Friday, September 19, 2008

Something not many know about

I feel like I'm finally ready to write about it.

We've been trying for 13 months to get pregnant and haven't yet. I think this makes it official: we are dealing with infertility. Not the nicest thing to deal with, but definitely not on the "bad" end of medical maladies. We've got a doctor's appointment scheduled for next week and, so, we will begin the process of figuring out why we aren't getting pregnant and if we can get pregnant.

There is a great deal of disappointment in all of this. Disappointment that expectations are not met. Disappointment that God hasn't intervened to fix the problem. Disappointment that there is still no baby. And the disappointment is like being on a roller coaster. Each month, when I know I'm not pregnant, there is a wave of sadness and disappointment. After a day or two, those emotions wane. Then, when that time gets close, I try not to anticipate, but I do. I get excited, I wonder if maybe this month I'll be pregnant. And then sadness and disappointment again. An emotional roller coaster, if there ever was one.

Here's to hoping that in the next month or two I can post an update... with news of a miracle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Frequent and Annoying Phone Calls: 433-533-9029

So, someone has decided to use my phone number, and now a collection agency keeps calling. Their number is 434-533-9029. Yes, I want all to know. I called them back and told them to stop calling. Then less than an hour later, they call again. I pick up.... nothing... no sound... no response. What is this? Are they trying to scare me?

Whoever is calling from 434-533-9029, STOP CALLING ME!!!! I never had any business with you and if you don't stop, it might begin to look like stalking.

Thank you.

Additional information:
They have called...
Aug 26, 2008 8:36 am
Aug 26, 2008 8:02 pm
Aug 27, 2008 8:39 am
Aug 27, 2008 8:13 pm

I called them on Aug 27, 2008 8:39 am to find out who this was and why they were calling me. It was some "financial institution" looking for "Solidad". When I told him not call any more, he said, "It will take 24 hours for the order to go through." When I told him to put my number on their do not call list, he says "that federal order only applies to sales solicitation." But I have no business relationship with them at all, there for those calls are unsolicited phone calls!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guys named Mike keep Verizon in business

So, seems like our problem has been solved. From an original activation date of 8/25, to now an activation date of 9/3, is not ideal, but at least we have the right plan with the right details. A guy named Mike in some part of Verizon phone service was efficient, actually listened and got it done. Thank you, Mike.

Of course, we will see if the order comes through. This would be order #5, and with 4 orders fallen through, it makes me wonder.

How does Verizon stay in business?

I have no idea. We are going on a week of trying to order DSL Internet to our apartment.

1. We ordered DSL Internet on 8/19/08 via online. 48 hours later, we hadn't heard anything (via email), so I wrote and email and called customer service. Customer service couldn't find the order, so we made a new order. Call this order #2.

2. About 24 hours later, I receive an email confirming another order, not the order placed on 8/21/08. Call this order #3. We call customer service trying to figure out what is going on.

3. Customer service declares they cannot help us, and promise a call back by end of business day (on 8/22/08). I also receive an email in response to my email about the missing order of 8/21/08. We never received that call back.

4. On Monday, 8/25/08, we call customer service AGAIN. We finally get to talk to a guy in India, who is kind and helpful and gets us the order we want. We are told we will need to call back to cancel the other orders that are floating around in the system, but otherwise all seems to be worked out. We are forced to wait an additional week for internet service, but sometimes that happens.

5. On Tuesday, 8/26/08, we receive a call from the agent at the other end of the email. After refusing to listen to anything we had to say, she proceeds to cancel the order made on 8/25 (the order we want).

6. We call customer service AGAIN. After being hung up on twice by customer service reps, we are still in limbo about if and when we will get our DSL internet. All of the sudden, customer service reps are very rude from the outset, and refuse to assist us or to transfer us to someone who can assist us. It is as if there is a note saying "being rude".

7. In the midst of all this, we discover that Verizon has some other address on file, a place we have never lived. I'm uncertain how Verizon stays in business, we can't be the only ones Verizon has screwed over.

The situation is not yet resolved, and we have used several hours worth of cell minutes (the only phones we have) in an attempt to order DSL internet. I hope that you, reader, never have to deal with Verizon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The wedding album

After two years, the album is finally done. The final pages are not as carefully laid out as the earlier ones, but that is okay. I'm just glad it's done. From here on out, I buy albums where I just slip the photos in the slot... no more scrap booking.

While looking through the final product, we were reminded of what wonderful friends we have. these friends have been through a lot with us, and I know will continue to stick with us through life. Thank you, friends!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pink Thingy Campground

For our first night in Yosemite, we stayed at a campground just outside the park. It was a nice campground, not too crowded, close to the park. The lady in charge suggested a trail to the creek, a small waterfall and a swimming hole. We thought it sounded nice, it was early, so we found the trail and wandered along. It was very nice, easy to follow, and very peaceful; until we reached the waterfall. And there, perched prominatly on a log was a florestent pink intimate play toy. Who brings such things to the great outdoors?! Why leave it on the log next to the waterfall and swimming hole?! We debated... do we take it back so it can be properly thrown away? How do we dispose of this... thing?

We finally decided to set it off in the bushes, so that at least if any families came by the kids won't be asking, "Daddy, what's that?" Hopefully, it will be lost forever.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Rachael's Plan Nothing Day

I decided to give myself a "plan nothing day" (PND) for when I finished my last class, and I could have a day to chill. I have found that is very difficult and near impossible to maintain.

Originally, we had plans for Saturday afternoon with friends, so I declared Friday the PND. Within two days, we had a dinner invitation for Friday to friends' house which, honestly, is far more important than my having a PND. Within a day, the Saturday afternoon activity had been cancelled, so the PND scheduled for Saturday. I'd rather have a week day PND, but weekend PND is better than none. Thursday evening, I get a call from a friend to hand out on Saturday. Friends always trump the PND. Then, Friday evening, another dinner invitation with other friends who are crazy busy, which definitely trump PND.

Alas, I will try again to schedule a PND, sometime soon, definitely mid-week.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another Valentine Poem

Another Valentines apparently never given. Remember, this was high school.

My Dear Friend,

My dear friend
who I value so.

My heart is loyal to only you.
Will you allow me to do so?

When I see your sweet face,
I think of nothing else.

Your hazel eyes can see my every thought.
Can I hide anything from you?

Your dark, brown hair shimmers in the light.
Is anything of mine not yours?

Please remember me on this very special day.
For I care for you; may you care for me the same.

(I have no idea who the hazel eyes and brown hair refer to. Either they are an abstract idea or I had a crush on someone with hazel eyes and brown hair. Who knows? It was high school.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Discovering Sisters, continued

Ah-ha! The secret is revealed... say the letters.... "m" "l" "e". Now, what name does that sound like? Say them faster, blend them together.... that's it. Can you guess her name?

Discovering Sisters

So, I just discovered that my sister has blog identity mle, which I have no idea what it means, and has not 1, but 3 blogs! HA! Who knew?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday mornings

Saturday mornings are so
beautiful and lazy,
cool and refreshing,
slow and enticing,
warm and comforting,
and a whole bunch of other words that I can't think of right now.

Often, I wake up on a Saturday morning, with the feeling that I've got a lot to do, and got to get it done because work starts again soon. Then, with a flash of thought, I realize, WAIT, its only Saturday, and Sunday comes between today and Monday. How beautiful is that thought? Then, as I let my eyes wander to the calendar and realize there isn't that much to do today, my heart begins to leap. Yesterday involved gettting the sister & bro-in-law off to the airport and laundry; lots of down time. Today involves moving a friend and playing a bit of DnD, both fun activities. Tomorrow is also not busy, and with only one afternoon ESL class this next week, and it in the final throws of the end of the semester.... dude, life is sweet right now. Now, if only I could get pregnant, I would be singing at the top of my emotional mountain. Lord, bring it on.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My first earthquake

Wow, that was crazy. The last earthquake that I remember hitting So Cal was summer of '05 and I was in Texas at the time, so I only experienced it via Fox News. This time I was up close and personal with the event.

