Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So I've been toying for a while with the idea of becoming a vegetarian again. I went veggie in high school/college, but found the lifestyle difficult to maintain healthily when I was living in the dorms with very limited access to off-campus food (and anyone will tell you that, at least until recently, there has been little-to-no vegetarian options except for pasta offered on my school's campus) or any feasible way too cook or prepare meals. So, what I'm saying is, I gave up. It was easier to stop trying, especially after my reason for becoming a vegetarian (an old boyfriend) was out of the picture.

Over the past few years, I've learned more and more about the truths of factory farming and the disgustingly, terrifyingly inhumane way most industries treat animals bread for their meat (an other products). I heard a really powerful presentation from a member of the campus veggie club last semester and picked up some flyers and informational packets. I was appalled by what I was learning and the things I already knew that were getting confirmed, but I still hadn't made the commitment to stop eating meat.

The truth is, I enjoy meat. I love a good steak, I've recently discovered some delicious recipes for cooking chicken, I will jump on almost any excuse to eat shrimp, and have developed a semi-recent taste for fish. Thinking about the things I eat during the day, at least one meal usually contains meat--usually that meal is dinner, which I often make for and eat with my boyfriend, who gets home from school at 10pm most nights, and who isn't a vegetarian.

The lifestyle changes that would be required by becoming a vegetarian are huge. I am not willing to cook separate meals for my boyfriend and I, though I don't see him being willing to stop eating meat any time soon--here enters the compromising. I would be eliminating many of my staple grocery products (hot dogs, chicken breasts, chicken fingers, deli turkey, burgers) and would stop eating some of my dinner "treats," like my favorite pork and greenbean recipe, a tender, grilled steak with A-1, my uncle's famous lime-something marinated grilled shrimp, and more.

I'm also not sure how to get all the protein and other nutrients I need into a vegetarian diet. I already like tofu and avocado, but I don't like beans and asparagus and other "good for you" veggies....

Clearly, this requires some planning, some research, and some important discussions with my boyfriend. Overall, though, I am on the road to becoming a vegetarian. Wondering why I have decided this all of a sudden? I saw a video in my ethics class today that disturbed and pained me so much that I don't think I can justify eating meat anymore, unless I can confirm that the animals were treated humanely during their lives and killed humanely at their time of death. I will post the video when my teacher emails me the link.

Learning lots,

Here is the link to the video. I warn you, the images are very disturbing and graphic. This is not fun to watch, but it is powerful. The argument in this video subtely changes throughout, but reagrdless of what the narrator says, it is what is shown that really matters.

Monday, April 19, 2010

MATH! haha just kidding

Two more weeks of classes and then one week of finals, for which I don't actually have to take any finals! I have a bunch of huge projects due during or before finals week that are taking up a lot of my time right now. I was a poor planner earlier in the semester and didn't get a great head start on my editing portfolio (which, to give you an idea of the ginormity of it, will consist of, at least, fifty pages of edited material and an explanation page for each, plus extra project parts for certain documents, not to mention a few pages of professional intros and lots of other fun but time-consuming pages...) and that is pretty much taking over my life right now. If fate is with me, then the project won't be due until finals week. However, since I haven't actually written down the due date, I have no clue when I need to get it done by... aaaand, go!

I'm also moving out of my current house shortly after I graduate and moving some of my stuff into my boyfriend's small apartment and the rest of it (like my desk, bookshelf, winter gear, and dresser) to his parent's basement/garage. Thank goodness they live close and are willing to let me store my stuff there for a few months before my boyfriend and I get our new place, otherwise I'd have to blow a lot of money on storage lockers, since there's no way we could get all my stuff into his tiny place and still have room to breathe. I don't even know how I'm going to fit my bare essentials, like toiletries, books, and clothes. (Yes, books are essentials.) But I will make it work, hopefully with some cleverly-stashed boxes and plastic drawers.

I had a fun facial party with my boyfriend's mom and some of her friends over the weekend. It was the biggest party I have ever done, and so it took longer than I expected. All of the women were fun and chatty, so the time felt like it was going by quickly and I was surprised by how late it was when we were done. The more I do the parties, the more I enjoy them, and the longer the span of time between them, the more I forget that I enjoy them. I have another one coming up this Thursday with one of my teachers, who is very fun and already likes Mary Kay.

