In other news, my desk survived a flood.

(It’s true. I moved one of the cabinets from Grandpa’s basement into my room as a desk. It was still dusty. Despite the flood. I…don’t know either.)

Well. If you’re still reading this, you’re definitely my friend. Or…I accepted your friend request and forgot about you, in which case I hope you’re not too creepy.

See, this morning they posted me as the TA for 102 on the online schedule. My reaction was three-fold.


2.) This screenshot must be my profile picture.

3. ) Oh, shit dagnabbit.

After I made the screenshot my profile picture (Look! I’m under “instructor”!), I had a mad scramble to make sure that my profile was locked down.

Because I’m not saying that I’m interesting enough to be stalked, or that I necessarily would be, or even that there’s anything terribly embarrassing on my page. (I mean, really. I’m friends with my mom and my priest.) But I do know that the first thing I do did upon finding out who was teaching any one of my classes was search for them on Facebook and proceed to stalk them. At least once, sometimes for the whole semester, generally commensurate with how well you graded me and how hot you were.

And…as my sister said, “You’d better take those car pictures down.”

Uh. Yeah. Probably.

This whole thing reached another level of irony about ten minutes ago when I received an email from the DGS announcing that there was a Facebook page for my grad program, and we should all like it so we could get to know each other!

Oh, fantastic. You know, except for those car pictures.

Hey, we made CNN!

Two years ago this weekend, my grandpa passed away. And I still don’t really know how to write about it without sounding melodramatic or self-absorbed or whatever. Of course, if I try not to sound like those things, then it ends up sounding like we weren’t that close. But we were. He was like a parent to me (which is not to impugn my own parents’ parenting skills- this was not a my-mom-was-too-busy-spinning-around-a-pole-to-raise-me-so-Grandma-had-to-step-up situation.), and it was like losing a parent.

(Also? How many more times can I write the word “parent” in a sentence?)

So that happened. And it was (is) horrible.

In my head, there was a list of things I would be okay with doing this weekend. Drinking heavily was right up there. Attempting to sublimate my feelings with cheesecake- also a noble goal. Facebook would presumably also enter into the equation.

(I’ve heard people talk about this thing called exercise making you feel pretty good, but I’m waiting for more evidence.)

NOWHERE on the list was, “Dig through his waterlogged stuff.”

Apparently, God, or whatever decided to make it rain more than it has, oh, MY ENTIRE LIFE, thought differently.

After he died, we rented out the house. (Because my mother, bless her soul, harbors illusions that I will be gainfully employed one day and can live there.) But we kept a room in the basement filled with furniture and boxes and stuff that we simply couldn’t absorb into our house, but also really didn’t want to get rid of. Most of it was off the floor on bricks or something, and we figured, eh, it’ll be okay.

(By the end of that whole house process thing? I would have left my brother there and figured eh, he’ll be okay.)

Until last night. When the lady who is living there now called and told us that water was pouring in the first floor and was waist deep in the basement. That…oh, God.

Because we really needed that. THIS WEEKEND.

This morning we headed down there, pretty much expecting almost everything to be ruined.

(Well, first I stopped and bought these adorable boots because I am impractical and own exactly no shoes that are appropriate for flood situations.)

Okay. I’m not a big spiritual girl. I’ve got nothing against miracles, I just tend to be a teensy bit on the pragmatic side. But…this was a miracle. There was practically no water in the room with our stuff. One cardboard box had wicked water up about six inches, but the piece of furniture inside was completely dry. There was no damage. There was dust on most of the stuff.

The main basement was sopping. Which I learned really quickly when I helped carry the woman’s carpet upstairs and ended up with water (God, I hope it was just water) down my boots, down my shirt, on my face…everywhere.

But that room? With everything of his that we really, really wanted to keep, especially this weekend? Was completely safe.

So I guess that’s not a bad way to start this weekend.

National Lampoon’s Car Dealership

Things tend to…dissolve…when you involve my family. And by dissolve, I mean madness ensues and someone (at times a salesperson) ends up in tears or swearing.

(Usually that’s me.)

I mean, remember a few summers ago? With the parish directory? When the cute guy selling the pictures was all, “Oh! You’ll need some for your parents!” And my mom burst into tears and sobbed, “I don’t have any parents anymore!” And my dad’s all, “There’s been a death in the family, we’ll just take the 8×10…”

See, that? Is a perfect example of why we call ourselves the Griswolds.

ANYWAY. Yesterday we drove to the freaking middle of nowhere to look at the car that I am (hopefully) going to buy. I figured “I saw one pass me on the road once and it looked good and the pictures make it look really cute!” was a really bad reason to take out a loan that required both my firstborn and one of my kidneys. I should probably look at the car.

So we get there. And immediately my mom is all, “WE’RE NOT BUYING ANYTHING. WE WANT TO WORK WITH *OUR DEALER.*” Oh, we’re off to a good start. So Flunky Salesperson just kinds of throws the keys at us and goes back to counting the days until he can move out of his parents’ basement.

We get in the car. It turns on. I’m told this is a good thing, but to be perfectly honest I was quite distracted by the auxiliary port that allows me to connect my iPod RIGHT TO THE SPEAKERS THAT’S RIGHT I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH ADAPTORS ANYMORE.

100,000 mile powertrain warranty blah blah blah I can play Ke$ha now!

Anyway. The test drive went great. I was totally comfortable driving it- it was like driving a van (the feel of which I do love) but without all the pointing and laughing from pedestrians. I was totally in love.

At least until my mom (who is sitting in the backseat with my sister) said, “Okay. I just have to ask Colleen something. Do you itch at all?”

The hell?

Colleen assured her that no, her feet did not itch and it was probably not the car’s fault but rather a mosquito bite.

“Okay! I just didn’t want Kathleen to get an infested car!”

Uh. No. That would be bad.

Things…just kind of went downhill from there. My mom accidentally ripped that sheet off the window. Colleen was dancing in the backseat to some song that came on when I finally figured out how to turn on the radio.

It really got interesting once we got inside, though. My mom kept talking about our dealer’s elderly father. Like, a lot. My dad started off on how we shouldn’t still be paying for Miller Park. And…my mom basically threatened the douchebag finance guy.

(Okay. He deserved it.)

Anyway. The car was lovely. And I really want it. And if God and the angels are still okay with it at 10:30 tomorrow, it will be mine.

Perhaps there should be more in my life.

I didn’t have a 4.0 in college. I really wanted one. Like, bad. The semesters I did get one- wow. I’m pretty sure childbirth isn’t that awesome.

(Also. Less amniotic fluid.)

(And no episiotomy.)

But thanks to the commonly held belief that four semesters of natural science is going to make me a better historian, that was not meant to be.

(Because that makes total sense right? I mean, I remember so much from all those science classes. Like, a good 75% of their names. And they were so carefully chosen. A monkey throwing darts at the course catalog could have come up with a more cohesive scientific syllabus than I did.)

But I figured that if I couldn’t have a 4.0, I would damn well get the best honors I could. Hell, I figured if I had to inscribe the damn diploma myself, I was going to get those honors.

Turns out I wouldn’t have had to bother learning calligraphy! And maybe I could have memorized a few less industrial revolution statistics! Because I just could have BOUGHT A FRICKIN’ STICKER after graduation and made myself feel all accomplished.

My diploma arrived this week. It’s beautiful. I love it. But the little part that denotes the honors with which I graduated? Is a sticker. That’s peeling up.


My mom looked at it and said, “Huh. Mine’s written underneath my name in pretty handwriting.”

Yeah. How nice for you. Apparently the credit crunch cut into the university’s calligraphy budget.

*deep breath*

It’s still pretty cool, though.