Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bitter, party of one. Bitter, party of one.

Brazil, I won't be going.

The end.



Oh, did you want to know the story?

After copious amounts of time, money, energy, and time, being denied several times on the visa front, choosing between graduating or not graduating; I choose graduating, but really, it was decided for me.

I really think I lucked out on not going to Brazil. I really think I was simply not meant to go. For whatever reason, Brazil is not were I am supposed to be. It also turns out the director of the org I am interning with is now not going either. She gave me reasons, but I have a feeling the fact I am not going does not factor into it. So, I would have been seriously SOL without here there. She also mentioned as one of her reasons for not going "that it is a high crime area and she did not want to make herself vulnerable..."
Excuse me, we were going to be in the same area, so, wouldn't that have made me vulnerable????

Yeah. Not happy with her, but unfortunately I do not have a choice, I need my internship to approved with her, otherwise I am super, super, duper SOL in many ways.

I was not allowed into the class I need this fall, even though the interim advisor said it would be fine for me to audit the class. So, now I need to retake micro this summer. I am very bitter about this. Oh well.

So, I am in home state for the next seven weeks, staying with the 'rents to save money and will be picking up a job and working on my internship, counting down the days until the micro class is over, but yet, not wishing my life away.

I've cycled through the emotions. Been stuck on bitter. Haven't cried. This scares me a bit.

So, that's it. Hope and dreams in one hand, the other hand smashing it to bits.

But, there's a reason for everyth..blah, blah, blah.....

Oh, as a result of all of this, a distant cousin who is working in Mozambique requested my resume.
She works in Mozambique, which means I would be working in Mozambique. So, there you go.
Who knows, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

drama, trauma, and all things cured with age and alcohol

First, I'm not a fan of drama or trauma.

Monday night was my best girl's birthday. She turned 25, remember when you freaked out over being 25? Ah, memories.

Anyway, we hit the bar at 6:30. Good lord, that's early, but the gang was there, the beers were $1 and the shots kept coming, and no one expected to close the bar. Ah, foolishness.

My goal was to drink as much as I could without throwing-up. (It's good to have goals.) My best gal usually has a two beer limit and a, "no, I don't want to do a shot" mantra. So, she's usually my driver. (It's good when friendships can have a strategy where no one dies.)

So, several rounds of beers, several shots. (Her shot count was 11, my shot count was 8) (Her count on beer was 3, my beer count was well over 10)(But, it was Bud Lite, that's really just foamy water.)

The drama included:
a girl and guy in out class hooking up over the weekend. I've been waiting for this occurrence to happen for about three weeks. I love people watching and observing what others don't/can't see.
He told me nothing happened. She was quite open about what happened.
So, I got the scoop on that little story.

Aforementioned girl and her boyfriend/fiance officially broke-up last week. (I got the scoop on the break-up as well.)

Another girl, who no one really likes yet, she is invited more so as not to be left out than as someone who wants to be included, was confronted about God, religion, heaven, hell, and all things holy and mighty.
She left the bar in tears.
She is a preacher's daughter.
Oh, the turmoil.
There was a long phone call from the bathroom on my phone, but not with me talking on it, aforementioned break-up/hook-up girl was talking her off the proverbial Mount Holiness.

My best girl and her guy broke-up (but, I didn't get that scoop until today) and he professed all of his love and heart to her in a drunken stupor.
She told him to stop it and she was not impressed. (Good girl.)

I was lying through the bottom of my beer mug telling everyone how excited I was about Brazil (Why go into it, ya know?)

St. Pat's one-nighter was there at the bar. (Crap.) Which he (tried to) make me feel bad about not coming over sooner to say hi. At which point I told him I believed his legs worked and he could have walked over to me. He then proceeded to blame me for not calling him. At which point I told him that I didn't realize his phone worked at any other time except 2 a.m. and that one special time at 4:30 a.m. His friend leaned into the conversation, at which time I asked him if I could help him with something, cause he could go away. (Yeah, sometimes it's not good to push me and it's really never a good idea to blame ridiculous things on me.)He left in a huff.

I actually had a good time. (I know. Blame the beer.) (and Jager.) (and so-co and lime) (and the lemon drop) and (the so-co and lime.) (and the Jager) (and two others I cannot remember.) I managed to walk into and walk out of the drama throughout the night. You know, say the compassionate thing, be the friend, go order another beer and take another shot, be the fly in the room that is inadvertently hearing three conversations and watching the world melt-down around me.

Yeah, it was ridiculous, but alcohol will do that.
So will being around people under the age of 25.
Ah, remember those days?
Aren'tchay glad it's no longer you?

Oh, when my guy friend (and current crush, just waiting for the impending and inevitable break-up with his current gal) called the next afternoon at 11:30 a.m. to ask where the drinking was going to be. I said I was still drunk. After a large sandwich to absorb the remaining alcohol from the night before, he and I drank the afternoon away. Ah, semester breaks and life not working out as planned.

P.S. No update on my visa, but there have been some interesting life developments. More later as I know more.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

...and it all comes tumbling down


The week I have had.

Friday, yellow fever. The effects were felt instantly. Instantly.
A weekend of aches, pains, and the feeling of a bowling ball hitting me in the head.
Monday, I felt perfectly fine.
I start typing up my internship research while listening to my Portuguese tapes.
lalalalalalalala ...happy, happy.

Knock, knock, knock on my door.

Oh, hello, Mr. Postman. It's my visa info.

It's my visa info which has been denied.
I applied as a tourist, but had to show sufficiant funds, so I included my financial aid letter. Now they want a letter from the school and org and I also had to get a criminal background from my police department. (which is rather boring as there is no bakground in crime.
They are requesting more info, but I don't have time to mail it all in. The latest I can leave to go to the Consulate in Cicago is Thursday. So, I wait to hear if the guy who I am traveling/staying with has been denied (again, as he has already been denied once) of Wednesday he has not heard. So, my girlfriend and I take a road trip to the Chicago Consulate.


I am sure they deal with all kinds, but wow. Talk about stoic..and mean.
I was denied not once, not twice, but yes, three times.
Four times altogether at this point.
As a tourist, (two no's) as an unpaid intern, and then I asked since I have the tickets and housing if I can just disregard this and go as a tourist. No. No. No. No.
The intern was no'd because the org is a U.S. org, but is not registered in Brazil, therefore, it is not recognized, therefore, absolutely not. "It would be no different than working out of your back yard..."

I was in considerably good spirits considering, still managing to laugh...until about an hour outside of home base. ...or many, many long hours later.
Then the reality of the situation was hitting me: not graduating, all (ALL) the money I have spent, life. Yeah.
I email the org director to explain the situation. I was very professional, nothing nasty at all, but explained how frustrated I was.

Friday I get a nasty email from org director, (She is currently out of the country) that I applied wrong and what this will mean to her and her organization...nothing about what can be done for me.
I choose to ignore that nasty email and did not respond to it.
She later sent another email and apologized.

Anyway, yesterday I called the travel co to see about my plane ticket...cancel $150, change the flight, but can only be changed within Brazil and there are no flights between now and November, they are all booked, and it would be $150 to change the flight. However, he told me to call a visa service and laughed that I went to the Chicago Consulate because they deny everyone and travel companies/visa services do not go there.
So, just FYI.
Called the visa service, they laughed at my foolishness in Chicago. Fine. So, $80 additional non-refundable dollars later, I mailed my visa request to DC and it will be taken to the Embassy. I will know if I was denied by Tues/Wed of next week and will get it back, if approved, by Monday, 26th. I am going home on the 28th, leave June 1.
No pressure.

But wait, there's more.
(C'mon, there always is.)

Trying to register for one of my required classes for the fall, can't. I audited micro (the required course) this spring. Spoke with the head of econ and the professor who teaches the class before finals. Prof asked if I took the tests. Yes (lie) if you were graded what would you be getting? B (lie)
I don't lie, but I felt cornered, off guard, and was just telling them what I thought they wanted to hear. Bad, bad idea. He asked me to give him permission to contact my professor to verify the above. Sure.(Why the hell did I agree to that?)

Tried to register again yesterday, nope. Emailed professor, nasty email later wondering if I was "that lady in the hallway who did not fulfill my end of the bargain...but he was not sure if I was or not. I need to see him."

So, continue the lie and be denied. Lie and say, not me, didn't take the tests, can't meet cause I am trying to leave the country and am not sure I will be in town...?
Which one should I choose?

See, cause here's the thing, without that class, I won't graduate. I will not stick around for another year for one class, which is only offered in the fall and finish comps in 2010. No way.

So, blogger friends it has not been a good week.

Yesterday I was ready to chuck it all. But, yet still positive. Go, figure.
Yesterday I also started to get mad.
No tears, yet. (Key word. Something tells me it will be ugly when they do decide to flow.)

The org girl is telling me not to give up. She has other options if Brazil does not work out for my internship. Haiti, maybe. Or I can stay here and do my internship...without a director, yeah, that might pose problems.

And lots, and lots of time, energy, and money lost.

Do I want to go to Brazil for the entire summer to learn and experience another cultural, of course.
Do I want to volunteer for the girl, not really. There have been so many problems and issues beyond just the visa. The guy I am to room with has no desire to help her, he is still going to Brazil because that's what he was planning to do, but wants nothing to do with the org. Yeah.

I am ready to quit school, sell everything, travel where I can, and get a job and re-enter the real world again.

Any idas?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Inner dork (but not really. But kindof, maybe)

Okay, so I know it's the most famous of days known as Inner Dork, but I have bigger things to speak of, okay, not really. It's more that I'm tired and I'm still on the computer and I want to write and speak of things other than Eleanor Roosevelt and Human Rights.

So, I cannot believe that tomorrow is my last day of school and the end of my first year of grad school. How the hell did that happen? Well, let me tell you. It happened after lots of papers, a few tears, many laughs and inside jokes with friends, much growth and insight, and even more fermented beverages.

I leave for Brazil in 25 days. (I think) Actually, I don't know how many days. I am tired and I do not have a calculator, take today and minus it to June 1st...that's when I leave.

Friday I get my vaccines for yellow fever and Hep A and Hep B. I plan to sleep the weekend away. But, if there should be reports of a naked woman screaming that she has lost her invisible plane, well, that would be a story about me.
However, as I am getting my vaccines early in the a.m. on Friday and tomorrow (or today) is the last day of classes I am on a strict two beer one shot limit. (I know. It DOES suck to be me) Why? Cause one of the 911-side effects is vomiting...I want to know it is the vaccine and not the beer which is causing the toilet bow-down. Nothing like calling the am-bu-lance only to be told I am hung-over, ya know?

The drunk dials from my St. Pat's one nighter seem to have stopped. (I have now cursed myself and I am sure the calls will now recommence.) (Or there will be a run-in.) (Damn me and my whorish ways.) (But not really at all.)

I plan to make it to at least one baseball game before I leave. A guy-friend and I had a crazy-stupid plan to make a roadtrip to KC and back in time for my final, sans any sleep, but alas, it did not pan out. (He was called into work) Poop stain.

After weeks of typing and cramming non-stop, I will turn in one paper in the early morning, finish the paper that is due tomorrow night (today) in the early a.m., practice for my presentation on said night paper, and then start working on my internship projects.
Along with cramming to learn Portuguese, hoping my visa is approved cause I just mailed it fault of my own, I just received the last of my documents yesterday...packing, planning, getting, crossing-off all things for Brazil, school for the fall, begging for some last minute money for the trip....and...craploads more, but really, do you care?
Stressed, who me? Naw. I'm sleeping like a colicky baby.

Okay, fine.....

Did you know that a group of mice is called a mischief?
That a mouse can squeeze through a whole as small as a pencil led?
and that one female mouse can result in 16,000 offspring in her lifetime? (her kids, their kids, ect...)

Shew...inner dork and all things useless and trivial has been saved!
Thanks, History Channel.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Q and A (with more Q than A)

Q:Why is cornbread so delicious?
A:Because it is made from the tears of Native Americans.

Q: How do you know when you're bleeding internally?
A: Because you're screaming externally.

Q: Why do we need three different versions of Law and Order?
And CSI?

Q: Why is it called a plum when it has all its juice, but a prune when it has been sucked dry?

Q: How strong are college student's bladders?
A: Very. Between the pop, energy drinks, coffee, and copious amounts of beer and other fermented beverages; their bladders are like giant steal balloons.

Q: Why do some plants come back every year, yet others do not and how come there are not a whole bunch of dead flora and fauna?

Q: Why are bagels so delicious?
A: Because it comes with cream cheese as an added bonus.

Q: Why does courage come with alcohol and the ability to pick-up and dial the phone at 2 a.m.?
A: I don't freakin know, but if I am drunk dialed one more time by a certain individual it will not be pretty. 4:13 a.m. on Friday/Saturday was the latest. I had been out drinking for several hours, I was not happy about being woken up. I let him know it.

But, I digress.

Q: Why are all 20 page papers due during the same week?
A: Because it's called finals week, stupid-head.
A: To see if I can get them all finished. It's all part of the test called life.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I am aware

Tonight I wanted to stay after class and go to the library to work on my papers. The library closes at midnight, I planned to stay until they asked me leave.
As I was leaving class the sky was filled with lightning and I turned to my girlfriend and asked what time the tunnel closed, the tunnel is the underground hallway that connects the buildings on campus, she thought it closed at 10, it was currently about 9:30.

Frustrated, I went to buy a sandwich and weighed the pros and cons of walking to the library, walking across campus in the dark, during a thunderstorm, with an extremely heavy backpack strapped to me, all in order to study late.

Angry, frustrated, tired, and stressed, I realized I was not willing to make myself a walking target. I realized I was too aware.

Aware of the dangers of being a female walking by herself, in the dark, during finals, with the words "moving target" written across me.
My major, my focus, my passion, the statistics, my past; I had made myself too aware.

I realized that men do not understand when they are simply walking in the opposite direction down the same sidewalk, that I am sizing them up, taking notes, and determining if they are a threat.

I like men who are tall, broad shoulder, and heavy-set because I feel more protected, safer with them, yet, at the same time, a person of that description can be overpowering and a threat.

I have three locks and a peep-hole on my door, but when I moved in there were only two and a solid wood frame.

I became aware that my friends make fun of me for having all the locks yet, they never even think to lock their doors at night.

I realized that if I hear a noise in the middle of the night, I will roll over in bed so that I am facing my bedroom door and I will watch to see if there are any shadows.

I became aware that I know how to get in my car in one fluid motion and lock the door behind.

I always walk with a purpose; car key pointed, phone at the ready, head held high.

I realized I pass strangers and look them in the eye.

I realized that when I see females walking across campus or a parking lot on their cell phone completely oblivious to their surroundings I become angry with them.

I admitted to myself that if I feel I am getting too much unwanted attention I binge eat to gain weight to try and make myself less attractive.

I admitted to myself that when I do gain weight and I am not getting the attention, I don't always like it.

I choose my apartments strategically. Always on the top floor always a corner apartment always in some place that I deem safe. That way it is harder to break-in to my place.

Tonight, after moving my car in the pitch-black parking lot, I realized I also park my car with a purpose.

I am always aware if some place is well lit.

Currently my parking lot is not.

I realized I worry about things, think about things, take in things that my girlfriends and guyfriends would never take into account.

I know they make fun of me at times if I say something, I know they have the luxury of ignorance and I do not.

I realized all of this tonight because I wanted to stay at the library and study until midnight so I could sleep in tomorrow, instead I rationalized that it was not safe to do, and so I came home and I became very angry, then I became sad.

Sad because I realized I am a statistic of many.
Sad because there will be more statistics made.
Sad because in the time it took to compose this, there have been thousands of statistics.
Sad because some will not be counted and because some will not be believed.
Sad that I have had to be made aware and sad that men have no idea how they are sometimes seen.
Sad for what I've admitted, sad for the things I have left out, forgotten, or not realized.
Angry that my past dictates my future and my present.
Angry that the word rape still illicits shame, pity, self-loathing, ignorance, blame, behaviors, thoughts, powerlessness.
Sad and angry for all of it.