Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Final Exam Hell

The semester is winding down at school--which means it's time for the big exam crunch. This is a particularly stressful time in which second-guessing oneself becomes second nature, and the usage of vacation time for those of us that work imperative. I personally become stressed out, cranky, emotional and basically extremely hard to live with.

What is so difficult to understand is why this time never gets any easier. One would think I would be an old pro by now when it comes to finals. I'm not. It starts a wave of migraines that do not end until mid-December. Especially this year--Excedrin Headache #377: Algebra.

One thing about it, once they're over, they're over and then it's totally time to cut loose. I will be partying as soon as they are done. I'll find myself a designated driver and then proceed to work on a blood-alcohol level that matches my GPA. (Hey, it's good to have goals.)

I will be so happy to have time off, and besides, that'll mean I'm halfway to summer break (yay!). Oh, but then Christmas shopping will come--boo. I'm feeling pretty Grinchy right now, but it could be a side-effect of finals.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Welcome to the "Crazy Cat Lady" Club!

I think that some of you may be wondering why I call myself a spinster...the answer is, because I am. If it was forty years ago, I would be a "Maiden Aunt", "Spinster" or "Crazy Cat Lady"--forget that I have no cats. Funny thing is, I never pictured my life the way it has turned out. I always thought I would be married with children by now. Nope, I am...dada da duh da duh "Career Woman". Invitee of all showers, weddings, christenings, naming ceremonies, and all other functions that single women detest going to. You see, when you go to these things, not only are you expected to bring a gift, but also to give of your free time--on a weekend usually, then while you are there, they proceed to politely insult you.

"Don't worry, it will be your turn one day" an Aunt will say, while thinking in her head--"Good thing my daughter married young, this one doesn't stand a chance."

"Maybe you're just too picky." which translates to: "Maybe you shouldn't be so picky."

"Don't worry--I was thirty before I had my first child." which translates to: "You're a year behind, better catch up."

"You know these days, you don't have to be married to have a baby." which translates to: "You better hurry, I hear a clock ticking..."

My particular favorites were during the time I dated Chet.

"No ring yet I see." An Aunt sneered to me while looking down her nose.

"So, you and Chet talking about marriage?" which translates to: "If not, you'd better work it into conversation, you don't have very much longer."

"You're giving Goldie and Kurt a run for their money, aren't you honey?"

"What's wrong with you?"

OK, so the last one wasn't very polite, but was actually said to me at a bridal shower within the last year. When I was asked why I wasn't engaged yet, and said: "Well, he hasn't asked me." I was treated with that as an answer.

The funny thing is, that this behavior is considered socially acceptable behavior. It's totally OK to single-girl bash with wild abandon at these functions. Those who are married--and sometimes not even happily so, are very bloodthirsty when it comes to comments. The only comment that I was ever given by a married woman that was nice goes as follows: "Girl, you don't know how smart you are. Run--Run for the hills, and whatever you do, don't let some jackass slip something on your finger while you're not looking." I won't divulge who this woman was but suffice to say she was above the age of sixty, and a family member.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since the breakup. How do I deal with these people now? The worst part is that the breakup has left an open wound, and these comments actually really hurt now. Especially the insensitive prying that people have taken to regarding the breakup.

I'm beginning to believe a comment that a co-worker made to me at the age of eighteen:

"You are going to be the crazy cat lady--a total spinster, you're going to have a little yellow house on the corner with twenty million cats, sitting on your porch swing reading Popular Mechanics, threatening the neighborhood kids with a shotgun to stay off your grass!" this, followed by a guffaw of laughter, "Minster the Spinster--hey it kind of fits!"


