Posts Tagged ‘driving me crazy’

  1. Ask him to wear his boots so it will be easier to walk from the car to daycare. (You know he hates being carried anymore.) Concede to sneakers, but tell him he can’t walk in the snow then.
  2. Put his milk – which he wasn’t drinking anyway – in the fridge to save it for later. Only once it’s gone will he decide he wants it.
  3. Attempt to stuff him into his jacket (which wouldn’t have been necessary if he would have just put the damn thing on the first time you asked instead of running away from you).
  4. Strap him into his car seat after explaining that it’s too cold to walk that far [to daycare] and Mama has to get to work and you’re already running late.
  5. Carry him from the car to daycare because you’re wearing boots and he’s not, even though you explained the concept of boots and snow to him rationally just 15 minutes earlier.

If you follow these 5 simple steps (in any order, for your convenience), you, too, can ruin your child’s life* to the point that he shows up to daycare with tears on his face and your daycare provider asks you what you’ve done to him, you monster.

You’re welcome.

*Or morning, whatever. Same same.

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I have officially completed my first year of grad school.

Okay, so maybe it’s not official until the grades are in, but everything on my end is finished as of 9am this morning.

And it feels fantastic.

There were points when I thought I was going to go crazy, holed up in the library or the computer lab on these gorgeous, sunny spring days. But this one particular video always kept me smiling – and sometimes dancing in my seat:

Trust me, it’s a lot more fun to write about political risk and conflict resolution when you’re watching a Marine shake it to Britney.

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

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First of all, thanks for all the well-wishing yesterday! Class went better than I’d hoped, particularly considering it was economics. And, even without my Wonder Woman lunch box (or rather, I suppose for grad school it would be a dinner box), I’m ready to go again tonight.

And now that I can be completely calm and carefree about my own experience, I can reflect on some of the things I noticed yesterday.

You see, some of my classes are on the undergrad campus. And so, when I biked down yesterday I had to dismount sooner than expected – due to the hordes. I don’t know if you’ve noticed (or, if you remember from your own college experience), but freshmen are incapable of walking in packs of fewer than five. They are the biggest proponent of the “strength in numbers” theory, and I get that. But it also made me realize that the only difference, really, between freshmen and tourists is a fanny pack.

Photo Credit

Think about it:

1) Travel: They both travel in packs, and manage to take up an entire sidewalk, regardless of the size of the group. I suppose it’s understandable (though not appreciated) when the group is five across because they simply can’t stand not walking next to each other. But it boggles my mind how just two people can take up the same space. Regardless, let’s try either a) the buddy system – walk with a partner, or b) walk like you like each other. You don’t have to hold hands, but we’re not in middle school dance mode either, so you don’t have to be quite so far apart.

2) Directions: Now, tourists are more likely to ask a stranger for them (though, after the Criminal Minds episode I watched last night, I won’t be stopping to help), but the similarity comes in when they don’t ask. Both tourists and freshmen have this habit of stopping dead in their tracks to pull out a map/look around/debate which way they want to turn. I’m going to say this as nicely as possible: if you don’t want me to run face first into your back (or run you over), MOVE TO THE SIDE.

3) Escalators: It’s not stand-in-the-middle-and-marvel-at-the-fact-that-you-don’t-have-to-exert-any-energy-to-get-to-the-metro. It’s stand right, walk left. I don’t know why this is so hard, but I’ve seen countless first year grad students doing it, too. Please stop. Seriously.

4) Monuments: This is more of a “know your surroundings” type of thing. You will be scoffed at if you confuse the memorials of Lincoln and Jefferson. Or if you don’t recognize the White House. And especially if someone says “the Mall” and you ask about shopping. I wish I could say I’d never heard that…but I’d be lying.

5) Wonder: Not all of the similarities are negative. In fact, the way that both groups wonder at and enjoy a new city is fantastic. They get excited about seeing the aforementioned monuments, or catching a glimpse of the motorcade. They love the ties to history, and the newness of discovering these things for the first time.

Which means that I was wrong. The fanny pack isn’t the only difference.

Freshmen will eventually acclimate. At some point they’ll look back over a list like this and be just as frustrated with a new throng of freshmen, and the continuous influx of tourists. And they’ll also become a little bit jaded, over the monuments, and only seeing the motorcade as an interruption to their busy day.

Tourists, on the other hand, will never realize that you actually can walk on an escalator.

But they’ll always be awed by the city.

Photo Credit

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I think it’s probably safe to say that I’ll be thinking about running and racing non-stop from now until about noon on Saturday. Not that it’s been very far from my mind since I signed up for this whole marathon craziness last July, but it hasn’t been as all-consuming.

But now it’s 3 days away.

(Or, to be more exact) 2 days 17 hours and so many minutes and seconds, thanks to the official countdown on the website.)

And I need to keep reminding myself to breathe. That I’ve trained for this. That it won’t kill me. And that I’ll get a super sweet medal out of the deal when I’m done.

So I’m asking (again) for your help with a certain aspect of my preparation. Aside from the crowd support, one of the big motivators during running is the playlist. Whether you run, bike, or just hold spontaneous dance parties in your apartment (just me?), what is your favorite song to move to? What gets you pumped up?

I’ve got 5 hours to fill, people. I think I can fit any song you offer onto this playlist.

As a kind of totally NSFW aside, even if you think I’ve become a crazy runner, I still haven’t signed up for a camp like this. At least…not yet.

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I’m playing some catch-up after being out of the office on Friday, but there are just a few things I wanted to mention:

1) Thank you guys SO much for all of your well-wishes after my grad school post. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time (or know me at all), you know just how much I’d been stressing. Thanks again!

2) Specific to the DC area – it’s amazing how much the general mood has shifted since last week, now that we’ve had 3 beautiful, sunny days in a row! Thank you, Mother Nature, please don’t take it back.

3) I have had that McDonald’s commercial stuck in my head since Friday. You know the one.

Yes, I’m shamelessly trying to pass it off.

Happy sunny Monday!

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Last week I mentioned that one of the things I was looking forward to while home was Black Friday shopping. Call me crazy, but it’s become tradition to get up at 4am, hit the sales, fight the crowds, then come home for a catnap – and revel in how much money I’ve saved.

Within the past couple years, though, retailers have decided to take advantage of the craziness and make their extra-special-super-duper-how-could-you-miss-this? sales start earlier and earlier. Like midnight – only hours after you’ve stuffed yourself full of turkey, pie and wine.

That's about right.

This year, my mother tried to convince me that we might be better served to attempt the midnight sales. “I just want to get it over and done with,” she told me. “Besides, I doubt the outlets will be that crowded – they weren’t last year.” I protested. I told her that I had already assured concerned friends that I was not that crazy. No midnight sales for me. In a conversation with Patrick, who also seemed to question my sanity, I had even professed that I was a Black Friday purist – a 4am shopper.

But apparently, when at the mercy of She Who Wields the Credit Card (read: Mama), my ideals go down the drain.

And so we devised a plan that would enable us to take advantage of the midnight sales, factoring in maximum nap time post dinner. Traffic wasn’t bad last year, we reasoned, surely it would be similar this year. Right?

We were on the road by 11:50pm, after a brief gas and caffeinated beverage stop, and we were making great time. I’m talking 30 miles in 30 minutes, give or take. We began to see a few more cars as we neared the outlets, and then, five miles out, traffic. just. stopped. Nothing but tail lights as far as the eye could see.

Like that, but worse. And in the dark.

What do you mean, I told you so?

And so we sat. My mother drove, or, rather, sat behind the wheel and nudged the gas pedal every 20 minutes or so, and I dozed in and out of sleep in the passenger seat. Every now and then we took time off to curse at the jackass who was riding the shoulder, or laugh at the guy(s) who reversed back the on ramp when he saw the traffic mess in front of him.

So when did we finally pull in the outlet parking lot? 2:50am.

That’s right. Five miles in two and a half hours.

And despite the eventual purchases made, I have to say, I am so not eager to repeat that.

Next year’s alternate route planning starts now.

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This may be a strange thing to write, but I really do appreciate the cleaning staff that works in my office. I know our center takes great pride in its appearance, and the cleaning staff makes sure that it can.

And personally, I love coming in to a tidy workspace, clean desk, emptied trashcan, etc.

What I don’t love, is coming into a completely reorganized desk. And by “reorganized,” I mean “everything in random piles pushed off to the sides.”

I like to think of my desk as organized chaos – but it’s still organized with everything where I want it, sorted by project and priority. Frankly, it sends my OCD into overdrive to come in and find things out of order.


To be fair, it might be better this way than when the cleaning staff moves only one or two things. I’ve sat down at my desk at times to see my coffee mug in a slightly different place, or my phone at a slightly different angle than I thought I left it, and it makes me wonder if I’m going crazy, if I’m imagining things.

At least now, with everything moved, I know that it’s not just in my head.

Not this time, anyway.

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Dear Phillies,

First off, I’m so glad that you won last night. Really, I am. And even though you managed to let a six run lead dwindle to just two, I’m still proud that you didn’t let the Yankees end it in Philly. That really would have stung.

But here’s the thing: you’re driving me crazy the way you play with my emotions.

You win a little:

You took the first game in New York – and that was awesome! I mean, honestly, Cliff Lee – just wow. What a great way to start off the series. And then, okay, so you dropped one in New York, too. And that was fine.

But then you lose a lot:

What the heck happened in those first two games in Philly?

Lidge – your job is to close. And in the event that the game is tied in the ninth and you’ve already gotten two outs – your job is to get one more out to allow for possible extra innings. This could come up again, so I hope you’re paying attention.

And Hamels – where is your head? It’s clearly not in the game. You’re better than that. I don’t want to hear, “I just want this season to be over.” That doesn’t instill a whole lot of confidence. Especially when you’re slated for (possible) game seven.

I know that it’s possible for you guys to pull off two more wins. If I didn’t think you could, then I wouldn’t be so upset with those recent performances. I’d just be happy that the season had come this far. But you heard Rollins last night, “We can either go home now, or we can parade down Broad Street.

The people want a parade. I think you want a parade.

So please, take this day to rest, reflect, and recuperate, and then push this series to the end. Win it in New York.

And know that even when I’m screaming obscenities at you, it’s only because I care.

So don’t fuck it up.



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I think the best word to describe yesterday’s grad school fair is overwhelming.

I don’t particularly love cramped quarters with large crowds (high maintenance, I know). Nor am I a fan of the “Chatty Cathy” (for gender’s sake, we’ll call him Chatty Charlie) or the “We’re Better Than You, And We Know It” guy.

Let me ‘splain.

I had expected the crowds. Fine. And I suppose the tight space was inevitable once you factor in the representation from over 20 schools. But then there was Chatty Charlie.

I was waiting patiently in line to talk about a program, when he turned around and, out of nowhere, proceeded to pepper me with questions.

Did you already take your GREs?” “How did you do?” “When can I take them?” “Do you think it’s too late?” “Do I need to take a class?” “Are they hard?

And then, even when he started talking about his own plans (“I think I might wait a couple years; I only just graduated.“), he turned the conversation back on me.

When did you graduate?” “Where did you go to school?” “What have you been doing? No, like where?” “How long did it take you to find a job?” “It’s really competitive here!


Yes, it’s competitive. All the GRE information is on the ETS website. And I wouldn’t normally mind answering your questions, but why don’t you ask some of the student representatives who are here? They clearly have a better idea of what works than I do – considering they’re already enrolled.

I managed to shake him briefly, but he tried to catch my eye at every subsequent table. And he finally caught up with me at the last one, where I met “We’re Better Than You, And We Know It” guy.

Now, I’m just looking for part-time programs right now, so I didn’t want to waste a representative’s time, or mine, discussing non-possibilities. So I asked WBTYAWKI right off the bat if part-time was offered. When he said no, I thanked him, and started to move on.

But,” he said, “I have a friend who started the program and he was offered a job this past January. He took it, and still manages to take classes.” I hesitated. “Then, of course, there’s another friend of mine who did the program, worked 30 hours a week, and she had kids at home, so you know it’s definitely possible.


Thanks. Way to make me feel like an underachiever.

Could I go that route (minus the kids)? Sure! Why not? I didn’t need my sanity anyway. In fact, sometimes I feel like it’s already on its way out the door.

But before I could really contemplate the whole “having no life” thing, CC came up to the table, and I took that as my cue to leave.

My sanity’s already on its way out. Another question-fest might just do me in.

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A while ago, I was talking to a friend about the classic group dance songs that are always played at weddings and what not. I can’t even imagine how it came up, but we each reminisced about our experiences with the Macarena and the Chicken Dance. Then I asked him:

“What about the Electric Slide?”

“I mean, I’ve done it, but I’m always the guy that’s about a step behind everyone else.”

“What about…the Cha Cha Slide?” [Because it’s *so* different than the electric. Duh.]

[beat] I’m pretty sure that’s the song they play when you’re in line for hell. That’s what I imagine. The Cha Cha Slide playing over and over and over and over.”

I burst out laughing, but then thought that he might have a point. And while the Cha Cha Slide may not be on my waiting-line-for-hell playlist, I can think of at least five others that would definitely make the cut:hey-mickey

5. Hey Mickey!

I have a mini-confession first: I actually enjoy this song – in extremely small doses. (I’ll even, on occasion, bust out my best “Bring It On” moves. Sorry, no videos.) But, if it were playing in a waiting line, over and over and over and over…well, I might just want to shoot myself.

4. Milkshake

Damn right it’s better than yours. Wait, what?

3. Pretty much any Hannah Montana song

This may be a cop out not choosing just one, but they all sound the same to me. And they’re all annoying after, oh, I don’t know, 5 seconds? Ten, maybe, if I haven’t heard it before. I’ll even give them a minute, if I’m feeling particularly “tween”-y that day. But on a continuous loop? No dice, Miley/Hannah.

2. The Song That Never Ends

I suppose by its very nature, this couldn’t actually be on a playlist. It would be its own playlist. And it would be a sufficient enough hell all by itself. I remember singing it on road trips and at camp, as a kid, and I’m really not sure how my parents and counselors maintained their sanity. Stupid Lambchop.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

This song truly drives me crazy. I see no merit in lyrics that go, “chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side.” Are you ordering a meal or did I miss the hidden meaning? (Which is entirely possible.) Regardless, if I hear this song multiple times in a row, or even once, all the way through, I will expect to see a man with a red pointy tail and a pitchfork. There’s no way that Satan won’t be involved if “Chicken Noodle Soup” is on repeat.

But hey, that’s just me. I’m sure there are some I’m forgetting…or have blocked from my memory. So, what songs would be on your hell playlist?

Please tell me I’m not alone with “Chicken Noodle Soup.”

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