Next weekend my mom is coming to visit. She's never seen the house I live in and, quite possibly, has never met my roommates. I'm so excited for her to come and see the things I do around here and to meet my friends. I'm going to take her to... oh wait, I can't write it here because she reads this blog! It's a surprise. Granted, there aren't too many super duper exciting things around here, but there are some places that I enjoy and I want to share them with her.

This afternoon I'm getting my hair cut for the first time in a long while! I've been growing it out for years and getting it trimmed when it starts to get nasty, but now it's way too long and gets tangled all the time, no matter how well I care for it. A few inches need to go! I will donate to locks of love if my hair is long enough that they can take 10 inches without leaving me with the same mistake of a hair cut that I got four years ago that made me look like Peter Pan... and not in a good way. If not, I'll just lose between 3 and 6, depending on how risky I feel like being.

Learning lots,

UPDATE: Lost 10 inches of hair today! Bumped my hair back up to my shoulders... I am getting used to it, and comforting myself with the knowledge that I just gave my hair to a child that needs it more than I do. Now, how do I style short hair??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Soooooo, Europe, anyone?

I got some stupendous news this weekend! (Well, actually on Friday.) I have an opportunity to go to Prague for four weeks this summer with three friends from one of my classes and six other American students. We're going to be studying poetry/screenwriting at Charles University, the third oldest university in Europe, for four weeks! We'll also have time to see operas and ballets, as well as visit historical sites like Auschwitz and, of course, use our free time to gallavant around Europe and do some coffee house workshops.

I am SO STOKED for this trip! On top of being able to see Europe with some friends, I will be able to put this University time on my transcript, which will give me a leg-up when I apply to grad schools in less than a year.

My boyfriend is really supportive of me going. It means, of course, that we will be spending time apart, and it might turn out that his two weeks of training (for the Marines) lines up with my Prague trip and we might not see each other for six weeks. Of course this is a little bit of a downer, but we talked about what a grand opportunity this is for me and how much I will learn and get to experience, and that weighs so much more than the sadness of not seeing each other for some time.

This means now that I need to really amp up my Mary Kay business so I can have some extra money for daily expenses in Europe, and so that I can hopefully start to fill the hole that this trip will leave in my bank account. I have about a month or so before the money is due, and I've already got some facials lined up for the next two weeks. The most important thing for me to do now is to be giving my business cards away and starting dialogues about Mary Kay with every woman I meet to see if she's interested in a free facial or buying some products--and at the very least she will have my information and can hand it off to friends, or buy stuff in a few months.

I am soooo excited that sometimes I need to dance around because the anticipation is making me jittery and high and I need to let it loose. I also feel a bit scared, mostly because of the whole going-to-Europe-costs-money thing... But I'm using those emotions to motivate me to really work at getting myself to a good and more stable place before I leave. Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Learning lots
(and really joyous!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Living with Purpose

So as I mentioned in an earlier blog, my boyfriend and I signed a lease together for next year--August to August. We are very excited about the place because it is clean, newly renovated, we're allowed to have pets (and the pet deposit is refundable!), it's far from campus but not too far from town, utilities are included, and the lady who runs the complex is so nice! The current tenant in the apartment we rented has lived there for 22 years, and when he was told that he was going to get all new appliances, flooring, painting and the works, he decided to move out instead! Crazy man... but that means my boyfriend and I get all new appliances and brand new carpet for no extra charge. Also my good friend signed a lease there a few weeks prior, and since she referred us, she gets $200 off her first month's rent. So if anyone is looking for a place to stay around here, talk to me so we can get referral benefits and you can live in a beautiful place!

My typing adventure is going well. You might recall that I am trying out a new method of typing that could potentially make me a faster and more efficient typist. If I'm not conscious about typing with all my fingers, I still lapse back to my old hunt-and-peck method, but I'm already becoming faster at typing with all my fingers. What's really interesting is that when I am conscious of the way I'm typing, I'm also more conscious about whether or not I'm slouching, which is a habit of mine that I've also been working on changing.

I'm becoming more proactive about being a Mary Kay beauty consultant. I was rocking out the facials over Spring break, but since getting back to school I have been focusing less on my job and more on school work and my friends--which is not bad, I just need to find a balance so I make money while still nurturing the other parts of my life. I'm working on not dividing my life up, so that I'm always conscious of being a MK consultant, instead of turning it on when I turn my school work off--I want to be a complete person, not a person with a fragmented life, just like I am still a writer when I'm with my non-writer friends, and I'm still a pupil of the Wright Leadership Institute when I'm here in Ohio.

Learning lots,