Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Waiting Game

Well, it's 'Winter Break'. (I love my archaic, conservative school's attempts at political correctness). Don't get me wrong, a true Libertarian at heart I feel as if we should not alienate groups based on their preferences of celebration during this time, be it Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or any other of the numerous 'reasons for the season'. I will say this, however: you crazy Black Friday and day after Christmas shoppers are insane. For example, the 23rd started just like every other day during break. I woke up, lazily around nine, showered and went in to work in sweats (it was the day before Christmas Eve- what did they expect?). We got paid so I decided to take the fiance to a fancy dinner at Ruby Tuesdays (classy, I know) and go for some last-minute shopping.

I knew it would be a great night when, after both of us getting off work early (much to my delight), I picked him up to go to eat. I remembered during my drive over that Ruby's has a two-for-one special before five. It was as if someone had lit a fire under my bum. I yelled at him to dive into the car, and before he even had his door closed, I squealed into a turn taking me into rush-hour traffic. I did my best to weave and hurry through the cluster of cars on the relatively small main road. It didn't help that it was raining that day, or that it was the day before Christmas Eve.

Looking at the clock in my car with panic, he says 'We're not gonna make it! We only have seven minutes!', screaming back I corrected him, informing him it was purposely set three minutes ahead. I never considered that an especially genius decision until now. I squeezed through a yellow turn signals, cutting a sharp right onto a kind of alley way to the back of Ruby's. At this point, I felt like Jason Bourne and knew there was no turning back. Oozing through a stop sign (yes, oozing), much to the chagrin of a driver wishing to make a left to be in front of me, I barreled through the parking lot of a pediatric dentist and insurance provider and squeeled into a front-row parking spot in front of Ruby's. With six minutes to spare, Randall tried to be a gentleman and wait. I barked at him 'Go, go, go! Get the table! Booth! Non-smoking!' he turned and rushed into the restaurant. At this point I- of course- drop my keys, as well as my purse. Top Down. Unzipped. It was like an avalanch of things I didn't really need but carried with me anyways 'just in case'. I briefly considered leaving them, but catching the familiar pink packaging of certain products that shall go unnamed I thought better of it. I don't want the whole world outside Ruby's knowing I use lights with wings and an absorbent core.

Rushing into the restaurant, past the bored hostess, smacking her gum, I made it into the booth seat. Just in time, we got our order in. After high-fiving our frugality and sense of adventure, we settled in to enjoy our evening. The Sisters Fate had a different agenda. I proceded to call a friend, in a frenzy, needing her address to send her something important. After hanging up, I swallowed my soda, allowing it to go down the wrong way. I sputtered my drink up, covering the table in the evil little droplets. I continued to loudly, and animatedly (I couldn't help it!) cough and choke. The waitress, another patron, and Randall rushed to my side to see if I needed help. I squeaked out multiple "I'm okay"'s, but still they stood there, drawing the attention of all the other cheapskates. I finally calmed down, gulping my soda and wiping my watering eyes. After their dispertion, people still stared throughout the meal. We got an appetizer, a chip dip trio (awful, not worth how much we paid...although I'm just a biased, choking cheapskate). I dipped a chip apparently too fervently. The bowl flew off the plate, onto my pants, and landed on the table with a loud clang. In its wake it also took out an empty class and silverwear that was perched next to the edge of the table. The waitress, of course, rushed over to help causing even more people to stare than before.

By this time I knew I was a ticking bomb. It was only a matter of moments before the place fell to the ground because of me. After we ate and boxed up what was left, I hastily paid the check with cash, handsomely tipping the waitress (after all, I did almost cough up an organ onto her). We rushed out almost as quickly as we rushed in, a different gum-smacking hostess bid us farewell at the door.

As I ashamedly left the lot, hesitantly entering the holiday traffic, my fiance tried to comfort me. He told me no one noticed, and that he had a good time. I knew these to be lies, but decided not to punish him for them. They did make me feel a little better, after all. But my night was not over.

After turning, I merged into traffic smoothly and starte the drive back across town. We were on the road next to the mall, that the mall's parking lots fed into. At this time it was packed, drivers weaving everywhere trying desperately to get last-minute gifts. I couldn't blame them, however- I was about to do the same. I was fine until one lady decided to turn in front of me, so abrubtly I had to slame on my brakes and saw that I almost got rear-ended. Randall was thrust forward, because- of course- he wasn't wearing his seat belt. I bopped by horn defiantly to let her know she angered me. The lady in the massive SUV proceded to FLIP ME OFF and scream expletives out of her window. I noticed a child sitting in a car seat in the back. I also noticed she was smoking. Win. This woman, this brazen BEAST of a person dared flip me off. And scream curse words at me. In front of her (presumably) child. So much for the holiday spirit, eh?

Needless to say, I was enraged. By the time I got all the way across town, back to campus I was about to cry. I took the elevator to my room to change my clothes while Randall waited in the car. I didn't get really angry until, on the way down (I took the stairs) I over shot the very last step, tumbling forward. My stomach lurched with the sensation of sea-sickness and my ankle tingled with pin pricks of pain. I pulled myself up and limped to the car, about to call it quits for the day. I couldn't be so lucky.

I had to do my holiday shopping. All of it. It's a good thing I kept my list small and my budget smaller. Last year I spent an exhorbitant amount of money on my family and received the most paltry return one could imagine. Anyway, after the day I had I wanted to avoid Wal Mart at all costs. (I live in a fairly rural area and Wal Mart is like Mecca to the people in surrounding counties. I didn't even want to imagine what it would be like on this day). I went to a locally owned dollar store. Yes, I know- how terribly of me. I was tired and angry and it was the only other fairly cheap option. (I was soo not going back to the mall). After picking out a basket of items with Randall's help, I began to notice the tiny, cramped store begin to get more and more crowded. This comforted me. I wasn't the only cheapskate procrastinator out there. It seemed like, with the ecomomy the way it is, people are really prioritizing people on their gift list. Maybe instead of getting your daughter's boyfriend's parents that nice bottle of wine, you got them a basic and functional candle set from the Wal Mart clearance aisle instead. Which is fine with me, my cheapness is an aspect I'm proud of.

I bought some fun things at the store and wrapped them in camouflage wrapping paper. Yes, camouflage. It was all the store had left! It made for a good family joke one Christmas Day, though. Probably better still that I used duct tape as tags to write the recipient's name on.

After the dollar store, I forgot I needed conditioner. So I ventured to Wal Mart. Everything went smoothly, all things considered. It was overcrowded with lots of angry procrastinators and their children. I rushed in, got what I needed, and rushed out. I went home and started my novel. (I'm rewarding myself for good grades this semester with sinking into a delicious novel- Physick Book of Deliverance Dane). It's fantastic.

Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic Christmas. But there, near zero-hour, it was a little touch and go for me. I was about to enclose myself in a black cloud of Christmas disdain- ready to bite the hand of anyone that dare pull me out. However, with the help of all the sparkly lights and shiny wrapping paper, I was pulled back into the spirit. That's what's funny about the holidays. As you get older, you may get caught up with all sorts of things around the same time- shopping, paying bills, etc.- but you never lose that feeling of excitement and anticipation of what is to come, even if it's only a faint glimmer, deep in the back of your mind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Somebody Told Me

So I'm sitting here in my new dorm room alone. I'm off work and all alone. Kassy and I stayed up all night the other night talking and we're both incredulous to be here. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm a Towers Kid now, or that I'm here, but Hutchy and Noor aren't, or that school is already here now.

Either way it feels surreal. I'm sure once the building is over crowded with parents and disgruntled students moving in on Thursday the reality will come crashing in.

Ha. I love parents on a college campus. There is no other group of people who look so obviously out of place. Especially freshmen's parents. There's usually a misty-eyed mother with her hand on her son's shoulders giving him in explicit detail where she and his father with be for the next six months and all possible contact numbers in which to reach them. Then, there's the annoying younger brother/sister (possibly both) running the halls, looking in other rooms, poking around in the showers, and being generally annoying. This is only topped by a gruff father (usually wearing khaki shorts with a great sandals/socks combo) complaining about how much he's paying for this education and that his son/daughter deserves more space than this shoebox with beds (all while he's arranging the furniture in the room and loading in boxes).

After the delightfully sweaty affair of loading stuff into the room, they may take a walk around campus. These squinty-eyed tourists are easy to spot: they look exactly like the aforementioned family, but this time they are traveling as one, scared pod of people. With hands over brow, they wander campus and fawn over the smallest things ('Oh look, Joshua, there are BENCHES outside the buildings, so you can sit and do homework, or talk with friends'- no one has the heart to tell them that good ol' Joshy will probably not do his homework at all the first year, and will probably never go to class, therefore never seeing that bench again, save for the time he throws up all over it the night of the Sigma mixer). Then they will complain about the weirdest things ('They don't mow in a diagonal pattern...what kind of college IS this'). They will most likely be in your way, and crowding the entire sidewalk, as well as assuming anyone they see walking around campus NOT looking as clueless as they do works there, feeling free to stop them to ask a question.

After they have had their fill of looking like idiots, the family goes out to eat. Move-in day is a cursed day in the restaurant business. As a former server, I dreaded this day. The overly crowded restaurant is made worse by the throng of people waiting to be seated, growing more and more impatient with every passing minute. To compound their irritation, they have time to reflect on how long it took them to move in, how hot it is outside, and how much the next four years is going to cost them. By the time they are seated they're ready to eat the server, drink their blood, and leave a nasty complaint with the manager. This is why if I ever work as a server again, I'm calling in sick that day.

After the family has stuffed themselves, little Joshy conveniently remembers that he left his sheet set at home, and has no body wash. So the family climbs back into the Tahoe and head to Wal Mart. There, they are met with what can only be described as a new layer of hell. Every single parking spot is filled, the lanes are teeming with people, and driving anywhere is near impossible. Once a parking spot is obtained (thank God dad brought a gun!) they go in, only to be met with more people than the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade could generate. (They feel comfortable, however, because everyone else in the store looks JUST as dumb as they do). They get the necessities, and some extras (even though dad insisted Joshua did NOT need the memory foam mattress pad, down comforter, and a panini maker-but mom was hearing none of it). After all of this they drop Joshy tearfully at the door of his dorm. Mom gets out to give a tender hug, younger sibling feels no need to stop watching the dvd player to get out, and dad gets out for a quick handshake/backpat combo. After a few rounds of generic goodbyes and 'doyourhomework's, mom and dad drive away (as mom tears up, of course).

Joshy walks up to his room with a sense of accomplishment and excitement, as the parents leave with false hope and naive trust in lil' Joshua. If I'm going with stereotypes and statistics, within a week Josh will have played more beer pong than necessary, spent all of the money on the emergency credit card momndad gave him, and most likely will have contracted an STD.

Now, Lori, you say. Not everyone ends up so badly, there are people who actually try and do well. And I'm saying I agree. However, I seemed to have befriended that entire percentage, however minute it might be. They would most likely agree with me that my depiction of lil' Joshy is mostly accurate.

That's not to say that momndad are to be looked down on, as well as freshmen. If I looked down on lower classmen I would have almost no friends. And I was there once. My dad and mom did the same things (still do, actually). It's part of the magic of college. Satirizing what's surrounding me is one of my favorite things to do....

You know you <3 me!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

School's In

So I'm starting a new school year...again. I'll be doing this for the next like, eight years so I don't know why every year I still get a glimmer of that child-like tummy flip. Remember? Or am I the only one???

Every new school year I salivate walking into the store and practically run to the seasonal aisle. I get excited by the smell of fresh plastic and nylon. All of the colorful, clean, and new supplies sparkle more brilliantly than any jewel to me. It means new beginnings, new people, a second chance. Forget that you didn't do the mile in under fifteen minutes last semester (for me? Thirty.....that test was superfluous! What did it test, anyways? My ability to outrun the authorities?? Oh THERE's a trait to teach the kiddies.) Forget that you spilled orange-ade on your white tank the last day of school.....everyone else most likely did!

It's a chance to try yet again to fool people into believing you to be a capable human being. So I stocked up with the coolest dorm stuff. You know, the cute stuff from the commercial? The stuff that every other girl on your floor got but you were too busy paying bills to afford the fuzzy rug and hot pink lamp (and your parents thought all of that to be too distracting, and instead sent you to freshman year with a brown rug and burlap bath towel....thanks, dad!). But I'm so excited to set up my dorm room. I upgraded to a building with carpet and a bathroom I don't have to share with thirty other girls....My parents aren't exactly ecstatic about the price difference, but I'm hoping the improvement in my mood with improve my grades and in turn convince them it was a good decision.

I moved off campus for a year (worst decision I ever made) so this year I have that freshman-feeling again. Especially with the new building. I'm excited to meet new people, but will the age difference be a deterrent? Or make me pathetic? I mean, I'll be 21 a month after school starts. In my building it's only returning students so the youngest should be like, 19...but still....would that make me that creepy old person that sucks the fun and life from too-nice groups of college kids?

Oy vey...I did start THE coolest on-campus job. I work for the Telecommunications Office. Most of the time, I'm a switchboard operator. So I work only during the week, til 5 at the latest. I sit in the back at a cubicle and answer the phone and transfer calls. I can do homework, play games, text, go on facebook, whatever. It's a dream come true. Sometimes I'll be up front, though. But even that's easy. I'll fill out work orders when necessary, check emails, and answer Telecom's phones. The only thing I can't do up there that I can in back is play games. It's a pretty great gig.Soooo....

I'm an insomniac. No, really. And I can't get drugs for it because they're all too addictive or something so if I want it to stop naturally I have to follow all these crazy rules. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time regardless of the day. Ahem, I'm sorry but there's no way I'm getting up on a Saturday at the same time I got up for class on Friday. No no no......And then, I can't eat after seven, nor drink caffeine past five. Ok, my usual dinner time is around ten and caffeine is my main food group. I don't think people realize how absolutely bat-crap angry I would be all the time without it. These rules are bogus. It's a lifestyle that Buddhist MONKS wouldn't be able to handle, so why should I even try?? *whine* Just hand me the drugs!

I'm a little worried about this semester. I hate school (I know, I know....doesn't really tie-in to my love of new school supplies) and structure. Sometimes I think it's just not for me. But I don't want to be one of THOSE kids, you know. Plus, with what I want to do....a college degree is slightly necessary. I don't see any law firms putting out ads 'No experience necessary! 500 dollars an hour!'.....

Like Whoa

Alas, another oldie!

A pale figure stands before me
Her sunken, dark eyes blankly stare back at me,
Hauntingly empty, like those of a porcelain doll
Far beyond the blank caves
Is a glimmer of something
Pain, loss, and fear burned through
Seering my chest and pulling me deeper
Deeper into her murky reverie
I tear my eyes from hers
Only to find a thin, taut line
Carved into her delicate face
Where her mouth should be
The pursed lips speak volumes
Of all she's lost
Her face is a ghost, a shadow
Of the gentle, trusting beauty
That once graced her features
My eyes travel down her body
It's halting movements and unsure stature
Tell me all about who has hurt her
Her frame acts as a cage, imprisoning her
She's there, hidden deep inside
The dark recesses of her own body
Her cries for help were long ago silenced
For no one listened
She stands before me
Broken, lost, ashamed
Full of unimaginable sorrow
I can no longer bear to look
To know she's too far gone
To know I cannot help her
Nor does she trust anyone to help her
So I turn
And walk away from the mirror

From Within

Another one from a couple years back...

who knew doing laundry was such a painful experience
all my memories of you come flooding back
into my achingly empty heart
with just one sniff

the last time I wore it was with you
and you're all over it
and crashing in around me
are all of our memories

I remembered all the teasing and playful punches
I remember every time you said 'i love you'
I remember how it would take my breath away every time you held me close
and whisper it in my ear

I long to lose myself in your kiss
drown myself in your touch
inundate my heart with your words

impossibility floods my mind
as i come tearfully crashing back to reality
the loss of you
was so much greater than i expected

i miss running my hand through your hair
i miss your hand on my leg as you drove me home
i miss the way you held me and made the rest of the world melt away
i miss the way we use to be

and yet, deep down, i knew it was doomed from the start
our paths, interests and lives always ran parallel
never intersected
our past hung in the shadows waiting to pick us apart

i guess i knew what was coming
maybe should have expected it
but what i did not know

was how much it would hurt

A Poem With No Name

This is something I wrote about three years ago, it's one of my favorites:

As I watch you fall asleep
My vision begins to blur
It's all I can do to keep
My tears from falling

I reflect on all our good times
Feel guilt for all the bad
I regret our simple crimes
Of neglecting what we had

Your love for me was greater
Than I can comprehend
We always thought we had a
'later'There's no longer time to mend

As you lie in your plastic spider web
Every breath seems like such a chore
I beg God to please take me instead
Because yo're worth so much more

I'll always remember the way you smiled
And the way you did your hair
The smell of you will always linger
And all you did to show you cared

I'm sorry I couldn't do better
I'm sorry I wasn't more like you
But now it's too late, you can't hear my words
I guess my prayers will have to do

The First of Many


And I'm off on this adventure of blogging publicly. (For those who find my interesting enough to read, that is). The truth is, in everyday life I don't think I would freely admit to being a 'blogger'. I could never fess up to doing something I once scoffed at as being self-indulgent and 'weird'. The truth is, I'm a Pre-Law major at a State school. I've been writing since I was five and writing in a journal seemed to be one step away from carrying a bent-up copy of Catcher in the Rye in my back pocket and smoking herbals. I no longer am satisfied by writing in Word on my computer. I need to try something new and see where it takes me.

I know there's an About Me kind of section on here, so I'll spare you the scintillating details of where I'm from and what my favorite food it. I'll kind of just ease on in. I will precede with this, however: I am not grammatically inclined. You WILL see mistakes in grammar, and possibly (although very rarely) in spelling. Bear with me. When my ideas start flowing, it's hard for me to slow down and make sure I'm typing correctly.

I'm excited to get started because I have been writing semi-privately for years on myspace (feel free to add me and let me know you're wanting to read my writings) and kept getting rave reviews from people (not just my friends, I'm not THAT naive, haha). I noticed I would get fifty to a hundred views per entry. I figured why not go public?

With my writings I like to explore certain subjects. Sometimes they are very specific, other times they are broad, but whittled down to specificality. (SO a word). The subjects that interest me most are people. I love people. I love watching them, observing them, and yes, making fun of them. One of my favorite things to do (which is how my sister-in-law and I connected, which I don't know if this makes us bitter hags or just plain fun, but I don't care!) is to sit in the mall on a bench, with my white chocolatesoysugarfreehazlenut starbucks (pretentious, I know) and watch people. While watching, I will make comments about them, everything from what they're doing, wearing, saying, EVERYthing is up for grabs. If there by myself, the comments stay in my head, if there with others, I just spill it. I figure it like this, if you're going to go out with crimped hair in a sparkly scrunchy and a metallic fannypack at age 30, you deserve my ridicule.

If you are a family that buys matching Christmas sweaters for all of you AND the dog, you deserve my ridicule. If you are a 300 pound woman in a cami and snakeskin mini during lunch, you deserve my ridicule! Don't get me wrong, I'm a curvy girl. And my clothes aren't the peak of fashion. But I know how to leave my house not looking like an absolute train wreck. I have too much self-respect to do that to myself and my loved ones.

I don't mean to portray myself as a mean person. If anything I am blessed with the gift of observation and cursed with my mother's ability to judge with no guilt. If anything it's more like contstructive criticism with a sting.

Anyway, most of my blogs will be an observation of behavior. I'm most inspired when I go to a new place and watch people. (Not the creepy/stalker way....like, the Anthropologist kind of way...).

Well, that's all for this introduction.