If we sweat all these debts then we're sure to drown
For anyone who doesn't know, I've been nominated for Best Girlfriend Ever. Sweet Christmas presents + infinite patience = I am made of win.
It's become apparent to me in the last 22 years that my face is, as They say, an open book. Taking my lack of emotional depth into consideration, I'd really hate to see the faces I'd pull if I was capable of feeling the full range of things. My freshmen year in college I was playing the part of fashion consultant for my roommate during a trip to Old Navy. This involved me sitting on a bench in the dressing room and giving her an appreciative nod or an unsure grimace when she came out in a new outfit. During this time, a little boy kept running out to show his mom the clothes she was making him try on, and as they were leaving the dressing area, the mom came up to me and thanked me, "Your facial expressions as you watched him come out every time really helped me make decisions!"
Yes, I'm that transparant.
Yesterday I spent some time with The Boy, and he mistook my quiet pensiveness for "grumpiness". To the contrary, I was feeling quite plesant yesterday, but was simply preoccupied with other thoughts. It seems that this preoccupation manifested itself in distant gazes, pursed lips, and a decline in my usual chattiness, which are often signs of grumpiness in your average person. However, if I was, indeed, grumpy, it would have been much more apparent. There would have been frequent sighing, plentiful eye-rolling, and the occasional derisive snort, all compiled with short, snippy responses.
My emotions, when I have them, are quite simple. Ironically, this often confuses those who have to deal with me and complicates matters.
I do, however, have a tendency to leave things unsaid. I've waxed eloquent in the past about my conversational retardation, and this disability of mine causes whatever "meaningful conversations" I manage to have to be painfully brief, to the point, and often leaves a lot of gaping "detail" holes. At the time, I simply want the conversation to be over, because I'm embarrassed to have to be having it in the first place, so the main points get covered, a basic conclusion is reached, and we're done. Later, however, I worry that I didn't say enough, that the little nuances of my simple emotions weren't conveyed properly, that the situation wasn't presented seriously enough, and I worry about it for a whole lot longer than I really should, and end up having a second painfully brief converstion that usually goes something like this:
"So... about that other conversation..."
"I just wanted to touch bases and, uh, make sure that we both understand what I meant."
"I got it."
"Yeah, I know."
I probably just need to put more faith in my conversational counterparts. It'd save me a lot of grief.
If home is where the heart is then my home is where you are
I... suck at blogging.
It's not intentional, I swear. In the last month there have been dozens of interesting happenstances and amusing annoyances worthy of elaboration and articulation. I've even opened up the "new entry" page a few times and typed a few words, only to decide that whatever it is I had penned wasn't good enough. I think I'm mostly just out of practice.
My general life philosophy was demonstrated by a couple customers today. A dude was sitting at the bar top eating appetizers, and a woman wander over to a seat near him to sit and smoke away from the table where her friends were eating their dinners. She smoked about half a cigarette before putting it out and walking back. The appetizer man made some appalling sniffing noises, then grabbed the ashtray the woman had used and marched over to her table to complain that the cigarette was still smoking and it was bothering him. The situation ended on a bit of a "wtf?" note, but, as the woman muttered to her friends, "If you're sitting in the smoking section you have no right to complain about smoke."
In addition to TAOG:D2K7, I have also been dealing with LOC:D2K7 (elongated as Living On Campus: Debacle 2007). I may or may not be living in a new room next term, depending on whether I may or may not have ruined the campus residency of my roommate. What I initially brushed off as youthful ignorance ("she's only 19, she'll learn") ultimately presented itself as depraved indifference, and I finally said "no more!". Once I know what's going on I think I'll create an entry dedicated entirely to LOC:D2K7. Until then, I can at least sleep at night knowing that, no matter what, I don't have to sleep in the same room as Creepy Cory ever again.
Aside to Creepy Middle Aged Man: I hope, that when I told you I was 22, that you felt as skeeved out as I did when you were hitting on me, especially since you asked after you told me your youngest daughter is 23.
I know two people who have gotten engaged in the last two days and of three weddings happening in the next 6 months or so. 98% of the time, when talking to inquisitive bar patrons, the follow-up question to "do you have a boyfriend?" is "are you gonna marry him?"*. Needless to say, there's been a lot of talk about marriage going around. So much, in fact, that I had a nightmare about The Boy proposing to me during karaoke at Friday's (he sang "Nights In White Satin" by Moody Blues. It was a nightmare).
Don't misunderstand me. I'm all about weddings. Pretty dresses, free booze, an excuse to do the electric slide, and general lovey-dovey-ness all fall under "good ways to spend a day". I'm even all about having a wedding of my own some day. I'm just scared to death of getting divorced, which means any consideration ofactually getting married gives me the jibblies and induces musical night terrors.
I guess as a follow-up, TAOG:D2K7 turned out rather nicely. The Boy and I "had Christmas" early, and he accepted my insane gift with poise (and not too much sighing) and I was touched to the quick by the card he made me (and splashed around in puddles tonight in the gift he got me).
Being 22 feels a bit strange, like a new pair of jeans yet to be broken in.
*(for the curious: my standard response is "Well, I don't really plan on breaking up with him...")
Oh. Hello, Interested Party. Typically, all of my blogs get updated in the procrastinating frenzy of Finals Week Madness, except this term I had procrastinated so much in the previous weeks that I didn't actually have time to procrastinate when I needed it most.
In order to make it up to you, today's blogisode is an extravaganza of epic proportions. Today, I present to you:
The Art of Giving: Debacle 2007
The Boy and I are more alike than we are different, but the differences just seem to be more obvious. For example: I tend to regard most food as mere platforms to make my condiment consumption less gross, whereas he thinks that salad dressing "ruins the point" of salad.
One way in which we are alike is our mutual need to have all of our metaphrical ducks arranged in their little rows before taking action. This takes on a whole new, frightening level when gift-giving is involved.
