18 Things of July

July is one of two candidates for my favorite month of the year. You’d better know the other candidate if you consider yourself a friend of mine. Otherwise, it’s December. Now you know.

Most 18 Things have been written at a Starbucks, and this one is no exception. I have to say that this is the world’s slowest Starbucks and it’s a little frustrating sometimes, but the barista is awesome. She has this look and this style that I just admire so much. She’s really beautiful in a kind of striking way, but she looks very normal. Very blended. But apparently the more generic the face in terms of our Western standards, the more we find it attractive. I used to come in here probably 3-4 mornings a week with C and J, but now that they’re at the horse farm I don’t come by here as often.

I don’t know what was wrong with me but I was just having a super weird morning. Everything seemed a little off and I kept forgetting things and I felt weird and C and J were being whiny little monsters and I just needed to clear my head and get some coffee. So I figured I’d stop in here and add a dash of routine and normalcy to my morning to realign my day. I walked in and the barista looked oh so put together as usual, and I got a coffee. While I was waiting the creepy guy who bought my coffee a few times said hi and I said hi, and the guy who asked to borrow my charger twice said hi and asked where my kids were. Sad.

I went to put my computer and textbook down (I actually do have some work to do after this), and then the barista said, “Hey Marissa, do you want soy milk?” And it made me way too happy that she remembered my name and that I only order soy lattes. More people recognize me here than in my own hometown. I think it’s not just that I spend more time here now, but that I am never with my parents or other fully grown human beings around here, so I’m the chief of my little posse. I guess this will be number one.

This month I also went kayaking again, and I think I am actually addicted to it. Every single time I am out there, even when this happens, I am just so happy. I am so at peace, in control, and in love with the river. And it’s not just kayaking in general that makes me ridiculously happy, it’s kayaking on the Hudson. Something about it is so, so therapeutic for me. That will be number two.

I saw my grandfather a few times this month, and he’s actually a really interesting guy. When I was younger we didn’t get along very well, but the older we both get, the more I understand him. He told us about this guy he knew that said that he loved golfing so much that if he could physically and financially do it, he would golf 23 of 24 hours of every day. And that’s how I feel about kayaking. I would definitely go Cast Away crazy and adopt a horseshoe crab or something and call it Wilson, but I would be so happy. That’s how much I love being on the river. And sailing is cool too, but then you have to worry about all of the sailing equipment and sailing technique and boat maintenance and all of that shit, and with kayaking it’s so simple. More physically exhausting and less efficient in terms of how far you’re able to travel given a certain amount of time and energy, but much more simple. Also, it’s small enough to do things like illegally camp on super cool islands, and you can just beach yourself when you have to pee and if you see a super cool little beachy point you just paddle that direction, tie up the kayak and explore. It’s a much more intimate river experience because you’re so in it and so much a part of it. And you’re paddling so hard and not exactly speeding down the river, so you really get to take in all of what you see. I’m going to turn into one of those people on My Strange Addiction who carries around a jar of river water. Or I’ll turn into this. Because it’s quite an obsession, I will also make this number three.

I’ve also been further developing my obsession with names. I guess some combination of being a linguistics nerd, thinking about my future as a parent given my current job, and my highly obsessive personality is what fuels this intense name craze which started last summer. I had lists and lists and lists of first names, middle names, name combinations, combinations of name combinations, and it got a little ridiculous. As do most things that happen in my head. Thankfully it stopped once I went to MN, but it has returned. I do have favorites and a pretty good idea of what I’d like to name my kids, and my SO will have to accept the fact that he or she will have very little say in the matter, like I get to name them. Of course you can have an opinion that I will take into consideration, but if every first born male in your family is named John and you want to name our son John, it’s not happening. Maybe a middle name. No, no probably not.

