Friday, December 31, 2010


While a lot of people spend New Year's Eve preparing for a new year, figuring out what they're going to do to make this year better than the last, I am choosing to honor the passing of what was a pretty good year with a list! I normally don't do lists because I freeze up and forget what I meant to put down but I'm hoping to succeed this time around. So, without further ado, The Bests & Worsts of 2010. [Please note, they are not ranked in any particular order]

1. The European Escapades that branched from September to December. 

2. The cruise I was able to take in March with the best friend.

3. Another year of being surrounded with my wonderful family and friends.

4. J and mine's 6-month celebration

5. My family's vacation to New York which, sadly, I have no pictures of because my sister's hoarding them all. Truth.

1. The little guy's month-after-month medical procedures, which, ultimately left him completely blind and with one eye.

2. This. And it's repercussions.

3. My less-than-enjoyable bout with the swine flu.

4. My less-than-enjoyable, still undiagnosed, still incredibly painful... well, pain, in my lady region. 4 months later and it continues to wage war on the rest of me.

5. The still on-going divorce of J's parents. I know this doesn't affect me personally but it affects someone I love.

I know that, all in all, I've been incredibly lucky this year. Save for a few mishaps, nothing really bad has happened to me and I know there are a lot of people who couldn't say the same. But for everyone, good year or bad year aside, the year has little time left. 3 hours and 10 minutes according to my computer, who hasn't felt the need to adjust to Central time; 9 hours and 10 minutes for me. So even if this year has wronged you, has stabbed you in the back or has been your best friend, it'll be important to face 2011 as a completely new entity. It hasn't done anything to merit anyone's hatred or distaste. It's a new shot for all of us. Thank. Goodness.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A is for....

So I just watched Easy A and I have to say, it really hit close to home for me. Why, you may ask? Well, never fear. Just gather around the fire place and I'll tell you the story of something that once happened to me.

First, I have to establish the fact that I attend an absurdly conservative school. Like you would not believe. Next, I have to let you know that I was living in what I'll nickname, 'the Smart Kids dorm', which, sadly, was not actually full of intelligent children. Instead, it's where they put all the socially awkward people who had never been in a room alone with a boy, who had never been to a sleepover and who had never entertained the idea that there could be a way of life different from theirs. From my very first day there, it couldn't have been more obvious that I was different. I wore shorts that didn't go down to my knees and I didn't use scrunchies. I had had boyfriends before and I had gone to public school. All this was enough to mark me as an outsider but don't worry, the story gets better.

So my roommate was one of my best friends at the time and we were happy, or so I thought. At the time this story takes place, J had just come back from a trip to the ER and I told him he could spend the night in my room, after asking my roommate at least twenty times. No understatement. Granted, I knew it was against the rules but I didn't want to send him back to his room and risk something else happening to him and so, we went to bed. At 15 minutes past the end of visiting hours, our 'RA' [and I use the term loosely] came and dragged us downstairs, throwing an endless slew of questions at my groggy head. I answered them with as much poise and patience as I could and after a few minutes, she sent me back to bed, letting me know that I would have an appointment with the... what did they call her? Halls manager? My personal title for her was Self-Righteous Gossip but that's just me.

Anyway, I went the next day after class to speak with her, prepared to apologize for what was a temporary lapse in judgment but I was in for a shock. APPARENTLY, my wonderful roommate had not only told our RA and the entire dorm that I was 'promiscuous' but she had told the halls manager that J and I had sex about three times a day, screaming obscenely loud, sometimes while she was in the room. Of course none of this was true. I had been suffering from my fair share of lady-part problems after my stint in the ER for an intense ovarian cyst, having been put on the pill to regulate my periods and developing a UTI. Sex was the absolute last thing on my mind but for some reason, my former roommate was on a mission to tell everyone that I had. It was written on my dry erase board. Entire groups of people would fall silent when I walked by. My friends [with the exception of M] wanted nothing to do with me and the whispers were audible. I was, undeniably, the outcast. The Hester Prynne. The A.

When the Halls Manager asked if this was true, I tried to defend myself. I wasn't going to go into too much detail but I was going to say that my medical records could prove that I was too much of a hot mess to get intimate with anyone, much less three times a day. I was going to tell her I didn't know who would start these rumors but she wasn't hearing any of it. She refused to believe it. She told me I better watch my back because everyone "knew I was a whore" and if I wanted any chance to change my reputation, I'd better have a complete physical and personality overhaul or just pack up my things and move. I was a bad influence. I didn't deserve to be there. Needless to say, I was in complete shock. I could NOT believe that someone who was supposed to be in a position of authority would submit to petty gossip. I had half a mind to tell someone, anyone but she made it abundantly clear that no one would believe me. That she could make my life worse.

I sincerely doubted that. For the remainder of the semester, M was my only friend in that building. In that 500 mile radius with the exception of my high school friends and J. I found out my roommate at the time had been the one spreading all these rumors and when confronted, she finally admitted to it and then set about making my life miserable. She grew mold in my juice canteen and moved all the clocks back 15 minutes so I would always be late. I could go on but I digress. Anyway, all of the friends that I thought I had in that dorm completely abandoned me. They were all content with listening to these rumors and not a single person asked me what the truth was.

Then I left for London and I haven't had to go back yet. Luckily, I have my own apartment this year but I'm still surrounded by those same people. And that's my Easy A story! Hope you enjoyed :]

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Writer?

So there's this movie I love, which we'll accurately call Moulin Rouge. Now I know it's not for everyone and I've met my fair share of people who weren't big fans but I am. Really big. If you're wondering if I wandered through the red-light district for this photo... yes, I did. So I think my fandom comes across well. UNFORTUNATELY, that's mostly irrelevant to the content of this post. What is relevant is the following quote from said movie:

"I'm a writer."
"A writer?!"

 Simple enough quote but I really love the delivery. I love the complete and total disbelief in her voice because I know that tone. Because, even though I'm pursuing a degree in International Studies, the truth is, I'm a writer. I've even written a book once. Don't worry, though. You've probably never read it. The 100,000-some word manuscript was only ever made into three, spiral-bound copies and handed to a select group of readers; all of whom fell in love with it. Unfortunately, my inability to describe this book resulted in my inability to find an agent. I just couldn't sell my plot and so, I was rejected. By probably everyone in the literary world. It was THAT tragic. In the following two years, I've been working on this book. Cranking out edits and twisting the plot. Originally, it was my four years of high school condensed to take place within one academic year. Like I said, I suck at summaries but it really was an interesting book. At the time I started writing it, I was writing about what was happening in the day to day. The emotion was undeniably raw. It wasn't until the later stages that I threw in past events that had happened years ago to progress the plot; to enhance characters.

Now, that story's been taken and put in an entirely new context and LOOK AT THAT, I'm getting off track. While I do plan on telling all you wonderful people about my book, what I wanted to do was warn you. This has become a minor-obsession of mine. I've cranked out at least half a million words towards this endeavor and I don't think I'll be able to rest NOT until I get an agent but until I come up with an end product I'm proud of. And apparently, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to this sort of thing. Who knew?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Genetics. Friends. Uh-oh.

So I've been gone for a semester, this has been established. and while I was off making wonderful new friends and while I've been spending my Christmas re-connecting with the people who have known me for the past seven years and have gotten me through some of my worst and best moments, there is still one distinct group of people that I have yet to see. My university friends.

I think it's important to note, first, that when I went away for university, I was at a really weird stage in my life. I was trying to adjust to life 'on my own'; trying to figure out who I had been in high school and who I wanted to be and I fell into a group of people wondering the very same thing. As we got older and figured out who we would be, it became evident that we were becoming very, very different people. The only problem was that everyone else was becoming more the same while I was becoming increasingly different. The brand-spanking-new black sheep of the family. I know it's horrible to say but I've never been the black sheep before. My home friends, for all our differences, make a great group together. We understand that we've all chosen different things we want from life and different paths to get those things but we live each other. The time for judgment has passed. The university group isn't quite there yet nor will I think it will ever get there.

There is one exception to the above paragraph. My best university friend, who we'll call M, is absolutely wonderful. We haven't seen each other in six months but every time we find the time to talk, it's like we were never apart. She was the one who changed more along my way of change. We're very much the same though I'm the much more cynical and sarcastic and blatant about the way I feel, and she's a complete optimist and kind to the core. Mostly. We tend to share the same taste in who we like and what type of personalities we dislike but while I generally refuse to hide it, she's fake-nice for a living so she's generally the more well-liked one, too. ANYWAY, despite this exception, my university friends and I have about nothing in common. At all. I was just perusing through a facebook album and my first thought upon seeing their pictures was, "This is what I'm sentenced to now?" I SWEAR, I AM NOT A HORRIBLE PERSON. And I felt so terrible about even thinking this. They are wonderful people and I'm sure they entertain themselves marvelously but it is just not for me. I outgrew that kind of stuff at about age six. No joke.

Gah, I swear. That was out of line but I am a nice person. I just wish I got along with more people :/ I think it's genetic though.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

London 2012

I won't lie. I really miss London. I didn't realize how much until I had a dream last night that I was wandering down Tottenham Court Road. That's all. Nothing exciting; no wonderful plot. I was just walking down this street, taking in all the lights. One of my best memories in London came when I was shopping for J's Christmas present. I was going at it on my own, popped in my headphones and walked. Looking at all the shops, the chilling wind and the bustling sidewalks.

See, London really is my kind of place. While this normally wouldn't be a bold statement it is because I'm one of those weird people who don't really belong anywhere. I mean that in the best, non-angst-filled way. I wasn't made for extended exposure to the country-side or small towns, which is strike one against my present university. I don't like cities like Los Angeles or New York because... well, in the short run they're wonderful but I feel I would get really stressed out staying there for too long. It's just so urban. And a little greasy. But again, that's just me. To me, London has everything I hadn't found before. Yes, it was urban. Yes, places like Piccadilly Circus was a lot like a little Times Square. Hyde Park could've been mistaken for Central Park from a distance but there was something else. Something that made it different. There was unmistakable history on every street corner. There was a different manner of doing things that permeated the air. I know part of that comes from being in a different country but maybe that's what I needed. A breath of fresh air.

And, I found it. Looking for a small reprieve, a change of scenery, I found the place I love. A place that reflects all the aspects of my personality. And I miss it a lot.

London 2012? Yes? Maybe? The hunt for tickets is on :]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Today Is Christmas

Today is Christmas and it was spent with my family, eating delicious food and being the generally dysfunctional bunch we always are. One thing you'll learn about me is that I'm horrible at uploading pictures in a timely manner so I always end up making posts about things that have happened days before because I finally have the pictures up. Which is why, today, I'll mostly be talking about what happened the day before Christmas Eve instead of this wonderful day itself. Which is sad because Christmas really is a beautiful time of year. As everyone in my family changes and gets older, the dynamics of our Christmas change but the love is always there and for that, I am grateful.

Another thing I'm grateful for is the fact that my beloved J gets home tomorrow! He's been stranded in London and even though he's only lay-overing in my town for about an hour, he'll be at his home home and I'll be able to see him for ten days :] Just knowing that he's on my side of the Atlantic is going to relieve some stress, I feel. Having a boyfriend 5000 miles away really is a stressful situation. Anyway, here he is:

He really is a wondeful boyfriend and altogether is the second thing I am grateful for.

The third is for these people:

Since I was in London for the past three months, I hadn't had the chance to see any of my good friends from home and even though I still have yet to see any of them, I'm thankfully for the four I did get a chance to hang out with a few days ago. From left to right: K, my roommate who I'll soon be seeing on a daily basis. M, who goes to school a few hours away from me and is really bad about texting back, T, my best friend who has stood by my craziest moments but who is so busy during the semester that she hardly has time to sleep much less hang out and finally, C, who shipped off to the Navy a few years ago and, besides for a few days she takes as leave, doesn't know when she'll be back. Somehow, some way, we were all able to get together and hang out. Walk to the mall like we did before we could drive, try on ridiculous outfits and catch each other up on our craziest stories. For a while, our group of friends was absolutely crazy and we fought every other day. A manifestation of our jealousy and insecurity. We've finally gotten a little better about that and have learned to be thankful for the times we do get to be together.

Now my family's baking a pie [frozen of course, we don't do 'from scratch' around here] and are having problems working the new Blu-Ray player so I think I'm going to go see what's up. J's flight leaves at 5 am CST and he should be back by four! AND AND AND I get to see D, the boy who I had the most inexplicable relationship with but have somehow managed to be friends with, and the wonderful K. More on that later of course but for now, Merry Christmas. It's amazing that a day like this can exist; to just bask in the blessing of life and put everything else aside for a whole twenty-four hours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Opening

I went abroad and got to travel the world (essentially) for three months, accompanied by the boyfriend (J) and the group of people who would collectively come to be known as the flatmates. As of December 20, that story has reached it's natural conclusion. Minus the fact that poor J is still stuck in London because of weather and ticket booking nonsense and won't be back stateside until the 26th. So while I'm hoping he doesn't go all Jack Nicholson in the Shining on me, I think he's holding up well and don't worry, you'll receive a full report when he's back home (which, coincidentally, is four hours away from the place I call home).

A full account of September 18-December 20 (minus a few recaps I still need to type up) can be found here: An Ally Abroad

We go back to school January 5th (technically the 10th but I have a fair amount of moving in to do) and I start my 3rd to last semester of college, which will be filled with internship-searching, thesis-writing, LSAT-taking escapades. With some fun along the way (hopefully).

But because I doubt there's much demand for the carrying-abouts of a college junior, I suppose this will be more of a journal type thing. I just like knowing I'm putting something out into the world, for people to read and maybe even relate to. I know that, generally, my generation is still looked down upon as having only trivial things to say but that's really not true. Because it's always been my dream to sound like a cliche, I have to say, experience has changed me. All kinds, not just limited to my past semester (which certainly opened my eyes and changed my perception of pretty much… everything). I'm not sure I'll ever talk about all of them. Mostly they're not my stories to tell. They're things that have happened to people I know and love and because I know and love them, they are stories that have affected me. That have changed me and have continued to do so throughout my formative years. And experiences, I've found, don't discriminate based on gender, age, race or anything. They happen to absolutely everyone at absolutely arbitrary times.

So while I may not be writing about anything earth-shattering, I'm writing about experiences that I need to write about. Experiences that, maybe, someone else has gone through, too.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”