Okay… I’ve seen two Broadway shows and have read 4 or 5 books since my last post, but I don’t have the time right now to gush about them. I promise I’ll get to those at some point soon. Because I have read some good books… and some crap ones. And both the Broadway shows I saw were really great (The Bridges of Madison County and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, for those who are actually interested…).

 

No, this post is going to be about friends and my really great weekend (well, Saturday) with some friends who I haven’t seen in about 3 years.

 

I love my friends. I have some really good friends in the city and I’m grateful when I get to see them. Some I see once a month. Some I see every couple months. Some I talk to multiple times a day via Facebook messaging or text messaging. One of my most favorite people in the world doesn’t live in the city, but we talk every few weeks on the phone. (Though last week we talked two nights in a row for multiple hours each night and it was glorious.) This weekend I was able to reconnect with three lovely women I went to grad school with. I haven’t seen them in years and we don’t really talk much outside of some Tweets here and there or comments on Instagram, but we had a really great day together talking about our common pasts, our differing presents and our plans for the future.

 

Now, I’m the kind of person who was always friendly with a large group of people but who only has a handful of really close friends. I have often said that I would actually be content never interacting with other people, but since I can’t be a complete hermit I an fiercely loyal to the close friends I do have and genuinely enjoy spending time in a more one-on-one or small group setting.

 

To put it mildly, I had an odd week last week and was ready to be a shut in for the weekend so I could work on my book. But, out of the blue a friend who was visiting the city asked me out to brunch on Saturday and then a couple other friends who were in town for a conference were free to hang out that evening, so I ended up having a jam-packed Saturday with old friends instead of spending it alone hunched over my computer.

 

I honestly haven’t had that much fun in awhile.

 

At brunch, my friend and I kibitzed for a couple hours over bottomless mimosas and filling carbs. I was planning on heading home before I went out later that evening, but she invited me to go to the Met with her. So, we tipsily made our way uptown to the Met and walked around the museum for a few hours ogling priceless works of art and priding ourselves in being able to identify various painters and sculptors even though we had a super great buzz going on. I had never been to the Met, so I was super excited (as I love art and history and art history). My favorite exhibit was easily the Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts. But the whole museum was great and we took some selfies with the statues, which was fun.

 

We weren’t tipsy by time we left the museum to meet our other friends at a bar. Once there, we started drinking again, so after my three pints of beer and cider, I was feeling pretty damn good again. Not only was I riding high from my delightful beverages, but I was having an odd afternoon of high self-esteem.

 

It is probably not a huge surprise that I have medium to low self-esteem most of the time. Even though I know I’m a very smart person who has good manners and morals, I often am down on myself for not knowing where my life is headed or having the kind of financial or social stability that a lot of my peers and family members have.

 

(This is where you insert the comment about how you’re not supposed to compare yourself to others because your life is your life.)

 

But I was feeling really good about myself while I was hanging out with my friends and even still today.

 

See, the friends I was hanging out with are all college professors. We all graduated around the same time from our masters program, but then the rest of them went into the doctoral program whereas I found myself drifting away from our shared major. I never really felt like part of our program (even though I totally graduated – woot), but I was friendly with these people and continue to admire them for their successes. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of their accomplishments and that they are important people in their field and presenting at conferences and all that jazz.

 

Heading into the weekend knowing I was going to be seeing/hanging out with a group of college professors (while I am merely a dog walker), I was super surprised when they all were really gung-ho about how I just up and moved to NYC a couple years ago and that I’m writing a book.

 

See, while I see myself as a lowly dog-walker who is struggling to find her purpose, my friends actually see me as a writer.

 

I mean, I tell myself that the dog walking is just a job, not a career (because it’s not a career… I cannot do that forever, especially after this terrible winter. That Polar Vortex actually almost killed me), and I want to be a published author very, very much. I am determined to get this book finished and published. It is happening.

 

But there is something really flattering and wholly humbling when people you know and admire think that you are doing something awesome. When you have such a low opinion of yourself, it feels like you won the lottery when people you believe in believe in you too.

 

And I know that sounds terrible. I know that. But it’s the truth.

 

So for the first time in awhile, I felt really good about myself yesterday. And that encouragement from my friends stuck with me today as I sat down and wrote another chapter.

 

But it’s not just those friends who are helping me see that maybe – just maybe – my dreams could be a reality. It’s all my friends and family.

 

See, when I was having my multiple phone conversations this past week with one of my most favorite people who doesn’t live in the city, she told me that she started reading my book. (I sent her a draft via email awhile ago and she’s now reading it… woot.) Even though I know what I’m writing is not something that she normally would read, I was bowled over when she said that she thought it was good.

 

I know the book has trouble spots. And I know it’s going to need some serious help in editing. But with the support and encouragement from friends who I respect and love, I am able to love myself and my work too.

 

Besides the nice things my friends have said, I got a real boost from my brother the other day. He said that he’s really inspired by how hard I’ve been working on my book and it’s inspired him to work on the website he’s designing and the other side projects he’s been working on outside of his schooling. And even over the holidays, he brought up how impressed he continues to be of the television shows and videos I worked on when I was in college. Even though he’s my younger brother, I look up to him and how accomplished he in in his fields. So, to hear that he is inspired by work I’ve done and the work I continue to do is a little mind boggling.

 

And maybe I don’t love myself as much as I could, or think as highly of my own work as I should, but even this little surge of self-confidence from my friends and family has helped so much.

 

I know if I don’t thank them as much as I could or should, but Thank You. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your time. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for venting at me. Thank you for caring about me when perhaps I’m not caring as much as I should about myself.

 

I hope I am able to be that kind of support system for the people in my life who need it the most. I hope I can make you proud and I hope I can make myself proud.

 

Things just seem so much more possible when you don’t have to go it alone.

 

I hope everyone had as much of a productive (and fun!) weekend as I did.

 

(Dude, I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time… holy shit, that game is amazing.)

 

Have a good one

Hi there.

I realize I really haven’t posted much in the past few weeks. I was out of town until the other day, and then just too busy/tired to post on here.

I’m toying with the idea of ending this blog and starting up a different one. Or, keeping this one and posting on it every now and again, but not as much as before. Last week I spoke with a friend/my mentor from undergrad and she gave me some suggestions for new blogs and I might take those ideas and run with them. 2012 is going to be my year, and in order to achieve what I want to achieve, I’m going to need to narrow my focus a bit.

That being said, while I am still on here, I should say that last week was one of the best weeks of my life. Besides having all of my Leave of Absence paperwork and scheduling epically screwed up by my workplace so I was stuck going back to work 3 days before I was technically supposed to, I had the best week ever.

For stress-related purposes, I took some time off of work to recharge my batteries after the crazy year that was 2011. I somehow managed to finish my thesis, defend it and graduate from Grad School. I completely lost contact with some of the people I was closest to. I’m going through a quarter-life crisis where I’m still trying to figure out who I am, what I want to do and where I want to do it. I have been job hunting like whoa, trying to earn myself a position at a place that will challenge me, but also utilize the skills I have honed through my higher education.

But, alongside the obstacles 2011 threw at me, I somehow found a new group of friends who I love and who somehow love me right back. These people were strangers to me when I met them in August, but by last week, we were meeting up and hanging out together in my favorite city in the whole wide world. I cannot put into words how lucky I feel to know that there are people outside of my family and friends from college who have my back and genuinely care about me. This might sound strange, but I haven’t had that kind of security system in awhile.

Anyway… during this lovefest of a week with my friends, I managed to see Darren Criss in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying three times in five days. He was awesome as J. Pierrepont Finch.

H2$ is one of my favorite musicals of all time, and Darren Criss has quickly become one of my favorite performers. Not only is he one of the nicest people I’ve had the privilege of meeting (long story short, I got the chance to meet him backstage at his Market Days Concert in Chicago over the summer… we chatted for maybe 2 minutes. He’s super nice and extremely handsome… two of the biggest understatements of the year, for sure.), but he is a really, really engaging performer.

I saw him perform at Glee Live and his concert in Chicago, but this was my first opportunity to see him act on stage as opposed to on TV.

I was impressed. Sure, he wasn’t projecting very well on his opening night (probably a combination of mic problems and nerves, is my guess), but that boy appeared to leave everything out on the stage.

