Things my mother doesn't understand

My mom and I have a great relationship. We're very open - I really do tell her most of what goes on in my life. I enjoy her company, she enjoys mine, and I value her advice, sometimes a little more than it's really wise to value a single person's input. But then I get a night like this and all I can really say is WTF?

I spent the first three weeks of my summer (excluding the time I was abroad) mostly bored out of my skull, to the point that mom was sick to death of me complaining about how bored I was and actually nagged me to get the heck out of the house. If there's one sure-fire way to get me out of the house, it's nagging, especially about how I ought to socialize.

The functioning and etiquette of college-aged social circles is #1 on the list of things my mother doesn't understand. Texting someone I've barely hung out with day after day asking to do stuff seems anti-etiquette to me, regardless of whether her theory that he's romantically interested holds any water.

On Wednesday my friend Bear, who I met through Ravin a few years ago, and who she in turn met at school in Ohio, came to visit. After a bizarre twist of events that ended with him not being allowed to stay at her house the first few nights, we put him up Wednesday and Thursday, and as good friends are wont to do I have hung out with him and Ravin and sometimes The Pantsless One (TPO) pretty much non-stop since Bear got here.

I should mention that Bear doesn't sleep more than four hours on a good night, so I stayed up late keeping him company the two nights he was here. This was not an act of pity on my part. The great thing about Bear is he puts me at ease so that Suppressed Me can show her face, and that's something special.

This brings me to item #2 on the list of things my mother doesn't understand: Teens/twenty-somethings' sleeping patterns, or lack thereof. I believe that, as people who are biologically alive, the most vital thing for us to do is to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life" at whatever hour that marrow is there for the sucking, even if the hour is late or the place is far. I'm flexible; late hours and far places don't bother me, and if it gets too late or too far, I'd sleep just about anywhere.

I have friends who are early to bed and early to rise. I have friends who play all night, then sleep until the sun sets. I have friends who seem not to sleep at all. They are all dear to my heart and I will do everything I can to savor the marrow with them, especially friends like Bear, who I see twice a year if I'm lucky.

Obviously this is not exactly how my mother sees things. Sleeping in one's own bed at night seems to be very important to her. Oh, I can get away with a night or two a week at Ravin or TPO's house, but sleep away more than one consecutive night and I can feel the bad vibes beginning to pulse. Staying up late with people is irresponsible.

While yes, it may look that way, I'll point out that I have never been late for work, never missed a class, and have gotten straight As since I got to college because I know how to balance my time. No, I don't always make the best decision. Some days I'm so tired I can barely stay awake through chapel. But I am aware of my obligations and take them into account, and when it's summer and I have none, I don't worry too much.

Speaking of responsibility, driving long distances is also irresponsible, regardless of whether I am personally at the wheel and regardless of whether the car is likely to break down (though I'll concede that with Derry this is very likely).

Point #3: Distance is not an issue when it comes to doing something or seeing someone you love. Music is my passion. Driving two hours to a concert is more than reasonable. It's liberating. It actually gives me a little bit of an adrenaline rush. This is all the better when the bands I'm seeing are my friends, like Kiros and Adam Ezra Group, because it becomes not just about the music but about friends (see #2).

Mom says driving far away is ridiculous; don't my friends and I have any common sense? I get this even more when we drive ALL OVER the south shore in one car, which is convenient for no one because we live in an equilateral triangle of 35-minute sides, but it is fun for everyone because we're best friends and we're together and to us that's more important than gas money, car mileage or drive time.

Last night Bear and I slept at TPO's house. Ravin was supposed to as well until she found out around 11:30 PM that she had to be home early for a violin lesson. Then I woke up at 8:45 to a text from XL saying that he was at my house, which I totally wasn't expecting at such an early hour, and my mother was displeased that I had invited XL only to have him hang out with me and Bear all day as opposed to just me.

I have this memory (maybe real, maybe hallucinated) of a conversation with XL that went, "We have a friend in town so you'll probably be hanging out with all of us if that's cool," followed by something like, "yeah, I'd love to meet your friends" in response. But frankly it was none of my mother’s business to be concerned about it anyway.

Tonight Ravin, TPO, Bear and I went to see Toy Story 3 (WHICH I'll add was hysterically clever, surprising, touching, and featured a Totoro plush toy) and we were going to go swim at Ravin's after, except my mother insisted I come home.

I tried to argue my way out of sleeping at home tonight, since from tomorrow night onward I'll have to actually be responsible because I'm starting work, but no dice - it's father's day tomorrow, among other reasons that ranged from semi-legitimate to completely random. To be honest I was pissed. We were all hyper and having so much fun. We picked up our friend The Italian, who was drunk and therefore hilarious. But I had to leave, and it just didn't seem fair.

