Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Trip In A Nutshell Because I'm Too Tired To Elaborate

This is the only photo I took of the campus, but the University of Missouri is beautiful. There are flowers and kittens all over the place. It's also HUGE. I did find the library, however, and I think most of my classes will be there or a building nearby.

I found a great apartment, too! It's two bedrooms and in a safe part of town and I get to take Abby with me. We didn't have much trouble getting around town, either, and even found a great place to have burgers and beer. Yes, there are great pubs all over the place, so now I have to find some drinking buddies. Did I mention there are also ice cream places everywhere? What more could you want! And speaking of the place, Auntie Linda and I couldn't get over how friendly everyone is. They go out of their way to be helpful. We were driving through the mall parking lot (Emily, the MALL is near my apartment!) and we couldn't find a parking space, and this dude walked in front of our car and pointed to a car and said he was leaving and we could have his parking space. We were stunned. People talked to us while we were in line at the ice cream place, and everyplace we went we felt welcome. So, to wrap it up, good apartment, beer, ice cream, and friendly folks. Who wants to come and visit me?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

How To Get Out Of Town Without Losing One's Mind

Auntie Linda and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a trip to Columbia, MO. I’m going to find an apartment and look at the school and leave a few resumes there, which will hopefully lead to a job on campus. I’m so excited! Except for the drive. It’s about a six-hour drive, according to Mapquest, which means a seven-hour drive for us, since we drink a lot and therefore have to stop frequently. Yes, we drink and drive. First, it’s coffee, then a bottle of water, then a diet coke, then we start the process all over again. I have to have some form of liquid within reach at all times. I'm also bringing a bag of Tootsie Pops. These are the best when taking a car trip. If you look in the back seat of my car, you’ll find at least three or four wrappers.

Taking a three-day trip is a hassle. Auntie and I were planning to take Abby and Roxy with us, then Linda decided she didn’t want to take Roxy, but I was still planning to take Abby, then Linda reminded me that if, while on the road, we see an antique store and wish to stop (do I hear a nine-hour-drive, now?) what will we do with Abby? It’s too hot to leave her in the car. I heard this revelation from Linda (who was on the phone with me) while I was at my grandmother’s yesterday, so I asked my mom (who is living with Grandmother Bera right now) if she would keep Abby for me. She said she would, but Bera would have to let Abby out during the day on Monday and Tuesday, since she (Mom) would be at work. Bera said, “I don’t want to.” Hell, she’s almost ninety-one, so the woman doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, right? You should have heard the conversations going on, simultaneously, then. Linda was on the phone with me, telling me what to tell Bera: “tell her Abby isn’t a pain-in-the-ass-dog like Roxy.” And my mom was saying, “all you have to do is open the back door and let her out a couple of times.” And Bera was saying, “I know what I have to do, but I don’t want to!” I was cracking up and thinking how lucky some unborn girl is NOT to have me for a mother and these women as her family! In the end, however, Bera confessed that she would “probably” let Abby out during the day, and we decided that since Abby sleeps all day anyway, my mom could leave the dog in her bedroom, with the door closed, and let her out when she gets home everyday at 4:30 and now I can leave town and not worry, much, about my poor little nine-year-old dog.

Have I mentioned that I’m writing a play about Southern women? (“Loosely” based on my family.) Bera told me she wanted to read it and I said, “Well, it’s been nice knowing you.”

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, my trip to Columbia. I have five pages of apartment listings and a map and an atlas and some letters of reference from my landlady (my mother, but no one has to know that) and tons of liquids, so I’m just about ready to go. All I have to do now is polish my resume, a.k.a. creative writing, and give Abby a bath and pack. Wish me luck with the apartment hunt.

Speaking of luck, good luck to Emily and her softball team this weekend. They are playing in the state tournament and they have a good chance to place. Go Rage!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Like Change

There is absolutely nothing going on right now and I shouldn't be complaining. It's going to get pretty hectic around here next month, when I have to begin packing for my move. I'm planning to start sorting out all the stuff next week and I'm going to have a garage sale, or carport sale in my case, in July. Oh, how I dread it. I hate having those sales. My mom, Auntie Linda, and I have had several sales and I get so aggravated with the people who come to them, I want to explode before the day is over. First, we begin the sales at 7:00 a.m. On a Saturday. That, in and of itself, should explain my attitude. Then, we have people come to our sales and turn up their noses and ask stupid questions like, "will you take a nickel for that stereo?" Or, "five dollars is too much for that purse," when it's a freaking FENDI bag. If you've ever had one of these sales you understand. I'll be sure and report back after it's over.

I did get good news: I got the financing for school. I have to pay out-of-state tuition, so the financing will only be enough to pay tuition and books, but at least I got that. I was hoping not to have to pay out-of-state tuition, because often bordering states have this Academic Common Market thing which allows someone like me to go to school in Missouri and pay in-state fees. But no. I checked on this and found out today that it doesn't work that way with Arkansas. I will be able to establish residency in twelve months, but until then, I'm out-of-state. I'm a little bummed about that, but I'll get over it. The good news is that I'll be able to go full-time to school and have my master's in two years.

The moving away is starting to hit me. I know, everyone moves away from home at one time or another. Well, huh uh. Not in my family. We (95% of us) are tied to our hometown with the strongest apron strings you've never seen. All five of my grandmother's children live within a ten-minute drive of her house. Both my brothers live here. Practically all of my cousins live here. Did I mention Emily and Reece are here?? I can't even THINK about leaving them. That's going to kill me a little. Therefore, I'm getting homesick already. I've been dying to get out of here for years and see how it would be to live away and have a different life. But now that it's fast approaching, I'm a little reticent. Maybe if I'd done this when I was in my twenties or thirties it wouldn't be so difficult, but the older I get the less I like change. I think most people are this way. However, it's time to get out of my comfort zone and get on with life and see what's out there.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Get Your Catchy T-shirt Titles Here

Auntie Linda called last night and I was telling her about the Methodist catching me in my undies (see previous post) and she was really laughing hysterically and I said, “You know, he would catch me sitting my fat butt on the sofa and eating, not exercising,” which I’d been doing twenty minutes earlier, really! I then said, “I wanted to say to him, ‘hey, I don’t eat all the time!’ ” “That’s a great idea for a t-shirt,” Auntie L replied, “one with huge letters that says, ‘I DON’T EAT ALL THE TIME!’ ”

Which reminded me of another t-shirt I saw on a guy at a bookstore once. The guy was hideously above average in the beer gut department. So grossly huge was his tub o’lard that it was visible under the hem of his t-shirt, which looked to be about three sizes too small. On the front of the t-shirt, in big, bold, red letters was the statement: “I BEAT ANOREXIA.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

How To Meet Men Without Even Leaving Your House

Last year, my mom moved in with my ninety-year-old grandmother, and I moved into my mom’s house. It was a way for my mom to keep her house and for me to get away from my crazy, nasty, chain-smoking neighbor and her boyfriend, Dr. Pepper. (See July '05 posts for stories about my neighbor if interested. Blogger won't let me link to my archives.) Anyway, it’s been great. I love the house and it’s close to all the jobs from which I’ve been fired since I moved in. The only complaint, and it’s really nothing, is that my mom still gets all of her mail here, where I live. I feel as if I need to get her mail to her within a couple of days of receiving it, and it’s a bother. Hey, I’m single and I don’t like responsibility, so it gets on my nerves, but I’m overlooking it since I’m going to be moving away in August. Tonight, however, something happened that made me quite upset.

As I was sitting here, on my sofa, braless of course, in a t-shirt and panties, eating my bowl of bran (single person’s meal in bowl) there was a knock at the door. I looked up and there was a man grinning at me through the window at the front door. I jumped! up, almost spilling my cereal and ran to put on a robe. When I returned from the bedroom and answered the door, the man said he was from a local Methodist Church and was delivering a goody basket to me and he thanked me for visiting his church yesterday. I told him I didn’t attend his church yesterday and he said that this was the address on the Visitor’s Card. I then realized that my mother must have gone there yesterday and used this address. She’s been church-shopping for years and so I wasn’t surprised. I was, however, aggravated that she used my address!!! Poor guy, just out delivering nice little goody bags of fresh baked bread and coffee mugs and candy and gets flashed by Vanessa and her very white cellulite thighs. Do I hear a Holy Shit?

Friday, June 09, 2006

With This Ring

Banning gay marriages for the reason W gives is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.*** According to Mr. President, marriage, in the traditional sense, is the cornerstone of our society. How so? Don't over half of all marriages end in divorce? Doesn't that mess up the children in one way or another? Don't a lot of divorced mothers have to apply for government assistance? How is that good for society? I don't see why anyone would be overly praising marriage as the great societal cornerstone it isn't. (I'm not writing this as a way to express my disdain for traditional marriage. I realize some marriages are good, just not that many.) Yes, I'm divorced. So is one of my brothers. So are my parents. So were my paternal grandparents. So are ALL my aunts and uncles. So are just about all of my friends from high school, college, and my twenties, and my situation is not unique. I don't think society's values (the good ones) stem from marriage of a man and woman. I also don't see how the marriage of Adam and Steve can harm society. If they want some security for each other in case of the death of one of them, let's let them have it. It isn't going to harm society in the least for them to receive the same benefits as their neighbors, who are a traditional, married couple. I have no complaint about same-sex marriages. However, gay people be warned: with marriages come divorces. Gay people, listen to me: Are you crazy? Why would you want to get married? You'll only end up divorcing. I don't care if you're as gay as a picnic basket, or as straight as the edge of a new dollar bill; I'm just saying that marriage isn't all that great, so why bother? Just wait and see. The number of divorces is going to increase if same-sex marriage is legal everywhere. Don't say I didn't warn you.

***Of course, I know that the most obvious argument to make in opposition to W's view is that same-sex marriages do not lessen the number of traditional marriages. This point is so obvious I didn't see the need to mention it in the above paragraph.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thirtysomething and Holding

Well, little brother, as of tomorrow you've got one more year to enjoy your thirties. You'd better hang on to them as tightly as you're holding Reece in this photo.

You've come a long way from your snot-nosed, sister-irritating youth to the wonderful guy you are now. I can't think of a single person on the planet who does NOT like you. I really love you, and not just because you are the father of Emily and Reece. You're alright on your own, too.

Happy Birthday and enjoy this little treat.

Love you,


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Best Line I've Heard In A Long Time

"If you are serious about wanting some diversity, how about making a super hero who's ugly?" - said by some d.j. on a.m. radio today in reference to the fact that Bat Woman is coming back into print in comic books and the publishers are going to make her a lesbian.