Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh, and?

My step-dad got laid off yesterday. From a company he has worked for for over 40 years. 9 months before he is eligible for full retirement.


Project Good Attitude is putting me through the ringer this week.

The good news is that my step-dad hated his job and it is clear that the company is becoming more and more evil and incompetent, so it is probably good for is soul to get away from them anyway. And if my parents stick to a budget they will be okay.

As my mom just said on the phone to me, "Well, as soon as we can stop feeling like we've been fucked in the ass when we weren't in the mood for it, I think we'll be okay."*

I'm off to gorge myself on homemade chocolate chip cookies and wine.**I promise not to be such a Bad News Betty Sad Sack next week. No more sympathy baiting from me, I promise. I may even write a post that is about marriage (will wonders never cease).

*Clearly, I get my tact from my mother
**Homemade by ME! I cooked twice this week y'all. Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup and cookies.
***Image from here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


My step-mom's Leukemia is back.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm so screwed, you guys.

Some study just found out that feeling guilty is actually physically bad for you - in that it makes you have a weaker immune system.

I am totally going to die young. And probably feel guilty about it.

A link to a brief overview of the details (and some other ranty stuff) here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Yes, I realize it is the end of January. I'm slow.

I don't normally do resolutions, although a few years ago I did resolve to stop being an angry drunk. Judging from this Friday night I'd have to say that that, uh, hasn't always worked out. But I am better.

At the end of last semester I began to notice some things about myself that I want to work on, and I've begun to think of a few goals I have for myself. I don't necessarily consider them resolutions, but I do feel that if I write them down here then I will be more likely to actually work towards achieving them. So here goes:

1. Work on my Attention to Detail.

This is a biggie - as the semester wound down I got an embarrassing note on a paper about my grammatical mistakes and comma use. I have also looked like a jackass to my employers on several occasions because I wasn't paying close enough attention to little details (that ended up being important). Since I will be submitting approximately 10,000 resumes and cover letters in the upcoming months, Attention to Detail sounds like a fairly good thing to work on.

Note: I ordered a grammar book today, which should help with this resolution and with the next one, which is:

2. Improve this blog (and my writing in general).

Ever since I started this blog I have been embarrassed about the quality of my writing and plagued by the fear that I might be terminally boring. And yes, it was stupid for me to start a blog when I was in the last year of graduate school, but I am hoping that I will be able to spend some time making it more awesome by a) writing better, more interesting and more well constructed posts and b) making less typos due to my heightened attention to detail.

I am also going to work on being less self-conscious about the blog (can I do this while still trying to improve it? Hey, I'm not resolving to be less contradictory) because I think my writing has been stunted by worries about being interesting, "having a point" (pshaw), not saying something inflammatory, and/or any number of things I invent to worry about.

I am also hoping to have more photos. However, on our honeymoon there was An Incident Wherein the Camera Was Dropped, so this might be a little difficult.

Also - I should try and figure out how html coding works.

3. Continue with Project Good Attitude

The problem here is that I am funnier when I am pissed off and making fun of stuff. It is probably still worth it.

Finish my damn Wedding Graduate post for APW.

I actually wrote one and sent it in and then wrote Meg back begging for a second chance. When I wrote the first one I was under the influence of some serious family drama that overshadowed my feelings about the entire wedding. That was months ago. Writing a new one will help me to sort through some of those emotions and hopefully remind myself what an AWESOME FUCKING PARTY our wedding was. Plus I am vain and want to be on her website, duh.

Stop prefacing my opinions/assertions with self-deprecating comments.

Does that make sense? This is mainly something I notice myself and other women doing in class, but I have done it at work as well. I hate it. I should feel strong enough to own my opinions. Strong women FTW.

6. Go on dates with Hubs regularly (and have more sex).

No, Nest Magazine, this is not about you. This is about me wanting to go on dates and have sex. It is also about me possibly having a lighter workload this semester that will allow me to be home before 9:00 p.m., greatly enhancing the possibility for mid-week sexy time.

7. Cook dinner once a week.

Because I will be home before dinnertime twice a week. And because it is really, really sad that I don't know how to cook anything except for pasta and burritos.

8. Get a job earning $50,000

Maybe I am shallow, but I want this so bad. If I could earn what I consider to be a low-ball estimate of my market value, I would lose my freaking mind.

Develop a creative, musical outlet.

I know, I know, this is sort of a lot what with all the cooking, paying attention to details, job-applying, and husband-boning. But reach for the stars, right? I bought a mandolin on Craiglist a few years ago and was making some headway on it, but I haven't picked it up since I started graduate school. I'd like to start practicing again - I have dreams of being the first ever bluegrass/hip-hop female crossover artist by doing bad-ass acoustic versions of Mary J. Blige songs on the mandolin. It will be awesomer than it sounds.

I generally hate doing things I'm not already good at, so learning to play an instrument has never worked out for me. I want to trust myself to develop a hobby and work through the part where I suck at it and don't enjoy it. I might push this one back to the second half of the year, though. Once I have graduated and am waiting for the $50,000 job I should have plenty of time to practice the mandolin.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Apparently, we are Jewel fans

Me: I need to get more coffee, but I don't want to get up.

