Carol Callicotte

Author

Seriously? You’re Still Here? June 8, 2011

Filed under: Completely Off Topic,Crap,Funny stuff,Self deprecating humor — A French American Life @ 6:37 pm
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Dear Five Pounds:

We’ve been through a lot. I mean, wow, we had a baby together! Had some good times, eating ice cream, chocolate, ditching workouts, squeezing into clothes we have no business wearing.

But our relationship has run its course. Really, I never intended for it to go on this long. Summer is coming, and I’m ready to move on. I know this isn’t what you want, you’ve made that clear. But you can’t say you haven’t had any warnings. You’ve seen me sweating through extra workouts, avoiding desserts. I’ve even stopped eating chocolate, that’s how bad this has become!

Despite all this, you still haven’t gotten the hint. You’ve become clingy and it’s really time to just go. Please don’t make me ask again. We are OVER. Leave now.

Sincerely but NOT affectionately,

Carol’s Body

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Excavated from the Archives June 19, 2009

Filed under: Completely Off Topic,Funny stuff — A French American Life @ 6:01 pm
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Long ago, in another lifetime, I wanted to be a medical doctor. I got my degree in Microbiology, minored in Chemistry, and took the MCATs – the Medical College Admission Tests, abhorred by all pre-med students. It should have been a sign to me that after a nine hour day (Ten? Eleven? I can’t remember) of testing, I didn’t rush out to celebrate my accomplishment with pizza and beer, I didn’t zone out in front of the TV, and I certainly didn’t look up the answers to questions I’d been unsure of. No, I stayed up late, composing a poem. I make no claims to being a poet, but it’s obvious to me that the urge to write has long been a part of me. Disclaimer: this poem kind of sucks, but I’m still fond of it.

ODE TO THE MCAT

Oh, obstacle of obstacles,

Oh test of tests

As each day passes

I love you less.

What are you measuring?

What is it you ask?

What sick, devious mind,

Invented this task?

“Yawing moment,” “feed water,”

“Lift coefficient,” “ketones,”

When I hear these words

I cannot suppress my groans.

You twist, you taunt,

You tease, you scare.

The mere mention of you

Makes me rip out my hair.

What about my GPA?

And all my other stats?

What more do I have to prove

With the MCATs?

What I’ve learned over years

I review for weeks.

Those pre-med students you hear of?

I’m one of those geeks.

Then test day arrives

I’m up with the sun

Who am I kidding?

I’ve been up since one.

Take your seats, don’t talk,

Don’t eat, don’t smoke

The tension’s so thick

I think I might choke.

One day in a lifetime

Of hard work and strife

Will be the determiner

Of the course of your life.

My mind grows weary

As the clock ticks away

I can think of one billion ways

I’d rather spend my day.

Then it’s all over

Should I cry or laugh?

And what was the right answer

To that one about the giraffe?

Did I do well enough?

Only time will tell.

Never again do I want

To go through this hell!

 

My Writing Schedule March 30, 2009

Filed under: For Writers,Funny stuff,Goals,Projects,Self deprecating humor,Writing — A French American Life @ 2:14 pm
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For my “real” job, I’m a physical therapist. I work part time at the clinic, which I realize is incredibly lucky. So, on my days off from physical therapy, I write, with every intention of making this time worth it.

Here’s the writing schedule I aspire to:

5:45 The alarm goes off. I bounce out of bed, well-rested and eager to begin a brand new day.

6:00 I’m in the “gym” we’ve set up in our garage, where I get a killer work out.

7:00 I shower and get ready for the day, just as I would if I were going to work. I fix my hair, put on makeup, and wear shoes. This is a great psychological method for improving motivation and productivity.

7:45 I eat breakfast and get caught up on the major news, because it’s important to be a good, well informed citizen of the world.

8:15 I meditate to quiet my mind and allow calm and positive thoughts to center me.

8:30 I arrive at my desk and do a writing warm up exercise.

9:00 I work with enthusiasm and energy on my current project.

12:30 I suddenly realize I’m a bit hungry. I’ve been so absorbed in my writing that I don’t even realize it’s lunch time. Lunch is a random assortment of tasteless and uninspired fuel, but that’s okay, because my mind is lost in the world I’ve created, and words are flowing quicker than I can get them all down.

12:37 I’m back to writing.

2:00 I take a walk at this time to stretch my legs and neck, get some fresh air and sun, and give my mind a bit of time to ponder some things. I take a 1 ½ mile loop around our neighborhood, admiring the brightly colored flowers, enjoying the scent of orange blossoms, and feeling a general satisfaction with the writer I am becoming.

2:30 I’m back to writing. I might check some of my favorite industry blogs, or check in with Absolute Write. But mostly, I just write inspired stories of beauty and depth.

6:00 I’ve had a wonderful day and am satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. I pour myself a glass of wine and begin to make dinner. I have a relaxing evening with my husband.

Here’s what a typical day looks like lately:

5:45 The alarm goes off. I reach over to hit the snooze button, and in doing so, knock my watch onto the ground. It breaks. I hit snooze for an hour or so.

7:00 I finally drag myself out of bed and put on my work out clothes. On the way to the garage, I stop in the office to get my laptop so I can watch The Daily Show while I’m on the elliptical. As I sign on, I see that I have email, and realize that another minute cannot go by without me checking to see who has written to me and why. I check my messages. Some of them are notifications from Facebook, so I go to Facebook and end up reading everyone’s updates, seeing who has thrown what animal at me, taking a test to find out what mythical creature I am. Eventually I find myself looking at pictures of people I don’t even know. It’s 8:30.

8:30 I do my workout while watching the Daily Show. When that’s over, I surf the internet between biceps curls and squats.

9:30 I’m frakking starving, so I sit down to eat and read the paper. I get annoyed with the news and turn to Dear Abby and Ask Carolyn. I become saddened by the state of our world. I read Dilbert and get a little laugh. Then I pull out a novel to read while I finish my cereal.

10:15 The morning is half way over and I’ve accomplished nothing. I berate myself and rush to the shower.

10:45 I slip into yoga pants, an old T-shirt, and slippers. My hair begins to dry into a frizzy mess of a mane that would barely be fashionable in 1973.

11:00 I sit down at my desk and realize it’s an absolute disaster zone. I clean my desk. Which means rearranging all the piles into differently sorted piles. I sort my pen container.

11:30 It’s almost lunch time, so I might as well go online and check the industry blogs. I go online and check my email. Then I go to Facebook. Then all the world fades away and I am sucked into an internet vortex of information, bright colors, videos of kittens playing and fat men dancing, advice on the best toenail polish for your skin tone. I come to and realize I’m reading about how Paris Hilton chose the name for her dog. What’s happening to me? Where am I? It’s 1:00.

1:00 I eat quickly, because now I’m really behind. The crap food I eat instantly gives me heartburn.

1:30 I stare at either my computer screen or a blank page for 20 minutes. Then I remember that the ridges on the doorframes have not been dusted in I don’t know how long. It’s horrifyingly unclean, and I must clean them today. I do this.

2:00 I briefly consider going for a walk, but instead I take a nap on the couch.

2:30 I wake up. I decide I need a change of scenery. I walk to the coffee shop 50 yards from my front door. I ask for a mocha – not too chocolately, please! Only one little scoop! The barista glares at me and gives me an extra chocolately mocha. I sit down with my notebook and ponder whether perhaps he doesn’t like me because of my frizzy hair. I drink part of the mocha and throw the rest out. I go home and take a couple of Tums.

2:45 I examine my hair in the mirror. It’s embarrassingly frizzy. I try some product in it, then try pinning it up a few different ways. It ends up in a ponytail. I realize I’m avoiding writing.

3:00 I sit down with a blank notebook, thoroughly disgusted with myself. I manage to write half a page before I decide that my idea blows. I decide I must look up a better word for “strolled,” so I go online. I have more email. And someone on Facebook commented on someone else’s photo.

4:00 I extract myself from the internet and write another half a page, and it’s worse than pulling teeth. It’s pulling out my toenails with my teeth.

4:30 I spend a bit of time coming up with status updates for my Facebook page. I play with the wording a bit.

5:00 I consider quitting, because clearly the day is a bust. But then I decide I must write more. I stare at a blank page for thirty minutes.

5:30 I start on dinner and spend the evening irritable. I resolve to do better next time.

 

I Can’t Believe I Didn’t March 6, 2009

Filed under: Funny stuff,Reading,Writing,Writing World — A French American Life @ 3:52 pm
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I just went to a bookstore and get this: I did not buy a book for myself. That almost never happens. My focus was to buy some baby books for my girlfriend’s shower gift – I’m a writer, so gifts from me tend to be books. They don’t get the ahhing and cooing that tiny little socks and onesies do, but to me – they are the best, most important gift I can give. Anyway, I actually bought only what I went in there to buy! I suppose the fact that: 1. I have a huge backlog of books piled in my room and I’m trying not to buy more books until I read through those stacks and 2. I really had to pee and there was no restroom in sight, might have been why I didn’t spend more time under the extreme temptation of shelves stocked with stories and then eventually succumb to the need to know what a particular cover holds inside, but really, folks, this is a historic (an historic) event. Carol Callicotte browsed through a bookstore without buying herself a book.

Currently Reading: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ve never read a graphic novel before, but my husband insisted I read this one before we see the movie. All I can say is – wow. It’s good.

 

Biohazard, Coming Through! February 23, 2009

Filed under: Crap,Funny stuff,Reading,Self deprecating humor — A French American Life @ 11:42 am
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I’ve been on a book buying binge – I can’t seem to walk into a bookstore or browse Amazon without ordering a book or two (or three…). Hence, my pile of now 50+ books that I am determined to read this year. I tend to buy them new – I like to make sure the author gets their deserved percentage. But I have another reason as well – I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Recently, I decided to order a used paperback, just to save some money (it was one I’d already bought, read, and donated to the library, and when I couldn’t find it at the library, I hated to pay full price again). The book arrived this weekend looking… weathered. And my first thought was – did someone read this while they were sitting on the toilet?

Am I the only one with this phobia? Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where George is in the bookstore and decides to take a book into the bathroom with him? Where has this paperback been, I wonder? Having a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, I know that any microbial life forms that got on there would be dead by now, but still. I just look at that poor little paperback and think…eww.

 

My Husband, Metaphor Man January 22, 2009

My husband has a way with words. Faster than a firestorm of fragments, more powerful than the precisest of prose, able to leap through language with ease and grace, he is Stéphane, Metaphor Man. He spins tapestries, pushes the boundaries of common usage, and does it all with a heavenly French accent. His mission: to rescue our beloved English from the drudgery of every day use. His motivation: to make software engineering sound less boring. Seriously, it’s a bit embarrassing, considering I’m supposed to be the writer of the family, and English is his second language. Before I plunge to the depths of hyperbole, let me explain. He’s a software engineer, and since I really don’t have any clue what it is he does every day, he must translate for me. For example, earlier this week, he told me about some program or something (really – I have no clue, I just remember the comparison he made) and he likened it to Versailles circa 1700s. He said its outward appearance was astounding: gilded walls, rooms full of brass-framed mirrors, the finest of tapestries and paintings. But no one gave any thought to the basics – like toilets – so everyone crapped in the halls and the whole thing ended up mired in stink. Genius. The metaphor, I mean. Not Versailles.

The thing is, I love a well placed metaphor. I love the way some writers can make the same words we all use regularly into something clever or beautiful. And I’m jealous of my husband. I struggle to come up with the kind of stuff he spouts out every day. I’ll sit there and chew off the end of my pen, giving myself ink poisoning, while trying to come up with metaphors, similes, analogies, and layers of depth and meaning for the things I write. It really isn’t fair how much better he is at it. Now, excuse me while I plot how to strip him of his powers and transfer them to myself….

 

I Have a New Nickname January 15, 2009

Filed under: Completely Off Topic,Funny stuff,Self deprecating humor — A French American Life @ 5:43 pm
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I’ve had a lot of nicknames in my life. Some will remain locked away in the darker moments of my past, where they belong, but some haven’t been so bad. There’s the obvious “CC” which I’ve always liked. My dad called me “Red.” Because of my red hair, not because I turn red at the slightest provocation. In high school basketball, I made a push for “Sure Shot Callicotte” but it didn’t take. Strangely, there was “CaroCal”, this one from a biology teacher who abbreviated all our names in this way. In grad school, I had a bob haircut and people told me I looked like Scully. Being a huge X-Files fan, I loved it. To this day, there is at least one classmate who never learned my real name. To him, I was Scully. More recently, when I became a Francophile, I also became “Le Carol.”

But a new one has been coined. And I have to say it’s my favorite. About a month ago, my good friend’s two year old patted her hair, pointed at me, and said “Ariel hair.” A few minutes later, she called me “Ariel.” As in the Little Mermaid. As in her favorite cartoon character. It melted my heart. And it seems to be sticking. She calls me “Ariel” (though it sounds like “Yoriel”) when she sees me. The other day, I was looking for my shoes and she found them, held them up, and said, “Ariel Hair shoes.” This nickname comes at a price – she’s always wanting to play with my hair. But still, I don’t think I’ll cut it short again. I’m enjoying being the little mermaid far too much.