Thursday, January 29, 2009

My So-Called Life

I generally don't do memes, but saw this one and really liked it. I can't decide whether or not this one counts as an actual meme. Since it makes me feel better to consider this a photo scavenger hunt, that's what I'll call it. The real reason why I'm doing it is because I want to tag two of the real photographers that I know and see what they come up with (artsy cool photos) as compared to what I post (boring straight on-photos with a point and shoot.) But anyone else who wants to do this, feel free!! Just link back so I can go and check yours out. Fair is fair you know.

I only have one catch. My photos are not staged, (meaning I didn't clean/pick up/move things out of the pictures before taking them) so I'm requesting that yours aren't either. This is real life, yo. No one is perfect, and if you're afraid to show your flaws, you're living a sadly limited life.

1. My refrigerator has more beverages in it than food. Yes, that is boxed wine that you see. Boxed sangria if you want to be specific. High class living, thy name is Emily. (I got the sign on my fridge as a christmas present from the veterinarian that I volunteer for. Everyone knows I can't cook.)
2. My closet is organized. It has to be. It's tiny. My bedroom closet is too small for me to take a picture and adequately show you anything about it, so instead, I'm showing you the hall closet. The hall closet that I had to cut plywood for when I moved in so that I could have shelves. (This is when I learned that a 90 degree angle is not always a 90 degree angle in old houses.) The hall closet that is a linen closet/spare anything closet/un-seasonal clothing closet (the boxes.) There's an entire third level that you can't see below the bottom of the photograph. Living in a tiny place is good times.
3. My kitchen sink is usually not empty. Not so much to say I guess. I do dishes regularly, but I also use dishes regularly. This is the norm. (What I DON'T do is let the dishes soak in water and then let a gross film develop on top of the water. Ahem.) PS. Brita filters are da' bomb.
4. My toilet is rarely open. I'll confess, I had a whole spiel written before I actually took the toilet picture. I have since deleted it. This is because when I took the picture, I opened the toilet (which I always leave closed because, hello! I live with animals!) Apparently once it was open, its appeal was absolutely irresistible.
5. My Favorite Shoes are high heels. Contrary to my usual attire, I do love to get all dressed up and look pretty. I will use every excuse to wear something fancy, and a good pair of high heels will always make my day. I am not cheap with my "dress up shoes." In fact, these would be the most expensive shoes that I own except for an unfortunate purchase that the boy talked me into about a year ago.
6. My favorite Room is the living room. This is where I spend the majority of my time, I love my maroon wall, and I love love LOVE the Starry Night painting on the wall.
7. What are my kids doing? Well, I'll use the word "kids" loosely. What are Casey and Blue doing? Well, they're frolicking in the snow of course. If you look closely, Blue is chasing Casey who has the shredded remains of a basketball in her mouth. (Actually, the toilet pictures could work for this one as well, amirite??)
8. My laundry is all in one place. And sorted, thanks to J. (I couldn't get a good angle on the duct tape holding this hamper together in the lower left corner...) I do laundry every weekend, so that's why it's not overflowing at the moment.
9. Self Portrait. Um, I don't get to do much without Blue's interference. I sit down, and he's right next to me. I get out a camera, and he wants to check it out eat it. This was no exception.
10. My dream vacation is one where I get to explore somewhere new. I want beach AND adventure. I know I've already been to lived in Costa Rica, but I would give almost anything to go back soon. (I didn't take this picture - obviously.)

So, I tag: Ann, Stacey, Jill, and Farmerspice. But again, anyone else, feel free! Who doesn't love this little glimpse into "real" life?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

I heard about this story early on Monday before it came out in the media. (The picture in that story? A heartbreaker.) It lead the 11:00 news that night, so I stayed up to watch the footage. The whole thing makes me so sad. I don't know what would have made these dogs do this. I mean, these dogs were obviously NOT family pets. They were breeding dogs owned by an irresponsible owner. They could just as easily have been any large breed of dog. This man chose not to have his dogs spayed/neutered. He chose not to have them vaccinated. He chose to let them out, unattended, into an inadequately fenced yard. But I have to wonder what must have happened to an otherwise happy go lucky even tempered dog to make them behave this way? Pit bulls are not inherently human aggressive or violent like this. Were they trained to be aggressive to strangers? To anyone who approached the house? The thought makes me so sad. Ultimately, I have to believe that this man chose to let this happen to this woman and the blame needs to lie with the him.

Of course, I can't read any of the comments that people have left to that story. I just can't. I've learned that there's nothing I can say to get people to listen to logic when they are utterly convinced that pit bulls are a threat to their well-being. And that's fine. I just have to go home, hug my dogs, and remember to be the picture of a responsible pit bull owner with well behaved dogs each time I step out in public.

So when talking to zlionsfan that night, I made the half-hearted wish that some major story would come through within the next 24 hours to wipe that story off the front page. I think my actual words were, "I hope something horrible happens. Well, not really horrible, but..." This breed doesn't need any more bad press.


And then? BAM.

The first story made me feel the type of fruitless anger that I always feel when hearing about screw-ups by others that I'll have to pay for. (Ask the Colts or Pacers for more money? Of course not. Why would we do that??)

The second story, well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't believe it. I shook my head, laughed at the shortcomings of weather-people, and went about my business.

And then the snow started.

And then I was late to class because people can't drive in 2 inches of snow in Indiana. They panic like it's the end of the world coming.

And then I left class and it wasn't snowing any longer. (And my walk was shoveled*) And I thought to myself, "Two inches? They were freaking out about two inches??"

And then I was awakened by a phone call this morning (at 6:40am!!!) telling me that classes had been cancelled. I laughed at the silliness of people in Indiana and how we freak out when there's such little snow on the ground, luxuriated in the fact that I have AWD, and then proceeded to lounge with my dogs until it was time to get ready to go to work.

When I let the dogs out, Blue was completely buried in snow. He had to hop like a rabbit to get into the backyard. Hilarious and adorable. I wish I could have captured it on film. It was then that I had some inkling of what was going on outside. Perhaps I should have looked out my window at 6:40am. If I had, I would have seen that Curvy, who usually looks like this: looked like this: Please note the snow that was (and still is) coming down. The only reason why I made it into work today is because of Curvy's AWD (we almost didn't make it out of our parking space there) and because I live a mere four miles from work.

Well, at least the pit bull story is old news. And I don't have class to worry about tonight.** And now the sun is coming out, so I might just be able to make it HOME from work too!***

*Before you go getting all "the boy is awesome," know that he was apologizing for something. (I'm looking at you, J)
**I got a text message, a phone call, AND an email. The university did an awesome job of getting the word out that campus was closed.
***I'm being somewhat ironic there. I can already see Kat(i)e getting all ready to yell at me about how it could be so much worse. I know it could be. This is rough, but it's worse elsewhere. Like for my parents. Or like in Chicago where it's much colder... All I have to say is that your plowing/road clearing system is better than ours.****
****Not that I'm bad mouthing our salt trucks and plows. I love all of you guys. Especially the ones that lift the plows and swerve out of my way when they see me instead of spraying snow all over my car for my already overworked wipers to remove.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is a good thing. Tell me this is a good thing.

I never officially gave an update on the family weight loss challenge. I'm guessing that you can all infer what happened. Basically my dad and I "forgot" to remind my mom about the weigh out, and, well, the final weigh out has been postponed indefinitely. Apparently my father and I are content to live in our high-cholesterol, overweight bodies.

Except, um, I'm not really okay with my dad being as overweight as he is. I mean, he's Italian, I'm Italian. We're similar enough that neither of us is ever going to be skinny. But the rapid weight gain he's undergone since retirement really is alarming. And I'm not saying that just because I'm a complete daddy's girl. I'm worried. I don't think he's depressed, per se. I just think he doesn't know what to do with all of this free time that has suddenly been dropped in his lap. I feel like he just needs some structure. He needs to feel useful and needed again. He just needs to transition into the life of a retiree sooner rather than later.

So I've decided to give him Blue. (and now I can safely add "you can give them away" to the list of differences between owning dogs and having children.)

And I know this is the right decision. I know it's a good thing for a variety of reasons ranging from the fact that Blue won't have to spend 8 hours (sometimes plus) in a crate each day to the fact that my dad will have a buddy to go on walks with actually go on walks. My dad is a dog person, despite my mother's illusions to the contrary. Blue is an easy dog. He'll go for a walk with you just as willingly as he'll lie down next to you while you watch TV. He's an easy first dog. Unlike encouraging my parents to adopt from a rescue or shelter, I know exactly what my parents are in for with Blue.

But man, this is hard as hell.

My original plan was to run the idea past my mother, get her approval, then make up some blah blah bullshit reason why I couldn't keep Blue (maybe Blue and Casey aren't getting along? Maybe school is just too much?) and ask my dad if he would do me the favor of adopting Blue so that he doesn't have to go to strangers.

My mother was involved, so of course that's not exactly how it went down.

She went to my dad on her own after receiving my heartfelt email describing my plan and pleading with her to agree. She came back with news that my father had agreed to take Blue because "you can't afford him" and that yes he is a dog person, yes we can try it out, yes you might have to dogsit from time to time. Go ahead and bring him down when you come for dad's birthday. She did actually bold the above bolded phrase in her email. Which made me grind my teeth. And bite my tongue. While grinding my teeth.

In all honesty, the reason we give my dad doesn't really matter. It's just a means to an end. But seriously? Seriously?! Can we make our 31-year-old daughter who does not own a home and is taking a life path that is drastically different from anyone else in the family feel any more inadequate?? Better yet, let's make a difficult decision even worse for her.

But again, it's the end that matters, and my mother insinuated that my father was all for it. When I called and spoke to him? Well, it was a slightly different story. There was definite reluctance. Yes, he does love Blue. Yes, he is a dog person, yes yes yes....but still. I got more of a grudging "Emily, if the dog doesn't have a home, we will take him instead of sending him to strangers" than an enthusiastic, "Sure! I love Blue!"

So I had reservations. I mean, it hurts to give him up at all, I definitely don't want him going where he's not wanted. So I called my dad last night to come clean and see what he would say. My mother answered the phone.

"Mom, I'm thinking about telling dad the truth about why I want him to have Blue. He didn't sound all that enthusiastic about the idea as it is."

"Well, of course he's not enthusiastic. You're dumping a dog on us." (Translation: We've definitely decided to take the "Emily screwed up again" angle and dad is in the room.)

"But mom, if we tell him the truth, at least he'll have all the facts, and maybe he'll still agree?"

(shuffling noise) "Well, I talked to him and discussed how it might be fun to walk him together once the ice melts." (Translation: I am SUPER gung-ho for this idea. It gives me an excuse to get out and maybe get my husband exercising. I don't really care what he thinks. It's happening. Best. Idea. Ever.)

"Right. I was thinking I would take a couple of days of my spring break and bring him down to show you the ropes."

"Oh, really? I was thinking you could bring him for your father's birthday and put a bow on his head as a present." (Translation: Get it? You think it's a gift but really you're "dumping" the dog on us? Get it? Funny, right? Besides, spring break is almost a month after your dad's birthday. That delays my plans too long.)

"Mom, I think a transition of more than two days will be better for both Blue and I. I just want to be sure this is the right thing to do." (I may or may not have gotten choked up here.)

My mom's tone got softer. "It's like your father said. This would just be a trial period. If it doesn't work out, he'll go back to you." (Translation: I've moved to another room, so I can be a bit more honest now.)

"Mom, you know I'm not doing this to dump anything on you, right? You're not believing that act, right? You know that this is impossible, right? That I can only do this because I love dad so much more than I love my dog?"

I think the conversation would have gone better if I had actually said that last statement. Instead I just got off the phone and decided not to mention that perhaps my father should do all the walking of the dog. After all, Blue is pretty strong and if he sees a squirrel, pretty determined to get him. It would be a shame if he knocked my mom off her feet...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Morning Ritual

I hate mornings. That's no secret. I'm not what you would call "friendly" or "pleasant" when I have to get up in the mornings. If I could sleep as much as I wanted to every day....well....I'm sure I would get a lot less done.

A couple of years ago, I was habitually arriving at work late. In order to counteract this problem of sleeping later than I should have, I began setting my alarm ahead, so that it would show 7:00 when it was only 6:30 for example. In the beginning, this worked. If I see a 7 at the beginning of the time, I freak out and jump out of bed. Alas, I eventually became able to do "sleep math" and figure out exactly how much longer I could sleep and still arrive at work at a decent time. Unfortunately, "sleep math" is notoriously unreliable. Get up, shower, apply makeup, get dressed and make the 20 minute drive to work in 25 minutes? No problem!

I tried using the buzz alarm instead of the radio. That was bad. Seriously, the jarring buzzing noise worked, but the foul mood that I was in after being woken up in that manner was just not worth it. The boy AND the boss both begged me to switch back to radio.

The solution, of course, was for me to set my alarm clock even faster. (God forbid I actually get up on time.) Fast forward to today, and my alarm clock is set 90 minutes fast. Even with this safety measure, I am the queen of "sleep math" and "sleep logic" and (especially when I'm short on sleep) am forever sleeping in longer than I should. The following "conversation" is an example of what happens in my head when I should be waking up. In fact, this is almost exactly what happened this morning after my attempt to stay up and watch both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice do physics homework.

"...The more I'm around some people, the more I like my dog..."

Sleepy Emily: "First Alarm. Meh."

"...our song is the slamming screen door..."

Sleepy Emily: "Second Alarm. Meh."
Responsible Emily: "Wait a sec. Didn't I set the alarm later than usual last night since I stayed up so late?"
Sleepy Emily: "Shhhh... sleep."

"'s been a deadly week in Indianapolis with 15 shootings since Sunday..."

Sleepy Emily: "Still don't have to get up."
Responsible Emily: "No seriously. I have to get up now. There are dogs to be walked."
Sleepy Emily: "Oh please. You can let them out in the backyard and give them an extra long walk tonight. What does the alarm say?"
Responsible Emily [with some effort]: "7:55."
Sleepy Emily: "You've got an hour and a half before you have to be at work. Shhhh...sleep."

"...I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu..."

Responsible Emily: "Okay. I HAVE to get up now."
Sleepy Emily: "Sure. No problem. What are you going to wear today?"
Responsbile Emily: "Good question. Jeans are dirty...maybe a skirt...or something comfortable...."


Responsible Emily: "Damnit! You tricked me! I have to get up."
Sleepy Emily: "Seriously? You used to get up at 7:00 when you lived 30 minutes away and you were never THAT late. Now you only live 10 minutes away - 8 if you drive fast. That means you have FORTY-FIVE extra minutes to sleep!"
Responsible Emily: "Good Point. How DID I get everything done when I had such a long commute before...did I used to shower at night?....I did walk the dogs every morning...."

"...God bless the broken road..."

Responsible Emily: "MOTHER OF GOD! It's 8:30! That means it's actually....well, I'm late!"
Sleepy Emily: "But this bed is so warm. The snooze is only 10 minutes...."
Responsible Emily: "But I have dogs to walk..."
Sleepy Emily: "That's why you have a backyard."
Responsible Emily: "I HAVE A BACKYARD! BRILLIANT! But wait, did I decide what I was going to wear?"
Sleepy Emily: "Yes, yes you did. Don't you remember?"
Responsible Emily: "Right. The jeans are dirty, so maybe a skirt....maybe something more comfortable..."

"...everytime I hear your name..."

Responsible Emily: "Oh! I love this song. I'm so warm. I'm so happy. I'm so... HOLY CRAP I'M LATE!"
Sleepy Emily: "But don't you feel so happy?"
Sleepy Emily: "Fine. I hate you. And you're SO getting Starbucks and it's going to go straight to your ass. You know that, right?"
Responsible Emily: "GET UP!!! Holy crap! I didn't shower last night! I have to shower this morning! GET UP!"
Sleepy Emily: "Okay. But let's just listen to the rest of this song."
Responsbile Emily: "Okay... No wait! GETUPGETUPGETUPGETUP!"

I ended up out of bed at 7:10, out of the shower and dressed by 7:20, (there was no blow drying of the hair since it's going to be near 50 degrees today and that's nearly tropical after waking up to -12) let the dogs in the backyard at 7:22, got them back in by 7:42, and got to work by 8:00 (complete with Starbucks run included.) But what would seem like a victory is not good at all. Not at all. It's just another thing for Sleepy Emily's arsenal. Next time she won't let me get up until 7:15, and THEN where will I be?

Anyone who says sleep is overrated is obviously getting too much.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Little Things

I saw the myspace page of a long lost friend the other day, and it had her age listed as 30. My first thought was, "What? My birthday's coming up? She wasn't older than I am. How can she already be 30?" And then I realized that I am about to turn 31. Apparently the fact that my age doesn't bother me has little to do with being well adjusted and a lot to do with self delusion.

Truthfully, my age doesn't bother me one bit. I rarely think about it. I don't feel 30, so who cares if I am? I don't. In fact, for a birthday that many of my peers were dreading, I took a fun little trip to celebrate. To me, birthdays are awesome fun-filled times... definitely not something to be dreaded.

This year is no different. Over thirty? No problem. Bring it! So what if I'm sore after working out without stretching first. Meh. I'm still young! Who cares if woo girls now make my head hurt. I'm still young! Nevermind that I get over crushes just because they don't know the significance of Grant Park. I'm still young!!!


Apparently there is an age where birthdays are no longer a big deal. At least, this is what I've been told. I just happen to have not reached that age yet. I LOVE my birthday. Love it. I'm in a perpetual good mood for the month of January. Anything remotely birthday related makes me happy. Today when I mentioned my latest craving, my boss went out in the cold and purchased me a bag of Funyons and some Coca-Cola*. This is a nice gesture on any freezing day, but today he left it for me in the kitchen with a bow and a card. Happy Birthday to me!! Best. Gift. Ever. The card says "Cute and Knows Everything" on the front and comes with a sticker that has the acronym "CAKE." I'm wearing the sticker all day tomorrow. Trust.

Obviously, it doesn't take much to make me happy in January - a fact that the boy does not understand but takes frequent advantage of.

"Emily, I let the dogs out for you."
"Happy birthday to me!!"

"Emily, I brought my laundry over, but you don't have to do it, I will."
"This is a great birthday!"

"Emily, I the pizza before you got home, but I did save you some Dr. Pepper."
"What a great present!!"

Okay, so those are slight exaggerations**, but you get the idea. My little brother called me yesterday to see if I wanted to hang out on my birthday. He, quote, 'didn't want me to spend my birthday alone.' Are you kidding me? I've packed my weekend. Packed it. Some people don't even know why we're hanging out this weekend specifically, and I'm not going to tell them. That's not the point. I just want to be surrounded by friends this weekend. They're one of the most important parts of my life and I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday. After all, you don't turn this old every day. It really is just the little things***.

*obviously I am making an effort to eat healthier in the new year.
**He didn't eat ALL of the pizza. I caught him eating the last slice which he then handed over to me.
***This doesn't mean you're off the hook for presents, though. Just some of you. You know who you are. Yes, I'm looking at you zlionsfan.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Facing the dilemma

I have a weird approach to Facebook. Apparently I'm an anomaly for not striving to have 1000 friends or more. I mean, on the one hand, it's really useful for contacting long lost friends. On the other hand, I've kept in touch with everyone from high school that I've wanted to keep in touch with.

On the one hand, I've reconnected with everyone that I studied abroad with. On the other hand, it seems that everyone who was ever in my sorority (ever) has sent me a friend request, and sometimes I don't remember them even after I've seen pictures and combed through the limited information they choose to post online. (Ugh.)

On the one hand, it's so easy to arrange get-togethers (Hi Jill!) On the other hand, everyone can see how intelligent (or unintelligent) you are. (Stupid Pathwords.)

I actually like putting real pictures on there, and putting status updates about what's really going on in my life. Stuff that I sort of only want my friends to know. Even if I remember your name from high school, and you send me a friend request, there's no guarantee that I'll accept it. I mean, if we exchanged two words throughout all the years we went to school together, why do I want you knowing that I suck at baking, I'm taking my dogs to daycare, or I hate my professor for not posting grades fast enough? And if you're a complete stranger? Forget it. I like to say that I need to be able to have a conversation with you before I'll "friend" you. If we haven't met face to face, chances are slim we're going to be Facebook friends.

But I currently find myself with a Facebook dilemma. And it has to do with one of the two people I've been trying to hunt down since I graduated from high school.

Let me back up. High school, for me, wasn't the cesspool of angst that it seems to have been for so many others. I mean, it was no joyride, and I struggled through all of the insecurities that plague every teenage girl... But on the flip side, I never really cared about being popular, I had great friends that I always had a great time with, and even though I had the most evil parents ever*, I managed to have enough fun to suit me by only breaking a couple of rules. In fact, in a recent discussion with my parents and another high school friend, my dad was teasing us for being nerds in high school. Yes. Yes we were. But it was still a fun experience. I can only remember being treated badly by one mean girl and being tormented by one group of upperclassmen when I was caught alone in the halls one day.

I know it wasn't like that for everyone. In fact, there was this guy. Let's call him Phil. And he was a nice guy. He was always on the fringes of my group of friends. I didn't know him very well, but if we had a class together, or the same lunch period, we always sat in the same group. He didn't have much social success in high school. If I had to guess, I'm going to guess that Phil wasn't treated in the best manner by all the kids we went to school with. Still, despite an inappropriate teenage-boy-hormone-fueled comment every now and then, he was not a disagreeable person from what I can remember. We even "went together" in the fourth grade or something like that. It's during that time that my grades were the best they ever were as we competed to see who could get the highest score.**

He asked me to my junior prom. I didn't have a boyfriend. No one else had asked me yet. I had no reason to say no. But I did. He worked up all of his courage, asked me in a rush of words after class the last day before Spring Break, and didn't make eye contact with me the entire time. Not even when I said that I would get back to him.

I didn't really want to go with him. During Spring Break, a close friend of mine, Rob, asked me to go, I said yes, and when I got back to school, I sat down with Phil and told him that I was going to go with someone else.

I completely regret that decision.

Oh, it's not that I didn't have a fabulous junior prom. I had a great date, we had a great time, there was a huge storm that knocked out power afterwards, so we were all in my parent's basement playing pool by candlelight. We stayed up talking into the night, and even now, I count Rob among my closest friends.

It's just that Rob could have found another date. And he still would have been at my parent's house afterwards. And Phil didn't go to the prom. Nor did he go to senior prom that I remember.

It hurts me to look back because I know how hard it was for Phil to ask me, and I so wish I would have gone with him. I know we would have had a good time - no one had a real date and dances were all about the group, and stupid group pictures in our dresses and suits, and hanging out at my parent's house afterwards - and I think that it might have made his high school experience a little bit better.

As I get older and have more experiences, I feel like I'm getting better at being the person I want to be. I feel like she was there in high school, but I just didn't have enough practice. Even though I tried my best, and I don't regret much, that prom is one thing that bugs me.

And now Phil is on Facebook.

And I've always wondered how he's doing. I've always wanted to catch up and know what he did with his life. As smart as he was, he had the same procrastination issue that I've always had, and I would love to know what career he ended up in, whether or not he got married, had children, etc.

But I'm a big fat wimp, so I won't friend him. I feel like he'll see my friend request and think evil thoughts about me while he hits "Ignore." Maybe that's just my own guilt, but it's enough that it's keeping me from even sending a message to say hi. What do you guys think? Send me a message or just let it go? I don't suppose there's any chance at all that he's completely forgotten about asking me to junior prom? Pretty please?

*To be fair, I only had an evil mother. And I was a terrible teenager.
**Look how cute we were! Getting good grades for fun!***
***Looking back, I wonder if he didn't let me win every now and then.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Expenses and Expensive Cars

Oh, I am fired up. FIRED UP my friends. Like, pacing around my office right now yelling about how people should be tied down while I let Blue nibble on their ears. (Only I'm using many more colorful descriptions of what should be done to them. I think my boss would be disturbed if my anger didn't make him laugh so hard he can't breathe.)

But I can't write about what is currently angering me.

Well, I COULD, but it has to do with our current education system and how it's basically so flawed that people who NEED an education can't afford one and people who are TRYING THEIR BEST to get one on their own can't manage unless they're making a six figure salary, and really, if you're making a six figure salary, why would you want to go back to school? Seriously? What masochist is going to be all, "Wow. I make a great living and I'm obviously completely happy because money buys happiness, so I think I'll go back to school to be miserable and stressed. Sure! Sign me up for that shit right now!"

You know, I would say that I have to be better about managing my money, but I really don't think I can scrape anymore out of my budget that's already straining more than my jeans after the gluttonous holiday season. Not to mention that I am currently out of creative ideas for how to keep myself entertained that cost less than $0.50. And don't even get me STARTED on ramen noodles. All of that on an income that would generally be considered a decent living. You know, if I didn't have to make monthly soul-sucking tuition payments. Grrrrr....

Obviously the new semester is set to begin and I have to buy my books. Nothing makes me angrier than paying the exorbitant prices for text books. Nothing. (Well, the boy sometimes does, but it's been a while so I've forgotten.)

(Oh wait, I thought of something else that makes me just as mad. It's when you park at the best possible parking space to go into Starbucks in the morning.* (you know the one, the one that is right in front of the door and right by the end of the curb?) It's obviously the best spot and you just happened to pull up when it was empty, so you're in a pretty good mood when you enter the store. And you're STILL in a good mood when you EXIT the store with your yummy Starbucks drink only to find that some asshole in their tiny, overpriced BMW has decided that there is just enough space for him to park his tiny penile overcompensation behind your car and only overhang the curb by four inches. Of course no one will hit him! He has a BMW! It is a VERY IMPRESSIVE CAR! Nevermind that in order to only overhang the curb by four inches, he had to park RIGHT ON YOUR BUMPER! And of course since you're a cautious driver, you had parked pretty close to the car in front of you so as to NOT overhang the curb in any way shape or form. So you must sit in your car and wait an extra five minutes until Mr. Small Penis comes out of Starbucks and removes his ostentatious toy from your car's ass. Yeah. That makes me mad too.)

Wow. I feel a lot better now. So I'm going to go home and walk my dogs and break the news to them that they are NOT, in fact, going to daycare like I promised. All because my physics textbook costs more than most car payments. (Yes, you read that right. I have physics this semester. Whoopee!!)

I was going to post my new years resolutions, but then I realized that my track record with resolutions is not so good, so why would I want to make my failure public? Instead I'll just say that I began the new year surrounded by friends, and I hope that's how I'll end it as well.

*A visit that is only possible because of the generosity of friends who give you Starbucks gift cards for Christmas. Thanks! I love you!!