Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Word of the Day

I'm taking a ridiculous entrepreneurship class called Creativity and Feasibility as an elective this mini (a mini = basically a quarter of the year). The syllabus basically went out the window on Day 1, the professor has told everyone that they would get either an A or an A- and everyone (including the professor) usually shows up about 15 minutes late. Usually I spend this class period e-mailing Andy who is not in this ridiculous class, but rather is next door in a probably non-ridiculous class on Six Sigma.

Last week as part of our regular e-mailing back and forth Andy told me that he would give me bonus points if I could work the word "unicorn" into class discussion. Not one to back down from a challenge, I, of course, did. I found this to be an exciting little challenge for me and actually helped me pay attention to class more because I had to try to figure out when to work in my special word. I decided that this should be continued.

Today's word he gave me was "anemone" and sadly, I failed. I even had a perfect place to fit it in. They were talking about partnerships and I was going to work in a comment about symbiosis and a clown fish and an anemone. Perfect, right? I unfortunately have difficulty saying the word anemone and by time I had correctly formulated it in my brain, the discussion had shifted and my moment had passed. So now, I'm 1 and 1 which doesn't make me very happy. Can't wait to see what word I get on Thursday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Prayers Have Been Answered

My mom recently informed me that my delinquent cousin has been transferred out of jail....booo..., but I arrived home today to find a letter from prison in my mailbox. While it's nowhere near her funniest, I feel the need to blog about it anyway because it's the last one. In related news, Joy and I have a bet on how many months before she gets thrown back in jail. I got 2-6 months. Joy has 8-12....anyone else wanna get in on this action?

"I love the paper and envelope its so cute... (I have no idea what crappy stationary I sent her this time. probably something I got at a birthday party in like 5th grade.) Im lucky that I got it (herpes?) well I'll be leaving on the 26th (wow, that's today. How apropos) for sure so you don't need to write me back i'll call you like a week or so after the 26th (oh, I'm sorry, I'll be in China. such a shame) and give you the address then you can send me pictures there (pictures? what?) also let aunt jan know that i'll call her like a week or so after the 26th and give her the address too! (She will be soooo thrilled). I can't wait. I'm so excited and nervous at the same time. I just can't wait to see what its like in there and what exactly I can and can't do! (I hate to disappoint you, but I'm thinking pot is still a no no.) I'd like to go golfing on an 18 hole course sometime (oh, I bet you would) I think it would be fun plus i want to see how far i can hit it! i played that tiger woods game before. (not the same.) so where will you be staying in ATL (like I would tell you)? will you get a apt. or something for the summer? (no, I'm living on the street in a cardboard box). I know this is short but i wanted to let you know what's up...."

Oh...so short...but yet so deep.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is This Even a Legal Document?

Wow, I have so much to blog about that I've started putting ideas for blog posts on my task list in outlook. Crazy. Good thing I'm still getting up early so I have time to blog all this great stuff. And can you believe that in two weeks I'll be in China. Guess what else! I've been named an official blogger for the school for the China trip. Obviously those official blog posts will not be nearly as snide as these are (and so by default less hysterically funny), but still it should be fun, and I promise to put my own JSto twist on them.

This summer I'm interning in Atlanta and found a place to live that basically sounds like a dorm for grad students/interns except in the middle of the a really cool part of town instead of on campus. I just got my lease from the random guy I've been e-mailing with, and it is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Can a lease be funny? I'm pulling out some of my favorite direct quotes. I'm leaving the best paragraph for last so if you happen to be reading this at work and the boss comes, make sure you go back at some point and at least read that one (not that I would ever condone reading my blog at work...who am I kidding? of course I condone that! I used to blog at work!)

"to the extent that downloading large files slows DSL for everyone, JSto agrees, if necessary, to limit her use of DSL to ordinary internet browsing, e-mail, text files, ordinary text documents, etc...this paragraph is in the lease in an abundance of caution to insure that everyone has access to functioning DSL service in that, about three years ago, a couple of Georgia Tech students were downloading extraordinarily large files and programs for a business application and causing DSL problems." --- the love the words "abundance of caution" and also that he gives the whole background story

"JSto acknowledges that she will be the only occupant of the room though she may have visitors."---I'm really surprised he doesn't go into more detail to specify when a "visitor" becomes and occupant.

