Who is this lady?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The One Where I'm Becoming Elle Woods Sort Of

Except I don't have a tiny Chihuahua (that word is impossible to spell, by the way) named Bruiser (at least I don't YET) and I am not going to law school. But I AM going to graduate school at UCLA, which is essentially where Elle Woods went BEFORE she went to Harvard Law! And I used to be blonde, and I've been to Malibu, so really, we're basically the same person.

Anyway, I posted on Facebook recently that I found out this past week I was "recommended for admission" (their words, not mine) to the Educational Leadership Doctoral program at UCLA, to begin this fall!!! I'm soooooooooooo excited!!! I started thinking about going back to school for my doctorate a couple years ago and took my time figuring out exactly what I wanted to go back for. Even though it's a doctoral program, the degree is technically an Ed.D., not a Ph.D., but you will learn more about that below because everyone all seems to have the same questions so I figured answering them here would be easiest for everyone. :)

1) OMG! How excited are you???
OMG WAY excited!

2) Are you going to do it?
Yes. I know taking on more student loans and going back to school sounds like a nightmare for some people, but I know this is what I want to do with my life and I am ready for the challenge.

3) When do classes start?
Classes begin the first week of October, actually. UCLA is on the quarter system, so their classes start later in the fall than most schools. But we have orientation in June and a cohort retreat on the UCLA campus in August. Which, if that consists of a bunch of trust exercises and icebreaker-type activities... kill me.

4)  What was the application process like?
STRESSFUL. First, I took the GRE again late last fall. YUCK. Hopefully never again. Although I will say the TSA could learn a thing or two about security procedures given how the testing center runs their operation. Then I had to complete my online application and, the hardest part, write my personal statement which went through about 15 different iterations. Thanks everyone who read it! And I had to request my letters of rec, which is always stressful because WHAT IF THEY SAY NO. Luckily, no one I asked said no. Phew.

Next, if you met their initial qualifications, you were invited in for a group interview. Okay, fabulous. I know exactly what I'm going to wear (see... Elle Woods)! So I roll up to my interview and because I A) almost parked in the wrong lot, B) had to pee, and C) tried the wrong door first, I was a minute late. PANIC ENSUES. I hate being late to anything and especially where I don't know if that's an automatic "NOPE" for me! Eeek! There were about 25 people in total at this thing and they were doing 4 separate group interviews like the one I went to. Yikes. Okay. First things first, we have to write an essay. We had no idea what we'd be writing about ahead of time and that was giving me GRE flashbacks, but I did it. Then we were split into smaller groups of like 6 or 7 where we were observed by alums/faculty and we had to problem-solve together as a group representing different parts of the K-16 education spectrum. Very intimidating, but I kicked our conversation off, so I was proud of myself for that. One of the other women in my group, who I think said she was a special ed teacher, was really, really interesting and articulate. I hope she got in, too! After that hour and a half was up we had a whole group debrief and then were sent upon our merry ways and I left feeling way, WAY less confident than when I arrived! The people in my group were phenomenal!! But as I said when I was talking to my dad, you don't want to go to a grad program where you think the people aren't worthy of being there, right? Right. As Elle Woods's dad would say, "Law school is for boring, ugly, serious people. And you, Button, are none of those things." (I have no idea how that's related except dads were mentioned in both sentences.)

5) Will you keep working?
Yes, it's a requirement to be working while you're in the program. Classes are only held one night a week and on Saturdays so I will continue working at my current job (maybe even full time). If you thought I was busy before... get ready for a whole new level of Prioritizing My Life!

6) Where will you live???
Well, I'm not planning to move until Monique is done with school herself and then I am thinking I will look for somewhere very close to work since I'll still be there most often during the week. But, you never know. If I win the lottery sometime soon then maybe I'll move to Bel Air or something.

I think that covers the basics... stay tuned for updates! I cannot believe how many people responded to my Facebook announcement. Holy mother of god that made me feel loved! It's kind of weird since most of my friends are posting engagement/baby announcements on the Faceboo these days and I'm all like "Yeahhhhhhhh more reading and papers woohoo!!" Do you think I can register at Staples???

And, since it's not a post without a good picture, please enjoy the creepiest/funniest congratulatory message I received yesterday:

video



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The One Where We Go Shopping At Marshall's

Please enjoy this stream of consciousness, brought to you by a trip to Marshall's last Friday after work:

"Is that meant for a child? Oh, no. That's the juniors section."

"Overalls? OVERALLS? AGAIN? Overalls. Again. Put down the overalls."

"Maybe if I were a midget this would fit me."

"Maybe if I were a giant this would fit me."

"PURSESSSSS."

"Damn their shoe section for only carrying shoes up to a size 10!!!"

"Can I squeeze my foot into this?"

"OW. No."

"Maybe if anybody in America knew how to cut pants for girls with big butts these would fit me."

"Wake me UP! Before you GO GO! Don't leave me HANGING' ON like a YOyo!"

"Oooh this suit is cute."

"HAHAHAHAHA this suit looks like rainbow sherbet barfed on me. How much is it?"

"How could someone justify paying $180 for a silk jumpsuit? It's not even Kardashain Kollection."

"I'm still sad Lamar turned out to be such a loser. It's okay, Khloe. Maybe next time know someone longer than 12 days before accepting their marriage proposal."

"Why are all the L and XL workout shirts for women from that company that has the stupid smiley face logo and look like they're for women who have given up on looking cute?"

"They need a Hell No, Would Never Buy This in a Million Years I Cannot Believe I Tried This On hook option in the fitting room instead of just these:



Yes, that is the Sherbet Barf bathing suit featured in the bottom of this picture. No, it was not purchased.

"I think I need these 18 random fleur-de-lis home decoration items just because they are fleur-de-lis."

"Ohhhhh Pat said, what said he, tell me the truth said she..."

"Excuse me, don't mind me just STANDING HERE MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS. Stop texting and watch your child before they ram me with the cart. Please and thank you."

"God, I have to get out of here."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The One Where It Starts Out Shouty But Ends Better

First, I just have to rant for a minute about my bank and money and my credit card payments and just blechhhhhhhhhhhh. Warning, I'm about to get virtually shouty. Better get a snack for this one.

...

About nine months ago, I set up automatic credit card payments for my Visa because I was like "Hey, this is a great idea. Now I won't ever forget to make a payment. I'm so smart. Look at me being proactive and smart and managing my money. BAM. Adulthood." Well... then I realized they weren't happening on schedule and so I did the next best adult-y thing and set reminders on my calendar to make a payment on X and Y days of the month and that worked nicely. I was following that schedule quite well. I have also really REALLY tried to make and stick to a budget in the last year or so, and this means that basically every dollar I make is budgeted in some fashion so by the time payday rolls around, I do not have much money in my checking account to play around with because it's all been spent or saved in other places.

So then let's switch topics and go to a side story... A couple weeks ago, Amanda was all "HEY LET'S DO THE COLOR RUN IN TEMECULA ON THE 8TH" (because sometimes she talks in all caps) and I was like "Yeah, let's!" So I trot over to LivingSocial.com and purchase a voucher for the race. Woohoo $24! Deal! Score! Sweet! And then I am reading the fine print to see what I should be wearing/bringing to this event and they say "Register your voucher over here yadda yadda something something check in day of." So I click on the link to register my voucher and it's all very confusing, I think because there was a limit as to WHEN you could register your voucher and if you didn't do it before that day you were supposed to just bring it the day of the race. LONG STORY SHORT, I ended up somehow making a $60 purchase (through PayPal which is apparently just a ONE CLICK situation... dangerous...) for the event for which I already paid through Living Social. Cue the growling and swear words and fists balling up and angry tears and worry that I am turning into one of those people who cannot navigate websites anymore because they're too confusing and WHY CAN'T WE JUST WRITE LETTERS LIKE THE OLD DAYS and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THOSE CREDIT CARD IMPRINT MACHINES and WHERE IS MY COFFEE.

So I log into my bank account to see what this means for my account status (because payday is tomorrow which means funds are minimal) and LO AND BEHOLD... I not only have NO money left in my account, I also have a lovely overdraft fee because my automatic payments decided to kick the eff in yesterday with no warning. Oh yeah. I vaguely remember setting that up THREE QUARTERS OF A YEAR AGO. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, WELLS FARGO. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. More growling. Much more growling. Many more swear words. Much anger. Such growl. Wow. (Doge, anyone?) So anyway. I emailed the race people to see about getting my money back. If it happens in less than 10 business days I'll be floored. And now I know to expect my credit card payments to come out of my account on the 5th. Good to freaking know.

Annnnnnd deep, cleansing breath. 

On to better, WAY more fun news, which is the fact that Monique's birthday was yesterday and we partied like rockstars (read: like the nerdy humans we are). I baked her an apple pie, which included cheese baked into the crust because that's apparently how ya eat it on the east coast.

The beginning... crust, cheese, apple mix, butter

Mmmmm butter

Egg wash thingy to brush over the top to make it all fancy

Ready for the oven (I hate the lighting in my kitchen... GOD... it makes everything look wan and gross)

FINISHED. Except I have notes on how to improve it (namely: bake it longer and cut the apples into smaller pieces) so I may have to make another one. But the cheese in the crust... delicious)

Monique loves burgers so we went to Slater's 50/50, which if you're not familiar is like burger mecca. They're famous for their 50/50 patty which is half ground beef half bacon. I know. My aorta just constricted, too. I didn't get a 50/50 patty because while I like bacon, it's not the be-all, end-all for me. But anyway... food (including many a fried treat) was delicious and if you created your own burger you got to name yours. Monique named hers "Mo-MotherF**ckin-Nique's Birthday Burger" (always a classic) and Julia named her "Pon Loves Shmonique" and I named mine "Could I BE anymore excited for this?" Except no one got the Chandler reference even though I put Miss Chanandaler Bong after it... Amateurs. But it was still and all a delicious meal. I'm so glad Monique is not only my friend, but also my roommate and my co-worker because lemme tell ya. Some days, I don't know how I would get through work without knowing she's on the other side of the wall ready to regale me with who was on Jimmy Fallon last night and tell me to listen to Pharrell's new album because it's the bee's knees and remind me that kale is friend not foe.

