Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome back to class

Whelp, it's that time again: a wonderful random assortment of quotes!! Here at thirstysouthernsoul, we like to highlight some of the funniest sayings of (mainly) students and other people around me. So, Merry Christmas early, and enjoy this round of quotes.

Student: “I got a C in that class. That doesn’t sound like it’s good, but it was. I failed all the tests, but I wore miniskirts to class, and he gave me a C. Perverted ol’ man, but he was a good guy.”

Editor: “TCU had drinks at their party. They're at the top of the food chain.”
Co-editor: “We can't even get a legit coffee maker.”

Student 1: “I don’t want to marry for money. I just want to be well-off.”
Student 2: “That’s called a gold digger.”

Student 1: “What am I going to do in *local town*?”
Student 2: “You could marry *Dude.* He said you were good breeding stock last night.”

Student: “I don’t drink beer. I’m black.”

Student: “I know this dude who’s doing research on if crawfish feel pain when they get boiled. I asked him why he would do that. Crawfish taste awesome. Who cares if they feel being boiled?”

On Nov. 11, 2011
Student: “Was yesterday Groundhog Day?”

Student 1: “What does TSA do?”
Student 2: “They bomb people…right?”

Friend (about why she couldn’t do something fun the next day): “I have a job. It cramps my style.”

Thank you, and good day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Harsher holidays

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon Rock” is playing. I’m anticipating hot chocolate in my future.

Gifts are wrapped. Plans are made to see family and friends. We plan to volunteer, to celebrate, to watch Christmas movies on TV (As a side note, my husband has never seen “A Christmas Story.” This must be remedied IMMEDIATELY.). But, based on my pastor’s sermon Sunday night, I got to thinking…the holidays aren’t jolly for all.

I know two women will spend their first Christmas alone after divorce…a friend will remember during Christmas that the main person missing at the dinner table is her father…Other people have lost jobs, lost loved ones either to death or unforeseen circumstances…families will be separated due to distance or that emotional wall that is placed between them.

The holidays are a joyous time for one reason – God sent His Son to redeem us all. That may be the only joy one can take from this season. Because all the presents and parties cannot fill the hole from a loved one gone.

I don’t mean to be mournful during this time. But I have a question for everyone: What do you say when you know someone’s Christmas may not be as merry as yours? What would you like to hear?

I’m quite awkward when it comes to comforting people. My best form of comfort is to give a hug or bake goodies. I do that better than speaking words that I don’t feel are true, especially the platitude, “It’s all going to be all right.” Because it won’t. There will be a grief, that, despite the years, will leave a hole in a heart.

For reference, based on what I would say/give, I just want hugs, baked goods, and prayers. =) But what do you say? Are there verses that have helped you during difficult times? What has someone said to you that has been true and helpful?

But I would like to end on a happy note. I was able to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and that was quite a joyous time.

That’s not all of us by any means, but it was great for us to get together and enjoy the holiday. My family rocks my socks, and I am quite thankful to have them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks to Thanksgiving

I am sitting in a coffee shop doing research. Actually doing research, too, not just playing around online -- most of the time. I decided to blog on my 10 minute break. Productive, right?

Blues music is playing in the background, and it's raining outside. I'm drinking an iced coffee and wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans, my favorite combo. I've already ran, I've already cleaned my house, and all that's left to do on my "to do" list is research. Which I actually enjoy. Especially when I've already completed four pages of my dissertation introduction. That's right. Because I'm awesome.

It's a great day.

I plan to spend most of my Christmas break in this coffee shop as well. Unlike my husband, I don't work well at home. I get distracted too easily -- something needs to be cleaned, something needs to be washed, the dog needs to be let out, etc. Something to do. The Internet, while it is captivating, is really not as much of a distraction to me. Plus, I enjoy the ambiance of the coffee shop.

This past Sunday, at the end of our lesson, I asked the people in our Sunday School class to name one thing they were thankful for. One thing. It was a hard task -- not because they couldn't think of something they were thankful for, but because just naming one thing is quite difficult. There are so many blessings God has given us -- all of us. If you woke up today, that's a blessing. Even if your circumstances in life right now aren't to your liking, you have a chance to change them. This could be the day everything goes right.

My heart overflows with thankfulness. This year had so many trials and so many ways where things could have gone oh, so terribly wrong. But God has been so generous to my family. My aunt is back home after undergoing chemo and radiation, and, for now, the cancer is gone! I have a new niece (technically, second cousin, but I will be "Aunt" lol!)! My husband has a wonderful job and has his master's degree! Heck, I'm ABD!

There are so many blessings, and I hope your life is filled with blessings and love this Thanksgiving. For some, this will not be a pleasant holiday, either due to crisis or circumstances or just things out of one's control. Hopefully Thanksgiving 2012 will be better, in that case.

Last night, our Sunday School class got together for a Thanksgiving dinner, and our young adult minister shared Psalm 100, which reads:

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday finds

What I’ve been digging lately…

Science 360
Videos, articles, radio, oh my! I’m indulging my science side a bit thanks to a recent National Science Foundation conference I attended and enjoying finding out about outer space, robotics, and time. Now that I’m ABD in mass com, is it too late for me to become a rocket scientist? Lol!!

I’ve made all sorts of varieties this week – regular milk chocolate fudge, oreo fudge (add Eagle Bran Milk to make it fudge), peanut butter fudge…No wonder I’ve been running so much!

Speaking of food, here are a couple of chicken recipes that have Kyle swooning.

Cheddar-garlic oven fried chicken
King Ranch chicken (can easily be served over rice)

Book obsession
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Last Voyage of Columbus
And, as always, The Hunger Games

Timothy’s cinnamon pastry coffee
Iced coffee – but the homemade kind. My coworker brought me a batch he brewed, and now I am in love with it! I tried an iced coffee at Starbucks last Friday…bleh!! The homemade stuff blows that out of the water.

What’s made your day lately?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

News is sports; sports is news

At my job, I am grateful to teach sports writing every other year. It’s my favorite class to teach, and I hate I can’t offer it more. Especially like now, with the Penn State scandal. The university president fired, the athletics director forced to resign, and beloved football coach Joe Paterno fired…and how did the students react to that turn of events last night?


So when it comes out that a former defensive coordinator has molested at least eight (and the number will climb, I’m sure of it) CHILDREN, no one makes a peep? But the head football coach gets sacked, and all of a sudden, there are riots?

I don’t get it. I see the board of trustees’ point on firing Paterno, but I also feel very sorry for him and his family. And I understand that Paterno is a historic icon, the winningest coach in history. But lives have been forever shaped by what Sandusky did to those boys. Families have been changed, have been heartbroken by these events. Where is the outrage? Where are their riots?

Have a riot over something that matters, not because you’re scared you’ll lose a game. This scandal is so much bigger than that.

My heart and prayers go out to the families of the victims – and, really, to everyone involved in this disaster. Because this is an absolute disaster. God only knows how many children’s lives Sandusky ruined. God only knows how many could have been prevented had action been taken sooner.

It’s a sad week for everyone. But let’s not get away from the cause – one man, choosing to commit horrific sinful acts, has started this. God have mercy on his soul, because I don’t think anyone else will.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lovely fall days

It’s finally starting to cool down a little in Louisiana. I actually had to wear capris jogging pants to run in the other day. Shocking!!

The pup has loved the cooler weather, maybe because she was born in November. Always, when it first turns chilly, she gets overly excited and runs playfully all over the yard. Now she has a much bigger yard to run in and cats to play with – even though they don’t play much with her. Misti and I had a puppy play date the other day, which made the Voo very excited – and very sleepy.

Isn't she absolutely precious? 
There’s nothing like sweet, cuddling puppy on a cool day.

Also, I finally got around to making pumpkin pie white hot chocolate this week. 

Notice the BLUE more camo countertops for me, lol!!
I divided the recipe by four so I could make a single serving. Also learned that I think I would like a little less pumpkin puree. And I added the whipped cream just because. For those of you who don’t like pumpkin (aka Tara), I think just leaving the pumpkin out would still make this yummy. Our university’s coffee place has something called a Mayan Mocha where spices are added to the hot chocolate. It’s quite delectable, and I think using white chocolate would be even better.

Has anyone else been making fall yummy goodness? 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chair makeover

We inherited a few fun things with our house...such as two dressers, a bed, a desk...and two bar chairs that looked like this...

The second chair had a crack down the middle, and besides that needing to be fixed, the chairs needed some serious TLC. I thought at first about staining them and then, after browsing Pinterest and feeling the crafty urge, decided to paint them. Since there are a lot of white accents in my living room and kitchen, I decided to paint them white...and get rid of that gold bar at the bottom.

However, I didn't want to just paint them white. I wanted them to have character, like our house has character. I found a really cool example of a stencil used to highlight the wood on the chair seat, but, after looking through stencils and not really finding what I wanted (and not liking the prices I was seeing!), I decided to go very geometric with a basic square. Also, I wasn't even sure if this project was going to be a bust or success, so I didn't want to be out too much money if it wasn't good.

First, the cracked chair needed some wood putty and both needed to be stained.

Honestly, painting them took FOREVER, as I did the backs of the chairs first and then, like many projects I start...remained unfinished. However, yesterday, I spent the majority of the afternoon finishing them up. I spray painted the gold bar silver and completed my crafty project.

Ta da!! The finished remodeled chairs!

I seriously love these chairs. They're just fun and funky now and fit in so much better with the house and with us. Also, it definitely helped that this little craft was CHEAP!

Spray paint: $3
White paint (on CLEARANCE): $6
Stupid paint brush some dude at Lowe's convinced me was better than the $2 one: $7
"Stencil": I used painters tape that I already had
Wood putty: $2
Total cost: $18

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ABD: All But Done

Guess what. This is probably the last (or 2nd to last, after rereading this, haha!) post I will ever write regarding comprehensive exams.


I cannot describe the elation I felt yesterday after being called in after an hour of inquisitive questioning and hearing from my adviser, “Congratulations!” And then from my dissertation chair, “You’re ABD (which we joke stands for “All but done” but really just means you have everything complete but the dissertation)!!” My committee members hugged me and congratulated me, and I just stood there like I was in a dream. It felt like a dream. On the drive back home, the colors of the trees were more vibrant, the sun was brighter, and I read the most un-intelligent/research book I could think of. Sunday night I read “Analyzing Media Messages” while soaking in the tub. Last night, the book did not enter my house.

The one hour of questioning went by fast – and, really, it only lasted about 50 minutes. But they were looking for such specific answers that sometimes, it was hard for me to figure out what they wanted. I would ramble on for about five minutes and then when I finally said what they wanted, they would stop me and say, “That’s fine. That’s what I wanted to know.”

It’s just so…freeing. I’m giving myself today off before I hit the road and start working on my dissertation. Mainly cause…ugh, who wants to work on a dissertation when it’s so beautiful outside??

I was a bit surprised by my post-comps reaction as well. I had a plan to cathartically burn all my notes from comps, but, after it was over, I couldn’t help but think, “Well, it wasn’t really all that bad.”

What I’ve been happy to note is how God has used comps to show me another little piece of myself, something to help me again focus on others. He did it earlier with the buying/selling house fun that we went through this summer, but there was another little facet of knowledge that I took out from my comps experience – besides learning about Scott’s Pi, research methods, and diffusion of innovation theory. But I’ll get to that later this week.

In the meantime, happy (late) Halloween and happy November!!! (And, please shave your legs. There’s apparently a Twitter hashtag about November being a don’t-shave-your-legs month. Um…no. That is all.)