Party on, Emoke. Party on, Bailey.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
As far as I know my stipend payment should be rollin' in to the 'ol checking account right around midnight.
And I'll bet you'll never guess (unless you're Mom and I already told you this) what I want to buy with it.
I haven't wanted any broccoli for the last several years. But that is what I want. I wanna cook it up real nice and put butter on it. Mmmm. And stay in on Friday night and eat it all up.
I am so tired. I am bordering on delusional. But hey, the body wants what it wants. I'm just here to listen and obey orders. Aye aye, Captain Broccoli.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I asked a friend to be on the lookout for a flannel shirt at Salvation Army.
I am awaiting a pair of Buddy Holly glasses and an Aerosmith t-shirt in the mail.
Can you guess what my Halloween costume is??
I'll give you a hint: "I can go to a movie on a school night [snaps fingers] like that."
Monday, October 25, 2010
Today in my Mass Media seminar we were talking about persuasion, in journalism as a whole but also in advertising. The Energizer bunny came up as an example, and we kept referring to it throughout the class period.
After about ten to fifteen minutes had passed and we were still talking about batteries, I wrote on my notebook for my friend Nick next to me to read. I wrote,
"batteries stress me out."
And then I realized how much batteries stress me out. And how much I avoid them as a result.
I think I use batteries--clarification, replace batteries--maybe once a year (this is not including everyday use of batteries in remote controls, cars, cell phones, etc.). That once-a-year occurrence is the approximate one time a year I have the leisure and freedom to travel somewhere by plane. And then I bring along my old school discman, to fill time between reading Spirit Magazine and sipping Dr Pepper. Along with some batteries.
And I am always nervous. Because I feel like batteries always die. Even the brand new ones.
I was at the Las Vegas airport for a layover and I bought batteries in the gift shop, put them in my discman, and it still didn't work.
This is why I avoid batteries. Every time I put them in something, I just expect them to die shortly after. I remember as a kid often needing batteries for something, I don't even know what, some toy or another. And it always seemed to be a headache, for me, the brothers, for Dad.
We had at least one basket of batteries, I remember. The batteries were all heaped up together (this gives you a tiny snapshot of my family's organizational skills as a whole, and an even tinier snapshot of that which is my mind), and it was never clear which ones were brand new, fully charged, almost dead, dead.
We had a battery tester, which I thought was kind of fun, but I don't recall that it solved our battery woes. It may have even made them worse--an illusory helper.
[I could also have stressful associations with batteries because the two boys on my Odyssey of the Mind team in fourth grade used to put 9-volt batteries on their tongues, laughing after receiving its painful shock. Just watching this scarred me.]
As Riley got older and accumulated more battery operated toys, as young boys tend to do--a Gameboy, etc.--batteries continued to enter our house. I remember him and Dad having arguments/discussions about Riley's need for batteries, required trips to the store, when could they go, why don't you check the heap in the basket?, those are all dead, have you tested them all?...you get the picture.
So I realized, today, during Mass Media seminar of all places, that I have been both subconsciously and I believe consciously avoiding battery usage for all these years.
Huh. Well the first step to recovery is admitting I have a problem. Next up? Call the therapist.
"So, you say there was a basket with a heap of batteries? What kind of batteries?"
"All kinds. Too many to count...I don't wanna talk about it."
"Okay, maybe in the next session."
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I want a life. I want a life with weekends.
Once upon a time I used to watch every Chiefs game. Once upon a time I attended Jayhawk football games. And once upon a time I used to play pickup games of football.
This Friday I did homework downtown and grumbled to myself at all the passers-by in their Mizzou clothes, with their kids with temporary tiger tattoos on their cheeks. At the sorority girls and fraternity boys painting the shop windows. When I left campus Friday afternoon, I knew I wouldn't return downtown until after the festivities were over.
And this made me mad and sad.
I love football. I love drinking beer with strangers (that sounds bad, even in context--I like drinking beer with strangers in safe situations). I love fall weather. But none of that is in my life anymore. I had one beer this weekend, made no friends with strangers, and hardly spent ten minutes outdoors.
I don't feel human. I turn down social invitations either because I don't have the time right then or know that I can only afford to take quick breaks, and I know that in order to keep breaks brief I need to take them solo.
I'm hungry and tired a lot.
I try to enjoy my weekends with Mike, but during ones like this, I am too stressed to even properly appreciate his saintly way of sitting quietly while I type all weekend. This makes me feel like a jerk. To this he says "nonsense" and kisses me, but I know he's just being nice, which is another point for him, with zip for Bailey.
