Tag Archives: roommates

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…

I was born in the arms of imaginary friends.

These past few weeks, I had been feeling a little restless and frustrated with Minnesota. It was finally getting to me. At the point when I had just begun to feel comfortable in my new surroundings, I had also turned the corner from the excitement and thrill of discovering a new place. It was like the point in a relationship after the initial buzz has died down a little. Then you start to notice all of the things that you actually hate about that person. He’s always late. She always smells like a French whore house. Those little things can really just pile up and piss you off.
That’s how I had started to feel about Minnesota. Well, not the entire state, but what I know of it. The little things started to really, really piss me off. I even drafted an entire blog post about it. As we are all well aware, I am a very emotional person, and my surroundings are quite a bit more important to me than they should be. Thus, my being pissed with my environment is very, very dangerous.
Last night I talked through it with some people who really get me, I had a wonderfully cathartic cry,  and I washed my face and went to sleep.
I woke up this morning, and I decided to go for a run. For those of you who don’t know this, Minnesota is cold. Like, really fucking cold. The kind of cold that instantly freezes the inside of your nose when you step outside. The kind of cold that just hurts, and causes actual pain if you’re not dressed appropriately. (Guys wearing shorts and flip flops- you’re not impressing anyone. No one wants to see your blue toes.) Therefore, my spontaneous decision to go for a run (outside) was a little out of the ordinary.
I put on my Under Armour and gloves, grabbed my iPhone, and decided that today would be the day to wear by bitch socks. Not only are they adorably sassy, but they have some pretty awesome memories attached to them. I laced up my Nike’s and set off on a journey across the Mississippi.
I got to the Sketchy Bridge, and I felt pretty warm. I stopped half way across the river just because the Mississippi looked so badass. It was so dark, but the snow around it was so bright. I don’t really know how to describe it – it was just beautiful. It was powerful. It was pretty cool…running across this huge mass of ice water, listening to the very best running song of all time. I then ran through the West Bank, and ran back across the Covered Bridge (I still don’t know their names. I just refer to them as the Sketchy Bridge and the Covered Bridge.) and through campus, and thought to myself, Oh hey. That wasn’t so bad. Let’s do it again! (The “us” being me and Sydney Carton…we do a lot of things together. He just helps me evaluate myself and helps me keep my cool.) So, we did it again. The second time I was crossing the bridge, I stopped again. There was no one else on the bridge, and it  made me feel so powerful. I then resumed my little run, repeated the same loop, and stretched defrosted on the yoga mat next to my bed.
I then showered for approximately seventy minutes, applied a Body Shop tea tree face mask, and moisturized the shit out of my skin because that run sucked every ounce of moisture from me. I then met up with two other students from my class to work on this week’s problem set. We did ours independently and compared results, and I had a completely different analysis from them. It scared the shit out of me, and I really doubted my ability to ever study linguistics because I came at it from a totally different direction, and these guys knew their stuff. The chick I was working with is really, really good at this, and she realized that the right solution was actually a combination of our analyses. I was like, Oh hey. I’m not dumb or useless. I’m actually a necessary element to this solution! High five, Sydney! I didn’t really know the girl I was working with very well until today, and she’s actually really interesting. She was all snappy and kind of frustrated with my immense lack of understanding in terms of her analysis, and she let it show. It made me so, so happy. Every time she let me see how she really felt about me (which is not 100% pleased), I kind of wanted to hug her. But I didn’t, because the Jackal would not have appreciated that.
After we successfully completed the analysis and I had finished my vanilla chai, I went to the piercing shop and got my lip pierced. Just kidding. But I did go to the piercing shop, because the second ear piercing that I got in September had been acting a little weird and I needed to get it checked out. The piercing guy asked me where I was from, and we started talking about his time in NY. He asked me what I thought of MN, and I told him that I liked it, and then he asked me which I preferred. He seemed like an alright dude, so I told him the truth – that I have no idea. I told him what I liked and disliked about each place, but that even if right now I am feeling a little bummed in terms of my relationship with Minnesota, I need to be here. He thought everything I said was pretty accurate, except for he was a native Minnesotan, and he doesn’t really fit the bill in terms of the (usually accurate) stereotypes. Piercing Guy then told me his story, and it was really cool. He told me that he felt the same way when he moved back to MN, and he couldn’t connect with a lot of his old friends because they were “bros” and he had deviated from the bro culture. He told me about a few places I should check out to find “more people like us.” I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, because I am not a man and I do not have neck tattoos, but it still felt good to hear some freaky dude refer to me and him as “us.”
The biggest issue with my relationship with Minnesota was that it just couldn’t really appreciate a lot of what makes up the best parts of me. I suck at so, so many things. I’m not that nice. I’m not that attractive. I’m not that smart. But there are a few parts of me that I know with certainty are awesome – the parts that make me happy with who I am. The people who stay in my life are the ones who can see that, and the ones in whom I see the parts that really shine. Minnesota and I were having a really hard time seeing one another that way.
One of those parts of me is my appreciation of things that are greater than myself. I can count on two hands the number of times in my life that I have literally been in awe, and could have just stared at something for hours. I can also count on two hands the number of times I have tasted something that I did not know could ever exist, as well as the number of times I have actually said to myself, “You will never, ever forget this moment.” I would try to explain some of these moments, and I would be brushed off as “Oh, well that’s just Marissa.” Minnesota would mistake my desire to express the magnitude of those moments and their importance to me as bragging or trying to seem superior, and it would not try to access or understand those parts of me. It couldn’t appreciate this part of me that makes who I am. Today on the bridge, I had one of those moments handed to me by Minnesota itself. A moment that I’ll be able to return to every time I get my lazy ass in gear and run across Sketchy Bridge in freezing temperatures.
Another part of me that I value is my ability to connect to people. Do you know how hard it is to connect to something that isn’t being honest with you? It’s really hard. I had been desperately searching for a person to be honest with me. “Minnesota nice” is alive and well, but I tend to forget that just because someone is being nice does not mean that they are also being honest. Minnesota does not like to offend me, and that’s fine. But when you cross the line from politeness to untruthfulness, it just makes me endlessly confused and frustrated. Today, Chick from Linguistics was brutally honest with me. When I wasn’t understanding something, she was frustrated, and she let it show. Not in a rude way, but in a way that revealed her complete transparency. It felt so, so good. To top it all off, even though she was tired of explaining the same thing to me over and over again, she kept doing it until I understood. She was transparent, but also determined to help me understand. She was both good, and honest.
Another part of me that Minnesota just really couldn’t grasp was my lack of interest in anything under the umbrella of “trivial” or “petty.” I don’t laugh at things that I don’t find funny. I don’t use sarcasm because it’s anger’s ugly cousin, and lying to me is no form of humor. It’s just deception. And I don’t find it funny. I spend way too much time thinking about what I want to happen to my body after I die, WWSD (What Would Sydney Do?), and how I can use whatever scraps of intellect that have been given to me to prevent bad things from happening to good people. Some would say I take life too seriously, but it’s just how I’m wired. I smile when I’m happy or when I’m trying to be, and I don’t feel the need to regularly validate my emotions by telling everyone on Facebook just how much I love one person. And I don’t know that much about him, but Piercing Guy seemed like he “takes life a little too seriously” as well. He could just be really weird and a good listener with a good story, but nevertheless, he seemed like he got it. Maybe he didn’t, but it seemed to me like he did. Maybe that’s what he meant by “people like us.” I don’t know.
It’s certainly no coincidence that the day after the Great Catharsis of Spring Semester 2013 was the day that I seem to have resolved my problems with Minnesota. I talked to a few people yesterday, a few of the ones who always know exactly what to say to push me over the edge and make me get over myself, and they all said that I had to stop looking at the bad. It’s such a cliché, but my life is 85% how I choose to look at things. If today had happened a few days ago, I guarantee that I would not have chosen to see the value in these experiences because I would have been drowning in my own pessimism and disappointment in Minnesota. Last night I made the decision to stop being a dick and to start being happy, so I saw all of the beauty of today. Today was beautiful.
Have a beautiful day.

(I just posted this, and stretched my arms back because I’ve been chillin in Starbucks for like 2.5 hours. I looked down, and far too many buttons on my favorite shirt had become undone to reveal the obnoxious pink bow on my bra. I have no idea how long my shirt has been like this. That’s the problem with hanging out with literary characters…they don’t tell you this shit.)

New Year’s Resolution: Take 2.

There was free open skating at The Depot this evening, and it was complete with two disco balls and today’s Top 40.


Minnesota lovin.


I was supposed to be in this picture…maybe I should learn to control my skates a little better?

And there I go. Unable to control myself whatsoever.

Me: I feel kind of dizzy.
Eva: Well we have been going in circles for a while now.

The quality of the reverse cam on the iPhone 4S is pitiful, but we are still adorable.

Comeback Story

This is really messy, so in an effort to organize it a little more, I split it into parts. It really didn’t change the fact that none of this makes sense in the same post, but whatever.
Part I
I have returned to the land of the passive-aggressive, and it feels so good. I had my first class this morning, and I am actually really looking forward to puttin it to the grind stone and banging out an amazing semester. I am going balls to the wall and trying make this semester academically perfect and trying to stay healthy while doing so – that means a lot more sleep and working out and a lot less bullshit. Three cheers for less bullshit. On all accounts.
I am currently sitting in the Starbucks on West Bank. It’s a really cool place – two of the walls are glass and it’s on the top floor of a building, so it has a cool view and tons of natural sunlight, which is something I crave (especially when it feels like -29F outside (I’m not kidding)). There are these three seats in this Starbucks to the left of the door, and literally every single time I have come in here they have been taken. While waiting for my tall soy vanilla spice, I would stare longingly at those three golden seats, imagining how it must feel to have the cozy chair that everyone desires. And today, ladies and gentlemen, I scored one of those seats. And it feels glorious.
I sat down and sunk my teeth into a tomato and mozzarella panini, and the chick next to me was eating an apple. She took a bite, and I am not exaggerating when I say that the juice from her apple sprayed my ear. It literally travelled like 4 feet through the air and squirted the side of my head. It was an incredibly strange experience and reminded me of this.

Part II
For Christmas, my dad bought me framed pictured of Bannerman’s Island, the Hudson River, and the Clearwater, as well as a glass Clearwater and a glass bird from Hudson Beach Glass. I hung them all yesterday, and it makes my room feel so much nicer. I hung the bird and the Clearwater from a chain of paper clips because I couldn’t find a string thick enough to support them, and it actually looks really cool because they are hanging from the Christmas lights above my bed. I also have this green Swarovski crystal that Yulia gave me a few years ago that I hung on our window, and the way it casts light around the room is beautiful.
Part III
After having spent so much time with people that truly understand me and mean the world to me over break, I realized what a high standard I put on the relationships in my life. I don’t have room for friends of convenience or anyone who causes me problems. I can be such a bitch. Really. I can be unbearable. And while I do have control over myself and I try to not be a psycho bitch most of the time, the people who make a mark on my heart are the ones around whom I don’t have to try to control myself because I feel nothing but love for them. The people who make me feel so thankful for their existence that I never have the desire to be anything but the best version of myself around them. Those are the people who make it into my book of “Yeah I’d take a bullet for you.”
My great grandfather said (well, my father says he said) to only befriend people who are better than you in some way (I am assuming there is a substantial amount of paraphrasing here), and I have to say that those words are pure gold. I look at the people who have stuck around – the ones whose friendship has lasted the test of time, distance, or disagreement, and they are the ones who I can learn from. I have to say though, that this advice can only be used by a specific kind of person. The kind of person who has not only the ability to teach someone a thing or two about how to better their existence, but the kind of person who is still humble enough to be able to accept that they themselves have a thing or two to learn from others, and can work toward becoming that better version of themselves. I’d like to think I fit the bill, as do any of the people that I have the honor to call a friend.
Part IV
Yulia travelled 9 hours from Rhode Island by bus, train, foot, and car, to spend 18 hours in NY. I met her on 85th and Lex, and I saw her fountain of blondness from a block and a half away. We went to Mike’s basketball game, and it was weird to think that my little brother goes to school there. He commutes, every day, to go to high school, when he could have very easily gone to Lourdes or even Arlington. Then I thought about my academic track record, and I think it’s cool that we kind of seek these opportunities. I think it says a lot about us. Granted, none of it would be possible without my parents’ help (financial and otherwise), and they never hesitate to remind us of that, but we are still the ones who seize these opportunities, and I’m really proud of that. After his game, Yulia and I went to dinner at this restaurant near Gramercy. 

We were standing in front of the theater with two hours to spare, so we Yelped the best restaurant in a 10 block radius and found this place called Maialino. We had risotto croquettes and tonnarelli a caccio e peppe from the bar menu, and it was fabulous. In that moment, sitting in a restaurant in NYC with my best friend in a ridiculously sparkly red dress, glass of wine in one hand and iPhone in the other, I thought about how lucky I am and how good life has been to me. I thought about how happy I am that I basically cracked at 16 and had no problem getting up in the middle of morality class and playing the crazy card to get out of class, and that I decided to move to Minnesota, of all places, just to try something new without the direct access of my parents, and that I understand exactly how dumb and irrational I am sometimes, and that I can admit when I am wrong and that I am capable of changing. In that moment I felt privileged and like I didn’t deserve to have such a magical existence, but then I pulled myself from the depths of my mind because that’s a bad neighborhood.

Yulia came for the Augustana concert at Gramercy, and ohmygod. I don’t know what combination of Dan Layus, live music, NYC, sparkly dresses, alcohol, Yulia, and an accordion made that concert feel so magical, but it was an experience like no other. Sometimes I get this feeling during a song that I can’t explain. It makes me feel like something beneath my skin is moving. Like something is shifting. We’ll call it a songasm. I have never seen anyone else try to explain this so I don’t know if it’s a normal thing, but it has happened a few times before, most notably during Rufus Wainwright’s live performance of Hallelujah. Anyway, most of this concert created that kind of a feeling. When Dan started talking to the audience, he apologized for going on and on about his life and other things, but I had to use every ounce of restraint within me to not beg him to keep talking, because his voice is just so mesmerizing. Well done, Augustana. Well done.
I could not have had a better last day in New York. Alas, I am now back to negative temps, dorm living, and lots of work, so the fun from that last night in New York will have to last me a little while. Until next time.

18 Things of December

1 I white rabbitted my roommates.
2 I entered the month at First Ave, and left it at the mecca of the American New Year with my best friend. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
3 I danced so hard that I was sore for three days.
4 My friends dyed my hair dark brown.
5 I spent four hours at the gym in one day.

6 I found the website of my dreams: songza.com . It will change you forever.
7 Yulia flew 1200 miles to the state where I live for four days, and I did not see her once. Because that’s just the kinds of friends we are.
8 I questioned my decision of go to college while I was taking finals. I thought of 1) Cutting my fingers off 2) Becoming a pirate and 3) Trying to write a good book and get it published and getting rich, all just to avoid ever having to take finals ever again.
9 I earned a 79.61 in a class and begged my TA to round up.
10 I listened to these songs on repeat: Thrift Shop, Wicked Games, Coffee & Cigarettes, Born Again, James Tayor’s River, I’m Goin Down
11 Two more holidays with Yulia. Once I’ve spent three official holidays with you, you’re no longer a friend. You’re family.
12 I saw The NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker and The Holiday Train Show at the NYC Botanical Gardens.
13 I didn’t shave for the last two weeks of December.
14 I got sick.
15 I failed and redeemed myself. (Who’s not paying for next semester? This girl.) Unfortunately that also means that my father is that much further from buying a new Audi, but we can’t all be winners.
16 I had spaetzle. And it was magical.
17 I drove a car. And I didn’t hit anything.
18 I let Yulia put the tinsel on the tree, and I hate tinsel, so that also says a lot about our friendship.