"If notified by management to clean up something she soiled, JSto agrees to clean up the area immediately, completely and cheerfully." ---yes, mom

And my absolute favorite part, which will need no further commentary from me: "JSto also agrees not to have a pet without written approval of the lessor. JSto agrees not to go to the Humane Society (which is three buildings down the street), find a pet, and have the Humane Society call for the landlord's permission for JSto to have the pet without first consulting the lessor, and understands that if she does indeed go to the Humane Society, finds a pet, and has the Humane Society call for the landlord's permission for the pet, JSto understands that the landlord/lessor will deny such permission. This paragraph does not mean that JSto cannot ever have a pet -- it just means that JSto needs to obtain prior approval before going to the Humane Society, meeting a cute companion and falling in love--and putting the lessor in teh position of possibly denying JSto the companionship of her new love."

Seriously, that is taken verbatim from my new lease.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Schedule Update

Well, still going strong with the new schedule. It's been working out awesome. I've been getting so much done (if you haven't noticed from my blog posts ramping up). My "team" loves it because they went to bed with a messed up paper and woke up to find a completely edited version in their e-mail inboxes. It seems to be completely sustainable as my actual issue has been waking up TOO early. Last night I was at Joy's for our weekly TV/wine night and didn't get to bed till 10:30, but I woke up at 4:30 AM (even though my alarm was set for 5). That's obviously not enough sleep, but I'm not sure how to make that better.

There are some other things I've been struggling with:
1) My routine is all screwed up. I used to wake up and had a specific order of things and knew how long it took and had my steps all planned out until I left for school. Now because I'm doing my homework in the morning and that varies so much in how long it takes to do, sometimes I'm like oh...I have another half hour before I have to leave what else can I do and other times I'm like oh shit! I need to get going.

2) Taking shit from people. Joy keeps telling me I'm an old woman, and that I'll start eating dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon. Also, normally the first thing I do when I get up is check my e-mail. When I decide to reply to someone at that time I undoubtedly get a "wow, you're up early" response. Additionally, Andy is giving me crap for not getting up early enough. Ugh.

3)My stomach doesn't get it. I'm still pretty much hungry from around 5am-11am. Lunch time and dinner are still ok, it's just breakfast that's a problem.

4) This is going to sound stupid, but for some reason I'm not used to turning on the lights in the morning. And even though it's now darker when I get up, I still don't turn on the light. I don't know if I think that my eyes will adjust or what, but I usually end up running into stuff.

I'll give you another update in another few days after I'll have been doing this for about a week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

It's time for my annual How to Save the Earth in 25 easy steps blog. I will also mention that while I am typing this at 8:00 AM, I have been up for three hours and so my little schedule experiment is still in effect (more on that in a future blog). As said in years past, these are all things that I in fact do myself, or would not be recommending them otherwise.

