Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I don't like all the over hype, I don't like all the crowds, I don't like all the people who donate to some cause ONCE A YEAR and think that makes them a saint. I don't like trying to go to the store to buy some boots and ending up getting mowed over by some woman who has to get the new "It" toy or Jayden or Brayden or Katelynn or Maddisyn or whatever will be SO disappointed.
The things I remember from Christmas aren't the presents. The things I remember are crowding into my grandmother's tiny house with all our billion relatives and laughing and talking. I remember my aunt making me special Jell-O shots because I was sick so often, or had braces, or whatever. I remember seeing my cousins and being called "Dodie's daughter, you know the hippie one."
Apparently refusing to eat pork, talking about carbon emissions and overpopulation makes me a hippie. It's sort of amusing. No, Uncle, I don't want to go hunting with you. No, I don't know how to help you catch a buck all "scientific."
I remember baking cookies with my aunt. I remember eating candy glass with my cousin in the dining room and talking about boy bands. I don't remember my toys. I don't remember how many things I got or didn't get. I just. Don't. Care.
I'm not saying don't get kids anything. I'm saying--well, just remember that there's a lot beyond that, you know?
Now that I've been on a tirade about consumerism, allow me to be wee bit hypocritical and state what I got She Who Must Be Kept.
When my parents got married, my father turned to my mother and said; "You're not worth diamonds." That marriage is full of stories like this. And She Who Must Be Kept doesn't like diamonds anyway, but you know, it would have been nice to get them...
So, on black Friday, I bought her a diamond and sterling silver ring. It was twenty dollars, on super duper sale and all that. I know she won't wear it, I know she won't really like to wear it--but I just wanted to get it for the idea.
I think she's worth diamonds.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Our car is broken, and since She Who Must Be Kept decided I could have, we're not fixing it right now. We're waiting until spring when I get some sort of legal documentation that I can, in fact, drive (hint: I cannot). And out new one isn't repaired yet either.
So for the past two weeks, I've been walking everywhere that the bus can't take me. To the store, to pay bills, to Taco Bell, whatever. And after about four days of this, my heel started burning when I walked.
At first I thought I had just like, done something weird. Then I realized it was burning every time I stepped a certain way. So I didn't step that way anymore. Herp derp. But I never thought of LOOKING AT MY HEEL.
Oh my God. Blister the size of a marble. All hard and weird. I have no idea why it hasn't popped yet. I kind of wish it would. Do I put a band aid on it or leave it or pop it or...? I don't know!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
My hair has always been--weird. Up until I was thirteen years old, it hung almost to my butt. It was long, thick, wavy, and this weird shade of dark brown with auburn highlights.
It was also ALWAYS a mess, ALWAYS in my face and ALWAYS back in a ponytail because fuck that. I don't have the kind of time to wash (with just a dime sized amount of that expensive stuff with all the vitamins and nutrients and whatever), condition (a nickle/quarter sized amount, NOT put on my roots but worked through, left to sit for at LEAST five minutes then washed out with COLD water), comb, blow dry, and then flat iron my hair. And yes, I know people who do those steps every day. Or at least every other day.
That is madness!
So I cut it shoulder length when I was thirteen with a pair of craft scissors a friend brought over. I've never had it past my shoulders since. I cut it to my scalp, in layers, in bobs, with bangs, without bangs, Goth inspired, rock star inspired.... Whatever I feel like that month, actually.
One of my friend's usually cuts it. She looks at it, decides it looks icky and then goes nuts in her bathroom with her kitchen shears. She always freaks out, but honestly--it is hair. It will grow back. I always tell her if I don't like it- that is okay. It will grow back.
Today, I was Christmas shopping with a different kid (the kid who wanted to give away LLG's bowling pass in a previous post), and he got a hair cut. I asked the stylist what she would recommend for my. My vitamin issues result in hair loss, which makes my hair look thinner and gross. I don't know yet if it's permanent. She said she had another client with the same problem.
"Layers! A bob! Lots of layers... Just get in the chair." she made it look really nice, and I look all cute and sort of flapperish, which I love. Only I keep going to put my hair in a bun, like I have all semester and there is no hair to put back in a bun.
I'm working on weaning myself off shampoo and conditioner altogether. It doesn't work for everyone, but here's hoping.
Monday, November 29, 2010
But I am not in bed, am I? Oh no, I'm sitting in my new jammies, waiting for the dryer, which is full of Not My Clothes to be done. Why? Because I need to put My Clothes in the dryer, so my hoodie will not be covered in cat hair, I'll have clean panties, and so I 'll have more than one pair of jeans around.
But no. The dryer--it won't be done. It just REFUSES to dry the clothes. Or the clothes refuse to be dry. And no amount of coaxing will convince anything otherwise. Like;
"Oh little clothes. Don't you want to be dry? Don't you want to be all neatly folded (read: thrown on top of the dryer as they are Not Mine) and worn to be seen in public?... No? WELL FUCK YOU! You're CLOTHES AND YOU DON'T HAVE A DAMN CHOICE! FUCK! JUST BE DRY!"
The dryer just merrily keeps spinning, as though daring me to stop it yet again to check my things.
"Go ahead, Taima. Open me. You know you want to. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO."
And I do. I do hardcore. At least I can say with certainty that the three pairs of panties in there that ARE mine ARE dry. My things are always much better behaved than anything else!
My eyes are trying to close. Trying to convince me to forget it, go commando in my new jammies to school, wear my full length wool winter coat to school, even though it isn't cold enough for that. Just look like a freak! Who cares! You'll be in Oscar the Grouch jammies anyway!
Fuuuuuck me. I just want this to be done with. I'm so tired.
I also used my Magic Hair Remover Wand! while tired. Now I look surprised. By everything. :(
This year, it took me about eleven days. I have this nice little novel, one of four, just sitting on my flash drive. I've sent it, and the accompanying soundtrack, to some friends. One has read it so far and told me how much she loved it. Another friend asked for a hard copy, which I am happy to provide.
There are times when I feel like I've had little support with the whole "writing" thing from my friends. My best friend has all four of my novels and has never read one. Never. My other best friend hasn't even said if she started it, and I had another friend say he wanted to "finish his fan fics first." Well, hell, the novel only runs 73ish pages. It isn't going to take that long to read if you don't have to sound out the words!
And yet, these are the people who come running to me for help. It makes me not want to help them. Why should I bother? If they're not going to give me feedback (other than to say "You're such a gooooood writer!" OKAY!) why should I spend time trying to help them?
It's petty of me, I know that. I should help out of the kindness of my heart, not for the hope of reciprocity. Still, I get kind of irate. It'd be nice to have a little feedback and not just; I liked it. Okay, what specifically did you like? What didn't you like? What worked? What didn't?
I've been listening to Uniklubi a lot tonight. I dreamed of Finland last night. I'm dying to go there, but things are so iffy with work, I don't think I'll ever save up the money. I wish I could even just have a Finnish penpal.
Know what's been pissing me off lately? Eating. Food. I've been in that hungry-kinda-nothing's good stage lately. I also just got over a nasty flu wherein I vomited profusely. The last thing I had to eat before I ate was chocolate covered pretzels. I won't be enjoying that snack anytime soon.
I don't want Ramen, I don't want pizza, I don't want spaghetti. I think I want steak, but no one else does. Ugh.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Which is pretty sad, wasn't it just last year that we had the Doomsday Clock set back so it was six minutes from midnight? If we start this now, we're going to lose that minute. We're going to lose all our minutes.
We're going to lose everything.
I guess what bothers me the most is that I don't really SEE anyone getting too worried about it. Like everyone shrugs and just figures that someone else will take care of it.
HELLO PEOPLE! We are the ones that are going to have to take care of it! And I have the feeling that whatever we come up with is not going to be too brilliant. We're running out of options, time, places to hide, things to do, things to say.
But no one seems too worried. Instead they're all up in arms about that TSA pat down. Well, to be honest, I don't like it either. Do you know why we have to have that gropetastic pat down? Do you know WHY we need that radioactive full body scan?
BECAUSE PEOPLE BRING BOMBS ONTO PLANES AND HIGH JACK THEM AND RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!
Remember last Christmas when that dude went in with his underoos all full of explosives? And everyone got all pissy and oh hooooow could that have been missed? Well, now that's being fixed. Seriously, is there nothing that can be done to make anyone happy here anymore?
In the first place, I won't deny that pat down is a little--sexy. It's for your safety. And for everyone whining about radiation from that damn full body scan? Fuck off, it's not enough to hurt you. You get radiation flying across the country, did you know that? You get radiation from your damn television.
Radiation ignorance pisses me off.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
She never looked up, never spoke, instead keeping here eyes down at the crocheting project in her lap. When he first saw her, climbing on the bus in those ratty jeans and the tattered hoodie, he had known she was for him. He had known that he would slip off the bus after her, follow her down her street. He would reach for her elbow, rip the earbuds from her ears.
He would bend her backwards, a romantic dip that so many women found so enchanting on the dance floor. In this context, most began to scream. But she---she looked like a fighter. She would fight, but she wouldn't scream. He found himself looking forward to having her nails digging into his skin, ripping up the flesh and making his blood, sweet and thick down his cheek.
But when he saw her with that crocheting project only half done, he lost the nerve. Shouldn't she at least finish what she was making?
So the next day, he rode the bus, for the chance to see her again. And she was a few rows farther along. Again, she spoke not a word, was silent except for the breathless thank you to the driver as she hopped off and started on her trek home.
But tonight, she was tying it off, with an intricate knot. The small blanket lay lacy and expensive looking across her lap. She folded it up and shoved it in the book bag. He watched the strands of her hair falling out of the bun at the back of her skull. He watched her flick it impatiently back.
It would be so easy to kill her. What a shame to do away with those clever fingers. He could keep her of course. Could make her one of them. He would have those clever fingers with him forever.
She smelled like sunlight and strawberries. His heart wrenched. She wasn't suited for immortality, and yet she was not suited for death. She was not suited for him. She pressed the buzzer for her stop and rose, gathering her things, checking her pockets, changing the song in her head.
To be in her head, he thought. To hear those songs. To hear her voice.
The bus rolled to a stop, and she began her hurried walk to the door. She passed by him, her eyes flicking upwards.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Breasts. I have them. They're a size double D, the average is a C. I'm finally above average at something! I've been growing my breasts for twenty one years now.
When I was young, I barely knew they were there. Because, honestly, they weren't. I didn't get breasts until I was about eleven years old. And then over night, I shot up from a nothing at all to a B.
At first, I was overjoyed! I was finally becoming a woman! The only problem I had was--well, they didn't really stop growing. B--C--D--DD. I'm sure they'll only get bigger.
Sometimes, they're in my way. They make shirts fit funny. God forbid I wear a tank top on a hot day, they'll be all people see. They make it almost impossible to find a decent dress.
But today, I am claiming my breasts. I am owning them. They belong to me, and they do wonderful things for me.
I love my breasts because... they fill out some tops nice. Not t-shirts, or hoodies, but some of the women's blouses.
I love my breasts because... of the pleasure they have given me when I have been rolling and tumbling between the sheets with someone.
I love my breasts because... they make everyone who looks at me aware that I am a Girl. I am not just a girl, I am a Girl. It radiates off me.
I love my breasts because... when I give people hugs, their heads instantly nestle there. I've had several people tell me that it's comforting to put their head on my breasts. It isn't sexual, it's just--something that makes them feel secure. I like giving that to people.
I love my breasts because... sometimes they're a joke. Anything that makes people laugh is awesome!
I love my breasts because... one day, they will feed my children.
I love my breasts because... they remind me of the fact that all the women in my family have them. We are all Women Together, and having breasts is part of that.
It might seem weird that I've written this entry, being that it doesn't actually go with anything else that I've written here. But I wrote it because, well---I do love my breasts. For all that I whine and bitch, I love them and all they've done for me and will do for me.
Breast cancer has touched my family (like most women). And I write this for all the women that it has touched, either because they were ill, or a loved one was ill. Some of them don't have breasts anymore. This doesn't make them less of a woman. It just makes them stronger.
So I have my breasts. And instead of slouching forward, I will pull my shoulders back, so people can see.
I love my breasts.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
So I've been looking into the colleges near me;
There's the Christian College (that I don't want to give my money to, they have a problem with 'teh gays' and rules that I don't feel like following)that's an hourish away from me;
Tuition: $19,996 (at 12-15 hours per semester)
Room/Board: $7,254 (based on a 19-meal plan/non-village residence)
Fees: $540* (does not include application fee)
There's the University about two hours (?) away from me that I liked touring:
Full-time (24-32 credit hours)tuition and fees $9,006
Room and Board (15 meal plan) $7,895
One-Time Records Initiation Fee $300
There's another university about forty five minutes away from me (I could theoretically still live at home, because my mother works fifteen minutes from this town. It'd suck, but it could be done, especially if I could do a two day a week schedule):
Gen Ed Courses per credit hour: $479
My Specialty per credit hour: $63
Let's just stop there because it gives me a headache. They go up higher as you go higher level in school (WHY DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?).
A school roughly an hour and a half from me (also Christian, also no go on teh gays and rules I don't feel like following):
Hard to figure out, I'd have to calculate ever single freaking class I was going to take, BUT I could take classes at my community college...
So, so far, the other Christian college is my own mildly affordable option. I just don't think I have that money, it was pulling eyeteeth to get my loans for this semester, and that was only for five thousand (the max amount).
Out of state, I was looking at West Chester University:
Eight thousand in tuition.
Two thousand for room.
Two thousand to eat.
I am so screwed.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Slow Me Down by Emmy Rossum.
Isn't it lovely? Go ahead and listen to it. I've had it on repeat.
I've been thinking a lot the past couple weeks, since the confidence giver left me. I've been thinking about what I want out of life, where I belong, what am I going to school for.
I've been doing a lot of praying and a lot of soul searching. I have to say that this one of those Bigger Than Me things. Well, I got the response from my Higher Power. It just wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear.
Social Work. Really God? Really? Fine.
I think I want to be a Patient Advocate. For those of you not in the know, this means that I basically explain to a patient what a procedure is, why it must be done, how to fill out these insurance forms, what questions to ask. And I would go to a doctor to go to bat for the patient, about why they wanted something or didn't want something. There's more, but that's the very basic of it.
It's a pretty new field, but it's going to grow. Just about everything in health care is supposed to, actually. There aren't a lot of programs specifically for that, but social work is a good place to start.
Social work. Which was what I wanted to do when I was sixteen and got discouraged from. It would figure. We always end up where we start, don't we?
Friday, November 5, 2010
I had one friend who gave me a poorly spelled TYPED love letter. Why types a love letter? Isn't the point that it is hand written? Either way, at the beginning of this letter, my friend stated that he knew he shouldn't give it to me.
And yet he proceeded to. It bothered me because I have told him quite nicely several times that I am not interested, and I never will be. It bothered me because he knows I am not over the confidence giver, and I have stated that even if I were, I'm really not into the dating scene right now. It bothered me because he stated in the letter that he would even "tape his mouth shut" so I would enjoy our date.
Well, if you have to do that, should you really be going out with me? Not that he would have to. I enjoy hanging out and being his friend. And that's all. He knew this very well. He also knew that I'm working through so much of my own drama, I just can't handle anyone else's.
I put our friendship on hiatus after I told him all this. I told him I needed time away from him, to work through my anger. I told him he clearly needed time away from me, to get over what I had said, and to think about some other things.
Well, we had gone bowling together the night he gave me this letter. Everyone in our party received a pass for a free game. Lovely, yes? It was good for about two weeks or a month. I don't remember. The Love Letter Guy and another boy had given me their passes to put in my purse. Fair enough. I still have both of those and mine.
One of the other boys I had gone with asked me tonight if I want to go tomorrow. Sure, that's fine. I have nothing else going on. I said I wasn't inviting Love Letter Guy. If they want to, go nuts. I just wasn't going to.
"Okay. Can we give (Love Letter Guy's) pass to (other guy's friend)?"
What? Can I just give away what doesn't belong to me to someone else? All nonchalantly, with malicious intent.
"It isn't mine to give." I said stiffly. "You'd have to ask (LLG)."
"Well, you're the only one who doesn't want him to go!"
"I never said that. I said I wouldn't ask him. Don't put words in my mouth." my friend apologized. "What does that have to do with giving away what isn't mine anyway?" which was the crux of the matter.
"But I can't contact (LLG)." my friend protested, like he suddenly forgot how Facebook worked! I gave him LLG's name, which he knew very well, and he messaged him. I'm not sure what the conversation entailed.
LLG then posted a status update about how he had "earned" the pass (we got them for a broken lane), and how it was being "given to someone else." I was quick to tell him if he wanted it, he could just say so. Nothing would be given away without him saying it was okay.
He went on to state in a much injured way that he wouldn't go because he didn't want to upset me. Well, I don't own bowling, and I told him so. I'm an adult, and if I'm not comfortable with who goes, I won't go. Problem solved! So I told LLG that.
He got pissy when I told him not to be a martyr and said he wanted to go. Awesome, fine, go. He made a comment about me "screaming like a stray fighting over tuna." I told him to knock it off and grow up, and added 'kid'.
He apologized then carried on to say he resented that.
I said I adored that he didn't just let it go and KEPT GOING ON AFTER HE SAID HE DIDN'T WANT TO BOTHER ME.
I HATE MY FRIENDS!!!!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
For the record, I don't have a problem with the fact that she thought she was right about something that she wasn't. I had a problem with the fact that she took an attitude with me when I gently told her she wasn't right.
So I left. Because if you're going to pretend that you can talk to me however you'd like, that's perfectly fine. But I don't think I should have to put myself through that if I don't feel like it.
Since when did it become protocol to treat your company like that anyway? I always thought that when you had people over, you were supposed to treat them with respect so they'd like seeing you and want to come again. If they said something you took umbrage to, you needed to say it in a respect way.
Sure it's your house. They're also your company that you invited over and wanted to see, ostensibly. So why would you treat them shitty and then be shocked when they took your advice and left? If you're really that bothered by something says, you should just ask them politely to leave.
She did apologize by the way, but was then upset when I merely accepted her apology and didn't want to discuss the matter. Why should I? She apologized, I accepted, and made it known that for the time being I would no longer be placing myself in her home if that was the way she felt. She said she understood, then was certain to tell me that she was concerned for mine and my best friend's relationship.
Well, honestly, I don't think that's her damn business. Her business is her relationship with me. If my friend wants to see me, he knows all he has it do is tell me. He and I can figure it out. That's the magic of being an adult! She also said she didn't think it would be over until I discussed it.
Why? Because she wanted to unburden herself, rehash it, or get in one last dig? Or better yet, wanted to know how I felt so she could make sure to tell me I had misinterpreted everything, so she didn't actually have to feel bad?
Yeah, fuck you! I know it seems like I'm holding onto things. And you know, I probably am. I don't care. I don't feel like I want to subject myself to that if that's the way she's going to act. And I don't have to! ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS A PLUS OF BEING AN ADULT! Huffah!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today, there was a tornado warning. Or watch. I'm not sure which. The point is, in the middle of Interpersonal Dumbassery, an administrator poked their head in and said everyone had to go down to the Center for Student Services.
But I didn't want to go. I wanted to go and eat my lunch. Nope, everyone had to go. With a grumbling belly, I followed the herd downstairs to the aforementioned room. Some people managed to sneak out a door and into their cars to get out. Not me. Not me. :(
So we all cop a squat in the Center for Student Services. I was hanging out by a window watching the "storm". It was some wind and a little rain. Literally. That was it. I got shooed away from the glass.
I was so tempted to go; "Fuck you! I'm twenty one, starving, and late for a test! If I wanna stand by a window, I fucking will!" But I didn't. I plopped down on the floor at the behest of a boy I'd met once before.
He hangs out at the same place I do between classes. He has, in the past, made some inappropriate comments about my breasts. And they were entirely innocent. I will say that my breasts are kind of a joke amongst my friends, but we can TELL when they're a joke. They aren't brazen comments about how large and wet they are from the rain...
So I plopped down. And this boy, whom I have spoken to a handful of times in my life, proceeds to wrap his arm around me and SNUGGLE me! SNUGGLE ME! I didn't want to be snuggled! Then he tried to get me to go to sleep. ON HIM!
I was sooo wildly uncomfortable. I managed to squirm away. He was still invading my bubble, his knee touching mine. In desperation, I reached for my phone. But service out at the college is shoddy at best, so I was unable to complete my call to my BFF in Ohio.
"Use my phone!" Creepy Pants said.
"It's long distance, don't worry about it."
"To call your brother?" (I had tried to call my older brother earlier.)
"No. To call my---boyfriend."
"Boyfriend?" (I'm pretty sure he knows that the confidence giver and I broke up last week.)
"Yeah. I wanted to let him know where I was."
"Well, where is HE?"
"Ohio!" I blurted. "With my best friend!"
"What's he doing down THERE."
"He goes to OSU."
"...Oh," and with a sulk, he lumbered over to a computer to get on fanfiction.net.
This dude seriously gives me the creeps. He's too interested in me, my body, and my chest. I really feel like he wants to touch my No-No Square. Ugh. No thanks.
But I don't just want to never speak to this guy ever again. And I don't think it's fair to label someone like that when I have no proof but a feeling. I'm a nice person, and I like being nice to people. Is it nice to tell this guy to piss off, he's a creeper? No, it is not.
I'm just going to sit with someone else whenever he wanders into the Potter Center, I guess.
Argh. I hate people
Sunday, October 24, 2010
"We accept the love we think we deserve." I don't remember what book it came from. Nor do I care. It doesn't matter at this point. At that matters is I want to write it all over my walls, on the few mirrors we keep in this house, on the front of my file folder, and on the insides of my wrists.
Just so I don't forget.
This past five days has been--hellish, to say the least. I cried for fifteen hours straight after my confidence up and left me. I could, and did, sit and have a completely normal conversation, just be crying the whole time.
I cried when I laid myself down to sleep. I cried when I tried to pick up a pen to write in my journal. I cried when I tried on new clothes during a retail therapy shopping spree. I cried when I tried to drink a milkshake. I cried in the shower. I cried when I walked down to my lab and realized that I hadn't even changed and just could NOT face dissecting a cat.
But you know... I don't think I'm angry anymore. My confidence left for reasons that frankly, only he understands. I think it hurt me more that the whole time he was doing it, he was regretting it. He told me so.
So why do it?
I wish I could understand. I wish I could rationalize it, and explain it to the both of us. I wish I could just fix this for both of us.
He doesn't want to be fixed.
I know that now.
And though he thought he was saving me, he was really killing me just a little bit. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.
I still pray for him every night. I want him to be happy, to be healthy, to be in that place called Okay. Because I can see now that he wasn't there. And he might not be there for a very long time.
But I can't save him. He doesn't want me to save him.
I dream about him. But the dreams are getting less and less vivid as the days pass, and I wake up with dry cheeks. I don't know if I like this or not. I don't know if I can count this as a triumph or as another loss.
Maybe both. Nothing in life is black and white, and I will be happier if I don't try and put it in places like that.
My point is; I don't deserve to be treated like that. I never did. I have committed no great sin that warrants me wishing I was dead.
And this is my pledge; I will NOT accept that love anymore. I will NOT be treated that way. I do NOT deserve it.
I will tell myself this even if it's through tears, gritted teeth, and depression. This is going to the be one thing that's going to save me. I will not accept the love that I don't deserve.
Here's another quote from the Sixx AM song Girl With Golden Eyes. It's from Nikki Sixx's journal as he was withdrawing from heroin, and relates to how I've felt:
Day Three-I haven't had anything for three days now. This withdrawal is killing me. It's like shock therapy to my guts.
Day Four-Last visit to the clinic. My whole body feels like it's cracking into pieces. Fragile doesn't even come close to describing how I feel.
Day Five- I'm sick as a dog, but this handful of painkillers and a lotta whiskey's going to get me through.
Day Six- When I'm left to my own devices, I go fucking insane. I'll never use heroin again.
Day Seven- I can't believe I'm clean.
Day Eight-Everyone says I look better.
Day Nine-The parasites are panicking.
Day Ten-They seem amazed that I'm alive.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Maybe they are important. Maybe they are Part of the Process. I spend a lot of time understanding the Process. And maybe hurting and being miserable, even in my dreams, maybe being beaten, raped, tortured, murdered... Maybe that's important.
This sounds so sick (but I have always loved owning my sickness. I've always loved claiming that and making that work with me rather than against me) but these nightmares remind me that no matter what's happening to me, it COULD always be worse.
At least I'm not being butchered. At least I'm not in a room where the paintings are weeping blood. At least priests aren't threatening to sacrifice me to Satan. So maybe, just maybe, these nightmares give me a little perspective. And it's when I lose perspective that I start having issues.
I've had an emotional upset this week. I lost my confidence giver, and so I am shaken and alone, and afraid, and broken. (He, of course, refuses to own the things that he has said and done to me, and steadfastly maintains that I am not broken. He maintains that no one breaks. This is a boy I picked up shattered and put back together. I suppose that is neither here nor there.)
So of course I've been having nightmares. However, in the midst of these nightmares, I had the most beautiful dream.
I was in this huge house, laying in a brass bed, with white sheets. This room was full of people, all sleeping in similar beds. I couldn't sleep. And a man, a tall, handsome man began walking down the row.
And he began to sing to us. He started to sing to us. It's in Finnish, but my best translation is Underneath All These Stars.
He was in love with me. And I would wake up right as he walked away. So he began to come with me and stand by my side.
It was beautiful. To be sung to sleep.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I turned twenty one yesterday (because I'm writing this at two in the morning and today is the new yesterday). I am an adult now. I know I still live with you. I know you still pay my bills--except the ones you don't. Like my school tuition, you don't pay that. And you don't pay for my books. And you don't pay my cell phone bill. And you don't pay my doctor bills anymore, I'm on the hook for that after you didn't pay for the surgery I had like you PROMISED.
So basically, you're paying my food, my heat, my lights, my internet, and sometimes my bus back and forth to school. This is a lot. I will understand and acknowledge this. I even appreciate it. I appreciate it a lot!
This is why I go out of my way not to be a jackass to you. I wash your clothes. I cook your meals. I do the shopping. I do a lot of the cleaning. I don't do things I want to do and should be doing because I am twenty one. And I don't do them because you don't like me to do them.
You do not seem to understand, acknowledge or appreciate this.
So let's have a run down, shall we?
1. I wear noise cancelling headphones. You bought them for me. You bought them for me BECAUSE they were noise cancelling headphones. Because then I wouldn't have to turn my music up so loud, and so then I could put myself into my own little world while working and doing homework. Okay?
This means I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR YOU WHEN MY HEADPHONES ARE IN! I am not IGNORING you. I am not DISRESPECTING YOU! I am not DELIBERATELY BREAKING YOUR HEART AND RUINING YOUR LIFE BECAUSE I AM LISTENING TO MY MUSIC!!!! OKAY!?!? I. JUST. CANNOT. HEAR. YOU. Are we clear on that?
So basically, when the headphones are in and you want something like--the channel changed, your bowl taken to the sink, or the fan turned on, or something equally dumb and that you could do yourself; don't throw a book at me! Don't scream at me and then scream at me because you were screaming at me! Don't throw a ball of yarn at me!
JUST DO IT YOURSELF! You're a grown ass woman who can walk the four steps to the television--because you broke the remote--the seven steps to the sink, or the six steps to the fan, which is exactly between us so it's just as easy for you. Okay? Okay.
2. Shut up about my area. I have a grand total of FOUR FEET in this house. Yes, it's messy. Know why? I don't have a damn place to hold the (very little) I actually own. I used to have more, remember? But your son's boyfriend, who had thrown me down the stairs, and you still didn't make him leave, threw all that out in the snow and there was a lot you couldn't save.
So just shut up about it, okay? Because I would LOVE to move back up into my room and have space, and sleep in the dark with the television off if I feel like it. But every time I bring it up, you have a fit about it because you're not ready for me to.
So pick one.
3. Please start turning the television off before you decide it's bed time. Or let me. I haven't slept properly in months. This could be either because I sleep on a LOVESEAT that doesn't let me lay in any shape but pretzel, or because you insist on the television being on twenty four seven. And then you want it to be on the channel that plays those annoying infomercials that infect my dreams and give me nightmares. But you don't care! As long as you can listen to your Good Morning America or The Today Show or WHATEVER that is just DANDY, isn't it?
4. You have another child. A son. Remember him? Oh right, you prefer to sit on the couch and sob because you feel like he's a failure or something. Whatever. I quit listening. But don't think I'm going to waste my time trying to fix everything for you anymore, because you know how to fix this whole your son thing. Kick him out. You won't. But you know. So just shut up.
5. I love you. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let you be a bitch to me just because it suits you. You know better than that. Fuck.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I have to go and violate social norms. What does this mean? It basically means be a creeper and do something to make someone else uncomfortable.
And all I can think is; don't I do that on a daily basis? I mean, not intentionally, but just because I ignore social norms? Am I not doing that by even keeping this blog? I have to say this blog is pretty personal and I've posted some things that I haven't even told some of my close friends. (Most of my friends, I think, I don't even know it exists. Not because I don't want to share, but simply because they know about the VAST majority of it.)
But really. I go to the store in pajamas. I dance to my mp3 player in the store. I stare at people in the elevator. Not because I'm rude, but because I like their shoes. I touch people when I've bumped into them. I say things like; "Your hair is so pretty! That's a cute dress. I loooove your necklace."
These are things that people don't do. It violates the social norm.
But honestly, I think the social norm is kind of a load of bullshit. Why can't I just say that to people? Why can't I wear my pajamas? Why can't I sing and dance? Because someone else is bothered? Well someone else can just go to hell.
I should probably write my paper about that, in retrospect.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I am willing to do that.
I'm just so FRUSTRATED at myself. There was NOTHING on that test I didn't know. But I panicked. I panicked because I had forty five seconds at each bone station, which is enough time to second guess yourself and erase and rewrite and circle and scribble and hyperventilate.
I mean, I forgot what a SCAPULA is. HOW COULD I DO THAT? THAT IS STUPIDLY SIMPLE! There was just so much information in my head that I just--blanked out. And while it is something that happens to everyone, it's not something that I can afford.
My instructor has admitted that they make this class so hard because there are so many people going into the medical field. You don't want people who don't know what they're doing working on you. (Herp derp.) I can really get behind this because so many people are going into nursing now because; "You make good money." Not because they want to work with people, not because they want to put forth the effort. They want money. I can kind of see that, but medical care is the wrong field to have this mentality.
This is a weed out class, and so is Medical Terminology. All this work is supposed to scare away the people who don't need to be there. Sadly, the people who are smart enough and just--panicked, need more time, whatever... Well, we're kind of screwed too.
I have come up with a new study plan, including a study group (whoo!) and spreading out my studying instead of doing it all the week of the test. I'm hoping that would help. I hate first tests anyway, you can never tell how an instructor is going to grade. I've had some go through with a red pen like they were getting their jollies on by marking you wrong. And I've had some struggle every which way to get you the grade that you need.
You can never tell what one will be. Biology (and Medical Terminology, for that matter) has a really strict way to grade so it's a level playing field for all the applicants going into one of the medical studies programs. I'm just hoping and praying and doing my best to make it into mine.
I don't have a back up plan at this point. I should probably get on that.
In other, happier news, I've thirty six dollars closer to going to Finland when I do finish school. Hurray!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I sit in the back of the room. I like to have my back to the wall. I also like to sit up towards the front so I can hear/see better. I like to take off my glasses sometimes, and if I'm up front, I can still see the board! It doesn't matter in this class, the instructor wanders around a bit, and doesn't use the board that often.
So I sit in the back, and we're in one of those three quarter boxes with the tables. So I'm ALMOST in a corner, but not quite. On one side is a pretty nice girl, she sits quietly, takes her notes, and doesn't mind when my stuff flows onto her side of the desk. (I don't let that happen often, just when I'm digging through my bag for something.)
On my other side, in the Corner of Cattiness, there sit three stereotypes. The OHMYGOD,I'MALTERNATIVEANDANARTIST!!!! girl, the IWASANATHLETEINHIGHSCHOOL,THATMAKES MERELEVANTINCOLLEGE,RIGHT!?!?!? girl, and I'MAMOMSOEVERYTHINGISAYISWIIIIIIIIIIISE girl. They make me want to stab myself in the eye.
To be clear, I don't want to smash my head into the cinder blocks behind me just because they're like that. That is perfectly fine with me. What is not fine is they sit and make snide comments about everything anyone says ever. Through the whole class. To the point where I can hear their attitude over the lecture.
And you know, I think it's fine they have their little opinions about what people say. My problem is they are NEVER positive, and they are NEVER kind. (Because you can not like what someone says and still be kind about it.) And it goes on all. Class. Long. That is an hour and a half of hearing these little remarks.
"Look at that guy, he looks like a banana!" "Don't hurt yourself, (in reference to a boy saying he had been thinking about something)" "I hope we don't get ANYONE from that group in OUR group when we have our final project." "Goood, they don't shut uuuuuuuuup, do they?"
I gave some glares a couple times and rolled my eyes at them. Their negativity really brings me down. I have even had to use my palm as a blinder to not get visually distracted by them.
Look, I don't care they come to class and don't listen. I don't either. I don't care that they've made friends with each other. Awesome, if that's what you come to class for, I'm glad you met your goal. I don't care that they don't seem to like anyone else. I care that they are distracting me and creating a hostile learning environment for everyone else.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
It was what she wanted. She told me that much. I knew that to be true. This was probably the easiest birthday present I've ever bought for her. She was always so difficult to buy for, both because she was impatient and because she was just so—weird. There was no one hobby that I knew I could buy something to contribute to. No cake pans for a baker, no knitting needles for a crafty woman, no stamps for the collector. And even if she did see something she liked, she would go and buy it for herself. She liked a million things and liked nothing all at the same time.
It sometimes felt like she was depriving me of the privilege of seeing her face light up when I bought something PERFECT. Perhaps I felt that way because so often she handed me a small box wrapped messily in newspaper and electrical tape that took me hours to peel off. And it was always something perfect.
Perfection was something she didn't strive for, and yet so easily attained, it made me sick. Yet, nothing really ever seemed perfect to her.
I bought a diamond.
This wasn't one of the glassy ones that they keep at the Wal-Mart in gold bands that are liable to turn your finger green. And yet neither was it one of the huge rocks they sold in blue boxes that said everything by their size and garishness. (Why of course you're in a stable relationship! Why else would he spend thousands of dollars convincing you that marrying him will be worth your time?)
She hated those things. She thought they cheapened they sanctity of gift giving and love and the meaning of a ring.
“Don't you understand? It's a circle, and a circle is eternal in a way nothing else is. There's no beginning and no end. Well, I take it back. Only love has an eternity like that. You don't really start loving someone, you only come to realize that you loved them the whole time. And you never really stop, you only don't let yourself say it out loud anymore, because loving them hurts you so bad it will make you burst on the inside. You lie, because if you don't live in a lie, you'll have to lay down and die. I mean, you get over it, eventually. Well, you don't really get over it. It's like cancer, it goes into remission, but you live with the knowledge that it's always there, inside of you, and it will eventually eat you from the inside out.”
Love was dangerous. She alone made me understand that. When I told her one day that I didn't understand why we bothered to love, she just looked at me the way a mother looks at her child when he asks why flowers die.
“It's the same reason that people snort cocaine. They fall in love because they need to. They are at a place where if they don't fall in love, they are going to fall apart, and falling apart means you'll never be put back together the same way.”
“But doesn't the same thing happen to every addict?”
“I suppose. The writing is different, but the stories all end the same way. I think when you fall in love, the tragic ending is just a little bit sweeter.”
So I bought a diamond.
I bought this diamond at the antique mall that she had spent so many hours haunting, wandering about in. She would touch all the dusty bits of old finery, flip the molded pages of diaries that were long lingering after their authors.
