Kathleen’s Very Big Adventure

For a variety of reasons that have to do with well, a variety of reasons, I am spending today at UnWed Mothers, as my father so wittingly calls it. (Eh, he doesn’t donate to the alumni fund, what does it matter?) I’ve still got about two hours left (Hopefully less- I don’t know a single professor that wants to go the whole damn lecture time on the first day of a summer class…but this is also the guy who willingly went to the Arctic for a few months. Clearly he’s not sane.) and already I’ve had SO MANY EXPERIENCES.

We began the day by being enchanted by the swarms of College For Kids kids around campus. Back in the day when Morena was a Little Morena, Rockford would send her and Little Imladris to College For Kids. Oh, the imperial fun we had. Pretending to hold up Curtin Hall while Erin Shanley laid underneath it, having lunch, learning about the atmosphere, having lunch, playing magic tricks with the kindergarten teacher from St. Eugene’s, having lunch outside…

(Little Morena really enjoyed eating lunch. Especially when it was a sub. Ironically, I never go to City Subs now. But damn did I love it when I was little!)

The Tsarevitch and Rockford would cool their heels in the “munion” as Tsarevitch would call it for what seemed hours but I’m sure was like 45 minutes in reality.

Good times.

Also, I didn’t pay for the tuition.

Better times.

Then we arrived at the Grind, and I discovered my deeply disturbing almost Pavlovian response to school and muffins. I think it must have come from the Concordia days, but whenever I’m at school, I need a muffin. I didn’t particularly want a muffin this morning (any more than I ALWAYS want a muffin), but I was at school! Clearly I needed one!

And you know what? IT WAS GOOD.

After licking the crumbs off the table (What? It’s summer. There’s no one here!) I did some internet stuff I’ve been meaning to do for like weeks but I haven’t because when I’m home I turn into a Facebook drone, staring numbly at the screen as I wait for some girl I went to grade school with to post pictures of her semester abroad and maybe she’ll be drunk in some of them. It’s really hard to do that in an open computer lab, because it makes stalking feel more like stalking and constantly refreshing your own page? Just makes you look narcissistic.

Then I decided that I’m almost positively majoring in Jewish Studies at least as soon as I get up the courage to ask the Religious Studies woman for a dropped major form and that’s currently freaking me out because she’s a scary, scary woman who makes children and quite possibly Jesus weep.

All that soul-searching and career changing kind of jacked me up, so I went for a walk. Kind of roaming, because I didn’t want to get too far west or south because I’m a chicken little white girl from Grafton. When I ended up on Oakland I started walking faster. Also discovered that I’m a stupid chicken little white girl from Grafton because dude, it’s like 95 degrees outside and you just walked for an HOUR and twenty minutes? Shall we call the ambulance to rehydrate you now or wait until you actually collapse?

(I kid. I kept hydrated. With Holton Hall water, sweet nectar of the Gods.)

But then- then came the best part of the whole day. I saw- wait for it- BIG DADDY. And I’m not entirely sure he knew who I was but he smiled and asked me how I was and I had to refrain from saying, “Good! And you regrew that creepy little beard! Good call, you looked like a twelve-year-old without it!”, instead replying, “Just fine. How are you?” whilst texting the whole creepy-beard-twelve-year-old thing to Katie. Because she obviously needed to know about this RIGHT THEN.

Ahh. Methods. How I miss you.

So. Now I think I may go eat some yogurt. Who knows what else may happen?

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Day 4

It’s the fourth day that it’s been kind of warm out and damn, I do not like this. I always forget how much I don’t like this. And then it comes back and SERIOUSLY HATE. I want to move to Alaska. Or Canada. Because while I certainly don’t believe that they’ve figured out universal health care, I’m thinking that if someone gave me a band aid for free it would be better than the plan I’ll be able to afford once I get kicked off of my parents’ plan.

(September 11, 2012. I live in fear.)

What else happened today? Jon and Kate Plus 8 because Jon and/or Kate Plus 8 Most of the Time And On Alternating Weekends. That’s kind of depressing.

My sister is starting a summer class tomorrow and I’m kind of jealous. That’s kind of depressing too.

I am the Samuel Pepys of blogging.

Is anyone else into Restoration-era diarists? No. Just me. Oh…okay.

But at least Sam had, you know, like the Great Fire of London to write about. I…have a broken air conditioner in a house that other people are living in. And I’m planning on getting coffee tomorrow with friends. And e-mailing a neighbor as soon as I come up with a polite, non-crazy way of saying OH MY GOD PLEASE TELL ME EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY AND I’LL HAVE A JOB AT SOME POINT AND NOT DIE SURROUNDED BY ARTICLES THAT NEVER GOT PUBLISHED BUT NO CHILDREN.

