Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Aurora meets Santa

Kyle and I volunteered last Sunday with the Humane Society for their pictures with Santa fundraiser. Our job was to distract the doggies/bunnies/hampsters into looking at the camera. We decided this was just not something Aurora could miss out on. Here are some of her cute pictures!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kyle's Italian Experience

So since I just posted my paper, I thought it would be fitting to post Kyle's as well. So enjoy... I know I did!

My Italian Experience
Beginning this journey was something of a Herculean task. Vanessa and I knew that we wanted to study abroad. The question was how in the world we were going to be able to afford it, academically as well as financially. She was in her last 2 semesters of school and I still had some major requirements to fulfill to graduate so it is nothing short of a miracle that we were able to come. That said, it was undoubtedly divine intervention that brought us here. I am increasingly grateful to have been given such a wonderful opportunity to have experienced such a place with such people as these. We all had our ups and downs but even the downs seemed somewhat higher than they are back home. There is so much here that I am going to miss but I will never forget so many things as they have hit a part of me that will never let go of them. It’s hard to put into words the feelings I have for this incredible journey. In a word this trip has been…enchanting. Italy has a magical way of making every care in the world seem somehow insignificant. Time continues and things keep growing and the best you can do is squeeze the grapes when they are ripe and enjoy the cheese when the milk goes bad. There will always be another season. As things wrap up I feel a sense of responsibility ominously hanging over my head and while I know that many more wonderful things lie ahead in my life, I can’t help but feel it would be easier in Italy. I will miss the streets with few cars and the innumerous trees that have spread like wildfire through the valley. The vespas, the truckcycles, the gelato, the trendy teenagers hanging out at the playground, the local drunks staring at us at Rogiro’s, the pizza, the pasta, Rome, Florence, Arrezzo and the jousting, Sienna, Cortona, Orvieto, Montepucciano, Piensa, Pisa, Cinque Terre, scarfs, sunglasses, illegal venders parading through the crowds. Wild boar, gnocchi, bruschetta, olive oil, balsamic, and of course Santa Chiara with it’s hard bread that badly needs salt, it’s stinky bathrooms that you can squeeze into on good days, the somewhat functioning internet, the ping pong table that sometimes has a ball lying around, the TV room that is seldom unoccupied, and the studios that are never unoccupied, and the dead tree that stole our courtyard from us for so long it hurt. The turtles stuck in their corner, the laundry that never gets dry, the wonderful cooks and cleaning ladies that never get mad to our faces. The ever helpful, all knowing RC’s, the incredibly gracious Paolo and Garnet, and the cool but sometimes moody Marco. Above all else, I will miss our people, my new familia. While we all are going back to the same place, I feel that things will never be the same as they were here. It will always be just short of Italy. I am taking with me broadened horizons, having been instilled with a new found appreciation for art and architecture that I may not have found with lesser gods than the ones that taught me here. Wink! I will always see things in a new light now that I know what has come before. There is nothing greater than to learn from those that love what they teach. If there is anything I would change it would be to have more time. It goes by so fast here. The trips were probably the best thing about the entire experience. It felt so nice to have experienced Italy enthusiasts as our guides. I feel that the most valuable difference this experience will have made in my life is to make me so much more receptive and infinitely more interested in other cultures and has made me stunningly more aware of how other fellow humans view us Americans and the importance of that perspective. I know feel compelled to spread this knowledge and instill in others the same since of unity that I experienced here. Am I a better citizen of the world because of this course? Undoubtedly, but not without a feeling of cynicism. I’m not very confident that other fellow Americans are capable of achieving the sense of responsibility that I have acquired. Call me crazy but I’m not quite sure we care enough. If nothing else I would hope that all who travel throughout the world will take back home with them a sense of caring about the rest of the world. Without that I truly fear for our future. Nothing in this world is worse than a society of apathetic ignorants. At least one American is coming home ready to take ‘em all on!

Italy paper

I have been thinking alot lately about Italy. It doesn't seem possible but a year has gone by since we were there. How did time fly by so quickly? There are days when my day seems to last an eternity yet, somehow those incredibly marathon long days have multiplied into the equivalent of a year. As I was reminiscing, I came across the final paper I wrote for the conclusion of our journey. It is a short culmination of the lessons I learned while in Italy. Reading the paper a year later touched my heart in a different way than how it did when I wrote it. The words fished out feelings and thoughts that had taken a siesta in the dark and small pools of my mind. It seems as if they were drowning and demanding for recovery. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

My Italian Experience
Italy, oh Italy, how I love thee. I am twenty-two years of age and my life up to this point has been a series of spectacular events. Italy has been amazing in so many ways that there aren’t even words to try to describe my emotions connected with this experience. Because there is so much to talk about, it is difficult to narrow down the selection, but I will save you the torture of reading a book. The topics I am addressing are my renewed faith in the kindness of others, and the new eyes I have acquired because of Italy.

Italy puts your brain into overactive mode. There are so many things to look at and so many places to rest your eyes. Italy is full of new and exciting sounds and sights. When I first arrived here, I didn’t think I would ever stop looking at the mountains. I wrote a question in my journal, “Do Italians know how blessed they are? They are surrounded by this beauty on a day to day basis. Do they take it for granted or do they marvel at its majesty and greatness on a daily basis? Does it go unappreciated by its own people?” I am always surprised when everything new and novel turns to everyday and ordinary. There were days that I would pass the view of the valley and not even look out at the many shades of green on the fairy inhabited hills. When I do look at the landscape, I find myself holding my breath, waiting to see if it will disappear as a figment of my imagination. But my imagination is not as brilliant as this beauty so I know it is real. The weather might have had some hand in my negligence as well, but it is not an excuse. It is so easy to take beauty for granted when it is no longer new. Appreciating life takes energy and I don’t always remember to fork over that energy into that category of my life.
The churches and ruins were absolutely amazing as well. I nearly squealed with a child’s vibrancy and gaiety at the sight of the first Florence church we pranced into. How could it be that a building hundreds of years old could create such ardor? I had never before seen a building so beautiful and so carefully crafted and loved. The simple, quickly constructed, American buildings we create for ourselves in comparison to the incredibly ornate and brilliantly architected Italian buildings are like comparing a McDonald’s Tonka truck toy with a Mercedes Monster truck at a Monster Rally. I cannot get over how much time, patience and love have been put into many of these buildings. The art adorning the walls is often amazing in itself, but when combined with the grandeur of the architecture and the overall emotional response the space creates, it is enough to give one the chills.

