Wednesday, June 30, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 7)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. We’re gonna jump into the Wayback Machine and travel to Saturday, September 9, 2006...


Well, today was quite the day.  Even though I'd gone to bed incredibly late, I woke up pretty early this morning.  I sensed that it was far too early.  I'd set the alarm to be sure that I'd be up in time to get some much-needed cleaning done.  When I glanced at the alarm clock to check the time, I realized the power was out.  Oh, that's just great!  I looked at the cell phone and saw that it was 9 a.m.  Yep; far too early.  I rolled over to go back to bed.  I woke up about an hour later.  I just couldn't sleep even though I was still a little tired.  I was worried that I'd sleep too long and not get my cleaning done.  I got out of bed at around ten.  The power was still out.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, this is soooooooo not good!

Worse case scenarios started screaming through my head at warp speed:  How long until I get power back?!  What if I don't get it back in time to shower and to get ready to go out with MusicMan tonight?!  Do not tell me I'm going to end up having to cancel a date because I won't be able to do something as simple as bathe!!  I started thinking about how I'd just have to shower in the dark.  Then, I wondered how no power would affect hot water.  Oh god! What if there was no hot water?!  My brain started working in overdrive.  I started thinking about how much water I'd have to boil to take a bath.  I was cursing myself for having not cleaned the bathroom earlier this week.  There's no way I can boil water to take a bath without first boiling water to clean the tub!!  Oh, this is all just so great!  Yeah, I was seriously freaking out.  I thought my head would explode!

(Editorial Note: MusicMan just pointed out to me that I wouldn't have even been able to boil water, because I had an electric stove! Also, hot water heaters typically are gas, so I would've had hot water anyway despite the power loss.)

I decided to get out of bed.  As I sat down to have breakfast, I turned on the TV to catch up on some of my Tivo shows.  Oh, duh, no power.  Right.  So, I grabbed a book and read while eating breakfast.  Deciding that I was still tired, and that there wasn't much I could do with no power, I grabbed my mp3 player and headed back to bed.  I thought I'd listen to some tunes, hopefully lull myself back to sleep, and hopefully wake up a couple hours later (with the help of the cell phone alarm of course) to power.  Just as I was starting to doze off, I heard a really loud noise outside my open bedroom window.  Was it what I hoped it was?!

I jumped out of bed to take a peek, and sure enough, there was the electric company working on restoring the power.  A short while later, the ceiling fan above my bed whirred to life again.  YAAAAY!  Even though I was still tired, I decided I just had to get out of bed to get the cleaning done. I was quite the happy girl when, two hours later, my floors were vacuumed, the bathroom was sparkling, and my bed had clean sheets on it.  Yay, me!

Have I told you before that I sing and dance while I clean?  Yeah, it's my dirty little secret.  I make sure the mp3 player is loaded with a good, eclectic mix of tunes and I sing and dance my heart out while I clean. When I say dancing, know that I have no rhythm, so dancing really means flailing about to my own rhythm.  In fact, if you pictured a gangly but chubby muppet flailing about, it would probably be pretty close to what I’m calling dancing.

I'm sure it looks absolutely ridiculous; but I don't know for sure because I've never had the courage to try it in front of a mirror.  I fear doing that would effectively end my dancing days, so I'll probably never try it.  Anyway, the ridiculous singing and dancing makes the cleaning go by really quickly and also makes it so much more fun.  Of course I'd be absolutely mortified for anyone to actually ever witness this.  I realized after finishing up today that I'd had the patio door and my bedroom window open, which means there is a rare chance that someone at least heard me signing.  I'm sorry for them; I really am, but not enough to stop this silly routine of mine.

I took a shower in my sparkling clean shower and blow dried my hair.  Then, realizing that I was exhausted, I settled onto the couch to take a nap.  MusicMan called at around 5.  We chatted about our weekends a bit and then decided I’d head over to his place when I was finished getting ready for the day (hair, makeup, etc).

I arrived at around 7.  Since he'd had a long day at his family thing, and I'd had a long past couple days of running around, we decided to just stay in.  So, we hung out at his place watching TV, cuddling, talking, and flirting.  Music Man introduced me to Northern Exposure, which I really enjoyed.  After we got Northern-Exposured-out we ended up finding that "our show," Next, was playing a marathon on MTV, so we watched a bunch of episodes.

We got more and more horrified the more we watched.  It truly is a horrendous show! Music Man mentioned once again that it had been a horrible comparison for him to make in that one email.  I said that it gave us our own inside joke, and Music Man pointed out that we have several others as well, which he listed.  Turns out we have at least three really fun inside jokes; however, the “Next joke” is by far the one we use most often.  It works nicely and is fun.

For example, I said once that "Ice, Ice Baby" was one of my favorite songs of all time.  Music Man looked at me horrified, and said, "NEXT!" which indicated that he didn't particularly agree with the love I have for that song.  In all honesty, I don't love the song.  I like it fine, but it's not one of my faves.  So, yeah, we use it a lot and it's a light-hearted way of basically saying, "I hope you're joking."

I wish I could remember exactly how this conversation happened, but I can't.  Music Man said something about me not having to worry about being "nexted" anytime soon and then said that he knew he was the only one that still had to worry about that.  I told him he wasn't going to be “nexted” anytime soon either.  He made me pinky-swear on it, which I thought was too cute.  So, yeah, it would seem that we're going to keep seeing each other for a while with no planned end in sight.  I think it's really cool how the whole conversation played out, and it made me feel really good.

Eventually, we realized that it was 2:30 a.m.  WHAT?!?!?  How'd that happen?!?!?  There’s that time warp again. It always happens when we’re together. It feels like a couple hours have passed, but really it's been double or triple that amount of time.  Crazy!  So, I got ready to leave.  We were standing at the door saying our goodbyes.  Surprisingly, this time it didn't seem too awkward, which was a relief.  We ended up kissing; quite a bit, actually.  And, all I'll tell you is that it was good and I enjoyed it.  A lot.

So, that's all there is to tell, really.  I left there exhausted, but my brain was just buzzing.  I really really like this guy.  (Have I said that?) I really like the way things are progressing.  I feel wonderful about the conversation we had.  In a roundabout way, that was him saying he likes me and he wants us to continue to see each other.  That's awesome!!!  I'm so happy!

I can't wait for everyone else to meet him.  I want everyone else to like him just as much as I do!  It's too early though.  I know that I'll know when it's time to start introducing him to people.  I'm super excited for that.  Well, except the fam; that's going to have to be done in pieces.  I'm not just going to throw him to "the crazies" and leave him to fend for himself.

If I'm being honest, I also have to tell you that I'm scared.  I can't really explain it at the moment, because I really just don't want to focus on it.  I think it's just the differentness of it.  He's like no one I've ever met before.  This whole experience is nothing I've ever experienced before.  I'll say this though: I really like him, and I'm really hoping that things continue to go well.  The scared part, I think, is natural.  I'll get past it.  I know I will.  Baby steps.

Music Man called tonight and we chatted for a bit.  I felt horrible revealing that I'd had a very lazy day.  You know what his response was?  "Well, after how busy you've been lately, you totally deserved it!"  I'm not kidding.  That's what he said.  Oh, he's a keeper!  He filled me in on his shopping trip with his mom.  He told me he was forced to reveal the “secret” of us dating and apologized for having to do so.  I told him there was no reason to apologize and that he was bound to have to explain it sometime.

He didn't reveal many details about the conversation, and I didn't press.  Mom knows about me now, and that's the important information I needed to know.  He's really close to his mom, which I think is extremely cool.  I worry about that though, because it means that it will be important for mom to really like me when (if?) she meets me.  I'm not too worried about it, because I have a pretty good history with moms liking me. Of course, in typical Elle fashion, I'll worry anyway.

We already have plans for this Saturday.  There's a band playing that Music Man wants to go see.  He told me I could join him if I'd like, and I told him that I definitely would.  So, that will be something to look forward to as this long week drags on.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

P for Progress

Well, lovely reader, I survived the Sociology midterm. Now, I eagerly await the results. I’m really hoping I earned an A, though I doubt it, so I’m hoping for a B at the very least. I studied hard and really thought I knew my shit, but as soon as I started writing my exam answers, I blanked out on some very important stuff.

You’ll probably remember that Sociology exams are blue book exams. This was my first experience with blue book style exams, and I’ve gotta say I’m not a fan. Not at all. First of all, they take a really long time to complete. Secondly, there’s no way to gauge how well you might have done. At least when you take a “normal” exam with multiple choice, true/false, and short answer type questions, you can kind of gauge how well you did based on how many answers you know you got wrong and how many you think you could possibly have gotten wrong.

All of that to say I have absolutely no clue how well I did on this exam, because I have no clue how the instructor is going to grade it! I hate having absolutely no idea or inkling as to how it’s going to turn out. I tried my best, and all I can do now is hope that my best was good enough. It would be a real bitch if this class were the one that ended up dethroning me from the kingdom of 4.0 GPA land! (And it would look especially bad considering that I’m planning on going into social work.)

The exam was broken out into three sections:
Section 1 was about Marx’s Dialectical Materialism versus Hegel’s Dialectical Idealism. There were three questions, each with multiple parts, and we had to select two to answer. The only thing I really got hung up on was the difference between the two theories, which isn’t exactly a small detail to forget. However, I could not for the life of me remember the distinct difference between the two. I’m the type who talks (or in this case, writes) as I think, so I hope that the instructor doesn’t think I was bullshitting her with my incorrect answer, because the consequences of that could be dire (more on that later).

Section 2 was about C. Wright Mills’ Six Classes. There were two questions in this section, and we had to choose one to answer. I had a good handle on what the classes were—Capitalist, Upper Middle Class, Lower Middle Class, Working Class, Working Poor, and Under Class (your welcome for that little piece of knowledge, lovely reader)—and the distinctions between them. I floundered a bit on Mills’ definition of “white collar worker” and why it’s so hard to determine who/what a white collar worker is.

Section 3 listed fourteen terms from Karl Marx’s theory, and we had to choose twelve to define using examples of scenes from a movie we’d watched in class. I had no trouble with this section. In fact, these answers were the only ones I was 100% confident of.

I finished the exam in about an hour and a half, which was nice, because I arrived home about an hour and a half earlier than usual. I’m so glad that this marks the halfway point for Sociology, because I just want to be done. I do have to say that the instructor has definitely grown on me though. She's a total badass.

As she was telling us what to do to prepare for the test and what we could expect in terms of the layout, she told us one of the most important things we needed to know: “DON’T BULLSHIT ME, GUYS!! These exams are a lot of work for me! A LOT OF WORK! I have to read through all of these exams, deciphering your writing and trying to follow your thought process all the way through. It takes me a lot of time, so don’t try to bullshit me!!! It’s a waste of your time and my time if you bullshit me! I don’t like my time being wasted; it pisses me off! You don’t want me pissed off while I’m correcting your exam! I’ll respect you a lot more if you write, ‘I cannot fully answer this question, because I forgot A, B, C.’ than if you try to bullshit me!” Yeah. So that’s why I’m hoping she doesn’t think I was trying to bullshit her.

I’ve completed the last paper I’ll ever have to do for Sociology, so now all that’s left for homework is group work. I’ve tried to get my group to change our topic for this project, because I still fail to see how sex addicts are discriminated against, but my attempts to enact change have been in vain. I will give my full effort and participation to the project, and that's about all I can do at this point!

I’ve completed my fitness plan for Lifetime Fitness class, which is one of the bigger projects I had to get done. I think I did a really good job on it; I hope my instructor feels the same way. He gave us little to go on in terms of measurable guidelines and examples, so hopefully I gave him what he’s looking for. I plan on taking the midterm for that class tomorrow. I’m really not sure how to study for it, but I’m going to assume that I have the knowledge I need to take this test, because I’ve read all of the assigned chapters of the textbook. Because the test is online, I should be able to refer to the book for help answering any questions I get hung up on. I believe the test is timed though, so I won’t be able to look up every single question. Hopefully I know what I need to know!

I thought I would be buried in a mountain of homework this weekend, but I’ve made good progress this week and this evening! All I have left to do is a fitness lab, which I’ll complete at the gym tomorrow, and my biweekly fitness log, which I’ll turn in on Sunday. Then, I have to do some research for the Sociology project.

I’m going to finish up my competency narrative for Public Speaking tomorrow, and I’m finally going to start writing my speech. I’ve found some good research, and I’ve narrowed down the direction I want to go in, so I’m hoping to get the speech together relatively quickly. I’m feeling a lot more positive about this than I was a couple weeks ago, which is very good, because I only have 18 days left to complete the written stuff (competency narrative and speech outline), prepare my visual aids, and practice my speech! I’m going to be sooooooo relieved with this is finally over!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 6)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. We’re gonna jump into the Wayback Machine and travel to September 7 and 8, 2006...
Thursday (September 7)
I woke up super excited to face the day, even though I was running on complete lack of sleep due to helping my sister and her boyfriend move (and getting home relatively late) last night. I had an appointment after work, but was thinking I'd be back in Eagan at around 6. That's when Music Man was going to call, and we were going to make plans on what we'd do for the evening. I don't know why I didn't realize that my hour long appointment started at 4:30, so I wouldn't be leaving St. Paul until 5:30, which meant primetime rush hour. Yay me! I was so worried that I wasn't going to hit Eagan until well after 6. Of all the days I didn't want to sit in rush hour!!!!

Music Man ended up calling as I was walking into my apartment building. He told me to take as much time as I needed changing (I told him I'd done so while we were talking on the phone, which he was really impressed by), freshening up, and settling down, and that I could just head over there when I was ready. Well, there was no settling down. No way! I was way too excited to see him, and I was way over-caffeinated (thanks to drinking waaaaaaay too much coffee).

I headed to his place at about quarter to seven. We ended up having a very low-key date. We'd both had long weeks, and he'd not had the greatest day, so we ended up just hanging out at his place. Mostly we just sat on his couch and talked. At around 9, he put in a comedy DVD he thought I'd enjoy (I did), and we watched that together. Somehow we ended up holding hands, which was unexpected but completely fine by me.

I swear, you guys, I feel like a teenager sometimes! This is just a totally new world for me, and I'm absolutely enjoying every single minute of it!! Seriously, seriously enjoying myself. Things continue to go really well. I reeeeeeeeeeally like him! The more time we spend together, the more I like him, which I think is a really really good sign. For the record, and not to sound vain, but it would seem that he maybe likes me a little bit too. *insert super bouncy happy dance here* (Is that getting annoying yet?!?)

As I was getting ready to leave, I started to get nervous. I think it's because the parting ways thing has seemed a bit awkward in the past. In typical Elle fashion, I tend to babble and not really think about what I'm saying when I get nervous. Music Man asked if I'd like to get together again sometime soon. My reply: "Yes, definitely! Would you?!?!"

DUH!!!! He asked! Do you think that means he wants to get together sometime soon?! JEEEEEEEZ! I felt so dumb. Okay, so that settled, it was time to go.

Oh, but wait!!!!!

There was a kiss. I'm not going to describe it to you, because that's just weird and it's private, but I will tell you that I was very pleased that it happened and that I thought it was very nice.

Of course, I got all flustered and proceeded to practically run out of there. That's what it felt like in my head anyway. I don't think I really physically ran, but I just don't remember getting to my car after that. Perhaps I floated there on the cloud I was on. (Wow, that's like one of the most ridiculously girly things I've said in a long, long time.)

(Editorial Note: Music Man remembers this incident quite clearly. I apparently did physically run away. He was heartbroken and thought he’d totally done something wrong by kissing me. Thankfully I was able to repair that perception the next day.)

Friday (September 8)
I emailed Music Man this morning to tell him that I'd enjoyed our evening together and to wish him a happy Friday. I’d hoped that, if I had in fact physically run away, this would partially make up for it. At the very least, hopefully he’d know that I wasn’t upset about the kiss and didn’t mean to actually run away. Apparently he'd been having a bad day at work, which is where I'd emailed him, so he really appreciated my email. YAY ME!

I headed to Cousin-friend’s after work. It's been a while since we got together, so we had some catching up to do. After going out to dinner with Cousin-friend’s adorable son and her mom (my super awesome aunt), Cousin-friend and I headed back to her place for girl talk time. (Awesome aunt took Cousin-friend’s son for some grandma time.)

We just sat around talking and catching up. It was so nice! Cousin-friend kept telling me how happy she is for me about the Music Man thing, which was cool. Obviously, she could see how happy I was too. We talked about my blog a little bit. Cousin-friend always tells me that she thinks I'm a great writer and that I missed my calling, which always embarrasses me, but in a good way. (I'm just am not very good at receiving compliments.) I mean I'd like to think that I write well and that it's enjoyable for others to read, but you never really know. We are all our own worst critics; aren't we?

Cousin-friend’s husband called from work, so I took the opportunity to go outside and have a smoke. I decided to call Music Man to make sure he'd made it through the day okay. He thought that was really cool, and he sounded really excited to hear from me. I was so glad that I was able to make him so happy with my seemingly small gestures. That's definitely a good sign, and I hope it made up for me running away after our first kiss!!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

S for School, Sick, and Spam

Hello, lovely reader! I’ve missed you! It’s been over a week, so I have lots to tell you. This post is going to be kind of sporadic and random, so it might not flow very well, but it will give you an idea of what’s been going on and what’s all floating around in my head at the moment.

Classes are keeping me quite busy! Lifetime Fitness has definitely been interesting and eye opening. It inspired me to finally have Music Man add me to his gym membership so that we can start working out regularly. Right now, our plan is to go one day a week and once or twice on the weekends. Thanks to the class, I’ve been able to put together a good strength training routine. I plan to try to do strength training once or twice a week and cardio two or three times a week. It will help to have my wonderful husband as a gym buddy!

We went to the gym together on Sunday, and I felt so great afterwards. I’ve been leery to go. I’ve always thought health clubs were intimidating, because you have to worry about trainers following you around everywhere and people staring at the fatties (errrr, me). I was happy to find out that wasn’t the case; in fact, I felt quite comfortable there. I’m excited to go back, and I think Music Man and I will both be more successful in going regularly now that we’re going together.

Sociology has most definitely been an interesting class. I wouldn’t exactly say that I feel as though I’m learning a lot, because a lot of the stuff the instructor has lectured on so far is really common sense. We’ve mainly learned about inequality among social classes, and the concept is really quite simple: people who have the money have the power, and the people who don’t have it try to get it, which create conflict and inequality. DUH!

We have formed our groups for the group project, and I’m less than thrilled with how that’s going so far. Half of my group-members have been complaining for the past couple weeks about how they don’t know when or how they’ll find the time to do group work on top of work for other classes and various other commitments. While I understand that, because I've had similar thoughts, it's disconcerting to me. The thing I don't think instructors get, especially with adult students, is that we have complicated lives that make meeting in groups tough. For example, in my group: one woman is going to be out of town every weekend until the end of class, so she can’t meet on weekends and another girl can’t really meet on weeknights, because she has classes every night of the week. This should be interesting to say the least. The thing that’s saving my sanity at this point is that I’ll get to evaluate my group members, and those evaluations will factor into their final grade for the project. It's good to know that there's recourse in case someone doesn't share fairly in the work, which is sometimes the case in groups.

Yesterday, we had to come up with our topic. We needed to find a group of people who are discriminated against (as in treated unequally), and come up with a creative presentation for the class. I threw out a couple ideas: the deaf and hearing impaired (Music Man has tons of info and data on this, and can give firsthand experience), children from non-traditional families (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are hard for kids like my nephew, and they struggle with classmate’s questions and judgments surrounding not having parents or having two moms or two dads), and victims of domestic violence (usually suffer in silence, many times remaining in a bad situation for far too long because of the shame they feel as a result of society’s views that violence against women is a funny joke and/or that women should “just leave.”)

My ideas were rejected. The group ultimately chose sex addicts/addiction. How sex addicts are discriminated against/treated unfairly, I’m not sure, but the group is convinced that this is a great topic. I think it definitely has the potential to be interesting, but I just don’t know that it really meets the criteria for the project. We are going to present it in a talk show format. I get to be the hostess of the show. Wooooohooooooooo! Yeah...I'm not entirely thrilled. I just want it to be over at this point.

As of Wednesday, I’ll be halfway through Sociology. I need to spend tonight and tomorrow afternoon studying for the midterm that we have on Wednesday. I have to do research for our group project, because we’re getting together next Monday before class to discuss our findings. I also have two chapters of the Lifetime Fitness textbook to read this week and a test this weekend. And, of course, I need to continue working on the Public Speaking Competency—July 14 is coming too quickly!

So, that’s that. I’m super busy, stressed, and exhausted.

I hate when people come to work sick. HATE IT! What is a “small cold” to someone else can easily turn into a major issue (i.e. bad sinus infection) for me. My cube neighbor was really sick the week before last. I almost thought I was going to go homicidal a couple times because of her constant coughing. I’m totally not exaggerating, lovely reader, the coughing was constant. I tried really hard to drown her out with my ipod, but wasn't very successful. When I overheard her tell someone that it was a viral infection that had worked its way into her lungs, I nearly lost it. Why are you coming to work if you’re that sick?!? Stay the fuck home!!!

This individual has a supervisor that is very strict—she really cracks down on her employees for every little thing—so I know that probably had something to do with this particular employee coming to work even though she was so sick. I think it is so incredibly rude and slefish not to consider that you can infect those around you with whatever happens to be plaguing you.

