I got up to do some last minute preparation for class. But then I realized that I was already pretty well prepared, so I applied for a few more jobs. Three of them were "data mining" jobs, and one of them was actuarial.
Today's class was just review for the exam on Tuesday. It's really more of a quiz, but oh well. I'm only covering one chapter on it. So we reviewed. Everyone *seems* to understand it pretty well, so we'll see how the test goes!
After class I did some homework in my office for a while. Then one of my students came up to my office to ask some questions. So we worked through some problems and I tried to explain some things better. I think it helped. She was doing a lot better at the problems by the time she left. We ended up leaving my office to go to the computer lab so that I could use the dry-erase board up there.
Then I had class. We started to actually get into the material and discussing how linear regression models are made. We have our first homework assignment next week, so we'll see how it goes. I had this really weird experience during class. About ten minutes in I got really disoriented? And I couldn't figure out what day it was, what I'd done that day, why I was in class, or (if it was Thursday) what I'd done all week. It was really odd.
When I got back home Kimmy and I programmed our new garage door openers! So now we don't have to get out of the car, unlock the side door, open the garage, then get back in the car and park. It was pretty annoying. Then we made shepherd's pie for dinner. It took longer than I had anticipated, but mostly because I just had a really hard time trying to figure out how to do everything. But we got it done, then watched Firefly during dinner. After we finished eating I did some more studying. At some point I want to start adding things to my food blog...we'll see how that goes.
And now we're going to bed. Good night!
After my little stint of adulthood I did some grading and other prep for class tomorrow. Then I got some lunch and went to class.
While I was at class Kimmy drove to Anderson to apply for a job at a candy store. She's been applying at a lot of places in the past couple of weeks, so hopefully she can get some interviews soon. Muncie doesn't have a lot of open positions... unless you're a truck driver.
Anyhow, class was fine. I felt like I was really able to follow along well in my MFE class, which is nice. Sometimes I feel like we go really fast and I can't really keep up. But today I was able to contribute and things. It was nice. One of the guys in our class is an executive in the Actuarial Club, so he gave a plug-in for the meeting tonight. He made a comment about how grad students don't really get involved with it and he wasn't so sure why, so Tim gave him a response. Generally the club is very adamant about how helpful it is to be in the club because you get to have presentations from different companies and put your resume in their resume book that gets handed out to some (probably ten to twenty) companies. So Tim asked this guy if he had any data to show how many people had gotten jobs from this resume book. This was met with silence. Our professor (Mr. Owens) was able to defend the guy from the club a little bit by saying that the resume book will get looked at specifically by actuaries who want to hire... not just someone in HR. But Mr. Owens was also curious as to whether anyone has actually gotten hired through use of the resume book.
When I got back Kimmy and I had an early dinner. This evening I went to the Actuarial Club meeting, so I had to eat early and leave. I gave a presentation there! It was the first meeting of the year, so the first half was mainly just the club executives introducing themselves and explaining why we should all be in the club. Then a few of us who've been meeting together discussed why the students (specifically freshmen) should be going to the career fair and getting internships. My part was about how to prepare for the career fair and be professional. So another guy and I talked about how to dress, how to control "intangibles" (like handshakes, smiling, eye contact), and things of that nature. I thought it went well. Mr. Owens went and he had a lot of good advice to add. After it was over I talked with some of the other students about our internships and we compared notes a little bit. It was interesting to hear their experiences and to swap stories.
After I got home I attempted to do some work, but my brain was fried. After making no progress I stopped trying. I did a lot of work today and my brain was quite ready to be done. Yup!
So now I'm off to bed. Good night!
After class I went to my office to work on the take home quiz for Foley's class. It wasn't too bad. Then I had lunch with Timbo and Paul. I took a sandwich instead of a salad because I didn't have a lot of lettuce left. It's hard to take a salad when I only pack a lunch twice a week because when I'm at home, it's just easier to eat left overs or something. Oh well. Hopefully at some point I can get back to eating salads.
After class I came home whereupon Kimmy and I cleaned up a little bit. Timbo and Paul came over for dinner! Paul wants to get better at cooking, so I showed him how I make chicken and rice. It's a nice easy meal that is quite tasty. So they helped me cook dinner. During dinner we talked about getting jobs and I kind of explained my perspective on how wages work. In a corporate office, you are often paid for a number of things. It could be expertise needed for the job (whether it's formal education or specific training), it could be how much other people like or dislike doing that job, or it could be how much of your life this job consumes. If you have a job that requires you to only put in your 8 hours then go home and only requires an associate's degree, you won't be paid as much (generally) as someone who had to have a PhD in some area and is required to travel every other weekend. In the case of executives, they get paid 6 or 7 figure salaries because they are getting paid to not have a life outside of work. They could be putting in 14 or so hour days 6 days a week... and probably even doing some work on the seventh day. Not many people have that expertise, that desire to devote their entire life into work, or the will to give up their entire personal life for work. Some people really want to do that. Personally, I'd prefer to get a decent job and enjoy my life.... not just watch my bank account grow but never use it.
Anyhow. After they went home I did some studying for a while. Then.... I was done. Kimmy and I ate some cheesecake and watched a TED talk. I applied for a couple of jobs! Hopefully I hear back from them... sometime!
I'm going to bed now. Good night!
During class we went over more of the same thing... determining how much data is needed for something to be considered "credible." It uses these big gross formulas that spits out a number which suggests that we need at least...say... 10,000 claims to say that our data is 100% credible. The more certain an insurance company is that the data does not contain any flukes, the more accurate the pricing can be.
In between classes we discussed the homework we were about to turn in and talked about some issues we'd had. Then we went to class and learned some more about pricing options when we suspect that the stock price is fluctuating. It gets messy.
After class I came home and made dinner with Kimmy. We had tacos! And they were quite yummy.
After dinner I went to a meeting with some people in the Actuarial Club. We're putting together a couple events throughout the semester to help freshman get acclimated to this field. On Wednesday I'm going to be assisting in a presentation on preparation for the career fair. I will be explaining some ways to prepare for the career fair, specifically how to dress and be professional.
When I got back Kimmy and I did some cleaning, then I finished up some work for class tomorrow and played a game with friends for a little bit to unwind from the long day.
And now I'm off to bed. Good night!
So this morning I decided to get up early and be productive before church. I think I'm getting old.... waking up early should never be a preferred option. But I did. I ran into a bit of an obstacle when I tried to write my blog and the internet wouldn't connect. So I had to copy everything I'd written into a text file, transfer that onto my phone, then copy the contents of the text file into the Blogger app. Unfortunately the Blogger app doesn't have any ability to change font or font size... so it looked kind of funny. Oh well!
After that I did some reading for the class I'm teaching. The next section *shouldn't* be too bed, but we'll see.
Kimmy and I went to church with Jessie and Richard. It was good. Pastor Mark talked about the book of Jude and about serving each other. I got a call from Comcast in the middle of the service. I didn't want to take it, but when I set up the appointment they informed me that if I missed any of their calls that they would have to cancel the appointment. So I quickly excused myself and took the call. I figured God would understand.
Jessie and Richard came over to our house for lunch, since we were waiting for the Comcast guy. They told us of their adventures in looking for a house. I do not envy them. Renting and setting up all of the utilities was enough of an adventure for me right now. And we ate cheesecake!
The serviceman came and fixed all of the things. So now we have working internet! And hopefully it doesn't stop working anytime soon.
I worked on homework this afternoon. It was buckets of fun. Part of the time I was re-writing my homework to make it legible to turn in. The rest of it was finishing the assignment. I want to go through it one more time just to make sure I understand everything.
After homework we ate some dinner, then went to go see Batman with friends! I saw it during my bachelor party, but it was also good the second time. Way good, in fact.
When we got back home I folded some laundry, made some rice, then we watched a TED talk.
And now it's time for bed! Good night!
After the farmer's market Kimmy got ready for her interview at Macy's. I gave her some interview tips, but I didn't think that she would be asked the same types of questions that I would be asked in my interviews. Oh well. After she left I went to finish the grocery shopping. We got back from our respective duties around the same time and ate lunch. Kimmy and I discussed her interview and in general she thought that it had gone well.
I went to the library for a couple of hours to do homework with some classmates. I got nearly all of it done and will be finishing it today. When I got home I wrote a few thank you cards while Kimmy made dinner.
After dinner we went to go visit our neighbors for a little bit. They were celebrating Shawn(or Shaun or Sean... however he spells it)'s birthday, so we stopped by to give him some cookies and say hi. So we stayed and talked with him and other people who were passing through the kitchen for a while. I had fun and I think Kimmy did as well. When we got back Kimmy played Minecraft and I did some grading. When I was done grading I went upstairs and played Team Fortress with some friends for a while. Then it was bedtime. Actually, we got in bed and realized that we were both really hungry. So we got a snack then went to bed.
Then I went to class. It was pretty uneventful. In between classes we went to the Atrium and we tried to do some homework, even though we all knew it wouldn't happen. Then we had our other class, which was my MFE course. It's going to be a lot of work, I believe.
When I got home I talked with Kimmy for a bit, then we made dinner. We just had leftovers. With bacon!
After dinner we went to Tim and Erin's for a bonfire with our friends in the Actuarial department. Kimmy made a cheesecake which a) looks really good and b) tastes amazing! It was a big hit.
We first tried playing badminton, but none of us really knew the rules. But I'm pretty sure that Kimmy and I won. Then we got some food and talked around the camp fire. It was fun. We had a pretty strict "no talking about math" policy, so we had to be careful about our topics of conversation. But it was good.
When we got back there was some excitement going on in the fairgrounds. Apparently there was some really big concert going on. Kimmy and I were going to go over there, but tickets were $15 a person. Hurumph. It was my kind of music and everything! Money is dumb. So then Kimmy watched Lost and I played a game. And then we went to bed. The end.
This morning started out fine. Apparently Kimmy was quite awake when I got up, so we had breakfast together. I made my lunch and was out the door by about 8:35. I needed to print some things off before class.
When I got to the library I tried to print to a printer that did not have a line, since I had many hand outs. Well, as soon as I started printing there was a line. So four people had to wait about 5 minutes for my printing to be done. Oh well!
Class went fine. Things started off really well, but then at the end I made an error and things just kept going downhill. I botched and explanation, one of my students (very respectfully) corrected me, and then I was just really worried that I'd totally confused everyone. The problem with teaching is that if you mess up, there's not much of a fall back plan.
After class I went to my office, did a little work on Blackboard for my class, then did some homework for my MFE class. The problems are hard and true to form, the Actex manual is less than helpful. I really really wish that we had been assigned a different book. But we didn't, so I'll just try to make the best of it. Timbo and I worked through some problems in my office for a while, then went to our Time Series and Regression class. That went decently. Our professor has been going through an introduction of Time Series and Regression this week, so hopefully next week we'll actually get into the material.
When I got home Kimmy and I discussed our days for a little bit, then we went to the store to get some Terriaki sauce for our stir-fry. We started dinner upon return. And we used our new wok! I was happy with how it turned out.
After dinner Kimmy helped me proof-read my resume. There were about 9 job postings on the school website so I applied for all of them. There were a couple in Indiana, one in Illinois, one in Connecticut, one in Kentucky, and one in Wisconsin. So we'll see if this goes anywhere!
Kimmy and I went to get Berry Winkle with Jessie and Richard. It was fun. I gave them an update on my first week of school and Jessie told us about some of the fun she's been having at work this week. We are all tentatively going to the farmer's market together on Saturday! Yay!
When we got home I did more job-related things.... ew. Then we got a snack and watched some TED talks. And now it's bed time. Good night!
In today's saga, I got up and read for class during breakfast. Then I did some lesson prep for teaching tomorrow. I think I have everything done, but I'm going to give it one last look tomorrow morning.
Since it is Kimmy's birthday today, she slept in a little bit. Actually, she got up around 9:30 so she really didn't sleep in that late.
Unfortunately I had to go to class, even though it was Kimmy's birthday. Harumph. But class went fine, I suppose. One of my classes is going to be a lot of work, so tomorrow I'm going to do a lot of reading and problems for that.
After class I came home and finished working on my lesson for tomorrow. Specifically I wanted to make an assignment for them to do over the weekend. Since this chapter is on routes and things, I made a map of Muncie on Google Maps and have then doing a few different things. I'm hoping it a) helps them understand this material and its necessity in real life and b) gets them (especially the freshmen) a little more familiar with Muncie.
Since today is Kimmy's birthday, we celebrated! First we went to Wal-mart to get her birthday present (which she'd already guessed... but she's hard to surprise). Then we went to Family Video to get a movie. We then initiated one of our favorite date rituals: the Fat Date. A Fat Date is one where we get an order of Chinese food, a pizza from Little Caesar's, a movie, and ice cream. Not only is it awesome, but it's less than $20 for both of us! And that's a pretty good deal, I'd say.
So after acquiring all of the necessary foods and such, we came back and watched our movie during dinner. My stomach hurt afterwards, but it was so excellent. After the movie we played video games for the rest of the evening. And now we're going to go eat ice cream and watch a TED talk!
In the morning I got ready and went to school. It was my first day of teaching, so I wanted to get there early to print off some papers for class. After I printed everything off I got to class about half an hour early. At 15 minutes until the beginning of class there were already about 10 students there. I made sure that I greeted each student as he/she entered the room. The room was pretty full by about 9:25, so I thought I would try to break the ice a little bit. I asked them if 9:30 was still considered early by college standards and they all agreed that it was. So then I asked what an acceptable time would be and after some thought they collectively decided that 10:30 is no longer considered "early." They're silly. Anyhow, after the obligatory syllabus overview I had them do a "get to know each other" activity that had them get in groups of 4 and exchange names, majors, dream jobs, first thoughts on the class, and then come up with a question to ask me. I thought it went well. Most of the students seemed to be enjoying themselves. The most unique question I received was the following: "You are stranded on a desert island with a flair gun, a rope making kit, and a volleyball. How do you get off the island?" They're funny. Once I started teaching the actual lesson, I thought that went decently. Unfortunately a lot of these lessons just involve a lot of vocabulary, so it's hard to get much involvement. But I'll do my best.
After class I talked with Mr. Owens for a little bit about his opinion on my exam schedule. I'd been thinking about putting off MLC until the spring and working on getting some other requirements out of the way. He thought that sounded like a good idea. That way I can give myself a longer period of time to study. So after class I registered for another course. And life is so much less stressful!
My new class is at 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I came home, ate lunch, did some things around here, and went back to school. The class went fine. It is a mixed class with Actuarial Science people and Statistics people, so I'm hoping it doesn't get too technical.
When I got home I started making dinner. It was something I'd made before, called Hamburger Stuff. And we had corn on the cob.
It turned out ok. The corn was amazing, the hamburger stuff was a bit bland. I'd like to try it again with more seasoning sometime.
After dinner I did some lesson prep for a couple of hours. Then I played Team Fortress with Becky and Miles, watched a TED talk with Kimmy, and then we watched an episode of Firefly. Since today is Kimmy's birthday, we were champs and stayed up until midnight, then promptly fell asleep.
This morning started with the normal things. During breakfast I read some more of my textbook. It made a lot more sense the second time through. Since it is mainly a continuation of my financial math course, it will take some time to get back into the language of finance.
After reading I studied some more. Today I just did review problems.
I met some of my classmates for lunch at Pita Pit before class. There were about 6 of us that showed up. We had fun. We talked a little bit about our summers and who all was not coming back to school and just... whatever came to find. Then we went to class.
My first class was my Actuarial Models course with Dr. Foley. We went over the syllabus and he summarized some of the things that we'd be doing in class this semester. I realized that I have done some of these things already in my time at Central, which is neat.
In between classes I tried to get some administrative work done. I'd wanted to get my Blackboard page set up, but there were some technical difficulties with that. So I went to the math department and they tried to help me out. Unfortunately, the new Blackboard system and a couple of other new systems that Ball State is using are not cooperating and I haven't been able to get things working. Yarg. Oh well!
My second class was with the new professor, Mr. Owen. I think he will be a good fit into the department. He's new to teaching, but he did a good job today. He is teaching my Financial Economics course.
After class I came home. Kimmy and I made corn chowder! It turned out really well. We used corn that we'd gotten at the farmer's market, which I feel like made a lot of difference. We both really liked it.
I went back to school after dinner for a meeting. I met with some other actuarial students to discuss a some things we'd like to put together for the freshman and sophomore actuarial science majors. So I met with them for an hour or so and we made some good progress.
When I came home I studied some more, watched the last part of an episode of Firefly, then finished working on my calendar. This time included when I study and do lesson prep. It is very full. :(
And now it is time for bed. Good night, all.
I got up early to do some studying. So I studied and ate and everything. Then Kimmy and I went to church. Today the pastor talked about how wrong it is to hang on to a belief that keeping some mystical list of "dos and dont's" will get us into heaven. It's easy to maintain a list of absolute rights and wrongs. It's much harder to unconditionally love our neighbors... and enemies. I really like that Mark (our pastor) is very up front about how important it is to do certain things. He doesn't suggest that we love people... he is very adamant about how we have to do it. He does that for other things too, like when something is going on at church. Pastor Mark stresses how important it is to be at church functions and grow as a community. Quote: "I know you're sitting there thinking about how busy you are and don't have time. You know what? Make time. This is important and you all need to be here." He certainly is not passive or shy in his beliefs, and I really like that.
After church mom and dad came to visit! They brought us their green couch and had lunch with us. Mom gave us an update from Primrose and dad told us about some of the things that have been going on with his team. I was glad that they were able to come visit.
After lunch I studied for a little bit, but then realized that nothing was sticking. So I got some coffee, took an hour break, then got back at it. I hate how addicting coffee is... but it's just so effective at keeping me focused and thinking clearly.
Tomorrow is a review day for my studying. I really like that my study manual has those built in.
Kimmy and I had a late dinner, then I did some more studying when we got back. I also read for class tomorrow, but I plan on reading it again tomorrow morning. The book for my Financial Economics course uses a textbook that was also used for my Financial Math class/exam. It's not a very good book, but it's pretty much the only one out there that covers this specific material. I say that it's not good because the author tried to write it for both MBA students and mathematicians. To be fair, that's a very difficult task. I think my issue is that it's too mathematically technical for most MBA students to really understand, but it is not consistent with commonly accepted mathematical notation for me to readily grasp it. Many of it's definitions are often unclear and the examples tend to confuses the matter even more. And the practice problems (once you understand the material) are often just trivial and not near the caliber necessary for exam preparation.
I would like to sit down with the author for a mid-afternoon lunch or tea and discuss some of the issues I have with his text book. He has a lot of great information hidden in that book, but I just wish to help him make it more apparent. We would sit at an outdoor cafe, eating the soup and sandwich special while a young barista refilled our coffee when necessary. Yes, I believe that McDonald and I could make some good headway on this.
Anyhow. Reading was fine. I also finished up my lesson for Tuesday, I believe.
Then I played a game with Miles... and now it's time for bed. Good night!
After my shower I got Kimmy up and made us breakfast. Then we went to the farmer's market! We got there pretty early because we didn't know how busy it would be or anything. When we got there we just took a few minutes to walk around and see everything. There was a vendor who stopped us to ask if we'd tried the best barbecue sauce in the world (I don't actually remember what he said, but it was probably something like that). So we tried his sauce and it was quite tasty. We decided to get a jar. Partially because it was good, partially because the guy was just awesome. Then we got some vegetables and such. I was going to get eggs, but I'm not quite ready to commit to spending twice what I regularly pay on eggs. I'm sure that they're a lot bigger.... maybe sometime.
After the market we stopped at home to drop off the food. Then we went to Wal-mart for some other things. We learned that even though the trash cans and lids are stored on different shelves, you cannot buy them separately. Just so you know. We tried. After Wal-mart we stopped back at home so that Kimmy could fill out her Aldi application. Then we finished our grocery shopping at Aldi.
I made lunch when we got home, then did some studying. After I'd studied for a while I worked on other school things... like putting my syllabus together, getting my Google Calendar all set up, and working on my lesson plan. I have it pretty well done, I believe.
We had left overs for dinner. Then we looked at some recipes that we want to try in the near future for cookies and such tasty things. Kimmy and I have decided to try one new recipe each week. Hopefully that works out well.
I played some TF2 with friends for a while. Then Kimmy and I took a walk through the park near our house. It was really nice. It's the same park that held the farmer's market. We'll definitely be going back there.
When we got back we made a cookie run. Kimmy really wanted cookies, so we went to Marsh and got a pack. Then we ate them! Well, we ate a few of them. After cookies we played some video games... then went to bed. The end.
After studying and things we got lunch. I made some sandwiches that I fried on the stove. On a semi-related note, I'm a bit confused on something with regards to cooking. What is the act of cooking something with a skillet? "Frying" is commonly associated with "deep frying," which is heating food by use of a lot of oil. "Grilling" is associated with using a grill or (according to Wikipedia) a griddle. Technically most of what I do is sauteing, since I usually use just enough oil to keep the food from sticking to the skillet (or just as a general cooking agent). But it would sound silly to say that I sauteed us some sandwiches. And it's tedious and weird to say that I made skillet-fried sandwiches.
Anyhow. The repair guy came during lunch with our washer and dryer. He was supposed to have help, but I guess help never came. So he just did it all himself. About a third of the time was just him taking the necessary doors and railings off to move the machines up and down the stairs. I did not envy him.
I went to a meeting for all of the graduate assistants this afternoon. It was fine. We all got packets of information so we just went over those. Then I stayed around for a little bit to talk with some other people from the department.
When I got home we started making dinner. I made a meatloaf! And used my favorite ingredient: cinnamon. It turned out really well (I thought). Jessie stopped by on her way to Findlay with Kimmy and my laundry. We'd left it there last night since it wasn't done when we had to leave.
After dinner Kimmy and I watched the first episode of Firefly. I liked it. Kimmy fell asleep, so she didn't enjoy the show quite as much as I did. Oh well.
I played a game on my computer with Becky and Miles, Kimmy did... something on her computer. Whatever it is that she does, she did it! And now it's bed time. Good night!
My alarm went off at 8, but I was still pretty tired. I stayed in bed for just a couple more blinks... and then it was 9. The service man was supposed to get there at 9:30, so I figured that I should get up. For his arrival. In the mean time, I got breakfast, studied, and wrote a couple thank you cards.
When the service guy got here he fixed the stove and is going to get us a different washer, dryer, bathroom faucet, and doorbell. I'm not sure when all of that will happen, but I think it will be soon?
Most of the afternoon was spent studying and writing thank you cards. I also made a really tasty snack.
It looks gross, but it was amazing. I fried bananas in peanut butter and butter, then topped it with cinnamon. Kimmy and I decided that we should use that as pie filling sometime.
We went to dinner at Jessie and Richard's. Jessie made a beef and noodle dish. It was pretty good. Richard told us a little bit about his new job and Jessie told us about some of the....neat aspects of working at a hospital. After dinner we went to Berry Winkle! We had fun with them.
When we got back we didn't really do anything productive. Kimmy watched a show on Netflix and I played a game. Then we went to bed. The end!
After we woke up Kimmy and I cleaned the kitchen some more. We were having Tim and Erin over for lunch, so we figured we shouldn't have dishes all over the place. I hadn't thought about it at the time, but the lunch I made was pretty heavy for a lunch. I still thought it was good though.
I was actually pretty impressed with how the green beans turned out and I'll probably do them again sometime. I cooked them with onion, pepper, and garlic salt.
But lunch was fun. We exchanged some stories of our renting experiences (because Kimmy and I have had so many). They also told us about some things to do in Muncie. Apparently there is a farmer's market just down the street from us, as well as a butcher. Kimmy and I are going to go down to the farmer's market on Saturday! It will be fun. Also, there is a smoothie place call The Island. Apparently some guy took a little shack and made it all beach-y and such. We're going to have to check that out as well.
After lunch Kimmy and I cleaned up, then started working on thank you cards. It's going to take a while... but they'll get done. I only have about 23 more to go!
Then... we went to go clean the dryer. You see, the last tenants here apparently decided to put wood chips in the dryer. So the inside of our dryer had about 4 billion wood chips in it. We spent about an hour trying to get them out. Not only were there loose chips in there, but there were also some places where it had solidified onto the dryer. We had to use steel wool and a putty knife to get it off. After we'd gotten most of it off, we decided to put a couple washcloths in there to get all the loose chips.
And the dryer wouldn't start. Yay.
I did a little studying after that. My book is split up into 65 sections, so my goal is to do one or more each day. I've been staying on track thus far. I'm going to try to double up a few days so that I can get some extra study days in there for reviewing, but we'll see.
We had left overs for dinner. Then after dinner we cleaned up and played some games on our computers. And we made milkshakes!
There were pretty tasty.
And now it is bed time. Good night!
Yesterday morning started with me going to a meeting for GTAs (Graduate Teaching Assistants) that was run by the Office for Educational Excellence. It was pretty well. We talked about some strategies for working with students as well as some technical details for putting syllabi and things together. I rode my bike to school and it's definitely an easy ride. I will absolutely be using that as my main means of transportation. While I was gone the service guy came to fix the stove and dryer. He was also supposed to fix the doorbell and do something about the cat poop in the basement (like figure out if there were still animals downstairs). He kind of fixed the doorbell and cleaned up the cat poop, but determining whether there is an animal he left on us. After some experimentation the doorbell works if we put the receiver in the kitchen, but no where else.
After that Kimmy and I ran some more errands. We did our first grocery shopping! We also picked up our internet modem from the Comcast tent at Best Buy. When we got back we put groceries away, then I went about setting up our modem. That was an adventure. The first time I plugged it in and called Comcast, they could not get a signal from the modem. So I plugged it in at two other places in the house, but none of them worked. I had to schedule for a service call on Monday and it would cost $60. I was not amused. Kimmy and I went to the basement to examine where all the cables went. We were thinking that perhaps there was a problem that we could fix? So we looked at the absolute mess of cables in the basement. There is an 8-way splitter, so we took the next half hour trying to figure out which ones were important and which were even connected properly. After concluding that everything was in place, we took the modem back upstairs and tried to plug it in the living room again. After waiting for an eternity it finally started working! Huzzah!
So we celebrated the fruits of our labor by eating dinner and taking a break to enjoy having internet. Which turned into Kimmy getting a sudden burst of motivation and going on an organizing frenzy. So at this point all of our rooms look livable and some of them even look really good!
Later on I did some more studying. Then Kimmy and I watched a movie, followed by bed. The end.
The new house survived our first full day here! This morning I got up to wait for the water company. I got some breakfast, studied, and cleaned up a bit. We had to go two blocks down the street to use a bathroom. It was bad. But thankfully they came right after 11 and got our water hooked up. Yay!
After a quick lunch we went to Starbucks with Tim. He was doing some work for his internship, I studied for MLC, and Kimmy did some job searching. We were there for a couple hours, then went to run some errands.
After some successful errands, we returned home and worked on straightening the kitchen. We have our kitchens and dining room pretty well set, now we're working on the living room and office.
We started to get dinner ready when we discovered that our oven is not working. So Kimmy worked some magic and made spaghetti in the microwave! She's pretty awesome like that. Our landlord is coming tomorrow morning to fix the oven.
After dinner we cleaned the kitchen up some more, then started on the office. I think we should be pretty well done by the end of the week? We'll see!
We had planned on watching a movie... But Kimmy's TV stole the DVD and won't give it back. So we just ate ice cream.
It's been pretty exciting to live in a new place that actually feels like it's ours. I know it's not... But this is so different from the typical feeling of just occupying some dorm or apartment owned by the University or whatever. I have a feeling of ownership. And it's strange, but pretty neat.
That's it for now. We're hoping to give you all a video tour soon, but I'll keep you posted on how that's going.
Well. We're in our new house! Yesterday morning we packed up and left for Muncie.
It feels so weird to be renting a house with Kimmy. It's awesome, but it's still sinking in that we're married and living together... And that we don't have to go our separate ways on a couple weeks or months. But I'm sure it will all become normal soon.
So we spent the afternoon unpacking. Mon and dad made a trip to Walmart to get some food, then Jessie and Richard came over for lunch. Kimmy's parents stopped by for a little bit on their way to Springfield.
Mom and dad went over to Jessie's apartment to get a couple loads of things, then they went home. So Kimmy just did some more unpacking. Later on we made a trip to Macy's to try to get things off of our registry with gift cards.
After dinner we made one last trip to Jessie's apartment and got the last bit of our belongings. After we'd unpacked back at our house, our landlord came by to go through all the paperwork and get some money from me.
We also made a Walmart run. We'd narrowed our registry down to the most important things (like silverware) and got those. So now we begin the massive unpacking!
And hopefully someone comes to turn our water on this morning. That would be great!
So I packed this morning, then I went to dad's soccer game at 11. I don't know who they were playing, but it was a good game. It was much colder than I had anticipated, so I only stayed for the first half. But his team did a good job.
After soccer I came home and got some lunch. Then Kimmy and I went to run some errands. First we went to Wal-mart to get a binder for my study manual. My MLC study manual came in the mail today... it's kind of ridiculous.
This is going to be so much fun!
Anyhow, after Wal-mart we picked up my car from the Kia dealership, then went to go see the grandfolks for a bit. We talked about Kimmy and my trip to New York and about their trips together. I was glad that we could go see them, since we hadn't really gotten much of a chance to talk with them at the wedding and last week was so crazy. But we visited with them for a while and had fun!
When we got home there was more packing. Woo. But it all got done, so that's good.
Mom and dad brought a frozen pizza home for dinner. And it was really good! It was almost as good as the pizza in New York :)
Let's see. After dinner we... you guessed it: packed some more. I was able to get rid of a decent number of things, but there's always that box or three that you have a hard time getting rid of. But there is room for now, so I can deal with those later.
Well, this is my last update in Findlay for a while. And possibly my last update from a computer for a week or so (but hopefully less). We're going to wait until we move in to find an Internet Service Provider, since there are usually really good deals at the start of the semester. So... here's hoping for good deals!
So long, Findlay. We'll hang out again soon, I'm sure.
I also took my car to the Kia dealership to have them look at a couple things. Driving to New York and back made me aware of a couple issues.
And! Jeremy posted some of the pictures from the wedding! You can see them here: http://kesterimagery.passgallery.com/event/6pjps119171
Let's see.... I did some more packing.... then Kimmy and I made chicken and rice for dinner. I just used cinnamon to spice the chicken. It was really good, but it didn't have enough flavor. Next time I might try letting it sit in a cinnamon/brown sugar marinade of some sort. We also made yellow rice and Kimmy ate way too much. As in... she had a hard time moving afterwards. She is funny.
