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Archive for August, 2010

A while back, I mentioned my switch from moisturiser to natural oils for my face, along with dumping the habit of drying out my skin from soap, and now that it’s been about three or four weeks, I figured that it was time to tell you about some progress.

Truth to be told, my acne only went down only while I was at home.  Once I got back up to school, it started back up again (though not as severly as last year) because of the differences in water between Saint Charles and Kirksville.  This is a bit of a bummer since I spend most of my time at school, but if things continue how they have been with there still being acne but not in as great of quantities, then I guess I’ll take it.

Some positive things, though: my skin is slightly less oily (not completely, but I’m a little better off), it no longer feels like it’s been completely dried from my showers, and my hands are less dried out.  That one seemed odd to me, because it took at least a week or two to put the pieces together.  But, as I see it, now that I’m using less soap, my hands are no longer being dried out.  It’s gotten to the point where, for the first time in nearly four years, I no longer have to put hand lotion on every day.  Awesome and money saving.

Another thing that I was not expecting was that my eye condition has improved.  I have a chronic eye condition that causes a lot of, let’s call it ‘gunk’, to build up in my eyes, causing my vision to get blurry and there to be itching and redness and teary eyes.  No fun, really.  Well, I’ve noticed just as much ‘gunk’ being produced (maybe even more), but what has been really remarkable is that the pain and itchiness is gone–completely.  It’s made me wonder if my eyes could have been negatively reacting to my moisturiser for the past five years.

I’m still experimenting with washing my face in hot water and using oil rather than my old soap/moisturiser formula, so I definitely do not have the full affects of the regiment yet.  But, as I learn more about using natural oils and healthier/environmentally safer body products, I will let you know (I suppose that I should mention that I make my own body spray from water and essential oils, and it smells wonderful and is completely one of a kind).

Adios!

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Last post, I realise that I had made illusions to having photos of my new dorm room, but because of dead batteries and my forgetful nature, they didn’t quite make it into the post.  So, here are all of those photos:

Here are the majority of my things in the room.  Colourful, right?

One of the things I was really worried about was how to get both natural and artificial lighting.  Well, after some moving around of my desk and a five-headed lamp, problem solved.  If this is to be a tip for anyone moving into a dorm, definitely invest in good lighting.  I’d say no less than three lamps–one for your desk, one for by your bed, and one for general purposes.

What I really love about having a dorm twice the size of last year is that I can bring along my own furniture to spice things up.  If you’ve ever been in my basement, you may remember this hideous whitish-yellow coffee table that was by the couches.  Well, do you recognise it now?  TADA!  I painted it a deep mint green and added brown trees to the side that look wonderfully whimsical.  And I just added some throw pillows that I made (okay, and two that I bought), my ugly, patchwork blanket that I finally finished, and my stupid monster stuffed animal that I made last year.  His name is Cedric Stupory.  I made him a girl friend named Cho Chud-up, but she’s not cool enough to make it to uni.

Because of the extra room this year, I was actually able to see my wall, which meant more opportunities to decorate.  I bought a few new picture frames to compliment the paintings that I had brought up last year.  Since my bed is lofted, I get to use that metal frame for even more decorating.  Yeah!  I used some otherwise useless magnets to hang up random photos from Germany, Colorado, and home.

Another cool thing was to be able to hang up all of my necklaces and use them as some dècor.  The best ever hooks are 3M, and they make it super easy to hang everything from jewellery to towels to paintings to curtain ties.  The next best hook would be any over the door hook.  If your bed is lofted like mine, you can put the hooks over the rungs on the side of the bed in order to hang up purses, electrical cords, whatever.

The built-in bookshelf on the desk is a life-saver on many levels.  First, it eliminates the need for me to actually bring up something for all of my text books and resources.  Second, it has cork board.  CORK BOARD.  Back in early high school, I started collecting a lot more jewellery, which caused me to quickly run out of space.  But one day, while rearranging my cork board in my bedroom, I discovered that necklaces could be hung from colourful sewing needles or push pins.  What a marvellous day!  Ever since, I’ve used available cork board for my jewellery since I usually don’t post anything else on the boards aside from important tid bits and old pins.

Here’s a better view of the necklaces.

I also have an array of mason jars for food (everything from almonds to chocolate chips to home made mint tea!), FOSSIL tins from a Saint Charles store called Left Overs, and garage sale wooden jewellery holders for all kinds of pens and post its and whathaveyou.  Around this time of year, you’ll see Walmart carrying those shit organisers in every bright colour and type of plastic.  While they are usually functional, they automatically make your dorm, well, look like a dorm.  If you want to transform your dorm into your own room (or better yet, an apartment), you have to plan ahead and add more sophisticated elements.  Plus, I just like that the wooden furniture hides the sight of bright neon highlighters but still costs less than a dollar.

Most of the time, I shove my text books into my binders/folders for the class.  This helps keep me organised and also allows me to easily pick up everything I need for class.  Sure, there are stragglers that couldn’t find their way into a binder, but I have some neat marble horse-head bookends that my mum bought around the time that I was born.  They’re heavy enough to get the job done but still look pretty neat.

I really do love the food décor, though.  Antique mason or jam jars work great, but you can also buy jars for super cheap at Walmart.

Another really great way to decorate (that’s also useful) is to have plants in your room.  Unfortunately, I killed all of my plants from last year, so this year, I have a slew of new finds!

Oh, and I have a Skittles machine.  Be jealous.

What you can’t see in this photo is that I added curtains today.  They’re the same bright purple ones from last year, but it was an amazing difference putting them up.  It made the hole room look so much more like home.

And I know you’re just thrilled to see the inside of my wardrobe.  Yes; I know that I am Elle Woods.  But since I’ve practically turned this post into a dorm show-off for anyone interested in dorm décor, I thought I’d mention the use of drawers and hangers for scarves.  Oh, and this is my personal entrance to Narnia.  Aslan and I are best-friends.

Again, 3M Hooks are your best-friend.  I use them to hold up old bra hangers, and from there, the bra hangers then become SCARF HANGERS!  I’m one of those girls who collects massive quantities of scarves, so I had to find a good way to store them.

Drawers are also your friend.  But, ye be warned: measure first.  You don’t want to be coming home to find your drawers not fitting into your wardrobe.  Last year, these were showing right next to my desk, which wasn’t all that bad.  It just didn’t look that great since they are see-through.

Also, get a nice plastic caddy for your shower things.  And a soap container.  THEY ARE AMAZING.

Storage.  It happens.  And it doesn’t always look nice.  But whatever.  I brought along the fridge again and bought a cheap microwave from Walmart.  And it works cheaply, too, but it eventually gets the job done.  Target had some great storage cubes last year, and this year, the price dropped enough for me to get a door and more shelves for the inside of them.  Now they hold food.  Yeah!

MORE STORAGE!

Anyway, this has turned into one of those posts that was meant for my friends but has turned into something that people will find on Google and then look through before heading off to uni every August.  Oh well.  Here are some pictures from my dorm last year:

The first stages, before I had figured out how to make things pretty.  TRANSFORMATION:

Much better.  Getting the cords out of the way and removing random junk really helped.  And, just a little tip, store extra things in your car.  My room mate used to store some of her cooking supplies in her trunk to save on room because, as you can tell from the next photo, it was cramped.

We had the smallest dorm on campus that was shared by two people, but we managed to make it work.  It just felt a little bit like a cupboard.  But not in the good way–you know, like Harry Potter.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I make really terrible first introductions with people I don’t know who have to live with me.  Get ready 1 North, you’re living with Missi–the girl who says that hummingbirds and chicken nuggets are synonymous.

I’ll leave you now.

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Well, it’s yet again August, which means I’m trucking back up to school for the next nine months in order to pack my sponge-like brain full of knowledge so that I can squeeze it all out during the winter and summer holidays.  No, that’s being mean to my intellect.  I remember what’s necessary and come back each year smarter than I was the year before.  But I fully accept that I will forget half of what I learn this upcoming semester.

My classes seem pretty basic; I’m still in that stage of school where I have to completely my liberal arts requirements before I can jump just into my major and minor.  So, Brit Lit, German, and statistics are mostly to round that out (aside from the fact that I need to take yet another stats and German class next semester that have this semester’s classes as prerequisites).  Otherwise, I’ve started my studio art minor by taking a drawing class (which I had this morning, and it went very well), and I’m continuing my psychology major with a social psychology course.  Which, let’s face it, I’m super excited for that class.  Yes.  It will be a lot of work–more work than any of my other psych classes because it’s lecture, reading, papers, and projects rather than just a combination of a few of those elements.  But we have show and tell in class tomorrow, so I’m pretty pumped.

Otherwise, move-in was fine, all aside from a hurt foot and constant indecision about where to put things.  Last year, the room was so small that there was really only one way to arrange things, so decisions were much simpler.  This year, my room is literally twice as large, so I had more options–leading to a full day of moving things back and forth and trying to figure out what I liked and didn’t like.  But after twelve hours of organising and decorating, things were finally looking pretty good.  Want a picture?  All right, here:

Apartment Therapy can eat it’s heart out; I think it looks pretty damn good.

But it feels odd, yet right, to be back.  Odd in the sense that I’m in a new room, starting all over, and I no longer recognise half of the people in the cafeteria.  Right in the sense that nearly everyone from last year is back.  We gathered for dinner last night and then in the lounge, and things fell right back into place–we played games, watched television, I was overly ridiculous and annoying, we all laughed.  Just as it was where we left off, just a few people gone who moved out or graduated and a few people new who have moved in or are freshmen.  I’m just waiting for everything to click and fell exactly the same as it did last year.  Give it another few days.  I’ll be there.

Nothing else is that big right now.  The cycle of water and tea starts again, music plays, and books get read.  That’s just about how it goes.

I’ll keep you updated.

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I was perusing Facebook and reading through statuses about how my old high school is starting up again tomorrow morning, when I stumbled upon this survey from a student council friend.  Since I’m the type of person who likes to make comparisons about myself from time to time, it seemed like it would be fun to fill out (I mean, hey, I have eight diaries lined up on the shelf that I have filled and enjoy flipping through from time to time–it helps me know that I have grown).  So, here you go.

High School Survey

FRESHMAN YEAR:
What school did you go to? Saint Charles West
What were your school colors? Maroon and White
Who were your best friends? Noah, Jessica, Erica, Daniel
What elective classes did you take? concert choir, art 1
Who was your favorite teacher? Scott or my civics teacher
Did you pass all of your classes? Yes
How did you get to/from school? I walked
Did you drink/smoke? Nope
Did you go to homecomming? Yes.
Did you go to prom? No.
If so, who were your dates?
Did you play any sports? Ha, no.  I was the kid in all of the plays and student council.
Were you involved in any clubs? Student council!  My favourite.

SOPHMORE YEAR:
Did you go to sporting events? Football games and a basketball game or two.
Ever get detention? Nope.
Did you play sports? I’m physically handicapped.
Who did you date? No one.
Did you hang out with mostly guys or girls? Gals.  It was the year I became friends with Cassie, Molly, et cetera.
What was your least favorite class? Algebra 2
Did you hate anyone? I’m not the hating kind of person.
Did you have the same friends as freshman year? Yes, plus a few more.
Go to any dances? Homecoming and Coronation
If so, who was your date? Oh, you know me and dates.

JUNIOR YEAR:
Did you wish you could change schools?  No, I always loved West.
How did you spend your birthday that year? Q’DOBA!
Where were all the parties? Either at my house for pool parties or at Jen’s.
Ever get suspended? Ha, no.
How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have? None.
Who were they? invisible people?
Do any drugs during school? Nope.
Did you play sports? STUDENT COUNCIL!
Did you go to homecoming or prom? homecoming.  I could have gone to prom, but we had anti-prom instead.
If so, who were your dates? “ALL BY MYSELFFFF”

SENIOR YEAR:
Did you change schools? No.
Was it the best year of high school? I think that I may have had more fun senior year, but the stress of stuco president made me think that I enjoyed junior year more.
Was it stressful? Very.  Stuco president was so much to handle.
Did you get in trouble a lot? No.  Anti-trouble.
Did you keep your same friends all through high school? For the most part, yes.  But I gained so many more.
Were you involved with any clubs/sports? STUCO!  It owned my life, and I enjoyed it.
Did you fail any classes? Nope, but I got my first and only B grade in Calculus.
Where did you take your senior pictures? “Hey Chris, since we’re in Germany, could you just take cool pictures of me to use as my senior pictures?”
What teacher really helped you the most? Dr T during stuco and Reisinger and VanHouten to really prepare me for uni.
Did you play any sports? Again, no.
Were you involved in any clubs? STUCO!
How did you get to/from school? I walked some days and drove during SAMS days.
Did you drink/smoke? Nope.  Not my style.
Did you go to homecoming? Yep.  It was so much fun.
Did you go to prom? Yes…
If so, who were your dates? Pff, I was too awkward to get a date.  How I ever got Prom Queen is beyond me.

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I enjoy leaving the house for work.  And I enjoy dressing up in colonial clothing, crocheting, and teaching others about Missouri State history on Saturdays.  I enjoy when people try to give me tips after I give them a tour, even if it goes straight into the donations box.  I enjoy the look on people’s faces when they see that I’m a teenager wearing a shirt that says “Youth Corp”, and yet I’m more informed than they are on any given history subject.

I also enjoy that I am now paid for the work that I did as a volunteer and that I will be (possibly) rehired for winter and summer holidays.  Main Street treats me right.

Anyway…

I go back up to uni in two weeks, yet I haven’t even started packing.  Admittedly, there is not yet much of a need, but it tickles me that I was actually completely finished packing by this point last year.  But, as a returning student, I just don’t really give a shit.  I just want back.  It’s such a lovely escape from home.  Sure, I wish I could see some friends more often, but that’s life.

Life has been teaching me a few lessons lately, one of which happened when I was invited to visit with friends but had to sew an under dress for my outfit at work.  I’ll admit to crying at midnight, trying to convince myself that this was the real world and that I wouldn’t always get to be with everyone when I wanted.  It had never been a problem for me during high school when I slaved away with student council projects or school plays, but I was always with other people that I cared about.  When sitting in my room with a sewing machine and Maroon5 on repeat, it feels a little different–a feeling that I have not commonly felt as resident introvert.

Resident introvert in this corner feels nothing.

NOTHING.

She sits by herself and is completely content.

COMPLETELY CONTENT.

Her abilities to keep herself entertained by only reading and making up stories is phenomenal.

PHENOMENAL.

So, feeling bad about not getting to see people was something a little new.  And maybe I’ll get used to it as time drags on, creating less and less opportunities for me to have a purely social life alongside working (which, in the past, was just school–not actual work).

But I do love my work.  I love the learning opportunities and interesting conversations that can pop up.  I love that I can be completely nerdy.

It’s kind of like what I’m doing right now, typing up bloggin’ shit and watching Travel Channel (Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown; though not at the same time.  I’m fairly certain that he’s made fun of her on his show before).  But it’s about Asia, so of course I’m there.

Dude.   Dude.  Malaysia.  I’m gone.

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Pescetarianism

I’m happier saying ‘yes’ to the occasional piece of fish or sushi than sitting around, staring at an empty plate, while others eat.  There’s no point in making someone who has cooked a fish dinner feel bad because I can’t eat it, when in all reality, it’s quite the healthy and delicious food.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to be shoving a fish steak onto my plate with every meal, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that I will be chowing down on fried cat fish with my family.  But if it means having a spoonful of fish because of a sushi tray or eating fish three times because I’m visiting my dad who has caught his own fish, then I am perfectly fine with that.  After all, I have absolutely no moral qualms with eating animals.  My qualms only lie in health, as usual.

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