30 August, 2012

Scott's Birthday Cruise-o-Fun

We're back from a 5-night cruise on the Disney Dream.  During TS Isaac.  It seemed like almost everything didn't quite go the way we had expected, and in a few ways it was probably our worst cruise, but the worst cruise is probably still better than the best day at work!

Our Stateroom was definitely the worst we've ever had.  The toilet would only flush when it felt like, which was especially problematic when I was going through some wicked lower intestinal problems on the first night.  (thing Scott probably never wants to hear again in the middle of the night: "I pooped and the toilet won't flush, so you should probably pee in the tub until further notice.")  It did flush in the morning...and then started overflowing!  We also had two different problems with the TV.

Our neighbors were so loud!  We had a connecting door with a family with a little 3-4 year old girl who was a very early riser.  She woke us up the first two mornings screaming and squealing, and we never so much as heard a "shh" from the parents.  Scott may have accidentally kicked off his shoes late at night and launched them into that wall, but I'm sure he didn't mean to...  We were also very close to the mid-ship elevators, and there seemed to be a constant parade of people running and yelling outside our door.

Pirate night ended up lasting three nights.  The original plan was to have pirate night on day 3, but they had to scrap that in the afternoon...when it was too late to change the menu.  So pirate dinner was on day 3, and then the pirate party was on day 4...but there was some sort of technical problem with the fireworks.  So they finally did the pirate fireworks on day 4.

Snorkeling was a mixed bag.  My breathing tube kept getting water in it, so I got better at blowing water out the top.  Due to the storm and the rough time we had pulling into Castaway Cay (more on that to come), visibility in the first half of the snorkel lagoon was essentially zero.  We were right next to one of the buoys marking a cool thing below and could not see a thing, and we were frustrated and annoyed.  We decided to swim up to the next buoy just for the exercise, and 5 feet later we were in clear water with tons of fish.  We saw the sunken ship, the submarine, and the Mickey statue.  AND Scott taught me how to dive down without drowning, so I was able to go down and touch Mickey's hand.  Victory!!  Things didn't go quite so well on the way back in.  We were going against the current, and it was really hard to get in.  Scott also had some sand or something in the top of his fin, and ended up with an impressive scrape across the top of his foot that gets rubbed by every pair of shoes he owns. 

I ran, but not the way I had planned.  The plan was to do the "Castaway 5k" on our first Castaway day, and I went and signed in and got my bib and waited...and waited...  It took us 3 hours to pull into Castaway, so the 5k ended up being cancelled.  Since I was already dressed, I decided to run around deck 4.  I did 2 miles, and then got showered and changed for the island.  They did the 5k again on the second Castaway day, but it interfered with our last chance to watch Brave in the theater, so I woke up at 6 and ran 3.2 miles (8 laps) on the deck.  The bonus to running on deck was the great breeze, which I've heard you don't get at all on the island.

We had great table mates at dinner, and our servers were really good as well.  The food was good, and we had a few things that were clean-plate-club good.  We did Palo for brunch and dinner on Scott's birthday, and our server had only been on the ship for 4 months.  She was incredibly nice, and you could tell she was still pretty green.  She made some really great recommendations, and we loved pretty much everything.  The only downside of Palo was the crappy weather.  We should've been looking out on blue skies and bluer seas, and instead were shrouded in gray mist that made me a little panicky and claustrophobic.

There's lots more I could share, but I've got to get ready for work. 

18 August, 2012

Man Feet

Today's 8-mile run turned into a 5-mile run/walk followed by a 3 mile hobble.  The blisters came back in force, despite new socks, body glide, and a whole week out of the gym due to an upper-respiratory infection.  I was furious with my feet, in tears more from frustration than pain (but also pain).  I knew the problem was my shoes.  After 5 miles, my feet would swell and my toes were basically curled over each other because there wasn't enough room in the shoe.  And so, everything after mile 5 was an exercise in will power rather than running power.

So we went back to the shoe store.  I brought my shoes (carried them - today was definitely a flip flop day) and got help immediately, despite the store's 20% off sale causing huge crowds.  The guy who helped me measured my foot and immediately noticed that my right foot is wider than the left.  My response: "that explains all the blisters on my right foot!"  He measured me again, cocked his head to the side and asked that question every gal dreams someday she'll hear: "are you opposed to a men's shoe?"

Sigh...I said I'd be willing to give it a shot, secretly hoping that he'd go back and find something pink and sparkly.  Instead, he returned with 2 pairs of Brooks (what I currently have).  The first pair was black and red.  Mostly black.  I put them on and walked the store, grudgingly admitting that they were comfortable.  I tried the second pair, which were gray and bright blue (I told Scott hot pink laces would make them fabulous).  Even these were tighter in the toes than I wanted to go.  So he put me back in the ugly black and red pair and told me to go out and jog a little while on the sidewalk.  I went out and jogged 1/2 block, came back, and accepted my fate.  "The ugly shoes are perfect."  I had plenty of space to spread out my toes, and the rest of the shoe fit my foot perfectly.

Since my left (slightly narrower) foot has barely had any blisters, I am hopeful that the new wider shoe will eventually allow my right foot to heal and I won't have this kind of problem again.

In case you're wondering what sort of damage causes a girl to give up all of her pride and buy the ugliest shoes she's ever seen, I'm including a picture of the bottom of my foot after the jump.  (there's no blood, just callouses and blisters)

13 August, 2012

A Summer to Remember

I'm home sick today with every flu symptom except a fever, so it's probably no surprise that logging into my Penn State account this morning and seeing this made me cry...actual tears.

To be frank, I don't understand the A in my Employment Law class.  My final grade according to the "grade book" link on the course website was a 91.59%, and the syllabus indicates that an A is 95% and above.  That said, I'm certainly not going to ask the professor about it!  I'm going to happily assume that the final grades were curved and that's where the discrepancy is. 

Bring on ECON 315...I'm ready!

11 August, 2012


I thought I'd preserve for posterity a section of the last paper I had to write for my Industrial/Organizational Psychology class this semester.  The lesson was on stress and coping, and the assignment required us to choose a movie from a provided list and answer a few questions relating to the lesson material.  I chose "The Firm," mostly because I read the book a million years ago and had never seen the movie.  I think that's all the introduction you'll need.

3. What types of strain did this lead to (job-related, emotional, physiological)? Describe the specific examples that came up in the movie.

Mitch experienced all three types of strain in the movie. The job-related strain, with changes in performance and behavior at work, manifests when he sneaks out of his office, steals files, and lies to his bosses. Emotional strain, with signs of irritability, burnout, and decreased patience, is obvious throughout the second half of the movie. Mitch argues with his wife and is suspicious of everyone around him. I mention physiological strain rather tongue-in-cheek. Cardiovascular symptoms show up the same way they do in every Tom Cruise movie: when he starts running everywhere he goes.

I got a 100% on the paper.