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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.

IMG_3176 IMG_3177

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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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.

Spring Finals 2013

Right now, I am sitting in a “study room” in my dorm, trying to write a paper that is due in exactly 12 hours. However, in those 12 hours it’d also be nice if I could go to class, meet with my linguistics group to finish our final assignment, and shower. Minus the shower which has become a third-tier priority, that leaves me with 8 hours. This is the product of those moments when I tell myself I am “fine because I already wrote my paper in my head while I was in the shower.” Fuck those moments.
I refer to the “study room” with such suggestive quotations because I’m not sure what makes it a study room. I’m pretty sure it’s just a room void of sharp objects with which to stab yourself, places from which to hang yourself, and windows to jump out of when you realize your procrastination has gotten to a point that requires you to rent a study room at 2am because your roommates are asleep and you don’t know what else to do.
Earlier this evening, however, I had the grand pleasure of going to a premier of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, my spirit animal. The condition upon which I allowed myself to go to the movie was that I had to have completed my paper first. I didn’t do that, and then decided to make my future self pay for the error of my ways. Does anyone else do this? (Don’t answer, that was a rhetorical question. That was just me expressing my wonder.) I never actually think about dealing with the consequences of my actions because I separate my past, present, and future selves. As in, I think back and I’m like, “I’m proud of you, past self. You took graduate level classes and didn’t sink to the bottom of the shit heap that is over-ambitious undergrads. Well done.” And when faced with a decision, let’s say in terms of alcohol, I will think to myself, “No, no. I can’t drink that now. Or else my future self will kill me when I won’t be able to focus tomorrow. No thanks.” However, sometimes I feel a little bitchy toward myself and I do something like I did earlier today, and I decide to stick it to my future self. I was like, “Okay, I’ll go to the movie for my present self. But goddamn future self is going to HATE me for doing this.” And yes, past self. I do hate you for doing this.
However, I am happy I went – I just wish I would have started my paper, you know, a month ago when everyone else did. It was really a great movie, and whatever director had the balls to tackle that book really deserves a super thumbs up and a pat on the back for a job well done. Also, he somehow figured out how to include Beyonce into a movie set in the 1920s, which in and of itself is a feat of the greatest. It was also such a wonderful experience because I was with some cool, cool people. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about them, but those guys always impress me and I really admire them. What’s weird, though, is that the film release date was May 10, and it started at 10pm on May 9. Still don’t really understand that one.
But so yes. (That’s kind of become my unintentional catch phrase.) I’m going to miss Minnesota this summer. And although I have discovered that this place isn’t actually as magical as I thought it was when I first moved here, it’s really cool for a bunch of different reasons. I’ve met some shitty people, and I’ve done some shitty things, and I’ve cried a few times, but like my father told me – I really have come full circle. And regardless of how much more time I actually end up spending here, a part of me will always have some roots in Minnesota.
Oh that’s just so hot. In a really sad, tired, in need of sleep and a shower kind of way. (SLEEP AND SHOWER WITH YOU?!) (Haha no.) (Unless you’re LDC…in which case, we should talk.)
Alas, the film is over and I am sitting in the “study room,” equipped to get this shit done. I had a Saturday Evening Post mug full of coffee, which is already gone, sadly enough. I also have a Chobani with a knife, because I mistakenly grabbed that instead of a spoon while I was blindly fumbling around my room without a light on. I also have somersaults. Lots of somersaults. 
LET’S WRITE A PAPER ABOUT PHONOLOGY HELL YAHH.

MIKA

I decided that I am not going to sleep tonight. I am riding a high. I am riding a wave, and hopefully it can take me through the ridiculous list of shit that I have to do. Tonight I will sail through it. Fasho.

I saw Mika perform earlier tonight. It was an incredible experience. As we were leaving, my friend said, “I just feel so…MOVED.” And moved I felt.

There was so much love in that room. Even that annoying chick behind me who kept screaming off key and the really tall bald guy in front of me were just feeling the love. So much LOVE.

And Mika is Mika. He’s…what I hope I can be like. As in I hope my presence can evoke the kind of feeling in other people that his presence evokes within me.

I don’t know if this is the case for the rest of my fellow human beings, but live music is kind of my kick. It’s what makes my heart pitter patter. It makes me smile…like actually smile. It connects me to everything else, and feeling connected is such a good feeling. One of my strengths is Connectedness. Concerts recreate my connectedness.

I think my favorite part of that performance is that he completely made his songs magical with a strictly acoustic set. Which is awesome, because he uses tons of synth and electronica beats in most of his music, but everything he did was stil oh so very MIKA.

Because I feel so awesome right now, I will shower, then write an essay, make a presentation, write another essay, and dance. I am going to get the keys to a study room and dance. Mmmm. Dancing.





This song reminds me of what is important. TO DANCEDANCEDANCE.



Emily, can’t you write a happy song

Get your ass to number one
You could try a little harder
Emily, you could be a millionaire
But you’re so full of hot air
Gonna end up like your father
Emily, you can’t leave your life to chance
Get a boy and learn to dance
Be a girl like any other
Emily, are you stuck up? Are you gay?
If you are, well that’s ok
Cause it doesn’t even matter
Emily

Emily, it’s your life and you can’t live it twice

One day you’ll understand and then you’ll take my hand
Emily, I love you, and I know you do too
You never make no sense, screaming at me in French
Pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?
Pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?
Shut up listen to me, dance with me Emily
Pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?
Pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?
Shut up listen to me, dance with me Emily

Emily, you got so much in your life

Me I got no one’s advice
Don’t you know you got it easy
Emily, what you smoking, what’s that stench
Who you screaming out in French
Did you really think you had me
Emily, that’s enough, do as you’re told
Acting like you’re eight years old I give up it’s not worth trying
Emily, one day I will end up dead
That’s the only thing I’ve said
That will ever get her smiling, Emily

Emily, live your life in a balloon

Lock yourself up in your room
So the world can never reach ya
Emily, am I’m speaking Japanese
Got me falling on my knees,
Got me praying to Saint Peter
Emily, see the price I have to pay
I would give my life away
If I knew that I could reach ya
Emily, why you make this hard to me
It’s not the way it’s meant to be
I don’t never wanna hate ya

TEGAN AND SARA.

I have just returned from First Ave. I saw Tegan & Sara. In the flesh. In concert. I know, I know…I can’t really wrap my head around it either.


THEY WERE SO GOOD.

I can’t even express how much I love them, and how amazing that show was. And I have never been so certain of my uncertain sexuality as I was tonight – goddamn.

The opening act kind of sucked. I mean her music wasn’t bad at all, but the image she was trying to portray did not really mesh well with her music, which made for a really confusing experience. 

I didn’t feel like wasting time taking pics, so this is all I’ve got.


But Tegan and Sara… holy. shit. I can’t find the words to express the emotions I am feeling right now as a result of having been to that concert. Tyler and I were SO CLOSE. And they are just SO FLY. Like I CAN’T…I CAN’T EVEN. Ugh. So. Good.

 

Everything about tonight was magical. They are so magical. Their final song was actually Feel It In My Bones, which I ALWAYS forget they sing because it’s not in my iTunes, and it is definitely one of my favorites.

I bought a t-shirt that I will wear with pride, and a huge poster of Tegan wearing the shirt that I bought with Sara’s face on it, and they will watch over me. I don’t have a crucifix hanging over my bed, so I guess Tegan and Sara are the next best thing. Amiright?

And Tegan was wearing a denim vest. A DENIM. VEST. GUESS WHAT I OWN? A DENIM VEST. So guess what I’m going to wear around campus over my new Tegan and Sara t-shirt tomorrow? A denim vest, mothafuckas.

I have to write an essay now. Goodnight, moon.

( <- This is completely unedited, by the way. Pretty cool, eh?)