Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Demons I Love

I love to read so, so much, but it's kind of a problem when I do. If I find a good book, I don't want to stop. Actually, I don't stop. Two days ago I found a new young adult book of about 400 pages. I finished it last night. Sigh. So yay for reading, but boo for my speed reading ways. But because of them, conversations like this occur:

ME: I finished my book last night.
MOM:That's great! That means you don't have to pack it, and your bag will be lighter!
ME:No, I'm taking it with me so I can read it again.

Seriously, this happens with everything. Books. TV shows. Songs. I find something new, I get so excited about it, I speed through it and then have to read/watch/listen to them again. It's not bad, and all through school I really appreciated my speed reading skillz, but it does lead to me carting around quit a few 300-400 page books.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

All Forms of Comfort

One of my favorite memories of my Dad is of us coming back from a choir concert. I started feeling sick about halfway home, but didn't say anything. Just as we were literally pulling into our driveway, I leaned over the side of our van and dismissed everything from my stomach (and so began my lifelong aversion to pretzels, but that's another story). My Dad parks the car, turns toward me, and calmly asks: "You couldn't have waited ten more seconds?"

That was my Dad, always making me smile at the best and worst moments. My Mom took me inside and helped me clean up, and then my Dad came inside from cleaning up the car, and what does he say? He gives an entire list of what had once been in my stomach. Sigh. Facepalm.

It was a long night, and my Mom had work in the morning, so my Dad took care of me and eventually moved me into his bed when mine was no longer available for really disgusting reasons. I know I was miserable all night and probably didn't get any sleep, but I don't remember that. What I do remember is my Dad staying up, playing games with me, always making me forget the bad parts.

I've been under the weather all week long for a different reason, but miserable all the same. On one particularly bad night I couldn't sleep, or breathe really, so I got out of bed and began pacing the house. After my first walk-around I heard one of my cats jump down from her place on the couch and then felt her brush up against my leg. I turned toward my bedroom and my cat followed me. She probably thought we were going to lie down so she could sit on me, her favorite pass time.

But alas, when I made it to my bedroom door I turned back around and went for another walk. Confused, she followed me step for step. I almost felt bad for leading her on, but I have to laugh at the picture we must have made. I paced that first floor about five times, and she echoed my steps on every turn. Girl and Cat, keeping pace at 4 in the morning. Love, you save the empty.

Goodnight my Angel, time to close your eyes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Being woken up by a text from someone that will always confuse you and lead you around in circles and never let you go back to sleep is never fun. All you can do in response to something like this is pull the bowl for tea off the shelf, research literary agents, and blast some girl impowering Avril Lavigne.

Life has loveliness to sell...
Eyes that love you, arms that hold
-Barter, by Sara Teasdale

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ask and Ye shall receive

Suite Besty: How are you?
Me: I really need a big bar of chocolate right about now.
Suite Besty: (thinks about it for a second, and then turns toward her desk. When she turns back to me, she holds in her hand a giant milk chocolate Godiva bar) Here!

Because of the sheer amount of grading and book hauling I've done today I was unable to properly express my joy and devotion. But my face pretty much looked like this:

O_O and then ^_^ and inside I was feeling \o/

This is how friends help friends get through 10th week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

10th Week and Meltdowns with Fro Yo

The College I work for is on a quarter system, and we have ten weeks in a quarter. It doesn't have to be, but this is most typically known as the week to A) study for finals B) massively pack up everything and stuff it in your closet C) Panic D) All of the above, often all at the same time

Now that I've graduated and work here instead of go here, I find the list to be slightly different. Instead of taking finals, I GRADE and MAKE the finals. All those papers we hated writing and all those essays we hated studying for? Yup, you guessed it, it's now my job to grade and mark and read these oh so wonderful educational tools.

I don't mind, but it can be stressful. To combat the stress, I've tried, in the weekends before 10th week, to relax as much as possible. They're awesome plans, often involving lots of sleep and covers tucked in tight and bowls of tea at the ready. Last quarter's weekend before plan got derailed for reasons I shall not go into, but I made up for it by planning to go see Harry Potter 7.1 with Suite Besty and Cool Sis at midnight.

THIS was an AWESOME PLAN. We had real food for dinner, and then went for fro yo before the movie. I was so happy to not be grading papers for these few hours, it was glorious. What I didn't count on was the exhaustion, stress, and general unhappiness that had been the last week and truthfully the last several weeks to catch up to me in one explosive mental breakdown that had me crying over my fro yo and in front of Suite Besty and Cool Sis. SIGH. Let me recap:

HP7 was on thursday/Friday at midnight. So I'd made it through the entirety of 10th week with little sleep, much, much tea, massive packing, and not a little stress. I was also dealing with another terrible situation in my life that was taking up a lot of my mental reserves. (I know I sound whiny, bear with me and we'll get to the funny)

Enter HP7, the night and plan I had been waiting for. Like I said, we went to dinner and then fro yo. I'd never been to fro yo before, and let me tell you, for someone whose favorite color of all time is pink, I had just entered heaven and/or nirvana. The chairs were pink. The WALLS were pinks. It was AMAZING. Then there was the actual fro yo with real fruit and candy. Sensory overload, I thank you. We sit down, start to eat, and I realize that this is the happiest I've been in five weeks. Enter emotional breakdown in which I tear up over frozen yogurt. Poor Suite Besty and Cool Sis had no idea what to do with this, so they embraced me and pushed me to enjoy my fro yo and the pink that surrounded us. We finished and went to see HP7.

(Suite Besty and I at HP7. Notice the stack of papers and the red pen in my hand, and please disregard/ignore the deep bags under both/mostly my eyes)

It was one of the best nights ever, despite the breakdown over fro yo, and I survived 10th week mostly in tact.

This quarter's weekend before 10th week went swimingly on Friday and Saturday, and kind of crashed and burned on Sunday afternoon/night. That thing that was bothering and ultimately led to the now infamous fro yo breakdown of 2010 came back in one fell swoop. But, like before, Suite Besty was there to pick up the pieces, and we ended the night not with HP7 and fro yo, but with kettle corn for her, tuna with green curry for me, and some good old fashioned Boy Meets World reruns. A meltdown has not occurred, nor will it in the days to come this winter quarter 10th week.

'This time baby, I'll be bulletproof'

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Anorexic Fish

Suite Besty and Cool Sis are out of town this weekend, so I agreed to feed Cool Sis's Fish. I have no problem with this whatsoever, but it has certainly been an adventure every time I've done it in the past two days. Fish needs to be fed twice a day; easy to do, I just walk over after lunch and dinner. The adventure always comes with the walk to and from.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Suite Besty gave me her key to Cool Sis's. I walk over, place key in lock, turn, hear lock unlock, door will not open. I try again. And again. And Again. Text Suite Besty and Cool Sis and hope they won't kill me for the now possible accidental murder of Fish. Leave in defeat with prayers for Fish and a peaceful resolution. (too much West Wing, anyone?)

FRIDAY NIGHT: Both Cool Sis and Suite Besty assure me it's okay that Fish skip a meal and give me further instructions on how to manhandle the door into letting me in. Dinner closes at 7 on Fridays, and I was working until about 6. Then it started raining. And thundering, with much lightning. 'Is food really worth it?' I ask myself. I think of poor Fish and reluctantly pull on the pink rain boots. (and if you know me at all, you know that the fact that they were pink made it easier and a much happier experience) It's now 6:40. Twenty minutes to walk to Cool Sis's, feed Fish, and walk back and get dinner. Sounds easy when the walk isn't five minutes each way. and if you're not in a thunderstorm. But Fish needed me, so off I went. On my way there, pink umbrella firmly above my head. I get a text from Hawaiian Beauty. Hawaiian Beauty is one of my best friends, and as you can probably guess, lives in Hawaii. She's ALWAYS working, so as a result of this, and also the fact that I love speaking with her, I opened the text. Conversation goes something like this:

HB: How are you? What's happening?
ME: Oh, not too much. Walking through a mild thunderstorm to go feed a fish and make it back in time for dinner. You?
HB: What? That's highly unusual.
ME: I find it to be unusual as well. Oh yay the wind's picking up.
HB: Weird things are happening to you right now..did you fall down the rabbit hole?

At this point I had made it to Cool Sis's unharmed and, with my new instructions on how to actually get INSIDE, I made it past the door. As per instructions, I was to feed Fish one pellet at a time. I glanced at my watch, so that I had about thirteen minutes before dinner would close, so I could just feed Fish and be on my way. Easy. WRONG. I shake one pellet out and drop it in the bowl. Fish swims around it, to it, under it, behind it, and then FINALLY comes toward it and eats it. And promptly spits it back out again. SIGH. and FACE PALM. This is where I returned to the conversations with Hawaiian Beauty:

ME: Fish doesn't want to eat! He spits his food back out! Anorexic Fish that I walked a mile in the rain for!
HB: Crazy.

I placed a few more pellets in Fish's bowl, and hurried on my way to dinner. I made it with five minutes to spare, having dodged lightning, five cars trying to KILL me, and much rain. Was I successful? Nope. But did I have an adventure? Yup.

Fear not though, I went over to Cool Sis's again today and Fish actually ate. The anorexia/bulimia of Fish seems to be mild and an on-again, off-again deal.

And so ends the companionship of LC and Fish. For now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

P.S. That's also probably why it took me two weeks to write the last chapter/epilogue of my book.

FInale feelings

When I was little, maybe two or three, my favorite movie was the Land Before Time. I don't remember this at all, but my family tells a story about how every time the movie ended and the credits rolled, I'd start to cry. Apparently I was inconsolable. The fam finally figured out that if they turned the movie off before the credits appeared, I would be fine. No fuss, no muss. Who knows what three-year-old me was thinking, or how I justified in my tiny little mind that if the credits didn't roll, Littlefoot and Ducky would still be living out their adventures, free of an ending.

As I said before, I don't remember this at all. I've watched hundreds of movies since then, and my mother doesn't make a mad dash for the tissues every time I come to the end, but this particular quirk of mine has come out every now and then. I'm a television addict. I've said it before, I'll probably say it again. Movie endings don't faze me, but give me a T.V. series finale and you'll find me crying or curled up like the small child I used to be.

Let me justify myself and make it seem like I'm not such an infant by saying this only happens the FIRST time I watch a finale. Every other rewatch the crying only happens internally. Example?

I'm on a West Wing kick right now, and I've been watching it from start to finish.

I started two weeks ago, I've got a job and I'm writing a book. How far into it do you think I am? There are seven seasons, I'm on number five right now. Whoops? Good on me? Who knows at this point, but I digress.

Last night I got the urge to watch the last season, because there are a lot of things that I love about it. But with each new episode, and with each new disk, I found myself dreading the ending. Dread may not be the right word. Sadness was welling up inside me. My favorite characters and a world that I loved was quickly coming to the end of their era. I pulled the covers in more tightly and hugged my stuffed penguin to my side, hoping the end wouldn't come. It did, it always does, but as my feelings became more and more tumultuous, I decided to try a little trick. Before the last scene I ejected the disk. I've seen the ending, I know it still happens, but in this instance, out of sight out of mind really worked. My characters were still in office, the President wasn't ending his eight year term! If I didn't see it, the end didn't have to come!

As I sat there thinking about this awesome magic trick I'd played on myself, I realized that I've done this before. Many times, actually, without realizing it.

Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles (Don't judge me, you'd like it if you watched it):Took the last two disks of season two off my netflix list because I couldn't bear to see the bad ending.
The Tudors: stopped watching as soon as trouble with Henry and Anne was leading straight to the scaffold.
Alias, Battlestar Galactica, The Lord of the Rings (movie, I know), season five of NCIS, etc. etc.

Turn it off, the end doesn't have to come. No crying, inside or out. So what does this say about me? I don't know, but one thing's for sure, the three-year-old in me is grateful she doesn't have to watch the credits roll.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

bowling for tea

For my birthday my Mom got me a tea mug that is literally bowl sized. I freely admit that I'm addicted to English Breakfast tea. I don't drink coffee, and you can get me to drink another kind of tea only, and I mean only, if EB isn't an option. My sister calls me the tea snob, which I suppose I am. But hey, if I can't live in England, than this is my next best option at the moment.

But to come back from the rambling, and back to the bowl of tea. This mug is huge, it holds two normal cups of tea, and I have no problem drinking it all. I don't drink it for the caffein, mostly because I don't need it but also because there's so little in tea that it wouldn't matter anyway. I just like the tea. Tuesdays are my most stressful work days. I have a full day of work and I end with helping with three hours of class that ends at 10p.m.

Suite Besty was on a one day trip to chi-town, so when girl talk was out, all hope fell to the little pink bag that housed my tea.
I was so busy I didn't really think about it, and didn't sit down to count how many times I pulled the bowl down from the shelf until late last night. But here's the total I came to:

Woke up in the morning: put on contacts and clothes and before I check my work email? TEA.
Worked all morning, got lunch to go, after lunch before diving back into work? TEA
Work, dinner, and then three hour class followed by? TEA

At 11:30 or so I'm sitting on my bed, finishing the last bowl of tea, and suddenly, I count. Two cups of tea=one bowl. I have had three bowls today. So that means I've had.....six cups of tea today? O_o

Not sure this is what my Mom had in mind when she gave it to me. But hey, knowing me, maybe she did.

'Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack' My Jack beats yours, Ke$sha