Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Begins

 My roommate altered the caption after I drew this. It now says "The beautifully drawn pumpkin says: Happy October!" with 'beautifully' in fancy cursive. Anyways, a vampire-esque pumpkin seemed like a necessity today so, ta da, there's a vampire-esque pumpkin.
Speaking of my roommate, (scratch that, flatmate) she would probably say that Halloween has been going on ever since our calendars hit October the first. She says (and I don't quite know if she's joking) that "Halloween is a mindset". It's an interesting concept to have a mental state equivalent to a holiday. I'm not sure how much we've been Halloween-y thus far this month (though there has been an upwards trend in how much we listen to the amazing tunes provided by "Rocky Horror Picture Show"). I wonder what that graph would look like..."Number of Rocky songs listened to vs. Time of Year". It'd be a line graph for sure, with lots of colors. I like colors :)
Coming back to the point, if we allow that maybe Halloween didn't quite start on the 1st of the month, I think it can officially start tonight. At least for me. My flatmate's Halloween may start tomorrow. Tonight is the first of what feels like many Halloween parties that I will be participating in. Begin the parade of costumes (of which there are actually six--oh my). I think I'm most excited for the costumes (no, the plural isn't a typo) that I'm going to wear on Halloween itself.
Side note: there are "free hugs" people in Red Square :) I love the "free hugs" people.
Also, wow, I'm a ridiculously large fan of parenthetical statements... whoops
The other reason that this weekend should be amazing is that I have an out-of-towner coming up! Namely, my brother :) I feel like I haven't seen him in a while, so getting to spend the weekend doing all manner of fun things should be quite wonderful.
So the conclusion of all of this is that Halloween and midterms shouldn't happen at the same time :/ but that this weekend and this coming week are going to be fan-freaking-tastic!
And now I'm going to go giggle about how that's a reference to my linguistics class... Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

4 Hours of Sleep + Quiz + Test = Good Day?

Newly realized pet peeve: when someone walks slowly and doesn't pick a side of the sidewalk! I'm all walking behind them and don't want to be a jerk about the fact that I walk faster, but they make it so hard to pass politely! All I ask is that people are aware of their surroundings!
I've had a lot of strong feelings this morning...sometimes sleep shortages are great for brain blasts. But only sometimes. I promise not to make short nights a habit. Pinky promise, even!
Okay, a few deep breath...in...out...in...out... And moving on
For any who don't know, people watching is practically a hobby and, dear goodness, the Underground Coffee House on campus is just bursting with interesting people to observe. I find myself legitimately unable to concentrate on story planning (NaNo is 8 days away!!) when chilling in here because there's always someone doing something that I'm curious about. Extra points to the girl who was at an adjacent table for having a sweet tattoo :) Like, I have so many characters and character relations to sort out but I won't be doing it here because people are interesting, man! Perhaps they can function as inspiration later...
Though, speaking of adjacent tables, I've decided (officially) that getting to know someone is seriously the biggest favor you can do them. Or yourself for that matter. Like, there's this pair of girls in my Spanish class that have a history of giving me grumpy feels because of how much they whisper and chatter in class. They always seem irked about the material, which is confusing to the nth degree in my book. Anyways, after the Spanish test today, I ended up in the Underground (for the WWU cats who don't know, the Underground has a sandwich with apples on it. It's amazing. Go eat one). After I sat down and sort of settled, it clicked that one of said pair of annoying girls was sitting at a nearby table. We said 'hey' and chatted about the test/class. Now, let me be clear. I don't think this one interaction is the key to me never being annoyed again, it was nice to touch base and get to know a bit of what makes her tick. (sidebar: I feel obsessed with clocks at the moment).
I'm sort of in this "I love people" daze at the moment. This week has been kind of a whirlwind in regards to how much friend/people interaction I've been involved in but I'm at a very happy place in the storm--if you'll pardon the analogy. Like, Monday was blah but last nigh and today have been exceptionally lovely. New friends (or rekindling older friendships) are quite rewarding. And nice.
I should maybe stop calling them 'new' when I've known of them for a year... Maybe. I shall have to reflect on that

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Anonymous Superheroes in the Harry Potter room

For some reason, I find it really entertaining to listen to EDM in the "quiet" areas of the library. (clarification, I do use headphones). I just think it's funny how often I hear that silence is better for studying and then feel like the odd one out for liking to have some sort of noise happening around me when I study/do homework. Fun fact, "CSI: NY" functions really well as background noise. I honestly think it helps my brain focus if it has two things to focus on. Otherwise, it wanders to random-whatever or just kind of shuts down. The former tends to lead to another thing to focus on (over the past few weeks, it's been running off to NaNo planning whenever it gets the chance). The latter, however, gets me into some trouble. If you look at my notes, you can definitely see the moments in class where I start drifting off.
I thought I was supposed to get less fidgety as an adult, not more. Seriously, it is much harder for me to sit through a boring class now than it ever was in middle or high school. Though, I admit, some of that can probably be attributed to the fact that I was getting more consistent and just more sleep than I do now.
Speaking of NaNo planning, I think it's okay to start the count down now: 16 days until I can actually start writing :) Between then and now, I plan to finish sketching out all my characters and their relations to each other, map out their city, and flesh out my plot. Lots to do in between all the homework and Halloween plans. My roommate's enthusiasm about the holiday is pretty infectious and, since Halloween is as good an excuse as any for a party, I have the need for five costumes. Let me say that again. I will be wearing five costumes over the course of the last week of October. And I have an idea for a sixth, should the need for it arise.
Confession time: the inspiration for this post came mostly from desire to not to more homework. Sorry if it's a little scatterbrained :P
But can I tell you about the other cool thing that happened today? I stopped by the international studies office here on campus and picked up some study abroad research things. Spain sounds fun.  Potential summer plans, right there.

Also, just in case anyone was curious, here was my music of choice this afternoon; it's one of my favorite sets: Adventure Club -- "Superheroes Anonymous Volume. 3"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh Dear. Mondays.

Here's what today has looked like up until this point:
1) Alarm at 7:00 a.m.
2) Snooze until 7:20 a.m.
3) Prepare for day until 8:00 a.m.
4) Leave for campus at 8:00 a.m.
5) 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. is Linguistics
6) 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. is Spanish
7) Catch bus home
8) Watch episode of "CSI: NY" while making/eating lunch and dinner
9) Leave (again) for campus, catch bus at 12:40 p.m.
10) Meeting with academic advisers at 1:00 p.m.
11) Finish meeting at 1:30 p.m., head to library
12) Complete Spanish homework by 2:05 p.m. and wonder about Linguistics

Oddly enough, this is not any more busy than a typical Monday. Usually my step 7 is to go to the gym, a shower is added to step 8 and I don't catch a bus back to campus until 2:40 p.m. -- just in time to make it to my class that goes from 3:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. How I'm going to stay awake in that class today, I have no idea. I used to be able to just zone out but now my brain automatically tries to go to sleep. All I want to do with my afternoon is go on a run, plan for NaNoWriMo, and watch "Hemlock Grove". Alas, I shall be stuck in class -- trying not to plan for NaNo. (Perhaps failing not to plan for NaNo.

Honestly, if there has to be one day a week where I am out of my house practically all day, Monday is probably a good day for it. No one likes Mondays anyways and then it's all over. The rest of my week is always pretty nice.
Here are some teacup bunnies for your Monday troubles

Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome to Monday - Week Two

good morning pulmonic lungs, ridges, and egressives,
welcome to monday - week two
vocal folds not shown in class
but "glottis" is giggle worthy
do sexy voice. now do frog voice
have I told you how I love my professor?
articulators and tips, blades and hard palates
m as in "magic" and b as in "book"
welcome to monday - week two
conjugations and Spanish pronunciations
Si mi papá es profesor de ¿matematica?
I forgot how much I missed language
Even if that guy is in my class
I should probably tell mi profesora about Italy
welcome to monday - week two
surprise! another syllabus day
four hours class in one sitting
can't believe I haven't fallen asleep
well, mostly not
welcome to monday - week two

Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Week of Classes, Year Three

It's surreal to think that I have officially started my junior year of college. Technically I crossed the junior-credit-level threshold at some point last school year. But it feels so different to cross that threshold than to walk into a classroom and think "This is my junior year of college". Thankfully, classes have gone very well thus far. Linguistics and Spanish are pretty up my alley, and my third class doesn't start until Monday so jury is still out on how that'll be. (Actually, the jury isn't even in yet because Monday is still three days away...anyways!)
I am happy to report that I feel a lot better going into this year than I have in previous years. Certain life elements feel more where they should be and it feels like I have a clear goal about what I need to be doing--at least on the academic front. Plus I get to explore the joys of off-campus living, which is pretty stellar so far. It was really nice to already be settled into my abode before classes started. Though, to be honest, it took until the last of my friends were back in town before I felt completely settled. I guess I didn't realize how much I believe the philosophy of "It's not where you are, it's who you're with". Retrospectively, though, it makes pretty perfect sense that I think like that. Some of my favorite vacations and cities are almost solely favorites because of the people I was with while exploring, and while I do have some amazing memories of me doing my own thing, I enjoy getting up to shenanigans with people more than doing it by myself.  Yay for friends!! :)
One of my goals for this year is to write significantly more than I've been over the past two. Sophomore year feels pretty successful since I did NaNoWriMo and I know that freshman year was affected by how swept I was with everything college. But I want to write with more regularity and increasing quality, la la la writer-goals. I don't know if I'll be doing most of my writing here or creatively in one of my many journals (seriously, I have four blank ones on my shelf at home). But I will be doing it somewhere. Fingers crossed, at least.
Basically, cheers to starting a new year and all of new chances this year will bring. Despite the homework I already have, I'm pretty excited :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Last 3 Posts of this Challenge

I've spent the last three days unpacking my new apartment and being on a train so I greatly apologize for the lack of blog posts but I haven't had internets until right now so I'm just doing the best I can. 
Day 29...Inside Your Fridge
There was nothing in my fridge on this day. Seriously, it was entirely void of any food stuffs. I guess that's what happens when it's the first day in a new apartment since there just hasn't yet been time to get food things. It's always funny to look at an empty fridge just because there should be so many things inside of it. I have a feeling that there will be so many things inside of it once I'm home in a month (many thanks to my flatmate cause she'll be the one stocking it this time mostly). Full fridges are happier to open so I'm very excited for things to start living in there.
Day 30...Nature
Feels like I haven't got to experience it for a while now--I've been doing a really irresponsible thing and spending all the time I can sitting about on Netflix. I did go swimming in a cove near school a few weeks ago and that was absolutely lovely (if a bit cold). One thing I'm really excited for about my new place is that it's one the ground floor and there is a nice grass patch right outside my back door. It's nice for me and the for the deer that like to snack there. It was very exciting cause the first night in our apartment was marked by there being a deer in our backyard. The previous tenants told us that they managed to feed the deer one time so I imagine the deer are comfortable hanging out there, which will be fun to see if they come as regularly as I hope they will.
Day 31...You, Again
Today, I am twenty years old. Happy birthday to me! It feels kind of crazy, honestly, to say that I am two decades old. Maybe possibly because of the fact that the past two days have been crazy and I am running on about nine hours of sleep probably. As suggested above, the last two days have been move-in days for my new apartment. It went really well but it was such a long process. Napping on the train today was a life saver. Now I just get to chill in Portland for a few hours :) Powell's is a block away from the coffee shop whose internet I'm stealing and I'm going to head over there in a bit. Probably won't buy anything but Powell's :) For any not the Pacific Northwest, Powell's is a ridiculously huge bookstore. Like, if you go with someone and split up, you might need to call them to find them again. It's this nerd's dream. Time to go explore the shelves :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 28...Light

I'm of the opinion that light is a very good thing. I like the idea that light is a characteristic. Like a picture has light spots and dark spots, but that has a lot more to do with lighting. No, I mean more so whether the picture is light in such that it lifts your spirit somehow. I am in love with anything that lightens the spirit because, in this day and age, it's very easy to get bogged down in everything that goes on in life. Currently, I'm organizing my move into my first apartment, wondering about jobs, trying to find out what the plan for the summer is, and being excited to be back in my town for a few days. The last of this list does a very good job of lightening my spirit because I'm working hard to see many people that I've been missing a lot over these past two weeks. Realistically I'll probably see four of them but that's four more people than I got to see yesterday so yay!
Back to light. Light is just interesting (and I'm beginning to understand why people say "interesting" doesn't really have value as a word anymore). There is something beautifully simplistic about light. It's just there. It comes with the sun and (mostly) leaves with the sun. It's there and then it's not. It's predictable and constant. Light itself seems to have a comforting characteristic. (We're excluding electric lights for the moment). One of my favorite things is to wear clear prisms on sunny days and just watch how the light flows into the prism and refracts back out into the world. I know I should know why that works but my 7th and 8th grade science knowledge is currently playing hard to get.
I'm almost always happier when there is light around. I feel nicer in the summer months and I am happier to be around people who possess a 'light' personality characteristic. Light (like color) is inspiring to me, both in its presence and its absence. (This is to say that going on walks at night is one of the best times to feel connected to the world around.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 27...Lunch

Lunch isn't really a meal I spend a lot of time thinking about. It's just a marker that my day is halfway over. Today, lunch consisted of a pork and cheese melt that was basically leftovers from a party that happened last night. The one thing that tends to confuse me about lunch is that I don't know how social of a meal it's supposed to be. Sometimes it's grab'n'go. Sometimes it's brunch. Sometimes it's "I didn't really eat breakfast so I'm starving!". It's sort of weird, the odd in between.
I dunno, it's lunch. *shrugs

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 26...Colour

It's probably super cheating to just say "Go look at day 25's post; it's got lots of colour!" Though...now that I mention it, go check out day 25's post; it's got lots of colour!
I love colour. It's just so fun. I always feel really nice in the spring because all of the colours are coming out after a long winter, making it feel like there's life in the world again.
Yellow and purple are my two favorite colours, purple since freshman year of high school and yellow ever since I realized how well it complements purple. Also, yellow is just so happy. It's funny, I've had a twin bed for the past two years and, for it, I had a set of purple and a set of yellow sheets. Now I'm upgrading to a queen (hello moving into my first apartment) and I'm getting brown sheets. I'm very excited to see how my color accessorizing I can do with neutral colored bedding. Oh wow, I'm starting to sound like an adult. Guess it had to happen sometime.





















I find colour inspiring to look at.

Day 25...Something You Made

Wall Decorations from Last Summer
It's been almost a year since I made this "CD curtain" but it is still one of my favorite creations. It was really ridiculously easy to make. I took a bunch of old CDs, painted one side with different colors acrylic paint, strung them together with clear nylon thread, and hung them on a curtain rod via shower curtain hooks. Hardest part was probably actually tying knots in the thread. It's nearly invisible. The bottom two CDs on the far left are too close together because of knots I couldn't tie. The only part I didn't do was mounting the curtain rod (shout out to Dad and his drill skills).
You can't see the rest of my room but anyone who has ever been to this version of my room konws that it's eclectic and all colorful. None of the furniture matches. My nightstand is purple; I have one bookcase that's deep red and another that's sky blue; my desk, dresser, wardrobe and headboard are four different styles of wood; my comforter is almost magenta; my computer chair is orangey-red. Nothing actually goes together. So the cool thing about this curtain was that it sort of brought everything together. Okay, the wood things are still all their own thing but all of my colors seem like they match now because of all the colors on the CDs.
The only problem is that I put it in the room that I vacation in instead of the one I live in for most of the year. Now my parents get to enjoy it whenever they walk by my room. Ah well, pretty decoration for a future guest room I suppose. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 24...Guilty Pleasure

Guilty pleasure, hmm. I would say my binging Netflix habit but, honestly, I don't feel guilty about that. At least, not right now. When it's the middle of the school year and I have papers to write, sure. But, now, in the first two weeks of summer? There's not much else I would be doing with my day so why not watch "Buffy" and "Doctor Who" to the fullest extend of the Netflix realm?
Massive sugar intake was my guilty pleasure over the past two quarters. I'm a little ashamed to think of how many times I had a pint of Ben & Jerry's for dinner over the past few months. Especially when I combine that with how little I was running... What I wouldn't give to be able to go on a good long run now :( But, no, stuck. Injuries suck. Goal as soon as I'm done being injured: make running a pleasure again. Summertime will be a nice time to work at that.
Once upon a time I would've said that TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" was my guilty pleasure but a friend questioned why it had to be guilty for me to enjoy a show--even a silly one like "Say Yes to the Dress".
All right, I have lots of "would"s/"would've"s but I don't know that I actually have a guilty pleasure at the moment. The idea of pleasures being guilty is odd to me. I don't completely like the idea that my liking something could be considered guilt worthy.
However, that's putting a lot of thought into all of this because there are definitely things I don't tell people I like for fear they'll judge me in some regard. Usually this has to do with my musical tastes and the musical biases I perceive my conversation partner(s) to hold. I don't really tell people that country is often in my playlists (especially in the summer) and that Disney is my fall back music.
Ta-da! My big secrets, revealed. Laid bare for the world to know.
And I don't feel any worse for it :D

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 23...Something Old

The idea that a girl can't stay the night at a boy's house, or vice versa.
Basically, the story goes that moving into my first apartment is turning into more of a process than I originally thought it would and I need to stay at a friend's place the night before move in. Maybe it has something to do with where I'm going to college but crashing at a male friend's place is not novel or foreign. It was a surprise to me that my grandma was surprised when I said that a male friend's place was the easiest/best option for me.
I respect that there are people who draw a solid distinctions about who can stay at whose houses but I like that I am in a group of people that accepts me crashing on a friend's couch at face value and doesn't read anything into whether I'm crashing at a boy's place or a girl's place.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 22...Your Shoes

I'll admit that I probably have too many of them but I quite like all of my shoes. I'm not a big fan of having shoes that I can only wear once in a blue moon so my collection is relatively functional. Though that point is contradicted by the fact two of the pairs I have with me now are heels and I'm currently spending most of my time barefoot around my grandparent's place. But, out of the many pairs of shoes that I have, the aforementioned heels are the only two pairs of heels I have on this side of the pond. A decision that is inspired by the fact that campus has a lot of gravelly hills. Gravelly hills and heels are not a match made in heaven.
I'm proud to say that most of my shoes fall into a semi-wild category: yellow, salmon, lots of buckles, lime green stripe. I'm sorta into that style: simple main outfit, fun accessories.
...
What does one say about their shoes? My favorite pairs are the pink heels I wore to prom, the yellow heels that my sister stole, and the fake Ugg boots with massive holes in the soles that I had to throw away. My rain boots are my least favorite because they have a bad habit of destroying whatever pair of socks I also wear when wearing my rain boots.
Ooh, my favorite question regarding shoes: if you had to pare down to the absolute fewest shoes possible, how many pairs would you have? (The exceptions being specialty shoes like dancing or snowboarding.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 21...Reflection

What do I see when I look in the mirror? Honestly, depends on the mirror. The constants are big curly hair, blushing birthmark, calm eyes, strong shoulders, and awesome legs. Reflections often make me wonder why we care so much about our appearance. Who taught us that it was so important? Why do we drag ourselves down for not being perfect in appearance? I'm betting that if people were "perfect" in their personality, we might find them boring. At least I would. Quirks are my favorite thing about a person. This is easiest with people I've known for a long time but I love my friends for certain quirks that they have. The characteristics that make them inherently who they are.
All right, so many people's quirks are an obvious thing to love them for.
And I'm getting off track. Lots of things are a reflection of people. The reflection in the mirror. Their words versus their actions; whether or not someone comes through on their word shows a crystal clear reflection of their character. The things that people own is a reflection of what they like.
Ooh, that sounds like fun. If you look at the things I brought with my on this vacation, you'd probably think that I care a lot about shoes. Um...I don't know how I feel about that. But if you looked at all of my belongings, you'd see that I like to create and read. All right, and that I like clothes. You caught me. It was actually a funny discussion a few times in my apartment this past year. Two of us are big readers and like to craft; we both have a lot of items that suggest these traits. Another of us is big into clothes and shoes, which was quite obvious when you walked into her space of the apartment. The fourth of us was the spartan one of the bunch. I think she had a grand total of five pictures on her wall as decorations. The only things on her desk were her computer and printer. It is astonishing to me that you can tell so much about a person by what they put on display in their living space. It tells you so much about the person that they would like people to think they are; it's happy to me when the person people would like people to think they are coincides with the person that they are. Whoo, that's weird phrasing. Let's try again: I like when people are who they are. Eh, that's only a little better. Whatever.
Reflections are interesting. A mirror shows the perfect physical opposite. Actions are a representation of character. Belongings show personality and importance.
It seems to me like everything is a reflection.
Cause kitties are happy to look at

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day 20...Someone You Love

Oh my. Someone I love? Does it have to be just one person? Because, even though I don't show it as often as I should, there are quite a few people that I have the deepest and greatest affection for.
Some I haven't seen in years, and some whose arrival I am anxiously awaiting.
Some who I call to even though we're separated by a country, and some I dearly miss even though I saw them a week ago.
Some I can't help but love even though I haven't known them for very long, and some loves that are trapped in the past.
This might seem like a bad thing but it doesn't take much to catch my eye. And, sometimes, I call that first infatuation by one of the most powerful four lettered words that exists: love. We could go on for a long time about how 'love' is probably the most overused word in the whole of language but I have a different philosophy about it. Don't take that to mean I don't consider love precious. Love (the word, the concept, or the feeling) is perhaps the most precious thing under the stars. But I don't think that it being precious means that we shouldn't be generous with our love.
If I have ever whispered, uttered, shouted, cried, or even just said that I love you, I beg of you to know that it was true in the moment that I said it. Maybe things have happened between us. Maybe time drew a great gap between us. Maybe we did a good enough job of making the gap ourselves. Maybe I only knew you for a moment and we brought each other joy. Maybe we're still close and you know how I feel about you. Whatever the case, I meant it when I said it.
If I have told you more than once that I love you, there's a good chance that it is a very lasting feeling on my part. Obviously, this goes to my family, both blood and found. Mom and Dad, I love you for bringing me up in a loving family and giving me so many chances for adventures. Tyler, I love you for being my protective big brother. Courtney, I love you for being an amazing partner for my brother. Whitaker, I love you for encouraging me to just go do things even if I'm scared. Hannah, I love you for inspiring me to make my own rules. Tayler, I love you for being with me through the good and bad times. Aunts and Uncles, I love you for being the siblings/friends you were to my parents. To my Sicily loves, I love you for helping me become the person that I am today. To my Western loves, I love you for helping me stay sane. To all the loves I've met in the in-between times, I love you for being part of my adventure.
It would be a lie if I didn't also say that I love you for loving me. I don't know what I would do in this world if I wasn't loved. Sometimes my brain plays a funny game and tells me that there's no possible way that anyone could love me. It's been playing that game for a long time now but I am learning. If you didn't love me the way you do, I know I'd be having an even harder time sorting the game from reality.
Ask almost anyone and they'll tell you that my love language is touch. Well, words are the long distance version. It's why I write love to write letters so often, which is going to sound silly to the 4 neighbors that I wrote letters to this past year. Words are the long distance form of touch because they can be sent further and preserved longer; words last across time and space. I can reread letters and postcards from however long ago and know that someone cares too.
Love is precious but I believe in being generous with it. There are many loveable, wonderful people in my life. I'd hate for any of them to go a day without feeling like someone cares about them. So I guess the message here is that I love you.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 19...Sweet

Sweets are pretty much the temptation that I'm trying to avoid at the moment...
Although, if a sweet person wanted to wander into my life about now, that'd be pretty cool.
Do you know what I think would be sweet? If college graduates on a whole weren't graduating with mountains of debt. The funny thing about being young is that it's the best time to go on adventures, take risks and have experiences. The American college system to doing an amazing job of making sure that people straight out of college have a hard time go on said adventures, taking said risks, and having said experiences because we have debt to pay off 6 months after our graduation date. Really, truly, why is this something that we are standing for?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 18...Something You Bought

Today, nothing. Over the past almost week, quite a bit. One of the easiest things to do while visiting my grandparents is to go shopping--gets everybody who wants to be out of the house out of the house. I've bought a dress and lots of craft supplies. Craft supplies are probably going to be one of my primary expenditures for a while. Though I should really keep expenditures of any type on the lower end of the scale...not having a job has its disadvantages.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 17...Water

Water: the key to life, the universe, and everything. At least as far as humans are concerned. Mostly my feelings toward water are how much I would like to be lying near a salty body of it for most of the summer. With the clarification that the body of water is warm.
One of my favorite places to encounter water is the shower. It's like rain but warm. Plus I fall into the category of people who think that showers are one of the best places to ponder life's greatest mysteries.
I also like to ponder life's greatest mysteries while walking so walking in warm rain is pretty much the perfect combination.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 16...Morning

Morning and I aren't usually friends--college life and all of that. The mornings that I do manage to make nice with are generally lovely. Another symptom of college life is that being up before 10 on weekends generally means you're the only one up for a while. I like that quiet time. I tend to do quieter things (i.e. read) when I'm the only one awake in a four person apartment. None of us were what you'd call "morning people" so anyone encountering noise first thing after we wake up is unpleasant. Thus I like to keep the noise quiet for those I live with.
Or lived with. Wow, time marches on. The family I'm with for the summer do tend to be early risers so the noise thing won't be a consideration. But it does mean that I'll be getting up earlier; don't know how I feel about that one.
However, this morning was great. My cousins and a friend were driving up from California to be home in Washington for the summer. They got in last night and we had some fun times. Breakfast at my grandparent's house is quite extravagant when there's a guest. Waffles, eggs, bacon, berries. It was delicious. And it was nice to have my cousins about. I don't get to see them very often. Plus their friend was on par with their coolness so it was nice to make a new friend as well. This morning was a good morning. I hope they continue to be so since I am a little bit planning to try this "wake up earlier" concept.



Sometime.

Day 15...Happiness

Are we talking the fleeting kind that we call joy or the lasting kind that we call contentedness? Because I feel the former quite often, which is not something that I would claim about the latter. *sigh, I feel a disjointed point coming on.
For anyone who doesn't know, this past school year has been majorly up and down for me. Some moments were really hard, others were memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Pause: that's a weird phrase because I might carry the unhappy memories with me for all of my life too.
Play: Occasionally, I've had moments when I can feel that things are looking up and that maybe I have a chance at contentedness. Then something happens that totally shakes my foundation and any grip I had on contentedness slips away. Don't get me wrong, the joy thing totally happens. It happens a lot. I am growing relationships with many wonderful people (*hugs to all of you) and the time that I spend with them is joyful overall. Sometimes we have deep (read: sometimes sad) conversations but it's always a net positive.
But net positive of joy doesn't equate to contentedness in my head. Especially when there are still days that I'm almost disappointed to wake up. Is it possible that I would just keep rolling over to go back to sleep even if I was completely content with the life I was living (with the condition that I'm also not sleep deprived)? I'm inclined to think that if I was content with my life, I wouldn't have to shove myself out of bed in the morning. Granted, there are other factors that play into the need to shove--not the least of which was sleeping on the top bunk throughout this year. Top bunks are great in theory but it is so easy to just stay in bed when a ladder is involved.
I don't know what will make it so I truly feel content in a place. Maybe I'm destined to settle for something less. But that idea sounds exactly 0% appealing to me. I think that I'm slowly coming to recognize the things that will help me be content. It's probably now just a matter of figuring out how in the world I can get all of that together...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 14...Something You're Reading

Sadly, nothing. At least, not in the traditional sense of having a book to read. I haven't gotten a chance to hit up the library yet.
I am planning to start reading my violin books again; I really want to be able to play decently again. I think I'm going to have to start finding motivation tomorrow...

Day 13...In Your Bag

Uh...which one?
Hate to perpetuate a stereotype but I have a lot of bags right now. I got to my grandparents house last night so all of my things are stilled packed in my four bags. Read: I've got a lot in my bag.
The green backpack at the forefront has violin books, journals, all my chargers, and letter writing materials. The two pink bags are filled with make up and toiletries. The big blue bag is all clothes. Not extremely exciting, sorry.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 12...Close Up

Normal everyday pink
My first thought with this picture is how ridiculously awkward my hair must've looked that day. It's all frizzy and unfortunate.
However, my hair is not the point. The point is the birthmark that runs across my right cheek. I often wonder if it is the first thing that new people notice about me. There are a few ways to categorize what exactly is on my face: a port wine stain and a hemangioma are two of the most common. The basics of the science is that more blood/nutrients come to the right side of my face, causing pigmentation and, if you look really closely, a bit of swelling. It has a lot to do with the blood capillaries though I couldn't explain much more beyond that. I didn't like paying attention to the doctors when I was a kid and haven't yet caught up on all the information since I've started being in charge of taking care of it myself.
Post-surgery purple
When I was 18 months old, I had my first laser surgery. It makes my face look more purple-y. The point of the laser surgeries is to keep the blood capillaries under control in order to make sure that the port-wine stain doesn't grow in an unhealthy manner. The original thought was that about ten surgeries would do the trick and fade the birthmark away completely. Over the years, a lot of people have asked why I make it purple if the goal is to make my birthmark fade; the purple is actually a bruising reaction that my face has to the laser. To clear up a misconception that my siblings had about the term "laser treatment", the machine that is used is called a pulse dye laser and it emits a high energy laser light, which goes through my skin and causes reactions under the surface. It feels like getting snapped in the face with a rubber band; super pleasant. The instrument that delivers the shocks to my face is held right above my cheek and "shoots" me in little bursts. If you wanted to know how many times, all you'd have to do is count all of the purple dots.
When I was little, it was almost exclusively my parents that went to my treatments with me, though my grandparents would sometimes take my treatments as an excuse to come see me (the hospital I went to as a child was in between my house and my grandparents'). When I was really little, I was in a pediatric wing, was administered general anesthetic and got spoiled by the amazing staff. The only reason I had so many stuffed animals as a kid was because I got a new one almost every month. The hospital had a sort of exchange table--take one, leave one--and my treatments happened almost every month. Once I got a little older and the insurance people started doing things differently, I went to a different hospital and only did local anesthetic. (For anyone who isn't familiar with surgeries, general anesthetic puts you to sleep, local numbs the area that will be treated.) My parents still spoiled me, though; I got some sort of ice cream treat after each treatment.
The office in Italy
The orange thing to my left is the pulse dye laser machine
Once we moved to Italy, it was local anesthetic in a doctor's office during the school year but I would go back to the same hospital I went to as a little kid when I was back in the states in the summers. They still spoiled me even though I probably shouldn't have been 15 - 18 and in the pediatric wing.
I've only had a few treatments since starting college. It was really had to find a doctor for a while and, since I found one, it's hard to get to her office hours. She doesn't work in the same town I go to school in so that's unfortunate. Though it was a learning experience for two of my siblings. The first time that I went to get a treatment post 18 and sans parents, my brother took me. It was his first time ever being a part of the process. My sister then came with us the next time I went and was just as surprised about the whole process as my brother had been. None of my siblings had come with me when I was little since they had other things to be doing that were more interesting that driving to the hospital with their baby sister. And, apparently, the term "laser treatment" creates some confusion. They were both expecting something much different than what happened. I think that my favorite comment came from my brother. After he saw how the treatments worked (the pulse dye laser hitting me in the face with bursts of light energy), he said something to the effect of "No wonder you could get a tattoo like a champ." It is true that the processes are sort of similar. They hurt and you have to hold still. I've gotten very good at controlled breathing over the years. As an almost twenty year old, am I allowed to use the phrase "over the years"? We'll say yes.
The thing that honestly surprises me the most about my birthmark is that I've never been self conscious about it. In my experience, people often find what's different about them and worry about if society will accept them with it. Never once did I care or think I wouldn't be accepted. I remember once in grade school when we were still drawing self portraits, I brought one home and my dad asked what the pink bit on my face was. I told him it was my birthmark and it hit him that I really and truly accept my birthmark as part of my being. It is as much Robyn as my crazy curly hair is me. I'm convinced that it was the combination of those things that allowed so many people from my childhood to recognize me when I ran into them on campus this year.
Monochrome face. Weird.
There is a chance that, someday, the birthmark will fade and my face will be the same color all the time. Honestly, I can't imagine my face ever not being two distinct colors. Also, it would take so many months of religiously treating my face. It'd be so much work, oh mi oh my. And, truly, I'm okay with being a little different. My personality is so why shouldn't I have a face to match?

Day 11...Where You Sleep

Whoops! I'd say that I forgot to do this yesterday but it has more to do with the fact that I got up before 8 and didn't stop going until around 7. And didn't have internet after that. :/

It looks more like my odd belongings and some "Dr. Who"
than my old bed but, ta-da, bed.

Where I sleep? This is another sort of odd one to be doing this week because I just moved out of the dorms so the place that I've been sleeping for a long time is no longer "mine" in any way. Dorm beds aren't super exciting when you think about it. Lots of other people have slept on them and more people after you will sleep on them. I guess it never really was mine in any capacity--no more so than a hotel bed is yours ever.
I'm so looking forward to the bed that I will be sleeping in come August. I'm moving into my first non-parents-related apartment and my brother is giving my his bed. (He's going on this huge adventure and doesn't need furniture to tie him down). It ranks very high on my "most comfortable surface ever" list so that'll be very nice for me. It's also a queen and I plan to spread out as much as possible when settling down to sleeping.
Until August, I'll effectively be bed surfing. Last night, I was at my sister's. Tonight, I'll be at my Grandma's. In a few weeks, I'll be in a hotel then back to Grandma's. A few weeks after that, I'll be at an old friend's house. Perhaps a camping trip then a beach house. You get the point: I'll be sleeping in lots of places. Maybe that's why I don't often have trouble sleeping in new places. I do it much too often. Since I was 11, I've been traveling a lot so being able to get quality amounts of sleep regardless of the arrangements has been a necessity.
I sleep lots of places. I might even catch a nap on the train that I'm riding right now. Who knows?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 10...Childhood

In some ways, it feels as though I had two childhoods: my "Washington" one and my "Sicily" one. When you move halfway across the world at 11 years old, it sort of chops your life into halves.

Washington State
My Washington childhood was quiet overall. Quiet and, in certain ways, small. I was living in (I think it's called...) a ranch house with my two parents, three siblings and many mixtures of pets. We had cats, a dog, and I think there was a bunny at some point. I shared a room with my sister from as long as I can remember until we moved to Italy. I didn't fight my siblings for the computer, opting to make friends with the neighborhood kids and spend as much time as I could outside. I do think that I must've annoyed my siblings as I was always crashing their parties and trying to befriend their friends. Cute little sisters are quiet the distraction ;). School and church were pretty big parts of my life when I was little in Washington. Those and crafts. That habit has definitely stayed a habit.
Sicily, the ball that Italy is kicking.
Bread basket of the Med
Sicily was pretty much the opposite. My brothers had both graduated high school and were off at college so my sister and I each got our own rooms in the apartment my family moved into. My mom made sure that we traveled as much as possible while we were in Europe--so much cheaper to travel within Europe than it is to get to Europe from the states. School was getting harder (though I tried as hard as ever) and I had to adjust to living in a different country. I spent more time bonding with kids at school that trying to be in my siblings' good graces. I met some amazing people and got really into writing. My family spent all but one summer flying back to the states to see family and friends, which hindered my getting a job during high school. Though maybe high school doesn't super count as "childhood". Sicily was a huge adventure, and I still find myself missing it.
My childhood was a lot of things but the things I remember most about the 18 years of my life that I spent under my parent's roof is that my family always loved and encouraged me (even when I was being a S-P-O-I-L-E-D brat). Home was always a safe and good place to be. Creativity and the ability to entertain/sustain myself were qualities that got cultivated in me. I'm so glad to report that I have quite the happy childhood; it's just weird because I had it in different hemispheres.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 9...Your Daily Routine

This is an exceptionally odd time to be writing about my daily routine. Finals week does not hold to my daily routine at all; it's just the crazy of trying to get everything done all at once.
Actually, honestly, spring quarter didn't have much of a "daily routine" for long. Taking three online classes lends itself to a lot of "I'll do it when I feel like". I've had a lot of unstructured time these past few months. The only times that I had to be a certain somewhere were class on Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning, volunteering on Thursday morning, work on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday afternoon, driver's ed Monday/Wednesday evenings, and dancing on Wednesday night. The rest of my time was mine (so long as I got my homework done).
I guess a pretty typical day (we'll go with a Wednesday for structure's sake) was getting up between 7 and 9 depending on whether I needed to do homework before class, go to class at 10, head back to the library for homework after that and/or lunchtime at the dining hall, return to room to procrastinate and/or do homework, go to driver's ed, come back, finish up whatever was absolutely essential before 10 pm and then dance until I was tired enough to hit the hay.
For finals week, the routine is pretty much to get up as early as I can convince myself is reasonable and then to tackle the thing I hate the least on my to-do list. I've spent a lot of time packing and repacking because it's more fun than walking to north campus to do my north campus-y errands. Though I did get those all done today, I believe. (Made 20 bucks on selling back textbooks, yay! And bought a pretty new ring. It was a good set of errands.)
Daily routines are going to be even less existent in the days to come; summer time is the perfect time to not do the same thing every day. Though, I do have some projects that'll need constant attention. But I'm excited for those :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 8...Your Sky

The sky is grayer today than it has been recently. I was a bit pouty about it when I woke up this morning. A tiny part of me is still used to my Sicilian summers and the idea that the sky could be gray in June is practically unfathomable. I guess I really should just get used to Washington already...gray skies all the time.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 7...Favourite

My favourite what?
Since I don't know which favourite I'm supposed to focus on, let's just have a list...
  • Favourite song for the minute: "Let's Have a KiKi" by the Scissor Sisters. It's a bit scandalous but really fun to dance to
  • Favourite movie (historically): Princess Bride
  • Favourite book (though not for it literary merit): North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
  • Favourite city (Europe): Berlin, Germany
  • Favourite city (America): I gotta admit it, I love Seattle
  • Favourite candy: chocolate and peanut butter
  • Favourite thing to do with friends: laugh
  • Favourite time to do the dishes: to procrastinate on homework
  • *Favourite sandwich condiments: bell peppers (red ones) and avocado (FRATELLO! YOU'VE RUINED ME!!)
  • Favourite animal: cow
  • *Favourite styles of facial hair on men with excellent jaw lines: stubble
  • Favourite time to go on a walk: nighttime  
  • Favourite berry: blueberries 
  • Favourite reference to make: "Both. Both is good." -Miguel and Tulio, Mighty and Powerful Gods (The Road to El Dorado)
  • Favourite time to read: whenever I can do it out in the sun
  • Favourite time to dance: always
  • Favourite time to watch Netflix (based on how often I do this): past one am
  • Favourite wardrobe color: blue (I have so many blue clothes)
  • Favourite type of craft: crocheting
  • Favourite flower: all of them
  • Favourite time to get flowers: always
  • Favourite sport: soccer 
  • Favourite angle at which to wear jaunty hats: Flapper worthy angles
*Thanks to Sherlock for helping me spice up my favourites list a bit

Day 6... Makes You Smile

I don't know how this slipped my mind yesterday!
My answer to this one is probably one that a lot of people share. Hanging out with my friends makes me smile. This weekend was pretty full of social friend time and it was really nice to spend that much with people that I have great affection for--especially since summer starts in a week and it'll be a couple of months before I see some of these cats again.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 5...Something You Wore

I wore my favorite jeans today :) I guess that, truthfully, my favorite pair of jeans is always the ones that I happen to be wearing. I only have two pairs so it's kind of a toss up depending on whether I'm feeling skinny jeans or flared ones.
It's actually kind of hard to take a
good picture of a pair of pants.
My mom bought me these jeans for Christmas this past year. I like having a nice pair of jeans on hand and my previous pair had gone beyond repair. These ones are super comfy and I feel attractive in them. I put the hole in the knee over Spring Break when I was taking my brother's dog for a walk and he (the dog, not my brother) pulled on the leash harder than I expected. Since a hole automatically decreases the "nice-ness" of a pair of jeans, I decided to make them a craft project. I'm a huge fan of craft projects.
The flower is on my left thigh
 Eventually, I plan to have these jeans practically covered with embroidery but it's a slow going process for now. Partly because I have other things like school to be doing, and partly because I have to stick to simple-ish designs to sew. I'm not super awesome at the whole process yet. My next idea to put something on the back pockets. Ooh, or something on my calf. But it feels nice to have something to do with my hands that does qualify as semi-productive when I feel like crashing and binge watching some Netflix.
Some sun and moon action on my right side
Crocheting falls into that category as well but, for some reason, I sometimes find it hard for me to make crochet projects for myself just because. Whenever I crochet something, it feels like I should be giving it for a gift. I like to add things to these jeans as a "me project" because I'm just adding and improving.
I think my favorite piece so far is the sun. I used lots of different yellows in an attempt to make it look a little more dimensional, and it comes across pretty well if I do say so myself.   

Day 4...Letterbox

Let me tell you a secret: Today, I typed "letterbox" into Google. It just felt like one of those words whose definition I was pretty sure I knew but I thought I'd just do a quick check to make sure. Suffice it to say that I was surprised at how many things are referred to as "letterbox"! Seriously, look it up ( <-- go on, click it). There's the film consideration, the stamp hobby, the synonym for mailbox... Too many things to think about! Whew, geez. But I suppose I should do them all their deserved justice so in order we have:
  1. Letterbox (filming): I like being able to see a lot more of the surrounding background when watching movies/TV so the wider/shorter combination actually sounds nice to me.
  2. Letterbox (the stamp hobby): Even after researching it for a bit, I'm confused. Is it making stamps? Is it putting cool stamps in cool books? Puzzle solving plays into it how? Please, someone explain. It sounds the tiniest bit like geocaching? Is it geocaching's stamp-fanatic cousin?
  3. Letterbox (synonym for mailbox): Mine is empty today. I thought about taking a picture of it for this but then work got crazy and I couldn't. :( I got a letter from my Grandma and a gift card from my mom the other day, both of which were wonderful. I sometimes have mail from my penpals but they've all been busy recently. Speaking of, I need to give all of them an address they can send things to over the summer. 
    • Super exciting side note: in a week, I will be off campus and out for the summer! Can't believe I'm that close to being done with sophomore year :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day 3...Something You Adore

I am torn between doing this post all warm and fuzzy, or a something serious that I like to see. Dictionary.com defines adore as: "to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; honor". Urbandictionary has the much less scholarly definition of: "To think about somebody and realize that, no matter what their strengths and weaknesses are, the only thing that REALLY matters is that overwhelming feeling of happiness they bring to your life" (see definition #2).
We could go with little animals...
How cute are they?
or with Disney movies...
Childhood love right here
or with attractive humans... (there are lots of them)
The Amazing Rupert Grint
The Stunning Kat Dennings

The Smoldering Jake Gyllenhaal
 











The Lovely Emma Watson











or with chocolate...
Because who doesn't need
chocolate every once in a while?
But I think we're going to split the difference between silly and serious, and say that I adore flowers.
Tulips are my favorite right now
There is just something about how they make people stop and pause that astounds me. The few times I have received flowers I've been a happy happy camper. I guess maybe it's a little weird, "Here, let me give you a bundle of dead plants" but it always feels thoughtful to me. I love that something as beautiful and fragrant as flowers manage to exist in our world and it always makes me smile when I have time to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. Though, have you ever actually smelled roses? They're nice but don't smell like much. Something about flowers always makes me hope and I adore that feeling.
Culmination of Day 3 is that I adore a lot of things but flowers are the highlight of today. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 2...Breakfast

Breakfast today was nothing special, just a bowl of cereal. The glamorous life of a college kid, ya know.
My idea of an ideal breakfast time is getting up late in the morning, making waffles, bacon and fruit in my pajamas with some cool friend type people, and just enjoying both making and eating breakfast. I've grown this inspiration from spending time at my brother's old house. Food was almost always a social event, something to be done with people and something that is supposed to take time. I like the concept of not rushed meals. I hear they're healthier for you anyways.
...
Now I want waffles.

Day 1...You

Since I've been doing a lot of reflection-y type things recently, I feel a little silly starting this new blog challenge with a post about me. But c'est la vie.
I'm Robyn. I'm almost 20 and feeling kinda weird about it. I've lived in Washington and Italy. With that experience, I have friends across the world and miss them dearly. I love dancing but am currently not allowed due to an inflamed tendon in my knee. I am probably one of the most cuddly people you'll meet. Sometime it's hard for me to remember that other people do in fact have space bubbles, but I do my best to be aware of other peoples' comfort levels. I'm majoring in linguistics at a liberal arts college in the Washington because I think language is pretty awesome. My two years of college so far have been two of the most interesting of my life and I look forward to that continuing. There are ten days until summer and I couldn't be more excited. I'm trying to get back into my habit of writing but it is a slow going process. Evidenced by the fact that this post didn't actually get posted on day 1...whoops. Yesterday got crazy. Except Day 2's post to appear later today; I'm going to need the study break.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Remembering and Documenting

One day this past summer, I remember sitting with my brother on his couch and expressing doubt about whether I would continue with my blog because I was concerned that my material of choice wouldn't be interesting.
He rebutted with a comment that was effectively, "Are you kidding? You're going to spend the next few years morphing from teen to adult. That's the perfect kind of thing to be writing about."
As I am getting back into the habit of writing here (and remembering the joy of expressing my feelings to a relatively unknown audience), that conversation with my brother popped up from my memory bank and reminded me that keeping documentation of my life as it happens is probably a good thing.
I just had the inspiration to scroll back and look at old blog posts. It's nice to know that a lot of my ideals haven't changed since I started writing this blog. I like to think that some parts of me are constant. :)
The point of all this is that another blog challenge is going to start tomorrow! I'm oh so excited about finding one and writing every day until my birthday. *giggles
Challenge list:

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Remember a Time When I Didn't Like Hummus

The other day as I was grabbing the hummus from my fridge it struck me that my liking for hummus is a relatively recent development. While this in itself is not noteworthy at all, it marks the actually noteworthy fact that I've changed a lot in the past two years (well, 23 months...). Whenever I get a chance to reflect on how my life has been since I graduated high school and moved away from Italy, I actually get a bit of a head rush. Physically, I'm pretty close to the way I was but, in almost every other aspect of me, I would have a hard time recognizing 18 year old me as me if I ran into her on the street. (We don't have to debate the unlikeliness of that occurrence, I'm just saying.)
Senior Prom
I am proud to say that I like myself a lot better now than I did in high school. I've always been on my own side; even when I got self destructive, I was trying to help myself. I'm aware of how twisted that sounds, trust me. But it's true; I didn't self harm because I didn't like myself or because I wanted the attention. I did it because I can deal with physical pain better than emotional or mental stress, and I wanted to stop burdening those close to me with my problems. I wanted to be able to deal with them on my own. Yes, it has been pointed out to me that my logic for the situation is not exactly sound but it's how I rationalize. On this front, the important thing is that I am cultivating healthier coping mechanisms. I am getting more effective at dealing with stress when it comes along, beginning to understand having a lot of things to deal with is just part of being an adult, and coming to know that I will be able to deal with the things that come up in life.
Five ish minutes ago
Another piece of the pie is that I'm far more confident in myself now. Many of my high school friends told me that I'm too nice (and some probably still would) but I get this comment much less often from my college friends. I don't think this means that I'm not nice anymore. I think it means that I've finally learned the difference between being mean to someone and standing up for myself. Took me almost 20 years but I got it. Another thing that took me way too long is being comfortable in my own skin. This one is still a bit tentative (I do have days when I feel unattractive) but, more often than not, I feel pretty. (cue West Side Story music but subtract the boy inspiration that Maria feels). I know that I'm not the skinniest girl in town and that my eating/exercising habits aren't what they should be but I am an attractive almost 20 year old female. I admit, I think that you'd be hard pressed to find an unattractive almost 20 year old female. And that brings me to my next point.
I feel a lot more interested in being a woman now than I was in high school. This is perhaps an odd statement. But I've learned a lot in college about discrimination and injustices towards minorities and I identify most strongly with injustices towards women. I truly want to change the world and make society a friendlier place for the next generation of women. Females are taught so early on that being a mother and a housewife is what they are meant to do. Don't believe me? Go take a walk through the toy section of any store you like. I'm willing to bet that there is a "pink" aisle and that it is filled primarily with dolls and their accessories. It's getting a little better with toys geared towards little girls who like to build things, but it still needs work. Lots of work. In high school, my stance was something like: "I'm a girl. You're a boy. Big whoop." I am much more informed now and realize that, on a whole, women are still valued less than men. I could soap box about this for a very long time but the point is that I don't like being told where my place is and will refuse to be put down. Women can anything they want to be and society should stop telling us otherwise.
I am the girl on fire
This is going to be obvious but living in Sicily is very different than in western Washington; living on a college campus is different than a military base; and being (semi) responsible for myself is different than being a complete dependent on my parents. All of that said, I am having much different experiences in college than I had in high school. With new experiences comes new growth. These past two years have been loaded with new things for me to deal with. From living with people that aren't my family to navigating the great world of figuring out what to major in to learning how to work through unhappy points in relationships, my first two years of college have been somewhat of a whirlwind. Figuring out how to survive said whirlwind has led to a lot of personal growth. I feel much stronger in myself and know a lot more about what I need/want in life than I did two years ago. Sadly, a bit of cynicism has come with all of this. But with each good day comes more smiles and a belief that tomorrow can be a good day.
The challenge to face now is making sure that as many days as possible are good days. Tougher than you might think...
I have a suspicion that not all of the friends I've made at college have changed in a super drastic way since high school but I do know that most would say they've changed--"grown" would probably be a more appropriate word.
This means we're growing up.
We're becoming grown up.
It's reality now, guys.



And to think, I used to not like hummus.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ode to the Nerds that I Hold Dear

"I am evil. Stop laughing!" 
Almost all of my crochet projects in 2014 have been creatures from various games. Veigar (shown left) was my sister's birthday present. He's one of her preferred champions on LoL. Hopefully his surroundings give him some scale because, truly, he was huge. Probably at least as tall as my torso-- I tried to find how tall the tiny master of evil is supposed to be; alas, I failed but am convinced that he might be almost life sized. Ya know, if Veigar existed outside Summoner's Rift.
Now, while I'm not what anyone would consider a "gamer", I do have a great affection for video games and gamers. My brothers played them all of my childhood (they were practically my Saturday morning cartoons), and lots of my friends through high school and college have been gamers. I don't always understand the lingo but I hear a lot of it. So much debate about Pokemon and FTL and which track of which version of MarioKart is the best. It has become a very comforting part of my world to be around those who play a lot of games and know a lot about said games.
Can you say Gengar?
Somehow, though, I've never picked up that same passion for them. Sure, I'll play sometimes but I often miss the familiarity of my N64 whenever I'm playing on a new console. Also, secretly, the idea of playing with a whole bunch of people who are really good is a prospect that I am scared of. Acknowledgement and acceptance are the first steps to healing, right?
While I don't have the passion, I have this great affection. I'm not sure I could explain it very well but it probably is something like: all of the gamers I have met and spent time with are pretty cool people. Inference, most other gamers are good people. Videos game have managed to be a part of my life for as long as I can remember and it feels weird to think about  not spending time with anyone who could talk at length about their favorite game--or maybe how their favorite game could be made better. 
Foongus: because mushrooms can be cute
Apparently
Maybe not quite what I'm getting at but I like the sentiment that is there so it'll do for now.
Through all of this thought about my affections and passions, I'm apparently developing a knack for crocheting creatures from various games. The thing I've really enjoyed about making these is that (1) I hoped/guessed/knew the recipients were going to like them and (2) it's a challenge because I don't have patterns for these creations. So much trial and error but it's almost empowering to see that I can take computer renditions and make something extremely tangible. I have grown to enjoy combining these areas of my life into something new.
I predict that there is more to come.
"Tactical decision, summoner!" 
Though I'm not sure I'll ever be able to make Lux. (sorry, brother)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My (Childish?) Love of Disney

On my practice drive yesterday (yes, almost twenty and no license--the less glamorous side of growing up in Italy), my driving teacher asked me what kind of music I like. For a second, I froze--imagine me at a loss for words...
When she gets to talking in our driver's ed class, she talks about shows that she used to play with her band, how her husband plays all the instruments cause he teaches music, and what the good music to listen to it.
Anyway, I decided to it wouldn't hurt anything to just be honest. I said, "I like instrumental stuff, blues music, and Disney." (For those who don't know, that isn't 'blues' the genre of music, it's 'blues' the music that I can blues fusion to).
And I was suddenly reminded why I keep my love of Disney a secret. Dear goodness, apparently I was really supposed to grow out of enjoying Disney music this much. My teacher got a big kick out of it.
I mean, I know a fair few people who love Disney a lot still. Though, I am meeting people who haven't seen them and I'm always thoroughly confused when that happens. But, sometimes, I feel like I'm holding on to something that I should've outgrown by now.
Should've...
Should've...
Should've...

Then I have days like today--days that decide they would like to turn my world on its head. Days that just won't leave me alone, and I turn on one of my Disney playlists just to have some sense of reality. Some sense that things aren't completely broken. I like Disney at almost any point of any day, in any head space, in any mental state. It's good for dancing, singing, crying, sleeping, running, working, listening, ignoring, and practically everything else. I like it because it keeps me sane.

That seems dangerous...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Visual Discrepency

I know that I don't always act like this but truly I'd rather be doing something. I learn by doing. Sitting in classrooms is becoming more tedious each and everyday that I do it. Even though, some days, my classroom and my bedroom are the same place (the beauty of online classes). While I do understand the reading textbooks and doing discussions with classmates can be a very valuable tool in learning how to do something, it seems like the only way to learn to do things is just to do them. (Provided that a lack of perfect knowledge isn't going to be harmful to anyone).
I am looking forward to what I will be able to do with my minor but getting to that point is going to be more of a challenge than I was originally expecting...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

So...I'm a Junior

As I sat in the library today working on assignments for my three online classes, I realized that I have officially crossed over from sophomore to junior. I am half way done with college (provided that the rest of everything goes according to plan). I've been in some form of school for almost 15 years now and I only have two years left. Oh goodness, that's nearly impossible for me to wrap my mind around.
On the one hand, it's really exciting. I'm about to be truly in the real world, able to do whatever I want.
On the other, it means that I will be taking almost solely upper division classes for two years--save the language classes that I need. Prior to this quarter, I've taken two upper division classes. Now I'm taking four at once. Four. I already think I'm a little bit crazy.
But, as I've started working on my TESL program classes (Teaching English as a Second Language, for any who don't know), I was reminded of the huge appreciation I have for my dad. He's been a teacher for twenty-plus years now and, while I've always known that it's not the easiest job in the world, I didn't really understand how much went into it. Granted, I still don't. It's just that the section in my TESL book today was describing different teaching methods and how prepared a teacher needs to be for their classes, and it hit me that my dad has been doing that kind of work for a wide variety of subjects for years now. And so much of it, too. I used to go in at the beginning of a school year and help get his room organized and he always made sure to tell me how much of a help I was being. I guess I underestimated how much stress I was taking off him: if he didn't have to worry about organizing/decorating his classroom, he had more energy to focus on putting lesson plans together and making sure that his curriculum was where it needed to be.
I'm really excited about the possibility of going overseas and teaching English (which is what I hope to do with my TESL certification once I'm done). But, suddenly, I feel very proud to be treading near my father's footsteps. During my years in high school, I always had other kids coming up to me to tell me how great my dad was, how much they loved his stories, and how good of a teacher he was to them. I've overheard tons of parents telling my dad that math never really made sense to their child until they took a math class with him. Granted, my possible teaching experience will be much different than his actual teaching experience, but he's instilled in me that helping people learn is a wonderful endeavor and now I'm really excited about the chance I have.
In that same vein, it feels about time to send a bit of a shout out to all of my old high school teachers. As tiny as our school was, it always felt like our teachers cared and like they wanted us to learn. Teachers are an amazing kind of human; they dedicate their lives to helping students understand and master a huge range of subjects--often without getting the recognition that they should. They take on extra projects: facilitating clubs like student council, helping to create the yearbook, and being distant learning coordinators so students can take online classes. I'm continually impressed when I think about how much effort teachers put into their jobs and I realize that I never said thank you enough. So, thank you.
Here's to hoping that I can put everything you helped teach me to good use as I get through these next two years of college.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Music + Coffee Shop = Blog Posts (Of Course)

I don't think that this post is going to have an overarching point, it's just that the atmosphere of this morning is pretty pleasing and I have a goal of sharing the pleasant things that I encounter.
Exhibit A: a girl just walked by the window of the coffee shop I'm in and we had a fun little pantomime conversation about how she likes my necklace. It's the little things like that that make me really appreciate the people I share this city with.
My goal as I sit in this coffee shop is to put together a set for DJing at a friend's birthday party this weekend. It is a wonderful occupation for this sunny yet cold Thursday morning. (Welcome to Washington, right?) Also, the company is pretty nice; my brother decided to move up to my city for the month and I'm so looking forward to hanging out with him significant amounts. Do you want to know what's hard about selecting music to play in a set? Loving a song but knowing that it's not doing to be the best for dancing. Story of my life...
Can I tell you something that I really appreciate?
I really appreciate learning a lot about the people around me. This year has been a great learning experience already and, though it's frustrating at times, I'm glad for what I'm learning. Although I'm starting to wonder if I will every not have a year that teaches me something important. Even beyond that, though, I think it's amazing how many of these important things that I'm learning outside of the classroom.