fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
I am happy to report that my stint housesitting did not end in death-by-hatchet as I'd feared. Why am I so insane about things like this? I watched a lot of Rescue 911 as a kid - could that be it? Or all that City Confidential on A&E in the years since? Whatever their cause, my irrational fears led to many a sleepless night out at my aunt's house, and I blame this sleeplessness for some, but not all, events of the week.

kind of lengthy, involving disliking dogs, getting yelled at at work, hunting cats, crashing funerals - basically, all you need to read is this cut tag )
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
*saturday*

Never have I cursed a former self as much as I cursed the Self of Friday Night when I woke up early Saturday morning. Getting up EARLY on a SATURDAY to go watch ADOLESCENT DEBATERS? Madness! It didn't help that I'd felt it necessary to watch both the 10PM and 1AM showings of Battlestar Galactica (OMG the FINALE! JULY IS TOO FAR AWAY!).

It was heinous. But I got up, forced myself out into the rain, drove a half hour to the debate location, went inside, and spent four hours listening to 14-year-olds debate whether local or national laws better protected civil liberties. They were so adorable, the boys in awkward-looking suits, the girls wearing strappy sandals in spite of the monsoon outside. And they were so SMART! Holy crap! Discussing things like Northern Ireland and John Locke! The judge I was shadowing had two different colored pens and her sheet always looked organized and clean when she was done, full of arrows showing arguments carrying over through rounds and cross-examinations. Mine was full of things like, "nat. = [illegible scribbling]" and long blank spots where I got involved in what the kid was saying and forgot to write things down. At the second debate, I had to keep track of the time as well, which was extremely complicated! Really it was! It sounds easy, but plastic kitchen timers can be surprisingly incomprehensible to a person who bakes approximately twice a year! Not to mention the hand signals I had to give to signify the amounts of time remaining.

VERY COMPLICATED! I mean, the minute warnings were simple enough (just holding up the appropriate number of fingers), but sometimes the kid wouldn't look up while I had my hand up, and sometimes when he did, I'd already have had my hand up for like fifteen seconds, and when it's a three-minute timeframe, that's a big chunk of time! But there was no way to signify that difference! Maybe I should have negotiated something, like, when I'd had my hand up a while, I'd start wiggling my fingers or snapping them or something.

[Random Interjection: Is Blind Justice as bad as it looks from the ads? Is it possible for a show to be that bad? "You'd be safer with a man who can SEE!"]

Anyway, as far as I could tell, I didn't destroy anyone's performance, so I call it a success.

Saturday night I had to babysit, which started out great - air hockey, computer games, dancing. The usual. And then, just after my gourmet dinner (potato soup and scrambled eggs), I was in the kitchen getting things together to make brownies for dessert, when I heard the most awful, ungodly sound. It sounded like some cross between a retch and a cough, almost like the sound a cat makes when coughing up a hairball, except REALLY LOUD. Like The Exorcist! It sounded exactly like The Exorcist!

I whipped around and looked at Emma, who was still sitting at the kitchen table. "Was that –"

"I'm FINE," she said, very emphatically, and then opened her mouth wide and OUT CAME THE EXORCIST SOUND!

I was all "Oh my GOD," but when I ran over, she would have nothing to do with me, just waved me away and insisted that not only was she fine, she was great! And then more Exorcist Sound!

At this point I was convinced I'd poisoned her. Given her botulism from the potato soup, or not scrambled the eggs enough, or, I don't know. Poisoned her with my presence! Something!

I so miss the days when she was under four and I could just pick her up and haul her to the bathroom no matter what she said, even if, during one of those times, we didn't make it to the bathroom and she ended up vomiting all over my neck and shoulder. At least I could impose my will! She's seven now, almost eight, and while I can still pick her up when she wants to be picked up, picking her up while she's fighting me isn't as possible.

When I asked her to come with me to the bathroom for the fourth time, she jumped up and ran (naturally!). Right into the living room. Where she barfed on the middle cushion of my aunt's brand-new couch.

I grabbed a pan and paper towels and ran into the living room, where she was still making the Exorcist Noise and insisting she was FINE in spite of the pool of barf next to her. I held out the pan in front of her and, when it came time to barf again, she leaned in towards me and - now I can't prove this, but I swear she did this - deliberately turned her head to miss the pan and hit the rug.

Once her stomach was empty, the Exorcist Noise stopped but the tears started and the Garbo-esque "I just want to be ALONE!" continued. It was very stressful! I alternated between mopping up the barf with paper towels and trying to sneak a hand in to check her forehead for a fever. I finally got her to give in when I told her that she could feel my forehead while I felt hers and I would only touch it for ten seconds (we counted out loud together).

After this was done, I asked if she wanted some apple juice.

She said, loudly, "NO!" and then, rather calmly, "Frankie is eating the paper towels."

I assumed she meant the roll I'd left on the floor behind me, but when I turned around, Frankie the dog wasn't running off with the roll of new towels. HE WAS EATING THE VOMIT-COVERED PAPER TOWELS.

That was fun. I had to chase him through the house, yanking the towels away from him, all the while doing my best to stifle my own gag reflex.

