New Blog

Posted in NOTE on Sunday, February 8, 2015 by dragonsvamp

Hello all! It’s been years and years since I posted on here (sorry). But I have some good new! I’m blogging again on a new site. Check me out at TheKloude!

Apartment Hunting

Posted in Home Sweet Home, life experiences, Michigan with tags , , , on Friday, July 10, 2009 by dragonsvamp

In about a month, my sister will be moving in with me. This not only means that I will have to change my life around so that we can become roommates. I’ve had two years of living on my own, so you bet it’s going to be tough getting used to having another person in the house, having another person to take into consideration, having another person to compromise with, having another person to talk to, to laugh with, to go shopping and out to movies with.

It’s a great feeling and a very unwelcome one at the same time. One moment I’m thrilled to have my sister come live with me and the other moment I dread it. It’s odd being able to feel two extremes concerning the same thing. But in the end it’ll be a novel experience that will hopefully have more ups then downs.

Now for me and my sister to get comfortable, I need to decide whether we can bear living in a one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving or if I should move into a two bedroom apartment right around the time she moves in.

As everything, there are pros and cons to both points. Let’s look at the pros of staying in the one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving out:

1. Save money: I’d be able to afford the apartment without any strains on my fincances and without the need to make my sister help me out with rent just yet. This will help her get situated and get a job before having to stress about that. I had that help the first couple of months I was on my own and I’d love to provide that help to her as she gets accustomed to living on her own as well.

2. Less pressure: Since I know that I didn’t get as big a raise for this coming year as I did for last year, I’m going to have a little more pressure on myself if I move into a bigger apartment. Waiting a few months before moving, will definitely lessen the stress on me and being able to afford the things I’m used to without having to (going on to #3) cut back.

3. Not having to cut back: To be honest, I’ve gotten accustomed to a lifestyle that will probably need to see some cutbacks if I decide to move into a bigger apartment. Now this isn’t the case if my sister gets a job right away but I’m not betting on that nor am I taking it into consideration. Like I said above, I want to be able to help her out as I was helped out. It means a lot to me the amount of help and support I had when I moved out on my own and I want to do that for my sister.

Now the pros for moving into a bigger place:

1. Space: Having enough space for both of us to feel comfortable, is vital if we’re going to be able to get along. Living in a one bedroom apartment (even though my sister is willing to sleep on the couch for a little while) is just not enough for us. I’ve gotten used to having a whole apartment to myself, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to end up in a similar situation that she came from. Growing up we always had two kids a room- I know I can’t do that anymore and I’m sure she needs her own private space to call hers. A two bedroom would be perfect for us.

2. Comfort and Convenience: The area I live in right now is not a place I feel really comfortable in. It’s pretty safe but it just doesn’t feel homey or as homey as I’d like it to be. I have to make a couple of sacrifices living in my apartment. The first is not having my own washer and dryer. I don’t want to have to deal with that anymore than I have to and it’s just going to be so inconvenient having to carry twice the amount of laundry around to get it done. Moving into another apartment lets me put the criteria of having hookups for a washer and dryer and it’s easier to find in larger apartments. The second is being more comfortable in the apartment I’m living in. I only really moved into the apartment I live in right now because it was the cheapest thing out there. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a decent apartment, but it’s not anywhere near ‘home’. I moved in with the mindset that I wouldn’t be staying for long.

3. Pets: I’m the kind of person who loves animals. I need pets. I already found two cats that I want and that are on hold for me (in case I decide to move) and the place I live in right now doesn’t allow any pets. A bigger apartment will be great for having pets. I also want to get a pet snake- and that’s something I’d be able to get if I moved out.

Those are the three top pros of staying or moving and I really needed to just write it all out (and talk to a couple people) to realize that the pros of moving have a more impact on me than the pros of staying where I am for a little longer. In the end, I’ll be moving anyways so why not decide to now?

Also, I’ve already seen a two bedroom condo that is owned by my hair dresser and oh my God. It’s perfect for what I want. It’s 15 minutes away from work and from the University. It’s got two floors and a great amount of space that would be perfect for me and my sister and our pets. I love the condo, the location, and the person who owns it. And writing all this out has helped me realize that in the end it’s a really good deal. Last month while I was getting my hair cut, we talked about my sister moving in with me and having my hair dresser’s tenants leaving. She told me how much she’d be asking for her place and when I got to see the apartment she offered it for a little cheaper, I would hope because she feels really comfortable with me moving in.

I know for a fact it’s not because she won’t find tenants for her asking price (which is relatively low for a place like that) because there’s always people who want to rent and I doubt she’d have a hard time finding someone to pay the price she’s asking for it.

I need to let her know my decision tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be making the right choice after sleeping on it.

Wish me luck!


Posted in Travel with tags , , , on Saturday, July 4, 2009 by dragonsvamp

It’s hard to believe that my stay in Oslo, Norway is nearing it’s end. I’ve been here for almost 20 days and will be leaving soon. I remember buying the plane tickets back in April and so there was plenty of time for this to build up in my mind. Surprisingly, I was ready and packed with my apartment, for the most part, clean and ready to be ‘boarded up’ for three weeks (which is actually not how I usually go about things) days before my flight was scheduled to leave.

Vigeland Paark

Vigeland Park

Oslo Norway

Oslo Norway

It was somewhat worrisome knowing that just a few weeks before a plane holding more than 300 people on it’s way to France crashed into the sea leaving no survivors. But I kept this in the back of my mind. I had more important things to worry about like my luggage being too heavy or getting lost, like making sure last minute things were done before I left and like finding a gift for the friend whose going to be ‘taking care’ of me during my stay in Norway.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

The Royal Palace in Oslo

The Royal Palace in Oslo

I’m really glad I overcame my inhibitions and went on this vacation. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I got the opportunity to go and see places and never would have seen like the Royal Palace, Vigeland Park, the Edward Munch Museum and Stockholm Sweden. I got to see The Scream by Edward Munch in person. I got a chance to buy reprints of two of his artwork that I fell in love with. Vigeland Park is a sight. It’s beautiful and huge and full of naked statues in varying stages of the human life cycle with more than one fountain.

Gay Pride Parade

Gay Pride Parade in Oslo

Munch Museum

Munch Museum

I got to even see my friend get his very first tattoo and I myself added an extra piercing to my collection. I even got to see Gay Pride being celebrated in the streets of Oslo as the Gay Pride Parade ended the week long event.

Prison Wall in Oslo

Prison Wall in Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

Church at Fort of Akershus

Church at Fort of Akershus

Apart from my friend being extremely sick on our two day trip in Sweden (which limited what we got to see) I had a blast there and saw what a beautiful sprawling city Stockholm is. Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures when I toured the Palace in Stockholm. It was phenomenal. The city had all it’s beautiful old architecture surrounded by the bustling more advanced buildings and public transportation.

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm



The bus ride to and back from Stockholm lasted over 7 hours and it was mind numbing how gorgeous the scenery was. The only thing that caused a bit of difficulty during my stay was the weather. I had kept track of the pattern of the weather in Oslo and for the most part it was nice cool-ish weather. The day I arrived in Oslo was really nice, the next day it rained, the third it was nice and then after that it became progressively warmer and warmer until a pretty permanent and unusual heat wave hit. It’s been almost unbearably hot since about my fourth day here.

Bus Ride

Bus Ride back to Oslo

Though I had a great time and love Oslo and Stockholm, I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to go back to my life (maybe not refreshed and well rested but at least ready to face it) and get back to reality (as I know it).  Three weeks is a long time to be away from home and- don’t get me wrong I love it here- I do miss my ‘normal’ life.

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)



And though I’m ready to go home I’m already mapping out my next ‘big’ trip. I want to go to so many places and I realized that if I don’t take advantage of going to them while I can then I may never get the chance to later.

University Shizz

Posted in My University Life with tags , , , , on Thursday, June 11, 2009 by dragonsvamp

So of course I have yet to be considered a resident of Michigan in the eyes of the university here but that’s probably never going to happen even if I ended up living my whole life here.  I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to take yet another year off of college August 2009-July 2010 (took one from January 2007-January 2008 the first time) this coming school year.

