In like a lion, out like a freaking T-rex.

I might not complain - well, no, I would still complain, but maybe less - if it weren't so durn cold out there. I wanna walk around in jeans and a t-shirt. I wanna wear pretty dresses with sandals. I've got this picture in my head - I don't know if I saw it somewhere or if I invented it - of a vintage-style dress in sort of a rosy/pale salmon color with a v-neck and maybe a couple little frilly things. So out of character for me, I know. But I want it.

Okay, okay, I'll stop dreaming about dresses and go study astronomy like a good girl. -_-

Trippin' the life fantastic

Wowowowowowowow. Seriously weird dreams all night long last night. I only remember two full ones and a lot of random little snippets. One was, I was at Disney and for some reason they were selling these bands that go on your tooth, like when you have braces and your back molars have those big ugly metal bands wrapped around them. I don't know why they had these. Maybe they were Disney themed or something. At any rate, I tried one on (gross!) and couldn't get it off. Then my tooth started rotting underneath it and they wanted to pull it out (the whole tooth, not just the band). I demanded they put me under first. But of course, anesthesia requires an injection. So this lovely dream about childhood's magical playland quickly turned into a nightmare about teeth and needles.

The second one I remember happened at school. I was walking back to Ferrin, where I live, when I noticed that the cloudy sky had cleared and I could see the stars. In real life, I've been studying my star chart in preparation for a constellation field test since it's been too rainy to actually go see the constellations, and I was looking over it right before bed. In the dream, I was excited that I could actually see the real stars and hurried over to Ferrin field, where some kids were playing soccer, to see if I could find the Pleiades and Gemini. There was this random guy there who kept trying to talk to me so I finally just left to go to bed. Imagine my surprise when I awoke the next morning and the random dude from the field was in my room, at eight in the morning, when there are never, ever any visitation hours no matter what day of the week it is. For the record, it was not Angry Frodo... thank goodness, or this dream would've turned into Amandasaurus Pulls A Battle Axe Out Of Midair And Starts Hacking At People.

Naturally I freaked out. Apparently he'd been there all night, but I guess after the last traces of light left the sky he turned invisible or something, so I never noticed him there. My roommate and I knew we had to get him outside before anyone could notice and punish us for something we didn't even know we did, but someone caught us and it was this huge scandal. Nobody would listen to us when we tried to defend ourselves. I don't know if I got kicked out or just so fed up that I decided to move home, but I was planning on leaving school. I had grand schemes for a final prank that involved swearwords written with condiments on the sidewalk outside of Lane.

Then the dream sort of rewound itself, which I guess was my chance to prevent the whole thing from happening/prove to the administration that I had not, in fact, done anything wrong. Roomie and I were on our guard, as we expected him this time. Then we realized he was already there, sleeping in a heap of blankets on the floor that, in the dream, was actually my bed. We knew it because there was a random empty space about the shape and size of a body under the blanket. So the blankets were just sort of floating there. Except then she could see him, and I still couldn't. I put my hand right through the empty space and she was amazed. I guess our idea of a solution was for me to sleep with Katie in her bed instead of in mine.

There was also something about sushi in Gillies, but not like they ordinarily have it in those little boxes - the whole place was all decked out to look like Asia and there were so many different food options I didn't know what to do.

And there was another part where apparently I got badly hurt and had to stay at a hospital, and my mother was so worried she couldn't sleep so we talked on the phone a lot. She said something about having scars from the ice. I guess there was some sort of violent accident...? I don't even know, but somehow I feel like the injury and the sushi were tied into the creepy invisaboy dream.

Then there was something about my sister and the guy she likes playing video games together.

The last thing I remember is going to an interview for Campus Events Council, which is something else that has been on my mind. I applied for the position of concert coordinator again this year, hoping that by planning ahead a little more and getting really good references, I would get the position this time. But I didn't receive an interview, which I would interpret as meaning they don't want me. Either that or my application was SO AWESOME they didn't even NEED to interview me... but that seems highly unlikely. T_T Well, the interview in the dream went a lot better than the one I actually had last year, which I stammered and stumbled and BSed my way through. I think I might've gotten the job in the dream. If only that one would come true, eh?

So needless to say, I didn't feel particularly rested when the alarm went off at 8 this morning.

But on the bright side, my roommate and I were the only ones in the room.

True story.


Two things you told me,
that you are strong
and you love me.
God knows what I need.

My soul clings to you. My lips sing for you.
Strengthen me, that I may not cause harm.

Baptize my mind.
Let your kingdom come in my world and in my life.

Lead me not into temptation,
but deliver me from evil,
for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

Rock on (or rather... don't)

Dubs tee eff. >=(
Well, I was right.
That's all I have to say about that.

