Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where I share the important real estate lessons I've learned from Paranormal TV Shows...

When it comes to buying a house, paranormal television shows have taught me a few deal breakers:

1. Don't buy a house that has the words "Leave or Die" painted in red on the siding. I kid you not, there was a couple who bought a house in El Dorado, Oklahoma. Before they bought the house, and were looking at it, they saw in big red letters, the words "Leave or Die" painted on the back of the house. I believe they actually said something like, "Oh, we thought nothing of it, and went ahead and bought the house."

At this point in the show, I paused the playback and shouted at the TV, "No! You don't buy the 'Leave or Die' house! You deserve whatever's coming to you!"

Needless to say, things did not go well for them.


2. If you're buying a house, and it's been vacant for a while, don't buy it if there's a room that has a pentagram painted in it. "Where Evil Lurks."

You would almost think that this is a no-brainer. But then again, so does the first item on my list.



The couple in question here was looking for a larger home in Arkansas. They bought this 1700s era house, at a far lower price than they thought it was worth (another red flag). Before buying the home they walked through it and came across a bedroom that had a boarded up fireplace that had pentagrams and other symbols painted on it.

They "thought nothing of it," bought the house, cleaned up that room, and made it their young son's bedroom. Yup, you read that right.

To make a long story short, the house was a portal for demons. Huzzah. They had the house "cleansed," but a few months later a new demon came through the still open portal. They moved.

ADDED NOTE OF INTEREST: Should you choose to go ahead and buy a house with a pentagram painted on the floor, do not sweep up the circle of salt that surrounds it. You'll release the demons.

3. If there is a cemetery within line of sight of your potential house, think hard about it. If you find actual grave stones on the property - DON'T BUY IT.

"Bone Crusher."

In this episode of "The Haunted," a family buys an old house, and they discover what looks to be some old gravestones towards the back of the property. The young wife/matriarch finds what appears to be a human bone (or maybe the family dog brings it to her). Rather than, I don't know, rebury it, a friend of the husband's crushes it into a powder. Because desecration of human remains is always a good idea, right?

This episode also includes another pet peeve of mine - when a husband thinks his wife is a lunatic because she's telling him that she thinks the house is haunted. I've told my husband that if he ever does this to me, I will be incredibly upset with him. I assured my husband that if I ever tell him that I think our house it haunted, I mean it.



I don't think I need to explain to you that things didn't go well for this family.

4. Hypothetically, let's say you've already bought the house. While doing renovations, you tear up the floor in the master bedroom and underneath the old flooring, you find what appears to be a very large, but old blood stain. Then when you tear up the kitchen floor, down to the dirt, and your dog comes up with what appears to be a human leg bone. Then, for no apparent reason (like no earthquakes, no natural explanation), three mirrors in different parts of the house fall down and shatter in quick succession.


Solution: MOVE.

Yes, I know the housing market sucks. But in this case, foreclosure is a valid option. Sure, you'll wreck your credit. Sure, you'll probably be renting for a while. But, you won't have the constant threat of being pushed down the stairs and breaking your jaw on the marble floors. You probably won't have the vivid nightmares anymore, and you most likely won't have your dogs barking at (what looks to you like) nothing.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Where I enter the mind of an SUV Driver (Part 2)...

The rules of the road, from inside the mind of someone who drives an SUV (Part 2):

7. "I've known that I need to merge for over a mile now, but I'm going to wait until the last possible moment. I'm bigger than everyone else, so they have to let me in."


8. "The emergency shoulder? Oh, that's for me to use when traffic is at a stand still and I have to exit. I shouldn't have to sit in traffic! The cars that are trying to enter the highway while I'm trying to exit on the shoulder have to watch out for me!"


9. "I've known for 3 miles that I've needed to exit on the right, but I'm going to wait until the last possible second to cross three lanes of traffic to exit. Why would I drive any slower than I have to leading up to my exit?"


10. "I only need to drive with one hand, bitches. That leaves my other hand free to talk on my cell phone, send that super important text message, surf the internet, apply my mascara, or eat a taco from Taco Bell!"



11. "I need to drive an SUV because I drive in Chicago during the winter. An SUV is the safest thing to drive in the snow, and I don't need to slow down at all!"



P.S. I'd like to thank Google Images for its invaluable help on these last two posts. Google images rules!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where I enter the mind of an SUV Driver...