I didn’t want loans to accumulate and then I graduate in major debt. I decided taking this year off would give me a few months to pay off my $5500 loan from last school year and a few months to save up enough to go to college without taking loans out next fall (not this coming fall 2009).

Apparently, now I have to reanalyze my situation. I got a nice whopping belated birthday present from the university- or at least I’d like to think of it as a birthday present since I did turn 21 two days ago. I got a letter in the mail telling me that I was receiving a $3200 scholarship! That’s 1600 a semester if you want to do the math.

And what’s even better is that all that’s required is that I go to college half time, which equates to at least 6 credits (two classes) each semester. If I took two classes a semester for the next two semesters I’d only put myself back less than $500 (tuition out of pocket) for each semester. That’s as opposed to the approximate $2000 I had to put in for last semester’s two classes.

Perfect right?

Now if I do end up getting the raise I’m hoping for at my full time job I’ll have myself all set up for next year. (AlhamduliAllah). I was getting worried over next year because this year was very difficult. I had classes at college, my full time job, part time job at the library, scattered hours tutoring, babysitting, transcribing and chauffeuring to keep me able to afford my lifestyle. And I didn’t want to deal with another year of all that work especially when taking into account that my sister was moving in with me.

I hope I find out about the raise by the time I get back from Norway because then I might just end up taking a trip down to good ole home town SoCal to get some sun and beach and salty water recharge before getting back to the hum drum of work and college.

*Fingers Crossed*


Posted in Family, Travel, University in America, Work Arama on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 by dragonsvamp

It’s been a whole hell of a while since I’ve written on here. I keep thinking of my blog and how I want to keep it up but I just don’t know where to begin. I don’t feel like talking about the kids I work with since it’ll probably just bore readers to death though it keeps me super busy and focused in my goals career wise. 

Thought a few of what I’ll talk of here should by right have their own post I don’t have the time to give them the ‘airing out’ they need. So I’ll keep this short and simple. 

First, lets start with college. I’ve been a senior in college forEVER now and I don’t see graduation anywhere on the horizon. It’s a long story but the biggest roadblock is the costs involved in getting an education. Yes, financial aid covers half of my tuition but I pay double what residents pay. Yes, I still have yet to get rid of my ‘out of state’ status and attain my ‘resident’ status. It sucks that the universities here in Michigan have been given ‘autonomous authority’ when it comes to setting residency guildlines.

And times are tough, so of course they’re not going to let people get residency if they can help it. That’s cutting the amount of money they get in by half. Literally.

This brought me to the tough decision of maybe not taking classes during the 2009-2010 College year. It’s not something I look forward to but it’s something I feel I might need to do in order to prove to the people in charge of the residency that I’m not here just for an education. That I’m actually LIVING here and probably won’t be going anywhere for a long time.

Second, my sister is going to move in with me. For the most part I’m pretty pumped. It’ll be fun to go shopping, to the movies, and just hang out with someone you know will be there no matter what. No more boring old nights of doing nothing because everyone you know has prior plans or is caught up with family or work or just live way too far away to be seen all the time.

The downside is that I will probably have to move into a slightly larger apartment (that has washing machine and dryer hookups!). This means living costs will go up for me. But it’ll be much better than what I’ve got right now. Don’t get me wrong I love my apartment that I live in but I hate having to lug around my dirty laundry every week to get them cleaned and I definetly can’t see me and my sister living comfortably in a one bedroom apartment.

Which brings me to another downside. I’ve gotten so used to living by myself that it’s kind of odd thinking of how little things in my life will have to change (whether good or bad) so that I can better accommodate my sister. But she is my sister and we’ll probably never have a chance to get to know one another better and get closer as a family before we go our separate ways so I’ll most defiantly focus on the bright side of this new situation.

My my there’s so much going on. 

Work is winding down. That’s the nice thing about working at a school- you get to have the summer off to do your own thing. And though I dreaded last summer this summer seems like it’ll be a whole hell of a lot nicer. For one I’ve got a whole bunch of tutoring jobs lined up for me that I hope I can keep during next school year (to generate more income so I can afford a bigger apartment). But even if they only last the summer they’ll be able to pay for a few things I’ve got lined up.


That’s one of the things I’ll be working on making up lost cash over. Yes in less than two weeks I’ll be on my flight to Norway to see a dear friend and to be able to see a part of the world I’ve only been to in short stops that never left the airport. I’ll be staying there for about three weeks and am sure I’ll have the time of my life. It’s thrilling and exciting and I’m not sure it’s sunk in just yet that I’ve actually taken this step of planning such a huge trip.

I tell you it was tough to click that button that said ‘purchase tickets.’ So much came up that made me want to just close my browser and tell myself I was being stupid in going on such a trip. For one it is expensive. Of course it’s only a fraction of the price it would have cost me to go if I went last summer but it’s still quite a chunk of money- which thank God I actually was able to save up and pay off before my credit card statement was due. 

Another thing that bothered me and made my fingers hover in hesitation over that button was how much time I would be gone. Three weeks is a lot of time when you calculate all the stuff you could get done if you stay at home. I would be loosing the opportunity to earn more money and save up more to pay off my *cough* accumulated student loans from last year ($5500 may not seem too much but it’s a hell of a lot to me). And knowing the tutoring I’ve got waiting for me when I come back that’s a good chunk of cash I wouldn’t be around to earn. Yes, I’m a total workaholic and that just made me realize how much I needed to let go a little and live a little. Not everything is work and I need to relax and reenergize if I don’t want to crash half way through next school year (work-wise I mean).

And so I’m offfff!

In less than a week, I’ll be turing 21. I’ve already gone and renewed my driver license. I will soon be trading in my vertical DL for a horizontal one. It felt weird walking in there and getting all the paperwork in order. It felt almost like another stage in my life was about to begin. It honestly felt like somewhat a coming of age ritual and I was just about to pass through.

It’s a big deal to me because I’m now officially really in my twenties and I realized I need to start thinking like that. It’s hard getting rid of the mindset that I’m still a teenager. I’m always accidently thinking of myself as one of the ‘kids’ in school still and it’s still tough thinking of myself as an adult whose completely and (thank God) successfully taking care of herself. What drove the point home this year was working with the middle schoolers at the school I work at. I realize that I was no longer a 15 year old and that it was ok to start growing up. And surprisingly it also made me realize that I don’t want to be a 15 year old. There was no yearning to be a teeny-bopper anymore.

I’ve always been the kid student and now it’s my turn to be a little more than that. 

Yes, 21 is still young and I know I’m not going to have the mindset of a 40 year old just yet (and hopefully never) but I also feel as though I’m much too old sometimes. It’s weird when you realize that you have an easier time befriending people in their 30s than those your own age. And I’m just beginning to realize that I am who I am and that’s okay. And in the end, age is just a number and not much else.

But it’s taken me a while and I’m sure still a while more to come to fully accept and feel comfortable in the ‘skin I’m in’ and not have to constantly wonder and ask myself Where do I fit in this wide (age) group of people?

Well that wraps up the majority of what’s happening in my life. For now I need to go take a shower and sleep because I’ve had too many late nights this weekend and I need as much sleep as I can get to be able to get through the rest of this week. Thank goodness kids get out of school this Friday! 


Sick? Who, me?

Posted in Health & Fitness with tags , on Sunday, March 29, 2009 by dragonsvamp

If you know me (whether in person or on Facebook) you’d have noticed I’ve been sick quite a lot lately. The weather is just not helping out. One day its hitting the 60s and the next (like today) its snowing (I KNOW in MARCH of all times!).

But being sick with cold/flu/sinus/allergy like symptoms all rolled up into one will end up finally forcing me to admit defeat and go to see the doctor. Of course I leave the appointment feeling like a bozo because other than needing allergy medicine I was supposedly perfectly healthy.

My blood pressure and all that nasty stuff is perfect and lookin’ good. Of course, they drew blood for testing. Two small tubes filled up quickly with thick gooey super dark red liquid (yes the light bright red blood you see on t.v. is pathetic compared to the real thing).  So I feel stupid going to the doctor after such an appointment. 

This being sick on and off for more than four months has nothing to do with me but has everything to do with my lack of sleep, over work, too much stress, and not knowing when to say “No, I need a break” type of habits. Oh and of course a major cause of never feeling healthy is the fact that I work 8 hours a day with kids ranging from 3 to 13 year olds (I’m usually around the 3-6 spectrum) and they’re always spreading nasty kid cooties all over the place.

I haven’t even gone and gotten my Zyrtec (or whatever the allergy med is called) from the pharmacy but I’ll get around to it this week hopefully.

To get on with the story, I got a call from the doctor Friday. He told me the blood tests were in. And of course something else had to be wrong with me. Apparently my exhaustion isn’t only the effect of lack of sleep and over work but because of some (common in females) minor imbalance with my thyroids. Thanks a whole hell of a lot thyroids!

At least now we know it wasn’t all in my head. Obviously it wasn’t because everyone started noticing that I was never looking or feeling good and they kept asking me if I’d finally gotten an appointment to check out what was wrong with me.

And obviously there was no reason for me to feel like a bozo going to the doctor. I guess I figure if I ignore my health the problems will just go away. You know just like ignoring the dishes in the sink for a couple of weeks and finally a friend will bail you out and wash them for you. See they disappeared! And look! They’re all nice and clean in the dishwasher! Oh sorry – you wouldn’t know that because you don’t have awesome friends like I do!

So, moving on, I’ve got to go pick the meds for that up this week as well. Now I’m going to have to get on with “Operation: Make myself take the meds” as soon as I get “Operation: Go to the Pharmacy” done.

The Slab of Marble

Posted in University in America with tags , on Saturday, March 28, 2009 by dragonsvamp

Educational progress:

Slowly chipping away at a slab of marble with a wooden toothpick.

Ooops the toothpick just broke! Now what will I do?!

Well that’s how it feels. Yes, I’m a senior and still 20 but it feels like I’ve been in college for ever (which is since 2005) and I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. I keep on wanting to add to my majors, minors, and certifications and therefore am causing much confusion when it comes to what classes to take and how to do it all so that I may use up my time wisely.

Not working so well apparently. I probably should talk to a counselor and see what she has to say concerning my education. Last semester I decided I wanted to do a double major- English and Math. But after taking Calculus and getting a nice tidy D in it (it’s their fault allowing me to test straight into Calculus- I haven’t taken a math class since I graduated high school back years and years ago! But no- plop- they send me straight to calculus.) I realized that I should stick to enjoying teaching Algebra and leave the other big girl stuff to people with more passion for math.

So what now? I’ve got four courses left and I could graduate with a normal no frills English degree. If I want to add a minor or two that makes the count go up by at least ten more classes (some of which I’ve already completed). And add the beautiful teacher’s certification- I’m stuck in school indefinitely because I can’t even start on the certification (which in itself is another 20 some credits) until I’ve got 18 credit hours (or 9 courses) completed in a teaching minor (which is Speech in my case).

Add to my problems the fact that the university I’m attending (even though its considered one of the top ones in the states) has limited courses available for those who work full time. So most of my classes are offered during the day time and I can’t attend them because I have to work. Not many courses are offered after 4 pm and if they are they’re few and far between. Hence my feeling of chipping away at a slab of marble with nothing more than a toothpick- maybe a piece of hay is more like it.

But as a friend told me recently- I’m only 20 and already a senior. It’s not like I’m behind or not getting much done. But when all your friends around you are graduating and moving on and even those who came to college after you have the end in sight it feels quite dreary. Though it feels like I’m going no where I’ve accomplished quite a bit since I turned 17 and entered college.

But why doesn’t it feel like that? Why do I feel like I’m getting no where?

Detroit, Snow, and Shopping Galore

Posted in RandomVille with tags , , , , on Sunday, December 21, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Yesterday, was an extremely busy day for me. Got up before eight and out of the house before 9 am. I went all the way down to Detroit to pick up a car for a friend.  Roads were just becoming clear after the previous 24 hours of nonstop snowing.  I believe we got about a foot of snow and the trucks were all over the place clearing snow off of the roads. The free ways were clearer and more easily drivable.

After picking up the car for the friend (who would be taking the car on Christmas) I decided to take a detour because my driving buddy needed to finish up some holiday shopping. I’m happy I went along. The Circuit City in this one mall was going out of business and closing down in two days.  Everything was 70-90% off.  

I happened to stumble upon a Magellan Maestro GPS that retailed for $299. It was out of the box but in near perfect condition. I got it for $75. Now that’s a sweet buy. Another sweet buy was my Nexxtech Wireless Transmitter and Charger. This thing lets me play my iPod through an FM station on my car radio while charging my iPod (something I’ve been wanting for a while). Regular price? $59.99. How much did I get it for? A mere 18 bucks. 

I’m surprised I found both those at all. The store was nearly empty. Everything super good was already gone. I guess people overlooked those two things. My driving buddy got a Mio GPS for $45; its retail price around $150.

I’ve used friends’ GPSs before and really liked them but couldn’t justify spending so much money on them when I could just used mapquest or googlemaps to figure out directions. But coming upon such a sweet buy, I couldn’t help myself. It was too good to turn away from.

I spent the rest of the day helping my buddy find gifts for friends and family. It’s fun when you go shopping to help a friend instead of going shopping to spend money. You don’t feel obliged to spend money or buy anything (even though I did end up buying stuff).

On the flip side of things, more car trouble has headed my way. I believe it’s time for me to part with my beloved (*ahem*) car. She’s been giving me problems left and right. On Thursday, the car decided to die on me in the middle of m running a million errands. I stayed at home all Friday because I was extremely sick. On Saturday, I was out all day getting my friend’s car and holiday shopping but didn’t use my car. I did turn it on to make sure it worked though and it did. But today, it refused to start. 

Thank God it’s winter break and I don’t have work to worry about my car working or not. But that’s only for another two weeks. I need to figure out a solution to this problem. I keep getting my car fixed and it keeps falling apart on me. It’s old, and about time to retire, so I keep getting told that I need to get another car- but I can’t afford one at the moment.

I’m sure something will come up soon to solve this problem. If not I might have to take out a loan and buy a used car that’s newer than mine. We’ll see.

Snow, snow, and more snow. It decided to start snowing towards the end of the day yesterday. And apparently it snowed quite a bit throughout the night.  I woke up this morning to find the roads covered in snow again and my drive way completely buried.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just end up staying inside for the rest of the day since my car won’t work and I don’t really urgently need to do anything. Or I just take my friend’s car out for a spin since he won’t be picking it up until Christmas evening.


Let it snow!

Posted in Michigan, Photos with tags , , on Friday, December 19, 2008 by dragonsvamp

So the last day of school for 2008 turns out to be a snow day. It started snowing at 1 am on the 19th and hasn’t stopped yet. One extra day off for winter break- that makes 17 whole days! It’s a break I know the whole school needed- most of all the teachers. It’s gotten super hectic and tiring and so winter break couldn’t come at a better time. 

Being holed up in my apartment isn’t too bad actually. First. I know I have over two weeks of free time to go out and do as I please without the constraints of work and college. Second, I’m extremely sick and barely have any voice left in me. So i needed the rest and relaxation. For the first time in months, I got to sleep in. Averaging about six hours a night of sleep, has taken its toll on me and the result? Never getting better.

About a month ago, I got sick and lost my voice and finally started getting better before I was thrown back into sick realm. But that’s not something I’m bothered by. Yes, its annoying to be sick but it’s not going to stop me from getting stuff done.


The view from outside my living room window

The view from outside my living room window



Other than watching all the snow falling outside and seeing how beautiful all the whiteness is, I am making a huge dent in my reading. Almost done with Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, already finished reading The Child Called It, and doing all kinds of stuff with my facebook account and my blog. 

Ahh the loveliness of winter break!