Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Lose

So here's the thing about online videos. People will watch them because they think something significant is going to happen, even if the previous six minutes of the video have been sheer boredom. You think, "Maybe, at exactly 7:37 in the video something hilarious is going to happen and if I don't watch all 12 minutes of this video I'm going to miss out on a fantastic lifetime opportunity! And if I switch away from the video I'll forget about it and it will be lost in cyber-oblivion forever, and I will not be up with the pop culture times and no one will be my friend..."

And then you get to the end of 12 minutes and you think, "That was a boring video." And then you know what you do? You click on the next video, thinking the same crazed thoughts!

It's like gambling. It is exactly like gambling, I am telling you. "If I just pull the slot one more time, I'll get a million dollars, even though I've just lost $25 and I've been sitting here for three hours and my arm hurts more than it ever has, and I really have no idea if it is day or night right now..."

I just sent my brother's girlfriend, Caitlin, a message on facebook, and then watched five whole videos on her profile page of her and her roommates filling up a beanbag chair with the stuff that goes inside beanbag chairs. Now no offense, Caitlin and Caitlin's roommates, it's not that these videos were particularly boring, they just weren't exactly...nail biting and/or hilarity-inducing. I just had to note that once I watched "The Beanbag, Part One," I had to watch parts two through five as well. Each video seemed to me to be exactly like the one before it, I didn't understand the inside jokes, but the cheap thrill monster inside me kept clicking on that little square button with a triangle in it, "Play."

Jerry Seinfeld talks about this human idiocy in one of his old stand up routines, discussing the watching of late night TV. He says that he will "fight sleep" to find something good on TV, even though it is a known fact that the quality of television goes down as the hours tick on (save Craig Ferguson at 12:30am). "Go to BED!" he yells at himself. How true is this for all of us.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time Well Spent

Approximately six hours ago I left my house, jotting a note on the kitchen white board. (Pause: how American is that? A white board in the kitchen? Am I right?) I wrote: "Going to Caleb's to do homework. XO"

Just now I came home and Mom asked, "Homework all done?"

My response: "Psshh."

Our schedule for the past six hours looked a little something like this:

--Sit in kitchen with Caleb's dad, while Caleb's dad makes me dinner (delicious, what an amazing man), and we discuss whether Iraq was formerly Persia or Mesopotamia (answer, revealed from my history class notes: Iraq=Mesopotamia, Iran=Persia)
--Go to Caleb's closet, where I inherit multiple hand-me-down shirts, including an argyle cardigan I am currently wearing and can't seem to take off, so comfortable
--Go to Dairy Queen to buy dinner for Caleb's mom
--Drop off dinner for Caleb's mom
--Drive to grocery store, buy stuff
--Go to Starbucks (yes, our place of employment), get a glass of water, look at merchandise we've already seen, discuss, go out to parking lot discussing how lame we are, getting water at our place of employment when we're not even scheduled to work
--Get home, watch youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--Watch another youtube video
--And...3 hours later, no homework done, stomachs in pain from laughing at so much Ellen, as well as one particularly crazy clip involving a man in a porkchop costume
--Upon my departure, I try to steal one of Caleb's scarves (not included in the up-for-grabs pile in his closet); do not get away with the theft

And now here I am, maybe not more informed on the Middle East or ready to pass my geography quiz, but wearing a deliciously soft cardigan, eating Oreos, and waiting for my cat to come tuck me in. Ah well, I'll study tomorrow. I've worked really hard this week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Zoe in the Rye

I like to believe I have a special connection with other writers.

Last Saturday I had a date with my friend Kristen, and we watched the movie (500) Days of Summer, starring (soooo hott) Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.

Before the movie entered the DVD player, I had to give my rant pertaining to Zooey's name. I think, if it is going to be written the way that it is, then it should be pronounced the way it phonetically looks: Zooh-ee. As in zoo. Where there are animals to be seen. The name "Zoe" is pronounced ZOH-ee. I ultimately try not to be a grammar snob, and I love non traditional names (look at mine), but when names are written and spelled in a way that does not match up phonetically, it really gets under my skin. Think of a child's graduation ceremony. Think of all the many, many classes that child is going to enroll in over time, and think of how every time the teacher is going to be taking attendance the first day and will always screw it up.

Well I got on my soapbox, got off of it, we watched the movie, I fell in love with Joseph, and we enjoyed the film, despite my frustration with Zooey's name.

Days later, I picked up my copy of Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger, from where Ms. Deschanel got her name, and began reading it for the first time. I am loving it (this may come as a shock to those of you who believe I am a non-fiction snob as well--I do in fact enjoy some fiction writing, I just find that so many non-fiction reads take priority on my bookshelf first).

