Monthly Archives: December 2011

The end of the year, and other exciting news

I was debating whether to even write a goodbye to 2011 post, for almost a day now. I’ve been back and forth, and mainly decided to do one, just to express myself and my thoughts on 2011. 2011 wasn’t a great year for me and my family. I had a lot of health problems, and my family had a lot of financial problems overall. Good things happened too such as that I got a new job, which I absolutely love, and this year marks my last full year as an undergrad.  I think what I am most excited for is the start of the new year, of 2012, and of new beginnings.

In other exciting news, I am going to Disneyland to hear my favorite band perform. Their name is Suburban Legends. If you haven’t heard of them, they are an amazing Ska band. You can check out their facebook page here. This band puts on an amazing stage show, and I can’t wait to see them again tonight. You guys rock!

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Life Decisions and the Magic 8 Ball

I wish all decisions could be made using a Magic 8 ball. All of life’s complicated decisions wouldn’t be decisions anymore. For example “Will the U.S. ever not be in debt?” Answer: “Outlook not so good.” “Will I become a multi-millionare for inventing the world’s best invention?” Answer: “You may rely on it.”  In theory, this sounds wonderful, although realistically it just wouldn’t make sense to rely on a ball made of plastic to determine major life decisions such as whether we should remove troops from Iraq, or even whether to eat ice cream before dinner.

Right now, in this stage of my life, I’m deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know I want to work with kids, most likely in an educational setting. Where it gets tricky is knowing what to do. For about 6 years now, I’ve wanted to do something with Counseling. At first I wanted to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, then a School Psychologist, and now a School Counselor. I have talked to a few Graduate Schools and other people who are currently School Counselors, and everyone tells me that the job outlook and current job market for School Counselors is terrible. So if I went through the program, there may not be a job when i graduate.

On the other hand, being an instructional aide for moderate to severe special education right now, I know that I may want to teach special education later in life. This is something I really never saw myself doing, but now that I work in special education, it’s becoming more of a reality. The students that i work with teach me so much about myself, and I know I would enjoy working with them to make their lives better.

So now comes the hard part: The decision. Should I go to Grad School for Special Education, or School Counseling. My passion in life is School Counseling, but there are no jobs. I also really love Special Education, but it isn’t my passion. I could do both, but that’s a lot of time and money. Also if I get my teaching credential first, i couldn’t do the hours needed for my masters in counseling. and if i do counseling first, i couldn’t get my student teaching hours in! All of these decisions make me want to pull my hair out!

Magic 8 Ball, I need you!!

Magic 8 Ball

The story of my life...

The Reason for the Season

For many people, Christmas involves waking up in the morning, smelling the rich aromas of food cooking, running down the hallway, and seeing the presents around your tree. When you were little, you probably ran up and tore open the biggest present you could find, squealing with excitement over that really cool toy that all the cool kids had. Now, you may wait for your kids to open their presents first, or, if you don’t have any kids, and are like me, run up and tear open your presents like a kid when you’re 21.

But what is Christmas really about anyway? It’s not about the presents, although those are nice to give and receive, It’s not about Santa, although he is pretty awesome. It’s not about the holiday feast with turkey or ham, and all the fixings, although it is delicious. it’s not about trees, snowmen, stockings, carols, angels, or mistletoe.

Christmas is in fact about Christ. Christ is even in the name. Christ-mas. In spanish, that would be More Christ (More = mas) Well, not exactly but close enough. Christmas has become so commercialized over the years, to where people lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. Even if you aren’t a Christian, you can still celebrate Christmas. You don’t have to believe that Jesus Christ is lord, but you can still believe there was a man named Jesus Christ who was born on Christmas Day. If you’ve never read the Christmas story, I have copied it below from here. It is truly a wonderful story. Give it a read!

       This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

–Matthew 1:18 – 2:23 New International Version

    

Hi, my name is Alyssa, i’m white, and I can’t dance.

Hi, my name is Alyssa, i’m white, and I can’t dance.

Well, actually i should clarify that statement. I can dance as long as it doesn’t involve some crazy feet moving concept. Like for instance, I can do ballroom dancing. Nice, fluid motions.

However, if you want me to do any sort of dance where the feet move at a faster pace. WATCH OUT. Wednesday night, I went dancing at this place called InCahoots in Fullerton. It’s a country bar but they also play some other music and people do awesome looking line dances to them. Anyway, I went with a group of  friends, and we decide to wait until they have an instruction on how to do the dances, since none of us really know how to line dance. I start following the dance instructor, and i get to the second combination of steps. It went something like right, behind, cross, heel, left, behind, heel cross.  Basically it involved a significant amount of steps in a short period of time. And that was when they were going slow.  When they sped the moves up and added music i thought my legs were going to fall off. Not only that, i was missing steps so much that i was bumping into everyone around me. I’m pretty sure i took out a few people in the course of the night.

And don’t even get me started on Dance Dance Revolution.I love that game, but the most i can do is standard on some songs. I usually stay in light. But then i watch those people who hold DDR champion titles and you watch their feet move 50 miles an hour. My jaw just drops and stays there.

Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Shopping

Here is my list of do’s and don’ts for the holiday season. This includes black friday, valentines day, halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas. Pretty much any holiday that is commercialized.

DO:

  • Plan for long lines – Aka, leave an extra hour or two at the end of when you plan to be done just to accomodate for long lines/traffic etc.
  • Wear comfy shoes – So if you’re standing in the return line at Walmart for 19 minutes and 30 seconds, then at least your feet won’t die. This also comes in handy for the mile walk back to the farthest parking spot in the lot.
  • Bring snacks if you plan on shopping all day – It beats having to pay extra money for snacks, and cuts down on horribly caloric snacks.
  • Let people go in front of you when you are driving –  It won’t slow you down that much, and it probably saved them their sanity.
  • Tip better at restaurants –  Think of it as them giving up their holiday weekend with their families and loved ones to serve you.

Don’t:

  • Be a jerk –  No one likes people who push, shove, and demand their way everywhere they go. Be courteous, everyone else is in the same boat you are, and you being a jerk to people isn’t making your life, or their life any easier.
  • Take up two parking spaces – parking is bad enough around the holidays, so if you can’t drive, DON’T. (This happened to me while I was shopping today. I wish i was a cop so i could give them a ticket.)
  • Pull up in your car so someone else can’t turn right out of a driveway – Ok, this one seems obvious to me, but apparently not to everyone else. If someone is waiting to turn right out of a driveway, and there is already a line of people in the right hand lane coming to about the driveway, stop BEFORE the driveway, and let the person turning right get in front of you.
  • Wait until the day before a holiday to do your shopping – Unless it is literally the ONLY time you have to go shopping, don’t. You’ll save yourself a ton of a stress.
  • Go driving in downtown areas in the whole week before a major holiday (Christmas) – I was out shopping today, and it probably took me an hour a half to drive what normally would have taken a half an hour. Not fun.

Well, there is my incomprehensive list of holiday Do’s and Don’ts. Most of these apply other times too, but especially during the holiday season. Happy shopping (or not shopping).

Food and Phone Calls

Imagine this scenario: Your fork is in your hand, moving up toward your mouth.As you open your mouth, and close it around the fork that contains the next piece of food you are going to eat, THE PHONE RINGS. I don’t know if this happens to other people, but it always happens to me. I mean seriously. Almost whenever I’m eating food (even without fancy forks) the phone inevitably rings. Sometimes, I wonder if people have a special Alyssa-meter that tells them when I’m eating so they can purposely call when I’ve just taken a bite of food.

The worst part isn’t the phone call. I’ll gladly talk to anyone that interrupts my terribly dull life. No, the worst part is what to do with the food. I mean, it’s already IN your mouth.You can’t spit it out without looking like a freak, and depending on what it is, you can’t swallow it easily (chips, a large meatball, one of those jawbreakers, etc.) . So, what do you do? Can you push it over to the side of your mouth? Do you just wait for the phone to go to voicemail? But what if you’re at work and answering the phone is your job?

Well, this happened to me today. I had inevitably just put a lifesaver in my mouth, because i had this crazy craving for something sweet. Then, three sucks in, the phone rings. *ring ring…. ring ring*. In my head i’m going “Oh crap,I can’t spit this back out, but i don’t want it on my desk, and I would sound weird talking with it in my mouth *Silent Scream*” In the end, I just ended up spitting the stupid thing in the trash. All of this happened in a grand total of maybe five seconds. Oh yeah, life is crazy.

The perfect pair of boots

Girls, do you ever have that feeling when you try on a pair of shoes, that you’ve found the PERFECT pair. The ones that make you feel like a million and a half bucks, and make you want to go out to a fancy place just to wear them? Well, i found two pairs of those boots yesterday! I was down in San Diego, and I went to this place called Sheikh Shoes. I walked in and found this gorgeous pair of flat boots. Since I can’t walk in heels like a reject. Anyway, so I try them on and of course they don’t have my size. So I went to the store closer by me on my way back, and they had one pair and I ordered the other. Best part was that they were bogo 50% off. So I saved money too!

Anyway, San Diego was super relaxing and luxurious. I went down with my mom to do some shopping, and i got some great deals! (Including the shoes). Such a nice way to finish off my stressful school semester.

 

Wind: Crazy people maker

In the approximate 10 hours that I’ve been awake today, I’ve dealt with more crazy people than I could count on ten fingers. And not just bad crazy, there’s good crazy, weird crazy, and just plain crazy. At work, it seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong, but somehow it seemed hilarious. My fellow workers and I started laughing at the stupidest things, and the kids seemed to be in a different spatial dimension today.

Oh, and when i was driving, I swear I saw someone brushing their teeth. Yes, brushing their teeth. In the car. While driving. CRAZY. Even if people weren’t brushing their teeth in the car (really, who does that?) I swear, every car out there was planning an attack to have me not get off the freeway. Every time I wanted to merge, someone would go out from behind me, and merge first and the speed up so I couldn’t go. >_<

My point: The wind makes people crazy. So be careful!

I think a tornado hit my room

Since finals are over (PRAISE THE LORD), i took a good look at my room and shuddered. Piles of clothes lay on the floor, and my desk has a three foot tall stack of papers. Oh and did I mention the three plastic bags full of trash? Pretty much, my entire existence from the past month has been spent in my room, and it needed to be cleaned.

So, i went on a cleaning rampage. First I organized my desk, because I couldn’t even see my desk underneath all the papers. Then i picked up all my clothes off the floor, so I could actually walk on it instead of playing hopscotch with my clothes. Also, I made history by doing an actual load of laundry for the first time in three weeks (I had too, i didn’t have any clean clothes left >_< ). After a whomping 2 hours, my bedroom is finally clean! Huzzah!

 

63 degrees in the middle of winter

So, for those of you who don’t know, California, at least Southern California, really doesn’t get the whole four seasons. We get two, maybe three. We have spring summer and fall, no winter. Which is nice, because you don’t have the below 0 temperatures that freeze you solid every time you go outside. And i never had to shovel snow as a kid, which my mom tells me i should be thankful for. And you know, i never had to trek a mile through the super deep snow to get to school. But i miss not having a winter too. I’ve never seen snow actually fall from the sky, and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to see. Also, I miss out on building snowmen, making ice forts, sledding down hills, and having snowball fights. Sometimes, I wish I could live in a climate controlled bubble where I control the weather, and i can make it snow, or make it 90 degrees with waves splashing at my feet. Oh, the ideas.

Wintertime this year in Southern California has consisted of mostly 70 degree weather with a sprinkling of hotter days and colder days. We had two days of rain this week. TWO. Actually, i think it was more like one and a half. Anyway, I didn’t even have to break out my heavy jacket until this week. Before then I was just in a sweatshirt. Right now, the sky outside is blue with a few clouds. It really is gorgeous though :D. Maybe if this weekend is warmer I’ll hit up the beach. Not to go in the water, just to sit and stare at the waves. Maybe i’ll write a post there!

 

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