I was pretty irate over it, and even made a few nasty comments to my boss about how I didn’t appreciate people coming to work so sick. Not that there’s anything he can do about it since the sick employee and her supervisor are not in our department, but I considered it fair warning to my boss that I could possibly get sick.

Surprise, surprise, surprise…I was quite sick last week and ended up staying home from work the last three days of the week. I’m still not quite feeling 100%. I thought I was getting better, but the headaches and heavy head feeling have returned, which make me think I have a sinus infection. If I don’t feel better in the next couple days, I’ll have to go to the doctor. I’m pissed! No. LIVID!!! I can’t afford to be sick right now; I just have way too much to do.

My blog must be getting noticed, in some small way, by the search engines. I’ve been getting quite a few spam comments lately. I delete them one day, and the next day they’re back again! Whose idea was it to spam blogs through comments?!?! What genius came up with that idea?!?! Do the spammers really think this tactic is effective?! This can't possibly work. All it does for me is piss me off.

I am annoyed, and I feel a little bit violated. This blog is mine. It’s like my little home on the internet. It’s where I share my personal thoughts, experiences, and opinions with all of you. To me, a spam comment on my blog is the equivalent of someone coming into my home, uninvited and unannounced, and shitting all over my furniture and/or vomiting all over my clean floors. It’s foul and infuriating!

The Birthday post seems to be particularly spam-worthy for some odd reason. I’ve implemented comment moderation for posts older than 7 days, which I’m hoping will help. If not, I might have to implement stronger measures. Which do you find to be less annoying when commenting on blogs, lovely reader? (1) word verification or (2) comment moderation (i.e. not having your comment appear right after you hit post). Whichever you find to be less annoying is the one I’ll implement if the need arises.

Wayback Wednesday
Music Man pointed out that I missed Wayback Wednesday last week. Those are pretty much the only posts he reads, so he was sad that I dropped the ball last week. Since it was the very first day of me feeling really, really, wicked sick, he understood. I hope you do too. I had promised you that, at the very least, I’d try to keep up with that, and I failed. I am going to do my best to hold my commitment to Wayback Wednesday. There will be one tomorrow.

That’s all I have for you now, lovely reader. I’m hoping things will calm down soon, because I have a list of things I’d like to write about. I’m also trying to get better about using Twitter, so please follow me there too.

I hope all is well in your world, lovely reader! I’ve been reading many of your blogs, and really enjoying what I’ve read, but my brain has been too scrambled to leave coherent comments. I’m going to try to get better about that too!
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Friday, June 11, 2010

C for Choice

Every single day, we’re faced with them. Some are bigger than others. Some can be made in a split second while others take further research and thought. We suffer the consequences or reap the benefits from them. They’re almost always available to us, even if we do not see them. What am I speaking of?


I am consistently amazed at how many people don’t seem to grasp the simple concept of choice. A lot of times, the only choice available to us is choosing our attitude. How we choose to respond to life situations can make a bad situation much worse or significantly better.

Life is a matter of perspective. In many ways, it’s only as hard or as bad as we make it or as we believe it to be. When the going gets tough, you can sit around and pity yourself, expecting others to pity you as well. OR You can realize that you have sole responsibility and control over your life, and as such, YOU are the only one who can make the changes that are necessary to make life easier or better.

I know that we all throw ourselves pity parties here and there; I’ve definitely thrown my fair share. It’s important to be able to vent, and I think that’s a natural way for many people to deal with stress and emotional upset. However, there’s a definite difference between venting and consistently whining about anything and everything that comes to mind. If you’re regularly throwing the same pity party over, and over, and over again, you eventually get to the point where no one’s gonna show up anymore, because they’re sick of it.

If your “party guests” (i.e. friends, family, etc.) have offered to help or given helpful advice in the past and you’ve refused to acknowledge it in any way, preferring instead to wallow in your pity puddle, then you can’t expect them to continue to listen to you. This does not mean you should find new victims to prey upon…

It never fails, in any given class, that there’s at least one student who seems to think that his or her life is harder than anyone else could possibly imagine. This student typically thinks class discussion time is meant for her personal therapy. It drives me insane!!! On Wednesday, we heard multiple tales of woe from young single mom.

Ms. Poor Me is a young, single, stay-at-home mom, but she works. (Yeah, I don’t get it either.) She works split shift as a medical assistant at a nursing home, which is apparently the hardest job known to man. She also attends school full time. As such, she’s overwhelmingly busy and overburdened. She gets up in the morning, gets the kids off to school, grabs an hour or so of sleep, heads to class, comes home and gets the kids off the school bus, works on homework, makes dinner, grabs a couple hours of sleep, heads to class, heads to work, goes home and sleeps for about an hour, and wakes up and starts all over again. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?!?!

I will full out admit that I wouldn’t want her life. I couldn’t do it! Constant exhaustion does not work for me. But, home girl apparently fails to realize that she has some choices in there. Were I a single mom with a couple kids, I’d make different choices in order to avoid some of the exhaustion. I’d find people to help out with the kids—the ex husband, family members, daycare—and I’d only attend classes part time. Trust me; I’d love to be able to go to school full time in order to finish my degree quicker, but it’s just not feasible! I have to work, because I have bills to pay. In order to strike some kind of balance between social life, work, and school, I decided to take classes part time. I want to be able to put as much effort as possible into the classes I do take, but I don’t want my marriage, my family relationships and friendships, or my work to suffer.

I made my choice. Homegirl made hers too, but she fails to see that. Instead, she wants pity and adoration from everyone around her. We should all be patting her on the head and kissing her ass while saying things like, “Oh! You’re a single mom. That’s incredible! I know that takes a lot of work. Good for you!” or “Oh, man, your life sounds exhausting! How do you do it?! You’re awesome!”

I understand that there are some things that are beyond our control. It’s probably nearly impossible for her to find a better job in this economy, so she’s forced to work around that. I know that she probably didn’t anticipate her divorce, so there was no way for her to prepare for being a single mom. I get all that. I also understand how hard being a single mom is; I was raised by one, and saw every single day how much she struggled to provide for her family. However, there are still some things homegirl can change to make life easier; however, she can’t see that, because she’s too busy feeling sorry for herself.

Then there was the guy who talked about how his wife was horribly discriminated against by Minnesota’s major university. Apparently this guy’s poor wife was forced to take a semester off because she was pregnant and that pregnancy became high risk, rendering her virtually disabled. She had a note from her doctor indicating that she was to be on bed rest and that movement should be kept to a minimum. Despite this, the university would not find a way for her to travel between classes on campus. My question: WHY is this the university’s fault or problem?!?!

Could this woman not have found a wheelchair or some other solution? If not, why did she expect the university to? Is getting pregnant and having children not a choice? I’m hard pressed to believe that she absolutely had to get pregnant, let alone a semester or two away from graduation. If her degree meant so damn much to her that it was absolutely devastating that she had to take a semester off, why did she choose to get pregnant at the time that she did? (I know; I know. These things aren’t always planned. That’s still a choice. She either didn’t use birth control or didn’t use it correctly. If birth control failed, she obviously chose not to use Plan B.) I know she probably expected to have a normal pregnancy that would cause no issues, but how do you not think of the “what ifs” beforehand? Am I the only one who does that? Is it really so inconceivable to think things out ahead of time in an attempt to consider, and hopefully prepare for, all possible outcomes? What. The. FUCK?!?!

Do people really not realize or understand that having children is a choice? IT IS! Newsflash, people of the world:

You can choose not to procreate!
(For those who might not understand such big words: You can choose not to have babies!)

In fact, I’d encourage many people out there not to even think about having children! There are ways to still have sex and not get pregnant; of course some birth control methods are more foolproof, and work better, than others. For example, I have an IUD. I do not want children, but I’m also not ready to completely eliminate the possibility, which is why I haven’t chosen permanent sterilization (yet). Thus the IUD, or “egg scrambler” as Music Man so affectionately calls it, which I love so much that I would seriously hug it if I could.

I apologize if I seem particularly "ranty" today, lovely reader. I’ve just had it with my classmates. The parents are by far the worst. It’s as though, because they’ve made their contribution to prolonging the existence of the human species, they think they are to be revered and admired. That they’re able to go to school on top of providing for the family they chose to have is apparently a feat of superhuman proportions.

A message to my classmates:
If you chose to have children, and you did in one way or another if you do have them, you are not special. Many people have made the same choice, and many of them work just as hard as (if not harder than) you at being good providers for their families. The world doesn’t owe you anything simply because you contributed your DNA to the cause of creating a new life, so quit your bitching!! Go ahead and pat yourself on the back all you’d like, but don’t complain to the rest of us when you break your arm doing it, and don’t expect us to lose our shit over how completely and totally amazing you are.

Look, we’re all pretty damn incredible for going to school. We all can be applauded and admired for seeking out higher education and for working hard in our classes. Okay?! On the same note, many of us pay quite a bit of money to take these classes. I, for one, don’t appreciate my money being wasted on your cries for attention or attempts at free therapy, so knock it the fuck off already!

That is all.

Not so much love,
~ Elle

P.S. While we’re at it, please learn how to write in proper English, paying special attention to spelling and grammar. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with you?!
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 5)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. We’re gonna jump into the Wayback Machine and travel to Monday, August 28, 2006…


I've gotta admit that I was worried that I'd never hear from Music Man again after spending ten hours with him on Saturday. Don't get me wrong...I was my lovely, funny, playful, fabulous self all day long (or at least I tried to be), but I worry about things I shouldn't (it's just what I do). So, it is with much pride and excitement that I tell you that we've talked twice since then—once yesterday and once today. We will be getting together again on Thursday night. We have no idea what we'll do, but we agreed that we'll definitely have to force ourselves to end the evening at a reasonable time considering that (1) we have to work the next day, and (2) we seem to have a "horrible" problem of losing track of time when we're together.

I find myself trying to be restrained and to temper my excitement at seeing him again. I don't know why. I think it's because I really really really like him and really enjoy spending time with him, and I just don't want to get too excited. I don't want to get my hopes up or to think too far ahead, because I think that's just a recipe for disappointment and/or hurt. Still shielding the heart; I'll totally admit it. I think that's totally understandable and natural though, considering my relationship history. I mean, I think I have a pretty big heart, which means lots of surface area exposed to the sometimes cruel, harsh universe.

I also realized that the more time we spend together, the closer we're getting to that "next level" territory. You know, like more physical contact than just a hug. Now, while that's exciting, it also scares the hell out of me! I'm seriously terrified! About what? I'm not quite sure. I'm not talking about sex, mind you. I think it's too early to talk about that, and I can't even think about it without getting all worked up (not in a good way) and practically hyperventilating. I know you'll find it hard to believe, but even for me some things are sacred and not to be planned in advance or discussed with others. Sex is one of those things.

What I'm mostly talking about is that "first kiss." Ever the planner, I keep trying to figure out all the details of when it should happen, how it will happen, etc. I know that I think I'm ready for it to happen. Well, that's just clear as mud, isn't it? See what I'm talking about now?! You know what I've discovered? There's no planning it, and I think that's what's making me so anxious. I know it's another one of those things that you're supposed to just let happen and enjoy it when it does.

You never get a second chance at a first kiss. I think that's why I'm so concerned about it. Having never done this whole dating thing before, I just have no idea what to anticipate or prepare for. I mean, it would certainly help if I could somehow prepare for it, but I know that can't happen. Right now I just have to force myself to accept that (or BFF will force me to). One way or another, I'll get there. For now, I'm just not going to think about anything except seeing him on Thursday and enjoying our time together.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

R for Recap: Summer of Hell (Week 1)

With the first day of my first two summer classes out of the way, I have some gems to share with you, lovely reader. I hope you enjoy this peek into my life as an adult college student.

Lifetime Fitness started on Tuesday. Because it's an online class, class discussions are done in a message board format. Our first assigned discussion was writing an introduction post in which we were instructed to tell who we are, why we’re in school, and what our favorite physical activity is. Knowing what I know about students I’ve sat in classes with before, I was half expecting to see someone post that their favorite physical activity was “doing it.” Alas, my hopes for such entertainment were dashed.

After reading through all of the posts, I came to the realization that class discussions are going to be excruciating for my grammar and spelling obsessed self. Now, I’m not perfect (no one is), but I do have what I would consider to be a really good grasp on grammar and spelling. I don’t understand how even the simplest grammar concepts seem to elude many of my fellow college students, and with spell check being readily available, I find spelling errors to be a sign of pure laziness. This little gem had me screaming, laughing, and crying all at the same time:

Hello my name is [name removed to protect the ignorant], my favorite physical activities would include swimming, football and basketball. In high school I participated on the swim team, I swam the 200 I'm medley, Some people call me the cooler Micheal Phelps. At one point I was gonna be a lifeguard I went threw the certification and everything I just never put it into action. Football with the fellas on da weekends has always been a great past time. Basketball I play from time to time especially during the summer.. I find it as a great way to "grove my body". I'm super excited to learn and be aquintanted with each and everyone of you.

I post this exactly how it was written. Anytime someone mentions high school when they are no longer in high school, I think about my sister’s loser baby daddy who is in his 30’s and tries to relive the glory days of high school every chance he gets. So, douchebag factor aside, some of my favorite things about this post:

Apparently “Micheal [sic] Phelps” here believes that commas can function just as periods do. He seems to treat punctuation marks as mere decoration; like little knick knacks to break up blocks of writing to make them more visually appealing. I have no clue what the “200 I’m medley” is, but it’s abundantly clear that Mr. Phelps most likely rocked it.

I can’t tell if he “threw” the lifeguard certification on purpose or not, nor do I understand why one would do that. Assuming that he meant “through,” as in he completed the certification, Mr. Phelps might have the skills to save me from drowning in water; however, there is nothing that can be done to save me from drowning in my disgust and sorrow for the future of humanity at the hands of those who place absolutely no importance on proper spelling and grammar.

(And Mr. Phelps is only one example of my classmates' abilites, or lack thereof, in the spelling and grammar department. Out of thirty posts, I’d say at least half were practically unreadable and/or nearly impossible to understand.)

I love that he took the time to type out “the” in “Football with the fellas” but then decided mid-sentence that we’re all friends now, and as such, he could use the more casual “da” in “on da weekends.” I don’t even want to know why one would want to “grove” his body, or how Basketball would accomplish that, and I absolutely wouldn’t want to see what that involves. I can tell you this, lovely reader; Mr. Phelps will not be “aquintanted” with me in any way. In fact, I don’t want to even be acquainted; shocking, I know, especially when you consider that he has been called the “cooler Michael Phelps.” I’m sure his space bar was just broken when he typed “everyone.” It is pretty obvious that he meant “every one.”

Yep. Class discussions are going to be painful. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to a nice Mojito before logging into class discussions. It might help to take the edge of, and it is summer after all.

I hated Sociology within the first ten minutes of class. The instructor is loud, obnoxious, and arrogant, which is not a good combination. I like that she speaks her mind, but I think I'd respect her more if she could manage to do it without swearing like a sailor. Don’t get me wrong, lovely reader; I have been known to have quite the potty mouth. However, I know when it’s inappropriate to use profanity, and I refrain from using it in those situations.

This is my first class in an actual classroom on campus, so I was unprepared for how incredibly uncomfortable the tiny little desks are. They’re similar to the picture on the left; except, in order to make them extra uncomfortable (and to make the occupant feel extra fat), they have arms on both sides. It doesn’t help that I sat in a desk made for a left-handed person when I am right-handed. I am ashamed to admit that it took me about an hour to even figure out that there was, in fact, a difference between desks. Then, I felt like everyone must be staring at me, the idiot who sat in the wrong kind of desk and kept squirming around in unsuccessful attempts to get comfortable.

As I opened my bag to pull out my class materials, I realized that I’d completely forgotten to pack my Sociology book. Nice one, Elle! Since it was the first day of class, I figured we wouldn’t be using the book much anyway. I was relieved that I was correct.

The instructor was telling us some of her "no nos." One was no cell phones or electronic devices on in class, which is a given. That one shouldn't be too hard to enforce considering that my cell phone loses its signal almost as soon as I walk in the door of the building. The walls are concrete and must be a couple feet thick, for cryin' out loud! She was talking about being on time to class when she said, “Did you know time is a social construct?!?! But, don’t try to use that as an excuse for being late, because I’ll be pissed. By the way, I swear every so often.”

Oooooooooookay. “Every so often” proved to be quite the understatement, unless it means at least once per sentence. Pissed, Asshole, and Bitch seem to be her favorites so far. I also find it very interesting that she’s teaching a class on social inequalities, and yet, she uses the un-politically correct term “secretaries” to describe the office staff.

She handed out the course syllabus and gave us a few minutes to read it. I managed to keep “FUUUUUUUUCKKKKKK!” in my head, instead of screaming it out loud, when I read that there would be group work. Oh, but not just your typical research and present to the class type group work, lovely reader. Oh no; we have to be creative. In the past, students have produced videos, put on puppet shows, put on fake game shows or talk shows, etc. We’re to break up into groups of 4-6 people for this project in which each group will present for 30 minutes on the last day of class.

I’m not exactly clear on what it is that we’re supposed to focus on for this assignment, but that information will apparently come later. I nearly cried. I’m not kidding. I loathe group work that much, and with how busy this semester already is for me, it’s going to be really hard to get together with 4-6 people even once to develop the project let alone multiple times to work on and complete it. Stupid fuckin’ touchy-feely, let’s all learn to work together bullshit!!!

On top of that, we have to read a 10-15 page essay from the textbook each week and write a 2-3 page paper on it. I don’t have too much of a problem with that one. We all know that writing isn’t much of an issue for me, and 2-3 pages, double-spaced, isn’t much writing at all.

There are two exams: a mid-term and a final. Both exams are Blue Book essay exams. The instructor believes that multiple choice exams do nothing to prove what one has learned, because they’re really multiple guess. Also, true and false questions are a tool of psychological fuckery (my words; not hers, surprisingly) designed to allow instructor’s to sadistically try to trip up students by using subtle wording and syntax changes, etc.

I thought Blue Books were an outdated torture device from the past. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to take not one, but two, Blue Book exams! (You missed the sarcasm font; didn't you, lovely reader?) Exams are based on the instructor’s lectures, which should be interesting. I just have to develop a good note taking method to deal with an instructor who lectures like a hyperactive toddler who’s not napped for the day, eaten a shit ton of candy, downed a few gallons of Mountain Dew, and screams at the top of her lungs.

She knows that she’s loud and hyperactive. She said she almost felt bad that this was a night class, because after dealing with her for four hours, we’d arrive home unable to sleep even though it’s late. She mentioned it dozens of times. Her other favorite topics to repeat over and over again were:

She loves Karl Marx, not necessarily as a communist, but as the father of conflict theory. I’m not kidding when I tell you that she would have his babies if he was alive today (and she was about 20 years younger). Poor Mr. Marx would not know what hit him.

She lives over an hour’s drive away from campus, and as such, she will not be staying after class for anything. If it’s an absolute necessity, she’ll try to come in early, but no promises.

She is royally pissed off over the oil spill. While I share her feelings, I found this particularly interesting considering that she refuses to use the available online tool to accept our homework electronically and she uses Blue Books. Apparently killing trees isn’t as awful as killing the ocean and the life within it.

She just returned from a one year sabbatical, which (combined with the fact that it’s summer), is partly to blame for her “energy.”

It is going to be a trying semester, lovely reader. Not only will I be learning about fitness and social inequalities, but I’m also going to have to learn to exercise extreme patience and to try to keep the snark under control. May that mythical ghost up in the sky help me; I’m gonna need it!

Housekeeping Item: I bit the bullet and joined Twitter. I figured it might be a good way to keep in touch, and to quickly let you know how I'm doin', if the semester gets out of control busy. You can follow me by clicking on that green leaf icon with the pink "t" on it. (Over there ----------->)

Edited to add: You know that saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression"? Well, I don't know if I really buy it. Despite my first impressions of this instructor, which I think were colored by my stress over the semester  more than anything, she ended up being one of my most favorites of all time. I liked that she told it how it was, including swearing. I adored her idealism, her love for the subject matter, and the fact that her class really wasn't that stressful at all, because I knew exactly what she expected out of me. Let that be a lesson to all of us. Sometimes, we should give people second chances after bad first impressions. Sometimes those bad first impressions are our own fault.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 4)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. We’re gonna jump into the Wayback Machine and travel to Sunday, August 27, 2006…

Ten Hour Date

Wow.  I just really don't know where to start.  I'm just overwhelmed with how damn great this date was!  Seriously.  I left the house at a little before 1:30 in the afternoon.  I walked in the door to my apartment at around 11:30 p.m.  It was a ten hour date!!!!!!  Can you even believe it?!?!?  That's gotta be some kind of record!  I'm telling you, people, this guy is cool if he can handle me for ten hours and still want to see me again sometime in the future, which he does.  (I hope.)  Maybe, given time to really think about it, he'll change his mind.  Let's hope that's not the case, because that would make me a bit sad.

Okay, so I'm completely exhausted right now, but I just have to brag.  This date was awesome!!!!!!! 

Music Man called me Saturday morning.  He told me that he had bad news:  He was unable to get us tickets for the Body World exhibit at the Science Museum.  Trust me, he tried hard.  Per my advice, he even tried convincing the guy that a second date was on the line.  Unfortunately, the ticket guy at the Science Museum had no heart.  I, personally, find it hilarious and incredibly endearing that Music Man even tried to play that angle.
It's totally understandable that they were completely sold out, considering that everyone thought this would be the last weekend the exhibit could be seen.  I'm so glad they've extended it to December so that we will be able to go see it in the future.  Yes, you read that right; I said "we" and "future."  (*much bouncy giggling girly madness ensues* )  So, that not being an option, we had to come up with another plan.  I remembered that one of the other things on both of our summer to do lists was the zoo, so I recommended that we go to the Minnesota Zoo.  Music Man seemed really excited to go, which I thought was super cool.  The plan was to meet at his place at 1:30.

When I arrived, I called up and Music Man said he was in the middle of something but that I should come up and let myself in because the door would be open.  So, that's what I did.  My hand anxiously on the doorknob, I paused for a moment to consider what I might find behind the door.  He said he was a clean guy, but we all know that guy clean and girl clean are two totally different things.  My jaw dropped when I entered his apartment.  I have never in my life seen a single man's apartment so neat, clean, and organized.  Oh, and it contained live plants, which made me super jealous and amazed because I kill everything no matter how hard I try not to.  I really was astonished; his place was very nice.  Granted, I've only seen the dwellings of a handful of single men in my life, but still.  I was beyond impressed.  We left Music Man's apartment and headed for the zoo.  I was super excited!

We had an absolutely spectacular time at the zoo.  Phenomenal.  It was soooooooo much fun!  We laughed and joked all day.  It was a fantastically gorgeous day to be outside, and I even remembered to wear sunscreen!  I had a bit of a freak out in the bat building, but Music Man dealt with it extremely well.  It helps that he hates bats too, so he totally understood my fear.  Music Man bumped into one of his music friends.  The guy was telling him about a website he just had to check out, so I dug in my wallet and pulled out a pen and little notepad so that Music Man could write the info down and get the guy's phone number.  Music Man was impressed that I was so prepared, which was awesome because I thought he'd surely think I was a dork.

We had to ride this trailer pulled by a tractor to get up to the farm exhibit.  On the way back, two little girls got on with their mother.  They were very energetic and very chatty little girls.  One sat right next to me (I think she liked my sparkly sandals, because she kept looking at them) and the other sat next to Music Man.  They and their mother were chatting with us all the way back from the farm exhibit.

When the ride started, it was kind of a jerky start.  The girls' mom made a comment that she didn't know it was an amusement park ride, or something like that, so Music Man raised his arms as though he were riding a roller coaster.  The kids looked at him and laughed, so then he got them started doing the wave.  This one little boy, who was really shy at first, had us doing the wave all the way back.  How frickin' cute is that?!?!?!  Music Man made a great joke later about how he hoped the kid would spontaneously break out into the wave at the dinner table, in class at school, etc.

At one point, the little girls had been talking about bees and how bees like people that smell sweet.  Music Man said to the one sitting next to him, "Well, that's why they like me, because I'm so sweet!"  Had I been thinking, I would've said something like, "And that's why I like him too!"  But I wasn't really "on the ball," instead I just smiled.  I expressed my regret later for having not taken that moment to say something.
I had a moment where I really should've thought a little more before I spoke.  We were looking at the Moose.  It had huge antlers, or horns, or whatever the thing on top of its head is called.  I couldn't think of what it was called at the moment, so I said, "Wow!  That thing has a huge rack!"  Yes I did.  I'm so not kidding.  Music Man started cracking up as I realized what I'd said.  I told him I could not believe I'd just said that.  In retrospect, I totally can believe it, because that's just so "Elle."  Music Man really seemed to enjoy it, and joked with me about it a few times later in the day.  Later, he'd say this was his favorite part of the whole zoo experience.

The zoo is a lot smaller than I remember it being, but it was cool.  I know you're wondering, so I'll confirm that I did indeed see the sharks.  Yeah, don't think the irony of me seeing sharks up close and personal during shark week escaped me.  Speaking of shark week, thank god for the diva cup.*  (Don't read the information after the * at the end of this blog if you don't want to hear my diva cup commercial.) So, yeah, we had an absolutely excellent time at the zoo.

It came time to leave, and we headed out the nearest exit.  Well, it was totally the wrong exit, which we discovered after walking around the parking lots for a good fifteen or twenty minutes looking for Music Man's truck. He kept apologizing when it wasn't entirely his fault, because I hadn't exactly been paying attention to where we'd parked either.  We both agreed that we'd just been too excited about the zoo.  All we could do was laugh about how we'd lost his truck.  He kept telling me this had never happened to him before.  I had to tell him that it happens to me all too often.  We decided to sit down and have a cigarette to think about where we needed to go. 

Music Man asked to look at the zoo map, so I took it out of my purse and handed it to him.  He was able to ascertain that we had gone out the wrong exit and that we'd need to go back in the zoo and ask them how to get to the parking lot we needed to go to.  He asked for directions!!!!!  Yes, he did!  We were super excited to finally find the truck.  We did a high five as we walked to it.

When we returned to Music Man's apartment, neither of us was really ready to end the date, so we decided to head up to his place to regroup for a minute while we figured out what we wanted to do next.  We ended up hanging out, drinking Diet Coke, and watching TV for about an hour and a half.  Music Man kept apologizing that all we were doing was talking and watching Myth Busters, but I told him it was fine because the zoo had kinda tuckered me out.  Truth be told, I was enjoying just hanging out on his couch with him.   

At one point, a humming bird appeared outside his patio door.  That was pretty cool—I’ve never seen one so close before!  Music Man asked if I'd read my horoscope that day (something else we both have in common:  we're horoscope junkies), and I hadn't, so he read our horoscopes.  We were both supposed to have five star days, which we thought was cool.  I definitely felt like I was having a five star day.  We finally decided we'd got get something to eat.

Music Man took me to the coolest place ever, I'd read about it months ago and had been meaning to get there "someday."  Well, someday happened yesterday.  We went to this place called Chatterbox in St. Paul.  Much like the guy that was taking me there, this place was super cool!  They had couches and TV's setup all over, and you could choose from a menu of Sega and Nintendo games to sit down and play if you wanted to.  In addition to good sandwiches, burgers, and assorted other offerings, the menu also had a list of board games you could select from.  So, if you chose to, they'd bring a board game right to your table for you to enjoy.  They had everything from decks of cards to Operation to Trivial Pursuit.  Very cool!

The atmosphere was also very neat and the bathrooms were very clean, which seals the fate of a restaurant in my mind.  We didn't play any games, opting instead to talk while we waited for our food and while we ate.  When the bill came, Music Man insisted on paying.  I told him that I'd totally remember that it's my turn to pay next time.  Thinking that presumptuous, I qualified it with, "Well, if there is a next time."  I think he smiled at that, so that was good.  I'm sad to say I don't remember his exact reaction, but I got the feeling that there'd be a next time.

It's insane all the things we keep discovering that we have in common.  Yesterday we discovered that we both have a parent that's a school bus driver.  We both hate tomatoes and olives, don't like large crowds, and like to clean.  Read that last one again a couple times...he. likes. to. clean.  My head almost exploded.

After dinner, we still weren't ready to call it quits, so we headed to Enjoy in Apple Valley to hopefully listen to some live jazz while having an after dinner cocktail.  (Can I just say right now that I love that Music Man says cocktail instead of drinks?!?!  As in, "Should we go have a cocktail somewhere?"  There's just something about that that I really really like.) As we got out of the truck to walk into Enjoy, we were dive bombed by a bat.  I kid you not.  It was horrible, traumatic, and funny all at the same time.

I felt so bad for Music Man; the wretched thing seriously looked like it was heading right for him!  He has quick reflexes and totally managed to avoid it.  Sadly, we went through all that only to find out that Enjoy didn't have any live music.  So, we headed to a different bar that Music Man knew of.  “The Russian Pirate Bar." (Not it's technical name, but that's what Music Man calls it.)  This place was neat; a little hole-in-the-wall kinda place decorated all "piratey" and ship like.  There was a big, sweet, obviously Russian lady behind the bar.  The place wasn't crowded at all, and there was an eclectic selection of music playing on the juke box.

We had a couple beers and talked for about an hour or so.  I had put ten bucks on the bar to pay for my beer, but the bartender had taken Music Man's twenty to pay for everything.  As we got ready to leave, Music Man handed my money back to me.  I insisted that he take it.  I told him to consider it payment for my drink and maybe part of the tip from dinner.  He would not take my money.  Instead, he said, "You can get it next time," and smiled.  I smiled back and told him he was "sly" and then giggled like a little girl.  He admitted that he was pretty proud of himself for the comment and proceeded to pat himself on the back, which I did too.  It was a cute moment.  You had to be there...

We agreed that there will definitely be a next time.  We both commented as we left the bar that we couldn't believe we were finishing up a ten hour date.  That's a lot of time for two people to spend together!  You know what?  I enjoyed every single minute of it.  Every minute.  I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Music Man walked me to my car to say goodnight.  We agreed that we'd definitely get together again.  We left it open-ended, but it's "my turn" to call him, which I'll definitely be doing sometime soon.  We still haven't quite figured out the parting ways thing yet, so it was a bit awkward again.  We ended up hugging and then I got in my car and drove the long way home.  (Total exaggeration right there.  It took me all of maybe five minutes to get home; he lives that close.)  I was absolutely exhausted, yet bursting with energy, when I got home.  I could not calm down.  I had just had the greatest day ever!  It was, hands down, one of the best days of my life in a very long time!

I'm eager to see and talk to Music Man again.  I really like him.  He's such a great guy.  Nice, funny, polite, clean, fun, interesting...I could just go on and on.  I'm so excited for "next time!"

* Okay, I've just gotta say it, the diva cup totally rocks my world.  Shark week sucks, there's no doubt about that, but the cup makes it so much more bearable.  There's no way I would've had a ten hour date, or even walked around the zoo getting hot and sweaty, yesterday without this fantastic invention.  Seriously.  I would've been crabby and feeling icky and dirty and nasty.  Not with the diva cup!  No worries at all.  Put it in, forget about it for 12-14 hours, and go on with your life.  It totally rocks and was worth its weight (and a million times more) in gold yesterday.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

S for Summer of Hell (Week 1)

I can’t believe it’s June already! Where has the time gone, lovely reader?! My first summer class starts today, the second one starts tomorrow, and I’m so not ready! What’s that thing “they” say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?! Yeah. I had the best intentions to have most of my Public Speaking competency wrapped up by the time summer classes started, and I’m sure you can guess just how much of that goal I’ve accomplished.

Let’s just say that road to hell got quite a bit longer thanks to me. I did get a little bit of the competence narrative (a write up of my experiences and abilities) finished, but that’s about it. I have to give the speech and hand in the written narrative and speech outline on July 14. I really need to get moving! The problem is that I pretty much have no motivation to do it. I mean, sure, there’s the motivation that it will be one more competency completed and out of the way, which is one step closer to completing my degree; however, independent of that, I just have no motivation to get it done.

I don’t have a problem with the speaking part at all; it’s the writing and research part that I’m dreading. I’m also having trouble thinking of a subject that I’m passionate enough about to speak on for 10-12 minutes. Domestic violence is a huge thing for me, but doesn’t play well into the visual aid factor, and I can’t really think of a call to action. I think I’m going to end up talking about a couple easy ways to go green by using reusable water bottles and shopping bags. The visual aid factor is simple; I can show my own reusable bottles and bags. The research part is proving a little difficult in that I’m not finding scholarly journals or any other sources (besides websites) that really talk about the waste reduction and other benefits of reusable bags and bottles. I need to use three different types of supporting material (i.e. internet, magazine, scholarly journal, book) and five researched sources.

The whole thing just has me super crabby! In my head, I’m constantly throwing toddler-like temper tantrums; kicking and screaming and yelling, “I. DON'T. WANNA!!!” which isn’t exactly helping things along. I feel as though I'm moments away from a full blown meltdown. This just isn't like me. I don't know what it is about this competency that has me in such a fit, but I do know that it's a huge problem that I just don't want to do it. I feel the loathing and resistance in my core, coursing through my veins.

My Lifetime Fitness class started today. It’s an online class, so I logged in this morning to check things out. Overall, it doesn’t look like it should be too bad. We’re required to read so many chapters of the textbook each week, complete the labs for each chapter, complete a fitness log each week, participate in online discussion, develop a fitness plan, and there will be two big tests over the 8 week period. Hopefully I’ll learn some good tips for working exercise into my day. We’ll also do a nutritional assessment at some point, which should be interesting and helpful.

Sociology starts tomorrow. I’ve heard it’s more of a lecture course, which I’m really hoping is true. I don’t want to have a lot of homework in this class, because I have enough already with trying to finish up the speech and doing my fitness stuff each week. I’m really really really hoping there’s no group work. I Loathe (Yes, with a capital "L") group work, and the social science classes seem to love the technique of forcing people to work together.

I am glad that my summer classes are actually on campus instead of at satellite locations (excluding the online one, of course). The campus is pretty quick and easy for me to get to from work, and I feel more like I’m actually going to school when I’m on campus. Monday and Wednesday nights are going to be late ones for the next seven weeks though; Sociology runs from 6 to 9:40! This means I won’t actually get home until around 10 or a little after, which is past my bedtime.

Music Man and I are heading to Duluth again this coming weekend. Yes, the week just started and I’m already thinking about next weekend. I’m sooooo not ready to be back at work this week! Once again, I’ll sit in the hotel working on homework as Music Man plays his gig Saturday night. It will be a nice little getaway though. This time the weather should be nicer, allowing us to walk around a little bit once we arrive on Saturday. I am hoping planning to get a lot of work and research done for the Public Speaking competency Saturday evening.

I’m also hoping to get the opportunity to pre-write a few blogs posts this weekend. Since my hectic summer schedule has officially started now, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to blog. I’m going to try my very best to keep up with Wayback Wednesdays, and I’m setting a goal of having at least one other post each week. I will try my hardest to stick to that, lovely reader. I will also try hard to keep up with reading your blogs, because I miss you so much when I don’t. Please be understanding if I suddenly seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Know that I’m thinking about you and missing you and that I’ll return as soon as I can!
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