The sun doesn't go down, it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Rants about the flaws of "resolutions" are tired. I don't make them, that's all you need to know.
What I do make, however, is a list of things to look forward to. Not necessarily goals, just wishes, hopes, things to aspire to should I feel so inclined. It's much more optimistic and way less stressful.
In the spirit of closure, here's last year's list, with some commentary that may or may not be worth reading.
A list of things I hope to pass in 2006:
- Dean's list (why break the streak?)Failure. School and I speak only on a need-to-know basis these days
- Internship (so I can be a bigger fangirl)Success! Q101 and 97.9 The Loop done right by me
- Get an apartment (No more nagging)Success! And this place is pretty freaking sweet, not gonna lie.
- Boyfriend (as always)Success! A shocking one that's actually going to be approaching a year soon. Weird.
- My birthday ("Twenty-ooooonnne!")Success? Hopefully reaching one's next birthday isn't cause fortoo much celebration
- Linda to go to Northwestern (so I can brag)Failure. Sad, perhaps, but I think she's pretty happy at Wesleyan, so I won't begrudge her that
- 6-pac abs (I can dream)Failure. Surprise!
- LBC's new album to come out ("Poo-York City!")Success! Poo York City indeed!
- Kick major ass at Nationals (or at least not come in dead-last)Success! I actually went into quarter finals in the top 6 in "being funny with a point". I rule.
That's a 66% rate of success, and if we throw out the ludicrous (abs), it's a 75% success rate.
I haven't given a whole lot of thought about what my wish list for 2007 will entail, that is a list for tomorrow. For now, all I can say is that I'm almost panicky with the hope of no major life altering surprises.
Gray skies make being stressed out a lot harder to deal with. If it was sunny, I could think "well, at least it's a pretty day" and spend a precious second or two admiring the blue sky. Alas, I am stuck with boring, snow-less clouds.
Even though I'm now 21 years old, an adult in every legal way possible, it never occurred to me that people might ask me to buy booze for them. For future reference kids, the answer is first, "are you kidding?" followed quickly by a "no". I may have my flaws, but contributing to the delinquency of minors isn't one of them.
Have you ever seriously thought about what would happen if you (or your girlfriend) got pregnant? I contemplated this during health class in Sophomore year after some girl's drastic proclamations of "my dad would kill me!". Recently I gave some thought about how it would affect my actual life. Babies are totally scary, think about it a little.
I don't think I've ever been less excited to go to a concert in my entire life, including the Coldplay concert I was forced to attend during my internship. Instead of thinking "OMG LBC!" like I should be, I'm thinking "I have to be at work at 10:30 tomorrow morning". I'm getting boring in my old age. Time to break a hip for some perspective.
It's been approximately two and a half days since I returned from what I'm thinking about calling "Sausage Fest 2006", because I love subtle innuendo where it has no place. I talked myself hoarse while narrating my pictures to dad and Linda, and discussed the differences in restaurant culture with a manager at work and I'm already trying to find different topics of conversation. I'm going to give myself until Christmas to talk and/or gush about my trip, and after that I'm going to try to move on. No one likes the annoying kid who begins every anecdote with "Well, when I was in (insert exotic and exciting locale)...". Like band camp stories, but not quite as lame.
When I was in Berlin, Germany...
...I had to pay 2 euro 50 cents for 8 ounces of water at restaurants
...I spoke a good deal of a German/English hybrid, and am still having problems speaking/reading in English-only
...a large bird escaped from the zoo which required Politzei on bicycles with nets to yell "HALT!" at pedestrians
...I saw a lot of really depressing, but really, really cool places and buildings
...no one would apologize if they ran into you while walking
...I smuggled a half dozen little packets of single-serving Nutella over the border
...the Reichstag (parliment building) went on lockdown while we were on a tour
...the Lostprophets rocked out and I chatted up two members of The Blackout
...some girls and I got stranded a couple miles away from our hotel mere hours away from when we were supposed to leave for the airport due to false promises of a 24 hour train system
...I really, really, really missed people here
I've never been entirely sure that I understand what "jetlag" is or feels like, but I do know that my body has never, ever woken itself up naturally at 7:30am, especially when my only obligation of the day starts at 5:30pm.
This Christmas is going to be a really lean one, at least on my end. The money situation is kind of dire and so my gifts for the very, very immediate family are super lame and somewhat inexpensive. I'm aware that it's "the thought that counts" but I still feel like a bad loved-one, even though I did put an excruciatingly large amount of thought into the gifts.
"Sexy Back" is my latest guilty pleasure.
Making a cake with one of my favorite people on the planet was one of the best belated birthday gifts I could have hoped for. The cake is delicious and the company was, as always, fabulous and reminded me that I don't see her nearly enough. I guess one of the bright sides of Alex running away to a big, fancy university is that I might see ol' Shiny Hair more often.
This entry is pretty long and somewhat pointless, but just one more thing before I peace out: Is it better to pretend that the inevitable isn't going to happen in less than a month, or is it better to worry about it because it is, well, inevitable? Fears about the near future have been slightly assuaged by a somewhat offhand comment about the far future, but make neither point in time any less scary.
Sportfreunde Stiller is my current obsession, along with trying to find an authentic "Berliner", ala JFK's fatal "Ich bin ein Berliner" mistake, before I head back to America.
My 21st birthday was one to remember, and I mean that in all possible ways to interpret that phrase. We toured the bomb shelter bunkers underneath Berlin, saw a two mile stretch of the Berlin Wall, drank the best Milchkaffees ever, and then I went out to an Egyptian restaurant with some of my new trip friends. I was buzzed after one glass of white wine, and annoyingly tipsy after two, so I called it a night. I suppose I am what one could call a "lightweight".
So I logged onto facebook this evening to be greeting with the group invitation "In loving memory of Mr. Scheidecker". It's a hell of a way to find out someone died, let me tell you. I'm still in a little bit of shock, I think, because I don't feel upset or sad yet. I'm sure it'll sink in when I'm trying to sleep, though. It's a bit strange when someone whom you've been holding a grudge against passes away. It's not like I'm remotely glad Mr. Scheidecker is dead, although he is the man responsible for making me notice every time someone uses the redundant phrase "reason why", I'm just trying to figure out if it's wrong not to be immediately reduced to tears about it.
I'm really wishing I was home. I can't tell if Berlin is getting old, or I'm just really homesick. Maybe if I had more money I'd feel like there were still lots of options available for me to experience here. Ah, well. We've had a good run, Berlin and I. I'd just like to get back to the boy, family, friends, bed, and life.
Being away for so long essentially by yourself makes a lot of things more clear.
(PS: I would have made a lousy team captain anyway)
No, I'm not dead, just far, far away. Lost in a strange land where the "z" key is where the "y" key should be and vice versa, where the symbols are arranged all willy nilly, and I can type letters like ö, ä, ü, and ß with the press of a single button.
Berlin is fabelhaft, and I can't really explain in the few short minutes I have for the internet how great it really is. I'm staying on the equivilant of Michigan Avenue, and just a short U-bahn ride away from the amazingly stereotypical culture of former East Berlin. I'm taking a good number of pictures, some of buildings, some of me making strange faces, and some of me making strange faces in front of buildings.
I've never really been all that aware of the fact that I'm "American" mostly because in, well, America, it's not even an issue. Here, however, it's the only thing that I'm being defined and classified by, and I'm suddenly extremely aware of it. I'm intrigued by the German's sense of history and the importance of preserving it, rather than washing it away as humiliation or disgrace. I'm hopelessly fashionless, and apparently unintelligable when trying to speak to the Deutschen in their native Sprache.
I'm homesick and a little lonely, but I keep reminding myself that this might be the only time I ever get to see these things, to have this experience, so I'm sucking it up like an androgynous man in lederhosen and a santa hat, a sight for only the strong of heart.
While driving home in the pouring rain this evening, I encountered this sign on the side of the road: "Caution Wet Pavement". Gosh.
My skin has never been very thick, alabaster, baby-bottom soft, or really any other flattering term, but when faced with the imminent possibility of having it flay itself off my body, I've begun to appreciate it a lot more.
Saturday afternoon United flight 944 will be whisking me away to Frankfurt, Germany. "This is such a bad idea" were, I believe, the words that came out of my mouth when my professor handed me my plane tickets. Important things tends to lose themselves once in my possession. Past items include: my purse, my purse again, my driver's licence multiple times, $25, shoes, and pretty much any piece of jewlery bestowed upon me.
Playing nursemaid is not my calling. Sick people freak me out, not to mention the sound of other people throwing up makes me queasy as well. Offering chicken noodle soup is about the best I can muster, even though I know that nausea isn't the best appetite whetter.
Phrases that annoy me:
"I could care less"
"ain't got" or "got no" or, God forbid, "ain't got no"
Tally ho! Scones, Benny Hill, Big Ben, yellow teeth and all that!
The novelty of not having to wear pants while playing my music as loudly as I can stand is somewhat subdued by the fact that sleeping alone in an otherwise empty apartment is pretty lonely and slightly unnerving.
I was listening to the radio today and it seemed that every song I heard on my way to work was themed around "living in the moment", or at the very least "stop worrying about the past". I'm usually pretty good at adhering to these philosophies on the smiling, wiggly outside, but it doesn't stop me from biting my nails off and tossing and turning in bed.
Things Currently Worrying Me:
-Money for Berlin
Things Currently Exciting Me:
-1 day until Thanksgiving
-2 days until the MSBE (Martin Sister Birthday Extravaganza)
-9 days until Linda's birthday
-10 days until I fly away
-21 days until I'm 21
-27 days until I fly back
-33 days until Christmas
-40 days until 2007
-41 days until Winter Term
Someday you will find me caught beneath the landslide
It's always easy to tell when I'm really stressed out, because all my blogs get silmultaneously updated in a burst of procrastination. Currently I'm procrastinating on getting dressed and going to Sears Optical, because setting foot in that place and purchasing new glasses will make the fact that I'm a money-wasting idiot a reality. My opinion of myself is really rather fragile, and it seems important that I lie to myself for a little while longer.
Only 7 days left in this school term. Which, on one hand, means that in a week I'll be mostly free from school obligations until January, but on the other hand means that I have 7 days to write two 5-page papers, a 10-page paper, finish a TV news wrap, and write/create/produce a 10 minute radio drama. Plus actual final tests as well as working every day. Goodbye friends, goodbye Boy, goodbye family, goodbye TV, goodbye sleep. Hello panic.
Of course, as usual, I'm approaching both these situations with my usual calm demeanor, telling myself "things will work themselves out, they always do", and crossing my fingers that I will stumble upon the magical balance of finding time to not fail school and earn enough money so I can make rent/bill payments for the next two months.
If anyone ever tells you to go take 20 days off work to spend an undetermined large amount of money in a foreign country, make sure you take the time to figure out if having a negative income for 20 days won't cripple you financially. I'm lucky enough to have parents who don't want to see me struggle through life, and lucky enough to have a soft enough conscience that I'll let them help me out, but the guilt and worry is still ever present.
It's too bad they don't make chalky-fruity tablets for the kind of stomach ache that worry/guilt/disappointment/stress cause. I'd live off those.
Just you and me eating fudge banana swirl. Just you and me, we'll travel round the world. Just you and me punk rock girl
When I listen to music there's a few very specific categories a song can fall into. It will a) remind me about a very specific person, b) remind me about a very specific event, c) invoke a particular feeling, d) make me wish this song reminded someone else of me, or e) evoke no particular response. Category (d) is either somewhat selfish, wishful thinking, or just plain bizarre on some level. I equate it to some girls having a song already chosen for their wedding, perhaps hoping that one day this song will remind their future fiancee of their love.
The other night at B-Dubs over a festive meal of boneless wings and chicken quesadillas, "Punk Rock Girl" by the Dead Milkmen came over the speakers. This song falls into category (d) under the more specific classification of "wishful thinking". I'm hardly punk-rock, let alone apt to commit grand theft: auto, declare a state of anarchy at a pizza joint, or lecture record store employees about their selection (unless it is lacking the illustrious LBC, of course), and yet I would always secretly hope that if the Boy heard this song, he would think me awesome enough to be comparable to the Punk Rock Girl of this song. Whilst munching upon a moderately spicy boneless wing, I was informed that "Punk Rock Girl" makes said Boy think of me.
I was giddy beyond mere words, let me tell you.
And yet, with this illumination, my sense of self-identity became just a touch more blurry as I contemplated the fact that I am reminiscent of a fictional punk-rock girl whom I feel bears no resemblance to myself. The more I find myself placed into clear descriptors (Punk Rock Girl, captain of "team nice", sudden speech phenom) the more confused I get, since I see no markings of said classifications within myself. I used to be very sure of who I was, where I stood with everything, my opinions on just about every subject, and how I presented myself to the world, but suddenly my inner self is in conflict with my (seemingly dynamic) outer self. I'm perplexed and a little lost, to be honest.
Maybe this is just the backdraft of being so busy that I haven't had a day free of obligations since September 11th. When my activities and schedule begin to define me, the less tangible aspects begin to fade in importance. Intriguing theory, CB.
We're always sleeping in and sleeping for the wrong team
God must be looking out for my best interests via the internet, because this is the 4th time an entry or post or message of sorts has been lost among the wires and radio signals. On the bright side, I get to let my worries and emotions fester for a little while longer. Thanks, Jesus.
I have lost all motivation to do, well, anything. I just sort of want to lay in bed, read Harry Potter, and watch Gilmore Girls, concurrently if I could make that happen. School work is happening later and later than it really should. I completed a radio production project a mere 3 hours before it was due, a feat I might actually be attempting again later tonight, as lethargy has set upon me and nothing sounds more appealing right now than napping and trying to rid myself of this headache.
Autumn weather always seems to suit my mood. Wet, crisp, chilly, and usually overcast it can supplement both the best and worst temprements. It's my favorite time of year and I'm all revved up to have a delightful Fall, but absolutely no time to enjoy it. Sad.
A conversation with a co-worker made me question the underlying causes for my inherent laziness. I'm beginning to think the problem is that everyone seems to have too much confidance in me. No one ever tells me that I'm not capable of doing things, or that I can't do something. Therefore, instead of trying to prove them right and show them that I deserve this confidance, I sit back and assume that these things will come to me like everyone thinks they will. Of course, if I were to be told that I couldn't do something, I very well might just sit back and give up. It's a fine line to walk, this blaming of others.
I decided that my favorite type of music is "epic". It's not a genre, just my word for absolutely grand, sweeping chords and driving beats that tell a story and make my heart soar with glee. The newest My Chemical Romance song ("Welcome to the Black Parade") fits the bill quite nicely, as does Muse's "Knights of Cydonia".
It's a rather hollow victory when you take 1st place for an event at a tournament where a) 60% of your competitors were forced to be there against their will b) 80% of them were titanically awful and c) the teammates you beat were still on notecards. I finally got a "big" trophy (yay), but the tournament director neglected to utter the phrase "And your tournament champion in Informative speaking is..." (boo). I'll take the National qualifications though, thanks.
Having my life scheduled out down to the minute makes the days fly by faster than unscheduled monotony. Where is my fall term going?
13 days until Halloween/Glynnis' birthday!
18 days until Chrissy's birthday!
27 days until Rise Against!
36 days until Thanksgiving/Interim!
44 days until Linda's birthday!
45 days until Berlin!
56 days until I turn 21!
68 days until Christmas!
75 days until 2007!
Let's get these teen hearts beating faster, faster
I am not a giggly girl. I don't go into hysterics whenever something hilarious happens. At best, I'll let out a nice, sincere laugh and then let it drop. Every so often something will strike me as so utterly ridiculous that I'll laugh so hard that no noise comes out and tears squeeze out of my eyes. MXC was good for that the other day. I am not one to fall into screams of laughter, however, and those who do grate on my ears. Quiet amusement is the life for me.
I've found it's getting easier and easier to break through my Glass Cage of Emotion and ask questions that have been on my mind. It is still a task which requires weeks of thinking, waiting, and gathering up a network of safety nets and small acrobats, but it is, nevertheless, easier than it used to be. I just wish the same could be said for my intended conversational counterpart.
Some people need to work on humility. Oh wait, that's me.
The more I learn about astronomy and the universe, the more my belief in God is strengthened. It's a little complicated, but ask me about it sometime.
I don't know if anyone else ever has this problem, but a lot of the time I think I'm really, really boring. I have this ideal of who I want to be but I never live up to it because of, well, who I actually am. I wish I could be that girl who always had something new and crazy to do, who could be fun and spontaneous and absolutely convinced that she's always having a great time, but I'm not. I've done some really cool things in my life, I just wish that every little thing I do could be just as exciting.
The worst words to ever come from a band are "indefinate hiatus". Screw you LBC.
The boy got the acceptance letter he's been waiting for and ever since, my insides have been waging a fierce war against each other, struggling to be overjoyed for him when all I want to do is put an airtight seal over Naperville so he can't go away and forget about me.
Give me an error will you? Fine. No one needs to hear about voting anyway.
I remember saying that having problems that aren't actuallyproblems is the worst, because you feel stupid for fretting over non-existant worries. However now I'm beginning to feel that having a real problem but no one, literally not a single soul, to seek counsel with might be worse. I guess we'll see how my sanity holds up under this one, then we'll judge.
Sometimes the best way to get your life back under control is to drop it all and pick it back up in an orderly fashion.
Her motives are pure and pristine, she's flawed like a diamond
As I was celebrating the "check engine" light finally turning off in Theo, a "Traffic Safety" truck gently rear ended me. I've been telling people I got hit by the irony truck.
Driving home from work tonight made me nostalgic. Sometimes I'll get this feeling of intense recall, of just knowing that I've felt a certain way before. It could be a combination of the light, a strange energy, or even just my mood, but sometimes I'll just remember rather suddenly that I've felt exactly like this before. Sometimes I can even remember the previous instance of that feeling.
Tonight I recalled that the first song I played in the replacement CD player I had installed in Theo was "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. I also remembered a conversation with Chris Bogue about the song "Daddy's Little Defect" when I was driving the wrong way to the zoo. I remember walks with Danny by the poop factory; buying a scooter with Erik; sitting on a couch knowing Nick and Nicole were making out under a blanket; driving Pete home; how Chrissy kicked my ass on the bus to theatre fest; the time we piled 4 people on top of a sled; or that time some kids asked Sam where he got his Green Day visor, among other things. It was strange to have some of these seemingly mundane memories surface rather suddenly.
Walking in the front door of my apartment tonight was hilarious.
Things to look forward to in the somewhat near future:
I'm about to embark upon a mild diatribe that was intended for two days ago, but the lack of immediate internet access makes timing a bit tricky.
"9/11" annoys me. Not in the way that mosquito bites annoy me and not quite in the same way vertical and horizonal stripes worn in combination annoy me. Perhaps it's the use of the numbers, rather than the date that gets my gears grinding, but it's mostly the attitude that surrounds the date.
We are encouraged to be blindly patriotic out of respect on this day while at the same time from different sources told to be skeptical, critical. I for one am just trying to go about my life normally. Did my gut clench up just a little bit every time I had to tell someone that school started on "September 11th"? Yes. Did theirs when they heard me say it? Probably. Every time someone shows images of "9/11" I get the same panicky feeling I got 5 years ago when I was watching that footage live, and I'm not sure I'll ever get over that.
I'm all about honor, duty, respect, and patriotism. I believe that we should honor the unknowing people who died that that respectfully, regardless of whether it was truly an Al-Queda attack or a conspiracy of our own government. I take conscious pride in being an American more than your average college student probably does. I take offence, however, at people proclaiming that we will "never forget". "Never Forget" is a Holocaust phrase, not that it was expressly copyrighted for it, and I find it a bit unfair to the families and survivors of the Holocaust to put the same amount of importance on September 11th as we do that. I find it ill advised to make that claim when we will forget, in some fashion or another. We all remember the attack on Pearl Harbor but not the date.
I just want to move on. I want to go to school, work at my job, fall in love, see the world, and love my neighbor without doom, gloom, terrorists, and National Security looming over me. Are we safer? I don't know. We were not safe in 2001? I don't know. Is safety something I'm even concerned about? Frankly, no. Stop filling my head with propoganda. Stop using fancy words loaded with connotations to manipulate my thoughts. Stop this "us and them" mentality. Stop telling me not to forget, and stop trying to rule my life with fear. I won't have it.
If I had a million dollars I'd buy you some art, like a Picasso or a Garfunkel.
"Warm" is a good way to describe happiness, "fuzzy" perhaps not so much.
Sometimes I'll hold conversations in my head just to pass the time. Not in a schitzophrenic way, but in the more hypothetical sense where I devise a question to ask someone. Sometimes I'll try to imagine what their answer might be, but more often I answer that question myself, just in case if I decide to ask that question some day, I'll know how to respond if they ask me the question back. I think the key to this exercise is mustering up the courage to actually ask these questions some day.
According to sources I'm "supposed to be funny", and yet when I sit down to write in this thing my wit sometimes leaves me and I'm left with little to say other than obvious and often mundane things about my life. Here are a few examples:
-I'm feeling all grow'd up with my new apartment and freedom, but the full reality of being "on my own" has not yet sunk in.
-The boy keeps me smiling always and I can't quite figure out what it is that I did to deserve him. At the same time, I worry about thinking "like that", but sometimes I just feel so warm and debatably fuzzy I can't help it.
-I got hired as a server at Friday's and while I'm a bit worried about all the work it will take to train, I remember some of the waiters I've had and realize it can't be all that hard.
-Life with Brian seems like it will work out rather nicely. We spent about an hour the other night just lying around and talking the easy conversation of friends.
-I miss Linda a surprising amount, but random phone calls are a suitable replacement. She provided me with the quote of the week: "I wouldn't say that Geology makes me want to kill myself, but I'll do what I have to."
That's about everything even vaguely worthy of note. I will leave you with a thought that has been keeping me occupied when my brain has time to wander. How do you know it's love? And furthermore, how do you get over the intense, crippling fear of the sheer magnitude and responsibility that word carries?
Should karma exist I don't believe that I should be quite the beneficial recipient that I have been lately. I think the great bearded guy in the sky has been looking out for me because surely I cannot be this lucky.
I have an apartment, at last. Many false alarms, raised and consequently dashed hopes, and a good deal of frustration and worry later and I am the proud tennant of a two bedroom, two bathroom 3rd floor apartment located (in)conveniently next to the Fox Valley mall. It essentially fell out of the sky and into my lap with so many great deals that I was absolutely floored with how timing worked out. Many deals, specials, and offers later and Brian and I are renting this place for a ridiculously small amount of money for how nice it is. I feel good, no-- great, about this. I'm excited to move in, I'm excited to paint, I'm even excited to pay first month's rent, silly as that is.
TGIFriday's in Bolingbrook called me tod..yesterday to see if I was still interested in working there. What's that? An answer to my prayers about needing a new, better paying job? Well, we'll see after my informal interview tomorrow, but I'm not going to take this opportunity lightly. I will also not complain about the extra radio shifts I picked up because 8 extra hours a week at untaxed minimum wage isn't bad, even if it means I'll have to go 30 hours without sleep on Sundays.
My point? Life is good for now. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, because I know that a week or two into the new school year I'll be buckling under the stress of a full course load, two? jobs, speech team, and trying my hand at NCC's television department. Enjoy my presense in your life for the next couple weeks, because as of September 11th I'm going to be hard to find.
Things I Want You To Think About:
2) Your favorite song lyric
3) The reasons you love your best friend so much
4) Your personal boundaries
5) Kittens that look like Hitler ("Kitlers")
Things That Made Me Smile Recently
1) Phone calls from Linda
2) My dad
4) A lactose intolerant Eric chugging a day's worth of calories in DQ ice cream mix
5) "Why the fuck did you hug my head?!"
Don't you sit upon the shorline and say you're satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides
Poland was amazing beyond words, therefore making the whole experience hard to summarize adequately for those who, with varying levels of interest, ask me how it was. Something I don't talk about much is my spirituality, making me a poor Christian I suppose. My life had been, for lack of a less severe term, spiraling out of control. Slowly. So slowly in fact that I barely even noticed it happening. The Poland mission trip knocked everything back into place and I am now orbiting at the proper distance around God again.
(Good metaphor, me.)
I have a lot of stories I could share, including, but not limited to:
- Scandalous swim wear
- A daring escape from a watery fate
- Making friends on my own
- Learning random Polish
- The Baltic Sea: Overprotected Polish Child
- The water, sand, and silly string capers
- Being pwnd in dodgeball by a boy with only one arm and two stumps for legs.
- Scary driving
- Inappropriate jokes on a crowded train ("I feel like I'm going to concentration camp.")
However there is only one story I feel stands out as the defining experience of my trip.
We had a worship service every night where we would sing, hear a spectacular sermon from "Serge", and sing some more. The campers would dance in the aisles, throw their hands in the air, jump around, and praise God at the top of their lungs, and they would listen with interested. One night one of the founders of the camp came and talked to us and told us about his son, Ben. About how when Ben was a little kid he told his mom and dad that he wanted to tell the whole congregation that he loved Jesus. How when Ben was 12 he got a postcard that said something like "All that I have, all that I am, all for the Lord", and how Ben signed his name under that and put it on the fridge.
And then, with a big smile on his face, the founder told us of how one day when Ben was 14 and they dropped him off at his school, Ben walked across the street and was hit by a car. The founder kept talking faster and faster, smiling more and more, telling us about how it was so hard for them to go through, as parents, to lose Ben, but that they knew that he was in Heaven with the savior her loved so much, waiting for them. Ania, the young translator, began to cry as she had to share his Polish words with those of us who could not understand and her sorrow was starkly contrasted by his joy.
Even now as I type this, emotion is overwhelming me. He was so happy, so joyful, so incredibly sure about Ben's place. He obviously had a lot of time to put things in perspective and this happiness was, to me, the least expected but somehow most logical way to look at it. In Ostroda, Poland I learned again about the power of Christ and the healing power of belief, and above all that what we do on this earth has a greater purpose than just our whims.
I might actually be getting an apartment, for real, so here's to hoping. I might have to duel at dawn with Brian for the master bedroom. I'm not good at employing my feminine wiles, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to con a man out of a big bedroom, let me know.
We'll walk around this town like we own the streets, and stay awake through summer like we own the heat
Pre-Poland Blogging Extravaganza!
I'm currently finding it incomprehensible that in something along the lines of 48 hours I will be almost 5,000 miles away from home. I hear it's a lot like Wisconsin.
Some things that I try to pretend don't exist:
- 80's Music
- Giant Squid
Being a grown-up would be a lot more fun if grown-ups didn't have to pay for things. I demand a trust fund, and possibly a time-share in Aruba!
While reading Dave Barry's witty quips and insights into the male mind, it suddenly dawned on me that I, like a stereotypical guy, was somewhat unaware of the fact that I am in a "relationship". I don't think I've ever actually been in a decent, real one before. I'm not even sure I know what it means to be in one. I've heard rumors about words like "give" and "take" and "making pies", but I'm sort of fumbling along as I go. Don't tell Durbin*.
Hopefully, in a month, I shall have a place of my own. If you or anyone you know would like to live with me, right on campus but not in a dorm, for $400 a month, let me know.
You hear the phrase "in a perfect world..." a lot, usually prefacing some bad news, like when someone asks me for chocolate ice cream and I say "In a perfect world we could all get chocolate ice cream whenever we wanted, but here in reality we only serve vanilla. Sorry." Then when we talk about an ideal, perfect world it usually involves making sure everyone is fed and that no one notices that we have differences, and pudding is never even mentioned.
In my perfect world, the big, sad continent of Africa wouldn't even exist and I wouldn't have tummy flub no matter how much Taco Bell, cake, pudding, and Portillo's hot dogs I eat. All boys would be robots so I could turn them on and off as I pleased and when they say "I Love You" in their cute robot voices I'd know they mean it because I programmed them that way. No one would lie because we'd all be born with shock collars which would provide good conditioning and vast amounts of entertainment as we tested the boundaries. Toilets would always be manual flush, unless someone could invent them not to go off while I'm still on the can, and animals would stay the hell out of my way unless they were cute, well behaved, and non-allergenic.
Things I'm simultaneously dreading looking forward to:
-Getting an apartment
-Beginning of School
Live your life just like a dream without the pain of goodbyes.
I've decided that I'm never going to share anything ever again. Not thoughts, opinions, feelings, cake slices (not that I ever shared those in the first place), or things I love. I will be wholly selfish when it comes to my passions. If I find a band I like, I will keep them to myself, because it's sharing news about bands that ruins things that are "mine" like Fall Out Boy, and hopefully LBC eventually. If I love a restaurant, no longer shall I take my friends to experience it! I will keep the knowledge of the delightful atmosphere, charming ambiance, and delectable food to myself, so that no one can scoff or counterdict me. There's nothing more hurtful than having someone you care about be entirely disinterested in something you love. Now I know how middle school teachers feel.
For anyone who is concerned about my life and limb, I leave for the land of Auschwitz and Chicago's main supply of construction laborers in less than a month. People keep asking me why on earth I want to go to Poland, and my triumphant yell of "back to the motherland!" never seems to satisfy them. I think we all need some sense of history in order to fulfill our silly need of cosmic purpose, and getting a glimpse of the country where perhaps more than half of my bloodline can call "home" seems important for some reason. Teaching English to a people whose language I speak literally 5 words of ("mówimy po polsku" and "Nazywam sie Cathi") is somewhat secondary to the mere act of setting foot on Polish soil. I shall have to curb the urge to start barking orders in Geramn, just to see how many people drop whatever they are doing and surrender to me.
Disappointment is a funny thing. Sometimes it crushes your soul in a vice-like grip administered by a piercing glare, and other times you feel sorry, but not too sorry, because becoming consistantly better at golf is not necessarily your fault.
Today is the devil's day, allegedly. It is also Cathi's day to talk about her life. My life. I always get caught in that 3rd person trap and I'm never sure when to stop. Usually explicit discussion of my life is saved for my actual journal or discussions with good friends, but sometimes frank discussion in a self-centered, public forum is called for as well.
Because I'm most comfortable with lists, that's what this shall be. A Cathi List Of Her Life. Part One. Go.
As of tomorrow, I'll be officially done with school until September, which is a huge relief. I enjoyed my classes, I just lost all motivation to do work back in January. I'm worried about my grades, mostly due to said lack of motivation. I'm seriously concerned about whether or not I achieved over a 3.0 for the term, and that rings utterly false with who I am. I'm a high B, low A student, and I should always, always do at least that well. I think I just need a swift kick in the ass.
I hate money. I hate the fact that I have to rely on money. I like having money, but I hate it all the same. The problem lately is that I don't have it. I need to save up money to go to Poland which I don't even have adequate aid for, I need to get a good enough job so I can save up money and keep money flowing so I can afford to move out in August, I need to save up money to go to Berlin in the winter. I neglected to turn in my financial aid forms by the due date, and so I'm worried sick that I won't get enough aid for school next year. I have so much that I want to do and not enough money to do it. I hate it, and I don't know what to do about it.
Tomorrow I go to a showing for 4 apartments, one of which is a 3 bedroom being rented for $550 a month. Holy crap, I know. Brian wants to live in Chicago, and so do I, but if we can't find a decent apartment for cheap enough, it's stupid for me to live so far away from school. I know my dad probably doesn't approve of me living with a guy, and I know that no matter where Brian and I find to rent, neither of my parents will approve of the neighborhood. Unless it's in Wrigleyville or Lincoln Park, it's not a good neighborhood, and if we want to live cheaply, we'll have to live in a questionable one. I'm fine with it, and so is Brian, probably. I just wish there was a way to convince my mom and dad that things will be okay.
I hate my boss. I've always thought Rich was a giant douchebag, but lately he's been unreasonably mean to me. When I called to propose a solution to me desperately needing to find a replacement for my shift tomorrow, he called back to say "You know, this is why nothing ever gets done up there. You're always so concerned with getting your next day off. I don't have time to deal with this bullshit." I don't know what would possess him to say those things, and it's not fair and it's not something I deserve to deal with. I went job hunting today, and hopefully in the near future I'll be a waitress somewhere fun and won't have to deal with his bullshit anymore.
For such an unexpected relationship, things are going surprisingly well. Amazingly well. Worrisomely well. I'm almost living in constant fear of screwing this wonderful thing in my life up. Other than my family, Alex is the one thing in my life that isn't stressing me out, and is actually, in fact, keeping me sane. I'm finding it difficult to balance my precious free time between wanting to spend it all with him, and not neglecting my beautiful friends. I've never been in a relationship that was so real, and so good, and I'm more grateful for that than I know how to express, really. Here's to hoping I don't subconsciously try to sabatoge this, as I tend to do in most other areas of my life.
That's about all, I think. Thanks for paying attention, or not. Thanks for putting up with me, at the very least. Until next rant:
Haven't you heard that I'm the new cancer?
Never looked better, and you can't stand it.
At times I find it impossible to understand why people do the things they do, and at others I find I understand them perfectly.
All rants begin with an observation. "Haven't you noticed?" Every conversation we have is based upon universal connections. We have a mutual understanding of human nature, of love or tragedy, of frustration or simple joys. I understand as well that these words, spit out from frantic fingertips in a fishbowl, have no effect on you, the reader whom I cater to whether or not you actually exist unless you have a general idea of what I'm trying to convey.
Today the theme is connection. Or not. Perhaps the theme is chaos, but letting you in on that secret would ruin the impact of the confusion that would set in halfway through this entry when I begin to ramble about meanacing squirrels and Cubs wins (an irrational number). I think I'm just going a little crazy, but honestly, who isn't? I guess we could hope that the Germans remain sane at all times. Look out, Austria.
Yep, looks like chaos is on the ticket. Isn't it facinating how so many random things result in the sum of our lives? Playing the "what if" game can be fun, at times. What if Linda had been aborted due to a tumor that posed as a dead baby? What if I concentrated on school more? What if I never applied to work at Dairy Queen? What if I never joined speech team? So many questions, never any right answers.
I'm hungry. Taco Bell will fix this in the short term, but I think I'll need an adrenaline shot to the heart of "work ethic" to fix it for long term. I have a lot of dreams, Berlin, radio, Chicago, family, travel, concerts, but it will be very difficult for these things to come to pass if I never buckle down and do a homework assignment or two.
Ramble ramble. Three cookies to whomever made sense of this. Let me know, so I can actually bake the cookies, or at least buy them in convenient Keebler form with the money I peddle from upper middle class tools.
It's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality.
Group dynamics facinate me. The "mob mentality" that grips each and every single person when put in social situations is astounding. A person can be completely decent, thoughtful, and rational one-on-one, yet when placed in a group situation become the epitome of everything wrong with the world.
We see this at parties where some people become more outgoing, louder, or perhaps more belligerant, picking fights with people in moving cars when that is not something they normally would have done. We see it when guys get together and the guy who has a distaste for alcohol suddenly begins to brag about every alcoholic encounter he's had, comparing the effects of whiskey to vodka. We see it with girls who travel in packs, and the one who commonly gets mistaken for a boy gushes about her love for "passion pink" nail polish.
Perhaps we are all ruled by stereotypes, and the fact that Linda and her friends talked about whether they or their sisters would get married first is just them conforming on a subconscious level to how girls are supposed to act. Or perhaps stereotypes truly have ground in reality, and when the group of 15 year old boys moon us unsuspecting DQ employees, it's because that is really how 15 year old boys act.
On a different note, I am again reminded about how much petty worries suck, espeically when they are out of my control. I'm just a bit concerned that if I don't get these worries straightened out, it will eventually result in an argument that shouldn't have to happen.
I haven't been this happy in a really long time, but I also haven't been this stressed out, either. I can't have everything, I suppose.
This will be the first and last time I ever say anything meaningful to you via the internet.
Why? Because I worry about the fact that we haven't really had a "serious" conversation. Maybe one or two, which are good starts. I don't want us to only be able to communicate (ah, girl-words) online. I know that sort of thing is hard for you, it's hard for me too, and I hope I'm not remiss in thinking I'm one of those people who you're afraid to open up to because you actually care about what they think.
That said: You are a wonderful person and you make me very, very happy. I know you think you're dull, and even though I don't think so, that's fine. I'll make you interesting while you keep me sane. We've agreed upon how we're opposites, how you're everything that I am not: quiet, creative, reasonable, healthy, diverse. I just wish we could talk. We smile at each other a lot, and we even ask "...what?" but neither of us ever respond. Maybe it's because in the moment I can't find the words to articulate how happy I am, how I feel like I don't deserve you and how goddamn lucky I am to have you sitting there, smiling back at me.
So now that you know, maybe next time you ask "what?" I'll actually tell you what I'm thinking.
Cathi's Thoughts of the Week Not Involving Personal Dilemmas
Is anyone else tired of hearing arguments from foreign criminals and closed-minded hicks about immigration reform? I don't know what the laws are, what the process is, or what life is like in other countries. I just wish that our immigration policy would let more people in more easily so that we wouldn't have this problem.
I am also tired of celebrities. I'm sad that, as I sit here watching my first episode of Dawson's Creek ever, as I see Katie Holmes running across a campus all I can think of is "how can she love a loony like Tom Cruise?" I want them to stay out of my informational magazines and off my evening news. I think it would be refreshing if the world simply let them do their jobs like normal people.
Rain makes me sad on the level that I can't go outside and be active, but makes me rather happy on the level that Dairy Queen will be slow and easy. Warm weather inspires visions of tank tops and flip flops, swim suits and tans, and the ever growing "oh my God look at my body" anxiety. My goals of preserving cash and my girlish figure by ceasing my almost daily fast-food intake has been successful thus far. We'll see.
I don't understand guys, and I probably never will. I make no secret of that. It's a little frustrating sometimes having to play guessing-games with things I should say/do/think in regard to pretty much any man in my life. I also don't understand when boys become guys and guys become men. I hear news reports about "man arrested for being despicable human being" and said "man" is 19 or 20 years old.
Little kids are the cutest and I want to kidnap them all. At least the cute ones. I'll give them away once they're 10 years old because then they become little punks.
It's a little crazy and refreshing how brushes with death, even when they are not your own, tend to put things in perspective and how sometimes, although rarely, they reaffirm that you've made good choices.
I'm just glad he came out alive and (mostly) unscathed.
I sometimes wish things were more simple, that everything lay in terms of black and white so that we never had to be indecisive about anything. I also wish that feelings wern't so painful and that brains were a little less logical. I wish that people, myself included, could always say what they were thinking and feeling without fear of repercussion so that things could actually get done in this world.
A certain friend's actions and my consequent reaction completely shattered whatever illusion I had myself under, so I'm back to square one, flailing, falling, wishing there was an easy way to erase things from my mind, Eternal Sunshine style. Perhaps a few brick wall head-butts will do the trick. It might make me feel better, anyway.
Springtime brings allergies and the plague, lovers and reckless driving, good times with good friends and lots of stressful school work. All hail the MayFlowers.
Is that what you call a getaway? Tell me what you got away with. I've seen more spine in jellyfish, I've seen more guts in 11 year old kids
On the good news front, my "potential hypothetical crisis" (which, honestly, had way too many conditional words to actually have been something I should have been worrying about) has been essentially solved, seeing as the determining factor refused to take a stance.
On the bad news front, apparently this solution is not the one I had been hoping for. Until I got my answer I honestly wasn't sure what I wanted, what I was secretly wishing, but this awful feeling of disappointment and heartache seems to give me a good idea about how I wanted the outcome to be.
While the heavy fog of uncertainty has been lifted, I'm not entirely sure it's better this way. Now that my crisis-that-was-not is solved and I have gagued my reaction, I am only more painfully aware of how unfair I am being to certain people in my life.
I told you I'm a bad person. You just never believed me.
Also on the good news front, you probably won't be bored with vague entries anymore dealing with my inner woes about this subject, barely masked behind inspecific terms and generalizations. Now that this chapter can be closed I can mourn the loss of possibility in peace without the poisonous "what ifs" tearing me apart.
The only difference between martyrdom and suicide is press coverage
I watched a man die today.
Last night I was rubbing elbows with rock stars and this morning I bore witness to death. If this is what city living is like then I'm not sure I want to be living in the fast lane. I don't know if you've ever seen someone die, I know I never had, but it was the most horrific experience of my life to date. I'm still not over it.
It would have been cinematic, picturesque, artsy, ironic even, if it had not been a real man giving up on his very real life. A solitary figure in a business suit standing out against a backdrop of morning sunlight on skyscrapers, angrily tossing his cell phone into the still green Chicago River, and then jumping from the bridge down into the water.
I wonder what he was thinking in that minute when he was treading in place. Was he reconsidering his actions? Or was he reliving every awful memory that had driven him to this, reaffirming this decision, this crime? Whatever it was, the lungfuls of water he purposely started gulping down spoke louder than words his willingness to die.
Today was just another day, a continuation of my fairly mundane life, yet today was the day a man decided to end his. I can't close my eyes without seeing that splash and I can't let my mind wander without remembering that horrible feeling that settled in the pit of my stomach when the rescue boat came but the man never came back up.
I don't understand and I'm not sure I ever entirely will.
You're not dead! You don't need barriers like coffins to tell you what to do!
Does having a conscience really make me a good person, or is it just the final barrier to break down before I forfeit my right to respect?
Some people think with their heads and others with their hearts, some with a combination of both. My heart dictates my time-to-thought allocation but it's the thought which dictates my actions. This in mind, would it be worse for me to deny my heart free reign, or to let it wreck havoc upon the lives of those who captivate it? This is where the conscience comes in.
What is it, really, this little nagging voice which lives in the pit of my stomach? That static, white noise which crackles and whispers "You little fuck up, you stupid shit" when you double-cross it, but never purrs in contentment when you obey, merely lies in wait with poison claws, feeding you "what ifs". Is it the voice of reason or is it nothing more than the Flight to your heart's Fight?
Obviously, I'm having a conflict of interest, and currently it feels like the most important decision I will ever have to make. Moral, societal, personal, and potential barriers block off every single path I can envision which leaves me suspended in this awful fog where no option feels like the definitively right thing to do.
Is this all you have to say? This broken boy will hang on every word. You tell me that you need me while I slowly fall apart.
What if I was keeping a secret from you, would you like to know?
Would you like to know that I'm having second thoughts? That due to circumstances beyond either of our control I'm thinking of withdrawing? Or would ignorance be bliss?
Or what if you are the only thing I can think about, day and night and all points in between wakefullness and sleep? If every time you spoke to me, looked at me, my entire world stands still and crumbles the instant our connection is broken? Is that something you would like to hear?
How about if I feel that I'm better off without you? That you make my life impossibly complicated and I am and would be grateful if you just left me alone? Would that be too hard for you to accept?
Or do you just want to hear the good secrets? That every time I listen to Saves the Day I think of you? That when I try to describe the feeling of an instant connection, of people who are meant to be in each other's lives I tell a story about you? That when you look me in the eyes and smile I feel like I don't deserve you?
What if I had no secrets from you? If I told you everything I felt, thought, and contemplated in regard to you, the good and the bad. Would you still want to know me? Be with me? Hang out with me? Be a part of my life? Is the disclosure of private information an asset or a destructive force?
Be gentle with me, I'd never willingly do you harm
In the movies (not that movies are in any way related to reality) when a protagonist is in love with someone other than their current partner, we wait with bated breath for the lovers to end up together and give little thought to the parter left in the lurch. True love prevails, right?
I am never more profoundly sad during chick flicks than when the heorine leaves the lesser man at the altar. We all cheered when Mary Jane abandoned her wedding to find Peter Parker to tell him she is with him hell or high water, but what about her astronaut? He was a good man. He loved her, and he was good to her and for her.
The problem was that while Mary Jane loved him, he wasn't Peter, and never would be. She was just occupying herself with the astronaut so that she could forget that Peter stood her up during her plays, or that he kept denying his love for her. We applaud her decision because we know they are meant to be together. I applaud her decision because it takes a great amount of courage to realize what is best for yourself, and then to follow through, even if the decision will devestate someone.
Perhaps this is selfish, to sacrifice someone else's feelings in order to pursue your own happiness, but I think that we give so much of ourselves over to making other people happy that it is a greater act of bravery to make a conscious decision to hurt someone very badly. We sacrifice ourselves in so many things, most of the time in our relationships, to avoid hurting the other person.
We think we are being noble and brave, letting ourselves be unhappy for the benefit of others, but I think we forget that this is easy. Everyone does it, and we do it all the time. I bet if you examine your life that you can think of at least one person from whom you are keeping something, whether it is your true feelings about them or information you know would make your life easier but would hurt them if they knew. Now imagine how hard, how incredibly, perhaps impossibly hard it would be to break that. To tell him that you're using him, to tell her that you kissed her boyfriend, to let them know how no one actually cares. You can't, you won't, because it's easier to live in self-inficted misery.
Give some thought to the astronaut in your life, and try to do something about him before you're at the altar, okay?