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‘I’m Sorry, I’m Busy’: A Chaotic Schedule and Added Stress of Those Who Don’t Understand

Published December 13, 2014 by harleyquinnly

I am not writing this blog to sound pretentious or as a ‘look at me! I’m so important because I’m so busy!’ I am writing it because I have been under an immense amount of stress from grad school requirements but additional stress has been added by ‘friends’ that do not understand the work it takes and why I am unavailable for long periods of time. I constantly tell them ‘thank you, but I have to work on my paper’ and send them pictures of the piles of papers/books taking over my house, and yet every time I have a due date, I am bombarded with guilt trip text messages (“you could make time if you wanted to”) or people that flat out refuse to speak to me. I am tired, and tired of it. So here is a look at my typical week’s schedule. This is why I am unavailable and why someday I’ll be called doctor.

(Side note: I am eternally grateful for the wonderful friends I have that understand my schedule, never complain at me, and appreciate when I am able to see them. Thank you.)

This is literally my home office. And I'm normally a super clean person.

This is literally my home office. And I’m normally a super clean person.

I will gladly acknowledge that it is not the easiest to be my friend. I have to check out for weeks at a time when due dates come up. I am not always available for a hangout. Sometimes I have to go months without seeing people. I could remember to check up on people more often. But I do not deserve the added stress just because I am an extremely busy person.

Just one pile of books.

Just one pile of books.

The Schedule

Weekdays: 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Work

Yes, I am a full time student and I have a full time job. I don’t choose to have this life, it was what I was dealt. I am financially unable to only attend school without working and I happen to like food and shelter. I am also unwilling to take out tens of thousands of dollars of student loans I will never be able pay off. There are next to no jobs for history Ph.D.s and those that do exist often do not pay enough to survive on, much less added loan payments. Excuse me for being financially responsible. (I am not throwing shade at those who have students. You do what you have to do. I’m meaning the unnecessary ones).

6 to 7:30 p.m.: Workout then Dinner

The commute home takes me an hour due to traffic, idiocy, and a lack of infrastructure for growing populations. I workout for half an hour (just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be healthy). I make dinner quickly and watch whatever is on tv at the time, usually a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory.”

I love Sheldon. And feel like a villain the more I'm in school.

I love Sheldon. And feel like a villain the more I’m in school.

7:30 to ~11 p.m. Schoolwork

I spend every evening of every single workday working on schoolwork. This month I have large essays due that require a lot of incorporated reading. I literally do not leave my ‘command center’ I’ve set up on my kitchen table every. single. evening. Therefore, I do not have time to do anything else.

My "command center" on my kitchen table. I live here.

My “command center” on my kitchen table. I live here.

Me in my favorite recliner.

Me in my favorite recliner.

My One Free Day

I usually allow myself one evening a week for free time. Think about if you were working from 8 a.m. until ~10 p.m. without a break. What would you feel like doing on your rare break? Sometimes I get free movie tickets and go see a movie with a friend/date. Other times I just want to veg out on my couch with my non-judgmental friend, Netflix. I apologize for not instantly running to you for your social needs. Also, with only one night out a week, I can only see so many people in that limited amount of time.

Weekends

Hey, it’s the weekend so I have all this free time, right? Nope. Because I work during the weekday, weekends are the only time I get to get work done for long spans of time. When I have papers due, these are the days that I write them.

9 to 10 a.m. Breakfast and Wake Up Time

I usually let myself sleep in until 9 a.m. This is catch-up sleep for me. I get up, make my eggs and tea, and relax for an hour on my couch. I am human and need a little relax time interspersed.

10 to 10:30 a.m. Shower

After breakfast, I shower. Unless I have to see something or do something outside my house, I don’t do hair or makeup and stay in yoga pants.

10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. or sometimes until 4 a.m.

I work on schoolwork the entire day, taking about an hour for lunch and dinner. I sometimes stay up until 4 a.m. because I have a due date and it’s okay if I’m completely sleep-deprived at home rather than at work. These are full days working on schoolwork. I understand people don’t get that I have so much of a workload I have to work this long on weekend. I do.

My dinners usually look like this.

My dinners usually look like this.

So, in conclusion, I have taken time out of my study schedule to detail my schedule. Hopefully it inspires further understanding but I’ve done all I can do. This is my life, please understand or at least respect it.

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From Someone Who Likes Valentine’s Day

Published February 14, 2013 by harleyquinnly

Happy Valentine’s Day

I previously wrote a blog post on why we hate Valentine’s Day and immediately set down to write why I love Valentine’s Day. Then I discovered, ‘hey, I really don’t.’ The thing I enjoy most about Valentine’s Day really isn’t about the holiday, it’s just that the holiday gives me a chance to do those things. My favorite part is having a holiday with just the two of us, without having to go out and be with other people. We get uninterrupted “us” time on our short weekend getaway. That is my absolute favorite part. But honestly we should show love and affection without having to have a holiday to force us to do so.

However, I found a cheekily written article by someone who does like the holiday itself and thought I would share it for the sake of festivity.

Jennifer Wright, “Why I Love Valentine’s Day and Why You Should Too,” The Gloss, http://www.thegloss.com/2011/02/09/sex-and-dating/why-i-love-valentines-day-and-you-should-too/ (accessed January 31, 2013).

“I love Valentine’s day. And no, I’m not just saying that due to a healthy  dose of iconoclasm.

Okay. I am a little bit, because I think there are too many spray-tanned   girls running around shrieking giddily about how they hate V-Day, and how it’s  just awful, and I  was to be different like Daria  and Wednesday  Addams. But I am sincere  in my love for Valentine’s Day.

Why?

Why not? It’s fantastic. It’s a holiday. Holidays by their very nature  mean  parties and drinking and having an excuse to dress up in unusual  outfits. Who  hates holidays? You see people running around bitching  about how much they hate  St. Patrick’s Day? Really? Who? Leprechauns?

On a personal, stupid level, I love Valentine’s day because pink is my   favorite color. Look, if you ever ask me my favorite color, I will stare  at you  like you’re a moron and reply “puce.” Real talk: I’m going to  lie to your face.  That’s because I know after a certain age it’s  ridiculous to have a favorite  color, but secretly, I do, and it’s pink. I  like it because it’s a happy,  cheerful color that reminds me of cupcake  frosting, and Funny Face and  the “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”  number. However, because I want to be  taken seriously if I ever go into  meetings, I generally wear gray, black or  navy blue dresses. Valentine’s Day is an excuse to break out my little pink  Jackie Kennedy dress, and  that’s enough for me. If nothing else happened, I’d  like it just on the  merit of that. I think a lot of people have a heart  necklace, or a red skirt, or something else they don’t break out daily that’s  appropriate for the occasion, and I like that.

But maybe you don’t think pink. That’s fine. Your loss, loser.

You like parties?

Oh, good, because one of your friends is having one! I almost guarantee  you  they are. Oh, for heaven’s sake, go check Facebook. Yes, you’re  invited. Go  there, dance on a Monday, buy some champagne ostensibly “for  the party” and  drink half of it yourself. Will it be fun? Yes, it will  be! You’ve got half a  bottle of Bolly in your belly, and it’s fine,  because even though it’s a  Monday, it’s also Valentine’s Day! Now get up  there and sing all the words to “Tonight I’m Fuckin’ You”!

Wait, you say you’re a hermit? Hey, that’s cool. Me too. Valentine’s  Day was  made for hermits like us! Why? Because this is the day that  you’re most likely  to have a romance start without having to endure any  manner of social  awkwardness. Like, normal outside non-lepers, they go  out to “the clubs” and… I  honestly have no idea. They do things, and  then they are dating people.

But hermits like us? We really have to wait  until someone sends us a 50 page “sonnet” (words written in crayon, blood, none of them rhyming) that likens us  to a minor  battle in the Peloponesian War (THIS IS A LOVE TIP FOR MEN READING  THIS  ARTICLE) before we can realize that they’re interested in us. There is a  higher than average possibility of this happening on Valentine’s Day. I’m not  saying it’s necessarily going to happen, but the odds are way better than they  are on your run of the mill day.

It’s a day full of a lot of possibilities, that’s what I’m saying.

And yes, the possibilities extend as much to single people as they do to  people in relationships. I think one of the principal complaints leveled against  Valentine’s dayis that it’s a holiday to make single people feel bad. No. It’s  not. It’s a holiday to boost sales for greeting card companies and florists – just like every other holiday. And, like every other holiday, it pretty  much is what you make it.

You’re worried that you’ll feel like a loser because no one gets you a card  or flowers? Jesus, God, do you have any idea how many people love you? If you  want some drugstore candy, just talk to your friends/family/fellow lepers  beforehand. Say you sort of want to celebrate. Or just slip them a note saying “you’re my Valentine now, bitch. Gird your loins. I’m buying you something  meaningless or edible.” Either way.

I have a pact with one of my friends that, regardless of whether we have  boyfriends/girlfriends, we are always each other’s Valentine. So we do something  to commemorate the day. Sometimes he gets me flowers, sometimes I rip off a  Barbie Doll’s head, hide her body in his apartment weeks beforehand with a heart  shaped piece of cardboard on which I’ve scrawled “You Make Me Lose My Head Like  Anne Boleyn.” Obviously, there are different ways to say “I Love You.” If you  have romantic love that is fantastic. That’s seriously great.  But romantic love  is just one piece of the love pie, not the crust,  filling and whipped cream on  top. There’s nothing wrong with a holiday that reminds us to say “I Love You” to  people we, you know, love. And it’s better when it’s an excuse for you to buy  them an ice cream cake which you will “share” with them.

Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is just another holiday. It’s supposed to be fun.  Figure out what will make it fun for you, and then do that. I can’t say what  that is, but I’m guessing ice cream cake and champagne is a good start.”

So to all, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Facts about First Ladies

Published November 1, 2012 by harleyquinnly

Marriage is a partnership between two people. First ladies have provided advice and insight to the Commanders in Chief throughout the entire history of the country. I thought I’d post some fun facts about the first ladies while we’re all so tired of political campaigning and ready for the election to be finished.

Photo of Jackie Kennedy

Abigail Adams

1,200: Number of letters John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, throughout their marriage, often seeking her political insight.
1: Number of months into his presidency that he wrote to her: “I can do nothing without you.” His critics seemed to agree, calling Abigail “Mrs. President.”

1,200: Number of letters John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, throughout their marriage, often seeking her political insight.
1: Number of months into his presidency that he wrote to her: “I can do nothing without you.” His critics seemed to agree, calling Abigail “Mrs. President.”
Martha “Patsy” Jefferson
29:Age of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph when she began serving as her father’s unofficial First Lady in 1801. Thomas Jefferson’s wife had died 19 years earlier, and he promised her he would never remarry. Patsy’s son was the first baby born in the White House.2:Number of years Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel, accidentally lived as bigamists. (Her first husband apparently had permission to file for divorce in 1790 but didn’t.) The Jacksons quietly remarried when her divorce was final in 1794, but their initial illegal marriage became a scandal leading up to the 1828 presidential campaign.20: Days after her husband’s win that Rachel Jackson died. She was buried on Christmas Eve in the white dress she’d bought for the upcoming 1829 inauguration.
Harriet Lane
11: Age at which Harriet Lane was orphaned and requested to be left in the custody of her uncle, Senator James Buchanan. When Buchanan, a bachelor, became president in 1857, the then 26-year-old Lane served as his First Lady.2.5:Inches Lane had her seamstress lower the neckline of her gown for Buchanan’s inauguration. Historians compare her fashion influence to that of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Mary Lincoln
1818:Year Mary Ann Todd was born. As a child, she allegedly declared that she would marry a man who would become president.18:Months after Abraham Lincoln broke off his engagement to Todd that the pair reunited and married. His reason for the break: He didn’t think he was worthy of her.$7,000: Amount that Mary Todd Lincoln went over the White House decorating budget in 1861
Frances Folsom Cleveland
22:First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland’s age when she married President Grover Cleveland at the White House in 1886. Twenty-seven years her senior, Cleveland had been a longtime friend of her father and had purchased a baby carriage for her shortly after she was born.1886: Approximate year Frances’s image was used in ads without her consent and devoted fans began adopting her clothing and hairstyle. One detractor of President Cleveland quipped: “I detest him so much that I don’t even think his wife is beautiful.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
400,000:Approximate number of troops Eleanor Roosevelt visited on bases and in hospitals in the South Pacific during World War II. She famously said: “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.” Both Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton later paraphrased her quote.5′11″: Eleanor Roosevelt’s height; she’s tied with Michelle Obama for tallest First Lady.
Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson
1:Number of dates Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor and Lyndon Johnson had been on when he proposed to her in 1934. 10: Number of weeks of courtship conducted almost entirely by letter, telegram, and phone later that Lady Bird agreed to marry Johnson.$10,000: Amount of her inheritance that Lady Bird used to fund her husband’s last-minute congressional campaign in 1937, beginning his political career.
Jacqueline Kennedy
1951:Year that Jacqueline Lee Bouvier worked as the “Inquiring Camera Girl” for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper, photographing and interviewing interesting people on the street. One of her subjects was Richard Nixon.9: Years later that as Jacqueline Kennedy, she took another newspaper gig, writing the syndicated column “Campaign Wife.” Kennedy was pregnant and on doctor’s orders to stay home as her husband campaigned. “I decided one way to keep from feeling left out was to talk through this column to the friendly people all over the country,” she wrote.
Pat Nixon
40: Number of states Pat Nixon traveled to during her husband’s presidency. She also visited an active combat zone in Vietnam.
Betty Ford
2:Number of months into her husband’s presidency that Elizabeth “Betty” Ford learned she had breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She invited journalists to photograph her in her hospital bed, saying, “Maybe if I, as First Lady, could talk about it candidly and without embarrassment, many other people would be able to as well.”55,800:Number of thank-you and get-well cards she received.1975: Year that Ford told McCall’s magazine that journalists had asked her just about everything except for how often she and the president had sex. “And if they’d asked me that I would have told them…as often as possible,” she said. Pro-choice, pro-psychiatry, and pro-face-lift, she was referred to as “No Lady” by more-conservative Republicans, but Ford had a 75 percent approval rating.
Nancy Reagan
12:Number of films actress Nancy Davis appeared in. In Hellcats of the Navy in 1957, she costarred with her husband of five years, Ronald Reagan, the former president of the Screen Actors Guild.1981:Year Nancy Reagan hired celebrity decorator Ted Graber to give the White House family quarters an estimated $1 million makeover.$822,000: Amount of that money that came from tax-deductible donations.
Barbara Bush
1992: Year that a campaign button featuring the faces of First Lady Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle read: “Faith, Family, Future.” A Democratic button the same year read: “Washington wants Hillary’s Husband for President.”
Hillary Clinton
20: Estimated number of major news publications that compared Hillary Clinton to Lady Macbeth in 1992.
Michelle Obama
2009:Year Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress to her husband’s first congressional address, sparking some controversy and more praise.1,872: Approximate number of workouts, with a nine-minute arm routine each time, that Obama did between 1997 and 2009, according to her personal trainer.

Photo by: Condé Nast Archive

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