Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Morning and The Pook Is Annoyed

I just remembered that I left out the best part of the Interior Decorator story in my last entry: Not only was I in the middle of getting dressed for the choir concert when I wound up vomiting all over my floor. I was also in fact midway through pulling pantyhose on. You know what a challenge that is on a good day? So multiply it by the most ginormous hangover ever...

Luckily Thad's friend Jenny from their floor was also in choir and giving me a ride to the concert, and she had clearly "been there done that" with the whole "I am a freshman in college and drank way too much last night" thing, and she passed me mints in between dashes to the women's room for dry heaving during the concert breaks.

I've updated my blog roll if anyone cares. One I deleted because it's never updated; another I deleted because it annoys the shit out of me in its smug superiority. And substituted in Ain't It Cool. If I'm going to promote the blog of someone smug and superior, I've decided it will be smug and superior about shit that I actually care about.

The Pook is annoyed because he knows I went birthday shopping last night and I won't tell him what I got. He is also annoyed because I told him I got him something special that he can have right now, today... as soon as I can be arsed to get dressed and go down to the car and retrieve it. And obviously I am sitting here fucking around on the intarwebs. And he is also annoyed because Rob is sleeping in. This would normally not be an issue, but later this afternoon, when I go out to a crop, they are going to Amazing Jake's for their first Boy's Day Off in many months. Apparently The Pook is afraid that Rob is going to sleep right through this plan.

It's fun being a parent and getting to just annoy your child by doing NOTHING.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

College, Part One

I was just sitting here flipping through the television channels and saw Heaven Can Wait on one of the cable listings, and that made me think about the song of the same name by Meat Loaf, off the Bat Out of Hell album (that title has always seemed so much more heavy metal than the album is -- Meat Loaf is pure power pop rock all the way). And that made me think of college, because freshman year of college, that album was a big thing with our crowd. And I remembered how sometimes, my girls and I would just sit around in someone's room on a Monday afternoon and listen to melancholy songs, like "Heaven Can Wait" and "Two Out of Three" by Meat Loaf, and the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and "Yesterday" and "In My Life" by the Beatles. Our friend Jers was always making mix tapes -- you'd get one if he liked you. I had a huge crush on Jers for most of the year but never told anyone because he was first way into this one girl named Kimmie, and then he was way into our friend Lara, and I knew I didn't stand a chance. Anyway, it's better that we just remained friends, because we're still friends now and he doesn't speak to any of them. And I still have the five mix tapes he made for me over the years, even though they don't even work any more. He was my Secret Santa freshman year, and made me an awesome John Lennon tape.

Anyway, I was thinking about how big of a deal every little thing was back then. Is it the age? I guess it must be. The age, and the experience of being at college. College for me, and for most of my friends, was our first time away from home, our first taste of freedom, our first chance to make real choices, and either succeed or fuck up. Sometimes both. I loved almost every single minute of college. I was there for 4 years and one semester, and I can count on one hand the times that were so painful I hated being there; the rest of it was like magic. I had all these amazing friends I never would have made if I hadn't gone... even the boyfriend I hated by the time I graduated, I can kind of think of fondly now, like he was just a mild pain in the ass. In reality, he ripped out my heart and then stomped on it outside a packed bar at closing time, in front of everyone I knew, and I spent several months dreaming of ways I could kill him inside too. Eventually I figured out that he just didn't care, and the whole thing was pointless, and by that time I was ready to move on.

Everything was such a huge deal that we would sit in someone's room in the late afternoon as the sun began to set over the mountains, no lights on, no talking, and we would just listen to music and remind ourselves to breathe. Eventually we'd go down to dinner with the whole crowd, and pretend everything was fine, and laugh and flirt and carry on... ours was always the loudest table in the dining hall, even louder than the table of kids who lived on the theatre program floor -- in fact I'm sure we pissed them off, since we had more drama and noise in our lives than they ever did. And yet I'm sure everything was a huge deal to them as well. They probably hated us.

We always had these amazing football parties in Jers and Corey's room. Lots of beer. And we played Powder Puff Football, all the girls, coached by a rather too large coaching staff drawn from the guys' side of the floor. We kept challenging other floors to play us but I guess we looked too professional, with our thrice weekly practices and large coaching staff, so in the end only two other floors took us on. We kicked ass, of course.

The first time I ever got really, really wasted was a Saturday night about two or three months into the fall semester, and everyone had gone home for the weekend or gone out for the evening, and I had planned to stay in because I had a choir concert the next morning. I got bored and wandered over to see what Ranya and Kimmie and Melissa were up to, and they were sitting in Rany's room with a huge jug of shitty Gallo wine, plastic cups and a big bottle of Sprite, making poor man's spritzers. I settled in to enjoy one, and eventually Kimmie, Melissa and I polished off that entire bottle of wine, and then set about stumbling all over the dorm to "meet people." At one point we thought it would be a good idea to try to get onto the roof of the 12-story building; luckily it was kept padlocked due to a couple of suicides back in the 1970s. The next morning I had to get up really early for the choir concert, and as I was getting dressed in my bedroom, I realized I was about to vomit. I threw my robe back on and was on the point of walking out the door to rush to the restroom when I spewed all over the floor of my room. Eventually this incident earned me the nickname "Interior Decorator," since all I had to clean the carpet with was Comet and it bleached it out, thus leaving a giant bleached spot on the carpet for the rest of the year.

Miserable, and yet I wouldn't have missed out on the getting wasted part even if someone told me for certain that I was going to get sick the next day. It was too amazing, feeling that bliss and doing the drunk bonding with the other girls. It's probably partly why I joined a sorority in my sophomore year... although that was really out of loneliness more than anything else.

I took a lot of Political Science classes, thinking I was going to major in Journalism with Poli Sci as my area of focus, but then I didn't pass the typing test to get into the Journalism school. So I switched over to English/Creative Writing the second semester. I had weird times in the English department up at CSU. No one was friends, really -- it was too competitive -- but eventually, sophomore year, I made a couple of friends in the department and we stuck together till graduation.

My gang of friends and I were heartbroken on the last day of that year, when we all had to separate for the summer. There's a photo of us all in my scrapbook and everyone's crying, but trying to smile through the tears. We'd been through a great deal together in a school year. It's powerful stuff, getting to know and care about people you might otherwise have nothing in common with. That's one of the biggest lessons you learn in college -- how to deal with people. How to live with them, how not to live with them. How to let go of small stuff. How to work together, even if it's on something as stupid as a parade float or a powder puff football team.

Incidentally, I played Center.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top 10 Hate List - Week of July 12, 2009

Back in college, freshman year in the dorms, a group of girlfriends and I used to post our top 10 Hate Lists on our doors every week. Sometimes my roommate and I would smoke too much pot and post Top 10 Like Lists instead, but usually we were haters. Herewith, my top 10 for the week, in no particular order:

1) Dirty laundry. Why can't it magically clean itself? Why must I slave over it? At the very least, I need a laundry folding robot. I can handle the washing and drying bit, it's the folding that gets old. I know what you're thinking: Don't bother folding it at all. Yeah right. You didn't grow up in my mother's house if you think that's a possibility.

2) Socks on the living room floor. Now, granted, Rob does not have disgusting, smelly, sweaty feet like a lot of men. The Pook's are occasionally a bit grimy given that he is a young boy, but I let him live inside me for almost 10 months about 8 years ago, so I tend to forgive a lot more than I might otherwise. But seriously. Why? Why do they have to be on the floor? Why do they have to come off at all? What possesses males to be sitting around doing nothing and suddenly think, "My feet must be liberated from these confining socks IMMEDIATELY!!" ?? Why can't they get up (since they are doing nothing to begin with) and take the socks to the dirty clothes hamper in one of the bathrooms? Or even simpler, take them to the laundry closet and deposit them there?

3) Allergies. I have them year round. They drive me crazy. I don't understand how any one body can produce as much mucus as mine does.

4) Use of the fake word "coverages." This is work-related. The insurance industry seems to think it can just make up words whenever it wants to or something. Everyone uses the fake word "coverages" when they are telling you about your insurance coverage and think they need to make it plural because there is more than one coverage part in the policy. Really, the word coverage is a word that describes a whole set, which means it can describe several policies all at once without the need for tacking on an "s" to make a fake word. Every form letter in every management system at every agency I've worked at the last few years uses the fake word "coverages" and it drives me so insane every time I see it and have to correct it. What annoys me most, though, is the fact that makers of insurance agency software have actually perpetuated use of this fake word and incorporated it into their forms, thus leading less informed souls down the path of believing it's a real word.

And people should know not to mess with me on this. I practically got into a fist fight over it with the receptionist in my new office the week before last.

5) Our couch. It looks fine and all, even if it's not necessarily my favorite color and all -- I mean, it's a neutral so it doesn't offend. It's passable, and some people probably even think it's nice. Until they sit down on it, that is. And then it's all over. Damn thing sags like it's 40 years old. It's not. It's 5 years old. Sorry, but I would expect a decent sofa to hold up for at least 10 years. It's a major purchase, a sofa. It should last a while. It's like when the iPod first came out and Apple thought they could get away with shitty batteries that only last about a year and after that you could just replace it for the low, low price of over $100, which meant you might as well just buy a whole new iPod, but consumers were like, "Fuck no! If I'm spending that much money on a music player, it better last a fucking long time!" and Apple started using better batteries that last way longer. This is what needs to happen with couches. I mean, this is a $500 couch. That's a lot of money for some of us. Maybe not in the grand scheme of things, but for most of us, it is a lot. And it should therefore last a bit longer than 5 years.

Plus I just hate that it's not the color I want it to be. Poor couch.

6) Weekend tv. There's never anything good on tv when all I have is time on my hands to watch tv.

7) People who drive like idiots. Look, it would take me three full days to detail the numerous ways in which idiots drive like idiots, so I'll just skip the description and leave it at the complaint. I just wish the licensing requirements were more stringent. Why should I have to share the road with these people??

8) My wardrobe. I stand in my closet at least three mornings a week going, "I have nothing to wear but crap." That means I have two decent shirts to wear to work. Two. This seems easily remedied, and yet, it always seems I'm spending that money on my son or groceries or whatever. I wish someone would just nominate me for What Not to Wear, but unfortunately the situation isn't so drastic that I actually qualify for that show. Oh well. I can probably afford new clothes in September. So there's that to look forward to.

9) No more Harry Potter books. Ever. So depressing. I mean, she could write new ones about their kids or something. Right?

10) Cold feet. My feet are always cold. It could be 90 degrees out, and my toes would still be freezing. It's ridiculous. I don't even have bad circulation or anything, so damned if I know why they are always cold. I'll wear slippers around the house all day until finally, after about 9 or 10 hours, my feet feel warm. And I'll remove the slippers, and three minutes later, my feet are freezing again.

Actually, it's kind of good that I had to stretch for 10 things to hate. It means I don't really hate much, which means things must be looking up. And let's face it, this list is more like a "Top 10 Irritants" list. But "Top 10 Hate List" makes for a better title.