Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A + B = Disaster

One of my favorite activities in life is striking a match. I love it.

Second, I also love to pump gas.

I do not ever do these two activities at the same time. Then I would have small chances of ever doing either of them again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Personal Assistant Needed

Is it entirely necessary that seemingly all of my responsibilities fall into one week? This week I have:

professional duties (work)
economic duties (taxes)
academic duties (study for test/pick a grad school)
familial duties (umm...talk to family)
physical duties (nothing dirty, you dirty minds, what I mean is training for a race in two weeks)
journalistic duties (edit a story for a friend; help a journalist with a project)
cat duties (pet the monster)

etc. etc.

It is Monday and I am already behind. I have to get a prescription refilled this week, and I got a lecture when I called the doc's office about how a)I should have already had an appointment made and should have known about this policy and b)how I didn't bring them my insurance card last time and I need to bring it this time. When I got home from class today, Dad helped me replace the air filter in my car, and in the process we discovered a nail in my front tire. Note: we are not stupid, we understand that the air filter is not located in or near the tire, we just meandered on down to the tire portion of the car in our (and when I say "we" and "our" here, I mean "Dad" and "his") perusal of general car maintenance. I was so distracted already this morning during my early shift at work that I forgot to ask off for next weekend for the race I'm running, and by the time I called my boss in the afternoon she had already made the schedule for next week (deep breath any race team members reading this, it is getting worked out, I will be present at the race).

Point being, in a matter of 24 hours, I have tacked on a doctor's appointment, a trip to the tire doctor, and a lot of general running around to fix my work schedule, to my already busy, stressful, overloaded week.

When I have this much going on I become more scatterbrained than usual and thus end up backpedaling a lot, and as a result seem to accomplish even less than was originally planned. Today in class we had discussion over a book I spent all last week reading and a paper about said book that I wrote yesterday, and when we gathered round in a circle to chat about "Islam and Modernity in the Middle East," I felt like my reading and writing had been a waste of time. Because when my professor asked us to dissect the author's thesis, I thought, "Crap, what was Homestar's thesis?" Perhaps that was a trifle due to the rambling, scholastically saturated text of the book; I'll go easy on myself and say that's true.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I am getting so old. I had one beer with dinner and I am down for the count! Not drunk, mind you, just so sleepy!

I know, wah wah. Big whiny whiner. You love it.

G'night! Enjoy staying up late with the other youngin's! I'll be sleeping like the old woman that I truly am inside!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unreal Life

I slept for 13 hours last night. That's what five days of waking up no later than 5:15 will do to you. Toward the end of my slumber my body was attempting to snap out of it, but I was also in the midst of a lot of REM sleep, so I kept waking up in the middle of my dreams.

Hold that thought. I'll get right back to it, but first I must offer a detail of my real, conscious life so that the conclusion of this post will make sense. This past week I bought a bottle of 300 vitamins for only ELEVEN DOLLARS. I was (still am) so excited.

Okay, time to combine the two above comments. In one of my dreams last night/this morning, I had a HUGE bottle of vitamins. It was the size of one of those drums of Muscle Milk protein powder. In my dream I opened the bottle and curled along the inside wall was what I discovered to be a thick issue of Seventeen magazine. I recall thinking, "Score!" in my dream and then showing it off to friends. "Hey guys! Look what was in my bottle of vitamins!"

If only I could get vitamins plus a magazine for only $11 in real life.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Sometimes I read too much. My head spins with words and I can't escape them. They are in no order, just whirling around. And sometimes I am hungry and absolutely exhausted when that happens and all I can think, amidst the whirling words, is, "Sleeeeeeeep."

There. I admitted it. Sometimes I read too much. Are ya happy?

Smooches, love you guys!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Pretty Crowded Today!"

Well this morning at work was, in a word, crazy. It usually is, but I won't take you down that path. At one point I declared that I might have a panic attack, to which Millie requested, "Please don't." (I didn't.) I'll spare you the overhaul of details, but the highlights included the deep slicing of a finger, the spilling of cold milk/hot milk/water, LOTS of customers, and...I'll stop there.

But there was one hilarious moment.

There is this little boy, who we'll call "Toby," who just makes my life every time he comes in. The first time I met him he walked right up to the counter, resting his chin on it, and spoke to me even before his mother did, declaring, "I'd like a kid's hot chocolate with peppermint." I was immediately taken. I will always have a bias for people who awkwardly and loudly declare their feelings to strangers; no one likes to be alone in their questionable habits in life.

There was no way I would forget his name after such an encounter, so about a week later when he came back to the register I greeted him and said, "Toby, would you like a peppermint kid's hot chocolate?" Duh, of course he did. He gave me a big grin, watched me write on the cup, explained that he would like whip cream on the top and the bottom of his drink, watched me scribble additional whip cream notes on the cup, then split to the other end of the counter to wait for his cup of tastiness. His mother smiled and said that, "We're working on him being too friendly." She said this with genuine affection, expressing that she didn't want her kid to be a bother to others, and I tried to control my passion in expressing to her that her kid is awesome, and not to ever let him lose his flamboyance.

And encounter number three, you guessed it, happened today. Third times a charm. No no, TOBY's a charm. Today during our crazy rush he marched right up to me making drinks and shouted, with the charm of the five year old that he is and the casualness of the adorable seventy-five year old that he inevitably will be, "Pretty crowded today!" Huge smile as always. He all but elbowed me, you know, one of those middle-aged man jabs to the rib cage, accompanied with a hearty "Heh?" sound effect. I chummed it right up with him, "Sure is! Are you going to school today?"

Toby: "Yep!"
Bailey: "Do you like school? What grade are you in?"
Toby: "I'm almost in first grade."
Bailey: "You're in first grade?" (It's pretty loud inside Starbucks)
Toby: (completely polite, no snobbish childish snickering at my mistake) "No, I'm almost in first grade."
Bailey: "Ohh, you're almost in first grade, you're in kindergarten?"
Toby: "Yep!"
Bailey: "Are you excited for first grade?"

And to answer this question, Toby knelt down a little bit, began his "yes" with a build up of Y's, and punctuated the whole word with a jump off the ground:


Needless to say, I'm pretty excited for the first grade myself now. That enthusiasm is downright infectious. Thanks, Toby. Keep it up, we love you. Whip cream on the top and bottom, got it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blasted Pressure

In case you're wondering, I still have a headache.

I will accept sympathy bouquets, candies, and the like.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who Am I?

I don't know how to reconcile two pieces of my personality. Not two separate personalities...I do have my own struggles with mental health, but I do not mean to sound flippant, but rather, genuine, when I say thank God I don't share Sybil's woes.

I have been struggling my whole life to adequately merge these two pieces of my personality. And those two pieces would be: Social Butterfly Bailey and Bookworm Bailey. And I would like to report, for the record, that I blame my parents for this, because I inherited Dad's social butterfly DNA and Mom's bookworm DNA. I also like to think that while my brothers each got more of a 25/75 split on each of these traits, making up for the leftover 25% missing from the second parent in things such as eye color and muscular definition, I feel that I was the lucky sibling who drew the 50/50 card. Mom and Dad each gave me an X chromosome, and they each decided to pass on their respective introversion and extroversion. The boys got one of each of the chromosomes, and they got to either be the life of the party, or the star student. I landed somewhere awkwardly, neurotically, trying to be both, occasionally succeeding but more often frustrated.

And! I got to be the only girl, spending my adolescence maneuvering around brotherly wrestling matches that would break out in the narrow hallways of our home, and now sit here in my young adult life wondering how each one of them has already landed their perfect mate while I, according to some, continue to intrigue and intimidate men without ever actually landing one. But I digress.

I'm not complaining about the bookworm/butterfly "glitch." Well a little bit, I am. I have noticed some fictional examples of young females who seem to compromise these two personality traits, and I am here to tell you that it just isn't possible. Hence, explaining the fact that these young women are fictional. And also, to take the opportunity once again to make my pro non-fiction plug.

Friends, I give you Exhibit A: Hermione Granger.

Hermione manages to read the entire library at Hogwarts, yet keeps up a friendship with the celebrity student on campus, Harry, and all his crazy, life-threatening shenanigans. In the films, she is always dressed cute, her hair is always curled, blah blah blah. I can manage to read a maximum of 50 pages a day, working around my work and exercise schedules, my just-for-fun class, filling my car with gas, deciding on a graduate school, etc. As a result I manage to shoot one-liner emails to my best friend Nick (who, arguably, was kind of a celebrity on our tiny college campus as a noted cutie pa-tootie actor), talk to him on the phone once every two weeks, and you'll never see my hair curled. The best you can hope for is a pair of dangly earrings. Maybe a flirty scarf. And, personal interest aside, I don't even have time to read all seven of the Harry Potter books, let alone star inside their pages.

Exhibit B: Rory Gilmore.

Pshawww, right! No one could pull off Rory Gilmore's life! Lorelai's (Sr.) life, maybe.

(I will admit, I am partial to Lorelai, so I am more likely to argue that her life is do-able while Perfect Rory's is not. But, I probably wouldn't be so partial to Lorelai if Rory would lead a more realistic life. Just sayin'.)

Rory reads, supposedly, all the time. She is valedictorian of her private high school class. She comes into that private high school as a sophomore, and catches up to the rest. I entered my college's honors program as a sophomore, and believe me, I never caught up. Socially, anyway; I never quite fit in. Just ask my classmates, they'll tell you. Rory gets into Harvard, Yale, Princeton. She gets to choose her Ivy League. And she manages to go shopping, keep an adorable wardrobe along with cute, curly, Hermione hair, gossip with her mom, watch movie marathons, keep up on all the latest, most fashionable tunes, and date three beautiful boys (minus Jess, who does not have a beautiful personality) throughout it all. In the end she gets an engagement ring, but has the freedom to turn it down to go report for Obama on his campaign instead.

Doesn't happen in real life, people. If you need proof, just look at my life. Rory and Hermione have read more books in one week than I have in one year. There have been beautiful men nearby me, but never belonging to me. No engagement rings, no invites from Barack to hang out (probably because he knows I would inappropriately flirt with him), no romping about the Ivy League.

Wow I just sounded really bitter. Which is good, and accurate, because I am. But the point of this whole discussion was to say that it is just hard to reconcile being outgoing and "ingoing." I don't want to trade in my chatterbox self just to read, nor vice versa. I mean I have my moments, yes, where I want to hibernate, but I know from experience that if I try that I will get depressed, anxious, annoyed, not to mention hungry. At some point I have to come out of the hole. So I try to go to social events before reaching that point, but a lot of times I'm not done reading (more accurately, I'm never done reading) and so after going to work, going to dinner with friends, chit-chatting on the phone, I get so irritable because I have no time left to put my antisocial nose in a book. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, you see, if it followed a monthly, or bi-annual schedule: introverted January through March, extroverted April through June. But for me this is literally an everyday battle.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


I have had a headache since approximately 9am. We are looking at going on 12 hours. I have taken Tylenol, aspirin, naproxen sodium. I have consumed coffee, tea, more coffee, soda, more soda. And no, it is not a caffeine headache, because I had the ache before consuming the caffeine. I have taken Sudafed, so as to release pressure in my sinuses. I have exercised, because usually the body alignment provided by stretching plus the blood circulation from cardio work wonders on my neck-inspired headaches. I have even flossed my teeth, because I find that doing so releases tension between my teeth, so they do not press so tightly together, thus releasing pressure in my jaw line and then the rest of my head (I am pretty sure this logic is sound).

It finally occurred to me that I probably have a migraine and I thought, "Ah. I'll take my prescription migraine medicine that I forget I have." Mom immediately said, "Why don't you do that," a statement more than a question. Dad immediately said, with fatherly concern, "I don't know, you've taken so much already..." So now I'm torn.

I have read just about the entire print-out of drug information accompanying my prescription drug. You know, the piece of paper that's about as thin as a page of the Bible, and folded about as many times as a road map, and the very first thing it shows you is a diagram of the molecular bond structure of your drug, as if anyone but a pharmacist knows what that means? My prescription contains naproxen sodium, which I have already taken today (just OTC naproxen sodium--which is different from just naproxen, btw--not my prescription, containing naproxen sodium--have I lost you yet?), so I have been trying to find out what qualifies as an overdose (note: so I can avoid an overdose). Furthermore I have googled "tylenol naproxen interaction" and "aspirin naproxen interaction."

And do you know where I landed? Right where I started. I'm too scared to take a prescription pill, I'm not going to put any more caffeine in my body. So I think that leaves me with a headache. Which is where I've been all day. But I've got news for you, if I wake up with a headache, I'm poppin' the Rx. Like a piece of morning candy. Mark my written words.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go upstairs and consult with my parents one more time and see if they can reach a consensus and let me take one more med to fend off my misery--perhaps two Advil. (Maybe it is not a horrible thing that I live with my parents, considering it is like having two pharmacists at arm's length.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Me & My Addictions

I am at the Candy Store, can I get anyone anything? Note: by "anything," I mean books, because by "candy store," I mean library.

I am here tweaking ten--count 'em, ten--cover letters for graduate research/teaching assistant positions for the fall, hoping for a full ride from one of them. It is just after 10am on this delightful Friday spring morning, and this place is brimming with adorable old men. I only have one thing to say to that, and that is:


Thursday, March 18, 2010

[Gold] Star

I am always a little shocked when people call me an over achiever. Millie called me one just this week. I think that maybe I am an achiever, but not one of the "over" variety. We'll just call me a bare-minimum achiever.

Basically, I do what is asked of me. On occasion I stretch my creative abilities, but that is usually because I like to, not because I've allotted extra time to do so in order to impress others or pass people up.

I just finished scrolling through about 60 research and teaching fellowship opportunities for school next year, and I am feeling rather overwhelmed. I feel that a true over achiever might feel energized after such a task. Sure, he or she might be hopped up on caffeine, anxious, and worried about pleasing his or her parents, impressing an instructor or other adult mentor, etc. But I doubt his or her overarching thought would be, "I really have to pee," which is what mine currently amounts to.

I sent my brother Kelly an email during my scrolling, asking him to remind me to send him my tax info (as he volunteers to do my taxes because 1, he's really nice, and 2, he's kind of a geek and enjoys it) after the applications for the aforementioned fellowships are due. You know, because I'm a little stressed out with Task A and am not ready to move on to Task B, and am certainly not ready to place Task B before Task A. Kelly asked me to send my info today, which I highly doubt will happen.

Don't you believe that an over achiever would have already postmarked her tax info to her brother weeks ago (or, like my brother Riley, already sent his taxes to the government after insisting on doing them on his birthday??? Seriously, was I adopted?)? And really, I mean really, don't you think an over achiever would be doing her taxes herself, rather than outsourcing the chore?

I think I have made my case. Bailey, Achiever. Creative, yes. But only moderately, not over achieving.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Please Sire, may I have a drop of dye?

My parents and I make a point to not only drink beer on St. Paddy's Day, but to drink green beer. The first time we participated in this activity, I was underage. And we were on a seminary campus. As in, a "sacred ground" of sorts (albeit, arguably, a Lutheran one), where men are instructed and brought up to be future leaders of Christian congregations.

Umm...no comment.

Well here's our argument. Number one, I was supervised. By my parents. Number two, my parents never gave me alcohol prior to this event. Three, I was two months and six days away from turning twenty-one. Four, I had been in southern Africa the semester before, where the legal drinking age is 18, so I had already (responsibly!) participated in drinking elsewhere in the world. Four, we did it behind closed doors; we didn't invite other underage-ers in to join the party. And five, we were on vacation. Give us a break.

So we took our little cups, dropped drops of green food coloring in the bottom of them, added our Michelob Ultra (Amber Bock for Dad, who insists on the darker, even though you don't get quite the same effect because the dark lager kind of blocks out the green hue), said "Cheers," and had a little parental-daughter bonding moment.

Two or three years later, when I was already old and boring (it didn't take me long to advance well beyond my fun years), reading books and doing little else, and once again living with my parents post-graduation, we decided not to be total bumps on a log on March 17th, and discovered,


we had no green food coloring. And declared that we must fix this problem.

So we each grabbed a pilsner (I grabbed my vanity pilsner, with the Bailey's Irish Cream emblem etched on the glass) and went on a neighborhood scavenger hunt. I am a little sorry to say that, while we were not prepared in our own possession of green food coloring and thus should not be able to judge, our neighbors were not quite helpful in providing the specific required means to our 3.2 percent, kelly green end. It took us not one, not two, but three knocks on doors until we were finally successful. Tony and Eva provided us with our drops, and we headed back up the hill to continue on in our tradition.

By the way, to my understanding, we're, like, barely Irish. I'm not even sure Mom is at all. Yet my 'rents named their children Kelly, Patrick, Bailey and Riley. And we felt it necessary to knock on three doors--as I recall, some of us may have even been barefoot--to add a tinge to our festive frothies. I'm not complaining. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

5 minute post!

Okay race against the clock, friends!!! Whooo!! I'm here at the library and have FIVE MINUTES REMAINING on my allotted internet usage time! What WILL I write about???

This is the most thrilling thing to happen to me today.


Well, I guess I'll tell you about the dog I'm house sitting for. Her name is Cookie. She's tiny, like a cat, which I highly appreciate, and I know nothing about dog breeds but if I had to guess I'd say she's a schnauzer/daschund mix. I've nicknamed her "Circle Dog," (I guess I have a thing for renaming animals) as her signature move is to run around in tight little circles when she's excited. She also spontaneously runs up the stairs for reasons I haven't quite figured out, and I love the sound of her claws on the wooden floors, scampering around.

But. I think she finds me boring. I do a lot of reading, and thus make her do a lot of lying down next to me. She does get excited when I give her a treat, however.

Less than two minutes left! Gotta go! You'll have to excuse any typos!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nerd Calculation

Let's look at some numbers, shall we?

Last night I made a stack of books in an attempt to tidy up, and in realizing the intimidating height of the stack, decided to count the actual number of books in the stack.

Total number?

Total number if you count the Bible (which I do, in terms of considering it an actual "book," but if we're looking at books that I am likely to finish within weeks rather than years, then I might cross it off the list)?

Number of those books which are checked out from the library?

Number of books in the stack which are nonfiction (I'm gonna leave the Bible out of this argument and let you decide that one for yourselves)?

4 (I'm highly biased in my reading selections)

Amount I presently owe to the public library in fines?
Well, it is unclear whether I owe:

$18 even

All but one of the books that I owe fines for are returned, thus I can no longer rack up fines on them, BUT the one staggering book is still checked out, accumulating 15 cents in debt per day to Bailey Daily's name...

My parents are probably pouring glasses of wine right now, having an emergency conference to plan how they will rescue me from the collection agencies. No seriously, they will probably talk to me about this for realsies in the next week.

What is really sad* is I am at the library now, and I do not have the one book that is racking up fines with me so that I can return it.


What is even more sad* is that when I log off this computer, I will quite possibly stroll on over to the biography section, then on to world history, and pick up a few more bound beauties to take home and add to the stack, which will probably at that point topple.

Dear eligible bachelors, wouldn't you love me for your wife? I hope you're better with money (and hopeless library obsessions) than I am... ;)

*What is really exciting, not sad, is that while I was sitting here typing I heard a little girl saying, "Mama," and kept thinking, "That sounds like Lynn's little girl Claire." Turned around, it was Lynn and Claire and new baby Charlie. Holla!! What's even funnier is Lynn saw me walk into the library and didn't recognize me. Maybe we should carry pictures of each other in our wallets, since we just had dinner together three nights ago and apparently can no longer recognize each other.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I love Sheldon!!!

I have renamed the cat. His new name is Sheldon, in honor of my favorite cutie pie Sheldon (Jim Parsons) on the show The Big Bang Theory. Riley does not enjoy the name change, as when I first informed him of the name change he kept saying, "Quit calling him that!" He also argued that Sheldon (formerly known as Dibbs or Dibby) has "nothing in common with Sheldon [Jim Parsons]," to which I answered, "WRONG." Sheldon hates people, and aside from me, Dibby/Sheldon also hates people. They have everything in common.

This evening my Mama got sick at her Spanish class, too sick to drive home, so she called me and Dad to rescue her. I had just let Sheldon out on the back deck, and figured he would be pretty cold after an hour outside, so I went immediately outside to let him right back in. Sheldon ran to the left, away from me. I followed. Sheldon ran to the right. I followed. Sheldon again ran to the left, this time swooping back into the house through the open door, and I said, "Thank you. That's where I wanted you to go." Sheldon really just didn't want me to pick him up. I'm pretty sure he forgot that he ever wanted to be outside once he got back inside. I worship that animal, but I never said he was smart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I do not like Me, Sam I Am

I would say that I am contrite, but I know I'm not there yet; I'm too much of a child. Ironically I am also too much of an adult, which is creating my troubles in the first place, because I am living with two other adults and it is not as fun as Three's Company (luckily it's also without sexual innuendos from John Ritter; at times the fog is so thick that it's difficult to count my blessings, but I'm pretty sure I count that as a blessing every day in my life).

Mom and Dad, if you're holding your breath, don't worry, this post will not put you in a bad light, but rather me.

I have been an ugly person for the last week...month...months...or so. Particularly things have escalated in recent days. This morning I was physically ugly as a result. We all get bags under our eyes when we're tired (duh), extra stressed, emotionally exhausted, or a combo of the three. Well have you ever had "double bags," as I will dub them? Kind of like a double chin, if you're having trouble coming up with a visual. People, I pray this never happens to you. Last night in my distress of being an ugly person with an ugly attitude and losing all hope in humanity and life, I called my big brother Kelly, who is equal parts mentor and big-bad-tells-me-life-is-tough brother. I snotted up a lot of tissues during our conversation, toward the end of which he kept repeating, "Bailey Kathleen, you just need to go to sleep." Well I slept like a rock, but this morning I looked in the mirror and was actually a little disgusted. I have always been low maintenance, I do not own or wear makeup, I wear mismatched colors and styles all the time, so I rarely look in the mirror and think, "Ooh, I can't let people see me like this." But this morning I thought, "I think I would actually enjoy some makeup right now." But I am helplessly and eternally honest, with my heart on my sleeve, so I just schlepped off to work with my double bags (it's even disgusting to think, write, or say those words), ready to explain myself to my coworkers, who were faithfully prepared with hugs and caffeine.

Anyway. Long story short, details removed, I reached the end of my Independence Rope the other day, freaked out on my family, in return they purchased me a gift, and I am yet to say thank you for this gift. Millie, my 10-years-senior colleague who I believe to be my soul sister and who is a mom herself, told me today, "You better say thank you," because she's a mom and she knows these things. But before that I explained to her that I didn't want to receive a gift because I feel wretched and I am acting wretchedly and to receive a gift willingly with such an attitude would be like accepting an engagement ring from a man with whom I am in the middle of a bitter argument. It just wouldn't be right. I don't deserve it, I'm not ready to treat people properly so therefore I don't want to be treated properly. (Honestly, people, these days all I want to do is hide in my bedroom reading a big stack of books. I simply need a social break and a vacation.)

I was driving home about an hour ago and my favorite radio preacher Chuck Swindoll came on and I pulled into an empty parking lot in the rain to let him finish before I drove home. He was talking about anxiety (right up my alley) and the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. Now this story always excites me but it also bothers me. Like most stories in the Bible, especially parables, I leave them scratching my head. Perhaps that is Jesus' trick to get us to follow Him a little bit longer. "I'll give them puzzles that are impossible to solve and their egos will drive them on..." Chuck only touched on Mary and Martha briefly, but he explained that, basically, Martha has a crap little attitude. He puts it more eloquently and gently than that, but that was his gist and that was the piece this little troll that is me needed to catch.

I always butt heads with my mom more than my dad. And that is no less true right now than it has been before. With my dad my trick is to avoid topics where we disagree, and I find that we have a lot in common, and we are fine, and he gets me, because he is as weird as me. My mom and I actually agree on a lot of things, politically, spiritually, intellectually, cat-lover-instead-of-dog-lover-ly, etc. We also both love Chuck Swindoll, a lot. But we step on each other's toes all the time. So my "trick" with her is one that harms us; I avoid the stepping on the toes, and unfortunately that stifles a lot of conversations that we could be having about books, cats, politics, Jesus. We could have so much more between us but I say no. And this breaks my heart because I know that I am breaking her heart.

And I avoid the toe stepping because getting your toe stepped on hurts. And I can't bear to see my Mom hurting, for the VERY REASON that she has been an amazing mom who has given me so many memories and moments of sheer security and love. I avoid the toe stepping because I don't want my toes stepped on, but I really really don't want to step on hers.

Like I said, it was raining while I sat in my parked car with my Doritos, a water bottle, a pressure-filled bladder, and Chuck. I love the rain. It is my favorite weather ever, always. It calms me, restores me. I have been waiting specifically in the last month for the springtime Kansas rain and for the chance to, alternatively, wear my sundresses.

Often when it rains I remember a night when I was a senior in high school. I was reading my Psychology book, and I was home alone. Mom came home from work and had brought a variety of things from Burger King: chicken nuggets, fries, a burger. She figured she'd raid the menu and we could eat a little bit of everything. It was raining, and Mom loves the rain too, and so we decided to open the sliding door and turn off all the lights and eat in the dark, sitting on the floor, listening to the rain. I can still taste the nuggets; I always can because it such a simple, happy memory for me. I gladly put my book down and joined Mom just to be with Mom. Now I spend too much f-ing time with my books.

Like I also said before, I would say that I am contrite, but I know that I am not there yet. I am not yet humble, not ready to say out loud, looking in their eyes, to my parents, not through them, "I am sorry."

So Mom, Dad. I owe this to you in person, and when I get contrite I will do so, but for now I'll give you this:

I'm sorry.
Thank you for your gift.
I love you.
I want to try harder to be better, but I have a Martha attitude (and am pretty nonchalant like Mary), and so I am stubborn and don't really know how to get there. And you two are the ones who taught me that only God can get us there.

Chuck finished with a prayer tonight and he said, "He will get you from here to there if you let Him take the lead." Amen!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Words Underground

I have found a lucky bookstore. "Mac's Backs" in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. This used bookstore has a super fun upstairs, but unfortunately that is where the science fiction is housed, so after I've admired the architecture I usually head back downstairs. I've had more luck in the basement.

The first time I went to Mac's I found a hilariously sarcastic postcard involving a beauty pageant contestant. I can't remember what it said (Nick, do you remember? Or Jordan, if you're reading this, do you still have it? What did it say?). Something along the lines of "you're not that special." It was funny, I promise.

Anyway, the basement. I also found a book called Roommates by Max Apple that day in the basement of Mac's. (Interestingly enough, after I read it, I also sent that to Jordan to read). The basement is not carpeted, almost creepy but not quite, well lit, and surprisingly not as cold as it looks. The basement has most of the store's nonfiction, so clearly I hang out down there. Roommates is about Max Apple's grandfather, who lived to be something like 104 years old, and Max always lived with him; they were roommates when Max was a little boy, and after Max was married his grandfather still lived with him. It was a very touching story, and the part I remember the most was when Max chaperoned his daughter's Girl Scout field trip and took his grandfather along. Grandpa fell asleep on the bus ride home, and one of the Girl Scouts came up to Max and asked if his grandpa was really 100 years old. He told her he was, and she gave him a piece of paper with the instruction to please ask for his autograph when he woke up. My heart skips a beat every time I think of that. The precious enthrallment of the girl just crushes me.

I went back to Mac's this January when I was visiting Nick, and I made him, Emily, and Beth wait while I explored the basement. It was there that I found Girl Meets God, which I just finished today; I've been savoring it because I loved it so much. Girl Meets God is a memoir about the author, Lauren F. Winner, who grew up as a reform Jew in the south, converted to Orthodox Judaism in high school, and then while a student at Columbia University, converted to Christianity. I found such a story incredibly intriguing, and I loved everything that Lauren had to say. She's an unabashed intellectual, who, rather than being fickle as you might gather from all her conversions, is incredibly honest about her feelings, beliefs, and doubts. She's also insanely smart and even more insanely well read, a poster Scholar, and were it not for her open cynicism (which I so love in people, reminding me I'm not the only bitter person who's willing to admit it) I'd probably be pretty jealous of her academic resume. But she's somehow incredibly likeable, approachable.

Needless to say I look forward to my next visit to Mac's. I'm not superstitious, actually believing there is luck in its chambers, but I do plan on visiting that basement a few more times. Look at that, I've developed a tradition! A pilgrimage.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Forward Motion

I have officially received my first acceptance to a graduate journalism program.


One of the top in the country, I might add, but I am not bragging (okay maybe a little bit), only in awe that I should be so blessed to be accepted.

To celebrate, the fam and I had pizza and beer, and we watched an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. Significance? Little known fact: I was named after the character Bailey Quarters on the show, who just so happens to be a journalist herself. In tonight's particular episode Bailey was not present (Craig Ferguson quote: "I know!"), but Andy received mouth-to-mouth resuscitation atop Bailey's desk, so she was certainly not forgotten, and there were a couple good cameos of her name placard. As viewers we also took note of the rainbow sticker on Bailey's desk, and decided that perhaps I should adorn my own desk with a rainbow sticker. I wonder where Bailey was during this particular episode. Out on a very important assignment, no doubt.

Perhaps to get her Master's degree...


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Female seeking Androgynous Man

Annoyance of the day: big trucks. Not 18-wheelers, I'm actually okay with those and do not have anxiety when it comes to merging onto the interstate with them. No, I am talking about your everyday (stereotype): cowboy truck drivers in the greater Kansas City area. If memory serves correctly, a total of four trucks pissed me off today. One cut me off, another was flying around a corner in a parking lot and then gestured his irritation with me for being in his way.


If you are a male reading this who drives a truck or a Jeep, please present your individual case to me so that I can attempt not to judge, but for the most part, Jeeps and trucks are a huge turn off for me. Granted, I am seeking a sensitive man for my life partner, not a macho man, so a Jeep or truck generally indicate a rugged, outdoorsy man behind the wheel, who may not be so likely to discuss books and crafts and just how green Dibby's eyes are with me.

These are all snap judgments based on generalizations, I realize this.

But. Just sayin'. When a man hops out of a Jeep and all the nearby women begin to swoon and say things like, "Ooh, hottie, gettin' out of the Jeep," I am definitely the girl rolling her eyes looking for a guy in a Kia with a cup of coffee and a book.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bailey & Riley read the Newspaper

We conquered the crossword in approximately 4.5 minutes (clearly we were not reading the New York Times). My favorite clues were a 7-letter word for "cleaned between teeth" and a 3-letter word for "unhappy." Hmmm...

Then we did the Jumble. When Riley unscrambled the word "tyrant" and I made a sassy response of "well aren't you so smart," we decided that, as an aspiring journalist and soon-to-be English teacher, i.e. a little obsessed with linguistics, we probably should not do word puzzles together. While otherwise relatively docile, the puzzles cause us to become a little more competitive than team-oriented.

After we declared the No Word Puzzles Treaty of 2010, it was only natural that we move on to the comics. Riley read one in particular that annoyed him and scratched out the entire strip. We then proceeded to say farewell to all of the less than worthy comics in our local newspaper. "Bye Cathy." "Bye Garfield," we said as we scribbled with gusto. Zippy received extra X's and dark ink scratches, for it is extra bad. We especially enjoyed putting to rest Marmaduke, Brenda Starr, and Mark Trail. Riley got pretty excited about ending Family Circus, and I let out some long pent up angst towards Marmaduke, yelling, "Oh, what's gonna happen today, Marmaduke? Let me guess, are you gonna sit on the couch again, covering the whole thing with your huge, dumb body?"

This whole activity was quite stress relieving. Perhaps my current bout of acne will disappear soon as a result.

Halfway through our little editing project, I said, "Mom and Dad are probably going to get mad because they haven't read these yet," and then scratched out Stone Soup and its disgruntled divorcees. There were only eight surviving strips, among them Get Fuzzy and Bizarro. There were no survivors on the page to the right of the centerfold.

Dad came down in the midst of our scratching and said, "Hey! What are you doing?! I haven't read those yet!"

"I told you we'd get in trouble," I mumbled to Riley.

We immediately represented our case, holding up the paper for him to see that we were doing him a favor, and he quickly simmered because we salvaged Zits and Baby Blues. He then remained to observe as I calculated the percentage of good comics in relation to all those that are published, and presented the Funnies with a 25%. A failing grade.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Have you ever noticed that school yearbooks are like vortexes? Be honest, yearbooks are not that interesting, unless perhaps you have been out of school for 30+ years and you are reminiscing and laughing at old hairstyle faux pas. But otherwise a yearbook is kind of like a really long, black and white magazine with lesser-known high school celebritites.

No offense to yearbook editors/writers/photographers, I think that your work is very well done. I just think that a yearbook is more of a formality that needs to be created for records and out of tradition. Perhaps all the yearbook staff youth of America would rather work on another journalistic endeavor, given the option. I'm just saying, school papers are usually a little more entertaining, and if nothing else they have a crossword to pass the time. Maybe they should add crosswords to yearbooks to spice them up...

But you pick up a yearbook to look up one thing, usually, like when you're hanging out with some girlfriends and you say "What was that guy's name, who wore flannel and smoked during lunch?" and then go on a search party in the hard bound pages. Today yearbooks are even more advanced, plus student bodies are huge and require more sophisticated organization than they used to, so the books often have an index. So if you can remember that Mr. Flannel played the bassoon, then you can look up the band, flip to page 132, and Bam, you've found him. Done, close the book, right?


Vortex. Before you know it you're reading about the homecoming queen, the speech team, looking at pictures of kids not even in your class; after a couple of hours of page turning you know some of their names, recognize them on another page. Then you look at the clock and realize you've missed your lunch date. Don't agree with me? Go pick up your eighth grade yearbook right now. Here is your assignment: Find the page with your middle school crush. And then immediately close the book and walk away for a full 24 hours. Ten bucks says you can't do it. And don't hold me responsible if you don't get a lot of sleep tonight--it was your fault for assuming you could prove me wrong.