Archive for June, 2008

some idle passing thoughts. and i really do mean idle.

Posted in celebrities, dissertation, me, oh so very random on June 30, 2008 by drbolte

why are the jonas brothers always wearing pants that are just so tight? i mean, beyond the obvious reasons, but these are disney channel staples.  are they subverting disney and subtly encouraging eleven year old girls to check out their butts? because if so…eww.

rumer willis.  someone explain to me the appeal, other than the genetic heritage.  she’s just…not so exciting as to warrant the attention.

does target let you return books without the receipt if the tag is still on it? i hope so. i could get a whole lot of luna bars for the price of this piece of crap book i picked up without much investigation that i couldn’t get past the first three pages of without feeling my moral compass twisting in the wind.

mm.  luna bars.

hey! it’s july.  what the FLIP happened to the first half of 2008?  yeah, i don’t know either.

what are you going to do with your tuesday?  this is my plan:

wake up. do yoga. get cuted up. try not to sweat to death as i walk to class. lecture for an hour about Romanticism.  walk back to car, no longer caring about sweating to death.  grocery store so that i don’t have to eat cheezits for dinner anymore.  commence the great luna bar hunt of 2008. elliptical–YAYAYZ! (there’s something wrong with me…) prep for class. take a power nap.  power through the rest of my novel–or close to it.  make the world safe for democracy once more.

yeah, just checking to see if you were still reading.

tired now.  shutting down.  goodnight noises everywhere.

dear old golden rule days.

Posted in etcetera, School, teaching on June 30, 2008 by drbolte

i suck at reserving judgment.

pretty much, i’m a gut-level, snap judgment person.  it’s a terrible thing when you say it like that, i suppose.  i don’t necessarily do it with people so much as i do it with groups and situations. i’m good at it. i assess.  i determine.  i am routinely proven wrong by individuals, but i’m rarely wrong about situations.

first class was today.

make your own connections. i ain’t doin’ it for you.

i’m going to punish the elliptical.  and then i’m going to take another shower (i know. so much for living green and/or frugally but it’s frickin hot here and i had to look cute, as futile as that attempt was ultimately) and be terribly productive and hope that tomorrow is better.

i really hate first days. i try too hard and am too hard on myself and inevitably end up thinking that i look like a complete and total idiot when i probably don’t.

suddenly the weird dreams that kept waking me up ALL NIGHT LONG make a lot more sense.

maybe a nap will be in that schedule too.

loves.

Posted in domestic goddess, family, mirror mirror on the wall, my amazing mother, oh so very random, you want me to walk HOW far? on June 27, 2008 by drbolte

today was a good day.

it was hotter than i imagine the blazes of hell would be, but if you listen to john milton, hell will actually be the absence of light and warmth which actually makes more sense, but leaves me without a really cool metaphor to describe how horribly hot it was.

and yet i made it through.

i got my hair cut, which always scares me just a little bit.  i have a love-hate relationship with my hair. for a very long time, when i didn’t love my body at all, it was the one thing that i could fixate on. i still like how i can dye it whatever color i want or cut it however i want and it’s this impermanent but utterly powerful way to immediately change things.  the cut turned out pretty well. it’s a bit longer than i thought, and has more choppy layers, but it’s different and i like it.

i bought new shoes.

did you catch that? i bought NEW SHOES!  i got some new trainers, which is a very british or australian way to say sneakers, but it’s very much the best way to describe them since they are TRIATHALON shoes.  did you know that they had triathalon shoes? me neither.  but they’re pink and silver and have these super cool bottoms that help the shock to be absorbed which is awesome and, as a result of all of this, the most beautiful thing ever happened.

i got back on the treadmill.

and walked.

for an hour.

on an incline.

something is wrong with me when that fact makes me so utterly happy that i can’t even really articulate it.  weird. weird. weird.  my mom came home from her treatment, saw me on the treadmill, and said “you must be a glutton for punishment.”  i think she probably thought i was just walking on an injured hip anyways.  i wasn’t.  although it’s sort of twingey now but i don’t want to talk about it because HOORAY IT DIDN’T HURT WHEN I WAS WALKING.  life is beautiful.

also, where i bought my new trainers they were having a MEGA shoe sale.  and i bought some cute blue plaid flip flops for $10 that actually have some arch support and are adorable and did i mention that they were on sale?

and then i went to target.

i bought a book and luna bars, which are my new obsession.  i think i’m going to change one of my 30 in 180 items to trying every single luna bar that i possibly can.  because they are yummy. and there are 14, 13 of which i will try (chai tea? no thank you because that’s just gross…).  that means that i have 10 more to try…i’m especially looking forward to chocolate raspberry.  it’s the simple things, you know?

and my mom just said “the word on the street” about something with a completely straight face.  that made me laugh.

days like this restore me.  i wish i could stick around longer here so that i could take care of mom, who i think could really use me, but maybe this is her test–to ask for help from others when she needs it.  i think that she will, when she needs it. in the meantime, i’ve been enlisted into cleaning the bathroom duty tomorrow.

and i am happy to be drafted.

happy weekend, all.

it’s all because of the lake como house. and that he had a pig.

Posted in memelicious on June 26, 2008 by drbolte

courtesy of my recent lurking in gretch-a-sketch’s world…

You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:

1. One weapon.
2. One song blasting on the speakers.
3. One famous person to fight alongside you.

Weapon can be real or fictional; you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.

1.  flame thrower. because, hello, it’s cool.

2.  mama said knock you out by ll cool j.  i can’t get enough of it and i don’t know the words yet.

3. george clooney.  because he’s pretty. and the reasons listed in the title.

what would YOU do?  they are zombies, after all.

gridlock.

Posted in drama drama drama, going quietly mad, i promise you that you won't care, you want me to walk HOW far? on June 25, 2008 by drbolte

i have been nothing if not completely obnoxious on this blog lately. complaining whining all woe is me.  i’m sorry. i apologize.  however, that is not going to change right now because if i don’t say something about this i might scream.

i have somehow strained my back or hip.  i have been on the treadmill every single day since i got here except sunday (and yesterday, because of this) going very fast (faster than i have been walking before) and for prolonged periods of time and i have been excited about it.  i don’t love the treadmill in any way at all, but i was looking forward to doing something different to try to kickstart and round out my training for the 5K. i don’t want to talk about the fact that i can’t run on the treadmill.  i just don’t want to talk about it.

(and yes i am coming to realize that walking/running on the treadmill is much more awkward and strange than walking/running in real life, but real life isn’t accompanied by air conditioning and a stereo system. but i get it–and thank you to those of you runners who have told me that.)

i got on the treadmill yesterday determined to walk five miles, the longest that i would have done since i’d been home, and something was REALLY wrong with my hip.  when i tried to get up above about 2 mph, it just screamed at me.  i got off, obviously, even though i tried to power through thinking that maybe it would work itself out, but it wasn’t the kind of twingy pain that can be worked out.  it was the kind that basically said “hey. listen. either get off or get ready to really yell.”

so i got off.

and i took advil and tried to elevate it or whatever my feeble mind thought to do.  i prayed that it would get better. that might seem lame to you, but it matters a lot to me.

see, i’m finally FINALLY finally in this routine where i exercise more than i don’t.  i had gotten accustomed to doing massive amounts of cardio before i came home, and i wanted to keep that trend going for lots of reasons–for the purpose of weight loss, of course, but also just because it’s good for me and it makes me feel better and like i’ve done something of worth all day even when i probably haven’t done anything else that’s worthwhile.

and also because i have this terrible habit of starting things and not finishing them.

so, i tried again today.  and i walked, like a grandma, at like 2.5 mph and an incline for like 10 minutes before it started screaming at me again.

and i feel pathetic.  like my body is turning against me.

the reality is that i need new shoes really badly.  and i’m sleeping on a futon that kills my back anyways.  usually by the time i go home from visiting mom, i am in moderate back pain most all of the day.  and i didn’t do any, you know, gradual warm up to this punishing schedule i’ve had on the treadmill. i just sort of thought that i’d be able to do it without any trouble because say eight weeks ago, i was walking on the treadmill three times a week at not nearly as fast or as aggressive a pace and yeah i’m ridiculous.

so there are lots of legitimate reasons why this is happening.  it’s fairly easy to explain.

but how i FEEL?

is pathetic.  and like the one time i manage to get my crap together, something, anything, everything conspires against me to teach me patience and to let go.

and right now i’m not letting go very much.

what ticks me off more is feeling like nobody really understands.  like everybody is sort of looking at me like “really? you’re upset because you’ve been off the treadmill for two days? really?”

probably like you are right now.

yeah.

thanks for listening.  i’ll buy shoes tomorrow and try it again.  i guess the fact that i’m this annoyed by teh whole situation and that i refuse to give up is something, right?

the starting line and no i don’t mean the band.

Posted in dissertation, etcetera, faith is action, me, School, teaching, the joys of living in Florida on June 25, 2008 by drbolte

i’ve never raced.

i mean raced with my feet.

i mean raced with my feet when i was old enough to actually remember said race. i seem to have vague, fuzzy memories of chasing a boy around and him chasing me around on some bygone elementary school playground.  fashionista that i was seem to also remember being concerned that i was getting sweaty.  ha.  i just remembered that.  funny how nothing changes.

but i can only imagine that, just before a race, you begin to get anxious.  you start thinking about all that’s in front of you, all that you have to accomplish to finish this thing that you’ve been training and practicing and working for for so long.  you, i would think, begin to question whether or not you can do it.  you begin to wonder if those hurdles, perceived or real, before you can actually be overtaken.  can you jump them without losing your stride? can you manage to make it to the finish line before you collapse?  can you enjoy, even a little bit, the journey between here and there?  can you keep your focus on your feet, your form, your breathing instead of on that everelusive finish that really is farther away than you think?

i feel that way about a lot of things right now.

i feel like i’m about to start a race to the finish.

i’m sort of scared.  and i’m sort of excited.  on some days, i am completely sure of myself and where i stand with everything and other days, like today, i feel like i’m milling around a start line just waiting for somebody to pull the trigger. but i’m not entirely ready for that because i don’t think i’m ready for it.  some days, like today, i’m not sure i can do everything that i have committed myself to do.  some days, like today, i ignore the evidence to the contrary and everyone around me who tells me that i can and instead listen to that conniving but utterly insistent voice that tells me that i can’t.

with or without me, though, the race begins on monday.

i suppose i should start warming up, huh?

memo to facebook friends.

Posted in facebook is the new crack, grrrrr., i'm so much cooler online, the internets on June 24, 2008 by drbolte

to the various parties to whom this is directed:

issue one: i don’t understand why you won’t just put up a picture of yourself. i mean, i do…but really? there’s not one picture of you that you just love enough to own?  come on.  we all do those photo shoots of ourselves.  sometimes they’re total disasters. sometimes, unexpectedly, one turns out to capture us just right. it’s better, really, if you put up a picture of yourself. own who you are.  sometimes it’s hard. believe me, you know i know this is true. but it’s better. don’t wait until you have the perfect hair or the perfect posture. or do.  but if you don’t love you now…i worry.

issue two: the dramatic status updates? nobody wants to see them.  it’s fun when you’re excited or happy to share in a status update. if something crazy happens to you, that’s cool. inside joke? good times.  but the dramatic, angsty declaration? that you’re done…finally…with your significant other (especially when that happens ALL of the time)? that you are desperate to find love? that you don’t understand why life is so hard?

you’re allowed…like…one of those per three month period. if every single status update is angsty, i pretty much just want you to stop talking.  it’s not that i’m not sympathetic–believe me, i am–but it’s the equivalent of whining in a giant room full of people at the top of your lungs. it seems like a huge cry for attention more than anything else, even if you don’t mean it to be.  so please stop it.  my hip is strained and hurts like a big dog.  i’m cheesed off that i couldn’t walk the five miles i wanted to today. i had to restrain myself from whining about it in my status update.  i did it.  so can you.

also…stop cussing. it’s just tacky.

issue three: if you change your profile picture/relationship status EVERY SINGLE DAY, nobody believes you and everybody wants to smack you a little bit.  choose a picture.  you can change it.  that’s okay.  i change mine periodically, especially if there’s a new picture that i like better or the hair color changes (because everybody knows that you have to have a picture that actually matches how you look now…for better or worse or whatever).  but really? when you just can’t make up your dang mind, it makes me question your ability to commit to anyone or how well your ADD medication is working or whether or not you do in fact know that there are other things to do on the internets besides change your facebook profile picture.  try pogo games.  i suggest bingo luau. you’ll feel 80 but you’ll find yourself oddly compelled in short order.

or read cnn. something. anything.  just stop it.

issue four: i don’t want to buy you as a pet, throw a snowball at you, make you a knight in my makebelieve facebook application kingdom, or predict when i’ll get married (not soon enough)/die/become a disney princess/cure cancer/whateverstupidcrapapplicationthingyou’vesentme.  please stop.  you know, when they say that you HAVE to send those invitations, you actually don’t HAVE to send them. or you don’t HAVE to send them to everyone.  or you don’t HAVE to send them to the SAME FIVE PEOPLE WHO HAPPEN TO BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS LIST.

issue five: you don’t have to upload ALL of the pictures you take on a random adventure.  adventure pictures are good. adventure pictures that don’t make any sense to anyone but the people who accompanied you on the adventure are also good.  but editing is key to life.  you edit what you say. you edit what you wear.  you edit what you turn into a professor. please edit the pictures you put up.

and please caption them. context is key.  especially when the pictures are…less than flattering.

many thanks.  that is all.

by the numbers: the nc edition.

Posted in books are bliss, dissertation, domestic goddess, i promise you that you won't care, Life, oh so very random on June 24, 2008 by drbolte

3: episodes of crucial television (ahemthebacheloretteandsytycd) saved by tivo during my crazy vacation schedule where i forget what day/time it is and that nagging feeling that i’m missing something doesn’t trigger my memory enough.

.75: amount of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips i have consumed.

3: trips to the grocery store so far.

2: times i wanted to scream and run out of the grocery store because people in north carolina stress me out sometimes because they are in my way and oh wait maybe that’s because i went grocery shopping without eating and oh yeah i’m gonna eat some raisins and hey miraculously people don’t suck quite so bad anymore.

4: thunderstorms we’ve had thus far.

9: the time my alarm goes off in the a.m.

2: how many times i told the alarm to stifle it this morning.

20ish: hours we spent without air conditioning.

3.75: cost of the fuse that caused said air conditioning to stop functioning.

at least 2: how many times i listen to danity kane’s “damaged” when i’m working out.

at least 10,000: the approximate number of times i would have to listen to danity kane’s “damaged” on repeat in order to get sick of it. also the number of dollars i wish i had in exchange for the dignity and/or reputation that i just lost.

5: times i have seen the preview for “mamma mia!”

95: percent sure i am excited to see that movie.  and i didn’t even know much about it before this week. who said advertisement doesn’t work?

6: pages i’ve written.

50: pages i’ve read.

0: percentage of those pages remotely related to my dissertation.

awesomeness.

many thanks to those of you who are keeping mom and me in your thoughts and prayers. we’re doing good. she’s doing good. it’s the sixth week, and she’s sprinting to the finish. she can do it. she’s awesome. you’re awesome for extending your love. i appreciate it more than i can say.

is it possible to punch a disease in the FACE?

Posted in my amazing mother on June 22, 2008 by drbolte

do you know what radiation does?

it burns you.

you might not have known this.  i’m not sure that i really did, except that my grandmother went through radiation too and i remember her talking about her skin being really tender. she started wearing my grandfather’s old undershirts (you know, the cotton ones that had gotten really soft and worn from use) instead of a bra under her clothes towards the end.

but it’s literally like going in every day and getting sunburned.

for six weeks straight.

and radiation builds up.  so the first few weeks are good. and then, at the end, it starts to hit you.

so mom is tired. she’s burned so badly that it’s wicked painful to wear clothes.  on top of that, sometimes she just gets random spasms of pain from the area where she had the two surgeries because, hey, guess what added bonus all of that tissue gets inflamed and swollen. so, obviously, she’s basically at the end of her rope.

i knew this going in to this trip. i planned it so that i would be here for this exact reason.  but i guess being upclose and personal with it is a different story.  at first, i tried to figure out what was wrong and what i could do. it was frustrating to say the least because i didn’t KNOW what to do and the things i knew to do she wouldn’t really let me do because she felt bad because she’s the mom and i’m the kid and i’m tired (futon sleeping and NC allergies don’t make me a very happy kid) but HI YOU HAVE CANCER AND I DON’T.

and then i realized that the best things that i could do were two things: get her to rest (i.e. do everything humanly possible to lighten her load, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, errand-running, taking care of the cats, etc.) and act normal and/or like a sugared up crazy person.

apparently me doing a goofy thumbs-up sign is one thing that can make her laugh.  i have no idea why, but whatever works, you know?

so i’m laying on the couch–oh, sweet couches of home how i love thee–about to eat some leftover coleslaw (hey, we are high rollers here in NC) as i watch bridezillas and listen to the rain on the roof of the porch behind me.  and all is well because mom’s asleep and i’m here one more week.

and in that week, i will make sure that i do everything that needs to be done–mop the floor? cook every night? do every speck of laundry in the special way that i have to with no perfume/no dye detergent? run every errand known to man?–before her last seven treatments.  it’s really all i can do.

oh, did you know?

once you go through about 27 treatments, you have something that’s called “the boost.”

no, it’s not as good as it sounds.  it’s not the boost that you get in your smoothies that make your immune system work faster and makes you full of energy.

it’s a superconcentrated dose of radiation focused directly at the site of the cancer.

’round these parts, we call it the blast.

did i mention that cancer can kiss my butt?

i thought i did.

hey.  breast cancer blows.  click here to support research. or, even better, stick around and read my blog because, come october, i’m gonna get all hot and sweaty at a 5K.  i’ll post pictures for you if you sponsor me.  or, heck…go buck wild and do both. you’ll feel good about yourself!

so when you say customer service, what you really mean is…?

Posted in drama drama drama, etcetera, grrrrr., holy smartness batman, Uncategorized on June 19, 2008 by drbolte

went to the pharmacy today to pick up my grandfather’s medicine, which he thought he needed YESTERDAY OH MY GOSH WHAT A CRISIS but probably really needed by tomorrow night. but not one to procrastinate (*coughsandlooksforboltoflightningaccompanyingblatantlies*), i headed down there this afternoon.

usually covered by insurance, this particular prescription, because he needed the refill earlier, wouldn’t be. and it’s expensive. i was walking in there expecting the credit card to cry a little when i zapped it through the machine.

i WASN’T expecting it to be declined.

yes.

i was in the kroger pharmacy and attempting to spend the $300+ dollars and my card was declined.

that’s never happened before.

let me tell you the emotional process one goes through when one’s credit card is declined. through the exceptional humiliation of having a pharmacy tech tell you that you cannot, in fact, pay for the thing that she just rang up for you, you begin wondering if there is any reason said card should be declined and upon realizing that there isn’t, the annoyance quickly swells to anger and the potential of getting the patented family THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE voice on the phone with some credit card representative.

but mainly, there’s the shock horror and humiliation.

so i go out to the parking lot to call said credit card company.

the customer service representative tells me her name (don’tcare) and asks what she can do for me.

i ask if the hold has been lifted off of my account now that i have successfully navigated the electronic gauntlet asking me to verify certain HORRIFYING! AND ABSOLUTELY! UNACCEPTABLE! AND FRAUD DETECTING! purchases like…say…a dollar on itunes.

yeah.

she checks.

and tells me that sometimes when the amount is above your “typical” spending amount, said credit card company will flag the account formyownsafety.

funny how that own safety didn’t involve, say, a phone call.

but i digress again.

i just wanted someone official to tell me that the flag had been lifted and that i could walk back into the grocery store and make the purchase and did i mention that it was MY GRANDFATHER’S MEDICATION?

i thought i might have.

so she tells me the flag has been lifted, that she has memoed my account to indicate that i was going to make that purchase, and that i should be fine.

super.

then, instead of letting the ANNOYED CUSTOMER go back into the store to make the purchase, she tries to sell me identity theft protection.

i was…speechless.

and i said “no, thanks.”

the first time.

and then she said “you don’t want identity theft protection?”

and i said “no.”

(notice the notable lack of thanks that time. i was stunned that this woman had the audacity to think that a) this was the appropriate time to try to sell identity theft protection and 2) that i was the right customer since THERE WASN’T ACTUALLY ANY IDENTITY THEFT I WAS JUST TRYING TO BUY MEDICATION OH MY SWEET GOODNESS JUST LET ME DO IT THIS IS AMERICA.)

call ends with me annoyed and her apparently judging the fact that i don’t want an identity protection plan that really only helps me investigate and protect other cards since this card is in fact already protected. whatever.

i make the purchase without incident. although now i had to wait in line. but okay.

about an hour and a half later, i pull into an exxon station to try to fill up my car, pull out the credit card that i had used successfully all the way down here, and get the magical message: “please see attendant.”

imagine my surprise.

i hate everyone.

edited to add: i called said credit card company. apparently the incredibly logical idea to CALL people when their accounts seem crazy (CRAZY purchases like medicine. and gas.  oh the humanity.) has been trumped by the idiotically irrational and yet impressively big business-y choice of just declining cards. i’ll be trying my card tomorrow, and if it doesn’t work, i’ll be shopping for a new credit card company.

or just yelling about it on the blog.

either way, good times for you.