Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin carving!

I bought four GIANT pumpkins, two bottles of wine, and a carving kit. Sybil (housemate) and i carved two pumpkins last night, i carved a third tonight. I love the smell of pumpkins, and the pumpkin seeds we roasted last night were delicious!
I did this cat last night... poor kitty seems to have lost an ear, and an eye...

Sybil's Jazz and Boos - cute singing ghosts with bowties!

My 2nd pumpkin - haunted house with bats and clouds and a moon and stuff.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


So, the past 2 weeks have been pretty busy... I packed up my old apartment in middletown (it's amazing how much CRAP had accumulated over the past four years!!) and moved to Boston on august 31st.

This being my first big move by myself with lots of stuff (moving out of my parent's place at 17, i didn't have many "things" and was only in my first apartment in meriden for a few months, so this was the first big move with boxes and stuff) i took some random pictures...

Poor Kitty will miss her boyfriend, George, the kitty who lived in my landlord's apartment next door. They used to meow at each other through the windows...

This is moving day -- my new bedroom, on the 3rd floor of a big 7-bedroom house, with two windows for Kitty. I have since unpacked and it looks much nicer and cleaner, but you'll have to come visit me in boston if you want to see the final product...

Anyway, i'm almost a week into my newest adventure. Grad school classes started last week, my internship starts next week. I had a great job interview today for a position as a medical assistant, will hopefully get the official offer on monday and start on tuesday. My housemates are really friendly and easy-going, especially the other girl on the 3rd floor with me, Sybil, who is also starting the Boston College grad school of social work program -- we don't have any classes together, but the sw program has had some social-y events which we've been attending, good fun! I definitely like boston, but all the changes have been rough -- new home, new city, new school, new housemates, new internship, new job, new everything... It's all good and fun, but change is always rocky. But i think i've been doing pretty well, keeping busy, meeting new friends at school, getting to know the area, etc. My poor Kitty has had a harder time, though -- she spent the first two days hiding in my bed, either under my pillows or burrowed deep into my comforter... but she's been doing much better the past few days, coming out when i'm in the room, playing and purring and being cute.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WOW it's been a long time, and a lot has happened...

So, since last time, here's the quick update:
I have a signed a lease and am moving on september 1st to a room in a 3 floor 7 bedroom house, with my kitty, in Brighton. I also have an internship with Volunteers of America at a women's substance abuse rehab program - i'll be a clinician, running groups and doing individual counselling sessions with my own client caseload. I'm excited, and terrified, at the same time. My experience working in New Haven at the crisis/respite house will come in handy at this place, but i will have a lot more responsibility and involvement than i've had before... So i'm thinking of it like a healthy skills-growing challenge. I'll break out of my experience vise next year, get an intership somewhere i have zero experience or training...

Also, my favorite part, i went to Ireland for 10 days in august, just got back last thursday! It was a really life changing experience -- of course i spent days walking around Ireland with the rolling green hills spotted with cows and sheep, the looming, mysterious mountains shrouded by mist, watching the waves crashing against rocky beaches in breezy violence, enjoying the warm company of various friendly locals and fellow travelers...

Yes, it was all of this, but the trip also had many hiccups, like when two different hostels "lost" my reservation and had no more beds available and no more in that whole town so i had to change plans and pick a random nearby town out of my rough guide based solely on whether i could find a bed or couch for that night.

And when i then needed to leave town, there were no buses or even taxis to take me to the next town, and i was walking down the road with my 80 lb backpack and it started to rain so i pulled out my cell phone to call the nearest town's taxi service no matter the cost, but my cell phone wouldn't complete a single call even though it had full reception, so i had no choice but to suck in my fear and stick out my thumb and pretend i wasn't actually hitchiking for the first time in my life, in a foreign country, in the rain.

There were a lot of stinky socks, a lot of packing and unpacking and repacking and then forgetting that i needed that one last thing at the very bottom of the bag, and a lot of stopping random people everywhere for directions and advice. I learned a lot about myself - my capabilities, limitations, weaknesses and strengths.

I learned that i can talk myself into being in a good mood and pushing worrisome thoughts into the back of my mind just by saying "i'm in Ireland, i'm not complaining about ANYthing!"

I also learned that i seem to be developing some sort of fear of heights, or general anxiety around heights. There were at least three distinct occasions where I was climbing up something particularly high and unsteady and i had such overwhelming physical anxiety that i had to stop, and twice actually started climbing back down, before i said to myself "you are in Ireland, don't wimp out, you'll regret it" and forced myself all the way to the top, before scrambling back down. This, i think, is new.

But most importantly, this trip gave me a sense of accomplishment -- i finally went on the trip i've been dreaming of forever, which was possible because i've worked hard for the past four years to support myself, save up, and finish my undergraduate degree, and on this dream trip i proved to be self-sufficient, flexible, and competent enough, in the end. This kind of makes me feel like, oh ok, i actually can handle life.

Anyway, the pictures are all on facebook, you do not need an account or anything to see them, just click on the link and double click on the first picture, and the commentary is on the bottom.
Ireland trip (CONDENSED) album 1 of 2:
Ireland trip (CONDENSED) album 2 of 2:

And in case you are like me and just can't seem to get enough looking at pictures of beautiful Irish landscape, there are like 600 pictures altogether, which can also be accessed through the 10 album series on facebook.
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 1:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 2:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 3:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 4:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 5:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 6:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 7:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 8:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 9:
Ireland (COMPLETE) album 10:

Enjoy the pics, lemme know what you think!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

boo for tonsils

Ok, so my body decided to rebell against me, and now i have tonsilitis. Luckily, the doc says surgery won't be necessary, and i should be back to normal in 4-10 days.
This has meant lots of time sitting on my couch, reading books for school.

Here's the big update: I GOT ACCEPTED TO BOSTON COLLEGE GRAD SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK and will be moving there in aug/sep! I am super excited about this. I'm graduating in like 3 weeks, then have to write a philosophy thesis by july 1st, then going to ireland for 2 weeks, then looking for a new job and place in the boston area. So, there's a lot of good stuff going on, enough that i'm able to ignore this tonsilitis crap and just try to enjoy these few days off of classes and work.

Actually, it's funny, because a few posts ago i was all freaking out about my future - which grad program to apply to, what direction my future should go in, etc. But i'm definitely starting to figure out all that crap. I now know that the next 2 years will be in boston, and then my future is open and free. And that's cool.

Anyway, i'm sick and it's cold outside, so i'm going to end this post. But expect a more detailed Jackpot post soon!
Peace out my homies-

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

meagins fresh stuff

Well, i have been pretty busy, starting my new "business":

Meagin's Fresh Granola

(a Meagin's Fresh Stuff production)

Months of endless, creative experimenting with granola ingredients has turned into a little business opportunity. I am hoping that i will be mildly successful, selling homemade granola to family and friends, students and professors at school, coworkers, etc. I sold my first pint of granola last week while i was at my favorite cafe - one of the other customers overheard me talking about my homemade granola, and ordered a jar! I think that the big selling point is all the fun ingredients i use (cranberries, walnuts, dried cherries, dried apricots, maple syrup, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, honey, dried plums, dried peaches, hazelnuts, brown sugar, banana chips, orange-flavored cranberries, vanilla extract, coconut . . . etc).

So anyway, the past month or so has been a frenzy of buying and trying new ingredients, stocking up on quart and pint jars, typing up menu proto-types, coming up with fun names for granola recipes, ...and washing lots of granola-cemented cookie sheets, sweeping up the oats on my kitchen floor twice a day, getting really creative with my counter space, etc.

I got a new email address for Fresh Granola orders - I created an excel spreadsheet with the cost of every ingredient i've used, so i can calculate how much each batch i make costs out of pocket. I'm in conversation with two dear friends who run a graphic design/web design company ( about designing a cool, fresh-looking granola menu, business cards, even a website where i can sell other Fresh Stuff (like cool magnets, giant floor pillows, beverage coasters, etc) and maybe even post my old poetry and essays.

Anyway, this is the most "creative" thing i've ever done! I have always been frustrated by the fact that i definitely have a desire to be artistic, but i have zero artistic skills (can't draw, sketch, paint, sculpt, etc). Well, this whole Meagin's Fresh Stuff is giving my lots of opportunities to be creative. I even started playing around with GIMP (graphics and image manipulation - an open-source version of adobe photoshop). I created this little thing last night:

not too shabby, considering it was my first time ever using a computer graphics program, right?

So, anyway,if you need any homemade granola . . . you know where to go.

Monday, March 03, 2008

caught in a kakfa-like hell

so, every new state employee working hazardous duty are offered a certain blood test to measure the strength of your body's immunity to hepatitis b. i know i had all my shots, but i figured there was no harm in just checking to make sure i was fully immune. the state of connecticut pays for the test, i get reassured that i'm fully immune, this is a win-win. so i went to the middlesex hospital outpatient center, along with about 23 other new employees, and had blood drawn for this test. July 2, 2007. i then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

august 2, 2007, i got the first bill.
what? quest diagnostics was billing *me* for $84.42 for the test. that's when i realized that i hadn't actually received the results of the damn test. so i call up my HR lady and explained the situation. she made a few phone calls, and a few days later i get the results in my mailbox. so i figure, ok, everything is settled.

