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28 May 2007

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary ...

How does your garden grow?

Very well, as a matter of fact!
Things are definitely in bloom. See for yourself.

One of my tomato plants is taller than the railing!

(see it in the left corner?)

In fact, I even have a few new additions ...

My Purple Spirea

My Peace Lily (maybe it will make my life more tranquil)

My African Violet (it is actually purple, not blue. stupid camera)

I'm even trying to propagate a baby African Violet! Go me and my green thumb!!

I kinda like this gardening shit. It's rather calming and refreshing. I love watching things grow!

My balcony officially kicks ass!


The parents left at 6:30am.

The house is quiet.

I love it.

Pirates this afternoon with Laurie.

Makings of a good day.

27 May 2007

Ready to pull my hair out ...

So, the 'rents have been here since 10:20pm on Tuesday night. Let me tell you, it has been completely and totally exhausting!

Wednesday day involved shopping for all of the food Mom was going to make for dinner that night. We had Rae, Marty, Laurie, Aaron, Tonya, Melissa, and Brandy (and Yassar, of course!) over for Mom's famous lasagne. It was fantastic. We drank and ate, and the evening kicked ass. As they say in Espana, it was mucho funno.

Thursday was a trip to the Biltmore. Mom and Dad had never been, and it was totally worth the two-and-a-half-hour trip. Most of the gardens were in bloom, and the weather was gorgeous. Sunny blue sky and 85 degrees. After touring the house and grounds, we headed to the winery for a tasting and my dad actually found wine that he could drink and not vomit back up. Aaron watched Bailey all day (because he is such a prince!) so we didn't have to rush back.

When we go home, Mom and Dad chilled with the pup, and I headed off to the Grasshopper's game with Marty, Rae, Laurie, Will, Laura, Sandy, and Matt. It was so fun!! We had a pretty kick-ass time. Natty beer was $1 a cup, and I had four. Four beers=$4!!! So friggin' fantastic!!

Friday was the Asheboro zoo. Mom and Dad fell in love with the polar bear. He is so friggin' cute. He was playing and putting on quite a show for the kids in the window. It was adorable. I love the zoo here. The animals are so great, and the zoo itself is so nice and pretty. We walked about five miles throughout the day, and it was hot as balls. Luckily, most of the zoo is shaded so we didn't die of heat stroke. Afterwards, I worked with Joe and then went to dinner with Mom and Dad at La Fiesta. Again, mucho funno.

Saturday was the Farmers' Market and Raleigh and family. Mom got a ton of flowers to take back to NY and Dad got a bucket of the sweetest strawberries ever. And we saw Rae and Marty! Rae was getting herbs to start a garden (she is such a copycat!). After the Farmers' Market, we headed to Raleigh with Bailey to visit with Mom's sister and her kids and grandkids. It was again hot as balls. We got back to G'boro around 8, had some cocktails, and went to bed.

This morning, Mom and Dad headed to Charlotte for the NASCAR race. I chose not to go. I would rather have a root canal with no pain killer than go to a race. I get the house to myself!! It's so quiet right now. I am totally loving it!! I'll get the laundry done, bathe the dog, and catch up on email and such. Mom and Dad will get back late tonight and leave for NY tomorrow morning. I'll miss them terribly, but I also miss my solitude and quiet.

Monday is working with Joe and chillin' by the pool. Tuesday is my doctor's appointment and T's going away party. Wednesday is Movie Night with Marty, Rae, Laurie, Sandy, Will, and Laura. Thursday is when Chico is coming to visit for TEN WHOLE DAYS!!! YEAH!! This has the making of a good week.

Other than being broke as a joke (although Mom paid my rent the other day!!), life kicks ass.

22 May 2007

Summer has officially turned into hell

And I'm not talking about the heat.

I'm talking about the fact that I will be buried alive in books starting on June 3rd. I've pretty much finalized my comps lists (although, I am sure there will be PLENTY of additions later ... gotta love KK) and have just finished drawing up my reading schedule. In order to get everything read by the second week in December, I need to start reading this weekend. I plan to spend all of June, July, and August wading through the poetry and prose of the 19th Century. Come September, the 20th Century will jump all over my ass, as will the great pedagogical texts from the last twenty years. I hope to have everything read by December 15th so I can enjoy my winter holiday in relative relaxation. As soon as school starts back up, I will start reviewing all the shit I've read in the past six months. Then come comps in February. I'll defend in Late February/March-ish and then start my diss. Woo-frickin-hoo.

Long story short, all of the free time I have previously enjoyed will be evaporating in the next five days. Of course, I will do my damnedest to socialize and have fun. There is no way I'll become a hermit!! But, my socializing may be cut back dramatically. Ugh. And I thought grad school was supposed to be fun.

Of course, I completely lack discipline so I depend on my amigos to deny me when I call them to hang out and drink. Well, not every time, but only if it looks to be a problem. But, then again, Chico will be around ,and he is a damn slave driver.




