Saturday, October 31, 2009

Krabby Patties

My Halloween costume this evening was a Babysitter. Which was convenient, because I didn't have to change clothes.

Nick and Caroline, tuckered out from trick-or-treating, hunkered down for a little Sponge Bob before bed. There was a particular moment in the episode in which Mr. Krabs belched in Squidward's face, which Nick rewound, not even exaggerating, approximately 15 times. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't giggling with them every time.

Around the thirteenth run, Caroline said to her brother, through her giggles, "Nick, stop rewinding!" Finally after the last viewing, she turned to me and said, "It's not funny anymore." And then she giggled one more time. Guess it was still a little funny.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Safety Second, Apparently

I was listening to NPR today (my current love), and discovered that the torch for the 2010 winter Olympics recently traveled by plane.

I repeat. A torch. Lit. On a plane.

I was yelling in my car, "How is that safe?!!"

It will also travel by boat and dogsled before reaching Vancouver.

I shared this with my friends Joe and Deanna (who were equally appalled, or at least perplexed) at a restaurant tonight, and Joe raised the question, "Isn't the carrier of the torch supposed to be running?" From this we conjured images of someone running up and down the aisles of an airplane (I can't speak for Joe or Dee, but personally I pictured him in embarrassing short shorts), while we waited for the hostess to call our party name, "Michael [Jackson]," to our table.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I got a high five today for being a virgin.

If that doesn't motivate you to remain pure, then I don't know what will.

High five!,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I can be your long lost pal

I just flipped on the telly (which is something I should quit doing so often), and MASH is on. I don't particularly love MASH, while I don't particularly hate MASH either.

By the way, we are not talking about the elementary school game, also called MASH, here, because my opinion on that is that I definitely love that MASH.

So while I don't particularly love MASH, I do particularly love Alan Alda. I'm not even sure why. I just really do. He's just so darn lovable. Tall, lanky, little bit of a geek--yep, that's probably it. Maybe some of you fellow psychology students/grads have shared the following experience with me, and that would be the experience of watching the educational psychology videos hosted by Alan Alda.

There is a whole series of these, and we watched individual videos from the series during my high school psychology course. In one video Alan discussed sensation and perception, and tasted hot peppers. In another, I believe, he tagged along for a virtual reality session designed to conquer phobias such as height and spiders. In a psychology class my senior year of college I think we watched one quick snippet of Alan, and I got very excited. There wasn't a lot of camaraderie in that course, however, so I think I contained most of my Alda fever. This is me, though, so not being able to completely hold it in, I probably gave an aside to my friend next to me. This in turn most likely elicited a confused, "Ohh..." in response, followed by her turning quickly to the video with feigned academic interest, while really she was trying to get away from the nerd who was actually interested in the video next to her.

Well I was--am--such a nerd that not only would I get so excited about these videos when we watched them in my high school class, but when I discovered there were more that we weren't going to watch as a part of our curriculum, I asked my teacher if I could stay after school and watch the rest of the series. She loved me and my quirkiness (illustrated by the time we went on a class field trip, I revealed my love for dandelions, and she got back on the bus with a dandelion for me), so she said yes. I didn't want to exclude others from the excitement, so I wrote something on the board like, "Want to watch Alan Alda videos after school on Thursday?" One classmate, Joel, watched with me. I believe we even brought popcorn, which, to pop the corn, earned us a trip behind the scenes to the teachers' lounge where the microwave was--I'm telling you, being weird pays off. How many of you got to see the teachers' lounge in high school? This was my only trip, and had it not been for the Alan Alda-viewing-corn, I would have left high school with a diploma, but no trip to the teachers' lounge.

I bet a few of you are wondering right now what your teachers' lounge looks like...

Joel and I had a fantastic time. Looking at that statement, can I count this as a date on my record? I believe Mrs. Forbes worked on her computer in the corner (so it was a supervised date, like having your mom drive you to the movies), occasionally piping in a sarcastic comment and offering suggestions between videos on which one to watch next.

At the end of the school year when I was snapping pictures of my friends and classmates, Joel and I posed for a geeky photo in front of my note on the board, with videos in hand, like the champs that we are. And that right there is the whole, awesome, story. Which comes to mind every time I am channel surfing and hear the plunky notes of the opening theme to MASH.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sometimes... don't want to go to the grocery store.

But sometimes when you do there's a cute baby in the cart in front of yours at the checkout.

And sometimes the boy bagging your groceries is cute as well.

Sometimes there are little gifts in life's boring chores.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Telephone Talk

Talked to Mom on the phone this evening. I complained about a headache, being out of milk, not sleeping well last night, etc. I compiled a nice little list for her.

She said, "You're a mess," but I think she was trying to be polite and was refraining from saying, "My, you're whiny."

:) Love ya, Mom. Thanks for making me look better.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stewing Thoughts

I just made a soup that was a flop. Potato carrot soup, with evaporated milk and bay leaf. No good, right? Yeah, definitely no good.

It was for reasons such as this that used to have me swearing off cooking for life. I felt, what's the point of working so hard to find that something is bland or, even worse, nasty? I even had someone ask me once, with concern, "Are you going to cook for your children?" She wasn't so much asking about gender roles (and let's not get into that right now--speaking of nasty--that's a nasty debate when you get me going). She just wondered if, left alone with my children, say my husband is at work or the grocery store or the craft store (because it will be okay if he goes to the craft store...oh look at me, getting back into gender roles again...), would I let them starve because I was that unwilling to cook for them? I honestly don't remember who asked me this, all I remember is that I was pretty offended. I believe my answer was something along the lines of, "Of course I will not let them starve, I'm just saying their only options will be scrambled eggs or mac 'n cheese, so I hope that Daddy's willing to make something a little more special."

I must be recovering from this conversation somewhat--or, subconsciously accepting and responding to it--because for the first time in my life I am occasionally cooking. It makes me feel productive, which in turn makes me feel good. Another reason I shied away from cooking for so long was that I thought it was so precise. I've come to learn that baking is pretty precise because of the strict rules of science, but cooking is actually quite artistic. I still don't know enough about sauteeing versus broiling versus grilling, etc., to bend the rules when it comes to how long to cook something or temperature adjustments, but in terms of ingredient substitution, amounts of things, you can do whatever you want! There is a liberating freedom, independence in this sport. Even the particular way you choose to slice an onion--go for it, Babe! Diagonal, traditionally, with safety scissors...that last option would take you a minute, but who's stopping you?!

Tonight I realized, as I spooned the last few bits of my soup that I could tolerate into my mouth, the calm that resides within me now (not all the time, mind you, but in this culinary realm of life). I bet you, a year ago, if I had to throw away a whole pot of soup, I would be extremely annoyed. If I had a blog back then, you'd probably be reading about it. The neighbors would have heard about it; whichever brother answered his phone first would get an earful about my predicament in the kitchen. But a botched pot of stew is the same as anything else in life. You cook. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes you ravenously lick the final remnants out of the bowl. You make friends, sometimes they let you down, sometimes they remain for life.

I'm not always so forgiving, far from it, and I hate in particular when a friend lets me down, or family members for that matter. But we are all so imperfect, you have to forgive and move on to the next stew. Or switch gears and bake cookies for a while; switch to something sweeter, simpler in its childlike way while you heal and recover from your last dining disaster. Sometimes you have to move on from relationships completely, that's another thing I've learned in this past year. Sometimes the stew can be saved--add some salt, more tomato juice; other times it's gotta go, for the good of you and the stew. I don't mean to sound like a hypocrite, or fickle--sometimes you dump, sometimes you keep--I guess I'm just saying that the kitchen can be a mirror, or sometimes a reflective diary, for lessons in life. None of it is perfect; there are some hard and fast rules, but mostly you just have to learn and maneuver as you go.

I took a course in college called "Interpretation of the Social Sciences," and I remember our professor would stop every once in a while and, while not making eye contact with anyone in particular, lost in meditative wonder, say, "all because we have to eat..." He was just commenting that all of the violence in our present and past, all the hatred, the ridiculous ridiculousness, was because of our selfish nature and the fact that when we're hungry, we'll attack those around us. I've been attacked, and I've attacked. I'm not proud of it, it has left scars. But God designed us to eat, and He gave us awe-worthy foods to cook and brains to creatively learn how to do so. As far as I know He's not planning on removing our stomachs or their cravings, so I'm trying to do my best and jump on the human bandwagon--the wagon that cooks. Learning when to add salt, when to stir and when to let stand and thicken, when to dump and when to give soup a chance.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot..." --Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2

Saturday, October 24, 2009

God made me messy for a reason...

My room is clean.

This is such a rare vision, you really have no idea.

Technically, technically, there are two laundry baskets and one storage tub on the floor, but they are tucked against the dresser so as not to take up space or disrupt the peace.

My hats, scarves, and purse are hung. The toiletries are in drawers. The bathroom trash is collected. All clothes are on hangers or in the hamper. The bed is made. A picture from Namibia is freshly framed and bonding with my jewelry on the dresser. A throw blanket (and I am particularly proud of this piece) is draped in an oh-so-modern-decorator-show manner over my reading lounge chair (even though I usually read in bed rather than the chair, but it's all about aesthetics). My stack of NY Times is on the ottoman of aforementioned chair, at a decorative angle, not quite symmetrical with the ottoman itself. The bookshelves--the bookshelves are what sparked this whole thing into motion--are organized, somewhat; photo albums are grouped with photo albums, yearbooks with yearbooks. There are things tucked in places that don't exactly make sense. I put a boy's phone number in a top drawer that I will forget about and find when he is already married to someone else, but if that is the price to pay for a clean room for 24 hours, then...well, I guess I'll take it.

So currently I am taking a deep breath of calm air and letting it out slowly (which is appropriate, because Waiting to Exhale just happened to be on TV this evening).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hug Time

My husband will wear cardigan sweaters. Because I will buy them for him if he does not already own them. Men just look so cozy and lovable (especially over the age of 50) in them; you just want to snuggle up with them and love them ten times more than you already do. I mean, am I right?

I had the pleasure of seeing a precious (old, duh) doctor today--along with the less pleasurable experience of having a sore throat and fever--and, while not sporting a cardigan sweater, he did have on a cushy, navy blue jacket. Paired with his white hair, glasses, soft, shy smiles, and his kind and unrushed medical attention to me, I just wanted to spend the rest of the day with him. When he advised me to drink warm liquids I wanted to say, "Well come on over, I'll make us tea!" Oh, he was so prec. Our jackets almost matched. And by matched I mean they both had zippers, collars, and sleeves. I felt really crummy when I walked into his office, but felt genuinely uplifted after absorbing some of his gentle kindness and affection.

(P.S. If you are looking for a great read about a man in cardigan sweaters, check out "I'm Proud of You" by Tim Madigan. It is a memoir about Fred Rogers and it is amazing. I gave it to my Dad and he cried. Well, he cried at the note I tucked in the book along with our shared love for Mr. Rogers. I don't think he has actually read it yet, but he will undoubtedly cry again when he reads it.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bladder Mathematics

Tomorrow I am taking the GRE for the second and what is hopefully the last time I will ever have to take the GRE in my life. I just got off the phone with my friend Nick, and I was telling him how I was planning my day tomorrow. I have to work until 2pm, and then take my (close to four hour) test at 4pm. So I am going to be exhausted, for sure, and am planning on kickin' the feet up with TV, a movie, the NY Times, a beer, or whatever else my heart desires when it is all over. (Also, you might be pleased to know, as a reader, that the number of GRE-related posts should drop off significantly after tomorrow. Additionally, I will take suggestions for new topics).

I was also discussing with Nick the time slot from 2-4 tomorrow, post-work and pre-test. I figure I'll leave work armed with a Venti Americano, to get maximum caffeine intake before walking into the test. This creates a problem, however. More caffeine=more urination. The GRE only has one ten-minute break. The first section, the writing, takes up an hour and fifteen minutes. So after I thought I had reached my solution with the Venti Americano, I started to question: can my bladder hold out for an hour and fifteen? 20 ounces (4 parts espresso/16 parts water) divided by 75 minutes...And then that math equation felt all too much like a question on the Quantitative portion of the GRE, so I gave up.

Night, y'all. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I can't make this stuff up


Sophomore year of college. In a beyond-whirlwind month of his life, my older brother Kelly had moved to the town where I was in school, and then realized financially, emotionally, and otherwise, that he needed to, at the age of 24, move back home to live with our parents. For the first time in both of our lives, that was the month that I became a shoulder for Kelly to cry on, rather than vice versa. While we can still bicker with the best of 'em, and he loves to push my buttons for sport, we are irreversibly close thanks to that period of crisis in his life. Since then I've had my own crises and the shoulder to cry on has been swapped, and I find him mentoring me now, at the age he was then. But what follows is a lighter memory of that time, after some of the dust had begun to settle in his life.

Shortly after he had swallowed the weight of the fact that he had to move back home, and do so rather expediently, Kelly rented a storage space and we looked at my class schedule to figure out when I could help him move out of his apartment. I borrowed a truck from one of my classmates, and we were on our way.

I will pause here to tell you one of my favorite parts of this memory. Kelly was on the phone with our mom, and when she realized we were going to move his stuff out of his apartment without the help of anyone else, Mom asked Kelly, "Is Bailey strong enough to lift all that stuff?" To which Kelly replied, "Are you kidding?! I'm glad I have Bailey to help me, her arms are huge!" Which is a true statement, and I do unabashedly love my arms. Okay back to story, if you haven't already decided to stop following my blog on account of my arrogance.

After my "Word & Image" course (one of my all time favorite courses in my undergraduate adventure) on that cold, drizzly Friday morning, I drove my friend's truck to Kel's apartment, where he had coffee and bagels waiting, God bless him. Kelly is a very good caretaker, he never lets me or others go hungry. I remember specifically that we put skim milk in our coffee in our travel cups, and strawberry cream cheese on the bagels, toasted in his toaster oven that would soon be shipped to a storage garage.

The three bulkiest items of Kelly's that we moved in one load across town were his 55-gallon fish tank, an equally bulky as well as heavy fish tank stand that he and our dad had constructed years before, and his full-size mattress. We maneuvered all three down a wooden, outdoor spiral staircase to the truck.

Come to think of all this, I do not remember helping him move in to his apartment. If awkwardly juggling a 55-gallon fish tank down a spiral staircase in the rain is highly memorable, then one would think it would be difficult to forget doing the same in the opposite direction. Hmm.

We placed the two fishy items side by side in the truck bed, and then balanced the mattress on top of them, with its edges hanging over the sides. Now, while aesthetically pleasing, clever, and all that jazzy etc. that such a placement of these items was, said placement suddenly had our post- and current-collegiate selves scratching our heads. You see, the balancing act was stable while the truck was sitting, parked cutely in the gravel lot, but what to do when we send those wheels a-movin'? Which brings us to our second Hmm.

Well our current- and post-collegiate minds (keep in mind, this post-collegiate mind went on to be at the top of his law class...) came up with the solution that Bailey would lie down in the bed of the truck, and hold onto the mattress with her arm. I repeat. Bailey would lie down in the bed of the truck, and hold onto the mattress with her arm. Geniuses we are, I tell ya. It was a short drive to our destination, we figured, and besides, it was only slightly raining, there was no monsoon here. What the hey.

So I slid my butt into the remaining sliver of space behind the fish tank and stand, and laid down. Kelly latched the tailgate, being careful not to pinch my precious cargo self, this cautious tactic being kind of a moot point considering we were about to drive across town with me hidden in the bed which could at any moment be smashed from behind (sorry for the graphic imagery). Kelly started driving, poking along as slowly as possible on the little town roads. My pale wrist reached from the bed like a fake corpse from a coffin on someone's front porch on Halloween, to scare the trick-or-treaters. We hoped that the hand clutching the mattress would only evoke eyebrow raises and prayed that the road would be free of police as we made our excursion. Things were going smoothly--well, a little bumpy for me--and then we stopped.

