Monday, March 27, 2006


So, I guess you can all guess what this post is going to be about. No, I'm not going to spend this entire time talking about that delicious, steaming piece of cinnamony goodness covered in cream cheese icing, but it does involve the Cinnabon in part. Let's just start in the beginning...

Saturday was going to be a fairly uneventful day, but after talking to my former co-worker Anna, I began looking at all the malls in the Cincinnati area. Believe it or not, there are at least five of them! Before Saturday, I had only visited the Kenwood Towne Centre, which is the closest mall to where I am. There are four others spaced out around Cincinnati, but most of these are at least 20-30 minutes away, as opposed to the 10-15 that it takes me to get to Kenwood. But I needed a change in scenery, and I just wanted to see what all the hype was about, so this brought me to the Tri-County Mall, which is in Northern Cincinnati. After about 45 minutes (or more) of trying to figure out the highway system here, I arrived, and to my amazement, instantly found a parking spot. Things were already shaping up!

Now this mall is apparently the biggest and most popular in the entire city, so I was a little intimidated at first, but then it really wasn't as crowded as I was anticipating. It was after all around 3:30 PM, so most of the lunch people had left already. Not to mention the fact that it was raining and snowing that day, so I guess most people didn't want to get out that Saturday. But I'm not one to stay in just because of a little weather, so I wasn't bothered at all. I walked around just for a few minutes (in search of the Food Court) and found the Cinnabon right as I walked in! It was tempting me the entire time I was there... I found the Food Court fairly easily, and looked around at my choices. To my surprise, there were only about 7-8 different restaurants in that Food Court, which I found odd since Knoxville's West Town Mall is smaller than this one and yet had twice as many food choices. I chose the pizza place just since it was there and ready to go, and I was starving. That took about ten minutes, and I was back to walking.

I went into a few stores (no purchases this time...What, do you think I'm made of money???) and looked around in general. There were a lot of higher end stores and a few of those specialty shops, then some clothing stores, and finally the anchor department stores (Dillard's, Macy's, Sears, etc.). I just walked up and down the mall a little bit, working up a little sweat before I get the all-important Cinnabon. Now, I had waited enough, and it was calling to me. I know this section might be a little unappealing to my grandfather, so if at any point you wish to scroll down, feel free. HAHAHA (We had a conversation about Cinnabons last summer when I was visiting in Florida. You can ask him about his "Cinnabon Philosophy" sometime later.) So I walked over there and the smell was calling me; it was almost overwhelming. I got the oh-so-good treat, and it was warm, and soft, and of course cinnamony. I, however, didn't finish the behemoth of a dessert, but it was good anyways. It was a long time coming, and it definitely filled that void in my life, as it were.

This was then followed by more walking, and I even took the stairs to walk off some of that Cinnabon (mmm...Cinnabon). I found out that they have one of those glass elevators, just like the mall my grandma took us to when she lived near Atlanta. I didn't indulge in that, however, since I wanted to get as much walking in as possible. I looked at a few more stores, but quickly got hungry once again! I did have that taste of sugar in my mouth, which isn't appetizing after the fact. I needed something to counteract that, so I got a little box of Chick-fil-A nuggets. Boy did that hit the spot! That was enough as far as eating, so I went back to walking around.

This time I only walked around for 10-15 minutes, and I decided that it was time to head back. I had, after all, been there for almost three hours, so I had been there long enough. When I walked outside, I found out that it had hailed or sleeted while I was inside, which was a surprise to me! I drove back here, and relaxed for the rest of the night (until it was cleaning and laundry time). All in all, a very nice and enjoyable day.

Well, that's really all I have to report for now. There will be a few things going on this week that I can write about later, but I will try to do that tomorrow or Wednesday. For now, it's time to look over the procedure for tomorrow's Chemistry Lab, and do a Pre-Lab write-up. Until next time, I hope everyone had a great weekend, and I hope you also have a very productive week.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pictures of Spring Snow

As promised, I walked around campus a little after I ate my lunch, and then later after dinner, and got some really good pictures of the snow. As we speak, there are still some flurries around, but I don't think we'll have the more than 5 inches that they were forecasting at one time. We have gotten around 3-4, which is still fine with me! Just to clarify, the first four pictures are from this afternoon and the last few are from this evening. So, without further ado, here are the pictures:

:What used to be the start of a beautiful Spring has now been covered up by the Winter weather. These are the tree and daffodils in front of the Student Center.

:This is another picture from around the Student Center. I'm looking off toward Dana Avenue, where a lot of the neighborhood houses are located. Very nice...

:I decided to walk around a little bit and looked down upon the baseball field with all the little "X" flags. I just thought that was a neat picture with the snow-covered field.

