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Despite the fact that it was not in my original intentions, I had a lovely weekend at home. After I ranted about being the dumbest person ever, I pushed my driver’s seat back, put a foot up on my dashboard, and grabbed the box of freshman journals I had to grade. I enjoyed reading the students’ entries, and wished that I had more than four days left with them.

My mom pulled up when I had two journals left to grade. We hauled my stuff into the house and started doing laundry. Lots of laundry. I don’t even know how much laundry, it was that immense. We ate dinner, and then Mom sent me on a quick grocery-shopping trip. She’s been waiting to do that for years, and since I now have a license and a car, I can.

She did some homework, and I finished grading journals, and she helped me clean my fish tank because Bones really needed a clean home again. Then Mom did more homework, and I made homemade salsa. My hands smelled like cilantro for the rest of the night, but man, was that salsa tasty. We ate some of that with chips while we watched Kick-Ass.

I slept in on Saturday, and then we went to Bob Evans for brunch – Mom had a coupon. It was good, and Mom and I talked a lot. I miss her.

When we got back, I made sugar cookie dough and did homework. Then I made cookies and iced them. I think you’ll agree that they’re pretty awesome, especially the skulls. I had to cut out the eyes for them and the ghosts myself.

Mom and I ate more chips and salsa while watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Good Hair – the latter of which was rather enlightening!

I stayed up until 2:00 updating my music and burning CDs for my car. I got up around 8:45 this morning and Mom had made cinnamon rolls. They were so good. She sent me back to Muncie with some of those, some salsa, some bean casserole thing we had for dinner on Friday, and an unopened box of hot chocolate mix. She spoils me.

I got back to my apartment (where my house keys were sitting on my nightstand, mocking me), and unpacked. I had just enough time to get everything in place, and then I had to bike to work. I already got my lesson plan done, and I have about two and a half hours left of my shift. I suppose I should have brought a book. Oh well. After I get off, my grandparents are coming to visit me and take me out to dinner. They also spoil me, but it will be good to see them. Grandpa is having surgery this week. I hope everything goes well.

I had one thing I wanted to write about since it is Halloween. I love this holiday, but look at me – I’m lame and at work, not dressing up, no parties, nothing, really. And I think I’m really sad that there’s no Rocky Horror Picture Show for me tonight. I haven’t been the past few years, and I should have gone. My friends get to wreak havoc, and I don’t. But it means a lot more to me, or at least, it has in the past.

I thought of Rocky Horror today because I was listening to the soundtrack in my car during my drive. I sang along, sometimes shouting out lines from the audience participation. It made me nostalgic for the (slightly) wild girl I used to be.

I first learned of Rocky Horror through my mother. She used to go to the midnight showings with her friends. The Halloween when I was in seventh grade, VH1 showed it edited, and we watched it together. A while later, she bought the DVD and we watched it again. Sometimes late at night, I’d watch it by myself. I memorized it.

I met my friend Leigh in eighth grade. We shared a love of Rocky Horror. She had actually been to midnight showings at Hollywood Bar and Filmworks. The summer after eighth grade, I went with her, her family, and my friend Joe to see it at Hollywood Bar and Filmworks. The theater was packed and smoky. Joe and I were “virgins,” even though I had seen the movie multiple times – just not in the theater. Leigh drew a big lipstick “V” on my forehead. Their “de-virginizing” ceremony for that night was an auction. I was auctioned off to a woman with pierced nipples. She showed them to the audience to buy me, but then she let me go back and sit with Leigh and her family.

The show was a blast! I got home at 3:00 in the morning, my voice hoarse from screaming, clothes smelling like smoke and my mascara giving me raccoon eyes. And I had to do it again.

I don’t know how many more times I went after that, but I was sure to dress up. I wore fishnets, cat ears, feather boas, lots of stuff. Leigh and I had our pictures taken and put in the Indianapolis Star. I had a forty-year-old man dressed as Frank-n-Furter sit on my lap for “I’m Going Home.” I dreamed of playing Magenta in the shadow cast one day, I loved it that much.

But then I had a falling out with Leigh sophomore year, and Hollywood Bar and Filmworks shut its doors for good. Rocky Horror no more.

Leigh and I eventually made up. We’re still friends. I graduated, came to Ball State, and found out that, around Halloween, UPB did a showing of Rocky Horror. I joined the shadow cast and was supposed to play the Criminologist, but found that the director was a twat who didn’t know what she was doing, and she didn’t respect the cast. She wanted to make it more shock-worthy and less fun, if that makes sense. I think it does – Glee recently proved the same point that Rocky Horror might be shocking, but what is more important is having fun with it. So I quit the shadow cast, but I still went to the showing. It was pretty lame, since it was a university-sponsored. The shadow cast had been an embarrassment, so I am glad I had left it. I had way more fun being with my friends. Well, except for when I stepped on my camera with my high heel. That wasn’t so good. But Rocky Horror – it was always good.

So I’m sad I can’t be at a showing tonight, but in my heart, I’m there, screaming obscenities, dancing the Time Warp, and being an Unconventional Conventionalist.

Don’t dream it, be it…

I am the smartest person ever. Let’s just get this straight. Because the smartest person ever would, the night before she has to drive home, say, “Oh, I need my house keys because I’ll get home before Mom.” She finds them sitting on her nightstand, and thinks, yeah, I’ll remember them sitting there.

Then, this same smartest person ever will, the next afternoon, pack all her dirty laundry and books and the box of journals she has to grade into her car and take the hour it takes to drive to Anderson, get her hair cut, and then drive home. Upon entering the limits of her town, she will think to herself, “Where are my keys? Oh wait, I think I put them in my coat pocket. I’ll check when I get home.” But still, this nagging feeling of forgetfulness hovers over her until she pulls into the driveway. She turns the car off, checks her coat pockets, and it is CONFIRMED –

Her house keys are still on the nightstand in her apartment, an hour away.

She calls her mom, who isn’t supposed to have her phone on at work, but conveniently called a half hour before while the smartest person ever was trying to drive – and pulled into a parking lot to answer said phone call. But no! Her mom’s voicemail is on. She won’t be home for another hour, hour and a half.

…and she already tried breaking into her house, and that didn’t work.

So, by the glory of her house’s wireless internet, she is able to give you this beautiful story – live and on the street! –  of the smartest person ever as she sits in the middle of her driveway, actually wishing she could do some laundry about now.

I could write about all the other things that are going on right now, but I’d just like to brag about my awesome timing today.

Around 10:00, I walked across the parking lot of the high school to my car, nearly blowing away in the process.

Near 10:25 or so this morning, I pulled into my parking spot and it started sprinkling.

By the time I entered my apartment, the tornado sirens went off. Luckily, we live on the ground floor, so it isn’t that hard to find a low place to go. Jessi said, “Bathroom?” and I said, “Bathroom.” She rounded up the two cats in her arms and carried them to the bathroom. I ran to my room and grabbed my laptop. Then I realized Ruu was still sleeping, so I knocked on her door and said, “Uh, tornado sirens are going off… so yeah…”

Nothing too serious came out of the incident. Distractions, more than anything. I was going to go to campus early so I could get some work done, but then after the sirens ended, it was still pouring outside. So I made myself lunch and read Girls With Slingshots instead. That’s a damn fine comic, and I finally caught up with it.

I still got soaked on my way to campus today, and my clothes were still somewhat damp when I came home today, but all in all, things haven’t been bad. I just wish I could be home before 5:00 sometime this week. Tomorrow I’m working a double shift, so I will be working 1-4 and 6-9. I’ll at least have some time to bike to the apartment and make dinner, and it’s three hours of extra money, so I won’t complain. It was my own choice.

Now, my Victorian British lit exam on Thursday – after turning in a crappy paper today for the same class  – that is something that wasn’t my choice…

There has been a change in plans.

Friday, Alex told me that, on account of a family obligation, he would have to cut our visit next weekend short. Really short. So, I’ve been a little saddened by that news, especially since we won’t get to see each other that much in the next few months.

But hey, it’s not all bad. My mom wants me to come home that weekend instead. I don’t really want to go home, considering it wasn’t in my original plans, but I guess I need to do it. It might be nice to have some peace and quiet and not have to worry about buying food for a few days.

I picked up Sarah’s shift for Sunday, though, so I won’t be home all weekend. I’ll have to be back in town and at work at noon, and then it will be another long week. I just wish I could enjoy Halloween more – you know, dressing up in costume, carving pumpkins, baking cookies, watching scary movies, going to the bars, and taking in a showing of Rocky Horror. It seems, though, for the second year in a row, I will be having a not-so-stellar Halloween.

So, besides my plans, not much has been going on. I visited my supervising school on Friday, and I love it. I can’t wait to student teach there next semester. It’s both a scary and exciting experience.

I’ve also been working on a scholarship application, completing my portfolio, and writing crappy research papers. I hope things will turn out all right. No – I know things will be all right. One day, all my hard work will pay off.

Currently running out of juice. I have a six-page paper due Tuesday over the education system of Victorian Britain and how it was interpreted in Alice in Wonderland. I have the introduction paragraph done. I have a lesson plan draft due Tuesday as well. I have the outline, and the title of it – wait, I don’t even think I have that… I also have a lesson to organize because I’m doing a lot of teaching next week. Yay! I at least have an idea of what I’m doing with that, but it’s difficult.

I also have a scholarship application to write and my portfolio to work on. Bleh. All of this has to be done before next week/weekend, and I think I’m losing my edge.

It probably started two weeks ago. This is when I forgot to make coffee that Monday. And the next day, and the next. I don’t want to be dependent on coffee and its glorious caffeine content, but I don’t know how else to keep myself awake anymore. I haven’t had coffee for over two weeks, and I can’t focus. Or do anything too time consuming at my house, save for watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and knitting. But I know I will get all of it done. Somehow. I will pull a miracle out of my ass to get everything done, and done right. I just wish I could have that miracle now.

Oh well, next week is Halloween and boyfriend-time. The week after that is boyfriend-time and the Electric Six concert. Two weeks after that is Thanksgiving where I can eat awesome home-cooked food until my stomach wants to bust and sleep until noon.

And four weeks after that? Well, that’s the blessed end of the semester!

So the moral of this story is: You might be tired, you might completely lack motivation, but just keep on swimming – you’ll make it, after all.

You know what is sad?

When you wake up late Sunday morning, and when your boyfriend wants to sleep a bit longer, you put on your glasses, pick up a textbook, and start reading until he’s decided he wants to wake up.

I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be so immersed in school anymore. I saw a few of my friends this weekend, and I hadn’t seen them in two weeks. Which was the last time the boyfriend came to town. I saw a few friends on Friday night, I hadn’t seen in probably longer.

My life is mostly not my life anymore. I can’t just throw on jeans and a t-shirt and be out the door in the mornings. I actually have to wear blouses and slacks and shoes that aren’t comfortable and leave blisters on my toes. If I’m really unlucky, I might just have to style my hair in the morning instead of letting it air dry and be frizzy. I just… you know, I want my life back.

I don’t want to start crying every Sunday when my boy has to leave. I don’t want to cry when I realize how much work I have to do and how much longer I have until I have a break. My fall break is Friday. That day, I don’t have any classes. It should be a blessing. Instead, I am going to be at the high school where I will be student teaching from 7:45 to 3:05. So even on my “day off,” I am in class longer than I am on a normal Friday, and I have to work the next day.

I don’t get an actual break until Thanksgiving, and even then, I will probably be typing up a unit plan on my computer while my family watches football and my relatives get all the glory in the kitchen. I want to cook! I want to make a delicious meal!

All of this being said, these past two days have been really nice, because I got to see my boyfriend. On Friday night, we made curried pumpkin soup (DELICIOUS!), hung out with some of our friends in the Village, and ate ice cream while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Saturday, we watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and agonized on how long the movie feels compared to its run time. We made kielbasa and potatoes for dinner, and then played Arkham Horror with our friend, Matt. We got our butts handed to us by Shuddle M’ell, but it was still a lot of fun.

I’ll admit, most times when the boy comes to visit, we don’t know what to do. We spend a lot of time sitting around, watching stuff, cuddling, and talking. Sometimes he plays his DS while I knit, or something like that. But even something so simple as doing dishes together makes me happy. I miss him a lot. The twelve days between our visits always seems like an eternity. We make the best out of things, though, and I’m glad to have him. He keeps me sane, keeps me from being a complete mess – or a monster.

We now have mice in our apartment. Don’t worry, they’re supposed to be there. My roommate bought two on Friday. So the total amount of creatures in our apartment is this: two cats, two mice, a couple fish, and a cricket farm for the praying mantis that we thought was male but is actually female and has an egg sac. Yeah. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t bring up Bones. He might be a fish, but there’s not nearly enough room for him and I don’t have nearly enough time to take care of him.

Oh, this week. I thought last week was busy. This week will have me in two different schools, working, and doing all of my regular assignments. I still have to do cleaning and laundry – my room’s a mess. I look forward to next weekend, though. I get my lover!

So, anyway, things have been getting better. Still a lot of stuff to do, but Friday after I got home from class, I baked three loaves of banana bread with the dozen brown bananas in our freezer. Friday night I went out with Krista and Sarah. We had rum buckets at the Locker Room. I had never left a drunken voicemail before, and Sarah demonstrated it for me. I left one for Alex, but it was loud and crowded and I couldn’t remember what I said. He later listened to it and liked it.

I had mentioned how Alex was home alone for the weekend. Sarah and Krista encouraged me to drive down there and surprise him. I wanted to, but I kept making excuses – too much homework and I had to work. But then I got to thinking that yeah, that would be a great idea. Sarah said I wasn’t spontaneous enough. I thought it would be so cool. I’d show up on Alex’s doorstep and we could hang out and eat pizza and watch movies. I needed to drive to his house someday, anyway. But I would only visit him if I knew that he would be staying at home and had no other plans.

Saturday morning I sent Alex a text. I asked him if he could have a wish come true that day, what would it be.

He responded while I was at work. It was as plain as day. He wished that he could see me. It was decided. I would go to him.

After work, I went home to eat lunch and pack my bag. Alex called. He said he had the sneaking suspicion that I would try to visit him. I’m no good at surprises, really. We talked about it, and he said that I didn’t need to come visit him at every chance now that I had a car. I just thought it would be nice. He said, “Sure,” and we hung up.

He called back a few minutes later. He said it probably wasn’t the best weekend to come visit, and I think he was really concerned about me driving, since I’m still new at it. I had directions and everything. If I hadn’t stopped to eat lunch, I probably would have been on my way. I was a little upset that he had changed his mind, but I understood. It was probably for the best, anyway. I spent the rest of Saturday doing homework, watching The Twilight Zone, and crocheting snowflakes.

I slept in this morning, and did more homework. I’m doing laundry now and watching Dark Shadows, which is somewhat campy, and I thought I’d like it, but it’s not as interesting as I had hoped. But I think I have most of my work done, so it should be nice to relax a bit. Just wish my life could be more interesting, more spontaneous….

Oh, October! I can’t believe you’re here already! I love you so, you’re my favorite month, with you’re cool temperatures, pretty leaves, and comfort food goodness. Now, if only I had the time to enjoy you!

Ah, ahem… anyway. Yes, it’s October. My, how time flies. Not too many important things to report. I mean, some, I’d say, but some matters are just not interesting or are public. Who am I kidding? It’s really nothing.

Alex came up to visit this past weekend. He brought me a superb rhubarb custard pie. We had a good time celebrating our friend Krista’s birthday, watched Shoot ‘Em Up (SO RIDICULOUS!) with our buddies, got my car checked out because it was showing the service engine light, and was caught in a freezing downpour. Also, I was sick with sinus crud. I’m much better, but my throat is still being affected by it.

It’s been work, work, work all week. More work to come. So far this week, I have written two 3-4 page essays, one 2 page response paper, read a huge chunk of David Copperfield, created a classroom management plan, did a webquest about gifted students, and taught a lesson on Helena Maria Viramontes’ story, “Growing.” I still have to research a paper on a topic in Alice in Wonderland and do a bibliography for it, evaluate my unit plan for special needs and ESL students, and numerous other reading/writing tasks, not to mention my work at the library.

Of course, I’m trying to find time for myself as well. I need to keep a workout schedule, as small as it is, bake three loaves of banana bread because we have a dozen brown bananas in our freezer, attend two social functions – one on Friday, one on Saturday, but I’m still not sure about the latter. I’ll take as much free time as I can get, though.

And now, for something slightly different, as a part of my practicum, I have to spend a few weeks in a high school and a few weeks in a middle school. Today, my class met at the high school to get a tour of the area. This required me to do something I’ve never done before – driving in Muncie, alone. Usually I have a passenger to help me out, since I’m terrible with directions. Well, not this time. Let’s just say I made it on time, but that wasn’t until after I got twisted and turned around the south side (but at least it was the area I needed to be in). I arrived at the school with my heart pounding and body shaking; I was terrified.

After our tour, I tried driving back home, thinking I knew the way. I didn’t. I got lost again and ended up on the highway before I realized I was going in the wrong direction. When I finally got back on the right track, I was stopped by a train. Eventually, I made it home for lunch, but not without a few new grey hairs. Let’s just hope I figure things out before Monday morning.