Video Gaming? Yes please!

I feel like talking a bit about video games. After all, it's a huge part of who I am. So, here we go.

A lot of folks look down upon adult video gamers deeming them as 'childish'. Saying that we need to 'grow up' and/or 'act our age'. Well, to be fair, some of adult gamers surely do! But for the most part (and from my very biased opinion), I believe that adult gamers are no less 'childish' than other people nor have the need to 'grow up' (minus those wacko's that give us adult gamers a bad wrap).

I have been faced with multiple questions as to why I enjoy video games, play in tournmanets/leagues, spend my nights (and some weekends) "locked inside playing those stupid games" (dramatic much?), etc. And more than being faced with questions, I get made fun of or mocked for doing so. /shrug shoulders

Sticks and stones people, sticks and stones!

Yes, there ARE people in this world who get addicted to video games. Their faces hardly ever see the light of day, thier relationships crumple, and most of the time they can't hold a job. But let me inform you of something (and you may need to sit down for this), there are also people in this world who commit murder and rape. Catching my gist here? Blanket statements are not your friend (in this case, anyway).

So, why do I play video games? I thoroughly, completely, most fully enjoy them!

Why do I enjoy it? Gaming (for me) is a huge stress relief and a way for me to relax at the end of a long day. What do you enjoy doing to unwind? Reading? Watching TV? Exercise? To each thier own.

What I love most about gaming though is Seasoned Gamers and the social aspect of it all. You're probably thinking "Social Aspect? Really?" with maybe a head tilt or eyeball roll thrown in. But heck yes there is a social aspect to gaming and you bet that I've made tons of friends (that I do consider close friends) online (and have never met them in real life, yet). Are there some dangers to this aspect? Of course there are. Being freinds with people online and furthermore, meeting them in person, can be dangerous. Just have a brain about it and be catious!

I've been apart of the Seasoned Gamers community for almost five years now and just this past October went to my first SG (short for Seasoned Gamers) meet up to hang out with them in real life. Since then I've been meeting more and more! They are some of the most kind, wonderful, fun people I've ever had the pleasure of getting to know and meet!

As for being a part of the leagues and tournaments, what can I say, I am a competative person. What better way to exercise this aspect of my personality? Sure, we have scrimmages and practices, but what team (sports, dance, etc) doesn't? Nerdy? Sure, why not, we can call it nerdy. But I'll bet I have just as much fun (or more) than you do when you < insert what ever team activity you're apart of here >  ! Are you rolling your eyes at me yet?

Are my only friends in the world online (SGers)? Do I isolate myself from society? Is my skin translucent because I never go out in the sunshine but instead lock myself in my gaming room to play to my hearts content? Good God no (to all of the above). One word: MODERATION. All is to be done in moderation and balance. Some people don't have such good moderation skills, but hey, who are you or I to judge what others do in thier free time. Plus, let me tell you, my 'gaming habit' is much less expensive than say going out to the bars or golfing every weekend! Say what? I can save money AND do what I enjoy and makes me happy? WIN!

I think I'm finished. And now that you are done reading this I know you feel more open, accepting, and excited about Video Gaming. No worries friend, I have free World of Warcraft trial account with your name on it (yes, all of you) < insert evil laugh here > !

Oh. Not a PC gamer? Go buy an XBOX and lets play some Halo, MW2, or L4D2. DOIET!


P.S. Ladies, if your spouse or boyfriend plays video games a lot, I strongly encourage you to consider picking up the controller (and/or keyboard & mouse) and giving it a try for yourself! Sure it may be hard at first (it was hard for me too) and maybe you are thinking "that is so boring" but let me tell you, there is nothing funner than playing co-op games together with your partner. Instead of vying for his attention, you can have his 100% attention and make both yourself and partner that much happier and content. Just sayin'. Guys, you're welcome. I will be accepting high fives later.

P.S.S. Krimp, although your snarky request for a blog post on the topic of "How the use of vibrators has improved women's rights in America." made me laugh out loud, I just don't think it's appropriate for this blog. At least not today. Nice try though buddy.




24 hours a day. 365 days a year. No sick leave. No vacation. No time off, period.

The most gratifying, yet exhausting, task one will ever undergo. And I hate to call it a task. It's much, much more than that. It's the biggest learning experience I've ever endured (and still am)! I may be a mere high school graduate, but on the subject of life, I feel I have earned a Bachelors degree!

 As a proud single mom of a rambunctious two year old boy, I am currently facing a bunch of frustrations. Lets take a look at the list, shall we?
  • Potty training. This is a fun (SARCASM) one. Every time I ask if he needs to use the potty i hear a snappy 'no mama!!'. I guess he's just not ready? When he needs to go number two (as we call it) he hides and proceeds to poop in his pull-up instead of telling me in time to put him on the potty. The fact that he goes and hides tells me that he knows he's 'going number two'. I know that I just need to be consistent, keep working with him, and that it'll come in time. I just feel like I'm staring up at a big mountain here.
  • Eating.  It's not that he doesn't like food or that he's picky (knock on wood) but he simply refuses to eat. We'll be sitting down for breakfast/lunch/dinner and all he wants is down from the table after taking a few mouse bites of food. And this applies even when I make his favorite food!! Then, when he gets down and I'm done cleaning up dinner (of course), he comes over to me and says "I hungwy mawmy".  I try to make him stay at the table until he finishes the food  on his plate (because I know he will do what I just stated) but then he just throws a bigger fit and again, won't eat.
  • Whining. I think the title explains itself.
  • Temper Tantrums.  Need I say more?
These are some of the major obstacles I'm facing right now on my path of Mommy-hood. I've heard of the so-called Terrible Two's, perhaps that is the jungle we're trudging through but slowly and surely I know we'll emerge. And I'm hoping we do soon. Real soon.


Running. Or lack of, really.

The only thing that comes to mind when I think of exercise is *GROAAAANN*. But, that’s normal right? I mean, if exercise was easy (or fun) America probably wouldn’t be the country in which the most obese people live. American's are really good at doing things that simply feel good at the moment, forget that the hard stuff, we want fun and we want it now!!

Well, I decided it’s time. Time for what? To get back in shape, friends! It’s been way too long. Three years too long, actually. I used to be very active playing hockey, soccer, going bike riding, inline skating, etc. Ever since I became pregnant and had my son, though, all exercise in my life went out the window and my body is proof of that. /sigh

After reading an article titled "Yes You Can" at SeasonedGamers about how anyone can become a runner, I got motivated to get my rear in gear.

I tried (hard!) to talk myself out of going. The excuse that I am a single parent, worked all day, and was exausted didn't hack it, so I even had a conversation with myself about how my work out pants were in the laundry and I should just wait until the next day to run when I could wear them. Thanks to the article though, I came back with a rebuttal to my own argument and quoted the steps it gave for new runners:

  • Step outside in whatever you're wearing.
  • Run slowly.
  • Stop when it feels bad.
  • Walk back.
  • Tell someone what you just did.
 So, I went out in my jeans and tshirt and ran. The ‘run’ (more like speed walk, then run, then speed walk more, then sad attempt to run more) was laughable at best, but it’s the effort that really counts, right? It’s the proving to myself that I do have the will power to get myself off the couch and onto the pavement so that the next time I feel weak and think that I ‘can’t do it’ I can look back and say ‘you’re wrong, you can do it, get your ass out there!’.

So, day one of running (no matter how pathetic it was) is complete!

My mind is still groaning about the thought of going again tomorrow, but hey, ‘nut up or shut up’ right? If I want my body to be looking like it did 5 years ago, it’s my gosh-darn responsibility to do something about it. /sigh. I hate when I’m right and win arguments against myself.



Lets celebrate!

Friends and family, today I have spectacular news to share! News that made my day. No, my YEAR(s). I am so excited and so pumped! This gives me an extra reason to throw back a few beers on St Patricks day to celebrate!

Curious yet?

So, here's the deal. I currently work part-time in a very small office (it's just my boss and I). I previously shared my dilemma about this job when I was offered the position, but ultimately I decided to accept it.

My boss's father also owns his own business (they're both in the insurance industry). I am assuming my boss shared how well I'm picking up on the training, etc, with his father because today he (my boss's father) offered to fill the rest of my work week with hours at his office!! You know what this means folks, I HAVE A 40 HOUR WORK WEEK NOW! YES!!!!!!!!! I am going to survive this move. I made it! I am officially working full time.

You can imagine the stress-relief this gives me. All my bills are going to be paid! Food will be on the table every night! Gas will be in my car!!

I am an incredibly lucky girl. Not only am I extremely blessed and thankful for these opportunities, but I am happy to admit that I even look forward to work each day! I truly enjoy what I do now and I know I will in the other position as well.

Insurance industry, here I come!


P.S. I would like to edit/update my VA(DC area) vs KY (Louisville) comparison list:

  • Kentucky cars only have rear licence plates where as Virginia requires front and rear licence plates. It took me a little while to adjust to seeing vanity plates on the front of cars here.
  • There are no Chic-Fil-A's in Kentucky (I know, depressing right!!) WRONG! I was totally misinformed. There are local Chic-Fil-A's. I didn't think it was possible to be more inlove with Louisville but having Chic-Fil-A's here makes it official!
  • On the flip side, there are Sonic's everywhere....Score! (Virginia has zero Sonic's)
  • In Kentucky, "Hi" is pronounced "Hai" and "Bye" is pronounced "Bai". (Please oh please oh please don't start picking up that accent! Yes, I just spoke to myself. On my blog. For everyone to see. /facepalm. I mean NO OFFENCE to those with the Kentucky accent, more power to ya!)
  • College sports in Kentucky are a HUGE deal. In Virginia we (edited) they could care less. Pro sports for the win!
  • In Kentucky, if you're in an elevator with people you betchya you're going to be expected to say Hello and make small talk. In Virginia, people avoid small talk, etc, like the plauge.
  • Kentucky rush hour traffic is thirty minutes to one hour tops as opposted to Virginia's annoying, horrible, grueling, two to three hour rush hour traffic! WOOT
  • In Kentucky, when people tell me thier number (or when numbers are advertised) they don't say the area code. In Virginia you always say the area code first and then the number. /shrug
  • A trip to the DMV in Kentucky took me 20 minutes including recieveing a copy of my new Drivers Licence. A trip to the DMV in Virginia took me one to two hours and I'd have to wait 7 business days to get the copy of my Drivers Licence in the mail. (ghey)
  • When getting a Drivers Licence in Kentucky you can SMILE for the picture. In Virginia you cannot. (seriously, I'm not kidding)


Adventures, Adventures!

A picture of Mirror Lake in Merango Caves.

On Saturday (March13th) we (PJ, Dave, myself and friends) drove out to Merango Caves. It was AWESOME. We went on two tours; the Cystal Palace Tour  and the Dipstone Trail. PJ had an absolute blast and for the most part did an awesome job exploring the Caves (awesome job = no screaming, crying, or whining). When PJ was, lets say, 'less than awesome' it was close to torture. Anyone ever hear a kid scream in a cave? One word: Echo. But anyways, since we left, I haven't heard PJ stop repeating "mawmi, I want to see tha bates mawmi, pweez. Bates I see mawre, Pweez." And yes, we did see real live bats (or in PJ talk, bates). *shudder*

I will post more pictures once I get them uploaded onto my comp. Until then, take my word that it was gorgeous. I haven't been to a Cavern in years and I'm really glad we went! There is just something exciting and super (yes, I said super) fun about little random adventures like these. The tour guide said that Kentucky/Indiana have some of the largest caves in the entire US. We enjoyed Merango so much that we're thinking about trucking (2 hours) out to Mammoth Cave in the near future.

On with the blogging.

I wanted to talk about differences between Virginia and Kentucky (and boy are there some major ones):
  • Kentucky cars only have rear licence plates where as Virginia requires front and rear licence plates. It took me a little while to adjust to seeing vanity plates on the front of cars here.
  • There are no Chic-Fil-A's in Kentucky (I know, depressing right!!).
  • On the flip side, there are Sonic's everywhere....SCORE! (Virginia had zero Sonic's)
  • In Kentucky, "Hi" is pronounced "Hai" and "Bye" is pronounced "Bai". (Please oh please oh please don't start picking up that accent! Yes, I just spoke to myself. On my blog. For everyone to see /facepalm. I mean NO OFFENSE to those with the Kentucky accent, more power to ya!)
  • College sports in Kentucky are a HUGE deal. In Virginia we (edited) they could care less. Pro sports for the win!
  • In Kentucky, if you're in an elevator with people you betchya you're going to be expected to say Hello and make small talk. In Virginia, people avoid small talk, etc, like the plauge.
  • Kentucky rush hour traffic is thirty minutes to one hour tops as opposed to Virginia's annoying, horrible, grueling, two to three hour rush hour traffic! WOOT
  • In Kentucky, when people tell me thier number (or when numbers are advertised) they don't say the area code. In Virginia you always say the area code first and then the number. /shrug
....I think that is all for now. I'll add more as I think of it.

The job search is still going strong! I had an interview Thursday (with Lakeshore Staffnig Agency) which went great. They're going to call me as soon as they have an opening. I'm really hoping for something to come along with Lakeshore because they, unlike any other Staffing Agency I've worked with in the past, offer Medical Benefits for thier empoyees! So again, keep your fingers crossed and keep sending good thoughts my way - I need them!



River Front Park

 This was our beautiful view of the river from the play ground.

Today was a gorgeous, 75 degree, slightly breezy, SUNNY day. If winter comes back with frigid temperatures or if any sort of precipitation starts to fall (other than rain) I will be severely pissed. I am loving these Spring days and Mother Nature has given me enough crap this year (being snowed in at the house in VA for days due to a blizzard, had to drive three extra hours to Louisville due to a blizzard...screw you Winter!).  So, bring it on warm weather and sunshine- I've been waiting and ready for you!!

I took PJ to River Front Park in downtown Louisville this afternoon. He had a TON of fun (again) but this time going to the park was different. And different in an AWESOME way! You're probably wondering why. Well, my friends, I made my first new friend here today (at the park)! She is just a few years older than me, has a 2 1/2 year old  devil child too, and moved to Louisville just last November! It's going to be awesome to get together and let the devils kids play while we talk/hang out. We had a fun conversation, exchanged numbers, and I'm excited to get in touch with her again soon! Meeting new people is half the fun and excitement in moving to a new place!

Here are a few pictures of PJ at the park:

King of the hill! Ha...Halo reference ftw!

He had a huge, amazing play ground to play at and all my kid wants to do is play in the dirt....

So, anyway. Work at my part-time job is still going great. I'm picking up things very fast and have been learning a ton my first week there. I also set up another interview for a full time (administrative) position tomorrow at 3:00PM, keep your fingers crossed for me!



The Window

 I found this short, but profound story in the Living Strong blog (that I also mentioned in my entry yesterday) and wanted to share it with you.

One day a woman woke up, made her morning cup of coffee and looked out her window across to her neighbor who was hanging her laundry out to dry. She commented to her husband who was quietly sitting at the kitchen table reading his newspaper, "Honey, I think our neighbor's washer must be broken, or that woman doesn't know how to clean her laundry!"

"Why do you say that?" asked her husband who didn't move an inch or look up from his paper.

With a crooked grin, his wife raised one eyebrow and said, "well just look, her clothes are fifthly and she just washed them!"

The next week, the woman woke up, made her coffee and positioned herself back at the window to see if this time her neighbor fixed her washing machine. And again the woman complained about her neighbor not knowing how to do her laundry or that their washing machine must be on the fritz and how they must not have enough money to fix it. And again the woman's husband never looked up from his paper to indulge in his wife's onslaught of how is the right way to clean one's clothes.
After a month of the woman taking her place at the window, spying on her neighbor and her neighbor's laundry, she was surprised on day to see that the laundry was clean! And not only clean but up to her standards of being clean! She was in shock! Someone must have told her that her clothes were dirty, no someone must have taught her how to do the laundry, or could it be that they finally could afford to fix their machine.

The woman couldn't wait to call her husband and let him know this new hot juicy bit of gossip! She quickly picked up the phone and called her husband and with a certain glee in her voice explained what she had saw. There was a pause on the other end. Was her husband not understanding what she was telling him? Her frustration with him increased and she asked her dear husband why he was not as excited over the news as she was!

There was a brief pause and then a large sigh. "Dear, I have listened to you talk about that poor woman for a month now. So this morning I went out and cleaned our window."

I love what Denise from Living Strong said about it:
We all carry around a window that has some sort of film on it and we need to make sure when we are talking to others we don't know - to make sure our windows are clean before making a judgement or making a comment. Every one's lives are different and complex more so than the next. Something I think most people forget.

These are the little reminders in life that make the world a more beautiful place. I know that "my window" surely has been need of a good "washing" and reading this really kicked my conscious' butt. I hope this touched you as much as it did me.



Just Truckin'

Well, everything worked out with that part time job! I trained on Saturday for about two hours and today was my first full day of work. I loved it! It's a quiet environment with straight forward projects and my boss is awesome!

Not only is the part time job fantastic, but I have had two calls to schedule interviews for full time positions I applied to last week.

You know, sometimes I really thought I was crazy moving out here. Sometimes I'd debating with myself if I was out of my mind for going through with it. Sometimes I was unsure if I would actually make it out here on my own. I'm now realizing that I was 110% right for following my heart and am understanding more everyday that my life (and this experience) is what I make it to be. And thank heaven, things have been going spectacularly. Even I didn't think I'd have scored a job (even though it's part time) and be working my second week here and that i'd already be getting bites on my resume for full time positions.

Not to mention Louisville seems to be one of two places in the US and Canada that sells Whole Soy Bean pasta and I was able to send some to a good friend's son who was in need of it. Right place, right time I guess. It could be a coincidence, but I don't think it was mere coincidence that I chose to move here. I truly believe I was meant to and have a purpose in Louisville. Things couldn't possibly be going better and I couldn't possibly be happier. PJ is having the time of his little life too. Today was his first day in the new child care center. In short, they love him and he loves them! Again, another incredibly lucky find!

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous out here in Louisville! It was in the mid 50s over the weekend and 70 today! Dave and I took PJ to a big park near the river and it was wonderful. We all had a blast. Next weekend we're going to the Louisville Mega Cavern, It should be a good time, I'm really looking forward to it.

I also found a deep appreciate for all the small and big things in life today while reading this blog titled Living Strong. After reading most of her entries, I am so much more thankful for all I have and for all the wonderful people in my life. If you decide to read it, grab a box of tissues before hand!

So, not too much exciting news, just truckin along :-)




(A picture of downtown Louisville from the top of my boyfriends apartment building)

In two short days, Saturday March 6th, will mark my one week anniversary of officially living in Louisville! I can't believe how fast the time has gone.

So, what have I been up to my first week in Louisville? I must sheepishly admit that I haven't gotten as much accomplished as I should or needed to.

Saturday and Sunday were recuperation days from the grueling 13 hour car ride with a little unpacking here and there. Monday I had an interview, then settled in a bit more. Tuesday I had another interview, settled in a bit more, and applied to tons of jobs. Wednesday I went to the DMV to get my new Kentucky license and plates, PJ and I went to check out his new day care center, then went grocery shopping, I applied to more jobs and finally finished unpacking completely (thanks Jeanette, Ian and Camille for all your help!!). Thursday (today) I didn't do much more than lounge around, start laundry,  apply to a few jobs, and try to get over this nasty cold that hit me last night. Blech.

Oh! You may be wondering how the interviews went! The one on Monday went great! It's with a staffing agency and there are three potential positions they think would be good fits for me. They've just got to finalize the contract with the companies I'd be working for before we can move forward in the process. Sometimes working via staffing agencies is the PITS but I've found that when I'm in need of a job, they can generally provide one the fastest! So, I'm really anxious to hear back but right now all I can do is be patient and follow up every few days.

The interview on Tuesday went TERRIFIC. I got the job and it pays well! Downside? It's part time (20 hours a week) with no benefits. Yes, I could definitely take the position  to have some income flow (hey--I'll take something over nothing) however, I've still not completely made up my mind about this yet. See, I was connected to this individual via my roommate (thanks again Jeanette) who does the book keeping for the company. My interview was with the owner of the company and he specifically mentioned how he's exhausted resources (time and money/training) on individuals who join the company and then leave shortly after. He needs someone who will stick with him but this is just not doable for me long term. There is just no way I can go without full time hours and medical benefits for myself and son. I sent him an email explaining this and that if he still wanted me to work (until I got a full time job somewhere) I'd be more than happy to. I'd just rather be up front and honest about my needs career wise, even if he tells me 'thanks but no thanks'. BUT it does seem like a really great job and the owner of the company is super super nice. (If you have thoughts about this situation please drop a comment  :) )

Oh, and of course I've applied to tons of other jobs via staffing websites and news paper ADs as well.

Hmm....I'm not sure if I've really made tons of progress for my first week here, but then again, the week isn't over! I still have tomorrow. And boy do I have an agenda: open bank account, go back to the DMV, stop by companies that I've applied to and follow up on my resume, play WoW, finish laundry, change car insurance information, and change my address at the USPS. Well, I guess that list isn't too bad. Maybe I'm just lazy and everything seems more overwhelming than it really is /shrug shoulders.

So, in a nutshell, everything is going great! AND I could potentially start working next week. We'll see! Over all I'm very optimistic and extremely excited about finding a new career opportunity out here (to hold me over until I get certified for ASL that is).

For those of you at home, I miss you and love you VERY much!!! To my new friends and "family" here, I'm so glad to be apart of your lives now and am enjoying every second!!!