1) Remove your lids before you recycle. All of you should realize that you are supposed to remove the lids from your bottles before you recycle...but how many of you know how important this is? At many recycling plants, if they find bottles with lids on them they throw the bottle in the trash rather than remove the lid. Great recycling!!
2) And while you're at it, take your plastic lids to any AVEDA salon and have them recycle the lids! Aveda will recycle any hard plastic lid (soda bottles, shampoo bottles, toothpaste, laundry detergent) for no charge. Click on the link above for more details.
3) Educate yourself and others. I regularly read books, websites, etc. on "green" topics. There are some "green" things that are slightly controversial, and I think it's important for you to weigh the pros and cons of each. A lot of these hints are coming from one of my most recent reads: The Big Green Purse by Diane MacEachern.
4)Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning: There are several different types of "green" dry cleaning. I recently started taking my dry cleaning to the Dry Cleaning Station which is committed to using environmentally friendly methods. My clothes feel and smell nicer than with traditional dry cleaning too!
5) Use all in one cleansers. Cut down on the amount of packaging you are using by just using one cleanser for everything. While you think you need that one specifically for counter tops or whatever, I'll break the news to you, that's actually all just a marketing ploy.
6) Stop buying CDs. EVERYONE has a MP3 player, right? What do you need a CD for when you probably don't like half the songs anyway? Just buy the MP3's. If you're worried about listening in your car, once you find the songs you actually like THEN burn a cd.
7) Buy concentrated. Whether it's juice or laundry detergent, buy concentrated to use less packaging.
8) Cut down on your personal chemicals. Do you really need a separate lotion for your feet? All those different chemicals aren't good for you or the environment, so try to cut out one product. Or cut out a day of the week by taking a makeup free day when you're not going out of the house.
9) Educate others. I think this was in one of my previous lists, but it's super important. First think about how what you're doing is helping the environment. Now think about how great it would be if all your friends were doing that too! Earth Day is a great opportunity. Post an earth friendly reminder on your facebook!
10) Ask people what they want for a present and then give it! The next time a birthday or holiday comes up and you have no idea what to get someone, ASK! It will reduce the number of unwanted presents being regifted, donated or (gasp) thrown away.
11) Compost! Don't give me the "I live in an apartment" excuse. There are plenty of ways to compost for everyone. I'm lucky enough to have a neighborhood compost pile and my mom gave me a counter top compost container that has a filter so I just keep everything in there until I'm driving by the compost pile.
12) Buy local...like wine. It seems like vineyards are almost everywhere now. And while there are some pretty terrible local vineyards, there are some pretty good ones too. Do your research!
13) Read the labels. Less ingredients is more. Look for the seals of approval such as certified organic, shade grown, fair trade, etc.
14) Take your shoes off. When you enter your house, take your shoes off. This lengthens the life of your carpet and reduces the need for carpet cleaners.
15) Watch TV with a friend -- save energy and have fun!
16) Students, rent your text books. I use Chegg.com and LOVE IT!
17) Avoid anti-bacterials...ok, germophobes, I'm ready for you to jump all over me, but hear me out. A 2005 US FDA panel concluded there is no benefit to using antibacterials over just soap and water. In addition, the chemicals are bad for the environment (and the general health overall because of increasing immunities to antibiotics).
18) Dryer balls. This is one of those controversial topics, but I'll give you my point of view and then you can decide. I use dryer balls instead of fabric softener. Yes, dryer balls are made of PVC's that aren't recyclable. But (until recently) I wasn't recycling the lids of fabric softener containers either. Plus reusable dryer balls save the energy used to produce multiple containers of fabric softener...it's up to you.
19) Make your own cleaners. A lot of places tell you to make your own cleansers using vinegar, I do not for the fear that my house will smell like vinegar all the time. I do however use baking soda instead of buying soft scrub and it works excellently.
20) Read online rather than print. Whether it's newspapers or your marketing case, read the online version and save paper.
21) Water plants in the morning or early evening. You'll lose less water from evaporation.
22) Recycle your batteries. If you are not using rechargeable batteries (which you should be), take them to places like Best Buy that have recycling programs and while you're at it drop off your ink cartridges there as well.
23) Wash your laundry in cold water. It does just as good of a job.
24) Get rid of clutter before you move (and don't just throw it out either!) Not only will unpacking be a lot easier, you'll save gas from not transporting all that extra crap.
25) "Sleep" your computer. If you're going to be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, put your computer to bed and save energy.

Get out there Planeteers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My New Schedule

This all started this morning. And before I tell you exactly what happened, I need to give you a little background on my normal sleep schedule. Normally I go to bed at 11pm and set my alarm for 7am. This is the same no matter whether I start classes at 8am or 9:45am, I still get up at the same time. The only deviation from this is Saturday and Sunday when I don't set my alarm and just wake up whenever (usually around 8am). Even though my alarm is set for 7, I normally wake up around 6:50 and just lay there for 10 minutes till my alarm goes off and then get up.

That brings me to this morning. This morning, I woke up, laid there and my alarm never went off. I thought to myself "gee, i must've gotten up earlier today for some reason, I wonder what time it actually is." I rolled over and saw that my clock said 4:18. Other than being really thirsty, I'm not really sure why I became completely awake and alert at 4:18. I tried for about a half hour to fall back asleep, then got up and wrote some e-mails, then tried for another half hour to go back to sleep and finally at around 5:30-ish, gave up on sleeping. The weird thing is that I was ultra-productive. No one was around to e-mail me (or warrant me checking my e-mail), no one was on facebook, and there was nothing that was on TV...so I went to the gym, did a bunch of marketing summit stuff, e-mailed a bunch of people about apartments for the summer, read my homework for ICP and cleaned my bathroom...it was really great.

My friend Andy is on a sleep 8pm-4am schedule which I have previously ridiculed when he has tried to convince me of the merits of such a schedule, but now this has me thinking. It was really really great. As long as I could actually make myself be fully awake, this might work. This could also be the perfect time to switch to such a schedule because I only slept 5 hours last night, it's almost 2pm and I'm still going strong so theoretically around 8-9 pm, I should be ready to go to bed. i'm thinking of a 9pm-5am schedule, because 4am just sounds ridiculous. The only thing I have to really work out is food because I was ready for lunch at around 9am.

This is going to end one of 3 ways. 1) I love the new schedule become super productive and live a happy and fulfilling life as an early bird. 2) It's ok. I go back to my unproductive life only shift it earlier and then decide whether to switch my schedule back or not or 3) (probably the most entertaining option) I force myself to get up early for a week which backfires horribly. I end up being in a coma-like state thus losing a week of my life and eventually give up and go back to going to bed at 11. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Great Father/Daughter Moment

Me: I had a dream about you last night. You got kicked out of Disney world for making inappropriate comments to the costume characters at a character breakfast.
My Dad: ThCheck Spellingat wasn't a dream. It was a repressed memory from your childhood.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Quickest Way To Make My Blog

Send me an awesome care package. That is exactly what Amanda 2 and Danielle did, so now I get to tell you about the awesome stuff that I got.

Amanda 2's was a complete surprise which made it all the more awesome. First in her package:
I had posted Amanda's scrap paper art that she used to leave on my desk at Girl Scout's before, and so this is a throw back to that. Yes, it's a unicorn eating skittles and pooping rainbows. Ironically about 30 minutes before I got this package in the mail, I got yelled at by my learning team for drawing a rainbow on the white board and was told "are you going to draw a unicorn next?" Creepy.

Also in Amanda 2's package were:

My new favorite paperclips. Take that Airtran airplane paperclips. I also got a very nice letter, some cool black and white tacks which are already on my corkboard, the pen she stole from Jumbo Buffet, and the "Major Impact" marker which we keep sending back and forth. (There's a inside joke that goes along with major impact, but it's too dirty to post on my blog.)

Now onto Danielle's care package. I'm not sure how the idea of her sending me a care package first came about, but she's been telling me for months that she's going to send me one. She kept calling me and telling me she was buying stuff for it, so it was much hyped and anticipated.

I'm going to tell you EVERYTHING that is in it because I think everything deserves mentioning.
  • an envelope stuffed with random coupons (inspired by my mom's care packages of course) so if anyone needs Pampers or Fixodent, let me know and I'll hook you up.
  • Random newspaper articles. When I used to send Danielle her box of crap or random letters in college, I included newspaper articles that were mostly things about Notre Dame teams beating Penn State teams. (one of the articles she sent me was Police: Recruit Drunk. Unfortunately I read this without the colon and with "recruit" as a verb. I expected some hilarity, but instead the story was about the Notre Dame football recruit that fell off a balcony and died. Sad.)
  • A turtle watering can, which I have already used.

  • A stuffed monkey, which was only added to stabilize the other items in the box.
  • an ashtray with a middle finger sticking up that I had previously gifted to her in one of her birthday boxes.
  • A West Side Story DVD (oh high school music class. What great memories!
  • Hungrey Hungry Hippos Play-Doh playset, which I think Danielle is more excited about than I am

  • Reese's peanut butter (of course)
  • Ritz pretzel crisps which look yummy.
  • Princess markers
  • Princess color roll posters
  • A 24 pack of crayons (to color my princess posters)
  • a princess icepack

  • Fairy lunchbags
  • a fairy pez dispenser
  • Sour patch candies
  • Sluggles gummies
  • Sleepytime tea
  • an Alice in Wonderland pin (which she bought a few years ago at the Rose Bowl)
  • AND High School Musical scented highlighters

Ahh...such great friends.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Ridiculous Saturday

I've decided to blog in order to take my mind off of the raging class/job/marketing summit ulcer that is currently forming in my stomach. Saturday was a charity golf outing. I had received an e-mail from a girl in my class saying she wanted to form an "all-female foursome" and that you didn't have to be good, the goal was just to have fun. Perfect! I signed up. Little did i know, I would be the only one on the team to ever have golfed 18 holes. It was...interesting...I gave some lessons on golf etiquette and even though we came in last (and won free golf balls), had lots of fun (and may or may not have purposely tried to hit the drunk foursome in front of us). Though not as fun as some. Apparently there were people that went swimming in the lake, tucked and rolled out of a cart at full speed, and teed off naked. Did I mention there was free beer? Also for our enjoyment there was a wedding at the golf club where the colors were camo. Nice.

After a long day of golf, I forced myself to be social and go to my friend Kathleen's party. Boy am I glad I did. I guess the real excitement started when someone showed up with fireworks. No one was really paying attention until someone warned us that he was lighting something on the balcony. Yep, he set off one of those big "black cat" canister things (I don't really know firework lingo) off basically in a tree. Luckily it was only one shot because the recoil caused it to spin around and would've shot a second shot through the window into her living room. We all rushed into the apartment ,and Kathleen sprayed Burberry perfume all over to cover up the firework smell. It didn't really work. We hid the rest of his fireworks. Somehow about an hour later he got them back. He decided to launch a bottle rocket out in the parking lot. We tried to convince him to go to the tennis courts, but that was to far away. At one point, we thought a police car was coming, but luckily it turned out to be a taxi. Everyone watched safely from the stairwell as the first rocket went up. Then he got the idea to try to send a beanie cow into orbit by strapping three rockets to its back.

Upon seeing this, someone said "I have a bad feeling about this" and then helped him to connect all the fuses together in the hopes that the rockets would go off together. But they didn't. We watched even further up on the stairwell this time; hopefully out of rocket range. The first one went up, and the other two went out to the side. The cow stayed put, but had pretty bad third degree burns and then we all ran back into Kathleen's apartment.

Upon telling this story to Danielle, she responded by saying "I forget that these people are our age and not just stupid college kids." So how much longer can I get away with doing ridiculous things like this? Also at Kathleen's was drunken singing, a short lived ice luge, and a first year vs second year cups tournament, but after the fireworks nothing was really that exciting.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The LAST ::sniff sniff:: Letter from Prison

I should be reading about KFC's operations in Japan right now, but I'm not. Instead, it is a sad and solemn day as the last letter from prison (at least for like a week or so until she undoubtedly gets thrown back in) is posted. (A moment of silence please). My final comments will be in parenthesis as usual.

"I went to court yesterday and I made out so good I got exactly what I needed (a swift kick in the ass? a punch in the face?) and wanted ! (oh, boo) I'm going to the salvation army it's a 6 1/2 month program but i don't know to much about it yet (except that it will get me out of jail and so obviously I'm all for that). I just need to go thru the application process and get a bed. then i'll be out (God help us all). I'm so excited im a lil nervous too (lil? as in lil kim?)! so what did you and aunt jan do while she was there (she cleaned my entire apartment, told me I was too "perfumey" and watched A LOT of basketball.) Did you end up eating ham? (yes, yes we did and this broccoli stuff out of my paula dean cookbook which was amazing. Paula Dean is a freakin' goddess.) I'm glad that I'm getting out now that the weathers warmer so i can wear flip flops too (I guess there's no prison issue flip flops). its so much cheaper than sneakers to match each outfit (uh...how many pairs of flip flops do you think you're stealing...err..buying) well hopefully when i get down there I'll be able to call you like once a week (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) (I like that the no actually runs off the page of the blog. I thought about fixing it, but decided I liked the effect) instead of having to write cause im so tired of writing (yes, writing is so taxing) but i love getting mail. (thank you caller ID) I cant wait to shave (oh God) it looks like I got buckwheat in a leg lock (she first wrote head lock and then crossed off head and wrote leg. I really could've done without either of those images). hopefully next time you come to PA (never) i'll be able to see you (never) and we can go out to eat or something (never)...I can't wait to eat a big juicey steak (and there is absolutely no way, I'm springing for a steak for your ass). and drink some OJ and cranberry juice (in the words of Joy, and what will you be mixing with that juice?) well I guess Im gonna go you can still write me back here cause i'm not leaving yet (I sent her a letter the day I got this one so that hopefully we might get one more letter back) Happy Easter"

Well, its been a fun run of non-punctuation, poor spelling, horrific grammar, bizarre abbreviations, and shank stories...I'm sad to see it go because now I'll have to come up with something original...boo