3/30/2008

I'm in My Right Mind (Sort of)

Via Tracey. I had to take this twice, because one of the descriptions was way off, and I figured out that I needed to take one of the questions (about giving directions--drawing maps or giving verbal ones) more broadly. It worked.

Left Brain: 47%
Right Brain: 53%
Not surprising. My mom is left-handed, I went to high school on an art scholarship, and while I am predominantly a "righty," there are some things that either are more comfortable left-handed, or I do them left-handed without thinking.

Left Brain high and low percentages: Sequential (44%) and Verbal & Reality-based (14% each), respectively. Linear was a close second at 43% and may be the actual higher one, because the Sequential results said I was "probably an average mathematician and speller, and may or may not enjoy tasks such as making "to-do" lists." The truth is, I make to-do lists constantly, and I'm excellent at math and spelling, but higher math such as calculus just irritates me. I don't know why. The Linear comments made me nod in agreement: "When processing information using this method, you will occasionally feel the need to see the 'whole picture' before you are able to achieve results. At other times, you are able to piece all of the parts together in a straight and logical progression to form a whole, which then enables you to understand what you have processing. The information, your mood, and your level of comfortable are all factors that determine your response to a linear processing problem."


Right Brain high and low percentages: Concrete (73%--hello!) and Random (12%) respectively. The previous test had Intuitive as the highest with Concrete a close second. I don't know how I answered differently the second time, but Intuitive wound up a distant second at 53%. Still, the one for Concrete was pretty accurate: "When you process information about things that can be seen or touched you show great comfort. But when contemplating something without concrete form, you may have difficulty, and attempt to understand what is trying to be processed in visual terms. For example, if solving a math problem, it would help you to 'draw out' the problem and visualize it. Only after visualization, would you feel comfortable solving it." I did not enjoy Philosophy classes in college, I can tell you that much.

I found the analysis of the Right side of my brain more accurate than that of the Left. Spot on: "When giving directions, you probably use both visual illustrations such as, 'Keep going until you see a McDonalds on your right; then turn left at the Home Depot,' and technical terms such as, 'Travel for two miles and turn east onto First Street.'" (For Non-verbal Processing) Yup.
Also: "You have the ability to use both creativity and reality to process the information you receive. This is a unique gift that allows you to both focus on rules and regulations but to also act with creativity. You are able to adjusting [sic] to change, even though you might not like it, and you can become emotionally involved in your work if it interests you." (Fantasy-oriented) Definitely.

It didn't tell me too many new things, but it did confirm what I already "knew" about me noggin. Fun.

I Swear. . .

. . . I wasn't doing it to play games or be passive-aggressive. Friday night, I'd called him because I hadn't heard from him since Sunday, at which time he'd talked about doing something Saturday. When we talked Friday, he told me he hadn't called yet because he hadn't come up with an idea. So he'd call the next day about doing something together.

On Saturday, it gets to be 4 p.m. or so, and I'm trying not to be dejected or ticked off--so I'm going to distract myself by doing my #1 indulgence for school break (from my previous Friday Five post). I took care of a few things, changed out of my chore clothes--earlier I'd cleaned out my mom's station wagon of what had been left to transport from the old apartment, and emptied a few more containers--and put on a little makeup so I don't look tired. I had my purse in my hand and was going for my coat when my cell rang.

Him: What's going on?
Me: Oh, I was just about to go run a couple of errands. [Hit up the ATM for cash and then head to the video store near work b/c it's nicer than the one by my new place. That's two.]
Him: What kind of errands?
Me: Well. . . I was thinking about renting a movie. I like to do that when I'm off from school. [I don't lie--I don't do it well, and I can't live with myself if I do.]
Him: Did you think about what we were going to do tonight?
Me: Oh, was I supposed to do that? [Honestly, he has said this before, and I still can't tell if he's joking or if I really had misunderstood something he'd said during our previous call.]
Him: Tell you what. How about I come pick you up and we'll go rent something?
Me: *ulp* Do you mind that I haven't completely unpacked yet and things are a little disorganized?
Him: As long as there's a sofa and a TV, and nothing's blocking the TV, everything's good.

And it was.

(How sad is it that I'm not used to this?)

(Edited to add--how could I have forgotten this? Maybe it's that trauma blocking thing.)
You know what the weird thing is? About an hour before his call, one of the friends I'd had dinner with on Friday called me. He's the kind of person that through his work and involvement with church, runs into no fewer than six people he knows, every time he's out. Dinner was in a bar that was slightly loud so I didn't catch all the names of the people to whom he introduced his fiancee and me.

Friend: Hey, remember that guy "Dan" from last night?
Me: Dan? Uh, which one was he? [Please don't let this be going where I think it is.]
Friend: Kinda short, blond hair, dumpy [I swear he said dumpy but he talks fast and we're both on cells so I could be wrong], goatee. Said his brother and sister had moved to New England.
Me: (silent, drawing blank)
Friend: He said his dad died last week.
Me: Oh, yeah! [And oh, Lord, please don't let this be going where I think it is.]
Friend: Yeah, so he called me at work today and was asking about you. Wanted to know if you were seeing anybody. And I said well there kind of was this guy but I wasn't really sure, but I said I'd ask you if I could give him your number.
Me: Uhhhhh. . . Well, I'm not really sure. Seems a little too soon after his dad died. [I can hear the story now: "Well, I'd just finished burying my father, and this beautiful woman appeared at the bar offering the sweetest condolences from her plush lips." No. No. NO. And I want to see where things go with this other guy. But I haven't gotten a phone call about what we're doing tonight. . .] Can I think about it and get back to you?
Friend: Oh, sure, I understand, I'll just put it in the back of my mind and tack his number up here on the bulletin board.
Me: O.K., well, thanks.

He means well. He's a childhood friend with whom I'd reconnected at a mutual friend's funeral about a year ago. He proposed to his sweetheart shortly after our reconnection--she's wonderful, and he's happy. He feels older-brotherly towards me and wants to fix me up. But honestly, the only words I said to "Dan" were "Hi," "I'm sorry for your loss," and "Take care." Because he looked bereft and messed up. And in my experience, the wrong kind of guys attach to me for just saying those words. I didn't twirl my hair or bat my eyelashes or in any way act the least bit interested. I don't flirt with any Y-chromosomed individual who comes my way. But two seconds of sympathy and the, um, "lost puppy" ones are crushing on me. This has been happening to me since college, and I even made the mistake of agreeing to go out with one of them, who would become my first adult LTR and horrible breakup.

I'm so glad I decided to go to the video store.

3/28/2008

The Friday Five

O.K., so I'm a little late for Friday. It was a very long day. Glad to be home.

Five indulgences when I am on break from school (my most recent one ending this Sunday night--too short!):

1. Renting videos. Although this past break I borrowed this box set from the library near work and watched it over the course of two weeks as I've been packing. . . and unpacking. Didn't finish it, but I got just about to the point where I'd come in when it aired on TV, so I got my $2.50 worth.

2. Reading anything and everything that has as little to do with education as possible. Unless it's educating me on what nail polish is hot for Spring. For some reason my reading appetite seems to increase when I'm on break. *shrug*

3. Enjoying a cocktail or wine with dinner when I get home from work--not that I get soused but I don't need to keep my head clear for fending off the Lesbrarians. I didn't get that beer I was pining for at Emily & Ken's (language alert) this morning; as a social trick I tend to have whatever somebody else is having, so tonight it happened to be a Cape Cod. . . and a heavy on the Cod one at that. (I just made that expression up. It was pretty boozy, in case I was unclear.)

4. Making plans with my family, or anybody, for that matter. It should be a little easier with one class fewer now, but it was really sad not being able even to get to a movie once in a while. I'm hoping to squeeze in this one this weekend with Mom.

5. Actually eating my lunch on my lunch hour instead of reading or scribbling drafts of posts and/or papers in my car (in a remote parking lot). Being a stealth student is hard work.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

3/27/2008

Catching Up

I'm trying to catch up, at least. The one problem with the break between Winter and Spring classes is that the break is very short. As in it ends this Sunday night, and I'm just finally sitting down to answer e-mail and to update the blog. For mostly good reasons, though. So I'm going to run down a few items and hopefully my readers will not get whiplash:

1. School: First, I must do a bit of bragging. Having suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous single-minded lesbians (They don't seem want to be known as individuals but just as lesbians and librarians--Lesbrarians?) and manic schoolteachers, I earned STRAIGHT A's. My one professor even gave me a 20 for participation when the highest was supposed to be 10. I think I impressed her with my ability to use the expression "flame war" convincingly. As in I was constantly defusing and/or deflecting flame wars attempted by the Lesbrarians. (Luckily none of my classmates seemed to notice that the automatically calculated class average was 10.7--I'm kicking myself for not having taken a screenshot of that.) Next up I have two classes. Only two, one education and one information science. I will be twiddling my thumbs not knowing what to do without that third class. (Riiiight.) The bad news (for real) is that the education class will be taught by one of the ed instructors I just had--the one I didn't like b/c she was a bit brusque and dense, and tended to make comments on my posts that were humiliating. I guess it's just "the devil I know." In the meantime, I'm going to have to start working on where I will be having my field experience (at real schools!) in the fall. Fun.

2. Home: Moving had its crazy moments, but overall went well. It was my first time using movers, and luckily my co-worker gave me a great recommendation. Three guys and a truck showed up and did a good job. I was exhausted and banged up, not to mention freaked out from getting rear-ended the day before, but once I accepted that these guys knew what they were doing--and that the one guy was absolutely bonkers but harmless (meowing in the stairwell the entire time after I told him the cat was locked in the bathroom)--I felt better. It took less time than expected so that was a plus as well. Started at 8:30 a.m. and ended before 11, and that included a stop at my parents' for some things. Originally a china cabinet and a couple of boxes, but then my parents decided that I had to take everything I'd stored there. Never mind the fact that (a) my siblings, one of whom has been married for over a year and now owns a house, still have things stored there, and (b) I didn't have a clue where all these things were going to go. (Why, yes, I am the middle child. Good guess!) Still dealing with it all, but so far I've been fortunate that the only casualty is a jar of sugar scrub that got punctured and made some things oily but scented with lovely jasmine vanilla. The cat is also adjusting, but she's enjoying all the new places to climb--including the top of the kitchen cabinets, as she showed me during dinner tonight--and when she hears or sees something she doesn't like, she crawls under the bedspread and hides. Good plan, O Lump in the Bed. But in the end, this place is safer, quieter, not smelly, and, once I get things put away, guest-friendly.

3. Car: Still not fixed. The rental guy left me a message asking me what I wanted to do with the reservation the insurance company had made (the guy who hit me has the same insurer I do), so I had to call the insurance company to see if they'd done anything with the estimate I'd faxed them. They cheerfully informed me they wanted an adjustor to come out to see the car because they "weren't sure about some of the items on the estimate." Thanks for letting me know. So I had to make an appointment for that (can't come out until next Monday, of course!) and let the rental guy know I haven't taken my car in yet. This is such a freaking drag--I'm pretty sure I've almost been hit again a couple of times owing to the missing lights. Nice rental guy, though.

4. Work: It's rough. It's the only full week I've worked this month, and on top of that I got slammed with things to take care of. My awesome co-worker who quit has been gone for almost two weeks, and I'm shouldering some of her work as well as the unexpected, unwanted burden of cleaning up after my junior slacker. I even said, "What the hell?" to my boss after telling him about the latest half-assed thing she sent out. She knew not to make this particular mistake, and when she discovered she did, she tried taking a shortcut to correct it--and I caught it when I had to do additional work and my pages didn't match up to the previous ones. I'm so furious with her--for making the mistake in the first place, but even more for trying to pass off some patchwork for quality work, and then making me take extra time to make my work match up with that mess. Do you know what we do? We draft legal documents for people to sign. I wouldn't have signed that, and I'm embarrassed that something that awful went out in our company's name. What sucks is, she'll get a slap on the wrist (if anything) and the next time she talks about what a great team player she is and how hard she works, no one will dare to disagree. *sigh*

5. Patience: Still elusive. And needed when the person you'd like to see more of mentions something on Sunday about getting together this weekend, yet has not called since and it's Thursday night. I guess dating relationships cycle a bit in the beginning in terms of contact, but having gone through this since November (when he used to call a lot more often), with a quiet spell during Christmas and a surprise reconnection in January, and two really good dates in February, I'm starting to fear this is never going to get off the ground. At which point I start blaming myself for not having done more, for not having been available. But the truth is, I'm starting to be more available. I know this past term was demanding, but I'm going down to two classes for the next term, and I'm living in a place that requires a lot less upkeep and won't stress me out as much. So do I just give things some time and see what happens? In truth I do need some time, anyway, to get this place organized and visitor-friendly. I guess it's just hard when I know what I want--I can see what I'm going toward--but I don't want to wait for it. It's true for just about everything in my life. . . work, school. . . and definitely love.

So, I'm hanging in there. Got my bonus last week (deserved every penny, even the ones the taxes took out) and after work today I treated myself to a manicure--I'm not liking the color but I'm stuck with it until I can get to my home reserves of polish. I'm dying to get around to blogging some of the stories I've wanted to tell, like the whole deal with Stingsluv, Sidekick to The Skirted Wonder (my high school reunion is coming up), and some of the good people I've been fortunate to know. Right now the one that's most on my mind is Dr. M the Chiropractor. For the first time in months I'm sitting, sleeping, and doing yoga without feeling as if my legs were going to snap off from my spine. She is so worth the trip to NJ.

3/23/2008

Happy Easter

Certainly it is a time to think about new life. Case in point:








My newest nephew, Mr. Cuddlebunny himself, and I met last night! He is gorgeous and chubby. And healthy, thanks be to God!

3/20/2008

The Maiden Aunt's Newest Lovey

Just got the call from Older Brother--newest nephew arrived this evening. He's a big little guy (just a shade under nine and a half pounds) and he and his mommy are doing great. Thank God.

Maybe now that my mind is eased a bit--everybody's healthy and that he was spared a fairly outlandish name (well, it's no more incongruous than my name is with our surname)--I can finish this dumb paper and end this crazy quarter.

3/19/2008

Survived the Move!

But not unscathed. . . 24 hours before the move, some dude rear-ended my car with his truck while I was on my way to church.

I couldn't get out of that town fast enough, I guess. (I'm O.K., back of car is really banged up and I have one working brake light. Cosmetic, the dude said. Either he was hung over or needed that morning coffee and paper very badly.)

I'm just coming up for air briefly--still have one more paper to write this week and then I'm done for the quarter. More details soon, but I already found out I officially have an "A" in one of my classes!

Oh, and my SIL still hasn't had the baby yet. Two weeks past the due date, and her mother wants to go home--apparently whether or not the baby's here. I think they really bank on my mom's perceived availability far too much. They have no idea how lucky they are. Mom has been a big help with the move, and if she hadn't been here yesterday I probably wouldn't have made myself keep my composure after spilling a 20 ounce soda on my front passenger seat. Yeah, it's been one thing after the other this week. And I am so ready to hit the hay right now.

3/14/2008

The Friday Five--with Bonus!

Five things that made me laugh this week:



1. My co-worker S's prediction that a crybaby slacker in our department will plead inability to help pick up some of the open documents remaining after the departure of co-worker D. . . accompanied by hilarious pantomime.



2. Quote from my classmate after I used a fifty cent word on the discussion board in the class we take together:
You have no business using a word like schadenfreude. What is this, grad school?????What makes you think these knuckle draggers will know the word?


3. Younger Sister's response to Our Maiden Aunt's crazy "put yourself out there" e-mail: She can be pushy but whatever, she probably just doesn't want you to wait until you are 50 to find a guy. ;-)



4. Discovering that the "thump" I heard in the living room Monday morning while I was getting ready for my work was my cat, who had chased her tail and successfully caught that flickering varmint. (She's very kitten-like at times, for ten and a half!)



5. My mom's concern for my youngest nephew (soon to be second-youngest, any day now) because he noticed my ring and declared his favorite color is purple at dinner last Friday night. He's also fascinated by pedicures. I'm not worried; he also loves Thomas the Tank Engine and Monster Trucks. Seriously, don't even get him started about Monster Trucks because he'll get too wound up. (Did I mention he's two years old?)



And, since I didn't do a Friday Five last week: Five things that upset me this week:



1. Checking in on one of my group projects and finding that an aggressive group member had redone the slides I'd made up, that everyone previously had said they'd liked. (Yes, I changed them back. Except for an image I stole from her.)



2. Standing in The Slowest Confession Line ever on Wednesday night, all the while agonizing about how much schoolwork I could still get done when I got home without having to stay up until 1 a.m. (You can't tell me that doesn't count as extra penance. I even helped the lady in front of me because she was waiting for her kids to come over the from the gym, and of course they did while it was her turn--so I let them know where she was. And I got to bed at 12:15 a.m.)



3. Hearing a partner for my other group project call the materials I handed in "a good start." (No, I wanna be done!!! Please???)



4. Watching The Pianist. It was well done, but man, did I cry at parts.



5. Saying goodbye to my co-worker D, whose last day is today. One of the coolest, hardest-working people at my office. I'm going to miss our Project Runway and Top Chef rehashes.



I'm moving house this weekend, so I probably won't be doing much online. This will be the first time I've moved with my DSL, so I'm praying that setting it back up won't be a complete disaster. I still have a paper to hand in next week!

3/11/2008

Attack of MY Maiden Aunt

My mom's baby sister. She's 50, partied hard in the '70s and '80s and majored in music, never married, has a boyfriend but I'm not sure one man is enough for her. Apparently she was so excited to tell me the following that after she e-mailed it to my personal address, she forwarded it to my work account. Just what I needed to see this morning. All typos are hers:


You know, Katie, I went to [Local Irish Pub] by myself on Saturday night. A U2 cover band was playing. Mixed crowd, nice crowd, lots of 30somethings. Danced most of the night with a 36 year old guy, Irish/Italian Catholic (he thought I was 42 -- I did not correct [Auntie is having a hard time being 50]), Is Associate Athletic Director at [Area Institute of Higher Education]. I was fascinated because he is high school buddies with [Famous Local Director] and I've been trying to get information to work for his company for over a year now. Anyway, this guy [name redacted] was fun, darling, Catholic without being wierd male Cathollic. They are out there, and he was just one of the nice, nice guys I met on Saturday night. Funny, a single guy goes to a bar and men and women talk to him. A single gal goes to a bar, and women avoid them, only men talk to them.

You gotta get out there. It's this wierd [Major City] culture, I think, that I don't have a single friend (married or otherwise) who will go out on a weekend night (forget weekdays!). [Longtime Friend Who Counsels War Veterans] agrees, it's part of the culture here to stay at home. But, if I'm out there meeting 30 somethings when I'm just out to get out of the house for a couple of hours and listen to some music, there's certainly plenty of potential for you.



Is it me, or is this message all about meeting men? It seems well-intentioned, but I wish she didn't have this idea in her head that my life needs fixing b/c it's not what she'd do if she were 30 again. I'm busy with work and school. I'm seeing someone sort of seriously. (Admittedly, I haven't really told my family other than my mom and my sister.) My free time will change once I move and start the next quarter with two classes instead of three. It's stressful at times but I like my life. Sure, I'd like more friends but the few close ones I have, I wouldn't trade for anything--and in time more will come. I'm kind of "over" the loud bar scene, too.

Can I just reply, "Thank you," period?

3/08/2008

Maiden Hit-and-Run

My SIL's mom is in town to help with the impending arrival of Nephew #3 (a.k.a. The Bun). My mom and I were invited over for dinner last night and my mom returned a DVD of a documentary on homebirth to my SIL with the comment that it was "interesting." (I was an unintentional homebirth for my parents: sheet, hallway, late-arriving/shaky-handed paramedics. Hardly a romanticized, ritualistic event.) My SIL is very gung-ho about it and started talking it up to me.

Mom cut in: "I think it gives a little more information than Kate really needs to know."

SIL's Mom: "I think she's old enough to hear about it."

Me: "Well, actually, when you're over 30 [and single] it's a little depressing."

Sometimes I really wonder if having women who are married and have children relate to me is a really random occurrence.

3/03/2008

Yup, It's Monday

My department was called in for a meeting this morning by the boss of my boss. That usually means somebody's leaving. Sure enough, one of my favorite people is leaving. I'm happy for her but sad to have her as a co-worker for only a few days longer. (I hope we'll continue to be friends.) The person I previously mentioned who doesn't seem to want to learn, has an eye on the open position. Well, not necessarily the work, but the office, the pay, and the opportunity to forsake use of the program that is my responsibility. I don't know what will happen, but I'm really hoping it's all for the best.

In the meantime, I have a ton of school assignments for the week. It's crunch time, for sure. So posting most likely will be light. I think the grades have to be handed in by the 24th, so until then, between school and moving, things will be hectic. (I guess it's just as well the phone isn't ringing off the hook.)

I started assembling my blogroll to cheer myself up--and to stop staring at my assignments blankly--but it has a ways to go. Now, though, it's time to pull a couple more things together and then try to get some sleep. Still having bad dreams, and still being awakened several times during the night by my annoying downstairs neighbors. This too shall pass.