Sunday, September 29, 2013

there's a little bit of something me in everything in you

when we were younger, my sisters and i read this book of short stories. i think it was my older sister's book? anyway, they weren't scary stories, but they were supposed to leave you feeling slightly creeped out. bits and pieces of them have stuck with me over the years for some odd reason. there was one with fairies i think that skinned this girl's pet cat. one with a girl that pretends she doesn't know her mom at the airport and ends up as a flight attendant for life. (or something.) but the one relevant to my post today was about these two sisters (i think they had just thrown a party their parents were going to kill them for) that were allowed to go into this magical rose garden. in each rose was an alternate timeline that they could go down. they were allowed to pick a rose (i don't remember if they did) but as they searched for one they got to see glimpses of what would really play out in a bunch of different "what if" scenarios. i just finished reading fangirl by rainbow rowell and i feel like i got to peek into a rose of my own.

warning: this post is likely to be too long. i can't help myself. drunk-on-books-pseudo-psycho-babble rambles are my worst kind of rambles. it may also contain spoilers. maybe.

the book is basically the story of cather avery's first year at college. cather has a twin that doesn't want to be part of the "twin package" anymore, a dad who is kinda mentally unstable, a mom who left them when the twins were in third grade, and a huge obsession with simon snow (think harry potter with magicians instead of wizards - like, in terms of how huge the franchise is, not so much the plot.) she is also the writer of one of the most popular simon snow slash fanfics online.

fangirl doesn't just hit too close to home, it is home. or, it could be. like, if the essence of me, what really makes me me and all of that, was put into another person - someone living in a non-muslim, american family with one parent that doesn't commute to college (the girl, not the parent) - i would be cather. does that even make any sense? i haven't related to a character this much in a long time (or, at least not one that i did not also have strong urges to punch in the face more often than not), and it was fun. this wasn't me falling into the protagonist's shoes because she is a hollow, generic character made to have several built-in compartments to fill with your own personality. cather was a well-developed character who i just happened to see a lot of myself in. she is an anxiety-ridden, slightly misanthropic, fanfiction loving, wannabe writer and there is nothing about that that makes me think "well, that's not me at all." reading this book was like like standing in my own rose garden and seeing what could have happened if i had walked down a different path.

it got to the point that halfway through the story i started getting panicky, almost-nostalgia feelings. like that point in a big school year (last year of high school, last year of college, etc) where it's hitting february and you know it's going to end soon, but the thought is terrifying so you keep tying to push it to the back of your mind. i kept putting the book down because i didn't want "my first year" to end and that makes absolutely no sense at all but oh well.

it was one of those books that you pick up without fully knowing the importance of and finish with the feeling of "i really needed to read that book right now" even though you can't put your finger on exactly why. you just know that if you hadn't read it something bad would've (could've?) happened. although that might not happen with anyone else now that i think about it.

it also made me really wish that the simon snow saga was real because i need to read those books right now. fangirl has excerpts from both the simon snow books and cath's fanfictions thrown into it and i have never wanted a book to exist so bad before. i need to know what happens between these little scenes we're given. that is what my life has come to. i have books on my must-read-now list and characters that i care about that that do not even exist. sigh. it also made the harry potter nerd inside of me really sad that it missed out on a lot of fandom things. i never got to go to a midnight release of a book or movie, and i think that would have made my life.

there was one thing that really annoyed me, though. when cather is introducing her twin sister, wren, to her new college friends, this great line comes up: "'Our mom didn't know she was having twins,' Wren said. 'And she didn't feel like coming up with another name'" (pg 76). okay, these girls were born in 1993. (yes, i do feel old, thanks.) how is it possible that their mom didn't know she was having twins? did she never go to the doctor? did she not get a single ultrasound done? all i could think of was the lady on friends who has the kids monica and chandler adopt and her saying that whenever the doctor said "both heartbeats" she thought hers and the baby's. no one could possibly be that stupid. and then what? the dad couldn't think of a name either? the author could have easily said something like, she always wanted to name her first daughter catherine or something, and since she had a c-section (she did) she decided to just split the name between them. because i would rather just roll my eyes at that than go the rest of the book getting angry every time either of their names were mentioned. because, seriously? my suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

one thing that i really liked about the book's end was that cath didn't stop being a simon snow fan. the story kind of goes through her process of growing up, and parts of it hint that to do that she needs to let go of this whole simon snow/fanfiction obsession. there were times i was worried that she would come to realize that it was childish and just move on, but she doesn't. i mean, she does realize that other things are important too and she learns some balance, but her, wren, her roommate, and her boyfriend all go to the midnight release of the book and i loved that.

overall, is this the best book ever written? no.
will reading it change your life? probably not.
did i love it anyway? absolutely.

*If You're Gone - Matchbox 20

Thursday, September 26, 2013

well i believe i'm just plain tired

can we talk about how my week has been going so far?

monday was spent as usual alternating between the readings for my online class and meetings with my mentees. all i really remember was trying to get in my response to my online class at night, being tired, and thinking about how i would have to wake up super early the next morning.

tuesday i woke up early, went to my weekly breakfast with my dad, went to my weekly pottery class with my mom, and then everything went south. i had a doctor's appointment at one:thirty. (backstory: a little over two weeks ago, my ankle/foot was a little sore. a day or so later i noticed a small bump on my ankle. a day or so after that my ankle was three times its normal size and there was redness covering most of the top of my foot. after a week and a bit of it not going back to normal, i called my doctor and made an appointment. the day or so leading up to the appointment, the swelling went down some and i could actually move my foot again. (it was probably just because it was too fat, but previously i could barely move my ankle half a centimeter in any direction.) i decided to go to the appointment anyway (mainly because my parents told me to) and now you are all caught up.) i don't even remember the last time i went to my doctor's office and they weren't running ridiculously behind schedule. i showed up at the office at one:ten and wasn't seen until two:fifty. the nurse asked me questions and did some tests (like telling me to stand up on my toes) to make me think that i wasn't just moved from waiting in the waiting room to waiting in the patient-seeing-room whatever it's called. when the doctor finally came in, she looked at my foot for like half a second before saying that it was obviously an infection and possibly/likely freaking lyme disease. she takes a million gallons of my blood for tests (or three vials, but it's practically the same thing) as i start to get worried. the nurse tried to reassure me by saying it's only serious if they don't catch it and treat it early (and i'm still not convinced two weeks in is early) and they put me on antibiotics just in case. (as my doctor said, i'll have to be on antibiotics anyway for whatever infection it is so may as well do the lyme disease one until i get the results back. according to her it's totally safe cause it's the same drug they give for acne and that makes no sense to me but i'm not the one that went to med school so i'll try and believe her.) so now i guess i have to wait to see if i was infected, and if the results come back negative i need to be retested in three weeks because sometimes it takes a while to show. and i really do not have time for lyme disease.

then yesterday i had an exam. i could not think of an example to support my idea for one question so i made up some really stupid thing, and then as i walked to the metro i thought of the best example ever but it was too late and that's still bugging me. then the train broke down one stop away from where i needed to get off, and we had to wait twenty minutes for a new train. then i missed the shuttle to take me to campus where my car was and had to wait twenty minutes for the next one. then i got stuck in crazy traffic on the way home. grr.

and then today i was grading papers which is not so bad, but i emailed the professor i work for some questions and he responded with "thanks Sarah Michelle free pass" and i have no idea what that means. i have no idea who michelle is. and so i just graded the papers without taking off for lateness which i'm assuming was what the "free pass" means since that was one of my questions.

but i just... i'm so over this week.

*Tired - Matchbox 20

Monday, September 23, 2013

in fact it's phony as hell

i think that a lot of the rules of good writing apply to good living too. you should live your life the way you write. or maybe it's that you should write the way you live your life. actually, whichever one you're doing right, do the other one that way too.

the number one rule of writing is to "show not tell," and i think that applies to the way you act as well. we all hate it (and if you don't then you should) when an author writes a character and tells us, "by the way, this character is really smart. really. trust me on this. like one time, he got straight a's in all of his classes and didn't even have to work for them. he's just really that smart." and then the character doesn't actually do anything to show us that he's smart. ever. but the author continually tells us that he is. if you wrote a character that acted smart, then we are smart enough to know that he is smart without you telling us. (too many smarts in that sentence. ugh.) if you feel that you need to tell us so often then you are going down one of two paths that are equally wrong. path one: you could think that the reader is not smart enough to make his or her own deduction on the smartness of the character based on what he does alone. or two: you are writing this character poorly and failing to show us that he is smart, so you need to let us know he is in whatever other way you can. both of these are paths that you should probably get off of. right now. forget about the map just turn to the side and walk. you'll eventually find yourself somewhere better. 

