Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seven more days

I hate that I am going to have to discontinue this blog, temporarily. Blog writing is simply not permitted at basic training; along with everything else in life. I am going to write down my thoughts as much as I can while I am there. I will be a published author one day; just you wait and see. Lets pray that 2 months will go by really fast. In Florida, I will resume this blog.

Keep checking my facebook. My mom will have my password and login information. She will post my address in my status as soon as she hears from me.

This morning, I woke up to begin my day with one of my sister's blog, Jackie Campbell. Check it out! Anyways, she talked about the simple things in life such as; morning coffee, and sunshine in the Carolina's. She's right; coffee in the morning is my blessing.

God, how I am going to miss coffee! I could be in Switzerland, freezing my butt off, but that cup of coffee in my hand would make everything ok. Lots of people told me I should stop drinking coffee to wean myself off of it before I go to basic. I think I will disagree and savor every drop until it is no longer available.

Its Wednesday now. I have exactly seven days. I am thankful that God has placed the Navy in my life. I am excited to see where it takes me. I realize in basic, its going to take me through hell and back again. Well, bring it! I'm ready...or as ready as I'll ever be.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

burning fiasco

Today Galarde and I helped Caroline with her art project. The assignment was to make a 3D city out of paper. After painting the base and gluing all of the buildings down, Caro, Galarde and I walked outside the Phi Mu with a lighter in hand. If everyone in the class has the same assignment, Caro's had to have an edge to it. The idea was to burn some of the edges of the buildings to make the city look smoldered and burnt.
One should always be careful when playing with fire; this I have discovered. All was going as planned as we lit leaves on fire and blew them out to creat a charcoaled look around the base of the buildings. It took a really long time for fire to ignite. We blazed the tops of the buildings making the paper buildings sizzle in uneven edges. As soon as Caro lit the tops of the buildings with the lighter, Galarde's job was to blow the fire out. I also, helped with this job. It was a tedious task because we only blew the fire out when the artist, Caroline, told us it was appropriatly burnt. This part was fun.

As Caro is lighting and we are blowing the blaze out, all of a sudden the fire got big. Like huge. All at once Caro's art project was blazing to the ground. Laughter began. Have you ever tried to blow something out while laughing? I can't even talk while laughing. Galarde is rocking back and forth in peels of laughter as Caro is frantically trying to blow but is unsuccessful in making the fire disapear.

Dana runs out of the house frenzied over the fire. She sees the flames and thinks the Phi Mu house is burning. As the fire finally goes out the city is gone. All that's left are the ashes from the paper buildings.

Caroline's response: "Should we go to Wal Mart and get a little fire truck for the city?"

My response: "I think it's a little late for that."


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Combat Boots

Ok, so I am kind of freaking out. I enlisted into the military-- the Navy specifically. I'm going to basic training in two weeks. That's right, two weeks! I went through MEPS last Wednesday and choose a job that leaves in two weeks. I think I am crazy. I am terrified for boot camp to begin.

All this time I expected to leave maybe June or July. You know, have a nice summer laying out by the river. My only worry in the world would be to get as tan as I could. Well, surprise! I have exactly two weeks to push myself as far as I can physically. I sort of stopped working out over the holidays to study for that stupid test. It was so cold outside. Well, now I regret not being as active as I should have been for the last month. Now I have to kick it into high gear to be ready for March 2nd. I'm terrified. They are going to yell at me hard core. I know I will collapse while trying to do push ups.

I'm excited though! My job is something called Aviation Ordnanceman. This consists of loading bombs and artillery onto different types of aircraft. I know absolutely nothing about guns or weapons. This is a huge leap for me. Cross your fingers that I will excel at this job and enjoy it. I can't wait to devote five years to someone else for awhile. "To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand" I want to help others and be there for my country. After five years of doing as much as I can for others, then I'll be ready to focus on me. And hopefully know what I want to do for the rest of my life professionally.

So I may have to put this blog on hold for a little while. I'll be in Great Lakes, Chicago for 8 weeks and 5 days. After I make it through basic, I'll attend A school and receive 4 weeks of specialized training.

