Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

We're not really doing Christmas this year.  Like birthdays, parties, graduations, or pretty much ANYTHING THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, I kind of hate Christmas.  I don't do well in situations where IT IS EXPECTED you will enjoy yourself, and then I feel guilty for not having fun, and then I feel guilty for feeling guilty, and are you understanding the level of crazy yet?

Anyway, no one can be bothered getting a Christmas tree, and until today, we had an old Santa hat on the door instead of a wreath. (I'm not sure what that was supposed to convey. We killed Santa and kept his hat as a trophy? We think clothing items are wall hangings? We're secretly Vs who still don't understand this "Christmas" concept, but are trying to play along anyway?)

One tradition I haven't given up, though, is the gingerbread house.  Although that's mainly because I was giving one away this year.  The other one - the one that I should have been spending hours on this month - as yet is sadly sans decoration.

But! One small, basic gingerbread house went to the Sisters of St Joseph today, so at least I feel mildly accomplished.

This is it almost done - the damn window panes kept falling off, so when I fixed them, I also added some more decoration.  But was then too lazy to document it.

I cannot tell you how infuriating it was to buy two boxes of ribbon candy and still not find two pieces that match.  Seriously, that fence burns itself into my retinas every time I look at these pictures.  DOES NOT MATCH.  IS NOT SYMMETRICAL.  HAS RUINED WHOLE CONCEPT. *eyelid twitch*

Part of the redecoration included adding more Pez candy to outline the walls.  And let me tell you, when you find yourself FILING DOWN PEZ CANDY at ELEVEN PM (as in, BASICALLY MIDNIGHT) (WHICH IS PRACTICALLY DAWN) (SERIOUSLY, I HAVE TO GET UP EARLY TO GO TO WORK) to make it fit the peak of the roof - WHEN NO ONE WILL EVEN NOTICE ANYWAY - you have a problem.*

*Problem may also include excessive use of capslock key. If problem persists, consult your physician. (WHO WILL PROBABLY SEND YOU TO A SHRINK FOR ANGER ISSUES). (Which is unnecessary, because the capslock does not indicate anger.) (The excessive parentheses may be worth examining, though.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This is not a depression blog. I did start one, years ago, and lasted about a month before my mood changed again and I lost interest. When I started this blog, I saw it more as a creative outlet - a place to write, to learn about a particular style of writing, to record my life, to amuse my friends. I'm on medication now. I no longer walk around in that black fog. I'm good.


I sat down today to write an entry, knowing I need to write more often. I love writing, and I've always considered myself a good writer. I can churn out an essay at 4am the day it's due, and get an A. I can paint a picture with words. I can't sing, or draw, or run a marathon (or a mile), but I can write.

Except that as the fog has lifted, I've been writing less and less. I have a folder on my laptop full of pieces of writing - from completed short stories to 100-word snippets of imagery - that helped me in the worst times. They're not the most uplifting tales. They dealt with how I was feeling; they're about loss and death and suicide. They were a form of therapy, and I suppose I should be glad I can't write that anymore.

Don't get me wrong: I love being okay. I love being able to feel something other than despair. This year has been the best year in a long time. I don't want to be 'that depressed girl' again. I want to be normal.

But I am sad that I seem to have lost the urge to write. The tortured genius is a cliche, but studies have shown that it's often correct. Vincent van Gogh, Winston Churchill and Sylvia Plath all suffered from depression. And they all achieved great things. I'm no Plath, and I don't aspire to be her, but I do want to be able to enjoy writing again.

This was on PostSecret a few weeks ago. It's a better end to this post than I can come up with right now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Girl Talk Thursday: Roommates

So, I love Girl Talk Thursday, and I'm in awe of the amazingly talented women who participate, and I had a vague idea that one day - you know, when I actually updated this blog more than once a month, or whenever I have a major assignment due - I might eventually pluck up the courage to join in.

Then I saw this week's topic: Roommates.


This year, after two years away from home, I transferred to a university in my hometown. There were a lot of reasons for this - some financial, some personal - but I won't lie, my roommate experience didn't exactly make me regret leaving. A tip for all those off to college: If you get told a person HARRASSED A GIRL SO MUCH SHE MOVED OUT OF THE DORMS AND LEFT THE UNIVERSITY, even if this information comes from the resident "off-her-meds chick", MAYBE CONSIDER NOT LIVING WITH THAT PERSON.

I was not so smart.

My first year I was lucky enough to get a single room, for which I was eternally thankful. I had a much harder time adjusting to being away from home than I thought I would, and it was so nice to be able to go to my room and shut out all the drama and bad food and just be alone for a while. When everyone was figuring out where they would live the following year, I wasn't sure what to do, and when Dan* asked me to move into a place with him and a few of his friends from high school, I thought, why not?

It started out easy enough. I was friends with his girlfriend, so the fact she slept every night at our place didn't bother me. Sure, he was loud and kind of gross, but I figured, he's a 19-year-old guy, what do you expect? And yeah, it was annoying that my bedroom was next to the bathroom - and underneath the living room - so I heard pretty much everything everyone did. But that's all part of the learning curve, right?

We had fun, and everyone was always teasing each other. In addition to Dan, there was a girl he went to high school with, Jenny, and her roommate from the previous year, Sarah. Jenny was really hardworking, but kind and friendly. Sarah was much more pragmatic, but a fantastic cook and really fun to hang out with (she's the one who introduced me to Buffy, for which I will be forever in her debt!). And then there was the girl we got to fill the spare room, Natalie. Natalie grew up on a farm and was pretty much the polar opposite of me in every way, but she seemed nice enough.

I'd noticed Dan's tendency to bear grudges and focus his hatred on one specific person a little the previous year, but it didn't seem like a big deal. The girl he had the major drama with that year also went to high-school with him, and I always thought she had a bit of a crush on him. So I figured it was old drama, and none of my business.

(Are you starting to think, 'God, you're stupid' yet? 'Cause I wasn't! I was blissfully unaware!)

You can probably see where this is going. For whatever reason, he decided I was going to be his next target. It started out innocuously enough - he'd eat my food, but I always did offer to share; he gave me a nickname I didn't really like, but I didn't protest; he'd always override my food preferences, but others often agreed with him - in short, nothing obvious until later.

I asked him to quit using the nickname, and I think that started it. Because would he quit? HELL NO. It escalated - pointed comments all the time, flat-out stealing of my food and alcohol, being deliberately loud in the living room when I was trying to sleep. He'd pile up his dishes and leave cups everywhere, then yell at me if I left a single utensil in the sink because the dishwasher was full. At one point, he even got his mother to call up and ask for me by that God-awful name (which by that point was enough to make me want to bash his head against a wall). Natalie, no doubt having assessed the situation much better than I had, quickly sided with him, and they became a tag-team that made my skin crawl. They'd either deliberately make comments, or pointedly ignore me. I spent most of last year in my room, because one or other of them always held court in the living room, and I was not welcome.

The situation went up and down - Dan is an incredibly selfish person, and he and Natalie would have silent fights every so often over God-knows-what. The whole situation reminded me so much of being five or six again, when your 'best friend' changed daily, and you never knew why. It was ridiculous, and I pointed this out many times, but apparently, six-year-olds can't see reason.

Eventually, of course, the year ended (THANK GOD) and everyone went home for the summer. When everyone went back to school, I heard that he and his girlfriend (who had decided to move in together) split up shortly after the semester began. He apparently came out and is dating a guy now, and his girlfriend is now stuck with all the rent on an apartment she couldn't afford in the first place. I'm breathing a sigh of relief I don't have to know, or care, about the drama anymore.


*His name was not Dan. Obviously. Part of me really wants to write his full name and all identifying details here, in the hope that one day, by some miraculous twist of fate, this blog will be so famous it will be the first hit on Google when you search for him, and he will be shunned, but despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm not actually crazy enough to think that won't reflect worse on me than on him. So yeah, call him Dan. Or the name of your obnoxious ex-boyfriend, or that kid who always picked on you in the first grade. In other words, when you read his name, you should want to hit him with a heavy object. I do. (Bitter? Not at all, why do you ask?)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I knew my love of pork products would one day bite me in the ass.

So just as everyone's forgetting about swine flu, heading back to school or work and laughing at how paranoid we all were just a few months ago, GUESS WHO MANAGES TO CATCH IT?


And because, you know, swine flu on its own is just lame at this point, STREP THROAT decided to make an appearance too.

Apparently, though, I'm in good company - Marilyn Manson just got swine flu. Yay us, I guess.

So what's it like? Well, I didn't die, or end up in hospital, screaming whilst my body was eaten away from the inside and then my stomach exploded like - wait. That's a different movie. Never mind.

But honestly, it wasn't really a walk in the park. Four straight days in bed, with the works: fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, etc. I woke up sweating so many times a night it was like an awful premonition of menopause.

Yesterday was the first day I was well enough to get out of bed. I got to go downstairs! And sit on the couch! Do you have any idea how awesome it is to sit?! On a couch?! (Yes, I am now that pathetic. Shut up. I'm not allowed out of the house until Saturday. BABY STEPS, PEOPLE.)

By swine flu standards, I think I got a pretty average dose, but the strep throat probably added a bit to it. Judging by the internet, I seem to have done better than this guy, although he at least got Tamiflu. I got told by my doctor that "we don't get excited unless you have underlying problems... Fit [ha!] young adults like you are fine." And thankfully, I avoided the vomiting and diarrhea that apparently are symptoms (but I sure feel sorry for this girl, who apparently was not so lucky). So, you know, it sucks, but I guess it could be worse. I like this guy's attitude.

Unless half of the United States gets sick before the end of the year, which the White House is predicting. That could end up as a lot of sick days. Or, more likely, a lot of people in the office hacking up a lung, and swearing they're not infectious. Fun times ahead, folks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So apparently Dooce is having issues with Maytag customer service. And is twittering about it. Which considering she has over a million followers, is something of a PR nightmare for Maytag. They seem to be trying to save face, and various parties have @replied offering to help, but at the moment, Maytag is facing some serious backlash - and so is Dooce, because of her increasingly pissed-off tweets.

Contrary to what it seems, this post isn't really about Dooce. I'm not here to pass judgement - if there's one thing I HAAAATE beyond all reason, it's bad customer service, and if I had any sort of influence, I'd bitch to all and sundry about my bad experiences. But it got me thinking about how something as essentially trivial as Twitter has the power to change the way we interact.

Before Twitter, Dooce would have had to wait until everything was resolved to write up a witty yet wrath-filled post regaling us all with the drama. Perhaps at worst there would have been a brief post saying the new washing machine was broken and OH MY GOD, TEH DRAMAS but that a proper post would come later. I'm sure there will be a post about this when it's all over, but in the meantime, it's playing out in real time to anyone who feels like following it.

Twitter is great as a time wasting device, or an amusing tool to update your friends (although Facebook works just as well for that, and you don't get friended by spammers). But when you have something important to say, 140 characters doesn't really cut it. So often, the subtleties of the message get lost and your informative, witty tweet ends up boring and confusing. Not to mention, the immediacy of it means it's incredibly easy to focus on how you are feeling RIGHT NOW, which is often pissed off or upset or combative or any number of emotions that all essentially mean "not thinking straight". A blog post or email requires a modicum of thought; an angry phone call requires interaction and patience. Twitter requires nothing but an ability to be brief.

Of course, that is entirely the point of Twitter, and for the most part, it's what makes it good. But just as you should think twice before posting a snarky comment on Facebook (and oh! How many times I've wanted to do that!), you should check your emotions before you tweet. Twitter is not your diary. Your followers are (by and large) not your best friends. Bitchiness, even if well-deserved, rarely comes off well in print. Get a blog! Even (or especially) one no one reads. It's like a diary, but without the pesky pen part.

P. S. True to the diary-no-one-reads form, this is my promise to write tomorrow about my breathtaking incompetence and how I cannot be left alone even for 24 hours without disaster occurring and the world nearly ending. It's about how I nearly broke MY washing machine! There may well have been some pissed off tweets if that had happened.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huh. My computer didn't eat this post, after all.

I went to a 21st the other night. It was for a girl I was sort-of friends with in high school, but I've only seen her a few times since then. I'd worked all day, was exhausted and seriously considered skipping it. Eventually I sucked it up, put on a dress that was only slightly wrinkled, hauled on some stockings because OF COURSE I couldn't be bothered shaving my legs that morning, and headed out. If I hadn't already bought the present I doubt I would have left the couch.

But it turned out to be an awesome night. I'd forgotten the way we can apparently not see each other for months or years and pick up where we left off. The atmosphere was so relaxed, and her friends are all lovely. Some of them even wrote a song for her (I want to steal all her friends, seriously)! It's making me rethink the whole "no 21st party, never, I refuse, you will have to drag me there kicking and screaming" thing..

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Really, really late to the party

So apparently wasting an entire day reading mommybloggers and eating my weight in chocolate raisins inspires me to write. Not that I have anything to write about at the moment, so...

Hi Internet! I'm Dinsdale. (Well, clearly that's not my real name, or believe me, I would have WAY MORE to write about). Despite my prediliction for blogs about squishy baby cheeks and Choosing the Right Preschool and Let's One-Up Each Other with Gory Birth Stories, I do not have any children. Nor do I plan on having any anytime soon, but since I just wrote that on The Internet, no doubt I'll get knocked up next week.

I'm 20 years old, a student, and although you'd think by now I'd have some sort of idea what I want to be when I grow up, in reality I'm really glad I have another year of college left. Because seriously, at this point, with this economy, "Selling Useless Crap to Obnoxious People" is looking like a solid career choice.

And since no one will actually read my ramblings, let's finish this post with something that will thoroughly embarrass me in 50 years when my grandchildren download the entire history of the internet into their brains, or something along those lines. Unless the Aztecs were right, and Christmas 2012 is going to suck, in which case, what the hell do I care?

(Noticed my overuse of commas yet? Yeah, the RANDOM CAPSLOCK and Capitalising Important Words are pretty much stolen straight from Dooce, TWOP, and various other internet deities, but the commas, they're all mine.)

Where was I? Oh, right, embarrassing. Uh... is the entirety of this post not enough? No? Ok, um, let's see...

Well, I once got so drunk on tequila I passed out on a toilet. A men's toilet. In my dorm. And didn't wake up until I was found by some friends, who banged on the door and yelled until I moved.

Yeah, that'll do.