The Deep Reservoir of Ok-Ness

Monday, July 16, 2007

Moving and Moving On

We are moving on Friday. We are very excited and looking forward to it, although getting ready has been a bit more involved than we might have hoped.

First of all, our dogs had been fighting. Apparently and according to a professional dog behaviorist, my dog is an insecure bully who kept pushing Shiloh around. Shiloh had enough, and they really went at it a few times. And I do mean "went at it" in the "hundreds of dollars in vet bills" sense. We were told that it could take months of training to get them into the same room together, and that we would always have to be on the look-out for fights to happen again. After a lot of deliberation, we decided that it would be best for everyone (especially the dogs) if one was re-homed. We dropped Shiloh off with her new family this weekend, and both Karin and I are sad to have had to say good-bye. Shiloh is a great dog and we love her very much. We know it's for the best, though. We will miss her, but we are very happy that she has such a great new home with a fenced-in backyard and people who love her very much. When we were there, she seemed happy, and we are glad for that. It'll take some time, though. Well, for everyone except Melisma I suppose....

Packing is taking longer than we might have liked. I know Karin is looking forward to moving, but I think she is also anxious. I believe her anxiety may be playing out in our efforts to pack. For example, we did some more packing last night. While I packed up pots and pans and Tupperware in the kitchen, Karin spent over an hour cleaning out her purse and jewelery box. It was cute! I couldn't help but see the humor in our efforts to pack, that I was in a hurry to pack away things we might need to use this week, while Karin spent time getting through various bags of small items that she apparently never uses (hence why things were thrown away or really, really tangled).
Oh, and here's a little factoid for you all: water is sacred in Atlanta. It is sacred to the point where there is a whole rigmarole to go through in order to get it from someone else. When I called the power, gas, phone, television, and Internet companies to have service put in my name, there was absolutely no problem; I just gave them my info and each company said "okay, now YOU are paying for the stuff in the house." But WATER? No no NO! I called to have the water put into my name, but since I am renting the house I have to go to City Hall with a copy of my lease, 2 forms of identification, and over a hundred dollars in fees. It's not as if I am asking to have someone ELSE pay my bills. No, I am asking if I can pay MY LANDLORD'S water bill. And really, as there EVER been a problem where someone else was trying to pay a bill and the person threw a fit.
(Seriously, if any of you out there want to pay any of my bills, I would not have a problem with it.)
So we have water in our new home, we just won't be paying for it until I make my way to City Hall. Oh, and don't forget that I have a job and am working while City Hall is open.
I wonder how much water I will need to drink while I am walking to and from City Hall in the Atlanta sun.....see, that's how the water company gets ya.....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My Brilliant-Assed Contribution to the Field

As part of my job, I talk with college students about their difficulty deciding upon a career path. For some of us, we were fortunate enough to find or just know what we wanted to do and what we needed to do in order to get that great job. For others, they either have no idea what they want to do with their lives, or they have a job in mind but no idea what to major in to prepare for it. Most of the time, these students only know that they don't want to do "the main majors:" psychology, education, business, and communication.

Enter me and my brilliant-assed contribution.

(I should add that these ideas do not apply to what I have learned is the "M.R.S. Degree," which is basically where young women enroll in college to find an educated man with a bright future. These ladies then need to declare a major when in fact "a job" wasn't really on their minds.)

Okay, back to me and my ideas:

1) Batman villain henchman/henchwoman: No one really talks about this profession with college students, but it can potentially be quite lucrative if applicants are well-prepared. In addition to high earning-potential, henchmen can express themselves, as there are many types of henchmen to choose from. For example, they can choose to dress up like clowns (and who doesn't like clowns?), birds, or wear various other multi-colored outfits. There are also opportunities to practice creativity and technical know-how, as there are often problems that come up during capers and they usually involve some sort of computer or security system. Henchmen can have families and care for their children, as most heists take place at night. However, henchmen should be in good physical condition, as they will get their asses kicked nightly.

Academic preparation should include coursework in computer science, theater and character study, and many martial arts and exercise classes.

2) Pornographic film extra: Many untalented students who aspire to careers in acting tend to overlook this important vocation. For those students who want to be actors, but just cannot deliver their scripted dialogue with any degree of believabily, this is the ideal profession. Nudity is not required, as on-screen roles tend to be things like "guy who comes to fix the copy machine but can't because there are people having sex on it" and "stuffy librarian who frowns at people having sex near the encyclopedias."

Academic preparation should include some acting classes and the ability to walk.

3) People who sit outside and smoke all the time: I admit, I don't know much about this vocation, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. I have lived in three apartment complexes, and each had 4-10 people who are constantly outside smoking. It seems to be a fun job, because people who choose this profession are always outside my window laughing and playing music at all hours of the day and night. Apparently, this job does not interfere with having a family (as too many jobs can), because each group has at least three children. It is also profitable, as these people do not need to leave the apartment community to have enough money to buy a lot of beer (or at least buy empty bottles with which to decorate their patio or lawn), stereo equipment, or food.

Academic preparation includes being a douche-bag loser....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Two Nuggets (of different sorts)

Nugget #1 (the Wisdom Kind): As a psychologist, I am privy to the finer details of people's relationship problems and successes. It is not my place to give clients advice, as they should be able to utilize their own wisdom and strengths in the service of change. However, I have noticed two disturbing trends which I feel obligated to convert into guidelines for the general dating public:

If you are an unattractive 18-22 year-old woman and your "soulmate" is unemployed, middle-aged, and lives in his friend's basement, love him to your heart's content (pun intended), but do not act surprised when he turns out not to be the perfectly sensitive and mature man you thought him to be. You might have known better.

Anytime you are doing something with your beloved which causes you to feel the need to get something in writing in order to avoid being screwed-over, it is probably either something you should not be doing or else someone you should not be doing it with.

Nugget #2 (the Fecal Kind): I informed my graduate school that I have passed my licensing exam and accepted a job as a Staff Psychologist in Atlanta. They sent me a congratulatory card addressed to"Mr. C**** A*****." Now then, I wouldn't typically take issue with being referred to as "Mr." on an envelope, but shouldn't the school that awarded me a doctorate know that, if they insist on addressing me formally, I am a doctor? It is like a priest who performed a wedding ceremony referring to the bride as "Miss [maiden name]." He should just be expected to know better....

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Like an Old Sweet Song (or "Damn it's HOT down here!")

As many of you know by now, I am very happy to be starting my new job soon! I will be working at Georgia State University as a Staff Psychologist/Crisis Coordinator. In addition to the excitement to HAVE a job after this summer (it is a competitive job market for psychologists), I am particularly excited that I was offered the job at GSU! I had interviewed for different positions across the country, from Seattle to Philadelphia, and some seemed to be "okay, it's better than not having a job, but I'd probably only stay for a few years before moving somewhere better." Not so with GSU. I could see myself staying at GSU and in Atlanta for quite some time! It's a great area, and I think I will really enjoy the people and work at my new job!

You should all come visit. No matter where you are, I am on your way to Disney World!

After thinking about it, I decided that it would be easier to move to the Atlanta area if I HAD a place to move to (otherwise, it is really just being a highly-educated homeless person). So, Karin and I took some time this past week to travel to Atlanta and look at rental homes in the area. We did alot of research online, printed out many good-looking houses for rent from realtor websites, and contacted a realtor to assist us when we arrived. We felt all set to have a smooth, quick, and easy search.

Not so. Let me tell you why....

To save time off of work, we took turns driving the 8 hours overnight on Monday, arriving in Atlanta at 8am Tuesday. All set with our cute little folder of affordable rental homes with nice little pictures, we reconnected with our realtor, who agreed to meet us at the first house.

Let the adventure begin....

House #1: We got there about an hour earlier than scheduled in order to drive around the neighborhood. As it turned out, driving was a good idea because we were afraid to get out of the car. Some nearby houses were boarded-up and a few others had razor wire around them. The streets held an intermingly on shitty cars and expensive german cars, all of which could have resulted from pharmacutical endeavors. Oh, and I think I saw my first crack whore ({sigh} do you ever forget your first?). Basically, the kind of neighborhood where I wouldn't feel safe walking my dog during the day.

Our realtor, a stocky old lady, arrived a bit late because she apparently had trouble finding the place (I had been under the impression that realtors knew the areas that they showed homes in). She walked with a cane due to arthritis, hobbled up the steps to the house, and found that there was no key in the lockbox on the door. This was not a problem, as we politely explained to her that the area was not a good match with our interests. She then proceeded to call her main office to loudly inform them that there was no key for the front door and that we didn't like the area. Great, insult everyone who does live there by announcing that they live in a shitburgh!

We had to take the highway to the next home, and since the realtor did not know the area she had to follow us to get to the interstate (again, shouldn't realtors know the area). Karin and I were losing faith in this lady, which was not helped by the fact that she drove about 40mph on a 6-lane highway with her left turn signal on for 10 minutes as we tried to follow her through rush hour traffic.

House #2: (I'll come back to this one so that my story has a happy ending)

House #3: We wanted to look at more than two houses before deciding upon a place to rent, so we asked our realtor to show us another one back in Atlanta. I don't think she knew where this one was, either, because we meandered down streets, and she stopped in a few intersections to ask passers-by for directions. But we finally got there, which turned out to be less of an improvement over being lost than we had hoped.
Before I describe this house, allow me to paint a picture of the neighborhood: A few less boarded-up homes than House #1, but the yard in front of the house next door was adorned with funeral wreaths and police tape. Not a good sign, but we came all that way, dammit, and we were going to look inside this house! Oh, and so glad we did!

We had some difficulty getting inside because the front door was so stuck, but once we did, boy were we in for a treat! The first thing we noticed was that the back door was open, the kitchen window was broken, and all the pipes under the sink had been stolen. Upon further inspection of the house, we also found that they took the bathroom sink and may have left a dead bat in the "finished basement" ("finished" in this house apparently meant "carpet, but keep the floorboards, wires, and pipes in the ceiling in plain view so that you have something to accidentally hurt yourself with"). We politely explained that we were not interested in this fine home, as we prefer our homes to come with pipes and no vandalism if at all possible, to which the realtor replied "yeah, I didn't think you'd want to live here" before calling her home office to report the break-in and advise that they lower the asking price.

After this ordeal, we eventually decided to take House #2 in Union City, which was SO wonderful. The lease says that it has 4-bedrooms (which I think is bullshit, because I should get to decide how many bedrooms my home has..."Hey, why is there a stove in this bedroom?" "How come you park your car and keep your tools in this bedroom?") and 2.5 bathrooms. The master bedroom is huge, and the master bathroom has a 2-person tub, separate large shower, and a little closed-off room with the toilet so that we don't need to be gross together in the morning. Our landlady is a wonderful person, and we are happy to be living in her home! I have included pictures below.

So, after deciding to take this house, we filled out the paperwork to await approval while they checked our references. We decided to stick around the area while they did so (we were told it would take until the next day) just in case anything went wrong and we needed to find another place to live. Good thing we stayed, because it turned out that they could not read my handwriting and we had to fill out the application again!
While we waited, we explored the surrounding area, and we really like where we live. Our house is in a rural area, but close to the highway, malls, and public transit (which will make getting to work alot quicker and less stressful because I won't have to sit in rush hour traffic or pay to park every month!). We are very happy with our new home!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pieces of Shit

Okay, three "pieces of shit," actually...

1) Me, for not updating my blog more often. I think some people have given up on my blog, which is too bad because I am back. Although I probably won't be updating daily, I do intend to spend more time writing about my thoughts and what has been going on.

2) On the sidewalk outside of my apartment. One of my neighbors has a large dog who, like many well-trained animals, poops outside. And, like many poorly-trained owners (I include myself in that group), he doesn't scoop the poop.

....on a side note, I myself don't pick up my dog's poop because, really, that would mean that my dog is master of me. And I don't even give my girlfriend that title....

Anyhow, back to pieces of shit, already in progress....

2 cont.) My neighbor does not pick up after his dog, which I cannot totally fault him for. However, whereas my dog poops in the grass near other dog droppings (so I don't feel all that badly about it), he allows his dog to leave humongous turds in the middle of my sidewalk. Daily. So it's like a friggin' obstacle course when I walk my dog in the mornings. As for those days when it has snowed, the poop just lies in wait underneath the snow and ice until the thaw comes. I haven't hit anything yet, though.

3) I was re-reading some of my postings, and one from the beginning of August included some website addresses, some real and some fake. Well, when I posted as being the website for Mapquest (which, for those of you who may recall, prevented me from finding Hell), I had assumed that it was a fake address. WRONG! It's not even a real address serving perverted fecalfiliacs (poopie-lovers)! No, if you click on the link, it takes you to a page with several links, the first of which is horribly for "Jewish Singles." Now, I could understand someone buying the domain name to advertise a product or just to be weird, but I think it is absolutely appalling that "Jewish Singles" is listed at the top of the site.

Now everyone go to least that website isn't offensive....

Friday, February 23, 2007

Jobberizing 2 (the sequel!)

I am annoyed, and as I have my very own online forum, I will rant for a bit.

I am applying for jobs. I love my current position and would like to stay here, but if that doesn't work out I do have applications out to other places that I could be excited about. In fact, one opened up just this week. Or rather, one that I WAS excited about...

To help understand my annoyance and lack of excitement, it is important to know that the selection process for most jobs tends to follow the following time line: Advertise the position with an application deadline one month later, take a couple of weeks sorting through the applications to decide who to interview over the phone, take a week or two to do phone interviews and decide who to invite to campus for an in-person interview, and interview these people over the next few weeks. So, on average, the progression from "Advertising" to "In-Person Interviewing" takes a few months.

Okay, now that you're all up to speed about this and ready to be good and annoyed with me, let's move on to our story (already in progress).

University X posted a good-looking job this past Tuesday. Not only did the job look good, but University X is in a specific area of the country where I would be excited to live. However, the advertisement indicated that they are looking for someone to begin this spring, and I wouldn't be available until the summer. So, I sent a very nice e-mail on Tuesday asking whether there might be flexibility in the starting date and inquiring whether I should bother applying. I received a response on Wednesday that, although they would give preference to applicants who could begin this spring, they'd consider my application as well. In addition to mailing my application materials and reference letters, they would also like me to e-mail my resume.

Great! Maybe a longshot, but it doesn't hurt to take a shot, right? Well, read on!

I had time on Wednesday to put together a cover letter, so I e-mailed it with my resume and began to ask people to write reference letters to send via US Mail. One more exciting application underway! Right?!

Ummm, not quite. After e-mailing my resume on Wednesday, I got a call Thursday afternoon asking whether I could come to University X for an in-person interview the next day. University X, it should be noted, is 12 hours away and there was no offer to pay for my travel expenses. Plus, there's the little matter of needing to show up to work the next day, as I wouldn't be able to take a day off without notice. So, I called University X and politely stated that, since I live in Dayton, Ohio, I would be unable to make it to an interview with them the following day. "Oh. We just thought you might happen to be in the area." Right. I just might HAPPEN to wander 12 hours away when I am supposed to be at work (that is actually a psychiatric disorder called Dissociative Fugue, so should I be insulted?). I wanted to ask them to come to my office that day, you know, if they just HAPPEN to be 12 hours in my direction. Instead, I told them that I would be interested in an interview, but needed more notice.

So, I got a call today (Friday) at 4:10 asking to call back before 5 to let them know whether I could come in next Friday (a week's notice is still not enough when I would have to reschedule clients who have been waiting 2 weeks already!). Still no mention of paying my travel expenses, although they did specify that the interview would be at 3:30.

Okay, let's stop right here to understand this: Corey travels 12 hours each way (24 hours total), possibly at his own expense, for what would likely be a 1-hour interview. Next week. 24 hours of driving and 2 days off from work to interview for an hour. I could estimate the cost of gas, but really, do I NEED more reason to be annoyed? I mean, here I could have an interview at a job in an area which I would normally be excited about, and they are moving too fast, being stupid, and ticking me off! PLUS, at this rate, if I DID go to the interview next week, I'd probably be offered a job like a day later, WAY before any other possible jobs even had time to get past trying to pronounce my last name on my resume! So, no options to consider!

Anyhow, I called back and left a message asking for a PHONE interview, again reminding them that I live in Ohio.

Now if no one else offers me an interview, I am gonna go from annoyed to being pissed......


Once again it is that time of year for me (hopefully the last time that it will be a "time of year") to find a job for next year. I have had to do this each year since 2002, as all of my jobs and training positions have been contracted to last only one year. Hectic, but by this point it is familiar and I know my way around it.

Two years ago (2005 for you non-mathematicians out there) added a new twist. Up until then I had searched for jobs within reasonable driving distance of New Britain, CT, where I was living. In 2005 the search was expanded to include not only local position offerings, but also positions in ANY area to which I'd be willing to move. I wound up in Kalamazoo, Michigan (yes Virginia, there is a Kalamazoo...), and it turned out to be a fantastic place to live and work. I met wonderful people and it was all-in-all a great experience!

As I searched for jobs for this current year, I had wanted to move back east. However, I knew that the chances of finding a job would increase if I broadened my search beyond NY/CT/RI/MA, so I decided to apply to positions in states east of Michigan and north of North Carolina. I wound up in Dayton, OH, and I absolutely love my job. I also met a wonderful woman, so that is yet another reason to be glad I came. However, the job here, like all the others, would end in the summer of 2007.

Now, as I become more involved in the search for a new job, there are a few interesting elements thrown in.

My current position, although a one-year appointment, is hiring for a permanent staff psychologist. It is the same job I am doing now, and since I really like my job I am applying for it. However, the selection committee is considering my application along with anyone else who would like to apply before the March 2nd deadline, so it creates a weird situation where my coworkers will be interviewing other people for the job I want, while all along keeping me in the dark about their activities and decisions (appropriately so) as they engage in their process in offices adjacent to mine. I want the job, and I feel confident that I am liked personally and professionally, but it is still weird... So, until someone somewhere offers me a job, I will keep applying and (hopefully!) interviewing elsewhere.

Two of the members of the counseling center's selection committee are writing me recommendation letters for other jobs. I laugh a bit at the possibility that, if they choose to hire someone else, it can seem as if they are saying "Dear other people, Corey could be really great for you and we think very highly of him, but he's not good enough for us..." I think that's funny....

Oh, and my girlfriend and I may need to decide not only whether to move in together, but whether to move across several states together, eight months into our relationship. She is great, but it still feels weird to make such a decision so soon!

So, post comments and offer support!

Or don't, and be a dick....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Elevator of Doom (of dooooom!)

The building I work in (or rather, the building in which I work - thanks 6th grade Inglisch teacher!) has an elevator which allows people to move between the second floor (which is where the main entrance is located) and the third floor (which is where Residential Life, Judicial, and other offices which students seek to avoid at all costs is located). A special key is needed to go to the first floor, because that is where all the fun medical equipment is. Fortunately, we keep the key in a location easily accessible to pretty much anyone who thinks to look there.

Most people have traditionally used the elevator to move between floors. Because it opens on two sides (the main hallway and the ulta-warm-and-fuzzy therapist-office hallway), I like to use it to avoid walking around and using the door to my office area. Not because I am lazy, but because I am awesome.

The elevator is also located about 15 seconds away from the stairs. Keep that in mind.

Anyhow, this elevator has had a tendency to break daily, and we have gotten very close to thinking that we should laminate the "Elevator is Out of Order" sign to avoid excessive wear-and-tear on taking it down, then putting it back up a few hours later. Everyone knows that the elevator breaks often, and everyone seems to view using the elevator as a gamble with being trapped inside for a long, boring, claustrophobic period of time.

Still, I have not yet seen anyone use the stairs. I HAVE, however, heard several people ask and worry aloud as to whether the elevator will break as they wait to get onto it.

Reason number 42 why the supermarket needs to keep a fleet of scooters available for people to use......

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brown Towels and My Car-Dirt

It rained here today. A lot. And yet, somehow, my car is still dirty.

You know those brown paper towels from grade school that never absorbed any water and just pushed it around the table until you finally gave in and just pushed the water onto the floor? The paper towels that were apparently water-proof?

Yeah, I think those are made from the dirt on my car....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Girlfriend is a Pedophile

Intrigued? Read on....

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday week back home in New York, and I brought my girlfriend with me. Long drive, but we had a great time. Some of the highlights include:

-Someone at Thanksgiving dinner telling someone to put their mother into a homeless shelter (and that person not getting up and ruining Thanksgiving)

-Eating real pizza...not this Midwestern nonsense....the kind that can most accurately be described as "pipin' hot", and you have to fold to eat while grease drips onto and through the paper plate it was served on

-Showing my girlfriend around where I grew up, including my High School and a nearby city

-Taking my girlfriend out for her birthday to a nice restaurant, the first any boyfriend had ever taken her to

-Visiting with my friends Brad and Alice, eating tacos, playing fake guitars, and killing Chinese people

-Seeing my family (all 28 of whom descended upon my aunt's house, and still everything was perfect)

-Watching a compilation of old videos of my sister and I involving a movie we made (which she quit during the filming of), her gymnastics, my Uber-ADHHHHD (trust me, it needs that many H'es) dancing and behavior, a lovely poem about guinea pigs' birthday hats read by my sister in a paper bag mask, and Christmas in Massachusetts with my grandparents.

During the course of this trip, home movies and pictures were shared with my girlfriend. She described me as a child as being "really cute" and my 17 year-old longer hair, gawky frame, and lack of facial hair as being "very sexy." So yeah, apparently my girlfriend is a pedophile!

But probably only for me.....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Suck With Cars and Manliness and Such

Yes, I admit it - I suck with cars and manliness and such.

Or, if I wanted to be egotistical and defensive (ME?! NEVER!) I could just say that cars and manliness and such are so complicated, that even a doctor can't figure them out. But I won't say that and, instead, I will concede my inadequacy....

Let's start with the simplest example and, hopefully, you will get bored by it and not read further to the more embarrassing one (which, now that I've named it like that, everyone will probably read ahead and skip the simple one to get to the "good stuff." Screw you.... :-p).

My "Service Engine Soon" light recently came on in my car. I am very much aware that this signifies a more assertive approach from the car manufacturers and maintenance people, as it USED to be a "Check Engine" they are not suggesting that car owners examine anything (which would allow us to decide that we are okay with how things are going under the hood, thanks for your interest car manufacturers and maintenance people), but rather demanding that we get our engines worked on really soon.

For me, this is a losing situation no matter what. I know nothing about cars beyond how to make mine go forward, backwards, and how to make the music louder (I never quite make it softer, for some reason....). The mechanic could tell me anything, and I'd have to go along with it. "Well, it seems that your flux capacitator is firing intermittently....we are going to need to take your trunk out and fill it with emulating solvent, then try to put it back in after attaching your tires to the roof." "Ummm....okay, here's my credit card...take what you need."

This time around, the actual diagnosis was something to do with misfiring, requiring sparkplug replacement. Me, being a total moron about cars, authorized this service. The parts (4 sparkplugs) cost a grand total of $12. Labor was $110. On reflection, I probably could have found a way to do it myself, or at least got a friend to take a few minutes and change my spark plugs. But then, I wouldn't have learned anything, now would I? Sad part is, all I learned is that spark plugs are cheap and probably easy to change, but if they did it right (and for $110 they damn sure better have!), then I shouldn't have any reason to use what I have learned.....

HERE'S THE FUNNY-EMBARRASSING ONE: Two weeks ago, and two and a half months after I was hired, the University of Dayton held a dinner to welcome me (and about 25 other new employees) to UD. I brought Karin and we had a great dinner with enjoyable conversation....minus the mandatory soliloquy about Mother Mary and such....and left feeling quite happy and competent in the knowledge that I am an intelligent, accomplished person worthy of respect.

Then, shortly after pulling out of the parking lot, we heard thumping coming from the rear passenger side, which turned out to be a flat tire. We pulled into a bar parking lot. Now, being the self-aware person that I am, I knew that I did not know how to change the tire and did not even make the attempt. However, being the man I am, I refused to admit that I did not know how to change a tire. So, being incredibly manly, I made my poor girlfriend go into the bar and ask each person if anyone knew how to change a tire while I waited outside.

This resulted in a group of men standing around my car, telling me manly things ("The puncture is too close to the edge of the tire, so you're not going to be able to patch it up") and wishing I had a jack or lugwrench. Eventually, someone lent me their AAA membership (did I mention that I am not only intelligent, self-aware, and manly, but also too cheap to have renewed my own AAA membership?) and a man in a toe truck changed my tire as I tried to make manly car-related banter ("Yeah, the puncture is really close to the outside, so I'm not going to be able to patch it up").

Or maybe I am just challenging gender standards and norms.....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Tried to Study (really I did!)

As part of my $975 study package for my licensing exam, I received online programs which will help me learn by giving me quizzes and explaining the answers to me. From what I am told by a friend who recently passed the exam, these online questions are by far the most valuable part of the study materials from which she learned the most information for the real exam.

"Not a registered user." This is the message I get when I follow the instructions to create a username. Of course the name I am trying to create is "not a registered user!" That is why I am following the instructions to CREATE it!

I tried to call the company, but they are closed until Monday. I tried to have the system send me my password (based on my invoice number and e-mail address), but the system then switches to a "site not found" error screen.

So, I will call the company on Monday, but in the meantime I am unable to study and do what I had planned to study and do (I have a system, dammit!). Granted, it's not a horrible situation, as I do have a lot of written materials I have not yet looked at (I am about halfway through the study books), but it is still incredibly annoying.

ARGH!! Learning is hard!

(Posted 30 minutes later): After spending a few hours off-and-on trying to log into the system, I decided to attempt to sign up with my OLD phone number. Suffice to say, the program looks great..... :)

Technically Incompetent

I am technically, but not actually, an incompetent professional. At least, so far as the state of Ohio is concerned.

I should explain....

I am not licensed as a psychologist until I pass an exam (which I will be taking in March/April of next year). Without a license, I cannot work independently and need to be overseen by someone with a license who is legally and ethically responsible for all of my professional work (my housework and things I do in my yard don't fall under his purview). He signs off on all of my work, and if I screw up, he can get sued. Somehow, despite being legally incompetent, I could also get sued, which doesn't quite make sense to me, but whatever....

So I am incompetent until I pass this exam, which will ask me questions in some areas which don't have much to do with my work anyhow (e.g. Research, Industrial Psych, etc.). Once I do that, I am magically competent.

Oddly, this means that I cannot do certain tests because my supervisor is not familiar enough with them to oversee and sign-off on my interpretations. So, I will not be getting any additional experience with these tests while I am working with him. I am not competent to give these tests. However, once I pass the aforementioned exam which will not have anything to do with these tests, I will suddenly be competent to give them. Weird.

I know of one person who has been technically incompetent for eight years. Actually, sometimes I hear that she is not "technically" incompetent.....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An Improvement in Activity

Last Sunday I helped my girlfriend move her mother's belongings out of her stepfather's house into a storage unit (mother left for Florida over a year ago and hasn't been back since). It was irritating, strenuous, and upsetting because her mother phoned it in for Karin to do it and did not contribute beyond that. I did not like it.

I visited Karin on Tuesday and helped her stay put. All I had to do was sit around and make sure that she did not start loading anything into a large truck. That was way easier. I liked it a lot more than Sunday.

Best PMS EVER!!!!

Okay, how is THIS for an awesome set-up?

My girlfriend gets, shall we say, "irritable" for a few days each month. Although probably not the most enjoyable time in her life, from a distance I am certain she is glad for her reproductive capacity. As for me, well, people might assume that I should take the standard attitude of "stay the Hell out of her way, tread lightly, and make sure you have a clear path to the nearest exit just in case it suddenly becomes important to escape."

Ah, but not quite....

Last Tuesday I went over to visit my girlfriend and do laundry for free in her apartment. She had a shitty day at work, and apparently her dog literally had a shitty day at home (and in several areas of her home at that!). Unaware of any of this, I entered her apartment as she was cleaning her dog's "day" off of her vacuum ( her vacuum? Kinda ironic, don't you think?). Suffice to say, she was not in a chipper mood when I entered, but very glad to get hugs.

Fast-forward a bit to me doing laundry, overloading the washing machine, and making it stop in the middle of the rinse-cycle. After freaking out about the washing machine for about 20 minutes, my girlfriend ran across the parking lot to her friend's apartment to see if I could finish my laundry there. While she was gone, I began to take my clothes out of the machine to transfer them. The machine started back up after I took some clothes out, which made her very happy. We went over to her friend's apartment to inform her that we would not in fact need to use her washing machine. I did my part in that by proudly exclaiming, "Hey, guess what? I fixed the washing machine!!"

And here's the cool part - in order to make herself feel better about her horrible day, she made me dinner!

I'll say that again in a different way, for emphasis: When Karin has a bad day, and even when I contribute to it, she makes me a delicious home-cooked meal.

Best PMS EVER!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Doggie Weirdness

I was walking Melisma this evening after work, when some local children came over to play with her. This is not unusual, as people seem to love my dog, even if they fail to acknowledge the guy attached to the other end of her leash. They were petting and hugging and just basically giving her all sorts of loving when she, being very excited to be petted and hugged and just basically given all sorts of loving, peed a little bit on the sidewalk. Just a bit.

Then the children yelped and ran away to hide in a large nearby bush.

True story.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Same Old, Same Old

Since I haven't blogged in awhile, I thought I'd take a moment to say a quick hello to everyone out there who has been taking an interest in reading my blog. Not much new, but the same stuff isn't necessarily bad stuff, right? :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life, Work, and the Mechanisms of Defense

Well, apparently it has been quite awhile since I have blogged, and I have even had one person (only one? :( ) complain, so time to update the internet community-at-large about my life. Oh, and I will try to be better about blogging in the future, too.

First off, I have a girlfriend. She is sweet and funny and nice. You'd probably like her, assuming that you like sweet, funny, nice women. If you don't, then talk to your mother about being such a bitch and screwing you up. Go on, I'll wait...........................

..........................................okay, done? Great.

Work is going well, although some of my co-workers begin each weekly staff meeting by asking whether I still have a girlfriend in a manner which implies that they might not be entirely certain that I could keep a woman for yet another week. I am working well with others, and I am enjoying what I am doing. I love most of the people I work with, although some can have their own....ummm...."non-complimentary interpersonal dynamics." I recently began co-leading a process group, which seems like it will be great - I work well with the other co-leader and the group itself is doing awesome stuff which, if you really want to know about, please refer to pages 15-472 of Irvin Yalom's book on group therapy. I sit in a training seminar with graduate students who, until recently, hadn't realized that I am a co-facilitating staff member, not part of their "let's learn about counseling" group. Big difference.

Overall, I am loving my post-doctoral experience. Nothing is perfect, but I am very happy I came to this Dayton place (wasn't I supposed to live in the Northeast?!). I would probably stay if I could.

I am also studying for my psychology licensing exam. Big, nasty test which asks questions about things I have never learned (like industrial psychology) and/or will never need to know (like test construction). The advice given by the company producing the study materials (which are quite good) is to study 15-20 hours per week for 3-4 months. I intend to take the test in March or April.

My dog chipped a tooth a few weeks ago. She is fine now, but was so sad for a few days while it healed over. She is still a happy dog, and hops around when I come home from work.

In general, I am enjoying myself and trying to live in the present while preparing for the future in multiple realms of my life.

Drifting along the deep reservoir of "Ok-ness."

Cheap-Assed Variety Buffeting

I have wanted to write about this for a week or so, but haven't found the time until now....I went to the Ponderosa with my girlfriend (yeah, I have a girlfriend now...thanks for keeping up on my life with phone calls and e-mails....jerks.... :-p). Now, I know I have said this before, but I loves me some cheap-assed variety buffets! And, apparently, it is not just me who loves cheap-assed variety buffets, but rather lots of people. There are, however, a few ways that I may not quite fit in at the Ponderosa cheap-assed variety buffet establishment:

1) I am thin. I have been thin all my life (well, except for when I was a toddler and had three chins....I think I maintained that weight as I got older, but just grew taller). However, "thin" is a drawn from comparison with others. For example, compared to most people I am thin, but if I hung out with anorexics or those starving children in Africa who would have loved to eat my vegetables that my mom told me about when I was little, I am quite large. Compared to the Ponderosa cheap-and-large-assed variety buffet crew, I am actually so thin that I could qualify as a hole in reality.

2) Without even knowing anything about anyone else in there, it is safe to assume that I am by far the most educated and sophisticated person in the restaurant. AND I watch Beavis and Butthead and wrestling!

3) Never had a mullet. This is a comparison with both the men and the women in there.

4) I will not complain if my steak is not done to my exact specifications when I paid $1 for it. it is not fine dining, and for $1 I will just be happy that it is meat.

5) I will never figure out why I need to leave a tip for anyone at a buffet restaurant. I get my own food and drink. Thanks for asking how I am doing and making me move my feet so you can push a carpet sweeper under my table in the middle of a conversation, though.

Also while at this cheap-assed variety establishment (at which I DO enjoy the variety and food for the price), I noticed two groups of people celebrating. One family had decided to celebrate a birthday at the Ponderosa. Cool, I actually used to do that all the time. However, the waitstaff sang the most uninspired birthday song I have ever heard, and I truly did not feel their desire for the child to have "all of his wishes come true." If this child returned in 20 years and told the staff that most, but not quite all, of his wishes came true, I don't think they would care one way or the other.....

The other celebration taught me that, when I get married and have a child, my wife can have her bridal shower at the Ponderosa. I have already told my friend Alice that she and her husband need to start working on another child, as she missed out and just had hers at her parents' home with all of her family and closest friends. Loser.

As my girlfriend and I left the restaurant, and as I began to complain about my dissatisfaction with my dining experience (including feeling nauseous every time I thought about food for about 3 hours), she told me that "The Golden Coral" is way better....why she didn't tell me this BEFORE we went to Ponderosa, well, who can say? (I certainly cannot!) Point is, apparently all cheap-assed variety buffets need to have names which make you think you are traveling in the old west.

Even if you live in a city in Ohio....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Weird New Foot Awareness

This afternoon I was walking back from the laundry area two buildings down from my apartment (which should be all sorts of fun in the winter!) when I noticed something quite odd about my feet. I was wearing my why-in-the-Hell-do-I-still-own-these-painful-things?-sandals and, as such, had a wide-open view of said feet.

And please let me take a moment to say that they are indeed wonderfully incredible feet....

Anyhow, it turns out that, when I walk, I raise the big toe on my right foot (but not my left). No matter how hard I tried, I could not stop my right big toe from turning up when I took a step. I even tried to press it down as I moved, but couldn't stop raising it. My left toe did not move at all.

Weird, huh? Why would my right big toe do that, and when did I start doing it?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Got My License!!!!

Oh man, I am SOOOOO super-mega-psyched! I got my driver's license!!! Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!

Last week I received a notice to report for jury duty in Kalamazoo, MI (just 3 weeks after moving to Dayton, OH). In order to get out of jury duty, I needed to send a copy of my OH state driver's license. But oh no! I did not have such a license!

It was a hectic week leading up to my licensing test. First, I had to find out where the DMV is located. THEN I had to go there to take the test (licenses do not simply transfer to OH). I racked my brain studying for the 30 seconds I was in line. Would I pass and receive the privilege of driving (driving is not a right - that's on the test), or would I have to rely on my parents to pick me up and drive me to work, the mall, and the movies, suffering the embarrassment of going on dates chaperoned with my dad? (b/c really, who does that after High School....shout out to Crazy Internet Girl! - see 2/14/06 blog entry) The waiting was killing me! I was trapped between wishing the 30 seconds I was in line would end and fearing that it would before I could learn all the rules of the road! THE HORROR!

So there I sat, in front of a computer terminal which would decide my driving fate. As I stared at the screen, I began to wonder not only whether I could pass this my driver's licensing test, but more so whether or not I should pass. Did I really deserve to drive an automobile? Was I worthy of the honor to be with other privileged individuals on the local highways and roads? Could I handle the responsibility that comes with driving? Would all the rules and laws (not to mention how to operate a motor vehicle) stay with me if I began driving? I almost buckled under all the pressure and got up to refuse to take the test.

"NO!" I cried out. "I will NOT be intimidated by this test and the attendent privileges and honors that are entailed in being legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle on state and national roadways, dammit!" I then burst into tears, proud of myself for believing in myself.

But would it be enough? Could I successfully answer enough questions about such obscure topics as "what do you do at a red light?" and "according to its turn signal, which way does the car in the picture intend to turn?" to pass this test? Would I be relishing in the thrill of victory, or weeping at the agony of defeat? Would I beat the test, or would the test beat me?

Thankfully, by the grace of Allah, I did pass the test. At learning this, I jumped into the air, right there in the middle of the DMV, and exclaimed "Whoo-HOOOO!!!!!! I PASSED!!!!!" I had expected ribbons and balloons to rain down upon know, for my triumph....but none did so (perhaps they were out of balloons that day). Still, this did not sully my joy at being able to say that the state of Ohio from that point on recognized me as a competent, knowledgeable driver and entrusted me to operate a motor vehicle on its highways and roads.

I ran through two stoplights and one crosswalk on the way home.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Testing and My New Legos

I am getting ready to take my psychology license exam in the Spring. Not fun, but I have to do it to a) be competitive for jobs, b) keep a job once gotten (most jobs require licensure upon hire or within a certain time frame of starting), c) supervise psychology trainees, and d) work independently without a supervisor, including in private practice or group practice.

So, being the diligent me, I ordered my study materials to give myself time to prepare. In addition to books and online exams, the package included 12 audio cassettes to help me study.

Audio cassettes. Who in the bloody Hell makes audio cassettes anymore? CDs are becoming ancient over mp3s/iTunes, so cassettes are at least two steps behind.

And I don't know if I even own a tape PLAYER anymore. This leaves me with twelve plastic rectangles which could be easily stacked in a really short tower. So far, the only practical thing I have done with them is toss one to a coworker and say, "Hey, look, they sent me some cassettes." (when I did this, she screamed, btw...screamed like a woman catching a half-eaten potato!)

It is now incumbent upon me to do something with these tapes. I am thinking I could have them transferred into digital media (see "mp3s/iTunes," above), but I have no idea where I could take them to have this done. I really don't want to have to buy an adapter card for my computer to do it myself, as I would also have to purchase a tape player to connect to said adapter card, which would pretty much defeat the whole point of my rant.

Plus I have to take the damn test.....I suppose it's not as bad as it could be, tho. Like I imagine saying to my clients: It could be worse - I could be on fire, too.

Keeping Up With the Leaches

So I noticed that it has been a really, really long time since I have blogged on here. What can I say, I got busy.... But then I noticed that it had been almost as long as since my friend Brad updated his blog, and that, my adoring anonymous Internet public, is unacceptable.

Now, having written that, I realize I should do something nice to make up for negatively comparing myself to Brad. So, I will honor him and his wife with beautiful rhymes, which they are welcome to use in a hip-hop joint.

First Alice, who used to be Riley before she got married. It is a shame she changed her last name, because her lyrics would have been pretty:

Her name is Alice Riley
And she's looking really smiley
Yeah, she's dancing really spryly
While she's dressing really flyly.

Now she cannot have her last name in a rhyme, as it was her husband's name she took. So, that leaves her with a less-beautiful set of lyrics based upon her first name:

You know her name is Alice
Her heart is full of malice
And her soul is really callous
She moved on down to Dallas
Living up in a palace
Drinking from a golden chalice

Granted, that rhyme is not entirely accurate (she doesn't really live in Dallas), but you get the point.

As for Brad, well, his rhyme may be the best thing ever conceived in the history of everything ever, and I would not be surprised at all if some rapper steals these lyrics and puts them on the radio as soon as I post this blog:

His name is Bradford Leach
For his vocation he likes to teach
For all his students' attention he does beseech
On vacation takes his family to the beach
On Sundays listens to the preacher preach
Keeps sharp things from his son on a high shelf out of reach
Washes his white clothes with some bleach
His favorite Dr. Seuss character is the Star-bellied Sneech
He likes Chong way better than his buddy Cheech
In large social group he often finds his niche
When hungry he eats a juicy peach

I am a lyrical gangsta.

(Yeah, and just TRY rhyming anything with MY first or last name! :) )

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Movin' On Out

I moved to Ohio over a week ago. Then I neglected my blog for awhile. I have no idea why, but let's just blame it on terrorists (they are our nation's catch-all scapegoats, right?).

So as many of you know, the University of Dayton paid for my move, which was super-awesome. I didn't know it until shortly before my move, but this also included having the movers pack my things for me. I did not have to pack anything at all, which was really easy and weird for me. It was easy (and a little weird) because I just had all of my stuff out as if nothing were changing, and within 3 hours it was all gone. This made it feel very weird because, I have found, packing is a big part of moving. It really did not feel like I was moving because there was no build-up, no packing to do, no boxes to walk around, nothing. It wasn't until all my things were gone that it really hit me that I would be leaving.

Well, maybe that's not totally true....the previous Monday I had spent the day with my friend Zae. I think that's when it really hit me and I started to realize that I was moving away from Kalamazoo and the people there, and I began to mourn the loss and be sad. Then it all moved quickly from there.

Still, it was awesome to have all my stuff packed for me. The movers were cool, although it was kind of weird to have two guys going through all my stuff to put it into boxes. Not that I have any embarrassing things, but imagine if some random men came into your home and shuffled through your clothes, books, food, games, closets, bathroom, etc. They were very friendly, though, and we chatted a bit. Unfortunately, I forgot the most important rule about being a psychologist: when someone asks you what you do for a living, never ever EVER tell them that you are a psychologist. Ever! Why? It prompts questions from people such as one of the movers asked me: "If you're a psychologist, tell me this: Why are all women crazy?" (my answer, incidentally, was "Because they can be and men will put up with it." This avoided creating tension by lecturing him about feminism, as well as avoided pissing off the guy who had all my belongings in his truck.)

The movers packed everything, including my dirty dishes (which I had intended to wash and bring with me in my car) and about 10 empty plastic shopping bags for some reason....however, I had to encourage them to pack my vacuum and 30-pound bag of dog food.

Also, at one point the movers asked if I wouldn't mind running down to the corner to buy them some Gatorade. On the way to the corner, I thought it odd that they were trusting me, someone they just met, with their $5....then on the way back I thought that it was a safe risk on their part, seeing as how if I ran off with their money they would still have everything I own in their truck.....

One of the movers found my Rorschach (inkblot) cards. Not only did he recognize the name of the test, but he also began to complain about how he had a psychologist piss him off by asking him to tell her what he saw in the inkblots. "It doesn't friggin' look like anything! But she kept telling me to try....I told her that I'd try to shove it down her throat if she didn't stop bothering me." For those of you who do not know, the inkblot test is typically used when there are concerns about a thought disorder, stress/coping difficulties, or emotional problems.....and what he said about what he said to the psychologist giving him the test wasn't a good thing, either....and this guy was in charge of all my worldly possessions (with the exception of all the crap I still have stored at my dad's house).

ANYhow.....after all my stuff was gone, I spent a few hours in my empty apartment...just me and my dog....before heading over to my friend Caroline's house. She was nice enough to let me spend the night there with the air conditioner and fans I let her use, so I thought it only fair to bring her food from my fridge before moving. I am so very nice....

I also took Caroline to dinner to say good-bye before my move. While at dinner, a waiter began flirting with her right in front of me! We aren't dating or anything, but how the Hell did he know that? I don't like that, so I did the only thing I could do....when he came back and asked if we needed anything else, I calmly responded "I'm fine, but my wife would like some more water." That made him stop flirting with her real fast (Caroline was speechless). I am also very awesome.....

The trip down to Ohio the next day was pretty uneventful. All my stuff made it here intact, and I unpacked most of it that day. That was cool. Since the movers packed everything in moving paper, I got to unwrap it all while trying to guess what it was...kinda like Christmas, except I got surprised to receive things I already owned ("Yay, my sax stand....I'm so glad I own this!"). Wound up with a ton of boxes and enough wadded-up moving paper to keep homeless people warm for years to come!

My apartment is nice, although the walls, doors, windows, and door-trims are white. I may paint them; I'll have to see how I feel about it after being here for a little while and hanging up my art.

My dog had been afraid of the stairs to my bedroom...she's better about that now. However, she is still not eating or drinking as much as she had been in Kalamazoo, and isn't quite as playful. So sad, she's having a bit of trouble with the transition. But like I said, she's getting better....

The people I work with are all great, and I expect it to be a very enjoyable time working with them. I have been encouraged to pursue my interests, and am treated as an equal staff member. I have also been asked to lead a discussion in a professional development meeting on problematic Internet use/addiction. Should be fun!

Oh, and I now have real health insurance. Bring on the diseases! :-D

Cell phone is all hooked up, and I have even downloaded a few games that it turns out I don't enjoy so much. I have also quickly become one of those people who talks on the phone while walking my dog, going to the supermarket, and driving around. It will be so bad once I meet more people around here to call.

(yeah, I am working on that, too....)

Now all I need to do is finish putting away that box of extra computer cables and shoes, and meet some more people around here, and I will be all set.....until something else comes up, that is......

Coming Up Next....

Sunday night is Simpsons night, usually. Just me, Homer, and some Taco Bell. Tonight, however, this marvel of television comedy (truly one of the best television programs ever produced) was pre-empted by "The Kids' Choice Awards." Turns out that it is hosted by one of my favorite comedians ever, Dane Cook, who unfortunately hasn't been funny all night....could be that his co-host, Jessica Simpson, has the timing of a retarded brick. Besides, he really isn't a "Kids' Choice" kind of guy.

But why then, you might wonder, have I been watching this craptastic programme (yeah, I used the British spelling...I am awesome)? Simple: they have been hyping the first ever performance, and a live one in front of millions of viewers on national television at that, by Kevin Federline. Yes, the biggest-douche-ever-to-accidentally-find-fame-just-by-being-a-huge-douche Kevin Federline (or as he prefers, b/c his is such a douche, "K-Fed"). Now, just why would his performance debut keep me tuned in? Simple:

I want to see him do horribly. Like so horribly that they talk about it on television the next day and late-night talk shows lampoon it for weeks to come. Like so horribly that if I miss it, I will be so ticked off.

However, if he doesn't royally suck, I will feel like I wasted so much who'd be the douche then?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fumbling Towards Hell

Since I am moving soon, I was very fortunate to be able to spend an entire day with Zae, one of my closest friends from my time here in Kalamazoo. After dining on the delectable deliciousness which is Taco Bob's ( Taco Bob's is a froggin' awesome eatery on the Kalamazoo Open Mall!) and hanging out at my apartment for a bit ( and taking pictures of one of us in a fancy gown, we decided to go to a place I have been meaning to travel to since moving out here:

We decided to have dinner in Hell. Hell, Michigan.

Hell, Michigan (not to be confused with the Hell I incur in knowing that Koala Bears are so adorable, but for some reason also have to be so very far away from me) is a small town located about ninety minutes away from Kalamazoo. There is a history and novelty behind the town (,_Michigan#History), too. I just wanted to go because it seemed like a neat idea to dine in Hell, and also satisfied my desire to take a car trip with Zae (we had intended to a few times, but she couldn't get off of work....stupid monkeys...). I was glad she came; I really wanted Zae to go to Hell.

And I still want to go to Hell, Michigan, since we never made it there. On the way, Zae ordered me to pull over and then had her way with me until we both fell asleep from exhaustion.

(yeah, she wishes that happened!)

Actually, we didn't make it to Hell, Michigan because we could not find Hell, Michigan. We had directions from Mapquest (, but there was a detour on the way to Hell (does that mean we wound up in purgatory?). We stopped at a grocery store, where two ladies gave us very different directions when they sent us to Hell. As it turns out, the town of Hell, Michigan is close to the town of Howell, Michigan, just to make it ever so much more eventful to try to go to Hell. Also, Hell, Michigan is very close to Mt. Hope and Pleasant Lake, for some damn absurd reason, and the town line to Hell, Michigan apparently begins at a Methodist Church (see previously cited reason).

But, again, we got lost (or the ladies just gave us horrid directions) and just could not manage to go to Hell. So, we did the next best thing: We stopped at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Chelsea, Michigan. Being that the day had been so hot that we both wished for air conditioning, it was appropriate that on our trip to Hell we had our wish granted in the form of an arctic-like temperature in the restaurant. Zae ordered chili, and was dismayed that it turned out that not only did they not serve her chili, but that the waitress explained it after taking our order by carrying a bag of red slime while saying "this is all I could find." So, Zae had cheese soup (isn't that just melted cheese?) and a baked potato, while I ate some chicken dish which prompted me to ask aloud several times "what is this thing over here on my plate?" Later, I would wonder why Zae did not dip the tortillas from my meal (which she ate, while not enjoying them, again appropriate for a trip to Hell) into her cheese soup. I would quickly stop wondering about this, though, as it was a stupid thing to waste my time wondering about.

After dinner on this trip toward Hell, Zae immediately found herself wanting for McDonald's french fries. And lo, there was a McDonald's closeby, and it was good (except for the part where Zae felt ill from all the crappy food in her gullet...then I served her Tirmasu later, which probably didn't help). Fortunately, we did get the following undoctored pictures while in the McDonald's drive-thru:

Seems appropriate for a trip to Hell, don't they?

(also appropriate for such a trip, I felt really sad after I dropped Zae off and had to say good-bye for who-knows-how-long...but that's for another blog posting.....)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Plan and The Dumbest Phonecall Ever

Whoever you are reading this right now, I have a proposition for you:

Let's make a baby. Right now.

No, really, hear me out.....

There is a group of people who live in my building who seem to have made some babies within the past two years. Now they don't have to go to work, and they get to stay at home all the time sitting outside being entertained by their many friends at all hours of the day and night while people are trying to sleep. PLUS they don't have to bathe ever and somehow found a way to get a cellphone plan that grants them unlimited walkie-talkie-yelling-into-the-phone-because-you-can't-be-bothered-to-hold-it-up-to-your-face minutes and a chirping sound which can pierce the deepest parts of their neighbors' brains. Also, I don't know why, but it's always the same guy there, but different portly women with him. I refer to them as "The Rotating Round-Girl Apartment." As for the children themselves, I imagine that they have developed super-human immunities to the germs and whatever else might get onto their toys when they are left outside in the muck near their patio overnight.

So, if you want to have plenty of leisure time and a very large number of friends, let's get started making a baby.


I received the dumbest phonecall ever this afternoon. I came home from work early because I am leaving soon and there is nothing for me to do there except for move two boxes out of my office (I am pacing myself and leaving that for tomorrow). I called my voicemail at work to check my messages, and hung up when I heard that I had none. My phone immediately rang and, when I answered it and said hello, a computerized voice replied:

"Good-bye." And then it hung up. Yes, I received a call to say good-bye. That is dumb.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finding My Place in Dayton (okay, Kettering)

As many of you reading this may know (and I do like to imagine that many people ARE reading this), I am moving to Dayton, OH in the second week of August. I knew this, but also lost track of the summer and wound up not looking for an apartment until a week ago Tuesday! But never fear; I found something that seems like it will be wonderful for me and my dog, Melisma.

The trip down was enjoyable, with a few Storyettes to tell (apologies to Mr. Bernstein).

To begin with, and to my utter shock and awe, I learned a few weeks prior to my trip that the University of Dayton would be giving me a moving budget "not to exceed $4,700" to cover relocation costs, including gas/food/lodging for one apartment-hunting trip and gas/food/movers for the actual move. As such, I went online and booked myself a room for two nights downtown at the Crown Plaza hotel. I gave myself a room on the club floor (the one you need to use a special card in the elevator to get to) with a king-sized bed and full breakfast each morning at the rooftop restaurant, because I deserve it (and because it's not my money being spent ;) ). My room had a great view and came with aroma-therapy and a progressive muscle relaxation/imagery/meditation CD to help me fall asleep. Also, everyone called me "sir", which I really need to convince other people to start doing....

Oh, and on the way down, as I drove through Indiana, I came upon my favorite restaurant from when I was a kid, combining all-you-can-eat with variety: The Ponderosa (which, loosely translated from Spanish, means "you really should think about this...."). It was much better than a $11 all-you-can-eat meal had any right to be, but also a bit unsettling. First, the cashier asked me a question which, even though I recognized all the words, still confused me: "Would you like to add an 8-oz. sirloin steak to your meal for a dollar?" HUH?! Later as I was eating my meal, I heard a young boy in the booth behind me tell his parents that he had just lost a tooth. Responding in all seriousness, the mother inquired "Was it one of your new ones?" Okaaaayyyyy....

Also at this Mecca of deliciousness, I noticed a very obese woman going to the buffet. She was so obese, in fact, that she walked with a cane. Now, I believe that everyone can be a good person, don't judge someone by the way they look, etc....but I really think that if you need a cane to walk to the buffet line, it is definitely time to stop eating at restaurants with buffet lines. Seriously. When your knees can no longer support the top half of your body without help, that should be your cue to stop eating so much!

So anyhow, Dayton.....I had been there once before during my interview in May, and then only for a day and at the University. I did not know what I would find with regard to the quality of living options. The first place I drove to (and kept on driving from) was so unbelievably know how every apartment complex has that one person or family who is dirty, leaves old furniture and bags of garbage outside, and generally makes you want to avoid eye-contact and double-check that you locked your doors? It looked like this place was their spawning ground. Plus the buildings looked to be in bad shape from the outside, and I am pretty sure that letting my dog shit on the lawn would improve the property value. I was so glad when I saw the next place and could rest easy that it was this particular apartment community, and not Dayton on the whole, that was horrible.

Apartment-hunting was going to be more complicated than it turned out to be. I had planned to visit 14 different places (wound up seeing 12) and, since I wasn't sure which order I would visit them in, I did Mapquest to all the apartments from the hotel. I quickly got tired of returning to the hotel in order to go to the next apartment, and was quite fortunate that each apartment manager was willing to give me directions to the next closest apartment community on my list. I got lost with most of the directions I received, which might have been a good idea for the people giving them, since if I can't get to the next place, I have less options and still think "wow, those people at Apartment Community X are really nice!"

There is no nice way to say this, so I will just say it: many of the apartment representatives I met with were very obese. So much so that I really felt badly for asking them to walk outside in the heat and go up and down stairs to show me an apartment (huffing, puffing, etc). In fact, it was so bad that I felt like I had to pretend to be more interested in the apartment than I actually was! "Oh wow, the kitchen has a big pantry; I like how the livingroom just flows into the dining area."

Several of the apartments had specials if I signed that day....$300 off first month's rent, or a discount on the security deposit....which I didn't like, because I think an apartment should sell itself and I don't like feeling pressured to skip looking at other places to rush back to them and sign a lease before they close. My favorite incentive was that, if I signed a lease application that day, I would have the outside temperature at the time I signed deducted from my monthly rent for six months (so if it were 90 degrees out, I would have $90 taken off my rent for half a year). My least favorite was "if you come back tomorrow, we will probably have had time to clean the apartment."

I wound up taking the third place I looked at. It is a 900-sq foot, 2-level townhouse set-up with 1.5 bathrooms, a patio, and 14x8 balcony. Plus it is about 12 minutes away from where I will be working (well, an hour and 12 minutes, if you include the hour it took me to find the building I will be working in...the guy at the Information Booth on campus gave me directions to a different building each time I asked them after they sent me to the wrong place....I figured that by process of elimination they'd eventually send me to the right building). The floorplan is below:

Anyhow, it was overall an enjoyable, productive trip. I had dinner with a coworker (appetizer on my part of the bill, to be paid for by our employer, of course!). Also, I got to see my office...I have a garden outside my window which is tended by an elderly monk. I have arrived!

But maybe I have arrived too quickly....I got a speeding ticket on the way home for doing 70 in a 55-zone. As he left, the cop told me to slow down and watch my speed, which I did for the whole quarter-mile to the highway before doing 70 again.

But, like I fantasize about telling my clients: it could be worse.....I could be on fire, too....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Man, I Loves This Stuff!

The greatest thing in the history of the world is Nyquil. No question.

I was very tired yesterday, and so I thought I'd treat myself to extra sleep by going to bed early. Ah, but my body, like my mind, has quite a sense of humor, and it decided that I should wake up two hours later. I know my body, and if I have slept for two hours, I will not be able to go back to sleep until sometime around when I should be getting up for work. So I took Nyquil to sleep. Screw you, body!

Yes, Nyquil: the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, sore-throat, stuffy-headed, fever, I-need-to-fall-asleep medicine.

What I love about Nyquil is how wonderful the sleep is. I just love that sleep so much more than any other sleep that doesn't involve being naked with someone else. My body is so relaxed, every position I lay in is phenomenally comfortable, and the dreams are so vivid and wonderful. In fact, I am certain that I am wearing a smile (and maybe even letting off happy little moans every so often) the entire time I am asleep. Oh, such a wondrous feeling!

I even love waking up in the middle of the night. My body is still sedated from the Nyquil, so I get to re-experience the joy which is second only to the actual sleeping: the process of falling back to sleep. It's so wonderful.....sometimes I wish I could wake up more, just so I could go back to sleep!

Then again, I guess it makes sense why they have started to card me for Nyquil at the supermarket.....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Why Do I Still Own These?!

About four years ago I bought myself a pair of sandals (or what some of you might call "flip-flops," if you choose to be like that). They have always bothered my feet, and I do mean in that painful-to-walk-in sort of way. They cause abrasions and blisters. I wore them yesterday and wound up with three blisters: one on the bottom of my left foot (which I like to use to walk on), one on the pinky-toe of my right foot (which I like to use to not have pain from), and one on the top of my big toe (which I like to use to not stick to my sock).

And I am left wondering the same exact thing I wonder everytime I wear these damn things: Why do I still own these?!

Man, I'm stupid.....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Addition Request

My friend Caroline wanted me to post that a woman named Suzie peed on her. She wanted me to be clear that it was a person, not a dog, because somehow that is better. Also, she got paid to have this woman pee on her, and she says that she does it because she needs the money.

There. Glad I could oblige......

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How Awesome Is That?!

I have a friend who works at the zoo. Recently, she stopped by to visit and had glitter on her. When I asked her about this, she plainly stated:

"Oh, a monkey threw glitter on me today."

That is SO awesome! I need more people in my life who can say things like that......

With All The Excitement, I Almost Forgot....

Since around January or February, I have been conscienciously trying to find a position for next year. I have been hopeful, anxious, pessimistic, excited, and all sorts of other feelings from that "Have a Day..." poster. Then, when I finally got a post-doctoral fellowship that seems like it'll be a wonderful place to be, I got very happy. Following this, I became somewhat forlorned to have to leave Kalamazoo and some of the people I have met here. At the same time, I thought it was awesome that my new job is giving me a $4,700 moving budget. Throughout all of this, I have been focused on what I might do next year.

Except that, with all the excitement, I almost forgot to move.

Last week I realized just how soon I would be relocating. I am moving sometime during the week of August 7th, which is only a few weeks away! I just told my apartment manager yesterday, and I began searching for new apartments last weekend. I am going to drive to Dayton next week to look at places and, hopefully, find one that I want to take for the year (which probably won't be difficult - they all look good online, and the 4 I looked at when I moved out here were all pretty nice!).

But yeah, I almost forgot to move. Sometimes it hurts to be so stupid....maybe that's why I have a headache right now...... :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Cathartic Effect of Disconnectively Communicating Distasteful Ego States

I just felt like making an intelligent-sounding subject line to this post. Otherwise, I could have titled it:

"Blogging Helps Me Feel Better When I'm Upset"

I think that blogging helping me feel better is both great and ironic. By writing out what is on my mind, I am able to at least somewhat move past it by venting. The ironic part, though, is that I feel better by venting to no one about having no one to vent to. It's what we brilliant-assed psychologists (nor non-brilliant-assed non-psychologists who learned the words) call an "imagined" or "fantasized other." This means I create a target person or target people to receive the communication. This imagined group is made up of individuals I know who I imagine reading what I write and hearing what I am saying. I can feel that I am telling people something, and even without them reading it, I feel better for having communicated how I feel. Plus, something about the Internet fosters an idea of freedom to be more expressive write whatever I want, despite the fantasized others. It's all the benefits of private journaling with the added bonus of people reading it.

So anyhow, I feel better about some of the stressors in my life....not fantastic all the time, but better.....which is really great.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Difference Between Black and White People

Okay, I am a psychologist. I study people, and I do not consider myself to be racist or anything. However, I have noticed a significant difference between some black and white people I encounter when I am out walking my dog.

White people either ignore my dog or are friendly to her. Most black people are afraid of my dog and act as if she is going to maul them.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Another Reason I Can't Get Off of the Telephone

I was talking with a friend this afternoon, when he said that he had to get off the phone because he needed to take care of a naked baby.

Only people who are fathers (or mothers) can use this excuse. If I said it, I could expect a visit from some governmental organization really quick!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

They Have a Specialist for That...

So, silly me, I re-injured my right shoulder ('s been off-and-on for the past two and a half years) working out at the gym. But fear not! Now that I have health insurance, I can go to the Sports Medicine Clinic on campus and finally have my shoulder care of!

.....yep, apparently lifting heavy things and grunting qualifies me as an athlete. Who knew?

And bonus! It is summertime on campus (okay, it's summertime a lot of places), which means that there will be fewer students at the Health Center, which means it will be quicker and easier to get in to see someone at the Shangra-la-like Sports Medicine Clinic to finally have my shoulder taken care of!

I took some time this afternoon during a break to go to the Health Center to see someone about this pesky pain-when-I-use-it thing I have going on in my upper-right (your upper-left) quadrant of my body. Water bottle in hand (still using my right arm to drink it, from stupid absent habit), I went to the Sports Medicine Clinic on the bottom floor of said Health Center, eagerly anticipating getting some treatment.

"Oh, you need a referral from a doctor." Great! When is your Sports Medicine doctor available? "No, you should get a referral from a general practitioner." Argh...back upstairs to the main part of the Health Center, where this process of getting treatment for my right shoulder somehow involved taking my temperature and making sure my heart was still beating during "triage" (which is a French word, meaning "Yup, all the stuff you didn't come here for is fine").

After a wait, I got in to see a physician, who asked me why I had come. Stated bluntly, "I need a referral to the Sports Medicine Clinic because I exacerbated a pre-existing injury in my right shoulder....I think it's a problem with a muscle in my rotator cuff." Now, I am not a medical professional, so maybe there would be some complicated, medical-knowledge-heavy piece to all this of which neither I, nor the fine professionals in the Sports Medicine Clinic downstairs, would be aware of to accurately diagnose the precise issue at hand.

"Lift your arms the way you said gives you problems. Does that hurt? Okay, lift them that other way that you didn't mention giving you problems. Does that hurt? What if I push on your arms when you lift them this other way?" (at this point I got annoyed and "accidentally" expected her to push harder, so I lifted too hard for this little woman to stand in one place)

Diagnosis: "I think you may have injured a muscle in your rotator cuff. You need a referral to our Sports Medicine Clinic."

Really?! Because when was lifting my arms earlier, I said the same thing. Glad to see that I came here for this ever-so-necessary meeting. Can I get dressed now?

And so I have an appointment on Friday at the Sports Medicine Clinic. And, having spent almost an hour waiting for and telling someone wearing a white coat that I need to be here, I now have some sort of proof that I should be there. Because medical doctors are much better at knowing that what I say is true than lowly Physical Therapists.

On the plus side, it is yet further evidence that I am as smart as a medical doctor.

The Irony of Printed Word

The other day I was driving to work when I noticed a colorful bumper sticker on the car a lane-and-a-half over from me (Michigan does not quite have the best drivers in the world). It had words in a weird font, and between this and the garish colors I just HAD to read it. After peering at it for a few seconds, I realized what it said:

"Jesus Saves."

...and as I finished reading it, I almost crashed into the car ahead of me.

Gotta appreciate the irony there.....