Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Good Guesser

Due to the tight budget here in my world, the boy's Christmas present was delayed until after Christmas so that I had a bit more time to save up. I did use the extra time wisely, however, and made sure to confirm that what he wanted could be purchased from with the gift cards that I have accumulated from the use of my visa I was thinking as a gift was something he would need and use.

(We also did the letters that we exchanged last year. Seriously. Love the letters. You should make them part of your Christmas tradition as well.)

A little background info that I haven't mentioned it here because I was originally joking about it and then realized that my jokes were actually hitting home. The boy? He is having a minor crisis about turning 30 in 2010. I'm treading carefully because this is completely unfamiliar territory for me. I celebrated turning 30. The boy? He seems to be having a mild freak-out that is manifesting itself in several ways. So the jokes have stopped, and I'm just watching to see what happens and offering support wherever I can.

The first major change was a workout regimen that started about three weeks ago and is still going strong. So when I heard about the regular running, I suggested an iPod nano to keep him from constantly borrowing mine so he could listen to music to keep him motivated. He seemed excited about this idea, so I hatched a plot to purchase the gift as soon as possible after Christmas.

Yesterday I purchased the nano and at the last minute decided to save my giftcards and just purchase directly from the apple store. The price wasn't different and I can use the giftcards for textbooks. Also (ALSO!) if you order from the apple store, you can get engraving.

So I placed my order, chose an appropriately disgustingly sappy sweet message to engrave, and threw in an armband impulsively at the last minute. I was pretty pleased with myself.

Which means, of course, that I was itching to tell the boy about it. I mean, I'm the person who gives gifts WAAAAAAAY ahead of time if I have them. I can't keep secrets to save my life. (Except your secret. I can totally keep yours.) Luckily, the boy is the same way and humors me when I get excited. Like last night on our way to get pizza.

"I bought your gift today."

"A nano, right? We discussed this. I can't wait. Woo Hoo!"

"Yeah, but there are four surprises about it that you DON'T know. So take that! Ha!!"

"I'll bet I can guess them."

"Whatever. Take your best shot!" I said confidently. "You can even have one extra guess. Five guesses."

"Hmmmm. Okay. You can't buy them pre-loaded with music, right? Soooo.... you got a green one."

(Damn. But that was easy. Green is his favorite color.) "Yes."

"Oh! And you got it engraved."

(Okay, whatever. The only reason he knew that was a possibility is because mine is engraved.) "Yes. And it's incredibly embarrassing. I hope all of your friends see it and make fun of you."

"Whatever. They all know you. And.... you got me an arm band so that I can start using it right away?"

(Double damn!) "Yes," I said grudgingly.

"And new ear buds so that I don't have to use my old headphones?"

"NO! That is incorrect! Ha! You didn't get all of them!!!"

"I have one more guess."

"Oh....right." (Drat that extra guess. Stupid overconfidence generosity.)

"Hmmmm...." The boy considered for a while, then brightened, "I know! You got me the 8GB instead of the 5GB."

I sat in disbelief. I'm not sure why. We've already established that there aren't many secrets surrounding Emily. I am not the enigma I imagine myself to be. The boy cabbage patched in the seat next to me. I sputtered in frustration. If there's a list titled "Things Emily Does Not Like" losing would be in the top five.

If not second.

Or tied with first.

The boy quickly grew serious and said, "I'm already excited. I can't wait. Especially if it has an embarrassing message because it will always make me think of you."

And that made it all better. Because it really is better to give than to receive., and his happiness was the aim all along. But, you know...I couldn't let HIM know that.

"Yeah, and it will remind all of your OTHER girlfriends that I'm still the queen."

Friday, December 18, 2009


Ridiculously enough, I've never had my own Christmas tree before. Never ever. Not because I never thought to purchase one (hello after-Christmas sales. you are my friends.) but because I never found one that called to me. I knew it couldn't be full sized, because Lord knows where I'll be in the upcoming years, and most 4' trees were just...meh. But I also wanted one that required minimal ornamentation because I have a cat, and she likes to play with shiny things.

That all changed at the Lazarus after Christmas sale 2008 where Emily found this awesomeness as the display tree of the Christmas tree area that was the only one left of its kind. If you're wondering whether or not I carried this baby around without a box for 45 minutes while my mother tried to decide whether or not she wanted to purchase any Christmas ornaments and had to fend off questions from three different people who wanted to know where I found it, the answer would be, "You bet your tushie I did!"

I also spent two whole dollars on my four cardinals, and I leave the lights on the tree on in the evenings so that it can be seen through the window while simultaneously running up my electric bill. Funny thing is, I don't regret either action for a second.

'Tis the season!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Post is About Writing Utensils

Finals week messes with your head, man. Any, um, peculiarities? Magnified. And I am not without my peculiarities.

I mean, I know I have quirks. But I like to think that I'm a (somewhat) normal person. With a (mostly) logical head on her shoulders. It's not like I believe that there is a huge CIA conspiracy to use mind control on the entire population of America. Or that I believe that if a black cat crosses my path while I'm walking under a ladder I'm screwed. Or that if I break a mirror it's seven years of bad luck. I shrug that stuff off.

Now, SOME people will hasten to mention here that I seem superstitious about things that matter to me. And a bit....obsessive...about the way things are "supposed to be." For example, I really don't like to talk about possible admission into vet school next year for fear I may accidentally jinx myself. And I don't think I'm obsessive (I prefer particular) but I will admit that before going to sleep at night, my bed has to be made "just so." (Seriously, how DOES the boy sleep when there is absolutely no order to the sheets and blankets? I mean, how do his feet not end up hanging out the other end?! And the lumps? I mean, does he just sleep on them without noticing?!)

Okay, so mostly normal. I may have my quirks, but really, who doesn't? But during finals Finals week does something to your brain. It really really does.

For example. This is my pencil. It wasn't always my pencil. In fact, it wasn't the first pencil that I bought. But since the first pencil that I bought sucked horribly, ever since this pencil swooped in to save the day, it has been my pencil. And since it lives in my backpack, and I always take my backpack to class, I am never without my pencil in class.

My pencil is very important. In fact, since many of the science classes I've taken have been math based, one might say that my pencil is essential. I erase a lot. You might be able to tell this given the lack of eraser on my pencil. Which is why I purchased this eraser to go with my pencil. Only that eraser? Well, considering I've been in school for over two years now, and I've taken 35 hours of classes (all sciences) that eraser was used. It was used a lot. And this year it got used to the point where I had to remove the pretty protective cardboard wrapper that was keeping the eraser all pretty and white (on the parts that weren't being used of course. And let me tell you, this one time I loaned my eraser to this guy and he used the wrong end!! I mean there was very clearly a used end, and a not used end. Why on earth would you mess up the not used end? I lost sleep over this question. If you know the answer, please email me.)

Anyhow. Now that pretty eraser? Well, it looks like this. And though it may look white in the picture, I assure you, it is turning into a dingy grey. And to be quite honest, the dingy grey, no longer sharp angles at the edges thing? It's starting to bug me. It's starting to bug me a lot.

Quirks people! I have quirks!

Besides, having to keep track of both a pencil AND an eraser? Cumbersome. So I decided to get a new pencil. One new pencil. One new very cool pencil that you can not only use by clicking the top, but also by clicking the cool little buttons on the grip portion of the pencil. And it has a new eraser included. Brand new eraser with sharp edges. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Ta Da! Problem solved.

And so I go to my second final last night. And I get out my brand new pencil and begin to fill in the bubbles that spell out my name on the scantron sheet. And something felt... off. It felt... wrong. Like, perhaps I wouldn't pass the final if I didn't stop using that alien pencil immediately.

Seriously folks. I know this blog may not exactly support this claim, but I am logical. I am black and white. There is no grey. I know that my choice of pencil will not affect my mental capabilities enough to cause me to fail my final.

Except... what if it does?

And damned if I didn't open up my backpack, pull out my old eraser-less pencil and dingy eraser and immediately feel much better. One might say I felt like all was right with the world again.

Originally the post ended with that sentence. But I just let the boy pre-read this before posting and he said, "Did you erase what you had already written with the new pencil?"

Immediately worried, I said, "Nooooooo." Internally I was thinking, "SHIT! I hadn't even thought of that!"

The boy responded with a regretful shake of his head and said with complete certainty, "Well then you're fucked."

Is it any wonder I have quirks?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Methinks it may be a tad cold in the mornings...

Please excuse the terrible picture quality (taken with cell phone) but I could not resist the cuteness that greeted me this morning after I forced myself out of bed and into my cold house to turn up the heat. Apparently Casey saw no pressing reason to get up. She's avoiding eye contact because she thinks that will make it so that I don't get her up, outside into the cold, and ultimately into her kennel for the day. It is Friday, and she looks about how I felt this morning, so I had pity on her and left her alone while I showered. She hadn't moved when I returned. I'm pretty sure that if I could have read her thoughts, they would have been something along the lines of "Nothing to see here. Please move along. Only sheets and bedspread. No dog here. Nope. No dog here."

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Death of Me

Have I mentioned my brilliant idea for parental holiday gift giving this year? No? Pity. Because now it can't happen, and the universe hates me and organic chemistry is the root of all evil in existence.

Okay, not really.

But sorta.

Finals week is December 14-19. Since I take night classes, my finals fell on the evening of December 15th and the evening of December 16th. On the one hand - suck! Because I have less than two weeks to prepare. On the other hand - wheeeee! I'll be done early and have more time to enjoy the Christmas holiday.

When I was last in my hometown, not visiting my old band instructor, I was discussing the boy and the paradox that is his incredible ability to clean things meticulously coupled with the complete lack of any cleaning in his own apartment. When I was telling my story, my dad laughed and said, "Well, he can come and clean here anytime."

Which got me to thinking...

The boy hasn't seen my parents in a really long time. To be fair, I generally don't insist that he accompany me on trips to my hometown. This is for several reasons. A) His sanity. B) My sanity. C) My hometown isn't all that exciting and there isn't much to do. D) If I'm planning on hanging out with single girlfriends, the boy would be unhappy if I mandated his attendance. E) He uses those weekends to go camping and I'm happy that he doesn't insist that I go with him and F) If he doesn't go, he always has dinner for me when I get back to Indy. But still. I know he likes my parents. I like my parents. I like the boy. The boy likes me. My parents like me. They like the boy. Seems as though we should all get together soon.

Since I skipped out on Thanksgiving, there was no opportunity for the boy to see my family then. And since he has his own family to see, going to my parent's house for Christmas is out of the question as well.

And so I cooked up this plan. Emily + the boy + short on cash = cleaning my parent's house for Christmas as their Christmas gift from "us."

My mother was elated with this plan. She couldn't stop talking about it and asking what, exactly, we would do for her (just leave us a list, mom) and asking if we do woodwork (?!). The boy? For his part, he thought it was a great idea also. We visit for a weekend, spend Saturday cleaning, hang with the parents, eat real stove-cooked food (for a change,) and spread Christmas cheer. Everybody wins. (Plus, I totally downloaded the newest Stephen King book in audio form so even the DRIVE DOWN will be fantastic.)

So we made plans to drive to my hometown the weekend before Christmas. Done and done.

But then I got this email:
The exam key has been posted in the Resources folder.
---- The best answer for the box problem reacting 2 equivalents of HBr+peroxide+heat with the cyclohexylacetylene is NOT drawn. The two bromines should be both on the primary carbon (anti-Markovnikov). We have decided to accept both the drawn answer and the best answer. If your paper has an orange correction reducing your score from 3 to 1 for this problem, bring it to me in class or at office hours and I will give you back 2 points.

The final two electronic problem sets were posted yesterday. The first is due Monday (12/7) and the second a week from Monday (12/14).

Finally, and most importantly, the registrar has begun combining both sections to a common C341 Final Exam time this semester. As the registrar has set the time, we must use it. So, the C341 Final will occur in the Lecture Hall on December 19 at 8 am. This time is different than the time for single section classes that was used on the syllabus.

To repeat: the C341 Final Exam will occur in the Lecture Hall on December 19 at 8 am. Please pass the word.


I'm sure it's no surprise if I tell you that the email above was sent by my organic chemistry professor.

I'm also sure it will come as no surprise that I was irate. IRATE. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Seriously, do the powers that be WANT me to drop this class? Is this a sign that ochem really is a "weeding out" class and I'm just a weed? Because the urge to go into my professor's office, loudly explain my anger, and then drop the class is almost overwhelming. Is there no end to the misery that this class can bring into my life? Maybe it really will be the death of me?

I knew I had to tell my parents about this immediately as it definitely changes our plans for visiting. However, in order to not shock them out of thinking I am the delicate flower I'm sure they think I am, I called the boy first. And let loose a string of profanity that melted the phone and left the boy frightened for my professor's very soul.

Only then did I call my parents. When my father answered, I told him, "Dad! It's your lucky day!! This is angry-Emily calling and she's a joy to be around. However, I already called the boy and got out all the profanity, so all you get are the tears."

The last phrase trailed off into a wail.

My dad replied calmly, "What's the matter?"


That was said at a decibel that made Casey's ears perk up. My father then did what any loving and supporting father would do.

He started laughing.

I was indignant. "DAD! This is terrible! It isn't funny!!"

He stifled his laughter. "I understand. But if it isn't funny, it's something pretty close to it."

After a day to consider, I have to disagree with him. Still not funny. But at least I gained a tiny bit of perspective. I now have three more days to study so that when I DO take the final (that's worth 38% of my grade) I can kill it. Kill it dead. And then go clean my parents' house like it's never been cleaned before.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Why I'm not posting today

I'm not writing a blog post today because it would be all angsty and whiny. All full of things like "organic chemistry sucks" and "My God WHY?!" And when I get angsty and whiny I tend to get all melodramatic and say things like, "You think childbirth is difficult? Try organic chemistry." And, you know, people who have actually HAD children tend to get upset with me.* Even though they probably already know me and know that I don't actually BELIEVE what I said.... I'm just full of "woe is me" and "life, as I know it, is about to end" and "OMG HOW STUPID CAN I BE?!"

This is the stuff that the boy tends to tune out. All the melodrama. You have to sort through all of that to find the root cause of why I'm upset and whether or not it's enough to set off real alarm bells. And if you don't have experience maneuvering this minefield, you might become disoriented by the lamenting and wailing. And the whining and the complaining.

This would be why I'm not posting today.

Because if I WERE posting, I would say things like, "Test scores should not be numbers that can be found on the face of a clock." And things like, "I just don't GET why I'm having so much difficulty with this stupid class [ochem] when I can learn new things about QUANTUM PHYSICS and have no problem comprehending them," or "Perhaps people would have an easier time with this class if it wasn't taught by Satan himself," or "You know, I totally SHOULD take advantage of your office hours, Mr. Professor. Why didn't I think of that myself? What a great suggestion! Tell me, what hours do you have between 5:00 and 9:00pm during the week?? On weekends?"

But I would also offer evidence to the depth of my pain. Like how the boy sent me a text last night that simply said "I love you" and called me this morning at 8:30am. This may not be a big deal to you, but please note that communication initiated by him is generally limited to 1:45pm on Fridays and only because I have programmed a reminder in his cell phone that pops up with "Tell Emily that you love her" each week at that time.**

And since both of those kind gestures from the boy occurred after the sad, sobbing phone call that we had last night wherein I shared my latest o-chem test grade (that actually can be found on the face of a digital clock...and not a number near the turn of the hour, either) they pretty much mean that I'm on the boy's radar under "suicide watch."

But it's not really that bad, right? Because I can see a glimmer of humor in studying for hours and creating your own study guide, only to come out of a test with a grade that's close to your waist size. At least it's the pre-ten pound weight-loss waist size, right?

I mean, really - if it's a choice between laughing and crying? I choose laughing. Like when people tell me motivational stories about how other people passed o-chem with grades that start with an "A" or "B" so I should never settle because it's definitely possible!!! That's motivating, right? Right?! Those stories are particularly uplifting when they come from your mother.

And so, since there are people out there who are actually going through difficult challenges in their life, and people who really do need the help and support of the internet, I'm not posting. Nope.

I'm just going to remind myself that 31-year-old women do not cry over test grades. We save our tears for important things. Like Hallmark movies with names like "A Dog Named Christmas."***

*In my defense, my friend Jess actually had a baby WHILE TAKING organic chemistry. She said it was the most difficult thing ever. That would be why she's in organic chemistry again with me this semester. So see, she succeeded with having the baby, and failed organic chemistry. That should tell you something.

**True story. It works too.

***Sadly, yet another true story.