Dinner with In-Laws

This evening, we went to the Cafe in Aliquippa. We were going to meet Drew’s parents there. We haven’t been there in forever. I stuck to my keto diet had a hamburger with no bun and a side of coleslaw. I had a couple drinks with my mother-in-law, crown, and soda waters.

At dinner, we talked about all that has been happening in our lives and in their lives. We hadn’t been out to eat together in a long time. She asked about my diet and I told her it is going so well. I really feel better eating this way. She was glad to hear it. We talked about my birthday plants, and dinner at my parents, as well as their vacation to Cape Cod. I am glad I got to see them.

When Drew and I got home, I had another crown and soda, then it was off to bed for this girl.

Bad News Monday

This morning, I could not sleep. I had cramping, but no period. I was officially 10 days late. I felt like I needed to call the gyno today. I wasn’t sure what to think. I have never been 10 days late. My alarm went off at 5:40am. I got a shower, and got dressed, then woke Drew up. After he was ready and our lunches were packed, we left the house.
When we arrived in Oakland, we deposited a check in the atm, and then went to Starbucks to start the morning off right. I felt so bloated. I was in my bloated jeans today. I felt like maybe it might start today, who knows? We kissed and wished each other a good day, and then I went to my building and he went to his.
When I arrived at my office, I called my mom and updated her. She said that I need to stop worrying. I got off the phone with her and reached out to my gyno. The nurse was going to call me back today at some point. The waiting game begins. I called message the dermatologist to try to get an appointment for Friday. I was thinking of taking a sick day. Drew and I both need to get blood work done, but I need to get a script first from my PCP. This was my next call. Well, my dermatologist doesn’t have anything open until August. I made an appointment.
The nurse eventually called me back and told me that I shouldn’t worried about one wacky period and it probably still is on its way. She told me to take another test tomorrow morning with my first pee of the day, that will be the most accurate. I said, “okay.” she said, “If you don’t get your period next month, then call us.” I said, “Will do.” I felt at ease, that she wasn’t worried about it. I still was going to try and take a sick day on Friday. I am waiting for the script from PCP for blood work to get faxed. Andrew got a script when he went for his annual. We are going to go together. I need a long weekend this weekend.
Today, I moved offices across the circulation desk from where I was before in the Undergraduate Office. It was the one I was in before, but then I had to move to a more private office because if a graduate student as a confidential matter, then I need to be ready to listen to them in a confidential setting. Well now a new faculty member needs it, so I have to move and give up private space. 😦 I  have stuff everywhere here. I need to organize it, but I have no motivation to do that now.
In the afternoon, Drew texted me and told me that a girl we went to high school with was shot and killed in her parent’s driveway last night. I go online and read the article. Her name was Rachael. We went to high school with her. She had 10 gunshot wounds and was shot at point-blank range, after coming home from getting ice cream with her friend. I was shocked. She was in Drew’s class, from what I remember, she was nice and friendly. I read some more news articles about her. One was that she was involved with a 17-year-old boy, who was a student of hers. Rachael was a teacher for PA Cyber school. Another news article talks about how she was involved in a situation with a wedding dressmaker. She got her wedding dress customized and the dressmaker was fraudulent or something. It seemed like this black cloud followed her.
Once we got home from work, I made dinner. We prayed for Rachael and then ate dinner. Drew and I talked about the multiple news articles that we saw about her. It certainly does put everything in perspective. We have so much to be thankful for in life. My thoughts and prayers are with Rachel’s family. May she rest in peace.

Cafe. Dan’s Birthday Bowling Party

Today, I went to the gym in the morning for an hour. I didn’t want to sit around and watch the reruns of the Hills anymore. I just needed to get out. I was so bored and feeling a bit anxiety ridden, exercise helps. I did the treadmill and the elliptical, but it felt like there were too many people around. After the elliptical, I went home.

On my way home, I needed to get into a project. It was 74 degrees outside! I opened the windows, and started putting away some heavy sweaters, that I know I am not going to wear anymore for the rest of the winter. I knew it was going to get colder again next week, but I needed something to do and I am home anyway. I called Leanne while I was putting clothes away in the garage. I told her about the drama, and she thought it was funny. I said, he is a bit of a wild card. People change, but I don’t know about that one. Leanne was saying how tired she was, and needs a nap before the party tonight.

After organizing everything, and putting everything away. I was exhausted. I logged on my computer and saw that the position I have been waiting on was reposted. It kind of threw me for a loop, because does that mean either Danielle’s are not viable candidates for this position, or did it expire? And they have to keep it up until it is filled, even though they have narrowed it down to two Danielle’s! I am going insane.

On the other hand, CCAC North Hills called me, and wants to interview me next Friday at 10am for the their temp pool. They have a temp position open. I was excited about that, but its not the position that I wanted.

When Drew came home, we had a moment together, and we talked about how hard things have been for me. He told me that Dr. Bailey, said he was fighting off a cold, and all his symptoms were coming and going, but his immune system is strong. I was glad that he was fighting it off, but shocked that it was a cold, and not allergies. He also told me what was causing the smell in his car, and it was the pork chops that we bought from the grocery store last weekend, they slid under the passenger seat. Needless to say, we had to throw those away. We got ready and left to go to the café in Aliquippa to meet his parents for dinner.

When we arrived at the Café, Brett was happy to see us, and as usual let us sample two different beers. One as Creme Brulee, and the other was a citrus hoppy one. I can’t remember the name of it. I just got a small miller lite. I was feeling a little down, emotional, and anxiety ridden waiting for the University of Pittsburgh to call. When his parents came in, they sat across from us, and it didn’t take long for me to start crying. Talking about this job situation is testing me. I am trying to stay so positive and do whatever I can, but I am just so sick of being unemployed. His parents said that I am doing everything I can and it is hard. This is life, but it makes you stronger. Something is going to happen for you. You just have to stay positive and straighten that crown of favor. She told me to say some affirmations under my breath and thank Jesus for my gifts and all that he has given me. I could do more of that actually.

After dinner, we went home to put the watermelon beer in the fridge that Brett gave us, and the rest of my salad that I couldn’t finish. Then it was back out the door again to go to Dan and Mikey’s birthday party, which was going to be at Crafton bowling lanes. I told Drew that my ex Bumper was going to be there. I just wanted to let him know so he wasn’t blindsided. It is actually okay for us all to be in the same room now. I didn’t do too bad at bowling. Nikki, Leanne’s sister came with her new boyfriend. They brought a bottle of fireball. I never tried it before. It was yummy. It tasted just like big red gum. I think I bowled better when I was sipping it. I will admit it. I kicked back a bit, but I made sure not to get drunk. It would only make things worse for me emotionally.

After bowling we went home and went to bed. Drew was starting to feel worse. I was actually surprised he last the whole time, not feeling well.

CMU Interview

Today, I woke up around 10am. I wanted to get down there around 1pm. My interview was at 2:45pm and wasn’t going to end until 4:45pm. Once I got down to CMU, I got a parking pass and parked behind Alumni House. It was an old mansion transformed. I hung out in my car for a while until it was time to go in.

When I first walked in, everyone was in the back-dining room, celebrating a baby sprinkle. One of the girls was pregnant again with their second child and they were throwing her a sprinkle. When they were ready, I first met with Lynn she told me that Gloria Gruber wanted to meet me today, but she is out sick. Lynn and I met for a half hour, during the that I was supposed to meet with Gloria. We just go to know each other a little, and had a casual conversation. I was going to meet with Lynn again for my last meeting of the day. After meeting with Lynn, I met with Diana P and a Russian woman, who were asking me questions about my past work experience, and the data that I would be responsible for. Then I met with Diana B and another woman who was responsible with Tableau. Kathy was the last woman I met with before Lynn her involvement with the person who is going to be in my position ended. They no longer want the person in my position involved in the parent and family engagement aspect for now. Hopefully I can get that back on my plate again at some point. I would love to use my good conversation skills with the parents and the families of CMU.

Lastly, I met with Lynn again. This time it was a formal interview conversation. One of the women asked that I show her my portfolio the project I made for Katz graduate school of business. Lynn was like wow this is perfect. You must love to do documentation. I said, I do. She said she is a recovering perfectionist.

