Monday, April 18, 2011

on things I forgot

The bad:  Ricky and I, on our first year filing joint taxes, are being audited.  (Anyone who has ever teased me about keeping all my receipts can now marvel at my incredible foresight.)  We did everything by TurboTax's book, so I'm going to have a bone to pick with them if something goes wrong!  Maybe the IRS will go easy on us since we're brand-new adults.  I mean, really, it's only the second year I've ever earned enough money to legally necessitate doing my taxes.  Good thing Ricky and I are squeaky-clean taxpayers, right?  Right.

The awesome:  Ricky got an internship at the State Attorney's office in Miami!!  (Two exclamation points aren't really adequate, but I'm physically incapable of typing more than two at a time.  This has been proven by grammar science.)  This is a huge deal, especially since Ricky would love to work as a state prosecutor after law school (think Law and Order) and Miami is filled to the brim with criminals to prosecute.  Because of my job here, I won't be able to go with him, but he'll stay with my grandparents (who conveniently happen to live in Miami) during the week and then drive the two hours home on Friday.  It's not a perfect arrangement, but it's totally feasible and a great opportunity for Ricky! 

Since I'm here, I may as well tell you that we also bought a (much-needed) new mattress, with many thanks to today being tax day and having fantastic sales.  Ricky could sleep on a rock slab for the rest of his life and still wake up each day fresh as a daisy, but I'm like the princess and her stupid pea when it comes to mattresses.  Hopefully our new squishy mattress will do the trick.  One of my favorite things to do when I shop is compare the price to something that everyone has/considers a "must have," and usually that comes back to Apple products (don't pretend like you aren't someone who knows someone who needs to have--and will totally justify spending hundreds of dollars on--the latest gadget the day it's released).  I feel like it really puts into perspective where your money is going.  Today, our money went into a long-term investment that is the price equivalent of a 16GB iPod touch.  I am satisfied.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

on forts of epicness

Well, friends, I have four pages I should be adding to my term paper right now, so you know what that means: time to update the blog.

Are we three weeks into April already?  Yikes.  I guess that means we'll have to backtrack a bit!

 For those of you who aren't familiar with the LDS General Conference (yes I did just link Wikipedia thank you very much but here is the legit source), it's a broadcast held on the first weekends of April and October and it is awesome.  So awesome that living room blanket forts for the Saturday morning session are completely justified and almost mandatory.

Yes, Ricky and I are super cool.

(The whole tent idea came from when I lived in the Basement--Jules, Lizbeth and I were planning a camping trip and did a dry run with the tent in the backyard over General Conference weekend.  One of the neighbors noticed and told our landlord that we must've confused General Conference with King Benjamin's address.  LDS humor!)

The night before, I took Ricky to his very first hockey game at the Florida Everblades stadium.  I heard on the radio that they were playing the Charleston Stingrays--the team whose games my family used to go see on military nights--and I couldn't pass up the chance to see a bit of my childhood!  

The Everblades put on a good show, but the Stingrays won by a single point.  My loyalties were divided, obviously, but I was definitely entertained by the three burly men across the stadium--the only Stingrays supporters there--who would jump up and down and yell every time the Stingrays scored.  Did I mention hockey is my favorite sport to watch?

In more recent news, Ricky and I are almost done with our respective first years of graduate school!!  I have a paper to turn in and a final to ace, and Ricky has week and a half left of class before a grueling week of finals.  I still can't believe we're so close, but I'm surely not complaining.  I'm so ready for the summer and the beach and Disney annual passes.  (YES.  DISNEY.)

Also, speaking of graduate school, I have another story for you.  Second-year graduate students have the opportunity to apply for teaching assistantships, wherein they teach a few classes of freshman composition and get a tuition waiver for their graduate courses.  I was interested, but was told by my composition pedagogy instructor that I couldn't be a TA with a full-time job--major bummer!--and I dropped the issue.  Imagine my surprise when I get an email this week from the head of the English program, explaining that she heard about my situation and wanted to know if I would accept a partial TAship (teaching one evening class and having tuition for one of my classes waived) instead!  When I told her that would be perfect, she said that she would go ahead and tell the registrar I would be teaching the Thursday night class.  I wasn't sure what to do at that point, because students interested in a TA position are supposed to fill out an application and submit a sample syllabus and I hadn't done any of that.  I still haven't figured it out, mainly because it hasn't sunk in yet that this is seriously happening.  I AM TEACHING A CLASS OF COLLEGE FRESHMAN. (Edit: It is incredibly embarrassing that I misspelled "freshmen"--in all caps, no less--while freaking out about teaching a class on the basics of writing and grammar.  Really, Katie?)  I keep coming up with these lesson plan ideas and running into Ricky's study (a.k.a. the second bedroom) to blather on about them.  I'm hoping that we'll somehow magically end up back in Buena Vista after I graduate and someone will let me teach at SVU.  (Please?)

I also got the Mysterious Benedict Society box set for free using my Borders Bucks!

If you haven't read this set, you're missing out--especially if you like Harry Potter.  They're clever and well-written and leave you wanting the fourth book to be released tomorrow.  The gorgeous cover artwork should be an indication of the quality here.  (Yes, I am a book-cover-judger.)  I've been on a huge children's lit. kick this year, and this series is my favorite so far.  A Series of Unfortunate Events is a (very) close second.

I'll leave you with this.  Are those butterbeer cupcakes?  Yes.  Yes they are.