Spokane is snowy. So snowy that you have to dodge the clumps of snow falling of tree branches. Snowy enough for all my neighbors to be using their little snow-spitting machines to clear their driveways, and for Whitworth to have sent the baby snow plows all over campus.
I was going to take pictures and put them here, but everyone knows what snow looks like. Picture it now:
That's what Spokane looks like.
My house has a full-sized Christmas tree up, and the smell of it goes all the way up to room. It has approximately thirteen ornaments on it, and it is beautiful
Today I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I have not put on for over a month because I would afraid that they would be tight, but they're feeling just fine.
I have a pair of snow boots that make me look like I have dwarf legs. But they are warm. I can step in any drift and not feel a thing. Ha!
Here's something about Spokane: It's weird. It has weird places in it, places that you look at in total bemusement because they're just so odd. But wonderful. Odd and wonderful both.
Example: Ceragem (not sir-ag-emm. Sarah-gem)
Basic Premise: Thermal bed store
Reason For Weirdness: Too many to count... But let's try anyway.
Where to start? Hmmm... well... hmmm. Okay. I think that best description would be that Ceragem is like a 70's infomercial brought to life.
Let's unpack that.
First of all, it's on Division. Second of all, it is run by a Middle-Eastern European/Swedish/Lithuanian couple who are incredibly friendly. Third of all, this is what you do at Ceragem: you lay on this massaging bed thing for fifteen minutes while you listen to a testimonial video about Ceragem has changed people's lives. The bed looks like this, except that they put crackly, doctor's office paper on top of it to keep things sanitary. Like THIS: As an added bonus, Ceragem has inspirational quotes painted in pastel blue letters on the walls. They also have a Swedish grandfather clock painted on the wall, but the face of the clock is not painted. IT'S REAL.(Swedish Grandfather Clock. Not painted)
Besides being almost literally the weirdest place ever, Ceragem delivers a great, free massage
Sometimes I love Spokane so much that I just want to give it a big, condescending hug.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this. It is very thoughtful of you, and I appreciate your input. It has recently come to my attention that my resting facial expression makes me look like I hate everybody. Or that I am sad. Really sad. Just to clarify, I am generally not sad. I am pretty happy a lot of the time. And I definitely don't hate you, unless you are legitimately, actually Satan (for purpose of discussion, let's assume that you are not. And if you are, why the f*&% are reading this?)
It has also come to my attention that I am mean to the opposite sex. So I apologize to you, Hypothetical Boy Who Is Reading This. I'm not actually mean; It's really that am afraid of you and of your YouTube references and every other form of boy-humor-that-I-don't-understand.
So Dear Reader, please accept this small token of my undying love and affection for you that remains strong, even if it seems to you that I literally cannot stand to be near you. I picked these especially because I know that they are your favorites. Very Affectionately Yours,
It's funny to think about the things that were happening a year ago. Funny good funny. Not bad funny.
A year ago, I was planning a kick-ass Christmas party with my friend Sam.
A year ago, I was completely stressed and depressed about being away from home on Thanksgiving. Also, I was intensely annoyed with Stephen #2 for being a man-whore (I can say that because it's truer than anything.)
A year ago, I was trying to figure out if I wanted to date someone who I was not attracted to and who was a little too interested in me (and who was Irish. I can only say that because he'll never read this.) It didn't take that long to figure out the answer to that....
I miss Derry, but I don't want to go back for a long time. It was the perfect place to be for three months, because there is no where that is better or easier or friendlier than Northern Ireland.
It is the best place to slack off in. It is definitely the best place to have weird run-ins with the opposite sex and not feel guilty at all It is the best place to meet tons of people who are unashamedly friendly. It is the best place to get early-holiday-enthusiastic. It is the best place to eat a really good toasted sandwich. It is the best place to take classes that are unrelated to anything that you will ever need to know about.(And a tangent) This is Peter Smith (in the cardigan. Duh.) I had a platonic crush on him. He speaks fluent Irish. I bet that he is at least 50. My last week in Derry, he took our entire Irish class (7 of us. All female) out to a Christmas lunch at one of the winebars on the river, and he paid for the majority of it. I loved him.
And he got 50 bonus points for looking like an elf.
This is a rant. I need to write it down, otherwise I am going to keep talking about it to anyone who stands still long enough to listen to me. And that is definitely not a good way to make friends. Because it's annoying as hell.
Once upon a time, I started my senior year of college, and it was great. I was in the musical. I had some friends. Good.
While being in the musical, I didn't pay attention to anything that was happening in any class that I was taking, and I LIKED it that way. It was lovely bliss.
Now the musical is over, and I have no choice but to pay attention, and this is what I now know:
I literally have no idea what is happening in any class that I am taking. All that I know is that I hate my Cryptography D-Group more than I thought was physically, emotionally, and spiritually possible, and that Comm. Ethics is the first comm. class that I have been at a total loss in. I literally feel like the stupidest person in the world on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I am actually not stupid, though. I think I am a sort of smart most of the time.
But at the same time, even while I am totally failing to complete anything on time or remotely well, I DON'T CARE. I don't.
I would much rather spend my time reading Harry Potter 7, and going to trivia, and carving pumpkins with my housemates, and making epic-ly good chili and going to Sharis late at night with Emily.
Halloween is coming. Again. As usual. I have a costume which I (and others) have spent a semi-ridiculous amount of money on, and I am literally going to wear it every chance that I get for the next two months.
Halloween makes me think of crushing on people and/or being crushed on, because this one time I was in a zombie play around Halloween time. And there was this boy in it. And we had to KISS. So ever since then, zombies have made me think of teen romance. And N. Ireland romance. Pretty much, zombies=love.
Our house if full of magazines, ranging from trashy, to pseudo-trashy, to not trashy at all. Our house is also freezing, as an unrelated sidenote, and usually smells like cookies or waffles or homemade chicken.
So anyway, I was reading the November 2009 "Cosmo," and I learned that the best way to get a person to like you is to use their name repeatedly. Interesting... (I also finally learned who Kim Kardashian actually is/why she is famous. Because I have really been wondering for the past year.)
