Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A guide to the almighty immaculate Customer

I am a cashier.  I am nothing more, and nothing less; I stand behind a screen at a cash register, I scan your groceries, I bag your groceries, and I take your money.  Because I've been working so much lately I've come to realize that I do in fact enjoy my job, to an extent - meaning that I've come to know myself as functioning better with explicit instruction and straightforward responsibility.  I certainly do not mean that I enjoy dealing with customers for long amounts of time, and the position itself is absolutely monotonous.  I'm lucky that I like the people I work with.

You might think to yourself that I am a good fit for a customer service job, and you would be wrong.  Yes, I can quickly switch on the smile and be so obnoxiously polite that it's nauseating, but so help me god I have to stop myself from yelling and swearing at some people.  Not that I have an anger issue - I suppose that actually might depend on who you talk to because I can think of at least a few people who would swear that I'm a raving aggressive psychopath - but I definitely do have a short fuse and it takes me little to piss me off completely.  I used to joke that I would never be suited to deal with people, and my parents and friends did agree, and yet regardless of my short fuse the switched-on smile came out during my job interview three years ago and I now find myself a bright ambassador of that above-and-beyond customer service my store guarantees during your visit.  Why, yes! - not only do I scan, but I smile.  Are you having a good day?  No?  Then smarten the fuck up because I'm personable, happy, and when I tell you to have a nice day when I'm done with you, do it.

From working as a cashier for so long, I've noticed trends in the sort of people who come through from day to day.  Again, due to my sudden influx of working hours (no complaints, the paychecks are gorgeous), I've only come to recently define these customers as the stereotypes of my day, and I'm sure if you've ever had a job similar or currently do, you will agree with me.

The Asian woman who doesn't speak English.  I do not mean to completely generalize, but I often get a handful of middle-aged to elderly Asian women who jab their fingers at me or their groceries and throw their change onto the conveyor belt out of reach from my large and uncoordinated fingers.  Nothing against them whatsoever - why, some are rather sweet.

The single man.  A staple of the lunch or dinner rush, either in a suit (clearly coming from work) or in some sort of activewear (clearly coming from whatever was so active about their life), the single men that come through seem to have this aura of being completely out of place from their grocery store surroundings.  They don't care how much it is, they don't care how I bag their groceries or if I even bag them at all; they want out.

The sweet elderly woman, man, or couple.  Nothing puts me in a better mood than the sickeningly sweet elderly person or people who brighten my day with a compliment or their general positive demeanor.  Meanwhile, the horrific elderly woman, man, or couple are the worst, because nothing beats a mean old person.  I've had a woman yell at me for not bagging her groceries properly, or old men treat me like I have caveman intelligence.  I dislike them, but then I remember they're old, so I feel bad.

The mumbler.  "Hi, how are you?" "mmmhmmpfhhmm."  If you are obviously mumbling, or if you don't answer or even attempt to acknowledge me whatsoever, I will probably by default not treat you with the same kindness as I do anyone else.  I try my best to be nice to the cashiers I encounter when I'm a customer, and I see absolutely no reason to mumble or be rude about a simple "I'm good, thank you;" in fact, I don't even understand why people in bad moods choose to go shopping anyways.  Stay at home and brood, you black hole.

The children who shouldn't be unaccompanied and often cannot count change.  I don't really like having really young kids as customers, and that sentence is horrific if you were to take it out of context.  What I mean is you usually get the kids who come through with handfuls of chocolate bars and coins that they haven't yet bothered to total.  I never quite know how to interact with these kids, because they act like I'm a scary yeti.

The bystander.  I understand that to bag one's groceries is part of my job, but I always appreciate the courtesy of help, especially if customers are extremely particular about how their groceries are packed - that being said they don't have to help me at all.  But if I have a line, and if the order is massive, it pisses me off to no end to see someone stand with their arms crossed watching me as I rush as fast as I can to complete their order.

The "that's-too-much!" complainer.  If you are aware that this particular grocery store in general does have higher prices, and that create your own salads are done by weight, do not get angry at me when your bloody salad comes to be over twenty dollars.  (by the way - I hate having serve yourself foods left to me because of the price being too much, because we can't do anything but chuck it)

And, the most frequent, the nice woman, who is, really, just a nice woman (with or without kids) who engages conversation and carries a positive disposition.  Take heed, and be that nice woman.