A lightning bolt of inspiration hit me a few months ago when contemplating a Christmas gift for The Boy, but I realized it would take a good amount of duck aligning. Step One was making sure that The Boy wouldn't throw up in the agony of emasculation when his Girl gave him a pricey gift. A phone call was in order.
. "How would you feel if I got you something really nice for Christmas?" I asked him over a phone call one night.
. "How nice are we talking?" he asks.
. "Remember how Miranda got Nick a guitar for Christmas last year...?"
. There was a long pause. I figured he was going to tell me there was no way in hell he'd accept a gift on par with a guitar. Instead, his response was, "Well, I guess you could get me a guitar. I've been wanting to learn how to play and this would force me to practice..."
Boys are dumb. This is a fact that I, a girl, have been forced to accept over the last 21 years, but I had always sort of assumed that The Boy was above such silliness. Alas.
. "I'm not actually getting you a guitar!" I quickly cut him off before he could get too comfortable with the idea of a guitar, "It was an analogy. Like a guitar. Not an actual guitar."
. "But I don't play any other instruments..."
The conversation only went downhill from there. I'll spare you the painful details, Interested Party, but rest assured that it took all of my skill and cunning to get The Boy to understand my meaning while maintaining an air of secrecy.
I belong to a select group of people who suffer the misfortune of having their birthday fall regrettably close to Christmas. In the past this has meant getting "Birthday/Christmas" presents from my lame friends and relatives, or getting Christmas-themed gifts for the birthday, such as a box of candy canes or a tree ornament. Recently it has meant having to think twice as hard to come up with a list of things I want for family and friends who won't take "A hug?" for an answer.
And so, The Boy, duck-row-a-phile that he is, wants to make sure that the gifts he thinks he needs to get me are perfect. After drilling me for something I wanted beyond "Cake, cookies, pudding! Preferrably all in one!", much discussion has taken place as to what size, shape, color, texture, smell, aura, feng shui appeal, etc... my gift ideas were to have.
I drew the line in the sand of the Open Communication Beach when the phrase "What do you... well, this will ruin the surprise, but..." left his mouth. "Stop!" I cried, "Don't say it!". He protested, of course, but I stood firm and refused to hear anything more about the subject.
This entire process, of both giving and receiving, has been exhausting. Next year, we're taking a pledge of Gift Abstinence. I've decided.
There is more to TAoG:D2K7, but my wee fingers are as exhausted as my emotional resources.
Stick your heart inside of my chest, keep it warm here while we rest
I'm not entirely sure which cause to blame for my extreme fatigue today. One option is the fact that in the last 48 hours the only solid food to make its way into my belly has been a bagel and some crackers. Another likely option is my decided lack of sleep last night. Any combination of those two to varying degrees is enough to make me cranky. Today, however I was outright drained, and I'm pointing my nimble finger at complete emotional exhaustion.
I watch a lot of crime drama-- you know, Law and Order, NCIS, Without A Trace-- and so my Worst Case Scenario trigger is a bit sensitive. To be fair to Mass Media, I've always been a little bit panicky, if only quietly and privately. It's not unusual for me to convince myself that the noise in the kitchen is a knife-wielding maniac, or think that because my dad hadn't emerged from his bedroom an hour past his usual wake-up time that he must be dead.
99% of the time good ol' Left Brain steps in rather quickly and rationalizes the situation, and 100% of the time (thus far) LB's instinct has been accurate ("calm down, it's only the dishwasher/a sleep-in morning, stupid!"). However, a lack of contact combined with the phrase "He decided to walk back around 3am, and that's the last time anyone's seen or heard from him" effectively silenced LB and the irrational panic of the heart took the wheel.
Things eventually worked themselves out, and I'm feeling a bit silly about the whole thing. If anything good came out of the situation, it really solidified any lingering doubts I might have had regarding emotional attachment. It also taught me to wait for vocal confirmation before I embark on a 30 mile trek.
I suppose it also goes to show that if I want to continue to function in Life, emotions better back the hell off. They're simply exhausting.
Anyone who thinks The Colbert Report is legitimately right-wing and/or conservative is probably a bit of an idiot. In this same vein, anyone who thinks his bid for presidential candidacy is probably also eligible for the short bus (I'm looking at you, Federal Election Committee). I personally don't find his show that amusing, the "I'm A Bigger Conservative Blockhead Than Bill O'Reiley" gets old pretty quickly, but I do appreciate a good running-gag, and announcing presidential candidacy is a pretty decent one.
What irks me is how far Colbert (the character, the actor) is taking his joke. When you confuse the FEC into thinking you're truly running for president, you're obviously doing something very right. As an obvious Bleeding Heart Hippie Liberal (and if not, an extremely sado-masochistic Money Grubbing Conservative), this is the demographic Colbert appeals to, more specifically the young BHHL's. The historical problem with third parties in the US is that they take away votes from whichever main-line party candidate they are closest in values to. Young people are dumb, and young people who would consider voting for a fake candidate are probably liberal. Young conservatives don't have nearly the amount of imagination or cynicism to vote for a joke. So why's he attempting to maneuver votes away from his apparent party of choice?
I doubt it'll go that far, but with mainstream media and governmental agencies taking Colbert (the character) seriously, I'm starting to get concerned.
And for my next trick: I will figure out how to talk about "cultural lenses" without sounding like a racist!
Dear SLT Professor: I'm not entirely convinced that you're allowed to declare yourself victorious when 20 out of 32 students show up for class, despite having told everyone class was optional. I'm pretty sure we're all there because going to class is habitual and the key to good grades. Not because of mystical manipulative powers.
Dear Roomie: When is it my turn for my boyfriend to live with me? I'm starting to feel a little left out.
Dear Hair: I know we've had our ups and downs, and I know you're under a lot of pressure to grow longer, faster, but if we could find some sort of compromise where you do what I tell you to, that would be great.
Dear Alex: Du hast Recht, wann du geschrieben hast, dass wir eine "beiderseitige Faszination" mit einander haben. Dich liebe ich mehr als ich kann sagen, und ich bin verruekt nach dir. Ich vermisse dich gerade jetzt, und will mit dir sein. Danke fuer die Erinnerungen, frueher und kuenftig.
