Sunday, June 22, 2008

Long Overdue!

Well I have finally updated my blog! Always one of those things I think about doing, but never do. So enjoy the multiple posts and pictures below to see what I have been up to these past few months!


So what did I decide to do with myself after graduation? Well, it might not be too surprising that I ended up taking a full-time job at Americana. I was offered a full-time position with salary and benefits immediately after my classes ended, so I couldn't really refuse. I have moved into an administrative position - I believe my title is "finance and grants manager". Americana is funded mostly through grants, and I am now in charge of that, which means writing grant proposals and reports, and making sure we do what we say we are and let the funders know how we are spending their money and why they should keep giving it to us (because Americana is awesome of course!). And the part-time accountant is leaving in a few weeks, so I am taking over the accounting as well. Not exactly social work, but a good skill to learn (I suppose) and fits with grants and budgets (which is the administrative side of social work...) Since my job is mostly administrative, I am no longer working directly with the kids, but they are there 8-4 every day because the summer program is currently going on, so I see them. I eat lunch with them every day and help as needed. I am allowed to work with the youth programs a few hours a week, but not my main responsibility obviously. It is pretty nice to just be able to observe and hang out with them when I want, but not being responsible for the programming!

So, this is what I am doing for now. Staying in Louisville and working at Americana. I like the "new" job so far. I have to share an office with my boss (Edgardo), but hey, you can't have everything. And, we just switched to a 4 day work week which is awesome! To save us on gas costs, if we can get our hours in Monday-Thursday, we don't have to come in on Friday. So I work 9-10 hours M-Th, and I'm done! This was my first 3 day weekend and I loved it, and this will be my schedule from now on! Of course I might end up doing work on Fridays if needed, but I can do a lot from home (as I did this past Friday, finishing up a report).

We'll see what the future holds, but I am fine with this for now. Other than working full-time I am enjoying myself and trying to regain a social life!! I truly do love working at Americana, which is why I am still there, and I work with great people, who have basically become my Louisville family (along with my church family). So everything is good for now. Oh yeah, the pic of me is at the recent Americana World Festival where I spent an hour in the dunk tank (first year we had one!). It was my fourth world festival, I am a veteran now. It was a good festival, and a fun day (but very long)


On May 22-29 Chad, Reba and I went to Jamaica to visit Joel, where he is doing SALT with MCC (his term is almost over). It was the perfect graduation present to myself and a lot of fun. (although I am sad I missed Abby and Robb's Ohio reception - would have been nice to see everyone!) Anyways, the trip was amazing. I think what I liked the most was that we got the non-touristy experience. Joel lives in Kingston, where we spent a few days (although the capital city, not
a place for tourists - no beaches close enough). We also spent 3 nights at a resort called "Strawberry Fields Together" which was an hour and a half bus ride (through the mountains) from Kingston. It was a secluded resort and barely anyone was there (and also pretty cheap - the four of us shared a small cabin with a small kitchen so we could cook for ourselves). So, we basically had these gorgeous beaches to ourselves which was AMAZING. Joel also took us on a hike one day where we went to a waterfall (where surprisingly there were some people, but they soon left) and another deserted beach with rock formations you could climb on. It was a great day. Unfortunately, some lack of planning meant we hiked the last of it in the pitch black with no flashlights, but it was fun (in the scary kind of way - I almost had a heart attack when suddenly there was a donkey in front of me). I celebrated my 25th birthday in Jamaica and had the beach to myself all day - can't think of a more perfect birthday really! So in summary, the trip was fabulous and I wish I could go back!

Some Fun Things

Being done with school allows for more free time and more time for fun things! At the end of April I went on a canoe trip in Eastern Kentucky with friends which was amazing. We also got to explore a cave system by crawling in a back entrance from the creek (normally you would pay to go on a tour..). That was awesome. And of course, I went to the Derby for the third year in a row (first weekend in May). Some friends from Columbus came for the second year in a row, and it was the first time I caved and wore a dress and a big hat. It was a fun day, as always (starting at 7:30 in the morning!)


I officially became an MSSW (Master of Science in Social Work) on May 10, 2008. What a great feeling it is to be done with school! Classes were over April 18 so I was pretty much done then. I finished with a 4.0 and received a "dean's citation award" so I got to wear a medal at graduation (but decided not to pay money for the pretty honor cords). Grad school was a good experience, and I will miss aspects of it. But it is wonderful to be done!!