At first, I thought someone in the building had slammed a door. But when it didn't stop and the floor shook harder and harder, I realized it was an earthquake. I am well trained and headed for a doorway, right out the front door. Several others were emerging from their apartments into the hallway as well, and I heard several "This is so cool!" and "Oh, G*!". I stood in the doorway as my mind went through the process of thinking, "I should go outside. I need shoes. I need keys. I need my cell phone." That was when I noticed the building was swaying, which put me especially off-balance because I could see the building sway with the ground in the background and the ground was no longer moving. Then I realized I was short of breath, my hands were shaking and my legs were weak (adrenaline rush!). I continued outside, sat for a bit, tried to call Pete, my husband, and slowly caught my breath. Official notice: cell phones will not be a good communication method in an emergency. It was about 30 minutes before a call would go through.

Over the next few hours, I found things that had been knocked over during the earthquake: a penholder, a perfume bottle and a few other small things. Nothing major. Turns out, the epicenter was about 15 miles east, and the quake was a 5.4. Not huge and no real damage done around here. Nonetheless, I have officially been in an earthquake, and will be happy if I never experience another one.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wedding Reunions

It seems we only see our friends (old friends, at least) when someone gets married and we all trek to see the wedding. Its a great time, don't get me wrong, but we are running out of singles who can get married. Only three more to go and everyone (almost everyone) from the "Biola group" will be married. I think we are going to have to rethink our reunion strategy.

Hmmmm... with one couple in Seattle, one in Minneapolis, one in D.C., one gal in Pittsburgh, another in Denver, one guy in Wisconsin and us here in L.A., what is central? and interesting. Kansas is central, but is it interesting? Maybe camping/hiking in Yellowstone? Or some other national park? Dude, this could get complicated.

So, that will require some thought. Hopefully, the thinking doesn't take too long, 'cause I'm missing everyone already.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This really stinks

Last week, my supervisor observed me teaching. At the follow up, he apologizes for the textbook I was given, that its not really that great, and I shouldn't use it for much more than homework. What?! Now, I'm expected to come up with all my own stuff and I have nothing to work from? Now, this shouldn't bother me as much as it does, but I work much better, faster, and more efficiently when I have something to start with... a textbook is a great thing to start working from.

I've had several classes since that talk, and I've done what I can to pull in other stuff. I've looked and browsed and pondered. I found some things to help the student practice the modals in past tense, the current topic and fun stuff, I must say. And then, on Thursday, after class, a student says to me, "I wasn't sure about taking grammar, but I learned something new today. Thank you. And you are a good teacher." Wow. Talk about making my day. After struggling with the news to not use the textbook and about frizzing over it. Its all working out. That feels good.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My new old passion

I love teaching. Dude, I totally hit the jackpot when I started teaching adult ESL (that's English as a Second Language). I love it so much, I'm going to educate myself further in the art of TESOL (that's Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Yep, I finished school and now I'm going back. Am I a nerd or what?

To top it off, I'm even writing two proposals for topics to present on at the So Cal regional CATESOL conference this fall, which is being held at Biola. And I'm thinking about what class to use my free audit on, some upper level TESOL class, for sure.

Yep, I'm a nerd, and I love it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Early in May, early on Saturday

The comps that have consummed my life should be over. Which means I might be all done with the Master's. Dude, does that make me a Master?

I feel almost lost, not having this activity that demands the bulk of my time. Of course, we are hoping that in 9 months, or so, another little person will enter our lives that will demand a large bulk of my time. But that is yet to be seen.

So, for now, what do I do? How do I use my time? I'll have to be sure to let you know when I get it figured out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just knew it...

I was going to be very surprised if I passed phonology. And I didn't. I have to rewrite on Thursday. Poopy.

So, off to study hard... learning a few names and the theoretical framework of Optimality Theory. Very exciting. :P

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Life Update

Time... continues...

Drat. I'd been hoping it would stop for a bit, just for me.

Anyhoo, I feel the need to post a life update for Pete and I, 'cause much has changed and will continue to change, I'm sure. Neither PhD program Pete applied for took him, so that keeps us here in So. Cal. for a bit longer. He is starting to look for a full time job, but that always starts slowly; neither of us knows where to start. Ideally, he could us his math, physics, astrophysics undergrad background. So, we'll see what God provides.

I am, hopefully, done with comprehensive exams. I sat for the final question on Friday afternoon, though I'm not confident about my answer. Luckily, there is time to re-write that question should it be deemed inadequate.

I am now wondering what to do with myself. I came home from China in May '03, and started this graduate program in Sept '03. This will be the first time in 5 years I won't have some academic pursuit I must finish. Oh, dear. Whatever will I do? I'll have time to read WHATEVER I want to read. I can write those ESL computer lessons I've been thinking about for a month. I can clean to my heart's desire!