along the same lines, if you have to continually tell people something about yourself like, "i'm a nice guy," then you are doing something wrong. you are either belittling the other person's intelligence by refusing to believe that they are perceptive enough to pick up on the fact that you are a nice guy and/or unwilling to believe that they have the mental faculties required for them to make the decision on whether or not you are a nice guy (and by make the decision i obviously mean make the decision that you wanted them to make). (in plain english: you think they're too stupid to see how nice you are.) or you are doing something at the moment (or in a very long string of moments more likely) that make you seem like you are not a nice guy and so you feel the need to constantly remind people that you are, in fact, a nice guy and they shouldn't forget that fact just because you are currently acting like an asshole. in both cases, you are telling not showing. and in both cases i am inclined to think that you are not a very nice guy. you are probably coming off as either arrogant, proud, creepy, pedantic, or hypocritical and none of those are good things. 

so, in life as well as in writing, show. don't tell.

*Back 2 Good - Matchbox 20

Saturday, September 21, 2013

trying to decide

so i'm probably going to stick with this whole school thing. mostly because i was born with three times the normal amount of inertia - maybe more. but i can't help weighing the pros and cons of staying and going all the time. it's like some weird kind of masochistic addiction where i tease myself with the idea of freedom and release and then go to class. i think i've really developed my cases for and against post-grad school, though. i'm super analytical and deep.

[case for dropping out] i've thought about this, and dropping out would mean i would have time to do something meaningful. or important. or just really big. like, maybe watch the entire netflix collection. i'm talking about every single movie, show, and whatever else is on there. streamed and dvd. you know how you can get sponsors to do something crazy like climb mount everest and swim across a shark-filled ocean? when you think about it, neither of those things give any more to society than sitting on the couch watching tv, right? but they get media coverage and money and other stuff that is probably really cool. and i've been seeing tons of articles lately about binge tv watching (as if this is some new thing). this would be the ultimate binge. totally newsworthy. i bet there would be tons of companies willing to sponsor me. orville popcorn, nestle chocolate chips, peeps, any rootbeer company... really, the possibilities are endless. i could make history, you guys.

[case for not dropping out] there's this professor - not one that has been especially helpful to me or really even cares much (or at all) about what i'm doing - but he agreed a while ago that he would be on my committee and he reagreed yesterday morning. and this professor is just... there's really no way to describe him besides giggle giggle swoon. really. there is just something about this guy that makes people (i'm not the only one, i promise. there are others.) giggly and swoony and it's really not healthy. i can just imagine me trying to defend my dissertation and getting caught in a fit of giggles because this guy. i'm not even a giggly person. at all. i don't think a single crush of mine in my life made me giggly. and i grew up with two sisters. we went through a very long boy crazy phase and had a million and four crushes. never giggled. so this is big, guys.

as you can see, this is a very tough decision. movies or giggles? suffer though watching stuff that i know i will hate or embarrass myself during my dissertation defense. i just cannot decide.

(i know i just posted about school and dropping out/staying, but my brain. it's tired.)

*Sahara - Relient K

Thursday, September 19, 2013

i don't know anymore

so since i embarked on this torturous journey of confusion and politics called a post-graduate degree, i have encountered three groups of people. group a and group b are really big. group c is really small. (if i was being a stickler then group c would only have one person in it. i am throwing in a few others just to make myself feel better.)

[group a] this group is filled with the naysayers. these are the people that tell me that i am not good enough and that i should just drop out. they are the programmer worshippers and the forensics haters. these are the people who have been sucked so far down the black hole of academic bureaucracy that they take their petty arguments with each other out on the students. i do not generally like these people.

[group b] this group has all of the people who do not believe in degrees. they think that i am too good for the program and should be out in the field doing things. they tell me that i am depriving the industry of fresh minds and diversity and awesome people. they think that i should put academics on hold for a bit and do things that will change the world. after all, they tell me, books will wait but the world will not. i generally really like these people.

[group c] like i said, this is really a group of one person. he thinks that i am both good enough to get a phd AND work in the field and he will support me through both. he knows that i still have lots to learn, and is willing to help me fill in the holes of my knowledge. he wants me to continue along the academic path because he believes that i can do it and then go take the industry by storm. (the other three people want me to continue along this path too, but mostly because they need to be on a certain number of committees and i am no use to them unless i am a student.)

now, while group a and group b are vastly different in a lot of things, they do have one thing in common. they both think that i should drop out. at least for now. and i dunno. after finding an adviser this summer i kind of thought that it was a sign from god that i should ride this thing out. but so many people are telling me to drop out. i'm starting to wonder if it's time to start listening to them.

(i met up with a professor yesterday that was so completely in group b that he shook up all of my convictions that becoming a doctor is what i want to do.)

*Some Nights - Fun. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

this place is always such a mess

so yesterday was kind of a "hang on a minute, i think i'm being productive! oh wait... no, never mind. false alarm. actually, i am! i am being productive! at least a little bit. yay me!" kind of a day. if i am the only one that gets these kinds of days then please just play along and act like i am not a total weirdo. (sidenote: i have recently found myself saying a bunch of things that i never used to say [like weirdo and wonky] and i do not know where these words came from but they are now a huge part of my vocabulary.) as i mentioned before, grandmothers and sisters and nephews and basically everything else took precedence over cleaning my apartment and after a month of that, it is a huge mess. like, really, really bad. bad enough that if you were downstairs and really needed to use the bathroom so you called me to ask if you could use mine, i would pretend i wasn't home and watch from the window as you wet yourself. and because i suddenly find myself without the constant time spent at home (i miss it!) i have developed a method of slowly getting the house clean. i will basically do mini chores whenever i am home and have a few spare minutes. these include washing a few dishes, folding half a load of laundry, organizing one corner of the tower... small stuff. at this rate, i will have a clean apartment by the end of the semester. *sigh*

(reason number 4367864 to have kids: at least you have a good reason to have a messy apartment.)

so yesterday i had agreed to help one of my students with a homework assignment during our meeting. when the computer lab did not have the software that we needed, i felt super cool and helpful for like half a second because i had my laptop with everything already installed from when i took the class. unfortunately, i hadn't used my vmware for a while, and so i didn't know that it had expired. obviously my feeling of helpfulness was short-lived. i spent a while trying to get this alternative software to work (it didn't) while downloading a new version of vmware. when everything was finally set up, he started working on his assignment only to find that it was not working. i could not for the life of me figure out why. when he finally had to leave (after an hour and a half of me feeling stupid and wasting both of our time) i decided to take one last shot at making it work. and of course it did. perfectly. because that's just how things go for me. i texted him saying that it was working, but he had plans to meet up with a friend so that was the end of it.

during my office hours (or the hour and some that i had left after suffering with faulty software) i decided to catch up on all of the blogs that i am behind on due to everything i listed above that has affected my cleaning. i had hopes to fly through them all quickly, but goodness i missed a lot. when i am on here everyday it feels like no one ever updates. but you would be surprised by how many updates there are on every blog in a month. i got through a couple of blogs, but still have three posts from one blog and a few on another that i have to go through. (i don't like feeling like i missed something so no i cannot just start reading from where they are now thank you very much.)

anyway, i am taking a break to blog and do nothing right now and then it is back to mini chores, choosing a paper topic, trying to do the reading for today's class (i am not too hopeful about that) and then heading off to school for two meetings and class. ugh. i really want to have a netflix marathon.

*One Headlight - The Wallflowers

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

really, really bad idea

i have never talked about my birth control on here because a) it's really no one's business, b) i really don't think any of you care, and c) the few times it has come up in real life conversations i end up getting lectured forever about "how bad it is for my body" and how by taking it "i will never be able to have babies ever." but the company that makes my birth control made the stupidest decision ever recently, and i need to get out how much i hate them for it.

i used to take loestrin 24. when i went to refill my prescription a couple of weeks ago, the pharmacist kindly told me that the company stopped making loestrin 24 and i would need my doctor to call in and tell them that i could take minastrin 24 instead, which is what the company now makes. (quick sidenote: i think that CVS and my doctor could have maybe handled this before i ran out of pills. CVS people were very, "yeaaah so this happened and we decided to just not tell you about it when we said you could come pick up the meds so that we could tell you in person after making you drive over here for no reason so that maybe you'll buy a candy bar since you're already here." and my doctor's secretary was like, "*sigh* all of you people on loestrin are calling about this. i wish there was maybe a way that we could have made it easier on you and ourselves by calling the pharmacy and letting them know we were okay with the switch as soon as we found out about it. kind of like the way we called the pharmacy and told them to give you (and the rest of our patients) the summer's worth of pills at one time in case you traveled even though you didn't ask us to. of course, that would mean we were helpful when you needed it and not when our help was pretty pointless, but let the pharmacy fax us something and when your doctor is here she'll sign it.")

but back to the pharmacist. so she's telling me that the company switched to minastrin and it's pretty much the exact same as loestrin but with a new name and blah blah blah. "oh," she adds, "and now it's chewable." after seeing the look on my face (and i think i said ewwwww what?) she said, "yeah my sister hates it."

can i just ask who the idiot was that decided to make chewable birth control? like, the pills are super tiny anyway. it's not like they were hard to swallow at. all. and i am not a four year old child who can't swallow a pill. i'm kind of hoping that everyone on the pill is old enough to know how to swallow them.

anyway, i get the pill and ask the pharmacist if i have to chew them. she tells me that i really should. they'll be more effective or whatever cause they were made to be chewed. okay. so i take the first one, pop the tiny little thing in my mouth, and start chewing. "this isn't so bad," i say to my husband who i had spent the previous fifteen minutes complaining about chewable things to. "it's kind of sweet." and then, once the pill was fully crushed in my mouth, it hit. like a barrel of toxic waste assaulting my senses. it tasted worse than anything i have ever tasted ever in my entire life. i was going to be sick, i just knew it. so i started to dramatically gag and whine and stuff ritz crackers into my mouth to cover the taste. which lingered long after the pill was gone. it was horrible.

needless to say, i am now swallowing the stupid thing and strongly thinking of switching to a brand smart enough to know that making birth control chewable is just a really bad idea. (the guy behind this decision makes me think of the marketing team that decided mcdonald's new slogan should be "i'd tap that." how do these guys get jobs is what i'm wondering.)

*Bad Idea (Retarded) - Ben Folds Five

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

if i had my own world... there'd be no more... packed parking lots

yesterday morning i started writing a post about something semi-interesting (to me at least) that has nothing to do with what goes on in my everyday life because i like to shake it up sometimes. since i had already written a post about sadness (but mostly nothing) just an hour earlier, i had decided to save it for today. but then i went to campus, and the frustration that i suffered pushed semi-interesting thoughts to another day.

so, a bit of backstory. i used to drive to campus all the time. obviously. but then i got married and only had one class to take and buying a parking permit for hundreds of dollars so that my car (that i did not have at the time) could sit on a mason lot for three hours a week just did not make sense. especially since there was a shuttle that went from basically my backyard to campus every day. then i made a stupid decision and started the struggle that is the mason phd program. and while i was on campus more often, all of my classes were night classes and the shuttle starts running at three and i still did not have a car and parking permit prices were raised. so i continued to just take the shuttle, and when i needed to be on campus for a bit early in the day, i would use the meter parking (where it is usually very easy to find a spot). (side note: my husband and i were sharing his car at the time. he was also taking classes. so the car was usually free in the mornings.) 

but this semester i have to be on campus a lot. and most of the time it is before three. and paying for parking every day just did not make sense, so i went out and bought myself a parking permit. (my credit card was really sad that hundreds of dollars were spent on something besides books. it's still in mourning.)

but the thing about taking the shuttle for the past few years was that, while i knew that parking on campus was bad (i mean, it's not something that you easily forget), i guess i distanced myself from exactly how bad. yesterday, i found out just how awful it really is. (the university got a bunch more students, closed some of the lots, and "doesn't guarantee you a space with the purchase of a permit" which basically means that they sell way more permits than they have available parking spaces.) i sat in my car circling the lots forever. to put things into perspective for you, i went through the entire maroon 5 CD that i had playing in my car and still did not find a spot. 

and every time i would leave an area all the parked cars in it would just disappear and everyone behind me would miraculously find spaces immediately. so the next time i would stay in an area longer, knowing that the minute i left it the students would be out of class and come move their cars, but they never came. the second i left, there they all were. i should hire myself out as a spot finder for other people. maybe that way i could get back the money for this permit that makes me half an hour late to my office hours and annoyed to the point of wanting to punch every single person i see in the face. 

i obviously have a great semester of parking to look forward to. 

*Secret Crowds - Angels and Airwaves

Monday, September 9, 2013

my words like silent raindrops fell and echoed in the wells of silence

on saturday, my older sister and her family made their way back to the desert. yesterday, i brought my younger sister her guinea pigs. today, i woke up to a completely silent house. i thought i heard the guinea pigs squeaking until i reminded myself that they weren't there and just lay in bed, listening to the silence. it's just me and darcy again, but this time there's a loneliness hanging over us that wasn't here in the beginning of the summer. (darcy misses his animal friends and the human attention he was getting.) the apartment is still a total mess, but there are empty spots where the cages used to be. there's an empty corner in the tower where all of their things were kept. i know that if i pick up the toys this time, i won't find them thrown around my apartment an hour later. and instead of the relief that i thought at times i would feel, there is only sadness. i miss the commotion of the summer.

and while i could go into an endless ramble of everything i miss, i won't. instead, i'll say that mondays used to be my do nothing days, but suddenly i find them jam packed with things: an online class, office hours, student meetings. and add to that the fact that i forgot my phone at my parents' house last night and now have to drive all the way back there to get it. and also get groceries. and i just want to sit in my room and be sad. but there is no time for that.

i will have to find time this week to do a major apartment cleaning (which is harder than it sounds because i do not have a single free day and this cleaning will take all day) and, being an avid hater of the process of cleaning (though i love a clean house), that should be fun. and then i will fall into a rest-of-the-semester routine, and the summer will fade into memory faster than i would have thought possible. (i am hoping that the routine includes both book editing and blanket knitting, but i am feeling too blah at the moment to really force them into it.)

*The Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel

Saturday, September 7, 2013

okay, so i have really bad eyesight. like, bad enough that anything more than a couple of inches away from my face is blurry and the lenses of my glasses are really thick (which is understandable considering the fact that i have been wearing glasses since i was five and never listened to my eye doctor's recommendations to read less [he then told me that after twenty minutes of reading i should pause and look off into the distance (walls don't count, like he's talking windows with real views) for five minutes, but who wants to read like that and also i do not always have access to distances while reading.]). now, i think you're supposed to take contacts out after eight hours, but my eye doctor told me that, because of my horrendous vision, i should try not to keep mine in for more than five hours a day. of course, what with classes and various things that require me to be out of the house for a lot of the day, my contacts are usually in longer than that. (this is one of the reasons for my headaches. staring at screens also causes my headaches. because of my life choices, i usually cannot give up either of these things. so i will have headaches forever.)

today, though, takes the cake. i just took my contacts out after seventeen hours in them. and not only were they dry and giving me the kind of headache where every step causes my head to pound, but they were getting weirdly deformed. so that was fun. you know in cartoons when a character is dehydrated and their eyes shrivel up? yeah, it felt a little like that. there are times when i really hate contacts.

but today was super fun. (and weight-gain-inducing. i ate every single meal out in a restaurant today. what kind of a fatty does that?) i spent most of it with my sister and her family but then spent a couple of hours with my friends. (the friend that came on the same day as my sister is leaving the day after her and it is as if they planned it but they didn't.) (when my brain is tired it extra-likes run-on sentences. and apparently hyphenated words.) and i am tired. and i possibly have breakfast plans and even if i don't i have hungry animals in the house that want their breakfast at seven:thirty. also, my sister is leaving tomorrow. also number two, i have a bunch of things planned for tomorrow and i kind of feel like just sleeping forever instead. 

i lost the point of this post somewhere up there. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

what have i become, my sweetest friend?

it's been a long day (and week and month). keep that in mind if anything i write stops making sense.

so it took twenty five years and a few degrees, but my student integrity has finally died. (the little that i had, i mean.) yesterday morning, i became *deep breath* a spark noteser. i know, i know. it's awful.

back in high school, i would never have dreamed of using spark notes instead of doing the required reading. sure, most of the reading consisted mainly of novels and i love to read, but still. i was an avid read-aheader and even the idea of spark notes was slightly ridiculous to me. in undergrad, i either did the required reading or i didn't. (and once i finished the honors/gen ed classes i mainly didn't.) there was no middle ground cheating. in grad school, i just didn't do reading. i'm not sure if any was ever assigned (i'm guessing it probably was) but i just didn't do it. actually, i did read a few news articles and one chapter now that i think about it, but for the most part i didn't even buy a lot of the books. i know, i'm a great student. but when everything is on a powerpoint slide that the professor makes available to us, what's the point, you know?

but now that i am officially a "scholar" (that happened with the piece of paper saying i had earned my MS. boy, can i fool people.), now that i have finished all the classes i need, now that i am just taking extra credits, i have turned to spark notes instead of real books. it's sad really. i'd feel ashamed if i cared at all, but i just can't seem to muster the energy. i am so done with school. i have neither the time nor the motivation to read through three philosophy books in a week just because someone tells me to, and so, to the spark notesers i always secretly judged even while saying i didn't, i'm sorry. i'd like to join your club. i'll bring cookies.

*Hurt - Johnny Cash

Sunday, September 1, 2013

perhaps she'll die

so first week of school (i would say my last semester of classes, but i said that last time and look where it got me) is over, but it feels like i haven't started yet. last week was full of hanging out with my sister and nephews and friends and getting the house ready for my parents and family to come home to (today!) and really long phone calls to various family members and not having any computer or tv time, and school was just kind of thrown in there a couple of times as a break from socializing. with an entire semester ahead of me, i'm sure you'll all hear plenty about my classes, so i'm not going to go into that today. i will say that i have this underlying sense of panic and a part of that is that i have so many school related responsibilities that i did not get to this first week and now i'm wondering if i'll have time for them at all during this semester. another part of it is that my sister is leaving in a week and i have that sense that i have to spend every waking second with them or i'm wasting it because i probably won't see her or her family for at least a year after this. and my friends are leaving on the same day and i feel like i need to spend more time with them, too, but there is just no time. for anything. and that is panic inducing.

you know what a great thing to do when you're already feeling slightly on edge the whole time is? (i think it is important to point out that by great i really mean kind of stupid and you totally should not do it, but i did it anyway.) wake up in the middle of the night, start googling symptoms on your smart phone, and convince yourself that you have cancer. hodgkins lymphoma to be more precise.

while searching for what to do when a swollen lymph node is making it really hard to find a comfortable position to go back to sleep in after waking up to use the bathroom because it is causing your whole neck to ache (heat? ice?) i ended up reading people's stories on a health forum (because internet black holes are not limited to computers). anyway, one person mentioned that she'd had a swollen lymph node for a while, but since she wasn't having night sweats and a loss of appetite, her doctor had ruled out hodgkins. of course, my brain immediately went to I HAVE NIGHT SWEATS! I HAVE A LOSS OF APPETITE! (it forgot to remember that the night sweats are probably caused by the fact that our bedroom is rarely the same temperature as the rest of the apartment and we usually forget to turn down the AC before going to bed. i mean, i don't really think that cancer induced night sweats is the probable reason that two different people in the same bed are hot. it also forgot to remember that i have been both sick and fasting recently and both of those things tend to make my appetite a little wonky.)

but anyway. while my brain was busy forgetting, my fingers started looking up symptoms of hodgkins lymphoma and things just got worse. fatigue! oh no! i went into bed close to nine last night with the intention of reading but was too tired to do anything but look at instagram and play candy crush saga until it reached a respectable time to fall asleep. a swollen lymph node! oh no! that's my whole problem! (the fact that every single site said that the lump had to be painless to be cancer and that my whole issue was that it was painful and thereby obviously caused by some infection or other was irrelevant obviously.) there was no denying it. i had cancer.

just as i was about to wake up my husband and tell him the bad news, i realized that it wasn't even five in the morning yet and i should probably let him have a few more hours of peaceful sleep before burdening him with this kind of news. because that's just the kind of person that i am.

when i woke back up two hours later, i realized that i was probably just being stupid.

*There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly