Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm an 80 year old misanthrope too

Almost everyone has to deal with their neighbors eventually.  Usually it happens much later in life.  I, however, moved into a neighborhood where I not only have to deal with my neighbors, but a homeowner's association, too.  The icing on the cake is that not only is one of my neighbors certifiably INSANE, but she is also on the board of directors for the HOA.  AWESOME.

Anyway, for some time now we have been battling with my neighbor about PARKING.  I live in a 3 bedroom house with two roommates and occasionally my boyfriend when he's in town.  So, that's 3 people, 3 cars, except when Chris is in town, 4 cars.  I park in the garage and Chris usually parks in the back of the house on MY yard.  Gabbi and the other roommate whose name is also Chris, park in front of the house on the road.  Sometimes, due to overcrowding in the neighborhood (my other neighbors also have a full house and sometimes encroach on our parking area) Gabbi and Chris have to park in front of our mailbox.

ANYWAY, numerous times we've come outside to find notes left on the windshields asking us to not block the mailbox (our mailbox is right next to the insane board of directors HOA old lady neighbor's mailbox.)  Her reason?  She says the mailman won't deliver the mail if the mailbox is blocked.

So my first qualm with this is the fact that her argument is COMPLETELY NOT TRUE.  We spoke to the mailman personally, and he said that even if there was an angry alligator blocking the mailbox, he would still deliver the mail.  Not in those exact words, but the point is he can't just not deliver the mail because there's a car there.  HE HAS TO DELIVER THE DAMN MAIL. 

We told crazy neighbor lady this but she wouldn't have any of it and said she plans to still leave notes about us blocking the mailbox.  Anyway, this has been quite a saga, and qualm number 2 = even if someone else's car who has nothing to do with anyone in my house is blocking her effing mailbox, she'll find a way to complain to us about it.  Because she is 80 years old and apparently has REALLY IMPORTANT mail EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I wrote a sonnet about it and I am going to share it with you now.

Do Not Block the Mailbox
A sonnet for the crazy lady next door who has nothing better to do than whine about where we park

Another note on yellow paper lay
with two words, “Do Not,” underlined in black
stuck on my windshield yesterday
from a neighbor acting without much tact.
All “i's” were dotted with ink harsh and crass,
the “s’s”, slimy and offending, snaked
right off the page into my garden’s grass.
As if she does nothing else all day,
She leaves these letters for the “mailman’s sake”
but I have other things to think about
than her petty neighborhood power play.
I won’t wage this battle day in and out.

She can’t claim to own this whole stretch of road,
yet she started a war with just one note.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do you smell that?

I'm feeling anti-creative today so I am going to compile two lists of smells for you. =)

Smells I HATE:
1. Wet peanut buttter
2. The elevator in Diffenbaugh
3. The boy who sits next to me in Southern Literature
4. Batteries
5. The water in the drinking fountains on campus
6. Stuffing at Thanksgiving/Christmas
7. Burned Popcorn

Smells I OUGHT to hate but don't:
1. Gasoline
2. Exhaust
3. Wet paint
4. Burning leaves
5. Plastic

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You know who you are

Dear Pen Borrowers AKA My least favorite type of THEIF,

I like you just about as much as I like people who can’t function without coffee in the morning.  (That's a WHOLE nother blog.) (Is "nother" a word?) (Should it be that's a whole other blog?) ANYWAY

Just curious, but is there a sign hovering above me that says, “Yes, I have an extra pen and SURE you can steal it.”? There must be.  At least once a week a stranger asks me if I have an extra writing utensil.  Immediately I try to visualize the contents of my bag, struggling to remember if I have a pen that I wouldn’t mind losing forever.  Sometimes I happen to have a hotel pen that I acquired at some point and wouldn’t mind never seeing again.  Sometimes I say, “yes” out of the kindness of my heart and watch helplessly as you pack up your things at the end of class and walk away with my property.  Other times, especially when I’m in a bad mood, I say “no.”  Then I spend the rest of the class worrying if my backpack unzipped itself and exposed the 25 pens I lied about not having. 

What I am getting at here is something I think a lot of people have fallen victim to at your hands.  You pen borrowers show up late to class, sweaty and frazzled. 

“Man it’s humid out there!”  Yea, we know.

You disrupt the universe in a frenzy of disorganization.  “Gosh, it’s just really one of those days!”  Funny, EVERYDAY for me is one of those days and I still managed to show up on time and with something to write with.

