“I think this is gonna be a good trip.”

So I'm recording this just because I've got some new plans for spring break that I wanted to share. Looks like I'm taking a road trip to New Orleans this week. My friend who I was rooming with in Italy texted me on Monday night asking if I wanted to join him. And yeah, I said sure. Pretty excited for it, I think this is gonna be a good trip. I mean, things have been really weird around East Lansing lately, and I mean, understandably. So it'll be good to get away. And to get away somewhere that's not, like, routine for me too, 'cause kind of my other option was to go home but, you know, driving back and forth between, or flying back and forth between New Hampshire and Michigan isn't always really the best way for you to get out of it all. It's just like, you know, I sit at home. I'm here and I spend a lot of nights just sitting in my room reading. Or doing homework. Or watching Netflix. And then I go home. And I spend most of my nights sitting around, reading, doing homework, watching Netflix. Maybe go for a nice walk in the woods every once in a while, but that's really the only difference. And I mean, I guess I have some friends going - but I don't know if any of them are going home for spring, so, I don't know. And I'm just glad to be kinda getting out of, you know, getting out of town a little bit and maybe getting somewhere that I'm not familiar with. That I'm, you know, getting out of my routine a bit which I think should help. Yeah, so we're, you know, leaving tomorrow night, driving down. He has some family in Louisville, so we're stopping there and doing a haunted asylum tour, which should be creepy and fun. I'm weirdly excited for that and it should be a fun time, even if it's a little hokey.

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“… The range of things that people did for a first job were really different.”

I do have a go-to ice breaker that a friend had told me about, and I used it - I guess the first time I used it, it was, we were running like an academy. It was called like Budget Academy where we were helping people at the university, like, learn more about how to do budget work. We wanted to do a icebreaker and the icebreaker my friend suggested is have people, tell them - say what their first job was, and something that they learned from it. And this ended up being this such a good icebreaker. I mean, some people went back and, you know, just talked about like, you know, babysitting or whatever. Some people had really interesting first jobs. One person that I later got to know really well, but she revealed that she, as a kid, like, her grandfather had a junkyard, and he would like pay the kids, you know, a small amount of money if they could get some of the things out of the cars that other people could use, you know, like removing the headlights or things like that that people could use in their car repairs. I don't know, she was just talking about that job, I thought that was really cool. And the range of things that people did for a first job were really different, and so were the lessons that they learned, so I've used that one more than once. Another one that I've used is "What was your first concert?" And we used that a couple of years ago at an office Christmas party. And we didn't really necessarily need an icebreaker. But, like, my - it was just a great way to get some conversation going, like with people's spouses, and, I dunno, those answers were really funny. It was like people had - people also had unexpected answers, you know, like somebody's first concert was an act we might think is a little lame, and my boss's first concert was, you know, like I think was, Ratt, you know, who did the song Round and Round. Well, you wouldn't know this if you were young, but I mean, it was just kind of like a stupid hair band and it was just funny to think of that being - her at that concert was just, I dunno, funny to me. So that was…

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“Whenever I think of jewelry, though, I think of my grandma.”

So whenever I think of jewelry, though, I think of my grandma, my dad's mom. We call her Nani. She always has jewelry and she loves to buy jewelry. She loves to buy sets of jewelry. So she won't just have the necklace, but she'll also have the earrings and the ring and the bracelet. She'll have everything. So she has been wanting us to go through her jewelry with her and sort of take what we want. And she's 90, and I think she's realizing that she, you know, is not wearing as much jewelry, maybe, as she used to and she's just thinking maybe we can be enjoying this while it's just sitting in her drawers or in her little jewelry boxes or whatever she has. So she invited my mom, my sister and I, my two aunts, so my dad's two sisters, and my cousin, so one of my aunt's daughters, over to go through some of her jewelry. And my mom and my sister and I were terrified of this experience because my aunts can be not very nice sometimes when it comes to things that might be worth something. We had this experience when their father passed away and there were some things that - it was not a nice exchange. Can I just say that? They both really, sort of, it was - actually, it was one of my aunts and another aunt who actually passed away, has passed away since then, who basically got into this very heated discussion, argument about some of the inheritance and it was just horrendous. So we're all just - not only are we, you know, will we be sad and really, you know, just very emotional when Nani passes, you know, my grandma, but we're just dreading having to deal with my dad's sisters and ugh. So, my mom's sister and I said to Nani when she asked us, she wanted us all there, and we said "Nani, you know what? You know, if there's something that you want us to have in particular, great. If not, you know, let the others go ahead and take what they want and, you know, we'll look at the rest of it," but she would not have that. She would not hear of that. So she asked us, you know, really sincerely if we would all come together and do…

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“… our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, my husband and I, he planned this extraordinary day.”

"Has there been a Valentine's Day experience that was especially memorable for you? Tell us about it." Yes! Oh, yes. I think our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, my husband and I, he planned this extraordinary day. We were gonna go to a place called Wild Encounters in Orlando, or maybe it was in Kissimmee. It was around the same area. Anyways. And I was going to literally get to meet and hold a sloth for the first time. I've never even seen a live sloth before. I mean, these are like my - this is my favorite animals. On our wedding cake we had, like, little bride and groom sloths, felted sloths I had - I bought custom made from Etsy, seriously. And that's what he was gonna do for me, and I was terribly, terribly ill that day from starting a new medication! I had started a new medication for my diabetes called Farxiga and it messed me up. And it's messed me up permanently, FYI. It has messed my stomach up permanently. But I remember when I first started it that whole - it must have been a whole week and a half, I was throwing up, throwing up, throwing up. I mean vomiting bile, you know. It was so bad. And I could not go. I was so sick, we couldn't do it, he had to cancel, and I don't remember if he got his money back or what, but, that was - that - it was memorable in a bad way. But, you know, it wasn't his fault. Obviously. He bought me a really nice necklace, and he must've got his money back, 'cause he bought me a really nice necklace. So that was nice. And we've had six Valentine's Days since then. So it's okay. I'm sure we'll have many more in the future. And yeah, so it would be nice to meet a sloth in person. I've got to figure out how to do that. Or at least just see one at the zoo, that would be fun.

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