I've hardly begun to account for every sort of person I encounter: some are overly concerned with price, watching the screen like a hawk and refusing to forgive should I make a minor mistake; some are oblivious, leaving their keys and cards behind; some critique my packing skills and make and later blatantly repacks their groceries the second after I hand them the bag.  The joys of customer service.  I almost crave that mundane desk job if it means I'm to myself all day long.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attack of the squirrels

The property that my house is on seems to be prime real estate for squirrels - not that it's big or even far away from anything industrial considering we live on a fairly busy and active street.  Needless to say we've had bad luck with squirrels.

Years ago my dad had to string up wires over top of the pool to hang down shiny ribbons to distract birds flying and squirrels from jumping down from trees into the pool - trust me, as ludicrous as that sounds, it happened - but nevertheless we have had the occasional aquatic daredevil paddling around.  Apparently, squirrels love above-ground pools.  So much so they'd die for it.

Last year, my parents took a multi-week vacation to Europe, and because I'm still jealous of where they went and what they got to see as my sister and I starved ourselves alone, I won't say anything more about their trip.  Anyways, my sister and I were indeed left alone to fend for ourselves, cook meals, find the willpower to force ourselves to go to school or work at a time where the disappointing eye of a parent upon a skipping delinquent child.  One unfortunate morning (I have a feeling like I was hungover, too), my sister, her friend and I found a dead squirrel floating in its watery above-ground grave.  Given that the jets in the pool make a constant clockwise current, this dead squirrel made its slow rotation around and around, making my stomach turn every time it floated in front of us on the deck.  We have no idea how this squirrel got there - it's sad, actually - but I couldn't bring myself to remove this dead thing from the pool.  I tried; we used the pool net, but I felt almost nauseous when I felt the dead weight in the mesh net and couldn't do it.  My sister and I being the gracious guests that we are, we made her friend do it.  Out from the pool, straight to a garbage bag - what were we supposed to do? - and they drove it to the park up the road to dispose of it.  As I type it now, that just sounds wrong.

What made things more disturbingly disgusting was, when my sister and her friend had a baseball game that night in the same park, they went to the garbage bins and had a vigil for the departed animal.  Sick.

Last week, as I lay in my hungover stupor, I started the HBO comedy Veep which I find to be hilarious.  As I was uncomfortably horizontal in the living room couch, I heard a loud noise against the window by my head which startled me and my headache.  I looked to find a squirrel on the window ledge, looking directly at me - but not at me, but into my goddamn soul, my goddamn soul.  I hit on the window a few times until it disappeared, but it was then that I saw it had scratched a hole through the window screen.  Minutes later I heard more thrashing outside, and I alerted my mom who said I was hallucinating a squirrel attack.  I took it as nothing.

This past week I was informed by my parents when I got home from work that a family of squirrels had made a nest (do squirrels make nests?) somewhere on the property as the amount of squirrels fucking around was staggering.  After some time my dad found it, and I can barely explain where exactly it is, except for it's by the corner of the roof so they'd dug through the.. house? and into where our attic is.  Either way, it's directly outside of my parents' bedroom window, so my dad got on the roof outside of these windows and blocked the hole up from the squirrels with something I don't know the name of.

What ensued was a chaotic melee of squirrels all over the place.  From the windows we witnessed a squirrel, now a pair of squirrels, now a pair of different squirrels all running around.  Singular squirrels stood on the roof, upset, and I got similarly upset when my mom goes "oh, it's the babies, and they're confused without their mother!"  I need to say that I get emotional about animals.  I don't give a hell about how lame that sentence is, and I'm certainly not a bleeding heart animal lover.  But the moment that I think of animals having emotions, or families, I get upset.  To think that baby squirrels were panicked without their mother made me depressed, and I get upset thinking about it now.  For the few days after we still saw various squirrels running around, so something was up.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to my dad scraping something on the roof.  Turns out he was reopening the blockage he had made to investigate, and as he worked, he was getting attacked by malicious squirrels from the exterior.  (my mom, meanwhile, hung out of the bedroom window with a broom hitting them away) My dad tore through the blockage and out rushed three squirrels who were trapped in the house - and that would explain the high frequency of squirrels on the property, who were still scurrying around trying to find a way back into the attic to free their trapped family.  (see, again, I get upset thinking that those three squirrels may have been trapped away from their mother) Apparently - and, again, I missed this - the third squirrel jumped out and actually attacked my dad, but he recounted this story while piss drunk last night.