Then more packing. It was neat.
After all of the packing, I played Team Fortress with Jared for a little bit. But I was pretty tired and I still have a lot of work today, so then I went to bed. The end!
We left the hotel in New Jersey around 10:30. Then commenced driving back to Ohio. I tell you what... New Jersey is an awful place to drive. It seems that there are nice areas to live, but driving there is atrocious. You can't turn left, the toll roads make the highways undrivable, and the drivers assume that they're the only ones on the road. I came to the realization that there are two types of drivers in New Jersey: those who disrupt the flow of traffic and those who are visiting New Jersey. The worst part was when our 4 lane highway split into about 10 toll booths... then merged back into two lanes of highway. One of which went north while the other went south. It was a nightmare. I was able to get into the toll booth that was directly in front of the lane I needed to end up in, as we figured that I had the best chance of getting into the proper lane. Things were going fine... slowly but fine. Then the two lanes next to me started getting closer and closer until they merged right in front of me and cut me off. It was a mess. I was eventually able to nose my way into the line of traffic, but it was all just awful.
We finally got out of New Jersey (praise God) and got into Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania isn't bad, there's just a lot of it. And it's boring. And there aren't a lot of stops on the turnpike. But we made it.
Around the time we got into Ohio I was starting to get jittery. I'd had a large coffee, a 5 hour energy, and Mountain Dew. And it was storming. But we survived. When we got to Findlay we dropped Jasmine off at her hotel and came home. We talked with mom and dad for a bit, then just went to bed. It had been a long day.
Pizza! I think it was my favorite thus far. Most of the people there had some pretty significant Italian culture. It was great.
After pizza we walked along the boardwalk for a little bit, but we didn't have much time left before we needed to get going. We did see Nathan's hot dogs!
But we didn't get to stop. Hurumph.
The plan was to pick up Jasmine (the daughter of Kimmy's mom's friend) and bring her back to Findlay with us. The daughter's parents are in need of some medical assistance, so they thought it would be really helpful if they could all be together for a while. So we offered to take her as far as we could.
We'd been making pretty good time... until traffic. There was a car wreck and we got stuck in traffic for about an hour and a half. Gross. But we made it a little later than we'd anticipated and got her all packed up. Then it was off to stay with Nick!
Oh, and apparently the shoulder is a completely usable lane for traffic in New Jersey. Driving here is awesome.
More traffic. Our hour and 45 minute trip to Nick turned into 3 hours. Blarg.
But we made it. And we went to dinner at Chili's when we arrived. We all got hamburgers, then Nick wanted to hear all of the details about our trip. So dinner was good and fun and all of that.
We got Jasmine checked into her room. Then we just sat around and talked about all of the awesome and silly things we could conjure up. Yeah, that's about it. Back on the road in a little bit today!
The day started with breakfast. Our hostess made us fruit bowls and juice to start. I think the fruit bowl alone would have filled Kimmy up. Then she brought us eggs and hash browns and bread. It was all really good. Over breakfast I asked her how she ended up in New York. So she explained how she's started in Poland in the 40s, then she and her husband snuck out to Austria where they were able to get visas and come to the states. She went to the embassy and they set up an interview for her doing interior design. She then worked her way up and ended up doing some architecture work, including one of Donald Trump's first buildings. Eventually she wound up buying some homes and renting them out.... then she opened an antique store... and now she's running a bed and breakfast! It was fun to talk with her.
After breakfast we got ready for the day and made a plan for our traveling. We drove to the ferry, took the ferry to Manhattan, then took the subway north so that we could go to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It was pretty cool. The first exhibit was my favorite because it was a collection of designs for solving problems that are either present or will be in the near future. For instance: an emergency living structure (basically a specifically designed plastic bag) that was made to go over a building's heat/air conditioning vent. This provides a homeless person with protection from the elements and heat/cold air. Another one was a way to enhance the human digestive system in the event that all usable food runs out and we are forced to eat things that our systems cannot currently handle.
These were ways to save space in an over-populated city. It's a bed/living room/closet all in one! There were a lot of other exhibits, but those were more of Kimmy's thing. They were fine, but I think that it would have been hard to top the first exhibit (for me).
After MoMA we went to dinner! Sunday's place was called Ray's pizza. Monday's was called the Little Italy Pizza Kitchen... or something like that.
After dinner we walked through Time Square... and I took another picture!
There was so much going on. People were dressed up as all sorts of different characters..... I think I saw Elmo, Cookie Monster, Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Woody, and some others. Kimmy got a picture of the Naked Cowboy. He was funny. After leaving Time Square we went to the High Line.
The High Line (I believe) used to be a train system, similar to Chicago's L system. It has since been abandoned and is now an elevated walking path. It was really cool. We got some neat pictures, which I will now show you.
I liked this last one because there wasn't anything going on here.... people were just sitting and watching. Not watching anything in particular, just watching. We also saw a billboard (which we did not document) which something like "NYC: accepting of your beliefs, judgmental of your shoes." It was funny. We also got some gellato! We left the High Line around 8:30 and then went back to the subway and ferry. We did a lot of walking/standing yesterday.... it was about 2 miles from MoMA to the beginning of the High Line, then another mile and a half along the High Line. And then another half mile to a mile to the subway. Along with 2 hours of walking through MoMA. I was quite ready to sit down and not wear shoes at the end.
Yesterday Kimmy and I stayed with Nick at his place in New Jersey. The floor was significantly more comfortable than I would have imagined. For breakfast Kimmy had the rest of her Subway sandwich (at the time I'd suggested that it's worth the money to buy a foot long and save the other half for left-overs). After we got a decent idea of what was going on we left for New York! It was only an hour and a half to our bed and breakfast. An hour and a half... and $17 in tolls. Just crossing the bridge cost $12. It was dumb.
We got to our B&B at noon and after being a little confused on how to get in we got a tour. It was confusing because there was a little sun room/covered patio at the front of the house and it was unlocked. I knocked (and didn't see a doorbell) but no one answered. We walked into the sun room and knocked on the other door. No one answered. Then we walked inside the house and called for someone... eventually the lady came in the front door behind us. Thankfully she wasn't offended or anything by our being confused. The lady in charge is really really nice.
Here is a picture of our room! And we're allowed to use the refrigerator to keep our food cold.
After we got all situated and got a plan together we set off for the Staten Island ferry. Parking is free on Sunday and the ferry is always free! That was nice. I also learned just how fantastic Google Maps is. When we got off the ferry I pulled Google Maps up on my phone and searched for directions from the ferry to the Museum of Modern Art, via public transit. It gave walking directions to the Subway station, it told us which subway to take (and in what direction), then told us what to do after we got off. It even gave us options depending on when we were leaving. It was great.
We found the museum, but it was 4:30 when we got there. And it closes at 5:30. It seemed silly to pay $13 per ticket for an hour of museum, so we opted to come back some other time. There was a little gift shop across the street where we bought a couple souvenirs. Kimmy got a sleep-mask (is that actually a souvenir?) and we got a deck of cards that has a map of New York City on it! We're going to put all the cards together and put them in a frame. It will look awesome.
We had a couple hours to kill before our next event, so we found a little pizza place. They had a menu, but basically you just went to the counter and pointed at what you wanted (because it was very loud and English was not the primary spoken language). It was cheap though. We payed more to get across the bridge on the toll road than we did for dinner.
And there's dinner!
We still had another hour, so we went to Central Park for a little bit. Even though it was really hot (and it had been all day) it was nice. We walked around for a bit, then watched a softball game. I thought it was really cool that there were so many people doing all sorts of things. There was a huge playground, lots of walking paths, benches and rocks to sit on, a baseball diamond, lots of trees... and we only saw a small portion of it.
It was cool to be able to just go to a park and see a softball game!
We left the park and then went to Radio City Theater to see Cirque du Soleil: Zarkana! Ahhhhhh! It was so cool! We got a little confused at the beginning because we'd purchased tickets beforehand but since we didn't have a printer we opted to just pick them up at the ticket booth. There was a line for people who had their tickets, but (as we learned) not for people who had purchased tickets but opted to pick them up at the booth. But we figured it out. The people there were very good at directing traffic and knew how to efficiently handle thousands of people. It was really helpful because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. But we made it!
It was a lot of fun. It was about 90 minutes long and there were so many acts, but it was great. My favorite acts were the juggling, the Ultimo-Hula Hoops, and the Guy Who Was Super-Gymnast. Expert Jugglers have always fascinated me because I understand the basics of juggling (and can juggle a little bit), so when I see someone who is really good I can only imagine how difficult it is for them to do these ridiculous feats. For some of the other things... it's so outlandish that I can't even fathom how hard it is. It's not tangible enough for me to think about it even being possible. Like the guy who was jumping rope on this huge rotating device. It looked like an hour-glass that was rotating... but each of the sand glass things was a circle. So he was on the outside of the circle jumping rope. It's hard to explain. But something like that is just too crazy for me to begin to understand it. And the fact that he tripped twice but kept trying it! He was easily 100 feet in the air (and I didn't see a harness or anything) but he kept trying it. The music was great, there was a perfect mix of astonishing and funny acts, the lighting was perfect. I think that's what I'd always imagined about Cirque du Soleil: immaculate attention to detail. Every detail. The stage would have looked fine if it was plain wood... but it wasn't. It had elaborate designs on it. Doing a one-handed handstand is impressive... but he had to be tilting to the side AND taking his shirt off. While keeping his feet pointed. Every detail mattered. And even though there were lots of scenes where there were people dancing or whatever in the background and I wasn't focusing on them, it was important that they were there because it would have looked empty if no one was there. And the peripheral visual stimulus was necessary for this perfection they were seeking. And in my opinion... they did it. My only regret was not reading the story beforehand. But that in no way detracted from my experience. A++ would see again.
It was raining when we left, but only a little bit. We got to our subway... but I got confused and picked the wrong way. I figured we could just ride it to the end and then head back. But then I realized how long it would be... so Kimmy figured out how to get on another subway and we went in the right direction. Then took the ferry home. It was a long, hot day... but it was so much fun.