Want to hear about my terrifying LSD-trip dream? Oh come on, you know you do.

Okay so. The rocks wanted to kill me. I have no idea why, but everywhere I went, they started coming to life and coming after me. Big ones, little ones. Avalanches happened. Pebbles rolled along behind me, waiting to attack. I couldn't ever stop moving or they'd kill me, and after a couple of days, perpetual motion gets really exhausting. My mom had a three story safe house built for me so I could get some sleep and live in peace. The way it was structured was narrow and winding - you had to go in a circle all around the first floor before you reached the stairs to the next floor, and the staircase was spiral. All of this was extra precaution taken to slow down any rocks that breached the front door. There were lots of doors throughout the house - between rooms, at the tops of staircases, everywhere - all fitted tightly to their frames so there would be no cracks for the rocks to come through and all with carpets on them to dull the sound of pebbles clamoring to get in and to block up any minute cracks that might be left under the doors. I lived all the way upstairs in a wide open, sunny room (the rest of the house was pretty dark, but I wasn't supposed to leave the top story anyway so that wasn't important). And it was all right at first; I managed to rest on the bed for a little bit. But then the rocks started getting in. I don't know how they did it. There were no openings anywhere in the house, but they got in, found their way to the stairs, somehow got up the stairs, and were fast making their way toward my haven. Thankfully, I woke up right when they snuck underneath the last door and beset me.

Again I say: dubs tee eff? Boyfriend, you should probably make this into a music video somehow. And the rocks could all be stop motion. The whole thing sort of felt like I was in a stop motion video, the way they moved....

Ugh, moving on.

First Kettle Society meeting tonight. I read my prologue to Roomie yesterday and she was intrigued. Good, that's the idea of a prologue. ^_^ I've got to fix a couple things before Evan sees it, but it shouldn't take too long. Also, I saw the Bathrobe Guy at Lane this morning and we made plans to go spooning in the near future. This weekend it'll just be something little - plastic spoons over the doors again, we think. We're so dragging Boyfriend along on our epic/retarded adventure.

We've also got some bigger plans involving the chapel steps, parachute army men, the crocus cross out by the chapel, and shoes - not necessarily in that order. Stay tuned. We'd like to get video footage if possible, but since the whole thing is supposed to be a big secret, that may not happen. You'll just have to use your imagination. Bathrobe Guy also brought up the ultimate frisbee league, and I'm bummed because the games will be in the afternoons and I don't have any free. Ultimate frisbee is... the ultimate. Sniff.

While I'm griping.... I realized that producing one print every day for the rest of the semester probably won't be enough for me to complete my photography portfolio. I'll have to work faster. Dag.

Well, I was going to write for a couple of hours this morning, but now I've only got half an hour before the rest of my team shows up to capture stuff to the hard drive and maybe start editing that foul and noisome PSA project. Zut alors.

I like how the day sounds

It's been a long haul since my last post. On Wednesday, my mom had to drive up here and talk me out of quitting school entirely. Remember how I lost two classes when the quad changed? Yeah, didn't make a bit of difference for my stress levels, reason being that I put all the semester classes on the back burner to finish the work for the quad classes, and now I'm playing hardcore catchup. Things that shouldn't have been stressful, like taking photos, were. I was overwhelmed and shutting down. Didn't want to make videos. Didn't want to make prints. Didn't want to read. Didn't want God. Didn't want to get up in the morning because I knew everything was going to suck. Eating made me feel better and so I put on weight. Sleeping made me feel best because everything went away when I was unconscious. I couldn't help thinking, if good, beautiful things like photographs and God are twisted this way out in the real world, then I'm never going to make it... and there's really no point in trying. I'd rather give it up while it's still my choice. So I wanted to leave school.

Long story short, I talked to my mom and she got me to develop the six rolls of film I was putting off and took me out for food and tried to convince me not to hold myself to such high standards, which is what she always does when I get like this (but it's never been this bad before). The thing about me is, I want to do my best at everything I try, and that stresses me out but I can't help it. Anything less would be a failure. I do not settle. I don't know how. But just being with her made me feel better. She said if it's going to do this to me then I'm not allowed to go to school next year, but in the meantime we formulated a vague game plan to make it through this year and prepare for next as if it was going to happen, just in case I stayed.

Then on Friday, I went to talk to Brian Glenney about it all. It's funny that I'd rather talk to him than my own advisor. I think we're kindred spirits in a way, and I was really encouraged by our conversation. He started by telling me he wouldn't try and convince me to stay and that he didn't want to give me a parent's response, since naturally I'd already heard that. What he said was that I need to take time for writing every day. Doing that will renew me and give me the energy and creativity to handle the crap I have to deal with in classes, and it was clear to him that not doing it was the reason I fell into despair. He said not to write for the professor but for publication, for a bigger audience, because that's the level I'm at. We talked about the rest of my college career, and he said that I'm a good enough student not to need school, but I'm a good enough student that I should be in school. Finishing my degree will get me from here to the next place faster, and sticking it out will prepare me to face the inevitable challenges I'll face after school, even if the process is merely jumping through hoops (as he put it). So the plan is that I'll take 12-14 credits a semester instead of the traditional 16, leaving me time and energy to write Before the Empty Moon (which he liked the sound of =D).

Over the weekend, I worked out my schedule with my mom and it looks like I will have no problem completing core requirements and requirements for the comm arts major in time to graduate in spring 2011 like I'm supposed to, even at 12 credits a semester. I decided that I would not take on the media track in addition to the writing track. It's only three more classes.... but it's three more classes. You know? I just need to get done and get out. Like Brian and I talked about, what I need out of college as a writer is the college experience, and with the way I've been this semester, I'm not getting it.

So needless to say, things were looking brighter. It certainly helped that I didn't have ANY assignments hanging over my head this weekend (I mean, I had some catch-up reading and 2 rolls of film to shoot, but that could wait.) I worked on Before the Empty Moon a lot this weekend and finished reading a book I borrowed from my professor in 2008 (The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes; I highly recommend it if you're a writer). And today, I've got more energy and hope than I can remember having in a long time. You know what? Ima start that writers society. I saw Evan at Lane this morning and we're going to have our first meeting sometime on Wednesday. I want to call it The Kettle Society because of something I read in that book I just finished. Keyes was talking about writers who aren't productive unless they have deadlines, and when Evan and I first started talking about the society, we mostly wanted to start it for the accountability: so that we would have a reason to make writing a priority. No one wants to show up at a writers group without any writing to share. Keyes said that Gail Godwin would put the tea on and use the kettle's whistle as a deadline. Similar to the kettle's whistle, the Kettle Society would create a sort of deadline that would force us to make progress.

Well, I'll be late for chapel if I don't get out of here, and we don't want that, since Roomie is gracing us with her lovely voice this morning. Over and out.

Explosion 3: Light in the dark as I search for the resolution.

Good grief, it is nearly impossible to find TX400 film anymore. I went to THREE Ritz Cameras and NONE of them had any. I understand that Ritz filed chapter 11, but that does not seem like a legitimate excuse for a CAMERA store to stop stocking FILM. Well I finally found a place that had the right speed and the right number of exposures and bought them out. Unfortunately that means I've only got enough rolls to last me another week, or two if I stretch it, and it cost me $3 more a roll than I used to pay for the same stuff at Ritz. Grr.

I'm back at school and not hating it quite yet. I've got three classes now (not counting PE). This doesn't mean I will have zero stress this quad, but it DOES mean I won't have to write any more papers this year! Woo! I've decided not to read any more of the astronomy text. It's a waste of time as he says the exact same thing in class. So really, it's down to my photography and production projects... and the disgusting amount of production reading I neglected to finish last quad and over break. But things are better, and I'm sure not complaining. Plus, Global Ed is giving me back my $30 from the Italy seminar I applied for since the trip isn't happening. Not enough applicants. Tragic, eh? But now I have $30!! Time to go blow it on a concert.... XD

So I just found this post I started a while back and figured I ought to finish it. That's right, more of my life story. Hooray!...? It's gonna be long. I really want to suck the marrow out of some of the best and worst moments of 2008.

I am not comfortable with the recent development of a "hottie potty" in our communal bathroom. I understand that decorating the bathroom is fun and makes dorm life a more personal and memorable experience; that is not my objection. However I can no longer use the middle stall due to the pictures of men sticky tacked to the stall door and walls. I feel particularly uncomfortable with a Nikon ad featuring Ashton Kutcher pointing a D60 DIRECTLY AT ME WHILE I PEE.

Last time on The Life of Mandii Explodes All Over The Internet, we had arrived at November, which was a stressful month for our heroine....

I was angsty about the Spontaneous Concert Enthusiast scandal and trying to create space between us without coming out and saying anything, because that's just how girls play the game of life. Silly, I know. I don't know why we do it. Meanwhile, I got to know this other friend of the male persuasion and was sort of hoping our friendship would give me the leverage I craved. Isn't that a rotten thing to hope for? Well, now I've made it sound like I was using him, but I wasn't. I don't think I would know how to use someone even if I wanted to; and if I did, surely the guilt would kill me before I could actually cause any damage. So me and this friend got along pretty well; we had some common interests and mutual friends and shared some good laughs over things like metal and Miyazaki films and skanking. We'll call him Angry Frodo because it takes a lot less time to type than something like "Spontaneous Concert Enthusiast."

I don't handle drama well since I don't usually have a whole lot of it in my life, and really, like I said, the only way I know how to handle it is to avoid it. So I ran away a whole lot that month. I visited Wanda at Northeastern a couple of times (randomly going into Boston is not a financially sustainable option for a college student. Take note). Especially when I started feeling cramped by Angry Frodo, all I wanted to do was be somewhere, anywhere, else. I remember working out until I couldn't move one night, and going to TAI... stoked to shove people around because I was so damn PISSED. He wasn't being a jerk or anything. He just seemed to be demanding an inordinate amount of my time and attention - again, more than appropriate for mere friends - and I couldn't seem to distance myself in the ordinary ways, so I pulled my usual disappearing act, coward that I am, and hoped the problem would go away by itself. Generally when you don't pay attention to someone, that communicates that you're not interested in them, romantically or otherwise. Am I wrong about this? Sounds like common sense, right? Because sadly, it got to the point where I really DIDN'T want anything to do with him, period.

Sorry, no dice. Because hey, this is my life we're talking about; nothing could ever go down the NORMAL way. So in the end, Angry Frodo wasn't a source of resolution between me and SCE, but rather developed into a problem of his own. As far as SCE goes, straight-up honesty took the prize. He had the courage I didn't and asked if there was any chance of us getting together, and I had to tell him there really wasn't. I said we can never know what the future holds, but for the time being I couldn't see it, and he shouldn't pass up other opportunities waiting for me. I hated saying it. I worried we wouldn't be able to stay friends. But I couldn't lie to him, and it sure lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders.

Still, Thanksgiving couldn't come fast enough for my liking. I needed respite from the drama. I needed respite from Angry Frodo constantly asking me where I was and what I was doing and why I wasn't answering his text messages. Really, I just needed respite from men in general.

Isn't it funny the way we give up on things, only to have life drop something perfect right into our lap? You see, that weekend was the weekend I met Boyfriend. Technically I'd met him before, but only for a few short hours at one of Ravin's pool parties over a year ago and for about two seconds at Blockbuster even before that. Oh, and that one time I was with Ravin and Shark and we went to see him at his mom's place and he was working on a music video in his boxers, and I was like AAHHH THE HORROR!!! So yeah, if you'd come up to me after any one of those encounters and been like, "So guess what. That guy there with the long hair, yeah, he's gonna be the best thing that ever happens to you," I would've said you were on crack. Likewise, Boyfriend thought I was this crazy prudey girl based on the time at Ravin's when we all walked to the beach and everybody else wanted to go skinny dipping and I was HORRIFIED.

Needless to say, I'm not exactly sure how things fell into place. All I know is, it was Saturday night. Ravin, The Pantsless One and I were making the rounds, trying to see everyone we needed to see. For some reason, I was very insistent that Ravin give not-yet-Boyfriend a call, and when he'd agreed to let us kidnap him, I drove us to his mom's place. He thought we were going to make him drive and mocked us for being the worst kidnappers ever.

We all got back to my house and I was like, "Oh yeah, by the way, you're stuck here because I'm not allowed out after 12:30" (this was back when my curfew was still in effect). I don't really remember what we did all night. Took dumb pictures, maybe played some video games, watched a sucky movie on my laptop during which we ALL tried to fit on the pull-out bed in the family room and just ended up spooning. You'd think I would've been wary after the SCE scandal. Yet even as the wee hours of the morning wore on and I started to notice this unprecedented, inexplicable chemistry going on between me and still-not-yet-Boyfriend, I wasn't bothered. In fact, I was downright happy about it.

It was getting late (read: early... say about 3 or 4), and not-yet-Boyfriend and I were both dozing off. Ravin and TPO have more practice pulling all-nighters and weren't tired, so they went downstairs to let us sleep; but of course, there was no chance of me actually falling asleep because not-yet-Boyfriend and I were snuggling, and by then I had this feeling that something really good was happening and I didn't want to miss a second of it. My head was on his chest and I remember listening to his heartbeat, trying to tell if he felt it, too.

I turned my face just enough to see whether his eyes were open or if he was asleep, and suddenly we were kissing. I was and wasn't surprised when it happened. I have to say there wasn't a whole lot going through my head, at least nothing particularly coherent, except that, unlike the mess with SCE, this actually felt right. That, unabashedly, I'd never had a kiss as good as that. That if I could have stopped the sun from rising and kept us in that moment for the rest of my life, I would've been the happiest person alive.

I think that's a good note to end on. Tune in next time to find out.... Will Amandasaurus and not-Boyfriend get together? (All right, we all know that one's a moot point... three months and counting! ^_^) Will our heroine and the SCE get along? Will Angry Frodo get a clue? Find out next time on The Life of Mandii Explodes All Over the Internet!!!

P.S. I am still accepting bribes for the not-so-anxiously-awaited excerpt..... If anybody actually cares. Sorry, no double-bribes. Schneckleface and Jenniferin, you're out on this one. But thanks for the love.

P.P.S. The Dead Poets Society is a FANTASTIC movie! Everyone should see it! It's basically about these boys at a boarding school, which is really academically rigid and discourages free thinking even more than the average educational institution, who get a new English teacher named John Keating. Mr. Keating (or "Captain, my Captain" as the students call him) is most definitely a free thinker and an unconventional teacher with a passion for poetry. The students find out that when he was a student at their school, he founded the Dead Poets Society, a group of boys that wanted to "suck the marrow out of life" and whose motto was my favorite adage, "Carpe Diem!" So the boys decide to resurrect the society (heh... resurrect the dead poets society... =3.) It was a very inspiring movie with really beautiful cinematography. And no, Boyfriend, it wasn't gay.

Fields of Despair

It's been a good break so far. These weekend was positively beautiful! I wore a t-shirt all day Saturday. I took a bike ride, then I walked the dog, then my mom and I went to see my Grandpa, who has alzheimer's, and went out walking with him. It was kind of sad because he didn't seem to remember that we'd been in the woods before and was giving us a tour, but I won't complain since he seemed to know who I was. Then he took us to see some horses down a road near his house and I took pictures of them and let them kiss my hand. I miss horseback riding so much. I think I'll try and get a job at a farm next fall so I can learn to take care of the animals and gardens. This will accomplish two goals. One, me wanting to live on a farm someday so I can live sustainably and have milk and eggs from kindly-treated animals, and two, wanting to ride horses! Because you can't leave them sitting in the paddock all day. They need to run to be healthy. I might not be too good at raising vegetables, but I can ride a horse. =)

Boyfriend and I have done a lot of exploring. For instance, we walked halfway around the Reservoir on Sunday. Granted, most of the trails were transformed into babbling brooks by all the melting snow, but I'll sacrifice dry feet for an adventure any day. We even traversed the canyon when the water was running through and climbed up the opposite cliff face. It was EPIC. We were going to go back to Mordor on Monday night, but then the sky threw up and we postponed it. Instead we played random video games at Ravin's house and ate lots of crap to celebrate her getting old (i.e. turning 20). And then we watched the Swan Princess. Good times.

Since I'm bored and haven't posted in a while, I guess now is a good time to share the story you've all been waiting for. That's right. Mordor. The weekend Schneckleface stayed here, we went to Boyfriend's house for a movie night. Shark and Dick were party poopers and cut out as soon as the movie ended, so it was just the three of us going to this place that supposedly looked like the evilest corner of Middle Earth. Real encouraging, especially since the morals we took away from the god-awful horror film we watched were 1) Don't go to Hull (which is unfortunately the name of Boyfriend's town), 2) Don't hang out with white kids, and 3) Don't have sex. Well, we were breaking two out of three of those rules just going to movie night. We should've known that was a bad omen. XD

We had to walk quite a way to even get to the entrance to the woods because it's private property and we couldn't park nearby. We waited until there were no cars and booked it across the street and up a steep dirt hill. Schneckleface slipped and scraped her hand, but we made it without attracting attention. Then we followed this trail that was covered in snow and we made a whole lot of noise, which made Boyfriend really nervous, but it was nighttime and no one was paying any attention to us.

The woods finally opened onto a rocky expanse that dropped off into a big body of water. If I imagined the water was lava, the place totally looked like Mordor. We walked around a little and chatted, but it was cold and we decided to head back pretty soon. Boyfriend didn't want to make as much noise and suggested we take a different trail back. He said he'd never taken it before, but he knew where it came out, so we decided to follow it.

A little ways into the journey, we noticed something off to the side of the trail. Right away, I knew it was a vehicle. But it wasn't someone out to bust us for trespassing or anything; the thing was trashed. I would say it was about the size of a VW bus, but I didn't want to look at it too closely, to be honest, because I was getting some seriously creepy vibes from it. I actually ran over to cling to Boyfriend's arm and insisted that we walk faster.

A little further on, Boyfriend noticed a chain link fence off to the right of the path. The top was reinforced with barbed wire. I didn't get a good look at that, either, because right after Boyfriend said to be quiet and pointed it out, I heard a rustle. Now, I spent twelve days living in the woods. I know my rustles. I know the little animals make the biggest sounds, but at the same time, I KNEW whatever I'd just heard was NOT a little animal.

I looked at the others to see if they'd heard it. I really hoped they hadn't. I really wanted to have imagined it. But Schneckleface heard it, too, and then we heard a bang. Not a gunshot sort of bang though. I can't describe the sound well because by then I was panicking, imagining the headlines when they found our dead bodies in the woods and how disappointed my parents would be, wondering where they went wrong and hadn't they raised me better than this?

When we heard a second bang, Boyfriend shouted, "RUN!" as if we needed to be told, and we took off. Unfortunately, I suck and was running too close to the left shoulder of the trail, and I rolled my ankle about three steps into my sprint. Great, so I was going to be the one that almost got eaten by the monster, and the others were going to have to turn around and risk their lives to save me. That wasn't the role I'd wanted in all this. At least it wasn't as bad as when I fractured my ankle in fifth grade. I could put weight on it, even though it hurt a lot, so I kept running. I also managed to rip my hand open on some briars and was picking thorns out of my flesh as I ran.

We made it back to the top of the first dirt hill and stopped. Nothing had actually pursued us, of course, but I still had this awful feeling we were being watched and followed. Not to mention we had a fifteen, twenty minute walk ahead of us to get back to the car and my ankle wasn't feeling so great. The side of my hand was stinging a lot, too. Boyfriend and I were trying to figure out what we might have heard.

"The barbed wire was pointing in, away from us," he pointed out. "That means they were keeping something in, not something out." It quickly escalated to a government conspiracy in which they were hiding a monster in the woods for reasons we couldn't fathom. I was quick to add that whatever we'd heard was probably responsible for the mangled bus, hence the sketchy vibes I got from it. Schneckleface, being more practical than us crazy artist types, was like, "you guys, it was probably just someone trying to scare us off the property."

Oh. Yeah. Probably. But our theory would make a better movie.

Soooo I hobbled around for the next three days or so, and now, three weeks later, my ankle STILL hurts, but only if I turn it. I can walk on it fine. Still, I guess I probably need an x-ray. SUCK. Well, our plan is to return to Mordor on Friday, although it looks like it'll be cold and I may suggest postponing it again until Saturday night, which is supposed to be in the 40s. This time we're bringing weapons.

I'm off to visit Ash now. We're going to discuss the stories we're writing and watch some obscure movie by Miyazaki. I dunno what we're going to do when we run out of Miyazaki films to watch. Anyhow, about that story - I'm thinking I'll post an excerpt soon. BUT ONLY IF I GET COMMENTS! You hear? I want at least six on this entry or NO EXCERPT! Hehehe.... bribery. ^_^

I can finally breathe


Just finished the philosophy final. I was not happy with 2 of the questions he chose, which is bad when he only chooses four questions, but I think I gave decent answers. I wrote really fast to get out of there as soon as possible - 3 pages in 45 minutes. My hand hurts. BUT I AM FREE. The world feels revived.

For the Moments I Feel Faint

Dream last night:
I was with 2 other friends, one of them was a guy and I can't remember about the other one, and we were walking, walking, walking. We were in the countryside and came to a long path that curved off into the woods. It had clearly been raining and the path was a mess, but we took it anyway, mucking our way along for a little while. I was sad that my favorite jeans were ruined. Wading through the muck was exhausting, and it didn't take long for us to wish we'd stayed on the main road, but then we came to a building off the right side of the path. The shoulder dropped of suddenly so that the building's roof was level with us, and beyond it we could see a sparkling blue lake. It was clear that following the path there would take us on a very roundabout journey so instead we cut across by jumping from the shoulder to the roof and climbing down. When we got close to the water, one of the others found a pad of paper on a clipboard. Scanning it, the thing was just columns and columns of big numbers, many of them starting with 7 and all of them up in the millions or billions. But they weren't abbreviated with scientific notation or anything; evidently the exact value was important, down to the ones place. Then we realized that it was a list of everyone alive, detailing what number their birth was and what number their death would be, and how much longer they had until then. The others eagerly flipped through to find their own data (don't know how they found it since it was all numbers) and they were both relieved to find that they had a long, normal lifespan ahead of them. I was afraid to look at mine, sure that it would say I only had three days left to live or something. But when I found me, it said "ALL," as in I still had all of my life left to live. In light of how I've been feeling lately - that I'm wasting my whole life at this school - that's very encouraging, and it also has me thinking on a spiritual level about the fact that I am written into the book of life, and nothing, nothing I could ever do will change that.

"I'm so tired of the phone, baby.
I don't like the tone
of the way we say I love you a thousand times;
we say those words, but we can't look into each other's eyes.
Well I guess we made it, or at least we made it this far
and it all looks smooth from here."
One more day! ^_^

I'm done with my sociology exam and I think it went really well. I just realized though that on the grade weight form I turned in yesterday (the prof let us decide how much everything was worth), I gave my last exam more weight than this one even though I had an 88 and wanted to pull that up to an A. It was all because I wanted to make the dang paper worth more... and hopefully that'll pay off. We shall see, we shall see. At least it's over and done with! Now I have to get ready for philosophy in just over 24 hours. There's an exam that'll kick my ass. And I also just wrote out ALL the stuff I have to make up over break, and it doesn't look like it's going to be much of a break at all. Gross. I also have a buttload of housekeeping and packing to do before I leave tomorrow. I'm babysitting today AND tomorrow AND working the Writing Center tonight on the assumptions that most people have left and classes are over, hence no more papers will be due until after break, so the place should be dead enough for me to get some studying done.


This afternoon I decided to go out and do my photography homework in spite of the bitter cold. I'm so far behind already that missing another assignment would only cause stress trying to make it up over my so-called spring "break," which I would rather avoid. So I bundled up, dug my car out of the Gedney lot, and started driving with no destination in mind other than the ocean, and I knew I didn't have long to drive until I found it. I followed a side road to an even smaller side road to basically a driveway, and went as far as I could before hitting a sign that said "No trespassing." I had cleared a hill and coming down the slope I was suddenly confronted with the blue, blue ocean. My God, I forgot how beautiful it was! And getting out of the car, I was surprised to hear it making sounds! Soothing, rushing, summer kinds of sounds. The ocean, for crying out loud. I forgot about the ocean. How tragic is that? But everything comes back to me. The sea. My friends. Contentment. I'm slowly coming back to life, with sixty four hours to go.

An opera at a disco (and all you wanted was a rock show)

So guess what I did Saturday night.

That's right, I saw Mae. Spoiled? Maybe. Or maybe I just MAKE STUFF HAPPEN because I'm awesome like that.

I promised Boyfriend I'd post some of Mae's stuff, which I don't know why I bother because he'll just say it's not br00tal enough, but anyway, here goes.

^ This was the first Mae song I ever heard. I got it off the Warped Tour compilation in '05, and it was love at first listen.

^ This one's a bit older. I always liked it a lot, but even more so since this last show gave me a whole new perspective on it.

^ And this one's a bit newer. Not only is it infectiously catchy, but I LOVE the lyrics. I've found them to be thematic over the past couple months. Hopefully that'll change in the near future, but it'll always hold a special place in my heart because of it.

Also check out "Soundtrack for our Movie," "Telescopes," "The Everglow," and "Tisbury Lane."

So the deal was, the show didn't even start until 9:30 and Mae wasn't scheduled to play til 11:30. Seeing Roomie and Jenniferin sing in the choir only required us to miss the first opener, who I'd never heard of anyway. And truly, I felt like I was in the presence of angels listening to the college choir, so I'm really glad I stuck around for it. Kudos to everyone that contributed their lovely voices to that magical experience.

Although my energy levels were at about negative twenty four, when I realized how late the Mae concert started and that I could in fact make it there in time to see them, I got a second wind, practically got on my knees, and begged Schneckleface to go with me. I find that I can be very convincing when it comes to concerts. I think I must look so dang happy about the prospect of going that people can't help wanting to be a part of that or something. Oh, scenekidism. And then, just as I was convincing Schneckleface, her friend Jeremiah came over to see what all the fuss was about and I convinced him to come too. When the choir show let out, I had to get my car from Woodland, and I was so amped that I ran the whole way... and laughed the entire time. People probably wonder about me a lot. XD

Turns out the Middle East is right next to T.T. The Bear's, where Schneckleface, Kurisuchu and I saw all those Japanese bands last year. Like T.T.'s, it's very small, and like the sound guys responsible for the Japanese show, the sound guys for these bands seemed to think that venue size was an irrelevant matter in determining an appropriate volume for the show. The pain threshold for sound is 120 decibels, and they were pushing it. I see no reason for this, as I'm sure we all could have heard the music just as well, in fact probably with greater clarity, at something like 90 db. And it doesn't help that everything is bouncing off the walls like mad in a little club like that. Note to self: remember to actually bring ear plugs to shows. Don't just buy them and leave them in the desk drawer. They are no use there, even though the girls on your floor enjoy pretending to be elephants at all hours of the day.

But I digress. So the first band was mediocre. I was impressed with the instrumentation. If the vocalist would've spontaneously contracted throat cancer and given up on singing, I think I really would've enjoyed the set. Needless to say, I was more than ready for Mae when they came on. I remembered talking to Jacob Marshall, the drummer, about synaesthesia and about how MAE (which stands for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience) tries to recreate a synaesthetic, or multisensory, experience for non-synaesthetes, so I decided I would pay close attention to the videos they project during the show to see just how multisensory the experience actually was. It's not like I haven't seen the guys in the band like, eight times already. Hehe.

The set was more or less the same as when I saw them at Northeastern in November, but it was a fabulous setlist then and it was just as good the second time around. I noticed that some of the videos were just videos while others really did create a whole new experience and perspective on the music. Some of my favorites were the ones accompanying Skyline Drive, Soundtrack for Our Movie, and Just Let Go, but the best one by far was All Deliberate Speed. They had it arranged so that the same image appeared every time Jacob hit his cymbal in this one specific way. Sorry I can't describe the sound better; I don't know my drum jargon and I'd sound like a fool. But yeah, the synchronization was dead on. I started to believe that that image was actually what the sound looked like! It was incredible. I remember a few images from the rest of the show, but that was really the one that stuck with me, and listening to the song now, I still associate that image with the sound. Trippy.

They ended the set with a b-side, "Tisbury Lane," which I didn't know but really enjoyed, and a stripped down version of "The Everglow," which was lovely. A perfect conclusion to a perfect night.

Boyfriend will be relieved to know that the guy who hit on me last time wasn't even there; they had a stand-in bassist. He was more sober than Mark was last time I saw him (XD), not quite as adorable, and about as energetic as Mark when he wasn't drunk... i.e. you sometimes forgot he was up there; I remember the guys saying in an old interview that a lot of people didn't even realize Mark was in the band.

I would've liked to talk to the sub after the show, at least to compliment him on his purple bass and ask his name so I wouldn't have to refer to him as Mark's Sub, but it was already one AM so we didn't stay. I also would've liked to tell Jacob what I thought about the videos. I mean, I assume he's the band member most responsible for them since the multisensory aesthetic theory, i.e. the entire premise of the band, was his idea. But I found his blog yesterday and wrote him a lengthy comment in which I probably came across as a fawning fangirl. No, it was a legitimate comment on the artistry of the band! Not obsessive or fangirlish in the slightest! Or... well, one out of two isn't bad. ^_^ I haven't heard any response yet and don't know if I should expect one, but at least I've said it.

I spent most of yesterday writing my four page sociology paper, only to have the deadline extended because school got canceled due to snow today. But that's okay for two reasons. One, it freed me up to write the additional 500 words I needed for the final draft of my philosophy paper today, and two, having it done lifted a tremendous amount of stress. And now that the philosophy one is also done, I feel like a human being again! For real? If I could have bit the bullet and taken these things out early in the quad, I wouldn't have felt like I was losing my sanity all this time? >_<

So here's what's left this week.

1. Shoot a PSA with a team that clearly does not want to do this project and isn't responding to my frantic e-mails asking when the hell we're going to shoot this thing, since we've only got two days to check out equipment, show up at a practice at a time no one's bothered to find out to record VOs and close-ups, and invite dozens of people to stage fans going nuts in the bleachers, before the girls I'm working with start leaving on Wednesday. Well, I think the bleacher footage is right out, since a) we now have insufficient time to invite and organize all the people we'd need to fill the stands, and b) said stands are now buried in a foot of snow.

2. Reading. Lots of it. But most of it can be put off until break, at which point I can hopefully catch up on a lot of the stuff I've been neglecting because I've had to prioritize the classes that are ending this week.

3. Multiple photography projects that I've been neglecting for the same reason. Gahh. I am so behind in my shooting AND printing in that class, it isn't even funny. And unfortunately, a lot of that work can't be dealt with over break, since I don't have a dark room in my house.

4. Bring Boyfriend's application for the Italy seminar to the Global Ed Office and grovel for their mercy, as the thing is several days late now and we had to be creative about some of the requirements since he's not in school anymore.

Oh. It doesn't look so bad when I write it out like that. I feel better already. ^_^

-_- I can always tell when it's 11 PM because quiet hours start at eleven, and that's the time of night when all hell breaks loose on my floor. When 11:11 rolls around, I'm wishing for silence. Or at least, absence of shrill screaming and constant stampeding. Oh... Jon Schneck's away message says "the Bachelor is out of control." Maybe that has something to do with the even greater than normal degree of chaos on F2 East tonight.
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