Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ben Folds

Well my academic life has swallowed me whole. But if anyone out there is still reading my blog, listen to Jesusland, sung by Ben Folds. His voice is syrupy and full of lament. A surprisingly sweet treat of sadness. Truly a thing of beauty. That is all for today. Utter some prayers I make it through next tuesday...

Friday, April 23, 2010

email etiquette

In the age of ever-better technology, manners seem to have fallen by the wayside. E-mail is a somewhat tragic form of communication, a butchering of the English language and a butchering of correspondence etiquette. I’m not usually one to criticize manners or etiquette, but I have received e-mails in my four years of college (when e-mail has been the most important means of relaying information to the student body) that have been incredibly rude, and I know I’m not the only one. Instead of a well thought out, polite example of correspondence, the e-mail is a quick thought typed into a box, reflecting every thought, judgment, and attitude of the writer. This can make a note from a busy, irritated person come off unnecessarily cruel, and while that is not always the intention, this makes the intended reader feel infringed upon, small, and angry.

But what, do you ask, constitutes a rude e-mail? In my humble opinion, if you have something potentially rude to say to someone, it should be said to their face. So, with this in mind, we’ll take a leaf out of our parents’ notebook. Remember when you were a teenager, and your parents told you that if you felt the need to lie about where you were, you probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place? Well, if you write an email that you think might be too uncomfortable to say to someone’s face, it is probably too rude.

I’m not the perfect e-mail sender; sometimes I don’t capitalize everything, my letter-etiquette is not perfect. This is something I, and many of us, need to change. An e-mail to a professor or potential boss should take the form of formal correspondence. And everyone, professors and potential bosses included, should take a moment to re-read their e-mail before hitting the send button, take a deep breath if they’re a little heated, and see if they might be able to phrase their words in a kinder manner. The e-mail seems to be the perfect way to avoid any human contact and conversation, a veil behind which we hide. Perhaps if we really think about what we want to impart upon each other, remember that words are real and can be damaging if used in the wrong context, maybe not only our e-mails will be more respectful, but our overall interactions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 Songs

1. Brand New - Play Crack the Sky

2. Van Morrison - Caravan

3. Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky

4. Frou-Frou - Breathe In

5. Ray LaMontagne - Winter Birds

Monday, April 19, 2010

All the single ladies: the fear that Bridget Jones and Sex and the City have given us

The other day I was surfing the internet (probably while I was procrastinating, let's be real here) and I came across this op-ed from and online women's publication The Lemon Drop aptly titled "Are Bridget Jones and Liz Lemon Making Us Afraid to Die Alone?" Eff. Of course, like a car wreck or seeing old people at a nude beach, I couldn't look away. Basically, the article chronicled single women's fear of being alone. Seemingly, this is only a problem for women; you never hear about men being alone and miserable in their thirties, but more on that lovely double standard later. At the end of the article was a wonderful, pour salt in the wounds, face-it-you'll-be-alone-forever poll that asked: 'What do you think of Liz-Lemon syndrome?' In case any of you don't know, Liz Lemon is Tina Fey's character from 30-Rock. She scheduled a root canal on Valentine's Day because she didn't want to be conscious. Yeah. The options for answering were:
1. I admit it--I'm scared of being single in my thirties
2. being single in your 30s is normal and doesn't mean you binge eat and can't get laid
3. I'm not really scared to be single in my 30s AND I love a good joke about getting poundcake on my cat.

Well, shit. I kept replaying in my head that one episode of Sex and the City when Miranda first buys her apartment and calls Carrie in the middle of the night, convinced she was going to choke on some chicken and die alone and be eaten by her beloved cat, Fatty. I was starting to palpitate and instead of answering, I exed out of the article. Then, when I watched Bridget Jones's diary last night, the scene with her drunk in her P.J.s belting out "All By Myself" nearly brought me to tears.

Today I got to thinking about why, at the tender age of 22, I am so so so afraid of being alone. It's been awhile, admittedly, since my last relationship (enough time for many of my other friends, who were single for less time than me, to already have significant others), but why have a heart attack over it? Then I realized that we're conditioned to feel this way. And you know whose fault it is? Those chicks from Sex and the City, Bridget Jones, Liz Lemon, Elaine Bettis (her only foil being George Costanza), and just about every other pathetic single female on both big and small screens. While Sex and the City tries to make its women seem strong and independent, all four have their downfalls. Charlotte is marriage obsessed. Carrie has no money (and really is irresponsible with the little she has). Samantha is a slut. Miranda fears being eaten by her cat. Seeing such beautiful, smart women unmarried and unattached and lamenting it at every turn is enough to give an entire generation of girls the shivers.