One other thing that has surprised me has been the kindness of others. I am going to tell you the story of how we got to Italy to help give a better understanding of this kindness that I speak of. We arrived in Florence late on the night of the 27th of August. We didn’t know how to get to Castiglion Fiorentino; in fact we thought we would have to take a bus. We went to ask in the information area and this wonderful woman who spoke English extremely well offered to show us how to get there. When I say that she was going to show us, I mean she rode on the train, got off where we had a connection and then said goodbye to take the train back to Florence. There had been some mix up with the trains and there were about 8 Americans who were very confused as to what to do, so she went way out of her call of duty to help some silly Americans tourists. Would I be that generous with my time? How many people are there out in the world who are so willing to lend a kind hand? I was in shock and, I couldn’t express enough gratitude. After she left, the fear of getting lost crept back into my body. We jumped on the next train (it was less jumping and more dragging our exhausted bodies and heavy luggage onto the train). The light of joviality that the woman’s charity had lit started to fade as we quickly realized not only did we not know where to get off, but we couldn’t see out the window. My stomach started to nervously dance and gurgle out of fear and anxiety, my head started to scream “What are you doing in a country where you can not even communicate a simple question?!” I had been anxious all day about this issue, but the bubble had risen to the top and was ready to burst. The only other people on the train were this older Italian couple who spoke English as well as I speak Italian. It turned out, that even without the use of language, we were able to communicate effectively enough. Once again, someone was charitable and kind to us. Every stop that the train made, they would stare out the window with us to help decipher the foreign Italian city names in the dark. They would call out the name at every stop and speak encouraging Italian words which I didn’t understand, but made me fell better nevertheless. Once we found the correct stop we said our goodbyes and departed ways. The fear gurgled to life again as I realized that we didn’t know how to get to Santa Chiara. We made our way up to the bar closest to the train station. We had been traveling since 6:00 am that morning and it was now close midnight and we had only eaten one meal that day, breakfast. I am not actually what time it was, but I do know it was very late, I was tired of lugging luggage around, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I sat down on one of the chairs at the bar, while Kyle attempted his broken Italian with the bar tender. He came back and said, “I have good news and bad news. Santa Chiara is only about a kilometer away, the bad news is it up hill all the way.” I wanted to cry. The exhaustion and hunger had taken over and I didn’t think I could make it up the hill. I think the man saw my desperation, and offered to give us, perfect strangers, a ride.
How many times were we offered help by perfect strangers in this country? It was a miracle we arrived in one piece and if hadn’t been for the help of the Italians, I don’t know what would have happened to us that night. My point with this story is this; I have always had faith in the goodness of people, but I had started to question that faith. Our introduction to Italy blew that faith into full force and I will never question it again. Italy is a country with good reason to dislike America at this moment in time, yet perfect strangers were able to see past our American accents and treat us as human beings. If only we could all learn to treat each other like these Italians treated us, this world would be in much better shape.

I am thankful for what Italy has given to me. It has given me new eyes to look through. My adventure side hasn’t lessened, but increased. I know feel a desperation because of the limited time and money I have in this life and the desire to explore the world to its limits. Italy has only given me a taste of what the rest of the world has to offer, and it was mighty flavorful. But not only has my desire for travels increased but it has given me new friends. The Santa Chiara family will always be with me in my heart for as long as I live. I will remember Italy with overabounding love. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to experience the magic of the Italian experience.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Made up e-card

So my half sister Rachel had an accident last week. Although her car is in car heaven, she has not been seriously damaged and walked away with only a couple bruises, aches and pains. She wrote the family asking for some cheering up and maybe an e-card, because car wrecks have a way of making a beautiful day real ugly real fast. Somehow, however, I couldn't find any free e-cards, maybe I didn't look hard enough, but in my brilliance, or insanity whichever you choose, I decided to make one up. Some days my words and imagery flow freely from my brain directly onto the paper, while other days I have to use a jack hammer to chizzle my thoughts from the wreckage that is my brain and then put all the broken pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle. And I should say that I suck at puzzles! Anways, this morning was one without the heavy machinery, and I liked the final product so I am posting it for all the world to see, all three of you!

Rachel, I am sorry to hear about your accident! I couldn't find a free e-card to send you, so just imagine pictures with this made up e-card:

Imagine a beautiful green land, like one you would find in Ireland. The grass is sparkling with dew, the trees are jeweled with water droplets that glimmer in the moonlight. A fawn is grazing not too far from you and an angelic, delicate ringing sound dances in your ear. It's notes are kindred to tiny little wind chimes flowing in the wind. But these wind chimes are making purposeful notes in layered harmony, fashioning music not meant for this world. As the sonance increases in intensity, a fairy flys past your ear and playfully pulls on your loose strands of hair that have been waltzing in the air to the magical music. Her touch sends surges of energy through your body like static electricity, but there is no pain, only residues of love and hope. All of a sudden..Don Don Don A T-Rex comes storming through this pristine wonderland, trampling on all that is good and beautiful, but as you gawk at this archaic animal you notice that his tree trunk sized legs seem to be slowing. Has he seen you? You hold your breath, and stand as still as possible, hoping beyond all hope that he hasn't seen you. Your eyes haven't deceived you, his enormous body has halted abruptly right in front of you. He is not facing you, but you can see that his face is contorted as if in concentration. Suddenly a putrid stench encompasses the entirety of your nostrils and a huge mound of dung defiles this magnificent land. T-Rex storms off in pursuit of an imaginary adversary. The contamination is piled 4 feet high and it's stench could kill a horse, but it's not a horse that is standing right next to it, its you! But look at the bright side, at least he didn't poop on you!

Crap Happens!

But at least you have friends and family that love you and will always be there for you. So this is my e-hug to you! I hope that your week gets better!

Love Vanessa

That really goes out to all of you. I want you to know that if you are ever in need of a shoulder (even if it is low and boney) or an ear, I will always be there for you. Have a good day, and if you find crap, just push it aside and find your silver lining! (If only that advice was easy to put into practice!!)

