Smile Politely

Apparently I’m not too pretty to do math, dammit.

Wrapping up my nerdy three-year romance with my master’s degree, I recently applied for graduation from Eastern’s literary studies program. When I got an email from the graduate chair telling me they don’t have my GRE score, I felt a slight shortness of breath. I took the GRE fifteen years ago, and quickly went online to try and make miracles happen. Scores are only valid for five years, I discovered, and also learned that I will have to take the test in order to be officially admitted to the program, for without admittance to the program, I cannot graduate … despite my 4.0 and thirty hours of completed coursework.

The thought of cramming for an algebra test continued to asphyxiate me. Ain’t nobody got time for that, seriously. With a term paper and thesis to write, children to rear, classes to teach, and a rock-and-roll lifestyle to live, Ain’t. Nobody. Got. Time. For. That. Luckily, I learned that there is no minimum score requirement; taking the test is simply a formality that the graduate school will not waive. When I got this news, my airway opened up, and my husband agreed with me that having a few cocktails before taking the test makes the most sense. I think it’s the only way to tolerate repeated searches for that sneaky little X scoundrel.

Getting back to my rock-and-roll lifestyle, National Record Store Day will likely not disappoint. And it looks like we might even be spared the rising tide. We have an overnight babysitter lined up, which means I should probably apologize in advance for any obnoxiousery you may witness on my part. (I’m an academe … I can make up my own words now).

Sentimental Nancy

While excited about NRSD, I am a little bummed that I can’t make it to Graham Jam in Charleston. Graham Lewis, an incredible soul who ditched our asses way too soon, will be memorialized at Top of the Roc Saturday night. Whiskey Daredevils, fans of Graham as much as he was of them, will headline.

I got all nostalgic thinking about seeing shows with Graham, especially since I’m headed to the Rose Bowl in a few weeks to see the legendary Dale Watson — with whom I have been granted permission to kiss once a year. Oh, the Rose Bowl … hopefully I won’t get into another fight with a table of senior citizens who have the luxury of getting to the bar at noon for an 8:00 show. And I dread trying to get in and out of that microscopic bathroom stall with the swinging westerny doors. The potpourri on the sink is always charming, though, and the pitchers of beer are tasty.

Flashing back some more, I remember fondly those Friday night fish sandwiches at The Embassy. Amy would bust her ass pouring our drinks while cooking our food. I can still taste those tuna steaks. Damn. And, without fail, every week, at least one of us would have to run to the BankIllinois ATM across the street because at that time Urbana was cash only.

Enough of this foolishness … my kid has asked me for juice about sixteen times since I started writing. He is also repeatedly telling me that boys rule and girls drool. Maybe I’ll make him keep asking for that drink … it’s helping me amp up my math skills while teaching him the importance of endurance and self-advocacy. Too bad the GRE isn’t about providing rationales for my life choices … I’d ace that mug.

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