Thursday, September 30, 2010


I was thinking today about how on earth people got anything done before email. Literally, 75% of the work I do, I get and do through email. Calling people is never a good way to get in touch because people are so often not at their desks, phones, or home. AND think about how hard it would be to get into contact with people at home before cell phones when you would be calling people while they were at work. How on earth did stuff get done before email? I need to speak to an older generation. I remember my childhood without internet or cell phones, but that was before work. I guess there were many more meetings, many more phone calls, and probably a lot less productivity in the workplace. I know internet and email has increased speed and productivity in the workplace and world, but I wonder if it has actually made our work better quality and our world better?

Just an interesting thought to ponder while going into your weekend!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waiting for What?

I am dying to see this movie, and I think it is important for everyone to see it, and to get our government on board to have the funds and programs (not just more standardized tests to measure achievement) to improve education.

We are waiting for Superman...but waiting for what in education? Let your voice be heard, especially with more budget cuts coming our way this year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

G(d)um(b) Habit

If you know me, and I don't even mean know me well, but if you know me at all, aka you've met me more than once, you know I love gum. People are always amazed to learn that I chew a PACK (yes, 14 pieces) of gum a day. From before lunch to after dinner, I basically have gum in my mouth unless I am eating. Some call it an oral fixation, some call it a waste of money, but honestly, I just love the taste and consistency of gum. And not just any gum, but, more specifically, Orbit Peppermint. It is the best gum I have ever had, and I have been chewing it obsessively since high school. Before then, it was Spearmint Extra.

I remember my love of gum's clear beginning. See, my dad always chewed bubble gum- you know, the kind in the hard shell, colored balls that came in thin clear packs of ten. He always had gum in his car, so I remember sneaking into his clove compartment when I was outside playing with friends and taking his gum like it was something really bad to do. My mom also chewed the sugar-free bubble gum sticks, so I remember going into the cupboard at my house in Ohio asking (or sneaking) for a piece. Then I remember really starting to like it in middle school. I probably asked my dad to buy me some, when we were out once, and I found that I liked the Spearmint flavor better than bubble gum. My interest in gum got him interested in the sugar-free kind, since it was better for his teeth, which also got my mom more interested in the minty flavors. A trend was born.

I had a pack of gum with me in school everyday. It started catching on with friends that I always had gum. They asked and asked and asked and I gave and gave and gave, until I was giving so much gum that I didn't have enough for my obsession. Friends in school quickly learned I did not give gum away because that would mean giving it to everyone. So they in turn started bringing their own packs, and I would give them pieces only on special occasions. I was known to get angry when people asked, but when you need all the gum for yourself because you're addicted, my anger becomes understandable.

I also distinclty remember the flavor of my first piece of Peppermint Orbit. I believe it was my good friend Sarah who introduced me to the gum (the commercials were all over the air with the British lady). I was hooked and have been buying it religiously ever since. I chew gum so much, that I can tell when a pack isn't "good" (you would think gum flavors are pretty consistent, but like with any food, there are good and bad batches), and I learned how to get away with chewing gum in school (or even at work) with people not knowing. I also have perfected the art of taking out a piece of gum, only to replace it with another in one full swoop with no one the wiser.

Favorite gum circa 1997

Gum of choice for almost 10 years

You may call it a dumb habit, but gum is like my cigarette. But a lot cheaper and healthier (hey, it even cleans my teeth)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obsessions vs. Robyn, Round 1

A little update on my previous addictions, obsessions and habits.

1. M&M Pretzels: I thought I had gotten over this powerful addiction. It had been months since I had an M&M pretzle- probably since June. Then this past Saturday, my lovely friend Rochelle bought an entire mega-size pack of them just for me at her sister's 16th birthday party. Lucky me, I got to take the extras home. Now I have gotten my roommate obsessed, and she wants to buy more before we are even done with the bag I brought home. No big deal that I just went to the gym and ate half a bag with my microwaveable pizza. Not unhealthy at all, but at least I saved money not purchasing them for myself.

Obsession-.5, Robyn-.5 (at least they were free)

2. Diet Pepsi.: So, as I declared in this blog, I decided to give up sodas in late June, due to health, expenses and just plain curiosity to see if I could do it. Well, fast forward three months later and I can literally count the number of times I have had a soda since then. Once was after hiking Cinque Terre in Italy, when I had half a can to boost my sugar levels after the 4 hour hike, and lastly was this past Sunday at a football party where I literally had a sip of Diet Pepsi. Verdict after 3 months? Soda tastes like acid and metal. I do not miss it at all and am drinking much more water, causing myself to be more hydrated, my skin to look better and me just feeling better about myself. And I save a ton of money buy not buying sodas. I just need my handy water bottle and a brita filter and I am good to go. I also drink lots of crystal light to go!