Driving Mrs. Grandmother

I am going to give you my driving saga. Well, I don't know if it could be defined as a saga, maybe a boring tale of epic proportions. It began by Kyle and I driving up to Lubbock to bring Grandmother back to San Antonio. On the way up to Lubbock we listened to a book on tape, "The Nanny Diaries" which was terrific and hilarious. It was kind of like the "The Devil Wears Prada" expect toned down and with a Nanny story rather than a fashion magazine's executive assistant. We finished it right before we arrived in Lubbock. The next day we spent working on grandmother's to-do list, including bathing the dirtiest Athena ever, fixing e-mail, screwing in light bulbs etc. Later Kyle and I took little Aurora on a walk to see the Geese at the duck pond. (We call it the duck pond because most of the year ducks are the masters of the water, until the geese migrate in for the winter re-taking command.) Her knees were working better so we figured she might want to use her legs some. (we had been carrying her everywhere.) She really enjoyed the walk and was wary of the Geese. While we were at the pond, feeding the multitude of water birds, at least 8 flocks of Geese in V formations flew overhead. Well, when I say V formation, I really mean they attempted a V formation but really would make a lopsided W. We tried coaching them in the correct letters of the alphabet, but alas our advise was rudely ignored. Kyle wisely warned that we should keep our mouths shut should an unwarranted excrement fall from the sky. When the Geese would fly over, all of the birds in the water would squawk, or whatever official sound they are said to make, as if to say hello to their fellows. It was quite funny. After a while, we found this novel event lacking in lengthy entertainment value so we decided to walk home. I really felt like exercising but we didn't want to walk Aurora too long, and after we got home, I was bitten by the lazy bug and didn't venture out again. At least until we went to see our movie"Accepted". We enjoyed it for the most part partially because we went in with such low expectations, it wasn't difficult to meet and even exceed our expectations. The movie was about a bunch of kids who didn't get into college so they made one up and then people started showing up for classes. It was pretty amusing, absurd and silly, but entertaining. I was just glad it wasn't one of those movies that hurts to watch like most of Julia Stiles movies!
Driving back to Lubbock was an adventure as well. Kyle had bought several books on tapes to supply our lengthy drive. After Nanny Diaries we had "'Tis" a memoir from the "Author of Angela's Ashes" and old comedy shows including Bob Hope etc. From our last experience driving with Grandmother and having to endure awful language from the terrific book ( not being sarcastic, it really was a wonderful story) "A long way down" we wanted to try extra hard to pick literature that wouldn't be offensive to Grandmother. "A long way down" used profane language, including the F word, a lot. It was an uncomfortable situation. The selections were limited however. Kyle tried two different libraries and then Half Price Books. I suggested a classic book, but of course they were all out except for the books I had already read. Our first choice was the old clean cut comedy shows however, the sound quality of the old comedy shows was bad and my ears were tired of straining so hard to understand the words. After listening to two of these thirty minute selections we switched to the memoir. I thought it would be a safe bet, but I was wrong. The author himself didn't use profane language much, but the people around him did. Especially when he entered the army. After that progression in his life, everything went down hill, screwing was a hot topic of the other solider boys and clean language didn't seem acceptable in the army according to his recollections. I could feel my face getting red as I sat and listened to this story that I would at any other time found humorous. Why do people have to talk about screwing in front of my grandmother, can't they see it makes me feel uncomfortable! The irony of this story is, that Kyle and I continued to listen to it on the way to the coast after dropping Grandmother off and on the way back. That entire six hours was very clean, without talk of screwing or profane language, however as soon as we started to drive Grandmother back to Austin with us, it rared up again, but worse. Maybe not worse, but with more details such as "the nipples are the keys to opening up a girls legs!" It is a curse that I cannot escape. I am just going to accept that my grandmother will always be exposed to ungrandmotherly language and description while in the car with me!
Oh, and also, like in Angela's Ashes he brought up his eye problem. I don't know what it is about eyes or why distortions of the eyes make me feel queasy, when decapitation in movies doesn't even have that effect, but eyes do have that effect and I don't know how to control the overwhelming sensitivity to eye conditions. He had some type of eye disease that caused blood shot redness of the eyes and puss to seep out. He was very embarrassed by his eyes and therefore was too shy to talk to girls. He talked about it for a while, and I could not stop squirming in my seat. I shut my eyes and tried to visualize a happy place, but my stomach was not fooled and reacted quickly to the mention of his eyes. YUCK!
Driving to Lubbock is not my favorite activity, but having my Grandmother down for Thanksgiving is worth it!

Pictures from Halloween

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Haloween events

The Saturday before Halloween, Kyle and I went to a costume party. We had a really difficult time figuring out what to be. After dicussing our past costumes we discovered that in all of our years of being a couple, we have never once done a couple costume so we made sure this year we had to correct that mistake. We did a lot of research trying to find good, but easy costumes and we found some really funny silly ideas. Where a ball cap and tie a leaf to the rim. When someone asks what you are, blow on the leaf. ( leaf blower) We considered being gum on the bottom of a shoe. Dress in all pink and tie a shoe to your head. hee hee. We ended up going for being a painter and a master piece. I was the masterpiece and he was the painter. I bought a cheap cardboard frame and kyle painted a Picasso type painting on my face. He then wore a barrette (sp) and painted a gotee (sp) on his face. I think we made a good creative couple, but we were by far not the most creative there. There was a couple of guys who had made elaborate costumes. One guy was french fries, another was a milkshake, another was a controller for an old Nintendo and yet another was a meat wad. We spoke with french fry dude and he was an aerospace engineer working on his Ph.D. Who knew they had so much time on their hands, those Ph.D students! The party was fun, it wasn't great, not a whole lot of people I knew, only Italy friends and a other friends of Anne-Marie (the hostess), but I was glad to go to a party anyhow! She had made cute favors for the Halloween spirit. Cookies that were made to look like fingers and a cake that was all crumbled up in a kitty litter box (obviously a new and unused one).

Aurora has had an eventful week. We had to take her to the vet yesterday. Monday we noticed her chewing on her paw more furiously than normal and when we stopped her we noticed blood. From the looks of her paw it looked as if she was starting to chew off her thumbnail and it was bleeding somewhat heavily. It was not life-threatening but a little scary. We put neosporin on the wound and wrapped it up with a band aide and tape so she couldn't chew her way to it. The next day I took her to the vet, and the vet said she thought Aurora had caught her nail on something and broken it to the quic (sp) and she was working on removing it when we found her. The vet removed the nail, gave her pain medication and antibiotics to stop an infection. She also wrapped up her little paw with a Halloween bandage, and it had this cute black cat on it. It is really a cute/ sad sight to see! Gus, the cat at the vet, also decided to flirt with Aurora, maybe it was the bandage that peeked his interest?

