Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Life in Acronyms

A few nights ago, I was talking to my dear friend Dan about acronyms. See, he hates them. And me? Well, I happen to live in a world that is currently full of them. So, for Dan’s amusement… my life, in acronyms.

I am BKD.

I go to UT, where I’m majoring in SW and Psychology. When I graduate, I will have a BSW, but eventually I want an MSW and possibly a PsyD. I take classes such as CSD, UGS,  RUS, and CL 305. 

One of my favorite professors is E-RG. I plan to get licensed after graduation, and I want to be an LCSW.

I’m very active in SSD. Their office is in the SSB. At ACC, where I’m taking my summer classes, SSD is called OSD, and this gets very confusing.  I receive FINAid through the VA. But I have to go to OSFS sometimes, after I’ve filled out my FAFSA. They require my SSN and my UTEID. Sometimes I study at the PCL. I have classes in PAR, BUR, and SSW. To get there, I have to drive down MLK.  I drive a VW.

I have OCD. I’ve participated in treatments including CBT and ERP. I’ve taken an SSRI.
I love photography and shoot with a DSLR.

I overuse LOL and LMAO in written conversation. I prefer MLA style to APA, but I can cite in both.

I have many online friends on FB, but I also frequent the GMC. I used to be a member of APS. My best friend and I like to watch SYTYCD. We talk a lot on YIM.

Before I got fired, I worked at SCBN, sometimes called FMR. I opened mail and scanned POI.

I am definitely not a PC. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Part of Me that Wants to Be a Sex and the City Girl

So I made it to see Sex and the City 2 with mom this weekend. They gave her the senior discount, which was amusing on many levels, mostly because I'd just finished telling her that they'd never buy her as a senior. The popcorn was yummy, the seats were comfortable, and as for the movie? What can I say?

I love Sex and the City. Love it. I am completely and totally attracted to Chris Noth as Mr. Big, and I want Carrie's group of friends. Samantha is my favorite, but let's face it, if I were going to BE one of the SATC girls, I would be the overly analytical writer.

Here's the thing, though. They would never, EVER, let me in. I would be one of those people that Carrie makes fun of. Among that group of people, I would be a marvel. And I know this. And I accept it. (Really) But still... there's a part of me that kind of wishes I could tag along with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.

The rest of me tells that part to shut up and quit being stupid on a pretty much daily basis. The rest of me knows what it's talking about. Because the rest of me knows these things:

I will never be the kind of girl for whom going out on the town seven nights a week is enjoyable. I will never really like to party. I will never have a good time in a crowd of people. I will never like wearing uncomfortable shoes to walk around a city. I will never be comfortable wearing clothes that look as if they were picked out in the dark.

And while we're on those shoes? I will never be the kind of girl for whom $400 is an acceptable amount of money to spend on a pair of shoes? I might admire the shoes. I might even like the shoes. But to spend that kind of money on them? That's half my rent. Or a heck of a lot of books. Or computer parts. Or a new camera lens. 

The rest of me knows all of this, and it accepts it, and embraces it. The rest of me is the kind of girl who enjoys reading, dominoes, Tetris, and spending time with a three-year-old. 

But that little part?

Sometimes, that little part wishes that diamonds and shoes WERE a part of my daily life. The rest of me gets a daily life filled with baby spit-up, doggie poop bags, and laundry. That little part of me wishes that the songs stuck in my head were the latest ones I had heard premiered at some glamorous show. The rest of me gets songs from Hooked on Phonics about a Big, Big Pig.

All of that said, I'd never be happy there. As invested as I am in Carrie and Big, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Harry, and Samantha... it isn't me. And part of me is sad about that. But the rest of me? It's too busy folding laundry, doing school work, and planning craft projects for the three-year-old to care.

*The Little Part of Bobs

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Journey Through My Photo Archives - I Grew Up Here

Back to the old photo archives for me. What better way for a vampire to keep busy, when said vampire does not want to do her Government reading?

I grew up here, in Startown, North Carolina. Startown consisted of three houses and a horse farm. Those houses you see in the background? Not Startown. The city of Newton annexed up one side of Startown road and down the other. They skipped my house, my grandparents', the Stables, and the Delvecchio's. This photo is taken from my grandparent's roof. I figured out how to climb up there when I was about eight, and I was always getting yelled at for running around on the roof. That back yard? I spent every evening there in the summer. Those funny white things on sticks are Purple Martin gourds. Granddaddy and I raised them - more than 250 young per year, and one of the larger colonies in North Carolina.

And there are the stables. I learned to ride there, when I was four. Granted, I haven't been on a horse in years now, but I can't imagine that it's something you completely forget. 

Speaking of houses - this one was mine. It was eclectic, starting out when my parents first got married as a 13,000 home. We built, and added, and tacked on. And when I say we, I do mean we. House building was a family project. Here, I'm sitting on the fence that separated my parents' fence company yard from our house. To my non-duck is the fence company and my mom's gift shop, Rose Cottage Treasures. She used to make dolls, and we sold Boyd's Bears.

Did I mention that we had seasons? Real, honest to God, seasons? I miss those.

And these. Trees. I miss trees. The top tree was a dead one in the horse pasture that the birds loved. The middle one is the Magnolia I spent hours climbing. I could read in that tree. And the bottom... I learned to swing there.

These lived in my back yard. There would be a new batch of them almost every year. Often, you could get them to know you well enough to come up to the fence and pat them on the nose. It never occurred to me to be afraid of big horses. Though one of them did eat a bike glove of mine once.

When I look at all of these, it amazes me how different my life is now. I never, EVER, saw myself living in the city. In any city. Let alone a city in Texas.

I never imagined that the only animals in my life would be dogs.

I never imagined that I wouldn't have a back yard.

And sometimes, I miss it. But most of the time, I think that Austin is pretty cool too.


Turning Vampiric

I realize that when I decided to minor in Slavic, I was risking becoming a vampire freak. Okay. So I'll never be one of those people who waits for the new Twilight movie with bated breath. In fact, I hate Twilight.

Real vampires don't sparkle, darn it.

But I was prepared to start enjoying vampire lore. And, to some extent, I have. The classics, some of the off beat vampire stories, even the Watch Trilogy. That one gets stuck in my head. In Russian. Начной Дазор.

What I didn't anticipate was turning INTO a vampire. Granted, I haven't started sucking blood yet, but I am experiencing a severe aversion to sunlight. And daytime. And holy water. Just kidding on the holy water part.

What I'm saying is that I've gone ever so slightly nocturnal. For the past few weeks, I've been going to bed with the sunrise. Honestly, I don't mind it, but it isn't a functional schedule for a normal human being.

Then again, who ever said I was normal? Either way, the madness has to stop, before I decide to stake myself in the heart just to ensure that I'm asleep before 6 am.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Recently, I have become very interested in different processing styles in people. This is something that I've been fascinated with for awhile, since I read a memoir written by the mother of a boy with a sensory processing disorder, several years ago. Up until that point, I don't think I had ever considered just how differently every person processes his or her world. For example: too much stimulus completely overwhelms me. A place like an amusement park makes me feel like my skin is turning inside out, because there is no escape from the stimuli. Noises, smells, bright flashing colors, the heat of the day and the sticky, body heat of the thousands of others, the pavement under my feet, the rhythm of walking, and the blend of all of it together - it's too much for me. I can enjoy myself somewhere like that for a limited amount of time, and then I crave the quiet darkness of my bedroom.

I put aside the subject of sensory perception, because I didn't have the time to keep only studying the things I was interested in. Darn college professors, wanting me to learn their subjects. But a few months ago, processing came up again, in relation to my learning style.

I am auditory. Always have been. And when it came time for me to learn biology, Kelly and I put this auditory theory to the test. She read my textbook to me. She read test questions to me. I answered her. I got an A. 

Because I've had a little - though not much - more free time over the past few weeks, I've been doing some reading on auditory learning and auditory relating. Apparently, being auditory means that:

  • I would rather hear a story than read it. Though I do love to read, I would rather listen to an audiobook, because I absorb more.
  • I take my cues from how things are said. Tone is super important to me, and I am sensitive to it. 
  • I can recall exact words and tones used in conversation. Which can come in handy. Or be really annoying.
  • I talk to myself, and talk myself through tasks. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that I am crazy.
  • When I write, I say what I want to write before I write it. Thus lengthening my already lengthy writing process.
  • I hum and sing to myself. And I do it on key. But I'm not sure if that has to do with being auditory or not.
  • "Extra" noise distracts me - the sound of your sniffing, your pencil scratching on your paper, you shifting in your seat bothers me. But I can easily function with music on, and I often learn better when things are put to song.
  • I don't make eye contact when I'm listening. This drives Kelly crazy. I've gotten better about it, and I can usually manage it for professors, but I hear better when I'm not looking directly at the speaker.
  • Mispronunciations, irregularities in speech, and improper word usage bothers me. A lot. I need my world to sound right.
All of these are things that I've found in lists related to auditory learning, relating, and communicating.  There were others, including a few that didn't fit me at all. I am, apparently, supposed to enjoy talking on the phone. And 'round these parts, I have a reputation for hating the phone. But there are people for whom I bend my phone hating rules, and I do love phone conversations with them. But for the most part, this fits me. And it really makes me wonder how I could better shape my life to accommodate my natural sense of relating to the world around me. 

It also explains why I have such conflicts with people who are of different relating styles. If I'm so tone sensitive that I perceive criticism where there isn't any intended, I get upset for no reason. Likewise, when I expect others to infer from my tone what I mean, and they don't, it's a source of real frustration. And that music you have playing? That you love so much? The metal clashing stuff? It's not that I'm being hard to get along with, it's that it literally makes no sense to me. It's too much amplification, too much signal, too much noise. All I can hear is clashing. Give me something acoustic, and I can pick out every instrument. I can hear every harmony, an differentiate between them all. But noisy music? You might as well put a jackhammer over the speakers.

That said, I really wonder if there is some kind of a link between tonal processing and auditory relating. I'm not very good at looking at a picture and imagining it differently. Sure, I can manipulate it until I see it differently, but I'm not very good at changing images around in my head. But music? I can listen to a piece of music and change it while I'm listening. Add a flute here. Another guitar there. A harmony part above and below. This is the skill that allows me to sing harmony. Additionally, music is not something that I have to think about at all. It is natural for me, which is why I can sing while typing, working puzzles, or entering data. I wonder... if I were less auditory and more visual, would it be the other way around? Would something like singing require me to put forth more effort, so that I couldn't type while doing it? Would I be able to stare at a puzzle and put it together with my eyes while my brain tried to manage the less natural conversation I was having at the time?

It bears further study. 

It also makes me realize that I need to find out how the people in my life best relate to the world. There's an idea. Happier world relations through processing styles.

As I lay here, at nearly three in the morning, wondering why I'm not yet asleep, I hear my air conditioner, my ceiling fan, and the sound of my typing. Cooper is breathing, and when he moves, his collar jangles. That collar will have to go. 

If you've stuck with me through this boring, self-assessment, you're better than I am. I almost left twice. And I'm the one talking. 


This Week

It's been a long week. There has been much cleaning, much organizing, and much snuggling with Cooper. There has been much time spent with the munchkins, talk of putting together schooling programs for the three-year-old Monkey boy, and a screaming, teething, eight-month-old (who still captures my heart.)

I lost a friend. Someone I was close to. After a series of fights, I gave her the option to walk away, and she did. I said some things I probably shouldn't have. She said some things she probably shouldn't have. It saddens me. It hurts. I miss her. But sometimes, the best thing you can do for everyone involved in a relationship is to let go. 

My apartment is almost back to normal, but my laundry still isn't all done.

Cooper ate half my orange chicken this afternoon. I didn't really intend for him to - and usually, he is very good about leaving my food alone - but I didn't mind either. In all fairness, I was eating on the floor. Usually, when I put a dish on the floor, it means he is allowed to eat it. It's okay though. I didn't really need it. And I don't mind sharing with my puppy.

Kelly and I took on the boys, Dave and Muecke (that's pronounced, Mickey, ya'll) in a rousing game of 42 today. Just in case you didn't know how geeky I am already, I will now tell you that one of my favorite things in the world to do is to play 42. It's a partner domino game, based on bidding, calling trump, and talking insane amounts of trash. It's a high strategy game, but there is a lot of luck involved. And we ALMOST beat them. Almost. Dirty, stinking boys.

I love playing with Kelly as my partner. Over the years, we've switched out a few times. I've played with Muecke, and Kelly has played with Dave. I've brought in new friends to learn, and taken them as my partner. And while I've enjoyed switching it up occasionally, I'd rather play with Kelly than anyone else. For one thing, I can't play against her. We've been partners for so long that she knows how I play. For another thing, the smack talk isn't nearly as much fun with someone else on my team. 

Summer classes started up. I have Economics, downtown, at six. Yes. Economics. Downtown. Rush Hour. Taught by a guy who had a glaring spelling error on his syllabus and a glaring grammar error on his class notes. I realize that my grammar is not perfect, but I do know that two subjects require the use of "are" rather than "is." As in, Bobbi and Kelly are better than the boys at dominoes. Not Bobbi and Kelly is going to win next time. The professor was also late to class. This is unfathomable to me, as being late makes me extremely anxious.

My other classes are online. Intro Psych, Intro Sociology, and Government. The Government class makes me want to set my hair on fire, but it's only an 11 week course. I can survive it. I'm sure I can. I hope. Psych and Sociology should be entertaining. If my books ever arrive. 

So, it's been an interesting week. I'm stuck on this godawful nocturnal schedule, which I love, but also hate. I don't mind being nocturnal, but it doesn't work so well for anyone else in my life. Here's hoping that it all gets a little better.

And Mellie, if you're listening, I miss you. But I understand why you left. 


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Journey Through My Photo Archives - Middle School

In addition to being on the tail end of an apartment renovation project (is it a coincidence that I keep typing "home removation, or is that some kind of strange Freudian slip? And do I even believe in Freudian slips? I'm not Freudian, I'm Rogerian.) I am also currently sorting through my 40,000 photos and trying to weed out the unnecessary ones.

You think I'm exaggerating with that number, don't you. Let's just say that once I got my Canon DSLR, I took full advantage of burst shooting. If you know what that means, you'll be smiling and nodding. If you don't, you'll think I'm weird. I'm okay with that.

Anyway, it's been a real journey going through these photos. One I want to take you on with me. I think. I always have been a masochist. 

First things first. I have a few questions about this photo. What the heck was going on with my hair? Is there a reason that it is roughly the size of Texas? And who told me that it was a good idea to take a curling brush and a blow dryer to my bangs? But really... why is it so big?

I swear on all that is cheesy that I have never done anything to my hair to make it thicker. 

And then, there's this. I have some questions about this one too. It was Christmas 2002. I had just turned 13. Clearly, my parents thought I was going to take up hunting. Yes. That must be it. Right? Actually, I have a confession about this outfit. I never, ever, wore the pants out of the house, despite actually liking them. Because I knew that I would be teased mercilessly. Even more than I was already. I know. Way to cave to peer pressure, right?

Now that you've seen the first two, you might be shocked to know that there was a time, slightly later in that year, when I actually thought I was going to be a model. I went to modeling school. Also, Junior Cotillion. But that is a whole different set of emotional scars. I went to a few competitions too. Then they told me I needed to cut my hair. It was the last competition I ever went to.

I'm protective of my hair. Though, in retrospect, if it was anything like it looked in that first picture, I'm sure they were just thinking of charity. With that much hair, I could make a ton of wigs.

I was in West Side Story in 8th Grade. That short guy on the non-duck side was Tony. I was Maria. The shorter guy on the duck was Bernardo and the adorable little fireball in yellow played Anita. Clearly, we weren't in costume.

Ahhh, but there the costume is. The second night of the performance, I wore it on stage backwards. But it wasn't completely my fault.

I was in a dance number, wearing a completely different costume, approximately fifteen seconds before I was required to show up on stage in this one. I had a dresser. I did not question my dresser. I didn't even notice the thing was on backwards until the next costume change.

I also did stuff like this that year. Bharata Natyam - classical Indian dance. There I am again with the spitfire who played Anita. She was a better dancer than I was. The two of us were part of a group of dancers that went to the state capital to dance at the Governor's Ball. I kid you not. Here's what I remember: The makeup was a pain in the butt. My eyes were so sensitive that I couldn't tolerate having the eyeliner applied, so we had to do it in bursts. They had to start over no less than three times because my eyes would water and make it smear. My parents were having a fight that weekend. I thought it was the end of the world. I always did. I had an argument with our teacher about my hair, because she wanted it up and I wanted it to cover my ears.

I hated my ears.

I still do.

I made my family dress in color coordinates so I could take a picture for a school project. I was still shorter than my mother. I'm not now. In fact, I'm about four inches taller. I think my bandanna addiction started this year too. Lord help me, they should have stopped me then. I now own no less than thirty-five of the things. I use them to cover my ears. See above, about the ears.

Finally, there is this, which I think was my favorite picture to stumble across. Jacob's Fork Middle School. 8th Grade. 2003. It was my last year in a regular school. I left the next year to be unschooled. But all things considered, it was a good year. There were six of us who sat at this table. The sixth is the one holding the camera. She HATED being photographed. Still does, as far as I know.

We sat at this table every day and had some monumental discussions. The one that sticks out in my mind was a political one. It was very serious. A discussion vital to our country. The little one with the impish grin in the middle asked it one day. Are you ready? It was: Do they change the bedsheets in the White House with every new president? Or do they keep the same ones?

I don't think it occurred to us that the current president might actually prefer his own bedsheets. I also don't remember what we came up with. But I remember the question, and many more like it. It thoroughly amazes me how far we've all come since that picture. All six of us are in college. We span three states and two countries. Starting on the duck side:

Amanda wanted, at the time, to be a marine biologist. Last I checked, she was climbing lots of mountains and rock walls these days.

Allie wanted to be a nurse. She's graduating from nursing school next year. And is engaged. She and I used to fight. I'm not sure why. 

Brittany played basketball. Now she plays basketball for a college in Maine.

Eissa ate a chocolate chip cookie for lunch every day that I knew her. She was never allowed to spend the night at my house. Ever. She just spent a semester in London. Clearly, London is safer than my house was. 

The gal taking the picture? Another Brittany? Was one of my best friends. Our parents carpooled us to and from school. I don't think I've had a conversation with her, a real one, since I was 14 or so.

As for me? What did I want at 13? You won't believe me if I tell you. That year, I think I wanted to be an architect. I also, and this I remember distinctly, wanted to have eight children. I was going to name them Bobbie Alexandra, James Grant, Lillian Elise, Garren Dean, Kyra Elizabeth, Emma-Madison Jordan, and Elijah Blayde. Somewhere, I have a picture that I drew, representing what they would all look like. 

I wasn't a control freak. Not at all. And the idea of having eight children scares me. And I don't want to be an architect. 

Still, I have to say. We've all come quite a long way from discussing whether or not the president changed his bedsheets.