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Hey, guys!  I know, it’s been a long time.  I’ve written maybe three things in the past six months, and that’s pretty not cool.  But if you were wondering how I’ve been doing, I feel that this picture pretty much sums it up:

Basically, I have traded in my blood for coffee.

This past semester has been the most difficult that I’ve had yet, and I find myself missing the relatively light workload that I had my freshman and sophomore years.  Junior year is tough!  I basically haven’t been sleeping, and I’ve completely lost motivation to actually get work done and study.  Because of this, I definitely am seeing lower grades than normal.  Granted, low grades for me means that I’m getting more Bs than As, but it’s still two more Bs than normal in a semester.

I’ve just felt like I’ve been rushing with no breaks.  The moment one exam or paper or print is finished, I’m starting another because I’m already behind.  Plus, all of my classes have been more labour intensive than usual, which adds an extra element that I hadn’t really been expecting.

I also moved off of campus for this semester, so I’ve been adjusting to living in a house with Noah and Jess.  Not that it’s a major adjustment, though.  We get along marvellously, I love having a room to myself to decorate and be introverted in, and I’ve enjoyed doing my own cooking.  Sure, I miss the conveniences of living on campus, but all-in-all, I’m satisfied with the change.

This is where I spend the majority of my time not sleeping and instead studying, reading, and wasting my life on tumblr.

Meanwhile, I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping level-headed and maintaining my weight since August.  I’ve been under a lot of stress because of complications with getting my fake tooth, where everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and it put me into a mini depression that ended up rearing its ugly head once course work got rolling.  I spent a lot of August, September, and October absolutely hating myself, and it only started to get better last month.  With every wrong move I’d make, a little voice in my head would just whisper I hate myself. or I hate everything.  I’ve never been the type of person to put myself down in this kind of way.  Sure, I’m hard on myself, but I’ve never felt such a hatred for myself.  It was getting absolutely unbearable, and I’d begin to beat myself for beating myself up.

In the end, I probably needed some sleep.  I needed time to find a sense of self that was healthy.  I needed Thanksgiving break.  Things improved over that time.  I didn’t get ahead on coursework, and I didn’t get a long list done that I needed to in Saint Charles.  But I did get my tooth (finally!), and I picked up a few more articles of clothing that would fit me better, and I finally had time to just sleep and day-dream.  It was such a relief.

I’m feeling a lot better now, but, coming back for the end of the semester is still difficult.  Last week contained most of my finals and papers/projects due, and there were some nights where I literally didn’t go to bed and had to squeeze in an hour around midnight so that I could work during the early morning hours when I feel most mentally awake.

Sunday night: 4 hours
Monday night:  3 hours
Tuesday night:  6 hours
Wednesday night: 2.5 hours
Thursday night: 1 hour

It’s been a bit rough, but I’ve found that I can get a lot done even on very little, if no, sleep.  I know that it’s not healthy.  I know, I know, I know.  It’s just how I operate as a procrastinator and some-what perfectionist.  They go hand in hand, really.  You procrastinate because of the fear that you won’t reach perfection.  But when you don’t have enough time to reach perfection, you self-handicap and say that it’s all right that you didn’t reach the point you had wanted.  After all, you’d had so little sleep last night, how could you have gotten higher than a B on that exam?  (Oh, poor baby.  Bleh.)

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping my weight at a stable level.  For the entirety of my life, this would mean that I’ve gained a bunch of weight and am feeling all self-conscious about it… until now.  I don’t know how, but I’ve lost twenty pounds in only three months.  I went from being near 160 to 142.  Everyone I’ve told gives me some type of congratulation as though I’ve been working so hard or something, but I just stand there thinking, But this is not what I wanted!  I haven’t tried to lose weight.  I don’t like that I can’t fit into any of my clothing; I figured I’d be a size twelve for years, so I’d started buying my clothes to last and cost more.  Suddenly, I don’t fit into any of my skirts or pants or bras.  My shirts aren’t tugging in the same ways (hell, I can now wear shirts that I haven’t been able to fit into since I was fourteen).  I look at photos of my face from earlier this year, and I literally can’t recognise myself (okay, this may be because of the prosopagnosia, but disregard that) because I’ve lost so much weight from my face.  My arms look different, my collar bones show more, my cheek bones seem a bit  higher, my legs more defined, my stomach flat.

I am beautiful.  And I am completely frightened.

I can’t stop losing weight, and I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know if I believe the people who have told me that it’s from walking more with living off campus or because I’m cold all of the time and using more energy to keep warm.  I feel bad every time I look in the mirror and think I look good, because this can’t be healthy.  And then I argue with myself because I shouldn’t feel bad about being happy with the way I look.  It’s just an odd situation that I’ve never been in before, and I don’t know how to deal with it.

I don’t really know how to deal with anything, actually.  But… that’s okay.  It’s been okay for about a week now.  Between panicking and extreme euphoria and an excessive amount of work, this past week has been interesting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I wish I could tell you more at this point, but I’m still trying to find my footing.  Just suffice it to say that something is going really, really well, and I can’t remember the last time that I was this happy.

So, while I leave you on a note of mystery, I hope it was positive.  Because I’m feeling positive, even with all of the stress that I’ve carried for the past few months.  Sometimes, life is pretty good, and there are blue skies, and you can’t help but smile.

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It’s been a while now, huh?  More than a month, actually, and this is the first post of the new year.  Not much has changed.  I’m back at uni, working on my psych degree and studio art minor.  Classes are going well, professors are mostly stellar, the norm.  I’m taking developmental psych, cognitive psych, ANOVA/experimental statistics, design 1, and logic.  All in all, mostly major/minor specific.

It’s snowy here.  And cold.  But that shouldn’t come as any surprise to you (come on, it’s Kirksville; we wear shorts when it gets above freezing).  My friends and family in Saint Charles recently got a foot of snow, which pretty much makes it the first time that Kirksville had less–even if we’re only talking by a few inches.

But enough about classes and weather and cold!  There are marvellous things in which to be excited for!  New albums coming out this year, the marriages of both of my sisters, the tentative backpacking trip to Chicago, visiting family in Florida, and working at what is quite possible the best place in the world for three months.  It suddenly hit me today just how much is coming up within the next six or seven months.

Both of my older sisters are getting married: Joslyn in April and Jessica in August.  Joslyn’s will just include going home for the weekend, but I will have to get myself to Colorado Springs, CO for Jessica’s.  At first, my dad informed me that I would just fly there, but for the same price, I could give myself a multiple day vacation in Chicago and just take the train.  Sure, that’s an extra two days of travelling, hostel costs, food, et cetera.  But you know what?  I’m totally up for it.  My room mate and I started scouring the internet last night for train prices and hostels in the Chicago area and how to backpack your way across the country.  Now, I just need to present the idea to my mother.  That will be interesting.

Meanwhile, lots of new albums come out this year that I’m pretty darn excited about.  Florence + the Machine (whom I was gushing over a year ago), Kerli Koiv, Coldplay (about damn time), et cetera.  Loreena McKennitt and Robyn both just released new albums that I would love to get my hands on and might save as a special present to me for my birthday (or for getting through the semester, either one).

It’s strange to think that this semester will be done and over with in only three and a half months.  Come 6 May, and I’ll be back home in Saint Charles.  And on the 15th, my lease will start on the house that Jess, Noah, and I have up here in Kirksville.  I won’t be staying there for the summer, which leaves a bit of a waste in the rent that I will still be paying, but it will be fun to come up over weekends and start fixing the place up.  We’re pretty excited to get furniture and paint and mix-matched dishes into there.

Anyway, I hope that this was a sufficient update.  I’ve been working on another blog post for some time, but it really hasn’t been coming along well.  So this is my much more friendly alternate.

Keep it classy.

Missi

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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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And now I’m right back at school and with so many interesting, challenging, fun things to do before now and when I go back home in two and a half weeks.  Wow.  Such a short amount of time before I’m heading right back, yet everyone makes it out to be such a long time.  But really, that’s two weeks of classes (and, oh you know, five exams), six chapters of psych to read, one stats assignment, three art projects, and Mrs Dalloway to finish up.  And then four/five finals!  I can do it, I can do it!

This weekend, I’m taking two days out on Friday and Saturday in order to make a (spoilers) for my mum for her joint birthday and Christmas present.  I’ll tell you what it is after I give her the gift, and I’ll be sure to put up pictures (with my new Nikon Coolpix that needs to be removed from its box).  Rest assured that it is something both artsy and never previously done by me.  My art professor is giving a class to a few of us about how to make unsaid object, so it will be pretty exciting to learn a new skill (even if I will be probably horrible at it).  I’ll give you a hint if you promise not to tell my mum, though.

Anyway, Thanksgiving holidays went well, though I saw less of my friends than I had anticipated.  I had two delicious meals with my mum’s side of the family and also with my dad’s/sister’s, was able to visit my work and chat with the managers, went to a bonfire with friends, and I even went Black Friday shopping to get money off of some boots I had bought a few days before ($100 off of the original price is incentive enough for me to brave the hordes of shoppers).  Somehow, Noah and I found a spot at the very, very front of where we wanted to be at the mall.  And thank God, because otherwise, it meant parking at least a half mile away, which would require us to cross seven lanes of very busy traffic.

But I spent a lot of time reading comics (such as Questionable Content and xkcd) and watching old episodes of Cowboy Bebop, which sort of felt like me from eighth grade coming to punch me in the face.  After six years of travelling, it’s built up some momentum.  My brother also gave me all of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law before he set out to move in with my dad, which, yes, happened on Sunday.  Hopefully he will be getting along a lot better down in Florida than here in Missouri where it’s just constant bickering.

The rain is coming in now, though, with chilly winds and so little light that it should be criminal.  I’ll set off to listen to more Natacha Atlas songs on Youtube so that I can decide which of her albums to buy today since I have a coupon from Amazon.  Oh, decisions, decisions.  Halim or Gedida?  Both are awesome albums of Egyptian/Arabic/French songs blended with electronic, hip hop beats.  She’s like listening to a young generation from the Gaza Strip.  So I’ll leave you to go decide on an album, though there’s really no wrong choice; both that I’ve previewed are amazing.

PS: If there were any more links in this post, I’m pretty sure WordPress would explode.  I just thought it would be fun to give some examples and references to you folks for all of the crazy things I chat about.

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Somewhere in my closet, there’s a Zack Weber t-shirt beside a jacket made out of a blanket and a stack of painting clothes, still covered in silver spray paint from those Stuco lock ins.  And in front of that, there are sliding mirrors.  And then there’s the reflection of a bed room and an open window showing this big world…

I go back home on Friday, which I’m excited for.  Part of me just wants to go pick up my cat and snuggle.  Another wants to go take a walk down by the river and visit my work to talk about scheduling some time over winter holidays.  And another wants to cook a meal, start a fire, and turn on football in the living room.  But, even more than those, there’s something I’m really, really, really ready for:

Harry-freaking-Potter.

AHHHH!  It’s so close and yet so far away!  The new Harry Potter film comes out this Friday, but I’m waiting until Monday to see it with some friends since it got sold out here in Kirksville.  Never has a movie seemed so far away when it is really less than a week away.  So if I just don’t exist online from Friday until Monday, it’s because I’m trying to avoid what people are saying about Harry Potter.

Yes, I’m a six year old, plugging her ears.

But it could be worse; I could be a six year old with massive amounts of homework and reading, but that was more the past two weeks.  For this week, I only have to read a psychological text and write a ten page paper.  And while this may sound terrifying to some people, the task itself is very easy.  Now, I just have to make myself sit still for long enough to read the book and take notes.  And from there?  It’s easy.

There really haven’t been that many developments in my life this month.  It’s been time with friends and ink wash paintings and watching more and more brown leaves gather together outside of my windows.  If I had a camera, I’d show you pictures, but as it stands, I’m not getting a new camera until this holiday (a Nikon CoolPix, probably).  If you have any camera recommendations, feel free to leave me a comment.  Until next time, see you!

“Wouldn’t it be okay
if we took a little drink and we start to fly away?
All I really want is you and me here,
you and I.”

Playground Rocks, Zack Weber

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I need something a little more new and… well, not of Teddy when I happen across my own blog, so this is the obligatory “How are things going?” kind of blog, I guess.  I’ll keep it short (or as short as I’m known for keeping things).

Halloween: Dressed up as Helena Ravenclaw and passed out candy in the lounge–which was decorated at Howarts.  Awesome?  I think yes.

Uni: Stressful, as always.  The amount of reading is what’s really been getting me lately.  Five chapters for an exam in a week.  One novel for this class.  One book about psychology for another.  Statistics exams and psych presentations and art projects.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy them–I do, they’re interesting.  But it’s just a little much, and I’m really at that point in the semester where I just want to sleep for a week straight.

Friends: I got to see Laura and Katie D this weekend when they came into town for the Relient K and Jack’s Mannequin concert.  I’ve also been spending a lot of time with Katie, James, Ann, Jess, Abby, Jenn, Julia, et cetera.  Our house really does feel like a house and not like a bunch of rooms in a dorm.  I’m anticipating seeing some of my friends from back home for Thanksgiving, though.  It will be great to see all of your lovely faces soon!

Family: I’m doing okay with Teddy.  Really.  I mourned a lot for him over the summer when I knew that he was very sick and going to pass away soon, so I was very prepared for his death.  It just didn’t keep it from being completely painless, of course.  Meanwhile, though, my oldest sister is now engaged!  (And it is very exciting, as I approve very, very much.)  This means that both of my sisters are getting married some time in the not so distant future, like maybe both within the next year or something.  I’m looking forward to seeing them and our family!  My brother is currently in the process of moving out and into my dad’s in Florida because of continuous disagreements between Marshall and my mum.  It’s not the best of situations, but that’s another topic of conversation.

Relient K and Jack’s Mannequin concert: It was fun, and I enjoyed hanging out with lots of friends in line and at the show (even if the blistery cold outside did make some joints go out of socket).  Laura, Noah, and I watched most of Jack’s Mannequin perform from the very top of the seating and very far away, but they were excellent seats (much better than the floor) because you could really see everything.  They’re very energetic performers, and I enjoyed watching them, even if I really don’t know all of their music.

Last Friday: Between three hours of sleep, a week of studying and working, the stats exam at 7.30 am directly followed by the social pysch presentation that I had to run to get to in time, and then seeing a kid playing HvZ drop into a massive seizure after falling and hitting his head, I spent a good deal of it crying and then crying some more and then finally giving up and taking a nap.  I felt like a woman possessed.

Anyway, I’m now working on some projects and reading and chilling to a new Arcade Fire album, which is this post’s musical gift.  I hope that you enjoy.

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WOOHOO!

WE HAVE OFFICIALLY SIGNED THE LEASE!

And you know what else?

ANN, GINNY, AND JAMES GOT THE HOUSE NEXT TO US! With both houses right next to each other and the leases and deposits all turned in, we’re already musing over what next year is going to look like. One North is taking over Pierce Street, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on my Five Awesome Potters project with friends; lots of exams in child development, Brit Lit, social psych, and even in drawing (I know, right, why an exam in drawing?); and have been chilling outside as much as possible before the cold comes to play.  Next week, I’m going back home to Saint Charles for my fall break, and I’ll be spending the next two weeks reading hard-core for my social psych paper and exam.  It will be a relief to get everything over and done with!

Not much else going on, but I thought I’d tell you about the lease.  It’s so exciting, and we all feel like we’re taking giant steps in the direction of adulthood.  Slightly scary.  Slightly humbling.  Definitely awesome.

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