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Thursday, March 30, 2006

On my visit to the Dentist...

I didn't die. His office staff totally rocked. The dentist was nice. He was able to save my tooth with a mere filling, and not the dreaded "root canal" that I was sure boded in my future, especially considering my current financial situation.**

I was in, numbed, filled, and out in under one hour. They had free chocolate (I guess to ensure repeat customers). I snagged three Hershey's Special Dark miniatures from the basket. I figured I deserved it.

The end.

**Because you only ever need things like root canals when you are so broke that you're on the verge of living on ramen noodles for three meals a day. Don't get me wrong, I actually LIKE the occasional bowl of 'boiled salty fat stick' (if you don't get the reference, just try reading the nutritional information on the package). It's a dehydration treat--but Ruthie cannot live on ramen alone. I also need shredded colby-jack cheese and Smart Balance to make it good.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Today, I'm an emotional mess...

on the verge of tears for no apparent reason. I'll be fine, and then my thoughts drift and the next thing I know, my eyes are tearing up. Forget mood swings--I'm on an emotional roller coaster. Watch out Cedar Point!

Yesterday, I broke a tooth at work. Yeah, fun. It's not so much broken as it is a piece of it came off. It doesn't hurt, but it IS annoying. The missing chunk of tooth is from between two molars, so every time I eat something, it invariably becomes compacted into this space. I have a dentist appointment in the morning to have it x-rayed, and possibly fixed. I have good dental benefits, but I have a $50 deductible, plus 20% of the charges that will be due upfront. Ouch. :( So now I went from being broke, to even broker (if that is at all possible).

This seriously jeopardizes my ability to pay for Cinci*. Keep your fingers crossed that, in the end, I'll be able to make it to Ohio.

* I hate being poor. No, really, I do. In college, it was okay, because everyone else was, too. Here's the thing--college was a long time ago, and I'm still poor. This really sucks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

T-10 days and counting...

I'm heading to Cincinnati on April 7 for the CinciClassic. My good friend Craig is heavily involved in making sure that this event happens. It's free, and is sure to be alot of fun. So, if you read this and you're in the greater Cincinnati area the weekend of April 7-9, drop by and say hi to Craig, and congratulate him on his awesome efforts.

I, of course, am not going for the convention, per se, but for the company of Craig and JoDee (my bestest friends in the world whom I have not seen since Thanksgiving). While Craig is at the convention participating in organizing feats of gaming manliness* for the participants, JoDee and I will partake of some of the more feminine aspects of the greater Cincinnati area, possibly including, but not limited to: shopping, eating, shopping, sitting, shopping, and shopping.

The Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, is hopefully one of our first destinations. A few years ago we discovered this on one of our wandering weekends, and have wanted to return ever since to partake of the actual exhibits instead of just the gift shop, though I will admit they have the CUTEST turtley-related things for sale! I have a feeling that the majority of my spending will be done here for, well, obvious reasons.

I don't know where else we may journey to in our all too brief visit to Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky, but I wait with bated breath at the joy of traversing outside of Richmond and basking in the companionship of my dearest friends, even if only for a short time.

*This is to no way imply that women are excluded from competing in games of manliness.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The best word in ANY language...

Friday, the culmination of a disasterous week. The fifth in a series of long days and short nights. The ending of a vicious cycle otherwise known as a work week.

Friday. The word evokes so many thoughts and feelings and emotions and memories.

In high school, Friday was synonymous with football games and half-time shows. Cold, clear nights under the dark sky wearing a dorky polyester uniform and white cotton gloves. Ignoring the game to make fun of the cheerleaders, going to the bathroom in groups (because for some reason, people liked to attack solitary band members), and eating blueberry creme life savers suckers that only cost 10 cents from the snack bar. Come rain, sleet, snow, or drought--the Alleghany High School Band would be in the stands, ready and waiting to perform the best half-time show that 200 kids on a football field can.

In college, Friday usually began my workweek (or merely continued it). When you're a poor college student with rent to pay, working full-time at an internship and supplementing your income with two part-time jobs, Friday loses all real meaning. Some of the best Fridays, though, were in the early spring at the Palace of Auburn Hills doing event revenue. There would be so much excitement in the air as people flocked from all over the metro-Detroit area (and parts far beyond) to see basketball games and concerts.

After college, when the real world began, and Friday became the end of a means. Until this point, I don't believe that I ever appreciated Friday's for what they were--the beginning of two days of unhibited freedom from the three-walled cubicle that I occupy for 8-10 hours per day, 5 days per week. Lately, I begin counting down to Fridays first thing Monday morning, 8:15am sharp.

