20 November 2012

School is Hard

Once upon a time, before the last moon, New Moon, full moon, or blue moon, I was born. It wasn’t such an exciting day. You’d think I’d remember it if it was.

September in So. California guaranteed that it was hot and muggy and really...my poor mother. Being pregnant in the summer is like swimming while wearing a bear skin rug after downing a bottle of ipecac.

I am a product of an idealistic mom and a carefree dad saying their “I do’s” in front of a preacher 9 months and one day prior to my birth. My entry in this world was scheduled. I like being organized. September baby. On par for the course. Hi, have you met me? I like organizing my organizing books.

That’s not to say that being born under a certain zodiac sign somehow shapes my future or by some cosmic way has predestined my life or character. I am more of the “environment shapes you”, kind of girl. And really, if a baby in utero is subject to the weather, sounds, and moods of the mother, then it only makes sense that a baby formed during sunshine and spring cleaning takes on common traits. In short, it shouldn’t be startling that we virgos are organizing, scheduling pseudo-OCD control freaks. Did I mention self-depreciating humor? Yes, that too.

Embracing this year with gusto, I find school dominates my every day. Talking about. Homeworking because. Driving to. Scheduling for. Talking about all of the above when people ask where I have disappeared to. School is some narcissistic way of declaring to the world that I’m smarter than you and I have a GPA to prove it.

Except for Doctors. They can go be smart college grads and make bank because if I'm ever in a car crash, I don’t want Mr. Doyouwantfrieswiththat to do my surgery. Surgery is best taught and learned in the expensive halls of academia.

No one tells you school is expensive. And school is haaard. I just want to make sick people better. Or just make sure they aren't shafted by their insurance company. So, why do I need to know the head bone is connected to the neck bone?

Do we consider the ramifications of an astronomical student loan that rivals the yearly income of our post-grad employment? Mixed messages come to us students via email "Congratulations On Your Financial Aid Award". Yay! An award I have to pay back.

Can you imagine a Publisher's Clearing House car unloading, guys get out with balloons and a giant cardboard bill, knocking on a winner's door. The guy answering his door in his wife-beater and slippers is stunned and his smile fades while handed a check that says, "AMOUNT DUE! $40,000.00"?

Ed McMahon is so getting punched in the face.

In school, I earn my bleary eyes and caffeine addictions couched between slam dunking a test and procrastination. I want the education but when you get down to brass tacks? I go to school for an entirely different reason: the reassurance that I’m not an idiot. 

I fear setting up camp in Idiotville, pop. 1. Being homeschooled had its advantages but it also never gave me the motivation and confidence to continue schooling back when my brain actually remembered things longer than 10 minutes.

Maybe I’m lazy?
Undecided on a line of employment?

As a teen, embarking on another four years living at home, building debt, and naively go on living forever didn’t appeal either. When you are 17, you truly, truly believe you will live forever. Add the violent denial that gravity will adversely affect your person in about ten years and you get exhibit A: Hey, lets skip school, get a big salary job because of my hot, young self and I'm starving. Pass the Cheetos. Everyone looks good at 17.

With ever present certainty, I continue to plod along in school. I continue to fight gravity with push up bras, expanding waistlines with carrot sticks and brain exercises like long division. And that lipo acid vitamin C stuff that makes airbrushed models look awesome. I endure so that maybe, just maybe, I will find my dream job and won't feel like an idiot.

~Bee would not like fries with that.
Listening to: Madness by Muse

27 June 2012

There Is Always Room For Pie

I won a book on Goodreads today. Yay!

The whole idea of free books for reviews is almost as good as employment as a dessert taste-tester for The Cheesecake Barn but with less chocolate sauce and far less guilt.

Stretchy pants optional.

No, not pants optional. What kind of girl do you think I am?

Pants, as a rule, should never be optional. Stretchy pants are a different story. As a matter of fact, reading in stretchy pants is highly under-rated. Eating dessert, reading, and drinking coffee in stretchy pants, even more so. Ask anyone who has ever eaten dessert after a Thanksgiving dinner.

"Keep eating. It's tradition...and ignore your Uncle unbuttoning his trousers."

Stretchy pants give you freedom to move, to be active, to go rollerblading with your chocolate lab and allow as much freedom as a Tampax commercial. Stretchy Pants also support the golden rule.

"There is always room for pie."

No matter how short-short skirts are hemmed or how many skimpy fashions emerge, trends of the publicly* pantsless, and I say this with confidence, is not happening. No Pantsless Day Of The Week will ever go mainstream. Especially when cafe sofa upholstery is involved.

First off? Eww.

Secondly, who says, "Hey, I'm going to get coffee. You wanna go with? Cool. Take off your pants."

Perhaps these words are only spoken in hushed, reverent tones by people who cant wear stretchy pants? It can happen. To be, but stuck...butt stuck, in the traditional confines of non-stretchy pants.

Those poor souls will want pie at Thanksgiving and as a result, realize too late that their ability to sit upright is futile; learning a fatalistic lesson of Supply-Side Economical Effect of Free Price Mechanism meet Laws of Gravity (You Are Now My B##ch Edition).

Commonly known as "I can't believe I ate that whole pie. Where are my stretchy pants?"
Just kidding! I know. Eating a whole pie...that'd be silly.  Silly as waxing near mind-grindingly poetic about coffee shops with half-nekkid patrons, sipping scalding hot beverages while lounging in chairs that probably need to be dry cleaned more often than twice a year.

Who knew winning a free book would inspire this nonsense? But yes, Mr Savage. (I call him Fred. Or that kid who was sick in Princess Bride)...yes, I have on stretchy pants and it is a kissing book.

~Bee supports The Golden Rule.

Listening to: Slip by Deadmau5
*or if it may interest you wordsmithies, the dictionary advises the lesser-known alternative, yet equally acceptable spelling of "publically" which looks too much like "pubically" and that's just wrong.

04 June 2012

Sweet Valley High Books May Cause Pregnancy

I am reading romantical books, ya'll. Give me a minute, I gotta quit blushing.

 ~tomato red!~

Okay, done now. 

 I've recently read a romance book. My first romance read ever. Not joking. I've only started reading the romance genre in this last year. I will blame it on cell phones. And my mother.

 You see, if I hadn't gotten a cell phone, I wouldn't have downloaded a book reading app.

 If I hadn't downloaded the app, I wouldn't have found free classic books online.

 If I hadn't found free books online, I wouldn't have started reading again.

 If I hadn't started reading again, I wouldn't have used Goodreads.com and connected with friends. These friends who used to work at a bookstore. Friends who said, "If you like historical fiction, you will probably like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. A lot of women like that book" At this point I didn't know whether to be insulted or thankful he'd recommend something I would dive into. I went with thankful.

 I read all kinds of books now with few exceptions because of my mother. I will say on her behalf, she does not remember it this way. Why? Because it is a universal truth that no family member should agree on past events. No one remembers what happened growing up. It's Murphy's Law, senility, or perhaps the need to be contrary. My sisters and I don't even agree and we haven't the age excuse on our side. (Sorry, Mom. No, you are not old). Its some generational, space time continuum thing. In fact, my kids are probably making fake memories as I type this on my keyboard.

 In my humble and faulty recollection, which is very, very humbly recollected, my parents homeschooled me. This is not in dispute. However, the parental units allegedly had me write book reports on classics like the autobiography of Rush Limbaugh while I begged off to write something meaty and homeschooler-ish by CS Lewis or Oregon pioneer, Dr. John McLoughlin. Or dissect quantum mechanics departing from classical mechanics, primarily at the quantum real of atomic and subatomic length scales.

I was homeschooled.

What does this have to do with the book, Outlander? I'm blaming my android phone and my mother, that's what. I'll get there, now hush or go make me a sandwich.

 I vividly remember my mother, who continues to not remember, giving my teenage self a good deal of flack after seeing I checked out Jr. High romance books. Good girls don't read that stuff. Judy Blume, beyond Fudge and Tootsie? Not allowed. The new Nancy Drew was also deemed a tart and she was banned from the house as well. Sweet Valley High girls were trouble. I mean, look at these faces.

The new face of teenage rebellion.

They may look like innocent teens who scribble "Mrs. Sweet Valley High Guy" on their sparkly unicorn trapper keepers. But we know better.

Tears, shame and guilt pierced my Double Loving heart and like the good girl I was, I snuffed my tears, put my shoulders back, chin high, and began smuggling young adult Sweet Valley High porn under my pillow on the downlow. Until my stash was discovered.

That was a dark day indeed, my friend.

Fast forward twenty-garblefarble years and am I grown up with four kids and a husband. I still get a little embarrassed admitting I like the romance genre. I didn't want to break down an buy a book cover, but I can definitely see the appeal now.

"What are you reading?"
"Uhhh, my quantum mechanics book? Don't look at me that way...HEY! I WAS HOMESCHOOLED YOU KNOW!"

I was told by a well-read friend I might branch into historical fiction since I liked Stephen Lawhead. This is the one that recommended the Outlander series. He didn't say it's about a strapping, 6ft 4 Highlander, a strong female protagonist, drama, time travel, love story, a rebellion, humor, and all wrapped in good writing.

I blushed, I hmmm-ed and hawwwed, but my head said HEY! ITS MY BOOK APP AND ILL READ ROMANCE IF I WANT TO!

I downloaded it for a free Nook deal where it sat on my puritanical phone for a year. Which, incidentally, is more salaciously thrilling than hiding Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew porn under a pillow.

Hey! Someone tell Ned that Nancy-girl is a firecracker. Woo woo!

After getting a new phone, I redownloaded the book app and surprise. There was the book. Highly rated and staring at me. I started reading and I discovered where the romance novels were concerned, there were a lot of varients. Also, I'm a dirrrrty girl and I liked it. A lot.

Then call me a broadsided bibliophile, Batman... there were genres in romance, too.

I soooo need a bigger pillow.

I have to mention, the peeps who tell publishers to offer a free download are pretty smart because I've purchased all available in the series in hardback (that's how I roll). I don't think I would have been brave enough to branch out into this genre without having been given the book.

I fell in love with this story and even though my mother's consternation, which she does not remember, at my choices in books is a deep-seated voice, I have learned to be more open-minded. Not that I'm going Fifty Shades of Seriously? This Is A Best Seller? anytime soon.

All in all, I would have missed this amazing world Gabaldon had painted if I hadn't taken a risk to read out of my literary box. For that, I thank my mother who still swears I'm making this up, the inventor of the android cell phone, and the deliciously wicked pen of Diana Gabaldon.

~Bee does not put covers over her paperback books.

Listening to:
The Planets Bend Beneath Us by Snow Patrol