Saturday, December 30, 2006

the gift that keep on (getting re-given)

Greetings, greetings, happy holidays, merry christmas, happy hannukah, happy kwanza, and a merry winter solstice. Ok, enough of the salutations, onto the good stuff.
I know, at least in my family, that every year there is at least one christmas gift that is a multiple...this year it tured out to be a meat thermometer fork for my dad (he got 3 of them). He thought it was funny, I thought it was sad that he didn't realize that we were nicely trying to tell him that he either serves the food still bleeding or as something that more closely resembeles shoe leather.

And then there are the emotional cover ups when gifts are opened. This year, I take the cake. I guess any gift that is prefaced by my Aunt Betty(her heart is in the right place, but the level of taste has not surfaced) with, "Now, there is a story bheing this gift. I bought it, retunred it, and bought it again. I mean I LOVE it, but I know that you aren't me and that I have my own unique sense of taste, but really I Think you'll love it. If not, I kept the tags on it, feel free to return it, but I do think you will love it..." was boudn to be interesteing when opened. And interesting it was. LAdies and gentlemen, may I describe the faux leather (97% PVC, yes people that's what plumbing pipe is made out of) silver purse in the shape of a squished banana with glittery tassles and a odd nickle colored buckle and zipper. "Wow, this is.....different....I don't think I have ever seen anything like this," I mangaed to spit out, all the while pursing my lips and faking a smile. Okay, I admit it, it was a bad cover up, but the purse was just so bad. But the best part of the story is that she cut the tags off, so I couldn't even return it. Now I feel like I need to defend myself here and say that I could care less about the money or even getting somethign else, I know that she bought it with the best intentions, she has a heart of gold, I guess we just dont have the same sense of style. Anyways, she ended my buying my sister something that needed to be exchanged and she mentioned that the purse was on the same recipt. Okay I Thought, I'll just exchange it for a different one. WRONG! She only paid $7.50 for the purse. I guess when she bought itm, returned it, and rebought it, it was well intot he xmas season of discounts and coupons. Oh well, I took the $7.50 and bought myself some new undies (or rather 1 pair, but hey).

On another semi related note, a few days later, while browsing with my mom at Bloomingdales, I saw it. The perfect winter purse. And so I bought it. My mom insited that there was no reason not to, and I- being in a funk knowing that I needed to head back to sschool in a few days, thought that I desereved it (and that somehow it would make my life better). Well my life is still the same, but at least now I am carrying my "baggage" in style.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Hello dear friends. Despite your notion that I have left Philly to return to Beantown, I have not. Instead I have spent the last 1 1/2 weeks as stand-in mommy/grandma/nanny/child protector/babysitter/child bitch~servant.
To the money gods, AMEN! You have replenished my bank account with a surplus (no less!).
To the sanity gods, anti-amen (if that's a word).

I would love to share some of the comical tales of woe that I have lately endured.

I'm not sure the best way to break this down: by family? by day? by scenario? I guess we can go by family and then that will lead to the scenarios. Just let me preface all of these stories by saying that I love these children dearly, and I hold no grudges for their actions (I am thankful however, for these past 2 weeks have given a heightened importance of necessity of the almighty birth control)

The boys- R (3) and J (15 months).
1. R precedes to insist on helping with the laundry, including pouring the detergent "in" (and by that I mean, unscrewing the cap, turning the container of Tide upside down, spilling the contents all of the floor, rubbing his hands in the soapy blue mess, wiping his eyes with his soapy hands, screaming at the top of his lungs that the soap "ittssssss stiiiiinnnngggg--ennnn--innnggg". No shit! Damage control. Have you ever tried to an eye wash on a 3 year? Well don't bother, despite my $200,000 nursing education, I still failed miserably at the task. Instead I sprayed his eyes with the faucet in the kitchen sink.
2. J eating the dogs food out of the dish and barking back at the dog when the dog tried to claim its territory.
3. R feeding J his pizza that the dog had already licked, J peeling the cheese off and throwing it. In an attempt to save dinner, J was given a bowl of spaghetti, of which he took the individual strands of angel hair pasta and giggled as he dropped them onto the dogs head. The dog (confused by the falling food), starting to bark and chase her tail, who knocked R over as he hopped out of his chair to chase her, who then proceeded to pick the spaghetti off the dog-now laden with dog hair, and eat it.
4. Bath time: Two boys, 1 bath tub, 1 babysitter, 1 bottle of Johnson & Johnson shampoo, 1 cup to wash the hair= R getting mad that J splashed him, hitting Joe over the head with the shampoo bottle, which squirted out at me and landed on my chest and Ryan saying "Oh no Miss Kelly, you need water", followed by the action (before I could even speak) of him dumping the cup of water down the front of my chest
5. The chocolate milk: lets just say that a confusion of two sippy cups (both green with yellow covers-what are the odds with the multiude of combinations of colors) with the cup of old chocolate milk that must have rolled under the couch with the freshly poured one for lunch.......Oh yes, we had a cup of chocolate cottage cheese..yum?!?!

the girls: M (5), L (2)
1. M's 45 minute temper tantrum because she was only allowed a 1/2 of the jumbo pita (after she had already wasted her sandwitch, slice of banana bread, cup of milk, apple. and banana). I'm pretty sure she told me that, "You are the most annoyingist baby watcher and I am going to tell Santa Claus and then I am not going to invite you to my party on my birthday!" (mind you, I just hosted her birthday party 3 weeks ago) and for the record, she didn't even eat the 1/2 of pita instead she instead that it was "grainy" (isn't that what whole wheat is???). However, on a better note, she gave me a hug when I left at the end of the day
2. L getting mad at M at Burger King because she dipped her fries in L's ketchup cup and then proceeding to dump her cup of water on M's sandwitch, that M picked up and threw across the table that landed on my lap (oh yes, I love a ketchup and mustard covered crotch! Bonus to the Burger King escapade the snide remark from the lady behind the counter about the "young mother" not being able to control her kids...GIVE ME AN F'ING BREAK LADY! YOU WORK AT Burger King, THE KIDS AREN'T MINE, AND THERE WERE NO YELLS, SCREAMS, OR TANTRUMS IN PUBLIC.
3. L taking the magic markers and "make-up ing" herself.....think drag queen gone WAY bad. Oh well, thank god for washable markers.
4. M telling me that she didn't like the way my hair looked (in a pony tail) and that I needed to take lessons from her mom about how to "do hair".....funny though, because she insisted that I braid hers before I left.

Okay, so those are just some of the highlights. Maybe to appreciate them you needed to be there, but in any event..that is what I have been up to. Now Tomorrow is the real departure back to Beantown.

Stay tuned....Christmas with the Sessler's is always entertaining.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bran brigade

I am a nursing student; I feel comfortable using the words penis, vagina, sex, sexually transmitted diseases, urine, feces, shit, poop, pee, breast, boob; I am not flustered by projectile vomiting or other bodily functions, bed pans don't scare me, and bugars..well, It think they are best in a tissue, but hey, it's all good.

Why is it that I can feel so comfortable in these situations, but still be so awkward in others. Take for example my encounter with the man at Bucks County Coffee...

I have always prided myself on being honest, so yesterday morning at the coffee shop when I thought I got back a $1 extra in change, I said, "um..I think you gave me a dollar extra."
The man looked confused, looked back at his screen and said to the other guy, "Did I do something wrong? She should have $3.02 in change?!?"
They agreed, that I was wrong, so I joked, "can you tell it's finals time? Clearly, I haven't been sleeping enough."
TO which the guy replied, "well good thing for the coffee."
But I said, "oh, I didn't get coffee, I got a raisin bran muffin......"
He looked around, squinched his face and said, "well I think I heard that bran makes you concentrate!"
But the other guy behind the counter said, "no retard, bran makes you poop!!"

Orf course this all took place in a very busy coffe shop on a Monday morning during reading days where college students live off of caffeine and camp out in the coffee shops in the sweats to study/cram/open a book for the first time all semester. But anyways, I was a little taken back by the baristas bold comment and I just sort of chuckled and walked away. I guess it would have been the end to this saga, had I not gone and sat at the table to read and then proceed to listen to the these 2 grown men banter back and forth about the "things that make you go poop!"
Were they for real? I mean, come on people. This is a food establishment, NOT a bathroom. I guess its funny that the idea behind the conversation seemed okay, I can't think back to a family holiday dinner that didn't somehow turn into bathroom tale horrors (hey, we may not be the Cleavers, but we are a far cry from the Osbournes!).

After having learned more about these two men than I ever cared to, I packed up and left. Not going to lie, I definitely thought twice before I walked in there this morning, but I figured that the chances were slim that a) the same people would be working and b) that they would remember the face that spurred the bran debate.

Well, two strikes for me!

I no sooner walked up to the counter, then the kid said, "Hey. how was that muffin? Were you able to "concentrate?"

Jeez kid, you so belong here at win the awkward awkward, and let me tell you- that's a tall order because you are competiting with the best of best of Penn boys who are the archtyes of the sort.

I chuckled at his lame remark and ordered a coffee (yes, just a coffee, no bran today!) and paid as fast as I could. And that just about sums it up.

Life lesson: caffeine helps you concentrate, bran helps you poop.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Shit out of luck

I have been sitting here at my computer for a good 15 minutes tapping away at the keys, then furiously hitting the delete key, then making squinty faces, and again wondering, what on earth can I write about?

Update of my life: I am now officially a 2nd semester senior. It became official at approximately 2:57 pm on wednesday the 6th day of December after I had finished the 2nd final of the day, handed in a final paper, and completed a group project. I don't think that I have breathed such a large sigh of relief in quite some time, then again, it wasn't really "breathing" because my sinus have been plugged (but are now gloriously draining) with green shit since before Thanksgiving.
But now I can rest, take a load off and get some well needed rest. And by rest I mean, babysitting a good 5 days a week, shopping in my offtime, cooking to feed the hungry bellies of all my friends who are painfully enduring finals, and of course getting lots of good sweat time in at the gym. But this is the kind of life I like. I get a sick pleasure out of being overbooked, scheduled to the minute (amen for day planners and post it notes), and doing for others. Oh wait, I see the light, I know what sort of random insanity I am going to enlighten you with....

My day planner: "Her what?" I am sure you asking yourself, "give me a break, no one gives a rats ass about her day planner." Okay, so I am not going to write about my day planner (although it is a lovely eggplant colored leather coach one with lots of calendars, phone numbers, and note pages). So here it is, what I really want to write about.....satisfaction with accomplishments, deadlines, and tasks.

Do you ever write sometime down on your "to-do" list, just so you can get the satisfaction of crossing it off? You must admit, there is nothing like a nice solid (----------) through a tasks. No? Well are you more of a [x] (box checker)? If fall into either one of these categories then you know what I am getting at. Who cares if you already started that outline, or read that paper, or met with your friend for lunch at noon...its worthwhile to write it down, to be able to mark it done.

I guess I am not going anywhere logical with this, but I'll just ramble on tangentially...
One of the biggest differences that I noticed between high school and college was the ability to get ahead. In highschool, you knew what had to be done for the night, even the week and you could pretty much plug along at the work, but when you were done, you were really DONE. The test taking, or paper writing was the final culmination of the week or two's worth of knowledge acquisition. I recall days where I was distressed that I had so much "stuff" to do that I couldn't complete anything, but only begin a few things.....If only I had known what the next 4 years of college held in store.

Welcome to college. The place where on the 1st day of class you are told about everything that you will cover in the course, everything that you should be doing outside of the class to prepare, what the "required" and "recommended" readings are (from my experience, only pay attention to the former...I swear professors get kick backs for plugging their colleagues latest work). But all that you really key in and listen to is forms of assessment (how many papers, how long they have to be, how may tests and are they cumulative, and most there extra credit?)
No lie, the first week of classes freshman year, I was ready to have an anxiety attack. I had these 5 page syllabi for the ENTIRE semester and I always knew what was coming next. I would no sooner finish up the assigned work, but then I felt like I should be moving onto the next assignment. I realized that this WAS NOT LOGICAL, nor was it good for my sanity OR social life...but only after I spent an entire weekend reading 3 books for my American societies class, only to go in an take the "Quest" (way to long to be a quiz, but not counted as much as a test) and realize that I couldn't;t remember shit from any of the books, everything blurred together. In fact, I was jealous of the kids who had skimmed only 1 book because at least they could bullshit an essay- it may have been vague, but at least they kept the theories, philosophers, and implications my mind, it seemed sensical that Darwin's theory of economics shaped the ideals of the American Revolution.
AND THAT IS WHERE IT ALL CHANGED. Welcome to college, the game isn't getting ahead, its staying afloat. Since making this realization my life has been much better. You all know me, well unless you are some crazy blog stalker who enjoys reading random people's musings, and yes, I still get stressed, still like to get it all done, still am looking for that vertical symmetry in the grades, but lets face it...You can't have it all...
Learn to live: enjoy your friends with all of their quirks, take advantage of all that the city has to offer (24 hour WaWa's, lots of homeless people, taxi cab drivers who make you thankful for seatbelts), realize that coffee tastes best when you make it yourself on a cold snowy Saturday morning while you sip it in your pajamas, that the world won't end if you have to go to class with a wild set of curls because you overselpt and didn't have time to straighten your hair, that no one will remember if you wore those jeans out to Smokes last night and are wearing them again today, that sometimes you have to go to happy hour at Mad4Mex on a Tuesday for your mental health, that boxed Franzia wine gets you just as drunk as the $200 domperrigon, that hooking up with multiple boys in the same fraternity will more than likely get your name "out there" (for better or worse), that homemade cookies do wonders for the people you care about, that an apple a day (if its from Fresh Grocer) WILL NOT keep the doctor away but rather send you to the ER with e.coli, that fall and spring break are perfectly timed to allow you to regain mental composure despite the weeks before and after sucking more than words can express, and that wasting time on Facebook, Wikipedia, and UTube are all perfectly acceptable.

So I know that this post didn't really flow, but I guess the take home message is: enjoy what ya got, and what ya gotta do.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Drivers Ed

Let me be the first to remind you all that I am from Massachusetts...home to the "Mass-hole". We are the only state where it's normal to been seen in the daily commute: applying eyeliner, drinking coffee, screaming into the cell phone (something obscene about the Big Dig, I'm sure), reading the newspaper, and giving someone the finger....Oh and if you are a parent, glimpsing into the rear view mirror to see if your kid is still picking their nose in the car seat and/or wailing in their siblings with that 7 am "I wish I were still sleeping rage".

Why paint this picture, one may ask?

It's simple, today, I reached my wits end with drivers here in PA. If it wasn't bad enough that I got stuck behind the trolley on Baltimore Pike, but it was also perfectly timed that the trolley would come to a stop at the exact moment that the light turned green, only to take just long enough unloading the natives, that the light turned to red again and I got to sit at not only the green light, but also the red one.....ahh yes, it most certainly did take me 50 minutes to drive 8.6 miles to Swarthmore today.

Adding insult to injury, a homeless man gave me the finger. Well, I suppose I am making an unfair assumption that the man was homeless...but judging by his shopping cart full of trash picked treats, his dirty than a gardeners fingernails, the straight out of Vogue fashion (i.e 80's acid washed jeans, blue flannel shirt, and wanna-be Timberland construction boots, with NO shoe-I mean, "boot laces")...I am going to make the executive decision that this guy wasn't living the Park Avenue lifestyle. (Or as would be seen in the Philly area, the "Main Line" lifestyle).

I suppose you are wondering why I noticed such miniscule details about this individual, but don't forget I spent double the time at each of the 22 lights on my way to the suburbs. But I digress and back to my tale of woe.

At approximately light number 10 (right after the abandoned block of convenience stores) and before the "Adult entertainment Stop" I am just sitting there singing along to my Christmas carols (you should all be thankful that the windows were up, of my many talents, singing is NOT one of them) when I see my pal standing there trying to cross the other side of traffic. (I was at one of the bizarre 3 way lights-yet some how its an "X" intersection...hey, I can't pass judgment, in MA we have those God Damn if you are up for a good time, throw an inexperienced driver into one of those and just see the accidents that insurance salesmen dream of this at night "zzzz$$$$$zzzz"). Ok, so in an attempt to be a good person, I didn't go when the light immediately turned green and I waved the man across. Well what did I get in return? Two things...1) an OBNOXIOUS honk from the man in his pimped out early 1990's Chrysler mini-van, and 2) the finger from the homeless man!
"WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me", I thought. At this point the man is now standing in the middle of the traffic and flailing his arms and cursing at me (one of my cervant talents is lip reading...Ok, maybe its not cervant, more like nosy). I was rather taken back at this mans hysteria, but whatever, as soon as he moved, I would just drive away.

So I waited, and waited, but did the man move? NOPE! He just paced back and forth. He was now holding up two sides of traffic and the horns just kept getting louder. I wish I could say that this story got more exciting, but it really doesn't after about out 2 minutes of this, I guess he lost interest and proceeded to push his cart full of treasures across the street and take a corner turn. So if the story ends there, why am I still writing? It's simple, I need to rant about 2 more things....

#1 Horn Honking: GIVE ME A BREAK PEOPLE! Horns were made to alert people, not to aid in being an asshole! If traffic is stopped and NOT moving, do you really think that the obnoxious sound will change the traffic pattern.Chances are that the car 3 people up has their music blaring and doesn't even hear your little toot, nor do they give a shit about it, so why bother. Its seems futile. So for the sake of all mankind, don't honk out of hostility.

#2 Decked out (ghettofied mini-vans): I am the first to admit that we cannot all drive Jag's and Bentleys (although apparently this is news to 95% of the kids I graduated highschool with, and approximately 99% of the kids here at Penn), but come one people....Do you really think it looks cool to put $300 silver spinny rims on a rusted and wood paneled mini-van? Maybe the car was your graduation gift, maybe it was a present for getting off probation. I don't know, nor is it any of my business, but I am still flabbergasted every time I see a car that is decked out with more bling than the actual value of the car. And it's certain that the music heard blaring from the "system" inside is something from the hip-hop/rap genre. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that music all the same, but for the love of God, mini-vans are for soccer moms, not street savvy "thugs".

Alright, now before I go on and offend anyone else, I'm going to stop. I've spoken my peace, but I would love to know your thoughts.......Leave comments if it strikes your fancy.