December 31, 2012

What a difference a year makes.

Dillion and Maggie have inspired me to do a year-in-the-review post.  The last year I did this was 2009, my first full year blogging on Blogger.

The first few months were fairly boring.  On New Year's Day itself, I lamented a terrible New Year's Eve due to attending a party like an outcast.  Fortunately, the rest of January redeemed that one night.  I read and cried over The Fault In Our Stars.  I reflected on impressions.  I played Super Smash Bros., ate good food, and hung out with friends.

I only blogged once in February.  Varsity tennis had consumed my life, and not in a good way.  In March, I caught you guys up on what I did in February.  I wrote an open letter to the month because during it I was gifted my lovely MacBook pro.  Most interestingly, I suppose, I dissected The Hunger Games fandom.

Over the course of April I got to see tremendous growth.  I successfully did BEDA (Blog Every Day in April/August) for the second consecutive year, even though I'm sure there were some days I didn't want to write.  But I learned to accept failure, saw my last high school musical, dealt with a frustrating Physics teacher, got addicted to Tiny Tower, celebrated Earth Day, and did various end-of-the-year and senior related activities, including putting my hands on the wall at school.

May was full of milestones.  I graduated high school and very shortly after had my first kiss.  I wouldn't be done taking exams until mid-June, but I still supported Brianna's garage sale and had lunch with Patricia.  Patricia and I remarked about the months ahead of us and wrote in each others' yearbooks for the last time.  In order to experience a lot of firsts, we had to experience an equal number of lasts.

June brought more adventures with friends.  We saw Brave.  We ate pizza and exchanged graduation gifts.  We just generally shared awesome times together before we went our separate ways for college in the fall.  By the end of June, I had exhausted my free Netflix trial and I reviewed everything I saw.

The days blended into the next month -- as they often do during the summer -- and soon enough it was July.  I restarted my 365 photography project after an unsuccessful attempt last year.  I finally edited footage from my trip to the Twin Cities last year and made two videos.  And I sent out a lot of blogger family snail mail.  I ended July by honestly giving my two cents about waiting to go to college.

August was eventful.  Once again I participated in BEDA.  Considering I was also on the verge of beginning college 1,000 miles away, it may have been a helpful distraction.  Friends were leaving practically every other day but I was determined to still make the most of my free time.  For instance, I held a garage sale with Brianna, this time selling my own unwanted clothes and jewelry and ultimately earned $90.  We plan to have another one this coming January and it should be a lot of fun.  Other notable accomplishments:  I finished the common reading for my college.  I made a Summer 2012 soundtrack.  I got an iPhone.  I learned my AICE test results and could thus completely put high school behind me.

After an extended summer, I started my first semester of college and loved it. I didn't blog much in September, and when I did, it became a massive struggle to already recall all my crazy, awesome adventures in college.

October began with a prose/poetry entry discussing yet more outings.  I experienced an incredibly a girly moment as I spent time with a cute guy and recalled how I spent my 18th birthday.  Last, but not least, I planned what I'd do during my Fall Break.  I would also have a fantastic fall break and attend my first concert ever but not write about it until mid-November.

Midterms mostly dictated my life, so I had an epic-and-probably-way-too-long recap post about what I'd done at the end of October and beginning of November.  Which evidently was a lot.  I came home for Thanksgiving break and realized I have a new home in St. Paul that I was missing, despite only being away for the four days.  Upon going back I had to register for classes and had one of the most awful days until I received an unexpected and anonymous compliment.

December came and went.  The first two weeks marked a final push as I worked hard to end my first semester of college on a positive note.  I came home missing all the friends I'd made, things I'd learned and growing I'd sustained and, in attempts to fill a void, was instantly drawn to see friends from high school.  Then it was suddenly the holidays so my brothers came home, good food was eaten, and gifts were given.

And now I sit on childhood bed, glamorously snacking on dehydrated pears as I write this and get a chance to reflect on just how substantial 2012 has been.  This year has demanded a lot from me, but I was definitely eager for the challenge.

Here's to an awesome 2013!

December 29, 2012

We'll play at three-Kirby.

Time is starting to pick up again because for a while there it was crawling.  Then I would stay up late into the morning wrapping presents or browsing the Internet (cough mindlessly refreshing tumblr cough) and sleeping into the afternoon.  This is unhealthy and I plan to change my habit in the new year.

