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It has been almost two months since my last blog post, which is rather unacceptable, I know. It’s not like I have been busy since leaving my job. I’m happier, that’s true. I can actually smile and laugh when I am with friends – and I can actually see my friends now! Alex and I go up to visit about every other weekend or so. The other weekends, I usually drive down to Alex’s house. That’s usually the only time I drive anywhere.

But let me back up. Let me tell you what I have been doing in my re-unemployment time.

In February, shortly after I left my job, I went to visit my friend Jennifer at her school. It was the first time I had ever driven down there, and it was the first time in about four or three years that I had visited her there. I met some of her friends, played with her kitty, Sadie, we ate Indian food, went to a local yarn store, and saw a band Jennifer likes and she’s friends with. It was a very good visit.

Valentine’s Day came and there was a power outage that affected the whole town. We were in the dark for two and a half hours. Mom was grumbling a lot about it, but I just read by candlelight during that time. It was good that the power came back when it did, though. It was quite cold.

Also that month, Alex and I celebrated our fourth anniversary of being a couple. I gave him a pair of hand-knit socks and an autographed photograph of Clint Eastwood. Yeah, I know, I’m the coolest girlfriend ever. It’s funny, because it simultaneously seems like it hasn’t been that long since we’ve started dating, and yet it also feels like we know each other so well and feel so comfortable being with each other that it feels like we have been dating much longer. Or at least I think it feels like that. We don’t get to have the closeness a lot of couples get in four years, what with the two of us basically having a long-distance relationship for the past two years or so. It’s tough. But we make do, and hopefully, once I get a job, that distance problem will be solved.

My brothers David and Alex both had their birthdays in the past two months. Alex is nine now, and David is twelve. It makes me feel old. It’s unbelievable how quick they both have grown, and how much I have missed of their lives. If I could fix that, I would, but it is one of those circumstances beyond my control. It isn’t that I haven’t tried, though. I might be going to see them at the end of April – that is, if I am still unemployed. Part of me wants to see them, but there’s the other part of me that really needs an income.

In March, I cat-sit for Jennifer one morning and was so happy to play with Sadie. Then, during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, my mom was visiting a friend in Missouri and I had the house to myself. I went up with Alex that Friday night so he could play poker and I could have some time hanging out with Sarah and Scott. We went back home the next day, built a giant blanket fort in my living room, made chicken piccata for dinner, went to Good’s for ice cream, and then watched Harry Brown to cap off the night. We actually slept in the blanket fort, and it was rather comfortable. After Alex left the next morning, I made brownies, did laundry, and hung out in my blanket fort the whole day reading Looking for Alaska and watching The Walking Dead marathon.

Mom and I went to see The Hunger Games movie the first weekend it came out. I loved the books and finally convinced her to read them. I think the movie was all right. It was as good as a PG-13 movie adaptation of the books would be. I felt it was too fast-paced in the beginning, and I hated the shaky camera. It made my head hurt, and it’s hard to focus on what you’re seeing sometimes if the camera is whipping back and forth so much. I did like the cast, though, and there was at least one moment where I cried.

Then, last weekend Alex and I went up to see friends and we had a good time hanging out, drinking hard cider/beer, eating pizza, playing Fiasco and Cards against humanity, and watching Two-Headed Shark Attack. All in all, a good weekend. I always look forward to the weekend, though some people tease me because they believe that being unemployed means I get a weekend every day. It’s true that I spend a lot of time knitting, reading, and watching stuff on Netflix, but I also search for and apply to jobs every day, I write (in order to hone my skills and hopefully make something of it), and I try to make things better around the house for my mom by cooking and cleaning for her. I’ve also had at least two interviews in the past month. It hasn’t amounted to anything, but I am hoping that sometime soon, it will.

Well, that’s really all that’s going on. I’m really just back where I was a year ago – the same old, same old.

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After I wrote that last blog post, i went off to my interview. I walked in, they gave me an application to fill out, and I was led to a room where three other people were filling out their applications. The two other girls were wearing power suits, and the guy was also wearing a suit. I immediately thought of my own outfit, which was a nice blouse and a skirt. I felt out of place immediately. As I filled out the application, I realized that I was not the person that they wanted. I was almost finished with the application when I just – stopped. I stood up and walked out into the lobby, and gave the man in charge back my application packet, explaining that I didn’t feel I was qualified enough. He tried to talk me out of leaving, but I was too upset. I thanked him for the opportunity, and then walked out. I was sobbing before I got back to my car in the parking lot. I sat in my car for a little bit. It was hot, and I was humiliated. It had been my third interview opportunity since graduation, and I just blew it. But I didn’t want to stay however long they needed me to and then wait around for them to say that I wasn’t right for the position, when I knew from the get-go that I wasn’t.

I didn’t want to go back home. I didn’t want to admit to my mom that I just blew it. So I called Alex. He was hanging out with Scott at his house since his car’s battery wasn’t yet replaced. He said I could come over. There was a horrendous mess of construction and accidents, so I ended up in my car for an hour in traffic, sweating, feeling a sense of shame and just being an absolute wreck. Yeah, that was awesome. I was so glad to finally get to Alex’s, though the back of my shirt was soaked with sweat by the time I got there – at least he gave me a shirt of his to wear instead. Scott was still there, and though I hadn’t originally intended on staying for dinner, I was invited to, so I did. It was really nice with Alex, his parents, and Scott there. It gave me a sense of a perfect family moment, and I don’t know when the last time I felt something like that.

I was able to calm down; I felt better when I told the truth about what had happened before I told my mom. It gave me a feeling of confidence when I was told that it was okay, and that everything will work out. After dinner, Alex, Scott, and I played a game of Torres, ate berries with whipped cream, and watched some E3 coverage before I went home. I felt better – not great, but better by the time I got home.

Nothing much else happened that week, though I have been trying to write and read every day, and I’ve been knitting like crazy. I finished a pair of socks, and I’m working on another one. I’ll probably have that second pair done by Thursday. I still sit on my ass a lot and watch Nip/Tuck and True Blood. I still haven’t had the motivation to work on moving all my stuff into a more permanent arrangement, but I know I need to do it.

Last Sunday, I went back up to Muncie. Alex had been there the night before, and the guys didn’t actually end up playing Dungeons and Dragons. It cramped mine and Krista’s girlie time, but we still made cottage pie, watched Juno, and played Mario Party with Alex and Tanner. Alex went home with me and stayed the night, which was a nice relief. Then, I had been invited to see Sarah and stay with her on Monday, so I kicked Alex out early and made it to Columbus by noon. Sarah and I ate Indian food (and had Indian food babies), walked around, went to the park and walked around, had a lot of good heart-to-heart time, had ice cream sodas, knit, played with her dogs (Her dogs were really cute and made me want to have a dog, but I know that I’m very much a cat person – I guess it’s the same way with other people’s kids.), ate artisan bread and had iced lattes while watching The Green Hornet. I know that’s a huge run-on sentence. No, I’m not going to correct it.

So yeah, I had a lovely time with my Sarah. It was unbelievable that we crammed all that into our time together, and that when I left it was actually Tuesday. Time is really strange when you don’t have any actual daily commitments like a job or school. You can have your weekend anytime, all the time…

I went back home and did some relaxing, but I also had to go buy another new phone because while I was at Sarah’s, I realized the screen on mine was broken. Since I like being able to know who I’m calling, who is calling me, and the ability to text, I went out and replaced it. I got the same model as the last, and the one before that (the one who’s fate ended up in toilet back in December), but this time with insurance. It needs it if I’m its owner.

Wednesday ended up being another mini-shopping day, and then on Thursday, Alex came over. We watched some more FLCL, had Sno-Castle, and made pork tacos for dinner.

Friday and Saturday were True Blood days with my mom. She hasn’t seen the third season yet, and we decided to rewatch the first two, which was probably a good idea since I forgot some of what happened, and we finished the second season on Saturday night. We’re rather crazy.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and I called my two grandpas and my dad. My maternal grandparents will be coming in on Thursday night and staying until Sunday afternoon, so it will be good to see them. Then I drove up to Krista’s and the guys weren’t playing D&D again this week, we had already arranged our hanging-out time. It was just me, Nick, and Krista there. We watched The Breakfast Club because Krista had never seen it before, and then Krista and I made enchiladas. Nick brought out his Dance Dance Revolution game, and we tried to play, but one pad was dead and the other one had a finicky back arrow that filled us with frustration. I left at about 9:00 and went home. Mom and I watched another episode of True Blood before she went to bed.

I woke up this morning around 7:30. The bedroom was orange because of the glow of the rising sun. It was sort of fantastical. I went back to sleep, though, and woke up to a huge, gray thunderstorm. I haven’t yet done anything of note today, but I’m excited for this evening because I get to see my boy. Hopefully the weather’s nice, because we were planning to walk around outside.

The rest of my short trip to Lexington was great. It was a struggle for me to leave.

Thursday, Alex, David, and I jumped on the trampoline and played outside, and then I got the guts to drive around Lexington, so we went to the park. We had a snack, then flew kites. I made them play on the playground and get some energy out, though David argued with me the entire time, since he’s not the “imagining” type like Alex is – who I had to brush woodchips off and wash dirt off of before he got back in my car.

On Friday, we made Cookies and Cream Bars. Alex and David never get into the kitchen, can you believe that? David wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and I made him do it himself while I supervised. He’s eleven. He should be able to manage that by now…

The three of us went to the children’s museum, and it was a lot of fun. It’s small, and it’s not like, say, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, but it was still entertaining and the boys enjoyed it.

Not much else went on with my trip – just a lot of relaxation and spending time with my family.

I also finished knitting my giant squid, Squidot. He’s definitely an attention getter.

I drove back on Sunday and stopped by Alex’s house for dinner. It was nice to see him, and it broke up my trip a little bit. Then I came home for a day.

I went back up to Muncie because I had an interview on that Tuesday, then another the next day. It looks like I have a job, though I don’t know when it will be starting, since I have to wait for the company to get all its new hires in at once. I just have to hang out and work on getting things in order at home until then.

Mom’s had me running errands, I stuffed and mailed all of my graduation invitations, I had doctor and dentist appointments, and I’ve seen Alex a few times, too. Mom likes having me home because I also cook for her. Funny story about that.

Friday, April 15th, I made salmon with a couscous dish on the side. It was tasty, and impressive, considering it was the first time I have cooked salmon. I can’t be certain as to whether it was my first time eating it or not. We tried to go to bed early, since we had to be up at 5:00 to go to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. However, I couldn’t sleep. I was worried about my future, about my life, and then… I started coughing. I couldn’t breathe easily, I was itchy, and I felt a slight puffiness in my face. Mom had to make a 1:00 a.m. Benedryl run. All ended up well in the end, but apparently, I might be allergic to salmon, but I don’t care. I think I’m just going to make sure I have Benedryl in my purse wherever I go, because I’m getting sick and tired of surprise allergy attacks.