Whole gang!!

Me and the birthday girl! (Thanks, Kim, for standing on the bench for us)

Dollar Store Decorations wuzzup! Shoutout to: random box of fire wood, someone's old shoes, and my workout equipment in the corner

Pon & Shmo

The Hallers and me. True story: for about the first 6 months I knew John Haller, I was too scared to talk to him because he looked a little too much like Adam Levine and I thought it was going to be super intimidating. He is not. 

So, even though there were no balloon animal pets involved in this year's birthday festivities, it was still a fabulous time. Happy birthday, Monique. You don't look a day over 30. :-) (JOKES. Please let me still eat more of your pie kthxbye.)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The One Where You Learn I Love A Good Theme Party

This past weekend, I volunteered along with my friend Erin to chaperone a USC Kappa date party/exchange/Kappa Krush/whatever they actually called it. Basically, whenever the Kappas have events like this, they need alum chaperones to make sure nobody falls into the ocean or runs into oncoming traffic or dies from alcohol poisoning. We aren't there to punish people, just be an adult presence in case it really hits the fan and they need some help. I've chaperoned a few things now and I've never been needed for an emergency, so all I've done is sip on my one drink for 3 hours and become increasingly amused with the liberal interpretation some people take with the theme of the evening. Because, oh yes my friends, these parties are almost always themed. 

And like the good woman I am, there are few things I love more than a Theme Party, or basically any Halloween party/excuse to wear a costume. 

Except maybe Costco cake.



But if you include Costco cake AT your theme/Halloween party, then we're really talking.

The theme of Saturday night's party was Pirates and Mermaids, which most people came looking like either a pirate or a mermaid, but we also were graced by the presence of Rasta Jesus and a bunch of guys wearing yellow t-shirts and red ties, which was a joke I was not in on. Things at this party went smoothly, minus the downed parrot I found on the ground about 20 minutes in:


Which I then gave to a guy Erin and I nicknamed Philosophical Pirate because he kept holding his plastic sword up to everyone's throat and asking us to give him one good reason to let us live. My reason? I'm seeing Britney Spears in concert in August.  Needless to say, he was not impressed.

Anyway, it got me thinking about all the fun theme parties/Halloween costumes I have partaken in in my time. There are a LOT to choose from, but here are some highlights.

First theme party as a Kappa, Kappas and Kowboys, where my pledge class made up new words to that horrible Gretchen Wilson song Redneck Woman:

With my amazing Big, Heather and shoutout to Kaycee for hand-drawing my shirt

Then there was that time I decided last-minute to attend a toga party and literally just threw my bedsheet around me:

Christina and Jessie looked a billion times better than me. But at least my hair was not making chicken-finger bangs, so that's nice.


I wore my friend Calla and Hillary's "study hat" to an animal-themed date party one time, too, along with my old man sweater that had elbow patches. I guess I was a leopard?

Betsy, I'm pretty sure you were a ladybug?

My niece got in on the action at her 2nd birthday party - Minnie Mouse themed:

She's going to be 7 this September. Hard to believe!

Then, of course, there's the holiday theme parties. I love Matt and Nicole's complementary 4th of July outfits from a couple years ago:



And Halloween!

Dave = Black Swan, I = David Bowie or Ke$ha, depending on what you want

 
That time Amanda had to staple Sam's beard onto her face

Michelle as Garth from Wayne's World - spot on!!

I know we've briefly touched on the Bridesmaid Dress party already, but, come on. It was so fun.


And my sister's Troop Beverly Hills-themed bachelorette party from last fall... Priceless. 


Again, I have to reiterate, Amanda handmade the sashes pretty much by herself. She is amazing!

And perhaps my favorite theme of all for theme parties... the White Trash Bash. 

First one, a couple years ago - my baby is just a balloon, but the ketchup stain on my shirt is real.

A WTB isn't complete without Franzia.

Klassy

We still use this eagle blanket in the TV room so it wasn't a waste to purchase

The guys... looking stellar.

Red SOLO CUP.... I FILL YOU UP

We're having a green foods, St. Patrick's Day-themed potluck at work on the 17th, but I think I need more theme parties in my life. Maybe for my birthday I'll do something good like 90s or Fiesta or Western. Or 90s Western Fiesta. Or Fiesta in the West-a. OMG I think I'm onto something. The POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.