The Point
Monday, January 30, 2006 ~ 01:58 p.m.

This past weekend, Todd and I headed up the road to visit my grandparents in Kingston. We revisited some of the cousins' old stomping grounds, and my grandparents finally had the chance to get to know Todd (and vice-versa). It was a great trip, but too short. Well, the visit was short. The driving never seemed to end, although maybe that's because I was the one driving. Car trips don't seem to take as long with Todd at the wheel - perception or reality, who can say?

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Five years?!
Monday, January 23, 2006 ~ 01:55 p.m.

Yesterday, the blog turned FIVE YEARS OLD.

I'm actually kind of in shock.

When I wrote my first post, I was 19 years old. I had been attending UAH for a year and seven months, and was just starting to get into my actual core classes. I was living in 702-H in SECH, and still dating Jeff. I had a whole number of odd hobbies, one of which involved forcibly relocating other people's internal organs with foam bats. I was just getting into ASCE. I was still somewhat shy - an introvert, really - and I had little to no patience with people. I was very....hyper. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you could say.

Now, I'm 24 years old. I've been out of college and working as an engineer for two whole years. I live in Harvest, Alabama in an actual house with my husband (HUSBAND!), Todd. I've been president of ASCE twice, and now both Todd and I are advisors. I'm much more outgoing and a lot more understanding of people (believe it or not). Sadly, Iím also much more cynical. It doesn't seem like that much time has passed, but reading, I've changed.

Over the years, Iíve posted a lot of dumb shit. Donít get me wrong, there are the few entries I actually enjoy looking back at. Take, for instance, the story about blowing up Jeffís kitchen. But in between the decent entries are pages and pages of inane ramblings. The only reason I keep them is because they help me to remember what it was like to be a student. Iím sort of glad I have a record, but sometimes I think I owe you guys an apology for making you read that crap.

Iíd like to think that now, five years later, I have a higher standard for blogging, but I really donít. I wish could promise you nothing but fascinating topics Ė a daily dose of something funny and witty and interesting. Alas, all I have are anecdotes about shutting the catís head in the fridge door, or my exploding lunch yogurt (oh God, itís everywhere), or whatever random weirdness I encounter. I'll never be one of those bloggers that everyone reads, but then again, that was never really the point.

Iím not sure why I keep writing in this thing, but I suppose after five years, itís hard to break a habit.

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The job, it is good
Friday, January 20, 2006 ~ 04:06 p.m.

Today started out with glowing praise from the boss man. Apparently, everyone's been really pleased and impressed with the way I've handled my new projects and the BMP program, and they've been vocal about it. I like that the branch manager takes time to tell me these things. An actual sit-down-we-want-to-thank-you goes pretty far when it comes to my motivation level. You know, once I get over the heart attack associated with the words "come to my office, we need to talk".

One of the things he asked me, though, was how I feel now about moving over to the Environmental department. The surprising thing (at least to me) is, I actually really like it.

When they first relocated me from Geotech back in October, I wasn't happy about the change. Geotech was interesting to me. It was a huge learning curve, but I liked feeling like I was constantly being pushed. I liked drilling and seeing what was under my feet. I liked having input into a critical part of the design of a building. And honestly, I was fairly terrified at the amount of paperwork involved in working for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

But now, I'm glad. Yeah, the paperwork has increased, but I still get to spend a lot of time outside. I really enjoy working with the people in Environmental. But most importantly, however silly it is, I feel like I'm actually contributing to something. By helping to clean up and monitor these UST sites, I feel like I'm useful, like I'm doing something good. I mean, we humans screw up so much - if I can help to put something right again, it's a good thing.

That, and I like that Environmental pays for my lunches when Iím on a jobsite. Free food is cool too. ;-)

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Why they are not dead, I do not know
Sunday, January 15, 2006 ~ 08:29 p.m.

We have the luckiest cats in the world.

Also, the stupidest.

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You don't say
Wednesday, January 11, 2006 ~ 11:21 a.m.

Today's gem from Yahoo News: "One-Eyed Cat Had Medical Condition"

...As opposed to what, exactly? Me, I would have thought having one eye instead of a nose would have given the "medical condition" bit away. But others, apparently not so much.

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Death from above!
Thursday, January 5, 2006 ~ 03:16 p.m.

The great thing about working at QORE is that, unlike most beginning engineers, I actually have my own office. It even has windows. But it's still a very small office, so my desk is positioned in the very center...right under the one fluorescent light.

Today I was chilling out, leaning back in my chair, when something caught my eye. Sitting inside the screen covering the light was a GIANT spider. Seriously, his leg span was the diameter of a Coke can. Effing HUGE. And sitting RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am about as arachnophobic as they come. I can handle snakes, rats, bugs, anything, but not arachnids. We're talking serious fear. It doesn't matter that I'm several hundred times bigger. Logic stops working in the face of pure, gibbering panic.

But still, I'm one of only three female engineers in the office, and I don't want to look like a total pansy. So I froze in place, trying to think how long he had been there. Maybe it's dead. Maybe it's not about to crawl out of there and drop RIGHT ON MY HEAD. But then again, maybe every one of its bazillion nasty little eyes had seen me looking at him, and he was just playing dead to fool me, waiting until I wasn't paying attention so he could drop RIGHT ON MY HEAD. Because that's what spiders do.

I had to know, of course, so I slowly inched away from my desk and grabbed a roll of drawings with which to prod the light fixture. One jab, and he was off running. Which made the gibbering panic about 10,000 time worse. If he had darted into the ceiling tiles, I swear Iíd have quit my job. But after running a lap of the screen, he settled back down, still visible.

I knew then that one of us had to die.

The only answer was to stand atop my desk, lift the light cover, and attempt to smash him with, say, an Uzi. But I know me. If I'd tried that, he'd have jumped onto my face (oh god, oh god), and I'd have crapped my pants and fallen off the desk. The impact would, of course, have broken my neck, and then my coworkers would have found me, pants full of crap and dead. And that's how they would remember me. Forever.

Faced with the shame of that, or the shame of admitting that I'm a wuss, I swallowed my pride and ventured forth to seek aid. After explaining my situation, help was found. Sacrificial Male Coworker #1 clambered onto my desk, waited for the opportune momentÖ.and SMASHED that eight-legged motherf***er with consummate ease. Then he went back to his officeÖleaving the oozing spider carcass sitting RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD.

So now I am overcome by the paralyzing fear that the spider will rise again. I keep looking up every five seconds or so to make sure that Zombie Spider isnít on the loose. But even if he stays dead, what if his friends come to seek revenge? How many of them are up there? Where will they strike next? Will I ever rest easy again?

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Thursday, January 5, 2006 ~ 08:11 a.m.

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Have fun, eat cake, and enjoy the day. :-)

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Smells like something's burning
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 ~ 02:33 p.m.

At the risk of giving Pat more material, I have to say that I think this story is great: "Kitten dumper to spend cold night in woods"

And just in case my immortal soul wasn't already in enough danger, I figured I'd go ahead and push myself right over the edge into the "Definitely Damned" category, and post this:

Jesus Dress Up Refrigerator Magnets

I can just see myself with a set of these:

"No no no...THIS is a Beautiful Savior."

Now if you'll excuse me, my flesh is already starting to crisp...

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And on the 9th Day of Christmas...
Monday, January 2, 2006 ~ 01:49 p.m.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- is 74įF and I was just outside, wearing short sleeves, enjoying the sun. The record temperature for January 2nd was 68įF, set in 1997, so this is weird, even for Alabama. The dogs are totally confused.

On one hand, it's been great. Todd and I both took all last week off of work, and we haven't done much but watch movies and be lazy. It's been fun, but after 10 days of doing nothing useful, we both woke up today with severe cases of cabin fever. Fortunately, it's so gorgeous outside that to not enjoy it would be a crime.

On the other hand, this is January 2nd, for cryin' out loud! Our Christmas tree is still up. We're still receiving presents. New Year's Day was yesterday! This isn't right!

Er, not that I'm really complaining. In fact, I'm off to soak up more sun and warmth, before winter decides to set in again.

To all of you consigned to the ice-cold northern regions, all I can say is....HA!

Of course, you can all return the favor tonight, when our house is destroyed by the inevitable tornados.

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2006 and counting
Sunday, January 1, 2006 ~ 04:15 p.m.

Happy New Year!

And to celebrate, here we have the new(ish) blog. My goal this week was to do as little as possible, which meant I was too lazy to design a new layout, but it's amazing what a new coat of paint and some curtains can do.

I had given some serious thought to posting a sort of Resolution List, like all the other good little bloggers. However, actually formulating such a list would have gone completely against my stated goal of doing absolutely nothing. That, and it probably would have been full of mundane things like "scoop the litterboxes more often," and everyone would have been bored to tears anyway. So, no list and no grand plan for the coming year, except to be a better wife, daughter, employee, and person in general.

But anyway, I hope everyone had a good holiday, and that you all have a Happy New Year.

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© 2006