The Accident

Well if you haven't heard by now, there was a slight mishap in Germany. We stayed one night in a hostel (with bunk beds) in the city of Ingolstadt where we attended a conference on immigration. On the fateful night of March 7, 2008, around 2 in the morning, I woke up on a top bunk and realized I had to go to the bathroom. The next thing I remember I was in a bathroom trying to no avail to rinse out all the blood in my mouth, and wondering what the heck was wrong with my teeth. Luckily I blacked out most of the incident, but I have come to the conclusion that I missed the ladder on the way down and knocked my chin/mouth on the bunk bed, which cut open my chin and knocked out one front tooth completely (root and all), as well as severely damaging 3 other teeth that were about to fall out. Somehow the other 11 people in my room slept through this, but I managed to wake someone up (not having idea what happened) and soon everyone was up and figuring out how to get me to the hospital. Went to the ER around 3 a.m. where they put stitches in my chin and determined I needed to go to a specialist to attempt to save my teeth (which was an hour cab ride away). So after the scary cab ride, I had emergency dental surgery to restore my teeth and had braces like things. Anyways, I'll spare all the details, but should mention the bill from both hopsitals was less than $400 combined (and would be cheaper if the exchange rage wasn't so high). Universal healthcare anyone? I know there are plenty of arguments against it, but we have a broken system in the U.S. that is ridiculous and something needs done.

Anyways, that was the slight mishap on my trip (about halfway through) but it did not ruin the experience by any means. Just gave me quite a story! Unfortunately the whole ordeal has caused me a slight headache since my return. I won't go into everything, but I have had several trips to the dentist, a root canal and oral surgery due to the accident. And after three opinions, unfortunately it has been determined I need braces for at least 18 months to fix everything, and I will end up losing a total of three teeth. Life happens. I plan to fight with insurance companies until the end to get some money, because this whole ordeal costs thousands of dollars. It really sucks to have braces late in life and for the third freakin time, but oh well. Probably will get them on in a month or so. Sucky. But in two years I will have a better smile than I started with....(at least I hope so!) And by the way, the front tooth I lost completely is currently glued in place with no root, fun huh?


So, I went to Germany in March as an elective, pretty amazing really. We were gone for two weeks and I got three credit hours. The main purpose of the trip was to learn about how another country does social work and social policy. So we attended lectures and visited various social service agencies (including a refugee camp) and it was all very interesting. Germany does things differently than the U.S. We were in Munich the majority of the time, but also visited the cities of Augsburg and Nuremberg, along with a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. We also went to a monastery in the country one morning where we attended Catholic mass in German. The sights were amazing and the food and drinks were delicious. The land of beer and sausages. I loved every minute of the trip (well minus one incident). As always, group dymanics were interesting to observe (one professor and 19 students, only one male). Here is a sample of my pictures (I took hundreds!). I love Europe and traveling, so of course I had a fabulous time and learned a thing or two as well. The one souvenir I bought myself was the traditional German dress - a durndl, seen in the picture. It is my heritage after all! Now if I only had more excuses to wear it....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A much needed update!

I always think that I should blog, but never do. Today Louisville had a rare snow/ice storm, so I was able to work from home for my practicum and my real job was closed for the day (and they closed early yesterday too). Since I had this rare amount of unscheduled time, I decided I should do two things for sure (1) take a nap and (2) update my blog. So here you go. Isn't my life exciting :) I also was also pretty productive for a good portion of the day, despite suffering from my second cold of the season. I have been eating healthier, I excercise, I get enough sleep, I go to the chiropractor, I get weekly allergy shots...why am I still getting sick? And although my schedule is still busy, I am far less stressed compared to the previous three semesters. Maybe because it is my last semester and I have a) stopped caring slightly and b) have finally figured out how to successfully balance everything. I can't believe I graduate in May, it is going to come fast. Especially with a two week trip to Germany in there! (I will be gone March 1-16). I am very excited for the trip. As for life after graduation, haven't really started worrying about that yet, I figure it will all come into place, just as it always does. I plan on working at Americana through the summer, and that is when I will do some serious job searching and such. I figured I do not need to add the stress of a job search on top of everything else I am doing right now. I know that Americana is an option (which is why there is no need to worry/rush), but it depends on what the offer is (obviously my job duties will change since I will have a master's in social work!) I will most likely also look for jobs in Columbus. I am really debating between Columbus and Louisville. I love it here, but I also like Columbus and obviously my family is there, as well as being closer to a lot of good friends. Decisions, decisions....If I ended up leaving here, there would be a lot of things I would miss, including my church and my job (especially the kids...) Could I just move those things to Columbus? I honestly don't know yet what I will end up deciding, I say both chances are equal right now. Only time will tell!

