Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The man who made my day today

He was wearing glasses.

Middle aged.

Location: Barnes & Noble cafe. Time: approximately 4 p.m.

He had on wool-ish socks, with those casual shoes that younger guys where.

On his belt, he had four gadgets. One was a beeper, two were indiscernible, and I would guess the final one was a pocket knife, but I cannot confirm this because it was sheathed in a camouflage-print canvas envelope.

He also had a large wallet peaking out of his left back pocket.

On his table he had a copy of 4WD (4 Wheel Drive) Magazine, the Farmer's Almanac, and one other magazine.

He had a beverage from the cafe. Venti size, if memory serves.

In his hands?

Martha Stewart Magazine. The Halloween issue.

He had it open to the page offering instructions for applying makeup for a mummy costume, reading rather intently.

And this is how he made my day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh, look at the (bed)time!

Mondays are big time class days. I spend four hours in class, and usually start the day early contributing to class blogs by their deadlines. Today was an exception, but I usually spend the break between the two classes typing a paper for the second class, then scrambling to find a printer.

Yup. Great study habits.

Anyway, I get home and just sit. Other than doing about one set of dishes, spraying half of the kitchen counter (note: not the entire counter) with 409, and picking up my prescriptions from Walgreens, I have just sat here since I got home.

I had sincere intentions of going for a run, but my headache was on the verge of throbbing by the time I walked in the door, so I decided against it.

Tomorrow I have at least a ten hour day in the newsroom, potentially longer, so I am going to get in bed with a novel--

Gasp! A novel?! Oh no, she isn't!

Oh yes, she is.

--and call it a day. I feel slightly okay, slightly guilty about this. I put in a full day, that started before 8am, but I also quit around 6pm and haven't picked up the pace since.

Ah, well. Too late to worry about it now.

The Mermaid Chair, I will see you now.

Reality, I'll deal with you tomorrow.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cat prodigy! Call the press! Oh wait, I am the press.

Dibby's a genius. He just walked across the keyboard and typed the following:


He initially stepped on the Enter key, holding it down for about five seconds, but I edited that portion out for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Holler. Checking in.

Michael is doing work.

Bailey is not.

He's making me feel a little bit bad.

And, to make it worse, he's finishing up, which means he's going to come over here to cuddle in a minute--

Oh, well look who's here. Reading over my shoulder now. I was typing that last sentence when Mike said, "Are you doing work?" I laughed.

Well I don't know that I have much to say right now, honestly, I'm just putting up a post because I've been neglecting the DB. Smooches to you all. Well not really, because Mikey likes to claim those. But big hugs and lots of love.

Sorry for the lame post.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Revamping with a Pest

Yes, we have a new look. But you may note, a similar color scheme to before.

Also, the dandelions in the corner certainly carried a lot of weight in getting me to choose this template.

I love dandelions. I remember when I first heard they were weeds, I thought, "What?! They look like flowers!" Plus they have that awesome bonus of functioning as an entertainment device. Come on, show of hands, who does not like to blow the seeds into the wind?

That's what I thought. No one raised his or her hand. Even Belle participated in the spreading of dandelion seeds, meaning it must be a humanitarian thing to do (i.e. does not matter that they are technically weeds), because Belle sat in as a proxy for her dad in the cold, terrifying dungeon. But I digress.

I told my psychology teacher in high school about my love for dandelions while we were on a field trip, during the bus ride. At one point when we had stopped for lunch, I think, we got back on the bus and she had picked a dandelion for me, because I had told her I liked them.

Yep, precious.

And look at this that I just found. Another in support of dandelions as friends, with a link to a recipe. Pest? Pesto!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This will make a great book someday (I hope)

Oh, I am learning in graduate school.

Today I learned...
  • If you are making friends, but don't have substantial time to spend with them, don't have a church picked out, have essentially lost touch with your pre-grad school social circle of support, don't exercise but used to, and intake more coffee than actual food, it might hit you after a month that you are homesick, lonely and depressed.
  • I also learned that if you do some dishes and go for a run you might feel quite a bit better.
Other learning opportunities of the day...
  • If you start watching hedgehog videos on youtube, you might be there for a while.
  • I didn't really learn this next point, but was reminded that living with a cat makes life considerably easier, happier, and more peaceful.
And finally...
  • When trying to print, it helps a lot if you plug the printer in.
Hey, don't look at me. I wasn't the one who let me into a master's program.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ha ha :)

My latest email exchange with Kyle:

Me: I feel like we should have some system for when one of us is running late to reporting class, to be on coffee duty. Agreed?

Kyle: Bailey, this is the best idea you have ever had.

Aren't my new friends funny?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lint Trap

Dibby is giving me the sad eyes.

Once a week I go through a door in my apartment to the laundry facilities.

I've come to call this door "the magic portal," because to Dibbs, it holds no less power than this. And I won't let him go through it with me, to "the other side." Hence the sad, "I'm mad at you" eyes.

There are cats on the other side of the door, but I'm not sure if it is their scent that draws him, or just the fact that there is more space to explore. Or, probably, just the fact that it's off limits is what makes him so mischievous around the portal. He is past my ankles before I can look down, so I've come to be quite careful on laundry day.

And he's punishing me for it.

With the eyes. The magic eyes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This is why we take the GRE

True story: I just asked someone in the student union to watch my stuff so I could go pick a wedgie in the bathroom.

Note: I only asked him to watch my stuff, I didn't indicate the detail of my actions while I would be away.

I have been driving literally all over town today, followed by walking downtown and through campus. My backpack has been increasing stress on my shoulders, my sinus headache has worsened throughout the day, blah blah, wah wah, point being! I was not about to settle in here to write my literature review with a wedgie. Not happening.

It's amazing how a thin piece of cotton can cause so much mental disruption.

Other shining moments of the day:

After washing my hands in the bathroom, I moved them toward the hand dryer and they decided, on a complete will of their own, to stop at the soap dispenser...requiring me to wash my hands again.

At lunch today, I asked my server if I could order just a half sandwich, because I eat like a bird and can only down so many calories in one sitting. I was informed I could not order a half sandwich, so I got a whole BLT. I took the other half to the newsroom when I was done eating, offering up a mysterious block wrapped in foil to hungry journalists.

It gets better. Of course it does; my awkwardness knows few, if any, bounds.

I stopped someone short on his way to the microwave with a single serving of Chef Boyardee.

"Jake, are you going to eat that?"

Duh, of course he is.

Enthusiastically: "I am!"

I then offered him the sandwich and he was quite excited and grateful, not put off.

There was also an issue outside of Starbucks during a late morning coffee session with Kyle, in which I could not get my button down shirt to cooperate with the sweater I had put on over it. First there was a popped collar issue, followed by general shirt bunching. Kyle just laughed during all of this, offering only small amounts of verbal assistance.

Try and swallow this with me: this is just one day in the life of a harried, stressed out grad student. Imagine what kind of havoc I might wreak in two full years.

Daily ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Please publish me :)

I was sitting here minding my own business just now, when a tiny bug flew onto my spoonful of yogurt. "Excuse me, did I invite you here?"

As I moved, the bug moved.

INTO my cup of yogurt!

Really, bug? Really?

I was on the phone, so I wasn't about to interrupt my life for a bug by getting up off the floor to take care of it, so I did the next most logical thing.

I reached for the toilet paper that is sitting on my floor (because I am out of tissue and am too busy to buy more) and wiped the yogurt and bug off of my spoon. And then this song (sort of) came into my head:

"There was a cup of yogurt that swallowed a [member of the] fly [family]
I don't know why he thought he'd survive
He'll likely die

There was toilet paper that laid on the floor
(Never mind that it's on the floor)
The girl took the paper to capture the fly[ish thing]
I don't know why there's TP in her living room
But the fly did die"

Wow, I'll stick to my day job. Which is...writing. Yikes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Head above water (barely)

I think Mike is getting used to the fact that he's going to deal with a girl who's often in tears. Every time we say goodbye I'm a mess, and just now on Skype I couldn't even keep it together.

School is just a taaad stressful.


He keeps telling me he thinks I'm doing a great job, even though I often doubt it. I make sure to tell him he's doing a great job taking care of me, because he is certainly not failing in his department.

Wow, now even my blog is going down the tubes because all I talk about is my boyfriend and it's all mushy and boring now. Sorry, y'all. Get a master's in journalism, you'll understand/forgive me.

In other news, Dibbs just killed and ate a bug. So he's having a pretty good evening. He's also escaped the apartment four times this week. Pumpkin is being a little brat these days.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And this is only week three

I love to read. But I still have it in my head that the law of diminishing returns applies to reading. Okay, maybe the law of diminishing returns is not exactly the right analogy*, but I am

so fried!

from reading that I don't even have the energy to explain my point. Supersaturation, maybe that's what I'm looking for. Essentially, you read too much, you can't retain any more information unless you take a long break. It is perhaps unhealthy to read more than a certain amount each day. Maybe?

Okay, clearly I am too tired to be writing coherent statements right now, and am furthermore on the verge of overwhelming myself with mental visits to my high school chemistry, economics, and physics courses. This is too dangerous of a path to go down right now, as I am supersaturated (yes, we are sticking with that analogy) with information and can't hold anymore. At this point I only have room for a cat in my arms and Doritos in my mouth.

Then, bedtime for Bonzo.

*I will note here that recently I was chided for referencing what I thought was Newton's 4th law. Maybe I referenced the 3rd law, which would be a little less embarrassing. Bah, I don't remember.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Luke warm

So...I just read some articles from USA Today that talked about how people more and more date indefinitely, either never getting married or marrying after several years of courtship.

Now I may not be ready for marriage, but I have to say that I think I have instinctively always known that cohabitation is not for me. Nevermind my thoughts on it overall (bad idea), but I just know that would drive me crazy. To me the idea of moving in together without being married does not seem like this grand, romantic adventure, like moving into the dorms for the first time, or spending a year in Italy, or even, I don't know, dating?

Yes I have a desire to get married and to live with my husband, but for me it's not one or the other.

Is anyone else with me on this? Moral opinions of the whole idea aside, does anyone else feel just downright bored at the idea of living with your significant other, without having a ring on your finger?

You know how you go to the doctor, and you sit in the waiting room, and you fill out the paperwork, and you pick up the most interesting magazine in the pile (usually not much better than an issue of Parents), move on down the pile until you're so bored and are finally left reading Golf Digest? And then they call your name. And you get excited! But they take you to another room where you must continue to wait.

Jerry Seinfeld has an old stand-up routine and describes this as something along the lines of: now you're in the smaller waiting room, and you don't have your magazine.

Point being, anti-climactic, yes? You still have no guarantee of when you'll see the doctor exactly, how the appointment will go, if he or she will have an effective prescription for you, etc. Yet you continue to hang out with the blood pressure cuff, with only a vague word from the nurse about when the doctor will "be right with you" to guide you in your patience.

I once sat in a doctor's office (the little room, not the big waiting room) for almost an hour, and I was so happy to have The New York Times with me, but it wasn't a thrilling hour of my life.

For me this is how I view cohabitation. Now this is not to imply that I have fairy tale ideas of engagement and marriage, either. Absolutely not. No riding off in the sunset, we're-married-now-so-nothing-will-ever-go-wrong-and-we-will-never-fight delusions in my head. But I guess I feel that cohabiting is like riding off into the sunset and then getting lost in the desert. No sign of a watering hole, no saloon to grab a bite and a brewski to refresh yourselves; just very unclear, or no, direction. I have to ask myself, "What's next? Are we ever going to get off this horse and agree that we're in this for the long haul?"

Believe me, it is a big time fear for this realist mind of mine that I will never have that "I just knew he was the one" feeling, and an even bigger fear the possibility of my marriage ending because we get tired of each other. So I guess that when someone puts a ring on my hand, I want to know that he's willing (and I'm willing) to embark on the cohabitation adventure together, without some "unless you snore too loudly" clause in the agreement. Again, I am not ready for marriage, but it just seems less than courageous to cohabit without marrying first. Is that too harsh a judgment? Maybe, but I'm not sure I really care, and I'm not cohabiting or married, so I think I'm safe to give my opinion.

I should probably go to bed now before I offend any more people, and before I make Mike crazy over my public relationship musings. ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Somebody's lying.

In fact, I'm pretty sure a lot of people are.

Think about this with me for a moment. If you need to go to the bathroom, go ahead, and then come back and think about this with me for a moment. I want your concentration level to be optimal, so go ahead and empty that bladder.

Okay. Imagine with me that you are calling a phone number with an automated menu, e.g. "For Bob the Builder, press 1, for relationship issues, press 2, for movie suggestions, press 3..."

But you'll notice I missed something, didn't I?

I skipped the part that they almost always say before they start listing menu items. They say,

"Please listen carefully... our menu options have changed."

You know what? I'm no longer buying it. There is no way that the menu items have just changed every time you call. Those options have to remain static for good portions of time. I used to be a secretary, I know these things. When it comes to voicemail, you don't want to deal with it any more than is necessary. I don't recall ever seeing a secretary going into the voicemail system to change the menu options, and certainly not often enough that a condescending, somewhat-fibbing "please listen carefully" message would be required.

Honestly, I'd rather have them say, "please listen carefully because the menu options are specific, and your need may be addressed in option 8 instead of option 2." Just don't lie to me.

There's a line in the book "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" about a character named Bailey and it says something along the lines of: there are two rules with Bailey. Don't ask her how she's feeling, and don't lie.

I laughed so hard at the relevance to real-life Bailey that I had to show my mom and she laughed too, nodding in agreement.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Well I did sleep late today, and I did have pizza for dinner. But I wouldn't say I completely remembered Labor Day and kept it leisurely.

My emotions decided they wanted to do some work today, and in doing so they put Mike to work as Bailey's primary comforter. I'll spare you the details, but Mike and I spent the weekend together, and as I knew it would, it went very quickly. To add insult to this injurious state of long distance romance, we spent part of our weekend attending a wedding reception, i.e. watching another couple celebrate the fact that they don't have to be apart. Add to that list other couples in my life on their way to the altar, and the fact that while I'm happy to be hitting the books instead of Martha Stewart Weddings, and have a wonderful boyfriend who completely supports me in that, the reality is that hitting the books is still very daunting and physically and emotionally exhausting.

You get the idea.

Mike did a good job with his weepy girl, and I am trying to convince my emotions that they have permission to get some rest. Step one? Get off the blog and turn off the PC (which is another issue at graduate school; when I whip out my Dell, I can feel the stares from all the Macs. But that is another post for another time.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Greetings from the place where they make you read. And never let you stop.

I don't really have a "final draft," if you will, of my schedule for the semester (i.e. I have my class schedule, but I haven't fully defined what I should do during big breaks between classes on each day). But it is becoming clear to me that it is likely I will have to spend Fridays doing research for my graduate assistant position.

Um...let me just say for all of us, everywhere: who wants to spend Friday researching? I wish I could do it earlier in the week, but for a lot of the time I'm not sure that's possible.

So right now I'm pretty tired, had a busy week, published two stories, went to classes, wrote things, read things, walked many steps upon campus sidewalks. Ate candy corn and Doritos for most meals.

So yeah. I'm pretty ready to call it a week and watch soaps tomorrow with Dibby. But I'll be heading to my job with my new friend Amrita to read, and then read some more. And then go to a meeting for my government beat at 4:00 for the paper I write for this semester. Because did I mention that those weekly meetings are also at the end of the day on Friday?

Oh well. It'll be December before I know it (my attitude is rarely this forgiving). And then I can adjust to a whole new schedule!

Yay, graduate school!

In that vein, I came across an article on yesterday about three books you need to read to survive grad school. I loved that one of them was about men traveling across Antarctica in 1914. The whole point of the recommendation was that your life could be worse than graduate school. Perfectly snarky. I love it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cute boy creates difficulty for girl to end calls

I've decided Skype is a double-edged sword. It's better than the phone, because you can see the person you're talking to. But it's a lot harder to hang up.


Today I made a new friend. Her name was Mary.

It took me 14 1/2 hours start to finish. The only breaks I took were for transportation, eating, and visiting the latrine. But this woman deserves such attention. I was genuinely honored to be the one to talk to Mary's family and friends, and to write just one tiny piece of her incredible life. As I was working on the story today, I thought that I wished I could have met her. Later, after I got home, I realized I felt like I actually had.

Mary Nirmaier, pioneering wartime pilot, remembered as generous, free-spirited