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gmail is a tricksy thing

  • gmail is offering me a cruise from south africa to india...

    ...and this is a surprisingly pertinent offer. Sort of.

    In exactly one month and two days, I will be on a series of planes heading towards Nairobi, Kenya, where I will be studying at the University of Nairobi for six months (!!!) (I am so unbelievably stoked). The Center for International Programming at Kalamazoo selected me to be one of the four bloggers for their pilot K Abroad Blog program. So, for the next seven or so months, my blogging home will be at http://saskiainkenya.wordpress.com rather than here. I'll crosspost if I remember, but, for the time being - check out my K Abroad Blog if you want to keep abreast of my adventures in Africa!

    Also I forgot how crazy I go with tags on this thing. Woo.

  • gmail did not let me know about this sale.

    A week and a half ago or so, there was an online sale at Office Depot wherein you could order 1000 full-color raised print business cards for under $4.00, including shipping. I jumped at the chance, and today, received them in the mail.

    I've been passing them out all day, to friends and strangers alike (I've gone through about 75 cards today), as well as just leaving them sitting around in random places (taped to an elevator door, by a bathroom mirror, inside a vending machine door, in a computer lab, etc.), and so far it's been a really cool experience! Like for example, I learned that one of the ladies who swipes our meal cards when we go into the caf is celebrating her fifty-second wedding anniversary today.

    Guys, that's a long time.

    It's really curious - a lot of people seem to have a natural skepticism of complete strangers handing out business cards, and there have been several people who outright ignored my attempts to pass them off, which saddens me because they're probably the ones who would appreciate these the most :( But from those who have accepted them, I've received a wide variety of reactions: there was the meal card lady who told me about her anniversary and recounted some of her favorite anniversary memories, there was the other meal card lady who kind of choked out, "that's so beautiful," there was the history department secretary who could not believe that my name was not on them, there was the girl in my hall who shrieked "yay," there was the guy who crumpled it up and put it in his pocket, there was my Jewish Traditions professor who asked me if I'd put anthrax on it..., there was a friend who asked me for a stack of them so she could put them under doors in her dorm, there was the guy who refused initially and then walked back halfway down the street to get it once he saw someone else's reaction to getting them...

    It's also curious how, initially, I almost didn't want to give them to strangers because I was nervous about how they would be received. Now, however, I just wish that I'd ordered another thousand while the sale still applied, because I know I'll want to continue doing this!

    idek, guys, I have just been filled with so many good feelings since I started this this afternoon. I'm so glad that I decided to do this. aaaaaaaaah

  • gmail telling me all about lexington, ky hotels

    So you get a lot of flack.

    I don't really understand it.

    Okay, that's a lie. I kind of do. I'm guilty of talking about you in less-than-pristine terms. I'm guilty of making jokes about the stereotypes that, unfortunately, some people still take seriously. I'm guilty of cross-applying some of your more underdeveloped areas to the gorgeous city that I grew up in. I hate it when people disrespect you, when they make the same generalizations I perpetuate (though I know that I am always teasing -- I'm never sure whether the others are, or whether they're serious), when they don't recognize how amazing you truly are.

    You are a gem. You are my best-kept secret. I think of you and I think of the grass, so perfect and new and green, sun shining through the dew on an early spring day. I think of you, I think of the clouds and the way the blue darkens at the horizon more noticeably than anywhere else. I think of you, I remember the stillness of muggy summer nights, the mosquitoes biting while the laughter is still thick and heavy. The motherland, the place cherished, held most highly in my heart. Your brooks, they run more laughingly than the brooks I've seen in other places. Your trees, they're older. The smell of your ground is richer. Sometimes, I have to sit down (even in the middle of the mud), to lie down, to embrace the earth. Your total effect is breathtaking.

    I haven't left you, not for good. Michigan is my new place of residence, and will be for at least four years. I might sidetrack into Africa for a while. I might go somewhere with bigger cities and bigger sounds to try out teaching for a while. But you have the bigger silences, and you have the bigger fields (the ones where I just have to fling my arms out, the ones where I want nothing more than to embrace the are), and you will always be my home. I knew so many people who wanted to leave you and didn't understand them at all, could not comprehend why they wouldn't want to stay forever, and ended up being one of the only ones who left. But I never truly left, did I?

    I remember pollen dusting my hands and my cheeks, remember laughing with pigtails streaming, remember mulchy playgrounds and loamy fields and masking tape on a chain-link fence. One square hectare (measured painstakingly with a short measure of rope), the center of my heart. I remember musty bookstores, dark and cool on a hot afternoon, dry and old in the rain. Lazy summer nights spent running through fountains, braless and barefoot, dancing to live music while dripping everywhere. Country drives to crickets and the smell of new flowers and fresh rains in the early evening, pickup windows rolled all the way down, culminating in meals of delicious fried mushrooms, to the banana peppers I never quite manage to finish. Running through the heat (despite the sweat) after a soccer ball with people half my age, flopping down after with an aging cat and a box of markers, jetting off after to curry chicken salad and eclaires. Winter days spent underdressed with emergency runs to the springs, staring at the barren trees and the mud that hasn't quite frozen, breathing deep and ignoring my shivers. A small trail outside of a smelly school with secret side-trails, fallen logs, rusting swingsets, sweaty palms. Daytime drives that I know blindfolded, the dents worn into the carpeted steps to my room, wood and green and yellow and sun and so much road. So much freedom. Fourth of July fireworks with fresh ripe cherries, nights spent sleepless, 6:30 am runs to waffle house, midafternoon trips to authentic Mexican restaurants. The feeling of fullness, the need to embrace everything, the intense love held towards so many little things (like that one sharp turn towards home at that one ridiculous intersection, like the mosquito bites on my ring finger and the late-night drives on too-fast country lanes, like the satisfaction of a hug at the movie theater with the best water). The trips out east, the dilapidated housing and the perfect, beautiful trees.

    (I love it here, too. Whenever I'm at my angriest and most displeased, I'll go outside and even though it's been grey for what seems like years, there will be sun tinting the tip of the chapel and it will be all rosy and warm despite the cold and I'll feel that swelling in my heart yet again and hate the way that I can't do anything but love this place so fiercely. The dirty snow and the flashes of grass and the misshapen stairs, the purple walls and the ant-ridden floor and the perfect air.)

    I don't miss you. You're too much there, too present, for me to miss you.

    I recognize that you have your faults. The obesity, the lack of health, the strip mining and the pollution and the more negative aspects of the Bible belt. But then again: you have one of the most educated cities, the cohesive pull of college basketball, the most epic water system. You're warmer now, on the whole (and yet as soon as I leave you, you get icy and gorgeous and altogether too tantalizing), you're frustrating as hell, and you're beautiful as anything. You have the accents I tried to escape and that I now crave, the caints and the tars as opposed to the caaaaaan'ts and tires of the northern Midwest.

    You're not the only one for me. There will be others, and lots of them. But I'll keep coming back to you, because you are my first and you are my only and you are the home of my heart.

  • my gmail theme is cherry blossom and it makes me happy every time i look at it.

    Warning: the following post is rather disjointed and not that easy of a read. I apologize.

    Fact: I have multiple posts half-written, saved on my dashboard, that I haven't posted yet. One was last saved September 4, with the distinguishing sentences being: I'm not that familiar with two deaths and a coma all hitting me in the same ten-day period. and I feel guilty, but I've been so much more concerned about the coma than the deaths all along.

    So in the same ten-day period, the mother of a friend died, my aunt died, and one of my best friends was in a car accident which resulted in her going into a three-week coma (she's out of it and recovering now, thank goodness). Such a lovely way to spend my last month at home, no? The wrap-up to one of the most emotionally traumatic summers of my life. My father and sister almost drowning, multiple people I know dying, the first anniversary of my grandfather's death, a friend going into a coma, leaving everything I know and going off to a college four hundred miles away from home?


    The second post was last saved on September 20 (a few days after my arrival at Kalamazoo college!) and simply consists of "gmail is offering me a yard stick to the universe...and that seems to fit this week pretty much perfectly" and the beginnings of a recounting of the good, the bad, and the ugly in my life, which is something I do sometimes in blogs.


    I haven't been able to finish either one, and that probably means I haven't (still) been able to sort out these things in my mind. I ended up visiting the friend three days in a row after she'd been transferred to the rehabilitation hospital down the street just before I left for college, but that wasn't sufficient to help me work through it. Over the past few months, I've been having moments where I freak out entirely about how well she'll be able to recover and whether it will be fully or whether she won't ever be the same. I've stayed in sometimes-contact with her mom and I'm visiting her over Thanksgiving and I'm terrified and I really don't want to write about it right now. I should. I still can't.

    I've actually spent a lot of time over these past few months being angry at my friends back home. I've professed to my friends here that leaving them after this summer felt very unfinished and as if I don't want to spend any more time with them at all. Slowly, though, I've come to realize that this isn't true at all. I was ascribing to a group my feelings towards just a few: I still adore the majority of them. I don't blame them (anymore) for not being there for me through my trying summer -- for one, they had stuff of their own on their minds, and the Haylie-in-a-coma thing happened after they were all in college already. For another (and probably more importantly), I didn't share what I was going through with them.

    Well. With all of them. I told my best friend, because I love him and I trust him and know that, even if he can't identify with everything, he can at least be sympathetic.

    What this statement reflects on the rest of my friends isn't a very good thing. Did I not tell them because I didn't love them? Because I felt they couldn't be sympathetic? No, I didn't, even though what I said implies that those were part of my reasons. The trust thing, though... I feel as if the trust thing was important. For some reason, I convinced myself that I couldn't trust them much at all. I've been working through this, though, especially recently, and have distilled the problem to two separate people: one of whom I trusted completely and who completely broke that trust, and one of whom I adored and who (in my opinion) abused that adoration, also breaking my trust (a problem resulting from this: I am now unintentionally wary of anyone who reminds me of them at all). I likely ascribed my mistrustful feelings to the rest of them largely because, at the time, I wasn't telling them important things and somehow managed to skew that in my own perception to mean that I couldn't tell them the important things. I regret this.  

    You know what really hurts? I'll call some of my friends from high school and they'll inevitably be all, "omg! Saskia! So great to hear from you! I miss you so much! I'm so glad you called!" and what gets me every time is that no matter how much they apparently miss me and how apparently joyful they are about hearing from me, they won't so much as pick up the phone or open an email and contact me. With just two exceptions, it's always me doing the initiating. Thanks for missing me enough to do something about it, guys. Phones work both ways. Emails aren't that difficult. IMing is pretty much the easiest thing in the world to do. I am often logged on. I see your screennames on my buddylist, also logged on. I send out 'hi's on a regular basis. At least some of you have good conversations with me, even if you don't initiate them. At least some of you initiate them.

    Maybe this is a source of my retained anger towards my back-home friends. I spend four years of my life with them, trust them with so much, and then we grow apart almost immediately. I'm actually okay with this, most of the time. They have their lives; I have mine. I certainly don't contact them as much as I could (but at least I do contact them). I'm a busy person. But sometimes, there are moments when I ache to talk to someone who knows my backstory, who has been with me for years, who has some inkling about why I am the way I am instead of someone who has come in halfway through the story. I love the people I've met here, and we've shared the past ten weeks together in a very intimate and compassionate way (mostly). But ten weeks is not enough to know a person, not really, and it's when I miss the people I have an extended history with that I start thinking about my feelings about them and get simultaneously angry and sad again.

    I just went through some of my old posts here and was reminded about how most of them are really great situationally, and that's how our friendship always has been: "I love you when I'm with you and you are often one of the greatest people I know when I'm with you, and when I'm not, it's not too much of a concern because I know that we'll have a great time again the next time we run into each other." I'm glad I remembered this. I needed to remember this. It's working wonders for my attitude for my friends-back-home as a whole.


    Fact: my most recent twitter update (from 6:54 this morning) says "Dear subconscious, wtf is up with all these end of the world as i know it nightmares lately? Lava, crime, plague, REALLY?"

    I've been having a lot of nightmares recently, three in the last week. Remember when I blogged about worrying about waking up at college and wanting nothing more than to see my family to be sure that they're safe?


    They're anxiety dreams, mostly, about the end of the quarter and probably also about going home and finding things different. One about a week ago, where my grades were suddenly horrible and my parents kicked me out and decided to withdraw my funding (which in actuality would definitely never happen). Anxiety about finals. One where my parents decided my birthday was no longer important and went on a trip to Hawai'i instead of celebrating it. This one probably derives from the fact that I feel really guilty about missing my sister's sweet sixteen this year and probably also about being anxious about spending my first birthday away from most of my family (my sister is coming to visit though! :) :) :) ). The most recent one involved lava attacking a house up the street back home, rendering all the metal around superhot. This made it misshapen, so everything metal that we owned unusable. Also, it was radioactive lava? So we couldn't stay outside? And I left my phone in the truck before it became entirely unusable so I couldn't call anyone and let them know I was safe despite the calamity. And then after all of that a bunch of other disasters struck the area, like a plague and a sudden influx of crime and rice krispie treats filled with peas. My family was luckily safe, but I was terrified for the friends who lived in the house up the street (I was randomly talking to one of the kids online before the lava but that stopped after I headed home from K to be safe with my family). I got out of bed as soon as I woke up from this dream and wrote it down and at this point most of it makes no sense to me, but I wrote down the names of the people who figured prominently in that dream (Kelly, J, family, Heltzels, and Rachel who had the messed-up rice krispies) and I feel as if this is an accurate summation of my concerns about break. The last thing I wrote down on the paper is "world goes on but different." I'll be separated from the friends I made here (Kelly, Rachel -- and others, of course, but they didn't show up until my second dream of the night which was much happier and involved all of the friends I made here and lots of food and chocolate ice cream showers and strawberries and haunted houses and some of them having romantic feelings for the scary clowns). Another friend of mine who goes here (J) is graduating this year -- while she didn't actually appear in the dream, the person I really wanted to call about being safe was her and I felt very anxious throughout the rest of the dream about not being able to do so. My family and the family up the street are very obvious -- with the "world goes on but different" thing, I think I've summed up the largest of my anxieties in regards to going home.

    I woke up concerned for their well-being. I'm really excited about being home for Thanksgiving especially now, because I can get the hugs I want on Wednesday instead of having to wait another week and a half!


    Apart from these crazy dreams and my friends back home, I've adjusted really well to the college life. I love it here! Sometimes the food is actually decent, and there are a lot of good and relatively inexpensive restaurants within walking distance (also, yay, ordering in!). Classes are awesome and I'm finally managing to narrow down the things I want to do with my life -- currently, I'm planning on majoring in Human Development & Social Relations with a concentration in African studies, maybe taking some English and biology classes when I'm able. :D. The people here are amazing, it's super beautiful even when it's grey outside, and I keep having these swelling emotions of love for the place when I walk outside (even when I'm freezing cold and it's rainy and the leaves don't crunch when I walk on them. Actually, it's times like these that I look around and think, "God, I seriously love this place. It's so beautiful even when the weather sucks. It's such a great fit." I mean, okay, for example, the workload is pretty intense but sometimes I even love that ;).

    I'm looking into an internship at the Student Conservation Association next year, because how seriously cool would that be? So cool, guys. So cool.

    I have a new pair of kickass shoes (they were even on sale!), which pretty much adds the icing to the awesomecake that is the rest of my life right now :D.

  • gmail certainly has a lot of spam recipes on hand

    I think I might possibly be a bit too taken with cycles, and things coming full circle, and chains of events, and. Well. You get the picture.


    Here are the current cycles in my life:

    Friday night,  my good high school &c friends all came over and we stayed up all night and went to Waffle House at 6am because Dunkin' Donuts wasn't open yet and watched Tommy and played Beyond Balderdash and drank koolaid and quizzed ourselves with old 5th grade BrainQuest booklets (and sometimes even got it right ;) ) and. tons more stuff, not necessarily in that order. Half of my friends (those friends) are leaving for college this week, or staying here but starting college this week (or next week), and it was basically the last time I'll see most of them for four months and :(. But oh well. Fun times were had by all (I think) and there are always, you know, phone calls and emails and text messages and IMs that can be made/sent/what have you, so I'm pretty sure it'll be good. But yeah. The high school cycle of my life has almost cycled out. I'm really glad about this, but it's kind of bittersweet at the same time. 


    Okay, that was a really crappy paragraph. But still. This is like a refrain of our trip to Memphis, except this time we didn't all end up falling asleep (me accidentally in the guys' room, in my best friend's bed) way early in the morning, and this time we had the one of us who didn't go to our high school with us, and this time we were having fun instead of fighting. (And also, there was food, which, you know, distinguishing difference right there. Because we all know that I'm all about the food.) 


     My friends, we don't always have the easiest time getting together. I really can't remember the last time (apart from, of course Friday night) that we were all of us in teh same place at the same time, just the eight of us. And I'm really glad that it worked out so well, and not just because the best friend (who is really lame because he totally hasn't called me about it all yet. I HOPE YOU'RE READING THIS, JAMES, BECAUSE I'M MORBIDLY CURIOUS) left Monday and pretty much everyone else is going on Thursday and ldfkjhg I won't be beginning my journey to the Arctic Circle till the 15th of September. Four months, guys, till the high school cycle comes around again. Potentially. I'm pretty sure.


    (It's pretty hard to explain why I love them so much, because if anything is true, it's that we can all get a bit prickly at times, but there are reasons and the reasons are many and for some reason the reason that always comes to the forefront of my mind is how much we make fun of each other fdkjhg like for example (the first one that came to mind!) Vincent with Amy's Yamapi obsession. It's kind of that we know each other so well that we know the good ways to make fun of each other (Little Mermaid porn! dkfgh okay maybe that one isn't such a good one...), and. Okay, stopping this train of thought right now because it isn't that coherent and. Stuff.)



    Another cycle I'm on is the elementary school cycle! I taught there after school last school year, I worked in the summer school/day camp program this summer (my first real job!) and now I'm volunteering my time doing all the little things that no one else ever wants to do but which have to be done, like separating hundreds of sheets of that connected old printer paper stuff and stuffing folders and envelopes. Luckily, I love it. :) It's so cool, being in the area of the office. My entire time in that school, I was in the elementary area, and, now that I'm near the primary (that section is the one closest to the office) and the office both, I'm getting an entirely different look at how the school works and everything and ;dkfjhg it's so cool. I've also been answering phones and am pretty secure in saying that, after a lot (well. Not a huge lot, but a little lot) of calls, I've almost figured out how to work the phones. ;dskfhg it's more than picking it up and saying "Providence Montessori School, this is Saskia," guys. There are a lot of buttons involved, and it took me three calls to figure out how to both put someone on hold and take them off. It's harder than it sounds, okay. sdkfhg :">


    I've also been working with the toddlers! For less than fifteen minutes each day, true, but sldkfhg can you say 'highlight'? lkdsfhg it's a new program, the toddler program, and theyr'e so cute. I want to borrow them all (actually, I've been trying to talk mom and dad into just going ahead and getting me a little brother -- or sister! -- for Christmas or somethin, but they're being really hard to persuade) for a little while and dkfjhg.


    Yknow how Jon Stewart has a moment of zen? Yeah, I'm instituting a Moment Of Cute. By which I mean, I'm going to blog about the two cutest moments of my day.

     Moment of Cute #1

     When I was with the toddlers! One of them decided that I was cooler than the playground and took me by the hand and led me around and made me pick him up so that he could pick leaves off the tree and pretend he was climbing it, and wanted me to help him escape from the playground, and who made me sit down so that he could sit in my lap. I'm in love with this little fellow, guys. I want a little brother just like him. I can't even articulate how cute my ten minutes with the toddlers (and him!) were today, but I want to go back and stay in the toddler house and playground forever slkdfjhg.


    Okay, maybe not that much. But still.


    Moment of Cute #2

    There was a parent who was late picking up her preschoolers! (Brother and sister). Sooo I sat with them and played I Spy with them and the girl (who was, incidentally, the older one) spent about ten minutes explaining to me that she could visit her grandmother in the Philippines in the morning and still be at school, you know, in the morning, because they didn't have morning at the same time. dfhg seriously so adorable. She was like four or something and was explaining time zones &c with me in such an earnest manner I like, you know in the Grinch when his heart swells? lkdfjgh mine did that so much today. My little heart, just. Swelling and swelling :)


    But anyway. I'm counting being at Providence as a return to my Montessori roots and another step on the cycle of my education in general/my elementary education/my college education. The latter is, of course, because My Chosen College (however Arctic it may be) reminded me so hardcore of Providence (except, yknow, collegiate), it wasn't funny. And since Providence was the best all-around education I got (sure, I learned more stuff as I got older and everything, but I learned best there)... yeah.


    Speaking of Kalamazoo! I found out who my roommate is, and she seems really cool. So do a lot of people that I've been chatting to &c. :)



    Of course, there are other cycles. Like the menstrual cycle! But I'm not experiencing that (well, in an obvious way, anyway) at the moment and anyway, that's something Not To Blog About, so. I'll drop that now. 


     This entry is kind of failsauce in general and I forgot where I was going with it, plus I have to be up bright&early (waaaaay early. Too early for normal people our age dlkfjgh) for Providence in the morning, so I'm just going to go ahead and post it.



    Happy last days of summer/first days of school, everyone! 

  • gmail says, "why not sleep with him?". I wonder, "who's him?"

    So this is cool:




    I'm never up this late. Why am I up so late? I'm up because I took an hour-long proper bath instead of going to bed when I usually do. Yeah. Note to self: those wake you up a bit.


    So yesterday I watched the last twenty minutes or so of Shawn of the Dead. Today, I watched a bit of the remake of Dawn of the Dead  (the first half-hour and various bits after that) and then read about zombie apocalypses, the -Dead series of movies, and stuff about the 100 Greatest Horror Movies


    This is the kind of person I am:  I get freaked out by reading about horror movies. Watching them, too, but, okay, getting freaked out reading about zombie movies and stuff? Once, I got terrified watching a documentary on the Dead Teenager Movies subgenre (which was followed by a behind-the-scenes footage thing on Final Destination 3. SPOILER ALERT: the blood and guts that spatter everyone when someone dies? Totally made up of bananas and strawberries). I mean. I love me some Final Destination trilogy -- don't even ask why because I have no earthly idea why those movies, of all the gory horrible horror movies out there, strike my fancy. Okay, watching Sweeny Todd -- obvious fake blood, a musical -- made me sick to my stomach. Watching Die Hard made me unable to stomach violence in movies for almost two years. I'm the person who wigged out over the Halloween episodes of Suite Life and Phil of the Future (I don't watch Disney channel anymore. Not because of those episodes, but because the Jonas Brothers plague me. As does Hannah Montana. I love Miley Cyrus to death -- shhh, don't tell, guilty pleasure, adore her songs -- but Hannah Montana gives me the heebie-jeebies. So I avoid them whenever possible), for crying out loud. I'm a thriller kind of girl (love most of the Hitchcock I've seen, even though Vertigo creeped me out for days, love Red Eye, though that might just be the aesthetically pleasing nature of the cast, love Cruel Intentions. Shut up, it's totally a thriller. IN THE PANTS. um, I don't even know), hate the gore, get freaked out at stuff like the whole middle part of Ratatouille. But I can't get enough of the Final Destinations. Yes, they creep me out. Yes, I could watch them again and again and again. I don't even know. I'm also good with Jaws, three quarters of Jurassic Park, and the second half of Silence of the Lambs (though, granted, I've never seen that one all the way through in one sitting. I've never even seen the first half. Maybe I should rectify this?), but. Maybe it's something about frighteningly cheery kids shows (and movies!) characters, except that doesn't explain the other horror movies that freak me out. 


    I'm working on this.  


    You want to know one of the scariest movies I've ever seen? I saw it at GSP last year. Remembered it randomly today when I was reading the wiki article on The Others (never have seen, probably never will see). It's called  The Spirit of the Beehive and apparently (according to wikipedia, which we all know is a paradigm of truth) has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Yes, I am too lazy to verify that for myself. But oh my god apparently it's not supposed to be anything like suspense or anything? But dudes, it totally freaked me out and I even slept through the first twenty minutes of it! Suddenly there were shadows and men in abandoned farmhouses and NOT IN THE HOT WAY, OKAY, AND I'M NOT A TOTALLY SHALLOW PERSON (shush) BUT I AM A FAN OF MEN BEING IN A HOT WAY IN MOVIES. Just ask my AP Euro class last year. And my Micro class (I think), but I don't have documentation of that one. Um, I digress. So it wasn't in the hot 'I'll make love to the camera with my eyes and my gorgeous shirtless body which makes the UTTER TERROR of some movies very slightly okay!' way. And apparently it wasn't meant to be in the utter terror way, either! Just in a. Way. BUT OKAY, IT WAS TERRIFYING. Maybe it was terrifying because it was so like Quality Literature: totally incomprehensible to pretty much everyone who watched it. I'll admit: I didn't understand an iota of it (probably because I'd been asleep). For the most part, anyway. BUT STILL. Terrifying. Terror-inducing. REALLY REALLY SCARY. I  want to watch it again.



    In reference to my last post: I'm coping, and I'm doing a far sight better at it now that time has gone by. Going on a new vacation in a week! Terribly exciting. Less exciting is the fact that I have to finish all my summer stuff (I say that as if it's a lot, but really, it's just reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I'm halfway done with, and writing an essay about it. And taking a placement test) for Kalamazoo before I go, 'cause it's all due while I'm gone. Speaking of K: can't wait to find out who my roommate is!



    In other news, I've been watching The O.C. for the first time in my life (shut up). Ben McKenzie's upper arms, please never change. Actually, please commence showcasing yourselves in  wifebeaters, always and forever, effective immediately. That'd be nice. I don't even mind if it's always just on screen and I never come across you in a ninja attack of bicep-stroking and bear hugs (which I also wouldn't be opposed to). You're quality enough to put the rest of Ben McKenzie on my List. Not quite sure what the List is, yet, but it's got a very appropriate smattering of people including Ethan Hawke (especially with longish hair), Michael Cassidy (especially with shortish hair), WILLIAM MOSELEY THE ETERNALLY GORGEOUS, Chace Crawford (duh), and Reese Witherspoon (who should be on every list ever. As long as they're good. And I'm pretty sure that this list isn't a bad list). And lots more, but those are at the top.  I'm going to end this post anticlimatically... now.

  • gmail: "Plan a summer reading list!"

    Thanks, GMail. Got one. It includes my entire collection of Redwall books (2.25 down; 12.75 to go. I don't own the latest four, and I haven't read any of them since 2003. Been long enough!), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Summer Common Reading book for K), and, um. Everything else in my path.


    It's summertime! I've been busy busy busy. With the job at one of my three absolute favorite places in the world that I mentioned in my last post, with volunteering at one of my other three absolute favorite places in the world (the Living Arts & Science Center), with -- dare I say it? -- working out (this is a new development. I kind of like it. Shhh, don't tell. I was so diametrically opposed to it for so long that I can't just go out and, oh, blog about it, can I? Same goes for my increasing appreciation of my iPod. Used to claim I never wanted one. Once I got it, things changed. But shh. This is our little secret), with vacationing at the beach with extended family, with sleeping, with the reading, with cleaning (maybe not so much on that one)... the list goes on. I have emails that I owe people (Erin, who probably doesn't even know this blog exists -- I swear I'll reply! I keep meaning to! Before I meet you at orientation in two and a half months! Um), phone calls that I should probably make, letters that I keep intending on writing, people I want to see again... but I'm on top of it. Right on top of it, Rose (for all of you Don't Tell Mom (The Babysitter's Dead) fans out there). Yeah.


    But my point isn't the excitement of summer, or the business (ha!) -- busy-ness, not corporation-business, or heralding the Glorious Fourth coming up, or the list of things that I intend on doing but haven't gotten around to yet (like putting away the half of my laundry that I just finished. Doing that as soon as this post goes up!), but something a bit more solemn.


    I debated about telling people about this. Why should I? I wondered. It's not really something that people can just understand, not just something that you talk about. I told three of my closest friends at the time, got mixed reactions (from concern to utter disregard), and decided that I didn't want anyone else to know. I was thinking, telling people will be equivocal with bragging. Telling people will bring undue attention. This isn't the sort of thing I want to talk about. I don't want it to be something I use to pull over other people. I don't want to tell.


     But I've changed my mind. Seeing my sister keeping it bottled up initially, and considering the ramifications of not letting it all out, has brought me to the decision of writing about it. But writing to myself isn't enough: I can't deal with keeping it completely self-contained, with it continuing to manifest in nightmares and moments of panic, with worrying about, what about when I go to college? What if something like this happens then? How will I cope? Maybe the choice to blog about it, so that anybody and his grandmother could read it, so that I'm exposed to the entire world isn't a good idea. Going from almost-complete containment to public access in a handful of words? Perhaps this isn't my brightest choice. But maybe it is. And maybe it will make no difference whatsoever. But maybe it will. People say, "don't dwell on the what-ifs," but isn't that really what life is about? Every decision, even snap ones, are based on what-ifs. People can't avoid thinking about 'what-ifs' in the other way, either. "What if this had happened instead? What if that had gone down?" It's how we function, and I choose to follow the positive ones. Also, I've managed to accept that letting people know isn't bragging, isn't providing myself with an excuse. This is just me, expressing a concern. This is me, getting it off my chest. Keeping it contained will just allow it to fester, and I don't want an infection.


    I don't want to worry anyone! Seriously, even though it's not a pleasant story, it has a happy ending. It's just, okay. To convey the weight of my worries, I'll have to start with last summer, even though the event in question was one which occurred last Friday.


    Last summer, I was having a brilliant amazing time at Governor's Scholars Program (the Kentucky one), when I got the phone message that my grandfather was being hospitalized for pretty severe heart issues. I ended up deciding to take the route of distancing myself from my family as best I could, so that I could continue to enjoy my time... and so that the issues wouldn't seem quite as real. (I actually wrote my college common application essay about this; if anyone wants to read it, contact my REDmail.) I carried my phone with me everywhere, against all GSP rules, in the event of an update of his health, but I didn't want to talk to my family. I was scared that I'd cry and they wouldn't; I was scared that they'd cry and I wouldn't. I felt horrifically guilty that I wasn't home for this, even though he was nowhere near home. In that instance, I made poor decisions. When I came back, my distance during that last week of GSP caused his soon-thereafter death to be a much bigger shock to me than my family, I had a harder time controlling myself... and I couldn't get rid of my regret, of my guilt. 


    Last Friday, I was at the beach with my family, and there was a freak ripstream.  Both my father and my sister were caught in it. I'm still unclear as to the exact events -- I'm pretty sure that they are, too -- but I have a pretty decent gist. I was at the beach, in a chair, using the Redwall book I was on (Mossflower, which (I regret to admit), I haven't gotten much further in) as more of a sunshade than reading material, when my sister came up, and walked past me to Mom, crying. I sort of assumed that she'd come in contact with a stingray, which she was terrified of, but suddenly there were people yelling for the Coast Guard and cousins crying and Mom running out into the water and my sister just totally breaking down. My dad, you see, can't swim. I freaked out (and broke my promise to myself that I wouldn't get another swimsuit wet -- it was the last day and they would be a hassle to dry), shouted for him, cried for him, couldn't see him. A stranger, a lady, hugged me told me that it would be okay. Stranger lady, if you ever come across this: thank you. I don't remember anything about you besides your gender, but that grounded me. I was still panicked, but my youngest cousins were in a worse way. Externally, at least; I'm pretty sure that I was more freaked out inside than they were (but who can really tell?). Comforting them, apart from being second nature (spending the majority of my past year with a 6-12 yr old set, teaching and helping them, spending time with them, having fun with them, has gotten me in the habit of being closer to and more likely to interact and connect with children, sometimes over adults. I welcome this), was a way for me to distract myself from my own worries, from scanning the ocean and trying to spot my dad, so I did so.


    It turned out okay. Some guys with a boogie board (seriously how are those things spelled. I can never figure it out) managed to get him out of the ripstream even as the Coast Guard arrived. I learned later that he was minutes, maybe even seconds, away from drowning, but he didn't, and that's what really matters. My sister, too, was caught, and she tried to save dad before she tried to get herself out, and she was just as exhausted as he was at the end of it, but she was unharmed, too. They swallowed, and breathed in, a lot of the water, but they didn't go into any sort of physical health issues after. I am so, so grateful for this. I realized then that I took my family;s lives for granted; I don't, anymore. They both could have died; neither did. The what-ifs inherent in this are what-ifs that I work extra-hard on not dwelling on. It's hard, sometimes.


    Since then, I've been a lot more caustic towards statements indicating that people are taking another person for granted, but my anger levels, my temper, has been sedated. It hasn't even been a full week since the ripstream, and this may not (probably won't) last, but it's interesting right now, while I have it. I usually get angry quick and easy and get over it just as quickly and easily. Since that occurrence, I haven't been. Less (try: not at all) likely to become angry, but less able to forgive people whose views haven't changed similarly. The latter is probably going to end up being a problem if it continues on. I'll try not to let it become that. I've become more focused on spending time with my family, and less with other people. I'm not sure if this is because my family is more important or if it is because my family is what I almost lost. It's probably a combination of both. Maybe this means that I still take my friends very much for granted, but I don't think that that's the case. 


    At first, I was hurt by the friend that didn't show any empathy,  but I'm beginning to realize: why should they? They don't know what it's like. Some RED writers do. I know. I've read the essays, read the blogs. I'm sure a lot of other people out there (maybe people reading this. If people read this, haha) do. Most of my friends, I am confident in saying, do not. They've never had the feeling of, one minute more and you wouldn't have a father. They've never woken up crying from a nightmare that things had turned out differently. They weren't exposed to twenty-four hours of constant fear that something would happen, that there would be belated drowning, residual water slowly collecting in lungs and slowly, slowly beginning to kill (does that even happen? I'm not sure, but that didn't stop me from being terrified about it). 


    And then the what-ifs come back full force. Less than an hour before it happened, I'd been making strawberry pancakes with my middle cousin. We put chocolate sauce in the batter, which we weren't supposed to, and ate more than we'd been told we were allowed, because that's the job of the Older Cousin (and I'm the oldest): to break harmless rules like that. He went ahead to the beach. I went because I promised him I'd follow. But what if I hadn't promised? It probably would have been another GSP thing. I wouldn't have gotten the magnitude of it. What if they'd died while I was at the house? I'd never have been able to forgive myself. Granted, if that had been the case, I probably wouldn't ever be able to forgive myself for not being able to go out there and save them... but I stop myself, tell myself, "this didn't happen. Don't dwell."


    The nightmare I had on Sunday, the one that I woke up crying from, the one that made me find my dad and hug him and cry and not want him out of my sight for as long as possible, brought upon a fresh wave of panic. I'll copy directly from an email to a friend regarding plans that evening:

    • and i think i'm just going to spend time with my family because i keep having moments where i freak out about half of them almost dying and wondering what will happen when i'm in college and i have more nightmares about it and can't see them to know they're okay and what if they die when i'm there, too, because i'll be too far away to help and what am i going to do and stuff and i really don't want to be away from them right now

     The worry is that I'll be away and something will happen like it happened to my grandfather, that I'll be 400 miles away from home and something will happen to one of them, and I won't be able to get back and it won't seem real and then suddenly there will be a point of no return and I'll. I don't know. I don't want to think about it, but I can't help it. It's not just waking up from a nightmare and not being able to see them (but I have told them that if I call in the middle of the night wanting to hear their voices, that's why, and I think that might be enough). I'm terrified of losing them, more than I ever have been, and I'm more terrified of losing them when I'm too far away to miss them going. I don't know what I can do about this. I realize, logically, that it's unlikely that something will happen. I hope that it's unlikely that something will happen. I'll probably continue having nightmares about this, probably continue freaking out. I wasn't the one in the water. There was no threat to my physical well-being, and I'm sure that my dad and my sister are having a much harder time of it emotionally, too, but I don't know. It's hard being the one on the shore, too, and when I'm away at college next year, I won't even be near the figurative shore. I won't have the option of running out into the surf and doing my best to save them. I have to come to terms with this.


     I have to come to terms with this.


     Going to a college so far away was my decision, and I do not regret my choice. I didn't realize that these worries would be something to consider, and suddenly, I have to consider them. The closest college that I applied to was about an hours' drive away, though, so I'd still be distant. There'd still be the separation. I guess this is a part of growing up: you have to grow out, too, even if you're not ready. Even if the terror that, when you come back visiting, there won't be people to visit (or that the people are hospitalized, or. Anything like that), is plaguing you, you have to keep going away, you have to keep visiting. There isn't any turning back from this, and I don't really mind. I can hope with ever fiber of my being that nothing will happen to them, and that's really all there is to do. They'll probably be fine, and that's all I can console myself with. I'm going to have an excellent time at college: I can sense this. I won't be able to work past this fear all the way, I think, but knowing me, I'll be able to push it to the back burner quite effectively once I get there. And this time around, I'll know: if something happens, I won't become unavailable. I'll ask for a plane flight back, maybe just for a weekend. But I'll be fine, and they'll be fine, and even though they'll still be on the figurative surf and I'll be, like, in the Arctic, we'll still be connected. Even if it takes messenger pigeons, we'll be connected. We're family. And that's how it is. I'll spend as much time as I can with them until I cannot spend any more time with them, and then I'll go on. Because I have to. Because I can. I might not necessarily want to, at the moment, but that's likely to change. I'm ready for college right now. I could go right now, if it started right now, and I'd enjoy going. I'm not just saying this -- I mean every single word of it. I'll keep being terrified for a while, until I stop being terrified and start being just worried. It's manageable. I can overcome it. It will just take time, and I have a lot of that. I hope.


    On another note, there should be a facebook application that notifies people when REDblogs go up. Someone should get on this.  ETA: Never mind! Found one.


    PS: This is cool

  • Gmail ads would like to remind me that the Wings won the Stanley Cup *\o/* :) :) :)

    So. Hello, it has been awhile! Last time I posted, I was panicking about college. Now, I'm, well. I'm still panicking about college, but in a different way!


    Since my last post, I have done the following:

    • Finished highschool (*\o/*)
    • Didn't take any finals :)
    • Graduated (as Amy's last post sort of illustrates!)
    • Gone to Memphis, TN & Oxford, MS with my English class, which is a long story involving many things including, but not limited to, really freaking fantastic ribs and my falling asleep in the wrong room.
    • A lot of horrid school-y stuff
    • Given up the internet for a full week (shocking, I know).
    • Started writing another story.
    • Got a twitter.
    • Gone to a Summer Movie Classic at the Kentucky theater (seriously why do I even bother with these posts? Amy sums it all up so nicely :) ).
    • Started (and completed) my first job.


    On the job note: this past year -- I'm sure I've mentioned -- I've been carrying out my Senior Mentoring Project (can't remember if I've mentioned this, but it's this thing I had to do for my program) at my old elementary school, teaching after-school creative writing classes, etcetera etcetera. Through this, I got aforementioned job: running their summer school/camp program for elementary-aged students (the school, being Montessori, also has preschool-aged students and a preschool-aged summer school/camp program) in the mornings of first week of its existance. And since I'm on the books, I can officially sub for any future summer school-related things. :)


    First, let it be said that I totally adore seven year olds.  Not all of my kids this week were seven, but it was the average age, and. I digress. Seven is the best age ever, okay? I kind of want to borrow a seven-year-old neighbor and, like, adopt them for the summer (unfortunately, my neighbor closest that age is eight, and. Eight is just too old. :( I'm kidding about that! Except. Sadly, not really) and hang and like, play with Skip-Its every day for half the day and make ice cream and cookies and swing a lot. That would be really cool. I could also teach them! Knitting and weaving and lots of artsy things and SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS and creative writing and slkdfjhg. Perfect world, being able to spend every day with seven-year-olds, just learning. And having fun. Because learning is fun! And basketball because basketball is also awesome, which I seem to have spent the last four years forgetting but which I have finally re-remembered. 

    I digress. Again. Long story short: had four students (if you can call them that) from 8-12:30 a day for the past five days. Instructed them in various artistic and physically educative endeavors, plus some cooking and some really rockin' science-y things (put food coloring drops in milk. Drizzle liquid dishwashing soap in the food coloring. Watch & be amazed!!) with them, with a little help from my sister -- which came in handy these last few days, because I've had a horrific headcold that sort of negates the ability to continue with the participation in the physically educative activities -- and yes. Just yes. 


    Um, to be entirely honest, I took a break in the writing of this to write something else and I completely lost track of what I was really intending on saying! SO UM ANWAY THIS FRIEND I HAVE WHO WAS MY ROOMMATE FOR FIVE WEEKS IS ENGAGED AND SHE PLANS TO GET MARRIED AS SOON AS SHE TURNS EIGHTEEN WHAT THE CRAP.


    Yeah I totally don't remember. I love teaching! Teaching is my calling. Especially second grade, I believe. Teaching creative writing and running a summer school/camp program has helped me understand this. :)


     This time I took a break for sleep and now I really don't know what I was driving at :) my cold, it makes my brain all muddled. Um. I believe I'll just finish this up with a Guilty Confession and then attempt the whole blogging thing again later, properly, at another date idek. 


    Guilty Confession: I have lost and forgotten half of my college email login information :|


    And now, for a gratuitous picture of amazing food that I really want to eat right now.

    kdjghlskdjhfglkdfgh yummmm

    that's all, folks! 


    PS; Amy mentioned her Wizard Rock paper... I did one just like it, except on Baba O'Riley (by the Who). So. If you ever have any questions ever on the song, don't hesitate to ask :| 

  • Gmail got nothing on this.

    Observation: It's really quite weird when people you know from entirely different situations end up friends. Por ejemplo: Last night, I found out that one of my good friends from elementary/middle school (small, Montessori) and a friend of mine from a Mother-Daughter Book Club that happened from about second grade to -- not quite sure when, but there was a 'reunion' meeting a year and a half ago -- are apparently great friends and have spent the past week together visiting Philadelphia and New York with one or two others. This cross-applies to a lot of situations: I don't know why, but I am continuously shocked when people I knew back in Montessori meet, and befriend, people I know in my current, public high school. Or when people I knew from my elementary school but who didn't go to my middle school meet people from my middle school who didn't go to my elementary school. Or any combination thereof, including people that I know from last summer's Governor's Scholars Program, people from Camp Everytown the year before that, and people I know randomly through Teen Board or Teen Court or other such places. Yeah.



    Observation: College is a really hard decision


    Backstory: For years, I was crazy easygoing -- I'd stress out about a few things, but, by and large, I wasn't too concerned with much of anything. And then college came up, and suddenly grades and activities and past experiences mattered more than they'd ever done before. That, in itself, was a bit nerve-wracking, even though I'm lucky in that I'm a good test-taker and that, in the long run, I don't have that many problems with school. You know, overlooking most of my entire junior year. I've been relatively involved in various activities, I've been published... all of these made things easier. 


    First, I was worried that I wouldn't get in anywhere. I mostly joked about this: the administrator of my program (also probably a benefit in the college searching process -- I'm in an accelerated/college-prep sort of program in my high school) and I would have discussions in which we would go over 'what-ifs' -- it was basically decided that I would work at a local bakery from about 4:00 AM to 2:00 PM during the day and spend the rest of my waking hours writing and becoming famous without the aid of a college education -- though she made it quite clear that she fully expected me to get into lots of, and lots of good colleges. I knew, logically, that I shouldn't worry, but then again... who doesn't? National Merit and publication statuses nonwithstanding, something could Happen, right, and there was always a chance that I'd run into problems. There were several specific incidences where I talked to (in person, via phone, or via Instant Messenger) people and the conversation -- if it can be called that -- was basically me going on and on about 'what if I don't get in, what if I don't make friends, what if things don't work out the way I want them to'


    And then I got my first acceptances -- Centre and Wittenberg -- and even though they were more fallback schools, 'Just-In-Case' applications, it was still nice to know that some college, somewhere, wanted me to go there.


    I cried when I got into Beloit, which, at the time, was my top choice. When I was sending out my applications, even, I had a moment of panic where I told my friend Brian, "Oh my God, I think I'm going to apply Early Decision to Beloit, I feel so strongly that I want to go to this school. It sounds amazing, but I'm terrified that I'm even contemplating this." (I found out about ten minutes later that Beloit doesn't do Early Decision -- which made me relax kind of a lot). I was quiet about my acceptance: I was in my computer science class, and Mom had emailed me about my acceptance. I wanted to shout out the news, but kept it in, instead emailing several friends ("OH MY GOD AMY HUNT I GOT INTO BELOIT. i'm like, crying", "oh my god OH MY GOD  I got into my top college", "I got into Beloit which just about negates my need for a lobotomy" and other such missives)


    When I got into Kalamazoo, I froze. It was computer science again, and Mom emailed me: "Don't scream, but Kalamazoo wants you". I forwarded that to a friend of mine who goes there, adding the line "I thought that this might interest you," you know, coming off as a lot more calm than I felt. You know how in books people describe a "cool rain" sort of feeling when something happens? Where they get all very calm and controlled? That was basically my reaction to K. My friend J got back to me immediately, freaking out ("in a good way") about the news, which sort of broke through my stony exterior and I might have spun around in my chair several times (attracting a few curious looks). Kalamazoo was, at the time, in my top three choices and, at the time, I thought, "Beloit made me cry. Kalamazoo made me calm. This probably means I'm going to Beloit." When I got home, I read my acceptance letter very carefully and just reflected on the whole thing.


    I found out about Bryn Mawr (and Mount Holyoke) at home, via their websites. For both of those, I might've danced a little bit, run downstairs to inform mom, et cetera. With both of these, my sister told me she was 'disappointed that [I was] even considering a school without boys' and I sort of just laughed her off, being jubilant and all.


    With the other schools, I was either pleased or frank (I was pretty excited about getting into Grinnell, because that was, I felt, my reach school, but I didn't react as strongly as I did to Bryn Mawr or Beloit) or both, but yes.



    The problem with getting into so many (and so many good schools) is the decision-making. By about February, I knew that Beloit, Kalamazoo, and Bryn Mawr were my top three, but throughout the getting-in process, my top one changed quite frequently. For a while, I wanted nothing more than to go to Bryn Mawr, partially so that I could say I'd been to Bryn Mawr. This whole time, I was essentially convinced that I'd go to Beloit or Kalamazoo in the long run, and entertained the other possibilities as just a, "it would be cool if I went there but I probably won't end up doing so" sort of situation. I talked to people about the benefits of the other schools, about why I'd love to go to them... but I don't think I ever really expected that I would. At some point in March, I became marginally disenchanted with Beloit and told myself (and Amy) that I was going to Kalamazoo but not to tell anyone else -- probably a good thing, because a week later I started reading up on Beloit again (mostly in their coursebook) and getting really, really excited about all the possibilities (it didn't hurt that I'd discovered that a member of the future Beloit class of 2012 was a great fan of RED). A week before spring break (that is, two Saturdays ago), I was just about to declare to Amy that I was actually probably going to Beloit... but I hesitated. Told myself not to think about college for a week (hah. As if). Told myself not to make any decisions until I'd visited the schools (I went on a college-visiting trip last week; Wednesday to Saturday, visiting Beloit and Kalamazoo). Tried not to dwell (which proved to be very hard).


     But it's a good thing that I didn't declare. I went to Beloit expecting to be amazed, expecting to fall in love with it, expecting my future there to be cemented. But something felt a bit off -- it was a nice enough college, but, unfortunately, in my own, personal, opinion, it represented itself on paper a lot more adeptly than it did in actual presentation. The size was perfect. One of the three classes that I sat in on (an education class) was amazing. There were interesting people. But (as I wrote in my notebook of observations as I settled down, watching Heathers with my night host and her roommate that night), the thing with Beloit was, I couldn't really see myself there for the next four years. There was something about the campus: I just couldn't picture myself as a student there.


    I visited Kalamazoo the next day. My seeing the campus was like my seeing the Wittenberg campus over spring break of last year: I didn't want to love it, but I did. K and Wittenberg are the two colleges I've loved upon sight (when I did my visits last year, I kept telling  myself that I only liked Wittenberg because it was the first college I visited, but, really, the feeling I got at that campus wasn't nearly met by any of the other colleges that year. My only issue with Wittenberg was, actually, the academics: they bored me. Which, you know, kind of a problem in an educational institution?). It felt sort of like home -- not in the sense that I belonged there (though I did get an inkling of that), but in the sense that it reminded me a lot of Lexington. Dad and I stopped for Starbucks on our way to locating his hotel, and I remember looking out the window and thinking, this reminds me almost exactly of the street leading to my high school. Just like Kentucky! Except without so many horses. I realized that, even though I don't want to stay in Kentucky, I want to stay somewhere a lot like it. I love how Kentucky is. It's a jewel, really -- even though it's poor as anything, even though it's the brunt of many hick/redneck jokes... the land, itself, is beautiful. My grandmother once called it a 'secret beauty', which I feel is very true. People don't really get to experience it that much, for which I'm actually pretty glad. I want Kentucky to stay a secret paradise. I want to live elsewhere for at least four years, yes, but that doesn't mean I love it any less. Perhaps it means that I love it all the more -- absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all -- but I don't know. The area of Michigan where Kalamazoo is... well. It might not be as green in early April as the (rather flooded) Kentucky is, but the feel of the area is the same.  The people at the college were more engaging. The campus reminded me of the lovechild of Wittenberg and Morehead, except with better academics (and, considering I loved the Wittenberg campus and lived on the Morehead one for five weeks (subsequently growing to adore the location(and even the thirteen flights of steps to my room!), too), this is a really good thing) and a bit more beautification. It rained there the night I stayed, which I think actually charmed me. The people there seemed more helpful, more active. I don't know. Maybe my friend J secretly contacted everyone there and told them to be engaging (I don't think she did. I hope she didn't...) around me. More personable, like.



    Except, when I left the Kalamazoo campus to go back to Chicago (for the flight), I kept second-guessing my feelings. "You've been enamored with Beloit for so long," I said to myself. "Maybe it's just that you visited K after actually getting sleep the night before." By the time I got home, even though I'd been convinced while on the Kalamazoo campus that I would be attending Kalamazoo next fall, I'd all but talked myself out of this decision. I actually considered going to Centre, instead (closest campus to me, and yet I've never visited it. Go figure!) for about half an hour. 


    And then I hung out with Amy at a local coffeeshop. When we were driving to her house after, I fell into another one of those collegiate panics and we discussed how difficult, how final it is to declare one particular college as The One. We talked through our thought processes, panicked a bit together, but even as we were doing that, I began to realize that no matter how much I might flipflop on college, the chance of my sending in my initial deposit to anywhere but Kalamazoo was incredibly slim. I was loathe to admit this to anyone, especially myself, but somehow I did let her (and J) know, and before I left Amy's house last night, I had already introduced myself to the Kalamazoo class of 2012 on Facebook. This act, in itself, made me panic a bit more, but when I got home, I told my mom that I was probably going to go to K next year and, for the first time in months, my college-related panic lessened.



    When I started this post, I was panicking again. "Is this the right choice?" I asked myself. "Can I really be so certain?"


    But the thing is, no matter how much I might want a perfect school, there isn't one. Kalamazoo is the best fit I've found, even if the final decision was basically based off of the aura of the campus. The difference, as I told Amy, between K and Beloit, was that I could see myself as a student at Kalamazoo. Moreso than at any other college I've visited, I've felt that I could really succeed there.  I still am not 100% certain that I'm right, but, then again, I think I'll probably be panicking, however minutely, about this decision for probably the rest of my life. "Did I make the right choice?" I'll probably ask myself in twenty years. "If I'd gone to [insert other school here], where would I be in life?" Even though there probably isn't a perfect place for me, I don't think that I'm settling. I'm aspiring, and I fully intend on being great. And although I keep having these ridiculous panicked moments, part of me is extremely calm. I'm terrified, yes, but also (in the immortal words of Carla Perez-Gallardo), I am EXCITED.



    Also, though I'm glad to be finally out of braces... I really hate my retainer. :) 

  • gmail enjoys spam.

     -- Went to a costume party at a friend's house last night. I was Cher. :-" Potentially there will be pictures soon.



    Acceptances (in order of notification):





    +Bryn Mawr

    +Mounth Holyoke



    +Macalester (which I'm actually excited about, because they, um, don't have all my paperwork in yet?)






    Have a nice day, everyone :) 


  • gmail is all about the high school senior girl pin-up pictures these days.

    So, like, it has been about thirty billion years since I last blogged, yes?


    The following will probably be really really disjointed and random. How rad!

      • There's this girl in my computer science and microbiology/heredity classes that has been doing a lot of really crafty things lately. She cut out a whole boxful of paper flowers a few weeks ago; currently she's doing those little paper weavings that everyone has done at some point in the past or another, except the way she's doing it now is amazingly intricate and basically beautiful to behold. She's really inspiring me to do crafty things again? My only problem is, I can't think of what to start with! (read: I can't think of anything to do)
      • So I used to be harrassed by this junior football jock in aforementioned Micro class. He still does it (fool seems to think he's smarter than me, but he was willing to bet me $500 that he could get into Bryn Mawr College. Um, is it just me, or is there some kind of disconnect there? I mean, even if he didn't know what BMC was (he didn't), who would make some kind of bet like that? Like, $500 (even thoughit wasn't really serious) without knowing the details? Um. And I'm still having a hard time with exactly how many people in that class had never heard of Bryn Mawr, because I've certainly heard a lot and everything that I have heard has been AMAZING and I feel quite strongly that everyone else should have heard these amazing things), but now he and every other (presumably straight) guy in the class -- probably some of the girls, too -- has fallen madly in love with the student teacher.
      • JORDYN. A friend of mine saw your BIZZER SIGN!! post and wants to know if you have a livejournal (her exact reaction to it was, BIZZER SIGN!!!

      • College. kdfhglfdkhg so, like, nervous about this. Will I find the Right Fit, will I excel, will I become an amazing asset, will I make friends, will elementary education really be my calling for the rest of my life or is it just another whim, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
      • I actually have a label in Gmail for this: "frightening concept #56: college". I don't know what the other 55 frightening concepts are, exactly, but I'm sure that rabid monkeys fall in that category. Guys, do you know how frightening rabid monkeys are? They're pretty terrifying. I'd assume. I don't know on first-hand basis (THANK GOODNESS).
      • I've gotten into two of my top three so far! Beloit (Wisconsin) and Kalamazoo (Michigan). Bryn Mawr would be the third of my top three, and I will find out in exactly ONE WEEK whether I got in or not. :-SS so nervous, guys. (Thus far I have also gotten into Centre (Kentucky) and Wittenberg (Ohio). I have yet to hear from Grinnell (Iowa), Kenyon (Ohio), Mount Holyoke (Mass.), Macalester (Minnesota; they keep claiming that I haven't sent in one of my teacher recs, so I'm not very positive about this one), Oberlin (Ohio), and, of course, Bryn Mawr (PA))
      • I kept looking at that list above and going, "I FORGOT ONE I APPLIED TO TEN AND THERE ARE ONLY NINE LISTED OMG HOW COULD I FORGET ONE OF MY COLLEGES I DON'T DESERVE TO GO WHEREVER IT IS" until I realized that I wasn't counting my mention of Bryn Mawr because I hadn't Officially LIsted it. Um. I was counting by parenthetical states rather than actual names. Good job on my part, right?
      • I have most of my music on an external hard drive, which I am sometimes too lazy to plug in. The music that is on my computer proper, therefore, is the stuff I listen to most frequently. I was just going through my "stuff that works not plugged in" (how original, right?) playlist on iTunes and I've come to realize that most of the songs on my computer proper are about sex. I mean, overlooking the part where about half the songs out there are about sex, ...what does this say about me! Like, some of it is mild, but David Banner's "Play" (not linking to the lyrics. Out of posterity. I'd suggest not searching for them, either)? I mean, I don't even know how it got into my music. I'm keeping it, of course, because one never knows when lewd, graphic, crude songs about sex will come in handy (answer: shocking my little sisters' bffs), but really. At least half of my frequently-listened-to songs are about sex (no doubt this is argumented by the propensity of Matt Nathanson and the magnetic fields...). The Ratatouille soundtrack is perhaps the only redeeming quality of my on-computer tunes, come to think. I wonder, based on this, how many times I hear allusions to sex daily. SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES, GUYS. I'm going to be a whore if I keep this up. And, actually, this is beginning to rear its ugly head: in a conversation with Amy the other day about an English paper we have to write and, subsequently, Serge Gainsbourg songs, the only song by the artist in question that I could remember the name of was "69 Annee Erotique". Yeah, about that.
      • The only things I have in my off-external-hd playlist that are not music are recordings of Alan Rickman reading Shakespeare's sonnets. Um, yum?
      • Sex and music! I don't remember if Amy has blogged about this yet, but we went to a Wizard Rock concert (she played! She was amazing!) and the second band, Tom Riddle and Friends!, had the hottest lead singer in the history of the world. Think Chris Lowell, except hotter and more real.
      • Music! If you guys aren't familiar with the amazingness of Infernal (they're a Danish pop dance band, okay, and if that isn't conviction enough then we have some talking to do), then you have some familiarizing to do. The same goes for Talkshow Boy. He's this Australian -- there is no genre for him. Like, none describes his music. He classifies himself as Booty Bass, which is kind of the best term ever? So yeah. If you listen to any one of his songs, listen to Life LIke a Movie. It's kind of one of my favorites ever, mostly for the line "or were you busy hunting aliens?".
      • Sex! If you've never read Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin, get it from your local bookstore/library/what have you ASAP. It's all about sex. Um. Well. Actually. ...yeah, I got nothing. It totally is. It's about this whore in London a couple hundred years ago, and if that isn't enough to convince you (books about whores, guys. The well-written, non-graphic ones are so addicting!), it also has murder, lust for pretty clothes, an awkward first relationship (sort of), corsets, the clap, questionable means of abortion, and pretty red ribbons. Please. Get it. Read it. Love it. :)
      • NPR IS THE BEST INVENTION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I also like WEKU (the local NPR-streaming station)'s classical music segements. Last semester, I listened mostly to Kidd Kraddick in the morning and top 40s hits. INTERESTING DIGRESSION maybe not.
      • My bathroom light has been out for over a week. I keep forgetting about it, until I go to use it, at which point I make a mental note to fix it. I always forget this. I also always turn the (currently useless) light switch on and off every time I use it. Go figure! (I currently have a lamp in it, for the record).
      • I wore a fake mustache (gray) to school all day to school one day recently. It was pretty rad. I guess I could dig up pictures, if people want.


    Okay, everyone! I'm off to practice piano and go to bed. Have a lovely weekend/St Patrick's Day! I feel as if everyone should post pictures of them wearing green. Those who don't, can be cyber-pinched!

    ...maybe not.




    you know you love me,


  • gmail adverts are offering me free love cards!!

    SO it has been forever. About, oh, a few weeks ago, I had this huge long post written out, but this site crapped out for, like, three days, and said post (which was largely about girls' schools in Bristol, as in England, and my tumblog, and such things. There were a zillion links, so this is highly upsetting.


    Why am I awake so late? You might ask that, and I might ask the same. :| it's because I've started writing short stories again, and there's this one that's about, oh. Two sentences long so far, and I really want to write more, but my muse has been SLAIN by the horrors that are germs. So I'm wasting time before I go to bed (presumably in the next five minutes or so).


    In the past week I have:

    • Turned eighteen (on Wednesday! Hurrah!)
    • Registered to vote (so excited!!)
    • Gotten quite ill and had to stay at home for essentially two (one and two thirds?) days. Which basically sucks.

    ...yeah, I don't really have that much to say. I'm feeling rather ill, still, because my sister kind of accidentally broke a lot of nail polish bottles and the smell is getting to me. I also feel dirty, because of my illness and the way it compromises my hygine, and tired, because it's, well. Pretty darn late. And headachey and sniffley and stuff, but I am NO LONGER HUNGRY because I made food with my magnificent Quesadilla Maker Of Doom (or, as my friend J likes to call it, my armadillo maker). Hurrah, food!


    Tomorrow (today. UGH) is my party. Pizza and Wakko's Wish for the win!


    To do:

    • Rent Wakko's Wish
    • SLEEP
    • Get at table at the restaurant
    • SLEEP
    • Send J's package (which I've been promising for, like, two months now? Three? Definitely since the RED party, because. One of the things is an autographed copy of RED! A lot of you might remember signing it, or one of the other three. Um.)
    • SLEEP
    • Get healthy. Bonus points for not infecting friends!
    • Write more
    • Do math homework
    • SLEEP
    • Listen to more Bare: a Pop Opera, which is a pretty great musical with pretty great music. (Thanks, Megan, for unknowningly introducing me!)
    • SLEEP

    As you can probably tell, sleep is a little bit important to me. MOM, IF YOU READ THIS BLOG BEFORE WAKING ME UP, LET ME SLEEP IN TILL NOONISH? THANKS.


    And now, to sleep. Carry on, folks! Have a brilliant first-weekend-of-February.


  • gmail adverts are trying to explain why women reject men.

    Exciting story of the year -- yesterday, a lit candle fell on my head! I got wax all in my hair, burned my scalp, was hit by the candlestick, and (according to my sister) actually cussed, which is something I, like, never do. One of my favorite shirts, ever, became a Casualty Of Candle. So woeful. :(


    It took, like, two tablespoons of olive oil and a LOT of hot water (my poor scalp :() to get the wax out of my hair, and after shampooing about ten times in the shower this morning, my hair is still woefully oily. PUTTING OIL IN MY HAIR, WILLINGLY, WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I'VE DONE IN AWHILE. (Maybe it would have all come out, but I couldn't use my right hand at ALL to wash my hair, on account of a horrid horrid papercut right at the base of my thumb, you know, kind of paralell to that webbing people have between fingers? yeah).


     But I'm okay! Near-death experience aside, I was only moderately dazed by the crash of the candle and the hot wax going all down my left side. Oh, yes. How thrilling.


    True story, ladies: putting a wax/olive oil duo in your hair makes it really kind of soft, shapable... and easily tangled. Woe. Maybe I should have used my leave-in conditioner anyway. Hmm.



    Am off to the Wilderness for the next few days! No computers or cell phone service (there will be TV, but we all know how I feel about that, yeah? ;) ). I'm really exited about this, actually! I plan on finishing reading Crime and Punishment, which I have to read by about mid-January for my English class.


    Hope that everyone has had a lovely holiday so far. ♥


    (ps, forgive misspellings -- I no longer have a built-in spellcheck, on account of firefox killing itself on this computer.)

  • gmail is trying to sell me farting e-cards!!

    Right, so I know that it's kind of late in the game for this (and Hanukkah's already over, &c), but Jordyn's mix CD post made me wonder: would anyone potentially be interested in a winter holiday card exchange, or anything?

  • gmail advert says, "ann coulter's column free", and I say, =; not interested kthx

    Hello, it's been forever :-"




    So you guys know how RED is in Newsweek, and how our sales have gone from ~4000 to ~1300 ish since then, right? WELL. My uncle, who works for the Washington Post, totally just suggested RED for the Washington Post Book Review! And the Deputy Editor of the Washington Post Book World said she'd take a look at it.


    This is kind of thrilling, guys. KIND OF REALLY THRILLING. Even if it doesn't pan out, it's thrilling


    In other news:

    So in my English class, we read these Big Huge Novels and plays that are Literally (in the sense of literature) Important, and then we do Big Huge Group Projects on them. Projects consist of the ever-important theme statement, a graphic organizer (mostly for the class to take notes on), lots of nuggets (1-10 word excerpts from the book/play that exemplify an aspect of the book or play), class discussion, a song that aptly portrays themes in the book/play, theme statement, and novel... and a Critical Article Outline from each group member.
    Critical Articles are essentially scholarly articles that you find and basically outline and turn in (okay, that's a sucky description, but whatever).
    Our most recent Big Huge Novel was Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and my Big Huge Group Project was on the characters in the second half of the novel (~chapter 13 onward, or, from when he meets the Brotherhood till the end). The article I found was "Invisible Desires: Homoerotic Racism and Its Homophobic Critique in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” by Daniel Kim, and, um. It frankly got kind of worse each time I read it -- the article basically said (direct quote) "by imposing a racist hierarchy, these white men seek to use black men much as men are inclined to use women: as objects to satisfy a whole spectrum of repressed erotic desires", and really stressed  Park's Introduction to the Science Of Sociology and the declaration that the "innate 'racial temperament' of the 'Negro' is ... the lady among the races" and that sort of stuff :| I felt like less of a person after reading it so closely. It was absurdly hilarious... to a point, and then it just got to be all, "OKAY, MR. KIM, NORTON DOESN'T NECESSARILY LUST AFTER HIS DEAD DAUGHTER AND THE FACT THAT HIS MOST "PASSIONATE", "IMPORTANT", "SACRED" REASON FOR PHILANTHROPY IN REGARDS TO THE COLLAGE IS TO "CONSTRUCT A LIVING MEMORIAL TO [HIS] DAUGHTER," AND THE WAY HE VIEWS THE STUDENTS OF SAID COLLEGE AS A "MONUMENT TO HER MEMORY" DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THESE SUPPOSED LATENT INCESTUOUS FEELINGS TOWARD HER CONVEY HIS EROTIC DESIRES UNTO THE STUDENTS."
    Um. Yeah. Okay. Now that that is off my shoulders...

    I didn't get to bed until like three am, though, what with the outlining of the article :| and coming up with a final theme statement (ultimately 'society sleepwalks, stumbling through the dark for salvation; the nightmare ends only when dreamers awaken to the shadowed sun') for the project or anything. I think I've lost my ability to read today because of this. :| I certainly know I didn't have my ability to function as a normal human being when I woke up this morning:
    (bear in mind that my usual IM conversations, though not necessarily replete with capital letters (except in the case of CAPSLOCK!abuse), do maintain appropriate SPaG - INCLUDING APOSTROPHES. ESPECIALLY APOSTROPHES -, and that this was just after I woke up and I turned all lights off and the screen's brightness and contrast as low as it could go and still be seen)
    me: its like before seven freaking am
      why does school start before NOON
    6:50 AM idcare about sports teams and their needign to rpactice earlier on or whateber the harebraned resoning behind thsi is
      ugh i can see how misspelled thatis
      its horriblw :|
      but im too lazy to fiz it :|
      thats the one.
    6:51 AM J: i have no idea what you're talking about
     me: how crazy it is that school starts before noon
      and how whatever the reson for that is probably rly stupid
    6:52 AM  and how i can see myself misspelling bc this computer has firefox and being a bit too lazy and tird to bother going back and fixing things 

    You guys, I am so embarrassed by this -- both my misspellings and LACK OF APOSTROPHES and punctuation and stuff, and also my babbling about how insane it is that school starts before noon (what really gets me, though, is the part where I say 'im, off :|'. HELLO. MISSING APOSTROPHE AND TOTALLY UNNECESSARY COMMA. I am not a morning person. This is my excuse). Of course it has to start before noon! How else would they make money off of lunch? :|

     I leave you to consider this.

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