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Showing posts from November, 2010

I NEVER thought I'd do this.

I swore I would never go shopping on Black Friday, and up until this year, I hadn’t.  But they got into my head this year.  That damn Wal-Mart flyer had the laptop I wanted on sale for $298, starting at 5:00 am.  I decided to go, just to have the experience, and if I got a new computer in the process, great.  If not, then at least I’d get to observe the gross consumer-driven commercialization of an otherwise beautiful holiday.  And what better place to watch humanity at its very worst than Wal-Mart?

I arrived at Wal-Mart at 4:50 am, ten minutes before the “doorbuster” sale began.  I parked in McDonald’s parking lot (because the Wal-Mart lot was full) and walked through the dark and the rain to the bright store, a twinkle in my eye.  I had my flyer in hand, already turned to page six where the picture, specs, and price of my new computer beckoned.

What I walked into was something I wasn’t expecting:  The store was bedlam, just like the movies, parodies, and newspaper articles depict.  I …

Communion with friends and words.

“Sharing food is communion with friends and the Earth.”  I can’t remember where I got this quote, but I wrote it on my kitchen chalkboard last year when I had my fifteen closest friends and family gathered in my home.  The meal was a combined effort… everyone shared their talents to make the day special, either by helping to prepare the food, bringing a dish or dessert, setting the table, serving drinks, making music, or making great conversation.

I always reflect this time of year on the things for which I’m thankful.  When I first started pondering the blessings of my life this year, I thought it was going to be a short (or maybe even nonexistent) list.  I was focusing on the stress and uncertainty I’ve been experiencing recently, and found it hard to come up with anything.

Last week, I had an unexpected turn-around in my attitude about many things.  I’m not sure what precipitated this sudden change of heart, but I started seeing the clean slate as an opportunity rather than a dauntin…

Can cheating lead to acceptance? Yes, in a way.

I just read an article that infuriated me.  It was a confessional written by a ghostwriter who sells customized essays, term papers, theses, and other scholarly works to undergrads and post-grads.  The article describes how these students pay this ghostwriter top dollar to write their papers, on short notice, sending specific instructions in almost illegible English.  This ghostwriter has written countless application essays, term papers, and theses.  His clientele includes graduate and PhD students, and he makes $66,000 a year from this rather unethical career.  It was a well-written article, although a bit cocky and seemingly embellished for effect, it was an interesting perspective from the (mostly) invisible side of cheating.

There is no denying that these services exist, regardless of the extent to which this ghostwriter exaggerated his article to increase Facebook posts.  With the internet, especially Wikipedia and Google, it is likely much easier to cheat today than it was back …

Small cash inspires large decisions.

I am learning by experience that the first priority upon starting over is to find a way to make money.  Forget all of my great ideas to volunteer at the animal shelter, read War and Peace, write a novel, and learn to cook French food (from Julia Child’s cookbook, of course).  Money is everything, no matter how much I wish that it wasn’t.  And, honestly, cooking French food is pretty expensive.

I have a few sources of income right now.  I am still looking for the elusive job that not only pays the bills and has benefits, but also makes me excited to get out of bed in the morning.  But, I confess, my favorite job right now involves blonde-haired blue-eyed Matthew.  I love him.  He’s laid back, funny, smart, loves dogs, reads books, and he laughs at my jokes.

Never fear, this blog (hopefully) will not contain any boring, self-indulgent analysis over my past or present relationships.  But I may not be able to resist saying how cute Matthew is.  Of course he’s cute… he’s one year old.  And I…

Apparently, you can't fix everything.

Chiropractors sure are good at what they do… convincing you that they will fix you and then taking all your money.

I wanted it to work, I really did.  I wanted to start my “new life” without pain.

They took x-rays and found that I indeed have some serious issues in my lower back, which are due to the fact that I have an asymmetrical skeleton (sounds like careless Halloween d├ęcor, no?).  Three adjustments per week for three weeks will get me straightened out, and the pain will start to go away, they promised me.  Okay.  It was expensive (and of course not covered by insurance), but I wanted to cure the problem holistically rather than begging a doctor for vicodin.  I hate taking pills, and the pain was crippling me to the point where it brought tears to my eyes.  I have a very high pain tolerance, but this was becoming so unbearable that I thought being beaten to death by a Vera Bradley purse might be preferable.

So the thrice-weekly adjustments started making a difference, maybe.  The…

Start Over

I’m sure most people would just call it a mid-life crisis, but I’d like to think that it’s a little more important than that.  Besides, I did what most sane, rational people would only read about in a chick-lit novel (which makes it sound a little pathetic, but I’m trying to get over that).  I left my job, my house, and a lot of important people – one in particular.  I sure hope it was worth it.  Last night, a good friend jokingly reminded me of my age (it’s okay, he’s the same age as me)… but it made me consider the possibility that I should have done what most people would have done in my situation:  Suck it up and get some happy pills.
What is “The Chrome Phase?”  In 2001, I moved into a dark, drafty, run-down apartment in the first floor of an old house that was, I’m pretty sure, held together with bubble gum and duct tape.  The rent was unrealistically cheap, so it was appealing for that reason if nothing else.  In a desperate attempt to spruce up the kitchen (which hadn’t been up…