And Six Months Later…

And Six Months Later pic

In a course of six months, I’ve turned into the person I swore I’d never become. Just kidding. That’s a bit drastic, but it is certainly true that I’ve developed some degree of new habits and interests I thought I never would.

Pinkies Up, Buttercup. The Dowager Countess would be proud. Yes, I’m now one of those hipster “Coffee’s-too-mainstream,-I’ll-take-tea” drinkers. But not so hipster to the point that I absolutely must know if my tea bags are organic, what plant family it comes from, and whether or not that plant was rooted in a Portlandia-esque eco-friendly hippie commune.

Pretty Kind of Sad. In high school, I could not go a day without hearing “Did you watch Pretty Little Liars last night?” and “OMG, can you believe ‘A’ did that?” amongst the sophomore girls. At the time, I swore off what I saw as just another Gossip Girl-type drama. Then one boring week in August before moving out, curiosity – combined with a new slew of Netflix releases – got the better of me. Now I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I catch every episode on Hulu without fail. The show contains far more complicated plot twists, girl fights, screwed-up relationships, and cliff-hangers than I care to admit. Plus the four girls – who are indeed the epitome of prettiness and liars – seem to have quite a bit of pocket money to spend on frivolous wardrobe ensembles. Stilettos whilst running from the murderous ‘A’? Girl, please. But will I stop watching? Negativo. At least not until I figure out who ‘A’ is.

Getting Pinterested. I regularly refer to Pinterest as a “Girly Google.” If you need a recipe for gluten-free muffins filled with rainbows, or ideas for your prom dress made entirely out of organic materials, or how to make a hair bow in your hair using your own hair, Pinterest is there for you. Thanks to Pinterest, my unengaged roommate has all the details for her future wedding sorted out (love you Sierra!). As for me? I like on-the-cheap home decor ideas I’ll probably never use, and let’s be real, muffins are just awesome. Oh, and did you know you can make your own legit-looking Harry Potter wands using items from home? Accio Pinterest.

New Set of Wheels. As a pedestrian on foot, I dread oncoming bikers and boarders, many of whom just barely miss contact with me when speeding by. Then, as the title indicates, I got a new set of wheels. I left the Toyota Camry at home but took the scooter I hadn’t ridden since I was twelve with me. Indeed, as I roll along from class to class, weaving in and out between the walking peds, I’m another annoying potential accident waiting to happen.

Wrong Direction. When “What Makes You Beautiful” came out, I made my jibes at it for the same reasons Stephen Colbert did (“ ‘You don’t know you’re beautiful’ = great dating advice. Remember girls, low self-esteem: very attractive to men.”). But even then, I couldn’t deny its poppy tune. During midterms week once upon a November, I listened through the entire “Take Me Home” One Direction album. And liked it.

In another six months, I wonder how my tastes will change again. Maybe I’ll be an avid Instagramer. Learn to play my coffee-shop guitar tunes while longboarding. Develop a taste for walking everywhere barefoot. Watch a football game and enjoy it. Pffft. We all know that last one is the least likely to happen.

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The Valentine’s Edition

Valentines Edition

Valentine’s Day? Or what the more bitter singletons call Singles’ Awareness Day? Nay, I unofficially deem it Independents’ Day.

Not in an overbearing “I’m-a-strong-sassy-independent-chick-who-don’t-need-no-man” way, more like I don’t have any commitments to a loved one (or “liked one”?) this evening and so choose to spend it with my cats – er, I mean friends. But seriously, I actually do have plans tonight that require me to wear something other than athletic garb.

Go on, make your teasing quips of how yes, I’m single by choice, just not my choice. HAHA. This is only partially true (I hope?). Just means more chocolate for me, fool.

But snarky comments aside, I decided to tastefully compose yet another poem dedicated to the celebration of Valentine’s. Although, in the words of Sheldon Cooper, “Given that Saint Valentine was a third century Roman Priest who was stoned and beheaded, wouldn’t a more appropriate celebration of the evening be taking one steady gal to witness a brutal murder?” But let’s not get into technicalities.

“On Valentine’s”

Roses are red

Violets are blue

My mother sent me

Some heart-shaped bamboo.

I don’t know the difference

Between a peony and carnation

All I know is I don’t have to sit through

A Nicholas Sparks film adaptation,

Or share my bowl of popcorn

With a nonexistent male.

I’ve circled the 15th of February when

All the Toblerone goes on sale!

But I’m willing to share my wisdom

With my clueless committed lads

Gone astray by Vermont Teddy Bear

And 1-800 Pajama Gram ads.

Don’t buy your girl an iPhone

Equipped with a tracking app.

Remember that fragrance commercials

Are all full of crap.

To the girlfriends on their phones

Whining “No, you hang up first!”

Keep at it, my ladies and I will

Happily hit y’all with my purse.

But since it’s the day of love

I won’t resort to violence

So long as you and your boy come to

Some sort of conversation-ending alliance.

As for me, on Cupid’s fine holiday

I’ll don my semi-formal sweatpants.

And may or may not spend the evening

Filming my version of the Harlem Shake dance.

Reflecting at Red

Reflecting at Red

I miss having a car to drive – but not for the reasons you might think. Sure it’d be nice to be able cruise down the highway with my partners in crime… Although now that I think about it, being one of the few freshman with a car would do wonders for my social creds…But I’ve found that my most enjoyable joyriding experiences have been when I’m alone, driving the winding, vacant roads at evening time with only two voices to listen to – my own, and whatever oldies band is blaring on JACK FM.

Here, in the interior of what I refer to as my “time machine” I find it something of a sanctuary. Outside of it, I’m always on the go with somewhere to be and a long to-do list to execute. Yet ironically at the same time, I want to be able to press pause for awhile and just be.

I occasionally read the site Makes Me Think, which posts motivational links to read through and be inspired by. On one of the postings, a really great point was made –we want time to stop for long enough to take a breather, yet find ourselves getting frustrated at the littlest things that throw us off schedule. Why do we not, at the moments when we are deterred by a red light, an hour-long layover, or God forbid, a line at the DMV comparable to the line at Disneyland for the Matterhorn, consider those pausing periods allotted by fate?

Now that a little over 80 miles separates me and the time machine, I don’t have my old “stoplight moments.” Instead, I wait begrudgingly for the trolley to transport me from east to west campus – along with the rest of the school at the same trolley stop. When it comes to scoring a ride on the trolley, it’s a matter of every man for himself. And understandably, the general code of chivalry becomes irrelevant. “Ladies first?” How droll.

When I got out of my 4:10 class last week, my heart dropped as I watched one of the only trolleys that actually runs during the late afternoon pull away from the stop. I hadn’t run fast enough to catch it, and now had to weigh two possible options: 1) Wait 15 minutes for the next one, or 2) do some unofficial endurance training and walk to east campus with all my luggage on my person. Guess which option I chose.

On that particularly cold day, I situated myself into sunny spot on the concrete stairs awaiting hell on wheels. No really, it actually is hell on wheels. It’s like fitting two classrooms-worth of people into one enclosure and trying not to get sat on. Especially by the one dude wearing copious amounts of AXE. Not that that has ever happened to me…not at all.

Then I had a horrible yet oddly comforting realization, depending on how you look at it. My problems will always be waiting for me. No need to rush, they’re not going anywhere while I’m gone. See? Horrifying and reassuring. But at that moment, I could cloud-gaze and let that little voice in my head repeat to me things such as “It will all be irrelevant two years from now” and “When you die, you won’t be remembered for the things you didn’t do, but the things you did do.”

No, Bowling for Soup, you can’t “stop the world.” Or melt with me, for that matter. Nor can I stop the world. But when it stops me with a red light, I take it as permission from the universe to take two before going into a sprint again.

To Those Who Wander

To Those Who Wander pic

I was feeling a bit artsy this week and decided to dabble into some poetry since I haven’t for awhile. Also, I thought writing this would be easier/faster than writing a full-on page of my two-cents for this week…but I was wrong. It’s in Shakespearean sonnet structure, although any legit poets reading this are probably groaning at my inconsistent syllable structure (or lack thereof). On behalf of wanderers everywhere, I write this for us.

To Those Who Wander

To the one who sits in the back of the chapel

Questioning the whereabouts of prayers spoken

To the one who finds each door is locked and

Desperately searches for a window open

To those who journey with no destination

You are not lonely though you walk alone.

To the weary, the beaten, and the broken

Endlessly looking for a place to call home

To the one seeking the light of a streetlamp

Amidst the darkness of a harsh winter’s night

To those brave enough to keep fighting on

We go forward in pursuit of the ever-fading light.

Push onward despite the odds, despite all resistance –

And you will hear my voice echoing back to you in the distance.