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17 December 2007

A bit of sad news

Tweedle Dee (or was it Tweedle Dum?) didn't make it a week. I woke up on Sunday to see a dead frog at the bottom of his bowl. It made me sad. Now Tweedle Dum (or is it Tweedle Dee?) is all alone.

How much does it cost to hire a personal decision maker?

Don't you just hate it when you have to make big decisions? I'm pretty used to the small, everyday decision. You know, ice cream or yogurt?Havarti or mozzarella? Be a bitch or let the student athletes get away with shit? Just when everything gets to an even keel, life throws a wicked curve ball and I actually have to make a real decision that impacts more than just my mood and checkbook.

So, through the miracle of the Internet, I am going to hash out the decision right here on my blog and I fully expect all of my three readers to weigh in and help me make a decision!

As you all most likely know, the graduate student life is one of poverty and insane student loans. You may also know that I have decided to leave the full-time student and finish this shit up part-time. Of course, this is no big deal since all of my coursework is DONE! I've had my feelers out for potential jobs, and I have a few good leads on things.

On Saturday, AT offered me a full-time assistant manager position. It is a 37-43 hours/week position that pays only 30k a year. But, it has AMAZING benefits (including dental!!). They really want me to take it, and I need to make my decision by tomorrow evening. However, if I take this position, I will no longer be able to work with The Joe in the afternoons and his parents would need to hire a replacement. No big deal, right?

Wrong. The World's Best Employers are amazing to me. Mrs. ADA is even letting The Boy follow her around the prosecutor's office all week this week so he can see how things work and get some experience. They gave me $50 to spend at Friendly Center as my holiday bonus. They absolutely love me, and they tell me this every day. Aside from all that, Mrs. ADA is trying to get me that criminal magistrate position that starts in July (a state job that starts around 35k with full benefits and a seven-day-on, seven-day-off schedule!). Unfortunately, she cannot guarantee that I will get the position because someone with more clout may take it. If they don't, it's mine! If they do, I'm out of luck.

I'm totally okay with leaving my campus assistantship (although I know that some of my students would be disappointed), but I don't know how I feel about abandoning people who have done so much for me in the past two years. No, I lied. I do know how I would feel. I would feel like a traitor, an ungrateful twit, miserable and unethical. I also cannot, in good conscience, take the AT position only to quit in July when the magistrate position is open.

So, now for the questions. Get ready ...

1. Do I take the AT position and abandon The World's Best Employers and their autistic son and their other two children who adore me?

2. Do I wait for July to see if the magistrate position comes through and keep working part-time at my three other jobs?

3. Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

Let's have it, folks. Bring it on.

12 December 2007

Cheap tickets to Florida!

My parents are going to Florida for two weeks in April, and I get to visit for four days!! I am flying down on the SkyBus (my new favorite thing ever!), and it only cost me $91.80!!! I'm pretty stoked. I'll be with them at the beach from the 17th through the 20th. After considering flight times, I'll be spending about three and a half solid days with the 'rents. It should be fun. I'm pretty stoked. I haven't been to Florida since my honeymoon in 2001. That's pretty funny.


I gave the Best Employers Ever their Christmas gift. It was a calendar made up of photos I took of their children. I wanted to give it to them when they were together and all the kids were there (being lawyers it is often rare to see them together in the evening when I leave), and tonight I hung around for a little bit to wait for the Defense Attorney to get home. When they opened it, they were completely thrilled. I know that they are often way too busy to worry about taking pictures of their kids, and I know that they are completely focused on their kids. I knew that this calendar would be a great gift for them. They were completely surprised and were very happy. They gave me big hugs and were super appreciative. It felt nice to make them so happy. I sent Mrs. ADA the link for the rest of the photos so she can order any other prints that she wants.


I'm currently watching ScarJo in The Nanny Diaries. Laura Linney plays a wonderful bitch. I kinda feel bad for her. Trapped in a loveless marriage with the mothering-instinct of a praying mantis. I feel bad for people like her. More money that she knows what to do with but completely unhappy and alone. A husband that philanders around the city and the aire of being happy and content in that marriage.

Man, you couldn't pay me enough to be a nanny. No way in hell.

11 December 2007

Reflections on faith

I've been doing the RCIA (Rites of Catholic Initiation for Adults) for about two months now, and I can honestly say that this is something that I am passionate about and am looking forward to continuing. That should be obvious at this point given that I participate in the Rite of Acceptance a few weeks ago, but my feelings about the process have only deepened and strengthened. I've found solace and comfort in the Church, something that I have lacked for a very long time.

For those of you who don't know, my interest in religion ended abruptly in the 11th grade. Two friends of mine were taken from their home and brutally murdered. No one could answer my questions on faith and how God would allow such horrible things to happen to such young and innocent girls. The ministers and people of faith that I spoke to at the time provided cookie-cutter answers like, "God has a greater plan for them," and "God doesn't make evil happen. But they are with Him now." This provided me with no solace and only added to my frustration. Subconsciously, I gave up. In the 11 (almost twelve) years since that happened, I had attended church perhaps a dozen times and most of those times were out of common courtesy to others. My heart was never in it. I found it too difficult to let down this wall that I had built around my soul to protect me from such violences against my spirit. I wasn't a bad person during this time. I was the same old me. I wasn't kicking puppies or beating children or robbing banks. I just chose to believe in myself and not some higher power. I doubted that God existed and, if he did exist, that He even cared about what happened here on Earth. My thoughts centered on the fact that we are all here on our own with no intervention. People can chose to be moral, or they can chose to be amoral. I fully believed that an individual gets where they want in life through their own hard work and determination, with no help from any divine being. Granted, this has made me a bit more selfish and proud, but I was by no means a "bad" person in the traditional sense of the word.

Turns out, the Catholics have a term for this. Many saints have also gone through the "Dark Night of the Soul." Both Mother Teresa and her namesake Saint Therese of Lisieux went through similar experiences when they questioned God's presence in their lives. According to the Catholics, the Dark Night of the Soul is actually a blessing and a test of one's faith. I guess that this would be true since it has brought me to the Church and renewed my spiritual life. Since beginning to explore Catholicism and its tenets, I find that I have become more centered and calm. I've established a nightly routine; Each night right when I get into bed, I first write in a journal that is dedicated "soul"ly to commentary and exploration of my faith experiences each day. I also record my individual prayers for each day so I can look back and see areas over which I pray often or not enough. After my journal, I pray the Rosary and say my individual prayers. After my prayers, I read a bit from the book on Mother Teresa's life (focusing mainly on her experiences in Calcutta). It may be pure coincidence or pure exhaustion, but, on nights when I perform this ritual, I sleep better that I ever have before. I wake up feeling focused and relaxed and ready for the day. The ritual provides me with a time to center myself (and I know I've used that term already, but I cannot think of how else to describe it) and focus on introspection.

I spoke with The Fox recently about the need to carve out time in each day to allow for meditation and tranquility. I never before realized how important that time is until I forced myself to do it every day. At first, it was a bit of a hassle to make sure I reserved an hour each day to devote to nothing but religious and spiritual pursuits. I mean, as a grad student and an adult, I have a million things to do each day. I work two to three jobs on any given day, I study for exams (or, at least, I should), I have housework and The Beast to take care of, and so many other things that cross my plate. But, once I forced myself to crawl into bed, turn on the classical music, and perform my nightly ritual, it became the part of my day I look forward to the most. It is the one hour in my day that is peaceful and calm. No distractions. No noises. No thinking about grades and papers and exams and money and physical ailments and general worries. These last minutes I spend every day really prepare me to face the next day and provide me with moments to just be quiet and alone. Before now, I never really thought about how much one needs a time like this, but now I cannot see how I got this far in life without my nightly meditations.

It's funny though because I can see a distinct difference in my every-day activities as a result of this faith. As some of you may know, I am a rather impulsive and "spirited" young lady. Hey, I come from the North, and we are an aggressive and assertive people. For example, I readily admit that I have road rage. Bad. In fact, even The Boy has commented on my lack of patience when driving. I'm not one of those crazy drivers who weaves in out of traffic and endangers others, but I normally have no patience for stupidity (like the lack of directionals, going too slow in the fast lane ... you know). Well, last night, as I was driving home from Job #2 at around 6:00pm, there was traffic mayhem on Battleground. People all around me were honking their horns and yelling out the window. I stopped and thought, "Hey, that's what I normally do. That is how I normally respond." And, without foresight or intention, I said aloud, "People, relax. It's just traffic." Yes, those words actually left my mouth. MY mouth. Shocking, I know. But that is what I am talking about. My normal rash and impulsive responses to life's little curve balls have totally changed. I find myself being more patient and understanding of the people I formerly thought "stupid" and "obnoxious." Of course, I am not completely reformed because that Northern blood runs deep, but I do see a identifiable change in myself.

I also find it funny that much of academia lacks religion. So many professors that I have encountered (not all, mind you, but many) have no spiritual or religious beliefs. They consider themselves atheist or agnostic. In our field, so much of the literature incorporates elements of faith. It seem counterintuitive that those people teaching the literature lack faith. I'm not passing judgment, but it does seem peculiar. It is almost like a belief in a higher power is a sign of weakness and ignorance in the world of academia. After all, there is no "proof" for such beings, and the world of intellectuals strongly discourages blind faith. I'm not sure where I am going with this, but it is something that I have been ruminating over the past few weeks. Why is there such a lack of religiosity in higher education? I'm not saying that those in higher ed should be forcing their faith upon their students, but it seems interesting that it is rarely or never present or discussed. Hmmm ...