Dear TGIFriday's: Please hire more bartenders. We're dying.
Dear Brain: Buck up, laddie. Hard times lie ahead.
I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp on the English language. I know the function of subjective clauses, can use words like "tawdry" or "misanthropic" without blinking, and have been able to read and write going on 17 years now. I also like to think that my mind is capable of being, at worst, adequately deep and analytical.
Blah blah blah, so I can pwn you in Scrabble and tell you which "a/effect" to use. To what end?
Apparently my gifts are display models only. Like the tawdry leg-lamp from A Christmas Story, my skills sure look pretty, but serve no real function. You would think that one such as I would have a lot to say about, oh, Hamlet, but AP English can attest to the fact that I only had about 300 words to spare pertaining to the play. Verbally, I'm characteristically long winded. On paper, I'm little more than a haiku. Perhaps a limerick on good days.
Writing is, however, a passion of mine, and I like to spend time making lists (to-do, pro/con, top 5, etc...) or chronicling my life via this here blog or pen/paper. I find it especially helpful to write out my thoughts on issues that I would find otherwise difficult to give voice to (ex: Dear roomie, your big creepy ex-boyfriend, while welcome to sleep over, should really not be left alone to scar me for life be more careful about his sleep apparel...).
That said, I have a lot of important decisions coming up in my life that seem to necessitate a minimum amount of intellectual and emotional certainty. So, being a creature of habit, I sat down to detail my precise thoughts about a number of things. What I plan to do about a career. Where I want to live. Where I see myself in 5 years. How attached I am to That Guy. Things like that. Important things. Things I apparently don't have complicated opinions about, as it took me all of half a typed page to get everything down.
Either I'm very sure of what I want in life, or my emotions are so deep they lend no language. Let's go with the former.
I see your wedding band. Don't think that I don't automatically check for those when assessing how I should approach you. It's cute when we exchange witty banter. It's even cute when you wink at me after I give you a cheeky smile as I walk away to place your order, and then nudge-nudge your colleagues. It's not cute when you comment on my body type or in a double-whammy of information seeking hypothetically remark upon my sex life with my boyfriend. Yes, I'm flirting with you and yes, when you flirt back, I will continue to reciprocate. It's called working for tips. I will not, however, give you my number or meet up with you for drinks later, you committed ass clown. I might be selling my personality for money, but that's it. If you're in the business of paying girls for their time, get a hooker, it's less fattening.
I have a very busy life, Interested Party, and while it may come as a shock to you, between sporadic blog updates, bar tending, and 17-hour naps, I somehow find the time to write in an honest-to-God pen and paper journal.
Now, these genuine-journal (let's call it my GJ, for lack of a more creative acronym) entries tend to be more emo than my internet journalistic endeavors. This is mostly because I earned the privilege of omitting the "-teen" suffix from my age description and realized the World Wide Web is not the ideal place for angsty, spur-of-the-moment ramblings. Part of it, however, is when I get melancholy (I want everyone to know I spelled "melancholy" correctly on the first try), it's not always when I have immediate access to a computer, let alone one connected to the Interweb, so it's handy to have a GJ stuffed in my messenger bag when said melancholy inspires bursts of rhetorical creativity.
I've noticed a trend, however, and it's that I never feel particularly compelled to write when I'm happy. Probably because I'm too busy eating buffalo wings, frolicking in meadows, and listening to LBC during these blissful times, but also largely because I take happiness for granted.
I plan to remedy that tonight, so pardon me, Interested Party, while I indulge my Scientologistisc side and jump up and down on your e-couch for a few minutes (if you don't catch the reference, go back in time a few years and get out from the rock you've been living under. I am the Spongebob to your Patrick. You'll thank me when you're older) (and if you didn't catch thatreference, well, not everyone can be as hip as I).
An acquaintance from high school asked me a few weeks ago if I was "still with that guy", and when I responded positively, added "you should marry him. For insurance purposes." Ignoring the multiple layers "insurance purposes" could hold, I instead focused on his use of the words "that guy." That Guy is, with no hesitation, the best damn thing in my life to date (commence animated hand gestures). I've always been generally reserved, emotionally as well as in other ways, and it's sort of come as a shock to me that, after the beginning stages of "gee this is fun" progressing into a nice plateau of "gee, I could get used to this", I find myself more in awe of That Guy as each day dawns.
I find myself reluctant to use the word "love" in public, most notably because I've heard tales of married people who suddenly fall "madly in love" with an extra-marital person, and realize they never really experience "true love" before. However if "love" isn't the word to describe the warmness and fuzziness that settle into the pit of my stomach every time That Guy is mentioned, or something reminding me of him catches my notice, then I'm not entirely sure I'm emotionally equipped to deal with "true love" (and now begins the couch-mauling).
My point, now-bored and probably throw-uppy Interested Party? I'm happy. I'm happy we don't fight (something recent events with the BFF have made all the more profound [no offense, Poncho]). I'm happy we can have intelligent conversations. I'm happy that we laugh together. I'm happy that I have That Guy in my life.
Feel free to berate me Mass-Media style for my outburst. I probably deserve it. But you know what?
Despite being generally trusting and occasionally downright gullible, there are a good number of things I don't believe in. Aside from the obvious, like Santa or the Tooth Fairy, Fate and "The One" tend to top my list.
When it comes to Fate, I'm a bit pigheaded about the whole thing, since I'm too lazy and philosophically retarded to actually define it. However, some people, after having a rough day at the office, consider it Fate when a song comes on the radio during the drive home that describes exactly how they feel. I'm more inclined to call that Mainstream Music's Ability to Appeal to the Masses, but then, I'm a cynic. And a communications major.
As for "The One", my stance on this is slightly more defined. Unless you define "The One" as "The One I've taken a lot of time to get to know and consider and have deemed suitable", the magic aura surrounding this mysterious person just doesn't do it for me. I won't discount the possibility that I might only love one person in my lifetime, but I do think it's profoundly depressing to think that there is one, specific person out there for you. There's a lot of people in this world, and the odds of that person being in your graduating class seems slim. Of course, that's what Fate is for. These things tend to go hand in hand, I've noticed. I'm just saying that even though I might not hear bells the first time I lay eyes on someone, doesn't mean that, after time has gone by, I won't hear bells or feel thunderstruck every time he smiles at me.
I'm also disinclined to acknowledge meaning behind coincidences or dreams. But hey, being a cold, hard realist is very In these days.
It's been a week of 21st birthdays, and let me just say now that one of them ended with nudity (not mine) and the other one ended with an irate Greek woman poking a bar manager in the sternum and calling him "little man".
I'm not entirely sure I have the physical capacity to become so inebriated that I can think to myself "Now would be a good time to divest myself of my clothing, and go sit on the couch where the birthday girl is sleeping". Never have I had to demand of someone "why didn't you stop me?!", nor have I ever discovered myself to be dancing to some phat beat without the intent of irony.
The story of Miranda's 21st began with a major aerial journey, included a famous Friday's Birthday Blow Job and some major rocking out to Wicked and My Chemical Romance, and was consummated with an unsuspected couch visitor sans vêtement.
Jaci's birthday, however, is a tale of truly bad manners taking a turn for the worse.
I'm not certain where her birthday began, but I do know it involved a herpes-penis (or "spotted dick" as Mrs. Gianaris so aptly named it) cake. It eventually led to Two-Nine. You know, that little red door next to Potter's Place? We had some drinks, my first one was more Jack than Coke and utterly nauseating. My second one was a Miller Chill, which didn't taste as bad as beer normally does. This was, perhaps, helped along by the appalling Jack:Coke ratio. A third (or fourth, for some) round was bought as the cry of "last call!" resounded. A rude bartender walked out to the patio and yelled "Everyone get out!", which we assumed was sort of a joke. A few minutes later a nice bartender explained that they were, in fact, closing, but normally it wasn't this early and we technically had until 12:45 to leave. Mrs. Peterson said we'd be gone in 10 minutes, just long enough to finish our drinks. Less than 30 seconds later, a small man wearing an earpiece stepped onto the patio and yelled "Everyone get out now! The bar is closed!"
While it ended on an amusing note (Mrs. Gianaris poking the guy and calling him a little man), I'm honestly appalled at Little Man's behavior. We were not drunk, for the most part. We were definitely not loud, or obnoxious. I don't even think any of us were laughing at any volume when he came out to yell. If he had asked us nicely, said the bar was closing early tonight and if we could hurry up and leave, it would have been disappointing, but nothing major. But to be yelled at like that, especially after dropping a couple hundred dollars and being completely tolerable, if not model guests, most especially when we hadn't even had time to start, let alone finish, the final round of drinks, was uncalled for.
In addition to the inability to get wasted, I also feel I'm incapable of such petty jag-offishness. Despite the fact that unless you're getting paid as an ass-kicker you're getting paid to be nice, I've found that people tend to respond better and adhere to your wishes if you treat them with respect. You greet them politely, apologize, explain what is happening, and then kindly ask for them to comply. They will be much more inclined to do your bidding, out of respect for you. Little Man has a lot to learn, it seems.
Of all the various tones of voice a person can take with me, condescension is my least favorite. I can handle most other insulting ways of speaking, but an assumption of intellectual superiority mixed with pity has a special way of grating on my nerves. I can smile and be polite in the face of anger, annoyance, frustration, and even outright derision, but the instant the rate of speech slows down, the pitch gets sing-songy, and the eyebrows raise incredulously, my patience drops to zero.
There must be some unidentified gamma ray produced by The Spotlight that enlarges the ego and shrinks the empathy gland of those caught in it. Actors are more famous for their superiority complex than they are for their skill at their craft, directors even more so. Radio personalities are no different, notorious for their "my way or the highway" attitudes. While it's commendable to beat the odds and become one of The Favored Few in any industry that requires creative talent and skill, it strikes me as odd that those who succeed also claim intellectual dominance over those less marketable. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the peons and "gofers" who make The Spotlight possible. It seems like The Favored Few should be nicer if they want their precious Spotlight to keep shining.
Of course, as a peon myself, my loyalties are somewhat Viva la Revolution in nature.
It's too bad reverse psychology doesn't work backwards. Which, I suppose, would just make it regular-type psychology, but how is it fair that it's only a one-way process? There's nothing more I would like to do right now than intentionally screw up this Jackhammers game since Il Dusche seems to expect me to, but, as satisfying as that may be, it won't endear me to The Powers That Be. And they have the Pen that writes the Paycheck, an no one messes with the payroll department. Except embezzlers, I guess.
It's beginning to approach that time in my life where there will be a wedding every other weekend; ones that I'm invited to, at least, as opposed to me and my buddy Vince Vaughn looking for hijinks and hookups. It seems that after people graduate college, that nagging question of "now what?" often gets answered with "weddings!". With the recent engagement of our youngest cousin, Linda and I spent some time on our coffee date today discussing things like divorce, preparedness for marriage, and dress code.
You know, the usual topics associated with the impending marriage of a relative.
This being said, I had my first legitimate "wedding plan" thought last night as I contemplated Kate's engagement. The train of thought went something like this:
-Hooray! An excuse to dress up!
-I can buy a new dress!
-Why are we expected to dress up for this sort of thing?
-What if people hate dressing up?
-For my wedding, I'm going to explicitly state that if a) this is an exciting opportunity for you to get dolled up and strut your stuff, by all means, knock yourself out, but b) if you're lamenting having to spend money on a new outfit, hate wearing collared shirts or uncomfortable shoes, then by all means, go nuts and wear pajamas and bunny slippers.
-Instead of having his/hers sides of the church, I could have dressed up/dressed down sides!
At this point, I drifted off to sleep and dreamed about an old friend getting blown up in a pick-up truck, but I think it stands as a milestone that I actually gave a serious moment's thought to an albeit hypothetical, but altogether real future wedding. It's a stereotype that all girls have their weddings planned out by the age of 16, but I've somehow managed to avoid the stereotypical. When I was younger I used to think that I never wanted to get married, because if it goes wrong it's really, really bad. However, I've warmed up to the idea of pretty dresses, fancy shoes, and obligatory spa days. I'll just need to be really, really, really sure first.
10 days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
12 Tage bis Miranda kommt nach Hause!
13 days until Miranda is 21!
14 days until Jaci is 21!
15 days until Warped Tour!
36 days until GenCon!
61 days until college: the final chapter!
I had one of those frightening revelations yesterday, Independence Day, that just about 7 months from now I'll be facing Real Life. Life has always had a definitive plan, a direct path, and come March 2008 the path abruptly sprouts forks. I'm more of a spoon person, myself, so this fork notion doesn't exactly appeal to me. I suppose I could go to graduate school, but honestly, at this point it'd just be beating a dead horse. Plus I hear loans are a bitch.
Despite three completed years of higher education with the goal of obtaining a piece of paper stating the contrary, I'm not very familiar with the realm of communication. Communication, much like my concept of love, is this sort of grand, romantic ideal that has formed in my head over the years since I've had very few good examples to follow. I'm pretty sure it's the key to a successful relationship, and I've even had imaginary communicative sessions in my head where I, Caribou coffee cup in hand, eloquently deliver my thoughts with poise, and my conversational counterpart is equally as clear and composed as he sips a Chai tea latte. In this imaginary communicative session I listen with interest, making appropriate facial expressions and responsive noises, and I always know the right follow-up questions to ask. Of course, since this is imaginary, that stands to reason, since I was inventing the other side of the conversation myself.
My point? I'm an experiential learner. I need to touch the hot stove to figure out that yes, it is, indeed, hot. So as my life progresses ever closer to those pesky forks, it's becoming incrementally more urgent to actually have a communicative moment or two with certain people. Of course, as with more important things in my life, I'll just put it off until the very last instant, and, because I'm amazing at everything I do, it will go off without a hitch and I'll get an A+. In, uh, life.
What am I going to do without grades to track my progress? I suppose that's what money is for.
They say that when you want to consider the value of time, to ask various people. The value of a month, ask a woman who just gave birth to a premature baby. The value of a second, ask the person who just avoided an accident. As I sit here at WJOL, heading into hour number four, I've fogotten the value of time. In fact, I've forgotten the value of being busy. I can't remember what it's like to not be bored. I'm a bored board-op. A bored-op, if you will.
I'm one of those unfortunate people who can hear the high-pitched electronic signals. If a television is on nearby, I'll know. This was a point of contention for ex-roomie Kate and I, when you had to (gasp) manually turn our dorm's TV on and off, so Kate, whenever she was done with watching her show, would just turn the TV to an input channel, or put it on mute. She couldn't hear the signal, so it was as good as off for her. I, on the other hand, would wake up from a nap, annoyed, with a migraine. This dog-like super power of mine is good for conserving electricity, but very bad for my chosen career path, what with all the equipment that makes all sorts of fun noises.
Annoyance of the minute: WJOL is holding me hostage. Apparently "Sure, I can work between 11 and 3" means "I can be here indefinately, because my other job which needs me there at 4 isn't important at all". This is now the second week in a row that I've had to call Friday's to tell them I was going to be late due to a radio conflict. This is the last time I work a radio job prior to an important committment. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'm one fooling away from burning the studio down, Office Space stylie.
Suddenly, time seems very important. Funny how this happens.
Annoyance update: Apparently, this is my fault. I should have known that whenever one works a game, one stays until the end. Nevermind that I didn't know that. Nevermind that no one told me there was a game. I guess it's my fault for expecting my employer to respect me. Friday's has spoiled me, it seems.
Enough ranting. The bright side of this is I now have more time to ponder whether or not I should stop for gas and fast food on my way back to Bolingbrook. On one hand, it's not Friday's fault that my free hour went away. On the other hand, spending 15 extra minutes to not run out of gas on the way there, and not pass out from starvation might be worth it. The philosophical questions are mounting.
As I think I'm actually on the verge of transcending from "annoyed" to "angry", it's time to get my fingers off the keyboard.
Getting rid of the old feelings of the old ways of thinking.
It seems to me that when I order "the biggest coffee you guys have" I should get the biggest coffee Dunkin Donuts has to offer, not the mere "large". I also don't think it's too much to ask TGI Friday's for a "Brisket Sandwich, no fries sub sm house salad sub caesar no caesar drssng sub bl chz drssng". Or maybe it is. All I'm saying is that when my demands are simple, I expect them to be complied with to the letter.
I was never a rebellious kid. I had a stint in high school where I would walk down the middle of the street late at night, or say obnoxious things in public, or make memories involving gasoline, old shoes, a lighter, and two pitchforks, but I never did anything truly delinquent. My first cigarette was almost 2 years after it was legal for me to purchase them, my first sip of alcohol without parental supervision was of half a wine cooler the last week of my freshmen year in college, and my first time getting officially inebriated was months after it was totally legal for me to do so. I've never been in a fight or had to be treated for the clap, and my experimentation with drugs is on an "indefinite hiatus". The kind NSYNC has going, not the one LBC claimed.
My first book of the summer is Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. I bought it so I could get in touch with my musical roots, get a sense of history so I could appreciate where the guitar riffs and lunatic antics I love so much came from. The problem with this book is, it's not so much a "history" book, as it is a collection of interviews with members of the bands and record execs and groupies who were there. I don't know who these people are! That's why I got a history book! Although I suppose there's no better way to get to know a genre than to jump right into the deep end, so the first time I listen to an Iggy and the Stooges album, I can have fond recollections of their descriptions of how Ron Asheton had to tie a rope leash around Iggy's waist the first time he went on a 3-day acid trip.