And then I thought, "Hey! That is TRUE." And I thought about all the people that I know and whether or not I use their names a lot. Some yes, some no. And then I thought about people who use my name and realized that I'M SURE it's because they want me to like them. And then I thought about people who's names I don't know but probably should by this point. Like almost everyone who works in the library who is not a student. There are at least five older/middle-aged women who work here, who all have names like "Pat" or "Deb," and I still do not to this day, know who any of them are. I obviously recognize that they are different people, but I don't know which names go with which ladies or what any of their jobs are.
BAD. That is bad.
And then I thought about this other person that works in the library with me (student) who I have been indtroduced to, oh let's say, ten times. He has literally asked me my name at least ten times. And everytime he asks my name again, I want to punch him in the nose, and yell, "Let's at least pretend that you know my name!"
But I don't.
And then I thought of this other library worker whose name I use all the time. All the TiMeee.
The Whitworth Libary uses that Library of Congress shelving system. That means that different genres of book are given different alphabetical codes. For example, most literature is in the "PS" section. I enjoy shelving the PS section. I do not enjoy shelving the BS section(theology) and here's why:
Okay, let's break this down. Theologoy majors study Jesus, right? Others things too, I'm sure, but definitely Jesus. Jesus is all about loving your neighbor, and let's say (for arguments sake) that "neighbor"="everyone. Including me, the Library Circulation Desk employee whose job it is to shelve books after people turn them in. Well, theology majors, I'm pretty sure that Jesus would not leave books ALL OVER THE SHELVES. ALL THE TIME. I'm pretty sure. But don't quote me on that.
Denmark is one of the happiest country in the world. Did you know that? This Danish professor researched the reason why Danes are happy and this is what he said (I didn't write this part, just so you know. I copied it from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/14/60minutes/main3833797.shtml):
They’re so glum and get happy when things turn out not quite as badly as they expected. "And I was thinking about, What if it was opposite? That Denmark made the worst, number 20, and another country was number one. I'm pretty sure the Danish television would have said, 'Well, number 20's not too bad. You know it's still in the top 25, that's not so bad,'" he says.
History may also play a role in the country's culture of low expectations. If you go to the government's own Web site, it proudly proclaims “the present configuration of the country is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land, surrenders and lost battles."
Hhahaaaa! Isn't that great? And also a little ironic and sad, but mostly just great.
So, I was thinking about this. And I realized that that has been my problem of late. High expectation. Geez, what's my problem? I should never expect anything good to happen to me. Now I feel marginally better about my summer.
Having said that, I can all of a sudden think of a handful of of little moments that were kind of great.
-I only have two and a half days of work left. YES. That is great.
-I've been teaching "The Tempest" all summer. This is the fourth time. This session, the class consists of 19 girls, who are all about 14. And 1 boy. And every day when I get to to class, these girls will crowd around me and tell me that they like my outfit. Every day. I am the most popular kid in town.
-A maybe-homeless man saw me sitting on a bench in the park, reading. And he said, "You're so pretty. If I was half my age, I would ask you on a date." It was not creepy, but actually kind of sweet.
-My lovely friend Emily I. M. visited me, and we had a glorious weekend, doing very bad karaoke (me) and drinking fantastic I.P.A. at the Brewers Fest and getting tipsy(both of us).
-My hair became red.
-I made a giraffe cake and left it on Jesca's porch in the dead of night.
-We've had sibling "True Blood" night every single Sunday since the new season has started.
-Right now, as I am writing this, there are pre-teens in the classroom next door singing Queen with piano accompaniment.
This summer has been...fine. Fine. Not great, not bad. Just sort of unsatisfying. Here's an analogy for you (metaphor? I can never tell...) Summer 2010 has been like being really, really hungry and all that you want to do is eat, eat, eat. But when you finally get to eat, you eat the first thing that you see (probably something weird because there is nothing left in the fridge since you haven't gone shopping for three weeks. Something like a tortilla with peanut butter and cinnamon on it) instead of filling you up and putting you into a good-food coma, you still feel hungry. Cause you didn't eat the right thing. You still want something else, something satisfying, even though, technically, you're not hungry anymore.
I need to leave. I need to stop being in my parent's house because it reverts me back to age 14 which is not an age I ever want to be again. It makes me (dare I say it?) bitchy. It makes me want to get in the car and turn on the radio and sing while I drive forever without telling anyone where I'm going.
It's like all summer, I've been waiting for something, which has caused time to go quickly without me noticing or doing anything to stop it.
There weren't very many hot, hot nights to sit outside in with my sister, eating sushi. I only went to the park once all summer. I didn't go to the library nearly enough.
This post is a bit of a downer. Sorry about that...Here's a happy picture to lighten the mood! (WOW. Look at how happy that cat is! That cat is ridiculously happy. I'm pretty sure it is impossible to feel down while looking at this picture. Good thing we got that taken care of.)
Don't get me wrong. Good things have happened. Some very good things in fact. Good things, good things. But all in all, I'm ready to leave and go to school, even though Portland is infinitely cooler than Spokane and always will be.
Fact: My nose has very little cartilage in it. I can squish it almost completely flat against my face. Well, not completely. Like, half flat. But STILL. It's pretty squishy. But you wouldn't know that by looking. You'd have to actually push on it (you can try it, if you ask me really nice. But you should just take my word on this.)
Fact: If I smile on purpose for a picture, 85% of the time, I will hate it. This is why I generally make a face on purpose, or just open my eyes realllly wide, because then if the picture is bad, I will know it is because I was making a face. Because it's just plain depressing when you actually try to look good in a picture, and then you try, and try, and try. And it just doesn't happen.
Theory/Discovery: The reason (partly) for my non-photogenicness-when-I-am-actually-trying is my squishy nose. I just never know what it's going to do in the picture. Is it going to crinkle? Is it going to look straight (cause sometimes it does)? Is it going to flatten out into an amorphous blob that covers my entire face the minute that the picture is snapped? I just don't know. Smiling makes it do funny things.
This is a serious problem.
But now that I've worked it out in my blog, I feel better.
My adolescence has mentally caught up with me, 8-10 years after it should have been here. At age 13, most girls flirt with boys and read "Seventeen" and swear and drink illegally (maybe) and get snarky and emotional towards everyone who comes in contact with them. When I was 13, I was ridiculously tall for my age and spent most of my time planning how to run away from my middle school with my friend Ashley. I secretly pined for a boy who sat behind me in math and was outgoing and popular and never, ever noticed me. That pattern continued for the next oh, six years maybe seven.
