My blog and random ramblings...
|This....is my blog. No way! Yes way. It is a collection of daily thoughts and whatnot (or two or three depending on the kind of day). Its also a glimpse into the mind of me. Scary, right? Most definitely. Enjoy!|
|Alright, seriously. I'm almost 24 years old and have been living in an apartment for the past 4 years. I think I'm perfectly capable of fending for myself for dinner.
I had to pick up my dad from the airport this afternoon and since I had work and my apartment is close, I figured that I would call my brother and tell him I'll pick up our dad. That went great, actually. Traffic wasn't bad as its Thursday and my dad and I had some good conversation. The Super Bowl, Egypt, family stuff, work stuff, etc. So that was good.
I went to work and, a rarity, so did my youngest brother who started working for my boss' program this past fall with the soccer season. That's all good and wonderful. Then we get home at about 9:00 and my mom had left us dinner. Which is nice, I know. But she insists on cooking this sausage/onions/potatoes dinner that I can't stand. So the thought was nice but as I said before, if I'm hungry, I can fend for myself. I've always been a picky eater. If I don't like what my family has for dinner, I can either drive back to my apartment and have a late dinner (which I do all to often) or, on nights when that's not an option (such as tonight) I can convince myself that I'm not hungry. My grandma calls me a camel. I can store up on all the food I do like and last a night or two without dinner. Not the best idea, I know, cause I'm skinny as hell and my boss doesn't understand it (whenever we work in the office which starts anywhere from 10 am until 12 noon, we always work until 1 or 2 and then go grab lunch at a local pizza place or Taco Bell, my boss' favorite) and I'm always eating. We also have lunches/breakfasts for coach's meetings at the beginning of a new season and then a coach's dinner at the conclusion of a season. Then there's Coach Sheri who also works as the middle school girls basketball coach. The past two times she's worked, she's brought these caramel/chocolate bars x2. They are delicious!!!!! But she won't tell anyone how to make them. The last time she made them, I wasn't on that night, but PJ brought one leftover into the office the next day x3. Way to go PJ! That's no easy task, mind you, because the dog always knows when someone has food and my boss LOVES those things, so sneaking one past him is very very difficult.
So yeah, I didn't have dinner tonight but I did have banana cake! Yay!
|While I enjoy brief visits back home (or in today's case, an overnight visit) there is one thing that I miss about being at my apartment. My family insists on communicating by yelling around the house and it drives me crazy. My roommates and I all come from families with at least one sibling and we have come to a simple rule. Unless it is during a sporting event (and it has to be a big one) there is to be no yelling from room to room. Our philosophy is that if its important enough to be said, you should be so inclined as to walk to the room where the other person is and speak to them there. My family has no such rules and the loudest one is my mother. It drives me crazy. "Who left the basement lights on?" (That was me, by the way, carrying empty boxes that I'm going to be using and nobody bothered to help me....) "Go make your lunches" "Get upstairs and go to bed" (Those being directed at my two youngest brothers and which are yelled every night...) It drives me crazy.
Anyway, we found a dead mouse in the office today. Well, PJ and I found it. It was in the crawl-space at the back of the basement which we use to store off season uniforms and other equipment we are not currently using. I went up there to grab stuff for the upcoming fundraiser. PJ asked if it was a real mouse or a toy from Halloween. I didn't even see it until I had climbed out of the crawl space and looked back. Then we began the debate as to whether or not tell Kraig. PJ said Kraig would probably just make one of us get it. I replied that I don't get paid enough to deal with dead animals. So we still haven't told Kraig....probably not the best idea, but oh well. If worse comes to worse, the dog will get up in there and take care of it for us!
So as I prepare to take off for Egypt in less than one week, I'm getting very excited. However, I will miss my brother Peter leaving for Marines training the following Monday, but that's alright. I've said my piece and if nothing happens between now and then, we'll go our separate ways on good terms. And if not, then I won't have to see him until May.
