Thursday, June 30, 2011

That Song, You Know...

Where have I been, right? I've been a little all over the place. Or, rather, I haven't. My beloved Oldsmobile failed to pass inspection (rust in the subframe) and he's bound more or less for the scrap heap, sadly.

Anyway, I've heard a couple of songs this summer that I really like and that like to get stuck in my head. I thought I'd share them with you.

Don't worry - There'll be an actual post from me sometime soon. Soon as I can figure it all out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Murphy and Me XXXVIII

[I think I'm reaching the end of my Roman numeral knowledge. Might have to start looking stuff up. Anyway - Here's a new segment for those of you who regularly read here, and those transplanted IP users, welcome to The Wandering Sagittarius. This might be a little easier on your eyes than what HarperCollins has decided to do to our beloved (sometimes infuriating) site. Enjoy.]

Rain spattered against the window, louder and softer depending on the wind gusts. It was shaping up to be one of those lazy Sundays only found in romance novels. Lazy Sundays that meant not getting out of bed until noon and with Murphy probably still sleeping downstairs. We hadn't stayed together last night courtesy of my monthly visit from Mother Nature. Sleeping sprawled face-down in the middle of a twin bed doesn't leave much room for anybody else. And, bless him, Murph hadn't taken more than a couple seconds to figure it out.

I crawled outta bed around twelve-thirty. Felt good to sleep in, truthfully. Brunch didn't appeal to me, mostly because it meant walking in the rain, so on went the computer, some Dave Matthews Band, and hello inbox full of Facebook notifications and tagged photos. Since yesterday was Halloween, it was practically a given.

And, oh, were some of these priceless. But what do you expect when a pirate shows up to a costume party at Robin Hood's house with the Blues Brothers and a grown up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? There was a photo of all of us. Then of Murph and Liam in matching suits and sunglasses; Colby looking dapper and Old English-y (tights included, the brave man); Murphy and me; me after having stolen Murph's sunglasses; Murphy and me when he picked me up in an attempt to get his glasses back, one of my arms around his neck and the sunglasses hanging off my nose. Hell, the knee-high hooker boots were even in that one.

Couple clicks later and that was my new profile picture. Yes, I was hopelessly romantic.

Besides - Robin Hood doing a fantastic Captain Morgan impression? Made me giggle when it happened and laugh outright in retrospect.

Lazy Sundays were made for curling up in a pullover, putting a movie on, and settled in with a book (textbooks included). Maybe some chips and salsa, too. Which, I had the chips, but as Jo and I traded off when we jointly went to Wegman's, the salsa was in her room. I grabbed a bowl and trucked across the hallway.

Jo took one look at me and grinned when she opened the door. "Good night last night?"

"It had its moments." Leaned against the door frame. "Do we have salsa left?"

"Yeah." She went to her mini fridge. "Dinner tonight?"

"Five-thirty?" Medium salsa went into the bowl. "Hopefully I can get something accomplished."

Jo snorted. "Right. Good luck."

It'd be needed. Sundays were an enemy. And with the mountain of physics reading that had been piling up it was going to be a battle. Then there was chem and T-S Britain and, of all things, a dog and vampire scene for acting.

Great. Just great.

The bottom dropped out of the temperature midweek, enough to start layering footless tights under my jeans and long-sleeves under tees. As there was no going back when the peacoat left the closet, it was the goal to leave that as long as possible. Winter hats, however, popped up all across campus as the north wind started to blow hard and cold.

Practices got interesting. Namely we broke out the spandex. Nobody wants hexagons on their thighs in this weather unless absolutely necessary. Mostly 'cause the ball felt like it was inflated with ice instead of air.

I spent one late night swearing my way through my T-S Britain paper that gratefully received a B and dropped five points out of ten on an orgo quiz. Physics stayed out of the equation completely, mostly for my sanity, and we slogged through the first full week of November to the weekend.

And, consequently, Liberty Leagues.

The weather forecast going into Saturday sucked. Rain, low temps, and tough competition. We squeaked out a win on Saturday to put us in the championship Sunday. Don't know how we did it, but we did.

It was my first Liberty League tournament. Last year saw me as a sort of flux player between JV and varsity, practicing with both teams in almost equal measure. Sasha was the veteran, and as we stood on the sideline for the national anthem, I squeezed the hell out of her hand and felt Gilly's nervous energy on my right. My family was here - mom, dad, Izzy, El, Dean - and parked on the hill not far from them were my boys: Dev, Liam, Colby, and Murph. Tanya, who said hi to me every time we crossed paths, spread out a blanket on the ground to sit between Colby and Noah.

Dear God, I was going to throw up. All over the sideline and my Puma cleats.

There was a moment, after stepping onto the field and before kickoff, when I looked around, took in the crowd, and temporarily forgot that I knew how to play soccer. Just completely blanked out.

When the ref blew the whistle, it was all muscle memory after that.

We stood poised on the sideline, silent and tense, squeezing the blood out of each other's fingers as we watched Ally place the ball on the penalty stripe. If she made this, we were champions. If she didn't, we went another round of penalty kicks.

Don't think my nerves could handle another round.

It was drizzling. Ally stood at the top of the box, waiting for the whistle. Cozzens Field was eerily silent, so much so that the whistle seemed extra loud when it went. Ally took a deep breath, got her approach, and the entire sideline seemed to stop breathing. We started running before the ball hit the net.

The hill went nuts; we screamed and dog-piled Ally and Gilly and for the first time in my life I was going to the NCAA Women's College Soccer Tournament as a player, not a spectator.

Holy shit. We we were on the road to Greensboro. Granted, we needed to win more than a few to order the charter bus, but damn. It was a start.

Friday, June 3, 2011

File 404 (Among Other Things)

It's been a bit of a long week. Between working twenty hours as a waitress (which, I know, isn't that much) and substituting (I was a music teacher today, and no, I didn't sing - but I did have a flashback to my band geek days by conducting them this morning) and a soccer game tonight, it's been a little hectic. And kind of tiring. However, speaking of soccer games, I've got great news that makes me want to split my face with a grin every time I even think about it.

Heather, myself, and our mother will be attending the 2011 MLS All-Star game as they take on Manchester United, the reigning European champions next month in New York City!

So. Freakin'. Excited. If I didn't think it would completely screw up the rest of this post, I'd try to find a way to make that font bigger. Like, size of this screen bigger, as that's how flippin' excited we all are. Even mom. There are other plans around that date that are still up in the air, but we have tickets, I've put in for time off (which basically means I've written in the book that I'm not available that day - or three) and I think if I went squeeee as long and loud as I wanted, I'd frighten half the neighborhood.

Which isn't to say that the sight of my neighbor - my male neighbor - in uber-short shorts and cowboy boots cleaning his cement driveway off with a garden hose earlier this week didn't make me want to scrub my retinas. It did. Then I remembered what I wear when I mow the lawn and figured I shouldn't be that hypocritical, though my thighs are quite a bit bigger than his. Anyway....

So, when it comes to HTML coding other than the normal
stuff, I'm a bit stupid. I'm thinking about changing up the look of the blog again, as I'm still trying to find something that makes it feel a little more like me. I like darker colors (I think they look a little classier) but people find it difficult to read. I'm kind of wondering what my 39 followers think - Should I scrap this whole borrowed layout thing I've currently got going on and start tweaking colors and whatnot, or do I keep looking for something that makes me go yes, this is what I want this representation of me to look like.

If anybody has any ideas or suggestions, drop me an email or a comment. Until then, I'll just amuse myself and see how many File 404 screens I can get to pop up while I do it. Or that long string of red HTML code that pops up with a Warning which basically means you fail.

But I'm a scientists - Naturally, I like experiments.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For the most part I'm settled into my own skin. Even if it's currently sunburnt on my shoulders and tender enough that I've got no problems wearing a tube top bought years ago out in public. I've accepted the fact that I work during the summer. I pick up shifts here or there, and got three calls yesterday for sub jobs (one of which I denied because I needed to take my mom for a medical test - routine, nothing serious, and she's fine) and I have a waitressing shift - my primary job - tonight.

Possibly the only vacation I'm going to get is if we get tickets to see the MLS All-Star game against Manchester United. They're playing at Redbulls Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and considering all the places we've driven mom's tan Buick, it really wouldn't be an issue to get down there.

Which makes me sort of wonder if I'm missing something.

I've had a bit of time to sit in my own headspace lately, which has provided a lot of introspection. It would help, on another level, if I started (kept up with) journaling on a regular basis. And some of the stuff I'm comfortable enough sharing with you fine folks.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not missing out on something that makes summer....summer. Aren't there supposed to be fleeting, fling-y summer romances? Vacations and plane-rides (or, in our case, car rides as dad refuses to fly). Dates to be had with friends that haven't been seen in a while, including my best friend whom I haven't seen in a year, due to different semesters abroad (and dear sweet Baby J, I needed her last semester when shit hit the fan) and other stuff that girls are supposed to do when they're this age? Should I be spending some nights actually getting ready, dressed up, and going out to meet people?

Is the fact that I work so much the reason I haven't had a date in three years?

It's not that I don't like my job - I love it, actually. Even Monday nights when all I'm doing is playing babysitter to over a hundred teenagers, most of whom show more skin than I do in the summertime and it just, at times, doesn't seem fair. Still. I get in my car, get to work, do my job (do it well, too, considering what I make in tips that I then have to split) and drive home.

Maybe the payoff comes during the year. How I take the opportunities presented to me by the Colleges and do different things. Like going to Toronto and New York City for class sophomore year (which, kind of seems like ages ago even if it was just over two years) or going abroad for three months and getting stuck in London on the way back. Or going to Virginia and spending my Spring Break doing community service in a State Park down there. Which I'm planning to do again this year because it was so much fun. Or maybe it comes when I get to go to dinner or the movies with the girls, or buy my own groceries and spend the afternoon baking for my housemates. Maybe that's the summertime living I'm supposed to be doing that I'm transplanting into the school year.

Maybe that's the missing piece that's actually not so missing. I don't know. Even days like today, when I'm content, happy, and comfortable in my skin (and looking forward to going to work tonight because, in a way, it's fun) it still feels like something's a Like puzzle pieces that don't quite fit because one of them is warped.

Guess this is one of those things I'll figure out as I go. Kind of like if mom and I can make one of those layered cookie cakes that you buy in the store.
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz