This is the week of poop

...and it's only Tuesday.

I just found out that I can't have my wedding at Addison's Oktoberfest. Apparently, they don't feel that a wedding is "appropriate programming" for a festival. Ahem.

What's more festive than a wedding? It's a big party. It's supposed to be about the whole community coming together to say "We approve of this!". That's why, no matter how intimate and private your wedding is, you still have to have witnesses. It's a public affair. Weddings are also pretty family-friendly. You might say it's the most family-friendly major event in a person's life. You probably wouldn't want your 7-year-old watching childbirth, and you might not bring the little tyke to great-aunt Bessie's wake and funeral, but weddings are okay. Plus, they are actually the creation of a new family, so it's hard to get more "family friendly" than that. As an aside, we're talking about a beer festival, here. Why are you bringing your kiddos, anyway?

Also, if one were to cast back in the mind regarding the history of Oktoberfest, one might recall that it was actually a wedding celebration to begin with. The first Oktoberfest took place in 1810, as a party to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. They held horse races. It was cool, everyone liked it, and thus a tradition was born.

And yet, on this, the 20th anniversary of Addison Oktoberfest, a wedding is " just inappropriate".

It could've been handled better, as well. The woman I was dealing with, Barbara Kavasavich, managed to convey the feeling of looking down her nose at me over the phone. It must take years of rigorous training to cultivate such snobbery.


Why is the font size in my last post all screwy? I have no idea. I've gotten sick of trying to fix it. But, just so you know, I'm not screaming the last half of my blog at you, there. It's just a font-size error I can't seem to fix!



First, the good news.

I got engaged! On Thursday night (May 17th), after TKD/HKD, Max asked me to marry him! We were standing in the living room. I was sweaty and gross, not wearing any makeup, and in my dobok, so I looked like a dead 12-year old boy. He psyched me out with flowers and then pulled out the ring while I wasn't looking. Crafty, that one!

I was planning to announce the engagement by posting a picture of the ring here, but while I was waiting for my dad to send it to me, something else happened...

I went to a bridal show on Sunday at the Bass Performance Hall in Dallas. It was okay. There were a million vendors there. They sent us on this scavenger-hunt, where we had to get each vendor to sign off on their booth in the program. If you do this, they enter you in a big drawing to win like, 40 prizes, some of which were pretty awesome, like a 7-night cruise to Hawaii.

After 4 hours (!) of legwork, I entered my name and hoped for the best. We were getting down to the end of the list, when my name was finally called. (The cruise had already been taken at this point, but I thought I might snag a gift certificate for something). Lucky me, I won.....

...a totally hideous set of 4 western ranch-inspired chargers and a matching napkin holder!

I kid you not. This stuff was like, antiqued brown-ish rust-colored aluminum, poorly assembled (probably in Mexico), with ranch symbols stamped around the edge of the chargers. I smiled graciously, and returned to my seat, running through my mental list of people who might appreciate such a thing. (No one I know.)

As we were leaving the building, another bride came up to me and complimented me on my prize! She gushed about how she thought they were just beautiful and I was so lucky to have won them! I promptly handed them to her and said "Congratulations! They're yours!", smiling broadly. She was floored. We took a picture! It's a great story!

Then my day went down the toilet.

Remember my car? I do. Now memories are all I have of it, because my car was stolen.

Yes, you read that right. Some jerkface walked past my mom's Z3, glanced at my sister's newer, sexier Honda and thought, "Nah, I'll take the old, ugly one. I'll take Jessica's car."

They knew it was Jessica's car, too, because it had a sticker in the back window with my name on it, as well as all my CDs in my pink CD holder, sitting in the front seat, clearly labled "Jessica". Mine! My car! Not yours!

I only had liability insurance (who steals an '89 Honda Civic?!). I am unemployed. I am getting married in 4 months. Barring personal injury, this is pretty much the worst thing that could've happened to me. <----Not a hyperbole. This blows.

Of course, I filed a police report and jumped through all the necessary hoops. The detective assigned to my case called me today to ask some questions, and he told me that in all likelihood, my car was stripped for parts. Apparently, early-model Hondas are popular with the street-racing types (?!?!?). I can totally see that. I mean, my car could do 0 to 60 in like, 2 minutes!

Long story short, I'll probably never see my car, or my CDs, or my flying frog that hung from the rear-view mirror, or my bobble-head alligator on my dashboard, ever again.

Thank you, random criminal scum, for stealing my car and putting financial strain on us during an already financially stressful time. I know you'll never care that you robbed me of something that had great emotional value. You don't give a rat's ass that I feel violated, vulnerable, and helpless. You're probably elated that you stole my car, and you're almost certainly never going to be caught for doing it. Congratulations, whoever you are, for being such a calloused, despicable waste of space. You're not even worth my anger.


Monster Mash

Okay, I'm taking the gloves off and jumping, bikini-clad, into my sister's relational mudpit.

