25 January 2009


It's official. I have my regularly scheduled end-of-January flu. For some reason, I always seem to be sick for a whole in the latter half of January. It be nice if the my immune system was dependable enough to schedule my illnesses, but I know this is just one long-running fluke.

On the up side of attempting to recuperate, I have been drinking up my stash of blueberry herbal tea. I can't stand the taste of this tea. I can't throw it away. When guests are tempted to try it, I steer them away to another caffeine free alternative. Fortunately, I'm so congested right now that I can't taste a thing. Who said I wasn't a positive person?

21 January 2009

Admiral Buster?

I'm attempting to write another entry here on crowcrastination, but Buster is letting me know that I am not respecting him by concentrating on something else (and thereby not paying enough attention to him). Perhaps I will have to get a Pets in Uniform portrait so he can get the respect he deserves. Everyone loves a man in uniform, right?

For those petless individuals, fear not! This website also provides signage for all your National Pancake Day needs.

19 January 2009

Dubya & Critters

Earlier today I called up a University in Texas about some "missing" paperwork on my application. I was routed through a phone tree, and eventually was hung up on after an abrupt, "The University is closed for the holiday." This did not deter me from calling up the initial (very lengthy) phone tree again and again.

You see, they try to direct most calls to the Graduate and International Admissions website by reading out the entire URL. But, with a Texan drawl, their address begins, "Dubya, Dubya, Dubya."

Being that this made me laugh in a way that made my morning coffee gurgle about in my sinuses, I had to hear it a couple more times. It seemed like a timely send off for Georgie. Yes, I do have too much time on my hands. Praise be for free long distance, no?

After the phone time fun, I decided to give Buster his daily brushing. What do I see in his pristine white coat? Little black flecks? "What is this? Flea poop?" I ask aloud. I don't go through him with a fine tooth comb, but I do pick at him like a monkey. I find and squish two fleas. And I am a little bit peeved.

I decide to get him some flea treatment pronto because if I've found two critters, there's bound to be more. I think all the fleas have moved indoors for the winter because I went to three different stores that were sold out of kitty flea collars. Lame.

Buster is pouting about his new collar. Well, not pouting, per se. This video of a kitty named Capone is pretty much what Buster's been doing. But Buster is not an orange tabby, and his collar is not a lovely lavender color. Watch:

Poor Bebop. Someday, when Mama's not a Broke Ass Ho, she will buy you some Advantage.

15 January 2009

Apply Yourself

My silence here on Crowcrastination has to do with the fact that I have been busy not procrastinating. My days have been filled with applications to both graduate school and to new jobs. Here's hoping the former is met with a little more success than the latter has been thus far.

Not to brag, but I even surprised myself by getting one of my applications turned in before the deadline. Here's a snippet of a conversation on this topic as shared with my dad when he called me up to let me know that he was playing hooky from church:

"Holy Moses, Miguel! I turned in my application three weeks early."
"Is it still considered early if you've been putting it off for years?"

Ooh. That stings.

I'm not sure how I feel about this new leaf. It means that I'm spending more time playing the waiting game. Plus, I missed out on some of my favorite delay tactics. In general, finishing early meant that I didn't have the same amount of steam built up for the grand finale. I submitted the application, breathed a small sigh of relief and promptly wondered, "What next?"

More job applications, as it turned out.

On the work front, I'm wondering whether it's too early to give up and go back to temping. I realize I've said that I'd rather die than go back to temping; but that was back in the days before Lexapro. And after all is said and done, temping proved to be excellent blog fodder. Sorry, dear readers. I am not sure if my delicate self is ready to endure that again.

Buster has been quite dismayed by this surge of my work ethic. He lets me know on a regular basis that all this time working on cover letters instead of worshiping the fur is NOT OKAY. He has taken up residence on top of my laptop as a revolt. This has only proved to be embarrassing once when I sent in a job application with an incomplete email signed 9j0 0999999999999-9oihiojjioluiilu. Viva la revolucion, eh Buster?

In the interim, I've been commissioned to write some skits for an elementary school assembly. It's very high brow stuff which is expected to be, "easy, didactic, using a small number of actual actors, and pulled off by 9-year-olds with zero rehearsal time."

This could be amusing...

04 January 2009

How I spent my holiday vacation.

I spent a majority of my visit to my parent's house cleaning out my room.

It's been years since my parents and I agreed that-- no matter the circumstance-- it is best if I only come to stay as a visitor and not as a resident of their house. Not that I don't love Miguel and Mama Crow to pieces; it's just a matter of keeping everyone a little more sane and a little less angry. It works well, even if I don't live within easy driving distance (as Mama Crow would prefer).

Cleaning out the old room is no easy task. Instead of rooting everything out to create an office or a guest room (as is the case in many of my friend's old rooms), Mama and Miguel kept everything about the same. Finally the shrine to my younger self got to me (and my allergies were going nuts with all of the residual dust) and I decided to do a massive purge.

It's hard to imagine that everything (which hasn't crept its way up to the attic crawlspace) still managed to fit in this 10 by 10 space. Indeed, it seemed as if every nook and cranny held some matter of importance dating back to my birth to my teenage years, with whatever other detritus left over from summers home from college tucked into the corners. Also, after I complained about the number of newspaper clippings I received in the mail, my parents started shoving a majority of this in one of the empty dresser drawers.

It took longer than I anticipated. Partially because I had a nearly 2 year old helper who would dump out whatever exciting treasures I had just sorted. Also, because I went through everything with a fine tooth comb. I read every saved letter and birthday card. I suffered through the half-assed journals of my youth. I carved out the copious notes from coursework long since passed.

I started to think about why I had put this off for so long, and why my parents didn't take some action to reclaim the space. I've decided that it has to do with a generational trickle down effect. My grandparents (the nicer, deader ones) were raised in the depression. At their home, not one piece of wrapping paper or small bit of string that may be put to use at some point was thrown away. I can see the effects of this in my parents (who still have all of their college papers and notes tucked in rotting trunks in the garage) and a little in myself.

I think I was ready on an emotional level to get rid of this stuff long ago. But I didn't have the know how. It wasn't long ago that my friend Jesse taught me the joys and pleasure of getting rid of shit. It takes time and dedication to collect these things and keep them somewhere. He taught me about the satisfaction of having and using what you need and replenishing it when necessary.

So, after many, many hours spent cleaning and many more sneezes to accompany the cleanup of the millennium, here is an inventory of what I left in my wake:

+Two city issued recycling bins full of mostly paper.
+Fifteen shopping bags of give away.
+One large box of my fondest childhood keepsakes.
+The best toys from my younger days, now willed to my nephew when he visits.
+A drawer full of usable office supplies, given to my parents.
+One box of stuff to be dragged up to Portland at a later date.
+2/3 of shelf of my mom's copies of classic fiction books.
+My grandmother's bowling shoes.
+My entire hedgehog collection.

Not bad, eh?

03 January 2009

New Name

Over Christmas dinner I realized that I had crossed the point of no return. I have officially teased my gullible brother-in-law so much that he no longer believes a word I say.

Brian gets a bad rap among my friends because he is often lacking in common sense and therefore "stepping in it" almost constantly. When I am feeling generous, I try very hard to think up something nice to say about him. Sometimes all I can come up with is, "It is fun to tease him." But believe it or not, I do sort of like the guy. I'm just a little incredulous that such a smart guy can constantly exhibit such tardtastic behavior.

Everyone had finished dinner and enjoying some conversation while dessert was being served. We were talking about a distant relative's new baby and the tradition of naming children after family members (this baby is named Xander after his grandfather). I just happen to be one of those people that was named after her father. But unlike little Xander, my namesake loaned and adapted his name for my middle name.

As it turns out, Brian does not know my middle name. As such:

Brian: You look like you could be a "Michelle"
Me: Really?
Brian: Yeah.
Me: Well, that is my name.
Brian: No it's not.
Me: It's one of them.
Brian: What?
Me: It's my middle name.
Brian: Not it's not.
Everyone: YES IT IS!

Then, because my sister and my nephew have two middle names, he asked if my second middle name was to honor my mother.

I lied and said, "Yes. Definitely."