Sunday, June 06, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

Ennui.

Yours. Not mine. Because I'm fine. I just don't have anything to write about. So if I were to actually write anything and you were to read that drivel, you too would be depressed and vaguely French.

Like, I could whine some more about how I'm unorganized and not doing well with the whole getting-ready-to-leave-for-weeks-in-a-few-days thing.

(I actually unpacked my suitcase. It was as I suspected- full of leftover National History Day programs. Which were quickly tossed to the side so that when my kids are cleaning this house after my parents shove off they'll find thirty adorably color-coordinated programs and be all, "Mom? You had a lot of time on your hands didn't you?" and I'll be all, "HEY. I had a life before I married your father, God rest his soul." Yes. In this fantasy my ridiculously old husband has passed away and I'm left with his millions. Mwahahaha.)

(You really needed to know that.)

In other trip-related news, I've purchased roughtly 482 sundresses because it's going to be hot! In the south! And I need clothes! And...kind of didn't think to buy anything else that I might actually need. So I did that today. And if you had been in the Grafton Target this afternoon, you would have gotten to witness to me wandering around with the most embarrassing collection of items imaginable until I FINALLY found my mom's cart, dumped them under a t-shirt, and handed her my credit card because I don't know what you're talking about, I certainly am not purchasing those things I'm very engrossed in this US magazine over here.

Oh. Good times.


Or we could talk about how I'm really really tired because I didn't get to nap today and, hey! Turns out I'm secretly a two-year-old and I REALLY NEED TO NAP. Because I'm tired. And cranky. And Criminal Minds is making me emotional.

Hell, we could talk about how A&E runs like four hours of Criminal Minds a night and I've watched damn close to four hours for the past few days and WOW that sucks I seriously need to get out more.

I get to go to out to work tomorrow. And meh. Don't wanna. No one wants to buy books. And I don't really want to sell them. And I'm a little bit insulted that the e-mail coupon offered EVERY FRIGGIN' WEEKEND is the same as my employee discount. So I could get exactly the same benefits without having to

Well. That was exciting.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Organized

When I started college, I was an international relations major with a focus on Slavic states. Yeah...bad idea. I mean, I speak French at a first-grade level. And they have the same alphabet as we do.


Kathleen, you wonder. What was your reasoning for such a horrendous career choice? I mean, have you met yourself?


Shut up, I reply. I had a very good reason.


I had a vision of myself as a State Department employee- tall, thin, young, rushing off to Kiev to broker some ridiculously important peace treaty while wearing an adorable fitted suit that would totally make some world leader fall madly in love with me and we'd have lots of ridiculously multilingual babies. Of course, I was an amazing traveler. I had the whole low-maintenance-chignon-for-on-the-plane down. Adorable matching understated luggage. Certainly never broke down crying in the ladies room of the Wright Brothers Museum because I was exhausted and do you have any idea how many freaking planes there are to be looked at in Ohio because I do oh God want to die.*


*ahem*


Obviously, this fantasy made very little sense. Let's break it down.

Tall? I was 17. While I may not have been (or am) pleased with being 5' 2", chances are that wasn't going to change ONCE I HIT MY TWENTIES. But we all know that I'm not a science person.


Thin? I was a...let's say "stocky"...teenager. Most of my adolescent fantasies feature me waif-like. Because I'm shallow. Maybe if I'd stopped being shallow long enough to eat a veggie once in awhile, I would have been a little less...stocky.


Young? Yeah, they totally let the 23-year-old newbies broker peace agreements with Russia.


Okay, the whole world leader thing started when I a.) read Bridget Jones and laughed at the line "Tony Blair was the first PM you could imagine voluntarily having sex with" until I realized IT WAS TRUE and b.) had a...weird...dream about the Ukrainian president. Remember that whole thing with the dioxin poisoning? I mean, he was passably attrac...okay. No. But I refuse to apologize for my subconscious.


Anyway, let's ignore the fact that even had I stayed with the whole international relations thing, and gotten a job with the State Department, and actually left the United States occasionally- I'm not sure what I thought I'd be doing that I was working closely with a lot of world leaders? And why they'd fall madly in love with me? And why they wouldn't have a problem when I refused to learn their language and wanted to raise the kids in Milwaukee because my mom's here, dude.

Yeah. No problem with reality there at all.

Anyway, the biggest problem with this vision of myself is that I am not organized enough to be a good traveler. I'm okay once I get going, and yeah, I probably could have figured out how to do a chignon at some point and we all know I love buying things so the matching luggage would not have been a problem. But I would have been an absolute mess preparing for each and every jaunt because I AM SO UNORGANIZED.

Like this morning. I tried to find my suitcase. It wasn't in my closet, it wasn't in the attic. I had no idea where it could be. I mean, I haven't used that one in several years and my house is not that big. Then I remembered. I used it to carry all the National History Day stuff to campus. So it's still in my office. Full of National History Day stuff. And has been SINCE MARCH.

See? This is why I could never be that tall, thin, Russian-speaking diplomat that my junior-in-high-school self wanted so badly to be. Because I do stupid things like NOT UNPACK FOR THREE MONTHS.

In case you don't know the end of the story, I actually got to college, decided I hated everything related to the international studies major, decided I didn't want to live in Ukraine even if Tony Blair asked me to (I realize I'm mixing fantasies now), and became a history major.

I'm still five two. I'm slightly less...stocky (but funny thing, that doesn't turn you into the person you want to be like you think it does in high school). But at least I don't have to plan on unpacking more than once a year.

I mean conferences? From what I hear you can pretty much just bring a change of clothes and a bottle of vodka.

*True story.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Veni Sancte Spiritus

In keeping with my major life goal to keep you up-to-date on the mundane happenings of my life,* you should know that my TA preference form arrived a few days ago. I got to rank my top four choices for next semester. And...there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I mean really. You expected me to react normally to this? Are you new here?

I knew what my first choice was. (And I did everything but write smiley faces next to it on the form.) But after that, no clue. Like, I could have thrown darts at the page and probably come up with a fairly decent offering.

And it's not like I didn't know this was coming, I've been looking over the classes since March when I found out I was offered the TAship.

I just didn't know. Some things had a really great schedule but required me to talk about sex to 18-year-olds for five hours a week until December (Um. Eww.), some had kind of good topics but there were tons of TAs and I'm deeply antisocial...no clue.

So I prayed about it. I don't do that a lot. I get the point of prayer and it's awesome and I'm totally into it...I'm just not very good at it. I get wicked distracted and end up figuring out what I have to do that day instead. I'm so totally not a meditative person. A few months ago I was listening to a woman who was a doctoral candidate and had five or six kids (I can't remember, I was pretty busy dry-heaving in the corner because I WILL NEVER BE THAT CAPABLE.), and she said that while she rarely had time for long meditative prayer you know what with the billions of kids and three hundred page book she was writing, she did find it very helpful to say a really short prayer "veni sancte spiritus" (come, Holy Spirit) whenever she was going crazy.

(Again. Children. And a doctoral dissertation. I'd be drunk. All. The. Time.)

Anyway, I thought that was totally awesome. First of all, Latin. Big props. Second, even I could pay attention for three words.

So I've been doing that since September. And decided it was a pretty good idea in this situation. I mean, Pentecost and all. It's kind of his season, right?

And...nothing happened. Monday passed. Tuesday passed. I woke up on Wednesday (the day I was going to turn in the form) and still had no idea what to write down. I may have yelled "The Holy Spirit's not working!" at my mom, and I'm sure at that moment she was thrilled that she gave up her law practice to raise me.

So I was freaking out and sat down to fill out the form. And I knew what to write down. I don't know how. It certainly wasn't a huge lightening flash moment, and none of the classes sounded any different when I went over them in my head. But I knew what to write.

So I have no idea what I'm going to get, but I think it's going to work out fine.

*Hey. You decided to be my friend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My condolences.

I opened my e-mail this morning, and there was a message from the history department secretary giving us the sad news that *Blank*'s mom had passed away and she had a card for us to sign. It was sent to everyone associated with the department.

The normal first reaction from someone who admittedly had to Google *Blank* because she had no idea who he was* but was a fairly decent human being possessing a warm heart would be something along the lines of, "Oh, how awful. I'll keep his family in my prayers."

My first reaction? "HOLY &*#% I'M ON THE FACULTY MAILING LIST THAT IS SOOO COOL."

Yeah. I'm a horrible person.**

*History professor, specializing in race relations and African-American history. Well. That explains it. If you didn't talk about a pope or a western European king, chances are I avoided your class like the plague.
** I promise, within three seconds I responded like a normal adult. My deepest sympathies, Dr. *Blank*.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Found.

I feel that, as a functioning* member of society, I need to comment on the Lost series finale.

Lost and I had a very complicated relationship. We were hot and heavy for the first few years. It premiered my junior year of high school, and I was all about Lost. I remember joking with a friend of mine that our life goals were based primarily on whatever was on TV the night before. So the day after CSI we were going to be chemistry majors and become investigators, Mondays after Boston Legal, we were pre-law. Anyway, we were so into Lost that every Thursday morning we considered storming Concordia's advising office to figure which classes would best prepare us to be stranded on an island with Matthew Fox.

The second season premiere? I left a funeral.

I'm not even kidding.

(Incidentally, I'm pretty sure my degrees in history and Jewish studies do just about that...)

Like many couples, things got busy. We just didn't have time for each other. When the time slot changed, I just couldn't do it anymore. I had already been seeing CSI:NY, and I was fairly certain that my relationship with Gary Sinise that show was going places.

Well, we broke up too. I would occasionally run into Lost, on the odd night. But we had both changed so much that it was impossible to pick up again. I was in college and occasionally would forgo television to either study or go out with actual people,** they had moved to Tuesdays...it just wouldn't work.

But last night. Last night I tuned in. I figured that it was pretty cool that it was ending the week after I graduated from college, because I remember so clearly being seventeen and such a different person when it premiered- I had to watch. And...wow. It was...amazing.

I'm not going to pretend that I understood it, or that it was perfect, or whatever, but I will say that when each character realized their alternate(?) realities, I cried. Like, EVERY. TIME. Aaron and Claire and the baby made me a little teary. Kate and Jack caused embarrassing Titanic-like heaving sobs.

I made the mistake of watching it with my dad. My dad is...hard to please. I think he just doesn't like...complicated things. He was not in favor of the (awesome) ending. The show ended, my sister has tears running down her face and has completely abandoned her friends in the other room, my brother is manfully trying to comment on the implications of the ending but his voice is totally cracking, and I'm curled in the fetal position on the floor weeping.

"It was unfulfilling! I didn't get it!"***

What. The. Frick.

I could not take it anymore.

"You know what you just don't understand that was awesome and I don't care that it doesn't make sense the doggie came back and the first shot was of Jack's eye opening and it was beautiful and you don't even know just leave if you're going to be insensitive and could you possibly bring me a Kleenex or maybe a Xanax?" *sniff*

Honestly. I don't think he would have been happy if Damon Lindelof had been sitting here on the couch explaining the mythology personally.

So. It was the end of an era.

*And my "functioning," I mean delusional and possessing of way too much free time.
** Okay. Not frequently. But it happened.
*** This is also what he said after seeing Star Trek. Or, the Best Movie of 2009 Or Maybe Any Year Ever.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dear Your Majesty,

Hi. It's Kathleen. Again. I know. We chit-chat a lot. I'm sorry. I really want to marry your grandson. And your relatives keep doing ridiculous things that I would never think to do, and I feel the need to share this with you, since I technically am still barred from marrying him.

(What? Like that Kate girl is going anywhere?)

ANYWAY. Today my issue is with Fergie.

I'm not terribly bright. I mean, okay, academically I do fine. But I have to drive to Sheboygan Falls this morning and I am flabbergasted by the fact that it's THIRTY-FIVE MILES from my house. My father, incidentally, finds this hilarious. This was us last night:

Dad: *almost kills himself laughing so hard* *What? He hardly ever exercises.* Where...*chortles*...where did you think it was?

Me: I don't know. There...*points vaguely north*...kind of? Like just past Wal-Mart?

Okay. You can't fault me. I mean, I'm not a true Ozaukee County girl. When I was dragged here literally kicking and screaming when I was eleven I refused to learn any road names or indeed look beyond Target because I was So. Not. Staying. Here. Uh. Nonono. This was merely a stopping point before I left when I went to law school.

Um. Yeah. I don't know how, exactly, eleven-year-old me anticipated being able to pay for law school or the fabulous apartment in the North Shore that she also had furbished in her head. Suffice to say that 22-year-old me is still living here. With student loans. And not in law school.

My point was that Wal-Mart? Was about as far north as I figured I ever needed to go. I mean, I-43 curves, y'all. I don't need to deal with a whole lot beyond that.

Except turns out I do. And MapQuest and I are having a fight. Ever since they erroneously told my parents that Mequon Country Club had all sorts of entrances and then, shocking, it doesn't, and I was called in the middle of the night because they couldn't get to John at post-prom and you know what? Why do I even have a phone in my bedroom if it DOESN'T WORK???

Wait. Where was I going with that?

Oh. Right. Why I should marry William.

I would, once again, never do anything like this.

Love,

Kathleen