Month: May 2012

Month In Review: May

Okay, I’m pretty sure there were some good things and some bad things, but let’s get into it.

  • Take better care of myself.  Once again, I can only give myself partial credit for this. I ate pretty well for most of the month, except for the early part that was full of traveling (you try eating well while driving 1,000 miles in a car full of junk food and only stopping at fast food joints and gas stations). I haven’t gotten back on the exercise train at all. And my sleep schedule is still wonky. I would even go so far as to say that it is fubar, but fubar would imply some drastic change and that’s not really the case. My birthday’s in June, so hopefully that new digit in my age will inspire me to start taking care of myself again.
  • Read every day.  It’s so nice to have a resolution like this one that is easy and enjoyable. I really kicked ass this month too, reading seven books. This was, of course, aided by the fact that I read the entire Hunger Games series in five days 🙂 I could’ve done it in three if I’d made a more serious effort to read on the drive up north.
  • Blog every day.  Another resolution that is both easy and enjoyable. Technically speaking, one could make a case that I fell off this month because I only have as many blog posts as there are days in the month as opposed to April, which has 30 days and 31 blog posts, but that would just be silly. This has been a really fun project so far, even on the days when blogging feels like more of a chore than a choice. Plus I’m almost to 200 posts, which is crazy.
  • Work on my house.  Oy vey. While I did no less this month than last month, I feel like the collective result of the past two months makes May so much worse than April. Would I be a terrible person if I asked my mom to help me clean my house? She has offered.

If I were to grade myself, I think it would be D+, A+, A, and I (somehow F doesn’t seem harsh enough). But it’s good to have room to improve, right?

In other May news, I got to go home for the first time since just after Thanksgiving (oh, Brand New show in AC, you were one of my favorite parts of last year) and that was awesome. My cousin had her baby, an adorable little girl. I started my penultimate semester in grad school. I saw The Avengers and discovered the wonderfulness that is the mocha cookie crumble frappuccino. And the Phillies are two games over .500. All in all, May was a pretty damn good month.

Until tomorrow.

Things

Things That Are Awesome

  • Phillies wins (they also really lift my mood)
  • I’m pretty sure that Freddy Galvis is, in fact, wearing liberty bell stirrups with his high socks, which is so, so awesome – as is the fact that I think there are other guys on the team doing it as well
  • I wrote one paper (due today) and most of another paper (due tomorrow) today
  • I’m feeling way less stressed about school than I was just a few days ago
  • Discovering new bands through Alternative Press (I’m really liking Daytrader and Tallhart right now, so thanks Alt Press)

Things That Are Not Awesome

  • Cliff Lee still doesn’t have a win this year
  • Hitting the snooze button repeatedly (it seems awesome at the time, but it is not)

Things That Are Neutral Awesome

  • This New Yorker piece about Doctor Who and Community. I know what you’re thinking, how could that be anything other than awesome? Well, I’ll tell you. The article consistently refers to the protagonist of Doctor Who as Doctor Who, as if that was his name. It’s not his name. His name is the Doctor. The joke, you see, is that he introduces himself to someone as the Doctor and they reply, “Doctor who?” But that does not make Doctor Who his name. His name is the Doctor. This drove me up a wall for two reasons: 1) the woman who wrote the article claimed to have watched the extant Matt Smith years and I’m wondering how someone intelligent enough to write for the New Yorker was unable to pick up on the fact that the central character’s name is not the same as the show’s name and 2) the fact checker let something blatantly wrong (and easily checked all over the Internet) through.
  • Roy Halladay will be on the DL for a while, but he doesn’t need surgery (the diagnosis was so much better than it could’ve been that I am grateful)

All of that paper writing pretty much fried my brain, so lists were about the best I could do.

Until tomorrow.

Good Riddance

If we were to meet and I was to find out that you graduated from high school the same year I did (1998), I would ask you a very strange question. At least, I think it’s a strange question, but that doesn’t stop me from asking it. That question would be: What was your class song?

Now, I’m 99% positive that, if you had a high school class song and you still remember what it was, I know what your answer would be. And your answer would be: Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”

Of course your class song was “Good Riddance.” Everyone else’s was. It was like the official national class song of the Class of ’98. It’s got that whole bittersweet nostalgic vibe and the lyrics are hopeful. I doubt Billie Joe Armstrong’s intention was the write the perfect class song, but I don’t think he could’ve done a better job if he’d tried. It’s just a damn good song. Plus, the timing was perfect. It was released in either the summer or early fall of 1997 (I don’t know about you, but we started the class song nomination/voting process fairly early in the school year). And it became a super massive hit. It eventually became inescapable on the radio. Hell, they played it over the end of the clip show that preceded the Seinfeld finale (which, by the by, was so much better than the finale itself).

(You may be wondering why I continue to ask people what their class song was. The thing is, I want to find the 1% that didn’t pick “Good Riddance” as their class song. I have so many questions for them. What did they choose instead? Why did “Good Riddance” get the thumbs-down? Okay, maybe only two questions. Regardless, I’m oddly fascinated by this whole issue.)

The idea of writing a blog post about this first struck me earlier this month when I heard “Good Riddance” on the radio while driving back from Jersey with my parents. I can normally listen to it without having high school invade my consciousness (and thank the good Lord for that), but for whatever reason it immediately took me to a high school place that day. So then I thought a post about my high school class song might not be a terrible idea.

But then the other day I happened across the track list for the Glee graduation soundtrack and saw that “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” was the last song. It kinda made me mad. I mean, I know that I just called it the perfect class song, but it never occurred to me that kids would continue to choose it as a class song. I can’t help but feel like, get your own damn class song, this one is ours. I guess I should be happy that kids who were four years old when I graduated from high school (why did I just do that to myself?) might think it makes an awesome class song. It speaks to the timelessness of the song, right? It’s not like my high school class song was some dumb, tacky one hit wonder like that “Graduation (Friends Forever)” song that came out the next year. (I’m pretty sure the only reason I remember that song is because I was working in a record store at the time.) But c’mon, there’s got to be other songs you could use. May I suggest “We Are Young” by fun. or “Firework” by Katy Perry or “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye if you hated high school as much as I did or, y’know, some dumb country song if you went to a hick high school like I did. Anyways, it annoyed me and made this post much more urgent.

Until tomorrow.

I’m An Idiot

But not for the reasons you might think if you read yesterday’s post. I’m actually feeling really proud of myself because I accomplished three of the four goals I set for myself today and these were the things I had been actively avoiding. Of course, the day didn’t have the most auspicious beginning. I managed to find something else to do on my computer (there’s an Excel file that just had to be updated). And somehow updating the spreadsheet took all the time between breakfast and lunch/the Phillies game. (In fairness to me, I hadn’t expected it to take anywhere near that long, but it did.) So I didn’t really start working until after the Phils won (yay!), but I didn’t have anything else to do for the rest of the day either.

Here’s where I’m an idiot. It turns out that the assignments I had been stressing out over weren’t worth the stress. One of the assignments is only worth five points and is being graded pass/fail – no sweat. The other assignment, the one I was really freaking out over, is a million times easier than I thought it was. I nearly laughed out loud when I read the actual assignment and realized how dumb I had been. See, that’s the thing, I read the “name” of the assignment, made an assumption about what it was, and freaked out based on my assumption. Avoidance mode kicked in and I never bothered to read the damn assignment.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m stoked that the assignment doesn’t entail what I thought it would. But I’m also mad at myself because all of this stress could’ve been avoided if I had just read the freaking assignment.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, there’s no way in hell I will tell you what the assignment actually is or what I thought it was 🙂 That would involve explaining why I found my assumption so stressful in the first place (most people would not be thrown into a panic by it). And that is a neurosis I would much rather keep to myself, thankyouverymuch.

Until tomorrow.

Overwhelmed And Avoiding

For reasons that are not at all clear to me, I am feeling really overwhelmed by my classes right now. Or, perhaps more to the point, really overwhelmed by what I need to do for my classes.

So how am I dealing with these feelings? Am I plowing ahead because it’s got to be done?

Yeah, right.

I’ve been staying in bed until noon (or later) on a daily basis. Then I’ve been doing just about everything I could possibly do on my computer other than access USF’s BlackBoard pages. Most notably, I’ve spent hours rearranging things in iPhoto.

In other words, I’ve been actively avoiding it. I realized what I was doing days ago, but thus far I have been unable to stop my avoidance tactics. But things are coming to a head now because a) some of this shit is actually due this week and b) there is nothing else for me to do in iPhoto (so at least I accomplished something, right?).

I don’t know what the hell is going on with me right now, but I don’t like it. Do you hear me, brain? This shit has got to stop. It can’t be healthy to just try to avoid that which overwhelms me. And it sure as hell isn’t a particularly grown-up reaction.

This is why I will never, ever feel like a grownup.

Blah. This week should be super fun. But it’s my own damn fault. (The sad part is that I know I won’t learn from this.)

Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday tomorrow (if you have the kind of job that gets federal holidays off, that is). I will have to get some work done.

Until tomorrow.

National Blackouts Can Go Screw

Seriously MLB, I didn’t pay you more money than I could really afford to be blacked out of watching even one of my team’s games. Sure, some people get MLB.tv to be able to watch all of the baseball, and I have been known to use it for that purpose, but it wasn’t my primary reason for subscribing. No, my primary reason for subscribing was to be able to follow my team with its broadcasters. (I know I complain about the Phillies broadcasters, and they are annoying, but at least they’re rooting for my team. It’s a million times worse to listen to a bunch of annoying homers who are rooting against my team.) But then you get a situation like this evening, when the Phillies-Cardinals game is one of several “national” games being broadcast by FOX, which means that the game is blacked out nationally. Of course, “blacked out nationally” means “the viewer is at the mercy of the local FOX affiliate.” And, sure, that’s okay when the local FOX affiliate runs your team’s game (as was the situation for me last Saturday night). But you know what other game was playing on FOX this evening? The Rays-Red Sox game. Three guesses as to which game the FOX affiliate in Tampa Bay was airing (and if you need more than one guess, you’re an idiot and we can’t be friends). The real problem with the whole blackout thing is that MLB markets MLB.tv to out of market fans (i.e., people like me who live in one city and root for a team from another) as a way to follow your favorite team. But then they do dumb stuff like leave the fan at the mercy of FOX Sports. And it seems to me that they’re doing nothing but shooting themselves in the foot with the whole blackout thing. Grr arrgh.

Once I got over my initial disappointment, I realized the silver lining to all of this was that I’d get to listen to Franzke and LA call the game on the radio. That was at least something to look forward to. So imagine my dismay when I launched the radio feed and the first voice I heard belonged to Chris Wheeler. Gorrammit! It’s like I was being thwarted at every turn. Thankfully I was able to mostly tune Wheels out and only listen to Franzke.

Of course, Twitter informed me that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were calling the Phillies game. So at least I dodged that bullet.

I suppose one solution to this problem would be for me to have gone out and done something fun on this Saturday evening. But that would run counter to my whole hermit vibe. And we can’t have that.

On the bright side, the Phillies won. Woohoo! Kyle Kendrick pitched his first ever complete game shutout. Good for you, KK. To be honest, though, I would’ve been okay with the Phils losing if the Sixers had won. But, sadly, the Sixers are out of it now. At least the Phillies decided against losing in solidarity and really depressing the hell out of Philly sports fans. A one for two is so much better than an oh for two.

Until tomorrow.

Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

I have a new Starbucks obsession. It’s the new Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. That thing is out of this world. “Heaven” is the word my personal cheerleader used (since we kinda share the same brain even when we live a thousand miles apart, we both tried it last weekend) and I don’t disagree.

Just how serious is this obsession? I’ve had two in the past seven days. All things being equal, this could rival my Pumpkin Spice Latte obsession. At the very least, there’s a damn good chance that I will have used up all the money on my Starbucks gift card by the time the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes back and that was definitely not my plan. Now, I realize that having two in seven days doesn’t necessarily sound that impressive (or obsessive), but you’ve got to remember that I’m pretty much a shut-in. I only left my house on three of the past seven days and on two of those three days I decided to swing by the ol’ Starbucks drive-thru to get a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino.

I had my first one en route to The Avengers. I had to leave my house pretty early and it’s about an hour drive to the theater I most often frequent, so I decided it was time to break out the aforementioned gift card and get a frappuccino for the ride. My plan was to go with my usual (caramel), but I saw the ad for the mocha cookie crumble and how could I resist that? There were so many delicious words in the name of it, y’know? As soon as I tasted the chocolate whipped cream (which is insane, by the by, and there needs to be more of it in my life) I knew I had made the right decision.

I had originally planned to write this post last night, but decided I was too tired to wax rhapsodic about the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. I had to do it justice, after all. But tonight’s Phillies game ended at a much more agreeable time. Which is weird, since this one went to extras. But they won, so yay! Even though Cliff Lee is still winless, which is just weird as hell. I’d had a sneaking suspicion that tonight’s game would go into extras since today is the anniversary of last year’s crazy 19-inning game. Thank God this one only went 10, though 🙂

Until tomorrow.