a solid income again. It'll happen, we just have to hold on until it does. He can start taking a passenger with him in May, so I'll be able to ride around with him this summer. I'm trying not to get a job if I can help it so that I have the time to be able to go with him for weeks at a time.

Speaking of jobs, I didn't get that one I'd been hoping for. I think there were just too many people applying for one position. It was at Carmax in Columbus. They only had one part-time position and I was one of three people interviewing just that day alone, and they'd been interviewing for three weeks by that time. So, my chances were pretty slim to start with. But, it's ok. We have other things to worry about and we'll find something else when we get there.

School is going well. I'm maintaining A's in all my classes so far, but I'm not sure that I'll be able to keep it in English. I really, really despise all english classes, but especially literature, and I'm fighting hard just to care enough to finish my assignments on time. I'll be happy to get a B in it. Math is currently a 94% and sociology is a 92%. The soc grade should be going up when the prof posts grades on Tuesday, I did better on the second test than the first one and I've been getting perfect scores on all my essays for that class. I've already picked out my classes for next quarter, all online again so that I can hit the road with Nick towards the end of the quarter. I'll be doing my next math class and some of the dribs and drabs of GECs that I've got left. If it wasn't for the fact I've got a couple series classes (history, mainly) that I have left still, I'd be done with my associate's in the fall. But, that's ok cause I can go ahead and get physics and the first chem series out of the way too. Only have 4 math classes left after this quarter, I believe, so that's not too bad. It'll be several more years before I get my bachelor's but I'm ok with that. Slowly but surely, so long as I get there eventually.

I've gotten half my money back from the bank. Still working on getting the other half. One step at a time, right? Weight loss is going good too - I finally got the nerve to step on the scale and was quite pleased with the results. 199 - that's the first time that I've been under 200 in several years. That was probably two weeks ago too, so I don't know if it's changed since then.

I'm helping Woody and Lisa plan their wedding, their wedding planner flaked out on them this week. It's a lot of fun so far, and I'm excited. I'm still planning on making civil war costumes for Nick and I, I'm just not sure where I'll find the time at the rate I'm going!

Went diving with Gabe yesterday (the guy I met on KICentral) in a pool in Cincinnati. It was fun getting in the water and just playing around for a bit. I can definitely tell a difference in my comfort and skill level now that I've taken rescue. My buoyancy is almost spot-on (which it was only so-so before) and I'm just completely comfortable with being in the water. I can't wait for summer to roll around so I can get in the open water again and finally get my checkouts done so I can get that cool 'rescue diver' cert card.

Before Nick leaves to go back to Ft Wayne this afternoon I'm going to try and drag him to the Y so we can practice some dancing. He's only been to a few dance classes and I really want to be able to dance with him. I've got about an hour's worth of waltzes on my iPod and we've got one of those iHome docks with speakers, so we'll just plop ourselves in a racquetball court for a little bit and try to figure everything out. I need to get some tango and polka songs too, those are the only other two styles of dancing I know so far. We're learning quick step this month in class and then next month starts two months of waltz. So far I only know cross-step, so I'm excited to learn more, since I love cross-step.

That's about it for me. I need to get back to bed ... I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to get a jump on my math homework. So now all I have due today is a stupid English essay that I don't even want to look at, let alone start on.

2009 Book ListCollapse )
link1 called my name •|save me

(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2009|01:00 am]
[mood |ecstaticecstatic]

It's official today. I will be an aunt sometime in September. That's right, my brother and his wife are expecting their first child! Stacey is at 6 weeks and 1 day. They sent us the sonogram today - under the cut!

Baby under here!Collapse )
linksave me

(no subject) [Jan. 29th, 2009|08:43 pm]
Anyone who's free this weekend and likes roller coasters ... I've got an available free ticket (just one) to KICentral's Offseason Blues party on Saturday. Because of the weather and danger of falling on the ice, the Kings Island park tour is being drastically altered or cancelled completely. The admins have said there will be something almost as awesome in it's place but have not specified what it is.

The party includes:
Tour of Great Wolf Lodge resort
Q&A session with GWL and KI park services executives and presentation on the history of Kings Island and Coney Island
Dinner at Subway in the International Restaurant in Kings Island
and an undisclosed activity!

It lasts from 3 to approximately 6 pm on Saturday. The person offering the ticket is cancelling because the tour is cancelled and is offering the ticket for free, so you don't even have to pay the $6 that I had to pay! Anyone from the Dayton area can carpool with Nick and I.

Comment here if you're interested so I can pass the info along to those in charge.
linksave me

(no subject) [Jan. 22nd, 2009|02:45 am]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

Still no word on that job I interviewed for last week. I was expecting something by now, but I'm guessing the news isn't good. If I don't get it, I guess that's okay - I'll spend the summer living at home, working at King's Island part-time (already applied and am planning on going to their job far on Feb 15), and saving money up for our future move. Still no money from either Sinclair or Fifth Third. For some reason, neither of those things is really bothering me though. For once I've got a positive attitude about everything.

January 31st is the KICentral (a.k.a. King's Island Central) "Offseason Blues" party. I'm really excited for it ... not only do I get to meet people from one of my favorite new forums, but I'm going to get to visit King's Island in the off-season. We're getting to see all kinds of winter rehab stuff along with a tour of the Diamondback construction site. For a coaster junky like me, what more could I ask for?

Also from KIC, I've met a new scuba friend, but he lives in Indy. He's going to be in the area the second week of February and wants to hit the pool to brush up on skills and just get back in the water with another diver. We're hunting for a YMCA that will let us dive in their pool. As much as I enjoy swimming (which I try and do a lot of), it just doesn't compare to breathing underwater!

Speaking of swimming and doing active stuff .. been going to the Y in the mornings, if I'm awake early for whatever reason, to go swim laps. 800 yards seems to be my maximum before I'm pooped or run out of time, I'm trying to work on that though. I still can't do a flip turn for the life of me, but maybe some day. Also got my PS2 hooked up and broke out the DDR pads the other night. Still can't get Nick to play with me, but it provided me and the kitties some much needed entertainment. Orion likes to sit and watch, and Jake makes a point of laying right in the middle of the pad as soon as I step off of it. Nowhere near as good as I used to be, but at least I can still pass most of the songs I used to be able to. I mostly stick to Standard just to keep from wearing myself out too fast. Either way, it's a nice reminder of why I bought hard pads in the first place - way way way better than trying to play on those cheap soft pads that slide around everywhere.

With luck, I'll continue losing weight. I haven't actually weighed myself in several months, because I'd rather judge my progress by how much room I've got in my waistband than by what the scale says. So far, I'd say my pants are telling me I'm doing pretty good - two days ago, I fit into a pair of workout pants I haven't worn since high school.

School is going really well, at least I think it is. I'm staying on top of my homework, which is way easier to do in online classes, I've discovered. I only have to devote half as much time to them as I normally do because I don't actually go to a class. I learn what I'm doing as I'm doing it, rather than learning it and then doing it. My math grade is showing the difference - it's a 96% right now. English and sociology are anyone's guess. English, we haven't done enough to judge by, and sociology, only one grade has been posted (out of 4 so far). That one grade was a test - on which I got a 93% - but there are two essays that are currently un-graded. I've got high hopes for it though. I'd really love to pull out all A's this quarter and am well on my way towards it, but I'd be more than happy just to make Dean's List again.

And see, I'm already forgetting to update this ...

2009 Book listCollapse )
link3 called my name • |save me

(no subject) [Jan. 16th, 2009|07:41 am]
[mood |stressedstressed]

Well, it's been awhile since I posted a real entry, so I'll try and actually do that today.

It's been going good and bad. I got laid off from Donato's at the end of last month, never officially, just stopped getting scheduled. After four weeks without being on the schedule, I gave up on it and moved on with my life, started filling out applications in Columbus, and hoped for the best. Nick's seasonal position ended, a little early, before Christmas because they wanted him to work 80 hours a week. When they scheduled him for 24 hours of work within a 36 hour period (with only an 8 hour break in between 12 hour shifts), he decided he was done with that bull and quit. Can't really blame him at all. He was driving for 3 hours round trip, and half the time when he got there, they didn't have enough work and sent him home early. The other half of the time, they pulled crap like 12 or 14 hour shifts (this was manual labor, keep in mind) and then there was their horrible scheduling. He started that job because it was supposed to be 4 days a week, 10 hours a day, but by the end of it, he was working 6 days a week and anywhere from 2 to 14 hours a day.

Anyway, so we've both been unemployed since the day before Christmas. We'd been saving up our money a little bit, and actually had enough to cover our bills through the end of January. And cue Sinclair's idiocy. I'm completely covered by financial aid, plus I get about $1500 in a refund each quarter. Because I took a mini-term class, I had to sign up for their delayed payment program until my financial aid came in. Well, someone decided to not notify the payment program that I was covered by aid, and they took $450 out of my bank account on December 22. It is now almost a month later, my bank account sits at -$950, and I'm running at about $1200 just in overlimit fees. I've been calling the bank daily, but because it was an ACH transaction, it could be sometime next month before they make a ruling on the dispute I filed. Sinclair is saying they did nothing wrong, it's completely my fault, and what do I want them to do, I mean, they're already refunding the $450, so what do I expect?

