Thursday, December 31, 2009

You could have single-handedly redeemed 2009, Northwestern.

Believe me, I would have loved to have ended this with, Oh, and I got into graduate school. But of course, I still know nothing. More waiting.

That's kind of how I feel about 2009. Waiting. I watched people I loved suffer. I suffered. But it was also the year that I started senior year of college. The first year I really felt like an adult. The year I started to deal with Grandpa dying. The year I started to deal with what happened after Grandpa died. The year I spent entirely too much money on clothes.

(Oh. Are we not being superficial now?)

This is the first decade I remember completely. I remember New Year's Eve of 1999. The last ten years have been...well, it's ridiculous to say I've changed because, um, I was twelve, of course I've changed. But when you remember changing? That's pretty important. So I feel kind of badly that the end of the decade for me was kind of like purgatory. I don't know what's going to happen next, but hopefully I'm being prepared for something much better.

(Although the theology student in me refuses to let that metaphor go. Doctrinally, if you're in purgatory, you're definitely going to heaven. At some point. Whatever. It still kind of works.)

2008 was horrible. So horrible I can't refer to it as anything other than a sucking black hole of evil. It rivaled 2002, and that, my friends, is really hard to do here at Chez Morena. I think the whole house thing ends up associated with 2008 in my mind, even though that's not completely true. Please, you can read tearful posts here and here.

2009 was less dramatic in terms of all . There were fewer meltdowns. I was able to get through holiday dinners without...well. (I think a lot of it was the counter top.) Today, we met with the woman who will be moving in tomorrow. She's great, turns out she's a former friend, we knew her kids, awesome. It's horrible that she's living there for no reason except that she's not me.

But I realized this afternoon (as I was standing in the bedroom crying because hey! I painted this! With my friend! And there's my blood on the walls! Literally. Who the hell do you think you are living here with your monthly check crazy woman?) that it's not the end.

Because the next decade? Will be the decade that I move in.

(In fact, if I find anyone who doesn't have access to yesterday's post, it may even being the decade that there are kids there again.)

As Bill (another rather awesome part of 2009- hi, Bill!) just posted on my Facebook wall, it's a beginning.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I will be the worst pregnant woman. Ever.

I'm only having one child. Not for any personal reasons. Please. I'm Irish Catholic.

(Although to be honest, we kind of failed at the whole have-a-soccer-team-without-leaving-your-house thing. There are only five grandchildren in my mom's family. My dad's Polish relatives thoroughly beat us- there are like thirteen or something. Even the ex-seminarian has six! Probably a good thing he's ex.)

No, it's because I will be the most unpleasant pregnant woman ever, and no man is ever going to want to have sex with me again after nine months of having to exist with me, the most unpleasant pregnant woman ever.

This occurred to me on Monday as I was stress-eating my way through whatever was left from Christmas and obsessively checking for my grades. It's not even just the wait, there's no coffee or NyQuil in pregnancy? What??? And the fact that I know my body and wow, I'm going to be epic. I don't put on weight prettily. I'm not going to be prime-time-sitcom-pretty-little-baby-bump pregnant, I'm going to be TLC-reality-harsh-lighting pregnant. No. Not just that.

I don't do well waiting for results. It's not necessarily that I'm impatient like a child, it's just that impatient like a child. The whole grade thing? I'm pretty sure I have an ulcer. Waiting for acceptance or rejection from grad schools? I'm ready to go to Northwestern and hold the head of admissions' child hostage until he renders a decision.

(Also? My maternal instincts have only thus far been activated by the iPhone.)

Imagine nine months of major waiting. What if I don't like the baby? What if the baby doesn't like me and I love the baby? What if it's a boy? What if it's sick? Are you still in there? It's been like five months. What if his father murders me in my sleep? That happens a lot you know. Oh my God, he's going to kill me. What if the baby is ugly? What if it's a girl? Still in there? WHY? What if the epidural doesn't work? What if my mom doesn't like it? What if she's stupid? Am I going to annoy my own baby with my academic snobbery? What if someone cuts it out of me like that one CSI episode? Are you coming out yet? What if I have an episiotomy? That's really gross. SERIOUSLY BE BORN ALREADY.

Oh. It's not going to be pretty.

Maybe that's why I'm single right now- no one could go through the waiting for acceptance into a graduate program and having a baby with me. It's not human.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Screw you and your little dog, too.

Dear UWM,

It's Monday, December 28th. This is the final date for grades to be posted. Do you know how many grades I have? NONE. Nada. Zip. Zero. THAT'S HOW MANY. So. I highly suggest that you have a discussion with at least the four faculty members who are withholding grades from me. One also still has my final paper that he said he'd e-mail to me two weeks ago, but to be perfectly honest I'm not holding my breath for that one.

The only two who have even made warlike moves towards final grades have fallen seriously short. One messed up my grade and I still have no idea whether or not I have an A or and A- (How is a 93.5% NOT an A? What scale are you using?), and the other one revised my paper grade saying it was awesome and my final grade would be "an A/A-".

Um. Excuse me. You have a doctorate from Yale. PICK ONE, WOMAN. You certainly weren't too busy celebrating Christmas this weekend and Hanukkah's been over for like a week.

So. If you could impose some sort of penalty on them.

Also, I recently checked out the Spring 2010 graduation page. And, um, you have me graduating at 9 a.m.? NINE O'CLOCK ON A SUNDAY MORNING? Are you kidding me? I've paid $35,000 for the degree, another $80 for the double major graduation fee, and God knows how much the gap and gown are going to cost. And you still make me show up at 8:15?

That is really not cool, guys. The business majors get to go to the 1:30 one. I get that they are going to be a far more lucrative alumni group than us lowly Letters and Sciences idiots, but IT'S STILL NOT NICE!


P.S. You all are invited to my graduation breakfast. Because that's what time of day we'll be finished. Please bring donuts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

One of these things is not like the other.

Went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie today. Loved it. Loved the unabashed sequel set-up. Loved the jokes. Loved everything about it. I even loved it so much that I forgive Jude Law for being a skeez. (Kind of.)

Robert Downey, Jr. is clearly way hotter on the wagon. Obviously.

Also read Rome Sweet Home, and aww! That's adorable, you guys. No, for reals. Aside from the part where Kimberley talks about how she should be under Scott's spiritual guidance (Uh. No.), I totally loved it. And I'm not going to lie, when I finished it I googled them. Because I really wanted to know what they looked like without the late-80s glasses covering most of their faces.

Friday, December 25, 2009

For unto us...

(I don't know, I really could have picked any line from the infancy narratives. Or even gone totally off the wall with John's "In the beginning there was the Word," which I guess would have been okay, because it was one of the gospels for today, but whatever. I'm lazy. And that's the first one that popped into my head.)

Merry Christmas, blog groupies!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day, and a great Friday if you don't technically believe in the Christ part. (Why?)

I, personally, am a little bit tired. I was awoken at some ungodly hour by "Santa". Who apparently felt the need to put the presents under the tree this morning. The past few years, Santa has been a little under the weather, and usually we get home from Christmas Eve and, um, Santa is all, "You don't need to go to bed, but you need to get out of the living room. I am TIRED." Apparently Santa was too tired to do even that last night, and remedied the situation EARLY THIS MORNING. REALLY EARLY. FREAKING EARLY.

I maintain that life could have gone on if she had put them out when we got home from Mass, but whatever- the mystery, it remains.

Anyway- I didn't trip or throw up or anything during Mass, so yay! That's exciting. My mom tok inappropriate pictures- thank God she waited until after Mass was finished. I've gotten a ton of conflict studies books (Northern Ireland and the Middle East- whee!!!) and DVDs, most of which I've licked or made out with (Public Enemies. Next year I want Johnny Depp.)

And this afternoon there will be family and food and lots of booze because I'm the only one who drinks anymore! Whoo? Stupid medication.

So have a wonderful day and I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I don't really care about decking, but if you could vacuum the hall that would be great.

I'm finished with the semester. I've e-mailed my thesis advisor with this brilliant-yes-please-let-me-into-grad-school note- "I hope you had a wonderful time in Poland. I'm taking finals and Christmas week off. I'll send you a draft sometime after that. Merry Christmas! Love, your loser student." (I'm kidding about that last part. I don't write "love" to my professors. Most of them.) I baked cookies on Monday after my finals disappeared into thin air. I don't even have to make the Happy Birthday Baby Jesus cake.

(Which I still maintain is a three-year-old tradition at best. We NEVER had one when I was little. NEVER. If my mom is so in love with her photo scanner, why can't she find any pictures of this alleged OMG WE HAD IT EVERY YEAR cake? Because it doesn't exist. Hah. That's what I thought.)

I have nothing do do until Christmas except clean the house, wrap gifts, deal with my unruly eyebrows (I'm a frickin' redhead, how is it that my eyebrows are so terrible?), make a single pumpkin pie because honestly? WE DO NOT NEED TWO, oh, and try to get through the reading from Isaiah for Friday morning. At least I think it's Isaiah. Nine o'clock Mass is the day reading, right? Don't you think? I mean, it's hardly dawn. And they're both Isaiah. Whatever. No one pays attention anyway. They're all dealing with their toddlers who have never been inside a church before.

Um. Actually. That's a lot.

But my point was that I don't have any real responsibilities, and yet I'm still procrastinating on ALL OF THIS. Because I have coffee? And Lifetime? Did you know they show crappy programming ALL DAY LONG? I know, right?

Way more fun than cleaning the shower that people will just insist on using again despite my protestations that I don't care if you're dirty, I don't have to scrub you down with Comet just stay out of the damn shower!

Ooh! Two completely random things before I get back to the Falalala Lifetime movie marathon where there's lots of infidelity and redemption and angsty yet wholesome holiday sex between two vaguely-familiar-looking-but-they-certainly-aren't-famous actors.

I logged on to my UWM e-mail account this morning. It's connected to the calendar now, for reasons that elude me. But a notification popped up telling me that I had an event. Winter Break. Yes. The university had taken the time to add Winter Break as an event, even equipped with an alarm. So if I wanted to hit snooze on my vacation, I totally could.

