Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You know it is Week 14 when...

-Half your lit analysis class converges simultaneously on the computer lab an hour before the final  paper is due.
- Actual studying mixed with the sound of furious typing has replaced the sleepers in the library.
-You are carting around every textbook you own, cause you need all of them every day. For reals.
- Your jump drive runs out of room for the first time ever.  
- Instead of avoiding homework with TV, you avoid your most foreboding homework with the least objectionable homework.

And the best of all:
- Your professor says things like, "Obvious answers are the only thing holding the world together right now!", possibly while banging his fists against his forehead.

In other news:
Some weird stuff happened today.
#1 I was trying to escape the maze of desks in Shakespeare class when I somehow fell into a desk and onto the floor at the same time. The whole class stopped talking and watched my fatigue/embarrassment induced laughing fit whilst I lay on the floor tangled in the bars.

#2 I came home from class to find CJ in my room, making my bed. That's right, that one boy who lives in the apartment over there. wonky.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thought Bubble

 Sitting complacent on her college bed raised on cinder blocks is a girl contemplating all the events of the day. Possible thought bubbles, including but not limited to (moose lake. please erin say you got that please):

-Why, oh why, does Internet Explorer still exist, when Firefox is obviously superior in every way?
-Why does my vacuum spew stuff instead of the other way around? I am not buying a new bag for that thing. It's not happening.
- I can't wait for morning so I can open the window and see my tree. What did I ever do to deserve that aspen tree outside my bedroom window? I couldn't possibly have done anything that good in three lifetimes. How aesthetically pleasing.
-All the books on my top bookshelf with the matching spines from the Barnes and Noble Classics collection are a sight for sore eyes. I think I might go smell them. Geek alarm.
- Someday I'm gonna have to stop thinking about Miranda and Ferdinand in scene 2.2 and actually write a paper on them. Something about how their subplot is the only one in the whole book not concerned with themes of subtlety and conspiracy and usurpation and they are an important contrast in their singular sincerity, demonstrated in lines 42-84. Or something.  Someday before 12:20 on Wednesday.
 -I finished Dracula today as I was walking home from school. It was the best walk home I ever had, and I probably should have paid attention to the muddy terrain instead of Mina Harker's scintillating story. But that's okay. Mud comes off.
- I hope Collin finishes Catching Fire soon. I want to talk to him about it. He seemed to think 70 pages was a big deal for one night. Is that real? Whose reading speed is skewed, mine or his? 
- Sometimes, Shakespeare writes weird stuff. Like Cymbeline. Did you know Cymbeline is the King in that story? Is it just me, or is Cymbeline kind of a girl name? Cue McCuskey in my head, talking about the instability and arbitrary nature of language and how Shakespeare is the precursor to Humpty Dumpty, making up words and saying they mean stuff. He is laughing in his grave right now, gleefully considering the thousands of students trying to figure out what all that stuff means. Kind of like Lewis Carrol and his precious Jabberwocky.
- You know what a vorpal blade is? Me neither. Cause it isn't even a thing.
- Lit analysis is so different from real life analysis. For example: Bram Stoker characterizes Jonathan Harker so as to make us think he is a schmuck. I see this. I laugh at the satire, at the cleverness of an Irishman poking fun at British Imperialism using subtle descriptions of train schedules and paprika chicken, and it is funny. But in real life, I think I would like Jonathan Harker. I might even respect him. Oh, education. How irrelevant you are to real life, at times.
- That turned into some really long thought bubbles, all leading back to literature. There is a distinct possibility I am an English Major and it is two weeks until finals.
- I think I'm gonna go analyze some Shakespeare now.


Sunday, November 27, 2011


Last year at good old Pineview, I picked up a lot of phrases from Katie the roommate of the century. And I still use them, out of habit and also love. One of these was "Champion". We call each other champions, we call ourselves champions, sometimes sarcastically but mostly when we've done something awesome.

 So today, I found a new blog. (I always get so excited when I find a new blog. It's one of my favorite things. I've been adding some to my sidebar.  Take a peek at the wonderfulness there.)  And in reading this blog, I found a phrase that made me think about this champion habit.
"It's the hard days that make you a champion." (stolen from someone named Molly who I don't know)

Truth. It is the hard days that make you a champion. And I think I figured something out. Even though I always wait with bated breath for the weekends and especially the weekends when I get to go home, a life full of weekends would suck. Happiness can't come from a life filled with self-indulgence. The things that make you a Champion are the times you tell yourself "no", and the times you make yourself read just one more chapter or write just one more paper or smile at just one more person or go to the freaking gym even though you are cold and soggy and there are friends reruns on.  Champion status is gained through eternal perspective, and the realization that who you are tomorrow is directly dependent on who you are today.

This reminder is well-timed, due to the approaching blow to sanity also knows as finals week. There are three weeks left in the semester.This week I have a final paper due in every class, a bunch of books to read, a schedule to work out for next semester, and a whole heap of work to do.

Goal. Make it through the hard days, and do it with a smile. Remind myself that I chose to be an English major, and that means that I do not get to complain about the seventeen pages of researched arguments due this Friday. Because I volunteered. And dilligence always counts for something. No matter how inadequate I feel, I am equal to the task. And when this semester is over and I come out fighting and triumphant, I will be a champion. A champion with bags under her eyes and a whole bunch of stuff left to do, but a champion nonetheless.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black plague uh I mean Friday

And people say that Christmas is overcommercialized and materialistic. Rubbish, I say. Thanksgiving has it trumped! aka I went black Friday shopping for my first time this year and all I have to say is my siblings are real lucky that dad and I love them enough to brave the dangerous grounds of Wal-Mart.

p.s. The longer I live the more I think that Wal-Mart is an excellent sample of the progress or deterioration of society as we know it. Today was no exception. That is all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Celebrating Mental Illness since 1926

This gives me hope for my own quirks and neuroticism. If these guys can pull it off and still be a treasured piece of childhood for the majority of the U.S. population, there is hope for us all.

Obsessive. Compulsive. Dilemma.

If only I was as cool as Monk and my D could stand for detective. But, in fulfilling the pop culture requirement which makes the D stand for a word that is not Disorder, Dilemma is quite appropriate.

I am sure you all know that I am an OCD person. A lot.

For example. You know that commercial for Lowe's or whatever where the family goes into their house and then the entire house comes apart piece by piece? I don't know why that's okay. At least they try to fix it when the house gets put back together at the end, I guess. but in the meantime, I cringe and cover my eyes and try to control my blood pressure while Stephanie laughs at me. 

I try to control it, or at least not let it control me. And sometimes I do pretty well, and I can handle the loose ends of this world which I am sure are sent merely to increase my blood pressure. But there are, after all, multiple solutions. And sometimes "handle" means "submit". Although, in favor off the more positive connotation, I like to call it "embrace".

embracing can be healthy right? my doctor told me that OCD people make the best doctors.
A good example of the OCD embracing is my neurotic pre-bed routine, which includes:

(in a very specific order)

-folding all laundry which has gradually been strewn about my half of the room through the course of the days activities.
- Choosing pajamas and carefully matching my socks to said pajamas. Not to each other, necessarily, but always to the pajamas.
- Pack my backpack with every possible necessary item for tomorrow's classes. Depending on the day, this can also include cleaning out my binder and sorting hair ties and chapsticks into separate pockets based on size and predicted use.
- Center my computer carefully on the desk. Dust off the picture frames.
- Go through my desk drawers, neatening as necessary.
- Strip all bedding off and remake the bed, which is necessary on a daily basis because my sheet only has elastic on one end. Does it rip off every night and drive me crazy? Absofreakinlutely.
- Select and fold tomorrow's clothes carefully.
- Sit at my computer and type out a to do list for the next day. This is absolutely essential in order to achieve any semblance of productivity. 
- read scriptures and set my three alarms, potentially triple checking, depending on how terrified I am that I won't wake up. Which only happened once, but still.

I have this rule for myself called "on nights when I have to be at work at six thirty the next morning, I must be in bed by one a.m." So basically, I make my bed every night at 12:45, even if I already did it.
And that is weird.

It isn't always this bad. But sometimes it is worse. Cause here's the thing. My OCD struggle increases in direct proportion to my stress level.  Aka, if I have to speak to my Shakespeare professor one on one any more, I will be back to vacuuming and pre-applying toothpaste before I go to bed. Which has happened. It always kicks in in the middle of the night when no one is gonna bother me. I'm pretty sure I drove my parents crazy in high school when, as the only alternative to an emotional breakdown, I would clean in the middle of the night. Once I was so upset and stressed that I vacuumed my blinds, did three loads of laundry, dusted my bookshelves and book spines, and cleaned out all the cupboards in my bathroom at two in the morning.

I can't decide if I need some serious help or if this productive-upset thing is really good for finals week. I just don't know. What do you think?

Really. Help me.

Monday, November 21, 2011


(name that Thanksgiving episode of Friends for sixteen points)

We are almost to Thanksgiving break, and I am starting to crack. At work tonight we were serving Thanksgiving food, which was real delicious and also some sick joke to torture me.  I just want to be done writing papers and researching Vampire lore and analyzing those terrible sonnets and reading endless pages of Shakespeare Quarterly. I will explode into a thousand pieces if I don't get out of Logan and play with my family soon. I am currently experiencing an intense need to take Matthew to see the horses, and make dad hug me whether he wants to or not, and sing with Justin, and  have mom yell at me to leave the kitchen on thanksgiving, and have sleepovers with Bekah, and breathe the fog free air of home once more.

Maybe if I stop watching all the Thanksgiving reruns of Friends, I won't feel so desperate for sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Only one more class and one more shift to go. And then I can blow this Popsicle stand. I think I can, I think I  can, I think I can....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In which I tell a lot of inside jokes

When life gets a little crazy, I read romance novels, and drink a whole lot of juice, and have hour long phone conversations and vent to my brother and ignore texts from that one boy who should read the break up rules and not text me three hours later, and avoid my boss who knows way too much about my life at the moment, and break down and get a cake in a cup on my way home from school out of sheer starvation/depression.

And then I tell myself to be a big kid and go to class. And sometimes, on days like today, being a big kid and going to class pays off. Because my professor is so awesome that in a class titled British Literary History of the Nineteenth Century, I actually laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. I basked in the literary genius that spouts from that man's mouth. And then I wrote down a bunch of class inside jokes that were just newly born. And, so you all can be jealous of my trash kicking english education/ literary inside joke indoctrination, I am going to post them. Laugh hard.

(Disclaimer: All of this will be a lot funnier if you read Lewis Carrol and Oscar Wilde. Which is something you should probably do anyway. ahem.)

" And that is the part when I realize he is mocking me, two hundred years in the future."

"And that's how I know that Lewis Carrol hates us all, especially me. Cause let's face it, its my job to be the biggest head Humpty Dumpty."

"See Mean Girls and see Babe. Those two movies together teach you everything you need to know about idiology and social structure! We shouldn't even be having class. Seriously."

" So, Humpty Dumpty is Regina George."

It's official. I am making my professor a Christmas present. AKA a t shirt that says Regina George on one side and "That's so fetch!" on the other.

To sum up: We have now begun to study Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic movement. And laughing hard. AKA McCuskey is bringing muffins to class on Friday and we are learning the art of Bunburying.  Also, please take 32467890 points if you know about Bunburying.

(Speaking of Oscar Wilde, shout out to Nate and good old Tville Theater. "Shut up, Jackie, I'm trying to have a tea party!")

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Remember how I have conversations with my favorite authors in my head? (Remember how that is kind of schizophrenic? Shut up!) All my literary conversating of late has been exchanged with none other than the man himself. That's right. The Bard is my new brain companion.

The thing about Shakespeare is that he is brilliant and also headache inducing. So I'm taking a class on him, and there are times when I am astounded by the brilliance of this man, like when I read the Crispian day speech from Henry V, or when I wish that Elsinore was real so I could go beg Horatio to marry me, or when I wish I was as clever and quick-witted as Beatrice. And then there are the times when I think I will put a fork in my eye* if I have to read any more footnotes and search for any more nature imagery because apparently "that is most often a significant move to represent the emotional state of the characters" or something.

Thankfully, I go to other classes too. Which means that in between Shakespeare plays I get to argue and analyze with Chopin, and Tennyson, and the Brownings, and Christina Rosetti ( who is a whole new barrel of unhealthy, by the way). And I can do all sorts of literature besides Shakespeare! My brain can rest! I can stop thinking about Caliban and trying to decide if I hate him or Prospero more!

But wait. Next week the Actors from the London Stage are coming to campus to perform The Tempest. I am required to go see it. In multiple classes. And the actors themselves are coming to do workshops on The Tempest in not just my Shakespeare class, but all of my English classes. And we are doing a bunch of assignments on The Tempest. Plural. Multiple. In every class. That's right. ALL OF THEM!

I love him. I love him. I will die if this class doesn't end soon, but I love him.
This might sound too forced to be convincing, huh? 

Also, I started another phase of  "I will drink less diet coke and be healthy." That may have been a badly timed effort, here in the yuckiest part of the semester, hence the increase of author schizophrenia.

* Parrish supporters, this one's for the good old days of fenestration and nefarious prevarication.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The sun is shining! The tank is clean!

Today is the best day ever. I take it back, this whole week is the best week ever.
Things are going way better than I planned.
On Monday I wrote a paper from start to finish in an hour and ten minutes and I was pretty sure it sucked. And then I went to meet with my professor about it today and he told me how great my thesis was and how I picked a really good passage to explicate and we had this conversation about Kate Chopin and the purpose of literature and the uses of ambiguity in narration and it was stuffed full of existentialism. And we all know how much I love existentialism.
I talked to my year old niece on the phone and she made cute noises and tried talking to me and then hung up on me cause " pressing buttons is her favorite pastime!" I miss those girls. I really hope she remembers who I am when they come visit.
It is autumn. Which is my second favorite season. Aka, I have been crunching in the leaves and loving life. Every day I walk to class and people diverge around the tree lined way and use the sidewalks instead and I walk right through the middle of it and wonder, "What are all these party poopers doing, walking on cement?"

Good stuff is going on around here. On a scale of Rascal Flatts to B.O.B., I am falling somewhere in the region of Sean Kingston. And that is pretty good, folks.