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Posts Tagged ‘Musical Gift’

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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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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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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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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