Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chicken scratch

I have a test in my Middle Eastern history course tomorrow afternoon, and it may very well kick my behind. But I might be able to kick its behind, such is yet to be determined. If you will so oblige me (you don't really have a choice, unless you want to boycott reading this post until the next one), I am going to review my notes here on The Daily Bailey. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Alphabet of the Middle East:

Bar Kochba Revolt
Inner struggle (greater jihad)
Universal health care (way back in the day, it was a reality)
Written language (cuneiform)
Yeshua ben Joseph

You'll have to do your own googling/Wikipedia-ing to find out what all of these things mean, unless you're already an expert, in which case I'm going to need your phone number so you can be my tutor. Did I mention I love this class and am drooling all over my notes? And I really really want to go to the M.E. now.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I have a canker sore that is trying to kill me. And what am I doing to heal it? Drinking acidic coffee. Good move, Bails.

Canker sore, 1.
Bailey, 0.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snooze Button

I'm tired of working Saturdays.

I'm tired of being cold.

I'm tired of being tired.

What are you tired of? Cleaning? Bills? Traffic? Ugg boots?

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I was watching Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew tonight, and was very moved by something a woman named Nancy had to say. Nancy's son, Layne Staley, was the lead singer of the band Alice in Chains, who died as a result of drug use in 2002. His best friend Mike Starr is currently in rehab for his own drug use, and Layne's mother Nancy is a huge and faithful support to his recovery. Her role as that support is admirable and outstanding in itself, but one thing in particular that she said on Dr. Drew was really touching, and something I'll never forget.

Nancy addressed the entire group of patients in Mike's rehab group, sharing her story and making a message about the finality of death. Through tears, but also with remarkable composure (this woman is astounding), she told the men and women in front of her how powerful the death of an addict can be on his or her loved ones, and how there is only one opportunity for any of us to live this life. She told the recoverees that while they think a celebrity life is the road to happiness, she asserted that instead,

"You want a boring, predictable life. And you cannot believe how rich that is until you're in it."

As a person who is always seeking out the opposite of boring and predictable, I thought this was so profound. This woman lost her son to stupid drugs. And she is giving her time and self to prevent others from losing their lives to mere substances. Nancy is a light who has inspired me.

If you're interested, you can watch the video of Nancy's speech here:

The second video is a more intimate account, where Mike apologizes for what he feels was his responsibility for Layne's death, Nancy's forgiveness of Mike, and the consequential relief for Mike. We can never encounter too many illustrations of grace, as we are so quick to walk away from them and forget about grace's power, instead seeking out substances (be it drugs, clothes, friends, popularity) to try and fulfill and fix us:

And if you want to watch ONE more video, here is a video of (big surprise) Craig Ferguson, filmed in 2007, talking about his own recovery from alcoholism and the media's harsh criticism of Britney Spears. Fantastic message from the heart:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shall we go for a dip across the pond, Madame?

This morning some men came in the store.

End of story, thanks guys, good night!

Just kidding :)

So this morning some men came in the store. At first I thought there were four of them, but now I think there were only three. They approached the register, and Steffie and I were to the side by the espresso bars, poised to make whatever toasty caffeinated goodness they might desire. Well these jovial men were in a jovial mood and were in no rush and were chatting and (this may be my literary/I-loved-these-men liberties kicking in to adjust the story here, but I think they may have also been) giggling like teenage boys.

Teenage boys in suits.

They were adorable to begin with. (How Charles Dickens of me was that last sentence? "Marley was dead to begin with." Anyone else hearing Gonzo's voice, narrating The Muppet's Christmas Carol? No? Just me? Okay then...) They were adorable to begin with, but as we listened more closely we realized they were able to be even cuter than when they first walked in, a mere pack of men in suits with boyish charm and playfulness.

Steffie leaned toward me and said, "I think they're British!" Followed by, "Did I say that a little too loud?" Followed by a giggle from me. Followed by a giggle from Stef. What can we say, the gents' giggles were infectious and reaching across the counter.

Sure enough, they were British. Much to my British-accent-loving delight. I took my sweet time making their drinks, as I wanted them to linger at the bar counter where they had to wait for me to hand off their cups. Their cups were marked as one skinny vanilla latte, and two regular vanilla lattes. I called off one of the regulars, then the skinny. As I was making the second regular, I heard the boys chatting; there seemed to be a bit of a problem, but their joviality was undeterred. I asked the boys if all of the lattes were supposed to be skinny.

I think I confused them even more by asking my question (this happens on a daily basis; doesn't bother me except when I'm exceptionally tired and don't feel like repeating myself plus backpedaling with explanation).

They informed me it was okay, and the one with the skinny latte said, in his so cute/want to pinch the cheeks! accent, "Let me try it and see." Moments following his sip he happily reported, "Oh that's nice." Precious!!!!

I finally, reluctantly handed off the last latte and double checked with my UK gentlemen if everyone had the drinks they in fact wanted. Stef and I told them about three times each that it was no problem at all to make their drinks again. They refused us and I peered my eyes down at them playfully and told them, like their adoptive American (miraculously younger) mother, "Don't lie to me." The boys all giggled joyously at my joke and I was alight on the inside with my own joviality.

This entire five minutes of my life just reconfirmed my desire to marry a British man. Mmm hmm.

I imagined why these men were in town--in America, actually--and wondered if they were on a business trip to do some collaborative work with the large company across the street. I hope they are, and I hope they'll be back in tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


So I told you all a little while ago in my "Noon" post that my dad often makes me grilled cheese and tomato soup. Well once in a blue moon I cook for him.

Mom is at her Spanish class this evening, so Dad and I are bach-in' it. My dad is a lot like me, so if you're familiar with my eating and cooking patterns, let's cut to the chase and just say life patterns, you can imagine that when Dad and I are left to our own scheduling, dinner doesn't exactly happen in a normal manner. If at all.

About an hour ago I turned off the TV, curled my hair (?), then went upstairs to pet the cat, and hence started chatting with Dad at his computer nearby. After our discussion of stamps, license plates, "precision driving," cleanliness, cans of air (you know, those aerosol cans that help clean keyboards), I said, "Well Dad, I've had Ro-tel dip and beer so far for dinner, how 'bout you?" He informed me he'd had some Wint-o-green lifesavers.

So I exited to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of milk, and asked Dad if he wanted me to make him some macaroni and cheese with tuna. His ears perked up and he suggested that instead of tuna I add tiny smoked sausages to the macaroni. I don't know about the rest of you, but in my home we call this dish "Smokey mac." Smokey mac is my and Riley's personal favorite summer dish. So I made some smokey macs for Dad, ate a banana myself (I love the smokey mac, but after all the Ro-tel I was a little cheesed out), and retreated to the basement, where I sit now typing for you.

A few minutes ago I heard Dad descend from his office to the kitchen. And then I heard him singing, to the tune of "M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E:"



Smokey mac for me.

Just for me. Just for me..."

The man turned 61 this week. And you wonder why people are surprised at his age.

Dad also sang to the same jingle tune when we were children. We have a home video in which Dad was filming some familial pumpkin carving. At one point he zoomed the camera into Whiskers, our beloved cat at the time. Innocent Whiskers, sitting quietly; you could pick this cat upside down and she would purr. And Dad started singing behind the camera, "S-T-U P-I-D Stupid is her name. She's a cat. A stupid cat. A very stupid cat is what we see!"


Monday, February 22, 2010


Wow. So I definitely owe you friends a blog post, huh? Sorry about the slack. And I'll be honest, I don't have anything planned to write here at the moment. So I'll just sit here and think for a minute...




Hmm...I had some Oreos and Pringles a little while ago. There were about 8,000 people at the gym this evening. It was ridiculous. I killed some time waiting for an available machine by asking the guy at the front desk whether push-ups work your biceps or triceps (answer: triceps). Then the lady from the child care center was making copies of coloring sheets and I considered joining the chillins with their Crayolas, since all the treadmills were taken.

This is not a very good story, I know. I could write about things that you guys actually want to hear about if I could figure out how to create a "suggestion box" in the sidebar there-->

but I don't know how to do that.

Which leaves us here, with me writing to you about Pringles and push-ups and coloring pages.


I like to color. Do you? I find that simply putting color on a page is extremely relaxing, particularly with colored pencil. The pencils leave a gentle mark on the page, leaving no large pockets of white space of big chunks of wax. Not too dark like markers, but you can adjust the darkness or lightness based on how many times you rub the pencil over a particular spot. I usually just grab a blank piece of paper and just rub straight lines back and forth, making no shape or figure at all. I find that drawing a picture is stressful; I don't like to create when I color, plus I'm not that good at drawing things accurately. There is something, not productive, but reassuring, I guess, about putting color on a page. A reminder that there is color in the world, positivity, art, nature, love. What moments ago was white and open and void is now green, magenta, blue, purple. Sweeping, curved lines, then filled in with thick pencil rubbings. Comforting, yes? I think so.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A picture is worth

Jealousy sure runs deep, doesn't it? I was just on facebook, to send a message to Caleb, but I detoured to a picture of some friends. I saw the thumbnail, got annoyed, and then went ahead and clicked on it to see the larger image. To dwell on my bitterness a little longer.

In the picture are a couple of people who are very dear to me, and some other acquaintances, and I am just jealous that I am not in the picture. That's it. I'm sure it was not all that romantic and amazing of a time that they were having, and I really, truly believe what Emerson said when he professed that "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else." Being a kid who moved around the country every two or three years for her father's career, you have to believe such wisdom. Scratch that. You don't have a choice. You learn it through living it. Such truth is earned when you choose to accept that it is truth, and not just an idea that one can take or leave. And by earning it, life is not exactly made easier, but it does become more real, more truthful, which I suppose in turn helps to make you a more real and truthful person.

But those f-ing facebook pictures. I can't blame facebook, of course. I can't blame the girls with handsome, doting boyfriends. I can't blame the weather, the seasons, my bad mood, someone else's disgustingly sunny mood. I can blame Satan, as I love to do, but beyond that I really have to blame my own unwillingness to have a good attitude. To accept my blessings, wrap myself up in their blankety warmth, praise God for their abundance and my undeserving of them, and then peel that blanket off of me and start wrapping it around other people. Around the girls with doting boyfriends, around the sunny disposition, around the people in facebook pictures having a gay old time without me. I'm not claiming to already practice this, I just know I need to do it. Just do it. No excuses, this is not my will, I didn't write this life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Best news I've received all day. The following greeted me in my email inbox this morning. Subject line? "CraigyFerg:"

"okay okay okay...

I went to and watched an episode, and yes. I am in love.


I will be watching more.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Public Service Announcement

This is just your friendly reminder that Celine's "Through the Eyes of the World" film will be released in theaters tomorrow. Warning: when you watch the following trailer you may cry, so please grab tissues prior to viewing:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Boy Toy on CBS,

Craig Ferguson is on in one hour.

One hour.

But I have been awake for 19 and a half hours.

I'm not sure I can make it. And even if I did, I would really have to be awake for a total of two more hours, starting now, because Craigy makes me laugh for a full hour.

I haven't seen him in over a week. This must be what it feels like to be a whiny girlfriend whose boyfriend works all the time.

I love you, Craig. Tomorrow night I'll watch you, I promise.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I came home from work one day this week and Dad came downstairs with a question for me. Actually he came downstairs with a dance for me. He said, "I just made some tomato rice soup. I could put the leftovers in the fridge. Or..."

And then he proceeded to do a little dance, all the while singing:

"I could put it in a bowl for you! Put it in a bowl for you! Put it in a bowl! Put in a bowl! Put it in a bowl for you!"

Now, to be honest, I didn't really want any soup at the start of his little speech, and was getting ready to say, "No thank you," but that little diddy by Daddy won me over. I said, "Put it in a bowl for me!" like a cheerleader. You could tell he was pleased with his success in performing a persuasive concert.

Then I told him, in my best I'm-your-only-precious-daughter voice, "You know what else you could do? You could make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it."

The flamboyant father before me fell suddenly slack and gave me a teenager-with-attitude smirk, dropped his shoulders, and said, "Why would I do that?" Apparently his generosity was limited.

I laughed. He disappeared upstairs.

I went upstairs about five minutes later, and on the counter was a bowl of soup.

And a grilled cheese sandwich, on a plate, cut in half.

Dear Daddy.

When I came home from my semester in Namibia in college, Dad picked me up from the airport. Mom was at work, Riley was at school, so Dad held up their homemade "Welcome Home" poster in the terminal for a jet-lagged, bleach blonde, (little chubbier :) Bailey. When we got in the car, he had a Dr Pepper ready for me, and then he let me know we could go anywhere in the city to eat whatever I had been craving for the last three months.

I thought about it, and said, "You know what, I think I just want to go home."

When we pulled in the garage I informed him, "I can help with my suitcase in a little while, but right now I need to see the cat." Understanding, he said, "Do whatever you have to do," and I went inside and lavished the animal with kisses. Dad lugged in my suitcase, and as I remember, promptly took my clothes to the washer as I was most certainly on my last pair of clean underwear, and then made me lunch.

Grilled cheese, tomato soup.

We ate in the living room, and watched a rerun of Dharma & Greg.

Somehow midday soup and sandwich (historically Dad's staple meal) with Dad seemed to be what I had been missing for three months, more than Chipotle burritos or the best crab rangoon in all of Kansas City.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


About 30 minutes ago I took a glass sitting next to my sink, filled it with water, and drank the entire thing.

This was very difficult for me.

For whatever reason, I don't love water. Most likely because it is more or less boring. Hydrogen and oxygen? Come on. Please.

Now I do recall one time a few years ago when I went on a run/walk in the very intense summer heat, and when I got home I filled up a cup with ice and then as the water was pouring from the tap on top of the cubes, I could hardly wait to put that water in my mouth. It took all my patience to wait four more seconds. And I remember thinking at the time, "If I never find a man, if I truly remain celibate my entire life, whether I just remain single in the secular world or randomly decide to become a nun, well then, I won't need to experience the pleasures of sex because I imagine they are quite as good as this here glass of ice cold water after extreme exercise in extreme heat."

Sorry, that was perhaps a little graphic. But true.

So I do enjoy water, particularly after exercise. It is something whose presence I take for granted, because I am so incredibly spoiled to have clean water, amongst all the other meaningless material possessions I have and do not deserve. So, because I am so blessed to be able to assume that water will always be around, I drink coffee, Coke, milk, tea, beer, wine, instead.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Bailey, don't you run quite a bit? Don't you get thirsty when you exercise?"

Why yes, curious blog reader, I do in fact enjoy a bit of water after a good run. But the key word here is "bit." I drink a bottle, maybe two, of water after a workout and then quit. Because, again, I take it for granted, and, again, water is a tad boring. I'd give it half a star in the taste category. I take a few gulps to quench my immediate thirst and then when my stomach senses fullness I move on to tastier, more carbonated and acidic things.

So the past few days I have made myself fill glasses of water, stand by the sink, and drink that water gone. I do not enjoy it. But I know that I need it. Lauryn Hill sings a lesser known song called "Selah," and my favorite line in the song is "Cause me to agree with what I know is best for me." Thus. I drink the hydrogen/oxygen combination that continues to create wonder in all its many forms and capacities, in its life-giving power.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ford Every Stream

I was just watching The Sound of Music, and my parents hung out for the end of the film. As we approached the scene in which the children are rehearsing for the final concert, and the Captain and Maria are on their honeymoon, Dad noted a horse in the scene and informed us that, "That horse had an unusually high ass."

Thank you, Dad, offering your feedback whether requested or not.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I just recently have fallen in love with Craig Ferguson. And just recently my dear Craigie Smoochie Poo celebrated the taping of his 1,000th show, so there have been many references to said show as of late.

I have been feeling a little (or as Craig would say, in his precious Scottish way, "li-le," never fully pronouncing the letter "T") sad that I have missed 1,000 episodes.

I just realized, however, in the 30 minutes I just spent in front of youtube, that I have the joy of catching up on 1,000 episodes. So I can watch hours (1,000 hours, to be exact) of Craig, and not have to feel the need to justify my actions, because I really can't say, "Oh I've seen this one before, I should go alphabetize the canned goods in the pantry instead." Nor can anyone pull that line on me! "C'mon, Bailey, you've seen every Craig episode there is, let's go play in the park." Because I can say, "Nuh-uh, I'm 1,000 hours behind! I have some serious work to do!" And that work would be giggling at my newfound Scottish crush.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Love Lucy

Tonight we had "Small group," aka Bible study aka Fellowship thing aka Jesus friend time, whatever you want to call it. After our discussion, our hosts' daughter Lucy brought me my car keys (I was lying on the couch--philosophical discussion really takes it out of me) and placed them (naturally) down the front of my shirt. Then she let me know, "It's time for you to leave our house."

Love ya too, Luce.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Take ten

I have put my foot in my mouth about 30 times in the last 24 hours. The first was at Mike's house watching TV last night (I don't want to talk about the specifics, I'm still getting over it). The next four were at work today, doing my daily routine of being overly friendly with customers and therefore drawing strange looks (this is business as usual, ho hum as far as I'm concerned).

The final 25 instances occured in less than 2 hours, at my church's Communication Team meeting this evening. I kept coming up with these ideas (including a flower girl procession on Easter morning) and then blurting them out! And everyone would respond with silence, followed by changing the subject.

I don't know, I think I'm just exhausted, and bored, and so the way to keep my eyes from closing is to just speak out loud whatever comes to mind. And then instantly regret it. Luckily some of my awkwardness seemed to transfuse into my girl Stef at work today, and she too was making customers uncomfortable without meaning or trying to do so. It's nice not to be alone in all this being awkward business.

I went on my break this morning and Matt took my place at the espresso bar making drinks and I advised him, "Okay, in order to take my place, you're going to need to simply make the customers uncomfortable. Start conversations that they don't want to have, tell them you love their name, etc." And then I went to the back room to read the paper, while someone else took on the awkward shift for ten minutes of my life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"You're the worst kind" --Harry, to Sally

A line was formed at the Daily family microwave this evening. I was heating up my chipped beef leftovers, and Mom came up behind me to wait her turn in order to

heat up her Klondike bar.

I repeat.

Heat up her Klondike bar.

Really, Mom? Yes, really. I had no words, my facial response was enough, and she giggled and said, "My, I do have a lot of rules, don't I?" and I said "Mmm Hmm" (as I hoped she would not catch me using the plastic lid in the microwave rather than her standard paper-plate-as-lid. Even though! the plastic lid is microwave safe and intended for microwave use, and a paper plate kills Mother Earth. But whatever...).

Then Mom said that she thinks she's getting "worse" with all of her "rules," and I explained that it's actually pretty normal for people to get more high maintenance as they get older, from what I've observed.

As I was leaving the house later to watch TV at Mike's, I said "Mom, if it makes you feel better, I think I'm getting more high maintenance too." And then she said, "Yeah, we'll talk about that later..."

"What is that supposed to mean?!" I retorted.
Mom laughed.
"Little Miss heats up her Klondike bar in the microwave..." I added, due to her undue sass.

And then, without so much as a pause, dear old Dad chimes in with, "Little Miss must have a pen in the door handle of her car at all times..."

Mom: "Well now you're both picking on me!"
Me: "I love you..."
Mom: "I love you..."

And then I left for Mike's.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Make new friends

The phone just rang. Here is a recap of the conversation:

Me: "Hello?"
Man on other end: "Hello?"
Me: "Hello?"
Man: "Hello?"
Me: "Hi!"
Man: (Kind of sultry): "Hey..."
Me: "Who's this?"
Man: "This is Demetric."
Me: "I don't think I know you, I think you might have the wrong number."
Demetric: "I know, right?"

He actually said that. I am not making this up.

Demetric: "You see, I can't figure it out, I have this number on my arm, and I just took a shower."
Me: "Oh...well I didn't write my number on anyone's arm..."
Demetric: "Yeah, I think I might have a wrong digit."
Me: "Well, I definitely didn't go out anywhere last night, so I don't think it could have been me."
Demetric: "Yeah, [laughs], it wasn't last night...Well you sound very nice, though."
Me: "Oh, thank you."
Demetric: "Yeah..."
Me: "Well, I hope you figure it out!"
Demetric: "Thanks, have a good night."
Me: "You too."


My friend Caleb told me recently that I am not afraid of anyone.

Nick and I were shopping this January and this man came out of the dressing room and immediately started talking to me; I heard him before I could even turn around to see him. He asked me if I could give him some advice on some shirts he was trying on. I asked what he was shopping for, he explained it was for an interview. I asked what type of business, what would his dress code be were he to get the job (like a good, well trained HR manager's daughter should do). I then assessed shirt number 1, waited as he changed, then assessed shirt number 2.

Meanwhile, I was hoping for fashion-conscious Nick to chime in to help out not-so-fashion-conscious Me, but Nick does not enjoy talking to strangers so he pretended to be looking at a jacket nearby. The man was very grateful, thanked me. As we walked away Nick informed me that I had made the wrong choice, that the other shirt looked better on him. I asked Nick where he had been 30 seconds prior in offering such opinion. But right before he told me what he thought of the shirt, he shook his head and said, "What is it about you?..."

Earlier that day we had been at lunch with two friends, a woman who is very outgoing like myself, and her husband, not so outgoing. The men were discussing how they really hate to be forced to talk to people, and I said "I can talk to anyone," and Marcia nodded in agreement, that she too could do the same.

Just now when Demetric called, I honestly wondered if he was my friend Zabu, who I met in the library last year. I was filling out a job application, Zabu was studying for the GED. He asked for a pencil. And somehow, 30 minutes later, I was writing down my email address so Zabu could come to church with me that Sunday. And he came. And the people at my church said, "Oh, Zabu, it's nice to meet you, how do you know Bailey?" And we explained about ten times that we had met three days before in the library. And now we're friends.

This is my life, people. I don't know why I am this way. It's just the way it is. Meanwhile, I get to meet people like Zabu, dressing room guy, and, most recently, my new pal Demetric. So Demetric, if you're reading this, Nice to meet you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I was talking to my friend Tom on the phone tonight, and at one point in the conversation I paused. I didn't even realize that I had fallen silent until Tommy said "You're so quiet when you don't talk!"

I immediately quoted this back to him, followed by his name and today's date, in order for him to realize his comment's level of ridiculousness. He then explained that when I pause in a conversation, I simmer within it longer than others. I asked him, sarcastically/seriously, if it makes him uncomfortable, to which he more or less answered, "No," and just noted that it is unusual.

The point of this post was to make you laugh at the first part, not to end on the more ponderous note where it landed. However I suppose you could both laugh at the first part and then munch on the second part, food for thought.

But you can really do whatever you want with this blog post. You could print it out, put it on your bulletin board, shred it and make a urine-bed for your hamster's cage... It's up to you, I'm not here to tell you what to do (though Nick would argue that if I'm on vacation with you, then, as the Vacation Princess, I am here to tell you what to do).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Open your Nose

There is a pillow on my bed, and printed on the tag are the words "Shell made in China." Twice now I have misread it as "Smell made in China."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cupid: Stupid?

Well, a less-than-favorite holiday for many is quickly approaching us, and that would be Valentine's Day. I've just gotta say, I rather enjoy Valentine's Day. And I have never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, so before you roll your eyes at me and think that I like the mid-February celebration just because I'm so happily in love, think again.

Here is my list of reasons for enjoying V-Day:

1. I love wearing red and pink together. I have absolutely no hesitations in mixing these hues on any other day of the year, but on Feb. 14th I make sure to capitalize on the opportunity. Particularly a bright pink and a dark red, preferably touching each other, i.e. a pink tee under an unzipped red sweater, versus a red headband with some pink socks. If you're gonna clash, do it right.

2. Free. Candy. Everywhere. Who cares if it's a box of chocolates specifically for you, there are candy conversation hearts and Luv Pops (the heart-shaped, cherry flavored suckers with Mickey and Minnie on the wrapper) just about everywhere for the taking.

3. Unfortunately the days of exchanging these are over for most of us, but the handing out of perforated cardboard valentines with popular cartoon characters on them is not against the law. I usually still receive about one valentine a year with Sponge Bob, Nemo, or a "Homie" on it, tucked in a tiny envelope with little hearts printed on it, or sealed with a sticker, and it certainly brings a large smile to my face.

4. Valentines from the parental units. While I have never had a BF on V-Day, I did receive a rose in eighth grade, and in recent years I have received a few e-cards from a wonderful man in my life, so I can't say I've never had any attention on that day. However. I can always count on a Valentine from my parents. When I was a senior in high school, Dad got individual valentine gifts for me, Mom, and Riley, and for dinner we went to Sonic and ate burgers in our minivan while it rained outside. And I remember thinking, "No I don't have a boyfriend, I didn't receive a bouquet of daisies today, but I have my whole life for that, and right now I am with my best friends, eating a burger, listening to the rain that I love so much with the people who love me the most. That's irreplaceable, and pretty awesome."

My dad gave me a valentine with Mr. Rogers on the front when I was about six years old, and wrote "To the prettiest little girl in Kansas!" inside. I still have it.

5. The opportunity to give flowers. My wallet doesn't allow for a lot of this, but I truly love to surprise and delight another with a fistful of bright color bursts. Especially when it's unexpected, be it on any given day or to someone who would never see a bouquet coming her (or his) way. Don't worry if someone says she don't like flowers, ten bucks says she'll be happy if you give her some. Even if she doesn't let loose a smile in your presence, when you leave she'll smirk. Or squeal.

So I urge you next Sunday to sit back and enjoy the day that might otherwise trigger your gag reflex. If cynical old me can do it, so can you. If the girl who grits her teeth to get through Christmas festivities can enjoy Ga-ga Google-eyes Day, then I know you can too. The reason I have a hard time at Christmas is that there is so much pressure to be happy, with yourself, your life, your surroundings, when maybe you are not. But contrary to popular belief, Valentine's Day is not, in my opinion anyway, a time to pressure you to be in love. Rather, just to love and be loved.

Because, hopefully, God willing, we all have one person whom we love, and one person who loves us. Obviously I hope we all have more than just one. And hopefully at least one of those people is within your everyday reach. Hug that coworker that makes you giggle on Mondays, taking away the sting of exiting the weekend. Kiss that dog that worships (and pees on) the ground you walk on. Call your g'ma, the so oft forgotten sage who loves you to pieces. Eat candy, create ridiculous sentences with the candy hearts (i.e. "My Hero, So Fine: Email Me. Get Real, LOL."). Watch a sappy movie and lust over the lead actor/actress. You can even attend an anti-Valentine's Day party, as I am actually in full support of such an activity, just as long as you are having fun with other people in the process and acknowledging that you are lucky to love and be loved, even if it is not in a way that makes you particularly google-eyed.

And finally, wear your most impressive mix of red and pink!! Make me proud! Hint for the gents: wear a collared pink shirt or tie, the ladies will love you for it. Soooo hot!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Tonight Mom and I got facials. Every once in a while we go to a local cosmetology school for pedicures or facials. If you have never had a facial, go get one for goodness' sake. Male or female, do it. Basically: massage for your face. Now I know what you're thinking, who needs a massage on their face? Because your face doesn't feel particularly tense, or stretched, etc. But believe you me, the power of human touch is a phenomenon we will never fully grasp.

My favorite part of the facial occurs at various times during the hour of bliss. Between the massaging of various scrubs and lotions into the folds and crevices of your face, pressing down on the sinuses worn out from excessive nose-blowing (oh wait, that is an affliction that only I have), the light tapping on the forehead...between these pieces of gloriousness, something even more glorious occurs. They pull these hot, wet towels from some mysterious cave (my eyes are always closed, so I don't know where these magic towels appear from, and I rather like the mystery) and place them on your face. They leave your nose exposed so you can, you know, breathe, but oh my goodness, the feeling underneath that towel. My eyes are involuntarily closing right now just at the thought of it; it is a good thing I know my home-row keys and can type without looking at the keyboard--life skill, kids, listen to those computer teachers of yours.

When that towel is on your face, you are in your own personal cave. I am not being silly when I say that I feel like no harm can come to me when I am enveloped underneath that terry cloth compress; that is honestly the emotion that rises within me. The cloth is gently pressed on, offering pressure to your cheeks and forehead, and giving your pores a bit of the sweet drink. That gentle pressure offers the same feeling of escaping into a closed off room when you are at a loud social gathering and you just want to be with yourself. You close the door and the people are still there, but they are muffled. Ideally, no one sees you slip beyond the door, so they won't come shuffling in after you, cocktail in hand, ready to gossip about that cutie across the way.

Each time the towel is removed, they don't just move on to the next step in the facial. They gently wipe the lotion, or scrub, or mask from your face, with the towel. Slowly, across and under the draw line of your chin, around your hairline, the bridge of your nose. No rush. Cleaning you up, not neglecting you for something more important, to pick up the kids from school, dishes in the sink, a phone call, the crossword.

Tonight as I lay underneath one of the towels, my imagination cruised to motherhood. I usually think more selfishly of the newlywed stage of my future, receiving all the attention from the one I love. But occasionally I think of the people who will help me depart from my arrogance, my pride, from me me me. I think of caregiving, of little arms that will bring math books to me, with moist eyes and sniffly noses, coming in desperation to their mother for help with the long division that just doesn't make sense, the long division that can instill the type of dread in a child that makes them imagine unforgiving teachers tomorrow, fear that if they can't overcome math then what will they be able to accomplish? I imagine being the mother who has overcome the math, who remembers the dread, who can tell my sullen offspring that they too will overcome the math, and so much more. I imagine bringing them into my lap, or pulling my chair to theirs so the arms touch, first calming the irrational fears, then scribbling arrows on the loose leaf page, explaining, "the remainder is what's left over, and you write it here, 'R3.'"

Tonight as I was served by a servant heart, I pictured my future child, I thought of the day when I will (please, God, hopefully) have a servant heart, and will bring a warm compress to a cheek, a forehead, a nose, after a rousing day of fun at recess, now smudged with dirt. I want to offer security, love, the knowing that he is taken care of and accounted for, each and every day, to that child. With a terry cloth soaked in hot water, not too hot, wrung out over the sink. Look into her eyes, smile back when she lets loose a shy grin, all the while reinforcing the presence of her caretaker with the stroke of a washcloth across her cheek. Start at the edge of the nose, move horizontally toward the ear. Then across the chin, across the forehead, the nose, then the other cheek.

A hot towel placed on my face by a complete stranger can create all of that in my heart. And that should prove to you how powerful is the human touch, and how awakening is a facial.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I thought for a long time that I hated mint tea.

Perhaps I truly did hate mint tea.


I love mint tea.

I also love its decaffeinated qualities, permitting me to quaff such refreshment moments before refreshing, rejuvenating rest.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dear J-Schools, Please Accept Me (and give me lots of scholarship $$)

I would say my journey began sometime around July.

I read every last word on Columbia's website, including pieces of the really boring student handbook, because I was so excited to apply there.

In October I made a bulletin board with calendars, application due dates, and placed push pins in a map on the cities where I might live next year.

I took the GRE twice. And forked over the testing fee twice.

Riley and Caitlin wrote and illustrated one of the best books I have ever read, entitled "The Adventures of Super Bailey," in which Bailey dominates the GRE, then goes on to dominate graduate school with her dissertation about her concert with Celine Dion. Dibbs the cat stars in this story as well, playing his guitar at the dissertation-inspiring concert.

My first applications were due December 15th. Today is February 2nd. A month and a half of my life devoted to essay writing, resume tweaking, more essay writing, and even more essay writing. If you would like my academic and professional goals in a written format, I can provide that for you, no problem.

Just now I was making the final payment on my last application and realized that I have my credit card number memorized. Considering I rarely set foot in shopping malls, that is downright depressing. But you too will know your credit card digits by heart if you pay six application fees, register twice for the GRE, pay to have your GRE scores sent to schools, pay to have a test proctored, pay to mail documents overnight, blah da bee blah da bee blah. I don't even want to do the full calculations on how much this entire endeavor has cost me.

I just hope it's worth it.

I just got off the phone with Nick, who offered his congratulations, and before that I had a water toast with my parents, and before that I left a message on Nick's phone telling him to pray "ten prayers" because my computer had frozen for the fifth time in two hours. He made a snide remark about PCs just now when he called, but I am letting it slide because

I am done applying to graduate school!!!! Finally!!!!

:) :) :)

Celebrate with me. Happy Groundhog Day, y'all.