All in all, it's just royally screwed up. My brother helped me last month by paying my car insurance, and the bank let my car payment go through even though it put me more than $800 into the negative, because of the pending dispute. But now it's coming around to when bills are getting due again, Cingular is calling wanting payment and threatening to cut off my phone, and when Sinclair does get me my refund check, I have no where to put it. I'm out the $300 extra that I'd had stashed in there for this month's bills, soon I will have no cell phone, and I don't even want to think about the car payment or insurance at the end of the month. What's worse is Fifth Third's right hand isn't talking to their left hand, so we're also getting daily calls and letters threatening to close our account and send us to collections because of the negative balance. I'm just sick and tired of the whole thing and am going to try and open a new account somewhere else when I get my refund check. What sucks is up until now, Fifth Third has been great. But this has been going on for 3 weeks now and they told me yesterday that it will be another 3 to 4 weeks before I'll know if anything does get done. It's so painfully obvious, from all the paperwork I gave them, that Sinclair is at fault for this, and they are refunding the overpayment, so why can't they just say "we'll forgive these fees" and be done with it?

The good news is, I have a hopeful job prospect. I'm very nervous about it now, because I interviewed on Tuesday and they said I'd either be getting a call (if good news) or a letter (bad news) within the next 7 days. It's now Friday and I haven't gotten a call. I haven't gotten a letter yet either, but I'm getting worried. All their hiring goes through their corporate office in Virginia, so the person making the decision isn't even the person who interviewed me - they just sent on their notes to the home office to be reviewed. The background check they do is practically police level, and I know I have nothing bad in my background and I was completely honest about everything, so I have no worries about that. But I'm still nervous. It's in Columbus, and it would be such good money and such good hours for school. I don't want to mention where it is or what it is to prevent cursing myself. Just keep your fingers crossed for me, because this would be a great opportunity for me.

Also, if Nick decides to go through with it (really hoping he does) he's been hired for a trucking position. It'd be on the road and I'd only see him once every 2-3 weeks. The only company that was willing to hire him and pay for his training was close to the bottom of our list of companies to work for, because of the crappy off-time policies, and the pay and benefits weren't as good as the other companies. But, none of the other companies are currently hiring, so I guess a year's commitment with this company isn't so bad. After a year, he'd be free to go to another company. He'd be starting paid training the first Monday in February. He's still iffy about it, mainly because of which company offered him the position, but if one of our top companies offered for him, he'd definitely take it. Though it will mean a lot of time away from me and a lot of strain on our relationship, without the money it would bring, I'm not sure we can stay in Ohio any longer, and we both want me to graduate from OSU before we move. He's willing to do this for me, and I'm willing to let him do it for me, and concentrate on my school and job.

His income alone would be what we made combined in Memphis, so we'd be able to have an apartment again. Our credit's a big issue, along with the cats, so we're also looking in to rental homes with private landlords that would be more understanding to our situation than big corporate leasing companies. I was looking at apartments in Columbus right after my interview on Tuesday and found several that I liked, but none that were perfect, so we'll keep looking, especially as nothing is set in stone on either of our employment yet.

Classes are going great this quarter. The online format suits me perfectly. It's closing in on the second week of classes and so far I'm maintaining high A's in all three classes, and planning on keeping it that way. I want to make Dean's List again so badly, and with the one A for this quarter I've already got from mini-term, I have the chance to bring up my GPA drastically. Right now I'm floating around a 3.0 so I'd like to see it rise significantly after this quarter. This will also finish out almost all my GECs necessary for Ohio State, and I can get started on the more hard-core classes. I'm going to continue taking classes online at Sinclair until I get them all finished, I think. I can take my next math class and all my history classes online. That would leave me with the remaining math (four classes) and all my physical science classes to complete my major pre-reqs, and then I'd have about 8 classes actually in my major to complete and I'll be done. I'm finally starting to see the finish line, and it's hard to believe that after taking classes on and off for the past 5 years, I'm finally about halfway through my degree. A little more than halfway, actually. Along the way, I'm going to end up with my associate's from Sinclair, too, a general liberal arts and sciences degree, because of all the classes I've been taking. Finally, a degree of some sort!

I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on things. I'm trying very hard not to let things get to me, especially the situation with my bank account. My family and friends are amazing, and they have done so much to help me out in my current and past situations, I know I can count on them for anything. Things are starting to come together. We're probably moving to Columbus by spring break, which means I'll be back home at OSU for spring quarter. School is going well, and I'm getting ever closer to being an Ohio State alumni. So I'll just keep on trucking till I get there!
link8 called my name • |save me

2009 Book list [Jan. 13th, 2009|01:50 am]
I always tell myself I'm going to do a book list each year. It usually lasts a week and then I lose the paper I was writing them on. So I'll try it differently this year. Since I absorb books at an alarming rate, I'll update weekly (or when I finish a book if it's longer than a week). Being that I read LJ daily, even though I rarely post, that should help me remember. I think there's one that's not on this list, I'm going to look at the stack next to my bed to see if I'm right.

Edited 1/14/09 - I was right, there was a book in between the 2 I originally listed.

2009 Book ListCollapse )
link1 called my name •|save me

(no subject) [Dec. 30th, 2008|03:50 pm]
Sinclair currently owes me $1398 and counting. Assholes.
linksave me

(no subject) [Dec. 30th, 2008|03:43 pm]
For Rachael ... and anyone else who likes Christmas lights. :)

link1 called my name •|save me

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