Category Archives: Life

On the Up and Up

So, I kind of want to get into the habit of writing in this space again. The thing with blogging though, is that the longer you stay away the easier it is to stay away. Nonetheless, in the infamous words of slim shady:

Since I last wrote life has been freakishly better. I don’t know what happened, but I’ve started hanging out with more people. I usually end up doing something during the course of the weekend with other human beings. And I’m happier. The work is getting harder, but I’m happier. I don’t really feel like I did anything differently. It was almost as if one weekend everything started to change and I’m really glad it did.

Some highlights over the past few weeks include:
– A super fun ski weekend at Snowshoe, WV (the homeland). I last minute decided to go on a trip where I didn’t know anyone, and it all ended up working out well. I met a lot of cool people and got myself back out on skis for the first time in 5 years. Hopefully I’ll see them again at some point.

– I decided to move to a new place with a new roommate in August. The place is nicer because it’s more house-like and I’LL HAVE A PARKING SPOT! I will actually be able to drive and not live in fear of where I’ll park when I return. I’ll miss my current roommates a lot (a lot a lot), but I think I’m doing the right thing for me. Doing the right thing is so unlike me though.

– Another snow storm! AH! And Charlottesville is still recovering. I haven’t had use of my car for like 2+ weeks : / Damn ice. I would actually love this if I didn’t have to worry about my car. It was fun sludging around in it all weekend even though I only had holey target rainboots on my feet. No beer tastes as good as one you walk a mile in the snow to procure. Especially if it’s Harp : )

So, that’s all you’re getting at the moment. I’ll try to keep you more up to date on my adulthood angst.

P.S. Disclaimer: Life is too short to drink bad beer. And, no, Harp is not paying me.


Post College Angst Brain Dump

Hey gentlereaders. So I kind of disappeared there for a while eh? Yeah, once I developed food poisoning at the beginning of January I figured there was only so much empathy I could ask you folks to feel after the strep Christmas hospital incident, so I just layed low. During my absence, I was having a rough patch in my relationship with Charlottesville. I didn’t feel like I got the break I wanted and being around the family for an extended period always makes me a little angsty. Then one day my roommate pointed out how I was beginning to show some signs of depression. When someone close to you points out something like that, it’s hard to put on the mask again. I broke down on the phone with a friend, and then just decided to do my best to turn things around. I’ve been trying to get out of the house more. I go to movies, I started going to a really great yoga class on Sunday afternoons, I go to the gym almost every day now, I started making some new friends here. Things are still not great, but I’m trying. Even if I’m exploring the world solo, at least I’m no longer moping and staying cooped up in the apartment.

A friend of mine left the program a week or so ago. That bummed me out more than I ever thought it would. Besides my roommate, he was probably my closest friend here. We had all our classes together and for half the semester we were in the same lab. I didn’t get to see him before he left since it happened pretty suddenly – no goodbye. I guess he wasn’t happy here. But, him leaving stirred up a lot of the issues I’m dealing with too. It was like a new path opened up to me that looked pretty seductive. But honestly, I would be miserable at home in Charleston (I can’t go back to being a customer service drone at Kohls, ick) and anywhere I move to I’d be facing these same emotions. The ‘right after college’ time is difficult. My older friends from Penn warned me of this. Unless you are in a big graduate program, meeting people is tough after college. You have to try way harder for smaller rewards. And honestly, the transition they gave us for the program I’m in was non-existent. Just one awkward mumbling of names on the first day and then we all scattered off to our respective laboratories. So not cool.

One of the lab techs today made a comment along the lines of, “You’re in graduate school, you’re supposed to be unhappy.” That kind of pissed me off. I feel like personal happiness should never be postponed. 5+ years of misery is not a fair price to pay for a Ph. D.  No one is getting any younger and you should take advantage of the years you are given. I honestly admire anyone with the conviction to make a U-turn in hopes of building a more fulfilling life. It’s something I may have to think of soon. But I’m at least going to give it my all until my masters, because I realize that getting adjusted to young adulthood and a new place is not an easy task.

So these are the downer thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. It’s tough to be an extrovert sometimes. I need so much human contact to feel fulfilled. Science is a lonely world. People had warned me of that before graduate school, but it’s different living it. I know things are going to get better once I feel more secure and adjusted. I have such high expectations for myself. I need to learn to seek help more and take advantage of the scientific community.

Wow, what a ramble, but it feels good to get it out.

It’s All Over Now….

So dude….the holiday season is over and I really don’t feel like I got to enjoy it.

1.  Finals ate up much of the early December time when I should have been sipping warm holiday beverages, trimming trees, and listening to carols in a frenzy of stress and angst.

2. A blizzard delayed my journey home, creating more stress and angst. My car is still in C-ville, hopefully no longer stuck….

3. My family is small and isolated – just me and my parents.

4. I’m older and single – Christmas has kind of lost its magic. At this age I feel like it’s hard to get into the spirit when you’re living your own single life.

5. Streptococci party of several billion in my throat on Christmas morning.

I honestly just feel like I missed out, and that this break wasn’t all I’d hoped it to be. Maybe I’m just too old for it all anyway. I hope not. I’ll just have to try again next year….

On Christmas Eve I tried watching Christmas movies and decorating a gingerbread house to gain some spirit and cheer, but even that fell kind of flat. I think the holidays are really about the people, and at this point of the life it’s not happening for me.

Streptococcus is a Bitchy Christmas Pressie

I was just talking to my roommate the day I left about how much I hate things around my neck, especially throat swabbing for rapid strep tests. I need to stop saying self fulfilling prophecy statements like that, me thinks, because here I am in bed sick with evil steptococci mother fuckers breeding in my throat. I totally pushed the doctor when he was swabbing me. I think being in my neck grill turns me in to one of those sleeper assassins.

I usually think all of my colds are strep these days because of my bum tonsils, but my throat pain was out of control this time around. When it hurts to breathe you are just screwed. My tonsils were so swollen I couldn’t really swallow things (even if I could get over the pain). I had a fever last night that was impossible to sleep through (if I could get over the breathing issues). And then in the wee hours of this morning I started vomming up all my fluids. Imagine the pain of throwing up with swollen tonsils and acid burning your raw throat? Yeah this entry is kind of a pity party, but I also think I deserve it.

This disease is one Christmas present I didn’t want to get. Luckily, the ER was pretty good to me. A hot nurse gave me hydrocortisone and penicillin in me bum (I just watched a Pirate Movie, forgive me lingo mateys). The hydrocortisone made me no longer feel like my tonsils were trying to expand out of my neck and hopefully the penicillin starts working its magic soon and tomorrow is a good day. Both those shots were freaky painful though (pains in the ass :P).

I got some good pressies this year, more than I anticipated. I wish I was less sick to enjoy them. I’m particularly enjoying the kindle and I got a blender for the apartment (woooo!) and some new charms on my bracelet. I also got a Twilight 1000 piece puzzle that may be fun to start tomorrow. I’m getting tired of being in this bed moaning and drooling.

One handsome chap I am NOT tired of is Commodore Norrington (from Pirates of the Carribean). I just got done watching the trilogy and James C. was the BEST part. He is hot, charismatic, and honorable. Too bad Keira was dumb and ended up with a dead man she gets to bone once a decade. I leave you with this 😉 :

My Christmas Miracle – Snowy Misadventures Part 2

Saturday I experienced a true Christmas miracle at the Subway on ‘the Corner.’  One of my roomies and I were having a severe case of the stomach growlies on Saturday. Whenever there are rumors of a big storm abrewin’, most older people dash to the supermarkets and stock up on bread, milk, and canned goods. Me, not so much. I laughed in the face of this storm. I figured people were just getting their panties in a twist because it was the first snow of the year and that we’d really end up with an inch or two. Yeah, not so much. 2 feet of snow and no ploughs in site made me and roomie’s dreams of meat bliss in our stomach out of reach. But, with some encouragement from him, I snow suited up in my holey purple rain boots and went out in the storm.

We waded through thigh-high snow across the main lawn and deserted unplowed streets in search for an open store. It looked like the end of the world out there: small clumps of people searching for food and shelter littered the streets and abandoned cars covered the sides of the streets. But, bless the stars, nestled in a small side street was an open subway, manned by a single undergraduate student. Tears well in my eyes when I think of what he sacrificed to get me that meal. I hadn’t eaten in so long, and that sandwich with its array of meat and cheeses meant so much. I will be indebted to him for life. That foot long meat missile fueled my body through the snowed in weekend.

My misadventure of Sunday involved my futile efforts trying to unbury my car with a broken broom. My main goal of the day was to make it look like there was a car there.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B: See my car burried in the far left?

Exhibit C: You can see how much it snowed!

I learned that shoveling snow is a great way to meet people.  I talked to 2 cute guys and ended up spending the day drinking Beck’s, eating juicy steak (fully satiating my meat cravings), with a guy who lives near where I park my car. After a little eyelash batting he even shoveled it mostly out for me. Of course, since the roads are still crappy I couldn’t get it out to drive home yesterday like I wanted, but, it’s better. Even though he’s an undergrad and we don’t have much in common (besides a love of bread and beer and all things yeasty), we both helped cure each other of some cabin fever.

I’m back in Charleston now. My father picked me up and we left my poor little Volkswagon behind. Hopefully there are no more big snows like that this year. Snow trumps us all.

Charlottesville to Philly and Back Again with a Side of Spazz


Oh College.....

It’s been a crazy ride since my last post and it won’t really calm down for a couple more days. Although, I feel pretty stressed and agitated, I guess I can rest assured knowing that time will keep marching on and eventually I’ll be on the other side of this – regardless of the outcome. It’s also comforting to know that I already have a magna cum laude engineering degree from an ivy league school  – a pretty good fall out plan eh? Just keep Breathing, K.

Last weekend was pretty out of control – I went up to Philadelphia to see not only the sorority sisters that were still there, but also past favorites who graduated 1-2 years before me. And let us not forget my StimuLite colleagues! It was great seeing everyone, but I realized that I definitely can’t handle the college lifestyle anymore. Hard alcohol makes my stomach hurt. Eating out more than one time in a row makes my stomach hurt. Sharing bathrooms with more than one person is annoying. Dirty people are annoying. Sleeping on the floor isn’t as charming as it once was. And it’s hard to make everyone happy when so many friends are around and haven’t seen me in a long time. I forgot how hard it was balancing sorority and everyone else. I feel like I didn’t get the time with everyone that I wanted, which sucked ursa major.

While I was gone, I had romanticized Philadelphia in my head because I was having a hard time adjusting to my new town. But, while I was there I remembered some of the annoying things about Philly. In the end, I felt good going back. Yes, I miss everyone there like whoa. But, I realized that the life I’m creating down here is worth the angst I’m going through now. Reguardless, I will always enjoy visiting Philly – I will just bring more tums and lactaid next time. I will also do better scheduling time for everyone (I hope). Hindsight is 20/20.

After rolling back into Charlottesville, life just blew big time. I had a fellowship application due, tests, work, more tests, homework I can’t do, you know, the usual. My room became a vortex of clothes and dirty dishes. It was pretty disgusting stuff. I really need to figure a way to find balance in my life. I need to figure a way to include all my work, 8+ hours of sleep, healthy homemade meals, exercise, and a bit of  fun in a 24 hour day. Right now I just keep choosing a couple things while sacrificing the others and making my body and mind pretty frazzled and spazzed. Wednesday I turned to caffeine for assistance with some pretty bad results. 2 coffees, Excedrin, and 2 sodas in a 1.5 hour timespan apparently makes me turn into a psycho. I couldn’t even count 62 cents of change in a One Stop! After my last test Tuesday, finding a way to achieve this balance is going to be my mission. I need happy and well Karen back….

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

I’ve decided to skip Halloween this year. Halloween usually ends up overrated – I feel like I’m supposed to be having a lot more fun than I ever do. The same thing can be said for New Years. The only thing that really makes it fun is dressing up and being silly with my friends. This year, I don’t really have that, and considering I’m probably going to have a totally OOC (that’s, “out of control”) weekend next weekend in Philadelphia, I don’t mind letting this October 31 whisper by. But, to not be a total spoil sport, I’ve decided to walk through memory lane and show you some of my costumes over the years. Let me know which one was the best in the comments. I’m kind of bummed because I was going to make a kickin Hannah Montana costume this year, but I guess there’s always next time.



Clay Aiken pre Make Over, this one's from High School some time.


Freshman Year - Scarecrow. That's me with my ex best friend. My guy friends said I looked way too scary and that this was a bad costume move.


Sophomore Year - Daphne from Scooby Doo - I'm with Angelina Jolie and one of her adopted children. This costume was fun except no one knew what I was and the wig was a children's size and way too small.


Junior Year - Lil Red Riding Hood - My friends were a bad influence on me and somehow convinced me to go all out sexy. It made me a stronger person I think.


Senior Year - Vampire. I let my friend tease my hair which was also probably a bad idea. Disregard my weird lips in this pic. I just finished feeding.