Alright, that about wraps it up for today!
|Alright, well I just spent the whole day working. Yay for Mondays. I mean, hold on a tick, BOO for Mondays!!! There we go. That's more like it. Mondays means PJ's day off and more kindergarten games. Gar. And team pictures were today. Double gar. I hate those days. They take so long and the kids don't know what they're doing....grrrrr. Since its PJ's day off every Monday, I'm on all day in the office with just my boss and then all night with Kindergarten games and then some older level (really just 3rd/4th/5th grade). The trade-off is that I get to pull 2 days off a week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But since I'm always working anyway, people get me to sub for them those days just about every week. Which means that my only day off is Sunday. But since we had makeups yesterday, I now work every day this week. Wonderful. The tradeoff for that is, of course, a massive paycheck due by the end of this week.
Anyway, I got back home about half an hour ago (9:00 Chicago time) and was left a cold dinner and ALL the dishes that my brothers were too busy to wash. UGH! Not cool. The good news is that I'm heading back to my apartment tomorrow night and won't have to deal with this family crap.
Oh yeah, I forgot. I gave my boss' dog a new nickname today. The dog's name is Caramel because of his color. I call him Roadblock though. I swear, the dumb dog knows exactly when I'm carrying something heavy around the house/office and knows exactly where I'm going to go. So what does he do? Gets right in my way. I walked up the stairs with a big bin and the stairs are loaded with fundraising crap for a fundraiser that my boss throws every year...more coming on THAT little event later....and was lying down in the only open space on the landing. A slight nudge with my shoe there and the dog looks up at me but doesn't move. I put the bin down and the dog goes up the stairs....good thing, right? NOPE. He stands there looking at me from the hallway, but in such a position that I can't get around him. GRRRR. Dumb dog. I did make it outside though and called the dog Roadblock. He immediately came up to me with his tail wagging just like he does when you call him Caramel. Pretty sure I'm going to have some explaining to do to my boss...
|A few things you have to know in order for this to be put into some sort of perspective. First of all, my boss's name is Kraig and is one of my best friends. Secondly, his best friend is Tom, a minister of a community church. Third, there is a woman, Wendy, that used to work full time with the sports program until she got married and had her first daughter, Taylor. A few months ago, she had a second daughter, Megan, and works part-time coaching basketball with us. Kraig is Megan's godfather and she was baptized this morning.
Tom was holding the baby in his arms after taking her from Wendy. Tom was turning around when his sleeve brushed up against a candle. From where the people were sitting, it looked like the baby's head passed right through the flame, extinguishing said candle. The father, Ward, thought the same thing.
Anyway, Megan was fine. She was smiling the whole time and it was a good service. Then we had a luncheon at Wendy's house. That was all good and wonderful except for the fact that I knew Kraig and his family, parts of Wendy's family and that's about it. My own family wasn't present so I was spending most of my time with Kraig and his family. That's when things got interesting. Tom was there and had also baptized Kraig's two youngest children, Karch and Wells. (Kraig refuses to name his kids after anybody he's coached through the years, fortunately when his first two kids were born, he had only been doing this for a year or two and hadn't had any kids named Noah or Margo....Margo has cerebral palsy but that's another long story...) Anyway, it got to where we were talking about other baptisms and Tom had said when he baptized Karch (who is 10 months older than Wells) he thought that was going to be the last kid my boss had. Kraig, being the genius he is, said that's what he thought too, and then his wife promptly whapped the back of his head and everyone laughed. Then Karch started screaming at Wells about something or other (they're 3 and 4 years old now and have been dubbed by me and the other coach who works in the office, The Monsters).
For the most part, besides The Monsters screaming and me feeling like the odd man out, the luncheon went well and Kraig and I left early to get back to the gym to coach a make-up day of basketball. Now I remember why I HATE kindergarten basketball games. And there are more tomorrow. Double
|So I've settled back into my old, American life. I'm back to coaching and we're well into our basketball season which is just as well. Out of all the sports we offer, basketball is my worst sport so the fact that I'm missing the majority of this season is perfectly fine by me. When I get back from my little Egyptian journey and African safari, we'll be finishing basketball and getting ready for the baseball season and summer camp! Awesome! Best time of the year. I can't wait. So I've also gone back to splitting my time between my Chicago apartment and my family home in the suburbs with my mom and brothers.