Since I saw the musical three times in five days, I was able to see progress in his performance and various obstacles he had to overcome within mere fractions of seconds. On opening night, one of his props (an electric shaver) malfunctioned during a song, he quickly fixed it and went on like nothing happened. During the second performance I saw, another prop (a rocket) malfunctioned during one of his fast-paced monologues and he ended up throwing it onto the higher part of the set instead of launching it like he was supposed to, had it worked properly. The third time I saw the show, I had box seats and could see his parents and all of his college friends from where I was sitting. It was neat to watch their reactions as he danced his ass off. I am ashamed to admit when I found out he was going to be in the show, I was worried he wouldn’t be able to handle the choreography. I stand corrected like whoa… Darren Criss can DANCE. I’m still trying to wipe the smile off my face from “Grand Old Ivy” and “Brotherhood of Man.” Holy shit, it was amazing.

Besides dancing and singing well, he has a fantastic sense of comedic timing. By the third show I saw, you could tell he knew exactly when to play it up. There were some solid laugh-out-loud moments that got funnier and funnier by the third time I saw it. Even though I knew every line/song/move that was coming, he managed to mix it up or bow just *that much* deeper.

Darren’s performance was both flawless and flawed, but that’s to be expected. The poor kid’s only in the show for 3 weeks, so it’s not like he can possibly have that character as finely tuned as previous Finch’s. There are just so many ways to play this guy – Finch can be perceived as aggressive or back-stabbing, but at the same time he’s naive and clueless. He wants to get ahead (“succeed in business,” if you will) and he’ll do just about anything to do it… but at the same time, he’s not very in tune with his emotional feelings or the feelings Rosemary has toward him. The love story plot is not the main plot of the show (which is kinda weird for a musical romantic comedy, if you think about it…), so maybe that’s why that part of the show suffers more. I mean, Rosemary is singing about marrying Finch and keeping his dinner warm, like, a minute after she meets him. Finch figures out he’s in love with Rosemary after kissing Heddy, even though he hasn’t been out with Rosemary very much, let alone kissed her or even made a pass at her. A lot of the plot loop holes are the way they are because of the time period and setting. But, I will gladly overlook these things because I love the book and songs for this show, and I have since I was a little girl.

When I was younger, the high school I would eventually go to put on this show. I didn’t see it when they performed it, but I did end up seeing the movie version because my sister saw the musical and then wanted to watch the movie. Ever since I have been listening to the OBC recording of the show. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, my parents got me the 1994 revival recording on CD for me for Easter. (It’s in my car and has been since I could drive…). When I found out that DanRad was going to be in the 2011 revival, I acquired that soundtrack too. Unfortunately I was never able to see him in the show. HOWEVER, when I found out that Darren was going to take over for DanRad, I knew I had to see it. It was a sign – H2$ is one of my favorite musicals of all time, and Darren is one of my favorite performers… I had to see him in it.

And so I did. Thrice. And it was magical.

Here’s a few pictures that I took whilst in the area…

For the record, I did do a bunch of other things in NYC besides see H2$ three times…

I also saw:
Follies (w/Bernadette Peters!!!!!!)
Anything Goes (w/Sutton Foster and Joel Grey!!!!!!!!!!)
Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone (I cried when Patinkin sang “Oh What a Circus”!!!!!!!)
Seminar (I f-ing met Alan Rickman and had a super awkward photo encounter with Jerry O’Connell!!!!!!)
Memphis (uh-may-zing show)
I saw JMOMS twice (JMOMS = Joe Moses One-Man Showses … Joe Moses played Snape in AVPM/AVPS)
I saw the Theo Katzman/Charlene Kaye/Shoot the Freak concert
I went to the Museum of Natural History and laid down on the floor under the giant whale
I hailed a cab for the first time in my life (on the first attempt, no less)
I rode the subway for the first time in my life
I had Breakfast at Tiffanys
I threw up in Central Park at 12:02 am on New Years (btw – I was NOT drinking. I had no alcohol in my system. I was dehydrated and exhausted. So ha.)
I met a bunch of awesome people and had an awesome time.
I read The Hunger Games and loved it.

So yeah… it was amazing.

But, now I’m back to reality. I worked three days thus far this week. I’m still applying for jobs. I went to the movies with my mom today. We saw The Descendants. It was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off.

Here was my FB status after I got home from the movie…:
“George Clooney does not deserve this year’s Best Actor Oscar for his work in The Descendants. Go ahead and nominate him, but give the award to someone else. Clooney turned in a solid performance, but the Academy shouldn’t just hand the statue to a man who showcases internal struggle well all while having nice hair. I’m pulling for DiCaprio, Dujardin or Fassbender on this one…”

I just saw that Clooney won the Critics Choice Award tonight for his performance in The Descendants. Like, he’s an AMAZING actor, but I don’t think his performance was the best male performance this season. What about Ryan Gosling in Drive or Ides of March? What about DiCaprio in J. Edgar? What about Michael Fassbender in everything he does?

So… Golden Globes are on this weekend. Awards season is my crack.

Anyway… I should get to bed. I am way tired and have a shit ton of chores to do tomorrow.

Have a good one

I found out about PostSecret a few years ago through some friend’s link on Facebook and it has become my weekly ritual. I don’t go to church at the moment, so this is what I do on my Sunday… I read other people’s secrets. Even though I have no idea who the people are who send in the postcards, I end up feeling like I belong to some sort of community anyhow. Sometimes their secrets are my secrets, and when I read someone else’s words that echo my own thoughts, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. Like I’m not the only person who thinks about that kind of stuff, misses those kinds of people, did those kinds of things, or has those sorts of dreams.

Tonight while I was looking at the website, this postcard caught my eye because I totally think this… Actually, not only do I think this, but I always say to myself (in a purposefully horrible cockney accent, no less), “I’m in London town.” I don’t know why I do this, but I do this all the time when the situation arises. So, whoever mailed in that postcard, thank you for making me smile.

Sometimes, the secrets on those postcards just break my heart – especially the ones that I most related to. I just want to hug that person and tell them, “I totally understand what you are feeling.”

Other times I wonder if anyone would ever have a reason to write a postcard about me. Now, that sounds really selfish or narcissistic, but I honestly don’t mean it that way. It’s just that I know I have a bunch of people I could write postcards about… friends who have been there for me, family members who have loved me unconditionally, guys who broke my heart, strangers I’ve encountered who have made an impact on my life. I just sometimes wonder if I ever made an impact on anyone else. I’m pretty insignificant when you look at the big picture. But I don’t want my life to go by and not have made some sort of positive dent on society, you know?

Alas.

So, I added 3 more movies to my DVD collection today. Not that I *need* any more movies, but I want so many more movies… it’s an addiction. I can’t help it. I got Stardust, Waitress and Shattered Glass. I’ve seen all of these movies several times apiece and have been wanting to add them to my ever-expanding collection for some time now.

Stardust (which I totally watched this afternoon with my mom… woot) – I will admit, I thought this movie looked kinda dumb when I saw the trailers a few years ago. I was living in Indiana at the time and a couple friends were trying to get me to go see it and I kept turning them down. Well, a couple years ago, I got this movie from the library around the time I was sick with the flu. I spent a week in bed and ended up watching this movie twice before I had to return it – I loved it. It reminds me a bit of The Princess Bride, in that it’s a bit fantastical and romantic all at the same time. I like Tristan’s arc, and the ensemble cast is pretty great. The score is pretty solid too.

Waitress – I saw this in theaters and then again on DVD a bunch of times. Though I’m not a huge Keri Russell fan, I do love me some Nathan Fillion and pies. This movie has great elements of comedy and drama, but it’s also really very sweet and charming. The story of the writer/actress/director’s death is so tragic, though 😦 I love this movie and am looking forward to watching it with commentary.

Shattered Glass – I appreciated this movie before I was even considering going to grad school for journalism, but now that I have more knowledge or media ethics, I appreciate this movie even more. It’s about Stephen Glass, a real guy who wrote fabricated articles for The New Republic magazine. This is Hayden Christensen’s best acted role to date, hands down. This movie also features an AMAZING ensemble cast led by Peter Sarsgaard. It was crime he did not get nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar that year. A crime. “He handed us fiction after fiction, and we printed them all as fact.” SOOOOOOO MONEY.

As I mentioned earlier, I spent the afternoon watching Stardust with my mom (and Moose, who spent the whole movie asleep on the couch next to me). Then we watched the news and Amazing Race. I like that I am familiar with all but one of the teams that are left – woot.

Confession time – I think I listened to this version of “Animal” probably 40 times today. I cannot wait to find out on Tuesday what the context of this song is… but I am beyond in love with the vocals. Holy hell… This best be sung on the tour.

Well, I am tres sleepy, so I am going to read for a bit and then head to bed. I got my alarm set for 9:00 so I won’t miss Darren Criss on Live with Regis and Kelly tomorrow morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a good one

I just got done re-watching The Jerk. I’ve probably seen this movie 10-20 times in my lifetime and will likely watch it 10-20 times more in the coming years. This movie is so good. You can’t help but laugh or smile at Navin R. Johnson. There are just too many amazing quotes from this movie, it’s ridiculous. I do the “He hates theses cans!” bit probably once a week just because I love it so.

This movie works because of Steve Martin. He’s just so amazing at physical and verbal comedy. That scene toward the beginning when he’s listening to the radio and his feet just start moving… and then he starts snapping… and how gets up and movies about the room after he tells his dad that the music speaks to him. It just kills me when he dances in and out of frame. It’s too funny for words 🙂

Navin’s naivety is endearing and it’s actually really smart of the script to have the other characters just go along with it. Navin should never have made it past the front gate of his parents’ house. But he does… and it’s just friggin’ hilarious to watch him out in the real world.

Steve Martin was (and still totally is) ridiculously adorable in this film. How can you not fall in love with this man?:

Besides The Jerk, some of my favorite Steve Martin moments are from his stand-up and SNL (of course, right?).

I used to have this King Tut routine down pat…

And this “Wild and Crazy Guys” sketch is my all-time favorite because I LOVE it when they are sad and doing the finger points at the ground (starting at 1:40… I am laughing as I typing this, I love this too much.)

That will never not be funny to me 🙂

Oh Steve Martin, how I love you so.

Besides gettin’ my chuckle on watching The Jerk, I met up with a couple friends for lunch today! The roads were tres horrible and it was super cold and snowy, but somehow we all made it to the restaurant. It was nice to see friendly faces and have a good chat with the girls. Being so far away from most of my friends from college, it’s great that there are some familiar faces nearby.

Also, it’s always nice getting to spend some time with your BFF of 15+ years 🙂 I’d like to thank her profusely for listening to me vent about everything she always lets me vent about… sometimes all it takes for me to realize that something actually happened is for me to get it out of my system, and my BFF is so patient with me as I am dealing with the remnants of what was. I love you, Molly J 🙂 My sister from another mother. But, of course I will disown you if you don’t start liking Darren Criss…

How can you not love this boy (and his friend Joey Richeter…)? (btw – this is from A Very Potter Musical and is a duet between Ron and Draco… which you will be watching with me as soon as humanly possible. Get ready to have your Potter-loving mid grapes blown.):

Well, OSCARS TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am more excited than you will ever know…

Have a good one

I started editing my thesis proposal draft today. It wasn’t too awful… it’s actually going a lot better than I thought. Most of the stuff I needed to fix were grammatical or proofreading errors. I’m the first person to admit that I’m not an awesome writer, nor am I extremely skilled in word order. I tend to write (type?) how I talk… which in some cases works (like this blog), but that doesn’t really transfer too well to a scholarly paper. For being as well educated as I am, I have really bad grammar. A lot of people at my work who don’t know that I’m in the middle of a graduate journalism program probably think I didn’t make it too far out of high school with the mouth I have…

But, with all of the typing I do from this blog and for my thesis stuff, my wrists are worn out like whoa. So this will be short.

Really I spent most of the day behind the computer. I read through my thesis chair’s notes twice, then made an outline of what I needed to do, then I started fixing the “easy” stuff. I highlighted the parts I’ll need to get back to with further notes or sources. I will work on that more tomorrow. I did some of it today, but I will try and finish tomorrow.

I almost had a heart attack today. I was trying to register for my last credit hour and I saw that I needed a special code. So, I went and checked my DARS (OU kids know what I’m talkin’ about…) and it said that I still needed 4 credit hours to graduate. For a couple minutes I was panicking that I somehow overlooked a class I needed to take. I am a master at reading the DARS, there was no way I was off by 4 credit hours… but it turns out none of my thesis hours have counted yet. Phew…

I still need to register for my credit hour. I also still need to get a thesis proposal defense date set. During the time I wanted to do it, there was no day/time where all three members of my committee were available. BAH. So, I have to push it to the first week of Spring Quarter. I am panicking about this, but I feel I will be able to get everything done on time and still be able to graduate in June. I am going to punch someone if I don’t. I’m just saying… Fists will fly.

Really all I did was work on my paper. I also watched American Idol and 30 Rock. I was sooooo happy Casey and Brett made it through on Idol!!! I think they are both adorable in their own way, and I look forward to their performances next Tuesday. 30 Rock was actually pretty funny… although I was like “Hey, that’s not Bob Ballard. I’ve seen Bob Ballard in person. That’s Terrence Mann! Who I’ve also seen in person…” Crazy times.

Tomorrow will be more of the same… workin’ on my editing my thesis proposal. Saturday I’ll get to see some friends, which will be awesome 🙂 Yay for a break from paper typing.

And, last but not least, a big CONGRATULATIONS to my amazing friend Robin who found out she got a magazine job today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so freakin’ happy for and proud of her 🙂 Words cannot express how super excited I am for her, as I know she was totally wanting this job. Get it, girl! You are the best 🙂

Have a good one

Well, 2010, it’s been real.

I can’t believe 2011 is happening so soon. It feels like 2010 just started, but I guess it has been a whole year. So much has happened. So much hasn’t happened. So much should have happened. So much will have to happen next year to make up for lost time in 2010.

I started 2010 in the apartment I shared with my sister in SE Ohio. I watched the ball drop and went to bed, hoping that 2010 was going to be my year. It was and it wasn’t all at the same time.

As 2010 started, I was starting my second of three quarters of graduate school for Journalism. I was hoping to become better friends with the people in my program (10 weeks fall quarter was just not enough time to get to know people… especially when more than half of the people in my program weren’t in any of my classes, and my assistantship was off of the main campus). I was hoping to figure out a topic for my thesis. I was hoping to figure out where I was going to be in 6 months when I was done with school.

I honestly thought I was going to finish my thesis before school ended in June and was going to move somewhere awesome and get a grown-up job doing something I loved. You know, living to work as opposed to working to live.

The winter months in SE Ohio were dreary as per usual, but my spirits were up. I did become better friends with some of the people in my program. I was doing well in school. I thought I was figuring it all out.

Spring Break was spent with my mom, sister, brother and an entire high school marching band. (My sister was a band teacher… and her kids were off to Disney World to march in some parade. I was chaperoning, kind of.) I thought it was going to be a pretty lame spring break, but it ended up being kinda awesome. I had a lot of fun with my family. And while pieces of that trip will now forever cause me simultaneous happy smiles and sad tears, at the time I was actually really happy. I hadn’t felt that happy in a long, long time.

(Full disclosure, I’m actually tearing up while I’m typing this… I am going to blame hormones for a majority of those tears. I seem to be extra emotional right now. One of those times of the month where I have the potential to tear up at a commercial for the Home Makeover show. You know what I’m talking about…)

Anyway – I was happy. In fact, I was so happy back then, that I decided I was going to wait to work on my thesis in the summer and I was going to finish the rest of the school year focusing on my classes and my friends. I don’t regret my decision, though there are surely times where I have questioned what I did or did not do with regards to everything. (btw – I know this is all probably epically cryptic. Not that anyone is actually reading this. But I’m not naming names and I’m not spilling super personal stuff. This is the Internet. I know once something is out there, it’s out there. So I shall continue my cryptic broad strokes…)

I admit, I kinda lost it a little bit spring quarter. My grades were fine. I was getting my class work done. I figured out what I would be doing for my thesis and I assembled a committee. But, my personal life was caving in like whoa. I didn’t know what was ahead for me. I didn’t know where I was going to be. I didn’t have any sort of job lined up. I didn’t know who I would be living with. I didn’t know what I was going to do. People had been talking about moving to Los Angeles. People had been talking about moving back home. People had been talking about doing this or that. I had dreams of moving to NYC, but I didn’t have the money to just up and move to the city.

My BFF was going to be moving to MN to go to school, so I finally agreed that I would move in with her. My parents lived in the same town, so I would just live with them over the summer and then move in with my BFF when it came time for her to come to school. While at my parents house, I would live rent-free and work on my thesis. And everyone would live happily ever after… right?

Hells no.

As my school year screeched to a halt, I found myself wondering what was going to happen to the friendships I had made over the last 9 months. I had befriended several people in my program and we had various levels of friendships/relationships. Some got stronger as the year ended, others started to fall apart. I knew I would be back in the area in a little over a month and that most of my friends would still be in town.

You wouldn’t believe how much can happen in a little over a month.

During that time, my mom and sister went on a 6 week road trip around the entire country. I lived with my dad in MN. My great-grandmother passed away and I found out while sitting in the parking lot of a movie theater after seeing Toy Story 3. I got a shit-ton of reading done for my thesis proposal. After a lot of discussion with my parents, we decided that it would be best if I didn’t move in with my BFF because of my financial situation. Among other things…

So, I get back to SE Ohio to try and finish packing up my sister and my apartment. Also, see some friends from school who I missed dearly.

It’s amazing how much can happen in less than a week.

(12/31/10 – Okay, so I did a bad journalist thing and deleted a couple paragraphs that I had typed out and posted. I was borderline venting and though I meant what I wrote, I shouldn’t have written it.)

Needless to say, I was beyond grateful when my mom said that we had to leave SE Ohio a day earlier than planned that week because my dad got injured. Not only was my dad waaaaaaaay more important that my personal life, but it was just nice to not have to be in Ohio anymore. (Even though, for the record, I wish I had more time during that visit to spend with my best grad school friend ever. You know who you are, Oh mighty thesis dominator!!!)

I am giving myself exactly one more day to cringe at that week in OH and the events that transpired. I am giving myself one more day to question what did or did not happen during grad school and why. I am giving myself one more day to dwell on the past.

See, I have a really good memory. Like, freakishly good. I remember conversations. I remember where they happened. Who was there. What people were wearing. What the weather was. Facial expressions. Body language. What I was feeling. What I was thinking. What happened. What didn’t happen. What I wanted to happen. I remember movies. Who I was with. What we did after. I remember dreams. I remember nightmares. This goes back to grade school and before. Whether I want to or not, I remember a lot. Maybe not everything, but enough to have completely vivid mental images of a lot of moments in my life. Happy ones. Sad ones. Regretful ones. Proud ones. I seem unable to repress the ones that I want to forget. If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘s plot were real, let’s just say that there are some things I would pay to not have to remember. I’m not saying that I want to erase anybody, but sometimes I wish I could just forget something, or at least have the ability to let it go for awhile. But I can’t. And all this information – happy, sad, regret, proud, joy, loss, celebration, etc… – is just always there, and it just weighs down my brain sometimes. (Like now… one would think that with each tear that falls, some of the weight would be lifted. But instead, it just seems to weigh me down even more.)

But I digress. Boy, do I digress.

Anyway, after I got back to MN in July with my mom and we made sure my dad was all right, we got into our new routine. Yes, I live with my parents. I am in my late 20s, I have one degree and am working on completing my second one and I live with my parents. (Talk about something that weighs down my brain… yikes.)

I got a (crappy) job to pay my bills. My BFF goes to school in town and I get to see her on occasion (though not as much as I’d like… hopefully in the New Year she’ll also want to hang out more). I am working on my thesis proposal. (I am emailing my thesis chair after New Years and asking him to let me know what I need to edit so I can defend the fucker already.) Life’s not perfect in the slightest, but it’s pretty darn good.

I have a family who loves me unconditionally. I have some friends who I love unconditionally. I can afford to pay for the bills I have. I am trying to save up some money so I can move out of my parents house as soon as humanly possible (hopefully this summer). I am working on my thesis proposal and coding when I can (I am at 700+ cases already!). I have my health (which can totally be improved… but I will be exercising and eating better in the New Year, for sure. We have several Wii dancing/cardio games to help with that. Woot.).

I know that in the New Year, if I want a good job and success that I will have to work my ass off for it. I am ready to face the world and conquer where I can. I am going to finish this thesis. It is going to make a difference to someone. I am going to make a difference. I am going to work hard. I am going to be a better person. I want to keep in better contact with people. And I am going to make 2011 my year.

I still don’t know where I’m going to be or what I’m going to do exactly. But I want to be happy. I am going to be happy.

🙂

To you and yours, Happy New Year!!

Okay, so the Rocky Horror Glee Show isn’t on until next Tuesday night (we had a rerun of Hairography tonight… more on that later), but did you see the sneak peek of next week’s “Time Warp”?!?!?!

There are so many amazing things about this video… (opinions/SPOILERS)
– Kurt as Riff Raff = amazingness. The costume is spot on, as is his accent.
– This may be my favorite vocal from Dianna Agron (Quinn playing Magenta). This is also the most animated and engaging she’s been in a music number, in my opinion.
– Is it just me, or does Cory Monteith actually look like he’s getting to be a decent dancer now? He doesn’t look awkward, which is a huge step in the right direction. And, I know I am sooooo biased, but how freakin’ cute does he look as Brad? (It’s those glasses!)
– I’m glad that Brittany and Tina are both Columbia, as they are the two best female dancers in the glee club (though we could have used more face time from Santana, Mike, Sam and Mercedes).
– I love, love, love Artie as the narrator. Kevin McHale is so good 🙂

Again, I cannot wait for next Tuesday’s episode!!

So, besides ogling at the “Time Warp” video a bunch of times today, I did get some stuff accomplished.

I woke up and had some oatmeal and tea to try and warm up (my mom doesn’t really believe in turning on the heat in the house unless it is absolutely necessary). I snuggled up with Moose as I finished watching the last chunk of Invincible. I mentioned yesterday that I think the next movie I want to rewatch is Shakespeare in Love, but I might watch Miracle first… I love sports movies like whoa and Miracle is so good. The huge game against the Soviets gets me every time, even though I knew the outcome of the game well before every seeing the movie. But I love it so!!!

After the movie, I went down to my room to work on my coding sheet and coding key for my Content Analysis. My variables were slightly more complicated than I initially anticipated, so I crafted up three coding key sheets today. I emailed them to my thesis chair this afternoon and hope to hear back from him soonish. I hope he has some critiques for me about my Introduction, Lit Review and now the coding sheet/key. He basically designed the coding sheet (with some minor edits from me), so I hope he thinks that my coding key is workable. I am leaning towrd using the third one, but would be open to suggestions from him, as he is a pro went it comes to Content Analysis.

Tomorrow I hope to work on my Works Cited page and start typing up a bulk of my Methods section. My goal is to have a bunch of that done tomorrow so I can go to the movies on Thursday morning. I haven’t been to a movie in about a month and though there are several things out that I want to see, I think I will go and see The Social Network. I could use a good two hours in a movie theater to clear my head and get lost in someone else’s story for a bit. Plus, that movie is dialogue-driven… woot.

I’ve been having one of those days where my mind has been going a mile a minute. There’s just always so much stuff to think about. Old stuff. New stuff. (Red stuff, Blue stuff… hahaha). But seriously – stuff. Thesis stuff. Family stuff. Friend stuff. Life stuff. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever have everything under control. I’m thinking no… but it’s nice to think that maybe one day I will have at least some of this “stuff” figured out.

While I was working on my thesis stuff today, my mom was super busy raking and mowing and doing other chores in and around the house.

My dad got home around 6:15 and we all had dinner and started watching White Men Can’t Jump, which I had never seen before. I was a bit surprised to see it was written and directed by Ron Shelton (my beloved writer/director of Bull Durham and Tin Cup – two of my favorite sports movies of all time. Bull Durham is also one of my overall Top 10 favorite movies of all time). We’re only about 30 minutes into it, but I like it thus far. Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are really great together. I look forward to finishing the rest of it.

At 7, we put on Glee (even though it was a rerun from Season One *and* I have the DVDs, so I could have watched it commercial-free… but I didn’t). It was episode 11, “Hairography“. Not one of my favorite episodes, but it does have one of my favorite Finn-lines (when he tells Rachel she looks like “a sad clown hooker“) and group numbers (“True Colors“). Ah, Glee… why’d you show “Hairography” when there were so many better episodes to chose from? Oh well, next week is Rocky Horror!!!

Then we watched the DWTS results show. I couldn’t understand anything Shakira was singing and even though I heart Jason Derulo’s song “In My Head,” he’s not the best live singer. I think he thinks he’s the next Chris Brown. Not yet, Derulo, not yet.

And now I shall head to bed… well, probably read and *then* sleep.

BTW – I am all caught up on Dexter Season 5 – and I am still loving it. I like the addition of Lumen and where Quinn’s story is taking him. More and more I think he is a solid guy – as in his head and heart seem to be in the right place. But since we the audience are rooting for Dexter, we can’t root for Quinn too. Drama!

Well, have a good one!