Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in the Heart, Part II

It's the most frustrating thing, but kvetching about being treated like a baby just makes you feel (and appear) more and more like one. There's nothing for it. I'll just have to deal with being left out forever, but I can't talk about it or I'll be right back where I started.

On a less melodramatic, tantrum-y note, I've now had two requests that I explain Wigilia, so here we go. Wigilia is a Polish tradition. We have a big feast on Christmas Eve of traditional Polish dishes to celebrate something or other. I don't really know. All I know is that we have a big ol' traditional meal that's not traditional at all because my grandma changed a lot of the dishes because she doesn't like most of them.
According to Wikipedia, the traditional Wigilia menu includes:
Fried carp and borscht
Boiled potatoes
Pickled herring
Assorted fruits, dried and regular.

But our family has:
Wafers (which you break before the meal, wishing each other happiness and good fortune. They're inadvertently delicious, maybe because at that point in the evening, we've all been to Mass and are ravenous. Wafers taste like delicious, delicious cardboard.)
Beef and barley soup (which is a major change because you're not supposed to eat red meat at Wigilia)
Cheese and sauerkraut pierogi (the cheese are much better but there are never enough. We also serve pierogi with melted butter and bread crumbs. As far as I'm concerned, that's the only way to do it. None of your "sour cream and applesauce" bullshit.)
Pickled herring (I give that a whirl once every two or three years to see if my tastes have changed. So far, they haven't. Pickled herring is nasty.)
Roast pork, asparagus and carrots, mashed potatoes
And for dessert, anise cookies. The best was the year when my Aunt Grace used aniseed extract and underestimated its power, so the cookies pretty much knocked you out with the anise flavor. It was intense. This year, the cookies were pretty mild but there was also cassata cake, which is one of the best kinds of cake in the world and also an example of the "hands across borders" deal that is my grandparents' marriage. Cassata cake is Sicilian (like my grandfather). It's basically sponge cake with liqueur and riccota cheese between the layers, with sliced toasted almonds on top. So incredibly delicious.

Around the pickled herring course, it's traditional for the younger generation to slip off and start watching "A Muppet Christmas Carol." This is a ritual in and of itself. We sing along (changing our voices when different Muppets sing), we do the Awkward Scrooge Dance, we make fun of this one really long scene that's a breakup song. It's great. I look forward to that all year.
Then, after the Muppets, my grandparents give us our Christmas presents and we have a wrapping paper war. This year's war featured my cousin Alex fashioning himself a makeshift visor out of a Watson's chocolates box and Emily and I squaring off in the center of the ring, each with equally bad aim. It gets...very heated.
The final part of the evening is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. The whole family settles down to watch "White Christmas." However, since that movie is like four hours long and it's usually pretty late by the time we even start, we only watch up till the "Snow" number. I've seen the beginning eighteen times, but I've seen the end only twice (it was on TV) and I have no idea what happens in the middle. They're in Vermont, right? There's sexual tension, right? They're doing a show or something, right?

I won't be posting about Christmas Day. The buildup is the best part, in my humble opinion.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas In the Heart, Part I

Today is Christmas Eve, and my family has a time-honored tradition for the day. We always listen to David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries on the radio (which is proving more complicated this year, but I'm just playing it on my computer), go to Christmas Eve mass, and then to my maternal grandparents' house for Wigilia. I'll explain that in a bit, but first, we need to talk about Christmas Eve mass.

My family has a lot of feelings about Christmas Eve mass. When I'm in Buffalo, I go to St. Joseph's on a regular basis, because the priests support the LGBT community and make jokes in the sermons sometimes, but that church is unacceptable for Christmas Eve because every Catholic in North Buffalo, Amherst, and those even vaguely affiliated with the university crowds inside. One year we were stuck sitting in the foyer, accompanied by a bitter wind that blew in every time the door opened. As if that weren't enough of a problem, it's a children's mass that showcases the talents of every. last. child. We're talking screechy violins, high-pitched, off-key singing, you name it.
Then, for the past two years, we've gone to a different university parish. It's in a basement, and they attach the wrong melody to "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Enough said.
But this year, we're going to Blessed Sacrament. When I was little, that was the church where we always went, and the only really bad thing about it was that in lieu of an organ, they had a woman playing the guitar and singing along to the hymns. Something about her voice just grated on everybody's nerves, but we pretty much had to grit our teeth and endure it.
One Christmas Eve (around the time when I seriously wanted to be an actress when I grew up), Emily commanded me to sing as loudly as I possibly could, to drown out the guitar lady's singing. Being a sixth-grade mini starlet, I took her at her word and belted "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with weighty force. Mid-way through the first verse, Caroline hit me in the arm and whispered angrily, "This is not your debut on Broadway!" I'm convinced that this incident caused my perpetual struggle with volume throughout my singing career.
Tune in for Part II. It's Sedaris time right now.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Taking a break from my Rites of Passage work by doing my other Rites of Passage work. Two days, two days.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thank you note

Dear French professor,
I don't understand why you insist that our essay introduction be a laborious, lengthy process that maps out the essay paragraph by paragraph, but I'm glad you do. One page down and that was just the introduction. HEY-OHHH!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hold fast to dreams

THE JAZZ ENSEMBLE HAS A VOCAL COMPONENT. They let people sing! Jazz! With them!
Oh my God, oh my God. I've dreamed of singing jazz with a big band my whole life (except for a very brief window during which I was obsessed with Blondie and wanted to be a nouveau Debbie Harry). Last year I thought I would finally get to realize that dream when the band director at my old high school asked me to sing "Besame Mucho" with the band, but then she changed her mind and had my friend do it instead. I was bitterly disappointed, and I thought it was the last chance I'd ever have to live my dream.
BUT SUCK IT, MRS. KERR! Oh God I hope they'll consider letting me do it. I need to send them an email once Finals Madness is over. This is really incredible!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Adventures in homework

This week, I've drawn up a schedule of things I absolutely must get done. Every day has at most two projects to complete, and I am going to put on my cast iron pants and get things done. Today's projects:
  1. French journal entry (check)
  2. Flesh out my Rites of Passage rough draft (afternoon project)
I'm trying really hard not to let myself get panicky and strung out. It's hard because I'm not dancing (raise your hand if you're excited for the spring semester), so right now I'm listening to the Vince Guaraldi Trio, which makes me as limp with relaxation as a cat lying in a patch of sunlight. I've also heard things about coconut oil's relaxing properties, and since I have a lot of it handy from those awesome non-food cupcakes, I might as well give that a shot.

EDIT: As of 10:12 p.m., I am officially done with everything! And that's a darn good draft, if I do say so myself. 3, 076 words. Not too shabby.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Mortmain's dinner party, remixed

Yesterday was Josie's birthday celebration, and as her present, my beautiful, awesome, tech-savvy girlfriend (who is reading over my shoulder as I write this) and I made her and all of our friends dinner.
Recall that none of my friends can eat anything, but Alice and I conquered this obstacle with aplomb. The menu:
Panang curry

Chana masala (Thank you, Unirondack, for teaching me how to make Indian food)

It was perfect! Everyone could eat at least one dish. Emily, my friend who can't have eggs, apples, grapes, peppers, onions, and so on, could have the curry. Abeer, who is vegetarian and halal and only eats Pakistani food and pizza, ate the chana masala, and Josie, who's gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, could eat everything (provided she ate around the tomatoes in the chana.) It was a beautiful thing.
I'm not great at photodocumentation, but we all took a turn with the camera and while the pictures aren't great, the subjects are.

The birthday girl!

Me and Alice being silly (ok, just me being silly), and Emily, amused with our antics.

Abeer and Amy. What li'l cuties!

The elusive Steve

But I think the most successful part of the meal was the dessert. Emily can basically never have dessert, what with her frustrating food sensitivities, so Alice and I tried especially hard to find a dessert that everyone could have. In the process of our search, we stumbled upon a fantastic website called glutenfreesoyfreevegan.wordpress.com that was the answer to all our problems. This recipe for chocolate cupcakes was amazing! Not only could everyone eat them, they were actually so good people had seconds! I wasn't sure about using avocado in cupcakes, but they were fantastic. My only complaint is that they looked sort of weird. I didn't get a picture, but gluten-free baked goods tend to not change shape at all. Seriously. Sometimes you can see fingerprints.
Try this recipe for the non-food person in your life!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


All I want to do is read Little Women in front of a fire, wrapped up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate. Soon. Soon. Soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


So help me God, I am going to get shit done today. Since coming to Smith I've turned into a huge procrastinator, and it's really messing me up. I am going to go top the library today after Rites of Passage, park my butt in a chair, and work. This next part of the post is really just for me, so feel free to skip it.
Top priority: French devoirs. I have to write an introduction to an essay about Sarkozy's stupid and wrong position concerning nuclear power.
Next: Rites of Passage final essay. For that, I need to go to Forbes, get a library card, and check out The Great Gatsby. Then, I'll write up a rough outline of my essay about coming of age during the Jazz Age; childhood dreams and the ways in which Nick and Gatsby realize their dreams.
Finally, I want to do a rough outline of my final essay for French.
On your mark, get set, go! Time for class.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Freaking Friends

Today, I took Laurie Colwin's advice that she proffers in Home Cooking and indexed my friends. Josie's birthday is tomorrow, and for her present, I promised to make her dinner, which of course meant that I would make all of our friends dinner.
Geez louise, do these women have enough food sensitivities and dietary restrictions? I had to find gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free recipes, and that was just keeping the birthday girl's needs in mind. I have two friends that are halal, one of whom is so insanely picky she basically only eats pizza and Pakistani food, a friend that can't have onions, peppers, apples, grapes, or eggs, and several friends who are lactose intolerant. And it was my job to feed all of them.
Because I am kind of a loser, I found this irritating task an exciting challenge, and Alice and I set about searching the fabulous Internet for a solution.
It took about ten minutes.
God damn, I love the Internet.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wild night

We all have heavy boots right now, but after Alice and I visited Erika last night, we got a relaxing dose of tryptophan from the hot turkey sandwiches at King/Scales and set out for Winter Weekend with Steve and Adriane, first at Cutter, then later at Baldwin. (I had other plans, but a fly went by and that was that.)
We had some time to kill before the party started, so I taught Alice and Kaitlin how to play poker. It wasn't very exciting because they were just learning and weren't really excited about betting or even raising bets, which is kind of important, but now they know how to play and that will be fun. I'm glad my roommate and my girlfriend are on good terms. I pretty much want everyone to be friends all the time, and it's nice when life works out like that.
Then we went to Cutter's Winter Weekend party. It really wasn't very interesting; everybody knew each other and we didn't know anybody, which was kind of grim. There was a chocolate fountain, but apart from that, there wasn't much we could do in terms of raising hell, so we left. The best thing about that party (for me) was that I finally got to wear this amazing dress by Chanel that my mom got at an estate sale for like twenty bucks when I was thirteen that I had never worn anywhere before. (Unless you count my room.)
So we went back to my room, passing Baldwin's truly incredible decorations as we went. (For reals. They were gorgeous. Black and white snowflakes and white Christmas lights. Plus it smelled like chocolate because the committee baked all of the refreshments in our kitchen. Have I mentioned that I live in the best of all possible houses?) There, my friends and I relaxed and I changed out of my very constricting dress. Steve and I had planned on going downstairs when the party started (and it actually sounded really fun) but she, Alice and Adriane had ordered sushi, and when it arrived, nobody felt like going anywhere. So we sat on my floor, eating delicious Chinese and Japanese food, and then everyone but me piled onto my bed.
I should say here that it's a running joke how quickly I become drunk-tired. My friends don't ever sleep, and I actually do, so they laugh at me when I get sleepy around 11 and start comparing myself to a swan and gnawing on Alice's hand. (Not connected.) So my friends kept saying all night that I would crash at 10:30 and get silly.
Imagine my surprise when I pulled up Spotify and started playing Frank Sinatra singing Christmas carols (at Steve's request), and in a matter of minutes, they fell asleep! I was the liveliest of the four of us by the end of the night. They looked so cute with their visions of sugarplums that I let them sleep for a while, but when Kaitlin came back from the party and seemed to want to go to sleep, I had to get them out of my bed.
Here's a tip. The best way to get Steve and Adriane out of your bed, play Alvin & the Chipmunks singing, "Christmas Don't Be Late" as loudly as your laptop will allow. It still wasn't easy; Alice and I had to pull off the covers and sing in their ears, but they got up, all right.
Oh, what a night.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thoughts and prayers

I don't believe in saving, but I wish it worked. I wish my friends could lose themselves in God and then they'd magically have no more problems. I wish I could think of something to do that would be helpful that's better than making food, but I can't. I don't know how to help.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Ohnoesohnoesohnoesohnoes Prof. Johnson just emailed me about Kinesiology and said, in essence, "I can't help you. Good luck!" so if I want to get into his class I have to prevent at least three other students from attending the first lesson. And he also told me, "You know, I'm teaching this class again," as a response to my impassioned story about dreaming of studying physiology (God I wish that was a lie but it wasn't. I am that big of a nerd.), so I became distressed.

My response to feeling distressed was, "Oh my goodness I won't have enough credits! Hlorghffflorgghh I MUST REGISTER FOR MORE CLASSES." So I logged on to Bannerweb and registered for Elementary Dance Composition and got on the waiting list for Emergency Care.
That's seven classes, for those of you keeping score at home. And I'm on the waiting list for three of them. Smith, I did not ask you to screw me over. Why are you being so obstinate about this? Why do you insist on complicating my life? Whyyyyyyy?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


There is hella house drama going on right now, and hella romantic drama, and I'm glad I'm not really involved. But I will say this. If you're going to complain about people being loud when you're trying to study, first ask yourself the question: Am I being loud, too? Am I being loud all the time? Am I singing and yelling and making the hall smell very very strongly of alcohol? (I don't know what people are drinking but seriously that smell was in the hall for like a week and a half after the fact.)
Noise doesn't bother me that much as a rule, but now I'm getting angry.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Roommate adventures

It's a very helpful memorization tool to read my notes out loud and also to record myself doing so. That's how I managed to accidentally record a super awkward conversation with my roommate just before she left to spend the night at UMass.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yet another post about food

Julia Child is awesome and I loved her before Julia Child Day, but now I love her even more. Today, for dinner, I had:
Bacon Turkey
Pumpkin ravioli (which was so insanely delicious I had to work very hard not to make yummy sounds while eating it right up)
Swiss green bean casserole
Straight up green beans
Brownies with fudge sauce and sweet cream ice cream
Peppermint tea.

As Elizabeth pointed out, it was very much like a slightly fancier Thanksgiving dinner at school, so we all went around the table and said what we were thankful for. There were candles on the tables and everyone was very contented. It was beautiful. I love my friends, and I love Smith.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

They all come back

Today there were "chicken wings" for dinner and I missed Buffalo so much I wanted to cry. Say what you like about Buffalo, but our junk food is boss. I won't try to compete with Alice's "California's so awesome" thing she's got going on her Tumblr (because I don't like my competitive side), but I miss my hometown. Smith feels like home now, but Buffalo puts something in that delicious, delicious Lake Erie water that makes you always want to go back. Even though it sucks.
A year or so ago, I mentioned to my mother that if I ever have children, I'll probably raise them in Buffalo, and I think it's a decent plan. Buffalo isn't great, but God knows it could be much worse. Growing up in B-lo was decent. I learned how to use public transportation like a boss and I'm not wigged out by sketchy neighborhoods like my orientation group leader was. (Seriously that was just embarrassing. If you sign up to work for those in need, you should be prepared for a non-ticky-tacky scene.) And I got hella snow days. Plus, I firmly believe in staying close to one's roots, and Buffalo has the church where my great-grandmother got married. That's pretty cool.

To be clear, I'm not planning to move back. I'm simply accepting the extremely likely possibility that I'll end up back in Buffalo. I want to live in other places, but it's still a great place. Maybe I'll return when I retire, maybe after I graduate, but everyone always goes back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Like a boss

Hey hey folks, I am still alive and kicking! But not for long, because it's almost time for:
  1. the first draft of my final essay for Advertising and Visual Culture (won't be too bad because I got to choose the topic),
  2. my final copy of the third essay for Rites of Passage,
  3. my final essay for Rites of Passage,
  4. the final exam for Rites of Passage (have I mentioned how much I hate this class?),
  5. my 15 minute oral presentation for French (which will be about the jazz scene in France. Fairly interesting topic that I got to pick, plus I get to have notecards),
  6. another Physiology of Behavior quiz on Friday.
Today I had an unfortunate realization. Every time I say anything in any of my classes, I blush. For example, today, when my Art History professor asked me to talk about my essay topic in class, I was scarlet. (Maybe this was because my topic is about ads for menstrual products in the forties and today. In that case, I must have looked ridiculous. If you write an essay about something, you should be able to have a casual conversation about it without blushing yourself into oblivion.) In French, when my professor reminded me that I had forgotten to skip lines in my assignment, I must have blushed a lot because he looked a little disarmed. That's his expression any time I say anything in that class, which could either be due to surprise that I spoke and am not totally mute or because of my perpetual imitation of un feu rouge.

But I will conquer these obstacles. I will vanquish the fuck out of my demons! Because I can bend the world to my will, and I will avail myself of this power now. I will destroy anything that gets in the way of my success as a human being. (Nobody take this to mean I'm going to kill people. Successful human beings don't commit the murders.)
I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Being a fairly successful human being

I can't believe registration for the spring semester is tomorrow (at 7:30 a.m., but that's not the point). The Smith bubble is a real thing; I feel like I've been here since forever. I have good friends and am currently in the longest relationship I've ever had, but objectively, I haven't been here that long. It's bizarre when you think about the intensity of my life at college. I see the same people every day, and for a while I was actually afraid that they would get tired of me, but it hasn't happened! My classes are going well; I got a B on my French midterm and am not actually going to take it pass/fail, and Rites of Passage will end soon! It'll all be great. I am totally capable of taking on life successfully.
It's a revelation.

My afternoon set to music

OHHHHHHHH I'm gonna lie on my side till my cramps go away
Gonna lie on my side till my cramps go away
I really wanted to attend Otelia Cromwell Day
But I'd better take Midol till my cramps go away!!

A bouncy little ditty composed by a Smithie writhing in agonizing pain.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pretty persuasion

When your parents are lawyers, you can't just persuade your way into doing something that they don't want you to do. You have to present a case. I learned this at an early age; I still have a notebook in which I had written out a bulleted argument in an attempt to get my parents to let me transfer to Performing Arts for high school. (They still said no, but I'm actually glad. Honors sucked, but at least now I have viable skills.) I thought I had learned my lesson, but today I made the unfortunate mistake of bringing up J-term without a prepared statement.

Here's the thing. I love my family very much, but I don't want to spend a month at home with nobody to talk to (until 7 p.m.) and nothing to do. I burned a lot of bridges before graduating, the people who were in my class with whom I am still friends will all be back at school by then, and all of my friends who are still in high school will be in musical mode the moment January hits. And while I could always take some dance classes, that would sort of defeat the purpose of staying home to see my family. I have no desire to be a third house cat. Besides, there's a class I could take that would count towards the Exercise Studies minor! Three credits! That is not to be sneezed at.
Any other compelling arguments (for or against)?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Healthy living

I found out about the blog Zoe and the Beatles through Caroline, and I really enjoy it. Reading about her struggles is really uplifting, and she makes really good points about life in general. I was reading this post a moment ago, and it resonated with me to the point where I immediately started this post right here. Specifically, her message of avoiding "all-or-nothing mode" was resonant.

I was writing down whatever I ate for about three weeks, and then I stopped, pretty much because I kept forgetting. I had convinced myself that if I kept a strict record of everything going into my body, I would stop eating badly out of guilt. It didn't work. Instead, I just felt gross when I looked at my record and realized that my habits hadn't changed at all. It wasn't great.

The funny thing is, when I finally stopped writing down what I was eating, I started to improve my habits. I'm eating granola for breakfast every day because a)it's the only healthy option for breakfast at Smith (the breakfasts are what's kicking my butt), b) it's delicious, and c) I want to make healthy choices. I'm making the right food decisions now, for the right reasons.

Still need to get a more regular workout schedule, though. Hopefully, next semester, I'll be taking jazz twice a week and getting my regular exercise that way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Deja vu

The snow started falling in earnest on Saturday. Steve and I were near Hampshire Mall, and it began accumulating as we were waiting for the bus. By the time we got back home, both of us were drenched (Chucks really aren't winter shoes), so we changed and went to Cutter to talk our favorite Californian out of her weather-induced panic attack. I was getting sort of worried at that point: Buffalo's October storm in 2008 started out almost exactly like this. The trees were groaning under the weight of the snow on their leaves, and I think I knew that it wasn't going to end well.
We all went to Lamont for dinner, and around 6 o'clock, the power went out. I wasn't too worried at that point. I went back to Baldwin, where everyone was huddled around the fire, making s'mores and talking quietly. It was cozy, not scary at all.
The next morning, the weather was so warm that I was confident that the snow would melt and everything would be totally fine. Baldwin had a few power strips going, and everyone was drinking tea, eating ramen, and trying to get their work done. But when dinnertime rolled around and there were only two dining halls open, things started to deteriorate. Steve made off with an entire bag of rice cakes, and everyone was trying to take as much food as possible, just in case. Then night fell, and it began to get colder. Our heat turned off, and we were all expecting the generator to go off any minute. By this time, a lot of people who lived close by had gone home to their parents', friends', or relatives' homes: anywhere they could find heat. Hampshire and Amherst had been evacuated, UMass didn't have power, and people were starting to worry that we were facing evacuation, too. Two houses up the road came to us because they lost heat and power, and their fire alarm had started going off, too. It was intense.

We had been told that the power would probably be back by Monday night or Tuesday morning, so when it came back on this morning, everyone cheered and shouted, "We have power!!" It was a little like Mountain Day. I went to Manna all morning, and now I need to actually do some work.
Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Generating personal strife

My apologies for the lag in posting; I've been preoccupied with the Big Pink Hall of Fame. My life has been smooth sailing lately, except for Rites of Passage, of course. As trite as it sounds, no news is good news with me. I'm no longer so busy with my own morose emotions that I get too mopey to ever update, thank goodness.

However, I have been thinking a lot about my Future. I want to study abroad. I want it more than anything else in the world, especially after hearing everyone I know tell stories that begin, "When I was living in Italy..." and "This one time, in Russia..." but here's the thing. If I want to be a Neuro major (which I'm pretty sure I don't actually want to do anymore), I can't study abroad because there is so much stuff I will have to do. On the other hand, if I major in Psych (as I would like to do) and minor in Exercise Science, I'll be opening myself up to ridicule from my grandmother. (Or if not ridicule, then certainly harsh words.)
My Psych class is wonderful. I love it the most, and my professor is awesomesauce, but Neuroscience is also pretty cool, and would probably be more practical? I really wish someone at Smith could tell me what I need to do in order to become a physical therapist, but everyone seems a little taken aback when I announce that that's what I want to do. I am so confused! What will become of me?
I should have gone to Geneseo. Then I could do all this freaking out at a fraction of the cost. Or I should just go to hotel school like Sabrina. Then I could study abroad and learn how to be a boss cook in the bargain.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Political nitpicking

Here's my problem with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Their general principles are reasonable: 1% of America holds the majority of the wealth, and that's wrong. As a former Marxist, I am in agreement that this is not okay. However, that seems to be the only thing everybody agrees on. There are signs that say "End the war!" and while I also want the war to end, I can't help but feel that these protesters need to focus. This movement lacks cohesion. I went to Occupy Northampton a while ago, and I grew increasingly frustrated with the hippies there because as far as I could tell, nobody has any actual suggestions as to what should be done. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that nobody can agree on what issues to stand for.

I am a pragmatic person and I firmly believe in compromise. I used to be militantly principled (again, when I was a Marxist), but I quickly realized that that's stupid. If your mentality is "My way or the highway," you're going to find yourself taking the road pretty often. Just look at Andrew Johnson. You have to present your wants and needs in a way that's attractive to the person in power, but failing that, you have to tell them what you want. The social equivalent of the Occupy Wall Street movement would go something like this:

Customer: The establishment is unfair! This system has got to change!
Store owner: Is something wrong?
Customer: The corporate fat cats are swimming in pools where there are flakes of gold leaf instead of water, that's what's wrong! This nation's wealth is unfairly distributed!
Store owner: ...I meant with the store. Why are you shouting in the middle of the produce aisle? Sir?
Customer: Sir? And how do you know that I'm a man?
Store owner: I apologize, you have a point. What can I do to help this situation?
Customer: Fellow Shop-Rite patrons! This will not stand! We must show these corporations that we see through their lies!

Poor Shop-Rite manager. He would like to help, but it's hard to be helpful when you have no fucking clue what the problem is or what you can do to fix it.

Disney Detox

Meet-the-parents dinner was last night. Alice briefed me on her parents back before fall break, and ever since then she seemed to be slowly descending into the abyss of anxiety. I was nervous because her parents have impassioned, two-hour long discussions about the Holocaust and they hate all organized religion, including Unitarian Universalism. (When sharing this detail with my mother, she exclaimed, "But they're the least organized religion ever!" Still counts, though.) I was terrified that I'd accidentally reference going to Mass or owning a cross or being Catholic at any point in my life, which was actually quite likely since I make Catholic jokes a lot. But thankfully, an enjoyable time was had by all! We got Indian food and talked with relative ease and I even managed to keep the conversation going when Alice was out of the room! Thank God for my father's Irish charm and my mother's impeccable conversational skills that I seem to only be able to exhibit when faced with adults. The dinner went well.

After dinner was Disney Detox. It was a rough week for all of us in Baldwin (and those of my friends who don't live here but spend so much time here that they're honorary Baldwinites), what with meeting the parents of significant others, romantic woes, coming out anxiety, massive blood loss and subsequent grotesque bruising, multiple papers due on the same day, and choosing next semester's classes, so I proposed the Disney Detox. It was just all of my friends coming over and watching The Princess and the Frog, but calling it Disney Detox is so much more fun. As it happened, stupid Netflix took The Princess and the Frog off instant play, so we watched Meet the Robinsons instead. Movies and cuddles. This is becoming a Friday night thing. Last week it was Monkey Business. My friends are awesome.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Beat your breasts, maidens, and rend your tunics."

"I'm beginning to look down on all poets except Sappho. I've been reading her like mad, and no remarks, please." --J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey.
Well, now it's confirmed: I'm just a nice negligee away from being Franny Glass. I hate poetry but I just love Sappho. She expresses emotion in a way that I (a cool-headed prospective Neuroscience major) appreciate on a completely non-ironic level. Why is it that other poets can't express the way they feel with that kind of clarity. But she isn't harsh or scientific about it, she depicts love as simple, beautiful and true.
Thank you, Rites of Passage. You've finally done some good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Poor decision

The books in my Classics class are so terrible, they even smell bad. Never again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Head in the clouds

I've been thinking a lot lately about modesty and obliviousness. Somehow the line between the two blurred for me, so in an attempt to appear modest, I am completely clueless.
Here's the thing. I know it's conceited to talk about how hot you are, but it's good to think that you're hot and not talk about it. When I try to be modest, I just put my appearance out of my head and convince myself not that I'm unattractive, but that my appearance is just a sort of void. I've been doing this for so long that I don't even tell myself to think that way anymore; it's second nature. Then, when someone checks me out or flirts with me, I don't notice because I am trying not to be conceited. It's a problem I'm slowly getting over. My sex appeal has always been based on the fact that I was unaware the appeal I actually had. That was what made me attractive, or so I've been told. But most of that obliviousness is self-imposed.
Where is the line between confidence and conceit? At times I'm so confident I'm almost overheated with the assurance that nothing will ever go wrong for me, but those are the times when people think I'm stuck-up. It's really frustrating because, as I previously mentioned, I want to make friends with everybody, but I also don't want people to think I'm some sort of shrinking violet. Then I go overboard and come on too strong. Jon and Aria told me to be less abrasive at my end-of-summer review, but I can't seem to find the happy medium.

