Friday, December 31, 2010

2011

So it's almost fucking 2011. One more year to live, if we're to go by crappy John Cusack movies.

A little less than a year ago I posted my 2010 resolutions. Since then, I've lost a boyfriend, gotten a new job, lost a few friends, gained a few friends, appreciated alcohol, lost all hope of having a normal sleep cycle, and have found out who really matters in my life. I've started a new fish tank, haven't finished the 55 gallon that is (still) sitting in my basement, and have figured out a Plan. A Plan for my life. It's still in transition, but I know what I'm going to do. Which is pretty fucking fantastic, if you ask me.

I hope ya'll have a fantastic New Year's. And I hope that your hangovers aren't that bad.

And, above all, I hope that ya'll can appreciate the goods, the bads, and the absolute insanity of 2011. Let's make it a good year. That's my plan.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Raisin my whiskey glass

The tree is twinkling. In that totally innocent and wholesome way that trees bedecked with little minature lights and ornaments do. Under it are carefully wrapped presents (none of them mine, because I? Still have wrapping to do. And mine wouldn't look that nice anyways). It's a Wonderful Life is playing on the television in the background, and people today have had a sort of bounce in their step. A silent and visual indicator that the Christmas spirit is upon us.

I don't remember when I started to transform into a Grinch. I loved Christmas as a kid. Lived for it. And now? Eh. Mneh actually. With a side of "Bah Humbug."

I finished the last of my Christmas shopping tonight. Let me tell you, it was a fantastic adventure. There is nothing quite like entering into a department store at closing time on Christmas Eve (yea, I know. I'm an ass). But, Grandmom and Grandpop got their sweaters (because wtf else am I going to get them? I'm not particularly close to my family, and gift cards are usually frowned upon for some ungodly reason).

I'm sitting here, surrounded by presents. Mountains of wrapping paper await them in the other room. Cookie dough waits to be baked into cute little gingerbread men, complete with icing buttons.

And yet, and yet, I just can't muster up the Christmas cheer.

I'm incredibly lucky to have the people I do in my life. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. I've got a supportive family. My debt is little. Life is good.

And it might be taking a new turn soon. More details on that later, since I can't say anything for sure yet.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my loves over at 20sb. Mollie, Kandace...Brian and Bobby. Ya'll rock. Seriously. Like Wowzies.

Kandace even gave me a lovely and shiny award :)

Do you see that shit? It's got a kitteh in it. I love kittehs. Thanks Kandace!

So I'm raising my whiskey glass to you tonight fellow bloggers. I hope Santa brings you something devilishly wonderful. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Risks?

I'm stuck in an in-between.

I fucking hate in-betweens. They sneak up from behind and have the nasty habit of trapping ya. I can't move forward, I can't move back - I'm just stuck.

Maybe it's time to take some risks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,

I don't know you. I don't know if I will ever truly know you. But you will change my life one day. We might meet on a bus, or at work. We might just happen to bump into each other on the side of the street, or maybe you know one of my friends. Maybe not. I don't know.

The circumstances don't matter as much as we like to think they do.

I've met others like you. People who have changed my fundamental being, people who have torn down my walls. People who have shown me what it means to be human, what it is to be someone. Some of them I've loved. Some of them I haven't. All of them have impacted me.

I thank them for that. And I thank you, whoever you are, for being you. Because without you, I wouldn't be me.

-Sara

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pour some sugar on it

Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield. Mark Knopfler said some shit like that once, and I can't help but totally agree with him. Usually, I'm pretty good at balancing myself, but lately I've been more bug and less windshield.



My parakeet told me to snap out of it. Ok, really, all he said was "pour some sugar on me" (yes, he actually does say it, and no, I don't have that shit up on Youtube. Yet.), but I get the feeling that that's what he meant.


Bug's death-date is approaching. I feel like I should stop by her grave and give her some flowers or shit - but really, for someone who was as awesome as she is that falls a bit short. Far too conventional. Maybe if I set the cemetary on fire...she'd appreciate that.



Someone who I once considered to be a friend isn't talking to me (story of my life?). Christmas is here, so I pretty much have to force cheerful bubbly happiness out of every pore of my body while at work (gag). Seriously people. I am not cheerful. Rudolph can die in a hole for all I care. You remember the part where he was drifting on the piece of ice?


I always secretly hoped it would capsize.


Life would be boring if it were easy. I think. I mean, don't get me wrong, if I win the lotto I'm not going to be all "oh gosh, this is just too easy! Take back your evil money!" Hell no.



I'm totally takin that shit and going on a vacation. Several vacations, actually. I think I'll start in Spain.


If you never hear from me again, that's where I'm at. On a beach somewhere with Raymundo, soaking up the rays and sippin a Mai Tai.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Drumsticks on Fire

Every once in a while, I look around and go 'huh.' A perpetual outsider, I've honed my skills for observing the natives. It started out as a survival tactic and grew to be something I'd do to amuse myself.

And, every once in a while, it shows me an aspect of myself that I never knew I had.

I feel like I need to precede this story with a few simple facts about myself:

1.) I don't dance. Ever. Not only because I can't (seriously, drunk badgers have better rhythm), but also because I pose a clear and present danger to all in my vicinity.

2.) I don't generally flirt. Never really felt like I had to - the only men interested in flirting with me (usually) are creepy old men. With man-boobs and sweat stains. Sexxxay.

3.) Singing is also a no-no. My broken warbling has been known to bring men to their knees, begging for mercy.

So yes. And these three facts have pretty much remained my status quo (yes, I know I'm boring). I'm the girl over by the wall, sipping on a Guinness and gently swaying to the music (I've found I'm a very good sway-er)

I went out with a coworker to see a band the other night. I enjoy music, and I enjoy beer. The fact that said band was playing in a bar was a plus. After repeatedly refusing a few buckets of rum (seriously, the bar serves rum buckets. It's a bucket filled with four or five different types of rum...how awesome is that?), I decided to settle in with my Jameson (ok, c'mon now...you didn't really expect me to drink some sissy fruity thing, did you?).

Long story short, after a few Jamesons, a few Yuenglings, and a Guinness or three, I was headbanging along with the band to Rage Against the Machine. There was also some jumping and sexy (!!! I almost achieved a sexy dance!!!) dancing. The drummer lit his drumsticks on fire. He also did a pretty sick solo.

I had a lot of fun, and I think I've resigned myself to doing things like that more often. Except maybe with less drinking, because really, I don't think my liver can take that on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday cheer?

The holidays are approaching.

I can feel it. The same way I can feel indigestion bubbling up from my gastrointestinal depths.

It's not that I don't enjoy the holidays, or that I don't like them. I do. Well, I like parts of them.

I like seeing my Grandmom and Grandpop (and I suppose the rest of the family isn't half bad either). I like giving presents away, and seeing the looks on other people's faces when I give them something that I spent time looking for (or, in some cases, making). And I love the food.

Oh the food. For those of you who don't know, I've been having a torrid love affair with food for the past 25 years.

I like the spirit of the holidays. What I don't like, however, is the crowds. I'm mildly claustrophobic at best, and and I hate people touching me.

Especially little old women who have no sense of personal space. Lady, you can have the sweater if it means you'll back the eff off.

People gets nuts, for some reason. Absolutely batty. Normal, perfectly nice people suddenly start doing remarkable impressions of the Incredible Hulk. Hulk angry. Hulk smash.

Part of me wonders whether or not the holidays are about pleasing others or one-upping them. And the other part of me is too busy pointing out that that's a very Grinch-esque point of view, and would I just stop being a stick in the mud already?

I think I'm going to hang some lights on the house tomorrow. Freezing the balls I don't have off seems like a good way to kick off this holiday season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Oh Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my friends and my family - without them I'd be lost forever to the dark dank hole of depression. I wouldn't be me without them. I'm thankful for my animals - they showed me what it's like to truly love another being with no strings attached. I'm thankful for all the teachers and professors I've ever had. Even you, Mrs. McClusky - I haven't forgotten how you said I was slow like molasses. Fifth graders have a long memory, it turns out. I'm also thankful for microwaves, cars, facebook, and underwear.

Tomorrow's Black Friday, and with it comes the insanity of the holiday season. I'm trying to stay upbeat - I'm nursing a slightly broken heart (Pookie and I have split up for good), but love isn't everything, contrary to what Disney taught me. And maybe it's a fresh start.

That doesn't make it suck any less.

I'm taking time this holiday season for me. It's about high-time I did. I'm sick of living life by other people's rules - it's time to grow up. I'm making the rules, and I'm not going to let other people's judgements about my job, or my living situation, or anything else dictate who I am.

Screw. That.

So many people get caught up in the stress and drama of life. It becomes a trap. They get stuck living so far in the future that they forget how to live in the present, and then they don't know how to function without the stress. So they seek it out, and forget what's really important. I'm not going to be one of those people. Don't get me wrong - it's important to keep the future in mind. But it doesn't dictate who I am.

I'm going to keep what's important to me close to my heart this holiday season. And I hope all ya'll do as well.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nan

My Nanny is dying.



She's my father's mother - a Catholic who married a Lutheran, lived through the depression, put up with weekly emergency room visits from her spawn, put the majority of said spawn through college, and still somehow managed to stay sane throughout it all.



She's someone who always snuck me candy when my parents weren't looking, she made me eat my carrots, and she used to sit quietly in the corner and smile to herself as she watched the chaos unfold around her. The eye of the storm, as it were.



That said, we aren't particularly close. With 20-something cousins (and counting), her attentions were always split among us. I also very rarely ever saw her but two or three times a year - I spoke to her maybe a time or two more than that. Sad reflection on today's society and youth, but there you have it. The facts.



Nanny has Alzheimer's disease. She's had it for a few years now, and she just keeps getting worse and worse. It's to the point now where she can't even finish a sentence - where she doesn't even recognize her own children, much less her grandchildren.



She can't walk anymore. She sits in the nursing home, vacantly staring at the television screen, avoiding eye contact with everyone around her. Some days she's ok. Some days it's like there's still a glimmer of her old self in there. Other days though...other days aren't so good. I don't know what's more heartbreaking, her presence or her absence.

My father's family is, understandably, crushed. They don't know what to do, or how to act. The last two years has been a shit-show worthy of the worst reality-television series. First there was arguing about which hospital to put her in when she had her heart attack. Then there was arguing about which nursing home to put her in. Then they started fighting over who would have power of attorney. How much to sell the house for. Who to sell the house to. What to do with her estate.



And now, they still argue. Oh no, we can't go up and visit - it'd be too many people. Oh my gosh, nobody ever visits, she's getting lonely.



My father's family, I've decided, bleeds their pain out through arguing.



And then there's me. Is it wrong to hope that Nanny dies? She's said multiple times that she wants to. She wants to join her husband in death.



I can only hope that she'll find solace in death. Because she's sure as hell not getting it now.



I don't know what that says about how much I care about her. I do. I think I love her.



I just hate seeing her in pain.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Special

When I was thirteen, my parents decided to start visiting Oak Island, N.C. every year for our summer vacation. We'd wake up at three in the damn bloody morning, haul our suitcases in the mini-van, and get on the road.



Y'know, it sounds so inconspicuous when it's put out in writing. Chaotic would be the word that best describes what really went down on those trips.



My sister? Felt the need to pack no less than five suitcases (much to my eternal consternation - they took up my leg-room), Dad was screaming at us to hurry it the hell up because he (goddamn it) did not want to hit traffic, and Mom...Mom was doing her best to hold it all together and not smack her husband for being an idiot.



After many hours (ten, to be precise) of cursing delightful conversation, we'd arrive at Oak Island, N.C. It's supposed to take twelve hours to get there, but Dad liked to compete with the previous year's time - he once got the trip down to 8 hours (much to our horror).


It was nice and secluded. It was a nature preserve with a beach. Adorable baby loggerhead turtles used it as a nesting site, and whenever we went we seemed to see the little tykes hatching in the dusk and flapping their way towards the ocean (y'know, when they weren't getting run over by the tourists).

I...I was all over that shit.


Like white on rice baby. Like white on rice.



My sister, on the other hand, hated it. She was horrified that the nearest mall was over an hour's drive away, and she didn't like the "bugs, dirt, sand, ugly ocean water, and like, ohmigawd fish like, totally poop in there."


She's a special type of girl. Bless the man she winds up trapping marrying...poor sonovabitch.


I remember sitting on the deck in the morning while everyone was asleep, watching the pelicans fly by and listening to the waves crash. Oak Island is my special place. I remember sitting on the beach, watching old women with skin like leather sit and slather on suntan lotion like it was going to do something for them. Elephants have thinner skin.



I also remember the year that hurricane Charley hit.



I remember sitting in the backseat of the mini-van, watching the palm trees bend in the wind. They were nearly perpendicular to the ground, and I distinctly remember thinking that if Dad killed us on the way to the beach, I would totally kill him. Again. (I was in the middle of my "rebellion" stage - by this time I was a whopping 19 years old. Rebellion hit me later in life).



So after driving through the winds, we finally hit the eye of the storm. Both literally and figuratively - my mother had been peppering our ride with a colorful mastery of the English language that I, dear readers, have not seen an equal since.



So, we're down there in the coastal region of North Carolina, about to cross a bridge to get to Oak Island.


I didn't think Dad was suicidal up until that point. It became clear to me that he? Was going to take us all out in a hurricane-induced blaze of glory. So he's about to drive over this bridge and - surprise surprise - there was a cop awaiting for us at the entrance.



So of course the cop tells us to turn around. Dad's response?


"Sir, this is a Chrysler Town and Country. I think it can handle it."


Le Sigh. This is the type of class I come from people. I can only hope that one day my future children (if I ever settle down and decide to have the little poop machines) will know exactly how special their family is.

drunken ramblings

It occurs to me that you, dear Reader, are horribly uninformed as to who I am.



So here's me rectifying that. It's also feeding my ego. But eh. Potato, potahto. I'm drunk, and so I've gotten the courage to write....25 things about me that you probably didn't know.


1.) I am, at times, a total girl. I love doing the whole chocolate and candles and sappy chick flick thing. But I can also totally kick your ass if you piss me off, and if you call me on being a girl, I'll totally deny it.


2.) Nirvana is a good book and the ability to curl up into a blanket warm from the dryer. It's also a pretty awesome band.


3.) I have a secret fetish for jackets, fine cars, and really well-made shoes.

4.) I adore flying. And travel. But sometimes, I like flying in a plane more than the actual destination. I love it when the plane goes through the clouds, and it's all murky, and then, all of a sudden, they clear out and there it is. The sun glinting off the top of little puffs of water vapor. It's enough to make me believe in magic again.


5.) Someday, I will travel to all the continents. Or, I'll at least get around to visiting most of them. Maybe.


6.) I let my emotions get the best of me most of the time. I usually wind up taking something completely insignificant and turning it into a gigantic fucking deal for no reason at all. I'm ridiculously insecure.



7.) Happiness is ephemeral. I truly believe that everyone needs a little sadness in their lives to counteract the happiness. Horrible of me, I know, but I'm a big supporter of the ying and yang of life.


8.) I secretly have a soft spot for country music. Don't get me wrong, if you stick me in a car for a few hours and force me to listen to it, I'll probably gouge out my ears with whatever sharp pointy object is available. But I won't deny that there's a small (infetestimally small) part of me that actually kind of digs it.



9.) I enjoy dancing. I suck at it, which is why I tend not to do it (unless there's copious amounts of alcohol involved), but I do enjoy it. The problem is, I usually wind up attempting sexy dancing, which..let's face it...is hilarious when a fat chick is trying to do it.


10.) In the same vein as #9, I also like to sing. Don't get me wrong, I sound like a dying cat when I do so, but it's a type of release for me. Better than punching and kicking at pillows, at any rate.



11.) I'm terrified of nursing homes. And clowns. I haven't found a connection...yet.



12.) I can't stand people. I'd be happy holed up in a house in the mountains, where my groceries are air-lifted to me, with a bunch of dogs and varying other animals to keep me company. At least I know that they won't backstab me. Then again, I also realize how lonely of an existence that would be, and so I'm kind of caught in that weird in-between.



13.) My secret fear is that I'm going to wind up alone with no one but a bunch of cats to love me.



14.) I'm in love with food. In LOVE. That wasn't a joke...it was a reality.



15.) I hate peas. If you try to make me eat them, I'll dump them in whatever conveniently located potted plant is in the vicinity. I don't care if it's your great-Grammy's recipe. I ain't eating them.



16.) So I don't drink much, but I do enjoy a beer or two. And I can hold my liquor up to a certain point. For the most part I'm a happy drunk, but every once in a while I can get a bit insecure and then...well, then I throw myself a pity party.


17.) I have extremely vivid dreams. When I was a kid, I had trouble distinguishing between reality and the dreamworld.


18.) Sometimes, when I'm alone, I'll practice my katas. It's been a long time since I was in karate classes, but I remember some of it. The repetition of them calms me down and brings me peace of mind.


19.) I still have nightmares. And they're so close to reality, it creeps me out. So much so that I refuse to even acknowledge them. But, regardless, they're there - lurking, waiting to wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.


20.) I'm actually a deeply religious person. I mean, I realize that everyone says that they're deeply religious, and I realize that more often than not people are just saying that in order to try to make people believe that they're philosophical and shit, but I honestly can say that I am. I love my God. And if you have an issue with that, step the eff back.


21.) I'm slightly drunk right now. It takes a while for alcohol to settle in, but give it a while and boy-howdy. My preferred drink is Jameson, or (in tonight's case) craft beer. I am not an expert in craft brews, but if you ask me when I'm drunk I'll be sure to assure you of my expertise.


22.) I actually like what I do for a living. I mean, it has its downs, but for the most part I enjoy it. As a permanent job, I don't think so, but it's a pretty sweet deal for right now.


23.) Sometimes my dreams come true.


24.) I love me some Jameson. And I love me some man-drinks. But more often than not, the fruity drinks appeal to me just as much.


25.) I am human. And as a human, I can recognize how other humans work. No one's perfect.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A rant about Voting

Warning: semi-political rant ahead. You've been warned.

Oh hi internet. It's me again.

So, election day. First, let me start out by saying that if you didn't vote, and you're elegible to do so, you? SUCK MAJOR DONKEY BALLS.

You suck them like wowzie.

I actually had this conversation with a co-worker today (yes, us service people can actually have conversations that don't involved the words "can" "help" and "you"). He doesn't vote. In fact, he's going on 30, and he's never voted. Like ever.

WTF is up with that? I pondered it in my head for a little bit, then decided to ask him.

"Well," he replied in a slightly embarassed tone, "I never really saw much point in it."

It was at this point that I realized that I was picturing a little me inside my head. And little me was exploding.

People died for our right to vote. They. Died. As in, human lives were terminated for no other reason that they felt that we, the american people, should be able to choose who we will have in office to represent us. They thought that we should have the freedom to even choose whether or not we want to vote.

It's deep and shit stuff (I am attempting to clean up my language. So far it's been a losing battle).

I get where he was coming from - hell, I used to be there. I didn't "get" voting until I was in my early twenties (insert a tear for my lost youth here). I figured, hey, what's the point? I don't follow politics. I doubt my vote is going to be the one to turn the tide.

Oh...stupid, stupid me. Hindsight is 20/20 and blah blah blah.

Basically, it boils down to this:

Sure, one person's vote can't change the tide. It's like saving pennies. One doesn't make a difference, but many do. We are that "many." And honestly, if one's refusing to vote for a reason, then I can dig that. Say they don't like the people up for election - I'm all down with that.

But...if you aren't voting just because you didn't feel like it? That's lazy.

Republican, Democrat, Independant - I don't freaking care. In this case, it doesn't matter what party you support. I heard that they thought that there would be a 50% turnout of voters this year.

It's disgusting.

And shameful. We have what other countries can only dream of, and we throw it all away for no other reason than "we didn't feel like it."

Don't bitch when people you don't like get elected. And don't bitch when taxes take a steep upwards hike, or when your neighborhood fall to shit. Or when that annoying pothole up the street that never gets fixed decides to flatten your tire, or when your kids are flunking school and can't get help from the teacher because hey, it's not in her pay grade.

Voting matters.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sand lines

Material just sometimes presents itself.

I mean, I know I've been all sporadic with the posting recently (ok, so I've done next to no posting...bad Nyx, BAD), but I just haven't gotten my "write" on in a while. And, quite frankly, as I've said a billion times before - I'd rather post nothing than absolute dribble. I've done the dribble postings. I'm sure ya'll have noticed. It ain't pretty.

Anyways, material. It's quite good at presenting itself.

So I don't work at the big mega-billion dollar corporate petstore anymore. Instead, I slug away as minor management in a small family owned one now.

Gotta tell ya - it still sucks.

Anyways, the store I'm at now is in a rather wealthy portion of town. The part of town where a Lamborghini MurciƩlago is considered to be an everyday occurance.

Seriously. WTF do these people do for a living? Cuz I gotta tell ya, they're seriously lacking in the brain power department.

Like, wowzie lacking.

Anywho, there I am, being a nice little overlord low-level manager when a customer walked into the store.

Seriously, I'd like to know why people think they can return shit that's obviously years old. About 5 years old. According to the receipt that was so *graciously* handed to my assistant manager. 14 day return policy. Says so on the receipt. And on the register. And the sign above the register. And the back wall. And the front window. And right above the collars and harnesses. And...ok, I'll stop. You get the point.

I totally booked it out of there. Sorry Little One (the name I will henceforth use to refer to said assistant manager), but I was totally not going anywhere near that hot mess.

And so, as I was in the back room, I started thinking about all the jobs I've had in the past. Some were good, some were bad, and some just downright sucked donkey balls. For instance, I used to work in a kitchen.

My manager used to look down the girl's shirts, the cook went to jail for first degree murder, one of the other cooks had just gotten out of a 5-year stint in jail for drug charges (among other things), one of the women I trained ran after said womanizing manager with a knife, and us girls had to band together to avoid the clutches of Harry (an employee (who was, naturally, friends with the manager) that enjoyed hugging women from behind. And didn't like to let go.

Incidentally enough, it was the cook (the one that committed first-degree murder) that got him fired - he raised hell until that jerk was gone.

And so, on top of all that drama, we had 100 degree heat in the summer (as anyone who's ever worked in a kitchen with no air in the summer will tell you - it sucks) and a bunch of cranky old people to cook for. That was not a good job.

But, the cook? That went to jail for first degree murder?

Stayed home from the superbowl. The game he had tickets for - to see his favorite team, the Steelers - play. And why did he do this?

Because his mother was sick.

And that cook that had just gotten out of jail? For the drug chargers? Yea, he had discovered God during his time. He used to bring a Bible to read out of during his breaks (he wasn't a good reader - barely literate, he had flunked out of high-school and he delved deep into the world of drugs before his incarceration), and he would always be the first one to try to stop a fight if it started. I recall having deep philosophical conversations with him. It's not often you can find someone who can discuss the Daodejing in a reasonably intelligent way, and then flip around and talk about how many G's he used to pull down out on the street. Yo. (ok, so it's been a while and I can't exactly recall the exact conversation, but you get the general idea)

I don't have an excuse for the woman who lost it and started chasing after my boss with a knife, or Harry. Fact of the matter is, there's always going to be ignorant people out there. And there's always going to be good people out there.

But the lines in the sand aren't definate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

evil mad science

I am going to make a robot.

I don't know what it's going to do. I don't know how the hell it's going to be made, since I know nothing about robot-making or mad-scienceism (well, I didn't know anything before googling the shit out of it).

But I'm going to make a robot. And it's going to move.

I'll rip out a few servos from my old toy cars...and Furby?

Furby's going down. He can kiss his infrared sensors goodbye.

So wish me luck, world. I'm going to be a momma soon...a momma to a robot! BWAHAHAHA.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reconciled

So y'know that last post? About hurt, and how I felt when Pookie and I up and quit on each other? And, let's face it, I was playing a bit of the blame game as well.

Yea, bout that. We're back. To being disgustingly happy with one another.

We aren't perfect. What couple is? But we're mending.

Our biggest problem, I think, is that we're scared to piss each other off. Whenever we get pissed, we have a habit of holding it in.

I, especially, have this problem. I don't like talking sincerely - especially about feelings. Ugh. It's not that I don't want to talk about them, specifically - it's that I can't. There's this sort of block that happens in my throat that makes talking near but impossible, and it's just so much easier to divert the attention to something less painful.

I'm much better at writing what I'm feeling.

I'm not going to go into all of what was said between the two of us - because some things are personal and should be kept so. But, long story short, I stopped by his apartment to drop off some of his miscellanous goods that I had lurking around my car and home (a tee shirt, an umbrella, random jar of nutella) that I couldn't stand seeing anymore. We got to talking, which led to both of us collapsing and crying like babies and eventually cumulating in him kissing me senseless.

It was all like...wowza.

Needless to say, he still makes my toes curl.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hurt

When I was a child, we had a cat named Lexington. A common barn-cat, he was a free kitten my parents had gotten in Virginia - so they had decided to name him after the town the barn was in. He was my first pet, ever, and lived to see the grand age of 21 (or 22, we aren't exactly sure how old he was. My parents had gotten him quite a few years before I was born). To this day I remember his soft black fur, situated in a pattern not unlike that of a tuxedo and his bright green (and sometimes all-knowing) eyes.

He taught me how to love.

He always found me when I was upset as a child. Whether it was from the hazing I received as from my peers, or my parents fighting, he always knew when to show up so I could hug him and be comforted.

I wish I had Lex now.

Pookie and I...we are no longer a "we." He has decided that he's no longer in love with me, that he only views me as a friend. That he's not attracted to me.

It's a bitter pill to swallow. I miss the way he held me, the way he smelled. The way he'd cheer me up when I was down. I miss his dumb-ass snoring, and his ridiculously long legs, and that little mole he had on his upper lip. I miss our conversations, his love of boats and wine and all things French.

I just miss him, point blank.

He's a good guy, and I have to give him props for letting me know and not dragging it out like boyfriend #2 did. But damn. I miss him.

It's been four days, and I keep expecting to get up out of this depression. Last night was the first night I've been able to sleep without having to down a bottle of alcohol. Four books managed to do it, and even then sleep came unwilling.

I woke up hugging my blankets again.

Logically, I know that I'm acting ridiculously. Logically, I know that there's probably some other bloke out there that I'll fall for, and I'll be happy again, and everything will be fucking perfect sometime in the distant future.

But I don't want him. He's not Pookie. He doesn't know me. He's not the one I've shared so much of myself with. He wasn't there for me when we had to put Rusty and Lili down. He didn't hold me when I told him about my grandmother's decent into madness, spurred on by Alzheimer's. He wasn't the one that I trusted with myself. All that was Pookie.

It's taken every bit of strength I have not to text him, call him, visit him. I'm like a freaking junkie going through withdrawal.

And, deep down I know that this? Isn't healthy or normal. My brain is telling me to move on - if it won't work it won't work. I can't control what he does, or how he feels. We're incompatible. And yet...I can't help but think that we are. We're totally compatible. Other people were disgusted with how compatible we were.

Well. Apparently we're not.

I'm angry. I'm so freaking angry that he'd just throw me away, that he wouldn't even try to work things out. That he didn't care enough to even put in the damn effort.

My previous breakups have left me totally and emotionally unprepared.

I hurt. And I can't stop crying. Just when I don't think I have any more fluid in my body to spare, something will remind me of him and I'll just start bawling my eyes out like a damn spoiled brat.

It sucks.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

First Day Blues

I quit my job.

Ok, well, I offically quit my job about two weeks ago (had to put my notice in), but you get the idea. My poor manager. He's probably still recovering.

I think I'm still slightly shaken up over it. I've spent almost three years in that store. I know it better than I know my own home. I helped make it what it is. And I was of the last three people there who held that store together.

I kind of feel like I'm copping out, y'know? Like I should have stayed there - tried to fix it somehow. My new job is basically the same as my old one, just with a title and better pay. And a whole bunch of strangers that I don't know.


I'm both excited and terrified. I know it's not a professional job, and if you had told me back when I was in college that I'd be where I'm at now, I'd have muttered some creative obscenities in your direction.

And now? Now I accept it.


I started said new job today. The day started bright and early, and I was given my first set of new shirts to wear. Much to my delight, they are of a tee-shirt fabric (rather than the burlap sacks I used to wear). Much to my disappointment (and chagrin), the shirts? Made me look like a cheap two-cent hooker. Woohoo.

I had been told that the shirts were a men's medium. I don't know if they're going by european sizes, or what the hell type of men they're using for sizing purposes, but the shirts? Are far too small in all the wrong places. It should be illegal. False advertising! Seeing as how my chest area is far from tiny (38C if you really want to know), I look like I should start dancing burlesque at any moment. Oy.

Free lap dances to people who adopt!

Also? The A/C was far from working well. So, there I am, in the middle of a brand new store, sweating like a pig with a skin-tight shirt on.

Let me tell you. It was hawt.

I feel like a fumbling fool. miss being able to joke around, and know what I'm doing. I miss being the one people go to for help. And I miss my customers. But, perhaps most of all, I miss my team.

I know most of that will come in time. After all, today was my first day, right? Eventually I'll get to that point where I'm familiar with people. I hope.

But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly terrified. Guess I'll just see how it plays out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cupcake Mania

Cupcakes.


I don't get it. Everywhere I turn, it's like the local bakeries just up and quit and decided to be...


Cupcakeries? Ugh.


I don't have anything against cupcakes - hell, I've even been known to make a few every now and again. But this...this is insanity.


My sister is a fan. She thinks nothing of going out and spending 3 or 4 dollars per cupcake. Me? I think that hey, for 3 or 4 dollars I can make 24 cupcakes out of a boxed mix and slap some frosting on them.


Voila. Or something.


Maybe it's that they're cute. And individually portioned. Or maybe it's that people don't feel so guilty eating them. Maybe they bring back cherished childhood memories.


Personally, I miss the old style bakeries. Places that made things like this:


That, dear friends, is a tart I made the other day. And yes, it was delicious, thanks for asking. But I dunno, maybe it's just me or the area I live in, but I can't find things like that in a bakery anymore. I can't find things like Baba au Rhum, or Beignet, or even just a few standard breads.

Instead, they've been replaced by cupcakes, regular cakes, and maybe a scant assortment of cookies.


I'm in mourning for the traditional American bakery. It's ok, at least they aren't doing any themed -



Oh God. Why.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tolerance.

Tolerance. I think that's the word for tonight.

Sometimes, I think a relationship is more about tolerance than murmured declarations and whispered sweet nothings.

Everyone has that one thing that just absolutely pisses them off so completely and utterly that they get beyond the ability to think.

And if you don't have that thing then you just haven't found it yet. Don't worry, I'm sure it'll assert itself before long.

Tonight Pookie pushed my thing's button.

Run stupid boy, run.

I could blame the hormones. Right now, I'm a bleeding, raging bitch the likes of which Stalin would run from. I could blame that.

I could blame myself. I'm crazy on the best of days, downright depressing and stubborn on the worst.

Or, I could do what my gut is telling me, and blame Pookie.

But, honestly, what's the point? What's the point in blindly pointing fingers? What's the point in getting angry?

There is no point. And that's where that tolerance thing comes along.

I love Pookie enough to tolerate him when he does something so insanely stupid that even I, obtuse as I am at times, can tell he's in the wrong. And I love him enough to realize that fighting in the heat of the moment is only going to result in hurt feelings.

And so I wait. And I think.

And I realize that I love him enough to tolerate it when he pisses me off, and I love him enough to feel free to fight with him and be secure in knowing that we can work it out, provided that he's willing to work it out with me too.

And that's what a relationship is, isn't it? It's work. It's fucking hard work sometimes.

There's no other option for me. Because when you stop trying, and stop working, I kind of feel like that moment is when you fall out of love.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ice Cream Memories

You know that it's officially summer around these parts when the Jack & Jill ice cream truck's melody taunts you. In my neighborhood, one never really actually sees the truck since he just does a once around down the main strip. As a child I always attributed it towards laziness - now I know better.

He just hated children. An interesting paradox - one that I'm not even going to try to psychoanalyze.

Anyways, all of us kids would run towards the end of our block as soon as we heard the melody blaring out of a dinged and dirty speaker atop his truck. We would desperately race to the corner, hoping that we could beat him there - because if he moved faster than us, we could say goodbye to the popsicles that we had begged our mothers for money for.

He was interesting. A man of indeterminable origin, he had skin the color of a latte and I'm not entirely sure I've ever heard him speak - other than to shout at us in an unintelligible grunt for money.

We would grin up at him - his face hidden by a scraggly beard - and rip the plastic coverings off our goodies. I loved the feel of the plastic. Weird, I know, but I delight in the small things. The way the plastic crunched in my hands, the way the popsicle would melt in the summer heat - I loved it all.

He'd roll his eyes, move to the front of his truck, and squeal out of there as if the devil were after him, while all of us neighborhood kids ran down to our mothers to show them what prizes we had acquired.

I kind of miss those days, as I sit here with my low-fat sugar-free taste-free popsicle. Life was simple then. I only hope that one day life might be that simple for my kids.

Y'know. If I ever get around to having any poop machines minions children.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Support

When I started this blogging "thing" I thought of it as a release. It was just a way to get my head out on paper, so to speak, so that all the little voices in my head would leave me the heck alone.

You know the ones I'm talking about. The sadistic bastards always jabber to me about my credit card payment, or my car loan, or my less-than-steller job status and accomplishments. They comment to me about other people, about interesting observations. And they NEVER SHUT UP. So I put them here.

Some of you are, no doubt, freaked out by this point (probably it's the "some of you" that know me in real life). Don't worry. I don't actually hear voices. It's more of a metaphor for my collective consciousness. I hope.

I never imagined what the world of "blogging" would open up for me. I mean, here I am, some dipshit from nowhereville, whining on the internet about my problems in some sort of display of ego-induced media whorism.

Whorism. Is that a word? If it's not, I think it should be. I'm making it a word. Please excuse my butchery of the english language.

I never realized that one could actually kind of "meet" other bloggers on the internet - and that those bloggers would be *real* people. People with problems. People who aren't perfect, people who are just like you and me.

Well, to be fair, I did realize that one could meet people on the internet. But my exposure to that concept was limited by the whole "social recluse/internet gamer phenomenon, and at the other extreme end of the spectrum there was the classic internet stalker/pedophile thing too.

I didn't realize there was a middle ground. Naive and regrettably narrow-minded of me, I know, but that had been my experience.

This last year (year!? Ok, to be fair, it's more like 9 months since I just took a little three month break) has let me in to see an inside look at some of the most amazing people's brains.

Thankyou.

Thankyou to the bloggers of the world. Thankyou to the internet geeks. Thankyou to everyone who has ever had the courage and spirit to not only write interesting material, but to offer up your inner thoughts and workings on a silver platter for criticism and degradation.

And, most importantly, thank you for caring.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bugger.

The last time I posted on here was on April 28th. I blogged about hamster races, of all things. A few things have happened since then.

I turned twenty-five. That's right, I'm now a quarter-century old. I had my little temper tantrum about it - refused to talk about it, refused to acknowledge that it was even happening. I didn't want anything to do with it. And yet...it happened, and it wasn't the end of the world. I guess I just figured I'd be farther along than I am when I reached this age. I figured that I'd have my own place, I'd have some big job that would be emotionally satisfying and, more importantly, that would matter.

Instead, I fell into the majority group of americans who are just trying to make ends meet with a job that they're overqualified for.

In the same vein, I got a job offer from another pet store. I took it - I start at the end of this month as a manager. It's not much, but it's a step up from where I'm at now and it pays more. Much more. I'd be a fool not to take it, so I will. I'm hoping it will beef up my resume - I'm told that management positions always look good.

Pookie and I fought. We waged a Cold War on one another, never outrightly fighting but rather passive-aggressively attacking each other until our nerves were frayed like the ends of two opposing wires. After three weeks of snapping at each other, we both broke down. We're working on getting back to where we were - but it's going to take work. And I'm going to have to open up, emotionally speaking.

I don't do well with talking about feelings. I never have. It's like some sort of block happens in my throat, and I just can't get the words out. Instead I usually wind up sputtering some sort of choked garbling sound. I'd rather not talk about the things that haunt my mind - it's so much easier if I don't.

Easier, that is, until I have a complete and utter break-down. It's not pretty.

So that's where I'm at.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And the races are on!

Hamster Derby day has come and gone once again, folks.

Let me explain. Our store puts up a "derby" for hamsters to race in bi-annually. We set up four tracks in the middle of the store, and the contestants run their hamsters in heats. The kiddies love it.

Somehow every year I seem to get suckered into it. This was the third Derby that I've run, and every time I run it it gets more and more hellish. Let's look back at previous years, shall we?

October of 2008. It was me...and Amelia (one of our groomers). I glady let Amelia take over the bullhorn as I watched anxious seven year olds jockey for positions on the track. We set the tracks up in the only spare area of the store at the time - right in front of the cats to be adopted. I watched as the cats licked their chops, and probably contemplated consuming said rodents in a variety of delectable ways.

And that, World, was my first inkling that this derby thing? Was a steaming shitload of trouble for us associates. I looked around as the parents of the precocious children screaming at Fluffy to win glared at me. Apparently, the space was too small for them to satisfactorily videotape little Timmy's victory.

Opps.

So, fast forward to October of last year. We moved the derby to the middle of the store, in order to provide more room. Twenty minutes before the race started, we realized our General Manager (a loveable, cantankerous bastard) had THROWN OUT THE PRIZES. We watched as parents and children gathered with their chisel-toothed monsters darlings and took their positions in the track (luckily, the GM had shelf-yanked some prizes for the kids).

We made an error in the scorecard. You see, they couldn't make an easy and simple way to determine who would move on to the final races - oh no. After a few very convoluted minutes of staring at the roster-board in disbelief (and, in my case, terror), we announced that the last race would have to be redone.

Do you know what terror is, World? Terror is a fully-grown woman getting all up in your face screaming because damnit, Mittens was the winner and this was all some conspiracy to discredit her. Obviously that bitch Cinnamon's mother paid us off - what type of operation were we running, anyways?

So, it was with some trepidation that I was totally forced into persuaded by my coworkers to host this year's derby. We were holding it in April because the geniuses at corporate decided that this year we were to run two derbies. I hid the boxes that held the track and decorations - so as to avoid any accidental discarding. I painstakingly touted the derby to customers, and tried to psyche them up for the big race. Clipstrips were hung, signs were placed, and we had over 35 people signed up for the big day.

I should have taken the light-bulb that almost fell on my head as an omen when I was grabbing the supplies out of our stockroom. I, foolish human that I am, ignored it and hummed a light jaunty tune as I practically skipped to the sales floor.

I self-congratulated myself on a job well done as I linked the track pieces together, fully expecting this year's derby to be easy and carefree and wonderous for adults and children alike. I watched as children introduced their little fuzzy creatures to me, and I made the appropriate 'ohh'ing and 'ahh'ing sounds. And so, I began to call names for the first heat.

Only one child had shown up for that heat. I crossed out the other three names, and called some more. It turns out that half - that's right, half - of our contestants didn't show. It worked out for the best though, since we were able to do four heats of four. The winners were clearly called, and I had thought the show a success. Until one of little Jellybean's fans called out that we had made a miscall. He shouted that Jellybean was the rightful winner, that we made a mistake. Obviously Jellybean couldn't have been in second place - oh no. Jellybean was a true champion, a racer unparralleled by none.

As I stood there and watched as he berated my coworker, I thought to myself - what does it matter?

I mean, really. These people are loosing sight of the big picture. That person was so wrapped up in his own little world that he hadn't even seen the other hamsters cross the finish line. I kind of feel like we do that a lot in our own lives. I feel like we're all so busy trying to get to the finish line that we're not looking at what's happening all around us to others.

It's a lesson well-learned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So about that diet....

Warning: self-indulgent diet fit ahead.

I think I've killed my diet.

I had a whole 3 days of spectacular, salad-eating bliss with the occasional bowl of Farina for breakfast (shut up, I like it).

But the slope to grease and butter-coated goodness is a slippery one indeed.

You see, World, it started like this:

Pookie invited me out to happy hour with his coworkers. I figured I'd have a beer or two (ok, not exactly low-calorie food, but hey...I'm not a saint) and then maybe a small salad for dinner. Not exactly low-cal, but hey...it's better than a big greasy burger.

So, I got my salad (and my very delicious beer selection), and decided to dig in.

Oh cheese, how I missed thee. You see, this salad? Coated in cheese. A small factoid that I forgot to notice on the menu. You see, I thought I was doing well. Grilled chicken, pico de gallo, low-fat dressing.

And then there was the cheese. Cheese is, apparently, a bitch to avoid.

So, that's how it started. The next day, I indulged in a burger.

A homemade burger without all the grease and extra fat and preservatives, but a burger nonetheless. And the cheese? A nice lovingly melted slice adorned my poison slab of ground cow.

Let me tell you World, it was like my taste-buds were invited to the biggest frat-party of the season, and fat was their drug of choice.

Long story short, I believe that today I've reached the pinnacle of shame for dieters everywhere.

I had a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

And if I don't watch it, I'm going to look like a Dairy Queen.

Fish for tonight. Going back on that diet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A heavy weight

I think it's time that I went on a diet.

It was my first anniversary with Pookie, and I was scrambling to find something to wear.

"Wear something dressy," he said. "But make sure you're comfortable."

Obviously Pookie hasn't realized that for girls? Dressy and comfortable do not go together. At least they don't for me, and never have.

So I decided to wear pants and a nice shirt. I lovingly tugged my sole pair of black dress pants out from the back of my closet (I usually hate formal functions, so I try to avoid them as much as possible) and tried them on.

It was then that I discovered that I? Have gained yet another size.

Oy.

After much frustration (curling up in the fetal position and crying like a baby), I sucked it up, pulled out a dress (urg), and climbed into that. I'd like to think that I was, at the very least, semi-classy and that I didn't embarass Pookie too much when we went for dinner.

I'd show you pictures of me in said dress, but...I'd have to kill you. Don't want to ruin my reputation or anything.

So I am going on a diet. I've really lost it in terms of keeping up with my exercise and making sure I eat appropriately (oh butter, how I love thee), so I'm going to attempt to lose some weight the right way.

As soon as my tax-rebate comes, I'm joining a gym.

And guess what World? You all get to laugh at my struggles.

I really do love me some butter.

So you'll get to snicker sympathize as I inevitably break my diet, horrifically torture myself at the gym, and attempt to lead a better lifestyle. And I'll post how much weight I've lost, and what I've eaten, and what I've done so far as exercise goes, and yadda yadda yadda. I know you're horribly interested.


Today's breakfast: 1 banana and a small glass of orange juice
Today's lunch: egg-salad sandwich on multi-grain toast, sliced strawberries, and steamed cauliflower.
Weight loss so far: 0. In fact, I may have gained some. Urgh.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hey Bug

Hey Bug,

It's me...Sara. I miss you.

I remember when I first met you. You were the mother of my then-boyfriend, and I was absolutely terrified of you. You came to the school to pick him up one day because his car needed to be serviced. As I walked out, I quickly said goodbye to him - but you would have none of that. You made him bring me to the car so that you could introduce yourself, and so that I could do the same.

Immediately breaking out into a cold sweat, I followed him as he tugged on my reluctant arm. You smiled at me, cackled slightly. I saw your hands - tiny, perfectly manicured, and laden with rings. Nervous, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

"You have carnie hands!" Mortified, I watched as you opened your mouth in shock - or was it amusement? - and gave me a long searching look. I stared at you - your hair framing your face like a frizzy chestnut-colored halo - and prayed that a hole would open up and swallow me.

And then you laughed, and all was well.

Eventually you began to request my presence at your youth group. I attended mass with you, and I watched as you opened your arms to a group of kids that would, eventually, bring me back to my spirituality. I watched as they told you their woes, about all their teenage dramas and parental overlords. And I watched as you listened to them.

I watched as you found help for a few of those children who despereately needed it, for those kids who had no one else to talk to. I saw them foster relationships with each other - many of which still continue to this day - seven years later. I watched as those kids blossomed into young adults that you can truely be proud of.

You raised them well.

I affectionately nicknamed you "Ladybug." Eventually the kids picked up on it - and they began to call you that as well, despite your protests. And I eventually came to accept a simple fact about our relationship.

I love you.

I loved you from the moment you started laughing at my inappropriateness. I love you for your ability to forgive others instantaniously, for your ability to see past a person's outside straight to their inside. I love you because you saved me - you and that ragtag group of teenagers who will never know how profoundly they have influenced me as a person.

When your son broke up with me, I cried. And you leant to me a shoulder to lean on. You helped me get over my first real boyfriend, and you listened to my desperate sobs and wails of self-induced and egotistical frustration.

I am so sorry, Bug, that I lost contact with you. Two years ago I started dating a new boy - someone who was not religious. I lost my way, slightly. I was sick of the hypocrisy of varying Church leaders, and I was sick of the way our youth were being treated. I had grown weary of the Church yet again, and I left.

I never meant to leave you. It just happened - like friends who eventually drift apart, I found myself drifting from you. I am eternally sorry for that.

Eventually we found each other once again. After the boy (who I refer to as Boyfriend #2) and I ended our relationship, I found out that I had been living his life instead of mine - and that you and the Church had become essential to me. I had missed you greatly. We had just started to reconnect when it happened.

I texted you on Thanksgiving to wish you happy greetings. Your son called me back - he informed me that you were in the hospital. Pneumoia, he said. I was saddened by the news, but was completely unprepared for what was to come. I figured that you'd just spend a few days in there and then you'd be out.

You had cancer, Bug. You had stage four liver and lung cancer, and the doctor's prognosis was grim. I tried to visit you as much as possible, but it never occured to me that you would never leave that hospital. I brought you small gifts in an effort to bolster your spirits - but you never doubted that you were going to get out. This hospital thing, you said, was just a temporary stay.

And then your health declined. You were eventually moved to a hospice, reached a vegetative state, and then you died.

You died, Bug. On December 9th, 2009. That day will forever be etched in my memory.

God I miss you so much. I know that on some level that you're there, and that you can hear me. I know that you're watching over me and the kids.

I still miss you.

When people ask me why I do what I do, why I'm a member of a Church that is so obviously flawed, it's hard to describe. I do it because it's a part of my tradition. I do it because it's how I was raised. I do it because I, on some level, believe in the foundational principles of the Catholic Church.

But I also do it because a little Italian woman from Delaware believed in me. I do it because she was such an inspiration, and I do it because she dragged me out of my depressed and sometimes suicidal thoughts and showed me what this world really has to offer. I do it because she showed me joy.

And, in honor of her, I'm going to do my best to bring that joy to others.

I love you Bug.

-Sara

The boys in the video below are two members of our youth group. One created the video, while the one rapping in it created and performed the rap specifically for this memorial video. She very much considered him to be another son of hers.

The video may be a bit cut in half on the blog - I'm not quite sure how to fix that, so you might have to double-click on it to visit the YouTube site and see the un-sliced in half version.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Break

It's been a while since I've been on Blogger and posted something. It has also been a while since I've read any of the blogs that I follow, and for that I am sorry. I needed some "me" time.

Relax, I'm not leaving the blogging world yet. I know that you all were anxiously awaiting my return, right?? (cue the cricket chirping)

I could make excuses here. I could blame the hormonal mess that I've become lately (I think far too much for my own good), or I could blame my computer (my normal computer up and died in a blaze of blue screen of death glory - the other one I use runs on Vista, which, if you've ever seen me use it, is kind of like a slug trying to figure out aerospace engineering).

Quite honestly World, I think I needed a break from writing. My blog posts have been decreasing in quality recently, and it's not a trend that I'm particularly proud of.

I think that sometimes a little break is a good thing. It enables one to truely appreciate that which has been cut off.

And I swear, if Vista decides that I need to use the mousepad for one more shortcut, then I'm going to have to throw this computer out the freaking window.

Dear Vista,

No, I DO NOT WANT TO PRINT.

<3 Nyx


So I'm back. Hope you're ready.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Craving

**

I'm craving meat.


I gave it up for Lent, you see. Not fish though. My friend Mario was wondering what the hell the creatures of the sea ever did to me to warrent such exclusion. I just don't include fish in the 'meat' category - 'meat' to me is all things terrestrial. Fish is fish.

I know it's a weird distinction, and wrong on all sorts of levels - but there you have it.

So yes. I gave meat up for Lent. So I've managed to go a whopping four days without it, and already I'm ready to chew off my own hand and sautee it with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Make a lovely pasta dish with it, perhaps.

Everyone asks me the same thing - why on earth would I give up something that I'd miss so much? Especially since I can't partake in all those lovely meat-substitutes made out of tofu (I'm allergic to soy)?

Well, the answer is twofold:


Lent is, and always has been, one of my favorite times in the Catholic Church. I revel in the ceremonies, and the traditions. They link me to the rest of the Church, and to the people in centuries past that engaged in the same sorts of traditions. I never really "got it" when I was a kid - I mostly just always figured that it was dumb and stupid and I'd much rather be out playing than sitting in some dumb church listening to some old guy preach on and on about sin and redemption. So when I did "get it," I started researching it.

And what I found kind of blew my mind.

There was a reason behind all of it! Golly gee wilikers, they hadn't been lying to me thoughout my fourteen years of good ole' guilt-inducing Catholic schooling.

I began to research the symbolism behind the Catholic faith, and what it really means to be catholic. To me, faith is something that is innately personal, and I had never really understood why anyone would want to worship in a congregation-type setting.

I still consider my faith to be a deeply personal thing, but I also see the validity in group worship. It's a way to stay connected to one another, to know that you belong to something that's bigger than yourself. It's a community.

To me, this is most evident during the season of Lent. Don't be surprised if you start seeing religion pop up into my posts here and now - I'm afraid that it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately.

You see, me and the Church have a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, I was raised Catholic, and I feel almost "at home" during mass. It's familiar to me, and I agree with the majority of the values behind the preachings.

However, I find that I almost kind of fall into a grey area. I am a (at times rabid) supporter of gay marriage, I believe in evolution, and I think that sometimes religion can cloud a person's judgement on what is right and what is wrong. I had a mini-falling out with the Church about two years ago.

I was on top of the world. I was a leader and youth minister to the high-school portion of our youth group, I was teaching confirmation classes, I was even starting up a brand-new group for the young adults of our parish. I was an "insider," someone who was privvy to the inner-workings of the parish.

And then it all went to shit. I began to see that the people around me - the leaders of the parish, all those people that I had idolized as a child - were flawed. They were petty and they gossiped and they engaged in behavior that was less-than-Godly.

They were human.

After a series of incidents that left a bitter taste in my mouth concerning the Church, I left.

And now I'm back. We're going to be starting a young adult ministry - something I was trying to get off the ground before I left. I spent eight months with my partner planning it - writing out lesson plans and coming up with material - since there was no published material that I could find on teaching and exploring Catholicism with young adults. And now they want both me and my partner back. And so I've gone back, and realized that I missed the Church while I was away.

Whatever happens, I think it was meant to be this way. I think that I should do this, if not for myself then for my kids (most of whom now fall into the over-18 crowd now - I feel so old!).

So here's hoping that this works out. :)

**Big thanks to Augapfel for letting me use the above image :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You WILL be helped!

So I recently came across an article about "qualities to cultivate within yourself." I read through it, amused as hell at the overwhelmingly arrogant attitude of the author.

She listed all sorts of nice things, like selflessness, loyalty, humility, integrity - basically all those qualities that Disney told you that you need in order to lead a successful life.

What irks me, what really really irks me is that well...not all of us can be perfect. And I think that it's incredibly high-handed for someone to sit there and write an article about what you, yes you gentle reader, need to do in order to 'better' yourself as a person.

Don't get me wrong. These are all great personality traits to have, and I certainly admire them in the people who have them. I'd even like to think that I have a few of them.

And that's where the crux of my problem with the article lies.

I think that most people already believe they have these qualities (whether or not they do is irrelevant). And so, what's the point of reading the article in the first place?

It's like telling a little kid to be good when they're sitting on a church bench. They think they're already being good because hey, they're in church and so far there hasn't been any major bodily injuries or furniture damage. From the parent's perspective though, the child's behavior is just a disaster waiting to happen.

I'd provide the link to the article in question, but it doesn't really matter. It's not the first article of its kind I've come across, and it's far from being the last.

And, quite frankly, I'm sick of reading article about how to improve myself from under qualified writers who provide no supportive backing for their thesises. Or is it thesii? Huh...note to self: look up the plural for thesis later, when I decide to give a shit.

I'm off for a snowball fight. I'll ponder the meaning of self-improvement later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Inkspun

So I'm sitting here, waiting for this storm to supposedly ravage Delaware. The Weather Channel Word on the street says that we could get up to two feet.

I'll pause while all you northerners laugh at our panic.

K, done yet? No? Ok, I'll give you another moment.

So I'm just sitting here, with nothing to do. I've already consumed The Fifth Element (stop laughing), and I'm working my way through Pearl Harbor and a bottle of wine.

I really need to update my DVD collection - I've been forced to watch what's on television because there's simply nothing else.

I bought a final fantasy game today (FFXII, for those who were interested). It looks promising. I was going to get a new Wii game, but I couldn't justify spending $44.99 on a new game.

So I grabbed a used copy of FFXII for a few bucks.

Anyways, I think ya'll should go visit my "other" blog.

That's right. I have another blog. It was just so full of the shiny objects, Blogger, that I couldn't resist. And I can't promise that there won't be indiscretions in the future.

Inkspun

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grandmother

My grandmother is eighty years old.

Last night was her birthday celebration. And I do mean celebration.

It's not every day that one turns eighty, people! And so I was forced persuaded to dress in my most uncomfortable finest clothing and attend Effie's birthday party.

And yes. Effie is her real name. She hates it with a passion. As she puts it, her mother must have hated her to name her that. I think it's an adorable name.

She's my mother's mother, and I can totally see where both my and my mother's neuroses comes from. According to my cousins, all my aunts have the same issues too.

Oh yea, Grandma? She had six (SIX) daughters. Poor Grandpa - all he wanted was a son. He eventually gave up trying and settled for male dogs.

I love my Grandmom. She defines classy. She also defines 'strong-willed,' a trait that has been passed down through the generations. Even though she's a bit on the tough side (it's the Irish in her, I'm told), she always spoiled us.

I remember when I was little, she used to serve me these little ice cream cups. The type that were half chocolate, half vanilla, and had a little wooden spoon in the top.

I begged my mother to buy them, and she never did. She'd give me a bowl of chocolate/vanilla ice-cream, but I'd pout and throw a fit because IT WASN'T THE SAME AS GRANDMA'S.

I was a bitch like that.

She used to let me swim in her swimming pool, and eat as much candy as I wanted, and watch as much television as I could stomach. And it was because of her that I began my love affair with books.

I hardly ever get to see my grandparents anymore. When I was younger, we used to see them every few months - there was usually some reason to get together. In the spring we'd go to the country club and enjoy their annual picnic. I'd always be dressed up in some frilly thing (as would the rest of the cousins), and my best pat-and-leather shoes.

We'd ride the ponies and blow bubbles and cause all sorts of mischief and mayhem. Well, they caused mischief and mayhem. I was an angel.

Every Thanksgiving we'd attend the country club again. They would have it laid out buffet-style, and we'd pick and choose what we wanted. I was small then as well - I could barely see over the tops of the tables (I was a freakishly tiny child. I didn't hit five feet until I was in high-school). My cousins would run throughout the restaurant, but I never really connected with them. So, I would sit with my mother, or one of the aunts, or one of my Grandparents. I used to love to sit with my Grandpop - he was a wall of silent reassurance. He'd ruffle my hair, and give me his dessert (our little secret, he'd say).

In later years, they stopped going to the country club, and we started having the celebrations at my grandparent's house. However, as the years trickled by, things began to change. We dropped the Thanksgiving and spring get-togethers, and eventually we only met up with the extended family for Christmas. I began to look forward to Christmas, because I knew that on Christmas I'd get to see my grandparents.

My grandfather is a tall, strong man, who happens to be missing most of his hair. My grandmother is the love of his life, and even if she exasperates him to no end with her psychosis (it runs in the family, I'm told), he would do anything for her.

I saw this last night. I saw the love that was apparent in his eyes as he gazed at his wife - my Grandmother. He got up, gave a speech, and brought her to tears.

For once all the family drama was erased (and we've had our share of it the last few years).

For a moment, just a moment, it was like the old days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For those who have animals....


So, I just came across a few lists of plants and foods that are poisonous to both dogs and cats, and I figured I'd put it up here since a lot of you have animals. If you know of any other plants (or food) that's poisonous to animals, post it here! I got my information from www.ASPCA.org and www.peteducation.com

Plants:

Alfalfa
Aloe vera
Amaryllis
Apple seeds
Apple leaf croton
Apricot pit
Asparagus fern
Autumn crocus
Avocado (both the fruit and pit)
Azalea
Baby's breath
Bittersweet
Bird of paradise
Branching ivy
Buckey
Buddhist pine
Caladium
Calla lily
Castor bean
Ceriman
Charming dieffenbachia
Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves)
Chinese evergreen
Christmas rose
Cineraria
Clematis
Cordatum
Corn plant
Cornstalk plant
Croton
Cuban laurel
Cutleaf philodendron
Cycads
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Devil's ivy
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena palm
Dragon tree
Dumb cane
Elaine
Elephant ears
Emerald feather
English ivy
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida beauty
Foxglove
Fruit salad plant
Geranium
German ivy
Giant dumb cane
Glacier ivy
Gold dieffenbachia
Gold dust dracaena
Golden pothos
Hahn's self-branching ivy
Heartland philodendron
Hurricane plant
Indian rubber plant
Janet Craig dracaena
Jerusalem cherry
Kalanchoe
Lacy tree philodendron
Lily of the valley
Mother-in-law's tongue
Madagascar dragon tree
Marble queen
Marijuana
Mexican breadfruit
Miniature croton
Mistletoe
Morning glory
Narcissus
Needlepoint ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade
Oleander
Onion
Peace lily
Peach (wilting leaves and pit)
Pencil cactus
Plumosa fern
Poinsettia
Poison ivy
Poison oak
Pothos
Potato plant
Purgatory bean
Primrose
Red emerald
Red princess
Red-margined dracaena
Rhododendron
Ribbon plant
Saddle leaf philodendron
Sago palm
Satin pothos
Scheffilera
Silver pothos
Spotted dumb cane
String of pearls
Striped dracaena
Sweetheart ivy
Swiss cheese plant
Taro vine
Tomato plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree philodendron
Tropic snow dieffenbachia
Weeping fig
Yew

Food:

Alcoholic Beverages - Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
Baby Food - Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources - Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food - obviously ok for cats, but not for dogs - it's too high in protein and fats to be fed on a regular basis for dogs
Chocolate - Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.
Coffee - See chocolate
Tea - See chocolate
Anything with caffeine - See chocolate
Citrus oil extracts - Can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings - Can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and Raisins - Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Hops - Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron - Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts - Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana - Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk - Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy/spoiled food - Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms - Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic - Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Persimmons - Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums - Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves. Potato and tomato stems. - Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.
Raw eggs - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw fish - Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt - If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String - Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."
Sugary foods - Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps - Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco - Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough - Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (an artificial sweetner) - Can cause liver failure.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poof

Finding a good hairdresser is hard.

For the past few weeks, I've been wanting to cut my hair. Due to financial restraints (I really couldn't justify spending money on a haircut while my birds and cat were starving) I haven't had my hair cut in well over six months.

Since I've gotten a new job, I decided that the professional thing to do was to cut it the hell off. Long hair in the summer months? Far too much maintenance for this girl.

So my hair is gone. The new haircut looked good up until Crystal - the hairdresser of the day - decided to tease it. Oh joy.

She bumped it, teased it, curled it, moussed it, hair sprayed it, and all together styled it within an inch of its fine, flat, and otherwise ordinary life. On the upside, it added two inches to my height.

I look like a bad 80's porn star.

I'm hoping that the poof goes down sometime soon. 'Cuz this? Is totally not appropriate. I'm not going to post a picture, because honestly? I'd rather not subject you, dear reader, to the horror.

Maybe if I tie a bandanna in it and just start growling people will think I'm a pirate....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

another new blog

So I'm debating about creating another blog.

Yes yes, I know. I'm a fool. After all, I tried that Purchaser's Review thing a while back, and look at it now.

Bugger. It's on hiatus, I swear! Maybe. Mostly. Kind-of.

I could come back to it.

Anyways, I'm thinking I'm going to do a short-story blog. I'll probably use Wordpress for it since it offers a bit more customizeable features that even a technical idiot like me can figure out. I used it for my youth group blog, and I really liked how that one turned out. I'm even debating about switching this blog over to Wordpress, since...y'know. Google is the devil.

Anyways, I've been writing short little vignettes for Badass Geek's brainchild Fiction 500. The premise is simple - write a fully stand-alone story in 500 words or less.

A tad more difficult than it sounds. Especially for me, because I tend to ramble on and on (as if ya'll couldn't figure that out).

I really enjoy writing for it. A lot. However, now that I've gotten into this whole 'writing' mode, I think I'm going to start posting up more short stories on my own blog. I will, of course, still post to the Fiction 500 website, since I love it like Chuck Norris loves roundhouse kicks. But I've been writing some other stuff, and there's no way I can cram it into 500 words. So for those stories I think I'll post them up to the other site.

:)

I'll post a link here when I'm done creating it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twitter me this....

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm addicted to social media sites.

I have two blogs (even if one is on temporary hiatus and I'm a horrible blogger), a facebook, a myspace, I'm a member of 20-something bloggers, the Savvy Source (and yes, I know...I don't have a kid! It's interesting anyways!), and I'm frustrated as hell that I can't get the internet on my cell phone (me and Mr. Nextel/Sprint are going to have a little...discussion...tomorrow). I won't even go into the six (SIX!!) e-mails that I actually use (WHAT ON EARTH DO I NEED WITH SIX E-MAILS?!).

To top all that lovely social crackism off, I've done the unthinkable.

I've joined twitter.

This media explosion has me a bit shaken up. I mean, five years ago I wouldn't have even thought to join these sites. I would have probably scoffed derisively.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Is this all just a big fat desperate cry for attention? Am I really that pathetic? Oh, I can write it off as me networking - after all, you never know where my next job offer will come from - but I don't think I'm fooling anyone. We all know what my problem is. Hell, if you're reading this, chances are you share the same addiction.

I constantly see Gen Y with their crackberries, or iphones, or various other phone/social gadgets. We're constantly plugged in. Why? What is this desperate urge to constantly fill our brains with useless information? Do I really need updates on Britney's marital status? And do I really need to know what the weather is like in Taiwan? And we won't get into my mommy (and daddy) blogger obsession.

If you're me, then the answer is, apparently, yes.

But is that necessarily a bad thing? Is receiving information at the speed of light a bad thing?

I tend to take it as we should take most things in life: it's fine in moderation. And it can come in really handy when you're at a bar at midnight and they're playing a 'guess the name of the song' game. It had prizes. And the DJ was totally wicked looking - and not in a good way. Think mountain man...complete with scratchy armpits and a plethora of facial hair. I think I saw him rub his nutsack once or twice.

Yes boys, we females do notice that. We're just too polite to say anything. Go to the bathroom next time. You don't see us scratching our underwires in public. Usually.

Oh, and if you haven't twitter-friended me yet (I'm sure that someone, somewhere has come up with a word for that) you totally should. Because I'm awesome and stuff. Nyx1331.

That...wasn't pathetic at all. Note the sarcasm.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anth 410

My favorite class in college was Anth 410.

It was my junior year of college and I had found myself in a 400 level class. It was drastically different than the auditorium style lecture halls that usually sat 200 people per class - there were only about 20 people in this one.

Human osteology.

Our professor was a world-renown forensic anthropologist, whose specialty was pubic bones. I remember waiting outside the classroom, wondering what awaited us - I'd never taken a 400 level class before. I sat down to a skinny brunette who had the largest doe-eyes I'd ever seen.

"Hi," I said, sounding somewhat inadequate to my own ears. She smiled at me, and asked if I wanted to be her study-buddy - she had, apparently, taken the class once before. And then immediately dropped it due to the work involved.

My stomach plunged and a cold sweat began. I was taking several other demanding classes at the time - would I be able to handle this? Before I could chicken out and walk away, a short, squat, and somewhat hairy woman walked by. She smiled (revealing slightly crooked teeth) and beckoned us into the room - this was our professor.

All twenty of us filed in, and we sat down at the tables that were strewn about. As we looked around at the skeletons and diagrams, our professor smirked.

She knew what we were in for.

The next day only twelve showed up. The other eight had, apparently, decided that they couldn't devote the amount of time needed to Anth 410. Our professor required that we be able to identify all the bones of the human skeleton blindfolded (she, of course, was damn near cackling when she informed us of this). We had to know every bump, crevice, foramen, sulcus, and protrusion, among other features. We also had to be able to estimate the age of the person when they had died, and tell our professor what side of the body the bone was in. She also liked to throw animal bones in our quizzes, just to spice things up a bit.

Thanks Professor. Really.

We kept a log of our hours spent in the lab outside of class, and we drew every bone that we studied in our notebooks.

By the end of the semester, I had logged over 800 hours. It was a running joke among the professors in our department - me and Lynn (the doe-eyed girl from the hallway, who I eventually became good friends with) were there more than they were. We had became fixtures.

That was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult and challenging classes I have ever taken. I, at times, hated it. I hated that I couldn't estimate the age of a person based off their teeth. I hated the foot bones. I hated that I had to spend 8 hours a day trying to memorize the names of things like 'linea aspera' or 'occipital crest,' on top of all my other coursework for my other classes.

And then, a change happened. There I was, going over the bones of the human skull for the umpteeth time, when it clicked. This was important. These skeletons were once real, actual people. People that somebody loved. People that lived their lives. I glanced over at the skeleton of a baby - whose baby was that? Was the mother heartbroken that her child had died shortly after birth? What about the other skeleton of the old man? What had he gone through in his life that his arthritis was so bad that the bones were damn near fused together?

I began to comprehend things, to understand that the femur bone fits in the acetabulum, which is part of the os coxae (a fancy word for pelvis), which supports the whole upper skeleton. If the femur is permanently compromised, the body automatically adjusts for it - muscle starts building in the other leg to make it stronger. The other leg gains bone to allow for the newly forming muscle to attach. It's like some awesome biological chain-reaction.

It all began to make sense. And I realized that if I looked at the skeleton, I could tell how a person lived. I could hazard a guess as to whether or not the person that skeleton represented was male or female, and if it was female whether or not she had given birth. I could tell whether or not he or she had certain types of infections and diseases, I could tell age, I could, effectively, guess as to how that person lived. I could figure out through the clues left on the skeleton who that person was. It kind of blew my mind.

That class remains a turning point in my life. It was at that point in my life that my passion for all things anthropological and biological began. Oh sure, I had already begun majoring in anthropology, but my reasons for that were pretty dumb - nothing else had caught my fancy.

When it came time for the end of the year, our professor declared that our class was one of the best she had ever had. Me and Lynn - we received A's. We were so proud of those, as we had worked our asses off for them.

And every class I took after that one? I began to see them in a whole new light.

I may not have a job in my chosen major. But my passion still remains. It may go dormant every once in a while, and I may get so caught up in the every-day grind that I forget about it sometimes.

But it's still there, silently analyzing humanity.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Fifteenth Birthday

I distinctly recall when I was fifteen - more specifically, my fifteenth birthday party.

I was an awkward child, all pudge and no curves. Brown hair that was far too thin to stay in a ponytail holder (and far too stringy to leave down), coke-bottle glasses, buck-teeth and an unfortunate habit of stuttering. I was, quite simply, a misfit.

Oh yea - lemme tell you. Had to beat the boys away with a stick.

Anyways, the term "awkward" didn't even begin to describe me. I was even once given an award by a teacher for blowing my nose the most.

Yea. Thanks Mrs. Leonard. Really. I can't tell you how much that endeared me to my fellow classmates. Nothing says "awesome" like a gratuitous nose-blowing award.

So anyways, there I was at the tender age of fifteen, with one friend in the whole wide world.

Louise.

She was loud, brash, and opinionated. She never stuttered, and I remember being in awe of her as she poured Jimmy Matlock's soda down his shirt during lunch.

He had been depositing his trash in front of me to throw away - like I was his servant. Louise took offense, and did what I was too scared to do - stand up and tell him to knock it off. Of course, she was one to do it by extremes, and I distinctly remember giggling all day as he walked around with bright orange soda staining his shirt. He never dumped his trash in front of me again.

She was the ying to my yang. We were complete opposites in personality, but despite that we somehow seemed to get along.

We were also born (almost exactly) twelve hours apart. Freaky, I know. She at 11:45 in the morning, me at 11:45 at night. And so we shared a birthday.

Anyways, I remember my dad dropping me off at Louise's house - she promised it would be a birthday I would never forget. I rolled my eyes when she said this - I was expecting some contraband alcohol, or some R rated videos.

Instead I got a seance.

We spent the night playing with an Ouija board - me, her, and her our friend Jorge. Around midnight, Louise decided to inform us of our plans - we would be staying up until three o'clock in the morning so we could trudge our way across the street to the cemetery in order to summon the dead.

Even at fifteen, I thought it was a stupid idea. When asked why she chose three in the morning, she explained that three o'clock was the devil's hour.

Uh. Huh.

However, Louise was not to be dissuaded (Jorge really didn't seem to give a flying flip), and so at three o'clock we bundled up some blankets, grabbed a crucifix and candle, and made our way to the cemetery. The old, non-named cemetery. It only had about twenty graves, and the majority of those were sunken in and falling apart.

So we set down our blanket, put the candle in-between the three of us, and Louise started chanting. Me and Jorge held the crucifix - I recall that his hands were shaking somewhat, and I even caught him saying a few "Our Father"s under his breath.

I also recall that my ass? Yea, it was freezing.

So after about thirty minutes of waiting for the spirits to intervene, Louise decided that she had had enough. Of course she could never say this to us, so she simply stated that she saw ghosts moving in the shadows.

Yea. Sure. I rolled my eyes, blew out the candle, and started hiking back to the house.

I also slept like a baby - which is more than I can say for poor Jorge (he was, apparently, very superstitious).

But y'know what? Even though it sucked beyond measure, and even though I caught a cold the next day and even though now I wince at the disregard to the little things like ethics and human dignity...

it was indeed a birthday I never forgot.