Even if you’re on time, I always notice you before you even ask me.  You dig through your purse or backpack, pretending like you think you have something in there when you know damn well you DON’T.  You stop to see if anyone noticed and is going to offer you a pen.  You sigh and continue rummaging.  Finally you look for someone with a backpack, a backpack that looks full.  You think, “okay…no she never talks in class so she probably doesn’t have extras…he’s like 35 and creepy so I won’t ask him…that kid is drooling on his Metallica hoodie so he most likely won’t share anything with me…HER! Yea! She talks an average amount! She has a backpack AND a planner out on her desk.  She must have extras!” Then you start to turn in your desk and lean towards me across the aisle.  I hate when you lean. 

“Do you by any chance have an extra pen or pencil?” DAMNIT. YES I DO BUT I DON’T WANT YOU TO USE IT.

Sometimes I say yes without any planning or bag visualizing.  Then I rummage through my bag only to find that the only spare is my limited edition # 2 out 10, white gold pen with pure silver ink.  Well, I said I had an extra so I can’t change my mind now.  Of course, I don’t feel like writing with it today so instead of just switching my amazing pen for the one I already started using, I let you use the nice one.  THEN I REALIZE WHAT I’VE JUST DONE and it’s too late.

So I have decided that unless you are pregnant, dying, mentally disabled, Brad Pitt, God, or all of the above, then NO you cannot use my pen.

Now go drink your coffee before your head explodes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life with Bella...

Today I am putting off my homework. Bella and I are cozied up together in my bed. My overhead light is off, but the early afternoon sun is coming in through my curtains so the atmosphere in here is pretty nice. Since Bella is sitting right next to me I figured that today I would reminisce about the different things she has eaten in her 1.5 short years with me.

I think one of the first things she destroyed was the carpet in my room. The first day I had her I shut her in my bedroom when I left the house to go buy her crate + dog bed + food bowls and all the other fun things a puppy needs. 30 minutes later, I come home to hear the most pathetic whining sound I’ve ever heard and I can’t get my bedroom door open. Little miss angel face, all 25 lbs of her, peeled up all the carpet in front of my door. And not just a little. She had pulled it up so much that I couldn’t even open the door.

She has also managed to completely destroy her kennel. I knew she was going to get big so I got one of the largest kennels they sell. A German Shepherd can comfortably stand up in it. Anyway, baby girl must have some sort of hulk-esque strength because not only did she eat the thick plastic bottom that slides in to cover the wires, but the front on the kennel where it latches is completely deformed from where her puppy paws pulled at it trying to get out. You wouldn’t believe that a 4 month old puppy could do that sort of damage.
What kind of puppy does THAT?

I’ve had Bella for a year and a half now and she has pretty much stopped destroying things, but here is a condensed list of her history of demolition:

1. 2 remote controls – to the cable box and the DVD player
2. Her FSU jersey that a friend of mine bought for her.
3. 2 pairs of my shoes. Expensive shoes, of course.
4. A hat of Gabbi’s.
5. Countless pairs of my underwear. If I leave them anywhere she can reach them, she’s going to chew them to bits.
6. A few bras, too.
7. A new bathing suit from Victoria’s Secret.
8. Her toy basket.
9. More dog beds than I can count.
10. The area rug we had in the living room.
11. Throw blankets.
12. Gabbi’s photo bags.
13. One of Gabbi’s headbands.
14. An entire bottle of Ibuprofen.
15. 3 different leashes, 1 harness, and 2 collars.

Now, Bella is the love of my life and she makes me laugh every day, but DAMN is she a pain in the butt sometimes. Everyone seems to agree, however, that Bella is the coolest dog in the world. She knows shake and high five along with high ten. I taught her how to speak which I immediately regretted but it’s pretty cool most of the time. My personal favorite is “Bang!”. I shape my hand like a gun and yell bang and Bella drops to the floor and rolls over like she’s dead. And if it weren’t for her frantically wagging tail and the fact that she can’t sit still for more than a millisecond, it would actually be believable.

Bella ready for the FSU game yesterday, which we won!
FSU 54 BYU 28. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

You know I'm here, right?

I do not care about your oozing blister or how early your period is.  I don’t care if your boyfriend has a potassium deficiency or if your mother is on cocaine.  I don’t know you.  The only thing I know about you is that you are in my 9:30 AM class and, on the few days I actually arrive early, you are early too. You are ALWAYS on the phone and apparently have NO concept of volume control. 

I think it is a widely accepted notion that when there are only two or three people in a room and one person is having an VERY LOUD conversation on the phone, whoever is in earshot has nothing better to do than eavesdrop.  At least that is always the case with me.  If you are going to have a loud, PRIVATE conversation, I am going to listen.  And I am going to bitch about it later.  And don’t be all like, “Well, I’m not forcing you to listen to what I am talking about. You can just tune it out.”  No.  I’m sorry.  That is not how it works. 

The minute I hear your phone vibrate, all of my muscles tense up and I begin a little battle in my head.  “Is she going to answer it?  If she answers, is she going to stay in here and talk? No. She wouldn’t be that rude.  Of course she’ll go outside into the hallway?  Oh no. She’s digging in her bag.  Maybe it’s just an alarm she has to turn off.  Shit. She answered. Don’t make me pull a double Van Gogh!”  And then it begins.

I do not care how wasted you were last night or how many creepy guys were staring at you.  First of all, I am sure your vagina was hanging out and begging to be oogled so stop complaining and just accept the fact that if you dress like a slut, people are going to look at you like you are one.
I do not care about the Gyno appoitment you missed and then rescheduled and then went to hung-over.  I REALLY don’t care about the wart he found and I REALLY REALLY don’t care to hear you recount the 15 possibile men you could have gotten it from.

Seriously, people.  There are some conversations that other people are not meant to overhear.  I’m not sure if college just makes people not give a damn about who is privy to their sensitive information, but it seems like everywhere I go people (especially girls) are talking about this kind of stuff at an ear piercing volume. 

Keep it down, folks! I promise, your life is NOT that interesting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I hate classrooms. 
  • I hate the whole awkward, non-verbal assigned seating agreement that everyone seems to stick to by the second week.  What if I decide I don’t like sitting right by the door?  What if I decide that the girl who doesn’t shave her legs makes me uncomfortable and I want to move?  Well, moving is not allowed because as soon as you relocate to somebody else’s desk, the whole equilibrium of the class gets thrown off.  The teacher ALWAYS gets confused.
“Anna? Is Anna here?”
- “Yes I’m over here.”
“Oh, you moved.  Why’d you move? I was looking for you over there and now you’re over here and even though I’m a college professor for some reason I can’t comprehend why you would ever switch desks at a time like this!”

  • But at the same time I hate when someone else takes my assigned seat, especially if I’m running late.  I ‘m always thinking, “oh well at least I know where I’m going to sit.”  And then I walk in the door only to find Sally Spandex-wearing-skinny-bitch sitting in my seat.  WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I’ve been sitting there every Tuesday and Thursday for the past month! 
  • I hate chalkboards and I think they should be illegal.
  • I hate that guy that always gets way too excited about certain assignments.  The guy that always raises his hand to read a poem aloud.  The guy that knows the answer to every question.  The guy who has a miniature party in his head and sometimes can’t help but clap when we have a quiz and he knows he got all the answers right.  The guy who wears button down shirts with white tennis shoes and ALWAYS brings his laptop. 
  • I hate when the teacher decides it’s a good idea to rearrange the desks.  IT’S NEVER A GOOD IDEA.  It takes five minutes to pack up all of the crap we already took out of our bags.  It takes another 5 minutes for 25 college students to figure out how to make a circle, and it takes another five minutes for 25 college students to figure out how to make a circle that everyone can fit in.  I hate when, once the desks have been arranged and we are all making awkward eye contact and hoping to God the teacher doesn’t notice that we didn’t bring the book, we have to sit there like a happy group of hippies meditating about the metaphors and similes in a poem.  There are rows for a reason.
  • I hate when teachers don’t know how to use the equipment like the overhead or the projector screen.  The students can do nothing but sit there and watch as some TA struggles to find the right switches for the lights. 

“Does anyone know how to work this stuff?”

I wonder if I’m the type of person people write hate blogs about?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Kitchen

Our kitchen is magical. Let that sink in. Have you ever heard someone refer to a room of their house as magical? You don’t count if you or someone you know practices witchcraft. It’s like a magician died (Houdini, perhaps?) and then was accidently reincarnated as our cabinets, cutlery, and cookware. I’m serious. I used to say that our kitchen “eats” things, but now I have come to the unsettling realization that our kitchen possesses powers or is inhabited by something that does.

Why, you ask, would I come to such an insane conclusion? Simply because our kitchen, a seemingly innocent part of the house, where sweet muffins are made and cheese is kept fresh, can make things disappear without a trace. I mean if something, say a book or cookie sheet, even makes a stopover on the kitchen counter, there is a 40% (estimation) chance that it will never be seen again. Now I am not trying to imply that our kitchen is messy or cluttered and in fact, everything has its place. Save for a few dishes in the sink, the kitchen is generally tidy.

The first time I noticed that there was something odd at work was this last spring. I KNOW that when I moved in I had a cupcake tin. It held 6 cupcakes of average size and it always stayed in the cabinet to the left of the stove with the pizza stone and cooling rack. Now, I never really was a cupcake maker and I much prefer brownies, but one afternoon this past spring I had a hankerin’. You can imagine how upset I was to not find the cupcake tin in its designated home. I then proceeded to ransack the kitchen, uprooting pots and pans and displacing measuring cups and bowls. The tin was nowhere to be found.

I figured my roommate would know where it was, so when she got home I asked her. You know what she said?

“We have a cupcake tin?”

This made me even MORE mad. How long had it been gone and I didn’t even realize it?  She had moved in the previous fall and never seen the cupcake tin?

This was not an isolated occurrence. Since then, chip bag clips have gone missing. Tons of our Tupperware have mysteriously disappeared. My casserole dish vanished. Of course we never discovered any of this until the time came when we needed it and didn’t have it. I'm not sure whether the kitchen is evil or whether our kitchenware is conspiring against us.  I can see them now, the cupcake tin, caserole dish, and chip clips without bags frolicking down the aisles at Bed Bath and Beyond, teasing the boxed up wine glasses and shelves upon shelves of appliances.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My legs are jell-o

I am terrified of the gym.  It's not so much the working out aspect - although I do find running in place for 30 minutes a scary notion. It's the idea of going to such a BIG place full of strange people and strange equipment and sweaty men.  How sheltered does that make me sound?  Wait for this one then...I'm soooo terrified that when I go to the gym and do squats with a measly ten pounds on my shoulders everyone in the whole place will automatically crane their necks to watch the stupid newby struggle to do some lunges.  Yes, I am well aware of how pathetic this all sounds.

Let me just tell you, after a very small amount of physical activity over the past two years, I have gotten disgustingly out of shape.  My usual volleyball regime that I followed in high school fell by the wayside while binge drinking and Guthries replaced it as soon as I got to college.  The result?  25 lbs and a not so cute belly pooch that I have had no idea what to do with up until now.  The point is, last week I signed up for a Gold's gym membership and TODAY was my first meeting with my trainer.  I feel obligated to tell you she is trying to kill me.  By the end of the second set of lunges my thighs were trembling and I thought that at any given moment I might collapse onto the floor into a pool of liquefied muscle.

My difficulties were only magnified by the 235257345 mirrors on the wall that can be seen from any corner of the two story establishment.  36 repetitions and 3 sets later when, in my opinion it was time for a nap, little miss trainer lady took me over to a machine that at first glance looked like some sort of torture device.  After a thousand butt clenches and a gallon of sweat, we went into a smaller side room with even MORE MIRRORS.  What is it with gyms and mirrors?  Are gym goers really the vainest people on Earth?  Anyway, we did crunches and some awkward medicine ball routine and then it was over.

"Well, we're done for today. I have another client at 5:30"

"Oh, okay! Well thanks for meeting with me.  I'm going to waddle out of here while me knees give out from underneath me every other step! See ya next week!"
She said something else about protein shakes and drinking my weight’s worth in water every day but I was too busy thinking about the extra strength Tylenol waiting for me at home to really hear what she was saying.  Before I left, though, she did give me a list of foods I am supposed to eat.  Anyone who knows me will understand how distraught I am when I tell you that CHEESE is not one of those foods.

Daily Pic!
From my trip to Prague with my Dad last summer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

