Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Sweet, Two Fabulous Two Years

I'm currently sitting on my bed - finished watching Cutting Edge: Going for Gold - and I realized that April was the first month I started blogging in two years ago. A little detective work (because there are some dates I just can't remember) and, turns out, I almost missed it.

Today is my two year blogiversary.

It's been two years since I started blogging about life, college, and everything in between. There's been high points and low points, triumphs, fails (epic fails, in some cases) and three months that were spent on the other side of the Atlantic. Two years ago I was wetting my feet in the blogging world, not really knowing what I was doing, not really sure where I was going (which, honestly, I still don't know and frankly I'm okay with that), and just more or less wandering around randomly poking things. Proverbially, of course.

Two years later there's still plenty of wandering, some poking, a 53,000+ word novel (yeah, that's how many words Murphy and Me has), and a series of asshattery best described as Things to Know. There's also a heaping dose of reality and, always, too much coffee for one wandering Sagittarius.

Raise your glass - or your coffee cup, you know I'm not picky - and we'll just say here's to two years down, and as many more to go as we can handle. Cheers!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Murphy and Me XXXV

[College. That is all I have to say.]

I trotted across the road while Murph relocated to the backyard. Pretty sure he was more nervous than when he had to meet Peter. In an odd way he should be - Elizabeth might be more difficult to win over than the previous adults.

Though if he pushed her on the swing he might have a chance.

She and Izzy were waiting on the porch. El - With no shoes on, of course - came immediately to give me a hug and say, "Carry me?"

"Of course." I swung her easily onto my hip, waved to my sister, and started back toward my side of the double yellow line. Once on the grass she took off for the backyard and her sudden reappearance as I was drawing level with dad's truck told me she'd found Murph and was confused. "It's okay."

"Pick me up?"

With a twenty-something pound child on my hip, we headed 'round to the playset, Murph standin' between the house and the swing looking sufficiently lost.

"Elizabeth, this is Murphy." She looked from me to what probably seemed like a giant and back again. "He's one of my good friends." Understatement much?

"Morephy? Like my Morephy?" she asked, squirming to get down.


She walked over to him and looked up. "Push me?"

"Sure," he said, unsure what to do.

"Ask her what swing," I fake-whispered, toeing off my shoes and then stuffing my socks in them. He looked at me like I was crazy and then asked the small child, who pointed to the baby swing. Murph picked her up like she was made of glass and she conned him into letting her snap the shoulder straps.

One of the most striking images I will ever remember whether or not Murphy and I stay together is him pushing my two-year-old niece on the swing set. A six foot one football boy and a small child.

The two loves of my life, right there together.

I sat on the regular swing next to El and put blades of grass between my toes, listening to Murph and El have a conversation...Well, as much of a conversation as a college student and a toddler can have. It consisted mostly of "Hear that?" "What?" "Plane!" And two heads looking upward trying to find the plane when it was a motorcycle on the road out front.

Not that it mattered, but, damn, it was both priceless and absolutely adorable.

Even better was when she got out of the swing and demanded - by cajoling of course - that he take off his shoes and socks. How could he deny a blue-eyed Karizslowski descendant? He couldn't. Which brought me to the conclusions that I'd never before seen him in bare feet.

He looked at me shyly. "I'm a little...Not a big fan of my own feet."

Toes are toes. Mine are...Okay, they're not roses but there's no fungus on 'em. With one eye on El, I shuffled through the grass and lined my big toes up with Murph's. It was then I realized I'd lost my left big toenail through some combination of practice, games, and a culminating hot shower. Oops.

"I could probably give you the best lookin' toenails on the football team. If you want me to."

He smiled. "Probably not."

El came from the right, grabbed one of my hands, took one of Murph's and planted a bony foot each on one of ours, pink toenails on display.

"Your toes are pretty," he said.

She grinned at him. "My mommy does them."

So, contrary to Murph's first impression, he and the small child got along like a house afire. Especially when she cracked open the sandbox. He sat on the FisherPrice crab's leg, knees around his ears, and let El bury his feet up to his ankles.

Dinner was a less than interesting affair. My brother-in-law Dean sized up my boyfriend upon entrance into the kitchen, but other than that and El's apparent potato strike, it was pretty tame. Goodbyes were eventually made, and with a bag of monster cookies and one last comment about how El likes "Ollie's Morephy" we were in the car and headed back toward the other end of the lake.

By way of Dunkin Donuts, of course.

"Do you want anything?"

"A kiss?"

I snorted and leaned over for a quick one before ordering a medium iced coffee and two vanilla frosted donuts (because Murph really likes them, as I'd just found out) and a couple donut holes were thrown in for good measure by the night staff. They were good like that, sometimes.

"Your family is awesome," he said once the lights had faded into the rearview. "And El...She's absolutely adorable."

"They like you." They did, too. Izzy had sent me multiple texts to this effect.

"I could tell." He shifted in the seat. "I like them, too." He shifted again, enough to stretch across the back of my seat again and rub the nape of my neck. His other hand turned on the radio and Brad Paisley crooned through the speakers. "I'm not sure how we'll do at Liberties."

Which was a polite way of saying his season was going to come to an end and mine...Well, mine might go on for a bit. Possibly to mid-December. Or maybe no. Depended on how we did during the opening rounds of the tournament, which depended on how well we did at Liberty Leagues.

And that would be determined by how we did the rest of the season.

Which would make life interesting.

"What are you doing on Halloween?"

I slowed my bucket of bolts down - sixty instead of sixty-five was much better. "I dunno. I'll probably wait and see what my boyfriend does." We were most likely going out, which is why my pirate costume was on the bottom of the pile of clean clothes in the backseat.

"Your boyfriend's thinking of taking his girlfriend to Colby's costume party."

Which sounded much better than going to a frat.

"I can handle that." Then had another thought. "Murph?"


"What year is Colby?"

"Sophomore, same as us. Colby was a transfer from the University of Albany. When he got here this summer, they didn't have a place to put him, so he was temporarily housed in the mini quad. Then some of the senior football boys needed another housemate after one of them bailed. So he took that."

Which reconfirmed that dealing with Res Ed was anything but pleasant. "Oh."

"He can't live off campus senior year because he's already doing so." And our school only allowed off campus housing to happen one year out of your four.

"How's this week lookin' for you?" he asked.

I'm not much for planning, but this week might take some actual writing down. "Kinda rough." Any week with physics was automatically difficult. Considering it was a MWF class, well, life was grand. "It'll be okay, though."

Because in five days it would be Friday again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Peeks out from around the bushes.

Hi. Yeah, I know it's been a while. College has It's winding down which means it's actually doing the opposite, in terms of workload, and that makes life a little interesting. On the bright side, housing for next year isn't an issue and someone, somewhere, decided that I was Orientation Mentor material and now I'm all set up to work with the incoming class of 2015.

Things come full circle, don't they?

I have re-discovered my love of the TV show Numb3rs. It also helps that, considering how many classes I've now taken (one of which I'm currently in is more applied mathematics than anything else) I can actually understand some of Charlie's math a little more. There was a blackboard in the background in one of the episodes, and it was labeled Legendre's Polynomials - I know that. We talked about that in my quantum mechanics class. It's kind of familiar.

Familiar in a way that you've seen it, mentioned it, worked with it once (written it down) and then more or less forgotten about it.

I was at my EiC's house after one of our weekly meetings a couple weeks ago - tired out of my mind - and wearing sweatpants. It was the beginnings of hell week, I think, for the show, and I'm standing there, tired and wearing more make-up than I have in three years, and idly wondering if there was, by any chance, evidence of where I had spilled my beer on my sweatpants. My EiC turns to me, looks me square in the face, and says, "You are so damn comfortable with yourself."

There have been some moments, the past couple of weeks, when I haven't been so damn comfortable with myself. And one of my best guy friends just looked at me and goes, "Be nice to yourself. You deserve it."

Anyway. I guess the point of that is that even those of us who are comfortable with ourselves still have our moments when we're not nice to each other.

Generally speaking, my weeks have consisted of doing college work - six hours yesterday saw the last set of mineral unknowns now in index card form; I have my side of a scene memorized for my Shakespeare class; the book I have on black holes and the general secrets of the universe is quite helpful; my problem set for Geo was done spectacularly early this week.

