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Archive for the ‘Cause’ Category

Due to poor communication skills, I was apparently triple-booked this past weekend. While I had plans to go home to attend a Halloween cystic fibrosis benefit with  SLJ, KT, and the Christmas Elf, my parents decided it would be a fun idea to book a hotel down here and visit me. In the meantime, my sister called before I knew about my parents’ last minute trip and I promised to hang out with her while I was home. And thus began my dilemma.

After a week of late night homework sessions to prepare for my whirlwind weekend, I made the journey to SLJ’s house. In short, the night involved glitter, fist pumping, dog bites, unicorns, butterflies, flooded bathrooms, and onion rings of glory. The next morning, after the sparkles were removed, we fulfilled the greatest quest of our lives- getting muffins from what is perhaps the best bakery in the world. After munching away at confectionary happiness, we gave our hugs and said our goodbyes. I hopped into my car for the world’s shortest visit with my sister. She had big plans for the day, and quickly made that clear as she cuddled up on the couch with her book; my cue to leave.

I made my way back to the island, just in time for my parents to tell me they were stopping by. With a cold vegetarian pizza in hand from my favorite pizza place, they didn’t even need to tell me that they’d missed me. After stocking my cabinets with a dozen cans of veggie and rice soup (nothing else, just soup. These people know me well), they told me about their many adventures through Newport, which included eating at the too-hip-for-them Christie’s, and taking a ghost tour through downtown. They left to change for dinner, and I tidied my room, wondering how it could be such a disaster even when I wasn’t there.

The next day, they left before 1 p.m. to make it to my uncle’s surprise birthday party. I took a walk up at the nature preserve, ran to the store to get candy for the trick-or-treaters, and wondered how it was already 5:30 p.m. when I could’ve sworn the day had just begun.

After my 17 hour trip to see the friends, followed by 17 hour visit with the ‘rents (with a 17 minute interlude with my sister), I was just exhausted. I tossed my laundry in the wash, and went back to wait for the kids.

As trick-or-treaters rang the bell, I realized this was the first time in 22 years I wasn’t trick-or-treating (I trick-or-treated through college to raise money for Unicef. A couple years in high school I didn’t, but KT, SLJ and I always visited each of our parents’ homes, so I’m counting it). I came to the realization that I was getting old…

And as that terrible thought crossed my mind, I realized my phone was currently riding in the icy abyss of the spin cycle.

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I knew this moment would come, but I feared it. I resisted it with every fiber of my glittery being. I stalled; I fought; I decorated my living room with a fuzz art poster of a purple and pink unicorn. But no matter how hard I tried, it still happened. I’m growing up. I’m becoming more “adult” and I don’t know what to think about this.

 

The realization came with the fact that I can’t see The Rocket Summer perform tonight because I have class. There was no question about whether I would go; my commitment was to Business Law, not Bryce Avery. The last time I couldn’t see TRS due to a conflict of schedule (SLJ’s conflict, not my own), I threw a minor tantrum (rather unbecoming of a 20-year-old college student). And today, even as I try to feel disappointed about it, I’m not… It’s not for any lack of love for Bryce; just this morning I popped in “Calendar Days” to accompany me on my 30-minute trek to work. It’s just that it’s the way life is, and, well, I’m okay with it

 

 

I imagine this is what it means to be a grown-up, accepting that there are simply things that can’t be done and not feeling all that upset about it. The only thing I feel kind of disappointed in is that grown-upism is taking hold of me. I find myself feeling a little more like a legitimate adult every day. And what really bothers me is that I’m starting to be okay with it. Maybe it’s time to pull out the blue tutu, ninja paint, rubber ducky tie, and pink feather boa…

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Clouds to Lauren: "I will kill you, sucker!" Illistration from http://school.discoveryeducation.com

The other day I got caught out in a rainstorm. No, let me correct that. I got caught in the middle of a monsoon. I could feel the static tingle on my skin and each flash of lightning momentarily blinded me. I don’t think I’ve ever actually felt the heat of lightning before; I don’t think you’re supposed to actually, but I have now. Within seconds, I was soaked through my clothes and my shoes pooled with water. Then another flash, and there I was in the middle of the street, over a mile from home. I always thought my death would have been something more glamorous than “struck by lightning and then drowned in a puddle” but alas, it looked like my fate.

After 20 minutes of breathing water, I was done. I was glad I hadn’t finished my homework yet; it would have been such a waste to spend the last moments of my life contemplating classical philosophy. Then like a gleam of light in the distance, I heard the sweetest sound that has ever met my ears, “Hey, you want to come up on the porch and wait out the storm?” Handing me a towel, a group of wannabe storm watchers introduced themselves. They offered me a beer (which I politely declined) and showed me the storm tracking on their phone. I played with their dogs until the rain ended and realized at some point, I’d lost my headphones to the storm.

Walking home with my soaked clothes clinging to my skin, I got three honks, four waves, and single head nod. When I walked into my house, a pool of water collected around me. I poured the water from my sneakers and stepped into the most glorious shower the world has ever known and said a little thank you for the random kindness of strangers.

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Roomie Totem Pole Before Commencement Ball

Last night, the university held its 60th Annual Commencement Ball (that’s how we roll down here; we don’t have dances or formals, we have a freakin’ ball). My roomies and I got all glammed up; our parents took the part of paparazzi; and we headed out the door for our last big hoorah.

My roommates were on dress watch as my double-sided sticky tape gave way to gravity. As we passed the dinner rolls around, SLJ and I commented on how ever bite of dinner forced a battle between our tummies and our dresses in which there could be no good winner. We took photos of ourselves, in that token Facebook style (you know what I’m talking about…)

And then of all the pathetic things, I almost started to cry. Not because it’s getting to the end and I’m not ready to leave or because my dress was crushing my rib cage. No, I almost started crying because one of my Business Policy group members informed me that after the quiz results, only three group members were getting As and I wasn’t one of them (remember this project as “Evil Lurks in Room 113“). This wouldn’t matter any other time,  but I needed that A to graduate Magna Cum Laude… And with BP being a 4 credit class, that A- would knock me just enough to miss the blue ribbon. And while I sat there feeling extremely sorry for myself, of all the terrible things, something from my Capstone class came to mind… “Nothing is worth everything.”

So I got my sorry butt up, readjusted my dress, and tore up the dance floor with a few of my favorite people and a lot of people I don’t think I’ve ever seen before… And as I gear up to graduate, I think the memories of spastastically dancing with my friends will mean more than some silly honor chord.

P.S. I realize “spastastically” is not an actual word. It’s like one of those Scrabble words you put out hoping no one will call you on it. It’s a smash-up of spastic and fantastically… I know that after 4 years of college I should be  able to come up with a real word, but alas my week of not having classes or work has rendered my brain mush.

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Your contributions to global warming.... from inhabitat.com

Let’s face it, we could all be a little greener. I know that even though I try to be eco-responsible, I still find myself creating more waste than necessary. I could use environmentally friendly laundry detergent or reusable tampons, but those are changes I’ve yet to make (and as far the tampons are concerned, I never will). There just hasn’t been any real, driving force telling me to change. And generally speaking, that driving force I’m talking about is guilt. When I gave up purchasing bottled water 4 years ago, it was guilt that got me to clean up my carbon footprint. I figured out that I went though over 20 bottles of water a week, that’s more than 80 a month, and that if you do the math, it’s pushing close to 1,000 a year. The more I thought about it, the more I realized all the wasteful things I do that are essentially killing the planet.

So I’m working on it. Eileen, however, just recently got guilted. An organization at the university recently put up a displayof water bottles with a sign thats says, if everyone here drinks 1 bottle of water a day, 2,000 bottles would be wasted. And that’s the moment she got guilted. She thought of how many bottles she actually goes through in a day and realized that she was part of the problem. She’s also working on lessons to teach kids how to recycle and care for the planet (mild hypocricy guilt?). So her first step: she’s going to buy a reusable water bottle. So maybe the guilt is good.

In one of my classes, we talked about doing the right thing because it’s morally and ethically right or doing the right thing for any other reason (fame, recognition, guilt) and discussed if it really mattered the reason as long as you did the right thing. I used to think the morals behind it mattered, but if ethically you can’t convince yourself to do something, maybe guilt is good enough.

If you want to feel guilty, click here to find out what your carbon footprint is. The average American’s footprint in 20.40. The last time I calculated, I was about an 18.20. If everyone lived like me, we’d need four planets to sustain us. That means that I am not only hurting the planet, but hurting my fellow human beings as well because they get less when I use more. And there’s the guilt.

Happy Earth Day!

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Have you ever noticed how sometime aspects of your life start to have parallel story lines? (No? Just me? Okay.)

Anyway, SLJ is taking a sign course, which is pretty much the coolest thing in the world and I am infinitely jealous. For one of her projects, she needed to learn to sign a song, and happened to stumble upon this guy on YouTube. Needless to say, we’re both a little in love (with both the guy and the language). So we’ve been signing around the house, looking up signs on-line, and this has become kind of a little hobby of ours.

So the other day at work, my supervisor started signing, mostly swears because that’s all he’s learned (my high school Italian teach always said swears come easiest to us in any language; I guess he was right). So I started signing back (specifically xylophone, galaxy, fireflies, destroy, dog, and Korea). Then one of the girls we work with happened to take the sign language course last semester and started signing with us. Turns out we all kind of have an interest in learning the language, so we’ve made it a goal to teach one another a few signs every week.

I’ll admit, as far as the language is concerned, I am pretty much below basic. But who knows, maybe someday I’ll be able to rock it like CaptainValor here (the facial expressions are priceless).

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There’s been a lot of hype around this new book- The Book of Awesome– based on the blog 1000 Awesome Things. And as the name suggests, it’s pretty darn awesome. If you’re unfamiliar to the site, it’s an amazing collection of awesomeness, from “Elementary school science fairs (#544) to “When you’re being chased by zombies and suddenly find a hidden stash of guns and ammo” (#536) to  “Broccoflower” – a broccoli/cauliflower mutant (#1000).

The other day in one of my classes, we discussed how there are a lot of people who just aren’t happy. A study done a few years back by Italy’s Siena University showed that Americans are not as happy today as they were 30 years ago, in spite of living longer and being wealthier.  The cause has to do with longer work days and poor relationships, but I think we’ve also forgotten how awesome life is. We’re a society set on getting things done, and once a job is complete, we start the next task. We don’t know how to relax and enjoy things anymore, and the things we do enjoy collectively tend to be high-tech gadgets or expensive vacations. But how awesome is your favorite old, comfy T-shirt (awesome thing #803)? If we just take a second to think of all the awesomeness that exists, I think we could be a lot happier.

Anyway, the trailer made me smile, so as you take a break from your work and are looking for a little stress relief, I hope it makes you smile too. Because smiling is…

AWESOME!

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