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Wednesday Rant

My youngest brother is getting married, I don't know if I've mentioned that before. For anyone who doesn't know me, I have two brothers--James and John. In order of age, I'm the oldest, then John and Jim is the baby. I of course, have struggled with the thought of being the oldest, and not only being unmarried, but having no children as well. OK, so I've had a really hard time with it. I never had dreams of some big career, though my life is beginning to follow that path, I just wanted to have a family of my own. Now I see my dream all around me with my friends and family playing out the part that I had figured for my own. I've been to countless baby showers, bridal showers, diaper parties, and bachelorette parties. I've spent, I'm sure, thousands on other people's weddings, children, and things of that nature. And I've felt left out every single time. Like I'm not part of some club that I want desperately to belong to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for my brother, I'm just kind of sad for myself. And as I hear the plans for the wedding continue on, and on, and on, and on, I just feel a general disconnect from the normal happiness that I feel. It's probably very selfish to feel this way, and I'm not a selfish person. I don't even care if I have some big showy wedding, I just want to be married, to have that commitment with someone that I love. Sorry everyone, I'm just feeling blue.

Monday, November 06, 2006

So...I'm a turtle????

I received this email from a friend of mine today that let you see what your "birthday animal" was, and what it meant. Apparently I'm a turtle...which I found to be a little insulting, until I read the blurb that went with it:

If you are a Turtle : You are near to perfect and nice at heart. The examples of your kindness are always circulated in groups of people. You, too, love peace. You wouldn't like to retaliate even to a person who is in the wrong. You are loved due to this. You do not wish to talk behind one's back. People love the way you always treat them. You can give, give and give love, and the best part is that you do not expect it back in return. You are generous enough. Seeing things in a practical light is what remains the best trait of you guys.

So, I wasn't SLOW, which was the first thing that ran through my mind, but just ya know "near perfect" I like that, I think it's going to go in the resume. (HA!) I'm putting a copy of the email in this blog so that you can see what you are!!

January 01 - 09 ~ Dog

January 10 - 24 ~ Mouse
January 25 - 31 ~ Lion
February 01 - 05 ~ Cat

February 06 - 14 ~ Dove
February 15 - 21 ~ Turtle
February 22 - 28 ~ Panther
March 01 - 12 ~ Monkey

March 13 - 15 ~ Lion
March 16 - 23 ~ Mouse
March 24 - 31 ~ Cat
April 01 - 03 ~ Dog

April 04 - 14 ~ Panther
April 15 - 26 ~ Mouse
April 27 - 30 ~ Turtle
May 01 - 13 ~ Monkey

May 14 - 21 ~ Dove
May 22 - 31 ~ Lion
June 01 - 03 ~ Mouse

June 04 - 14 ~ Turtle
June 15 - 20 ~ Dog
June 21 - 24 ~ Monkey
June 25 - 30 ~ Cat
July 01 - 09 ~ Mouse

July 10 - 15 ~ Dog
July 16 - 26 ~ Dove
July 27 - 31 ~ Cat
August 01 - 15 ~ Monkey

