Monday, October 15, 2007
How to frighten your boyfriend
Step One: Move in with him
Step Two: Subtly (or not so) start redecorating his apartment.
Step Three: Put an opened box of pregnancy tests in his bathroom, kind of hidden.
Step Four: Rent "Knocked Up"
Step Five: Watch movie with boyfriend. Let him laugh at movie. Enjoy movie, and display horror at birthing scene.
Step Six: At movie's end, turn to boyfriend and say (earnestly), "Let's have babies!"
I'm kind of amazed he's still letting me live there after that actually, but things are going really well. Yeah, we've had a few of the small "learn to share" scuffles, but for the most part -- MCC is the easiest roommate I've ever had. He doesn't leave wet towels on the bed. (Though he doesn't make the bed either.) He doesn't leave dishes in the sink for days. He even washes out the coffee pot when I leave for work! And he doesn't even drink coffee!! He'll even run errands on occasion. Like LAUNDRY!
Isn't this blog exciting?
Speaking of babies, though I really did love Knocked Up, the movie got me thinking about one of Amy Sohn's Modern Love articles (here) I'd read a while ago about how she and her husband managed to tackle the whole career/babies thing. Now, normally I don't really enjoy Amy Sohn -- I think she can be a bit too emo for her own good, but she touched on a few issues I think have probably become fairly common for career minded moms. Well, career minded moms who can afford to have one person be the primary breadwinner. If you have a career, can you actually spend quality time with your children? Women have yelled at their husbands for decades about this, but truly, are we any better? Yes, we may be better multitaskers, but in the end, there are only so many hours during the day. If we give up the role as primary caregiver, can we deal with the consequences? MCC and I have talked about children, whether we want them (individually, not necessarily together) and what we think makes a good parent. For both of us, the most important thing is being there. I had two working parents who did their best to be there, but who both admit, it would have been really hard were it not for my grandmother. I was lucky -- she was always there to take care of me. Given the rising costs of living, I can't forsee ever having a single-earner household. So with both parents working, and an assumption that there's no family around, how do you do it? How do you manage to still be there?
Posted at 05:31 pm by Stimulant
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So, most days, I'm a totally secure, have my shit together, utterly confident and independent woman. Or at least I fake it very well until I believe it myself, which in turn creates confidence.
Not lately. No. Lately, I'm a suspicious insecure twit. Myspace -- I blame you.
Why? Because there are constantly half-naked women being added as "friends" to my boyfriend's page. I KNOW this is a stupid thing for me to care about. Please do not send me comments on how I need to lighten up, get over it, etc. Rationally, I know all this. Rationally, I know that these little skanks are all e-mailing him because Hello! he's a photographer who does headshots as well as fashion and glamour. You know -- the kind where the girls are artfully posed in a g string and boots, or in lingerie. Tell it to my hormones. I don't understand it myself. I don't care if he's watching porn -- but when I know he's sitting there filing through all these girls profiles, the half naked photos, etc. etc., it DRIVES ME BATSHIT CRAZY. Not all the time, mind you, but I don't know how to deal with it, so if you've got any, you know, constructive ideas, you let me know.
Just a note -- I'm obviously blogging about this so I don't take out my crazy on him, though he's aware that this stuff does make me nuts.
I'm cognizant that a lot of this insecurity may be a result of us moving in together -- it's a really huge step. Naturally, I'm totally petrified, but I do love him, and I want nothing more than to be living together.
Posted at 10:58 am by Stimulant
Friday, July 27, 2007
Lately I've been so stressed out, I don't even know what to do with myself anymore. Work has been insane, but in a good way. Things are going well, I'm taking on more and more responsibility -- and all that means longer hours and harder work. But there are other things... big huge things.... that are currently eating up all of my energy.
MCC and I are moving in together. In September.