D$: How are you already done with your coffee?

Me: My mug is smaller than yours.

D$ (in falsetto, sings): My muuug is small I know, but it's not yours it is my owwwn.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Nest Strikes Again

All right, Nest Magazine.

Remember how I told you to leave me alone?

Well, you clearly haven't been listening, because your glossy ass showed up in my mailbox again this week. For someone who gives relationship advice, you could stand to work on your listening skills.

But, okay, Nest Magazine. Since I'm trying to have a better attitude and all, I figured I'd give you another shot. Not assume the worst, see what happens. And to be fair, you weren't as vomit-inducing as last time. I can always use a good roast chicken recipe, and no, I didn't know how to pick out a perfect pomegranate. That may have something to do with the fact that I don't really eat pomegranates, but whatever.

However, Nest Magazine, there was one thing I found to be particularly stupid. And that was your article on how to "Justify Having More Sex." And no, it wasn't just the poor-man's-Andy-Warhol-Banana illustration, although that was dumb. I know that subtly and originality aren't your skills, so I'm willing to let that slide.

Nor was it the "scientific" facts about how sex is good for me, even though...duh.

No, Nest Magazine, it was the entire gist of the article. I'm sorry, but have you really ever needed a reason to justify having more sex, Nest Magazine? Cause I certainly haven't.

Nope, I can't think of one single time when I thought to myself, "Boy, I could really use some sex right now. Yep, suuuure wish I could have me some sex. But I just can't think of a good enough reason."

Nest Magazine, clearly your priorities are all out of whack. Please work on this.



Friday, January 15, 2010

A pledge to read the printed word

I am a bookworm. A binge-reading, library-loving geek. I love books, magazines, cereal boxes, you name it. If it is printed on fibrous material and in front of me, I will read it.

When I read, I am dead to the world and frequently have to be shouted at in order to snap back to reality. One of my earliest memories is looking up from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe after "reading time" in kindergarten* and realizing that while I was lost in Narnia the rest of the class had moved on to an entirely different activity.

My first time in Senegal, re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude kept me afloat over the occasional chasms of isolation and loneliness.

And I have never, EVER sold back a single book from college. I have lugged, shipped, and driven my books across the country more than once, and I will likely do so many times more. Because books hold a value to me that I can't even fully explain, and selling a book feels like selling a part of my brain. What if I need that later? What if a girlfriend calls with a question about her nether regions and I don't have my copy of Women's Health and Reproduction to help us figure out the difference between herpes, warts, and harmless bumps?**

So I was thrilled when I heard that esb and cevd had launched their project pledging (and encouraging others to pledge) to read the printed word. And I am happy to add their banner to this blog. You can see it right over there on the right, looking all cute and studious.

*I realize it is sort of unbelievable that I was reading this book in kindergarten, and it is fully possible that it was 1st or 2nd grade, but I distinctly remember my kindergarten classroom. Feel free to disbelieve me - I would.

**Sure, the internet could help us with this, but have YOU looked up any STDs on the internet recently? Terrifying. Plus with a textbook you know it's legit...sort of.

I will be a terrible parent

Because I cannot wait - literally CAN. NOT. WAIT

For that moment when my kids are at that annoying stage where they talk incessantly (whyohwhy do they talk so much?) And I will calmly turn to them and say,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hear. Hear.

I did that terrible thing last night, where you start Facebook stalking someone who you sort of know and then decide that your life is totally meaningless? Am I the only person who does that? Long story short: This girl I know, who for the record seems like a very cool person, has apparently been traveling the world for a Foundation, making important videos of some kind in places like China, Kazakhstan, and Kenya, and looking at her photos made me feel like a speck of dust.

But then, because of APW of course, I read this on Offbeat Bride:

Time spent bitching could be time making yourself smarter and stronger and more awesome.

Exactly. More appropriate to my case would be "time spent feeling bad about myself and bitter about other people's successes." But also bitching. I do a lot of bitching.

A good reminder to keep myself working on Project Good Attitude.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fingers Crossed

Go, go, Gadget-Smart-People!

(It is perhaps a sad fact that, even though I am a policy student, I get most of my "news" from But it is a fact nonetheless).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Conversations at our house, Take 3

Scene: D$ and I are at the mall and D$ is figuring out if he can afford to buy an XBox and Rock Band with his Christmas money.

D$ (after a few minutes of silence): Sorry, I'm making wiring diagrams in my head.

Me: Umm....

D$: I think I need more speaker wire.

Me: There is no possible way you need more speaker wire. You have a box of speaker wire.

D$: You don't even know what you are talking about.

Later: I'm headed to Victoria's Secret to buy new bras for the first time in practially two years.

Me: The thing is, I can't go and try on bras with a cup of coffee in my hand.

D$: You try them on?

Me: YES!

D$: Oh. I thought it was just like...measurements.

Me: Wow.

D$: What?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ghosts of Awkward Selves Past

I was just looking through some old emails, and came across this hilarious little gem between D$ and I.