About Anna

I'm Anna.  I'm a 28-year-old day dreamer, weekend adventurer, and compulsive snacker. I live my life by this simple philosophy: life is too short to be anything but fat and happy.  I'm sarcastic, optimistic, and awkward in unfamiliar social situations.  I hate the word "hence."  I am a staunch advocate of the Oxford comma. I dabble in photography and creative writing, enjoy spending my time on the fringes of reality, laughing at inappropriate junctures, Mexican food, and run-on sentences.  I'm a graduate of Florida State University with an English/Creative Writing degree.  We live in Virginia now, but I remain a die-hard 'Noles fan and live for football season.  I am currently a graduate student at Syracuse University.
"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives." - C.S. Lewis
I am married to Mike, a hunky Sheriff's Deputy turned Fire Inspector who happens to be eight years my senior.  To read more about him, click here. To read more about our wedding, click here.  We have five babies (all of the fur variety) Bella the mutt, Boomer the Lab, Buffalo the cat (RIP), Moose the cat and Biscuit the cat.  
Our lives, with all their miracles and wonders, are merely a discontinuous string of incidents - until we create the narrative that gives them meaning. 
When tasked with naming my one true passion, I will always choose writing.  Oddly enough, outside of these blog posts, I do not write nearly as much as I'd like.  Second to writing comes photography, a lot of which is featured on this site.

This is my blog about life, love, photography, and frivolity from somewhere in between adolescence and senility. 


On doing my laundry

It's Sunday and the piles of laundry on my floor have led me to believe that my carpet has gone on vacation. It has up and left, taking refuge in either the Bahamas or perhaps a hardwood floor store. These piles start at the door to my bedroom and form mountains between the foot of my bed and bathroom door. There is even a small one forming in my "walk-in" closet, although it's really more of a "step-in, turn around, step-out" closet.

I'm not sure when my hatred of laundry formed, but it probably just stems from my general laziness and apathy towards household chores. I do love vacuuming, though. I would vacuum the carpet everyday if there was any proof that I actually have a carpet.

But today I have decided to do my laundry. I am sick of having to leap over piles of clothes to get to the bathroom or the computer desk. These hills of whites and darks and colors have turned walking around my room into a sport. One hop to the left, leap to the right, forward jump over the pile of tie-dyed shirts, catapult myself using the footboard, and all the while attempting to not knock over any of the ambiguously arranged mounds.

So this morning I started. Actually, I started this afternoon around 2:00, but considering that I didn't wake up until about noon, 2:00 still felt like morning. First I washed my sheets. Bella, the dog/in house toy destroyer, has become fond of cuddling up at the place on the bed where the pillows meet the sheets and a thin layer of black hair has collected in the spot where she lays. They are now in the dryer and I am anxiously awaiting that obnoxious buzzer so that I can make my bed and take my first load of darks out of the washer.

Let me just tell you, laundry day has always been a long process for me. When I lived in the dorms on campus, I didn't do laundry until well into the first semester, maybe sometime around Halloween. The first thing that is frightening about this is the fact that I have enough clothes to last me that long without washing anything. The second thing that is frightening about this is that when the time came to wash my stuff, I can honestly say that I occupied nearly an entire row of washers and dryers in the building's laundromat. Sorry about that, guys. It's safe to estimate that I used an entire box of dryer sheets that day. And so the cycle began. (no pun intended?)

Freshman year I did laundry maybe four times. At Christmas I took some dirty clothes home for my mom to tackle. Spring break, too. Sophomore year was better because I moved into my house and had easy access to a private washer and dryer. Did I do more laundry? No. But it was less of a hassle when I actually got around to it. However, this also enabled my room to transform into a certifiable disaster area. In the dorm, I couldn't spread my crap out all over the universe because I had to respect my roommate's area. Here at the house, I can put my stuff wherever I feel like so that means my room turns into a dirty clothes graveyard until I muster up the motivation to do something about it.

It is going to be a lifelong saga of room cleaning and sheet washing. As soon as all of my clothes are washed and put away, it comes time to get dressed in the morning for classes. I stand in my closet, hands on my hips, surveying the hangers among hangers of perfectly acceptable garb, not wanting to wear any of it. Try on a shirt. Take it off. Throw it on the floor. I'm running late, after all. Pair of shorts after pair of shorts after pair of shorts. Finally find an outfit. Look disastisfyingly into the full length mirror, spritz of Marc Jacobs perfume, flip flops on, out the door. Meanwhile, Bella is still sleeping, but now she comfortably snoozes atop a pile of perfectly clean clothes in the place between my closet and my bed. Tomorrow, it will all start again.

My mom always argues that if you clean up as you go, it only takes about 5 minutes. I can see her logic, but it has never worked for me, mainly because I refuse to do it. So I will remain a laundry hater. It will always take me hours and hours to do a few months worth of dirty clothes. People will ooh and aah over the amount of clothes that I have and how messy my room can become in a matter of seconds and a flurry of outfit changes.

Gotta go -
buzzer is calling for me!

Below: my room! $10 to the first person who finds the carpet! haha. There is even laundry in my hammock swing!

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