Monday, May 30, 2011

The Working Girl Returns

I've been kind of absent lately. I know. There's a reason behind it. Three, actually.

Waitressing, subbing, and refereeing. Not necessarily in that order, either.

However, due to the amount of time I spend in either my car or my mother's (depends on which is in the driveway for me to drive wherever I need to go to get someplace to do one of those three previous things) I've had the chance to sort of preview this summer's music. I'm more of a country fan (I'm a country child, so it makes sense) and these are two songs that I've heard and I've, honestly, fallen quite a bit in love with.

So, in the hopes that I can fan my blogger spark into something larger again, I share with you Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean and Barefoot Blue Jean Night by Jake Owen.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Murphy and Me XXXVII

[Happy Tuesday, Heather Ann.]

It was the Tuesday after our Saturday rain game against Hamilton that I started to feel like shit. First it was the sniffles, followed by a cough that had me sounding more like a sick seal than a human. I fired off an email to my placement teaching telling her I was ill (and therefore not coming, no matter how many hours in the hole I was) and barely dragged my ass to my seminar. It was a one absence only seminar and therefore my ass needed to be there.

And being there physically? Sure as shit not the same as being present and accounted for mentally.

As my ass - and the rest of the body it was attached to - was having a difficult time staying upright, there was no way acting class was feasible. It was difficult to breathe through clogged nostrils standing still, let along acting as a squirrel. Yeah, our professor was a little out there.

After a conversation (or parts of it, as I tried to hack up a lung shortly after 'hello') with my coach, I was looking at a free Tuesday and was going to spend it passed out and snuggling in my lovely dorm bed. Preferably wrapped around Edgar.

Couldn't be wrapped around Murph as he didn't need to get sick. Didn't need to risk getting Dev, Liam, and Colby sick, either. But as Murph would want to check on me later - and he still flinched at the idea of my unlocked door on a trip to the bathroom - he would need my keys to actually get in the room.

Oblivious to the fact it was nine in the morning, I knocked on the door to the fishbowl. Dev didn't even crawl outta bed to answer it.

"Ollie?" he blinked sleepily at me.

I hacked up my kidney into the crook of my arm. We both flinched. "Can you get Murph?"

"How 'bout I get you a doctor first?" he mumbled, sliding off the bed. I held the door open with one hand, utterly miserable.

"Ol?" Murph was there in an instant, rubbing at his jaw. If my head hadn't been so damn fuzzy, the sight of my boyfriend with no shirt would have made me stare and drool. His hand touched my forehead and then recoiled. "Damn, you're hot."

"Such a sweet talker." I really needed to lay down. "Will you come check on me later?"

"Absolutely." He was offended I asked - like it was a given. "Leave your...Nope. I'll come with you now."

Barefoot and bare chested, Murph followed me up the stairs. Opened my door. Tucked me into bed after turning his back so I could change at a snail's pace.

Don't remember him leaving, but remember the sound of the lock going. A nap seemed like the right thing to shoot for.

Bushes lined the path. Green bushes. And all through the bushes little Amish people would pop up, almost like Whack-a-Mole.

Then there was clear blue sky above me as I lay on the August-warmed asphalt, having just walked into the side mirror of a truck.

Purple fireworks went off and everything started to spin, blending together.

Down and down fell the bed, the stamps, Amish hats, and side mirrors...

My feet were against something that moved every now and then and a warm, heavy weight on my calf. Opened my eyes, blinked a couple of times, and the wall came into focus. So did Edgar and what looked like Smokey. But what was Smokey doing up here?

I shifted, craning around to look at the other end of the bed and found Murph sitting with one elbow on the dresser and his nose in a European history textbook. He looked at me when I pushed my toes against his hard thigh.

"Hey," he said, laying the book down on his other leg. "How do you feel?"

Pulled the comforter up to my nose and blinked, trying to convince my stomach there was need to evacuate. Hopefully it would listen.

Murph squeezed my calf and then went back to rubbing it. "You want another blanket?"

Nope. Just...This was fine. I shook my head and rolled over. The trashcan was between the desk and the closet, like normal. Only it really needed to be by the bed as, while I only paid twenty bucks for my indoor/outdoor carpet, I didn't want to buy another one.

"I think Liam's coming up shortly," he said, hand now on my knee, thumb rubbing hypnotically over my kneecap. The bubbling in my gut settled marginally. "He's bringing some cold meds. Nothing with ibuprofen in it since your system doesn't like."

Well remembered from Lord knows when, Murph. Well remembered.

If Liam also had anything resembling food, things were going to go south in a hurry. Or was it north? Either way, it wasn't going to be pretty.

As my boyfriend is freakin' fabulous in general, I smiled at him, settling again.

Until Liam opened the door and the scent of soup wafted through the room.

I somehow stumbled out from under the covers without breaking myself, shoved past Liam and sprinted down the hall to the bathroom in bare feet. Normally I'd freak at that. As there were other important things - like puking - to worry about, I let it go and careened into the handicapped stall, barely making it to the bowl before heaving.

Couldn't remember the last time I'd upchucked but I did remember one very important thing - it sucked.

Murph barged into the stall seconds later, pushing a leg between mine and wrapping an arm around my clavicle to make sure I stayed upright while bringing up what felt like nineteen years worth of food, stomach included. The sound of the bathroom door closing seemed dim in comparison to the horrific sounds coming from the handicapped stall which made me realize Liam must have followed us in and was guarding the door.

Gasping for breath and swallowing frantically in hopes I wouldn't start dry heaving, the tiny part of my brain not focused on the immediate issue was screaming I'd wind up with some unnatural foot fungus from being barefoot so close to a communal toilet.

Which started another round of stomach spasms and dry heaves.

When it passed, Murph was kissing the top of my head and murmuring utter nonsense. Nonsense was good. Focusing on his voice was good. Relaxing was even better.

Liam must have entered the stall at some point as he was somewhere to my left and telling me to breathe. Which was useful information.

I stood, balanced mostly by over two hundred pounds of football player and wanting desperately to rinse. Liam, bless him, must have been a mind-reader in a past life and handed me a glass - one from my room - of water. I rinsed, spit, and leaned against Murph's broad chest, ready to sleep again.

"Sorry about that," Liam said quietly.

"Not your fault." It wasn't, either. He was trying to do something nice and it had sort of...backfired. Or maybe exploded grossly was more appropriate.

From the gurgle my belly just made, no more talk of exploding anything.

"You wanna rinse one more time?"

I shook my head mutely. Murph eased his leg out and then swung me up against his chest. I was so damn miserable I didn't protest to being carried like a child. Liam flushed and then held doors for us all the way back to my corner single. It was a little chilly - the window was open, presumably to get rid of the soup stench. Murph set me on the bed, practically force-fed me meds, and then tucked me back in. Liam, from the sound of it, had settled into my moon chair, grumbling at the wireless, or lack thereof. Murph repositioned the trashcan, shucked his shoes and crawled up with me. My body made room for him automatically and practically melted when he started rubbing my back.

"Dev doesn't even puke that much when he's drunk," Murph said conversationally after a few minutes.

"I'm special," I muttered, settling back against him when he wrapped an arm around me and my covers.

"Not a party trick I'd share at the President's house," Liam chimed in, typing away.

Thank you, peanut gallery.

"Least she has one."

Missed Liam's retort by getting sucked into that void of exhaustion, medication, and utter relaxation. Hope the dreams were better this go 'round.

Well, this was different. One moment I was in Jackson and the next I was on my old back porch next to Ronon Dex from Stargate: Atlantis. At least the sky was blue.

"What are we doing?"

"There's Wraith in the trees."

Which seemed perfectly normal when he said it like that. Until life-sucking space vampires came hurtling down from the treeline. I yelped like an idiot and all but fell off the porch, sprinting toward my own house.

And almost got hit by a classic Cadillac driven by a man in a leather kilt - who looked a lot like Colby - halfway across the road. Hands on the hood, I stared.

"Get in."


"Get in."

"I don't know who the hell you are!" Might look like Colby but probably wasn't. Could be Evil Colby.

In the end, the horde of space vampires tramping through the backyard made the choice fairly straightforward. I was in the passenger seat before really thinking about it and the Colby-Not Colby gunned it down the road.

"Might wanna sleep," he said, flipping on the radio. "It's a fairly long drive."

Which was code for close eyes for what felt like five minutes and open them somewhere completely different. A big different. A clearing, horses, and a Murph who looked like an extra from an episode of
Xena: Warrior Princess kind of different. Sword and leather shirt included, free of charge. I stared openly.

"We must ride," he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me toward a horse the size of a small shed. The Cadillac was nowhere in sight.

"But you don't know how to ride - "

Murph was already hoisting me up into the saddle. For a boy who didn't like heights, he was about to be surprised. He swung easily into the saddle and away we went, me protesting - loudly - that neither of us knew what the hell we were doing.

The tree branch came from nowhere.

I jerked awake, ramming my elbow back into something warm and relatively soft. Whatever it was gave a grunt and poked me hard in the ribcage. Murph. Only my boyfriend would poke me after first elbowing him in the diaphragm.

Meant to say "What time is it?" but something must have not totally computed because it came out a garbled mess that didn't resemble anything close to English.

There was some rooting around under the pillow, followed by a sigh. "One-thirty.

Really? Felt like I'd been down for the count for days. "Oh."

"How's your belly?"

No longer wanting to throw up everything it had ever ingested. "Better."

"Do you think it's up for some food?"

I shrugged, turning over and burying my nose in the warm juncture of Murph's neck and shoulder. Could so go back to sleep like this. The boy was a freaking furnace on legs, no doubt about that. He slung his arm around my waist, rubbing a broad hand up and down my spine.

"Liam left the soup."

Oh. God. Liam. Liam who had brought me the soup trying to be nice and had wound up in the handicapped stall with me and his twin when I did my drunk freshman impersonation. He wasn't a sympathy puker, thankfully, but it wasn't very nice of me. Would be the equivalent of me bring him a sandwich or something and Liam running for the nearest toilet.

Though....Maybe these were extenuating circumstances....

"And he understands you weren't feeling well earlier." Murph eased himself into a sitting position and slowly brought me with him while I tried to figure out if my boyfriend had recently developed ESP.

"Microwave's at the other end of the hallway." I leaned against the wall, blinking owlishly as Murph slid off the bed and knelt to open the mini fridge. Someone must have stuck the soup in there after my disappearance. "Is he offended?"

He sat up, cracking his head on the underside of the bed frame, soup container in hand. "What? No. No, Liam's not offended." He stood. "He's not offended that you blew chunks over the smell of food."

Well then. That settles that.

He tucked the comforter around my hips better, kissed me on the forehead, and went to reheat lunch. Smokey sat next to Edgar and eyed me. There was a very big significance in the fact that Smokey was out of the fishbowl. The only conclusion that came to mind was that I had the sweetest boyfriend not only in the known universe, but in all the ones unknown, too.

Murph came back in looking toward the shelf with my stolen Saga-ware, found a spoon, and gave the contents a stir. Handed it to me and climbed up next to me again. "It's chicken noodle but we'd figured you just wouldn't eat the noodles 'cause they're not wheat." His thigh was warm against mine, even through all the layers separating us.

"I have weird dreams when I'm sick," I said after a while and dear God, had I been gnawing on gravel in my sleep?

"How weird?"

"Amish and Stargate: Atlantis weird." Pause. "With some Xena thrown in for good measure."

He slipped an arm behind me, pulling me close. "Weird. I don't dream when I'm sick."

"Lucky duck." Sick dreams were either hysterical or terrifying. So far, I was two for two in the hysterical category. "Do you have class today?"

"At three." He held up his book from the dresser. How he'd found space to put it there to begin with was beyond me. "Brought my reading with me."

Today was a day where Ollie wasn't going to be productive at all. Also a day to refer to myself in the third person, too. Incidentally, it was probably also time for another nap.

I slid out of bed onto wooden legs to take care of my empty soup container, needing to get up and around the small room. Murph shifted, curling up behind me when I crawled back under the covers and got situated. Rolled over and stuffed myself against him. Something unknotted in my chest; my throat tightened for a different reason and I sniffed, covering it up with the fact that I already had a stuffy nose.

This, this right here, was new to me. New, exciting and so damn sweet it made my heart just to beat. Holding me while I hurled, staying with me, bringing me soup and meds and just caring...This made my eyes burn.

Because Bobby had never done this for me. Not. One. Time.

[Insert Expletive Here]

Some things, no matter how many times you force them to the back of your mind and tell yourself you've dealt with them, don't actually ever leave you alone.

