Saturday, February 28, 2009

told you once, told you twice. next time I won't be so nice.

Not sure if I've reported to you all that I joined online dating services on a whim, but I think that I have, so here's an update. I met in person, for the first time ever, someone whom I know solely from the Interwebs.
I was studying at CC's when he met up with me for coffee. I left all of my books out, which was many, and we talked for a little over an hour. He's from the north, and at the risk of sounding too southern, he was so obviously a yankee. Well . . . maybe it wasn't the obvious yankee in him that turned me off, rather the shameless snob. He claimed that no one knew how to make coffee in the south and admitted that CC's is "the lowest he'll go." Digging his grave deeper, he admitted that if he sees one of his students working, he'll direct them as per how his crema on his espresso should turn out. I thought this was the end, but alas, he admitted further that, he once BROUGHT HIS OWN COFFEE to a C-O-F-F-E-E H-O-U-S-E and asked them to brew it for him. I probably had a look of pity on my face after this admission, because he then fessed up that he, "has something of a coffee problem." He mentioned that in one of his e-mails.
At the time, I didn't know how serious he was.
He also said that we don't have real bagels here, but after some of the bagels I had in New York, I can kind of see where he's coming from.
He seemed SO much older than I am and he's supposedly only 31. Don't know if I believe that.
When he got up to leave -- which was abrupter than abrupt -- he said hurriedly, "It was lovely meeting you . . . See you around." And walked off without so much as a notion of the hand shake he introduced himself with.
That was a little disheartening.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I went on a professional development trip in a van with our two librarians, both about 59 years old (who think they are my two black mamas) and three other English teachers: teacher A we'll call "Pixie" because she is a thin as a rail white girl with hair down to her butt and very eccentric, and also very smart and nice. Teacher B we'll call "Bridge"--she's an African American girl from New Orleans who is very private--her mom died recently--but who has been like my big sister at school as far as helping me with teaching, so we're close-ish even though we don't really know each other. And teacher C we'll call "Blondie."

So we arrive Thursday evening and sign in and get all of our complimentary crap, which isn't crap at all, that includes a free drink in the lobby. Bridge and the librarians don't drink, so they give Pixie, Blondie, and me their cards and we all have two drinks. I had a gin and tonic followed by a red wine, which was a weird combo. (I've discoved on this trip that I don't like most hard-alcohol and that a thick, smooth red wine is my favorie drink.) Anyway, the other three decided to go to Outback steakhouse, and Pixie and I decided we were going to walk to meet them after we finished our drinks. Blondie decided she was going to split from the group and meet up with her friend who lives in town for drinks. So Pixie and I walk to Outback, pass it up, ask a guy at Macaroni Grill where it's located, find a sushi place on the way, and eat there instead. It was very enjoyable and it was the first time we hung out together. We like the same things, and that was comforting. We went back to the hotel, I sat with her on a couch in the lobby lounge where she had a glass of white wine, and we went back up to our rooms. I was rooming with Bridge. We talked and then fell asleep around 10 or 10:30.

The phone rang in the middle of the night. Bridge picked it up. I hear, "What?...Oh Lord...the hospital?...What happened?...Oh, that doesn't sound right..." She hangs up. The front desk had called Pixie and told her that her roomate was found passed out outside the hotel and had hit her head, and was being whisked away to the hospital in an ambulance. Bridge said she was worried because this could mean that some guy took advantage of her and hurt her--or that it could mean anything. Bridge called the librarians. We were all awake for about two hours. Bridge and the librarians got dressed, called a cab, went to get her. With nothing else to do, I hoped she was okay, and I fell back into sleep.

Bridge got back and said everything was fine and that Blondie's back in her room.
"What was the matter?" I said.
"She was drunk," she said. And we both went back to sleep and woke up very early for our conference the next day.

I got more of the story in the morning, but it still doesn't make sense. Reportedly, Blondie was in the ER hooked up to an IV and the nurses were pissed off because she was fighting them and trying to rip out the IV and leave. Bridge was freaked out to be there in the first place because of all the time she spent there when her mom was dying, but she managed to talk to her and get her to calm down enough to leave the IV in. They had done a cat scan and bloodwork. "She's very intoxicated," said the nurse to the librarians. She also didn't know how she got to the hospital--she had completely blacked out, but she wasn't admitting it, or didn't know it. (We still don't know how she ended up outside the hotel, passed out on the ground.) She wasn't speaking in sentences or making sense. She wouldn't answer any questions. She asked them why they were there and said that they shouldn't have come there and they should have left her there. The hospital staff said they were only going to release her because the librarians had come--otherwise, they'd keep her overnight in the state she was in, and if she would try to leave, they'd have had to put her in jail.

On the way home in the cab, she chatted hazily with the cabbie and leaned over and turned on the radio. When she got back in the room, Pixie said she wouldn't tell her what happened--she just shook her head over and over and said "I'm going to be on the librarians' shit list now, I know it."

We went to the conference without her. In the late afternoon, the librarians, Bridge, and Pixie went to have a talk with her in her room about the fact that she needs help. She's still in deep denial and said that she didn't want them to think badly of her and didn't want them to think she was an alcoholic. She told Pixie she was worried about what I thought of her. I didn't see her once or call her once the whole day--mostly because I have nothing to say, but also because I want to keep going in my own life without that mess. I had papers to grade, classes to go to, and I didn't want her to ruin my little vacation. I also didn't want to end up saying "Oh, it's okay" just because it'd be uncomfortable to talk to her--I didn't, and still don't, want to give her a "pass" on the responsibility of this. I am still surprised about how inconsiderate her behavior was. If I end up saying something to her, if she asks, it will be this:

"Blondie, I don't think you realize this, but you pretty much ruined our weekend. You hugely inconvenienced us by waking us up in the middle of the night, making us worry, making some of us go to get you at the hospital, making us upset and uncomfortable, and offending us with your immature and inconsiderate behavior. I will not say "it's ok"--you have a problem with alcohol and you are in denial about it, and you need to start taking care of yourself, not only because you deserve that for yourself, but because you can be a burden on other people, and that's just not fair to them."

But we ended up having a fun night with an all expenses paid dinner and a live band at a restaurant, and we all danced--well, except Blondie didn't come with us. But we had a great time, went home, woke up in the morning and had Breakfast in the hotel restaurant--Blondie was there, and all I said to her was "You feeling okay?" and left it at that--and then we all drove home. In my interactions with her, I didn't act like anything had happened, but I also didn't really talk to her directly because I didn't have anything to say to her and I didn't want to talk about what happened. I guess I just feel like we're not really close enough for me to be worried about her or try to help her as if it's my responsibility (because I am prone to doing that and acting like the mama, and I don't want to do that this time). I'm trying to be a guy about this--a guy would not try to be friends with someone who was a burden. They'd keep it light.

The only shitty thing is that we kind of have the same group of friends at school. She's going to tell them her version of it and probably make it sound like she was just having a good time and everyone else made a big deal about it because we are all goodies or something, because she was too out of it to know what really happened and she's in denial anyway. I am naturally going to want to tell everyone what REALLY happened, but I don't want to be that guy! I want to stay out of it truly and completely, or else it'll be like asking our friends to take sides on the issue. It's going to be all around school in one second anyway, and it'll probably be some skewed version--ulgh, I don't want to even think about it. I hate the drama of it and people are going to feed on it like fish. People are going to ask me directly what happened. I guess maybe it wouldn't hurt to tell it straight, but I'll have to be really careful not to try to be "right" about the situation or judgy or dramatic, and I know that Blondie doesn't want me going around and telling everyone about this humiliating story about her. The principal knows about it already, because it had to be reported since it happened on school time and school money, so I don't know what's going to happen with that.

I don't know guys...what is the appropriate thing for me to do on Monday when people ask me about it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

stealin' hearts

Hey ladies! Happy Valentine's Day!

Usually, I'm not too big on this holiday, but for the first time ever, I actually have a boyfriend. The fact that he's a few thousand miles away is unimportant. I still plan to enjoy a singles awareness party with some hens and one wayward rooster.

So, I'm going to engage in some thievery right now. Facebook thievery. I saw some posts by a girl that Tino is a good friend of, she and some girls that blog together (sound familiar?) are putting up their 5 favorite love songs each to make a V-day mixtape. I thought we might do the same. List 5 songs, not necessarily happy, "I love you so much you can fart in my face" types of songs, but anything that you feel is a good message of love. Whether it's friendship, romantic, love gone wrong, unrequited, etc. I'm proposing we continue to do it until everyone who still actually contributes puts a list up, aka, we'll not just limit it to today. Besides, most of my love will be felt when I go buy candy for 50% off tomorrow at Kroger.