And so, the squirrel saga has closed.  For now.

The only explanation is that my house is on an old Indian squirrel burial ground.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Complaining again, goddamnit

[my last installment of complains was very well received, and given that I'm constantly upset with everything, my complaining for the sake of complaining is anything but over.  I've barely even scratched the surface, in fact.  I'm scared for myself, because I can totally picture me being a Clint Eastwood type of elderly man in the distant future yelling at the wind and chasing the kids on my lawn away with a hose, or if their use is entirely legalized and I somehow come to possess one, my shotgun]

I forced myself to buy pizza again from my store on lunch, and for precautions, I let it cool down for twenty minutes before I ate it as to save the skin on the roof of my mouth.  Is it skin, really?  My complaint now is that the pizza was crap.

Misfortune accompanied me to my shift this morning as when I lifted something at work I heard a massive tear and what do you know, I'd ripped my pants.  I'll neglect to say where, but you can imagine that if I were promiscuous, my customers could have been treated to a lil sumthin else with their checkout should I move my leg.  That is a slutty and repulsive sentence, but I think you get the picture.  Regardless, my embarrassment shot through the roof, and I stole away to call my mom, panicked, as I begged her to somehow produce a new pair of black pants that I may wear for the remainder of the shift.  An eternity later and I had a replacement pair.

My work shoes still suck, and this eight hour shift brought about ridiculously late breaks.  The thing is, I like when breaks are late, because if it means slaving away for a few more minutes now, I know that there'll be less to do when I return.  It was a bit of a stretch, though, to have my last break at 3:30 only to return for fifteen minutes before I was relieved and ended my shift.  Visit me at the time and I'll cry out for you to cut off my feet in mercy.

That HBO show Girls is confusing me.  I've decided to watch both Girls and Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as they air back-to-back after Game of Thrones (and, soon enough, True Blood - and now I'll complain that Game of Thrones is over soon and I'm pretty sure that my favourite character will not survive; preparing for a silent vigil for Robb, I feel like he's a dead man), and I've heard good things about both.  Girls, though.. I just don't know.  It's very well written, and Lena Dunham is obviously talented - creator, writer, star, director, producer - but at times I'm completely uninterested in the mundane yet blatantly-hipster things going on on the television.  The other thing is is that it's just a little bit unattractive; I understand Ms Dunham is comfortable with her obvious out-of-shape physique, and I understand that the purpose of the show is to encapsulate this reality, but it's just ugly sometimes.  Marnie's not.

It's too goddamn hot.  I woke up this morning so drenched I might've just jumped out of the shower or the pool.  The leather couch I am sitting on currently is sticking to my arms and back as if it just can't quit me, and I hate this goddamn couch.  My family hasn't yet turned on the air conditioner.

Kristen Wiig's last episode of Saturday Night Live aired on Saturday, and jesus, I'm sad.  I woke up Sunday morning still as drunk as I was as I went to bed at night, so I think that contributed to my absolute bawling as the entire cast and Lorne Michaels gave her a goodbye.

I can't believe Fifty Shades of Grey has been published, and I haven't been.

There's this motherfucker of a bird who lives directly outside of my bedroom window and as my parents have yet to turn on the AC and give me sweet, sweet salvation from Burlington's current phase as being a rebellious sauna, my windows are wide open all night long.  It's bad enough that at my angle on my bed a street light shines directly into my room, but this bastard of a bird chirps like it owns the whole world at five in the morning.

This leather couch is attempting to fuse itself to me to make sure I never leave it.. I'm certain.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Complaining because I can

On Saturday, being the genius that I am, I threw a piece of scalding hot pizza into my mouth while on lunch at work because it was burning my fingers.  Naturally, the suitable alternative was in my mouth, and since I was still around customers I couldn't spit it back into my hand without tarnishing the sanctity of the store.  It was a little bit hot.  Amidst my pooling tears I ate the slice of pizza I bought for myself anyways because even though its brethren pained me so, I was hungry.  The pizza wasn't good because I don't think the pizza my store makes isn't very good, and the fact that as I ate I also ate peeling skin from the roof of my mouth as well as blood, it wasn't a pleasant experience.  It's still not healed at all, so eating is an absolute task.

Regardless, I ate popcorn on Saturday night - recall, genius - and it was like eating barbed wire.

A few hours ago I accompanied my mom on errands, including a stop for a prescription as well as comfortable insoles for my very uncomfortable work shoes.  Because we could, we asked the pharmacist if anything could be bought to soothe the bad burns I have on the roof of my mouth, and he said, "don't eat hot food anymore."  Snark aside, he suggested I put margarine on the burns, so as an idiot I stood in my kitchen stuffing margarine into my mouth as my mom yelled at me for being feral.

I have very uncomfortable work shoes.  I don't understand it considering they're as big as you can get, but lord by the end of my work shifts my feet are crying out to me.

I'm appreciative for the amount of hours I've gotten at work, but I'm working on my birthday this Friday.  Complain, complain.  To be honest, I would be doing nothing during the day, so at least I know I'll be early something like eighty bucks to blow the next night anyways.  In addition to working on Friday I look ahead to a wall of doom; that is, eight hour shifts from Thursday until Sunday, and while again I'm smiling at the growth of my bank account, I'm frowning at the obstacle before me.

Also I work on Sunday and I'm planning to get obscenely drunk on Saturday night because you only turn twenty-one once.  Oh and also YOLO.  But Sunday is going to suck.

I love this time of year when show finales are happening, like tonight's Smash which was decent or last night's Once Upon a Time which was euphoric, but I'm upset thinking about the upcoming summer without television to watch, save for my Sunday night fix of obscenities and gratuitously unnecessary sex that HBO offers me in the remainder of Game of Thrones and the return of True Blood.

I just tried eating because I'm really hungry, but the bloody burns on the roof of my mouth are still raging on.  The internet has told me not to eat chips, but my mom bought me salt and vinegar Pringles today, and there's nothing I want more than salt and vinegar Pringles.  Instead I just ate bread, but even that goddamn bread was sharp.  Another live update, I just put more margarine on the burns, but it devolved into me eating a lot of margarine for the sake of it.  Not even food can make me happy in this very moment.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012


(granted, this is a few days late, but who cares, I do what I want)

Captain America, why so tall?
If you haven't seen The Avengers yet, you're probably living under a rock.  Arguably the biggest superhero movie of all time (a title which may be lost come July 20th, but we'll see), how could you not want to see the movie that just racked in 207 million dollars on its first weekend starring a slew of very famous people playing the most badass superheroes you can think of?  Seriously, this movie targets everyone: if you're into women in tight uniforms kicking ass, you have Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow; if you're into men with bulging muscles, you've got literally everyone else in the cast; and if you have a fetish for big green monster men, you're in luck.

Clearly, I love superhero movies.  I've voiced my love for them before and I'll do it again; stemming from watching the Saturday morning cartoons of X-Men and Batman as a kid, I've always been fascinated with the idea of superpowers and, of course as a result, the battle of the good versus the evil.  The X-Men will always be my favourite, probably because whatever sort of superhuman power you can dream of, there's a mutant in that universe that can do it.  I guess that makes me lean more toward the flashy cartoon-like action that something like X-Men has: loud, extravagant, borderline ridiculous, what with those horrifyingly bright yellow and blue costumes they wore in the 90s cartoon or the fact that a bloody alien god possesses someone, for instance.  It doesn't hurt the movies have been left to very good hands, and I don't even need to get into how excited I am for the First Class sequel.  (worth mentioning: Batman's an obvious love of mine too, Batman is just too cool; Spider-Man is okay, and I hate Superman)

It might be crazy talk for me to say, but I was initially uninterested in The Avengers.  Of the individual hero movies serving as precursors to the kinda-sequel kinda-spinoff, I've only seen half: Thor, most recently, which I started off despising but loved by the end - really smart and funny; aside from that, only the two Iron Man movies, which, again, held none of my interest whatsoever until I was made to see the first in theaters and was blown away by how actually good it was.  And that's it.  I haven't seen any Hulk movies - not that it matters, though; I know the character, and given another change to the titular role, seeing the first two seemed of little importance to me - and I didn't bother to see Captain America because, really, he's never interested me at all.  Maybe it's because, I dunno, I'm Canadian, and I'm not really in the mood for American propaganda.  I've heard good things about it though, but again, being that I'm actually a nerd, I know everything about the character and was not lost for a second when seeing Cap join the Avengers Initiative.