This is where I am right now. I like the path that I am on, and I plan to continue along it for some time to come. I feel more content and more at peace with myself and the world around me. And, surprisingly, life seems to suck a little less.

And, thanks, MealyMel. It means a lot to me to know that you are proud of me. You are definitely invited to my Easter service and the party to commence afterwards. I love you!

10 December 2007

A medical update for the folks that care

My tummy is no longer rumbly. Apparently, I produce too much acid (who knew I was so bitter and acrid? Oh, that's right! Everyone!) After my two week course of Prilosec, my tummy feels as good as new! I have two more two-week doses, so if this bad boy comes back, I am prepared.

My ear still sucks. I'm going to get my referral so I can get tubes in my ears. Yeah. Welcome to being a three year old. I think I will wait until after the holidays to get it done. Maybe right before school starts back up. We'll see. Either way, I am pretty sure that it is gonna get done.

On the legal front, I haven't heard from the insurance bitches since my lawyer (A.K.A. Best Boss in AMERICA!) sent them the threatening letter (and cc'd it to the insurance commission for North Carolina). I should probably call at some point and see when they are going to pay the bill, but I'll wait for them to contact me and my lawyer. They would be stupid to raise a fuss now. But, they've proven themselves to be rather stupid thus far, so I wouldn't put it past them.

My arthritis hasn't been hurting too much, but I am sure the trip north will aggravate it. Nothing makes arthritic joints angry like cold weather and cold moisture in the air. I'll just be sure to bring my fistful of painkillers and anti-inflammatories! They should go well with the wine I plan to consume!!

So, there you have it, folks.

And froggies make five

We have new additions to the family. Again. Burke the Betta joined the clan a few weeks ago. Today, on an well-founded impulse, I added an aquatic snail and a set of aquatic frogs. :D

The snail is gold and rooms with Burke. I think I will call her (because I decided she was a her - aren't snails asexual and change sex based on mate availability?) something ingenious like "Slider" or "Slippery" or "Slimey." Probably not "Slimey," but I can't think of anything alliterative that goes with "snail" and doesn't sound dorky.

She is the yellowy-gold spot in the top of Burke's bowl. She was trying to escape. Isn't Burke pretty? I thought her yellow would compliment Burke well! I think Burke likes her. He keeps swimming over to check her out, and I have caught him with his nose up against her shell. Imagine what their babies would look like!? :PCan you see the lights that he fights with? It is hysterical!
And, yes, you heard (or read) right. Two little underwater froggies have also joined the clan. This pictures are a little hard to make out, but you can see them at the bottom by the gravel.

They are spazzy little things! Any time I touch the glass or they sense movement, they start swimming up and down in the bowl in complete and total panic. I hope they chill out. Appropriately, I believe I will call them "Tweedle-dee" and "Tweedle-dum." I was trying hard to think of some clever anti-French nicknames (Get it? They are frogs. Frogs.) but cleverness escapes me at this moment. They are kinda fun to watch though! You should see them chase their food (fish-food flakes). They run it down as it sinks to the bottom of the bowl. HYSTERICAL! Right now, they are about the size of a nickel. When and if they grow, they will reach the size of a fifty-cent piece. Not too sure how I feel about that. We'll see if they make it that long.

I keep this pet-shit up, and I'll end up with a house full. As if The Beast wasn't a house full on her own!

You should all come over and meet my new family. They are rather friendly!

Yeah for pets that don't need walking or bathing or training or vet visits.

But, I guess The Beast isn't all that bad. She did almost eat a praying mantis today. (I'll tell you more about my pathological fear of them later.)

09 December 2007

Merry Christmas to The Boy

After FOUR HOURS of waiting online, I finally got some BoSox tickets today!! September 22nd, last week of the regular season, Cleveland, night game. Totally stoked. While The Boy and I agreed not to give each other gifts, I got the tix anyway. They were rather affordable, and they are a gift we share. It's like a Christmas gift to US! Yeah!! As an added bonus, we can take the new SkyBus shuttle from GSO to Portsmouth, NH, for like $80 round trip! We'll stay at his parents' house and have a great late-autumn weekend in Beantown! We'll board The Beast and have a weekend of baseball. Something to look forward to. Happy times!

The weekend has been rather nice. The Boy had an exam on Saturday (he thinks he did rather well - let's all hope so!), and I worked at AT. I was supposed to get off at 1, but they were short-staffed and they asked me to stay. Of course, being the good sport that I am, I did. After work, The Boy and I went to mass and then off to the saucy red-head's for a little get together. I was totally exhausted, so we called it an early night. I went home and passed out.

Today involved morning mass and housework. The Boy returned to his abode around noon (two more exams this week, and then he is done! Yeah!), and I waited patiently for the BoSox tix. Whoever said patience was a virtue certainly knew what they were saying! This evening was an end-of-semester meeting with my staff (my holiday gift to them=two pitchers of margaritas) and then home to chill.

Tomorrow begins the last week of the semester. Yeah!!! Friday cannot come soon enough.

04 December 2007

Burke is crazy

My new beta is insane. Perhaps I made him that way, but no matter.

I have some blue and white teardrop Christmas lights laced around the top of the entertainment center. It just so happens that the lights wrap around Burke's bowl. One of the blue lights is right up against the glass. When I first turn on the lights at night, he comes over to where the blue light is and he flares his gills and gets all aggressive. He "paces" back and forth (as much as a fish can pace) and challenges the bulb to a fight. He does this for about five minutes until he calms down. Each and every night he does this. Hysterical! Cheap entertainment for the poor grad student.

Hey MealyMel - I said my first rosary tonight at RCIA. Now I actually understand your comment on novenas!

03 December 2007

Like clockwork

I just want you all to know that it is currently 3:57 and The Beast has been lying on the floor in front of the door for the last twenty minutes, staring at me.

02 December 2007

Bailey's Biological Clock

The Beast gets breakfast between 6-8am every day. She used to get dinner at 4pm every day until I started grad school. Now she gets fed anywhere between 4 and 8pm.

Every single day when it gets to be 3:45pm, she goes over the the front entryway (her food is kept in the closet there). She stands there and looks at me until I feed her. I am firm in my convictions and never feed her before 4pm. I always assumed that she knew it was dinner time because enough time had elapsed from her breakfast. We all know that her moments are measured in food.

So, today, The Boy and I go to mass. We don't feed her until we get home, which was around noon. She was cool with that. I assumed she wouldn't want to eat her dinner until at least 8pm.

Yeah. Fat chance. 3:45 rolled around and there she was, standing in front of the door, waiting for her dinner.

My questions is How the hell does this dog know what time it is? How is she so damn precise at nailing 3:45/4:00 each and every day? It doesn't matter if we are on daylight savings time or not, the matter of outside light or dark is irrelevant. I know the dumb dog can't tell time, so I am clueless on this.

Well, I need to go because The Beast is currently standing at the door, waiting for her dinner. It is 5:15 and I've made her wait FOR-EVER!

Later, skater.

30 November 2007

Happy Christmastime!

I decorated the house today. It's all lightie and snowmanie and blue and sliver and white. The Boy and I will decorate the tree tomorrow or Sunday. Not sure yet.

I got home from work and turned on the Sirius, blasting the festive holiday tunes. I haven't decorate in years due to spending two weeks in the northeast at Christmastime. I think the last time I decorated was when I lived on Groton Ave. in NY. We had a big Christmas tree all covered in lights and ribbons and ornaments. I had a mini little table top tree at the old apartment, but that was the extent of my decorating. Today I pulled out all of the big Rubbermaid tubs of decorations that I have accumulated since the ole marriage days. I sorted through them and strung five strings of lights as put out my music box, candle holders, snowmen, and angels. It looks rather festive in here. All set for tomorrow night's get-together. Maybe we'll even get the tree done before then. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

I'm feeling rather holiday-esque now that the medicine has kicked in and my stomach doesn't ache all the time. My ear even feels better too!

As I always say, better living through pharmaceuticals!!

29 November 2007

Hello, I'm Heather the Intern

I went to the doctor today. My appointment was for 8:20am. They called me back for blood pressure and temperature-taking at 8:05am. Then I got to sit in the room until the nurse came in at 8:20 to tell me that Heather was running late. At 8:33, she came back again to tell me that Heather was still on her way. Finally, at 8:45, Heather arrived. She came into the room and announced, "Hi. I'm Heather the Intern." I laughed on the inside, but I was soon relieved to see her Wake Forest Medical Center badge. Finally! A person with reputable medical training! Granted, she is still in school, but at least she isn't a dumb ass!

After she took my symptoms (which seemed to mystify her because they didn't follow normal symptoms), she had me lie down and she did an abdominal exam. As soon as she pressed on the upper right part of my stomach, right along the ribcage, I was like, "Yeah. That hurts." She listed to my tum-tum with a cold ass stethoscope and was like, "There's a lot of movement going on down here." I nodded. At that point, She determined that I either have an ulcer (hence the pain in the upper right quadrant) or a "motility" problem. In other words, my stomach and my intestines are working at different speeds and this creates discomfort. Either way, she gave me some anti-nausea pills to ease the problem. If it persists, she wants me to come back on Monday. On the bright side, the pills are supposed to make me sleepy.

At this point in the exam, I explain my insurance woes and my ear troubles. I ask for a referral and she says, "No problem. I'll go get the paperwork." Of course, as soon as she leaves the office, I hear some ole bitch tell her that "We need to diagnose and attempt to solve the problem before writing a referral." At this point, I'm steamed. I knew it was coming. When Heather the Intern returns, I can tell that she doesn't want to deliver the bad news and tells me that I am going to be annoyed. Now, despite biting my lip until I bleed, I start to tear up and tell her how frustrated I am and how the health center misdiagnosed the problem to start with and create the whole mess. She looked at me kindly and asked, "Would you like me to take a look? It's a different set of eyes." Obviously I complied (fuck you and your two separate appointments!).

She looked in my ears and noted that they are completely filled with fluid and are infected. When I told her about the new pain, she looked concerned and checked it out. She determined that I probably have a secondary infection in the mast regions of my skull (little air pockets behind your ears in the skull). She said it is common for people with chronic ear infections to get this, but it needs to be treated because it can lead to brain illnesses like meningitis. No thanks! So, I got some antibiotics for that shit. Hopefully, I'll be better soon!

All in all, other than waiting for FOREVER, the appointment was good. Plus, she told me to come back and see the REAL doctor on Monday, and they would give me my referral. Yeah!

Campus health still blows, but at least I have some medicine to help me start feeling better.

28 November 2007

How effed up is this?

So, I resign myself to getting my ailments taken care of. Sadly, I must visit our lack-luster Gove Health Center on campus. (I do this only after I speak to the billing department and the repeatedly reassure me that my crappy student health insurance covers all on-campus medical expenses, and I will pay nothing out of pocket.) I find solace in knowing that I only need to go to campus health for a referral, and my well-being is not in their care.

So I call them up.

"Hello. Student Health Services."

"Hi. I need to make an appointment."

"What is the problem?"

"I think I have an ulcer, and my ear has hurt for a few weeks now."

"So, you would like to make two appointments?"

"No. I would like to make one."

"Oh, I'm sorry. You can only be seen by the doctor (we all know that the person who sees me will be a glorified nursing student) for one issue at a time."

"Well, I'm a full-time student, and I have a full-time job. I don't have the time for two separate appointments."

"I understand, but it is our policy (this means that they can scam my crappy insurance for more money. i.e. more office visits=more fees for reimbursement). Now, what would you like to schedule first?"

"Whatever. My stomach."

"How does tomorrow look?"

"I'm on campus at 8."

"How does 8:20 work?"

Well,obviously. I said I was on campus at 8. "Good."

She asks for all of my information and then says, "And when would you like to schedule your other appointment?"

"I wouldn't. Goodbye."

Part of me (a large part at that) wants to totally bail on tomorrow's appointment. Without calling, of course. We'll see how the ole' tum-tum feels in the AM.

God - I pray that I find reasonable employment with decent insurance. I've been in college for ten years now. I should be qualified for something with benefits. Amen.

I think I have an ulcer

and it may be bleeding.

I've had an ugly upset stomach for the past few weeks, on and off. Especially the last three days or so. No matter what I eat (or don't), I have this tight, nauseous feeling in my gut. It kinda blows. Not kinda. Really blows. Of course, all of the medicine I take for my aching joints and aching ear (see below) only aggravates it further. So, my choices are to either have pain in my joints and ear or pain in my stomach. What is a girl to do?

My left ear has been killing me for a few weeks now. When I wake up in the morning, it aches and even hurts to the touch. If I touch my face and neck anywhere near my earlobes or fragus (the little flap of skin and cartilage on the side of your face above your earlobe), it hurts terribly. Thankfully, my knee and wrists medicines take care of it.

I should probably get both checked out, but the thought of dealing with the insurance only makes my stomach hurt more. I'll wait it out until I get that county job in December or July to take care of. Then I will have some kick ass insurance. How lame is it that I get excited aver insurance? I am officially old.

In other news, we have a few new members of the family. Burke the Beta joined the household yesterday. He is a beautiful sapphire blue with a black face and chest. (Do betas have chests? Who knows. You get my drift.). He lives on top of the entertainment center in a big bowl. CeCe the Conifer (named after St. Cecelia since we got her on that day) is our potted Norfolk Island Fir. The damn thing is supposed to grow to ceiling height. She currently resides in the guest bathroom for Bailey-protection. I'm getting a grow light so she'll keep growing despite the darkness (she is native to Australia so our lack of sun and cold temperatures may stunt her growth). I may need a bigger apartment. Maybe after I get me new job.

And that's all for updates in the 'boro.

25 November 2007

Robert Redford, despite his semi-leathery face, makes my heart melt...

... and not in the sexual, "he is so hot" way, but, rather in the "your mind makes me hot" way.

The Boy and I saw "Lions for Lambs" on Friday night. He took me after I got off work at AT. Of course, I ended up in tears, once again. It was fantastic. The critics called it "talky" and claimed that it was too difficult to "get into" the characters and their lives. I completely disagree. Robert Redford's character narrates much of the story, but you do get to see snippets of the characters he is speaking of. It is obviously reflective of the current state of politics and military-power (that was Redford's goal), but it also had some great commentary on teaching and the reasons we teach. I enjoyed both aspects of the film. As did The Boy. It makes me sad about the condition of our nation, but it also made me rethink some of my opinions of the press and the government and the reasons why we are still fighting a "war" that has no end. I like movies that make you think and reflect. I would like to talk more about it, but I would hate to ruin the ending for everyone. Let me just say that as soon as you all see it, we can talk about it! I'd like to see it again, if anyone is interested.

In other news, Thanksgiving was nice. It was just The Boy and me and The Beast. We had duck, some Ah-MAZING stuffing (fresh bread, apricots, cranberries, almonds, port wine, and chicken broth ... mmmmm ....), some fantastic sweet potatoes, and sugar snap peas. Plus we made a kick-ass cake (white cake with coconut frosting!). We had some great wine with dinner, some champagne with dessert, and some more wine afterwards while we watched "The Bells of Saint Mary's." Needless to say, the end of the evening was a little blurry. But very fun!!

School starts back up tomorrow. Not too psyched about that. But, the good news is that there is only a few weeks left. Like two. I just need to finish this bullshit annotated bib for my CUI class, and I am done! Te final projects for my UNS class should take all of an hour to grade, and that's it. I'm throwing a little get-together this weekend for my peeps that I never see, so that should be fun.

I'm rather happy that this semester is almost over. Granted, there is one more semester left for me, but at least this one is almost over. Wooo Hoooo!

16 November 2007

An update on my pyschosis; or, Just call me Suzie

As in Homemaker. Yep, you heard it here first. I actually donned the apron yesterday (it was red!) and made crabcakes and Bailey's Irish Cream Bread. This afternoon, I made some cupcakes. Look at me go! The crabcakes and cupcakes (kind of a cake theme, huh?) are for Kedren's birthday dinner tonight. The bread is for The Boy.

Today I met with the GSD regarding my future in the program. She informed me that I can remain a full-time student in the Spring and not take any real classes (I'll take 6 hours of Independent Study), or I can withdraw my full-time status and take one hour of the same course. That would leave me open to work full time as an assistant manager at AT or as a magistrate. I need to see what works out best. I would feel terrible leaving my assistantship in the middle of the year, but I need to do what is best for my finances and my education. I'll know more after I talk to My Favorite Lawyers and AT. Hopefully, things will work out for the best. And, by best I mean, what makes me happy.

I'm hoping that this means things are falling into place. I've had a few minor meltdowns in the past few weeks (thanks to MealyMel and Mrs. DH for their loving support!), and I hate that feeling. You know, the control freak in me hates a loss of control. I have to be the one with it all together. Duh! Anyway, it seems that things do have a way of working out. (Don't tell The Boy I said that. He'll go into one of his speeches on how God works in his own way and has a plan.)

That being said, the weekend seems to have a pretty positive outlook! Maybe I'll even get some work done.

14 November 2007

The sweet smell of decay

Just when the world was starting to blister and tear my shoulders, a simple fragrance lifted it up and cleared all of my worries away ... even if only for a little while.

Today, driving down the road in the bright sunshine with the windows down, the wind blowing in the sweet smell of autumn leaves decomposing on the leaf-littered ground made me happy and content with everything that has been weighing on me. It made me think of home. Of crisp, happy New York autumns of days gone passed. Of jumping in piles of leaves and having leaf fights. Of watching the hillsides come ablaze in supernatural colors. Of younger days when it was perfectly acceptable (and expected) to be carefree.

It's a smell that means "home."

12 November 2007

Things that piss me off in general ...

Hmmm ... It seems that I've had time to contemplate the world around me, and I've come to some conclusions about the people around.

1. I have absolutely no time nor patience for people who claim to be "Christian" yet act in the most un-Christian fashion. This is not me on a soapbox because I do not claim to be Christian. Granted, I am exploring it, but it is not a label that I currently apply to myself. Anyway, the hypocrisy that pervades the Christians (mainly born-again protestants, but not excluding mainstream protestants as well) is sickening. These people preach a good game, but when it comes to actually living in Jesus' image, they fail miserably. It's rather sad and disheartening.

