Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Ten of 2009

Yes, I believe I unashamedly stole this from my sister, and yes, I'm well aware I'm running out of time to post this, but today has been rather busy.

So, without further ado, here's the Top Ten Posts from the world of the Wandering Sagittarius

10) Murphy and Me

9) Finally being healthy!

8) Fall '10 in Wales

7) The Focus Adventures

6) One Day at a Time

5) Things to Know

4) My Ability to Laugh at Myself via Moments of Brilliance

3) My Relationship with My Sister

2) Redefining Beautiful

1) Madaline Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Things to Know V

I really like to eat honey on my chicken nuggets. If I can't have that, I settle for liberal amounts of barbecue sauce and ranch.

I grind my teeth. Specifically my back molars. The dentist has suggested I chew sugar free gum when I get the urge to mash.

Normally my ride to Wal-Mart and back in my own car is full of me having conversations between characters in my book. This time, it was creating this damn list.

I am going to have the sexiest calf muscles on my right leg because of the way I have to tap my brakes to get them to work.

Mom said if she has to put any more money in the car then I'm walking to my next education placement.

No idea what I ate, but my insides are ready to claw their way out a la Alien.

I cry every single time I watch Dead Poets Society, The Patriot, Star Trek (XI), Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Ever After, The Lion King, and Iron Jawed Angels.

I have to share the wicker rocking chair that I sit in to use my computer with my cat.

Said cat purrs like she has a dilapidated V8 when she's next to me.

I almost went on my ass yet again trying to get in my car.

My father is downstairs grumbling and complaining that he has to fix yet another meal for the extended family.

I have a love of movies.

For as much as I love the people I'm related to, really, I do, it's not even January yet and I miss my college family.

Tomorrow, I believe, is New Year's Eve, and I am not only going to write resolutions, but I'm going to stick with them.

There's something really wonderful about saying, I'm going to spend the day in my glasses.

Writer's block just plain sucks.

I must find another split point in my novel if I want to send it to a certain publisher, otherwise my original point puts me about 40,000 words over the word count limit.

I'm almost done with composition book 10.

I told myself that I was hoping to be done in composition book 10 and we see how that turned out.

Not a big fan of scalloped potatoes. Really not. And that's on the dinner menu for tonight.

Really want it to snow. Lots of snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Murphy and Me XIII

Okay. I can do this. It's just Murphy's brother. No big deal. Not like I'm calling his mother or anything.

I flipped open the phone and found his contacts. Instead of typing L into the search like I probably should have, I let curiosity get the best of me and started scrolling. I was curious. I found Colby, Devan, and some other names I'd heard in passing. And, just for giggles, I scrolled past Liam and on to the O's, to see what he'd put me in there as.

Olivia :)

Which made me smile.

Okay, it made me grin in an extremely stupid manner, and I was really okay with that. Curiosity appeased, I went back up to Liam and hit send before I could really think about what it was that I was doing.

It was then that I realized it was approaching quarter to one in the morning.

Liam picked up on the fourth ring with, "Hey, asshat, do you have any idea what the hell time it is?" Silence. "Murph? Murphy?"

"Hi," I croaked. And winced.

"Murphy? What's goin' on?"

Murphy looked at me with raised eyebrows.

"Liam?" My voice was rusty.

"Who are you and where's me - Oh. Olivia?"

I nearly dropped the phone; Murphy hid his face in his hand.

"Yeah, that's me," I said. "Murph' the hospital."

There was no freaking out on the other end, and I had expected freaking out because I was damned near close to doing it myself. Instead, there was only a sigh and Liam saying, "What's the asshat done now?" Pause. "Were you both at Colby's?"

"Yeah. He got thunked on the head."

Murph made motions has though to convey that said "he" was right there. I ignored him.

"I'll be right there. Don't let the fool wander off."

And the line went dead.

Well, that was...better than I was expecting, really.

Except that Liam was now on his way.

"He's on his way," I said, dropping the phone back into the plastic bag. I tucked my legs up onto the chair with me and wrapped my arms around them.

"Thank you," Murph said tiredly from the bed after a pause.

I rested my cheek on my knees so I could look at him. "For what?" I hadn't done anything spectacular except not become a sympathy puker in the ambulance, and Murph had gotten some truly awesome arc that last time.

"For not freakin' out," he said, trying to curl on his side and not being too successful. I uncurled and helped situate his IV line. He grabbed my hand. "For calling my brother." I let him twine our fingers together. "For not leaving." He looked up at me, a goofy smile on his face though I could tell he was using it as a ruse, and therefore knew his next words were genuine. "I like you."

"I know," I said dryly. "You've already gotten me in your pants."

He snorted and there was an odd stereo effect. My head whipped around and dear God did I wish the floor would swallow me whole. There in the doorway was an almost carbon-copy of Murphy except for the eyes - Liam had gray-blue eyes in contrast to Murphy's hazel.

I went to tug my hand from Murphy's, but he wouldn't let go, the traitor.

"Liam," Murphy slurred.

"Murphy Roarke, you asshat," Liam said, coming to stand next to me. Liam took in the IV, the bag, and our joined hands, and finally looked at me.

I felt absolutely and utterly naked in front of him. It was not a happy feeling.

"She is pretty, Murph," he said, and swatted his brother's leg. "Now what have you done to yourself?"

I blushed furiously; Murph said, "Dev was tryin' to play Prince Charming and I take a picture frame to the back of the head."

I looked from one brother to the other and deduced one thing - twins.

And yeah, hearing Murph say he'd been hit over the head confirmed my hunch. Devan's, actually, but hey, semantics.

"And I suppose you dragged Olivia into it?" Liam demanded, his eyes narrowing. "How much had you had to drink?"

"Nothing," Murph and I said together.

Liam looked at us like we had squids for heads.

"I'm dead serious, Murphy Roarke, how drunk were you?"

Now it was Murphy's turn to be offended. "Open your ears, William Connor, I'm sober and that's the way I've been all night!" He winced, and settled back against the pillow with a glare for his twin.

"He is sober," I said, and Liam seemed to confirm what Murph had been trying to tell him.

"Sorry, Murph," Liam murmured. "Are you concussed?"

"No, but my head hurts."

I breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn't concussed. Which meant that, while he had to tell his coaches, he probably wasn't going to be held out of practice or anything.

"When are they letting you out?" Liam looked at me on this one and I shrugged. I had no idea.

"When they come back with papers and some meds for my nausea," Murph said. "You drive out?"

"Yeah, asshate," Liam said. He turned to me. "Hello. I'm William - Liam - Murphy's older twin."

Murphy snorted. "By four minutes."

I shook his hand, my left still trapped in Murphy's. "Olivia." Liam looked at me, waiting for something else to pop out of my mouth, but I shrugged instead. I didn't know what Murphy and I were, and I was going to wait to have that discussion when Murph could concentrate and not wanna throw up at the same time. Still, my fingers and his stayed twined.

Murphy was dozing and Liam and I were having a contest to see who could be quieter while glancing at each other when we thought the other wasn't looking (basically sizing each other up, really) when the doctor came back in with papers to sign and anti-nausea meds for Murph. I was shooed into the hallway so Liam could make sure his brother didn't fall over pulling his jeans on. Once the curtain opened again, I noticed just how much they both dwarfed me. I had a hunch, but I'd have to pull out the program thing from the game to make sure.

Liam led the way to the parking lot and then into a modest Honda (which was by no means on the level of my Oldsmobile) and we headed back to campus.

I was sitting shotty while Murph lay scrunched in the backseat because looking at the passing lights made him want to hurl and Liam had told him he was walking home for break should he puke in the car. Not that there was probably anything left in Murph's stomach - he'd thrown up four times that night.

"So, you're the girl upstairs," Liam said at a stoplight.

"Yup. And you're his twin?" It was almost one-thirty in the morning, and my neurons weren't firing and I didn't care.

"Yup." He looked at me. "He didn't tell you yet, did he?"

I shook my head. "Usually meeting the siblings is just before meeting the parents." Which made my mind explode so I tried not to think about it.

"I wouldn't have chosen this way. He would have much rather gone out to dinner or a movie night or something." Liam turned into our parking lot. "My brother likes you, and I can see why." He grinned. "You can handle just about anything."

No. No, not really. I shrugged.

"Murph." Liam twisted around to look. "We're here, bud."

Murph cracked an eye open at his brother and heaved himself up and out of the car.

"You got him? My number's in his phone, if you need it," Liam said, and his eyes showed acceptance of me. Probably because I hadn't abandoned his brother and had to the guts to call him. "See you, Olivia."

"Thanks, Liam," I said, and had to hurry to catch up with a wobbly Murphy. He had his keys out and the door open, and, in hindsight, I realized that while my motives for following behind him on the stairs to make sure he didn't fall were good, should he go backward we'd both be screwed. Royally. And I'd make a nice cushion for Murphy and we'd need a second trip to the ER.

He made it to the third floor and there were some guys in the lounge that I didn't recognize. I gave them a loose wave and followed Murphy into his empty room.

"Was my brother good to you?" he asked, leaning against his bed and trying to tug off a shoe.

I nodded. I needed to get to know Liam a little better, but as far as first impressions went it was all good.

The shoe landed on Devan's empty bed. I didn't flinch; his head had to be killing him.

"Do - Do you want me to - " I stumbled as he removed his belt and the other shoe was somewhere near the dresser.

"Will - " He swallowed. "I'm sorry."

"What?" Now I was confused.

"This isn't how I wanted tonight to go."

The ER visit probably wasn't big on my to-do list, either, but tonight wasn't a total waste. I'd spent it with Murph, we were both sober, and we hadn't wound up in jail or with a visit to the Dean's office come Monday morning.

I bit the inside of my lip and leaned against the closed door. "It's all good. And I'm really glad you're not concussed."

Murphy fidgeted. "But...the doctor did say I should stay with someone."

Now it was my turn to fidget. And blush. "Really?"

He fidgeted some more. "Well, I mean, I could suck it up - "

"I don't want to go against your doctor's orders - "

" - Not a big deal - "

" - You could die in your sleep - "

" - It might be too much - "

" - I've never done this - "

"Will you stay?"

Silence filled the room. I gnawed on my knuckle. It wasn't that I didn't trust Murph - I had napped with him before.

Well, no, I'd napped in the bed, but it had been missing Murphy and

Oh, God, if I didn't get a handle I was going have a panic attack and piss myself at the same time. Which would, of course, be sexy as hell.

"I'll stay," I said, and crossed to his side of the room after grabbing his shoe from Devan's bed, and shedding my own by his dresser. Next to go was my Vera with my keys and ID and all that good stuff, which landed next to the Dell on the desk. I moved my own belt buckle to the side because that would tempt fate a little too much, and looked at Murph who looked at me.

"I get the inside again?" I groused, trying to lighten the tension, and had to have a boost from Murph up onto the bed.

Oh, lord, what had I gotten myself into?

I slid against the wall and, once the lights were off, waited, while trying to convince myself that having a panic attack was not going to be helpful. Next thing I knew, Murph was right there next to me, pulling the sheet and comforter up over my legs. We awkwardly acted and reacted to each other, and I knew I was going to feel awkward in his arms so we eventually wound up with my back against the wall and his head cushioned on my chest.

Which, when your sister takes every opportunity to remind you that you are indeed the President of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, makes you feel incredibly insecure in how much padding is actually under the guy's cheek you're sharing a bed with. Considering it's your first date that's gone completely awry and his bed you're in, things are even better.

Then again, things could always be worse.

"This is just to make sure you don't die in your sleep tonight," I said, and he snorted, wrapping himself tighter around me.

"Uh huh," he muttered. "My head is killing me."

Which was my Pavlovian cue to start basically petting him. Not that I think he minded much. I was careful, not to touch the lump at the back of his head - I didn't need his reflex of throwing up to kick in.

"You okay with this?" he asked

Fully clothed in bed with a boy after an ER visit? Pretty sure I was golden with this.

"If I wasn't, I wouldn't be here." I grinned in the darkness. Might as well start the torment now. "Besides, I've already been in your pants. Isn't bed a step down from that?"

He winced. "Not going to let me live that down, are you?"

"Nope." I closed my eyes. "So, might as well shut up and go to sleep."

"And don't die, right?" There was a chuckle in his voice.


"I think I can handle that."

He was out in about five minutes, going completely heavy. Me, I lay there and tried to figure out exactly how I had wound up where I was.

Screw it. I'll figure it out in the morning.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Murphy and Me XII

[Don't nobody say it, I know how long it's been since I've given a Murph post - Happy Belated Christmas, Heather Ann. And there should be more shortly.]

Never thought I'd be sitting here.

It was slightly overwhelming. And it had started off great, too.

I was sitting in the ER waiting room, literally twiddling my thumbs as I waited for someone to come get me. I'd been with Murphy up to a point - until they'd taken him for a CAT scan or something, and then they'd kind of kicked me out. Punted me, more like, into the damn waiting room.

We headed down the street, my fingers twined with Murphy's. I had no idea where we were going, but I trusted him. And if I didn't feel comfortable, I had no qualms about walking away from whatever and wherever we were. Including Murph.

"Some of the football guys live here," he said as we tromped up someone's front porch. "These are the good guys." He looked at me, kind of sly.

I took the bait, mostly because I'm good like that. "And where do the morons live?"

"Besides our building? Down the street."

I chuckled and followed him inside the crowded house, sandwiched between Devan and Murph. There was immediately a chorus of "Hey!" from almost everywhere over the thumping music, some back thumping, and a few, "This is Olivia?"

Which absolutely floored me.

Murph talked about me!?

"You gotta meet Colby," Murph said, taking the beer he was offered. "Something?"

I shook my head. "We got the whole dry season thing goin' on."

To my utter amazement, Murphy pawned his beer off on one of his teammates. I looked at him like he had a second head. He just shrugged.

I pinched the bridge of my nose.

A nurse appeared at the door. "Olivia?"

"That's me." I followed her back through a maze of curtained rooms until I found a somewhat dazed-looking Murphy.

I should have known that even hanging around a guy named Murphy would tempt the universe. I just never figured on this.

Never figured on Bobby.

There was - I was speechless. Absolutely speechless. To see Bobby and whatever loose-moraled girl-thing he was dancing with. And here I am with Murph.

I jumped when Murph put a hand at the small of my back. And then relaxed.

"What's goin' on?"

"Ex of mine." And really, that was all I wanted to say. Really, really. Nothin' more to say about the guy who had broken my heart little over four months prior. And then he'd gone and found a girlfriend.

Least I thought.

I leaned against Murph's hand, sinking into the furnace-like warmth of his body. It was a long story, me and Bobby, one that I might share later, if I was feeling the sharing mood.

"I want you to meet Colby."

I followed Murph through the crowd and into the kitchen. There was a door that led from the bar in the other room to the kitchen, though it was closed. There were fewer people in the kitchen, mostly football players, and I realized that I was probably one of the only females in the house. Murph left me to shake hands with the mountain of a man by the sink. He was then motioning me over and despite the fact that I was dwarfed by these two, I went anyway, probably because I don't have any self-preservation. And I was feeling decidedly nervous because this was....well, I have no idea who this person is to Murphy.

"Olivia, this is Colby," Murph said. "Colby's my brother's best friend from back home."

Which meant that if Murph was close to his brother then he was close to Colby, who was probably practically family.

Which made me incredibly nervous.

"Colby, Olivia."

Mountain man had sandy hair and blue eyes. He extended his hand and mine was immediately lost in his palm. Damn these football men and their massive hands!

Murphy gently squeezed my side and then left us with a, "Be right back."

I had to squash down my panic and damn if that panic put up one hell of a fight.

"Hi," I said, sliding my hands into my pockets just to have something to do, and not seem fidgety.

Colby filled a glass of water and handed it to me. "Murph talks about you. A lot."

My cheeks burst into flames. "He does?" I asked, because yeah, I'm good like that.

He chuckled, but not unkindly. "Murph...he doesn't say much. But when he does, he usually has a lot to say. And he's got a lot to say about you." He grinned. "He likes you." His grin got wide. "He likes you a lot."

I couldn't help it - I preened a little. Murphy apparently talked about me to his friends, including the guys he considered family. There

And that's, if I remember correctly, when everything went down the tubes.

I lingered by the edge of the curtain and twisted my hands together, a habit from my childhood. It took Murphy a few seconds to focus on me, but when he did, he smiled, if a little uncertainly.


And there was no way that I couldn't go to him. I plopped into the hard chair by the bed and looked anywhere but Murph. I really couldn't shake the feeling that this was somehow my fault.

I stood in front of Colby, blushing and floundering with what to say when there was an almighty crash from the other room. Colby set his own glass down and went by, careful to not bump into me. The music had shut off. I left my glass by the sink and followed.

There seemed to be a Mexican Stand Off in the main part of the house and sirens were slowly getting louder in the silence - noise complaints from the neighbors, probably.