The Attack of the Parents

My mom and pops will be here tonight/tomorrow for a visit. We will be visiting Biltmore, the emerald mines out by Hickory, the farmer's market, and my aunt in Raleigh. They'll be leaving on Monday. Should be more fun than a girl should have in a weekend.

My boy will be here on the 31st. Ten whole days of Chico. Pretty excited!!

19 May 2007

English Grad Student Math: Broke and Depressed=Buying Dresses

I woke up this morning feeling yucky again. I shouldn't, given the fact that everything is going reasonably well lately (minus my speeding ticket). I have a new job in the works, my family is coming to visit, my boyfriend is moving here, the weather is great, my apartment and patio are fantastic, my dog sucks far less than she usually does, I'm getting free cable, and the melted crayon smell from my car has pretty much disappeared. All great things. Nevertheless, ?I woke up in a shitty mood.

To cure my shitty mood, I evacuated the house. I deposited my paycheck, returned movies, cleaned my car (inside and out), and stopped by the GAP (a store I normally despise) to try on jeans. I got sidetracked by the pretty sun dresses. I ended up buying two: a beautiful butter-cream cotton with subtle embroidery and a cotton and silk periwinkle. They are great. Granted, I have absolutely no money for such a purchase, but I do have the Old Navy credit card. And GAP honors the Old Navy card because it is the parent company. Long story short, I now have two gorgeous sun dresses to enjoy this summer. YEAH!

And, miraculously, I no longer feel depressed. I am currently watching Cruel Intentions and that makes me happy as well. Laurie and Aaron are coming over tonight to watch 28 Days Later (we saw the sequel last night) and that should be fun!

Needless to say, I am out of my funk. It's amazing what credit cards are capable of!

16 May 2007

Rape Charges

Upon further reflection, I decided that my previously alluded to blog post needed to be divided into two separate posts. So, here's the first installment ...

This has been brewing inside me for some time now, and now I'm getting it out.

Over a year ago, rape charges were filed against members of the Duke Lacrosse team. This May, each and every one of the boys accused of rape were vindicated. Not just because there wasn't enough evidence to convict them but because the criminal and legal authorities could find absolutely NO EVIDENCE that a rape had ever been committed. They were not just cleared of the charges; they were found innocent.

Before I go on, this is not going to be a blog railing against the injustices that these men suffered and how their lives are ruined (they are DUKE students, after all), but this is my time to vent my frustration over the whole damn situation.

It angers me beyond words that this entire nation was up in arms over the events of March 2006, and now no one could care less about the whole thing. Protests and demonstrations were held all across the nation, rallying support for this young stripper who claimed rape and changed her story more times than we can count. The Duke players were called all sorts of nasty things: racists, bigots, rapists, sadists ... the list goes on. Everyone backed this woman because she claimed that she had been the victim of racists slurs and sexual violence. More accurately, everyone backed her because she was a "victim." The only thing that she was a victim of was her bruised pride. She knew that the moment she cried rape that the entire world would support her. Especially since a lily white school with lily white athletes had "raped" a woman of color. Because she had been rejected and embarrassed by these men who hired her to TAKE OFF HER CLOTHES, she sought her revenge by ruining the reputation of these young men. It is women like this that makes real rape victims afraid to speak up and rape cases so hard to try and win. Everyone in the media questioned the pasts of these young men, bringing to light every single indiscretion (rumored or true) they had ever participated in. We needed to make them villains, right? At no point was this woman's incredibly shady past held up to the light for all to see. We ignored the fact that she has had many episodes of bi-polar and is regularly medicated. We ignored her police record, including the fact that she has been arrested for larceny, attempting to elude police, D.U.I, and assault on a government official. The previous claims of rape and abuse were swept under the rug. We were even willing to over look the fact that none of the semen found on her (and there were multiple samples) came from any of the Duke players. Even after she told the security guard at her work (a strip club) that she was going to "get paid by the white boys" 4 DAYS AFTER THE ALLEGATIONS, we still pressed ahead with the players public conviction. I am not saying that we must try the victim but we must be aware of the circumstances of the case. She has had a colorful history with the law enforcement and the judicial system. Why do we immediately take her word as gospel despite the fact that she has proven herself to be a liar?

More than a year later, the case is history. But now, interestingly, no one is now calling for her to be charged with filling a false police report and no one will be protesting against her wasting millions in tax dollars and civil servant time to pursue something that she knew to be false. No one is speaking out in support of these young men who must now spend the rest of their lives being known as "those Duke lacrosse players." For years to come, Duke lacrosse will be clouded by this scandal. I am by no means a Duke fan, and I generally do not speak out in support of those with enough money to go to Duke. But this whole thing pisses me off. This woman used a system set up to PROTECT women and victims of sexual assault and abuse as a means to seek vengeance. And we wonder why rape victims are so afraid that they won't be believed. This women like this ruin all confidence that society has in the validity and accuracy of what a victim reports.

Nice job, Crystal. I hope you are proud of yourself and sleep easily at night.

10 May 2007

Am I really $30,000 in debt for nothing?

As my bank account quickly dwindles away to nothing, I realized that I desperately need a part-time job to pay those summer bills. I decided to spend today pounding the pavement in search of that amazingly wonderful job that would ease all of my concerns. Thankfully, Memphis tagged along for emotional support.

Six hours later, I returned home just as unemployed as when I left.

Why was I not informed about the unbelievable unemployability that comes with a master's degree and two years into a PhD?

How can it be that I can have 19 years of education, including three degrees (count 'em, people ... THREE!), and not be qualified to nanny, teach (which is ironic because I am a licensed teacher), tutor, sell retail, wait tables, or serve cocktails? How is this fucking possible?

So, I've come up with a new plan. Look for me on West Market between the Harris Teeter and the ABC ...

09 May 2007

Just call me AAA

In the past five days, I have performed the duties of a AAA wrecker-crew at least twice.

On Saturday, I rescued Memphis from her minor car accident. It was rainy. It was cold. It took forever because the cop sucked.

On Sunday and Monday, I performed the duties of personal life coach and chauffer for Memphis. I drove her ass around and helped her get this whole wrecked car thing worked out.

Today, I rescued Laurie from her little "I ran out of gas on Market Street" dilemma. It was quick. It was easy.

I think I see a new career on the horizon.

Maybe that is just the gas on my hands ...

05 May 2007

[insert clever blog title here]

I woke up yesterday in a very foul mood. Those of you who IM with me may have seen my incredibly ominous away message. Anyway, I was pist at everything: my dog, my life, my bank account, my job, my lack of a job, my friends, my boyfriend ... pretty much everything. As a result of this enormous bitchiness, I only left the house once all day and that was to go work with Joe. As soon as I got home, I cloistered myself away with The Last King of Scotland and Notes on a Scandal. Oh. And a bottle of wine. After acquiring a good buzz, I went to bed.

This morning I woke up still a little annoyed at the world around me. I slept in until 9 or so and then drove to the Farmer's Market on 40 to "return" my plants. The plants that I had purchased about a month ago had pretty much all died. For no friggin' reason! The only plants that are still alive are my toms, chives, sage, and Italian parsley. My rosemary, lavender, thyme, coriander, basil, dill, oregano, and one other (I can't remember which) all kicked it in the past two weeks. I was obviously pist, but I had no time to go and complain. After I got to the market, I found the vendor and told him my problem. Surprisingly, he replaced ALL of my dead plants for FREE and then gave me a free plant (Sheep Sorrel?). I was totally amazed! I expected him to cut me a break, but I didn't expect free shit. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that I complained that "all of my plants died" when he had a customer nearby. There was no hesitation; he immediately started pulling new sprouts for me. I was quite pleased. As a result, I also bought a new plant--Stevia--which tastes exactly like sugar.

Free stuff always makes me happy, so my mood immediately shifted. I decided to shop around the market for a bit (not too long; B was in the car). I found two hanging plants to make my balcony pretty and spring-like. They were cheap, so I was doubly happy.

On the way home, I decided to stop by Home Depot to pick up some much needed supplies for my balcony garden. As soon as I got home, I started throwing my new sprouts into their pots and set everything up like I wanted. I finally got rid of that damn bike that I haven't ridden in two-plus years. And now, my balcony looks nice and pretty. Wanna see?

The pics are a little dreary due to the overcast skies, but you get the point. I can't wait to study for my comps in the tranquility of my new balcony. YEAH! I never thought I would say anything about being excited about studying for comps.

That means I was probably lying.


I'm hoping to go to Spiderman III with Memphis tonight. I think I'm ready to return to society again.

04 May 2007

Rae is pretty damn hardcore!

Last night was Rae's birthday celebration. Her real birthday isn't until Cinco de Mayo (which is very appropriate given her Irish/Italian heritage), but we celebrated early because the semester was over and we all wanted to go out!

The party started at Rioja! on Battlground where we enjoyed some red wine and bread. The bread had this great pesto-olive oil sauce. I was pleased.

After Rioja!, we travelled on down to Natty's for the remainder of the party. Some dinner, beer, Blow Jobs, Chocolate Cake, and Liquid Cocaine later, and Rae was OBLITERATED! It was fabulous. Some evidence of the crime...

Marty and Rae at their absolute cuteness ... it kinda makes me sick.
Such a sweet mentor-mentee relationship
Laura is officially part of the gang!
Marty think he is such a damn comedian
Turns out that Rae and Brandy aren't too big on Liquid Cocaine. They look like they may puke. The good part is that this is a picture of the exact moment that Rae was officially done.
It was fantastic!


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