Cut to me, panicking in full freak out mode. I'm staring down at my renewal lease, my hand shaking as I check the box next to "I/We agree not to renew the lease agreement and I/We shall vacate the premises upon expiration of the current lease." Don't get my wrong -- I am super excited about moving in with this man. I love him wholeheartedly. But I'm vacating my premises. I'm giving up Manhattan real estate and moving into *his* apartment in Queens. I'm cleaning out everything and throwing away bags and bags of the things I've surrounded myself with, pretending they are security.
We decided to move in together mid-June. The process involved long long discussions, about what we're scared of and how we think we can avoid those things. While I may be pretty good about bearing my soul here, braced with anonymity, I suck at it face to face. I boil everything down to logical bold lines, and reduce my emotions to mere shading. The full emotional exposure is something I'm getting better at, but it's not easy. And I'm not always successful.
The side-effect of having made this decision so early, is that everything since then has sort of been put under a microscope. I can't help but wonder now, if we fight or if he does something to upset me, whether its just gonna get ten times worse if we're living together, and so I've been scrutinizing everything tenfold.
There are some things about him that drive me insane. Sometimes, when I tell him something is bothering me, he'll say he understands, agrees and will either fix it or stop it. Then nothing changes. Rinse, repeat. It's certainly not with all issues -- not by any means. But this week we had this huge blowout because there are a couple of issues that I have talked to him about repeatedly. Please know I'm not talking about dirty socks on the floor here -- I choose my battles carefully, and actually -- that's part of the problem. Because I feel that I am choosy about what I gripe about, if he doesn't seem responsive to those things -- I start feeling I'm being taken advantage of. Why should it come to me having to cry and fight to get him to rectify situations I feel are unfair, or worse, that hurt me? I haven't found an answer to that one, other than that apparently, most men have selective hearing, and tend not to hear the problems that require a bit more work.
Posted at 04:30 pm by Stimulant
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Congress has actually made progress on reforming the student loan crisis in this country. The House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday reforming federal student loan policies, which has a very similar version up for vote in the Senate. From The New York Times:
"It halves the interest rate on federally backed loans gradually over the next five years, to 3.4 percent from 6.8 percent, and would limit monthly payments to 15 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.
The bill raises the maximum Pell grants by $500 over the next four years, to a total of $5,200 by 2011. It also grants $5,000 in loan forgiveness for police, firefighters, prosecutors and other public servants, and a complete release from student loans for public servants after 10 years. It would also provide for complete forgiveness of federal student loans after 20 years for economic hardship."
The two versions are expected to be reconciled and approved in the next term.
I think this is a huuuuuuuuuuuge step in the right direction. Bush has, of course, threatened to line veto the complete forgiveness aspects of the bills, calling them "welfare" programs. Hey Fuckwit -- last time I checked, most people who were going to college and paying off their loans for 20 years weren't exactly jobless. It's gonna take me close to that time to pay off my loans, and if this administration can really look at me and tell me I'm not busting my ass -- fuck them. Fortunately, I agree with the NYT reporter in thinking that if the two bills are reconciled with those items still intact (which I'd be very excited about), then Bush will back off and sign the bill as is.
On another note, I know I've been a shit blogger recently. I haven't really been motivated to write, because, well, I haven't really been too inspired and feel that my blog had become borderline trite in the past few months. Truth be told, I'm finding it a bit hard to write about my relationship -- because really, how many times can I write that things are going well and I'm happy and in love, etc., etc. I'm trying to overhaul my writing into something a bit more interesting and in-depth, but I'm not quite sure how to do it yet -- what angle to go for. So expect lots of different types of writing over the coming months.
Posted at 10:39 am by Stimulant
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
MCC and I traveled to the homestead and emerged unfathomably unscathed. There was genuine merriment for the entire trip had by parents, MCC and I, and I couldn't have asked for it to go better. My parents absolutely adore him. It's the first time they've really liked someone I've dated. Were I a petulant 17 year old, I'd break up with him immediately.
You know, I didn't really realize how important it was that he and my family get along until after we got down there and he and my mom were trading inappropriate (oh how they were inappropriate!) jokes in the kitchen. My mom, true to form, tried to feed us until we burst. (MCC almost did, but my mother just shoved another croissant in his mouth.) It really was wonderful -- we spent the entire weekend just sitting around and talking. They got a chance to really get to know him, and he was open and warm and if he was nervous -- he didn't show it one bit. He is unequivocally amazing and he makes my heart go pitter patter. The fact that my parents see just how great he is just makes me all the more happy. I don't suggest that you should base your choices on parental approval, but it's important to me that he understand and appreciate where I came from. After all, these are the people (for better or for worse) who made me who I am.
An amusing aside -- one that sort of terrifies me -- he and I have the same sort of dynamic that my parents do. Even MCC mentioned that is was remarkably similar. He and my dad are both easygoing jokesters -- both sensitive to a fault, but strong and resilient. My mother and I, well we're what you could affectionately call "feisty." Sometimes quick-tempered, but always interested to achieve fairness. I think my mom has me beat in the "flare up" department. MCC often has to poke at me to get me to talk about what I'm thinking or feeling if he senses I'm upset. It's not that I'm trying to be coy, quite the opposite -- I'm trying to be rational and to determine whether what I'm upset or angry about is justifiable. I've never been an easy one for emotions, but I've gotten better at acknowledging and discussing them. MCC has had a lot to do with it.
I have sort of been taking stock of the past year (we just celebrated our one year anniversary) and I'm really proud of the progress I've made. There are still some issues I have (we'll get to that in another post), but I think I've overcome significant hurdles. Before this, as is evident in my archives, I normally bail when things get too close or I choose *exactly* the wrong guy. Hell, MCC was supposed to be the wrong guy too, you know. I expected him to be rebounding -- to not be looking for anything serious -- to be someone I could easily dismiss as such. Instead, what I got was someone intelligent, courageous, loving, silly, ambitious, and tons of other adjectives that will just make y'all wretch by the time I'm done.
Posted at 05:50 pm by Stimulant
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Thank you, no really, I appreciate it. Thanks so much for knocking me on my ass. Literally.
During the hellish morning commute yesterday, after being drenched with rain and suffering a spontaneous attack by umbrella (my umbrella turned on me), I was knocked down the subway stairs. There I was walking down the stairs from the N to the 4/5 when a girl behind me, who was rolling a heavy shopping cart thingie, promptly let it go, causing it to rocket down onto me and knocking me flat on my ass 4 steps lower than I had been. I've no doubt it would have been further, but you see, those were the last 4 steps of the staircase.
Yesterday was a no good terrible very bad day.
Posted at 12:35 pm by Stimulant
Friday, April 13, 2007
I hereby resign as being an adult. Here's my card, feel free to shred it. If it means I have to pay an astounding amount of money every month for student loans -- you can have it. I'll go back to being 18 thank you.
Ahhhhh 18. How young and stupid. At 18 I decided that I wanted to go to NYU. I'd take out loans, but surely I'd be making enough money to pay them off. Oh NYU -- you bastard -- you wrecker of dreams -- you snatcher of souls. Yes yes -- there's no denying it, you miscreant institution of education -- you own me, me soul, my first born and anything I ever do in life. I no longer look back fondly on those days of arguing the intracacies of hegemonic political systems or the subtleties of article 1 section 8 in class with overly-entitled trust fund babies. No. Now I just hate you. Hate you because somehow, though I'm making what should be considered "a very good salary," I find myself paying very very close attention to my monthly income versus monthly expenses, and it's giving me a mild anxiety attack every time I look at it.
I thought I was done living like a poor college student. I was feeling like I was finally starting to get ahead a bit. And you sucked me back in you bastard. That's your real legacy -- go to NYU and you'll be living like a student - forever.
Posted at 03:58 pm by Stimulant
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I've gotten messages from some of you, words of reassurance, that the trip to Houston couldn't possibly be that bad. That it would go swimmingly, that everyone would get along, etc. etc. I appreciate these kind words, and hope that you're right. I would like to offer, in defense of my paranoia, the following conversation with my mother, verbatim:
"I'm making a list of the photos from when you were young that we're going to blow up to life-size cardboard cutouts and put all over the house."
"Mom, you can not do that."
"Sure I can! Remember that photo of you with the chicken pox? That one's on the top."
"MOM! If you even seriously contemplate doing that I will NOT come."
"Oh stop! They're cute!"
::stim has mild heart attack::
Could she have been kidding? Oh it's possible. But even if she was -- that she would torture me with these sorts of horrible threats proves she has no understanding (or compassion) for my sense of humiliation.
Posted at 04:56 pm by Stimulant
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Is it just me or are all those sheep black?
Well, since I can't really shy away from what's frightening me, because that would be particularly stupid -- I'm going to do something crazy instead.
MCC and I are going to Houston in May. To visit my parents.
How's that for insane? My mother has been after us for ages to go down and visit, and MCC and I finally got our shit together and coordinated schedules to make the trip. So we're going. In May. Because he really really loves me and I really really must want to torture him. Or something. No man would volunteer a weekend with my mother unless he really loved me right?
I told my boss we were planning on going and she gasped -- as in "WHOA. Big major step" gasp -- and if I wasn't entirely freaked out before, I certainly am now. I mean, he's already met my mother (ask him about the broken nose), but that's entirely different from being stuck with her for pretty much four days. FOUR DAYS IN A HOUSE WITH MY MOTHER. Hell, that's enough to intimidate me. My mother is -- to put it lightly -- a character. Lucky for him, my Dad will be there, and he will hopefully whisk him away for you know, guy bonding, that will hopefully save him from my mother's clutches, and her vast attempts to show him off to EVERYONE SHE KNOWS. Which includes all the gas attendants at the gas station, everyone who works at any restaurant she frequents, ALL of the neighbors, and pretty much anyone who may come into contact with us while we're there.
On another note -- there's my sister to contend with. Saying we don't get along is like saying Hitler didn't really "mind" the jews. I will admittedly say that a lot of it comes from my end. I love her, and would fight for her, but we're completely opposite and we just don't get along. She is absolutely brilliant, but chooses to funnel that intelligence into manipulation, abusing and lying to everyone she knows. She has stolen from my parents. She has intentionally caused hysteria where none was needed. She started running away at 16 (only to return at 21 pregnant), and basically still hasn't stopped. She sticks around until she gets what she wants, and then she leaves again, leaving a wake of demolished hope in her path.
She also lives in Houston and will be around because my mother still maintains a (tenuous) relationship with her.
I'm tempted to say I won't go. But in the end, I (and unfortunately for him, MCC) will eventually have to deal with all of this. I can't hide the parts of my family that seem so remote and foreign to me that you'd hardly consider we share the same dna.
Now don't get me wrong, there are lots of redeeming qualities about my family. They're nuts - but funny. My mother is occasionally crazy, but she's also fierce and intelligent and funny and cooks better than anyone I know. My sister, though occasionally degenerate, also normally fails to show up for anything, and she has two adorable (and demon possessed, I'm sure) children. My dad, while he takes great pleasure in sometimes driving my mother to the point of crazy, also has a lighthearted and great sense of humor. Regardless of their flaws, they're mine and I love them. I'm hoping he will too.
Posted at 02:05 pm by Stimulant
Monday, March 26, 2007
So my blogroll is so far out of date, I don't even know what to do with it. So, if you aren't linked and you want to be, or if you have suggestions for blogs I should be reading -- e-mail at caffeineandnicotine at gmail or leave a comment.
Posted at 02:28 pm by Stimulant
environmental engineering program