Wonderful Stuff Wednesday: The Show Must Go On

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello! It's Wednesday and do not fear, there are wonderful things I will be sharing in the post. I haven't posted in about a week because my dad was here over the weekend so I was largely unattached to my computer. It was quite lovely.

So what has happened since then? I started my class for the semester... not too thrilled by the composition of the class, as it's mostly comprised of "typical pre-meds" who make me want to alternately bang my head into a wall or bang THEIR heads into a wall. Yes, I'm aware that I fall into the category of "pre-med" but I have no patience for grade-grubbing gunners whose sole mission in life is to make others feel like they're not even worthy to breathe the same air. The class also is in the tiniest classroom I've ever experienced in my life. My desk is literally touching the student's desk next to mine. I need personal space, and these people are all up in my bubble. Not okay. The professor seems all right, despite his intensely thick, German (?) accent and tendency to stare at you for an uncomfortable length of time while he's lecturing. All that to say, I think the course will be interesting, but if I can drop it before the drop date... I'm doing it.

The weekend my dad was here was mostly relaxing. We ate, drank, and were merry. I got new windshield wipers for my car (sorely needed) and an Amazon gift card for my birthday, which means that I am one step closer to the 50 mm f1.4 lens that I'm saving for! We rented some movies, watched a lot of football, and basically just hung out. It's really nice to be able to just spend time with my dad and do "normal life things". I missed out on so much not having him around while I was growing up, so sharing simple things like breakfast or watching a football game or going to the grocery store are things that I truly treasure. When I dropped him off at the airport on Monday, I burst into tears as soon as I pulled my car away from the curb. Pro tip: Don't drive while hysterically bawling. It makes merging and changing lanes and not crashing your car really difficult. Fortunately, I didn't cause any accidents and managed to get home in one piece.

Yesterday, we got somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-12 inches of snow. It started in the late morning and stopped some time early this morning, and I left work early to try and avoid getting stuck in the worst of it. That, my friends, was a miserable failure, as it took me over 3 hours to travel the 25 mile commute between my office and my condo. None of the roads were plowed, no one could figure out what "lane" we were in, so we made up our own, and people were getting into accidents left and right. It was a tense 3 hours and change and I basically got home, got into my pajamas, and went to bed. I accidentally took a 2 hour nap, and then spent the rest of the night in bed as well because I haven't been feeling well.

Today... today is a mix of things. Sadly, my grandmother did pass away this morning, so I have spent most of my day trying to get flights booked. I booked Levi's flight already, but he's connecting through Detroit on the way there and Atlanta on the way back, and I'd rather avoid that mess entirely. Granted, his ticket was under $250, which is lovely, because everything I've found that is a non-stop is going to cost me close to $400, and bereavement fares aren't helping me here. I'm trying to fly out on Friday evening after my interview (eeeeee!) but I am not sure when it it ends and Cooper is closed today because of the snow, so I can't even ask them. I'm thinking that a flight after 6 pm will be fine, but I'd rather know for sure. I have vague memories of hearing or reading that the interview day would be complete by 1:45, but I very well could have made that up entirely, so I'm not about to book a plane ticket on what might have been a sleep-deprived hallucination.

I am not exactly looking forward to going to Florida this weekend, and not only because the reason I'm going there is to attend a funeral. As I mentioned previously, my grandmother and I were not close, so I'm not sure how I'll even feel at her funeral. I'm more concerned about how I'll react to my dad's grief. He's not a highly emotional man, and the number of times I've seen him cry remains in the single digits. Today when he called to tell me that my grandma had died, he burst into tears about halfway through the phone call and had to hang up because he was crying and driving (see pro tip, above). I don't know what to do when my dad cries. I guess the obvious answer is, "whatever you normally do when someone who isn't your dad starts crying" but it's definitely different when it's your dad. I am glad that I will be able to be there for him, but I'm not entirely sure how helpful I'll be.

Even though my grandmother and I weren't close, death is always hard and weird. It makes you think about things that we spend a lot of time actively trying to ignore, like our own mortality and the mortality of those we love. It makes you think about what you would want for yourself if you were brain dead or in a permanent vegetative state. It makes you think about how you would feel, carrying out the wishes of a loved one even if it didn't feel right to you. It makes you think about what you believe about what happens after we die. Our society is one that pushes death to the side, into the quiet, private, corners of life. It is not something that we discuss openly or share with our communities. It is something to be dealt with as quietly as possible. I remember watching an episode of Taboo that talked about death in various cultures, and I found it so fascinating how differently death is viewed around the world. I think the most uncomfortable part of this death, for me, has been experiencing my dad's loss, as well as realizing (once again) that people are born and then they die, and there's nothing that we can do about it. It is, in fact, what we are made to do. Having my last grandparent die is especially sobering because the next people whose deaths I will have to deal with will probably be my own parents, and that is unbearable to even contemplate for me. Anyway, I'll be flying down to Florida on Friday (hopefully?) and back on Monday. At least I'll get away from all of this snow for a couple of days?

Despite the sadness that has permeated my day, it is still Wonderful Stuff Wednesday, and so I have a few things today that have made me smile:

These ferrets, having the best time ever:

This llama, also having a great time:

My friend's dog, Watson, demanding belly rubs:

This article about a porcupine falling on a woman's head in Brazil. (Ok, admittedly that's not actually funny, but it's so random that I have to post it here. Also, it led me to this article about a llama falling on a woman in Ohio... sad spoiler alert: the woman died.) But hey, next time you're having a bad day, you can remind yourself that at least a porcupine hasn't fallen on your head and you haven't been crushed by a llama.

Also, the weird search terms that bring people to The Bloggess totally made me crack up. My personal favorites were:

“what will happen if you give a panda hamster rotten food” (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a panda hamster. This blog has just become educational.)


“book with an immigrant and an armadillo”
(I’d read it.)

This hysterical way to identify the passive voice:

 (This tactic, by the way, makes reading scientific papers a lot more fun, since they're always written in the passive voice.)

These hysterical autocorrect mistakes and subsequent conversations that happened today:
Michelle: Yeah... bad tarts. No. Bastards!
Me: Hahaha, bad tarts!
Michelle: Bad tarts are such a let down. Here you are, just wanting a tasty tart.
Me: And then it's just bad and slimy and weird and gross with a weirdo filling in it. Like prune.
Michelle: Not prune!! Maybe it's a wonton woman!
Me: A wonton woman? Or a wanton woman?
Michelle: LMAO, fucking autocorrect must be hungry.
Me: Well, I do love wontons...

Julie: I'm sorry about Hanson.
Me: LoL... mmmbop?
Julie: OMFG, PHONE. I'm sorry about grandmom. Fail. Mmmfail.

And this conversation, although not due to autocorrect:

Julie: When do you go? To Florida... not the afterworld. I'm really failing here.

Other things that are wonderful, in no particular order:

- Having a husband who helps me clear off your car and who shoveled me out, even though he has a snow day from school
- Snuggly kitties (even if they're just snuggling for warmth)
- Fleece lined leggings (where have you been all of my life!?)
- Hats crocheted by friends 
- Finally getting into a groove on my knitting project
- Being able to help someone through a rough time and watching as they work to get better
- Realizing that I lost 5 pounds somehow
- Roads that have been adequately plowed and salted (thanks, NJDOT)

- Flexeril (muscle relaxants are a gift from God)
- A supportive, flexible work environment that allows me to take time off to tend to family emergencies

- Friends who send me silly and supportive and loving text messages
- Electric blankets and fuzzy socks
- The existence of chocolate

And on that note... I am going to head home. Symphony rehearsal was canceled tonight due to the snow, although I'm not entirely sure why because most of the roads are clear. I'm not going to argue, though, because it means that I get to go home and have dinner with Ken... and figure out what suit I'm wearing to my interview! 

What are some wonderful things that have happened to you lately? I could use some good news... leave it in the comments!

- A


  1. Bereavement fares aren't cheap, I discovered a few years ago when my own grandmother passed. I think the only real benefit they give you is that they are flexible and you can change dates/times with little to no penalty. So sorry for your loss, let me know if you need anything xoxo

  2. I'm glad you got some quality time with papa and I am sorry about your grandmother my love. If you need things let me know. I am here if you need anything. Also, I love the Julie text. It almost made me spit water all over my screen. It was bueno. Also also... LLAMA!!

    Let me know if you need anything! Lof youuuu!

  3. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. You're right, death is hard and weird even if you're not close to the person. *hugs* I hope that your interview goes smashingly tomorrow, and that you manage to find cheap fares to Florida.

    Also, glad you finally found your groove on the shawl!


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