I knew she'd like this one better. It had—character. History. All things that she had wanted so badly in her life.
I carried the ring, ever so slightly tarnished, back to my house, clutched in my palm with my fist in my pocket. I carried it past the threshold I still found myself waiting for her to cross. I sat on the couch that her smell lingered in, sat next to the afghan she had stayed up all night finishing.
I stared up at my mantlepiece that she had found so charming and romantic. She was there, of course, both frozen in the pictures of her youth and the urn I had so carefully picked out for her. Black and faintly Gothic looking, a choice she would have made for herself, I thought.
I hadn't been able to bury her in consecrated ground. They never let suicides do that.
I cross the room and set the ring carefully on the lid. For the first time in three days, I smiled.
I had, after all, found the perfect present.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
No. I don't. I don't want to go to class and play Jeopardy, or one half of the room vs. the other half to see who gets more questions or Hangman or anything else. I want to go, read the text book, get the lecture, take my notes, and leave. I understand that not everyone can learn this way. It's just really annoying for the people who do, because every time we start in on this, I watch the clock and think how much of my life I'm wasting.
I do tend to journal a lot in that class. It's quite soothing, and I've found myself writing more and more. I think that's a good thing. I feel like I'm breaking a curse.
Anyway, even though I'm just shooting for a two point in that class, I got a ninety on my test! (This teacher, by the way said that not all cultures value interpersonal communication, no one in the world listens critically, and keeps mixing up low and high context culture so no one REALLY knows what she means. Awesome!) I'm really just daring to be mediocre, because this is an ADO and not required for my program. Meaning every hour I spend studying this bull shit is an hour I'm not putting into a hard class that matters.
I did get my second Medical Terminology test back. One hundred percent! Hell yeah! I almost danced with glee. That was just too much awesome. The lowest two get dropped, and so far I'm at 84 and 100. This test was harder as I only read the chapter three times instead of four. The lowest two get dropped, though.
So, here I am, with one more hurdle this week; the biology test. 100 multiple choice questions and seven (maybe?) stations for the lab practical, with forty five seconds at each station, and then three minutes after to go around and second guess yourself! Faaaabulous.
Dr. FireFox (not his real name) let us ask questions last class about the test. "Hey guys?" he said. "I know this is coming as a shock to you, but I really WON'T read your tests and go; fuck you, fuck you fuck you fuck you... I WANT you to do well! I'll give you ever point I can!"
I'm still nervous as hell. He does grade on a curve though. Here's to hoping studying helps. :/
Friday, September 24, 2010
Be that as it may, I still needed to go half way across town to pay a bill for She Who Must Be Kept. I decided not to bother with bugging a friend to take me, I didn't want to hang out at all, I just wanted to go and pay this bill. The bus is only a dollar anyway.
So I got on the bus, got downtown, and made my transfer. As soon as I got on, this bus driver was giving me withering looks. I don't know why. I've only ever ridden that route maybe twice? And neither time I had that driver. I don't think I've actually ever encountered her before, which is rare. I've ridden the bus for about eight years now, and most of the drivers know who I am. They don't know my name, but they know I go to the community college, I went to the high school on the college campus, and I sit and read for most of the ride, and say thank you when I get off.
So I got on, and when I saw my stop coming up, I hit the button. No buzzer went off, and the light didn't flash. Weird, huh? Especially because this was one of the NEWFANCYEXPENSIVEAREN'TYOUGLADYOUPASSEDTHATMILAGE?!?!?!? buses. Whatever, maybe I didn't press it hard enough.
Nope. It was broken. Something.
So I popped out my earbud. "Hey, do you think I could get off at the next stop, please?" I called. Raising my voice was difficult, and I am particularly hard to understand right now because of my hoarse voice and stuffed nose.
"WHY WOULD YOU ASK?!?" she turned and screamed. "You pressed the button! Why would you ask to get off at the next stop!?!? WHY?!?!?!"
...What? Seriously, what? I have no idea what the issue was here. The buzzer didn't go off, the light didn't flash. I just wanted to get off, pay my bill, and go home. I wasn't interested in causing problems. I asked to be let off, because I didn't feel like walking in the sun, which I am ALLERGIC to.
"Well, madam, I didn't hear the buzzer." I said stiffly. "But I will be SURE to let the bus station know about this."
"Good! I'll tell them too!"
Tell them what, I wonder? That she went postal because I asked to get off the fucking bus? I'm pretty sure if I hadn't asked, she wouldn't have zipped past my stop and if I ASKED then, she would have shouted at me to push the button.
I wrote out a complaint (after walking two miles) when I got back to the transfer center. I was told they only take their written complaints once a week. Because that makes sense? And I would get a call back.
I told She Who Must Be Kept too. I guess she's calling herself to discuss this attitude. I mean, I don't understand the issue. I asked to be let off the bus because it wasn't working. I don't know if the driver can see me or intends to let me off if the buzzer doesn't go off and the lights don't flash.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The computers are currently running on dreams and duct tape. The ones we have in the "information commons" (read: library. Only without too many books. When, I wonder, did books become obsolete?) are ever so much nicer, as well they should be with that five hundred dollar tuition hike.
However, you can never really get a computer in the libr--information commons. This because everyone uses it for that all important learning tool known as Facebook. Never mind that you are standing there, tapping your foot and checking you watch, counting the minutes until you have to be in class and you HAVE to print out this report. Farmville is so much more important than class. Playing about a hundred bucks an hour for Farmville, now that's where it's at.
So I'm sitting using the crappy computers for my blogging, because that's a much more appropriate use, I think. Yes, I am getting up on my high horse. I don't care.
And I have to say--I HATE ALL THESE PEOPLE HERE. There is no space. People often come up and peer in these too big windows.
I can never get anything productive done.
Friday, September 17, 2010
But, I told all my friends I was busy today since SWMBK took it off (which she never does). We had to go and get her plates renewed and she needed a new license. To my surprise, the Farmer's Market was still going on outside of the Secretary of State. By the way, there was a bumper sticker in SoS that said; Recycle yourself! Become an organ donor! Now, I'm all for organ donation, I even have the sticker on my I.D. But I don't really see how that is going to endear it to anyway.
I got some organic!fresh!local! tomatoes. Three bucks for bigass ones, two bucks for a basket of cherry tomatoes. I love organic!local!fresh! stuff, but I don't like buying it at the grocery store. It always seems to cost a little too much, and I never feel like I can believe them.
Anyway, SWMBK wanted to drive the thirty miles to her hometown so we could go to the tavern and buy pizza. And we did. And oh dear God, it was worth the drive, and the price. (For three people, that's three drinks, one refill each, mozzarella sticks, and one large four topping pizza at thirty dollars.) It was seriously the best damn pizza ever. Apparently they make all of it from scratch.
Also, it turns out SWMBK is really good at pinball. Like, scary good. Like, setting new high scores on the machine good. It turns out she and my father used to go to that same tavern when they first met every Friday to play. She played all through her pregnancy with my brother, until she was too big to reach the buttons anymore.
I wondered if she missed my father tonight. If she wanted him there to celebrate being forty five. But, in the end, when she said it was the best birthday ever...
...Maybe she didn't miss him.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Typically, I get up at six in the morning so I can be up at my bus stop at six forty five. It only takes me about fifteen minutes to get ready, but this way I have extra time if I can't find my socks or if I want to make some toast.
I sit at the bus stop for ten minutes, get on the bus downtown, wait another ten minutes to get on the bus to school, and I am there about about seven thirty. I then study, get on Facebook, and hang out with friends until eleven o clock when my class starts.
I hate getting up early. I hate that the bus to school is always crowded. It really bugs the shit out of me. I can't stand people being near me that early in the morning. If I get up at seven, I can take the eight twenty bus in. The bus is only marginally less crowded though. Argh.
I also tend to lose track of days. She Who Must Be Kept woke me up on her way out to tell me I could go and lay on the big couch, then asked me if I was staying home today.
"WHY?!?! What day is it?!?!"
"Oh. No classes. Then yes. I am staying here." And I flopped back to sleep.
I need to keep better track of myself.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
(Oh yeah, you didn't know that about me. I know some German now. There's a lot you don't know about me, I suppose, not the least of which is my--name.)
I will be twenty one in about a month. Can you believe that? I'll be legally able to do all the "adult" things I've been doing since I was a child. I'm already waiting for a birthday card that I know won't come.
Perhaps I'm foolish... naive... well, actually, I prefer to think I'm just hopeful. I'm probably a little too hopeful. It's led to some pretty crushing moments in the past, and this won't be any different. I know this.
I will be twenty one, and strangely enough, I won't be running to the bar and drinking. I won't be opening my mouth to pour the bitterness of Washing Everything Away down my throat. I am afraid of becoming an addict, like you. Thanks for that, by the way, I love living in fear of anything. Thanks for my addictive personality. Thanks for this genetic code that's buried somewhere deep inside of my skin, I know enough to understand that if it goes off, if I become like you, I am a Goner.
And that is one thing in life I never want to be.
I will be twenty one, and you will finally be Free of Obligations to Me. Then again, I suppose this is really not much of anything to you. You've been free of me since my thirteenth birthday. Except for that brief year and a half when you were forced to pay child support, since you left I've gotten nothing from you.
I wonder, Oh Giver of Half My Genes, if you think of me on October 17th. I wonder if you lay awake, I wonder if you pass by the birthday cake in Wal-Mart and wonder if I'm eating any. I wonder if you walk through a bookstore, pick up a novel here or there, and consider buying it to mail to me, just because I might like it. I wonder if you walk by the birthday cards and think about picking one up for me and signing them like you used to; Love, Daddy.
Love, Daddy. I have not read those words from you in a VERY long time, and I am coming to terms with the fact that I never will again. It's been a long time for me. I know that you blame me for all of this. You told me as much the day you left. You told me that I didn't love you enough, and so you were leaving.
Because thirteen year olds can ruin the lives of grown men. You must have been... Forty two then, I think? Mom would have been--thirty eight? This somehow doesn't sound right. But my calculator tells me this is true.
I've been doing some math lately. You know how bad I am at that, but I have been making the attempt. This isn't the kind of math that you can really use scratch paper for, though. I've been doing some math, taking all the ways you didn't love me from all the ways that you did.
And do you know? I keep coming up empty handed. This shouldn't be a surprise to you, but I have a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach that it is. Most likely. Yeah, you'll be shocked like you always are when I can add up all the things you did not do for me. All the meager things that you did for me--well, they don't even compare.
And it's sick. It's sick that I can do this, and it's sick that I keep doing this, and frankly; I'm sick. I know that now. You have poisoned me, and I am finally opening myself up to bleed you out of me. It is messy, and I am constantly having to look away, but I am doing it.
Because if I don't, this poison will turn me black on the inside, and I'm pretty sure it could just kill me. Not like, literally. It would kill all these Good Things about me that people point out; it would make me a bitter, withered, lonely old shell. Like you.
I never want to be like you.
You know, sometimes I wish you could say you were sorry. You were sorry for saying those things to me when you left, and you were sorry for leaving me in the first place. I wish you could say you were sorry for leaving Mom like you did, and leaving me to pick up the mess that you left. (I never did it correctly. Yeah, thanks for that too.) I wish you could apologize for all the things we Went Without because we didn't have Enough because of what you took and didn't take when you left. Because of what you Didn't Give us. We didn't even get a door prize when you left, like so many other women and children did. You didn't think we were worth it, and wanted to punish my mother, and in doing so, my brother and I suffered.
I wish I could hear you apologize to me. But you're not sorry, and if I ever hear one more lie out of your rotten mouth, I will have to rip it off. I say this not out of violence, but out of honesty. It's a concept you've never grasped, but there you have it.
I wish you knew half of the Hell I've gone through since you left. I wish you knew what I've had to deal with. I won't bother to tell you, because I know what you'll say; "Well, if you had just APOLOGIZED to me...." Because I had so much to be sorry for? Perhaps the only thing I can apologize for is that I refused to swallow your scraps of love and pretend it's what I deserved.
I know better know. I know I deserve better. Better than whatever you wanted to give me. And believe me, it's been a long hard road figuring THAT one out, and I've had to deal with a lot of sick people, but hey... I'm there now, and sometimes it isn't the journey, it's the destination.
I deserve to be loved. I am worthy of that. And I know that first I had to realize that I had to love myself, and I do now. That was tough to swallow, a Big Thing, but I did that too. No thanks to you.
I know that if you could see me now, you'd tell me how proud you are of me. All I can say is; "Why? You didn't help. All that I am and all that I have done is really nothing to do with you." I'd probably then tell you in no uncertain terms to get away from me and stay away from me, and to stay the HELL away from my mother too, for that matter.
I am almost twenty one. I will be An Adult, though I'm sure that I've been one for a long time now. The calendar just now agrees with my soul. I will be An Adult. But you...You are still a child.
And that pretty much sucks.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Actually, it isn't owned by my college anymore. We own the SPACE, but a couple years ago, it was determined that we should rent it out to another bookstore. For some reason. Since then, they've jacked up our prices, made really weird rules about returning/refunds, and straight out fucked around.
You might have read my post about book rentals. Well, the thing is, as the end of last winter semester, they had posted a whole bunch of signs talking about renting text books. You could save up to fifty percent! Isn't that awesome?
And trust me, they made it sound like they were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Like they aren't making money off renting us these books that cost pennies to print. Like they're taking a loss because they JUST WANT US TO DO WELL! They even took out a newspaper ad to tell us aaaaaaaall about it.
That is bull shit.
First of all, a grand total of probably twenty titles are available for rental. That is pitiful. I do go to a smaller college (although this semester we have the same enrollment as one of the bigger Universities in my state. You figure that one out) but that is sad. And don't think any of the expensive books were available for rental. Oh no. It was the books that cost fifty bucks or less that were for rent anyway.
And none of these books were for the medical field, which is my college's bread and butter right now. They do have other programs, but the nursing/medical programs are what really bring home the bacon. They tell us this is why they're building us a BEAUTIFUL new building for all the neeeew labs and nice computers. JUST FOR US! It's still only fifty percent done. They started work last year. It's a nice idea, but in the meantime, they're cramming all these labs into rooms just not built for it, so even though it's to "help" us, we're suffering. Also, this winter a couple friends of mine stood around and watched the construction because we wanted to see how some machine worked. We watched one guy move the same pile of dirt around for five minutes. No joke. We couldn't come up with an explanation for that one.
And by the way, when you go to figure out the cost of your books, which you can do at the bookstore website, they don't tell you how to rent. You need a credit card. Now, it used to be people my age had credit cards. Since the economy shit the bed, that hasn't happened. Anymore, most people's parents aren't even paying for books.
They tell you by clicking through another website. Through their FAQs. On the bottom. In small print.
So like I said, She Who Must Be Kept called the store and got nasty. One of my friends works at the bookstore, and I mentioned it to him.
"Tell her never to do that again!" he snapped. "WE can't change anything." Well, too bad. Then pass it on to people who can, you know? It's ridiculous.
Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that they rent the cheaper books, because they had to pay out too much when we went to sell them back.
I hate selling back my books too. There's like, a black market for books at my school. They will decide they have too many of one book (because they don't want too many used, they don't make enough money on those) and won't take them back. They'll suddenly change editions (and teacher's will tell you the old edition is just fine, they haven't changed everything), or they'll do an overhaul of a department--which happened with math one year, but that wasn't the bookstore's fault.
Some of us have resorted to ordering our books online. They are wise to this and will wrap books and tape over the ISBN. And if you ask for it, they won't give it to you. You can still search by title, but some sites really need the ISBN for that edition or to be sure or WHATEVER.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
September is a very expensive month or me. There are four birthdays that I need to buy for. And while none of the people I am buying things for asked for anything complicated or expensive, I'm still worried. I always get worried. What if they don't like what I give them!?!?
A couple months ago, a friend of mine had his birthday. I asked him what he wanted. (The usual answer between my friends is a CD, a book, a DVD, something like that. My favorite present to give is a chance to go shopping and out to a meal with me. Not because I'm so fabulous people are gifted with my time, but so we can have quality time together not at a party, all my attention is on them, they get to pick out their present so I know it is exactly what they wanted, and the meal is just what they wanted. I've had a couple friends tell me they really like it, especially because I do it after their birthday, so they know what they got or didn't get and can pick something they really wanted and didn't receive.)
"Money," he said. Money. He looked me dead in the face and asked me for money.
"I am NOT giving you money." I spat haughtily. He shrugged and said that was fine. Money! How could you ask for MONEY!
Maybe it's just because of the way I was raised. We weren't even allowed to ask for gift certificates (with the exception of the used bookstore). We were to give a detailed list of what we wanted to someone who ASKED for it. I hated it! I wish I could have just asked for money, it would have saved me *years* of ugly sweaters, ill fitting shoes, and age inappropriate toys.
You know, it seems like if you were going to ask for money, you'd ask your relatives, and not one of your friends. I don't even know why that bothered me so much! But my God, MONEY! I want MONEY.
I didn't give him anything, by the way.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well, I got a reply.
Not from the Dean though, I am apparently not important enough. Instead, what I got was this (from my financial advisor that I had already been harassing for stuff to get done).
I hope this email finds you doing well and having a marvelous day! Our records indicate that your loan has been packaged and is available for you to accept online. Once you accept your loans you then will be able to order online or go to the book store and purchase books. We understand your frustration at this time and we hope you continue to be successful in perusing your educational goals.
This is what has been done on your behalf; Your Pell review was completed on August 11th . The government will not allow our loan processors to process loans until the Pell review is complete and all of the required steps of the loan application are completed. At this time of the year it has been taking the loan processors 4 weeks to process the multitude of loan applications that have been submitted once they are ready for review. Our records indicate that we received the last step of your loan application on August 17th and that is when your loan was ready for review. The loan processors have to complete the loans in the order that they come in and your loan was packaged and awarded today. We do appreciate your patient in this time and we do understand the frustration you are feeling. Hopefully with your aid in place you will be able to focus on your course work and have a wonderful semester. Again we do apologize for any inconvenience and dissatisfaction that this situation may have caused, but please understand that we are working diligently on all students behalf to maintain total student success. Thank you for your inquiry and have a spectacular evening. If you have any further inquiries please feel free to contact me via email at c*********ll@j****.edu or by phone at --- --- ----
Financial Aid Specialist
From: S***** M******* M
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 4:27 PM
To: C*** M****** L
M*****, please review and advise….thanks
Once again, I have omitted names and e-mail addresses because this is the Internet, and I really don't think that needs to be out.
I have never in my whole life felt so disrespected. All I can read from this is; "I am much too busy to address your concerns (because there is no apology for the treatment I and other kids have gotten, or the bus passes! Dear sweet Jesus, the mother fucking BUS PASSES!). So I will pass this along to some poor sap who can't actually do much of anything, ciao!"
What. The. Hell. She couldn't take two minutes out her day to PERSONALLY apologize or EXPLAIN HERSELF???
The issue WASN'T my loan anymore! The issue was the WAY I WAS BEING TREATED! And apparently the way I am continuing to be treated! Oh boy! What is up with this!?!?
This is the reply that I am sending;
First of all, I would like to thank you for your prompt attempt at resolving my issue. Never before have I had a critical matter handed off to a subordinate so quickly.
While my attempts with Mr. C*** and the other staff at your institution availed me nothing, apparently you forwarding my e-mail did result in some sort of resolution. I am sure the college values me as a student, as Mr. C*** so eloquently, if not correctly, presented in his e-mail that I am including below. Might I suggest the college invest in a spell checking and grammar program. Mr. C**** referred to me having a 'patient'. I hope he meant 'patience'. Although, the stress I have endured this semester simply trying to attend may make me someone's patient. I have highlighted the areas in his e-mail that I am referencing. Or perhaps all your staff should audit the course English 131 that all of your students are required to take. It certainly would be educational, from the letters I have received. Although the college may feel that the "personal touch" ie referencing just my first name is comfortable and cozy, I find it unprofessional, disrespectful, and lacking the manners of a big university. I wish you the best of luck in obtaining the university status that we students have been hearing so much about through the grapevine lately.
Second, while your speed to delegate me to a subordinate is applauded, a direct response from you beyond your quick little note of delegation would have been the professional way to handle this matter. Surely a person of your stature has had the above mentioned English course, and perhaps a business correspondence course? If not, might I suggest one, perhaps?
Lastly, I send this communication not out of spite, malice, or anger, but purely confusion, frustration, angst, and hurt. I believe I said all this clearly in my original letter to you. The lack of communication skills that are prevalent throughout this institution need to be rectified. This is occurring at all levels, from your articles in the newspaper ("Wow! I can rent a book!" But it doesn't tell me what I have to go through) to your web based learning that doesn't upload and crashes often, to an instructor, that refuses to use your own own program, and demands we use a completely different program and server to participate in their class.
I can appreciate I am only one of many hoping to have my voice heard. I will not anxiously await a professional response as you seem to be busy. If I do not hear from you within a reasonable time frame, I will be forwarding this your superior, the J***** C***** P*****, and the White House.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It's a dumb class, but it's one of those stupid ADO--associate degree outcomes. Everyone who intends to walk out of my college with a degree has to satisfy certain requirements. A communications class is one of them. Because I TOTALLY didn't take two in high school, TOTALLY haven't had years of therapy or anything. I know nothing about communication.
Anyway, my other friend that had lent me the money for my biology books--a class which is not bullshit--couldn't loan me more for my book RENTAL. That's right, some places will RENT college books! They cost a fraction of the price, you just can't write in them and don't sell them back.
Well, I had ANOTHER friend offer to loan me the twenty six bucks for the book. $26 for a college book? What a bargain, what a deal!
I got done with my four and a half hours of classes, which only happens because of my college's computer error that resulted in dropped classes so I had to scramble to get what I could, I went to stand in the bookstore. For twenty minutes. Just standing in line.
I dutifully asked if I could rent this book. "Sure," said the girl. "Have you registered for it?"
"Um, no. I'm afraid not. No one's ever told me I had to."
"Oh, it's okay. I need your liscense or picture state ID. And a valid credit card."
"I don't have one." I'm twenty with no reliable income, why would I have one.
"Then no book rental! Would you like to purchase it?" Fuck. No.
"Hey, it would have been AWESOME to read that on the website or actually have it posted somewhere before I waste my whole day in here." I snapped and marched out. I informed my friends of the issue, and then e-mailed She Who Must Be Kept.
It's Tuesday and SWMBK is already having a bad week. This is not a good time to mess with her.
She was on the phone so fast, it would make your head spin. Here's the thing, on my school's bookstore's website; it doesn't state the conditions of rentals. Strike one. In the add they took out in my city's newspaper, they didn't mention it either. Strike two. You had to go to a completely different website, click through two pages, and THEN find it halfway to the bottom in small print. Strike three.
SWMBK told the woman she's not ignorant, we've already got a letter sent to the Dean (which is going to be resent Monday if I don't hear from her by the end of the week. Then sent to my city's newspaper. We'll see how fast things get done then?) and it would actually be pretty easy to add a note about how unhappy we are about this.
She started getting huffy with SWMBK, who snapped at her that if she ran her business right, this wouldn't happen. And she was WORKING, so she didn't have time to argue with her anymore. She then hung up.
I still don't have a book. :/ We're scrambling to find a credit card, or someone with one who will buy the book for me.
Monday, September 6, 2010
We got quoted a hundred dollars total. It was more than was in our budget, but it had to be paid. There was no way around it. Of course, being that my life is a funny joke to God or something, the cost was more than twice what we had been quoted. There was so much more wrong with the car than we had anticipated.
We're not returning pop bottles and counting pennies for our dinner, bus rides, gas to work, and bills. The land line is going to be turned off. I do have a cell phone, so I guess it isn't too bad. We got the scantest amount of groceries we could get away with and maybe still eat.
A friend of mine was going to clean out his freezer anyway, so he's passing all that on to me. (Or rather, splitting it between me and kid who's food stamps don't cover him.) She Who Must Be Kept isn't aware of that yet. That should be a good surprise when she comes home from work tomorrow.
My older brother had to hock his x-Box 360. He never really played it anyway, but you'd better believe we heard about how God hates him, and how his life is screwed at every corner, and how he wishes he could just get hit by a bus so this would all be ended. I had to beg friends to front me the cash for my last book rental, which I can't go without because I have a test on three chapters on Thursday. I haven't even been able to read one chapter, so I don't picture myself doing too fabulously.
What's really pissing me off though is that She Who Must Be Kept has been sitting on the damn couch and crying. She'll heave these long suffering sighs about how horrible her life is. But you know, ultimately, she's not the one who suffers. Not only do I have to suffer through this no money-barely any food-sweet Christ, what are we going to do? I get to live through HER and SETH!
I know I'm sounding very woe is me right now, but I feel that way. And maybe, right now, I'm entitled.
I'm so tired. I am just so very tired of picking myself, picking my mother up. I'm tired of carrying on. When does it get easier? When does this kind of madness stop? Everyone is telling me there's a silver lining, there's some magical pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of despair but--where is it? What could it be?
I'll lose weight because I'm so stressed and there isn't food to eat anyway? That I get to learn to be strong and poor now? No, that is ridiculous. The only good thing about this is--well, nothing I guess. I'm sorry, I just can't Pollyanna it up anymore!
This is about the time that I sit down in the middle of the road and say that I can't take one single step. Because I can't. There's just nothing more that I can do. I want to put my head down on my keyboard and cry. I want to crawl under my blankets and never wake up again.
I wouldn't say I'm suicidal. But these are the moments when I think how nice it would be to just--stop. Stop living anymore. I can't help but think how much I would love it if this wasn't what I had to do anymore.
But what's really starting to bother me is that I know no one is going to come and pull me up. There's no one that's going to save me from this except myself. I am the only one I have to rely on. This scares me, because I know my own weaknesses. I have tasted them first hand.
This is one of the nights that I am falling into a Very Dark Place, where the alarm clocks are screaming at me, and the portraits are crying tears of blood. This is the Very Dark Place that I am afraid to step past the tresh hold of, but every time I visit, I'm pushed farther and father inside. This is the place where I lay on the dank concrete floor, and stare and the Eternal Nothing that is the ceiling.
This is the place where I have come to sleep so many times. There are voices, screams, pleas. But this is the only Place that I am able to ignore them. This is the only place that I am able to feel at Peace, but even this Peace is false. I can feel my nails digging into my palms, can feel my jaw getting tighter and tighter every day.
My Very Dark Place makes me wonder why I even bother to get out. The Light is, after all, so very blinding. I can't stand it anymore, not in my eyes, not on my skin, not in my hair. At least in this Dark Place, I know what to expect. I could very easily come here to die. At least in this Silence Of All the Noise, I will find a place where I can cry out to Heaven, to my Divine, and no hear the echoing answer I've been waiting for my whole life.
These are the times I know that I am forsaken. And honestly, I don't blame the Divine.
But at least I'm not depressed,right?