"Ha, ha, ha" she cackles evilly. "I could take over the world!"

"Oh, drat" comments her husband.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2 questions down, 1 to go

My brain feels like fried beans. or scrambled eggs. I'm not exactly sure which, but its definitely mushy.

I took the first part of comprehensive exams today. I had the general question and 1 elective question. I'll get the 2nd elective and follow-up on the general question next Friday, the 25th. I think all went well, though I'm sure there are holes in my answers. Lets just hope the holes are few enough that I'm given a PASS.

The questions weren't as hard as I expected them to be, which was nice. At the same time, they did ask for more than I was sure of, so I fluffed some of the answer. If the prof doesn't notice, that will be good.

Now, to finish preparing for next Friday.... no sweat!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apartment living can really stink

Only sometimes, though.

The pool and hot tub are really nice, and we have a very nice mainteince man, who is quick about fixing things.

However, we recently acquired a downstairs neighbor who loves LOUD music. And, unfortunately, his/her music choice is not what we would chose. Whoever it is, they like particularly crappy music, and they like it loud. So loud that my chair will vibrate sometimes, and I can hear the words via the wall heater. And its constant, from when I get home after lunch till bedtime.

Generally, I'm all for background noise. TV, radio, book on CD... any of these are nice... sometimes. But when it is constant and I can't turn it off, I find myself most passive aggressive. I want to stomp around, drop large books, scrap the chairs across the floor. Maybe I'll get up and vacuum at 2 am tonight, just to annoy the neighbor. Maybe tonight, after 10 pm, I'll get up, and purposely pick up the sofa from one end just to drop it. I hope that some of the bumps on the ceiling fall off and hit the dude in the eyes and mouth. Maybe I'll be sure to drop something heavy in the bedroom in the morning, to startle the dude from sleep.

Yes, I know that none of that will effectively communicate that I want the music turned down. But what will? I've complained to the office once. We called security on them one night when the music was loud after 10 pm. Maybe a nasty note on the door.... or maybe I'll just complain to the office again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weekly home blessing hour

I did it! I actually did it. I usually do my cleaning in bits and pieces, but this week I downloaded the Weekly Home Blessing Hour, done by Flylady. I listened and used my timer, and I did it!

Such a feeling of having it done. And I got some exercise to boot!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dude, comps stress me out

Back in January, I decided to drop my thesis and just take comps. Guarrentee graduation in May was the idea. My comprehensive exams are scheduled for April 19 & 25, the first one less than a week ahead. I am so stressed out over it.

It will be over soon enough, I know.

On top of all that, its stinking hot. Its in the 90s, and all we have is a small ac in the wall, for one room. Good thing we only have the two rooms! Anyways, I'd forgotten what it was to be so hot, this seems quite adnormal in my mind.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gifts from Amazon

Lately, I've been discovering more and more things that I would like, and want to remember, but that doesn't carry them. And if amazon doesn't carry them, how do I let others know what I want???

Thus, I created a new wiki. With links and different pages. Lots of fun to create. Hopefully, it will helpful to myself and others to keep track of my ever changing interests!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Career Interests

I saw this on a friend's blog... and thought I'd try it.


People with GREEN interests like job responsibilities and occupations that involve persuasion, sales, promotions, and group or personal contact. People with green Interests enjoy activities that include: motivating, mediating, selling, influencing, consensus building, persuading, delegating authority, entertaining, and lobbying. These Interests often lead to work in marketing, advertising, training, therapy, consulting, teaching, law, and public relations.

People with YELLOW styles perform their job responsibilities in a manner that is orderly and planned to meet a known schedule. They prefer to work where things get done with a minimum of interpretation and unexpected change. People with a yellow style tend to be orderly, cautious, structured, loyal, systematic, solitary, methodical, and organized, and usually thrive in a research-oriented, predictable, established, controlled, measurable, orderly environment. You will want to choose a work environment or career path in which your style is welcomed and produces results.

Well, good thing I'm a teacher! And I teach alone, which is probably good.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My blog will not die!

I was inspired to write, once again, for my blog. I will not allow my blog to die! No, I will strive to keep it alive and prospering!