Tuesday, April 16, 2013



I suck at blogging. I really, really suck.

It's been six months since I've written anything here--six busy but exciting months, filled with schoolwork and paid work and lots and lots of coffee. I've done well in my graduate program so far--(first quarter: 2 As and one A-minus; second quarter: two A-minuses and one A)--and now I'm diving into the last quarter before summer vacation. Adam still hasn't found a second job, but he's trying. We're getting by, one day at a time.

Today is my 28th birthday, and lemme tell you, being in your late-twenties is a weird-ass time. Half your friends are doing Super Duper Grown-Up Things like having kids and being CEOs and running government agencies and stuff, and then the other half of your friends are still couch-surfing and making bongs out of apples and watching old episodes of SNL until 3 AM every morning. So no matter what you do, one half of your friend-group is horrified by your immaturity/boringness.

My sister-in-law is pregnant, which is exciting! I'm going to be an aunt for the very first time. I'm also very glad that Adam and I will finally have a chance to NOT be the first ones to hit a particular milestone in our family; the fact that both of us are the eldest of all our siblings means that we always end up having to do things first, and it'll be a nice change to have someone else blazing the trail for once. That way, if/when we decide to have a child, we'll have actual ADVICE! From people who have ALREADY DONE IT! Imagine that!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Progress Report

Almost to midterms. Can I survive? Tune in next week to find out! ;)

So far I think my favorite class is Greek. It's pretty exciting to read the Greek New Testament and (kind of) know what it says! I guess I sort of hate having class at 8 AM thee times a week, and I'm not crazy about taking tests, but oh well, it's worth it.

I'm also really surprised by how much I'm enjoying my Renaissance Romance class-- I expected it to be a little dry and dull, but the teacher is surprisingly funny and the material is much more alive than I'd expected. I'm a fan of Boiardo already! And I'm looking forward to Spencer very much.

My least favorite class is my required class-- Introduction to the Study of Religion, which every first-year has to take. Ugh. The prof is very smart and very helpful but I hate reading Paul Ricouer-- he's impenetrable, really. I'm falling behind in the reading a bit because I just hate slogging through it. Have you ever seen Fantasia? Do you know the Rite of Spring section with the dinosaurs, where the meteor hits and all those dinosaurs get stuck in the tar pits? That's how I feel when I read Ricoeur-- like a poor little stegosaurus stuck in a pool of tar, sinking further and further in. Blech.

I'm looking forward to next month-- Adam's friends are coming to visit, and then Adam and I are traveling to Ohio to see our families for Thanksgiving! It'll be nice to see everyone, especially as we won't be able to visit for Christmas, since Adam works then, obviously. My sister is graduating from college this winter so it'll be nice to talk to her, too. 

Now, let's see if I can't pull myself together and get back to work...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Augustine is a tool.

No, seriously. St. Augustine drives me up a wall.

We're reading (or in my unfortunate case, rereading) the Confessions, and you can tell it's starting to get to me because my notes have moved from normal, factual notations to angrily scribbled blots interspersed by an increasing number of exclamation marks (eleventy!!!11) and I've started muttering things under my breath while I'm reading, like, "Oh, come on," and "You are not even serious, right? You cannot be serious, dude."

I don't understand how he gets away with massive, gaping loopholes in his logic and still gets to be one of the great theological minds of all time. Um, what about his whole moral relativism deal in Book III? He's all, "Oh, true, inward justice is separate from society's ideas about right and wrong, and things change over time--what was wrong or right in the Old Testament may not be wrong or right now. Oh, wait, except sodomy--that's always wrong because I think it's gross." Real mature, Augustine. Real mature. Are you five?

Or what about how he's all like, "I became a Christian and had to quit my job because of God! Because I wanted to sacrifice for God! Except also because I had a medical condition and it hurt to breathe. But mostly because of God!!!" Seriously? Seriously? Can't you just be honest and say that you quit because your ill health made it too difficult to teach? I think that's kind of a glaring coincidence there, buddy.

Ugh, he's just such a whiner. All the tears and the screaming and the tearing out of hair and the beating himself up--what a drama queen. Jesus died on the cross, and you know what? He didn't complain about it. He just f-ing did it. LIKE A BOSS.

I don't understand all Augustine's back-and-forth about being baptized. At the end there it's like he wants to be baptized and he considers himself a Christian and he believes the creed and loves God and completely rejects all that stuff in his past, and yet, he still can't convert, somehow. Because...he likes vagina too much, or something. Except he's totally willing to bang some married vagina, so I'm not sure why that's a big deal. Paul did say you could be a good Christian and still be married, right? So where's the big agonizing dilemma here? And way to totally dump your twelve-year-old virgin bride because you decided you couldn't love God AND a wife at the same time. I bet she totally understood how you found her mere presence to be a slutty, slutty impediment to your relationship with Jesus.

If Augustine were alive today, I don't think we'd be friends.


Long time no post!

In summary:
-We live in Chicago now. It's pretty awesome. Our apartment is lovely and cozy and slightly less horribly cramped than the one in NYC, and there's a Great Lake pretty close by, which is nice.
-I've started classes; this quarter I'm taking Introduction to the Study of Religion (required class for all firsties), Beginning Koine Greek I, and Renaissance Romance.
-Adam has started work as the Director of Christian Formation for Children and Youth at a church outside the city. He loves it, but it IS only part-time, so we're not out of the financial woods yet.
-Because Adam's job is a million miles away, we bought my parents' Yaris. So we have a car now. So...that happened. I still don't really know if I'm happy about it, but whatever, you do what you gotta do.
-I am still editing part-time, though I'm also looking for a nice work-study job.
-CB and Lenore are still very happy and healthy, and CB may have even put on a little bit of weight! Yay!

And that's it. I'll try to write more often, I swear. Really.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney and Ryan: A Farce

Mitt Romney: "Hrm...I have a problem. I have horrible policy ideas and I'm not at all relatable, but I'm not actually a bad guy. This is gonna hurt me with the base! They expect an evil, soulless, unscrupulous jerk like Newt Gingrich or Michelle Bachmann! What should I do?!"

Paul Ryan: "Oh, hey there, Mitt! I was just viciously slashing aid to the poor and so disproportionately affecting the downtrodden in my budget proposals that the Roman Catholic Church has spoken out against me and my callous disregard for the very people Jesus told me to help! What are you up to?"

Mitt Romney (stroking his chin thoughtfully): "Not much, Paul...not much..."


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Stress! I just got my first assignment for my copy editing job, and man, it's HUGE-- I've got 98,000 words of work ahead of me. Between that and my columns and trying to learn German and study for my French reading exam (and school hasn't even started yet!) and orchestrating yet another expensive cross-country move...man, I have no idea how I'm gonna do all this! But then again, I kind of thrive on having too much on my plate. I like to feel very busy and important, I guess.

And as stressful as I find freelance stuff-- I nearly died of stress that year I did nothing but freelance-- it's still fun to go to parties where people ask me, "So, what do you do?" and get to answer back, "Oh, I'm a writer." That's right, bitches: I'm a real, live, honest-to-goodness professional writer. I may be poor as hell, but at least I love what I do.

High-five for growing up and actually becoming what I always wanted to become. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why I Left Pinterest

My husband and I just spent the last three weeks in Florida with my mother and my middle sister, visiting my grandma at her home outside of Tampa. We had a great time, and part of having a great time, obviously, is eating awesome food: Indian food, Greek food (twice!), pizza, seafood (including fried alligator, YUM), and pretty much all the ice cream we could manage to shove down our gullets. We sampled various new Oreo flavors (my personal favorites are the ones with the mint filling) and introduced my grandmother to the wide variety of M&Ms available these days (almond FTW!)

So, naturally, I gained seven pounds.

I want you to read the above sentence and think about how you feel about it.

Now I want you to read that sentence again, this time with the knowledge that I am 5'4" (I used to think I was 5'3", but according to my doctor I was wrong) and that before I gained seven pounds, I weighed 99 lbs exactly.

At that weight, my BMI was exactly 17.0--the "underweight" category begins at 18.5. I was pretty underweight, my friends. And now that I've gained weight, my BMI is 18.2. This means that I am still underweight. I have always been small, and always been very active. I am ineligible to give blood, since the Red Cross required you to weigh 110 pounds in order to donate. Several doctors have actually insisted that I work hard on gaining more weight. I have been told that I must gain at least fifteen more pounds before Adam and I start trying to have a baby, because low maternal weights can contribute to low birth weights for babies. By all possible measures, gaining seven pounds was good for me and good for my body.

And yet, do you know how I feel? I feel guilty.

Because in this country, I am constantly inundated by pressure to lose weight. Always. Every time I watch TV there's a commercial for a weight-loss supplement or a diet plan or a home gym that can give me rock hard abs. Every magazine I read tells me that if I just eat more blueberries/take the stairs more often/try these five easy ab workouts at home, I can lose weight--the assumption being that I should lose weight, that everyone should. The expectation these days is that everyone should want to lose weight, all the time, no matter what. There is no exception for people who are already skinny or already healthy (remember, these are not the same). The cultural impetus to lose weight is universal and impenetrable, no matter how old you are, no matter what nationality you represent, however many kids you've had, however many fabulous things you've accomplished in life.

But beyond media, I get this message from a more influential source: people I know. Interestingly, it's never from people who know me well--my family and my close friends--but it's a pretty constant message from acquaintances. There was the co-worker who berated me for eating avocados because they're "so fattening." There was the Facebook friend who wrote horrible things about fat people on Facebook, and then acted surprised when said fat people were, in fact, deeply hurt and offended.

But there is no worse offender than Pinterest.

I cannot continue to use Pinterest because every other pin my friends (mostly my girlfriends) display is devoted to weight loss. There's "thinspiration" (pictures of super skinny girls--always girls!--and horrific taglines like "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," which is absurd because, um, have you ever even tried a Cadbury Creme Egg?!) and "fitspiration" (pictures of super muscular girls, and horrific taglines about "discipline" and "self-control" and "sacrifice," as though weight loss should be approached with the moral gravitas of, say, feeding the hungry or something) and various other random pins involving The Five Foods That Cut Belly Fat! or How To Lose Weight At Work.

I can't take it anymore. I just can't. I cannot stand being surrounded by five million little nitpicks, five million little reminders of imperfection. And I don't have to. So...I quit.

"But wait a minute," you're saying. "You're thin! You have privilege! You shouldn't be complaining about this!"

Society's extreme obsession with weight loss and appearance, often masked as "concern" over "health" (apparently mental health doesn't count), hurts everyone, skinny people included. Just as sexism hurts men, too--just ask any guy who ever enjoyed home ec or wanted to change his name when he got married or chose to be a stay-at-home dad-- the pressure to lose weight, to constantly be judging oneself and constantly finding oneself wanting, is exhausting to everyone, no matter how much they weigh. Fat people are shamed for being fat; thin people are made to feel as though their weight is the most attractive and important thing about them, and are warned that to lose that "asset" is to lose friendship, love, social approval, even one's life.

And I am done with that--absolutely, irrevocably done. There is so much more to my life than what I weigh. There are so many more important things to be doing than weighing myself. And by cutting out Pinterest (and hiding a few people from my newsfeed, natch) I can at least minimize direct contact with this sick philosophy.

Peace out, Pinterest. I've already planned my wedding, anyway.