Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I'm just too busy

This morning I was listening to the radio on my way to school. This is, as I am kind of ashamed to admit, pretty typical for me and sometimes the only was I get any sort of news in my day. (this is how I found out about 9/11)

Anyway, this morning the DJs were talking about some lady that one of his wife interacts with. I guess the DJ's wife needed this woman to help her out with something. According to them, it was a small task that wouldn't take long and involved packets. (This made me think it was either girl scout cookie time, or some kind of Sweet 'n Low debacle).

I guess the woman whose help was requested wrote the DJ's wife back and email that said she simply didn't have time because not only does she home school all 6 of her children, but she also volunteers at the old folks home and runs the boy scout pack for her son and chairs the popcorn sale committee for a couple of other packs. Also, she has to take care of her mother's failing health and feed the dogs and blah blah blah.

This kind of thing has recently become one of my pet peeves.

If the woman had too much on her plate, fine. Say that. But don't make yourself the martyr and show that you are just SOOOO much busier than everyone else around you.

People in my program do this too.

It drives me crazy when I'm working out a group project and someone in the group goes off about how busy and hard their life is that they absolutely will not compromise to be able to work with the group. They'll complain at length about how much homework and other commitments take up their time.

Know what I want to say to them? Something a little like this:

"Grow up. Look around. Every single other person in here has responsibilities too. Your time is no more important than anyone else's. You chose to sign up for everything you are committed to, so I don't want to hear that you can't meet because your dog at home needs to be fed and played with. Maybe you shouldn't have got a dog at 20 years old and thought that you could spend enough time with it. And if you compare the responsibilities you have to watch your dog to the responsibilities that the other guy in the group has for HIS CHILDREN one more time I might just go ballistic!"

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Oh what a day

Today is a glorious day for many reasons:

  1. I am no longer surrounded by a green haze of the cold that would not die. I feel alert, awake, uncongested and alive!
  2. The weather here is amazing. Today is the day that I want everyone in the whole world to take note of and realize that this, THIS, is why I love Colorado. Sunny, blue skies, 65 degrees, snow capped mountains in the distance, green, yellow and orange leaves brilliantly reflecting the light from the warm and penetrating sun.
  3. I had leftover spinach tortelinni and chicken sausage for dinner and Colorado has been cleared as an ecoli-free state! Wonderful because I don't think I could have gone much longer without a delicious spinach salad.
  4. I found out that one of my bff's (Kathy) made a blog to show off her beautiful little daughter Olivia.
  5. I actually felt excited about my work-out this afternoon when I was setting aside my gym clothes this morning. This is a first for me as I ABHOR exercising.
  6. After looking over my spreadsheet for this last month I realize that I STUCK TO MY BUDGET that I had imposed for the month of September. HOORAY FOR SELF CONTROL!
  7. I'm leaving Friday night to go home and visit my parents. My pregnant little sister and her husband and my brother his wife and kids are all going to. IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! I don't think we've all been together since last thanksgiving which is WAY too long.
  9. and I love the ear doctor!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cave Dweller

Remember that scene from When Harry Met Sally where Sally has just learned that her ex-boyfriend (Joe) has decided to get married to someone else?

She's wearing a long (pink?) housecoat, her hair resembles a nuclear mushroom cloud and her face is bright red from crying so hard.

She walks around her apartment with a box of tissues under her arm, and after using them crumples them up and throws them on the ground. She is just too sad to bend over and pick them up, or walk over to the garbage can.

That's how I am feeling this week.

However, my inability to throw used up tissues anywhere but the ground is derived from my cold, instead of sadness.

I hate being sick because I just sit around the house thinking of all the other stuff I have to get done. I can't even enjoy my time off.

Plus I don't shower and slowly become surrounded my towering piles of used tissue. The runny snot becomes a type of motar between the tissue-ball rocks and I find myself encased in a Kleenex-built sarcophagus.

Luckily, the ear doctor comes over to check up on me and deliver supplies which he carefully balances on a long pole. Then, he sticks the pole-balanced-cherry flavored ricola cough drops through the small food hole I intentionally created in my tissue tomb for this purpose. I wheeze my appreciation and he knows he is loved.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Still the same

Remember back to school night? It was the one night your parents had to go to school to talk to your teacher and find out how you were coming along in classes. It was the one night I was scared that my parents would come home and punish me for being in trouble or something.

