Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Last week I got to see my family and my friends.  In a few short weeks I'll be back with them again.

My to-do list is shrinking daily.  I made up my list of all the assignments, presentations, and exams left in the semester, and it's not as frightening as it could be.  I can handle this.

Practicing musically.  Now, I know I say all the time that I love to practice, so one would think that I know what I'm doing when I practice.  Not true.  Normally I just work on marching band tunes, and maybe do a few other exercises at the end.  Earlier this week I sat in on a friend's practice session, and the experience really illuminated a lot of areas where I could be doing better.  I could be working more diligently on intonation.  I could be working on scales, which every high school player does, but I haven't yet bothered with.  I could be doing much more with dynamics and playing with vibrato.  So far I've incorporated only a couple of these ideas in one practice session, and already I feel energized and enthusiastic about practicing more.

Hot home made coffee.  Incidentally, I haven't been able to have my cup of morning coffee at all this week.  Instead I've been making do with a fake cappuccino from the dining hall machines in mid-afternoon.  I fully intend on enjoying some real coffee tomorrow morning.

Study abroad paperwork is almost all done.  If everything goes according to plan, it will all be done by tonight.

It's thursday, which means I get to see my sisters tonight!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In case (you didn't know)

I am a dork.  I will readily admit it.  My nerdy-ness has recently gotten worse, however.  A friend introduced me to the game of Magic, and I am hooked.  Not only did I go out and buy a deck within the first week of learning to play, but I also spent too much time editing and fretting over said deck, and then knitting a case for it.  Because in addition to being a nerd, I am a crafter, and that is a mighty combination. 

I knit the whole case in one piece.  I first knitted the sides and bottom of the box, and them picked up stitches along the bottom of the cards and knitting upwards, k2tog-ing with the sides as I went.  If anyone is interested in making one and wants that clarified, let me know!  

In case you're wondering, I'm currently playing a population-burn deck.  Or, as of last night that's what my deck is made of.  I have yet to test this one out.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winding down

There are two weeks left of the semester, and then finals.  Yesterday I put together a master to-do list of every assignment that I have left, and it's really not as long as I would have thought it would be.  All of my major projects have at least a rough draft done.  Things are looking doable.  

Emotionally, I've been all over the place lately.  Thanksgiving and being home was great, if rough at times.  Now that I'm back at school, I'm torn between wanting to really savor the time that I have left and wanting to just be away from it all.  

Homework.  Practicing.  Blogging.  Listening to jazz.  Getting through it.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sometimes you just have to

Indulge in a little pop music, that is.  It's getting to be crunch time at school.  Normally I'm on top of projects and papers, but not so this semester. There's nothing like forgetting that a presentation has a paper to go along with it.  I spent all night writing the paper and didn't have any time to practice the presentation   Good thing I'm not worried about public speaking, or public speaking in another language. 


Anyway, this weekend I had fun belting out Kesha with friends in the car.  What's the use of pop music if not to give us happy memories with friends?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Thursday: Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is the day that the whole country gets together and makes an effort to be thankful; it's the Happy Thoughts national holiday!  This week I'm thankful for:

My family.  For their health, their support, their happiness.

My friends.  The ones I've known forever, the ones that I've only met recently, those I talk to regularly  and those who I see once a year.  My life would be so different without my friends, and I'm so glad to have them in my life.

My bed.  It's good to be home.

Homemade breakfast.  Once again, it's good to be home.  My mom made cranberry scones that were perfectly fluffy, and coffee that was not too hot, and not too cold.  So maybe my hands are shaking a little from too much caffeine; it was worth it.

Sleep.  I slept for 11 hours last night.  I haven't slept for that long in months.  I love school, and I love my life, but having a break is really a great thing.

School.  I feel like most of the time I complain about school.  Really, I am blessed in that I am able to go to school, to study what I love.  I'm lucky to not have to work full time, to be able to focus on my studies.