2. I also have no time and patience for adults who behave in a middle-school-esque fashion. As a grown adult, the silent treatment (i.e ignoring people) is lame-o and immature. When grown people are angry or disappointed or upset, they address those issues and discuss them with the person that "caused" the discontent. Come on, people. Get it together. You have outgrown middle school by nearly a decade (or more!). It is time to behave accordingly.

3. The bureaucracy of academia is unreal. 'Nuf said.

4. The constant stream of bullshit from the world of insurance is out of control. 'Nuf said.

5. Finally, I am completely exhausted by people who require so much time and effort in friendships. They cannot be bothered to call or write, but they get upset and annoyed when you stop doing the same. I'm sorry people. I refuse to any longer be the one who always puts everything together, the one who always makes first contact, the one who always plans. Don't get me wrong. I love doing all those things, but it just gets boring after a while when it becomes the expectation of me. I do it because I enjoy it, not because it is my job. Sadly, when I quit the job, people either get pist or fade into the woodwork. This only reveals to me the kinds of people I have surrounded myself with. (Of course, this mini-tirade does not apply to all of the people in my life! Just those that fit into this particular category. I love the rest of you terribly!)

So, that being said, life is fairly good on my end. I made some pretty kick-ass macaroons for RCIA tomorrow night (including an adulterated batch spiked with Malibu rum), and now I am watching The Great Gatsby. Oh, if I could have only lived in the Roaring 20s and have had my clothes designed by Ralph Lauren. I just adore the beaded dresses and hats and everything. But, if I were alive in the 20s, I would probably have been a scullery maid in NYC, living in the Bowery. Just call me Maggie. For those of you that get that reference, you officially rock!

That's all for now, folks. Take care.

08 November 2007

And to counteract the previous socially aware post ...

Upon rewatching The Departed, I realized how amazingly hot Matt Damon is. However, it is totally the accent. The urban, lower class Bostonian accent is hot beyond words. It conveys a rugged, earthly, urban rebel-rouser with dark hair and secretive eyes. (This is very sexy in theory, but we all know that we don't want to actually get tied down to this kind of man! Still, the illusion is great!) The accent doesn't work on women. On women, it often makes them seem unintelligent (much like the Southern accent on both men and women). But, on men, a totally different story! Without the accent, Matt Damon is simply average.

I absolutely love it when we go home and The Boy starts talking with the family. It is like complete immersion in another country. Love it!

Last year when we were in town for Opening Day, The Boy's family was in town for dinner. His dad came to the States when he was 18. His older sisters and brothers came over as well. His dad speaks decent English, but his older sister barely speaks English at all. In fact, she only converses in Italian. Of course, this was only a problem for me. They were all talking a mile a minute in Italian and a heavily Boston-accented dialect of Italian. I was clueless. Everyone had to keep translating for me. I felt completely clueless. But it was great fun!

07 November 2007

I may be a bit behind the curve ball, but I catch on quickly!

Inspired by my current battle with my graduate student insurance (a.k.a. "One step above no insurance"), I watched Sicko. It made me angry, sympathetic, frustrated, and sad.

But first, let me catch you up to speed on my insurance saga.

I have had the same crappy insurance for the past three years that I have lived here. For the first two years, nothing changed in each renewal cycle. My deductible remained the same ($100) and my referral process (i.e. not needing one) never changed. Suddenly, this year, they changed it and never notified me. Unfortunately,before I discovered the change in the policy, I had racked up a visit to the emergency room and a visit to a specialist's office without a referral. Now I am in a full-on war with the insurance company to get them to pay for this. They are hoping that I will just give up and pay up. However, they failed to realize that I am an obnoxious and aggressive New Yorker. In the meantime, they have also told me that the orthopaedist that I have been seeing for over a year and a half will need a referral for my next visit. Are you frickin' kidding me?

Anyway, back to Sicko. Let me give my disclaimed first. I fully recognize that Michael Moore has an agenda. He presents his material in a clearly biased and slanted view. However, he never claims otherwise. He fully acknowledges that he films with the intention of making a political and/or social point. While this discourages some (mainly people who disagree with his positions), it encourages me. Of course, I'm smart enough to balance his information with my own knowledge and my own thoughts. Despite this, Sicko pist me off.

One of the last things that Michael Moore said in the film was that until our nation stops focusing on "me" and starts focusing on "we," nothing will get better. He is completely right. As Americans, we are so consumed with personal gain and personal achievement. We have completely lost sight of the concept of community and democracy. The whole basis of democracy of being rule by the people for the people is completely contradicted by the way Americans now live. While we try to run the government "by the people," we completely lack the element of "for the people." We no longer care about those less fortunate (they are "lazy" and there are "too many" programs to help them already) or the children of those people (because it is obvious that the children should suffer for the "sins" of the father, right?). I cannot say how many times my stomach has turned when someone has said, "I don't want my tax dollars going to support all those other people." My question is, "What about the WIC that pays for your kids' foods? What about the Social Security benefits you receive? What about the Medicaid/Medicare your parents receive in their old age? Who do you think pays for that? Everyone around you!!!!" Why is it all about me, me, me?

Many years ago (you know, when the puritans came over), the Church and church provided social welfare for those who were less fortunate. Even those who were fortunate but fell upon hard times were cared for by religious institutions. that has obviously faded away into the distant past. Now that the religious institutions do far less than they used to (and I am by no means saying that they do nothing! They do ... just not as much as they used to), there are few people to help others.

Maybe I am crazy. Maybe grad school has taken it's toll on me. But I just don't see what is so wrong with helping others out. Why should a person go without cancer treatment because they cannot afford it? They deserve to die? To suffer? Why should a child suffer from rotting teeth all through their youth? What have they done to deserve that? They deserve to suffer simply because their parents have no insurance or have no decent job? Definitely. Of course. That's logical. Because living a healthy life is a privilege, not a right!, that can easily stripped away for simply sins like the lack of a decent job or unfortunate genetics. That makes complete sense.

It also amazes me that Americans will rush off to a fundraiser to shell out their cash to specific people when they become ill or fall upon hard times, but those very same people aren't willing to pay a bit more in taxes to prevent those illness in the beginning. Ugh! It makes no sense to me. I would love for someone to help me understand this.

Please don't take me as a unpatriotic or un-American. I love being in this country and all of the many privileges that come with it. Especially as a woman. I recognize that I am extremely blessed in the accident that was the place of my birth. However, that will not stop me from moving abroad. As soon as The Boy graduates his law program, we are *hopefully* moving to England or Italy or another major metropolitan area in Europe. I would like to see how the other half of the world lives. I'll come back to visit, though. All my peeps are here!

It saddens me the state we are in. For a country that claims to be so damn Christian, we ceretainly have failed to live in Jesus' image.

Free from the enslavement

I deleted my myspace today.

It felt good. No more stalking and lack of privacy. Of course, that means no more random LL comments and no more Kiki pics, but I'll survive.

What didn't feel so good was deleting all of my former blog posts. During that process, I realized that I used to "blog" all the time. About everything. The mundane. The exciting. The random. Some of it was total shit. Some of it was pretty decent.

I miss my prolific writing. I am too busy and too stressed out to write anymore. When I do write, it isn't anything all that important. Like this one. It has no real relevance to the world. It isn't profound. It isn't life changing.

I want to get back to writing important stuff again. I gotta make time to do that.

Starting now.

Or maybe next week ...

05 November 2007

A Brief Summary of the Last Few Days

10/31 - Family arrives.

11/1 - Family still here. Had lunch with more family from Raleigh.

11/2 - Family still here. Lunch at Natty Greene's and the Natural Science Center.

11/3 - Family still here. Luke's Momma arrives as well. The North Carolina Zoo with all the kiddies. Party at Chea Grabow with all the chickies and their respective children.

11/4 - Family left at 4am, thinking it was 5. (They forgot to set back the clocks!). Slept in until 10 or so. Missed Mass. The Boy went without me. Grocery shopping with The Boy, and then off to Durham to visit My Favorite Jews. Enjoyed watching the Colts get beat by the Pats. Good fun indeed. Especially when coupled with a few Bacardi and Cokes.

11/5 - Took a much needed mental health day. Slept in until 9:30 or so. The Beast slept as well. It was fabulous. Didn't shower until 1 or so. It was great. I haven't had a day off like this in a while. Very much needed.

29 October 2007

A blogy kind of day

Should there be two "g"s in "blogy?" Perhaps an "-ie" ending? Oh well.

This is my third blog of the day. I'm so damn bipolar. I go for weeks on end without posting, and then I post a million times in a matter of hours. I need to work on leveling out, clearly.

I've been having some serious comps anxiety. You know, the whole "I'm-not-prepared-and-I-probably-never-will-be-and-I'm-not-good-enough" crap. I am done with my 19th century list (no big deal there), and I started on my 20th and special topics. I am, oh, about three weeks behind in my reading. Then I get an email from one of my committee members saying that he wants to make sure that I have a "solid social and contextual understanding of the period." I barely understand the poems, let alone all that other bullshit! I responded that I "don't know how to think 20th century." I don't think he was amused. But it is true!

Working three jobs (totaling about 40+ hours per week) and taking a class leaves me very little time to study. No. I take that back. If I cut down on my sleeping from my normal 11pm-6am to midnight-5am, I could squeeze in a few more hours. Trouble is, by the time I get home from my second job each evening, the very last thing I have energy to do is study! I just want to veg out, watch a movie, eat dinner, and read something that requires no brain cells.

I explained my current situation to the committee and expressed a potential desire to postpone. Surprisingly, KK completely supported the decision. In fact, she told me that if I hadn't suggested it, she would have. That made me feel sooooo much better. Of course, this may put me a semester behind in finishing, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make at this point. If I take these god forsaken things in October (one year from now), I will have nine months to read two lists and review a third. That is far more doable. In fact, I almost feel rejuvenated and excited about it! Almost.

On an unrelated note, I am taking my first RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) class tomorrow night. In other words, I may be becoming Catholic. Not sure yet. We'll see how it goes. For those of you who know me, this is completely out of left field. I am a self-professed pagan. Not really, but religion has always been veeeeeeeery far from my daily life. I know that this bothers The Boy (a rather devout Catholic in the buffet sense - I love you, Melissa!) because he worries about the state of my soul. Happily, he doesn't pressure me to convert or talk about religion or any of those obnoxious behavior. It is rather cute how every Sunday (or Saturday afternoon) he invites me to Mass. Nine times out of ten, I refuse and chill out at home while he goes to get some Jesus.

A few weeks ago, The Boy and I attended a lecture and guest sermon by Bishop William Curlin, the retired bishop from Charlotte. Turns out, he was Mother Teresa's spiritual advisor as well a mentor to a former pope. I invited The Boy because I knew how much he would enjoy to (the Bishop is a close personal friend of my boss, and she invited me to the service.). During the sermon and lecture, I found myself close to tears. This is the only time I have ever even been close to tears as a result of God. I figured it was a sign of some sort. Leaving my UCC/Methodist roots behind, I figured that I'd give this religion thing another go. I've been attending Mass regularly (and even without the invite from The Boy!), and enrolled in RCIA last week. The class is every Tuesday night from 7-9. It will get me to Winston just in time for nip/tuck. (I like the juxtaposition of those two concepts: church/god and nip/tuck.)

Hmmmm ... not much more to say now. I think three blogs has got me spent!

Count on some pics and update later in the week. Mom, Sister and Adorable Niece #1 and #2 are arriving on Wednesday afternoon. We have an action-packed weekend in store. The Zoo, the Natural Science Center, the Children's Museum ... I am pretty stoked.

Keep it real, ya'll.

What we lack

I just finished watching Bobby. I truly appreciate movies like this. It is about something we all know, but it forces us to think about what could have been. And, perhaps, what could still be.

It saddens me that our generation lacks a leader that inspires such hope and reverence. I honestly can't think of a single current leader that I would shed tears over if they were to pass or be assassinated. Does that make me a horrible person? I hope not. We live with such corruption and self-centered leaders, striving to make life better for themselves and those within their social circle. Meanwhile, civil rights are still being violated and basic human needs are not being met.

Children all over this country go hungry every day. Those with mental illness and permanent physical disabilities are still downcast and hidden from view. The poor are still looked at as "lazy" and "shiftless." Hispanics, poor whites, blacks, Asians, and Arabic peoples are persecuted in a million different ways every day. The only way to be above it all is to be (hold on, big shock coming here ...) upper-class white.

The ironic thing is that two of those people who earnestly tried to rectify these problems have become the epitome of class and distinction and the elite. The (in)famous Kennedy family, while swimming in money and style, never really lost sight of their duty as political Americans. Their duty is to protect and provide for ALL Americans. Whether those Americans got here by birth, plane, boat, or fleeing across a broken down border, they are all Americans. We have completely lost sight of this.

Well, maybe not "we." But, those we elect to lead us have. Politics now are only about enhancing the wealth of the wealthy and solidifying the stratification of class. No longer are they about social change and improving the world in which we life.

Long story short, we need new leadership. We need someone who will guide us out of this silly "war" and out of this economic farce in which we exist. Perhaps it could be Obama. Perhaps even Hillary. Honestly, I think it will take more than either on of them alone. Our entire social and political construction needs reworking. Maychance one of them could do it. Odds are, because one is black and the other is a woman, neither will get the chance. All the more evidence for the need for a change.
And the Sox win the series!!!

12:30am this morning, "watching" the game on the Internet, sitting next to The Boy on the futon, basking in the glory of the Patriots SPANKING of the Redskins, and celebrating the second World Series win of our relationship.

While this one wasn't as fabulously emotional and sentimental as the first (it was the first in 86 years!), but it was still great to see the boys win another.

I went to work today in the full regalia: Shirt and hat, sneaks, and jeans. My students didn't recognize me. It was great.

The makings of a good day.

26 October 2007

Make that 2-0

BoSox won again last night.

Boo yeah!

Unfortunately, I slept through most of the game. I fell asleep shortly after the fourth inning. I was exhausted from the very long day yesterday. Of course, I was regularly awoken by text messages from The Boy with important updates. We'll be watching Sunday's game with friends in Durham. Not sure about Saturday's game. We have dinner reservations at 7 and a semi-lame-o party afterwards. We'll most likely bail and watch the game at home. Sounds good to me.

Hopefully, the weekend will prove as fruitful as the last few days!!

25 October 2007

Well on their way ...

The Dirt Dogs won last night.

And, when I say won, I mean MASSACRED the Rockies. It was a fabulous start to the series.

I watched with The Boy at his hovel in Winston. I was sporting my new "Vote for Pedro-ia" t-shirt, which seemed to be rather good luck because the first Red Sox at bat was Pedroia himself and he knocked out a home run!

The runs kept coming. A final score of 13-1. Three of those runs were WALKED in during on inning. It was just great. I kinda felt sorry for the Rockies. But then I got over it. It would be so great to see the BoSox win another series. They have such a great field of talent. They truly deserve it. And it would make the Yankee fans feel even worse about being SWEPT out of the playoffs ... those Yankees and their big mouths (I should know. I have one too!).

I may need to hit a bar tonight to watch the game. I probably should keep reading for the comps (surprisingly, My Antonia doesn't suck as much as I had thought it would), so i may just "watch" the game online. We'll see how strongly the academic guilt kicks in.

Despite the rain, all in all, it's been a good one.

24 October 2007

Go BoSox!

Tonight is Game 1 of the World Series. Let's hope and pray for fantastic moves from the Hometown Boys!

22 October 2007

Ho hum the tedium

I figured that I'd blog before I started studying tonight. Back to the comps work. I've taken some time off (a few weeks or so ... I know, I suck), and it is time I got restarted. Bleh. No me gusta comps.

I've decided that I need to rejoin the real world. And not the lame MTV kind of real world. I need a job that pays a living wage that offers benefits. I'm going to start looking for pharmaceutical rep work (pretty familiar with that line of work) or something that doesn't require me to bring work home with me. There is no way that I can do the teaching thing while writing my diss. So, now I am on to the job hunt. We'll see how that laborious and tedious task pans out.

On all other fronts, things are good. Joey is making improvements every day (spontaneous language and appropriate responses!), and AEP stuff is going well. There are SAs in my office all day every day which is good for the program. AT kinda sucks. Business is a bit slow so there is a bit of standing around, but the new holiday clothing is coming in and it is FABULOUS.

Every day is pretty much the same. Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Eat lunch. Walk the dog. Go pick up Joe. Work with Joe. Return home. Eat dinner. Study. .Go to bed. Wake up. Repeat. Not too much fun time built in. Although, The Boy is taking me to B. Christophers steak house for a real live date on Saturday. I'm pretty stoked. We haven't had a date in a long time, and this place is supposed to Ah-Mazing. Best rated steak house in the Triad. Yeah for date night!

The family arrives on Halloween. That will be mucho funno. I love my damn nieces. They are friggin' adorable. My mom and sister aren't all that bad either.

And there you have it, folks. Good times in the 'boro.

17 October 2007

A snarky blog for Kia

Well, perhaps not snarky, but I was reprimanded for my previous happy blog, so I will try to be more bitter and true to form. (Who does she think she is? My mother? Well, at least she is someone's mother!)

I'm feeling a wee bit depressed today. It could be the seven gallons of pop that I have consumed in the last two days (all that sugar was bound to run out sometime) or simply the shift in weather. North Carolina has finally decided t0 allow autumn to enter her borders. Even if it is just for a temporary visit. While I finally get to wear all my adorable AT clothes - sweater and skirts and boots, oh my! - I miss the sweltering heat. And I miss the leaves changing color and setting the hillsides on fire. There are no hillsides here, damnit! I went back to NY a few weeks ago, but it was actually too early in the season to see the festivity of fall. Now I'm sad because I want to see it.

Why the hell does autumn make me depressed? It's my friggin' favorite season, damnit! Ma que fa!?! I need to get out of this damn rut. And all those bottles of wine under the bar aren't helping. I feel like a drunk when I drink alone! We wouldn't want that now, would we? I don't think so.

On a happy note, I said the following things in class this morning: Bitch (2), shit (3), and damn (5). We were talking about advising and registration. 'Nuf said.

Damn. This blog sucks. Sorry for that, peeps.

I feel as though I have let you down, Kia. Lo siento.

05 October 2007

A weekend of merriment!

I'm home again!!

I returned yesterday afternoon around 2. I made the drive in just 9 hours with only one stop. The Boy arrived here shortly after to help me unload the mountains of booze and baggage that I brought back. He so sweet!