Wish me luck! I'm trading in my cowboy boots for combat boots.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

So I know yesterday's blog was a little lame. It was just too pretty of a day outside to waste time on the computer, not to mention waste time when I'm with my Phi Mu sisters. :)

As today is Valentine's day, I'd like to wish a happy Valentine's day to all the haters wallowing in their singleness, a happy Valentine's to all of those madly in love and a happy Valentine's to people like me who couldn't care less one way or another. I'm not resentful of the holiday. I just think it is kind of dumb. Why can't you bring me chocolate every day of the week? That's what I am seeking in a valentine-chocolate every day of the week. That and maybe a steak for dinner. Let's not waste our money on all those frilly teddy bears, and flowers are nice but they eventually die.

Maybe Valentine's day was more fun when I was a little girl. Look back to the days when you recieved a party during class, and a guranteed 26 valentines from everyone in class. Remember the days? I remember all the power ranger, ninja turtles, and princess cards. And I remember the feeling of being so full of sugar, choclate and candy, I swore off eating frosting out of the jar ever again.

Nowadays, there is a lot of pressure on Valentine's day gifts. Wal Mart probably has two rows devoted only to Valentine's day. Rows and rows of cards exsist- sappy, funny, name it. And Hallmark, seriously? I think you are going a bit far with cards that light up, talk and sing. Sometimes, things are best said simply stated without flashing lights in the background.

As much as the holiday is built up around gifts and random stuff I enjoy the glimpse of moments. I enjoy watching a man try and pick a lock so that he can break into her room and his girlfriend will be surprised with flowers. It is nice seeing friend's open up cards and smile. I even enjoy recieving a Valentine's day call from my dad in Florida. So America, keep it up! This Valentine's day don't forget to tell someone you care about them.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Funday

It is beautiful outside. My life is blessed today as I surround myself with sisters at Western. I couldn't ask for anything more. Days like this make me think how hard its going to be to leave everyone behind for a little while.

Today is the day to spend outside with the windows down and the radio on. Here are my song choices for today.

Eric Church- Livin' Part of Life

Shenandoah- Sittin' Next to You (song choice for life)

Garth Brooks- Friends in Low Places

Dierks Bentley- How am I Doin'

And Summer Girl by Leighton Meester

Cause' who needs a boyfriend, I've got my girlfriends!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'll keep my calculator handy, thanks!

Today, things are going my way! I passed my test for the navy. It's been awhile since I've posted. (I know, I know!) I've been busy trying to find X. Anyways, this test consisted of three parts: mechanical comprehension, paragraph comprehension and mathematical concepts. The first two, I'm golden on! I can pull big words out of nowhere and use them correctly. And who doesn't know how a pulley system and levers works. Clearly, these two sections use common sense. Math, however...what the hell is half of the stuff I saw on the test today?

I'm an avid shopper, so percents and interest equations don't intimidate me. I also can add and subtract money with no hesitation, but please explain to me...what the hell is a factorial? And how is it going to help me in life?

Or my favorite word problems go something like this--Two trains are coming from opposites directions, one is going 45 miles per hour the other 60, at what point will they crash? Well, my answer would be, "Why can't each train have its own track."

And why do I need to know what angle X is if Y is 60 degrees? Really? In the real, if I needed to know an angle measurement, I think we have some kind of tool that tells us the answer in like two second. Its called a protractor.

Oh and what about questions like this, "There are twelve m&m's in a bag. 4 green, 2 blue and 6 brown. What is the probability that you will pick a brown one?" I was under the impression that they all tasted the same. So, who cares?

These days the whole world does everything with technology, computers and calculators. I can go online and type something into an formula without ever lifting a pen. If I had it my way, fractions wouldn't exist. Honestly, I think I could survive without them. For all the math teachers out there, I extol you! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and energy. But you need to know, that children are getting left behind. Not everyone gets it! And some of us graduate college, content with circling X on the page when asked to find it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Days like today

I told my Mom I needed to stop and buy sunglasses for my six hour drive. I guess the rain is God's way of saying, I don't need to buy sunglasses today. Regardless, days like today are meant for curling up in bed with a good book, not driving.

