Thursday, March 31, 2005


On Tuesday I had a phone interview with the foreign language department chair at a private school in Vermont where it would be really nice to have a job next year. That one went fairly well, I thought.

This morning I had another phone interview with one of the current French teachers at the school. This one was all in French. Gah. First, I am NOT A MORNING PERSON. At all. Second, I've been in Utah for four years now... not the most Francophone place in the world. I'm rusty. Give me three months in France, and I'd be back to fluency, but right now... not so much. I understand just fine, but my speaking is not perfect. I also am still recovering from a minor sinus/chest cold.

So I don't think this one went nearly as well. Sigh.

I still have to talk to the Dean of Students and the Residential Life Director... we shall see. The good thing is that the school needs to fill two French positions, not just one, so I think that improves my chances significantly.

But I feel distinctly less confident today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"Scientifically" Proven

So Jay shows me some research he did last Fall... Evidently, faithless one that he is, that he needed some hard evidence that us getting married would be a good thing. He polled semi-random married (and unmarried?) people on their level of happiness with their partner and what level they had to remain above in order to have a happy marriage. (I may be off on the details, but this was the gist of it.) Broke the numbers down by sex. Women had to be about 81% happy, while men only needed to be happy 73% of the time in order to feel good about their marriage.

Jay, godlove'im, then collected the following data daily for sixty days: sex? yes/no; # hrs spent together; want to marry yes/no?; extenuating circumstances.

Have I mentioned that the boy has very little sense of tact, and absoutely no filter between his brain and his mouth? Most of the time, these are things I love about him, but nevertheless, it explains why he felt the need to disclose all this. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. There were histograms and line charts... so thorough... so Jay.

For the record, I made an 83% all around approval rating.

Friday, March 18, 2005

In a Stunning Reversal

Jay was offered the Vermont job up in Lyndon near St. Johnsbury. We discussed it. He's going to accept.

He asked me to marry him. After I laughed my ass off, he repeated the question, and I said yes. And we both promptly said "Eeeeewwww."

Which I think just proves how unsuited for anyone else we both are.

No, I haven't told anyone else in my family yet.

I'm still working up to that point. But that would mean I would have to say it out loud... I'm working on it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Thoughts Jogged Loose

I just got back from the gym. Ran two consecutive miles for the first time ever. Not bad for a girl who could barely run a quarter mile at Christmas.

Some of the random thoughts my mind came up with to distract me from what I was doing to my body:

Everything I wrote the other day? Bullshit. I'm really just an egomaniacal bitch with dissociative tendencies. No really. One of my... acquantances in high school called me that once. Personally, I think she might have spent too much time reading her mother's shrink books, but clearly, she had a point. Or not.

I can't stand most reality shows, but the Real World Road Rules Challenges? Sick, but I love 'em. Talk about people wrapped up in their own drama... trying to be so introspective and just coming off like overgrown teenagers. Not unlike other people I could name... sigh.

And what the hell is wrong with people? Women and girls specifically. I followed a link from Wasted Birth Control to Girl Culture this morning on my daily blogwalk. Warped. Truly warped. Some of the other things she had to say about the sexualizing of preadolescents bugged the hell out of me... not because she's wrong. Because it's so obviously true. I only have to look around the school at my junior high students to see that.

However... maybe that explains why I can't find a fricking pair of pants that fits me these days. And why I have "small" tshirts that are seven years old that are larger than the "XL" ones I buy now. Same brand, by the way... And perhaps that explains why everyone I see looks like they are wearing clothes that are far too small for them. You know, the waist bulging, fabric stretching, capri-length, ass-crack displaying fashion that is so prevalent. Gak. And maybe that explains Modern Fit pants. Straight through the hip? Hello? Women's pants... straight through the hip? WTF? I tried on a pair, just for amusement purposes the other day. Ah ha ha ha ha. Fit great... except for the fact that the waistband was about five inches too wide on the pair that did fit in the hips and thighs. Hmmm. I wish that was a isolated experience, but that's what's been in the stores for the last few years. No wonder I'm starting to get desperate for new pants.

And finally... I hate music videos. 99% of them anyway. Especially rap videos. Holy exploitation, Batman. Does no one else realize how gross that is?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On Friendship... why I am the way I am

I don't know why this is such a struggle for me. I was thinking the other day about friends and friendship... and I realized that the only person in Salt Lake that I would consider a real friend is Jay. How screwed up is that? I mean, I've been living here for almost FOUR YEARS. I have one friend from my masters program, but I rarely see her, because she lives in Park City and works down in Orem...and that doesn't leave her a lot of time for socializing. She's cancelled the last two times we planned to get together. So I've kinda left the ball in her court now. The others I hang out with occasionally all started out as Jay's friends, and I guess to some degree I still think of them as such.

But this paucity of friends isn't anything new for me. It's been like that for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure what it is about me that makes it so hard to form connections with people, but I'm so used to it that it doesn't really bother me much. Most of the time, anyway. Even when I think about it and wonder, like I am now, it doesn't really make me sad. Maybe a little frustrated. Undoubtedly bewildered. But I truly enjoy my own company. I like to spend hours or days alone - I get so much reading-writing-painting done that way. But I'm still vaguely aware that other people have friends and enjoy their company on a regular basis and I wonder why I don't.

Maybe it goes hand in hand with my inability to ask for help. Scratch that... I'm able to ask now. Let's just say "extreme reluctance" then. The reason for this actually stems from a revelation I had at a management training seminar of all things. I know, I know. Usually they're cheesy lovefests, but this one worked. I have trouble asking for help because asking for help would mean that I wasn't original or smart enough to do something on my own. Ridiculous maybe. But perfectly logical when you realize it was formed as a guiding message in a 7 year old's mind when her "best friend" accused her of copying.

Then throw in the fact that we moved when I was 4 and a half. That I didn't go to preschool. That I started kindergarten a year and a half later after playing with no one but my baby brother and some pseudo-cousins during that time. That everyone else in my kindergarten class HAD gone to preschool... together.

Pretty much been the outsider for as long as I can remember. Oh, and don't forget the Teacher's Pet disaster of 3rd grade. That showed me the ugly mob side of human nature, all turned against little 9 year old me. Really nice. Did I mention that I have excellent hearing? Yeah. Heard some of my "friends" saying nasty things about me when they thought I was too far away to hear. So maybe it boils down to a trust issue.

I competed gymnastics 5th-8th grades, so I wasn't around much, though I was around long enough to make friends with a new girl at school. Of course, by 10th grade she no longer acknowledged my existence because I wasn't into trying to get upperclassmen to make out with me, or cut school, or raid my parents' liquor cabinet... but anyway.

After I broke a vertebrae (fun!), I quit gymnastics and ended up with a different circle of friends, which proceeded to implode with teenage game playing. See, Winnie dated Jack. Jack and Alex were best friends. Winnie and Jack had a fight. Winnie got back at Jack by sleeping with Alex. Brilliant, neh? Did I mention that we were only 15 at the time? Yeah. So then Winnie got back with Jack and they got busy in the backyard tent. So Jack and Alex were no longer best buds, nor were they paying attention to anyone else in the clique because they were distracted by their dicks. (names changed to protect the guilty)

You know, I'm reading this as I write, thinking: Is it any fricking WONDER I don't trust people? Gah.

I did okay with friends in college, for the most part. The only drama there was with "relationships" and watching all of us make dumb mistakes with members of the opposite (or same) sex. But none of that affected the friendships... not permanently. The problem is that most of my friends were not friends with each other.

But during the two years I lived at the Grand Canyon, I didn't really have any friends. A few in passing, because that's the kind of place it was. I'm still in touch with 3 of the hundreds of people I worked with there - two roommates (Pamela the Brit and Aaron the pot head) - and Angela, from Brooklyn, who is my mother's age, and who calls me "the brat she never had". So I do connect with some people. Sort of.

I have certain standards, I guess.

No game playing.
Honor commitments.
Be willing and able to use your damn brain.
Have a sense of humor (humour)
Have a sense of adventure.

It frightens me how rarely all of those are met. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not being too demanding... but honestly, these are things I'm not really willing to compromise on. And so I don't. And so sometimes I don't have anyone to go shopping or to a chic flick with. And sometimes it is lonely.

But I have Jay, of course, and I will always have my sisters, who are my best girl friends ever. I just wish they lived a little closer.

And that little ramble was much longer than I intended...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Strike One

Looks like the New Hampshire option is a no-go. Jay heard back from the University and they offered the position to someone else -- more experience and an area of expertise not already represented by the current faculty were the reasons, I believe. Maybe I was a tad bit unsympathetic... but I was also a little disappointed. However, who gets the first job they apply for? Not me, that's for sure. Successful academic life doesn't really prepare one for the harsh realities of the job search. Job searches suckass. Either the job you want doesn't want you, or the job that does want you isn't your first choice, or even your fifth. But sometimes you get lucky. Just rarely on your first time at bat.

Anywho. So NH is not happening, and the Vermont option just doesn't seem like a good fit, personalitywise or specialtywise. We'll see what happens, but I'm thinking no. But that's totally okay, because I did my time in New England, and while there are many good things about it, sunshine, low humidity, and the ability to hike in Chacos are not among them. And I've really grown quite fond of all those things during my 6 years out west.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

To My Parents: six things I'm grateful for

Okay, I realize that some of my recent posts have perhaps outlined the less savory aspects of my parents habits/personalities. Hence my thoughts in creating this list:

1. To both my parents for never making me doubt, even for an instant, how much they both love me.

2. And for instilling in me a love of reading and education and adventure.

3. Their generosity in providing the financial means to further that education and explore the world around me.

4. And especially for my brother and two sisters. What would I be without them?

5. To my dad for teaching me that punctuality and keeping your word are important. (As long as there is no alcohol involved...)

6. To my mom, for teaching me that laughter is a good subtitute for either tears or shouting. (Though it can occasionally lead to both when applied at just the wrong moment...)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's Kate Day here in Salt Lake City... the big, uh, Two Nine. Last of the twenties birthday... Hmm. But anyway, Jay and I drove down to Sundance nordic ski center and WOW, kickass trails there. Snow conditions just about perfect. Blue skies and sunshine. Barely anyone else on the 24km of trails. So perfect. I'm still jazzed. The distances aren't specifically marked on the trails, but we figure that I did about 12 miles and Jay probably came in around 16 miles. (We've learned not to try to ski together - especially when I'm on classic and he's doing skate skiing.)

My mum-who-loves-me called to wish me a happy bday and so did my Karlyn. Haven't heard from the rest of the family yet... but the day is young. Somewhat.

I did get a birthday card/check from my dad though. Guess who's buying dinner tonight? Yum! Now to scout of menus online to decide which lucky restaurant gets to serve me on Kate Day.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What to do with an irrational man...

A couple days ago, I received an email in which my father wrote that he and my brother were "so mad at [mom] that [they] are spitting nails." The anger was prompted by her attendance at a Girl Scout cookie booth during a weekend in which she was sick and hacking. I responded that it seemed silly to be mad at her for honoring a commitment, even if it might have been a poor choice. Mom being who she is, backing out of something she promised to do wasn't really an option that would have occurred to her. I suggested that rather than being all mean and angry with her, they could turn that energy towards being supportive of her recent, very serious efforts to eat healthier and exercise regularly. (She's finally signed up with a personal trainer at the gym and has already lost about 15 pounds. Yay, mom!)

This was my father's response:

I guess I'd like to think she was going to be around for your children and the rest of your nieces and nephews should they ever arrive, but I have sincere concerns over her mid- and long-term health.  You can defend anything you choose, but I hope that you won't refuse to get a mammogram after you turn 50.  That's just plain dumb!

That would be like me refusing to go the hospital when the cardiologist ordered your mother to take me.  I know - I should have recognized the symptoms when they were occurring, but that's denial of a different kind.  If someone had sat me down and explained the situation I would (probably) have gone to the hospital for a checkup. 

Oh well, it's your mother - if you choose to support her in this matter try to make sure you take a lot of pictures when you're next home - you ought to have something to show the kids later.

Yep. Yesterday, when I received this message, I was some flaming combination of shocked, appalled, and pissed. Now it just kind of makes me sad. Dealing with my dad is like reasoning with a five year old sometimes. Any hint of disagreement will send him into a name-calling rage. Jay's response when I told him about the message: "Ah, was he drunk when he wrote that?" I wish that was an unfair question. However, I suspect not. I suspect it has more to do with his own sense of guilt and fear at the thought of my mother not being around forever. In my reponse, I let my dad know that we foolish women in the family had fully expected to lose either him or my brother to a drunk driving accident some time in the last decade, but how would he feel if I nagged him about this on a daily basis? Would he want to be around me still, or would he be more secretive with his dangerous actions? Would he feel free to discuss the problem with me, or would he feel defensive and want to avoid me at all costs?

I'm afraid I was also mean and implied that his condescending rage was part of the reason I enjoyed living 2500 miles from the family... I'm not very good at putting up with abusive behavior anymore. Not even from the mentally ill. I love him. I just won't allow him to speak to me like that without defending myself.