Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 68 - "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!"

A lot has gone on lately, which is why I haven't been posting, so I guess it's update time.

Two weekends ago was my alma mater's homecoming. I spent the day on campus hanging out with my sorority sisters and seeing a couple of friends. It was great to get away for a day and just have fun, laugh, and relive old shenanigans...while attempting to plan new ones that didn't end up working out.

Last night, one of my good friends from high school got married. It was cute, especially since she didn't really want a big celebration but kind of had one planned for her. The night was kind of startling, though, because even though a small number of people we went to high school with showed up, I realized just how many people I graduated with are already parents. Where'd time go?

I also found out last night that my best friend is filing for divorce. Yes, we're both only 22. However, she thankfully is using her head and getting out of what could be a bad situation before it gets started, especially when a child is involved. It's just mind boggling that, at our age, divorce is even in the picture. I mean, for a large portion of people our age group, we only think about marriage when someone asks about it.

On another note, I've decided to take up a challenge for next month. A bunch of writers who work for the same website I do were talking about National Novel Writing Month, which is coming up in November. Basically, it was started by a group of friends who decided that, as a joke, they were going to write a novel in a month. Now, the premise is to challenge ourselves to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.

All I saw was the big number - 50,000 - and it blew my mind. That's 1,700 words a day! However, since my hours seem to be winding down at the other job (which is a scary thought) I'm probably going to need something to do. Not only that, I have a couple of projects that need finished any way.

So, for the record and anyone else who wants to know, this is how I'm going to write 50,000 words in 30 days (hopefully):

20 Suite101 articles (average of 500 words per article) = 10,000 words
finishing a creative nonfiction piece in progress = 500 words
"The Year Spent PC" posts (500 words 4x per week) = 8,000 words
new creative nonfiction piece = 4,000 words
creative nonfiction collection in progress = 15,000 words
new creative nonfiction collection I want to start = 12, 500 words

Total: 50,000 words! I can do it!

Grad school update: I thought I had everything turned in, but my graduate assistantship / internship application and my resume got lost in the mail. I guess I'm going to have to resubmit those before the writing marathon starts!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 49 - "It's the Hard Knock Life For Us"

I was finishing up my four hour slacker shift at work today when I overheard that my sister's school was closed today because of a power outage. I get home to find Katie, in her pajamas, texting her friends. Keep in mind that it is 8:20 A.M., Eastern Time.

I let it go, because I know that sometimes I am not the best cell phone role model, between Twitter and friends who have drastically different sleeping schedules than I do.

The day wears on, I work on some articles, I make some phone calls, and Katie has moved from texting while sitting on the couch to texting in her bedroom. Around two in the afternoon, I'm proofreading an article and I notice that the kitchen sink has an awful lot of dirty dishes in it. Since Katie was just chilling out watching "Handy Manny" (which, I should add, is meant for 4-6 year olds - that's less than half of Katie's age) I peaked my head out and said something along the lines of how Mom would sure appreciate it if the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher.

Commence screaming. Not from me, but from my 13 year old sister. What the heck?

"You guys always ask me to do stuff when I want to do something else. I've been waiting for this show to come on for weeks and no one lets me watch it." And she keeps screaming at me, and then finally tells me that I should do the dishes because, despite doing something that I am under contract and getting paid for, whatever I'm doing isn't nearly as important as "Handy Manny's Family Reunion."

Just for reference, Katie found out about this special a week ago. She watched it last night. Katie doesn't get to watch the show because it's on during the school day; rightfully so, because it's meant for children who don't have to go to school during the day because they're five years old.

Maybe it's just me being older and wiser, but at age thirteen I believe that she should be able to do some kind of chores. After all, at thirteen I was required to rearrange my social schedule on the weekends in order to cook dinner on Saturday nights - hot dogs and mac and cheese were off limits, as was anything that came from a box. Try explaining to your friends when you're in seventh grade that you're not allowed to spend the night Saturday because you have to cook dinner. Not even kidding.

Maybe it's the fact that she's hitting puberty and is being all hormonal without her knowledge. Maybe it's my over independence that's kicking in. Maybe it's the generation gap, however slight it may be, between us. When I was thirteen, we didn't even dream of having a cell phone. We didn't know what texting was, and when we were at a friend's house and needed to contact our families - like Katie was last night - we actually picked up a land line phone, dialed a number (all 12 digits) and talked to our parents. Katie texted me last night with a message for Mom, which I proceeded to tell her was just flat out lazy and rude. She didn't speak to me for the rest of the night.

Whatever it is, maybe I need to be more understanding. Maybe this is why I didn't major in middle grades education. By the time one of my parents got home today, I was about ready to pull my hair out. Thirteen must be the new age of slacking, not your early twenties.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 46 - "A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down"

I haven't written much lately because I caught the cold from hell. Normally, I'm a pretty healthy person, but my dad got sick two weekends ago, and then my allergies started acting up. From there, it was a quick downward spiral into the hell of coughing so much I thought I'd develop a six-pack before getting better, a fever, stuffy nose, and body aches from all of the coughing.

I really have been trying to keep myself healthy since I graduated, mainly because I don't know about the state of my health insurance. Multiple calls have resulted in vague answers about how normally college graduates aren't covered on their parent's plans, but yada yada yada blah blah blah. Since health care is expensive and so are my student loans, I've been working on staying healthy so I suddenly don't have to worry about a couple hundred of dollar visit to the emergency room.

In this respect, I really hope that the people in Washington really get to work on the health care package. I read an article a couple of months ago about how there are millions of Americans that are my age doing the same thing I have been doing - trying their best to stay well because of a lack of health insurance. Not only do we have to worry about young children, parents, and the elderly not having the insurance needed to take care of themselves or their families, but we also need to worry about the young twenty-somethings. We're at the point in our lives where we have those first jobs, but we may or may not get the benefits package because of the economy. We're young, daring, and sometimes stupid and those decisions may lead to injury that could become a problem for the rest of our lives.

It's another reason for wanting to get to grad school fast. At least as a student, I'll have incidental health insurance in case my dad decides to spread another bug from hell. However, incidental insurance won't pay for a new pair of glasses that I seem to be getting close to needing.