Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A list of awesome things that happened in the last week:

1. My parents renewed their vows on a cruise ship, and brought me back a bunch of cool presents from Barbados. Congrats, Mom and Dad!

2. Bought a hideous on-the-hanger dress at Target that looked way sexy on-the-me.

3. Got my first sculpture assignment, and it's highly interpretable.

4. Learned to play Hank Williams' "Hey, Good Looking" on the keyboard (as well as a few random 90's techno songs).

The Unreleased Recordings: The Hits... Like Never Before

5. Chryssa dyed my white trash roots back to beautiful blond.

6. Used velcro rollers in my hair for the first time, and, thanks to some helpful amateur YouTube how-to videos, got wonderful results. The video below was the most useful for me. I will try to put up a full instructional post of my own in the next couple days, as I'm assuming that using rollers to curl hair is as big of a mystery to many other people as it was for me.

7. Ate a phenomenal falafel pita at Pita Pete's with Jaime and James, and some damn good Qdoba with Chryssa and Alex; friends and food - need I say more about why these experiences were so exceptional?

8. Got a bunch of canvas and other art supplies from the VCBeast.
9. Spent lots of time with people I love.

10. Received an exciting X-mas gift: a beautiful polka dot corsette!

11. Made plans for the upcoming weekend that are guaranteed to bring me many smiles, much laughter, and maybe even some butterflies in my tummy.

Life is spectacular right now. I wish I could feel this way all the time. I know people say that you can't appreciate the good without the bad, but I find that really hard to believe. And, even if this is true, I think the amount of "bad" I've experienced thus far will keep me appreciating "good" for the rest of my life. Bring it on.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Favorite Quotes in 2009

“Forgiveness has nothing to do with the perpetrator. It has nothing to do with any religion. It has only everything to do with the way the victim is empowering himself or herself and taking back their life.” - Eva Mozes Kor

"We have a whole life to live together, you fucker, but it can't start until you call." - from Me and You and Everyone We Know

"It takes two to tango, only one to sin." - from Sam Kinison's "Mississippi Queen"

"The world makes you into a bitch, no matter how quietly you go, so you may as well go kicking and screaming.” - Roseanne Barr

"Mountain. / Peaks pierce the green sky, unblunted. / The sky would fall / but for the columns of mountains." - poem by Mao Zedong

"A man would rather have another man's jealousy than another man's respect." - from Sex and Death 101

"When the owl cries, the indian dies." - ancient Mexican saying

"Love does not divide, it multiplies." - Robert Heinlein

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"The kindest words are often spoken; never heard." - from Ben Folds' "The Last Polka"

"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves." - Lynn Hall

"Existence precedes and rules essence." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"We could plan a murder or start a religion." - Jim Morrison, from "Angels and Sailors"

"Being humble is so 2007." - Erykah Badu

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Student Life

I've been back in school for three days, and as of right now, I'm predicting that this will be an interesting, relaxing, and fulfilling semester. I'm taking Art 102 (a 2-D art studio class); Fashion, Modernism, and Modernity; Beginners Sculpture; and Art History I, through ca. 1400. I like all of my professors, I don't have any classes that start earlier than 11 a.m., I'm taking the fashion class with two of my besties (Chryssa and Alexandra), and I have three day weekends all semester! What more could I ask for?

While sitting in my last art history class this evening, I found myself thinking, once again, just how lucky I am to be back in school and working toward a degree that, only a couple of years ago, I never thought I'd be able to pursue. Up until two years ago, I could have never guessed that, at 27 years old, I'd be focusing the majority of my attention and time on art, especially in a scholarly context. I am currently headed down a life path that is soooo different from what it was when I worked for all those years at the newspaper. I enjoyed my job in advertising sales, and, for quite some time, firmly accepted it as the best opportunity I would ever come upon to make a decent living; it just seemed so solid and practical, and the money was great. At first, when my newspaper started to fold right in front of my eyes (no pun intended), I had no idea what I was going to do. But, with the encouragement of friends and family, I am now aiming towards true, long-term happiness, and not just a paycheck and a good retirement plan. This is my fourth semester back in school, and every day that I attend class I have to pinch myself just to make sure this is real... and even when that pinch is felt, I'm still in disbelief.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have.” - Edgar Watson Howe

In the last couple months, my love of music has pleasantly developed into a full-on obsession. It's been years since I've felt so passionate about finding new bands and seeing live performances. Lucky for me, I have many friends with a phenomenal ability to read my tastes in music, and then pass on their own recommendations accordingly; now, I would like to do the same for you. Here is a list of my current five favorites, with a special thanks to be given to Mike, Alexandra and Josh, Alex, and Jaime for their contributions to my addiction:

* Click the song titles (if link is available) to hear a partial clip.






*Song clips not available, but you can listen to The Format on their MySpace page.




Friday, January 8, 2010

How the idea of an emotional enema can turn into YouTubing:

I woke up today and read She's Come Undone for two hours; it's one of my favorite books, and I have spent much time over my winter break re-reading it for the millionth time. I'm not a giant fan of fiction, but I relate to the main character so much that I find myself reading her story as my own, crying when she cries and learning as she learns, no matter the fact that I know exactly what's going to happen on the next page. Unfortunately, reading this book first thing in the morning is apparently not a good idea for me, as it can set the tone for the rest of my day as one of despair and longing.

After getting out of bed, feeling depressed and empty, I looked around my newly rearranged apartment at all of my stuff (which there is A LOT of) and noticed how many items have been made for me, or presented to me, by others. From what I hear, my tastes are both distinct and affordable, making it easy for my loved ones to randomly pick up little gifts for me. The only con to this? Finding remnants of past relationships, either extinguished or smothered, all around me, on a daily basis. This morning, I had an idea that I would throw away all of these things, or, at the very least, pack them up and hide them away in a closet; give myself a clean aesthetic slate, one free of hurtful memories and long-lost inside jokes - an emotional enema, if you will. People do it all the time in movies... destroy boxes full of ex-boyfriends, leaving themselves feeling liberated, the dead weight of decayed intimacy removed from their shoulders.

But I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Instead of wallowing in my self-directed disappointment, I did a little Googling to cheer myself up. Follow the link below and you will see exactly how I got here, three and a half hours later, feeling so much less guilty about my heavy accumulation of outwardly meaningless, yet inwardly invaluable, material possessions.

I'd like to specifically point out a great YouTube video I watched, featuring psychologist and author Sam Gosling talking about the theories behind his book Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. The video is an hour long, and worth every minute of your time it will occupy.

Enjoy. In the meantime, I'm off to do some actual, rather than emotional, cleaning. Chrissy and Liam are coming over tonight to drink a couple of brewskis, and my apartment is a mess. Happy snooping...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Social Binge

I have spent my entire winter break on a social binge. I haven't accomplished anything on my list of things to do, such as velvet painting, macrame, deep cleaning my apartment, sorting my hundreds of loose writings laying around the house, organizing my bedroom, etc., etc. School starts in six days and I'm totally anxiety-ridden right now. There are so many things I should be working on, but all I want to do is hang out with my favorite people as much as possible before the homework starts rolling in again.

And once it does, I'll go back to hanging out with my favorite people and putting off that homework until the wee hours of the morning on the day it's due. Pleasure is priority.

Ian's Party 2010

On Saturday night, I went to a punk festival in downtown Elgin called Ian's Party. It turned out to be a really great time. Jaime and I got there pretty early, and were able to see some awesome bands. Highlights of the evening's line-up included: Heart Shaped Hate (with Chica X - a nine year old female rapper), Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Elephant Gun, Sass Dragons, and Zlam Dunk.
Despite the below zero weather, the night was a total blast. We drank over-priced PBR ($2.50 - seriously?), danced, heard some new music, and ran into old friends.

The last set we caught was my friends' band, the Sass Dragons. It was a strange experience... the last time I saw them play was years ago, in the basement of their house, surrounded by their close friends. They've really grown since then. It was cool to see their new followers thrashing around, spitting beer, and singing along. There's something extremely awesome about seeing talented local musicians getting the attention they deserve. They rocked the cat box with their set, for sure.

I will say, though, I almost felt a little too old to be there. I suppose that's because I haven't been to a punk show in so long, and, in a way, those kind of shows remind me of a time in my life that now seems like the distant past. I don't party the way I used to (thankfully), and I couldn't even hold my own in the pit for more than one song before being pushed to the back. Fail! However, the next morning, when I woke up smelling like other people's sweat, sore from being spiritedly shoved around, and hair crispy from the beer being thrown into the air during the last performance, I did experience a comforting wave of nostalgia.
O, the feel of filth.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Go take a cold shower.

There's no better way to begin a one-degree Illinois day than by having the hot water run out halfway through your shower. Washing my hair in ice cold water is not irritating in the least (note sarcasm).

Game night at Jaime's went well last night. Jaime, her roommate Sarah, and I managed to make it through a few rounds of Scattergories and the adult version of Loaded Questions before shifting our attention to some VHS tapes that Jaime recently acquired. We began the crappy VHS-a-thon with a promotional tape for a company called My Twinn that, based on the clips in said video, makes custom dolls for the spoiled children of exceptionally wealthy soccer moms and equestrian enthusiasts. A bit later in the evening, we watched a children's documentary about animals and their babies, which turned out to be more terrifying than informative. Have you ever seen a baby pelican eat from its mother's mouth-sack? Well, I have, and it was horrifying.

Today's plan includes having coffee with Alexandra, then heading to a punk festival in Elgin. I am stoked about both of these activities, despite my current state of laziness. I am laying down while typing this. My social calendar has been insanely full in the last two weeks, and I think my energy is just about depleted. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and cleaning around the house.

In other news, I am happy to say that my New Year's resolution to write everyday is holding strong. Two days in and I'm feeling very confident. I'm glad to be blogging again, and hoping that at least a few people are excited to see me back at it. I journal for myself whenever I have some traumatic event happening in my personal life, but I've really missed posting my daily drivel for all to see. I love language, and it motivates me to know that people are reading what I write, no matter how insignificant.

Until next time, Sausage and Clams.

Friday, January 1, 2010


2010 began with a gathering of close friends at Luke and Chryssa's house. In attendance were Luke, Alexandra, Josh, Alex, Tony, Lauren, Chrissy, Liam, Josiah, and I. We partied, we ate pizza, we did not puke. Not a bad start to a new year, if I do say so myself.

Many laughs were had today when Liam put a pillow between his legs, at which point Chrissy declared that he had "tainted" it. It's both rare and hilarious when potty humor works on more than one level.

My plans for the rest of the evening? I will forgo the nap that I need so badly, and instead go to board game night at my friend Jaime's house. Then, hopefully, I will return to mi casa at a reasonable hour to get a good night's sleep before Ian's Party tomorrow. I have two weeks left before the misleadingly titled "spring" semester begins, and I intend to have at least a little fun each day until then.

Rice out.
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