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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

In years past, I’ve made an effort to make one last post each December that recounts some of the achievements, discoveries, and challenges of the year before.  This usually comes out as a long post that is filled with bullets that I doubt anyone cares to read, so this year, I’ll be writing a shorter one that really gets to the point.

So, what happened in 2012?

  • I started RPing on tumblr in the Fullmetal Alchemist fandom, which meant that I made some absolutely amazing friends and improved my writing of fiction immensely.  I’ll admit that starting to RP seemed like a giant waste of time.  Sure, I was having fun, but I kept wondering what else I could be doing.  I grew worried that I had gotten into something unhealthy, but it ended up working out.  I took breaks when I needed them, went on hiatuses but kept up social contact with the friends that I had made.  I sent baked goods and Christmas cards to the friends that I had made, added them on Facebook, spent hours on Skype laughing and crying with them.  I can’t regret any moment of time, as it was never time wasted.
  • I had my first boy-friend, and I broke up with my first boy-friend.  It wasn’t working out.  We’re still friends.
  • I came out as being somewhere on the asexual spectrum.  There are days when I don’t know if it’s asexuality or greysexuality or demisexuality, when I look at something and just think it’s whatthefuckIdon’tevenknow-sexuality.  It’s strange, and even after a year of thinking about it, I don’t know exactly where I am.
  • Life moved on after Grandma’s death, as it does after any death.  We miss her, of course.  But I promised her that I’d keep living and thriving and loving.
  • I got really sick in March until June with mono.  The mono brought out full symptoms of POTS, which is a secondary illness branching off from having EDS.  I never fully recovered, and I don’t expect to.  Instead, I’ve been learning how to adapt to the life that I now lead.  This has led to many things: diet changes, decisions about delaying grad school for a year, taking life slower, working less over the summer, and knowing my limits so that I don’t push them.
  • I’ve been finishing off the last courses of my psychology major and printmaking minor.  I’m going to miss them terribly–especially art and all of the friends that I’ve made through the art department.
  • I got to see Chris Thile in concert with the Punch Brothers, and I gave him a hug after the concert.  This was a legitimate bullet point on my bucket list that I could cross off.  Do remember that I’ve been obsessed with this guy’s music since he was in Nickel Creek and I first heard their music TWELVE YEARS AGO.
  • I went to Florida over the summer and visited with my dad, brother, both sisters, and their families.  It was a pretty good time, and I wish that I could see them more often.
  • Last, and most importantly, I met Alexander this year.  Words cannot fully describe what this means, and I won’t try too terribly to explain them, either.  Just know that I’ve never loved someone so much in my life and that this is a seriously big deal.  I expect him to be in my life for a very long time, and I’m his as long as he’s mine.

So there you have it: a year in review.  This is about as short as I can make it, but I think that it covers some highlights.  Enjoy; though this list is really more for me than anyone else.  All of my writing is, really.

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As usual, a lot has happened since we last met.  More than a lot, actually.  Life changing things.  December in and of itself was one of the most life-changing months of my life on so many levels–extremely negative and extremely positive.  To start, I lost someone.  And as I lost her, I gained someone.  That’s the simple version.

It was Christmas morning, and my mum popped in to my bedroom far too early with eyes full of tears again.  She was going to the hospital to see her and asked if I’d like to come along.  Of course, yes.  I would never pass down the opportunity, especially when things had been so bad.  I showered quickly, gathered my laptop and a good book, and we left to go to downtown Saint Louis on that beautiful, blue day.

I navigate our way to the waiting room, walking quickly in my high heeled boots to see everyone gathered.  Katie has her roll of toilet paper instead of Kleenexes.  Tammy has brought along Grandma’s peanut butter and chocolate cookies that she had made a few days before.  Cathy is texting.  Larry and Gary are chatting.  Avis is to the side.  Grandpa is there, and I give him a hug.  We sit there, chatting because there’s nothing else to do.  I send a couple texts along as Merry Christmas.

I’m sorry, I’m shaking.

The doctor runs in.  He’s so young; it’s probably why he’s here on Christmas morning.  He asks for Grandpa to come now, and Cathy and my mum run to follow.  Avis runs out.  Katie and I and the men are left in the waiting room.  I can’t remember it.  I don’t know who came back.  But my feet are walking too slowly behind Katie.  I’m entering the room.  I can see her feet, but Tammy says we may not want to move forward.  I can’t.  I can’t move.  I can’t cry.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t move.  Katie is falling into me, sobbing.  I hold her as tightly as possible, wrapping my arms around her and holding on to her for dear life as my knees start to tremble.  She’s crying into my sweater.  And it takes me minutes before I’m crying too.  I hold on to her like a life-vessel; make me cry.  Please.  I can’t handle this all.  What do you do?  What do any of us do?

I don’t remember how I got back to the waiting room.  But I sat there in the corner chair completely still, staring straight forward, tears still pooling in my eyes but otherwise overly calm.  They’re all still in there.  I can’t be.  I just can’t.  I can’t.  I pull away to my bag to find my mobile.

“I’m sorry Marshall.  It’s over.  It’s all over.”

“I understand.”

“I’m so sorry.”

I pull out the book that I had brought along ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’, and I rip out the flyleaf containing my name and number should the book get lost.  With the school pencil still left in my bag, I start to write.  I write everything.  I tell her how it’s beautiful out.  That it’s her favourite day of the year.  I tell her that I can’t feel so I left them cry for me.  I stare out of that waiting room window and just write down everything that I possibly can and ignore all of the voices around me.

I try to ignore the doctor saying that she’s trying to breathe as a reflex even though she’s gone.  We say not to recessitate.  Her mind is gone, and she’s told us too many times not to let her be like that.  I’m suddenly pulling all of these neurological facts out of my silly stupid brain because I’m such a cognitive psych nerd.  We tell them to give up.

And she finally does at noon.

We leave.  We go back home, and I tell my mum that I’m driving and don’t give her any other option.

We leave without her.  How do we do that?  How can we just leave with one person missing?

Christmas is at our house.  All of the family is there, and we spend a good deal of time just telling stories about her.  Remembering.  Crying over the presents that she got us and wrapped two days before when Katie, Shelly, and I were over to help her.  We laugh, too.  Everything.

And finally, I’m in the corner of the living room, eating that cookie that she made for me and had wrapped along with a fifty dollar bill and Christmas orange, and I’m crying and smiling up at the ceiling because I have so much hope that things can be okay.

I lost one of the most meaningful people in my life that day.

I’m sorry.  I’m shaking too much.

This will be continued at another point.  I’ll tell you how I gained someone at the same time.

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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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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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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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Coffee’s pouring out my ears
it’s the only thing they have in here
and my heart stops beating…

And, so, I’m back home, sitting in bed and internetting, reading Harry Potter, and making extravagant trips around town–mostly to buy a pair of leather boots and get some sushi.  The norm for being back home.  I haven’t gotten to see any of my friends yet, and I can feel the tug of only having been by my family for three days straight; the lethargy and stress is setting in, and I should probably get out.  Which I will.  Don’t worry.  I’m seeing Harry Potter with friends this afternoon, and it should be wonderful.

I just want some rain and to be able to escape the house and to go frolic around on Main Street.  I also want to complete the two skirts I want to sew up over this break.  Two ankle-length full skirts that I can both wear during the winter and also for my job at the First State Capitol.  Come winter holidays, I’ll go back to work where I’ll be dressed up nearly every day.  I’ve realised over these past three months at school how much I’ve missed working there.  It was relaxing and yet always changing and interesting and educational and hilarious.  The people I was around are… great.  Funny.  And I find myself missing them.

It’s been getting cold lately (aside from today in Saint Charles where it’s already reached 23 degrees; sorry, that’s 74).  Kirksville cold is full of dry wind and pretty soon will also be full of ice and snow, but I’m looking forward to it.  I’m looking forward to when there are lights in the trees near the eternal flame (which, ironic to it’s name, is never lit) and that they can be so beautiful when they light up the night.  I’m looking forward to First Snow, a Missouri Hall tradition of celebrating the first real snow with hot chocolate and tea in the main lounge with all kinds of people.  It’s such a wonderful way to meet new people who have been around you all year without you ever knowing it.  Last year’s was wonderful; I just sat and drank up some tea for an hour in front of the two story windows, watching the snow come down, chatting with a group of people.  It’s kind of like the coffee-house/bar fiancé I’ve talked about before.

Though I haven’t mentioned it on here, have I?

The coffee-house/bar fiancé is the story of how I’m going to meet my future husband:  I’ve been dragged to a bar with my friends, and being the type who’s not into drinking and has become the designated driver, I’m mostly just sitting in the corner with a cup of tea, waiting for my friends to get sufficiently drunk before we head to the next bar.  And then, as I’m people watching, I notice a man across the room, in another corner, sipping at some coffee.  He’s dressed nicely, probably in his mid to late twenties, and looks like he might just be finishing up his master’s or doctoral degree is who knows what, and we lock eyes from across the room.  I go to sit down at his table and we start to chat, as he’s also been dragged to the bar by his friends.  Seven months later, we’re engaged.

By no means is this serious.  Please know that I am not desperately searching for this situation; though it is the humorous way that I tell people I want to meet someone.  And it’s mostly just the “we lock eyes from across the room” that makes me giggle every time.

I can’t take my life, or fake-future life, seriously at all.  There are always too many things to laugh about.

Another coffee it’s on the house
The poor-girl look is on the owner’s spouse
And my heart stopped beating.

Heartstopper, Emiliana Torrini

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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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