september 1, 2007
Wait a minute, that situation was all fixed. i got the results, my hr lady called quest to change the billing. ...right? well, i call up quest diagnostics -- yeah, you billed me but you shouldn't, here is the number of my human resources lady, she will tell you for certain that i shouldn't be getting the bill. "ok, i'm fixing it on the computer right now, yes it's officially fixed, you're all set."

november 20, 2007
We have billed insurance but have received no response for the claim. Quest diagnostics must now look to you for payment."
But . . . it was fixed. i heard nothing in october.
i call up quest again, and i'm starting to get nervous and flustered. quest diagnostic is now trying to tell me that the "orders" for the test identified *me* as the person to bill, so i needed to call the people who ordered the test. so i call middlesex hospital outpatient center, explain the situation, and the receptionist apologized, she'll take care of that right away. i call up quest to confirm, but get a different person on the line, who can't seem to understand the concept of billing the state of connecticut, he keeps asking me, "so, who do you say is responsible for this bill?" i'm exhausted. "look, i was hired as an employee of the State of Connecticut, by the Department of Children and Families, as a children's services worker at the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Youth. Bill the state, bill dcf, bill riverview hospital. if i give you my hr lady's name, you can bill her personally, if you need a name. just not my name. this is not my account, not my debt, not my responsibility."

december 20, 2007
I just don't even know what t do anymore. i call middlesex hospital again, almost in tears. the lady said that the file had been closed out -- the last note made in it was that a telephone call had been made to quest diagnostics in late november. so i call quest again. this particular customer service rep just doesn't seem to understand the concept of billing the state of connecticut, he keeps asking me, "so, who do you say is responsible for this bill?" i'm exhausted. "look, i was hired as an employee of the State of Connecticut, by the Department of Children and Families, as a children's services worker at the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Youth. Bill the state, bill dcf, bill riverview hospital. if i give you my hr lady's name, you can bill her personally, if you need a name. just not my name. this is not my account, not my debt, not my responsibility."

january 19, 2008
*****THIRD NOTICE*****
...oh my god, am i in wonderland? didn't this all get FIXED?!?!? ...this is when i start to think about conspiracy theories, kafka hells. i call up the middlesex hospital outpatient center again. "you didn't change it! you didn't call them! you don't understand, this situation is really stressing me out, i feel like crying right now, i just don't know what to do." she tells me to call quest. quest tells me to call my insurance company, see if that would cover it. i leave a message with someone at anthem, and then forget about it, never get called back.

february 25, 2008
i'm starting to think that there is some nasty evil stuff coming at me. a week before i got this one in the mail, i got a call from my credit card company, telling me that someone had stolen my credit card and taken it to italy, and charged over 5,000 bucks. THAT was a scary moment. then i get this notice from quest. i'm starting to get worried. how long before they start chopping off my fingers?

So, i'm making the phone calls tomorrow. calling quest, middlesex hospital, anthem, my hr lady, all of them. i wanna get them all on a conference call. because this whole situation is stressing me out to an unhealthy degree. i actually feel sick about it.

...wish me luck

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

it's official . . .

. . . i'm coming to an intersection in my life, and i have some pretty intense decisions to make about my future.
Here are the facts:
1. I will “walk” at graduation in may, but missing 2 credits in psychology and 2 credits in phys ed. I can, theoretically, finish those in the first 5-6 weeks after graduation, and be done.
2. I would like to go to grad school in the fall, either in an MSW program, or some philosophy program.
3. I want to be a Philosophical Practitioner (kinda like a therapist who doesn't ask endless questions about your childhood, but rather helps you figure out your own philosophical ideas and how they influence your life. Read this article. Keep in mind it was written 10 years ago, so the practice has grown both in the states and in europe.)
4. If i go philosophy, i will most likely need to somehow have another year or maybe two of exposure to undergrad-level philosophical study, either by continuing at Central, or auditing classes elsewhere, or matriculating as an undergrad elsewhere.
5. However, i am academically prepared for an MSW program, and would probably have a decent chance of getting into a good program and completing it in 2-3 years.
6. But getting an MSW means that i cannot go on to be a certified philosophical practitioner, unless i decide to then go on for another 4-6 years of PhD work.
7. But, it might also be possible to get an MSW, do some private practice work, and slowly develop my own philosophical practice, my own philosophies about practice. If it goes well, i could even join, or found, some kind of organization, or develop a licensing curriculum so it could become official and stuff.
8. But this direction would involve more ambition and self-motivation.

...phew. I'm actually seriously considering making an appointment with Lou Marinoff, the philosophical practitioner in new york, and seeing what his response to my situation is.