Saturday, November 29, 2003

The most wonderful time of the year

I've changed my mind. My personalized hell won't be 24 hours a day of baby showers. My time will be split evenly between baby showers and hanging Christmas lights. Seriously. Whoever invented this whole idea of lights on the outside of their houses needs to be shot. I think when I have my own house, I'm going to hire someone to come do them for me.

And it didn't help that my mom didn't bring out all the lights. We're standing in 2 inches of mud, and all of the sudden she turns to me to go inside to get the lights. Which means I have to take off the wet, muddy shoes, stand on the cold concrete in my bare feet, run inside, get the lights, then come back out and put on the muddy shoes. Next time, let's think ahead shall we.

I'm seriously contemplating suggesting that we leave the lights up all year round. I think we'd be making a statement with the only nativity set in the county up in August.

Friday, November 28, 2003


People who have me on their friends lists are probably thinking, stop blogging already. What can I say, I'm bored.

I decided that it was time to come up with my December Resolution since December 1 is on Monday. Some of you who know me, know that I don't like to do yearly resolutions only in January, but instead I try to do one every month. I gave up soda in August, and surprisingly, I'm still with that one.

For this year's December resolution, I'm going to try to clean up my language. Had anyone told me a couple of years ago that this would be my resolution, I would have thought they were crazy.

Because up until a few years ago, I never cursed. Ever. And then, all of the sudden, I catch myself doing it all the time. And I know I can control it, because I catch myself around my parents all the time. I've determined it's one of those things that I can change to become a better person. I know you can be a good person, regardless of what comes out of your mouth, but I think what I say contradicts who I want to be perceived as. So here's to being a little cleaner with my language.

Lay Off

Buckle yourselves in kiddies, you're in for one big rant.

It had been so long, that I was starting to think my family was over it. Then my sister had to go and blow it tonight. I was waiting for the cookies to get done, and during the down time I was playing a game with my cat. And my sister has to say, "you better hope you get married and have kids, or you're just going to be a cat lady".

Why does everything about me have to be defined by my marital status, or lack there of? It doesn't matter to anyone that I'm happy with where I am in my life. That it took me this long to be secure with who I am, and that I'm not dependent on someone else to define me. I'm successful, I'm in law school, I have friends (or at least people who pretend to be my friends). So why does it matter? Oh, and I'm only 25. You'd think the way they all talk, I'm pushing 50.

I'm so sick of rural, small town thinking. Everyone I graduated high school with is married with kids, about 75% of them still living in the town we grew up in. (yes, I know I'm here too, but it's temporary till I'm out of school) And there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not for me.

My brother-in-law has started telling people that I think I'm too good for them because I'm in law school. Where he gets that, I'll never know. He asks me to hang out with he and his firefighting buddies, who I don't know and have nothing in common with, and apparently refusing makes me too good for them. I'm sorry if I don't want to be the 5th wheel sitting around getting drunk and talking about things I know nothing about. It's the same way I don't think someone would be comfortable sitting around with all us law school peeps and hearing us gripe about that.

I'm just so fed up with it. I'm not even considered a "member" of my church, even though I've been a member there since I was 9. Cause far be it from anything to have a single woman in the church. All of my friends who are married get all the membership mailings, but I don't. I don't get the flyer telling me about upcoming activities, or the women's ministry. Because I don't count.

I just wish everyone would get off my back about it. It's not the worst thing in the world to be over 22 and not married. Just because I'm planning on having a career doesn't mean I've chosen it over having a family. And just because I hang around people with my same interests doesn't mean I think I'm better than those with different interests. I wish other people would quit taking out their insecurities on me.

That concludes this evening's ranting. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Random Thoughts

I had the mother of all migraines last night, which meant I slept about 40 minutes total. So I had a lot of time just laying in bed and thinking of things. Something completely random occured to me. In a lot of families, there's one common occupation that people do. Not so in our family. This is the semi complete list based on those who are in college now and up:
Coal miner, some other kind of miner, Pastor, Church Administrator, Missionary, 3 elementary school teachers, Catholic School Preschool teacher, beautician, tax accountant, nurse, assessor, machinist, baseball coach, mechanic, massage therapist, prison laundry worker, environmental consultant, state investigator, cop, and lawyer.

And that's just from my grandfather down to me. We're one occupationally diverse family.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

Well I survived another Thanksgiving with the family. Big deal, some may say. But if you knew my family, this is quite an accomplishment. By my count there were 22 people there I was related to, 3 people who were related to someone I'm related to, 2 people who are dating someone I'm related to, and 4 people whom I never did figure out who they were. And this was a small year. Sadly my sister went to her inlaws so she wasn't there for me to snark with all day.

We did start a new tradition, if you want to call it that. My cousin bought this air brush tanning machine online, and we all spent our day being sprayed with fake tan. I must say, odd, odd experience. It looks quite natural, but the thought of being air brushed is too funny. Not to mention my cousin stood out in my aunt's beauty shop, spraying us individually, which ended up taking about 3 hours. And there were only about 6 of us to get it done.

I didn't eat as much as I feel like I did. I ate lunch and then semi grazed the rest of the day. When we host the event, I can at least retreat back to my room to sleep. But I couldn't today. All the couches, beds, and floor spaces were taken, leaving me sitting up in a wooden chair most of the day. But it's all about being together with family right? Even if they are snoring loud enough the wall hangings are vibrating.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Girlie Movies

I was watching TV this afternoon while getting ready to go to the store. Sixteen Candles was on TV, and I can't ever resist that movie, so I had it on. My brother comes downstairs and watches about 2 minutes of it and then starts making fun of it. I asked him if he'd ever seen it and he replied, "no way, it's a chic flick". So I debated with him and gave the high points as to why it wasn't a bad chic flick. And trying to explain this to a guy who's favorite movies are the Matrix series, Star Wars, and the Patriot is a bit difficult.

Anyway, I come back from the store and he's folding laundry in the living room. And what is he watching? The Cutting Edge, which he of course denies as a chic flick. And he wasn't even watching it because there is nothing else on. He's the first to admit that he likes the movie. (I think he tries to convince himself that since there is hockey in it, it's a sporting film.) I knew the boy had a soft spot in there somewhere.

Winter Wonders

I finally switched over to the flannel sheets and comforter for the year. I tend to hold out as long as I can, since I get so hot sleeping at night. (I could go so many places with that sentence, but I won't.) But when it's 30 degrees outside like it is now, it's approximately 31 degrees in my room.

When my parents remodeled the upstairs, they decided they didn't want to run the heating and air ducts up here because the thing is so old and they feared gas leaks or exploding aluminum pipes. So they opted for the manual methods. Window air conditioners do the job in the summer, and 3 comforters and 2 pair of gloves do the job in the winter. And I'm not kidding. If the temperature drops below about 15, the bro and I usually have to fight for space on the floor downstairs so we don't freeze to death.

Anyway, the flannel (or the cat hair magnet material as I like to call it) is in place, meaning I have to retire the flannel pajamas for the season. I made the mistake last year of wearing those in combination with these sheets. I swear it's like someone velcroed me into bed. Clearly that's the only way I get any sleep seeing as it's 2:30 in the morning now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Do not try this at home.

I debated calling this entry “tire go boom”. (I would do that cool thing where you can hide the text, but I still don’t know how to do that.)Yeah, it’s been one of those days. I’m driving to school through the wonderful construction by the airport. Now, this construction will be going on till 2016. And I’m not exaggerating. Usually it just adds a few minutes to my journey, or if it’s after 8 at night, they shut down all the lanes for 20 minutes at a time. But neither of those have ever cost me money.

But today, my car starts shaking and making weird noises like I’m going over rumble strips. So I let off the gas a bit, and keep praying I’ll make it to the next exit. I get almost there and I hit the brakes lightly. And as I do, my tire blows out, jerking my car back and forth before I finally get it off to the side of the road. At this point all I can smell is rubber, and smoke is billowing out and around my car. So I’m officially freaking out as I do any time something happens to my car. After a couple of minutes, I get out to look, and my front tire is in shreds. Parts of the rubber are all over the place in a 10 meter radius from my car.

So I did what any self respecting, independent woman of this millennium would do. I called daddy. And waited, and waited as dad tried to find a number on the internet for a wrecking service. (Now under normal circumstances, I’d like to think that I would change my own tired. But this time, I was barely out of the interstate lanes of traffic and it was my front driver’s side tire. And I had these visions of being on some fox special ‘dumb drivers making big mistakes’ or something like that.) So after 20 minutes, my dad finally gets me a number for a wrecker.

Call the wrecking place, and she tells me that they will be there in 15 minutes. An hour and a half later, the guy shows up. I’m a bit peeved by this point, and I get out of my car and help the guy find my spare. I can barely hear him since the trucks flying by are so loud, but he’s making some sort of talk about being late because he had to shower. Now this is wrong for so many reasons. First, I’ve been sitting in my car for an hour and a half choking on the smell of rubber while the car shakes every time a car/truck speeds by at 70mph. And second, now I’m standing outside being practically blown over every time someone blows by, and I swear I didn’t stage this whole thing because I was really trolling for dudes in wrecking trucks, so why the frell would I care if you smell bad.

So tire changed (for a charge of $35 of course) and I have to get a new one because I can’t drive back home on the spare. Cut to half an hour later at the tire place. (When you live in the middle of BFE it takes forever to get anywhere). Tire guy is really nice, comes out to inspect the shredded wheat that is my former tire in my trunk, and then goes to check the computer. Then he comes to tell me that he doesn’t have a tire in my size and that I could hang around for 4 hours till one comes in. Which leads me to 2 points. 1, why the hell can’t they make tires in standard sizes. And 2, how the hell do you run a tire place, where the sole thing you do is sell tires, and you don’t have one in my size.

Luckily for me, there was a competing tire place not 10 feet from this one, and they did have my size in stock. For a grand total of $70 bucks, it would be on my car in less than a half hour. That gets done, and at this point, I realize that if I left now, I would make it to class just on time. Nevermind the fact that there is no parking at that time of day, and I’d probably spend a hour driving around for a spot. And my nerves are all a bit shot. Needless to say, I came home to rest the rest of the day, and of course let you all know about it.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Happy Frickin' Thanksgiving

What says Thanksgiving more than spending quality time with your family? Spending quality time with your family doing manual labor, which will inevitably involve much yelling and finger pointing.

My family decided not to do the student hosting thing. Apparently it occurred to them that an international student classified as a "loner" who doesn't speak English very well would not want to spend a week with us. Heck, sometimes I don't want to spend a week with us. But anyway, the dad decides its a perfect time to work on the Pergola outside.

Now, I don't know exactly what a Pergola is, but I know it involves post hole digging, putting 4X4s into the ground, and then hoisting 2X6s up over our heads until someone starts wobbling on their ladder and we all fear that they will fall. Inevitably, I will be the one up on the ladder while my dad and brother argue about what is level, and my mom keeps changing her mind from the ground because it's not exactly as she wants. I know this because we've already put one up on our back porch, and this weekend will entail extending it around the house.

My dad sprung it on me tonight saying we'd be working on it Thurs morning and all day Friday. To which I replied, "but Thursday's Thanksgiving". And he looked at me and said, "we'll only work in the morning." Apparently Thanksgiving is now only half a day. I think I liked it better when we hosted Thanksgiving and I spent the whole day pretending to help out in the kitchen.

I think I'm going to go find his football tape and record tomorrow's episodes of Dawson's Creek over the game.

Out with a cold

If I didn't already have enough medical conditions, I have one more to add to the pot. I got back my lab results today and found out that I am anemic. I've always had a suspicion of such, but my previous jack-ass doctors told me that it was just iron deficiency and nothing to worry about. Thank heavens my doctor now had the decency to run a test. And it's not even mild anemia, but moderate. Which means more medications, and another pre-existing condition for when I finally do get a job with insurance.

Saturday, November 22, 2003


So the dad calls me last night at 10:30.
"Did you see the note on the TV?" Apparently now he thinks I've gone blind. So I looked at the note again, and it was even worse than I thought. Here it is.

(This is in 18 pt typed font and all the caps and boldness are his originally)
I have this VCR set to tape the Michigan/Ohio State game at Noon on Saturday. Please be SURE the cable is set on CHANNEL 6 by noon on Saturday.

If you want to tape the game upstairs instead so you can use this TV to watch something else, use the tape in this VCR.

Noon Saturday Nov. 22 WRTV channel 6.

For those playing along at home: Did you catch what day and time the game is on? How about what channel?

My favorite thing was the inclusion of the date and the station call letters. Nice one dad.

Friday, November 21, 2003

It runs in the family

And you wondered where I got my obsessiveness from....

In the interest of equal opportunity mocking, I thought it was my dad's turn today.

I was raised in a household that watches sports nonstop. NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, field hockey, etc. But Michigan college football has always been the holy grail of sporting. I think I knew the words to 'Hail the Victors' long before I knew our national anthem. I remember the Rose Bowl in 1989. We weren't allowed to watch it because it made my dad nervous. So he would flip over every few minutes, but not stay on it long enough to see a play. Granted, we have the thing on tape so that he could actually watch it after he knew the outcome.

I even remember our family vacation the year after that. It was over Christmas break and we went to Florida. The parentals used the pretense that it was so we could go to Disney World, but I think my dad was only convinced when my mom promised we could go to the Gator Bowl. So on a freezing January day in Jacksonville, FL, I saw my first bowl game.

Which brings me to today. My parents are gone this weekend. And my dad left us a few notes on the door, such as take out the trash, vacuum, etc. But the ultimate note is the one taped over the screen on the television. It's typed, single spaced, and is at least half a page in length. Basically it spells out that under no circumstances are we to change the channel on Sat morning and ruin the taping of the Michigan--Ohio State game. (We have that damn digital cable where you can't set the channel on the VCR, but have to set the cable box and you can only watch the channel you are taping) He stopped just short of indicating that he will cherish this video more than any of our firstborn children. A little anal are we dad?

Though his concerns may be justified. Last time I was entrusted with the taping of football, I accidently forgot to tape the first half of the Northwestern game. Wouldn't you know that that would be the year the Wolverines would win the National Championship and that my dad would have the complete set of tapes. Minus the 1st half of the Northwestern game of course. Who knew he wouldn't appreciate the Saved by the Bell Zack/Kelly wedding that's on the tape just as much.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Oh Baby

If hell were personalized for each one of us, I've decided that mine would be a 24 x 7 string of baby showers. It's that time of my life. A few years ago I had to go through all of the marriages, and now it's the babies. And there's nothing more degrading then being the sole single person amongst your group of friends. I had a hard time bonding with any of them over how much spitup is normal for a 2 month old.

But I started out with my trip to Wal-Mart for a gift. She had registered there, so I printed off the list here at home and took it to the store. First of all, the list didn't include any pictures, and the descriptions were something like (10 pk lsr dpr pl bg). Um, yeah. Those serial codes really help too. And have you been in the baby section lately? Nothing is in a logical order. Having no kids, I assumed that it would be organized relatively easily. Bottles and bottle accessories here. Clothing there. And diapers over there. Walking down an aisle it was more like; diaper, bottle, gate, bottle, washcloth, gas-powered tree trimmer, bath tub, soap, brand x diapers... You get the point.

So finally, I settled on the bath tub and shampoo and soap accessories. All from the list. Which I found out later means nothing. Because I stuck to the list and got what she wanted, someone else went out and got the Lexus version of the baby bath and made me look like a cheapskate. Bah.

And we only played one game, which shockingly I won. Granted, I cheated with my friend next to me. But still, I got the gift, opened it, and it was a candle and votive. And then I had to decide whether that was something I was supposed to keep, or if this is one of those parties where I'm actually supposed to turn around and give it back to the mom. Friend told me that since it wasn't babyish, I was supposed to keep it, which still garnered scowls from the cheap seats.

All in all, it wasn't too terrible. I sat and "oooh-ed and awwwed" with the best of them. And I caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in years. (We were trying to decide how long it had been, and I realized that it was at least before she was pregnant. Her son is almost 3 now. Guess that solves it). And I'm having lunch with the mommie-to-be tomorrow so I hope to get all the behind the scenes details.

My mom always brings up the fact that by the time I get married, all my friends will be established and they may not remember what it's like to go through the showers for the first time. This has led me to one conclusion. When I get married, or have kids, I'm only asking for one thing. Big ass gifts. After all, isn't that the true reason we keep in contact with our childhood friends?

Friday, November 14, 2003

I love the 80s

Early today there was a commercial on for PCI (Personal Careers Institute). It was one of those where the woman was giving her life story. You know how it goes. "I was in a dead end job, until I went to PCI where things magically started happening and now I have a good job thanks to the top of the line training." She started the commercial standing there in her suit, and holding a disk. And she says, "It's amazing that all of the information on a computer can fit on this", and waves the disk. The catch. It's a 5 inch floppy (the ones that are now obsolete).

Now I'm not one to criticize, but if you want to have a commercial that praises your school's technology courses, perhaps you should refrain from using commercials from 1984 that spotlight defunct devices.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Friday Five

Brought to you by Friday Five
1. What food do you like that most people hate?
I'm going to have to go with beets.

2. What food do you hate that most people love?
Marshmallows and Jelly beans.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?
Orlando Bloom [edited because after Pirates I understand]

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find
Jon Favreau

5. What popular trend baffles you?
Low rise jeans with the thong pulled way up.

What do you call 50 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

As Matt Damon says at the beginning of The Rainmaker, everyone enjoys a good lawyer joke, especially lawyers. Unfortunately these guys make it way too easy.

On a bright note, I think I just came up with a new idea for raising funds for the law school. Can anyone say "law school strip tease"?

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Unto thy neighbor

I think I liked it better when my family was apathetic. I can do apathetic. All this caring for others, and putting strangers before yourself is out of my league.

My parents informed me last week that we're hosting 2 students from a local college over Thanksgiving weekend. They can't afford to go home, so my parents will be the pseudo family and give them a place to stay, and pay for their food. The catch? The "place to stay" is my bedroom.

Let's recap shall we. I live with my parents, in my brother's old room, which was decorated when he was 6 (aka 1986). I fall asleep with pound puppies on the wall and 3 cats fighting me for space on my twin bed, while my brother enjoys the bigger bedroom with his own TV, Computer, and fridge. I can't use the bathroom my dad put in for me and my sister, because my brother dominates it and only cleans it when things start growing in there. I go to family dinners where I am responsible for paying my own way, even if that means I have to add it to my tab, which my dad keeps prominently displayed in our kitchen so that I always know how in debt I am, while my brother can show up, eat, order dessert, and leave without dropping a dime.

And now, 2 strangers are coming, I'm getting usurped from my room and they're getting the royal treatment. I will be sleeping in the computer room, which has no door, on an air mattress, with all of my clothing in a basket in the corner.

At first this morning when my dad said they'd be in my room, I put forth an adamant 'no'. He initially phrased it like he was asking my permission, but then laid into the guilt trip heavily when I refused. "We're trying to do something nice for someone, and sometimes that means sacrificing our comforts, etc etc."

I'm sure we'll have time to discuss it over Thanksgiving Dinner, where I'll probably have to fork over money for their 2 dinners as well as mine. Because what he really meant by we have to sacrifice is me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Sexual Healing

I was watching a show on the Discovery channel yesterday that dealt with human mating and how scientific it is. As part of it, they talked about the smells that make people most sexually aroused. For men it was cheese pizza. For women it was cucumber.

Which got me to thinking metaphorically about sex. Isn't it ironic that for men it would be something readily availabe, cheap, easy, and able to get on any street corner. Whereas for women, it's something that has to be prepared, isn't all that common in dining experiences, and you have to go somewhere a bit more upscale. With pizza, you get cheese everytime, but if you order a salad, you may or may not get a cucumber depending on how much time the chef takes to make the salad. (And I ain't just talking veggies, if you know what I mean). Typical, eh?

And to quote a friend : There are many many distributors of cheese pizza, and lots of varieties. We, however, are stuck with one kind of vegetable - the cucumber. Our only hope is that we land a larger than average one. Preach it sista.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Calling all doctors.

When I was 8 yrs old, I kept getting sore throats about every 2 weeks. So my doctor, advising what was the trendy medical procedure of the 80's suggested I have my tonsils out. I was a little leery about having surgery and he tried to convince me that it would be all for the better. He promised me I could have ice cream when I woke up and that I'd never have a sore throat again.

Liar. When I woke up it felt like someone had been raking the back of my throat with metal forks, and the hospital didn't serve ice cream. Only jello. Only orange jello. And can you guess which flavor of jello I would eat only after I'd exhausted the option of eating my own vomit?

But anyway, the point of the story is that having your tonsils out does not stop you from having sore throats. My doctor didn't tell me that I would have just as many, just I could never get strep. Which doesn't comfort me now as I have a raging sore throat at the moment. It's one of those times when it hurts so bad to swallow that you just wait as long as you can, and then almost gag yourself with the pain when you finally allow yourself to. And I know exactly what causes it. I had the "roaring" in my ears last week, which probably meant my sinuses were stuffed up, and now it's all draining. (Hope no one was eating when they read that). As I type I have the one nostril breathing going on. (Excuse me while I blow my nose.)

And I know some of you are saying "go to the doctor", but trust me, I've been through this before. By the time I get in there, he'll look at me and suggest I take Allegra, or whatever allergy med he thinks appropriate, disregarding the fact that I have been tested for allergies and tested negative to all of the pricks, including the test one that everyone is supposed to react to. But he'll feel like he's done his job, I'll be put on some expensive medication that I can afford with my lovely student health insurance only after selling my liver, and the thing will clear itself up on its own in about 3 days.

So beware to those of you who must see me in person this week. Chances are I'm going to be a bit crabby and whining about it. To top it off, I have the mother of all headaches that won't go away, even with strong medication. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know where that one came from. (Which reminds me, at this time next year, someone please point me to this post when I start talking about playing on the flag football team again.) I'll save the "my mom thinks I have a concussion" for another post.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Taking one for the team.

We finally got to play our football today since it was rained out last week. It was flag football, which basically meant the same amount of physical contact and different rules for everyone to whine and bitch about. I have never in my life heard so many people griping over every little thing.

One of the teams (blue team) we played only had 1 girl, so they changed the rules from having to have 3 girls on the field, to only having 1, to accommodate them. And they bitched. But damn, the girl on that team was a trooper. She had to touch the ball every 4 downs and I think she caught every one of them. Including the one that 4 members from her own team tackled her on the play.

As for me, I actually completed a pass and made a few flag pulls, while only suffering minor injuries. I took 2 shots to the head, only one of which left a mark, but both of which left a massive headache. The one that left a mark resulted from some contact when I was pulling the flag. See my head contacted something hard. Namely the chin of the aforementioned girl. It left a knot the size of a golfball on my head, which means that it must of hurt her like hell. And yet, she played on. We collided hard enough to knock us both to the ground and she didn't cry. Seriously, someone give this girl an award.

The other head injury happened when I was grabbing a guy's flags, and someone from my team was getting him from the other side, and my teammate took us both down. My hand scraped across my opponent's cleats, and thank heavens they were plastic and not metal so no blood. But that didn't stop him from griping about how rough we were playing. Dude, do you think I like having my ass planted by my own teammate. Not to mention the guy on your team who used me to shove off of to make a catch when he couldn't get open. I said I'd play "girl" not "bitch".

Anyway, we won our 1st 2 games and then had to play the blue team again. And even though we beat them the first time, and it was a double elim tournament, we lost the last game and they declared the blue team the winners. So technically, we both finished 2-1 losing once to each other. And you know what happened after that game..... People bitched. God bless the assholes who are to be lawyers.