Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More and More

Well, I've actually managed to come back and write something less than 3 months from my last post. I will call that an accomplishment, for now.

I am still giddy every time I set foot on campus. I hope the feeling doesn't go away anytime soon but given what my fall schedule is going to be I fear I'll probably be cursing the place soon enough. That is until the games start back. Megan and I are (hopefully) planning to get season tickets for this season and the idea of spending Saturdays between the hedges is almost too much to even think about right now.

Classes are going relatively well. Calculus is about how I thought it would be: not much of a challenge but just hard enough to make me pay attention in if I can just get the online homework done I'd be in a really good position in that class. I really like my teacher, too. Maurice Leblanc from New Orleans. I haven't had a chance to learn much about him yet but when class gets hard I plan to camp out in his office. Spanish on the other hand is a totally different animal. The professor speaks nothing but Spanish and it seems we are being asked a lot for it to be only the fourth semester of study. I had to write a 300 word essay in class today and the topic was "Cual es el problema mas importante de los Estados Unidos?" (most of those are cognates but for clarification "What is the most important problem in the United States?"). I wrote about the economy and believe me, you don't understand how much you rely on an advanced grasp of language and vocabulary until you try to explain/be persuasive in another language. 300 words may not seem like a lot (it's about a page/page and a half) but it's a lot in a second language after only limited study, and it's really a lot to have to produce on your own with limited use of a dictionary (we were only allowed a 10 minute period at the end to use a dictionary). Eh, I guess I have to be pushed to learn more, just not ready to be pushed so hard.

I'm nervous about starting organic chemistry in the fall. Many people don't realize how serious UGA is about sciences, especially biochem. It's amazing some of the research being done there and I'm really excited to get into the lab.

Did you know you can go straight from a bachelors to a Ph.D. in Biochemistry? Megan hates that (can't really do that in English). If med school doesn't work out for whatever reason I think that's what I'll do is just go ahead and get my Ph.D. So basically, I'll be a Dr. one way or another.

Still looking for a place to live and our lease runs out July 31. Yeah...I should really get on that.

I haven't started packing either...

Any thoughts on the current field of Republican candidates? I'm not going to make any snap judgements, except for Romney, Palin, and Bachman...hate them all, but I'm hoping there's at least one sensible non-radical member of the group (appears to be Huntsman right now but who knows).

I'm looking forward to Ryan and Sara's visit this summer but I'm SUPER excited and Cody and I will be making it up there in August. Now we just need to get Austin up and we can complete the set.

Random thoughts: loving Game of Thrones and Treme this season, pienso en espanol mas y mas ahora, how do people learn html code, still not motivated to do my boring as all get out job, my cats are awesome.

Okay folks, homework time...

I love you all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back At It

Yet again I've managed to completely fail at blogging. In addition to being totally absent lately the only reason I'm really writing this is to test out my new blogging app on my iPad (yes, I just got an iPad, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid and loving it). It's 10:15 right now so I'm going to have to keep it short since it's time for me to be getting to bed. I'm in class now at UGA. I have an 8:00 am Spanish followed by a 9:15 Calculus. This means that I have to get up at 6:00 every morning so I can get to campus on time. I don't mind getting up so early but I do mind not getting at least 7 hours of sleep.

Classes are going really well. I'm so excited to be on campus that I almost piss myself with excitement every day. The only downside to my days on campus is that I have a crazy long walk between my first and second class and only 15 minutes to make it. I could have scheduled my classes so that I wouldn't be in such a rush but I look at it as an opportunity to push myself and exercise rather than an imposition.

Okay, well I really have to be going now but since I just paid $5 for this crappy app I'm definitely going to need to make sure I get my money's worth out of it!

Much love!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good News Everyone!

The semester has officially ended! I am so relieved to be through with all of the classes I was taking. I finally completed both the basic chemistry and biology courses so I can move on to the more advanced classes. I can't believe it but I managed to make all A's. It's the first time I've ever done that in my entire life and it was taking 14 hours of college courses. Needless to say I'm elated.

My celebration is short lived, however, because I start classes again next Wednesday. Not much of a break, I know, but a necessary evil if I want to finish school sometime in the next 20 years.

This is going to be a short post because Meg just got home and we have to go grocery shopping and run some errands for a Flat Stanley we just got (more on that next time).

I love you guys!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It's been way too long since my last post. There are times I have been too busy, but the times I haven't I've spent the time doing something else. Reading, mostly. I'm two books into the Stieg Larsson trilogy and so far both have been fantastic. Very reminiscent of Dan Brown but slightly better writing (I mean that as a compliment to Larsson, not an insult to Brown). The two I've read so far are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

The title of this post is a subject I have been wanting to write about for a while. A few weeks ago I had a physician that I had done some work for contact me and say that they had found some huge errors made by their current billing company and they wanted to move their account over to my company. I made the required phone calls-my wife and my business partner-and everyone seemed excited. Later when talking to family whenever work would come up I would mention the addition and everyone would offer congratulations. The only problem is that I'm not sure that they're deserved. Not because I do bad work or don't deserve another client but because I don't feel that the additional business is actually a success worth congratulation. I've spent the weeks after pondering what success really is. It's easy to say that the term has many definitions that change from person to person, but on some level we all share a general idea of what it means. What I can't figure out is what should be considered success. Is happiness success? Monetary gain? Family? Friends? Is it qualitative or quantitative or some mixture of both? I wonder if 10-15 years from now I will look back at this point in my life and say that I was successful, or if I would even say that I am now.

The semester is almost over...thank God...and I know that I'll get an A in 5 out of 6 classes. The only one I'm unsure about is Chemistry and that one will be down to the Final to determine if I get an A or a B. Unfortunately my finals are on May 5th and my next class starts May 11th so I don't really have much of a break. It's the price I pay, though, for being so ambitious.

I've been missing my brothers a lot lately. I think about them all the time...Ryan up in PA, Cody down in Riverdale, and Austin up in Cleveland. I don't hear from any of them often enough, but they would probably say the same about me. I honestly can't remember the last time we were all together, probably Cody's wedding. We need to get together soon, which is why I'm so glad Ryan will be coming down during the summer.

Meg and I are thinking about buying a house. There are some great deals out there that would make buying cheaper than renting. That is, of course, if we can get approved.

I had a great birthday the other day, but we spent too much on dinner and drinks. I've been begging for an iPad for months and Meg was going to take me to get one on my birthday but she didn't realise that it's sold out everywhere and has a 2 week wait online. In the meantime we had a litle bit of a financial snafu (related to dinner) and now I'm not sure if we're going to get one anymore. For those of you naysayers out there my plan was to use the iPad as a replacement for all of my textbooks, so ha! There is a practical use for one!

I'm not 100% sure what else to share at this point so I think I'm going to call it a day. I promise to make a sincere effort to blog more often in the future.

Random thoughts: I recently learned that the enthalpy of the universe is constantly increasing...I couldn't agree more, I want to go to a Braves game, I'm hungry...then again I'm always hungry on school days, some people dress in such odd ways, in 6 weeks I will be starting classes at UGA!!!

I love you guys!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Making up for a missed Thursday

I ended up having to run home to get a forgotten textbook on my break Thursday, so alas no post. I'm here at my sister-in-law Michelle's house with Megan, intent on making up for my missed post. We were just discussing my blog and Michelle was very surprised that I have one. I was of the impression that almost everyone has one these days...maybe not. I'm mostly concerned with keeping loved ones informed and being able to stay informed myself as to what they're up to. I'll probably never blog as prolifically as Heather, but it is nice to know that what I type here makes it to all of you that I love so much. I'm also working on being as honest as Heather is in her blog. I try to be as honest as possible, but I still find myself holding back at times.

I'm pretty much obsessed with my brother's blog. I love his writing style. Dude, you should totally write a book, it would be amazing.

I took another English test the other day, and in keeping with the last one it was complete crap. The professor's idea of an examination is to take sentences from her crappy jumbled powerpoints, remove a word, and put it in a fill in the blank section. Then she picks the most easily identifiable quotes she can from each work and uses them for the identification section. Finally, for the last part she writes 3 crappy essay prompts requesting a single paragraph answer but the prompts are so vague I end up writing a full page before I feel like I've even addressed the question adequately.

I have a chemistry test coming up next week that I basically need to kick the crap out of if I'm going to make an A in the class. B's are not acceptable and I have not been struggling enough in this class to justify such a low grade. If I had spent as much time studying as I should, I wouldn't be in this predicament, unfortunately I still haven't developed ideal study habits. I need to fix that before I get to Med School.

The rest of my classes are going pretty well though, so I haven't been a complete failure this semester, and for all my complaining about the English tests, I made a 94 on the last one and am pretty confident that I made an A on the most recent one as well. Both of my labs are going great. I vastly prefer my chemistry lab to my biology lab, but that's no real surprise because I love chemistry and just like biology. It's amazing to me to look back on my life to a period where I would never have thought it possible that I would be a science major. I spent a long a long time insisting that the only life that I could possibly live was in the arts and now in 3 short years I will be graduating with a bachelors degree in biochemistry and molecular biology hopefully getting ready to go to medical school.