Grumpy grumpy grumpy. Overworked. Nothing I can do about it.
Classmates ask me about how internship applications are coming, I get frustrated. I almost said once this week "I don't want to talk about it," but couldn't think of a way not to sound rude.
I've never had strong desires to freeze time, but now I understand why people daydream about it.
Sorry for the whining. That's about all I can squeeze out of myself at the moment.
Back to my Sesame Street research.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Cutie Pie of the Week award goes to...
Please send any submissions for the Cutie Pie contest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, cats and precious old men are likely to rise to the top of the pile, but hey, try me. See if you can out-cute the normal cutes. And, I apologize for putting such a high standard on our first week--niece in a pumpkin suit? Too much, I know. But y'all have pretty adorable offspring, I've seen 'em, so send 'em, send 'em!*
*obviously only if you're comfortable with putting one's photo online. Privacy and safety, holler!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
If and when I have them, I'm going to sing my kids to sleep.
(After reading to them, of course. And praying. But perhaps I'll spare them my dad's way of pretending to fall asleep during the "forever and ever" portion of the Lord's prayer. Although that was a very fun, giggling game to wake him up...)
Monday, October 18, 2010
It has long bothered me when a person smiles rarely, if ever.
I finally realized today that I see few smiles among my peers. Some people give me smiles consistently. But I don't see those people every day. Other people just don't crack a little grin! Ever!, it seems.
I'm not even kidding when I say it's getting me down. For me, others' smiles are fuel. I am at that point in the semester where I am emotionally and physically done. I want to get coffee, do the crossword, and shoot the breeze with peeps. But I hardly have time for any of that.
So when people keep their lips pursed, it downright makes me angry. My energy level is already low, and when I encounter frown after frown (not to mention some sorry senses of humor...) I don't have any more energy to do everything from the mundane (pick up consent forms for classes next semester--don't even get me started on that policy) to the extra-complicated (write an election story on candidates' views on Missouri highways).
So turn that frown upside down!! I'm just as stressed and annoyed and tired and emotionally spent as y'all. But I'm still trying to crack jokes and share smiles. To smile takes no extra time or energy. So just be polite. Humor me, and smile.
(If you're really having trouble, watch this.)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Raise your hand if you're a little down on yourself right now...
[Daily Bailey raises hand]
In some ways I have changed A TON in the last two months.
I do dishes regularly. I wash my sheets every two weeks. On Friday night I spent almost eight straight hours looking at election donations, line by line, categorizing them by type of donor. I don't remember the last time I gave such focus to one thing. Probably in early high school was the last time. I'm doing government reporting--every week I'm diving into a topic that I still know very little about, but I'm working hard to make it work. I went to the scene of a shooting this week, talked to a police officer, and wrote a news article on it. I've written an obituary. I plan ahead. I multi-task.
I couldn't/didn't do any of those things prior to this program.
But there are moments where I feel I just can't win. Just when I think I have my priorities figured out, something will happen to make me feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel I could be a better student if I didn't have the added bulk of work from an assistantship, but that would mean I would have to pay for school. Right now people are applying for summer internships, and I'm just trying to focus on what's right in front of me--which is about twenty things.
There are not just deadlines at the newspaper. There are deadlines everywhere.
The problem with being in a top-caliber program is that everyone is so smart. Some days I just want to walk into the classroom and announce, "All right, people. We're all smart. We all know this. So let's just let our walls down and treat each other like humans, like friends even. We don't have to be so combative, always challenging each other's ideas, one-upping each other with our knowledge."
I've all but sacrificed my social life. I tell people that my social life consists of Mike, Dibbs, and my fellow students, and I'm totally serious. I have 12 hour days and I feel sad for Dibby being left alone. I have to cut Mike off on the phone sometimes because I'm too busy, or sometimes I'm just downright falling asleep. This week we actually had to end our Skype conversation because Dibbs would not stop meowing because I had been gone all day and he wanted attention.
I can't make this stuff up.
And then Mike felt bad because I was so stressed out and he wanted to be here, and I felt bad because I couldn't give him attention, and I needed TLC just like Dibby did.
I was invited to a movie and a birthday party this weekend and skipped both of them. But do I feel like I got a lot accomplished? Not really.
Okay now I'm just complaining. But this is just a post to share that horrible feeling in your gut--the one when you think you're doing the right thing and then you get knocked on your ass. I know you've all been there. You might be there now. I would argue we're always there, to some degree.
It's really hard for me to know if I'm following God's will, but I do know that those snap-of-a-finger moments where you suddenly loathe yourself and question all your gifts and abilities are the work of Satan. You don't have to share my belief, but I sincerely believe that such is the case.
So do I feel that the opposite of low self-esteem, i.e. high self esteem, pride, are God's will? Absolutely not.
I guess I just think that trying to figure out God's will and ignoring Satan's attempts to knock us off His path are equally grueling battles. And a thousand times tougher than graduate school alone. But both are possible with Him.
I'm just feeling my lack of power without Him tonight. Not that He's not here.
Okay. Bedtime. Loves to any/all of you who are feeling the same. God is with you. You can do it.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
My grandmothers are pretty much hysterical. I'm an idiot for not calling them more often.
I called them each today, and here were their highlight quotes:
Mom's mom: Telling me about how she made JELL-O. "I haven't made JELL-O in years!"
Dad's mom: Telling me how three of her five kids are coming or have come to visit her within a month. I told her she is popular, to which she replied, "You bet!"
Love you, Jerry and Winnie. xoxox
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I used to run 4-5 times a week, but since beginning graduate school that has been reduced to 0-2 times a week. I'm not a fan of this, because not only do I miss running, but with my runs being so few and far between I really have to push myself; the exercise feels like more of a challenge than a release.
This weekend, however, I was inspired by some athletes in my family to keep fighting the good fight. Yes, my 61-year-old father, two older brothers, and sister-in-law ran the Chicago marathon this weekend.
But I'm talking about Dibby's new cousins. (Yogi plays midfield, and Boo Boo's on defense.) Get it, little boogers!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The 33rd and final miner has been brought to the surface safely. Luis Urzua was greeted by the Chilean president who told him that his "shift is over." Urzua was the shift commander of the group of miners and volunteered to be the final one lifted to safety, by the rescue capsule named "Phoenix."
I am so thrilled. I still can't believe this story. It is incredible.
Rescuers Pull All 33 Miners to Safety
Be sure to pray for the six rescue workers who still need to be transported out of the mine.
The second miner to reach the surface, Mario Sepúlveda, said, “I’ve been near God, but I’ve also been near the devil. God won.”
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I heard at least five little nuggets of fantastic speech today that kept me sane (and, often, laughing). They are as follows:
Mike: (Background--last night when we were saying goodnight on Skype I gave him the command to dream about me.)
This morning he wrote in an email, "I did dream about you...although it fell under a world invasion type scenario."
My beat editor, Scott: Discussing our upcoming election coverage, we came across something on the agenda that caused him to say he didn't give "a hill of beans" about it.
Someone who will remain unnamed: Speaking of someone else who will remain unnamed, this person said that she was scared of the other person. When I asked why, she said, "I don't like her eyebrows!"
Apparently this is warrant for fear.
An assistant city editor, Becky: While editing my coverage of a shooting, she thought she had finalized a sentence, but I asked her to reword it. Because as it was, it read, "The victim's exact name and age have not been released."
I wondered what she meant by "exact name"...This was a fantastic moment for me because she usually catches me in my blunders, not the other way around.
The New York Times: My final great line of the day came in a news brief through my RSS feed. It read,
This, certainly, is the best of the five. God bless these unwavering men, and may He bring them all safely to the surface. A little practice round for future ascension...
Oh, and P.S. Update: There are now three safely out of the mine.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Big Red, aka "Bread," aka my little red car, reached 100,000 miles on its odometer today. Good boy.* You've taken me far. And safely. You've gotten me stuck in the snow a few times, but I got out, and our only accident (unrelated to snow) was minor, with no injuries, and not our fault.
*Yes, my car is a boy. I figure women are objectified often enough, being compared to cars, so I've turned the tables. Bazinga.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
My little brother is all grown up (more so than me, I like to argue). I can no longer dress him up like a girl...
...because yesterday he put a ring on someone's finger. Someone who we love a lot. Congratulations, Riley and Caitlin! And welcome to the family, wonderful girl! You are a stellar addition.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I had a phone conversation with my brother Patrick in the final hours of my undergraduate career. I told him about the final project I was wrapping up, a paper for my children's literature course.
I may have forgot to mention to him what class it was for, because when I told him I was writing a paper about Peter Pan he said,
The irony simply didn't occur to me that after 3 1/2 grueling years of reading, writing, research, even travel abroad, I was going out with a grand...children's story.
Yesterday I pitched a research proposal to my mass media professor. And the topic is...
[Careful when you click on that link. You will be on youtube for hours--celebrity SS videos are highly chain reactive.]
Maybe this is what happens when you're under extreme academic pressure. You start reverting to your scholastic roots, curling up with your baby blanket helping Blue with his clues. It's just easier than reading about framing, and agenda setting, blah blah blah, all the live long day.
I can only imagine what my final thesis will look like if this pattern of backward intelligence continues. Oh well. I just hope the faculty witnesses at my oral defense will at least dance when I hit play on a Jackson 5 track and commence with my elementary research findings.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I went for a run tonight, even though I have been overly sleep deprived all week, and for whatever reason I am still awake now, which I should probably not be...just making the problem worse...
Anyway. I spent the day being angry/grumpy/depressed/anxious, so in a kind of protest I decided to produce endorphins* and defy the gravity of negative emotions.
I was running one direction and a man coming from the other direction, also running, passed a third runner in front of me and myself. To each of us he said as he passed, "Good job."
What. a wonderful thing to do.
I put my hand to my heart and said "precious" quietly to myself.
After reaching my designated mile-marker, I turned around to head back to my car, and somewhere along the line he had turned around as well, to backtrack in the opposite direction.
And he said "good job" again as we passed each other a second time.
And the award for best co-trailer goes to...
Free, unsolicited encouragement. What an example to follow. I am inspired. And impressed, and touched. Way to go, sir.
To you I say, via blog, good job.
*That word totally looks like "dolphins." I subconsciously realize that every time I encounter it. Maybe we should refer to happy dolphins--which, those in the wild are, but ones in The Cove are not--as "endolphins."
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
There should be certain inhibitors in place to keep me from doing specific things.
On facebook, I should only be allowed to look at vacation photos of people I actually know.
I should only be allowed to be on facebook for 30 minutes at a time, 60 minutes a day, total.
I should not be allowed to discuss any issues involving more than one side when I have reached the end of a full day. In other words, any topic other than "Dibbs is the cutest cat evvvver" should be completely off the table. This equation should be further tweaked when I am lacking sleep, and tweaked even more when I am lacking sleep from the night before and up too late for the current night.
I shouldn't be allowed to argue the other side of the previous paragraph when I am exhausted, the notorious free will argument, i.e. the "I can do whatever I want" argument.
And I probably shouldn't be allowed to blog this late either.
Most of these standards for my life that I have mentioned involve the variable of sleep deprivation. But those facebook rules? Those should always. Always. apply.
Seriously.* I want Mark Zuckerburg to get on this. You've made the movie, you've given N.J. money (actually, you've given them stock shares--see?! I can't be blogging! I'm too technical and argumentative at this hour!), now get to setting blinders for the social network.
Monday, October 4, 2010
IRB (Institutional Review Board) training takes more than an hour or two.
FYI (for your information).
It may also lead to SLB (sore lower back) if you choose to sit on your bed while completing the training modules.
Oh crap. We're not supposed to use acronyms as news reporters.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I'm listening to the song "You Sang To Me" by Marc Anthony right now.
I remember when I was in high school, or about to start high school, and this song was on the radio. My brother Kelly came into my room and said something along the lines of, "Bailey, as your big brother, I have to do this for you."
And then he turned off the song.
He wasn't a big fan.
I am realizing right now how long this song is, and that it's kind of repetitive...
Friday, October 1, 2010
I want a magazine subscription.
I am taking a course called "The Magazine: Then and Now" and, ironically, I don't subscribe to even one magazine. I am even on the magazine track for my degree.
So I say, don't I deserve to receive a glossy issue in my mailbox once a month?
Well there's the issue of funds, first. They are slim. This doesn't stop me from buying a used X&Y album on Amazon for 19 cents, no. But I would still feel guilty coughing up 18 bucks or so.
Second, time. Where is that? Again, the "lack" of time didn't stop me from watching America's Next Top Model this afternoon, and I am certainly not doing homework at the moment. (Hey, it's Friday.)
But still. I'm not sure that inviting Real Simple into my home is the best idea. Pretty tempting, consuming distraction. And then there's the other side, the side that will potentially leave me with a stack of 12 magazines a year from now, none of which I've had or taken the time to look at.
And third. Imagining I simply ignore these time and money constraints--
which I do. Oh, how I do.
--there is still the question of which magazine??
I think we can argue The Economist is out. Way too much material, and I am pretty seeped in news as it is. I think we need to stick to a monthly, rather than weekly, publication, preferably with pretty pictures.
Psychology Today, Oprah, and Real Simple are usually at the top of my list when I come back to this daydream. At this point I would even go for a subscription of Seventeen, probably because I just want an escape from all that which is scholarly.
I think this calls for a poll. Perhaps two. Should I get a magazine subscription? And, to which publication?
All right, friends, refer to the right side of the page and get to voting! This will be practice for November's elections! Yay!