Also, I've stopped obsessively checking my application at Northwestern. Because I'm completely convinced now that they'll reject me on Christmas Eve and the notification will go something like, "We regret to inform you that you are too stupid to attend Northwestern University. Please have a lovely holiday and maybe Jesus still loves you because God knows we don't."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I changed my mind.

You all can come and take my cookies for all I care. Because I am really sick of existing on refined sugar. Between the fact that I haven't had any protein since, oooh, last week, and the fact that finals have COMPLETELY messed me up because my schedule- it is gone and I'm pretty dumb I need to know where I'm supposed to be, dammit, I don't really even know what day it is.

Tuesday? Maybe?

I was kidding about the protein thing, by the way. I'm eating perfectly normally, it's just THE COOKIES I CAN HEAR THEM IN THE FRIDGE BEING ALL TASTY.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I had important thoughts on the psychology of the Edwardian era, I promise. I was going to talk about this amazing miniseries that I just watched, even though it's like eight years old at this point but whatever, it's British, they've pretty much been the same since 1066. (Colleen: London burned. Once.) But then my dad made these amazing chocolate truffles? I don't know, they're little chocolate balls rolled in coconut and I WANT TO HAVE THEIR BABIES.

It's a family recipe. One that he refuses to write down, despite my constant shouting, "You're not going to live forever and once I get through being mad at your for not throwing out all your stuff before you selfishly died I'm going to be mad at you BECAUSE I HAVE NO CHOCOLATE," at him.

He makes them every Christmas. I don't know if it's that I tend to eat healthier or what, but this year I have made a dent in them with embarrassing swiftness. (Like, they're not even fully hardened yet.) I didn't even waste time with a plate- just the Tupperware container they were in was fine. He kind of looked at me and went, um, maybe we could have some left for Christmas? And I replied that he could either make another batch or go to Trader Joe's and buy new candy for all I care because THESE ARE MINE DO YOU HEAR ME?

Or at least I would have. If my mouth hadn't have been full.

Whatever. I'm thin now; it's not that sad.

(Okay. It is. A little.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Retail Hell

Oh, internets. I'm off to the Major Bookstore Chain that No One Ever Thinks About for eight hours. Where people will be mad that I don't stock a large-enough variety of holiday/Hanukkah paper (Look! I know we're in Fox Point, okay? I GET IT. But just because I'm a Jewish Studies major doesn't mean I care. It just means I'm obsessed (in a good way) with 1/4th of the faculty and in a bad way with the other 3/4ths. SO LEAVE ME ALONE WITH MY CRUCIFIX.), can't get things delivered by Christmas (I'm sorry, but if you order on a date that begins with a 2? You're screwed and it's not my fault anymore.), and oh, I don't know, my hair offends them or something (People. Are weird.)

Although, come to think of it, my hair is filthy. That was going to be remedied tonight (Do I know how to have a good time or what?), but turns out I have plans. To go to one of those Little Town of Bethlehem thingies (I don't think the big one at Elmbrook, unless I leave work like six hours early. And that seems irresponsible.) and White Christmas. Huh. I totally forgot about both of those! And my hair is still filthy!

Not totally my fault- it was on my list of things to accomplish this morning when my alarm went off at four. However, there was an alternative list that went something like Ha! Are you fricking kidding me four o'clock? I was up until midnight playing on eBay (Whee! Really cheap perfume! Whee!!!) and going over the Letter to the Hebrews for tomorrow morning and that is a very confusing reading, let me tell you what.

Not theologically. In fact, it kind of makes my little Jewish Studies heart warm with the whole implication of a new covenant thing, but do you know how difficult it is to say "holocausts and sin offerings" slowly and clearly when you tend to mumble? VERY THAT'S HOW SO YOU KNOW WHAT MY HAIR IS A LITTLE LANK, OKAY? DON'T JUDGE.

Yeah. I'm going to work now. Have a good Saturday. Please don't come to Borders. If there's no one there, maybe they'll send me home early.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Whatever, I'll take it.

Hah! So remember when I was whining? Which time, you ask. Well, good point. About finals. Still going to need more, you say. Again, true. About my having to take two finals on Tuesday a mere number of hours before Christmas?

Of course. That time.

Well, I was at on of my myriad of finals with this professor yesteray and when I turned in my blue book he was all, "Oh! Kathleen, yeah, your grade for [Tuesday's final] is going to be an A. You're exempt from taking it." Um. Okay. That makes no sense.

But it does mean that I get to take the online exam in the morning, and then bake cookies and otherwise be irresponsible on Tuesday! Because I don't, like, work or anything. That would be crazy.

It also means that after my 12:30 final today in the class that I REALLY DON'T WANT TO TAKE is my last real you-can't-look-at-the-notes-open-on-your-lap final. Like, ugh, the Holocaust? Bummer. And Zionism- I am SO OVER Zionism. Like, for reals. I want to the multiple choice to be "Who was Theodor Herzl?" and the essay to be, "Talk about the formation of Israel that you learned in a lecture that was ten times as good as any I was able to give you this semester, even when I did that weird little, "Ha! We won." laugh that one time."

Okay. I don't think she's going to phrase it like that.

It would be awesome though.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things that are bugging me today.

1.) My disturbing Pavlovian response to the words "Israel" and "Zion" that is due entirely to my Arab-Israeli Conflict final that I have to take in about three hours.

(I maintain the class is misnamed- it should be the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The Arab states never really loved the Palestinians anyway and after 1967 they dumped them completely. So it's hardly fair that they end up in the title of the conflict.)

Every time I hear those words, I'm like, "Ooh, I know about that! I know how much aid they received from the US in 1967 as opposed to 1968 ($12 million and $77 million, btw)." And opinions- do I have opinions. But you're not going to hear them. Because I'm too white and Christian to spout off my beliefs without looking like an anti-semite. Which I'm not. But I'm pretty sure it may come off that way in print.

And let me tell you, Advent is a bad time to be obsessed with Israel. Because it's in, like, every song and reading. During the homily last weekend I made myself space out because I was getting tired of reciting details in my head.

So. I'm really hoping that the test goes well. I was driving my brother to school this morning and he asked which exam I had today. I replied, "Arab/Israeli conflict. *pause* But I don't think I'll be able to solve it." He smiled and said, "You'd definitely get an A."

Personally, I think if I'm able to bring about a lasting peace in Gaza and the West Bank, I deserve extra credit.

2.) Northwestern University and Marquette University, and their seriously lazy graduate application departments.

Okay. I'll give Marquette a free pass for this one. Not only do I really want to go there, but the deadline hasn't even arrived yet. So. You guys are okay. For another week or two.

But Northwestern? Your deadline was, like, two whole weeks ago. And you don't even send out letters to the losers you don't admit. WHAT IS TAKING YOU SO LONG? Would it kill you to put a little "Denied" button on my application page so I can go back to banging my head into the wall and drinking heavily? I THINK NOT.

Shut up. I'm not crazy.

3.) I don't really have a three. Except that I think only two items looks lazy. Hmmm. I'm sure there's something. Oh- got it. My professor won't e-mail me back and tell me if he's finished grading my paper yet. Because I worked really, really hard on it and I really, really want it back so I can enjoy all the glowing comments during the winter break, after Northwestern rejects me.

I'm not being conceited. Even if it was a crappy paper, I'd get glowing comments. That's just the nature of our relationship. I sign up for all of his hideously underfunded classes about Jews in 1970s Ohio or other ridiculous bordering-on-hilarious classes, and he spews loveliness that affirms my self-worth all over my work. I love him.

Okay. I think that's all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

They should just call it "get absolutely nothing accomplished day"

But no. "Study Day" looks better on the university calendar.

You know what doesn't look good on the calendar? The fact that "Final Exams" runs through the 22nd. And I have two exams on the 22nd. And I'm not one of those people who can do anything other than exams during exams. So there will be no cleaning, no cookies, and no Christmas joy until the morning of the 23rd. Because during exam week I am so preoccupied with the fact that I am once again thisclose to a 4.0, and there's another end of a semester, and God, I'm crying a lot. Which I think is a little bit cruel, UWM. For the thousands I will be paying off until I die pay you, you'd think you could give me longer that 48 hours to prepare for the birth of the Lord.

So. I figured I'd try this whole updating thing earlier in the day. Because the whole nighttime thing? Not working. I fell asleep at nine o'clock last night. It was pretty embarrassing. Anyway, it's 10 o'clock right now, I've been subsisting on coffee for a few days, and I have nowhere to be. This is a strange feeling for ten o'clock on a Tuesday morning. I should be in class. What class would I be in...oh, Jewish Wisconsin. Aww. I loved that class. I want to be in that class right now.

Which brings us to our real point. That I'm a crazy person.

It may not be in the same flamboyant way that other people are. I don't need medication, and I don't go to therapy (Although I a huge supporter of counseling. Seriously. The more the better. I've seen what happens when you don't go, and I've seen how much it can help somebody when you do.), but I tend to have quiet little nervous breakdowns when I get stressed. Again- quiet. Very self-contained. I don't mean to say that what I go through is anywhere near what people who have major nervous breakdowns or panic attacks do, but it's there.

Like the end of last semester. The post I wrote about it is one of my favorites, possibly because I manage to foreshadow my future Jewish Studies degree (I literally did not have any idea I was going to do that) and get a virgin birth quip in there. And it's true- I didn't handle the end of last semester well. I was very upset- more upset than I should have been. And I know that it's related to stress and exhaustion, because I had similar feelings during the whole Grandpa's house thing last year.

Like when I found out my mom probably had cancer again and I completely lost it in front of an electrician and my cousin's roommate.

I know what you're thinking- um, you just found out your mom had cancer. That's probably a good reason to be upset.

And yeah, it is. Except, and I don't want to seem callous, but I've done this before. I've gotten that phone call, several times, and I've never lost it like I did that day. I was just at the end of my rope.

(Incidentally, that was also finals week. Yeah. Good times.)

So this whole post really had a point, I promise. And it was to serve as an early warning system- watch out for next semester. Because it's not going to be pretty?