In my family, the morning after back to school night was a breakfast filled with mystery. What secrets had my teacher told my mom? Was I in trouble? What did my teacher really think about me?

My mom would come to the table and we'd start to discuss what she learned.

Without fail this is how that conversion would go:

"Well, Katie, your teacher said you are doing very well in all your subjects. She said you are really doing well in math especially. She said you are making lots of friends and being a good student, but...

(and here is where the hesitation would set in)

...your teacher tells me that you talk too much in class. You socialize with friends when you should be doing your silent reading."

Then my mom would just shake her head. I mean, really, how would you as a parent handle that kind of news. I would be really happy that my kid was making friends. It would be really hard for me to tell them to knock it off, sit in the corner alone with a workbook and never talk to anybody.

This trend has stayed with me throughout my life. I just can't seem to keep my big mouth shut during lectures.

At BUY I took 4 classes from the same professor. By the end of my college career I had sat in front of him so long that he could sense when I was even thinking about leaning over to Brit to compliment her shoe choice that day. Everyone else in class could whisper up a storm, but as soon as my lips broke their hermetic seal Dr. Bowman would stop the class and embarrass me beyond belief.

Maybe its that I have a voice that is easily distinguishable, maybe its my flaming red hair, but I never seem to be able to get away with an indiscreet comment under my breath.

And it happened again in class today. Right in the middle of lecture, the teacher stopped, put his hand up and said, "class, remember my policy of being the only person in the class talking. If I notice conversions happening again I will use full names." This wouldn't be so bad but his beady eyes were boring a hole all the way through my eye sockets into the back of my skull.

I was immediately reduced to the little girl in class who has always been the overly social one. As I was walking across campus to meet ear doctor for lunch I realized that this has been happening to me my entire life and I laughed out loud.

The girl I was walking behind turned around and looked at me as if I was crazy. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Not quite Usher

Here is my confession.

I love setting people up. I always have and I probably always will.

The ear doctor just laughs at me and shakes his head whenever I turn to him, wide eyed and (not so discretely) yank my head to indicate someone's flirtation that he should note. His thinks it's silly.

I just get such a thrill out of helping people out. Maybe this is because I'm forever surrounded by engineer guys who I just think are amazing, but sometimes need a little help in the relationship dept.

Anyway, there are a few tried and true steps that I used when attempting to set people up.

Step #1 Finding the Match
Through my experience I've developed some basic guidelines for choosing my set-up targets.

First, background. Nothing is going to work if people can't understand each other's background. I'm not saying that they both have to be from the same hometown, but it does make small talk easier if they have at least been exposed to the other's kind of upbringing.

Second, interests. If I know a guy who particularly loves rock climbing and hiking I'm not going to try to set him up with a girl who gets freaked out by spiders and has no idea what a Nalgene bottle is. While I'm certainly not saying that these two types of people can get together, I've found that similar interests are an excellent jumping off place for the set up.

Third, education. This one is not so hard and fast, but in my experience the best set-ups have come from pairing two people together who have roughly the same educational achievements or aspirations. Different areas of study are often a plus, but there should be an almost equal degree level.

Step #2 Set the Scene
After the targets are chosen, I usually tend to spend one evening talking each party up independently. Causally mentioning to Banana-Replublic-lovin-Mike that Beth and I went shopping there last week. Telling mountain-woman-Lindsay that Chris wanted to go on a hike this weekend. That kind of thing.

Step #3 Deliver the Bait
This is the step wherein I invite both parties over to my house to watch the interaction. I choose my house because it is neutral territory. This way both parties can test the waters without any risk of rejection.

This interlude is critical to the success of the set up. Up through this point it is anybody's guess as to whether or not the sparks naturally take off.

Critical to this event is the interaction. Activities are planned with mingling in mind. I circle the room and make sure that the targets are forced to interact. Sometimes all people need is a little push in the right direction. However, if at any time either party gives the impression that they aren't interested all bets are off and the process returns to step 1.

Step #4 The Follow-up
This may be the most integral step of all. All of the hard work and energy expended in the set up can be undone by skipping this step. How many times have we all met someone, found them interesting and then, for whatever reason, don't ever see them again. This is because there wasn't someone there participating in the follow up.