I want to spend the summer before I start med school doing something great. I'm not sure what it will be. I don't have any grand dreams of a long trip through Europe or anything like that, but if I could find a way where I wouldn't have to work for most of the summer it would be amazing. I would really like to spend a couple of weeks with my brother in the north country. I say this because it will be the last chance I get for a break. Once you start med school you don't get any summers off. Technically there aren't any classes during the first summer but it's expected for the students to stay and participate in some sort of research project on campus or join a research project at another hospital for the summer, and the rest of the summers are filled with classes. After that I'll have my residency which is year round for 4 years and then my career which probably won't afford me very much vacation time for the first few years.

I'm amazed at the devotion Michelle shows to her baby. I'm sitting right next to her while she is breastfeeding with no attempt at covering. I'm not saying this to embarrass her or to imply that I am embarrassed by this. I'm saying to illustrate my amazement at someone who was previously very private and conservative who when her baby needs to be fed thinks of nothing but her child. I love that, and her desire to provide for her baby takes any shame or embarrassment that anyone would feel right out of the whole situation. Maybe I will pursue OBGYN after all...

Random thoughts: can't wait till my brother comes down to visit, my niece Elianna is SO beautiful, UGA, UGA, UGA, UGA, UGA, UGA, UGA, football, football, football, football, football, football, football, I'm so tired of the NCAA tourney, I hate basketball, I need baseball to start soon, looking forward to my anniversary celebration tomorrow...that's right bitches been married for 2 years!

We're going back to Woodfire Grill tomorrow to celebrate my 2 year anniversary so I have every hope that I will experience a meal as good as the last time. I will make sure to jump on here as soon as I can on Sunday to share my thoughts on the meal.

I love you all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Blog Time!

Well last Thursday I was working hard getting ready to go camping in the mountains and the Thursday before that I was too busy studying for a Biology lab practical that was 20% of my grade, but this Thursday I finally have time to post!

I am very happy to report that I got a 95.71 on the lab practical, which basically means that as long as I manage to get an A on the next practical I'm guranteed to get an A in the class. The class average was 68.6 and all I heard before the test was how hard it was. I personally thought it was pretty easy...but then again after talking to people in my class since the test I apparently spent way more time studying than anyone else did. I'm fine with that though, as it obviously paid off.

My spring break wasn't much of a break. I worked 10 hour days all week through Thursday, but such is the life of the working student. I was fortunately able to get away to the mountains Friday-Sunday, and as much work as the camping trip was, it was really fantastic. I'll post some pictures soon, but the place we stayed was amazing. We hiked in to the Chatooga river on the South Carolina side from a trail head on Big Bend Road about 20 mins outside Walhalla, SC. Here's a pretty good approximation of where we were staying on the river.

View Larger Map

It was the first time in a long time that I had been camping and I loved it. None of the ladies went since Michelle had the baby, Meg stayed with Michelle and Cassie (Megan's brother's fiance) had to work. It was myself, Matt-Meg's brother, and Jonathan-Meg's sister Michelle's husband. We camped right on the river, fished and caught our dinner for Saturday night and had to find wood and maintain our own campfire. Plus there was no plumbing whatsoever, so no showers and woods for a bathroom. The hike out of the campsite was atrocious to say the least. It was 1.5 miles and 95% of it was uphill on a steep grade. I thought I was going to die about halfway through it and I have never been happier to see a grey Ford Taurus in my life.

Other than the hiking trip there isn't a whole lot more going on. Meg and I decided not to break our lease early and move which means that I will be driving an hour one way to Athens five days a week for all of June and July. I'm not looking forward to it, but it's temporary. Plus I'm trying to weasel an iPad out of the whole deal so if that's what I have to do to get one, then so be it.

I'm a little nervous about starting classes at UGA. I've already checked and the organic chemistry class I'll be taking has a max of 181 students. I've never been in a class that big and the thought of it scares me a little. People keep telling me that once I get into my major level courses it will be better, but I checked a lot of them and those classes are around 120-140 students. I know it's probably much ado about nothing, but I really need to make an impression on some of my professors so I can get a good letter of recommendation for med school and it's just gonna make it that much harder.

I really want to go see Ryan again this year, but I'm having trouble getting Cody to agree to go with me. I don't quite understand the hesitancy, but I wish he would just come out and say whether or not he is gonna come up. If the ticket price is a concern I'm sure that we can plan a time to go when it will be cheap to fly, not to mention that he probably won't have to pay for all of the ticket himself. I'm just gonna keep pestering him until I get an answer...the rest of you should feel free to join me in that mission as well.