The rules of the road, from inside the mind of someone who drives an SUV:

1. "Turn signal? Why would I use that? Everyone else should watch where I'm going and anticipate my movements. What a burden to have to push that tiny lever up and down!"


2. "Blind spot? Why should I check my blind spot? Everyone should move out of my way!"





3. "Speed limits? On residential streets? Those are just recommendations! I don't need to obey those!"


4. "Stop sign? I only need to slow down... slightly... for those."



5. "What do those white broken lines mean again?"



6. "I would like to sit in your backseat with you, while remaining in my own car. Isn't that the proper distance at which to follow another vehicle?"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Where I write the unwritten rules of the DVR...

The Unwritten (Now Written) Rules of the DVR:

1. Never delete something that you only think the person who recorded it has watched. Always ask first.

2. Never delete something that has a green check mark next to it. This means that someone doesn't want it deleted until they say so. So if you're not the person who put the green check mark there, don't delete it.

3. Don't tell your spouse that you watched a show you both enjoy without them, brag about how great it was, tell them they should watch it, and then (accidentally or not) delete it. That's just shitty.

Specifically, this show.

4. 3 times out of 5, if you're at a really good spot in the recorded show, there will be a glitch on the recording. This is an extension of Murphy's law.

5. Never cancel a recording without telling the other members of your household. There might be a riot otherwise.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where I talk about how I'm so... Zzzzzzzzz...

I've already announced it on Facebook, so I'm going to announce it here as well: I'm currently 8 weeks pregnant.

Our child will be an evil genius that takes over the world! Just you wait! I call it "Blobby."

However, the main side effect of this first trimester that I'm experiencing is exhaustion. It doesn't matter how much sleep I get, I'm tired. This is partly why I haven't had a new blog entry in a while. Sorry folks (the two of you who read this)!

So. I've decided to write a blog about things I'm thankful for. Let us begin:

I suppose I should be thankful for my husband. I'll be honest... he's kind of a goober. And lately he's been annoying me... but I love him anyway.

Bill's Family

My Family

I'm thankful for my family. They haven't found a way to get rid of me yet!
 
Boris. The Nubian God.
 
 Sasha: "PC LOAD LETTER?!? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?

I'm thankful for my kitties. They are never boring.
 
I have friends who aren't pictured here, but I'm too tired to track down more pictures.
 
I'm thankful for my friends. I haven't pissed them off enough (yet) for them to cut me out. Or just cut me.
 
Pretty...
 
Finally, I'm thankful for my job. The commute sucks, but the pay is decent, I get the summers off, and they haven't found a reason to fire me yet.

That concludes this blog entry. I'll try to come up with something more substantial soon.
 
 
 




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where I rail against the idiots who park on the Midway...

Sometimes I just don't get people. Are some people just raised by families that don't teach them to respect other people's property? Do they learn that while they can treat their own stuff anyway they see fit, that that philosophy shouldn't necessarily hold true for other people's stuff?


This is a guy who pulled his piece of shit PT Cruiser right up to the back of my 9 month old Corolla. But it gets better...


This is another PT Cruiser, parked directly behind the offending black PT Cruiser.

Bear in mind, the white PT Cruiser and my red Corolla were parked on the Midway Plaisance first. The driver of the non-offending white PT Cruiser and I had parked at approximately the same time. I had pulled behind a black Saab 9-5, and I was not parked like an asshole. I had left a normal, reasonable distance between me and the Saab. The white PT Cruiser had backed up to the car behind it, and was also not parked like an asshole.

But when I got back to the car in the afternoon, around 4 P.M., this is was I was greeted with:

Asshole.

I called the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD), because obviously there were scratches on my bumper. He managed to wedge himself between me and the white PT Cruiser, touching both of our bumpers, so that means he must have tapped both of our cars multiple times.

The kicker? The fact that when UCPD ran his plates (you could read the back plate, but obviously not the front plate), it came back to a University of Chicago employee! Really? Some asshole that works here did this? Of course, they couldn't tell me who he was (although he was referred to as "he," making him male), or what department he worked in. Because you know... safety/privacy concerns, I guess.

Fuck privacy concerns, here's a picture of his license plate:
 
That's right, bitches. IL license plate X51 8214.

I mean, what the fuck? I'd let him off without paying for damages if he could answer a couple of questions for me:

1) On what planet is it acceptable to park your car like this and then walk away?
2) Was he raised with a complete lack of respect for other people and their property?
3) Was he taught to not take responsibility for his stupidity?

On the one hand, the fact that he managed to wedge his car in there is impressive. On the other hand, because it was my car that got bounced off of several times, it pisses me off far more than can be reconciled with the impressiveness of the feat.

I left him a note saying that started out with "Dear Asshole," and ended with "Hugs + Kisses," along with my University email address. I told him that if he wanted to do the right thing, then he should email me to take financial responsibility for the scratches. I'm sure I'll never hear from him.

The UCPD was basically useless. I mean, the female officer was friendly, nice, and sympathetic. But, they couldn't track the guy down, she (justifiably) wouldn't tell me his name, she didn't issue any citations, and she told me to file a 3-1-1 report with the City of Chicago. Then the CPD might (might) track the moron down.

But when I got home, my husband was less than supportive of me calling CPD. He said that the scratches were negligible and that CPD would laugh at me and tell me that I was wasting their time. I'll concede that he might be right. However, it's not the message, but how you deliver it. Then again, I knew my husband was a dick when I married him, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But goddammit Bill, you knew I was crazy when you married me, and you did it anyway.
 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where I ask... does the Bible preach to the 1%?

On Saturday evening I attended Catholic mass with my grandmother. I walked away from the mass very frustrated.

The first reading was about women working themselves to the bone doing womanly work. Snore…

The sermon basically told me that the Church teaches Catholic guilt to children at a young age. But I already knew that, having been raised Catholic.

But the Gospel was Matthew 25:14-30. The Gospel reads as:

14 'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. 17 The man who had received two made two more in the same way. 18 But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now a long time afterwards, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made." 21 His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness." 22 Next the man with the two talents came forward. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made." 23 His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness." 24 Last came forward the man who had the single talent. "Sir," said he, "I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you had not sown and gathering where you had not scattered; 25 so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back." 26 But his master answered him, "You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? 27 Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have got my money back with interest. 28 So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has. 30 As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth."

All I can take from this, and perhaps I’m being shortsighted (I probably am), is that the lesson is that the rich get richer, and poor give the rich all they have. Yet, this seems to be God’s will. I don’t get it.

On top of all that, the master admits to questionable and unethical practices. He reaps where he has not sown? He gathers where he hasn’t scattered? This means that he’s stealing from other people’s farms? Yet, he’s in charge of giving his servants gold, expects to receive back more than he gave, and then takes the money gave to the last guy, and gives it to the guy het have the most gold. (A “talent” refers to an amount of gold.)

Yet, at least to my reading, the Bible presents this as… Gospel? 

“For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.”

That sentence basically says, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. It was true 2,000 years ago, and it’s still true today.

I just… I can’t properly express my frustration with this parable. Perhaps someone has an alternate explanation that won’t make me as disillusioned?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where I talk about the need to purge negativity…



I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve decided I need to purge as much negativity as I can.

Recent events have made me realize that I need to try to remove as many negative influences as possible. People from my past who aren’t really my friends, but were my “friends” on Facebook, have been “un-friended.” Why? Because their drama, and their denials of drama, are just too frustrating to handle. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “You can’t sway the ignorant, so don’t even try.” Why waste my breath when people are convinced that they’ve not only done nothing wrong, but are practically Mother Theresa? Pffffffftttttttt…

So, I decided the practical thing to do was un-friend these people and block them. Much simpler. They don’t even know my email address, they live across the country, and they can continue their lives without interfering in mine. I can’t see their Facebook pages, and they can’t see mine. Done. Perfect.

Actually, unfriending does not make kitty sad. It makes kitty happy. It's cathartic.


I’ve had a conversation with my husband about the unfair burden of house chores, and we seem to have come to agreement. We will now go grocery shopping together. I still do the laundry (because he WILL ruin some of my clothes by drying them), but eventually there will be a shift in those responsibilities, even if it’s just temporary. He will start helping me with cleaning, and for the time being, he will be scooping the cats’ litter boxes.

Right now my house is fairly clean, and my husband even did a fair job of cleaning the basement last night. I need to clean my desk, and he needs to clean his den, but we have taken some steps in the right direction.

Now I just need to get myself writing more consistently, and in my spare time try to figure out how to get myself published. But we shall see about that!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where I tell people who are defending Joe Paterno that they're wrong...

To those of you who find Paterno’s firing unjust, let me ask you a hypothetical question:

If it was YOUR child that was being abused by an employee of a University, and you found out after the fact that the abuse had been reported to a member of the University staff, but the police were never called… how would you feel then? Would you feel that the University had failed to protect your child? Would you feel that the informed party should face consequences for their negligence? Would you be screaming for blood?

Think about it.

As human beings, we have a responsibility to protect innocent children, regardless of whether or not they’re our own. Why? Because they can’t protect themselves.

Paterno may have gone to the president of the University, who then did nothing. But Paterno still had a responsibility to report the heinous act to the police. Paterno knew that the claim wasn’t being followed up on, so he should gone to the police himself. But he didn’t. Why? The only conclusion is that he (and the president of the University) were more concerned with protecting the University’s reputation and football program, rather than protecting the child’s welfare. I think that’s sick and shows clear moral bankruptcy. If you don’t agree with me, then think about it as I posited it above. What if it was your kid?

I’m going to reiterate my opinion here – as a human race we have a responsibility to protect our children (regardless  of whose kids they are) from abuse, neglect, and harm. Choosing to not report any abuse, neglect, or harm to the appropriate authorities (the police, for example) is criminal and should be punished.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where I talk about the art of procrastination...

Yeah, so...

Procrastination. There is a fine art to this. I have learned that there is no motivation like panic.

So, as I write this third novel, with the first two unpublished, I find myself lacking a certain amount of motivation. A lack of motivation is where the fine art of procrastination begins.

Without proper motivation, I am easily distracted by facebook, yahoo news, The Fug Girls, twitter, Bejeweled Blitz, spider solitaire, cats, facebook, people.com, television, and facebook.

What would be proper motivation? Let's make a list!

1. A book deal (I'm laughing hysterically in my head)
2. Panic (Alas, since I'm no longer writing for grades, this doesn't really apply)
3. Money (although, that's really number 1)
4. A huge fan base (I'm laughing in my head again)
5. The internet is broken (I'm wondering if that will ever happen)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where I talk about my writing process...

I thought it might be interesting to write a post about my actual writing process. I don't know if everyone will find it as interesting as I do, but what the heck.

So, I am the type of writer that needs to know the story from the beginning, through the middle, and to the end. I can't start with a part of the story. I have to flesh the entire story about before actually starting to write. This includes writing character sketches, planning out the plot (in detail), and doing the necessary research.

I have a little red book that I jokingly call my bible. I also will sometimes refer to it as my manifesto. Interpret that as you choose.

In the case of The Sins of the Child, I started with the character sketches first. I already had a picture in my head of who the main characters would be:




This is an example from my little red bible that shows the first character sketch. Lisa is the narrator of all the books (the third is being written now). Some of the information evolved as I wrote the books, and I used a random name generator for most of the names. You can see that I included little pictures of actresses that I could see playing the characters in a movie or television series. That just helps me see the characters in my mind.

By the time I got to writing The Sins of the Father, the second novel, I already knew who my main characters were. So I wrote the outline first:




This is a scan of two pages from the actual outline of The Sins of the Father. You'll see that I notated in red the chapter number that the plot detail appeared in, along with a check mark for when it was written. The character sketches for new characters introduced in this books were written after the outline was completed. Again, a random name generator was used for the character names.

I also discovered while writing the first novel that I had a hard time keeping track of what day of the week it was in the story. All the books take place in period of time that spans a little more than a week. So it was important to be aware of what day the events were taking place on.


You can see that things were a little out of order, since I only starting the list in chapter 12. But the lists were better organized in The Sins of the Father and the book I'm writing now, The Sins of the Husband.

These are the tools that help me stay on task while writing, and help to prevent me from getting lost in the story. It can happen. It's all too possible to wander off on a tangent that isn't important to the overall story, and you can get off track as a writer. But this helps keeps things all just a little bit tighter.

I think that in part because of all the preparation and attention to detail, these characters have become very real to me. I feel like I know them almost as well as I know myself, especially the narrator, Lisa. I've been known to have dreams about the characters, especially if I go to sleep right after writing.

I think it's also important as a writer to allow your mind to wander. I've discovered that I come up with my best ideas when I'm either in the car (which I'm in about 2.5 hours a day during the work week), or in the bathroom (no joke). In the car I don't have the ability to write anything down, unless I want to drive the car off the road or into another vehicle that is. Getting to the app on my phone that houses the voice recorder is not easy, so I carry a digital voice recorder with me. That way there's less of a chance that I'll forget the epiphanies.

Another element that's important to the process is input from third parties. Once I have a second draft, I like to hand it over to other people to read. I've incorporated much of their criticism into revisions and edits. It's invaluable. It's difficult to see the flaws in your own work, so I rely on the help of others.

Anyway, I hope this entry has provided invaluable insight into my writing process. Not every writer uses my methods, and every writer knows what's best for them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Where I talk about exhaustion…


In my mind’s eye, I had something completely different planned for today’s blog entry. That’s not going to happen now, but it helps me segue into what I’ve decided to write about instead: exhaustion.

The reason the blog entry I had planned to prepare for today is not making an appearance is because of exhaustion.

I realize that my friends (and readers) that have children will say to me, “Beth, you don’t have kids. You have no idea what exhaustion truly is.” I will concede that I don’t know what that particular brand of exhaustion feels like, but I’m only talking about the brand of exhaustion that I’m familiar with, which I suppose is best explained as fatigue.

On Monday through Friday, I wake up at 4:20 A.M. Yes, I realize that this is the result of the choice I made to take a job on the south side of Chicago, and that my commute involves an hour and ten minutes of driving in each direction (sometimes more than that). I acknowledge that this is a choice that I made, and that I should accept the consequences. So let me make it completely clear, I fully accept those consequences. But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about my exhaustion.

Sometimes I feel as though certain people in my life don’t truly understand how exhausted I am by the end of the day. I try to get to bed by 9:00 each night, which would allow me 7.25 hours of sleep. But I have too much to do before I go to bed, so I’m usually in bed by 9:40, which instead allows me 6.75 hours of sleep. For some people, this is enough sleep. I am not one of those people.

You see, unlike those certain people, even when I get home, I’m not done working. I don’t get to relax. I cook dinner, I clean the kitchen, I make my spouse’s lunch for the next day, I scoop the litter boxes, feed the cats, if it’s Thursday, I get the garbage ready for pick up, and I prepare the coffee for brewing in the morning. Only then do I get to go to sleep. Then in the morning, I get up, I shower, I eat breakfast, I feed the cats, I finish my hair, put on makeup, get dressed, bring my spouse a cup of coffee (as he remains in bed), grab my bottles of water, travel mug, prepare a new pot of coffee for my spouse, and then drive an hour and twenty minutes to work. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Last night I was so exhausted that while cleaning the kitchen, making my spouse’s lunch, and preparing the coffee pot, I got the dishwasher fully loaded and ready to run. Yet somehow the simple act of pushing the start button escaped me. WHO DOES THAT? Apparently, I do. At least, when my brain is fried.

What this all boils down to is the fact the weekend is the only time I have to get the shit done that I couldn’t get done during the week. This means five to six loads of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, any other kind of shopping, etc.

In other words, if I’m asked to go to Beloit, Wisconsin, to watch my spouse play Magic from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, the answer is most likely going to be no. When do I get my shit done? When, I ask? I don’t play Magic, and apparently, my job would be to keep four kids under the age of six from bugging my spouse and his friends (two of which the kids belong to). And for free, at that. Then, somehow, with the four remaining hours I have on Sunday night (after I get home), I have to go grocery shopping and wash at least five loads of laundry. I’m not Supergirl! Listen up, he-who-shall-not-be-named, I realize that from your perspective, the house gets magically cleaned, the laundry is magically washed, and the pantry magically refills itself, but the truth of the matter is, we don’t have elves working for us! It’s all done by me!

So, yeah. Exhaustion. Understand it. Please.

No caption necessary. The person pictured is not actually me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where I dedicate an entry to Barbara...

Apparently I can't please everybody.

It's been brought to my attention that I need not one, not two, but three college degrees to intelligently discuss the earth shatteringly deep subject matter involving "The Jersey Shore." Additionally, my solitary college degree is apparently in spelling and grammar*, which further leaves me under-qualified to discuss the deep subject matter inherent of reality television as a whole.

So today, and dedicated to Barbara, I bring you the only topic my degree in spelling and grammar* leaves me qualified to discuss:


















KITTIES!

No one can argue about kitties!












*I'm pretty sure my college degree isn't in "spelling and grammar," but my memory is a little hazy on that. Check back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where I rant about the Jersey Shore...

Ergh.

So I recently saw this on the University of xxxxxxx main page:

Here is the description of this event: "Uxxxxxxx presents an academic conference on America's pop culture reality hit the Jersey Shore. The conference will feature four keynote addresses, nine panel discussions, and an episode screening, as it aims to use the reality show to explore problems around gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, the influence of mass media, the notion of ‘reality’ itself, and much more. The all-day conference kicks off at 9:30 AM in Ida Noyes Hall, and concludes with an evening reception at 8:00 PM"

What? I mean, really? The University of xxxxxxx , one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, hosted an "academic" seminar on the "Jersey Shore?"

On the one hand, a discussion on the notion of "reality" might have been interesting. I can only hope that it pointed out the clear disconnect between what is portrayed on television as reality, and what the average person actually experiences as reality.

I certainly do believe that there are problems surrounding gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, and the influence of mass media. But I don't know that an entire seminar viewing these problems through the lens of the Jersey Shore is necessarily beneficial to understanding the problem.

I believe that a seminar with a broader focus would be much more effective. Body image in the media could be discussed in conjunction with "The Swan." Reality TV that is clearly scripted, as passed off as unscripted, could be viewed through the lens of "The Hills," "The Simple Life," or "Keeping up with the Kardashians." There are, of course, many other prime examples, admittedly including "The Jersey Shore."

Ethnic identity could be discussed quite well through the lens of "The Jersey Shore," but other shows could be considered as well. Perhaps MTV's "Cribs," or MTV's "Flavor of Love."

Also what could be discussed are Reality television's competition shows. Perhaps there could be a discussion about how the "favorite" contestants on American Idol are given extra help from vocal coaches and stylists, thus tilting the "competition" in their favor. Or, perhaps the fact that shows like the Bachelor make women seem desperate for love. Or, perhaps there should be a discussion about how the "romantic" reality TV shows rarely involve real love.

I understand the feeling, Pauly D. Right there with you!


I don't know. I guess the whole point of this rant is that the University of xxxxxxx should hold itself to a higher standard. This is a school where the current estimated cost per year for an undergrad is $58,955. THAT'S PER YEAR, making a 4 year undergraduate degree cost a whopping $235,820! If a student is spending that much money on an education at a school that regularly lands on top ten lists, then perhaps the school should hold itself to a higher standard, and not host such frivolous conferences.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where I tell the world that my cat is a bastard...

Well, one of my cats single-paw-edly ruined my night last night.

I happen to love both of my cats. One is solid black, and his name is Boris. The other is a solid orange tabby, and his name is Sasha. Both cats were rescued as kittens from a no-kill shelter.

They're both still pretty young. Boris just turned two, and Sasha will be two at the end of November. So they still have a lot of rambunctiousness in them.

But Sasha crossed the line last night. While I was watching TV, I was holding a water bottle cap between my thumb and forefinger. Now, admittedly, water bottle caps happen to be the little monster's favorite toys. But he reached up and bit the hell out of my thumb while trying to steal the water bottle cap. For the first time in nearly two years, he bit me hard enough to draw blood! The little bastard!

I'll admit that I smacked him, scruffed him (rather roughly), and then threw him in the kitten room for the entire night. I refused to let him out of the room. Mind you, he has a litter box, food, water, and a twin sized bed to sleep on in that room. So it's not like I was depriving him of much - aside from free reign of the house and attention from me or my husband (who doesn't pay that much attention to him anyway). There are far worse punishments that could be doled out.

Don't let the cuteness fool you...


 
He's really demented...
Sasha: Wanted for blood-letting

It's just that the incident pretty much ruined my entire night. I mean, I'd been in a pretty good mood up until that point (aside from my husband depriving me of the comfortable couch, and stranding me on the back killer couch).

I wish I could say that the little dumbass would learn something from the punishment, or maybe even retain a memory of the incident and what the consequences were. But, I can't hold out much hope there. He's pretty much been proven to have the memory of a goldfish.

*Sigh*

I'm not even sure what the entire point of this blog entry was now.