Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coming Up For Air

Do you guys remember the Ben Folds Five song "Air"? I love that song. (You can listen to it on YouTube here!) Wasn't it on the Godzilla soundtrack? That movie was awful but the soundtrack had some really kick-ass songs on it. I think I still have the CD somewhere. The title of this post reminded me of the song so yes I am listening to it right now. And possibly singing along. Sometimes, I swear, the people in my office must hate me. 

I had the best intentions of sitting down on Sunday to schedule out some posts and share the back-log of pictures I've been piling up on various computers (really, it's embarrassing). And the best intentions yesterday of sharing our weekend, a few awesome wedding updates, and getting started on my big assignment that's due next week.

But ahhhhh motherland - I mean ahhhhh work! And ahhhhh school! And ahhhhh me being a huge frenzied grumpus!

Things get in the way. I know, I know...
I finished training last week and conducted a pretty in-depth training review with our entire office, and I'm coordinating those improvements. I'm also redefining my role in the company as we've hired someone new who's going to take what I used to do and make it a million times better so I get to do other awesome things. That's all really exciting and keeping me busy. 

I'm also, as of last night at 11pm, done with two weeks of school. I still have six weeks of these two classes (we run on eight-week sub-terms) and then eight weeks of another two classes, then forever and ever until the rest of my life about a year-and-a-half until I'm done... at which point I'll probably want to go back and get my MBA. (Baby steps.) School is pretty exciting, and also pretty frustrating. 

I should warn you that I'm going to whine here. Since this is my blog, I'm allowed to. Skip down to the bottom if you want!

I actually forgot how frustrating school can be. Take my Bible Studies class for example. Our professor assigns anywhere from 100 to 300 pages of reading in three different textbooks, and provides us with a weekly study guide of 30 to 50 questions to guide our reading. He then sends us an email on Tuesday (our "week" runs Tuesday at 12:00am until Monday at 11:59pm) with an additional 30 to 50 study questions that are completely different from the study guide. He then sends us "mid-week study helps" with another completely different set of 30 to 50 study questions... usually late on Friday or Sunday nights. Basically what I'm trying to say is that he makes it impossible to structure any sort of study time, aside from cramming everything in on Monday night right before taking the quiz (which is always due by Monday at 11:59pm) and it's SO. FREAKIN. FRUSTRATING. I am trying really hard to get started on my work early in the week and I get slammed with all these new questions and have to completely re-start the reading. If I could, I'd complete the reading, fill in the questions, and take the quiz as soon as I'm done... but it feels like our professor is hell-bent against us doing that until the very last minute of the school week. Grr. Oh and then let's get to the discussion board assignments, you know, wherein we have a topic and some questions to answer and have to post our "paper" on the discussion board. Let me tell you, my classmates need some serious writing help. I try not to judge, but it's kind of annoying knowing that I took the time to write something that met every specification and was professional and was spell-checked and was proof-read... and they didn't. I don't know if the grades are going to reflect that yet but man oh man, the American education system needs help. Now let's get to Apologetics... this course is confusing. I do all the readings, I look up things I don't understand, and I take a lot of notes. And still there are quiz questions that totally stump me! I got an 80 on the first quiz and a 90 on this last quiz, which is definitely okay, but I fully expect to get at least a 95 if not 100 on every single assignment in these courses. I mean, they're easy courses. This week I'm going to do my readings a few times, and if that doesn't help on the next quiz, I'll have to figure out some sort of tutoring or study-help situation. It's the classic situation of doing well in the class that drives me crazy and not doing so well in the class I like! 

Oh and poor Mike. He came home last night as I was fighting with his computer and trying to take my quiz and getting ready to write 250 words on studying the Old Testament narratives. (I wrote 517 words.) I was less-than-happy at the moment. I Tried to make up for it by bringing him some Jello chocolate mousse and not grinding my teeth in my sleep last night... not sure if any of that worked. I'm sorry, honey!  

Now I'm making time to sit down and process all of this. And what I have processed is this: I really do like school, and I really don't want to turn into a crazy woman. I have to remember that some things are not in my control and I have to do my best to work within those issues instead of trying to change them.

Totally changing gears here... we had a pretty awesome weekend! On Friday afternoon we decided to go out to Rabbit, a new-ish salad and grill place in Clarendon. I had the steak+potatoes salad and Mike enjoyed the salmon meal - and it was all really good. The salad was HUGE! We also both enjoyed a Lagunitas IPA of some sort, which I'm definitely opening up to after being with an IPA-freak (I mean that in the nicest way) for such a long time. One of my favorite things about Rabbit is that it serves Red Velvet cupcakes, hells yeah! I snagged a vanilla bean to take home :) It was a super-sweet date night and a really nice way to end the (crazy) work week.

After dinner, Mike loaded his bicycle into the trunk of our Civic and home we went, to debate what to do in between now and the concert we were going to hit up later... dun dun dun. We're good indecisionmakers. Eventually Mike read and I fell asleep. 

Later Friday night, we headed off to IOTA for a concert! If you live in the general Northern VA area and have not been to IOTA, I highly recommend it. It's such a nice venue, and the food is really good too. The only thing that sucks is the parking, but you could always metro/walk like good cityfolk. 

Mike found out that Laura Gibson was playing and then found out that Cotton Jones was opening up for her, and then found out that tickets were pretty cheap, so out we went!

The venue was just right for these two awesome musical acts, and it was just the right crowd. Cotton Jones was amazing, even though they all looked like they'd just been in a fight with each other and didn't really enjoy being on-stage together.

And whoa - Bob Boilen was there! :)

Laura Gibson - oh! - she and her musical team were wonderful. They powered through some technical difficulties, they made us laugh, and they created a magical concert.

During one interlude Laura told the audience that she had been at NPR's studios doing a Tiny Desk Concert earlier in the day, which was awesome because it was the 200th and she had actually done the very first one back in 2008. For her final song, she taught us a melody and had us sing along with her, a capella, and it was mesmerizing.

I wish I knew how to write a proper music review because this show deserves it, but my little memories will have to suffice.

On Saturday we had pancakes, went to look at a potential venue, hung around, and went over to Mike's parents' house. Bill made us a delicious dinner and we talked, drank, and ate our way late into the evening! Sunday found me sleeping in, then enjoying a walk to the bakery for some treats with Mike, then heading off to a bridal expo with Rhiannon - whoa whoa whoa. I'm still processing that one! lol :)


I joined the Blogger Map. You should too.

"Join your other favorite bloggers on this map! As you plan travels, or want to arrange local meetups, you'll know who to contact. You might meet some new local faces and be able to reconnect with old when you find yourself away from home."


Finally, here's a sneak peek of some awesome wedding progress we made over the weekend...

I promise you'll hear all about it in tomorrow's Wedding Wednesday post :)

Happy Tuesday!


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