Night on the Quad

Last year, Caroline said she couldn't picture me at a party, and I really couldn't picture it, either. Now I can visualize it...really well. Gardiner's fetish party was last night, and I went. It was my first Smith party, and it was an experience. My friends were mostly dressed as the schoolgirl fetish, but Josie was steampunk (because she's Josie and steampunk is her go-to), Helen was a voyeur, and I was a newsboy. Most of my outfit was Josie's; I borrowed her knee-high platform goth boots that made me six feet tall and a pinstriped corset that I am now in love with. Erika loaned me a pair of shorts and a belt, she and Josie wrote "Extra! Extra!" "Read all about it!" and names of random newspapers on my back and arms, and I had my newsboy cap and a paper in my back pocket. It was a fun costume, but I'm not great at walking in heels. As soon as we got inside, I took them off and danced barefoot.
Oh, God. The line. The line was insane. We got there at 9:15 and it was already packed, and then we waited for two hours in the cold, cold night wearing very little clothing. Abeer was wearing about a third of a shirt, and almost everyone else was wearing corsets. It...perhaps was not the best planning to leave our coats in Morrow. Then the line was packed (which at least made it warmer) and people were cutting shamelessly. You've gotta fight for your right to party. I always thought that was a joke, but it's the sordid truth.
By the time we got inside, two of our friends had left because they were sick of waiting and I was seriously afraid that I was going to freeze. At first, I really didn't enjoy dancing in the dark, smelly room with people having sex all around us, but then the music changed and I realized that I just don't like dubstep. The party was actually kind of fun. Like so many things, it probably would have been more entertaining if I was drunk, but it was pretty fun in my normal state.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Desperation purely for entertainment value

Dear Jake's,
Did you get my email? Did you get my resume? Did you get my message? I hope I don't seem creepy here, I just really, really want to work for you.
Why don't you have a website? If you had a website, I could check to see if you're still hiring and I wouldn't have to call and leave a message that you'll never answer. But you probably aren't still hiring, because you're so fantastic I bet this whole town sat up when you posted that ad on Craigslist.
I want to work for you.
I want to work for you because I admire the quality of your establishment, because I think I'm actually very qualified for such work, and because if you don't hire me I might have to start working as a fetish model or an exotic dancer so I can pay my tuition.
Please hear my plea and call me. Just an interview. Please?
Hugs and butterfly kisses,
P.S. Tell all the other applicants to bugger off.

The universe lies!

I didn't have an interview. The person from the cafe who called me last night was not, in fact, in charge of hiring new employees. I don't know what the deal is with that. All I know is that I spent the whole day in a skirt because I wasn't going to have time to change for my interview for an awesome job with a perfect location, only to get rejected. This whole business is hard on a girl's self-esteem.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phase One complete

I have an interview! OK, this is awesome. I'll dress nicely, be confident, and it'll be awesome.

And I'm doing it now!

Bulleted ListAll through high school, I was vigilant about not procrastinating. That attitude isn't really around anymore. I need to get it back, preferably by doing more activities/getting a job. Procrastination is unacceptable, and while I like how not-crazy I am now, I need just a little bit of the craziness back. Just enough.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Probably for the best I didn't mention Gaga

Turn It Up asked me for my top five favorite albums. I think I'm in love.
My response:
  1. Parallel Lines by Blondie
  2. Rocket to Russia by the Ramones
  3. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
  4. Loaded by The Velvet Underground
  5. Volume One by She & Him
My dad and I had an extensive conversation about why this list is awesome. The Blondie record is the greatest record ever made, the Ramones side is a little more obscure. Neko Case is trendy in hipster circles, Loaded makes me seem more about the music and less like a pretentious little snot, and She & Him is a youthful little lemon zest. This is a blend of the music the Championship Vinyl old dudes like and what the hip youths are listening to these days. I am awesome.
So hire me.

Down to brass tacks

Number of applications I now have: Eight (8)
Number of online applications I have sent out: Three (3), including the Unirondack application.
Number of leads to pursue: Two (2) that come to mind, but there were probably more that I forgot about.
Number of applications that are for jobs I want: Eleven (11)
Number of applications that are for jobs I would actually enjoy doing: Five (5)
Number of aforesaid applications that are for or related to food services: Four (4)
Number of hostile old women that got really cranky and unhelpful after being asked for an application: One (1), and frankly, one was plenty. I asked her, "Could I have an application?" and she said, "No." I stopped, confused, until she added, "I don't use applications." I paused, still unsure of where she was going with this, and said, "Okay then. Well, thank you anyway," which she somehow took to mean "I want you to tell me exactly why you wouldn't hire me, even if you were accepting resumes--which you are not-- based on the zero facts you know about me," because that's exactly what she did. Sheesh. Way to be, cranky lady. I wish I could say I'll never set foot in your store again or something dramatic like that, but I'll probably be back. It looked pretty cool in there.
Number of false leads: One (1), which led me to the previously mentioned cranky lady. Thanks a bundle, rival vintage shop worker.
Number of workers with facial piercings: too many to count.
Number of hours I spent wandering downtown inquiring about applications: Three (3)
And finally, number of applications that are for places that are actually hiring people: Four (4), possibly five (5), and if you discount Unirondack, three (3).

Oh Mr. Sellack

I have spent my entire morning applying for jobs, but not work-study jobs. I have to look elsewhere, for reasons too complicated and private to explain. I'm concerned that I'm going to get raped and murdered if I apply for some of these jobs on Craigslist. I'm really not ok with that happening. This has been my morning:

Deliver newspapers: ok, that sounds safe. Henry Huggins delivers newspapers! No. Shit. Newspapers get delivered to everyone. What if I get the murderous route? No newspapers for me!
Local Co-op Food Market: That's the most hippieish thing I've ever...oh right, this is a granola town. Why not. This is legit, at least. The job application is long...and boring...
Camp Unirondack: Ahhh, it feels good to have a job almost as a sure thing. But that's in the summer. Back to the grind.
Awesome restaurant I adore: Yes! Yes yes yes! I will have this jo--oh hey, my resume is gone. Write a new resume. Apply for awesome job. Say a quick prayer and sacrifice a goat, just for good measure.
About seven other jobs: Apply in person. Gotcha! I'll be there! I'll be there TO THE MAX!
About fifteen other jobs: I have class then. Great.

Into the fray I go, then!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mountain Day!

About time. We had a week of gorgeous weather, then weeks of rain, and today was perfect: crisp and beautiful. Baldwin made plans weeks ago to go apple picking in the morning, and even though Paulina traditionally likes to sleep through the morning and afternoon, she wanted to go apple picking too, so Zaineb and I woke her up at 9:40, with five minutes to spare. (So it was an afterthought. We were caught up in the Mountain Day magic.) Emily is allergic to apples so she wasn't coming, but I managed to hustle Paulina out of bed by telling her to get dressed "fireman style!" which she interpreted to mean "while dancing."
We piled into various cars (Paulina and I were in the trunk) and headed to the orchard, where I climbed trees and terrified Liz and Zaineb ("I'm finally getting over my crippling fear of heights!" I cried while perched on the tallest branch of an apple tree." "You can do that later; now get down here," said Zaineb.) and we picked the most beautiful apples the size of my face. I love picking fruit, and this summer I didn't get to do any. Three hours of apples is pretty wonderful at the best of times, but today it was especially magnificent. I'm sure glad I knew what to wear, though: one girl was wearing a skirt and flats. That's a rookie sign, folks. The Anthropologie ads have got it all wrong: you really can't wear a cute outfit and have any fun in an orchard at the same time.
After another disorienting trunk-ride back home, we all had lunch on the porch of Baldwin, and Paulina and I headed inside to make pumpkin pie. Valuable lesson learned: When cooking pumpkin for pie, DO NOT cut it into small cubes. Cut it in half! After carefully sawing a pumpkin into cubes using a pocketknife, butter knife, and delicate serrated knife made for pumpkin carving, I looked at the directions and got kind of upset. The pies were delicious, even if they took four hours to make. It was still fun.
By that time, it was past 5:30, so we had dinner (delicious mulled cider!) and I did some actual work. Finally, Amy, Kaitlin, Josie, Alice and I watched The Princess Bride, which I have seen more times than I would care to count, but each time just reminds me how wonderful it really is. A wonderful Mountain Day. I'm sorry I didn't spend more time outside, but I have to say those pies are definitely worth it.
Current music: the wonderful awesome playlist this really cool girl made for me. Three weeks left, for those of you keeping score at home and those of you weighing the odds at Smith. Hope you didn't bet too much, cuz you're going to lose it all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No words...to describe...too funny...

I kept thinking about this today and giggling uncontrollably at inappropriate times.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I love Smith and I want to befriend everyone I encounter here, but it's hard because I'm so sheltered. For weeks now, I've suspected that a maiden in Chorus with me has a doppelganger in my art history class, and it wasn't till this evening that I learned that they're the same person. Why on Earth was I so unwilling to make that connection? I've heard of Occam's Razor! Why can't I apply it to my own life?

But yeah, I want to make all the friends. It's a work in progress. The maidens in Chorus are really chill and I bonded with Micah over our mutual love of webcomics last week, but so far my new friendships are in the fetal stages. I actually used to be pretty charming, but I got to Unirondack and was faced with crippling social anxiety, which has more or less disappeared in favor of extreme social awkwardness. I'm lucky so many of my friends find that endearing, but I think it's getting old.

Other highlights of my day: learning that I get .5 extra points tacked onto my PoB quiz because one of the graders screwed up and actually talking to someone at French lunch table (I need to brush up on my vocabulary about neuroscience, since that was all I felt qualified to talk about and words such as "physiology" and "brain" escape me).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good day

Yesterday, I met my friend Charles at Hampshire around noon, and to kill time beforehand I decided to walk around downtown NoHo in the pouring rain. My friends and I had batted around some ideas about going downtown together on Friday night, but I wake up early and I always feel weird about knocking on people's doors, even though I know Emily wakes up at 5:30 every morning and nothing short of a strong electric shock will wake Paulina up before noon on a weekend. I still feel weird about it. So I went downtown and let the rain pour all over me (because I don't own an umbrella). It was actually really enjoyable. Sometimes rain is really aggressive and unpleasant to walk in (like the rain I got caught in on Thursday, when I was wearing ballet flats and a pretty dress and had to run across campus while a malicious God poured buckets of water all over me), but this was more like showering with all my clothes on. I went to the Garlic Festival, not out of any desire for garlic but because I heard jazz and it was free, so I listened to jazz and had a hot dog in the pouring rain until I began to experience mild discomfort, so then I got some hot apple cider and went to sit in Thornes. I was very contented, sitting there with my cider and a book--until the cup spilled and all the cider emptied out onto the floor. I was so upset I wanted to cry. Apple cider is such a beautiful thing, and rather than pound it all down I was trying to savor it. That's a moral, kids. Eat and drink everything as fast as possible. It's safer that way.

When I got to Hampshire, Charles was barefoot. I really shouldn't have been surprised, but I still asked him, "Why aren't you wearing any shoes?"
"It's Hampshire," he said, then we both added mentally, you dumbass.
It was nice seeing Charles again, even though it was mildly awkward. I did expect that; my friend Maddy and I met two years ago at Unirondack but she has family in Buffalo, so whenever she's in town we meet up, and it's nice, but also just a little bit weird. I think of Charles as a fairly taciturn guy, and while we're pretty good buddies, we've mostly bonded while doing activities rather than just talking and talking. I think our friendship is unique in that way. I usually make friends in the following ways:
  1. By being so extremely weird that other weirdos are just drawn to me (most of my con friends and lots of camp friends)
  2. Proximity, as in, "We're going to have to deal with each other for the next eight years so we might as well be friendly" (lots of my high school friends, including dance friends)
  3. By being gay (Eirie, Caleb, and Alia are the ones that stand out for that one)
  4. By having really intense conversations about really serious things (every close friend I've ever had)
  5. Talking to them via Facebook (Jonathan, Libby, and most recently, Alice)
But Charles and I got to be friends when he hung out illegally in my cabin and kicked my ass in Capuera at camp, so when we were in a situation where we had nothing to do but talk, it was a little weird. We walked in the woods and investigated a ruined car (he wasn't wearing shoes for any of this, by the way) and I picked some apples, and he showed me around the campus and told me how stuff works at Hampshire. It's nice, I guess, and the special gazebos for smoking pot are quaint, but I wouldn't want to go there. Maybe I'll take a class there, though. The no-grade system is starting to look pretty good, too. I love Physiology of Behavior so much, but I'm currently doing terribly in it.

When I got back home, my house went to Six Flags, and I went on a roller coaster and actually enjoyed it! We got back around 9 because people wanted to go to the party at Cushing, and I went to study with Josie, Zaineb, and Paulina. For "study," read "talk and watch A Bit of Fry and Laurie and do no work whatsoever." It was nice, though. A day of fun, and then today I just worked all day. Distributing tasks like a boss.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conscientious eating

All my life, I was able to eat whatever I wanted because I was dancing so often my metabolism was on par with the speed of light. I was the vegetarian who only ate macaroni and cheese. Now I can't do that anymore, but I've spent so long disregarding what I put into my body, it's hard to shake the habit. My skin is really greasy, and that's unusual. I suspect it has something to do with what I'm eating. Something's gotta give.
I've decided to write down what I eat all day. The Smith dining website also lets you check the calories of the food in the dining hall, but I'm not going to do that because it's excessive. Besides, counting calories reminds me of that awful book Wintergirls, about teenage anorexia. No thank you. I'll write down what I eat, which should make me slightly more aware of what I'm consuming. My Monroe also makes it hard for me to eat between meals, because whenever I do, I have to rinse out my mouth with saltwater. It's not that much of a production, but it's annoying when I'm doing something else and have to get up, rinse, and come back. Like when I was watching Thor with Paulina, Emily and Josie. I had some cocoa and immediately had to go rinse my mouth, and then they felt obligated to pause the movie, even though I'd already seen it (and hadn't liked it that much, anyway). Plus, we were all sitting on Paulina's bed and when I got up I disrupted the whole seating arrangement. It's a small inconvenience, but I don't like bothering other people with my own stupid style decision.
Plus, writing down what I eat will finally let me figure out just how many pears I eat every day. I know I'm curious.

So today, to start things off right, I ate at Gillett. It was pretty nice, I guess. Sometimes I like eating vegan or gluten-free food, just out of curiosity. My vegan lunch was actually delicious, and now I know that I like Brussels sprouts!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We interrupt this post for a word from our sponsor

Finished The Odyssey in seven hours. And they laughed when I sat down at the piano!
...as Alice can attest, that's not an unreasonable reaction.

On a completely different note, I'd like to discuss how awesome Spotify is. My former boss had it, and I had to get it because it's so damn awesome. I love music the way I love oxygen--I must have it, and boy do I miss it when there isn't any. However, because I believe in the integrity of an album and also I because I don't download, I don't have a lot of music. I listen to the same albums over and over (this past winter, the only album I listened to was Volume One by She & Him) and Youtube, but now with Spotify, I don't have to! It's also tremendously helpful with 40's Radio Hour, which I'm going to reference constantly even though I think maybe three people are reading this, at least two of whom have heard me talk about this for weeks, if not months. I'm attempting to learn all these songs by listening to them, because as previously mentioned, my piano skills leave a lot to be desired.
I have to say, though, the best part of Spotify is that it enables me to make a bajillion playlists and I don't have to use the same songs because all the music ever is available for my use. It is magical.
Today's song: "That Old Black Magic," Louis Prima & Keely Smith

Friday, September 23, 2011

I am shameless

...which is why I emailed the Vibes asking why they didn't let me in. I honestly didn't expect a response, but they emailed me back and told me I sing with too much vibrato and didn't blend well with the larger group.
OK then! These are things I can work on!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marty's influence coming out

Aaand I didn't make it into the Vibes, either. I know, faithful readers. I know you're upset for my sake, and I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of depressed. But on the plus side, now I'll have plenty of time to work on 40's Radio Hour, Alice's and my new podcast, coming soon to a weberverse near you! I'll keep you posted. I know you're all hanging on the edges of your respective seats.

Verdict number one

THREE PEOPLE came to Groove callbacks and I STILL didn't make it in.
I can think of some choice expletives I'd like to use in reference to Groove, but I won't because Kelly's in it and I don't want to be mean about her, so instead I'll just sit here and stew.
Fucking Groove.


OK, no, to be honest, I made it for me. But isn't it pretty? I'm enormously proud.

Current score: 2 to 1

But I made the callbacks for Groove and the Vibes! The callbacks are back-to-back (Groove: 6-8, Vibes: 8-10) so I'm not sure how that'll play out, but I made it! Go me!
Groove also told me to pick a higher, more contemporary song and to be more confident. I felt pretty confident but maybe that didn't show, and the song thing completely makes sense. I sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" for my first audition, and this is a group that mostly sings contemporary songs. Totes reasonable. So I think I'm going to sing "The Hat" by Ingrid Michaelson. This should be interesting; I've never been to a callback before. I wonder what I'll have to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Got the call at 11:11 last night

The Poofs say thanks but no thanks. Oh well. Didn't have high hopes for that one, anyway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Also, today I found out that this girl in my history class (who will be my friend, I hope, cuz she's mad cool) graduated from the same school as my ex-girlfriend.
What is this shit. I thought I left the six degrees of separation back in Buffalo, where they belong!


Yesterday, I auditioned for Groove, and today I auditioned for the Smiffenpoofs and the Vibes. I did not plan on auditioning for the Poofs; Paulina said she was going there and I misheard her and went along, then figured, what the hell. I'm still going to audition for the Smithereens tomorrow, though.
There are those who are highly scornful of Smithies who audition for all the a capella groups, but this strikes me as sort of dumb. Where's the harm? At least you get used to auditioning that way. I used to be a nervous wreck before auditions, but around senior year, I sort of got over that. Not sure why, not sure how. I only know it's a good thing I did, because if not, I'd be just a bundle of nerves right now.
The auditions themselves went OK. I'm not great at singing the third of a chord (the last time I sang soprano 2 was sophomore year, what do you expect?) but the rhythms are a breeze and I learn melodies pretty quickly, so that's definitely a good thing. Of all my auditions, I think Groove went the best, and the Poofs and Vibes were about the same. Neither of them was as smooth as that first audition, though. Maybe it's because I know Kelly and it was comforting to know one of the people that was judging me, maybe beginner's luck. Guess I'll have to see. The callbacks are on Thursday and I should be hearing on Wednesday about that. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Freeze frame

I live my life for its picturesque moments. Yesterday, I was wearing a white button down shirt with light purple and black stripes, sitting in the dining room of my house, drinking water out of a wineglass and reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and I felt extraordinarily classy. The best moments in life are the moments where you feel like Holly Sturgis.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reacting to the Past

(I wish I was taking that class. My first-year seminar isn't the best.)
I got an email from Cypress the other day. It was written in a style very characteristic of Cypress, and made me miss her. I tried to burn as few bridges as possible before leaving New York, but by the end of high school I was losing interest in saying, "We'll stay in touch, right?" I wanted to move on with my life. There were lots of people with whom I wanted--and still do, for that matter--to stay in touch, but when I told them that, I got the impression that they didn't really believe me.
Since reading Cypress' email, I've been thinking a lot about the friends I had in Buffalo and what it was like there. I just got caught up on Kathryn's blog, and several people have been checking in on me lately (thanks to Facebook birthday posts), and I just keep considering friendships in general. I know I value the friendships I had in Buffalo, but the question is, how much? When I go back for Thanksgiving, who will I want to see? Any of the people that graduated with me? My friends who are still in high school?
My sisters took the "Off to college-- goodbye forever!" approach towards many of their casual acquaintances from high school, so I'm really going on my own experiences here. There are certainly some people I'd like to see, but I've always been reluctant to let go of friendships.

And on the other hand, what about my friendships here? I feel like I have a lot more friends in one place than I've ever had before, and I really appreciate all of my friends, in a way that's different from how I appreciated my high school friends. There, it was almost like clinging desperately to a life preserver, finding anyone who wasn't one of the gross popular kids and spending time with them, even if you weren't really close with them. I hate being dependent on people, so often in high school, I'd just be alone because I didn't want to rely on anyone else. Here, I feel I have much more control over who I spend my time with, and I spend my time with them because I actually enjoy the undiluted pleasure of their company. Here, being alone is more a personal decision than an active rejection.

I've heard rumors that some people say, "I'm happy. I have friends. My life is good," and just leave it at that. I'll never be one of those people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Celebrations and joy!

Today was my birthday, and it was really nice! I had my favorite class (Physiology of Behavior) and got a Monroe, which was significantly less painful than I thought it would be (at least when the actual piercing occurred. The aftermath is quite a different story, in more ways than one.) and looks even cooler than I thought it would. I got an early start on my bad decision-making; when my mother sees this thing, she is going to faint. But I like it.
Anyway. After that, I had my first real chorus rehearsal, which was delightful. It feels magnificent to be singing again. Alice and Julia are in chorus as well, and when rehearsal ended, we went to the Quad, where I was presented with a birthday cake that all my friends had helped make! Why they chose to bring it to the Quad when they baked it on lower Elm is something of a mystery, but I don't care. They baked me a cake! And it was gluten-free, so all of my friends could eat it! And it was a carrot cake, which is my favorite kind, a fact that I had mentioned and immediately forgot about. I was honestly amazed that my friends had just magically known my favorite kind of cake. My obliviousness is really unprecedented. So we ate the cake in the campus center, and good times were had by all. Sitting on the green couches, surrounded by good friends who have no idea what I was like in preschool, enjoying gluten-free cake. These are the moments you preserve in amber.
Today's song: "Stormy Weather," Lena Horne (Subject matter not related to how my day went. Just a good song to go with a good day.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Girls at Smith dress really well. On average, I mean. People have amazing style, and I'm quite envious. I always try to dress nicer, but I don't for a couple of reasons. The biggest one is an issue that I've been pondering for quite some time now. It's not really an issue. It's more like having a weird little tuft of hair that just sticks up, and usually you don't think about it because it doesn't bear thinking about, but every so often you look in the mirror and think, Tuft. You bother me on certain isolated occasions. (This is not to be confused with my thoughts regarding Taft.)
Anyway. The tuft-thought goes something like this. I do not identify as femme, but I dress and act very much like you'd expect a femme to dress and act. You'd think I could just leave my thought process there, but no.
I'm not comfortable saying I'm femme, but on the other hand I'm just...not butch. Eirie and I had a conversation about this over the weekend. She listed ways in which I am butch (I split firewood, don't wear makeup, don't really wear dresses, have had a buzz cut on more than one occasion) and ways in which I am femme (Ballet. Nuff said.) I know it's a spectrum, and you don't have to identify as either if you don't want to. I'm really not sure why I think about this so much, because it's not like the answer's even that important. I like pretty things like dresses and earrings and long hair, but I don't like them on me. Most of the time. I do own a few not-super-frilly dresses that I wear, and I also used to do drag all the time, which I'd like to get back into. I used to be pretty good at it, actually, which is definitely something to be proud of.

Today I tried to dress nicely because the other girls in my French class (Is girls the right word here? Ladies? Young women? Maidens?) all dress super chic, and last class I was a little sloppy. Whenever I know people are going to be looking nice, I always feel the urge to look nice as well, so it's really a good thing. My cousin Sara has singlehandedly raised the bar for the entire young generation in my family. To give you an example of what I mean by "super chic," there's one girl who wore a really well-cut polka dot dress, black high heels, and a pearl set to class today. That's what we're talking. Super classy. I wore this weird frilly shirt thing that I always forget how much I hate till I've been wearing it for a few hours. It makes me uncomfortable-- not like "itchy," more like "I cannot reconcile my wardrobe choice with my inner self." But I endured. Because I guess I thought I looked good? Except... I didn't think I looked that good.
Why am I making myself wear things I hate? This doesn't make any sense. Maybe I should just wear the clothes I'm comfortable in and stop trying to predict what image I'm projecting to other people. That's just silly, y'all.

Today's music: "Moment's Notice," John Coltrane

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The importance of eating food

Helen told me to post more (twice in one day isn't enough? Guess she's used to Tumblr, where people seem to post every five seconds. Silly Helen!) so I thought I'd share this tidbit with you. Since arriving at Smif, I've become addicted to pears. I eat them for my supper, I eat them for my lunch, and if I had a million pears I'd eat them all at once and get a really bad stomachache. It's weird because I never liked pears that much before college. In fact, I actively disliked them. (An incident with a worm. Let's just leave it at that.) But now I eat pears like it's my job. A delicious, juicy job.
However, I took a pear from the Emerson dining hall and put it in my bag for later, and it exploded all over my sweater and a library book. Not a good thing.

Before I left for Smif, Caroline told me to try all the dining halls, which is pretty good advice, so I followed it. (This is apparently an attitude Alice and I don't share; I basically do whatever people tell me to as long as it's not obviously stupid or dangerous, but when people tell Alice to do something, she becomes less inclined to actually do it.) I still haven't been to all the dining halls, but so far I like King/Scales the best because it reminds me of the dining hall from Gilmore Girls and has really excellent food, followed by Lamont, which I've only been to once and I had to eat and run in order to make an advising appointment on time (which for me, means 15 minutes early) but was attractive and had good food, and Chapin, which is good because it's centrally located and close enough to the Quad that it's easy for all my friends to meet up there. I eat at Cutter a lot because it's also centrally located, but I'm a little wary of the food because I know two girls that had allergic reactions after eating there. Chase/Duckett (affectionately known as Chuckett by my Baldwinite peeps out there) is nice and very close by, but it's got a very low ceiling that bothers me a lot more than it should. Low ceilings remind me of prison cells. And I don't like eating at Tyler because no matter how hard I'm trying to turn the other cheek, I'm a little too Sicilian to be a really good Catholic. It certainly is uphill work.

Reading is sexy!

So, I'm trying to get over this delightful bout of nausea and exhaustion not by sleeping, but by reading Emily's old blog, and she mentioned a valid point. I read the same books over and over. And it's time to stop. I usually read books with lots of atmosphere and fairly upbeat plots, but I'm getting a little tired of that now. (About time, right? It's only been nearly eighteen years.) What I started getting into at Unirondack was reading classics--I read Jane Eyre for the first time this summer, and it was absolutely fantastic, so maybe I'll just read some more Bronte and Austen. Josie and Abeer told me a little while ago to read Emma for a nice light read, and my mother was super jazzed when I started reading Anna Karenina, but I had to return it before I was done reading.
So I think I'll make a reading list, then. Keep myself to a program. Of course, once classes get started in earnest, I won't have any time to read (especially since I'm actually fangirling about Physiology of Behavior. Watch me do a ton of nonrequired work/independent research for that class.) but the list will give me some direction.

Lily's Reading List:
  1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  2. Emma, Jane Austen
  3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
Three is good to start.

Five hour date

Five AWESOME hours. I'm hella sleepy right now but it was totes worth it.
Today's song: "Judas," Lady Gaga (once again, all me.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Panic panic panic

Normally, I don't mind waiting. I think of myself as a very patient person, and I'm not too bad at putting things out of my head. For example, not two feet away from me there is a package that I can't open till Wednesday, and that thought doesn't bother me at all.
But I have half an hour left to wait and I'm making myself insane. I hope tonight doesn't involve me going into cardiac arrest because my heart is doing something weird that I'm sure isn't healthy.
Today's song: "Nervous Breakdown," Wanda Jackson (Music influence by me. I'm addicted to Wanda Jackson's voice and especially her latest album.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Separate but equal

Both of my sisters went to the college I am currently attending. While I don't see this as a problem, I am still very determined to make my Smif experience unique. However, I will be accepting their advice, which is excellent. This blog will document my college adventures, as I boldly go where thousands of other women and two of my closest relatives have gone before. But it'll be different with me. Right?
Right. Good answer.
So, step one of asserting my differences: I will not be taking Logic 100. This was an inadvertent step. I definitely intended to take the class, but it conflicts with Physiology of Behavior, which I need to take so I can ascertain whether my destiny is to become a Neuro major. Today, I talked to an upperclassman on my floor about Neuro and she was really enthusiastic about the course and said my professor is awesome. However, said conversation took place while she was very drunk, so I won't bank on her word.
Step two (I'm probably going to lose track of these steps or just lose interest in the system, fyi): Today, I auditioned for the advanced ballet class. Ballet is not an interest my sisters have ever really cottoned to, although I bet they'd both be really good if they tried. C is much much stronger than I am, which I think is more important than flexibility, and E tackles everything she does with such intense drive, I'm sure she would force ballet to bend to her will. (However, this strategy never worked for me.) But anyway, I think the audition went fairly well. As per usual, I was the only Cecchetti trained dancer in the room (You can always tell. Vaganova versus Cecchetti is like a chair with claw feet versus the kind of minimalist chairs you always see at Ikea: sleek and utilitarian.), but I didn't mind because a) that made me stand out more, b) Vaganova annoys the living hell out of me, and c) it was a pleasure to be dancing in a real class again, regardless of context. I've missed class.
It's very late (for me; I usually go to bed at 11:30 but my plans fell through) but I'm not tired at all, so I think I'll wrap up this post and compose more playlists in an ineffectual attempt to calm down the butterflies in my stomach. Occupational hazard of lunch in the garden--not that I'm complaining; I wouldn't have been anywhere else for the world.
Today's song: "When My Boy Walks Down the Street," The Magnetic Fields. (Influenced by E.)