The Irony and The Ecstasy

Location: Arizona, United States

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hello? Hellooooooo? Anyone there?

So, I'm still here. Shocking, isn't it? I know I promised to update more frequently, and I'd like to say I don't know how this happened but unfortunately I know exactly how it happened.

See, it all started in February, when Blogger decided to hook up with Google. Which, hey, I don't have a problem with at all. I like Google. It is my favorite search engine. I particularly like the little calculator feature that tells me exactly how many teaspoons there are in a cup, because I can never remember stuff like that (I promise to explain why I needed to know that in a later post). What I don't like? That in this little merger, Blogger and Google tried to strong-arm me into getting a Google account. I don't want a Google account. I don't NEED a Google account. I already have far too many accounts on the internet as it is, and I have a hard enough time keeping all those usernames and passwords straight in my head. If I tried to add another one, I think my brain just might explode. So, being me, I decided to ignore Blogger for awhile until I could decide whether I was willing to let myself be manhandled into the world of Google.

That little setback wouldn't have actually been enough to keep me away this long, if it hadn't been accompanied by another little event that I like to call SnarkWar 2007. What is SnarkWar 2007, you might ask? SnarkWar 2007 is what happens when my family, henceforth known as the Snark family (because I'm too lazy to think of clever nicknames. Also because snarking appears to be a genetic thing with us), has a slight communication issue that should not have been as big a deal as it was, except for the fact that Brother Snark and his wife are expecting a baby and - because they are the first couple to have a baby EVER in the HISTORY of humankind - this has made him just slightly unreasonable and overly defensive.

See, what happened is...shit. This is exactly what happened last time I tried to blog about this. I started writing this great, cathartic, epic-length post about the whole situation, but every time I tried I just got bogged down in all the angst and drama and pathos and OH MY GOD, the horror! Seriously, I think I cried more that week than I've cried in the past two years. And by the time I got myself calmed down enough to write about it, I just...didn't want to deal with it anymore. Still, it is the main reason I was incommunicado for so long, so I will attempt to briefly summarize the whole thing.

Brother Snark (BS - and isn't that just too appropriate these days?) and his wife were supposed to come over to the parentals to celebrate Papa Snark's birthday before I had to return to Flagstaff. Except thirty minutes or so before everyone was supposed to get there, he called and said his wife was having some weird chest pains. He then quickly assured me that she'd had them before and they'd gone away, but since these hadn't yet the nurse had asked them to go to the hospital to get checked out just in case. Please note the downplaying of the situation, as it is a crucial plot point. So I relay this information to Mama Snark, and we are concerned but not overly so, because both Sister Snark, the Elder(SStE) and Sister Snark, the Younger(SStY) had been to the hospital numerous times during their various and assorted pregnancies and this sounded like much the same thing. So we pondered what to do about the whole party issue, especially because BS had the present. We decided that the best thing to do would be to ask BS what he would like to do about it - did he want us to postpone until the wife was feeling better and everything checked out okay? Did he want us to have the party and just not give him the gift? Or did he want us to just go pick up the gift so he didn't have to worry about the damn thing? Enquiring minds wanted to know. So I called him back to ask him. Except when I called, I got my sister-in-law. And, while I like my sister-in-law, I'm not really comfortable around her. I'd even say she intimidates me a bit, because I always feel like she's just being friendly to me because I'm her husband's sister, but she really thinks I'm a freak. Which, if it's true, I'm okay with. Because at least she's making the effort to be polite and, let's face it, I AM a freak. However, this element of discomfort makes conversations awkward between us at times and, most unfortunately, this was one of those times. Because I was not expecting to talk to her, what I wanted to say did not come out the way I wanted to say it, and both she and BS felt that I was not sufficiently concerned for her and my future nephew's well-being. They were wrong, but I could see how they would feel that way.

You see, what I didn't know at the time was that this was not just the same old pain she'd had before, but something potentially more serious which included her vomiting on the floor of their bathroom and possibly having her water break and let me just say right now that if BS had told me that, I would have called off the party and sent Mama Snark to the hospital straight away. But I didn't know that, because BS was deliberately downplaying the situation so we wouldn't panic. So, taking him at his word, we didn't panic.

Wrong move on our parts, apparently. Because the next day, after bringing me back here to Flagstaff (and I will at some later date tell you about the marvelous time we had showing my nephew Boo, who accompanied us, the wonders of snowball fights), Mama and Papa Snark came home to find a scathing message from BS on the answering machine in which he accused us of being selfish, callous, people (with the exception of Papa Snark, who apparently got a pass because it was his birthday) who obviously didn't care about him or his wife and child. To which Mama Snark replied, "Huh?" Because she has always, ALWAYS, been there for the three of them, and she didn't understand why he was so pissed off that he had to call and leave a message when he knew she wouldn't be there. So she was understandably upset, and could barely keep from crying when I talked to her on the phone that evening to make sure they'd gotten home okay. Which, after she told me what had happened, pissed me off. Because while I can understand why he was upset, I felt that a) he overreacted, especially considering his later admittance that he deliberately downplayed the situation and b) even if he hadn't been overreacting, I'm the one he should have been upset with because I was the only one he talked to at all that night. So I wrote him an e-mail in which I apologized for making them think we didn't care about them, and tried to explain that we simply didn't realize the situation was so potentially serious (it did turn out to be nothing, and both mom and baby are doing fine, Thank God). Then I pointed out, quite calmly, I thought, that he needed to be upset with me and not Mama Snark because this was in no way her fault. I hesitated in sending it, but when I explained the situation to Minnie, she read over the e-mail and agreed that I should.


Sadly, that was almost a direct quote right there. Complete with the CAPS LOCK OF RAGE. Three paragraphs worth. Mature, no?

And wow, I was supposed to be giving you the short version, wasn't I? Oops. Okay, here's the short version of the rest of it. My sisters read the e-mail (neither one of them had any idea this had been going on because it all happened before they got to the house - not that it stopped BS from including them in his initial wrath). SStY decided he was being an idiot but that she wasn't going to get into it because she hadn't been there and because, frankly, she had her own shit to deal with. SStE, on the other hand, stepped in and wrote what was probably one of the calmest, most rational things I've ever heard from her (seriously, you have no idea how impressed I was with that e-mail. SStE...the best way I can describe her is to say she is herself and her evil twin all wrapped up in one package. A completely awesome package, mind you. But a little scary at times) in which she tried to smooth things over. This did not work, however, because she made the mistake of not agreeing completely with BS, who was, of course, completely in the right. And so the e-mails went back and forth for a few days until finally both BS and his wife sent out e-mails saying that they weren't going to discuss it anymore since it was obvious they were only going to get conditional apologies and it was far too upsetting and now that they'd gotten the last word in they just weren't going to talk about it ever again.


So, that was the "official" end of SnarkWar 2007. Unofficially, the sisters and I have agreed that BS was being retarded and we're just going to blow it off because it's not worth all the agony, and we even went to the baby shower two weeks later where everyone was polite and cordial the way you are with family members you love but don't want to spend any time with at all whatsoever. And then we all went home, and we are back to some semblance of normality. Except for Mama Snark and BS, who have not spoken since this happened. Mama Snark is still very hurt by this, so I am trying to be supportive while not letting her wallow. I have to say that I do not foresee a thaw in their relationship anytime soon because they are both champion pouters and grudge holders. Oh, well. At least my sisters are cool.

So, that's the whole saga in a nutshell. Or a bag of nutshells, as the case may be. Needless to say, the whole thing left me anxious and depressed and wanting to crawl into my cave and not write anything other than necessary school-type papers for awhile. Which I did. But I'm beginning to feel inspired again, and will try and get back to a more regular posting schedule. Future topics will include the aforementioned snow day with Boo and the parentals, why NAU's residence life department sucks so many kinds of ass, and why my Intro to Nutrition instructor is the WORST. TEACHER. EVER.

Yep. Good times ahead. So, if you haven't already written me off, stay tuned.

P.S. Apparently Blogger's threat to kick me out if I didn't sign up for Google was a bluff. Which just goes to show you, if you don't want to do something, pout and stamp your feet and run away until the other guy gives in and lets you have your way. Works every time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yeah, I'd say that about sums it up

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

ETA: Loved Office Space, liked what little I've seen of The Big Lebowski, but there is no way in HELL you will ever get me to watch Showgirls. I do have SOME standards.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another semester, another rant

Well, tomorrow I'm heading into the third week of the semester, so I thought it was time to let you know what I'll be ranting about update you on my classes.

First of all, I have to say that it saddens me that the class I thought I was most going to enjoy this semester is turning out to be the only one that I can't stand. And not because I don't enjoy the subject - I actually really do want to learn more about nutrition and just exactly how much damage Ben and Jerry are doing to my body (I'm a masochist that way). It's also not because the class itself seems overly difficult. There are quizzes and exams, but no big papers or projects that I can tell. And the material is pretty straightforward, so I don't think I'll have a problem there.

No. My entire issue with this class? Is the instructor. Because she is a twit. A complete and utter twit. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt because she took over the class from someone else two days before it was supposed to start. But...the woman is a twit. She doesn't know how to use the Power Point AT ALL, which, fine, not everyone does. But if you don't know what you're doing, then find some other way to deliver your lecture. And if you insist on using Power Point? Then LISTEN to the people who are trying to give you instruction on the proper way to do so. Also? If you are going to be thirty minutes late to class, it might be nice to send someone to let your students know so they don't give up on you and leave (although I did appreciate the extra time to relax before my trek to the store). We aren't even going to get into your painfully awkward attempts at humor, because, frankly, the semester isn't that long.

So...yeah. Nutrition instructor is a twit. Sociocultural Aging professor on the other hand? Not a twit. Which is surprising, considering she is the same woman who taught my Adult Aging class last semester and drove me nuts. It seems that the internet is her niche, and I am truly thankful for that. And she only has us doing one major paper, which she has already given us all the guidelines for, so I will have no one to blame but myself if I don't get this one done until the last minute.

I've only had one Psychology of Women class so far, but I really enjoyed it. The professor is upbeat and entertaining, and she doesn't take herself or the subject too seriously (you know, in that overly intense, man-bashing kind of way). Also? She told us at the beginning of the class that because she has enough information to teach at least four semesters of this subject, she likes to mix up the content and the format every semester. Which, for us? This semester? Means there will be no major paper.

I think I'm in love.

But not as much as I'm in love with the professor of what is turning out to be my favorite class so far: Understanding Death and Dying. No, I don't know what it says about me that the class I'm finding most enjoyable is the one revolving around death, and frankly, I can't say that I even care. Because this class ROCKS. No major papers. Three regular ones that are reactions to books we read, which I should have no problem pounding out in a day or so. One paper that is a reflection on our attitudes towards death and what influenced those attitudes (Cake). And one project that we turned in on Thursday. A scavenger hunt. It...would take too long to explain how totally awesome the project was, but suffice it to say that any instructor who will give me points for going to a site called to find out when I'm going to die and for printing out the lyrics to Natalie Merchant songs is AWESOME in my book.

So, there you have it folks. The beginnings of another fun-filled semester, with plenty of ranting potential. You just can't control your excitement, can you?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Where there's smoke...

I just have two things to say.

1. Thank God for terrycloth bathrobes and electric blankets.

2. If I ever find the person who set off the fire alarm at 7:45 this morning, I am going to be forced to inflict serious bodily harm upon them.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

And so it begins

Well, here it is. The first Thing post of the new semester. I know. Try and contain your enthusiasm.

So, I returned to Flagstaff on Sunday, and The Thing - with the boyfriend in tow, of course - returned on Monday. And you know what? For most of the week, it was fine. (Well, I did come back to find myself locked out of the bathroom again, but I decided to let it slide, since I had left a few days before she did last semester and she hasn't done it again since we've been back).

Then, Friday morning, I walked into the bathroom about thirty minutes after the boyfriend was done doing his thing. And...have you ever seen Independence Day? You know the scene where Will Smith shoots down the alien fighter and opens the hatch and sees the alien and punches him out? And then he starts ranting at it, and all of the sudden he looks at it and yells "And what the hell is that smell!?!"

Yeah. Every time I walk into the bathroom after the boyfriend, this is what runs through my head. Because, seriously, what the HELL is that smell? It's...I don't even know how to describe it. I mean, it's not rancid or so overpowering that I need to walk in with a Hazmat suit and an industrial can of Lysol. But it's strange and musky and weird and...not pleasant.

So, yeah, there's that. But it's not too bad, all things considered. After all, I grew up in a house with five other people; I've smelled things A LOT worse. And this weekend was fine, because they left early yesterday morning and didn't get back until six or so. Which gave me a chance to think about my feelings towards both the Thing and her boyfriend. And I came to the realization that, all things considered, it could certainly be a whole lot worse. I mean, sometimes they get a little loud at night, but usually I just have to blast my tv for a minute for them to realize it and shut the hell up. And they don't hog the bathroom nearly as much as they used to, and probably not as much as if Thing Two was still around (Thing Two has her own room this semester). So, really, sharing a bathroom with Thing One and her boyfriend isn't any different than if I was sharing a bathroom with two women.

I have to say, this realization made me feel much better, and helped reinforce the new Zen philosophy I swore to adopt this semester in dealing with them.

Until about thirty minutes ago, when I realized that there was one key difference in dealing with Thing One and her boyfriend as opposed to dealing with Thing One and Thing Two - as far as I know, Thing One and Thing Two never had sex with each other....



I guess I should be grateful that they are relatively quiet about it. But, really? The walls are VERY thin and the beds squeak A LOT. So, if I'm in my room, I'm pretty much guaranteed to hear. Especially if I've got my movie paused because I'm trying to IM and play a game on the computer and I don't want to get distracted except that then I start to hear these moans and then the creaking starts and then I can't get my movie restarted fast enough.

I really don't need to hear that. Really. Unfortunately, I don't have much choice in the matter. But I do have my trusty earplugs and lots of electronic equipment that will make copious amounts of noise if necessary, so I suppose I will survive. Still...

(Also, is it wrong that there's a part of me that really wants to pull out a stopwatch the next time they start going at it? Because I'm very tempted).

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Few Words from Your Friendly Human Popsicle

Well, I'm back in Flagstaff.

It's cold.

Hmm. That's not quite accurate...

It's damn fucking cold.

Better, but still not right...

Holy Mother of GOD, it's FUCKING FREEZING!

Yep. I'd say that covers it.

That is all.

Except to say that if there is anything in this world that makes me feel more like an uncoordinated, graceless lump than trudging up a snow covered hill, I have yet to find it.

That is all.

Oh. Also? Snow is reflective, and sunglasses are more helpful on one's face than in the pocket of one's jacket.


THAT is all.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Grr. Argh.




I really have no idea what to say right now. But I feel like I must say SOMETHING, because I am a total loser who hasn't posted anything of significance in at least two months, and I feel very guilty about it, and I'm going back up to Flagstaff on Sunday and school starts on Tuesday and God knows when I'm going to feel up to posting at that point. So, yeah. Need to post something before the hardcore guilt comes to kick my ass.

And yet, although my brain has come out of its coma, it is still in intensive care and not responding well to the daily poking and prodding I'm subjecting it to in an effort to get the creative juices flowing once again. Which, quite frankly, is starting to seriously piss me off.

I mean, I guess I could post something about going back up to school and the start of a new semester, but every time I think about school, all I get is a running loop of "Dear GOD, when will it end?!"

Or I could talk about the fact that my Stargate season nine dvds finally arrived, but after having watched the first five episodes with Minnie, all I can say is "zzzzzzzzzzzzzz". Because OMG with the boring. At one point, Minnie and I put the subtitles on and then hit fast forward so that we could get the gist of what the characters were saying without actually having to listen to it, because OMG WITH THE BORING. It's so sad. This is the only show that I really watch anymore, and it is just depressing to not only realize how overwhelmingly boring it is (seriously, who thought villains who look like zombies and extol overly religious tripe in complete monotone would be a great big bad?), but that it's currently mid-season ten and it really hasn't improved all that much. Sigh.

Dude. Now I'm depressed. Going back up to Flagstaff, having to deal with Thing One and her boyfriend again on a regular basis, having to actually do intellectual stuff, and with no fun new SG-1 to entertain me.

Life sucks.

On the other hand, I am returning to Flagstaff with a new dvd player that does not bleep out everything it considers obscene - like damn and butt. And an electric blanket. And new bath stuff that I got on sale at Bath and Body Works. That's something I guess.

Okay, this is just pathetic. This is so boring that I'm falling asleep writing it. So I'm going to throw in the towel and acknowledge that there is no chance of anything witty or clever coming out of my brain tonight.............


..........yeah. I got nothing.