Friday, August 31, 2012

317. Stress.

Things are difficult. I don't want to complain at all, because I LOVE school.
It's just the thing is,

     mentally taxing full time job
+  8 college credit hours
+  test monday
+  unexpected house guest 
+  being on call for the demanding job
+  algebra is fucking hard
_______________________________
STRESS. So much STRESS.

I spent approximately 4 1/2 hours on math homework tonight. My guest is wonderful and lovely and I want to hang out with her, but she is inviting me to things like weddings and rehearsal dinners for some person I have never met in my life. I told my parents I would visit on Sunday. I have to take a test on Monday and I am not prepared because College Algebra is much more advanced and time consuming than I would have guessed having prepared myself extensively over the past two semesters for it. You cannot cram when trying to learn a language, and math is definitely a language. I am seriously panicking, and at the center of it all, I miss my boyfriend more than I can possibly describe because even though we sleep in the same bed, that is literally all we see of each other lately.

Tonight I finished my homework and went to meet him and his parents at the haunted mansion where he performs dinner theater, because he asked me to come. I thought we would get drinks after the show, but instead, his parents were ready to leave. I left and went to the grocery store, where I purchased a 6 piece fried chicken and a bottle of chardonnay. I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but apparently I have developed a very specific association between math-related stress and Schnucks' fried chicken. Upon my return home, I devoured three pieces of the chicken like a Tyrannosaurus Rex who has been handed three free goats, proceeded to pace like a mental patient, and broke down sobbing as soon as the Wizard got home.

I'm so embarrassed.
You should see all the made-from-scratch America's Test Kitchen brownies I just devoured.
Tomorrow morning I run.
I will run until everything is sane again.

Also, this helps...it's been stuck in my head all day. And without ever saying anything, the Wizard just started singing it to me. Sometimes I think he knows more than he lets on.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

316. To Whom It May Concern

The following is the transcript of an email I just sent to the dean of the business department at my college, who I believe oversees subjects such as Principles of Macroeconomics. I don't mean to imply in this email that I am somehow aggressively out to attack Christianity, because I'm not. Though I don't fall in perfect alignment with Christian beliefs, I do have a lot of overlap in how I feel about God and the universe as a whole. What I am adverse to is people who attempt to impress their beliefs and opinions upon everyone around them, particularly in situations that should be neutral to any and all indoctrination (such as state-run community college).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hello,

I'm not certain that you are the correct person to address this question, but I would like to make a comment about the required textbook used for Principles of Macroeconomics with Bernard Weinrich. The book is Principles of Macroeconomics, by Fred Gottheil.

The issue I have with the text is that this is supposed to be a social science course, yet chapter one makes extensive reference to the Bible and the creation story from Genesis. I sincerely understand the use of metaphor to prove a point, but this particular book crosses a very solid line between using religion as a metaphor and stating a religious belief as fact. The section I take particular issue with is page 5, in which the text is using Adam and Eve as an example for the human condition of insatiable want, and states, "We inherited their genes." I don't believe that there is any specific evidence that I inherited Adam and Eve's genes, or that Adam and Eve themselves were real people rather than parable.

Up until I read that sentence, I found the reference unnecessary, but accepted it as being this author's frame of mind or reference. That sentence, however, takes the text to a place of alienation for any student who is not a Christian. I don't want to deny anyone their right to believe what they believe, but I do have a problem with a college textbook at a state school which attempts to tell me that the book of Genesis is fact. There is little scientific evidence to support the idea that The Bible should be interpreted as any more factual or historically accurate than Homer's Odyssey or Jim Davis' Garfield At Large.

Please let me know if you are not the correct party to address this concern, as I would like to hear STLCC's official opinion on the matter.

Sincerely,
E____ G_____

315. Saturday: A Recap

Woke up early for my first 8am Yoga II class.
Listened to my teacher go over the syllabus for 20 minutes before sending us home. The drive round-trip was 40 minutes.
Went grocery shopping dressed exactly like a college student; unshowered, no makeup, in yoga garb.
Returned home to find the cat had attempted to destroy my two best okra plants by using their container as a dirt toilet. He managed to dig a surprisingly deep hole in the center of the pot, nearly snapped one stalk in half, and succeeded in turning his white coat a mottled shade of Miracle-Gro Brown.
Salvaged the plants to the best of my ability.
Stuffed the perpetrator into the bathtub and scrubbed him white again.
Bathed the dog too, just for good measure.
Spent another half hour mopping up the puddles and laundering the creature towels.
Chopped up a pineapple with the intention of making Hawaiian waffles.
Received phone call from the Wizard that he would not be finished at the car shop anytime soon, and that I should just come meet him for lunch.
Showered, finally.
Split a Margharita pizza and spinach salad with the Wizard at a really strange place called Manhattan Cafe. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Manhattan. Mostly it resembled a knock-off Steak n Shake, with a million different Elvis albums littering the walls. Our server was a girl named Pickles. The food was surprisingly decent.
Returned home and spent the next 7 hours doing homework. I am still not finished, and anticipate tomorrow will be about the same.
Dashed to the corner store for wine just before they closed, and nerded out with the store owner.
Returned home to find that the dog had been on the prowl again, this time destroying my box of Cheez-Its. Destroy might be misleading...exploded might be more appropriate. It was as if he ran from one end of the house shaking the bag and spraying orange crumbs in every direction.
Stuffed the dog in the bathroom where he could do no further harm, and went jogging during a lucky window between the rains. I ran almost 2 miles without stopping or having to struggle. This seems pathetic considering how long I've been running, but it's probably the farthest I've gone without a walk break since I changed the way I run a few months ago. Maybe only two months ago, I'm not sure anymore. Days sort of run together when you're clipping along being busy and productive. I'm up to running 3-4 times a week again, which I haven't done in probably two years, and even if I'm not running as far as I'd like yet, I see that as significant progress.
Returned home feeling much less agitated. Showered and then swept the entire house.
And now, FINALLY, it is time for some wine.
Sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2012

314. Fall Semester, Day 1.

Ask me what song I have stuck in my head all day on the first day of any semester, and I will sing to you in my best Adam Sandler voice, "Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool". The man is a master of modern prose. Truly.

And I am GIDDY with excitement and nervousness and terror for the four months that lay before me.

There was a brief last minute debacle when two of my three classes were cancelled one week before the start of the semester, but somehow I came out of the affair better off than I was before. My online math class with a very poorly rated professor has been replaced by an online math class with a professor who receives glowing reviews, while my 8am World Religions (speaking intensive/sociology requirement) was replaced by a 7pm Principles of Macroeconomics (speaking intensive/sociology requirement). And Yoga remains on Saturdays, at 8am.

One would think this course load is everyone's worst nightmare, but I can barely contain myself. I've just spent the evening going through the online math orientation, and I have a really good feeling about it. I'm also a giant fan-girl of NPR's Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal. My only worry is that my Macroec professor might not be as engaging and charismatic, considering the class is nearly 3 hours long.

In the past year, I have become such a gigantic nerd that I think you could put me in almost any class at all, dangle the possibility of an A in front of me, and I would hurl myself full force into the subject as though nothing else on Earth mattered. I am completely driven by the promise of a gold star and an ego-maniacal desire to know EV-ER-Y-THING. (Purely for science, of course.)

And now, let's do the numbers...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

313. Bad Dog.

This evening we returned home from dinner with friends' to find the dog had peed all over our two month old mattress. The nicest mattress that the Wizard and I have ever owned. The largest purchase we have ever made together excluding apartment rent is now soaked in the urine of a vindictive canine. The mattress was a measly $400. We're poor, and we got a very good deal.
It's lovely and firm, and we sleep like rocks on it.

I took him running with me before work this morning. He was let out prior to our leaving the house. He had little reason to be displeased, beyond the fact that he was left behind with the cat.

There's not a lot you can do to save a mattress once it's been defiled as ours has. Supposedly, you can try steam cleaning it, but I don't own a steam cleaner. Instead, I tried to salvage it by hand. I dumped hot water on it repeatedly and drew the liquid out with dry towels. Then I saturated it in Shout, scrubbed it, dumped more hot water on it, and drew that out. It's currently drying face down with a fan blowing across the damp patch. It smells exactly like Shout, which is quite pleasant, and all signs of discoloration are gone.

The dog has been banished to the porch of solitude for the time being to think about what he's done. He knew. They say a dog has no concept of what they did when you punish them after the fact. I can assure you, this is not true. He was acting really nervous and sketchy from the moment we came in the door. So suspicious was his behavior, I knew he had done something wrong and went looking for it. He probably has another 10 minutes before he's forgiven, maybe less.
I have trouble staying angry at a face like that.

Well, that, and Manhattans have a strangely calming effect on a person.

Friday, August 10, 2012

312. Splurge

Confession. Last blog post? I was quite drunk.
Necessary sometimes.

The weather is incredible today, and all of our windows are open. There's a woman laughing wildly in the streets and it's echoing off the brick buildings so much that you really can't tell from where exactly it's coming. Not a cackling, choppy laugh, either. This is a howling, out of control sort of laugh. I wish I had a way to record it, intermingled with the steady pulse of cricket sounds and occasional dogs barking.

It's been a very long time since I've been excited about a new album. I do that sometimes, I guess. I get sort of bored with what's coming out, and retreat to my old tried and true selections. I think I've been doing that for about a year now, at least. Over the past few months, I've slowly begun to crawl out of my den and become interested in what's new again. Yeasayer's upcoming Fragrant World is the first album I have pre-ordered for as long as I can remember. I don't know what it is, but I love this band, and have loved them since the beginning. They only seem to be improving as time goes on.



Monday, August 6, 2012

311. You're So Fuckin' Special

It's...Monday. I guess. Hey.

Look, don't come in here looking for insights or sensibilities. I don't have any.

It's Elliott Smith's birthday. That's significant in the sense that he has greatly, immensely, influenced my life. Waltz #2 was stuck in my head all morning, well before I realized it was his birthday. I've been listening to the mix that the Wizard made me 2 1/2 years ago for a week now. Maybe more. Mixes are rare, and really good mixes take talent that only comes from best friends like Janelle, and Wizards like Johnny. They make me ashamed of those I've made in my time. I owe the mix-tape world. I do. My transitions pale in comparison.

Otherwise, though. It was Monday, and there are always Mondays. No one gives a damn about Mondays spent in cubicles. Or wasted days in general...one  cares about days of accomplishment, because those are the days that stick, yeah?

It's transitioned from Elliott to Bjork, to The Decemberists. Who cares.
Radiohead happened momentarily.
Soundtracks.
I'm still here.

I was on a Paris train
I emerged in London rain
and you were waiting there
swimming through apologies...


I'm glad she's mine, I'm glad she's mine...

You don't often see your neighbors in underpants, do you?
No.
You don't.
It's nice to realize the people you see and love are more like you than you think they might be. That there's a girl in her tank and underpants cooking dinner, while a boy in cargo shorts stumbles out of the bedroom. And they shut the blinds so you mind your own damned business.
Good-Bye!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

310. Window

A short film of my neighbor's window set to Wax Tailor's "Birth of a Struggle".