On Friday, it's imperative that I be out the door at 5pm, so I rush through the day...but why? There's nothing great out there waiting to happen to me on Friday. I don't have plans to meet friends or a significant other for dinner or drinks. The only reason I can really see myself barreling headfirst out the door on Friday is because, if I have to sit in that chair, or look at my computer much longer, I truely do believe that I will go insane.

Work has become a weird form of Chinese water torture. Monday is the beginning--the spontaneous drips that, after time, begin to annoy you. Tuesday, the drips and drops lose their randomness and begin to form a pattern of sorts--one that you can ALMOST figure out, but which continues to elude you. Wednesday, well, the drops do form a pattern, and the rate begins to increase slightly. Thursday the pattern begins to thrum inside your head with each drop on your skin, and you begin to think that if you can only survive ONE MOR DAY, everything will be okay. You'll be okay. Finally, Friday arrives--the water is still there, dripping in the same inane pattern, speeding up--and you can feel your nerves tingling, your heart rate increasing, and you begin counting down in ernest now--only 5 more hours--3.5 hours--1 hour--until the water stops, and silence reigns supreme inside your brain. You think, "I'm free--I did it! I survived, and now I have two whole days to live a life that I want to live."

Funny, for a whole week I look forward to the little break between the end of one and the beginning of another. Two days away from the torture, the dripping water, the noisy thoughts that crowd out sane thoughts.

But after a day, the silence is too much. The boredom sets in, and free time isn't as enjoyable because it misses the structure of a work day. If the hours aren't segmented and tasks aren't accomplished, then time is wasted. Without structure, I begin to falter and lose the ability (and desire) to even venture into the outside world. I have tasks to do, but no motivation to do them. I like my freedom, but I'm unsure of what to do with it, how to enjoy it, or how to structure it to maximize my fun-time.

I'll never be able to be a hippy, and that makes me sad.

Friday, March 10, 2006

So, I'm off to the 'rents this weekend...

to partake in that tradition known as the Highland Maple Festival. This occurs only once a year for two short weekend stints in early March.

For those of you who have never been, I can give you a general breakdown of the schedule my family follows (and has done so for so many years, I don't know of any other way to live this day).

8am--Leave from home and drive the 1.75 hours or so through winding back country roads to head to the traditional Maple Festival breakfast of Buckwheat (or Buttermilk) pancakes, sausage patties, and sausage gravy. You can find quite a few organizations who hold these each year in order to raise money to fund the rest of the years activities. In times past, we always went to Bolar or McDowell. Now, my parents go to Williamsville Community Center. Last year, we showed up to find kith and kin (that means family--like uncles and cousins) working and eating, and raising funds for their community.

11:30am--Leave from Williamsville along back winding country roads, and go through the town of Monterey to one of the Sugar Camps. We prefer Puffenbargers, and have been going there forever. This is where we purchase all of our maple products including, but not limited to: maple candy, syrup, and donuts and donut holes boiled in fresh hot maple syrup. We also eat a hot dog with maple chili, and maybe some donut holes. Mmmmm....

12 noon--Leave the Sugar Camp and drive back to Monterey. Look for parking (in vain) so that we can walk down Main Street (the ONLY Street in Monterey) to visit craft vendors and specialty stores. My mom and I will go into the various art galleries, while my dad will walk further down Main Street to visit the Pork Rind tent, the Kettle corn Man, and the Country Ham sandwich vendor. These he brings back, meeting up with my mom and I somewhere along the street. We need only look for his head above the crowd to locate him. After lugging ourselves and purchases back to the truck, we prepare to head out of town and back home.

4pm--Our final stop is on the way out of town at the Fast Break convenience store. One of the few businesses that keep their restrooms open to the public, my mom and I will stand in line to use the facilities while Dad purchases Cokes and Sprites to drink on the ride back, where we will eat cold country ham sandwiches slathered in yellow mustard, and nibble on kettle corn, all the while complaining that we couldn't possibly EAT another bite.

Note: This is known as the McRoberts family annual pig-fest. We only do it one day a year (and believe me, that's enough). I have already planned to take a vacation day from work Monday in order to recover.

If you DO make it to Highland County, either this weekend or next, I highly recommend this order of events in order to fully partake and enjoy the day to the fullest extent.

For the first time, I am taking a camera (my new and little used digital camera) and will hopefully have some pictures to share next week (pending I can find some batteries and I take the time to go to Ukrops to use the free wi-fi).

Cheers! :)