Obsession- .5, Robyn-1.5

3. Moving Out: My goal at the end of grad school was to move out of my parents home by the time September rolled around. As many of you should know, I succeeded AND got a bangin' deal on a great place. I would say, I got the best deal I could ever even dream about- $250 a month plus utilities in a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath townhouse with a garage and free parking? Yes, please!

Obsession-.5, Robyn- 2.5

4. Employment: Well, no one said it would be easy to get a job. After 11 interviews, I finally landed a job. I know I can't complain- many people don't have jobs and are looking for much longer than I did, but the job search was a very emotionally and mentally draining time. It kicked my butt, but I won in the end. Holler.

Obsession- 1 (for being tough), Robyn- 3

5. My kitties: I love my boys. Unfortunately, I had to split them up and take only one to live with me when I moved out. It was very tough, as the youngest has only ever known life with his big brother. BUT 3 weeks into the new arrangement, I am getting stronger everyday, and I think they are too. I still am sad to know that they are missing one another and probably searching for the other, but I know that this was the best decision I could have made. But no one said the right decision is always the easiest.

Obsession- 1, Robyn- 4

6. Glee: Um, original viewer here from the early premiere back in May 2009. I would say I win. Second season picks up tonight, with more viewers than ever. Don't stop believin'!!

Obsession- 2 (kinda has taken over hours of my life), Robyn-4.5

So I think I have done very well the past few months. Now I need new obsessions to conquer for the school year. Lord knows working 40 hours a week for the rest of my life will leave me with many new annoyances and obsessions to overcome.

Stare down of the kitties. See? Obsessions can be cute.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

When did sleeping go out of style?

So I read this fabulous article today about how sleeping has somehow gone out of style. People judge people who need a lot of sleep. It likened the silliness of the matter to a bathroom analogy- "You go to the bathroom how many times a day?! I just don't have time to use the toilet!" Sleeping is just as important as eating and letting your body run it's natural functions, yet people don't do it and judge those who do. For instance, I always need 8 hours (at least) a night. Why? Because I am happier, more energized, make better health decisions (in regards to eating and exercise), do better at work, and am a nicer person to be around. I am not a happy person when I am sleepy, so I make a conscious effort to get a good amount of sleep. When people hear that I HAVE to get that much sleep, they either think I'm lazy, no fun, or don't do anything with my time. So basically I am negatively judged because I need sleep, especially by people my age who would rather go out and not worry about the consequences of no sleep. I am sorry,  I enjoy my sleep- I do no live by the mantra of "you can sleep when you're dead." I enjoy my sleeping, so why would I put it off for decades? It makes my life better now. Sorry.

My favorite part of the article was how it quoted Martha Stewart as saying basically that people who sleep have no interest in life or do not do anything worthwhile because, "why would I sleep when I have so many interests and passions?" Ummm, maybe because you could work for your passions and interests better when you're not in a daze from no sleep? Call ME crazy!

Now, I completely understand that some people function just fine on 4-6 hours, and actually wake up wide awake after getting that much sleep. Great for them. But the 90% rest of the population who do not get enough sleep simply because they are too busy, and therefore lagging in their day, I say don't judge those who are able to get enough sleep. I am quite happy being rested and going to bed early. I know I won't be able to do it my whole life, but I think sleep is just as important as eating right and going to the doctor. It helps your immune system, your alertness, your energy and your productivity. Seems like something worthwhile to me...

Especially with the comfort of a kitty:).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Memories Post #1

Have you ever had a moment during your day, when a semingly random memory pops into your head? No? Well, I do, so here are a couple of random memories from my early childhood.

1. Sitting on my parent's bed on my 6th birthday (in Ohio) waiting to go to the park where my party was being held and thinking how awesome birthday's are, but how the excitement/waiting SUCKS (picture above at the party).

2. Looking out the window in my room in Virginia, sad about having to go to a Braves baseball game with my family, because I thought it would be soooo boring. Then my Grandmom Simpson came in to make me feel better and said in a high voice (something like), "Oh, sad little girl staring out the window. You remind me of a painting." I thought that was so lame, but it made me smile.

3. Playing soccer during PE in 7th grade, and thinking about how all I wanted to do was get home from school and go to my friend Kim's house to drink Grape juice!

4. Screaming, "Mommy, mommy, mommy" down a slide at Wynadot Lake in Ohio when I was 4 after begging my mom to let me go on it (probably my earliest memory).

5. Playing on a playground at Indianola Park when a boy cracked his head open and started throwing up. It freaked me out. In relation to this, I also remember playing behind Colonial Hills Elementary and how much I liked to walk home on my dad's shoulders and hear the crunch that his feet made on rocks. Still, to this day I love that sound.

6. After moving to Virginia, I came back to visit my friend Lizzie who lived in my old neighborhood (I was 8 or 9). I remember playing in her room and her asking me what radio station I liked to listen to and realizing we don't have the same radio stations in different states. I also still vividly remember her basement play room and eating white cheddar Cheez-its at her house because her little sister Ellyn liked them.

I told you they were random.

Not a random memory, but a cute one of me and Beanie:).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting Ready

Do you ever think how much of your life is spent "getting ready" for the next thing? Your morning is all about getting ready for your day. Your day is all about getting things ready for the future (whether you teach, work in a business, are a doctor, ect). Working out is all about being healthy to live longer or have a better future. Your evening is all about getting ready for the next morning. How much of our lives are actual spent living in the moment? I've been thinking about this a lot lately and find it interesting how much everything is about getting ready or prepared for the next step. Education is about getting ready for your future, your job is about making money for your future so you can buy thing you'll need. Heck, even kids are about providing more people for our future. And most of their lives with parents is about preparing them for their future too.

How much of life is about living in the moment?

Or do I think too much about what's ahead and miss the point?

Good thoughts to ponder.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moving Out and On

I am officially an adult. I have a full-time job (with benefits), am paying into retirement, no longer get any monetary help from my parents (yes, I cut up our joint credit card today) and have moved out of my parent’s house. It only took 24 years!

This past week (Wednesday of the week before students return to school- perfect timing, right?) me and three of my friends moved into a wonderful 3 story, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath townhouse in the Grove, a subdivision of Midlothian. It is absolutely wonderful for 4 young, single, working women. Each of us has our own bedroom, bath, access to a garage, laundry, no yard work (yay!) and cheap rent. Our rent is literally $1250 a month. We divided it up by room size, so since I have the smallest room, I pay the cheapest rent. I basically will be able to save a grand a month because of how cheap my living expenses are. The YMCA is also literally .25 miles away, so that is a nice plus tooJ.

Because my room is so small, I have my desk in the downstairs dining area, along with another one of my roomate’s desks, but a table still fits in the room with the 2 desks and we have a great bay window to look out of. Also, having my desk outside my room will allow me to be more social as opposed to sitting locked in my room with no reason to come out. Also, since I have a TV in my room but no cable, I will venture to the main sitting/dining area to watch TV and be more social with my other roommates. It will be a lot like when I lived in the sorority house and people hung out downstairs because rooms were small and we wouldn’t see everyone unless we hung out downstairs (and no one had cable in their rooms either). I liked that and it will allow me to separate my sleep area from my social and work area. The two have merged too much the past few years!

As is always the case with moving, an adjustment takes place. First off, I brought my cat Romo, but not Milo because one of my roommates has two sister cats that she can’t separate. I figured 4 cats was too much and am worried that Milo wouldn’t do well in a new place since he is 11 and getting a little less flexible (and he sprayed all over the house for a year after we got Romo), while Romo is only 2 and has always been in a house with another cat. The girl cats are only 1, so I think a nice bond should take place. As of now they just stare and hiss at each other and run away. But none of them have front claws, so I figure no big damage can be done. I just wish Romo would get out from under my bed more often!

Second, living with people is always an adjustment. Getting used to the noises, the hours people keep, their cleanliness, ect. I was able to live with all different types of people in college, but I have had a 2 year break of living with my parents which was a very easy lifestyle (no laundry, noises, major cleaning or cooking). I am confident I will get back into the swing of living with people, but it will take time to get used to everything. As of now, I have been alone in the house 4 out of 5 nights, since people have been out of town and slowly moving in. I am not crazy about living alone, so that has been an adjustment, but with the cats here now, I have some company. Starting this week we’ll all be here AND it is the 1st week of school for the 3 of us in education, so it’ll be an interesting week. BUT we have no internet or cable ‘til Wednesday, so I am thinking that will be a big plus to an otherwise busy, crazy week. I missed football this weekend because of no TV and that is NOT ok!

I will post pictures as soon as everything is set up. I also need to photograph my office at work. I really am enjoying the 3-day weekend, so hopefully I will be well rested for the start of the school year! It will be a year of many changes- hopefully all good:).

Friday, September 3, 2010


Quick post today, because I am at Panera using their internet and they close soon. BUT, all I have to say is that now that I am working 45-50 hour weeks (ahem, this week) , I appreciate weekends SO MUCH MORE. Especially when I decide it's a good idea to move in the middle of the week before students come back. Here's to a long, relaxing Labor Day weekend at the pool, before even more sanity erupts at my high school!

Happy official end of summer:( I am already ready for next summer where I won't have to interview and can just enjoy the time off without any worries (and no Brio)! But, a trip to Italy is not too shabby, despite all the uncertanties this summer. I know I am a very lucky girl.