Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Guys, I am going to make myself diabetic. I eat sugary, sugary, sugary pastries every morning at work. I come home from work, understandably hungry, and you know what I eat? Chocolate. Or ice cream. Today I went for the double whammy and had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Ahh, you see what I did there? Chocolate in the ice cream. Ridiculous.

Every day I think that I don't need it, that this is just a craving that will pass. I think in reality it is more of a habit than a true craving. I really love vegetables and healthy food, milk! Oh I love milk. Tomatoes, beets, weird stuff. But I always grab for the sugar. This needs to stop.

There should be police officers installed at my job, big burly guys sitting in the armchairs, posing as customers, enjoying their own pastries, and when I reach for that scone with icing heaped on top (oh, the pumpkin scone, my favorite, how I will miss you) these guys are behind the counter: Hi Yah! Stiff arm me, throw me over their shoulder, and put a hard boiled egg and oatmeal in front of me, three of them around the table staring me down waiting for me to eat my breakfast like a good girl.

I'm not a calorie counter, and I love to exercise, it's just that I am the laziest person ever otherwise, and I don't care who you are, it is not good for your body to have sugar pumped into it at an intravenous rate.

Sigh...Who's with me here? Anyone want to band together, and add some years to our lives by ensuring that we do not contract diabetes in our adulthood? I have people coming over in an hour, I'm going to search for something sans sugar before they get here...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Popple Quiz

Pop Quiz: Rank the enthusiasm, from greatest to least, of the following four individuals for a Saturday night viewing of Beauty & the Beast:

a 30 year old male
a 28 year old female
a 2 year old female
a 24 year old female

If you put the 2 year old at the top of your list, you would be wrong. If you put the 30 year old male at the bottom of your list, your correctness is debatable, but I'm gonna go ahead and say you're wrong on that one too.

Lynn called me on Friday and suggested we have dinner together Saturday night. Totally, awesome. Saturday afternoon she called me and said, "I think I'm gonna order Chinese, do you like Chinese?" LOVE Chinese. Then, "Hey, could you bring over Beauty & the Beast?" Soulmate! And as if this transaction could not get any better, I explained, "Of course, but it's a VHS, do you still have a VCR?" Sheepish laugh, followed by, "Yeah, we do actually." Amazing. I was sincerely going to offer to bring over B & the B before she ever asked, then she suggested Chinese, and then!, she told me that she's still down with old school technology, which, if you don't know by now, is the way to this girl's heart for sure.

When I showed up to Lynn's, her daughter Claire was in her diaper and my first question was, "Don't you wish you could walk around without pants on?" Well we got Claire into her pants to go pick up our Chinese, and as we pulled back into the garage Lynn's husband Devin pulled in at the same time. The four of us had our cashew chicken and chicken and vegetables, Hawaiian punch. And Claire, may I say, put some chicken away. I think, protein speaking, the girl ate more than me. Then during B&B she had a banana, but I am getting ahead of myself. I'm just sayin', good work, Girlfriend.

During dinner we had confession time, in which Devin explained his long time love for Beauty & the Beast (he might, um, be a little upset with me for posting this, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there). He also told us about his Popple toy (now inherited by Claire), that he attained for bravely and accidentally having his head shaven bald in the first grade, which I deemed the best Popple story I have heard to date. Needless to say, good bonding time with Lynn & Co., and we haven't even watched the movie yet.

We popped in our good old 80s block of plastic and let the previews roll. Devin brought his after-dinner PB&J downstairs, Lynn gathered blankets and pillows, Claire wandered, Bailey lazily lounged on the couch. The opening music began. The narrator began to speak. And Lynn ran to the tv and slid to the carpet to pause the VCR, because we weren't ready yet. "It's the best part!" she yelled. "Rewind it!" Devin declared. And so we settled. And rewound. And pressed play once more. And it was glorious. "There goes the baker with his tray like always..." We quoted, we sang, we pre-quoted (i.e., during the opening scene where Belle is in the bookshop, you get excited about a line that will come up in an hour, and excitedly shout out, "with sharp, cruel fangs!").

Lynn's frantic pausing of the video for proper appreciation of the narrator's deep bravado voice was one of my favorite moments of the evening, for sure. I also loved the fact that the entire time Devin kept asking Claire to sit down so she wasn't blocking the tv. Poor Claire was bored, and these crazy adults were trying to get her interested in a movie intended for her, that we were instead salivating over in all its musically animated Disney glory.
I pointed out my favorite scene (the snow/library scene), and explained how I love it because it involves books and snow. I pretended I had a green and red dress and a library with ladders and angels on the ceiling. Devin made fun of me for wanting a monster to lead me into a library.

There was one more moment, and I can't decide if it is tied with Lynn's pausing, or cuter. When the beast first appeared on the screen, Claire declared, "Puppy!" and Lynn laughed her adorable, infectious giggle. "Yes, that's a big puppy, Claire."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beware of Blindfolds

Today we did a coffee tasting at work. It was a comparison of two coffees, and it was a blind taste test. So we tasted each, made our comments. Then our meeting facilitator said, "Now what is it we've been tasting?"

To which Marcus, without missing a beat, answered in a completely natural voice, "If it's poop, I'm leaving."

Now my brother Riley claims that "if you've lost bathroom humor, you've lost everything," and I ordinarily strongly beg to differ, but I have laughed out loud at Marcus' remark multiple times since our meeting today. I was in a bathroom stall (ironically) at the gym and had to control my laughter lest the other worker-outers might think that I found my stream of pee, or something equally embarrassing and inappropriate, to be particularly amusing. Then in the shower, rinsing the chlorine out of my hair after my swim, I thought of it again and cracked up there. Love it. Congratulations, Marcus. You've broken my code of joking ethics for the day.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I grew up genuinely believing that I didn't care what other people thought of me. And I really, really think that was true. In middle school I would sing Veggie Tales songs, loudly, on my public school bus. My junior year of college a friend of mine said, "look at you wearing pants," I looked at him sideways, then realized, "oh, because I'm not wearing sweatpants?" "Yeah!" he enthusiastically replied in response to the jeans that had hidden in my closet for two years and were now adorning my legs.

Okay, I cared what people thought, I of course always want people to like me, duh. We all do. We want guys to think we're hot, we want people to think we're funny, smart, kind. But I decided to be quirky, to eat, wear, say what I wanted, and let other's opinions be an afterthought, not a forethought.

Today, on the other hand, in this 25th year of my life, I have spent more energy worrying what the hell other people think of me. I just talked to four friends and family members on the phone in succession. And all of them were supportive, but each of them gave advice that was somewhat conflicting of the others', which in turn makes me think, they're not all on the same page, so they can't all be on my page, and now we are back at square one, which is Bailey hating her life because she feels like no one is suffering in the exact same way as she is, which is true. "Hating," maybe. Maybe really hating, I'm not completely sure.

My brother Patrick (who just found out he's going to be a daddy!!!!! Yay, my first ever niece or nephew!! He said they went to the doctor today and their baby is the size of a grain of rice. Next week they will hear the heartbeat. So amazing.) told me that he loves me just the way I am, even if I'm not in a relationship, in a career with forward motion, in graduate school. He encouraged me to try and enjoy my life now without missing it. Just today I realized it's almost October; if you shook me awake in the middle of the night and quickly asked me what month it is, I might answer "June." That is how quickly time is passing, and it does break my heart a little bit (or a lot, depending on the moment) that I have passed that time making coffee. I know I have touched lives making that coffee, cheezy as it sounds it's true. I put smiles on faces. But I will always put smiles on faces, and it is about time that I feel like I am affecting the world in a significant way that means something specific to me.

I think most humans share this emotion 75% of the time or more, but I feel like I usually want to be somewhere else, with someone else, doing something else. I don't want to spend my future that way. I've been out of school for three years and I feel like I can't point to anything that I've accomplished. I have quit a graduate program, and quit a job, both of which I feel "proud" of in the sense that I know I needed to leave them and I took a brave step in doing so, but it is bittersweet to see that your past achievements are more or less negative action steps. It's like if your diploma were to say, "BA in Psychology, after switching from Biology to Nursing to Underwater Basket Weaving to...."

As always, I don't mean to depress with these posts, just to be honest and find something for readers to relate. This is my goal, by the way, for graduate school, which I will be attending, especially if you all verbally and often remind me of this with your encouragement. I hope that all of you are able to enjoy your lives right now. If you are frustrated to the point that you don't think it's possible to be any more frustrated, I understand 100%. If you want to be able to escape your over-analyzing of everything, I'm there with you. If you want to have something to work hard on, to finish and to clap the dust off your hands, to pour yourself a glass of celebratory wine--or take a celebratory nap--for a job well done, but feel like you just don't have that specific passion at your disposal right now, I get it. I have considered learning to knit on about a weekly basis lately because I'm thinking maybe that will be it, the key, the activity I have been waiting to discover is my lifelong love. What I need is some hard, satisfying work (which I am so blessed to have a job and it is hard work and I do feel good about being so persistent in going there every day), to trust my unfailing God and friend, the love and encouragement of my friends and family along the way, and right now, some peace and patience. Oh boy, do I need some of that. Praying that all of you have all that and more.

Much love and peace,
The Daily Bailey

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Truth

There are days when all I know to do is be honest. Sometimes people hurt me, sometimes I hurt others, sometimes things are mended in the process of telling the truth. But I reach my wit's end, don't know what to do, often start crying, and open up my mouth and tell the truth. Today was one of those days. I unloaded on my dad. A couple of times in the last few weeks I've unloaded on others.

"The truth will set you free." --John 8:32

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Come Together

My sophomore year of college, I was walking across campus one morning to class. Coming toward me on the sidewalk were four students. As I got closer to these students, it became apparent that none of them knew each other (note: I went to a small school, so this is not a story about, say, UCLA, where, duh, no four random people on a sidewalk would know each other. This is the school where for three years I heard over and over, "Bailey, you know everyone." Not true, by the way).

I could tell they didn't know each other because none of them were walking side by side. They were all walking at the same pace, however, and you know how that goes...when you're walking at a comfortable pace, you have the option of passing the person in front of you, but then you have to keep up that new pace so that person you just passed doesn't awkwardly catch up with you, or you just stay at the pace you are going and hang out behind this individual, admiring his or her backpack or, perhaps, derriere.

Well these three (the three behind the one in front, creating a total of four--just making sure you're still with me and not subscribing to another blog) chose to admire the derriere instead of blaze the trail and speed walk ahead. As I took in the scene, I became amused at the fact that because there were not two, not three, but four people total, this was pretty darn awkward for them. It was also early morning, not a busier walking time like the lunch hour, so aside from bird chirping, all these kids could listen to was the shuffling of each other's feet. This was before texting was popular, too, so such was out as an option to pretend they were focusing on something else. Also, no one was walking at a leisurely pace, so they were all kind of on each other's heels. Basically they were just heaping awkwardness upon awkwardness for themselves.

I noticed a resemblance so intense in this scene that as I finally passed them on the sidewalk I couldn't help but share. Sorry, I'm just so ebullient (holla! GRE word! love it), you guys are just going to have to live with this forever, and really, it's the reason you love me in the first place. So it wasn't really until after I opened my mouth and shared my little epiphany with these fellow students of mine that I realized I had just maximized the awkwardness of their situation. I felt a little badly, but really I didn't. It was just too funny and had to be said out loud.

There were four of them and they were perfectly equidistant from each other. As I met them on the walk, I physically paused (like I said, maximizing the awkwardness, I was going all the way with this remark) and craned back to look at them as they passed and said to them, "Hey. It's Abbey Road." They continued on in silence, probably the most uncomfortable they felt that entire month.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Powerhouse

Wow. I have been sitting here for about 5 minutes waiting for a topic to write about. So I decided to start typing. This "daily" business is tough, people! I mean you're totally worth it as my readers, but I apologize for the writer's block.

Hmm, let's see...

Okay we're gonna talk about the first time I ever did pilates. It was my freshman year of college, and I believe it was a Friday night. It may have been the night that Samantha and I went to see a guy named Chinua Hawk sing on campus and we fell in love with him and his guitarist, Wes. Well regardless, we came back to our dorm and we were bored. I tend to be a homebody, and more than that I tend not to be a planner, so in college and still today I tend to find myself alone and bored on Friday nights, and it's really no one else's fault but mine. I can have a hoppin' social life otherwise (which, let's be honest, at this moment in time I do not, which is good and bad), but on the nights that everyone else is out, I seem to find myself in. I digress. My point is that I love it when I find someone else who is in too, whether out of personal choice or they just found themselves looking around, saying, "Wait? Is today Friday? How did I not pick out a party to attend? Hmm, I'm bored." I especially loved this in college because it was so thrilling to walk out of the bathroom, headed down the hall back to my room and to see a face of someone on their way to the bathroom who needs a playmate too. Especially when that person was my girl Sam.

Samantha and I hit it off instantly. The first time we talked was on a grassy lawn on campus in late August, in midday heat. I had just talked to a professor and she was on her way somewhere, and we stopped to say hi because we recognized each other from our wing in the dorm. Samantha always remembers that it was so hot that her butt was sweating during that conversation. The first time she revealed that to us, months later, our friend Claire said, "Who says that? I think a lot of people would think that, but only Sam would say that out loud." Well our little butt-sweaty conversation led to other, less sweaty conversations in the dorm, which became more frequent and eventually led to what we call our first "stairwell conference," later shortened to "stairwell." We were supposed to be writing our first paper for our campus' version of Western Civ, called CORE class, and the topic of the paper was responsibility. We loved that we spent three hours in the stairwell of our dorm talking, some might say irresponsibly, rather than writing our responsible papers.

After that we were extremely close. Samantha is to this day one of the funniest people I know. She also has tremendous heart, is talented, intellectual, and has a seasoned world view. We ended up studying abroad together in Namibia, which was another huge blessing in my life, to be able to study in such an amazing place with Sam (as well as with our friend Dan, an equally amazing person).

Well with this you can imagine that doing pilates together was one of our many adventures our freshman year. I'm not sure why we decided to do pilates that Friday night in January, other than we were in college and what conversation in college doesn't lead from conversation to action? Example: "I love chocolate ice cream..." "Let's drive 3 hours and get some RIGHT now!" (Come to think of it that ice cream example was completely random, but I did drive almost 2 hours once in college with my friends Jason and Laura to buy a package of gum, just for the heck of it). Well we went to Sam's room, popped in the VHS Winsor Pilates tape, and proceeded to let an hour pass. Since Sam was something of an expert on this tape, she mostly instructed and watched me do the exercises. We laughed when I couldn't do them, made fun of the one-piece stretch outfits worn by the people in the video. Sometimes we both just watched the video without participating ourselves. I wouldn't be surprised if we popped popcorn. As the tape was first starting and Mari Winsor, the host and creator of this line of pilates, came on the screen, Samantha introduced me: "This is Mari," she said. So matter of fact. Her voice and those words will pop into my head at the most random of times and I will always smile wherever I am. "This is Mari."

While I mostly laughed at my inability and Samantha's hilarity when first introduced to the activity, I actually came to love pilates. Claire and I would borrow Sam's video all the time and exercise in our dorm's "work out room," aka a huge room with three huge couches (meant for breaks, I guess, or stretching?), a kitchen (for pre- and post-work out snacks), and one elliptical running machine. We would do such exercises and stretches as "rolling like a ball," "the hundred," and "the seal." I always felt so tall and stretched afterward, moreso than I ever have after yoga, another thing I love. So note to self, you should really consider trying pilates a few times, you might love it.

I'm quite certain I haven't done a pilates workout since my junior year. Come to think of it, it was me, Claire, and Sam the last time I did. Sam walked across campus with the video and when she got there we asked why she brought the 20 minute workout instead of the 40, to which she responded something along the lines of, "Are you kidding? I wouldn't be able to do the 40 minute! I'm way too out of shape!" To which we of course laughed. So it's been almost four years. Sad. Perhaps I should get reacquainted with Mari. And maybe call Sam before I start so she can reintroduce us. "Bailey, this is Mari. Mari, Bailey."

Monday, September 14, 2009

GRE = Past

Done and DONE! with the GRE!! Awesome scores? Mmm, not so much. But we are done-sies!! Yay!! Off for a celebration snuggle with the kitten...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Bicep Tricep

First, I apologize for my few and far between, as well as short, posts as of late. My excuse for this very week at hand is that I have been studying, but my test is tomorrow so that excuse will expire then. Otherwise I have a few excuses (lazy, tired) that will bore you so I will not go into detail. I am going to work on posting more often, and doing better posts. But as for now, one more short one, and I do mean short:

Tonight I was lifting weights at the gym, and this (beautiful) man on the machine next to me had arms about as big as my legs. Yowza.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm learning

G arrulous: talking too much
R hetoric: the "rulebook" of language and speech (more or less, I am paraphrasing)
E soteric: meant for a small group of people

V oracious: having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit
O bdurate: hardhearted, stubborn
C onnoisseur: an expert in something
A bscond: to steal away and hide
B ucolic: relating to rural things or people

Countdown: less than 3 days to the GRE!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Cat's Meow

Last night I called my brother Patrick and while we were talking Dibbs starting meowing and then meowed some more. Patrick kept up his side of the conversation until eventually he stopped and asked of the incessantly crying animal,

"Is he on fire or something?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Current obsession? Joni Mitchell. Her song "California" comes on every morning at work, and I always call attention to it and then everyone rolls their eyes at me and returns to what they were doing, but it is genuinely the highlight of my morning. I love her so much, she is so amazing.

Her lyrics, combined with her harmonies, just have this amazing power of making me feel like I am actually in love. Hundreds of other songs have made me fantasize about being in love, made me picture the man I'd be in love with, got me thinking about specific men in my life who I have affection for, but Joni's songs have this haunting ability to make me feel like I am, right now, in love. With who? Doesn't matter, that's not the point. She gives hope in a truly singular way that no other singer/lyricist has been able to do for me. Including (wince, am I actually going to say this?) Celine and her song "That's the Way it Is," my anthem. (This is NOT to say that Joni has replaced Celine as my #1, this is just a commentary on their differing talents/nuances as musicians. Plus Celine didn't write "That's the Way it Is," and Joni did write her works, so moot point. I love you, Celine.)

Look at these lyrics from "Come in from the Cold:"

I feel your legs under the table
Leaning into mine
I feel renewed
I feel disabled
By these bonfires in my spine

I know we never will be perfect
Never entirely clear
We get hurt and we just panic
And we strike out
Out of fear

The lyrics are enough, but pair them with the music, and you will be captivated. This love affair has been a long one coming, and when I first met Joni Mitchell it took me a while to get interested. But then slowly, one by one her songs caught my heart, and now I am in love. For life. She wrote her amazing hit, "Both Sides Now," when she was twenty-one. Twenty-one. Sing it, Girlfriend. You were meant to write and we're glad you did.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Jay Babies