I can't really tell you how not-pretty it's going to be. Because I can't think about it. Like, I'm in complete denial. I think about graduation in some kind of abstract quality, but never like it's actually going to happen. That would require acknowledging that in approximately 22 weeks I won't be an undergraduate at UWM anymore. And I can't deal with that. The though crosses my mind, I want to cry, and then I ignore it.

So. Denial and the crazy. Not good.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marital property state.

Background: My parents have a fantastic marriage. So fantastic I'm pretty sure my brother and sister and I will die alone because we'll never have what they have. They do annoying things like want to hang out with each other. All the time.

Today, my dad got a portable digital TV. It gets all those digital stations, and he is enamored with it. So much so that his first reaction was, "We could cancel cable now that I have this!"

My mother, his devoted wife of 26 years who doesn't even have a good engagement story because according to her, "We always knew we wanted to get married!", replies, "You cancel cable, and I'll cancel you."

The woman loves her QVC.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I was going to get all emotional...

...but it turns out being emotionally exhausted is physically exhausting, and I don't totally feel like waxing poetic about my denial of the coming semester and how there may not be any more coming after it and yes, I started to cry this morning so what I'm normal, dammit.


Instead I'm going to write about how Facebook thinks I'm Jewish. And looking for a husband. At Or perhaps (Find your mensch today! I'm not even kidding. I don't know what that means, but I'm guessing he won't come to the Easter Vigil with me.) Jwed in particular has quite the track record- five weddings a week! My goodness.

Anyway, Facebook apparently only picks up on the keywords in my statuses, and not on the "Religion" section. Because mine is very clearly "Roman Catholic." If it could say "Roman Catholic and Like Hell I'm Raising My Kids Anything Else I Respect Your Ancient Religion But You Can Go To Temple All By Yourself Mister", it would. The box wasn't that long.

(Incidentally, that's pretty much how my notes on intermarriage and the impact on the Jewish society in the United States from Jewish WI look. Yeah. It was an interesting class.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Not a snow...oh wait! There *is* a snow day!

I literally had started typing this when my Facebook exploded with ZOMG SNOW DAY!!!1!!. So I had to retype it. Whatever. I don't have to drive an hour in the snow!

I hate having afternoon classes. When they come at the end of a day filled with classes, that's fine. I mean, I still crash around 3:30, which is not terribly surprising because I've been awake for about eleven hours at the point. (Except yesterday. Yesterday was the best 3:30-4:45 I think I've EVER HAD. I could get married at 4:00 and I'd still be like, honey, this is awesome, but there was this one Jewish Studies class...) But when they're just alone in the afternoon? Not cool. Because I feel like I should spend all day on campus because I'm really a morning person but then I don't want to and it's just not a good idea. Bad idea. Next semester? That's not happening.

However, there is one very huge benefit to having a 2:00 class. When UWM pussy-foots around for the better part of the morning about closing campus, you will still be at home when they wake up and realize HEY WE'RE A COMMUTER SCHOOL. Which means like 24,000 of our 26,000 students have to DRIVE HERE. From FAR AWAY. And NOTHING WE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ITALIAN RENAISSANCE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE IS WORTH THAT.

(I'm sorry. It's not Dr. Hubbard's fault that there was snow and I live far away.)

So. There's that.

And now I have bunches more hours to accomplish everything I was supposed to do this morning. And didn't. Because Facebook was more interesting.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Have a good Holy Day of Obligation!

While I was sitting in a Jewish archive researching this semester, I was eavesdropping on the office. It was a Friday, and the person in the office (not surprising, considering it was a Jewish archive) was obviously Jewish. She mentioned what was probably a service, and then concluded by saying, "Have a good shabbos!" The girl I was researching with (another Catholic) and I were all, aww, how cute! Catholics don't do that. You don't call you friends on Sunday morning and go, "have a good Mass!" But anyway, I figured that the only place it could work was on a holy day. So I hope everybody had a good Immaculate Conception.

Which is not Christ's conception, but Mary's. It's elitist and annoying but it really bugs me when people mix those up.

So. There.

I'm not in Galena anymore, which is troubling. More so because this means I have to, like, get to school and stuff in the Worstest Blizzard Ever OMG that's apparently! Look at that. By the time I got to my car after Mass there was an inch on the ground. Hmmm. Yeah. So...I think tomorrow is going to be a snow day. Because I only have one class, and it's not terribly important, and you know what? Grafton is frickin' far away from the East Side, y'all.

Now. Maybe UWM will agree with me and life will be much happier.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I'm in Galena!

Which means I'm not actually here, writing this. Because I'm too lazy to drag my computer along with me. And also our family kind of resembles a circus pulling into town and I prefer to stay as inconspicuous as possible. So. This is a fake entry.

In which I do nothing except tell you that in my Jewish Wisconsin class? There are a lot of old Jewish doctors? And one of them was Father Groppi's personal physician? Even though he was an OB/GYN?

Yeah. I think that should have been kind of telling, but whatever.

Father Groppi is quite the topic around our house, mostly because my dad grew up on the south side and I think he's torn between being disturbed by his liberalness (is that a word?) and finding him fascinating. So these last few lectures have been interested.

Next week we're doing the synagogues. Woot. Which means the entire class will be, "Well, Tim, when we moved to Brown Deer with Emanu-El...*twenty minutes of rambling while I pick at my nails and picture the professor in vestments (it's a thing)*". And I'll have nothing to add because I'm a poor little shiksa. *sigh*

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cleaning the garage.

I'm not sure if it's too early still to say that we're going to Galena (we're leaving in like half an hour). Colleen hasn't wanted to jinx it, so we've been saying "cleaning the garage". Which makes no sense. But whatever.

So yay! It shall be fun. And I'm fairly certain that the hour and a half I spent working out this morning was a ridiculous waste of time, as I tend to consume my weight in food during these weekends in Galena. Oh, well.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Still Catholic.

For my independent study this semester I did research on the Jewish community in Appleton. And then wrote a long paper about it.

And it was fantastic. I mean the experience. Although the paper was quite good, I think, too. I don't know. I don't think I'll ever get it back because even if I turn it in on Tuesday the professor is incapable of getting anything back within a month. But the experience.

First of all, the "research". Was not so much research. I had to go to this "archive" which was, I'm not even kidding, a single guy's office. I spent an hour going through the "Appleton" folder, and most of the information wasn't even really marked well. Like there would be a tremendously important obituary that I needed to use, and it would just be "Max Goldberg died on June 21." Occasionally there would be a year scribbled on the top, but no indication about what paper it was in or what. This makes a bibliography somewhat difficult. Which is why mine has a note at the top saying where I got the material and basically apologizing for the one citation that is literally, "Wisconsin Jewish Communities Archives: Obituaries." And by "obituaries" I mean all the loose obituaries shoved in that folder.

Yeah. That was a good couple of hours.

I mostly wrote about the orthodox synagogue in Appleton, though. And oh! Can I tell you lots of worthless crap about Moses Montefiore Congregation.

One of the most valuable pieces I found was a dedication booklet from the new synagogue building in 1972. And wow, that is an ugly building.

So in my paper there's a sentence about how "the interior typifies American liturgical architecture from the late twentieth century."

Which is a really nice why yes, I am an art history minor way of saying, "Looks just like every ugly '70s-era Catholic church I've been in."

Also in that booklet is a biography of the visiting rabbi. Who came along with his married daughter, seventeen-year-old son, and TWO-YEAR-OLD. And his presumably exhausted and very surprised wife.

Finally, I wrote a lot about the fundraising that they did in order to build the first building in 1923 and then the second one in 1972. And I'm not even going to lie, I had to redo the whole first draft and make it sound less Catholic because I kept writing, "stewardship appeal." Meh. Whatever. The guy grading it is a Gentile. (And thinks I'm an "outstanding women.")

My cultural screens. Let me show you them.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Homeschool your kids.

I've been thinking a lot about academic stuff lately. (Lately? you say. Shut up, I reply. It's my blog and I'll pretend to be normal if I want to.) A lot of it is the graduate school applications and the letters of recommendation. I'm lucky enough that I've gotten to hear (read?) several people say how smart they think I am. That's not what this is about, though. Because any intelligence I may have has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the way I was raised.

Marian apparitions are all well and good, but if you're a bit of a skeptic and need a reason to believe in God, just take a look at my academic career.

I was in a Catholic school until second grade, when I told my parents that I wanted to be homeschooled. For no reason. We didn't know anyone who homeschooled. My parents were an architect and an attorney; they were hardly what one thinks of when one thinks of homeschoolers. Once my mom figured out what that meant, she thought it was a pretty good idea, especially for an eight-year-old who just figured out how to read.

And it worked. It doesn't always work, but if you're willing to put the time in, it will work. Trust me. Of the homeschoolers that I still keep in touch with on Facebook, one just got back from Provence or Madrid or someplace, one is graduating earlier than she should with some fantastic degree like biology, and her little sister is already in college. And my brother and sister and I are doing pretty well too.

(Yes, I had friends. No, I didn't do my homework in my pajamas. Yes, I began shaving my legs at a normal age. No, I never belonged to a religious cult. Those people exist, which is why we all get a bad rap. I've seen people do math lessons by going to the grocery story and breastfeed in public until the child is old enough to have friends. As the bottle-fed daughter of an attorney, I can't decide which disturbed me more.)

After a spectacularly stupid decision to attend public high school for a year, I stood in the hallway and decided, you know what? I can do so much better than this. (FYI, the school at the time was less fantastic than it is now. My sister and her friends got a wonderful education. But it was emphatically not for me.)

A friend of the family suggested that I take a class at Concordia with her daughter. I said, hey! That sounds like fun. I'll just be homeschooled for the rest of my classes. Her daughter ended up staying in high school. I visited Concordia once, and fell in love. So I lied about my age and signed up for classes and didn't leave for three years.

I spent three years there, doing college work and, more importantly, not wasting my time. It was the best decision I have ever made, the happiest three years of my life, and probably the reason I'm able to apply to graduate school now. And it was a complete act of God.