People don't know how to drive in the rain. What idiot in their right mind doesn't turn their lights on when its raining? It makes things all the more complicated, when  they decide to speed up, then slow down, then speed up! And I get to spend the afternoon squinting to try and see where they are.

After my long road trip, I had to run into Target today to get some resume paper. Of all days to drop my purse, guess who decided to do that today. Yes, in the middle of the road, all of my belongings are now drenched. And the honking was not appreciated. I picked everything up as fast as I could, thank you very much!

On a more positive note, I have an interview tomorrow with Commander Peterson for the Supply Corps Officer position with the Navy. Wish me luck. I think my organizational skills are a great match for this position.

I'll make tomorrow's post more interesting, promise. I'm on my way to find a couch, coffee and a lifetime movie, and pajama bottoms. Interruptions will not be accepted.

Happy Friday to all!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ten off my Bucket List

Ten things I'd love to do:

1.) One day I'd like to actually smack the girl that's always complaining that about being fat. It always crosses my mind as it occurs, but one day I'd like to actually do it and just get it over with. I won't hold back or anything. Maybe getting smacked in the face would help her get over the whining.

2.) I would love to drop everything and move somewhere across the world. Maybe rent a quaint little cottage somewhere and ride my bike aimlessly in search of all the great foods in the village. For that whole year, I would live by my stomach's desires and eat as if I was going to die the next day.

3.) One day I would like to publish a book, and regardless of the success, it will be an accomplishment I would be proud of because I wrote it. (But I hope it will be #1 in the NY Times!)

4.) I would like to one day own a house. I don't want a new house. It must be an old house that has history and charm. I will paint walls, build a front porch, I'll roof if I have to. The house that I own must have history and also a front porch. The thought of restoring something old into something beautiful sounds charming.

5.) I'd like to see Alaska and all that it has to offer.

6.) One day I would like to write an inspirational letter, place it in a bottle and throw it in the ocean in hopes that it would one day be found and brighten someone's day.

7.) It might be nice to have lobster in Maine before I die.

8.) I would like to balance my inner spirit and master meditation sessions. (Yes, still working on this one).

9.) Scuba diving the great barrier reef in Australia sounds appealing.

10.) Die happily, knowing I never passed up dessert!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sorry boys, but we're taken!

"Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with"

This quote is off Sex in the City, a show I love dearly. I can relate to the bonds each woman has with each other. They go through life trying to make relationships with the opposite sex work, but always come back to the bonds they share with each other.

So many people walk through life without other people to lean on. I may not be blessed with successful relationships with the opposite sex, (Ok, I'm probably not!) but, if there's anything I know, my girlfriends are my other half. They are my soul mates in life.

The men in my life, must understand my girlfriends come first. They will continue to come first, because as soon as you walk out of my life, I can guarantee that they will still be there for me. And in all honesty, my girlfriends were around way before you were.

Maybe this is negative thinking, but its the way I see it. I'm not closed to the opportunity that there is somebody special out there for me, because there probably is. But I figure life will happen when its suppose to. When he does come along, God help him. I pray that he runs into my girlfriends, because they understand me and the way I think.

I'm going to go ahead and admit times I'm crazy. I have more shoes than I can wear in a lifetime, yet continue to fill a closet that is already full. I say that I'm not interested in anything serious, and its all fun but my emotions probably run deeper. I don't have to explain these things to my girlfriends, they automatically know.

We may be crazy but, we will always have each other. Women have each other through tough times. It's something I'm really thankful for. I know whenever I need them, they'll be there. It may take me days or weeks to open up, but I always do. Men, rarely open up to each other about anything or share their emotions. When have you ever seen three men curled up in a bed together, with wine and a movie because their day was rough or their girlfriends broke up with them?

Living in a sorority house, I've learned how great a cheap bottle of wine is. Shared with friends, its a great  way to  unwind. Even if the wine is cheap, the conversation and laughter is entertaining. We've driven around town traveling aimlessly (not after the bottle of wine, of course!) listening to Clay Walker on the radio or busting out the lyrics to Dierks Bentley's, "Long Trip Alone".

Who else will sit on the toilet and talk to you while you are taking a shower? Or drag you out for the night when you'd really rather just lay in bed? One of my girlfriend's gets really hyper when she drinks coffee. We gossip far later into the night than we should. I've encountered hiking trips with orange juice and vodka, more coffee dates than I can count, concerts, and road trips. Hilarious trips, and conversations. We'll talk about anything. I've had post it notes left for me on my mirror and whole wardrobes to share. I don't know how I get dressed in the morning, these days, with my girlfriends  and their closets so far away.

 This blog is dedicated to all the women who have touched my life in such positive ways. You know who you are.

I will end this blog with one last word, Texas.

Hope you understand the code.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A glimpse at Meditation

So, recently I've been reading Eat Pray Love. (I know, I know, its taking me awhile to read!) Anyways, Elizabeth Gilbert, the girl who travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia to find herself, is currently in India, at a meditation ashram. It got me thinking that maybe I should give meditation a try.

Om Nahmah Shivaya means "I honor the divinity that resides within me." It is a common chant, people say during meditation.
Meditation does not belong to any culture or religion. It can be a way to connect your mind's thoughts to your body's actions. I once heard that prayer is an act of talking to God as, meditation is the act of listening.

I haven't entirely figured it out yet. All I know is, it is HARD.

Here's an example of Danielle trying to meditate.

Danielle: Alright thoughts, go away. I cannot worry about you now. We are going to meditate.

Mind: Ok you are clear of all thoughts. You are a little thirsty, though.

Danielle: No I am not thirsty. We are sitting here for 8 minutes. I can get water after. Let's imagine a serene place filled with relaxation and purity.

Mind: We could pause meditation for .2 seconds so you could get water and then come back to that pure place.  Is there a boat at this place? I love boats.

Danielle: Ahh!! Stop it. Stop thinking. Stop. Stop. Stop. I'm gonna do this. I'm pushing all of my thoughts away. I am focused on nothing.

Mind: Ok, lets do this. I beleive in you.

Danielle: God, please guide me through this. I am listening. I am focused. I am ready.

Mind: What time is it?

Danielle: Ahhhh!! Seriously? OPERATION ABORTED. I'm going to get some water.

Approximately two minutes went by. I don't know how people do it! My mind about drove me half insane for those two minutes. It felt more like hours. I couldn't even sit still. I am determined to succeed so, don't worry, I will be trying again.

Happy Tuesday!!
Dani G.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let me ask you a question?

How can one person be so undecided on everything? People ask me what I'm doing with my life, daily. Daily, the answer is I don't know. Danielle, why don't you want to pursue nutrition and get your RD? I don't know. I'm terrified of doing something and hating it, maybe. I'm currently taking officer placement tests for the Navy, but honestly...I don't know. I don't have any idea what I want out of life. At least, I know what I don't want.

I don't want to get married and settle down... yet. Lately, I've just been getting fed up with the male population as a whole. Seriously, I don't understand why men have such a high rate of ignorance in their lives.

I don't want anyone holding me back from the dreams that I have. I don't want anyone telling me I can't do something. I don't need that. Maybe, I am losing my patience, but the more and more I read Anne Sexton, the more I decide men are a waste of time. I'm tired of investing my heart into people, only to be hurt.

I don't want to live somewhere where the air isn't clear. It is imperative that I be able to roll down my windows and drive until my thoughts are cleared. I can't do that in a city filled with smog and pollution.

The beach would be nice. Maybe I'm asking for too much. I don't know, but I refuse to settle. So even if I don't know where my life is headed, at least I know the ride getting there will be worth it...because there will be country music on the radio and I, my friend, will be jammin'.

So, let me ask you a question? What do you want out of life?

Dani G.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Get to the point...

