Category Archives: 18 Things

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

18 Things of June

1 I started watching The Walking Dead and I am currently on Season 3, Episode 12. It’s actually kind of awesome and Daryl is my hero.

2 I delayed progress on my online classes a little too much, and this week is going to be SO FUN because I’ll get to play catch up and read a lot. Yay. So fun.

3 I kayaked most of the Hudson River. The plan was to finish it, but that didn’t happen because of weather and sickness. We’re definitely going to finish by the end of the summer, but we have to see when will work for both of us. Technically we have paddled over 150 miles this summer, it just wasn’t on the actual length of the river. Oh well.

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In the middle of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

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We were too close for comfort, but it was pretty cool.

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Police encounter number two.

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Sunset from Magdalene Island

And this is a deer just casually swimming across the Hudson River.

She’s just casually swimming across the Hudson River.

4 I started watching my cousins again this summer. They’re really great kids and it’s probably the easiest summer job ever, so I have nothing to complain about. They’re just super cool.

5 I went to a concert and left before the main act because the demographic was actually that frustrating. Think the cast of Jersey Shore minus 10 years, plus their parents, plus trying to be a little hipster. Nopenopenopenopenope.

6 I heard this song and played it for my cousins, who now request it whenever we get in the car. They’ve also learned to love Owl City and Tegan And Sara. I’ve taught them well.

7 I moved my blog! That’s new. It’s still in progress actually…

8 I did yoga in Times Square.

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9 I became a pseudo-vegan. So basically I will usually opt for the vegan alternative when presented to me, and I am vegetarian under all conditions, but I just try to eat as little dairy and other animal products as possible.

10 I went to the CIA and violated veganism hardcore, but it was so worth it.

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11 I got sick and it sucked, however I don’t think I handle dextromethorphan properly because I feel super high whenever I take Robitussin. I remember that happened when I was sick over Christmas break and I was cool with it, but now that I’m responsible for the lives of two small children and I have to drive them places, I decided to Google if it was a mental thing or if it was actually possible that I could have such a reaction to Robitussin. Apparently 7% of Caucasians don’t metabolize DXM properly, and I can’t find anywhere what happens to those for whom that is the case, but maybe that could be the case for me? I took the recommended dosage two nights ago and decided to drink some tea, do homework, and do laundry before I went to sleep. I started noticing the effects after 15 minutes or so, and then I had the craziest dreams and woke up and I do believe I was hallucinating. I took it again last night because I was coughing uncontrollably, and I’m usually really disoriented whenever I wake up, but that stuff did a number on me. No more Robitussin while I have to look after two of my favorite mini-people.

12 I ran my fastest 3 miles ever on the one day that I accepted the fact that I was going to be really slow.

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13 I saw The Heat, and it was good for a chick flick comedy.

14 I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in two years and it was cool because we still liked each other.

15 I started drinking a lot of tea. I always drank tea more than most people because I have this weird irrational belief that it’s like a magic potion that just fixes everything, and lately lots of things have needed fixing, so I’ve been through three boxes in the month of June alone. Echinacea has been a favorite for a while.

16 I biked on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail with my father. It was pretty cool. At the end we went to a farmers market where we had the best brownie I’ve ever had accompanied by some awesome cherries, and it was a great morning.

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17 I did a walk over for the first time since I was 8. Yay for yoga.

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18 The summer solstice became really important to me. It it the official first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and a celebration of light. It has no real significance other than the beginning of summer, but I’ve always lived for the summer. I obviously love the Christmas season and the coziness of winter, but I’ve always been a person of the summer. This year I participated in a solstice celebration, and it felt significant to me. My birthday doesn’t really have much significance to me, and I don’t like to ignore my birthday, but it’s just not something that I ever cared about. The solstice is cool though.

18 Things of May

May is always a super eventful month for me. I always have final exams which bring on intense amounts of inner conflict between “I have to do this shit now” and “I don’t want to do this shit now,” I usually have intense spring fever, and I get really excited for summer and begin wearing flip flops when it’s still cold enough to see my breath outside. May 2013 looked a little bit like this…
 
1 I saw the Great Gatsby and subsequently fell in love with the soundtrack. Several of the songs from that movie are still on my Spotify circulation.
 
2 I had finals, and that’s usually a problem for me because I am very easily distracted and amused by small things when I need to get work done. Thankfully, not all of us are this way.
 
“Oh what was that? I can’t hear you because I have earbuds in because I’m studying, as you should be.”
 
3 I SOLVED THE GILYAK PROBLEM. With three other people…but still. The feelings of accomplishment were like … ahhh.
 
So now I totes think we should call my dog the Gilyak word for Harpoon.
 
4 I was introduced to the BBC series Sherlock, starring Bilbo Baggins as Watson.
 
Only a true friend texts you at 3:30am on a Saturday to tell you about his BBC revelation.
5 I packed every single thing I own into boxes and two suitcases. The boxes are sitting in the home of my lovely friend, and the suitcases have exploded all over my room.
 
Our last picture as roommates. Now we’re just friends.
 
 
 
6 I talked myself out of a jaywalking ticket.
 
7 I was on a 6 hour flight home. As in I got on the plane, and 6 hours later I was allowed off. That kind of sucked.
 
8 I had the most satisfying Thai food experience which reminded me that my spidey senses are really good at detecting awesome friends. 
 
9 I went to Chipotle five times in six days. This is not an achievement, it is me admitting that I have a problem.
 
10 I made a legitimate 5x5x4 fort with two of my favorite people ever.
 
11 I saw Fast 6, and it is officially the worst movie I have ever seen in theater. It was that bad.
 
12 I kayaked 29 miles, in 11 hours, in the rain, in the cold, after 10 months of not paddling, and I thought my arms were going to either fall off or be permanently bent into kayak form. I think that day confirmed to me that the Hudson River really is a place uniquely close to my heart…and I know that many people have felt this way, and there are entire organizations dedicated to protecting it, but I feel like for some reason, it’s my place. It’s my one place that I have used in lots of different ways, and it makes me feel home in the best sense of the word.
 
13 I saw this.
 
14 Online summer classes. Bad decision.
 
15 I realized exactly how poorly calibrated is my internal compass.
 
16 I bought way too many dresses.
 
17 I realized that my dog is actually a cat.
18 Someone suggested a great tattoo idea, which has evolved in my mind into something totally cool and worthy of a permanent home on my body. But only after my 21stbirthday. So I have like what, just over 2 years? That’s not so bad.

18 Things of April

April happened. Let’s review.
1 I entered the month in New York.
2 Sam came to visit!
3 I met my roommates for next year – they seem pretty cool and they love Christmas, so I think it’ll work out just fine. They’re just not as fly as dis woman.

We hella cool.

Totally twinning.

We’re just going to be so rich, successful, attractive, and happy one day.

4 I had a ratchet date.
5 I saw this guy. And it was awesome.
6 I declared my double major in Psychology and Linguistics and a double minor in TESL and Cultural Studies.

Cultural Studies minor ftw.
7 I went to a professional baseball game and made a mental note to never go to another professional baseball game. Ever again. Dat shit’s boring as fuck. But still not as boring as golf.

8 I registered for Fall 2013 classes: Oceanography, Semantics, Phonological Theory II, Syntax I, Research Methods in Psychology, Conversation Analysis, and Language Acquisition. One of them will be dropped though.
9 I became obsessed with Cary Grant for a short period of time, and then realized that I could actually create an entire class presentation around his accent, which made me feel really happy. Hell yah, brah.
10 I began research for my project next semester yayyyyy.
11 I decided to go to Scotland next spring. I honestly have no idea what will actually happen, but the tentative plan is to enroll in the University of Glasgow for Spring 2014, which is exciting. But I make so many plans and change my mind as the wind blows, so I really have no idea what I will be doing this far in advance.
12 I went through several distinct phases of music obsession: Hoodie Allen, Noah Gunderson, Born Ruffians, Vertical Horizon, and Kina Grannis.
13 I didn’t drink pop for the entire month yay!
14 I realized that Chipotle is so, so much better – rice, – hot salsa, + chipotle hot sauce, and + extra lettuce and corn salsa.

I’ll let you fill in the blank that I blurred for the sake of her reputation.

15 I began to embrace my pathetically short hair.
16 I watched 3 health documentaries in one day, then was like, “Oh my God I am officially vegan! How am I even still ALIVE after I have been eating so much meat and dairy?!” And then I was presented with cheese and I was like fuck that.
17 I discovered this cover with which I am in love.
18 I realized that thismakes the best alarm of all time.

18 Things of Februarch.

I failed at creating an 18 Things of February. (Mostly because February was painfully uneventful and a little sad.) Therefore, I have decided to create an 18 Things of February and March. So some of these things happened in February, some in March. Mostly in March.
1 I went to NY. Twice.
2 I was in seven different states.
3 I was tattooed in California. I have now been tattooed in three different states across the US: NY, MN, and CA.
4 I drove half way across the country twice, in a van, with eleven people, in one week. I also flew half way across the country four times.
5 I was introduced to this gem.
6 I ate flaming cheese.
7 I got a job.
8 I did sunrise yoga on the beach.
9 I went skinny dipping in the Pacific Ocean.
10 I spoke to an Italian person in Italian for the first time in a long time.
11 I spent three weekends in a row outside of the place I now call home.
12 I got a really bad haircut.
13 I went to a pants sale and bought everything except for pants.
14 I got sick on butterfly cookies.
15 I realized that I actually really like Harper.
16 I made this my new alarm.
17 I regretted moving to Minnesota for a little while. It’s just really cold sometimes. And the weather sucks too.
18 I was in a car accident.