1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I had surgery... twice! Because I am awesome. I traveled outside the country. I took a summer class. I spent over a thousand dollars at one time on something other than a vehicle. I spent 15 hours at school in one day. I wore rainboots.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made new year's resolutions last year. I'm going to make some for next year, I just don't know yet what they'll all be. I'll write them down when I figure it out.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Ummm... no. Not this year!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Three of my grandparents, within six months of each other. It sucked. Big time.
5. What countries did you visit?
England, France, and Italy. I also went to Maine and Florida, but those, as we all know, are merely STATES.
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More money. Maybe a job I really like, where I can use the skills I'm spending fifty years in school for. Maybe a tattoo. Maybe a new car.
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 23-June 9, because those were the dates I spent in Europe, but the specific dates are only really etched in my memory because of the HOURS and HOURS I spent planning that trip.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think my mural project for photo 2 class was a pretty good achievement.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I dunno man. I don't know that I really think in terms of failing. I'm sure I had some failures but I don't think I register them as such.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yeah, I had appendicitis, so that was pretty awesome. I had countless colds and probably a bout of the flu and some infection that caused my lymph nodes to swell all up and wreak havoc on my mental health and sanity.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Definitely my MacBook and my Nikon D40. Two of the best purchases I've ever made.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'd have to probably say Brittony's during her cancer, because she plays like a champ. Also she's hot bald.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Those are strong words. I've been unhappy with some people's behavior, but I wouldn't say I've been appalled or depressed by anyone's behavior.
14. Where did most of your money go?
On a daily basis, rent and groceries. But a LOT of my money went toward Europe, my computer, and my camera.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I get really, really, really excited about a lot of things. My computer, my camera, going to Europe, moving into a new house, my final photo project, my flash kit, Christmas, probably a few other things.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Probably "Hombre" by M.I.A. I listened to it countless times and danced my ass off. Even in the darkroom.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I'd say happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? Definitely poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Relaxing. Taking pictures that weren't for school. Writing in my journal. Watching movies. Doing creative things. Reading.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. Feeling guilty for relaxing when I had the time, and feeling like I should be doing something productive instead. Smoking. Getting riled up about stupid things.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went to my mom's house on Christmas Eve and spent the night and we all opened presents and stuffed ourselves with Chick-fil-a nuggets. On Christmas Day I went to Kyle's parents' house for a few hours in the afternoon and then to my dad's house in the evening for Christmas dinner and Wii.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
No. I did that last year!
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I got really into TV during the second half of this year because I got cable when I moved and I also got Netflix. I love The Office, Weeds, Heroes, Freaks & Geeks (even though it's canceled), Real Housewives of Orange County (even though I hate myself for liking it), Ugly Betty, Planet Earth, and Family Guy.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
I read all seven Harry Potter books and loved them. I really liked The Secret Life of Bees, The Stone Diaries, and The Virgin Suicides.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Even though I've listened to them sporadically for a while, I finally bought an Iron & Wine CD and listened to it basically nonstop for a month straight. I also discovered John Lee Hooker, who isn't new and has, in fact, been around forever, but he's awesome and he was new to me and also, I love the blues. So much. This year hasn't been very prolific on the discovering-new-music front.
26. What did you want and get?
A DSLR, a MacBook, a flash kit, portraiture backdrops, Pumas, a trip to Europe, a new place to live.
27. What did you want and not get?
A new car, a prime lens, a Nikon D3.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't really remember what I've seen that actually came out this year. My favorite film that I saw for the first time this year was American Beauty, hands down. I'll come back to this one if I think of a film that actually came out this year.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 22, and I did a whole lot of nothing. I was really tired and didn't feel well so I stayed in bed and watched TV all day and then went to my dad's for dinner with a bunch of my family and Kyle and Brittony. It was a good birthday.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A car that doesn't break itself all the time. My car was the source of several breakdowns through the year.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
The same as it's always been: I Wear What I Want, When I Want, Regardless of Whether It Matches Or Is In Style. Also, Gray.
32. What kept you sane?
School, although it also made me INsane sometimes. My family and my friends. My boyfriend. Photography, reading, spacing out and watching television.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Johnny Depp. Always.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Darfur, especially after going to the rally.
35. Who did you miss?
I miss my grandparents, now. Sometimes a lot. I missed my family while I was out of the country, I missed Kyle while he was on vacation. I missed Erin when she stayed at school and I didn't see her for a while. I missed Brittony when she was away at school.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Amanda. Also Emily, but I technically met her last year.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Life kind of keeps throwing the same lesson at me over and over again: this too shall pass. One of these days I'll get it.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Life is much too short to sit and wonder
Who's going to make the next move
And will slowly pull you under
When you've always got something to prove
I don't want to wait a lifetime
Yours or mine, yours or mine
Can't you see me reaching for the lifeline
Your lifeline, the lifeline, my lifeline, the lifeline
Later in the afternoon the speakers came back on, playing the Aruba song again. I fell to my knees and heartily thanked God for giving me my iPod. The end.
Speaking of abusive Internet relationships? Today I was on Netflix, perusing the "view it now" options. I was getting totally excited, because it opened up kind of a whole new world of viewing possibilities to me, you know? Seventeen hours of online viewing per month! If I want to watch something, but all of my DVDs are in transit or already watched, I can just hop on over to the friendly Internet and coax a few hours of entertainment out of it! Well, it turns out. No. Netflix bitch-slapped me and then informed me that its platform requirements for online viewing were Windows XP or Vista, and ONLY Windows. Considering that my new(est) lover is a Mac, and I am currently eschewing Windows with a much firmer hand than the one I typically use to eschew Blogger, I was understandably upset. Netflix! Why would you do this to me? I love you so much, and I was beginning to love you even more, you DVD vixen, because of the new possibilities you had opened up to me! But you teased me and then you closed the door on my hand. Why, Netflix, why? Why is Mac not a worthy platform for your online viewing? WHY?
I have been lazily clicking links to Etsy lately and it really makes me want to make gifts for everyone I know this year for Christmas. Actually, it makes my creativity bone (doesn't that sound dirty?) itch in general. I want to get out some patterns and fabric and sew some stuff to wear. Then I want to knit some scarves for people I know. Then I want to paint and mat pictures to give to my sisters. Then I want to take pictures to give to other people. I just want to MAKE MAKE MAKE stuff so hard right now. I love being an art major, but it kind of sucks sometimes because I feel like all my creative energy is sucked up by school assignments, leaving none left over for fun projects. All I want to do right now is make stuff, but I have several more hours to be at work, and my brain remains on the couch, eating nachos.
Although, last Friday I shot the pictures for my final project and I am SO excited about it. I got people drunk and took them to school in the middle of the night and made them take off their shirts. It was kind of hot and awesome, and by kind of, I mean TOTALLY. I've never been this excited about a project. I want to post pictures here, but I've been too much of a lazy whore to sift through them, edit them, and put them on Flickr.
The moral of the story? I want to watch stuff and also make stuff. Preferably at the same time!
P.S. This makes me pee in my pants:
Lately it's like Survivor around here, only with body parts. The nodes saw what happened to the appendix and they should have been scared, but were they? No! They shamelessly swelled and forced me to take drastic measures AGAIN. You should have known, you guys! Nothing is safe living inside me!
The nodes are still swollen and I'm being inundated with doctors' appointments. I went to the endocrinologist and the ENT last week and they both decided that the only cure for what ails this poor girl? MORE APPOINTMENTS! AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE AS DRAWN OUT AS POSSIBLE! So now I have a cat scan for the nodes on Thursday and another ENT appointment next week, I think, and then a free week and then the week after I think I have an ultrasound on my thyroid and a follow-up with the endo. I feel like you should be able to check both things with one test, you know? Either an ultrasound OR a cat scan. Not both. But no! It must be both, and hey, did you know, more bloodwork too! I love needles. It's too bad heroin never agreed with me.
My long weekend flew by with the moving and the spending eight hours in a darkroom on a holiday, but the second-best thing about a long weekend? Short week afterward! Before I left for work today I was getting my lunch things together and I said to myself, hmm, I believe I will have a hot dog for lunch today. Mostly because that was all that was left in my fridge/pantry that was lunch-able. So I packed up my lunch and traipsed off to work. A couple hours later my stomach was all, FOOD! NOW! and so I was all, mmm hot dog. Then I realized I forgot cheese for my hot dog, but I was like, well, ok, I can deal with having a cheeseless hot dog just this once. I guess. So I got my plate and was all set to go microwave my hot dog and eat its lonely, cheese-free self, when I realized, hey! I forgot buns too! Talented. So I went to Wendy's for lunch instead. The end.
So I spent eight hours in a darkroom yesterday? Working on a project that's due on Wednesday? And the weird thing is that... uh... I kind of wouldn't mind going back today? To print some pictures I took over the summer? And I think I have a sickness. A sickness cured only by huffing developer and fixer for eight hours straight and also not seeing daylight. Maybe it's like a vampire thing! Only instead of blood, I need DEVELOPERRRRRR. AND FIXERRRRRR. ARGGHGHGHHHH VAMPIRE ANGRY!
I also MOVED over the weekend! It was a totally awesome pain in the ass. But I had a lot of help, so that was nice, and I spent a large part of the weekend organizing and arranging my things, which was also nice. Except I'm stuck in this paralysis of organization/put-away-...tion wherein I can't do anything else until I go to Target and/or Ikea and get some wall shelves, because my room is really tiny and I need to add some height to it because I have this weird thing about rooms feeling weighted when there's too much stuff on the ground and not on the walls, so I can't hang anything up or put anything else away until I figure out where I want me some shelves. Classic! One would think it would be easy to find time to go to Target when it is a five minute WALK from one's new house, but one would be wrong. Turns out.
Last but certainly not least, in my quest to read all of the Harry Potter books in a row because omgggg so goooodddd, I finished the fifth book last Wednesday and realized, OH GOD. NO. I DO NOT HAVE THE SIXTH BOOK RIGHT NOW. WHAT WILL I DOOOOO?? So I got an (inferior, NOT Harry Potter) book off my shelf and began that, and it's okay, I guess, but I don't think I'd even like it that much if I wasn't yearning for Harry Potter, but as it stands, I am YEARNING for Harry Potter and I have no idea when I will be able to borrow the sixth book from someone. Harry Potter is like a hardcore drug to me. My veins are lonely! SIXTH BOOK! NOW!!!
There are four classes that photo majors must take entitled Directed Study 1 & 2 and Portfolio 1 & 2. These class titles did not used to reverberate with such tones of DOOM inside my poor weakened heart but alas, those happy days are over. Only a few days ago I had plotted out the rest of my courses so that I had slated myself to graduate in spring of 2009, which, holy hell! That's only a year late, even with the transferring of schools and the changing of majors and all the lost hours and WOW I AM AWESOME. SO, SO AWESOME. But as it turns out, I am not awesome. Way not awesome. Because yesterday I found out that both Directed Studies and both Portfolios must be taken separately from one another. And by that, I mean that you cannot take any one of those four in the same semester with another of those. Four. Consecutive. Semesters. Which I had already kind of planned on, right? Because I had planned out four more semesters for myself? WRONG.
You cannot even begin taking these four consecutive semesters until you have completed ALL OF YOUR OTHER STUDIO CLASSES. ALL. OF THEM. I will not be done with all of my studio classes until the end of fall semester of 2008, and you know what that means? I am TENTATIVELY expecting to graduate in FALL OF 2010.
Let me repeat that. TWO. THOUSAND. TEN. AS IN THREE YEARS FROM NOW. AS IN SIX AND A HALF YEARS AFTER I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL.
Okay. I'm breathing. Deep healing breaths, seriously, but SERIOUSLY, GEORGIA STATE. OH MY GOD WHY. Even if I had begun the program as a freshman it would have been impossible for me to graduate on time. I think. I'm holding onto that thought because seriously. It's not even really the graduating late that is irking me so hard, because let's face it, I kind of like school an awkwardly large amount and will kind of probably feel a little lost and empty once I graduate. It's just infuriating that the degree is set up so fucking awkwardly, like, sorry guys, but unless you start school in the last semester of your senior year of high school? You are fucked. Have a nice college experience!
Most majors involving directed studies don't even have to take them. Directed studies are usually an option to pad your hours requirement for graduation, but photo majors? Not only do we HAVE to do a directed study, we have to do TWO! OH THE JOY. I don't know, I just never thought getting an art degree would be so complicated, but I guess we really take our art seriously here, huh? The good thing is that people know that GSU photo degrees are no joke and from what I've heard, people who graduate with a photo major from GSU usually do pretty well for themselves. So that's something, you know? Except it is also something that when I finally graduate and people are like, what happened? Did you take a couple of years off? Like three? I will have to be like, NO. I JUST SUCK. SO, SO HARD.
On the other hand, hi! I really do love photography and even if I switched majors at this point it would take me just as long to graduate, and on the bright side? Taking this long to get through school means I get darkroom access for the next three years. So I guess it's not all that bad.
On the other other hand? I get to buy one of these this semester, because I need it for school, which means I can totally rationalize making a purchase that I have wanted to make for the last three years:
Why? Why do you plague me with your exhaustive-ness? I have so much to do and yet by the time I return to my apartment at night, all I can do is lay on the couch in a heat-fueled stupor and drool on myself until I gain enough energy to haul myself into the shower and then into bed. You are very, very inconvenient for me. I have cleaning out to do! Movies and shows to watch! Books to read! I haven't bought groceries in approximately five weeks! But I can do none of these things while you are hanging around. GO AWAY.
Pressing the keys has wiped me out,
Dear dull, throbbing, nagging headache,
I really hate you. Why are you here? It's not allergy season. Well, okay, I have been around a very large number of cats lately, but REALLY. I live with cats on a daily basis, what difference should three more tiny, almost invisible kittens make? NONE, HEADACHE. Are you allergies? Are you not enough sleep? Are you and exhaustion simply teaming up to drive me into the ground? You make me feel like I am walking through life barely conscious of what is going on, because that is WHAT I AM DOING WHEN YOU ARE AROUND. Please vacate the premises immediately.
My eyes are throbbing from looking at the screen,
CAFFEINE!!!! BEAUTIFUL, LOVELY CAFFEINE IS THE ANSWER. YOUR HEADACHE WILL MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR AFTER THE FIRST THREE SIPS OF THAT VANILLA COKE ZERO AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STAY AWAKE THROUGHOUT AN ENTIRE WORKDAY! WHY? WHY WITH THE NO CAFFEINE IN THE LAST THREE DAYS? SEE HOW MUCH BETTER YOU FEEL? YAYYYYYY CAFFEINE!!!!!!
Exhaustion and headache
1. It is a bad idea to eat applesauce straight out of the jar when you are very hungry because all you had for breakfast was a pack of peanut butter crackers because you have not gone grocery shopping in four weeks because you are tired and lazy and busy and also, you really fucking HATE going grocery shopping and would kind of rather eat ramen noodles three times a day for a month than go grocery shopping. Eating applesauce straight out of the jar, especially when you are at work and distracted by the shiny computer monitor in front of you, will probably result in looking at the jar after thirty minutes and realizing there is only about a third of the original amount of applesauce remaining. You will then need to sheepishly re-cap the jar and place it back in the refrigerator before your crazy applesauce-eating self begin to chomp on the applesauce-flavored glass without realizing it.
2. Actually, mostly just the applesauce thing. I think that's all I've learned today. Not from experience, of course, just from... uh... hypothesizing? Yeah. Totally just an untested hypothesis.
Speaking of the Food-Related Crazy, I hoard condiments. Is that weird? I get fast food at work probably once or twice a week (except when I haven't gone grocery shopping in four weeks and am forced to forage for food [holy shit, look at all that alliteration] elswhere than my lonely, cold refrigerator, in which case I get fast food a little more often than that), and a lot of times I go to Wendy's because it's really close to my office and it's cheap. (Are you still following after all the punctuation? IT'S A PUNCTUATION PARTY OVER HERE! PARENTHESES! BRACKETS! COMMAS! WOOOOOO CRAZY TIME!)
Anyway. What was I saying? Oh, right. Condiment hoarding! (I feel like it's some kind of illicit sexual act or something... you rotten hoarder). Anyway OH MY GOD PARENTHESES. So the Wendy's I go to does not offer mayonnaise packets for some ungodly, unexplained reason, and I like to mix my ketchup with mayonnaise to dip my fries in, I know, weird and ew. Whatever. So whenever I ask for mayonnaise they give it to me in a tiny condiment cup but that just gets kind of inconvenient, you know? Also I get tired of asking for mayonnaise and ketchup all the time and the guy behind the window totally KNOWS ME because I am all the time asking for mayonnaise and now he brings it to me without my asking and I don't know, that's just kind of embarrasing.
So now whenever I have extra ketchup packets or I get mayo packets from a different fast-food establishment, I totally toss them into a Wendy's bag and keep them for next time I get fast food so that I won't have to ask for condiments. And I hide the bag behind my computer monitor so no one else can see it, like it's some kind of dirty little secret, you filthy condiment hoarder. I mean, seriously, who does that? I think it's some kind of weird sickness. I think it has something to do with the Type-A and OCD and shit. Who even knows.
In other obsessive news, my Netflix queue has somehow shot up over 100 (Holy shit! Arrested Development, I totally want to watch that! And Big Love, omg! OMG SO MANY DVDS!) and I totally upgraded to three DVDs at-a-time because in addition to being a filthy condiment hoarder, I am totally a filthy DVD hoarder. I cannot help myself.
Speaking of love affairs, I love organization and storage (news to anyone? thought not). Yesterday I went to Target to pick up a prescription and accidentally got absorbed in looking at the plastic storage containers because I am cleaning out my room right now and about to start packing to move and that means that I obviously need many, many more storage containers than I currently have in my life. All of the storage containers I already have are inferior and must be replaced with newer, shinier models. ALL OF THEM. Everything I own must have a storage container to call its own! It would be organizational heaven!
I didn't even realize that Target has a lot of storage containers on sale right now until I got over to that section and then I just stood there in awe as I stroked the containers' discounted plastic exteriors while a little bit of drool dribbled down the front of my shirt. I snapped rudely back to life when I realized that I have approximately $40 in my checking account to last me until Friday, but I bid a loving farewell to the containers and told them I would come back for them before the sale was over. Fear not, my loves! I shall return!
My roommate did a bad, bad thing. For me, anyway. As I understand the story (and to be honest, I don't really understand the story), one of her co-workers had a cat who had kittens and then he had to move out of his apartment/house/wherever he lived, and so Sara took the kittens until they could get their new homes. Most of them already had new homes (I think there were six to begin with?) and the others found homes almost immediately after Sara took them. However, and here is the bad part, there is now one kitten remaining. One tiny, lonely, oh my God adorable kitten. A friend of Sara's has already laid claim to this kitten but won't be taking her for another week or so, which, as it turns out, is about six days longer than it took for me to fall dramatically, irreversibly in love with this kitten. She is a tiny, unbelievably fluffy gray ball of fuzz and she's rambunctious and playful and runs around crazily pouncing on specks of dust, but then last night she curled up next to me and slept that way all night. All. Night. If I moved or turned over, she would move so that she was still touching me. But she didn't want to be ON me - if I put her on my chest, she would almost immediately climb off and lay back down next to me. She wanted to be touching me, but still in her space. Oh my God, she is so adorable. I AM SMITTEN. SMITTEN WITH A KITTEN, LOL THAT RHYMES!
And basically, now I want to keep her. But I can't. So I am sad. The end.
I got an A- on my last project, which, on the one hand, cool, because it's totally not like a B or a C or a D (all of which my teacher has handed out joyfully and without mercy to numerous people over the course of summer semester) but at the same time my inner perfectionist/type-A personality is totally abusing me because DUDE. You TOTALLY should have gotten an A, you worthless piece of dog poop! You are no more than a smelly pile of feces to me! You hear me? FECES! And I cry a little and promise Type-A that I will do better next time, I swear, I'm sorry, I really am. I didn't mean it! I don't know what happened! I... please don't hit me!
Anyway, so yeah, aside from my crazy-ass multiple personalities (which were actually what the project was based on, ooh!), one of which tells me that I suck unless I'm perfect, I'm well aware that an A- is a good grade, especially since I think I did better than almost anyone in the class. But still, it's kind of like, I worked so fucking hard on this project, I mean I literally put like 35 hours into this shit in the span of maybe a week, and so I kind of feel like my best work is only worth an A- to my teacher. Like she's laughing at my pathetic efforts, all HA! 35 hours? WIMP. AMATEUR. I scoff at your efforts. A-MINUS FOR YOU, BUT ONLY BECAUSE I AM FEELING KIND TODAY. Begone with you! Better luck next time!
The project I'm working on now is our final project, and I had a really hard time coming up with a concept because I think that the project is, frankly, stupid. Really stupid. Especially for a final project. We are to create at least five postcards. Postcards. Where we take pictures for the front of the postcard, and then we do stuff to the back. We can write to anyone, from anyone. The pictures have to relate somehow to what we write. And! We can manipulate the postcards and use techniques that don't involve pictures! Like painting! And drawing! And... um... stamping? I guess? I really feel like this is an idea that could be successfully executed by third graders, and actually, maybe I did a project like this once in elementary school. I can't remember.
Since I've had such a hard time coming up with an idea for this project, and I think it's kind of stupid, I'm writing to things that frustrate me, and taking pictures that illustrate these things. The recipients of my postcards will be:
- Money (that vicious minx)
- My apartment (fuck you, apartment. seriously.)
- My packrat tendency (see also: I've Saved Everything Since I Was Born, and No, I Am Not Kidding)
- Cigarettes (why, cigarettes? you are so bad for me, yet so enjoyable!)
- uh... one other thing I can't remember right now. Probably not a good sign.
So yeah. Stupid. Very, very stupid. But look! Pretty pictures! Which I will maybe eventually scan and put up here, but probably not!
In other news (that is the only segue I seem to be able to use appropriately), someone left the office for good (again) yesterday, and when I arrived this morning there was a cake sitting in the refrigerator. A chocolate cake, with chocolate whipped-looking frosting. My stomach was immediately screaming at me to eat this cake, I mean it, NOW OR ELSE! and so I finally got a piece and oh my, is it ever delicious. There's chocolate syrup or something on the inside and it is covered with a huge layer of chocolate-flavored whipped cream instead of icing, which is good because I hate regular icing. I am almost finished with my piece and I am sort of sad. I kind of want to announce that I am quitting just so I can get a cake and then come back the next week and be all, just kidding guys! I still want to work here! But damn, that was a good cake, huh?
In other news, my summer photography class is kicking my ass. When I signed up for it I was like, "Well, I mean, I don't know if I really want to take a summer class but I really need to, and I mean, it's photography for God's sake, I've taken it before so it will totally be a breeze cause I already know everything anyway. No time spent outside of class studying! Lots of extra time to sit around and stare at my belly button!" WRONG. We covered the basics in like one class period and from there it has been TAKE PICTURES PROCESS NEGATIVES MAKE CONTACT SHEETS MAKE PRINTS MAKE MORE PRINTS FUCK THESE HAVE DUST ON THEM MAKE THEM AGAIN MOUNT THEM HURRY HURRY TURN THEM IN!!! CRITIQUE OMG!!! The photography class I took last year was like... well... NOTHING compared to this. Nothing. I could have done that shit in like two weeks, seriously. I have no concept of how it took us an entire semester to get through that class. I shot like maybe four rolls of film the whole semester and only processed one of them in the darkroom. I've already shot and processed six rolls of film in three weeks and wow, it is time-consuming. I love it, I really do, and this is definitely not going to deter me from pursuing photography, but this summer class is nothing like I expected it to be. We have two more assignments -- big ones -- left to go this semester and only three weeks. Between twelve hours spent in class a week and 21 to 24 at work, it's hard to find another twenty or thirty to spend taking pictures and working in the darkroom. At least it's something I love, ja? Except for the times when I end up crying in a corner because my prints won't come out correctly even though I've done them 18 times and someone keeps opening the drying cabinet while my negatives are in there, making dust attach itself permanently to all my negatives. Which is then impossible to get off and leaves spots all over my prints. But I love this class. Really.
Also, during our critique on Tuesday, my teacher made three people cry. Out of nine. That's like one-third of the students in the class that were in tears at some point during the class period. I wasn't one of them this time, but I fully expect to end up red-eyed and blotchy before this semester is over. Art is hard.
Moving on, I have been really hungry lately. Really, really hungry. And by lately, I mean like the last two days, but still. I was really hungry yesterday and now I am really hungry AGAIN today and that's enough to create a pattern or continuation or whatever, and now I find it weird. Yesterday I was at school and had my typical lunch of sandwich and chips, which normally keeps me good until class is out, but I was starving by about three hours later. This morning I had cereal for breakfast around 10:30, which usually means I won't be really hungry again until 1:30 or so, but I was ravenous a WHOLE HOUR EARLIER. And then I ate chicken nuggets and a large fry from Chick-fil-a and I'm still not wholly satisfied. I could eat more. Normally I can't even finish that meal. What's going on? Am I feeding the stress? Am I ovulating? Is my body determined to make me obese by the wintertime so I won't be so cold? Stay tuned!
Speaking of yesterday (with the food? remember? the hunger? I spoke of yesterday, just trust me) I twisted my ankle and fell down. I want you to visualize this in your head, seriously, because it was the least elegant and most awkward thing I have done in a while, and I do a lot of awkward and non-elegant things. I stepped weirdly on some uneven pavement, my ankle went TWIST approximately perpendicular to my body, and in about a tenth of a second I had flown onto the ground. Please note my choice of words: flown. Not fallen, not... some synonym of fallen... FLOWN. It was pretty acrobatic, I think, being that my lens cap from the camera INSIDE MY PURSE popped off and flew onto the sidewalk. And seriously? Who falls? I mean, people trip a lot, you know? And then they catch themselves after a bit of a stumble and they keep walking like nothing happened. Not me! I fell. Hard. I scraped my hand up pretty well and my ankle was going, "Um, hi? What just happened? I think I kind of hurt?" and then I got up and felt dizzy. Flash forward a couple of hours, my ankle hasn't been hurting very badly but suddenly begins to hurt VERY VERY BADLY (possibly due in part to the fact that I walked around a museum on it for three hours). I begin to freak out and ponder the fact that I could very well have fractured a bone in my foot and/or ankle due to my horrible awkwardness and clumsiness. Flash forward a few more hours, and the tear-inducing pain has subsided, and this morning I am convinced it's nothing but a simple sprain, because it hardly hurts at all anymore. Just a little bit. Also the big scrape on my hand is stinging whenever it touches something, but whatever. The moral of the story is that my body likes to freak me out with horrible pain and then say, just kidding! Oh man, I totally got you. You were totally scared that it was something worse than a sprain. Man, you are gullible. Too easy.
Exhibit A: Last Wednesday I went to my dad's house after work to take him some paperwork for insurance, and a trip that should have taken me 45 minutes took me close to TWO HOURS. TWO. HOURS. OF SITTING IN THE CAR. NOT MOVING. It turns out that something had happened involving some sort of tour bus and a middle lane was inexplicably blocked (but the bus was pulled off to the side of the road? I DON'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON). The H.E.R.O. trucks (is that what they are?) were sitting in the blocked middle lane with lit-up arrows pointing left or right, like, hey, this lane is blocked but choose any of these other available lanes! They are all equally desirable! But they were NOT. I moved into the right lane only to discover that it was ALSO CLOSED until past the exit, so I had to get OFF the EXIT and wait for fifteen minutes just to turn around and get back on the interstate. But did the helpful arrows inform me that this was going to happen? No! They didn't. This is why I hate arrows. Also traffic.
Exhibit B: Last Thursday (yes. only a day after horrific traffic incident number one) I left my apartment around 6:45 to attend the last Screen on the Green (an outdoor movie) of the summer at Piedmont Park in the middle of Atlanta. The drive from my apartment to Piedmont should normally take between ten and fifteen minutes, maximum. I left my apartment all jolly, like, yay, last Screen on the Green of the summer! And they're showing E.T.! And I haven't seen that movie since I was like, I don't know, six or something and I think it totally creeped me out and gave me nightmares for some reason but now I'm 21 and I'll be fine! And hanging out with friends! Yay Piedmont Park! My attitude swiftly changed when traffic completely stopped the minute I got off the exit. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the park. ONE HOUR. AND FIFTEEN MINUTES. That is fully an HOUR longer than it should have taken me. And then? SCREEN ON THE GREEN GOT RAINED OUT. CANCELLED. SEVENTY-FIVE MINUTES OF DRIVING FOR NOTHING. I called my best friend every five minutes and gave her traffic updates on my position since I was supposed to be meeting her at the park. Our conversations went something like this:
Whitney: IT'S BEEN TEN MINUTES AND I HAVE ONLY MOVED FIVE FEET. FIVE. FIVE FEET IS ALL I HAVE MOVED IN TEN MINUTES. SO ANGRY. If you hear something on the news about a car stopped because the driver had a concussion from repeatedly banging her head on the steering wheel, YOU KNOW IT IS ME. SO ANGRY GRARRHHGGGHHH SMASH ANGRY.
Traffic also makes me use an excessive number of capital letters. It's really not my fault; I turn on caps lock and then the anger pouring out of my eyes blinds me to the fact that it stays on for more than a socially acceptable amount of time.
Aside from Horrible Traffic Incidents 2007, I had a nice weekend. Saturday I woke up inexplicably grumpy and then compounded the problem by not eating breakfast because I had run out of breakfast food. I have low blood sugar, so not eating when I'm hungry is neverrrr a good idea. Anyone who's ever been around me when I'm hungry can vouch for this. My little brother was having a birthday party at a bowling alley and my dad told me to be at his house at noon to go with them. I got there five minutes after noon and they had already left. I stomped around the house for about thirty seconds yelling about how I couldn't believe they had already left because seriously, my dad knows I am chronically late because I get it FROM HIM, and if he was leaving at noon why wouldn't he tell me to be there earlier than that? Or call me to find out where I am before they left? HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION. I called my dad and he informed me that they had, in fact, already left, and that I should just meet them at the bowling alley. I hung up the phone with him, sat down in the middle of the kitchen floor, and sobbed for about five minutes. For no reason. Just sobbing for the hell of it, apparently, with the tears and the blotchy face and the feeling pitiful. When I decided enough was enough I picked myself off the floor, ate two bowls of Berry Burst Cheerios and went bowling. Which was, you know, fun. After the sobbing, and also the sweating because my car needs something done to the air conditioning and I can't ride in it for more than five minutes without the sweating. Down my back, on my upper lip, between my thighs (which I HATE ew), under my arms. Ew.
So yes, where was I? Bowling. We went bowling and it was fun. There were blacklights. And pizza and cake and pictures. Afterward we went to the river and sunned ourselves on the rocks like lazy cats before going to the rope swing that I was too much of a pussy to swing off of (even though I did it last summer. But seriously, it's intimidating.) And then later in the evening, I got a washer and dryer! Which I can't plug in yet because they got severely rained on while we were transporting them to my apartment and I'm afraid they will short out if they aren't dried out yet. I spent the night at my dad's house on Saturday for the first time in quite a while and spent Sunday laying around doing nothing because... I could, I guess. I should have been working on a photography project but the people who agreed to be my subjects were unavailable. So instead we went to the river again (and I swung off the rope swing twice! omg!) and then ate a big family dinner. When I came back to Atlanta I met up with my boyfriend and his brother and my friend Kathryn and we all smoked hookah (oh how I love hookah) and sang along to Prince. Life could totally be worse. Even though, you know, traffic.
By the way, regarding my profile picture:
1. I am not as ugly and awkward as I look in that picture. I don't think.
2. I am, in fact, eating a kitten. Please pay special attention to the way the kitten is looking helplessly at the camera, like OH MY GOD I AM ACTUALLY IN SOMEONE'S MOUTH. I REALLY THINK SHE IS GOING TO EAT ME PLEASE HELP.
But I do want to start blogging (every time I write that word I feel like I'm talking about how I want to pick my nose in public and then wipe in on my forehead, why is that word so gross?) if only because I read a lot of other people's blogs without ever commenting and I want to start commenting but I feel like I probably shouldn't without some reciprocal blogginess of my own. Because, I don't know, I feel like commenting sans one's own blog is a little scary stalker-like, even though I'm pretty much an open book in that if anyone asked about any part of my life ever I'd give you a long and detailed story that would have you wondering by the end if I had any friends at all and if so, where are they and why are you the one that is having to listen to me talk about my IBS for two hours?
So, okay. Europe was awesome and it kicked my ass in the good way and oh my God, I want to go back. I miss everything about it except for French people and also French food (although I am having an illicit and highly improper love affair with Nutella) and French trains and all the rain and the cold in London. Mostly I miss Italy and I want to go back right this second. I think I want to live there some day, albeit when I have learned more Italian than "prossima fermata" which, although that phrase is useful on the trains (it means "next stop") that's pretty much the only place it's useful. Unless I want to make my living giving piggy back rides around town to small Italian children, which I don't.
Everything we saw in Europe was about a billion times bigger and a billion times more beautiful than I had imagined it, except the Sistine Chapel. I was actually a little disappointed by the Sistine Chapel and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that because I feel like it makes me sound like an under-educated, over-expectant American. But really, after seeing all the other beautiful cathedrals we had seen (St. Paul's, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Santa Maria Maggiore, St. Peter's Basilica, Sainte-Chappelle), ol' Capella Sistina was almost a letdown. Don't get me wrong, it was totally beautiful and awesome and stuff because it was the Sistine Chapel, but it was kind of like the Mona Lisa in that way -- awesome because it's so famous and hyped, but not quite living up to the fame and the hype. I think I would have liked the Sistine Chapel a lot more if we hadn't had to spend two hours slugging through the Vatican Museum in a crowd of thousands of other people who got angry if you stopped to look at a painting because you were holding up the flow of traffic through the endless halls toward the Chapel. By the time we finally got there I was just tired and I wanted to sit down and have no one touching me. Plus even though I wasn't using flash the guard told me to stop taking pictures, which I did, until he walked away. One guard can only do so much against hundreds of people with cameras.
Other than that, though, I was not even moderately let down by anything. Westminster Abbey was beautiful and Big Ben was big and the Tower of London was awesome. Versailles was breathtaking and the Louvre was mind-bendingly large and the Eiffel Tower was way taller than I ever expected and Luxembourg was lovely. The Roman ruins were absolutely fascinating and so was the Collosseum. My heart aches for gelato and European chocolate, which all involves hazelnut in some form. TRL was being filmed two minutes from our campsite in Florence the entire time we were there and I couldn't help but laugh at that. Every time we got on a bus to go back to our campsite it was filled with excited Italian teenagers and I wanted to look at them all and say, seriously? You LIVE in FLORENCE and you are excited about TRL? THIS IS FLORENCE. AND YOU LIVE HERE. They don't even know.
So yeah, Europe. And I'll put pictures somewhere online whenever I finally get them all organized and stuff. There are over 1200, I think. I'm a little picture-crazy.
Speaking of pictures (segue! segue!) I'm going to a mental institution on Wednesday with my photography teacher. We're doing a project this semester involving several of the patients at the institution and my teacher has been there twice to work with them. She picked me and a guy from my class to go with her because she said we were the best in the class thus far (and the twelve-year-old in me mentally pumped the air with her fists and pelvic-thrusted) and she needs help talking to the kids because she can't handle all of them by herself. We're doing sort of a self-portrait project and so we're going to talk to the kids about how they want to do their self-portraits since they can't include their faces in them and to maybe help them take some pictures with our cameras since there's only so much you can do with a black-and-white disposable camera. I'm excited but a little nervous.
1. Europe, and
2. My new camera.
Neither of which needs to be talked about any more than I already have. A few nights ago I was writing in my journal and realized that I was babbling about LUGGAGE, of all things. Honestly. Older Me is going to read that journal and wonder if I was depressed for four years straight AND wow, did I really not have anything more interesting to write about than luggage? Because I thought there was a lot more going on in my life when I was 21.
Speaking of being 21, I don't think I am. When I was young, I looked at people my age and I thought that they were the coolest, most mature people ever. 21 seemed so old and grown-up to me and I knew that when I was 21 (or 20, or 18) I was going to be so awesome and grown-up. But now that I am 21, I realize that mostly, I feel no different from the way I felt when I was 11 and thought that 21-year-olds were the shit. I'm still awkward and self-conscious and I still laugh too much and I still don't know how to sit in skirts without showing everyone in the room my underwear. I was observing P.E. at an elementary school last year and watching the fifth-graders talking as they walked laps around the field and I wondered if it was abnormal that I still felt like I could go join them and feel totally fine about it. I hear all these people talking about this "growing-up" thing and wonder if I'll ever experience it, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm just an 11-year-old who has a job and pays bills and goes to college.
Amidst the end-of-semester hustle (three weeks left! THREE!) and the beginning-of-summer jump at work, my mind has only been able to focus on one thought and that thought looks a lot like EUROPEUROPEUROPEUROPEUROPEUROPE in a fairly continuous high-pitched giggle. I've never been out of the country before and the decision to go to Europe this summer was almost spur-of-the-moment; the boy and I began contemplating it and then had charges on our credit cards for plane tickets about a week later. The trip kind of hung out in the back of my mind for a month or so until a week ago, when I started planning our flights around the continent and our hostel bookings. Now I'm having trouble thinking about anything else.
It's been taking me longer to fall asleep at night because my mind is going over the hostel possibilities I checked earlier that day, location against price against facilities and ratings. I sit in art history class during our lectures on Roman architecture and it's all I can do to stop myself from raising my hand and yelling, "I don't have a question! It's just that I AM GOING TO SEE ALL OF THIS STUFF IN SIX WEEKS! HAHAHAHA I WINNNNN!!!" I give everyone I talk to an updated countdown every time I talk to them and I know deep in my heart that it is probably getting old for them, but because of the fact that my brain won't keep repeating, "sixweeks sixweeks sixweeks sixweeks omg sixWEEKS" it's hard for me to not let it slip out occasionally, like every five minutes.
I am a little OCD and a bit of a control-freak (see also: textbook firstborn) and so I've taken the reins on planning the entire trip. I like to remind Kyle that he has such a good girlfriend who is planning everything so that he doesn't have to do any work; but in reality, whenever he says that he will help plan, no really, don't worry about anything else, he'll do the rest! I start getting twitchy and my eyeballs get a little bloodshot. I'm almost done booking everything and I'm actually going to be a little disappointed when I'm done -- nothing else to compare, obsess over, make lists about. I'll have to start planning and listing other things: what to do, what to buy, what to take, what to wear, what to eat, when we will take our scheduled bathroom breaks, etc.
The best part about this trip is that we are flying between cities instead of traveling by train, which leaves us a lot of extra time to spend in the cities instead of traveling to them. Because of this, we're visiting five different cities in two and a half weeks and basically cramming in as much as possible while we're there and probably not sleeping very much and will probably pass out from exhaustion and sleep for a full seventy-two hours when we return to the States. But it's totally worth it, because the only thing better than being able to say, "Oh, this old thing? I picked it up in London." is being able to say, "Oh, this old thing? I picked it up in London and then I totally thought I lost it in Paris but I found it in the bottom of my bag in Rome and then wore it twice in Florence and on the train to Pisa."
Sometime last September I started doing a photo self-portrait project with two friends of mine, one of whom was moving to Newcastle to study abroad for two semesters. At the beginning of the project I was all gung-ho, like, "Sweet! It's gonna be so awesome to see how I change every day! And how I've changed from the beginning to the end when it's done! And what a feeling of accomplishment! I'M SO IN."
By approximately Day 50 (let's not lie, what I really mean is Day 10) the novelty had worn off and it had started to get tedious. It was less, "YES GONNA SET UP THE CAMERA AND TAKE A GREAT PICTURE OF MYSELF AND IT'S GONNA BE FAB!" and more "Dear God, I swear if I have to look at my own fucking face one more time I'm going to maim myself just so I'll have some variety in what I have to look at." And then! Around this same time, we began to spend the entire first half of spring semester in my drawing class DRAWING self-portraits!
Drawing myself was so much worse than photographing myself, and if I thought I was tired of looking at myself during the photo project, it was nothing compared to the hours upon hours I spent starting at one picture of myself in order to translate it to charcoal. I really couldn't stand to do both the portraits for drawing class and the photo portraits, and the drawing class ones weren't exactly optional. I dropped out of the photo project around Day 150, I think, and even though I didn't get that feeling of accomplishment from seeing it all the way through, it was a much better feeling to be able to look in a mirror without sobbing because oh my God, the face, it is a thing of my repetitive nightmares.
Where am I going with all of this? Well! After spending the first half of the semester working on self-portraits, my drawing teacher decided it would be so! cool! to have our final project be -- can you guess? I bet you can! -- self-portraits! Thankfully for me, we are allowed to use any medium for the final project, which means much more setting up of tripods and adjusting of shutter speeds and much less sitting alone in a fifth-floor art studio in the middle of downtown Atlanta at ten o'clock on a Saturday night and sobbing uncontrollably because I have spent two hours drawing one eye twenty times in a row and you have got to be kidding me, THAT STILL ISN'T THE RIGHT SHAPE.
So, long story short(er), I am taking a picture of myself every day for a month. This project has actually been easier and more enjoyable so far, though, because 1) if I don't do it, I kind of fail art class, so you know, that's good motivation right there, and 2) I'm taking every picture at the same time every day -- 9PM -- and having a set time to stop and click a picture, no matter what I'm doing, makes it a lot easier to remember. Plus I think it adds more interest to the project. Also, I can post the pictures here, so everyone who reads this (aka my mama) will be able to see what I'm doing every day at 9PM!
I'd like to take a moment to say that I really hate the word "blog." Whoever originally coined that term to describe an internet phenomenon that became so massive is probably wishing he had come up with something that didn't sound like another way to describe throw-up. I know, I know, it's short for "weblog," but couldn't there have been another way to shorten that? How about "eblo"? Sure, it looks a little nonsensical, but it sounds like it could possibly be the name of something related to fairies, or elves maybe, instead of that sound you make when you have a big wad of phlegm lodged in the back of your throat and seriously guys, you can't get it out.
Actually, I think from now on that I will refer to this as my "eblo." People won't know what I'm talking about at first, and they may recoil when I say enthusiastically, "Hey guys, wanna see my eblo?!" because they think that maybe I'm using a cute euphemism for a body part I normally keep in my pants, but eventually? It could catch on and replace its distasteful predecessor. You never know.
Normally, when I'm at work, the longest breaks I take are to scoot down the road to get lunch. But! Today someone was here working on computers and needed the use of mine for about half an hour (our computers are always fucked up) so I went down the road to Target because the warm weather has made me lust after warm-weather dresses. And! A few dresses I tried on several months ago were on clearance, so I bought them all, because seriously? I am going to live in dresses this summer, and I wish I lived somewhere warm enough to wear them year-round. They're really the perfect thing to wear because they're so cool in hot weather, and most of all, they're so EASY, and the six-year-old in me that isn't particularly fond of wearing clothes in the first place is enamored of easy.
To illustrate: getting dressed in anything else is a multi-step process. I'm like, ooh this skirt is really cute, I want to wear this skirt, but I have no shirt to match, now I have to find one, dammit. Or I want to wear this really nice shirt but the only pair of jeans that doesn't give me love handles is dirty, and not the kind of dirty that would allow me to pull them out of the hamper and re-wear them, but the kind of dirty where I accidentally spilled a plate of spaghetti on them earlier in the week. But dresses! You put one on, and you're done! Just like that! I defy you to show me another piece of clothing so magical.