Monday, September 29, 2014

she's leaving home, bye bye

so a couple of days ago we put an offer on a house and long story short, some counter-offering later, i think we just got our house? or, like... we're a step closer? under contract? something? i'm not very good with the whole knowing very much about the house buying process and related terms. part of me is just relieved that this whole stupid thing is almost over. ugh. too many things on my plate and i'll be glad to take one of them off. i have already told my husband, family, and anyone who will listen that i am never moving again ever. unless the move consists of moving back to saudi arabia. (i feel like, between family and the fact that men are supposed to do everything over there, the move will be easier. i'm trying not to think about the fact that, for almost every family i can think of over there, the wife kind of took over the whole moving process. i really don't think i'm cut out for this kind of real life junk. anyway, that's still years away.)

a huge part of me is getting nostalgic already. i'm going to miss my current home so freaking much. i love my tiny apartment right in the middle of everything. (just as much as i sometimes hated it. more, actually.) i love that there is simultaneously the perfect amount of space and never enough space, how the amount of junk i accumulate/make makes the apartment look cluttered no matter how many times i clean (which, granted, isn't very often). i love that i am literally a four minute drive to campus. that i can walk ten steps to cheese enchiladas and hot fudge sundaes and a movie theater. i love my tower and my windows and being on the third floor. i love looking out at treetops and not having to go up a flight of stairs to get from the living room to the bedroom. i love the fact that i can now make a perfect pancake and bake the best chocolate chip cookies in an oven that gave me so much trouble three years ago. three years. i woke up today and stared straight ahead at my wall and thought, how many more mornings will i wake up to this same wall? how many more times will i brush my teeth in this sink, pull an ice cream sandwich out of this freezer (yes, i eat ice cream sandwiches with breakfast. don't judge me. i'm pregnant. and also, calcium. and yum.)

i suppose that the happy will come sooner or later. i mean, i really do like the house. but whenever there is an option for a form of sadness, you can bet your life that that's where my head is going to take me. i remember when my older sister and her husband moved out of their apartment after like a year of marriage, i was heartbroken. this is a million times worse. so many life-changing events happened here. sigh. the younger of my two nephews drew a picture of me this past summer where i am "kinda happy" and i think that it's the greatest depiction of me ever.

but like, yay new house. or something. (i am such a downer oh my gosh. i would be a terrible book character. the worst ever to read. and that is how i judge my life so i should maybe probably start working on this happy thing.)

*She's Leaving Home - The Beatles

Saturday, September 27, 2014

do their best to change you, they still can't erase you

this poem is not about you.

i am waiting, waiting,
and you are gone.

but this poem is not about you.

you are falling asleep on the couch
again. the tangled blankets beside me
a shadowy body taking your place.

but this poem is not about you.

you are a cup with a hole
at the bottom. i am always trying
to fill you, and you are never full.

but this poem is not about you.

you are grasping hands
and reaching arms
and tongues just waiting to speak.

but this poem is not about you.

i am sending you messages
with capital letters and exclamation points,
and you are sending back silence.
and then more silence.

just remember, this poem was never about you.


tonight is a writing night. i guess. apparently.
this is not what i meant to write, but it is what i wrote.
maybe i will write another poem that is not about you.
i'm not sure when my thoughts started using line breaks.
i am not sure when i became so fragmented.
so sparse.

*Hand Me Down - Matchbox 20

i don't know

things i do not know

i don't know when shark week is, or
the best time to praise or fear
a shark, or what the point is
of shark week, really.

i don't know how to take a compliment
or say thank you or you're welcome
or tell someone that they are air.

i don't know why i am always living in the past.
perhaps i got lost there, and i am desperately
trying to find my way home
before the future catches up.

i don't know how to be steady.
my emotions are mountain ranges and canyons.
there is constantly a storm brewing out at sea.
i am up-ups and down-downs and never
anything in between.

i don't know where i end
and where you begin. or maybe
i don't know where you end and i begin.
i don't know if i am even here at all.

*When You Were Young - The Killers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

it seems my life is going to change

this is a happy post. this is also, for some strange reason, a really hard post for me to write. i don't think i do happy very well. in anything.

so instead of trying to "write good" i am going to let imagery and metaphors and storytelling skills sit on the sidelines, and just say it: 

i'm pregnant!

yup, me - who still can't figure out her own life - is going to be completely in control of another person's life. and i think it's going to be awesome (as well as completely and utterly terrifying). i've been around kids my entire life, and i don't want to brag or anything, but i'm pretty fantastic with them. 

now that i'm not trying to build up to anything because i ruined the end right at the beginning, here's the lowdown:

i found out i was pregnant on the fourth of july. (something about that always makes me roll my eyes at myself so hard.) 

i then went halfway across the world and had an exhausting summer. aside from being extra tired and moody, though, i was pretty lucky with the pregnancy symptoms. guess who managed to get away with no morning sickness in exchange for some vague queasiness during the day? fifteen weeks and three days into this pregnancy and i have thrown up a grand total of zero times. 

i dunno if i'm just really stupid or what, but i've found the whole baby growing process fascinating and surprising. i took biology, i swear, but i guess i just never thought that when they said the baby at this point was like a tiny person i really got that. like, it has finger prints and taste buds and all of its limbs and organs and eye color and it's only four inches tall. i find that to be so amazing. it's been so cool reading about the new developments that are made every week. 

we call it Cricket because i think it is a cute unisex nickname and was also the name of the character in the book i was reading at the time and i am still very sad about the fact that i can't name my kid after my favorite characters so this was the next best thing. my dad hates the nickname, though, thinks it's awful that i'm calling my future kid a bug, and lectured me on it enough times that i stopped using it around him. my nephew doesn't understand why we would look for a "real" name at all and thinks cricket is a perfectly perfect name. 

i've heard the heartbeat twice (and cried like a hormonal idiot the first time) and had one ultrasound so far. it was pretty cool (read: totally awesome). 

i feel like there are so many other more important things that i should say about this, but i'm drawing a blank. my words and happiness, man, they have never gotten along. so yeah. that's my news. share in my happiness. 

*With Arms Wide Open - Creed

Monday, September 22, 2014

it just takes some time, little girl, you're in the middle of the ride, everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alrightl

if you remember, twenty-six was going to be the year of deep breaths for me. and it has been. but apparently, for me to take a deep breath, i need to have some sort of breakdown first. i think it increases my lung capacity. or something. i let myself fall just long enough into the fear-panic-self-loathing spiral that i really believe i have done it this time, gone too far down once again. just when the idea that it will no doubt take years to crawl back out of this starts to turn into truth, i inhale real deep, fill my lungs like balloons, and float slowly back up to solid ground. well, as solid as the ground ever is. it may not be the funnest cycle, or the most productive, but it's apparently what i do. should you want to try it yourself, here's how to go about it:

monday: after letting the pot of stress you have become slowly come to a boil for weeks, finally allow yourself to believe that it will boil over. that you will explode. that it is all too much and you cannot handle it. try and do something simple (like write a blog post) repeatedly. fail every time. write a stress-fueled mental breakdown of a post instead. cry. eat lots of junk food.

tuesday: wake up before the sun and resign yourself to the fact that that dull headache is there to stay. go out to breakfast with your dad. go to a pottery class with your mom. snarkily resent all the new students in the class and bemoan the loss of your old pottery family. grade papers for school. watch game shows on tv. pretend nothing is wrong. take phone calls and don't believe your lies about nothing being wrong. have a stressful breakdown to your parents at their dining room table. cry some more. eat lots of junk food.

wednesday: throw a bag full of clothes into the back seat of your car, pick your dad up, and run away to connecticut. stay there through the weekend. spend your time attending a conference and watching cold case and law and order. let your grandma go on and on about how awesomely amazing and smart and pretty and perfect you are. don't argue with her. don't answer your phone. don't check your email. allow yourself to take a deep breath and watch as things settle down around you.

sunday: come home. stumble a bit when you hit the solid ground. start to feel the panic rise again.

monday: take another deep breath, and start getting stuff done.

and here we are. monday again. so the apartment may be a mess, there may be a pile of unfolded clothes sitting in the hallway, the banks may be ignoring my emails, i may not be prepared for future assignments in two out of the three classes i TA for, we may have yet to buy a new house, and i was supposed to shower this morning. BUT we can easily afford two out of the four houses we're debating between without talking to the bank, one without having to ask them for a bigger loan but rather just putting down a little more to start with, and i mean three out of four is not bad. so we don't get the dream house? there's plenty of time for dreams and going after them later. settling for "would have been perfect if i hadn't seen the other one" isn't really settling at all. my husband will be on vacation in a couple of weeks and the apartment will be sparkling by the end of it, i am one hundred percent caught up on grading assignments and ready for the next couple of batches coming in this week. i live in a place where there is clean, hot water to shower with 24/7.

deep breath. start getting stuff done.

*The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

Monday, September 15, 2014

it sucks to grow up

so i've been trying to write a post for a few days now. a happy post. a look at my good news post. a post that should not be giving me so much trouble god dammit. but instead, all of the stress from everything else keeps seeping in and my good news sounds like overwhelming news. my happy sounds like i am three seconds away from pulling my hair out and jumping off the edge but i think i may punch you in the face first because aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh.

you guys, why is being an adult so effing hard? mortgages. like, why am i even dealing with this stuff? i was not built for it. i was built for fictional worlds and imagination. this is much too real for me. never ending phone calls from real estate agents and banks and mortgage companies and sales associates and i hate the phone. i will avoid phone calls for as long as humanly possible. i have to work up to them for days and practice what i'm going to say and take three deep breaths before i hit the call button and start praying that it goes to the machine the second that first ring starts. and that's when i call my grandmother. it's even worse with strangers. i really hate talking on the phone. and i do it now. all. the. time. and why are banks so annoying? and how can there be income that doesn't count as income when the money is all very real i assure you. and why are some sources of income more reliable than other sources? if the money is regularly being deposited into my account then why the eff do you care where it's coming from? like, i really swear i am not trying to steal your money, banker. i really will pay you back. i promise. just give me the effing loan. and houses. gah. why are there so many of them, and why are so many sucky? and why are the pretty ones the ones i can't have? and school oh my god. any forward movement that was started at the beginning of this semester has come to a screeching halt because i cannot even think about school right now beyond my office hours (and the first batch of assignments are due tonight. does it look like i have the time or energy to start grading papers? does it?) and i need to think about school because if i do not have solid proof of forward movement then the chances of me getting an extension on my scholarship (which ends this semester ohmygodohmygodohmygod) drop to pretty much zero. and mortgages, man. when did i become the type of person to worry about mortgages? and so much stress eating. i think i just paid the little debbie ceo's yearly bonus on my own. so of course i now feel fat and gross and filled with marshmallow cream as well as stressed and lost and like i should not be dealing with all of this i am the wrong person for the job.

AND my trip to harry potter world was effing cancelled because apparently things just need to suck for me right now with no light at the end of the tunnel and no silver lining.


see, this is why i never wanted to grow up.

*Still Fighting It - Ben Folds

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

the things we lost in the fire fire fire

so i read we were liars last night (because i have awesomely amazing friends that surprise me with books i want to read in the mail because they are awesomely amazing). i'm not going to talk about the story because if any of you want to read it, you should go into it completely blind. (i will say though that i predicted the ending super early in the book but still found it really enjoyable. so. also i wrote a review of it on goodreads and if you read it (the book) then i want to talk to you about it. because book talk.)

but anyway, the book is written in this lyrical slash poetic prose (and don't you hate reviews that say that? don't you hate even more books that are written in verse or try to be "lyrical?" so much pretentiousness. this one grew on me, though.) and i started reading it last night after a pretty crappy day ending. i had that dull headache that you get after crying too much and my eyes were burning and still not sure if they were done crying and would randomly tear up again when i least expected them to. i was only going to read the first chapter or two (or ten when i saw how short they were) but i ended up just reading through to the end. because of the story and the writing style and my headache and my thoughts that i didn't want to think and the quiet that settles on the world sometime after one:thirty in the morning and the bright light of my bedroom compared to the dark of the rest of the apartment and my husband sleeping next to me (i asked if the light was bothering him, okay? i'm not entirely selfish) and the way that every position gets uncomfortable when you read in bed for so long and the random lines in the book that would jump out at me and crawl into the folds of my brain to stay there forever, there was something surreal about the whole thing.