Then, yesterday, Kristen sent me a message asking, cryptically, "Did you hear the news?," and then mentioned something about me not being able to ever really find out the answer of how the name "Zooey" was in fact supposed to be pronounced. Alarmed, and a little saddened, I wrote back asking "Did J.D. die??? How very strange, since we just watched that movie and I just started reading his book!"

And finally, today in the kitchen, my librarian mom asked (in a rather upbeat tone, I will point out), "Guess who died?," as if she were asking, "Guess who got engaged?" or "Guess who's pregnant?" Having not yet received a confirmation message from Kristen, I made my best educated guess and replied, "Did J.D. Salinger die?!"

Yes, friends. Yes he did. The creator of Holden Caulfield, one of the most, in my opinion, obnoxious smart asses to ever grace the pages of American literature. And the above story is the very roundabout way that I learned of his death. Rest in peace, J.D. Your smart ass Holden has excited many a defiant teen, including but not limited to the hottie hott author Donald Miller. (Holla, Donald. I think you're hott.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

I witnessed something horribly adorable this morning.

A car came through our drive thru with a mother and son. The boy was sitting in the passenger seat, probably about 8 years old.

In his lap lay sheet music.

And in his hands was a green plastic recorder.

They were on their way to school, Mom was buying coffee, and he was dutifully practicing his recorder in the car.

I could not stop staring, and was genuinely saddened when they drove off.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I heart books

Once upon a time
I read for fun.
For the moment it seems
Those days are done.


Time for just a few pages? Please? Just a little bit of porridge, librarian sire?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Steaming Oats

Wow. I have been sitting here for about eight minutes without typing a word. My apologies, I feel mentally and physically sucked dry at the moment. I have been walking around work like a zombie. For some ridiculous reason I've still been getting on the treadmill like the hamster that I am, probably to feel like I still have one piece of my "routine" still intact.

I have been so wrapped up with graduate school statements of purpose that I have had little time left for creative reading or writing. Thus I have been sitting here trying to think of something witty to say and instead have bored you so far with two paragraphs concerning my application status. The good news is I will be all done on Tuesday. And then we will wait to hear who wants me and who doesn't.

So let's see, what's something fun we can talk about before I leave you to write, once more, about my "academic and professional objectives" (which I have memorized now, by the way)?

Oatmeal. We'll discuss oatmeal. How does everyone feel about oatmeal? Personally it took me a long time to start eating it; I think I finally touched it in college, a time in which desperation for nourishment kicks in at 2am and one must learn to depend on dormitory stashes, i.e. cereal, peanut butter, stale crackers, soda from a vending machine bought with a collection of coins gathered from your neighbors. I started with the Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets, loaded with sugar, the apples & cinnamon variety as well as the maple & brown sugar kind. While I don't remember eating Quaker oatmeal as a kid, I do remember my brothers doing so, and I am pleased to see that 20 years later, there are still Dino fun facts printed on the packages. Stick with what works, Quaker, stick with what works.

This past year I decided to grow up a little and experimented with "real" oats, the kind that actually have to cook a little and have no specific taste. For a while I added cinnamon, but then quickly realized I could get them down by themselves. I find that regular oats are quite good. My dad tells me that his dad used to like oatmeal, and this has affected his liking of it. My dad says there is something comforting about the stickiness of oatmeal, the filling factor it provides. I have to agree. I also love that it lowers cholesterol.

Recently a box of "Lower Sugar" oatmeal entered our pantry. I took a couple of packets to work to eat on my morning break, and felt as if I had rubbed a piece of black licorice across my tongue. I love black licorice, actually, but when I eat oatmeal I would like to taste oatmeal. If I want black licorice, I'll buy a bag of black jelly beans, okay? (And I'll eat the whole bag.) I asked my dad about these mysterious low sugar packets and he immediately pointed the finger of blame away from himself. He asked me if they tasted like cardboard, indicating that his wife had smuggled them into the house and that while he may enjoy receiving senior discounts at restaurants, he for one will not be sampling the low sugar variety, nor any low fat/low salt products while we're at it. Not yet anyway. Not while he still has his marathon-runner pride. Point taken.

I bet pecans would be a delicious addition to oatmeal. Hmm...delicious and easy...

Monday, January 25, 2010


I just got off the phone with Patrick, and he told me he's going to go play some Dr. Mario. Ahh, Dr. Mario. How I love thee, Dr. Mario.

