Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christmas Shopping

I'm sitting in my living room beaming from ear to ear. Why? Because it's October 21st and I have officially purchased J.R.'s Christmas present. Every year I sit and wonder, "What do you buy for a man who has everything?" This year I've nailed it. He has a present that is not only perfect, but FUN. Now all I have to do is keep it a secret. I'm doomed.

No in an effort to change holiday gears, I'm off to dust off some Halloween decorations so I can beat the neighbors at their game. They have huge balloon decorations in their yard. At night they light up and are the total opposite of creepy. For those who don't know, I LOVE Halloween decorations. I have more gadgets for Halloween than Christmas. All I have to do is convince J.R. to let me borrow some extension cords.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Night Life

My class schedule this semester has allowed me to take on J.R.'s sleeping patterns and stay up all hours of the night. It's not uncommon for the lights in our house to turn off around 2 or 3 am, and live bodies don't start moving around before 9 am. If you ever call my house before 10 am with anything but an extreme emergency, you can be assured that there will not be a cheerful voice on the other end of the phone.

A close friend, and coworker of mine, has to go to the doctor tomorrow morning and was looking for someone to cover the shift. Under the emergency circumstances I gladly volunteered and reassured her that it was fine. It wasn't until about an hour ago that it hit me.... I have to be at the store, dressed, make up on, by 8 am. Just to get to the store by 8 am I have to leave my house at 7:30 am. It takes me around an hour to get ready for work. I have to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow (that's currently 7 hours from now). Is the sun even up at 6:30 am? I honestly don't know if it is or not at this time of year.

Oh the life of a student. Late night study sessions, 2 am bar close, and the inability to function in the morning. I'm planning a nap into my day tomorrow. Don't interrupt it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cross Words

I'm sitting in the coffee shop waiting to go to work. I'm sure the new girl will LOVE that I'm downing this iced pumpkin latte right before going to work. I'm sure I will be wired, which is good for me, bad for her.

I was trying to surf the web, but the couple sitting in front of me just has me mesmerized.

They are an older couple. Their high-waisted blue jeans are about four inches to short when they sit down, revealing their matching new balance walking shoes, and white socks. Their wind breakers don't match, but still make me smile. They are sitting in the coffee shop completing today's cross word puzzle together. She reads off the clue, and he quietly mutters possible answers.

I'm pretty sure if J.R. and I tried to do a cross word puzzle together, we would end up tearing the paper apart and not talk to each other for week. Besides, we all know that J.R.'s answers would be pointless because I am CLEARLY smarter than he is. This ability to work together on mental projects must come with age. Lets make that a goal for the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I am going to go to work today. I'm going to be happy at work. I'm going to smile and greet guests with enthusiasm. I'm not going to make the new girl cry.

If I keep repeating these ideas over and over, maybe it will all come true.

Happy Sunday world.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Election Fever

I was waiting for class to start the other day when a younger student sitting next to me turned and enthusiastically asked, "So... who are you voting for this year?"

The girl was decked out from head to toe with Obama gear. Obama shirt, Obama button, Obama bracelet, Obama stickers allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll over her computer. She should have been getting paid by the Obama campaign for being a walking billboard. I'm pretty sure I threw up a little in my mouth out of disgust for her enthusiasm. Sad, I know.

I politely responded that I hadn't picked a candidate to support yet and continued with my class preparations.

"Well, you should totally vote for Obama. He's going to bring great changes to this country."

"Oh? What kind of changes??" I enquired.

"Changes. He's got great values, you'll see. Vote Obama."

"Oh? What are his values?"

"Well, umm, I dunno. But it's going to be awesome."

I'm really excited that so many students at Stout are taking the time to become involved in the election. However, a lot of them just seem to have Obama fever, and haven't even taken the time to read and understand what both candidates stand for.

I've been finding it really difficult to choose a candidate this year. I'm not taking my right to vote lightly and I want to be an educated voter. So many students are looking at me as though I should instantly know who I'm going to vote for because my husband was injured in Iraq.

"So, you're husband was hurt in Iraq right?"


"Does that mean you're voting for McCain?"

Iraq has been such a huge part of my life. There isn't a day that passes that I don't think about the Middle East. I watch J.R. put on his prosthetic every morning and I remember. I remember all the goodbyes, all the hellos, the midnight phone calls, the care packages. I remember our family sacrificed for the country.

It is so important, this election especially, for all of us to take a look at what we as individuals need, and then to step back and take a look at what our country needs. There's no hiding the fact that the economy is horrible. What do we do about the financial industry, or health care, or the war? It's time to vote for what is best for the country, not the individual person. If that means we pay some hire taxes, so be it. Suck it up citizens of the United States and remember, we did this to ourselves.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Horror in the Library

I went to move desks, turned around, and sitting there is my psych professor from last year. He's a very interesting man that feels as though no topic is off limits. All that pops into my mind when I see him is a rather uncomfortable classroom discussion about porn viewing habits (apparently nothing is off limits in a college psych class). I can stay at the desk, crabby and pissed off that my bubble has been popped, OR I can get up and move and risk facing a run in with the old Professor. Being that the professor is facing me, I'm sure he has noticed me, and thus I risk appearing rude if I do not acknowledge his presence when I turn and leave.

Decisions, decisions.

Why did I pick a small college?


I have a bubble and I hate when my bubble is invaded. When I'm sitting in the library... the empty, silent library... my bubble expands to a larger circumference than if I was waiting in line at the grocery store (don't get me started on THAT bubble).

A boy has sat down on the opposite side of my cubby desk. If I stretched my feet out, they would touch his. I don't play footsie with strangers. There are many, many, many open desks that have no one sitting on either side of the cubby.

He has unnecessarily popped my bubble. Now I'm crabby and bubble-less.

Hump Day

Oh hump day *sigh* I suppose it is named that for a reason, but does it have to be so exhausting?

I started my morning off right and I ate a brownie. One really, really big brownie. Thinking that nothing could go wrong in my day, I sat down and opened up my econ folder to do some last minute cramming for my quiz on utility. When I got to the make your chart section, I opened up my graphing calculator and hit the power button. Nothing happened. I changed the batteries and again hit on. Nothing happened. @*%$&)*#@!@ turn on! *bang bang bang* and poof(!) a screen popped up!! Unfortunately it was a screen of dashed lines and random numbers. I hit the clear button a million times until eventually the screen just went blank and nothing happened at all. One hour to test time, and no calculator. Panic.

"J.R. do you have a calculator?"


"Yes, well... I have a quiz due today, a test today, a report due today, a three page analysis on education to write that's due tomorrow, 30 pages of reading WITH questions to answer due tomorrow, ANOTHER econ test on Friday, 13 hours of work at the store, and midterms next week. Now, do you have a calculator?"

"..... no."

"OK Then."

No big deal, stop at Lammers (a local grocery store right next to campus) and pick up a small calculator. After all, it didn't HAVE to be a graphing calculator. I pulled in thinking it would be a quick in and out. It definitely was quick, but only due to the fact that they were sold out of calculators. I drove to the other side of town and stopped at Walgreens. They too were out of calculators.

*deep breath*

Wal-Mart. I did find my calculator, but had to struggle through the store as it was senior citizen and stay at home mom shopping hour. Everywhere I walked there were people standing in the middle of the aisle, blocking the entire section. I weaved in and out with the speed and grace of a rookie race car driver. Sure I bumped into a couple things, but no major damage was done... right???

$10.44 later I had a lovely Texas Instruments calculator.

I made it to my test in the nick of time. Thankfully this test went smoother than the last (which I got a C on, and yes I'm still pouting about that).

After the test I made my way to HR management. I caught a lucky break in the fact that the Professor let us out 45 minutes early on account that half the class was missing, and the other half of the class was falling asleep. In my extra time for the day, I whined in my blog :)

I'm off to finish hump day by writing my analysis, studying for econ.. again, and reading this very stupid book. What an exciting day.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Phone Etiquette

With the invention of the cell phone came the devolution of human manners. I think it's safe to say that most of commit the cardinal sin of talking on our cell phones while driving. Unless you're my Mom, in that case you can't shift the car and talk on the phone all at one time (sorry Mom). How many of us have completely ignored a cashier at the grocery store in order to not interrupt the very important phone conversation about who did what at last nights frat party? Or, my ultimate favorite rude cell phone behavior at the moment, answered their cell phone in the middle of class... I thought I had witnessed the worst of the worst cell phone behavior moments, but today a woman in Target topped my list.

After chugging down two fountain drinks at lunch with Jackie, it was no surprise that after 45 minutes of shopping in Target I was ready to burst. Leaving Jackie at the check out I darted over to the restroom. I entered the restroom and noticed that stall one and stall two were occupied. I thought nothing of the woman's voice coming from inside one of the stalls as we all know women flock to the bathroom in groups where we then gossip for ten minutes before returning to the real world. As I entered a stall to do my business, it occurred to me that the conversation I was unintentionally eavesdropping on was completely one sided. Moments later a toilet flushed and the occupant of the stall left the restroom. It was at this moment I realized I was in the bathroom with one other person; a person who was locked in a stall, pants around their ankles, and talking on their cell phone in a very busy public restroom.

I washed my hands but skipped drying them as I was fighting the urge to either giggle or blurt out some nasty comment about phone etiquette. It was an interesting mix of disgust and humor that someone could be so carefree in their cell phone usage. I couldn't help but wonder, what did the person on the other end of the phone think of all the flushing in the background?

I found Jackie moments later and blurted out the entire story. This led to a ten minute conversation on bathroom stories which only goes to show, you're never to old to enjoy a little potty humor. Maybe it's the redneck in me shining through.... I guess that explains the copy of Up Shit Creek sitting in my bathroom.

After Target, Jackie and I made our way to the mall for pedicures. It was so relaxing. I picked out this wonderful pink polish, which stayed looking wonderful for all of two hours. Figures, when you pay to get the polish placed perfectly in the lines of your toes you are DOOMED to mess it up somehow.

As I sit inside the "warm" house stewing over my messed up toe, J.R. is outside running around the pitch black yard with a head lamp muttering something about "God damn moles" under his breath as he injects the ground with poison. I have to say it's rather entertaining to watch the little ball of light bounce around the yard from inside the house. At least he's staying busy.

Although the day was relaxing, it's back to the world of stress and homework. This week promises to be another week of homework overload. I can't wait to see what finals week will bring.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blissful Time

It's 1 pm. My next class starts at 2:30. I have nothing to do.

I'm sure if I thought hard enough I could find school work that needs a jump start. For now, I'm just going to enjoy my hour and half of silence in my brain. With no need to worry about price elasticity of demand, or summarys on Hmon culture, I can actually relax for a little bit.

I think it's time to head up to the practice rooms and play the bassoon for an hour. At least then I can curse myself for not playing in the last three years and letting my skills go down the drain. As J.R. has told me often in the last two weeks, "it sounds like a dieing cow trying to hang on to life." He's always so supportive and sweet.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Beginning of Fall

The last two days have brought a fall feeling to Menomonie. The air is crisp and cool. The wind blows, rustling the fallen leaves across the sidewalks and you shiver as the breeze wraps around you. While the trees have not fully changed, they have begun their transformation from green giants to bare bodies dotting the horizon. The articulation of green soy beans to green alfalfa has been broken by the transformation of the beans into golden beauties. The yellow leaves radiate the warmth of the sun as it shines down upon the farm fields waiting for harvest. The sun's rays beckon me like a siren calling to a sailor, but I am forced to resist the urge to run into the light as I am chained to my homework for the evening. The broken front door of the farm house stands like a gate keeper from heaven and hell, locking me inside this dreaded house.

Inside it is a warm 60 degrees. The wood stove has yet to arrive so the furnace kicks on once in a great while to keep the house around 60. I sit in my jeans, two pairs of socks, tank top, t-shirt, and hoody. My body is still chilled so I wrap myself in a fleece blanket. With hot tea next to the computer, I have finally reached a temperature that allows me to think of things other than how cold I am inside my own house. It's 6 pm and soon the sun will sink under the horizon and darkness will rule the night.

My head hurts. Not your normal dull, annoying hurt, but a forceful pounding that rolls from the back of the head to the front. My eyes feel as though they will explode at any moment and I'm tired. In an effort to forget about the pounding I joined J.R. and Brutus wrestling by his computer. For a moment there is laughter and enjoyment while we play with the puppy. Then the back of J.R.'s head makes contact with my check bone. For a moment I am calm. Then before I can realize what is going on, a jolt of pain rushes through my head, into my eyes, and tears begin to run down my cheeks. J.R. is left speechless. Apologizing over and over saying he didn't hit me that hard. I try to explain to him that he didn't hit me hard and that I'm fine but he doesn't understand. He can't understand how the migraine has taken over and how a simple tap on the cheek can cause so much pain to an aching mind.

And so I sit, tears still rolling down my face and the headache worsens. The Excedrin migraine has done little to nothing to ease the pain and I am coming to the realization that I'm going to have to suck it up to make it through my homework. Thirty pages of tough reading with questions to answer, a summary to write on Hmong culture, and a report on the 4/5's rule, all due tomorrow. I wish I could blame myself, call myself an idiot for procrastinating. However, that's not the case. All of the assignments were handed out on Tuesday and are due tomorrow. Wicked, cruel teachers.

There is so much to write and discuss, but the homework load has been sucking up all of my time. I try to work ahead yet seem to be stuck always digging my way out in the last moment. Such is the life of a student. One can only hope that the migraine weakens, the fingers type quickly, and that the thoughts continue to flow freely from an unblocked mind. Maybe then the front door will stop blocking me from the beauty of a fall day.