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Windows of Opportunity

Every now and then I sort of pretend that all the trivialities in my life are interesting. They are not. However, that will not stop me from writing about them in a fashion that makes them sound probably a bit more humorous than they really are. Ah, well. Give it three weeks, and I'm sure things will be interesting again. Since I have some travel ahead, this means certain misfortune. And everyone loves hearing about misfortune... as long as it isn't their own.

On the subject of misfortune, my father is also fasciated by misfortune. However, his idea of a train wreck is quite different than mine. I spent most of yesterday in the car driving to a baseball game with him, and most of our conversation revolved around, "Look at how much rain they got here! The fields are flooded. No one can combine..."

Occasionally I would nod, or say, "Uh huh." Mostly, I sat around and waited for the window of opportunity to open. And once that window is cracked, I pretty much take a sledgehammer to it, and turn it into a door. For instance:

"I love this car," my father said of the Dodge Neon. "It gets forty miles to the gallon."

"MINI Coopers get 37 mpg, and that's for an automatic!" I always chime in.

I can even turn farm conversation into a conversation about a MINI.

"Corn, blah, blah, blah...." Dad will ramble.

"Ethanol doesn't get the same gas mileage as regular gas," I added.

"That is true. Even if it is cheaper, it burns faster, so you probably spend about the same..."

"MINI Coopers get good gas mileage. Problem solved."

Yup. I'm a real winner, I am. Self-centered? Yup. Willing to shamelessly promote my less-than-secret goals? But of course.

In other news, I am ready to murder my Fall 2007 course schedule. 

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have classes from 9:45-2:35, I do believe. Well, there goes my lunchtime. Too bad. I rather enjoy eating. And I don't know what to do with German yet, so boo on that.

Also, my major is going to change from International Studies to Global Legal Studies. Hooray. IS will be my minor, I think.

To science or not to science this semester? Since I am like #10 on the Astronomy waitlist, there's very little chance of me getting that class, so I might as well come up with a backup. Science in Civilization, perhaps? Do I want to take this class? Do I want to torture myself with a course schedule from Hell? I decided that if I don't get German, I won't take the literature class, anyway. Shame. I was rather looking forward to that.

So far, it's looking something like:

MWF
Science in Civilization
Global Justice
Intro to International Studies
German

Tuesday
Macroeconomics (at 8:55 in the damn morning...)
Role-Play and Improvisation (my slacker course, to fulfill some Area 1 requirements, but this will be dropped if I make it into German)
Science Lab

Thursday
Macro
RP & Improv

Annnnnnnd death. Just death. See, I have six classes and a lab listed here, which I do NOT intend to torture myself with. If I make it into German, something else is getting the ax. 

But still. This semester doesn't look fun. I've already heard bad things about Macro, so I'm scared.

Okay, bitching over... for the moment.

Reasons I love my mother...

So I come home for a few months so the people here in North Dakota can fawn over my world travels and all that jazz. In the meantime, I pretend to be perfectly happy here at home. I shouldn't complain; my father is actually paying me to stay home. Cool job, huh? It's actually painfully boring, and I feel rather like I am just another person who doesn't contribute anything to society. Oh well.

But every now and then someone here does something that just makes me incredibly happy. Here is a reason that I love my mother:

"I paid your tuition today."

Rock on, Mom. Rock on. 

Meanwhile, I am still fervently nagging my parents to get me a MINI. I will not give up. I know I'll be flying out East, but there is a possibility that they'll a) buy me a car and mom will drive it out East to visit me and other relatives b) Mom will fly out and go car shopping c) I go car shopping with my Uncle.

Dammit, I want a car.

I should just be happy that my parents pay all my bills. If I go to D.C. for semester or if I go abroad again I won't have much use for a car. BUT I STILL WANT ONE.

Okay, self. Stop bitching. 

I can feel my IQ dropping...

For some reason unknown to me, my sister has decided that I should get married and have children as quickly as humanly possible. I think she honestly wishes I had ended up being a rabbit, or some other rodet that reproduces rapidly, because she won't give up on trying to get me to spawn some offspring. I mean-- seriously--what the hell? I'm not even twenty years old I am being pressured to reproduce. No, thank you. I rather enjoy my child-free life.

Anyway. I now present to you: My Sister's Tips on How to Find a Man.

"I was watching Oprah," my sister rambled on. I must admit, I am rather startin to dislike Oprah for putting ideas in the head of my fourteen-year-old sister. Last week it was the whole I'll watch out for your children so they don't get molested by your HUSBAND ordeal, and now this. "And she was giving tips on how to meet boys."

Oh, great. Enlighten me, dear sister, because my tactics are obviously failing me. Enlighten me, oh Wise One.

"--and you can, like, talk to them at the grocery store. Instead of saying 'Hi, I'm JENNY!' you can just walk over and say, 'Oh, do you like to cook?' Because then you're like, bonding over a common interest."

Sure. Next time I happen to go grocery shopping I'll just walk over to the guy leaning on the meat counter picking out a piece of steak, and ask him if he likes to cook. If he's anything like me, I'm sure, he'll say, "No, but I like to eat."

However, this tip was nothing compared to my sister's next piece of excellent advice. I think she thought this one up all by herself, because it's just too brilliant for Oprah.

"So like, for you, you're like, a nerd and you like to read," she said, and I could feel the cumulative family IQ level dropping even lower, "so you could meet boys in the book store. And then you could, like, ask him if he likes to read."

OH. MY. GOD.

Someone who likes to read--in a book store? NO WAY.

I think my little sister is probably going to just be single forever.

Hey, on the bright side, I could take her advice. That way, it would probably assure that I won't be getting married or having kids any time soon.

List of Careers I will never have

1. Detective

In case I ever apply to be some sort of detective, someone should stop me.

I just spent about ten minutes looking for the cord to connect my cell phone to my laptop.

After seven or so minutes, it occured to me that the search would be easier if I turned on the lights.

Yeah, I'm that good.

(P.S. I found it. It was danging behind the desk, for some reason. It was probably taunting me.)

Life Stuff

I think it would be safe to say that most children would be delighted if their mother bought a plane ticket that held the answer to escaping the barren wasteland that is North Dakota. I, however, am not most children. Why?

This does not bode well for Operation: MINI Cooper. See, when I fly out east, that means I will not be driving, and that means sans car. 

I have, however, been frantically making my last desperate pushes for my plan. I think my mother is starting to ignore me. Today I made her look at MINIs with me online, and I can't tell whether or not she was very impressed. Safety features, gas mileage, price... all those things mothers like were discussed, but I tried to win her over with the cute factor. She still thinks the VW Beetles are cuter. Hmph. Well, at least my dad isn't fond of those. He calls them, "Chick Cars," and added that they come in, "Chick Colors."

So, at the moment, this operation seems to be on hiatus. Hmph. Dammit.

But, new development! A life decisions development! Well, sort of. It's an impulse. I seem to be doing this whole "Early-Life Crisis" thing and getting scared about the future and changing my mind. Even after a relatively dismal second semester of English, I had this sudden impluse to become a travel writer, even though it's virtually impossible. But, never fear! I'm over it! ANYWAY...

...I got some mail today. I know! Something that was not a stupid credit card application or a bill. I was pretty excited. 

It was from American University.

"Hm," I thought to myself. "I decided not to go there. I wonder what they want from me."

They have a One-Semester program in D.C. where there are a bunch of things you can do with internships and whatnot. It's always been a bit of a dream of mine to intern in D.C. and I still have this whole, "I WANNA GO TO SCHOOL THERE..." thing going on. So I looked at it, and the program that I'm most interested in is the International Law one, which makes sense since that's what I want for a career.

You spend some time learning and interning in D.C. and then you go to NY for a week or so and do UN stuff. Then you ship off to Belgium for a bit and learn about other nternational stuff.

My Future?

Sounds like fun!

Life Lessons

I think there are many things in life that everyone should be aware of. Sometimes I believe that my purpose in life is merely to serve as a warning to others. So I might as well start documenting more of my little misadventures. At the very least, they tend to be amusing.

Cat's List of Things in Life Lessons You Probably Don't Want to Learn the Hard Way

1. When physically incapable of performing easy tasks like standing up straight, it is probably not a good idea to run as fast as you think you can across someone's yard.

2. In addition to the aforementioned lesson, one should probably like to know that borrowing flip flops from your sister when you know they are going to be subjected to the terrors of your nightlife is not exactly a good idea. It's even worse when they break somewhere along the line and you're left wandering around in a bummed flip flop, singing, "I blew out my flip flooooooop!" and the rest of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. Okay, so I didn't actually sing the song out loud... but I was thinking about it.

3. Text messaging is a very good way to embarrass yourself. When you look at your list of sent messages and they say things like, "hjahb tne thou loset?" it is probably time to retire your phone for the evening.

4. In regards to retiring your phone, I do not mean that you should lose your phone. And you should also probably not let your phone get the hell beaten out of it somehow. I'm still not quite sure what the hell happened to my poor phone. Also, this reminds me of another Flat Twelve moment. Visiting people should keep in mind that when you empty out your pockets and leave the contents on our coffee table, you should not be surprised if there are lots of pictures of mooning gnomes saved in there somewhere. :)

5. Behind the barn doesn't exactly count as a romantic location.

6. Hey, where did all your friends go? Say what? You don't know? Oh shit.

7. Oh, would you look at that?

8. When in doubt, feign amnesia.

9. That's the floor, not a bed.

10. You know, everything on this list could just be prevented by being sober.

Funny bit of information: Right after posting this entry, I am going to church. HA. That's what I'm doing tonight, bitches. Going to church. Fuckin' right.

I should update

Really, now, I told myself that I would strive to be more interesting. Then I was supposed to document this newfound interest that somehow appeared in my life.

But, alas, I am less interesting than I origininally anticipated I would be. North Dakota can do that to a person. I blame it on North Dakota.

Well, with that in mind, I figure I should make an attempt. Here's another AWESOME TRUE STORY FROM THE LIFE OF ME...

The Case of the Dad

It was Hope Days. To pretty much the entire world, that meant nothing. But for the 300 residents of my town (and the other 300-400 people that came...) it was a pretty damn good time. Hope Days is a small-town excuse for people to smash cars up and get a little--okay, a more than a little--intoxicated. There are even street dances!

A street dance in Hope, ND, involves trucks. They are backed across Main Street to partition a place between the Bar and the Legion so that the drunks can wander freely between both places and not be hit by the little bit of oncoming traffic that Hope sees. Oh, yeah, and people are supposed to dance here. But that only happens when people are really smashed. Mostly they wander.

Right.

So we spotted my father on the wandering path of intoxication, and I figured I would go and say hello.

As soon as Dad saw me headed in his direction, he whipped out his wallet.

"DO YOU WANT SOME MONEY?" He asked loudly, balancing his beer and digging through his wallet.

"Uh, sure," I said. Because, honestly, who turns down money? Not me!

He slapped fifty bucks in my hand.

Then we chatted awkwardly, he tried to identify my friends (and didn't really do too well on that. He's never bothered to learn which sister Christy is...).

But, hey, awkwardness aside... I made fifty bucks for talking to my dad.

Awesome.

Crazy family

My family is crazy.

In addition to my crazy father post, now I have a crazy sister post.

But, hey, it's all a good sort of crazy...

...Right?

My sister updates her "About Me" on Facebook:
Well, im frickin 14, have my permit... soon to have my drivers license, i think im 5'8 mabe not though, ginger, yea i like to not be in my house cause its boring and traveling is SO much fun. Yea... Well, im frickin 14, have my permit... soon to have my drivers license, i think im 5'8 mabe not though, ginger, yea i like to not be in my house cause its boring and traveling is SO much fun. Yea... 

What a litle genius, that one. Also, another conversation we had today...

Me: I got you sand. And a rock.

Sister: Sweet! Was it free?

Me: .....yes

Sister (a direct quote): hehe cool all i got to do is stand on it and i would be on another continent

Me: WTF?

Sister (and this is another DIRECT QUOTE, mind you):
but dont let it touch the ground because then it wouldnt have its spain continent on it anymore

Me: *Dies a little inside*

Oh dear.

Also, my kid brother is going to be playing in the state baseball tournament! Go FSHP Wolverines! Way to make the last year of the Wolverines a good one! ^_^

Duuuuuuuuuuuude.

Seriously, my family is weird. I talk to them periodically and there is always something going on that normal families are not accustomed to. 

At the moment, my father is going on some sort of crazy shopping spree. I think it's a midlife crisis thing. I've talked to him twice or so since I've been away, and all he's really said is, "So have you seen any sheep?"

Yeah. I have, Dad. And you know what, I see them at home, too?

They're all going crazy. Actually, crazier. 

Let's take a look at all the stuff we have gotten recently:

1. Flippin' huge wood workshop. You know the high school shop room? That has nothing on us. There is every saw known to mankind in the building that was previously the flour mill. There is simple stuff. There is high-tech stuff that my dad can't even figure out yet. You name it, it's there.

2. Turkeys.

3. Chickens, and possibly a rooster.

4. New farm machinery. Within the last year we have gotten another combine, and a new drill. 

5. Baseball stuff. Dad paid his own children to tag along at Twinsfest to get balls, bats, and other things singed by current and former Minnesota Twins players. This involved standing in the cold and a lot of money.

6. $300 woth of trees. Every few years, Dad likes to plant a shitload of trees. They all die. Always.

Word on the street is that dad wants a semi, too. Yeah, one of those FLIPPING HUGE TRUCKS. Um, right. Okay.

Seriously. I want a car. If I am going to get a MINI, this crazy spree has to stop.

Cheating Childhood

So, as you may know, I was a pretty evil kid. Not only was I evil, I was good at everything. Sometimes I got by with my natural intelligence (though I would remind everyone just how intelligent I was just about every five minutes), but other times I had to take measures into my own hands.

Who remembers Heads Up, Seven Up? I know I sure do! I just came across a Facebook ground dedicated to the game, and it brought back a slew of good memories. I was pretty damn good at that game. However, it was because I was an evil cheater kid. Oh, come on. We all did it. Some are just better at it than others.

I always looked at shoes. And listened for the rustle of pants. I mean, honestly, the point of the game was to cheat. Some kids were just stupid and honest. They were always the losers.

I also cheated at Dodge Ball. I was, without fail, always one of the last people standing. This was not because I was good... it was because I was a cheater. I would always be one of the first people with a ball. I would then run madly toward the other side (because you ALWAYS lost if you were the side that got charged first, but I think I was usually the only one who realized this...), throw my ball, then make a mad dash toward the back. Then I hung out, collected all the balls so the other team couldn't get them, and when my team had them all, we charged again. I was a not-so-fearless leader. I just hung out in the back.

Other childhood games...

Flashcards. I did not cheat at flashcards. I hated math with a passion, but DAMN, I ruled at flashcards. No one beat me at Around the World. My brain just happened to work a little bit faster than my classmates'. Every now and then I would be beat by one of the dumb kids, and everyone laughed at me. Sometimes the kid that managed to stop my long run would be the temporary hero... until he or she got beaten a few desks along the way. Then there would be someone else for me to beat and then I would win. Actually, I do remember Brandon being pretty good. I always got a little nervous when I came to his desk. He was good at math,

BUZZ! This is another game I ruled, because I am an expert speller. The ONLY way I got out was if I happened to get buzzed out. We all got to sit on our desks. There was something incredibly satisfying about being the one of the last people there. I HATED being the buzzed kid, though. That pissed me the fuck off, because I knew I could spell better than everyone and I should have won all the time. 

The BLOB! I always made sure I got to hold hands with my friends. No icky kids for me.

I was even mean about snow forts. There were only a select few of us that got to build them in the areas with the REALLY good snow. We shooed everyone else away. They couldn't even have a house next door to us.

There was that game we played on the swings, too. We made it up. It was really cool. Then stupid Sondra kept losing, so she complained to the teachers and we weren't allowed to play it anymore.

HIDEOUT! I totally cheated at that game, too. I would wait for others to run first, then after most of the balls had been thrown I made my run around and it was awesome. Because the hunters had to go chase the balls down, I could beat them. Bwahaha. I was bad.

Oh, good times. GOOD TIMES. I miss childhood.