Monday, November 30, 2009

Turning 20

Tomorrow is my 20th birthday. There's a lot going on in my life, so much so that I don't know where to start and some of it is unbloggable.

So, a playlist of songs that mean something to me from this year.

1. The Fear - Lily Allen
2. Cemetery Drive - My Chemical Romance (more significant overall than from this year. It's just a song I love for no logical reason)
3. Her Morning Elegance - Oren Lavie
4. The Night Starts Here - Stars
5. Hearts on Fire - Cut Copy
6. Weightless - All Time Low (lyric "And I'm over getting older.")
7. Wish -Paper Route
8. I'm Ready - Jack's Mannequin
9. It's Alright, Baby - Komeda (see if you can listen to this without feeling at least a smidge better)
10. Nineteen - Tegan & Sara
11. Breakable - Ingrid Michaelson
12. This Modern Love - Bloc Party
13. Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna
14. Oh My God - Ida Maria
15. Just a Girl - No Doubt
16. I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You - Black Kids
17. Under Pressure - Queen
18. So Long, Astoria - The Ataris
19. Grow Old With Me - The Postal Service (a cover of John Lennon. Melancholy and beautiful.)
20. Dancing in the Dark - Tegan & Sara

Turning 20 is bittersweet. Wonderful and odd. New. Old.

Four hours from now, I'm 20.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To fall off the face of the earth (and get vaguely graphic upon return)

This quarter has been the quarter I've been sick. This quarter has been the quarter where I have struggled, where I have been that girl. The one who skips class, who doesn't turn in assignments, who sleeps through classes because getting out of bed is just too much effort. The girl with a million excuses.

I have been sick, though. I started the quarter with an inner ear viral infection. I was dizzy, so dizzy I had to cling to the walls to walk and stick my arms out like planks to stay balanced.

I never really recovered from that. I've been exhausted all quarter. I went back to the student health center last week and was diagnosed with... another virus.

That one was a real charmer. I couldn't stand to have my clothes on, or at least, I couldn't stand having them touch me. I was nauseous and I had a very nice, rich cough. Just in time for homecoming and a dear friend and Jon to come into town.

I rested when I could, and then went out and acted like I wasn't ill the rest of the time. Then my tonsils, which have given me issues for YEARS, swelled up. Those of you who aren't intimately familiar with your tonsils, you are very, very lucky. I know when mine are angry. I know when mine are filled with gross crap. I know when mine are doing all right, simply because they aren't causing me any problems for once.

So my left tonsil swells up. And up. And up. It hurts to talk, and it hurts to swallow, and it just plain hurts. I tried to just recover on Monday, because I didn't have time to go to the doctor's. I'd caved to the concept of going to the doctor when I finally noticed the hole/blister on my left tonsil. My angry red swollen tonsil. With a blistery hole on it.

Yeah, just envision that for a moment.


So, I go back to the doctor. This is my third visit of the quarter, my third trip with prescription drugs, my first go-round on antibiotics this quarter. The CNP informed me that I either have strep, tonsillitis, or an upper respiratory infection. She prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic (closely related to penicillin) and sent me on my merry way.

The antibiotic and the yogurt I ate disagreed. If you ever need to throw up in a public bathroom, attempt to have the presence of mind to cover up the motion sensor, or you'll get to experience what I experienced, which was a toilet flushing in my face while I puked into it. Even in the moment, I found it ridiculously funny. Partially because I never throw up.

Sorry, again.

It's the seventh week of the quarter and I'm just hoping that I finally start feeling healthy. Hoping that everything I've let fall by the side this quarter is something I can pick back up. Hoping that life gets a little bit better, because lately it has sucked (there is much more than just being ill going on in my life, which I'll write about eventually. Maybe. If life ever settles down enough for me to feel comfortable sharing.).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Music Monday: Songs to Get Stuck in Your Head

Today's Music Monday is a mish mash of stuff as I'm in a rush to go North for the Iglu & Hartly concert. So, songs to get stuck in your head (or, a taste of possible music mondays to come).

First up, Aesop Rock's "None Shall Pass." Jon got me hooked on this guy. Check him out.

Next up? Tegan and Sara's "Back in Your Head." I heard "Walking with a Ghost" in 2006, picked up So Jealous and The Con quickly afterward, and am now looking forward to their new album, Sainthood, which is due to drop at the end of October. With "Back in Your Head," I've always felt like this summarizes a relationship when you're starting to fight and wondering if it's all worth it. Having been through enough of this in the past... well, yeah.

With EIGHT MILLION views on YouTube, does Mika really need my little rec here? Well, maybe. Mostly I want you to dig out your Queen's Greatest Hits album and think about a 'man' named Crowely. (Wikipedia Good Omens if you've no idea what I'm talking about).

Finally, one last recommendation. My sister came across Owl City at some point or another and forwarded me the video for their song "Fireflies." But I like this video, and you might as well have something FUN to do with your spare time, right? Right. (Apologies for the size differentials here. Dunno why it is, but I did my best to make sure all the videos were similar in size.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Music Monday: Amanda Palmer

I first heard Amanda Palmer as one half of the duo Dresden Dolls, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I'd heard of the Dresden Dolls long before that, and all I really knew is that they did 'Punk Cabaret,' which made no sense to me at all when I stumbled across them in AP magazine. But I loved the way the band looked in the photos I saw of them. I wanted to be the woman in the photos. Except... with my eyebrows, since hers looked drawn on. I liked my eyebrows.

The first song I heard from the Dresden Dolls was "Sex Changes." I loved this song. Loved the way it sounded, loved the way the lyrics worked, loved the pure energy that went into it.

(The option to embed the video I linked to is disabled, so here is a live version for those of you that hate clicking through to another page.)

But my interest dead ended there, at least for a time. A lot of it had to do with my limited access to high-speed internet and the pressure of school; I was constantly busy with classes and while I got a laptop last year, my folks didn't get high-speed until late last year. I still talk about it with a note of frustration in my voice, while many of my friends say, "Wow. I forgot about dial-up."


So my potential love of the Dresden Dolls got lost in the slush and snow of winter, and while I listened to the two songs I had on my iPod, I never went looking for anymore.

Then Neil Gaiman started posting on Twitter about a book he was working on called "Who Killed Amanda Palmer." This past spring he mentioned on his blog that he was dating Amanda Palmer. She was also on twitter. I followed her quickly afterward and loved her quirky style (they went on a road trip and she wore a horrible lime green paisley lonnnnng dress. My new love is things that are possibly ugly, thanks in part to her). I don't know when it came up, but it came to my attention that she was the lead singer of the Dresden Dolls.

Well, that stopped me in my tracks a little bit.

Then life went and swept me up again. Finals and helping friends move and then working 40 hour weeks because EVERYONE goes and decides to take vacation at the same time and... I still don't own a single Amanda Palmer or Dresden Dolls album.

But my youtube explorations have me reconsidering my failures. (This video is not for the faint hearted. Not many songs can gloss over rape, but this one kind of does.)

See what I mean about the eyebrows? Or the style for that matter?

One of the things I love about Amanda is she is an entertainer, and not in the straight-up crass manner that you so often see in female performers of late. It helps that she's not 16 and having to wait for her eighteenth birthday to be allowed to cut her hair. (For those readers who don't get bored and read Miley Cyrus's twitter, she is the particular pop starlet that I'm referring to.)

It looks as though the majority of the songs from Who Killed Amanda Palmer? are available in a series of videos through her youtube page. There is also a companion book, with pictures of her in various forms of being dead with words/stories by Neil Gaiman. (That link also goes to the WKAP website, for those of you that prefer to avoid youtube links.)

So, why am I recommending someone whose albums I don't own? Because in the few months that I have been following Amanda on twitter, she has been an amazing, entertaining person to follow. She started Losers Of Friday Night On Their Computers (LOFNOTC) on Twitter and will often respond to the @ replies she gets. She is someone who has become known and loved by her fans NOT for drinking or being naked, but for being a talented, hard-working musician/performer, who is willing to connect with fans. What's not to like?

I believe I read on her blog that she is planning on touring the east coast this fall (which I hope includes Ohio, as it is more East than West), so keep an eye on her twitter or website for an eventual tour announcement. I have a feeling she will be completely worth the cash to see.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quiet, furious rage

Is that title perhaps a bit redundant? I DON'T CARE.

It had been a long week for me, last week was, one that I was hoping would be brightened by a fun filled concert on Thursday. I had tickets to see Blink-182, with Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. I was excited. It was an excuse to dance (the area I was going to be in was large enough that I wasn't too concerned about moshers this time 'round) and an excuse to visit my sister and an excuse to have FUN.

Overall, I had fun. But there was this one part, this itty-bitty part which has eaten at me like the worst heartburn a person can ever experience.

There were 20,000 people at the concert, and a majority of the people there had lawn tickets. I was one of the people who snapped up a lawn ticket (wrongly) assuming that the view would be reasonable enough to go without a decent seat. I was there by myself, unlike most of the people there. I ended up befriending a girl and two guys (who didn't know each other until we started talking before Blink took the stage).

I ended up in front of this girl's friend, a guy. I was dancing, having FUN, rocking out, generally rocking out more than I usually do at a concert. It was VERY packed, so we were shoulder-to-shoulder, front-to-back across the entire lawn. Every fifth person was smoking, and I was about six inches shorter than all of the people around me. I was very hot and, periodically, I would get dizzy from the smoke and the heat. Breathing problems for the win, yes?

So, I'm dancing to this one song. I could tell you which one if I heard it, but I imagine I'm already blocking this out, because the whole thing just PISSED ME OFF. Because, out of the blue, I feel a hand GRAB MY ASS like it is hoping to take a chunk off.


I stopped dead in the middle of my dancing, rigid as a board, my brain scrambling at what sort of reaction I needed to scrape up. I was on auto-pilot, so my initial reaction was to wave it off as an 'accident' like all of the bumps and slaps and slams I'd been getting up until that point. He leaned in, said "SORRY!" loud enough for me to hear. I couldn't think. What was I supposed to think? Do? Say? It wasn't a mace-level offense, but it was enough to... be worthy of a response.

When the song ended, he leaned in, again. "Sorry! I just like to grab things!"


I am angry and disgusted. My reaction ended up being slowly inching my way through the crowd, away from this man, quashing any major reaction at that moment because what could I do? There was no space to turn around, and the opportunity to hit him like he deserved for the unwanted action had passed. It was too loud to yell at him, dress him down. Part of me wanted to go the pure rejection route, make up some line better than "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!" because so many people act like that is simply a paper barrier, no more strong than the gowns you wear when you visit the doctor for the yearly physical.

"Wow. My girlfriend is going to love having me fork over the twenty she bet me about tonight," I purred in my head, my voice both sweet and so cutting.

I stayed silent. The anger built as I found myself worrying over my dancing, where I stood, how much I knocked into the people around me. Focusing on things that had been background motion and noise to me seconds before, making me less confident, less able to stick a jump.

I was shot back to earth, furious and betrayed and, worst of all, worst than anything? I felt like a BAD PERSON. As if I had done something wrong, simply by enjoying myself.

Maybe he wouldn't have done that if I hadn't kept dancing into him, my treacherous brain whispered, as if we were in the 1950's and men were still allowed to pass off the blame of any wrong to a woman. Maybe if I hadn't been moving around so much... Even though it wasn't on purpose that I knocked into him, even though I had done nothing wrong, the thoughts built, mounting, orienting themselves inward instead of outward. Anger at myself for enjoying the concert instead of at him for thinking that he could fix things with that stupid apology.

The fury eventually edged that out. It is now hanging out with regret, the horrid regret of not doing anything. My brain shut down and I didn't fight my way back out, didn't get to express how angry I was. He knew he did something wrong, sure, but he almost made it seem like it was my fault. My ass, the way he put it, was simply too tempting to not grab. This is the second time in a week (third, in some ways) that I have been objectified, reduced, made less than, by a person's actions/comments. These incidences have left me dumbfounded, wondering where feminism is, what happened to it, that men are comfortable, again, with reducing women to a pair of tits in a dress or an ass in a pair of shorts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music Monday: Ingrid Michaelson

Apparently, everyone and their brother knows who this is, if the internet is to be believed. Ingrid Michaelson had a song in an Old Navy commercial a while back, "The Way I Am," and it ended up being fairly popular, so if you recognize this song, it's from that.

The reason I ended up finally stumbling across her music was pre-college. MemAud had a playlist for the evening, when I worked, that had this song in it. After two weeks of sitting there, wondering who is this and hoping I'd remember to google it when I got home, I finally asked the stage tech, who tracked down her name for me. The more I look into her music, the more I find out that everyone has probably known this artist for quite a while now, whether or not we knew it - if you watch Grey's Anatomy, you might recognize her music, because they've used her many, many times.

She has toured and recorded with artists whose names you might recognize, like Sara Bareilles (link is to a song they recorded together) and Jason Mraz. Basically, this woman has been making amazing music and been the background noise in some of the most popular shows on TV for a few years now. Shouldn't we embrace HER, now, too?

Not yet convinced that she's worth checking out? Then the only thing I can really say here is this music? This music is for romantics.

Ingrid is going on tour at the end of August to support her latest album, which is due out August 25. Check her out before you find yourself having to ask, "Hey, who is this?" while in your friends car.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh My God

Tuesday, I went up to Columbus with my fam, but this was different from the usual trips north, because I was in MY car. I had tickets to see Ida Maria, who is a musician from Sweden... I think. I don't know what I was expecting. I found her through some blog or another a few months back and instantly fell in love with her most well known single, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked."

If you haven't heard of her, no worries. Most people haven't. My sister directed me to her before I 'found' her on my own, but, for whatever reason, I didn't actually LISTEN to her music until later. But it was catchy and loud and very, very punk-rock. At least, it was to my less than savvy ears.

So, when I found out she was playing the Basement up in Columbus, I instantly bought tickets to the show. INSTANTLY. There was no thought process, no dilly dallying or wondering. I knew I had the day off, and I knew that I wanted to see her live.

The opening act was Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, an interesting band that I wouldn't mind hearing more of. I was in the ten-by-ten foot concrete square directly in front of the stage, and I stood there, marveling at the fact that no one was dancing, at all, and that the guy in front of me kept moving to exactly where I was standing, ruining my view. I went from being able to see the whole band to seeing the top third of the lead singer, and that was it.

That little concrete square stayed relatively empty during EF&TH, so I (wrongly) I assumed it would stay empty for Ida. But the MINUTE they walked off the stage and the crew started setting up for Ida, it began to get very, very crowded. So crowded that the only reason I had any room to move is no-one was standing behind the tall guy, who was still somewhat in front of me.

Ida took the stage and everyone cheered. I was shocked by how loud and well-done the music was. It's rare to hear a live musician sound so GOOD live. As the crowd started to move, enjoying the music, I felt someone knock into me. It wasn't the first time someone had knocked into me, but it was a repeated hitting. I don't mind dancing at concerts - honestly, I LOVE dancing at live shows - but I don't like dancing when it is moshing and it is knocking into me. I scoped out my spot during the opening the act SPECIFICALLY so I wouldn't have to deal with asshole moshers. But this girl...

She did not stop. Ida played for maybe 45 minutes, and during that time, several of her friends took turns 'watching' her, which seemed to consist of helping this girl throw herself into the crowd in a stupid, reckless attempt at crowd surfing. EVERY SINGLE TIME she did this, she got dropped very quickly and smacked her head on the concrete floor. The second time it happened, Ida asked, several times, "Are you okay? Honey, you okay?" After that, I think she (and the majority of the crowd) accepted that this girl adhered to the idea of 'I get knocked down, but I get up again.'

I hated this girl, and her friends/family. Mainly her friends and family. She was so far gone - Jon and I nearly had an argument over this, but I still hold to the fact that she HAD to have been blitzed or high. She had this wild look in her eyes, a look of absence. She was not there. To me, when you go with people to a concert, especially if you are going to be drinking, you are there to take care of your friends. She should have been taken home, especially given how she was acting before the Ida took the stage.

The concert was all right - I would've liked a little bit more banter and interaction between Ida and the crowd. She was truly good - she sounded GOOD, and was very passionate.

At the end of the concert, I raced out of the crowd, knowing, instinctively, that I did not want to be in the central area for the encore. I was right - the girl lived up to Ida's penultimate song, two songs too late, and stripped off her top and bra, to the wild cheers of everyone not in the actual pit with her.

In the light of day, outside of that crowd and away from that girl, I can say that the concert was fun. Would I go see her again? I honestly don't know. I wouldn't stand in the front again - I kept getting pushed closer and closer to the stage, which meant I was closer to the girl, which caused me no end of anxiety. I got kneed in the face one of the times the girl tried to crowd surf, and that was enough injury and moshing for me. I screamed along to "Oh My God," the only way I could calm down. It was exhilarating and terrifying and awful and fun.

Tonight I get to see Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco. Maybe that concert will treat me better.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The fruits I used to hate? Check

Coming in at number 12 on my list is 'try the fruits I thought were gross when I was younger.' One of those fruits was the mango.

I can't say WHY it offended me so much that I decided it was not for me, years ago. It might have been something as simple as it was a weird fruit, exotic, and not in a way that I was willing to embrace.

While at Kroger's a while back, I stopped in the fruit section and admired a beautiful red-and-orange mango. Part of me whispered, prodded, poked, reminding me that I wanted to try again, see if this fruit was worthy of my hatred, or if it was the usual childish 'ew, YUCK' without actually TRYING IT reaction that had prompted this lifelong ban.

I brought the mango home and left it on the counter for a day or two. I wasn't sure how to cut a mango. I knew the skin wasn't edible; my grandfather is a fan of mangos, so he'd explained that much to me at some point during my childhood. So, I googled 'how to cut a mango,' committed the instructions to memory, and eventually went about the process of getting the mango to an edible point.

The mango was painfully ripe. It was almost impossible to get a firm grip on it.

This is the mess that I ended up with. The mango smelled sweet, almost perfume-y, and I wondered if it would taste right. It hadn't looked rotten or anything, so I assumed it was good.

Here I am, preparing for the first bite:

Oh, dear skeptical face from the past, how'd I love to cuddle you and reassure you that everything will be all right.

And here I am, on my second or third bite. Trust me, this is the face I made with every single bite:

I was fairly certain I was going to die. It was citrus and sweet at the same time, like eating an orange after it has been dipped in mango scented perfume. I can't stand citrus, except on the rare occasions when I crave orange juice. I've tried to make nice with oranges and grapefruits several times, and it always fails miserably. There are some oranges I like (the little ones? I don't know their name), but the mango did NOT remind me of any GOOD oranges.

I could see myself trying it again, one day. Maybe one that isn't quite so ripe, though Dad and my brother insisted that it tasted exactly like it should. Maybe I just need to put mangos on the list of things that only taste good when pulverized and mixed with other things.

Can't wait until I try kiwi.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Music Monday

A few weeks ago, I was going through my iTunes, and found a SXSW sampler that I got from Amazon back in March. I have this habit of downloading many of the free songs Amazon offers every week, because I've found some of my favorite musicians through samplers. For whatever reason, I ended up playing the sampler all the way through. It features Anberlin, honeyhoney, Paper Route, Rocco Deluca and The Burden, Tyrone Wells, and, finally, Iglu & Hartly. If none of these bands sound familiar to you, don't worry, most of them were completely unfamiliar to me, too. (I saw Anberlin at a music festival in 2007, which may have been why I ended up listening to the sampler.) I threw the sampler on as background noise as I cleaned or something, and then "In This City" by Iglu & Hartly started playing.

It was catchy. It was different. It instantly drove me to google them. I found their site insanely annoying, and assumed they were British, given the color choices (it reminds me of Lily Allen's first album cover: busy and colorful).

But that song. It stuck in my head. I turned it up to dangerously loud levels as I drove, blasted it in the background as I raced through the Twilight books, and it very quickly took over all of my other music.

I ended up going to the neighborhood record store, because I refuse to give iTunes my money, and amazon didn't have the album available as a download. I had to order & Then Boom, and wait four days before finally getting the album into my hands. I knew I would like it, because I checked out the songs that were available on first, something I've been doing whenever I find an artist I really dig. The entirety of & Then Boom is available on there for blipping to your heart's content, and it let me listen to the entire album through their 'preview' option.

I got the CD on Friday and have been playing it non-stop since then. I don't just like this album, I love it. I'm going to see Ida Maria in Columbus on Tuesday, but I can't stop listening to & Then Boom. Day Glo has replaced In This City as my favorite song by them, and I'm wondering when my love of them will fade. I'm hoping that it'll be a while, because I'm loving this band, SO MUCH, and I'd rather it be a long lasting love, and not just a summer fling.

I really feel like Iglu & Hartly isn't going to be an 'unknown' band for too long (I say unknown because one of my friends, the ultimate person when it comes to knowing about every band ever before they are even relatively popular, hadn't heard of them until I asked him about them); their music is much too catchy and addictive, and it's impossible to resist sharing their music. Hope you guys like 'em as much as I do. If things work out, I'll be letting you know how they are live at the beginning of next month; they'll be playing the Grog Shop in Cleveland August 31st.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Packed to the gills

This heat has heat me like a swift right hook to the face, knocking me out and leaving me woozy and nauseated. It has been, in short, unpleasant. Yesterday found me in the kitchen, hands braced on my knees, focusing VERY HARD on keeping my breakfast in my stomach while everything spun and my entire body decided sweating excessively was helpful.

Tomorrow I'm going to the Ohio state fair with a friend for her birthday. Then I'm going back on Tuesday with my family. I like the fair and have the day off. Don't judge me. They have a place that is devoted to SLUSHIES. Which I love dearly. Hopefully my body acclimates to this weather and I stop getting dizzy and wanting to puke all the time before tomorrow.

As of right now, August looks as though it will filled with a lot of Mighty Summering. I've started taking care of the 'eat fruits I used to think were gross' thing, and, trust me, the pictures tell the story. I'm gonna try and hit Pittsburgh the middle of this month, so if anyone has any recommended places to hit up, I would appreciate the suggestions. I'm spending a day or two in Cinci (for the Blink-182 concert), and my time in Cleveland is in limbo as Jon's stuff is also in limbo, for various reasons.

After my multiple concerts between April and June (three major ones), it looks like I'm about to stuff in three in August alone. That should be interesting...

This post doesn't have much of a point, other than for me to admit that the next few weeks should be crazy and a good smack of fun before school starts. I'm officially signed up for 20 hours again, lets hope I kick butt without getting it kicked this time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unsolicited advice

Jon and I have been in a long distance relationship of the dating variety since December of 2007, and ever since we declared ourselves to be 'dating,' I've often found myself the receiver of a laundry list of advice. I've been told that my relationship is doomed for so many reasons, from the fact that we started out long distance (people magically ignore that we were friends for TWO YEARS before that) to the fact that he is my first boyfriend. I've been told that my relationship is doomed because of my behavior or because we struggle to agree to disagree.

I'm fed up. YES, I do tend to talk about my problems with Jon, but what relationship doesn't have flaws? You know WHY I talk about our issues, even when we are doing really well, having hit a groove I think most couples don't? Because of the damn naysayers. All the people who say we are doomed constantly push me to look at my relationship, to hold up all of the bad parts and go 'is this worth it?' and then I get told the same thing I was told before, forcing me to go back and go 'oh, hey, THIS is a problem, too.' This causes no end of stress for Jon and me, as I can suddenly lash out at him over something that was insignificant until, suddenly, it wasn't.

I'm getting better at letting these things roll off my back, at ignoring them or telling the person that is trying to impart their 'wisdom' on me that I'd rather not hear it, that I've heard this before, this is old news compadre. Some people are better at hearing this than others. I'm tempted to print up business cards, only something snarky, a reverse business card, to give to people when they do this:

"Hi! I don't need to put my name here, because, you know what, I'M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! I feel an irrepressible urge to share my opinion with you, even if I don't know you that well! Don't want to hear it? TOO BAD! I have to tell you that you can't ever behave in selfish or immature manner, that YOU are a bad person for ever being mean to your significant other, that S/HE would not act a certain way if you didn't prompt the behavior. PS you are not a saint, and the only way to have a successful long term relationship is to date as many people as possible before settling down."

Too wordy?

The funny thing is that most people are supportive. People who weren't when they first got to know me are, because, if nothing else, they've seen how I get around Jon, how I relax. But I'm really tired of the unsolicited advice, especially the insistence that my relationship is 'doomed' because it is my first, because I'm having to learn some of this stuff as I go. It is so frustrating to have people tell me that I am going to fail, because 'so many' before me have failed. Not everyone fails, but I imagine that those that do aren't helped by their 'helpful' friends and their advice.

Monday, July 27, 2009

So, excited?

Freshman orientation started today at OU, which meant that I got to go sit in MemAud and happily sell a few dozen copies of the 'required' freshman English class reader, Cion. It actually went disturbingly well, especially compared to last year. Sure, it was the first day, but a girl can hope that THAT is the way things are supposed to go, right? With a wonderful lack of complaining about having to buy a book (AS IF COLLEGE IS ABOUT NOT BUYING BOOKS) or countless people INSISTING that their child tested out of Freshman English, which is a class almost no-one tests out of. Administrators can count on ONE HAND the amount of students who pass the test every year.

I wish I was joking.

The problem with orientation is that it serves as an ugly reminder that classes start soon. Of course, soon appears to be seven weeks away from tomorrow, if I am counting right. That seems really far away, but I know it will past like a dream. The little voice in my head is already starting the nagging, the quiet muttering about all the things I need to do, like review Chinese and buy notebooks and get that pink slip that I've been putting off getting and... the list goes on. The list gets particularly nasty when it gets late. My brain refuses to shut down and I lay there, curling into a ball, wishing I could look forward to next quarter without all the worrying I am living through. The 'what-if's have left me alternating between crashing hard and staying up until the wee hours, a cruel insomnia that has left me in love with streaming video on the internet. I watched the first season of Dexter a few weeks ago. At two am. Oddly, my dreams revolved around arguments, babies and cars, none of which has to do with Dexter.

It's almost amusing to see all of these people in Athens, after so many weeks of quiet. They all seem to be filled with this nervous buzz, this mixture of excitement and nerves. It's hard for me to not grab them by the shoulders, shake them and say, repeatedly, 'DO NOT TAKE 20 HOURS YOUR FIRST QUARTER!!!'

The voice of experience is always trust worthy when coming from a young blonde who is screaming in your face, right?

My nerves aren't helped by the state's current financial situation. We finally passed our budget, but they got rid of the tuition freeze (I'm expecting to hand over an additional $100 a quarter as soon as Winter Quarter), razed the Ohio College Opportunity Grant ($2496 turned into $1080 or something along those lines, and limited what institutions received that money), and... reinstated the Ohio Academic Scholarship, a scholarship I received when I graduated high school. It lost some money, but not a lot(all info I used here was taken from the Board of Regents site). But OU isn't listing the OAS until they get a formal letter from the state telling it that the OAS is being given out to students again. I had a VERY FUN TIME at the fin aid office finding this out today.

Like pretty much every other office on campus, OU's fin aid office has some student employees that they have working the front desks. This drives me INSANE, because these students are often stumped by my questions, and I'm not quite blunt enough to insist that I'd rather wait for a non-student to answer my questions. Today, I had to explain what I was asking about multiple times, explaining no less than THREE times that the OAS was a scholarship, not a grant, and NO, I was NOT talking about the OCOG. The girl had no idea what I was talking about, at all, and after about five minutes, a higher up came over and explained why the OAS wasn't on my fin aid letter. Basically, I just get to sit and wait and hope that Ohio gets those letters out before mid-August, when fall's first payment is due. If it had taken any longer for someone who actually knew what I was talking about to walk over and explain this, I probably would have ended up storming through the office, harassing people until I found someone who could answer my damn questions.

All of this has me wondering, how can anyone be excited about classes starting back up? My only saving grace right now is that I am very, very likely to be switching my degree program (or adding a third major - what's a little more insanity?) into an area that I find myself increasingly passionate about, which you'll hear all about once I've gotten everything worked out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


1. I have eaten almost half a cream cheese pound cake in the past two days. It was a little eggy fresh out of the oven, but once it had time to cool? Delicious. The recipe is here, and I am in love with it because it is, A, six ingredients, B, disgustingly easy, and, C, really pretty. It is rich and golden on the outside, and dense and creamy on the inside.

2. Gloves. I have had some yarn since my birthday that I planned to use to make a pair of elbow-length gloves. I am in love with this pattern and really looking forward to unleashing my knitting skills on it.

3. I bought my tickets for the Ohio state fair yesterday. I'm taking a friend who has never been, as her birthday present. Hope she likes livestock as much as me! Also, my mom is in the Fine Arts exhibit, so I'm looking forward to that. She can be a bit of a creative genius.

4. I also picked up an Orchid. No idea how to take care of it, but I have one now. It's pretty.

5. It's rainy and dreary and once again not looking like it is a summer month. Also, it is about six weeks until school starts again. Hold me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A wedding, a zombie after party, and an argument over the word 'bewildered'

One of my dearest friends, who now goes by Dr. Wife, got married last Friday. Dr. Wife got me through Chinese, and kindly reminded me that it is nearly impossible to fail that class after a near-epic failure of a final oral presentation. She's also amazingly funny, charming, and the type of person that you want around because she just manages to make things more fun.

Did I mention she and her husband decided that a post-wedding zombie party was the perfect way to celebrate?

The wedding was a little over a half-hour away from Jon's apartment, so we left with about 45 minutes until it was supposed to start. We had directions, we our zombie gear, we had everything we needed. What we didn't have, charmingly enough, was the knowledge that I-80 just off of I-76 is currently being repaired. Neither did any of the other drivers on the road, including the 12 billion semis in front of us. The best part was that, over a mile away from the construction, traffic stopped. Dead. Completely. Oh, it inched forward, creeping along at a snail's pace, but I only had eyes for my dashboard clock. Eventually, the brake lights disappeared and traffic crept through the construction, resuming 'legal' speed with Jon and I assuming our hawk-eye positions the second the bright orange 'END CONSTRUCTION' sign came into view.

We got there literally seconds before the bridesmaids were supposed to start entering the chapel.

The service was beautiful. The bride was spectacular - when Jon and I rushed in, I stopped, dumb-founded to find my friend so gussied up and, honestly, drop-dead gorgeous. I'd never been to a wedding before, so I found myself wondering if I was supposed to say 'amen' or something else every time the moment came to say something. Fish out of water, my half-Jew self was.

We were supposed to party immediately following the nuptials, but ended up getting rained out. You can't have a proper zombie bash indoors, you know. At least, it is very expensive to have a zombie party indoors. All the smashed glass and blood really does a number on your homeowners insurance. So we made plans for the next day and eventually parted ways. For most of us, it was the first time we'd spent time together in a month or longer, so there was no rush to return back to our hotels and apartments.

The next day was significantly more successful, at least, the zombie party was. Once we got there. Jon maintains that we got 'slightly bewildered for a while' while I maintain that we got 'lost.' There was a detour with no follow up signs and it took us a little while to realize that the exit we needed was probably on the other side of the highway, and if we got back on it, we might manage to make it to the zombie party before the big next day reception. We did, albeit with a certain amount of... tension in the car. But we got there!

I ended up being a zombie farm girl, while Jon went with Billy Mays. Taste? What is this taste of which you speak? One of Dr. Wife's bridesmaids was Paula Abdul's career, and Dr. Wife's husband was Heath Ledger. Taste is for other people.

The rest of the day went beyond well. There was food and booze and games, the kind that you actually want to play (a card game called Fluxx was played a few times). I did not want the weekend to end, and am looking forward to the next big celebration that draws my friends together. There's something magical about weddings, something I'd have to be a much better writer to capture. So, I leave you with a video:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do the loopy dance for me

I'm packing up for a wedding, which has so far consisted of gathering things into piles and leaving them there, waiting for me to haphazardly stuff them into my bag. This isn't much different from my usual packing method, except I'm fitting in some make-up and shoes and wondering what I'm forgetting.

This will be the first wedding I have attended since I was a toddler, so I'm not sure what to expect. All I know is that it is going to be short and there is going to be a post-reception party that I will detail when I have the gory pictures to accompany the story.

Speaking of gory pictures:


Oh, and we can now cross the second item off my list, that ol' pesky learn to drive stick shift, thanks to my co-worker Bryan, who happily volunteered to teach me this summer when I first brought up the desire to learn last spring.

In this photo, I am going about 15 mph, because we were on a gravel road. I only stalled out two or three times (not counting when I tried to pull into his driveway), and got better with each try at the stopping/starting/shifting things you have to learn. According to Jon, Miata clutch's are some of the more difficult ones, so the fact that I didn't have that much trouble with it shows both, A, how much I have improved as a driver, and, B, how good of a teacher I had. It's all about the see-saw I have learned, and I don't plan to forget that any time soon.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Feast your eyes, box your ears

I've not been having the best few days, so I decided some pictures were in order. I love photos of fireworks, more than I can even begin to describe. They just make my heart swell with joy and anticipation, like the build-up before your favorite band takes the stage.

This was one of the first photos to really POP OUT at me and scream 'pay attention.' It reminds me of tinsel and christmas lights, without the feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach when you remember you have to take it all down in a few weeks.

Butterflies. Does anyone else see them? Or is it just me?

This makes me think of summer and deep sea creatures at the same time; the green at the top of the photo MUST be a light up antennae meant to attract a hapless fish. The lights at the bottom MUST be a wild strip of rides on the boardwalk. Although the boardwalk rides were often more colorful, they just make me think of boardwalk rides, and the pure joy of reaching the top of a ferris wheel, only to come plunging back to earth.

A dancer is there, surrounded by lights; the start and end of a dramatic scene - her lover has left her, and she is about to sprout the wings she needs. The shape of her head just says 'surprise and hurt,' doesn't it?

An animal, rows of wicked teeth, a fierce tail with a dangerous stinger. Its body weight should not be supported by its few delicate legs, but, like the bumblebee that shouldn't be able to fly, it walks. He seems lonely, up there in the sky, all by himself.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Marshmallows made from scratch? Check!

Making marshmallows from scratch was an extremely recent urge that I developed; I've wanted to make jelly and can for several years, but that just isn't as sexy, as quickly giftable as a batch of marshmallows seemed. But my mom sent me to Twig and Thistle's DIY peeps guide, which led me to Alton Brown's marshmallow recipe. It seemed both scary and perfectly easy, because I have an intense fear of boiling sugar.

I made the mallows last night, and found out that they are easy. The biggest problem I ran into was when I had to boil the sugar-corn syrup mixture, and my candy thermometer froze up at the 200˚F mark, when I needed it to last until the 240˚ mark. Turns out there's a test for that, and I'll try it next time.

The best thing about them is when they are first done and still marshmallow fluff, which is AMAZING. I dipped Oreos in the goo and wished that there was a way to keep them that way. They solidified far quicker than I expected them to, as I found out when I went to dip yet another cookie in the fluff for mom to try and it got stuck instead. They had been solidifying for about half an hour.

It was painfully easy and something I would do again. Everyone should try their hand at making these. It's easier than canning, and something fun to share with others. I'll be playing around with these more and will post a review to the recipe when I've made them a few more times. I'd like to see if I can make marshmallow rope, chocolate marshmallows, and oreo filled marshmallows.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mighty Summer List

I'm an avid blog reader, something a lot of my close friends and family know, but not many other people do. It's an awkward thing to admit, as a hobby, this blog reading thing. Do you know how many people act as if a crack addiction would be a more acceptable thing to do? They ask, "What do you do in your spare time?" And I cheerfully reply, "Oh I use Twitter and I blog and I read a few blogs."

Peoples' eyes glaze over as if I have whipped out a stack of photos showing happy shots of me and my boyfriend, or they act as if it is something DIRTY. How DARE I admit that I waste my time on something on the internet that isn't FACEBOOK?

But I do, oh, how I do. I love you, internet, and the more time I spend on it, I wonder how so many of my peers can be the INTERNET GENERATION and yet be so oblivious to the awesome that is the internet.

Which brings me to Maggie Mason and her Mighty Life List, which she started posting in March of 2008. Mighty Girl is one of my favorite sites to check regularly, and I often wish that I was living in San Francisco, which is something I generally wish for anyway. I imagine it is like Athens, only with access to SUSHI outside of the local Kroger's, and that whole California thing.

Maggie recently announced that Intel is sponsoring her life list. You can check out her site to see what she has done so far and what-not.

When I first saw Maggie's completed list, I was both jealous and intimidated. It seems impossible to dream that big, to think of things as wild and seemingly impossible as going to Puerto Rico to swim with bioluminescent plankton and then going out there and doing it. I can barely imagine the next three years following the basic 'get an education and then find employment' path. To be completely honest, the sheer cost of some of the things on her list freaked me out too. I can't even begin to imagine being at a point in my life where I can put 'Go to London to see the Broad Street water pump' on my list and knowing that I can actually DO IT when I do(it's a weird personal goal, I know, but it's mine). It is so much easier to stand still and wait for life to happen to you, for everything that you mean to do to just suddenly fall into place and be that perfect summer movie fantasy, you know?

Like a sack of bricks, the realization hit me that I needed to stop waiting and just GO AND DO. So what does it matter that I can't afford to go to London right this minute? That doesn't mean I have to sit around and do absolutely nothing. I started my Summer Mighty List that night and hope to start crossing things off this week. It's not too elaborate, because the goal is to have a good summer, to do all the things I always mean to do but end up pushing aside for something more mundane and easy, like watching a SpongeBob rerun.

So, in no particular order, I present to you, my Mighty Summer List:

1. Go to the Columbus Zoo
2. Learn to drive stick shift
3. Daytrip out of state (Pittsburgh is the goal)
4. Make a skirt/learn to sew
5. Make marshmallows from scratch
6. Go hiking
7. Go camping
8. Learn to play a song on my guitar
9. Actually go to the attractions in Cleveland
10. Make my room a happy living space
11. A grand loving gesture
12. Try the fruits I thought were gross or weird when I was younger
13. Catch fireflies with my brother
14. Sparklers with my brother(s)
15. Bubbles and sparklers at sunset with Jon
16. Visit my sister in Cincinnati and check out the city
17. Volunteer
18. Swim at the lake
19. Get in/on a boat
20. Go to the state fair

Some of these are a little more abstract, some are amazingly easy SEEMING, but I'm hoping to do all of them. If I come up with anything to add, you'll know.

What're some of your goals for the summer?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm a sister, not a saint

A brief snapshot of what will (hopefully) be beefed out into a decent little post on the No Doubt concert I saw at the beginning of the week:

I took my youngest brother, Iz, with me to see the band, as he has an undying love of the band and Gwen Stefani in general; I introduced him to their music in 2003, during the long drive to Tennessee for my great-grandfather's funeral, if I'm remembering correctly. He still loves their albums, six years later.

We missed Paramore, thanks to the long line of traffic and lack of police directing said traffic until a quarter mile away from the venue. We DID arrive with plenty of time to spare before ND took the stage, and we headed towards the lawn, working our way through the clusters of people. Many 'excuse me's and 'sorry, but he's not even five feet tall's later, we had a decent spot.

He loved it. LOVED it.

The best part was when they performed 'Running,' and I wrapped my arms around him, savoring the fact that he's still young enough to let me hug him in public. He leaned back and yelled, "Thank you so much for bringing me! I love you!!!"

It made up for the amount of times I had to yell at him to calm down or leave Jon's roommate alone in the day leading up to the concert. Made up for when he wouldn't just leave Jon's damn Nerf gun alone, no matter how many ways I threatened him (there are a variety of creative threats at your disposal when you are 3 hours away from home and still in possession of the kid's ticket, including leaving him at the apartment and selling the ticket to the first person I saw).

I'm a sister, not a saint, and I do my best to be a good sister. Sometimes I fail, but he always forgives me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

At least our car repairs never end like this

My dad and I replaced the spark plugs yesterday, but were thwarted by modern car design when it came time to replace the wires. This morning was an exercise in desperately wishing I owned a sledgehammer, because my car was shaking uncontrollably and I wanted to beat it. It's a good thing that my anger is the kind of fantasy, not the kind of actual doing, or I'd probably have to been to prison a few times by now.

I thought that a good video of ridiculous carness was in order, to show that some people take things to a whole new level. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer days and vague threats aimed at my car

Summer break started almost a week ago, and I've been the queen of the un-motivated since then. Part of it is that I tend to have bouts of insomnia due to stress, which has left me in bed until 11 or later. I was up and at 'em by 9:30 at the latest this quarter, every single day, so I guess I'm making up for lost time?

I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do this summer, what things I'm going to do to fill the hours that I'm not at work or doing anything else that would amount to much of anything. I'm hoping to learn to sew, to volunteer and to read all of the books that I've had to set aside and give up on this past year. But right now, I just want to cocoon myself in bed and dream all the hours away, because I'm just special that way. 

By the end of this week, the biggest thing I'll have managed will be helping my dad replace my spark plugs and wires, because my car has decided that it needs me to hate it a little bit. 

As you might remember, I had to replace the head gasket in March after finding out that it was slowly falling apart and would likely EXPLODE and DESTROY THE EARTH if I didn't get it replaced. Okay, my mechanic didn't use those words exactly, but the implied outcome was that I'd be all dead and corpseified, a look that I imagine wasn't THAT popular on the Spring runways.

Then, at the very end of April, I performed the Worst Parking Job Ever and destroyed my front right tire. Because life isn't fun unless the Wal-Mart employees are marveling at your exploded tire and asking your dad where the car is and whether this is something his kid manages to do regularly. Teach me to run late for work.

Oh! And in May, wonderful, glorious, I hated it so much that I contemplated moving to another country where they use a different calendar system May, I guess something in the undercarriage needed welded back into place. I'm not clear on what it was, exactly, because I wasn't home much that week for various reasons, and Dad went ahead and got it fixed because it sounded really, really bad. I know it rattled.

So, we come in on June, and I'm in the post-finals haze, wondering how, exactly, I got through the past 11 weeks, when my car refuses to climb a hill or start on the first try. Or  the second. Or the third. THEN it'd start and I'd give it a firm lecture on behavior and how if it doesn't clean up its act, I'm going to... and then I'd run out of steam because nothing I could say was quite threatening enough. "I'm going to sell you to the scrap man" only works if you have the cash to buy the next car.

After a few days of The Car Acting Stupid, Act IV, it all magically cleared up. Well, except for the hills thing, it's still having some issues with those. Dad has declared that it must be a plugs/wires issue, given that it cleared up once it dried out (we had the rain of cats and dogs last week). So, I went to the auto shop yesterday and bought all the nifty things that I need to make my car run like an effing normal car. I made the error of wearing girly clothes (wedges and one of those elastic top dresses), and clearly didn't know much about my car, so the guy who worked there gently asked if my dad was going to put them in for me.

Maybe I should learn the ins-and-outs of my car this summer. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

A brief update

It's finals week here, and there was a ton of projects leading up to this point. Apologies for my scarceness.

My back is doing much better; physical therapy has helped more than I can even begin to describe. They elected to not ultrasound my back, because I was doing well and did so well after my first session. They seem fairly certain that I will recover 100%, which is awesome. I felt so horrible in the two weeks leading up to that first session, and I felt so much better walking out that first day. Like being on the world's best drugs only not medicated. I could touch my toes, something I'm not even sure I could do BEFORE the back injury.

Basically, PT is the best thing ever, better than sliced bread, even. 

Hopefully I will have more updates for you this summer, guys!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Swimming FAIL

The past several weeks have been chaotic, to say the least. My dad crashed the family car into a hill and left me without MY car for two weeks while Ed (the car) was getting a makeover - replacing the axle, the lights, rims, etc. It was rainy, he is fine, car is better now, life is back to normal, right?

Except it's not.

I'm taking Swimming I this quarter, because I needed an extra hour of classes to get all of my scholarships. Last Wednesday we tried diving out, something I think half the class was unprepared for. I am a terrible diver, absolutely atrocious. My first jump off the one meter board had my face smacking the water at a bad angle - my neck still feels iffy now and again. My second jump, though, is the thing that has messed up my past week. My legs flipped up toward my back, snapping back when they hit the water. I didn't keep my legs in any sort of correct position. I felt something... shift. Snap. Crackle. Pop. SOMETHING went wrong. The lifeguard called out, I think, to see if I was okay as I sloooooowly doggy-paddled to the side of the pool. 

I thought it was just a simple twist. I've had issues in my lower back this past year; it usually strikes on the weekends, when I can't go see anyone. So I took some iBuprofen at the start of my macroecon class and figured I would be fine. I ended up lying on the floor at my job not even two hours later, the meds doing jackshit to help me feel better. 

A few hours and a visit to the student health center later, I had THREE different medications to take and a bandage on each hip from the painkillers the doctor had determined I needed immediately. My lower back muscle was spasming so badly she could see it. She touched it to confirm, asked a few questions, and told me that the drugs she was prescribing would help. If they didn't, I would go back in and get a scan.

I thought I was doing better. It turns out I just hadn't been walking enough for my back to put up all of its 'on strike' placards. I went back yesterday and was told that my back is not doing as well as it should at this point in my 'recovery.' I was given more drugs (!) and given a referral to the physical therapy department. Next Friday, I will be getting an ultrasound of my back to determine what is wrong with my 'lumbar vertebrae' and what the course of action will be to make it so that maybe, just maybe, I will no longer find myself unable to move for an entire day. I am rapidly reaching a level of chronic pain and I'm hopeful that the PT will help me heal and no longer experience this pain on regular basis.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Girl Friday, get your act together

On the one hand, I should hate today. On the other hand, I am so far beyond amused at today.

I was running late for work, and I was kinda irritated. I was in a rush and needed to park, so when I saw three open spots across the street my workplace, I pulled in. Quick. One could argue that it was a little TOO QUICK, but those people would just be asking for me to lay down some ass-whupping because you do not get to tease me about my driving skillz. Which are plentiful, I swear.

Because, you see, I pulled in a little too fast, and somehow the angle of the turn and the speed of the car caused me TO HOP THE CURB SO BADLY THAT I KILLED MY TIRE. 


Two OU employees were walking by and turned to stare, a mix of shock and amusement on their faces. My tire had made a decent 'pop' sound when it hit the curb. I knew it was dead. So I just sat there and laughed. I felt like this woman in a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, the woman who is yelling "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" every single time she gets bad news. As if the world is falling down around her ears and every time she gets a handle on it, a curve ball gets tossed in her face.

I got out of the car and surveyed the tire, some part of me accepting the inevitable. And, yep, there it was: a two-to-three inch long tear in the rubber, all the way through the 'sidewall,' according to my dad. In the space of time it took me to explain to my dad what had happened, all of the air drained out of my tire. ALL OF IT. 

My boss let me move the car to our back parking lot, which was nice considering that it meant my other boss had to park in a spot meant for the people that rent the apartments above the shop. My dad came, checked the tire, declared it dead (which, HELLO? I TOLD YOU IT WAS!), picked up a replacement (artfully forging my signature, I am sure), and replaced it.

So that was my morning. 


I decided to just park my car in a local neighborhood for the rest of the day and just walk anywhere I needed to go. On my way to Chinese class, I saw a bicyclist get hit by a van. Once I saw the biker was okay, I laughed.

NOW, before you start saying I am a horrible person or anything like that, let me just point out that Athens bicyclists are more-often-than-not assholes of the best order. They are uppity and rude and obey NONE of the rules that they are supposed to. Oh, and they rarely wear helmets.

In this case, a van was waiting to turn left. Clear as day, blinker going and everything. It finally had a clear shot to turn and this bike came out of nowhere and basically got toppled over by the van. That's the best way to describe it. I heard an 'aaah,' which was more of 'whoa, what the hell, you mean there are CARS on ROADS?' scream of surprise, not one of pain. I screamed in shock, frightening my poor dad (who I was on the phone with), and walked closer to make sure the girl was okay. The business owner of where the van was going came out and asked if she needed to call 911 as a few cars stopped to see if they should help. The poor van driver stood there, looking panicked and upset.

The bicyclist stood up. "I'm fine, I'm fine, okay?" she snapped. Okay, fine, she was hit by a car, SHE IS TOTALLY FINE, SURE. Then she picked up her bike, popped it up and down once or twice and loudly declared, "YOU MESSED UP MY BIKE!"

Really? You came up on the LEFT SIDE of a vehicle when it was waiting to turn LEFT, you weren't wearing a helmet, you aren't letting anyone call 911, and you're pissed because your bike got messed up?

I just had to laugh. I mean, really? Of all the things you could be upset about, you choose to be angry that your bike isn't properly aligned anymore? Sure, she could have been in shock, but her reaction was just too ridiculous. 

I'm almost afraid to see what the rest of the night will be like. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wilco = awesome

Long overdue, I know, I know.

I saw Wilco last Friday at MemAud, a place that I am hoping to not enter again until May. Why? Because I was there until 2 in the morning for David Sedaris on the seventh (or the eighth, depending on how you look at things) and was there again a week later for a reading from Sandra Steingraber. Okay, sure, I was paid to go to both events, and I had been planning to go see Steingraber anyway, but really? How many hours do YOU want to spend in the university auditorium? 

Anyway. Wilco was pretty much awesome. Not as awesome as the JM show earlier in the week, but had that not been my baseline for the concert, it would have been pretty freaking spectacular. The band had good chemistry, Jeff Tweedy talked about as much as was expected (ie, not a lot), and they stuck around after the show so that the 30 or so fans who stuck it out to meet, at the very least, Jeff, got to. 

I got my shirt signed by Jeff Tweedy and got to tell him 'he was really good tonight,' only to be told that he actually doesn't hear that that often. Really? Why not? I'd like to think I'm not the only one who realizes that performers probably like to hear, 'oh my god, you were amazing tonight! Thank you!' rather than 'oh my god, I love you, will you have my babies?!' 

It'd be a just a little too ironic if I was the only sane one in this situation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blown away and blown down

Jack's Mannequin was spectacular. I usually measure the greatness of a concert by how I feel when the performer walks off the stage, and I felt both sad and surprised when he and the rest of the band walked off the stage (before coming back for an encore). They played for over an hour and a half, and I still can't believe how quickly the time passed.

At the concert, I learned an important thing about Columbus-dwellers/Ohioans. They don't fucking dance. Seriously. Out of a crowd of at least 300, I was the only one dancing that I could see. At the end of the show, I got a fist-bump from the event staff/security guard person, who said "You were rocking tonight!" Well, yeah. JM isn't the most danceable music in the world, but I was so jazzed to be there that I didn't much care if it was or not. 

I had my digital recorder with me, and I recorded the show, not sure if it were turn out decently or not. It did, but it's just for me. I often struggle to remember stuff if I have no record of the experience, and to get to repeatedly relive this experience is something I cherish. I also snagged a few photos with my phone. They turned out pretty decently for how tiny and bad they looked on my phone. Here's one from his encore, feel free to ignore the camera in the lower left hand corner: 

So there is that. Amazing. If you have the chance to see him this summer, DO IT. He is touring as the headliner for the next few months, then he will be touring with the fray. You can check out his site here

On the flip side, I came home, went to bed, and woke up to an e-mail from the Ohio Board of Regents, informing me that the scholarship I was awarded last year (the Ohio Academic Scholarship) is not being renewed next year. At the moment, there are no funds in Ohio's budget for this scholarship. On the one hand, I understand there is a financial crisis. I understand there is a massive meltdown of budgets right now. But this is a scholarship that I earned, a scholarship I received based on merit. MERIT. 

I will still be able to go to school next year; I was reassured of this by one of the workers at the financial aid office. But a lot of the aid I will be receiving is need based. It is hard to feel proud of my accomplishments at OU at this point when my aid is so heavily funded by 'need.' Yes, I NEED the money, but I was SO PROUD of the fact that I had more than one scholarship that I could point to as something I earned for working my ass of the past few years. I have studied myself to the bone, to the brink of sanity, to the point of severe sleep deprivation, and I am quite probably losing a scholarship because of a mismanaged budget and a financial crisis that I did not cause, that I am a victim of. I am so angry. I am also disappointed. 

I was given an e-mail for someone to contact, and hopefully she can lay out some sort of game plan for what I should do if this scholarship is eliminated. Because going to a bank and punching a CEO in the face is, sadly, not an option. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A long time coming

Tomorrow, I'm going to Columbus to see Jack's Mannequin, a band I have loved for a good long while. The 'band' mainly consists of Andrew McMahon, the lead singer, piano player and lyrical master, whose previous musical venture was Something Corporate, a band I had fallen in love with when I was 13. I was automatically excited for the first Jack's Mannequin album, Everything in Transit, and it blew me away. When I am old and my kids ask me what album defined my high school years, I will point to that album. I have listened to it many times, through my best days and my worst. It suits all of my moods.

Jack's Mannequin released their second album, The Glass Passenger, in September of last year. I put off buying the album for a while, after excitedly buying the two EPs that were released on iTunes in the months leading up to the release. I was in a bad state (as some of you might remember) and there is one song in particular that I can't listen to, because it has such a strong sensory connection to that time. I'm hoping that changes with time.

But I love this album. Like Everything in Transit, it has blown me away. Even the songs I didn't like at first have grown on me. I am so excited to finally get to see this artist that has shaped so much of my teenage years. The video below is an acoustic version of one of my favorite songs on the album. It captures how I feel some days really well. 

Sorry to gush internet, but I am excited. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Windows to the soul, new framing

I have had the same glasses for the past three years, a time that was far too long. I finally made the jump and got contacts, because I LOVE sunglasses. LOVE THEM. I think they are the best accessory ever, and love that they don't bother me the way any other accessories do (jewelry wise). I'm sensitive to metal, especially in my ears, which is really annoying.

Anyway, I ordered these:

I also bought these (worn by me):

I assume that you can figure out what the contacts look like. Me, without glasses, frameless for the first time since age nine. I go back tomorrow for a check-up, wherein I will complain about my right contact, and my struggles to properly focus indoors. I feel like I am constantly squinting, but for new, exciting reasons! Ones I can't figure out, because I am wearing 'my' prescription! YAY!

Monday, April 6, 2009

To beat the blues, sing

I am absolutely in love with this song and this video. Everyone I have shared it with has adored it, hopefully you will too. The artist is Oren Lavie, the song is 'Her Morning Elegance' and it should be listened to whenever necessary. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I have and do.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The bank tellers always seem so happy to see me

"I forgot my debit card, so I wrote myself a check, which I'm not even sure is what you are supposed to do, but I did it."

"That's fine."

"I'm kinda wondering what's next, 'cause I have a test today, and you need your student ID to take it, 'cause my professor is kind of psycho, but the nice kind of psycho. Honestly, I expected to find out I forgot pants after I noticed I didn't have my debit card."

Awkward silence. 

The best part is I haven't even caffeinated yet. 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

How many fingers do you have?

"Why would you buy a Claddagh necklace? I mean, unless you didn't have fingers?"


"I mean, most people have fingers."

"Yeah, most people have at least a few."

"Most people usually have ten."

"Most people have ten, but a whole bunch have at least a few."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Accidentally scarce

My new year started with a bladder infection, one that I wasn't able to get diagnosed and treated until the Monday after New Years. The Monday after New Years was also the first day of classes of winter quarter.

I think I deserve a medal for not dying from the pain those first few days. I also deserve a medal for not snapping and running through the streets screaming after my eighty-seventh visit to the bathroom in an hour. My doctor prescribed Cipro, probably because, by the time I got to the doctor, I'd had the infection long enough that there was a chance the damn infection had spread. I ended up saying 'Hello, kidneys, please note that I thanked you for nineteen years of hard work by sending an infection your way!' You know, basically. 

Anyway, since then I have been busy working, going to class or studying. I've not had a lot of time to blog. I started the first week having to play catch-up and I'm just now getting to a point where I am not tearing my hair out trying to concentrate on the task at hand, because my brain is busy thinking about all the other things I need to do.

Hopefully there will be more posts over the next few weeks. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The past few months have been some of the longest and most stressful I can imagine having to experience. At the end of the day, the dorms were a mistake, a big, huge, horrible mistake that ate up my time and my life and bits of my sanity that I was a rather big fan of, seeing as how they were, you know, bits of my SANITY. 


It's over.

I got the formal e-mail yesterday afternoon, with a precise warning that I had to be checked out of the building by 10 p.m. Saturday (today) and that I had to move all of my things out. Apparently they weren't paying attention when I said I moved ALL OF MY STUFF out the Thursday before finals started. Which was almost TWO MONTHS AGO. 

Anyway. I am living at home, which is much lower stress, which is what I need. I need calm and a knowledge of who is showing up, when they are around, and, possibly, why they are throwing up in my bathroom. It's not even that I need to know in advance, it's just... I need some feeling of safety and control. Things were bad towards the end. Very, very bad. I saw eight different people for different reasons before I met with the right combination of people who were able to help me get this exemption for my health.

I am out of the dorms and I have no plans of going back.