now, usually, when i read a book that i like, especially one like we were liars, the first thing i do when i finish it is turn it right back over and start reading it from the beginning again. when you read a book for the first time, you are reading to know what happens. and sometimes you miss things. little lines or glances between characters or small references that your brain just skips right over to get to the big ending. so i read it again. and i read it slower. and i enjoy picking up on all the little things that i missed the first time. last night, though, i closed the book, thought about it for a minute, played candy crush, checked instagram, and went to sleep. and now i can't decide whether i want to reread it or not.

i mean, i really liked this book. (the good thing about being busy this summer was that i missed all the hype for it and got to go into it without expectations or spoilers.) but i don't know if i liked it so much because the surrealness added something to the chaos of the book or because the book really was just that amazing despite the predictability and if it would fall short on a reread. i don't know if i want to risk how much i like the book just to get the small things that i missed. (these are the problems in life that i don't mind having, that i wish all problems were like.)

what i do know is that i have missed books. more than i realized.

*Things We Lost in the Fire - Bastille
sometimes a secret bubbles up inside of you, natural and beautiful, like a spring in the middle of a shaded wood, and it's so small and so clear and so perfect that you need to keep it. just for now. just to start with. it needs to be protected and there is no one else around to do it so you take up the task. and you hold that secret close like a heartbeat, like a butterfly, like the first ten cents that you ever got your hands on and you didn't quite know what it was or what it meant but you knew that it was somehow tied up with power and freedom and it was a little piece of the thing that everyone else in the world was chasing after. and maybe your legs were too short and your lungs were too small to join the race just yet, but you held your fist tight around the small piece of the future that you knew you'd go after one day and you felt connected to everyone else. and you're sitting in the forest with the small spring that grew into a creek that grew into a stream that grew into a river and it is still clear and it is still perfect but you're starting to worry that it doesn't need your protection anymore, and you start to think about other people wading through your river with their dirty feet and their grimy hands and you can't breathe because the weight of sharing this perfect place is sitting heavy on your chest and the thought of people ruining what you have protected for so long is crushing your lungs. so you build a bridge to divert people away from your river. let them go over instead of through. but you think about them stomping over the clear water and kicking down bits of dirt and throwing rocks over the edge and you're seeing red in a place that used to be green. you are yelling at the people that are trying to cross and scaring away the ones that even get close. the people you used to feel connected to now just look like the enemy. with the purest of intentions you have become the troll under the bridge.


sometimes the smallest hint of an idea comes into my mind and instead of letting it stew and marinate, instead of waiting until it forms itself into something that makes sense, i write it down. and the next thing and the next and the next and in an almost panicked state i am putting down mixed metaphors and half-baked ideas and imagery just this side of good. and then i read over it and it sounds like a hurried jumble and instead of editing it or carving it for pieces i decide to leave it alone and post it. because why not. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

this is one time that you can't fake it hard enough

i don't understand how people adult. like, how do you wake up every morning and go to work and pay your bills and buy a house? how do you not eat a bag of chocolate chips and stay up too late looking at gifs of tv shows you don't even watch? how do you stop not doing the things you are supposed to do? i feel like maybe i should have figured this stuff out by now. there are only so many times that you can fake your way through things, and i think maybe my abilities will start to wear off pretty soon.

but until it does, let's talk about house hunting. because oh my god it is the worst. i liked all of the houses that i lived in while i was growing up, so i really just want to hand my parents my money and have them buy a house for me. i don't do well with decisions or too many options and i just really want this whole thing to be over already. 

yesterday we looked at houses. most of them were in various stages of suckiness. i mean, they weren't bad but they weren't not bad either. there was this one house that i was in love with online. i was ready to buy it before i even saw it. and then i saw it. and i still don't think i am over the disappointment. and not "being committed" to a real estate agent yet means that i had seven hundred of them wanting me to commit to them and then some of them called this morning and i have no idea which one is which because i am really bad at faces. and names. and people. 

