Archive for December, 2010

December 22, 2010

this message is brought to you by…




Sleeping in.

Stretch pants.

Super Smash Brothers.


I turned in my last paper at 2:30 on Monday and left my last work shift at 4:00.

Yesterday, I baked cookies, read To Kill A Mockingbird, and let friends Colleen and Caleb make me tacos and pour me tequila.

Today, I’m not leaving the apartment.

Tomorrow I’ll run some errands and get things ready to go.

On Friday, we drive!

On Friday, it’s Christmas Eve!

On Friday, it’s Michigan!

Oh, family and friends and haircuts and love and stuff,

for 16 sweet, sweet days.


December 14, 2010

wrapping it up

I’m not really sure what happened this semester.

Things are finally slowing down. I have done all the substantial writing and researching that needs to be done for the semester, and I even have a grade: a B+! My first B of grad school. How precious.

I still have a little catch-up work to do, but it’s manageable. About 3 reasonable days worth of work to do over the course of a week, I’d say. Nothing to panic over. And then I’m DONE done DONE with school work until the 24th of January.

But the last month or so has been rough rough ROUGH and I really can’t figure out what happened.

Option #1: This Semester Was A Failed Experiment

For whatever reason, I am capable of keeping it together while taking 3 courses and working 20 hours a week, but I am not capable of keeping it together while taking 2 courses and working 30 hours a week.

Maybe there’s just something about being out of the house those extra 7 hours of the week that throws my routine out of whack.

I know my body has been hurting: I’ve become a slave to the IcyHot patch this semester. After awkwardly helping me apply one in the restroom at CVS before hopping back in the car for a few hours, Lance asked, innocently, if there was something OTHER than an IcyHot patch that fixed my shoulder (and, therefore, my migraines) more permanently. I laughed at him, just because of the way he phrased his sentence. No, there wasn’t anything that I was aware of, otherwise, my shoulder would be permanently fixed, right?

He got a little indignant. Rightfully so. So I clarified. The only thing that really helps when I’m stuck in a cycle of pain is having some time off, a few days where I can sleep in past 7 a.m. and remain reclined for the majority of the day.

This semester, I was rarely granted two consecutive days off… and then there were the ever popular Twelve Hour Thursdays!

Anyway, so if my schedule is keeping me in a fairly consistently headached state, and those headaches are keeping me from functioning at my peak, then maybe my schedule is ultimately responsible for making me craz

But, I don’t really buy that. I’m young. I’m adaptable. 7 more hours out of the house every week is NOT that much, really.

So, there’s Option #2: This Semester Got Off To A Bad Start And Snowballed Downhill From There

I wrote about how much simultaneously starting the semester and moving into a new apartment threw me for a loop. I’m not going to blame the move in theory – especially because it’s likely that we will have to move again next year – but there was something about that perfect storm of stress, heat, and work that I never quite recovered from.

Things that I threw from cardboard box to shelf on September 3 are still laying where they fell. I unpacked our last taped box two weeks ago, but there’s still an opened box full of miscellaneous crap that needs attending to. It sits on the floor of my bedroom, taunting me.

Like I mentioned before, I’m not sure I’ve had two consecutive days off this semester, and especially not two consecutive days off without homework. Maybe I just never had the mental space to clear house after the summer ended. And it’s not like my summer was a walk in the park either… but let’s not trace my neurosis back that far if we can avoid it.

Anyway, this isn’t a bad theory, really. There’s hope for next semester – my winter break is overwhelming me with it’s Expanse of Nothing-ful Days, and even if I have to move next semester, we can learn from our mistakes and ask for a few days off work to recover from the chaos properly.

But then, when I REALLY look at what I accomplished this semester, I start to feel a little weird.

Option #3: This Semester Was A Bit Busy, But It All Turned Out Better Than Average

I did have quite a few successes this semester that I never bothered to appreciate or chronicle properly.

Academically, things weren’t the best, but they weren’t so bad.

  • A B+ is still a fine grade. If I get a B+ in my second class, that will be a fine grade, too.
  • I completed most of the reading for most of my classes.
  • I turned in all of my assignments on time.
  • I had 100% attendance.

Job-wise, I held it up.

  • I remembered to be in the places I needed to be at the times I needed to be in them.
  • I was able to answer a majority of my Reference questions promptly and accurately.
  • I completed a number of tasks at both jobs.

I was social-enough, by my standards.

  • I attended two school-friends parties.
  • I frequented a handful of bars.
  • I chatted with my friends and family via phone with regularity.
  • I went to two Christmas parties.

Personally, things felt bad, but objectively, they looked okay.

  • I ran 3 times a week between October 1 and Thanksgiving.
  • I spent quite a bit of time petting and cuddling my newly-affectionate kitty.
  • Our budget turned out okay, even though Lance had a smaller paycheck this school year.
  • I cooked a lot of yummy, healthy meals and only had to eat lunch at the salad bar a few times.
  • I read a few books for fun, listened to some good music, and kept up with a few decent television shows.
  • Most of the time, I got 8 hours of sleep.

So maybe things were fine. But they didn’t FEEL fine.

Option #4: There Is Something Wrong With You Because You Felt Miserable This Semester

I don’t like that option either.

But I’m assuming they are all true.

And I’m hoping that with

1) Organization and Strategy

2) Some Time Off

3) Limiting the Busy-ness and Focusing on Being Freaking Positive Already


4) Pretending I’m Somewhat of a Mental Patient Who Needs All The Help She Can Get,

that nobody will have to scrape me up from the floor of

Spring Semester.





December 10, 2010

NaNoWriMo Diaries: Day 40

Date: December 10, 2010

Day: 40

Goal Word Count: 50,000 (and then some)

Current Word Count: 25,016

Progress Report:

NaNoWriMo, you have bested me yet again.

Last time I checked in, I was crawling out of the cave of paper-writing – I was behind on my wordcount, fatigued, and oh guess what: there were MORE papers waiting for me!

Sometime during that week, I decided that spending a few hours a day with a novel that sucked pretty bad was just taking my time away from doing other more important things, like homework, like reading, like regaining my sanity.

So I gave it up.

And I’m totally cool with that.


I’m thinking that even though I have given up, again, I will still champion you, NaNoWriMo. You have a lot of detractors out there, but screw ’em all. I still remember the first time – the adrenaline, the words flying off my fingers, the stories unrolling at my finger tips, and I think that can happen again for me. And yes, I could decide that next month is the month for me, but there’s also something great about being part of a novel-writing team, about updating your little wordcount thingamawhatsies and seeing, quantitatively, where you’ve been and where you need to be.

That magic can happen. It will happen again, for me, and it will  happen in November.

I just couldn’t see it out this time.

I gave up on you this time, but I won’t give up on you forever.

Feeling: Satisfied

Moody Author Photo:

Until we meet again…

Day 2

Day 9

Day 16


December 9, 2010

strange things are happening to me

1. I just realized that in 2011, my youngest sister will get her driver’s license.

2. The judges kicked off the flippin’ Whiffenpoofs last night!

!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

I am majorly offended and am considering retracting my previously pronounced love for The Stupid Sing Off.

I reacted by impulse-buying their latest CD on iTunes.

Which was probably not the best idea for my finances, and reinforced my indignation.

Bah humbug!


3. I finished reading a book yesterday that left me with that “No, no, no this CAN’T be the last page! Let me savor you a little longer!” feeling.

I’d forgotten about this book, and I’d forgotten about that feeling.


4. This morning, I ran out of money for Christmas shopping.

My bank account isn’t at zero, but 69 dollars will not go particularly far when I still have gifts to purchase for Dad, Best Friend, and Boy friend. Not to mention my weekly intake of caffeinated beverages, impulse purchases of mp3s, and the fact that payday is still a week away.

I started to brainstorm: baked goods, combined birthday/Christmas gifts, praying to the USPS gods to send me my replacement credit cards posthaste, an offer to Clean My Dad’s Car (he seems to like this better than presents).

My mind wandered. “Is there anyone who owes me money?” I thought. “Am I waiting on any checks that I’ve forgotten about?”

This was silly, obviously. There are Christmas checks from the Grandparents to look forward to, but no guarantee they’ll be here in time to shop, and what’s sadder than spending your own Christmas gift buying presents for other people?

I sighed.

And then three hours later, remembered that yes, somebody does owe me money. Somebody owes me A THOUSAND DOLLARS and if I don’t get it by the end of next week, shit’s going DOWN!

(Somebody = my school. I’m not a loan shark, people!)

When does that happen? Ever?

December 8, 2010

not-so-guilty television

Are you watching The Sing Off on NBC?

You should be.

1. Nick Lachey is the world’s worst host. He’s like a Ryan Seacrest wannabe whose main talent is showing off his freshly-bleached smile and reading awkwardly from cue cards.

2. That chick from the Pussycat Dolls is the world’s worst judge. Here is a bit of musical assessment I committed to memory from Monday’s show:

You guys. You guys are touching the real thing. You guys are the real thing. You give me chills. You are the bomb.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t quite verbatim. But she makes Paula Abdul look like a freaking musical scholar.

3. Every group gets these ridiculous matchy-matchy outfits that are really atrocious but I really kind of love anyway.

So by this description, this sounds like yet another edition of Jessica’s Guilty Television habits. Equal parts awful & awesome.





I really do love a cappella music, down to my bones. It’s just so fun and lively and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to listen to. I love hearing the lyrics to songs I thought I knew, and I love discovering great songs of all genres that I would probably never listen to if I hadn’t heard it first, a cappella. Most good a cappella groups have a sense of humor, too, and my love for comedy songs cannot be understated.

And even though it’s silly and campy,¬† you do have to pack some serious talent to have it all sound good and not like a big train wreck of crap. I sang a cappella for two years or so in college and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s a rush to perform and to listen to.

Oh, and Ben Folds is a host, effectively doubling any previously established awesome.

Anyway, the show is basically American Idol for a cappella groups of all sorts. It’s a short run – only 5 episodes – and groups are eliminated each night.

I’m rooting for On the Rox from University of Oregon, because they are really energetic and so far, have really interesting arrangements.

And, The Whiffenpoofs from Yale. Because even though they are pretty cocky “We Invented A Cappella” dudes, they have the right to be!

So despite Nick Lachey’s complete lack of charisma, I am tuning in and loving it.

December 7, 2010

Wish List 2010

Last year my Imaginary Christmas List turned out to be pretty real. So maybe I’ll make that kind of magic happen again this year?

Alright, I still want one of these from Margaret and Walter even though I haven’t figured out what I will use it for, even after a year.

And since I lost my wallet, I really do need a replacement. Why not something adorable?

My qualm: this is obviously too cute and I will destroy it. Gussy, would you consider sewing up some little purses for us who abuse our purses and handbags? Something in canvas, perhaps? P.S. I don’t think we met, but we went to college together. I figured this out by recognizing a picture of your husband on your blog. Awkward/Amazing. Fire up Chips!

Aaaaaand anyone want to buy me these?

No takers? Nobody? Ignore the price tag: I assure you, I’m worth it.

I’m asking my parents for a lunchbox. I am lame.

The Amazon Wishlist has been properly updated. Maybe I’ll see a few of these under the tree.

And… well… I’m currently iPod-less. Which is a sad state to be in.

I wouldn’t be opposed to an upgrade, if anyone was feeling particularly generous.


But I’m totally satisfied with a good old mini. I promise!

And with that list, I thought I found every last thing I could ever want. I really did. But then I chanced upon the Shabby Apple jewelry page.

Want. Want. Want.

Especially that one in the middle.

They texted me a coupon code, in case anyone’s secretly shopping for me *cough* Lance *cough*. Just enter “sparkle” when you check out.

If you want to, that is.

No pressure.

I mean, surely I will buy YOU something nice, too.

Although I don’t know what, exactly, that is yet…

December 5, 2010

i’m thinking about what’s worth thinking about

Things are quieting down, just like I’d hoped they would. I shouldn’t have to get up at 6:00 a.m. any more to pay Starbucks $4.15 for the honor of studying at her tables before work. I shouldn’t have to stay up past my bedtime. I shouldn’t have to skip showers or meals. I don’t think so, anyway.

This week feels like such a different life than last week, just because I have the divine luxury of DOING ONE ASSIGNMENT AT A TIME, and the right to READ WHATEVER I DAMN WELL PLEASE, WRITTEN DURING WHATEVER CENTURY I PREFER.

Heaven help me when, in sixteen short days,

I have seventy-two hours of NOTHING TO DO.

what does that feel like again?

I’m enjoying this One Paper At A Time lifestyle enough as it is.

Family, I might not make it home for Christmas because it’s possible that on December 22nd, I will go into a coma.

And until then,

I’ll be laying low,

dreaming coma dreams.