Thursday, November 30, 2006

She's Not Completely Crazy

You know how there are certain words and phrases in the English language that just need to be retired? My mother is their advocate. She will not let them die.

My mom likes to whip out stellar phrases like, "I bet you dollars to donuts..." The best part is that she uses this phrase when she is trying to make a serious point about something, and she actually expects us to keep a straight face following its delivery.

The number one beneficiary of her ridiculous vocabulary crusade is the word persnickety. She is the only person I have ever heard use this word. With no exception, the only person. In fact, I live under the firm believe that if my mother stopped using this word, it would drop off the face of the Earth never to be heard again. This past weekend my mother dropped the persnickety bomb again, and this time it was in the presence of several other people. Judging by the strange looks and snickers that were exchanged between us after hearing the word, I suspect none of them had ever heard it used before either. This made me wonder if persnickety was even a real word. I knew what it meant and could define it, but only because I had heard my mother use it for so long. I suggested to her that she made it up and she fervently denied it.

I took it upon myself to look it up and check. You're right mom, it is a word. Sorry I doubted you. This in no way suggests that I believe you should continue to use this word, just that you're a little less crazy than originally suspected.

One entry found for persnickety.
Main Entry: per•snick•e•ty
Pronunciation: p&r-'sni-k&-tE
Function: adjective
Etymology: alteration of pernickety
1 a : fussy about small details : FASTIDIOUS b : having the characteristics of a snob
2 : requiring great precision
- per•snick•e•ti•ness /-n&s/ noun

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Group Projects

I shouldn't...I REALLY shouldn't. I promised myself I was going to be less evil...turn over a new leaf...blah blah blah. Last week, however, I was teetering on the edge and someone came up and gave me a giant push right off, so here we go. I've put my other book on hold to write something pertinent and useful to the general public. It's a self help book of sorts. I'd like to share with you chapter one.

Group Projects with Bridget: A Guide to Not Getting Shot
To Ryan, and all of his brilliant inspiring ideas. Thank you for letting me know it's ok to rant now and again.
Chapter One
I’m at a loss as to why professors insist on group projects. I’ve heard rumors that it helps one to learn to work well with others. That’s a nice thought isn’t it? Unfortunately it doesn’t take into account raving idiots, incompetent jokers, and hopelessly unmotivated bums. As I perused through my syllabi at the beginning of the semester, my mind quickly tallied the numerous group projects that were in store for me. Naturally, this sent a chill up my spine and it took every fiber of my being not to curl up into a ball and cry/change majors.

I feel it is important at this time to state that I have a disease which I believe is clinically termed “Over Achiever’s Syndrome.” This condition creates in me an unnecessary desire to dominate any and all school work thrown my way. Clearly this presents issues when working with the less than motivated student, which I find upsetting. The fact that I am psychotic and driven should be an added bonus to group work. Instead, it is a green light for the slackers of the world to flock toward me and immediately cease putting forth whatever minimal effort they had in the past. I realize that I am out of control and that no one should have to work at the insane intensity level I do, but is it too much to ask that people pull their weight to the best of their abilities? Past experience has shown this is indeed too much to ask. Well guess what? I’m done. The Bridget of the past who smiles sweetly when you hand her a multitude of plagiarized pages (which will keep her up all night meticulously back checking your sources and citing them properly) is no more. No longer will she hand in a project which also displays your name when you have done none of the work. Today marks the birth of a new kind of Bridget. This Bridget will no longer mutter meaningless threats on your life in the comfort of her own bedroom or fantasize about blowing a hole through your head, she actually will kill you. If you do not abide by her demands, you will get shot.

Because I am generally opposed to the idea of cold blooded murder, I have provided a list of guidelines to follow so I don’t have to shoot you…execution style…with a crazy smirk on my face and a psychotic gleam in my eye.

1) Be present and on time to all group meetings.
When I say, “Meet at the library at such and such time so we can get this project done,” you will not call me 8 hours later on your way to work after standing me up and leave a message on my phone telling ME that the project is due in two days and that YOU think we should get together and work on it. You’ll have to excuse me, but my schedule is tight and I have not scheduled in “Post Idiot Partner’s Alcohol Consumption Recovery Period Make-up Group Meeting.”