The problem with the whole punk movement, I'm coming to realize, is that the people who invented the lifestyle were truly insane. Really, completely batty. Wearing strange clothes wasn't a fashion statement, it was the result of being on speed all the time. Vandalism and general mayhem weren't hobbies, they were inspired, random acts of lunacy. Anyone who claims they're "punk" is a liar and a poser. A true punk is a music-obsessed junkie on a self-destructive binge. If you want to be an individual, get a philosophy and develop your own fashion sense. Don't imitate meth-heads and the criminally insane. That sort of thing can never turn out well.
That said, I aim to be more inspired, more spontaneous, and a general nuisance to my Circadian rhythm this summer. Who's with me?
You traded my lovely gift for a sneering, semi-pornographic monkey lamp? How could you?!
Today, I am a girl. My hair has product in it, my legs had bronzing lotion applied to them, all 20 of my nails are an unnatural shade of "Summery Orange", there are these strange, pliable round things in my eyes, a skirt around my waist, and perfume clinging to my skin. It seems my X chromosomes decided to gang up on me today. It's sort of nice.
One final left to go before OMG SUMMER LOL! When I say "final" I actually mean "memorize two monologues and pretend I learned stuff about acting". I'm anticipating a grade report that might be allowed to drink from the same water fountain as Linda's, for once. The term sort of petered out on a pretty laid-back note, considering it began at a panicked fever pitch.
Summer Reading List (thus far): Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Slaughterhouse-Five Anna Karenina
We don't believe the words, we just love the way they sound
I'm thinking that opening quotation might be cursed, as every entry I have tried to write in the last month has begun with it. You'd think I would learn, but a lunatic devotion to "try, try again" has always been my way of doing things.
The first time I heard anyone say something negative about Martin Luther King Jr. I was absolutely floored. According to every account I have read or seen, the man was a saint. Not only did he preach non-violent protest and advocate for the rights of an entire people, but I also heard his tears cured cancer and a choir of angels sang at his birth.
History and Street Name Bureaucracies have been kind to MLK Jr. and our textbooks seem to have overlooked the media frenzy that surrounded him back in his day. Mistresses, drugs, and scandal abounded, some rumors of which may have been true. I wouldn't say that too loudly, I don't want the NAACP or ACLU on my ass. They're scrappy SOB's, and I'm no good in a fight. Ask Linda.
My point is that our history gets written for us and our memories fade fast. My lack of blog entries lately has stemmed from the sheer fact that I haven't had the free time to have epiphanies or meditate on the idiosyncrasies of life, and simply chronicling the non-adventures of bar tending and academia has seemed dull and silly. However... if I don't write about my life, who will?
Barring the fact that everyone has the desire to be remembered in some fashion, suppose I get named as the Pirate King in a strange twist of fate involving loopholes in The Code and a devious Captain, and the tales of my life are to be sang in beer halls forever more. I can't think of anyone worthy enough to write my biography than me. I would hate just as much to be vilified as I would to be sainted, for I am neither The Penguin nor Mother Theresa.
That being said:
-Bar tending is boring/stressful, but profitable.
-There are only a couple projects standing in my way of summer.
-I just bought 4 of 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls for $20 each.
-I'm pretty sure Durbin's amazing.
-Miranda is trapsing around Europe and I'm mega jealous.
-My bedroom window makes the wind howl, a problem I need fixed NOW.
-I get to live downtown Naperville while I'm in school next year.
-Only 23 more weeks of my college career. Yikes.
-Board opping at WJOL will put you in a coma.
There's nothing more embarrassing than having an emotional breakdown in front of someone you don't even know. Well, other than maybe melting down on national television, but hey, at least ratings would be good. I must say, though, having a good cry is quite the stress reliever. I sort of feel like now that I've got that out, my life can proceed.
Trying to figure out what to do about where I'm going to live next year is the most frustrating ordeal I've ever had to go through. Thus the semi-public emotional breakdown. Honestly, who schedules room selection on dates and times during midterms when there are classes scheduled? NCC's Residence Office, that's who. Jerks.
Everything is just sort of coming to a bottleneck. I've missed 80% of my term thus far because of speech. I had to spend the last couple weeks concentrating on speech so I didn't suck at Nationals, but now that I'm back in the real world, everything is catching up with me. I have two exams next week, a scene to memorize and perform with an only semi-cooperative partner, and a "short" 5-8 page paper due on the same day as one of the exams. I need to sign up for an oral presentation, register for classes, figure out how to be in two places at once to get housing for next year, arrange meetings with interview subjects, call Phil from WJOL and start working there, not to mention even beginning to read for the exams/paper. I'm already exhausted and I haven't even started. Oh, I also have to work at some point. Eat and sleep too, probably. It'd even be nice if I could hang out with The Boy here and there, but that idea is almost laughable at this point.
Fortunately, I hear women are masters at multi-tasking, and since I, too, possess two X chromosomes, things should fall together magically. It's the power of estrogen. Let's just try not to have another emotional breakdown.
Dear web log,
I will be treating you like a diary today, and actually acknolwedging that fact.
Sometimes my friends have the annoying habit of asking me "what's new?", as if my life is a series of exciting happenstances, instead of a monotonous cycle of "school, work, speech, no sleep".
Let's see, new things... new things. I've been hired into my first "real" radio station job. If I'm not mistaken, it entails me operating the board for WJOL AM 1340 for a couple hours a week. Nothing earth shattering or major, but a resume builder.
Brian mentioned a friend of his is moving to the city soon, and he's thinking about going with 'em. I think he was anticipating some sort of big, dramatic conversation where I may or may not have cried or gotten upset, but after him foundering around for about a minute I just told him to do what he thinks is best. I'm perfectly capable of figuring out what to do with myself. Plus I have parents I can live with should the occasion arise. I'm honestly not all that worried.
I still haven't had my State of the Union conversation, partly because I'm a big chicken when it comes to discussing "feelings" and "opinions", and partly because it's not of vital importance, yet. I keep getting clues that the conversation would tell me all the good things I want to know, so it seems silly to have to drag myself through something as painful as a Real Conversation.
One Nationals down, one to go, and I'm exhausted. All I want to do is sleep all the time. Alex said he doesn't understand how I can get so tired, but I don't really see the mystery in it. You average 5 hours of sleep a night and spend your days running back and forth across town, and cumulating them by standing for 5-8 hours having to be friendly to drunk people. I had fun at AFA, probably because it was a small group and the entire thing was pretty laid back. I even did pretty okay, but if you're not a Forensicator, be prepared for a long, confusing explanation of the numbers involved.
Here is what I want: I want to be able to wake up in the morning and look forward to my day. I want to be able to feel rested and energized. I want to have one or two nights a week where I can hang out with the few friends I have. I want to be able to spend relaxing time with Alex; not this hyper-intesne we-have-to-make-the-most-of-these-5-hours. I want to be able to afford to go out and do things, like see movies, go bowling, or even take a spontaneous weekend road trip. I want to have the time and energy to keep my room clean. I want to be able to have long coffee conversations with my sister. I'm still waiting to go on a photographic alley adventure with Miranda.
I just need a break, really. Freaking speech team.
I never have anything important to say anymore, and I really wish I did, because I heard blogs are going to be the new history books. Historians get all squishy when they find diaries from past times, "glimpses into real life from the past" and such. Look at how popular Anne Frank's diary is, and she didn't even particularly write about anything earth shattering. Just "Life is really tense. Living in an attic really sucks. I hope we don't die. I love Peter".
Pardon me if that was offense. I'm just saying she was writing about the trivialities of teenage life in the context of some tense politics.
If Cathi Martin were a beverage, she would be: Milk
Ever since I heard that bit of speculation-- that blogs will be future historians glimpse of real life in the early 21st century-- I've been wondering what, exactly, my scribblings have contributed to the collective consciousness of the world. My perceptions of major world events, that is, 9/11, the war on terror, catastrophic weather occurances and climate change, have been peripheral at best.
If Cathi Martin were a character from 10 Things I Hate About You, she would be: the dad
I plan to give a speech next year about how cell phone manufacturers are contributing to the turmoil in the Congo because they're greedy bastards. Yay!
If Cathi Martin were a building on NCC's campus, she would be: the library
I'm beginning to feel the first strains of my biggest fear of the whole "Alex going to UIC" situation. Talking (almost) every day is okay, I guess, but not a very good substitute for the real thing.
If Cathi Martin were a food, she would be: a pineapple
Things that I find difficult:
-Talking to strangers
We're approaching an age where we will get information instantaneously from the people actually experiencing whatever it is we want to know about. Traffic reports from the dude stuck in his car. Weather updates from the chick walking her dog. Live videos of the factory fire from cell phone cameras. Our eyes and ears will be your average upper middle class American with a techno-gadget and our opinions will be from any schmuck with a computer. Right now we don't take blogs too seriously, but it's getting there.
Sometimes I try to puff myself up with egotism and write about something I think my vast and influential readership actually might want to read, like a diatribe about blogs. More often I give in to the inscrutable exhortations of my soul and whine about my life. I guess I'm still 15 years old at the fingertips.
In order to validate my elitist attitudes towards everyone else I feel like I shoud:
-Be better read
-Listen to more classic rock
-Discuss the cinema over coffee
-Learn about wine
-Eat at hole-in-the-wall cafes
Stress is a compound interest problem. If I could remember my math classes I'd probably be much better equipped at dealing with life's little stressors. The issue is that when one thing is keeping you on the edge of your nerves, everyday annoyances needle you to the point where someone breathing too heavily through their mouth is liable to make you lash out. It especially doesn't help when a lot of the little things are consequences of the one big thing.
For example: let's say you're dead broke. What cash flow you are bringing in has to go directly to major things like rent, bills, and gas and you don't have anything left over. This means you avoid going out with friends, which is depressing. It means a debt you owe to your roommate is suddenly postponed, which creates tension. It means you can't buy someone a birthday gift, and that you're stingy when it comes to driving places so you can conserve gas. It means when your roomie is inflexible about getting $8 your frustration with their lack of understanding is compounded much more toxically than it should be.
The good thing about stress, perhaps, is that it makes you buckle down and focus on what exactly it is you need to do to eliminate this joy-killer from your life. Lacking money? Make every second at work count. Don't spend it on silly things like Taco Bell or CDs. Sit down with the roommate and calmly discuss what it feels like to be broke and how to work around the situation. Make conversations with the boyfriend and other significant people count, since seeing them is slightly more difficult. Strengthen relationships with the parentals so you can mooch off them.
Just kidding. Sort of.
My favorite type of conversation to have is the ones where we discuss how to properly go about building a conversation. It requires not only a knowledge about interpersonal communication but also includes a sharing of ways of employing insight and tact. Hypothetical conversations are always much more significant and difficult than their real manifestations anyway. It's good brain aerobics.
Conversations in the hypothetical stage:
-The Mutal Grievences
-The State of the Union
-The Cautionary Tale
I like to think that I cope well with not only change, but with spontaneity. It would speak well of my character if I enjoyed surprises, but when they come in the form of a 3 page research paper due in 3 hours, my love for the impromptu is tested.
Have you ever sat down and really, truly thought about your fiscal situation? I mean apart from tax time (which is nigh!). I recently had the revelation that I, Cathi Martin, am spoiled. I don't mean in a "rotten" sort of sense, just "spared the true hardships of reality". This hit me harder than a Lincoln hits a utility pole when the day after "my" car was wrecked, I was in possession of not just another vehicle, but essentially a brand-spanking-new one. I may have never lived in a big fancy house, known what caviar tastes like, or worn designer jeans, but I have been beyond well taken care of.
I need to work on eliminating irrational spikes of jealousy from my emotional repertoire.
It would be nice to think that I'm exactly where I want to be, but I think that's a hard sentiment to be sure of. Doing well in school? Check. Successful in speech? Check. Surviving on my own? Check. Content with my job? Check. Deliriously happy with the boyfriend? Check. Acceptable fashion sense? Well... I guess there's always room for improvement.
I've got a history of wearing my mind on my sleeve
The heart, on the other hand, tends to stay locked in my chest pumping blood like it's its job, for better or worse. Which is good, cardiovascularly, but not so good emotionally. The depths of the allegorical heart remain a mystery to me intellectually, if not intuvitively.
Conversation has never been an easy thing for me to accomplish. While expressing ones self is one of the basic tenets of human nature, I spent more time as a child with my nose in a book and my mouth firmly shut than I did debating the finer points of Pog technique with my peers. This lack of practice with verbal expression had made even the simplest of sharing points a thing of torture. It's like having one of those rubber seals they put syringe vials covering my mouth. It physically feels like I'm trying to push through something when I think I should divulge some sort of private thought. Sometimes I'm brave enough to be able to force my way through, but afterwards the barrier always seals itself again. None of this "chipping away at the brick wall" nonsense.
One year, two days ago I, the brazen hussy that I am, made the first of a series of moves with a Mister Alex Durbin. I can't say that was The Beginning, but it was definately the start of The Beginning. Hindsight being 20/20 I feel confidant in saying that things have turned out for the best, although it doesn't feel like it's been a year. I think that's good.
I knew that the lights of the city were too heavy for me
Let's take this from the top.
I told Robert-the-16-year-old that the reason he thinks "dating is pretty lame" is because he hadn't dated the right girl. That yeah, doing the same stupid things over and over again, like going to movies or walking around downtown Naperville does get tired and old, but that's not the point of dating. It shouldn't really matterwhat exactly you're doing, just the fact that you're doing it together. Talking to that person should be the high point of your day, what it is you look forward to. He said his conversations with his best friend were like that. I told him he was in love with his best friend, and after some brow-beating he stopped denying it.
I related that story to my dad over dinner last night, and he kept grinning at me like he knew something I didn't. Stupid grown-ups with their smug smiles and worldly knowledge.
All I know is that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is a romantic way of saying that you miss someone to painful pieces. It's also a good cover up for the fact that suddenly insignificant irritations like missed or short phone calls and perceived indifference are suddenly much bigger deals than they should ever be.
Now off to the Wisconsin Love-Swing, which is way less dirty or exciting than you'd expect. Giving speeches in the arctic circle, while an amusing sitcom idea, is not my concept of a rollickin' good time.
Give me your right hand, but keep your left hand free. Let's run in circles, yeah let's make history!
ACHTUNG: Einer gegenstandlos, egoistische Aufsatz ist unter diese Achtung. Ablaufen Sie mit Umsicht*.
I believe it was Durbin who pointed out that the quotation above reminded him of the orangutan dance in the Jungle Book. Fitting, considering the song is about monkeys.
After doing some number crunching (anyone else remember that computer game?) I've realized that I'm, literally, one single credit hour over being able to graduate a term early. It's not really worrisome, just "grrr" frustrating. I suppose I can't complain, seeing as, regardless, I can graduate on time, if not early with some fast talking, with two entire Bachelor's degrees. Fancy me. You know what that means, though? I'm approximately one year, six weeks away from being a real grownup. Maybe I should go for a Master's, just so I can a) put off paying my student loans for another 3-4 years and b) pretend I'm allowed to be irresponsible for a little while longer.
What do you think the odds are of me convincing a richy-rich high school (maybe Neuqua?) that they need a radio program? Because that would be super kick-ass. Kick-asstic, if you will.
For once, school isn't making me crazy. Granted, academically, school has never really had to make me break a mental sweat, but deadline-induced stress-sweats have been numerous, especially since college started. Time management: 1. Cathi: 0. Having only two classes makes me feel like I'm getting away with something diabolical and evil, especially since the "homework" side of my day-by-day schedule is essentially blank. I will admit that, Dark Lord allegiance aside, it's really nice to be able to come home after class or work and think "What do I need to do? Watch two hours of Law and Order? Fabulous" without actually neglecting something of real importance. I assume this lackadaisical approach to life will end come Spring Term, but I pledge to enjoy it while I can.
I think I'd like to be an intern at WGN radio this summer. Yeah, let's do that.
Sorry if I bored you, but you can't say I didn't warn you.
*Altavista's Babelfish translation: "NOTE: One articleless, egoistic essay is under this attention. Run off with circumspection."
Emotional people have never made a lot of sense to me. And when I say "emotional" I don't really mean "cries at the drop of a hat", I sort of mean "has emotions on a regular basis". I, for one, am in more or less of a perpetual state of contentment. I veer slightly off sometimes into mild amusement, gentle frustration, or sometimes even vague giddiness, but all in all I run on a pretty even keel. Even when I was a kid I never really saw much of a point in the wide and varied expressions of my peers. I was never one for running around and screaming or throwing temper tantrums. I've never even been in a fight with a friend. Nothing ever really seems worth it.
All of this is nice, of course, when it comes to maintaining relationships and being on good terms with my parents, but when my...wherever it is that emotions come from (hypothalamus? hippocampus? Heh. Campus for hippos) decides to kick in, I get pretty confused on top of whatever emotion has cropped up. My knowledge of how to handle emotions is about as extensive as my know-how of automobile maintenence, except I know enough about cars that I was able to help my daddy change a headlight yesterday.
For example: I didn't even realize how much Alex going out of town affected me until I started crying when I got off work. The thought process went something like this.
1) I can't believe how late it is
2) I'm really hungry
3) It's sort of late, what's open?
5) I should call Durbs and make him come get food with me
7) ...oh wait.
8) Dude this sucks.
9) I'm crying?
10) I'm crying.
11) Why am I crying? It's not that big of a deal.
12) I'm still crying
13) Sad face.
Total incompetence in the emotional department has its perks as well, such as always winning "Honey I Love You" and being able to shrug off criticism. While it might make me robot-like, I'm pretty okay with it. It keeps me from flipping out on obnoxious customers and vapid lab partners, at hte very least.