We're all getting ready for everyone to go their own separate ways. I'll be leaving for Egypt, brother Peter will be off with the Marines in San Diego and my brothers Henry and Brian will be at home with my mom. But Brian is notorious for spending as little time as possible at home, so it will really just be Henry and my mom.
|Well, we made it back to the States mostly intact. My parents' divorce is finalized and my dad has moved into an apartment in the city, so he's closer to work....and my apartment....My brothers are dealing with it pretty well for the most part. Except Peter, the angry one, and the one who is leaving for the Marine Corps in about 26 days. Apparently, his friends have all grown tired of the constant state of anger that follows him around and nobody wants to make plans with him anymore. So he's spending more time at home in a bad mood which is dangerous to everyone's health. Luckily for me, I'm not around the house so much. I'm trying to stay busy packing again, working and some last-minute fundraising stuff that my boss is helping me with for my excursion to Africa.
Anyway, I know I only have to deal with the snow for a couple weeks, but seriously, this is rediculous!!! I get off the plane from Los Angeles into Chicago and there's 8 freakin' inches!!! The next day, we got about another 3-4 and then a bit of a break. Now they're calling for another 5 inches tonight!!!! And on top of that, its freakin' cold man!!! And its only supposed to get colder for the next 3 days. Its like mother nature knew I was skipping out on wintery weather this year and has crammed it all into the few weeks that I'm spending in Chicago.
Let's try to end with an upbeat topic. Umm.....WORK!!! I love my job!!! I've missed working (we're now into the basketball season and while I don't much like watching college/professional basketball, I do enjoy coaching) and I have a few weeks in which I get to meet some new kids to our program, reconnect with kids that I've coached in previous seasons and talk with a lot of the parents about being back from Australia and looking forward to Egypt.
So yeah, that's pretty much it for now.
|Alright, holy crap!! This is outrageous. My family sucks. All I wanted was to have a nice Australian Christmas, but that's too much to ask for I guess. Seriously, ARG!!!
As I said before, Christmas day ended with me getting punched in the face (which I still have bruises from), arguing with various family members, other family members getting drunk (including a 14-year-old cousin), and me buying Peter (the brother that punched me in the face and just turned 21) a bottle of Goldschlager because that's what he REALLY wanted for Christmas.
I've been away for the past couple of days sailing with grandparents and one of my uncles families. Its been really fun. We've been scuba diving and snorkeling and all that good stuff, but I'm glad to be back on solid ground. The bad news is that we went away for the days during which my parents have been staying in Sydney with their attorney straightening out all the details about their divorce. You'd think it would be simplified by the fact that my youngest brother is fifteen and we'll all be off living on our own in a few years. Apparently not. Double
At this point, most of the family has gone all their different ways since Christmas is over and everyone has New Year's plans. It was fun while it lasted, but its all winding down now and I'm unfortunately counting down the days until I have to fly back to the US with my family, which at this point, I am very much NOT looking forward to...
Anyway, I thought I'd end on a good note:
Things I got for Christmas (listed in no particular order):
-The Dark Knight DVD from brother Brian
-Two Ken Follett books from my mom
-A lamp for my apartment from my dad (he's convinced I live in a cave) and the box I opened just had a picture of the lamp which my dad thought was a riot....
-A Chipotle gift card from my mom (awesome!!!)
-Milano cookies from my grandmother
-box of Junior Mints
-box of Andes Mints (YUM!!! I get them every year)
-a leatherbound journal from my grandfather (for writing down my "adventures" in Egypt)
-a digital camera from my parents
-luggage from my dad (fantastic since I travel a LOT now it seems...)
-$$$ from my other grandparents
-hiking boots from my godmother/godfather (I should also mention here, since it hasn't come up before, that my mom did a WONDERFUL job of picking my godparents.....My godfather dropped me on my head when I was an infant....Kinda explains a lot...)
|Holidays are never easy with my family. Especially when we have all the cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents involved. Its just so many people and things never run smoothly. The good news is that this year, nobody ended up going to the hospital!!! That's a true achievement for my family. The bad news, family got drunk, I got into an argument with my father, which I won by the way . We hung out at the beach and told all sorts of old family stories, in which each of my dad's siblings get to embarrass one another and give their children ammunition .
And then there's Christmas day. Ugh. Nevermind what I said earlier about being the one day that me and my brothers can get along. There is no such day apparently. My brother Peter leaves for Marine training in 6 weeks. So my mom thought that it would be a good idea to get him his Christmas presents the weekend before Thanksgiving because she wanted him to be able to use them before he had to leave. He also got some smaller items to have something to open on Christmas day. However, when he saw that my brothers and I were getting more than he was for that very reason, he became very jealous and when he's unhappy, he gets violent. He was also unhappy that I was the one who had done all the Christmas shopping for my parents and he became convinced that I was bargain-hunting for their presents, which is very not true and it sucks that he would assume something like that. In addition, each year we pick one brother to get a present for. I got Peter. Great. I didn't know what to get him but then I saw a DVD of Balls of Fury, which is his kind of sense of humor I guess. I remember that he had seen that movie in theaters and liked it, so that's what I got for him. We usually have a rule of spending no more than $25 on each other so nobody feels stiffed. I also got him some movie candy to help with that. However, he found out that my parents were giving one of my other brothers Henry an iPod, since he was the only one that didn't have one. Peter had to get Henry a present and since he's going off to the Marines and doesn't need to save any money for the future, he went off and got Henry a $50 iTunes giftcard and an armband for his iPod since Henry runs cross-country. Nice going Peter. Way to set yourself up for disappointment. He was pissed at me for getting him "just a movie" even though he told my parents what he really wanted was Pineapple Express.....too bad it doesn't come out until January when we're back home!!!
So I tried to avoid Peter for the rest of the day. Not that hard since he had turned 21 on the 21st.....go figure that. And he usually stays up drinking with one of my uncles and then sleeping all day. Including Christmas day after presents were opened. However, we came back from sailing for a bit and I was helping my brother Henry with his iPod. The computer had been set up in the room that Peter was using and so we figured we'd do that while he had disappeared. He came back as we were finishing and yelled at us to get out of "his room". I've had enough of his crap, so I stood up to him and got punched in the face. Nice. Happy holidays!!! My ENTIRE family was downstairs when this had happened and everyone knew that Peter's temper was to blame. Fine, but I still felt like crap for doing something stupid like getting in his way.
So yeah, that's how a typical Christmas goes in my family. I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks because things are going to get interesting. In the upcoming weeks, we fly back together to the States, I go back to school, Peter goes off to California for his Marine bootcamp and I go off to Egypt as part of my history degree.
|I love my family.....most of the time. Alright, some of the time. I guess "most" was being kinda optimistic. Anyway, I love my EXTENDED family. I guess part of it is because I have a BIG extended family. My dad is the oldest of 9 and all of them are married (except for my uncle Jamie....he got divorced a few years ago but his stepson Ben decided to stay with him instead of his mother) but ANYWAY, just about everyone's starting to come back to Australia now for the holidays and its really awesome.
I've gone sailing with some of my uncles and my grandfather a LOT when the weather's been nice, I've gone wakeboarding with my cousins, and I've even just sat and talked with different family members and learned a LOT about my family history and everything. Its been great and I've been able to shake the feeling of the impending doom that's looming over my immediate family....at times.
Anyway, its been relaxing. Except when its been raining and everyone's at my grandparents' house. Then things get REALLY "fun" and by fun, I mean bad. Very bad. Because while everyone's at work, that's all fine. But when we have around 12 adults (not including granparents) and 30 some odd grandchildren (me and my 3 bros included) it gets a little crazy. If this house were any smaller, we'd all be screwed. So yeah, that's how life's going right now....
|Hmm...Well, its been interesting being back in the southern hemisphere. I've been spending a lot of time with my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and even some very old friends that I've managed to keep in touch with back here (thank you e-mail) and its been a lot of fun. However, it also seems like my family is going seriously crazy. Nobody's been told about my parents splitting up, which is EXTRE-HEEEEEE-MELY awkward (Dr. Cox impression) and there's me....the one stuck in the middle of it all...
And I know that in my last entry I said that things were boring and I'd settle for that, things are still boring, but now its getting to the point where its getting on my nerves. Everyday is pretty much the same (depending on the rain/clouds but it still beats the freezing and snow that's in Chicago right now ) I just want something to happen to shake things up a bit because I really don't have that much to put in here at the moment and I'm really just posting this to stop the reminders to update my blog....*Makes a mental note to change that when done with this entry*
Right, I know I'm going to regret wishing for something to happen, but with the holidays coming up, I think everything might work out in the end. And if it doesn't, well, then I only have to deal with my family situation for a little less than a month and then I get to take off for Egypt! And my brother will be off in California for his Marines basic training and my parents will be able to deal with just having my two youngest brothers finishing high school. So we'll see what happens when the shit hits the fan. *Hopes for the best*
|Yay for Australia! The first couple days here have been awesome!! I've gone wakeboarding with my cousin (and even posted a picture of me!) and then I've gone sailing with my grandfather and whoever's been around when we leave (which includes my immediate family, my cousin Ben, uncle Jamie, and my uncle Nikos as well as some family friends). Its been awesome! I even got sunburned!! Which, while not the most comfortable feeling in the world is still better than getting frostbite at the moment back in Chicago.
Ummm.......my grandmother is trying to either make me gain weight or kill me, I'm not sure which yet. We've had so much food and its incredible. The woman really knows how to cook.
I think that might be it for now. Kinda boring and not much happening at the moment. But I'll take it!
|Ugh!!!! Stupid airports, stupid layovers, stupid too much family. Enough!!!! I saw enough of my immediate family during Thanksgiving. Why would I want to spend 19 hours in airports and on a plane with them?!?!?! Grrrr. But its over. And I made it safely....errr.....kinda. I'm pretty sure I left my patience and sanity either in Chicago or its lost in Los Angeles....
*Takes a deep breath*
Meh, minor detail anyway. Time to relax. No school work, no coaching screaming little kindergartners, no cell phone leash, nada. Except for my laptop and my family, there is NOTHING connecting me from here in Australia, just outside of Sydney, to my life back in Chicago. *Briefly contemplates throwing family out the window and just having the laptop* Hmm.....not a bad idea, but there would probably be some unfortunate consequences...
Umm.....yeah. I'm very giddy right now. *Starts bouncing*
I'll leave you once more with some top songs of the moment!
1. Down Under by Men at Work (Well, duh! Kinda fits right now)
2. Beautiful Day by U2 (Because it has been)
3. This Town by O.A.R. (I got hooked on this because of the beginning really)
|A few thoughts I've had....
It isn't even December yet and the local radio stations insist on playing Christmas music 24 hours!!!! Toooooo early. Its bad enough people are already putting out Christmas decorations. I know, I know, its smarter to put them out during what may be the last nice weekend here before Christmas rather than freezing your butt off later. I get it, I really do. But putting EVERYTHING out?!?! That's just tacky. I love Christmas. One of the best days of the year. Mostly because its just about the only day that my brothers (and whole family) actually get along....though this year will be interesting. I am sooooo excited to be spending Christmas in Australia. No freezing for me this year!!
And another thing. Thanksgiving. I don't get this holiday except for the eating of lots and lots of food. I get that part. And I know that its an important day in American history. And I know that everybody's going home for Thanksgiving. My high school even has Alumni Day the day before Thanksgiving when everyone comes home....for the most part. Unfortunately, the biggest turn out of alumni are the ones who graduated the previous year to visit old friends still in high school and the teachers that are still around. Me, I know my brothers and some of their friends. Most of my favorite teachers are gone now and its a shame that I have no real reason to go....
I know this time of year is supposed to be about friends and family. But my family is seriously messed up right now. ARG!!!!!!! Three days....and then I'll be in Australia and can forget about my life here for about a month.
|This game is amazing and extremely addictive. If you haven't heard about it, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/Spore?ob=1 and look around. I've created a TON of little dudes and its so much fun! Its so much fun making carnivores to chase other creatures down and eat em all. I've also made herbivores, but that's not as much fun, and I've also made omnivores which is interesting...
The one down side I've experienced is that the creature stage doesn't last very long and then you go to the tribal stage, the civilization stage and finally the space stage. The space stage is fun, but gets to be very repetitive. Its for this reason that I've gone back and created so many creatures....I should probably just download the creature creator, but the entire game is a blast. I highly recommend it!!!
|While yesterday was an extremely bad day, today has been the exact opposite. Today was Thursday, so I didn't have class until 1:00. I even got into the pool and swam for the first time in months...I've been kinda lazy and getting out of shape, so I decided to finally do something about it. Anyway, I aced my history test and then didn't do anything productive until about 6:00.
That's when the real good stuff started happening. I had to meet with my advisor who was giving a presentation on some research he had been doing for a few years now. I got to present a portion of my paper on Egyptian history as a part of his presentation in order to be eligible to participate in an independent study project next semester. While I'm comfortable writing my thoughts, I have a huge confidence issue (or lack thereof) with speaking in a formal setting in front of a bunch of people. Luckily, I was very pleased with my paper and had little trouble explaining what I had done with my research paper. After reading the excerpt I chose, my professor had me remain at the podium while he explained that he was recommending me for the independent study program!!! This is a huge deal for me. I get to create my own research project and enlist a group of underclassmen volunteers who need research hours. Then I get to tell them what to look for and then I go through and read their collected research and form it into another research paper. My topic is going to be Egyptians again, but much more in depth.
While that's all good and wonderful, that's not the best part. The best part is that as part of this project, my advisor is sponsoring a trip to Egypt in which I get to participate as a LEAD!!!!! This is a dream come true for me. I've been to Greece and Rome before, but never to Egypt.
If I can just get through the family crap that's going on at the moment and get to next semester, things are going to be amazing!!!!
|Alright, well yesterday was crazy. Today, though, cannot be any worse. Except for the fact that its snowing. I know, I know, snow can be fun, right? I agree. But snow is only fun when you're not in the middle of a big freezing city and when there's enough of it to do something with....snowboarding, snowball fights, etc. However, this snow is NOT the fun kind. Its just flurries and doesn't stick or accumulate. The good news is that in just about a week, I'm going to Australia where its nice and warm.
Aravan's Top Songs of the Moment:
1. Anytime by Eve 6 - Just an awesome song and one of my all time favorites.
2. Dream On by Aerosmith - Gotta give some love to my favorite group.
3. Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback - Another good song by another good group.
|Wow. My own blog. This is actually the first blog I've ever created. It is special! And what a day this first day of blogging has been. I've been meaning to do this for a while now because I have so much to say. However, life is busy and now that I actually have some time off, I don't know what to do with myself. So, I spend a lot of time on WDC and am now creating this for you to read. Aren't you lucky!?
So...first day of a new blog. And this is going to be quite an entry. Big news in the life of Aravan. My parents are getting separated. *Gasp* Yep. After almost 25 years of marriage, something's not right between them and things on the home front are not as good as I thought...The news came from my dad today over the phone. Brilliant, lucky me. And here's the best part...We're going home to Australia (I have many places I refer to as 'home' but Australia is my HOME HOME because its where I was born) as a family for the holidays. I thought we were just going to spend the holidays with my dad's side of the family there. However, now my parents are going to take the opportunity to explain how things have changed and why they're separating. We also need to go to Australia though because of some legal issues with the marriage since my parents were married there....I don't understand the whole thing but I guess it makes sense. Plus I get to go back to Australia for the first time in almost 2 years!! (Kinda bittersweet, right? Yep, I know...)
Alright, enough bad mood stuff...this is the first entry in my first blog and its time to focus on the positive.
Umm....I'll have to get back to you on the good news....