2) Do not try to conceal from me the fact that you can read.
We are seniors in college, I am well aware that you can read. Therefore, when we need to look up information for our paper/project you are expected to actually read the articles yourself and pull from them useful information. Do not send me the articles so that I can do it for you. If you are going to be idiotic enough to do this make sure the sources you send my way are ones that can be used for the project. This will decrease your chance of getting fatally shot by 31.4%.

3) Follow my outline.
I know what I’m doing. If I provide you with an outline which spells out exactly what you are to do in order to succeed, follow it. For those of you who I feel are particularly unmotivated I tend to make the outline so extensive that the only thing you have to do is add conjunction words. Do not disregard my suggestions and write three pages of incoherent babble which has no factual basis. I will not use it. I will hold down the delete button for 30 seconds and watch it all disappear before my eyes. I will then stay up an extra three hours doing the research you should have done and write your section for you. This will make me irate and the next time I see you there will be a gun in my hand, and a bullet (or five) with your name on it.

4) B.S. and Research Papers/Projects Do Not Mix
Contrary to popular belief, “Research” is not code for B.S. When a professor asks you to write a research paper he/she actually expects you to look up information. The hints I throw at you for weeks about going to the library and getting some credible sources are not some crazy side effect of the anti-kill-your-partner meds I am on. Therefore, when you hand me your half of the research paper and I ask you, “Where are your sources?” do not look at me without a hint of alarm and reply, “I didn’t really think I needed to use sources. I just kind of B.S’ed it.” Based on our previous conversations regarding the project (in which I continually have to correct you and remind you exactly what the project is about), I am aware of the fact that you know nothing about the topic, and so have no business pretending you do.

5) When the rubric indicates the need to cite your sources, do it…and correctly.
Remember that there are two parts to citing sources. The in-text citation and the actual source being cited, which goes on the reference page. Do not send me your portion of the paper the day it is due with in-text citations (which are not done correctly in the first place) and no sources to place on the actual reference page. Believe it or not there is more than one resource which (Smith, 1999) may indicate and I cannot write up the reference for you based on a commonly used last name and a date. Actions like this increase your chance of being shot by 99.7%. In fact, I’d prefer you didn’t cite your sources at all over this method. I realize that suggesting you use something like a writing guide which tells you step by step how to cite your sources is incredibly inconsiderate of me, and so all I ask is that you plug the information into The Citation Machine. At least then the corrections I need to make in the wee hours of the morning are minimal.

6) Be upfront about your issues.
If you are a raging idiot, I will find out sooner or later. It is best to just tell me right off the bat. I can work with you. I can help you. Do not wait until the project is due to tell me that you weren’t able to find any information or that you didn’t know how to do something. I need more time than that.

7) Choose your words wisely.
When I walk into class the day the project is due after staying up all night compensating for your incompetence and it looks as though I have been hit by a train and haven’t slept in weeks, choose your words wisely. At this point a coin is flipping in my head about whether or not I kill you or just maim you. Looking at me and saying in a disgusted manner, “You look rough,” will cause the coin to suddenly drop to the ground heads up. This does not bode well for you.

8) Compensate.
If extenuating circumstances (the sudden realization that not using your brain for the first 21 years of your life has brought about irreversible atrophy) cause you to not hold up your end of the project, then offset this offense with presents. I like pizza, chocolate, Border’s gift cards, money, ice cream, and expensive electronics.

9) Do not make light of your lack of involvement.
When you are contributing in no way to the project do not pretend that everything is cool between you and me. Do not try to carry on conversations about the weather or nudge me in the arm as you tell a funny joke. This physical contact might be mistaken for assault by my already hostile mind and I will respond with self defense (putting a bullet in your head). Instead, refer to number 8.

10) Become well acquainted with the bottom line.
Bottom line: I don’t hand in shitty work. If my name is on something, it will reflect the quality I am capable of producing. If you hand me what I deem “useless crap” I will not shrug my shoulders and hand it in anyways. I will fix it. It will take me hours. I will hate you. I will shoot you.

*By the way, if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, is she talking about me?’ Yes. Yes I am. Wipe that shocked, hurt look off your face. You’re welcome for the A.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Warning: May Cause Craziness

When I signed up to take Organic Chemistry I was told it would be hard. I was told I might not pass. I was told I would hate it. All of these things I expected. However, no one ever told me it would make me crazy...ok fine...more crazy.

Let me paint a picture for you.

It's a cold November morning. You find yourself in a room full of six of your closest friends. Their attitude is light and fun. They are busily at work putting up Christmas decorations and humming along to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. Where are you? In the corner, leaning over a text book, and rocking back and forth muttering to yourself. You are there for three hours and the only person you have a conversation with is yourself, and it's not at all uplifting.

The only thing keeping me from a padded room and a straight jacket at this point is my lack of access to sharp objects.

Please let me pass.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wedding Lesson 1

My sister's wedding was actually very educational for me, and in addition to gaining a new brother-in-law, I also came away with some valuable life lessons. The first of which was taught to me by my very own new brother-in-law, Tom.

**It is important at this moment to state that now that Aimee and Tom are married, and Tom is officially part of our family, I will no longer be restraining myself. He shall be treated just as I treat my own brother and we all know that I'm not particularly nice to Johnny.

Although Tom's lesson doesn't apply to me as a woman, it is important for all you men out there, and I feel it is my duty to share this new found knowledge:

Do NOT, under any circumstance, leave your new bride at the church post wedding. This kind of action is highly frowned upon and causes a happy bride to turn into an angry bride who may consider chopping of your "hoo hoo" in the middle of the night (thanks Cat for that nice term).

It is understood that there is time to kill between the wedding ceremony and the reception, but when considering what to do with this extra time, the bride should be factored into the equation. When the ushers say to you, "Hey let's grab a quick drink at the bar," it is your duty to first collect your bride and then head over to the bar. It is not appropriate to get to the bar first and then request that your bride join you there. This is especially important when you make the decision to walk to the bar, and also require that she make the trek on foot. You are wearing a tux and shoes that do not hoist you an extra 3 inches off of the ground. She is wrapped in 50 lbs of fabric that poofs out to the size of the liberty bell. She is in a white dress with white shoes and does not want to walk 2 blocks to the bar. This causes her to turn on you and compare your actions to the more intelligent decisions of her friends' husbands...this is not a good start. She will say things like, "Michelle, did Mike leave you at the church?" Knowing full well that he did not. She will then continue down the list of all her married bridesmaids determining that you are the only idiot to commit such a crime. This is especially dangerous with a bridal party of 7.

Foresight is also recommended in these situations. You must consider the fact that a wedding dress does not allow for storage of any kind. Chances are your beautiful, and now hostile wife will not be carrying her ID with her. Therefore, when she arrives to the bar after having to walk several blocks in 30 degree weather, she is just going to become angrier when denied alcohol. Once it is established that she is ID-less, do not order her a pepsi and then proceed to have a shot with her little sister...even if this said little sister is myself, and appeasing her is vital to your future happiness in this family. Instead, you should leap up from your bar stool, sprint back to the church, go get the car, pick her up, obtain her ID, and take her somewhere nice where she can get a strawberry margarita.

Lesson learned.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You WILL Smile Pretty

I went home last weekend for my older sister's wedding. I was in the door all of 10 minutes when she pulled me aside and said, "You WILL smile pretty on Saturday." I stared back at her contemplating this command.

Am I capable of such a thing? Past experience has suggested not, but perhaps for Aimee's big day I could whip out a secretly hidden Miss America smile. Probably not. Is it wrong to have my mouth agape and my eyes shining wildly for the wedding photos? I probably shouldn't stick out my tongue either. There goes my two most popular signature poses. This is ridiculous. I bet Zoolander was never asked to not pucker up his lips or refrain from his famous magnum expression.

"Sure, no problem," I replied.

This was the beginning of a very anti-Bridget weekend.

There was jewelry, there were dresses, there was makeup, and yes there were even pretty smiles! I went the entire day without a watch! This is unheard of. I ALWAYS wear a watch. In fact, I have a permanent watch tan, and the skin around my wrist has been worn into a watch band scar. Unfortunately, I didn't feel my black stopwatch would be very pretty clunking around my wrist, and I don't own sophisticated time I went watchless. I ate vegetables! Two nights in a row! I didn't wear my glasses (don't worry I put in contacts, I felt vision was crucial for this day). I had my flippin nails painted! I even allowed a curling iron and 7 lbs of hair spray to be used on my head. The end result of all of this was a woman I like to refer to as Lady Bridget.

And so, without further adieu...Lady Bridget.

She is well behaved. She wears high heels and doesn't fall on her face. She is pleasant and engaging. She gives toasts and catches bouqets. She smiles pretty when asked and she would never be caught mouth agape, or heaven forbid, with food hanging out.

She is a figment of your imagination...

Consider this chapter one in a series of wedding posts...more to come.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pizza Post

My sister's wedding is this SATURDAY! Oh my goodness that snuck up on me.

Unfortunately, I can't come home. It would be too shameful. There's something I promised someone I would do, and I never came through. How can I come home now? How can I show my face?

Oh wait...why don't I just do what I said I would. Yeah! That sounds great. Yes, I am carrying on a conversation with's hereditary.

And so a long overdue tribute to the greatest pizza chef I know...

Everyone has their hobbies. Some people like to collect stamps. Others enjoy a good day of shopping. My friend Auna loves to go fishing. Some of my less sane friends really enjoy running. My hobbies revolve around the consumption of food. More specifically, pizza.

Pizza and I go back. Way back. I have been ingesting that wonderful cheesy substance since I was just a chunk of a baby. As I child growing up in a family of 7, pizza became a staple because it fed a lot of mouths quickly and cheaply. And why not pizza? Think about how many food groups it covers. It could be it's own food guide pyramid. Seriously. You get dairy, grains, meat (if you're more bold than I am and actually put some on), fruits AND vegetables (simply because the tomato is such an undecisive plant...fruit posing as a vegetable).

I've had just about every type of pizza imagineable. Chicago pizza...oh how I love you Gino's East. New York're good, but no deep dish. Yooper thanks, cardboard crusts are not cool. I try to be versatile and try new pizza places all the time, and so I consider myself well rounded in the pizza world. When asked which is my favorite, well I have to just say there is no pizza in the world that can surpass the deep dished goodness which is Gino's East...EXCEPT Aunt Dee Dee's.

I can't describe it. It is the single greatest pizza in the world. I love every bit of it. The crust, the sauce, and the perfectly melted cheese. It is the most perfect pizza. I can eat an entire one all by myself and still be hungry for more. Let's face it, it's just irritating to be eating a good pizza that fills you up quickly. How inconsiderate of the chef to create such a treat that cuts you off after a few slices due to the unshakeable feeling of, "Oh no, my stomach is going to explode, which might cause a scene." It is not so with Dee Dee's pizza.

I think even more than it's fantastic taste, my love for this pizza goes with the memories I associate with it. Aunt Dee Dee has been making me pizzas since I was just a gangly kid who still believed frozen pizzas were acceptable (that was a dark time). Our families used to gather once a week to have dinner together and every other week Aunt Dee Dee would make her pizza. She'd be running around like crazy pulling them out of the oven and then shoving one in right after it to keep up with my bottomless pit of a stomach, and the ravaging hunger of my four other siblings and her own four sons. I just remember thinking, "Wow, she must really love us." Even now when I head home to visit, she'll go out of her way to make it for me when I ask. How cool is that? What a great way to get my pizza fix and be reminded of the wonderful selfless people I am blessed to have in my life.

Thanks for the 1000's of pizzas you've made on my behalf. It's awesome for me to come back to school with the overwhelming feeling of, "My Aunt Dee Dee loves me a whole 3 large cheese pizzas worth!"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Miss Dashwood

Today what I've suspected all along has been confirmed, I am soooooooooo Elinor Dashwood.

I realize this will not make sense to most everyone, but guess who doesn't care...

Sense and Sensibility?

Jane Austen?

You guys are hopeless.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

HOLY CATS WHAT HAPPENED?! It's November 1st! I forgot to get a pumpkin and carve it. Halloween has come and gone. This is a tragedy. I ALWAYS carve a pumpkin. Stupid Organic Chemistry! I would have never forgotten to carve a pumpkin if it weren't for you! I'll have to wait a whole year before the opportunity presents itself again. NO! It will not do!

Lucky for me I made an important discovery yesterday. A certain someone, whom shall remain nameless to save him the embarrassment, has not carved a pumpkin in YEARS! Naturally, I declared a state of emergency and pumpkins shall be carved this Friday night. Yes it will be November 3rd, yes most people's pumpkins are smashed all over the street in front of their residence at that point, and yes whatever pumpkins I purchase will probably be half rotted out. That's beside the point. Focus people, someone's lost childhood is at stake here, and my annual artistic outlet has almost passed me by.

Apparently, my wonderful idea of reintroducing my friend into the world of pumpkin carving isn't testimony enough to my own greatness in the art because my talent has been called into question. Our little novice here thinks he can out carve me. The nerve of some people. I'll post some pictures and you can decide.

P.S. Thanks Ogre for providing the venue.