Geography is Hilarious


Conversation on the drive home from a crawfish boil tonight:

Buddy: That car has a bumper sticker that says, “Got Booty?”

Me:  Haha.  Yes I do.  I’m sitting on it.

Buddy: Do you think they mean that kind of booty?  Or could they mean pirate booty?  (Presumably, he was referring to the pirate flag along side the slogan.)

Me:  Oh, I don’t have pirate booty.  But I do have ninja booty.

Buddy:  What’d you just say?

Me:  Ninja booty.

Buddy:  Heh heh.  You said Djibouti (pronounced Ja-booty).

Me:  Heh heh heh.

Buddy:  You know what the capital of Djibouti is?

Me:  DJIBOUTI!!!!

(Raucous laughter ensues)

Me: I so have to blog this.

Buddy:  You’ll never remember it.  It’s like the bit.

Me: (upon completion of blog)  Ha!  I remembered!  So there!  Neener, neener, boo boo, stick your head in doo doo (et al.)

I then had to apologize so I could watch a Terry Crews gym sketch and the Beyoncé Clown video.  I regret nothing.

Leave a comment

15PM000000112011 · 23:38

Demon Cold


I hate being sick.  It ruins everything.  It sucks my energy.  It clogs my creativity.  It fogs my brain.  And it only happens when I don’t have time to be sick.

I have papers to write, tests to study for, research to do.  But I just want to curl up with a cup of tea and a big blanket and my cat.

I can’t focus in class.  And I can’t miss class.  And I can’t just lay around when I have so much to do.

I really don’t have time for baking or parties or Call the Midwife, season 2.

I don’t have time to blog about not having time.

I need to do something

I need to.

Leave a comment

Filed under Misc Short Stories

Last Birthday


Today I turned 29. So I guess that’s it. My life is over. I’m an old woman and I must spend the rest of my days lying about my age, buying more and more expensive face cream, and counting the wrinkles around my eyes. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a bollocks way to live the next 50-70 years.

I’ll be honest, though, I’ve felt old for years. It started in the Army. My sore joints from running and push-ups coupled with the influx of younger soldiers made 23 and 24 to be pretty sage years. It was worse when I got out and started community college. It was disorienting being around people with whom I didn’t automatically share experiences. They hadn’t gone to BCT or AIT, had never deployed, and had barely been out of the state. And they were all so young. They were only a few years junior to me and yet I felt I had decades on them. When I transferred to CNU, the old-woman syndrome intensified. At least at community college, there were lots of non-traditional students who were older than me, had families and life experience, and could relate with me about all these “kids.” CNU felt like I’d been plunged in the kiddie pool again.

The big moment for me came when I recently realized that I have a decade on the freshmen. A decade. Now, I still look like I’m 12, so I’m accustomed to people expressing surprise at my actual age. A new expression that I wasn’t prepared for was shock verging on horror. Surprise is flattering, but how am I to respond to “Oh my God!”? Is it so bad that I’m finally at the end of my twenties? Have I failed somehow because I’m in college and not already living in my million dollar mansion on the beach? Is it too late for me to achieve all my dreams?

Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic. But think about it. The obsession with youth is ridiculous in this country. There is so much pressure to be young and beautiful, to succeed now before it’s too late. And under it all is a fear of getting old, which is a grammatical conundrum for me. Can you define old? Specifically? It isn’t a really definitive adjective, yet we talk about it as though it’s a destination that we arrive at when in fact our perception of what is “old” is constantly evolving. And we dread that imaginary destination because it is an indication that it’s all over. The big dreams, the feeling of limitless potential, the infinite possibilities, they all evaporate when we get old. Then we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives pining for lost youth and trying to recapture it through make-up, hair dye, surgical modifications, and flashy cars.

Well I call bull sh*t. I may have started college later, but I didn’t spend seven years sitting in a stasis chamber waiting for my turn to take English 101. I lived. I lived in Hawaii and Alabama, deployed to Iraq, got my heart obliterated, fell in love, got married, made friends that are closer to me than my siblings, drove from the east coast to the west coast and back, and made my own way in the world. Old my ass. I’m experienced. If I was writing a letter to my 18-year-old self, I’d tell her not to change a doggone thing. All the mistakes I regret were part of making me who I am, and I like who I am. I don’t sit in class envying all those “kids” for their youth. If anything, I pity anyone who thinks that their life ends at 29. That isn’t a way to look at life. It’s okay to feel old, especially on Monday mornings when the alarm goes off. But there’s no cause to start mourning birthdays. Celebrate every year you survive in this effed up world. And lord your experiences over the younger generations, like I do at every possible opportunity. I’m going to brag about my age for the rest of my life.

Leave a comment

15PM000000102011 · 22:37

Cell Phone Faux Pas


Last night, I was doing my writing and goofing around on the Facebook when I got a series of texts from my parents.

Here’s something important that you may not know about me: I always answer my phone.  I got my first cell phone in 2004 upon arrivial at my first duty station in Hawaii.  They made it abundantly clear that I needed to be reachable 24-7, for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which being that they needed 100% accountability in case of emergencies.  It was also good for formation changes, schedule changes, and informing me that I needed to be at work at 6am with my ID card and a full bladder.  There were even times when my phone was a conduit for letting me know that I was late for a gig I didn’t remember I was on.  When it didn’t work, like the time it decided that instead of making an audible noise when the alarm went off it was just going to flash and vibrate (causing me to miss a gig and end up 2 hours late for work, freaking out everyone because they couldn’t reach me and couldn’t find me since I wasn’t staying in the barracks that week…), I ended up in serious trouble.  A time before that, I left my phone at a friend’s house and the 1SG showed up at the barracks looking for me because my family couldn’t reach me (my Grandpa was in his last week).  You could say that I have paranoia issues about constant communication.

I’m a bit more lax about my phone now that I’m out, but I never put it on silent except when I’m in class.  If my phone goes off in class, I will always check it, even if I get a dirty look from the professor.  It could be Buddy with an emergency or it could be nothing.  I’d rather check than sit there wondering if he’s dead somewhere, though I’m sure if he was, they wouldn’t be trying to reach me via text.

When my phone goes off at the non-sociable hours (between 9 pm and 9 am), I immediately think that something bad has happened, especially when it is from one of my parents (they were the ones who taught me about the “sociable hours” when I was a phone-hogging preteen, after all).  So you might imagine how irritated I became when I saw that it was just pictures of the snow that had started falling where they live.  Now, it’s not like they woke me up.  I am quite a night owl, you know.  I’m sure they didn’t expect me to be up that late or answering my phone, either.

The problem I see here is that technology has scooted along so quickly that etiquette has not had time to be established.  The late text faux-pas is not an isolated or uncommon incident (my college friends do it as well, and I’ve been known to send a late text more than once).  Whenever I have sent a late text, it hasn’t occurred to me that a person might be asleep until after I pressed send.  My motivation has been purely that I need to communicate my thought now before I forget it.  It’s simple inconsideration, quickly forgiven.

There are lots of other thorny cell phone etiquette questions, though.  Is it okay to answer a text while talking to someone else?  What about texting during dinner?  Can I scroll through the Facebook during gaps in the conversation to come up with conversation topics?  Can I break out Sudoku at a party when I get bored?  Is it more or less inappropriate to break out a book?

Thorny subject, indeed.  I’m not mad at my parents for texting me so late.  I was slightly bemused by hearing from both of them, as it is normally my mom who is the most communicative.  And isn’t it always nice to see that someone is suffering through crappy weather when your weather is finally so beautiful?  Of course, if they insist on sending me snow pics, I’ll just have to start sending them pics of the beautiful flowers I planted and the perfect sunshine and blue skies, etc, until they realize that the only way to get away from crappy Midwest weather is to move away from the Midwest to some other region that has eccentric weather patterns.

Mom: Since I know you’re reading this, this is not a criticism of you or Dad.  It is merely an observation of a larger social problem, the discourse of which arose with your late communications.  Please don’t stop texting me.  I love hearing from you.

2 Comments

15AM000000122011 · 00:41

Busy Weekend


Friday we finished clearing out the flowerbeds out front.  We got a late start because it took an hour for me to get home from school (as soon as the weather gets nice, the roads get clogged).  The chicken wasn’t defrosted, so we had to go get dinner (total tragedy, I know).  After dinner, we went to pick up some garden stuff from Lowes (soil and things).  Amount of homework done: none.

I think I’m lactose intolerant.  My stomach won’t settle if I have a heavy cream/cheese sauce.  Dinner involved a large bowl of tortellini pasta with pancetta and peas drenched in Alfredo.  I did not get a lot of sleep that night.

Saturday was party day.  We did some cleaning, I did some baking, then I got dressed up just in time for one of our couple friends to show up with the cheesecake.  Then it was AWESOME Indian food for lunch and back to the house for the party proper.  We mostly just ended up watching the Penguins/Flyers game, but it was chill and people showed up throughout the day to munch on tapas.  We ended the night by watching Vampire’s Kiss, which is either the worst or the WORST vampire movie ever made.  Amount of homework done: none.

Sometime during the day, my throat started hurting.  By the time the house emptied out, it was definitely blooming into some serious yuck.  This morning, it was that gross phlegm coating in the throat.  Boo, sick.

Today, we went to get flowers to go around our front trees.  I was determined to do this.  At our last house, we made lots of plans for improvements, inside and out.  They never happened.  It was a rental and we knew we were moving in a couple years, so it wasn’t a big deal.  We plan on being in this house a while, so I don’t want to fall into the same trap.  Friday Buddy said we were going to get flowers on Sunday and, sick or no, that’s what we were going to do.  I wish we could have down the big flower beds, but we have to do a little more planning for that first.  They’ll just have to stay ugly and bare for another week.

I can live with that because I planted flowers today (clear out weeds, put down top soil, dig holes, put feeder soil in bottom, add flowers, pour feeder soil around sides and on top, put down mulch, soak in water) .  It was a pain clearing out the clover and grass around our sad little saplings.  Buddy did some serious shovel work (the root ball on one of the trees was not buried deep enough, ugh).  I am exhausted, Buddy’s exhausted, I crashed very hard after that.  Really hard.  I woke up part way through Superbad and roused myself enough to put meatballs in the oven for a late dinner.  I am still really tired and I didn’t do any homework this weekend.  I don’t feel especially bad about that, but I’m trying to feel bad about it.

So, I was a bit busy this weekend.  It was a pretty great couple of days in my book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ramblings

Exercise, Poison Ivy, and Slavery Rage


I hope you’re sitting for this.  I exercised today.  And I don’t mean my strenuous walk between all the way across campus in under ten minutes or all the way back to where my car was parked after school, though that was pretty good cardio.  No, I did moderately strenuous muscular exercises utilizing my arm, legs, and back (and other muscles that will probably make life a little hellish tomorrow for forgetting I used them) for about an hour.  I will be very sore tomorrow, but I’m going to do it again because we didn’t finish.

It’s funny how easy it is to forget that a workout can happen anywhere.  It isn’t confined to a gym or a studio or a yoga mat.  I weeded the flower bed and cleared out most of the old mulch, shoveling it into the wheelbarrow.  Buddy helped me with this operation because a good hunk of our tax refund is going into some serious yard work.  I wish we could fix the backyard, but that’s a project for Yard Crashers.  And the landscaper version of Superman.  Or maybe Poison Ivy, just to keep things interesting.

We also tried again with the salmon, with slightly better results.  We marinated the salmon in soy sauce and ginger, then baked it (400°F for 12 min).  Some fresh tomato and avocado went on top when it was done and we had steamed broccoli on the side.  It was pretty good.

In other news, my short story got third place for the school literary magazine.  So I just have two people to take out, er, congratulate.  The story was published here first, so if you haven’t read it yet, check out http://ithilen.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/modern-faerie-tale/.

Also, we’re reading a black feminist vampire book (Fledgling by Octavia Butler) in my vampire class and abolitionist literature in my lit survey class.  So if there is an outpouring of slavery rage, I’m sorry.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ramblings

A Day


I don’t know what to write today.  I’m tired, which isn’t unusual.  I had an epic nap, which involved a terrible dream (Buddy took me to some kind of fair thing, we were winning prizes by riding down a long, low-ceiling slide, then we had to drive to the next event and the semis in behind and in front of us lost control and we almost died,and then the prizes weren’t even that good and my car was scratched all down the side…).    I read the first four chapter’s of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.  Ugh.  I’m too tired to be this angry, so I’m just going to put it off until tomorrow.  Being angry in class is so much more rewarding.

We had salmon for dinner, which was a bit of an ordeal.  We haven’t ever cooked it before and so we followed the bag instructions, sort of.  It was tasty, though a little dry and bland.  Next time, we’re going to marinade it and bake it, see if that helps.

I also had that appointment that women don’t like to talk about, wherein I suffered a few compliments.  I shouldn’t brag because my genes might hear and kick in, but they were surprised that I don’t work out.  They were probably just trying to distract me with flattery, and it worked.

No, I don’t work out any more.  I hate running, I don’t like the gym, and I have very little self-discipline when it comes to doing things I don’t want to do.  What’s my secret?  I lean toward healthier foods, keep my proportions small, and I go to school on a campus that requires a vigorous 10-minute walk from my car to class every day.  And I have good genes, haven’t had children and spent my early twenties in the Army, ruining my joints with running and push-ups.

As I get older, my metabolism is going to slow and my body is going to settle into the shape it will want to remain at for the rest of my life.  My lazy health program is going to start failing me.  I guess I need to start walking again.  Le sigh.

This isn’t a cry for motivation or help or advice.  I’m just vamping, too tired to censor, obviously.

2 Comments

15AM000000122011 · 00:03

I Accomplished Nothing Today


That’s not true.  I finished the sixth season of Doctor Who, and I almost mostly didn’t cry.

Note on advertising practices:

Gillette has a new body razor for men.  The commercial goes on about how men are contoured, with mountains and ridges and shiz.  There’s lots of epic landscape and power chords so you know this razor is definitely designed specifically for men.

It looks exactly like my Venus razor.

1 Comment

Filed under Ramblings

Small Joys


Yesterday, we went to grill with friends, the first grill out of the season.  It was a little chilly, so we mostly hung out indoors.  The food was great, the people were great, and it was just a wonderful night.  It was the type of evening that you feel the next day, cuz all the laughing is quite an ab work out.  The Brian Wilson impersonation went on far longer than it should have, but we couldn’t stop laughing.  The plan to leave at 9 was obliterated when the Cranium game was set up.  We lost, but it’s all Thomas Edison’s fault (did he have to invent so many diverse things).  I got to see the end of Frozen and have the rest of it explained by an 8-year-old, so I think I get it.

My friend got a Mini and the four of us (her and her husband, me and mine) rode down to the grill out together.  That’s right, four of us in a British clown car driven by a German who has trouble remembering that she isn’t on the autobahn.  It was surprisingly comfy and ended up being the greatest source of joy for the evening.  On the drive back, Buddy found the button that worked the interior, ambient lights.  I’ve  never seen my friend quite so excited as when the lights turned from blue to purple and then to pink.  She lost her MIND.  It was the best part of the evening.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ramblings

Complex Solutions


              There are many things in this world that make me angry.  Bad drivers.  Stupid people.  Politicians (all of them).  The movie version of any book.  Bad drivers.  (Seriously?  The turn signal is right there.)  And simple solutions.  There’s a phrase that comes to mind about simple solutions and complex problems, how the former doesn’t play well with the latter.  However, that phrase implies that somewhere in the universe there are simple problems, which I have found just isn’t the case.

              Take, for instance, parking on campus.  There aren’t enough parking spots so we just need to add more parking.  Simple problem, simple solution, right?  But there’s the question of where the money for such a project comes from, getting permits, contracting the work, not to mention where to put the spots.  Or we could reallocate the parking based on the variety of parking passes and have all the commuters park at the furthest lots from campus so that I have a ten-minute walk on top of a twenty-minute drive.  It’s not a great solution as it can only stave off the congestion issues, but it is working, I suppose.

              But I’m not here to b*tch about parking.  There was another shooting at Ft. Hood and social media is alive with simple solutions.  They pop up every time something like this happens.  And by “this” I mean someone inexplicably deciding that the solution to all their problems involves hurting other people.  If more people had guns, they could clearly identify and take out a shooter without hurting any innocent bystanders, right?  No, we have to take guns away from everyone so that shootings logically can’t happen since we all know that people never break the law.  At least everyone can agree that the problem is definitely guns.  It certainly can’t have anything to do with the deteriorating mental health of an individual which is ignored or marginalized for complex reasons.  I cannot fathom shootings.  I suppose if I could, I would be able to come up with solutions, too.

              At the epicenter of this, it wasn’t a gun that snapped, killed three people, and injured sixteen others.  It was a human being, a soldier.  But that doesn’t matter so long as someone gets to push his agenda.  Did I mention that politicians make me angry?  Tragedies are opportunities to argue about legislation, change policies, and one-up the other guys.  Meanwhile, a community has been traumatized.  Again.  Try to understand this.  Post is supposed to be a safe place.  We aren’t supposed to need weapons on Post.  Weapons are for the range and deployment.  Bad guys shoot at soldiers and bad guys can’t get on Post.  That’s why there are gate guards checking IDs.  How do we feel safe ever again?  And some guy in a fancy suit tells me that he understands and he’s going to do something about this gun problem.

              There is no understanding if he thinks it’s a gun problem.  It is a cavalcade of problems that can’t be simplified into a 30-second commercial.  It’s about insufficient treatment for mental health issues.  And cutting funding so other people can keep their private jets.  And a backlog of paperwork so long it could take a year or more for benefits to kick in after twenty to thirty years of service, provided the paperwork hasn’t been lost.  And sky-rocketing suicide rates because people don’t want treatment following them around in their records.  When it’s his buddies or his spouse being put in danger because of budget cuts and politics, I’ll believe that he understands.

              So no, this isn’t about guns or gun control.  If you’re looking for simple solutions, invent a bullet-proof force field.  Adding guns won’t fix anything.  Taking them away, as if anyone could, won’t stop anything.  If a human being is bent on death and destruction, no amount of legislation will stop him.  Maybe we should all stop arguing about how to fix the symptoms and start figuring out how to help people before they become another tragedy.  It’s a complex problem.  It’s time to work on complex solutions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ramblings