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Wait, where am I?

28 Feb

Freshmen are precious little gifts from the academic g/God(s). While I empathize with (now more than ever) the individual challenges and personal issues each student has that I’m blissfully unaware of, I can’t help but find it funny — and maybe a little bit of offense — in the things that come out of their mouths.

I recently gave a lecture on Salvador Dalí to prepare the class for their evaluative essays on art, thinking that they would enjoy writing about pretty paintings and sculptures more than books (plus it forces them out into the community to actually look at local art). A student who’d been absent for the last two weeks looks at me and say, “I thought this was English class.” Confused, I looked around the room, and replied, “Wait, where am I?” Then gave my best really?! look and proceeded with my (Sur)really awesome lecture.

Puns!

Today has been one of the most difficult days of teaching so far, probably because everything seems to be culminating all at once in every aspect of my life.

Academically and professionally, I’m completing my thesis, still waiting to hear back from PhD programs (any day now!), preparing to organize and present at a conference next week, staring at stacks of 100+ student papers and annotated bibliographies to grade (which I’m constantly reminded of during each class when a student asks when they’ll get back the papers they turned in last class), and preparing to go to a huge national conference in two weeks which adds more work because now I need to figure out alternate assignments for the days I’ll be gone.

Romantically, (hah! I say that in jest, of course) there’s not much going on aside from realizing my selections keep getting more and more outlandish. I did, however, write a long, heart-wrenching letter to Red Ranger who I’ve loved for years, telling him exactly how I feel. He wrote an equally long letter that explored the philosophical underpinnings of romantic love vs. universal love. It’s probably the best written, most philosophical “it’s not you, it’s me” piece of bullshit I’ve ever come across.

Personally, and the impetus for my complete love of all of my students despite the nonsensical things they say, I found out last night that a long-time family friend committed suicide.

He was 20.

To write about it and see these letters come together to form that sentence is bearable, only because I’m not entirely sure it’s real. But to say it out loud destroyed me.

Teaching today was damn near impossible because in every one of their faces, I saw his face. He was a student. An RA. He sat in classes, made excuses for not having his work done in time, rushed home to finish the assignment before the extended deadline. He laughed at corny jokes made by desperate professors.

And as much as I wanted to be a hardass on them because they had annotated bibliographies due today and I knew a lot of them still weren’t following directions, I couldn’t. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s okay to be more human and forgiving in classes, because it really should be okay to be more human and forgiving in the “real world,” where second chances are given and we don’t have a set formula for how to deal with circumstance. All too often we take this prescriptivist approach to teaching or simply being citizens in this global community, rendering in “Situation 1, Action A correlates with Consequence B,” rather than taking into account the thousand, tiny multipliers to the human element.

I wanted to give each one of them a hug and tell them that they’re important, because they are — to me, to each other, to this entire experience of life. I wanted to tell them that even though I know very little about their lives, they’re all going to be okay. They’re allowed to make mistakes. They’re allowed to be hurt or disappointed. They’re allowed to be human.

What today reminded me is that while I have all of these extracurricular issues going on in my own life, I put my business face on and be the most helpful, cheerful, positive teacher I can be.

And so do so many of my students. I forget that sometimes.

So I hang onto their witty quips (“Look who decided to show up” when I’m exactly on time rather than ten minutes early due to a snowstorm), random statements of truth (“Snow makes me believe in the possibility of unicorns”), and grateful emails (when I am made aware of their circumstances and make arrangements to help them successfully complete the coursework) to tide me through and remind me of just how human they can be.

–AM.

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10 things more interesting than writing my thesis.

22 Feb

My committee chair needs a completed draft of my thesis tomorrow. I have approximately twenty pages. I need approximately twenty-five more. I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty sure I’m fucked — and not in the way I’d like to be.

To force my procrastinating ass to actually write it, BFF and I have locked ourselves in our office to write. (She had me hand over my phone and turn off my wi-fi. I’m sitting across from her, furiously typing. She doesn’t know it’s not for the thesis. Withholding snortles at my own humor might make me explode.)

I spent the last ten minutes doing yoga and counting fibers on the carpet. I’ve also compiled this list of things exponentially more interesting and appealing than completing my thesis:

10. Combing through employment contracts to determine the legality of the tiny bottles of wine we have surrounding research and what exactly constitutes “working hours” since this definitely counts as “working hours” for prostitutes — the most logical occupational option I have if I do not complete my thesis.

9. Tracking menstrual cycles in relation to the moon as well as environmental hygienic habits.

8. Using the fluorescent lights on the ceiling to work on my winter tan.

7. Turn the area rug into a tortilla and make like a burrito.

6. Take an online quiz and self-diagnose as moderate to severe adult ADHD.

5. Vacuum the cat.

4. Bathe in a tub of spaghetti noodles.

3. Penguin-dive down a waxed linoleum hallway.

2. Naked snow angel.

1. Hedgehog bowling.

0. Get into a bar fight.

— AM. (Okay, I know that was technically eleven. But I have an English degree. So.)

Post-publishing edit: we finally took a bathroom break. Here’s the conversation:

Me: Synchronized peeing!

BFF: Well after as many years as we’ve been friends, it’s not surprising we managed to synchronize that.

Sacrificial goat, anyone?

16 Feb

I suspect that at the end of this life, I’ll find out that I’ve really just been living in a simulated reality controlled by a failed Lifetime movie screenplay writer.

Or an angry teenager.

But I guess that’s probably the same thing.

(“I’ve heard it both ways.” Name that show!)

The last three years, I’ve been Valentine-less. So I usually just drink. But yesterday I had to teach, so my tradition had to wait until the evening. About half of my students showed up which crippled the lesson plans I had so we watched Harlem Shake and Bad Lip Reading videos on YouTube. And we ate candy.

I would’ve tried to be a little bit more productive, but about twenty minutes before I went to teach, I received an email from one of the PhD programs I’d applied to. They would not be accepting me for admission for the fall 2013 semester. I’ve spent the last five years postponing really trying to have a relationship (aside from the comedic adventures I find myself in to keep things interesting) in order to put everything I have into school so I can have my doctorate well before I turn thirty. So on a day already riddled with being emotionally rejected, I was now also academically rejected.

Yes, it’s just one school — and one of the most competitive in the nation — but I still couldn’t help but notice the irony and sadistic humor my comptroller has.

The YouTube videos helped.

And the candy. And the coffee that Barista Boy #2 made me that had “Olive Jews” written on the cup. And the donuts.

During “class,” I made a comment — within the context of our video watching — of how someday, when I have kids, I’d love to move to England so they grow up with accents. One of my ridiculously attractive black students (who’s on the football team and has dreadlocks) said “Do you want your kids to be in your own race or do you want mixed babies?”

In hindsight, there are so many ways I should’ve handled this. In the moment, my response was simply “I just want happy babies with British accents.” And skin like caramel.

To continue the excitement of my Valentine’s Day, I decided to tell my parents that I got a tattoo the day before. My whole life, my mother has been vehemently against tattoos. And for the last twenty-three years, I’ve never disappointed my mother. Well, at least not to her knowledge or in any way that I’d ever feel comfortable revealing to her. At any rate, she was silent angry. Which is the scariest. My father thought it was pretty. My seventy-eight year old German grandmother looked at her wrist and muttered “I want one…”

I then went to a pathetic concert at a small, local venue with approximately six patrons who weren’t in the band. The Chemist invited me. He wore a bow tie and an argyle sweater.

Last week he showed up at my door wearing sea foam green pants from the 1970s, a turtle neck, and a fedora. He then came in and made me a drink with his homemade limoncello. He also wore this outfit in public later in the evening. My younger sister was in town for a visit and kept remarking how much my life resembles a sitcom. She doesn’t even know the half of it.

Today the Pastor messaged me about a show at a coffee shop tonight, asking if I’d come out, and said he hoped I didn’t find it weird, but he’s been praying for me. I’m not sure if I should be flattered or insulted. So I’m going with contentment.

I’d go to the show — which starts in ten minutes — but I’m about to go explore abandoned tunnels under the city I live in with one of The Boys, the Quizmaster, and this really great girl I write with.

Seriously.

Here’s to hoping I don’t die or stumble upon death. I have a night vision camera and heat sensor camera app on my phone.

And a six-pack of Rascal’s Wild Red in my trunk.

— AM.

No velcro for me. Only laces, buckles, or straps.

7 Feb

I almost threw my shoe at a woman today.

(And by “woman,” I strictly mean anatomically.)

But literally. My shoe was in my hand — not on my foot — and I pulled my arm back and began to throw it, only deciding at the last second that having to explain to future employers that the assault charge on my record was for beaming a colleague in the head with a loafer simply wouldn’t be worth the explanation.

The others in the room flinched, fearing that I was actually about to throw a shoe.

As a child, I always took my anger for my younger sister out on her by throwing things. I take full credit for her quick reflexes and our collective ability to reassemble remote controls, hair brushes, and Barbies.

We had a follow up meeting to last week’s meeting (See “Meet me at the flagpole. It’s going down.”), and after the official meeting, a few of us hung around to have a general chat — nothing secretive, just teaching logistics — and two of the anti-side came back in to further discuss things from the meeting.

I tried to leave because I knew it would not generate a fruitful discussion — which I said — but the guy took that as an opportunity to call me and “my survey” passive aggressive. After a long, drawn out explanation and back and forth as to the contents of the survey, I explained that there was absolutely no malicious intent in the creation of the survey, acknowledging that I did not like him (those exact words because I have the lady balls to tell someone how I feel) and that he did not like me, so I took that into account in the multiple drafts, approved by our advisor, so as to avoid any sort of situation where it could be construed as a personal attack as per his accusation that the survey was a passive aggressive attack to call him out.

I then pointed out that any inference of passive aggressive behavior is something that he needs to own in his victimized interpretation and not pass onto others.

It clearly spiraled from there when I nearly lost my shit.

There was also a statement he made somewhere in the hour long post-meeting meeting where he said he doesn’t believe the school should be relied on as a source of income. He sees being a GTA as a line on the CV. I see being a GTA as the beginning of my lifelong career in academics and first-year composition.

I wonder whose course evaluations are best.

(Hint: mine.)

— AM.

Meet me at the flagpole. It’s going down.

30 Jan

I graduated high school in 2008. I was over high school in 2004. I was a nerd who socialized with my teachers and I was never invited to parties.

Granted, I’ve come a long way since then as far as not being as obnoxiously nerdy (and I’m fun as hell at parties), but the fundamental core of my person hasn’t changed: I don’t do shenanigans and I don’t give a fuck.

A few months ago, I wrote a couple blogs and created a beautiful meme about being a graduate student and engaging with my cohort (See “There’s a story, I swear.” and “The cat says no voting this year.”).

In summation: I hate them. And I know “hate” is a strong word, but I’ve never had to swallow seething rage like this.

It came to the attention of our graduate student organization that some students were frustrated with the behavior of several of their peers in the program, citing the facts that these students admittedly didn’t read the assigned work, showed up to class in sweats and behaving like a pack of freshmen, and outwardly disrespected the professors. If it was one student, it’d be one of those “damn you’re an asshole” situation, but there’s a hoard of them. A hoard. 

So at our last meeting, we brought this to the attention of the members, one of which is a student who is part of the problem. We compromised — much to this student’s disdain who said the idea of coming up with a professionalism/code of conduct document was patronizing (she often removes her shoes DURING CLASS and props her bare feet on the chair next to her) — and sent out a six-question survey to graduate students and faculty in the department.

We (BFF and I) knew there’d be some shitty answers because the hoard actively hates two of our faculty members — both of these faculty members are some of the hardest working, most dedicated, and most helpful people either of us have ever encountered — and consequently actively hates us because in their eyes, our successes have nothing to do with academic or professional merit and everything to do with the fact that these professors enjoy having us in class and have taken on mentorship roles in our lives.

‘Cause we’re fucking awesome. And smart. And work hard.

The responses reflected this hatred accordingly, and also demonstrate a solid need for a code of conduct to be enforced.

While none of the questions or the accompanying email said anything about how clothes or appearance impact professionalism, the initial discussion during last week’s meeting brought up what we thought were basic understandings of how to look and act like a graduate student. A few of the responses were ridiculously reactive to the notion that as a graduate student you should dress like a professional.

Shame was bestowed onto BFF and I, the questionnaire writers, in those responses. (Mind you, we sent the questions to our graduate coordinator for final approval before ever sending them to the students and faculty to remain as professional, poignant, and unbiased as possible.)

The final question: “What do you expect of your graduate cohort — both in and out of the class?” The crowning response: “Just say no to hipster glasses.”

Now, I may be reading too much into this response, but I’m the only graduate student in the program who wears “hipster glasses.” Sorry I’ve been rocking the bottle caps since my blind, nerdy ass was eight.

The thin frames don’t work with my vision because the lenses are about, oh, half an inch thick.

I wish I were exaggerating.

As we went over these responses in the meeting in an effort to be completely transparent and include all responses in the open, I paused at this question.

“I’m not entirely sure who or what this response is referring to,” as I adjust my frames, “but thank you, whoever you are.”

After a feigned smile, “And I’d be happy to meet with you after the meeting is over to present my cock that you can subsequently suck.”

Because I’m a goddamn professional.

–AM.

P.S., any experiences or observations or literature about professionalism in graduate programs would be much appreciated. I’ve been hitting the Google like the finest ass in town for resources to verbally punch these assholes in the face.

P.P.S., I’m well aware that this blog is the antithesis of “professional” which is why it’s in a blog. And has no identifiers of the people involved. And in real life is only spoken to BFF in the privacy of our closed office door or over drinks with nicknames. Again, I’m a goddamn professional.

Rainbow-shitting unicorn.

29 Jan

I’ve always been hesitantly superstitious. Although I’m familiar with the theory that big numbers negate any sense of coincidence, I can count high enough to calculate grades, so I just don’t own that train of thought as well as the alphabet which only feeds into my thoughts of something grander and more miraculous.

And I don’t necessarily mean God in the normative fashion.

Perhaps a flying spaghetti monster.

Or a version of myself aboard a unicorn. Or a centaur.

I said in class today — at the present moment, quite unsure of the context — that for all I know, I could be God. Then I said “My bad. That’s probably sacrilegious. Oops.” I think it’s early enough in the semester for that to not appear on my evaluations.

My favorite thing about January is that it has always seemed to set the tone for the rest of my year. It has this magical cleansing feel to it for me, and maybe building that expectation for it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I rang in the 2012 New Year with a kiss from a tattoo-faced stranger and one of my girlfriends, and I spent the majority of the month in reflective solace of the relationship that could’ve been only to take out frustrations and feelings of angst on a number of uniformed men.

So, accordingly, the remainder of the year was confronted head-on with type-guy phases and going into every potential relationship knowing it’ll never work out because none of them so far have worked out.

Did I mention I’m kind of a genius at relationships?

This year, while it’s still all brand new and shiny, has been monumentally different, which in my superstitious, pigeon-like mind automatically means that the rest of this year will be different.

Despite the fact that Barista Boy #1 still attempts to tug me along (although I did passive aggressively confront him on his behavior, pointing out to him the peculiarity of his text messages so perfectly matching up with the absence of his lady friend and his boredom), I’m not giving him the attention that I did before because he’s kind of a tool. And by “kind of” I mean “definitely.”

And Barista Boy #2 (Who, in all fairness, isn’t someone I’ve dated or will date, but rather just hang out with because he’s sweet and entertaining) and I have had a lot of really wonderful moments, like the last time we spent an entire day together drinking coffee, perusing the library, investigating the local art scene, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and watching Big Bang Theory together, only to sum it up with a reassurance that it’s totally to be besties. I could use more of those.

I have some hope for The Chemist, my latest conquest. He’s everything I thought I’d want — tall, handsome, ridiculously intelligent, intriguing — and if it doesn’t manifest into anything more than a friendship (because mutual friends/acquaintances have told me to stay away, so I’m probably going to listen to them), he at least proves that this type of guy actually exists.

But really, it’s like a square peg fitting into a round hole. I find myself trying to force happiness with these guys, but never quite fitting. Maybe I’m really going for the wrong type of person.

After months of casually running into each other at parties, we finally had a full blown conversation at a mutual friend’s birthday last weekend, and within ten minutes of becoming Facebook friends after the party, he began messaging me. Every day since then we’ve spoken about his research and the progress he’s making on his thesis, about my research and the shenanigans of my students, or various forms of entertainment. Last night we listened to old jazz vinyls and drank tea for several hours. And tonight, he invited me to a ska concert.

We danced, we drank, and we sat in his car for a solid ten minutes listening to more music. He remembered the title of my thesis and was actually interested in the progress I was making. And when I left, he gave me a few CDs he burned for me that he thought I’d be interested in.

In a way, I’m embarrassed that something like that could mean so much to me. If it were a regular occurrence to have someone take a real interest in forming a connection with me, I don’t think I’d obsess and evaluate what I finally did right. But that’s where I am right now.

It’s nothing serious, and there’s nothing really to pinpoint. It’s catching him smiling at me out of the corner of my eye, or watching defensively as another man looks my way, waiting to see if I look back. Or it’s putting thought into the records he brings over to give me some familiarity, but also show me something new. It’s even saying that he’ll see me tomorrow even though we have no plans to spend time together, and work on separate corners of the university.

What I’m left with is all of these little moments and no idea what to do with them.

So I’ll be a fucking girl about the whole situation and mind-frolic in the residual clovers from the rainbow-shitting unicorn.

–AM.

All this and heaven, too. Well, maybe not the gin. But everything else can go.

12 Jan

School starts back on Monday, which means my extended vacation of rest, relaxation, and intoxication is coming to an end. To kick off the back-to-school spirit, I have training tomorrow morning. At 7:30am. On a Saturday.

So I’m on my fourth Stella Artois.

And I’m probably going to make pancakes soon.

Along with the “training” (which, in all honesty, is an egregious waste of funds since at the previous training, I learned nothing valuable to actually teaching in accordance to the rules and regulations of the institution, but rather was briefed on how to add a signature line to an email. Also how to send an email. Because I don’t know how to use computers), this week has brought back friends who spent their time elsewhere.

T&A went to Washington and came over last night to catch up and pick up her mail that I’d been collecting. Our conversation went something like this:

T&A: How was your break?! What did you do? Did you have fun and go out a lot?

Me: It was pretty awesome. I watched the entire series of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on Netflix and now I’m rewatching “Battlestar Galactica” with the cats. 

T&A: That’s so great! I hung out with the Seattle Seahawks.

I was also changing pants as this conversations took place since I was about to leave to meet up with The Boys (my heterosexual life partners). T&A stood in my bedroom doorway while I checked out my ass in the mirror. I think it was a subtle reminder of inadequacy. Only not so subtle.

I like to think that whoever controls the interface of this game of the Sims that we live has a great sense of humor. We’d get along.

I love hanging out with The Boys. They provide me the rare opportunity to peek behind enemy lines and try to really understand men.

I was officially granted bro status sometime last year.

It never ceases to amaze me how complex our conversations are. They’re both brilliant and we engage in long, drawn out discussions of philosophy, psychological theories, social constructions, and the nature of human dynamics.

What I have yet to understand is when the conversation inevitably turns to men vs. women, and we discuss the things men look for in women and the things women look for in men.

Their ideal woman is, of course, beautiful. She carries on intelligent conversations and challenges them intellectually. She doesn’t engage in dramatics and assimilates easily with their friends. She wears high heels and is the physical epitome of femininity, but her demeanor is strong and independent, lending her to more masculine traits. She watches football and is interested in the game. She’s talented and dynamic and has a sense of humor. She’s well read and is intelligent enough to have wit.

She isn’t a hair flipping, vodka cranberry drinking, fist bumping socialite.

They then systematically list every woman in the English program we were in together, isolate the “hot” women from the “cute” women, then weigh in personality, which effectively eliminates the “hot” women into the “okay” category, and the “cute” women to the “hot-but-still-not-exactly-doable” category.

Leaving the men. And the women who resemble characters from Lord of the Rings.

Since I merely observe this engagement, keeping my opinions and thoughts to myself, I can’t help but to always insert myself into their evaluations.

  • Beauty is subjective, but I’ve never considered myself Golem-esque.
  • I read Spider-Man and Soupault. And Foucault. In French.
  • I have more books than I know what to do with, so they’ve become piles not unlike the stones in The Blair Witch Project. And I’ve actually read them.
  • I wear dresses and heels and a tasteful amount of makeup.
  • I live alone, in a house I pay for, filled with things I bought with the money I’ve earned.
  • I went to a local bar, drank a schooner of Batch 19, and watched Bama defeat Notre Dame with a Buddhist, retired Navy officer and discussed Bama’s potential for a fourth year taking the BCS National Championship next year if Pruitt does move to be the defensive coordinator for the Seminoles.
  • I play the piano, draw, paint, and write anything from prose to poetry.
  • I crack myself up, and since I spend more time with me than anyone else, I know I’m hilarious.

But because, like the majority of my relationships with men, I’m such good friends with them, I’m never on the list.

Meanwhile T&A flips, giggles, and swills vodka crans where she’s invited to the VIP section of an exclusive club with members of the Seahawks.

I don’t understand. She’s beautiful and smart and sweet, so that I do understand. I also understand it’s an exercise in futility to compare with others, but it’s still easy to do.

Especially considering both of my sisters are newly engaged and the eyes of our family elders are looking to me, calculating how many baby-making years I have left in my uterus. I assured them I’ll bring in an illegitimate child someday.

That doesn’t seem to comfort them.

But it comforts me. As does the twelve-pack of Stella I annihilated, the pancakes waiting for me in the kitchen, and the second season of BSG.

–AM.

Auld lang syne and all that implies.

1 Jan

I’ve never been one for organized sports or any sort of activity that requires teamwork. Partially because I don’t enjoy getting dirty or doing anything physical that isn’t sexual, and partially because I have an innate sense of hatred for working with people.

In high school, I played tennis and was on the debate team. If I won, it was my victory. If I lost, it was my failure. I don’t like to compete or play; I just win, and when I win, I don’t share credit.

My whole life, my mother always taught us this idea when it came to dating and relationships. My freshmen year of high school, I was hopelessly in love (you know, the dopey, hormone-infused infatuation that Taylor Swift songs are about) with this guy who played tuba in band. He was also the president of the anime club. I have a history of dating winners.

He was in love with a girl in the flute section but she wouldn’t date him, so I was his backup. (He actually told me as much — this is no inference.) In all of my mother’s wisdom, she taught me to never be second. If I’m not number one, fuck it. There’s no point in playing. I win, or I’m out. After him, I significantly improved my dating selection with this mindset, but the long-term relationship I ended up with as a result of this life lesson ruined my sense of self-security and no-nonsense approach to dating, hence the catastrophic failures (but nevertheless entertaining stories) that comprise my pseudo-love life.

(Tuba boy actually has a kid from a girl who won’t let him see the child and flute girl is a drug-addicted Lindsay Lohan clone who’s one strong breeze away from setting sail. Told you I always win.)

Team Jacob told me I needed to prove myself (again, direct quote and not an inference) with him after I put him off for a year and a half. At first, I empathized and thought the least I could do is show him I’m just about him because I was playing him a bit before. I was always honest if I was talking to somebody else, so he never had any wrong ideas about my intentions. He just didn’t like that I had no intention of sleeping with him.

We’d already had separate plans for the evening, so I went out last night for New Year’s Eve with some girl friends wearing a skin-tight, deep plunging, red dress that will probably be my Halloween costume this year as Jessica Rabbit. Despite not spending a dime because all drinks were bought for me by single, handsome men, in an effort to honor my word to Team Jacob and set the tone for 2013, I remained without a New Year’s kiss.

2012 rang in with a kiss from one of my girl friends and a guy with a tattoo on his face with two flasks strapped onto my tights. I think it served as a premonition to how my year would go: drunk and kind of slutty.

I sent him a text at midnight saying Happy New Year and that I wish he was there for a New Year’s kiss. His response? “U too.”

Fuck that noise.

So today, to continue to conform to the obligatory decisions to remake my self and life with resolutions as the Gregorian calendar year changes, along with my resolution to learn how to cook exquisite cuisine (I made paella the other night), I resolve to regress back to the mindset of my formative dating years when my mother told me never to compete.

If a man thinks I need to compete for his affection and prove myself to be a worthy companion, he’s bat shit crazy.

Likewise, I don’t want someone to compete for my affection. His inherent awesome will be evident to me because my inherent awesome is written all over my face.

And in that dress, my boobs, hips, and ass.

–AM.

I need a new bendy straw.

27 Dec

I’m one of those people that constantly needs to be doing something to maintain any semblance of sanity. Since school let out and the holidays are over, these last two days have been hell.

Not to mention my younger sister is officially engaged and my older sister will be within the next week.

Meanwhile, I’ve sent out four applications to doctoral programs on all four corners of the United States so as to get away from everyone I possibly could know.

And my left eye hasn’t stopped twitching since November.

At any rate, I’ve been working extremely hard to get something together so I can feel like I’m being productive. Teaching part-time at two institutions (which ends up being full-time) while working as a program assistant and being a full-time graduate student has me in the mindset to where if I’m doing nothing, I go crazy. Which, to be completely honest, is why I date. It’s a distraction and something to keep me occupied.

I deleted my online dating profile after receiving a message from a former student, saying he was totally intrigued by my profile and wanted to get to know me better. He didn’t realize I was the teacher who failed him.

I’m back to dating in the real world.

I had a really great date with Beard guy, but he kind of face-raped me while we were at a bar. 1) I don’t kiss in bars. 2) I don’t kiss in public. 3) I don’t like being face-raped. 4) I don’t do well with guys that are overtly complimentary. 5) I don’t do well with guys that are insanely insecure and continuously ask why I like him. Dude, put your vajay away. Needless to say, I haven’t seen him since.

Although things with Team Jacob were going pretty well, he has this weird complex that I find incredibly annoying. There’s a fine balance to be struck, and he’s on the side of awkward enough for me to be attracted to, but almost too awkward to pursue anything with me.

Finally realizing that completing my applications to doctoral programs would be the best use of my spare time rather than making something “work” with some guy temporarily because I’d be leaving in a few months anyway, I have the boys on hold.

So after sending out my final applications and scrolling through the engagement/marriage/baby feed of my Facebook, I decided to celebrate/mourn/cope with a jug of sangria. It’s the cheap kind, so I mix it with schnapps. Twice the alcohol content and a significantly better flavor.

According to the history of my browser, the following are Google searches of this endeavor:

  • Exercise while drunk
  • How to properly shave a cat
  • Life size Barbie
  • Colorado prostitution laws
  • I think my cat is trying to kill me
  • How to tell if you have a brain tumor

–AM.

Avabot 9000: the consequence.

24 Dec

When I really, really need to focus, I like to pretend I’m a cyborg. In my mind, laser beams shoot from my eyes that evaluate my surroundings that determine, mathematically, the probability that I will crash into something, or the impending doom that awaits me if I choose a certain route. So far in the twenty-three years of my life, this tactic has kept me safe, but most importantly, incredibly entertained.

The cyborg feature of my imagination comes in most handy when I’m driving in inclement weather. The laser beams shoot from my eye sockets and check the road conditions as I’m driving. (Black ice — function: eliminate acceleration. activate blind scientific faith. jesus, take the wheel, por favor.) I haven’t had any issues or malfunctions.

As with everything in life that comes in handy, especially when trying to determine the possibility of allowing a gentleman suitor to escort me home (evaluate: popped collar, etnies, gum chomp. determination: major bro. likelihood of venereal disease acquisition: imminent. recommendation: accept vehicular transport. feign illness. coital denial imperative) the robotic feature to my demeanor has also helped in situations of absolute unpleasantness. 

In general, I’m a fan of the holidays. Food, gifts, family, and all the shit that comes along with it is for the most part enjoyable. This year? I’ve put serious consideration into taking up alcoholism as a New Year’s resolution.

2013 will be the Year of the Drunk. Check your Chinese calendar and look out, folks. Shit ’bout to get real.

I’ve also become considerably more hood since I started dating Team Jacob. He gets his name because he looks like Taylor Lautner in the first installment of Twilight. He’s been asking me out for the last year and a half, and I’ve finally taken him up on the offer and find him absolutely charming and adorable. Both of those qualities I hate, because they make me like him, and liking him goes against my robotic nature. He’s shaved his head since the dubbing of Team Jacob, but that’s his best identifier. And you know how I’m a fan of identifiers.

At any rate, this holiday season has really brought out the drunk ass mess that’s been locked up in me. My younger sister — three years my junior — is newly engaged. My older sister’s boyfriend, two days after the engagement of my younger sister, asked my father’s permission to marry my sister.

While I’m delighted that they both found happiness or whatever, I also kind of want to find myself in the bottom of a bottle of tequila. With the worm.

Nestled up next to its wrinkles.

Happiness.

This evening was a delightful celebration of the wondrous cheer and fruitful love that the holidays bring. My parents invited their best friends, their sons, and their sons’ wives to dinner. While we gathered in the kitchen, basking in the warm scent of roast and sipping the savory Merlot I brought, exchanging obligatory congratulations to the new engagements, my younger sister looks to me and says, “I’m sorry, Ava. This winter’s been rough for you, huh?”

“Yeah, it totes has. I cry myself to cleanliness in the shower while I’m clutching the empty bottle of tequila. If only I had a man in my life to pass me the limes while I curl up in the fetal position on the floor of the tub, scraping away the scales forming as a result of loneliness and desperation. P.S., I’m pregnant. And the baby could be one of four races.”

So I raised my glass, toasting to the local economic boost due to the increase in alcohol sales.

Six glasses of wine later, she gave me shit for not cleaning the dishes. My reply? “Yeah, sorry bro, I’m not training to be a housewife. That’s all you. And hey, can I get a refill on this glass? It’s almost empty.”

Fuck the holidays.

But in all seriousness, I was extremely grateful for Avabot 9000 at this particular junction in my life. He/she/it allowed me to keep a smile on my face with mechanical interaction to the guests.

Now, if only I could get Avabot 9000 to serve as a permanent stand-in to all family holiday parties. She can keep her shit together better than I can.

–AM.

P.S., I love the fact that I used “robots” as a tag in this blog post. I feel like I’d totally be okay if the world ended.

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