I was out walking with my mom the other night - because we wanted to walk - and my exboyfriend doesn't live very far down the road from me. We had stopped at my grandmother's to talk to my aunt and uncle (who were using their trunk to remove grass and throw it down over the bank, yes my family is like that at times) when I looked up the road and saw a very familiar figure. And wanted to start swearing immediately. It was one of those times that, even though you know deep inside you're glad that things worked out the way they did, that life is funny like that and doesn't give you more than you can handle (though, it really seems like that) it just makes you remember.

You realize then it's quite another to be alright when the subject isn't around, but it's quite another to actually be alright when confronted face to face. Or rather, road to driveway.

Ultimately, it makes me wonder when exactly I'm going to find a Murphy of my own. I've got great friends, an amazing family, and a winding road ahead of me, but in a way, I'm still kind of lonely.

Patience in this aspect is not one of my virtues.

The other thing that's sort of eating at me and has me kind of freaking out is that my aunt's cancer came back. After losing a teammate in March to a lung infection because fighting leukemia for the second time hadn't left her with much left in the tank, this was just a bit much. My aunt will do what she needs to do to fight it, but...It's still cancer.

It's. Still. Cancer.

Like everything else life decides to chuck my way, I'll find a way to get through it. Hopefully intact.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Murphy and Me XXXVI

"You can borrow them, if you want."

I stood up and nearly whacked my head into the underside of Sasha's closet shelf. "Really? I mean - "

She chuckled. "You can borrow my hooker boots. Really." Her smile turned sly. "I think Murph will appreciate 'em." She outright grinned. "I'm just sayin'...He likes it when his girl looks good."

"And hooker boots make me look good?" Yeah, there was some skepticism there.

"Well, he likes you anyway, even when you wear those damn things - " she pointed to my ugly-as-hell plain black sneakers, my work shoes. " - so I think you could go barefoot and he'd be okay."

Which was true, too. "Okay." The boots moved from the closet to hear my backpack. Wouldn't look odd at all for me to be walkin' 'cross campus with those. Not. At. All.

I sat on the half of the pushed together dorm beds that was Sasha's. "Where's Cara?"

"Class." Sasha crawled onto the desk chair and nearly fell out of it. "Then she has some other meeting and then the choreographers meeting."

"I don't know any reason why they wouldn't let you two dance together." Was the truth, too. Cara, from what I'd heard, was a great choreographer.

"Oh, I know." She fiddled with one of the photos taped to the study carrel. "Anyway - How's Ford man?"

"Murphy's fine." My phone somehow appeared in my hand. Open. Shut. "He had a nice time Sunday." Open. Shut. "Elizabeth loves him."

"Which is code for everyone, am I right?" Sasha chuckled.

Silence stretched between us.

"Cara and I almost had sex last night."

That came out of left field.

"Oh." And...Yeah. No idea what to say to that. None whatsoever. "Uh...Things are going then, yeah?"

She bit her lip. "Yes and no. I think we're in some sort of odd transition state and, while it didn't feel weird last night it wasn't...I mean, we've been there before but this had a different feel to it."

"Good different or bad different?" Still trying to process that last bombshell.


Which, in an odd way, made both perfect sense and none at all. "What happened after?"

Sasha shrugged. "We kissed some more, then she held me and sometime later we drifted off." She looked at her fingernails. "The only thing that you could call different was that I was the spoonee and not the spooner."

Spooning was the Visa of cuddling - generally accepted everywhere. And it wasn't just for hetero couples.

Technically, I think Murph and I had yet to spoon. Technically speaking.

Also just realized my best friend slept either naked or mostly naked. However, not my business.

"Did she say anything during spooning?"

She shrugged again. At this rate she was going to strain a back muscle.

"Just that she missed me."

Which could mean more than one thing. Murph murmured "missed you" into my clavicle when we shared a bed on the weekend and he hadn't seen me since Wednesday.

Or, in this case, it could mean missing what Sasha and Cara had had. I think part of their simplicity was gone and it was going to screw with them for a while.

Then I asked a question that would normally not see the light of day. "How was the almost sex?"

Sasha smiled slowly. "Brilliant. She did this, this thing with her tongue and..." She blushed faintly. "Anyway. It was good."

Any almost sex she had was better than the slim chance or sex that was my life.

