Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good news: I still have a heart

I've been walking around for the past few weeks with this intense feeling in my heart. I just feel really full all the time, like I am about to burst over, but in a good way. Yesterday I identified the feeling: I am happy.

That sounds sort of dumb, and I wish I had time to delve into what I mean when I say I made this "discovery", but the truth is I am entirely unprepared for a midterm on Wednesday and it seems that I am capable of doing all other tasks (cooking, cleaning, laundry, blogging...) except studying, so I really should get on that. But I will write more about this later, because I do think it's a big deal, especially for a person like me, who takes note and stock of feelings a bit more closely than the average non-over-thinking human being, I think.

Anyway, I'm just pleased, and proud, and I feel really in control and settled and grown up, and it's nice. I have been reviewing my high school Livejournal particularly closely lately, and this is something I wrote on June 13th, 2005: "I've developed passionate burning hatred for too too many people. Soon it will eat my insides and I'll die from having no heart." Of course there was no capitalization in the original. I mean, obviously that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever read, but I'm not including that here to mock myself, though you're more than welcome to if you want. It's more because, that was the end of junior year of high school, and as ridiculous a statement that seems to be now...I understand that I once was a person who would write that. I can accept that at least a part of me really felt that way. And it makes me sad, but it also makes me proud, because I know I'm not that person anymore. I remember that girl, and I remember feeling that way once, but it feels like a very long time ago. The girl I am now would not say that...and as much as the girl I once was predicted (quite dramatically, I must say!) an eminent early death due to no heart, I'm pleased to say not only am I still kicking these days, but I'm quite sure my heart is pumping blood all over my body very effectively. Nice work, vascular system. 

The truth is, I am just happy to be happy. I was sad for a lot of last year and I think it is not acknowledged frequently enough, but being sad hurts. Not in the "oh I am so emo, my soul is in pain," but in a very real, physical, all-consuming way. Being happy, likewise, is a palpable feeling and it influences how I view every day and I am grateful to be allowed this emotion right now. I think I will be allowed to hold onto it for some time. I think making that decision is part of growing up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Plan Discussions

Jackie: I just wanna move to California...
Vanessa: So do it! Get up and move to California! You're done with NYU in a year and a half, get up and go!
Jackie: I dunno...where do you wanna be?
Vanessa: I've been really pro-Oregon lately!
Jackie: Oregon?! What are you talking about? Don't come crying to me when...will you even be able to contact me? Do they even have phones there??

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Overheard in NYC, 16th & 3rd

Guy #1: Oh my god! It's you!
Guy #2: Yeah dude! Ha, you didn't even recognize me!
Guy #1: You got a haircut! You used to look like Jesus Christ!

JuicyCampus: Irresponsible Freedom of Speech?

I have another blog entry up at cosmogirl.com...this one got three comments so far! Kind of exciting seeing as thus far I have been averaging approximately zero comments. This one's about JuicyCampus and how I despise it–check it out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Career Paths?

I was having an anxiety attack tonight about What To Do With My Life (they've become quite common recently) and my roomie suggested I become a sex therapist. At first she was sort of joking but then we realized it's actually the most perfect recommendation anyone has ever come up with. Seriously, I actually think I would be really good at it.

However, I think the "therapist" part requires grad school for Psychology, right? And I don't think I'm down with that. So maybe I could just become some kind of Sex-Advice-Giver? I wonder what internship that would require me to have this summer. Maybe I could work for Rachel Bilson's mom?

Project Runway non-fans can skip this entry (actually probably everyone can)

Okay, this seems a little silly, but I really want to send out an apology to Kenley Collins. It's no secret that I thought she was a mean girl all season, and I don't think the interviews she's been doing post-finale are exactly helping her cause, but they do make me feel a bit bad. The producers clearly manipulated things to make her look more catty, and I think some of the things (like omitting the scenes where Tim meets her friends/boyfriends) are just downright not nice. That being said, I don't think she is the sweetest gal in the world, but I think it would hurt my feelings if every time I googled my own name 9 million hateful things came up, so I just want to throw this out there: Kenley, your designs are pretty cool, I like the headbands you always wear, and I think you're hot. And I'm sorry I felt like it was okay to judge you even though I don't know you; I guess reality television has made that normal in our society. I hope your line does well and I hope you lead a fulfilling life.

Okay, good karma of the day, sent!

Self-editing.

I haven't blogged in a week, which is quite unlike me these days. I have been swamped with work, but I'm not sure that's an excuse because even though I have such a huge amount, I haven't exactly been doing it. Lots of other stuff is going on as well: I was home last week, Greek Night for my sorority, Big/Little week in my sorority, the magazine I work for dealing with some major changes...all of the above are worthy of blog posts, but then I start wondering how personal this thing should be, etc.

It's strange, I have these little mini-freak-outs every so often, wondering exactly what pieces of my soul I'm baring on the internet, and why. As my writing professor this semester constantly reminds us, I have to be responsible for everything that prints under my name. Even later in the game when (if–please God, if) an editor, publisher, lawyer, whoever, is involved, I'm still the one who has to take the responsibility. My name is on everything I choose to "publish" here, and I have to make sure I'm okay with that. 

Sometimes I feel like I forget that, and I flippantly hit "publish post" without thinking about the consequences. I've made mistakes and been called out on them, and sometimes it's a silly mistake and I know it, and sometimes I'm genuinely surprised and kind of embarrassed. And even more than that, sometimes I think, what the fuck I promised myself I'd never ramble about boys on this blog and there are more than a few references to more than one boy up on here, and this is online and it is not private and why exactly am I sharing this with "the world" or I suppose more accurately the 20 or so people who Google Analytics promise me read this daily, but still, why?

Ultimately it is always the same answer. It's the same reason I write anything I write. It's because I want to share, want to expose the "monster in the mirror" that people crave to see when they read (ugh, why is my writing class this semester so fucking good?). I want to write about things that seem relevant to me and I want to see if they resonate even a tiny bit with anyone else out there. Sharing, exploring, discovering via words. It's what I've done my whole life and now the internet is just one more forum where I can grow.

Still, I think it's good to kind of take a step back every so often, like I've been doing, and make sure I'm not telling too much, sharing too much. A big concern of mine is that when I put something up here, in a way, it no longer becomes mine. Luckily (I think, for me) I haven't had any sort of internet microfame yet, so I haven't had to deal with people being really intrusive of what I choose to write, but I still don't like the idea that once I purge myself of thoughts and feelings they are no longer mine. The same professor I've been gushing about all through this post assured me that even once something is online, it is still mine. That's reassuring, but I don't know if I 100% agree. Once it's not solely in my head anymore, how can a thought be only my own? Then again, I do believe that if I don't get everything going on in my head out on a regular basis, then I can lose those thoughts forever.

So what is better? Giving the thoughts away or losing them in the abyss of my mind? Maybe that's not the only choice. I won't stop writing in this blog, at least not for now. I just fear version 2.0 of my high school Livejournal haunting me somewhere down the line.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More good advice

"Just be selfish. Make it all about you. If it's supposed to be fun and it's suddenly not fun anymore, get rid of that shit. You just have to make sure you're happy." - Stephanie Bejar, NYU Alum

So I'm thinking even if I end up graduating and being entirely unemployable, perhaps four years at NYU does make you a tiny bit wiser? Here's to hoping, and to being selfish.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why this woman hates a specific TIME article

Okay, articles like this make me batty. "Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin"...Belinda Luscombe, why did you have to go and write this? I mean seriously? I hate when journalists do this, and I particularly hate when women journalists do this, because I just don't understand hating on your own gender.

"What the Democrats learned during the primaries and the Republicans might now be finding out the hard way, I learned at my very academic, well-regarded all-girls high school: that is never to discount the ability of women to open a robust, committed, well-thought-out vat of hatred for another girl."

She got me! I am definitely anti-Palin because I love opening up those robust vats of hatred, just for other girls! I never do it for guys, because they just don't make me jealous in that same way a pretty girl does! Ohhh, I just hate pretty girls! Gosh darn, when they're pretty and confident I just have to go and hate them! Grrr, I am woman (or is it girl?), hear me roar!

That's basically the gist of the article. We women just hate little ol' Palin because she's pretty and confident and we're ugly and have self-esteem issues, so we're jealous. Oh, and because of this jealousy, all that other benign stuff becomes an affront. Girlfriend is just so insightful. I don't dislike Palin because she goes against everything I believe in...I hate her because she's hotter than me! All that stuff about drilling and abortions and gay marriage and taxes, that's just extra...if only she were a little uglier I probably wouldn't hold it against her at all!

Ugh, fuck you, Belinda. I do not like to lash out at other women, as in "It's women like you," (although you clearly have no issue with that strategy) but I will just say that you as a human being make me angry, because I don't understand the point of acting as though women are irrational absurd creatures and pigeonholing the entire gender in an effort to "explain things." And that little snarky piece you do at the end? Where you say: "...if all else fails, we could just do what we always do and just vote in some guy. It's worked so well for us in the past." You can't get away with that shit. Because "we" as in women are not the only ones who have been voting for these men, so don't act like we're so responsible. And don't you dare try to act like a McCain/Palin government will be so much better than the "guys" who have "worked so well" in the past. And stop fucking trying to guilt women into feeling as though if they don't vote for "the girl" they are anti-feminist. Let me tell you something, Belinda. I think a vote for McCain, because yes, in case you've forgotten, McCain is actually the dude running for president, not Palin, but I think a vote for him is the scariest choice a woman can make. That said, I will allow my gender and the opposite to vote for whoever the fuck they want, because some women believe in the right to choose.

But I will just say that I hope you all vote Obama/Biden. Do it for me, because I can't vote. Or do it for yourself, because you want to be able to believe in an American future we can all actually feel hopeful and positive about. Or do it because you love people who believe in choice, and you realize that McCain, Palin, and this moron Belinda are not those people. Please, just do it. Some women out there will thank you, and it has nothing to do with hate.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just watching the debate & eating takeouts

McCain, stop trying to make "my friends" happen! It's not going to happen!

Monday, October 6, 2008

On a slightly lighter note

One of my best friend's Ariella is studying abroad in Denmark this semester. She just emailed me this photo with the title "If you wanted to know what Denmark is like..." Apparently this image appears in her reading for her midterm tomorrow! I told her to blog about it but she said she can't because her parents read her blog, but told me I was welcome to. My parents read my blog, too, but luckily that doesn't stop me from posting shit like this! Apparently this is from a Danish document entitled "Best Milk" and it is meant to "show how Danes are open about everything and want equality for everything and blah blah blah." You learn something new every day!

The world is not okay

I almost started crying at work because of this article in the LA Times. Basically, a 15 year old girl was put in jail in Brazil because of a petty theft charge, and while there she was "left for weeks in a jail cell with 21 men, who raped her, tortured her and allowed her food only in exchange for sex."

Not only is it beyond explication that the corrupt police system was unmoved by this situation, but I was so discouraged to read about the other girls in the article. It seems that Abaetetuba, Brazil, is known for its prostitution among young girls. "Young girls...sell their bodies to passing boatmen for as little as $6." That seems to be accepted among the society. However, the article specifically mentions that many other girls who were interviewed did not express sympathy for the one who was raped, "because she was a thief–a line they say they would never cross." A coordinator of the Catholic Church's Youth Pastoral, Andre Franzini, begs to differ: "Lots of these kids rob. The girl's problem was she kept getting caught."

Actually, the girl's problem is that she lived in a place where children end up selling their bodies and their families don't complain as long as it brings home cash. Her problem is that she was placed, by the "authorities", in a jail cell filled with 21 sick men and raped and tortured. Her problem is that even though people heard her screams from the streets, nothing was done about getting her out of the cell until a tip from the local media freed her. The problem is that this is not an isolated situation, and the problem is I don't know what we can do as a world to stop this from happening. This is our problem.

Whenever I talk with my mom about the best way to fix all that is wrong with the world, she always reminds me that every child deserves a chance. It's true, and yet when I think about that simple concept I get so disheartened. How can we possibly make sure every human life entering this world gets the chance they deserve? How can we begin to facilitate education and shelter and a safe home with love and kindness for every child on this planet? But my mom's right. Until we do, the world isn't going to change. For every chance that is not provided, we're all a little bit more fucked. So what do we do? How do I save every lost girl on this planet?

I don't know. 

But articles like this make me think I need to be a little less selfish and give up this idea of "going into journalism" or "moving to California" and stop bemoaning my "poor college self" status and touting my pretentious asshole in New York status and get out there and make a fucking difference. I used to want to change the world, and just because I no longer know how, that doesn't mean it's okay to stop trying. Because the world is not okay, and if we don't at least start trying to fix things, I don't know what comes next.

No Strings Attached

"The only strings I like are string cheese." 
- Dena Greenbaum, A Wise Woman

How Sex and the City let a whole generation down

Sometimes I really wish that Sex and the City had carried (ha!) on a bit longer, or that the writers had introduced some younger tech-savvy women into the dynamic, or that Carrie at least knew how to use a fucking cell phone. I'm sorry, say what you will, but SATC hit on some very real dating/relationship/men scenarios, and I find that quite often I can take a real life situation and think to myself, Well, what would the SATC girls do? And mock me if you please, but more often than not, this helps me figure out what the fuck I should do.

But when it comes to texting, blogging, and Facebooking, this glorious show offers no advice. All I got from 6 seasons and one disappointing movie is that one should always back shit up, if you like Macs and your guy likes PCs when you break up you can make some unfunny joke about the two of you not being "compatible", and, a la the big screen fiasco, always keep an eye on your cell phone on your wedding day (seriously, if she had just answered those stupid calls the movie could have been 1/4 the length, right?!)

At this point in time, there is no way to deal with the opposite (or same, depending on your sexual preference orientation) sex without using technology as we know it. Heck, there is no way to deal with life without it. But where's my guide to Men in the Millennial Age? Where's the episode that explains how soon is too soon when it comes to Friending, how much is too much when it comes to texting, and where exactly the line lies when it comes to oversharing via blog? I guess Carrie never really held back in her column, though she didn't use real names or anything, so perhaps her advice to the 2008 blogger is inevitable: put it all out there. I don't know that I agree, but we didn't exactly see eye-to-eye about that Fuck Me dress on the side of the bus either, so that's okay. I'm not saying I agree with everything these ladies preach, but it sure is nice to have a guide. And that's where SATC drops the ball, because as the world gets more incestuous and connected, just as we all need the most guidance, there suddenly is none.

When am I being an over-eager texter? What the fuck does a one word text mean? What do you do with the guy who wouldn't stop IMing you last week and has suddenly dropped off the face of the earth? Drunk texting etiquette? The list goes on and on, and I wish I had Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte on the screen in front of me, gabbing about loves from the past popping up on Facebook and one night stands texting into oblivion. But no. All I have is the prospect of another too-long-too-product-placey lame cinema extravaganza that will make me miss the six seasons of sensibility. Now I'm depressed just thinking about it, and I still have no idea how to deal with any of my technologically-advanced flirtation, or lack thereof. And that, in short, is how Sex and the City let a whole generation down. Or maybe just me.

Advice from "my wise, beyond his years" little brother

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gimme gimme more...

Self-promotion Part II:


But seriously, I need a new one. I wasn't allowed to say this on CG, but regular Secret started to suck and Mitchum for men hasn't been doing its thing either. I've heard some rave reviews about Secret Clinical Strength, but also a few horror stories...thoughts? Help a sweaty sister out, s'il vous plait.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

More Self-Promotion

My first CosmoGirl blog post is up! It went live a bit late because of some technical difficulties I had, but I'm still really excited with it. You should all check it out.

My second post will be up Saturday at 7pm, and as promised, it is about deodorant. Get excited!

Mom becomes a Millennial

My mother just recently got a Macbook, and is currently taking the internet by storm. She would argue otherwise, but seriously, her computer-knowledge has increased at least ten-fold since this time last month. She's great. Still, she has a few complaints. Here, she touches on the problems of AIM:
Love you mommy. You're doing great!

Real Keeper

One last note to the general male population based on humans I have come into contact with recently. I felt the need to separate this guy out from the rest of the pack because he is clearly a Real Keeper.

So I'm at a party, chatting to a nice, normal guy. Or so I think! We're chatting about London, and summer internships, and majors, and dorky things like reading (!) and writing (!) and books (!), and it's a real conversation (!) My friends are leaving though so I get his last name, with intentions of looking him up on Facebook and quizzing about London once a week until I leave. He suggests we just exchange phone numbers instead, so we do. 

And then, as I'm ready to say goodbye, as I'm ready to be awestruck by the total niceness of this guy, he cups his hand, brings it very close to my body, looks at me with a kind of smirk, and goes, "Can I just..." and moves his hand closer to me, heading for my boob. (I wish I was the kind of blogger who video taped myself re-enacting things and could post a video here, because it's so much better when you see me acting it out.) So obviously the end of the question was "...cop a feel." In so many words. I was repulsed. I just gave him this really dirty look, complete with the lip curl, and I said, "No. No you can't." He, thank goodness, recoiled, but looked vaguely wounded. "Ew," I said. "It was really great meeting you until you did that." He didn't seem ashamed. "I'm sorry, I'm really really drunk. Sorry." And here is my What The Fuck moment. Really drunk?! That's the excuse? Listen bud, I have poor judgement when drunk too sometimes. I wake up and find half eaten bags of non-brand-name Cheetos lying by my bed and I think, "Shit, that was a poor decision." But I do not go around grabbing random guy's dicks when I'm drunk. I do not wonder aloud if it's okay to sexually harass someone! I don't then act confused as to why that person if miffed, and I don't try to blame the whole thing on the stupid beer bottle in my hand! What! The! Fuck!

The best part of the whole story is that I did friend him on Facebook today, and guess what? He has a girlfriend.

Told you he was a keeper.

How Not To Get Girls To Come Home With You

We've been over this before, but just to start off this post, let's reiterate: men driving garbage trucks, when you yell out your window, "Hey sexy, let me take you home," I am probably not going to hop into said truck, give you unbelievable road head, and then follow through with your offer, tempting as it is. Really this can apply to any man who hollers at me on the street, but the ones in moving vehicles always really get me. Seriously sir, I listened to my parents growing up. I do not accept rides (or candy) from strangers. I mean, on my own terms, I just don't think screaming lewd comments at strangers is the most effective pick-up line one can employ, but the moving vehicle just really does the whole thing in. I've asked before but I'll ask again, incase there are any verbal assaulters who drive big trucks reading this: does this method ever work? Have you ever gotten a girl to come home with you by shrieking vaguely offensive "compliments" out a window as you and your buddies sweat on each other and spit onto the sidewalk? Is this the primary method you use to get laid? And if not, what's the fucking point?

That was just the beginning of the night though, obviously. God forbid anyone ever try to hail a taxi without being yelled at out the side of a truck. Of course, once we arrived at our destination, I found out that men of all creeds know how to be charming, ie the garbage men hanging out by Canal St. are totally on the same level as NYU undergrads! What do you know, you learn new shit every day.

Here are some ground rules, friends. Don't put your hand so far up my thigh my skirt rides up to the point of being indecent. If I wanted my skirt placed a centimeter below my crotch, I'd wear it that way. Probably if I'm wearing my skirt so that it covers my knees, you shouldn't facilitate any wardrobe changes; I'm not Britney, and I'm all set wearing the same thing for a whole night. Also, don't have your friends take photos of us talking on their iPhones. That's so creepy. I am all for photos, but at least have me pose (still vaguely creepy if I don't know the photographer, but at least I know a picture's being taken). And if I mention the creepy photographer, don't assure me that the photos will probably just be used for mocking you at some frat event later down the line. So you're saying your flirtations with me are grounds for mocking? Thanks, Romeo.

Two more things, which Sam pointed out are actually quite endearingly freshman, so I can't even be all that mad...it just brings back funny memories. So okay, I'm not so offended by these, I'm just giving a heads up that they may not be the best way to entice ladies into one's lair. One: promising me that you have a "whole bottle of vodka, just for the two of us!" back at your place is not sweet. It's also pointless if we're both already drunk. I also am not going to believe that you are "really a nice guy, really!" and that you just want to prove to me "what a nice guy!" you are, if your opening line includes "vodka" and "dorm room" in the same sentence. Two: assuring me that the fact I have work at 9am is no big deal because you live right by the Subway stop I need is simply ludicrous. Acting like your suggestion that I roll out of bed at 8am and hop on a subway to go to work still wearing my clothes and makeup from the night before without showering or at least mouth-washing is completely legitimate makes it seem as though perhaps you belong at another school, potentially one with the words "Junior High" embedded in the title.

So no, men and little boys of New York, I do not want to go home with you. Except, and this is the sad part, sometimes, I probably did want exactly that. But with the way you've been acting, it just can't happen. So try not to stick your foot in your mouth, avoid sexually harassing me, and at least fucking pretend to be interested in the stuff coming out my mouth instead of the flesh hanging off my chest, and maybe we can both get what we want. Thanks.

Love Letters

I went through a phase when I still kept a LiveJournal where I would write every post in mini-letter-form. I thought it was incredibly endearing, lots of people thought it was unbelievably annoying, and ultimately it's just more proof that a high school LiveJournal (well mine, at least) is nothing more than a series of stupid shout-outs to an audience of some fans and more haters. 

Still, I can't help wanting to write New York a love letter tonight. After reading Goodbye To All That (over, and over, and over) for class on Thursday, we got to talking about New York and the effect it has on all of us. It's no secret that the city functions as a human, and that each city dweller's relationship with this very complicated and fascinating "human" has its ups and downs. Rachel, my professor, suggested we each start working on a piece about New York. To the city, really. Since Sarah blogged about Reena Spauldings I've been dying to read it because it sounds like exactly that, and I think it's so interesting to hear little pieces of different peoples love sagas with this city, because I guess in the end they're all the same. I will continue to read Didion daily because I have been acting less pretentious than usual so I think I have some wiggle room in that regard, and I will hopefully get my hands on a copy of Reena, and I will begin composing my own love letter. I already wrote a long two-part post this summer that I never posted, explaining my near demise in this place, and then expounding on my eventual groveling back, begging the city's forgiveness.

Like all relationships in my life at this point though, I think the city and I are on more equal ground than ever before. I feel far more in control, and even when I feel pushed around, the truth is I now know how to push right back. I think that's what New York does to you. Maybe at some point I will post my old love letter to New York, just for the sake of having it in here. But I am also working on a new one. I think anyone who lives here owes one, both to this place and to themselves.

Walking home tonight, making the choice to walk the 34 blocks and 8 avenues instead of taking the N like usual, I felt so calm and at ease. The sky was an inky blue, somewhere between purple and navy, and even though the sidewalks were filled with grown-ups in suits hustling home from a long week, I felt serene. As a person who tends to feel more lonely when surrounded by a group of friends and acquaintances rather than when she is truly by herself, as I am now, it is strange to feel so content with so much commotion occurring around you. And yet, I suppose that, which is what I despise about this city so much sometimes, is what truly keeps me sane at others: no matter how many people are around, ultimately, if you want to be, you are alone. New York City helps build barriers just as easily as she allows us to break them, and tonight, I love her for that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

ALSO:

When someone has an ugly personality, it tends to turn them into an ugly person.

Oh, and:

I will officially be in London this spring. 

Crack, Kenley, and pirates

Forget Crackberries, I don't need one. Why? Because I already have an addiction. Project Runway, you break my heart week after week...why do I keep coming back? Why oh why is Kenley still there? And why does she have to go and give fighting, go-getter-y woman such a bad name? Korto is my new lover and if she gets sent home I will officially never watch the show again, even if it does end up moving over to Lifetime, which at this point looks questionable. 

In happier news, the pirates have dropped their ransom request down to $5 million. Yay!