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.

letters, we’ve got letters, we’ve got stacks and stacks of letters…LETTERS!

Posted in etcetera, i love my life, shameless blog thievery on February 15, 2008 by drbolte

in the long tradition of bloggers before me (hello all! i’m shamelessly stealing your idea! thanks!), i present to you the random short letters to inanimate objects or people i don’t know et al.

dear makers of dove dark chocolate promises,

thank you for making the best dark chocolate ever. and for making me feel compelled to keep eating them to see what little shiny fortune you have wrapped inside.

my thighs hate you.

sincerely,

the girl who tries to convince herself the antioxidants make up for the overindulgence.

dear drunken parade of people going to my neighbor’s apartment,

it’s friday night. yay for you that you’re here, hanging out with your friends, at my neighbor’s apartment across the way. while i do recognize that the design of the boardwalk walkways that go from our stairs to your destination are not your responsibility (curse you, stupid not forward thinking architects!), do you HAVE to sound like a thundering horde of elephants every.single.time you come up and down the stairs? and do you have to sing really loud too?

you’re scaring the cat.

hugs,

why-yes-i-am-at-home-watching-psych-on-a-friday-night-thank-you-very-much.

dear people who keep getting engaged, one after the other, after only dating for a few months (if that) over and over again and telling me about it,

please stop.

at least for a month.

eight is all i can take for one two- or three-week period.

you may recommence about the time of march madness.

(that would be appropriate.)

and, yes, i am happy for you.  tell me where you’re registered. i’ll buy you a garlic press.

much love,

carrie on a dating diet.

dear facebook bumper sticker application people,

please stop putting naked people on there.

i don’t want porn when i go scrolling through.  i don’t care if other people do.  i don’t.

please stop.

did i mention that you should stop?

thanks.

earnestly,

a girl trying to be virtuous.  seriously.

dear Heavenly Father,

thank You for answering every single prayer i prayed about mom’s biopsy.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.

i don’t deserve it.  thanks for thinking that i do anyways.

You have no idea.

love,

Your daughter.

everyday magic

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, i love my life, magic, perfect brightness of hope on February 15, 2008 by drbolte

talking to a friend of mine today.  well, perhaps an acquaintance who once was a friend? maybe a friend. i don’t know.  i am having trouble distinguishing between what makes a friend and what doesn’t. i feel like we use that term far too flippantly…and therefore it doesn’t have as much weight as it should with the people who really rise up to truly define the term.

we were talking about expectations, about being happy.  and this is what i said:

amazing isn’t a state of being. amazing is a state of mind. and moments of incredible wonder are just that…moments. most of life is the everyday kind of magic that we often forget to look for. it’s all about figuring out how to find them.

i really believe that.  i don’t believe that life has to be mundane, boring, or meh.  i do believe that most of life requires hard work, and the ones that don’t recognize that are the ones that truly miss out on the amazing possibilities that only come when you put in the sweat equity.  how can you really understand the triumph that comes from seeing a job well done if you don’t, well, do it?  plus, people who whine about having to work hard at life bug me a little.

since when was it supposed to be easy? when did God ever say “oh, yeah, i’m going to give you everything on a silver platter. here you go. understand the mysteries. make sense of the cosmos. completely get my entire plan as a mere mortal with a temporal, finite mind.  go ahead.  sure. you’re ready.”

pfft.  please. i don’t really even understand geometry. i don’t want to understand the mysteries of God thankyouverymuch.

anyways…i realized that i really believe that every day is full of magic.  FULL of it.

let me share with you some of the magic of today.

–despite the fact that i should be really scared about the biopsy, i am not. i have peace. i know that people are praying. i am fasting for her.  i know that she will feel the weight and peace of those prayers.  i know that, whatever happens, we will have strength enough to do whatever we need to do.  it’s going to be okay.

–my best friend, half a world (well, actually, more than half a world) away is fasting with me.  right now.  i can’t tell you what that means to me–and to mom.  it’s an extraordinary gift to have someone in your life who knows you inside and out–all your flaws and stupid foibles and idiotic traits and your strengths and all of the ways that you are amazing and magical without even knowing it–and still thinks you’re pretty darn incredible.

–i am ridiculously enjoying bleak house, which is this tome of a novel that i assigned my students.  i’d read it before, but i forget how much i love something until i immerse myself in it once more.

–valentine’s day was actually quite fun. no bitter at ALL.  just love–for lots of people–and a reminder to myself of what i really want and what’s most important. and i got chocolate. lots and lots of dove dark chocolate, which makes my heart sing.  being ridiculously adorable pays off. 🙂

–my jeans are looser.  that, friends, is magic right there.

–last night, i found ingrid michaelson lyrics.  and i’m in love with her.  i LOVE the song as i am, but the rest of her lyrics are extraordinary.

–i am just surrounded by blessings. on my right side and on my left, in front of me and behind me.  people who answer my prayers. people who let me answer theirs. people who strive every day to do what’s right. people who make me laugh ridiculously over something really really stupid.  people who prove to me that people are at their core genuinely good.  people who let me trust them and never break that trust.

everyday magic. that’s what it’s about.  when we see it, we can’t help but be happy that we are here.  that we chose to be here.  it makes all of the difficulties of the days and weeks and months drift away, somehow. when we’re looking for it, we can’t help but be hopeful.  it’s impossible.

 

bullet(ed)in

Posted in blogging, celebrities, dissertation, etcetera, family, friends, i hate vegetables, Life, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, The Single Life on February 4, 2008 by drbolte

Back, ever so briefly, to say a few things:

  • February is looking rosier, mainly because I am making plans to make my own fun.  I was doing that at the beginning of the fall…and then life rose up to meet me and smack me in the head with its surprises.  I hope it does the same again…but I hope I’m wiser this time.
  • YAY for the Apple Store replacing my optical drive AND cleaning my computer at the same time…and doing it all on MY ideal timeline.  Love them.  Love Macs. Never going back.  EVER.
  • Back on the diet/exercise bandwagon tomorrow. I’m actually getting up to go do some kind of activity for many minutes on some machine in our apartment workout room with the roomie.  Yay for plans that involve, if necessary, my roommate pounding on my door and reminding me that I need to get my butt out of bed.
  • Teaching’s been going amazingly well.  Here’s knocking on wood and hoping it continues.
  • I am officially addicted to the Twilight series. Seriously, if you haven’t read them, you’re crazy.
  • Do you ever have moments when you missing someone hits you so hard it’s like a wave, an almost tangible feeling?  Happened just a few minutes ago for me. I’m always surprised by it.  Always.  That also surprises me–I should be used to it by now, shouldn’t I?
  • The dissertation continues. Goal to make this week: complete draft of the close readings for a chapter…basically everything but the secondary source stuff done.  I think I can make it.
  • Mom’s having a biopsy next week or the week after.  I’m not freaked out yet–it’s happened before with nothing bad to report–but the words “fast growing” never strikes me as comforting. If you pray, could you pray for her? I’m really not at all sure what I’ll do if it’s bad news.
  • I hate that McCain won Florida.  Of course, I also hate the fact that I forgot to change my address on my voter registration so I couldn’t vote in the primary. Actually, I’m rather ashamed at that.
  • I forgot how addicting iTunes shuffle is.  Currently?  “Baby One More Time” is playing.  Sigh.  Oh Britney.  I sincerely hope you get yourself together.

Off to bed.  Sigh.  Another week.

Where do they all go…and why are they passing so slowly and so quickly at the same time?