I'll start!

1. Feist "Inside and Out"
It may be hard to get over the 70s/Bee Gees sound of this song. Ironically, I wrote that before I looked it up and realized it actually is a cover of a Bee Gees song. I actually didn't pay much attention to it until I heard this remix. (sorry that's such a small clip, if you want the longer version, I could manage an email)

choice lyrics:
"You figure it's the love that keeps you warm
Let this moment be forever
We won't ever feel the storm
I ain't no vision, I'm the girl
Who loves you inside and out
Backwards and forwards with my heart hanging out
I love no other way
What are we gonna do if we lose that fire?"

I figure natural imagery is always a good thing.

2. The Magnetic Fields "Love is Like a Bottle of Gin"
Can I first just say how much I LOVE the video of that on youtube? Also, I will remark on how it is fairly difficult to pick a favorite love song by the MFs since they have a 3 disc album called 69 Love Songs. But that one has kinda always been my personal favorite . . . especially in the olden days when gin was my favorite drink.

You can find it on the Bowery
or you can find it at Elaine's
It makes your words more flowery
It makes the sun shine, makes it rain

3. The Beatles "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
I know some people would have probably gone with that nauseating song "Love is all you need" or some crap like that, but this is a better song. period. It's brief and also kind of sadly true. But still somehow hopeful. To me anyway. It's been hard to break myself out of this mindset.

How could she say to me
Love will find a way
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say
Hey you've got to hide your love away

4. Edith Piaf "Tu es partout"
Once again, it's hard to pick a particular song from EP, all of her love songs are so good and so heartbreaking. This one is especially so for me. It's the song from Saving Private Ryan, incidentally. The youtube of this has all of the French lyrics so if you speak a little bit, you can interpret it pretty well. It basically tells the story of a woman who's lover left her and she still imagines that she sees him all the time and still wants a future together.

some lyrics in English:
"Maybe one day you will return
I know that my heart waits for you
You can not forget
The past days we spent together
My eyes never stop searching for you
Listen well, my heart calls you
We can love each other again
And you'll see life would be beautiful"

Le Sigh

5. Jose Gonzalez "Heartbeats"
This song is so achingly beautiful. I love that video too. I know people might disagree with me, but I love that version SO MUCH MORE than the original by the Knife. I realized that a lot of my songs were sad, and even though this one is sad in its own way, it's also so gorgeous.

And you, you knew the hand of the devil
And you, kept us awake with wolves teeth
Sharing different heartbeats
In one night

Alrighty kids, your turn!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a series of _______ events

Just as I thought I had it figured out, an opportunity was presented to me that has introduced an all-together new angle to my life, also known as Decision-Making '09. A dear friend of mine, who cared for me and made sure I was still sane whilst in Germany, recently started talking me up to the University staff at FASK (where I studied for 2 semesters) and there's a good chance I could get a position at said Institution. After doing a little investigating, I've discovered that the position is really nothing spectacular, but rather would serve as a stepping stone to other, greater things. It's a foot-in-the door position, if you will.
Emotionally, I am ready to go back to Germany. Which is to say, I am unsure if I am all-the-way ready to go back.
I cannot imagine walking away from the Alt Cert program with nothing to show for it. Well, not nothing, but no teacher certification. This prospect is a hard proverbial pill to swallow, as I reflect on how much I've toiled and suffered over the past 8 months to get that damned piece of paper. But then again, if I stick with it and finish the program, I will have tripled my student loan debt. How could I move overseas after having amassed debt of that magnitude? That is also quite the daunting pill to swallow.
My brother, who is far more grounded and reasonable than I will ever be said to me, "You just need to figure out what you want to do."
That's so much easier said than done.
My brother is the kind of person who has been saying since childhood that he wants to be a Doctor. And as we speak, he is two years into his surgery residency at Earlanger in Chattanooga, TN. He's not even practicing yet and is already about as professionally accomplished as I hope to be in the span of my entire life.
Honestly, my ultimate goal is greatness. Beyond that, I cannot tell you exactly what I want to do. I wish like the dickens that that one thing would alight and illuminate a clearly defined path ahead that will lead me to where I'm supposed to be. But the truth is, I haven't the foggiest clue as to what I want to do. I have so may interests and passions and they all nudge and tug at me in some way. Were there an obvious way to marry them all, I probably would have caught wind of that union by now.
Teaching is something that I thought I might enjoy and excel at for a time, while also providing me with decent pay, as well as personal challenges and growth. My goal in getting certified to teach is to have a salary and job security. Not because I want to teach high school for the rest of my life. Mostly, I'm just really tired of being broke and having nothing.

So I'm kind of torn between learning how to be a responsible adult for once -- staying here to finish what I've started -- and pursuing my dreams and what I think will make me happy -- going back to Germany to study foreign languages.
This is not going to be an easy decision to make. But whatevs. I'll arrive at SOME kind of a decision and regardless of what I decide, the world won't stop spinning on its axis.

There's just a week and a half (of the first half) of the Yoga teacher training course remaining. I'm glad that I stuck with it, because I have learned a lot. I truly do feel more joy on a day-to-day basis. I'm no closer to doing a headstand than I was five weeks ago, but my practice is better and deeper. And that's nice.

Unrelated news: I signed up for eHarmony. I don't know why. It was a total whim. As soon as I did it, I was kinda like . . . oh, man. I don't want to bother. So I won't. If I happen to meet someone interesting, great: it wasn't a total waste of time and money. If I don't, who cares? I'll be no better or worse off than I am right now.
I'd be lying were I to deny the very human, primal part of me who still yearns to meet someone special. However, there is the larger part of me who has tasted a Russell-Stover-sampler sized collection of what's out there and wants to pass altogether, for fear of heartburn.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dell Mini 9 brings the boys to the yard

Check out my laptop.

I meant to post about my new Dell Mini 9 when I got it--- but shortly after I got it- I switched research groups. Finally I am posting photos for your viewing pleasure.

The first photo is of the laptop next to a normal sized CD case and an ink pen.
The second photo shows my mini next to my big computer and my wacom tablet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WTF revisited

While I wait for my plates to dry, an update.

Remember WTF Katu WTF ? Right. Thank you for your comments. It turns out that she probably is competitive and definitely insecure. Take this example:

(Paragraph 3)
On Friday I had a lunch with a faculty member who is on both of our committees. This faculty member is female, thin, blond, stylish, smart, and put together -- and not afraid to let you know it. She has high standards for herself and for students in general. She is easily disappointed by students' lack of knowledge or hard work.

Now, I adore this faculty member; she is someone I would like to become one day (maybe.) Every time we meet, I leave energized and certain that I will become a great scientist. On top of that-- she likes me-- I know this to the 99% confidence level. After my oral exam I suggested to her that I relearn all of my sophomore organic chemistry and have an additional oral exam with her on the organic just for self respect because I was shaky on my organic in my oral exam. What a nerd I am, right? Actually the problem was that I suggested this when I was high on learning-- not in my right mind. But I ended up following through and she was impressed-- but more important than impressing her - this act- unknown to me at the time- allowed me to transition into my current group easily where previous to my relearning of organic - I would not have considered it.

So I send the email to my committee about my group change and she asks me to have lunch. I look forward to this- and talking to PizzaPan in the lab- I mention it because normally on Friday I have lunch with Jips (husband) but this Friday I wasn't.

Katu gets word from PizzaPan that I am having lunch with the committee member - and she asks about it and mentions that she would be scared or nervous because the faculty member is intimidating for all of the reasons in Paragraph 3 (see above.) But I tell Katu- but you are smart and beautiful and put together, too, so its okay. But Katu doesn't feel that way- and is concerned that prof doesn't either. -- And so we have Katu's insecurity rise to the surface.

And for this I feel bad. Katu's mother pretty much deserted her family when she was young- and that may have an affect on her- but she had a great father and everyone has problems... And her problems don't excuse her rudeness or passive dismissal of our friendship. Still her insecurity makes her human and I cannot be upset with someone I have compassion for.

So I felt bad about bashing her in my blog- I'm sorry Katu. That was Friday. But today- I don't feel bad about it.

The think about Katu and the 4th grader in the post below (by Skuh) is that they care about what is cool... And to that I say BAH. Being kind to other people is more important that being cool yourself.

The End.