You wouldn’t think I was poor, or, why I am so poor, or maybe I should be buying other people presents at this time of year

When I was in high school, I was really into photography. Instead of your typical art or shop classes, I took photography classes (and I even won the Outstanding Photo Student of the Year award my senior year—an award Ian has renamed “Goth Student of the Year” and laughed his ass off at when he saw my plaque.) In college I took a few more classes, and probably would have been a photography major if not for the fact that MTSU requires you to take a bunch of bullshit art classes if you declare that your major, and I can’t draw/sculpt/sketch/mold for shit. (I was there before they added all those electronic media and photojournalism concentrations. Assholes.) Well, that and the fact that I really like writing and thought I was better at it. But if I could have declared a photography minor, I would have.

Anyway, I carry my Canon Powershot SD600 with me everywhere. Seriously, I keep it in my purse, and therefore it’s with me at all times—and I am always taking pictures of random shit (OK, mostly my cats). But I take deliberate shots, too. It’s not all meaningless. (But I think my friends are getting sick of my camera all up in their faces all the time. Well, TOO BAD SUCKERS!)

I’ve wanted to get back into photography as more than just a drive-by hobby for a long time now, and have been lusting after a digital SLR for a few years. And two days ago, after watching the prices drop, seeing all these great photos pop up in my Flickr menu from my friends Summer and Cole, and feeling like I have been working my ass off and deserve a present, I bought one. Of course, I also had to buy a 2 GB CF card and a Crumplr bag to go with (I’ve always wanted one of their bags but never really had a reason to get one).

It’s been a long time since I’ve done more than just point-and-shoot, but I’m hoping I can get back to my Goth Student of the Year roots. And I can’t promise I won’t start painting my nails black and listening to The Smiths for inspiration.

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My thanks

Since I have a rare moment of free time, I thought I would post the obvious Thanksgiving Day entry. I try to be thankful for something every day, but sometimes in the day-to-day it can be hard to stop and remember that no matter how shitty I might feel or how bad of a day I’m having, someone else somewhere else is having a worse time. But some of the things I’m thankful for on a daily basis are:

My awesome boyfriend Ian. He is so good to me, especially lately when I haven’t been home much and he’s been picking up my slack around the house and having dinner ready for me when I get home. I don’t know what I did to deserve him, but I’m thankful for life we’re building together.

My health. Especially with what I went through last year with my surgery, I am thankful to be back in the swing of things, so to speak. I’ve been sick for a week now with what I’m pretty sure is the worst cold virus in the history of man, but I’m still thankful that it’s all I have to be concerned about now.

My job. I can honestly say I work for the greatest company ever. EVER. Everyone is so different, yet I feel like we all mesh together so well–and we actually have fun at work. And I am pretty weird, but they still embrace me as one of their own. And they throw awesome parties. And we have beer Fridays. AND WE ARE GETTING THE WHOLE WEEK OF CHRISTMAS OFF!!!

My cats. You people without cats probably can’t understand this, but there is something so soothing about a cat’s purr. When I wake up in the morning (or the middle of the night) and feel a cat purring at my head or my side, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. It’s therapeutic.

My friends. We don’t have to see each other every day or every week to stay close, we just do. They are each so amazing in their own way, and I’m thankful to be surrounded by such a display of talent, humor and caring.

My family. Yeah, we’re dysfunctional, but who the hell isn’t? My mom is always there when I need her, reminding me she loves me and telling me to take care of myself even when I feel I don’t deserve it. My sisters are my cohorts in survival—they’re the only ones who understand what it’s like to have survived my dad, and we’re finally (almost) at the point where we can laugh at it instead of cry.

My life isn’t perfect, but it’s my life. And I can’t really think of anything I’d like to change about it.

Numb and tingly

As of about 2 a.m., my entire left hand, part of my wrist and a bit of my arm has had that numb, tingly feeling like it fell asleep and was waking back up. Except it wasn’t asleep, and I wasn’t laying on it weird or anything. It just happened while I was sitting at the table playing poker.

And it won’t go away.

I’m kind of freaked out.

Update: One of my friends, a nurse, came over last night and took a look at my hand. Considering that my shoulder/neck have been bothering me on that same side (and this morning there’s a huge knot in the spot where my left shoulder/neck meet), it’s probably a pinched nerve. She said it could be carpal tunnel, but I would have a little bit of pain or even some burning in my hand or wrist. I’m supposed to get a heating pad and take some Motrin, and then see someone about my shoulder/neck problem. Like a massage therapist. That’s kind of a sweet remedy.