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Archive for December, 2010

Once again, I’ve nearly made it through an entire year.  As such (and to continue the tradition from last year), here are the accomplishments, triumphs, failures, and events that marked my past year.  Feel free to make your own to share!

  • I made it through my first year of university at Truman, finishing off with a decent GPA and tons of friends to boot.
  • Three and a half inch heels and four inch heels–I made them my bitch.
  • I went on an aeroplane by  myself for the first time to visit my dad in Florida for two weeks, where I tried Sashimi for the first time (practically raw tuna with wasabi and pickled ginger), visited Key West and some other nifty beaches, and got massively sunburnt.
  • If you caught that part about Sashimi, you’ve probably figured out that I became a pescetarian over the summer.  Half of my just didn’t care any more about avoiding fish while the other half just kept nagging about all of the great omega-3 oils and brain-helping nutrients.  This has allowed me to become pretty damn obsessed with sushi, by the way.
  • I started a pretty shitty fashion blog about Midwest fashion.  Now that I have a new camera, I plan on taking more pictures for it, though.
  • Which brings me to a creeper moment for this year: I definitely worked up the courage to ask random people to be models for my fashion blog since they were wearing cool outfits.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for having the guts.
  • For a failure, I definitely had a big falling out with someone who had been my friend, leaving us in some kind of acquaintance limbo.  And I’m not too proud about playing dirty and being really bitchy about it, but my life had gotten to a major point where I had to either step up or drop into obscurity, meek and silent as I get walked upon.  You all know I’m not really the type to allow the latter.
  • I got a sewing machine!
  • And I’ve sewed all kinds of really crappy things; mostly for work.
  • Oh!  So, I got a volunteer job down on Main Street, Saint Charles at the First State Capitol State Historic Site in June.  I get to dress up in 1820s clothing, teach people history, give tours, work with kids, all kinds of fun stuff.  After a month and a half of volunteering, I managed to get a position with the Missouri State Youth Corps so that I could get paid for my volunteer work.  It’s been an absolutely amazing experience, and if all goes as planned, I will be working there next summer as well.
  • Over October, my dog, Teddy, passed away after a year and a half of massive heart problems.  I had spent the entire summer preparing for him to pass away, which helped me when it actually did happen, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.  You probably already know that he meant a lot to me, but I don’t feel very burdened.  So that’s a start.
  • My grandparents are still somehow making it.  My grandma was diagnosed with cancer last year, and she’s finally made the decision to quit treatment and just last these months out.  My grandpa, meanwhile, had a quadruple bypass that didn’t go as well as it could have, though he’s recovering now.
  • The rest of the family is decently healthy (or at least in comparison to my grandparents), though there was a lot of tension when my brother was kicked out for his misconducts that he’d been warned for years to cease.  He now lives with my dad in Florida, which seems to be working out better for him.
  • This past year, I’ve been building up a second family up in Kirksville (or at least it feels like that).  I signed the lease for a house for next school year with Jess and Noah, which is pretty damn exciting.  And we’re right next door to Ann, Ginny, and James, which means we’ll share a big side yard and have dinner parties.  Huzzah!
  • This implies that I’m still friends with everyone up at uni, as well as some new folks.  I also finished up my first semester of sophomore year and started my new studio art minor.  It’s been really neat to see my artwork improve over the semester, and we’ll see how much better it gets by the end of next year.
  • I went to Iowa for the first time.  No worries, it was as mundane as the sentence seems to convey.

New Music for this Year (or at least music I was exposed to this year):

  • Kate Havnevik’s Melankton
  • Emilíana Torrini’s Love in the Time of Science and Fisherman’s Woman
  • Kingdom of Heaven Soundtrack
  • Loreena McKennitt’s The Book of Secrets and The Visit
  • ALL CAPS’ Bmin/E
  • Amy MacDonald’s This is the Life
  • Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs
  • Broken Bells’ Broken Bells
  • Coldplay’s Parachutes
  • Florence + the Machine’s Lungs
  • Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine
  • Imogen Heap’s Ellipse
  • Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me
  • Joe Purdy’s This American
  • Kate Miller-Heidke’s Curioser
  • KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope
  • Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News
  • Natacha Atlas’s Halim
  • Patrick O’Hearn’s Glaciation
  • Sigur Ros’s Takk…
  • Vampire Weekend’s Contra
  • White Lies’ To Lose My Life
  • Yael Naim’s Yael Naim

New Books:

  • Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Science of Social Influence
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
  • Dude, I can’t remember the last time I read a new book for pleasure.  Aside from text book reading, I’ve been chilling with the old favourites: Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragon’s Bait, et cetera.
  • But, I’ve gotten into some web comics: Questionable Content and xkcd.

New Films:

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
  • Love and Death (a quirky Woody Allen film)
  • Troy
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • The Losers

I really haven’t done all that much this year aside from lots of music listening (shit son, way more than I thought after making that list), working my butt off, chilling with friends every chance I get, and finding some new hobbies (such as interior design/décor, art art art art art, reading webcomics, et cetera).  I’ve learned to love libraries and sushi and appreciate some of the people around me a lot more.  I hope that you all have had an interesting year with lots of learning and events.  Hope to see you all next year!

Missi

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Well, I finally have my new camera, which meant a picture taking frenzy began while shopping around Main Street with friends.  Enjoy some photos!  It was an awesome day, and I’m excited to work down there in my 1820s clothing over the next couple of days.

I met the Irish Santa!

I caught up with Nicole, Jen, Lindsay, and later Noah for a little while.  And while people watching on Main Street, I bumped into Katie and my ‘third’ grandparents’ son, his wife, and their two adorable kids.

I also kind of bumped into a giant Christmas parade, full of characters dressed from the 1800s, the Fife and Drum Corps, faeries and angels, international Santas, horses, carriages, and all kinds of fun things.

“They don’t want a picture of your, darling.  I’m a star.”

Also, if my Lord of the Rings themed wedding falls through, can this be choice number two?  Come on.  Celtic/Irish wedding!  I need to meet a guy willing to wear a kilt…  Maybe I’ll just stalk Thistle and Clover more often.

Meanwhile, I bought an awesome sarong from The Enchanted Attic and a beautiful hat from The English Shoppe.  Pictures will be sure to come eventually.

It was a pretty awesome time down in Main Street, though, and I got to get dressed up and attend a kick ass bluegrass concert last evening in the upper floor of the First State Capitol.  I was probably only one of two people under fifty, but it was a hell of a time.  Of course, I’m biased being a major blue grass fan, but how can you go wrong with mandolin-led Christmas tunes?  You can’t.

Well, there you have it.  A lovely day full of parades, friends, historical dressing up, and shopping.  Have a great time before Christmas scaddadles, and if you’re thinking about visiting Main Street in Saint Charles, Missouri, DO IT!

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The first blizzard of the year is making its way south, punching Kirksville in its skinny-ass torso, and watching the thermometer drop degree by degree is making me dread leaving work here at Grim.  Grim.  I’ve seen all of two people here today–three if you count that one person came twice to get quarters.  It’s a very hopeless kind of place, very cliquey, with a sad quietness to it.  Granted, that means that I can spend my four hours-long work shift eating and reading Questionable Content comics, but I somewhat feel like I’ve landed in the valley of death.  Except this valley of death is significantly warmer than the outdoors, so I’m a little trapped.

I shouldn’t complain too much, though.  I made it through this week, Lord knows how.  I read 190 pages of psych, studied for two exams, and did decently well on both of them–all in less than two days.  It means I didn’t sleep or eat or leave my bed for a long time (seriously, my bed must be sick of me sitting on it or napping rather than just getting a full night of sleep).  I really summed up the situation in my latest Potters video.  The amount of insanity and sleepiness in my life is never the greatest of combinations.

Unless it causes these conversations to occur:

(knock on the door, Missi falls out of bed to answer it)
Missi: H…hello?
Jenn: Missi, for a Christmas card, do you want a gingerbread man or a Christmas tree?
Missi: A… A what?  …Ginger…bread…tree?
Jenn: No.  Gingerbread man.  Or Tree.
Missi: Oh…  They both sound lovely.  …Tree?
Jenn: Okay.  Thanks!  Go back to bed!
Missi: (closes the door and still stands there)  Okay?

(while contemplating if I should actually get out of bed and go eat dinner)
Missi: I could go now.  But I could wait until 6.45 when I need to leave for USMED but just eat on top of time because on top of time I can go to 6.23 and eat until 6.45 so I’m ready at the same time that I’m sleeping.  But would that hurt physics?  Does physics have feelings?  Can I hurt physics’ feelings?!
(and then I fell back asleep)

When I have little sleep, it leads to moments that make it totally worth it, even if I wake up the next morning sounding like death and looking like I’ve lost ten pounds from underneath my eyes and arse only.  Seriously, my jeans fit awesomely today, but the rest of me looks like shit from not having taken care of myself over the past week.  Rest assured that I will be fixing this and don’t plan on being in the same situation for quite some time.

Oh, and for those of you wondering how my little project went last weekend, awesomely.  It looks so beautiful and like it should be in the door of a German pub.  When I get my camera from those OfficeMax punks, I’ll show you an awesome picture or two.

The snow is picking up, though, and it’s glittering from the street lamps outside the window.  As much as it will be freezing walking back to MO, I can’t help but feel that it will be enjoyable.  Maybe I’ll stop for some cappuccino along the way.  Snow viewing and hot drinks are never a bad combination.  In fact, on the list of great combinations, it comes in around the top five, placing significantly higher than the combination of Missi and no sleep.

“From the courtyard, I floated in and watched it go down,
heard the cup drop, thought,
‘Well, that’s why they keep them around.'”

Have One on Me, Joanna Newsom

Update:  See, I could have gone the cheap route and have given you 20 Years of Snow by Regina Spektor or Snow by Emilíana Torrini or anything by Snow Patrol, but my musical gift for today just happened to be what came onto the shuffle.  Lucky you!

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I’m on hold right now with OfficeMax, Simon & Garfunkel lilting by.  Today has been the day of Simon & Garfunkel, whether while driving to Iowa on a spur of the moment road trip after visiting the hardware store or while waiting to find out if I can get a new camera.  Or, you know, a camera at all.  Imagine it, there you are, opening the box to a brand new camera.  You remove the cords.  The battery charger, the manual, the…  Ripped piece of plastic?

Oh yeah, the ripped piece of plastic that was supposed to be holding the camera.

It would seem that, given my luck (or lack thereof), I purchased the display camera’s box, which means that my camera is sitting out for other people to touch and oogle over.  Ew.  So after a conversation with the manager of OfficeMax, who was actually quite understanding and kind about the situation, I have been guaranteed the actual camera and a new box since it was an accident on their part that the empty box was given to me to buy.

All fixed.  Problem solved.  But what have we learned?  Check the contents of the box before you buy, not after.  It’s just like how, when I got Chinese three weeks ago, I should have checked the vegetable fried rice before getting back to the dorm.  Why?  Because, even though the box was labelled with a V does not mean that it won’t be chicken fried rice.  Luckily, that one was taken care of in time for dinner.

But I laughed when I heard the Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background while on hold.  It’s what I had listened to on my mini-road trip to Iowa.  Kirksville is rather tiny, only around 17,000 people, but it’s the beacon light to all other northern Missouri towns–the “Northern Star”.  Once you pass Kville and head up north, you reach a whole lot of nothing aside from horse-drawn carriages and towns that boast their population of 437.

I passed at least eight Mennanites in their carriages, making me smile every time.  Small town.  Small town.  Small town.  Gas station and closed diner and Welcome sign.  Deer running up hills and into valleys and across highways.  A brilliant, pink and orange sunset blinding me over the hills that crept out from nowhere.  It was a place that looked more pleasant in its death than it would have in its full-bloom or spring or summer.  You could see so far in the crisp air, see the snow still sticking to the shaded grass and the ice patches on the ponds.  A simply beautiful drive.

And I listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits, bobbing my head to Mrs. Robinson and humming to myself as I stopped for gas in an ugly little town inside of Iowa (I had missed the Welcome sign to Iowa, leaving me driving an extra twenty miles until I came upon the first town that was larger than an outpost).  It was the type of trip that made me really, really yearn for my camera, and I was kicking myself for not having opened it sooner.  Which is probably why I immediately opened it upon returning home to Kirksville and starting this whole circle of Simon and Garfunkel.

“Hello Darkness my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again.”
Sound of Silence,  Simon & Garfunkel

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