Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let Me Tell You About Southwesterners

For any "easterners" this is the most hilarious time of year.  Why?  Because we watch as people who lived in the comfort of the south, west, and southwest (I'm not redundant) struggle with the feet and feet of snow that we receive.  They can't grasp how we go on with our schools and businesses when we have 10 feet of snow on the ground.  Meanwhile, they have to shut down for 10 millimeters of snow and declare a national state of emergency.  We also watch as people new to this area physically handle the snow.  One such case is our new neighbor.

Our previous next-door neighbor moved out in the summer, and he and his wife moved to Vegas.  A new couple moved in.  They're an older couple, and they're both retired, I believe.  They moved here from Arizona.  The reasons behind that are beyond me, and I couldn't begin to fathom them.  Anyway, the wife is originally from Erie; the husband is not.  From what I understand, he's from Arizona.

Since we've been getting snow consistently the past week, he's been out there every morning and every night shoveling snow and brushing his car off.  One night we probably received a half an inch of snow, and ritualistically--as it's becoming--he was out shoveling his driveway, walkway, and brushing his car off.

Now, we all know that waiting is the best possible thing to do in this situation because we can and will get more snow.  You're just making more work for yourself.  As his wife is from Erie, I would think she would know enough to suggest waiting until there's more snow to shovel instead of watching him get up at the crack of dawn (waking us up), and going out late at night (keeping us up) shoveling snow.

He does get points for persistence.  Negative points for idiocy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm A 2006 Graduate!

No, really, I am.  Well, at least according to the wisdom of EdFed, a student loan center (if you will).  I received an interesting document in the mail today, and unbeknownst to me, I just recently graduated from high school.  In fact, it hasn't even been a year since I carefully placed the tassel on my gold hat to the left.  I'm a proud Iroquois graduate of the class of 2002!  Er...2006, I mean.

I suppose I'd better hurry up on those loans.  I haven't much time left!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A New Addiction

As some of you know (those of you who have seen me on there), I joined Facebook.  I'd been prodded for months by a few people to join up since you no longer have to be a college student to be a member.  I've only been on there for a few days, but I've caught up with some people from high school whom I haven't seen in nearly five years, which probably doesn't seem like a whole lot of time, but you have to understand the fact that I'm only 22.  It's been nice, but it's also got me thinking about certain things.

There's something about MySpace (and now Facebook) that's so addicting, and I guess I haven't quite put my finger on it until now.  Maybe the reasons for the addictions are different for everyone, but I now know where mine comes from, and that is curiousity.  I'm curious about people.  I'm curious about what people have been up to.  But most of all, I'm curious about the people I used to admire for one reason or another during my childhood and teenaged years.

When I was in school, I switched around friends over the years, as most kids do to some extent.  In elementary school through junior high school, I was friends with kids from what would be considered "the wrong crowd."  They were kids who didn't really care too much about their grades, their behavior, or--let's be honest--much of anything.  Homework wasn't even an option, but copying off someone else's (which was usually mine) the next morning was.  I felt somewhat used being in that crowd since I didn't fully agree with their lifestyle but was in their crowd for convenience sake most of the time; to get them out of a hole when need be.  I was mediocre in school at that time, but that was because I didn't apply myself the way I could have.  I had so much wasted potential that I still regret to this day.

Around my freshman year, I started to turn around.  I began noticing how well my sister did in school, and how everyone appreciated her and her efforts.  She always did well in school, and no one bothered to take notice of me because, well, they had no reason to.  She had the excellent grades, and she excelled in basketball and track, breaking the school's mile record her first season.  The most exciting thing going on in my life was whenever I would complete a drawing.  Let's be honest, no one cares about drawings when you compare it to academics and athletics.  It falls short immensely.  I knew I had to start making a change.

The dramatic change didn't come into full effect until my sophomore year.  I grew apart from the friends I had associated myself with for years, and began hanging around people who basically gave a damn about school.  I started making academic honors, honor roll, and joined Who's Who Among American High School Students.  It was during that time that I aspired to be like my sister and the intelligent friends she surrounded herself with.  I had a few road blocks in the way, which began with English class.  It was always my favorite subject, and I did well in it; however, they wouldn't bump me up to honors English but kept me in college-prep English (a tier below) despite my consistent 98% to over 100% marks.  It's not a bragging point for me, but I felt like I was being held back from something I wanted to challenge myself in because a few people thought I couldn't handle it for one reason or another.

Despite all this, I still pressed on with what was left on my plate.  I wished I could be like those who had the knowledge and intelligence, and it came so easy to them, but I had to work to get there and get my acceptance among them.  In retrospect, I wonder if I was doing it for myself or just to impress people?  Or maybe I was just trying to prove to everyone that I did have the motivation and the intelligence, and I wasn't the "dumb twin" or the "weird twin" that I knew everyone thought but never said aloud (at least to my face) all these years?  Maybe I was trying too hard to be like the people I looked up to for their aptitude?  Maybe I needed to evaluate this a little more?

I've been doing some thinking the past year since I've been apart of the MySpace--and now Facebook--community(ies).  I've seen some of these people I looked up to in high school on these sites.  They're in college, yes.  You could say they're making something of themselves just as you're expected to do, and I knew they would do.  No surprise there.  You could look at my life and say the opposite.  Let's see, shall we?  I didn't go to college; I, instead, got married nearly a year ago.  I haven't made any efforts before or since to go to college or further my education at all.  I work in retail, which is just one, slight tier above fast food in the job market.  Yeah, I was an assistant manager at Dollar General for a while, but that's hardly a bragging point.  Overall, I've failed in life, right?  You see a road full of wasted potential, just as it was in elementary through junior high, correct?  That's what I thought for a while; that is, until recently.

Some of these previously mentioned people have gone to college, but I notice something that's missing.  Their lives have taken a certain direction that is anything but admirable to me.  Some have succumed to the common evil within those walls.  They've traded in their intelligence and gifts for a bottomless can or bottle of "fun".  They've traded what I've longed to have for something I despise.  I'm not saying I don't still admire these people because I do, and I'll always care about them, but I don't admire their behavior.  Even though I haven't gone to college, by comparison, I feel more intelligent than (some of) those whom I once admired.  Now I'm beginning to look at what I have that's missing from their lives that they could envy of me instead of what I envy about them.

I have a wonderful husband whom I wouldn't trade in for the world.  He's everything I've been looking for in a man my whole life that I never found in any of the boyfriends I'd had.  He has unconditional love for me despite all my downfalls, quirks, and issues.  He doesn't cheat on me, he doesn't drink, and he takes care of himself and looks out for my health, as well.  Most women would love to have a man similar to that, and I'm sure most men would love something like that in a woman.

Despite the fact that I'm not in school, I'm putting my supposed "wasted potential" to good use and learning Russian.  To most people learning Russian would sound so random ("Why not Spanish or French since they're more commonly used around here?"), but there's more to it than that for me.  As I stated earlier, I have a curiousity about people, and as some of you know, I have a couple Russian co-workers (one of which I work with in my own department).  Sometimes there are things more interesting than yourself and what's going on in your own life.  I've found that it's more fulfilling to understand other people and where they come from than perhaps nanotechnology and the supersymmetric string theory (although both could be equally enjoyable to another person).  Personally, I enjoy learning about where Olga (my co-worker) comes from and finding out more about her language and culture.  Although she would rather disregard her life in Russia, I find it interesting.  The fact that I have the opportunity to learn on a daily basis from her is more satisfying to me than spending a day in college.

This is where I think I've succeeded where some others have failed, so to speak.  I've found things in my life that are more important than impressing other people.  Instead of going out drinking all night and getting wasted, I'm studying Russian.  Instead of having one-night stands and trying to figure out who fathered my child after having slept with 25 different guys in the stretch of one week, I'm playing video games with my husband or just cuddling up with him on the couch in perfect silence.  I could be jealous of other people, but now I know there's no reason to be, and I'm happy with the way my life is and has been going thus far, and I'm content with the direction it's going in or could be going in. 
From now on, whatever I make of the road ahead of me, I'll be doing it for myself and my husband's sake and not based on what's expected of me by other people.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Something Too Terrifying To See

Dear Abby,

What should I do about my cat's OCE (Obsessive Compulsive Eating)?  She tries everything she can to get to food.  Her recent antics found her in our armoire ripping through a bag of "crunchies" (dry food).  I've nearly given up on her.  I think I'll just start feeding her chicken wings and cheap beer because I'm far too tired to fight it anymore.  Unless, of course, you have a better idea.  I've included pictures from the armoire incident:

And the aftermath of the binge (And yes, she really does stick her tongue out all the time):


Unwillingly Anorexic