Archive for February, 2010

February 24, 2010

relish the rhythms

I woke up this morning and Lance was playing the piano in his jeans.

“Snow Day!” he exclaimed.

Unfortunately, while Western Mass might be slippery and dangerous, Metro Boston is just wet. So I went about my routine.

  • Lay on couch – 15 minutes max

“Do you want me to start you some toast?” says an unusually chipper for 6:15 a.m. Lance. “Is that what you eat for breakfast? I don’t even know what you eat for breakfast.”

“No thanks,” I say. “I’m not hungry yet.”

  • Weigh self on Wii Fit – round of applause if I gain less than a pound since the day before
  • Weigh cat on Wii Fit. She’s 3.6 pounds
  • Get a glass of water

“Now it’s time to watch Sex and the City,” I say.

“You have a rigid morning schedule,” he says, laughing at me.

  • Start cooking up egg
  • Start getting dressed

“Is this always what you wear while you make eggs?” he says.

“Not every morning,” I say, in my bra. “I couldn’t decide on what shirt to wear.”

  • Finish getting dressed

“I think your eggs are burning.”

“No, they’re not. They’re fine.”

“What’s this smoke, then?”

“Just butter burning. Or the pan. They’re not done yet. It’s fine.

“Oh. Is there any counter space I can use?”

“If you put all these dishes away.”

“Damn. You put them away every morning?”

“Mmmmhmmm”

  • Eat eggs and granola whle I watch Sex and the Cit
  • Makeup, hair, accessories

“Does this look weird?”

“No. It looks fine.”

“You’re lying.”

“What?”

  • Throw clothing all over room
  • Mentally will boyfriend to take day off to find me a dresser on Craigslist
  • Boots, coat, umbrella, phone, lunch, wallet, T pas
  • Kiss kitty goodbye. Get bit in the face.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come to school with me?”

“Yes. I’m very sure.”

~

And then, just like every morning for the past two weeks, I’m out the door, down the stairs, up the hill, and on the bus. By 8 a.m., I am at my school library, logging onto a computer and changing all my system preferences so my hour of work won’t be spent getting annoyed that my Expose settings are all wonky.

Work I do. I write a paper. Sometimes, I try to write two. I don’t usually succeed, but I try.

I have these things:

  1. All three of my textbooks at arm’s reach, and my binder opened up to the right article
  2. One window for Word, one window for Firefox, where I open the picture I will be writing about this morning
  3. Headphones on, Broadway-Disney-Glee Pandora station blaring
  4. A Starbucks DoubleShot
  5. The floor to myself, which is nice, because occasionally I can’t resist humming along

I have a rigid morning schedule. Apparently.

But I love love love love it.

In fact, once my papers are done and turned in (SEVEN DAYS, PEOPLE!), I think I’ll keep at it.

I mean, if I’m awake, dressed, out of the house, caffeinated, and in front of computer five days a week for an hour…

maybe another novel will eventually appear.

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February 22, 2010

sometimes i feel like a toad

Frog ran up the path

to Toad’s house.

~

He knocked on the front door.

“Toad, Toad,” shouted Frog,”

“wake up. It is spring!”

~

‘Blah,’ said a voice

from inside the house.”

~

from Arnold Lobel‘s Frog and Toad are Friends

~

Blah, I say.

Blah!

February 20, 2010

Doldrums pt. 2

Okay, so this is what I eat every day:

(be prepared for boredom, people)

~

Things I Eat For Breakfast

2 eggs, either fried or with goat cheese as an omelet

some homemade granola with raisins and soy milk

lately, a Starbucks DoubleShot in a can, so I can be alive-awake-alert-enthusiastic while I write a paper before work

Things I Eat While I’m At Work/School

some kind of trail mix from Trader Joes

sharp cheddar

whole wheat water crackers

raw carrots

canned mandarin oranges

Things I Might Eat When I’m Still Hungry And Have 3+ Hours Left At Work/School

Gross soup from the food court

Expensive/mediocre sandwiches from the food court

Expensive apples from the food court

Tiny bags of chips from the food court

Luna bars

PB&J

Things I Might Eat For Dinner

Trader Joes frozen tamales

Sandwich with goat cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo & pesto on sourdough

Sandwich with chicken, tomato, lettuce, mayo & pesto on sourdough

Green bean casserole

Broccoli, rice & cheese casserole

Spaghetti

Nachos

Crash potatoes with ketchup

Things I Might Eat For Dinner When Lance Isn’t Around

Tortilla chips and hummus

Tortilla chips and refried beans

Tortilla chips and salsa

Smoothie

~

Okay. That’s it. That’s really it. When I don’t have any soymilk, I make cinnamon toast to go with my eggs, I steam broccoli occasionally, and somehow I end up eating way more cookies and candy than a sane almost-25-year-old should, but really, that’s it. My entire culinary ouevre.

Problem 1: I eat too much sugar

Problem 2: I don’t eat any vegetables

Problem 3: I’m so sick of eating cheese and crackers and mandarin oranges and carrots and Luna bars and gross, expensive things!!

Problem 4: I gave up tortilla chips for Lent.

Problem 5: I gave up eating meat for the foreseeable future.

Problem 6: I can’t think of anything else to eat. Really.

My cooking needs are just so gd specific. I can really only be home to cook 2 nights a week, and on Thursdays Lance isn’t here so I feel very silly slaving over a hot stove when I could just eat tortilla chips. And I’m obviously not bringing enough food to school, but I don’t even want to eat the food I DO bring with me in the first place.

Gah.

So basically, I am looking for:

Tasty, portable, healthy vegetarian lunches with vegetables

Quick, simple, healthy vegetarian dinners with vegetables

Got any of those dinners laying around?

Without my 2 bags of Santitas a week, I might expire.

February 18, 2010

Doldrums

I’m in kind of a reading slump. After a semester of intense required reading of YA books of all sorts, and then a little winter break “Catch up with every cool book I missed out on while I was reading required books” and then a little bit of HOLYCRAPLOOKATTHESEAWESOMEARC madness, I’m in a weird reading place.

I indulged a craving for adult nonfic

Which left me

1) Intrigued

2) Comforted

3) Horrified

and

4) Planning on eating My Last Hamburger For The Foreseeable Future this weekend.

~

But not particularly satisfied.

I have a shelf full of perfectly pleasing YAs, some that I’d been anticipating the chance to read.

But nothing’s really pulling me in.

So I don’t know.

I’m feeling an urge to revisit my favorites. I want to read Sarah Dessen after Sarah Dessen, meet up with Jessica Darling. But maybe I just want something more expansive.

A book I can get lost in.

Books that feature descriptions of animal slaughter don’t really have that quality.

Strangely enough.

February 16, 2010

absentee

In seven days I must turn in 50 single-paged papers on single picturebooks.

I really liked this song when I was six years old. I used to sing it a lot

Little did I know, it would become my existence.

14 down. 36 to go!

So yeah, if I have time to blog, then yell at me and tell me to get back to work please.

February 15, 2010

Presidents Weekend

On Saturday, I thought I’d go to two libraries, because, well, I’m in library school and occasionally my professors like me to visit those places and see how things are run.

Instead, I don’t remember what I did. Went to the bank. Dropped my books off at a different library… a third library. Waited in an epic post office line so I could send some ARCs back to my family. Then I think I had a headache. Maybe.

On Sunday, I thought I’d go to two libraries, because… well… my paper is due on Wednesday. I did do those things. So I took the T in to Copley and sat in the library for awhile. It was about a hundred degrees in there, and the man across the table from me trekked up 2 flights of stairs to sit in an uncomfortable wooden chair – in a sauna – and read from his Kindle. Then I took the T out to Brookline and went to another library for awhile. It was more temperate.

But I also thought I would go wait for Lance to pick me up, and we would go home and I would write about 5 or 10 papers, so I could have a shot at finishing before all 50 are due next Wednesday.

Oh, did I not tell you about that assignment?

Heh. Yeah.

Instead, Lance picked me up with a bouquet of flowers and we tried to drive to find somewhere to eat dinner. We found a parking spot somewhere on the B-Line, thinking we could just walk until we found something. Turns out BU students only like Panera, Starbucks, and Qdoba. I mean, I like those places too, but we wanted to sit down. We kept walking though, made it all the way to Kenmore… and then got on the T and rode in to Copley. So we froze our asses walking past like 75 T stops and THEN decide to hop on.

Anyway, you know what is a questionable idea?

Going to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

In the Prudential Center.

Two and a half hours later, we were finally eating. Goodness gravy, is there anything on the menu that ISN’T delicious? We went for our anniversary, like, 3 weeks ago, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we went for my birthday in another month.

And this time we got cheesecake.

Today I thought I’d go to the Simmons Library (Library #4 for those of you keeping score at home) and sit there until my butt started to hurt.

But then we decided to let the cat stay out of the crate last night, and yeah, I didn’t sleep really well, so I was tired and got up late and went back to sleep and then it was really REALLY cold in my apartment and the wind was whipping at the windows and I didn’t want to go outside and they were showing 16 and Pregnant reruns all day on MTV and Lance wanted to beat Super Mario Wii and the last levels are REALLY REALLY HARD.

So I shot myself in the foot, stayed home, and consequently got very little work done today.

Or over the entire weekend for that matter.

But mark my words.

Starting tomorrow, I will be at my school’s library before 8:00 a.m., DoubleShot in my hand, totally ready to kill these 50 little demon-spawn papers. I will kill these picturebooks with my bare hands. By next Wednesday, I will have heads on poles and picturebook teeth necklaces.

Rawr!

February 12, 2010

today’s weather

I have trouble thinking of things to write here when I’m feeling moody. BecauseIdon’twantpeopletoknowI’mmoody, becauseIdon’twanttobore/repelpeoplewithmymoods, becauseIwanttobehappyandsmileyandnotwallowinmybadfeelings.

When I look back through my old writings (and yes, they exist, all the way back to when I was a wee 18 years of age) I can take a little emotional temperature of my life. On this day, in 2004, I was really happy. I was falling in love. In 2006, I was sick. I was sick a lot. In 2008, I was writing cute things about books and notetaking and writing, and I was trying to be something and change myself and be something.

Am I dropping these days(weeks, months) of Bad Feelings off my personal history by giving into avoidance?

Is that a bad thing?

Life isn’t all book reviews and pretty pictures and pleasantries.

So for the record, the dominant emotion of my 2010 is Frustration.

Frustration with my inability to Get Ahead financially. Six months in and we’re still counting pennies every paycheck. Yes, we have what we need, but things are so stagnant. The pool of  money coming in is a steady number, and the deductions climb up every month.

I’ve had the same phone since I was in college. I need a new bra. We  have 2 dishtowels that don’t smell. Our clothes live in cardboard boxes and hampers and piles on the floor. The savings account is stagnant. These things are tolerable, but the Never Going To Have Extra Money For This Kind of Thing?

Frustrating.

Frustrated that I am already 19,000 dollars in debt toward a degree that I feel obligated to get. I love libraries, but absolutely nothing in my being compels me to a life of full-time work. If somebody offered me a better deal, I would take it in a heartbeat. I am getting this degree because grown ups need to be responsible and provide for themselves and I would like money to buy more dishtowels someday. But that is it.

I have no passion for the lifestyle I am working toward.

The children’s lit degree is, therefore, simultaneously my savior and the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

Frustrated that I have 50 pages of writing due in 10 days or so. Plus some other assignments just thrown on top of the pile. See: The Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Done.

Frustrating that no matter what I think the solution to my problems might be, there is someone telling me no, it’s not like that, your life is fine the way it is you just need to do X, X and Y and you’ll be content with your lot in life.

Frustration with myself for getting myself into this mess in the first place.

Bah humbug, internet. Bah, humbug.

February 10, 2010

every party needs a pooper

I’m gonna go ahead and be the only person in Boston feeling pissy about today’s weather.

Or lack thereof.

The entire city – and most of the state – decided, last night and early this morning, that today there would be massive snowfall, treacherous roads, and general nastiness.

But we got nothing.

Not a measly inch.

Boston, I would like my money back.

As in, the 60 dollars I would have made had I been able to go to work.

February 9, 2010

Sickness

I woke up this morning and dropped my mercury thermometer on the wood floor.

There was a mess. Lance started sweeping, I coralled the cat. But when everything was clean – or so said my corrective-lense-free eyes – the cat was acting strangely interested in the thermometer crime scene. Sniffing, sniffing, sniffing.

At this point, Mr. 20-20 spotted a strange dark stain. Ms. Librarian Googled “How to clean mercury” and read, “Do not sweep mercury with a broom!

So this is how my morning was spent – trying to determine if I was still too sick for work, making sure my kitty found something to do rather than lick mercury off the floor and die, and wishing I knew what my temperature was.

Yesterday I was stricken with a strange sickness. A stomach thing, but not really in a terribly gross way. Just in a Everything-I-Eat-Eventually-Makes-Me-Writhe-In-Pain-Until-I-Fall-Asleep way. And a My-Body-Is-Really-Sore way. And a My-Head-Freaking-Hurts-Because-I-Keep-Falling-Asleep-On-The-Futon way.

But I had a fever. And since I work with an individual who takes immunosuppressants, that means I shouldn’t go to work. Man, everyone should work with someone on immunosuppressants. It really takes the guesswork out of things. And I skipped class. I was about to say this was my first skipped class of my graduate career, but that would be a lie. There was also The Great Apple Store Appointment of aught nine.

I did watch a great deal of MTV. So much so that I have now seen every new True Life I’d been missing out on (True Life: I’m At A Crossroads In My Relationship has a GREAT twist ending, btw), and FINALLY caught that Teen Mom special with Dr. Drew. Oh, Teen Mom. What a season, what a season. Caitlyn and Tyler, still sickening as usual in their teenage romantic perfection. Maci, still the most natural mother of the bunch, even though little Baynt-lay is stuck with the most immature Daddy. Amber still a bitch and Brandon still just a little too dumb to figure out she’s a bitch. Farrah still Farrah.

I slept a lot. So much that getting up at 6:30 actually felt kind of fun, even though I wasn’t sure if I was still sick or not.

What I didn’t do: Homework. I tried. I opened this picture and stared at it for awhile.

I opened a book and read something about animal characters in picturebooks, then looked at my syllabus.

And then I fell asleep again.

I decided to Take A Chance On Work, but stop at the Walgreens and buy a new thermometer on my way in. But there was a grocery store. And as I lay on my futon, all I could think about was soda. Fizzy, delicious soda that wasn’t Diet Dr. Pepper. Sick Soda. Most people get Ginger Ale for a sick drink when they’re kids. If you’re from Michigan, you get Vernors. For whatever reason, Snapple was having its heyday when I was at that Get Sick A Lot age, and my mother would buy really big glass bottles of Snapple – Raspberry, Peach, Lemon Iced Tea, the pink Kiwi Strawberry. So I wanted Snapple. Or a popsicle. And something other than Multigrain Water Crackers, which are good with cheese and hummus and other things, but alone with that sick, dry mouth is kind of like chewing on a big mouthful of woodchips.

So this is my lunch

When you are sick, you need orange food. Apparently.

And to tie up some loose ends,

Yes, my fever went away.

Yes, I got on the train for two stops only because it was cold outside and it felt weird to be standing up for too long.

and No, thermometers have not been made with ACTUAL mercury in quite some time, so my cat will be alive when I get home. I hope.

Thus ends the epic story of Jessica’s Sickness.

Thank you for letting me share a little bit of my life with you.

February 7, 2010

days, weeks, and hours

I’m asleep for 8 hours of the day and awake for 14.

14 hours times 5 days equals 70 hours of wakefulness. Although wakefulness is relative between the 6 and 8 a.m. hours of the day.

Class consumes 9 hours each week.

Work consumes 20.

Each day, I spend an hour or an hour and a half in transit, between places, waiting for the bus, riding the train, walking when the train goes express and kicks me off two stops too soon.

We’re down to 34.

2 hours of my week are spent “in between” things – mainly class and work. That means I eat and zone out and keep Elena from doing her work and do Absolutely Necessary Homework.

32.

I’m awake until 10 most nights, but after 9, count me out. There go 5 more.  Wednesday nights are a bust… and Mondays too. 3 hours gone.

I have to shower once in awhile. If you add blowdrying in, I’m in a state of bathing 2 hours during the work week.

22 hours.

I have to get dressed and out the door, too. Which takes more time than it ought to, really.

18 hours.

I have to do homework. My Reference professor told me that for every credit hour, a grad student is expected to spend 2-3 hours doing out of class work every week.

With a low estimate of my scholarship, that leaves me at -2.

No wonder I never feel like

I have time to do

anything

at all

with any sort of

regularity

or focus.

:-/