For men, it's different. They have the cool dudes of Entourage, where wives and girlfriends are often such pains-in-the-asses, that they're gotten rid of. And don't worry! If you get rid of one, more will follow! Single men in all movies (and, seemingly, in life) never have worries about getting married or being alone. There will always be some young thing naive enough to be duped into a relationship.

Why is single 30-dom such a touchy thing for me? Because I can easily see myself as Bridget Jones; sad, drunk, desperate. Thankfully, I'm as far from 32 as I am from 12. I've got a lot of growing, learning, and time left to do it in.

Should I sign up for match.com yet? Ugh.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

cranky sundays

Today is just one of those days. Because this is not my personal journal (slash, no one really cares about how I'm feeling, and my blog was not designed for that purpose) I'm just going to muse about what causes crankiness.

I don't really have anything to blog about today, maybe that's making me crabby. I have always feared running out of things to say. I know I came up with something brilliant just yesterday, but it have since flown out of my head. But really, has my creativity dried up after only, what, five months? I'm sure not, and I've learned in my creative writing classes that some months, weeks, days are more productive than others.

But what is special about today? I'm not hormonal, so that wouldn't explain this inexplicable urge to cry (I probably won't it's just an urge). Perhaps I'm emotional over graduating, perhaps I'm really beginning to realize that I'm ready to move on, and that simply scares the shit out of me.

Perhaps just because it's Sunday. When I was a freshman at a college in Vermont (I transferred out before my sophomore year), Sunday was the worst day of the week. It was the day I was most homesick, the day I just wanted a mom cooked meal and a freshly folded pile of mom done laundry. It was always the day my then-boyfriend would leave for home if he was visiting, and the day I spent hungover in bed, cocooned within the four cement walls of my dorm while the world spinned outside. It seems I have moved on from the homesickness, but Sunday still feels like an empty day. I hope, in the future, Sunday can be less about feeling icky and more about embracing the idleness of the end of the week. Maybe I'll take this afternoon and simply lounge, stop thinking about all the homework I have to do and just read, relax. Maybe take a nap. And not think about the delicious roast beef my mom is making for dinner at home tonight.

Side note: I saw that new Miley Cyrus/Nicholas Sparks movie "The Last Song." I learned three things:
1. Miley Cyrus sucks at acting, and the way she holds her mouth pisses me off.
2. Apparently, love doesn't exist unless you're really good looking. If it does, no one wants to see it.
3. I laugh at inappropriate times, like when the girl in front of my was uncontrollably sobbing, and I couldn't stop giggling because the plot was so dumb.

Cool soundtrack though (aside from that TERRIBLE Miley song).

Friday, April 16, 2010

things that are bugging me this week

1. people that talk and talk and talk in class and never make a point. and say 'um' a lot.

2. couples holding hands ALL OVER CAMPUS. and sharing kisses. and sitting together in the library. boo.

3. research papers.

4. hangovers.

5. research papers.

6. people that shower more than once a day.

7. dave matthews

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 songs

1. Seu Jorge - Life on Mars

2. Mason Jennings - Ballad for My One True Love

3. B. o. B. - Nothin' on You

4. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
(this is a live version, but the real one can be found on itunes)

5. Ryan Montbleu - 75 and Sunny

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ode to the Realistic, Self-Respesting People

What is with these "narratives" (I call them that for lack of a better word, for they are far, far too long to be called "quotes") that pontificate the bitterness of people who feel like they are too "nice"? There are two of these narratives, "Ode to Nice Guys" and "Ode to Nice Girls" that just whine for about five paragraphs about how nice they are and how the opposite sex either ignores them or takes advantage of them. They drive me crazy. To enlighten you of why I think these rants are complete crap, I'll give you a few examples.

From "Ode to Nice Guys"
"This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. "
Um, excuse me? Most girls need that litany of support? Obviously you're after the wrong kind of girl. A girl that is confident doesn't need you to tell her these things. She can figure it out for herself, and if she's one of those girls that does need all that constant attention, she will probably be the most annoying girlfriend in the entire world.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it.
Pathetic. Completely pathetic. Are you one of her gal pals? Why are you listening to this? If she doesn't know you're in love with her, she probably thinks you're gay. And why why why would you NOT tell her that her boyfriend is a jerk? If my best girl friend called me and was going on and on about two sentences her boyfriend said, I would tell her to stop being so whiny and either dump him or stop talking about it. And if he was a jerk, she should definitely break up with him. You're not doing this girl (who is obviously an idiot) any favors by telling her that it will all work out with the jerk boyfriend.

the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.”
Ouch-magouch! This guy has a serious chip on his shoulder. The girls he is after, like I said before, obviously have incredibly low self esteem, or are simply clueless. Here's my advice, dude: grow a pair. Ask her out. Kiss her. Make it known that you want her, and if she doesn't respond, MOVE ON. You'll look like a big vagina if you follow her around like a puppy dog. It's really not that difficult of a concept.

From "Ode to Nice Girls"
"This is for the girls who have left sad song lyrics in their away messages, who have tried to make someone understand through a subliminally appealing profile, who have time and time again dropped their male friend hint after hint after hint only to watch him chase after the first blonde girl in a skirt."
Oh please. If he doesn't like you, he doesn't like you. Guys check out everyone, even their female friends. If he wanted to be with you, he would, he should, make it known. Didn't anyone learn anything from He's Just Not that into You? He's probably gotten the hints. He's not interested.

"this is for the girls who have been led on by words and kisses and touches, all of which were either only true for the moment, or never real to begin with. This is for the girls who have allowed a guy into their head and heart and bed, only to discover that he's just not ready, he's just not over her, he's just not looking to be tied down; this is for the girls who believe the excuses because it's easier to believe that it's not that they don't want you, it's that they don't want anyone"
False. He wants to be single for awhile, hook up with lots of girls. Why is that so hard to understand? If he wants to be in a relationship, he'll be in one. If he doesn't want to be in one with you, he won't be. It is not that difficult. We've all been led on, but we should all know that many guys say many things on behalf of their members. Not every guy is your soulmate, and this doesn't mean that every guy is a jerk. He's just human. You can't make anyone like you. They either will or they won't.

"this is for the nights spent dissecting every word and syllable and inflection in his speech, for the nights when you've returned home alone, for the nights when you've seen from across the room him leaning a little too close, or standing a little too near, or talking a little too softly for the girl he's with to be a random hookup"
COME ON. Dissecting every word and syllable? This takes pathetic to an entire new level. He doesn't want to be with you if he wants to be with someone else. Stop pining. Yeah, sure, maybe you have hurt feelings, but someday we'll all find someone we really care about, and it will be 10 times better than any meaningless hook up.

This, my friends, is an ode to practical people. An ode to people who have an ounce of self respect. Those who, yeah, will go home with people from bars or parties but they never expect anything, realizing that you can't build a relationship out of drunk sex with someone you only know from sidelong looks in class. Those who go on dates with someone that may at first give them butterflies, but in the end realize that there isn't much chemistry, or that the two of you actually didn't have much in common. This is for people who get the message, understand when someone they might be interested in simply isn't interested back. This is for the people who allow themselves to be disappointed for a minute, but then remember that this is life and you can't make people want you, and they can't make you want them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

awesome date place

My cousin is getting married next month, and last night was her bachelorette party! We did a bunch of fun things, including bowling at one of the coolest places I've ever been: King's!

King's is a bowling/billiards/restaurant/bar, with a decided adult flair in Boston's Back Bay. I thought it would be such a fun place to go on a date! You can bowl (who doesn't love a little competitive flirting!), you can have cocktails or pitchers of beer, and appetizers like yummy nachos! There are big screen TVs that show baseball games and waitresses so you don't have to keep going back to the bar. A super, super cool place. If you're in the Boston area I highly recommend it!

Graduation Blues

For me, college will be over in a mere month and a half. It's something that is difficult to process. I'm excited to start a new chapter in my life, but what am I going to do without random Hogan sits and rugby practice and ski team and dorm life and parties in shitty houses on Caro street and my best best best friends? Since HC is a more regional school, chances are most of my friends will be concentrated in the Boston, New York, and DC metropolis, at least for the first couple of years. This, I am thankful for--a few of my cousins went to Brown and their friends are scattered across the globe.

But my whole musing, at this point, is about where I'm going to go come October. Yes, I'll wait tables out on the Vineyard (because I'm broke, and really, come on, who can resist?) until a few weeks after Labor Day. But then what? Should I move home and try to work in Boston? Should I move to New York, an unfamiliar city which might eat me and spit me back out? Should I look for permanent or temporary? What if I hate my job?

Until now, we have been conditioned to think in four year increments. Four years of elementary, middle, and high school, four years of college. Everything is temporary, a stepping stone until the next thing. Faced with the reality of forever is daunting. In September I will not return to school for the first time in 22 years of living. There will be no need for new notebooks and pens, no textbooks, no new classes. It's refreshing, really, but refreshing doesn't make it less painful. I find myself unable to make a decision about my future beyond this summer. Yes, I want to go to New York, but what will I be able to afford? Where do I want to get a job? Who will care a lick about my resume, my writing, me, at least enough to hire me? Will I want to work for them?

I find myself envious of people that have set plans: law school, med school, Teach for America, Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Sometimes I feel like all the work I've ever done hasn't amounted to anything. I guess I just have a lot of thinking to do.

I don't mean to be so gloomy about it. I'm not afraid of change, and in fact I'm excited to start another chapter in my life. I'm excited about the people I'm going to meet, and the people I'm going to keep in my life.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vineyard Summer

While I don't want to wish the rest of my senior year away, a phone conversation with one of my best friends made me thirst for what is to come this summer. My summers on Martha's Vineyard have contained some of the most defining moments of my life. It is how I truly came to know myself, truly figured out how to live on my own, became able to live with anyone anywhere, and truly realized what it was like to be an adult. The friends I both took with me to the Vineyard and made on the Vineyard are people that I will never forget, and hopefully always have in my life. Today I got to talk to one of those people and catch up on how her life is, and it made me painfully nostalgic for this:
^Rhiannon, Me and our other friend (and one of my best from high school), Catherine

I met Rhiannon my first summer on the Vineyard. We had a lot in common right off the bat. We waited tables together, we had never spent the summer away from home before, we were living in undesirable circumstances (she with a family she was nannying for, me with an insane landlady in my back yard), we both enjoyed Jack Daniels and bathroom humor, and we were both underage. We had so many adventures together, days on the beach with red wine, not wearing sunscreen, nights in the restaurant complaining about bad patrons and teasing our coworkers.

One day we drove up island to the public beach by the red cliffs and the lighthouse. Somehow we caught the attention of some guys on a boat and they invited us to go tubing. What luck! When Rhiannon left (a week before I did) it wasn't the same. Summer had ended. We had both grown so much as people, undoubtedly with the help of each other, and it was hard to say goodbye. But, we lived together again for our second summer, 2009. Rhiannon brought her boyfriend, and we had my brother, my cousin, and another friend of theirs from school. And once again, we rocked it. All summer long.

We talked today for the first time in six months, and it felt like we had never missed a beat. That's what a true friendship is all about. She won't be back on the island this summer, but she'll make visits. And I cannot wait to go back--the ocean, the sun, the salty nights, the boys, the margaritas...paradise.

What are your summer adventures?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I have found my soulmate.

And he is amazing. I love him.

Birthday Wishes

Happy happy 20th birthday to my dear brother Jamey.

You're the best! I love you! (and...you were the cutest baby...ever!!!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hair Envy

My hair used to be long. A foot and a half of gorgeous, luxurious golden brown hair. I loved it. I thought it was my best asset. I loved the way it fell over my shoulders and down my back, the way I could put it in a long side braid and and keep it back in a headband for work. And then, I cut it. It needed to be cut. It was time. My mother took me out and bought me a suit, and the long hair didn't work. It could never work.

But, even five months later, I am mourning the loss of my locks. Those beachy, sun-drenched summer days, the way it was so heavy that it never needed to be straightened. I now look at other girls with hair down to their tits and go green with envy. I think to myself, "I must have that again." Granted, now that I've cut it, my hair looks healthier, and it's lighter, and it doesn't require as much shampoo. It stays in ponytails easier, too.

But, God, that hair. Has anyone else ever had hair regret?

5 songs to listen to Right Now.

1. The Smiths -Please, please, please, let me get what I want

2. Coldplay -Now My Feet Won't Touch the Ground

3. Sound of Arrows - M.A.G.I.C.

4. Andrew Bird - Anonanimal

5. Afro Celt Sound System - When You're Falling (feat. Peter Gabriel)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cool Siblings Update

Remember my post about how cool my siblings are? Because I was home for the weekend and had access to lots of photo albums and a scanner, here's some evidence of my geekdom.

exhibit A. The Halloween costumes. I'm obviously the ghost, though it looks like I may belong to some kind of child terrorist group.

exhibit B. At one time, I was 42 inches tall, and I weighed all of 42 pounds. Always a head and a half taller than all my siblings, and scary skinny.

exhibit C. The parents and their three kids. Oh look! They included their babysitter! How nice.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Question of Preppiness

I'll probably catch flak for this. I am well aware. Disclaimer: I am not hating on prepsters, but rather questioning the lifestyle that "preppy" sometimes puts forth. My big question is this one: why is the preppy clothing style also a lifestyle? Perhaps I just don't understand. Perhaps the way a "preppy" lifestyle is often portrayed as one that has too much money and seemingly people that care too much about material things, what label is on your collared shirt instead of whether or not someone is a good person. Don't get me wrong, I think the way someone dresses says a lot about who they are, and I also think it's important to adhere to the old cliche, "dress for success," but "preppy" takes this to an entirely different level.

Let's start in the beginning. I was raised in probably the least preppy town in Massachusetts. My best friend from high school was teased (playfully!) about her popped collared Polo shirts (she happened have an after school job at Ralph Lauren). I was publicly educated. My favorite store in elementary school was The Children's Place. Later, The Gap, or Express. I had barely ever heard of Lilly Pulitzer or Polo. "Preppy" didn't exist at my high school. I was an athelete, and most days my senior year I arrived 5 minutes late for homeroom with wet hair and clad in sweatpants. And I was not the only one that did this. Of course, it did matter if you looked good, but not to the extent of the label-whoredom of many "preppy" schools. Where I went to school, you were cool if you had a boy's football hoodie (cut down the neck of course). The older your car, the more notoriety. If you had a new car, you were spoiled. My sister and I were the only girls in school that had Vineyard Vines totes, and we only had them because we bought them one year vacationing on the Vineyard because we thought they were pretty (and for the record, that was 2004, and I still carry the same one).

So forgive me for not understanding. Recently, The New York Times wrote an article about the sequel to 'The Official Preppy Handbook,' a book that was written to poke fun at the preppy lifestyle but instead apparently backfired and taught everyone how to be preppy. Sweet. What really gets me is that it seems that preppies think that their way of living is the only way to live. Conveniently, there are a few prerequisites I have observed: One must have money, be a Republican, and apparently love monograms, Lilly Pulitzer, bowties and boatshoes. One must not only love these things, but tell everyone how much they love these things, and how much of these things they have.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's bad to like preppy clothing. In fact, despite my love for sweatpants, my style from high school has changed into a more classic, more preppy one. This could be a factor of where I decided to attend college, or it could simply be a factor of growing up. But notice I said style. Many of my friends adopt this clothing style without the lifestyle. I, too, have a decided appreciation for boat shoes and Lilly Pulitzer, but my closet doesn't vomit these things, and I would never look down my nose at people who didn't adhere to preppy clothing. What I'm trying to assert is that what has come forth as a preppy lifestyle is seemingly shallow: care only about material wealth and what one can buy with that material wealth, including the most expensive simple clothing there is, and then seemingly brag about it. Somehow, preppy clothing has translated into this preppy lifestyle, this way of living that shows the world how wealthy you are. My mother did not subscribe to a preppy lifestyle whatsoever, and yet always looked beautiful and put together and kept a beautiful home. If all you have is your monogrammed sweater to help you sleep at night, your life is empty.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Time

For all of the parent networks out there (I'm talking about ABC, NBC, and CBS), its time. It's time to get new shows. I'm begging. Come up with something else. No more doctors. No more cops. No more crime and murder and weird sicknesses that are giving me hypochondria, and for the love of God, no more lawyers. The next time you think of an "innovative" reality series, think again. No one cares. Your two hour two night Dancing with the Stars and American Idol are already painful enough.

For most of us, shows like Grey's and Lost started when we were in high school. While Lost has a light at the end of the tunnel (specifically, this May will mark the end of the adventure), Grey's is just whining and wheezing it's way to defeat. CSI has been on since 2000. Law and Order? 1990! Come on, think tanks of creativity and pithy dialogue (hehehe i stole that from my last post). THINK! Generate something NEW.

I think what bothers me the most is the fact that all these shows (save Lost) follow the same kind of formula. Medical show: someone is sick with an incurable/mystery illness. Sometimes they die, and the doctor is better for it at the end of the day. The doctor has learned something about life. Sometimes the patient lives, and the doctor is better for it at the end of the day. So on and so forth. The doctors whine about how hard their lives are, and yet they always look GORGEOUS and they're always the most BRILLIANT in their field. Blah blah blah. Crime shows: person ends up mutilated. Not just dead, but usually chased, attacked, shot, cut to pieces (nightmares ensue). The cops get a suspect. They get a couple of suspects. You think they're about to solve the case, but alas, it is only 24 minutes into the episode. Like clockwork, the case is blown wiiiiiide open. It takes another 24 minutes to solve (plus lots of commercial breaks). The head cop always has 1-liners that make you think that the cop already knows what's happening, just isn't telling you. Also, the lab work comes back in like half an hour. Uh, not the way it works.

I'm tired of this, ABC, etc. Come up with something real. Come up with something gritty. I would watch a nighttime soap about a trailer park. It would be a hell of a lot more interesting than a 7th season of Grey's Anatomy.