:For this picture, I was actually behind my dorm building. This is looking across Victory Parkway at the wooded hill area. (Just ignore the blue sign that says "Jesuit Residence"...)

:After dinner I went walking around, and this is over behind one of the other dorms. This is some of the only "undisturbed" snow on campus, and it measured almost 4 inches!

:I just wanted to take a couple of pictures of my car covered in snow! Obviously this isn't a normal occurrence, so I just wanted to see what it looked like...

:Just so you know, I'm not obsessed with my car! I was just so happy to see it covered in four inches of snow, that I just had to take pictures!

So, here's just a little update since my post this morning. We have had around three and a half to four inches of snow so far (according to my own personal snow depth test, which I took in the "undisturbed" snow), and there are still some flurries as we speak. I don't expect there to be any more accumulations, and I'm sure classes will be on for tomorrow. In other news, I have come to the conclusion that in "winter" there is nothing more beautiful than a nice snowfall, even in a hustling, bustling city like Cincinnati.

Well, that's all for now, so I hope you enjoyed the pictures! I know I enjoyed taking them, so I hope those of you who aren't experiencing snow can take in some of the beauty I attempted to capture. Until next time, I hope everyone can have a safe and productive week.

What's This? A Snow Day in Spring???

That's right, you read it correctly: I have a snow day today!!! We are expecting between 3-5 inches of snow on the first full day of Spring, and I couldn't be happier! As a result, all classes before 4:00 PM are cancelled for the day, as of around 7:30 this morning. Unfortunately though, I was already awake for my morning class, and I didn't get to sleep through it... But I guess it's a good thing I was awake, since I probably wouldn't have found out if my roommate hadn't said anything.

So, I guess today will be a day of leisure, since my only classes were in the morning (Biology and Chemistry Lab...WOO HOO!). As far as I know, everything else is still open (cafeteria, student center, etc.), so the University isn't completely shut down, Thank God. I will probably try (the key word here is "try") to get back to sleep, but we'll see about that! I should probably stay here all day, but something is making me curious to see what all the fuss is about around town... Hmmmm... Maybe I'll just take a little walk and take some more pictures for everyone, since I know we all love pictures! Until then, I will be enjoying my day off, and for those who still have to work and go to school today, tough luck!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Whole Lotta Shaking Going On...

Many of you will appreciate the title of this post, as most of you either were alive in the 60s or have heard this song before. You may not believe this, but in my Chemistry Lab class, there was actually a musical component! No, we weren't learning the Chemistry of music or sound; we were shakin' to the music as we were doing our experiment! Now, you might ask, "Why that particular song?!" The answer to that would be the following: the experiment involved shaking mixtures...

In this particular experiment, we were mixing two different solutions together which produced a bright golden precipitate. (In the chemical sense, a precipitate is anything that falls out of solution as a solid; in this case, the precipitate was lead iodide.) To get the reaction to completion, we were required to shake the mixtures in test tubes for approximately 15 minutes, which can get very tiring! My instructor came to the conclusion years ago that experiments like this need music, since when one is shaking to the music, one forgets how tired his or her arm is getting. This was very true, as I observed. She brought in a little boom box and a few collections of "oldies," most of which were appropriate enough for a shaking experiment. There was "The Twist," and "A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On," but also some favorites like "Rockin' Robin" and "Tequila!". Actually, a lot of these songs reminded me of the music used during my grandfather's aerobics classes! So, needless to say, this experiment was a very fun one, and I actually got very good data according to my instructor.

Besides the shakin' lab, I had a very long week. As many of you know, my birthday was on Wednesday, and it was a fairly uneventful day. I did however get several cards and packages in the mail, which did brighten my day a lot. Just to mention the special things I got in the mail: a Snood t-shirt and a giant bag of peanut butter M&Ms! Besides the material things I received for my birthday, there were also surprises in store in my classes. Although I didn't receive these "gifts," they really did make my day. The "gifts" in this sense were my grades on two very big tests: Chemistry and Philosophy. I got a 95% and a 94%, respectively! I was so happy, and that REALLY made me feel good on my day! Other than that, my day just went about as usual, but I later got a call from my parents and talked to some friends also. All in all, a pretty good day.

At the end of the week, Friday to be exact, I met with my Academic Advisor to discuss classes for next semester. I had looked over the schedule of classes and all my choices, but there were a few blanks that needed to be filled. After consulting with her, I came up with a list of classes to take: Organic Chemistry I and Lab, General Botany and Lab, English Composition, Elements of Calculus I, and Introduction to Sociology. We have mapped out all the times, but as Registration isn't until the end of the month, nothing is set in stone. Not to mention the fact that my Registration day is second to last, so I don't even know if my classes will be there when I get my turn. But hopefully everything will work out as it did this semester, and the only changes to be made will be the times.

Other than what I've already mentioned, the only other event this week worth mentioning would be my two trips to the Kenwood mall. I think I may have mentioned this before, but my friend Aaron works at American Eagle back home, and he signed me up for their store value card and credit card. I'm really not into shopping at those kinds of stores very much because they are fairly expensive, but on my birthday I get 20% off everything when using the credit card and the savings card. You can't really beat that! So on Tuesday I picked out a pair of blue shorts and a pair of tropical green board shorts (formerly known as swim trunks). Then earlier today I went back and picked out two t-shirts to "complete the ensemble." (HAHAHA) And since everything I bought was already on sale, I probably saved around 30-35% in total! What a deal! I just hope that sometime in the very near future it will get back into the 60s and 70s and I can actually wear everything I bought...

Well that's really all that my week has amounted to so far. Now it's time for dinner and relaxation! So, until next time, enjoy your weekend, and I'll be posting sometime tomorrow about the week ahead.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It's Been a Long Time Coming...

Once again I've neglected to post for over two weeks, and I just feel ashamed of that! Believe me now when I saw that I will get back on track with my one- or two-a-week postings. And those postings begin now...

I guess I can start by discussing the higher points of my "Spring Break," since that was definitely a major part of my life lately. As I said in one of my last posts way back when, I left on Friday after my big Biology test, and this was at around 2:45 PM. I had actually finished that test early (not to mention that I did pretty well on it!), so I got to leave a little earlier than I had originally expected. The trip itself was fairly uneventful as trips go, except for the one pit stop that was made somewhere in Kentucky. I had gotten hungry and stopped at a Taco Bell drive-thru that seemed to have been made out of some sort of trailer building! It was the oddest Taco Bell I had ever seen, but I guess if the food tastes the same, it works. I arrived at home around 6:30 PM, which is great time for that kind of trip at that time of day.

I had decided earlier that I would take my mom out for dinner that night, since I hadn't been there for her birthday earlier in February. We went to our favorite restaurant, Carrabba's, and had a great dinner, and a great time. Probably the highlight of this dinner was the wait time, about one full minute! The hostess had originally said the wait was 60-70 minutes, but we weren't going for that, no sir... So we ate up at the pizza and pasta bar and were waited on right away! Brilliant, in my opinion...

Ok, now on to something that doesn't involve food... I had made plans to help my friend Aaron and his mom move into their new apartment, so that entire day would be devoted to that cause. This started at around 10:00 AM over at their old house, and I was even treated to breakfast! We boxed up items from different rooms, and then began moving out packed boxes, some furniture, and appliances (namely, the washer and drier). Now I don't know if many of you know about what I'd like to call "the Suthurn Wimun" (my Southern drawl pronunciation of "Southern Women"), but we had three of them helping us out for part of the day. What I mean by Southern women is take-charge, strong, butch, and yet still very feminine women; that makes them especially good at moving furniture and appliances. Aaron, his brother, and I felt almost helpless around these women, since they were so take-charge and gung-ho! So we helped when we needed to, but mostly just got the stuff the women weren't lifting.

We all took a break for lunch and Miss Rebecca (Aaron's mom) treated us to Taco Bell for lunch. After that there was some more moving of stuff, and I took a load of boxes and a piece of furniture in my car. Now I got to actually see the apartment, and it is really nice. We carried all of that stuff in and tried to put it in the general location it belonged, and moved on. During that time we also hooked up the washer and dryer (though we later found out that everything was electric and they had a gas dryer) and the women set up his mom's bed. My friend Emily came by soon after that, and we talked a little while everyone was taking a break. Later on we headed back to the house to get a few things, and dropped them off in the same fashion.

Now that all the moving was done for the day, Aaron, Emily, and I decided to go get some dinner, and we decided on T.G.I. Fridays for their three-course combo thingy. Afterwards we wanted to go over to the University of Tennessee and see Emily's dorm, since we had never been over there. Surprisingly, her room is a lot bigger than my dorm, yet for some reason, her roommate (a girl we went to High School with) took up more than 2/3 of the room! We only stayed for about 30 minutes, since we weren't expecting Emily's roommate to be there (and she was...with visitors too). We then drove back to the apartment, only after making a quick late-night stop to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, as per the request of Aaron's mom. Boy is it fun to go shopping after midnight! We got what we needed and headed back to the apartment for some more laughs and conversation, until Emily decided to leave around 1:00. Aaron invited me to stay over, which involved sleeping on the floor, but that was just fine with me. The thing that wasn't fine was how cold it got at night, and I was shivering the entire time!!! But all's well that ends well; we had a great time movin' and a-shakin', and had a great deal of laughs to go along with that.

Sunday was my first day back to work, and I worked every night from Sunday to Friday. It was great to see some of my old Ingles friends, but I also found out that there were a lot of new people that were like just hired. One humorous moment came when my manager asked me to watch the self checkout (called U-Scan) while someone was on break. One of those new guys got to take over my register briefly, but not before asking, "Are you sure you know how to run that?" What he didn't realize was that I have been there for almost three years, and was trained how to use that longer than anyone in the store that night. I just politely said, "Yes, I think I can manage." I think he later found out that I had been there for such a long time, so he must have been embarrassed about that.

The highlight of my working week was that I got to do my old job on Wednesday night! The other girl had the night off, and the guy that just started that job was training over in the video department, so the store manager asked me to be the bookkeeper. I was so excited! Now, I hadn't done this job by myself in over six months, but I had helped out the others, so I remembered all that I had to do. The only difference was that now we have a gas station outside, so there was some extra to do there. But, the others had taught me what to do, so I felt pretty confident. The night actually went really well, and the very first time I counted the cash drawer, it was perfect down to the very penny! (See, we have to count the cash drawer several times a night to make sure it's correct, and we find this out by matching our count to the system computer.) Everything went very smoothly, except that I had to stay a little bit later than I was supposed to, since I fell a little bit behind after we switched the system over to the next business day. I was trying to count all the tills by myself, which takes a little bit longer, but I like being able to go at my own pace and have the office to myself. So I got out of there around 11:45, but all in all, it was a great work day.

Friday was my last day of work, and it was fairly uneventful. Saturday was going to be "fun day" because Aaron and I went to see a movie, and we were going to celebrate my dad's birthday, which was actually on Thursday. (Oh, and I forgot to mention that I took him out to lunch on Thursday, and we went to our favorite chicken place, Zaxby's...oh so good...) Aaron and I saw the movie "Madea's Family Reunion," and I highly recommend it if you're into that kind of humor (a black man dressed as a woman, with lots of crazy antics). It was a hilarious movie, and I just couldn't stop laughing! Afterwards we went to the mall and got some lunch, and then walked around for a little while. Aaron had to work at 6:30 (he works at American Eagle in that very mall, so that was convenient), so we just hung out until then. I left after he went in, and it was time for dinner by the time I got home.

Oh, and boy what a good dinner it was! My mom had found a recipe for orange zest salmon, and mmmm mmmm mmmm!!! It was the best salmon I had ever had, and I do love salmon! Then we all had a fun night watching TV, and even a movie that I had just bought, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which by the way is also extremely hilarious!!! Though, it is rated "R" and has a lot of language and such, but hilarious nevertheless. We had a small cake later on for dessert, and spent some time talking about school and life in general before heading off to bed. A very good day in my opinion!

Sunday was my last day in town, so I wanted to make the best of it. We went to Mass at 11:30 AM and met our friends Greg and Janie for lunch at Burger King, as we have during almost every visit I have made. It was great to see them once again, and we shared lots of nice conversation, and some laughs of course. We were there for about two and a half hours, and it was time to go back home. We say our goodbyes and headed back on our way. Once we got home, we just lounged around for a little while, and conversed yet again while watching a little bit of TV. I delayed packing up my stuff for as long as possible, since I wanted to get the very most out of that day. I finally ended up getting ready to leave around 5:00-5:30, as usual, and set off around 6:30. We all said our goodbyes, and I headed off, though I was not even close to being ready to start classes again. But, it was a very good trip, and I had a lot of fun during this one.

The drive back here was uneventful to say the least, but I stopped again at a Taco Bell (I seem to be eating there a lot in this particular blog...) in Berea, Kentucky, and had a nice little dinner. I finally got back here at around 11:30 PM, and I was dead tired. After I lugged everything back to the room, I noticed that I was missing once of my hooded sweatshirts, and I looked up and down the room to find it! It wasn't there! So I walked up and down the halls and even went back outside to see if I had dropped it, only to find nothing once again. So, then I, in my infinite wisdom, walked all the way back to my car in the parking lot to see if it was still in there; it wasn't. I had just come to the conclusion right then that either I had left it at home, or that someone had picked it up and was now wearing it. I headed back to the room, not really caring about it any more. But, lo and behold, and I was putting my suitcase under the bed, there it was! It had fallen through the space between the bed and the wall and was sitting under the bed! How frustrating to me, but then again, I was glad that I didn't lose it.

So, there you have the main events from my "Spring Break." Since then, nothing too exciting has been going on here; just classes and such. This coming week will be a good one (my birthday being on Wednesday!), except for the fact that I think I have three tests this week! As always, I will keep everyone updated on how everything turns out. Until later, have a great week!