Here's the deal:

She has a Facebook, and a Myspace, just like everyone else (except me because I'm not an emokid). Regrettably, she uses the same, blindingly stupid password for everything that needs a password. This is a mistake on her part. Her boyfriend found her Myspace and became suspicious, because, you know, she has friends on there. Friends are bad, because they might tell her that he's a loser. So he gets all upset, and starts snooping, and finds she has a Facebook. Granted, it's not like she's keeping this a big secret - I knew she had a Facebook, even though I don't have one and have never seen hers. He "hacks" her Facebook (basically, he guesses her pass1word - oops, I mean password) and finds she's been talking to her ex-boyfriend.

What to do, what to do? It's also no secret that she's been in off-again on-again contact with said ex, but on a strictly friends level. The conversations he's unearthed are not scandalous confessions of love and passion - they're benign conversations about work, bands, etc. We are faced with a dilemma.

Obviously, finding out your girlfriend is having conversations with her ex behind your back is not good. However, knowing the exact content of those conversations, it's easy to see there's nothing going on here. How can we handle this situation?

Well, I'll tell you! We could:
A) bring it up and talk about it. Say "I noticed (avoid mentioning the snooping and the hacking) you're talking to so-and-so again. I'm really not comfortable with that, because he's your ex. Can we talk about this?"

or B) deactivate her Facebook account and get steaming mad and throw a huge fit.

Pop Quiz: What do you do?

Well, if you're my sister's boyfriend, you pick "B". "B" is the new "C"! (inside joke, sorry!)

Seriously, he's acting like a feces-flinging primate, here. My sister is not his property. He can stop acting like an angry silverback any time, now.

I'm not thrilled she was talking to her ex - he's a loser, and there is a very long list of reasons why he's her ex. But that doesn't excuse her current boyfriend's behaviour. This isn't the first time he's been confused about the "relationship vs. ownership" thing. In fact, if he'd let her have some friends, maybe she wouldn't need to be sneaking conversations with people over the internet!

My sister sure can pick 'em. I think it's deliberate on some level. You know how everyone hated Kevin Federline, and then Brittney Spears divorced him and went ballistic, and suddenly K-Fed (or Fed-Ex, my personal favorite of his nicknames) started looking like an emotional giant, without actually changing anything? This is like my sister and her relationships. She wants to be emotionally mature and responsible, but that takes work, and let's face it, it's kind of a hassle. So, instead, she just dates guys who are, for lack of a better word, complete fucktards.

So that's it, they're both wrong. Wrong in this situation, wrong for each other, just plain wrong. So why won't she break up with him and move on? Why does she actually try to defend his behaviour? I mean, sure, every girl is stupid about relationships when they're young, and oftentimes we put up with stuff when we're 16 or 17 that we'd never tolerate when we're older. Basically, we grow up. But my sister isn't 16 or 17 - she's 22. The longer she spends with this loser, the less time she'll have to spend with someone who will actually love and respect her. Not that I'm saying she's ready to jump into a healthy, happy relationship with an emotionally stable and supportive person, but she's certainly not moving in that direction with her current boyfriend.

But, for all my fire-breathing, there's absolutely nothing I can do. This is the now-familiar sensation of having to sit back and allow her to fail.



I'm hesitant to write about this in a public space, but this is essentially my journal and I can write whatever I want. I think it's important to write stuff like this down, so I can look back on it later... And besides, no one reads this blog, anyway!

So, he's bought the ring. I know he has, because I picked it out. The receipts are on the dining room table. It's a done deal.

Or is it? I'm pretty sure the thing's been ready for a week, but I know he hasn't even picked it up yet. It comes up now and then, because I keep expecting him to ask me, but he doesn't. He's asked my dad, he's told his family - we've even received a letter of "unofficial congratulations" from his grandma! But he hasn't asked me. Why?

It's kind of become a point of contention, and neither of us like to talk about it. (Shouldn't this be making us happy?) I get the feeling he's treating asking me to marry him like a chore. That's not what I want. It was eating at me so I asked him about it. One of the greatest things about our relationship is that we're perfectly honest with each other. But when he, in perfect honesty, confirmed all my fears - that it did feel like a chore to him, and he was having second thoughts, and he wants to make sure he wants to do it instead of being pressured into it - it didn't exactly fill my heart with warm fuzzies about the greatness of our relationship.

Now, I appreciate what he's trying to say, here. For one, he's being honest, not vindictive. He really wants to make sure he's doing it for the right reasons, and that's probably hard for him to assess right now, being that the environment just became pressurized. And it's not like I'm the only one putting pressure on, here. I mean, his father called to congratulate me and welcome me to the family, and I had to tell him that technically, there's nothing to congratulate yet. Talk about awkward! The problem is, the sources of pressure are:

1. The potential wedding date. We want to get married in September. We've talked about this, and agree that it would be awesome. However, it is now May. If he proposed right now, that leaves me with about 4 months to throw a wedding together. I'm not against changing the date, but if we want to keep it where it is, from a logistical standpoint we really don't have time to wait on this engagement thing. I admit I've pressured him a bit about this, but that's only because I know the wedding planning will be primarily my responsibility. I want us to have the wedding we both want, and I don't want to go insane doing it.

2. The length of time we've been dating. We've been dating for over seven years. That's a long, long time. I've been feeling pressure and fielding questions from family and friends about the engagement/marriage issue for years, but he's only just now getting a taste of it. And there is a common sentiment among our friends and family that "it's about time". They say it as an encouragement, but I think he takes it as a criticism. In a way, it is a criticism, and an honest one. He says he doesn't want me to be expecting a proposal, because then it feels like something he has to do instead of something spontaneous that he wants to do. But really, what am I (or our families) supposed to think at this point? When you buy an engagement ring, people expect a proposal will be forthcoming. I mean, why else would you buy it? And of course, it's not a surprise. How could it be? It's not like we barely know each other. Truthfully, we could've done this several years ago.

And that's part of the problem. In fact, it may be the root of the problem. Why didn't we do this several years ago? I would have. I've been waiting on him. For years and years.

He always said that he "just didn't feel ready", which is valid, I suppose, but still doesn't really answer the "why" question. So it leaves me filling in that blank with "It must be something about me." Really. I mean, you either love someone, or you don't. You can live with them for the rest of your life, or you can't. There's not a lot of room for fence-sitting, here. I'm sure, so what is it that's making him unsure?

And, in the ultimate example of tautological argument, his uncertainty is making me uncertain! The longer he waits, the more I wonder if this is so right after all. I want someone who is head over heels in love with me and can't wait to spend the rest of his life with me. I was really hoping for some unbridled enthusiasm, here. His hesitation, first with openly discussing it, and now with the proposal... well, frankly, I'm concerned.

So here I am, back in the same conundrum I've been stuck in for as long as I can remember. I love him, and I know he loves me. So what's the problem? Why does talking about (or in this case, moving toward) our future together make us unhappy? Do I wait around indefinitely for something I desperately want but may never materialize, or do I leave a comfortable relationship with a wonderful person I'm in love with because I'm tired of waiting? Neither of these options is particularly appealing.

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.


A Little Rant, Just for You!

No, really, you don't have to read this. I was typing an email and realized that I was basically just ranting, and email's not really the place to do that. Why dump your troubles all over one person when you can dump them on the whole internet? That way, at least the burden is shared globally.

So, I'm just going to copy and paste the whole "email" right here. For those of you playing along at home, Dr. Henson is my major professor, the guy in charge of my thesis. He's also a statistician. Like, that's basically his job, statistics.

----Email start------
Ugh. Dr. Henson is so freakin' critical of my thesis (admittedly his job), but he's not being specific! I just don't know how to give him what he wants! Just when I think I've over-explained something to the point of ridiculousness, he asks me for more detail! And he wants me to be more specific about the data analysis, but I really don't know enough about all that to BE more specific! I was really hoping for his help, here. It's like, he acknowleges that he'll take my data and do his own thing with it later, but in the mean time he wants me to become a statistician and pull variables out of my ass! I mean, I don't even know what I can do with this data, conceptually. His response is basically that if I can't be more specific, then I need to review my coursework or take more courses. But, I made A's in those stats classes. I know enough about statistics to get by, when someone tells you what stats to run! But I have NO IDEA how to figure out which analyses to use on my own. No one teaches you that! It's something you can only learn from experience, and by consulting with people who know more than you (which is what I'm trying to do, last I checked!)

Also, he's going to be completely GONE from July 7th to the end of August, so I can't finish my thesis this summer, it's going to have to be in the fall. The good news is I don't have to pay for summer classes. The bad news is I can't graduate until December, and I think that's about the worst thing that could possibly happen to me right now.

----End of email------

Okay, so maybe it's not the worst thing that could possibly happen to me right now, but it's pretty bad. Like, bad on a scale where dying in a fiery car crash would be better. At least that way I wouldn't have to keep working on this damnable thesis.

I think at this point, I hate my thesis more than I hate laundry, and that's really saying something. Right now, it is the bane of my existence.


The Waiting Game

I had the exam to end all exams yesterday, and I can firmly say that I've sworn off Japanese for at least 3 weeks. I have now officially taken all the Japanese classes that are on offer at UNT. For my next language, I think I'll study German. You're laughing, but I'm serious. There are several reasons for this:

I won't actually need to take classes to learn German. I live with someone who speaks German (and was "German Student of the Year" back in high school!) and already owns all the German textbooks. Plus, there are a lot of websites that will teach you German for free! I like this one by the BBC. As motivation, I like lots of German things, like German beer and pretzels! And then, there's always this little guy!

In my recent wanderings on teh interwebs, I found some cool stuff!

Lolcats is the term for funny (sometimes photoshopped) images of cats (and occassionally other animals) with amusing captions. The captions are, as a rule, misspelled and grammatically incorrect, however, there does seem to be a fascinating structure to this kitty pidgin, as some have pointed out. At any rate, if you're looking for a laugh, Google "lolcat" and browse around! Also, you can try searching for "Caturday" on YouTube, if you're more of a compilations person.
Be warned that some lolcat captions contain language that may be objectionable, if you're sensitive to that kind of thing.

I also found Consumatron.net, which is basically some guy that gives little one-minute rants which are sometimes rather insightful, and usually funny, but not in a laugh-out-loud kind of way.

That's about it! Until next time, I'll be here, waiting...