There's also that other little act of God where he made me not dead. Or completely developmentally challenged. Because if you had told my parents in September of 1987 that in twenty-two years that baby would be employed by a university and graduating summa cum laude they probably would have said, "Wait. So she can sit up?" Because that wasn't supposed to happen.

So I guess my point is a.) trust God, and everything really will work out and b.) if there is any way you can swing it, please consider homeschooling your kids. Because it will be the best thing you ever do for them.

Well, after the whole baptism thing. Because I for one would never want to go through the RCIA thing with and immersion. Hell no. Wet hair is not a good look for me.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Real celibates don't wear pink.

Is there a liturgical reason that the color is emphatically "rose" and not "pink"? Or just that guys prefer to not like to dress in pink vestments? Because I've got to be honest, I know a priest who really liked pretty vestments and he always said rose.

So, yeah, I don't know where I was going with that, except that it made me laugh inappropriately during the lecture tonight, which was totally not my fault.

Oh, happy Advent, everybody! Have a kind-of-good-but-still-solemn good time!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Jesuits can raise way more money than you, anyway.

I'm applying to a bunch of graduate schools. You know this. Or you should. If you've been paying attention. Six month ago, I really wanted to go to this one university. I'm not going to name names but let's just say it's a Catholic university in town and it' s not Marquette. They had a religious studies program, what looked like a doable curriculum, and I had several friends who went there and loved it.

(It also has the prestige of being the place where Drunkfest 2008...or, you know, the dinner dance, was held. But that's really neither here nor there.)

I've only had a few dealings with their admissions department, but I am really, really not impressed. I mean, honestly. The condescension? I don't need it. First they told me I couldn't handle two master's programs. Like, literally, the e-mail read, "I have concerns. We don't want to set you up for failure." And it isn't true. But it scared me into only applying for one because I really didn't want to be turned down for the program that I am actually a qualified applicant for. I really did not appreciate that.

Anyway, I applied a few weeks ago. I received an e-mail updating me about the status of my application, and saying that they still needed letters of recommendation and my final, degree-bearing transcript.

Lovely. The letters are in the mail. Or, at least they will be as soon as I threaten the professors that I have selected with bodily harm because NONE OF THEM ARE SENDING THE DAMN LETTERS AND DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW STRESSFUL THIS IS FOR ME PERSON WITH A DOCTORATE ALREADY??? NO. I DIDN'T THINK YOU DID.

The transcript. I don't have a final, degree-bearing transcript. I'm not going to have one until June. So I e-mailed back explaining that I was finishing my senior year of college, and the final transcript would arrive as soon as it was produced after my graduation. In the meantime, I had already sent a transcript with all grades and all in progress courses listed. You know, like every other college senior applying to graduate school.

Oh. Oh, no. This is not good enough for Unnamed Catholic University That Is Not Marquette. The same person who sent me the nasty you're-too-stupid-to-do-two-programs-at-once responded that they definitely required that final one.

That makes no sense, you're thinking. Even ignoring the fact that the transcript I did provide them pretty much showed that I could essentially not show up next semester and still graduate with honors, that pretty much precludes you going there for the fall semester. But wait. It gets better.

Not to worry, she said, the final transcript would be ready by June, most likely. There would still be plenty of time to consider my application for Fall of 2010.

Um...yeah. There's like a good six weeks in there, right? I mean, classes don't start until the end of August. What's that? You need to know what you're doing more than six weeks in advance? Like so you can find a place to live and funding and apply for loans and I don't know, KNOW WHETHER OR NOT I GOT INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL???

No. That's crazy talk.

But my favorite part was the last line. If my computer screen was capable of reaching out and patting me on the head, it would have done it, that's how consdescending it was. "You just relax and focus on getting that bachelor's degree!"

You just relax and watch me pay the Jesuits the thousands of dollars a year I was going to pay you! Mmkay, pumpkin?

(Watch. Now no one is going to accept me.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I miss him.

It's not all sunshine and Ewan-McGregor-drooling here at The Agony and the Ecstasy, folks. Occasionally I do have real feelings. And this year, they're not even the rage-filled, paint-fume-induced feelings of despair and homicidal tendency that I had last year.

I know, right?

Anyway. Today something awesome happened. Not a big thing, but something pretty cool to someone who is freaking out about being accepted to graduate school. (No, I wasn't accepted anywhere. Trust me, you'll hear the screams.) I was talking to my mom about it, and she said that Grandpa would have been so proud of me.

Which was strange, because as soon as I found out about this, the first thing I thought (well, okay, after "Why wasn't I nicer to you in class?") was, "Wow, I wish I could call Grandpa."

He was always proud of me (of all of us, really), but I feel like he expected me to go to college and do well and therefore it was awesome that I was doing that but hey, I put your mother through law school so you can handle a B.A. in history, young lady. But graduate school is kind of above and beyond, and I would have loved to have called him this afternoon.

Because it would have mattered just as much to him as it did to me.

So even though feelings aren't as raw as they were last Thanksgiving, it still sucks that he's not here with us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm really more of a synoptic girl.

Godspell was on tonight, and wow, I never tired of watching that movie and attempting to understand it. I think I wrote about this once and said that it was like taking acid and going to Good Friday services, but without any of the bad side effects like taking acid and going to Good Friday services.


There are crazy costumes and hippies and John the Baptist is also Judas and there's that one "come here Jesus, I've got something to show you" line that skeeves me out and musical numbers interspersed with lines from the Passion and it's like a canonical train wreck that I just can't stop watching.

My only problem is that I cannot take Victor Garber seriously as Jesus because I'm a baby of the nineties and know him as That I'm Sorry I Couldn't Build You A Better Ship Young Rose Guy From Titanic and Jennifer Garner's dad from Alias.

You did not die for my sins, Spy Daddy.

Oh, and the Dixie cups at the Last Supper. I prefer to keep paper cups far away from my Real Presence, thank you very much.

Other than that, it's fantastic.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I don't know how to cook a turkey.

Really. I don't. In fact, cooking meat of any kind other than ground beef pretty much escapes me. Probably because while I have no problem eating meat, I prefer not to think of it as ever actually being an animal. When it's bleeding on your counter top, it's very hard to do that.

Anyway. I don't really cook for Thanksgiving. My father enjoys that, and hey, whatever blows your skirt up. I do make the pies, though. I'm quite good at the pies. Except for the part where I always forget to put them away. EVERY YEAR. They're just sitting on the stove and I'm all, okay, I'm going to bed, and my dad is all, no, you still have pies out, moron.

(He doesn't call me a moron. Ever. He's a very nice guy.)

This year I had a teeny problem with the pies, though. I paid attention to the cooking directions on the can. Ha. Haha. Stupid idea. I don't usually do that, because our stove is alternately freakishly hot or lukewarm and I don't trust whatever brand Pick and Save came up with to compete with actual food companies. But today I was hugely busy with the cleaning and so forth (no joke, I got home from Starbucks at 11:00 and finally stopped in order to watch Hotch's wife die at approximately 8:45.) that I left it in for the allotted forty minutes. In fact, NOT EVEN. It was more like half an hour.

Bad move. The pies? Were black. My father, who enjoys gnawing on charcoal, suggested that we just cut off the burned parts. I suggested that I get my keys and go buy some more evaporated milk because ARE YOU KIDDING ME IT'S ALL BURNED PARTS!

Also a bad move? Attempting to buy cinnamon (oh, yeah, we were out of that too. So Pies Part the First probably wouldn't have been too tasty anyway.) and evaporated milk at seven o'clock at night on the day before Thanksgiving? Not smart. Not smart at all. I bought what I think were the last two cans and got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

Pies Part the Second turned out significantly better, I think. Well, and they have cinnamon. So, you know, there's that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'd probably go to confession more often.

Attention, bloggroupies. Angels and Demons on DVD today, and I had already purchased a copy before school. Devotion, I tell you. After Mass, though. Which I realize is slightly ironic. And also possibly a little bit sinful.

Le anyhoodles, I was going to liveblog it. Because, I mean, really? What do you want more than all the comments that had to stay in my head or be whispered to my sister (she appreciated that, let me tell you) during the (multiple) theater viewings SPEWED ON THE PAGE? RIGHT? Mind-blowing.

But then I realized that it would a.) make my mom mad, because she prefers to think that I've never seen this movie and lalalala I don't know what you're talking about. And really, the woman is a saint. And half my readership. I'd hate to make her mad unnecessarily. Also b.) that's like 2 hours and 43 minutes of near-constant "zomg Ewan McGregor soooo hawt ljdfkljfkjfdkjld drool." With the occasional "NOT TRUE DUMB WHORE." And you probably don't need that.

So I'll just say that there are few better ways to celebrate the beginning of Thanksgiving break than coming home a a collar-ripping good time like this. I don't really want to think too much about why I find it hot, but damn, I do.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Skinny caramel lattes are never disappointing.

Okay. So I went to that meeting that I wrote about last night. was worthless. Apparently writing an abstract is as easy as I had anticipated. And the conference that I could go to is awesome and easy and they accept 90% of the abstracts submitted and you don't even have to turn in a paper, just give a 15-minute presentation except a.) I didn't realize until this morning in the meeting that I can't make it that weekend, and b.) I would have to deal with annoyingly impressed-with-themselves undergraduates and my God, man, shut up about publishing your stupid biology research, you're getting a bachelor's just like the rest of us.

Yep. I kind of glanced at the dates when I got the e-mail, and it kind of felt like I should have something going on April 17th. But whatever, I never do anything and April? I barely know what I'm doing for Thanksgiving. I figured that it was just so close to Easter that I was probably messing up the dates in my head.

Except I wasn't. It's Confirmation. Which I'm obviously not going to miss so I can present my take on the centuries of Catholic/Jewish relations to a bunch of bored faculty members and annoying undergrads. Dude. We have a new archbishop!

So that's out. But the second reason? About the annoying people? That was almost enough to make me stay home anyway. Only three people showed up for the meeting, and one of them was a senior in the biology department. A senior who would not shut up about his damn research. And how awful he felt about having to dumb down his abstract for an interdepartmental conference. And how he knew he wanted to publish his research next semester, but he wasn't sure where. And how his tuition was taken care of by grants. And how Jesus Himself came and blew some fairy dust on him.

