"I Live to think for myself. I refuse to be a mindless sheep following the crowd into cookie-cutter oblivion. Otherwise I'd just be a zombie with no heart or passion in life" - Hervey Taylor IV

Changing In Your Car

Thursday, March 29, 2012

| | | 2 Witty Remarks
I recently... as in just this morning... was asked a strange question. Actually, the only thing strange about the question was that it was being asked at all. And then I realized maybe the fact that somebody had to ask me this question just meant that I was a little strange too. So, I know you're sitting there wondering... what was the question?

Did you just change in you car?

In which I replied, with a sort of quizzical look on my face... Yes. Doesn't everybody?

No. Apparently people don't change in their cars. Which really is a new fact that I am stumbling upon. The guy friend who happened to ask this question saw me entering my car in jeans covered with sheep muck, an old t-shirt, and boots with my hair in a high messy bun.

Less than 5 minutes later he saw me getting out of my parked car in a different parking lot wearing jeans, knock off Sperry's, a blue wrap t-shirt, and my hair in a side twist.

At this fact he just simply laughed at me, said I was always a strange one, and explained that my life is really too hectic if I have to change in my car and then he proceeded to buy me a coffee.

I never really thought about how changing in your car might be considered strange. I mean, when your day consists of waking with a 2.5 hour horse riding class, then several hours of normal class, then off to the gym, then meetings that required dress attire, then hours of studying in the library... all within the same day. Every single one of these events calls for a different outfit. It's not like I can just show up as President of the Panhellenic Council in jeans, a t-shirt, and cowboy boots. Or show up for my riding lessons or work with the sheep in a dress and heels. This is not acceptable. So the only obvious choice was to just change in your car in the middle of events because I was not about to carry a duffel bag full of clothes all across campus.

This is how my car (poor old Coop) got turned into one gigantic closet. At all times I had a dress, t-shirt, jeans, nice shirt, dress pants, work out clothes, pajamas, sweatshirt, heels, flats, flip-flops, tennis shoes, and cowboy boots in case the occasion called for any of the above. And trust me... I went in to my stash of extra clothes several times every week.

There were times in college where I didn't even have time to go home and shower so I would just stop off at a friends house close to campus and jump in their shower really quickly. It is quite convenient to have extra clothes always at hand.

Plus, if anybody needed an extra shirt or a jacket or heels to wear to an event, I always had them covered. I'm pretty positive my car also had a first aid kit, several board games, pom poms (which was strange because I was never a cheerleader), an emergency car kit that I didn't know how to use, my dad's wrench that he thought he lost for 2 years, 87 dollars in change, a research poster, AA and AAA batteries, a flashlight, 5 novels, 3 textbooks, and countless other things that I couldn't even begin to explain. 

But now Coop has gone far away and I am driving my sisters old car to school because I am not about to have my new car smelling like a barn and I am also not going to leave it in the ghetto free parking lots where Coop was often broken in to.

Now that Coop has gone to live in his fancy junk yard and my days have grown less crazy, I find I don't have a closet in my car anymore. I also find that because of this I can't actually fit all of my clothes in my room closet anymore.

Who knew after five years of a crazy hectic life I'd actually be sad about trading in the days of living in my car...

The Invisible Degree

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

| | | 0 Witty Remarks
Sometimes I wonder about the actual capabilities of people in the academic offices. Throughout the years, I have had so many problems with them... people in charge of registration, people in charge of finances, people in charge of the running of this university. It is really quite frustrating at times. I really think it comes down to a lack of training and a huge communication error.

Take this instance for example which is currently an ongoing frustration of mine.

As you know, I am graduating in T-minus 46 days. I will be graduating with a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science, a Degree of Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology, and a Degree of Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology.

I applied to have these degrees added to my transcript and for the past 3ish years they have been on every piece of mail I have sent to other schools. When I officially applied for my diplomas, I had to pay for 3 separate ones... a total of $75 and everything in life was looking good. All I need to do is pass the 4 classes I am currently taking that actually matter for my degrees, which is quite easy.

And yet, I find myself reading an e-mail congratulating me on my two degrees and these are the ones that will show up on the graduation program and the only two diplomas I will receive. No, these are not the only 2 degrees I will get. I would not have stayed an extra year to get the 2 degrees I finished last year... no thanks. I think I will take the 3 I paid for, the 3 I studied for, the 3 I took all the required classes and then some for.

In an effort to figure out who screwed up, I contact the advising department of my college... in which they believe they accidentally lost my degree. I'm so sorry... you WHAT?

Lets just back up for a minute here lady. I'm actually positive you didn't lose my degree. Why? Because I have the receipt for the 3 I purchased. Not to mention this transcript. You see this official piece of shiny paper with the school seal on it and everything... which I just got today. Which your office printed. Which has all 3 of my degrees. See... even your office says that I have them.

In which she replies, "Well, this information doesn't say that."

Are these official school transcripts that I am holding in my hand invisible to you!? I mean really, did they just change in to harry potter and they can get around with a cloak of invisibility hiding from only your eyes seeing as how everybody else knows what the heck is going on? Honestly, that is the only explanation I have for this here.That or your complete lack of competence.

I really don't want to be rude. And I am trying really really hard not to be, but this isn't just a small problem. This is something I have been working five years for. FIVE YEARS. And I am not going to let it get thrown all away because you are... for a lack of better words... completely incapable of doing your job correctly.

If this doesn't get fixed very soon, sparks will fly. And I'm actually pretty good at making sparks if I really want to.

In conclusion... get it together people. Get it together.

The Anorak

Friday, March 23, 2012

| | | 0 Witty Remarks
Now that you and the rest of my family/friends/world knows I am officially leaving this fall for Michigan, the number one thing I have been told was to buy a parka. And buy a parka now while they are marked down for spring and summer.

At first, I just laughed and thought yep it is definitely going to be cold and I should look in to something warm to wear. I have 2 pea coats (more like raincoat) type of jackets that I really just bought because they are super cute. Then I have 1 wool coat. A wool coat I bought about 4 years ago... it's missing a button and the black has faded in to a more of a dark grey. And that is the extent of my coat collection.

You just don't need coats in Cruces. A good sweatshirt is all you ever really need. Or a nice sweater. 11 months out of the year you never need a coat and for that 1 month that you may need one, people just don't go outside.

Just a couple of stats for you:
  • Rain
    • Cruces: we're lucky if we get .25 inches a month
    • Ann Arbor: rains an average of 3 inches every month
  • High Temp
    • Cruces: It's March and we have already reached highs over 80 degrees and summers bring days with 95-110ish degrees
    • Ann Arbor: Highs are generally around 80-90 max with a record high of 105 in 1934. Only 3 months out of the year Ann Arbor has EVER reached over 100 degrees and it rarely gets over 90.
  • Low Temp
    • Hardly ever do we see temperatures under freezing. And if we do, it is in the middle of the night but never during the day.
    • About 4 months out of the year the average daily temperature is below freezing.
So... in summary... I am going to drown from all the rain and then freeze to the sidewalk. It is pretty much my decided fate in Ann Arbor.

In order to try my best to fight my destiny, though I think it may be hopeless, I decided I need to invest in coats... not only coats but parkas.

That is when I found myself in the mall looking in a department store in the coat section with a very concerned expression on my face. I looked through the meager 2 racks they had provided for me. And I found myself thinking... what in the world is a parka!?

No really... I don't have the slightest idea of what makes a coat a parka. I don't think I have ever even seen a parka. And that is when I knew for sure... I am indeed going to die in Ann Arbor.

I decided to do a parka google search. My good friend Wikipedia told me that a parka was originally called an anorak and made by the Eskimos. They are often fur/fake fur lined in order to keep you warmer and were originally made from caribou or seal.

Most importantly they are often ugly. Now it comes down to functionality and fashion. Do I really want to survive or do I want to look cute? Duh... I'm into surviving and being warm.

And there go all of my chances of finding a good boy in Ann Arbor. Damn parkas.

I was just informed that my "pea coats" are actually trench coats... and my wool coat is a pea coat.

Not only do I not know what a parka is... I apparently don't even know what a coat is. 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

| | | 2 Witty Remarks
Today is a lazy day. It's a lazy day for several reasons. The most important reason is that it is spring break!! Not like this really matters because I work all week but today is my one day off.

An actual sign in LC
Taken by: transterrestrial.com
Two, we are experiencing the Dust Bowl 2.0 here. If you've never been to Las Cruces in the spring... don't. Stay as far away as you possibly can. The weather is unbelievably disgusting. It amazes me when I see wind advisories on the weather channel for other cities. People are in an uproar when it goes over 20 mph. Springs in LC brings horribly uncomfortable wind. And since LC is a desert town... lots and lots of sand/dirt/grit blows everywhere.

Spring is the season you pack up your dust rags until summer comes because if you actually tried to keep up with the dust you would be dusting every day... multiple times a day. Right now, we're sitting at a mere 40 mph and I cannot see down my street because it is that dusty.

A year ago I had a horse training class 3 hours a day, 3 times a week... during spring. After class I would take off my sunglasses and literally have dirt caked on my face so badly that the skin where my sunglasses were covering was at least 3 shades lighter than the rest of my face. Needless to say, I take a lot of showers in the spring and my hair is virtually always in a ponytail because anything else is just not a feasible option.

Reason number three for being lazy. I bought a car yesterday!! My very own, brand new 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback. I am a proud car owner!! Get real if you think I'm taking my beautiful new baby out in this dust. Please. I wouldn't even pick up pizza for dinner last night in my new car.

Not to mention, car buying takes a lot out of you. It is exhausting! We drove all the way to El Paso (45ish minute drive) looked at 4 different lots at a total of 4 different types of cars and decided we had a good idea of what we were getting in to.

On our way back to Cruces, it was decided we would just stop at 1 more place in town to compare dealership prices. I wasn't going to buy anything until May but I just wanted to get an idea. And there it was... my car! A slick magnetic grey with power locks and everything! I have never in my life owned a car with power locks and windows. It was really a treat. Not to mention the fact that it has an air conditioner, excellent brakes, 4 doors, a ridiculous amount of airbags, a fully working gas gauge and odometer, traction control and 85,000 other bells and whistles... all of which my previous ghetto car (fondly known as Coup) did not have.

It really isn't that fancy of a car. No blue tooth, no button unlock on the key, no crazy additions. But I'm a simple person and this car is perfect for me. There is so much leg room my over 6 foot family friend can sit comfortably in the back and front with room to spare. There is so much cargo space that I think I just may be able to fit all of my necessities on my trip up to Michigan. And it gets 33 miles to the gallon.

I was surprised to hear that people don't actually like hatchbacks. I don't understand this. They have much more cargo space than a sedan (though the versa sedan was pretty nice) and they have a whole lot of leg room. So, even though hatchbacks have some of the highest safety ratings and some of the best features, people like the more traditional trunk of a car. Which means I get a better deal on mine :) So thanks people for spending more money on your sedans which offer less space and allowing me to buy my car for less! Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated.

Besides, it is a great feeling to know that at 21 years old I own a car. Me... owning my very own brand new car. It's crazy. Well, I don't technically own my car. I mean, I signed my life away yesterday but I don't actually own anything. That is a lie. I do own something a car payment every month for the next 6 years. But still, it's a step.

They also took Coup away for me. They gave me $800 for that poor little fella. Which, I think I got the better end of that deal. I'm positive that if I had driven Coup to Michigan we would have blown up half way through Texas. I hope they take him to a nice scrap yard and salvage him for some usable parts... if he has any.

Now all I have to do is name him/her. I feel every car deserves a name. They have personalities just like people and pets except... well, they're inanimate objects. I was told this is a quirk of mine... which translates to: I am weird.

But I am guessing you already knew that.
Later folks. Time to continue on being lazy and attempting to stay dirt free. Stay clean my friends!

City of Trees

Friday, March 16, 2012

| | | 0 Witty Remarks
Yes I know, you keep getting the same excuses from me as of late but I cannot help it. I am a mess. Really, I am a mess. I am in such an utter state of disrepair that I spent 15 minutes looking for a pair of pants yesterday. A pair of pants that I had swore I hadn't seen in over a month. A pair of pants, it turns out, I was currently wearing. But, I am getting much better... I think. I was super sick for about a week and now that that is done and I'm starting to get a grip on my life for the coming several months. Regular blogging is at the top of my list. Promise! For real this time.

Official updates:
  • I am going to the University of Michigan come fall!! I am so incredibly excited. I think I knew the second I had my recruitment weekend up there that it was the school for me. I guess I have to get used to some cold and some snow... and apparently tornadoes like the one that hit them yesterday. It's going to be a lot of adjusting. But, I am going to be a wolverine. Which means, decent football!!! Not the crappy stuff we get thrown with down here. (Some of these pics are a little blurry because I felt like my fingers were going to fall off in the 15 degree weather!)

  • I signed a lease for my housing this fall. I was originally going to get a place by myself. Then, I realized how expensive life is and how absolutely poor I am. My mother also felt the need to remind me that I will be getting paid below the poverty line next year. Awesome. Hello ramon noodles! Not to mention the fact that I need to buy a new car. So, after craigslisting for several weeks I found it! The cutest little house (okay not so little)! I'm actually going to have 7 roommates. SEVEN! It sounds a little insane but I am so excited. It's an instant basis of people I get to know and way better than moving to a town where I literally do not know a soul. To top it off, the days of skype have allowed me to even meet some of my roommates. It's going to be a good year. I can tell.
Looks little from the front but this baby has 8 good sized bedrooms, 2 kitchens, 4 baths and is a deep house rather than wide.
  • I signed my lease for the summer too. I am living in this apartment with 2 other people down in a great part of Boston. Just a couple of T stops from work. It's amazing, this 3 bedroom apartment costs as much as the 5 bedroom section of my house in Ann Arbor is going to cost (my house is actually a duplex but we're renting as a whole. One section is 3 bedrooms. One section is 5 bedrooms). Boston is ridiculously expensive... and I think if I had decided to go to school there I would have had to sell a kidney.
  • I am car shopping tomorrow!! I am not actually going to buy until probably early May but I am going to go around and look. I need a nice reliable car. If, I was to take mine it would blow up half way through Texas. Literally, blow up. Personally, I like the Honda Fit best. What do you think?
Exterior Photo of 2012 Honda Fit
2012 Honda Fit
2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback

2012 Kia Soul

  • Spring Break officially starts for us tonight after I get done with wine class. Not that it really matters... at all actually. I still have to be up before the sun every day except Sundays. I have to say losing those creatures is going to be the best day of my life!

Who Needs A Flight Crew?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

| | | 2 Witty Remarks
One week ago I travelled to Boston. It was actually a very smooth trip... well, mostly.

It started out with me heading to El Paso at 4pm on Saturday. My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30 pm but it is about a 45 minute drive to El Paso and then security and all. After only having to have my hair patted down, I made it to Phoenix where I had a 4.5 hour layover. Yes, I did say having my hair inspected. Turns out, I have big hair. So big in fact that people readily think I could be hiding razors or drugs in it. Which I suppose is plausible.

It makes me wonder how many people they have caught through security with illegal substances pinned underneath the folds of their hair. I don't make my hair big it just is... I really try to tame it down but sometimes I can't. This is the third time I have had my hair inspected when going through airports so it has become rather routine. People do give you strange looks though as if saying: Man this dumb girl is trying to smuggle things in through her hair. Genius!

As I am sitting in the Phoenix airport, reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (which is an amazing book about the woman whose cells were taken without her knowledge and grown for years. They have been a help in many cures and medical advancements. Read it.)

Anyway... I'm sitting reading this when two teenage girls, their mom and dad come walking into the gateway. I have literally never seen people that have looked more like a tomato in my entire life. I mean every single bit of their body that wasn't covered by clothing was a bright, sickly red. I'm not exactly sure where they were coming from in the middle of February but it must have been somewhere warm and sunny. I just don't understand how you let yourself get so sunburned. Not even on just a portion of your body... the whole thing. It looked so painful I cringed every time they moved an arm or a leg.

But this was the highlight of my traveling thus far. I was surprised to have a very smooth, drama free flight. No screaming kids, no rude people, nobody trying to flirt with me. I have to say, it was peaceful. And then my plane left from Phoenix at midnight and landed in Philly at 6:30 am. And that is when all hell broke loose.

I had about a 2 hour layover in Philly and decided to grab some food (Au Bon Pain... yum!) before taking the shuttle over to the F terminal. It just so happens that the F terminal is in utter disrepair and probably shouldn't even be used until they fix it up but here we were waiting anyway. Our gate probably held about 10 chairs with a flight of nearly 80 people... which means people were everywhere. I'm pretty positive we were considered a fire hazard blocking all kinds of exits but it is 6:30 in the morning and none of us cared.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 9:15 am and board at 8:45. Well, 9:00 rolls around and we are all a little concerned as to what is going on. Nobody from US Airways is near the gate entrance. We can't find a single person that works there and absolutely nothing is going on. The plane has been there for about an hour and the passengers have been waiting longer than that but we can't find anybody to let us on the plane.

Finally, somebody decides they may have a slight idea of what is going on and announces that the flight has accidentally been oversold and 10 passengers are not going to be able to get on this plane. Oh... and by the way, all flights to Boston are booked for the next 3 days. So good luck getting there! I don't understand how you oversell a flight. As far as I can tell, you can count the number of seats on a plane... and that gives you the exact number of seats on a flight. There should never be a case where you oversell seats. Who does that? A poorly run airline does that apparently.

After a good 10 minutes of people yelling and screaming... and people trying to convince other people to give them their seats. The hostility slows to a simmer and people stomp away extremely angry. But at least we have the seats figured out and we can be on our way to Boston. We're already late and I have an interview weekend I need to be at in 2.5 hours. So, I would really like to get going.

You would think all the problems would stop there, right? Nope. Not even close. Turns out US Airways is run by some brilliant people. In the midst of everything, they seem to have forgotten to book a flight crew. I may not be an expert in the airline business but I am going to go out on a limb and say a flight crew may be the most important thing to getting a plane off the ground. Please, correct me if I am wrong but I think it is pretty crucial. So, I don't quite understand how when setting up a flight you don't actually have a flight crew scheduled? I think people need to be fired for this.

After a good 2 hours goes by, meaning I am already going to be 2 hours late for my interview weekend, we finally get on the plane. I could have actually rented a car and been in Boston faster than when I actually got there. After leaving New Mexico at 4pm on Saturday. I arrived in Boston at 1pm on Sunday which is (11 am MST). That is 19 hours of travelling... in the same clothes... with no sleep since Friday night and now I had to go and meet/interview with people. Needless to say I was exhausted.

Once in Boston though, the weekend went splendidly and my flight back was amazingly on time and with very friendly staff. That's because I flew United on the way back. I even got to watch a relatively good movie on my long flight from Boston to Denver. And made it back to El Paso at an early 12:30 am.

To sum up the weekend:
I was gone a total of 58 hours.
29 of those hours were spent travelling.
29 of those were spent in Boston.
6 of the Boston hours were spent sleeping.

So technically... I only spent 23 waking hours in Boston and over the span of 58 hours I only got to sleep 6 hours. All of this culminated in me getting deathly ill. And I have been sitting on the couch for the past 3 days in utter agony with fluctuating bouts of fever and more sleep than I think I have ever gotten in my life. Reminds me of the days when I had mono.

This is my sickly life :(
 No more travelling for me until May! I've clearly had more than I can handle.
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