For the last year or so, I've felt rather down about myself. I'm a decent waitress; but my continual failures in school and suckitude at things like keeping my house clean made me feel rather crappy about myself. Not all the time; and it's not like I think I suck in general, just that I'm not good at anything in particular. Which isn't really true; I was just trying to do the wrong things.

I've made it through my first round of exams. I've yet to get grades back for the two history exams, but I'm sure I did well on them. I have gotten my French exam back, with a score of 89.5%. Would've been above ninety if I'd remembered how to spell paresseux. Anyway, the exact moment when I realized how much better this is happened in my French teacher's office (she's a resident instructor, so not a prof).

There were two other people there also looking at their tests; one is a girl I sort of feel sorry for, because she just can't seem to wrap her head around any of this stuff. She sits next to me most class periods, and I try to help her, but she just doesn't follow. Because of that, she was pretty much monopoloizing our teacher's time. The other guy, whose name I can't remember, was looking over his test. I don't know if he saw my grade, or if he just noticed how I rarely shut up in class, but he started asking me questions about the things he got wrong on his test. I knew the answers, and at one point our teacher looked over sort of smiled and winked at me.

I got the same feeling I get when I help someone at work with some random bit of knowledge, or when I got called at my retail job to run across the aisle to my other retail job to help them with their computer. It's not just about being needed; it's about feeling that I'm capable. Maybe being capable and knowledgable about history and/or French isn't the most practical, useful, concrete skill--but it's better than trying to do something I'm not capable or interested in.

I was telling this to my mom today, and she was as always happy and supportive. I still haven't told my dad about my change of major .... I'm just going to wait on that until the end of the semester. Then I'll show him my final grades, which I anticipate will be great, and hopefully seeing that end result will temper his immediate reaction of "well that's a useless degree!"

Originally, I was thinking I wouldn't tell him until I was nearly done, but that's not going to work. I'm going to slip and mention one of my classes at some point, and then have to explain; or he'll pick up on the fact that I'm being all vague and weird, and then I'll have to explain. Plus I don't really like keeping secrets.

I wandered a bit there, didn't I.

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But I'm just so damn tired! I went to bed at 10:30 last night, slept until 8, and I'm still exhausted. Blah.

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The last several days, I've been repeatedly getting a sense of longing, of yearning .... and I don't know for what. I'll just be going through my day, and I'll suddenly feel like something is missing, like there's something I want and am not aware of.

The last time I had a feeling like that, some genius at work chimed in with "Maybe it's you biological clock ticking!" I laughed at them. Since babies aren't making me go all gushy, I seriously doubt it's that.

I'm really not sure what it is. I'm not bored; my classes are interesting, work is fun when it's not a bitch, I'm making some friends, I see my family ... so I really just don't know what it is that's making me feel slightly empty.

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I hadn't seen my dad in a few weeks, between him being out of town and me being sick. I went up to have dinner with him tonight, and at first everything was fine. Unfortunately, he brought up some crazy family drama that happened last week. Apparently my grandfather, who's always been a big jackass, decided to go for broke and cross the line into being a total asshole. He showed up at my dad's work and got in his face and was pushing him around and apparently saying some really terrible nasty things ... to the point where my dad punched him. So now my dad isn't speaking to his dad; his brother likely isn't either; god knows what my aunt will do, considering the man basically said that all his children and grand-children were worthless.

It wasn't the most pleasant topic of conversation, and probably is why my dad had a bunch of whiskey. I haven't seen him actually staggering drunk in a long time, and I was okay with that. After choking down my dinner as fast as I could, I left his house in tears because it brought up all my old childhood feelings of being helpless and at the mercy of someone who was completely out of control. Not that he ever did anything to hurt me or put me in danger, but for a little kid to see their parent incapacitated in that way ... well, it's upsetting, and I didn't need that flashback.

On a positive note, it must be my lucky day--I wasn't feeling well after coming down the winding mountain road, and I went flying by a parked cop doing 70 in a 45 zone. Oops. Strangely, he didn't pull me over, even though that's where they always sit to do speed traps. So that was super lucky.

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At least creatively. For my class tomorrow, I have to have the first 2-3 pages of a "long short story". I also need to write a "bad dialogue". I haven't been doing much for the last hour or so, other than trying to get started on that. The thing is, I don't have any story ideas. I quit writing creatively a long time ago, so it's not like I have ideas just sitting around. I was too busy working and studying for my French exam to think about it over the weekend.

The good news is I think I nailed my French exam! I did forget the proper article for one word and had to guess on it; and I forgot to how to spell one word on the listening comprehension. I was being just a little too literal, though. I had to respond to the question "Est-ce qu vous etes paresseux?" I immediately went to write "Oui, je suis assex paresseuse", but couldn't remember how to spell it. So I guessed. I could've said "oui, je ne suis pas sportive", instead of cudgeling my brain for how to spell the word.

Anyway, I still think I did quite well. Now I just need to get these damned writing assignments done for my class tomorrow; and then tomorrow I need to read about 100 pages for my exam on Thursday; and then on Wednesday I need to list beaucoup de stuff on eBay. I started working on that a little when I was sick, but I was too dizzy. And then too busy. And as usual my rent situation is going to be dire, especially since they went about took one of my work shifts away. Sigh.

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My favorite television show is House. It took me a couple of years before I finally started watching it, but I am absolutely freaking hooked. Last season ended incredibly, and the two hour long premier is tomorrow night. I was talking to a girl at work about it, and it turns out she loves it to. Then her friend spoke up to. The first girl suggested we all get together to watch it, which sounds like fun.

The second girl turns to me and says, "We've never been to your house, we should go there." I laughed and reminded them I have a multitude of animals, but they said they're fine with it. I very, very rarely have people over, so I agreed. They're supposed to bring dinner, and I'm going to bake something for dessert.

And then I got to thinking about how much goddamn work that's going to be. The baking part is fine, I love that and I've overdue for a baking experiment anyway. But the cleaning up my house so it's presentable for company? Oh crap.

Not that it's filthy, or anything; there are just certain things that I don't devote much time to. Like a giant stack of mail in the corner I just keep adding to. And behind the bathroom door. I live alone, so there's no point in closing the door, so I never see behind it. And the bag of recycling by the front door, going to have to do something with that.

Maybe someone will want me to work for them tomorrow instead.

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(This is a sponsored post.)

The LG Bliss looks like a pretty sweet phone, so this contest is an awesome way to win one. The premise is to lose the "ugly"--which can be anything ugly--and win your (LG) "bliss". Second prize is a fifty dollar gift card. There will be five first place winners and 50 second place winners! One entry per FB account, and you have to be at least 18 years old.

From 9/11 to 11/6, anybody can enter by uploading a video or photo on the LG Bliss Facebook Fan Page. Check the widget on my sidebar to see example of uglies--some of them are hilarious. Or go to the Facebook page and check out The Gallery Of Uglies. Some of the suggested categories are:


• Trashy Trends (fabulously ugly fashion)

• Mutant machines (these mutant machines and outdated electronics belong in the junkyard)

• Ugly wonders of nature (naturally occurring wonders that make even the ugly tree look good)

• Ugly-mobiles (rides that are heading non-stop to Ugly Town)

Ugly behavior such as violence, indecency, or illegal activities aren’t tolerated. Photos of people are not allowed.

If I still had my ghetto buggy car, I'd totally upload a picture for this!

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Although I really don't understand why Sweets has a fish skeleton in his pelvis ....

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Being sick the last few days has put me in a rather tight spot. The first thing is that I missed two days of work--not great. The thing that really sucks is that the dumbass manager who does the schedule just copied this week's schedule over to next--after my shifts had been given away. So I got screwed. When I wrote to him about it, he snottily informed me he's "trying to be fair to everyone". Bullshit--he's lazy and it's worsening my financial situation. I can try to pick up shifts, but if I'm not successful, well, big fat trouble.

The second is I've missed classes, although not so much it's affecting things. I do have a French exam Monday, but I'm not concerned about that--French is easy. I have a history exam on Thursday, which I'm slightly more worried about. That's the class I've missed the most of, proportionally--because it's only two days a week, and I've had three days I've been sick. But still, I'm not all that worried, history is my thing after all.

Also, my house is a total disaster. I'd made excellent progress on the kitchen and living room, and was even maintaining that progress, until I got sick. Now .... yuck. Mail everywhere, couch cushions scattered across the floor because I kicked them off when I slept on the couch and they got super hairy, laundry piling up (although I'm working on that now).

So I've got all those things to work on. The housework is driving me to distraction, because the clutter just annoys me. And I'm stressed about money, since at this rate by the end of the month I'm going to be scraping for rent again--and I do not want to ask my dad for help again. I have plenty of things to sell on ebay (including my a-ha concert ticket *sniff*), but that's really time-consuming to photograph and measure everything (a lot of it is clothing) and write descriptions. But I need to study, too, so I find myself vacilliating back and forth and not actually doing anything. I should probably stop that.

Of course, it's now almost two in the morning. The logical thing to do, of course, would be to sleep now.

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I freaking love Nutella, and I thought that a cupcake with Nutella in it would probably be just freaking amazing. My original plan was to make a giant batch of cupcakes to take to work for my coworkers. I started with a basic vanilla cupcake recipe:

  • 1/2c butter
  • 3/4 fine granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4c self-rising flour
  • 1/2c sour cream
  • 1T vanilla
  • Set oven to 350
  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Add eggs one at a time
  • Add in flour slowly
  • Beat in sour cream and vanilla
Before I started mixing all that up, I set up a double boiler over medium heat with about a third cup of Nutella in it, wanting it to be liquid. My plan was to divide the batter in to cupcake liners, then make a swirl of Nutella in the cupcakes by dipping a whisk into heated Nutella, then dunking it into the cupcake and swirling.

Once I got my batter mixed, though, I realized I didn't have enough time for that before I had to be to work. Instead, I poured my batter in to a greased and floured aluminum pan (I had doubled this recipe, so I used a 13 x 9 x 2 5/8 pan); then I poured the Nutella in streaks across the surface and used a spatula to swirl it in. I wasn't sure if I was going to end up with plain cake with just a bit of Nutella at the surface, so I decided it needed some frosting.

I considered strawberries, raspberries, just mixing Nutella in with the frosting, or doing plain, but I eventually settled on mixing in a couple of Oreos. I like Oreos in Nutella, if anybody else didn't like it that's too bad. The frosting I made consisted of:
  • 1/2c butter and
  • 4 oz cream cheese creamed with
  • 3c powdered sugar and
  • 2 oreos, crushed into small crumbs mixed in
Personally, I thought it was just an okay cake. The vanilla part was a little bland; the good news was that the Nutella sank into the mix and spread, so it looked like a chocolate marble cake. Overall it was a very moist cake, and all my coworkers liked the flavor mix. They devoured most of it, and gushed over it, so apparently it came out better than I thought! I think I just have high standards, having grown up with my mother's baking.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures!

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So the last couple of days, I've been feeling oddly dizzy. Actually, it's been most of the weekend, but it didn't get really bad until yesterday. Yesterday I was intending to ride my bike up next to a stop block and step off on to it--my bike is just a little high and I always feel like an idiot trying to get off the damn thing.

Well, I fell like more of an idiot when I got a wave of vertigo, ran the side of my bike tire in to the stop block, and fell over. I left behind several layers of skin from my left arm and leg; my left ulna feels bruised, as does my ego; and the dizziness has just gotten worse. Any time I move my head, it feels like the world wallows like a boat in waves, and I have a vague sort of headache.

I thought maybe I was over-tired; dehydrated; low on magnesium; low on potassium; had screwed up blood sugar; or maybe it was gunk in my sinuses because of my allergies. I looked up symptoms of swine flu, and the first few pages just mentioned regular flu symptoms--nothing about dizzyness. Then one of my coworkers started getting the same symptoms; she went the doctor .... and she's officially Got The Swine Flu.

I think I'm fucked.

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Do I really have to point it out?
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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I need to write another "People who don't suck"; I need to write up my latest baking experiment; I have a couple other topics swirling around in my head. I just can't seem to freaking focus!

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Today during my French class, we were discussing describing people. Specifically, we were talking about comparing people, saying more than, less than, and same as. The teacher had written "hommes" and "femmes", and wanted us to make general statements.

Now I admit, in my head I was thinking that this could easily turn in to a display of sexism, but I realized she was trying to make this simple and not pick on any specific people.

One of my classmates, a freshman with a snotty look on her face, interrupts and angrily asserts that she's "not going to assign gender stereotypes to words!" She then sat there with a bitchy look on her face and her arms crossed.

I just thought it was funny how angry she got about it; you could tell from her over-reaction that she's new to feminism.

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I went to my dad's for dinner this week. A while after I got there, we were sitting on the desk just listening to the winds in the trees, talking about nothing.

Suddenly my dad squints at me and says, "Why does it look like you've dumped a few pounds?"

Here we go again, I thought, but just shrugged and said "I don't know."

Right away he got all tense. "Well, have you?" Again, I said I didn't know, and his nostrils flared. "Well who the hell would know then!"

I laughed a little and told him (again), "Dad, I don't weigh myself."

He looked me for a minute; I could practically see his brain failing to understand a woman not obsessed with her weight. "Well, do your pants fit different, do you feel better, anything?"

"Nope."

He looked at me again and then sighed and said okay and let it drop. I doubt I actually look any different; I think he was just hoping to prod me in to dieting by "complimenting" me. He just can't seem to wrap his head around the fact that I don't monitor every ounce I weigh and every bite I take. Or rather, he can't believe that it's not because I'm "giving up", or that I'm not in denial about it being "a problem".

Later, I mentioned going to the physical therapist on campus about the fact that I walk funny. I always have, a little; but waitressing and working retail has exacerbated it. Specifically, I pronate inward and walk duck-footed, my right foot terribly so. So I tell my dad I went to this appointment, and right away he says "Well isn't the problem obvious?"

I played dumb; I made him make the ignorant statement that it's because of my weight. When I asked why the medical professional didn't say a word about my weight then, he said "She just didn't want to hurt your feelings." Right, because doctors are SO concerned about not upsetting fat people. I told him I've always walked weird, and he snapped at me, "Right, so lets not do something about the problem and see if maybe it enhances your life!"

I repeated that I remembered kids making fun of me in kindergarten for walking goofy, and continued telling him about the things the therapist said and how we were approaching it. I basically didn't give him a chance to throw any more fat blaming crap at me, because I'm just weary of it. I could understand him going directly to that if I hadn't always walked like this. But I didn't start getting chubby until I was about eight, and I obviously had started walking, and walking oddly, way before that. Even at that age, I struggled to keep up with other kids walking or running.

But of course, I'm fat now, so that's got to be the problem.

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I've been too busy, tired, and broke to make anything new this week, so I'm pulling out a "recipe" from my mental catalog. This is the easiest, yummiest strawberry shortcake recipe ever.

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 1 tube of biscuits--the puffy kind, like Grand's. Plain or extra buttery is good, but you don't want anything with raisins, garlic, etc.
  • About 1 cup of sugar, in a bowl or on a plate.
  • 1 to 1.5 stick of melted butter.
  • Strawberries--fresh and chopped, plain or sugared, or frozen with sugared sauce. Whatever does it for you.
  • Whatever type of whipped cream or Cool Whip you like.

  • Coat each individual raw biscuit in the melted butter.
  • Quickly press each side of the biscuit into the sugar.
  • Put on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake as directed.
  • Once baked, top with strawberries and whipped cream. You can slice the biscuit in half as the photo shows, or just put it right on top--either way, it's freaking amazing.
Voila! Easy and delicious.

(Image is from a from-scratch recipe that's very similar.)

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(This is a sponsored post! Really fun to write, too.)

Oh god, here comes that cat again. She sniffs at my mouse, then steps on me, pushing my keys and making me beep angrily at her. For a moment she stands, hair drifting down between my keys, and then flicks her tail at my monitor and jumps to the floor. I'm used to this by now; in the eight months since I came here, I've had my keyboard tromped on by cats and even the smaller of the dogs, who seemed to be examining her fuzzy reflection in the shiny white side of my CPU tower.

Still, it's not bad. I spend my days napping, except for a couple of times in the morning and afternoon when my operator's fingers fly over the keys, typing blog entries and Facebook updates. Then it's back to sleep in the evening, most days, until she gets home from work. This is when I do most of my work, visiting websites and running word processing files; checking email and playing music. It's easy work, not strenuous; I've caught a couple of quickly cleared viruses, and there was a recent Windows update that made me blue out a lot, but other than that I'm still in perfect health.

But sometimes ... sometimes I wish I could be one of those fancy high-end machines, displaying dizzying game graphics or winnowing my way through shadowy internet paths. Other times, I wish I could be new and fashionable instead of sturdy and dependable--like the HP TouchSmart IQ800t series. Everything in my tower is integrated into the monitor panel of that--tres chic.

At the end of the day, though, my simple quiet life is enough. I'm still young; not even one yet, and have many years of satisfying web surfing ahead of me. But for any of my friends out there who're looking to retire, you might let your operators know that HP has some impressive new specimens, and is offering $30 off orders $150 or greater at HP Home Store (Use coupon code SV2132. Valid through 10/31 or while supplies last. Restrictions and exclusions apply).


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I haven't been a full-time student since the beginning of 2005. And fall 2003 was the last full-time semester that I actually, um, went to my classes regularly. And truly, I had forgotten how exhausting it is. Of course, the last time I was taking a full course load I wasn't working so much--the restaurant I worked at then closed at nine. I also lived closer to campus, so there wasn't all this screwing around with transportation.

Today, for example, I got out of class at 3:15 and was supposed to be to work at 4. I got someone to switch me so I didn't have to be there until 4:30, and it's a good thing, too. I'd driven to school and parked off campus, then taken the bus in. Unfortunately for me, the first bus back was jam-packed and not allowing any more people on, so I had to wait for another one. When I got to my car it was 3:55; I got home at 4:05; I would have had to leave at 4:10 to get to work on time. I ended up being five minutes late. So I'm going to have to figure out an alternate plan for next week. I'm also trying to figure out how I'm going to figure things tomorrow; I have class 11-2, and then I need to go pay my rent. My house is southwest of campus and the drop box is northeast, so it doesn't really make sense to take the bus home and then drive back over there, and then drive past my house to go to my dad's for dinner. So I'm looking at the bus schedules; but would it be more efficient to drive like I did today, or to work the bus system? And if I do the bus, do I walk, which takes longer, or bike, which requires locking the thing up and such. Grr.

It also sucks that I have class Monday through Friday, and then I work Friday through Tuesday. I can't ditch class Wednesday or Thursday to have a day off; I can't afford to give up a Saturday or Sunday shift either. Unless I do one of those things at some point, I'm not going to have a day off until Thanksgiving. But I'll live. It's just a very mentally fatiguing prospect. Add to that the stress of not having enough money, ever, and ... well, it's actually just my regular life with homework. Lots of it.

My world history to 1500 class is interesting enough; the professor's sort of a nut, though. She likes to emphasize stuff by lowering her voice--which does not work well in a room of nearly 100 students, all in creaky chairs, shifting around and whispering to each other and rustling papers. That gets a little annoying.

My world history from 1500 is okay; the professor's a bit dry, but at least he speaks in a normal tone of voice.

My French class is interesting. I'm remembering a lot of bits and pieces from my three years of it in high school, but it's not enough to be moved up to the next class. That's good in that it's easier for me, especially since it's one of those classes that's taught entirely IN French, but bad in that my classmates are driving me crazy. I know it's only the second week of class; I know my own accent is far, far from perfect; I know languages are a bitch to learn for a lot of people. But considering the entire class is in French, and we've gone over the rules of pronunciation, I don't understand how so many of my classmates are so clueless. The girl I was paired with today was pronouncing every single letter. ("Il est minuit" is sort of "eel a minwee", not "ill est (like west) minute (like small)".) I can't imagine how grating and obnoxious is it for the instructor, who's truly fluent.

My last class has ended up being a creative writing class. The Pilates class was just not for me; and I couldn't get an override into the medieval England class I wanted. I don't really want to do the creative writing class; but I need to be full time, and it was the most interesting class that fit my schedule that I could get in to. It's going to be interesting; the resident instructor has a totally hippy name (think Cloud or Sunshine or Breeze sort of crap), is one of those "Oh man, like WOW" people, and everything about her screams lesbian. I mention that only because her email address is something that sounds sort of obscene and like a penis pun.

What's really going to drive me up a wall, though, are my classmates. They're almost all so incredibly pretentious. Just listening to them made me want to laugh in their faces. Especially the guy in the bowler hat.

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