Archive for February, 2008

perplexing.

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, etcetera, faith is action, family, magic, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, the joys of living in Florida, wish i may wish i might on February 29, 2008 by drbolte

things i don’t understand:

–the appeal of twizzlers when i’m under stress.

–why i still eat papa john’s pizza. it’s so gross.  and by gross, i mean i can’t quite ignore how disgustingly bad it is for me as i’m eating it and i feel awful after i do.

–how a grad student with two kids can afford prada anything.   am i missing something?  some fountain of money that is available to the intelligent?

–why i am suddenly really worried about wrinkles and how old i’m looking.  am i looking older?  is it my imagination? is that even a BAD thing?

–how people can be so utterly and completely wonderful to complete and total strangers like they were today to me and my mom.

–why i seem to be more tired than mom does today, and she’s the one who had surgery. i’m thrashed.

–why i even still think about/secretly wish for/anticipate the things that i do, even when i pray for them not to happen because i know it’s best for my sanity that they don’t.  it must be a sign of my stressed-out mental state.

–how these past few weeks have completely crawled and yet flown at the same time.

–what i will do to earn $2200 by october for the 3 day. i don’t even really have any idea how to start. if i could raise that much money, wouldn’t i NOT be in debt?

–my crazy indecipherable life with its astoundingly engaging and hilarious cast of characters.

fair warning.

Posted in drama drama drama, faith is action, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, wish i may wish i might on February 27, 2008 by drbolte

don’t screw with my plans, universe.

mom called me tonight on the way home from institute to tell me that she’s not feeling very well and wants me to call before i hit the road tomorrow for the long drive home.  she’s not running a fever, and periodically has these days (especially when the weather’s changing and she’s stressed out–hello, what could be more stressful than these past two weeks?) when she seems like she’s getting a cold but actually isn’t.  she’s been sleeping all day and sounded pretty okay on the phone, so i have hope.

but here’s my fair warning to the universe: don’t screw with my carefully-constructed plans.

i got someone to cover my shifts at work.

i rescheduled a bunch of conferences with students.

i have mentally prepared a list of things to do while waiting in the waiting room for hours–grading, reading, etc.

i have mentally prepared a list of things to do while taking care of mom.

i am prepared.

both mom and i will go stark raving out of our minds if we have to wait.

so, here’s my prayer and my threat, in tandem–the prayer for Heavenly Father, the threat for the powers that are trying to screw with this good and honorable plan.

don’t let anything go wrong.  let’s just get this thing done, okay?

i honestly don’t know what i’ll do with myself if i’m stuck here this weekend.  i mean, really.

what will i DO?

apathy.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, etcetera, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, you have to be a chick to understand on February 25, 2008 by drbolte

i can’t believe how completely i don’t care about much of anything in florida right now.

short-timers disease, i suppose, since i’m out of here on thursday to go home for the surgery and then i come back for four more days and then i’m home again for spring break.

case in point.

my hair was pulled back into a not-great-looking ponytail, with not a smidge of makeup on my face, in my baggiest jeans and a t-shirt that occasionally serves as a pajama top, and people came over to our house.

and i didn’t care.

i still don’t.  i mean, the most i could achieve was chewing some gum to get rid of the sundried tomato and basil wheat thin breath that i may have had.  didn’t even brush my teeth.

didn’t care.

i had 250 pages of charles dickens to read. instead, i found everything and anything to do instead.  nothing remotely productive, except that i ran some errands that i have been putting off for a week.  that was good, i suppose.  i got home from that, ate a little lunch, then took a nap.

and i had a creepily realistic dream about inviting someone somewhere and then, when i woke up, i found that that exact person had text messaged me a question about that place.

that’s been happening more and more–oddly realistic dreams that make me wonder if i was actually dreaming or that actually happened. that’s unusual for me.  really unusual.  when my dreams change, it’s usually a good indication that something’s going on with me.

that could also be demonstrated by my obsessive love of sugar lately.  in fact, it’s 11:00 and i might go eat a pop-tart.  ridiculous.

but i digress.

i just don’t really care about anything right here and right now. is that wrong?

i’m tired, burnt-out (for no good reason), and possibly going a little bit crazy. the reason for all of this seems obvious, but i don’t feel like it’s really affected me that much. but i rarely know what’s affecting me until a while later.  weird, i think, but true for how i work.

so i’m basically just trying to bide my time until thursday.   tomorrow will be fun because it’s tuesdays, and tuesdays are basically my favorite days.

i have to wake up earlyish and finish my reading–got about 110 pages left, although i might knock out a few more before i go to sleep uncharacteristically early (yeah…which means sometime before 3). but i don’t have to be anywhere until class at 3, so that’s totally doable.

and i’ll wear a t-shirt and flip-flops to class tomorrow. and i don’t care. professionalism? whatever.  that might actually make it BETTER. it’ll be an experiment. we’ll see how it goes.

i may or may not get much of anything done tomorrow night, although if i could clean this room, that would be amazing since it is a pithole of death right now and it’s making me slowly crazy.

or maybe i won’t.  who knows. i guess it depends on how much i hate my life with cramps.  cramps too? lucky carrie!

yeah, even this post is lame.

i hope you’re not offended or surprised when i tell you…i don’t really care.

letters, part le dos.

Posted in books are bliss, disney princesses got nothin' on me, faith is action, i love youtube--so sue me, Life, my amazing mother, TV and me are pals, wish i may wish i might, you have to be a chick to understand on February 25, 2008 by drbolte

dear powers that be in the television scheduling department,

while i do understand that you actually did want everyone in america to watch the oscars tonight, and while i appreciate the fact that i did because i found this song (haunting, beautiful, thoroughly worthy of the bling it won tonight), is it possible for something to actually be ON TELEVISION THAT’S WORTH WATCHING sometime during an entire weekend? i spent my saturday afternoon watching lipstick jungle online thankyouverymuch because there wasn’t a decent t.v. movie to be found. where were you, oh bastion of the saturday afternoon movie marathon, TNT? oh yes. jean-claude van damme. where were you, cheesy romantic and stupid as you are, ABC family? oh yes. casper.

i pay a lot of money for the privilege. could you, you know, make a little bit of an effort?

if i watch VH1 anymore, i fear for my IQ.

appreciatively,

the girl who wants to vegetate in style.

dear crazy brain,

could you please make it so that i am sleepy sometime before two a.m.? this is REALLY starting to tick me off and mess with my plans for world domination. apparently, lots of stuff happens before 10 a.m., which is when i wake up when you pull this crap.

thanks eversomuch.

your pal, the girl who has stuff to do.

to my future husband, whoeveryoumaybe:

don’t buy a ring without me. or without talking to my roommates/mom. you have great taste (hello!marryingme!) but i’m a girl and i’ve been imagining this forever (hello!doyouknowhowoldiam?). it doesn’t have to be big. it just has to be me.

you won’t regret it. trust me.

yours in platinum or silver,

your girl, who doesn’t necessarily think diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

dear tuesday. and thursday,

please hurry up.

impatiently,

me.

dear students,

please continue to be ridiculously hilarious, to think i am smart, and to do your reading.

you have no idea how your enthusiasm for charles dickens makes my day(s).

but really, if a few of you don’t do better on your quizzes, i’m going to be a bit annoyed. and by a bit, i mean i might lose it a little.

who doesn’t need to know the plot details of a novel written in the 1850s? that’s what i thought.

jeopardy will love you,

the future doctor.

dear lazy 90% of me and the doubting 7.8%,

we’re going into training soon. for the 3 day race–60 miles over three days to raise money for breast cancer in october. we can do it, but we gotta have you on board.

here’s what’s going to happen. you’re going to shut up about being tired, sick, sore, lazy, PMSing, old, or any other adjective that does not directly result in us being on the treadmill and doing crosstraining and whatever else that little piece of paper says. if you need motivation to stifle it, please think of your mom who is going to be fighting hard to just get to work a couple of days a week…and that’s the just the smallest part of her fight.

so, you’re going to stifle it. if you need to be lazy about something, how about you be lazy about, say, Facebooking? TV watching? being judgmental?

instead, here’s what we’re going to do. we’re going to follow the training schedule. we’re going to do it. you know why? because we can. because one of our goals for 2008 was to get into some shape, to lose the last of the weight, to really work hard at it. and we’ve sucked at it so far.

so…all of the sudden, an answer just dropped into our laps. we’re not stupid enough to let that pass by, are we?

nope. didn’t think so.

we can do it.

wouldn’t it be awesome to be HOTT? but, better, wouldn’t it be amazing to actually see this through?

YES.

quitters are lame. we’re doing this. jump on board.

i don’t want to have to get ugly with you.

sincerely, with love, and with heels dug in firmly,

the 2.2% labeled “stubborn and motivated”

aftermath.

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, drama drama drama, faith is action, family, friends, magic, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, you have to be a chick to understand on February 23, 2008 by drbolte

well, i guess it’s good that all this news came on a week when i was PMSing already, huh? hey everybody! you get double the mood swings, but for half the time.

i’d take it if i were them. seems like a deal.

it’s strange how you don’t even really realize what’s going on with you until you realize that the stupid things are sending you over the edge.

you yell at your roommate for wanting to wear a belt to blockbuster. i know. don’t ask.

you nearly cry when you realize that your roommate’s dog peed in your laundry hamper. it wasn’t the end of the world. it was contained and it all came out. wash it twice. it’s all fine. but still? a few waterworks.

you fret deeply about whether or not someone who should be of no consequence whatsoever, with whom you have a rather rocky past and who you really don’t trust/shouldn’t interact with anyways, is mad at you for making the right decision for yourself that might have possibly brought some inconvenience/disappointment to him.

i’ve decided that my filter is off. you know the filter. the one that allows you to think before you speak, to make those split second judgments of “wow, that would be a terribly mean thing to say” or “i should really be kind to her…she’s had a long, long day”. the ones that keep you in civilized society and out of the whole “socially awkward” realm of existence.

it’ll come back.

in the meantime, i’m thinking that staying away from people is probably best for a while. chillin’ in my room. doing some laundry. grading some papers. watching some dvds on the computer. maybe getting some reading done too.

i feel like a baby a little bit. it’s not like it’s happening to ME. it’s not like i’m sick or having to have surgery or having to do radiation or anything like that. it’s not like i’m even that scared, really. i’m not. i mean, i am scared for the road that mom has to travel, but not where that road will end up. i don’t know if that makes any sense.

i don’t really think I make any sense right now anyways, so perhaps i’ll leave you with the following things that have brought me great joy in the past few days:

  • the movie martian child with john cusack. i’m already a cusack family fan, but this movie is seriously splendid.
  • how much i actually DIDN’T hate becoming jane, even though their factual footing was seriously flawed. i didn’t spend the whole time, jane austen scholar that i am, yelling at the screen. anne hathaway was lovely. james mcavoy was beautiful. it was gorgeous.
  • the multiflavored twizzlers? with the different colors? YUM. and you don’t feel guilty about eating twizzlers like you do about eating chocolate, so it’s double the pleasure, double the fun!
  • talking to a friend for ages and ages over IM about our mutual idiosyncratic psychoses. it’s been good times. she helped me write the email telling my best friend about mom. i didn’t want it to be all “woe is me…worry! worry! worry! even though you’re 10,000 miles away and can’t do anything or even call me to check up on me, please freak out and get distracted from what you’re there to do” so…she was my editor. she has kept me a little more (read: a lot more) sane than i would normally have been. she’s amazing.
  • my AMAZING idea to make little envelopes for every single day during mom’s radiation that she can open before or after she goes. it’ll be like an advent calendar…but with no ornaments and instead little quotes or sayings or comic strips. it’ll be good. i’ve been having some luck with finding scriptures, but if you have any good quotes or funny things that you think might be good, let me know!
  • my faith. i would be moorless and anchorless without it. i know where i come from, where i’m going, and who’s on my team. i know the power of prayer, the power of fasting, the power of hope. i know Heavenly Father is on my team always, so i’m happy to know that i can call on Him anytime.
  • that my students are just the coolest in the entire world. when i am crazy in class, they just roll with it. i am completely myself and they seem to really enjoy it. and i get such a rush from standing up there and realizing that i sound really, really smart–and i’m not even trying to. YAY for my dream job. YAY for looking forward to everything related to that experience. YAY for realizing that i will, in fact, rock at my career.

well, i’m off to put some semblance of order into my disordered universe. meaning, i’m going to try to clean. we’ll see how well THAT turns out.

thanks for the prayers. thanks to you who read (so many of you who I don’t know) who have sent up a good thought for my mom. it’s a kindness that i can never repay, but please know that i am grateful and that they matter to my family. probably much more than you even know. many more thanks to those of you who live in my real world who have been amazing to me with your offers of help and your support–you know who you are–and who have helped me remember that i should just be myself (NOT the crazy pink ribbon queen!) and deal with it the best way that i know how and who help me by just being you.

it helps more than you know, even when you don’t say anything at all. really.

courage.

Posted in faith is action, Life, my amazing mother on February 21, 2008 by drbolte

true courage is my mom.

true courage is looking scary stuff straight on and saying “okay. bring it. i’m scrappier and tougher than you.”

true courage is having to wait an hour in the waiting room for a doctor who seems to be avoiding you to get the news you knew was coming but hoped wouldn’t.

true courage is today.

my mom has breast cancer.

the good part of the bad news is that it’s very confined and very small.

in one week, mom has surgery.

a few weeks after that, she begins radiation. every day for six weeks.

true courage is having hope in the face of discouragement.

true courage is finding purpose when logic seems to tell you otherwise.

true courage is my mom.

true courage is now.

please go to this site and click on the free mammogram button.

Posted in Church, family, i love my life, perfect brightness of hope on February 20, 2008 by drbolte

i wish it were tomorrow at 2 p.m.

then, regardless of the news, i would at least know.

mom’s biopsy results come in tomorrow.  well, i would imagine they are already in, sitting in some innocuous file folder with her name on it on some doctor’s cluttered desk, waiting for the appointment tomorrow.

while i’m sure that the people involved know how much they mean to the people who are waiting for them, for most of them, it’s just another day.

for us?

it’s more than that.

i am not worried. and i am petrified.  i am at peace. and i am counting the minutes.  i have faith. and i am asking for even more prayers, knowing as i do that what will happen will happen and that i have very little control over it.  it feels wrong to ask for it to all be fine.

and yet i have begged for it in every prayer that i have uttered for the past few days.  as it gets closer, i get more worried.

but not at the same time.

i don’t know how to explain it.  i really don’t.

i just want tomorrow afternoon to come.

if i know, i can at least act.

my life seems calculated to teach me patience and faith.  even if i don’t want to let it.