I suppose my interest in The Avengers came from the fact that I couldn't actually get away from it.  Trailers were attached to every movie I've seen in theaters since the summer, and they did a good job with piquing my interest at the spectacle they presented.  Like I started off with saying, you must live under a rock if you haven't seen it or at least have no thoughts to see it, so I guess for me I just didn't want to be under that rock with you after seeing so many commercials and hearing so much of the buzz.

It didn't hurt that that 360 shot of the entire team is incredible.

Not that I didn't think I wouldn't enjoy it: I obviously did.  In fact, it was bloody fantastic.  For a movie packing so many characters and so many famous people into its (seemingly slim) two and a half hour running time, it did a good job with stopping itself from being overcrowded - a feat other superhero movies have failed to do completely.  (see: the horrible X-Men: First Class, or Spider-Man 3, because I guess by the second sequel the obvious route of action is "let's throw every single bloody character we haven't yet seen into this and hope for the best;" if there is a god, please don't like The Dark Knight Rises fall into that trap - I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, because from what I know, there's already two villains plus one character whose morality I don't yet know) Every character had their chance to shine, which was nice; various match-ups of showdowns between heroes and villains were at hand, even some between the team members themselves, which kept things interesting.  Never did any character step onto another - even in scenes where everyone was fighting for an opening to say something, Tony Stark's snark was as unmissable as Thor's and Captain America's fish-out-of-water shtick.  And even if the spotlight was on someone else, you'd never miss Scarlett Johannson.

(disclaimer: she was the weakest performance of the main six, not counting the villain.  Still don't know how she was an asset in the grand battle of the film's climax.  "Massive aliens!  Okay, I have my handgun")

Something The Avengers was able to do that most others didn't - yes, even Nolan's Batman trilogy - was make it seem like what was onscreen was literally a moving comic book.  (and I exclude Nolan's movies because they are the complete adverse: total realism, which is astounding in its own right) Plot withstanding, the sequences of action popped as if cartoons.  In a similar sense the stakes were real - New York gets literally obliterated as the final fight, a good half hour of the film, spans the entire city - and threat after threat seemed endless, culminating to one last element I'll leave out because of spoilers.  Finally do we see a formidable villain, Loki, whose danger factor seemed more hyped up than in Thor as, when I was watching, I didn't know how they'd actually be able to foil him.  Loki is just too good.  Thor sequel, hopefully.

What I wasn't expecting was the movie to be so funny.  I suppose I should have, considering Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark is a smart-ass (nice to see Gwenyth Paltrow, too - did I just type those words?) and what made me love Thor so much was the humour about a demi-god finding himself on Earth.  The audience I was in lapped up the jokes as much as I did, and, again, leaving this out because of spoilers, one 'fight' at the end garnered the biggest laugh and is easily the greatest part of the whole movie.

Unfortunately, my viewing experience was probably one of the worst I've had in a movie theater.  You might expect me to say it was a rude audience or something, but you're wrong - I could tell everyone in that audience was as much of a superhero fan as I was, and if it's any indication, the guy to my left was literally and not figuratively sitting on the edge of his seat leaned forward.  No, it was the heat.  I figured it was just because of the volume of people - they had three separate lines happening for three showings in the narrow hall, and it just ended up being a crowd rather than a line - but we were informed that the air conditioner had broken, so by the end of the movie I was literally dripping with sweat.  Massively uncomfortable, but everyone got complimentary movies from it, so I think I'll see Dark Shadows or something I wouldn't actually spend money on with my free pass.

In short, go see The Avengers, and take me with you, because I want to see it again.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This is the end

If you were to define vegetable as you would when describing an incredibly lazy and immobile individual, you might just say "Matt" to get the point across.  My lethargy today has been fueled by starting back at work yesterday, and while it sounds petty, after eight hours my back ached, my legs burned, and my feet, stuffed into brand new shoes which I've found to be tight and without any support whatsoever, killed.  I act like I have the toughest job in the world - I certainly do not - but in comparison to sitting around for a month and not actually doing anything, working was an abrupt shift.  And that brings us to today, where I refuse to get up from the spot I've dug myself in the couch even though I'm hungry, the phone has rung a handful of times, and the remote for the TV is nowhere to be seen.

(worth mentioning: I think I'm glad to be back to work.  I hit a number I never wanted to hit in my bank account back in January, a number I set out to never fall below, and since that failure I've essentially matched everything I spent in first semester to put me way below that sadness number; in that sense knowing I have twenty-two hours this week [as well as promise from my boss/the schedule makers to give me plenty of hours] puts me at ease and hopefully that balance will grow again.  A lot of my coworkers were glad to see me return, and I was similarly glad to meet the new ones, and within seconds my fears about not remembering codes or procedures or being lost in a newly renovated store vanished and I became this scary smiling forcibly upbeat Matt to customers that I hope you'll never meet)

On Wednesday I registered for my last? year of university.  And I say last? because today brought about this newfound fuckery which has made me obscenely stressed out currently, and given that I refuse to move, do anything, or think, I'm fixating on this new wrinkle of my upcoming year.

Here's the basics: I'm majoring in English.  Check.  At my school the English major program involves at least 7.0 credits, at least two at the 300-level (or higher), and it involves five subcategories within as breadth requirements.  Going into my fourth year, I have 5.5, so that left me with picking Contemporary American Literature, a full year course, and something called Literature and Exile which is literally the only thing that fits into my schedule, so I'll suck it up for a semester.  One of my minors, Professional Writing & Communication, is beyond straightforward: one half credit, a 200-level introductory course, then free reign to fill 3.5 credits with higher level writing courses or courses deemed 'writing intensive,' but to get around that I'm just taking five writing courses (I have 1.5 credits already) just to round out the minor.

That leaves my last minor, Cinema Studies, which brings about the worst problems.  I have 1.5 credits left to complete for this, so it might seem like it's easy.  The problems with this minor are as such: firstly, since I've been a part of it, it's been changing every year, with courses and prerequisites and requirements undergoing alterations; second, the minor is a big umbrella over a ton of courses, so there's only a select few that are officially given the CIN- tag - instead, you might take courses like Italian Cinema (officially part of the Italian program), or French, or even Drama as I will be this year, etc; third, of the only seven courses offered this upcoming year that will count towards the minor, three overlap, one isn't offered in English, and one is at a higher level where I don't have prerequisites.  Essentially, I'm fucked.

What I ended up figuring out was I'd take three, all half courses, the only three that don't overlap with one another: a Cinema course, a Drama course called From Stage to Screen (awesome!), and a secondary French Cinema course that builds upon the one I've already taken this year.  I am not exaggerating: these three are the only three that work, both with my schedule and with each other.  Well, looks like French Cinema is now only offered in French.  [insert one big 'eff you' to the French here] Upon this horrible discovery I've sent off an email to the program coordinator asking to be put into the 400-level course which thankfully doesn't overlap with anything else, but my issue is of course I don't have the courses needed to take it.  If I don't get into that class, then I'm royally screwed, and I'll have to return for another semester to obtain the final half credit I'll end up being short.  Fingers crossed this professor takes pity - after all, the course description itself does say permission of instructor will count - but I'm fairly certain the email I wrote was pitiful and therefore I'll be staying away from my email account for a little while.

(I don't know why I get this anxiety about sending emails, but I do, and I always have; I avoid that (1) for as long as I can because I think, for some reason, I'm being yelled at, or judged.  Or targeted for assassination)

This got me thinking about my future.  My plan, for as long as I can remember, was to be completely finished with my undergraduate degree in four years, and recently I've decided I will be continuing onto a graduate program (granted I get in, knock on wood) after that.  To come back for another year to take just one class will absolutely kill me; it'll throw a wrench in my plan, not to mention I'll probably be forever pissed off.  I guess, though, if I end up failing my G test until my license expires, my possible return to school will coincide with my newly stunted driver's license, so I'll just be this massive mesh of delay.  Because I've forced myself to be slightly optimistic, I thought that if I were to have to return, I could switch into the English specialist program (rather than major), which would involve taking three more credits - that would keep me busy, and make my time worthwhile.

To be perfectly honest, when I began writing this I fully intended this post to be some sort of future philosophy about what I could see myself doing with my life in five years: graduate school, maybe further; traveling?; moving out permanently, maybe; and as much as I planned to write about all that, I also figured that I might talk about how excited I actually am to return to school and to have the unmatchable experience of being a residence don and all that, but this new hiccup with my courses, inevitable as it was, has put me in a horrible funk.

At least I'm seeing The Avengers tonight.*

*without a university degree, or a full license.