Monthly Archives: November 2011

it’s beginning to feel a lot like…


As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I find it acceptable to listen to Christmas music. Which is a relief, because for the past few weeks, while driving in my car I have had to skip over my radio presets #2 and #3 because they had already switched over to holiday music.

Today is a misty day outside (slightly London-ish) and has been perfect for studying and getting ready for the end of the semester.

I’ve had Spotify on my computer playing Michael Buble’s new Christmas album, as well as the Christmas album from She & Him. I have my Christmas decorations up in the apartment and several new Christmas candles ready to burn.

Ohhhh.. and a big screen TV!

photo 1

Yup. I inherited the nice 42” SONY flatscreen from the farm, as an excuse for my Dad to upgrade to a 46”. Not a bad hand-me-down at all! We got it set up last night when I returned to Chapel Hill, as well as my holiday decorations.

photo 2

Today has mostly been filled with studying. And laundry. And a 3rd trip to Walgreens to finally get our Christmas pictures. I won’t post it on here, because that would ruin it for those of you who will get one in your mailbox. Harley is recovering from a sweet potato tater tot – induced vomit, but is otherwise doing well. He’s now sporting a Christmas-green bandana.

photo 3


wasted steps

Hey there. Ready for Thanksgiving? I sure am. I’ve already had 4 days off class, but haven’t stopped moving. There seems to be so much to do!

Today I had a nice little to-do list all ready to go.

First up, take Harley to our locally owned pet shop “Phydeaux” to pick out his 1 year rescue anniversary present. Yes, one year ago today my mother found Harley, dying on the side of our road in Tennessee. Today he’s a healthy, thriving boy, a registered Canine Good Citizen who makes everyone smile when they see him.

So… we headed out for a walk (I love that I can walk everywhere here!) and got to the store… only to see CLOSED. Harley’s head dropped in disappointment.

OK, not really. We just walked home. (and made a mental note to check store’s hours)

A few hours of studying later, I headed out for my dentist appointment. Excited that I could walk to the dentist’s office too, I set out. I got to the building, found the office number on the directory, but discovered an empty office with no name. iPhone came to the rescue, and told me that the dentist had MOVED location, to the other side of Chapel Hill! So now…. walk back to my apartment, get in the car, call the dentist and tell them I’m running late, and drive to new location. Thankfully, I made it in time and was able to get my cleaning and exam without having to reschedule. I had the usually lecture on flossing, but other than that was giving the thumbs’ up.

Next, I drove to Walgreens to pick up Harley and my Christmas card photos. Drove 10 miles to the Walgreens (Chapel Hill skimps on a lot of chain stores… the only Walgreens is right in campus with no parking), only to discover that I didn’t bring my photographer’s copyright notice with me, so the nice Walgreens employee cannot release the photos to me. Ugh.

At this point, I was just mad. 3 strikes in 1 day. Not acceptable! Turns out though, Dunkin Donuts was just next door, and 6 glazed munchkins seemed to make things feel better. Emotional eating? Yes. A dietitian emotionally eating? Yes. It happens.

The new Boy in my life (that’s a WHOLE other story…) was helpful via text messages, reminding me to keep breathing when I told him I wanted to “punch something” (not really… that would just end up hurting my hand). But really… a donut does the trick 🙂

So… I took Harley back to the pet shop when I got back (he won another walk so he was happy). He picked out a large beef saddle bone, and some peanut butter chewy treats. And in a few more hours, after I’ve gotten some more studying done and perhaps contemplated dinner, we will head out to Walgreens for our second attempt.

And tomorrow I get to drive 6 hours to the farm and enjoy Thanksgiving with the family.

Keep breathing everyone. The holidays fly by, but let’s enjoy it and not let the little things get in the way!

weekend update

Apologies for keeping you all ten days without any thoughts from me.

Here’s a little update:

  • Fall is here and the colors are beautiful! Here’s a picture from our (Harley + me) trail walk yesterday:


  • School is winding down for the semester (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say it is “gearing up to start winding down”). There are still a bunch of exams, projects, presentations to get through in the next 2 weeks, but then we can coast for a while. And did I fail to mention that I have a full month off from school! I haven’t had a month off since middle school in Australia, and that was only because it was our summer break!
  • How amazing is it that Thanksgiving is in less than 2 weeks!? This year, my family is back at the farm, just the 4 of us, along with 3 canines. Harley has been told he will get to meet his insane cousin, Sullivan, and I don’t think he’s quite sure what to make of him:


  • And I suppose, if Thanksgiving is just around the corner, than Christmas is sneaking up right behind. Since we’re not exactly rolling in the money anymore, Harley and I will be channeling our inner Martha Stewarts again and making some homemade gifts. Did I mention that we’ll also be driving 20 hours back to Texas for Christmas? So exciting 😉
  • As for this weekend, there are social plans (dim sum, a cappella, etc), and scholastic plans (learning a statistical programming language, critiquing an epidemiological study, and writing a presentation on new federal policies regarding school nutrition). Hope you all have a great weekend!

Today’s likes & dislikes

Always start with the bad news, so you can finish on a good note:

I dislike:

  • finding a hole in my “new” (=thrifted) pair of jeans
  • researching auto insurance policies
  • being stood up at a coffee shop for my summer internship interview
  • my passive aggressive DVR spontaneously deciding not to record Glee
  • my professor spilling her beverage on our group’s 5 page paper in class

I like:

  • finding out that my classmates all wear thrifted clothes too
  • settling on an auto insurance policy, and getting a discount for paying in full
  • spontaneous dinner at whole foods with the roommate
  • brian williams deliver the nightly news
  • the incredible power behind my apartment’s heating unit
  • planning a holiday potluck for fellow grad students
  • finishing some major projects and tests this week, and the free time that comes along with such accomplishments

in honor of the nerds

Here’s a science joke for you:

Two men walked into a bar. The first orders some H2O. The second one says, “Sounds good, I’ll have some H2O too”.

The second man died.




PS. If you don’t get it, read it again. If you still don’t get it, take a chemistry course 🙂

happy halloween!

I hope you’re having a great Halloween night wherever you are.

I’m sitting in my apartment, armed with a bowl of candy, hoping that trick-or-treaters will come by. We’ve only had 4 so far (and I swear one was a repeat customer!). But it’s cold and drizzly outside, so I’m not expecting too many.

Harley is a little confused by these dressed up children. He won’t even approach the door, rather stays back, out of sight, and gives a big ferocious bark. And then the little kiddies jump. Maybe that’s Harley’s scary plan after all? Clever boy 🙂

I’ve been studious all weekend, finishing my take-home exam and researching auto insurance options (headache-inducing!), which gives me the opportunity to spend tonight listening to Mumford & Sons on Spotify in comfy clothes/slippers, with an ear open to any knocks on the door.

Have a great night!