New Semester and Weekend Road Trips...

I am a little over a month into my last semester of grad school, and have been out of town 3 out the 4 past weekends. My new schedule is practicum and work Mon-Wed, class and work on Thursday, and class all day Friday. Since I don't have class until Thursday, it is much easier to go on road trips compared to my Monday/Tuesday class schedule last year. But I also feel like I never have a significant amount of time to just rest! I am looking forward to being in town the next couple of weekends, before my two week trip to Germany for school!
Over Martin Luther King Day weekend I spent time in Bluffton/Findlay/Toledo. Several former Blufftonites were gathering to celebrate Eric's return from Vietnam, and most of them I hadn't seen since graduation, so I decided to make the trip. I think Chad was ecstatic to have 4 girls staying at his apartment in Findlay, hence all the towels. During this trip I also got to see all my grandparents, and spent the last part of the weekend in Toledo visiting Vicki. So it was worth the trip, plus a coworker/friend also had a friend in Toledo so he rode with me and helped with the gas, which is always nice.
The weekend after that, I made a trip to Eastern Kentucky with some friends to visit our friend Brittney who recently moved out there, joining a voluntary service unit. We ended up helping with a service project. I found out I suck at hammering, but am awesome at cleaning out gutters filled with nasty, black chunks of ice. Eastern Kentucky really is a whole other world...and the scenery is beautiful, even in the winter.
This past weekend I went home to Columbus and called Monday off work so I could go to the dentist there (because I am still under my mom's insurance - how wonderful!) Ironically, I planned the whole visit for this reason and then my car decided to die and I missed the appointment. I need to reschedule before I turn 25, so I have a few months...And my car is fine now, just needed a new battery. Well, actually the main problem was my headlights turned themselves on in the middle of the night and wouldn't turn off, which apparently has been a reported problem with my car when it is cold....I am hoping that doesn't happen again or I have a more serious problem! Other than that slight mishap, the weekend was lots of fun.
Other than fun trips, my life during the week consists of school, work and practicum. And this coming weekend I will actually be in town, and I plan to get some much needed rest!

Christmas was good....

Well it has been awhile since I updated, so I'll start with Christmas. It was good, as the title says. I was the head elf for the third year in a row at the Americana Holiday Party, which is always a fun but stressful job because it is impossible to please everyone. I was able to go home for a little over a week and had a wonderful time with family and friends as always. I was glad to get the chance to reunite with Bluffton friends at Abby's house in Van Wert, although I missed the baby shower due to Christmas at my Grandma's in Bluffton. And Suzanna and Rebekah being in Columbus at the same time was also a surprise. We caught up at the Starbucks I used to work at. It was the first time we had been together in over four years! As always, it was a little hard to go back to Louisville and back into the routine. Being at home is nice and relaxing. I had a whole five weeks of no school and enjoyed it thoroughly. As I'm sure I have said before, just working seems like a vacation to me! Oh yeah, I should also mention how awesome it is that Rebekah is back from Bangladesh!! Too bad she lives all the way in Pennsylvania. And Abby Mo, we missed you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm still here

Well I thought I would post just to say I am still here. Here are some not so recent pictures I took at the park near my apartment a couple months ago, just to brighten up the post.
Since I haven't updated in over a month, I don't really know what to say. Nothing major has happened - no babies, no proposals, no trips to Israel, etc. Umm...I did finish my third semester of grad school over a week ago. Only one more to go! I did well this past semester (still have my 4.0!) and am now enjoying the chance to relax some. Finishing this semester was such a relief...that is one thing I will miss about school, getting these nice breaks. I have five weeks of no school! Now I am "just" working at Americana, which seems like a vacation, and putting a few hours in at my practicum that will count toward spring semester. Oh I do have one thing that I don't think I have said on here - I am going to Germany and Italy in March!! It is a two week trip with my school and counts for 3 credit hours (an elective). That means I only have to take three classes next semester instead of four, and I get to go to Europe. So it seemed worth taking out extra loans :) One less class means more time to work, so I guess that balances things out somewhat. I am looking forward to graduating in May and entering the "real" world. I am still not sure what I will be doing after I graduate, so I guess I will start looking into that soon...but I'm not that concerned, things always seem to work themselves out.
So anyways, I am still enjoying life, especially now that I have a lot less stress for five weeks. I am making the most of it. I will be going home to Ohio on the 22nd through New Years (not sure where I will be for New Years yet). The big holiday party at Americana is the 21st so I have to work through that. Bluffton girls - I hope we can arrange some way to all get together over the holidays. It would be great to see everyone -especially Reba!! Let's try and work something out.
That's all for now. I'll try to update more regularly and have more interesting posts :)
Oh yeah, I saw two interesting movies this past week (now that I have time to do those kind of things!) The Kite Runner and What Would Jesus Buy? I would reccomend both of them, especially the second. It has a good message, even though not delivered in a way that would make people take it seriously....but, you should check it out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where does the time go?

October is almost over and I almost made it without a new blog. I guess the days of blogging regularly are over. As you can see, a lot has happened (but don't worry, the baby is not mine!)
Okay, I guess I'll explain the pictures first: The top two are from Americana's annual chaos in the form of a fall party and talent show. I am still running a group for middle school girls, and I was proud to see them perform four versions of "crank that" (superman, spiderman, lion king, and yank). And if you don't know what that means, you are behind with the times. I am proud to say I also learned all these dances through observation (I let them practice during group time), and then decided to teach the rest of the staff and perform the same dance in front of the kids at the end of the show - I believe they found it amusing. The other picture if of a very disappointed kid when he did not win a bike in the costume contest. Notice he is not wearing a costume - but he was still very distraught. Picture 3: The baby belongs to my good friends Celeste and Matt. She was born in the beginning of October and I was able to meet her soon after when I went home for a weekend. This picture amuses me because it looks like she is being attacked by hands. Picture 4: I decided to be the traditional witch this year for Halloween. I dressed up for the Americana fall party. This is my sweeping up with a minature broom after the party. Unfortunately, you can't see my very dark eye make-up, which made the outfit. Picture 5: My former housemate Keith came to visit. We hadn't seen him since he left for Germany over a year ago. I believe I am supposed to say his visit was the best time Louisville has seen in 2007. The picture was taken at the big St. James Art Fair (my third one! I am a native now).
For other updates. My life mostly consists of school, work, and practicum.
School - It is going well. I like my classes for the most part. I have an advanced research class which is pretty intensive and consuming and made me realize I never want to do research.
Work - Americana is still the same and I still enjoy it. I help out with the after-school program a couple days a week, and the other days focus on more "administrative" things. And like I said, I still run my girls group which is fun. I imagine some day I will no longer be working there - it's hard to imagine leaving all those great kids! They make my day.
Practicum - In case you forgot, I am working in the immigration legal services department at Catholic Charities. I enjoy it and am learing a lot of new things about immigration law and policy, which is useful information. I am seeing clients and helping them with legal casework.
Life outside of these things - Unfortunately, this takes up most of my time. But I have been doing my best to do fun things on the weekend. Keith was here a few weeks ago, then I went home to Columbus for a weekend, and Alisa was here this past weekend. She came for a wedding. It has been over two months now since she moved to Baltimore. So I have had a few non-stop weekends, but they have been fun. This weekend I am going to a church retreat and am looking forward to a chance to relax and get away.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I should be working on a paper...

..but I decided to update my blog instead. It sounds more fun to me. So I am going into my fifth week of school. I had one of those "why am I doing this to myself?" moments last week, but they always pass. My schedule during the week is pretty hectic with no free time and by the time I get home at 7:30 or 8:00 I have to do school work, then wake up early and do it all over again. But I remind myself that it will be over soon enough. And I do enjoy the things I am doing, including my practicum, school (well, minus the stress of assignments), and my contiuned work at Americana. It just seems overwhelming at moments. Since I no longer have class on Monday, I am trying to enjoy my weekends more (since nothing is due at the beginning of the week). However, this means I stay up too late during the week and make myself sick (like I did this past week). But while this sounds a little depressing, it really isn't that bad. I am making the best of it. And at least I have my weekends....

This weekend wasn't that eventful. I had a housewarming party on Friday night. I have lived in my new apartment for a month now, so I figured it was about time. It was a fun party and a lot of friends stopped by. Too bad I was so exhausted and burnt out from the week. Once everyone left I crashed. Saturday I basically slept and watched cheesy movies all day in order to rejuvinate from my long week (I had some bigger assignments due which caused me to get less sleep than usual, which just throws everything off). And I am fighting off some kind of cold or something (of course, what else is new). Today I was much more productive and feel better. Oh yeah, last weekend I ended up going to Bluffton. It was my aunt and uncle's last weekend in the States before they headed back to France, and I got to hear my uncle preach at First Mennonite, plus see some of my old Bluffton professors. It was so weird to be back there! But it was good. I also got to see all my grandparents and my cousins...and Chad. It was a good weekend.

I realized I have lived in Louisville over two years now! As well as working at Americana for that long too. Definitely the longest I have been continously in the same job. Every Labor Day weekend Louisville has a big World Fest down by the river (which I always have to volunteer some of my time at). I felt like a veteran this year as it was my third one. Kind of hard to believe! Also last weekend I went up to Paoli for an Urban Corps celebration. The program has currently closed down, but they are still looking into possibilites for the future. It was nice to enjoy some delicious food and reminisce. Ok, this post has been kind or random, but there really isn't much to update on except for the same old routine. If I did a day in the life of Maria post now it would be much less exciting than over the summer. "wake up, go to practicum, go to work, go to class, come home, eat something, do school work, go to bed, start over". Awesome. I can't wait until Christmas vacation! Oh and if I didn't mention it, I love living by myself! I like being in complete control of my environment. But I at times miss the constant interaction with people, but during school this is helpful.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The New Place

These are some pictures of my new apartment! I really can't wait until I have my own house someday that I will stay in for more than a year. But this does just fine for now :) I still need to brighten it up a little bit, but since I don't have money for decorative things, they will come slowly. This is what I have for right now!


I don't think I mentioned on here that Americana got a new playground! It was very exciting. We got a grant from a nonprofit organization that builds playgrounds all across the country. It was funded by Home Depot. It was all built in a period of about 6 hours by around 200 volunteers. On one of the hottest days of the summer, I think it hit 103 that day (it was August 9th). What a day that was. All the Americana staff put in long hours that day and started off very early (6:30 a.m.). I can't even describe how exhausted I was at the end of the day (and I didn't even do that much physical labor). That is what spending 10 hours either in the hot sun or the hot kitchen will do to you (I think the kitchen was hotter than outside). I took so many pictures that day - here are a few.

The End of Summer

My four month summer vacation from school has officially ended. How fast summer flew by. I miss it. Only two days into my new schedule and I am pretty exhausted. And my eyeballs hurt (just thought I'd share, don't know what is up with that - I am assuming it is my allergies/the disgusting weather & air quality we have had). I included some pictures of me in case you forgot what I looked like. One is at the Bats game I mentioned in my last post (sporting a fashionable hat with dollar signs all over it, which you can't see) and the other of me having an awesome time at my family reunion (actually, I shouldn't be sarcastic there, it was an enjoyable afternoon). My last weekend of summer was spent with my family for the reunion. My aunt and uncle who are normally in France were there and it is always nice to see them. My uncle is preaching at First Mennonite in Bluffton in a couple of weeks. Wish I could make it up there for that, but doesn't seem likely. If only I could apparate like Harry Potter....Anyways, I am sad that the trip to the lake did not happen, but I was able to use that weekend to prepare for moving, which was a good thing. My original plan was to wait to move until this coming weekend, but then I realized it would be a lot less stressful to be all moved in before school started, so that's what I did. I moved the majority of my things last week after work. I am so glad it is over. And also greatful for all the help I had from friends. Couldn't have done it without them! As of Sunday night, I am all unpacked and I am loving my new place. I am definitely going to be spoiled by living alone. I can do whatever I want, whenever, and have everything just as I like it. And I don't have to clean up other people's messes. It's quite wonderful. But I did feel a little sad leaving my old place, which I usually do. And my former housemate Alisa left last week....another friend gone. Luckily I have several friends that live around my new place, so I am not all alone by any means. But I need to be careful not to become a hermit. It could become quite easy when I am in the midst of school and work and practicum, plus I love being at my new place! But that should wear off soon.
So school began yesterday. Not quite ready for it. The first week is always easy, but the reality of all the work it takes will sink in soon enough. I started my new practicum at Catholic Charities yesterday. I will be there Monday-Wednesday (16 hours per week). So far we have just been doing the orientation thing and meeting with different departments of the agency. Everyone has been so nice and I have two other interns with me so that will be fun. I really like the agency so far, they do a lot of good things (obviously). I am actually excited to dive in and learn lots of new things and start my work (whatever it ends up being, I have a general idea, but only time will tell). Yeah, I'm a loser. I am taking 4 classes but have only had one so far. It was tonight and it seems like it will be a good class (spirituality and social work). My other classes are Thursday and Friday. And I will still be working 15-20 hours a week at Americana. Yep, I'm superwoman. Actually, I thought going to school full time and working part time was crazy enough, but I found out some people in my program go to school full time and work full time and are single moms. Now they are really superwomen. I thought my 11 hour days were long enough!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Well it's been a little while since I posted. These are a couple of recent, random pictures. There's one of my current housemate Dan and I, and I'm not really sure what is going on but it is an amusing picture. The other is some of the teenagers at my church. Dan, Alisa and I had them over on a Saturday evening. We ate frozen pizza and introduced them to Billy Madison. It was a good time. They are sitting in the sun room of my current apartment, the room I will definitely miss most. That's right, I am for sure moving. I just paid the deposit for a new apartment today! After a somewhat frustrating search, everything just fell into place, which I knew it would in the end. After Dan and Alisa decided to move, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I couldn't find two people to move in (that needed a place right now and who I would want to live with...) so I knew I would have to move but was having trouble finidng an affordable and decent one bedroom in a non-sketchy location. As of August 25th, I will be living in a one bedroom apartment in a quiet complex in the Highlands area (very near Bardstown Road for those who know Louisville). It's a pretty good deal. My parents are going to have to help me out with my rent though, which they offered to. If not, I would be living in a hole in the wall or move back to the Americana (which I really wanted to avoid). Money versus happiness. I chose happiness. I wish I could completely support myself, but not quite yet with no roommate and still in school (and determined not to live anywhere just because it is cheap). But soon I will have an awesome salary as a social worker and everything will be just fine ;) Back to my new place - it is definitely not as unique as the apartment I have now, but I like it just fine. The carpet is kind of ugly, but you can't have it all right? I also know two people who live in the complex and others near by (including Dan's new place). The location is a little less convenient for school and work, but not that bad (but my days of riding my awesome pink bike to school are over). A month ago I didn't even know I would be moving. If I could have stayed here another year, I definitely would have, but oh well. Life goes on. And I am looking foward to living on my own for the first time. Too bad it is so damn expensive! After this year I will probably need a roommate again, or a husband :) Oh yeah, I am also in need of some furniture. Right now I have a bed (that isn't even mine), a TV, and a bookcase. Need to work on that.
Other than the moving dilemma, my summer has still been going well. I start school August 20th. Not looking forward to that hectic lifestyle again, but at least I know I will be coming home to a clean house! :) Other than working full-time at Americana (where there is never a dull moment), taking plenty of opportunities to go to the Y (I feel so much healthier!) and spending time with friends (and myself), not much is new. I really am enjoying life right now and it will be very hard to get back into the routine of school. I should stop saying that. It will be so easy I mean. It is so fun to work and go to school and write papers all the time. Oh yeah, Katie was in town this past weekend! It was wonderful to see her. (reminder - Katie was one of my housemates when I was doing Urban Corps. She moved to Colorado, and came to visit for the weekend). And of course I already finished the Harry Potter book, which was fabulous. I laughed, I cried - and now I am so sad the series is over and I will never have the excitement of reading a new one again. And for those who still haven't read them, so should just give in and do it. Everyone else is! The other night my friends and I had a discussion with an English lit bartender who absolutely loathes Harry Potter. It was amusing. Oh yeah, I also went salsa dancing! It was a lot of fun and I learned some new moves. That has to be it for now, off to a Louisville Bats game with a bunch of Americana kids and staff (we got free tickets). Woo hoo.