Last tale to tell! Halloween night, Kyle and I were not sure what our plans were. At first, some friends, were supposed to come up to Austin, from SA to go to one it's many haunted houses and then walk sixth street. But homework took priority and so they had to cancel. Everyone involved was bummed, but such is the life of a student. :( Anyways so Kyle and I decided to spend the evening watching scary movies in our living room. However, earlier that day, I wrote an email to my book club asking if anyone was interested in doing anything for Halloween. Everyone seemed interested but no one had suggestions except to all watch a scary movie. An hour before we are to get together, someone suggested another idea, "The Enchanted Forest" Is supposed to be a forest with lots of scary things in it and then there was supposed to be this pirate show. So.... we decided, "what the hell! It's Halloween!" Kyle insisted that this was an event that we needed to dress up for, so I painted whiskers on my face, wore a pink cheetah shirt and cat ears. Kyle wore his mickey mouse hoody towel. ( he is so adorable in that thing!) We were pretty excited. I didn't know if people were going to be jumping out from behind the trees or what, but there were just things like giant plastic spiders with spider webs and other unmoving inanimate objects strategically placed in the woods. Kyle was right about the costumes, but no one else in our group wore a costume, so if we had wanted we could have just gone in normal clothing. The Enchanted Forest was interesting, but lacking. Walking along the path we found people hanging out around a camp fire and after crossing the bridge we found our seats on the floor of the forest waiting for the pirate show to start. The show didn't start for at least thirty minutes after it was supposed to and then when it did start, I wished it would stop for the pain of embarrassment of seeing those poor people who had no idea what a good performance was. It was really a pitiful show, with a bunch of people dressed up as pirates, acting drunk and playing with fire. The first act was a man blowing fire, which I have seen before, and is pretty cool, but there was this boat hanging above the stage which seemed about to catch on fire. Next was the twirling fire batons which was also pretty impressive except it took her at least five minutes to show anything really impressive and then another ten minutes to continue the same tricks over and over from different angles. Next were two guys who were twirling fire on ropes of some sort, pretending to hit one another, but then actually catching the other on fire because they had gotten a little too close. And then a tree caught fire and they had to take care of that little accident. Mind you we were in a forest! Next was a hula hoop fire girl and she was pretty good too but she also included some bizarre dancing around her hula hoop and other unimpressive and unnecessary moves. After they announced the next round to be suspension and bondage, we decided to leave. I believe the only way of enjoying that show would be to be stoned or drunk (which many people were)! I wish I could have gotten my money back, $10, but at least we all got a good laugh out of it. I mean really, it is great when people set each other on fire! :(

Trials of marriage: A bamboozeled mess!

Laying lethargically in bed on a very lazy mid-day Sunday, Kyle looked at me and asked a question that has no definite answer. Kyle and I talked yesterday for the better half of the day. The question covered the much avoided topic of our immediate future. It is a question I hear a lot, but never have an answer. What are we going to do when Kyle graduates in December? Where will we go? What will we do? Will we continue to live where we are? Kyle will of course have one more Spanish class to take but he may take that class at any community college leaving us with no obligation to stay in any specific city. My advertising consulting job is both in San Antonio and Austin, but truly it could be from anywhere I please. We volleyed ideas and opinions from under the covers and uncovered many more questions wanting answers. The more we talked the more we confused ourselves. The whole situation and conversation was discomforting. I used to know what I wanted, but now I am not so sure. Well, that isn’t entirely accurate because I still have dreams and goals I just don’t know when I am to achieve them. When you put two ambitious people with different hopes and dreams together in a marriage you get a bamboozled mess! It’s like throwing two necklace chains in a jewelry box, shaking it up a bit, and pulling the two chains out with new knots and twists, not knowing where one starts and one begins. When I married Kyle, I knew I would be making sacrifices to conjoin our lives to one. I knew this willingly and accepted it because all though I am making sacrifices, they don’t have to be permanent deaths to my dreams, only sleeping pills to wake another day. But now I am in limbo waiting for my next door to open, hoping it is somewhere I would like to be. Kyle asked me what I want and where I want to be in a year from now, and it bothers me that I cannot answer that question. I can answer the question with what I would really like, but not what is actually going to happen. Don’t ask me what the conclusion of this half-day discussion was because I don’t know. I felt like progress was made, but no final decisions have been planted for permanent growth. Our life’s future is uncertain, but at least I know one thing assuredly, we will always have each other to complicate the other’s life.

Why get married?

What does marriage mean? Why do people get married? What is wrong with dating for the rest of ones life? I met a man the other day who seemed to hold that philosophy on relationships. He was an engaged man, but had been so for 15 years. He asked the woman he was dating if she would marry him, slipped a ring on her finger, and remained in limbo till the present day. Obviously the commitment is there, but he is happy in the arrangement they are in and really has no intention of taking his fiancé down an aisle. “Why?” I asked him. His answer to my question was the same as my question, “why should I?” “We have been living together most of our engagement, I make her happy, I am her prince charming, and she is happy, why do we have to get married?” What is the importance of marriage? What’s wrong with just vowing to each other to be together. I asked what her feelings of her perpetual engagement was, and his response was “She must be happy she has stayed with me this long.” If I were that fiancé, I don’t think that I could have handled such a confusing situation. But why would I struggle with that state of affairs. What is so important about being married? Legally, this couple is married by common law, but he chooses to refer to her as his fiancé. He said it was always a great conversation piece. Statistically speaking, couples who do not get married and stay under the label of live-in boyfriend/girlfriend have a much higher chance of splitting apart. There is something about that written contract that solidifies a couple from feeling uneasy about the commitment to the other. The words we use define us in a way. “I am married,” for example is phrase that changes people’s percpective of me. I am automatically older, or maybe I am silly and impulsive. Whatever their reaction, I have changed somewhat in their eyes.
For me, I chose to marry Kyle because I wanted to take that last step to solidify our commitment to one another. As I said in my vows, I have been married in heart for a long time, but we wanted the world to know our love and passion for one another was not a fleeting crush but true and lasting love. We know that marriage is hard, but the benefits greatly outweigh the labor. I love being married. There is so much security in knowing that there is a person in my life that will love and stand by me the rest of my days. Using words like “husband, wife , married, and Rogers” is still challenging, but I am slowly learning to use these familiar yet foreign words. Life is like a disorienting walk uphill through a blizard, not knowing where the top really lies, but at least with marriage, one knows that their hand will never be empty.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Updates and Thoughts

This is just a little random update of my thoughts and whats going on in my life. Don't expect any profound literature or breakthroughs! I still plan on writting extremly long, verbose essays for you, but I will do little updates as well.

We found flees on Aurora. Dana who was babysitting her gave her a bath and a week later she is already dirty. Aurora is so cute, I just can't get over it. She has that precious look of pleading and/or frightened look asking if I am going to desert her. She is always getting things on her face. Today I looked at her and she had a little white fuzz ball on her nose, and she was completly oblivious. She has gotten into the habit of following me around everywhere. She has always done this to an extent, but not as obsessively as she currently is now. She used to stay in her comfortable position if I left the room and wait five minutes to see if I would come back, now she has to know where I am after 30 seconds. These dogs become so attached to their owners. Jennifer was telling me that when she left Tiggy (Aurora's grandaughter) in New York with her roomates the weekend of my wedding, Tiggy was so depressed and refused to eat. Also, not used to sleeping in her crate, after a night of isolation, walked around the apartment whimpering holding her stuffed animal refusing to share. Ambrosia (Tiggy's sister from a different litter) is way worse than Aurora. She is always one step behind Dana. If Dana gets up from the couch, Ambrosia jumps down to follow mommy. I wonder how many times that dog has been stepped on because she is always underfoot. When mommy leaves the apartment, Ambrosia will wander around whimpering and crying like a little baby. These dogs are the equivalent of our babies, but sometimes their obsessive attachment issues worry me. It's as if they are afraid of abandonment.

I've made a discovery, I am a dreamer. No really, so I was writting my biography for Nancy's family history book. I started to reread what I had written and I came to the realization that over half of the stories I told were dreams that I had as a child. For instance, I used to dream that I had a Barbie car, and could drive it in the make-believe kiddie lane located next to the adult lane. I wanted to be able to drive myself to school and to the toy store. I also dreamt that I had a baby on the playground. It was during recess, and the jungle gym was turned into the hospital, a fellow class member was my doctor. After recess was over, which was only 15 min. we went to stand in line, and I came running with my new baby. The teacher unphased and excited for me, excused me to the nurses office. The strange thing about this dream is that I didn't really like dolls. I say that because, I would make the excuse that it was an overdramtized version of a little girl who wanted a more interactive doll to play with, but I never found dolls very interesting. I don't really have an explaination of this strange dream except to say, maybe I wanted a living playmate. I don't know, but the point of these examples were to explain how I lived in a dream world. I have few memories that don't involve dreams. I wonder if there is some psychological disorder that could explain this phenomenon.

We are going to San Antonio this weekend. Leslie and Peter are coming in (I don't remember their reason) but we always love spending time with them. We plan on going to our old beloved high school, Mac. Well actually we are just going to a football game. We want to support our little adopted sister, Diana! I swear we have become her groupies. My mom also has a friend in SA with a penthouse which we have been invied to tour. Very exciting stuff!

ok well thats enough of an update for now! Sianara!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dangers in the Kitchen

Dangers in the Kitchen

I have decided that the kitchen and I should take a break from one another. We seem to be in a battle of sorts at the moment, and I am not on the winning end. How, one might ask, does a kitchen declare war against it tenants. Kitchen’s are clever and cunning when given the right weapons. The ammunition has grown exponentially since Kyle and I announced our engagement, therefore I blame YOU, the givers of all these gifts for the kitchen’s increased power!

These stories may be distressing and should not be read by the faint of heart.

The attack of the grater

Our tale begins in the evening before our first dinner party as a married couple. The party was to start at 6, but at 4 we realized we had forgotten a key ingredient to our bourbon-glazed chicken, the bourbon! We jumped in our, beautiful, and trusty white corolla, Toyota to buy our necessary item. After driving around for half an hour to three different closed liquor stores, we realized with horror that liquor stores are closed on Sundays! I quickly morphed from curly hair, happy, girl next door Vanessa, to red skin, scaly, pointed nails and teeth, fire-spitting unrecognizable Vanessa. Ok, so that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I did start to stress out, and unfortunate Kyle was caught in the cross- fire. At our return home, we discussed how we might remedy this situation, Rum, which we already possessed, was the solution. But because of this set back, we were running late. I quickly hurled all of the ingredients out of the fridge and cabinet across the kitchen towards my newly wed husband. Luckily for him, I have terrible aim. We delegated tasks, and got to work. My first mission was grating the parmesan. I moved at a lightening speed, the grater, unhappy with speedy Gonzales approach, pulled out it’s longest prong and stabbed my unsuspecting thumb with the weapon. The gash was deeper than I expected and really lingered longer than necessary in the bleeding process. My thumb was saved with the aid of a band aide and we continued on with our cooking. The food fell into place nicely without too many hiccups. Natalie, one of our guests, had told me that she would be a little late, but when it came almost 7 I started to worry. Dana and Danny didn’t have their phones, and Kyle had hid my purse in our forbidden room. I found my phone, 12 missed calls, all from Natalie. She had been wondering around the complex with melting ice cream for nearly 30 minutes, unable to get a hold of any of us. After they were found, all was settled, the food turned out terrific and the company even better; the kitchen for a moment had been tamed.

The Knife’s assault

We were given a new set of knives for our wedding which we were incredibly excited about. We love to cook, and a good set of knives is an essential tool for the kitchen. Our old knives, which are obviously inferior to the replacements, we placed in a drawer with the silverware. Since the onset of our recent new-fangled toys we have ignored the substandard knives causing what I believe was an inferiority complex of the unemployed knives. Mass hysteria caused by the unequivocal rights in the work place spawned a mobilization and uprising of the minority. Muffled motivational and aggressive speeches were heard from the drawers, but the banter quieted when I entered the kitchen so I paid it no mind. One day, I, being the unsuspecting victim pulled out one of the old knives to cut an apple for lunch. As soon as I wrapped my fingers around the black handle, it leaped up into the air, yelling “On Guard!” and stabbed my thumb. Before he could take another stab, I wrestled it to the floor and threw him back to his prison, where he belonged. The revolt was luckily short lived, but now I know to keep a special eye on those folk.

The Wrath of The Boiling Water

Breakfast, lunch and dinner; events our lives revolve around. Everyday, it’s the same thing, “what’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? What do we have to eat?” It’s a good thing that I love food so much because all of this thinking and planning tires my brain. How is it that we buy and have so much food in our fridge and pantry, but hardly have anything to eat? Why does this phenomenon occur? This particular evening, I felt inspired by my thrifty grandmother, to use the food at our disposal despite the feeling of hopelessness. I looked in the fridge and started naming off groceries. “We have cooked pasta, but no pasta sauce, eggs, bacon, potato salad, cheese, B-B-Q sauce, preserves. We could make ‘toad in a hole’.” “No!” was Kyle’s response. At Kyle’s rejection, I was struck with a moment of brilliance. “How about Carbonara?” This was one of our favorite dishes in Italy and we seemed to have the correct ingredients, but I had to make sure. I signed on the food network page and typed in Carbonara. Twenty-nine listings came up. I clicked on the easy five star recipe. “Yes! Well.. maybe, can we do it?” I asked Kyle.
Famous for her substitutions and waste-not want not attitude, my grandmother could make anything in her fridge into a meal, whether it was edible or appetizing was an entirely different question! But, like my grandmother, I was determined to make a meal out of nothing. The things we had; onion, white wine, spaghetti, eggs, salt and pepper. The things we had to substitute for: For pancetta we used bacon, because we didn’t have enough spaghetti we added some left over spirals, grated and aged Parmesion instead of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and cheddar cheese for the Pecorino Romano. Apprehensive about so many substitutions, we slowly put our meal together. As I said before, we didn’t have enough spaghetti, so we added a different pasta to the mix in order to meet our pound quota. Spirals were all I could find in our overstocked pantry. I found a pan, filled it three-fourth of the way with hot water, and covered it with a lid. When the water began to boil, I released the spirals into the bubbling oasis of tap water. So routine and elementary, a monkey could make spaghetti, but could a monkey learn efficiency; maybe yes, maybe no, but I for sure could! Still sipping on my glass of brilliance, I realized that I could use the boiling water to warm the already cooked and refrigerated spaghetti to the appropriate temperature. How ingenious am I? I would save the boiling water and use it for the left overs. I was proud of my resourcefulness and waste-not-want not aptitude. I drained the scalding water into a bowl over the sink, leaving the spirals in the pan. The water had filled all the way to the top of the bowl. I hadn’t really thought about the transferring of water dilemma in my original mastermind plan, but nevertheless this strategy would be followed through. I wanted so badly for my idea to succeed that I forgot to fully prepare. I vertically lifted the small bowl, filled to the rim with blistering hot water, out of the sink, and began my track horizontally. This is where my tactic began to deteriorate. Not only should I have considered the risks of carrying boiling hot water in a small and overflowing container, but I should have moved the container of cold spaghetti closer to the dangerous liquid. I did neither. I heard the water snicker at my ignorance, and delight in the forthcoming pain of it’s arrogant wielder. As I should have predicted the water spilled over the brim of the left side, causing what felt like burning hot magma make contact with my skin. As I tried to rectify my spillage, I overcorrected and caused yet another slop of what can only be described as liquid fire to crash into my sensitive and ever increasingly angry fingers. Still holding onto hope, I corrected again causing an undulating ripple through the malicious liquid causing more burning and excruciating pain. Finally, I dropped the bowl back into the sink and screamed into the night at my good intentioned, misleadingly brilliant, ignorant and reckless plan. My fingers were red and on fire, the spaghetti still cold, and the boiling water down the drain, my ruins evidence of the losing battle. After soaking my fingers in boiling water’s archenemies, ice water, the meal came together and was incredibly enjoyable. The evening wasn’t a total disaster after all, delicious food made from ingredients we had on hand, and wonderful company. The battlefield, for the time, had been abandoned, but this war is not over, I may have lost several battles, but I learn from my mistakes and they wont be made again (hopefully)!

P.s. this is the reciepe we used. Enjoy!


5 ounces pancetta
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound spaghetti
3 large eggs*
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (3/4 cup)
3/4 ounces Pecorino Romano, finely grated (1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut pancetta into 1/3-inch dice, then cook in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fat begins to render, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano (1/3 cup), 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Drain spaghetti in a colander and add to onion mixture, then toss with tongs over moderate heat until coated. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

Cook's note: The eggs in this recipe will not be fully cooked, which may be of concern if there is a problem with salmonella in your area.

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

Wedding Pictures

How to get to Wedding Pictures.
type in:
click the left option: photography
click on reorders
type Vanessa Braun into name space
password is : kyle

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Death and Greiving

My Uncle Donald Braun died. He was my dad’s identical twin. Monday, my half sister Rachel called and left a message, but my phone was dead. Tuesday I received a second phone call from Rachel, but I had been out cold calling while my phone recharged at my apartment. When I came back for lunch, I noticed several missed calls and new voicemail, so I checked my voicemail to see what was going on. Rachel had left a message saying that I needed to call because she had some bad news. My heart skipped a beat, and I knew something had happened to either my dad or Donald. I felt heat travel the surface of my skin from my head to my feet, and sweat formed immediately at my brow. I was hopping for someone being in hospital rather than the alternative. When the next voicemail was Dad calling from Rachel’s phone, I eliminated his death as an option. I was relieved but anxious and concerned; I needed to know what was going on. I often fear the worse, so I was hoping that my expectation would be alleviated and I would be told something serious, but not mortal. Rachel didn’t answer the first time I called, so I left a calm and happy message , hoping that my cheerfulness would improve whatever gloomy state of affairs was occurring. She called back quickly, and requested that I sit down, in the background I heard my dad ask if I was driving. I wasn’t driving, I was standing in the bathroom removing my earrings, but I obediently followed her request and found a seat at my dinning room table. The request and the seriousness of her voice gave away the situation. I knew she was going to tell me Donald was dead. She had already told me, just not in words. I didn’t gasp, I didn’t cry, I didn’t even feel all that particularly stunned, I felt like someone had told me they were going shopping at the mall. I didn’t have a reaction, my reaction was numbness. I asked the basic questions, “How did it happen? What’s happening now? Who is coming in? When are we meeting?” When the conversation was over, I closed my phone, set it in front of me, and stared into space. I tried to reflect, “How do I feel?” “Why do I not feel more?”
In high school, I would joke that I had a heart of stone; nothing could make me cry. Movies would make my eyes dampen, but tears didn’t dare go overboard, they went as far as the rim and stopped still in their tracks. I honestly thought something was wrong with me. My mother assured me that it was emotional stability, but I felt incomplete. I finally did cry, breaking my streak of over five years, my sophmore year when our two week theater camp came to a close. I was so happy at my tears, I almost reversed the flow that I was so happy about.
I would describe myself as a very sensitive and feeling person, so the fact that I did not feel an extreme loss, or much pain agitated my inner conscious. I am a woman of many emotions, but the death of an uncle wasn’t moving me. Instead of pain, I felt guilt.
The rest of Monday disturbed me very little, although something felt remiss. Tuesday was different. I didn’t want to join the world of the walking. My bed was my haven, the covers my protectors, the world my predator. I had a strong pull towards my most frustrating character flaw, avoidance, and it had more strength on it’s side of the tug-a-war game than I had in opposition. I was sad; I felt something. My reaction was not tears, but avoidance, but though it wasn’t much, it was something.
While I was Italy, I had received notice that Donald had fallen ill, been hospitalized and diagnosed with lymphoma. I was told not to worry, because although serious, it was treatable and not terminal. It was a type of cancer of the blood that had no cure, but wouldn’t kill him as long as he continued his treatments. He had been treated in San Antonio, so Dad could be near. He moved in with Dad and his health started a steady increase towards the happy end of the spectrum of health. It then leveled off, and he still struggled with fatigue and walking without a cane. He moved back into his apartment in Austin with the notion that he would clean it out, take his valuables, move back to San Antonio, and when his health improved they would travel around the country in an RV. Donald had been in his apartment for a couple of months, making little progress. My dad called him one day as usual, but Donald didn’t answer. After several days of trying without response, he called Rachel to visit Donald to make sure everything was all right. He had already been dead 10-12 days when she found him. An autopsy was difficult because the condition of the body. His death certificate states lymphoma as the cause of death, but the family believes it was something linked with his upsurge of fatigue.
The service was very true to Donald, held outdoors at McKinney Falls State Park, with trickling water as the background music. Standing under a tree, we prayed, told stories and comforted one another on such a tragic loss. Standing in a circle, facing the other members of the Braun Family, listening to Donald’s life story told in 10 minutes, I came to a realization; I didn’t know Donald. I had been on family vacations with him, gone camping with him, had many a dinner with him, and laughed with him, but I didn’t know him. These are the things I knew about Donald; Donald was the most gentle soul of the Braun Family. He was the protector of his younger sister, and always tried his best to take care of her. He was kind hearted and always had nice things to say. Of the twins he was the more optimistic. He lived by himself in Hyde Park Austin in a tiny, cramped apartment full of junk (or his collections, whichever you please). Despite his clutter, he always added to a conversation. He was well read and knowledgeable and had a great laugh. He had been married and divorced once, but didn’t have children. An ultimate bachelor, he was slowly attempting to move out of his apartment to move in with his twin and ultimately travel around the country, if his health improved. I knew that I liked him and enjoyed his company, but I didn’t know very much about who he was.
Through the stories, I learned that the Donald I didn’t know, I would have liked even better than the Donald I already liked. I learned he loved critters, bugs, amphibians, mammals, all animals intrigued and fascinated Donald. He had a peace and gentleness about him that comforted animals so they didn’t fear him. He had joined the airforce for four years, mudlogged in Alaska, and his last position was a supervisor at a Metal health facility. One co-worker showed, and told stories about Donald as a professional. She said he was the most patient man she had ever encountered. The patients often cursed and fought with the supervisors, but Donald always kept his cool and didn’t take his frustration out on the patients. He was a favorite among the nurses because of his sweet nature.
I have now attended several funerals, experienced many deaths, and each time I come away thinking, I wish I knew them better. How is it that these people that have died before me, whom I have spent a great deal of time with, slip away without me really knowing who they are. My great uncle Vance, my great uncle Floyd, my great grandma, and my grandpa are all loved ones who have died recently. They are family but somehow I missed something. I missed their life history, what made them tick, how they came to be who they were in life. I know that it is hard to get to know people fully, but maybe we should try harder, maybe I should try harder. Their lives are important and should be preserved if not on paper but in our memories and actions. We are all connected to one another, and the more we know and share about one another the more enriched our lives will be.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yellow Brick Road