Tonight was the first game of the KU football season, holla!! And we won 49-3, holla holla!! Well in honor of my boys, I've decided to post an essay I wrote one year ago, on the weekend of the first game of last season. Enjoy:

I really wanted to be in Lawrence tonight. Tonight was the first game of KU’s football season. I am among the family of people who are, according to the saying, “Kansans by birth, Jayhawks by the grace of God.” Let’s just say my mama raised me right. She’s a KU alum, and while my dad’s an Iowa State Cyclone, let’s be honest, KU has superior athletics by far. So dad has humbly bowed out all these years and, bless his heart, he even cheered for the Hawks last year when they played ISU because the Jayhawks were having such a miracle season. Plus, well, my brothers and I have been raised in Kansas, so it just makes sense.

Last year I was a graduate student for a semester at KU. My parents and I went to a game, and the day before the game I ran into an old friend of mine from undergrad (i.e., attractive male) who was doing his graduate studies at KU as well, and we invited him along. To my delight, he accepted our invitation, and also brought along his roommate to the game, another attractive male. It was a fantastic evening. We started at “The Wheel,” a historic bar in Lawrence where my parents used to date 30 some years ago. While we were sitting inside, eating our delicious pizza with Coors Light, Dad and attractive male #1 were in conversation, and my mom leaned over to me, pointed to a platform in the corner and said, “your aunt Jill danced up there once.” I just don’t receive those kinds of factual tidbits at any given moment in my life. Just one of the reasons why that day is stored so fondly in my memory.
The Jayhawks were undefeated at this early point in their season, which was exciting in itself, and little did we know that we would go on to be (almost) undefeated (due to a loss against a team that I do not care to speak of) that season, something unheard of for our beloved football boys. We stomped all over Florida International that night. There was a 100-yd runback for a touchdown by Akib Talib. Dad joined in with the college kids in their chanting response to the refs’ bad calls: “bullshit, bullshit.” I learned to wave the wheat that night. I watched with wonderful enjoyment as my 56-year old mother chanted “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” and “Go! Fight! Win Jayhawks!” without a drop of hesitation, as if she never left the campus or her 21 year old life.
I ended up dating attractive male #2, which didn’t last too long in the end, but it gave me an added excuse to go visit attractive male #2 (and, let’s be honest, attractive male #1) as well as attend more games during Kansas’ glory season.
All this being said, you can see why I am nostalgic and aching for a piece of my past tonight. My family has since moved, so I am the only one of my tribe to locally represent the Hawks. Simply put, it’s lonely. I love football, I love my family, I love fall weather, I love ringing the bells with my family in the driveway every time the Jayhawks or the Chiefs get a touchdown. I love that in all of the homes we’ve ever lived in, our neighbors have never said anything to us about the bells. I presume this is because they find us, shall we say, intense, and are frightened of offending us and stirring us into some sort of defensive, football rage. I’m not sure what they think we would do. Ring the bells in their face? Perhaps they like the bell ringing and are afraid their comments would cause us to behave more politely and civilized, meaning the bells would cease to be rung. Yeah right. Like we would ever stop. But I digress.
The other thing about last year’s game was that aside from football season, my life was a huge mess. I was a big ball of anxiety. I was studying social work, participating in an internship, and spending all my spare time freaking out. For the first time in my life, I visited a counselor and took prescription anxiety medication. All of these things taught me a lot, made me stronger in the end, let me know that social work was not the field I should be in, brought me closer to my parents and my oldest brother Kelly, a mentor to me then and still today. The time I spent at Memorial stadium that fall, and in Lawrence, was some of the greatest peace I experienced the entire semester. It was my alternate universe, yet it was a real one, a tradition I had been a part of from a distance my whole life, cheering on the Jayhawks from whatever city we lived in, chanting “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” while yet in diapers. Therefore I could feel as if I was escaping, ignoring my reality for an afternoon, but simultaneously remain in real life, so that I was still being an adult and could actually shed some of the pain and anxiety of my life. However thin a layer that was shed, it was significant enough. In the movie Remember the Titans, Coach Herman Boone walks out onto the empty football field in the quiet night, with the flood lights filling the stadium, and he tells his assistant coach, “this is my sanctuary.” That’s what Kansas football was to me last year. My sanctuary.

Now, a year later, my life has its own new set of anxieties, fears, frustrations, angers, sadnesses, confusions. I have missed my closest friends and family a lot lately, not just because I am without them emotionally, but because I am on my own for the first time in life and I would like some help. I just don’t feel quite right asking my roommate to pick up some cat litter for the animal who worships me but who won’t come near her. Just once I would like to have clean underwear just show up in my bedroom again, because Mom did a load of laundry. All this gets me thinking about a mate, who I do not want yet, I know this full well, but I am just reaffirmed in my need for a long term husband, eventually, and such musing sets me off in a tailspsin of thought. I think you get the picture.

So tonight I wanted to be in Lawrence not just for the fun of it all, for the smell of the transitional summer-to-fall air, for the sounds of bodies crashing together on the field (strange that as a pacifist I feel that way, but I used to go on walks in college by the football field during practice just to hear the sound of their helmets and pads crashing together. I don't like the sound for its violent connotations, but just aesthetically and for the game it represents, my favorite game. Also, they have pads and helmets on, they're safe, so I'm not a total freak). I wanted to pay tribute to those boys on the field, to the campus of KU, to the attractive male students who were there last year and who will always fill the sidewalks of Lawrence (even though I'll eventually be too old to date them), to the game of football, to community, to tradition. Who knows what the football players think when they hear the crazy roar of the crowd. Aside from understanding that we are impressed by their talent and excited by the thought of a win, I don’t know if they realize that some of us have deeper emotions behind our applause. I’m not even sure most of the fans realize it.

It’s like when you watch a chick flick. You think you feel happy when the couple in a movie gets together, but if you’re a single person watching that film, you’re definitely sad and jealous too. You might be optimistic, hopeful for your future with your heart in the right place, but that’s not the point. I’ve made people angry before for suggesting that they are feeling mixed emotions at the end of films like that. Perhaps I’m wrong for assuming such feelings to be present in everyone, but they certainly exist, whether universal or not.

I know that some people in football stands have very clear emotional ties to the game they are watching, have a concrete sporting past that they can point to, but I think the majority of us are experiencing a stirring that we are not quite fully aware of, something stronger than can be perceived by our own conscious imagination. I think that’s why some of us cry when we lose a really big game. If it were really “just a game” (which, yes, I fully believe and understand that it is, on some level, just a game, but that is another essay for another time), we wouldn’t be so moved to tears.

While generally trying to be different in life, I usually avoid asserting myself as a member of any sort of group or club or following. The swell in my breast that I feel during football games, however, humbles me to a realization that I am a part of a group, a team. I’m a part of KU, of Kansas, of football, of the human race. I am vulnerable, I am sad when I can’t be in Lawrence when I want to be, I can’t be in love when I want to be, I can’t have my family by my side every day, I have to trudge through bad jobs on my way to better ones. It’s a good thing to be part of a team. It means I’m not alone. I can’t even pretend I would survive on my own, so I might as well learn to enjoy a healthy dose of conformity, or whatever it is, for lack of a better term. I have help. I have surrogate families. I have neighbors who offer me a beer when I walk in the door, and keep me for dinner and an episode of sci-fi television, which I would otherwise never watch nor enjoy, but with them, it becomes enjoyable.

So to all this I say, despite my chance to be in Lawrence tonight, go team. GO HAWKS! Thank you for explaining love in a language without words. Albeit a somewhat violent language…but love all the same.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I was at the library yesterday and passed some computers that were each labeled, "This computer intended primarily for genealogy research."

Two of the computers were unoccupied.

On the third a woman was playing Boggle.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Second Hand Communication

My cat does not like when I talk on the phone.

He will meow, bite, and bat while I am on the phone. He either doesn't understand that I am talking to someone because he can't see them, or he very well knows what is going on and is simply saying, "Shut up, Mom! Pay attention to me!"

I have to be especially careful when I first get home from work or a day or night out. If I don't give Dibby a good amount of attention before making a phone call (which, let's look at this realistically and realize that I give him a hundred kisses upon entering the door, but apparently that's not always enough for him), he will go a little bit crazy.

Lynn just called me and got a taste of this. "Hi Lynn." Meow, meow. Batting of the paw. "What, Lynn?" Meow, meow. "Oh, okay." Follow the cat to his food dish, drag the phone cord to extend the growing distance. I hung up five minutes ago. What is Dibbs doing now? Snoozing. Not so concerned about attention now, are we? It's all about him. It's okay. He deserves it, Mr. Adorable.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peach

There's a man* in my neck of the woods who sells peaches and tomatoes**.
*An old man.

**To die for peaches and tomatoes.

Now for those of you who have only spent one hour with me may not be aware of my love for old men. (Anyone who has spent two hours with me definitely knows of this love, because it's kind of right there on my sleeve). Well I'll say it again for those of you just joining us. I love old men. They are so adorable. When older male customers come into our store, I elbow my way to the register to be the first to help them. While I think that children are cute, old men are more irresistible to me. They're just so precious. Gray hair, cute wardrobes (caps, suspenders, hankies in the back pocket), shuffling walk. And they wink and flirt at young ladies like myself. Oh my goodness. I'm gonna have to stop there.

But this old man. I stopped in his garage today to pick up some amazingly delicious peaches and tomatoes. The first thing I said, after "hi!," was "mmm, those peaches smell so good!"

"Pardon?" he said. He said "pardon" approximately five times during my visit, as I was not speaking loudly enough. And I wanted to pinch his cheeks every time he said it.

Well we got to talking about the peaches, and he explained the crop to me. Then I'm not sure what happened. I must have said something else about the peaches, or maybe I looked confused at all that he was telling me about the multiple peach varieties, because then he said with a big grin, "If you want, I'll cut one for ya."

"Oh, no no, you don't have to do that. I believe you, I'm sure they're delicious."
He didn't listen to me. "Hang on a minute."

He then disappeared into his kitchen, leaving me alone to protect all the tomatoes and peaches. I looked around while hoping no crazed produce thefts would pull into the driveway while he was out of sight. I looked at pictures of him in his garden, beaming proudly next to the stalks taller than him. His chair with multi-colored, mismatched cushions, pushed away from the table housing his unfinished game of solitaire. I wonder which game it was. Perhaps his 500th of the summer, all those hours waiting for friends to come buy his produce. His wife is often with him in the garage, but today I think she was in the house.

A minute later he appeared with a paper towel and two halves of a peach, minus the pit. He handed it to me, and I awkwardly held my purse, car keys, and the peach in my two hands. I took a bite and made a very genuine (although still somewhat forced, as one always feels pressure to be dramatic when opening a gift or tasting a dish someone has offered while that someone is watching, needing to assure that someone that his or her effort was not in vain) sound of satisfaction with the juicy morsel in my mouth.

Finally as I made my selections and he bagged them up, I asked "how much do I owe you?" "$6.50." "Can I pay you for this one?," holding out my now even more occupied right hand that was also juggling cash, then 2 quarters change, then 2 bags of fruit, all the while trying not to get things sticky.

A firm "No" was the response I received.

I gave him seven dollars and humbly accepted my 50 cents change, wishing there were a tip jar I could slip a dollar or two in. I ate the rest of my peach on the short drive home, thinking to myself, "Now he's a peach."