Oh, such a glamorous life!

*sunday*

On Sunday I saw two movies, and liked both of them for different reasons.

miss congeniality 2 )

the upside of anger )

*monday*

I spent a good chunk of Monday watching coverage of the Pope's life and death. It's kind of terrible how little I knew about him; I always thought of him as a frail old man who refused to let us use birth control or ordain women. And, okay, he was that guy, but he was a lot of other things too, and it doesn't speak well of me that it took his death for me to find that out.

Ah, I'm such a crappy Catholic. I should go to mass. I should know important biographical details of my Pope. I shouldn't stand in church and say, "We believe in one God, the father, the Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen...mumble mumble...suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again, in fulfillment of the scriptures. He will come again...mumble mumble mumble... one holy, catholic and apostolic church...mumble mumble...Amen."

I could go on and ON about my spiritual inner workings, but I will spare you. It's messy and confused and doesn't make much sense right now. Or, you know, ever.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
I've been having very vivid dreams lately, which I realize upon further examination have actually been low-grade nightmares.

Dream One: I was driving a car full of people and took us all into a head-on collision at an intersection because I wasn't paying proper attention! I assumed a car was going to turn left or something and then it didn't, and I rammed into it. I completely forgot about the dream until the middle of the next day, when I was in the middle of driving my family all around Cape Cod. I was positive it was a premonition and terrified the whole time.

Dream Two: In this dream, I ran into this guy I had three awkward dates with and then blew off last year. We exchanged pleasantries and then I went into this cafe alone, where I ran into this other random guy who I'd never met before but instantly developed a crush on. And so I'm sitting there, talking with him about the awkward interaction with this other guy, about why I didn't like him, etc etc, and then Guy No. 1 comes in and sits down with Guy No. 2 and clearly they're best friends. It was so incredibly awkward, I wanted to DIE.

So apparently my greatest fears are car accidents and awkward social interaction. Sounds about right.

Speaking of the latter: My mother is trying to set me up with this guy. She has been for ages. "He's great!" she says. "Maureen -- not your aunt Maureen, my coworker Maureen, who was your aunt Kelly's best friend in high school? Well, her sister Margie works with this guy who's supposedly really great, and she thinks you and he would really get along!"

"But I've never met Margie," I said.

"I know," she says. "But Maureen told her all about you!"

"But I haven't talked to Maureen in years," I said. "I mean, I like her, but --"

"Oh, you're both single carbon-based life forms," my mother said. "It'll be fine! Also, he likes cats."

Why is it so weird for men to like cats? I must have seen some movie or TV show as a kid where a really weird guy had cats, because even though intellectually I know it shouldn't mean anything, it still puts me off a bit when a guy lists felines as a main interest.

And he does do this. Do you want to know how I know this? He wrote me an e-mail and said so, though he doesn't have any pets outside of one fish. Also, he's very devoted to the Catholic faith. Does he know I'm a heathen Catholic who hasn't gone to Confession in ages? Who hasn't gone to mass at all in forever? He might have gotten some inaccurate intel on me in that department.

Speaking of Catholicism: I keep feeling like I should reexamine my faith, or my belief system, or whatever, but it seems like the kind of endeavor that would take so much energy. And time. And also, once you figure out for sure what you think is right and wrong, you don't have nearly as much leeway with your own life choices, which isn't all that appealing. Right now I know that I believe certain things are right and certain things are wrong, and then there's that whole mess that the jury's out on. Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini that I'm so indecisive -- and speaking of the Zodiac, how strict is the church about the zodiac thing? If I really dig into the whole Catholic thing, am I allowed to read my horoscope and attribute my flakiness to my sign? Or would that be a thing of the past? Would I have to blame it on original sin or something?

It's kind of stunning how little I know about my religious background. People ask me questions about Catholicism -- like, what's up with all the saints? Or, explain that whole marriage/divorce/annulment thing again? I always end up sitting there, desperate, trying to stammer out some kind of answer, usually a mish-mash of stuff I've picked up from my years and years of religious ed and listening to my grandfather. And then I go home and ask my mom, who will give a smiliar answer to the one I gave, followed by, "I don't know, ask your father," who will give me a similar answer followed by, "I don't know, ask your mother."

One time my friend Anna asked if we were allowed to marry non-Christians in the church, and I double-checked with my Dad when I got home. He got all over-eager, saying things like, "Oh, you can marry ANYONE you like, Honeybunch, a Muslim even! We'll work it out!"

And then I had to explain, no, really, my friend asked me -- no, REALLY, a friend! No marriage on the horizon! Just want the official church policy!

Also, I didn't know whether to bestow or dock points for the Muslim comment. My father can occasionally sound like a modern-day, slightly-more-liberal Archie Bunker. He becomes less and less PC with age.

And before I go on and say something horridly un-PC myself about my Dad's crazy beliefs, I will end this entry here, and go back to watching X-Files reruns.
fearlesstemp: (strictly ballroom)
It should be noted for the record that I am NOT breaking my newly-instituted 12AM bedtime right now. Because everyone knows that 12AM really means 12:15, 12:20 at the latest. 12:30 on the outside. Not actually 12AM! Sticking to the letter of what you've said before is so, well, lame and trustworthy.

Cost of my flakiness today: $3.50. I had to purchase an Oprah Magazine I didn't really want because I was standing in line at the grocery store reading it, and became so engrossed that I didn't realize the next cashier had opened up her register and called me over several times until a fellow grocery store patron shook me by the shoulder. How could I put the magazine away after that? For some reason it felt less lame if I bought it, I don't know why. There is no logic when it comes to Intense Awkwardness Flare-Ups! Anyway, now I have the magazine, which I do usually enjoy because I usually enjoy Oprah. I know someone is reading this and cringing, but I can't help it! She was a part of my childhood and adolescent years. I cannot fight the Oprah Affection.

In other news: Have class again tomorrow and have only read a smidge more than a quarter of the book. Ah, how quickly we revert to our worst habits! I'm hoping I can finish the rest over lunch and dinner before class tomorrow. I have faith in my panicked last-minute speed-reading skillz. They're what got me through my last two years of college, after all.

In yet other news: Today I had to go to church, which I generally don't do because I'm one of the most lapsed of Catholics, because my grandfather had arranged for a mass to be said in memory of my grandmother. He does it every year and I swear it's just so he can be sure that we're getting in the annual two mass attendings required by the Pope to be a practicing Catholics. It was your typical mass stuff, except for the fact that the priest almost started wrestling one of the parishoners! It was AWESOME!

During a portion of the mass, I guess (I don't know because I wasn't paying attention, awesome Catholic that I am) the priest asked us all to pray for success in the war on terrorism. At the end of the mass, when the priest was standing at the back of the church saying goodbye to everyone, one of the older parishoners came up to the priest and said that he hadn't appreciated that and didn't think it was appropriate.

If you were a man of the cloth, would you:

(a) Thank the man and say you'll consider his opinion in the coming days;

(b) Thank the man and keep it at that;

(c) Step outside of the church to have a quiet discussion with the man;

or

(d) Argue with the man in a shrill voice until it descends into a "You can't tell me what to pray for!"/"I most certainly *will* tell you what to pray for, and if you don't like the War on Terrorism then you can just LEAVE!"/"Well, I WILL!"/"FINE!"/"FINE!" back-and-forth.

If you chose option (d), get the to a nunnery/priestery, because I think that's God calling saying Gender-Neutral-Pronoun needs YOU!

Seriously? It was awesome. I wish I could have videotaped it to share with all of you, because it was on my top five list of funniest things ever. The priest? Is awful. You may recall him from the first mass I attended post-9/11 when he kept saying things like "We may be NEXT! The enemy is AMONG US! We must be EVER-VIGILANT!" and scaring the crap out of us. But the thing is? He has a really high, nasally voice and a pronounced lisp. You know that voice people use when they're trying to sound stereotypically super-gay and effeminate? That is how this man talks ALL THE TIME. And so hearing him scream at the top of his lungs (to the point that his voice broke) about this stuff, culminating in him spinning around and marching down the aisle, vestments swirling to and fro behind him, hollering, "Talk about a cross to bear!"? Was disturbing and funny as hell at the same time.

I felt really bad for the old guy and would have gone over to give him props for standing up for his beliefs, but I was attached at the elbow to my grandfather (who, no lie, has a 2004 Bush Agenda calender in his kitchen just waiting to be hung up), escorting him to his tan Accord with four-foot-high "VOTE PRO LIFE" signs propped up against the car doors. So I wasn't really at liberty to do so.

Post-Smackdown-Mass, we all trekked over to my grandfather's for brunch, where I heartlessly cornered my three aunts and bombarded them with all the bottled-up concerns and frustrations I've been carrying around about my grandfather for the past month and a half. I'd been trying to be subtle, using e-mails and the like, but since that was getting me nowhere, I went the direct approach and just started spewing. So much so and at such length that at one point one of my aunts was gripping her temples all, "Hold on, this is too much for me to take in." I kind of felt bad but not really because I'm a heartless bitch and I'm tired of feeling guilty and powerless alone! They must feel guilty and powerless with me! If I must suffer, they must suffer! Isn't that what being family is all about? Am hoping said guilt-spreading will bring about progress.

Also: I saw no fewer than five rainbows today. Isn't that incredible?

Edited because less and fewer aren't the same things, and on a good day I remember that.
fearlesstemp: (shruggy jc)
Today is Ash Wednesday and I have not gone to mass. Despite general lapsed-ness of my Catholoc-ness, the power of Catholic Guilt remains. And Ash Wednesday is by far the most guiltastic Holy Day of Obligation because should one not go to mass, one must then spend the whole day spotting people with proud ash marks on their foreheads. Whenever I do, I always feel like they, in turn, can tell that I am Catholic and since I clearly have not gone, they think less of me, when really, since I do not wear a nun's habit or any other identifying Catholic markers (unless you count the Grimace of Guilt), there's no way they could know. Behold the power of Catholic Guilt.

Perhaps I could go after work. There must be a nighttime mass somewhere.

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February 2009

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