Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Top ways not to write a paper, or how I became an expert in procrastination

I have been assigned a 10 page paper on gender construction in children's and adolescent literature. Believe me: it's as exciting as it sounds. The class ended last Friday, so you can imagine how checked out I am in regards to this paper. So here are some ways I attempted to avoid writing. Tonight:

1. Facebook: the god of all methods of procrastination. There is a reason this was only open to college students initially; Facebook's only purpose is procrastination from studying for exams and writing papers. I swear, in the last hour I've logged on three times. In a day, I may generally log in three times (if I'm especially popular).
2. Make a pizza. Nom nom nom.
3. Bitch to your roommate about everything you hate in alphabetical order, and then listen her list.
4. Bake cookies. Do not forget them though.
5. Three hole punch every sheet of paper in you backpack and put them neatly, in order, into a three ring binder (something to consider before the class ends).
6. Look up APA citation even though you already know how to do it.
7. Ask to borrow select cds from your roommate.
8. Pandora. Assume that all the music they play is terrible and create an entirely new playlist. Preferrably one that makes you so happy you dance away from the computer, or makes you so sad you sit and cry for a while.
9. Complain that it's too cloudy to go for a long walk.
10. Sit by a window and wish you were healthy enough to go for a long walk.
11. Plan the route of said long walk.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


So apparently I went almost a week with mono without knowing it. Here's why:

Since last August, I kid you not, I have been sick seven times. SEVEN. My seventh graders, upon the third cold in December, smiled sweetly, telling me whatever I got was from them. Last Wednesday night, I started getting the sore throat I generally do when I get sick. I have this thing down to a system. I mean, my now-boyfriend came down with it in April or May, and I was able to give him an accurate hour by hour play of what to expect. Anyway. Wednesday night. Thursday I woke up feeling like I was hit by a truck. Seriously, I questioned what went on over the last eight hours of sleep that would make me feel the way I did. I live on the fourth floor and my walls were intact, so I'm assuming it wasn't the truck scenario.

But something strange happened Thursday, which I did my best to ignore. While my face was swollen to the point of wanting it to explode and not being able to open my eyes even half way, this was not the part that alarmed me. At dinner, with friends and their family, I got so warm, I thought I was going to pass out. Now I am never hot. Anyone who knows me, can attest to this. I. Am. Never. Hot. 90 degrees? I'm still cold, with my cardigan. I have more cardigans than I have pants, that's how cold I am. Seriously. Then when we went back to my friends' place for cake. I got so tired that when I sat down, I nearly had chocolate cake all over my face from falling asleep in it.

Since I don't listen to warning signs as it is, I still went out Friday for a bit and woke up early Saturday morning so dehydrated, death seemed like a reasonable option. Saturday and Sunday the pain in my throat and ears became unbearable. I broke down and went into a clinic on Sunday afternoon. Now, I don't have insurance, so if I go in to see a doctor, I expect to leave with a prescription that will literally save my life. I left, instead, with a box of Claritin. Claritin. I have never felt pain in my face like I have on Sunday, and the doctor had the nerve to give me allergy medication.

Monday, at six in the morning, I decided to go to a different clinic. I realize I should go to a regular doctor, but when you don't have insurance, it seems a bit ridiculous to have a "regular" doctor in the first place. Oddly enough, the new doctor found out within 30 seconds that I had mono. He then scolded me for waiting for it to get out of control before coming in. I'd direct him to the "no insurance" bit of this blog, but then I'd just feel redundant.

This was a death sentence for me. I am the person that does three things at once because I can. I pace during movies and TV shows. I'm that girl you hate to date because I get up to do dishes during romantic moments. I read, play music and fidget at the same time. When my computer is on, I have no less than four programs running. And two of those usually have a chat option.

I've been reading a lot. Music still hurts my head so I sit in my bed. Silent. I watch a lot of movies and stand up. Thank God for Netflix. I have looked out my window hoping to see an explosion, fire, building collapse of some sort that would require me to exert myself. As of now, no such luck. I'm hopeful for tomorrow though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I went to Sweden for about 10 days in June. It was subtly amazing. It had the appearance of home, yet the attitude of someplace else. Now, the story of Sweden is somewhat of a crazy one. So here it is:

In April, I decided that for several reasons, I was going insane. I couldn't get away from some things and couldn't find others. I felt like I was losing a sense of who I was and where I was going. So one night, around midnight, I got onto a travel website and bought a ticket to Sweden. For no reason whatsoever. I began to hyperventilate because this is not something I would do. Ever.

I had met a family online several months before and spoke over Skype frequently, but we had never formally met. And the next thing I knew, I was asking if I could stay with them when I arrived in June. My friends and family were excited about this. I was doing something truly exciting. Little did they know I was scared out of my mind. What was I thinking going to a foreign country, planning to stay with people I had never met? My only fear that I could process at that point was they weren't going to be at the airport when I landed.

The morning of the flight, I was proud: I only threw up once before getting on. I was nervous and what made it worse was that I sat next to a guy that did not understand the concept of sleeping through the night. Instead he watched comedies all evening, laughing and tapping his foot. When we landed in Sweden, I turned to the other man sitting next to me, relieved, and said "we made it!" He grabbed my hand, smiled and laughed a little. He was going home, but he knew I had never been before. That was my first welcome into Sweden: comforting and promising.

I can't say enough wonderful things about the Lindqvist family. Their friendliness and hospitality goes beyond that of anything I've ever known. Their extended family and friends were even welcoming and accommodating. I could not believe how willing people were to speak English, since I spoke no Swedish. It was like I became part of their family. My--I still have the bracelet you made me, and I get lots of compliments. I have the pictures the kids made me hanging in my room.

Things that stood out/I enjoyed/was amused by:

1. I got to see a Swedish Midsommer. By far the best ever.
This is me dancing around the Midsommer pole:
This is the Midsommer wreath that someone made me. It was BEAUTIFUL:
2. I was excited to go home. Sometimes you miss strange things because that's what you're used to. Upon arriving in the US, I sent a friend a picture of the sign just outside of customs that said "Welcome to New Jersey." Underneath I wrote "it should say: Welcome to New Jersey: Where no one is nice, it's always dirty and it always smells like McDonald's." Their response? "Welcome home :)"

3. I forced myself to be on limited internet and had no phone while I was there. It felt good. Really good.

4. When I got home, I had to remember Americans don't use the centigrade system. I spent 10 days trying to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius. And now, I had to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit. Go figure.

5. The more I talked about Minnesota, the more I didn't understand how I could live there compared to Sweden.

6. The liquor stores are fancy, and Swedish people are amused that American liquor stores are so sketchy.


7. I got to use the macro part of my camera!
8. Everything is cleaner, happier, more open minded, and land is under developed in Sweden.

9. Playing games with a large group of people, even if they're as simple as Uno, really is a lot more fun than most other things. But I don't want to sit next to Sofia again during games.

10. I don't know how those people stay thin; candy was utterly inescapable.

11. In Sweden, it's apparently acceptable for military bands to play Abba songs at a military ceremony.

12. Sweden nice puts Minnesota nice to shame.