As background: this is from October 2005. I had just arrived in West Africa where I was to remain for 8-9 months. D$ and I had been dating for less than a year and had decided to be in an "open" relationship while I was gone, but he was coming to visit me for two weeks. Since arriving, I had been telling my host family and most friends that D$ was my fiance so it would be slightly less scandalous when he came to stay with me, and I sported a fake engagement band for most of the trip (until I lost it in the ocean. When I may or may not have been swimming with a person-of-sort-of-romantic-interest). I have NO idea what I am referring to here, but probably something that was said in the weekly 20-minute phone call that constituted all of our non e-mail interaction.

With no further ado, an awkward exerpt of an old email to my now-husband (I was typing on a French keyboard, so forgive the typos, please):

Hey, i'm sorry for teasing you about the ring/engagement thing. Its a weird think to joke about, or at least I think so, so i find myself not really sure what to say. But i dont want you to think that i was being negative for reals, or discouraging or whatever, or too encouraging or any of the above. its just not something I know how to joke about very well, and i dont want to send weird messages. just that i love you tons and plan on doing so for a long time, regardless of jewelry or real/fake engagements.

Heh. I can't believe we were making engagement jokes back then, even though we were fake-engaged for the purposes of seemliness. And I am completely entertained, and sort of horrified, by what a wishy-washy boob I was being. It reminds me of the years after we had moved in together but before we got engaged, when any conversation about the future was hedged in awkward disclaimers.

A terrible Christmas mistake!

Okay, not really.

But the thing is, I am terrible at buying D$ presents. Mostly because he desires complicated electronics that I cannot afford, or awesome kitchen stuff that I feel bad buying as gifts because they really benefit me just as much as him. And I've already bought him a pastry cutter and a stick blender as presents and one can only get so much kitchen equipment as presents. I've also-exhausted the list of physics-related paraphanelia out there (D$ is the proud owner of a hammer-and-sickle-adorned "PHYSICS!" apron, and a Joseph LeGrange clock).

So I capitulated to convenience. D$' s whole family swears by Amazon Wish Lists (he says this is so they don't have to talk to each other. Which is sorta true). And since I was low on money and motivation I got him something off his wish list, but for some dumb reason Amazon didn't take it off the list and his mom got him the exact same present! That's right folks, we haven't even been married a year and I am buying him the same stuff that is mom is buying him. Please pray for us.his mom got him the exact same present! That's right folks, we haven't even been married a year and I am buying him the same stuff that is mom is buying him. Please pray for us.

That isn't even the terrible mistake, though. The present is actually okay. What I got him has a little something to do with this:

That's right: The New Super Mario Brothers for Wii. I don't generally give two craps about video games, but I have logged many an hour watching my siblings play Super Mario Bros. And due to it's general cuteness and total lack of prostitute-killing or semi-automatic weapons, I am sort of a fan. I don't mind watching other people play, and can even be convinced to play every once in a while. (Full Disclosure: I also have an unhealthy love of the sound that is made when Mario goes down a tube. And I secretly want a Yoshi that I can ride around town).

So the video game isn't the terrible mistake. The terrible mistake is that I didn't get him THIS:

ROCK BAND FOR Wii! Guys, how am I the last to know about how rad this game is? Why didn't anyone tell me? I know, I know, I am about a hundred years behind. I mean, sure, I heard about it, but I didn't really think very much about it. Because, as I said, I don't care about video games. But this has a DRUM SET! THAT I CAN HIT! How did I not know?

Needless to say: a friend of ours recently aquired Rock Band and had us over to play, and I realized that if I had this game I could live out all of my Janet Weiss fantasies ANYTIME I WANT. That, and, you know, actually play a game with D$ that doesn't involve pegging* or domino tiles.

So the drum set might not fit in our living room, so what? So I have tuition to pay for, so what? I'm officially saving money for this baby, as of now. Either that or a real drum pad.

Images from here and here.

*Is pegging something dirty? Did I accidentally just say something really dirty? It sounds like it might secretly mean something dirty. Just in case: I am talking about CRIBBAGE here, people.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


A brief list of things things I hate about not being on vacation anymore:
  1. Writing Cover Letters
  2. Having to be nice to D$ when he edits said cover letters
  3. Not being able to drink in the middle of the day.
  4. Cat hair. EVERYWHERE.
  5. Consistently failing to get up on time to exercise and then feeling guilty all day
  6. More guilt, based on the fact that it is 11:26 a.m. on the SECOND day I am supposed to be working, and I have yet to do any work, preferring instead to read blogs, pretend to write cover letters, and internet-shop.
  7. Realizing what an arse I am for being ungrateful about a job that allows me to work at home, in my PJs, with my husband (who I am currently annoyed at for editing my cover letters, which is totally unfair because he is doing so out of kindness. A fact that renders me even MORE of an arse-head).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting back to things

I'm back in Minnesota. Hopefully, like my parents in this photo, I will soon have emerged from the dank tunnel of accumulated end-of-vacation tasks to be back with you in blog-land.