Even though we only had about four hours of sleep, Mom and I went to the Race for the Cure. I had never done it before, but I think that 1) it is an important cause and 2) I needed the exercise. It was bitter cold and rainy the whole day, but it was still fun. Seeing the survivors in their parade was inspiring, and the walk was fun. We went with Peggy and Mike, and I met Peggy’s daughter and son (though he wasn’t at the walk). It was nice – again, despite the cold – and I think I’m going to participate in it next year, too.

Also, there were Ghostbusters doing the walk. I forgot to mention that. That was cool. I’ll get a picture up when I can of that.

After the walk, we went out for lunch. Mom and I made it back home by 3:00. I was in bed again by 3:30, and slept for a while.

Nothing big happened last week, and then I went up to Muncie last weekend to enjoy the company of others. It was a good weekend. I watched Tideland with Sarah, did some knitting, watched Tron: Legacy with Alex, played some Telephone Pictionary, and went bowling for Tanner’s birthday.

This week, I’m working on cleaning my room and preparing it for the return of my stuff from the apartment. I’ll be living there during finals week on practically nothing, but I wanted to spend time with people before graduation.

Perhaps the most exciting bit of news is that I graduate in 10 days!

I’ve been long overdue for an update – a real update, not the “oh woe is me” blurb I posted a few days ago. However, the timeline has gotten quite hazy for me, so I will try my best to relate what has happened to me in the past month or so.

You know the beginning – March 18, I left Central for good. I went back to P-town. I formally withdrew from my student teaching courses, and then freaked the hell out. It took me about five days before I realized that my entire life, I’ve always thought I knew what I wanted to do. Turns out, I don’t. I would have been miserable as a public school teacher, unless I was in a district that reflected my small-town upbringing. Plus, I had the added pressure from my mother, who told me when I was in middle school and high school that I could not make a living as a poet/writer… I understand her intentions to encourage me to have a more profitable profession, but it was rather disappointing to hear.

Enough of that. Speed up to April 5th. To be completely honest, I don’t remember anything notable between March 18th and April 5th. A lot of recuperation, really. But then, on April 5th, Alex, Tanner, and I went to see Electric Six play at Birdy’s. It was so nice that they were performing only about an hour and a half away this time, rather than three and a half hours. I managed to drag Alex and Tanner into the crowd with me, and I finagled my way up to the front of the stage. We met some people who were also at the Covington show, including a couple. The woman asked me, “When did you first hear about Electric Six?” and I said, “Well, I was in eighth grade when Fire came out…”

She said I made her feel old. Haha.

It was even better than the last show. They played “Pink Flamingos” and “Clusterfuck!” and I went nuts. It would have been even better had people not decided to start moshing during “Gay Bar.” I know it is one of Electric Six’s best known songs (besides “Danger! High Voltage!” of course), but moshing? Really?

At least I didn’t almost die this time, and we got out a little after midnight, compared the Covington show. I swear, if their ticket prices are always this cheap, I will always go see Electric Six when they come to town.

I drove Tanner back up to school since it was a Tuesday night, and then I crashed at my house. Mom woke me up before she left so she could see me for a little bit. I smelled and felt like I had smoked an entire pack of cigarettes the night before, and my legs ached so much from all the dancing I did, I wanted to amputate them. I still had a smile on my face, though!

Later that day, I drove down to Lexington. Three and a half hours to my dad’s. It was my first solo road-trip, and my first time seeing the new house after Dad, Cindy, David and Alex moved during the summer before my sophomore year. My trip was long overdue. My brothers were on spring break, so I decided I should come down and hang out with them. I made it there by the early evening on Wednesday.

After dinner, we went to get dessert at a frozen yogurt place called Orange Leaf, which I had never heard of before but was immediately smitten with it. When we were leaving and I was singing the praises of delicious frozen yogurt that I pay for buy the ounce and mix flavors and toppings when my little brother, Alex, said, “If you like it so much, that means you’ll visit more often, right?” Cute kid. The story gets better.

Dad and I took a separate vehicle and went to Half-Price Books. Laugh at me all you want, but I had never been to a Half-Price Books before. I wanted EVERYTHING. Luckily, I kept myself in check. But I still wanted it all. I ended up getting a knitting book (Pretty in Punk), Ender’s Game, Something Wicked This Way Comes, a collection of Rudyard Kipling horror tales, and a live Depeche Mode CD I didn’t have (Songs of Faith and Devotion Live). Heaven.

We came home, and Cindy said that Alex had spent the car ride back creating a plan for me. He said that I could come live with them, since there is a spare bedroom, and I could either work in a school or a library or go to school at University of Kentucky, and then I could spend more time with them.

My eight-year-old brother came up with this. At first I laughed about how cute it was. But later that night, I looked up University of Kentucky; they have a library science program, and were accepting applications. My only problem was that, since my original plan did not include graduate school, I hadn’t taken the GRE, so I will need to take that sometime in the next few months and then apply for next year, as well as apply for a graduate assistantship.

But what matters here is that it is a viable plan, and I’m considering it. It sounds a lot better than anything else I’ve tried to figure out for myself. It will probably be a year or two before this plan comes to fruition, and it will be a greater distance for me and Alex to deal with in our relationship, but I think I’d be happier and stronger for it. I’ve missed a lot of my brothers’ lives, and of my dad’s life. It might be about time for me to change my scenery, anyhow.

I have been caught in a holiday whirlwind for the past few days, though I’m sure many people have been, too. I’ve enjoyed it all, though. No major accidents, no tears, all good.

I drove to my (paternal) grandparents’ house in Richmond on Thursday. I made it there without a problem, blasting Devo all the way. I was the first family member to arrive, and I got to spend about an hour with my grandparents before my dad, Cindy, and my brothers showed up. I went out shopping with my grandma, dad, and Cindy, and when we returned, my aunt Cathy, uncle Rob, and cousins Kaity and Jack had arrived, and my aunt Jeanne, uncle Steve, and cousins Christopher, Matthew, and Brian had come over for dinner (they live close by). We had spaghetti, and it was a scramble for chairs.

As usual, I slept in the living room with my cousin Kaity. I don’t usually pull rank, but I sort of did this year. I hate sleeping on air mattresses, and I didn’t want to sleep on the floor, so I called the couch – which isn’t nearly as comfortable as one would hope, but it’s still a place to sleep. I said, “Merry Couch-mas” to Kaity when we were going to bed, due to our past Christmases; once, we shared one giant wraparound couch with my cousin Brian on Christmas Eve and that was interesting.

On Christmas Eve, we did a lot of hanging around the house, watching television and talking. I worked on a scarf for my mom. We went to Christmas Eve mass, and everything went well, though I started feeling sick because I went nine hours without having anything to eat. We came home and had beef and noodles for dinner.

In previous years on Christmas Eve, Kaity and I have been kicked out of the living room so last-minute wrapping of presents can take place and the adults can hang out without being bothered by the kids. We usually sit around, watching movies or something. Well, this year I had a bright idea – why don’t we go out and see a movie instead? I had been itching to see TRON: Legacy, since I bought the soundtrack a week ago – it’s effin’ amazing! Kaity hadn’t seen it, so we pitched the idea to our parents. They agreed. So after dinner, I got directions to the movie theater, and the two of us got to escape the craziness for a while. I even got to play a little Electric Six for her.

The theater was nearly empty and we got our choice of seats.  It was great. And then the movie – oh, the movie! I LOVED IT. I know it has its flaws, I really do (Penny Arcade pointed many out), but I can appreciate the film for what it is, and how it relates to the first film. Even if the plot isn’t the best, I think people can at least agree that it is visually-striking and the soundtrack is totally boss. I feel like the geekiest person in my family for how excited I still am about this film, but whatever. We spent a major part of Christmas Day watching and discussing the original Star Wars movies – we are a family of geeks.

After the movie, we left the theater to find it was snowing. The big, fluffy flakes were gorgeous. We got back home around 10:00, but I stayed in my car to talk to Alex. When I got back inside, I found everyone had gone to bed except Kaity, who had just changed into her pajamas. In addition to this, I was left without a blanket and pillow. I had to wake the little boys up (my brothers and my cousin Jack) in order to find at least one blanket to cover up with, but I was still left without a pillow. It was hard to sleep. When I was trying to get David to go back to bed, he told me, “Don’t you think that tonight is just the longest night of your life?” I know we were thinking of different reasons, but I couldn’t have agreed more. I didn’t sleep much at all.

I was up early, too. By 7:00, everyone was up and I was seated at the dining room table with a cup of coffee. We were unwrapping gifts by 8:00. I think this Christmas was perfect. My family was happy with the gifts I gave them, and I was happy with mine. Dad and Cindy got me a GPS so I’ll stop getting lost when I go places I’ve never been or aren’t familiar with. That was a nice surprise. I also got The Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie), and a bunch of books on my Amazon Wish List I haven’t read before. I have a lot of reading to do. I also got gift cards and money to help support the growth of my “professional wardrobe” since I have very little to choose from when I go into the schools. If all I could wear were t-shirts and awesome graphic/band tees, I’d be set, but sadly, that’s not the case.

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast after opening gifts – pigs-in-blankets and scrambled eggs. Dinner was two hams, a turkey, green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and rolls. No one will ever go hungry in my family – if they do, it’s their own damn fault. Like I said before, we watched Star Wars, episodes 4 through 6, but we also watched Scrooged and Despicable Me. Also, I learned how to make buckeyes! Grandma said we might run out, and since they are popular at Christmas, I told her that if she had the ingredients, I would make another batch of them. I was so honored to learn how to make them, and my grandpa even took pictures to commemorate the event.

It was a nice Christmas, and I was glad to see everyone. On Sunday, my dad, Cindy, and my brothers went back to Kentucky. I left around 2:00 and met my mom and (maternal) grandparents at the nearby Applebee’s. They had me open my presents in the restaurant. I got a nice blouse, gas cards, a holiday ornament shaped like car keys (ha!), and – drum roll please – a crock pot! I can’t wait to try it out!

We had a good meal, and then we parted ways. I drove my mom home. She’s been having back pain, and was on medication, so she shouldn’t have been driving anyway. She hadn’t been in my car before, either, so that was interesting. The only thing that sucks about having her in the passenger’s seat is that she critiques my driving, or she’ll be giving directions and say, “Go left!” and I’ll go left, and she’ll say, “No, I said go right!” and I’ll say, “You just said left!” and we’ll get into an argument about that…

I had to finish making my mom’s gifts before we could exchange them. I had to eventually finish the scarf in front of her, but she was so happy about it, she didn’t mind. She got me a doughnut pan, among other things. This is also another kitchen gadget I can’t wait to try out.

Yesterday, Mom and I went shopping. We spent some of the gift cards we received for Christmas. I usually don’t like spending mine all at once, but since I’m teaching in a few weeks and I need to expand my wardrobe, I can’t exactly wait around. I found some good deals, though. I found a turtleneck, a v-neck, two t-shirts, a cardigan, a brown skirt, and a purse (I’ve never carried a purse before! So weird!). That was only at two stores, too! Mom and I also stopped by Paradise Bakery for muffins and browsed Borders. Then, we went to see TRON: Legacy in 3-D. Yeah, I had to see it again. I’ve never seen a 3-D movie before, but I was curious, since it seems like that film would be amazing in 3-D. I won’t say it was bad, but I definitely won’t be seeing another 3-D film again. The glasses are too awkward over my real glasses, and then my eyes hurt mere minutes into the film. I had to close my eyes at times just to have them rest. I was still happy to see TRON: Legacy again – still amazing!

We came home, ate dinner, and watched Hellboy II: The Golden Army, since Mom got it through Netflix. While we watched that, I worked on a knitted Kindle cover for Alex, since he got a Kindle this year for Christmas. He is super excited about it, though I still prefer my physical, paper books. There’s just no feeling like the turning of pages in your hand.

I saw Alex today. I drove down to his house and we went bowling. We exchanged gifts, and we were both very happy. He says his gift was lame, but I truly appreciate it. I just wish that I lived in a place of my own where I could have nice things and make it look like a home. We don’t have a dining room table. I would die to have a nice dining room table, rather than just eating on the floor…

Anyway, we played with the Wii for a bit, and I stayed for dinner and dessert. I left about a quarter to 8:00, and went home. I had been invited to hang out with people at my friend Chris’s house, and I went over there about 9:00. It was Chris’s birthday and he’s 20 now, so strange! We played this game called Quelf, ate chips and brownies, watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dressed to Kill,” chatted, and played with kittens. Oh, if only I could have had one of those kittens! They were so cute!

So I’m home now, for a while. I think tomorrow is just going to be a lazy day. I think I need it.

I swear I’m not dead. It’s just that I thought I would be done after last week. Turns out, I’m not. I’ve got a unit plan due Tuesday, a paper due Friday, another small project I haven’t even started on due Friday, not to mention the readings I have to do, two small extra credit papers (because I really, really need the extra credit), my last week of teaching at the middle school, and work.

So, I’m not dead. But my brain is sorta dead. (And yeah, I’m an English major, and I just wrote “sorta.” If you have a problem, go stuff it.)

Oh, and it’s snowing! It’s been snowing quite a bit since the first of December. It’s pretty, but man, I’m not a fan of driving (and biking – yes, it’s happened) in it. I would much rather be curled up in my bed and staying warm, drinking hot cocoa, knitting, watching movies and all that crap…

Among all this, I haven’t had much time to work on my projects for Christmas. Bleh. I have the best of intentions – Mom even sent the sewing machine back up to school with me, even though I don’t have a table big enough for it in this entire apartment. I’m hoping that with all my free time during finals week, I’ll be able to do some craftiness.

Also, I can’t wait to lift the Buffy ban. I haven’t watched any since before Thanksgiving break. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t watch any more until I had my unit plan done. Although I might extend the ban until Thursday. I need to focus.

Despite things being busy as hell here, life is good. Well, except the fact I didn’t get my scholarship, so the library isn’t getting rid of me just yet – I’ll be working there on the weekends to earn some dough and help keep my finances in order. I don’t mind the work itself, I just know that student teaching demands a lot, and I don’t want to fail – I can’t fail – and throwing work into that mix is not going to be easy, and I’m tired of being so stressed out all the time. I’ve been tired of it for a very long, long time.

But anyway! Life is good! Alex came up this weekend. It was my fifth weekend in a row to see him. I won’t be seeing him for at least two weeks, now, but that’s all right. We made peanut butter blossoms. They were so tasty, though our first batch got really brown on the bottom and tasted a little burnt. We ate them all – not all on Friday night, but they were gone by the time Sunday afternoon came along.

We also watched Magnolia on Friday night. Alex had never seen it before. It’s my favorite movie, has been since the summer before my junior year of high school. I was going through a lot of identity and relationship issues, and was feeling really ostracized. I watched it at my dad’s house in New Orleans. I was crying 2/3 of the way through it. I identified a lot with Stanley and Donnie Smith – the “Quiz Kids.” I still do, to some extent. Magnolia is so beautiful. I hadn’t watched it since probably my junior year of high school, when I watched it with an ex. Every time Alex had suggested watching it before, I declined because usually I wasn’t up to a beautifully crafted, emotionally draining film that spans three hours. I finally agreed to watch it with him, though, and I sacrificed an extra hour of sleep for it. I was worried about what he would think of it. I think I’m always afraid of what people will think of my choices in movies. He enjoyed it, though, and I’m glad. I feel like, now that we have watched it together, he knows me on a deeper level – even though that probably sounds dorky.

I worked on Saturday morning, did some work on my unit plan, and we went over to our friend Leigh’s apartment that evening. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to hang out with her and everyone else. It’s been a long semester, and we’ve all been busy. I miss socializing.

Anyway, it’s time for me to go to bed. Just a few more days, and I’m free!

As you may or may not know, my boyfriend Alex had never had a true concert experience, as I like to say. I had seen Morrissey and Devo live, but concerts hadn’t interested Alex. So for his birthday, I got us both tickets to see Electric Six, a band that we both enjoy and that he thought he might like to see live. The show was in Covington, at a place called the Mad Hatter, and tickets were cheap. So, for the past few weeks, we’ve both been so excited for the show. Friday was the day, and here’s my recollection of how it went.

Friday after my practicum, I ran some errands. I was able to leave Muncie by 11:45, and made it to Alex’s house around 1:00. He was very patient to wait for me, as he was hungry, but he had made us a delicious lunch. After we had lunch, we set out for Cincinnati.

We made it to my aunt Jo and uncle Dave’s house around 4:00 or so. We got a little lost in the “spaghetti bowl of interstates,” but we made it there safely and chatted for a bit. Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave served the two of us dinner – beef stew over egg noodles – and dessert – a rum cake. We were having a great time and good conversation, when I realized that it was almost 7:00 and it was time for Alex and I to go. We wanted to get to The Mad Hatter early for the show, as the ticket said it would start at 8:00.

We couldn’t find the place at first, but Alex had recognized the chicken place that he had saw on Google Streetview and pulled into the adjacent building’s parking lot. There were only three cars, so we didn’t think we were in the right spot, but I recognized the address on the mailbox from the directions. So I ran around to the front, and sure enough, it was the Mad Hatter. It was nearly deserted. When Alex and I tried the doors, they were locked. So we went back to the car and waited. More people started showing up.

Turns out, the doors didn’t open until 8:00. Alex and I were lucky to find a table in the back. The experience would have been miserable had we had to stand for the entirety of the night. The first band (not billed on our tickets) went on at 9:00. They were rather abysmal.

The second band (also not billed on our tickets) went on at 10:00. They were better than the first band, and rather fun. Alex and I bought our merchandise and I ran it out to the car. We each got a t-shirt, and then Alex bought Electric Six’s new album, Zodiac. We played it on the way home, and I now have a copy of it in my car that I’ve been playing over and over. I really like “Clusterfuck!” “Jam it in the Hole” and “After Hours.” They’re truly the same band we’ve always known and loved, but with some modifications.

While these bands were playing, Alex and I chilled at our table. We talked to people playing pool beside us. One guy was from Louisville and had seen the band before. He was drunk and swore that Dick Valentine was some sort of evil entity. I’d believe it.

Then there was my horrendous visit to the bathroom. Normally, I wouldn’t write about such a thing, but I thought it was an amusing story. At the Mad Hatter, there was a giant neon sign that said “Restrooms,” but only one door underneath it. Alex and I assumed that it was the only bathroom, which he said wasn’t “female friendly.” Inevitably, I had to pee. I walk in the door, and there are three stalls. The first two had urinals, the last, a toilet. None of the stalls had doors, and the toilet, as I found out, wouldn’t flush. It was one of the grossest places I had ever been.

Later in the evening, I needed to visit the bathroom again, and was determined not to go to that icky one again. I asked one of the bartenders if there was a women’s restroom, and lo and behold, there was. The first door past the bar and easy to miss. On my way back to the table, I laughed upon knowing that I had mistakenly used the men’s restroom before. (Note: I told this story to my mom. Apparently, she had done the same thing at a bar/club before. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.)

Anyway, a third band (actually billed on the ticket) went on at 11:00. They were decent, and played a good cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” At this point, they were finishing up their set, and I encouraged Alex to leave our table and move closer to the stage. He had had a headache at dinner, and he doesn’t like crowds, so he would have been perfectly content to sit at our table all night. Of course, because I am his crazy girlfriend, I couldn’t have that.

I ended up in the first/second row from the stage and in the center, with Alex right behind me. He held onto me during most of the concert, for which I was thankful. Electric Six started their set at midnight, and the crowd was crazy. I had never been in a crowd like that before, so this experience was actually rather new to me, too. I was hit in the cheek by something and people were stepping on my toes and pushing me around. I never really realize how small I actually am until I have guys two feet taller than I am or twice my weight pushing me around like a rag doll. I was having fun with the band, but I was also scared for my life.

I had no idea that there were so many Electric Six fans from the Cincinnati/Lexington/Louisville area, but I guess so. The crowd was like a frothy sea, people jumping and trying to advance closer to the stage. I was pushed into other people and apologized sincerely. I reached back and tried to hold Alex’s hand. I got the guy next to him, instead. He was a good sport about it and joked, “You can hold my hand all you want!” This drunk girl came up by me and I couldn’t understand half of the things she was saying. She looked at my angel wing earrings, and showed me the earrings in her ears – they were nooses.

At one point in the show, the guitarist (I think it was the Colonel) stood on the monitor and intentionally knocked one of the ceiling tiles out with the neck of his guitar. The guy in front of me broke the ceiling tile over his head, and I don’t know if it was a tile, or a person, or what, but my glasses were knocked onto the floor. The black floor, with the darkness of people’s moving feet. I thought for certain someone would step on my glasses and I would be completely screwed. Luckily, I saw one tiny glint of light on them, and dove to pick them up. Alex only saw me diving, so he thought I had been hit, but I was fine.

The band was great, really. I would totally go to see Electric Six live again. I hope I get the chance to see them live again. They were wild, and the crowd was probably even wilder. They played some songs I didn’t recognize, but they did play “Danger! High Voltage!” Synthesizer,” “Gay Bar,” “Gay Bar Pt. 2,” “Infected Girls,” “Formula 409,” and “I Buy the Drugs.” “Dance Commander” was one of the encores. Alex said he liked that best, because the crowd wasn’t actively trying to get closer to the stage, and everyone was just enjoying the music.

The show ended around 1:50 in the morning. We were covered in sweat, beer, and Red Bull, smelling like cigarettes, and our ears were ringing. On my way out, I snagged the last Electric Six promo poster off the wall. I would have kept it for myself, but I let Alex have it instead. After all, the concert all was his birthday present; it just happened to be something I could enjoy, too. I was glad he enjoyed it, though, despite the madness. I know it isn’t something he normally would like, and he would have much rather been at our table, safe. Many times during the show, I kept thinking, “He’s going to hate me so much and never want to come to a concert with me again!” He surprised me, though, and actually thanked me for dragging him up that close to the stage.

We got lost on our way back from the concert. Pulled into a gas station, where a police officer pulled someone over next to my car while Alex got a drink. He came back, and his thought I had done something wrong, amusingly enough. We were all right, though, and found our way back to Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave’s house at around 2:40. We were in bed by 3:00.

We were woken up at 9:00 for breakfast – French toast and sausage. I was a zombie, aching from the previous night’s revelry. I slept for another hour after breakfast.

We left a little after noon and went to the art museum. It was neat. We had been to the IMA before, so this was a welcome change. There was a special exhibit on armory and weaponry, and one covering two centuries of wedding dresses. I’m sure you can guess which one Alex wanted to see, and which one I did…

After a small snack in the parking lot, we drove back to Indiana. We stopped at Alex’s house for dinner. I was glad to see his parents again. It had been a long time. Then, we both drove (but separately) to my house. We hung out with my mom, and Alex spent the night.

Sunday, Mom made us breakfast – more French toast! – and then we did some work on my car. The check engine light has, unfortunately, come on again – the second time since I bought the damn thing, and I still don’t have my title. Needless to say, I’m pissed. I can’t even park the car in front of my apartment or on campus, and I’m having issues with it again. Alex thinks he knows what it is, but we are going to get it checked out before I throw money at it. I’m so glad he knows some things about cars. It helps, since I don’t.

We parted ways in the afternoon. I got back to Muncie around 2:00, did some homework/studying, and went grocery shopping. Then, I made potato soup, but I’ve already talked about that…

In short, this weekend was fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for anything more – great band, good food, interesting art exhibits, and some well-deserved quality time with the man I love. It reminds me how much I love my life, even though it has its sucky points.

I had a great weekend. Fantastic! I swear, I have never feared so much for my life, and yet, I’ve never felt so much alive! If you ever get the chance to see Electric Six live, go. GO. You won’t regret it. That is, unless you don’t like dance-punk, songs about sex, fire, dancing, or really random things. I mean, they’ve written songs about lesbian witches, Formula 409, and graphic designers. There’s also a song off their newest album, Zodiac, that mixes Thanksgiving and sex together, so that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But man, was it a hell of a show!

Anyway, that’s for another post. I should have written about it earlier, but I was busy. I actually went grocery shopping for the first time in three weeks, so that was good. I studied for my midterm that’s tomorrow, watched some more Buffy, and finished a knitting project. I also called my dad, Jennifer, and my grandma. My grandpa had some surgery Wednesday, and he’s now on the mend. He was supposed to be able to come home today, but he’s been in a lot of pain, so we don’t know when he’ll be able to leave the hospital. Keep him in your thoughts and/or prayers.

While I was being massively productive today, I made potato soup. I’ve never made it on the fly, meaning very little recipe to guide me. All my potatoes had eyes, though, and I needed to use them. I was nervous how it was going to turn out – since if I ruined it, that would have been a waste of a lot of my food – but it was amazing. I texted Alex to let him know that I had just made the best potato soup ever, and kept wanting to tack on the phrase, “I want you to know that if we ever live together, we will never starve. I can always make potato soup.” But I didn’t.

I will not starve this week, though, and that is worth knowing, because despite my small grocery list, that potato soup is going to last me for dinner all week. Unfortunately, it will run out before Alex gets here next weekend, so he won’t be able to try it – but again, as long as there are potatoes…

I finished my first unit plan of the semester! Arguably, it’s probably not the worse one, but hey, it’s done! Oh my god! I’m so excited! I’ve been dancing to Devo and Depeche Mode, drinking spiked orange juice, and knitting. I’ve actually knitted while dancing. It’s possible, yes, but then I realized I liked my arms flailing about, so I set my knitting down. I’m glad we’re on the first floor. Our neighbors would be pissed if we lived on any other floor. People better run for cover when graduation comes. I’m going to melt their faces off with my giddiness when that happens…

I feel like I could run around the block a thousand times, but I’m not appropriately dressed. I don’t even really have to go to class tomorrow, if you don’t think about it, it’s only one and we’re watching a movie, but on principle, I’ll go. Plus, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to see my buddy Sarah. I miss her and we’ve both been sick this week.

Also, did I mention my boy is coming tomorrow and I’m stoked about that?

So here’s to being done! And to the weekend! Now I’m going to go crazy with bliss over the next few days, since Sunday evening I’m going back to the grindstone!

Whew. My life. Crazy.

Friday morning I tried to send my paper to my professor. You know how I said it was big? It was too big, and I had to abandon it to go to work. After work, I helped Mom pack her car full of my things, said bye to Jess, and went home. Alex met us there, and we unpacked the car and repacked it again. While we were working on our own things, Alex helped split my project into four parts so I could send it that way.

By 2:00 or 3:00, we were in the car again and on our way to Ohio. For some reason, we ended up taking a detour to my grandparents’ house and went to my old house – the house where my mom and dad brought me home on the day I was born. It was strange. The house was repainted. It’s white now instead of yellow. The shutters are green, not brown. There’s a green-striped awning on the porch. It looks cleaner, more modern. I felt odd, showing this house to Alex, and I told him I hoped he wasn’t freaked out by it.

We also passed the drive-thru liquor store my mom used to work at. Alex had never heard of those stores before. Ohio has a lot of them.

We got to my grandparents’ house, and it was great to see everyone again, especially my Aunt Beth and Uncle Brian. They live in Texas, and the last time I saw my aunt, it was in 2007 at my high school graduation. The last time I saw my uncle, it was 2004 and he and my grandfather were driving me in blizzard conditions to the airport – that was a great story, and one of many that Alex heard that weekend.

I’m really glad he could come this weekend. He got to meet my Aunt Beth and Uncle Brian and my grandparents for the first time, and so it meant a lot to me. Also, the anniversary party would have probably been a little more awkward for me. Before the party, we had to get dressed up and have our family pictures taken. It took two hours (!!) to get ready, and on request of my grandmother, we had to wear full makeup. So weird. In high school, I used to wear eyeliner and mascara every day (because I was a goth girl), and this weekend, it had been so long since I wore makeup, I forgot how to put it on! Over two years ago, Alex saw I was wearing makeup and asked me why I was wearing it, since he liked me better without it – so I stopped putting on makeup.

Anyway, the pictures went fine. I wasn’t a fan of it, just because the photographer treated me like a doll, trying to pose me in ways that are uncomfortable and unnatural. I became very annoyed, so I was glad we weren’t there long.

The anniversary party went well, despite awkwardness at the beginning, since we were the youngest people there. I know my grandparents appreciated our attendance and patience, though. The table settings were beautiful, Alex and I sat by my aunt Jo and uncle Dave, the toast was lovely, and the food was delicious.

Overall, the trip was fun. Lots of fun stories, and lots of food. Alex learned about where I get a lot of my weird quirks, how food is a constant topic on my mom’s side of the family and dessert is a near religious rite, my grandparents’ packrat habits, and how we all joke on each other openly. I gained some advice about teaching from my Uncle Brian, who also has an affinity for B-movies and should be sending me his Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs when they get back to Texas. Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave cleaned out their closets and found a copy of Fantasia on VHS, which they gave to me to replace the copy I lost a while ago, and they also gave me their second copy of Better Off Dead on DVD, which I’m super-stoked about since I’ve been wanting it for a while. Grandma also gave me some old popsicle molds since I’d like to make my own.

We left on Sunday afternoon and stopped by Young’s Jersey Dairy, another staple of my childhood. It’s expanded a lot, much to my findings! We walked around, looked at the goats, and got a couple of scoops of ice cream. Another satisfactory visit to Ohio.

Sunday night, we just unpacked and relaxed. It was a struggle to stay awake, but we made it to see the season opener for Mad Men. Yay!

Mom had to go to work on Monday, and Alex and I slept in the best we could, but were awake by 8:30 without an alarm. We hung out, watching Top Gear and cuddling. We left around 4:30 and went up to Muncie. We had dinner at Steak ‘N’ Shake and picked up Nick and Sarah. We turned around and went down to Broad Ripple. Alex dropped Sarah and I off in front of the Vogue, where a long line had formed on the sidewalk to get in. We talked with some of the other people in line, and at least one person made the comment, “Were you even born when DEVO formed?” or something like that. No sir, they formed in the 70s, but the love for good music can reach all ages!

It didn’t take long for us to get inside. Within a minute of going in and heading towards the stage, I nearly broke my ankle by missing a step. But everything was fine. The Vogue is a good venue for a band, but I don’t think I’d want to go back their for a regular night of partying.

Sarah and I ended up right by the stage, on the left by the speakers and drum kit. We could have reached out and touched the band, had it not been for the jerks in front of us. Most of the people around us were polite. Two tall men declined to stand in front of us because they knew we would have a hard time seeing the concert because of how small we were. However, the two men in front of us did not take notice of our stature or ignored it, and proceeded to have their arms raised, holding their cameras, throughout the entire show.

Let’s get this straight – one, you pay for the concert experience to see the band right there on the stage, not through a lens. Depending on the show, you go there to dance and sing along – not to just videotape the entire show and compare video with your buddy while the band is performing RIGHT THERE in front of you. Two – there are other people around you, not just you, at this concert (unless you are a really lucky bastard). Blocking the view for others, or using your arms to obstruct their view of the show, when you know they are there behind you and actually trying to enjoy the concert, is not a nice thing to do. Heed Wheaton’s Law, for crying out loud!

Okay, now that rant’s over, plain and simply, without that little downside to the concert, the show was so effin’ awesome. I am not as big a fan of DEVO as Sarah is, since they were a staple of her childhood, but I am a convert now. It was fantastic. The band is made up of older men, but you can’t tell. They have the energy, perhaps more energy, than some of today’s biggest pop stars. They had like four or five outfit changes, and the backdrop of lights forming scenes was dazzling. What a presence. Mark Mothersbaugh ripped off part of his jumpsuit (and a few of the others’, too) and threw pieces into the audience. The music was album-perfect and, had it not been for the fact I was actually at the concert with other screaming fans, I wouldn’t have known it was live. Here’s the setlist, too, you’re interested. It was a great one. (I was glad I knew most of the songs, too.)

It was funny because, like mentioned before, Sarah and I were the youngest members of the audience and definitely not in the target demographic. We had a lot of people staring at us or giving us weird looks because we’re young enough to be their kids and we’re dancing and yelling with a lot of enthusiasm. Probably the best part was when one of the band members on stage would look at us and have this funny expression on their face or they would smile, like, “Can you believe these girls?”

There’s probably a lot I’m leaving out, since it’s hard to explain just the amount of brilliance that was this concert – I mean, I’ve seen a few other shows, but nothing like this before – but it was a lot to take in. I walked out of the Vogue with a bouncy ball (they threw them into the audience), sore throat, aching, sweat-covered legs, and deaf ears. I think I actually felt sick because I was so excited and overstimulated. A wonderful night.