Sunday, June 06, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

Ennui.

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

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

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

(You really needed to know that.)

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

Oh. Good times.


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

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

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

Well. That was exciting.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Organized

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


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


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


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


*ahem*


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

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


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


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


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


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

Yeah. No problem with reality there at all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

*True story.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Veni Sancte Spiritus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Hey. You decided to be my friend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My condolences.

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

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

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

Yeah. I'm a horrible person.**

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Found.

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

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

The second season premiere? I left a funeral.

I'm not even kidding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What. The. Frick.

I could not take it anymore.

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

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

So. It was the end of an era.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dear Your Majesty,

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

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

ANYWAY. Today my issue is with Fergie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait. Where was I going with that?

Oh. Right. Why I should marry William.

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

Love,

Kathleen

Saturday, May 22, 2010

He's so ashamed of me.

I have a little brother. Well, I say little. He's 17. And bigger than me. He's in a band. He's ten times cooler than I ever was in high school. Or hell, now. I'll bet next year my students are going to be all, "Dude. This chick blows. But her brother looks like a good time."*

But in my head he's three years old and doing tricks with his pacifier.

Anyway, throughout our lives, I have served mainly only to embarrass him. When we were little I was fond of dressing him in old bridesmaid dresses. There was that period where I made him to my errands for me.** When he hit puberty, I became very fond of talking about all stages of the menstrual cycle because it's fun to watch his entire face turn green.

Lately, I've taken to yelling "Seminary!" at him at random intervals. Because so help me God, that kid will end up at St. Francis de Sales if I have to hog tie him.***

(YES, I said hog tie. I live in Grafton.)

ANYWAY. Yesterday he had a not-senior-picture photo shoot, because it was free. And he had a tux. Because he's going to prom. See? Again with the much-more-popular than I ever was thing.

So he's doing his thing, looking adorable, and I'm totally turning into my sister. Seriously. He looks awesome. And I mean that in the least narcissistic way possible, because I've been told we all look alike even though I don't see it. So I'm basically squeeing like a fangirl and my mom is crying because her baby! Is grown up! And standing with one hand in his pocket casually! With his jacket slung over his shoulder!****

And then I leaned down to my mom and whispered, "He's going to be such a Father What-a-Waste."

She laughed really hard. John, upon learning of this a little bit later? Not so much.

Whatever. That's my boy!

*No, I don't know why my students would know my brother. Except that it works in that paragraph.
**That ended sometime last week, I think
***I'm all in favor of legitimate vocations. Unless you're my brother and will marry someone I don't like who may want to take jewelry that's going to my daughters. Then I'm going all medieval on you.
****Okay. That pose annoyed me a little. It was a little bit too suave. Clearly this guy had never seen John go down on a plate of lasagna.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Life skills.

So my family is taking a vacation relatively soon.* Like, alarmingly soon. My mom is the one who plans family trips. She's just...does. She always has, and I'm guessing I could be married with three kids and she'll still call and be all, "We're leaving on the 14th, do you guys need a microwave for the bottles?"

Well, this spring has been kind of hectic. John's confirmation, my graduation, and the whole general-life-being-difficult thing kind of took up a lot of time. And so we kind of maybe don't totally have places to stay in most of the cities we're going to be in. So. This week my sister and I decided to help. She was going to figure out the things that we were going to do in the cities, and I was going to find hotels.

Because Civil War history doesn't make her want to kill herself, and I really don't want to come home from this trip a size larger and reeking, so I can find places with a treadmill and laundry services.

It was a good plan.

I mean, really. I'm 22, I'm technically a graduate student,** I could probably find a few hotels.


Except it turns out that there's a reason my mother plans trips. She's really good at it.

I found one hotel, in Washington, D.C. Based solely on the criteria that they had a Starbucks in the lobby. And I think they were located kinda sorta close to the Mall, maybe. I think. Except they were completely booked. Then I got bored. And went to have lunch. And...my mom found the rest of them.

But I did hover over her shoulder and whine like a five-year-old, so I'm pretty sure they all have laundry services.

I know, this is very interesting. Aren't you glad I'm the only person left in the world with a blog?

*I'm being nonspecific so you don't come and steal my 13-inch tube television. I know. It's temping. Although if you wanted to do so, and enjoy some wicked cool non-HD programming on me, you could just head over to my sister's Facebook page, where she has occasionally stops foaming at the mouth with excitement to update her status with the number of days left.
**I'm not trying to be obnoxious. I JUST LOVE SAYING THAT.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Class of 2010

Oh, internets. Are you bored? Do you want to eat up a few days? I have an awesome plan for you- graduate, have a rather large gathering, and then post eleven thousand pictures of it on Facebook. And before you know it, it's Tuesday. And you still can't look at a cookie without wanting to throw up.

It was awesome. It really was. I know graduations are supposed to be all anticlimactic and whatever, people, I don't know what you're talking about. Except for the fact that I looked like a troll in my cap and gown, I frickin' loved it. I've never had one, and this totally made up for it.

Also, there was a lot of food and quite a few presents, and I am also secretly a six-year-old and I love presents so this was quite awesome.

I can't wait for May of 2012.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Take my advice, kids.

If you can, start hanging out with seminarians. Why? Well, lots of reasons. Mostly because it's really funny to watch someone in a Roman collar getting carded. No. For reals. Hilarious. But also, you'll probably get invited to their ordination.

Which I can tell you, having attended one this morning, is wicked cool. My hair still smells like incense, there was awesome music, I frickin' love Archbishop Listecki...I'm sure there's more. I know I came up with a list when I spent an hour telling my brother about it totally just because I wanted to share and not at all because I wanted to make it seem like THE MOST AWESOME EXPERIENCE EVER so much better than getting married to some girl I won't like.

*ahem*

You know what? It's like a really cool wedding, except you don't have to pretend to be happy for the bride. Skinny happy bitch.

I KNOW, RIGHT? I'm going to start going every year.

Tomorrow is my portion of the major life changes weekend. I mean, I'm really excited, but it's kind of nowhere near as important. The Holy Spirit will probably not be involved. When we would talk about it, the seminarian priest would be all, "Oh, we're celebrating your graduation, too!" and I'd be all, "Yeah, but I can't consecrate anything afterwards. You win. At life."

It's true. My degrees that I will be technically awarded tomorrow qualify me to be unemployed, not anything fun like hear confessions. (Which, can I just say? I would love.)

Oh. That's one thing. As cool as today was, he's never going to hear my confession. I don't care what the circumstances are. We're on a plane, hurdling towards the ocean? I'm good. I'll bank on a merciful God. There's not enough ontological changes in the world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This isn't going to be pretty.

So. It's 8:08. I've already cried twice. I have a raging headache. I worked out for no reason except that it was an hour and a half that I probably wouldn't be crying. I should probably go dry my hair. Maybe. I don't know. My dad, who is the least sentimental person in the world, said, "Oh! I remember when you were all excited to go to kindergarten!" to me this morning.

(Yes. I know I'm coming right back. SHUT UP.)

Yesterday was...weird. I didn't want to do anything. I literally sat on the couch in sweatpants for like an hour. I don't wear sweatpants. In fact, they weren't even sweatpants, because I don't own those, they were workout pants and that was as slovenly as I could get. I really wanted cake. I came like this close to baking one, but then I figured it was way too much effort and would take away a good 35 minutes of my melancholy. So I told Colleen to pick up my brother and took a nap instead.

Then we had a weepy half-price frappuccino party. Which, I've got to say, Starbucks, I sure as hell would not pay full price for, but $2.45 for a venti is a good price to drown your irrational sorrows in.

I think the part I'm least looking forward to is my 3:30 class. I know I'm going to &*%#ing lose it after antisemitism, and then I have to go take an exam. Oh, great joy.

So. Um. This is going to be interesting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Dos and Don'ts.

Okay. Attention, people of roughly my age. It has recently come to my attention that you have, like, negative idea of how to dress. In most cases you can put on sufficient items of clothing,(sometimes too many, and we'll get to that later) but they are almost entirely not appropriate.

So. For instance. You get an invitation to the honors convocation. It very, very clearly states appropriate dress is business casual. About a quarter of you got it right. Most of the business school. A few architecture majors. About half of Letters and Sciences (I sincerely hope I was in that half.) The rest of you? Notsomuch.

So. A few things.

-Real fabrics. They're awesome. Wear them.

-Anything from the Kohl's junior department is not business casual. I don't care if it's a neutral fabric. It's not. No. I promise. Don't argue with me. You end up looking like you're going to family court to attempt regain custody from your mom because this Miley Cyrus blazer says "I'm totally clean now."

-Dressier is better. Skirts are okay. I'm a big fan of skirts. They automatically make you look more put-together, even if they're cheap.

-And you need a lot of help in that department.

-I get that it's May and you were probably going for something spring-like and floaty. However. It's also approximately 35 degrees outside. So. You attempted to...layer?...the floaty-ness. And, um, it didn't work. Also. Floaty tube tops? ARE NOT BUSINESS CASUAL.

-Boys. Facial hair. Get rid of it unless you possess enough testosterone to cover the lower part of your face. And then get rid of it. Because it probably looks horrible.

-Girls. Same thing.

-Your breasts? Did not maintain a 3.5 GPA over at least 40 upper level credits. Therefore, they are not invited to the gathering. Please keep them under a sweater.

-Another helpful use for the sweater? Covering that weird armpit fat that everyone, even skinny people, possess. Trust me on this one.

-Again, I cannot stress this enough- DO NOT GO TO THE JUNIORS DEPARTMENT. I love the juniors department. Nowhere else can you find jeans that don't have a 18-inch rise and relatively cute t-shirts for $6. But unless getting sunburned and/or wasted is on the agenda, please go to misses. Like the adult you (presumably) are.

-The point of makeup is to make you look like a more polished version of yourself. Not make us believe that you somehow took a vacation during finals week and got a wicked tan that made (just) your face eight shades darker than the rest of your body. We're honor students, remember?

-Same goes for your peroxide hair. It should at least slightly resemble a color found in nature.

-I'm looking at you, Peck School of the Arts.

Thank you, and have a pleasant day. I'll be looking to see how much you learned on Sunday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cute but stupid.

My hair is a near constant source of irritation for me. It has been since...oh...I was about two years old. At two years old? It was adorable, man. Bright red corkscrew curls? I looked like a frickin' china doll.

After Month 25? Meh, not so much.

It stayed red for a few years...then turned kind of blond...now it changes with the seasons and I don't even try to pretend to know what it is, but I did get wicked mad when I got mystery shopped and the customer said I had brown hair because HEY I DO NOT HAVE BROWN HAIR NO I DIDN'T ASK YOU IF YOU WANTED A REWARDS CARD BUT MY HAIR IS DEFINITELY KIND OF AUBURN SORT OF BUT DEFINITELY NOT BROWN.*

But the color isn't the problem. It's the fact that it's of a texture not found in nature. There are hue amounts of it. It's ridiculously thick and takes forfreakingever to do anything with.

Which brings me to my point, and the title.** Timing. I'm not good at it. Getting out of the house at an appropriate time is difficult enough for me, and when you add things like going near my hair it gets even more difficult.

For about a year, I've had the timing down for straightening it. Oh, it took me awhile. Months, in fact. See, I used to look like a Muppet. Yeah. Whatever-color-it-felt-like-being-that-day*** massive frizz curl as far as the eye could see.**** ANYWAY. I figured it out, and managed to work it into my routine.

Recently, for reasons that I've already been vain enough to talk about once, I've started curling my hair sometimes. I leave the rollers in for about an hour. So I figured just add an hour onto the time I already spend straightening, and we're good to go.

Except, remember, I'm bad at timing. See, I kind of forgot that I can't just blink my eyes ala Jeannie and the rollers pop themselves into my hair. I have to wait for them to heat up. And then put them in my hair. And that whole process takes a good half hour. And...I can't really do a whole lot while they're sitting there, because if I move my head too much they fall out. And...you know what, I'm just dumb, is all.

Well, I should probably wrap this up, because (shocking) I'm running late. My point is that I have the honors ceremony tonight. And I wanted my hair curly and pretty. And even on a day when I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO until six o'clock at night, I am SO BAD at the timing that I'm going to be putting on mascara in the car.

*Not that there's anything wrong with that.
**I don't think I'm cute. REALLY not. But that was a line in a Frasier episode once and it really made me laugh.
***I've never dyed my hair, it just literally changes color depending on the day.
****I also weighed a good sixty pounds more. So, if you knew me before summer of 2009...I'd like you to forget that you did.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Like

I was fixing my Facebook privacy settings the other day, and glanced at my list of pages that I became a fan of liked.

And...they made me laugh.

A sample smattering-

"Don't you hate it when a party can't start until Ke$ha walks in?" I know I do.

"Milwaukee Jewish Federation" and "United States Conference of Catholic Bishops." Ironic, no?

"I was going to post a status, and then I remembered that I have family on Facebook." This is a quandary.

"UWM Libraries" I do read. Sometimes. When I'm not fanning Ke$ha groups.

"James Roday" and "Archbishop Timothy Dolan" I really liked Dolan, but I really like Psych, too.

"Hand Sanitizer" I liked it before H1N1.

"UWM Jewish Studies Majors and Minors" They gave me an award.

Strange Women Lying in Ponds Distributing Swords as a Government System"

"Golden Key International Honor Society" They still let me in. Despite the Monty Python groups.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Your old grandpa...

Grandpa was really fond of saying, "Your old grandpa's really proud of you." He wasn't the kind of guy to, like, jump up and down and squeal and hug us when we accomplished something, but he would pat us on the arm and say, "Your old grandpa's really proud of you."

(Well, he usually hugged us, too.)

I've (obviously) thought about him nearly constantly since he died, but it's been really hard these last few weeks because I know that he would have been thrilled that I'm graduating, and he would have loved participating in all this stuff.

(Senior honors convocation on Monday? We would have had to pick him up several hours early.)

This has been kind of an emotional week, though, and I've really missed him.

On Wednesday we found out my mom was okay, again. And no matter how many times we go through that, it doesn't get any easier. It was never easy for him, either, and that, at least, I am thankful that he doesn't have to suffer anymore.

Yesterday afternoon we found out that my sister won an essay contest- one of only three students from the entire University of Wisconsin system. I, of course, jumped up and down and squealed and hugged her because while the OCD may be genetic, the reserve is not. (See: My entire internet career.)

And then I thought about Grandpa. He, more than almost anyone in the world, would understand what this award meant to her. How she has managed to handle herself with grace and dignity and maintain unbelievable academic standards that are higher than my own often while going through absolute hell I definitely don't understand, but I think he could. And he would have been thrilled.

Today I received the graduating major award in Jewish Studies. He would have a.) found that hilarious, and b.) been thrilled. The ceremony was great- my favorite professors were all there and one said things that made me cry and one made me cry because he's not going to be my professor anymore and seriously, my grandpa's gone and I know it's been like eighteen months but I DON'T CARE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THIS CERTIFICATE.

*sniff*

But you know what? His doctor was there.

I know. It seems dumb. But Grandpa loved doctors. More than most people love their children. He especially loved this one doctor.

I know, dumb, right? But the fact that his guy just happens to be on the board and I never knew it because he uses a nickname and he was there and he hugged me and congratulated me? Well, the omg-really-you-liked-my-Zionism-paper-that-I-thought-was-crap? tears? Met their match.

So thanks, Grandpa.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Anything to add, Cardinal Stritch?

The grad school decision(s) is/are behind me. Everything has been figured out.


So. When I got the mail this afternoon, I really didn't pay much attention to the Marquette envelope. But, you know, I do so love getting mail that doesn't include death threats from Capital One, so I opened it.


And guess what? In a letter dated May 3, 2010 (as in, two and a half weeks the- apparently almost- universal grad school acceptance date of April 15), they offered me a complete scholarship.


The day after I signed a TA contract with another place.

Thank you, guys. That's great. FANTASTIC. I really appreciate that.*

I'm not mad. I'm really not. It's still not as great a package as UWM offered me, and can you even imagine the tears if I WASN'T COMING RIGHT BACK? Yeah. I didn't think so. It's just..really? REALLY? MAY THIRD???

I think I'm going to save the letter and keep it with my decision from Stritch. Which should arrive sometime around the beginning of August.

*And also I'm probably going to have to get my PhD from you guys. So we're totally cool, right? Right? I mean, I'm kidding. Totally.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

List. Part the...oh, I forget.

Things I Have Done Today:

1.) Had tortilla chips and an embarrassingly large number of cookies for dinner.

2.) Cried about the end of the semester. Twice.

3.) Bought lots and lots of clothes.

4.) Saved more than I spent!

5.) Got Kohl's cash!

6.) Sounded like a Kohl's commercial.

7.) Gave a presentation in Holocaust theology.

8.) Wrote a kick-ass thesis and introduction for my intermarriage and conversion paper.

9.) Downloaded Glee's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

10.) Listened to Glee's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" approximately 583 times.

11.) Regretted being born in 1987 and thus too late to enjoy the love anthems of the '80s.

Things I Have Not Done Today:

1.) Had anything remotely nutritious to eat.

2.) You know, something that may help prevent me from bursting into tears at the thought of graduation from a place I'M COMING RIGHT BACK TO.

3.) Seriously, you guys. It's embarrassing.

4.) Behaved in a responsible manner at Kohl's.

5.) Whatever. Kohl's Cash!

6.) Got yelled at by the auditors in my class. Like the kid after me. Poor kid.

7.) Wrote the ensuing 7-10 pages of my intermarriage and conversion paper.

8.) Gotten tired of listening to Glee's "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

9.) Developed a sense of shame about sharing this all with you.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Um....

I have been so productive today. I know, right? Amazing. I did my financial aid stuff, I returned everything I needed to return, I found clothing that is slightly more appropriate for late June in Savannah than my normal I'm-going-to-wear-long-sleeves-and-attempt-to-distract-you-from-my-pasty-pasty-arms-with-my-breasts wear, and even looked into a job. Although I'm not sure it's going to pan out because, funny thing- when you tell them right off the bat that you're leaving in the middle of August, chances are most places don't want you leaving for three weeks in the middle of June. Huh. Oh well.

The one thing I haven't done? Written my paper. The last paper that I have to write for my undergraduate career. That I really, really need to write.

Oops.

But the clothes! That was fun!

Oh, I did laundry, too. You're jealous, aren't you?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I'm sure you don't care.

Oh, internets. It's been a few days, right? I know. You missed me. I have had very important things to talk about. Like how I want to just start hanging around the Jewish Museum, and I'm really upset about the end of the semester, and I got an award for Jewish scholarship which I find amazing and funny at the same time...and my hair. Because I figured out that if it's going to look the way I want it to for graduation I need to be in the shower at four-thirty in the morning and wow, that deserves a post all it's own, I think.

Oh, you wanted to talk about those things? Okay.

-I went to a lecture on Tuesday night because it was given by a guy who could tell me he was giving a lecture on how much I suck and I'd be all, dude, sign me up. Is there an admission fee? Can I bring my mom? ANYWAY.

When I go to these lectures, I'm always in the minority. I was at one at the JCC a few months ago and realized that I was the only person in the hall who still ovulated. Yep. Believing in Christ's resurrection and still getting my period? Definite minority when you're in Jewish studies. But this time I had company! I dragged Katie and there was even another student who showed up.

So I don't know where I was going with that except that it probably grossed out any family members who read this and oh, yeah, I really had a good time and I wish the Dead Sea Scrolls were going to stick around forever because I freaking love going to lectures that don't have anything to do with FDR or the British partition of Palestine!

-Psst. Come here. Closer. I'm about to drop some knowledge. Do you know what I just figured out? THERE ARE TWO WEEKS LEFT IN THE SEMESTER. I know. I know. That's four classes that I have left.

This? Is not cool. I am really, really not okay with that.

(I'm okay with the work being over. I have one paper left to write and let's just say I'm taking applications for someone who wants to write 7-10 pages about Jewish intermarriage and conversion in 19th-century Berlin. I'M KIDDING. I would never plagiarize. Don't take away my award. Or if you do, do it because of the whole resurrection thing I wrote about up there.)

So. More tears.

-No. For reals. I did. And you know what's funnier? They gave the other one to the only other Catholic in the group.

So. Again with the dropping the knowledge. You want to distinguish yourself? Find an obscure major and work really hard and then you'll get to hang out at awards ceremonies where it's basically you and your friend.

Oh, you wanted a real job? Sorry. Can't help you.

-I have to be at the US Cellular Arena at 8:15. You don't (hopefully) know where I live, but it's FREAKING FAR. And this (if this wasn't the internet you would see me furiously gesturing to my hair) DOESN'T JUST HAPPEN.

*headdesk*

That's all.

Oh. Except that I got the best graduation gift in the world last night.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I think I need some rehab. Or maybe I just need some sleep.

Shut up. I get that using Ke$ha lyrics to describe how I feel about my graduation from college presents a dichotomy. But, I can use "dichotomy" appropriately in a sentence. So that's goo...you know what? Nothing makes that okay.

ANYWAY.

My point is that the weepy portion of the semester has commenced. Yesterday. I really thought I'd be okay. I finished my thesis. I printed it. I took pictures of it. I even was okay with the nice e-mail my advisor sent me. I walked up to the third floor of Holton, and I was even okay when I put it in his mailbox. And...then I ended up crying in the stairwell.

I'm not kidding.

Not like huge, heaving sobs or anything, but there were definite tears. I mean, I freaking loved my thesis, guys and I worked so hard on it and I finished with the quote by John Paul II that says, "As the children of Abraham we are called Christians and Jews to be a blessing to the world. In order to be such, we must first of all be a blessing to one another,” and I remember when John Paul II died and I cried about that too and he was such a good man and I can't believe I'm graduating from college and I don't care that I'm coming right back this is devastating...and well, you get the point.

SO. That happened. And the floodgates? They're opened. Incidentally, this is another reason why I won't be pleasant during pregnancy. Once you get me going? I will cry at anything.

I cried at the end of a documentary about Pius XII this morning. Okay. It was five-thirty. And I was a teensy bit exhaustive. And it was beautifully done, man.

*sniff*

Don't judge me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I think I'm finished.

With the confirmations for the season, I mean.

Events- hell, no. I can't even keep track of the stuff I have going on the next few weeks. I'd tell you, but I literally cannot remember what they all are. If you'd like to get in touch with me, I'll be in a tent on the corner of Downer and Kenwood because I'm pretty much needed for various events in and around campus from now until graduation and frankly it's just not worth the gas to drive back to Grafton.

But confirmations- they're finished. Which is sad. I love confirmation. I loved mine, I've loved every one I've ever been at. I think it's the chrism. I really love the smell of chrism. Thankfully John has so much hair that he kind of still smells like it!

So it was a lovely weekend and I think I have an entire forty-eight hours before some other extraneous lecture or ugh, having to go to school.

Speaking of things which I am way too busy to deal with, I am so. effing. thankful. that I finished my thesis early so I don't have it hanging over my head. I'm turning that sucker in tomorrow. Oh, it's beautiful. Really really long and perfectly footnoted in Chicago style* and oh, well, I'm pretty sure tomorrow's post is going to be all about how I had a breakdown in the hallway of Holton when I turned it in because MY BABY I CANNOT LEAVE YOU!!!

(And...does anyone wonder why I'm single? I can't imagine they do.)

*Which it may have not had this morning. When I realized they were in the wrong format. Oops. I'M SORRY, OKAY? The Center for Jewish Studies uses a different style and you know what, I cannot be expected to keep them straight. I don't care that I'm going to be a history grad student.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That sound? Is my grandmother turning in her grave.

So...I spent the evening watching The Vicar of Dibley episodes on Netflix with my sister. Because what the hell else would I have to do? Right?

(HEY. I'm only 22. It's not sad for a few more years.)

ANYWAY.

We watched the Christmas specials that ended the series, where Geraldine marries Richard Armitage. (He's also known in my house as The Guy Who is So Hot Even My Dad Likes Watching North and South.)

And. New life plan. Screw this whole history professor thing. And my bordering-on-militant Catholicism? Gone.

Nope. I'm going to move to England, gain four hundred pounds, and become an Anglican vicar. And then meet Richard Armitage and have lots of sex and babies. Anglican babies. Because while I find the idea of hitting on your congregants a little bit disgusting, seriously, did you click on that link before?

Protestantism is where it's at.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good to know.

The last few weeks I've been really, really sick in the mornings. Not just, ew, I kind of feel gross. Because that's pretty much par for the course. I get up at 4:30. There's no way to feel except kind of gross at 4:30 in the morning. No, this is like, wow, I need to sit down kind of nausea.

It perplexed me. I mean, it definitely wasn't pregnancy. People rarely mention me in the same sentence as the Blessed Mother unless there's an "isn't anything like" in between us. But maybe a phantom pregnancy like on CSI? Can the CSI people come investigate? Please?

Well, I couldn't let that opportunity go, so I decided to try to figure out what was causing it.

I'm fairly intelligent. I'm 22, I'm graduating with honors and get a whole special ceremony for that, I'm started graduate school in the fall. You'd probably think someone who convinces a university department to pay her would call her doctor.

Pssh. I don't have a doctor.

My doctor started offering botox injections and charging me a $3,700 stipend (on top of insurance co-pays) for the privilege of yearly gynecological exams.

Oh. And she tried to massage away my mom's cancer.

I decided that me and my gynecological needs could go somewhere that wasn't beginning to look like the set from the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Except...I kind of haven't. It's been, like, a long time and ugh, just like so much work trying to make an appointment and...you know what? I don't need to justify myself to you, internets. I have been BUSY. With THINGS. IMPORTANT THINGS. Like Doctor Who episodes. VERY IMPORTANT THINGS.

So. It was the internet or nothing. But not even WebMD.

Nope. I turned to answers.yahoo.com. Oh yeah. My parents are so thrilled they poured all that money into tuition now.

And according to Shauna1593 from Poughkeepsie, my unbelievably awful morning sickness is probably not due to anything weird like a phantom pregnancy but a reaction to a multivitamin.

So. I guess CSI isn't coming.

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is why you need mommies and daddies.*

*I'm not getting political. I swear. By "mommies" I mean "people who pay attention" and not "female."

My dad is awesome. He's just great. Nice, kind; a really good man. I mean this in the least creepy way possible, I hope I end up married to someone like him. The only person he loves more than the three of us is our mom, and that's awesome too.

But. He's a teensy bit oblivious sometimes.

I'm graduating from college on May 16th. Now, this is kind of a big deal. And by big deal I mean the biggest thing that's happened to me thus far in life. As though the whole academic milestone thing wouldn't be big enough because I'm a crazy person, I've never had a real graduation before. This is big. I've been talking about it for...oh...about a year.

Today it became apparent that my father had no idea when I was graduating. May? He thought? Probably? And oh, were we going to get her something?

I thought my mom was going to die. Or kill him. Or maybe one then the other.

He loves me. He loves me more than most everyone in my life. And yet May 16th? Didn't ring a bell.

I'm trying to think of someone I know who doesn't know when I'm graduating. Certainly not my friends. Hell, even kind-of friends know about it and have congratulated me. A guy who's being ordained the day before, which even I will admit is way bigger and better than getting a bachelor's in Jewish Studies, even sent me an e-mail that said, "Hey! Less than a month!"

My dad is way more into me than all those people. And still no clue. And he doesn't have to vow obedience the day before.

Oh well. I still love him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Par-tay.

I'm pretty boring. I study. A lot. I have friends, but they study a lot, too. So when we go out it's usually to a coffee shop. To study.


Yeah. It's pretty exciting. Obsess about getting at least a 98% and you too could have this glamorous lifestyle.

But this weekend, I actually had/have things to do. I know, right? For once the fact that I work next to no hours is okay because I have something to fill those hours!

(Well, except for the no money thing. Oh well.)

I'm calling it my "dual covenant" weekend because today was all Christianity, all the time. Confirmation, different Mass because of course confirmation isn't the Mass for the weekend that would be way too simple, and then dinner. During which we pretty much talked about...Mass. And Stemper's gift certificates. And how a Roman collar probably would cut down your chances of being carded. Although my money is on yeah, cut down, but not remove entirely because you still look like you have yet to hit puberty.

Of course, most of those things almost got cut because confirmation was like ten times longer than I expected it to be. It was beautiful and moving and I got to distribute Communion which was wicked cool but also kind of scary because the Cathedral? Well, it's like Mass in the Third Reich. But...really, really long. So I almost ended up having to find another Mass and cancel dinner with an text that said, "Have to reschedule. It's not my fault, your boss likes to talk."

But I didn't. So that was fun.

Tomorrow will be the epic and much-photographed field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum with Katie. And I'm so freaking excited. Like, really excited. So. Stay tuned for that.

Oh! Also! My beautiful Vera Bradley wallet came this morning and I love it quite possibly more than I will ever love my children. I also may have told a seminarian that while it was not named yet, it was definitely a girl or possibly a gender-confused boy.

And I swear, I wasn't drinking.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Scary.

At the end of last semester, I had my normal freak-out. You know, a good week of omg I love this place soooo much I cannot live without it for five weeks what does the world even mean if I don't have to be studying some implication of the British partition of the Middle East is that chocolate?

You know. Normal.

And I was terrified. Because I knew that I only had one semester left. Which meant that the freak out at the end of this semester? Would probably kill me. And I figured it was going to start early.

So I've been kind of waiting. Like I force myself to look at the syllabi that say "Week 11" or whatever. And I force myself to think about graduation. And...not a whole lot happens. I mean, I'm not really leaving. It would be pretty stupid to get all teary over leaving Holton Hall when I'm going to have an office there next year. Yeah, I'm sad that I'm not going to be an undergraduate anymore. And I know that the whole entire Center-For-Jewish-Studies part of my life is ending. And okay, it was really bittersweet when the university sent me an email that listed all my degree requirements and they all said "satisfied" next to them.

But things were going okay.

Until I bought vitamins.

There were 100 capsules in the (Target brand- I'm not leaving school, remember? I'm poor.) container. And then I realized that by the time I had to buy vitamins again, I wouldn't be in college.

Now. I don't know if you've ever ended up having a breakdown in the pharmacy at Target. I don't really recommend it, but sometimes it's apparently necessary.

(Don't get me started on what the Ugly Betty series finale did to me. It's just embarrassing.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teaching 101

I'm in the process of editing the final draft of my thesis. This is a little bit headachy, because it's long and there are lots of words and my goodness do I have problems using the correct tense!

But never fear! Because I have bunches of drafts full of helpful comments from my advisor.

Or...not.

Because it turns out that he just enjoys writing in the margins.

For instance,

"Not to doubt Cornwell's honestly, but I have worked in the Vatican archives and no one ever asked me why I was there." Oh. How nice for you.

"He wasn't a very good Hitler Youth member." Yeah. I know. That's why I spend the next paragraph writing about how he wasn't a very good member.

"I probably don't have to tell you this, but his was considered the seminal papacy in Judeo/Chrsitian relations." No, you don't have to. Was it the fact that I spent twelve pages writing about his papacy that convinced you? Or when I came to your lecture about him even though it was at the same time as Criminal Minds? But thanks for clarifying!

"Hitler was Catholic the way Matthew was Jewish, if we may say so." You have a PhD from the Ivy League. You may say anything you like. I, however, am not actually writing about the synoptic gospels.

"For what it's worth, I discuss this in book I recently published..." Sure. I'll rush right out and get it. From the library. I like you a lot, but that $26.95 could be spent on something from Vera Bradley. Your book on the Catholic Church in Poland is not pretty and quilted.

Obviously they don't teach you constructive criticism at Yale.

Next time I'm just going to write my phone number on the title page. If you want to chat, just text me. I have unlimited texting. Printing off 60-page drafts so you can tell me about your scholastic achievements is getting a trifle expensive.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm feeling chatty.

I've had a glass of wine* and oh my gosh you guys, I just want to, like, blog. But about something really, like, important. Which is a trifle unfortunate because I...kind of don't have anything like that to discuss.

So can we do kind of a free association thing? Please? They're all totally appropriate and in no place to I talk about mind-but-unfortunately-nothing-else-numbing cramps or my bra size, like the last few days. Oops. Except for right there, I mean.

First, the Very Serious Historian part of me wants to comment on the plane crash that killed the president of Poland and 94 other people. Unfortunately, she wants to say "ZOMG TEH RUSHENZ R COMIN." Because while I have every sympathy for the victims of this accident, I'm sorry, your plane goes down over Smolensk and the part of me that is really sorry she missed the drama of the Cold War wants to start hoarding soup and practicing waiting out the nuclear holocaust underneath my desk.

(I KNOW relations have been normalized.)

(I'm just saying maybe they shouldn't have been.)

Second, my hair. (Keep up, people.) Yesterday I started experimenting with curlers.

(Yes. I know my hair is curly naturally. Yes, I know it makes very little sense to straighten my hair and then curl it again. I have no answer for your logic except that I look like a Muppet the way God made me. And that's unacceptable.)

I'm kind of trying to convince myself that I'm growing it out. That's about 50% true- I do want longer hair. But the other 50% is that I'm terrified to have it cut again. See, I've only ever had one stylist.

She started out totally awesome. I loved her. I went in every six to eight weeks, she gave me lovely bouncy haircuts, I was this close to inviting her for Christmas. Then...she kind of started cutting my hair really short. And...okay. I looked pretty cute with a bob. And she would always redeem herself by throwing an okay cut into the mix. Until last July. Last July she...I can hardly talk about it. Suffice to say that if you look at pictures of me from October, it's still barely to my ears.

So I haven't gone back. Because a.) I haven't needed to. It's been nine months and it just hit my shoulders last week sometime, and b.) who knows what the voices inside her head will be telling her that day?

And I really don't want to go to my graduation with a Britney Spears-esque look. And I don't even mean when she shaved her head. Pretty much any Britney look.

ANYWAY. The curls are a way to disguise the fact that there are so many split ends they're contemplating what kind of legislative assembly they'd like to set up.

Finally, my sister posted the video of Mmmbop on her wall. And I watched it. And I almost fell out of my chair.

I was all about Taylor. Huge, secret, did I mention the the huge and secret part? massive crush on him. I was going to marry him and we were going to have lots of babies and their hair would be MAGNIFICENT.

And...after watching that video? Holy Christmas on an ocean liner, that makes me a pedophile lesbian.

I mean, not really. I'm younger than him. At the time, 15-year-old Taylor was a very mysterious older man. But...he was a BABY. And looked like a GIRL BABY at that.

So. That was an exciting and disturbing trip down memory lane.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Still going to hell, probably.

Yesterday my elliptical trainer met a death. I'd like to say it was untimely, but it really wasn't since it was a.) several years old, b.) about $100 originally- hardly top of the line, and c.) used by me, who has a tendency to not take care of anything other than my skin and hair.

This afternoon I was faced with the task of setting up my new one. (Thank you Amazon.com Prime free trial. No, I will not be renewing at the end of the month, but I really appreciate you sending me large packages in forty-eight hours for free!) My brother was home. Clearly he could help me.

An hour later, he had completely assembled it.

I had picked at my nails. I had emotionally scarred him by talking about how I always thought I was really well endowed but hey! turns out I was just heavy. I had played on my iPhone. And I had attempted to bench press a pitiful 45 lbs without killing myself.

Digression: I work out. I can do real, not-girl push-ups. How is it than I can't bench press the weight of a small child? I babysat for a three-year-old last summer, and I dragged that kid all over the place. And she was usually kicking and screaming about her penguin Fred. HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT?

(Okay. I never tried to lift Zoe over my head. Never really thought about it.)

(But seriously, 45 lbs? That's just sad.)

End digression.

So. Thank you, John. You are clearly more responsible and possessing of way more upper body strength than I am.

Although I am a delicate young lady, so that's not really my fault.

(I think I may have said that right after I finished my spiel about how No! You don't understand how weird it is to go through the first twenty-one years of your life thinking you have really huge...assets...and then realize that you don't! I mean, we're talking major ontological change here! And...then he kind of just stared at me like, "How is the 17-year-old boy the most mature one in the room?")

(Touche, John. Touche.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I really don't need this.

Okay. My holocaust theology class. It's...well...interesting. I like it. I really do. But...well...interesting. Usually I don't have any idea what the reading was even about by the time other students have stopped talking nonsense about trees and marriage covenants and those damn Danes and LOOK I GET IT OKAY THE POLISH GENERALLY WEREN'T SO NICE TO THE JEWS BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I'M POLISH YOU CRAZY OLD LADY AND CATHOLIC TOO AND I WOULD HAVE HARBORED SOME POOR JEW SO SHUT THE FRICK UP.

*ahem*

But today? Today really topped them all.

In an effort to make us all more comfortable with each other (Because the Christians some of us are feeling a little bit, oh, unqualified to pass judgement on post-Holocaust theology in the face of some woman who was probably there screeching at me about the damn Polish. Oh, I'm sorry. That got personal.), we did "speed dating" today. We met with four other people for five minutes and, if we were comfortable, had frank discussions about our faith backgrounds and any disagreements we've have with either our own churches or others about faith.

My first three went really well. Nice (wicked hot) non-denominational guy, cutest little perky agnostic you ever did see, and a really quiet and less wicked hot but at least not pissy lapsed Catholic. We talked, laughed about the absurdity of arguing about religion, and generally had a good time.

Then I got to number four.

Wait. Number Four needs a preface. I walked into class today and sat down in my usual seat and began talking to my very good friend. This little blond girl on my left starts talking to me. I don't know this little blond girl. In fact, I don't really even recognize her from class. But whatever, she's friendly. Asking about my brother who shadowed me on Tuesday, telling me she's unhappy as a chem major, inadvertently calling me old and you know what, cookie pie? 22 is not that old.

Anyway. It was a little weird. But maybe she has some social issues and who am I to judge? Whatever, class is starting.

Except wait! Guess who Number Four is?

So we go through the whole introductory thingy. We're both Catholic. This is going to be pretty easy.

Then we get to the disagreements part. She asks me if I have any. I reply,

"No, not really. I mean, there are things that I wouldn't be upset if they changed. Like ordaining women. I don't really have a problem with that except that it weirds me out. But I also don't have a problem that they don't now."

I've barely finished my sentence and she jumps in,

"Have you ever read the Bible?"

"Um. Yes. Actually."

"Because I just read somewhere that it says in the Bible that women can't teach men. And once I read that, well, it's in the Bible!"

"Um...okay. Yeah. But...um. That's not really the justification, it's the Apostles...you know what? Do you have any disagreements?"

"Well, I think some of the things aren't really scripturally based. I mean, like Communion. I don't know how you feel about it."

"Communion? I don't really know what you're asking."

I'm thinking, okay, she's clearly pretty conservative. She's got to be way pre-Vatican II and against receiving under both species or something. No. It's weirder. She gives this huge sigh and says,

"It was supposed to be symbolic. I mean, Jesus said 'Do this in remembrance." But some people actually believe that that's his body and blood. It's such a misinterpretation. Do you?"

Is 12:45 too early to start drinking? Because you're willing to take St. Paul literally but not the gospels? Seriously?

"Um...the Catholic Church actually teaches that it's not a misinterpretation at all. And that it actually is. And that before he said that he said, 'this is my body; this is my blood.' So...um...yes. I do."

"Oh. *huge compassionate sigh directed at me* Well, it's such a touchy subject."

No it's not. Look, kid, I don't care what you believe. We just have to get through two and a half more minutes of this and then I can go back to safely staring at the back of Paul Joseph's head while he spews some nonsense.

"I guess."

Can't get much worse, right? WRONG. She literally leans across her desk so her face is really, really close to mine and says,

"Do you know if you're saved?"

What's that?

"Um..."

"Do you know if you're saved?"

"I don't...I believe that I can't really know. I do know that I try to lead a good life..."

"Because you know that Jesus died for your sins and all you have to do is believe that and you will be saved."

There is so not enough upper level credit in the world.

"Well...see...um...I mean, I do believe that...but I also believe, and so does the Catholic Church, by the way, that you need to be a good person and accept grace and..."

The crazy person cuts me off again, this time rather accusingly,

"Do you believe in confessing?"

Now she's pissing me off.

"I believe in the sacrament of reconciliation, if that's what you're asking."

No, I don't go often. But that's just because I refuse to confess to anyone who has access to my Facebook page.

"Do you honestly believe that God is going to send you to hell if you die without confessing?"

Oh, my Lord. Look, sweetie. I am in between tests. I have a twenty-page paper to write and a thesis to finish and I feel like someone is attacking my abdomen with a flaming melon baller and I am so not in the mood to engage in apologetics with SOMEONE THAT IS THE SAME RELIGION AS ME.

"I don't think God plays games like that. But if you're asking if I agree with the validity of the sacrament of reconciliation, then yes, I do."

"Oh. *her fourth sigh in as many minutes* It's a touchy subject."

It was. So. Weird.

I was homeschooled, okay? I went to a Lutheran college. I've had people try to convert me before. But no one has ever tried to save me from believing the central tenets of the faith that we both profess before.

I kind of don't want to go back on Tuesday.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Existentialism in the Post-Facebook Era

Note: Is that not a perfect dissertation title? Too bad I'm not a philosophy major.

My Facebook account is down for maintenance. And I'm not sure if I even exist anymore. The feeling I'm having right now is kind of akin to withdrawal. I mean, I'm not really sure. I was an addict at three days old, but since then I've pretty much stayed clean.* But I think it is. I mean, my skin is starting to itch. What if I have a pending friend request? They might think I don't like them. What if I need to like something for heaven's sake??? *dry heaves*

This did, however, allow me to finish the work I've been trying to finish all freaking day and...kind of...haven't.

So. You can't get my comments on my mom's Easter pictures. But if you want to talk about the implications of John Paul II's 2000 visit to the Holy Land for interfaith dialogue, I'm your girl.

Please, don't be jealous. Become a Jewish Studies major and your life can be this interesting too!!!

(They should put me on the brochure.)

(*looks down at crucifix*)

(Maybe not.)

*NyQuil? I don't have a problem with NyQuil. I can stop whenever I like. I don't know what you're talking about, man.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Shiksa

Ever wonder what's going through a Jewish Studies major's mind during the proclamation of John's Passion?

A lot of "Oh, thank God for Nostra Aetate."

Now. I thank God for Nostra Aetate all the time because I'm totally into it. Like, I can quote it. It's awesome.

But certain days like Good Friday? I'm really glad I'm a baby of the eighties.

Can you not wait one hour with me?

I apologize for this blog becoming Catholicism Central. I'm not a crazy church lady, I swear. It's just between the thesis and Holy Week...well, check back after Pentecost if you want a post about how Johnny Depp would be the perfect father of my children or something shallow like that.

I'm not a spiritual person. I don't really have any major devotions, I don't believe in most apparitions, I couldn't meditate if you paid me.

However, I'm very religious. That doesn't mean that I obsessively compulsively go through ritual without believing anything about or caring why I do it. I'm too pragmatic to be spiritual, but it is precisely through ritual (and study, which explains...oh...my entire college career) that I feel closest to God.

Except when it comes to Eucharistic adoration. Something happens.

It's Holy Thursday, and my parish has adoration all night. I drove down after everyone went to bed, planning on staying for a few minutes because 11:00? Are you kidding me? I've been asleep for like hours by now.

But then I got there, and...it's so peaceful. When Grandpa died I would go all the time, because it was the only thing that could calm me down. I decided to stay an hour- because again, the study thing? I know my gospels.

And can I just say that if you've never spent an hour just being alone with the Eucharist in the middle of the night, you're seriously missing out.

And that's coming from someone who is definitely not spiritual.

Oh, hey, it's Good Friday now. Try not to start any pogroms, people.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What fresh hell?

I usually don't like movies with subtitles. It's not that I'm an ignorant American who doesn't like foreign films- I do. (Life is Beautiful makes me cry every. single. time.) It's not that I don't like to read- I do. But trying to read and watch a screen at the same time makes me dizzy and gives me a headache.

Of movies with subtitles, I really don't like silent movies. I hate silent movies. I took a film history class once and didn't watch a movie for pleasure for months afterwards because they made us watch all sorts of silent movies and "worthwhile" movies and crappy Soviet Union lesbian incest love story movies (No, I'm so vehemently not kidding.) and IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.

(Well. Kind of. That was the semester of Stalker Boy. BUT IT WAS UP THERE.)

(Because did you hear read that? They were sisters. They were all sleeping together. In the Polish People's Republic in 1974.)

(Again. NOT. FREAKING. KIDDING.)

At least movies with subtitles are (usually) in a different language and the accents make me laugh. But silent movies you have nothing to stare at but the weirdly drawn-on lips that apparently were wicked sexy circa 1921.

But worse than all of those (Yes, including the hairy Polish lesbians. At least they were funny.) is a silent movie with subtitles in a different language.

German.

Also known as the ugliest language written or spoken IN THE WORLD.

(My apologies to Katie.)

So. Imagine just how awesome my Jewish European class was this afternoon. We were read a silent movie. Yep. For seventy-five minutes. And sometimes the professor couldn't read fast enough, so I'm pretty sure she just made stuff up. Because I don't think there's a line about, "And now...we're all...wait...going to party," in the 1924 antisemitism satire City Without Jews.

I'm just guessing.

Seven more weeks.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Falalalalalalalalala.

Yesterday morning I received a text from Katie that read, "Tis the season for pogroms...oh, and we sang "Were You There?" and now it's stuck in my head." I laughed so hard I almost choked on my oatmeal.

Because those are the two things that were (are) pretty much running through my mind. Although this time I really tried to understand how anyone could listen to the Passion and want to go out and kill somebody. And I failed. Although, we only got Luke yesterday. I'll have to let you know if I'm whipped into a homicidal frenzy that I've ignored for the past twenty-one years after listening to John on Friday.

Also, Were You There? has to be my least favorite song (after Lead Me, Guide Me and anything that involves clapping) EVER and it's played CONSTANTLY this week. *sigh*

Anyway. It's Passover and Holy Week, blog kitties! And that means my little comparative religion major self hardly knows which way to turn and she's just very excited, okay? I took her to Mass and Eucharistic adoration today because I feel compelled to remind her exactly which covenant she ascribes to, but she also really wants matzoh. So.

I'm very fascinated by Passover. I kind of feel disrespectful because I'm so fascinated, but I swear, I'm not being disrespectful. Just very, very interested.

My head. It's very interesting sometimes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

Um...

Okay...

Surely there was something...

...I washed my hair? A few times? That's exciting.

I did finish my thesis, which is massively orgasmically exciting if you're...well, me. And not so much if you're...well, anyone else.

(Note to Mom: Sorry I said "orgasmically." I'm pretty sure it's not a word, but I'm guessing it will upset you.)

Stephanie went to Mass this morning. She had a good time and made a deacon laugh really hard.

Oh! Hey! So, you know what's really stressful? When you're reading the Passion, only the most important part of gospels, and you're kind of new at this whole thing anyway and your microphone is dead. So...that happened. Yeah.

Okay. Well. That was pretty informative, right? I don't know no one except my mom reads this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Issue in historical method and pedagogy.*

So. Internets. I'm almost finished with my thesis. Well, a rough draft. Almost. Tomorrow. Probably. I just have to tie up some loose ends and throw a paragraph about Rembert Weakland in there and we're good to go.

Except I've run into a few problems.

My major problem is that I'm at the final chapter where I'm talking about John Paul II and his apostolic visit to Poland in 1979. My thesis advisor? The guy who is going to be reading and grading this? Was there. Literally. In Poland, at his Mass, the whole shebang.

So how the hell do I write about that? Like I have anything to offer? I'm sure he was sitting at that Mass thinking, "Hmm. I'll bet in eight years a girl is going to be born who can shed some light on this experience for me."

I mean, I know that if I ever get handed a paper by some young whippersnapper who has the gall to write an analysis of something that I was a sentient adult for? I will be unable to refrain myself from scrawling "Let me tell you something about life, kid..." across the cover page.

(Warning for my future students: 9/11 is off the list of possible topics. As are any and all Presidential elections post-2000. Because I made phone calls for W in 2004. And I wore a McCain/Palin button around campus for three months. THAT'S POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT, CHILD.)

So. That's kind of difficult.

My other problem is that I'm using a Google translation of John Paul II's address at the synagogue in Rome.

Yes, I know that's not exactly a perfect source. But it was only available in Italian and my grasp of Italian is...well, I know the Starbuck's cup sizes. But I can't exactly quote it, because while it's a good enough translation that I can understand what it's saying, most of the verbs are in entirely the wrong place. Which makes quoting kind of difficult.

Oh, whatever. This guy quotes Wikipedia. I think I can forgo footnotes for a few paragraphs.

*I'm not going to lie, a huge part of the reason I'm going to grad school is so that I can use the word "pedagogy" in everyday conversation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I was a journalism major.

I was! Honest! For, like, a whole two months.

(Incidentally, this was after psychology and before kinesiology.)

(I'm kidding. I've never been a kinesiology major.)

(Yet.)

(I still have two months left.)

But I totally was. I pictured myself as a much prettier Woodward or Bernstein, having all sorts of secret sources and of course several Pulitzers...and then I realized that I really didn't enjoy writing for newspapers and did not want to do it for the rest of my life in fact I didn't know of anything I liked enough to do for the rest of my life except read a lot about things no one cares about and then shoot off my mouth about those things...and that's how we ended up a history and Jewish Studies major!

(My college career. In a- poorly formed- sentence.)

Whoa, whoa, whoa there missy. What's your point? you ask.

Oh. Right. I should have one of those. My point is that I could have continued in the journalism major if I could have just been responsible for writing articles like those that fill today's Journal-Sentinal.

Honestly. It's like the Center for Jewish Studies threw up on the newspaper.

First of all, we have a rather large tribute to Joseph Zilber, who was an integral (okay, one sentence. But I ran out of time.) part of my final essay for Jewish Wisconsin last semseter. Bonus points for mentioning both his Russian Jewish roots and B'ne Jeshurun Emanu El, which I would totally join if I weren't so hung up on this whole Eucharist thing.

But that's not all! There's also a huge part of Cue (Or Food...or whatever it is they call the not-news section on Wednesdays now that the paper basically consists of a few articles about health care and a Kohl's ad.) devoted to Passover. After going to Target yesterday and seeing the Passover plates and cake servers*, I kind of want to have a Very Catholic Passover Seder with Katie on Tuesday. Also, I didn't realize that Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions differed when it came to food. See? That is something that you should be mentioning in class. I could do without the partitions of Poland for the eighth time.

Oh, and then there were a couple of articles about Israeli settlements. Which I love because I am now a Middle Eastern News Whore.**

(Yes. It is a very interesting place inside my head.)

*My mom bought a Beleek cake plate that she's planning on using for my graduation. It's very pretty and very Irish and has lots of handpainted shamrocks on it. I'm planning on filling it with cookies made with my awesome Star of David cookie cutter.

My mom, incidentally, is still really mad about not being able to visit the Beleek factory when she was in Ireland. She refuses to believe that it was not smart for two women to wander around Northern Ireland in May of 1981. I maintain that if Longkesh prison had had a gift shop, she would have been there.

**Not like Lara Logan.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Totally productive.

So...day one of spring break. I have major plans for this spring break. I'm going to read a lot of fun books, completely finish my thesis, and sleep longer than four hours at a stretch. Um...most of that will have to be accomplished in the next four days. That sleep thing is totally taken care of, though.

Post-conciliar Judeo-Christian relations and why the hell do I care I'm a baby of the eighties? Not so much.

I read a little, though. That was exciting.

No, today I mostly wasted time. I made a Facebook album from yesterday...I wandered around Target talking myself into and out of buying various items of clothing...laughed a little at the blatant vanity sizing because I'm sorry, no way in hell am I a size 2 but thank you, Merona, for telling me that I am...I reorganized my closet...and I watched some Brothers and Sisters. That's pretty much it.

Oh, and I bought a bag from Vera Bradley. And then proceeded to sit at the end of the driveway like a four-year-old because I really really want it to come when is it going to come mommy I want it noooooow.

*ahem*

All in all, a good day.

I will finish that thesis, though. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is why you should be friends with your mother.

Scene: Farwell Ave, 10:30 AM.

Mom: Oh, a "free beer" sign. That's lovely.

Group of Pedestrians: *stumbles out of a bar*

Big Truck: *has a green arrow and begins to turn perfectly legally*

Group of Pedestrians: *stumbles in front of bus before stopping and laughing*

Mom: This is so amateur day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Watch as I wipe out half of my friends list.

Oh, internets. Do you remember this? And this? Yeah.

And remember that time when I SCREAMED ALL OVER THE INTERNET HOW MUCH I FREAKING HATE CARDINAL STRITCH UNIVERSITY BECAUSE THE HELL MAN? YOU ARE NOT THAT SPECIAL?

(Oh right. That just happened.)

Anyway. I opened my e-mail this morning and discovered a message from the same woman with whom I have a very complicated relationship, detailed above. And here's what it said:

Hello Kathleen,

Just a gentle reminder. Please have UWM
submit your official bachelor’s degree-bearing transcript as soon as it is
available (which should be sometime in May). This document is to be
submitted to:

CARDINAL STRITCH'S ADDRESS YOU KNOW WHAT I'M NOT EVEN BEING COY
ANYMORE.

I hope all is going well with you Kathleen.

Oh. Goodness. So many thoughts.

Such as:

  • Are you kidding me?
  • "Gentle reminder"?
  • Am I a five-year-old?
  • Really? I'll have a bachelor's degree sometime in May? Thanks for clearing that up. I was a little bit confused.
  • Honestly. You guys suck so much.
  • You hope all is going well with me? Really? You do? You know what would have made things go better for me, Pat? BEING ACCEPTED TO MY SAFETY SCHOOL THAT'S WHAT.
  • *deep breath*
  • It's okay. I was accepted at a better school with a better package so you know what? You can keep your ridiculous application standards.
  • Seriously. I am not the first college senior to apply to graduate school.
  • I'm sure I have more to say, but I'm so mad I can't even think of them.
  • I'm going to go eat a shamrock cookie.

That was my thought process.

(The cookie was good, fyi.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Northwestern,

Hi. You may remember me from the return address on the obscenely large application fee I sent you when I applied to graduate school.

Yeah. Ring a bell? I thought so. Anyway, here's the thing. You are sending me e-mails. Lots and lots of emails. And I think that's kind of COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS given than you DENIED ME ADMISSION.

Now. I've come to terms with it. You were the only school that denied me, and you know what? I'm very happy with my choice and they offered me job and whatever, my mom thinks I'm pretty.

*deep breath*

But it's very, very hard to be zen about this when I'm getting FREAKING CONSTANT EMAILS FROM YOU.

So please cease and desist before I end up curled in the corner in a fetal position hugging a UWM sweatshirt and mumbling about how no one will ever hire me as academic faculty because when you're a professor the only thing that can make up for having ovaries? Is a degree from somewhere like Northwestern.

That's all.

Love,
Kathleen

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Authority Figure

A lot of my wardrobe comes from the junior's department. I'm not really ashamed of it, because I don't buy stuff that looks cheap, or has any sort of saying across the chest and/or derriere, and as far as I know I have never bought anything that Avril Lavigne "designed".

But...still. I'm 22. It's kind of embarrassing. This afternoon, I was trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow.* I have to lead my confirmation group tomorrow during the Masses. I chose an ensemble** and then I realized...it was all from Kohl's junior department.

And people are trusting me with their children's spiritual growth.

So. That's kind of funny. I don't know if I can talk about the Holy Spirit while wearing a jacket that Hilary Duff championed. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I think you really want to know.

I was going to do a list post about things I did today (which would end up being mostly Facebook-related) and things I didn't do today (which would be end up being mostly thesis-related), but then I realized I didn't have anything to even facetiously puti n the "did" category. Like, I censored some stuff on my Facebook page. And I "bartended" at a fish fry that ended up being more talking-and-eating-pretzels than actual bartending. Whatever, it was fun.

Although Annie said something about it being kind of sad that she considered hanging around church on a Friday night fun, and I realized that I was way more sad than her because it wasn't even really my parish. Hey. It's not my fault there's no one under 80 at St. Eugene.

The "not" list would definitely be thesis-related though. But that's not even funny anymore. I need to write that last chapter, like, pronto now that all the warm fuzzy National-History-Day related feelings that my advisor had about me are probably fading.

Oh, I got a National History Day t-shirt in the mail the other day, I think because the coordinator felt badly for me because I had (have) to deal with some rather crazy judges. And contestants. And both of them together. And the shirt? Is rather adorable. It engenders warm fuzzy feelings in me.

Maybe I'll wear it to my next advising appointment. See? Remember when you loved me? Think about that and not the fact that I raced through John Paul II's influence on Judeo-Christian relations because I really, really want to graduate already.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

25

Today my mom met my favorite professor in the world. And I'm pretty sure a star exploded somewhere because I'm sure that that violated some sort of law of physics.

(I don't know which one. Jewish Studies major, remember?)

ANYWAY. I'm also pretty sure that he is now her favorite person in the world. Because my mother enjoys two qualities that my mother enjoys above all else in other people. (Not kindness. That's probably a- distant-third.) They are a.) an ability to consider her babies the most amazing people in the world and b.) Irishness.

So when that leprechaun drooled over me? She was, like, this close to jumping him.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Locked down.

My Facebook profile has always been pretty open. I keep my e-mail and that stuff set to only friends, and my notes. Because I say a lot of things that...well, you should probably be my friend in order to read them. Because otherwise you could really get the wrong idea.

But other than that- open. I've never had a stalker, and other than some random guy from Turkey who keeps friending me (Um. Ignore.), I haven't had any problems. There's really nothing so special about my life that I feel the need to block my wall or anything. I mean, it's mostly my mom. And I don't care that you see that. I also have a built-in security measure in my last name- no one can find me because they can't spell my name.

But now. Now you may notice (although you wouldn't, because you're already my friend if you're reading this, but bear with me) that things are different. I am locked down. Seriously. Other than my birthday and a thumbnail of my profile picture, if we don't share mitochondrial DNA, you have no information on me.

Why, you ask? Do you have something very important and exciting going on?

Ha. Hahaha. No.

I did, however, receive an email from my Holocaust Theology professor announcing that there was now a Facebook page. For our class. That we could all join.

Oh. Joy.

Well. I do not want everyone in that class to know all of my business, even if it is just that my mom is proud of me for getting a TA position.

I also don't want the professor to know that I think she'd be a lot prettier if she combed her hair.

I can see this whole damn experiment going poorly.

Monday, March 08, 2010

What my papal bull would look like:

Dear Martin Luther,


Dude. Chill out.

Love, Leo X.

Martin Luther and I have a complicated relationship.

Not enough that I went to a Lutheran school for three years where they painted over the Blessed Mother in the chapel and called me a papist and that one really angry seminarian told me that he would never deign to pray with a Catholic. (What? I promise not to get my incense on you.)

Nope. Not enough. Now I'm writing an essay on him. I was going to do just a general 95 Theses thing, but meh, boring. So! I'm writing about Exsurge Domine (the bull that ended up excommunicating him) instead and contrasting it with the points in the 95 Theses. I know, right? Brilliant. I fully expect a fantastic grade. And not just because I usually get papers for that class back with drool on them.

But first I have to write the damn thing. I don't want to. So I'm thinking of offering it up for the souls in purgatory just to piss off Martin Luther. Who died four hundred and fifty years ago.

Vengeance is mine.

Oh, also. Did you guys know he was a freak? Like, "in the biblical sense"? Well, okay, not exactly weird per se, just...really...wow, inside thought Martin.

Okay, I've embarrassed my Dad for tonight. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Hey! Your wife think I'm a godsend.

Yesterday morning I staggering into the Union at 6:55 after dragging my suitcase three blocks. Yes. I looked like a hobo. A very well dressed hobo who stops at Starbucks because like hell I'm dealing with 370 students and their parents without a skinny caramel macchiato, but a hobo nonetheless.

My boss arrived shortly afterwards, and she brought her husband! Who was going to help me put up the exhibit and room signs! Great! Except...kind of not. Because he was one of those weird old men who think it's okay to insult you constantly as long as there's a twinkle in their eye?

Because honestly, sir. I know I'm not spatially-oriented. I'm a history and Jewish studies major for a reason. And I really don't need your snarkiness because my suggestion for the table arrangement would have worked just as well.

Also, it's really not okay to a.) ask me why I didn't bring my boyfriend to help, b.) inquire as to why when I replied that I was single just now, thanks very much are you sure the Gasthaus isn't open yet? and c.) tell me the reason I'm single is that I walk too fast. Honestly. It's 7:30 and I have a million more things to do and OF COURSE I'M WALKING QUICKLY I'M TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM YOU.

*sigh*

Whatever. I got thanked in the program, my thesis advisor pronounced my name the cool Polish way when he was introducing me (although I'd expect nothing less from a guy whose wife has a random "w" pronounced as a "v" in the middle of her name), and I got a ton of gossip about the department. Oh, and Hot Office Mat was there too.

It was a lovely day.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Not prayerful.

Long story, but tonight my mom suggested keeping a journal as a form of prayer. I responded that I kept a journal. It just isn't very prayerful.

I think that in order for this blog to become a form of prayer I'd probably have to cut down on the part where I'm really sad I don't have a reason to hang out around Adorable Professor's office after tomorrow...and the part(s) where I say I'd turn to prostitution to pay for graduate school...and cut down on the swearing...and...you know what? I'll just pray on my own, okay?

Okay.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Scenes

So. It's all over. I've heard from every school I've applied to,* and I know what I'm doing. And frankly I'm surprised that I have any Facebook friends left after my months of incoherent ranting. But I have some previously unpublished stories.

Two weeks ago, on Monday morning, I found out that I didn't get into Northwestern. I am not just saying this so you don't pity me- I did not expect to get into Northwestern. It was a PhD program, required full funding, they only take about 15 people a year, and they're obviously pulling from a prestigious pool.

However. This was, at the time, the only decision of which I'd been notified. So even though it was my long shot, I was rather upset. It was, to put it nicely, a not very nice morning for me. I didn't tell anybody for a few hours, and then I told my mom.

She did the following (in order):
  • offered to drive to Evanston and attack them
  • told me they were ridiculous for not accepting me because I would have been an asset to their program
  • told me they were ridiculous for not accepting me because I am so pretty that they could have put me on the brochure
  • told me that she fully anticipated my publishing a definitive book on some subject
  • she wasn't sure which one, but dammit, it would be published!
  • bought me a dress

It was a very appropriate response and I loved her for it.

A few hours later, on Monday afternoon, I received an email saying that I had been admitted to UWM. Incidentally, my mom cried and screamed and laughed with me but stuck by her earlier assertions that Northwestern would have been blessed to have me. And I loved her for it.

Tuesday, I was walking from class and was idly checking my email on my phone. And there was an email from the History Department. And the subject line said, "Funding for your MA."

I clicked on it, because I figured it was some dumb thing about applying for a grant that I wouldn't get because I'm a little white girl from the North Shore. But it wasn't. It began by saying, "We're pleased to offer you a 50% TA position in the Fall of 2010."

Um. I don't know if you've ever received life-changing news via iPhone, but it's massively unsettling. Because the screen is really tiny and small and FREAKING TINY and I don't know what that whole 50% thing means but holy shit I DO know what TA means and oh, my God, I have to call my mommy!

So I did. And then I figured out that the 50% thing is the best I could get (yes) and it's full tuition (oh my God, yes!) and I can, like, buy a car and stuff like a real. live. adult. And then we cried together over the phone because of the whole real live adult thing and I was supposed to be severely developmentally disabled and I'm not and I can move into Grandpa's at least conceivably and OH I CAN QUIT MY JOB AND NOT WORK WEEKENDS ANYMORE.**

Internets. Do you know what this means? I can have Saturdays. And Sundays. Off. Like an adult. *is dead with the happiness*

I did, however, still have to wait to hear from Marquette. I was really torn, because I figured that they wouldn't give me a better deal (they'd have to offer me full tuition and a larger living stipend, which was unlikely), but I felt like I'd invested too much energy in praying to get into Marquette to just turn them down before I even knew if I got accepted.

So, I was kind of exhausted and drained and I really didn't want to go to class, but I figured the day I was offered an academic position was a really bad day to start skipping classes. So I went. About ten minutes in, I got a text from my mom- "Are you in class? If you are, call when you get out. "

I texted back that I was, but she could text me whatever she needed. I didn't get a text, and I figured it was because my mother really hates texting and constantly whines about the teeny numbers like she was 84 and she's really not, look, I know that we have babies ridiculously late in our family, but she's a perfectly normal age to figure out cell phones.

An hour later I called her from my boss' my office. She kind of paused and said, "A situation has arisen that we never talked about."

I thought someone had died.

She continued, "There's an envelope from Marquette here."

Oh. Good. Lord. Seriously? After THREE AND A HALF MONTHS you have to come today? When I won't be home until ten?

"Is it a big envelope or a little envelope?" I asked.

"Little." She sounded really apologetic. Okay. Okay. I couldn't not find out. I still had a bunch of things to do that day, and I wasn't going to be home for hours. I couldn't wait until ten o'clock at night knowing that my last school, the school I really wanted to go to, had made a decision that was sitting on my counter and I was just going to ignore it. And despite the fact that we hadn't talked about it, I had thought about this. I just...hadn't figured out what I wanted her to do.

"Open it. The whole TA thing was so amazing this morning, I think I'll be able to handle it." I really didn't think that. I didn't know how much it would suck to hear bad news like that over the phone.

"Okay...OH MY GOD IT SAYS CONGRATULATIONS!!!"

I'm pretty sure I blacked out for a second there.

So we screamed and cried and laughed a little bit more, but this time it was kind of bittersweet because ugh, I had a decision to make and I really, really hate decisions. Which is why I hadn't been able to figure out if I wanted to know that a decision came when I wasn't at home.

I hung up and vowed to think about it. The finances were significantly better from UWM, but Marquette was...Marquette. I turned them down for undergrad because there was no way to make it work. And as much as I love UWM and as happy as I am here, I've always kind of regretted that a little bit.

Then my nose started to bleed.

That has nothing to do with anything except to illustrate how poorly my body handles stress. NOSE BLEED. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING.

I went to Mass, because I felt like that day above all others I needed to thank God for everything He had done for me. Because for all the the screamy cryiness on the phone with my mom, this was remarkable. I wasn't supposed to be able to do this. And the fact that I did? Was a miracle.

Anyway, after the nose bleed it gets pretty boring. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to turn down Marquette- again. That was really hard. But my mom (are you sensing a theme? It's a damn good thing you lived, woman, or I wouldn't have made it through high school yet!) and I talked about it (in an eerily similar tableau as we talked about my decisions about Grafton High and Concordia seven and eight years ago), and yes, this is the best thing for.

SO. I'm going to UWM. I'm going to be a TA. And I may even get some Facebook stalkers. That's pretty exciting.

*Except Cardinal Stritch. And they're dumb and I hate them. *sticks out tongue*

**I counted. 18 more weekends. YES.