There's more that I'm thankful for that I'll keep to myself; I'm sure that internet will be full of thankfulness today, so I'll keep my list short.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of good food and good people (even if you aren't celebrating!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

I always will

I wrote about the Civil Wars earlier this year, but for some reason the songs that I posted keep disappearing.  Therefore, I don't feel quite so guilty about writing about them again.

I have terrible news.  They may no longer exist.  I pray that it isn't so.  

Despite that, and not because of that, it's been a Civil Wars kind of weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wishlist: Modern Girl Blitz

I found this lovely shop on Etsy a while ago, and every so often I find myself drooling over everything in the shop.  It's run by the lovely Midge, who blogs here.  I love her illustration style and the messages that she conveys; any of her pins or patches would make great additions to my statement bag.  Right now I'm attempting to save money for studying abroad next semester.  Once I get back I have a good idea where my money's going, though.  If I can ever make a decision  that is; there are too many awesome things in her shop!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Marching band.  I had a lot of fun at our game last night.  The shows went well, although not spectacularly.  It was under 30ºF by the end of the game, but I was wearing enough layers to not feel too cold.  Most likely, that was the last game that I'll ever march.  It will be even more stressful trying to squeeze band in senior year, and it makes the most sense to stop now.  I had a great year, and I'm thankful for all the fun times that I've had with the band, the great friends that I've made through it; but it's time to move on, I think.  On that note...

Basketball band!  I love basketball band even more than marching band, and our first rehearsal is Friday, and there's a game Monday! Can't wait.

Technology.  Sometimes I dislike how complicated technology makes our lives.  Other times I'm thankful for how connected it allows us to be.

Home.  I'm leaving in 5 days for Thanksgiving break.  I can't wait to see my family.

Stress-free days.  The last three days have been some of the most stressful of the semester.  Thankfully, I don't have anything due tomorrow, and can afford to take a day off from constantly working.

The Trombone Girl Trio.  My friends and I have been working on a recital piece, and it's sounding really great, as well as being a ton of fun.  I love my friends, and I love it when we get to play together!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Give me love

I love this man.  Honestly, I could listen to him croon all day long.  This video was released this weekend, and I think it's lovely.  The climax of the song gives me shivers every time.  It's just so beautiful.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

The last of the leaves

Winter is approaching fast; one day the trees were all gorgeous red and orange, and now they're all bare, except for this little bush.  As much as I enjoy stomping around on leaves, the empty skies make the world feel colder, and the temperatures are dropping as it is.  

Also, except for in this area on campus, the maintenance crews have been mowing all the leaves.  I'm sure it serves some purpose other than breaking the souls of students who just want to enjoy fall while we can.  I'm sure of it.  

Good news, I'm registered for classes, and I got all the courses that I requested.  I'm taking 4 spanish classes (more on that at a later date), world history, and mental health and addictions.  I'm very excited about the mental health and addictions class; that's actually what I came to school intending to study.  Since then I've fallen in love with other areas of social work, but I'm still very interested in the topic.  I'm nervous about the history class.  I suppose that's a strange thing to be nervous about.  Partly as a result of other classes that I've been taking in the last couple years I've become very critical of the history that we're taught in school; there's always another side to the story.  I'm curious to see if this will be more mindless repetition of old stories, or if we'll actually be applying our thinking skills to what we're told.  

In other news, look, intentional mismatching!  Not matching always makes me feel better.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Thursday: 75!

This post marks the 75th Happy Thoughts post. Wow!  Assuming I haven't missed any, that means 75 weeks of blogging!  I've had just about the best week of the year, this past week.  There have been so many fun things!  Normally my happy thoughts are mostly words, but I've actually been making an effort to have my camera out this week, so I have pictures too.

Sisters.  I've spent a lot of time with my sisters this week, some of it official and some of it not.  We had a sleepover and a pre-recruitment party on the official side, both of which were a ton of fun.  I also got to hang out with sisters on my birthday and on friday night.  Last night I worked out with another lovely sister that I am so glad to have in my life.  I just really love these girls; joining SAI was one of the best decisions of my life so far.

Birthdays.  In general birthdays are always fun.  Thanks to all the friends who made it special!

Being loud.  I am not a loud person.  I struggle to make myself heard in normal social situations.  I don't yell.  The marching band has a tradition of doing a dismissal after every rehearsal, where someone is chosen to get on the latter and scream out the call and response.  I've done it twice before, and it always leaves me quaking and regretful, because I just don't know how to make loud noises come out.  There was a rehearsal on my birthday, and so I got called on to do the dismissal.  I got up on the latter, and- I did it.  I yelled.  I don't know how, and I don't know if I could do it again.  A friend on the drumline told me that they rated me as second loudest of all the lady-dismissers so far.  (They like to keep track, and make fun of the wimpy dismissals).  I don't know if I've ever been more proud of myself.  I wish I could have heard it!

Friends.  They're the best.

Halloween (and a boy). I didn't actually do anything on Halloween, but I did go to a costume party on friday, and it was a lot of fun.  I love Halloween!

Plotting. Hehehehe

Legality.  I know I expressed anxiety earlier about turning 21.  Everything went fine, and I have to say, it is nice to be legal.  I can go in to bars, just to hang out with friends.  I can walk to the liquor store at 9 in the morning (hm).  I can go to any concert I want!  It's nice to not have any legal limits left.  

ETA: OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Coolest present award goes to:

After posting earlier this week about how nervous I was about my birthday, everything went really well.  My day was full of class and work, then at night I went out briefly with some lovely friends.  We played a bit of trivia and sang really loudly to a very eclectic mix chosen from a digital juke box.  I had a really nice time, and I'm thankful for the wonderful friends who were there with me.

Speaking of wonderful friends, I need to talk about my pin.  My favorite roommate made this for me for my birthday:
How cool is this?  In case you can't read what it says, I'm a prefect for Ravenclaw!  Although I have to admit, I always felt that I wasn't smart enough to be in Ravenclaw.  I'm no Hermione, anyway, although at one point I did have the hair.  I definitely have the best roommate in the world.  She took all these pictures, too!

In other news, today is the election!  Reports start coming in in ten minutes on the news.  I can't focus on schoolwork anymore, which is why I'm blogging.  I'm just too nervous and excited to function.  I'm not sure how I'll make it through the next few hours.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Tomorrow I turn 21.

Normally I don’t get worked up over changes in age; becoming a teenager, turning 16, 18; none of these were very big deals.  Tomorrow is different, though.  I’m not sure that I really want to turn 21.

Don’t get me wrong, I love birthdays, and I’m sure that I’ll have fun with my friends.  That doesn’t change the fact that I am apprehensive of the coming year.  

When I was 16 I swore that I would never, ever drink alcohol, ever.  To me, drinking was a Big Deal, and it was a touchy subject.  As the child of an alcoholic, I never wanted to subject my loved ones to what I had lived through, what I had seen my family deal with.  I hated what society had done with alcohol.

Since then, my feelings regarding drinking have changed.  I no longer see the act of drinking as the source of pain; rather, it is the personal choices that lead to that outcome.  I’ve learned to trust myself.  I don’t want to close myself off from certain experiences because of what could possibly happen.  

That doesn’t mean that I want to get drunk, or to come anywhere near losing control.  

That is where the problem still lies.  I have friends who have for the past year been saying that they can’t wait to see me drunk, who insist, again and again, that they will get me drunk on my birthday.  I have friends who think that once I turn 21 I’ll suddenly want to spend every chance I have drinking.  

And society backs this up.  I’ve seen how people treat 21 year olds; how every time a stranger learns your age, they assume that you spend every waking moment dreaming about alcohol; I’ve witnessed the winks and the comments about how much time you must spend partying.  

It’s a pervasive stereotype that we’re encouraged to fill.  Our culture insists that socialization must include alcohol, that you can’t be having fun without being drunk.  

I don’t want to spend a whole year fighting a stereotype.

I want to spend my year enjoying my time with my friends, not trying to fight against what they want me to do.  I want to be able to talk to strangers without them thinking that I am doing that with which I have only recently come to terms with as being alright.  I want people to believe me when I say that I am not drunk, and do not plan on becoming drunk.  Already I know that there’s little that I can do to stop these things from happening.  That makes me sad.

I don’t want to start a year off on a bad note.  But I’m afraid of this year. I’m afraid of what my friends will try to make me do, and of whether or not I’ll do it; I’m afraid of the consequences of standing my ground, and of those of occasionally giving in.  I’m nervous about talking to my parents about my decisions; I’m terrified of following in my father’s footsteps.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I changed my mind regarding what I once was so sure of.  

I don’t want to be just another 21 year old.  I am afraid that I will forget where I came from, and of how I got these fears.  I’m excited for new possibilities, for 21+ concert venues and nights with friends; but I still can’t shake the thought that this over-glorified year is going to be rough.  My roommate says that I need to not worry about what other people think, and just do what I want.  While I see the wisdom in this, I can’t help but wonder if what I want will change to reflect what society expects, if I will cave under pressure and not see it until it is too late.  I can’t help but wonder how much farther my views about alcohol will change, and if I will ever be able to view this social ritual objectively.  

The only thing I can do is wait and see, and keep overanalyzing everything. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I haven't done a roundup of links in a long time, since this summer at least.  It was too difficult to do on my shaky internet connection at home, and it began to feel too much like homework.  However, I've really been loving the internet lately, so here's a list of cool things!

I'm not completely sure what's going on here, but there are cool looking ladies in a treehouse.  Who else wants to join this club?

Here's a very important question from Sarah Wilson, goddess of everything.

I would love to be in Mexico on Día de los muertos someday.  It's one thing to learn about it in school, and another to actually see all the vibrant colors and festivities in person.  Emily had a post up a while ago about the holiday when she lived there, and Ana posted some pictures of the marketplace, and it's feeding my desire to go there.

I love this photo set.

I have a new style icon.  I've actually seen pictures of her around the internet and thought that she's gorgeous and sooo stylish.  Finally, her blog has been located!  And it's love.

The New York Times wrote about changing how we think about exercise, and Kate responded to it.  I think that the article raises some very good points; it really, really bothers me that exercise is related only to weight loss.  When people tell me that I don't need to exercise because "you're fine just the way you are!" I get mad.  I work out because it feels good, ok?  Kate's article was interesting, touching, and right on.  Then again, I love almost anything that woman writes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Rocky Horror.  Every year at midnight on Halloween there's a shadow cast performance of Rocky Horror on campus.  I went for the first time last year and was so confused; this year I was ready to time warp with the best of them.  I recognized a lot of the commentary; is some of it standardized, or are those just traditions here?  I'll have to find more showings of the wonderful musical to find out.  My roommate and I are already plotting out our costumes for next year.  The third time's the charm, right?

Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I saw this movie this weekend with a couple lovely friends, and it was so good.  I'll definitely be adding this one to my list of movies that I'd be willing to re-watch.  I am curious about the social implications of the movie, if it will have any; I feel like now would be a good time to raise some questions about the stigmatization of mental illness.  That's just me being a dork about my major, though.  Anyway, it's a good movie, whether or not you choose to delve in to all the social issues presented.

Trombone choir.  Tuesday night was the trombone choir concert.  It was lovely.  I can't wait for the next one.

Weekend plans.

Packages.  I received a box of cookies in the mail from my grandparents, and a large box full of cupcake mix and chocolate from my mother.  Most of the chocolate is gone already, but we might make the cupcakes this weekend, just in time to celebrate my birthday.

New hobbies.  A certain someone got me in to Magic the Gathering.  I thought it would be a fun game to play every once in a while.  Then, this week happened.  I bought a deck on Saturday, spent a few hours knitting up a card case, and then spent about four, maybe more hours playing Monday night.  All of the feelings that I have about pokemon, that have been lying dormant for years, have been reawakened and given an escape in the form of another card game.  Help, I'm in love.

Copious amounts of chocolate.  See "packages."