Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meow meows

I love this:

Black cat auditions in Hollywood, 1961

On that note, I spent a fair amount of time smoochin' on Dibbs this morning, sending myself to school all sneezy-like. Worth it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sugar scoundrels

When I eat Nerds candy, I kind of feel as if those little creatures pictured on the box are chiseling away at my pearly whites, with little sugar hammers, leaving cave paintings in the form of invisible, eventual cavities.

But that doesn't stop them from tasting good, nor me from throwing them into my mouth.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Does well with Mondays

Sunday is my least favorite day of the week. It in some ways, I think, pains me to say that, as a Christian. I wish that morning church services could carry me through until bedtime, mood wise, but I almost always get depressed on Sundays. And worried, etc. This is not to say the church services aren't doing enough for me. This is just how it is for me.

This morning I cuddled with Dibbs, as we do most mornings. And after several minutes, he licked my forehead. 

Such moments of communion, with my precious animal, or other humans, are so powerful to me, they give me fuel for writing. 

Yet I worry so damn much, and by days end, several hours after the forehead licking, find myself crying on the phone with my parents in the parking lot at HyVee. Why can't I just buy the pita bread I'm there for and just be like a "normal" person? If it were a Thursday, or a Tuesday, I could buy that pita bread and be on the phone with my dad and be Miss Bubbles. 

And it's not that I'm dreading going to work tomorrow. I much prefer weekdays, where I have guaranteed human interaction, clear goals, did I mention interaction? Weekends are these great voids for me, and even if I schedule healthy things--yoga, oatmeal, clean, grade the tests that need grading--then I sacrifice social time. Yet if I need to get things done, then spending time with people makes me feel like I'm behind on what needs to get done. 

Come Monday, everyone is where they have a commitment to be. They're at their desks, taking coffee breaks together. Doing things to help each other out. Saturday? Sunday? All up in the air. 

Sundays are rough for me. Being me is rough for me. I really hope I outgrow this anxiety and Sunday-syndrome. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nick memory

I heard part of a song that made me think of Nick this morning. I believe he put the song on a CD for me, and I think it was a CD he sent me shortly before I visited him in Florida, when he lived there. Hearing the song today got me thinking about that trip. It was a great one.

I was job searching at the time, and had a phone interview while we were driving a couple of hours (we split our time between the Tampa/Sarasota and Orlando areas). Nick and his parents had all been through a protocol that once my phone call came in, they would all sit quietly in the car as I talked to my interviewer.

This was awkward, as I do not generally enjoy an audience while on the phone, particularly when doing an interview. But it was OK, and when we arrived at a manatee reserve they all got out of the car while I stayed behind to finish up my call.

When I was done, Nick walked back over to the manatees with me, for a delayed, private tour.

It was one of those Bailey/Nick times where we are both very peaceful, as I remember it. We're not usually crazy hyper together (except when we're imitating the dance in the Sensa commercial), but we're often sarcastic. We're also often serious, but sometimes we're just...together. At peace, as friends who have been friends for a long time, and know how to be in each other's presence the way old friends do.

This past December we had come home from a bar, or something, and talked quietly in the kitchen about church. I was drinking white wine. Then we went in the bathroom, and got ready for bed, continuing to talk about stuff that was on our minds.

The next morning Nick described it to his roommate as one of our most serious conversations, noting the irony, I think, that we had it in the bathroom, or maybe because we were voluntarily up so late, as we generally don't like to stay up past 12.

Later during that visit we were walking home from the grocery store, arm in arm, and he turned on an Andrea Bocelli Christmas song on his phone. He held it out in the air, our little private stereo system. We giggled as we walked, with the sidewalk to ourselves.

In Florida, as we looked at the manatees, Nick said, calmly, "They kind of look like potatoes."

I've always remembered that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I am so cranky. And so f*ing sensitive sometimes. I just let little things have so much bearing on my feelings, my entire day.

Last night I had intentions of exercising, then making a new recipe. I did a pathetic 15 minutes on the bike, then bought pizza on the way home. Which is really not a failure. Seriously. As I was driving to the pizza place I felt so tired; I have no problem taking days off from exercise, and I don't feel the need to behave like Martha Stewart in the kitchen every night.