After the interview was over they said that they were going to have a decision either right before thanksgiving, or the week after. I wish I could know now. When I got home, I stopped at Wendy’s before arriving home. I was excited to see Drew. When I go home, it was like 6:00pm. Rush hour traffic was a bitch. When I walked in the door, the smell of the bath tub made me so sick. Drew was so happy to see me and to hear how my interview went, but all I could do was focus on the smell. I was about to be sick. I handed him the food, and he opened the windows for me. He felt bad that I was sick with that smell. I tried to eat the little bit of Wendy’s I brought, but my stomach was sick and I wasn’t feeling good from that smell. I had a headache, as well. He gave me some motrin and I laid on the couch until it was time to go to Aliquippa. We were going to go have one more night in the quip before they move. I was excited for the Café.

Once we got to Aliquippa, they asked how my interview went, and we went to the Café. We had an amazing dinner, and a few beers. It was relaxing and what I needed after today. I desperately wanted CMU to call me.

Aliquippa, PA

Andrew, my husband is from Aliquippa, born and raised. Prior to dating him, I never been to Aliquippa (past Pittsburgh International airport). The only other time I haver had to venture out that far down Interstate 376 is when I had to go to the airport, or to the Beaver Valley Mall.

When we started dating, he told me he was from Aliquippa. I instantly said, oh that is not too far! I was living with my parents in Crafton, when he and I were dating. As our relationship progressed, and after I met his family. He took me on a tour of Aliquippa. Downtown Aliquippa is almost like a dead zone. Several houses and businesses boarded up all along Franklin Avenue. I think the Post Office is the only thing open. Andrew told me what Aliquippa used to be like back when the steel mills were open. When the steel mills shut down, so did the town. Looking out the passenger side window, I felt sad for the town and what it is now. I can’t imagine that it was booming, but it was at one point.

Andrew explained to me that Aliquippa was divided up into several plans. All different nationalities came over and lived in the plans dedicated to their nationality. Plan 6 is where the owners of the steel mills lived.  If you drive by today, you wouldn’t dare go at night, and you wouldn’t stay long. Plan 10 was where the managers of the mills lived. I wished that one of the mansions could be preserved and made into a Bed and Breakfast, so one could get a glimpse of what it was like to live as the elite of the steel mill times, but safety would be an issue.

There are three gems of Aliquippa. The first would have to be Mac’s Donuts. They make their donuts fresh everyday. I would say they are so much better, than Dunkin Donuts. The second would be the New Sheffield Cafe. They just recently underwent new management. The place is clean and bright now. The food is still the same as it was before. I like their grilled cheese the best. Their menu has expanded. It’s still the same hole in the wall, like Cheers and everyone knows your name. the last is the Aliquippa football team.

Andrew, his mother, his dad, his parent’s neighbor, Chris, and Andrew’s dad’s friend Lou, and myself all went to Aliquippa’s football game. They were playing New Castle, PA, so we had to drive all the way out there. Andrew said it’s not safe to go to a home game. I can’t remember the last time I was at a high school football game. Before you could enter the field, you had to walk through metal detectors first. I can’t remember ever having to do that before for a football game.

As the game got under way, we were in the Visitors section, which was Aliquippa’s section. I have never heard a group of fans at a high school football game. They cheered so loudly  and so encouragingly for their team. One of the Cheerleaders would spell out “Q-U-I-P T-O-W-N, Quip Town! I felt like I was a part of something spiritual. That may sound weird, but this town was booming, then it shut down, the wrong people took over the neighborhoods, and crime happened. They are known for being a “bad area.” However, football is the one thing that keeps this town happy. They look forward to football season, games, and cheering on their home team.

Some of the players are going to go so far, especially Lou’s nephew Solvaughn. The young man is 15 years old and is 240lbs. He plays on offense and defense. He is going places in his career. He told Andrew’s parents that he wants to get out of Aliquippa, and go to Princeton. The young man has such big dreams, and it is going to be fun to watch him throughout the years and see how far he goes in sports. So many big names came out of Aliquippa, and have gone to play in the pros.

Whatever it takes to give these kids something to believe in, and dream for to keep them off the streets, and out of harms way. It is so easy for teens to get involved in crime, and same with the adults. When you stop giving up on the dreams of your youth, and telling someone that they won’t ever make it because they come from “bad areas” that is when crime and destructive decisions happen.

Aliquippa won against New Castle that Saturday night. The score was 44-28.


https://player.vimeo.com/video/59189473“> Aliquippa