Saturday, December 30, 2006

In the constant rush of work and housework and PhD applications, of trying to have a relationship with my boyfriend and my family and my friends and my cats, and of trying to get some sleep, I tend to forget to take care of myself. Hence, I haven't had a haircut since July or new bras and underwear since so long ago I'm embarrassed to specify. Hence, my pants literally came apart while I was at work yesterday.

But tonight after work, Natasha and I hit the mall. I spent so much at Victoria's Secret, the salesperson said, "Jesus. Do you have an Angels card?" (I assured her that it wasn't necessary, that this was not normal behavior for me.) Plus a new pair of boots that I can wear to work with skirts and that won't mangle my feet. Plus two pairs of pants and a shirt. And I still have gift money left, some of it from graduation in May. (I won't deny that I'm spoiled, but I'm also a hoarder.)

Anyway, I'm starting to feel human again. Thanks to everyone who donated to the cause.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

No More No More No More

I don't want to write about the personal journey that has led me to pursue a graduate degree. I've already had to write six different ways about my academic and career objectives and my academic and research background and the ways in which the University of [blank] is suited to my academic goals. I'm tired and I deserve graduate school. Please let me stop jumping through hoops.

Friday, December 22, 2006

For My Birthday

I requested the day off work, and I'm pointedly ignoring all of the things I need to do (around the house, for PhD applications, for last-minute Christmas shopping). But it's tough to push back the hint of frustration that's building in my gut. Today I'm doing all of the things I never have time for, but it's an artificial kind of self-indulgence, because I can't quite trick myself into believing that I can afford the idleness. I'm getting all this free time but none of the satisfaction of crossing off lists.

So I'm trying to make a different kind of list in my head, of things I don't have to do, but deserve to do: I slept in this morning (well, until 9:30), and got up just in time to eat the breakfast Eric had gotten up early to make for me. Just now, I spent a few untimed hours playing with the Sims 2 Pets expansion pack my mom gave me. (Our two cats and our friend Nils's dog and two cats have gone down in Sims history.) Now I'm going to lie on the couch with a fleecy blanket, a book, and some tea. It's highly likely that I will take a nap. And later tonight, after Eric gets home from work, we'll go out with friends, hopefully to the cool bowling alley (I'm really not making that up), where they will serve me the gin martini with an olive I've been fantasizing about all week, and I won't even think about how expensive drinks are in this city. Because that is how a cheapskate workaholic celebrates her birthday.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

GRE Lit Scores

They came in the mail today, and they're...fine. Much better than I was bracing myself for. Not embarrassing. So. Good enough.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My cat is not normal.

Monday, December 11, 2006

This May Upset Everyone I Know Who's Ever Been a Server...

...including my mother and a good friend. But I'm suddenly irritated by the entire concept of tipping. Not because I object to the practice of throwing a little love at the person who served you, but because people who work in restaurants are the only people who are universally tipped. (Hairdressers do okay, too, but I don't think they take tips for granted.) All day I bring people books, wrap their gifts, carry old ladies' bags to their cars...and no one considers it necessary to tip me (except for one guy, once, who slipped me a couple bucks, but I wasn't even sure I was allowed to take that). When I was a housekeeper, I cleaned other people's toilets, and I was thrilled if anyone thought to leave a dollar on the nightstand. Yeah, yeah, I know my base wage was more than the legal minimum, and that a server's usually isn't. But it wasn't much more. And did I mention that I cleaned other people's toilets?

It's a double standard, and I don't like it. I don't like it that I have to feel guilty when I can't afford to tip up to society's expectations, and I don't like it that servers are applauded for complaining when that happens.

There's a slippery slope here, and I know it. Because, no, I don't want to have to tip the mail carrier and the fitting room attendant at American Eagle and the cashier at the grocery store. But I would feel more comfortable about eating out if servers didn't act entitled to generous tips. Got stiffed by the last person you served? Welcome to the last five years of my life.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Showers are Magic

So I spent about half an hour agonizing over the last two sentences of my first PhD application essay before I gave up and got in the shower. Within a few minutes of turning on the water, sentences I didn't hate were forming in my brain. I turned the words over silently in my mouth until my hair was clean and my fingers were pruny, trying to perfect them and not to forget them. As soon as I was dry, I rushed to the computer (naked, and with a towel on my head) to see my new words glow in black and white.

It's an empirical fact: showers are magic.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I have a semi-unsolicited job interview in about an hour, at a place where I would be proud to answer the phones and make the coffee, even if it didn't mean a significant raise in pay. Nevertheless, I have mixed feelings about the entire business, stemming from the fact that I--a girl who will have to begin repaying her student loans this month--currently work for peanuts with extremely cool people at a place that I love most of the time. The happy byproduct of my ambivalence is that I just ate lunch without the slightest hint of a gag reflex. Yay if I get the job, yay if I don't. So I'm not nervous.

Time to make myself pretty and go have a conversation with someone's assistant.