Is there a non-crazy way of saying that?

I’m watching The Nanny. It is every bit as addictive as it was six years ago when Mary and I were able to quote it. God bless Nick at Nite.

Maybe Sam would have been more interesting if he were a slightly neurotic prospective grad student and had access to basic cable.

Reason #746 That I Never Joined the Peace Corps.

The heat. It annoys me to no end.

And I don’t think it’s totally fair that my mom is all “Oh! Those poor people! They can’t sleep in this heat!” and rushing around getting repair people for Tenant Family when I am wasting away here in a puddle of what used to be my undereye concealor and will be sleeping in a room with closed windows. Pssh. Just because I’m not paying quite as much to live here. Whatever.

Dear Grandpa,

Sixty years ago, you got married. Eleven years ago, we celebrated your 49th anniversary because we knew Grandma (despite your best efforts) was not going to see the 50th. One year ago, we spent the evening celebrating a variety of things and you were happy and healthy. Today there was a cross next to your name in the bulletin and some other family moved into your house.

They’re nice. It kills me to admit it, but they are. You’d probably like their little girl. Now, at least. Probably not ten years ago. Also, they want a babysitter, and you neglected to stash a couple hundred grand in a Cayman Islands account that would cover my tuition, so that’s a good thing.
I’ve already done the whole “look how far we’ve come post”, and I won’t do it again. But I really can’t believe how much this has impacted us, and when I think that a year ago it didn’t exist? It’s been…unbelievable.

But you know what? I’m glad it happened. Not you dying. Because even though yes, you’re happier; yes, the economic crash would have probably killed you anyway; and yeah, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have handled that whole cancer thing well, I still refuse to say that it’s a better thing that you’re gone. That just plain sucks.

And do not for a second think that I enjoyed this, or felt like, oh, I’m glad we have a project. (See above link.)

But it taught me a lot. Things that I never anticipated happening happened. My family changed. I found out who my friends were. I found out that it takes a special kind of friend to stick their head into a wet oil-painted cabinet because you need help and then ask, “Okay. How obnoxious do you want me to be?” I found out that I’m really glad I have those friends. I’ve gotten into screaming fights with my immediate family over that house, but I also spent time with my family that I wouldn’t take back.
I think you would have been proud of us. All three kids maintained fantastic GPAs during this whole thing, if I do say so myself. Daddy worked as hard as he did when Grandma was dying, never once saying, “Hey, not my family.” Mommy worked harder than anyone, and through the worst circumstances imaginable. I whined. But not a lot.

Mostly I’m glad we could do it for you. It would have killed you (I really need to stop saying that.) to have lost the house, and it would have been lost. Hopefully it will stay in the family. I mean, at some point I’ll be employable, right? (It would have helped if you had passed along some of your engineering acumen, though.) Hopefully someday your great-grandchildren will grow up there.

So, Grandpa. It sucked. But I’m glad you didn’t have to do it, and I’m glad we could do it for you.

It’s been an honor.

Love,
Kathleen
P.S. Okay. We got a little bit of paint on your hat. I’m sorry. It’s only because we couldn’t bear to take it down.

Spectacular Amounts of Stupid

I am paler than the moon. I have red hair and blue eyes and I frequently get red just be moving. (“Did you just get back from vacation?” “No, that’s…just my skin.”) Do you get the picture?If I sparkled a little I could be in the Twilight books. (I’d probably have to jack up the sexual repression like 1,000x.) I know from sunburn. I’ve gotten some terrible sunburns in my lifetime- one when I was so young that my parents called me “Lobster Baby”. When I was about twelve I got one so bad that my eyeballs were burned and I couldn’t really see for like a whole day. And a few years ago I spent the day on the lake without anything- yeah, that was pleasant. A week later when I could finally shower, at least . I know better than to go outside without sunscreen. I use SPF 70 almost every day and reapply when I go outside for a long period of time.

Unless. Unless it’s thunderstorming in the morning and then it stops and I go “Yay!” and bound outside to take a four-mile walk without realizing that a.) it’s 80 degrees outside and b.) UVA and UVB travel through clouds, dude.

Yeah. My chest looks really good right now.

Other act of stultifying stupidity? I was actually at Wal-Mart and did not, of course, purchase anything that would make this feel better because “Pssh. It’s not that bad!”

Four hours later I have an unbelievably pungent vinegar-soaked paper towel compress draped over my boobs. So now I smell really nice, too!

I’d better shower before I do anything tomorrow.