Oh. My. Goodness. Shut. Up. I'm a senior too. I have good grades. But I am operating under no illusions that anyone wants to read my senior thesis much less publish it and so help me God, I will throw this pencil at your head if you don't be quiet this minute I have had NO LATTE THIS MORNING.


Now I'm watching a two hour movie about Hassidism from the '80s. Online. And totally not surfing other sites in another window. That would be irresponsible. But the guy playing the Hassidic boy? Is the voice of the Beast, from Beauty and the Beast? Which I am celebrating my 17th anniversary with TODAY NO LESS. It's also John's birthday. In an attempt to get me to ignore the fact that my mommy was leaving- again- to have another little screaming child- again- I was bought the videotape of Beauty and the Beast. And thus an obsession was born.

Also John. Happy birthday, John!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I recently received and e-mail from the head of the history department with a call for papers. Apparently, they can fund a certain number of students to go to this conference in April, and if you submit an abstract, you have a change to be accepted. Oh, and there's even a meeting about abstracts and what they should look like because we're stupid undergraduates who can barely dress ourselves. Tomorrow. At ten a.m.

This is a fantastic opportunity. I could in theory actually publish my senior thesis, and at the very least I'd get some idea of what the hell and abstract is or how one goes about writing one before I apply for a job that consists mainly of writing abstracts. Oh, and there's that whole I'd get to hang out with a bunch of drunk historians for a weekend part that's pretty awesome, too.

Except. I'm usually in Starbucks at ten a.m. on Mondays. Doing homework. Or reading. Or not paying for parking. All of these things I'd rather be doing that sitting in the basement of Bolton learning about how to write an abstract.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Welcome to hell. Where tuition is only $30,000 a year.

I'm (almost) finished with grad school applications. My final school is the one I'm fairly certain will accept me, so one would think that I'd jump right on that bandwagon, right? Wrong. They require a very large check and have a much later deadline. So...we're going to wait until after the holidays...

They do not require quite as large a check as Northwestern requires. I'm applying to Northwestern because I think it's a pretty cool program. Terminal PhD, full tuition and living stipend, and the ability to wear a "Northwestern" sweatshirt unironically. Take away the 89-mile one-way commute and I'd be all set. However, I'm almost 100% positive that they won't accept me. Not necessarily because I'm unqualified (or because I had to use spell check to spell "necessarily"), but because they're pulling from a much larger and more prestigious pool than...oh...EVERY OTHER PLACE I'M APPLYING TO. So. There's that.

Nevertheless, there will probably be tears and large drinks when they do reject me. You won't hear about it for about three weeks, at which point I will have gotten over the humiliation and be able to turn it into an amusing blog post.

The cost for the application that they will most likely reject? $75. SEVENTY-FIVE. Look. I know it's not like a huge amount of money, but it kind of is, and it's a good 150% more than ANY OTHER FEE I'VE HAD TO PAY. And I'm applying to pretty much anyone with an application.

That's just adding insult to injury, Northwestern.

Meanwhile, today I did research in and "archive" that was, I'm not even kidding you, a file cabinet. Yeah. That was productive. I did, however, come to the conclusion that Moses Montefiore Synagogue? Looks like every '70s era Roman Catholic Church I've ever been in. And I also found out that the rabbi had a married daughter, a seventeen-year-old son, and a three-year-old. Wow. That three-year-old must have been a surprise.

I don't know what Northwestern wants if it isn't very important historical research like that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's going in the blog.

Television: *has a commercial that uses the word "tchotke"*

Mom: Ugh. The tchotkes.


Mom: I think we're getting better though. We really got burned by tchotkes.

Dad: What? Did we have a tchotke problem?


A problem? A problem? I'm not sure I'd call it a problem. A giant sucking hole of evil that required painting and "Human" by the Killers came up on my iPhone yesterday and I swear to God I felt a little bit nauseous because I listened to that a lot while painting shelves and I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING INTERNETS.

THAT'S what I'd call it.

The man. Is oblivious.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm wasting my time in Milwaukee.

I have this professor. I really like her. She went to Yale. I know from other sources that she's really proud of the fact that she went to Yale.

(Hey, why not? You got a doctorate from YALE. I'd be handing out flyers.)

Anyway. Our Thanksgiving break starts the day before Thanksgiving. So Tuesday is the last day of classes next week. The class that she teaches is from 3:30 to 4:45 at night. Or, the time that no one wants to be in class.

On the syllabus, there is a movie scheduled for that day. Immediately, back in September, I'm like, screw that. I'll be at home, starting on my pies. Then she announces that she won't even be there, there will be a sub to insert the disc and press play. She has to go to a "book event". (I think that's more like, "start drinking early".)

Yes. Because EVERYONE is going to show up to watch A FRIGGIN MOVIE with a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL on the DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. Ha. Hahahaha. I would almost like to come just to see NO ONE ELSE COME.

I think this must have dawned on her, however, because today she finally cancelled class altogether and now we just have to watch the movie online.

See, I don't have a degree from Yale, and I figured out back in September that that was just going to crash and burn. Maybe I should be applying to the Ivy League.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunny Day

I was a Sesame Street kid. Like, hardcore. I wanted to link to this entry I wrote about the Joe Raposo songs, but I can't find it. I think it was on some national holiday? But I'm not finding it. Anyway. LOVED Sesame Street.

So when I discovered that there was a book, Street Gang, about the creation of Sesame Street, imagine my glee.

Except I was little bit trepidatious. Because sometimes when you read books about the adults involved in kid's shows, particularly shows that you absolutely loved and quite literally defined your life, you discover that they were all horrible people who were all sleeping with each other and getting high and coming to the set drunk and whatever. I really didn't want to find that out about Sesame Street. However, I picked up the book anyway.


Because Sesame Street? Is as awesome as you remember. It was created by an incredibly gifted group of people (no, seriously, they like all had PhDs in early childhood education or something) who were concerned entirely with providing underprivileged children with a good example and strong background in basic skills so that they would enter kindergarten preliterate.

AND THEY DID THIS ALL WITHOUT BEHAVING LIKE DRUNKEN ASSHOLES. (Well. Okay. There was one drunk. But even he was nice.)

It's an absolutely adorable book, and so interesting, and everyone should go read it. There was a lengthy section on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, including some of the dialogue. Which I remember. And it made me cry.

Except they seem to be operating under the illusion that there are people? Playing the characters? Which is OBVIOUSLY COMPLETELY FALSE because um, Big Bird is totally real. Obviously. He is in no way the same person as Oscar the Grouch. They are completely separate and are not put away at the end of the day.

Other than this fallacy, perfect book.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two shout-outs?

Today in Jewish Wisconsin we got the why-I-became-a-Jewish-studies-guy speech, and frankly it was disappointing and not at all clear. My money's still on a woman.

Anyway. Then we got the why-you-should-become-a-Jewish-studies-major and he said, "We even have a few Gentiles!" and smiled at Katie and me. Woot. Represent.

Later, when discussing the movement of Jews from the East Side to the North Shore, he started talking about how Whitefish Bay has an ordinance where you can't have gatherings late at night and they enforce it for weddings at the JCC? But not St. Monica's down the road? And in my head I'm all dude, I go there! I have very little to share during that class because I'm a.) not Jewish, b.) less than ninety-years-old like the rest of the class and c.) really not Jewish. But I could have shared something about that!!!

This has nothing to do with anything (like the rest of the post did?), but I went to Marquette's Grad School Open House tonight (Worthless, in case you're wondering. But I did get a waiver for the application fee! Which means my parents I won't have to pay yet another $50 for the privilege of being rejected. Life is good.), and the financial aid guy seriously said, "All other schools are $865 a credit, but there aren't any other fees."

Oh. Good. So I'll just have to take up prostitution, but I can keep both of my kidneys.

I love private schools.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's a good thing I bought some skirts.

So I volunteered to be a lector at my parish. This is pretty cool, except I have to speak really loudly? And I'm not good at that? But whatever. It's exciting.

First of all, this has led to a HUGE influx of e-mail. Like, St. Eugene's is spamming me now. For reals. I can't get my advisor to respond to my e-mails, but somebody is going to be out of town in two weeks and will somebody please distribute Communion for me pleeeease omg??? So I logged on to sort through all that stuff and the new schedule is up. Very exciting. Let's see when I'm scheduled...

Okay...a few Masses as the lead cup...very cool...oh! And there's a word ministry one! On a Friday? December 25? CHRISTMAS MORNING? Yes. Let's get the 22-year-old who has never done this before up there on CHRISTMAS MORNING.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited, but CHRISTMAS MORNING???

So. Yeah. I'll need a new dress. Too bad.

In other news, I got a job today! I don't want to jinx it by putting it on Facebook or anything, because there's a little part of me that thinks it won't work out because I didn't get any work/study this year, but I'm going to help organize National History Day at UWM!!! And be paid for it! A LOT!!! Like, way more than the job I show up for occasionally that is on Facebook!!! Hell, if this position lasted past March I'd quit that sucker so fast some of the books would catch on fire.

But you want to know the best part? (Other than the fact that the girl who did it last year was accepted to the master's program and THANK YOU BABY JESUS WHOSE STORY I WILL BE PROCLAIMING APPARENTLY.)

They might get me a desk. I could have an office. With a desk. That I could sit at. Like a real live adult. I know, right? It's pretty important.

So. This was a good day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm never teaching night classes. I may be scheduled to. But there will be no teaching going on.

I don't work well in the evenings. I went to school all day today, and I had a ton of stuff to do. Of course, because I was at school all day, I got a fraction of it finished. Then I had to go to a lecture by my thesis advisor because I felt badly about ignoring him for the last few months (John Paul II and Poland- very good) and just got home and yeah, I'm tired and hungry and like hell I'm writing three pages about Hadassah/Zionism/the Nicene Creed.

In other news, Katie and I get to go to do research at the Small Jewish Towns Fake Society and yeah...I'm pretty sure it's just going to be this guy's basement, and that bothers me a little bit.

Ugh. I'm going to bed.

Monday, November 09, 2009

God bless Maker's Mark.

Okay. I'm not going to put this on my application, but I've got to say, this Manhattan makes finishing my vaguely anti-Semitic book for my thesis way more bearable. SO MUCH.

There are so many things I'm not going to put on my applications. Like I have a tendency to write papers from memory and then stick citations in afterwards.

Or the fact that I have a tendency to make major life decisions based on very passionate but stupid feelings, but the decisions always turn out right, which should be proof enough for you that there is a God.

Or the fact that while I always try to do well in a class, I only try really hard if I like the professor.

One thing I'm actually thinking about writing on my Marquette theology application? "Hey! I've never been involved in a major archdiocesan scandal. Like some of your former theology students."

I think that will set me apart, don't you?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

So much learning. Not so much lunching.

So- I didn't write about the lunch and learn! Which is terribly upsetting, because I think it was the defining moment of my life week. I even got a lovely little greeting. Which isn't terribly surprising, as I was sitting...ooh...about on his lap because those Jews get there early. Which is the first thing I learned.

Other things I learned...

-I am not comfortable eating any sort of fish paste from a communal bowl. So not worth $10. That I didn't pay. So whatever!

-I am, however, totally comfortable eating your flatbread, Center for Jewish Studies. All of it.

-When one is considering any hair pieces, one should always go subtle. So...not a long blond ponytail that reaches to your middle-aged bum.

-Being under the age of 60 and believing in Christ's resurrection put me in a very much minority position.

-That was a little strange.

-No, really. They get there EARLY.

-Despite the fact that you can take three classes with someone, they can sit at the same table as you and not make eye contact.

-I've heard pretty much everything you have to say about FDR, sir. Even the "Ha! Trying living with her!" remark. I've never heard the governess story, though. That made me happy.

-Your views on FDR are slowly becoming my views on FDR. This makes me incredibly happy.

-As do any and all references to Eagle.

Yep. I definitely did the right thing by declaring that second major.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Off a bridge.

If you've read longer than, oh, a minute, you know that I'm in the process of applying to graduate school. Which is a little stressful. Kind of. A lot. Like, I don't have nail beds anymore because I've been gnawing at them for three weeks because I have no marketable skills and I'm fairly certain I won't be employed much longer and what's more, I don't really want to be employed much longer.

One of the things I've been freaking out about is where to apply. In terms of things I'm freaking out about, this is pretty low on the list. But it's there. Mostly because applications are so damn expensive that I either have to completely (and yes, I do mean completely) max out my credit cards to apply everywhere I want to, or risk not applying and then not being accepted anywhere and then having to continue working at my not-job for another forty years until I can retire. To my bedroom. In my parents' house. Because I'll have no money.

One of the schools that got the ax was UW-Madison. It's a good school. In fact, it's a great school. It's harder to get into than the other schools I'm applying to. (Well. Except Northwestern.) But I don't particularly want to go there. Like, if I get in anywhere else, I probably won't accept Madison.

However. This morning I was talking to my professor whom I love and adore and want to follow and maybe like fold his laundry because I'm pretty sure I'd be happier doing that than working at my current job about letters of recommendation.

(See if you can follow that mother of a run-on sentence. Because if you can, you should apply to graduate school.)

He asked me where I was applying, I told him, and then he said, "What about Madison? They're a much better program." And I honestly went, "Oh. Yes. I should do that."


But maybe that's God's way of telling me that I should apply to Madison. Because a.) God often speaks through Dr. Crain. I'm sure of it. And b.) Unlike Facebook, God can be subtle sometimes.

If he tells me to drink some Kool-Aid that smells funny I'm not going to, though.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Facebook needs to step off.

Okay. Facebook. You know I don't like your redesign. Once again, you've managed to make it MORE DIFFICULT to interact with people while simultaneously making it easier for their random Farmville crap to fill up my newsfeed. My sister could announce she's engaged, but if she does it five minutes before one of my friends goes on a Farkle binge, I'd never know.

(No. Really. I'd never know. We live in the same house but seldom actually talk.)

But now your "suggestions"? That used to be just oh, hey, you might know this person? Are getting invasive. And annoying. And vaguely judgemental.

Like I have this one friend. We were really tight for awhile, and now we don't see each other so much. She's not very big on the whole Facebook thing (perhaps WHY we don't see each other that much, because it's pretty much my main form of communication), and she only has a few friends. So Facebook has taken to telling me that I should suggest friends for her because she has so few. Which is mean. I think. And then I should write her a message! Because it's been so long!

Okay. Fine. It's been awhile.

But then they moved into familial relationships. Like my cousins. I have a lot of cousins. I love them all. But I don't feel the need to constantly write on their walls. And I don't appreciate the gently condescending, "You haven't written on John's wall in awhile." Yeah. I know, Facebook. Leave me alone.

That's getting invasive.

But the worst is the "poke" suggestion. Which never existed before, did it? I mean, I know that this can mean different things in different circles. But in my circle? Poking someone means you want to...well...I just left a Theology of the Body talk, so I could give you a lot of sacramental language, but you get my drift. So unless it's an accidental slip where you meant to click "send a message," I don't poke ANYONE.

And the people you are suggesting I poke, Facebook? Are family members. Or friends' parents. Or members of the clergy.

(True story- I have yet to be suggested anyone who is remotely close to me in age or in any way eligible.)

And that's just inappropriate.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Most Mondays I spend the day on campus. And because I'm on campus, I don't have distractions and can get a ton of stuff done.

Well. Okay. The iPhone is a little distracting.

Today however, I stayed home until my class at 2 o'clock. I slept until 8:30, it was light out so I could walk outside instead of in my basement on a treadmill, life was good. Except then...I kind of didn't get anything accomplished. I mean, the house is pretty clean. And the laundry is folded. But other than that...not so much. Because all that stuff is usually accomplished by 7 o'clock when I leave the house.

I also find it really hard to tell myself to sit down and study. It's not that I don't study. I do- a lot. I just do it in between classes, during breaks, on the bus, etc. If I say, okay, you have all day to study so go do it? Let me tell you, the How I Met Your Mother DVDs will win out EVERYTIME of the Dayr Yasin massacre (April, 1948, set off the 1948 Arab/Israeli War and created a rather large Palestinian refugee problem. Also, 200-250 people were killed.)


Now I'm off to a confirmation planning meeting and then Mass. Which is technically at the same time as the confirmation planning meeting. Details. I'll just run down the hallway really, really fast.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pay Attention.

I don't write about sports often. I think...never? So this pretty much a one-shot deal, guys.

I'm not a huge sports fan. I rode horses and did gymnastics when I was a kid- hardly team sports. I have been to four baseball games in my entire 22 years of existence. When there is a football game on in the room I'm in, I'm definitely concentrating more effort on whatever book I'm reading/drink I'm drinking (if it's a Super Bowl party)/test I'm freaking out about than those very confusing yard line things. Whatever. I hardly consider football a real sport- overweight guys falling on each other? NOT A TALENT.

Anyway. I am, however, from Wisconsin. And I'd have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to not know that there was a pretty big game going on today. And even dumber to not know that it didn't end well. And I must say, that sucked.

I know it's a game. I know it doesn't really matter. I know this more than most people because I honestly do not care about football at all. I know nothing about Aaron Rodgers except his name and number. He could kill babies and little kittens and make his grandma cry on his off days, and I really wouldn't care. I still would have wanted him to win today.

(A quick Wikipedia check indicates that he does not, in fact, kill kittens.)

Because I don't care how much you harp about how Brett was wronged or whatever, that was still a completely obnoxious move and you know what, we don't like you anymore. So there.

Except we lost. Which actually makes it less of a "so there." BUT STILL.

In other news, I was very productive this evening, doing all of my homework that I was supposed to do tomorrow and even watching National Treasure, which I think is my favorite movie ever. Coming from a person who can not watch historically inaccurate movies without throwing the DVD cases (DaVinci Code? Hit the wall like eight times.), this is high praise. High praise indeed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I know what I'm doing, trust me.

Another pearl of wisdom from the Applying to Graduate School Files. People will try to give you advice. That you don't really care to receive.

Not even like the guy who sat in my little information meeting and droned on and on about how your forms of ID for the GRE have to match even though that's not true, in fact, I don't think they even looked at my driver's license when I took the GRE, but whatever.

I mean more like when you e-mail the secretary drone at Unnamed University asking a very simple question- do you have a form for letters of recommendation for history and religious studies, or should I just have the professors mail the letters alone?

Note that I did not ask for spiritual or academic guidance. I just need to know if your massively confusing website is holding on to a waiver that my not finding will screw up my career goals. Also, you are simply the name at the bottom of the graduate school form. You are not an advisor. You are not my advisor. Presumably if I'm intelligent enough to get through college and consider grad school, I actually sought the counsel of an advisor.

So please do not e-mail me back going, "No, there isn't a form. But why do you want to do two programs? We don't want you to fail. And why those two? What are your career goals? You'll probably fail. No one does two."

Well. Okay. I added that last part.

But still. First of all, tons of people do two master's programs at once. Second, I have nothing going on. Like, I'll be upset if I have to miss a Criminal Minds episode to go to class, but I think I'll be able to handle it. Third, I'm willing to pay you for two master's programs, so what the hell do you care? Fourth, do you have any idea how many idiots I know who have gotten master's degrees? Some two of them? TONS. So please do not tell me that I am not capable of doing a dual program, because I have yet to put up any embarrassingly drunk pictures on Facebook like these people may or may not have done.

Yes. I realize that most schools are slightly wary of accepting someone who doesn't know what they want to do. But I do know what I want to do. Marry wealthy Teach history and historical theology. Here's the thing- you need graduate degrees in both history and theology to do that! And if this person had read my statement of purpose, they would know that this is what I had planned.

And yes, I realize that it may not be the smartest thing to attempt that much work at once. But I don't know where I'm going to be accepted. Until I know where I can and can not go next year, I'm not closing any doors. You're lucky I didn't apply for kinesiology or something, lady.

Finally, Marquette offers a dual master's program. And Marquette? Is a million times more difficult than you, Unnamed University. So I do not appreciate your sass.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Much is made when you're applying to graduate school about what languages you can speak and/or read. Presumably because there are important sources that you would not be able to decipher if you can only speak one language like a plebeian.

(This is why I'm doing British history. They conquered everyone. And made them speak English.)

Now. I am pretty much monolingual. I speak English quite well. I can read a lot of Latin. I can read some French, with a lot of time to translate, but please do not ask me to tell you how to say, 'The restaurant is to your right," because I can't. Other than that...not so much.

I never really thought it would be a problem, either, because I'm sorry, but almost everything has been translated into English.

Except for John Paul II's speech at his first visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome. That is still only available on the internet as Italian or German. Except for "buon giorno principessa!" that I picked up from Life is Beautiful, I know precisely no Italian. And even less German, despite the week-long attempt when I was twelve to get in touch with that part of my heritage.

Anyway. I needed that speech for my thesis. And I couldn't have it. And that made me mad and also question my own personal constructs because MAYBE THE CRAZY GRADUATE SCHOOL PEOPLE ARE RIGHT AND I WILL DIE ALONE WITHOUT A PH.D.

Then I realized...wait. Google Translator.

So now I have the text of the speech. And I didn't even have to learn a modern European language. And I can't see why anyone would waste time doing anything other than that.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh yes, I just used "Dalek" in a sentence. AND I'm a real girl.

I watch a lot of Doctor Who. You put together my love of guys in suits, guys who are adorably awkward, and guys with accents? You're lucky I haven't moved to London to stalk Russel T. Davies.

Because I have always thought I would make a good companion. I'm not too talkative. I have decent hair. I'm a normal size. (I love that the companions are normal sizes. Except Martha. She was kind of a skinny little twit.) I'm not secretly in love with David Tennant. I would be a perfect companion.

Anyway. I'm going somewhere with this, I promise. Thanks to the H1N1 hysteria (My sister: People forget that during the Plague there were literally piles of bodies in the streets. When I see a pile of bodies, then I'll freak out.), there are dispensers of alcohol-based sanitizer all over campus. And I usually use it, because I am a freak for hand sanitizer. I am. I even was before the piggy sniffles took over.

But then I start to think, wait. What's really in those dispensers? Is it maybe less Purel and more some out-of-this-world substance that will turn us all into willing participants for the Dalek takeover of the human race?

Because that could totally happen. David Tennant would be completely stumped as to why the humans stopped caring or something and he'd ask me, his new companion (shut up, I know he's not the Doctor anymore), if anything weird happened in 2009 and I'd be all, no, wait! The universities started pushing hand sanitizer on us! (Much like Donna's, "The bees disappeared!") And then he'd get all excited and hug me and save humanity.

Okay. That's maybe a little bit far fetched. But it does mirror a few episodes quite perfectly. (I'm thinking of the french fry in grammar school one.)

I'm going to stop using that hand sanitizer. Just in case.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

He's weak. I can take advantage of that.

One of my major semester papers is on Iran. I've decided that the only part of Iranian history I find remotely interesting is the hostage crisis. Mostly because the Republican in me rejoices when she sees examples of Presidents who were far more inept than George Bush and far less hated for it.

(Like I know. I wasn't born until six years after the hostages were freed.)

Well, that and the part where I realized that I'd read the memoirs of the Shah's wife and DIDN'T REALIZE IT. Yes. I am so stupid that I've studied her husband in three different classes and I didn't put it together with that night I couldn't sleep and read this book about an angry royal Iranian with delusions of grandeur at four o'clock in the morning.


So. I'm going to write about the hostage crisis.

Problem. I told my professor I'm writing about the revolution and the switch from autocracy to theocracy and it's impact on the modern Middle East.

Solution. He's probably in a Tylenol with codeine haze and I'll be able to manipulate this. I don't know what you're talking about, sir, you e-mailed me and told me it was totally okay for me to write about the US involvement in Iranian politics.

Monday, October 26, 2009


This evening, I logged on to Facebook.

This is not important. I do this...ooh...constantly. Thanks to Heloise the iPhone, I can do it even more. Although I do not appreciate Facebook Version 378,924,185 urging me to write on my cousin's wall because I haven't in awhile. Facebook. Back off. Paul and I are fine. We don't need your help with our relationship.

The important part was that I had a notification from Josh Groban.

(Not the real one. I don't actually know him. Despite my best efforts.)

Turns out there will be a NEW come November 9.

And that made me realize that there was a time that this announcement would have caused major freaking out. I would have squealed a little bit, I would have had to discuss it on the message boards, I would have to blog about it.

(Some things don't change, I guess.)

Now? I realized it's been like a year since I've even been on the site. I haven't belonged to the message boards in years because I decided that paying $40 a year to listen to post-menopausal women have orgasms over a twenty-four-year-old was kind of ridiculous. I'm still blogging about it. So...there's that.

This isn't really about Josh Groban. I still love him. I still listen to his songs more than any other artist's probably. And I definitely would not have driven to St. Paul to see anyone else. It's not really even about fandom on a whole. I know that it's a really good thing that I'm more into my own life at 22 than I was at 16.

But it made me realize, more than anything else in awhile, how I'm really a grown-up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I don't want to be an adult now.


Two and a half years ago, as a wee little freshman enthralled with all (and yes, I do mean all) of the aspects of History 204 I decided that yes! History! That would be my career path! It was perfect! Esoteric knowledge, not having to work continue in the journalism department that scared me half to death, and getting to drink in the afternoon because you're an academic, so it's totally cool. PERFECT. And, get this. I'd get to put off the real world for a few more years. No resumes, no job hunting. No drinking in the middle of the afternoon because you're unemployed. PERFECT.

Except I have to apply for graduate school. And I didn't really realize that this? Would pretty much be a job on it's own. I had coffee this summer with a friend of mine who's a professor and she told me not to underestimate how much work these applications take. I kind of scoffed into my mocha, like, yeah, I'm not applying to Yale. I don't think the UWM application is going to be that difficult.

BUT IT IS. There are a ton of different things that you need and different deadlines and it's expensive and the letters of recommendation- oh, my goodness, those letters of recommendation.

Because I'm not just applying to one graduate program (e.g., history.). Well, at some schools I am. But at some schools I'm applying to history and theology, which requires an entirely different statement of purpose an also different letters of recommendation. Two of the five schools I'm applying to require three letters, three require two. The two that I need distinct hey-she-likes-Jesus-too letters for are in both categories- one needs three, one needs two. So all three professors have to write two different letters. Which is annoying. And the forms.

There are forms. That are not online forms. (Except Northwestern. God bless Northwestern. I don't even have to go pick up the letter from the professor- it's all online.) Most are forms that I have to print out multiple copies, take them to offices all over the frickin' campus, and have them sign/fill out.

Oh, so much work.

I think it's to weed out the people who actually want to go to graduate school from those who are just really sick of their retail jobs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So much correspondence lately.

Dear Guy Standing Behind Me in Line,

Hi. First of all, could you take a giant step back? Because there's kind of an honor system here in...oh, any place with stores, really. You're not supposed to violate the bubble around a girl who's desperately hoping her credit card won't be declined. (It wasn't! Whoo!)

Also. I appreciate your thinking that the coat I'm purchasing is pretty. I really do. It is pretty. I friggin' love it. (Hence the need for the possibly overdrawn credit account.) However, you don't need to keep commenting on it. And how beautiful you think it is. And you really need to stop looking at me.

Because see that woman over there in the next line? Yeah. She's my mom. And despite the fact that I'm 22 and can take care of myself, she's about ready to beat you over the head with a hanger. Possibly from the coat you keep admiring. I know. Even though I can't see her because I'm trying really hard to not make eye contact with you, I can feel her freaking out.

Also, I'm wearing what could very easily be a wedding ring. Now, it's not actually a wedding ring that I received at a wedding in which I was the bride. But it is a ring set, and one of them is a simple silver band (I use it as a guard ring.) It's even on my left hand, because I was trying on rings before. You have no way to know that I'm not actually married. So you're being a jerk on top of being creepy.

So. Please pay your Kohl's bill and then leave me alone. Thank you very much.

Well, I don't want you to know my name, actually.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Professsor, (CC Jesus)

Hey. It's Kathleen. About last night.

First of all, Jesus, I've got to say, You came through. I was remembered almost everything and hey, maybe Katie and my sister were the only ones who remembered Henry Ford. I had bathtubs and street addresses and all sorts of other random crap and I didn't call Kaiser Wilhelm II a product of incest and "stubby-armed" like my sister but I did say that I liked the author's analysis of the annunciation ("But I haven't even had sex yet!) so I guess maybe those cancel each other out. Anyway. So, thanks. I really appreciate it.

However, Unnamed Professor. We need to have a talk. You need to learn how to write an exam. For instance, the topic, "Discuss the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth from his birth through his death. Discuss the four gospels and who they were written for as well as they how they differ. Finish with a description of the textbook and what his excerpt on Paul means." IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR AN ESSAY WHICH WE HAVE TO COMPLETE IN HALF AN HOUR.

Now, I get that you're not a theologian. But do you have any idea how many millions of pages have been devoted to each of those things? And you want us to, what, like skip stuff? What do you skip? I mean, that last week was pretty important. I've read A Marginal Jew. I've read Death of a Messiah. I know TONS about that stuff, and I want to write it all down but I can't if you give me ridiculously huge topics like that.

The class period was over at 12:15. At 12:09 I hadn't even killed Jesus yet and still had all that stuff to get through. My essay? Was basically the Nicene Creed. Because I couldn't think of any more concise way to put it than "He was crucified under Pilate, suffered, died, and was buried."

So. I still love you. Because you give me 105s regularly. But THIS IS NOT COOL SIR.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Jesus,

Um. Hi. It's Kathleen. You knew that, though, I guess.'s the thing. I have a few tests tomorrow. One is on Jewish history, and you know, they're Your people and all. The other is on, well, You. And let me tell you, those gospels? Are all different and require a lot of memorization.

I've been kind of busy lately, Monday with confirmation class and Tuesday talking about your followers and I'm kind of exhausted right now.

So if you feel like writing a few essays tomorrow morning, that'd be awesome. Because I really, really don't.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whatever, this counts as last night. I'm working on like five hours of sleep.

So, if I were typing this somewhere other than class and had more than ten seconds in between important points about post-WWI US politics (*yawn* sealed borders, economic boom, mafia, heard it all before) I would link to this, but do you remember Big Daddy? My methods professor whom I hated, then loved, then cried over because I had a breakdown during finals week, then he told me I was an astounding student? Of course you do. Because I'm that interesting.

(Apparently the Catholic Herald finds me interesting. They're following me on Twitter. This is disturbing.)


I e-mailed him to thank him for the whole outstanding student thing and also to totally hit him up for a letter of recommendation, because a.) I need letters from people who aren't hated by the rest of the faculty, and b.) I am in awe of his ability to convince the faculties of major universities that graffiti is serious research material. He wrote back that he would be thrilled to write a letter for me. Aww. Big Daddy. I love you.

Then I applied for a research position, and I needed to give a faculty member for a recommendation. I, of course, called upon my dear, dear friend Big Daddy. Hey. You offer me help, you will be giving me help. Then I realized that I should probably let him know that I put his name on the letter.

After I received a response about how he'd be happy to support any history-related endeavors I should choose to pursue, I realized that I have now e-mailed him twice in a week begging for academic affirmation. Which is a little creepy.

But he hasn't blocked my e-mail address yet. So now I'm thinking about what other endeavors in my life he could help me with. Like, could he help me put together the grad school applications? Can he pay my Capital One bill that I keep forgetting about? Can he drive me to Cafe Aduro tonight so I can drink?

Maybe I'll e-mail him about that one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I don't know if you've been reading for, oh, longer than a second; but if you have, you know that I'm a little weird. For instance, I love Mondays. I don't dislike the weekends, especially now that I have Sundays off, but they're not terribly structured. Again, I don't dislike that. It's nice to have a few days where I can get all my work done and still have a little bit of time left to have fun.

But I really going back to the routine of weekdays, too. I like having my school bag all packed and a to-do list firmly in place. Unfortunately around this time of the semester the to-do list gets a little hairy- we've reached the "Hey, see that pile of books over there? Yeah. Read those. And then synthesize them into a coherent argument." stage, and that just doesn't lend itself to a to-do list. Because try as I might, a day when I leave the house at 7:15, get home at 4:15, and leave again at 6? Probably not going to get two books on the Iran-Contras scandal read.

Just, you know, probably.

The laundry that's piling up will be taken care of, however. Your time has come, darks and (kind of) separated lights.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How soon is graduate school?

Morena: Hi. Can I help you?

Crazy Lady: I want to return these DVDs.

Morena: Um...they're open. Do you have the receipt?

Crazy Lady: No! But I was so disappointed in them. This one (*indicates an ABC sing-along DVD) I thought was for little kids but the kids are old and they're ugly and my kids were scared watching them.

Morena: O...kay.

Crazy Lady: I mean, it's terrible! Ugliest kids you ever did see. I don't think you should stock them anymore.

Morena: *in head* Of course. I'll get right on that. Truth be told, I'm actually the buyer for Borders. I just like working the cash register on a Saturday afternoon to keep in touch with my plebeian side.

Morena: *out loud* I'm...sorry? I need a receipt if they're open, though.

Crazy Lady: You do? I guess I could go get it...I left it at home.

Morena: I think you'd better do that.

Crazy Lady: *huffs*

Morena: *wants to die a little*

Friday, October 16, 2009

I was inadvertantly productive today.

At the beginning of the semester, I was all over this thesis thing. I had a tentative bibliography made up on Excel where I could check when I'd read and notated; I worked kind of really hard on the proposal; I was going to start writing in November; I was golden. I had visions of other people quoting me in their future scholarly work ("Of course, we would not have that interpretation of that particular schema without the seminal work from Morena.")

(Only they used my real name.)

(And they knew how to pronounce it.)

(SHUT UP I know it's just an undergrad thesis.)

(I have delusions of grandeur, okay?)

(This is why church history interests me. Where else can you use works like "eschatological" and not sound like a pretentious snob?)

(I also like parentheses.)

(Back to the story.)

Then...I had some tests? And some papers due? And I kind of started ignoring it? And, like everything else in my life that I don't particularly enjoy contemplating like the fact that I'm going to be paying off student loans until the day I die, I preferred to not think about it. Much better that way.

So today I was hastily finishing FORMER Archbishop Weakland's book (and I emphasize former because it really makes me mad when they mention him during the Eucharistic prayer and I know that's mean and petty but whatever dude, I don't think you should get to use archdiocesan funds to pay off your boyfriend and still get a shout-out) because I had to return it to work tomorrow- I certainly wasn't going to pay for it. $35, Rembert? Really? You think you're worth $9 more than the average hardcover? I mean, you hardly even talked about the scandal that much.

ANYWAY. I was kind of skimming, because frankly there's only so many pages you can really read about a 45-year-old monk discovering his sexuality and the piano-playing always with the piano-playing. And then I got to a whole huge chunk about Vatican II. And it was actually a perfect complement to the other research I've been doing, which is generally pretty positive and this was pretty much, well, yeah, we were fine until Paul died and then, well, we were screwed and I BEG TO DIFFER REMBERT but then again, I beg to differ with most of your decisions.

Including the, you know, paying off your boyfriend with money that wasn't your one. Especially that one.

So! I've gotten back into the research thing, and I guess that's better than burying my head in the sand and then breaking out in hives the week before I'm supposed to turn in the paper.

Although that probably will happen anyway.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This was lovely.

I love Wednesdays. Especially when I'm an awesomely motivated student and finish all my work on Tuesday so I have nothing to do on Wednesday except sleep in and attend one measly lecture where again? Avignon Papacy? Hardly even worth it.

One of the things I accomplished yesterday was a draft on my statement of purpose for graduate school. Something which I've been freaking out about since...oh...about freshman year. Until yesterday when I went to an information session led by the lovely head of graduate studies and professor who adores me, where he told me it was worth, like, next to nothing. Only slightly better than GRE scores, which, THANK YOU GOD. So it's basically two pages of why I'll be able to do graduate level work, and I found it disturbingly narcissistic. But oddly uplifting because it was like, why, yes, I have written tons of papers using primary sources and yes, I have written extensively on the Northern Ireland conflict, and yes, my background in Jewish studies does make me more apt to be comfortably using sources from antiquity.

Now I just need to modify it for the theology applications, which shouldn't be too tough.

Although the thought of my future being decided by eight guys sitting around a table makes me want to throw up. Just a little.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kohl's. That's what did it.

Movie day in Jewish Wisconsin. This is terribly exciting for so many reasons. First, it's a movie. I don't care if it's that piece of crap Brown v. Board of Education with Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that I've had to watch twice or From Jesus to Christ which, dude! I own!, I freaking love movies in class. Second, the class is full of auditors, who are always fun to watch during a movie. Half of them fall asleep, and half talk throughout the entire thing. It's hilarious. Third, it was, quite possibly, the best documentary ever. My music professor made an appearance, which made me laugh, there was much grumbling by old people, Folksy Wisconsin was front and center- I'm thinking of buying the DVD.

The second half was kind of a downer, because it talked about how all the Jews left these little villages and there is no one for their kids to marry and for heaven's sake they have to marry Christians OH MY GOD, and so everybody is packing up and leaving. One guy sold his family business because he really enjoyed retirement in Florida. The family business that HIS MOTHER LOVED. She was talking about how much her husband (the Selfish Bastard's father) loved the store and every piece of clothing, and all the people and she was devastated. Her heart was literally breaking. And her selfish ass of a son sold it to go golf in Boca. Selfish ass.

So that made me sad.

Finally, one old guy was standing on the street talking about how there used to be four Jewish clothing stores along this road and now there are none! What happened?

Katie turns to me and goes, "Kohl's. That's what happened."

And she's right. Because I would sell my father's store that my mother loves if we got a Kohl's in Podunk Wisconsin. Stop crying, Mother, I've got Kohl's Cash that expires on Wednesday.

My devotion of the cult of low-cost clothing in southeastern Wisconsin is so great that I went shopping yesterday. In my sister's bedroom. She decided that she didn't want one of the sweaters that she bought last week, and was going to return it. Well, dammit, I wanted it. So I wrote her a check and I now have an adorable flyaway cardigan.

What's worse? I have to go back today to return a blouse. It could get dangerous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First of all...

...I'd like to thank my parents for taking me to Mass when I was little. Because if working with confirmation kids has taught me anything, it's that that? Is really important. Also for making me say the little, "God please help them" thing whenever you hear a siren. Which could be why I, at 22, said that like six times this morning because something was going down near Silver Spring- I don't know, lots of emergency people.

Secondly, and much less importantly, I have a huge pimple. One that is impossible to cover. Right in the middle of that little dip in your lip that I'm sure has a name but I'm a history major so of course I don't know what it is. It's really annoying because I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't worry, I haven't been kidnapped.

Regarding the last post- I do not have a 2.5 GPA. I have a 3.9 GPA. I meant to say "at least" like six times in there, but I was so mad at my stupid childish professors that I didn't. And my mom read it and was all, "OMG PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK YOU'RE DUMB!", so, rest assured, I'm not dumb. Just have very little going on.

Other than that...I worked yesterday. I know, right? Some kid asked me for a library card, and I really hope he was kidding or else his parents have seriously failed him.

My sister ripped the sleeve of my dress while trying it on("Don't worry! Mom says she can probably fix it!") and then wanted to know if she could wear it to work. That made me laugh.

Finished the multiple papers that are due kind of soon, but I still need a topic of my huge Arab/Israeli conflict one. Any thoughts? Arabs? Israelis? Please, could we find a Christian that I can write about?