I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty awesome at Dr. Mario. Patrick took our original Nintendo to college with him in 2001 and I'm not sure I've ever forgiven him for it, because I'm pretty sure I've only played Dr. Mario a few times since then. As I recall, I have reached level 23 in DM, and if you know the ins and outs of the game then you know that once you beat level 20 all of the levels beyond that are bonus levels and so once you lose, say, level 22, it's back to level 20 for you, Mister. Then you have to beat level 20, 21, and 22 all over again. And the levels get longer and longer, as there are more and more viruses to kill with the red, yellow, and blue pills in the virtual pill bottle. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you're truly missing out.

You can choose your preferred soundtrack as well. Your two options are "Fever" and "Chill." I don't remember which one, exactly, but I think it was "Chill" that sounded like MC Hammer's "Pray." "We got to pray just to make it today." We would sing that while we played Dr. Mario for hours and hours. I remember one time we had the day off from school, and my mom came home from work and said, "This is where I left you this morning!," because we had been playing DM all day.

Perhaps the best feature of DM is the two-player feature. Two pill bottles side by side, each player can choose their own level and speed, and then you race. Oh it gets even better than just a simple race. If you kill two viruses at once in your bottle, an extra pill falls into your opponent's pill bottle to block their efforts in killing their own viruses. And if you're super speedy like me, then you just stack up the pills, ultimately clogging their bottle and defeating them rather quickly. I had an annoying habit of yelling "Double, comin' your way!" each time I dropped a pill on my brothers' side of the screen. They hated it when I said that, but I really think they hated that I was so good. Just now on the phone with Patrick, he commended my skills; never does one forget when his sister has above average Nintendo skills.

There was this guy in my dorm freshman year who was--I know this is hard to imagine--even better than me at Dr. Mario. His name was Frank, and he was amazing. I can beat level 20 no sweat, but mind you I do so on the low speed level. Frank could beat, I believe, levels 20-25, on the high level. That is some mad skill right there. I got really excited--I know, again, hard to imagine--when I heard that Frank a)had Dr. Mario in his dorm room and b)that he loved to play, so I suggested we have a little Dr. Mario Off. Yeah, I was creamed. What I thought would be a fun bonding moment began to feel like skiing with Picabo Street.

Point being, find yourself an original NES, and play some Dr. Mario! Now! Tonight! Do it for me, the deprived pill popper!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I find it strange that we call them "car keys." Only one key is required to unlock one's car. Yet, we always say, "I can't find my car keys," not: "I can't find my car key," or: "I can't find the key to my car."

And while we're at it, why is it a "pair" of pants? Pair of legs, yes. But since we also refer to the item of lower body attire with a singular-word term, just "pants," then why is the "pair" piece necessary?

And peanuts. When someone refers to a "peanut," you can picture one of three things, am I right? Yes I am.

1, you can picture an entire peanut, shell intact:

2, you can also picture one of the two individual nuts inside the shell:

3, you can break one of those individual nuts in half along its natural seam, and still we call each of those pieces a "peanut" as well (item in foreground of picture below, which I have dubbed "Evolution of the shelled peanut"):

So riddle me this. Which piece exactly is the peanut??? Please don't tell me life is simple when there are such questions as this in our world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What to do with one's hands

I love the awkward moments of the first day of a new class. I love awkward moments in general, particularly that moment within an awkward moment in which you think to yourself, "I can't wait to tell so-and-so about what is happening right now." It is that moment, I believe, that salvages awkward moments. Otherwise they would just be miserable. Take bad dates, for example. You are sitting there thinking, "I do not like this guy at all," yet simultaneously you are thinking, "Corie is going to think this is hilarious. Be sure to take mental notes on the details." Maybe it is just me, but when I am feeling terribly uncomfortable, I am already picturing me and my best friend with glasses of wine discussing the terrible uncomfortableness, laughing all the way. Perhaps it is a coping mechanism; well, it's one that works.

As for the first day of a new class, such is FULL of awkward moments. Love it. Today I started a course, History of the Middle East (which I am so nerdily excited for, the reading, the writing, the learning, the discussion), and soaked up all the awkwardness like a good awkward person should.

I got there early, because parking can be a huge dose of gross, so I began the afternoon with awkward roaming of the halls. After a bathroom trip I reached my classroom, and read the note posted on the door, noting the students in the classroom, and pretended to casually read the posting that might say "History of the Middle East has been moved to Room...," but instead worried that I was not in the right location. I read the note which turned out to be a false alarm, and took a seat on the carpet in the hallway. Another girl sat on the other side of the hallway.

The other girl whipped out her phone to text, and I scribbled in my calendar, scribbled in my journal, then underlined some passages on the dog-eared pages of my book. Another girl sat down in the hallway, and she also whipped out her phone to text. I got up to go on another bathroom run, came back and sat down, now with more people sitting in the hallway, all of us avoiding eye contact and pretending to text or read.

Once in the classroom, there was more awkward waiting in silence, as the teacher always waits a few minutes on the first day to make sure everyone is there. I killed time putting my coat on the back of my chair, scribbling in my notebook, making a to-do list, sipping my coffee. I realized as I fidgeted that I chose the creakiest desk in the classroom, tried to fidget a little less, then gave up and kept fidgeting and thus creaking.

More minutes of silence passed, and finally our (fantastic) professor began class. Then the degree of awkwardness subsided; however, until you hit day 2 of a class, the awkwardness is always present, even when your professor breaks the silence. That is the beauty of the first day. There is no material yet to discuss, therefore students can choose boring small talk or they can choose to remain silent. And I, for the most part, exercise my right to remain silent, and sit back and take it all in. I am pretty comfortable with silence in the presence of others; though I can certainly be a chatterbox, I don't feel the need to fill every moment with words. If there is nothing to be said, don't worry about it. Therefore I often sit and soak. A true writer, observing and meditating, always on the prowl for content for her blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Party Pooper

Let me invite you into my world (as if I don't do so with every post) and share a little with you about the dynamics in my home. Last night I went to the 'Bucks to work on...yep, you guessed it--

grad school application essays

--and ended up writing something entirely unrelated to the application process (but that's beside the point), and hours later dragged my exhausted self into my house, ready to crash. Some dear friends of ours, Mary and Steve, were over watching the Kansas State/Texas basketball game, a couple who I hadn't really seen in over a year. I love these people, even though it may not show through the fact that they live just up the street and I haven't stopped in to say "Hi" in over a year. So despite my poor correspondence skills, I was excited to see these two who mean so much to me, despite my exhaustion and the paired fact that I had to hit the sack anyway to get up early for work today.

We chatted for a minute, I put a miniscule dent in the cheese ball deemed for their sporting event, discussed my insomnia, my recent vacation, grad school. I said "See ya," and as I headed to my bed chamber no one promised to be quiet, because there were five minutes left in the neck-and-neck game. I didn't expect them to be quiet, was too tired to be angry about it, figured I was tired enough that I might fall asleep despite extra noise, and above all else I've kind of given up on sleeping at normal hours anymore. It's a battle I'm losing the way only a true loser can lose, so why put up my fists anymore? At least I have a good book to read right now (Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner), and reruns of "The Nanny" are on Nick at Nite.

Shortly after I crawled into bed I heard faint bell ringing coming from the living room. If your guess is that this was alarming to me, you would be wrong. This is because my family has rung bells for sporting events for as long as I can remember. Since 1994 at least.

When the Chiefs or the Jayhawks score a touchdown, each family member

(except Riley usually, who boycotts the watching of football, but because he at least likes to play it and also because he's so incredibly cute we've decided to keep him)

grabs a bell (cow or otherwise), runs out the front door, down the front steps, down the entire driveway, then pivots and runs the same course back to the house, ringing his or her bell the entire way. When an extra point is scored, lather rinse repeat, folks, we need to show these teams our support, not to mention annoy the neighbors as much as possible. During high scoring games (obviously in recent years this would refer to Jayhawk games rather than Chiefs games), it is likely that your feet will be frozen, because you will tire of putting on shoes for each victory lap and will head into the tundra as you are, regardless of precipitation on the ground.

Point being, I was not alarmed at the sound of bells at 11pm.

Because teams score much more often in basketball than football, my parents and our friends were not running these aforementioned laps for each basket last night. But they were lightly jingly them in their laps each time K-State scored. After a few minutes only one bell could be heard, and I can guarantee you that bell belonged to my father, the noise maker from whom I inherited my own special volume level. I considered at one point to playfully yet seriously call upstairs and ask someone to "Please take that bell away from Dad," but decided against the move. Instead I read for a bit and then flipped on the TV to hang out with Nanny Fine.

The game ended soon enough, and it was evident that K-State had won. It was at this point that I heard my mother ask, "Tom, do we have any fireworks?" Mary, our friend, replied, "Oh yeah, that'll help Bailey sleep."

Now examine with me this situation:

1. 24-year old me arrives home at 10:30pm, declares to her 58 and 60-year old parents that she is going to bed, and asks them to keep the volume level down.
2. Within ten minutes, my parents procure bells.
3. Yet five minutes later, my mother suggests that she and her adult friends shoot off fireworks in our suburban cul de sac on a weeknight, while her daughter is trying to sleep in the basement.

Do these roles seem a little reversed to you? Shouldn't I be the one with friends over to watch the big game? Shouldn't my parents be reading in bed, asking us to keep it down? Shouldn't my friends and I continue on in our noisemaking regardless of a request to keep it down? Shouldn't twenty-somethings have the desire to shoot off fireworks, and otherwise carouse?

Well not for this household, friends. No no, it is I who am the representative old soul, and my almost-grandparent parents who keep track of the explosives around here.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ugh. Extra Weight.

Okay. Between online banking, shopping, email logins, university site passwords (financial aid, unofficial transcripts--each element with a different password), graduate school application logins, etc., etc. ad nauseum...I have to have at least one hundred online IDs and passwords floating around in cyberspace. Including one for this blog. I only remember...maybe 3 of them. Email, facebook, blog. So obnoxious. Can I get an amen?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fact of Life

Sometimes working for a caffeination station isn't enough to fend off exhaustion.


Friday, January 15, 2010

You Say "Banana"

Accents make the world a better place. Admittedly, some of them drive me up a wall (and I won't mention those specific ones here so as not to offend), but most of them are flipping amazing.

My brother Patrick has told me to watch Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, because not only is Ferguson hilarious, but everything he says is ten times funnier because of his Scottish accent. Patrick is not always right, but on this point he for sure is. I caught Craig a few times just channel surfing because I couldn't sleep, and after a few encounters realized I was setting down the remote and getting sucked in. He is so precious. On Wednesday his guest was Richard Lewis and they were talking about dinosaurs and Craig put his arms up to his chest and started flapping his hands around, explaining that dinosaurs had "tiny little arms" used "for stroking" other dinosaurs whom they loved. Okay now imagine those words being spoken in a Scottish accent...done. Case closed.

Today my friend Phil came into the 'Bucks and he was telling me about how he was running yesterday and got a horrendous leg cramp and he was thinking to himself, "Someone get me a banana!"* Phil is British. So he did not pronounce his second "A" (of the three "A"s in "banana") with a nasally American "ba-nAAAh-na," but instead it was a British, sighing sort of "ba-nAH-na." You can picture a stuffy butler saying "please pass me that ba-nAH-na over there," and it's already funny. But then imagine Phil making his statement in the same excited way that Americans would (i.e., "Dude! I got the worst leg cramp yesterday! I was like, 'someone get me a ba-nAAAh-na!'"), same rushed pace, only with the stuffy, slow, sighing butler voice...done. Case closed.

Accents? Rock. Oh, and watch Craig Ferguson tonight. CBS.

*The potassium in bananas prevents leg cramps. Pretty great trick.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It can be pretty wearing to have an intense imagination. I don't even usually consider myself to be a very imaginative person. I have very little desire to read fiction, much less author it. If I go to a movie not based on a true story, then it better not be science fiction (cough, Avatar), and if one element is farfetched (such as the time-traveling in The Lake House or the 13-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old's body in Big), then the rest of the movie better be commentary on human relationships; otherwise you cannot count on me to sit with a bucket of popcorn and my beloved Junior Mints for two hours.

(Exception to these rules: The Labyrinth. Hello. Puppets. David Bowie. Completely in an extraordinary league of its own. Duh.)

Otherwise, I don't think of myself as having a very vivid imagination. On the contrary, I would say I have a pretty lazy imagination. When I color with crayons (which I do often), I rarely make an illustration of people, things, an event. When I do, I do it quickly and try not to get up to go to the bathroom because by the time I get back I will have lost interest. I usually just find relaxation in putting color on the page, making oblong shapes with smooth, curved edges and filling them in with cool greens and blues, then adding stripes of bright magenta to feed the bright color fiend in me.

A couple of years ago, however, my mom told me I have "too good of an imagination." My irrational fears were getting the best of me, and these same exact fears catch me up every day two years later; it is this realization that makes me wonder if I have moved forward at all in that time. This weekend Nick's dad preached on the passage in Romans 7 that talks about how we do what we don't want to do and we don't do that which we do want to do. He told us that no matter how much we try and switch up our behavior to better ourselves, we will always have a wicked, awful, disgusting human nature. You could rub the feet of elderly members of a retirement community every day of your life, and you would still have selfish, evil desires in your heart until the day you die; we can't help it, this nature is just there. And it is important to separate this human nature from what we more commonly view as our personal "sins:" things we do wrong; the former is just a state of being, just the way things are, the latter is an action we take; and it is the combination of the two that makes me worry.

Romans 7 talks about how, ironically, when a law or rule or social taboo is laid before us, that is the exact thing that makes us want to break it. It discusses the irony further in saying that, with this logic, shouldn't we just remove the law altogether to keep from tempting us in the first place? No!, it explains, that is where God's grace, unexplainable, unfathomable grace, comes in.

I really am not typing all this to be preachy. That is the last way I want to come across in my writing, in the way I communicate with others. I say all this because I see its truth in my own life, and see it validated in Scripture. It is from all these things discussed in Romans 7 that my irrational fears take root. I let my imagination run wild and start to wonder about all of the horrible things one (specifically me, because I am selfish and it is all about me) is capable of doing. This is not a healthy mode of thinking, I realize, but I can't help it.

I try to think of all the good I can do, too (Philippians 4:8 "Whatever is true/noble/right/pure/lovely/admirable/excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things"), but it is this ironic juxtaposition of good and evil that that pesky human nature brings in that freaks me out. And it is that which freaks me out, rather than the nice things I can do in retirement communities or elsewhere, that I choose to focus on. For better or worse, anxiety has decided to marry me in this life, so it is the cross I bear and while it makes me attuned to detail which gives me content for writing such as this, the flipside is, well, it freaks me out. And let me tell you, friends, being freaked out is just really no fun at all. And it causes a lot of people to answer their phones at 3am to calm down a very anxious Bailey. But you've read enough about my anxiety in other posts, so I will spare you right here right now.

So when my mom told me my imagination is too strong, it was in response to all the things I know that people are capable of, and fear that I might someday go crazy and do them myself. Let me preface this next statement by saying that I am a horribly judgmental person. I do not sit calmly and think harmonious thoughts about God's children. I think about how they drive me crazy, how they have more money than me, how their social skills do not equal mine, how I am more intelligent, attractive, etc. etc. etc. We all do this. I just want to point out that I am definitely a part of that judgmental group, before I say what I'm going to say next, which can put me simultaneously in a humble yet disturbing light.

When I watch the news and see criminals, I don't respond by saying, "That is so sick. How can anyone do that? Why do bad things happen to good people?" I do agree with all of those comments and wonder them myself; however, I also think to myself, "Any last one of us could do that." Maybe this freaks you out, and maybe you find that extremely offensive, as if I am calling you a criminal (which I am most certainly not). But, if you will, think about it. Like I said above, I am terribly judgmental and therefore am the poster child for self righteousness, but I am also terribly uncomfortable with being self righteous. Therefore I don't walk away from the evening news feeling puffed up, thinking about the great person I am, thinking "thank God I'm not that awful person on TV." Instead I think (in less cliche terms) of the cliche phrase: "but for the grace of God" that would be me on the evening news.

I also think I'm terribly comfortable with being vulnerable, and have this compulsion to "confess," which is why you all have the pleasure of reading my confessions here. Food for thought, friends. Let me know what you think, if you so desire.

"So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." --Romans 7:21-25

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today's Menu

Breakfast: Black coffee in bed, served by Nick to the Princess, snuggling with Cooper the cat.

Lunch: Macaroni & cheese made by yours truly, fed in the backseat of a Subaru to a precious little blonde baby. Then I made a fish face at him and got him to smile at me for the first time all week. Success.

Dinner: Airline peanuts, Cheeze Nips, and grape fruit snacks. Then Momma made me a grilled cheese sandwich when I got home.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today was a big day for the daily Bailey of your daily reading life. Like a real live journalist, I decided to do a little world traveling. I entered a lot of new geographic territory today; feel free to read the oh-so-extensive list here:

Niagara Falls (NY)
Niagara Falls (Ontario)

New York


Canada!! Yay!

And in case you're wondering, number of trips to McDonald's today:
Four. Lots of french fries and ice cream cones (including one that looked more like paint than ice cream) today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stubborn (guest writer Nick with commentary from Bailey)

I think Bailey has this word on a banner proudly displayed above her head. (She just called me an ass). Now some people might say, Nick, give her a break, she has a lot on her plate, she is trying to figure out what to do with her life. But I say, no, suck it up, who knows, you just might like Avatar. Just give it a try. You never know.

But no. While the rest of my family joined me in the 3D world of adventure and action, Bailey sat for 45 minutes by herself in the lobby of the movie theatre and then went and watched It's Complicated by herself.

My ticket was way less expensive, AND I didn't have to buy stupid glasses to watch my film. Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin had me in tears, I don't remember the last time a bunch of Smurfs made anyone cry. Except when they got cancelled.

Smurfs? Please. You can watch Alec Baldwin for free on TV and you have you very own Meryl look-a-like back in Kansas. Perhaps it is time for you to return home.

Ass. I will stay in your parents' home as long as I like. And I will eat the mint M&M's from the candy dishes and read C.S. Lewis aloud to you whenever I want. I will get lectured my members of your church who I don't even know for tearing down the Christmas tree in the wrong manner and then eat free pizza afterward. I will offer to babysit your nephew so you and your brothers can go see Avatar, then be told "No no, Bailey, go to the movies," and then I will go see whatever I want.

Bailey is saying comments that are not being taken down here, and to her I say, don't give me any journalism pointers until post grad school. Thanks. And in your last comment, it should say "lectured by members of your church" not "my." "My" just indicates that, once again, you were only thinking of your self.

"Yourself" is one word. We are boring the readers. From Cleveland, good night, friends. Nicholas, any last words?

Yes. I would just like to inform your "readership" (I don't think any of you actually exist) that the only funny posts on this blog are posts about me, and the other ones are generally made up (just like your readers) which really makes this whole blog a lie considering it is supposed to be non-fiction. And Bailey has a cell phone. She lies about a lot of things.

And Nick lies even more. (It is possible that Nick and I have had a little too much quality time together and are getting a little fussy with each other).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ole [Saint] Nick

Sometimes being reprimanded is downright hilarious. When I was in elementary school, I went to the after school YMCA care and my best friend Stephanie and I were always getting into trouble simply by being too hyper. There was this guy who was one of the counselors, named Fred, and when we had finally taken our antics too far he would yell, "COOL IT!" and we thought this was absolutely hysterical. I remember one time in particular (prior to which we had been told to "cool it" by Fred on another occasion, and since then had discussed how amusing we found this to be) we were on the parallel bars on the playground and when Fred started yelling "cool it," we couldn't hold in our laughter. This led him to yell "cool it" more and more, and eventually I think he just gave up and walked away.

Likewise, my dad used to remind my brothers and I that our car was "not a jungle gym!" whenever he would catch us climbing around on the seats of our minivan. It would take so long to gather four whole children into one car, that I think my parents ended up sending us out to the car one by one, and then they would gather their own belongings and come out to cart us to school, church, wherever. It was during these times that we were assembled in the car, sans parents, that we created such games as "Dark." Here is how one plays "Dark:"

1. All four children get in car.
2. Buckle seatbelts.
3. One child, usually the eldest and assumedly most brave, gets out of the car, leaving side door to minivan open, and climbs stairs of garage to the light switch by the door leading to the house.
4. Designated child switches off the light.
5. Brave child walks gingerly, (however quickly to avoid encounters with garage ghosts and goblins), back to minivan, entering through side door previously left open.
6. Eldest child closes door, climbs into his/her seat, and buckles safety belt.

And then...

7. All four children sit quietly in the car. In the dark.
8. Game ends when parents, finally ready to go, enter garage and open outside garage door, thus penetrating the darkness with light.

And that, my friends, is how you play Dark. You should try it sometime.

Occasionally, we would opt not to play Dark (because let's be honest it was a little bit scary and one should only play Dark sparingly) and instead we would get roudy and start climbing on the seats. And then, inevitably, every time, Dad would come out of the house and find us "horseplaying," as he and Mom so fondly like to phrase it, in the car, and burst into his angry chorus of "The car is not a jungle gym!" And we would try very hard not to giggle outwardly. Maybe if he would have just said "playground" like a normal parent (I understand it is far too much to ask my father to be normal) instead of "jungle gym," it would not have been all that funny.

Well in the past 48 hours my dear friend Nick has reprimanded his pets for less than ideal behavior, and in so doing exhibited behaviors of a 43-year old man with 3 children, rather than the 24-year old single man he really is. And I am finding this, in the same way that I found Fred and Dad to be, absolutely hysterical.

Last night we returned from a late night dessert run to Nick's parents' house, and their two dogs were going berserk with excitement at our return. We could hear them barking from outside, still as we made our way through the garage, and then as we passed through the laundry room. It should be mentioned here that Nick was wearing something of an old man coat, a gray sport coat, which did not help his image at the moment. Nick opened the door in front of me, finally encountering the dogs, and yelled "Enough!" To which I began cracking up. "You did not just say that, Nick! How old are you?"

Within a half hour, after Nick had kicked Cooper, the amazing however a little too cuddly cat, out of his bedroom, I knocked on his door and asked him to cut off the paper bracelet that I had worn at the Science Center that day. Seconds later Cooper came bounding into Nick's room and landed happily on the bed. Without missing one single beat, middle-aged Nick yelled at the cat, "No! This is not a game!" I could not handle any more after that point; I was laughing so hard. All day today he has been addressed as "Grandpa," because, clearly, he should be.

Here is Cooper, the game-playing cat:

Friday, January 8, 2010


So as a pirate may have told you, I am on vacation. I am visiting my best friend Nick and his family. So far the adventures are abounding.

Nick's nephew has earned us a free lunch with his screaming from his car seat in the drive thru (we got to the window and were informed our Chick-Fil-A was on the house), we've chilled in a bookstore, purchased clothes for Bails, and today we explored the Science Center where I did something I really hate to do, and that is touch that static-electricity-ball thing that makes your hair stick up (irrational fear). My suitcase was lost and then returned, so I wore Nick's deodorant for a couple of days, and I think I am going to be roped into skiing on Tuesday (not exactly my best sport) after visiting Niagara Falls. Currently Nick and his friend Beth are making pico de gallo and I am anti-socially blogging over here in the living room. What can I say, I don't exactly feel like chopping onions and tomatoes.

Our first night here we were recruited to help teach K-3rd graders in their midweek Bible class. The kids led us in a rap-style version of a song called "The Holy Books," and then we learned about a widow in the Bible who fed Elijah the last of her food, even though she was very poor and only had enough to feed herself and her son. Because the widow was obedient and trusted Elijah and Elijah's God, there was more than enough food leftover. Miss Dee, our instructor for the evening, explained that this particular widow had a very significant story and impact, but nonetheless her name is never mentioned in the story. Dee described the widow as "nameless" to the chillin's. During our lesson on sharing, a little girl named Gracie politely raised her hand and when called on, calmly asked, "Are all widows nameless?" I had to tell myself not to laugh at the preciously innocent question and was glad that Miss Dee fielded the question and explained that "No, not all widows are nameless."

Following our lesson the children performed a sharing skit, in which director Nick set the stage by writing "CAFETERIA" on the dry-erase board and cast me as "the lunch lady." My part involved standing and remaining silent.

I love it here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The Daily Bailey has been HiJacked by a pirate!

Keep up for tabs on this exciting (and dangerous) situation!


Readers, this is Bailey, I have regained control of my blog. Someone who will remain nameless (Nick) has been informed that the word "hijacked" does not include a capital "J." I will try to keep a better eye on his antics for the remainder of our vacation to ensure that you receive no additional posts containing inferior spelling. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Morning: I arrived at work at 6:30am, freezing cold and barely running on four hours of sleep, following a night of typing (yet more) grad school essays. During most of the hours spent typing, I was wearing my winter hat. I removed the hat briefly to sleep, and then put it right back on this morning as I got into my frigid car and shivered for 18 of the 20 minutes it takes me to drive to work, while I waited for the car to warm up. I was surprisingly in a good mood, probably because my application was submitted and out of my hands. When I got to work I went to the bathroom and took off my hat. As I stepped out I asked my coworkers to "please ignore my hair." Caleb was very polite in (not) hiding his true feelings and gave me a priceless look accompanied with instructions to immediately fix my matted down head. Jen suggestively asked, "Do you need a hair thing?," which I graciously accepted. I actually ended up with a pretty cute ponytail, a little more peppy than usual due to some awry kinks thanks to winter hat and bed head.

Noon: I stopped by the post office to mail my car payment (technically 2 days late, but also technically within the 15-day grace period--I may be last minute but I usually make things work). I pulled my car up to the blue box and reached for it with my envelope containing my hard earned coffee dollars, now payable to the nice people at the loan credit union. I realized I was not exactly close enough to the mailbox, as just the edge of my envelope lay teetering on the edge of the chute, and 97% of it hung suspended between the chute and my pinched, straining fingers. Freezing cold and too lazy to adjust the car's position, I gave a little "egh" stretch-effort sound effect and let go of the envelope. Definitely sent a now-paper airplane for a little ride to the snowy ground instead. I opened my door to gather it and gave a little wave and smile to the car behind me. He smiled back, enjoying the free show. I had a tremendous urge to yell "Party foul!" at him, but sadly his window was up and he would not have heard me.

Night: Went out for pizza dinner with Riley and the 'rents for Riley's last night home before going back to school. All declared "not it" when electing tonight's person to pray over the pie, when said pie arrived at the table and election was briefly interrupted. After thanking our waitress, Dad took on the role and we joined in a quick "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food, Amen." Well, all of us except Riley. Two minutes later Riley asked, "so are we going to pray?" Eye glances around the table, no response. Then,

"Riley, we did pray."
"Did we pray?"
"No, we discussed praying and then the pizza came."
"Yes, and then we prayed."
Riley: "Did you pray silently?"

He was being totally serious--no recollection of the prayer. Nice. New Year's Resolution? Work on the short term memory.