Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winter Whining

Well, it is Wednesday night.  I am sitting in my living room, watching an episode of "Bones" while Lena wrestles with her rope bone on the floor.  Oh yes, and I am doing laundry.  What could be more exciting than this?  Today I did an archival reference shadow at a large corporation, which is exciting to me, but probably not to anyone else.

I do not really have a profound subject for this entry, but I would like to articulate my opinion about something that really has been irritating me lately.

OK, so today is March 30.  I realize that technically speaking, we have passed into the season of spring.  This means that winter is over and we are transitioning to summer.  Theoretically, this should also mean that the snow should be melting and temperatures should be rising.  In reality, this is what is happening.

So why am I annoyed?  For some reason unbeknownst to me, people in this part of the world seem to be suffering from some serious memory loss.  I cannot count how many people in the last few weeks have been complaining about the duration of this past winter and how ready they are for summer.  This is not in itself unusual.  Goodness knows that I knew plenty a Minnesotan in high school who gleefully broke out the jean shorts the first time the outside temperature reached 40 degrees.

What is different about this year is that people in general seem to be hung up on the belief that this particular winter has been longer than usual.  Truth be told, I don't think this is true.  Perhaps we have had more snow at later times than in recent years, but I know for a fact that we have had snow on the ground later than March.

If only a few people seemed whiny about this issue, I could probably just laugh at them, but some of them have taken it to the next level:  martyrdom.  If there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is people who play up the role of the martyr for really stupid reasons.  Reasons that simply relate to the climate of the region in which people choose to live.  Seriously?  If you can't take the winters, move to Texas.  You will be hailed as a warrior when you show the locals that you can indeed drive in two inches of snow.  Go from martyr to hero just by changing your zip code.  Come on.  Do it.

Anyway, now that I have vented, I'm sure that I am due for punishment in the form of a late blizzard, but no worries.  I'm cool with it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winter Hostage

Oh dear, I am getting lazy.  I blame spring break.  Spring break and late snowfall. 

Yes indeed-y, we had a lovely little batch of snow arrive lastTuesday night.  No biggie, right?  This is MN and we can take it.  OK.  I live in a townhouse, which means that my property is managed by a homeowner's association.  They take care of the contracts for things like insurance, lawn mowing, fence repairs, park clean-up and of course snow removal. 

Over the years, I have had varying degrees of satisfaction with the services contracted by my association.  They are good about landscaping and warm weather maintenance.  They are less consistent about cold weather assistance. 

Case in point:  I awoke at 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday to take my dog outside to pee.  We discovered a lovely winter wonderland complete with a big ol' drift of snow snaking across my driveway.  I registered a bit of alarm at the obvious reality that the plow service had not yet arrived, but I figured that they know many people in my neighborhood work and would need to have plowed driveways and streets, so they would be there soon.

Long story short, they didn't show up until 3 p.m.  I opted to take a personal day to avoid what was sure to be a hellish commute and an excruciatingly slow day of work.  Also, I had a school paper to complete and I knew my dog would prefer me to spend the day at home with her.  I was correct in all of these assumptions and predictions. 

One additional benefit to this unplanned personal day was that it helped my overall mental state quite a bit.  I know that I try not to write much about work in this blog, mostly because I feel it is not appropriate.  However, the state of things in certain aspects of my professional life have lately begun to encroach on my mental stability outside of work as well.  Don't worry, I'm seeking help.  In a way.  Never mind.  Let's just say that I REALLY needed that day to myself to calm myself down and not want to bang my head into the wall every five minutes. 

I thought that I would mention that I was momentarily excited to see that I now have eight followers.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that the new follower is actually my friend Rox who is apparently now following me twice.  :)

Here is some fun news - in less than two weeks I am going to attempt a feat that is as of yet untested.  Am I going to jump through a flaming ring surrounded by ravenous tigers while wearing rollerblades?  Am I going to master the art of French cooking a la Julia Child?  Am I going to eat a whole box of raisins without wanting to barf?  No to all.  I shall instead be house-sitting for my parents and sharing a bed/attempting to sleep in the same room with three small yet energetic and frequently early-rising dogs.  Oh yes, and I will also be going to school during that time as well.  Wish me luck.

Are you not convinced that this will be a difficult task?  Perhaps I should relate to you the events of Monday morning.  As has been my custom of late, I chose to stay over on Sunday night at my parents' house.  This enables my dog to be kennel-free for most of the day and if I can give her an additional day to run in the yard without a leash, I'm cool with that.

Back to my story.  This Monday morning, as it happens on many mornings, my mother had to work at 5:30 a.m.  This means that she is up and out of the house before my alarm rings.  Unfortunately, my dog does not heed alarm clocks.  As soon as she senses movement in the house, she begins her morning process of agitation. 

Around 5:30, once my mother has left, my father rises with the other two dogs.  This spells the end of my sleepy time.  Lena jumps off the bed at this point, my dad lets her out with the others and I get up 20 minutes later.  My father takes care of feeding the dogs for me.  This is nice, but it is part of survival in our house as the dogs are like piranhas when they need to be fed.

Dogs are smart.  They pick up on habits and rituals very quickly.  One of the parental dogs' rituals is to expect a small chew toy known as a Dingo every morning after they finish their food.  They know this and they also know where the Dingos are kept (in the Closet of Many Wonders).  By the time I come down to breakfast, they have finished their food and my father is heading off to the shower.  This means that I am alone with the herd.

Monday morning, this was the scenario.  I was ATTEMPTING to eat my breakfast quickly and in peace, but unfortunately, my young thuggish friends were not happy about it.  They not only continually attempted to get my attention, but they started to bark/growl at me.  In order to save myself and document the experience for posterity, I photo-documented the event.

I did eventually give in to their threats and gave them their treats, but I felt quite strongly that my hand had been forced.  If this is how I am treated on a morning when my parents are present, I'm a bit nervous to find out how they gang up on me when I am all alone with them for the weekend.

Anyway, this blog entry has taken about a week to complete, so I think it's time to post.  Hopefully I can be a bit faster in the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Points of Light

Upon careful examination, the past few months have been a bit more exciting that one might initially suppose.  Since I'm in a bit of a brain breeze right now, I thought I would just recap some of the important points and save my edgy-er bits for a later entry.

1) Madison and Ben Folds.

This was a wonderful experience for so many reasons.  Just about the only non-wonderful part was sharing a bed with two antsy Jack Russell Terriers who were not always eager to sleep past 4 a.m.  But back to the wonderful:  awesome restaurants, spending time with my brother and his lady-love, eating cheese, watching and listening to Ben Folds, eating chocolate, getting to know the city of Madison, eating cupcakes and laughing at the antics that arise when three dogs are staying in a small house in January.

2)  Lena

Of course, my lovely little Lean Bean.  Or Mean Lean Bean-who-keeps-her-motor-clean, as I sometimes call her.  Now that I am experiencing life with a dog, I really don't know why I waited so long.  Of course, those who believe in fate would say that I just had to wait for the "one."  Now if only fate could figure out what to do with my love life...  But as for Lena, I have to say that making the decision to adopt her has been one of the best ideas I have ever had.

3)  Brickie-Girl

You may not know (because I am not sure if I've mentioned it yet) that my best friend and her husband are going to have a baby girl.  I was afraid that this would set off an urge to over-shop, but the combination of school and Lena have kept me in line.  As the due date approaches, I am not sure I can hold off so much, but I am very excited to meet this little gal, even if her parents have not agreed on her name just yet.  :)

4)  Plans

So this is a bit more abstract, but I think that the next year is going to be one of major transitions for me, so I might as well get planning for it.  Yes, in December I will (hopefully) graduate from my master's program.  This will (again HOPEFULLY) lead to a new job/career/life in a field completely apart from the one I've been in up to this point.  At least career-wise.  There is the delightful possibility of the internship this summer (no news on that, sorry), but even without that, I really need to polish up my interviewing and job-searching skills if I want things to actually happen for me.  I really REALLY hope that this process will lead me to stay here in MN, but I accept the possibility that I may need to venture forth into a new city.  With a townhouse that will certainly not sell in this market, this is a scarier possibility, but I will do what I need to do.

5)  Upgrades

Right now, one of the biggest changes in my life has had to do with technology.  That's right folks, yesterday I made the leap into the 21st century and upgraded to an iPhone.  OK, so maybe you're not shocked.  BUT, this decision also means that I am officially disconnecting my land line and my home internet service.  Perhaps a bit scary, but cheaper in the long run.  Plus, now I can pull up directions on my phone.  I cannot tell you how great the ramifications of this will be as evidenced by my misguided tour through the city of St. Paul because I mistakenly thought that Edgcumbe Road would follow any direct line of logic or reason.  Boo-urns.

Folks, that is all that I have for you right now.  I guarantee that there will be more entertaining entries in the future, but hopefully this is enough excitement for you at the moment.  Take care and behave yourselves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good times

I hesitate to mention this because I fear it could bring me bad luck, but I am going to do it anyway.  Yesterday, I received an email from one of my professors.  Please note, before I go any further that she emailed my entire class, all of whom have an interest in archives.  The course name is Archival Management, after all.

In this email, she mentioned a few class notes, but also informed us of a message from someone who works in the archives of one of the largest companies in MN.  This message concerned the opening of an internship position this summer in their corporate archives. 

So... I probably have not mentioned this before on the blog, but basically whenever someone asks me what I would like to do with my library degree, I often tell them that I would like to work in archives, preferably in a corporate or government setting.  Can you see why this is of interest to me? 

Here is the catch:  I have to prepare my resume.  OK, so I KNOW that this is a necessary document for the betterment of my future.  In fact, my university requires that all graduates submit them before they can receive their diploma.  However, I have not prepared a resume for employment-type purposes for.... about... oh say... nine years?  In those nine-ish years, I have worked for the same company albeit not in the same job position. 

In preparation for this, I have borrowed my father's book, "Resumes!  Resumes!  Resumes!"  It is indeed as exciting as it sounds.  I have a copy worked up right now, but I will have him review it for me.  It's always good to get the perspective of someone who has actually used resumes to make hiring decisions. 

As a spelling/grammatical note, you may have noticed that I did not use the appropriate accent mark for the word resume.  This is because I am lazy and I hate trying to locate the symbol notations in Blogger.  If this really bothers you, you must be naive.  (Ha-HA!)

In all honesty, I'm even sure what qualifications they are looking for as there has been no formal posting.  Will my experiences and skills be enough?  They certainly should be.  Can I compete with other applicants?  I don't know who else will apply, but I would like to think that I'm just as capable as the next person.  Will there be interviews?  If there are tons of applicants, probably.  Although, I am not certain if this is a paid internship or not.  This may have an effect on the applicant pool.

In the end, I need to think positively.  Even if I don't end up getting the internship, the process is still useful practice for next year when I start looking for real jobs.  If I did by some crazy lucky charm chance get the position, it would be an amazing item to have on my resume in the future, to say nothing of the experience itself and how it could prepare me for a brand spanking new type of workplace environment.

One important thing that has shown me even at this early stage of the game is that I am starting to face the reality that my tenure at my current company is nearing an end-date.  True, I don't know EXACTLY when that will be, but it is starting to sink in that this degree I am pursuing is the key to a whole new realm of possibilities in my career-life. 

Will I become a corporate archivist for a Fortune-500 company or will I end up shelving books at the Myrtle Mabee Library in Belgrade, MN?  At this point, it is anyone's guess.  There is always my father's suggestion that I work for the Vatican.  Or wait, was he pushing for Flagstaff, AZ?  Wait and see!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Free to Be Me

I am sitting at my parents' house, attempting to recover from the sugar overload that was Bloomington's Taste of Chocolate and fighting the urge to run for the bathroom.  Too much information?

My inspiration for writing at this moment came due to the posting by a friend on Facebook of something that caused a strange internal conflict for me.  As you may not have already realized, I can be a bit cynical and perhaps snarky at times.  I have always shied away from over-sentimentalizing things, but I realize that some of the things I love to mock do hold honest value to other people that I know and respect.

In this case, the thing in question dates back to my high school days.  At WHS, it is tradition (at least is was back in the 90's) for the senior class to create a mass-produced shirt to be worn during Homecoming and other school-spirit type events.  I believe I found this to be cool for about two minutes during my freshman year.  After that, I found it to be a bit lame.  Just call me the Anti-Cardinal.  I really was lacking in the school spirit department.

Normally, these shirts were quite simple.  They typically made some reference to the projected year of graduation (1998 in our case) and also the obvious fact that we were Seniors.  If you're from another country and are not familiar with the traditional names for high school/college students, you're not missing anything, but essentially, students in their final year of high school or college are called Seniors.

While I found this tradition to be a bit silly, I still bought a shirt.  I was not as ornery about things back then as I am now.  Unfortunately (in my opinion), my class could not be content with the usual simple adornments.  Oh no.  We had to make an attempt to distinguish ourselves as being clever/creative/funny.  How was this accomplished?  By creating our own "Top 5 List" a la David Letterman.

Let me just say that if I had ANY input into this list, NONE of these things would have made it in.  They were all far to obvious and or incorrect for my taste, but alas I was not consulted.  Here is what I would have chosen (based off of my opinion at this moment):

5.  Yes, we partied a lot, but hey, MOST of us are graduating in May!
4.  At least our football team won ONE game this year, right?
3.  It does not matter what anyone else thinks, WE think we're cool!
2.  Let's be honest, the last four years were probably the best four years of our lives.
1.  Who wants to do a keg stand?!?!

So maybe some of these things may not have cleared the moral standards of our high school administration, but based on what I recall about my class, I find it to be quite accurate.  In short, my class was mostly well known as a bunch of party-kids.  Fortunately, our 10-year reunion revealed that this label has not prevented many of my classmates from leading successful lives.  But at that point in time, it was anyone's guess.

So now I suppose you are wondering what our actual list said.  Here it is (along with my personal commentary):

5.  First class to graduate from D.A.R.E.  (See #5 and #1 in my list if you appreciate irony.  If you don't know what D.A.R.E. is, Google it.)
4.  First to go all 4, FINALLY we're out the door.  (Our new high school opened when we were freshman.  I hardly think this really counts as an accomplishment.  It really is more a function of when our town was willing to pass a bond referendum for a new facility.)
3.  The cutest guys in WHS history.  (To be honest, this one confused me from the start.  It is a well-established fact that this distinction belonged to the Class of '95.  No contest.  If someone cares to offer a rebuttal and offer specific examples, please do.)
2.  We ruled 2 Homecomings!  (Again, confusing.  I think that they were referencing the fact that we were quite disrespectful towards the Class of '97 in the previous year.  This is something to brag about?  Is that all we've got?!?!?!)
1.  We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it, Erdmann loves us!  (First of all, Erdmann was the principal.  Second, I get the SNL reference, I really do.  But do we really want to liken ourselves to Stuart Smalley, a character who is addicted to therapy?  On second thought, I take it back.  It's perfect.)

Now that I have brought you up to speed, I should probably explain the Facebook posting.  One of my friends found her old shirt, took a picture of the back and posted it to FB asking if anyone remembered it.  My first instinct was to make a disparaging comment about how much I hated the list.  Then I read the comments and realized that another friend had actually been part of making this list.

Although I realize that a snarky comment would only be directed towards a list that she helped make at the tender age of 17 or 18, it likely would not be appreciated.  Thus, I am relegating my rant to the more confined and personal realm of my own blog.  That way, even if she should choose to read it, my comments will not be attached to the actual picture and feelings may be spared.

Does this make me a nice person?  I probably wouldn't make that leap if I were you.  Just to be clear, I did enjoy high school about 95% of the time.  As overall experiences in my life rate, it was a good time, even though I was not involved in the normal activities favored by my class in particular (See items #5 and #1 in MY list).  See this entry if you want to know about my illegal activities in high school. 

In conclusion I ask, does any of this matter?  Honestly?  To me?  No.  I do not define myself on such a brief and concentrated period of my life.  Has it shaped me as a person?  Oh sure, probably quite a bit.  (Can you hear me saying that with my MN accent?  I threw that in for fun.)  Obviously, if it still has the ability to drive me to write an entire blog entry, I am not completely past it, but I am grateful that it has given me inspiration to vent about something in a way that I never could at that time.  Yay for the internet!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chocolate Covered Ranting

Are you excited to see me again?  Two posts in one day! 

I was inspired to write again after I had a Dove Chocolate wrapper give me some startling news.  Apparently, according to chocolate, I am "exactly where I need to be."  Uh-huh.  I guess I can interpret that in a few different ways. 

1.  My life as it stands right now is plenty good and I should not seek to change it.

2.  I am only where I need to be at this moment (at a computer).

3.  Where I am right now is where I need to be in order to be somewhere better in the future. 

An optimist would choose the third option.  A cynic would choose option number two.  A moron would probably choose number one. 

I typically fall somewhere between two and three, although I have been known to be a bit of the first type at times.

Of course, there are so many unpredictable components to this.  It brings me back to a conversation I overheard a few weeks back.  Some people were complaining about all the crappy things going on in their lives.  Just to be clear, I have very little patience with this sort of conversation because it's very hard to listen to given the state of so many other things in the world at any given moment, but before I digress, back to the point. 

One of the speakers made the comment that they expected that things just HAD to get better because they had been waiting for so long and endured all these bad things.  I believe they were attempting to portray themselves as an optimistic person.  In reality, this kind of statement belies a truly pessimistic personality and quite also a person who is somewhat out of touch with reality in general.  At this point, I interjected with the comment that no one is promised anything.  Things may not improve in the way that you expect. 

My point was that it does not do any good to discount today or even the past as terrible or even a glitch in good fortunes because you really miss out on any potential happiness to be found in the present.  No one is promised tomorrow (I know this sounds cheesy) and if we're constantly assuming that our lives are terrible I am not sure how anyone can really recognize when something truly good happens.  It seems that a lot of people brush off the positive things as too small to notice.

In a world where we are told that bad things are always happening, it leads us to assume that of course our lives are crap all of the time.  Yes, tragedies occur and pain is real.  Everyone's personal pain threshold can only be measured in their own mind; it is not empirical science.  But in the limited amount of time that we are given to live, do you really want to spend it waiting for bad things to happen?  What happened to taking things as they come?  Or is that too relaxed of a thought for today's super-hyper-ultra-connected world? 

Can you believe that this whole rant was inspired by candy?  Wow.  I should probably lay off the candy for a while.

Vacation Days, Weddings, Career Choices and a Rat-a-Pap

I took a random day off of work this week.  It wasn't something I planned far in advance, but it was definitely something that I needed.  Even though I didn't really get any extra sleep thanks to the Lena's bladder schedule, it was still a very restful time.  We went for an extra long walk, vacuumed the house, finished homework and washed some sheets.  By my standards, that is quite productive.

My real purpose for this day of rest is because I often find that my weekends are increasingly without them these days.  For example, this weekend I have school from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, school from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and then I am going to lunch and a chocolate-tasting/arts benefit on Sunday.  Oh, and Lena has her first grooming appointment on Saturday morning.  I almost forgot - my parents are going out of town on Saturday, so I will be in charge of the entire herd of dogs (at least when I'm not at school).  All in all, it's a lot to complete and I highly doubt that I will emerge from the weekend feeling fully rested.

But such is life, right?  I can hardly believe that a year from now that I could possibly be doing something completely different, but the reality is that this is a distinct likelihood.  In fact, if I'm NOT doing something different in a year, I am going to be very disappointed. 

Why?  Well, if all goes according to plan, I will be graduating from my grad school program in December of this year.  In order to do this within this time frame, I must take one summer course and two more classes in the fall.  While this isn't exactly pleasant (I would love to just take my summer off), I really would prefer to be done as soon as possible.  In case you haven't noticed, the job market is a bit uneven nowadays, and I am anticipating that my career change may take some time and patience. 

On a different note, I have suddenly realized that I have been proven wrong in a recent assumption.  Last May, one of my close high school friends got married.  While she is certainly not the very last person from my graduating class to wed, of the good friends I have kept in touch with since high school, she is the only one (except for me) who was left.  For some reason, I thought that this wedding signified the end of my major wedding-attending days. 

It's almost funny to say, but I have more weddings this summer than I have ever had in any summer (or year) before.  In fact, I actually have three weekends in a row of weddings starting in mid-August.  They're all for different groups of people, so there will not be much by way of overlap (except for me and my parents).  Of course there is always the faint possibility that I will have a date to bring by that time...  or not.  Unless my mom kicks her matchmaker schtick into high gear before that time.

Which reminds me - my mother is going to bite the bullet and take her big test to become a legal/legit/certified counselor this summer.  This means that she will/should be studying in her free time.  Why is this a big deal?  Well, if all had gone to plan and our lives hadn't been twisted and turned around by my brother's sudden death in 2007, she would have taken it then.  About a year later, she decided to get back on the horse and signed up to take it.  Then fate decided to take another peculiar and painful turn and she fell on the ice and had some pretty major head trauma to deal with. 

Now that we have gone a couple of years without any more major catastrophes, she is going to do it.  Of course, I am very proud of her and I'd love to take credit for being the big source of encouragement and the impetus for change, but I think that it really comes down to the fact that she started working at a coffee shop and now realizes that she wants a different type of career.  She does have her master's degree, after all.  So perhaps there will be TWO major career changes in my family over the next year. 

This has been a very disjointed entry and I sense that I have not been quite as funny or entertaining as I would have hoped.  But when your major conversations of the past 24 hours have been with a 14 pound Rat Terrier/Papillon mix, it's hard to share humorous conversations.  Lena might have something to say about that, but I'll get back to that later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Thoughts on Basic Etiquette and Human Decency

In light of some recent rather eye-opening events, I have decided to compile some basic guidelines for modern-day adults who wish to venture forth into the public arena. 

Are you a loud person?  Are you prone to being easily led by peer pressure?  Do you have trouble with too much alcohol?  Are you secretly an immature, selfish and ebullient buffoon?

If you answered YES to any of these questions or any questions of a similar nature, that's OK.  You are who you are and God still loves you.  That said, now that you have recognized these facets to your personality, you are entirely responsible for making sure that you keep them in check.  Especially in public.  Just because you have flaws (and really, who doesn't) does not give you carte blanche to force your less-than-appealing self on innocent bystanders.

Always remember, what may be acceptable at Wrestlemania may not be acceptable at church.  If you are at a charitable event, remember that the purpose of the event is to raise money for a good cause.  It is NOT to humiliate the organizers when you don't win the top bid on a silent auction item.

Yes, you are an adult now.  You are setting an example to the next generation.  Now is not to forget the lessons you were taught as a child regarding basic manners. 

Please chew with your mouth closed.  Use your inside voice when you are inside.  Do not interrupt a conversation in progress with an unrelated piece of information (unless it is an emergency) or at least have the grace to say "Excuse me" before jumping in.  Yield to pedestrians.  Conversely, pedestrians, use the cross-walk.  Don't pick your nose.  And so on.

You know this one, right?  I'm always amazed at how people that treat others like crap on a routine basis are outraged when they are treated in a similar fashion.  Self-awareness must really take a holiday sometimes.  By the way, this rule applies to all people you encounter, not just the ones you know on a first-name basis.  People like your waitperson, barista, bank teller, carwash attendant or dentist count too.

I could probably come up with some more guidelines, but most people seem to have trouble remembering too many things at once, so I'll leave it like this. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fashion Police

Hold on, everyone.  It's about to get all controversial up in here.

So yesterday I had dinner at my parents' house because my brother came to town unexpectedly and my mom likes to have family dinners.  She even made potato soup.

I arrived at the house after work to find my brother on the computer composing an "email," and my mother was literally twitching with excitement to share the joy of her newest purchase.  Normally I am well aware of the things my mother wants and hopes to own.  In this case, I was completely caught off-guard.

Here is how it started.

Mom:  Guess what I bought today?

Me:  (Looks around the kitchen nervously)  What?

Mom:  (Pulls up jean leg to reveal a knee-high brown leather boot)  I got BOOTS!

Me:  (Raises eyebrows)  I didn't know you were planning to get boots.

Mom:  I was!  I bought them with my tip money!  They're super comfortable, which is good because I have such bad feet!

Me:  Oh.  What brand are they?

Mom:  Frey (sp) - I got them at Nordstroms. 

Me:  Why did you get brown?  Why not black?

Mom:  Well, I originally wanted black, but everyone liked me in these so much.

Me:  Everyone?

Mom:  Everyone at the store.

So it could have ended there with the boots.  The boots are fine aside from the fact that I was a bit blind-sided by the fact that she even wanted them.  Let us be clear on this point:  I have no problem with the boots.  OK?

But it did not end there.  Oh no.  Now is where it starts to get crazy.

Mom:  So now I think I am going to get some jeggings to wear with my boots.

Me:  WHAT!!!!!  Are you kidding????

Mom:  What do you mean?  Jeggings are cute!  Jan and Susan have them!  I have nice legs!

Me:  (Sigh)  Yes, you do have nice legs.  But jeggings are from the devil.  NO ONE looks good in them.  Anyone who says otherwise is just kidding themselves.  All jeggings should be thrown into the Lake of Fire.  They are a sure sign of the Apocalypse.

Mom:  No!  They are cute!  What is your problem?

Me:  Cute?  Absolutely not.  You are not getting jeggings.  I am putting my foot down.

(At this point, my brother decides to enter the conversation briefly.)

Mikey:  Umm... what ARE jeggings?

Mom:  They are leggings that look like jeans - they have pockets.

Mikey:  What are leggings?

Me:  Pants that fit like tights.  Think spandex.  Then imagine it in jean form, but don't think about it too much because your eyeballs might explode.

Mom:  Whatever!  They are totally cute and lots of people wear them.  What is wrong with you?

Me:  What is wrong with ME?  First of all, the skinny jean fad.  Just gross.  It's like everyone wants to walk around looking like coked-out junkies with frog legs.  It is just NOT flattering.  On anyone.  Unless you're trying to look silly or have lost a dare.  Then they took it one step further and created jeggings.  Why was that necessary?  To create regrettable photographs that people will one day look back and ask, "what was I THINKING?"  Maybe it's a conspiracy.

Mom:  (Clearly irritated)  I don't care.  I just won't wear them around you.

This conversation actually went on a bit longer as I tried to convince my mother that she should keep our family jegging-free, but I'm not sure she was listening at that point.  I have a tendency to get worked up over important issues and it's hard for some people to understand my passion.

So the evening continued.  Dinner was prepared and finally my father arrived home from work so that we could eat.  As my father walked into the kitchen, here is what happened.

Me:  Guess what Mom bought today?

Dad:  Boots.  She already told me.

Me:  And guess what she WANTS to buy?  JEGGINGS!

Mom:  He doesn't even know what they are!

Dad:  Yes, I do!  They are RIDICULOUS!

At this point, I raised my arms in victory.  I may have overdone it a bit.  My mom was already quite annoyed with me at that point, so I kept my rant a bit shorter than before.  We ate our dinner in peace.

Now that I have shared this with you, dear readers, I must prepare myself for the backlash.  Will I get a ton of hate-mail from jegging-lovers worldwide?  Will someone dump a box of the wretched items on my driveway in protest?  Will I be kidnapped and forced to wear jeggings while eating at a fancy restaurant or doing yard work?

Probably not.

The most likely form of backlash will come in the form of my mother (who is one of my regular readers) seeing this entry and going out to purchase a pair of the Apocalypse-inducing frogleg evil Bieber raisin celery demon pants just to teach me a lesson.  I will let you know how that works out.