Monday, December 31, 2012

twelve things in twenty-twelve

It's hard to sum up a whole year in a post. How do you decide, out of everything that happened in a year, what is important enough to mention? Certain things can be measured, or at least kept track of in some way (concerts gone to, planes taken, notebooks filled), while others cannot. Who's to say how much I laughed this year, or cried? Who's to say what, out of all that, really matters? 

Looking back on this year, it is a mosaic of ordinary moments that stands out. All the texts sent, football games attended, miles run, new friends met, volunteer hours racked up, hours spent babysitting, hours spent studying, books read, movies watched, musicals and plays attended, car rides, bus rides, plane rides, etc. etc. etc. Everything that happened, 525,600 minutes. Plus a little extra. 

It was a good year. I lost some things, sure, but I've gained a lot of good experiences and I think I've learned a lot as a result.  

And I suppose if I had to narrow it down, here are 12 things that stand out about 2012:
  1. I took part in launching Fernweh, along with some good friends. 
  2. I started watching TV again and managed to get into Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Office, Parks and Rec, and Merlin...yes, it was a very productive year thank you very much.
  3. I went to L.A. for the first time during spring break...decided it was a little too big for me but still enjoyed people-watching at the Getty and reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the hotel room.
  4. I gave film photography a try and took a lot of pictures.
  5. I became a vegetarian (for the most part).
  6. I went to Spain, my first time in Europe since I was four, so basically in my memory. 
  7. I went ziplining, a terrifying and exhilarating experience. Also, I went camping again which I hadn't done in a while.
  8. I went to camp in Florida and on the same trip, went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and rode a real roller coaster for the first time.
  9. I got my cartilage pierced rather spontaneously, just because.
  10. I joined cross country, which is not a thing I would have envisioned for myself a year ago at all, but I started running regularly, made new friends, and overall decided it was an A+ decision.
  11. I went to ACL, which was amazing.
  12. I got my driver's permit finally, and drove on streets for the first time.
And lastly...I made a playlist. It's songs that defined my 2012, with no exceptions. So, uh, it has The Smiths...and Justin Bieber, The Lumineers...and Billie Holiday. It's songs I jammed out to at concerts immediately followed by ones I sobbed to on my carpet. It doesn't always flow well, but hey, that's life; that's my year. A lot of the songs have specific moments attached (remember when the band played Sweet Caroline and we all sang along and swayed together and it felt like belonging; remember listening to Asleep every night before I fell asleep, for a few weeks at least; remember when All My Friends came on during Painting and then I went home and found it in my iTunes library). A lot of them just remind me of certain feelings, like pure happiness, or pure...unhappiness. Of wanting to go, and being happy to stay. Some of the songs I just like.

Enjoy. Oh, and just so you're aware: it's 5 hours long. No regrets.


Goodbye, 2012. You were swell.

Here's to 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

christmas in k.c.

I got back from Kansas City last night. It didn't feel like I took a lot of pictures, but when you add them all in a blog post it always feels like more. Anyway. 

We made cookies. Well, they did. I took pictures and ate too much of the batter.

Oh, Christmas tree. You shine so gloriously, even when you only have three ornaments clumped together on the front because you were decorated by the boys.

Union Station, once the second largest train station in the country, all decorated for Christmas.

 Lights lights lights.

 We had a fancy dinner the last night. The multiple forks kind that induce those moments of panic -- "hey, guys, do you start from the inside or the outside, again?"

It snowed!

Not pictured here: the biennial family Christmas party of the 'napkin on fire' fame which this year consisted not of pyrotechnics but of lots of delicious macaroni and cheese and copious selfies; seeing Les Mis (aahhhh!); the return of the 12 hour car ride there and back (that need not ever be a preserved memory).

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I still have to write about this year so I'll be back soon. Ciao.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

in which the world does not end but I almost die of frostbite anyway

Yesterday in celebration of Mayrose's birthday my friends & I got pizza and cupcakes and then went to the Trail of Lights, which is what it sounds like. Suffice it to say it was colder than I thought it was going to be, and by the end of the night my hands were a very unhealthy shade of red. I think I got that low tolerance of cold thing from my mom. Right now my hands are cold even though it's 64 degrees outside. Ugh.

Also, at the time I thought my 50mm lens was broken so I had to use my kit one which is not as good with low light situations so that kind of explains the pictures. However, I managed to fix it this morning so that's good news!

Ah, SoCo! ♥ So many memories...

photo of me by Elizabeth
I ran the Trail of Lights 5K last weekend, but I was too busy, you know, running to really get a good look. This time I was able to appreciate it a little more (to an extent). Anyway, it was lots of fun even if it was freezing, and I'm very glad the world didn't end even though I almost died of frostbite and also of a car accident; no, just kidding, Madisen is a very good driver.

Tomorrow we're driving up to Kansas City so I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Eat lots of cookies, listen to lots of Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs, and be merry. See ya!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

a love letter to the world

The world's supposed to end tomorrow, and although I don't believe it will, I can't deny there's something poetic about it, something sort of beautiful about imagining everything going to pieces around us while we flail and cling to our vastly insufficient mortality. It's a morbid kind of beautiful, but it's there nonetheless.

No, I don't suppose it's Armageddon just yet, but it doesn't hurt to have one more excuse to say "I love you" -- or one more excuse to feel guilty about being too shy to say "I love you," maybe. Well, world, I love you, always have, always will, and even if you implode tomorrow and kill all 7 billion human inhabitants and billions more non-human inhabitants in a destructive fit of rage, I'll still love you. You gave me everything in this life I love, and I suppose I'll never be able to say I'm grateful enough. I'll love you forever in all the capacity that my mortal heart can carry, long after it is buried under piles of ashes or soot or whatever it is that's supposed to happen tomorrow. I'll love you forever, past forever, for there must be something longer than that, and I'll miss you even more. You were quite literally my everything. Maybe I'll scream, "How dare you?!" and smash a few dishes if you decide to leave me, or maybe I won't, because I'll be dead, but either way, dear world, still I will love you. I will love all your mountains and oceans, forests and rivers, prairies and dried-up creek beds. I will love all the man-made features you scoffed at but secretly enjoyed -- all your dams and highways and buildings, schools and restaurants and homes. I will love them not for the ugly emptiness of the concrete but for all the stories they have seen. And I will love you, most of all, world, for all the people you gave shelter to and raised as your own.

I don't plan on dying tomorrow. Please know I will be very cross if I do -- there's still so much ahead, you see -- but at the same time, I think you should know that no matter what, I love you. I love you for all the bruises caused by your dumb force of gravity, for all the times I cried and you turned your head away, for all the terrible things you let happen under your watch that make people question the existence of benevolence. Despite all that, I love you. I love this planet and I love this life and I am so very happy I got to share it with you -- for whatever amount of time we have. I don't care.

If all the bridges break and if great floods consume New York City until the Statue of Liberty is merely an arm and a torch, if the power goes out from Tokyo to London coating the earth in an inextinguishable darkness, if zombies rise from their non-existence to conquer the planet, none of which I believe in, well, I'm still very glad for the time I had.

love, me.

P.S. I suppose this is partly inspired by this passage of Lemony Snicket's which is my favorite ever and which makes me cry and which is one of those things that sometimes floats up in your mind randomly because it has lodged itself there so firmly because it is so perfect.

Friday, December 14, 2012

sunday at the park

Just some pictures from my friend's birthday party on Sunday.
(The winter sunsets are back.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

one more week

Today in Spanish class we were supposed to be working on a review but Caitlin and I were really just listening to Ke$ha and Lady Gaga and I was literally almost crying listening to "The Edge of Glory" and I don't even really know why except that the end of the semester hath stolen my sanity and also it just gives me a lot of emotions...

Yesterday was 12/12/12 and in Stats my teacher asked us if we'd done anything interesting at 12:12 on 12/12/12 and no one really had except someone said at 12:12 AM they'd been working on their English paper and I was like oh! me too! (#lasaprobs?)

I haven't gotten much sleep lately and I'm probably sick and pretty much every song I listen to makes me want to cry because nostalgia. I have a bunch of stuff to do like an art paper to write (hahahaha) and a bajillion finals to study for that I'm going fail anyway and ahhhh I am still expected to act like a normal human being like no sorry I can't function as a normal human being right now. I can't do this punctuation thing either right now and it takes all my effort not to just use abbreviations in place of words.

Ugh. I ain't about that end of the semester life.

I don't want to just complain, though. Yeah, I'm pretty stressed and would rather lie in bed watching movies for 14 billion hours but I'm okay here. There are things keeping me tethered to reality, at least, you know, as much as possible. Things like going running, and listening to Christmas music, and finding the rest of a package of Skittles in your coat pocket (only a day old, don't worry). Things like building brains out of Playdoh in Psychology and pretty much completely failing (I told my friend what we did later: "Was yours a good model?" "No...our teacher told us it looked like a brain after drugs..."). Things like, yesterday in English we had a 1920s party inspired by the ones in "The Great Gatsby". We all had characters from that era or from the book to dress up as and I was Amelia Earhart. I think the best part was hearing Jordan Baker say to Zelda Fitzgerald, "Have you seen your raging drunkard of a husband?" and then turning to see F. Scott completely passed out in the corner clutching an empty bottle of wine. I know that feel, bro. No, not really, but I wish I could've taken a nap. He looked so peaceful.

And the end is in sight. One week from today, I'll be done with school. I'm going to celebrate my friend's birthday, and the end of the world, and I am going to relax and watch lots of movies I've been meaning to. I am going to go to Kansas City and see my cousins and celebrate Christmas the way it ought to be celebrated. And then I'm going to come home and it will be a new year and it will be good.

This is a dumb post but I wanted to procrastinate on my homework because lol that's how you create stressful situations, right?

Friday, December 07, 2012

various degrees of narcissism or, "photobooth"

So, I was looking through photos on my mom's computer tonight (Friday nights are fun, no kidding) and I may have accidentally found all of these from the past year or so and I may have accidentally posted them all on here because I am an obnoxious teenager with an inflated ego (I really don't know why it's such a big deal, though). No, but really, looking through old photos makes me quite introspective and stuff so of course I'm not going to post all these without writing some essay reflecting on the visible changes that such forms of documentation make so accessible, or something along those lines...I mean, c'mon, you know me. Actually, I'm not really in the mood for an essay right now but I'm still going to write something. Duh.






Tonight (12-07-12)

Looking at these made me realize a few things, such as: I haven't had tea in a long time. Or worn tank tops. But those are both season things, not really indicative of me. There are others, too: I like having long hair. I mean, I like my hair right now but the layers are annoying. At least I know what I want now.

Objectively, the first picture is my favorite, but I think I like the person in the last one better. I think I do. This year has been good for me and I'll probably write a longer post on New Year's Eve talking about everything I did this year and stuff, as is customary, but right here I'll just say this. Change is good. Growth is good. New experiences are good. A lot can happen in a year. I look at the first picture and I look happy. Maybe I was. I know I wasn't depressed or anything, but sometimes it takes finding something better to realize what you were missing out on before. You know? I think that may be the case here. A lot of times I still feel like that girl, and that's okay. Just because you get stuck sometimes doesn't mean you're not ultimately moving forward.

P.S. Does anyone else find it really weird to like, see themselves? Sometimes when I look into a mirror I see my reflection and it's just so weird, because most of the time I just feel like my mind and thoughts and words but when I look into a mirror I realize that I am a body too and it's just so strange. I don't know. That probably doesn't make much sense. It just struck me as odd to be staring at a picture of myself wearing the same clothes that I'm wearing right now and to remember that that is the same person. Me. Weird.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

it's december again? what? wait, seriously?

december collage (lately)
I don't know what I'm going to do without my Delta (study hall) period next semester. I'm in here and I should be doing my Statistics homework or my Physics review or my English homework or my APUSH terms list (oh, the end of the semester!) but instead I'm trying to write a blog post. I say trying because I have no idea where this is going to end up. I wish I had some sort of clue about where I'm going but I don't. It's kind of like my life, ahahaha cute.

I had a good weekend. Saturday was quite productive in that I got up at 7:30 to go running, volunteered at my elementary school for an hour, did homework and drivers ed, went shopping and finally bought some more pants, and still had time in the evening for social endeavors. I went down to the Christmas tree lighting downtown with my family and some friends where we sang Christmas carols and strolled down Congress looking at the lights. Afterwards my friends and I went to a Christmas party which was interesting enough. I mean, I mostly just stood around the fire pit even though it was like 80 degrees and started watching "Love Actually" but only really got far enough to realize why it was rated R. Oh, and I ate some of those delicious sugar cookies that they have for every holiday and that are my favorite ever. That was good times. Sunday was more of a chill day but at youth group I ate an entire 2.5 serving box of holiday themed Junior Mints, so that was fun.

Now it's Tuesday and I'm at school supposed to be doing school-related things. Bleh. School is hard. We have 8 more days of school until finals week so now teachers are beginning to pile on assignments. It's almost that time of year when half the populace shows up in sweatpants and/or pajamas. I haven't succumbed to this yet but don't think I'm above it.

Hmm...I kind of want to go to track practice but I don't want to go alone because I'm dumb about things like this and the only person who I could count on has something pretty much every day after school. I'm always hesitant to start things though I slip into them easily enough and it doesn't take me long to get attached. It's just easier to do something when you have someone else with you, right? A part of me thinks I should just suck it up because there will always be things I have to do by myself, but the other more primal part is just

Okay, I'm looking at my Stats homework and does anybody want to help me? Losers, someone help me. I forgot everything we learned last class period because um it's Stats.

I'm going to go now. I'll hopefully try and post more this month but you know how that goes.