When I got home I found out the reason I needed to be there first thing in the morning on father's day is that I am supposed to help make breakfast for my dad. I think that's sweet. If I'd been told that to begin with I would have been so much more compliant! Disappointed, yes, but not angry. Instead I feel like this:

On a side note, I’m starting the process of making sure all the people mentioned in my blog get code names. Sorry if things get confusing ^_^

Peace, love, and residual Chocolixir/Mountain Dew/favorite people high,
Miss Rex

Photofinish Friday: The resurrection, mwahaha!

I finally bought a card reader to replace my lost cable, which means PHOTOFINISH FRIDAY HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD! That's right, this is a zombie post. Please keep your hands, feet and brains inside of the ride at all times or there's no telling how much of you will be left at the end.

The restaurant where we had our last supper in Assisi. My mouth waters at the thought.

I found this on the elder affairs bus. I think it's supposed to be threatening...? Listen here, old people! If you step outta line, we'll see how technology agrees with you, ya hear?

More (and better) pictures next week, when I have time to plan ahead!

Peace, love and Pokémon the Movie 3,
Miss Rex

All you need is love

All you need is love, and my weekend was full of it.

Thursday I had dinner with my friend Shmoe and his parents. We've been friends since Shmoe moved here our sophomore year of high school and I've always been close with his family too. Now that he's in the Coast Guard, we don't get to hang out much, so it was really excellent to catch up. After dinner we went for a night walk to see the fireflies in the fields behind his house. I've never seen so many! It was most magical. Shmoe caught me one, but it liked him better and flew away when he passed it to me.

Friday I took Derry on a little road trip to see my buddy Extra Large in a Medium World (remember my Awkward Game adversary?). I didn't think the little guy (the car, I mean) had it in him, but he made it without a problem. If one considers me driving most of the way without stepping on the brake to be "without a problem."

XL's mom made us delicious French toast with homemade caramel syrup for brunch. Let's just say I can understand why XL doesn't like school food. After, he took me to this park with a pond and a waterfall where he used to go fishing. We found a tetherball pole and I challenged him to a game.

If anyone is wondering, taking on a 6'7" guy at tetherball is not a recipe for win, and I have a bruise on my shin to prove it (turns out climbing the tetherball pole is also not a recipe for win).

We had to stop for crumbly crack (to all you normal people, butternut) donuts from this place in his town because even crazies need a little extra crazy sometimes. Then we crashed XL's dad's college reunion. They gave us good food and we cloud-watched for a solid hour and a half while the alumni caught up. I spotted an elephant and Hokusai, the great wave. XL found a bunch of dinosaurs and a camel. Overall a pretty successful round of cloud-gazing. We'll call it a tie.

Saturday I got to play princesses with Princess Sharon. She used to be my teacher but now she throws magical birthday parties for little girls, and I help sometimes. I befriended this in the mansion we partied at that day:

"Ford." "Yes." "I think I'm a sofa." "I know how you feel..." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The party was in the town next to the town where my first boyfriend (a.k.a. He Who Must Not Be Named) lived. His house wasn't exactly on the way, but I was early and remembered how to get there even after six years (and in spite of the fact I hadn't driven myself there back in the day; it was before I had a license). So I thought I'd drive by and see how the place was doing. HWMNBN moved out west ages ago but the house is still crunchasaurus ice cream blue, so I assume his grandparents still live there. It was weird seeing that it hadn't changed at all. It was like, instead of going to the town six years later, I just drove back in time and saw it the way it used to be. Hm, surreal. But off topic.

After the party I drove into Boston (miraculously Derry STILL hadn't broken down) to see another school friend, who we're gonna call Rad because he showed me this amazing song by the band Radical Face:

You don't have to watch. Just listen and be amazed.

Rad and I grabbed dinner at Chipotle and walked around the Prudential Center playing Never Have I Ever. We realized we'd mostly done and not done the same things, except I'd never kissed a girl.

The mall was mostly closed since it was after 9, but Barnes and Noble was still open (cue heavenly light beams and angel choir). We bonded over creepy posters of Robert Pattinson and that werewolf guy, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and (naturally) poetry.

We were going to crash a bar after that, just to see if we could get in, but everyone was carding at the door so we just went back to his apartment. Rad played Train and Somewhere Over the Rainbow on his electric ukelele and showed me his balcony. Then I realized it was late-ish and my mother would worry if I didn't come home soon, so I left, and Derry still didn't die.

Today I had lunch with an atheist I met at my former youth group. It had been more than a year since we'd hung out, but thankfully he's one of those crazy people who never change. At least the parts you love never change. I'm sure he's smarter and more mature than back in the day. We got sammiches and ice cream and disturbed the other patrons with our enthusiastic discussion of mosh pits and hymns.

The reason I had to go back and write this very long post (thank you, anyone who's still with me) is because someone I consider a decent friend made me feel really stupid and worthless tonight, and I needed to remind myself how many amazing, positive, loving people I have in my life. The Beatles got a lot of things right, and this was one of them: all you need is love.

Peace, love and Paul McCartney,
Miss Rex

The House of Grim

If you missed my tweet, the reason there was no Photofinish Friday was that I couldn't find my camera cable. Don't get all excited now, because I haven't found it. Just wanted to re-apologize. I'm sorry.

I had some very interesting dreams last night. I've stopped dreaming obsessively of Italy, although I am still unspeakably homesick for it, and instead decided to dream about the underworld encroaching upon my school.

I was moving into a double on the west side of the floor I lived on last year, but the building was very different - much more like our admissions building, which is made of stone and looks like a castle. Taz, my roommate, was really late and didn't get there until bedtime. It was stormy.

Then I heard my dog crying on the ground outside. I had let him out through a window that opened onto a lower level's roof, so I didn't know how he had gotten down to the ground, but I couldn't just leave him out there.

For some reason we weren't allowed outside at night, so I had to sneak out. I went out through another window that led to a different lower level roof and was about to crawl into a secret passage a guy had shown me earlier in the dream, which I had crawled through at that time, when someone called out to me. I ducked, trying to figure out where the voice had come from. A light came on a little way above me and the guy who had shown me the passage was looking right at me.

"I told you not to go in there so much," he said.

I tried to explain that I'd only been in there twice - the time I went in after he showed me, and now. He wouldn't let me talk because he was very angry; there was no legitimate reason for me to be crawling around that passageway at any time. He and his roommate physically deterred me from entering the passage (I think they were swinging on vines at me?).

Finally I managed to explain that I was trying to help my puppy, and they both agreed to help me get him inside without taking the secret passage. Next thing I knew we were on the ground. We could see the main entrance from where we were, but we were far enough away that when someone opened the door, we escaped notice by ducking. It was very important that we escape notice because there were demons and evil spirits going in and out. The one that opened the door was really terrifying.

After the creature had gone inside, we stood up and were trying to figure out where my dog had gone, to no avail. Then the door swung open again, this time revealing the Grim Reaper. I ducked, but the guys were like "We have to go now!"

It turns out that we didn't have the authority to open the door ourselves, so if we didn't follow Grim we might not get in at all. And apparently it would be worse to stay outside than to follow the Grim Reaper into the demon house. Go figure. Grim held the door for us and greeted us all by name in a low, growling voice. He seemed a rather amiable chap, all things considered, but I was still very relieved to find myself awake after that. Sorry, but the insides of demon houses are not places I would explore by choice, in dreams or otherwise.

New Years in June

Today is June 1st. It has been exactly six months since New Years, so I thought I would take a look at my resolutions and see how they’re coming along. New Years in June: It’s like Christmas in July, but with less of a ring to it…

1. Read. For my own enjoyment.

So far this is the only resolution that gets a big fat check mark next to it. Especially since classes conveniently decided to go away, I’ve been cracking into some quality books! I’m currently in the middle of Lord of the Rings, Eragon, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

2. Learn the constellations.

Fail. Complete and utter fail. I brought my star wheel back to school with me, but spring is a really hard time for stargazing in these parts because it is very cold and often rainy, and I’d probably have to go all the way to the beach to escape light pollution and trees.

3. Write at least once a week!

This one gets half a check mark. While I’ve done little of my own personal writing, I have cranked out a few chapters of my novel, and my internship forced me to keep my writing gears well oiled. Now that it’s summer and I’m back from Italy, the time has come for serious work on the novel. I’m looking forward to my fiction class next fall because it’ll be an opportunity to workshop a lot of what I’ve been doing mostly on my own. And it will force me to meet deadlines! Sometimes that’s all I need to be productive.

4. Do something that scares me.

I don’t think I can honestly put a check beside this one. But then, I’m not sure I have a very good definition of what scares me.

5. Pray.

Another half-check. Although I broke the habit around the same time I broke the habit of sleeping while it was dark out, I did have a solid month or so for which I was writing letters to God as a way to try and “plug in” (as the Christians say). It was kind of nice; I think that’s another habit to start up now that my adventurous life is settling down.

As 2010 continues, I think I’m going to scratch number four for its sheer vagueness and probably number two as well so that I can really focus on reading, writing and praying. And perhaps now is a good time to tack on my new goal, which emerged in light of my recent travels: to learn Italian.

Did I mention I’m at least one eighth Italian? (The reason I say “at least” is because I’m adopted and we’re not actually sure how Italian I am.) So these past two weeks were like returning to the homeland in some weird way, even though I’d never been there. Now I’m determined to learn the language and save up enough money to go back.

Peace, love, and Eggo waffles (which I sorely missed overseas),
Miss Rex
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