Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Just Bit My Own Lip. Dumb!

So tonight after I'd gotten fed up with packing for the day I went out for a drink with a friend of mine. We were sitting at a corner table at the bar, and a few tables away I saw a guy that looked familiar. I thought it might be my friend Alex, but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to be like, "Hey, Alex!" only to have it not be him after all, so I was trying to look at the guy in a non-obvious way to figure out whether or not it was really Alex. Well, I guess he saw me staring at him (so much for not being obvious) and he gave me a big wave and started walking to my table, so I gave him a big wave back, thinking to myself "Oh good, it IS Alex." But then as soon as the guy got close I saw that he had all these tattoos on his arm and Alex definitely does not. And he was taller than Alex is, so he was definitely NOT Alex.
And yet he gave me a big hug, and said, "Hey, how are you?!" and he asked what I have been up to lately, so I asked what he has been up to lately, and I told him I'm moving and why and he said, "Wow, that's great, I'm proud of you!" and he told me about his summer job and basically we talked for two minutes as if we knew each other. Eventually he introduced himself to my friend so I found out his name is Mike, but the name didn't ring any bells. I am almost 100% positive that I have never actually met him before in my life. Finally he said, "Well, good luck!" and walked away, and my friend asked me, "Who was that?" and I said, "I have no idea," and that was that.
But the question is, why would he pretend that he knew me? I mean, I pretended that I knew him so that it wouldn't be awkward, which was really stupid and pretty awkward anyway. And he could have been doing the same. But what if he thinks I'm someone else? Or what if he somehow really DOES know me but I have just forgotten meeting him entirely? Or maybe he has just been with so many girls that he had to pretend he knew me because he wasn't sure if he'd hooked up with me or not? The whole encounter was just really odd.

In other news, I have packed up everything in my apartment except for the stuff in my kitchen, which shouldn't take too long. I have even packed up everything I'm taking home with me for the summer. All I have to do tomorrow is load up my storage pods and clean the apartment.
Of course, due to scheduling conflicts the pods aren't being delivered until mid-afternoon at the earliest, AND my apartment complex is shutting off the water at 10:00 tomorrow and it is supposed to be off ALL DAY LONG. I don't know how the heck I'm supposed to clean the apartment without running water. I'll be bitching to the apartment manager tomorrow. It will probably be futile, but it's worth a shot. I keep hoping that she'll say, "Oh, just vaccuum and dust and we'll take care of everything else." That will never happen, but it sure would be nice.

Tonight is my last night sleeping in my bed in this apartment. I still can't believe I'm moving.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Not a Good Sign:

When your neighbor walks by, sees you outside on your patio, and gasps, "Oh my God! What are you DOING?!"
And then an entire pile of boxes crashes out of the outdoor storage closet and onto the floor, bringing two years of dust with it.

This whole moving business gets more and more fun every day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

7 Down, Approximately Half a Million To Go

I packed seven boxes today! Actually, I packed seven boxes and put all the linens and towels into a garbage bag since I figure those don't need an actual box, so technically I packed eight boxes today!
DVDs, winter clothes (minus coats, I don't have a box big enough for my coats yet), all of the random stuff that was being stored in my closet, most of the small decorative things from around the apartment, shoes...they're all packed up. I had to fake-cry to Kiki* (my best friend from college, whom I still talk to pretty much every day) about packing up my shoes. How do you decide which shoes to say goodbye to for the whole entire summer?! I mean, all of the winter shoes got packed, sure, but I have lots of cute open-toed shoes that had to be packed away because I just don't have the space to bring all of my shoes with me for the summer, especially since I can't justify it because my mother and I wear the same shoe size. Tragic.
I feel pretty good about the progress I made today. I could keep working right now, I suppose, except that I am already pretty much on track with the completely anal packing schedule I wrote out for myself. That, and I need to find more boxes somewhere tomorrow before I can continue.
So I'm going to go have drinks with my best friend here, Maddi*, and get back to procrastinating as usual.

*My best friend from college has to be Kiki, because she actually made up that fake name herself one weekend when we met a bunch of marines and decided it would be fun to use fake stripper names all night long rather than giving them our real names (What, you don't have a fake stripper name? Come on, everybody has a fake stripper name! Mine is Amber.)
*She would hate her pseudonym, but she doesn't have a middle name I can use, and her full first name is the same name as someone else we already know that she doesn't like, so this is the best I could do off the top of my head.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Found Fun, This Time From My Desk Drawer

One day in the last week of our junior year of high school, my friend Mel and I hid out in a corner one afternoon (when I was technically supposed to be helping everyone else to do pre-summer cleaning in my classroom and she was supposed to be in some other class entirely, I believe) and made a list of the qualities we wanted in a boyfriend.
I no longer remember what prompted us to make this list; I know at the time I was beginning to date a guy that Mel disliked, so in retrospect maybe the list was partially her way of trying to convince me that I could do better. Although I still maintain to this day that he was an interesting guy and we had a fun summer together. Anyway.
Somehow I acquired custody of the list, and for a few years I kept it folded up in my wallet along with some other sentimental things. At some point during college I decided it was a dumb idea to keep sentimental things in my wallet since wallets are so likely to get lost or stolen, so I moved this particular list into my desk drawer, where it sat under pens and tape and staplers until I rediscovered it today.

