Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Part 2 (Everything Else)

The other half of 2011 was pretty decent too.

-This summer, I took a break from cashiering then doing nothing to hang out with my friend who came to visit America. This picture was taken in Boston, by the harbor, after being caught in a sudden rainstorm. In my life, instances such as this are normal.

-Later in the summer, my friend Greg also visited America, so a few of us met up and hung out for a bit. Which meant a few of us ended up in onesies. Obviously.

-I absolutely love my suite at school, which is dubbed "The Flat" because my roommates and I all met and lived in London last semester. We had a spread of various soaps available in the bathroom, and it was decorated extensively for Christmas. We had our tree set up in late October, so initially we decorated it for Halloween before switching for Christmas. It was the perfect atmosphere for the "fake Christmas" I celebrated with my friends.

-On my birthday, I went apple picking with my roommates. Along with the apples, we also picked up pumpkins, and I carved my first jack-o-lantern ever a few weeks later.

-This semester, I took a Latin American history course, and have never been so bored in a class in my entire life. The silver lining to this is I drew some truly great Doctor Who and Harry Potter-inspired doodles in my notebook.

-After going to see my friend from middle school in a hockey game, some of us decided it would be fun to go ice skating. Even though it had been a while since I had skated and my legs were sore the next day, I did not actually fall. So, you know, success.

-In October, we had a massive snowstorm. Pretty much the rest of the entire state went without power for the next week, but on campus we were totally fine, even though the storm did cancel a scavenger hunt I had been planning for a group of us. You win some, you lose some.

-A few weeks ago, one of my roommates had to take the GRE because she is the smartest of all the people, and I drove her to the site with a few friends. Instead of driving there and back and there and back, we stayed down there and adventured. We came across a trail white driving through rural areas looking in vain for stores, then tried to find a waterfall that didn't seem to exist.

Overall, a pretty great year, I'd say.

2011 Part 1 (London)

I realized yesterday that today is the last day of 2011. I figured I should probably write about the year. It was pretty good. I quickly realized I would need to break the year up into two parts- PARTS PARTY. So here I go reminisce about the first half of the year and London.

-At least once, occasionally multiple times a week (sometimes a day) I ate or hung out in the Wetherspoons chain of pubs. For each meal, I ordered a veggie burger and pint meal, and it was the best thing. Both the food and the company I went there with made each visit fantastic.

Note: the picture to the left is from my last burger there, which incidentally was the worst one I had, because, as you can tell, they burned it. Jerks.

-In the middle of the semester, Emily and I got permission to leave class early to attend a play that Young Adult author Maureen Johnsen tweeted about. I had never read any of her books, but I was still a fan. (I have since read some of her work, and it is exemplary.) As we were sitting in the audience before the show, Emily asked me if I saw her yet, and I said, "Oh she's at the end of our row holy crap... oh she's walking toward us..." and then Maureen Johnsen proceeded to sit down right next to us. Our tickets just happened to be right next to each other. And then we took pictures in awful lighting and thoroughly enjoy the play.

-I was in a great deal of Dailybooth pictures this year, despite not actually having an account on the site myself. At one point I even attended a gathering of Dailybooth users and then felt very out of place.

-This was taken in a tube station, where I spent a quite large amount of time. I'm sitting on the statue of some guy who was an important train engineer or something. I never noticed before, but the guy in the background of this is slightly hilarious. In his defense, I'm sure we looked quite odd.

Ok, this is going to take forever. New plan.

-Belgium, Scotland, France, across England. Having the ability and opportunity to travel so much was an incredible and unique experience I will never forget.

- The European friends I made while living in London made my time there so much more special.

Also, one person is stopping that from being "British friends." Geez, Austria just ruins everything, am I right?

-The friends from my own group and school I made in London are still a huge part of my life. After bonding in the UK, they are still some of the best friends I have ever had.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cool Stuff I Have aka Consumerism is Awesome

So now I'm back home for winter break, and this means, as it has for a while now, continuing to set up my stuff in my room. My family having just moved, (which has actually been the case for about three years now- three houses in three years will do that) I need to assemble and display my things in the best way possible. This task is very important because you see, I have some really cool stuff. For example:
-I have a plush keychain of Winnie the Pooh in a panda costume. If you're thinking to yourself, "Holy shit that's the cutest thing that's ever fricking existed," you're totally right.
-When I toured Italy with my high school band a few years back, I bought a (probably overpriced) little painting of the Duomo on a street in Florence because I thought that was a chic, international thing to do.
-Over this past spring break in France, I bought a replica army cricket in Normandy- these were used by troops during the invasion to tell if they had fellow countrymen nearby. It was only two Euros and probably only took fifty cents to make but I couldn't even care less.
-I collect vintage books. I have old copies of Shakespeare, Thoreau, and others. Oh yeah guys, you're dealing with a real scholar here. But ask me if I've read any of them? SHUT UP.
-My freshman year of college I stole a poster from my dorm hall because it had a picture of Harry Potter on it. It was advertising a really dumb event on campus, and I at least waited until after the event had passed to swipe it from the floor below mine.
-I bought an eraser from the Globe that has the Macbeth quote, "Out damned spot! Out I say!" (GET IT?!?) It was supposed to be for my sister, but whatever. It's now hanging out by my plays. See? Everything has a place.
-I also collect rocks from cool places. I have some from Omaha beach, Versailles, and Hastings and Brighton in England. These are all together in a plastic cup that once held two Euro, 12% white wine from a French convenience store that caused me to almost flash my friends in our hostel room. My friend asked about the tag on my shirt when I was really in no right state to check it.
-Among some frankly slightly creepy looking ceramic cats, I have a crystal dog and matching bone. These all came from my grandparents house, and I have clear memories of being little and told repeatedly to keep away from the dog because it was fragile and God help us all if the bone went missing. In fact, to this day I have never taken the dog out of his clear plastic protective box. Maybe some day.
-I have an entire shelf dedicated to Harry Potter, which includes all 7 books, the Beetle the Bard book, two books of literary analysis, a plastic wand, a postcard from the Wizarding World, my signed movie cover, and a stuffed owl that is not supposed to Hedwig, but totally is Hedwig.
-I am a fan of bulletin boards. In my room, I have two separate ones, both completely full. They contain everything from my lanyard from visiting the BBC, to my prom ticket, to a birthday card from 2010, to a ticket to Lincoln's presidential museum in Illinios, to a pin of the American and German flags I got on my last day of German class.
-By my Twilight books, I have a heart-shaped paper weight that was made in Volterra because... I went through a phase.
-I also collect souveneir shot glasses because I'm THAT person. I have ones from New Hampshire, San Antonio, Cancun, Virginia, and my university. These are most definitely going to be a worthwhile investment and be worth loads of money one day.
-Hanging off my lamp, I have a YouTube drawstring bag that a friend got me at Summer in the City and I haven't used it yet but it sure looks great hanging off my lamp.

One thing that is noticably missing from my room is a view of snow out the window. But that topic will be covered.... NEXT TIME on SARA TYPES WORDS.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Twitter Stats

I'm fairly obsessed with Twitter. Since my friend Emily set up an account for me last Winter, I have grown more and more attached. So after 657 tweets, I decided to count the number of tweets I create that share common themes. You know, for fun. Like a normal person.
I'm also not going to comment on how I'm discussing Twitter on Blogspot, and posting it to Facebook. Now if only someone would make a Youtube video about it, that would be the ultimate social media combination. What a boring video that would be, though.
So here are the major themes in my life right now:

"I need sleep" 3
casual conversations with friends from a country across an ocean from myself- 105
casual conversations with friends from the country where I am residing at the time, when I am too tired or lazy to just go get my phone to text them- 129
Referring to my favorite pub or the drink I purchase there- 18
clever responses to other people's tweets- 14
Schoolwork is hard- 12
I'm really weird- 81
Class. GROSS.- 10
Me just being clever or commenting on life in general- 126
I was on ESPN- 2
my school makes life and parking difficult- 9
retweeting Tyler Oakley or people saying interesting things in more eloquent ways than I could- 11
Doctor Who is the best thing- 12
Attempting to interact with famous people by @ replying them- 12
London is my first and only true love- 20
I'm seeing famous people today- 2
Harry Potter- 10
when I was trying to make "historical pop songs"a thing- 5
when I referred to myself as a hermit because I was embarrassed about last night's events- 4
Emily took over-3

I'm sure some kind of anthropological study could be done on the reasons and motivations for my compulsion to tweet these things.
I mean, it could be. It won't though.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Open Letter to 13-year-old Me

Dear 13-year-old me,
Let's have a discussion. I might be able to help you traverse these next few years with limited unnecessary humiliation. Please, please, just listen to me.
Here's a few things to keep in mind.
1) take a second and reconsider every single piece of clothing before putting it on your body and going out in public. Self expression is one thing but... come on.

this leads me straight to my next thought...
2) notice how in the picture on the right we're wearing those two watches? Those are both plastic Spongebob watches we got out of cereal boxes. Now, in a year you'll think wearing them both to school every day because "What if one dies? I still wouldn't have to look at the wall clock" is the funniest, most charmingly quirky thing that has every happened. You'll think you're pretty much Zooey Deschanel. Oh, that's some serious anachronism. But you don't know what that word means anyway.
In conclusion, please don't. Or at least not every day.
3) You know your taste in music is flawless, I know your taste in music is flawless. Don't even bother trying to convince other people of this. They won't get it. Oh, that reminds me. There's a thing called an "ipod" coming into the world. Best invention of time and space. Start saving for one now so you won't have to share one with Becky. Everyone realizes the flaws in that plan.
4) TALK. You're funny. The world needs to know it.
5) Do not wear your favorite sweatshirt to the pig farm during Farm Week. The smell will linger for weeks, even after multiple washings. Those piglets are adorable though.
6) In a few years, you'll have to make the decision of whether or not to take Honors Chemistry. We've always been ok in Science but Chemistry is an entirely different animal that was born in the fires of Mordor. See this equation? That make sense to you?

Yeah, me neither. The best part of that class was the drawing I did of two moles ninja-fighting. (Believe me, it's funny and totally relevant.)

7) So you're in Spanish right now, and if I recall correctly, you hate it with a passion usually reserved for dictators and Scooby-Doo reruns. So you want to take World Cultures instead next year, because that will help you decide what language to take in high school. Good theory. The reality, however, is that World Cultures is where slackers go when they are just too lazy for elementary Spanish, and lack the motivation for Band or Choir. Boys will hit you in the face with paper clips.
The teacher's nice though.
8) When you're almost done with high school, PLEASE do not tell your band lesson teacher, who has been nothing but nice to you for four years, that you hate playing the instrument that he loves. Yeah, it's true, but it helps no one to let him know that.
9) Actually, whenever you feel like saying things and you even have an inkling that it might be a bad idea, for the love of GOD, DO NOT say them.
10) I hate to say this, but you're a little boy-crazy. Now, I realize hormones are a thing and all that, but still, calm down. You're about to discover the wonders of male friendship. It's a wonderful thing. Try not to be too distracted by your habit of liking every guy who looks at you without disgust in his eyes. That will stop eventually, I promise.
11) It's not going to be easy. The following eight years will go approximately like this: ok with bits of crappy because people are jerks, then it's a little better, then who are these people? OH THEY'RE THE BEST PEOPLE THAT'S COOL, then sporadic sucking and teenage angst, then wait this is ending? but I love you. This sucks, then it gets crappy for a while but then. THEN. Everything is great. The world is rainbows and daisies and really good history jokes.
Ok not quite. But it's still pretty fantastic most of the time.
Now I think that's something to look forward to, I don't know about you.

P.S. Just to save you the stress and making of many pro/con lists later, let me just tell you: you stay in marching band all three years. And also, you hide in the uniform closet during all-school-awards Junior year. You don't get caught. It's the best.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 Youtube Survey (on Blogspot)

Currently on Youtube, Alex Day started this survey thing, and it's totally the new hip thing. Everyone's doing it. Even my friend Emily just posted a video of her responses, and told Greg and our friend Dai to answer it as well. I felt very left out and because I'm just that self-involved, I'm taking the questions and answering them in the much-less-interesting medium of text.

-Tell us about your first kiss.
I was the embarassing age of 18, and I'd been seeing my boyfriend for two months. It was New Year's Eve, and we were at my friend's house when it midnight struck. Along with two other couples in close proximity to us, two other single friends were left there... to stare at us weirdly.
There were a few almost-moments in the years before this but they don't count.

-What is the most expensive casual item of clothing you've ever bought?
I don't buy expensive clothes. I simply don't. If anything costs more then $15, I walk away or my mom feels bad and buys it for me (which is something I have never manipulated in my entire life. Promise). But late last year I was working at Kohl's and I used the great clearance rack and my discount to buy a jacket that was retailed at about $80 for $20. I then proceeded to wear that jacket every day of my life for the next six months.

-What was the first job you ever wanted as a kid?
I'm not really sure about this one. I have a clear memory of every single kid in my kindgergarten class, inluding me, wanting to be an artist except for one kid who wanted to run his family's business. I was so jealous of the attention that kid got. But I also know I really wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, and that is the adorable option to go for, because it's what I'm studying to be right now. I remember really loving how my grandfather was a teacher (even though I never met him) and so was my mom. Actually, the "it runs in my family" line is still a big part of my inspiration for doing this.
Also, in middle school, I went through a phase of wanting to be an interior decorator. I REALLY loved "Trading Spaces."

-Tell us about your group of school friends.
In middle school, I was that weird girl who wore Spongebob watches and was too obsessed with softball. You know the girl. That was me. So I had a few friends, but not too many. Freshman year was similar and then when I was a Sophomore, MARCHING BAND HAPPENED. While it would be an exaggeration to say all my friends were in band, they were definitely the majority. We were the cool kids who lettered in band all four years and were found hanging out in the band hallway right after school. By Senior year, there was sort of a core of us (with a number of us paired off as well) who were very close. I still talk to quite a few of them. I've said it before and I'll say it again- band people are the best people.

-What would you name your kids?
I'm totally "that girl" who's put a lot of thought into this. I really like sort of literary names like Emma or Rose. For boys, for some reason I am drawn to multi-syllable names like Thomas or Benjamin just so I can possibly be the one person in their life to call them by their full name. That appeals to me, but I have no idea why.

-Who do you want to answer this next?
I have when surveys end with this. So annoying. And I did a ton of these back in the day, so I was irritated often.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm embarassing Part 2

I just turned 21 last week, but does this new, legal maturity mean I've reached a new level of grace and maturity?
Let's explore this.
-On the night of my birthday, during one of my more... free... moments, I was told to bite a pumpkin sitting on a nearby table. I did.
-Driving back to campus a few days ago with a friend in the car, we were having a perfectly normal conversation, (led by him, obviously. I can't manage a normal conversation) when I saw that the car in front of us had a Minnesota license plate. I then preceded to freak out and point like a crazy person out the window, to the point where he thought I was having a seizure or we were about to crash.
-Taylor Swift makes up a fifth of my most played songs. All Time Low makes up almost a quarter.
-I run two separate Twitter accounts.
-My sister, upon seeing my put an ice cream cake in my mini-fridge: "Are you sure that's cold enough?"
Me: "Of course it is."
*the next day*
Me: "Hey, ~roommate~?... Are you hungry?.... Ok, because I have a half-melted cake here that kind of needs to be dealt with."
-My suite's common room has become less of "a shared space for all four roommates to live in harmoniously" and more of "extra space for Sara's stuff to take up when she's too lazy to put it back or throw it away."
-At my student teaching placement yesterday, while my teacher was out of the classroom, I was spinning myself continuously in a desk chair. Then a man walked in.
-I created an entirely new blog about my friend Greg, for a joke. Completely normal action.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm back to writing posts now. Writing posts is cool.

I have a new thing to obsess over. This is not news. For years I've found new things and then loved them disproportionately for a while, then moved on to the next thing. In retrospect, many of these turned out to be incredibly embarrassing (I'm not saying I have a Joe Jonas pillow... or chair... or tote bag) but liking things is just what I do.
My newest discovery is Doctor Who and I need to add words to this sentence so it doesn't rhyme with the one before it.
Let me tell you why this show is the best thing ever in the history of best things. At least for me. At this point in time.
In a weird development I might call "ironic" if I didn't hate that word and all the vastly uninteresting debates about what is or isn't irony, I started watching the show almost immediately after I returned from England. For the entirety of the summer, I caught up on episodes, mostly restricted to one episode a day by Megavideo's hated 70-minute rule. And let's be clear, when I say I watched the series, I mean the since-2005 stuff. There's about twenty to thirty years of classic Doctor Who I will probably never watch because the special effects are what are scientifically referred to now as "adorable."
Also, if you're a British actor and haven't been on Doctor Who, you pretty much don't matter. Simon Pegg, the woman who played Simon Pegg's mom in "Shaun of the Dead," Neil Gaiman, Andrew Garfield, Bill Nighy, that boy who played Chris in "Skins" and plenty of other people I'm not cultured enough to know all participated in the show at some point because they're British and that's just what you DO.
And the actress who played Martha Jones (a very underrated companion, in my opinion. Why does Rose get so much love? Girlfriend was irritating.) is now on "Law and Order: UK" which is a show premise I find kind of hilarious for reasons I can't quite explain.
Now let's discuss the guys on the show. Not the regenerations of the Doctor, but the regular guys. (Except not Mickey- never Mickey.) For the most part, not counting Captain Jack, the men who are on the show are not stop-you-in-your-tracks hot or impressive. They are normal guys, doing the best they can with their lots in life. Through experiences with the Doctor, the audience sees their true worth and we get to discover these guys we didn't give a second thought in the beginning of the episode are now making us laugh and melting our hearts. They aren't superheroes. They are our best friends, our classmates, who become extraordinary. And I love that. Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again: if a guy dresses up as Rory Williams, I take no responsibility for what happens to them. My attraction will make me black out and I won't even know what happened. This is fact.
I'm not even going to discuss the Doctors themselves. Because David Tennant. I love Nine and Eleven but come on. David effing Tennant. Your argument is invalid.
Also, I saw Matt Smith with a stuffed badger, and now I want a stuffed badger.
Anyone? Mediocre "Mean Girls" jokes? Anyone? No? Understandable.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Term in Storrs

Four day weekend= I suppose I can manage to write up a post.
But it's still the weekend, so I think I'm just going to rant at you today.
Here are some interesting slash funny things that have happened to me in the past few weeks.
-My British friend Greg flew to America and stayed with Emily for a week before school started. So a few of us gathered there to celebrate the superiority of these United States. This included seeing Plymouth Rock, quickly leaving Plymouth Rock because my friend Alyssa was afraid I would "rain shit" on some tours happening there (frankly, I probably would have. I hate that place), listening to "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog", laughing as Greg, who has never seen it, was utterly confused by the lyrics, and finally with friends modeling onesies.
-I accidentally left my wallet at Emily's house, so I spent that next week driving to and from work without a license. Laws? I laugh at your laws.
-I ordered all my books for school online, but instead of one textbook about African American history, I received the Reader's Digest New Fix-It-Yourself Handbook. I was confused. And apparently so was the company I ordered it from, because I asked them about it and received a response of "Shit if I know." I may be paraphrasing but that was the idea.
-I moved into school last Saturday, and in the ten minutes I spent parking my car, my 3 roommates, who I had just rudely woken up, took almost all of my stuff up to the room. The only thing I actually had to carry upstairs was one crate. I am surrounded by fabulous people and I am useless.
-Sunday was Hurricane Irene. While some other friends lost their power and had to read by light of the storm, my room was comfortable air conditioned and we spent the day watching movies and people run through the rain to the dining hall.
-That night we had a floor meeting, which is always heaven for my judgemental mind. During the "Tell all of us your life story even though no one cares" this one gorilla of a guy said "I play football. I'm a sports management major." Excuse me while I pick myself up from being knocked over in surprise.
-We had the following Monday off so streets could be cleared of Irene debris and it was a beautiful day and a great way to start the semester.
-Tuesday was the first day of school and I sat in class for about 11 hours. Tuesdays are not so fun for me. Except I met a lot of people who were actually nice. I was probably more surprised by their niceness than I should have been. I might be losing some of my cynicism. Tragedy.
-Thursday was similar to Tuesday. Classes for hours, then my mom stopped by to drop off a chair, then I had dinner with a friend, after which she used our shower because power was still off in her apartment. Later that night I discovered sheets and a pillow in my microwave. I'm just going to leave that without context.
-On Friday night we decided to go get Papa John's pizza, and then were stuck in traffic for way too long trying to get back. My friends discovered I get hilariously murder-y when I'm in traffic.
-Last night we watched the latest Doctor Who, which is totally my new thing. Obsessed.
Also, there's a guy in my African American history to 1850 class who kind of looks like Nick Jonas. True Story.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"One Day"

This morning I saw the movie "One Day" (which was a complete sobfest but that's not the point) and on the way home I had this thought. It wasn't really a thought suitable for a Facebook status or Tweet, so thank GOODNESS I have this medium, right? Here goes. Prepare yourselves, guys.

Most girls have that guy they grow up with, the friend they fall for and would do anything for if he just asked. The majority of us outgrow these guys. A few get to keep these friendships, and maintain that platonic relationship into adulthood. The very few see these relationships transform with time into equally requited romance.

That's it. I'm not going anywhere with that, I just wanted to write it down.

Also, Jim Sturgess. Incredibly attractive man.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


My very good friend Greg Thompson (is that the second post in a row I've started like that?) posted a video today where he discussed his feelings on home and his hometown. This is a subject I've given a great deal of thought about in the past few years, for obvious reasons. And frankly, I'm a little confused about it. Is home where your family is? Because then I'm there right now. Or is it where you grew up and where you were happiest? Because then it's in multiple locations in Minnesota. Is it where you most want to be? Because then it's across the ocean from me. Or is it simply wherever the people you love are? If that's it then I'm royally screwed because those people are strewn not only across the country, but across the world.
So all this has been leading me to consider a visit. The trouble is, I'm not sure where it is I should go. Money is tight, but I want to travel. The choice of where to go comes down to the big two: London or Minnesota, new friends who know me as I am now, or old friends who have loved me for years. You see my dilemma. In true my-life-is-a-cliche fashion, I'm going to make a list comparing the two. Hopefully this will help. And if you reading this have some say in the matter, by all means, let me know.

-In Favor of London
--This city brought me back. I was truly happy there as I hadn't been since I moved. It's my favorite place.
--I miss my friends. Each time I see a picture of the guys hanging out at Spoons, I just wish I was there.
--Tickets are still kind of cheap, and a transatlantic flight for about $600 isn't THAT bad.
--I hypothetically and hopefully wouldn't have to worry about a place to stay.
--Accents. Four months of British voices was not enough.

-In Favor of Minnesota
--It's been over a year since I've visited. It would be nice to feel that familiarity and normalcy I used to live in again, if just for a few days.
--I miss my friends. Unlike almost everyone else I know, I don't get to see people from home when I'm on breaks. It's been about six months since I've even seen anyone from back there.
--Tickets are (obviously) cheaper to go there, at about $300. I didn't make a lot this summer, so cheaper is nice.
--I almost definitely wouldn't have to worry about a place to stay.
--Accents. Mine is changing. It would be nice to hear the one I grew up with before mine changes forever.

You see my confusion.
That didn't clear anything up for me. Oh well.

Also, just to clarify this once and for all...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Best Friends

From last Sunday to Wednesday, I had a little slice of London back in my life in the form of a friend of a friend who became a friend himself. The title of this post actually references the last post I wrote that involved him, and the joke that grew from it. I know only a few people get it, but I enjoy alienating people in my life. so there you go. So this guy I met and bonded with last semester flew in to America and stayed with my family for a few days, making me actually feel normal for a bit. Considering the friend who lives closest to me here is about an hour and a half from where I live, it was amazing to hang out with someone who wasn't my parent or a middle-aged woman I work with, silently judging me. But considering this friend is from Austria, it was up to me to represent the pure awe-inspiring might that is the United States. I did my best.

On Monday, after sleeping in a little to recover from a late dinner and general fun-times-having with Emily in Boston the night before, we drove down to the beach. Despite the presence of quite a lot of people (we all know how I dislike them), it was pretty great. I'd gone to that beach with friends last year, but that was in early June, when New England was still hanging on to Spring desperately. In August, New Hampshire has already given up the fight and concedes to Summer. So it was nice. We both got sunburned, then drove up the coast a bit to have massive ice creams for lunch, where I also made a friend with an oddly colored seagull. As I do. When we got back to my house, after liberally applying lotion to try to assuage the burns, we got to work on dinner. And when I say "we got to work" what I really mean is "Dai did all the work making a real Austrian dinner while I stood there and watched." But he made real schnitzel, which, I was suprised to find out, is not just slices of meat. Four years of high school German, total lies. After dinner, we walked up to a local park, where a slow-pitch softball game was in progress, which I proceeded to attempt to explain. Turns out explaining generally a game you grew up playing and understanding the intrinsic details of is actually sort of hard. But at least by that time the sun had set, giving our skin a rest.

On Wednesday, we woke up and headed out to have breakfast at Ihop, which turned out to be the best decision of life, ever. Always have breakfast at Ihop when the option exists. But after that taste of heaven we caught the next train into Boston. After getting lost, we then proceeded on the *Sara Griffith Personalized and Fantastic Historic Tour of Boston* only a select few have ever been taken on. Basically this tour consists of following the Freedom Trail, with me spouting of various historical anecdotes, sprinkled with colloquialisms and sporadic expletives. I get worked up about history. The day consisted of my ranting, getting lost and caught in the rain a few times, billboards of large Italian men in the North End, stopping for food or drinks many times, and my flicking off the statue of Christopher Columbus, one of my most hated historical figures. Because I'm classy.

But I really can't stand that guy.

And then we spent that night trolling Tumblr. All in all, completely fantastic.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've totally been in the same room as famous people

Ok, so I'm one of those people who love the theater. When I was younger I even wanted to be an actress (until I realized I am awful), and I was in a ridiculous middle school play where I wore a dress from Goodwill and was forced to act onstage without my glasses on. I tweet what I think are hilarious theater jokes that in fact nobody understands, even a theater festival full of drama professionals. True story

Seriously, I haven't even seen Cabaret and I knew that song. But no one at my sister's theater festival understood that? WHAT IS THIS.

Anyway. I especially love theater in the summer, because that's when the more well-known stars of the big and small screens take their talents to more accessible venues. And I'm not talking about Dan Radcliffe or even Jim Parsons on Broadway or whatever. That's way too expensive, are you kidding? Also, have you heard Darren Criss might be filling in for Daniel Radcliffe on "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" for a few weeks? I DIE. And did you see Dan perform during the Tony's? So great. Ok, focusing. No, I'm talking about the smaller theater festivals that pop up quite a bit during the summer months. Just in the past year or so, I've had the chance to see some famous (to me anyway) people up close and personal in these venues. These include:

Last summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival (which had shirts for sale that said "WTF is going on" and needless to say, I wanted one) I was able to see Justin Long in a new play called "Samuel J and K." It was incredibly exciting for me to be able to tell people, "Oh, he's way shorter in real life than you would think." Because he is. Dude is not tall. But that's ok because he's Justin Long. And I don't ignore height differences for just anyone. That's pretty much the one thing I'm shallow about. I'm around 5'8" and if you're smaller than me, thanks for playing move along. Wait, what am I even going on about? Right, theater. Of course.

Earlier this summer my mom and I went back to Williamstown for another new play (this time on the main stage. Moving up in the world) called "Three Hotels." This play featured one of the guys from the tv show "Wings" so of course my mom and the miriad of other middle-aged women in the audience were all atwitter with anticipation. And while that's certainly not my favorite 80's sitcom, I've seen it a few times and discovered a few jokes "Friends" later recycled so I kind of knew the guy. The other actor in the piece was Maura Tierney, who played a nurse-then-doctor on "E.R." which happens to be one of my favorite shows of all time, forever and ever amen. Ever since that helicopter fell on that red-haired guy, I never missed an episode. Interestingly, my sister had the exact opposite reaction and swore off the show from that moment onward.

Then just today I saw yet another new play, this time at the Berkshire Theater Festival. For some reason, each one of these productions I've discussed has had a cast of just two actors. Weird. But one of the actors in BTF's show, "Dutch Masters" is Christian Coulson, who played Tom Riddle in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." In an audience where I was the youngest member by about 40 years, I might have been alone in my excitement about this. But for days before I saw the show, my Facebook and Twitter were full of updates about how I would be seeing OMG TOM RIDDLE soon (a limited view and ignorance to given names I'm sure the actor, who gave a great performance, could live without). It was extremely fun to see him play a character so completely opposite from the only one I have thought of him. Honestly though, wouldn't any character pretty much be pretty opposite from that? A shard of a soul taking the form of a young dark wizard, intent on immortality and a life of unfathomable evil, who directs a giant serpent to kill middle schoolers by looking at them. Right. For example, during a transition between scenes, the-actor-who-is-not-Tom-Riddle dance across the stage while strobe lights flash and hip-hop music blares. Now just imagine that scene in the Chamber, with Ginny dying and baby Daniel Radcliffe furrowing his brow and trying not to get eaten. Now see Tom there, with that Voldemort-y sneer that says, "Yeah, I'm going to straight up murder you. Deal with it." (ALSO: did anyone else, when Harry pops up after being not-really-dead in Deathly Hallows Part 2, think of that line from "Aladdin" where Jafaar says, "How many times do I have to kill you, boy?!" Come on, that can't just be me.) But yeah, imagine that guy, busting a serious move. It's pretty great, right? Reality was even better. PURE GENIUS.

I should also add, because this show is still going on and my sister's working on it, that both the actors in Dutch Masters were fantastic in their own right. I also just know my sister's looking for some validation on this so here goes: BECKY. Your show is really good. And this is coming from a 20-year-old History major, so you just know it's legit.

Everybody buy plane tickets and go see it. And no, that's not an unreasonable request. It's summer, you don't have anything better to do. NO, YOU DON'T.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Embarassing

So recently, a very good friend of mine named GREG THOMPSON posted a video on his youtube account, during which he showed, to the entire internet, an extremely embarassing picture of myself. While I do not think I deserved this (even if I lied to him and forced him to make up stories to tell to his favorite radio DJ's), I have since recovered from the trauma. I'm even embracing it, and am presenting to the world some more embarassing pictures of myself through the years, along with some hopefully charming stories to accompany them.

I have previously stated on this blog that I once visited the Spam museum (in Austin, MN) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, here is proof. Notice the Valentine's Day shirt when it was nowhere near February, and the jeans embossed with vines and flowers. I do believe I painted those myself. I loved those jeans in middle school. And yes, that is Spam's mascot, and yes, if someone were standing on the other side it might look like he was trying to cop a feel.

Now this picture is less embarassing as it is dated. Let's discuss it. This was my first day of high school, and my sister's first day of her Junior year. She has her retainer in, for some reason. The poor girl had braces put on one of the few days before middle school started, and got them taken off the day after middle school ended. Tragic. Now this haircute combined with my glasses cuase two of my guy friends to call me "Velma" for a few months because I looked like the nerdy girl from Scooby Doo. I hated it then, but in retrospect, I see they had a valid point. And those are vhs tapes on those shelves. So many vhs tapes. This was only 2005. WHAT. And random fact, but that painting of houses behind us happens to be one of the only things we left behind in Minnesota, which is sad because I liked it a lot. And now you know. If you had moved into my old house, you would have inherited that picture. Too bad you didn't.
Ok. This picture has different levels of embarassment. Let's start with the obvious. I took this myself, on a crappy, low-tech digital camera that took pictures in weird dimensions. I don't know what prompted me to take a picture of myself in the bathroom, staring at the camera through my fingers, which were encased in my fingerless gloves. But those aren't regular fingerless gloves. I was especially excited for those specific gloves because I needed them for marching band rehearsals. You see, autumn in Minnesota, especially after the sun goes down, is freaking freezing. This specific fall when this picture was taken was especially brutal. And unfortunately, clarinet players can't wear regular gloves because the keys and holes won't be covered properly (snicker). Hence, fingerless gloves for marching band. Which were actually pretty pointless because my fingers froze anyway. Which just makes this picture even more ridiculous.This one is more subtley embarassing. It was taken before the Homecoming dance my senior year, while we were having dinner at my friend's house. As you can see here, I'm obviously in the middle of and committed to telling an anecdote while gesticulating crazily. And on the left is one my very best friends and on the right is what would become my boyfriend less than a week after this was taken. These people like me. And it is quite apparent they have no interest at all in what I am saying. My date was very intent on eating his meal while only using a small cheese knife (which was a game the moms put together for us). I suppose that's more embarassing for him. But then again, I'm the one who dated him for eight months.

But then again again, he dated ME. Hmm. It's a draw.

So there it is, world. Get at me. I'm in on the joke.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's in MY wallet?

So they say you can tell a lot about someone from looking at their wallet. What, no one says that? Well, they should. Because I think what's in my wallet really shows who I am as a person and some interesting stories are tucked in there.
Anyway, here's what's in mine.
In the main part there's...
-an Underground train ticket from Bromley South to London from when I visited the borough with Emily and a friend, strangely enough NOT the friend who actually lives in Bromley.
-a Shell card not under my name I sporadically use for gas
-a Kohl's card under my name I never use for anything
-a library card for the town I live in now I have never used in my life because I already have an overflowing shelf of books I have yet to read.
-the insurance card from my school I probably won't have for much longer because my university increased the price of insurance by leaps and bounds, like jerks.
-my university ID with the picture that was taken on the second day of orientation, after very little sleep and a lot of awkward icebreakers and rain
-a Barnes and Noble card I use often because they keep on sending me coupons
-a bank card I never use
-a different bank card I only got because Bank of America is partners with Barclay's and I could use it in the U.K. and now it's the only one I use.
-a wallet-sized periodic table my Junior year Chemistry teacher gave us because you just never know when you could use a periodic table.
-my Oyster card from London, still facing inside because the picture is truly awful
-a AAA card I have never used in my life because I am a true driving prodigy, obviously.
-a weird medical card with phone numbers to call if I'm hurt, but I have no idea where it came from, which makes it fairly sketchy
-my social security card, which really should not be in my wallet, but there it is
-33 dollars in cash
-a voucher for a dollar off an item from a local used book store
-two different sets of coupons from Cost Cutters, where I recently got a haircut but didn't tip the very nice hair dresser I had
-about a dollar in change
In the license window-
-a slip of paper with my address on it, from when we had recently moved and I didn't know where my house was
-a slip of paper saying 237, from the DH part 1 dvd event, when they were only letting in 250 people. I made it just in time.
-my license, facing inside for obvious reasons.
In the extra, external slots-
-a library card from my hometown that is probably 13 years old
-a Panera card I have never used for reasons unknown to me, because Panera is freaking delicious
-an eye doctor's business card, with my prescription on the back- right: -5.25 left: -6.25
-a fold-up Underground map, that my friends gave me crap for, because it's not an offical Underground pamphlet, even though the actual map of the lines is the same and I really like this one because you can just open it to the little part you need to see, and people don't know you're looking at a map.
-movie tickets from "Bandslam"(my first movie post-move, I thought it was good at the time. Now, not so much), "New Moon" (once again I ask you not to judge me. At least this one was better than "Twilight"), "Iron Man 2" (I saw this during my visit to Minnesota. Thank goodness I used a gift card. I didn't even see the first "Iron Man"), "Letters to Juliet" (LOVED IT), "Toy Story 3" (this ticket cost $9.50. And I went with all of my family. That's almost 40 dollars for a movie. WHAT.), "Eclipse" (you shouldn't even be surprised by this anymore. I went to this at 9:30 the morning it came out), "Inception" (Joseph Gordon Levitt WHAT UP), "Harry Potter DH Part 1"(people complain that this movie was boring, but have they read the book? Yeah, they go camping. Get over it), "Kung Fu Panda 2" (my contact starting acting up during the flashbacks of adorable baby pandas. I was angry), "Bad Teacher" (Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal are in a movie that consists of dirty jokes? I'm so there), "Winnie the Pooh" (I saw it this week with my mom. Despite some of the voices sounding wrong, it was adorable and made both of us nostalgic), "Harry Potter DH Part 2" (words can't express how much I love this movie. I saw it twice in 24 hours.)

So if you ever find a wallet that has all this stuff in it, please return it to me. And don't turn the ID's over. By all means, take my money, just don't turn to over my ID's.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter

It's no secret that I love Harry Potter. And tonight is the premiere of the last movie, meaning all of my social networks are full of statuses about how everyone is excited to be at midnight showings all across the country. Unfortunately, because all of my friends are miles and states away, I will unfortunately not be seeing the film until tomorrow morning. A few years ago this would have been a major problem for me, but I'm twenty now. I'm mature. I swear. Still, I have the compulsion to commemorate this night and my nerdy dedication in some way. So I suppose I am going to reflect and remember all the great times I have had because of Harry Potter and how much I truly owe this series my whole generation has grown up with.

Oh, does that mean another list? I suppose so. Win-win.

-The day Deathly Hallows (the book) was released, it just so happened my yearly week at band camp began. So I think it was understandable that I spent almost every moment I was not marching, playing off-key, or sweating on a football field buried in the book. I was reading so much my friend referred to me leaving the group to read as me visiting my boyfriend, Harry. I didn't fight this.

Also, if for some reason, anyone ever needs proof of my incredible, lifelong nerdiness, just see the above passage. Harry Potter and band camp. This is my life.

-In the summer of 2009, I had just graduated and was enjoying frequenting many, many grad parties. When the Half-Blood Prince movie came out, I was approximately four days from moving across the country, leaving my hometown and my best friends. The midnight showing was the last big hurrah I had with some of the most important people to me. My best friend and I were too poor to buy any of those cheesy Hot Topic shirts, so we just made our own.

It also turns out I didn't need to have paid for the movie, because my friend, who came hours beforehand to get seats, just pulled me from the line and brought me into the theater. Oh wait- nevermind. That was Twilight DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.

-My senior year, we had an assignment for AP Psychology, where we were given a bunch of random lines, and had to make them into distinguishable pictures and objects. I decided to make mine a series of Harry Potter-related doodlings. It was AMAZING. I just quite literally tore apart my closet looking for it, because I know for a fact I saved it, but tragically was unable to find it. I'm very sorry. Also, I gave the idea of doing a similar thing to my friend, who did his as Lord of the Rings, and then actually won the prize for being one of the best. And he didn't even share his award of a Snickers with me. Oh, the injustice.

-Needless to say, I was terrified to start college. I was in an entirely new area, attending a state school where tons of people would know other people from their high schools, and I most definitely would not. But I was able to bond right away with the roommate the school assigned me over our shared obsession with Harry Potter. I believe the first few sentences we ever said to each other went something like this: me-I see from your Facebook profile that you like Harry Potter. This could work. Hayley- Saying I like Harry Potter is a bit of an understatement.

The year we shared a room included taping "Lumos" and "Nox" notes on our light swtich, seeing Half Blood Prince in the student union, drawing Harry Potter doodles on our dry erase board and her giving me a wand for Christmas.

-The trip I took to Edinburgh this winter was pretty much entirely fueled by Harry Potter motivations. I know I already wrote a complete post about this, but still. We were regulars in the Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote bits of Philosopher's Stone, for the three days we were there, I participated in the awesome Harry grafitti that exists in the bathroom there, and we saw many familiar names in the local cemetary. Plus, that's where my friend Emily bought her strawberry hat. I know that's not really relevant, but it's pretty vital to the history of our friendship. And friendship is a key theme in Harry Potter. So BAM.

-This past spring, I was able to attend an event for the DVD release of DH part 1, which I have also previously described here. Basically, I have the signatures of Tonks, Mr Weasley, Luna, Griphook, and Neville. And I managed to not puke on Matthew Lewis, so that day, I succeeded.

-On our day trip to Oxford, also this spring, we saw the steps the kids wait on before heading into the Great Hall to be Sorted, and we recreated that scene with Malfoy offering Harry his jerktastic friendship. Also, can we all just appreciate my friend Stephen's face? Pretty sure we told him, "He just insulted your family- look embarassed" and he gave us that golden expression.


I love Harry Potter.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Everybody loves a list, right? That can't just be me.

So now it's been a while since I left London, and I think I've been doing well with not dwelling on how much I miss it. But I just explained my trip to another family member, and it just got me thinking about the little things that were just part of my life in the U.K. Things like...

-my wallet weighing down my purse because of the excess of coins in it...
-but also the pure joy of having one pound coins
-Brits telling America jokes
-embracing the joke and playing up the 'MURICA HELL YEAH character
-"You're watching 40D, on Youtube"
-constantly holding my Oystercard upside down because my picture is terrible
-all Sainsbury's Basics, but mostly ten scones or a chocolate bar for 33 pence. 33 PENCE, YOU GUYS.
-seeing an Eat every other block
-going to bed four hours before my roommates because they're staying up to watch the basketball game live back home
-Looking enough like a local that people ask you how to get to Holborn station.
-Mars bars
-the creepy convenient store workers who are just friendly enough to not make you run out screaming, Magnum bar in hand
-the huge sparkly high heeled shoe in front of the theater for "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"
-playing with one of the trillion ketchup packets Emily brought to the table for her small bowl of fries.
-Emily yelling at me when I call them "fries" when they're "chips"
-Emily laughing at me when I call them "pants" when they're "trousers"
-hearing people at my internship mock Wales
-seeing a Harry Potter advert on the side of a double decker bus
-hanging out with my friends so I can eat the food they made, when I didn't help make it
-British friends asking my how many bases are on a baseball field
-my Poli-Sci professor bashing Sarah Palin
-heading to a pub after class, for a celebration or just because we were all craving burgers
-the feeling of accomplishment after successfully navigating public transportation
-debating buying a hat that only costs a pound, then wearing it three times a week for four months
-passing the British museum every day on the way to school
-complaining about the hoards of tourists blocking the sidewalk in front of the museum
-seeing groups of tiny British children in uniforms on a field trip to the museum and forgiving everything
-an Irish person to me: "Is that an Irish accent I hear?" Me: "No, it's just American" *internally*: "SHE THOUGHT I WAS IRISH YESYESYES ALWAYS AND FOREVER"
-being in tons of Dailybooth pictures despite not having an account myself because my friends are fantastically nerdy
-seeing Rupert Grint at a local pub

ok that last one didn't happen. But it should have.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Forever is composed of nows"... and road trips

Last Sunday saw me taking a road trip with some kids from school, a first for me. Now, this trip was cool and special for a few different reasons.

First, can we discuss the pure joyful greatness that is the road trip? Is there anything better than drivign down a highway with some friends for hours, making fun of each other and singing Disney songs? I hardly think so. There is something strangely awesome about being squished in the backseat while the driver curses at people cutting her off (Sunday's favorite expletive: "Jesus tits!). Part of that was the fact that it was in fact not me having to deal with obnoxious New York drivers. But still.

Also, the destination of our trip was pretty out of the ordinary, but memorable nonetheless. And yeah, you can insert your own little "Well, it's all about the journey, not the desination," and that's true....but SHUT UP. We were headed to Agloe, New York, and when I say this is nowhere, I'm not referring to its rural location (although it's true it's pretty much surrounded by a lot of nothing). Agloe is literally nowhere. I'm going to assume the reader of this has not read Paper Towns by John Green (even though you should, because it's fantastic in every way), and so I will explain how this can be. A few decades ago, when maps were being drawn up and sold, a company created Agloe on their own map, so if it showed up on a competitor's layout of the area, they would know they had been stolen from. This is referred to as a "paper town" and the interesting thing is, this fake town actually became real when a general store was established on the spot where Agloe was supposed to be. This town plays a crucial role in Green's book, along with themes of growing up and moving on when necessary as well as imagining people complexely. It's good stuff.

So about ten of us piled into cars and drove the few hours to Agloe, after one group bonded and hung around a mall for a few hours while the other group fixed a flat tire situation. When we got to the are we believed to be the general vicinity of Agloe, we ended up driving around for a while. I think this is understandable, because you know, we were trying to find a place that doesn't actually exist. After getting thoroughly confused and pulling into a very sketchy campground where it looked like people visited and then never left, we thought what we found was as close as we were going to get to Agloe. All of us stumbled out of our cars, eager to stretch our legs and explore the area, which consisted of a rather nice house, a large barn with a rather odd sign on the side, a large mound of gravel, and two deserted-looking small buildings. While staring at and contemplating the barn, we noticed some people had left the house and were looking over at us. This caused most of us to high-tail it back to the cars, because it was rural New York, and we had no idea how liberal these people might be with shotguns. But the bravest among us approached the house, and found them to be very nice people, who were familiar with John Green and Paper Towns, but unfortunately didn't know where Agloe is.

We then decided if people who themselves live IN Agloe haven't a clue where it is, we'll just create it. So we collected around a boulder by a nearby stream, and claimed it to be the town of Agloe. What I found significant about this seemingly insignificant or silly action was this: John Green has on several occasions his belief that books belong to their readers. While he meant this mostly in the ideological sense, on Sunday we took this to the physical realm. We, as readers, took the book we all love and relate to, and brought what was just a story into a real-work manifestation and memory. We took possession of our own personal Paper Towns and, as a group, created a new, unique addition to the story.

So just as Agloe started as a non-entity and became a real place, the ideas and places we imagined and analysed as we read the book turned into actual landmarks and events in our lives.

"The town was paper, but the memories were not."

-Paper Towns, John Green

Friday, June 10, 2011

Graduation: I think Vitamin C said it best

So it's that time of year when every mediocre sitcom ends their spring season with a cheap, tear-jerking graduation episode. I mean, let's be real, I sob watching every one (this year-Suite Life on Deck, Greek, etc... wait, stop judging me.), but still. It's graduation time.
There are a few things youngsters should know as they gloriously leave the familiar embrace of their schools.
1. You are not leaving gloriously. You are one member of a graduating class of probably about 500. Calm down.
1.5. You will very soon (possibly- I don't know you) be entering an institution of higher education, and that gives you the right to be a little pretentious. You can even call people a mere two years younger than you "youngsters." Well, you can, but you probably shouldn't.
2. So hey, be excited.
3. But maybe not too excited. The widespread concept of college is one of reckless joy, immediate and effortless friendships, and drinking. While all of these certainly have an aspect of truth, your experience is your own. The beginning of my own university career included none of these things. And I'm not alone in this. Sure, it's true that everyone's in the same boat when you start, pretty much alone. But that doesn't mean friends will just appear out of desperation. Which leads to...
4. Finding a niche can take a while. I mean, it might not, but for a lot of people it does. For me, I needed to leave the country to find mine. Other people join Greek life or history club or shamelessly flirt in their Bio labs. To each their own.
5. Be thankful for Facebook. Where just ten years ago people only had awkward interactions with friends from home on breaks, now we can actually maintain lines of communication. However, if you really want to keep the promises you make of being bestest friends forevers you make in the summer following graduation, you need to take the initiative. Let's face it: your friends are lazy. It's ok, so are mine. You need to be the person to write something ridiculous with no context on their wall, send a link to a Harry Potter rap, or leave annoying long videos. Because they're not going to. It's not that they don't care, they just don't want to put in the effort to initiate. Also, let's face it, they're not as funny as you.
6. Go to class. No, seriously. Go to fricken class.
7. Accept that drifting apart from some friends is inevitable. Sure, I've already emphasized the importance of social networking, but some people don't really use it. And some of those people are just going to quietly leave your life, and that's ok. Just today, I was looking casually over a magnetic board where I have some friends' senior pictures hanging. I caught sight of a picture of a guy I haven't spoken to in quite a while, and my first thought was, "Who IS that?" Now, this is a guy I saw almost every day for over four years. We spent the entirety of high school laughing together and making fun of each other. And after just two years apart, it took me a second to remember his name. In a few more years, it will take me a few more seconds. Yeah, it's sad, but unfortunately that is part of the nature of post-high school life. But so are days with just an hour of school work required of you. So, you know, pros and cons.
8. Enjoy this last real span of time you have with your friends. Coming as someone who's pretty much an expert on nostalgia, believe me, this is the best time. Everyone's excited to be finished with all that work, and you haven't started freaking out about the next step yet. It's just trips to the lake and James Bond marathons for a few months. Plus, it's grad party season, which means you practically don't even need to buy groceries. Just go steal some face cake from the baseball captain's party. There will be so many people there, you'll just blend into the masses. Just don't get the theater kid started on his audition piece for his fine arts college application. He's boring and never realizes no one cares.
So go give your best friend a hug and then go play some ultimate frisbee or whatever it is you crazy kids are doing these days. The next graduation you have to look forward to is from college, which people care significantly less about, and following which you have the terrifying clutches of unemployment to attempt to avoid. PARTY TIME.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm a Liar

Growing up with a fairly mischievous sister, I had to learn how to lie early in life. When we were young, it was a constant battle of "it doesn't matter who did it, but who gets in trouble for it." Being the younger of the two, I had cuteness on my side, and I quickly learned to work with that and then grow into a pretty well-developed liar.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not that person who lies to make trouble, or does it to get attention. I've known that person. I don't want to be them. They're no fun. Don't invite them to your parties.
No, with me it's more of a "Oh, you actually believe me when I say ridiculous things? Ok let's run with this."
Example time, kids. Brace yourselves. No seriously. Grab that table in front of you and brace yourselves.
My good friend from school once posted a video on my Facebook wall of a clip from a British comedy show, where they were making fun of a stupid Minnesotan law, regarding the illegality of having sexual relations with fish. I knew she was enjoying mocking my home state (it's a favorite pasttime of hers when we're together), so I told her, "haha the weird thing is, someone actually did that ("that" being... you know) and a small news story went around about it during my freshman year... i can't really defend my state right now." I never expected her to believe me. But she did, and she was adequately disgusted. I suppose that kind of correlates with my last post about people's (disturbing) expectations of the midwest, but I digress.
Another ongoing example I'm actually using this medium to fess up about is this:
I have a friend of mine convinced I know Steven Segal and his family. The story behind this started with just a video of Segal's new energy drink being shared with me. It was of low quality, and I told my friend so, saying, "this was just filmed in his backyard. I should know, I've been there." Now, this was a joke. I never in my life expected anyone to accept that as true. But, bless his heart, my friend did. So this began as an innocent conversation about nothing in particular, but ended with me being close friends with the Segal family. I suppose it's a compliment, that someone thinks I'm cool and connected enough to know solid B-list celebrities. But now I have to confess- this is actually not the case.
Boy I hope he's not mad.
I think the moral to this story might be to just never believe anything I say, ever. Maybe everything I've ever written on this blog is a lie. Perhaps I've never been to London and didn't grow up in Minnesota. Maybe I'm behind you RIGHT NOW.

I'm not, though.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Minnesota Is Sexy

When people hear I'm from Minnesota, they usually look very confused, and I think this happens for a few different reasons. 1) I live in New Hampshire and go to school in Connecticut. It literally does not make sense to people, apparently, to be from one area of the country and live currently in another. (I've gotten the question "Why Connecticut?" so many freaking times. The only answer I want to give is "Well why the hell not?") 2) If people have any expectations of the midwest at all (and many just don't), they think of endless farms, thick accents, and a society about lagging about ten years behind the rest of the country. 3) "Where? Honestly, I don't even know where that is."

And while I mostly resent these questions and stereotypes, I have to admit Minnesota can be pretty hilarious, and my life there was actually pretty rampant in cliches that I can't even fight.

-The mother of a teammate I had once, who happened to grow up in South Dakota (where there's even less of anything than there is in Minnesota) explained to me how she, and many of her childhood friends, got drivers' licenses at about age 12... so they could drive tractors.

-The Minnesota State Fair, a very big deal in the state, includes not only an entire arena filled with show livestock, but also holds an annual sculpture contest... where the material used is butter. Think I'm kidding? Hardly.

And oh yeah, that second one is the bust of the winner of a local beauty pageant. Yep, one of the perks of winning the yearly pageant is getting your face carved into some quality, fresh Minnesotan butter.

-Here's a nice little anecdote from my own history- About five years ago I was supposedly planning on going to the Sadie Hawkins dance with one of my good guy friends. (I say "supposedly" because I have very little recollection of this happening. But people say it did, so I'm going with it. I mean, I think I would remember. I liked this guy a lot for a long time. Always will a little, probably. He's hot. But ANYWAY.) We actually didn't end up going together because... he went hunting with his dad instead. So I was ditched for the chance to sit in 7 degree weather for twelve hours, some camouflage pants, and the possibility of a few dead deer. Look me in the face and tell me that's not hilarious.

-While I've only seen "Drop Dead Gorgeous" once in my life, I've heard that movie is where a lot of people get their information on life in Minnesota from. And even I'd love to say "That Minnesota is not where I lived," I can't. The main town in the film is "Mount Rose" and one the towns that neighbored my own was "Rosemount." And you know what? The town is filled with farms. True facts.

-One of my former teammates picked the number 7 for her uniform just because that is Joe Mauer's number for the Twins, and he is a sexy, sexy man.
COME ON. This guy is pretty much a god for Minnesotan women.

Also, this guy is new to the Twins and kind of... just look.

-Despite not really being a part of "the west" or "the south," there still exists a strong love of country music in Minnesota. I mean, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" played at EVERY SINGLE school dance I ever attended, and I sang along to "God Bless the Broken Road" into my date's shoulder during prom. I still hold strong to this love that was established there, and two of the three pre-set stations in my car right now are country stations. I might have even audibly gasped when I found the second station while browsing. I didn't think more than one existed in the entire region of New England, let alone New Hampshire.

-I've been to the Spam museum. That's a real thing that exists. And you know what? I LIKED it.

I guess everyone's hometown has its own weird and embarassing stuff. These are just mine.

Oh, and that second one? Yeah, that's me stuck in a snowbank. This is my life.

Tennis Ball Guy

In the middle of the particular set of townhomes where I currently live, there is a pond. I assume this pond was man-made to make the area of identical houses and close proximity to dozens of strangers more palatable. The children of the heavily-smoking adults who live here (of which there are many) congregate around this water on every decent afternoon and go about their (loud and annoying) childhood shenanigans behind everyone's homes. Now I have many problems with this, but that's a rant for a different day. It also just so happens the window in my room overlooks this pond, lending itself to plentiful creeping opportunities, which of course I take advantage of. I love creeping.

A few evenings ago, I was sitting at my window on my bed, trying not to slide off because the top mattress is quite loose. Anyway, I notice at the pond's edge, right behind our house, a teenage guy with a baseball bat and a tennis ball. He was alone, oddly enough, considering it was a nice night. Maybe all the munchkins were off eating their dinners of dinosaur chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, whatever. DANG that actually sounds really good, doesn't it? As I'm watching from my second-story window, this guy tosses the ball up and takes a swing at it. It was obvious he was trying to hit it clear over the pond (I don't know why though, the other side consists of a bunch of construction...). Despite his attempt at impressive manliness, the poor guy only tapped the tennis ball about two feet into the water, not even far enough to make him stretch to get the ball back from the edge. I can't lie, I laughed. I really shouldn't have, because I have experience throwing to myself and trying to hit, and it is DAMN HARD. Seriously, try it. If you don't have baseball or softball experience, you will fail. Inevitably. Anyway, I don't think he heard me laugh, but I quickly returned to my book just in case.

When I braved another look to check his progress, he was gathering his pride and giving it another go. This time he swung and actually connected, but unfortunately the tennis ball splashed into the water about a yard short of the edge on the other side. It bobbed there a few times, with the guy just standing there, considering his options. He then nonchalantly sauntered around the pond, pretending like he wasn't doing something inexplicable and kind of weird and possibly embarassing. On the far side, the guy attempted to use his bat to swat the ball closer to him, but that only seemed to aggravate the thing into not cooperating. His next move was to step onto some kind of mini-island a few feet into the water. Honestly, I have no idea what that thing was. Frankly, it looked like a crocodile. So we're going to assume now this kid keeps a pet crocodile in the pond outside my house. That seems like the logical next step. So from the back of his crocodile Timothy, he was able to once again retrieve his tennis ball. Obviously, so far his endeavours have not been entirely fruitful, but did this stop tennis ball guy? Of course not.

But it should have. He gave the ball another hit, but this time I think the thing was just vengeful, because it fell right smack dab in the middle of the pond. At this point, I start laughing again, and return once more to my book, because my window's open and I don't want him to know how much he just embarassed himself. I took another few glances over the next few minutes, and found him angrily throwing nearby rocks in the general area of where the ball floated, in the vain attempt of getting it to float to an edge. When I looked again after a few minutes, and the guy had gone home with his ball still floating out of reach. Poor guy.

This post didn't really have a point, but I just kind of wanted to share that story.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can I be interesting without London? Probably not, but let's see.

And so it begins... the chronicling of my life without the twist of Europe to make it interesting. Let's see how this goes.

So it doesn't make sense for the name of this to be "A Term in London" anymore. Instead it is now "A Termin(a)l on Don."

Don't worry, he's not crushed or anything. He's just waiting for his flight.

So anyway. This post has a point.
Almost exactly a year ago, I was home in Minnesota, visiting my best friends, whom I hadn't seen since I moved to New Hampshire a year before (WHOA that sentence. Whatever, not fixing it). It is no secret this move was hard on me, and my first year away from my home and my friends was probably the hardest I've ever had. I didn't realize when I left Minnesota that I was truly LEAVING and so I didn't get the closure I needed. That was what the visit last year was for; I needed to say good-bye.
I touched down in the Minneapolis airport knowing and accepting I needed to do this, but is was still greatly overshadowed by excitement, understandably. I spent the three-hour flight wanting to get out and push the plane to get it to move faster (not bothering to think of, you know, Physics.) while listening to the special "Minnesota" playlist I had set up on my Ipod. (Yes, I'm the person who does stuff like that.)

As I was walking through the airport to baggage claim, I was greeted and ecstatic to see familiar markings I grew up with: Caribou Coffee, Boundary waters ads with loons. I finally got to the escalator that brings you down to baggage claim, and waiting at the bottom I saw my two best friends in the world. And immediately broke out in loud, attention-grabbing sobs. Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm a cryer, and so this is not hard to believe. But here's the thing- I've been thinking about this trip a bunch over the past few days, and wondering how I'd react if I took this trip again.

A lot has happened since I took that homecoming trip last Spring. And while I still love my Midwestern friends just as much as I used to, possibly more, I don't think I'd be quite the public spectacle upon seeing them this time around. Another whole year has passed with us separated, and I've found how I can get on with my life. And this past semester saw me having some of the best times of my life with completely different people: people who think endless farms when they think "Minnesota" and others who think Texas is in the Northeast corner of the U.S. No, seriously.

Don't get me wrong- I still love Minnesota more than I can really say. Whenever I listen to Daughtry's "September" my mind creates an internal photo collage. Here's a snippet, BECAUSE IT'S MY BLOG AND I CAN DO THAT.

How the time passed away, all the trouble that we gave, and all those days we spent out by the lake.

Of all the things I still remember, Summer's never looked the same.

In the middle of September we'd still play out in the rain.

Yeah, we knew we had to leave this town, but we never knew when and we never knew how.

See what I did there? "Play" as in music... picture by a lake... sentimenal pictures without getting too close to anyone's face who might not want it here. I'm so good.

Also, I realize this is incredibly tacky and sappy. But if you haven't discovered by now that's kind of my thing, you haven't been paying attention.