that's another thing about house hunting. there's people involved. people use up so much of my energy. and there's shopping. and shopping uses up the rest of my energy. this was what the internet was made for. get with the program, real estate. i should be able to search for houses online (which admittedly i can) and then add the ones i like to my cart, eventually narrow it down to one, type in my billing information, and have myself a new house. (the disappointment of my dream house yesterday has already pointed out how bad of a plan that is. i know. just.... ugh.) 

i love looking at houses when there is no pressure to make a decision that will affect the next five to seven years of my life. and who decided that money should even be a thing? because budget limitations suck. 

and because i am me and this whole thing is too much adult for me to handle, i am planning to run off to harry potter world in florida early next month for a good dose of fiction. i'm trying to use it as motivation for house shopping. like, c'mon if you make a decision on a house you can go to florida! but i am too smart to trick myself and i know that i will go regardless and think that maybe i can figure out a way to just live in the wizarding world for the rest of my life. who needs a house when you can have a castle?

*The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most - Dashboard Confessionals

Monday, September 1, 2014

not really sure how to feel about it

so i had a meeting on friday with my old stat professor, as you all know. i was a little worried about the fact that i've forgotten most of the statistics i learned over the years, and if forced to talk stat talk i would probably just start panic yelling random words like standard deviation, bell curve, and outliers. i was also worried about the fact that, although i know i'm going to need some stat stuff for my dissertation because my question is "how effective" and my adviser told me so, i'm not exactly sure what i'll be testing or how i'll be measuring stuff yet. but, as it turns out, i could have walked into that meeting completely unprepared (which i did. okay okay i was more in the basically unprepared camp than the completely one.) and still walked out of it with a very enthusiastic and excited new committee member (which i also did).

along with my email asking the professor for a meeting and telling her that i took a class with her a million years ago so she should love me, i sent a brief abstract and outline of what i think my dissertation is going to look like so far. (people are really impressed by this document because they think it means i know what i'm doing. in reality, it's literally the only thing i have done so far and i still basically have no idea what i'm doing. the outline is really good, though. whenever i read it i even fool myself into thinking that i have things under control.) anyway, the lady read my idea and where i'm hoping to take it and got so excited about it that she went and talked to my adviser about joining my committee and what she can help with and where she thinks we could go and how thrilled she is before we even saw if we were "a good fit" in person. like, guys, she is really excited about this idea. which was such a foreign feeling to me. i mean, my adviser likes my idea, sure, but he helped to develop it so he should. most other people either don't like it or don't care or want to tweak it into something that fits their interests better. (i'm pretty sure that my other committee member still has no idea what my idea is. i'm pretty sure he doesn't care in the least bit.)

one of the main issues i had with finding a committee is that i don't want to just build a system. i'm not interested in that. i've always been more into analysis and investigations and storytelling. and most of the people who are eligible to sit on a committee believe that, to get a PhD in IT, you should build a system. this lady, though? she was so excited that she would finally get to help on a project with data analysis, because that is her passion. she likes security, too, which is basically my background so we hit it off there as well. and she really liked my adviser and is friends with my other committee member. it really seems like everything worked out exactly the way it was supposed to. it was just an overall good meeting, and i left it really excited. (as i tend to get when people are enthusiastic about my idea and encouraging and not the negative, rude, you-should-probably-drop-out kind of people that a lot of my other meetings were with.)

but because i am a brat, it did not take long for the excitement to turn into "ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod now i actually have to do work and i'm going to be held accountable for things and the things i've been putting off but telling people i've been doing need to be done by the end of the month and i should pribably stop procrastinating and aaahhhhhhhhh." so on the one hand, this phd thing looks like it's actually happening. the wheels are spinning, the cogs are turning, we're brushing off cobwebs and finally making some forward progress. yay! and on the other hand, uggghhhh woooorrrk. 

(disclaimer: i know i sound obnoxious about this. i know this is a good thing. i will be happy about it at some point, hopefully pretty soon. at the moment, though, i'm just a tad bit super overwhelmed.)

*Stay - Rihanna