I haven't thought about this list in years. As soon as I realized what it was, I got excited to read it, sure that I would laugh at what 17-year-old Mel and I thought would make a good boyfriend. But you know what? It didn't really make me laugh much at all. Instead, I was surprised at how smart Mel and I were, how much we were demanding (in a good way), and how confident we were even then that we would be able to find a great guy and not have to settle for something less than what we thought we deserved.
Reading our list today, I think that the only really important thing we forgot to list was something about honesty and faithfulness. But I like to think part of that is simply the naivety of two teenagers who had yet to be in serious relationships. We were too young to realize exactly how many relationships end because people can't be honest with one another. After all, shouldn't it go without saying that the man you love is going to be honest with you? I'm sure I thought so at 17, anyway.

Here is the complete list, exactly as we wrote it in high school.

Mel Lastname and *A* Lastname's Guy Standards
(In Random Order)

1) Sense of humor-must be at least one of the following:
-Able to make jokes
-Able to laugh at jokes
-Able to laugh at me w/o being mean
-Able to be laughed at w/o getting offended
2) Compassion/supportiveness
3) Vertebrae (preferably an entire spinal cord) [I feel that that needs a bit of an explanation. Mel and I spent a lot of time in high school talking about which guys we felt had a spinal cord and which guys didn't. It's hard to articulate now exactly what we meant by that, but basically it's a combination of courage, dignity, standing up for your beliefs in the face of know, having a backbone!]
4) Self confidence (but not egotistical)
5) Intelligence (Duh!)
6) Creativity/Spontaneity
7) Romantic (not overly, but must be sweet)
8) Chivalrous-must offer to
-Carry books
-Open doors
-Carry backpack
-Carry me
But must understand if I say "No, thanks"
9) Ability to carry on interesting/intelligent conversation
10)Physically attractive
-Taller than me
-Nice eyes
-Smiles often
-Buff, but no viking warriors, please

Bonus Points
1) Nice car (more points awarded for letting me drive) [We showed this list to our physics teacher, for whatever reason, and he crossed out "car" and wrote "diesel truck"]
2) Nice hair
3) Likes chick flicks (or at least will sit through them) [Our physics teacher crossed this one off the list, even though we pointed out that these are not necessities, just bonuses]
4) Is nice to my siblings
5) Is nice to my friends
6) Brings flowers at least one for no reason
7) Understands need for girl time, like I understand need for guy time
8) Good kisser (Oh yeah!)
9) Likes kids and small animals (but not to shoot and no pedophiles, please)
10)Cuddly (ahhh, sigh)

That same physics teacher who made the comments on the list used to regularly tell me and Mel and his other favorite female students that we were "too much" for the high school guys. Years later, I still think I'm too much for many of the guys I meet. Too driven, too emotional, too busy, too independent, too smart, too demanding, too picky. I can be a very difficult person to date, and I realize that. But you know what? I'm proud of that. I would rather be too strong and difficult than not strong and difficult enough.
I knew what I wanted at 17, and I was positive I would eventually find someone who wouldn't let me be "too much" for him. I like that 17-year-old me. She knew what she was talking about.

Things Found While Cleaning Out My Closet...

...that I have absolutely no use for at all whatsoever:

-Plastic orange maraca (made especially useless since there's only one)
-An entire bag full of Mardi Gras beads
-Cell phone with no antenna
-Discman that definitely hasn't been used since at least 2004 (which begs the question, how did it make it through the last move?)
-Wooden sign that says "Deborah and Joan's Apartment" left over from a directing scene that took place in December 2005
-Landline telephone that's missing some buttons
-Grim reaper mask

And to think, all this time I thought I had the closet situation pretty much under control.

These discoveries and the subsequent garbage bags full of these discoveries are the only good thing about moving.

Friday, May 25, 2007


So I still haven't packed anything. Or even bought packing supplies.

Do you think it's possible to pack up and clean an entire apartment in just a couple of days? I just really, really, really hate having all of my stuff in boxes. I hate it so much that I'd rather stay up pretty much 24/7 for a couple of days packing. I'm just worried now that I'm putting it off TOO long and now I'm going to have to scramble to get everything done. It's kind of a catch 22.

I'm also getting more and more sad as I think about leaving here. I'm excited about moving, of course, but it's always scary to move to a new place when you're pretty much happy where you are. I'm hopeful that eventually--not right away, of course, when I won't know anybody and I'll be nervous as hell--but eventually, life will be better in my new home. I'm hopeful that I'll meet good mentors there, I'm hopeful that I'll get to do exciting things that I would never have had the chance to do where I am right now, I'm hopeful that I'll meet a few good friends. I'm even feeling a renewed sense of hope about my love life. Maybe there IS a guy out there that suits me, he's just half a country away right now.

But still, I'm sad.

And I still wish there was some sort of packing genie I could use to do all this nonsense for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Well, I'm back from my whirlwind trip to University Land.

It has been a really busy week around here. My sister graduated from college on Friday night so my parents and grandparents were in town and I was spending a lot of time with them. My siblings and I even talked our parents into going tubing on the river with us on Saturday, which was a lot of fun.
Then Sunday, Mom and I headed up to University Land. Mostly it felt surreal being there. I just kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm going to live here. This is going to be home pretty soon." I'm going to be familiar with all of the [dozens] of highways we drove on, I'm going to have the route to and from the airport more or less memorized, I'm going to be able to find my way to the school without looking up directions on Mapquest.
Most of my first impressions of the new area are pretty favorable. The scenery is nice, for one thing. Everything is so green and lush. You just don't know green where I'm from, you really don't. Even the places in my home state that I consider green are nothing to people that actually grew up with woods and trees. We'd be driving on the highway and you can't even tell how densely populated the area is because you can't see anything to either side of you except trees. I already can't wait for fall, I bet it's going to be beautiful. I'm a little less excited about my first real winter, but hey, it will be interesting to have actual seasons.
Because it's such a busy area, they have pretty much all of the stores and restaurants I'd like to have (local specialties of my home state notwitstanding). They're not all necessarily near campus or the town where I'll likely be living, but within half an hour I could get to pretty much anything I'd ever need, I think.
The school itself has a really nice campus. I didn't go into any of the buildings, but Mom and I drove around and checked everything out. It looks the way I feel like a college should look, like the mental picture I would always get in my head when I would imagine university when I was growing up: dark brick buildings that all look like they've been around for at least a hundred years, lots of open spaces of green grass, white columns, etc. My undergrad campus was like that--most of the buildings matched in color and looked like they belong together, there were flowers everywhere, etc.--and I'm happy to be going back to that kind of campus as opposed to the one I've been on the past couple of years that's very urban and full of a hodgepodge of buildings that don't belong together at all. This new school will be the biggest I have ever attended, quite a bit bigger than even the large state school I just graduated from. I doubt the size will affect me that much considering I'm a Ph.D. student and will be fairly isolated, but it will still be interesting being on such a huge campus. The other nice thing about the campus is that at least in outward appearance the administration seems highly supportive of graduate students. There are several campus apartment complexes just for graduate students (I can't live there because of my hound, but still, they're there), most of the other apartment complexes in the area approve your application automatically and waive all deposits if you show proof that you're a grad student, etc. So that seems like a good sign.
I'm also just excited about my location in general. I'm in striking distance of so many cool cities. When we drove through the nearest big city south of where I'll be living on our way to the hotel from the airport, I saw all these sights I have only ever read about. I can't wait to go down and do some exploring once I move up there. And then on Tuesday Mom and I were tired of looking at apartments so we drove up to the big city to the north of where I'll be living. We had so much fun. We did one of those goofy Duck Tours that drive you around town and take you into the water as well. We were making fun of it, of course, but it was fun and interesting. The whole downtown area and historic district were great, there are a ton of bars and shops. And the shops range from things like Urban Outfitters and Filene's Basement (where I found a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans for only $60, marked down from $200 which made me really happy because there are few things that make me happier than hugely discounted designer jeans) to funky little surf shops and galleries. I have heard that the rest of the city isn't that great, but the touristy area we were in was a lot of fun and I hope I'll have chances to go back up there and hang out as well.
So all of that is great. The apartment hunting went okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how big all of the apartments were. I was under the impression that I'd only be able to afford a closet, but the smallest apartment I looked at was 560 square feet, which is still 50 more square feet than I have currently. The downside is that the area around the campus just isn't all that great in terms of safety. There's a pretty high amount of crime in the county. Most of the county's bad rep comes from the gang and drug activity in towns further south than I'd want to live anyway, but you still have to be very careful about where you end up because there are some towns that are pretty safe and some that are decidedly ghetto, and then a few that are either good or bad literally depending on what street you end up on. So I have been spending a lot of time online in forums with current students asking what areas are ghetto and what areas are okay.
The thing is, I don't always know what to think when people say an apartment complex is "ghetto." Because if we're just talking occasional roaches, mice, and maintenance people that are sometimes less than responsive, well, in my mind that is just apartment living. It sucks, but that's the stuff I have to deal with until I can afford to buy my own house and do my own repairs and not have to share a wall with messy people. I'm a very neat person with a cat, so I figure that helps on bug/mice prevention anyway. But ACTUAL ghetto is a different story. Just as I acknowledge that bugs happen everywhere (everywhere remotely within my price range, anyway) I also acknowledge that crime happens everywhere. My current apartment was broken into over Thanksgiving, and I had someone steal my car stereo when I was an undergrad. It happens. I wish it didn't happen, but it does. And I have already acknowledged the fact that since I'm moving to such an urban area it is bound to happen again and I need to be even more vigilant about security than usual. I can deal with that. I'll hate it and it will piss me off, but I can deal with it. But I don't want to wake up every morning fearing that my car is going to be missing from the parking lot, I don't want to have to carry my computer with me every time I leave the house to keep it safe, and I sure as hell don't want to be afraid to take my dog out to go to the bathroom after dark for fear that someone will be waiting out there ready to hold me up at gunpoint. To me, that is what "ghetto" really is, and I am not going to deal with that sort of living situation, obviously. Not when I can afford not to deal with it.
The thing is, I find it hard to believe that any place that actively caters to university students is really going to be that ghetto. I don't think it is naive to believe that as long as I mind my own business, I will mostly be left alone. I hope it's not naive to believe that, anyway.
I also find myself wondering if part of this county's bad rep is that it's primarily a minority area. Without giving away too much identifying info, I grew up in a city where as a white girl I was the minority. I'm glad I grew up there. I believe that anyone that claims to be color blind is lying, but I think as a result of my upbringing I'm closer to being color blind (at least in regards to this particular, uh, color) than most people. I know from talking to to others about where I grew up that people generally have this impression that it's either a scary place full of poor illegal immigrants where you have to live in fear from all the gangsters, or that it's the most boring place on the planet and people only live there because they have no other choice. I'm not going to lie, by the time I was 18 I was ready to get the hell out of there, but isn't that the case of pretty much every 18 year old who has lived in the same city her entire life, regardless of how "cool" that city may be? And now that I have been gone for so many years, I realize how many good points my hometown has. And I think that's how this new place is going to be, too. I feel like maybe it's the same sort of much maligned, misunderstood area as the place I grew up and that much of the reason it is so misunderstood is that there just aren't enough white faces there. Which isn't to say there aren't plenty of major problems and issues in this new place and in my hometown. There are. I guess I'm just saying in a very long-winded way that I'm okay with a little bit of 'hood. It's how I grew up. And one of the reasons I chose this university over the other is that I wanted that diversity I have been missing for the past six years. With that said, I'm probably going to have to spring for apartments at the high end of my price range since there's "little bit o' ghetto" and then there's "meth lab in the apartment next door and MS-13 tagging on all the cars in the parking lot."
At any rate, I definitely have one apartment that I can move into on August 9th, and I feel decent about it. I'm still looking at a few other options, too, and thinking about maybe going back up there in July to look at the actual unit I'd be getting in each complex before making a final decision. The apartments I like the best are going to be the longest commute to school, which kind of sucks, but they seem to be close to everything else and in the safest neighborhoods, so I don't's all still up in the air.
Still, it was a productive trip and I'm really glad I went up and got a feel for everything. I can't wait to go back. I wish I could just fast forward a bit. I'd especially like to fast forward through all the packing I'm going to have to start doing tomorrow.
Yes, my last day here is a week from today and I haven't started packing at all yet. I just hate living amidst boxes and chaos so I'm putting it off as long as possible. I did do some productive things today, like picking up my diploma and arranging to have my final transcript sent to the new school, and getting online to change my address on all my subscriptions and accounts. I figure tomorrow I'll purge my dresser, desk, and closet, and get rid of all the crap I have that isn't moving up north with me. And then I'll start packing up my kitchen and knicknacks and stuff like that. It's going to suck, but it has to get done.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I'm pretty sure I'm only going to be able to afford to live in the ghetto in University Land (aka the new area where I'm moving to do my Ph.D.). I'm flying there on Sunday with my mom to hopefully find a place to live beginning in August, and I'm freaking out because everything I've seen online so far is
a) Nice but out of my price range
b) Affordable but tiny. Incredibly tiny.
c) Probably in the ghetto.
I don't mind a little bit of ghetto, really, I don't. I don't care about how a place looks on the outside as long as it's decent on the inside. I don't even care if the neighborhood harbors some shady characters. There were plenty of those at my old apartment complex where I did my undergrad degree and it was never really a problem. And let's not forget that twice the police have knocked on my door here to question me about my sketchy neighbor across the hall. That's not ideal, but it doesn't really bother me. But as a single woman I need to fundamentally feel safe and I worry about the chances I have of finding an apartment that makes me feel safe for the amount I can afford.
I'm hoping all this anxiety is for nothing. I'll let you know how it goes, obviously.

Tomorrow is my last day of work at the restaurant where I have been working parttime since July. I am pretty thrilled about being done with this job. I haven't hated it, I have enjoyed the extra money it allowed me to save up over the course of the year, but I can't say I'll miss working there. I especially won't miss the idiot managers, and I can't honestly say I'll miss most of my coworkers, either. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I never really got close to any of them so there won't exactly be a void in my life without them there. There is one guy in the kitchen that will apparently miss me, however. I have known he has had a crush on me since December, and for the most part I have just ignored the situation. I have no desire to date him for a variety of reasons (I don't find him physically attractive, he's extremely innocent and naive in a not-appealing way, he does nothing but cook at the restaurant and play videogames and he willingly--even proudly--admits this fact, etc.). So whenever he would start talking about how great he thinks I am, I would leave the kitchen, and whenever he suggested we do something together I always had an excuse (P.S.-I know there's something to be said for giving guys a chance, but sometimes you're just positive that a guy isn't right for you, you know? So why waste the time?) Well, today at work when I went to the back of the kitchen to get something, he surprised me by getting down on his knees with roses and asking me what it would take to get me to stay. I almost died. It was crazy. And all of the little Mexican women that work in the back were giggling at us. I mean, the flowers were sweet and all, but REALLY. I ended up just telling him that there is absolutely nothing in the world that could convince me to continue to work at this restaurant if I have another option for earning an income. And then he tried to tell me that I should want to stay here because my friends are here, and I pointed out that
a) I have left friends behind before. I have even left a guy I was madly in love with behind before. So that argument doesn't hold a lot of weight with me
b) Good friendships don't end just because you move
c) I'm pretty sure I will be capable of making friends in University Land. Maybe. Hopefully.
Then he tried to figure out a time we can get together and "hang out" before I leave town, and I hemmed and hawed and said, "Oh, well, I'm going out of town and my sister is graduating and I have to pack, so..." and that was the end of that. Maybe that makes me coldhearted, but oh well.

My sister really does graduate tomorrow, so I'll have family in town all weekend, and then I really am going to be out of town until Wednesday, and then I really do have to pack. So none of that was a lie.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

100 Things

1. Both my first and last name are very common, but my middle name is fairly unique so I use my full name to distinguish myself in professional situations.

2. Although I use my full name for a practical reason, I worry that this makes me seem pretentious. I worry a lot about seeming pretentious, even though I know this is a mostly irrational worry.

3. I have a rule for myself that I need to work out twenty days a month.

4. I have accomplished this goal every month since January 2004, except for February and March of 2005, when I had a sprained ankle from falling down a stairwell in a parking garage.

5. Making rules about working out is good for me, because I LOVE food and don't think I could diet even if I tried.

6. Luckily, I would rather eat hummus than Cheetos anyway.

7. Speaking of food, I watch far too much Food Network.

8. I also watch far too much HGTV.

9. My college roommate was an interior designer. She taught me that the biggest decorating mistake people make is pushing all of their furniture up against their walls.

10. I fall asleep on my couch most nights and then wake up around 4 or 5 a.m. and move into my bedroom.

11. In case the above statement doesn't make it obvious, I'm single.

12. I haven't had an official boyfriend since August of 2003.

13. I had several quasi-relationships after that, though. So really, I have only felt completely single since February of 2006.

14. Yes, I haven't dated anyone seriously or otherwise for over a year.

15. Except for the guy I dated for three weeks in October. I stopped seeing him because he was a smoker and had a tobacco stain on one of his bottom teeth and it annoyed the hell out of me. I consider that a good enough reason to stop seeing someone, although it wasn't the ONLY reason.

16. Tobacco Guy was the shortest relationship I have ever had.

17. I did have a quasi-one night stand once, but I don't count that as a relationship.

18. The longest relationship I have ever had lasted three years.

19. I still talk almost daily to Phil, my ex from that relationship. We have tried very hard to stay friends, although our friendship/relationship has been tumultuous at times, to say the least. In my opinion, we've been striking a pretty good balance since January of this year and for now we're drama-free, but I'm still betting you'll hear about him here once in a while.

20. One of the main reasons I can't be with Phil is that I see marriage and kids in my future, and he doesn't.

21. Even if I don't ever meet a good guy and get married, I plan to have a child somehow. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a mother, and being someone's mother is a goal that is very important to me.

23. Yes, I question the sanity of wanting to bring a child into this world. At the rate we're going, I don't think any of us will be here much longer, honestly.

24. I am a feminist.

25. I'm a spiritual person who has yet to find a belief system that works for me. Yes, it's frustrating.

26. My only real hobby is reading.

27. I am certified to teach high school, but I don't know that I ever actually will.

28. I never changed my major in college.

29. I decided I wanted to go on for my Ph.D. my sophomore year of college. I no longer remember how or why I made this decision, but now I'm on that road and not planning to exit any time soon.

30. I'm not taking a break between my MA program and the Ph.D. program (well, only a summer break). Most people seem to think that's a crazy choice, but I don't understand why I should take time off if I already know what I want to do.

31. I think those must be my father's genes talking, since he got into the restaurant business when he was 20, managed his own place by the time he was 22 or 23, and owned his own restaurant before he was 30.

32. I have my father's drive but my mother's tendency to worry a lot and stress out when things aren't going according to plan. It makes for an interesting combination of wanting to take the big risks but being terrified to take them.

33. Of my three siblings, I'm the most likely to burst into tears.

34. Oddly, most people outside of my family don't consider me to be a very emotional person.

35. I had a friend ask me recently, "Is your dog more like your friend or like your baby?" and I thought that was a really interesting question. The answer: like my baby.

36. My cat, on the other hand, is more like my buddy than my baby. That's probably because my cat is extremely cool. Really, he is. I can't even tell you how many times people have said, "Wow, I've never met a cat like that before." He has a very sweet, chilled out, unique personality.

37. I've spent the past two years living alone with just the dog and the cat. I LOVE living alone.

38. When I'm living with other people, it's extremely important that I have a space somewhere that is mine and mine alone. Even when I'm sharing hotel rooms for short periods of time it's important to me to have my own space where I can organize my things, even if my "space" is just the side of my bed.

39. I am a neat freak, definitely a "place for everything and everything in its place" person.

40. I take really good notes. Really. In my MA program, everyone would make copies of my notebooks before tests to make sure they had all the information that I did.

41. My friends from my masters program also tease me for using "SAT words" in everyday conversation. The sad thing is I don't even realize I'm doing it until someone calls me on it. Most recently, I was mocked for using the word "palacial" when I could have just said "huge."

42. I overuse the words "ridiculous", "literally", and the phrase "in theory."

43. But at least I use the word "literally" correctly. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say "literally" when they're not talking about something that has LITERALLY happened, i.e. "I literally died laughing." Uh, no. You didn't.

44. My favorite city that I have visited so far is London. Paris, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. I'm willing to give it a second chance one of these days, though.

45. I have been to England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Mexico. I don't consider that to be nearly enough countries.

46. I love traveling. One of my goals in life is to visit every state in the U.S. and set foot on every continent, including Antarctica. And the more countries I can visit, the better.

47. I think after my drive from my current home state to my new home this summer, I will have spent time in enough states to finally pass the halfway mark on my goal of visiting every U.S. state.

48. I have to force myself to take a shower most of the time because I find showering to be a horribly boring waste of 10-15 minutes of my life every day. I have to entice myself by always having what most people would consider an insane variety of shower gel.

49. I eat too much frozen food.

50. I am very good at making change, but most math beyond that is completely baffling to me. (So hey, now you know what I don't study.)

51. My favorite parttime job was when I worked as a valet and bartender at a performance hall. I made very good money for doing an extremely easy job, and I got to drive some fun cars that I will never, ever be able to afford.

52. In general, though, I hate driving and am looking forward to moving to an area of the country that supposedly has somewhat reliable public transportation.

53. I love thunderstorms, provided I'm in the comfort of my own home and the power doesn't go out.

54. I have recurring nightmares about tornados, giving birth to a baby by myself, plane crashes and driving my car off an unfinished highway overpass.

55. When I get home the first thing I do is take off my shoes, jewelry, and pants. Sometimes I put on workout pants, but a lot of the time I just sit around the apartment in my underwear and shirt.

56. I generally stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning and sleep until 10 or 11 the next day. This schedule has worked well for me as a grad student, although probably won't work well at all in the future.

57. I wouldn't say I seek out wild and adventurous experiences, but when opportunities find me I don't generally turn them down. I will try any food, love going places I've never been, etc.

58. The only thing I can't imagine myself ever doing is sky diving. With that said, I almost feel like I need to make myself do it at some point just because I'm so incredibly scared of it.

59. My favorite colors to wear are brown, green, and purple. I can't wear yellow at all, it washes me out.

60. My grandfather is a gynecologist and gives me the free birth control pills he gets from drug reps at the hospital. I probably have a nine year supply of birth control at this moment. This is possibly why I never get laid these days, it never happens when you're actually prepared!

61. My mom's parents are both still living, and I love them very much and am very close to them. They live in my hometown.

62. My dad's parents have both passed away. I was never as close to them. My grandfather had his moments when I could tell he really loved us, but he could be a very abrasive person. And my grandmother had Parkinson's disease, so by the time I was old enough to want to have conversations with her, she wasn't able to really talk to me. That makes me sad.

63. I feel equally close to both of my parents but for different reasons. I feel very lucky to have such a great relationship with them.

64. My sister is two years younger than me, and my brother is two years younger than her. They have more in common with each other than I do with either of them, but I have a good relationship with both of them, too. We generally have a lot of fun together.

65. I am addicted to text messaging and probably receive 10-20 messages a day and send at least that many. I'm really fast at texting, too.

66. I listen to NPR whenever I'm in my car. I find it more relaxing to listen to voices than music when I'm driving, even if the voices are talking about bombings in Iraq.

67. I am addicted to the internet and reading blogs (which is why I keep my own), and I don't even want to know how many hours of my life I have spent on the internet, because I know the general waste of time would just depress me.

68. My favorite indulgences are professional massages and meals at restaurants that are normally out of my budget.

69. I like clothes shopping but never do it unless I am on vacation or need something particular. I think this trait probably saves me a lot of money.

70. I'm not a big impulse buyer in general. I go grocery shopping with a detailed list, I generally think about products for several days before I actually go out to buy them, and if I'm tempted to make an impulse purchase I usually leave the store and then come back later if I still really want the item.

71. I generally feel good about my body and don't spend much time worrying about my weight/looks. My best friend here says, "It's because you don't NEED to," but that's not true. It's just that I don't think ANYONE needs to. I think we should all be concerned about whether or not we're healthy, but not whether or not we're thin.

72. On that note, I think I would be more healthy if I boosted my cardio endurance and wore sunscreen more often.

73. I have been in love once.

74. My favorite TV shows are The Sopranos, Big Love, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy (although I feel like Grey's has been going downhill lately, unfortunately). My favorite TV show ever was Sex and the City. I have all of the DVDs and have watched the entire series probably five times.

75. For the record, I identify most strongly with Miranda.

76. I don't think I'm a very romantic person, at least not in the traditional sense. If a guy ever tried to propose to me by taking me to an expensive restaurant and putting my ring in a glass of champagne, I would say no. Anything that seems like a cliche is a huge turn off to me.

77. I don't like to have the overhead lights on in my apartment, so I have a lot of lamps.

78. I can't sleep soundly unless I am completely covered with a blanket, from ears to toes.

79. I have a freckled face and look younger than I actually am.

80. I have mostly Swiss, German, and Dutch ancestry.

81. I would rather wear silver than gold.

82. I am more of a saver than a spender and feel uneasy unless I have a certain amount of "just in case" money in the bank.

83. I watch Waiting for Guffman at least once very six months. It never stops being funny.

84. I'm allergic to cats and dogs but have built up an immunity to my own. I rarely get allergic in my own apartment unless I go too long without vaccuuming, but if I go anywhere else with animals I have allergy attacks.

85. My favorite types of food are Mexican, Italian, and Greek. But it has to be REAL Mexican food.

86. I am an animal lover, and if I hadn't chosen my current career path I wouldn't mind doing something animal-related. I used to think I wanted to be a marine biologist and work at Sea World, for example.

87. Once I got to swim with dolphins in Florida, and it was one of the most purely happy moments of my life.

88. I also wouldn't mind having a travel-related job. I still think if this Ph.D. thing doesn't work out I may apply for jobs as a tour guide taking groups of senior citizens on tours around the world. I'm dead serious about this, there are many companies that do it. The only downside would be I wouldn't be able to take my dog.

89. I don't like making phone calls. If it weren't for the internet, I would be terrible at keeping in touch with old friends.

90. I have a bit of OCD about shaving my legs and have to do it every single time I shower. If I don't shave my legs I still feel dirty even though I have just gotten out of the water.

91. I don't drink coffee, but I do feel a bit "off" if I don't have a Coca Cola every day.

92. I have to read for a few minutes before going to bed every night, even if I'm exhausted or have been out drinking and am too drunk to actually know what I'm reading.

93. I used to be horribly disgusted by loose strands of hair. I have gotten better about it in the past couple of years, but I still think hair is one of the most disgusting things in the world. Interestingly enough, strands of animal hair don't bother me at all.

94. I sleep with socks on my hands most nights. I put lotion on and then put the socks on to keep in the moisture. I don't use gloves because I like my fingers to be able to touch each other. If someone comes across moisturizing mittens, let me know!

95. My family has a cabin in the Rocky Mountains and it is my favorite place on earth.

96. I am a lip gloss addict and have seven different varieties on my dresser right now (really).

97. I wear Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise perfume most days, even though I have several different types I could use.

98. I started taking dance lessons when I was four and was on the dance team in high school. I really miss dancing.

99. It doesn't take very much to make me happy, and it takes a lot to make me sad.

100. I cannot wait for this movie to be released. It's directed by Julie Taymor, which means it has the potential to be very, very awesome. Unfortunately, I don't think it comes out until September.

Here We Go!

So, here I am! Thanks for moving with me to my new and now (hopefully) anonymous blog. And if you're new here and didn't move with me from the old spot, hi. Although how I'd manage to get new readers is beyond me. Besides, I'm pretty satisfied with the, oh, 4 to 7 of you that read regularly now.

As you know if you followed me from the old URL, I decided it was time to attempt to make my online writing as anonymous as possible. I want to keep blogging because I like this as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. I need to be a bit more cautious about my identity here, though. I want to be able to write about my new university and this next step in my career, but I don't necessarily need my new department or my potential future students to be able to easily find my writing here. I figure I'd be sort of hard to find ANYWAY since I think I'm pretty under the radar, but one can never be too cautious. Honestly, I don't really like blogging pseudonymously, but I also realize that I've reached a point in my life where it's necessary.

So I'm going to see how I do blogging fairly anonymously. As I discussed on the old blog, I think my field of study is going to become obvious fairly quickly, unless I choose not to write about my research and studies at all whatsoever (in which case I'd have nothing to talk about, frankly). But I'm going to try my best to keep my name and the name of my university out of here, and I'm going to try to be as vague about my exact location as possible, although I imagine that my general location will become obvious at some point as well. I'm also going to give pseudonyms to everyone I interact with, although I'm warning you right now that I suck at giving pseudonyms and so if you read this blog and you're also someone I write about fairly regularly, you may want to e-mail me with your own suggestion. My own pseudonym is the ridiculously uncreative *A*. I was going to give myself a fake name, but that just felt dumb. I won't hesitate to make up fake names for the rest of you, though!
Basically, I don't mind people reading this blog and being able to make logical guesses about my identity, but I'd rather not have anyone read this and be absolutely positive that I'm the writer.

As for the new URL, read the post below this one. It's my favorite scene from one of my favorite plays, Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman. The scene has always resonated with me, particularly the last bit about allowing yourself to be blind. Lord knows I need to stop "watching out" all the time. When I re-read the play last month, I was also strongly affected by, "She was petrified, but she did it all the same." Because I have to admit that I am. I am petrified that this next step is going to prove to be too much for me. I spend way too much time these days thinking, "What if I get to the east coast and I hate it? What if I start this Ph.D. program and it turns out that I can't actually do the coursework even if I try? What if I'm making a huge mistake?" But I'm going to do it all the same. So maybe that's a little sappy and cheesy, but it feels fitting right now.
And do you like how I was able to use the same sort of play on words I used on my old url? Yeah, me too!
As for the title of the blog, I didn't want to come up with a title, so in the "Name your blog" box I typed "YOU name it." And so now that's the title. I guess it sort of works, though, because it makes it sound like this is the sort of site where "You name it, I write about it!" Although I will probably still write mostly about school and my dog. Sorry.

I think that more or less explains everything. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Identity

"Q: Who is this?

A: This is Eros, god of love.

Q: Why does he have wings?

A: So he can move quickly from body to body.

Q: Why is he naked?

A: To make us transparent.

Q: To make us what?

A: Transparent in our love. Foolish to others. Exposed.

Q: Why is he blind?

A: He is always pictured blind, but he really isn't.

Q: Because in love we are so ignorant and compulsive?

A: There's that.

Q: What else?

A: He is blind to show how he takes away our ordinary vision, our mistaken vision, that depends on the appearance of things.

Q: Who's this coming down the stairs?

A: Her name is Psyche.

Q: Psyche? Her name is Psyche?

A: Yes.

Q: What's she doing here?

A: She's married to the god, but she's never seen him.

Q: Why is that?

A: He forbids it.

Q: How did they meet?

A: Psyche was so beautiful, the goddess Aphrodite hated her. She sent her son to punish her, but he fell in love instead.

Q: Does she know that he is a god?

A: She suspects he is a monster.

Q: Have they had sex already?

A: Oh yes.

Q: And how was that?

A: It was good.

Q: Then why does she suspect he is a monster?

A: Her jealous sisters told her so.

Q: And she listened to them?

A: Unfortunately, yes.

Q: So now she's coming to see him as he sleeps?

A: Yes.

Q: To make certain.

A: Yes.

Q: With her eyes.

A: Yes. She's very young. It happens all the time.

Q: She doesn't trust what she has felt herself?

A: Not with the radical trust we need.

Psyche steps into the pool. She moves slowly, so as not to make noise. She approaches the sleeping Eros and holds the candelabra over him, looking. This happens in silence.

Q: What does the word "Psyche" mean?

A: In Greek it means "the soul."

Wax from the candles falls on Eros. He wakes suddenly and turns abrubtly toward Psyche. They stare at each other for a long moment. Then, in one motion, she extinguishes the candelabra in the water.

Q: What's going to happen now?

A: She's going to suffer.

Q: And?

A: She's going to suffer.

Q: And?

A: She's going to suffer.

Q: What does she have to do?

A: She is given horrible and lonely tasks by Aphrodite.

Q: Such as?

A: Sorting thousands of little seeds one from the other.

Q: How did she manage?

A: Some little insects helped her.

Q: Like in fairy tales?

A: Like in all fairy tales.

Q: What else?

A: She had to go down to the Underworld, fetch various things.

Q: Wasn't she afraid?

A: She was petrified, but she did it all the same.

Q: Wasn't it hopeless?

A: It was hopeless, but she did it all the same.

Q: What did Love do in the meantime?

A: He healed his little wound. It hurt him so much when she looked at him like that. The wax from the candle fell on him and burnt him.

Q: How does it end?

A: She finishes her tasks and Zeus declares enough's enough.

Q: He overrides Love's mother?

A: Yes. And further, he gives Psyche a special potion and she becomes immortal. Then he declares that their marriage will last forever.

Q: Does it?

A: Of course.

Q: So it has a happy ending?

A: It has a very happy ending.

Q: Almost none of these stories have completely happy endings.

A: This is different.

Q: Why is that?

A: It's just inevitable. The soul wanders in the dark, until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul.

Q: It always happens?

A: If we're lucky. And if we let ourselves be blind.

Q: Instead of watching out?

A: Instead of always watching out."

-Metamorphoses, Mary Zimmerman