Sometimes I get in trouble for the things that just slip out of my mouth. Its like God made me without a filter. Exactly what I am thinking in that moment in time, just slips into the air. With no admonition, I don't have any time to do anything about it. All I can do is sit there and hope it falls with cushion before the burn arrives. So in advance, I am sorry for the frankness, obscenities and discourtesies that may offend you. But, in all honesty, if you didn't want the truth, you shouldn't have asked. 

My mom loves and hates to go shopping with me for this exact reason. I refuse to let her out of the store with something that looks ill. Boys, for all the time you spend waiting for women in the dressing room while shopping. IT IS NOT OUR FAULT. Have you seen some of the clothing advertised these days? None of the seams are big enough to come up over my chest. And sometimes, they forget the seams altogether. Needless to say, my mom and I, have a hard time finding things that fit. Sometimes I hurt her feelings with the things that pop out of my mouth, but we always leave finding something that looks gorgeous on. I speak the truth and sometimes it hurts. I've been trying to watch what I say before it comes out lately.

Some of the things that roll out of my mouth are hysterical though. It goes so fast I can't catch all the jokes. Its like watching the Golden Girls, before you finish laughing at one joke another one of the women says something even funnier.

So since I am so frank with my statements, I have a hard time understanding others who refuse to open their mouth about anything. If you have something to say, say it. Don't be afraid. If you never get to say what you needed to say to that person, you will truly regret it. I can't stand going through life being confused about where I stand with someone... If I like you, you'll know it.

With that said, I'll leave you guys with this song.

Dani G.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family Gatherings

Today I had the opportunity to attend a ninetieth birthday party for my (great) Uncle Jim. Looking around the room, I knew very few faces. Yet, all these old women hugged me and swore that I looked just like my grandmother, or I must be a Harrington with my face. Well, what does that mean? What on my face exactly looks like a Harrington feature? Is that a good thing? I'm not so sure.

At any large family gathering, you know the food is going to be good. I love the idea of everyone bringing a covered dish, so I can try as many things as possible. A twenty foot table was covered with bowls and plates ranging from every food item. We had beans, collards, boiled potatoes, brunswick stew, and pig (as my cousin, Jessica, would say). I filled my plate with small servings of everything, as not to forget the other long table filled with desserts. I'm terrified that in twenty years, all the good food will be gone. What will happen when all of our grandmother's pass away? The stories may live on but what about those buttered biscuits and fried chicken. I do hope her recipes and good cooking will live as well.

At family gatherings, everyone always knows who I am, and yet I have no idea who all these people are! I hope when I celebrate a ninetieth birthday party, I can be that old lady who hugs all these young people.While enjoying a large slice of ten layer chocolate cake I thought, how many people actually have the opportunity to turn ninety?

Ninety years ago was 1921. Ninety years ago McDonald's didn't exist. Coco Chanel perfume had just been released in France. Ninety years ago, a stamp was less that 5 cents. Back when marriages actually lasted forever.  When I get married it will be forever. My forever may not be 60 years, like my grandparents, but I will commit. I know one thing too, I will make damn well sure that I want to be with this man the rest of my life before I tie the knot or I won't get married.  Divorce is expensive, my friends.

Uncle Jim has seen a lot in his lifetime. Much more than many people have the opportunity to see. I hope that my life is filled with the many blessings he has seen.

Have a happy day!

Dani G

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hot Pockets

Its January. I know everyone is still kicking it into high gear going crazy over New Year's Resolutions. Losing weight, exercising, and eating just what the body needs, not what it desires. That's fine. I, however, make my own rules. Below I have posted a fun piece on eating just what your body wants, not necessarily what it needs. Remember, joy in life can come from foods!

I am an addict. In a matter of minutes I will be transported to cloud nine, dropped in the seat of ecstasy. I watch my food circle inside of the microwave, staring at the numbers counting down: 1:59, 1:58, 1:57, 1:56... I am an abuser. Every couple of days my body physically needs Hot Pockets. I go into shock. I go out of my way to get what I need, and pay whatever the cost. My lips tremble and my body convulses as I inject cheese and marinara sauce into my veins. All at once feelings of euphoria surround me. I am calm and relaxed. I am a drug abuser sitting on soggy newspapers in the rain on a sketchy street corner, hovering over a meatball marinara Hot Pocket because I will go insane if I have to wait any longer.
Finally after two minutes of patiently waiting, dreaming of the most delectable junk food item-beep beep. My hands quickly fumble for the microwave door, excitement pushes me toward exhilaration. All at once my dreams have come true. My meatball marinara Hot Pocket is ready.
The outside crust of the pocket is tender and flaky-a baked delicious brown color. I slowly remove the hot cardboard wrapper from the pocket being careful not to burn my fingers. When cooking a Hot Pocket you must be careful; they almost always gape open at the top when heat melts the cheese. The combination of cheese and marinara sauce always oozes onto the paper towel or plate you place it on.
 I bring the Hot Pocket to my mouth, anticipating the first glorious bite. I pause. Something is not right. I put the Hot Pocket back on the plate. Grab sixty cents and run down the hallway, cursing myself for being so unprepared. I could have gotten a soda during the two minutes I sat dazed, watching the Hot Pocket spin in circles. I don’t want to waste any time. My hot pocket is getting cold! I frantically push the Diet Coke button and wait for it to dispense.
I rush back down the hallway to my dorm room in a hurry to satisfy my shudders of withdrawal. The first bite of a Hot Pocket is unsurpassed. Breathtaking. Unlike every other bite of the Hot Pocket. The first bite contains double the amount of flaky crust as the rest. The sauce in the center is boiling. I almost always burn my tongue because I don’t have the patience to wait for the sauce to cool. The sauce is mixed perfectly with the cheese, spices and meatballs. With every bite you get an equal amount of each. It is my duty to take the very first bite, no one else is worthy. I do not share. An abuser, does not share.
My teeth wound the flaky crust as the top of my mouth gets burned from the boiling mixture of cheese and sauce. I twirl one of the meat balls back and forth with my tongue, trying to let it cool. The boiling temperatures do not stop me from taking the next bite. I barely take a breath in between bites. Drink, bite, sip, bite, drink…until it is gone.
I am brought back down to the reality of truth. I ate my Hot Pocket. I am sitting at my desk alone, on the verge of licking the cheese residue off of the now empty plate. Am I pathetic, or what? There is nothing left. Lunch is over. My body goes into withdrawal. Madness overcomes me as I realize I have to get started on my paper. I begin to think of ideas, or ideas begin to invade me. I scribble down adjectives describing how wonderful my hot pocket tasted. I load the paper with ideas of cheese erupting from the crust, dripping with sauce and meatballs. I draw pictures of meatballs and melted cheese. At this point, I begin to realize my paper will never get done unless I heat up another hot pocket for inspirational purposes. 
My eyes dart to the top of the microwave where the box remained, recognizing there is still one more. The box contains nutrition facts sorted neatly on the back: sodium, fat intake, calories, serving size, saturated fat…I cringe just thinking about the nutrition facts. One pocket contains 270 calories with 9 grams of fat. A serving size is one pocket. Here I am eating two. Health nuts warn us to stay away from processed foods high in saturated fat, but I am addicted.
I open up the Hot Pocket, set it in the microwave and punch the time to two minutes. Instead of gazing at the pocket spin in circles, I persuade myself that I really do need this last hot pocket to write my paper to the best of my ability. Without this last Hot Pocket, I will not truly understand the importance of the cheese to sauce ratio, the dripping of cheese on the plate, that first momentous bite with two times the amount of crust and breading as the other bites. I tell myself to cherish this last Hot Pocket, because after I am done eating, I have to start my paper.
Beep, Beep. With the sound of the microwave beep, excitement pulls at my stomach. I pull the plate out and blow on the erupted end of the Hot Pocket. I take the first bite very slowly. I want this moment to last forever, but before I know it, drink, bite, bite, bite, drink…the last Hot Pocket is gone.