Friday, September 3, 2010
(Names changed because this is the internet.)
Dear Ms. S*****,
This is my fourth semester at J****** Community College. Previous to that, I was a student at The d* ***** Institute for four years. In short, I am no stranger to the campus, the instructors, or the other students.
I regret to tell you of my deep disdain, dissatisfaction, and disillusionment for and with the college and my own education.
Let me start at the beginning, shall I?
I have been fighting tooth and nail for over a month to get my financial aid approved. I submitted my paperwork for my Pell Grant in a timely manner. However, it was cut through a paperwork error. All well and good, I thought, even though if I had been informed say, a month or so earlier, perhaps I could have put in for a loan in a better time frame.
Then I had to hound my financial adviser to get make sure my Pell Grant even went through. I needed desperately to know about it, because I am an underemployed single woman. I still live with my mother, and she simply has no money to give me for college.
I applied for my loan, and have been hounding and harping to make sure that went through. Naturally, the website, the JCC website didn't seem to accept my information the first time, an unfortunate event I am all too familiar with. Two days later I got an e-mail saying all my information was not received. I gave it again.
I was then told it would take four weeks to be approved. I am on the fourth week. Another request on the status told me another two weeks. This is highly unacceptable. Why, you may ask? I simply cannot afford the books required for my courses. Without books, I cannot succeed. I cannot study, I cannot ask questions, I cannot understand the material.
A young woman in Student Services asked me if I could get the money elsewhere. No, I cannot. It does not exist anywhere else. I had been told that previously, the college did book loans in case of something like this. And now, they do not. This is leaving students (I can think of another young lady off the top of my head) high and dry and crying and frantic. This is not fostering a good learning environment in any shape of the word.
When I asked her, frankly, what was I supposed to do, she just shrugged at me. That was very helpful, let me tell you.
Honesty, I can think of three other students who have had something happen to their finanical aid which put them in a very bad position. One of those students had to drop out of this semester. He is now going to be put back at least a semester in getting his degree.
A semester doesn't seem like a long time; but it is. That's another semester that he can't be out in the real world. That's another semester of student loans. That's another semester being here instead of at another university earning the degree he's thirsting for.
I, being that I don't even have my loans through yet, went down to Student Services to at least get a bus pass. What is this new policy? They are not given to students who get finanical aid? Because we can pay for them ourselves? I don't know about anyone else, but I am outraged. If I am getting grants, it is because I don't have enough money to go to school on my own. It is because I need every cent worth of help I can get. And instead of being helped by the college, I am once again getting told to find the money on my own. This is ridiculous. I cannot even begin to see where the logic in this is.
We've been told since we were in kindergarten that we need this higher education. That we have to-have to-have to go to college. And now that we're here, we're getting thrown down, denied and shrugged at. The main buzz around campus is; "JCC screwed everyone over this semester." I know this is not the kind of college you are striving to maintain.
Maybe this letter means nothing to you. But to me, it's everything. My education, my future is everything to me. It's everything to my past instructors, who tried so hard to get me here. It is everything to my high school teachers, who worked with my daily to try and prepare me for this. And most of all, it is everything to my mother, who raised me and prays for me every night that I can live a better life than she does.
-with all respect
R****** *** *******
Yes, my birthname starts with an 'R'.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I haven't really gone to the store in two days. It's because two days ago I misplaced my tweezers. I do this at least twice a year, lose my tweezers. I love my tweezers. They make me feel safe, and I will sometimes tweeze at my skin because I just love the fact they exist.
I lost my tweezers. So if I go to the store, I should really buy another pair. But I don't want to buy another pair, I have like, four pairs. I just can't find a single fucking one. Why should I go and spend money on something I already have so many of?!?
I get all angry when I think about it and decide that I don't need anything from the store. I have gone without flavored water for two days because I DON'T WANT MORE TWEEZERS! Jesus!
I also hate washing my socks. I'll hand wash them. I love it when I get a lovely pair of socks and they fit and they're warm. It makes me happy. (I love silly socks, with like, pumpkins or rainbows or whatever.) But then you put the socks in the washer. And then the dryer. And only one comes out.
No! That's not the way logic works! Two go in, two go out! Unless my dryer is eating them for like, a sock tax, I see no real reason that I should be missing so many socks. And then I only have this one sock. Well, I've got two damn feet, so that doesn't do me much good.
It ALWAYS happens that I find the missing one months later. Lo and behold! Mine socketh! But then the sock that didn't get lost has been misplaced or thrown out. Fuck washing socks. I hand wash them, dammit. At least then I know where they are.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Except they don't do it anymore. Because "It wasn't working out for us." Which basically translates to how much they hate forking over money if they don't haaaaave to, and according to them, they never have to. My loan, which I wouldn't have had to take out if they did anything with any kind of expediency, will be approved in two weeks. Keep in mind just about every other school in the world will look and see you have loans coming in, let you go to the book store, sign three forms, and get your books. But not JCC!
"Can't you go without books for two weeks? That isn't that long."
...Can I go to two weeks without books? No. No I cannot. The book I need is for biology, and my lectures are all online. So if I go to read my lessons without the book, I will silently wonder what the fuck is going on. I don't think my instructor would tell me this was REQUIRED READING if I could do without it, being that it is biology and not, say, English. I have a great instructor this semester (at least I've heard he's great. Strict, but great) who doesn't want you to have to be loaded down with bullshit books.
So now I have to take a loan from my friend for two hundred books, which I am loathe to do. I mean, I'm twenty years old, I shouldn't be borrowing this amount. Five dollars for lunch, maybe. But two hundo? Not so much.
She Who Must Be Kept can't give me a damn thing, and I can't even be mad at her for it. I was supposed to have money, and money was too tight this summer to really even begin to save a penny. This is really frustrating because I do have the money, just not in my palm where it needs to be, you know?
So now I got to cry in front of all my friends on my first day of seeing them again after a three month separation (for most of them). That was lovely. "Hi Tai, how are you doing?" *SOB!* But hey, I have to have the book.
I do have moments of good luck, though. I was hanging up my phone to charge. I string the cable up through the handle of my cabinet and let my phone rest on the handle so it doesn't fall in the sink or get knocked down.
I dropped my phone. I was ready to lay down and die, because there was a bowl of water in the sink. Happily, my phone JUST landed in an EMPTY cup. It was possible the best thing I'd seen all day.
I'm also spoiled, because the same friend who is lending me the money took me to FYE today. I saw a TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES WALLET!!!! ON CLEARANCE FOR SEVEN FIFTY DOWN FROM SEVENTEEN! I have no money, but he bought it for me because apparently my whole face lit up.
And my other friend bought me CKY, which is Bam before Jackass, and a collection of HIM music videos, AND the new Black Veil Brides CD! Well, thanks! I AM paying him back when my freelance job pays me. Awesome, right?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Now that you are gone, there is music echoing in my ears, such that I had never heard before. It was so strange, because now that you are not here, I understand that you were music. There was music in your laughter, there was rhythm in your every move. The way you spoke was harmony, and even when your voice was rising in that frightening crescendo, you were a symphony. Did you always hear music? Was there always a song playing in your head? Or am I foolish for thinking such a thing could be true about you?
Now that you no longer walk with me, I have found how warm the things you made are. I have gone and wrapped myself in the cottons and wools that I had once sneered at. I lay on the bed where once you laid, and wrap myself in the covers that you found such comfort in. I am reliving the comfort, the warmth, the embrace that you must have felt in the things you made with your on fingers. The day you died I took down your favorite shawl and wrapped it over my own shoulders. How could I have been so blind to not see this before, how could I have been depriving myself of such a delight? How could I have deprived you of the sight of seeing me enjoying this?
Now that you no longer sit at my breakfast table, my taste buds have awoken. I have sat down and smelled the heat of tea with sugar, have tasted it flowing down my throat. I have to say that it tastes like you? For too long, I was searching for that. For too long, my teeth were aching for the familiar flavor of you. How is it that I never made this simple connection before? How is it that I never let myself drink this in before, never before tasted you all day like this?
Now that you don't sit up all night anymore, I have found the wonder of stars. I sit awake, again wrapped in your shawl, and I sit with the window open. I feel the cold air of the night, virgin and new, blowing over me. I number the stars, name them such as the Greeks never would have dared. Here is the Light of Your Eyes. Here is Your Smile. And here... Here is Your Face. I trace these shapes and never could I make anyone else believe they are there. Why did I never come and sit with you like this? Why did we never paint a masterpiece in the sky together?
Now that you are gone, I know what it is to be lonely. I took you for granted. I thought you'd always be waiting for me, curled up on the battered couch, with the moth eaten blanket draped over your body. I thought I'd always find the old tomes in your hands (I have discovered what it means to feel those pages beneath my fingers, to read the words that are so ancient and still so resonating with my soul! How could I never have noticed before?). I thought you'd always wake up next to me, your hair a mess around your face, your eyes blurry and never lighting until they landed on my face. I know now what it means to walk these streets, so full of people and still so empty. I know what it means to turn the key in the lock and smell nothing but my breakfast dishes, in this dark, dusty apartment.
Now that you are gone...
...I suddenly remember that I will die, too.