Nicole
Sandra's right. It has been way too long. Course, I always say, "I don't have anything to talk about" and then go on some huge ramble that lasts forever, proving myself wrong (yet again). So now that I've said that, I can go on into my huge ramble.

Since November, I've spent way too much money on presents for my family during December, so my credit card is slightly retarded (add to that my car repair bill, but hey, at least I get points on my credit card, so that means I get gift cards later on, hence buying something essentially means buying something else at the same time, just at later date). The good thing is that I'm now getting more hours at work (a slight pain in the back, but hey, whatcha gonna do?) so that means a nice chunky paycheck (or at least as chunky as my paychecks can get) each week. Likewise my credit card bill isn't due until Feb. 3 so by then I feel pretty confident I won't have to move any money out of my savings in order to pay it off (that's right, I pay the whole thing off all at once, all the time. I refuse to pay more than I have to when I don't have to). However that also means no money goes into my savings for a while. *sigh*

But hey, that's what I get for spending so much (but what can I say? I like giving gifts and even when nearly broke, I bought books for some kids for charity - I can't help myself). No biggie.

On the subject of presents and money and books, I'm excited because very, very soon now I will purchase a nice bookshelf for all my books that need a home. A combination of gifts will give me that and I'm super excited. I really need another bookshelf (taller + more shelves) because I keep accumulating books and I don't want to have to stop just because I have no room (which has been my main reason, but when I get stuff as gifts, it kind of messes things up a bit). At present, I have a healthy number of books sitting on other books, on the floor, or just in places that could be put to better use. I got ahead of myself today and bought a bookend because I know the new shelf will leave me with plenty of space and a bookend will become necessary. I got it before leaving Greensburg at their B&N since ours doesn't have a super cool gift area complete with nifty bookends and extra stuff. A good example of me ending up with more books than I ever expected would be during my stay in Greensburg, when I brought two books and ended up bringing back eight.

Which brings us to Greensburg. For those of you that have forgotten, I'm in a Master's Program there, so every 6 months-ish or so I drive 2-3 hours (depending upon traffic) west to the not-so-little town of Greensburg outside of Pittsburgh. I stay for a week and do writer workshops and take 3 hour classes, go to book readings, and attend other random events like wine socials (which we'll get to in a minute because it begs discussion). Residency this year was good. The first three I was social-ish, and if you recall my previous blog entries, not quite sure how to handle the whole thing. Mostly because I've been on my own for, well, ever, so suddenly getting thrown in with other people who have magic users and detectives and young adults as protagonists and antagonists and just plain similiar to myself in work habits and thought patterns was weird. After all, this is the only place where, as Sherry said, a person can say, "It's a good day for torture" and everyone knows what you mean. ;)

This year though, I have to say, I was pretty damn social. A social butterfly, in fact (at least as social butterfly as I'm likely to get in my life). I hung out with different groups (you know who you are) and had a good ole time. I got to chitchat with mentors (I really would love to share Mike Arnzen with you all, or even the world, but those of us who know him would likely agree, the world probably isn't entirely ready for Mike Arnzen. I'm sure he knows it. Haha!) and found out that I'm a cool cucumber and apparently have elements of Lovecraft and Howard lurking around in my writing (something that I thought, upon hearing, was extraordinarily flattering, shocking [as in surprise], and pretty much just put me on cloud 9).

While we didn't have any bread fights or major battles - it's harder to have a major battle in a hotel - there was a lot of semi-psychotic chatting ranging from Cthulu worship to dragons eating people to hillbillies creepy enough to make the aforementioned Mike Arnzen exit the conversation. *side snicker* And of course, fuckin' Brian. I've debated whether or not to put up a story regarding fuckin' Brian and an elevator and have decided that as funny as it is (despite its outcome), if you want to know it, you can just email me. The rest of you were there and you know what happened and who kept hitting the button and who wanted to swallow a knife. A better way to understand one small thing is to familiarize yourself with Dane Cook and his skit about fuckin' Brian which reminds me that I need to send that to someone...

Ok. So yeah. That's pretty much it. Now I have to do a handful of things and then I graduate in June (whoohoo!). At present I must unpack and...well gosh I think that's it. I could list the junk I need to do to graduate, but I'm sure that would bore you all (since most of you don't really care and the rest of you, well, you already know anyway). I guess I'll just end this with a few life notes:

Normally I'm very photogenic, but FUCK THAT.

Texas Roadhouse bread still rules the unverise (in conjunction with Outback - is there an Outback in Greensburg? I must look this up...)

Later on I'll post a link to a fellow Seton Hiller's picture account so inquiring minds can see Seton Hill in the winter. And depending upon who posts what, I might have a picture of myself in the blue dress again (which later on led to a slight bit of discomfort. Fuckin' Brian...)

We now know what scares Arnzen (wait, I already mentioned that).

We're going to miss all of you who have just left. Can't wait to see you on the shelves!

There really, truly is always just ONE creepy dude that lurks around you and won't go away.

See the rest of you in June!


Currently: FUCKIN' BRIAN'S COMING! (oh, wait, he's not, it's cool)
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