I assumed we had approached a traffic light or stop sign, until I started to get that paranoid feeling of being buried alive in my claustrophobic, coffin-esque travel slot. A couple of minutes went by, the drizzle picked up a bit, I waited for the officer to unlatch the tailgate and ask for my driver's license. Then, from Kelly, "Are you okay?" "Yeah. What's going on?" "Railroad crossing." "Oh...can I have my coffee?" My priorities really rarely change. Busy morning at work? Great, let's pause first and get ourselves caffeinated. Slow morning at work? Great, let's have some coffee for a treat. Find yourself lying in a truck bed with a mattress for a roof? Interesting...Okay, moving on, who would like some coffee?

The conclusion of our adventure was that we got to the storage facility without losing the mattress, our licenses, or voting privileges; without me being crushed by another car, and without crashing my friend's truck. The mattress and fish tank stayed in the storage garage for a while, Kelly got back on his feet at home, returned a year later for law school, and to this day when I visit him, he gives up his bed to me and sleeps on the futon in the living room. This, I like to believe, is his way of repaying me for risking my life and being rained on with only a mattress for shelter. The mattress was once over me, but now when I visit it is clear who's boss, as I sprawl myself over it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Two days ago/tomorrow are my technical one year anniversaries at Starbucks. (Breakdown: Two days ago was the anniv. of signing my paperwork and getting paid for doing it, tomorrow is the anniv. of actually working in the store for the first time.)


Here is a list of some things I have learned to do in the past 365 days:

1. Steam milk.
2. Lift heavy bags of wet coffee grounds and other muck above my head to hoist into the dumpster, while getting the least amount of muck leaking from the bag on self. It's a mastered art, please don't underestimate.
3. Multi-task. For example, pour 140 degree soy milk on top of one drink, put a lid on 120 degree child's cocoa, place whip topping on 160 degree peppermint mocha, all the while having a conversation through a headset with a customer, "Welcome to Starbucks, this is Bailey, would you like to try a Pumpkin Spice Latte today?...Okay, that's a triple venti nonfat, no foam, no whip, 2 1/2 pump white chocolate mocha, a blueberry scone, a NY Times, and 8.5 napkins?...All right, your total will be $300, we'll see you at the window...Thank you"
4. Wake up at 4am.
5. Learn to shower at 4am and not think too much of it. Occasionally even shave the legs 3 hours before sunrise.
6. Grimace through interactions with the highest of the high maintenance customers, while being my lowest of the low maintenance self, yet smiling and wishing them a good day.
7. Look hott in green. Oh wait, that's a natural ability. ;)
8. Check out attractive male customers. Oh wait, also not a task I had to learn.

Well tomorrow I plan on celebrating my anniversary by...going to work. Wearing my green apron, checking out some hotties, multi-tasking. Essentially putting all these skills to use, minus the 4am leg shaving.

In addition I invite you all to celebrate with me. Yes, this is my permission (written, no less) for you to spend four dollars on a sugary treat of caffeinated goodness. If needed, feel free to print off this blog post and present to your boss as you slip out of your office to do so.

Latte love,
Barista Bailey

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Have you ever noticed how few extras there are in old movies? My mom is watching Barefoot in the Park right now, and currently there is a scene unfolding of a large party. There are at least forty actors in the scene. However, moments before as the principal characters in the scene pulled up to the party in their car, in New York--which, from what I hear is a large, bustling city--there was not one person on the sidewalk besides them. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't three or four of those extra partygoers have been used as extra sidewalk-occupiers?

And now a belly dancer entered the scene of the party, being overly sexually forward as they always are, thus I am scared, thus I have clicked off the television. I pray there are no extras in my dreams tonight, clacking away with those awful finger clackers. Shudder...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nap! Now!...

FYInfo: Applying to graduate school will take it out of you. You better be prepared with lots of vitamins, clean clothes, caffeine, frequent slots for naptime, and some good ol' gumption (I am lacking in the gumption department).

I just finished writing the second of two emails to my friend Nick (1st email said "I am stressed," actually it said "I am STRESSED," to which Nick replied "why are you STRESSED?," which brought us to the second of my two emails:) and provided him with my list of stressors. I listed "tired" at least four times, maybe five.

People, it is like I eat yet am still hungry, exercise yet have no energy, sleep yet wake up tired. And I am so worn out from taking the GRE once and now studying for it a second time (even though I got a, cough, perfect score on one section, but NOT GOOD ENOUGH on another!!!! (but I'm not bitter about it)), poring over journalism program websites, sometimes for fifteen minutes just to find when the application is due, yet I look back on all my cutesie calendars I have made for this grad school adventure timeline and realize I am still at the very beginning of this trail. Hence I am a little grumpy. I go to work and just kind of put on my blinders and steam the milk for the lattes. I speak when spoken to; if nothing else I suppose I am getting in touch with my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder. Come to think of it, that's a pretty great piece of the inner self to get in touch with.

Bottom line, while everything else is certainly legitimate in its ability to bog me down, intimidate the crap out of me thus fueling me to constantly fight back with my inner voice yelling back at the intimidation, "I can and will do this!", I am just tired. I need a nap but have to work. My legs are sore but I feel guilty doing yoga because the flash cards are calling. I had some desire to hit up the treadmill today, but the desire to shower was greater.