August 16 - 25 ~ Mouse
August 26 - 31 ~ Turtle
September 01 - 14 ~ Dove

September 15 - 27 ~ Cat
September 28 - 30 ~ Dog
October 01 - 15 ~ Monkey

October 16 - 27 ~ Turtle
October 28 - 31 ~ Panther
November 01 - 16 ~ Lion

November 17 - 30 ~ Cat
December 01 - 16 ~ Dog

December 17 - 25 ~ Monkey
December 26 - 31 ~ Dove

If you are a Dog : A very loyal and sweet person. Your loyalty can never be doubted. You are quite honest and sincere when it comes to your attitude towards working. You are a very simple person, indeed. Absolutely hassle free, humble and down-to-earth!! That explains the reason why your friends cling on to you! You have a good taste for clothes. If your wardrobe is not updated with what is trendy, you sure are depressed. Popular and easy-going. You have a little group of dignified friends, all of them being quality-personified.
If you are a Mouse : Always up to some sort of a mischief! The mischievous gleam in your eyes is what makes you so cute and attractive to everyone. You are an extremely fun-to-be-with kind of person. No wonder people seek for your company and look forward to include you for all get-together's. However, you are sensitive which is a drawback. People need to select their words while talking to you. If someone tries to fiddle around and play with words while dealing with you, it is enough to invite your wrath. God bless the person then!
If you are a Lion: Quite contradictory to your name, you are a peace loving person. You best try to avoid a situation wherein you are required to fight. An outdoor person, you dislike sitting at one place for a long duration. You are a born leader, and have it in you how to tactfully derive work from people. You love being loved, and when you receive your share of limelight from someone, you are all theirs!!!! Well, well... hence some people could even take an advantage, flatter you to the maximum and get their work done. So be careful.....
If you are a Cat : An extremely lovable, adorable person, sometimes shy, with a passion for quick wit. At times, you prefer quietness. You love exploring various things and going into depth of each thing. Under normal circumstances you're cool but when given a reason to, you are like a volcano waiting to erupt. You're a fashion bird. People look forward to you as an icon associated with fashion. Basically, you mingle along freely but don't like talking much to strangers. People feel very easy in your company. You observe care in choosing your friends.
If you are a Turtle : You are near to perfect and nice at heart. The examples of your kindness are always circulated in groups of people. You, too, love peace. You wouldn't like to retaliate even to a person who is in the wrong. You are loved due to this. You do not wish to talk behind one's back. People love the way you always treat them. You can give, give and give love, and the best part is that you do not expect it back in return. You are generous enough. Seeing things in a practical light is what remains the best trait of you guys.
If you are a Dove : You symbolize a very happy-go-lucky approach in life. Whatever the surroundings may be, grim or cheerful, you remain unaffected. In fact, you spread cheer wherever you go. You are the leader of your group of friends and good at consoling people in their times of need. You dislike hypocrisy and tend to shirk away from hypocrites. They can never be in your good books, no matter what. You are very methodical and organized in your work. No amount of mess, hence, can ever encompass you. Beware, it is easy for you to fall in love....
If you are a Panther : You are mysterious. You are someone who can handle pressure with ease, and can handle any atmosphere without going berserk. You can be mean at times, and love to gossip with your selected group. Very prim and proper. You like all situations and things to be in the way you desire, which, sometimes is not possible. As a result, you may lose out in some relationships. But otherwise, you love to help people out from difficult and tight spots when they really need you.
If you are a Monkey : Very impatient and hyper!!! You want things to be done as quick as possible. At heart, you are quite simple and love if you are the center of attraction. That way, you people are unique. You would like to keep yourself safe from all the angles. Shall your name be dragged or featured in any sort of a controversy, you then go all panicky. Therefore, you take your precautions from the very beginning. When you foresee anything wrong, your sixth sense is what saves you from falling in traps. Quite a money minded bunch you people are!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Breaking up is hard to do...

My boyfriend and I broke up. Word seems to have spread like wildfire. I subscribe to the notion that, if I wanted you to know, I would have told you; and It's our business. The way of the world today is so electronic that people can harass you about these things much easier. I thought about hiring a publicist (much like Jen and Brad's) who can take these calls and emails and respond thusly: "Minnie and Chet have decided after ten years to part ways, they would like it if you would respect their privacy in this difficult time."

For those of you who want the gory details, or somehow revel in the drama that is other people's pain, I'm sorry, you are getting no dirt from me. This whole situation hurts, for both of us, and I don't want to continually rehash every minute detail for everyone else's benefit. We both need time and space, and if you can't be constructive, don't say anything.

I just cannot fathom why people feed off of others' misery. It's a form of sickness as far as I'm concerned. So if you are reading this, and you know someone in my situation--don't be pushy, if they want to tell you about it, they'll tell you about it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Procrastinators of the World Unite! We'll Meet Tomorrow!

OK, so I've never been known for doing things on time (at least I finish most of what I start). As a kid, I was the one doing homework at ten on Sunday night. I work well under pressure, it's actually when I do my best work. Recently this has become more and more of a problem. I'm not entirely sure if it is because of school, or the work/school combo, but I feel as if my life is spiraling out of control when it comes to time. I have none of this so-called "free time" that people speak of. And it's beginning to get to me. If I'm not at work or school, then I'm working out or running errands. I barely have time for my homework before crawling into bed completely spent.

I have to schedule everything. I have to schedule time with my boyfriend, and a lot of the time our schedules conflict, it feels like we barely see each other anymore. We haven't had an actual date in months (Chet, a date is where it is just you and me and we are somewhere other than in front of the TV). It's not his fault though, I bear most of the blame. I'm not available to see him most of the time. It's kinda sad. When did my life become RUSH RUSH, gotta get here, need to go there? I need to start scheduling ME time. The sicker my Mom gets, the more I realize that I need to appreciate the people around me and ENJOY my life. Not just keep running through an endless slew of appointments. OK, I'm done venting.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wigging Out!

Ok, so my mother is going through chemotherapy right now. My mom isn't a good patient when she has a headache, much less cancer, so this hasn't been pleasant. Not that any of us expected this to be a walk in the park, but she just won't slow down! And as a result, several things have happened. First, she caught a world-class cold. Rapid weight loss because she does what she wants to do...won't listen to her children who want her to drink Boost. Thirdly, she is driving her oldest child insane because I get to hear how everyone else needs to just settle down, leave her alone, or (fill in the blank). But the fourth point is how her hair loss is effecting me. Now I realize that that sounds really selfish, but I'm not used to seeing my mom with gray hair, never mind no hair. So, I've been begging her to get a wig.

Yes, I realize that its a petty thing to dwell on, but it bothers me. She doesn't look like herself, and perhaps I am being shallow. But once I talked her into it, I paid for the wig and all of the stuff to go with it.

Now, for anyone who never had to deal with this stuff before, you don't just buy the wig and styrofoam head and have done with it. No, no, no--you have special wig shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, styling creme, lustre spray, pick, brush, liners, drying rack, styling strap...is that all???? Yeah I think that might be everything. Here's the thing: The wig $32 (on sale through cancer society) the crap to go with it? $45 before shipping.

By the time I bought my mom a wig--the wig stuff--and a new hat (plus a matching hat for myself), with shipping the order came to $120!! Do these companies realize that most of these people are on fixed incomes because either they are too sick to work, or they have to work reduced schedules because of the chemo???? I'm sure these are rock-bottom prices too. Thank God my mom has us.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm getting crankier with age. I'm starting to realize this. I have no patience. I don't like to wait for anything anymore. Which pretty much relegates me to toddler like tantrums (mostly in my head, I'm pretty sure I'd make a spectacle if I decided to throw myself to the floor and flail). One of the things that I am losing patience with is sports. I used to love sports. I loved to play sports, I loved to watch sports, and I especially loved to sit with a beer and argue sports with anyone who felt like arguing. Not so much anymore. You see, I'm dating a man who is a sports NUT. I should have seen it coming...I knew the signs. I have two brothers afflicted with the same disease. As the matter of fact, one of the things I liked about him to begin with was the mutual interest in the same teams.

OK, that was then. Now, I can't have a conversation with him during sports. He does not even dignify me with a response or glance. It wouldn't upset me if it was when he is watching a specific team, or a specific game...or a RECENT one for that matter.

This all started out innocently enough. The first year we dated he was really into baseball and football. What guy isn't, and to tell you the truth, I didn't mind (except for the world series game he stood me up for--and never even took me along, all I got was a ratty program).

Year two--hockey is added into the equation.

Year three--the addiction gets worse...we begin to listen on the radio too.

Year four--we can't even talk during commercials because these are entertaining too, or it's time for peebreak.

Year five--I know y'all are getting the picture.

Year six--more of the same.

Year seven--The bane of my existence. The ESPN CLASSIC CHANNEL.

Oh, yes! There is a channel now that shows old games in their entirety. This basically means that if a game is called because of weather (which used to be God's way of throwing us women a bone), now these sports-infatuated men can recline and relive some old game. "I can't tell you what I did with ____--Can't you see the 1977 championship is on!" "Honey, I'm sorry did you say something? Why are you so mad? I told you I was watching the 1984 World Series--My God they were tying it up!"

Yes girls--we are doomed. If there is "nothing on" which basically means, nothing he wants to watch, the channel immediately heads to the same spot.

And Men--pay attention: I used to like sports. I used to play sports. I used to enjoy these things. I now cannot stand the themesong for SportsCenter. Take heed, do not ruin the enjoyment of these things for us. We do not mind you being fans. This actually helps us out once in a while (especially when we need help drafting our players for fantasy football). But for the love of God, give us something. I would just like to have the commercials and drive time back.

I'm afraid I will be forced to retaliate at some point.

I could start forcing SoapNet or worse--Lifetime on him. I don't want to have to do it...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Liana!

I hope everyone has someone in their life that they can count on no matter what. I am so lucky that I do, and not only is she a wonderful best friend, but she's also family. Liana, my cousin is such a wonderful blessing in my life. She is the kind of friend that wouldn't just bail me out of jail, she'd be sitting right next to me in the cell. Lee's birthday is tomorrow, and I just wanted to let her know just how much she means to me. Lian, you've been there through thick and thin. Thank you so much for holding me up when Grandpa died, then being there to lean on when Marty passed away. I'm glad you are there to listen to me gripe, and help me to not cry about my Mom being sick. Sometimes you are the only person who can keep me sane. And I really appreciate it. Through all of our madcap misadventures--which I'm sure we could write a book about--you have always been the steady reliable force. Happy Birthday. I hope that you receive every blessing possible! And by the way, if we keep having these birthday things, we'd better start looking for the little yellow house on the corner, you know, the one with the porch swing... Just kidding, we may have to grow up eventually, but in our hearts, we'll never be old.

Hugs and Kisses
(I'll talk to you soon)


Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Nephew's First Day

I have two nephews, Tyler (five) and Tanner (four). Tyler's first day of school was yesterday. I took the day off of work so I could be there to document the occasion on film. These little guys are the apple of my eye. Being an Aunt is the greatest thing. I get to be there for most of the firsts and all of the other cute or funny things they do, and when they drive me crazy I can just hand them off to my brother. What a totally sweet arrangement. We had been eagerly anticipating Tyler's first day at school. It was the next milestone for him and one that we all remembered well from our childhood. Problem was, Tyler didn't want to go, AT ALL. So he was completely beligerant about having pictures taken, and wouldn't look at the camera. And when he actually did look at the camera, it was very hard to get a smile out of him. I can see my scrapbook pages now...the title could be "The Kindergarten Dropout". I was really surprised that he felt this way. Our family had been talking up school for months now, but Tyler and Tanner have a huge shy streak and they are so close in age, that they've really never had to do anything by themselves. I think if they were going together, that it wouldn't have been as bad.

Tyler wasn't alone in his misery. Tanner was just lost without his big brother. He kind of wandered around without anything to do, looking extremely pathetic. Well, my brother has decided to take action. He is going to enroll Tanner in preschool three days a week so that this doesn't happen again next year, and so that Tanner has something to do while his brother is at school. (Now mind you--big sister (me) told him years ago to do the same thing with Tyler. But I won't say I told you so.) (Okay, I told him so!)

I know both of those boys will do wonderfully in school, after all, it's in the genes. Once the first day jitters are over for Tyler, it will become old-hat and all will be well. I wish I could be a fly on the wall today at my brother's house, with the increduluous look of "I have to go BACK????" on Tyler's face that I have a feeling will be there. I'm sure I'll hear all about it tonight, since our family has to relate all of the days happenings to one another. This is one of the great things about the fact that my brothers and I are relatively close to one another. I get to live vicariously. I don't have a family of my own yet, but I can feel my brother's pain. And I did yesterday. Neither one of us wanted to make Tyler go...but it had to be done. And we all felt for Tanner. Especially John. After all, Twenty-five years ago, I was Tyler and John was Tanner. We had to leave each other because I had to go to Kindergarten, and John wandered around looking for something to do, and just kind of waited until I got home. And the "School Daze" starts another cycle.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Banana Splits and the Battle of the Bulge

Anyone who knows me knows that I have had to struggle to stay fit. This wasn't a problem in my younger years, but just in the past seven or so. Recently I have been working out at the gym at school. This can be a bit intimidating, since the only people who go there are either involved in sports or extremely physically fit. I'll be walking away on the treadmill, thinking I'm doing pretty good...feeling good about the fact that my speed is 3.5 mph. Then some little twit in a blond ponytail will bounce onto the treadmill next to me and start running on it at a sprint. I hate that girl. I'm not always at the gym at the same time everyday, but she shows up anyway halfway through the hour I drag my butt through on the treadmill, looking like she couldn't possibly sweat. I have come to two conclusions, either the gym staff calls her to let her know I'm there (I mean, it probably makes her feel great to watch me struggle and sweat while she breezes through her workout). Or she never leaves, like Quasimoto, she just lives in the bowels of the gym somewhere and waits to hear my labored breathing to know it is time for her workout. Either way, she's annoying.

I've been trying to eat healthy too. This hard to do since my Mom has been sick. Not only do I eat a lot of junk when I'm stressed and worried, but my Mom has been losing massive amounts of weight from her chemotherapy (she has no appetite). So we've been trying to feed her fattening food. I took her out for ice cream last Friday night. Of course, I had to have a banana split too. It called to me...in a small voice similar to Smurfette. "You know you want me..." It was too much, I couldn't resist, and the rest is history...and an addition to the cellulite on my thighs.

I've promised Mike from work that I would run a 5k with him next summer. What in God's name was I thinking? I must be losing it. So now I have ten months to get into shape in order to not die. I don't really want to have a heart attack while doing something healthy.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Thank God for Calculators

I've never liked math--even a little bit. It still cracks me up that my math teachers used to expound on the necessity of math. Now, I'm not talking about simple math. I have had occasion to add, subtract, multiply or divide. And yes, I know fractions are used when baking a cake. And I'm really good at percentages, especially when shopping. I never as of yet have found any use at all for algebra.

Why do I even care to write about this? This semester I have found myself in an Algebra class. Joy of all Joys. Now mind you that my academic advisor never told me that you had to have taken high school level algebra (and passed it). So I go to this class nervous anyway because I did take algebra in high school. I failed it. I still remember the class with anger. I was fifteen (sixteen years ago) and totally lost. Everything that my teacher spoke of sounded like Swahili. I decided to go to said teacher and just see if I could get some help. She proceeded to yell at me and say that if I did my homework I would understand it. I attempted to point out that I would do my homework if I knew how. I then received a lecture about being lazy. I wasn't lazy, I was just not math-inclined and completely lost. I never did another problem in that class. I never turned in an assignment, and I signed my name to the top of the tests as soon as they were given to me and immediately handed them back to her--blank. I hated that teacher.

So I get to relive the humiliation at the age of thirty-one. Great! The day of class I had to beat traffic from work (fun times!) race to the classroom which was heated to about 112 degrees, and find a place to sit. my eyes roamed the room. It was a sea of eighteen year old children (I say children, because they still look that way to me). They have the look that all freshmen carry with them. The wide-eyed fish out of water look. They are also wearing very new sneakers, jeans, and the girls actually wear makeup. I take a seat against a wall and attempt to blend in. I am fairly successful at this today, because there are actually four other students in the class that are older than I am. This makes me in turn seem younger.

Now for those of you who have not ever been in this environment, the first day of class in college is like the first day at school when you are a kid. The teacher basically goes over what they expect from you and tell you a little about themselves. I have a theory that this is because they don't like having to teach anymore than we like having to learn on the first day.

Algebra class was another story. This guy was hard core. It took him exactly six minutes to go through the above routine, followed by an hour and twenty minutes of actual learning. We went over the end of the class time by six minutes. I took six pages of notes that first day, my hand flying across the page because this man writes and erases faster than Dennis Rodman changes hair colors. I of course, under stand nothing. And was given 122 problems to have done before the next class.

My question is, why is this class required if you are not a math or science major? I have used algebra 0--count it--0 times in the thirteen years since high school. And once I finally graduate, I will use it 0 more times. Go figure.