I call each target separately to thank them for coming to my house and ask if they had a good time. Hopefully they have (you can never tell sometimes). Then, I somehow draw them into a conversation where I innocently mention that the other target looked very nice or did something thoughtful or funny or cool. You get the picture.

Step #5 Butt Out
After Step #4 you remove yourself from the picture entirely. What will be will be. You've helped lay the foundation and created opportunity. Now it is time to step back and let the magic unfold, if it will.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Best in Show

That last post has been up way too long, giving everyone the impression that I am very sad about my uncle.

I don't mean that to say that I'm not sad, because I really am, but I also have this sense of understanding and faith that everything will be so much better for him soon. Its only us, here, that have to be strong and deal with him not being with us anymore. I know I'll see him again and that knowledge helps me.

Well this weekend was pretty awesome. I woke up Saturday morning to a cool sunny perfect Colorado fall day and decided that it would, from that moment on, be dubbed, "the best day" (said in a loud, booming announcer sing-song voice).

The ear doctor and I headed up to Greeley for our free baked potato and potato day. This was awesome! In honor of a particularly abundant potato harvest in Weld county about 100 years ago the city of Greeley has been sponsoring a celebration of the most wonderful tuber. They had all kinds of "heritage" demonstrations...everything from butter churning to rope making. My favorite was the cooper demonstration because his handmade wooden buckets were SO beautiful (I totally wanted to buy one). The ear doctor's favorite was the "mountain man" who fully acted the part. We also talked to some square dancers who invited us out to the senior center for a free square dancing lesson (which I REALLY wanted to go to, but the ear doctor didn't think it sounded so fun). We watched some really pretty Mexican dancing with their flowing rainbow colored dresses and the ear doctor told me all about the importance of the dances to the Mexican people and reminisced about his time in Mexico City.

Then, we went over to see the dog show that was being held in the next park over. Best in Show is one of my very favorite movies, so I couldn't pass up the chance to see the genuine article and compare it to the dramatization. Holy cow, the movie is DEAD on! These people love their dogs will a fervor usually reserved for offspring. They wash the dogs, they talk to the dogs, they picked he dogs up so they don't have to walk through dirt. They circled their RVs all around a big open grassy area and set up wire mess kennels for their dogs to stay in while not at the show. It reminded me of what the pioneers' circled wagons must have looked like after a long and dusty day on the Oregon trail. Owners looked like their dogs. People wore shirts with artistic dog renderings. We missed the best in show contest because we were having a serious convo in my car, but we did get to see the winner. The dog that won was a Dandie Dinmont. I'd never heard of this type of dog before, but I don't really think it is that cute. What do you think?

The dog that won was gray, not tan and all around his mouth was yellowed drool hair. Plus, don't you think the way they groom its hair makes it look like its sporting a mullet? I do.

I thought that a Bernese should have won, since that is now my new favorite dog. See, isn't this one cuter?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Boyfriend litmus test

When I was younger I had a friend who said that her mom had given her a foolproof test for her future boyfriends. This test was supposed to measure if some guy she was dating was "up to snuff." I thought it was dumb even back then, but indulged her enough to listen to her way to measure a good man.

Her idea was this:

Ask some guy with whom you've been out a couple of times on a secret date. Don't tell him what the date will entail or what to expect in any way. Then, go and pick him up in your car and drive him out to a field somewhere and tell him that your big date is to pick weeds in this field. If he bent down and got right to work without complaining it was supposed to show that he was a hard worker. If he didn't it meant he was some kind of lazy, good-for-nothing loafer and it was time to kick him to the curb.

After hearing her postulate I just stared at her in disbelief for a moment. Aside from the several things that were wrong with the logic, I could not understand why anyone would ever want to date someone who thought an evening of pulling weeds sounded like something fun to do. That kind of person sounded like a psycho to me.

I don't really believe in giving your significant other tests in any way, and restrain myself from doing so on most occasions. I think giving someone a test means that you've concocted some kind of harebrained scheme in order to see how he performs (reference above inane story).

However, I can only call the ear doctor actions over the past 24 hours a full fledged passing of whatever "boyfriend" test the universe may ever hurl at me.

Two and a half years ago I was dating someone else. I was dating him the day that I found out my Aunt was dying. In hacking, gripping, sobs dredged up from the depths of my soul I called him, yearning for his love and support. I was at my house, alone, late at night and desperately needed him to be there.

He never came over.

He let me be alone the first night of my life that I really felt I needed someone.

It was the worst feeling in my life.

At 22 years old it was the only night that my face was raw and puckered from falling asleep in tears.

Yesterday I got the news that my Uncle (the husband of the same Aunt) only has 4-6 weeks left. I knew the news was coming. You don't watch someone battle a brain tumor for 12 years without expecting the inevitable outcome. So even though it isn't sudden, it is still tragic and heartrending for me. I could barely bring myself to even tell the ear doctor about it last night...as if actually saying the words out loud made the situation all that more real, more concrete, more definite.

His love and support has overwhelmed me today. I feel so lucky and blessed to have a man in my life who is good and understands my needs. The only time I have been able to see clearly though my seemingly perma-tear-rimmed eyes has been when he is around.

He calms me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You be the judge

Evidences I am a grown-up:

  1. I am only 20 short payments away from owning my car.
  2. Yesterday I realized that if I don't slow down and take an evening off soon I will completely loose my mind. I've never been able to realize that in time before.
  3. I got excited because last night my friends had the ear doctor and I over for dinner and they made us chicken with prosciutto and a avocado/orange salad with white balsamic dressing. v. grown up food.
  4. This morning I thought about making sure to fit "clean shower" into my list of things to do today, and it isn't even really dirty yet.
  5. I thought about buying a vacuum cleaner.
  6. I've started to track my finances in an excell spreadsheet.
  7. I have more married friends than single.
  8. I stress out about my 401k.
  9. When I was at the pet store last weekend the first thought that went through my mind wasn't, "look how cute those puppies are!" but "wow, that would be a lot of work."
  10. My little sister is having a baby.
Proof Otherwise:
  1. I bought said car with NO money down and have been paying a RIDICULOUSLY high monthly payment.
  2. Even thought I know I should slow down and take a break I think I'm going to ask the ear doctor to take me swing dancing tonight. Doesn't that sound like fun!?!?!
  3. Sometimes I still make an entire box of Kraft Mac&Cheese and eat it all straight out of the pot. Why dirty another dish?
  4. Even though I think about cleaning the house it still isn't a weekly ritual like it was at my mom's house.
  5. After the vacuum cleaner thought drifted through my mind it was immediately expelled by my decision to just sweep stuff under the rug a little bit longer.
  6. My financial spreadsheet consists of about 6 lines of expenses and one line for income. It's really kind of sad.
  7. I still succumb to my fun few roommate's invitations to stay up WAY too late laughing and participating in diet coke and m&m eating competitions.
  8. I stopped putting money into my 401k to go back to school. This is very dumb because these are the best years for me to be putting money in. Oh well.
  9. I still go to the pet store at the mall before I go to any other store. Even Banana Republic and Nordstrom.
  10. She's having the baby....I'm not.

The verdict?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Illicit Affair

I hope he'll never find out.

I feel dark and ashamed while still somewhat intrigued by your soft welcoming arms.

All through the festivities this weekend I felt your presence...ever so near. Just waiting for me to fall. To trip. To succumb.

I played the happy face of the girl in love. I played perfect girlfriend to a T. You should have seen their faces at his perfect BBQ birthday party. They bought the whole charade.

They'll never know that my affection is waning. My desire to be with him is cracking, flaking and falling apart.

Because of you.

Before I even saw you I knew that I would want you. Your absence hung in my heart like an avocado without a pit: dark, hidden and slightly green. Then, when my eyes fell upon you I knew. I was instantly transformed into someone who understood yearning. Suddenly I could no longer look at the covers of those bodice ripping romance novels and derisively laugh at their complete lack of reality. You made me want to rip my old, ratty sweatshirt off immediately and without reservation.


only you.

Lust courtesy of J. Crew.

Victory is mine

Good news.

I single-handedly arranged for the coffee hour that my school department offers for grad students to be held at a time most convenient for me to attend. This way I can ensure receiving 2 free doughnuts a week!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I don't even drink coffee!

Coffee hour this morning.....world domination soon to come!!!!

(insert crazed, maniacal laughter here)