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Hi! I'm Slane, and I run a video game store. Anything of interest beyond pictures and the occasional blurb is locked to everybody but Friends.

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Ode to a Parrot

Sometimes I'll leave Kai's cage door open over night if I know that we won't be getting up as early as we normally do. This allows her flutter around the house on her own for awhile. She usually bounces between her favorite places on the top of the fridge, her tree in the living room, and the door to her cage. She's been (mostly) potty trained for awhile now, so the chances of her making a mess are pretty slim. I feel better about it since she isn't as bound up for longer than she has to be.

Lately though, she's been waking us up by walking down the hallway, sticking her beak under the door, and babbling incoherently. The other day I made out what sounded like "BIRDSTEPUPBIRDBIRDBIRDSTEP."

She does this when she really wants to get your attention. She just mashes together every word she knows how to say and rattles it off. It always has me in stitches. I can't say no to her. On mornings like those, she can go anywhere in the house she would usually be chased out of (like her coveted spot underneath the cabinets), but instead she beelines straight for where she knows we're at and tried everything in her little birdy power to get us to let her in.

I routinely refer to her as "the best mistake I ever made." She's loud, aggressive to strangers, messy as hell and needy. But I'll be damned if she hasn't been the light of my life since I adopted her six years ago.



<3 Kai. I love you!

The Beginning of the End

Tuesday was my nursing school orientation.

As if my previous posts haven’t demonstrated my feelings on starting upper division classes well enough, allow me to go into a bit more detail about it.

See, the thing is this. Everybody keeps asking me if I’m ~*~super excited~*~ to get started. They ask me if I’m jittery or nervous or overwhelmed. They’re expecting me to say yes to both, but the real answer is…no, not really. I’m about as excited about starting as I would be about going to the dentist.

I mean, it’s great to finally be immersed in the material that I’m most interested in. It’s great to learn about what’s actually relevant to my new career path (at long last). I’m not nervous because after two years working to get here, I know that I have the intellect to make it in this program. When I spoke to a few of the other students on Tuesday, it seems that their biggest worry is being part of the 25% wash-out that occurs in the first term. I just don’t share that same fear.

The issue for me is that I must ace every single class in order to have a shot at a graduate Physician Assistant program. My current cumulative GPA is a 2.87, which is not nearly close enough to meeting the minimums most programs require. If I don’t have a 3.2 by 2017, I’m practically dead in the water. Nursing school also has a tendency of turning A students into C students, and I just can’t let that happen to me.

So am I super excited about having to work harder than everybody else in a program that’s already balls-to-the-wall-ridiculously-difficult? Am I excited about the lack of sleep that I’m going to suffer from? Am I pumped that on top of everything that goes along with this degree, I’m going to need to do an additional unrequired thesis so I’m a more competitive applicant later? Am I stoked about the fact that I’m going to practically be a ghost to my friends and family for the next two and a half years?





But I feel the need to fake it every time somebody asks me. So I’ll keep sitting here plastering on plastic smiles and nodding my head enthusiastically, I guess. Gotta keep the audience riveted….

Dumping on the Rung Below You

I spent Friday celebrating the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality at Free2Be, a local LGBTQ center here in Huntsville. Michael and Sydney tagged along, and we had a pretty great time. They were selling some Pride merchandise, so I bought a large-ish flag in order to support the cause. Decided to hang it on our front porch and see how many different people we could piss off. It is the deep south, after all. LBGT equality has like a 13% approval rating down in my neck of the woods.



Pretty sure that'll get somebody's attention. And it did.

The two little neighbor boys across the street came over today while Michael and I were working in the garage. One of them asked me if I was gay, so I did what any shit-stirrer would do and said I was. He crinkled up his nose and proclaimed that we were nasty and he wasn't coming over anymore.

I really wanted to tell him that not too long ago, people would have thought he was nasty for being black. So nasty, in fact, that he would have been forced to use separate bathrooms because people were afraid of catching diseases from him. In the end, I decided against it. Didn't want to piss off his parents since they're legitimately good people and great neighbors.

Still. I guess the fact that a black kid feels equal enough to join in with the collective shitting-on of gays is progress in and of itself.

I'm a terrible parront

I clipped Kai's nails today. Except, I got her front left claw too short and she bled a fair bit. I feel so terrible, I've never done that before. Although I've clipped her myself in the past, I've never gotten too low. Normally she gets a trip to the vet so that they can dremel them, but I decided to do it myself. First of all I'm broke, and that's $20 I can put somewhere else. More guilt-inducingly, she's been a total pain in the ass lately and I know from previous experience that she calms down a lot for about a week after she's been toweled for something. So I figured hey, maybe she'll stop attacking the roommate and maybe I'll save some cash.

I was able to get that claw dredged in cornstarch pretty quickly. She's unharmed, but it really, really bothers me that it happened at all. She's not acting like it's even remotely bothering her, but I can't shake the guilt from the fact that I hurt her at all. On top of this, I haven't been a very good parrot mom lately...her toys haven't been rotated in weeks, she isn't getting a lot of one on one, and she's been mostly left to her own devices when she's out. My only solace is that she is out of her cage about eight hours a day, and all of her trees are set up and functional.

Maybe it sounds crazy, but I think the only way I'm going to feel better about this is to utterly shower her in affection, preens, treats and toys. So much for saving $20.

Weekends off

So this not having school or work on the weekends thing is pretty sweet. My mother and stepfather came into town this weekend in order to pick up some remodeling materials from an insanely cheap surplus warehouse we have down here. She brought me two huge boxes of coneflowers, irises, and daylillies.

Saturday was dedicated to getting them in the ground. We spent the afternoon ripping up sod, laying weed barrier, planting, and mulching them in. They look properly terrible at the moment, but they'll settle in within a week or two. Month at the most.

She also brought down an old sign she found discarded about two years ago. We decided that if we could make it cool looking again, it would be an awesome addition to the shop. So Sunday's project was dedicated to cutting it down to size and getting it ready for the rope lights we just bought.



It used to be a neon sign, although all of the glass has been busted out of it. Not that we much care, we would have had to do that ourselves anyway. It's been cut off of the frame it came on and the screw-in tubes in the back are currently marinating in WD-40 for hopefully easy unscrewing. Here's to hoping.

Also, my violet zinnias are about to open up. If the size of the buds is any indication, the flowers are going to be monsters.



So that's how I kept myself busy this weekend. Not as tasty as how I kept myself busy last weekend, but hopefully the results will last a little longer.
GUYS! I GOT MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER TODAY! I'M IN!

Hasta Luego, fucker.

Oh, one more thing that I need to mention today:

Michael and I went out on the town with a group of friends on Saturday night.

He was being weird before we left home, and I suspected that it was going to be a terrible night. But I wanted him and Woody to have a ride home, so I went along. Should have stayed home....

He ended up getting super trashed, threw the remnants of his drink on our friend Shane because he thought it would be funny. Shane totally disagreed, and although Michael apologized, he was pretty pissed about it the whole night. Mike was generally obnoxious as shit and kept wandering off. Another friend ended up taking us on a half-hour walk through the park in order to make him sober up, and that was fun in heels. When we got to the next bar, Mike sat down next to some random floozie and started hitting on her right in fucking front of me. Even after I expressed my extreme displeasure, he didn't stop.

That's the point that Shane told me not to marry him, Becca asked me if he has a drinking problem, Kim said she'd punch him in the nuts, and sweet, soft-spoken, oblivious Rob asked me if everything was alright. When even Rob was aware that things were drastically wrong, I realized that I'd had enough.

I stranded him downtown without a ride home. Just up and left. Because fuck him, that's why.

I guess Rob brought him home, because he was on the couch the next morning. Probably a good idea for him not to try and crawl into bed with me, because at the moment that he would have reached out to get under the covers, he would have pulled back a bloody stump.

We talked, he apologized, I said I forgive him. And I might...someday. But I can't help but feel that he showed some true colors last night, and I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to handle it from here.

Apr. 20th, 2015

Waiting on this letter from the college of nursing has been killing me. I’d say that’s a figurative use of the phrase, but actually…I’m not so sure. My mental health has been undoubtedly damaged by the agonizing six weeks of waiting. I’m having difficulty sleeping, I’ve been markedly more irritable, and although I’ve never suffered from anxiety before in my entire existence on this planet, I can definitely say that I now completely feel sorry for anybody that has to deal with feeling like this on a daily basis.

I have advanced knowledge from a friend of mine that bad news will come in the form of a standard business envelope, and acceptance letters are full sized manila packets. So when I got to my mailbox on Friday and pulled out a regular envelope with the UAH logo on it, my heart sank into my shoes. I stared at it dejectedly for several minutes without opening it, wondering how I was going to break the news to my parents that my efforts just hadn’t been good enough. I thought of what it would be like to leave Michael for the summer and move back home temporarily to fix my terrible GPA at the source, and I couldn’t imagine having to do a long distance relationship again. I thought about…well. I thought about a lot of things.

…And then I noticed that the letter had been sent from the Department of Student Financial Services. Which is…weird. I felt immediately better, since I wouldn’t be getting a no-go letter from the FinAid department. In fact, I shouldn’t have been getting anything from the FinAid department. Puzzled, I tore the seal on it and tried to wrap my head around what I saw on the page.



Although it’s still blowing my mind a little, I won the Nursing Excellence Scholarship for a little less than $3,000 a year. That’s about a third of my total tuition need, so it’s no small victory at all. Combined with my almost $6,000 in grants every year, and I practically have a full ride. I can’t believe I’m even writing those words out together. Me, horrible, horrible cumulative GPA me has over a 90% coverage on my tuition that does not need to be repaid in any way.

I’ve been so worried about the financial details of attending school for so long that this is an unbelievable turn of events. It means that my student loans can go towards my living expenses. That, in turn, means that I don’t have to kill myself by trying to work 30 hours a week while I’m attending my last two years of school. It means that I may not have to work at all.

I’m just…shocked. So shocked, and so thankful for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to writing my thank you letter to my donor, and I absolutely cannot wait to get started this fall.

That being said…no. You haven’t missed anything. I still have not received my acceptance letter from the College of Nursing. But would they give me a scholarship for nursing related education if I wasn’t accepted? Survey says: probably not.

But I never count my chickens before they hatch, so I’m going to stop short of declaring this one a full victory. I can tell you that I’m watching that egg very, very closely though.

Sigh



With any luck, I'll know in the next two weeks. They're going to feel like a lifetime, though.