Thursday, November 30, 2006

I like to Read

My new job has be driving quite a bit since the counties I work in are about an hour or so to the south down I-75. This leads to much time spent in my car listening to either the radio or cds, both of which I am becoming tired. Today I decided that maybe I should look into books on tape and therefore make my trips more productive. I have never really listened to a book on tape, at least, not that I can remember. I'm not sure if I'll like them. Part of me is a book purist and think that books should only be read. But then again, maybe listening to a book on tape would be like in elementary school when my teachers would read outloud to us. However, I was always the kid who would check out whatever book the teacher was reading the class and finish it on my own because I didn't want to wait for the ending since they would read to us at what I thought was an excruciatingly slow one-chapter-a-day pace. It's a good thing I out grew being such a nerd.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another Thanksgiving over

Jeremy and I went up to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving to visit some of his family. We had a pretty good time and I met his grandmas and assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. For brevity sake, here is a bulleted list of the week:
  • visited seven states on the trip (Tennessee, A LOT of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennslyvania, New Jersey, and New York)
  • Saw Brian in Philly and then rode the train from New Jersey to NYC with him and spent the evening there seeing the sites
  • Found out that Anali was also in Philly so I got to see her at 2am at a diner!
  • Successfully did not eat meat on Thanksgiving, but then had a bite of a cheesesteak in Philly the next day. I am weak.
  • Saw quite possibly the world's fattest dog
  • Met a Facebook friend for the first time (Jeremy's cousin who Facebook befriended me before ever meeting me)
  • came home and SLEPT

Monday, November 13, 2006

Employment: Take 2

So I have a new job, again. Except this one I like. I'm a "research specialist" for a study that is being conducted by the Children's Mental Health Research Center. Since the Center is at the University of Tennessee, I am now an employee of UT! Which means great benefits such as free tuition. The study is a five year long project and is looking at how a certain type of intensive therapy (MST) is effective in rural areas. My job is to travel to my counties and go to juvenile court each week to find families for the study. I then interview them at that time and then again 6, 12, and 18 months later. So far I really like the job. I'm still training so I go to other courts and observe the other Research Specialists and learn from them. They're all really nice and helpful.

I bought a new black briefcase-type bag for the job. Now I feel important and official when I'm in court. Which is good because part of my job includes getting in good with the judges and court staff. I don't have to, but I'm strongly encouraged to go out to eat with the judges and others if they invite me. So far I've had lunch with two judges and their assorted staff. It's been, interesting. Definitely a learning experience about the justice system, that's for sure.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When Texas is Better than Tennessee...

I was spoiled while living in Texas and never even realized it until I moved to Tennessee. Do you even know how hard it is to get some good Mexican food in this state? Nearly impossible! After living in Waco for four years, I grew accustomed to being able to get a decent meal pretty much any time of the day or night. Not so here.

I believe I have eaten at about four different Mexican restaurants in Knoxville and at best they have been mediocre. Two of the restaurants are always packed, which led me to believe that they would be good. Not the case. Actually, they were pretty bad. I have no idea why they are so busy. One was new so I decided to try it out, but it was just as bad as the other two. The fourth one was somewhat decent, but did not come close to Lupita's, Cancun, Ninfa's, or anywhere else I ate at in Waco.

At two of the restaurants I've tried here, they have had a "vegetarian" section on the menu. I thought "Great! This is just what I need!" Well, except that by "vegetarian" they mean that they take a burrito, quesadilla, enchilada, or whatever and fill it with the frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrot veggie mix and then pour this strange cheese mixture over the concoction. The end result is pretty horrible, as you could imagine. I had the "vegetarian" burrito at one place and could only stomach half. I tried the "vegetarian" quesadilla and another restaurant, thinking that it would be full of cheese, beans, stuff like that. Nope, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Who makes a quesadilla with frozen vegetables??

I miss me some good Mexican food. :(