Do you ever feel like your life is not what or where you want it to be. Like at some point, you were on the yellow brick road, headed toward the Great Wizard, but somehow the directions got muddled, north became south, yellow became red and you are just really not sure where you are, or where the yellow brick road walked off to? I don't want to sound ungrateful or sound as if my life isn't full of blessings everyday, but sometimes I just feel so lost and I don't even know where I should go to get unlost.
High School was such a whirlwind, my direction was clear, and my life was spectacular. I had wonderful friends, I was using my creativity and my physicality. I volunteered and participated in many organizations. I knew what I wanted at least short-term wise. My goal was to make good grades and good impressions for colleges. We all seemed to be on the same road, heading the same place. It was an easy decision, going to college. The process of picking a college added fog to the scenery, but I could definitely see where I was headed. I knew kind of what I wanted. I wanted a small school with an outstanding academic standing, I wanted to feel challenged and positioned for my future. After many complications, I went to Texas Tech, but found myself unhappy and fighting against the wind. Before I left, however, I discovered the major that fit my personality and allowed me to continue on my unknown path. I was thrilled when I found the major for those who don't know what they want to do, but love people and creativity as much as myself. I had found the perfect door, the door that didn't force me into making any immediate decisions and cementing my life, instead a door to the unknown held much more promise. It gave me more time to procrastinate and figure out what I want to do with my life.

So these are the things I have discovered want in a job;

I want to enjoy my co-workers
I want freedom to choose my own schedule,
I want a challenging position to constantly stimulate my mind
I want to be creative.
I want to be interacting with people
Of course there are many other qualities I was looking for in a job, but those are the main objectives.

What do I want out of life?

These are things that I want from my life.
1. I want financial freedom
2. I want to travel
3. I want to make a difference in the world and in other people.
4. I want to feel I have made a mark on the world
5. I never want to stop learning and growing
6. I want to be surrounded by friends and family, people who love me, and whom I love

But then the next question is, "Can you be more specific?", like, what kind of difference do you want to make? Is it enough to make your mark on the world through being a good friend, or do you need more? What will be enough? "And how do I get there?" And then to furthur complicate matters I have to match these goals at the exact same time with the person I have agreed to spend the rest of my life with. My life does not just affect me, but also my husband. I cannot just up and join the Peace Corps and leave him to finish school. Our lives are bound together and somehow we must find a way to move forward with our legs tied together in a three-legged race. I feel as if I am at a threshold in my life, a waiting room, but I am tired of treading water, I am tired of not knowing what direction I should face to get to where I want. I have this since of urgency, a figure on my shoulder, whispering in my ear that if I don’t start running now, I may never get out.

My life has had many adventures and blessings such as Disney World and Italy, but they were just another way to procrastinate making a decision. College is an amazing tool, to challenge commonly held thoughts, open ones mind to new and sometimes disturbing ideas. It is an environment that fosters inner growth, and involvement in the world. But what it doesn't teach is what to do once you are out of your fantasy world, the world I have been trained in for 19 years of my life. I know how to listen to a teacher, take notes, study, make a fantastic project, and take tests. I know how to make friends in classes and then find activities where our lives and personalities will bond. However, I can no longer turn to the University to be my social and volunteer outlet. I have been thrown out of my home with a swift kick and left to find my own way in the world without the assistance and support I have always known. (I should say at this moment, that my mom has continually been with me, and support me throughout these difficult times. I am so lucky to have her and the rest of my family and friends, for without them, I would really have something to complain about. My problems would only multiply. So thank you, all of you.) After I left school, the following things were taken from me, friends, social network, inspiration, ambitious competition, involvement in the world, and my innocence. What I was given with my diploma was more responsibility, rent, bills, and an opportunity to sell my soul to jobs that will overwork, underpay and ultimately make me unhappy.
When my job does not foster daily interaction and friendships, where do I turn? I have been looking at Austin clubs online for an outlet to make friends and do something with myself, but will we (Kyle and I) really make friends there or just acquaintances. Will it be incredibly awkward and forced or does it really have potential to start to fill the hole in my heart. I have lots of friends in town, but it is hard to keep up and get together when I don’t see them on a daily basis. Friendship then requires making a huge effort and often schedules get in the way. How many dinner plans have I rearranged? It isn't that we don't care, or don't want to see each other, but life gets in the way.

So lets get back to the yellow brick road. I was traveling along this road, and I got to college, which was not only on the way but had a marker. However, at that point decisions had to be made, life-altering decisions and the yellow brick road didn't seem so yellow anymore, as if the paint was chipping off, the paint chips flying through the wind and sprinkling the grass and trees with the course of my confusing future, and the direction could be any which ways. Don't be deceived however, I have chosen the way through the unknown. I could have chosen the path which other college students take, graduate, find a corporation, and work my way up through groveling and time, but I made the decision that I wanted more. My yellow brick road could have been easy, but it wouldn't have actually led me to the Great Wizard. Life's joys are much more difficult to find, I have faith that I will find them again. The question is, though, will this new "yellow road" take me there? And whether or not I can answer the next question determines whether I will get there. What is the Great Wizard of Oz to me? That is the question we all have to answer for ourselves, but who can answer that question and when we reach it, will we know it?

Case Closed: The dogs

The Culprit: Aurora Rogers. A six pound, seven year old dog, who has illusions of grandeur and believes that she is the queen of all Canines.

Facts to support illusions:

Her head held high, feet turned out like a ballerina, and the insistent demands for attention, all communicate her superiority in the doggie world. She also refuses to take food from humans hands, it must be first set on her dinner plate.

Aurora's story:

Aurora was made a mother at the young age of two, and while she was motherly and nurturing to her children in their infancy, after their weening, she refused to acknowledge their existence. Neighbors testimony: "I once found her wandering around the street after she had run away. I noticed that she was a mother from her little utters, so I took her walking so she could find her home. She passed her own home twice while walking me to other neighbor's home. Neglectful mother if you ask me." Aurora's daughter Isis, also had children and produced the notorius puppies, Tiggy and Ambrosia. Tiggy is a New York doggy and doesn't have time to visit her grandmother, but Ambrosia lavishes Aurora with her attention, affection and playfulness in the past on a daily basis but after the move their visits have lessoned to a weekly basis. Ambrosia's testimony: "My grandmother is the best, prettiest and coolest doggie in the world. I sometimes get the impression that I annoy her, but then I lick her face, jump on her, ignore her growls, and I remember how much I love her."
Aurora has feigned indifference to her little grandaughter Ambrosia since the begining of their relationship. She growls, runs away, and refuses to make eyecontact, however, new evidence points to Aurora's appathy and unrequited love to a cover-up of Aurora's true feelings. We have reason to believe that her behavior has been an elaborate hoax to mask her emotions.

New evidence: Vanessa's testimony "I was walking Aurora passed Dana and Danny's place. Everytime we walk around the area, Aurora runs up to the door. I knocked on the door, but the only noise inside is the happy barking of Ambrosia. The D's weren't home so I pulled the reluctant Aurora away from the front door. The D's are on the first floor, and have a patio that faces the grass, Aurora so frequently enjoys a nice pee, but on this particular day, Ambrosia decided to give us an extra greeting. She flung herself at the back door, standing on her hind legs, and with her arms up, stomache pressed against the glass, she barked at the guests to come pay a visit. To my surprise and astonishment, Aurora started to whine. It is the crying noise Ambrosia makes when her Mommy Dana leaves her. Aurora was crying and trying to get through the gate bars to get to Ambrosia. I couldn't believe it! She has loved her all along, but pretended detachment and sulkyness."

Verdict: Ambrosia loves Aurora. Aurora loves Ambrosia, but continues to cloak her true feelings, for reasons unknown to her homosapien owners.

My first Random entry!

Ok so, I am stating this blog because Leslie suggested it as a way for us to keep up with one another. Right now at this moment, I am sitting on a layed out futon in our very disorganized "study room" amongst two white doggies. Every time I walk into this "study" I just think about how I don't know if it will ever be a room that real productivity can be performed. I cannot work in chaos, and we all know that Kyle can't work in chaos, but neither one of us wants to put it together. Acutually, last night, we thought about trying to buy a desk from BB&B, but when we checked our accounts we realized that we were both in the red! Ah, the joys of married life, and life after college. Finances were never either of our strong points, I guess we will just have to make more money!
Kyle is in Mediation conflict training all weekend. It is a 20 hour training session. That means from Fri 3-10, Sat 1-10 and sunday 9-1. I am going to be so bored. I took that same class, and this training was fun but mentally exhausting. You know when your brain has been used so much, that it feels like every ounce of brain power has been used, and it needs a recharge? So far he hasn't experience this phenomenon in the training, but give him time, he will.

Yesterday,Friday, the first day of Vanessa's solitude, I wasted my time, by taking a nap, reading, watching Garden State and playing on Facebook. Facebook is dangerously addictive. You can add pictures, write on people's walls, look at other peoples pictures. Check out everyone elses wedding, was it better or worse than yours. I have a long list of things that need to get done, such as write thank you notes, change my name, organize the study, write my biography for Nancy's family book, but am I doing any of those productive things while I have the time. No! Instead I find ways of wasting my time. Why? That is an excellent question. Because I am an avoider. I am not always this bad of an avoider, but when left alone, I don't want to be productive. I know I am not the only person with this problem, and I always get things done by the time they need to be accomplished, but why is it in our blood to just wait. Even things that aren't particularly painful, such as writing my biography, which might even be enjoyable, I avoid. I think maybe I avoid because I am afraid of failure or maybe because it is overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed, I feel suffocated and unable to move, paralyzed if you will. I like being productive with other people. When Kyle is home, I do the dishes with him or fold clothing. Do I have a dependency on other people? Do I have a dependency on Kyle? maybe? We may never know.

I don't know if I am using this blog effectively. My thoughts seem so far to be incredibly random and not very thought out. I think quickly and I always imagine that people understand what I am trying to say by my one sentence explaination, but even when I go back to inspect my writing, I find that my thoughts are incomplete, and need much further elaboration. So I apologize for the randomness and incompleteness. I will try in the future to write with a goal and purpose. It might make my thoughts easier to follow.