But then I went to bed super late, hanging out with the Internet beforehand. Good thing Dibby joined me on the love seat, as I set aside the computer to make room for him and thus stopped short the web time.

I don't know why I make so many things into failures, why I inflate things to a point of (almost) no return.

I'm constantly on community watch, eyeing people and surroundings for potential suspicious activity. Who knows exactly why I do this; because my anxiously extended brain feels as if it needs something to do, I guess. I'm the self-appointed honorary police officer, which is ridiculous, because I would never sign up for that profession in real life. Which is to say that my freakish worrying is something that exists in its own plane, one that doesn't jive with, well, not worrying and instead moving forward to do real things in real life.

But the thing is that anxiety feels so real. It is real, and what fuels it is real--although it is often unclear what motivates it, beyond stress, pent-up anger, sadness. But its ability to feed through our systems to a point that we can't see past some stupid small thing that we've inflated to a huge cloud which in reality we may not have any basis for accepting as truth--that should be recognized as a hindrance trying to get in the way of what's real.

My school sends job and internship alerts out all the time. I often skip right over them. I open them to get rid of the bold highlighting that shows them as unread, which would leave it as a clanging alarm, but I rarely look over the details of the positions being offered. I assume myself inadequate. I assume everyone else in this program ten times more adequate, and if not so then at least savvy enough to convince an interviewer they are. Because they'll get an interview, while I probably won't even get a courtesy email.

I'm getting better at not doing this, with coaching. Never underestimate the power of a coach(es), dear friends. If I've learned anything in my growing pains it is that going it alone will land you in the fetal position, often phoning a friend anyway.*

Telling myself what is real, what is true, is one step I am taking, over and over again. As many times as it takes to make it a habit, then second nature. I try to tell myself that in order to begin the "not worthy" thoughts, I need to at least apply to something. Or at the very least look at the job description and discover that, indeed, I do not have elephant whisperer skills (and, too, to tell myself in some situations as these that maybe I do have hidden talents and think about the possibility of telling employers that I am teachable, and a quick learner, because that, in fact, is true. I can't learn everything, for example I imagine I wouldn't pick up stock trading easily, or ever, but I can certainly learn a lot.)

And while I don't have to apply to 30 internships per month, I need to go beyond the quarter-assed method of sending along a tired resume to a job I'm only sort-of qualified for, and not a good fit, via email, once every three months.

Briefly: I need to try.

I have creative, bright, talented friends and family. They tell me I am these things too. But when they tell me I usually walk away feeling effervescent and then turn on "Kim and Kourtney Take New York."

To be fair, a lot of these motivating conversations happen over beers on happy Friday nights, so when one arrives home from such it's not exactly prime time to write cover letters. Though maybe it is. With a good edit over a Saturday French press, probably, with a kitty nearby mewing for food and the first of his weekend attentions from his human.

Some other things I blow out of proportion: suddenly thinking someone doesn't appreciate me, or is annoyed with me, or thinks me to be less of a colleague, peer, mentor, than all the others out there. This can come from a short email reply which is really not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or mean anything specially negative, or being asked to do something differently than I normally would, or from nothing at all.

In these situations I am trying, again, to ask myself whether or not any of these conflated thoughts I have are true. Do I have any evidence that I am liked less than my other classmates? Was I perhaps not invited to that party because I'm not on Facebook, and the invites were mostly casual? Do I even care that I wasn't invited? Maybe a teeny tiny bit, but the reality is that I usually get an invite to a smaller get-together each weekend, and that's more my scene anyway.

I'm trying to focus on the real. And on finding solutions rather than shoving away my feelings, only to have them grow inside that drawer where I attempted to hide them.

I just slipped a piece of gum in my mouth because I had a weird taste going on. Problem. Solved. When the chomping starts to distract me from my reading later, I'll spit it out. I know this isn't rocket science, but get inside my brain for five minutes and you might understand that, to me, it can feel as such.

Next up: There is a bunch of strewn paperwork in my office. I'm going to sort it, toss it, file it. Then my surroundings will be more loving to me. You know, to the extent that inanimate objects can be compassionate.

All of this might make me sound like a paranoid child to you. And to the former and the latter in that description, I'd probably agree with you to a mild to moderate degree (I do hope and pray I don't reach a level of paranoid psychosis; but do I worry too much? Yes. Do I feel like a child sometimes? Yes). But I also feel like an adult who's shedding some gross skin which is no longer serving me well. After all, fashions change, and I don't want to be caught in last season's moodiness and muddy stuckness.

*In December I was visiting Nick and making a list of daily activities to combat depression/anxiety, and I wrote "phone a friend," to which Nick added "ask the audience." Our friend Sammy came over for dinner and, eyeing the list, asked, "Ask the audience?" Nick laughed at his clever ways. I translated.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Bad" day is actually a good one

Yes, I have a bunch of stuff to grade.

Yes, I'm feeling behind--and to some degree probably am behind (not just on the grading).

I'd rather work out tonight, cook, and watch the telly than do those first two things followed by grading (I might actually skip the grading for a night, but tomorrow night I need to do grading).

But. I am fed, have a roof over my head, a bed and a cat to share it with, a functioning, healthy body, amazing supportive fam and friends, and a Savior who's never leaving me.

And I have a really cool gig for my internship--I've had several moments this year where I've thought, "So this is what it feels like to like your job." I have the looming soon-to-graduate-don't-have-a-job feeling with me, but in terms of perspective: I've got a whole lot of opportunity in front of me. Options.

I just need to keep the self-esteem in check and not let myself wallow in feeling totally and completely inadequate (it's pretty easy for me to slip into feelings of at least moderate inadequacy).

And I have $1.50 in quarters at my disposal for an afternoon visit to the vending machine. "Salutations, snack." (Name the movie).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bon soir

I love the texture of sherbet.

And I'm pretty sure I frequently pronounce 'sherbet' incorrectly.

That's all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tress forum

So peeps, I'm thinkin' bangs. And maybe red hair.

Subtle red. Like Rachel in season 3 or Jane in 27 Dresses.

Thoughts? Grand opposition?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Follow suit, men of the world

I witnessed a man getting into his car last night with a bouquet of flowers.

I have a word for men like that:


Sunday, February 12, 2012

You do what?!

Kyle and I had dinner last night, and I use the term 'dinner' loosely.

Our several "course" meal consisted of:

scrambled eggs
red wine

Yeah, we're graduate students, can you tell?

I told Kyle something last night--are you ready for it? 

I told him that I sleep on my stomach.

No big deal, right?
Not for Kyle, ladies and gentlemen. 

It might be safe to use the word shocked to describe his reaction to this piece of information about me. He just thought that was so interesting. And if you're wondering, no this was not the result of inebriation. This was genuine surprise from my Saturday smorgasbord companion. 

We also talked about how old we are, and we were both pretty surprised when we looked at the clock and realized it was after midnight. That's pretty late for old folks like us. Being awake at midnight is no small feat. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our friends in LA


I follow a lot of celebrity gossip these days.

I've been a K-Dash fan for a while, but I have found myself eating up stuff on websites lately too. This morning I've looked at stuff about Joan Rivers' plastic surgery, followed by celebs on beaches, and I paused looking at "Stars Locking Lips!" to write this.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be engaging in such activity in 2012, I might not believe you.

Then again, if someone other than God or an angel tried to tell me something about the future, I'd probably be wary anyway. Unless someone encourages me about future happiness and success in my life; such kind words I usually listen to.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to get back to my slideshow to see who's next up in the reel of smooching pics.


Friday, February 10, 2012

New habits

I'm having trouble focusing today.

Yesterday I was running around a bunch, and by the time I tried to sit and focus on reading something, my reserve of focus was pretty shot.

Last night I chose Spaghettios over cooking, ate some candy and turned in early. Tried to read a novel, decided I was sick of it. Turned off the light, tossed, turned the light back on, cross stitched. Picked another novel from the shelf, started it, light off, fell asleep eventually.

This morning I feel right back where I started.

Maybe I need some more protein, it helps me to feel physically grounded, and so far I've had PopTarts and coffee today.

I've had a lot on the calendar this week, and I think too much busyness makes me feel, ironically, unproductive at times.

I've been really gung-ho about having a routine lately, and this week I've veered. Last Friday night I was telling my friend Jeremiah how good it's been for me to have a routine. I told him how one night last week I was in a funk, feeling the doom of loneliness and anxiety, fear, etc. creep in, and after I did some dishes and general tidying of the apartment I felt worlds better. I explained to him that I wasn't implying that cleaning was all I need to combat depression, but the fact that I had started to train myself to find equilibrium in continual habits and a basic standard of the physical habitat around me was showing its results very clearly in the emotional pick-me-up it provided that evening.

Another day recently I was telling my friend Jessica how this routine helps me get more things done. I used to think, for years, that putting together a schedule and having things on the calendar would make me feel fenced in, trapped. I thought that telling myself, "You will sort your sock drawer at 2 p.m. on Tuesday" (by the way, I don't usually write things with such specifics on my calendar) would make my life boring, suffocating; further, I thought it would make me a boring person. I think to some degree I thought it would make me even more depressed, feeling like I have to sort my sock drawer at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

But the reality I've been finding is that when I keep up with basic chores--dishes, vacuuming, basic tidying--not only is there less to do each time, because I haven't let things pile up, but when I'm done I find that I still have blocks of time to have creative license to decide what I want to do with that time. Sometimes I sort papers or call someone to catch up, other times I paint my nails, watch a chick flick with a glass of wine.

I find myself doing a mix of productive and fun things, sometimes one in the same.

With this week's schedule, I have arrived at Friday feeling out of sorts, shaky, irritable.

Soon I will make a list. On that list I will decide how I will acquire protein, I will lay out time to tidy the apartment before heading out with friends. Hopefully by the time I reach those friends for drinks, I will feel better.

I'm banking on I probably will.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Do you think it's possible to become more socially awkward, or socially anxious, with age?

Because, if so, I think I might be fitting that bill. Which I'm not sure I'm okay with...

Monday, February 6, 2012


I've been doing a lot of Pandora listening lately (and finding some gems, such as this (and speaking of gems, here's another that they're using for a video at my church)).

All this pressing of thumbs up and thumbs down buttons makes me think of a standardized test, the way the GRE adjusts to how well you're doing--or not--on the questions.

Jack Johnson? No thanks.

All right, Feist it is.

Why thank you, smart website.

Friday, February 3, 2012

And he's okay!

This morning I was petting Diblets (awesome way to kick off the day) and he was near the edge of the bed. As I was petting his belly, he did that little move where he pushes off of the air with his paws to move backward a little bit, in order to expose more belly to receive petting which covers a greater surface area. He's economical, my feline. And a capitalist, in terms of capitalizing on massage opportunities.

Well this morning as he was shimmying backward he fell off the bed.

Having natural cat reflexes, he flipped right over in the air and landed on his feet.

He stuck his landing, of course, with the classic nonchalant "I meant to do that" look that cats provide us with on somewhat frequent occasion.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feb. 2

Today's one of my favorite days of the year, friends!

Groundhog Day!

I love that on my calendar, featuring pictures from the university, this holiday is one considered worthy of a mention on its little block of space on the page. 

Why do I like this holiday so much? 

Because it's ridiculous. It's really weird. Yet in my mind it's relatively harmless, thus it's just a really random excuse for fun. And we all know that January and February can be downer months, so why not inject a little frivolity and nonsense? 

People have issues with Valentine's Day--which I can understand, though I generally take the opportunity to enjoy free candy on Feb. 14--but I would hope some of those protesters would recognize that Groundhog Day does not discriminate against the non-romantically attached and offer the holiday at least one brownie point for that.

So go forth and examine your shadow (your literal shadow only, please. I don't want to prescribe a day of negative introspection for y'all, because I think you're pretty cool (well, assuming I know you)). Enjoy the mild winter weather if you have it (like we, thankfully, do currently here in mid-Missouri) and watch the classic Bill Murray flick if you have access to it. And embrace the silliness. 

Unless you want to be a grump about it, which, well, free country.