Christmas came and went in a blur.  More than previous years, I was aware of the preparation for it.  I wrapped my fair share of presents -- namely all of them except my own and ones from grandparents -- and am glad to give that a rest.  I just had to do a few more last night since close friends and I had our gift exchange today and now I can be DONE...until I wrap my roommates' gifts.  Oh my goodness, I can't wait to give them theirs.

The pictured orange rolls are divine and a Christmas morning tradition.

The other picture shows off various gifts from my stocking including gingerbread marshmallows, green nail polish, Revlon lip butter in Tutti Fruitti, stickers, two scarves, a pretty handmade bracelet and iTunes gift cards. 

My largest gift otherwise was a John Green box set.  I realized it's not signed because I sent my mom the wrong link.  Oh well.  Now I shall make it my mission to meet John Green himself and have said copies autographed in person.  That experience is much cooler.  I mean, I met Garrison Keillor this fall at a bookstore a two minute walk from campus and he signed a book for my mom.  That was pretty darn cool.  

My Secret Santa Blogger Family ornament swap was from Maggie.  She got me the most adorable dinosaur and made a great Christmas mix cd.  Thank you again!  I really love it.

Talk to you again tomorrow!

Days until the new year: 3

December 24, 2012

Almost Christmas.

I have quite a few blog posts planned for the remainder of the year.  I know, I know.  It's unusual, but shoot, maybe it's a Christmas miracle?

On Saturday I met up for lunch with Emilia.  She got to dish all the latest hometown/high school gossip and I dispelled secrets of college.  (Well, sort of.)  I am easily reminded of how small a town I live in when, despite sitting in the corner of World Market, we still run into someone we know.  I am glad she is doing well although ready to leave.  I was the same way this time last year.  Except I already knew where I was going and she has to wait until February to see if she got accepted to UF.  I'm fairly confident she did.

We also exchanged gifts before we ate.  She gave me a mix cd (I love love LOVE getting new music) and then two awesome nail polishes from Urban Outfitters.  One smells like peppermint and I'm wearing it right now.  If this was a proper beauty/fashion blog I would show you a picture.  In return, I gave her the sticker-fied mix cd (above), some Dove dark chocolate and the reindeer felt bag this was all inside.
After catching up with Emilia, I grabbed frozen yogurt with Puja and Regina.  (The best kind of froyo? Organic eggnog + a shit ton of toppings.) Aniesa's flight from Canada got in late so she couldn't join us.    Sad face!  Fortunately we have plans to exchange gifts and hang out later this week.  I should probably finish making her gift soon...
It was enjoyable as always to be with my friends.  Once we cracked a familiar joke, we realized we revert and regress into our "old" selves.  Seriously, no time could have passed.  But frankly we're not "new," either.  Just...different?

I have to write fast because I am about to go to McDonald's for dinner.  It's a family tradition to go every Christmas Eve (and in current years, it's basically the only time we go all year -- we know it's unhealthy otherwise.) It all started when my parents were practically dirt poor and continues today because, well, that's how tradition works.

Then, with the last few presents to wrap and movies to watch, my Christmas Eve will be complete.

Merry Christmas!

Days until the new year: 7

December 19, 2012

Now my life is sweet like cinnamon.

If I'm honest, I miss college.  I miss Minnesota.  I miss my new friends.  And I've only been home in Florida without those awesome people for five days.  How will I survive until January 27th?

Since being home, I saw a few friends.  Regina informed me about her college experiences and I relayed mine, including my crazy story from a night in downtown Minneapolis that I never posted to the internet but might make it into my memoir someday.  (Which reminds me, I still need to read Let's Pretend This Never Happened.)  Regina said she's going to Puerto Rico during spring break and I am mighty jealous.  I don't even know if I'll be coming home.  Plane tickets are expensive.

Simaya, Brianna and I went to Goodwill on Monday.  I bought a copy of The Sims for $5.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to load it.  Might have to recruit my brother to figure it out.  Also, my MacBook suffered a slight dent after it got knocked off the table (albeit in its case) in airport security.  I suppose it has character now and is otherwise fully functional...except I definitely want it fixed. #firstworldproblems

I haven't done a whole lot this break so far.  I have been wrapping presents and putting up Christmas lights, though.  I'm also debating about getting Netflix so I can watch lots and lots of movies.  Ideally, I'd learn to knit.

But for now I'm off to the dentist to deal with a problem I've had since August.

Good luck to anyone with remaining finals and Happy Holidays to all!

Days until the new year: 13

December 12, 2012

The home stretch.

My roommates and I are hosting an informal get together of friends tonight.  Emily leaves tomorrow and we wanted a chance to properly celebrate the holidays, but also say goodbye.  Winter break, combined with January term, is a very long time.  I mean, it's practically half of summer vacation!  There's no doubt I will miss everyone here and the adventures just waiting to happen.

Alright, now I should go eat lunch, keep tackling my paper, and ace my Spanish oral interview.  Talk to you soon.

Currently listening:

Days until Winter Break: 3

December 09, 2012

Let it snow.

Living in Florida my whole life, I just accepted I'd never have a White Christmas. It was as big a myth as Santa Claus himself.  And growing up, I suppose it never occur to me I'd ever live somewhere with this awesome precipitation.

So, yes, I was happy to wake up this morning and see a snowy blanket covering everything in sight.
This is the glorious view from my bed.
I haven't been outside much today besides walking to and from the cafeteria for brunch.  On the way there, Zoe informed me her favorite snow-related activity is eating it.  (Don't believe me?  See the picture.)  I figure I'll have plenty of other time during the week to play in it.  Time when I won't be writing my final Texts & Power paper.  On the way back, Zoe made a snowman with friends and snapped the picture of me that proves to all my friends back home it's cold here.  Most importantly, I made plans to have a snowball fight with Austin.  He is going to get destroyed.

Fortunately my finals aren't that stressful.  I finished my English project a whole week before it was due.  Now just Spanish (easy) and Texts and Power.  I swear once I'm done with this eight page paper I'll be blissful.  And then I'll be done with my first semester of college.

Days until Winter Break: 6

November 30, 2012

Probably karma related.

After having one of the worst days yesterday, I anonymously received this compliment from someone at my college via a Facebook page dedicated to giving compliments.

"Lizzie you are just a generally awesome person! You are friendly and fun, and you always have a smile and a kind word for everyone. Your generosity, strength, wisdom, and compassion do not go unnoticed. I'm glad to have met you, and I look forward to getting to know you better over the next few years! Keep smiling :)"

So, that has kept me in a good mood as I continue to work on these last few assignments and final papers.  I WILL survive these next few weeks.

Fortunately I have fun things to look forward to, especially this weekend.  Prime example: tonight David and I are making holiday arts and crafts!   Then Saturday night, while everyone else is drunkenly dancing dressed to the nines at Winter Ball, Emily, Mo, and I will be having a double feature of Pride & Prejudice and Becoming Jane.  Maybe we'll drink tea and eat scones.

Good luck on finals, everyone!

Currently listening:

Days until Winter Break: 14

November 18, 2012

Holy wow!

This post comes to you today in three parts.

Part one: Fall Break 

Fall Break already seems like ages ago.  It's nearly Thanksgiving and I will be flying home to see my family soon.  Where has the semester gone? 

As regards to my list for Fall Break, I did everything but bike to the Mississippi (more on that later), and explore downtown St. Paul.  

Friday morning it snow flurried, hence the picture of dandruff-esque flakes in my hair.  Friday evening I went with friends to a masquerade party at a gay club.  Yes, you read that right.  We were celebrating Sana's 18th birthday and I think she had an awesome time.  I swear there's nothing quite as exhilarating as running to make sure you're at the bus stop on time.

Before Emily and Zoe left, we got together and made a sign for Sana because we love her and frankly that's just what we do.  I am still convinced I won the roommate lottery.

The days of break are sort of blending together now, but I also: ate proper brunch out with friends, visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (rode the bus all the way there and back by myself without getting and only spending $1.75), watched Moulin Rouge! and worked on the necessary homework.

Part two: Adventures

I didn't ride to the Mississippi with Austin over break.  I called to him to see if he wanted to go to a used bookstore with me.  He was in Minneapolis so we met up and got coffee (well, tea for me) at a place called The Blue Ox.  We got to talk there and on the bus ride back.  He makes me feel awesome and is usually great company.  We've hung out quite a bit this semester.  Just last weekend we went to a country concert with two other friends and this past week our First Year Course, which he's in, got to see Seven Psychopaths on the English department's dime and we talked about it afterwards.  We also saw my college's production of Romeo & Juliet together on Friday.  I could make a whole post about him except that would be weird since as far as I can gather we are nothing more than good friends, maybe even less than that? 

I used to wonder what the Passion Pit concert would be like.  I bought my ticket before even coming to college, before even entering the state, and before even meeting my roommate who also planned to go.  I was worried it would be a bust.  I'm happy to report it was completely awesome.  

They took away my Canon at the door so I had to resort to my iPhone camera for any photos.  I guess it didn't matter because that way I got to enjoy the music more.  Soak in the goodness.  Feel the bass literally move me.  I was vibrating with life and enthusiasm.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  No exaggeration.  This was my first concert ever so I'm seriously glad it was Passion Pit.  I bought a cool band T-shirt despite having to pay an extra $3 in service fees to get money from the ATM.  I think it was worth it. There was something so surreal about being in the city, too.  Amongst friends.  Amongst strangers.  I loved it.

I didn't dress up for Halloween but my good friends decided to be the rainbow.

My First-Year Course classmates, professor, and I went to see Bad Bugs Bunny Films at the Trylon microcinema.  Our professor had to make two trips to take us in her Prius which meant the second group: Celeste, Alex, Austin, Nicole and I wandered into a Irani grocery,  bought, and shared tamarind juice.  As I recall, the conversation on the car ride back was amusing. I love my FYC and everyone in it.

Part three: Classes
My midterm grades were decent.  I know I am learning a lot and every moment I stress about getting work done is silly.  I always get it done.  Currently, however, I am procrastinating on writing a paper for the FYC class.  A draft is due Wednesday.  Yeah, about that...

I've done a lot of thinking about what I want to major in.  That said, I still feel like I'm figuring out who I am and can't truly decide yet.  I'll get back to you on that in a bit.  Maybe the next time I post. Har har.

Alright, my roommates are practically asleep so I should go brush my teeth, read A Clockwork Orange, and head to bed.

Days until Thanksgiving: 6
Days until Winter Break: 28

October 25, 2012

Fall Break 2012

After midterms, my college gives students and faculty an extended weekend.  Here is what I hope to do during the four days I have off!  I am not going home, by the way.  Friends are, including two of my roommates, but for me it just wasn't worth it.
  • Visual Culture paper revisions
  • Texts & Power presentation and paper
  • explore downtown St. Paul 
  • go to Target
  • write and send letters
  • go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (for my Visual Culture class)
  • watch Moulin Rouge!
  • bike along the Mississippi River
  • relax
  • celebrate Sana's 18th birthday

Days until Passion Pit concert: 6
Days until Winter Break: 53

October 20, 2012

Love is just greed.

Here we go again.  Days all blur into one and suddenly the whole week is gone.  I tell myself I'll blog more, or finally write to friends (sorry, Maggie! I am the worst) and it just never happens.
My roommates made this birthday banner for me.
They are the best.

I'm eighteen now.  It's insane to say I feel any different.  Certainly since coming to college in August I've just felt...well, older.  I think it's because independence ages you.  I'm happy to say I'm no longer a minor and legally an adult, though.  Most importantly, I get to vote in this general election.  I was mailed my absentee ballot and everything.  I also don't have to shy away when people say want to go out to a club, even though for other reasons I'm probably going to say no.

Luckily, I don't need to go to clubs to have a good time.  I've found fun things to do that don't involve drinking or any other stereotypical partying.  For instance, on October 11th, friends and I went to a Italian restaurant called Chianti Grill for my birthday dinner.  It was almost a no-go when the older lady before me at the desk tried to steal my reservation!  I had to politely tell her she was not named Lizzie. That debacle aside, the food was delicious.  I took pictures of what I ate to show to my mom and you all, my lovely readers.  I was in great company with my friends.  

And thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!  It meant a lot.

I wasn't expecting gifts of any sort, but then Nicole (far right) surprised me with this awesome mix CD, and Rowena (center) gave me a gift card to Wet Paint, the local art supplies store.  I am very grateful to have such thoughtful friends in my life.  It feels good to be loved.

Originally we had planned to see a movie afterward, but I postponed it until Saturday night.  In fact, an almost completely different group of friends joined me to see The Master, which was great.  Particularly because I sat next to the guy I mentioned in my last post.  (I'm smirking.)  I quite enjoyed the film's cinematography, yet was less impressed with the plot line.  I feel like I've only been watching movies staring Philip Seymour Hoffman because this past week for English we screened Capote.  

On the guy front, this past Thursday he happened to pass me in the hall carrying coffee to drink and bread to eat in the kitchen across from my room.  I asked if I could join him, and he said absolutely.  He said he'd make me a cup from his blend if I provided the mug so I did.  We sat together again doing homework, but this time drinking coffee and listening to the swing music he put on.  Eventually we ended up talking, mostly about my "kickass mug" (the Great Mustaches one, thanks UO) and he proceeded to guess them all.

While talking to him is awesome, I'm learning to savor the moments he and I can just spend in the same space.  That said, we have plans to bike to the Mississippi river together at some point, most likely during Fall Break.  I'd like to buy paints before then and remember to take my camera.

I'm honestly just taking every day as it comes.

I hope everyone is well!

Days until Fall Break: 5
Days until Passion Pit concert: 11

October 07, 2012

Perhaps too fast.

The days go by fast here.  
Perhaps too fast.
I feel like I am always reflecting on a past adventure,
 or in the midst of enjoying another.  
Assignments and lectures are blurring together.  
Friends are more solid.  

Last Saturday I visited the Walker Art Center with my Visual Culture class.
This is the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture in the garden.
I'll have to go back to see it up close and personal.

We were there for the exhibit This Will Have Been: Love, Art & Politics in the 1980s.
It was very thought provoking.
I wrote a proper response for class.

 Zoe and I taught Sana how to ride a bike one evening.
The weather was gorgeous.

 After an emotional breakdown of stress and homesickness last Friday,
I went to downtown Minneapolis with three friends on Saturday.  
What a crazy night.

Sunday was for studying.
I spent almost the whole day in the library.
This was my pretty view. 
(I'm currently in the library again. Creature of habit?)

On Tuesday Sana and I took the bus to Target.
I bought some essentials because I had gotten my paycheck.
...But then I couldn't resist these candy corn Oreos.
I haven't actually tried them yet although they look delicious.

It's getting colder so I indulged in some hot chocolate on Thursday.
I love my mustache mug.

 This Friday night Emily gave a "tour" of Minneapolis to me and friends.
I put "tour" in quotes because we got lost.
Like, she had no idea where we were at points.

She apologized profusely and said she'd bake us all cookies to make it up.
I'll take that bribe, thank you very much.

Fortunately, it gave us the chance to finally take a roommate picture, though.
I still firmly believe I won the roommate lottery.

The more "artistic" shots of the night.  
I was so grateful to be taking pictures of a vibrant city,
not that my college campus isn't awesome.

 Sana and I in the restaurant we all ate at Friday night.
Afterwards we had to run to the bus stop, only to miss it by seconds.
A taxi ultimately brought us home safely. 

This panda hat kept me warm and sparked an inquiry from a new friend.
"Why pandas?" he asked.
And when I couldn't give him an answer, he laughed,
then flashed one of the best smiles I've seen in a while.
He may or may not have this other guy beat for the prize:
Best Smile Ever.

What can I say?
I love exploring off campus.
Meeting new people.
Having adventures.

Days until my birthday: 4
Days until Fall Break: 18

September 29, 2012

You only want it 'cause you're lonely.

Lizzi recommended this song in a past post of her's and I've since had it on repeat. (Also, it explains my title. As you can tell, I'm not clever enough to come up with my own titles sometimes most of the time.)
The weather has continued to be gorgeous.  I am definitely enjoying dressing in jeans, boots, and thick socks.  The things I could never do in Florida, essentially.  I've also worn fleece pajamas to bed recently.  My recent fever and cold sickness has made me hot no matter what I wear, though.  Not cool.  Literally.

I wish I could better recount all my adventures.  Alas, my mind is constantly racing and contemplating what my plans are for eating, sleeping, studying and having fun.  Curse the triangle of college for being scarily accurate.  Clearly blogging has fallen to a lower priority, which upsets me despite knowing it shouldn't.  I'm just finally living my life and it'd be impossible to constantly distill it down so others can read about it.  This same issue is true for Facebook, of course.  I swear, I'm a social media addict, and I'm too engrossed in it to quit cold turkey.  How do other people live their lives more privately?

These items were recent on-campus purchases.  All I wanted from the expansive poster sale was Walter White's sneering face (because Breaking Bad is the best show over although I still haven't seen the season finale oh my god what kind of a fan am I?)  and the three handcrafted rings were from a random jewelry seller.  Money well spent, friends.  Money well spent.

Other things I've done (in bullet points since I'm lazy and want to take a power nap ASAP):
Alright, time to nap then do some Spanish.

Have a lovely weekend!

Days until my birthday: 11
Days until Fall Break: 26