Friday, October 30, 2009


"Why are you in such a good mood?"

"Because it's Thursday night! I just took my second test of the week! I don't have homework due on Friday night, and I don't have to study for 16 hours this weekend!! So! Happy!!!!"

"How are you going to celebrate?"

"Well, Candy mentioned that she would like to have drunk Emily put in an appearance when we all go out on Friday night. She's never met drunk Emily, though she's heard the stories."


"I don't know, though. I've got a pretty full weekend of stuff to take care of. It would be irresponsible to drink. What do you think?"

"I think you should drink."

"But we also have a party to attend Saturday night. If I drink Friday night, I can't drink Saturday night."

"Why not? You took two tests, you can drink two nights. Besides. You "drunk" is like two drinks these days."


"Okay, one."

"Whatever. Jerk. Why are you.... Oh right! I forgot. You like drunk Emily. Of course you want her to come out."


"What? I'm silly when I'm drunk. Harmless fun."


"What?! You're making me nervous! Do I usually embarrass myself when drinking? What?!"

"'s just that I already have plans on Friday with this other girl who's sort of boring and less fun, and I'm trying to figure out an excuse to get out of them if drunk Emily is available."

"Wait, I thought WE had plans for Friday?"


"I hate you."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pinching Pennies

It's official. I've become too cheap for Target.

It was a startling revelation that I came face-to-face with today, and it's devastating because I *heart* Target. I really really do. And I refuse (absolutely REFUSE) to sell my soul to the soulless unethical devil that is Wal-Mart.* So what does that leave me? Dollar Store? Is this what my life has become?

It happened so gradually that I didn't even notice. While I've always had a debilitating fear of debt, I've not always been miserly. It began when IUPUI made their monthly tuition payment plan into four monthly payments instead of five. I realize that it all evens out in the end, but during?? Ugh. It's like two and a half car payments a month. (Four if you own a Kia.) December can't come soon enough. Maybe I'll eat something other than Ramen Noodles to celebrate.

How bad is it? For your consideration:

Exhibit A: When we were facing weeks with high temperatures in the 40's and 50's, I refused to turn on the heat in my house. I rationalized that I was only there approximately 9 hours per day - 7 of which are spent sleeping in flannel pjs with flannel sheets with the other 2 spent on the couch underneath two or three furry mammals. (I will point out that during that time, the dogs had a space heater that the cat would sleep next to. I guess we all know who's more important in this story.)

Exhibit B: I was ecstatic to find $1 hand soap at CVS the other day. That ecstacy has subsided since I found out that $1 hand soap is more like a 70/30 water to soap ratio. Apparently that's why it comes in such a big bottle. Still, I can't say I wouldn't buy it again.

Exhibit C: The boy told me that he ran out of shampoo two weeks ago, and has been too lazy to go to the store. So he's been using regular soap to wash his hair, "which actually works pretty well." I briefly considered it. I wish I were kidding.**

Exhibit D: I always said that the two things that I would not penny-pinch on were paper towels and toilet paper (none of this 1-ply tissue paper, thankyouverymuch.) I've since given in on the paper towels, and after seeing the dramatic price difference between "my" toilet paper and the sandpaper that I would normally never consider, my resolve is wavering.

Exhibit E: I currently have two AAA batteries that work in my house. They are being rotated between whatever remote controls I need to work the electronic equipment I feel necessary to complete my life at the time. The batteries also travel from room to room if I decide I want to watch a DVD in bed. If a remote requires AA batteries, I just don't use it. I throw stuffed animals at the buttons on the electronic equipment instead.

Exhibit F: Three weeks ago when cleaning my toilet, I was suddenly appalled by the state of my toilet scrub brush and threw it away. (Translation, the wire part rusted through and broke off in the toilet.) The following week when I went to clean, I was, of course, surprised by my lack of toilet scrub brush. Since then, my toilet has been disinfected three times but not scrubbed... and I'm starting to think that's okay.

CLEARLY something has to be done.

Now, I won't lie. This miserliness is a combination of not having money and being too lazy to use my free time to go places where I would spend the money that the nice people at Visa lend me. I think it was the unscrubbed toilet that pushed me over the edge, but last week I decided that the next free time I had would be spent being un-miserly. I had a huge b*tch of an organic chem test yesterday, but I promised myself that once that test passed, I would run to Target and purchase everything that I was missing in my life, including good paper towels.***

Last Thursday, my cousin sent me a delightful surprise that deserves its own blog post. As soon as I can get the boy to snap my picture with the delightful surprise, you'll hear all about it. As a result, I began searching Indianapolis for more of this delightful surprise that I had previously not known existed. I wanted some more so that I could share with the boy and not get into fist fights when he tried to take some without asking. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found in all my usual haunts.****

Today? Today I fulfilled my promise to myself and purchased batteries, good paper towels, a toilet scrub brush and various other necessities at Target. (I kept myself away from the dog Halloween costumes - I'm not a complete idiot.) While wandering the aisles of my beloved Target, I FOUND MY DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE!!! Which made me wonder when the last time was that I was in Target....and I couldn't remember. This was immediately followed by the thought, "Well of course I haven't been to a Target in a while. Target is a NICE store."

And I was horrified because while I heart Target, the term "nice store" is generally reserved for a store that I can't afford. Which made me decide that penny pinching on this level is ridiculous, because I can afford Target.

And then I looked at my bank account again.

Damn tuition.

Sniff. It's not you, Target. It's me. It's just that I can't leave your premises without spending under $100.00 - it's physically not possible. It's just that CVS is closer and has Extra Care bucks that make things that I purchase cheaper. (Not to mention the money they gave me to transfer my prescription...and $1 hand soap.) It's just that crappy paper towels are also available at the grocery store with the cheaper dog food, and that saves me a trip, which saves gas. We've all got to make sacrifices. It's a tough economy. I just need a break. I promise I'll be back in December and then again in the summer when tuition payments aren't making my house as cold as a refrigerator.*****

But... I'm easy, you know. If you lower your costs on Purina One (Chicken and Rice flavor - this part is VERY important) we can probably work something out. Call me!

*Absolutely no judgement if you shop there. Promise.

**I ended up enabling his laziness buy buying shampoo FOR him because although his hair smelled really clean, I couldn't bear the thought of someone not using shampoo.

***This gave me something to look forward to while studying. Again, I wish I were kidding.

****Remember the use of the word "haunts" there. It's cracking me up. It will make much more sense to you when you find out what the delightful surprise was.

*****Of course, tuition payments are also responsible for the new game, "How many stuffed animals until the TV turns on" so it's not ALL bad. Blue LOVED this game, and sometimes his tail would turn the TV on for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back to Center

First things first. I did NOT speak to my Favorite Band Director this past weekend. I have no idea why except that when I saw him from afar, I said something like, "He looks so different!" and my friend responded with, "Of course, Emily, it's been 13 years."

Thirteen years. Thirteen YEARS. Something about that freaked the HECK out of me. Mr. Favorite Band director joined his family after the marching band performance (that was AWESOME, btw. First time to semi-state EVER. Go Central Bears!!) and had a nine-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. Holy crap!

And so I froze. Like a deer in headlights. (Or probably more like a creepy stalker since I kept staring at him from a distance but refused to budge from my seat.) When it was time to leave the competition, I came to my senses and ran all over the place trying to find Mr. Favorite Band Director for a few moments of conversation, but alas, it was not to be. Serves me right. Maybe next time I won't be such an ex-band-geek wimp.

In case you can't infer from the above information, it was a fantastic weekend. Notwithstanding my "creepy stalker" moment, I had so much fun relaxing with my friends, hanging out with my dad, reliving high school memories, and having a much needed heart-to-heart girl chat. In fact, it was such a GOOD weekend, that it was very very difficult and depressing to come back to real life.

Because you know how sometimes you just put your head down and power through things? And sometimes you just get into such a rhythm of powering through that you don't really realize how things are? Like you sort of know that things are difficult and they suck, but you don't really realize because what's the point of focusing on that when you don't have a choice but to just get through it? But then you have a great relaxing weekend where for just two days a load is lifted off your shoulders? After that happens, the stark contrast between "fabulous" and "your real life" is sometimes overwhelming. And that's what happened to me on Sunday.

It's like on the drive home, all I could hear was my organic textbook calling me, "Hi Emily! Remember how you have to read two more chapters before the test next week and how you have homework due on Friday that you didn't do this weekend while you were "relaxing?" Oh, and don't forget about how the lectures in class lately have sounded like a foreign language." Or my physics notes beckoning, "Yo Em! I know you're much stronger in this class than you are in o-chem, and have thus been treating me like a red-headed step child. But if you're honest with yourself, you've been completing the last couple of homework assignments without really understanding them, capisce? That might prove to be a problem next week on that test you have. You know... the one two days after the o-chem test? Way to go on wasting this entire weekend!"

But the thing is, this weekend wasn't wasted. I needed it. I needed my friend to ask me how I was doing and to poke and prod after I said, "fine." I needed to see my dad and see how happy he was to have Blue back. I needed to see how happy my friend is with her boyfriend and squeal over how she's going to get engaged, and soon!

But now it's back to the daily grind. Because what choice do I really have but to put my head down and just power through? This, too, shall pass. Only this time, I was kinder to myself and took Monday as a "mental health day" when I slept, slept and transitioned slowly into doing homework to get a tiny bit ahead of where I was on Sunday night. This still means that I have things to accomplish every night after class... and two tests to study for this weekend. But at least now I feel like I can face all that again instead of feeling like I want to hide under the covers.

So yes, this too shall pass. I just hope it passes really really quickly. (On the bright side, at least I know I made one good decision this year.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dude - I am totally with you

As the past weekend waned, I found myself trying to plan for the upcoming weekend and another trip to the parent's house to return their dog. As important as it is for me to return their dog, I must admit that I'm heading home for a completely non-related reason as well.

I'm volunteering at my high school's band regional competition.

As my friend Candy said, "How did you get roped into that?!"

I'm actually pretty excited about it. I mean, not only was marching band (in some form) a huge part of my life for four years, I loved, loved, LOVED my band instructor. And even though I enjoy seeing marching bands perform even now, I'm super excited to see my old band instructor. As an added bonus, I haven't seen my high school's band perform in well over ten years... and I'll be in town anyway... so why not?

And as the date approaches, I find myself overwhelmed with high school memories. One in particular stands out from the others.

It happened in the days leading up to Christmas break. Band "class" was never very difficult, but in the week before break, it was basically a relaxed study hall. I was struggling with chemistry homework and (as is my nature) being very vocal about my displeasure with said chemistry homework. My band instructor came over to where I was sitting and asked to take a look. He then gave me some pointers that allowed me to figure out the answers to my problems with no further struggles. Not only that, but I completely understood the explanation he gave me. Thankfully relieved, I proceeded to quiz him as to how he knew chemistry so well.

My favorite band instructor in the world then proceeded to tell my friends and I that he had graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.

Even though I'm sure these weren't the exact words going through my head, I distinctly remember my 18-year-old self thinking something along the lines of "WTF?!"

I'm sure my puzzled expression made his day because I remember him laughing out loud. This broke my stunned silence and I asked him (with my signature Emily tact) why on earth he was a band instructor with a degree in chemical engineering??

At the time, the conversation was one of the more interesting, yet confusing, discussions I had ever had with a teacher. I have always had difficulty picturing people in roles that are outside the ones that they play in my life. The idea that there was more to my band instructor than being, well, a band instructor, was infinitely fascinating. I proceeded to quiz him mercilessly.

Turns out he had graduated with his degree in chemical engineering, worked a couple of years in that field, determined that it just wasn't for him, and then decided to follow his true passion of music and teaching. I remember thinking, 'Well, whatever makes you happy, I guess. But why would you go through all that schooling to be a band instructor?' What I actually said was, "Well, lucky for me you have all that chemistry knowledge. Otherwise I might never have gotten these problems done." (I also made a mental note to bring my chemistry homework to band class from that day forward.)

Then one of my other friends stumbled upon something much more delicious. Our band instructor was dating her violin instructor. This was generally considered "off limits" to discuss with Mr. Favorite Band Instructor, but something about how he revealed his background in chemical engineering and the general relaxed atmosphere of the day must have made her more bold than usual. So she asked, "Mr. Favorite Band instructor - when are you going to marry Betsy?"

Immediately his tone became warning, "Girls..."

So I tried to soften it, "But....why WOULDN'T you get married?"

He thought for a moment and said, "This is not appropriate conversation."

My friend continued to tease him, "But she's so nice! I really like her. You should get married."

Our band instructor then got up to do another walk/security check around the room. "You'll understand when you're older."

After he left, we continued to talk for a while about how cool it was that he had this whole background that we never would have imagined. Chemical Engineering!! How awesome is that? (but why is he a band instructor?) And why WOULDN'T he want to get married? How weird is that?

Looking back, our band instructor must have been around the age I am now...perhaps a bit younger. Light years older than us, it seemed at the time, but now? Notsomuch.

Now? I know I probably won't get the chance, but I want to tell him that he was right. I DO understand now. In fact, I am totally with him. Changing the entire course of your life after discovering that the first choice you made just isn't quite "you?" Check. Not quite ready to be married yet? (even though all signs say that it's the "next step?") Check. All those things that I couldn't imagine happening when I was eighteen? Check. I wish I could sit down with him and tell him that I remember that day. And that it's nice to remember that if someone I admired went from being a chemical engineer to a band instructor, perhaps it's not so crazy to think that I could go from a marketing major to a veterinarian.

Years later (perhaps even after I graduated from college) I heard that Mr. Favorite Band Instructor did, in fact, marry Betsy and last I heard they had started a family.

Guess there's still hope for me yet.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ramblings of a Sleep Deprived Mind

First things first - no word on the physics exam. I anticipate I'll get the results on Thursday. Wait, let me re-phrase that. Our professor will give us back our tests on Thursday so as not to awaken the sleeping beast that is Emily's rage and cause her to go postal from the unbearable suspense.

This morning, I was racking my brain for blog fodder and my mind drifted back to the past weekend of bliss. Bliss because I unexpectedly ignored all responsibilities and stress and had a fantastic time. Of course, that weekend led to late nights of homework every night this week, but I think that's an even trade. The weekend was bliss.

It began with a trip to my hometown to pick up Blue and a father/daughter date. After a free movie and satisfying lunch, I planned to meet up with my friend for an evening a BAR!

I was initially conflicted about the evening out. For the drive home (3 hours plus) and to see my dad, I was dressed casually in sneakers and a Colts sweatshirt. This sort of outfit has become my uniform when not at work. I honestly can't remember the last time I put on makeup.... and fixing my hair? Shoot, I haven't even used my hair dryer in MONTHS. Getting up with enough time to get into the office at 7:00am is difficult enough for a morning-hater like me. When I have to decide whether to sleep 10 more minutes, or fix my hair? Sleep wins every time.

But going out to a bar? I mean, how often do I go out? I'm either at work, school, or cuddled up under a blanket at home with a dog. I don't put much stock in appearances anyway, and in those three situations who am I trying to impress?

But going out? With another single female? Ready to have a glass of wine and go OUT?!

Oh, but the effort to get ready. And for what? It's not like I'm trying to pick up men. I know someone who might be upset if that was my goal.

So I did what any female would do. I called the other female going out with me and we discussed how we should dress. Luckily she was as excited about an evening out as I was (apparently neither of us gets out much) and so we decided that high heels were appropriate. Her excitement was contagious, so when I hung up the phone I practically skipped to my room to get ready.

Dude. We were HOTTT!

Which lead us to discuss why women would fix themselves up to look their very best every day. I mean, if you look your best every day, where's the 'wow factor' when you get really dressed up? I waffle on this subject. Sometimes I think it's insecurity that leads women to refuse to leave their house without full makeup. They must not think they're pretty enough otherwise, right? But other times, I think it's insecurity that keeps women from wearing makeup every day. After all, if you're not TRYING to compete with other women, you can't lose, right? What I finally settled on is that neither theory is correct, and it's all about whatever makes you feel comfortable.* I have several friends who look perfectly put together every time I see them, and yet, I'm perfectly comfortable next to them in my tennis shoes because they're comfortable with themselves. And I also know people who are perfectly put together with an edge. I don't know how else to describe it, but I feel uncomfortable in my tennis shoes because I feel like they're measuring up to see how they look in relation to those around them instead of how they feel about themselves. I tend not to like being around those people.

Me personally? I really just don't care enough to put effort into appearance. It's not that important to me. I can appreciate my friends who can dress well (and I would LOVE to have one of them come shopping with me and dress me. Any takers? Please? Your fashion-challenged friend is begging you.) But I love the 'wow factor.' I love being rewarded with compliments when I actually put effort into my appearance. I love the excitement of knowing I look good** and spending an evening doing something I wouldn't normally do.

My friend and I were both giddy with wearing high heels and makeup. As an added bonus, it turned out that we went to high school with the head bartender at the bar we chose. We didn't pick up men, but that wasn't the point. We caught up, talked to random men who approached us, judged the VERY short skirt that made her way around the bar*** and had a great evening.

Haven't worn makeup since.

Women? I would love opinions on this. To wear makeup or not to wear makeup? To dress up or not to dress up? To sneaker or not to sneaker. Those are the questions. Opinions appreciated.

*But I hold on to the caveat that it's a fine line between wearing makeup every day, and eventually getting to the point where you're wearing full makeup to the gym because OH MY GOD you can't be seen in public without MAKEUP!! I worry about women when it gets to that point.

**Reality really doesn't matter much's all about how I feel. I tend to avoid mirrors. I know I look hot, reality does not need to confirm or deny the facts.

***Dude! We could totally see snatch. Well groomed... but still!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bad Juju

Work yesterday was the worst suckiest suck to ever have sucked. It was horrible. Everything that could have gone wrong did. And what made it worse was that it followed an exceptional three day weekend during which I did not pay attention to diet, school, or any sort of responsibility whatsoever. It's like karma decided to kick me in the butt for being so irresponsible.

Being used to such days, during which suck seems to build on suck to culminate in a day that would have been better spent in bed, I was expecting nothing less than the usual, and in fact looking forward to plenty of sucky fodder with which to write a blog for my dusty little neglected and cobweb-filled corner of the internet.

(Holy CRAP was that a long sentence.)

But I got home, and my neighbor had FINALLY mowed the lawn. His turn, to be sure, but I was still thrilled because it hadn't been mowed since the thing removal of 2009, (over a month ago, ahem) and I sure as hell wasn't going to break down and mow it when it wasn't my turn.

Suffice to say that our lawn collection of cat-tails was looking fantastic.

So a freshly mowed lawn greeted me when I left the sucky hole of work. Things were looking up.

On the other hand, my first o-chem test of the semester was due to be returned that evening. That definitely did not bode well. Especially when I arrived and found out that the class average was a 53%. Fantastic.

(Note: the urge to use a curse word in the middle of "fantastic" was almost impossible to resist. Praise me for my strong exertion of will.)

Turns out that my o-chem wasn't as terrible as I anticipated. Now that I've had a night to sleep on it, I've realized that the actual percentage score doesn't really matter, right? It's the letter grade that matters. And that letter grade is in the B-/C+ vicinity. I prefer to call that a B-. It's not what I wanted, but it could have been so much worse (there were scores in the 30% range) and I'll work harder next time.

I got home to two dogs (yes, Blue is back for another two week visit while my parents travel abroad) that were running around like maniacs, and yet Blue didn't even have the courtesy to offer blog fodder by chewing on something that is necessary for me to continue living. Like the TV remote. Or my physics lab that was "coincidentally" left within his reach on the coffee table and then "accidentally" knocked on the floor in front of him.

So despite my foreboding, I have no story of suck for you.

But today is looking strong for a blog about my oh so terrible and not at all melodramatic (but yet adorably hilarious) life. I mean, it's raining, it's dreary, it's cold, my Starbucks guy got my drink wrong, and I get my first physics test back tonight. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

So, in a completely unexpected, but totally appreciated gesture, Simply Alisa answered my down-in-the-dumps request for encouragement, and sent me a present.

When I got the present, I was thrilled.

When I opened the present, I was more thrilled.

When I saw that it said XL on the box, I was beyond thrilled. Mega-sized DOTS!!

But apparently the XL refers to the size of the box. Not the size of the DOTS.

Meh. They were delicious anyway. And since DOTS from the East Coast are better than Midwest DOTS, I even branched out and ate the yellow ones. Which means that the only DOTS left in the box in this picture are the green ones.

It really is the little things in life. Thanks Alisa!!