Random Thoughts: I'm hungry, I am so glad it has warmed up some down here, the tattoo on my leg gets way more attention than I ever thought it would...can't decide whether that's good or not, miss my Sauls/Gant family (sorry Heather, you're included in that I just couldn't bring myself to type Darby there), I still can't seem to find a good condom that I like, need a new case for my phone, there are a lot of ugly people in this computer lab right now...not meant to be mean...just an observation.

I love you all!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Well, I missed posting Thursday because my usual break between English and Biology lab was nonexistent, however the most important thing that has happened since my last post is that I was accepted to UGA! You should all be well aware of this by now, but I just had to tell you all how excited I am about this. I've been wanting to go to UGA since the first time my grandfather took me to a game between the hedges 15 years ago. I plan to make the most of my time in Athens and will definitely be double majoring while I'm there. My official major is Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and my second major is Spanish. It will take me 3 years, but by the time I graduate I will be one smart, bilingual motherf$#@*%. Meg and I are gonna move closer to Athens, probably in the Jefferson or Commerce area.  We're hoping to move at the beginning of June but that's contingent on us getting let out of our lease early. Either way, I start classes in June...

The real reason for this post is to share my thoughts on some current TV shows. I'm gonna take Ryan's advice and split it up by day...

Top Gear is honestly one of the best shows on television. I watched the U.S. version and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it paled in comparison to the riotously funny UK version (the original). The three presenters all have fantastically unique personalities and the chemistry between them is obvious. The show takes an approach to cars that even the least mechanical can enjoy. Episodes regularly feature reviews of new vehicles and often feature ridiculous challenges. One of  my favorite challenge formats is where each of the presenters is given a set amount of money (usually between $2,000-$3,000) and told to buy a specific type of car then go through certain obstacles to see which is best. Here is a classic example:

They also do a big final episode every year that usually involves some far off locale. The best of these is the Vietnam special. If you can find it online, watch it. You WILL love it.

Ahhh, the Bachelor, I don't watch this show because I choose to. I subject Meg to all kinds of boring with the TV that I watch sometimes, so as a good husband I bite the bullet and watch the Bachelor with her. To be perfectly honest it's a truly despicable show. It intentionally preys on the vulnerabilities of the horde of women/men they place at the mercy of whatever suitor is in charge. To create emotional moments they find impressionable people, put them in incredible situations that they would never encounter in a normal relationship and pump them full of booze, all while shoving cameras in their faces and telling them they are there to find true love. I do have to admit, though, that I do enjoy the one absolute wacko they bring on the show every season.

This show has both a UK (original) version, and now a new US version (UK is top picture and US is bottom). The premise of the show is a vampire, werewolf and a ghost all live together in a house...yeah I know it sounds like a bad joke, but it's a story line that allows an incredible examination of human nature. The original is honestly great...well the first season was great, the second was just really good, and the third just started so the jury's still out on that one. The writing is wonderful and the acting is some of the best you'll find on television. The writers do a wonderful job of bringing the natural and supernatural aspects of the show together without going off the deep end, which is something that can't be said about many shows featuring a supernatural element (ahem...Lost...ahem). The US version, unfortunately doesn't quite live up to the original. Shocked? Didn't think you would be. The show is good, it just doesn't quite match the talent, intensity and easy humor of the UK version. It is most definitely the best "original" show that has ever aired on Scifi, though, so at least they got that going for them.

I know I'm not technically gay enough to be watching Glee but I have to be honest and say that I love it. I know the plot is so full of holes it makes a colander jealous, the acting makes the last Jeanne Claude Van Damme movie look like an Oscar contender, and the quality of the episodes is about as consistent as a MARTA train is punctual...but when the show is good, my God it's good. And when it's bad it's usually not all that bad. The musical numbers are always of the highest caliber and the talent level on this show is second only to something on Broadway. I understand what I'm saying sounds a lot like hyperbole, but it really isn't. This style of show isn't for everyone, so if you don't like musicals, don't watch it and then call me to tell me how wrong I am, but if you do like musicals and you have an honest appreciation for musical talent I promise you will enjoy it.

I had essentially lost faith in the concept of the modern American sitcom and honestly believed that the sitcom had gone the way of the Dodo thanks to the rise of "reality" television. Modern Family, on the other hand, has restored my faith. Modern Family is the new American sitcom. It's incredibly funny, warm, lighthearted, and is something that most modern sitcoms seem to have forgotten how to be-family focused and family friendly. I don't believe that the inclusion of a gay couple makes the show any less family friendly, in fact I believe it makes the show one of the most honest on television. It really is a true portrayal of the modern family unit in America today, just with one glaring exception-minorities. I honestly can't understand why so much of television is still so white, but it's honestly disturbing to me that in 2011 there are still so many television shows with all white casts. Yay progress!

Courtney Cox is probably my least favorite aspect of this show. Don't get me wrong, she's actually pretty good in this show, she's just never been my favorite person in the world. Cougar Town is pretty one dimensional and fairly repetitive with the story lines, but what really draws me to this show is the quirky sense of humor. I love quirk, and any show that does not have a conventional sense of humor is something I can really get behind. It's not as quirky or as good as Better Off Ted was, but it's an honest step in that direction.

Mr. Sunshine is one dimensional, vapid, shallow, features Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing reincarnated in a different setting and features probably my least favorite black actor in the world. It does, however have Allison Janney, whom I am madly in love with and who is absolutely hilarious in this show. Those of you who share some of my phobias may wast to skip the first's pretty circus heavy.

I've been a big fan of Timothy Olyphant ever since Deadwood and he did not disappoint with this FX series.  FX managed to score a hit with Rescue Me and then preceded to make what is probably the best show on television, Sons of Anarchy. They followed their success with Justified, a show every bit as good as Rescue Me and very worth watching...even if it isn't as good as SoA. The show's southern setting appeals to me and the writers are very adept at using honest southern dialogue. One of my favorite things about the show is how easily Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) is able to mingle with normal people in his work setting (he's a federal marshall) and then easily slip into his less humble roots and blend in with the hicks from his home town.  The show moves at a fairly good pace and is one of the only shows about law and order that doesn't suck.


I'm still up in the air about Perfect Couples. The show hasn't really managed to hit it's stride yet, and the characters so far are all pretty shallow and one dimensional, but it does have an enormous amount of potential and manages to produce a good amount of serious laughs. None of the couples on the show are relatable, which is something that will have to be addressed if the show is going to succeed, but I'll keep watching until I decide the show isn't getting better or until I get hooked because the show became great.


JJ Abrams, the creator of this show, is my kryptonite. I honestly can't resist any show he makes (with the exception of that horrible spy show he made for NBC, but I blame NBC more than I blame him). Fringe is an honest treat and I love it. The episodes are gripping, the charaters are rich and lovable, the writing is very good and the three main actors (Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble) are all great. John Noble is one of the most talented actors I've seen in a long time, it's a shame it has taken him this long to get a good role, and Joshua Jackson hasn't been this likable since his days as Pacey on Dawson's Creek. He has also managed to step away from most of the Paceyisms that followed him after that show ended and has proven himself a capable actor. Anna Torv, while not the most beautiful leading lady (which I find refreshing), is strong, compelling, and fantastic in this role. The show is pretty far out there on the ridiculous spectrum, but that's honestly the point, and maintains one of the more entertaining aspects of the show...what weird-ass way are the people gonna die this time?

All Time Favorite TV Show

If you're laughing right now, go ahead and get it out of your system before reading on. If you're balking at the suggestion that the West Wing is the best television show ever, then you might as well stop now, but if you're honestly interested to hear my thoughts then be my guest and read on.

The West Wing is the most intelligently written show ever in the history of television. It is smart, fast paced, riveting (to me at least), compelling and brilliantly acted. The cast is one of the best ensembles ever to be assembled and almost everyone in the cast is incredibly talented. I can't say how honest their portrayal of life at the top of American politics is, but the show captivates my attention like little else manages. I love that the show does little to explain itself and simply assumes the viewer is informed about politics already. There is no pandering to the lowest common denominator, allowing the show to rise to a level I have yet to see repeated. I have seen each episode of every season at least twice and if Bravo was still airing it in the mornings I would still be watching it. The West Wing is the only show I can watch repeatedly without tiring of it. This is the show that started my love affair with Allison Janney and introduced me to the immense talent of Dule Hill, Janel Maloney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Kristin Chenoweth, Elisabeth Moss and Mary-Louise Parker. It also manages to prove that there is at least one talented and sane Sheen in the family and Martin Sheen shines as President Bartlett. I can only hope that some network takes a chance on another show as genuinely intelligent as the West Wing was but I have trouble believing that a show like this can survive in the Youtube era we live in.

Future post: Movies! It may not be my next post, but I will make sure to do a post on some of my favorite movies soon.

Random thoughts: the weather lately has been fantastic, I need a vacation, got to see all of my nieces and nephews was awesome, I'm gonna be at UGA in 3 months, UGA, UGA, UGA, UGA, I'm missing some honest sports in my life, I miss my family...Ryan, Heather, Mawmaw, Cody I miss you and love you all.

Thanks for reading. I love you all!