It’s really hard to pick “favorite names” though, because lots of factors affect which names are most suitable. Where I am living is a big one. Names have to travel well for me…I read about a woman who named her daughter Marley, and when she moved to London it sounded just like “Molly” with the Brit accent, so things like that must also be taken into account. And if I live in Minnesota (although that’s pretty unlikely, it’s a possibility), no names with the /æ/ sound, because I hate the way Midwesterners pronounce that. So nothing with the A sound as in Ally, Abby, or Hannah. Not that I would pick any of those names anyway, but that sound is to be avoided. I generally like names that end in vowels because my last name begins with a consonantal sound, but I don’t know if my kids will have my last name so I can’t really predict that. I do like middle names with a lot of character though. I like Soleil a lot, but it only works with very vanilla first names. Anyway, name obsession will be number four.

I also reconsidered my career path this month. I mean I am always, literally always, changing my mind about things like this – things that are in progress. But the degree to which I can change my mind narrows as I get further along in my studies because I will not let my change of heart cost me time or money, so I always have to work around what I’ve already done. I guess I just realized that I enjoy writing and linguistics and languages much more than I like psychology, and while I’m sure I’d be a bomb therapist, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore. The beauty of the situation is that no matter what I choose as the other undergrad major, as long as I stay on track with linguistics, my MA is pretty much built in, which gives me a weird sense of security because even though it is a higher degree that will provide more job ops, it’s still a pretty flimsy field of study. So that’s number five.

This month I also ran my fastest ever 3 miles, which beats last month’s time. Yay! I snapped Eva before I left telling her to send me a motivational snap, and she sent me a pic of her eating ice cream in her bed. She’s the best. And I’m not telling you what the time was because it’s still really slow. Like, trust me when I say that I am the slowest person who runs. So of all people who can truthfully say that “they run,” I am the slowest. But I’m cool with that, brah. Number six.

I turned 19. That counts. Numero 7.

I worked at the Civic Center for one day…talk about fish out of water. One of the new employees showed me the new tattoo she got earlier that day, which is right beneath her left collar bone. It was supposed to say “my family, my heart” in Italian, which would have read, “mia famiglia, mio cuore” sans articles. But the poor thing misspelled “cuore,” so it now says “coure” instead. I noticed it and didn’t say anything while I died inside of suppressed laughter because I mean really…why should I be the one to break the news to her? But the dumbass kept saying such stupid, ignorant things and making really racist jokes, and I do not have any tolerance for that. Literally. Zero. So I pulled her aside and told her that her tattoo was misspelled. “No, I think it just depends on the gender.” “No. It’s wrong. This noun does not change. Sorry, maybe you could have it fixed up.” BOOM BITCH. Maybe if you focused less energy on being a racist scumbag and more on your spelling then you wouldn’t have permanently inked a misspelling onto your body. It’s people like that who give tattoos such a bad rap. That was so bad it will count for numbers eight and nine. (Also because I’m very quickly running out of things to say about July…)

I also realized that I have a dead/literary crush on Mark Twain. Everything I read about him makes me love him so much. He just seems like such a cool, insightful dude with a very nice mustache. And his real name was Samuel, which is obviously a family name, so that’s a sign right there that we should have been together. If you know any man that kind of reminds you of Mark Twain, send em my way. I like guys who don’t like golf. And as my psyc professor Marti said, “Beautiful writers are always great thinkers, but great thinkers are not always beautiful writers. Ladies, always look for the beautiful writers.” Dead crush is number ten.

I had the best Middle Eastern food ever at Aladdin Cafe. It does not look like an awesome place from the outside. It looks very boring and it’s in a strip mall and I do not like the location. But the food…zomg. My dad and I – excuse me, my dining partner and I has hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, pita, and this awesome rice with dried fruit and spicy things and nuts and mmm so so good. Then we had a dessert of Turkish coffee, which is a weird experience that I’d like to repeat but not any time soon, and this nut, honey, and pastry thing and a cookie made of almond flour. And it was all vegan! So, so good. Number eleven.

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I got a parking ticket. Number twelve.

And I just spilled coffee on myself. Good thing I never unpacked the duffel bag from my car so I have tons of clothes to change into. #ProcrastinationFTW # Yes

Four different people to whom I have not spoken in at least a year (one of them has not spoken to me for three years…) messaged me on Facebook. It’s super weird…but it’s nice. Three of them are from TASIS and one is from New York, and it’s really nice to reconnect with people, even if we’re on opposite ends of the earth. Number thirteen.

I was talking to Josh and he said, “I feel like I’m talking to a therapist.” He said it in a good way I think. Like kind of a compliment but not really. I mean I’ll take it. That will be number fourteen.

I only ate meat twice during the month of July, and once it was kind of a mistake because I was tipsy. I mean it was actually delicious, but I would not have eaten it if I hadn’t been drinking anything. Worst part? It was’t a fun kind of tipsy. It was tipsy with my parents. #what #whatever #numberfifteen

I just escaped another parking ticket by approximately four seconds. I could see the parking meter guy walking to my car from my window seat in Starbucks, so I grabbed some quarters and bolted and oh man that was close. So I also changed out of my coffee stained shirt on the sidewalk. I’ll count this as number sixteen because I don’t really have anything else to say about July. #Strippingonthestreet #WindowseatFTW #Yes

Hmm let’s see….I bought concert tickets for next semester? I made a list of the concerts with cost, date, and location, and then ranked them by how badly I wanted to go, and I only bought tickets for #1 because I already have someone to go with, I really love the band, and it’s the only one in jeopardy of selling out. I then created a “Concert Preparation” playlist on Spofity. Or Spotify. You know whatever. I also signed up for guitar lessons next semester! I’m not very talented with musical instruments as evident by the fact that my 7-year-old cousin thinks the chorus of Call Me Maybe is too advanced for me to handle, but it’s a 2 credit class so I figured it should be a cool, easy A to boost my GPA a teensy bit. I will count both of these as one thing of July because they’re really shitty things that didn’t actually happen, just plans that I made. Apparently not a lot happens in July, even though it’s one of my favorite months. I guess it’s just super chill? Number seventeen.

I was talking to my dad about my opinion of my own veganism, which evolved into a discussion of hypocrisy, and I have to say that I do believe everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. Everyone tells everyone what they should be doing or complains about other people based on an ideal, and no one is an ideal, so everyone is a hypocrite in one way or another. I think the difference for people like me, as I put it to my dad, is that “Everyone is a different person behind closed doors. I just leave my doors open.” I don’t hide from the fact that I’m a hypocrite, because everyone is. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” (Mark Twain)

Anyway, I am opening this door because I don’t have an eighteenth event for July, so I guess I’ll take my own advice here and share one shitty thing that happened this month – I lied to my parents and my friends. And it was sad. I wanted to do this thing and I told myself that only I truly understood all of the circumstances, which although true, is no reason to lie, but it was my weak ass excuse. Anyway, I lied to the people that matter most. It’s not exactly a huge problem to lie to your parents most of the time, because everyone has to lie every once in a while. It’s life. We all have secrets and we need them. But my parents are a little different in the sense of this particular lie, and it was just really bad that I lied to my friends. So I eventually realized that lying to my friends is probably a pretty good indicator that I should not be doing what I lied about, and the lie just got bigger and bigger because I kept having to cover for it, and then I was caught and just came clean. The lesson here is don’t lie to your friends. Leave you’re doors open. People offen … I just spelt “often” as “offen” lol what is wrong with me. Anyway, people often mistake transparency for weakness because it makes you more vulnerable. When people judge a lie you don’t care as much because they’re not judging the truth of who you are, but I think it takes a real solid strength to be transparent. Because then when you’re criticized, someone is attacking the truth of who you are, and that’s scary. Anyway, there’s the eighteenth thing.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” -Charles Dickens

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