I'm almost in the mood to start actually writing again. I was going good for a while, working on The Crossing and then, well, academia caught up with me again. What I'd really like is to get some more done on Murphy and Me. Maybe during reading days. Maybe.

Anyway, that's the long and short of what's been going on with me. Hope your end of things has been less hectic.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Roads to Take

Or not to take, as the case may be.

It was a really difficult decision, one that I really didn't think about otherwise I would have waffled back and forth for, well, days, and in the end, it's really for the best, hard as it is to see that now.

On the subject of whether to apply for the writing class to be held by our sort of writer in residence, I've decided not to. Even apply, that is.

Writing is something that is so ingrained in me, it's really hard to separate the two. It's not like acting, where there's the actor me or with playing soccer, where there's this person on the field that has my body, but does things with it that, if I were probably thinking about them in any other context, I'm not sure I'd do. Things like slide-tackling a girl from behind in my own penalty box, or going head to head (almost literally) with an attacking player. This isn't like that. The Louise and writing are two very intricate, almost completely combined things.

The reason I'm not even going to apply is because I don't think I have the strength to be accepted and not actually rearrange things and take the class. I don't think I'm strong enough to just take the fact that I was accepted and go with that. For me, right now, it's better to not even apply and wonder whether I would have made it or not, rather than apply, get accepted, and force myself do not do anything about it.

This was not an easy decision, but one of those that you make and then, maybe a few years later, think...what if?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Sometimes it feels like I've had more than one life in twenty-one years. Like, if you were to track me through the tail end of high school up until now, you could easily see where one part of me left off and the other started. It's a little harder to see what brought me here, the stuff that's on the inside and doesn't see the light of day except in extreme circumstances. It's hard to see the bad stuff because there doesn't seem to be a camera present when it all goes down the tubes. Why? Mostly because it's not a pretty picture. No pun intended.

Maybe it's because I realized this morning was the last morning I was going to register for fall undergraduate courses, and, well, that's got me more than a little freaked out and tooling through a bit of memory lane. The stages of me, not the pieces, because the important pieces don't fall off anymore. They chip - sometimes really easily - but they don't actually come off anymore.

I might have learned how to bend a little easier, instead of outright fracturing. Or I might have just morphed into stronger stuff. I don't know. And if I don't know, you people must not have a clue.

What I do know is that I can see the journey - the part of the journey - I've taken. I can the see the ways I've changed, both physically and in the ways that aren't so obvious.

Looking back might be a way to look ahead, too. I don't know where I'm goin', but I know where I come from, and I'm just fine with knowing only that. As for the rest of it? Well, I'll deal with it as it comes. One day at a time.


It's the first full week in April. This morning was registration and I don't think there has ever been, in my three years here, a registration that went as smoothly as that.

When you sit at the top of the stack it makes things a little easier.

As of this morning I was content with my schedule. I'm still content with it, as there's not much moving around that I can do with four classes and three labs. Not much moving around that I really wanted to do, truthfully. Fall semester is going to be a tad bit difficult as it is.

And this was before I found out about the workshop from our "writer in residence" type of person where it's an apply and get chosen type of thing. Apparently he's a very good fiction writer. As I've spent the past six years of my life working on a novel, and without becoming egotistical, I think I'm pretty decent fiction writer. This would be a very good thing for me to do. It would be a small class - only fifteen students or so - and the guy teaching would be picking a smaller number of students from that class to continue to work with him in the spring semester.

I don't know what to do. This would be a fifth official class, not to mention that I would have my last education seminar in the fall, and it would also be the first time with me at the helm of martini.

This is one of those occasions when my own sanity comes into conflict with the philosophy of maybe twenty years down the line regretting doing, instead of not doing.

What really scares me? I'm running out of tomorrows. Tomorrows and second chances and starting to put an end date, a number, on my days. And when you realize that, it becomes almost overwhelmingly terrifying.

I can either rearrange my labs (it's possible) and leave my Tuesday afternoons free for this writing class, or I can not apply to it, not take it, and leave everything as is. I don't know what to do and I'm scared of the doing the wrong thing.

Just...tell me I'm not the only one in this position. That would make me feel a tad bit better about the whole damn thing.
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz