Archive for May, 2008

sign 483 that i’m procrastinating.

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, etcetera, me, mirror mirror on the wall, you have to be a chick to understand on May 30, 2008 by drbolte

updates. i got ’em for ya.

look what i bought yesterday!

so…these are from bluefly and they cost $248.00.  i did not buy those shoes.  the shoes i bought…at walmart…were $15.  and i actually think they’re cuter than these. you may scoff at that if you must, but they are super cute and look good with jeans!  i hope that they’ll look good with my red party dress too! instead of a buckle in the back they have a cute little bow.  they’re a little bit higher than this, and i think have less of a platform.  but i’m at work and they are at home so…that’ll have to do.

i think that will end my shoe buying for a while.  aren’t you proud? zebra print AND red gingham.

also…update on blindish date guy. he got my email, replied and seemed okay with everything, and then unfriended me on facebook.

oookay.

your thoughts? any?

memo to the people who thought it was oh so very funny to use irregardless all of the time in my presence.

Posted in books are bliss, etcetera, me on May 30, 2008 by drbolte

it’s not a word. i know you know that.  i know you know i hate it.  i know you know that i know that you know that i hate it when you do it. you heard my groans.  you saw my eye-rolling.

curses on you.

because now? whenever i want to think of regardless, i find myself having to NOT say irregardless. and you know what?

IRREGARDLESS IS NOT A WORD!

i hate you all.

c, part one: pictures don’t lie.

Posted in etcetera, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, Uncategorized on May 29, 2008 by drbolte

this is the first in a series.  so…if it seems to end abruptly, it’s because…well…it does.  but only because there’s more to come.

for a long time, the mirror lied to me.

or, perhaps i should say, my eyes deceived me. or maybe better, my eyes saw what i could be and didn’t tell me what i really looked like.

i avoided cameras, because they didn’t lie. nothing about a photographic image lies, unless it’s been photoshopped, because even if it’s taken at your perfect angle and it makes you look spectacular–that is you. but those candid shots, the ones that you don’t know are being taken or that you’re not prepared for? those don’t lie.

i’m beginning to believe that it’s the closest thing we come to seeing ourselves physically as other people see us.

i remember just before i moved to north carolina in 1996, seeing pictures taken at my mom’s office going away party. i had basically grown up there, working the odd saturday to help out and earn some money, meeting and knowing all of the employees that she supervised, being the source of interested questions from her uber-kind boss.

i had thought that i was adorable, or at the very least passable (i don’t think i was happy with my hair that day, if i remember correctly), wearing that stripey black and white and red shirt, my hair chopped short in a style i hoped would look like jennie garth’s short hairstyle from the later years of 90210 but that really just accentuated my round face. when i looked in the mirror, i didn’t see that. i saw me.

but the picture didn’t lie.

but i ignored the picture. for a long time.

another picture that didn’t lie was my class picture from my first year of teaching. i found it christmas of 2006, as i was going through all of our family pictures to try to fill up some frames for my mom’s gift. i remember what i wore that day, i remember thinking that i looked pulled together and professional. my hair was longer and curled, so pretty cute. i remember thinking that i was working it a little bit when i got out of my car. i remember getting the picture back and being rather happy with it. i looked like me.

when i found it again, five years later in the back of my scrapbook at one a.m. on some random weekday in the flurried secrecy that only accompanies our december machinations, that wasn’t what i saw. the outfit was cuteish, i’ll give you that. but that wasn’t the person i remember being.

who was i, after all? better yet, how did i not see it?

i think this idea came home to me with some kind of cosmic physical force when i found a picture taken on the day i moved into my first apartment in florida. it was so hot. it was august, a tropical storm had stalked our trek down i-95, and we’d unloaded the truck ourselves. well, really, i’d unloaded most of the truck and mom helped with the big stuff. least i could do for her driving the u-haul from heck 500 miles for me. i worked like a demon those first few days to unpack most everything, and mom was intent on taking pictures so that my grandparents and family could see what it all looked like.

one of those pictures was of me, sitting on my bed, smiling at the camera in that beleaguered “you’re really taking my picture when i’m this hot?” way. my hair was back, my bangs doing that ANNOYING cowlick flippy thing they do sometimes if they’re not cut right, and i was wearing drawstring khakis and a coral shirt.

i hadn’t seen this picture in at least four years. i didn’t remember that this picture even existed.

when i found it again, buried underneath a pile of pictures from my childhood, i literally gasped.

i looked like that.

that was who i was. that picture didn’t lie.

it wasn’t so much that my cheeks were all red or that my hair was a disaster. it was my size. how big i was and didn’t know it. or maybe had convinced myself that i didn’t know it?

no, because really, and i’m being completely honest here, i didn’t know it. i mean, i KNEW it. the numbers on the tag inside your jeans or on the scale don’t lie eiher, but i think there was some kind of disconnect between my brain and my eyes and my size.

i just didn’t see it.

i suppose that could be a wonderful thing, the idea that i embraced and carried myself with awesomeness regardless of how large i was. but to say that would be a lie. because, while i didn’t see it in the mirror when i looked, i saw it in myself. in the way i acted, in how i measured up against things in the world. or, perhaps, how things measured up against me.

if you haven’t read this, please do. i’m not sure i could put it any better. there are horrifying stories that i could tell, that i won’t, but suffice it to say that there were times when size mattered. a lot.

so, when i saw this picture, several years later and after a journey that is a topic for another time, i was surprised:

yeah, that’s me.  and when i saw this picture, i didn’t recognize that it was me.

seriously.

i was…small.  now, you may look at this picture and think “uhm…that’s not small.” but comparatively, based on the other pictures?  i was unrecognizable.

it was the first time, i think, that i was pleasantly assaulted by a picture.

and it was the first time that all of the hard work that i had done cemented itself in my mind.

pictures don’t lie, you see.

i don’t run from them now. i’m not always happy with what i see, but i recognize myself now.  that’s me.  for better or worse, for larger or smaller, that’s me.  and i think it’s a version of myself that i’ve always seen.

i see me now.  and it’s awfully nice.

next wednesday: c, part two: english majors don’t do math.

out of office message.

Posted in blogging, etcetera, i'm so much cooler online, The Single Life, TV and me are pals, Uncategorized on May 29, 2008 by drbolte

hi y’all.

i’m over at copper boom today, cluttering up her webspace while she’s making the world safe for democracy one summer camper at a time. let’s all hope, for your sakes, that she finds internet but fast.

follow me over!

superquick updates on one-a and one-b.

one-a: done.  via email, which is the way we communicate.

one-b: letting it go.  if it’s meant to be it will find a way, since we’ve been in each other’s lives for going on three years now. me forcing it feels…like i’m forcing it, for reasons that are ill-advised and that i don’t want to/can’t/won’t talk about here.  i feel at once like it’s about him and it’s NOT about him…but regardless…i’m letting it go.

speaking of letting it go…did i mention that i’m a squatter today?  GO READ MY BRILLIANCE.

goodness.

also…are you WATCHING so you think you can dance?  i wasn’t going to. and then i did. and now i can’t stop. and seriously…what are these people THINKING? and how can i learn to bend like that?

dilemmas. i gots them.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, dissertation, drama drama drama, going quietly mad, i promise you that you won't care, i'm so much cooler online, School, the internets, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men on May 27, 2008 by drbolte

dilemma one: my love life.

one-a: blindish date guy is interested. while hearing that your eyes are gorgeous and your pictures don’t do them justice is awfully nice, and so is he, i know it’s going nowhere. how do i say this without seeming a) obnoxious and prideful; b) cavalier about his feelings; or c) awkward and horrible.

or is awkward and horrible just sort of a given?

i’m new at this. normally i just try to avoid the situation altogether and it goes away. but that’s not going to work here and i know i need to put on my big girl pants and deal.

who knew that i was so utterly charming and irresistible? i won’t comment on the irony of how that charm is often lost on those i’d like it to not be lost on.

dilemma one-b: IM guy, the one that i’ve been trying to get my flirt on with across a distance, might be sort of interested but is pragmatic enough to not really spark anything up until we are at least in the same state. super.

do i drop the flirting? i’ve been trying…as you know…and it’s been working, i guess, although IM guy would make an excellent poker player since he never ever shows his cards. we have a mutual friend also who has been trying to pull some strings and encourage things along (i am nothing if not in need of some love-related assistance), and he said that it’s all dependent on whether or not IM guy comes back.

and, yes, i do realize that sounds like i asked his best friend at recess if he liked me. sigh.

so…stop putting myself out there or keep doing it? i honestly don’t know what i want.

and that, kids, is the hallmark of this part of my life right now.

AND…

dilemma two: my writing life.

two-a: i don’t know what to blog about right now as my life is an utter snoozefest. you got ideas? things you want to know? want me to tell you stories, regale you with my past? yell out a suggestion and i might just take you up on it.

either that or i might go bloggy dark for a few weeks.

i know. shameless manipulation. oh well.

two-b: dissertation progress is so slow. i feel stymied here too. like if i could just concentrate things would be good. i was on FIRE the first week of break, when i was working on the mary shelley article that probably won’t even be published what a crapload of good that’ll do me then, but then i sort of…fizzled. now i feel like i’m just tying up loose ends that i don’t want to really tie up because they’re BORING ends to tie up but if i don’t tie them then i never will and then i’ll have to do it like six months from now when i’ve entirely forgotten what it was that i was trying to argue and i won’t really be able to call that chapter finished with any honesty and yeah.

anybody got any suggestions for sparking the fire back up? i’m going to try prayer. because nothing else seems to really be working. that and clean off my desk so that i can not feel claustrophobic. yeah.

that’s me, my life, and my crazy. thanks for playing along. gots suggestions? please leave them. you know i need the help!

vignettes.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2008 by drbolte

first things first.

celebration shopping had a safari theme when it commenced on our rather humid saturday afternoon. i bought these:

and a fairly fabulous giraffe print shirt on sale at old navy for $7. i’m still looking for shorts. i will not regale you with the frustrations of clothing my big hips, but suffice it to say: i battled the memorial day mobs to comb through sale racks and found a big whopping nothing.  i tried on a fairly cute party dress that was just a tiny bit too small (too bad, too, because i have a bridal shower/bachelorette party to go to on friday night that i have to dress up for), and i found a cute shirt for $10, but no shorts/capris that weren’t a million dollars. i just can’t buy something for $40, even if it is buy one get one free. i can’t do it.

so…i bide my time. patience continues to be the theme, i suppose.

i had a blind-ish date on saturday. i met him for lunch at olive garden. we met through a mutual friend and he’s significantly older (read: eight years) than me.

super nice guy, but not a spark to be found. it’s totally fine with me. i sort of knew that was going to happen. but it’s one of those experiences in life that make you braver. i’ve never really done that before, the whole blind date thing, so…yay me.

irony of this?

THE.CUTEST.WAITER.EVER. was our server. and we were talking about books and it turns out that waiter boy is an english major.

AN ENGLISH MAJOR AND ADORABLE.

and, out of respect, i didn’t even get my flirt on. and i was SOOOO ready to. i could have worked it because i was SO cute.

sigh.

cakeapalooza over here at casa de me. we had the missionaries over for dinner twice this weekend (we’d been sadly slacking, and there are three of us, so when we sign up…it tends to be pretty frequent). my roommate made pineapple upside down cake for friday dinner. then i made a chocolate cake for my pal’s b-day party that night. i made funfetti cupcakes last night and we ate the rest of them tonight for dessert again.

now, i’m a fan of cake, as you lovely readers well know. but i think i might be caked out.

could that even be TRUE? what the heck.

nope.  still could eat cake.

i watched the end of “the wedding date” on TNT this weekend, and the dad said this: “every woman has the love life she wants.”

could this even be true? i throw this out there because i really wonder. i might believe it.  at least a little bit.  what do you think?

what you want to see in your inbox at 1 a.m. on some random thursday.

Posted in books are bliss, dissertation, i love my life on May 23, 2008 by drbolte

Dear [drbolte],

I’m pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a Kirkland Dissertation Fellowship for this coming academic year. Congratulations! We will notify you more formally by letter soon, and the letter will explain in greater detail the terms of your award, but I wanted to let you know asap. The Kirkland Committee was impressed with your work and we look forward to your brilliant career.

Best Wishes,

[graduate coordinator who i love]

i feel carbonated inside.

and i am SO buying shoes this weekend.

(thank you for your prayers and good wishes and confidence and encouragement and just in general for being awesome. and mainly for putting up with my whining for three solid weeks.)

call me mrs. robinson and i’ll punch you in the kneecap.

Posted in domestic goddess, hilarity, i promise you that you won't care, i'm so much cooler online, roommates, shopping, the joys of living in Florida, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men on May 22, 2008 by drbolte

so…short story that should be longer but i don’t want to talk about it yet because i don’t know what i want/am going to do yet: i have been trying to turn on the charm with a certain person. sometimes i come off conqueror–straightforward and ultrabrave–and other times i’m like THIS.IS.JUST.SO.AWKWARD. and i flee from the IM in horror.

the take home message here is that i have begun to doubt my flirting abilities.

there for a while, i was just a force to be reckoned with–supersocial, completely sure of myself (or great at faking it), at ease in my own skin, and completely and utterly charming. now? i think that it has grown to be a part of me so that i don’t notice it so much anymore, but i don’t think i’ve had enough practice lately to know if it’s still there.

i still think that when i turn on the charm, i can make people stop in their tracks. i think i just have sort of forgotten where the switch is, so recent situations find me fumbling around the metaphorical wall, looking for it, instead of gracefully flipping that bad boy into “HELLO! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”

it could also be that thinking about it so much has made me freak out more about it. like when you know that you have a zit the size of rhode island on your chin and you think that everybody’s staring at it.

anyways. last night, after institute, my roommate and i went to publix. my purpose was to get in and out of there as soon as humanly possible. i had a headache verging on migraine status, i needed fruit and vegetables and things to eat that weren’t ramen, and it was 9 p.m. so we meander with purpose through the aisles (i LOVE strawberries and salad on sale, and i enjoy the fact that i got out of there spending less than $30 on food but still managed to get sourdough bread and as a tangential question, why does no one on the east coast know how to make sourdough bread really sour? i miss it, california girl that i am) and get to the register.

my roommate’s like “man…you picked the kids’ aisle. no gossipy things to look at!”

(also…no candy. a good thing. but raisins! which i bought. and am rather excited about, actually.)

no idea how true that kid aisle comment was.

get up to the checkout line after my roommate has bought her two items and answer the obligatory “how are you?” question with my standard “good. how are you?”.

and realize that the adorable checkout guy is making serious eye contact. ookay. moving along. slight compliment, i suppose, for migraine, very little make-up, why-yes-this-shirt-is-ridiculously-wrinkled-thanks-for-noticing, hair pulled up girl. but you’re like 20, at the most. adorable, yes. not quite jail bait, i guess, but…really? no. 21 is my limit. now.

so i slide my card, teasing my roommate about how she called me with some kind of animal noise and how i won’t answer to that, not at all unaware of the irony of how i actually DID respond to that when i didn’t respond to my name or the fact that the checkout guy and equally adorable bag guy are now listening intently.

yes, i can tell.

then the checkstand goes all haywirey, and checkout boy is apologizing for making me wait, telling me that it’s not my card. and hello, flirt switch. all of the sudden, i’m teasing back, telling him that he did it on purpose. and he responds that, yes, most definitely, he intended to make my life as difficult as possible. and we have a little cute moment there in the publix.

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!

or at least the crowd in my head. hey, maybe i don’t suck at this after all.

(and then the bag guy called me ma’am. immediate deflation. i don’t want to talk about it.)

relatively happy with my publix outing, i am loading my groceries into my car and the 16 year old (maybe?) cart collector guy in his brown publix apron comes to fetch it RIGHT when i was about to need to do something with it.

i was high on the serendipity of that when i said “perfect timing!” and he said, obviously trying to work his game, “it’s what i planned when i got up this morning.”

hi, my name is drbolte and i play well to the 16-22 demographic.

*crickets*

super.

but the moral of the story is…the flirt switch still works. and grocery stores make for good stories.

like water, or maybe a thicker liquid, through a sieve. or the blog post with the worst title EVER.

Posted in blogging, dissertation, going quietly mad, life lesson number 498, the internets on May 22, 2008 by drbolte

remember when i was all HECK YES! IT’S ALL MINE BABY! THE FELLOWSHIP IS MINE!

the longer i have to wait, the more i begin to doubt.

it’s been three weeks.

i know that’s not that long.  but when you actually expect to hear about it about three days after you turn in the paperwork, so sure that it’s going to be in the bag and having heard that last year’s recipient heard in like four days, it’s a LONG.DANG.TIME.

so i sit here, obsessively checking my email and wondering what on earth could be the holdup.  doing that, i start to think, hey, wait.  maybe there are a lot of really qualified candidates. maybe i actually don’t have this locked up at all.  don’t think that i am usually this confident about anything. i’m not.  in my professional life, i have less freakouts than in my personal life, mainly because i have more success because i am doing something that i really love to do and am good at, but i am routinely unaware of how good i am at what i do. i do what i do.  i try to do my best. i work hard, most days, at it, and then i move on.

but this time i was really sure.

and now, i don’t know.  at this point i just want it all to be done so that i can stop feeling my confidence drain out of me, bit by bit, day by day.  i am at this point quite close to begging someone, anyone, for any kind of clue.  i emailed my director. she called the graduate coordinator, emailed me to let me know she did, and then…nothing.

it’s like some really bad punk’d episode or something. you know, if i was someone of consequence to appear on mtv2.  which i’m not. but you get what i’m saying.

i guess i sort of know why it’s all happening.

because, all, i don’t know if you know this, but i am the most impatient person on the planet who is routinely called patient.  which means, i guess, that while i am internally YELLING about things that i have to wait for, i am outwardly waiting and just doing the best i can. i hate it. i hate waiting more than anything. i am not a waiting kind of girl. i want to make things happen. i want to be in control, and waiting implies that someone else is entirely in control.  ironically, or perhaps not at all ironically, i am currently presented, in my life, with a multitude of things that only patience and time and confidence will resolve.

you think maybe i’m supposed to learn something?  i think maybe i’m supposed to learn something.

so…instead of sitting here vexing about how the inbox number hasn’t changed at all while i’ve been sitting here blogging and thinking “why haven’t they emailed me because it’s not like they aren’t already at work/awake/thinking of me! gosh! i’m the center of everyone’s universe!”…i’ll go focus my intention and try not to hate triangle pose as much as i just really really do.

which means i’ll go do some yoga.  and breathe.  and try not to think.

or i’ll think about the lesson in all of this.

sigh.

or i’ll just keep begging.

i don’t know.

my five favorite numbers.

Posted in TV and me are pals on May 20, 2008 by drbolte

LOOK!

did you catch the part where it says that all of the original cast are expected to guest star?

oh sweet mercy, i’m so excited i did a little seated jig.

because i’m not getting up to dance until the thing debuts.  oh, it’ll probably be complete trash.  i probably will watch the first one and be disgusted.  but look!  there are BLACK PEOPLE on 90210! and rob estes is the dad.

sigh.

that’s how you know when your time has come and gone…when you have fond feelings for the DAD on the show.

sigh.

to tide us all over…

too bad the main character is played by that stupid twit from degrassi the next generation. gosh, i hate her.

oh well.

that english teacher ain’t bad.