Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Adventure 22 - The Atheist Case for Holidays

After all, the root of "holiday" is "holy day," and as someone who does not believe in deities or holy beings in general, I technically shouldn't be celebrating them. But in the light of the ridiculousness known as being politically correct and eliminating Christmas parties and replacing them with generic "holiday" and "winter" parties if you're lucky or nothing at all if you're not, I propose something I've done since before I cared about atheism (or really knew what it was), and that's celebrating everything.

Celebrating a holiday is not forcing your religion onto anyone as long as the option is provided, and it's not so much telling your guests what to believe in so much as teaching them about your traditions, which I find fascinating. For example, I went to a friend's party last night and got to watch the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony and eat latkes with applesauce (which was most delicious considering it counteracted the bite of the onions) and mess around with dreidels, among other things, and it was so much fun, even though that's not what I celebrate.

The problem, I think, is that people are so intolerant of others and fail to consider that different traditions are just that, different, and not necessarily wrong. Granted, there are some beliefs that I consider wrong, such as forced gender discrimination and the denial of basic reproductive health rights, but in terms of things like whether you put up a Christmas tree or a menorah or nothing at all, there is no right or wrong.

My solution, as I said before, is to celebrate everything. Make it like elementary school, when we had those cute little worksheets that we got to color in and the little games that we played so we could learn what goes on during Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Diwali, and so on. Not only was it fun, it was educational. It's not like our teachers were forcing anything on to us, and if someone decided "Hey, this is pretty cool," it's not the end of the world if they decide to switch religions.

If anything, it would be detrimental not to have these sorts of mini-celebrations at a young age because it is denying children, who are (and I hate to be cliché but I have to be) the future of our society, basic societal knowledge. For starters, we are all different and we celebrate different things but that's ok, and denying knowledge on any level is wrong. These people that are so concerned about being politically correct that they are in fact insulting everyone by preventing them from carrying on their own customs and cultures. If someone individually doesn't want to partake in anything, that's fine, but don't force people to not partake in anything, because that's just as bad as forcing them to partake in something.

Bring on the latkes.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Adventure 21 - Chaos

Also known as Christmas in my family.

I'll keep it short, but waking up at 4:30am for a 12-hour trip home, not getting to bed until midnight and then 4 Christmases will wear you out a little, especially considering I've only done two so far but I've had horrible allergies since I got home. I hope I'm not allergic to my dog. That would be sad.

Anyway. What I want most for Christmas is not something I can ask for, but I have a Squishable narwhal, so I guess that's a start.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adventure 20 - The Cookie Hetaera

As your typical college student, I didn't really feel like spending what little money I have on Christmas presents for all my friends. I mean, here alone I had 10 people I would've had to buy for, and even little tchotchke things add up. Thus, the cookiepalooza.

Instead of spending a bunch of money on presents, I spent 40 bucks on supplies to make 4 batches of cookies for my friends. I know, that's a ridiculous amount of cookies, but the recipe I have calls for 3/4 of a stick of Crisco, and Crisco only comes in 3-packs, plus each of my friends wanted different kinds.

My roster for this weekend was:
  • 2 batches of chocolate chip (which was the original recipe and the most requested kind)
  • 1/2 batch of peanut butter chip (because one of my friends is a loser and doesn't like chocolate)
  • 1/2 batch of peanut butter chip and chocolate chip (because one of my friends wanted both)
  • 1/2 batch of snickerdoodle (because that was requested twice)
  • and the pièce de résistance, 1/2 batch of chocolate chip bacon (because I had a half-batch left, plus hello, it's bacon and chocolate chip cookie in one bite)
So after 4 hours in the kitchen, my cookies were done, and after walking to and from work in the snow and balmy 24°F weather, I started off on my delivery. I got about half of them done last night, between people not being home and the fact that I spent 3 hours BSing with one friend (split between me dropping off the cookies and him coming back for a refill), but I'll try to finish the rest today. The only issue is rationing off the chocolate chip bacon cookies 'cause I only made 12 and they're reeeeally good.

So why does this make me the cookie hetaera? For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a hetaera was the highest class of prostitute in ancient Greece, but instead of getting money for her services, she'd generally get gifts. Thus, instead of getting houses or farms in return for sexy things, I get hugs and a balloon animal for my cookies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Adventure 19 - Thanks

I'll be the first to admit it, my current life plan isn't spectacular. I won't be graduating with a bachelors' in three years, and I probably won't have the money to pay for grad school after I do graduate. I'll be lucky if I have a job by then, and I'll be able to support myself (and my college bills eventually) but that's about it. I'll be working weird hours, traveling a lot and doing things that might make people mad at me. Seems like a pretty fruitless outlook.

But it is our job to tell someone's (or something's) story, and when you get personally thanked by a complete stranger for your work, it's a pretty damn awesome feeling.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adventure 18 - Finally, An Explanation

(No, not to why I insist on procrastinating on this paper. Nice try, though.)

The latest issue of our school's alternative magazine, which I write for, came out today, and I'm really not trying to toot my own horn but I really like my article for it. The issue was all about the problems that our generation, as the ones dealing with the college nonsense, have it just a little bit differently than generations before us. My article was about how we're less religious than everyone else, and through my sources, I finally found someone to say basically what my philosophy behind my equal-opportunity heathenism is. Basically, he said that we're less religious because with all the advances in technology and science and society in general, we're starting to see that what we were taught by religion is wrong, and we're responding with, and I'm quoting this directly, "an emphatic 'fuck you.'"

Not only was that the best quote in my entire series of interviews, it's perfect. Granted, I can't say it's exactly what I've gone through because I was never religious in the first place, but it explains everything. I do my own thing because none of the tenets in religions (that I know of, anyway) make a whole lot of sense in the modern context. Take evolution for example. It's about as proved as it can get, and there are people that are starting to see "Hey, maybe it doesn't make sense that people supposedly rode dinosaurs...," yet there are still people pigheaded enough to maintain that Homo sapiens rode on the back of Spinops sternbergorum. Which, by the way, is a new dinosaur we just found fossils for and is the evolutionary stepping stone between Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus because, le gasp! Spinops has the curved spikes of Centrosaurus and the straight spikes of Styracosaurus. So the argument is really invalid.

(Also, I like dinosaurs.)

Anyway. I'm really proud of that article, and I hope I can get more in the future that I'm that passionate about. (As it is, my original article was more than 1200 words and they had to cut it down to 800...)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventure 17 - Drop in Productivity

There are three main causes for this: lack of interest in the activity, a puppy and stinking Thanksgiving Break. Good god. I read a little and that was about it. That's pretty sad, considering I also had a 9-hour bus ride (that turned into an 11-hour bus ride but I'll get to that later).

Last week was just crazy because everyone wanted to see me all at once. In short:

  • Getting home itself was an adventure. 6-hour car ride with a friend to Boston filled with Celtic folk rock and killer barbecue, then a roughly 2-hour ride from his end of the city to where I was meeting my stepdad (in the middle of this is where my boyfriend met me and we had a sushi date on the T and it was awesome), then getting lost in Pawtucket trying to find a place to eat and not getting home til after 11.
  • Sunday I crashed. Too tired to really do anything.
  • Monday I hung out with "the other one"'s ex-boyfriend, who I had met online when the whole polyamory bullshit started but hadn't met in real life 'til then, and we got kicked out of the library for talking too much.
  • Tuesday I had a boy date with one of my guy friends who had recently gone through a bad breakup so we went to Five Guys and saw the 3D Christmas Harold and Kumar movie, plus we accidentally drove into the exit of the movie theater complex which was scary as hell but hilarious.
  • Wednesday I went back to the high school to drop off a magazine to my journalism teacher and say hi to all my other teachers, and it was really cool 'cause they all let me interrupt their classes.
  • Thursday was obviously chaos because it was Thanksgiving, and even though there are only 10 people in my immediate family, we had some extendeds over at my aunt's house so there were 16 but I didn't have to sit at the kids' table so I didn't really care.
  • Friday I hung out with my boyfriend, complete with a trip to a local bookstore, MarioKart and lots of laughing about random things.
  • Saturday was a point of contention between my mom and my dad/gramma because my gramma came out from Washington (state) and is one of those people who expects the world to stop when she visits, so they had a pissing contest over who got to see me, but I got Heath bar pancakes and a new outfit out of the deal so I'm not that concerned.
  • And Sunday was the nonsense of getting back to school. Home to NYC was no problem, but they overbooked my bus back to school so they had to have two, plus we took the really bizarre route through Scranton (even though there was no stop there) and of course the stupid Pennsylvania part is where we hit massive traffic, hence why a trip that was supposed to end at 7:20 didn't end 'til about 9:30.
And during that time, I got nothing done. So now I have 30 pages worth of essays due on the 16th. Hell month, engage.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adventure 16 - Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

(Not like that, you asses.)

Thanksgiving Break is supposed to be just that, a break, but it's not looking like much of one. It's unfortunate, I could really use one. As you can see, I have been extremely lackadaisical with my posting, and not only that, I'm also in the process of trying to get back on track with my NaNoWriMo story because this past weekend both knocked me off the bandwagon and ran me over with it several times.

Without going into too much background, I feel this can be best explained by an email I sent to my boyfriend last weekend (while he was, ahem, "busy") asking, "Why do boys have to be so fucking difficult?" It fits because it indicates my problem (boys) and the fact that I was angry about it.

What basically happened was that one of my guy friends (the one I went pantyhose shopping with) recently broke up with his girlfriend two weekends ago, so we had kindof a singles' appreciation dinner last Friday, since my SO was also elsewhere. It was really nice 'cause we hadn't really hung out since the weekend we met, and we BSed about all sorts of stuff. Long story short, things happened and he kissed me at the end of the night, which was quite honestly awesome but left me horribly confused in several ways.

Fast-forward to last night, I have a girls' night dinner with one of my dorm friends, who is convinced that everything is going to work out like yet another cheesy rom-com, and I'm finally able to get ahold of my guy friend to drop off some cookies I was supposed to give him last Friday after I left. I'd get up the confidence to spill the beans, and then his roommate would conveniently walk in, and eventually my friend had to get to studying for an Italian test, so I asked if he could walk me out and did confession time outside the building. I had to, it had been bothering me for almost a week and if I had waited any longer, I probably would've exploded from the angst.

It was awkward, of course. I mean, asking someone out under any circumstances is inherently awkward, and this was even more so considering his recent breakup and my current situation. He politely declined, which I kindof expected, but it wasn't so much of an outright "no" as the fact that he wasn't ready just yet. As he put it, he was used to being a housecat and just got thrown outside, so he'll go feral eventually but it'll take a while. It made sense (I really like the metaphor), and obviously I respect him for it, but what followed was probably the world's most awkward hug and then me feeling like an ass for asking even though I know I shouldn't've.

So I think we're ok now, and I feel better now that I don't have to live with not being able to state my case, but it's still kindof embarrassing. I just hope this works out somehow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventure 15 - Losing Track

I had to check to see what number post this is because I honestly forgot, it's been so long since I blogged. And now that I know I have at least one reader, I suppose I should put in some amount of effort to post somewhat regularly.

I apologize for not having blogged in over a week and a half, but I can explain myself in one word: NaNoWriMo.

For those of you not in the know, NaNoWriMo (a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month but that's just too long to have to say) is an annual competition to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. I tried it last year, got about 6K words in and ran out of things to talk about. So far this year I've written 11,039, so I'd say I'm off to a good start.

NaNo has actually been a pretty neat experience for me because it got me to do a lot of things I normally wouldn't've. I went to the city write-in at midnight that first night and stayed out 'til *le gasp!* 3am, on a school night nonetheless, and that's only because I was about to fall asleep right in the diner. My other write-in so far was at this loungey cafe place on campus I had never been to, and if you can't appreciate a few hours of writing with fun people, tiger brownies (squares of brownie and chocolate cookie stripes and absolute deliciousness) and Disney songs (as a result of a bet between the supervisor and the barristas), there's something wrong with you.

As a result of this madness, blogging will probably be light, especially considering I have another theme paper (the 5-7, 6-8 or 7-10 pager) due after Thanksgiving Break and a 15-20 page research paper due in December. Some people have No-Shave November. I have No-Life November.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventure 14 - Winter is Upon Us

Also, a post on how everyone is overreacting about the appearance of a few flakes this afternoon. I know that there are people here from across the country and world that may have not seen snow before, but the fact that there are snowflakes physically falling does not warrant a total conniption fit. Yes, it is technically snowing, but this is not snow, and it is certainly not typical upstate New York snow. Just wait until we have two feet and they don't cancel classes.

Anyway. I'm not thrilled about it being cold enough to snow in October, but I would much rather have snow than this barely above freezing sleety slushy crap. Rain and snow have this tranquility about them; the sound of falling rain (given that it's not a hurricane or other torrential downpour) is soothing, and snow (again, not talking Snowmageddon here) brings a calming stillness to the scenery. But when Mother Nature can't decide between the two, the slushy result is nothing short of dismal.

This "storm" won't bring much of substance, perhaps an inch or so, so instead of frolicking in the white stuff (get your heads out of the gutters, you perverts), I'm going to be spending the evening editing my essay on Herodotus' The Histories, reading up on prostitution in ancient Greece for my research paper and, if I'm lucky, watching the Rangers win the World Series.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adventure 13.5 - Like a Movie

Life's a bitch. It really is. Because as much as chick flicks are sometimes entertaining to watch, they suck to have to live, and this trip has been proof of that.

Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of my time in Boston. It's such a great city, and even though I definitely didn't get to see as much as I would've liked to, I got to walk around some, including the Harvard Bridge at 2am. Plus, hello, I got to see my boyfriend, who I hadn't seen in almost two months and was kinda the reason I went out in the first place.

But no, the movie-esque shenanigans started early, about a half hour after that last blog post to be exact. My flight to Philly got cancelled around 11 because of high winds down in PA, so I had to go back to the ticket counter to see how else I could get my ass to Boston. Fortunately, there was a flight from Syracuse to Boston that had one seat left, so I got to partake in an hour-long, 40-buck cab ride with 5 complete strangers who were also supposed to be flying into Philly. But hey, I got to Boston and only about 3 hours after I normally would've. The cab ride to Syracuse was actually longer than my flight to Boston; then again, the cabbie was also pushing 80 on the highway because one girl had a 1:30 flight to catch.

We finally meet up at the airport's T station, nice long hug, the usual rom-com deal. We walked around quite a bit, ate some sushi on campus and pasta at this little place in the North End, talked about the T because we're dorks like that, we had ...other miscellaneous shenanigans... and of course our late-night walk over the bridge, which I would highly recommend doing, especially when the moon's out. We even had deep, intellectual conversations about completely useless crap.

Of course, the conflict came in the form of references to his other girlfriend, but I was good and didn't say much. As such, that will be the extent of which I cover that because it makes me sad to think about.

The goodbye was more bittersweet than baking chocolate (which I've never actually eaten but I've had 70% and that's pretty close, plus it's just a lame simile for the sake of being silly). Last night and especially this morning were awful. We ate our breakfast in silence and neither of us wanted me to go. Of course, it didn't help that he started talking, both last night and this morning on the T to the airport, about how we've stayed so close even through all the crap we've been through and how we're not going to see each other again for another month. I tried to keep my composure, but it's really hard to do when everything being said is true and dammit he started sobbing first, I couldn't help it.
(Note: this "composure" of which I speak also does not include anything that happened in either Logan, LaGuardia or back here, though some of that was a bit of an act of masochism on my part because I wanted to listen to a song on my iPod that I like because it's kindof "our song," as stupid as that sounds, and I knew it was going to make me cry but I couldn't help it.)

It sounds pretty chick-flick-ish to me. The only part missing is that scene at the end, where the couple says their last goodbyes at the airport (or train station or whatever means of transportation is used), the girl leaves, the guy runs after her through some questionably legal maneuvers, professes his love for her and they live happily ever after, the end.

But that's not how life works. Happiness is not handed to you. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of know-how and the occasional 40-buck cab ride when things go wrong. Sometimes it feels like happiness isn't worth the inevitable shitty feeling that follows when it's gone. But when it's good, it's golden, and that's the one thing that rom-coms get right.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adventure 13 - Leaving

Because our school doesn't give us all the fluffy federal holidays off, we get a four-day weekend in October, so I'm spending it in Boston, but I already used the obligatory Dropkick Murphys reference for my day trip to watch the Sox back in July so I won't subject you to that again.

Instead, I subjected my dorm-mates to it.

Today is mostly traveling; my flight to Philly leaves around noon, then I have an hour layover there and an 90-minute flight to Boston. I'll have a lot of time to kill in the city tomorrow, and I'm highly considering going to the Museum of Science because I haven't been there in at least six years and, hello, it's the Museum of Science.

I'm even dressing somewhat respectably, i.e. not in the usual jeans-and-t-shirt that I usually wear.  I'm meeting up with some people so I kinda needed to dress a little nicer, with the exception of my shoes, I had to bring my all-black Converses because my Merrells look really stupid with skirts. In retrospect, wearing Converses to walk around the city all day probably wasn't the best idea, but I'm not exactly full of T money and I need the exercise anyway. Here's to hoping the forecast is correct in saying it won't rain all weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adventure 12 - The Hansel and Gretel Conspiracy

Just like that witch tried to fatten up the two kids so she could eat them, my school has been offering so many food events that I'm starting to wonder if their motives are the same.

Ok, obviously I'm joking about the cannibalism thing, but since I've been here, I've been a complete foodie and taken pictures of a lot of the special food things they've had both on- and off-campus.

For our school magazine, I had to do a review for a local Japanese restaurant that just opened.
This was the almond bubble tea, served in a beer stein, with bubbles that I accidentally inhaled and partially choked on...

...and this was the bento box that I ate the entirety of; it consisted of salad with ginger dressing, rice, two pieces of California roll, a dumpling, some seaweed salad and steak with teriyaki sauce. It was delicious.

My honors program "big" (all the freshmen have upperclassmen mentor people) took me to the waffle place downtown. This monstrosity was a single Almond Joy, which had almond butter, coconut and chocolate sauce, plus strawberries I added to give the illusion of being healthy.

This was a gyro I picked up at the mini farmers' market I pass on the way to work. The full farmers' market has an insane amount of food to choose from, but the little streetside one is really good too. I mean, by the time I walked from there to the bus station, which is only about two blocks or so, I had eaten almost all of the cucumbers in my gyro.

Because it's sacrilege to go to a food-based festival and not eat food, I caved in and had an apple fried dough at our city's apple festival. It was obviously good, it's fried dough, but I just now realized that the whipped cream and my fork make a smiley face.

After the chocolate tasting at our school no-showed (a friend of mine emailed the chocolate society to ask why, and apparently they couldn't get funding for it), we went to a chicken wing tasting sponsored by the marketing club. There were fifteen different wings from six different restaurants; my personal favorite in terms of flavor was the honey teriyaki one (the really dark one at the top), but the four on the bottom were incredibly meaty and juicy. I'm a bit spoiled with wings back home; we don't adulterate them with sauce, just throw them in the deep fryer and throw some salt on them. They're divine.

I can't really consider this to be the "gourmet fruits and cheeses" night that the dining halls advertised, but the spread was nice and I got to try carambola (it tastes sort of like a grape). Plus, hello, it's cheese and fruit and crackers.

And if that wasn't enough, the student activities organization thing (you know, the organization in charge of the other organizations) sponsored a "taste of the city"-type tasting. My friend and I had already eaten a little, so we pigged out on dessert instead. More cheese and crackers, a bagel and cream cheese, some killer baklava, a chocolate coconut cupcake, some local-made root beer and a white chocolate macadamia cookie (the cookie people are only open from 7pm to 2am and deliver right to you. I have not used this service yet but I imagine that, at some point in my four years here, I will).

A friend and I needed to go to the supermarket for groceries (and ended up spending way too much money on stupid things like ice cream and chocolate), but stopped at the city bakery on the way. She had a plain roast beef sandwich that I almost wanted to eat myself, and I had a chicken cutlet sandwich with provolone cheese and basil mayonnaise. So simple but so good. And the pickle was nice and crunchy, because floppy pickles suck.

During our grocery shopping adventures, I decided I needed ice cream, and even though I've tried Ben & Jerry's "Schweddy Balls" and liked it (it's Whoppers candy in ice cream, how can you not like it?), I decided to go with a new flavor, hence "Late Night Snack". In case the label is too small to read, it's vanilla bean ice cream with a caramel swirl and, no joke, chocolate-covered potato chip balls. It's a surprisingly good combination of sweet and salty, plus most of the potato chip balls are still crunchy and aren't as overpoweringly salty as you'd think. I'd definitely recommend it.

And for my final masterpiece, the honors program held their annual ice cream social tonight, and this lovely conglomerate of five scoops of ice cream and seven toppings was my dinner. And yes, I bothered to keep track. One scoop each of a chocolate mint Oreo, chocolate-covered strawberry, chocolate with brownie bits, chocolate chip cookie dough (noticing a pattern?) and that ubiquitous "insert-animal-here tracks," topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, Reese's pieces, M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and pretzels.

Before you ask, I am not planning on becoming a food critic. It would be really hard for me to tell someone that their food sucked, even if it did. I might be willing to do one of those shows where the host gets to travel all over the place and eat...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adventure 11 - Simplicity

One thing I've learned in my time at college is that, among all the chaos of class and homework and clubs and whatnot, you develop an appreciation for the simple things in life, those hidden gems that are often overshadowed by the hustle and bustle of the university system.

Take my photography for example. It's not professional by any means, and I have a bad tendency to take pictures of the same things, but my decision to focus on nature isn't only because that's all we have up here (though it certainly doesn't help). Nature is just... there. It doesn't try to be anything, it doesn't require special circumstances, and it's a slow but certainly dynamic change throughout the year. Unfortunately, my foliage pictures that would prove that last point are of a corner of campus not documented earlier in the semester so I can't create a proper comparison, but my point still stands. Feel free to click on any for a larger pic.

These first four were taken on campus, and I picked the sunsets in three because of the colors they produce. The clouds one is one of many that I have; cirrus clouds always make for cool pictures, in my opinion.

The next three were taken at a local nature center that I went to through the school's honors program. We definitely have a lot of rocks back home, but there isn't much slate, and I find it fascinating the way it cuts itself almost perfectly. Also, waterfalls, enough said.

This is a picture of a waterfall just past the nature center, taken out of chronological order but I felt it fit with the nature theme. It might not seem like much, considering how far back I was, but keep in mind that this waterfall is 30 feet taller than Niagara Falls. I kid you not.

I chanced upon this tree on my way to class one morning. Note that I pass this tree every morning, yet I didn't bother to really notice it until I realized that it was this brilliant golden orange.

Another sunset, somewhat obstructed by the cloud cover, but I also like the lights.

Distance foliage, definitely more impressive in person but the picture gets some of it.

A random heron I passed on the way to work. It's been there the past few days.

I believe this is a drainage source, but again, the slate turns it into a nice, little waterfall.

And this one I save for last because it illustrates my hidden gem point. I took this on the way to work, and I have to walk through some... not necessarily sketchy but certainly run-down areas of town. This flower is proof that you can find beauty in unexpected places.

Next post: the foodie issue. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Adventure 10 - 171 Steps

171 steps to get to my hideout in the 5th floor of the library, though I'm sure that I've done far more than that going up and down the stairs trying to find the books I was looking for.

Aside from the flipping of pages, the clicking of keys and me just being naturally noisy, it's perfectly quiet, and so much more so than the other levels of the library. It's such a nice change from my dorm; it's the honors building, so it's not terribly noisy, but I like the ability to unadulteratedly listen to my own music, read my own books and do my own thing.

Libraries, and books for that matter, have been an escape of sorts for me for a significant portion of my life. Once softball ended last spring, I spent every afternoon in the town library. It wasn't like I had any homework (let's be real, I was a second semester senior, we did absolutely nothing). I just liked the solitude that, while no one was home when I would have gotten home at the normal time, I couldn't get at home. And even though my town library wasn't anything to write home about, I could go in there every day and still find something new to look at. So now that I'm at a library that has... well, a lot more books, I think I'm going to find quite the living here. (Not to mention that they use the Library of Congress-type organization which is confusing as hell for me, so I'll spend more time searching for my book and wind up finding other stuff along the way.)

Also, please tell me this isn't cool and terrifying at the same time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Adventure 9 - The Joys of Happenstances

Because if happenstances didn't... well, happen... I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go pantyhose shopping with a complete stranger yesterday.

This weekend is a hee-uge apple festival in the city, which means that the public transportation system was one big CF. The fact that it's consistently late isn't a problem because I usually rely on it being late, but you would think that, if this festival has been going on for longer than I've been alive, they would put more buses in service this weekend. Opinions aside, by the time the bus got to the stop, it was not only 20 minutes late or so but also completely full so we couldn't get on anyway.

I mentioned as a bit of an external thought process that I wasn't even going to the festival and instead needed to go to Walmart/Lowe's, and the guy standing next to me said that he had to also. I suggested walking down to the transfer bus stop (it's not a direct route from the school), and lo-and-behold, my trip with a complete stranger begins. It turned into the best decision I made all day.

Ok, maybe stopping into Dunkin Donuts on the way back for some hot chocolate was the best decision, but this was a close second and my hot chocolate wouldn't have happened without it.

It turned out that my new complete stranger friend is also a journalism major, and that he needed to go to Walmart to pick up costume supplies for our school's annual production of Rocky Horror, hence why he was the one buying pantyhose and I was the one buying wooden dowels. He apologized that our meeting had to be over something weird on his part, but then again, I was the one making wooden spears for a class project, so it wasn't a big deal.

It was pretty dreary out; Mother Nature wasn't sure if she wanted it to rain or just be cloudy, so it was an on-again-off-again drizzle, but it wasn't bad to walk in. It's about a mile and a half down to where we would have had to catch the bus, but we decided to walk through the festival and just walk the additional mile and a half to Walmart instead of trying to work through the public transportation CF.

Dunkin Donuts was an impromptu decision on the way back because the traditional cold weather of upstate New York decided to kick in and I was starting to lose feeling in my fingertips. We eventually decided just to walk all the way back since the bus back to the school would only take 14 more people and we didn't have much to carry; good decision in terms of exercise, bad decision in terms of my exercise-induced asthma.

We ate dinner together, and it was a really nice course of events that wouldn't have happened had the bus been cooperative. It was really nice being able to talk to someone who, until a few hours before, I had never met.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventure 8 - Falling Apart

Let's just say September was not a good time for the Sox.

Then again, the entire season hasn't really been a good time for the Sox.

Not all of that was their fault. Injuries happen to the best, worst and in-between of players. However, it doesn't cover up the fact that it seemed like no one on the team showed up to the games this past month.

Take Wednesday night for example. Wednesday night was nothing shy of downright embarrassing, and I'm a little annoyed that I stayed up that late on a school night to watch such a poor performance. As a somewhat sport-familiar person, I take nothing for granted, especially leads. I feel that, yes, the Sox could have definitely played better this month, but it's hard to designate specific players to blame for what happened because a lot of the game is left up to chance and no one is perfect. That blown save is proof of this. You can be mad about blowing the lead and the Wild Card, and you can blame Papelbon, God or your next-door neighbor, but it won't change the fact that they lost and ended the season in what is probably the worst possible fashion (though the Yankees blowing their 7-run lead was pretty spectacularly bad as well.)

Now that Francona is leaving the team, the team is going to undergo a lot of changes, and I'm a little worried about how the team will fit together. Tito has been the manager as long as I've been watching, and he managed the '04 and '07 teams, so it's not as if he isn't physically capable of doing his job well. I certainly respect his decision, but Varitek isn't getting any younger, and with the possibility that he might be retiring soon as well, this upcoming winter could potentially pose a large problem in terms of leadership on the team.

Every team goes through some shifting, shuffling and occasionally a complete revamping. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't. Here's to hoping 2012 will be better.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adventure 7 - Futility

Learning that your intended major has, on average, a 60% job rate after graduation will dampen your mood pretty quickly. Especially when your college doesn't have the other aspect that you're interested in and could also help you get that job.

I hate these existential crises. They happen, I think I solve them, life is good for a while and then they're back.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adventure 6 - Self-Sustainment

As a college student, I have a reasonable stash of food in my room, mostly consisting of carbs like cereal, Ritz crackers and ramen. (Don't judge, you know you did it too.) When I ran out of milk on Saturday, I took advantage of my grandparents being in town and asked them to bring me to the local supermarket after lunch. Between that trip and my impromptu trip today, I learned a few things about food.

  1. I have definitely taken advantage of knowing where everything is back home. Obviously things differ a little from store to store within a chain, but starting over with a completely new company makes life really confusing. Thus, no fruit snacks for me today.
  2. Buying items like loose candy or dried fruit in bulk is a neat concept, but not when you can't scoop the little chunks of whatever out of the bin. I probably destroyed far too many dried pineapple tidbits than I should've because they kept sticking to the scoop and making it impossible to pick up.
  3. The store I went to is a decently large store, so they have a killer international section. What I don't get is how they could sell Pocky but not coffee syrup. Pocky is from Japan. Coffee syrup is a New England thing. I am in New York. This does not compute.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventure 5 - Sinking In

This week has not been a good week. I was going fine with time, and I've even been working on meeting new people. Then this week happened and I'm swamped. I was just barely late to two of my three classes yesterday (one because I was talking to another professor and the other because I had a Skype date that ran long), and because I was late to the second class, I accidentally left my keys in my room and had to get a dummy key to get back in. I have 12 hours of paint crew between Monday, tonight and Saturday when my grandparents are coming out to visit. I have a test in journalism on Thursday, intro to theater next Tuesday and one in stagecraft within the next week. I have a rather large analytical essay due on the 3rd (which seems like a long time from now but I'm not good with writing 7- to 10-page papers.) I have to work in the dining halls this weekend, and I need to go to job training for my other job at some point in the near future. I have an article due tonight that I don't have all my interviews for because the professor I needed to talk to was never available. I have a Big Bang Theory marathon planned with one of my guy friends on Friday because my boyfriend is busy doing... "other things"... this weekend. And I've just been having all sorts of problems on the boy front lately (more on that later).

I hope this week gets better.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Adventure 4 - Questioning Faith

Also, how I consistently become the odd man out in my Spanish class.

Our class is conversational, so usually our professor doesn't really say much, other than to keep the discussion going, but today he started a discussion about faith and the effect that it has on someone's life. He'd recently lost his brother, plus his wife is expecting and his mother is moving in from Spain, so he talked about how faith has kept him together through all the emotional wear-and-tear, and how it's sad when someone doesn't have anything or anyone to believe in. Naturally, he mentioned religion specifically, and he didn't necessarily throw atheists and other nonbelievers under the proverbial bus, but he did question how someone can use science to justify everything, and he got a general survey of beliefs in deities from the class.

Now, as an equal-opportunity heathen, which is the term I prefer because it has a nicer connotation than "atheist," I didn't necessarily feel targeted by the discussion, but I also knew I was the only one on the non-god-believing side. In horribly broken Spanish, I explained that even though atheists don't believe in a god, they do believe in other things (like food and baseball, but I didn't say that), so it's not like we're poor, hopeless souls with nothing to look up to. I also brought up that not all things can be explained scientifically, and that some things just have to be left to chance. Knowing that I'm a journalismly/sciencely-inclined person, my professor gave me a few examples of books/articles/whathaveyou that... well, not necessarily prove the existence of a divine being, but highly suggest it, though it was hard to tell at that point if he was playing devil's advocate or honestly trying to figure out how/why I think how/why I do.

Naturally, I then proceeded to make myself look like even more of a teenage hooligan when our professor asked us what our presentations were about, since we didn't have time to present them. Most of the topics were important, serious things, like stereotypes in Latin America or the effect that the US has on the culture of other countries. Mine was about all the creative ways that Cubans use condoms. (I kid you not, it was a legit story.)

I personally don't mind discussions that question what you feel. If you can withstand the opposition and support your case, you know that your beliefs are genuine and strong and that you're doing the right thing for you; even if you don't, it gives you an opportunity to rethink things, and worst case scenario, you learn something about yourself and can make positive change.

I also sat on this idea for a good portion of today, and with all the minor existential crises I've had over the past year or so, it gave me yet another opportunity to rethink my life and if what I'm doing is the right thing. Thinking about college has done that a lot: I question if I'm in the right major, minor, even school, and I can't help but feel sometimes that I've messed up somewhere. Academically hasn't been so much of a problem because I'm a horribly compulsive plan-aheader (planner-ahead? Planner-aheader?), so I know that by the time I leave here in (I hope) four years, I'll have a solid foundation and the ability to launch myself into the real world. What worries me is my lack of social abilities. I wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school, but I knew a lot of people and I was comfortable. With college, my non-partying preference seems to put me in either my friends' rooms or alone on the weekends, and I'm only just barely starting to make friends beyond people I met and hung out with at orientation. I don't want to have to become an inebriated baboon to make friends (nor do I want friends that become inebriated baboons, it works both ways). I don't want to have to join seventy different clubs and meet a bunch of people but end up sacrificing my academics or my sleep. And as much as I love the fact that the wifi is significantly better on Friday and Saturday nights when no one else is around to use it, I don't want to be in quarantine for the rest of my college career. I want people to take me for who I am. The task now is finding those people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adventure 3 - Paying the Bills

This (well, part of it) is a little overdue, sorry.

Because of financial aid and whatnot, I got a federal work-study so I can earn some money for school while in school. My original job is the stereotypical freshman job of working the dining hall, and I also have the opportunity to get paid to volunteer for a local organization through the community service program at school. Sounds like a pretty good gig, right?

Of course, it's never that easy. During the few days before classes started, there were various info sessions to attend, one of them being the one where you fill out your working papers and stuff. Fine, no problem, I've done it before. Problem is, I realize that, in my utter brilliance, I left my Social Security card in my file o' important stuff at home, and it's a 6-hour drive. They won't let me fill out the form without it (not even a faxed copy), so my mom overnights it as soon as I get home, supposed to get there the first day of classes, which, conveniently, is also the next info session. That day comes, no mail. I have to reschedule again, I get it the next day, go to the info sessions, life is good.

First day of my dining hall work is... well, it's a dining hall. My job was to clean tables. Not a very glamorous job, but I'm sure it could be worse. And we found a baby mouse after work on the loading dock, so I picked him up with my ID and put him over in a little grassy area so he wouldn't get stepped on or run over.

For the community service thing, I had contacted the local science museum thingy over Labor Day weekend, they sent me an app that I filled out, and my interview was today at 3:30. But again, it's not that easy. With the bus and walking, I was going to get there at 3:30, maybe a minute or two early. Then the bus was a minute or two late, and I had the misfortune of finding out that what Google Maps called a 4-minute walk actually took 14. Asthmatic, stubby-legged me made it to the place at least 10 minutes late, which I thought would ruin me, but since they're always looking for volunteers (plus they know how unreliable the bus can be), they took me anyway. That one will be sporadic, mostly working hours during the week when I don't have classes.

Plus there's that student group I joined that partners with a local organization that raises service dogs and uses students as puppysitters, but I haven't heard anything from them yet. Which is unfortunate.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Adventure 2 - The Field Trip

Technically it was my second field trip (last Friday, I took the bus to Walmart to buy some binders and stuff and it took me two and a half hours to get there and back), but today was my first walking field trip. The guys needed to stock up on arms for the Humans Vs. Zombies round that starts tomorrow, and I needed some milk, so we decided to take the bus to where we'd have to transfer and then just walk the rest of the way. It was a nice walk, about 3 miles round trip, so I also felt good knowing I got some exercise.

And then we had to stop at the local waffle place and get waffles with bacon and eggs. It was really strange, we all ordered the same thing without planning to. I had a bit of a blah stomach this morning, plus I woke up really late (between having gone to bed so late and the sick stomach), so I didn't eat breakfast anyway, but I'm sure I could've gone with a slightly healthier meal. But oh man was it worth it. It's crazy how something as simple as a plain waffle, two fried eggs and two pieces of bacon can taste so good.

The city (which really doesn't count as a legit city since it's the smallest in the state) isn't really much to see, but I wouldn't mind walking around more to see what's around. But for now, I have a Spanish presentation to prepare.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Adventure 1 - Adjusting to the Surroundings

Per request, I took some pictures every day of just random stuff around campus that I found interesting.

And I am going to be 100% honest and say that the formatting and graphics of the video were preset on my Mac. All I did was take the pictures.

Monday, August 29, 2011

(retroactive) Adventure xi - Love is a Battlefield

I promise, no more 80s music references for a while.

I'll make this post short because even thinking about it makes me mad, but it certainly qualifies as an adventure.

As a little bit of background, my boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years and 5 months this Saturday. It's been a very atypical relationship to say the least, but it has worked out for the most part. A few months back, we started talking about what'll happen in college, since we'll be 6 hours apart, and we decided on an open relationship; that way, we could still stay together, but if one or both of us find someone else, it's not the end of the world. The idea took some getting used to, but I think I got to the point where I could handle it.

And then he has the balls to say, with 6 weeks left in the summer, that he wants to date one of our mutual friends also. Needless to say I did not take this well.

Long story short, we're still together but I'm not exactly friends with the other girl much anymore. Something about hearing your friend talk about baserunning (if you're familiar with the base system metaphor) with your boyfriend, especially when they got as far in those 6 weeks as we had in the entire relationship, just didn't sit right with me. I guess I'm just too attached, but we've done a lot together and it hurt to know that he was doing and enjoying stuff with someone else, possibly even more than what I had to offer.

What I learned from this: I sure as hell am not doing that again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And we are here!

Ok so moving in should be considered its own adventure, since we had to do it a day early due to the mess of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, but overall, it really wasn't that hard. My biggest problem was finding my phone charger this morning, since my last-minute things weren't packed logically like everything else and my phone decided to die last night.

So... on with the show!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adventure x - Getting Old

I don't really feel old. Granted, I got up about 15 minutes ago, and I don't actually turn 18 til this afternoon, but birthdays have always been as surreal for me as graduation did, and as going to college is right now. And so far, the only perks I can think of are being able to get my own Google+ account (which, of course, is still in the trial period so they won't let me sign up anyway), and buy spray paint if I need it for something.

So instead I get to paint t-shirts, make myself a Nutella and strawberry waffle sandwich (always wanted to try), and run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make my rounds before I leave this weekend.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Adventure ix - The Final Countdown

(doo-doo doo dooo, doo-doo doot-doot-dooo, doo-doo doo dooo, doo-doo doot-doot-doo-doo doo...)

Yes, the 80's hair-band interlude was so necessary.

It seems crazy to think that at this time next week, I'll be moved in to college. It's partially the whole culture-shock of being away from everyone, but more the fact of how on earth I'm going to fit all my stuff into enough boxes to fit in the truck. I've been camping before, so I know how much stuff it takes to sustain a person for a few days, but I'm honestly starting to run out of places to put things.

This week's adventure, along with navigating my birthday (the big 1-8, le gasp!), will be trying to get everything organized enough to bring with me when we leave on Saturday. This should be interesting.

(And in follow-up news from my blood donation extravaganza on Friday, I have a hematoma in my arm. It makes sense, there was a lot of blood going out, and it's not like it'll kill me or anything. The thing that doesn't make sense is the fact that my donation arm is just a bit bruised, and it's my IV arm that has the hematoma. Whatever.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Adventure viii - Third Time's the Charm?

For the most part, I'm not a good Samaritan by any standards, but I do try to give blood when I can. After my boyfriend donated at our school blood drive in October and I didn't, I felt like a real ass, so I tried again at the next one in March. I got really light-headed after they finished, but I was still on the table, so that's ok. Then I signed up for one in June at a local library, but it was really hot out and I think I was dehydrated because my arm refused to give any blood. So I signed up to donate yesterday and hoped this time would be better.

Yeah, right.

I had to be at work at 5:30, but the donation was at work, so I scheduled an appointment for 4, that way I had time for any possible delay, plus regrouping afterwards. They took me right in, hooked me up, life was good. After I was done, I got that light-headed thing from the first time, but I knew that was coming so I told the ladies at the drive ahead of time, and they gave me cold towels and stuff, so I was fine. I had a few cans of juice, moved over to the outgoing bench, ate a few pretzels and then they said I was free to go whenever I felt like it. I left the donation bus (pretty cool set-up, actually), and it was pretty hot and sunny out, so my head hurt, but I walked down the length of the bus and I knew I was done for. My vision and hearing started to go, and I didn't fully pass out, but I had to lie down on the sidewalk to regroup.

The ladies came out to help me, and I felt fine, but then they called an ambulance to make sure I wasn't going to really pass out. Embarrassing. As. Hell. They put me on a saline drip and I ended up staying in the ER for almost two hours, but everyone was really nice (paramedic: "150 cc's [of the saline] per hour. Not per minute, your arm would swell up. And then we could poke holes in you and you'd be a fountain." He was from the same division as the paramedics that stay at the stadium just in case someone gets hurt, so he said that they'd sneak into the games a lot, too.)

Of course, my mom freaked out when the ER called her, my boyfriend freaked out when I told him that I had a funny story to tell him but couldn't call him because I was in the ER, and I had to call my boss to tell her that I wasn't going to be into work, so there were a lot of awkward phone calls last night, but I'm fine now. I ripped off the tape and gauze so I can move my arms now, and I don't have to worry about feeling guilty about not donating, because they told me I really shouldn't do it for a few years...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventure vii - Stocking Up

As much as it might've sucked in younger years, it actually works out very conveniently to have my birthday at the end of the summer, because anything I might need for the school year doubles as a birthday present.

This year, it worked out especially well because I had my graduation party and birthday party as one conglomerate, so I ended up using most of that money to buy stuff I needed.

Like, for example, the third season of The Big Bang Theory and a fuzzy dragon hat with earflaps and pom-poms.

Anyway... as my room has gotten progressively smaller with the stuff I've accumulated, here is what I've found with having bought so much stuff.

  1. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Stuff adds up very quickly if you're not paying attention. For example, I went to Kohl's earlier in the week. I bought a pair of black pants, two bras and a belt. I needed everything. Everything was on sale. And I still paid over $50 for it. But I also saved over $50. So coupons are your best friend.
  2. On the clothing front, losing weight is both good and bad. Having your pants not be as tight is a nice feeling, but it also means you have to buy new things, especially bras. At this point in the game, they almost don't make them small enough, and oddly enough, the only ones I can find in my size are all blue...
  3. Wholesale places are also your best friend. You get more stuff in less packaging, so that means you can buy even more EasyMac to fill your room with.
  4. Once you're done packing a box or Rubbermaid container or whatever, make sure you have everything inventoried before you close it. Packing is all the same: once you open it up and take stuff out, you will never get it back in again. However, unlike on vacations, you'll generally leave with less stuff than you came with (what with all the food).
  5. Don't go crazy with buying stupid stuff, but allow a little bit of splurging. Graduation (and in my case, also birthday) money should mostly go towards useful things or saved, but there is nothing wrong with buying the aforementioned DVDs and fuzzy hats. They will come in handy, should you get snowed in in the winter.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adventure vi - Technology Upgrade

I don't get why everyone is all into the Apple superiority thing. iPods are nice, yeah, but when it comes to computers, I've been raised on PCs and prefer them. (Well, my first computering experience in elementary school was on those big, clunky Macs with the handles, but in terms of computer usage when I was doing actual computer work, not just that Type-to-Learn crap.)

Unfortunately, my school requires Macbook Pros for journalism majors, so much to my chagrin, I am now the owner of a 15.4-inch hunk of über-expensiveness. I don't even technically need anything beyond Microsoft Word for this year, but we got it early so I could know how to operate the dumb thing before I needed to use it for real.

Instead of a 5-item list, I'll do a 3-item list of each good and bad.

What I like about the new computer:
  1. My PC is starting to get a little slow opening things, like Google Chrome and iTunes, so the new computer will be faster.
  2. The touchpad works like an iPhone screen in the sense that you can zoom in and out by moving your fingers around on it.
  3. My PC can't support the software we need.
What I don't like:
  1. The fact that Apple is so exclusive that you can't have all the important software, like iLife and Final Cut and the other stuff I need for journalism, on a PC.
  2. Said software being extremely expensive (almost as much as the computer itself).
  3. When you click the X to close out of a program, it doesn't actually close the program and you have to go to the bar at the top to "officially" close it.
And now I have two computers. I'm not sure what to do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Adventure v - Shipping Up to Boston

No, not to find my wooden leg. (If I had wooden legs, you bet I'd make myself taller than 5'4")

Part of my early birthday present was tickets to the Red Sox/Royals matinee yesterday. It works out nicely because I root for the Sox, and two of my favorite players are on the team, and my official favorite player is on the Royals. Unfortunately, one of my faves from the Sox is their backup catcher and because Beckett was pitching, I didn't see him, but hey, two out of three ain't bad. The Royals won 4-3, but overall it was a really good game.

As for the bits and pieces from yesterday:
  1. Not wearing sunscreen at Fenway is not an option. I have a patch of about 3"x5" on each knee of friedness.
  2. I both love and hate my camera. Impressive zoom and continuous shot mode are good, the delay and people walking in front of me not so much.
  3. When you're in the North End, the only way to go hungry is to be indecisive as to where to eat. Knowing where you want to go ahead of time might help, but some arbitrary decision-maker, like eenie-meenie-miney-moe or spinning around in a circle and stopping with your finger pointed at a place, is a good way to do it too.
  4. No matter when you go, Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street will always be packed. Know what you want to order before you make it to the cases. And finally,
  5.  Jeff Francoeur is adorable.
    Just saying.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adventure iv- Starting at the Bottom

It happens in every school. The "big kids," whether they're 4th graders, 8th graders or seniors (that's how it went in the schools I went to, at least), think they're all that and a bag of chips because they're big men on campus... only to find that the next year they're on the bottom of the totem pole again. I was never one of the mean big kids that abused the younger ones, and actually I had several good friends in grades below me, but going to orientation reminded me that, once again, I'm at the bottom.

In my first official college experience, I also learned a few other things.

  1. There is no such thing as a freshman 15 at my school, because you spend so much time walking up and down the hill that you'll burn off all the extra calories. Plus you'll have fantastic calves by the end of senior year.
  2. There is always something to do. Unfortunately, that's not a good thing when you're an early to-bed person, like me. But the showing of Rolemodels in the pub was definitely worth staying up for.
  3. The best thing you can do at a meal is sit at a table with people you've never met. It forces you to talk (to avoid the awkward silence thing), plus chances are pretty good you'll meet someone cool.
  4. When you're in a tower-style dorm, especially if you're on a high floor, looking out at the view is a good idea; looking down is not.
  5. And finally, there don't appear to be any boy journalism majors. Interesting.

Finishing the weekend with a day of camping with the rest of my family isn't really that exciting enough to require any details, so that must mean *le gasp!* I'm caught up with my posts. I have a good adventure tomorrow that I'll report on when I get back.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventure iii - Getting Away from Everyone

Well, not really. I was able to get away from peers, but only because I was in Florida with my family as a graduation present of sorts.

Anyway, since everyone and their brother has been to Florida, I'll keep the details down to a minimum. Epcot was, is and probably always will be the best part, which may or may not be related to the amount and variety of food you can get there. Plus we were there for Canada Day, which was honestly more entertaining than being in the Magic Kingdom for the Fourth of July because Canadian people are cooler. As for the lowlights, I knew we'd have downtime at the end of each day, so I brought a grand total of 11 books with me, not realizing that I would be spending said downtime sleeping. Disney is a lot more exhausting than I remember. Also a lot rainier. I know Florida, like any state in the summer, gets the obligatory threat of thunderstorms, but  a week straight of pretty heavy rain, including a flash flood right as we were leaving Animal Kingdom, was a little bizarre.

I get a week to regroup, then off to college orientation.

(Also, my apologies for being behind the 8-ball with posting, since my vacation ended 2 and a half weeks ago...)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Adventure ii - The After-Party

The whole thing probably would've been a lot more enjoyable if I was a night person.

After graduation was over, they took everyone to the "mystery location" (we all knew where it was) for a luau-type dinner... you know, when "dinner" means 10pm... but they had some killer mac&cheese, and they had a touring group there that was doing an interactive hula show. Not my cup of tea, but we also signed up for paintball. Man, laser tag has nothing on paintball. We even had a pretty good team until the team we were supposed to play backed out, so we had to split up and I was the loser no one wanted on their team. It was really muggy out, so it was hard to see through the mask, but I was doing ok (at least, I thought I was) until I made myself too visible and got shot not only in the face but in the hand too, so not only could I really not see, my hand was dribbling pink with the white paint and the blood. The rest of the night was kinda suckish 'cause it was mostly based around bad music and worse dancing, and I was starting to get tired and left out of things. To make matters worse, they had an inflatable obstacle course that I did a faceplant in and swore I broke my nose (luckily I didn't), and none of my friends noticed that I walked out of it a little dazed. Bowling made me feel better, and I had gotten to the point where I had been awake for so long that I didn't care that I was tired (this was at about 3:30 in the morning when we started the first frame), so it was a good end to the night.

...until I had to get up at 12 after having gone to bed at 6:30. But my vacation from everyone else at school will be saved for another post.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Adventure i - Graduation

(Since this is pre-college, I'll use Roman numerals, like what they have for prefaces in books)

Ok, yeah, most people have to go through graduation of some sort, and to be honest, it was pretty surreal for me.

First task: learning how to line up, walk, stand up and sit down at the right moments. You'd be surprised how long it takes ~216 high school seniors to do that. And heaven forbid graduation be outside, because the lineup and procession was the complete opposite from the lineup and procession inside.

Graduation day comes, and it's downpouring. So much for all the girls getting their hair poofed and foofed. Speaking of girls, first thing my friends say when I walk in (and mind you, this is a nice occasion, so as much as I hate wearing dresses, I suffered through one for this) is roughly "Ohmygawd you actually look like a girl." We lined up, walked into the gym, and because it's seventy thousand degrees with a bajillion-percent humidity, they have the fans going and most of us are close to losing our hats. Halfway through the speeches, lightning strikes nearby and the power surge turns on the sound system to interrupt the speeches with some pretty epic instrumental music. Then it's diploma time, and even though I'm about halfway through the alphabet, I'm in the first row because I was in the top chunk of my class, so I get mine right at the beginning... and have to sit through everyone else. After that, everyone kinda forgets how to sit down with everyone else, so the hat throwing was all disorganized and someone got theirs stuck in the ceiling.

And then it's off to the all-night grad party, which I will save for another post.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Returning with purpose

Before I start cataloging my pre-college adventures, I'll at least take the time to create a proper introduction. Any good public communicator does, plus with the added incentive of being a journalism student, being able to speak... er, type... clearly is kind of important.

A little bit about myself: other than an aspiring journalist, I enjoy baseball, music and silly hats. I'm an expert of being hidden behind the scenes, having managed for a drama production and two softball teams. As an equal-opportunity heathen, I don't follow any religious beliefs, though I'm always willing to talk and learn about those of others. And I've been told I make a mean barbecue sauce.

Hopefully I'll have enough interesting stories from this summer and the coming months to make a vaguely entertaining blog, but if not, there's always something in the news that I can run commentary on or whatever.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This is it.

They say high school is the best four years of your life.

In that case, I'm screwed.

That's why I'm here. I see college as a fresh start, an opportunity to leave behind stupid things, stupid people and a rather immature blog I kept through most of high school. For those of you who followed me, shame on you because you weren't supposed to do that. I'm not trying to leave everything behind, but I want to be able to look ahead and think of what I can do, not look back and lament about what I could've done.

I start this now because the college adventures start before I leave, and now that I'm done with finals, the next step towards college is the first adventure I'll embark on: graduation.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller