Wednesday, September 30, 2009


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Summer. A bright, hot time of year where, no matter what your status in life, you feel a change. Summer always feels like it's an entirely detached part of the year. There are people out there who backpack through Europe, do physically and mentally challenging things like join the Peace Corps, have a torrid love affair, live at the beach or take up a summery type job. Oh not me. Oh...not me.

School let out in May and all of the kids 10 years younger than me were giddy to be drunk for 3 months straight and sleep with as many people as possible. Ah, youth. I was excited for them, but not jealous. I have lived it up in my day, and I am quite resigned to my choice to be a responsible adult, mostly dedicated to the pursuit of some kind of success. At the end of my first semester I found myself with 18 credits and a 4.0 GPA. This was an awesome way to kick off my summer. My first credits ever after so many failed attempts at this crazy college thang! AND a 4.0! Success was going to be mine and I knew it. My head grew 4 sizes that day. I walked around in my bra, made a cape out of my blanket, and called myself "Super Student."

I had signed up for 2 summer courses, but I had a 3 week break before the first one started. Oh the plans I had. I wanted to visit some friends who had moved out of state, I wanted beach it up everyday, go to Six Flags, bask in the sun. I wanted to write some killer blogs....

But Sims 3 came out the first week of June. Now, I am not a gigantic video game freak or anything, but I am a control freak with a God complex. Sims 3 is awesome. You create people, you control their lives. Every aspect. There is nothing in this world as satisfying, I don't care what you think.

So I SIMed it up for 3 weeks straight. At some point I remembered I was supposed to be dieting, because I'm getting married and all... I kept telling myself that I could start dieting when my class started, AND, since I was going to be dieting soon, I should really eat everything I saw.

So Summer Phase 1 recap: Sims 3 and Preparational Eating

Then I started my first Summer course. Horror Literature with Professor Shaw. Sigh. Professor Shaw. Let's just say that if I were single, and Professor Shaw were single, and I was a little older, and he weren't my professor...... well... still nothing would happened, but I'd still be having fantasies about it. This man was pure golden brilliance and inspiration. I am a total horror buff to the max, and when I walked out of this class the last day, Shaw had me believing I could be the next Mary Shelley.

Speaking of Mary Shelley, we read Frankenstein in the class. I had an absolute love affair with this book. Everything about the book was perfect. I was riveted through and through. 2 thumbs up.

The class was at 8p at night. So my schedule turned into one of the strangest schedules I have ever put myself through. Class at 8p. Home around 10:30-11p. Sims 3 and soap operas until 5-6am. Sleep until 1-2p. Homework until class time. My whole life was kind of backwards. I kinda loved it.

My fiance... we'll call him "Guy." Guy was very busy during this time. He had stupidly loaded up his summer schedule with multiple classes and a 30 hour work week. Sigh. Poor Guy. His life will be more cohesive after the wedding. I'm the brains of the operation.

I remembered that I was supposed to start dieting for this pesky wedding, but with this unusual schedule I had created for myself, it was very challenging to maintain a healthy eating schedule. Besides that, Guy says it's ok to cheat on a diet if you are celebrating something. So we had huge dinners to celebrate the beginning of Summer, the beginning of the Summer semester, Father's day, my 4.0 GPA, booking the venue for our wedding, a belated birthday dinner for me, a day that ends in "y" dinner, tracked down some old friends with summer get the idea.

So, Summer Phase 2 recap: Horror Lit and Celebratory Eating.

The sun set on Horror Lit and and rose on....Biology. Biology? Really, I signed up for Bio? Oh yes I remember now. Biology for Non Science majors. I double check my schedule, because I didn't really pay attention when I registered. This should have been my first omen.

The course was Monday and Wednesday 9am - 12p AND Tue and Thurs 9am-12p AND 1p-4:30p. WHAT....THE...FUDGEPOP. What the hell could I have possibly been thinking?? First, to get to a 9am class, I need to wake up at 7am. This is never a smart thing for me to attempt. Not to mention I'd spent the last month getting up between 1p-2p. Now, forget all that. 20 HOURS A WEEK? 20 hours of BIOLOGY a week??? I must have been smoking incredible crack when I decided to take this class. Oh wait...wait.. I remember... My mother is a High School biology teacher. My reasoning was: I should take bio during the summer (its a required course) because my wonderfully knowledgeable mother will be off from school and will totally be able to help me with (do all of) my assignments. More on that in a bit.

I remember thinking this would be easy breezy because having a mother for a biology teacher, biology is something that has been discussed in my home often since my childhood. I thought by taking it over the summer a lot of the more difficult topics would be edited out, and we'd mostly just skim over stuff in a general kind of way. I never thought in a million years they would take a normal 3 months course load and squish it into 4 weeks. But...guess....what...

It might have been 20 hours of class time a week, but in order to keep your head above water in that devil class you have to put an additional 40 hours into assignments and studying. The low light of the class was when they put a dead pig in front of me and had me slice the thing open and play with its insides. Really? REALLY? In 2009 there isn't some program we can pull up on the computer that will show us piggy insides nice and clear? I was told "Dissection is an experience every person should have." Yes. Yes, its VERY important for every human being on this planet to know the feeling of slicing through flesh. Let's desensitize the youth of America so when they have to cut a bitch they know just how deep to go, and where the jugular is.

Oh and my wonderfully brilliant mom? Yeah. Well, she dissapeared on various vacations most of the time. Wonderful magical places like Oregon, Massachusettes, and Salamanca, NY. (WTF???) And for the second she was home and edited my lab report for me, she got me a 75, which was the lowest grade I have ever recieved in my college career. THANKS MA!

The stress and pressure from this class caused me to do some mega eating. At some point I remembered I was supposed to be dieting, but, now now knowing which part of the brain controls remembering stuff, I ripped out my own cerebrum, slapped it around, screamed "WHEN I'M STRESSED OUT I EAT!" and crammed it down my throat. And then was able to trace its path from bolus to fecal matter. In excruciating detail.

**I'm pretty sure I can also do open heart surgery and decode a strand of DNA in 23.4 seconds.

SO. Summer Phase 3 recap: Why God why?? and Stress Eating

Finally the last week of Summer came. Guy and I decided to get away a bit and went to the house his family owns in PeacefulTown, USA. We relaxed, we slept, and we ate. ALOT. We were celebrating the end of summer.

Summer Phase 4: Too Fast.

So now I'm back in school, and from what I can tell it's going to be an interesting semester. I'm excited to finally be back to a normal routine. I never saw a beach. I never went to an amusement park. I never even really saw the sun.

BUT: I walked away from summer having added 8 more credits towards my degree, 2 MORE A's, AND somehow...SOMEHOW.... I lost 18LBS. I'll call that a successful summer!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Birthdays: Oh the Pain

Yeah, I am one of those people that HATES my birthday. For me its not about getting older. Admittedly sometimes i stop and think "Wow..I'm not a kid anymore..i'm getting OLD!" ... but those thoughts come randomly and my birthday doesn't inspire them.

The following is a Top Ten list of why i hate my birthday:

10: The build up. It occurs to me about 1 month before the big day that its coming. First i get excited and then my inner voice says, "No Jo...don't get excited. If you get excited you will be let down." Then the month of dread begins.

9: Friends who know i hate my birthday and therefore go awkwardly over-the-top trying to create the perfect day.

8: Any day of the year you can ask my father when my birthday is and he will dictate it back like it has been burned into his memory. HOWEVER, he has never remembered on my actual birthday.

7: I am the middle child. That statement should be able to stand alone, but i will elaborate for those who are not middle children. My older brother and younger brother get treated like KINGS on their birthdays. Fancy expensive restaurants, expensive presents, cake...the works. This year for my birthday my mother bought me an ice cream sundae. Seriously.

6: I'm always reminded of my 16th birthday. I so desperately wanted a fabulous sweet 16. But i had no friends because i wasn't cool. SO my mother bought me an air conditioner. I spent that entire summer hanging out in my room alone. But ya know what? I was cool.

5: It always rains on my birthday. Every year. Without fail.

4: My mom's idea of a birthday present is paying my cell phone bill for me.

3: Restaurants that sing humiliating "Happy Birthday" songs. Need i say more?

2: It can never be just the one day. Birthdays have an annoying tendency to be drawn out into birthweeks. I hate this practice, i don't condone it, yet i get suckered in every year.

1: I hate who i am on my birthday. I don't WANT to care. I tell myself ALL year that i'm not going to care. But then the day comes and i expect perfection while dreading catastrophe. Nothing anyone does is ever good enough for me and yet at the same time i want everyone to forget the day completely. I can not be pleased. Just looking at this list i see an ungrateful wretch and that just isn't who i am.

The truth is, i've had a few really nice birthdays. Some were the best days I have ever lived. For some reason i never let myself remember that when the dreaded day is closing in.

I guess a birthday shouldn't really be about presents and cake. It should be a celebration of your life. A day to reflect on what you have discovered that year. A time to remember your purpose in this world.

The Grinch's heart grew 2 sizes that day... :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Position on a Proposition

Recently I learned that the worst thing a person can say is "This issue has nothing to do with me." If you are discussing who your roommate is sleeping with, or or how your sister raises her kids, then your position is most likely accurate. However, if the discussion is centered around big-ticket issues that affect your region, state, country, world- then it is a borderline crime to not choose a side.
Let me begin by saying I am not gay. I am a female who, coincidentally, is engaged to a man. Together we are expressing our love and binding ourselves in a contract that will ensure protection for each other should one of us pass away. A contract which ensures that if one of us has health insurance, the other can also receive it. Together we are agreeing to love each other eternally til the end of our time. AND we are doing so in a church.
Lucky us.
To think - If my future father in law had passed the "X" chromosome instead of the "Y" chromosome, none of this would be happening.
Proposition 8 was first voted on by the people and they passed it. I firmly believe the majority should not be the spokespeople for a minority's human rights. In fact human rights shouldn't be voted on at all, they should be given freely.
Then the California Supreme Court had a chance to rebuke the proposition, but did not. This decision has me wondering which documents run this country, the Constitution, or the Bible...
Homosexuals are human beings. They have MY skin, MY blood, MY heart. They should have MY rights. They live this one life, just as I live my one life. They should be allowed to express their love as freely as I am able to express mine.
Now don't get me wrong. I am not some bleeding-heart-gay-groupie (ok, i kind of am, but work with me here) The bottom line is MY rights are also at stake here too. Martin Luther King Jr said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And its true. Injustice is a disease. As i watch people try to rationalize this ABSOLUTE loss of freedom for the homosexuals, i implore ALL people to recognize that if we give this country an inch, they WILL take a mile. What right will be next on their list? Who will be the next victim?
People are saying, "oh we will just have to wait until 2010. then we will have another shot" Well, I would remind them of Thurgood Marshall who said, "Justice too long delayed is justice denied." NO ONE should have to live ANY length of time with the disease of injustice.
We CANNOT dictate each other's choices in a country where we want to believe we are free. We MUST trust each other and ourselves that progress will not destroy us as a people, but better us in the long run.
Most of all, NEVER believe this issue doesn't affect us all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Slave to the Television

There is this imaginary chain that ties me to the television, and it has been that way since i was a little girl. I clearly remember my youth being swallowed up by television, before school, after school, weekends. I swear there were even days i stayed home from school if i thought something interesting was going to be on. I never did homework, rarely hung out with friends. I was a total couch potato.

Then I moved out on my own, on Long Island, and attempted to live off of my Retail Manager salary. Well, one of the first things to go was television. I lived for a long time without remote flipping and channel surfing, and i truly felt free from the chains that bound me so...

Then, after a few promotions and raises I could afford TV once more. I went through the production of hemming and hawing over the decision, when i really knew all along i was going to get it.

BUT ALAS! things had changed since my last slavery contract with television. A little miracle invention called D V R.

I am addicted to ABC Soaps- All My Children, One Life To Live, General Hospital. Right there that is 15 hours per week. I also enjoy Dancing With the Stars, The Amazing Race, Survivor, American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Dexter, Dollhouse, Big Brother, America's Next Top Model, Bridezillas... and probably more if you include mini series and specials.

Now with the magic of DVR i tape EVERYTHING and just watch it whenever i get the chance.

I am a child of a generation where we were baby-sat by the television. I probably spent more time with IT than i did with my parents. I don't think i could ever truly abandon a device that raised me, taught me about life, and, well let's be honest, probably caused some minor brain damage and weakened my eyesight, but still...what a great invention.

NOW if only i could get that stupid DVR to record more than 2 shows at once.....