I hope this post has been at least somewhat amusing rather than depressing or annoying or, please no, boring. Just wanted to give the warning about arming thyself with vitamins and gumption. Got it? Vitamins and gumption. Gumptiamin (that sounds cool the way I am pronouncing it, although I'm not sure the phonics were translated to blog in a quality manner. My apologies). And when I am all done with this, because, quite frankly, I can't gather the energy from my meager supply of gumption--this word is addicting--to do so now, perhaps we can form a grad school application support line. Taking 3am phone calls with frantic screaming on the other line, "I don't care what the *&%# 'esoteric' means!!!" or, "I seem to have sent my recommendation letters to the wrong school..."

Okay enough for now. I have to eat/sleep now, before the work cycle, followed by the shower/food/break, eventually followed by the study portion of the awful grad school stress cycle. Again! Sorry! Debbie Downer! Okay, signing off now before I take this any further!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Write on!

150 years ago today, composer Camille Chevillard was born.

I have no idea who this person is, I just googled this factoid seconds ago.

150 posts ago, the Daily Bailey was born.

Happy Birthday, Bloggie. You truly have changed my life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And my day went...where?

I really strive not to make this a "here's what happened in my life today" blog, unless it's about one particularly funny or moving thing that happened that day, but today I am going to tell you what I did today. And the reason being is that I think I seriously need a Routine Coach. As in someone to help me make a routine and make me stick to it. My day:

5:30am--alarm goes off...snooze, shower, rush to get dressed in 4 minutes flat
6:30am--at work
8-ish am--eat a piece of lemon pound cake and drink about 4 sips of coffee during my break, the first food or drink since about 11pm the night before
12pm--off work
12:05--bank to make a deposit
12:15--grocery store. Intent? To get milk and bananas.
12:30--run into my friend Nate's aunt, Aunt Beth, in the cheese section, with more than milk and bananas in my cart
12:45--still talking to Aunt Beth
1:15--finally leaving the grocery store
1:30--unload groceries, pet cat, eat
2:30ish--write essay for grad school app.
4:00--Gilmore Girls, episode I've seen at least 3 times
5:00--head out for a walk
5:10--cold rain begins to fall, did not check the weather upon leaving house
5:15--run into my neighbor, catch up on his life underneath a tree where rain is not falling as hard
6:30--put frozen waffles in toaster, walk away
6:32--waffles pop up
6:32--watching Friends, episode I've seen about 5 times
7:00--check email, get lost in Facebook vortex, do manage to write one productive, time-sensitive email
8:00--remember waffles, eat them, now cold (but not frozen)
8:10--eat banana, 4 slices of bacon, and drink milk while reading NY Times (my current love affair); FYI, today's front page story? Disney about to spend a LOT of money on new stores...
9:40--change cat litter
9:59--post on blog

I am so sorry to make you read through all of that, but I just want you all to see this and know that this is completely and 100% typical. I need help. :/

Accepting applications for Routine Coach, effective immediately. Employment benefits can be negotiated at time of hire. "Other duties as assigned" may include feeding a tabby cat.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Truth and Dare

Is anyone else still afraid of the high dive?

I have gone cliff jumping (into water, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this), I've done the rip cord, I'll ride any roller coaster you put me on and love it, but the high dive? Not so much. It just is not a thrilling feeling for some reason. That drop in your stomach occurs on the roller coasters, while jumping off a cliff, but 20 feet into the water off a bouncing board is somehow different.

A few years ago I jumped off a diving platform (you know, those super high, mega high dives that Olympians use) with my friend Devin, and I am still getting over it. He was so excited, and I had to go because I dare myself to do these things. But I hated it. And I remember the water hit my butt so hard that it stung for quite a while (I bet you didn't care to know that little detail).

I make myself go off the high dive whenever I'm at a public pool, because I feel ridiculous otherwise. "Bailey, you're 24, that 6 year old is jumping off the high dive." But perhaps this asks the question that we should all reconsider, if all your friends jumped off the high dive would you?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato, Wait a Sec....

For those of you who are running enthusiasts, you may have noted that today was the Chicago Marathon. First, congrats to my 60 year old Pops on finishing his 6th marathon today, my brothers Kelly and Patrick on their 8th (9th?) and 4th, respectively, and Kelly's girlfriend Jenny on her 1st!! You guys are amazing! You're also trying to recruit me to join you, but please don't hold your breath on that one. :)

In honor of this family tradition of mine, I thought I would share an incident/conversation that was inspired by the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

As you can imagine, just like many other charity races, many of the runners in the Chicago Marathon run for a cause, or a specific person who is fighting cancer, has died, etc. Well two years ago at the start line we saw a man running in what we thought was a potato costume. I recall cheering him on, "Yeah, Potato Man!!" I then quickly realized that his large, brown costume was not a potato at all. He was running for testicular cancer research, and his costume was in fact, supposed to be a testicle. I took back my potato comment quickly, we all giggled on the sideline for a bit (while of course recognizing the great and admirable cause he was running for), and continued to joke about it throughout the rest of the day.

Well this testicle formerly known as a potato continued to appear during the day, notably at the finish line. Above the finish line there are various commentators with computers they can use to look up the numbers of runners who they can see approaching the finish line. For example, they type in #3452 and say, "And here is Pastor Tom, running his 6th marathon today in the 60 plus age group..." Or "here is spectator #537, aka the Daily Bailey, Blogger Extraordinaire." They can also comment on all of the ridiculous, eccentric, hilarious runners that come through the crowd. In my time of marathon observing I have seen a running bride and groom, a chicken suit, a gorilla suit, really old people, pretty young people, people running pushing others in wheelchairs, etc. Needless to say, the giggles immediately returned to our group when one of the commentators made the same mistake I did, stating into his microphone, "Here comes a potato…No, no, no…not a potato."

After returning home after that year's marathon, I sent my friend Kristen an email about the hilarity. I told her, "There was a man running in the marathon wearing a big foam TESTICLE costume. Funniest thing I've seen in a loooooooooooong time, Kristen.
To which she replied, "If I saw a giant testicle running down the street, well Bailey, I...I have no idea what I would do. I'm not sure that I would find it as funny as you did. But, Bailey, if a big foam testicle is what brings you joy, then I am completely weirded out, but happy for you."

And that, my friends, is true friendship. Being happy for your crazy friends even when you cannot understand their harmless albeit somewhat disturbing joys in life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


A couple of years ago I was at my college campus for homecoming. I went to the local dive bar with some friends, and, our school being a small one, we knew a lot of other people at said dive bar and eventually separated. I fell in comfortably at an outdoor picnic table where, basically, I just got comfortable sitting and didn't feel like getting up.

Therefore eventually I feel as if there were not many people, if even one person, around this table whom I knew. But I am not shy, and I didn't care, and again, I didn't feel like getting up, so I stayed put.

Well there was a particular gentleman of note near this table who got to talking about flossing. I would not be surprised if I introduced the topic, as I am an avid flosser (I love it when I go to the dentist and after a look around in my mouth they say, with genuine enthusiasm, measuredly to make sure I catch every word, "we can really tell that you take care of your teeth"), but once this guy got hold of the topic I let him run with it (interjecting with my questions, of course, as I am an equally avid question asker).

Now I know what you're thinking. "He was wasted." I'm not so sure. I'm sure he had had a drink or two, but I really think this guy's alcohol was acting more as inertia for expelling from him a hygienic passion that was already, shall we say, placing him in an inebriated state of excitement for the issue. The alcohol was just a little push to give him social permission to discuss something that he really cared a great deal about, but didn't care to admit during sober hours. People would understandably look at him and think, "Oh, ha ha, look at him, he's so drunk he's talking about floss and thinking it's interesting!" This guy, however, I could tell, loved to floss. In fact I think that over time it was his zeal, as opposed to my apathy for full-press schmoozing, that kept me in my seat. I am one who will read just about anything as long as it is written well. You write a poorly written book about Celine, I'll pass. You write an amazingly eloquent novel about beetles, I'm there. You get a guy demonstrating proper flossing techniques with the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas, I am also there.

I think I was amused my Mr. Floss, but also saw a piece of myself in him. I get really excited about things, and people love me for my ebullience, I'm aware of this. But there are few times where I can really hold people's attention about something that they find downright boring, even if I find it truly interesting. For instance, the intense level of cuteness that is my feline. Or The Babysitters' Club (okay, to be fair, I have a few friends, notably Kristen, who can banter with me for a while on this, and even my brother Patrick has a favorite line from the movie: "What are you allergic to?" "Summer!"). Point being, I wanted to be there for this guy. Depending on his degree of inebriation, he may not have remembered the next day that he was heard, but it didn't matter. I thought, this guy is a closet dental nerd, he is in his first year of dental school and he is at this bar with his former frat brothers, covering up how much he truly loves the profession with beer and immature talk because he knows no one will listen to what he truly cared about.

Well I wanted to listen. For one, he was funny. Two, he taught me some things concerning the exact proper method of flossing. I had a pretty good handle on the practice, but was missing some important details. And finally, there was communion. I gave myself as an audience, and a captive one at that, and two detail-oriented, zealot freaks were at peace for an hour at a dive bar on a homecoming weekend in the mixed-up years of their whirlwind twenties.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meditative Merge

When I merge onto the interstate, I love to look into my rearview mirror, watching cars behind me slide over onto the interstate, while other cars fall in between us, moving into the right lane, preparing to exit. We swap places, and we are an interlocking zipper.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parental Pickle Pong

I am cold, yet drinking ice water that is making me even colder. Why, you ask?

Because I had pickles and beer with my parents for dinner, and I am a bit dehydrated.

The 'rents and I, deciding to continue on in our tradition of being precious and totally fun, had made plans to have a late lunch/early dinner that involved beer and salty bar food. Done and done! It's been an extremely stressful month for my mom, a busy, rough week for my dad, and when I got home from work today they were stressed and tired. I gave Mom a hug and she got teary, explaining she was so stressed, worn out from caring for her mom who's been in the hospital after surgery, and I asked if she wanted to skip dinner and beer and stay home. "No," she laughed and sniffed through her tears, "I definitely don't want to skip that." With that I noted her hott Kansas shirt, went to change out of my work clothes, and donned my own Jayhawk tee to match. On our way out the door we told Dad he wasn't properly dressed, so he put on my little bro's Jayhawk sweatshirt, i.e. noticably too small with short sleeves and snug fit. And with that we were off.

We went to an old haunt where my parents used to date. I whipped a pen out of my purse, eyeing the graffiti on the walls and ceilings and asked, "so where are we going to sign our names?" Dad sought out a good spot on the ceiling while giving out his parental guidance, "don't get caught..." Four 'o clock on a Thursday afternoon, folks. This is my life (sometimes).

We ordered our beers and fried food course #1 (fried mushrooms), and my dad asked with a twinkle in those blue eyes of his, "so tell me about your career." I quickly clarified, "my current career?" Because my answer to that question would be pretty self-explanatory and that would be: coffee. He actually wanted to talk about my future, and present. While I had a little natural anxiety bubble up as he posed the question, considering past conversations with M&D about my "career," or lackthereof, I could tell in the way he brought it up that this might be an okay path to tread upon on this rainy afternoon. So I talked. The three of us talked. And it was delightful. My parents gave me thoughts on what they think I'd be good at, of course mentioned their concern for money, but dealt it out in suggestions rather than negative criticisms. We talked about creativity, and how if Pops and I don't get our chance to do things without a spreadsheet, rulebook, instruction manual, we go crazy. We talked about graduate school, which I am pee-my-pants excited about.

Long story short, I felt heard by open hearts and ears, and there was true communion around that bar table in the empty upstairs arcade. God granted us privacy, time, solace, and love today. He always grants us love, it flows abuntantly in my family; it was just a matter of me dropping my guard and them dropping their instinct to parent rather than listen as the friends of mine that they are, that allowed the love to flow more freely among us. We have had some borderline love-clotting at times, but today the chambers of our hearts were open and healthy, letting the maximum amount of communication, and grace, pass and recycle through.

As fried course #2 (fried pickles--amazing!!) was brought to our table, Dad blessed the pickles and then it was his turn to get teary. My father then placed his age limits on my marriage pool (I think we landed somewhere between 26 and 30--c'mon, Dad, really?) and told me what I need to hold out for in a man. He told me I need to still be in love at my 32nd anniversary, with a knowing wink. Moments before during his pickle prayer he prayed for my future husband, the man who "You created even before You created Bailey, Lord," to which I whispered, "because he's older!," to which Mom laughed. We're sarcastic even during prayer (sometimes), and my brother Kelly likes to steal people's plates of food and hide them while we have our eyes closed.

We exited our bar through a hidden side door that Dad was horrified he had never noticed in 33 years of pubbing, made a dash through the frigid rain that had been with us since morning, Dad convinced us his two Fat Tires would not impair his driving, got the doors for his girls, and we were off once more. Home...we thought. Minutes from reuniting with the cat, Mom said "Oh! It's the Expo!" Dad heroically made a Bond swerve into the left turn lane at the last second. All I could see in the direction of our turn was the library so I excitedly asked, "Books expo?!" "Business Expo." "Oh."

Turns out business expos are pretty darn fun. We wandered in like bums off the suburban streets (and in the defense of those who label people as bums, we had just come from a bar), and were quickly given green canvas bags for all our soon-to-gather treats from our business expo. I felt guilty at first taking a free bag, seeing as I usually enter these things wearing a suit, resumes in hand, but I almost immediately got over that. Let's be honest, I got down about four steps on the staircase and got so excited I forgot to feel guilty. Our first goodie: mini bottles of hand sanitizer. At the third or fourth booth, it hit me. Fall decorations on tables. Tote bags gripped in our adult hands. Free candy for the taking. Pause, check the calendar. Yep, October.

I am trick or treating with my parents.

I would say that at that moment I became giddy. Dad and I each made a basket at the Fisher Price hoop, winning a mug and some sort of calculator thingy. Ran into at least three people we collectively knew (extroverts? yes). The Courtyard Marriot had wine glasses set up for some sort of Water Pong, and Dad and I totally dominated there, too, collecting two more tote bags, holla. Mom asked me if I wanted a glass of wine. Confused, I then noticed the glass of merlot that had suddenly appeared in her hand. "Mom!" Shrugged her shoulders with a smirk. Eh, she wasn't driving. It's a business expo--live a little!

In the parking lot I decided to give my parents some reassurance in their parenting and admitted, "I was a Pong Virgin before tonight." To which Mom replied, "I still am."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Skippy McGee

I was in a pretty chipper mood this morning. So when asked to collect the trash from the disgusting drive-thru trash can at work, I hopped to. On my little jaunt, I got to thinking about graduate school. I got excited, giddy. I was telling myself, "You can get into Columbia," and then started to daydream about what the adventure of Columbia's journalism program would look like, feel like, taste like.

It was at this exact moment that, trash bag in hand, the sprinklers turned on. Splattered back to reality with harsh cold water to the face I thought, "Perhaps we're not quite there yet."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Barista Midterm

Tomorrow the man one step below Howard Schultz (the CEO of Starbucks) is coming to my store. His name is Cliff. My manager, Karen, informed me that I will be making Cliff's drink when he comes in.


Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A New Day

First, a Grams update: G'ma's hangin' in there, they stopped her IV and got her sitting up to control the fluid in her lungs, and they're hoping to discharge her tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on any mega changes, for sure.

And now, a grad school update:

To get myself excited, well, more excited, plus organized, I have begun a bulletin board of excitement. Bulletin board includes:

-calendars for October-February, highlighting application deadlines
-a map, with push pins in KC, as well as all potential cities where graduate school might take me (mostly coastal, in case you are interested)
-checklists for each school I am interested in--these mostly all look the same (application, fee, GRE scores, letters of recommendation...), but I am planning on sending a lot of pieces to a lot of different places, so I am being a little tedious here...and...I may have accidentally applied to an undergraduate program before when my intentions were to apply to the graduate program...maybe, I may have done that.

And finally, the board contains a picture of Celine, drawn by my brother Riley and his girlfriend Caitlin. Ri and Caitlin wrote me a book, entitled The Adventures of Super Bailey, that I received in the mail yesterday with great delight. The story involves me, Celine, and Dibbs, essentially conquering graduate school with our amazing vocal and dissertation-writing abilities. Since I know the authors personally, I was privileged to receive the pre-authoring "concept art" pages along with the final publication. Therefore without vandalizing the book itself, I was able to clip out Mini Celine and place her on the Board o' Graduate School Fun. She's kind of like an American Girl paper doll; when you can't bring your hundred dollar doll to school with you, you can bring the paper version. Celine is (apparently) my graduate school cheerleader, so I think it is only fair that she be pinned to the cork continent to take her seat as supervisor of the operation.

It has taken me hours to get to this point, so I have declared myself done for the evening. Ta ta...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prayer Request

Hey friends,

My Grandma is in a little need of prayer. She had some blockage removed from an artery in her neck this week, and the surgery went pretty well but there have been complications ever since. She had some irregular heartbeats, followed by an extremely painful bowel obstruction, and now due to no food or water and only a constant IV, her lungs are gathering fluid. I guess that is a somewhat "normal" occurrence in the elderly if they are doing nothing but sitting in a hospital bed having fluid pumped into them--makes sense. However it is not comfortable for her nor settling for the rest of us. The doctors at this point are hoping to send her home in a couple of days and are feeling positive, but there are still a lot of question marks.

She is a trooper and such an awesome woman (um, graduated college at the age of 80), so we would love to keep her around and have her feeling healthy and happy again. Also my mom is being Alpha Caretaker right now, as I am 60 miles away with work obligations and cannot exactly help her directly. My dad will be in town tomorrow to offer much needed support, but in the meantime my mama could use some prayer too.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Bailey had a pretty lame day. She needed a slow day, but still, it can be a little wearing by 8pm. Activities included pot of coffee, tv, shower, lunch, tea, a glorious 45 minutes at the park in which the sunshine was delightful but ultimately it was too blustery to remain, more tea, more tv, more tv, more tv, dinner, more tv. There was also an attempted nap thrown in there as I haven't been feeling well for a few days and am trying to fend off this pesky little fever-ache combination.

Dibbs, being the faithful little kitten he is, planted his little tiger-striped self into his own cat bed each time his human mother was in her big human bed. He waited until I got up to watch Gilmore Girls this morning to exit his own resting pad, when I laid down for an afternoon snooze he again cuddled into his bed, though he was bored and had been waiting for my return from the park in order to parade me around the house instead of sleeping. And then this evening when I finally turned off the tube, briefly gathered coloring books and then decided against filling their pages with pencil scratches, and got once more into bed, he followed suit.

He laid on a pile of papers while I brushed my teeth (he loves paper), but then when I officially settled, he approached his bed. He stood outside the edge, and gave the bed, then me, a look. "Really? We're doing this again?" But then with just a moment's pause, he dutifully stepped in, and only made a half-circle loop before lying down. After reading my Bailey White book for 20 minutes I looked over and he was actively licking his pelt, forgetting that a short time ago he wasn't thrilled about this idea. Five minutes after that he was snoozing. Easily influenced.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rearranging the Rainbow

I had my Bible study group over to my house last night, and German, our leader, brought over his two daughters. We set them up with a DVD here in my "office"/guest room/catch-all, hold-all-of-the-extra-junk-in-the-house room while we met in the living room for what was last night, an intense, science/postmodernism discussion in which I learned about cybercrime. Whoa. Cybercrime. My eyes have been opened, y'all. And just take note that if I ever invite you to Bible study, we may discuss things like cybercrime--it's not all Adam and Eve, Jesus and the Beatitudes.

Anyway, so German's girls, Lucy and Reese, were instructed by Daddy not to touch anything in here. "No touchy" were his exact words. Multiple times during our study Reese would pop her head out of the room and let Dad know that Lucy was "touching things." At one point she said that Lucy "touched-ed" something, and Joe and I exchanged highly amused glances, from which I had to turn away because I didn't want to giggle and make German more frustrated with the situation.

When they left last night, German explained to me that "some things might be out of place" up here. I told him that was totally fine, which it is, and was amused at the findings this morning. Notably, in my trash can, which is otherwise empty, an entire container of colored pencils has been dumped. Also, on the desk is a pile of fluorescent pencil top erasers. These are the most puzzling and amusing to me, because I have no idea where Lucy even found these erasers. Meanwhile they evoked such nostalgia in me for my grade school wonder years, that I am planning on decorating some pencils, hmm, perhaps the colored pencils...with them even though we all know that practically, these erasers are kind of annoying. They fall off the pencils, don't erase all that well. Basically they're just in the way. But this particular collection (again, arriving from who knows where) is so new and shiny and beautiful. Yay for rainbow items, in piles on desks or heaped in trash cans.
P.S. Today we are entering our 7th month on The Daily Bailey, and yesterday we received our 19th follower!! Welcome, Lynn! And thanks to all you readers for making my writing worthwhile!