I had to go to class last night (ugh!), but, I picked up Thai food on the way home and had dinner and wine with The Boy. It was nice to be home and relaxing on my own couch. And sleeping in my own bed--one that is not a tiny single bed, but a queen with awesome sheets!--is invaluable. I could barely get out of bed this morning. But, the responsible woman in me did.

I went in to the office this morning and caught up on all of my work for the last week. It was great! I had quite a few student-athletes come in to say hello and talk. It was so sweet!

Today starts an entire weekend of merry-making.

Tonight I am going out with LL to do some Girls' Night preparatory shopping. Then I drive to Winston to stay with The Boy and watch baseball.

Saturday involves working at AT (not so fantastic), but then an evening filled with my favourite knocked-up Texan! The chickies are coming over for some girls' only fun (I've banished The Boy to the bedroom or a bar for the evening).

Sunday is a trip to Durham for baseball and football and then a return to the 'boro for another night with Kiki. It will be a co-ed party with a lot of my PhD pallies that I haven't hung with in forever. Should be fun!

Monday marks the return to normalcy. Teaching and office and working with Joe ...

01 October 2007

Cases and Cases of wine, oh my!

The tally from a day in wine country with The Mom:

2 cases of wine from various vineyards
3 cases of Ithaca Beer
1 750ml of a special new variety of Ithaca Beer
1 six-pack of Wagner Beer
1 empty wallet

Hey. I may not be able to afford gas to get home, but at least I will be too drunk to worry about it!

25 September 2007

About to embark on a grand adventure

Or not.

I head north on Thursday morning. Bright and early. I have a function to attend at 6:30pm that day, so I need to leave the 'boro by 5am at the latest. Ugh. No me gusta that.

I'll be spending a week up there, and it appears that the weather will not suck. It won't be as warm and nice there as it is here, but it will decent. In the mid 60s or so. I'll have to pack warmly. My blood has thinned considerably these last few years down here. I can't take the cold any more. And, yes, 60 is cold.

The visit should be nice. I will see all of the family and a few former students and perhaps even a few friends (although, most of my hometown friends have scattered across the globe). It should be a fun visit. I have a ton of reading to do for comps, but the quiet should be conducive for work.


On related note that's not really related but I had no other transition, I got the most amazing pair of pumps this weekend. I am actually waiting for them to arrive. The Nine West outlet was out of my size, but a pair is being shipped to me from Florida. I really hope they get here before I leave for N-to-the-Y. I do believe the current count is near 65 now.

Damn compulsions!

14 September 2007

Water, Water, everywhere

It finally rained today. For like thirty seconds. And now it is overcast, humid, and drizzly.

It's headline news here. It's all people are talking about.


06 September 2007

I can't really think of a clever title ... Deal with it.

I'll make this short and sweet because I know that the four people who read this lead such terribly busy lives. That, and I don't really have the energy to devote to a lengthy blog right now. Well, in actuality, I want to post quickly so I can get back to playing the Sims2.

List of things good:
-being the smartest person (and most level) in my Ed. course
-not teaching ENG101
-feeling appreciated in what I do teach and do every day
-the pending weekend to be spent with The Boy
-last night's overnight visit to Winston, also spent with The Boy
-Rusted Root in concert Saturday night
-the semi-cooler weather that we have been having
-a close friend's recent revelation of pregnancy
-that same close friend's pending visit
-The Beazer not sucking when I am gone (except once in a while, and only a little bit!)
-getting a card and photo from my adorable nieces back home
-Mom and Pops offering me their washer and dryer

List of things not-so-good:
-Stupid SAs who cannot take care of themselves
-Stupid neighbors who decide that 9:30 at night is a good time to have a very loud discussion in the parking lot beneath my window
-having to wake up early to go to the gym tomorrow morning.
-being behind in my comps studying ... again

Well, at least the good outnumber the bad.

I'm off to the Sims ...

28 August 2007

I can't imagine

I just received such sad news. Good friends of ours that live in Durham were expecting a little baby girl, Melissa. She was due on September 30th. Sadly, something went wrong, and they lost the baby last night. The even sadder part is that she hasn't been delivered yet and probably won't be until tomorrow. I can't imagine what they are going through right now. To be only five weeks away from holding your baby and then to lose it. They have been trying to have children of their own for over three years (they ended up adopting from South America and, oops!, they were pregnant!), and it looked like things were finally working out in their favor. Then this happens. It is heartbreaking. It makes me cry. It even made Mom tear up, and she has never even met them. I wish there was something I could do to make things better or easier or something.

Please keep them in your prayers.

19 August 2007

A blog for Memphis who reads my blog but doesn't answer my phone calls ...


School starts tomorrow. Woo Hoo. I teach at 8am. UNS 101, section 1. I will be the very first professor that these little chippies ever have. Think of the damage that I could cause. Absolute power does indeed corrupt absolutely. I think I'll give it a spin.

The Boy moved to Winston this weekend. It was sad. This is the first night I'll sleep alone in over a month. How traumatizing. He starts law school tomorrow, and we both are pretty excited. It should be good. Eventually. Right now, he is going to be poor, poor, poor. But the payoff should be nice in about three years.

On a happier note, I was Top Associate this week at AT! I earned more for the company in my 15.5 hours there than all of the other associates in the store. Go me!

I am currently watching Serpico, and I have decided that I absolutely hate facial hair. Even on a young Pacino who is, in all other respects, hot. Except on Titus Pullo. He's a hot guy from Rome (you know, the HBO series), but he only has 5 o'clock shadow. Pacino has a fucking fox growing out of his face. No me gusta that.

I made bread in my bread maker yesterday and today. Yesterday I made a honey wheat with some banana in it, and today I made a standard french loaf with just a bit of basil in it. I must say that I am pleased with the results. I'm becoming so damn domestic lately. It's kind of nauseating. Hopefully, the phase will pass.

Financial Aid came through, and I am no longer running in the red ... as much. The rent's been paid until December, all of my store cards are paid off, a large chunk of a credit card has been paid as well. I get paid again at the end of the month again, and things should continue their upswing ... god willing. And I figured out that my car is going to paid off in less than a year! Yeah for that!

10 August 2007

And the saga continues ...

After some time on my antibiotics, decongestant, and pain pills, it seemed that my ear troubles had all but left. I was still plugged up, but I wasn't in pain.

Until Wednesday.

The pain came back with a vengeance. At this point, I was ready to stab an ice pick into my ear to relieve the pressure. To avoid a brain injury, I decided to visit the otorhinolarynigologist instead (you know, the ear-nose-throat doctor?). Of course, because I have crappy grad student insurance, none of the specialists in town would see me immediately without a referral. I finally found one that would (but they wanted me to pay 100% of the visit at the time of service) and made an appointment for 1pm on Thursday.

The doctor was really nice and very helpful. As it turns out, my left ear had a complete middle ear infection (meaning that everything behind my ear drum was filled with fluid) and my right ear was partially filled with fluid (meaning an ear infection waiting to happen). Of course, because I am such a freak of nature, the weirdest things happen to me. The doctor tells me that it is really rare for adults to get middle ear infections, and he wanted to check my sinuses for a blockage (i.e tumor). This means that he stuck a friggin' camera on a pipe cleaner up my nose and up into the sinus cavity. Thankfully, he numbed me. It still wasn't pleasant.

Luckily, there were no blockages and my adenoids hadn't grown back (who knew that they could?!). Of course, this means that there is no explanation for my defective head. He went on to explain that sometimes people with my history (chronic ear infections as a child, ruptured ear drums...) have "defective Eustachian tubes" and they become easily blocked and infected. (For those interested, the Eustachian tube is the canal that links the sinuses to the ear canal). And then he busts out with the funniest thing ever. "We may need to put tubes back in your ears." I was dumbfounded. Children, like under 5, get tubes in their ears. Not fully grown, almost-thirty adults. I had to stifle a laugh. I am so fucked up. I think my mom was smoking crack when I was conceived. It would explain a lot.

After the tubes discussion, he told me that he wanted to rupture my ear drum to relieve the pressure. I was game; he planned to use anesthetic so I wouldn't feel it. Of course, that was the plan. Turns out that my ear drum is so scarred and torn up (from all of my childhood illnesses) that the numbing agent didn't work. And, when he went to make an incision into my ear drum, the scalpel wasn't strong enough to cut through the scar tissue. I am not joking. The man had to get a bigger knife. Only in my world does his happen. Damn, that shit was painful, too!

Happily, the office decided to bill my insurance (yeah!), and I got a hearing test while I was there. Turns out, I'm not deaf. Unfortunately, the medicine he prescribed was $160.00. Not so much fun.

Here I am, a full day later, ruptured ear drum and all. I survived, but I don't feel 100% better. The pressure is gone, but I still feel like I am shouting all the time. The ringing has stopped, and the crackling has gone away. Hopefully, once my ear drum heals, I will be back to normal. According to the doc, the ear drum should be repaired in only a matter of days.

Keep your fingers crossed. This shit is getting old.

03 August 2007

Why don't I ever learn my lesson?

This morning found me at the emergency room. Last night, the pain was so bad in my left ear that I could barely stop crying. I was sure that my eardrum was going to rupture. I called my mom and she told me that when I was little, my eardrums ruptured "all the time." That didn't make me feel much better. Talking to her did, but hearing that did not.

Of course, the campus health clinic (aka the campus HELL clinic) told me that all of my symptoms should be gone by Friday. And, of course, they weren't. They were indeed worse. Upon The Boy's and Mom's prompting, I went to the emergency room this morning. Turns out, I have a double ear infection on top of this upper respiratory thing.


Did I learn when they misdiagnosed my eczema for a contact allergy and had me cover it in ointment which only made it worse? TWICE?

Did I learn my lesson (albeit vicariously) when a dear, dear friend was misdiagnosed with the HIV and treated callously? (wink, wink, you know who you are, lovey!)

Did I learn my lesson after hearing countless horror stories about inadequate treatment?

Clearly, I did not. I think this time it may have finally sunk in.

When I complained about my ear hurting, the stupid woman should have put me on antibiotics after she said, "You have a lot of fluid behind your eardrum." Dumb ass, where do you think an ear infection comes from? I'm not even medically trained, and I know that much! After all, I've had more than I can count, along with the irreparable damage to my ears that they have caused.

Anyway, the emergency room provided me with a proper diagnosis, antibiotics, and Percocet. And I am much happier. I will be even happier with the Percocet kicks in.

Oh wait ... it may have just done that ...

02 August 2007


I want to die.

I am in so much pain right now. I think my ear drum may have ruptured.

I am so fuckin' tired of feeling sick.

I am so fuckin' tired of being tired.

I am so fuckin' tired of not being able to sleep.

01 August 2007

Bailey likes ice cream.

Can't you tell?

Mano y Mono

Thankfully, my mono test came back negative. Unfortunately, that means I am contagious with an upper respiratory infection. The doctor doubled my naproxen dosage (which I currently take for my arthritic joints) and gave my Allergra-D. I was hoping it would make me sleepy when she said, "Make sure you don't take this around bedtime. It will keep you up."

Great. Looks like I'll have a few more nights of three hours of sleep. (Yes, I am still awake from the previous 5am blog. Although, I did take a nap from 8:45am to 9:30am!)

She assured me that my plugged-up ears and other symptoms should be gone by Friday. They better be! I plan on going to Durham to drink and smoke cigars with friends. I can't be havin' this illness crap hanging over my head! (My, my how a lack of sleep makes me punchy.)

On the brighter side of this whole infection episode, I have lost three pounds since Sunday. Since I've had no appetite and food makes me want to vomit, I don't eat. The Boy did manage to force-feed me some boiled potatoes and steamed green beans. He's good that way.

In other news ...

My emulation of Brandy and her accountability day failed ... miserably. Oh well. I'm more of a random person anyway. Just ask my friends. Any way, I'll give it a shot.

Academic: I am caught up on my reading schedule. Not ahead, but certainly not behind. This is a hell of a lot better than where I was last week.

Professional: I've missed two days of work with Joey and one day of work at AT this week. Not so good for the bank account, but this should be the end of my sick days.

Personal: The Boy and I hit a few rough spots in the whole cohabitation realm, but things seem to have perked up. I'm happy. He's happy. Bailey's happy. I guess all is well. Aside from my mutant illness, of course. But even that seems to be improving.

That's were things stand as of now. But, as we all know, things could change in a moment's notice.

Peace by with you.

Hello, 5am ...

... you suck.

It has been a long time since I have seen 5am. Sure, I have woken up at five in the past six months, but I have not seen it from the 4am side in a looooooooong time.

Thank you, random illness, for allowing me the pleasure of being up all night.

Sickologue --- Day 4

I am sick.

I feel miserable.

My throat is so sore that I can barely swallow.

I am completely exhausted, yet I cannot sleep. (Hence the blogging at 2am.)

My head is totally congested.

I have an annoying, weak, child-like cough that won't go away.

My ears of completely plugged.

Every slight noise make my head buzz and ring.

I think I may be dying.

Or maybe I have mono.

Either way, I don't have good enough insurance to go to the doctor. (Thanks, UNCG!)

Even if I had the money, I can't afford to miss work. (Once again, thanks, UNCG!)

20 July 2007

Just call me an entrepreneur ...

... who does things for free.

I've recently experimented with infusing olive oil. I've infused extra virgin olive oil with oregano, oregano and thyme, chives and garlic, chives, and thyme. I've put them in these cute little bottles with customized tags and everything.

If I had ambition, which I don't, I would try to sell them. Instead, I will give them away as hostess gifts and such.

I'm looking forward to trying to infuse lavender and rosemary and mint. Not all together of course. That would be just weird.

12 July 2007

Star Date: July 12th, 2007

In an attempt at following Brandy's oh-so-responsible practice of providing weekly accountability updates, here goes nothin'.
(Although, don't expect this to be regular, impressive, or interesting. She is far more amazing than I could ever aspire to be.)


I am all caught up on my comps list except for Hope Leslie. Granted, Amazon.com didn't actually ship me the book until Friday, and I had scheduled myself to be done with it by Sunday. Either way, I am a novel behind. Woo hoo.
I've finished my syllabus for UNS101 (which wasn't too taxing). They gave me a brand new 1G jump drive. I'm pretty stoked about that.


I'm working like a dog at AT - at least three closing shifts a week.
I'm working like a dog with Joe - every morning from 9:30-12:30 and most weekend days.
SOAR is over so I am no longer working like a dog at the University.

I have been spending a lot of Quality Time with The Boy. It has been nice. I could get used to this.
My birthday is in a week. No major plans. Maybe we'll be in Durham, maybe we'll go to Undercurrents for dinner. Who really knows? It is, after all, just birthday. We won't go into to how old I will be.

So, there it is. Far less impressive than Brandy's. One can only hope to achieve her level of awesitude.

10 July 2007

Pictures of my mountain ... as promised

Bailey owns that mountain, bitches!
I was so proud of her (and me) climbing that beast. It was a straight hike vertical for a while there.

The view from the top ... well, almost the top.

This is what rain will do to a mountain of stone over thousands of years. These little "sperm-like" divets were all over the summit.
The view from the top ... the ACTUAL top.

See? I told you it was the top.
This is the geodetic survey marker, in case you can't read. Which means that this entire line is wasted on you.

A lone little tree, clinging for its life on the top of the mountain.

The Stone Mountain Waterfall. Not as impressive as the waterfalls back home, but pretty nonetheless.

A side view as we descended that bad boy.

See the climbers? Right there in the middle of the pic. White shirt. They are frickin' CRAZY!

Looking up to the summit from the farm that was built way back in the day.
Pretty impressive, huh?

Yeah. That's right. B and I kick ass.
Hard core.

I love birthdays that bring fileted bodies, curly hair, new glasses, and sexy shoes

The Boy and I spent all of yesterday in Charlotte shopping and visiting the Body Worlds exhibit. It was absolutely fantastic. The exhibit is so amazing. Here's the link. You should definitely check it out.


The Horse and Rider was very cool but extremely creepy. I've been around both horses and humans plenty in my life but never when their skin has been removed from their bodies. Really cool to compare the muscular systems though. Yes. That is what I do for my birthday. I go to educational museums to observe dead, plastinized bodies dissected and put on display. I know. I am totally lame.

After the exhibit, The Boy and I had lunch at a Charlotte brewpub before journeying on to the South Park mall. There we spent a few hours shopping at Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Nordstrom's (where I found the MOST AMAZING pair of ruby slippers, but they didn't have my size!), Brooks Brothers, and Nine West. Happily, Nine West proved far more rewarding than Nordstrom's. I bought a beautiful pair of blue suede shoes. No joke. Look.

They are actually more of an indigo color (you know how the camera washes color), and they are most amazingly sexy. I adore them. Best birthday gift ever.

Upon returning to G'boro, The Boy and I returned to LensCrafters to pick up our new glasses. New glasses and sunglasses for both of us. I think mine compliment my newly curly hair rather well.

Speaking of curly hair ... If I had known years ago that shaving my head would produce curls like that, I would have shaved my head in grade school! Of course, this means that I am terrified of ever shaving it again for fears of losing my new locks. I wake up every morning and shake my head is disbelief. I cannot believe my hair looks like this. I pray they it won't change any time soon.

As another early birthday gift, The Boy bought me an entire set of new tires for the Alero. Four brand spankin' new tires. While it is not romantic or sexy, it is pretty friggin' amazing. I know that there is more to come as the hallowed date draws nearer (I've seen sneak peeks ... but I wasn't sneaking!), but the tires pretty much rock. I never imagined that I would be so excited about tires. I know. I'm lame. But my boyfriend rocks!

Tonight it To Kill A Mockingbird at the Carolina Theatre with the amigos. Dinner at Natty's first, drinks during and after the movie. I'm excited to see Laura! We haven't seen each other in forever! Marty and Rae will be joining us as well. The New York squad is in full effect!

More to come later!

26 June 2007

The good and the bad

The good:

1. My boy moves here in three days! Count 'em! THREE DAYS!
2. I've got a ton of cute new clothes from Ann Taylor, all ringing in at 40-50% off!
3. I bought an amazingly cute new dress from Brooks Brothers. It is a pink seersucker double-v neck with a cute full skirt. Very 40's.
4. I get my SOAR paycheck in three days. Mo' money, mo' money, mo'!

The bad:
1. Kirsten moves soon. Her going away party is tonight. It makes me sad.
2. It is hot as balls outside.
3. I miss Memphis and Justin and Tai and Maddison ... :(

25 June 2007

I almost died and then I climbed a mountain.

Sorry it has been a while. My computer decided to suck. And I have such fun things to report!

On Saturday, after two weeks of bad parenting, I finally was able to take the Beazer on a hike. We drove out to Stone Mountain (a few miles from VA) to test our skills and mountain-conquering. Things went well ... once we actually got there.

As I was driving down 40 and 77, I noticed that the car was doing a little shimmy. I chalked it up to the fact that my car needs an alignment and a tune-up. I was about twenty miles from the park (i.e. 2 HOURS from home) when the car began shaking so hard that I could barely maintain my speed and the Sirius radio port was ready to bounce off the windshield. I pulled over into an empty parking lot (keep in mind that it is currently around 9am and this podunk town is abandoned!) and checked under the chassis and glanced at the tires. I had no idea what I was looking for, but it seemed to be the correct thing to do. I happened to pull into an auto sales place and a sales guy happened to pull in in his pick-up as I was walking around the car. I figure that auto sales people need to know about cars, right? I figure I'll ask him to help me out. Plus he had a lip full of chaw, so I was pretty confident in his vehicle-analysis skills. He looks at the car (doing the same exact thing that I did) and kneels next to the right rear tire.

"Well, thar's yer problem."
I walk around the car to check it out.
"Ya snapped a cable."
Huh? Tires have cables?
"Put yer hand raight here. Feel that?"
He was talking about the tire, although, taken out of context, that could be naughty!
I see this slight bulge on the side of the tire. "Oh yeah," I say. "What do I need to do?"
"Ya need a new tiar."
Duh. "Can I get home on this one?"
"Not if ya don't wanta wreck." Thanks for the insight. "It could break further and cause a total blowout. I'm surprised it didn't blow already. "
"Is there anywhere in town that I can do this today? I am about two hours away from home."

He then kindly gives me directions to two different tire place next to, you guessed it, Walmart. I thanked him and drove very slowly to the shop. The kindly gents there threw on my spare in like ten minutes and charged me $5. I was pleased that I didn't get gouged and that I was able to continue on my adventure.

Bailey and I continued up to the base of the mountain, going no faster than 50 mph the entire way. We finally arrived and began our ascent.

It was amazing. We were literally sitting on top of a giant rock mountain. The summit is 2500 feet above sea level and the granite dome is 600 feet above the ground (I'm not sure how that works, but, long story short, I was really fucking high!). The first mile was literally a vertical climb. Both of us were panting halfway up. It totally kicked my ass (and B's), but the feeling from the top was absolutely amazing. Spectacular. Breathtaking. Humbling. Frickin' wonderful. I'd let the pics do the talking, but my computer sucks and won't let me upload pictures right now. When I figure it out, I'll post some. You can rest assured.

20 June 2007

Oh! One more thing!

I got a new day planner today! It is refillable one with a pretty red cover. I'm already filling it up and scheduling things through August!!

I love office supplies!!

Notes on an Non-Scandal

1. I've finally caught up on my reading. Phew. Of course, my new reading week begins on Sunday so I have three whole days of relaxation. And those "days of relaxation" will be filled with working, working, and working.

2. Speaking of working, my three jobs are going well. I am busy every day (except today by some odd alignment of the planets) for at least the entire morning. More often than not, I am busy in both the morning and afternoon. Sometimes the evening as well. Aside from having no time for anything fun, I am making some good money and am quite happy with all of my endeavors. Plus I've got some amazing new clothes at AT (most of which were 40-50% off with my discount) that I absolutely love.

3. I have been working out regularly again. Up at 5, at the Y by 6. AM, that is. Today I took B on a five mile walk. I loved it. She hated it because I exhausted her. I try to take her on walks three times a week (four miles minimum), but my current schedule doesn't exactly allow that. But we are going hiking in the mountains on Saturday. That should be exhausting fun for her.

4. My boy moves here in exactly one week. There are no words for my happiness. We are planning to have Thanksgiving in Savannah and possibly Spring Break in Houston (with Kirsten and Rob). We're also going to be heading to Charlotte for the BodyWorlds exhibit. Part of my birthday gift. Should be fantastic. I'm stoked.

5. Life is really good. I'm not poor (despite early forecasts), I'm enjoying my living situation (present and future!), I'm keeping active, and my social life isn't too shabby. I'm really enjoying life right now. I honestly can't complain. Yeah for life not sucking!!!!!

18 June 2007

Nothing sucks more than ...

studying for comps. I can't seem to read for more than twenty minutes without wanting to fall asleep. Unfortunately, that means I take naps frequently.

I think I may have reading-induced narcolepsy.

That may be a teensy-weensy problem given my choice of career paths.

12 June 2007

Rape charges so easily turn to ethics charges

As a follow up to a previous blog railing about the fiasco that occurred in Durham, Mike Nifong was brought up on ethics charges today. What that means is that he is being tried in civil court for violating the code of ethics that accompanies the responsibilities of a lawyer. If he is found guilty, he will face multiple punishments, one of which is possible disbarment. Among the witnesses testifying against him is the attorney for one of the boys. This lawyer cites that Nifong refused to disclose the data findings of the doctor who examined the patient. In this report (that was eventually forced from Nifong's office by nothing short of a court order) there are seven pages of data that detailed the multiple anonymous DNA samples taken from inside and on the victim. This is the final piece of evidence that shattered Nifong's case. Of course he was trying to hide it. Only, the problem is that hiding such information is ILLEGAL!

I really hope that this DB gets disbarred. And I hope the civil trials don't stop there. I think that the city of Durham and its county should bring the girl up on charges for filing a false police report. Perhaps they could make an example out of her as well. Our judicial system, however flawed it may be, is here to protect us. It is not to be used as a means of vengeance.

09 June 2007

To appease The Kiki

I've been reprimanded for abandoning my blog. Well, I have been a little busy. My boy has been in town, after all!

Well, since my MRI (which was my last update), I have worked a few shifts at Ann Taylor and bought a few super cute things. Especially this dress ...

Of course, it looks a little different on me, given that the model is black and I am, well... pasty. It is fantastic nonetheless. I wore it to dinner with Melissa and Brandy on Thursday night at Solaris. The best thing about the dress is that I got it 50% off!!! So phenomenal!! In fact, my regular discount is 40%, but I get to buy five full-priced items per month for 50% off! Yeah!! Of course, this means I will be poor. Well dressed, but poor.

I started SOAR in Friday as well. I worked from 1-2:30pm but still made the full pay. WooHoo!! I only had to help one student (who just so happened to be an English major), and then I got to go home and play with the boy.

Chico and I went to Winston-Salem on Friday for a Law School function. We went to a Winston-Salem Warthogs game and drank free beer for a few hours. Of course, it was Bud Light, so it tasted like ass. But, it was free beer. The weird thing about the whole evening was that Chico and I were two of the oldest people there. All of the people in his class are like 21-24 years old. It is pretty bad when I am one of the oldest people in the room. He and I laughed for quite a while about this. Then we realized how creepy we felt.

This morning we went back to join the Law School sponsored house hunt. Thankfully we didn't have to pile into the van with all of the kiddies. We drove separately and followed the vans to all of the different complexes. Chico found a complex that he liked (meaning it fit his budget and didn't suck) and filled out the application for it. Turns out that pretty much every kid in his class liked the same complex, so he will have a lot of new neighbors to play with! He is overjoyed.

Tonight I am taking him to the Gate City Chop house for dinner so we can have a nice, romantic dinner together before the leaves me until the end of the month. Happily, the next time I see him, he will be accompanied by a moving fan chuck full o'his stuff. That will make me the happiest girl in America!

It will be nice to return to a normal schedule again. Gym at 5:30/6. Work at 9:30 with Joe. Work at 1 at SOAR. Random hours here and there at AT. Home to sleep and play with my puppy. Hopefully there will be time for drinking and socializing in the midst of all that.

Sorry, Kiki. No pics to share this time. Meet me at the gym on Monday morning? I'll be there around 6. Get your booty out of bed!

02 June 2007

M.R.I. = MaryBeth Remains Injured

My knee pain is back. With a vengeance.

Dr. Blackman scheduled me for an M.R.I. to figure out what the hell is making my knee hurt so much. He says if that doesn't figure things out, I have to go to a rheumatologist to see if there are some major underlying issues leading to the joint pain that lingers through basically my whole body.

The M.R.I. was oh-so-much fun. It happened at 8:30 AT NIGHT on Thursday (the very first evening Chico was in town!!), and I had to lay in a freezing cold tube for about a half an hour. It banged and hummed and clattered the whole time. It was deafening. The giant magnet inside the M.R.I even made the three-inch screws in my ankle throb. Not pleasant. Around nine or so, Chico and I finally got to leave and go to dinner.

Chico and I went for a walk at Battleground Park yesterday evening, and, about a mile and half into the walk, my knee was throbbing and painful. We came home, made dinner, and watched Apocolypto (which didn't suck, surprisingly) while I held a heating pad on my knee for two hours. It felt a little better afterwards, but I certainly wasn't up for a run (but, then again, I never really am). I really want this thing to get figured out. It pisses me off that I cannot go for a two-mile walk without being in pain. I'm 26, for god's sake! My body is still young.

On a side note, I watched March of the Penguins. My ruling: Sweetest movie EVER.


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