Friday, April 15, 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship

I have a cell phone. Not unlike most people these days. I didn't get my first cell phone until I was a freshman in high school. So I was about 14. I had been bugging my parents for one, because "everyone" was getting a cell phone. "All of my friends" had them, so naturally I needed one too.

I didn't get my phone until midway through the first semester. I didn't do much with my life other than go to school and come home, so my parents generally knew where I was at all times, and didn't really have to worry about needing to call and check in on me. A phone was not a necessity for me. Until one day...

Fate smiled upon me. I had been cast in the musical at school. The Sound of Music. I was one of about 50 nuns. Point being, I had rehearsals. Sometimes I wasn't sure what time I would be done, and since I couldn't drive yet, my mom was my primary means of transportation. Rehearsal days, she would let me take her cell phone to school so that I could call her when I was finished.

One day, I called her to tell her I was done, and when she came to pick me up, she said to me, "Joanna, we have to get you a cell phone." I couldn't believe my ears, or my luck. My mom had just uttered a magical phrase. I was elated. Practically radiating joy. So much so that, at first, I didn't notice the look of lingering horror on her face.







She then proceeded to relay to me a tale of terror that made my skin crawl.

Apparently while I was rehearsing with the other nuns, my mom had to make a trip to the grocery store for my grandma. While she was out, she realized she needed to call her to ask about some items on the list. Unfortunately for her, I had her cell phone. To make her call, she had to use a pay phone.

She proceeded to describe to me an object of terror. As I've stated before, I have a problem with germs, so anything that looks germy creates an instant anxiety response in me. As my mom is telling me her story, she's explaining the pay phone. But it wasn't any old pay phone.


It was dirty. And gross.



Disgustingly, terrifyingly filthy.



It was so filthy that my mom was disgusted enough to tell my dad that I needed a cell phone so she would never again have to use such an abomination again. I have to admit, even though the thought of such a disgusting phone creeped me out, I did chuckle a little at how horrified my mom was by the situation.



Laughter at my mom's expense aside, I did get my first cell phone shortly after this experience. It was a super lame flip phone with an obnoxious green backlit screen. No texting capabilities or anything. I was ordered only to use it to call my parents when the need arose. 

Nowadays, I'm sporting an ENV2, which I suppose is getting pretty outdated already by today's standards. Mostly though, I've found this phone to be fairly reliable. Plus, it has a full keyboard, so I can text like my life depends on it. I text way more than I make actual phone calls. In recent months however, I've been noticing a troubling occurrence. Sometimes I pick up my phone to check the time or something and find...it's turned off. I never hear it power down, the battery isn't dead, it's just...off.






This annoys me. I depend on my phone for many things: the time, basic communication skills, and serving as my alarm clock, just to name a few. So finding out that my phone likes to periodically shut itself off is not a comforting thing.

Even more recently, my phone has apparently decided to step up its game. Three times now in the past couple of months, I've gone to check my phone, found it off, tried to turn it on and received this message: "Use genuine battery. Powering off." It then proceeds to count down from ten and completely shut itself off again. It's as though my phone enjoys making a mockery of me. Or it's just evil. Either explanation makes perfect sense to me.



No matter what the cause, it's a problem. I've done nothing to cause any physical damage to my phone, so my best (serious, rational) guess is that the battery is just on its last legs. I've had the phone a few years, so it's not too ridiculous to imagine that the battery might be waving the white flag of surrender.

The first time it happened, I went to the best source I could think of, Google, and looked up the problem. The solution I found over and over was to rub the connectors on the battery with nail polish remover. Seemed like a bad idea, but being desperate, I tried it anyway. Miraculously, it worked like a charm. Naturally, the second time it happened, I once again resorted to the nail polish remover trick.

By the third time, I knew what to do. I busted out the nail polish remover, swabbed the connectors, and...nothing. It didn't work at all. Distraught, I tried it again and again. When I was still met with resistance, I resorted to the next most popular solution the internet could provide me with: sticking the battery in the freezer for an hour. Again, seemed kind of like a bad idea, but I gave it a shot anyway.

Perhaps by divine intervention, that worked too. Maybe it taught my phone that I mean business. Who knows? But, between you and me (don't tell my phone), I'm seriously considering a new phone. Ever since the iPhone came to Verizon, I've been wanting one. For now, I just have to hope my phone has learned its lesson.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My ABCs

So I'm feeling lethargic tonight. It's about 80 degrees outside, and my bedroom feels like it's hit the boiling point. Unusual for me to be so uncomfortably hot, as I've already said I think I need to live someplace warmer. Anyway, since I'm slowly roasting alive from the inside out, I don't have the brain capacity for too much actual thought tonight. That being the case, I stole this fun little ABC thing from Kristen, because I thought it was pretty nifty, and because sometimes, self-disclosure is a good thing. Even if it is just disclosure of mostly useless information.

Age: 22 as of 10 days ago! Whoo!
Bed Size: Twin.
Chore you hate: Dishes and changing my sheets. Freaking loft bed...
Dogs:  Irish Terrier named Maggie. Here she is. :)


Essential start of your day: Hitting the snooze at least twice.
Favorite Color: I like maroon a lot. Also cerulean.

Ooh...soothing.

Gold or silver:  Silver.
Height: 5'6"
Instruments I play (or have played): A tiny bit of guitar. I also took a piano class sophomore year. I would LOVE to play violin. Strings have my heart. I'd like to marry a violinist. Haha.
Job Title: Student. But only for two more weeks!
Kids: Nope. Someday I'd like some though.
Live: Michigan.
Mom's Name: Sally.
Nickname:  Jo, Joan, Jona, Jovis.
Overnight hospital stays: Two. Not fun.
Pet Peeve: When people move/use my things without asking.
Quote from a movie: "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy." - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Right or left handed: Right
Siblings: One younger sister, Laura.


Time you wake up: Depends on the day. MWF it's 7, TuTh it's 9. Weekends...no alarm. :)
Underwear: I don't wear underwear. I'm kidding. They're maroon today.
Vegetables you dislike: Not a fan of asparagus.
What makes you run late: I'm not generally late.
X-rays you've had done: Dental x-rays and several chest x-rays. Hooray for numerous pneumonia scares.
Yummy food you make: I can make some good cookies. Also cake. And I've made a couple pretty tasty chicken dishes.
Zoo animal: I love tigers. So cool. And kangaroos. I want one.

There you have it. Some stuff about me. Anything else you're dying to know? Leave a question and I just might answer. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apparently I've Got Life Figured Out (???)

I don't know when this happened. I swear, yesterday I was six years old. Now suddenly I'm 22 and I'm graduating from college in 16 days. Uh...what? Seriously, I don't know how this happened.

Preparing to graduate from college is even worse than graduating from high school. When you're a senior in high school, you constantly get bombarded with "So where are you going to college?" or "What are you planning to study?" When you're a senior in college it's "So what are you going to do in the real world?" and "Got any jobs lined up?" and maybe even "So what are you doing with your life?" Four years of college means I have an answer to these questions? It takes a lot of effort not to respond with just this face:


I generally have an answer, but I've come to a point where I'm almost afraid to give it. It's probably just me, my neuroses, and my tendency to be far too hard on myself, but even though I'm feeling good about my life plans, I sometimes feel like people won't like my answer.

Coming into college, I knew already that I wanted to be a psychology major. So for four years, I was telling people without hesitation that once I graduated, I would be going to graduate school for a PhD, because that's what you do when you're a psych major. Otherwise you're not really qualified to do much more than smile politely when friends, family, acquaintances, and maybe even complete strangers come up to you and say "Wow, you're a psych major? I've got this friend...let me tell you about them..." and then rattle off a long list of "symptoms." Inevitably they will then say, with great concern, "so do you think my friend is a psychopath? Should I be worried?"


Though I'm not a licensed practitioner, to any of you who may now have a friend in mind and want an answer to that psychopath question: No. Your friend is most likely not a psychopath. Psychopathy isn't really even a diagnosis. Antisocial Personality Disorder is, but I don't really want to get into the whole medical students' disease thing again.

Anyway, due to something like a midlife crisis (or two or three) this year, I'm no longer planning on a PhD in psychology. I'm now planning on going into Occupational Therapy. This is not where I feel people may not like my plans. That comes in when I have to explain that I'm taking a year more or less off before I continue on.

There is a reason for this. Because I am a psych major, I had enough lab based classes that I was not required to take biology or anatomy at my school. Unfortunately, the program I really want to get into for OT requires both of those classes. So I'll have to take those, plus two other introductory OT courses before I can be in the program. Additionally, they only accept in the fall term, so even though I could take the classes this summer and be done with it, I'll have to wait until the next fall term, because I missed the application deadline this year. You know...because I was in the middle of a mental breakdown and couldn't decide what to do with my life.


I feel like this answer may be disappointing to some people, because I have this idea in my head that to many people "a year off" means "I'm never going back to school and I won't be doing anything further with my life." Especially when my original plan was a PhD. Like I said before, it's probably just my neuroticism kicking in, but it's a tough thought to shake. I'm trying, but it's proving quite difficult. I just do my best to explain enough that I really sound like I have a plan. Adults like plans. And they like to see that us young adults have plans too.

I really just can't believe that I'm graduating. I feel like I've been in college forever, but like I just got here yesterday. It's a weird phenomenon. It's freaking me out. It's especially weird to know that my cap and gown are sitting on my desk right now. Staring at me. If they don't quit, I might have another nervous breakdown before I even get to wear the darn things. And that would just be disappointing. I mean really, who doesn't want to wear a shapeless sack of a gown and a square on top of their head?