Friday, November 28, 2008

An Update on Thanksgiving Festivities

For the Thanksgiving holiday, I visited my boyfriend's great grandmother's home in Illinois. I was really excited to go, especially since I knew his aunt, her husband, and their children would be there, as well as his grandparents who live in Florida. The day was pretty interesting to say the least. I felt like I was in a holiday movie.
No more than an hour after we got there, the house was filled with thick smoke because the macaroni and cheese had spilled over in the oven while baking. It was bareable at first, but after a while, most of the family had evacuated the house in search of fresh air.
The meal itself was pretty tasty, but I must admit that I was a little nervous about the food. Aaron's great grandmother was in her late 80's, and thus, she's been through some lean times during her life and she keeps everything including food for a long time. Aaron says her philosophy is that if the food package has not been opened, it is still good. He can recall getting barbeque sauce a few years ago that had expired in 1999! Fortunately, most of the food had been bought for that occassion less than a week prior.
Anyway, back to the story. The house had at least 10 people and the count was increasing. Besides the crowd of people, there were two small and very hyper dogs that took over the living room floor wrestling and running laps. Both were adorable, but shortly after we arrived and were all sitting in the living room Aaron says, "uhh, the dog's pooping on the floor." So you could say that it definitely made the conversation interesting.
Later on during dinner, we got to talking about some of the Christmas gifts that Aaron's grandmother (grandmommy) had given out the previous year. Aaron's mom Lisa told us that most of her cousins got some really nice hand towels and other miscellaneous knick-knacks that grandmommy had likely had for 20 years in her house. In her package, was a scrotal support sac. Last year, the entertainment for the evening involved brainstorming uses for the support sac. I guess people had tears running down their cheeks from the hilarity. Among the better ideas were 1) a change holder for the review mirror 2) a christmas ornament that can hold two ball-shaped christmas ornaments 3) a tree topper.
A poker game ensued among the men, but I went upstairs and talked with some of the women, and most of them were older and after a while, I grew tired of sitting in the same place, so I played with the children and ran a game of hangman.
Shortly before we left, I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water, and I accidently walked into a bad conversation. Aaron's twin brothers were talking to a guy named Terry with a lot of radical ideas. Earlier, I had met him and introduced myself to him, and despite the fact that he is married with two young daughters, he lifted my hand and kissed it. My skin crawled. After I walked into the kitchen, he asked me a question, I gave my opinion, and he ripped into me for it. Before I knew it, he was up in my face trying to intimidate me and dropping f-bombs every few words saying things things that I would be embarassed to repeat.
Of course, I felt offended by what he said to me, but the point I want to get across is the following: I never feel need to change a person's opinions. I think the most that I can do is tell my opinion and explain why I think that way and let the person make their own decision. I get frustrated when a person doesn't let up with their arguing and refuses to believe that maybe their ideas are not the only good ones. Most contentious issues have pros and cons to the multiple sides, and there's really not one true answer.
At the end of the day, I was really glad I went despite of some frustrationsf. Most of Aaron's relatives were wonderful, and I definitely have a few funny stories to take away.
Enjoy a few pictures!

My Family the night before at Gray's Cafeteria eating dinner and getting our pies

Playing Hangman with the kids

Aaron's younger brother Ryan, flashing the cash he won from poker
Me And Aaron
So what would you do with a scrotal support sac?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving: A time to remember why I'm blessed

think that for a lot of people, including myself, it's really easy to feel discontent at times. For me, I tend to feel frustrated about the amount of sleep I'm getting, classes, relationships, income, and I think most of us would all like a better bod!

In the midst of Thanksgiving, I'd like to consider some things that I truly appreciate out of my life because when I give it careful consideration, the blessings I have in my life almost bring me to tears.

First of course, I'm thankful for my Lord and savior who sent his son to die for my sins so that I could have eternal life. Admittedly, my faith has waned at times, and I've struggled with doubts, fears, and I've disappointed God. Certainly, I'm not a good person inherently, but I wouldn't be the same person that I am without my faith.

My family has always been pretty close, and I cherish those relationships as well. My dad and I always have a great time going to Pacers games and talking. We're so much alike, it's scary sometimes. He's also the person who I go to for business advice when I don't know how to handle something. and Mom is one of my very best friends. We couldn't be any different, but she is beautiful and so is her personality, and she is always there to listen to personal problems and be my voice of reason. She's also my shopping and scrapbooking buddy! My brother and I have a relationship that has developed over the years, and so has my respect for him. I would consider him a genius, and I've often gone to him for help with math (which he is amazing at). He's had his share of struggles, and he's defeated them, and for that, I am impressed. We have a similar sense of humor, and we're always showing each other the latest youtube video or standup comedian we've heard.

The list wouldn't be complete without Aaron. I've never felt closer to another human being on the earth, and he understands me in a way that nobody does. He supports me in any way that a person can support another, and I know that he's ready to listen at any moment. He also shares my love for Mimzy (which I think few people could!) and animals in general. Aaron is a great everything, and I could fill pages and pages of praise for him.

There's also a score of things that I take for granted each day like my ability to hear, see, and walk. I'm not sick, and neither are my family and friends. I am in a really great business program that provides me the problem of too many opportunities, a successful business, I have hope for the future, and I am not in need of anything. I may be a horrible story teller, and I may not be able to run at a blistering speeds, but I have rhythm, and I have been blessed with a good singing voice.

Although it may be a bit corny, I urge you to consider all the wonderful things in your own life. Likely, you'll find more blessings than frustrations.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Longing for the end

Since I didn't have classes today, I'm working in Indianapolis this afternoon. I mentioned briefly in my profile about the business I own, but here's a bit more background:

We own a food service and hospitality staffing company, so we place banquet servers, bartenders, kitchen staff, etc. at hotels and banquet facilities in the Indianapolis area. We've been in operation for about two years now, and we've been through some tough stuff. So far, we've dealt with just being young, not having much money for a start-up, a lawsuit from a big company, and being full-time students separated from our business by geography.

Despite all the hardships, I've had a heck of a good time working for myself. Among the awesome stuff, my business partner is my boyfriend, Aaron, I have my own office, I get to see a lot of really cool, expensive parties, I've had a lot of much better at netorking, and I have some great employees and clients.

In May, Aaron and I will be graduating, and I cannot wait to work in the office. For the past two years, we've had to hold ourselves back from growing the company as quickly as we would like to, and there are a lot of big accounts that we've got our eyes on. Not only that, but we'd love to start expanding to other cities in the next couple of years.

There's just something I can't explain about how I feel towards working full time for my company with Aaron. I'm looking forward to the sales meetings, talking with clients and employees, getting a bigger office, not riding the bus, not having to sit through classes, not taking exams, and not living so far away from my business.

In the next year or so, Aaron and I will be starting real life together, and I'm just excited to see what the future will hold for us and for our business.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am now a yellow belt!

As you might have guessed from the title, I passed my yellow belt test! I was up until about 2:30 the night before because I was so worried about the exam, and I had good reason to be. The class I'm taking did not cover one portion of the test, so I went to club to learn it, and I only had about 15 minutes to learn it because I had to go to a group meeting.

The day of the exam, I re-learned the drill just a few minutes before the start, and although I did make some mistakes, those were forgiven, and all four of us passed! It was just as nerve-wracking as an academic test, but I can say that it was a very good experience.

I feel like I have learned enough in the short time I've taken self-defense to protect myself, so I highly recommend trying it out for yourself! Even Ellen DeGeneres is taking a crack at it. If you are a fan of the Ellen show, you know that months ago, she had Chris Matthews (political commentator) as a guest on her show, and as usual, she was dancing with him and the rest of the audience. While they were dancing, he started to spin her around, she slipped, and he tried to keep her from falling and reached his arms around her and accidently grabbed her in the chest!

The clip got a lot of attention on the show; she showed a bra that set off an alarm if touched and other protective clothing, but she also learned some self-denfense on the show. She would hold up her hands in front of her body and yell, "No, Chris Matthews!" "Get away Chris Matthews!"

Of course, you'd have to see it for yourself, so check out this Youtube video:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Post!

Hello, my name is Jessica. It's nice to meet you.

I have kept a blog for several years now, and I finally wanted to start publishing my posts for the world to read and leave comments. Be ready for some billiant prose! Haha, just kidding. I've had a lot of fun keeping a blog for myself, so hopefully it'll be fun with an audience.

If you know me a little bit, you would know that I am a business major at IU and that the business school owns my life sometimes! I'm doing related majors in economics and public policy, but sometimes all of that tends to get a little old, and I get an itch to leave the walls of the b-school. This semester, I enrolled in a self-defense class, mostly because it fulfilled two things f or me: 1) the class was not a business class 2) it fit into my schedule nicely.

I didn't know it would be a martial arts class, and I didn't like the fact that we would all be barefoot together in a wrestling room. Weird, I know. After attending the first class, I learned that the curriculum would be based around hapkido, which is a korean martial art. I decided to go ahead and stay in the class because I reasoned that a $25 uniform would cost less than a textbook for any other class.

The class started off slowly at first, but then we got into combinations of strikes, blocks, and kicks, and after each class, I talked my boyfriend's ear off about what we did in class! While I'm in a beginner's class, and I have a white belt, I've learned a ton about how to block punches and kicks, how to escape from chokes, and then how to counterattack with punches, strikes, and kicks.

If you were to look at my schedule next semester, you'd see intermediate hapkido. I LOVE it, and in fact, I am testing to go up in belts this Wednesday. I can't wait to test, and I hope that I pass. As soon as figure out how to upload pictures on blogspot, I'll post pics of me wearing my white, and hopefully my yellow belt!

So as you might imagine, I got over the whole bare feet thing. : )