Tag Archives: Minnesota

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

Four Days

This morning my alarm went off at 6:45am, but I was already up because I was stressin for my psyc exam. I finished the soy milk (which is actually soy juice, but they don’t call it that because no one would buy soy juice – weird right?) in our fridge with the last of my Kashi cereal and I left the dorm for my social psychology exam. It was okay…I only need a high C on the final to maintain an A- in the class, so I think I’m good. I was still trippin over some of the less logical questions like this one:
Rebecca’s friend Marie is planning on potentially going to New York for the weekend, but she is still unsure. Which of the following should Rebecca consider to determine whether or not Marie will go to New York for the weekend?
a) Marie’s attitude in regards to New Yorkers
b) Marie’s intention to go to New York
c) Marie’s attitude toward travel
d) Marie’s intention to travel this weekend
I mean, I don’t know if I’m missing something, but I have no idea where this came from. I think I picked b or d. Regardless, the exam went fairly well I think. 
After my exam, I submitted my final linguistics solution, changed the grade base for my cultural studies class so it can count toward my minor, and then had my last dining hall experience with Eva. I will not miss the dining hall at all. Literally. At all. But that is discussed below.
Then we went to Publika, because they are giving out free teas as they are the winner of the Grapevine Award for best tea and best coffee, so yay. I’m sitting on the sidewalk of 4th St, drinking my iced pomegranate black tea with pearls and 30% sugar, chillin in the sunshine, typing away on my extremely over-heated laptop.
I remember around March of last year, before I had received most of my college rejection letters, I was in the car with my dad and we were talking about where I was going to go to college. We were joking about the ridiculous name of Dinkytown, and he said, “Well, we know you screwed up if you end up in Dinkytown.” I’m not sure if he was right or not – if I really did screw up or if I just ended up here by default. Either way, it’s been the good kind of year that I am capable of having.
This will now be my final review of living in a dorm as per my experience.
It sucks and I don’t recommend it if you’re at all like me. For some people, it is the saving grace of their freshman year. It is how they make friends, and they get to have a “real college experience.” I thought I was going to have that too.
The problem for me is that I overestimated my normalcy. I’m not saying I’m weird in a cool, special, unique way, because in pretty much every way you can be considered “exciting and unique,” I am just like everyone else. But in other ways, I just don’t value the same things, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have a pretty unruly sense of independence as a result of having attended 6 schools in 6 years. Because of this, I wanted really badly to have a super normal college experience in Minnesota – one of the most normal, vanilla places ever. Not so much because I wanted to be like everyone else, but more because I just wanted to be on an even playing field and have the same experiences as everyone else.
The problem is, like I said, that I overestimated the amount of happiness I can derive from the same experiences that make other people happy. I thought living in a dorm, going to football games, and getting shwasted at house parties would make me happy because they were very normal things that everyone else loved, but they don’t make me happy. They didn’t. At all. And I started to realize this as I met different kinds of people toward the very end of my first semester. More mature, interesting people who were the type of cool that I am very much drawn to.
I’m happy I did these things because I now can say that I at least tried to live a life outside of my oddly shaped bubble, but all of the individuals who I now call friends were discovered while doing things that actually make me happy. (Except Eva. We met online. Ah Facebook.)
So yes, I tried really hard to convince myself that I loved living in the dorms, but I didn’t, and I began to come to terms with this at around Christmas time. These are the reasons why I think it sucks for someone like me:
1) I am quite a hypocrite, and I have accepted this. As in, I love my tattoos, but I probably won’t like yours. I also love my dog, but I probably won’t like yours. I also, however, like being in a clean environment. An organized, trash-free environment. 2/3 of my roommates didn’t feel this way. I will leave it at that because I don’t believe in publicly bashing people. Insert frustration here.
2) I like playing music pretty much all the time. When I wake up, when I am doing homework, when I am cleaning, when I am showering, when I am walking somewhere, when I am falling asleep, all the time. It’s hard to do that when some of the people who you are living with don’t feel the same way.
3) I hate TV and believe that it has no place in the lives of mobile individuals. Go live something.
4) I don’t like eating dining hall food. Now, I can’t complain too much because my dorm has some of the best dorm food I have heard of, and I have very few horror stories. The problem is that everything except for the salad is really, really unhealthy. Even the smoothies are made with yogurt containing high fructose corn syrup, and never have I ever seen a whole grain in the dining hall. So I ended up eating salad all the time, which is fine, but every now and then there would be a bug in my salad. I mean it’s really not that hard to use a salad spinner, guys. Also, I really do enjoy cooking for myself, which is exceedingly difficult in a dorm.
5) I don’t dislike communal bathrooms for the reason that they are shared and I have to bring all of my shit with me whenever I shower (but I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been too lazy to find everything so used Dr. Bronner’s as…everything). I dislike them because every time I had to pee or shower or brush my teeth or whatever, I had to face the world. I passed the library, where lots of people congregate for various reasons. I passed the kitchen, and had watch people burn the shit out of their chicken wings. I passed 7 dorms, so hello to all of you. And, on weekend mornings, I passed tour groups. Only twice, however, have I had to fumble with my keys while standing wet, in my towel, at my door, in the middle of a tour group. Good morning guys. Come to the U. But the only thing between my wet body and your eyes is a rectangle of fabric, so please avert your eyes. Thanks.
6) The only space on the entire campus that I could call mine was my bed, my desk, my dresser, and my wardrobe. That’s it. The ground next to my bed was not mine, that was public space as far as I was concerned, so I had to make sure I treated is as such so as not to piss off my loving roommate. I just get a little claustrophobic knowing that the only space that I can dominate and say, “No, no. You no enter,” is approximately 25 square feet.
7) I have my own schedule, and I really don’t like having to consider someone else’s. CALL ME CRAZY AND SELFISH, but I like to kind of do whatever I want whenever I want, and I had much, much more freedom to do that last year while living with my parents than I did this year while living, ehem, “alone.” It’s just hard for me to not be able to completely control my environment.
8) I think that’s it…yeah I think so. Basically, dorms just didn’t really work out for me. Not my thing.
Thus, next semester, I am living in campus apartments. Yes, it is still university student housing, but none of the above reasons for my displeasure with dorm living apply to the apartments, so I hope it will work out nicely.

And here’s a really good song by two of my favorite artists collabing and being amazing…

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.

Right now I am eating an apple and sitting in the special seat of the Starbucks on West Bank, and it feels glorious. I am, however, drinking an iced coffee rather than a special latte, because I have $0.08 left on my student account and I now must pay for my own caffeinated beverages. So I go with coffee.

I didn’t have to work yesterday because it was the deadline for confirming admission, so I went to a different yoga class. I had never had this instructor before, and I am actually ridiculously sore right now. The guy that was next to me was completely covered in tattoos from the knees up, and he had a red mohawk. I don’t know what it is about tattooed guys and yoga, but when you put them together, I find it curiously attractive in a very hipster sort of way. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why I’m so sore. Nothing drives us quite like trying to impress attractive strangers. Especially tattooed-yoga-doing ones. Maybe that’s why I pushed myself so hard yesterday. Hmm. Curious.Although, I did get super dizzy and I started seeing spots while in this one position. BUT I DID NOT GIVE UP. I have to say, though, I am really proud of the progress I’ve made in terms of my strength and ability to control my body. The yoga instructor always walks around during class, and she helps the “advanced” people get into the more difficult poses. I can proudly say that last week, the instructor came over to help me. I had such a huge, dumb, sweaty smile on my face.

My beautiful yoga studio. Which was formerly a coffee shop where Bob Dylan frequently performed. True story.
I’m going to reveal a bit of my inner flower child here, but practicing yoga really is so underrated. I think what I find so impressive about it is that it encourages a mentality of building strength and physical awareness without someone screaming at me. Like, whenever I was rowing or running or anything, I would listen to super high-energy music that usually involved someone screaming to get “pumped up” and encourage myself to go HAM on dat erg (or dat road, whatever). But there’s something really cool about being like, “Nah, dude. Just chill and be strong. Calm down and just be cool.” I don’t know why I like it so much, but it’s like rather than getting all worked up and cray on the treadmill and beating yourself to death, it’s like finding strength and health and well-being in the effort and really focusing on your body and how it’s functioning. It also makes me think a lot more carefully about what I eat…like it makes me more aware of my body on all accounts. I like it. You should try it. The best part is that everyone can do it in one way or another, and if you can do it, then you can benefit from it.

Pinterest

Snowstorm Yogi is drunk and he needs to go home.
So I decided to bury myself into my dorm and do Pinterest things and be a little more domestic. So I made a yoga tank top.
You can’t see outside my window because my webcam is has shitty resolution and the snow is so blindingly white. But you can kind of see my tank top!