Monday, April 27, 2009

I heart Google

Because you can enter things like I have an AT&T go phone how do I refill it? and actually get the website you want so you don't have to go digging through your unsearchable student email account looking for the email your mother sent you the last time you wanted to refill your phone's minutes.

Of course, Google cannot tell you answers to questions like Does my mother want me to use the debit card or the credit card? I forget. So you'll have to dig through your emails anyway.

And then after you've determined that you in fact want to use the debit card you will find your wallet and remember that you don't even have a credit card anymore--not because you abused your credit-card privileges, mind you (you are a good person and have never made an unauthorized credit card purchase that would damage your parents' credit--not only because you are a good and obedient daughter but because they are paying for your college and you know what side your bread's buttered on) but because the credit card company did something stupid so now We Don't Like Them Anymore and you could carry the nice shiny credit card around if you wanted to but it wouldn't do you any good because the account no longer exists.

If that was you doing all that, you would now need to stop blogging and go do homework.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Final Stretch

Theology of the Church:
Two days of class left.
Reflection paper due Wednesday, but it's 4-5 pages and pass/fail, so I'm not too worried.
Final exam (essays) on Monday, May 4, at 8 a.m.

Public Affairs Reporting:
Two days of class.
A three-part series of articles due Wednesday. I'm almost done with research, still need to write them. A little worried.
A quiz Wednesday. Haven't studied. Not too worried yet.
No final.

Honors:
Two days of class.
Finish reading/discussing The Imitation of Christ
Present final project (a skit) on Wednesday
No final

Radio/TV News:
One day of class.
A final Monday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m. Format unknown.

Principles of Biblical studies:
One day of class.
A final Monday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. Mixed objective/essay questions.

Total: 8 classes and 3 tests.

I can do this.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Really random thoughts on a Saturday morning

My family has this tradition of celebrating people's birthdays the Sunday before. I think several factors went into this:

1) When we were small Dad sometimes wouldn't get back from work until 7 or 8. When you have a 9 o'clock bedtime, that doesn't leave much time for a party.

2) Mom has enough to do during the week without having to make a cake and etc. on top of it. Sundays, being more or less days of rest even back in the days when we were more lax with the whole Catholicism thing, allow the opportunity for such special endeavors.

3) When we were in public school, we couldn't very well take the day off in honor of our birthdays. After we started homeschooling, it caused too much insubordination in the ranks to have one kid take a day off school while the other toiled away. (Added complication: My sister's birthday is in the summer, when we often didn't have school anyway, while mine is in the fall.) So now we get Sundays off, which means Mom still gets the entire week's worth of chores out of us except washing the dishes Sunday evening.

In short, there are lots of reasons why we do birthdays on Sundays. It occured to me this morning, however, that I will have a harder time following this tradition when I establish a family of my own.

You see, the Sunday before Scott's birthday is almost always Father's Day. (The only exception would be years when Father's Day was the 15th, in which case Scott's birthday would fall on the Sunday following.) And that would just be lame, to have Father's Day get subsumed under his birthday. He had no control over the fact that he was born within 7 days of it (now I'm curious what day of the week Scott was born on), just as I had no control over the fact that I was born 6 days before Thanksgiving. (Some years I get lucky and it's a whole 11 days before. When I turned 18 it was only 5 days.) The difference here is that extended family expect you to show up for turkey and such even if you've just had cake a few days before, whereas nobody but you really cares if you celebrate Father's Day or not. Still, I think it'd be pretty lame not to.

Of course, we could be super-Catholic types and celebrate it on St. Joseph's feast day, which is conveniently located in March. (Get a break from Lent and avoid birthday conflicts! Unless you go and have a kid born March 19th. Then you're just stuck.)

(It occured to me as I wrote this post that there also seems to be a "problem" in big families of birthdays coming kind of clumped together. If you have 12 kids, it is highly unlikely that they are all going to be born in different months. You might have 5 all in May. In which case having the party the Sunday before the birthday would likely mean lumping at least two kids together. Necessary, sometimes, especially if you have twins or non-twin birthdays back-to-back or something, but still to be avoided if possible. So I might have to rethink the Sunday tradition regardless.)

UPDATED to add: According to this page, June 22, 1989 was a Thursday. You now have a completely useless piece of trivia to file away in your brain. (Unless you are Scott's parents,--Hello!-- in which case you probably already knew this.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facebook ads are weird

I know, I should just ignore them. Normally I do, but sometimes they are just too off-the-wall.

For instance, several months ago I noticed that I started getting birth control ads. A lot. I guess that's what you get for having "female" and "in a relationship" in your info.

That went on for 3 or 4 months--the same ad, popping up every few days.

Then Facebook must have noticed that I wasn't clicking the bc ads, because it started giving me ads for pregnancy resource type things. Earlier today I had an ad for Planned Parenthood show up.

I was somewhat amused by the sequence (Facebook is trying real hard to generate revenue for itself), but now I am just annoyed. Anybody know a good way to block ads?

Somewhat tangential to this little series--today I twice got a "Think you'll be getting engaged soon?" ad. Okay, that's harmless enough. I've been "in a relationship" continuously for more than a year. Maybe Facebook's genius computers are starting to think it's time for a more permanent commitment.

Well, the ad itself was for an "engagement makeover"--so you can look good, apparently, when your boyfriend proposes.

???

What, precisely, is the purpose of an engagement makeover? I just don't understand it. Really, I'm sitting here trying to think of some kind of scathing social commentary on it and I've got nothing. It boggles my little mind.

Note to self: Stop reading the ads. Really. Just stop.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sheep

The latest at xkcd reminded me of a funny story that I sometimes tell people. I thought I'd put it up here so you all can have the pleasure of saying, "Megan, we know that story already" the very first time I tell it. (Usually people only get to say that after I've told a story five or six times.)

Once upon a time I could not sleep. My mother, being rather inclined to sleep herself rather than amuse a youngish child, told me to go and count sheep.

Some time later I returned, declaring that counting sheep had been ineffective.

"You see, I was imagining it, and there was this little fence and the sheep jumping over it, and I thought, 'Why is the fence low enough for them to jump over? That's not a very good fence. Maybe the fence is broken, and that is why they are all jumping over that one spot. The poor farmer; all his sheep are escaping and he will lose his livelihood. He'll probably have to sell the farm. Maybe the farm has been in his family for generations...' "

After that my mom just told me to lay in bed with my eyes closed and stay there until morning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How We Roll, Dating Edition

In the Servant's common room this afternoon:

Scott: "Do you have any envelopes?"

Me: "Scads. Why?"

Scott: "Because I have a letter for you but I don't have any envelopes."

Me: "So you want me to give you an envelope, and then you are going to put my letter in it, and then give it to me, and then I will take it out and read it?"

Scott: "Yeah."

Me: "Okay. I'll be right back."

*****************************

[Scott removed his arm from around my shoulders in order to open his water bottle]

Me: "I can open a water bottle with one hand."

...

Me: "Of course, I can't drink out of it without spilling it all down myself, but hey, I have all the important skills."

Friday, April 17, 2009

I was a very unusual child

Today I figured out how to eliminate the border around a text box in Microsoft Word. Yes, I'm proud of myself. That little accomplishment reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad about 10 years ago:

Dad: "Megan, what did you do today?"

Young Megan: "...and I played Word..."

Dad: "Um, Megan, you do realize that Word isn't a game, right?"

Young Megan: "Huh?"

[long pause]

Dad: "Never mind."

(Speaking of playing Word, I need to get back to my novel as soon as finals are over. Hold me accountable, okay?)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Placeholder

Dear readers,

I have had too much sugar to concentrate long enough to write a post, so I will just throw this up there to let you all know that I'm still around, and still pondering. I've been brainstorming ways to make this blog a little less sporadic. Hopefully you'll see the fruits of that pondering sometime in the next week or so, but I make no promises. The Cobbler hopes to visit Steubie this coming weekend, and then I have a 15-page exegesis due in 11 days. Such is my life.

~Your humble blogmistress

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We're weird, but we have fun

Dad: "So then Obama fired the CEO of General Motors...."

Me: "How does that work?"

Dad: "I don't know, he just kind of says, 'You're being let go, you're part of an outplacement...' "

Me: " 'We're going in a different direction, we're not picking up your options...take your pick, I got more.' "

Dad: "Exactly."

Me: "Somebody should turn him into a llama. It would do him a world of good."

Dad: "Obama the llama."

[pause]

Dad: "Does that make Hilary Clinton Yzma?"

Me: "Oh, oh, oh!"

[much laughter]

Me: " 'Was this woman scary beyond all reason?' "

Sunday, April 5, 2009

True love

"I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?"
"Well...you were dead."
"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."

Although I love The Princess Bride, I must admit that I've sometimes fallen victim to thinking Buttercup a rather weak heroine. Poor Westley has to do all the work.

Yesterday, at a FoP, I just realized that I'm not too unlike Buttercup myself. I give up on waiting, I get scared and mess things up, and I'm driven to despair at times.

Poor Jesus has to do all the work.

I wonder if, when He showed up in the Cenacle, He asked any of His disciples why they had stopped believing in Him. I wonder if any of them replied, "Well...you were dead."

While I know in my head that Jesus has conquered death, sometimes I don't live like I know that. Sometimes I live like I think He got murdered by pirates and is never coming back. Then one day He just about tackles my soul and I lay there stunned, breathless, and exquisitely happy, and He says, smiling, I told you I would always come for you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Other Side

I have wanted to write this post since Valentine's Day and never gotten around to it; I think I am a little shy of talking about relationship-related matters still.

A year ago I refered to myself as "the eighteen-year-old who has never been on a date" and quite honestly I kind of prided myself on the title. That's a post in itself, how my views of the value of romance have shifted dramatically in the last year. You see, back then I hadn't been in love yet, to realize that yes, sometimes you are so happy that you giggle at everything, and that doesn't mean you're a silly fluffhead.

It's strange to think that back then I felt freer to talk about relationships than I do now. Back then I could talk to people who really wanted a boyfriend. You know, "Hey, I don't have one either, let's go eat chocolate together." I could talk to girls who were having relationship struggles because--well, because I'm a good listener and people like talking to me.

Now, though, I tend to feel very shy talking to my single friends (and most of my friends are single) because I'm not. I can't use my own life as an example of how you will be okay, because if you use my life as the example then you will find Prince Charming when you are 18 and 5 months; if you use my life as an example your best friend who you are in love with will love you back. And that doesn't always happen. Some people find Prince Charming when they are 25 or 35 or 60. Some people's best friends start dating somebody else, or decide that they are going to be priests.

And I feel shy about talking to other people in relationships. How can I really, really sympathize with whatever struggle you're having while I have this lovely relationship with a wonderful person? Even if I told you that the relationship, lovely as it is, isn't unmitigated sunshine and roses, maybe you don't really want to hear about that. In fact, you probably don't. Because not every relationship survives the rough patches, and if I say, "Well, we had a really hard time once and survived" and your relationship dies...well, then here I am in the land where everything works out and there you are on the other side of the river, where relationships end and sometimes you don't get what you wish you had.

I don't know how to resolve this conundrum; I just know I don't want to become one of those dating/engaged/married people who never hangs out with single people. For now, I am trying to do what I've always been best at anyway--just listening.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The New Normal

Yesterday I was recalling the first Lord's Day I ever attended, during Orientation Weekend. I have a semi-photographic memory so when I remember something it's like pulling up a video--sometimes a very low-quality video, with little dark patches where the film was bad, but a video nonetheless. As I was watching this little mental video I was able to remember my dad and mom and Kitty. I scanned my memory more thoroughly, wondering, Where's LP?

Then I remembered. We didn't have her then.

Funny, isn't it, that a year ago I didn't know she existed and now I can't imagine life without her?