But now, NOW, at age almost 22, I finally am an actualized teenager. All the things that should have happened to me then are cropping up now, but I'm guessing that they are going to be more fun at this stage of my life than they ever would have been then. I ran into my middle school crush a couple weeks ago, and he semi checked me out, and I thought "he's not that cute. Actually, kind of funny looking." And that made me feel awesome.
Lately, I've been reading all my old Louis Sachar books (I don't care that he's a children's author! I love him) and thinking, "wow, I can really relate to this situation!" I've been having really strong urges to swear at people. A lot. And I never swear (although I secretly want to. I'm just not sure if I can pull it off without looking like a newbie.) Wait, yes I can. Dammit, dammit, fuck, fuck, fuck. There. That felt good. Those are the only swear words that I care about.
I'm getting an overwhelming urge to subscribe to "Cosmo." I like Lady GaGa, and if Katy Perry comes on the radio, I don't switch the station.
Joseph-Gordon Levitt is adorable. He has style. I want to marry him. Maybe I'll write him a fan letter and dot all the "i"s in it with little hearts.
I've decided that I either want to be a Blazer dancer or one of those people who does the voices for animated character when I grow up.
But, hey. I'm an adult now. Officially. SO if I want to revert to childhood, I'll do it, dammit. And I'll like it!
I have windows in my bedroom. Like most people. I like to sleep with them open, so I can listen to crickets and cars and feel a nice breeze on my face.
Here's what I DON'T like: my (expletive)stupid-face neighbor who cuts down trees with an (expletive) CHAINSAW at (expletive) 7:30 A.M.
I was lying in bed. It was morning. I was tired.
So I was lying there, almost asleep, in my cottony sheets and down comforter. It was a lovely, lovely feeling.
AND THEN, the loudest chainsaw in the entire world started to rev in the house next to me.
At first, I was pretty sure that it would stop (because, really, what needs to be cut down when it's barely light outside yet? Tell me, I dare you). After about a minute it did, and I was allllmoost asleep...
NO, NO I WASN'T, because it started up again. And again and again and again for the next two hours, and I literally almost got out of bed, stood in the middle of my backyard, and yelled "turn off you f****** chainsaw!" at the top of my lungs.
But I didn't. It wouldn't have done any good, and I didn't want to mess with someone holding a chainsaw.
Eating in the park is a great idea in theory. Sometimes in real life, but mostly in theory. There's a park right by where I work, and about every other day at 1ish o'clock, I will sprint there as quickly as possible so as to utilize as much of my 25 minute lunch break as I can.
If I don't go to the park, the odds are quite high that I will spend lunch time playing Connect Four with small children and while sitting on a robin-egg blue, child-sized bench. It is also likely that there will be a sixteen-year old boy sitting way too close to me and breathing on my arm. Loudly and through his mouth.
Tangent: I hate bodily noises. Any noises, not just gross ones. I hate coughing. I hate sneezing. I hate, hate, HATE really audible chewing. And mouth breathing. Especially when the mouth-breather is breathing on my upper arm. Frankly, that's just creepy. End tangent.
The problem with eating at the park is that it is full of bugs and wet grass, and lots and lots of homeless men trying to make conversation (not necessarily with me. With anyone, really). The problem with the park is that my nectarine drips down my arm, and I have no napkin. The problem with the park is that there is no comfortable way to sit in the grass, eat multiple pieces of fruit sans napkin, drink a carbonated beverage, and read a book all at the same time and all within a twenty minute time frame (I need the extra five for the sprint back to work.)
When I was in Jr. High, we used to have to run a mile in P.E. every week. And it was a big deal. A BIG deal. So big, that it was commonly referred to as "THE MILE." In quotes and capitalized.
Once a week, I would dread it. I dreaded putting on my textured-polyester gym shorts, and my unwashed P.E. shirt, and my knock-off, Payless running shoes (which were always worn without socks, because honestly, who has time for socks?) which smelled like corn chips. I dreaded the rubbery track smell, and I dreaded being the very, very last person to finish. Which I inevitably was because I can't run. I. Can't. Run.
I wish I could. That sure sounds nice.
During the week leading up to "THE MILE" I would sometimes dream about running it. True story. I would dream that I ran it effortlessly and never ran out of breath and that the running would fly by in an instant.
This never happened in real life.
So, now I do other stuff to keep from getting fat. Like walking (this makes me sound like an old person. I know it does, but I accept that! I LIKE to WALK, okay?) and dance classes.
Dance is one of those things that I have a tiny bit of natural talent in, but not enough talent to be really good at it. I'm slightly above average. But not much. It's super fun, though, so I do it.
What I'm trying to say here is that I've discovered a fantastic dance studio, that I am telling every person I meet about because I like it so much. It's in the Industrial District right underneath the Hawthorne Bridge, and the walls are exposed brick adorned with dance-centric graffiti. They offer a burlesque class. I love it more than anything. If there was a dance that I was naturally gifted in, it would be burlesque (I'm not sure that I should be saying this. Is it acceptable to be good at this if one has no intention of being an exotic dancer? Cause I DON'T want to be that.)
My love was confirmed when I discovered that the instructors all call Christina Aguilera just "Christina." I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but I'm pretty sure it means awesome.
How did John Tesh get a radio show? That's what I want to know. Because I'm pretty sure that any other person in the world could be on the radio and be about ten thousand times less annoying than he is.
Why is he so obnoxious? Is it because he constantly tells me not to eat delicious, fatty foods because they are high in trans fat and refined sugar, and that I should instead snack on baby carrots? Well guesss what, John Tesh? I ALREADY KNOW THAT. I don't need you to tell me that. If I want to eat a chocolate croissant, I'M GOING TO EAT IT. I'm not going to replace it with a high fiber vegetable. Because that totally defeats the purpose.
Or is it because he tells me that eight hours of sleep is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Oh wait, I ALREADY KNOW THAT. And I already know that exercising regularly is a good idea. Completely Sedentary Life=A Bad Idea. I KNOW THAT, JOHN TESH.
And so, the question remains: how on earth did this man get a radio show and become a nationally recognized figure? How?? HOW??? Why is it that a man who gives me "intelligence for my life" gives the most obvious, idiot-proof advice ever?
I DON'T KNOW.
Oh, and he looks like a dumb-face. That's a picture of him. See what I mean?
I am a dog-sitter. Here's what that entails: Every morning, I wake up bright and early and drive my mom to school so that I can have the car. Then I drive the longest way possible to the Eastside, because I refuse to drive on the freeway. Once there, I sit with the dog.
It is quite possible the best and easiest temporary job in the world. I literally, in every sense of the word, dog sit. The dog and I spend most of our day sitting on the ridiculously comfortable bed-couch combo and watching "True Blood," which is very, very addictive. Actually, I sit while he sleeps on my feet in fetal position (Feet-al position! Hahaha! Get it? Sorry. Unintentional pun.)
He is the perfect dog because he spends his time sleeping, lolloping around the yard, not barking, not being smelly (most of the time), and being pretty adorable in general. Really, the only kind of dog that I could spend long periods of time with. He doesn't do anything. It is great.
Or, when it is not raining, I put him on his leash, and together we explore and make new friends. This has lead me to discover one of life's great truths: Everyone wants to pet puppies. Even if they don't actually do it, they still want to. Which is why Judah (that's the puppy) and I make new friends. I merely have to take him somewhere and then sit down with him and people will flock to us! Because he is cute. And sometimes tries to climb in to my lap. Or puts his head on my knee. And basically is the most pet-able thing anywhere.
I think that a good idea would be for somebody to start a puppy dating service. They could have a whole bunch of really nice, non-smelly dogs, that single people could take on walks so as to meet people of the opposite sex. Because if you're walking a puppy, SOMEONE is going to pet it. And the odds are, eventually, that someone is going to be single and of the opposite sex. I think this is a good idea.
Or even not a dating service. Just a meeting-people service. Yeah, that would definitely work too.
Let's pretend that something magical has happened. Instead of Christmas falling on December 25th, it is now on June 1. Which would make today... Christmas! Woohoo! Christmas Magic! Let's also pretend that instead of Santa bringing elf-made toys to small children, he brings happy circumstances and exciting happenings to adults (or, kind-of-adults). Alright. That's now the case.
This means that it is time for a Christmas list! Actually, way past time, since today is, technically, already Christmas. But Santa is jolly and loveable and not-picky about punctuality, so he won't mind that my list is late.
Christmas List (in no particular order)
-Better Weather This weather is pretty bad. Seriously, pretty bad. I don't know what else to say about it. So my Christmas wish is that it will start being beautiful and sunny, so that I will have motivation to do something productive and energizing as a direct result of the weather.
-Hang-Outable, Home-from school, not-busy Friends Come on Public Schools! Be done! You can do it! Because although I love my parents, and I think that they are great, and we have fun times, I can only spend so much time with them before I feel like screaming and throwing pillows and kicking things. This is not their fault.
-Attention Okay, okay. Male Attention. Yes, I said it. Specifically... actually, no. Never mind.
-Intelligent Outlet I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that my IQ has dropped 20 points in the past two weeks. "Sex and the City" will do that to you. I'm trying to counter it by watching Academy Award nominated films, but I don't think it's working... So, dear Santa, please bring me someone intelligent who wants to discuss Kant. Or anyone, really. It doesn't have to be Kant. I'm not picky.
-Exciting Thing This is a broad wish. This exciting thing could be anything! Maybe like a hot air balloon ride. Or a chance meeting with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Or, ANTHING that could possibly be interesting, unusual, or out of the norm. Because if something interesting doesn't happen (soon), I'm going to go insane. Yep, I am . Not an exaggeration.
At Downtown Stumptown: It's Rose Festival time. There are people walking by. Specifically, there are little black girls holding giant, purple inflatable hammers, and babies, and lots and lots of couples. Most of the couples are holding pink Voodoo Donut boxes.
Two such couples are seated outside of Stumptown, one set in front of each window. Each at a black metal table with a "Please, No Smoking" plaque. Each with a donut box.
One couple is Asian. They have four donuts in their donut box: two bacon maple bars, a Blood-Filled Voodoo, and something with Cocoa Puffs and peanut butter on it.
The man takes a picture of the woman, as she smiles and holds up the pink box. The woman takes a picture of the man, as she smiles and holds up the pink box. They take out a bacon maple bar. Just one, not two. The man takes a picture of the women biting into it. The woman takes a picture of the man biting into it. Back and forth, back and forth.
They share the same donut, one bite each. Pictures, pictures, pictures.
One donut down.
Out comes the Blood-Filled Voodoo. Man holds it: picture. Woman holds it: picture. One of its arms is dangling off. That is the first part eaten.
Before they have a chance to keep eating the donut man, Couple #2 (Not Asian) comes over. A conversation is held, most likely along the lines of, "Matching donuts!"
Couple #2 (Not Asian) sure likes to talk. If he were an animal, he would be a greyhound. She would be a rabbit.
The Donut Man (now down one arm) rests on the pink box.
Couple #2 (Not Asian) talks and talks and talks.
The picture takers nod politely. They smile. They nod. All that they really want to do is eat their donut, before his orange-frosting eyes begin to melt into his chocolate-frosting body.
Finally, FINALLY, Couple #2 (Not Asian) leaves with backwards smiles.
The picture takers look at each other. The woman picks up the donut; the man picks up the camera. Bite: picture. Etc, etc.. etc.
The other day, Jesca and I were talking about writing blogs (Golly, we're so HIP), and I was like "I only write on mine when I don't have enough to do" and she was like "Me too!"
So the moral of that story is that I currently do not have enough to do. The last month of school was spent in productivity and awesomeness; the last two weeks have been spent in non-productivity and awesomeness. The entire purpose of this entry is to talk about how non-productive I have been. SO here it goes:
-Yesterday, I sat in the red armchair in the living room and watched "Sex and the City" for six hours. "Sex and the City" is a completely mindless, fluffy, shallow show, which I happen to enjoy a lot. I've lately realized that being indie and artsy and deep is highly overrated.
-I took the bus downtown and walked around. I went to St. Honore and got a latte and a bag of delicious sugary egg puffs, and I sat and read a book. Then I wandered in Powells, bought books that were on sale, and got complimented on my outfit by the homeless girl on Burnside. All in all, a good day.
-I ate at least one meal out every single day last week. Consequently, I spent a big chunk of money. But I had fun with people, so I don't feel bad, and I got paid today, so things are excellent.
-Made a dinner for my parents and did the dishes. I have no car, and they have two cars, so we have a deal: I make dinner three nights a week and do the dishes, and I can use the car whenever I want and do not have to pay for gas. This is good because a.) I have spent lots of money (as previously stated..) and b.) Cooking gives me something to do that is not "Sex and the City."
-Read books. Generally, I try to go halfsies in my reading; half of the books are purely for entertainments, while the other half is of the mind-improving, literary sort. My balance has been pretty good so far.
Other things have also happened, but I don't feel like writing about them. So I won't.
You know what's awkward? When someone walks right behind you for a semi-long period of time. Whenever this happens to me, I always: a. speed up or b. cross to the other side of the road. Because otherwise it's just WEIRD. That person has no earthly reason to be walking directly behind you. It seems like common courtesy for them to slow down or something. It's like when you're in a completely empty public bathroom. Completely empty. And someone comes in, and they go into the stall right next to you. RIGHT next to you. Out of the twenty odd stalls, why must they pick the one that makes things awkward?
Today I walked to Multnomah (in between rainstorms) and did some stuff and drank some coffee. I drank coffee for a long time, because the refills were free, and there was a minor monsoon going on. But finally, it stopped
On the way back home, I started inadvertantly following this guy. He was walking, and I was walking, and we were going exactly the same way, even though there are probably fifteen different routes through Gabriel Park that we could have been taking. But I had a way in mind. An he obviously had the same way in mind.
The result: I walked the entire way back behind this man. Maybe about twenty feet behind him, but still. Obviously following.
I hate it when I am the one that makes things awkward.
For the first time ever, I like college. A lot. Maybe it happened four semesters too late, but still... it happened.
After I came back from Ireland, Mums tried to pep me up into thinking that this was going to be my best semester ever, and that everything was going to be different and great and fantastic, and that I wouldn't spend three months of the year being depressed because it was snowing in the middle of April.
I mildly believed this would be so. Because last spring semester was soooo depressing, that really, this spring had to be better, because if it wasn't, I would probably be forced to throw myself off of a tall building, just to make things interesting. I didn't want to do that at all. Not even a tiny bit.
So, here I am on, on the second to the last night of school, making a list of some reasons (in no particular order) why this semester was really, really, really awesome.
Ummmm.... yeah, so, uh, here it is:
- A Friend (or several) Yes, I have a friend. I'm not going to say who it is, because I prefer to keep this blog impersonal and weird, but it is true. I have a friend. Actually, several. Wow! This is much more exciting than it sounds when I write it here.
-Opportunities to Dress Up In an elf/wood nymph/Great Fairy of Power from "Zelda: Ocarina of Time" costume (made from scratch! Obviously...) In a crazyily sequined, lime green, ex-show-choir-turned dance dress. In my Junior Prom dress.
-Karaoke Is Awesome.
-Super Comm. Classes With the exception of Organizational Comm. (Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!), they were more fun that any other classes that I have taken at school. For many reasons...
-Emi Time Emi! I'm writing about you in my blog! Because I know that you read it, and because I love you, and I think you are the coolest, ever. And because you visited my in Spokane, and it was SUPES FUN.
-Being Told That I Look Like Zooey Deschanel More Than Once Self-explanatory. Maybe? I'm just going to pretend that this is true.
I don't like the Twilight books. The writing is horrible, and anyone who can seriously compare them to Harry Potter is sadly, sadly mistaken. J.K. Rowling>>>>>Stephanie Myer.
That being said, the movies are not terrible. Except the first one. So, correction; the second movie is not terrible. I saw it twice (I was in N. Ireland though, so that makes a difference. There are not many things to do in Derry besides going to movies. And going to pubs. Yeah, those are really your only options.)
Usually, I frown upon movies based on books. They never live up. But since Twilight is so bad anyway, they didn't have much to lose when they made the movies! Bonus!
Personally, here's why I think that Jacob is better: he's abnormally warm. What a great quality for a man to have! Perpetual warmth!
This is attractive to me because I am almost always chilly. Last summer, we had a week of 100+ degree weather, and it didn't even faze me. While my dad was obsessively nailing sleeping bags over our sliding glass doors in order to keep the heat from getting in, I was rejoicing in the fact that I didn't need to have my coat on when I went out at night. There was not even a smidgen of a chance that I would need it. 106 degrees will do that to you.
But other than that time, I am usually cold. And when I am cold, it takes me a loooonngg time to get warm. This is the reason that I always have to take a shower right before I go to bed; it warms me up so that I can go to sleep. Otherwise I will lay there for an hour, wishing that my feet would get warm.
So, I'm casting my vote for Jacob. Even though he is a werewolf and has some serious authority issues. Warmth trumps everything.
You know when something weird happens? And half of you is like, "what just happened?" and the other half of you is like, "I need to go tell someone about this right now, because it was SO WEIRD."
That happens to me a lot.
That's probably why I have this blog. Because now when weird things happen, I can write about them, just in case there isn't anyone around to tell.
Ideally, there would always be someone with me who completely understood my sense of humor and who could appreciate the exact same weird situations that I do. But that doesn't usually happen. Sometimes it does, though! Like on Wednesday, I was leaving choir with my friend, and we saw this trash can shaking back and forth. Shaking, yes that's right. Shaking. And then... A squirrel leaped (leaped!) from the trash can clutching a piece of half eaten pizza in its squirrel jaw! And it was terrifying. We laughed for three minutes straight.
Other times, there is no one around. So I write about it. Or, I don't write about it. Things are weird lately.
Old men talk to me a lot. In the grocery store, in coffee shops, at the bus station... Everywhere. Lately:
I am sitting in Taste in downtown Spokane, waiting to board my Greyhound bus to Portland. As per usual, I have a book ("Invisible Man" for my lit class). I am reading it peacefully, sitting on one of those tall stools that line the window counters, eating my almond croissant and drinking coffee from a burnt-orange mug. Also watching the construction workers jackhammer a big hole in the street.
Two oldish men walk in, and one of them instantly comes over to men and asks me what I'm reading (Tangent: I really dislike being asked what I'm reading. Unless it's something really intelligent and literary. Which, 95% of the time, it is not). I told him, and then he told me that it is "great to see young people reading. Keep up the good work, young lady!" And we had a lovely little conversation.
I am walking into Rocket Bakery (the Sprague one). I am wearing boots that, I'll admit it, look like they should be worn by a Stormtrooper. Yes, they are a bit eye-catching (because, as I said, they look like they should be worn by a STORMTROOPER. Or a go-go dancer. Both good things...) Before I can walk through the door, this old man stops me and comments on my boots. But he doesn't stop there. He follows me back into the bakery and then asks the girl at the counter what she notices about me.
"Ummm... nothing?" she says.
"Her boots! Her boots!" says the old man gleefully.
The barista girl and I both titter awkwardly. And then the he leaves.
Yesterday I went for a walk in the park. The hills were covered in tiny daisies. People were riding bikes. Children were swinging.
I walked and swung my arms and rejoiced in the fact that I was wearing short sleeves for the first time in six plus months.
Spring tends to be an awkward season. It is the season that is going through puberty. It has its moments, but most of the time you're just like, "Whatcha doin', Spring?! Get with the program and stop being such a freak!"
Above all else, I dread spring in Spokane. It is disgusting. It makes me want to throw myself off the edge of a tall building sans parachute. Grey, lumpy, half-melted snow. Drizzly, spitting rain storms. Tamped down, dead yellow grass that has not seen the light of day since mid-November.
However, this year the Spokane has decided to age gracefully. Sunny days. No snow. Even (!) flowers.
For the first time in my college life, the thought of going back to school after Spring Break doesn't fill me with dread. It's a nice change. Really, really nice.
I like to bake things. Pretty thing. And, if you want to get really specific, I like to bake cakes in funny shapes. Like elephant cakes. And bunny cakes. And cakes that are supposed to look like my brother's face. Cake baking makes me happy. It's soothing. It gives me an excuse to melt several thousand calories worth of chocolate with several hundred calories of butter. It's a sensual experience.
Speaking of Josh (a.k.a. my brother), he was the first person that I ever baked an animal cake for. (He was the origin! WTG, Josh! You are neat.) It happened like this: he had moved out of the parent's basement, and I missed him. So, I decided to bake him a cake and leave it on his front porch (because it's way more fun to do it secretively.)
I baked a cake. I looked at it. It wasn't very interesting to look at. But then, I had an amazing realization, "Hey," I thought, "I'm going to make this cake in the shape of a bunny head! A bunny cake is approximately 1000 times funnier than a non-bunny cake."
You see, my mom has these little cards that show you how to cut layer cakes in special ways, so that when you put them together, they make animal shapes.
I found the bunny card. I cut the cake. I iced it in luscious, hand-made chocolate icing. And then I got really creative, and by the time I was done, it looked like a bunny. Like a real, live, living, breathing, hopping, reproducing bunny. It was a miracle.
After that, I've never gone back to normal cakes. Why would I? It was a life-changing experience.
Since that first bunny cake, I've made all sorts of shapes. Really, if anyone gives me any reason, however obscure (or if they don't give me a reason), I will make them a cake in the shape of their choice (but preferably an animal. For some reason, animal cakes are the funniest.)
Do you ever get waved at by people that you don't know? This has been happening to me lately... Like today, I was walking back to my house, and a boy on a bike waved at me from across the road and said something that sounded like "Hey, Jorge!" Yep, that's what it sounded like. Maybe that's what he actually said, but I guess I'll never know.
In response, I gave him a weird, eyebrow-raise smile.
I looked awkward.
Also today, I was sitting at my desk (which is right in front of the windows) watching a man peddle his bike down our impossibly pot-holed street.
"Where on earth is that man going?" thought I, "this is road doesn't go anywhere except to our house."
That's where he was going. Our house (it's strange to be sitting right in front of my bedroom window and watch people walk up the stairs to come and knock on the door. I mean, they can obviously see me sitting there. I can see them. I feel like we should wave at each other or smile or something.)
So this crazy-looking biker man reached our front door to ask me if "Katie Wendell (Walker? Wilson?) lived there. I said no (because she doesn't), and then he left, and I locked the dead bolt.
Thinking about riding in cars makes me nervous. I don't get nervous while actually in the car, but contemplating car trips makes me feel unpleasant. Especially long trips made in small cars. Buses, on the other hand, make me feel quite safe. They're big. If a bus and a car get into a fistfight, the bus will win every time! I find this thought comforting (at least when I am on the bus. Perhaps not so much when I'm in the car.)
My belief in bus safety has been pretty unshakable until last weekend. And boy oh boy, did it shake.
Here's the thing: I had a three day weekend. Sweet! So, I decided to bus it to Seattle to visit my lovely and highly entertaining Work Friends. Good plan.
It was the first time that I had ever taken Greyhound (actually, it wasn't even Greyhound. It was a knock-off bus company), so I was excited. Partly because I love public transport (it's full of crazies! In a fun way!) and partly because I love not having to drive places myself. But THEN, I found out that the crazies are not the passengers on the bus. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. They are the drivers on the bus. Example:
The first thing that the Spokane to Seattle bus driver (let's call him "Walt") said when he entered the vehicle was, "welcome to my piece of crap," and then he got off and went to harass an innocent looking passenger who was trying to find his way Pasco.
The boy reading "Dune" and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.
Walt had some issues. Perhaps Terettes Syndrome? It came out often on the drive. And he did not believe in heat, even when we were driving through the ice-covered mountain on a road surrounded by four-foot high snow walls.
When we got to Everett, he spent a full fifteen minutes digging through his bag and shouting "damn!" after every fourth word. Then he went outside and did it some more.
Grocery shopping without a car is sometimes great. I like getting out my burlap, ladybug-graphiced, Northern Ireland Tesco bags, walking to Rosauers and filling them with groceries. The problem, occasionally, is that I am over-eager in my grocery shopping, and I cram so much stuff in them that I can hardly carry them back. Especially fruit. I do love my fruit.
This method of shopping makes me feel like I am French. Apparently, that's how they do it over there. So I've heard.
Minus the Tesco bags, of course.
On Saturday, I became especially inspired (because the day was so gorgeous), and I decided to walk to Winco and spend my five remaining dollars of grocery money on apples and tangelos and cucumbers. When I was waiting in line to pay, the nice man behind me told me go ahead, because I had only my four bags of produce (and a gummy Easter Bunny sucker), and he had a cart full of ground beef and Corona and Raisin Bran.
I hadn't planned far enough ahead to bring my Tesco bags (it does require some planning), so I stuffed all my produce in my book bag, rather than take the plastic bags (I'm earth-friendly! See?). It all fit, except for the romaine. So, the head of lettuce bobbed happily over the rim of my bag all they way back to my house, constantly on the verge of falling out but never quite doing it.
It will be a sad day when books disappear. Kindles are cool and everything, but really, nothing beats a book. Plus, if books are gone, what will happen to the libraries?
The death of libraries would be a tragedy.
I love libraries. Love, love, love them. I especially love the Spokane library that is right by Whitworth. It is a grey, painted, 80s-esque building halfway down Hawthorne Road. It is open every day of the week. On Sundays, people line up in the lobby of the library and wait for the door to open at 1 o'clock. It's a beautiful thing. I occasionally see nuns there. Not just any nuns. Blue-habited nuns riding bicycles (and if that doesn't make a good library, what does?)
I work in the campus library. I am that person who sits at the big desk on your left when you come in, who probably has a laptop open on the desk in front of them.
Yep, that's me. With the bangs.
My job is to shelve books when you turn them in and to scan your card and de-sensitize the books when you check them out. It's not to fix the copier, no matter what you may think.
I can give you your WIN-borrow hold; I can send a long distance fax, and I can even renew your books for you online via phone.
But, alas, I can't fix the copier. So please stop asking me.
My secret ambition is to have a craigslist missed connection. Or, even better, a missed connnection in the paper! Any paper, it doesn't really matter, as long as it's there in print.
I know several people who have had a missed connection about them, including my sister (I was the one who saw it first!), and I feel like it's not an unobtainable goal.
Other things: I have a radio show (not yet though. Not till Saturday) and I want someone to listen to it. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get someone to listen who isn't even a part of my own family! That would be a first, and boy, would it be swell. But even if you are a part of my family, you should still listen. It's going to be on Saturday nights from 9-11.
What I really want to do with it is to have give-aways of various (hand) baked goods, like Katie and I did last year, but that requires listeners who call in and win. And they have to live in the greater Spokane area (because I can't give you an elephant shaped-cake if you don't live here. I'm sorry; I wish that things were different) It's a lot to ask, I know.
But I'll tell you what: if you don't live in Spokane, and you call into my show to win the baked-good giveaway, I'll take a picture of it for you and email it to you. How's that for a compromise?
Cause, yeah. I basically just want some listeners, so that I'm not playing music to myself for two hours every Saturday night. Because that is a little bit sad.
If you really love me, you'll listen to my radio show.
One of my goals over Jan Term was to become a singer-songwriter. It was only a semi-joke. I figured that I would need something to keep me occupied an un-depressed ( and it would be a cool way to introduce myself. I could say, "Hi! I'm Megan. I'm kind of a singer/songwriter Just getting started. You know). The fact that I play the piano only a very little and have never written a song in my life failed to deter me.
I wrote approximately seven measures of a song before realizing that I this dream is probably not going to pan out. Playing the piano is not as easy as it looks.
Free concerts are the best. Whitworth has a lot of them. and last year, I decided that I would start to going to them all. Because they're there. And free! I like hearing new music in non-intense environments, as opposed to big scary concert venues full of super-intense, dedicated fans who sing along with the band. I hate that.
So, singer-songwriters=Great. Tonight, I saw two of them, and wanted to be friends with both, because they just looked so cool and happy to be themselves.
One of them looked like baby bird wind-up toy while she played the piano (in a good way! Definitely a good way), and her music sounded like a mixture of Bach, Joanna Newsom, and circus music.
The other had a low, warm and lovely alto, and she sang a song to her sister, who was in the audience selling her CDs.
And it was great and full of people watching them play their keyboard and sing their songs.
Whitworth is a strange place in many ways. If I was picking a college now, as the person that I am right now, I don't think that I would choose it.
It's the social dynamics. The education here is fabulous; the professors are exceptional, and I love the music department. It's the other parts that are a bit off.
First, there is the fact that so many girls here want to get married. In the near, near future. There was an article in the campus newspaper about how we (women) should focus on preparing ourselves for domestic life and learning how to please our husbands, rather than on our current studies and future careers. I kid you not. That was the essence of the article. It was a ridiculous argument. And the writing was horrible.
The friends that you make in your first couple semesters here are your friends for the rest of college. At least that's what it seems like. It's hard to meet people, unless your friends know their friends or you sit next to each other in a class. There are unwritten rules of social interaction which no one talks about, but everyone knows that they exist. There is no such thing as going on a date. If you are going on a date, you are already dating.
If you are interested in a person(romantically, you know) and do not know them already, then a good strategy (and an often used one) is to position yourself near them and have a loud, witty conversation with someone that you know who also knows your object of interest. Hopefully, your love interest will be astonished at your amazing conversational skill and will come over and talk to the person that you are in conversation with (but not to you.) Then, your mutual friend will most likely introduce the two of you. And then you will instantly fall in love and be married by the summer after graduation.
Whitworth is in Spokane, so that's a bummer (I never tire of complaining about Spokane. Never.) Spokane has a high concentration of huge, ridiculous-looking trucks and is populated with middle-aged, conservative couples with a penchant for yard sculptures. They don't believe in landscaping. North Spokane is not a place for diversity of opinion.
So if you, like me, didn't make a ton of friends freshman year, then you are stuck. Unless you are an exceptionally outgoing boy who plays in a band/is loud/lived in B.J./is a theology major or if you are a girl who is in Young Life/plays the guitar/enjoys rock climbing/ is a theology major, then you probably won't find many kindred spirits.
Of course, this is a little biased. And probably not true for most people who go here. But I still think it.
Occasionally, I will hear a sound that is so satisfying to my ear that it is almost tangible. Some people have the quality in their voice (one of the narrators on "Nova" and the lead singer of Cake), but most of time, sound satisfaction is found in everyday objects. Today, for instance, I discovered that the crosswalks in Hillsdale make a lovely popping/clicking noise when pressed. It's cartoony and wonderful, and it made me want to press the button over and over again, just to hear it. This sound was audible candy.
I love Portland. It is my favorite place to be, possibly ever. Every time I am home, I am happy (except last January at the Portland Art Museum. Ask Jessica). Reading the Willamette Week today, I saw at least ten different happenings around that city that sounded spectacular (especially the chocolate tasting at the convention center). I read my indie, alternative newspaper while eating bread pudding and drinking excellent drip coffee at a friendly bakery within walking distance (I know, because I walked there) of my house. And I felt happy, happy, happy. I'm happy to be in my jewel-toned bedroom full of eclectic art. I'm happy to see my family. I'm happy to walk to the Hillsdale Library and check out children's books that I can read in one sitting and then sit and read them in one sitting.
I have city pride, much more than country pride. I mean, I'm as patriotic as the next person, but honestly, the Pacific Northwest is where it's at. Besides, the "next person" in Portland is probably a multi-pierced, mid-twenty year old man who is making his own home brewed ale and spends his time reading Kierkegaard in Powells.
But the rest of the country is pretty cool too. I guess.
Last Jan Term, I spent most of my time watching "Sex and the City." And also the O.C., but I don't like to talk about that. I had a lot of free time, and it was cold and depressing. Occasionally, I would also look up pictures of fantastic looking pieces of cake on Google images and wish that I was eating them. This is sad and pathetic. I know that.
Anyhoo, this January has been ridiculously sunny and warm. It was 50 degrees on Monday. FIFTY Degrees. But even though the weather is nice, and I no longer fantasize about baked goods, I still have too much free time. Thankfully, I have finally discovered TV on the Internet! Wow! Three years after everyone else found out about it! This means that I can watch the whole season of Glee in less than a week, and then move on to Mad Men and The Big Bang Theory, and ultimately, become educated enough about pop culture to finally know what everyone else is talking about. It's a breakthrough, I tell you, a breakthrough.
In other news, I had a super weekend. And I've been embarking on strange, semi-creepy (but not really) random acts of kindness, and I'm going home for six days.
I'm shocked by everything in my house. Literally. Every time I touch anything-iPod, light switch, door knob-I receive an electric shock. They don't hurt, but they do cause my face to make an unpleasant wrinkly expression, and they sometimes elicit little yelps.
Occasionally, I will try to shield myself from the shocks by wearing my red, fuzzy blanket around the house and putting my hand inside the blanket before attempting to touch anything. This brings me mixed results.
The house also has a strange heating system that I can't quite get the hang of. About every fourth day, the heater will blow cold air, and the temperature in the house will slowly drop until it reaches 58 degrees. And then, magically and usually at about nine in the evening, warm air will start coming out of the vents. Again, this happens every fourth day. The problem with this is that I tend to turn the heater up realllyyy high on these days in an effort to get the heater to come on. It never works, and it makes the house incredibly hot at approximately 3 a.m. I have gotten up at 3 a.m. three times so far this year to turn down the heat. Because I felt like I was sleeping in a sauna. And then the heat will be perfectly normal for three days. Why is this?
It is a great house, though. It has cushy white carpet and gigantic bedrooms and a dishwasher! And I have a room of my very own with big, pretty windows that look out on Lola Lane (it's a private drive. I never thought I would live on a private drive. It makes me feel...wealthy. At least it would if the road was paved, instead of being covered in gravel and dotted with big potholes that freeze over every night .)
Few things are sadder than the end of Christmas. Usually, I pick up with my life and move on when the season ends, but this year I am still in mourning for it. Maybe because it was extra good or maybe just because the build-up lasted so much longer this year (since Christmas starts on November 1st in Ireland.) North Spokane-ites have not lost their festive Spirit, however, as a good number of them still have their house lights, animatronic reindeer, and light-up, life-seized plastic Santa displayed proudly on their front lawns. I was walking to Target the other day down Hawthorne (an exceptionally ugly street), and I actually got a little pang of sadness when I saw a house that was still decorated for Christmas.
"Come back, come back!" I said to Christmas as I walked by.
Perhaps next year, I will ask Santa to extend Christmas through January. Because seriously, January needs a good dose of Christmas. In fact, February and March could use a dose too. Why is it that the best holiday of the year is over at the beginning of the most depressing season?
Here is what I shall do: I have hereby invented a holiday that will fall in February (right in the middle of the glumness), and it will be an antidote to all things unexciting, cold, and dreary. This holiday will involve the consumption of something delicious and comforting (like bread pudding! And mararoni and cheese! And sausages...) and will also have some alcohol (because it's winter. Enough said), and all that wish to partake will make merry all the day! And night! And it will probably involve gifts (handmade, of course) that have been hidden about the house and can only be found by following clues made by the gift-giver. Fabulous! And it will be called Paroomba Day!
If anyone would like to join me in celebration of this festive event, please let me know. The date is negotiable. 'Twill be a jolly time, a jolly time indeed!
1. "The Inlander" This is the Inland Northwest's solution to an indie newspaper. Portland has the "Willamette Week" and the "Portland Mercury," and Spokane has "The Inlander." Hehehehe... It comes out every Thursday, and every Thursday (or Friday), I read it with glee. Besides containing continual references to being hungover (because being hungover is hip and trendy), it has the best Personals section ever. Ever, ever, ever. Some of them are downright poetic. 2. Cheap Public Transport It's cheap. It also only comes about once an hour (or less), but it's cheap. Here's something odd about Spokane buses: people talk to each other on them. Not just the people that already know each other, but everybody. Unusual... I think that I have been engaged in conversation everytime that I've ever ridden the bus here. It's sort of nice. 3. Free New York Times It's free! Awesome! Not in all of Spokane (obviously) but on campus. And it has a great Dining section on Wednesdays! 4. "Benny and Joon" A jollly movie about a girl with some mental problems and a young man who wears fun, Charlie Chaplin-esque clothes who fall in love with each other. Featuring young Johnny Depp and the fair city of Spokane. 5. Bakeries You Can Walk To There are at least three within two miles of campus. All of them are eminently sit-able (as in, they make you want to sit in them and watch people and eat your delicious coffee cake and read the a book.) Also, one of them makes a pastry called a "cheese cloud."
This is not a travel blog. I had a travel blog, but since I am no longer traveling, it is somewhat irrelevant now. Unless you count living in Spokane as traveling. Which I don't, since it is a rather depressing place, and I feel that travel should be to a place that is actually pleasant and not covered everywhere in frozen clumps of dingy snow. I don't know anyone who would want to travel to Spokane, unless they are someone who enjoys a plethora of pine trees.
Anyway, I liked having a blog. So even though I won't have any cool, travel-y things to write about anymore, I am still going to have one. And here it is. Ummm... yes. The End.