Happy Fall!

Fall officially starts today, how exciting! I’m happy that I get to experience seasons up here. The leaves are already starting to change and fall off the trees. To celebrate the season change, I roasted marshmallows and made s’mores in downtown Ellensburg.

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The s’more making was actually part of an event called The Bite of the Burg.

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All the local business in downtown Ellensburg came out onto the sideways and offered samples, coupons and information about the area services and businesses. I really enjoyed the event and even had a free smoothie sample from D&M.

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Aside from Bite of the Burg this afternoon, I accomplished a lot off my to-do list, but sadly didn’t get to enjoy my last day of freedom. I started the day by making my schedule, it both stressed me out and eased my mind to see the blocks of free time. Then I got showered and dressed up and went to the DMV, only to get the Nazi lady (someone else referred to her as that, but I rather agree) who unsympathetically told me that there was nothing she could do for me without a passport. Ugh. From there, I went and met the teacher who I’m assisting. I’m scared, excited and trying to be as confident as I can possibly be. After that, I came home packed up stuff for dad, took them to the post office, picked up my packages and went to the Bite of the Burg.

From Florida, dad’s been helping me try to get a hold of my car title, since I need it for my Washington registration and plates. I had a couple forms that I wasn’t sure was going to work, but since I was already downtown I went to the courthouse to check. Miracle of miracles, the woman at the courthouse was much nicer than the DMV Nazi. While I didn’t have the right papers, the woman did help me get everything started. I now have a temporary license plate and 60 days to get the right papers and my real tags. Hopefully, by Friday I’ll have my passport and I can get my drivers license on Saturday. Oh boy. The whole issue is that I need to get my residency established ASAP, so that by next fall quarter I will have been a resident for at least a year. I hope it all works out.

So now I’m watching my trashy tv shows, printing syllabi and getting mentally prepared for tomorrow.

Wednesday is going to be a looong day. Followed my lots of errands to run on Thursday and probably a crap-ton of reading.

Goodbye life!
Hello grad school!

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Whelmed.

“I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”
– 10 things I hate about you.

I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment, really excited and totally happy, but very much overwhelmed. I received my teaching assignments today. In addition to my four graduate classes that I’m taking, I am assisting with two undergrad classes. Which means I need to do the reading assignements for them and obviously go to the undergrad classes. I’ll be setting up the classrooms, in charge of attendence, grading papers and quizzes and posting grades. Also, towards the end of the quarter I’ll teach some of the classes myself. Bascially, I have six classes this semester. Oh my. Monday’s are really gonna suck, since I have a class that starts at 9am and my last class ends at 10:30pm. I have an hour here and there throughout the day, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to go home during the day. The bright side of Monday, will be the rest of the week should just get easier… and I only have one class and an hour of office hours on Fridays. Hooray!

More signs that I’m legit and this isn’t a dream… I received keys to the buildings I’m teaching in today. The graduate students have an office area, three desks and computers to share among the six of us. We also have shelves in our office, so we can leave books and materials, and our own mail boxes!

Now I need to sit down and redo my schedule with my teaching assignments and office hours mixed in, then figure out when (if) I have free time. I want to schedule in some yoga and spinning classes, plus time to run!

I told mom that I’m quite scared and anxious about my ability to teach classes and survive this workload, but so far I’ve been super on top of things and ultra organized. I just need to maintain that level of efficieny and not let myself procrastinate. Also, fake it till I make it!

Last night we had a department welcome BBQ and that was awesome. Everyone was able to meet each other in an informal environment and socialize casually. It made me feel so welcomed and took away some of the stress of meeting so many new people and being thrown into the theatre department here. I thought it was a great idea and I had a lot of fun.

I really like our group of graduate students. We are such a diverse group that I think discussions will be fascinating. We range in age from 21-36, we come from all over the world – Florida, Texas, Utah, Lebanon and Washington, and we have such varied backgrounds in theatre and life experiences. It’s so interesting!

I found out that I need to become a Washington resident, which I had misunderstood. I didn’t plan on switching my license, car plates or registration and now I need to go do all of that. Ugh. The hassle and cost of switching everything aside, I’m quite sad to give up my florida stuff. I don’t know why, I suppose I don’t feel like a Washington resident yet. I’ll be an imposter with the Washington license and tags. Not to mention, I’ll have to give up my FSU tag. I’m totally sad about that. šŸ™ But who knows, maybe I’ll just stay in Washington and I’ll be saving myself hassle down the line.

I checked out two different local coffee shops in the past couple of days, Winegars and D&M. Winegars actually started out as an ice cream shop and just recently started serving coffee. I liked the atmosphere and the coffee, but I think D&M will be my preferred coffee shop. It’s a very green coffee shop, owned by CWU graduates who are highly supportive of the arts and I liked the coffee more! It also reminds me of a cleaner version of the globe. They serve food, all sorts of coffee and tea and have an ecclectic collection of furniture. All of us grad students actually walked there after our meeting this afternoon. It’s pretty awesome that downtown is within walking distance, if you don’t mind a small hike. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll walk down to the Taste of the Burg event on Main street. I think it’s about a 4 mile round trip, and man could I use the exercise. šŸ™‚

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Anyway, my spirit hasn’t been crushed yet… I’m still looking forward to classes starting and I’m embracing this new adventure. But tomorrow is my LAST DAY OF FREEDOM! AHH!

I continued to work on my apartment yesterday, so here’s a look at the progress. šŸ™‚

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These are postcards from all over and notes that people have written to me… It’s kind of my motivation area. I also found this postcard when I was putting them up:

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While I’m not in Texas at the moment, I think my message to myself was effective. Maybe I should start mailing motivational notes to myself more often. Hah. “Get your life together. <3 me”

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My totally sweet jewelry display area.

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Here’s the latest incarnation of the calendar pages that A made for me back in 2005. They were on display in my Tally bedroom, my St. Pete bedroom and now they’re in Washington.

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And my favorite little bugger, except when he’s flicking the doorstopper to annoy me or trying to climb the window screens. I’m looking forward to his lazy cat days… whenever they finally get here.

I’ve had the time of my life.

I absolutely love the movie Dirty Dancing. I forgot how much I loved it and how many amazing (and funny) memories I have tied to the movie.

In honor of Patrick Swayzes passing last week, I figured it’d pull out Dirty Dancing and rewatch it.

If you know me, you know that I neither have the patience nor attention span to sit down and JUST watch a movie. I’m always playing on the computer or doing something else as I watch tv and movies. But yesterday I JUST watched the movie, nothing else. It made the experience so much better!

Watching Dirty Dancing after all these years made me fall in love with it all over again, and with Johnny Castle. It’s a bit dated but I still think it’s an awesome movie. I actually ended up watching it twice and I’m thinking of putting it on again, just because it’s so great.

My sophomore year of high school, A and M were talking about it one morning and at that point I had never heard of it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or if it was something I wanted to see, but after much convincing, I saw the movie and the obsessions began. I promptly bought my own VHS copy of Dirty Dancing and literally watched it every day after school for a week. One of those nights, A, M and myself actually called each other up, synchronized our VHS players and watched it together OVER THE PHONE.

Throughout high school, Dirty Dancing became one of our fall back movies to put on whenever A and I hung out.

Then a few years later, my first week of college, C and I bonded over Dirty Dancing. Somehow I found out that C had never seen it before and before classes started, one afternoon laying in our awesome (no sarcasm there!) dorm beds, we watched Dirty Dancing together. I truly think it helped bring us a little closer together. šŸ™‚ Even today it’s one of our favorite movies and I’m glad I got to be there as she experienced her first Dirty Dancing moment.

So, if you have never seen Dirty Dancing or haven’t seen it in a while… you should go watch it!

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Seasons.

I’m not in Florida anymore…

Yesterday the weather started out cloudy and cool, and ended in the 60s with 40 mph winds. This is definitely not Florida weather. While Florida weather swings between flash flood, terrible thunderstorm and super sunny, Ellensburg weather is hot one day, cold the next, calm and clear and then suddenly 45 mph winds. It’s all over the place!

I already decided that my weardrobe needs serious help. I need shoes that aren’t flipflops IMMEDIATELY. Once I figure out what school obligations I have for Monday and Tuesday, I might plan a trip to Yakima to go in search of close-toed shoes. I also need to find some real gloves, ear muffs or preferably one of those ear muff headbands, and more sweaters and jeans. I don’t think the temperature will be so much an issue for me, but the wind is brutal and it’s only 70/80 degrees right now!

Oh! The leaves are starting to change colors and fall off the trees. Hello Fall!

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Today marks the start of several momentous days. In a couple hours, I’m going to have lunch with the other female students from my program. It’ll be the first time we’ve met each other and hung out as a group. I’m excited. Slightly concerned that it’ll be awkward, since I worry about silly things like that. I’m sure it’ll be fine and fun!

Tonight there’s a department BBQ, with all of us new students and I assume our teachers. Again, I hope it’s not awkward. I’m definitely ready for some social interaction. I’m bored in my apartment. I think I’m feeling really antsy because of anxiety and anticipation over classes and meeeting everyone.

This next week is going to be so intense! Woo! šŸ™‚

Garnet and Gold!

As I drove to Main Street this evening I saw a car with a FSU sticker in the back window. I think I fell in love. šŸ™‚ The driver was a guy and a cute one at that! I definitely smiled really big at him. I was just so happy to see that FSU symbol on a car with Washington plates. I’m crossing my fingers that I run into him again!

Completely unrelated, I still can’t believe that just last Friday I started the day in Montana drove to Ellensburg, went to Ikea, bought enough furniture to fill my apartment and drove home. All in one day.

Conquering Laundry!

I’ve been putting off and putting off doing my laundry, until this afternoon. It wouldn’t have been that big of a task if I had a washer and dryer in the apartment, but sadly I don’t. I realize now how much I took for granted having a washer/dryer at my disposal while living at home and in my previous townhouses. I don’t even remember laundry at Southgate (dorms), I have a feeling I might have blocked it from my memory. ANYWAY, todays experience was perfectly painless. I gathered my clothes, detergent, backpack with laptop and books and drove over to the other complex. I managed to get everything washed in one load and the whole shabang cost a grand total of $2.25. All the machines worked efficiently and didn’t eat my money. Always a good thing. šŸ™‚ I can handle the monthly laundry costs since my utility bill should be so much lower than what I anticipated. Also, while I was doing my laundry, I started reading one of my textbooks. Hooray productivity.

The freshmen moved into the dorms today and this weekend a bunch of welcome activities will be happening on campus and around town. It should be interesting to see how Ellensburg changes once students are here and there’s activity on campus.

Tomorrow is also apparently, Paint Ellensburg. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but perhaps I’ll go down to the last farmers market of the season and check out this Paint Ellensburg event.

I still can’t get over this time difference business. It’s so strange to think that when I wake up at 7:30, it’s already 10:30 in Florida. Then when it’s 6pm here and I’m eating dinner, it’s 9pm at home and my family’s winding down and drinking tea. So strange! I wonder if I’ll ever adjust. I still think it’s strange that A is in a different time zone, except now she’s two hours ahead instead of one hour behind.

Here are some pictures of my ever-progressing apartment. šŸ™‚

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Adjusting.

I’m alive, awake, alert and ready!

I actually woke up and got out of bed by 7:30am, yay me! If I can keep this schedule up, I should be in good shape. I just need to add exercise to the mix. Today I want to either go for a run on campus to explore the buildings where my classes are, or work out as I do laundry. Ugh. I still haven’t done laundry, I keep putting it off. I just need to suck it up and go over there and do it. I’ll bring my books, bring my workout clothes and be super productive.

Little things keep happening to me here that really make me think that this move is exactly what I needed for my life and that the gods above agree. For instance, I’ve been fretting about money and I’ve caught a few breaks here and there. Also, Dad and I made the trip out here with no issues, got everything done that we needed to accomplish, even had a little time to relax and now dad’s home safe and sound and I’m safely here. I just want classes to start! It’s the only unknown left and I’m dying to see what they will be like.

Charlie was definitely a demon child last night. He played all through the night and of course I kept waking up hearing sounds and freaking out, only to discover it was Charlie being a brat. At one point I hear this buzzing-vibrating sound, in my sleepy haze I though either someone was drilling into my wall or breaking in… until I finally figured out that Charlie had a hair tie around the door stopper (those spring kinds that keep you from hitting doors against the walls). It made an atrocious sound to be woken up to from the dead of sleep. I hope Charlie settles down eventually.

I still need to write about Seattle trip #2. Next time. šŸ™‚ Happy Friday everyone!

Independent.

“All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me.” – Destiny’s Child.

I’m all on my own now. This morning (at 5am!) I drove dad to SeaTac airport, braved rush hour traffic getting there and coming home and now I’m all by myself. I feel like I earned some sort of merit badge for surviving Seattle rush hour traffic just two weeks after moving here. The driving on I-90 requires much more participation than say driving on I-10. You must pay attention at all times because of the curves of the road, hills, and in Seattle the traffic. I’m so tired of driving in cars and riding in them. Six days of traveling across the country, three round trips to Seattle and a trip to Yakima, I’ve filled my road trip quota for a while. I’m quite thankful Ellensburg is so small that everything is 5 minutes away and I’ll be doing lots of walking come school starting.

Up until today, this whole trip and time out here with dad, in Washington, felt like a vacation. Today the reality of my move really hit me. I’m a little more nervous and a touch homesick, which I think has a lot to do with my lack of things to do for the next couple days. I have a couple things planned (lunch on Sunday, BBQ Sunday night and Taste the Burg on Tuesday), but in general my schedule is wide open. I know I should embrace the time to relax, do whatever I want, because once school starts, life will be hectic. Even so, so much free time and the lack of social circle here reminds me that I’m all alone in Washington. Actually, the distance isn’t so scary, but I’ve never lived alone and I’ve been with my family for the past two years… it’s a strange (hard?) readjustment to back being an independent adult. BUT it’s what I want and I know I’ll be perfectly happy, so bring on my independent adventurous self!

Whoa Wind!

Oh my goodness. Starting last night and all of today the wind in Ellensburg has been insane. It’s gusting and howling, apparently to speeds of 45 mph. Since the temperatures are in the high 70s/80s, the winds not so bad. Although as dad and I walked back from campus, I had this horrible mental image: me, walking home in the dead of winter, the winds howling, my eyes watering and the tears freezing to my face as I walk. It’s all part of the adventure, right? Oh hey, I bought an ice scraper today from the thrift shop. Now I just need to get some cat liter, blanket, and emergency food and I’m all set!

Speaking of weather, Washington weather does strange things to my skin and hair. It’s so weird being in an environment lacking humidity… my hair isn’t frizzy and my face isn’t nearly as oily. It’s a definite plus!

I showed dad Central Washington’s campus today. I think he was impressed and he said he was very happy for me and all the opportunities that lay ahead. šŸ™‚ We went to the campus bookstore to buy books, but they only had a couple. We ended up checking the off campus bookstore (which I didn’t know existed!) and found a few others, and I order the rest online. The big thing I’ve learned about Ellensburg is that looks can be deceiving. Most of these neat stores and restaurants appear dead or empty from the outside, but turn out to have people inside or are a great find!

The cable guy came out this afternoon and hooked up cable and internet. I’m very happy to have functioning internet again. Although, I’m a little frustrated that I only get around 10 cable channels, but I guess that’s what basic cable means. I can’t afford nor will I have time to watch more stations than that anyway. It was kinda funny, the cable guy freaked out about my mac computer and nearly ran out of the apartment when he couldn’t figure out why the internet wasn’t working and it looked like we could fix the problem ourselves.

My apartment is ALMOST complete. I started putting decorations on my walls today, everything has been moved into place and only two boxes need to be unpacked. Tomorrow dad and I are going to Seattle to explore and we’ll be making one more trip to Ikea. Hopefully I’ll find (and hang) curtains, mirrors and other odds and ends. I’ll post another round of pictures once it’s finished!

Grown ups love vacuum cleaners.

“You sure came a long way for a cookset.”

Went to target this morning and purchased a tv (a super sexy one that we got on clearance and marked down, yay!), throws to add color to the couch and office chair and some other essentials for the apartment. As we were checking out, I gave the cashier a rain check for a pots and pans set from florida and he said the quote above. It was definitely a funny moment.

I discovered that Yakima is your typical city and thankfully target is right off the highway, therefore easy to access. I don’t know how often I’ll need to make trips to Yakima, but it’s good to know that they have all the major chains from home, in case I need whatever.

After our errands, we returned to the apartment to continue setting things up, cleaning and organizing.

You know you’re an adult when you’re excited about owning your own vacuum cleaner. Who knows, maybe I’ll take up gardening next!

I’m really starting to feel like this apartment is mine and it feels like home. I’m excited to live here. Hopefully the ample space will help me keep things clean and more importantly organized!

Also, I’m really happy that Charlie is here with me. I think him being here will help keep my company and he’s got such a personality, that it’s fun to play with him!

On the agenda for tomorrow: I need to continue my current sleep schedule of being in bed by 11ish and waking up around 7ish. It’s awesome for my productivity. I’m going to show dad the CWU campus and make a pitstop to purchase my books. I plan on reading (or more accurately, skimming) them before classes start, maybe get ahead of things. Then Charter is coming to set up cable and internet, hooray! The rest of the day will probably consist of more organizing and decorating and hopefully some reading. Oh, and I’ll be making my first foray into the world of laundry mats. Perhaps I’ll even go for a run as my clothes wash and dry themselves. šŸ™‚

For mom: Charlie’s not brain damaged, I promise.

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