Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nice to meet you, 2010, my name is Bailey

Last post of 2009!!

2009 was the first year that the Daily Bailey saw light. And how the world has been graced with its presence. Currently we have 30 (official) followers, here's to 30 more in 2010, and counting!

I need to do my posting now, at 10:39 pm, rather than 11:59 pm, as I am headed to bed. I have spent a rip-roaring evening writing graduate school essays, and am now going to take a sleep break, which will be followed by awaking at 6am, hugging five sleeping bodies good bye, heading to work to make lattes for all the massive crowds who will be demanding them at 7am on New Year's day, then to the library to finish essays, then back home in a stupor/almost-coma, then to bed, then back to work on Saturday.

Raise your hand if you are jealous! Whoo! I'm actually not complaining. I am just happy that it is almost over, and also kind of walking around like an exhausted zombie, saying ridiculous things and occasionally slurring my words.

Much love to all of you, my dear and faithful readers. I know I say it a lot, but I always mean it: your reading means so much to me, as well as your encouraging comments. The writing world can be a lonely one, one where you think you're good at what you're doing, and doing the right thing, but then sometimes you wonder if you're wasting your time. Until someone says "you put my feelings into words," and then I am rejuvenated and ready to type some more, confident I am in the right seat, the writer's seat. Ready to type some more in 2010, and beyond, God willing.

God bless your new year, be safe. Dibbs and I will be thinking of you. Well, I will. Dibby will be eating, licking, biting, or sleeping.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Soul Aerobics

I will likely begin to drift as I type this post. Such is because I participated in my as-often-as-possible-these-days ritual of running five miles (with the occasional weight lifting tossed in) today. And I type today's post to say:

I love to run.

I am juggling a LOT at the moment (as you are tired of hearing, I'm sure), including graduate school applications, full time workload, house full of holiday guests, and, oh yeah, running five miles as many days a week as possible. But the final item on that list is to ease the anxiety that the former three items on the list create inside me in copious amounts. And therefore I am ever grateful for the running, for the warm, dry, indoor gym that allows me to sweat and produce endorphins while the roads are slush-covered and the outside air is frigid.

I hope that none of you ever have to experience anxiety, as it is one of the worst afflictions I have ever experienced. I was thinking about it on my drive home from the gym tonight and the word came to me to describe what exactly it feels like when all of your fears, stress, rage, etc. are on the surface of your mind all at once. It is comparable to the way one's body feels when layers of skin are painfully torn away, exposing under-layers to air, dirt, silt. The word that hit me on my drive home tonight was this: raw. To be anxious is to feel everything all at once, in the most vulnerable, raw position you can imagine.

The most obvious side effect of this physical malady is pain, yes. But aside from that it is unrelenting, as well as often uncontainable. With an open sore on one's skin, you can add an antibiotic ointment topped with a bandage to get the most relief; however, this is only temporary. To daily clean the area and thus ultimately and finally heal the raw sore, one must go through the agonizing action of removing the bandage, once again exposing it to the harsh, unforgiving air, soak it in warm, clean water, patiently air it out, and only then can a bandage be added to the every-day-smaller sore. One original bandage will not suffice; daily action is required.

I will not get into the details of the exhausting list of all the ways to treat the rawness of personal anxiety, but I will mention a few. There is (often only attempted) rest; hot, soothing beverages; cuddly pets; books; quiet spaces; dance floors; many conversations with not-always-understanding family and friends; angry yelling to a willing ear; if needed, medication; prayer; music; art in all its forms; etc., etc. I have employed all of these more than a time or two myself. But the final thing on the list that I did not yet mention is exercise.

For me, today, right now, it is so comforting and amazing to simply, literally,

put one. foot. in front. of the other.

That is all I need, and all I can humbly ask for, until longer, drawn out, unforeseen pieces of my life can fall into place when they finally decide to see fit. Every day, at some point, my chest bubbles to a level of discomfort that only those unfortunate enough to experience anxiety firsthand can understand. That is, unfortunately, for the most part out of my control. Twenty minutes ago I was calm. At this very moment I am shaking mildly. Clearly I don't choose to switch positions like this. What is in my control is the ability to drive to the gym, hop on a treadmill, and run for 60 minutes a day. For one hour a day I can be upright, powerful, and move in a forward motion. And during the running and the stillness that immediately follows, I thank my God not for the "control" given to me in that moment, as I am never in control and He always is, but for the reminder that I am still capable of moving, that life is moving, and that alternately it contains stillness and peace that only He can provide.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Baby Sister!!

Welcome to the family, baby Charley!! Congratulations, Lynn and Devin!! I am so proud of my girl for being so strong during labor! Love you soooooo much!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Insomniac seeking Master's Degree

Fair warning: applying to graduate school is not for the faint of heart. Well I guess it is, because I am pretty faint of heart, but I am keeping my head above water. Barely. I guess.

I am so stressed out right now that I went to the gym tonight and for the first two miles on the treadmill I could not really feel my legs. I suppose this might be a problem. I was just waiting for myself to fall over and for many concerned runners and stair-steppers to fly to my aid. (In my imagination at least one of them was a devastatingly handsome (single) male.)

There are soon-to-be nine people in my home. We have enough mattress space (not mattresses, just space, meaning people have to get snuggly together) for eight. I should be in bed right now, as I have to awake in less than seven hours for work, but I know it's pretty much a lost cause. Last weekend I ran five miles and didn't sleep the entire night following, so why should I expect today's five miles to sufficiently wear me out? I have an application due Thursday, have to work between now and then, meanwhile weaving in and out of the eight people in my home--none of whom are working and therefore do not require alarm clocks, deadlines, you I have to squeeze in a visit to Grandma's, open presents, etc., etc., sneaking out of the house to the library to write more intimidating application essays...

SIGH...I need a hug...

So. Faint of heart. You should probably get checked out by your doctor before signing up for the application process. And the more schools on your list, the more infinite your stress will become. Personally I am scratching schools off my list every day. I started with around 20, narrowed it to nine, and have now settled "comfortably" at six. Over achiever? No. Nonetheless applying to the top journalism program in the country? You betcha.

Wish me luck, please. Not on the apps, on sleeping tonight. Just kidding, on both, for sure.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I have every last right to be Ebenezer Scrooge.

I have EARNED the title, People. Do not argue with me.

First of all, I have not had Christmas yet. Go ahead, check your calendar. Yep, it's the 26th. Nope, no Christmas yet in this household. We have to wait for brothers, wife of brother, and GF's of brothers to arrive. And then we have to wait for my BF to arrive. Oh wait, no no. That's right, there is no boyfriend. I have opened two presents, due to bartering, but we'll get to that later.

I ended my evening last night on the phone with my brothers Patrick and Kelly. I argued with Patrick, hanging up the phone with a gritted-teeth, "I love you, drive safely," and then proceeded to call Kelly, because I knew he would be on my side. Kelly calmed me down and walked me through my upcoming anxiety for the holiday week, and when we hung up I thought I was ready to sleep.

Then I popped sleeping pill number 1.


And then I popped sleeping pill number 2.


3:30 am. STILL AWAKE.

This is because I am sleeping on a mattress, circa 1980. Yes, my childhood mattress. It is awful. It makes a crunching noise when you lie on it, and you think you're comfortable, and then you realize you're not.

I sought refuge in a different bed (we will not discuss the entire mattress situation of my household, because my blood will boil), and fell asleep, stiffly and angrily. I woke up around 11 am today, still stiff and angry.

My main goal today was to go to the gym and run. By this point I had been in my house for almost 48 hours, due to bad weather and holiday constraints--home traditions and everything else being closed. I didn't want to shower when I woke up this morning, because I wanted to go get sweaty and then shower. So I had a Pop Tart and a banana. I put on my sweats and coat and went to my car. I backed the car out. I put the car in drive. I moved three feet. And I got stuck.

I am not proud of this, but I pounded my fist against my dashboard, swearing. I came inside and slammed my hand against the wall, screaming how all I want is to sleep at night and go run on a treadmill, and is that so much to ask?

Dad and Riley helped dig me out of the snow, and then Dad made us shovel the entire driveway. I was running out of time to go to the gym before work, and Dad insisted my car would not drive in this weather, yet I had to argue one of our other cars out of him. I was so furious after the shoveling that I called my friend Tommy and said "Where are you? Are you working today? Can you meet me somewhere? Anywhere."

I had given up on exercising and took a shower, then met Tommy for lunch. He paid. Smart move.

I drove to work. I was inadvertently late. Karen, Ashley, Jen, and Marcus tried their darndest to get me to smile. Ashley sent her fiance on a secret mission to get me Sweetarts and a yellow carnation. Marcus cleaned all the snow off my car before he left work. Caleb came to visit me and Ashley and listened lovingly to my story of my no good terrible very bad day. I got free cookies. A mug was sort of broken but still usable, so I got to take it home. Even hottie hott customer Jim came through the drive-thru and stayed for a minute to chat.

I finally cooled. After 24 hours. We had very few customers, so we got to chill.

We closed the store. We said our goodbyes. We headed home.

I got a mile from my house and saw a car with its lights flashing. I thought, "I bet I could help them push that car up the hill. I could turn around and help them and maybe not be a jerk for five minutes of this day." So I pulled into a cul-de-sac.


If you are not taking notes, wake up and pay attention. This was the second time in one no good terrible very bad day that I got stuck in the snow.

I tried and tried to get back up the hill. I created fumes from the hood. I got out to scrape snow from the tires. There was actually very little snow, it was just slush packed in my bad tires so the wheels spun without creating forward motion. As cars passed on the main road I honked the wussy little horn and flashed my lights. I honked at the snow plow.

Oh by the way it was midnight at this point. With snow falling.

I thought about knocking on a door in the cul-de-sac, but no lights had flicked on inside due to my honking, so I figured they were all out of town having a merry little Christmas.

I walked a mile up and down multiple huge hills. Wearing all black. The sidewalks were piled high with snow, so I walked in the road. Not one single car stopped to help me or ask if I was all right.

I walked in the door and told Dad and Patrick and Riley to put on their shoes, let's go. Dad needed to pinpoint the exact location of the car before he would leave. I told him it didn't matter.

We got back to the cul-de-sac and IT HAD BEEN PLOWED. In the time I walked home and we drove back, the plow had come and plowed the cul-de-sac. Nice timing, Bud. Where were you 20 minutes ago?

We pushed the car up the hill in 2 seconds flat, without digging any snow out from underneath. All I needed was extra man power so that the car wouldn't slide back on top of me. So I walked a mile to gather three men and their power.


When we got home I declared, "I get to open a present now." (All present opening is on hold until the entire family gets here. Riley and I each opened one on Christmas Eve--Harry Potter for him, bracelet for me.)

I opened my present.

My present was a box of oatmeal.

I rest my case. Ebenezer Scrooge. Every last right.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas, 2009:

Awake. Stare at ceiling. Cat enters room. Looks cute. Does not come close enough for touching. Leaves room. Head to kitchen. Reach for coffee. Mom calls from upstairs. Go upstairs. Crawl in bed with Mom. Dad comments on weather. Back downstairs. Make coffee. Sulawesi. Eat banana. Listen to Julie Andrews. The Sound of Christmas. Eat yogurt. Listen to Celine Dion. Ave Maria. Coffee is done. Fill mug. Take to basement. Shower. Check email/facebook/blog. Phone rings. Corie. "Merry Christmas." "Bah humbug." "Sledding?" Eat poached eggs. More coffee. More Celine. Clean room. (Partially). Corie and fam (including dog) arrive. With Kahlua. And sled. Put on layers. Sweats. Socks. More sweats. More socks. Shirt. Sweatshirt. Hat. Scarf. Boots. Swish pants. Coat. Gloves. Outside. Great snow. Fast sledding. Tackling. Inside. Hot chocolate with Bailey's. Soup. Cheese. Crackers. Corie and fam (including dog) leave. (Have not touched cat all day--fickle animal is parading his cuteness around the house but skiddishly running away). 2 rounds of Bananagrams. Putter. Putter. Putter. Dinner. Episode of Friends. Debate on board game. Decide on Taboo. 3 minutes of play. Phone rings. Nick. Answered phone too late, he is recording on the answering machine. Hang up. Call back. Talk to Nick for 30 seconds. His phone dies. Return to Taboo. Phone rings. Nick. Talk to Nick for 12 minutes. He is mid-story, involving footie pajamas. Excitement as listener is rising. His phone dies. No more phone time with Nick. Taboo has been abandoned. Bad TV. Mom and Dad sleeping in chairs. Riley turns off obnoxious commercials. Dad instantly awake. "Hey! I was watching that!" "Dad, you were sleeping." "Was not. Mythbusters. Commercial." Riley and Bailey upstairs. Find cat. He is cornered. Receives petting. Purrs. Riley and Bailey tear apart Lego bricks. Riley laughs. "Do you realize this is how we're spending our Christmas?" Kiss Riley on head. Kiss Dad on head. Kiss Mom on head. Turn off lights. Downstairs. Can't find cat--what else is new?, little booger. Blog. Bed. Bah Humbug.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Say what?

Dear Customers,

Sometimes your comments are not appreciated, and often, not invited in the first place.

A few weeks ago I was putting a carafe of half and half out on the condiment bar, and a woman stirring sugar into her coffee asked me, "Do you know anything about feng shui?" This was around 6am on a Sunday, mind you. Who asks a question at that time of day, prior to sipping their coffee? I paused, mentally checked that I was only inwardly smirking, then hesitantly answered, "Yes..."

"Do you guys do your own set up of the store?" she asked, referring to our holiday decorations. I explained that we do, but that they are according to corporate guidelines. She then proceeded to offer me tips on how to better set up the displays according to the principles of feng shui.

I am not making this up.

I was thinking, "Lady, do I look like I care? It is 6am. I am exhausted, and would not be here if I didn't have to be, please quit telling me about feng shui." When she was finished I told her, again, that the set up is out of our control and that we follow Seattle's orders, and I backed away.

Today. I am sweeping the floor and this woman is on her way to the bathroom and pauses as she approaches me, surveying the dust party at our feet and says, "You're doing a good job," then laughs and passes. I don't know about you but I was offended by this. Pointing out the janitorial element of my job. And laughing in my face. Expecting me to laugh back. I supplied her with a fake chuckle to get her to, like the feng shui lady, move along.

About 5 minutes later I am at the condiment bar (maybe I should just avoid the condiment bar, or the cafe altogether, to prevent these awful events in my life) shoving Equal and Sweet & Low packets into their little compartments when the same lady and her friends come over to throw away their empty cups and napkins. This lady makes a comment about how I am "playing with the sugar." I made a cynically polite remark back about how I am "not exactly playing" with the sugar, moreso stocking it for people like her.

Then!! She said, "making all the big bucks," and laughed. I did not laugh back, obviously, as this woman is now quite possibly very openly commenting on my meager salary and perhaps additionally insulting my occupation overall. Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I am not.

And then. As I gave her no reaction, keeping my face toward the sugar while my mind willed her out of the store, she said it again. "Making all the big bucks," waiting for me to laugh with her.

I'm sorry, did I laugh the first time?

I didn't laugh the second time either. Finally she left.

Customers, think about what you're saying before you say it. And if you're going to insult the baristas working so very hard behind that counter, then make your coffee at home.

Yikes, I am a jerk. But seriously, who's with me? Please do this barista a favor and be extra, extra, extra nice to anyone and everyone you encounter working in retail tomorrow. It is a lot harder to do these jobs than many people think, including tasks such as "playing with sugar."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mall Madness

Last Friday included a milestone event in my life. I went to Victoria's Secret for the first time. And I purchased something.

My Christmas list looks a little something like the following:

-graduate school acceptance letters
-chocolate covered raisins

So. I took matters into my own hands on Friday and went ahead and purchased some sweatpants. (From Victoria's Secret, if you didn't see where I was going with this.) I really had no intention of entering VS, much less the mall, as I never have intention of entering a mall, and when I do I let my nose guide me to the soft pretzel stand and then get the H out of there.


My friend Caleb and I went to see Fantastic Mr. Fox (indeed fantastic--hilarious, including such lines as "Why is your cousin such a wet sandwich?") on Friday, and afterwards we were driving towards food when Caleb mentioned the mall.

He immediately imitated my answer which was: "[Siiiiigh], I could go for mall food court food, but not for mall shopping..."

Caleb was driving so we landed at the mall. He needed to get some gifts for some gal pals, so we ended up in VS. This is where I purchased my new, delicious, blue, soft, thick, glorious sweatpants. Mmm, sweatpants...How I have always loved thee...

Saturday morning I was showing off my new sweatpants to my Mom, told her where I got them from and, putting two and two together she paused and asked, "You didn't go to Victoria's Secret with a 17 year old boy, did you?"

"He's 18, Mom," I reassured her.

Caught off guard by her laughter, she accepted my counter offer and let the issue go.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lady looks like a Dude

This Thursday at work I was in the bathroom.

End of story.

Just kidding.

This Thursday at work I was in the bathroom, and I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, "I kind of look like a 15 year old boy right now." My hair was just the right length, with the right amount of "dead weight" (i.e., hanging flatly without a lot of feminine body), a perfect chunk of my bangs were swept to the side at just the right angle, and I was wearing a white polo--I looked like a boy.

So I came out of the bathroom and asked my coworkers, loudly, "Do I look like a 15 year old boy right now?" Karen and Ashley looked at me blankly, then resumed their coffee brewing and tile bleaching without a sound, thinking to themselves, "There goes Bailey again, with her crazy comments..."

A customer had been in our cafe for a while reading his book, and a little while later he came up to the register for a refill and we all starting goofing around with him. We shared our personal anecdotes about our favorite pastries, gave him warnings about consuming too much caffeine. He bought a sandwich, got a refill on his americano (my kind of man--calm down, he's married), and as I was ringing him up he said, "I've paid for the sandwich, I'd like one vanilla bean scone, and I don't think you look like a teenage boy."

Yesterday he came back in and I asked if he was going to hang out with us all day again. "Couple of hours," he replied. "Good," I awkwardly answered, not saying anything beyond my single word. I was wearing a black turtleneck and he said, "It's better today without the polo." I explained to him, "Yes, but I have the opposite effect with this shirt. I look like a forty year old woman." He advised me not to wear pearls over the turtleneck, and that I would be fine if I just avoided those.

I do rely on others for fashion advice. Also to inform me of bodily changes--weight gain/loss, hair growth, changes in butt/chest measurements--I don't pay attention to these things. I only occasionally look in the mirror and see a boy and ask others if they see him too.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I have thought for a long time (until about 30 minutes ago, to be exact) that periods of intense waiting, patience, wondering what is next in life, were characterized by their occasional entrance into our lives. I have viewed them as commercial breaks, not the television program or feature presentation.

Perhaps I am feeling differently about this because for me the past three years have been, shall we say, saturated, with the aggravation, depression, and wear and tear of such periods, and thus am inclined to feel that such a ratio of patience to smooth sailing is bound to continue. Regardless I wondered driving home just now if maybe the waiting periods are not so much commercial breaks as they are the bulk of our growth and spiritual and emotional development, and faith and dependency on God.

We say that we are not of this world, that we are above it all--Yeah. Right. We turn on the TV for comfort, we pray for a mate to soothe our aches, we search for peace and fulfillment in this world. I think God is constantly trying to get our attention, saying "Yo! Focus! We've been over this how many times? You've got the priorities backwards. Don't worry about your future, your lunch, your cuticles, your career. I'm in charge, now let's hit the book again, please, and try to pay attention this time." I think He says these things through trials in our lives not only because He designed things to work that way--rather than just give us a multiple choice test, He decided to get artistic and creative with it--but because the Bible puts certain messages/truths/rules in plain language, and to carry that out it must be illustrated on another canvas: in worldly times and lives. Also, probably, because most of us are not the most devoted readers of the Bible and so the only opportunity God has to get our attention is outside of its pages and inside the world.

I'm sorry, I'll switch this blame game to myself and drop the "we" language and switch it to "me," considering I have on more than one occasion declared the Bible to be "boring" at Bible studies. That "plain language" I mentioned above? Yeah. Not exactly the most thrilling reading. I just find that my eyes glaze over the choppy, matter of fact sentences. Psalms on the other hand, makes me cry with its beauty, especially Number 139. "You know when I sit and when I rise...You discern my going out and my lying down...You hem me in--behind and before"...Whoo! Get the tissues! But as for the glazing over, I feel a lot of that is Satan trying to distract and prevent me, an avid reader and lover of the literary, from really swallowing and digesting the most important words I can aim to stow in my heart. But that right there is another blog for another time.

So as much as I hate to look ahead in my life and imagine that it will continue to be filled with more dead ends than open, foliage-filled paths, I am starting to wonder if this might be the case. What am I going to learn, honestly, from constant good times? I don't say all this to sound like God is out to hurt us and make our lives miserable, I just feel that if we are stuck in happiness always then at some point we are going to be professing truths that we once believed because we felt them and have over time become immune and numb to them and are just professing because it is our habit. The only way God can teach us is to continually mix it up.

I feel maybe hypocritical, otherwise just half-hearted in writing this, because last night I was on the phone with my brother Patrick, a wonderful man with a wife who he married right after college, a career he landed before college ended, and a baby on the way, in bitter, painful tears because my life is nothing like his. Nothing falls into my lap at the "right time." I know this is a lie because God always, always, puts people in my life at the right time, in grocery stores, airplanes, random last minute social gatherings, but I tend to focus on the Friday nights that people cancelled plans, on the activities I missed in high school because I was too shy as "the new kid" to be proactive and join them.

But my Father takes care of me, and Patrick told me last night, "Bailey, I think you're an awesome person, and I'm not just saying that." He told me about Acts 17, where Paul explained that "from one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'" I know this, but I throw my fists. I blame others for my unhappiness; I know it is unfair and socially unacceptable to do this out loud, so I internalize it and get mad at people I don't even know, due to symbols they carry around that indicate they have reason to be happy--diamond rocks on left hands, car seats and Dora videos, bulky resumes--forgetting that they are just as human as me and therefore have equal opportunities to throw fists in the air.

Point being, I think when we (well when I, at least) imagine a happy life, I don't imagine a "perfect" life, but I do imagine fulfilling pieces coming into the picture at some point: husband, kids, career, along with general comforts day to day: cups of coffee, lunch dates, amusement parks, good movies, fuzzy cats. But God works on entirely different terms as we do. He will always be supernatural, we will always be His creation. He looks at us and says, "I love you, so yes, I'm going to give you people who love you, and avenues for you to use your gifts (which I gave you, by the way), but there are also going to be windy avenues that won't make a lick of sense to you, and the only thing that's going to be a stronghold for you during those times is Me."

So I'm just wondering. If perfect God is essentially a 180 in character compared to imperfect us, then wouldn't it be likely that the proportions we have in our minds of happy vs. frustrating life events would be a 180 compared to his proportions? Possible.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Personal Preferences

A couple of years ago, before I had my own car, my dad was driving me home from work and I was hinting that maybe we should all watch The Sound of Music as a family after dinner. I was trying to let him guess what movie I was describing and after providing him with a few hints he figured it out and declared,

"The hills are dead, Bailey! They're dead!"

I took that as a "No thanks" and hung out with Julie and hunky Mr. Plummer myself.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Dear Josephine

Louisa May Alcott's story, Little Women, continues to feed my soul in so many ways. I find so much comfort in the character of Jo (based on Louisa May Alcott herself; her entire novel is based on her life and those of her three sisters). Almost every time I watch the movie I cry, not only at the obvious moment for tears--when Beth dies--but depending on my life at the moment at a host of other moments.

One thing I always tell people about Little Women is that it contains just about every piece of the life cycle: birth, death, marriage, relationships between siblings, parents and children, husbands and wives, friends, even neighbors. Being a deeply relational person myself, this means everything to me.

I first read Little Women when I was fifteen, and I remember that, while loving it, I was still upset at the end when Jo didn't end up with Laurie, her best friend and devoted suitor, and furthermore, her spoiled sister Amy ended up with him. By the time I turned 21, my heart had changed and I understood the purity of Jo's love for Professor Bhaer and could differentiate between the examples of friendship and true, devoted, romantic love. Now at 24, I like to believe I am waiting for my Friedrich.

Aside from my love for older men, there are many other ways in which I identify with Jo. Shall we count the ways? Let's.

1. Jo is a writer. Duh.
2. Jo has three siblings. I have three siblings. While Jo's siblings are all sisters, Jo is certainly the odd one out, as the passionate writer, tomboy, and arguably, the most ardent feminist of the four. Similarly I am all these things, but am also the odd one out in my family, being the only girl.
3. After Jo refuses Laurie's proposal, she goes to New York to get away. While I am not escaping a proposal, I am looking at graduate schools in New York. This is partially for the programs offered in the region, but also much of my pursuit of graduate school in general is to begin a life changing, independence-birthing adventure for myself. A new life, basically, as Jo goes after the life she truly wants and deserves. Ditto for me.
4. Jo struggles doggedly with the idea of her sister Meg getting married. I was equally a tough egg to crack when my older brother Patrick was falling in love, proposing, and getting married. The breaking--which I am coming to see is not a negative break, but a blossoming--of a nuclear family unit is one me and Jo alike do not handle well, though we come around in time.
5. Jo's father serves in the Civil War as a chaplain (Louisa's real life father, Bronson Alcott, was a noted leader in the Transcendentalist movement, not exactly a religion, but certainly a noble chase after spiritual and moral ideals). My dad is a pastor.
6. Friedrich Bhaer encourages Jo to abandon her pursuit of fictional writing and write from her heart, about life, about her family. Hence she writes and publishes the book within a book, Little Women. I find that in my writing it is nearly impossible for me to write without discussing my family, and I have been told by multiple people (many of whom have not actually spent a great deal of time with my family) that I should write a book about my family. I do plan to do so.
7. Jo is the last one in her family to get married. This is yet to be determined for me, but I would not be surprised, People, if the same were true for me.
8. Jo chops her hair off for money in LW (in real life, FYI, Alcott was a Civil War nurse, and her hair was cut off when she was delirious due to mercury poisoning). Donating my hair to charity is in fact one of my hobbies.

Okay I think you get the point, this list could go on for a while, and that was probably a little more Louisa May Alcott trivia than you maybe cared to hear (just be glad, (or disappointed), that it wasn't Babysitters' Club trivia). However. If you have never read Little Women, men and women alike, please do. It will change your life for sure. Like I said, it continues to feed me through all the years of my life. I can't imagine you could turn the pages and not find something within them with which to relate.

Jo. I mean Louisa. I mean Bailey.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back by Popular Demand...

When I got home tonight I did what I do about once a month...or two...I threw up my hands and said, "Forget it!" and proceeded to remove all the extra crap I've been chauffeuring around town from my car. Considering the popularity of the May 20th post, "The Mitsubishi Abyss," I have decided to swallow my pride and provide once again for the greater good. I consider the greater good here to be the joy that others receive in pointing fingers at my ridiculous irresponsibility and/or laziness. So here it is, the list:

2 pairs of shorts
1 swimsuit
6 socks
2 knee-high nylons
5 green aprons
1 bra :)
1 hair elastic
6 shoes
1 t-shirt
1 clothing hanger
1 shoebox
1 change purse

Food and food accessories:
8 napkins (some used, some clean, all on the floor)
2 gum wrappers
5 food wrappers of other kinds
1 pack of gum
4 coffee cups (of the paper variety)
1 plastic food container
3 straw wrappers
1 piece of chewed gum, stuck to the lid of
1 Dr Pepper can
4 travel coffee mugs
3 fast food cups
3 plastic cups
8 water bottles (some empty, some with water, some with frozen water due to current weather conditions)
1 empty yogurt container (and, I assume, matching lid)
1 spoon (silver, not plastic--don't tell Mom)
1 french fry (small and shriveled)
1 1/2 bagels (blueberry, HyVee brand)

Office supplies/Paper products/etc:
5 bags
1 permanent marker
7 receipts
3 paper advertisements
1 program from Caleb's dance show last weekend
1 NY Times (12/2/09 issue)
1 coupon
2 notes from Mom, regarding leftovers she sent with me to work for lunch breaks
1 envelope
8 pieces of paper
1 gift card holder
1 sticker

Health/Cosmetics/General cleanliness:
1 gym bag (where the bra was located, all you sick-minded readers who were imagining some other explanation)
1 bottle of ibuprofen
1 towel
(not 1, but) 2 sticks of deodorant (I don't even sweat all that much)
1 "I [heart] Jesus" air freshener

And the Everything Else Category, also known as the Bailey, What is the Matter with You? Category:
3 board games
23 CDs and/or CD cases (not counting those that belong to Corie, along with other things of hers that I always mean to give back to her and always forget, for a year now)
2 paycheck stubs
1 business card
1 French coffee press

And my favorite item:
2 cardboard cut outs, 1 male and 1 female. (I am not a complete freak, these were free from a display at work). These are soon to be strapped into the back seat to become my constant passengers.

You know, when people fear that they will "never get married," the inventory listed above is one of my personal reasons for sharing this fear.

P.S. Oh, and there is a trash can in my trunk. Kind of ironic, now that I think about it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Tell us about yourself."

I'll go ahead and say it: I talk about myself all the time. I mean, I have a self-titled blog, for crying out loud. However, I am just now discovering how difficult it is to talk about myself in a 750-word limit entrance essay to the highest caliber journalism program in the country. The autobiographical essay asks that I simply tell the university's program about myself, about my family, passions, education, whatever I want. Completely open-ended, no restrictions.

Let me just ask, is that not the entire content of this here blog?

Nonetheless, this is daunting and perplexing. I have already written two full length essays in response to the prompt, as well as about six opening paragraphs, and have scrapped them all. If I were in a movie, I would have a wastebin full of crumpled balls of paper at my feet, and would be sighing and rubbing my forehead.

Instead I am nervously shoveling handfuls of Trader Joe's trail mix into my mouth and washing them down with my daily Americano (probably an illegal act, next to a library computer).

I could write about Dibbs, and ensure that the school would not accept me.

The good news is, I suppose, that this school is the most intimidating of all those I am applying to, so once this essay is out of the way I will hopefully be on my way. For now I am going to return to my typed stop-and-start ramblings about my family, moving around while growing up, Anne Lamott's amazing books, why I hated to write in college but now do it as a hobby, etc. Hopefully I will get somewhere.

Love to you readers who stay with me while I try to get to that Somewhere,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is my life

Today I began moving into my new "apartment." And by apartment I mean my parents' basement. I did some calculating as we shuffled around all of the heavy furniture and realized I have lived in every bedroom in this house. That is sad. I think I have lived at home a little too long. Mm hmm. Leave me alone, I'm going to school next fall...

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I got home from the gym tonight and my Mom got excited as she remembered something and declared, "Oh I got you a surprise!" She then handed me a tube of Screamin' Dill Pickle Pringles. I got equally excited, popped them open, and we each tried one and were both quite satisfied.

I took one downstairs to Dad, a lover of both salty chips and dill pickles, assuming he too would love the chip. I put it in his mouth, not telling him what it was but assuring him he would like it. He, trusting me, accepted it. And then, like a small child, he spit it out onto the plate in front of him. "What the Hell was that?!" he squawked.

A similar reaction came from my brother Patrick in 2001. Patrick and I had been playing softball with our church youth group, and we stopped at McDonald's on the way home. As our Previa barrelled down the interstate, Patrick took a bite of his burger and promptly made distressed "Ack!" sounds, out of which I somehow translated the word "Pickle!" He rolled down the window to spit the entire bite onto our nation's highway, attempting not to swerve off the same highway. After a minute of recovery he exhaled heavily, as if we had just come face to face with a bear and escaped, and said, "Whoo! We almost got into an accident!"

Like father, like son. Personally, I love pickles. Particularly in large amounts heaped upon one single sandwich.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Tonight I went out to dinner with friends and in the course of two hours, accidentally yelled "What?!" at a waitress who was asking if I wanted something to drink, threw a pen behind my head to a table that was luckily no longer occupied, and did all of this while wearing horrifically mismatched red and green clothing for the dinner's Ugly Christmas theme.

I have been asked to babysit this weekend and need to return the phone call, but am wondering if I am qualified to babysit considering I often feel that I am the one who needs a babysitter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


December 1st. Today is World AIDS Day.

Interestingly enough, today is also Become an Official Follower of The Daily Bailey Day.

I love making up holidays. I think I'll make tomorrow Give Bailey a Dollar Day.