Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moving Notice

Okay... I am moving this blog over to Tumblr. I'm tired of Googles limitations! So, keep up with me here:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One day, I'll be arrived, and I'll be a friend to my friends who know how to be friends...

Day one of Orientation - done. But tomorrow (or rather today, now) will be looooong. I am not looking forward to it. I kind of have a problem with the fact that they don't separate the MA's from the PhD's because it means I have to RE-do all of the GA training I went through in my MA program. Training FAIL.

I have now been in the C-Dale about three nights now. It's been very weird. Learning to think of this as my home. It's very lonely so far because I don't know anyone yet. It's frustrating to not be able to call someone up and go see a movie or something. And at the same time, I still don't feel like I'm 200 whatever miles away from my friends. I'm sure by the time I DO actually start to make friends here, I'll have annoyed the good nature out of my friends back in Springpatch (so, uh, sorry in advance I suppose).

I have been slowly unpacking, as if the longer it takes the less real it will become. As long as I still have that one box packed up, I can go home. But alas, that is not the case, I am here and will remain here, until May. Except for what I expect will be frequent trips home and to STL and to Nashville and Peoria. (Assuming my car makes it, because now my dad and grandpa have made me paranoid to even drive it around the corner. Gee Thanks.)

Speaking of my soon-to-be frequent treks out of the Dale - Saturday @GirlinNashville and I fully intend on tearing up Music City (whilst staying FAAAAR away from John Rich). It will be good. But most importantly, it SHOULD be cathartic. Because you know, we are two attractive, intelligent, funny AVAILABLE young women - and we deserve a good night out on the town. It's been a summer of questionable and nerve-wracking romantic decisions by both of us... so we'll ring in the fall with a good time and make our resolutions to find the "Good" guys who actually SEE us.

Fall is going to be good. I have just made that decision.

Good things are going to happen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm not a haunted mind, I'm not a thoughtless kind...

I promised myself I would keep up and update this blog this time around! So here I am.

Unfortunately for you, the most exciting thing that's happened since my last post is that began offering all 19 episodes of My So-Called Life to stream for free. Anytime I want. Yes, these episodes also reside permanently on my external hard drive (of course they do)!

But now, I can relive my 8th grade 14/15-year-old angst over and over again any time I want to. Ha!

This show is/was one of the greats. At least to me. Admittedly, though, there are plenty of elements that don't stand the test of time. Or rather just date the series altogether!

There's an awful lot of flannel. But me, ever the 90's girl, takes that as one of the bonuses. I used to dress like Angela Chase, I often wish I still could! I would absolutely embrace the return of Doc Martens with Babydoll dresses. These kids also say 'like' a lot.

Did we really talk that way?

Where, like, the word like, was, like, before and after, like, every phrase?

Sadly, I think we did.

But I digress, the real thing I love about this show, the real reason I watch it in it's entirety at least every other month (no, it's not ENTIRELY because of Jared Leto) is because it really is a very well-written show.

I never noticed it when I was younger, but as I watch it more and more, I realize that this was probably one of the first shows ever to really successfully capture not just what it was like to be 15 years old in 1994, but what it's like to be a teenager any time. It also managed to present a whole other layer by offering up storylines revolving around parents and/or teachers (the sub-plots aimed at the adult audience members) in a way that didn't lose the core audience of young girls (I know, I was one of those girls).

It also managed to tackle some pretty heady topics without falling into the "very special episode" trap. It was frank, it was at times in your face, but most of all it gave us something to really relate to. I can't think of many, if any, other series that managed to give the same importance to stories that focused on the relationships and interactions between boys and girls in high school as well as the friendships between girls and the interactions of cliques in high school. And that may be the real reason this series still stands up today.

Other series have tried to do this, Freaks and Geeks was a great series, but ultimately ended up being more about nostalgia than about giving teenagers something to relate to. Today, we have the CW, which is, essentially a network devoted to capturing the hearts of 15 year old girls. But I don't think Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, or the new incarnation of 90210 can ever hope to match the reality of what it means to be a teenager today. Of course, I really don't think that's the purpose of any of those shows.

At any rate, I love this show. I love getting back in touch with my former self. I'm glad I'm not 15 anymore, even if sometimes I feel like I'm operating at that level. But I think a little part of me will always be Angela Chase.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Everything that happens is from now on...

Comedy of errors. That pretty well sums up moving day.

It would have been tragic if it all weren't so completely ridiculous!

Admittedly I really wasn't in the cheeriest of moods. Okay, so I was cranky. All things considered and knowing me, I think it was to be expected.

So this apartment complex is huge, so huge that they have "orientation" for all new residents. This is basically a session where all new residents are taken to finish signing their leases, pay the rest of the money they owe (did I mention that this place is INCREDIBLY overpriced?), and learn the rules and regs of the place.

I don't mean to sound terribly small town or even racist here, but I was the only white person in the orientation and a good majority of the male residents that were there are SIU athletes. I was surprised as I had been told by the leasing agent that this complex caters specifically to graduate students - just one in a string of things I was "mislead" about. Anyway, after I had been led through my lease and introduced to the "community" (where literally they said - if you're having people over, invite your neighbors and if you BBQ, make enough for your neighbors, WTF?) I got my key.

Yes, Key, singular. Because my mailbox key had not come in from the Post Office yet, even though I signed my lease and paid my deposit on JULY 6. Okay, no big deal.

We check out the apartment, but the U-Haul with my stuff wasn't here yet. I did the walk-through with the leasing agent. I wasn't happy with the state the apartment was left in. It didn't really look clean, the carpet is messed up, the air conditioning didn't work, the vinyl in the kitchen hadn't been changed as promised, and the sink upstairs didn't work.

We left and got lunch and by the time we got back the U-haul was here and we were ready to begin.

Except, oh yeah, Dusty had left Peoria at 11:15 and should have been here by now, but he called and said he got stuck in construction for 45 minutes and was going to be late. No matter, we weren't moving yet. We had to go haggle with the leasing agents in the office because the state of the apartment was so bad. They were in the midst of replacing the sink, but the air still wasn't working. After a half hour back and forth, they agreed to re-clean the carpet and put in new vinyl in the kitchen and a new toilet stool upstairs (it was disgusting) but not until Tuesday. Fine. I'll be back home then so I won't have to deal with it.

Time to start moving.

Not yet.

The new sink's in, but oh, lovely, now there's a leak in the downstairs bathroom... the ceiling is dripping. Maintenance has to come back out, they look at it and add it to the list of things they have to fix on Tuesday. But the AC still isn't working.

So the leak's going to get fixed, turns out they have to REPLACE the whole AC unit, fortunately they got it replaced and working within about an hour and a half. And from there things went just swimmingly.

Except that it was so freaking hot, we had to move heavy boxes and furniture up a bunch of stairs and Dusty got stuck yet again in traffic and didn't make it here until AFTER we were done and my parents and grandparents had headed back to MO.

Oh well, my mom and step-dad stuck around and we all went to B-Dubs for dinner. It was a good night, Dusty really managed to get my head in the right place (like always) and things are looking up.

I spent the day unpacking, slowly but surely and pretty much got the whole downstairs done. Upstairs is another story. But I think it's going to have to wait until I get back here for school.

And now, I've got to go pack up for my trip to STL tomorrow (so excited to see Britt and Annie AND '500 Days of Summer') and then home for a week and a half. It's going to be really hard to leave again in two weeks, but now that at least a LOT of my apartment is put together, it will feel more like coming "home." Though, I'm still not comfortable calling this place home yet. Maybe in a few months.

It's going to get better, I know. I drove around a little today and I still don't love this town - it's kind of just run-down, there aren't any really nice areas and there really isn't a lot in the way of retail, restaurants, entertainment and whatnot... but I've got my fingers crossed that once school starts things will start to come out of the woodwork.

One thing I do know, Illinois drivers SUCK, and traffic is going to get SOOOO much worse in 3 weeks when school starts. Parking is going to be SUCH a pain!

But, I'll make it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Future Freaks Me Out

Okay, I abandoned this blog a long time ago, but as I'm embarking a new chapter in my life, I figured I'd give it another go.

So. New Chapter. We'll call it chapter 28 and a half because, well, that's chronologically where I am right now. Chronologically, we'll talk about the other "ages" I am at some other time.

I've been given a lot of advice over the last few weeks. Most of it, I'm sure has been good advice. But I guess I'm a little too tied up in knots to really take heed or notice of it right now. Perhaps (and I can really only hope at this point) in a few months I will be able to take said advice.

Most of what I've been hearing from friends, family members and acquaintances goes along the lines of "Give it a chance," "It's a great opportunity," "You'll love it," "It's going to be good for you." And so forth and so on.

Now, I assume that since you are reading this (all what, 1 of you? It's irrelevant anyway) you know me and you know how this new chapter starts. But on the off chance that you somehow stumbled across my ramblings, here's the overview.

At the humble age of 28 and 131 days, a Midwest girl who still can't quite put into words what it is exactly that she wants out of life, packs up a U-Haul and the backseat of her 1999 silver Grand Prix and drives 5 hours to begin a PhD program at a large state school in a tiny unknown former mining town. (She also has a tendency to write run-on sentences, apologies English teachers/Grammar experts out there) For the first time ever she must establish a life in a city that is not her hometown, in a brand new state where she knows not one living soul.

And so it begins.

I'll move into my overpriced 2-bedroom converted into 4-bedrooms apartment tomorrow afternoon. Said apartment is, at this moment, the one silver lining. It will be nice to have the space, even if I'm still not convinced that it will ever feel like home.

For now, I'm holding it together. I don't know if that will be true 24 hours from now, time will only tell, obviously.

But here's the thing. This is not about my moving strategy and plans or how irritating it is to no long have my own washer and dryer. No, this is a different tale altogether.

This is the story of a girl who made a decision that she's now not sure was the right one. This is the story of a girl that is not yet written, that has no direction at the moment, one can only hope it will all unfold nicely with some pleasant surprises along the way. I guess you'll find out as I do, assuming I remember to keep this updated.

So that's that. This is what you get. My adventures on the road to a PhD (or maybe not, who knows?).

For now, these are the things I need to get out of me.

I don't make friends very easily, I'm awkward and anxious in social situations. I'm nervous about finding a place to fit here, I was never fully successful at finding a place to fit in in the place that I knew, my home, my comfort zone, so being outside of that raises the anxiety level considerably.

Add to that the fact that this move comes at the tail end of a summer filled with events and people that ultimately became my friends and ultimately gave me that place to fit in, maybe not perfectly, but well enough. Not only am I struggling with being out of my home comfort zone, I'm now dealing with yet another round of distance from friends.

I always thought that when it was MY time to move away it wouldn't be so hard or so sad, but as it turns out, it's just as painful to leave my friends as it was to have my friends leave me. And now there's the added element of this social networking world we live in whereby I can keep up with all of the happenings that I'm missing out on back home through Twitter and Facebook. And I'll admit, it's hard to think about all of the things I'm missing, from nights out on the town to nights in at someone's house playing Rock Band. That left out feeling I always have in general is multiplied by the distance and the knowledge that I made this choice.

On the other hand my mind drifts off to the fact that even if I had stayed at home, it would be inevitable that in another year or so I would face another round of being left behind as everyone goes off to follow their own dreams.

So I lose either way.

But, really I know that's a self-defeatist way of thinking and it's sure to make me miserable. But it's all I've been able to think about for the last month, it's made me sad and very unpleasant to be around.

My hope and my goal, however, is to figure out a way to turn that train of thought around and allow myself to see the possibilities this place holds. I'm still not sure I made the right decision, but at the very least I have to give this the year to try and sort that out. I suppose I'll revisit the wisdom of this quest in about 10 months.

I've got a lot of thinking to do, I've got a lot to figure out. I guess I'm finally accepting the fact that I need to let myself grow up. I need to be okay with being an adult and I need to accept the responsibility for figuring out what kind of adult I'm going to be.

So this is a long post, I don't know that I'll post this long again, it's kind of an exercise in vanity, but I think I can live with that.

This is a beginning. And we'll find out to what I guess as we go along.

I can live with that. For now.