And the fact that I was terrified of my own body had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. Let's factor in the fact that I was downright terrified to let Murph even think about glimpsing me naked. Considering he was male and my boyfriend, he had probably thought of me naked. Multiple times.

Which was a train of thought that needed to go away. Immediately.

"So that was normal?"

Sasha nodded. "Maybe...Maybe we've got past whatever we needed to get past."

Maybe. Or maybe it was the calm before the proverbial storm. Who knew - the weather was supposed to be shit all week.

"That would be a good thing." A very good thing as I could stop worrying that my best friend was heading for a breakdown of monumental proportions - and tequila.

"Very," she said quietly. "You and Murphy have plans for Halloween?"

I let the sudden change in topic slide, grateful to talk about something less awkward. "Yup. Costume party and...That's probably it." We hadn't thought much beyond Colby's costume party. We'd probably just come back and crash. Depending on what Dev was doing would determine my place or Murphy's. "You got plans?"

"Maybe order in, watch some slasher films and cuddle."

Cuddling was nice. Slasher films? Not so much. Chinese or pizza would be the deal breaker.

"That sounds fun." It did - I'd just pick a different movie. "How's classes going?" Breath. "How's Koshare?"

"Classes are classes." She picked up a pen from the holder on her desk and began turning it over in her hands. "No big emergencies or panics there. And Koshare...It's interesting to have your girlfriend as your choreographer. It's not a collaborative process, more like following her vision. It's a great vision, don't get me wrong, but it's a little awkward at times." She fumbled the pen. "Especially if you're not seeing eye to eye."

Dance move to dance move might have been more appropriate but I kept my mouth shut. However, couldn't resist in the end. "Artistic differences?"

Sasha snorted. "Understatement." She nearly dropped a second pen to the floor. "I mean, it's great but...There are some parts that would look better if I did them because they're..."

"Not her concentration."

Sasha nodded. "But it's all good. We keep the studio in the studio as best we can."

Which was probably not an easy thing to do. Maybe it was a good thing Murph and I didn't have a common extracurricular activity.

"How's your week look?"

It was my turn to shrug. "Same as usual. I'm kind of sucking at getting my teaching hours so far, but it's hard between lab, practice, games and...breathing." Looked at my hands, unsure if I wanted to drop this bombshell. Oh, what the hell. Live in the moment and all that. "I'm not sure I want to do this anymore."

She stared, pen thumping softly to the carpet. "What?" She reached for number three.

I slipped my Chuck Taylor's off and drew my legs up. "I just...I don't know. It's a lot of effort on top of everything else and I'm not really liking it as much as I thought I would. It kinda sucks." My socks were mismatched - one gold toe, one blue. El would approve. "I'm only doing it as a back up plan and not as that thing that I really want to do with my life. I mean, look at Murph. Murphy wants to be a history teacher. He's pumped about it. Wants to stay and do the MAT program. Me? Right now it's just another thing to worry about."

Between physics, keeping track of time, and soccer, I had enough to keep me occupied. And I hadn't mentioned orgo, yet.

"So why did you sign up?" Sasha moved her computer back a bit to put her rear on the actual desk. "Why apply in the first place?"

"Because it was a back up plan." Not the only reason, but definitely the simplest. "And I like to work with kids." Again, slightly more complicated than that. Why be black and white when you could operate in shades of gray?

"But you're not sure it's what you really want."

That right there summed it up quite nicely. "Yup."

And really, that's all there was to it. What it came down to was that I didn't know what I wanted, now much less wanted as a back up plan. Hell, maybe waitressing would just be my back up plan. It'd worked like a charm so far.

Considering I turned into a workaholic when I was home for the summer, it didn't really surprise me.

I looked at the time on my phone - it was nearly eight. "I gotta go - I'm having dinner with Murph."

"It's late for dinner, isn't it?" Sasha squinted at Cara's clock on her desk.

"Not when you're having a sort of date with your boyfriend." I uncurled and started to put my Converse back on. "I guess it's not really a sort of date, it is a date. Dinner and a movie." Dinner being ordered-in Chinese and the movie being from the boys' DVD collection. Depending on what mood we were in it might be an action film or something hopelessly romantic.

Hope we were more inclined toward action, truthfully. While I loved my best friend and the fact that she was in an exclusive, loving relationship with someone as great as Cara, it was sometimes a little hard to swallow. Maybe it was because my relationship with Murph was so new, that I was still trying to get past that infamous four month mark.

That damn four month mark I tried really hard not to think about since it made my blood pressure skyrocket.

Sasha stumbled off her perch to give me a hug. "Have fun on your date."

I nodded, turning serious while picking up the boots she was lending me. "You ever need me - to talk or listen or anything - just call. My phone's always on." It was. For her it always would be.

"Thanks." She hugged me again.

With footwear that made absolutely no sense being within fifty feet of me in hand, I headed out of the building and down the hill. And back to my original train of thought about those damn four months.

Bobby and I had been off and on all through high school - usually in periods of about four months. We'd be good as gold for a while and then things just sort of...went downhill. So we'd take a break for a little while and then after a couple weeks - maybe a month - we'd get back together for about another four months. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Considering Bobby was my one previous decent relationship - though hindsight is twenty-twenty - I had to base things off of, I was honestly expecting Murph and I to follow that same pattern or a variation of it. Not what I wanted, but more or less what I was expecting.

Which, if Murph found that out, he'd probably have me committed. At least.

This was one of those times where I hated being in my own head.

A couple of Smithies nearly whacked me between the eyes with the front door of Jackson while I fumbled for my keys. Snark in check, the stairs to the second floor seemed a little longer than normal and I dropped the boots - and my Chucks - on the new, and, honestly, forty-year-old-homemaker welcome mat and knocked on the door of the fishbowl.

A breathless, wet-haired Murph answered. "Yeah - Oh. Hey."

I stuffed my hands in my pockets. "Hi." He was wearing his good jeans and a nice button down with a long-sleeved white shirt. Murph always looked good to me but right now? Hot. Damn.

Which had me worried I was under dressed. "Am I...?" Not the most eloquent question I've ever asked, I'll admit.

"No," he said quickly, "you look fine. Great."

He was a little nervous. Clearly. "I'm in jeans and a t-shirt."

Murph gave me that smile, the one that threatened to break his face. "Do I really have to say it?"

"Nope." His hand found the small of my back once through the door and the room smelled of Chinese take out. Lunch now seemed very far away.

As far as impromptu Thursday night dates went, this was quite excellent. And it technically hadn't even started yet. Sure dinner was ready but the movie hadn't been picked out and Murph seemed more on edge than he ever was. Especially around me.

There was another blanket down on top of the comforter, an older one, and while eating a Nutri-Grain bar was one thing, sesame chicken was quite another. Smokey sat proudly atop Murph's pillows and I settled on the bed, leaving Murph plenty of room. He handed me both plates to get himself up there and I handed the beef and broccoli back.

"We're away this weekend," I said, mixing the rice with the sauce. "So, I have no idea when I'll be back."

He swallowed what might have been a broccoli spear whole. "Do...Do you want me to leave the door unlocked?"

It was tempting. The only problem was that I was probably going to reek and didn't want to accidentally wake Dev. And where would my bag go? That didn't need to stink up the whole damn room at some beastly hour.

And him leaving the door unlocked was the equivalent of him giving me a key. Which threatened to make my head explode.

It was easier to look at my plate, pushing rice around. "I don't want to disturb anybody."

"It would be a Saturday, right? No idea what Dev's gonna be doing but I have a paper to write, so I'll be here." He moved an onion out of his way. "I mean, if you don't want to, that's fine - "

I looked at him. "I need to shower, at least, because I don't wanna crawl into bed - yours, at least - sweating and smelling like...sweat." Ate some chicken. "I'll let you know when I get back and shower and then I'll come down." Because chillin' with Murph on a Saturday night? Damn fine plan.

"If you don't - "

"I do." I did. "I just don't want to freak you out by how bad I smell."

"Oh." He blinked. "You don't have to worry about that."

"Call it a girl thing."

He popped a piece of beef in his mouth and nodded.

"What's your paper on?"

"It's our history midterm paper. Four to six pages."

Which reminded me I need to not only make flash cards for T-S Britain, but also needed to study them, too. "Fun."

We talked about classes, about flu season (and this year's flavor was swine, not bird) and ate our way through our respective Chinese containers. Murph deposited the empty containers in the hall trash and flipped one row of lights off on his way back to the bed.

"So," he said, easing to the floor and burying his upper body under the bed. "I have two potential movies."

I flopped ungracefully forward, feet against the wall, palms against the bed frame to steady myself and looked down at Murph's broad back. His movie collection must be under his bed. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." He grunted. "Do you have your phone handy?" He stretched a hand back; I shimmied the phone out of my pocket and dropped it into his palm. "Thanks."

"No problem."

He thunked his head on the way out and stayed on his knees, resting his forearms on the mattress on either side of my head. Up close and personal, and he dove in for a kiss. "I have Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Stardust."

Good choices. Very good choices. Not what I was expecting, though that was fine by me.

"Stardust, if you're okay with that." He kissed me again and stood, firing up the DVD player and setting the TV on the right channel. I rolled upright and leaned against the wall. Murph tossed the DVD remote on the comforter and turn off the rest of the lights.

There was some jostling as we tried to find some comfortable position and still clearly see screen on the dresser across the room. In the end, Murph's back was to the wall with me tucked into his side, one arm around the small of his back and the other resting on his thigh, our fingers laced together. With my left shin across both of his, this could possibly be utter contentment.

Could? Let's rephrase: Is.

Ian McKellen's voice came from the TV speakers and I relaxed further into Murph, ear close enough to hear his heart.

However, while I was trying to melt into a puddle of goo, Murph was wound about as tight as a friggin' eight day clock. I dug the fingers of the arm behind him into his opposite hip.

Murph jumped spectacularly.

Yeah. Tighter than a clock.

"What's up?"


"I call bullshit." My fingertips creeped under his button down to rub his side through his layering shirt, mindful he was a tad bit ticklish.

He rubbed his thumb over my knuckles where our hands were joined. Took a deep breath. Nuzzled the top of my head. "Is this alright with you?"

That happy little phrase could pertain to a whole lot of things. My heart kicked it double time, sesame chicken churning in my stomach. "This being movie and dinner?"

Murph shifted a little. "Yeah. I mean - Dinner ordered in..."

It suddenly clicked.

Murph was afraid this date - dinner and a movie in - wasn't good enough. He was worried I wouldn't be happy enough with what he'd be able to give me. The boy wanted to bring me the moon and was worried I wouldn't be happy with the simple star he'd brought back.

He didn't need to take me anywhere fancy or to an eight dollar movie to make he happy. This, sitting here with him, stuffed with Chinese and watching a movie in the fishbowl, was more than enough for me.

Hell, just having this opportunity was enough for me.

"Murphy," I said, sitting up and effectively cutting him off mid ramble. "I don't need a nice restaurant or a movie in a theater. This right here is perfect for me." Just to make my point, I cupped his face and kissed him. Hard.

His hazel eyes searched mine in the darkness and he must have found what he was looking for because he all but melted as he relaxed.

"Wanna watch the extras?" he asked as we settled back in.


Tristran tackled Yvaine and this impromptu middle of the week date was something I could definitely get used to.

Planning. Sort Of.

First of all, I have somehow managed to gather and corrupt forty followers. I consider this quite the accomplishment, considering that I'm just a college kid blogging about what it's like to go through this stage of life and occasionally getting sidetracked by other stuff along the way. Or getting lost. Those two are kind of interchangeable in my world.

To my forty bright and shiny followers - Thank. You.

This is the second full day that I have been home for the summer. The mountain of laundry I brought home with me has been done, and it was a nice way to invite in the summer because I got to hang out most of it yesterday to suck in the country air. Makes everything smell so good and when you take a big whiff the only thing that really permeates my braincells is home.

I have not, however, woken up in the morning with eighteen pounds of cat on my chest or fifty pounds of dog on my ankles. However, I have had my ears cleaned a number of times already.

Now that junior year is done (which, by default, makes me a senior and scares the hell out of me) and it's summer, it's more or less time to look ahead (or try to, at least) to what the upcoming three months will bring. Considering I picked up two work shirts while I was in town today, I think it just comes down to how busy I'll be when the full season rolls around. I go back to work on Wednesday. I'm quite alright with that, truthfully. Been waiting for it for almost two weeks now.

Which more or less means I'm going to be a sort of workaholic in the summer. All while spending as much time with the family - including the small child who's not quite so small anymore and still growing like a weed - and writing. I've got a book to try to finish (actually, if you think about, roughly three, really) and if anything else wants to come my way, well, that'll be welcome, too.

No big plans. Just tryin' to live day to day and sometimes that can be more of a task than planning something huge in the middle of the summer heat.

And, of course, I'll spend some of my summer just doing what I do best - Wandering.

If anybody's got any big summer plans and wants to share, go for it. Here's to the coming good weather and whatever it may bring.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I know we have a few more days until Mother's Day, but that's right smack in the middle of finals and there's no guarantee that I'm going to remember to do this when I've already had my intro geo final and a Shakespearean performance to do in the afternoon, followed by more preparing for my hardest exam - physical chemisty II (quantum mechanics) - bright and way too freakin' early the next morning.

So, before my life gets a little nutzo and my brain decides to take holidays in its downtime while my Focus runs rampant through the dirty clothes all over the inside of my closet, I wanted to make sure I paid my homage to the mom's in my life.

The first mom in my life is my mother - Mama - and she is a fantastic lady. She has gone to numerous soccer games in various locations - up to nearly three hours away from our house, in some cases - and has gotten me through 4H projects, school presentations, growing pains and changes, multiple surgery recoveries, me living for three months in a foreign country over 3,000 miles away and then getting stuck there for 5 extra days, moving me into multiple dorm rooms (one more to move out of and one more to move into for undergrad) and just being a presence in my life (along with my dad, we'll get to him on Father's Day). She is my mother. The infamous non-existent temper (but really, we do have it, and it rears its ugly head on occasion) comes from my mother's side, as does my sense of responsibility and of doing what's right even if it downright sucks. My Mama is awesome.

The other mother in my life is my sister, Heather. She's a mother to a brilliant three-year-old, and she is amazing at it. The love that she has for that little girl, and the want to see her child happy and healthy and smiling....I can see that it's going to be projects and activities and learning and....she's a soccer mom now. M started soccer last week and now she's a soccer mom. Things haven't always been easy, but even through everything, I am so damn proud of my sister and what she has done and what she has become. So proud. Especially when it comes to her and that little girl and all that she has done. Makes me very proud to firstly be related to her and doubly proud to have her as my sister.

These are the super women in my life. Two Superwomen. They don't have to save the world at the large, or protect it, but they protect and defend their world.

Here's to them and to every Superwoman out there this Sunday, Mother's Day.

(I seem to be having issues with emedding the video that I want, so I'll just link it, instead. Superwoman by Alicia Keys.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things to Know XXI

- If I can hear your music through your headphones like you weren't wearing them at all, your music is too loud.

- When the above happens, it makes me want to growl.

- If I'm growling at something, that's not a very productive start to my day.

- My fellow classmate - Do not patronize me about what I did or did not do in response to a slightly irate email by one of our other classmates, and then proceed to make it look like you're "winning" what's actually not a competition, and please remember I was here until 1:45 in the morning, like you were, only I'd started at 9:00 instead.

- Today is not a day to mess with me, thanks so much.

- But, in all seriousness, turn the damn music down or I'll put on YouTube and blast country through my speakers!

- I can't seem to find my Focus.

- Saga coffee is downright disturbing - and one hell of a jolt.

- This is the point in my junior year where I just get sick of dealing with people.

- Luckily, when I was in high school, I phased out of beating up the jackasses when I hit this stage.

- Which, honestly, I really only did that in middle school.

- And, again honestly, I never actually punched anyone.

- Yup. I am going to go YouTube it up.

- My philosophy on that last one is that if you've got your headphones in to the degree in which I can hear lyrics clearly, you can obviously not hear a damn thing coming from my direction and therefore won't mind at all.

- And if you do mind, well, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

- I have over 3,000 messages in the deleted folder in my webmail.

- I find that rather interesting.

- No idea what's going to happen in terms of the labs that I have no idea how to do for chemistry.

- They might be a lost cause.

- At this point in my life, I'm okay with that.

- I have eight lesson plans, a written assessment plan, and to tweak my introduction all by 7:30 tomorrow morning.

- Thank [Insert Diety/Whatever You Worship (if anything) Here] that tomorrow is my last education class because it's been driving me up the effing wall all semester.

- I have no phone service in the basement. Which kind of sucks.

- Right. Time to dig out my microscope now that I'm more or less done ranting (for the moment) and get something accomplished so I can feel a bit better about myself.

- At least the screamo song to my left is done.
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz