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Archive for March, 2010

Spring Time

A few things to mention.

First, sorry for not writing as much this month; I’ve been avoiding a lot of my own thoughts as best as I can, which has put me in some kind of limbo where I’m neither content by myself or with others.  It’s made me a very falsely social person, and I’ve only really been myself around a couple friends in my house who have helped nurture my eccentric qualities.  As an example, we spent all of last night watching Amélie and designing our dream university.

Second, I’ve been spending a little more time organising some things in my life–like getting caught up in a psych class, starting to pack up my dorm for the summer, reorganising my wardrobe and desk area, et cetera.  Today, I’ll try to get further caught up in my experimental psych class for an exam on Tuesday; fun stuff but not really.

Third, I’ve been investing more time in my second blog, Midwest Style Watch.  I realise that it’s A) an oxy moron, and B) me being a bitch all over that blog.  If you get offended easily or don’t like being told that tights are not pants, then this is not for you.  On the other hand, if you despise American Apparel, don’t show your ass, and like quirky styles, then by all means check it out.

Meanwhile, since spring finally showed up for patches over the past two weeks, I made a paper garden for my window using recycled paper from the printers:

I also started designing up how the room is going to look next year for Katie and I:

Looks pretty swanky, me thinks.

I’m also going to be making a post within the next few days or weeks here of campus in part of a “Why I Love Truman” showcase.  Expect that at some point.  But until then, here’s a picture of a squirrel from yesterday:

Until next time, adios.

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I have a smorgasbord of things to say, some of which are updates, others of which are house keeping notes.  But let me begin by saying that I’m pretty sick right now, skipping my German and physics class, and am trying to just rest myself up.  Thus, I have a little extra time to scatter some thoughts.

– – –

For those of you whom I am not friends with on Facebook (which, if you read my blog and we aren’t, you should add me), here is a video that has been circulating via Youtube for the past month or two.  It is a compilation of the top 25 hits in the US last year, and DJ Earworm somehow took 25 very awful songs and made them into something quite wonderful.  If you are interested in a feel good kind of song or just want to admire the work that went into it, check che-check check check che-check it out!

Blame it on the Pop 2009 – DJ Earworm

But, yeah, feeling pretty ill.  I went to bed last night with a stomach ache (which I attributed to drinking a McDonald’s milk shake and eating fries, neither of which are that easy on my stomach), but I also woke up with a stomach ache and sore throat.  And, as the morning has gone by, you can add a headache and fatigue to that.  I realise that this is a whole culmination of factors: I haven’t been getting enough sleep over the past two weeks, I’m constantly around sick people (whaddup dorms?), and my stress level has been through the roof for a month straight.  So, it comes as no surprise that my body is rebelling against me.  Seriously, take a listen to my stomach; it sounds like my internal organs are waging war against one another.

– – –

Meanwhile, I was looking through the WordPress features and found that there is a poll, so be prepared to answer a question from me below.  It’s basically getting a feel for my readers.  Getting used to having people actually read what I write is a new concept, so you could call this experimentation or information gathering on my part.

…Or not; I can’t seem to get this working.  So, I’ll just ask the question straight out and try to make it look pretty for you:

What most interests you about the Missi(world) blog?

1. University Life

2. Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion

3. Mental Health

4. Family and Friends

5. Reviews

6. Pff, I’ll read what you give me.

7. None of it is interesting.

8. Other

Leave me a comment to tell the answer.  Some time, I’ll get a poll that actually works.  If you know how to insert that, tell me.

– – –

I’ve been watching a bit of news today, mostly passively with my friends in the lounge.  It’s because, even though I really wanted to sleep after my psych class, there were too many tours running through my room.  Spring time is when all of the seniors and juniors in Missouri come and visit Truman, and since my room is one of the model rooms, we’ve been flooded all day.  Usually, we get about one or two tours per day, today’s, it’s barely noon, and we’ve already had nearly ten.  Woah.  So, that killed my plans for a nap.  Instead, there has been tv, chatting with friends, and playing games on my laptop.  In a way, I’m doing a lot of avoiding.  There’s a hefty amount of psych reading to do, but I’ve been trying to escape my own mind instead.  There are so many thoughts bouncing around; sometimes I wish that I could just shut off my inner monologue.  Distracting myself is the best thing that I can do, and I’ve been doing that a whole lot lately.

– – –

It’s warm today.  Was warm yesterday, as well.  So nice, in fact, that I took my psychology text out to a picnic table by the Student Union Building and Library so that I could read in the sun.  I was able to lounge about for two hours and finished a chapter and started another.  But, the sky was blue, with few clouds during the afternoon and evening.  Because it was so warm and clear, my friends and I went to Train Bridge last night–that bridge over train tracks where, once a train comes, a giant gust of air comes to greet you.  It sounds a little dull, but let me explain.  Train Bridge is in the middle of fucking nowhere.  Really, it takes nearly 25 minutes to get there because of all of the back roads, and you end up on gravel patches in the middle of farms and woods.  Then, there is this shady bridge with only a two to three foot rail on both sides.  It’s pitch black.  So dark that, when you get out of your car, and the headlights go out, you cannot see a single thing and are forced to stumble to the bridge, following the voices of those around you.

What you can see, though, are stars.  Thousands and thousands of stars.  More stars than I had ever seen in my life.  Even while driving there, you could see the stars through the wind-shield or windows.  The Milky Way hovers above you, with each constellation shining brightly.  It’s so beautiful.

We walked down a shady lane past the bridge, our eyes only allowing us to see the two different shades of blackish brown on the ground–the difference between mud and grass.  We scared ourselves, and I ended up deciding for the group when we would turn around and run back to the bridge to wait for a train.  But we didn’t have to wait too long.  As soon as we had run back from the scary lane, the light and horn of a train could be seen a mile or two off.  Our group of eight, and the ten or fifteen other people who were there, ducked behind the rail, hiding so that the train wouldn’t slow down from seeing us.  We waited, hearts pounding.  The three lights of the train were all we could see, coming closer, closer, closer.  And right when the sound of the train became too loud, and it looked like we were going to be hit, we stood.

And the horn went off, forcing us to cover our ears, and the gust of wind came like a hurricane.  With each train car, another gust, blowing all of your hair back, striping scarves from necks, making you lose your balance.  It’s frightening in the dark with the noise and air, but it is worth every second.  Oh, Train Bridge.  This is what we do for fun up at Truman.

Tomorrow, it’s supposed to snow several inches.  Ugh.  Temperamental weather.  But such is life.

Anyway, welcome to house keeping.  It’s a bunch of random things that I felt like saying that don’t mean much.  Hope you enjoyed.

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I recently found out that I was Irish (should have been obvious with this hair, but when has anything ever been obvious for me?), so I’m here to wish you a very happy Saint Patrick’s Day.  Watch some Boondock Saints, eat Irish soda bread, and if you’re of age, go pour yourself some beer.

Sincerely, this way too Irish looking woman:

PS: Why, yes.  I am wearing green and will be watching Boondock Saints this evening.  But, I will not be drinking or having Irish soda bread.  I’m out of flour; schade!

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I realise that I have put nothing of any substance onto this blog in well over three months.  Actually, let me rephrase, aside from my many posts about depression, I have not posted anything substantial.  And I usually don’t like that.  Trivial matters don’t make a good blog.  Not to say that my blog is any good; I think it’s rubbish.  But for those who do read this, it’s a burden to read something that is not actually interesting in any way.

Let me introduce you to a short summary of my year at university; it seems a good place to start.

I entered Truman State University back in August as a freshmen, completely clueless and maturing far too quickly.  I made no effort to make friends but allowed friends to find me.  In a matter of a month, I knew almost everyone in my dorm house and could call many of them friends.  Today, I count four of them amongst some of my closest friends.

I started studying psychology, which was enjoyable.  I can’t say the same for right now, but it’s because I’m getting my general education classes finished up and that includes the generals of psych.  Experimental designs and biological psychology do not interest me, but they will be gone in two months, and for that I’m grateful.  I also signed up for a studio art minor which I will be starting next semester.

During September, I started cutting down on meat in my diet and became a vegetarian by November.  I’ve been slowly losing weight and gaining muscle ever since and physically feel the best that I ever have, even with EDS catching at my feet and hands everyday, trying to trip me up.  My family has been surprisingly receptive to this.

My relationship with my family steadily grew worse from August to January, and I fought almost constantly with my mum.  A lot of the reasons behind this were about neither of us understanding each other and becoming very different people.  But none of those mattered as much as the fact that I was falling back into a depression.

After analysing my mental health over the past few years, here’s what I can say: I was depressed, possibly with dysthymia from the age of nine until twelve (which was caused by my parents’ divorce, moving across town, et cetera).  I ‘woke up’ from the depression in the middle of seventh grade and barely even knew where I was or what I was doing.  Imagine the fright of suddenly finding yourself in a classroom and realising that you were awake for the first time in four years.  I spent the next two years figuring out a whole lot about myself, dropping habits, picking up new ones.  A large part in getting back to the person I had been lied in making friends–the best of which I am still close to.  I did a lot of maturing in the next few years, and that’s still going on today.

But the thing is, my depression came back every now and then.  It was back for four months when I was fifteen, and it’s back again.  In the middle of December was where I first started to notice that something was going wrong.  By January, I was in completely chaos, and it only grew worse into February.  In the middle of last month, I started making some honest efforts to get well.  I started cutting back on junk food, which had become my diet since late December; I started dressing myself better; and I began to do anything in my power to think positively.  There have been set backs, but I’m getting well again and have been increasing in mood for almost a month now.  Be proud.

During the time that I was depressed, I stopped caring about class and friendships and all kinds of things.  I stopped reading for class, stopped studying until the last moment, and put myself behind.  Now, I’m playing a mad game of catch up over my spring break.  I fought with my mum and became annoyed at anything she did, or my room mate did, or other people would do.  But I’d only take it out on her, and for that I’m sorry.  I’d like you to know, though, that things have been getting better for us over the past month.  We haven’t fought a single time, and I’ve started to talk to her more often and think of it as less of a chore.  Maybe it’s part growing up and maybe it’s part feeling better, but I’m happy.  I love my mum dearly, and I don’t want to hurt her again.

But, luckily, I have gotten to see my best friends over the past two weeks.  I visited Laura down in Springfield, visited with Molly back home, and will visit yet another bestie in a few days at Rolla.  I’ve also gotten to see Erica, Daniel, and Brooke; and though I see Rebecca and Noah quite often, it’s still nice to spend time with them too.  It has really helped to see them.

On the Thursday and Friday before I left for spring break, I was feeling completely down.  It was one of those times where, even though you’ve been doing really well, you completely fall down and crumble to pieces.  For a generally unemotional person, there was a lot of crying–mostly over a falling out with a friend whom I had considered close.  I’d had to leave the living room with my friends just to go cry for ten minutes.  I found myself crying while walking from class.  I even found myself crying while studying.  Terrible two days.  But, on Friday, as I was finishing up a rather lengthy complaint to my diary, I heard a pounding at the door.  So fierce was the pounding, that I leaped from my loft bed in order to answer it, yelling, “Coming!” all the way.  When I opened the door, I was not surprised to see Rebecca (she’s the only one who will pound down my door).  But I was surprised that she, Cat, and Ramina were there simply to say goodbye to me because they were leaving at 13.00 for home while Noah and I were leaving at 16.00.  I told her that it brightened my mood considerably that she had stopped by.  And maybe that’s the point of friends; that, when you’re feeling your lowest, they are there to show you the sun again.

Speaking of the sun, it’s out.  And it’s beautiful.  I can’t tell you how much that I have missed any weather that was not white and grey.  Seeing bright blue skies with temperatures reaching into the sixties and falling rain and the dead grass.  Well, it’s more than I can bare because it’s so beautiful.  When I realised that it was raining last night, I sneaked away from my room, rolled up my pants, and just stood there, letting the rain seep into my hair and sweater and roll down my face.  It was like being washed clean, and it would be impossible for me to describe how much I had missed it.  A fresh start was so necessary; thank God for it.

Here, I wanted to write something substantial for you, and I started talking about depression again, but maybe it was necessary.  Perhaps that’s what I needed to talk about to sum some things up before trying to move on and read psychology and go outside to enjoy this day.  I’m maturing, and quickly.  Welcome to the ride.

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On Saturday afternoon, my friends and I got together to watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie, and since I love writing up reviews, I figured I’d share a little.  I will try my darnedest to stay away from spoilers.

Just to put it out there, I really enjoyed the film.  It was a nice mixture of creepy from our Tim Burton, and while the script was fairly basic and not the best thing in the world, it was also quite imaginatively built from Lewis Carroll’s works.  Also, I watched it in 3D, and it wins an award from me as the first 3D film to not have made me feel ill.  I went into the theatre telling my friends that I was going to, “Throw up all over the movie screen.”  And, I left the theatre feeling just as well as I had come in.  Quite an accomplishment.

I think a major reason for not feeling sick was that this 3D is not for gags.  It wasn’t like in The Final Destination where bolts and body pieces were being flung out at you.  This was subtle.  The 3D added depth and layers to the movie that would have otherwise gone unnoticed in a 2D film.  I felt as though it enhanced the movie rather than take away from it.  Though I didn’t see Avatar in 3D, I was told by friends that it was the similar type of 3D.  Thank goodness.  It gives me hope for the films coming out in the future that require wearing the glasses and getting all ready to see the depth (cue Toy Story 3).

I also give a major A+ to costume design.  Honestly, I wanted Alice’s wardrobe and probably over mentioned it to my friend Daniel throughout the entire film.  Each character had lovely, imaginative costumes, and I was particularly happy with the outfits worn by Alice in both castles, the Mad Hatter’s full costume, and the hair designs for the ladies during the 1800’s scenes.  Very nice, very imaginative, and very beautiful.

The sets were interesting as well.  Granted, almost all of them were green-screens, but I was still fairly happy.  I enjoyed the contrasts in colours used between the outfits and landscapes, not to mention the architecture work (or should I say imagination) going into the castles of the queens.  It was nice to see something moulded that way.

Acting was pretty good.  Mia Wasikowska did a great job with her first large roll, and Johnny Depp was funny as always with nervous ticks and characterisations.  I would have liked to see more character (and show time for that matter) from Anne Hathaway.  She never really got a chance to develop her character or show more personality.  Meanwhile, Helena Bonham Carter was enjoyable to watch, even if it’s basically the same character she’s always played (Oh, hi, Bellatrix).  The rest of the parts were also quite good, excluding Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  I have to admit that it didn’t flow nicely and didn’t seem goofy enough for the characters.  But, I can’t have everything.

The only complaints I have about the film lie in the editing and writing.  There were times when things moved too quickly (like establishing plot points) or where the writing fell short of what was happening (escape scenes, et cetera).  And I was disappointed that Anne Hathaway’s part seemed so short.  But, all in all, still a pretty good film.  I would give it a 7 or 8 out of 10, which is a pretty good rating in my book.  (The only tens I’ve ever given were for Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Aladdin, and Moulin Rouge, if you are counting the IMDB ratings.)

So, go ahead and see it in 3D; it adds nicely to the film.  And enjoy yourself.  It’s not a film meant to replace your old Alice in Wonderland but to lie beside it.

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300 (AKA: What?)

Rarely do I encounter a film that has me asking “Are you fucking kidding me?” every other scene, but I’ve now found a film that not only asks me that, but constantly.  The thing that distinguishes this film from, oh say, Twilight* or Superbad** or any other movie that has me asking this, was that this film was actually a bit entertaining.

This film is 300.

Now, I’m pretty sure the writers heard about the battle and thought,”Hmm, there were these guys from Sparta who all died fighting the Persians.  How can we use this to make a two hours film of barely dressed men running around killing each other?”  Well, they came up with the script for 300, called it a good thing, and produced it to an adoring audience of college guys who like baddassery and high school girls who want to see abs galore.

I finally watched this film, though, and the thing that caught my attention the most (aside from some very sexy men), was that King Xerxes seemed to not only have a lot of warriors, but a lot of interesting warriors.  I was not aware that the Persian army contained ninjas, trolls, Oliphaunts, giants, Quasimodo, goats that can play musical instruments, snake women, and a very effeminate king.  Yeah, turns out that history forgot about this; who knew?

Really, though?  It was entertaining, but it wasn’t history.  And not every film has to be historically accurate, but I honestly think that film producers could have made a film both historically accurate and entertaining.  It could still be epic, but in more of an interesting way rather than an action kind of way.  After all, diplomacy can be sexy; it’s just finding the right kind of diplomacy to make smart sexy rather than brawn.  But that’s just me.  And as we all know, I’m quite biased.

But I won’t diss too much on 300.  Its what-the-fuckery made it interesting, and it was a good watch on a stressful day.  I just like to complain about how it’s labelled an historic drama when it is an action movie.  Because, when a giant gets stabbed in the eye and rips out the knife to keep fighting, I tend to call bull shit.  But, it had a killer soundtrack, nice effects, and wasn’t half bad for how Hollywood goes.  So, not too bad.

– – –

*For the record, I dislike Twilight; it seems to encourage abusive relationships far too much for my liking.  Plus, I’m more of a Lestat fan than an Edward fan when it comes to vampires.

**I watched Superbad for the first time a few months ago, and I honestly couldn’t even finish it.  I managed to watch it for an hour before completely giving up.  It was crude, not funny, and lacked wit that was needed to balance out the disgusting scenes.  Really, the movie was disgusting; there’s no other way to put it.  Superbad is honestly the only film that I have ever seen that I have hated or completely detested.  It is beyond me why it has such favourable attention from people my age, and even for those who aren’t.  If you like this film, sorry, but I stand by what I say.  I think it’s absolutely horrible.

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The above title is a nice little quote from my friend Laura, while discussing the plagues of bad urban planning.  You see, we were chilling in the Springfield library after a full twenty-four hours of roaming town and falling dead on our feet in her dorm (which looks slightly more like an apartment than a dorm room), and I ended up getting my hands on a lovely little home decor book.  Laura is an architecture major and was instantly interested in not only the chic decor that kept coming up but also by the sections on utilising a small space.

“See,” she said, “If everyone lived in houses this small and right on top of each other, we wouldn’t have to worry about driving all around town and getting fat because of it.”

“Agreed,” I said, “It’s why I want a big city.  I can walk anywhere or take public transportation because everything is compressed together.  It’s why I also hate suburbs.”

“Suburbs are the worst idea ever.  You see, architects have control of everything.  We’re in charge of urban planning.”

I scoffed a little, “Well, you guys didn’t do much back in the fifties and sixties when suburbs became the big new thing.  But we just had so much land in the US that we could afford to spread out.  And now look where it has gotten us.”

“We wouldn’t have this problem if we were tiny like in Europe…  Damn the Louisiana Purchase!”  Rebecca and I laughed at Laura.  “It’s true!  If we hadn’t bought all of that land, then we’d be able to live in cities still!”  The three of us laughed, still flipping through pages of apartments.  But, you know, she was right.  Urban planning needs to be done to enable Americans to walk and move around rather than drive ten miles to the store each day.  That’s inefficient and spells out obesity in a heartbeat.  We need less land.  Damn the Louisiana Purchase.

– – –

This weekend, Rebecca, Noah, and I went to Springfield, Missouri to visit our friends Laura and Kevin.  We ended up spending the weekend walking around town and going to interesting places.  In fact, I can now scratch many things onto my “Things I Have Done” list, even though I’m sure that list doesn’t exist anywhere but in my mind.

Some of the things that I can add include:

  • Having fondue for the first time.
  • Going to a gay bar. (Interesting to say the least.)
  • Watching a drag show.  (Ditto.)
  • Being hit on by some guy driving around in circles around the Springfield square, obviously drunk.
  • Walked on live train tracks with friends.
  • Didn’t wear a coat outside for the first time this year.
  • Buying a shirt that was too expensive and that I didn’t even like because of some kind of weird mind-pressure.  (Trust that I have learned my lesson and will not be buying any type of clothing or accessories until summer break starts.  Oh how difficult this will be.)
  • Watched ‘New Moon’.  (Please, stay clear of this.)
  • Rewatched ‘Spice World’.  (Okay, I have done this one before, but it’s so epic that it must be mentioned again.)

All in all, great weekend.  And, while we chilled in the library for two hours, I was able to thumb through three decorating books and get inspiration for my room next year with Katie (not to mention that Laura’s room is adorable, so I took some inspiration from that).  It will be interesting to see how my dorm will look next year.  There are so many ideas running rabid in my head that I can’t shuffle through them fast enough.  The ideas that I do have solidified include that I’m bringing up less clothing and junk next year, bringing a trunk that will double as a coffee table and seating, buying more bookends, making a basket out of wood and fabric, making about six or seven new paintings over this summer (and one over spring break, hopefully!), and creating a wall hanging out of German postcards to decorate the under side of my bed.  So, basically, watch out for Missi’s kick ass creative projects, yo.

– – –

My spring break is in about four days, and I can’t explain to you how excited I am.  During break, I plan on hitting up Main Street a few times to both chill and start searching for a summer job.  That way, I can hopefully work somewhere that I will enjoy–Main Street is honestly my favourite place in the world.  I also plan on painting, seeing that new Alice in Wonderland film with my friends, and getting caught up with my psych reading (nine chapters of reading between two classes?  Yeah!  Bring it on!).

And, hopefully, I’ll be seeing you.  : )

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