I edged forward, more so to see than hear the argument that was apparently getting worse. Murphy, of course, was in the middle of it, standing off to Devan's right and a little behind him. I somehow wound up at the front of the crowd, next to some of the guys from Murphy's floor. They smelled a little like alcohol, but not overwhelming.

" - All I'm sayin' man is that if she wants to dance with someone else, you let her," Devan said. His eyes were a little dilated, but he was still moving well. And his voice was level.

"She came with me, she stays with me."

Oh, lord, that was Bobby's voice. And this was, of course, over a girl.

The sirens got closer and when Murph looked around - looking for me - I knew he was warring with himself over whether to stay with Devan or get me out of there.

Colby stepped in. "All right, guys, take it outside and quick because the locals are coming."

And Bobby, ever the honor student and probably more than a little inebriated, took a swing at Colby. Which pushed Murphy, Devan, and three-quarters of of the crowd into action and I got gently shoved to the side with someone saying, "Elf'll kick your ass" and then it was pandemonium.

I was lost in a sea of bodies, shoved towards the door and then back in as the cops showed up, along with Campus Security.

Someone took my hand and tugged. I followed, and made it to the front lawn. Colby was talking with both locals and Campus Security, and I looked around for Murph. He'd been in the middle of the brawl, and yeah, despite the fact that he was a big boy and could take care of himself, I was worried. So I pulled out my phone.

"Olivia! Hey, Olivia!"

I turned. That was Devan's voice. I followed it like a lifeline.

Then wished I hadn't.

Devan had one hand on Murphy's shoulder, literally holding him down so he remained sitting on the ground as a campus EMS person tried to look at him.

"He got thunked on the head," Devan explained. "And, ever the knight in shining armor, was trying to find you."

I smiled thinly. "Concussed?"

Devan shrugged. "Maybe."

There were more sirens. An ambulance now.

For my buddy, Murph.

And from whatever the hell was on Devan's breath, I was thankful none of the locals had been over to see us.

"How drunk is he?"

Devan and I snapped our heads around to look at the paramedics that had somehow showed up unannounced and were ninja silent, even with all their gear.

"What?" I blundered, ever eloquent.

"He - Tobey, from his name tag - looked at me like I was stupid; Devan edged away, and my psychic ability kicked in. Someone was going to probably produce a breathalyzer. And try to shove it down mine and Murphy's throats.

"How much as he had to drink?" Tobey repeated, in a voice that said he was clearly not happy with having to deal with this.

I matched him glare for glare. "Nothing." And you'd have thought I'd said the sky was green. I shrugged. "He hasn't had anything and neither have I. We're sober."

Which, apparently, when you're in college and at a busted-up off-campus party, it's damn near impossible to believe.

Murphy, ever my knight in shining armor, saved the day by turning an unhealthy shade of pale and slurring, "I think I'm gonna puke."

I backed up out of range, since, usually, when someone says they're going to puke, they usually end up doing so. I shoved my hands in my pockets; Devan was long-gone. "I think he got hit in the head."

Tobey immediately began probing around Murphy's head. He must have found the bump because, as though on cue, Murph lost his dinner down the paramedic's front.

And it didn't smell like cheap beer.

He rolled his head on the pillow to look at me.

"Hi," he blinked.

"Hey." I scooted closer and tried to ignore the fact that I was in a hospital and that Murphy was wearing only his gown. His jeans and shirts (the boy layered, bless him) were in a plastic bag by the chair leg. "How's your head."

He grunted, which was probably a good indicator that it hurt and his manly pride wouldn't really let him say anything more about it. "Can you get my phone?"

I looked at him.

"Pants pocket," he clarified.

I started digging through the bag, and then his jeans. I came up with his phone, pausing at his giggle.

And Murphy giggling? I don't care if it was the by product of probably being concussed, it was downright creepy.

"What?" I asked, staving off a headache of my own and debating with myself over the merits of looking at the clock on the wall.

He gave me his best shit-eating grin. "You've been in my pants."

Which was so utterly ridiculous on his part that the only thing I could do after I had processed it, and stopped staring, was to laugh. If he remembered this tomorrow, he'd be apologizing for weeks on end. And when I saw he was plugged into a IV, I knew he was on the good drugs and hey, been there, done that, and bought the souvenir t-shirt. I'm sure I'd said some pretty interesting things while medically under the influence. And I'd seen some pretty trippy stuff, too.

"Who am I callin'?" I asked, trying to re-focus him. Murph reigned himself in surprisingly quickly.

"Liam," he said.

I looked at the phone like it was going to attack. Who was Liam?

"Liam," he repeated, noticing my utter confusion. "My brother."

Oh. His brother. Okay, that was natural. Call the sibling, and figure out how to progress to the -

Wait. His brother? Oh. Shit.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fall '09

I think I can safely say that this will be the last post under the tag "Fall '09" because, technically, my semester is over. I took my last final today - Organic Chemistry II - and, quite honestly, I really don't want to talk about the semester that I've had. I'm classifying it as the worst academic semester in my academic career.

Which, while there was always last year's classic of Molly's unidentifiable pain, this takes the cake.

And we're going to leave it at that.

On the bright side, my head cold has decided to stop screwing around and come on out. So, I can actually only breathe out of one nostril, and took my last exam while under the influence of Advil Cold & Sinus. And really, when the one nostril that doesn't wanna work right can't make up its mind to be stuffed up or runny, this is the end result.

So, if I look kind of miserably, it's okay, because the semester is over and I get to go home tomorrow. Tomorrow morning bright and early, and I'm going to shower at home because I ran out of shampoo yesterday and, I'm going home tomorrow.

Another thing I wanted to share is something called The Penguin Plunge.

It's a bit like a Polar Bear Plunge, only...well, we couldn't exactly do it someplace that you jumped in because the boat launch that the sailing team uses isn't in the water anymore, and this end of the lake is so shallow that you need to be halfway back to the Colleges from the State Park in order to even be up to your armpits.

So it was basically a run screaming down the beach in single digit weather and out into the water, possibly belly flop, and then run back up, still screaming, shivering, and feeling really, really good about yourself because your $5 entry fee went toward the American Cancer Society to fight cancer and help those who have it.

I was 1 of 104 (from what I've read) to brave the waters.

My sneakers, which have become impromptu lake shoes, are trashed and probably haven't thawed out. It was worth it, though.

And if we (my friend and floormate Josie and I - I am on the left) look cold, we probably are.

I'd like to take this moment, this one right here, and thank you the readers, for all your support and your comments. Thank you for choosing to follow the Wandering Sagittarius as she blunders her way through life, and as she meandered through her fall semester of her sophomore year at college. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read whatever has currently crawled out of my head and onto the page. Your readership and gives me the warm fuzzies. Thank you so much.

Slide On In

Maybe some day over break I'll get off my rear and do a semester review and explain the demographics of my college. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but there are definitely some differences between me and my fellow students. I think this new video by Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins explains it beautifully. And believe me, you kind of have to see the humor in the situation, because not only is it there, but I find it somewhat hilarious.

Also, first attempt at embedding anything...or something like that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Knows You Best

There's a saying that family knows you best. And a sibling knows you better, still.

I have a picture frame sitting on my printer. Heather gave it to me years ago, and one of the first pictures that it held was one of us at our cousin's wedding, in which I was the flower girl. I'm missing some teeth in my grin, and, honestly, at the age there was a lot more people mistaking is for two generations instead of one, but that's something we've always dealt with, regardless. (Meaning, you should see us when we take Mads out - people go cross-eyed trying to figure out how many generations are standing there, especially if they see me and Mads first and then Heather.)

Now, the picture that sits there is one of me and Heather on the grass of the High School lawn at graduation. We're sitting in the grass, side by side with me in my graduation robe and her in a black dress, red heels off and me borrowing her brown Target-brand Converse.

The inscription around the frame says this:

Sister is a sacred Companion, loyal and Loving, protective and Supportive. She is a Confidante, a keeper of secrets, a maker of Memories, a weaver of dreams. Near or far, she is Always there, in deed, in thought, in spirit. Sister is a very Best Friend.

My sister knows me probably better than I know myself, especially when it comes to realizing and helping achieve a dream. One of my dreams is to be a published author. So, in Heather's wanderings around the Internet and Blogging world, she comes across publishers, and sends me either the links through our IM window during the week when I'm between classes, or in e-mails with little blurbs like, Another one to add to pile over winter break.

For me, I shamelessly promote her blog whenever I can, whether on Twitter or whatnot, and, like last summer, I'll most likely watch Mads when Daryl has to go to work, before I have to work, and until somebody else gets home, so they can save on some daycare. Don't get me wrong, Mads' daycare is a great woman who loves kids, but if Mads can spend time at her own house, with her Aunt that she's not going to see for a 4 month stint (when I go to Wales next fall, and please don't ask me how I'm going to manage the distance from the family, especially my kid) then that's awesome. And honestly, I'll take any "Olly" time that I can get, just because I love that little munchkin.

I miss my family when I'm at college, even though I'm an hour away, but hot damn, I miss that little girl so much that I'm lucky it doesn't make me cry when I look at her picture.

I remember, one of the first times that I went home last fall, after I've been gone about two months or so, and I walked in the kitchen, and we just looked at each other. Now she tries to bowl me over, or goes wide-eyed and covers her mouth with her little hands.

Anyway....One of the best parts about having a sister is have somebody. Unconditionally. Even on your worst days, when you hate the world and everything and everyone seems out to get you, you have your sibling. They'll make you smile, occasionally cry, but they're always going to be there for you. Even when your heart is breaking into a thousand little pieces, they're not going to say anything and fold you up and hold you tight because that's what you need. Siblings know exactly what you need without you having to say it. And they don't hesitate.

And Heather knows me. She knows, if I'm having a God-awful day, what to send me or text me to make me smile. She's the first one to like my status or throw a quote under it when I really need it, the first to comment (and usually the only commenter) on my blog posts to tell me that it'll be okay, I'll be home in only a few days, or that she snorted a banana out her nose because of Murphy and Me.

And she'll always give me a shove toward another publisher, even if it means I'll have another rejection on my hands because she won't let me quit.

For that, and for my sister, I am thankful.

Words of Wisdom from My Buddy Murphy

One of the cool things about my colleges is that every Fall they have a giant poster sale on the steps of our student center. They have some really good gems, on occasion, and while I managed to stay away from the poster of men sitting eating lunch on a beam high above NYC, I couldn't, because of my personal luck, pass up a poster titled Murphy's Law and not regret it.

I would like to share some of Murph's wisdom with you.

Remember: He was an optimist (much like myself). My favorites are in bold.

A short cut is the longest distance between two points.

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Leakproof seals - Will. Self starters - Will Not.

If you try to please everybody, nobody will like you.

Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.

In order to get a loan, you must first prove that you don't need it.

The chance of a piece of bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

A $300 picture tube will protect a 10 cents fuse by blowing first.

Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost more than you thought.

If it jams - Force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

If you fool around with a thing for very long you will screw it up.

Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center.

In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.

No one's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.

You will always find something in the last place you look.

The other lines always moves faster.

Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will use it.

A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth.

Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.

If you're interested in buying a Murphy's Law poster, you can follow this link to Amazon and purchase one for yourself. (Note: This isn't the specific one that I have, but there are many to choose from and probably carry some similar sayings and some different ones.)

Another Look

I put Practical Magic in the DVD player, and then went to make a cup of tea and got suitably distracted by one of my floormates, who's in creative writing now. And she, knowing that I write as well even thought I'm a science geek, asked me to look it over. So, I did, which was time well-spent, even if I missed most of my movie that I've seen at least twenty times by now.

Anyway, now that I've put Ever After in while I wait for my parents to bring my car back up to me (Fred broke a break line last Tuesday, and had to go back to the mechanic who's always fixed him up - which, coincidentally, we've been invited to their Christmas party) and I had the thought that, the last time that I posted my Craft of Fiction story, the formatting had been absolutely awful. So, I took the time and looked at the Word document, made it HTML friendly, and then re-posted it. And just so you don't have to go digging through my archives, I'll make life easier and give you a link.

So, for an original work of fiction that helped me earn an A last semester, just follow this:

The Sunset Girl

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things to Know IV

Santa needs to leave me some 3-M sticky tack pads in my stocking. Please and thank you.

Drinking dining hall coffee is like drinking alcohol - cut it, and chase it.

After watching The Dead Poets Society my Facebook status automatically becomes "YAWP!"

Said Facebook status causes some to be like WTF and others to start commenting quotes from the movie.

Every year without fail, someone in the family is sick for Holiday. This year, it will most likely be me.

$105 worth of textbooks only translates to $23 when you sell them back.

I am not physics minded.

Once again I left the keys hanging from the door.

I've run out of regular socks.

In deference to the previous statement, and because I am going home the day after tomorrow, I'm not doing laundry. I will instead begin wearing the soccer socks currently in my sock drawer.

I don't really have much experience driving in snow - if there was too much on the road for me in high school, someone much older and probably wiser would say, "Best get your ass to the mailbox, kid."

I went to public school and I'm not ashamed of it. In fact, I'm proud of it.

I did indeed drool with watching The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.

I would love to get my hands on the reworked original theme that appeared in the second movie.

The last ten years have been incredibly kind for Sean Patrick Flanery

And his counter part.

Taking Advil Cold & Sinus will probably make me loopy/bouncing off the walls.

I just wanna go home.

Monday, December 14, 2009


We live in an age where it's "cool" to be like those girls/women in the tabloids, magazines, and movies. Most of the time they're leggy, skinny, and what perfection would look like if perfection could actually look like something.

It occurred to me, as I dressed for bed only a few minutes ago from a very relaxing shower (and because I hadn't had one in a couple of days and my hair was starting to look a little...yeah) that, if I had dug my mirror out of my closet (it won't stay on the back of the door, damn it, no matter how much sticky-tack is applied) I would have said that girl in the reflection looks beautiful. And she would have looked it because she felt it.

I'm not going to lie. I've had my share of body issues over the years. Even for all the soccer that I've played, all the hours that I've worked out in the gym (especially this past summer, for a soccer season that I didn't have) and the changes in my diet due to my interesting (sometimes painful) digestive system, there are some days when I still don't like my hips or that annoying little area just below the dip at the base of my spine. Yes, that area that I have so lovingly (not) called my back fat.

It's not that I'm not comfortable with my weight. I've weighed around the same amount for the past five years or so, and I stray away from those BMI things because, quite frankly, who wants to be told that they're even slightly overweight? I carry my weight differently - mostly because mine is still quite a bit of muscle, even if my abs have gone a little soft - and I carry it well.

I don't normally think of myself as beautiful. Cute is about as far as I'll go. Occasionally someone in the family slips in the word "adorable" but I usually thinks of Mads when I hear that, not myself. But the way I feel right now - UnderArmor compression shorts, horrid green flannel shirt from the men's department at Wal-Mart (I live in a room that could easily pass as a meat locker, so don't get me started) and with my hair down (a rarity) - I feel truly beautiful. And it's because I'm comfortable. Comfortable with myself and comfortable in my own skin.

Having Jason Aldean and Bryan Adam's CMT Crossroads version of Heaven also helps, but that's right up there with Gershwin for me right now. (FYI - My sister and I are both lovers of classical music, as in I practically drooled when she told me that she had 5 hours of classical on her computer that I could come steal and which I plan on doing when I go home in a week.)

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines beautiful as the following:

beautiful (byoo-ta-fel) adj. 1. Having qualities that delight the senses, esp. sight. 2. Excellent; wonderful.

This definition, however, tells you nothing about feeling beautiful. Doesn't tell you a damn thing about the way you feel when you see something beautiful.

It doesn't tell you about the little girl in the red wagon that takes your breath away; the sight of the hills you live in from the waves on the lake that's been a part of your life since you can remember; watching the sunset on the back porch on a fall day, the reds in the trees in the dying sunlight; laying on your back in the cool summer grass, picking out constellations with cousins you only get to see maybe once a year if you're lucky; watching the sun come up over the high-rises of a city that's the definition of resilient; that first chunky snowfall when it actually sticks; watching your grandmother too overcome with words because your sister's just given her that big family picture from her wedding, the one with all 42 of us and that she hangs on the wall above the TV in the living room so that you look at it every time you walk in; that first dorm room with carpet, extra windows, and trying not to cry as mom and dad pull out of the parking lot; that first time you realized that, yes, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore; finding a friend that you get close enough to to cry on, and be cried on, and nothing else at that time matters but the person next to you; photographs and cards on the plain white walls, the poster of two Irish bad boys with halos loved almost as much as the photo of two girls, sisters, under a tree, one in a graduation robe and the other with her favorite red heels in the grass; a scruffy, beat-to-shit Oldsmobile between a Lexus and an Audi; knowing that my best friend is a dance and then actually watching her dance and wanting to cry because it's beautiful and proud and just her the way that she's meant to be; making a smile appear on another person's face because you can and not because you're paid to do it, but because it feels right; a little community that almost nobody's ever heard of, made famous for a racetrack, and that automatically comes out when someone asks, "Where you from?" because that's just the way it is.

That is my definition (part of it) of what beautiful is. What's yours? What takes your breath away and makes you so happy inside your chest that you could cry? Are they superficial things, empty and hollow, or are they things that mean and make a difference? Are they people? Are they things you can live without, that you can give up? Or will you fight like hell for each and every one of those beautiful things in your life because they are, in a way, distinctly part of you?

These are beautiful things to a girl from a big family in a small town, who will do what's right even if it's painful (ask about Philly, if you're daring) and stands out a little bit because that's just the way she is. And that's just the way that things not only are, but will continue to be. Because that's her.

"My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Aunt Frances, Practical Magic

I dare you to be beautiful. I absolutely dare you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Adventuring Focus II

Friday, December 11, 2009

Me thinks M ate a bowl of stupid for breakfast today. Then me know that she didn't eat breakfast because she was too busy tapping at her desk. She wake me up with all that tapping, and she late so she running for the big brick-place and it icy and me have no scrubbies on me feets, so me slide all over. She beat me to the room she spends two hours in, and sits, and does what she does with big words and bright pictures with arrows in funny directions. H's friend come in twenty-eight minutes later, holding his head and not awake. He like coffee...M says me not allowed to have coffee. Says I "bounce off the wall like a maniacal moron." Me just get the warm fuzzies.

Today is last time M has to sit in the big brick-places and listen. Now she can just tap and curse and sleep in. We all like to sleep in.

Sometimes, me thinks that M is the most smart dumb-stick that me know. Who takes themselves and them poor Focus [we go where you go - me go where M go] and goes swimming in the lake? In this weather? Is for a good cause - fighting cancer and helping people - but no Focus wants to get wet. We start to smell, when we get damp. But M pull me out there and when me emerge, me drenched, cold, and have a goose on me head.

No help that M live in a freezer, like Mikey keeps his ice cream in at home.

M attempting to clean our room. There stuff everywhere and she...she tired. And cold. Me cold, too. H friend cold, too. But mostly me M tired. So, me make decision now that we sleep in tomorrow. And we can have warm place to sleep, since M is doing the towels from the basket and won't fold them like Mama and put them away right when she bring them back.

Me drooling, me so tired.

*bigsadface* M's tummy is making funny noises. She take her pills today, me watch her, but she still make funny noises. Not *donttouchleavemeohnoowowow* noise but *thisannoyingandstupid* noise. She tired and she cold.

And she miss her LittleOne.

Friday, December 11, 2009

An Adventuring Focus

[Because this is the first...attempt at this, it's most likely extremely experimental because I'm not really sure how I want to do this yet. This is from the point of view of the Focus. We'll start with that. If you're confused as all hell, look at last months entries and find the one of a similar name. Read that. And then read this, and it should make some sense. Well, as much sense as I ever make.]

Monday, November 30, 2009

Had to prod M to get outta bed this morning. Climbed up, poked her in the forehead a couple of times, and she finally got with the program. Only, when she sat up to get the alarm she shoved me off the bed. Me landed in my helmet on her chemistry book.

Me get to sit with H's friend while M was in the shower. And we stared while she tried to figure out what to wear for the day. She does that - paces and grumbles and freaks out when there's nothing really freak out worthy.

And it's not even 8:30.

Then M walk to breakfast, and we toddle behind her, like always. Me eat doughnut and drink milk because that's what M does, and she eats toast, too, but me not a big fan of toast. And me like white bread which she can't eat because when she does, her tummy swells like a balloon and she can't really move or do anything but grumble and swear.

M's really good at swearing.

We toddle behind M into the room she stays in for two hours three times a week and me sits on the brick-book that she's brought today that won't fit in her bag and goes *bigthumpnoise* when it falls over.

Then H's friend pokes me and we gambol out into the hallway and trip the person trying to pass by the room. M is absorbed in colored chalk and big words, her feet on the brick-book, and doesn't notice us missing until she comes out, almost gets hit by the door on the way out of the big brick-place and then we follow her back to the place that she lives.

M takes the bike to the next big brick-place. H's friend doesn't know how to hold on tight enough, and when she starts going, he slides off her back-bag and into the big puddle on the sidewalk. Me have to run when she gets in the new big brick-place, and me hate to run. Me short, bow-legged, and kind of pudgy.

Me see E's friend and me gets excited, almost like home cookie excited. E's friend doesn't look good - kind of banged and missing some fuzziness - but me plops next to her before M lets me crawl in the empty chair in front of her to sit and look at the scruffy man. His friend follows a little later, and he looks like he lost a fight with one of those plug-things. Maybe he need a helmet.

H's friend wanders in and crawls up with me, and we smile when M answers questions and manages to sound like she knows what's going on, when we don't have a clue.

M forgets that her bike brakes don't work when wet. She takes the library corner a little too hard, dragging a foot on the ground with the same muttered swear word and then me feel like me flying and then *bigthudsound* and me picking grass from me face. H's friend no land on grass - he get sidewalk.

We go later to the big brick-place with lots of shelves and books so M can meet with people with friends who not as....energetic. Except for his, but she likes him, so we have to play nice.

And by nice we mean we push bookshelf on third floor over on him.

When we get back to where we live, we wait for M to tap something at her desk - she swears some more, says she hates paperwork many times, and finally turns out the lights. We curl up in the towel basket under the bed, she flops above us, trying to get warm and comfy, and snores like she has a head cold. Me thinks it because of the weather - the wind make me think of home.

Me want snow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things to Know III

I have almost absolutely no ambition right now. I think I keep staring at the screen in hopes that this paper will magically do itself. It reinforces the fact that I do not want to be stuck in a lab when I actually get a job out of college.

Where has all the frosting gone?

Rhapsody in Blue has been playing for almost 4 hours now. And I have no desire to turn it off.

I've worn leggings of some sort to bed for the past two weeks because my heater is apparently protesting.

Can't remember the last time I've shaved my legs.

An psoriasis outbreak of epic proportions (almost enough to rival sophomore year of high school) is coming because I itch and there's not really anything I can do at this point except damage control.

People need to stop looking at me funny when I start itching the back of my upper arm in the middle of a conversation. Really, it's okay. Don't look at me like I'm nuts.

A pint of Ben and Jerry's will probably not be conducive to academic production.

My room has returned to train wreck status.

I'm so tired that I honestly can't write in the normal tense that I write in. I just tried something and I mixed the two tenses almost every other sentence.

It probably honestly makes sense to do this report at this time of night - I have no intentions of having a repeat of last semester on my history paper, which takes this out of the equation to begin with.

Tomorrow is Friday. Tomorrow is in 10 minutes.

Suggests anyone reading this listen to Gershwin. Seriously.

Is shivering again.

The one spot I physically can not reach on my back (inner edge of my left shoulder blade) itches absolutely horribly and I can't. Do. A. Damn. Thing.

Split Directives

Quite honestly, if I want to have any inkling of what's going on in the outside world, I'm going to either turn on CNN or pick up the newspaper. I am probably not going to turn to a blog by a college student that offers me bits and pieces in secondhand form.

Now, I'm not knocking my fellow collegiate bloggers. Really, I'm not. And I'm all for collaboration. I mean, just look at TTB. That's a wonderful collaboration between me and my sister. [And if my cousin sweet talks us a little bit and updates a little more often, we might let him have a slice of the proverbial pie - bad pun fully and completely intended]

A personal blog - and I define person in this case as something that has your name to it, that is instinctively and inherently yours - should be about you, because you feel that your life is either so wonderful that everybody needs to pay attention, or so dreadfully boring and mundane that people are going to get laughs when you share that you almost fell down the stairs while trying to ogle the guy on the third floor and didn't really watch where you were going. Which, is a completely hypothetical situation because the guy that I like doesn't live in the same building as me.

A personal blog really shouldn't regurgitate news unless it is something you really feel passionate about or that has some immediate impact on your life.

And, hot damn, if I had my name scrawled across the top of the page, I'd love to have my own staff of writers to go along with it.

But, in a way, that would defeat the purpose of it being a personal blog. And it would be kind of creepy, because, honestly, they would probably have to live with me to understand the sort of shit that happens in my day, because while it's probably normal and completely uninteresting to you people, I find it somewhat hilarious some days, simply because that's the way that I am.

I guess the point I'm attempting to badly articulate [it's late, I'm procrastinating on my lab report] is that if it's going to be a collaboration, give it a collaborative name, at least. Give it a name that doesn't single anybody out, even if you are the administrator [seriously, who does that unless you're actually getting paid to maintain it, and then yeah, it makes sense - which, by the way, where's somebody handing me a paycheck for writing a certain amount of times per week?] so that it gives a feeling of unity. It's all well and good to be at the top of the proverbial food chain, but really....If you put your name on it, you might as well just own up to it.

Which, by no means, is insinuating that I'm the queen of blogging.

I have neither hit a hundred posts nor been at this for a year, but I think that my writing speaks for itself. I write well, I keep it real and down-to-earth [do you expect me to be anywhere else, really? It's finals, people] and you can find a number of different types of writing if you look through the older posts - memories, family, embarrassing moments, bits of fiction [from my novel or otherwise] including a mini-series creation-thing that was spawned because I might as well have married Murphy because I keep getting all his luck. Not quite the same as marrying for money [which I don't think I could do if I tried because, frankly my dear, I just don't give a damn about that kind of stuff] but it's pretty easy to see where good ol' Murph and I stand.

Which reminds me that my Focus now shares the same name. Coincidence? I think not.

The point with what you can find on my blog is simple. You can find me. You can find Molly Louise in each and every one of those posts, and I don't have to cite where I found them since they come from myself. These are little extensions of myself. Including the title. Which, if some of you aren't familiar with your astrological sign (Zodiac), then you might be a little confused.

My birthday is November 25. My astrological sign is a Sagittarius - a centaur. A centaur is a half-man, half-horse...thing [I'm at a loss for how to describe it after that] and is usually depicted in mid-stride with a bow. The Sagittarius has its own constellation in the sky [just like Scorpio and the Big Dipper (well aware the latter one is not an astrological sign, but damn, wouldn't that be cool if it was?)] and, personality wise, people who are under the Sagittarius are said to have certain traits.

One of them is "wandering feet."

I love to travel. Absolutely adore it. That's partly why I'm complete ecstatic to be going to Wales next Fall, and why I was absolutely giddy over the summer with traveling to Massachusetts. I like being in new places and exploring them. Coming from a tourist town, you'd think I wouldn't be all that happy to be doing the tourist-thing, but I really do have a penchant for looking out of the window of plane, bus or car [haven't ridden by train yet, but never fear, I will rectify that sometime soon, hopefully] and wondering Where the hell am I? It's a good feeling. Which I am now going to modify with this: That feeling is absolutely fabulous as long as you have even an inkling of where your destination is. Being completely lost, while that's probably an adrenaline rush of sorts, is not conducive for happy traveling. Neither is being stuck in the Philadelphia airport for twenty-one hours, but I digress at this point, as usual.

The Wandering Sagittarius - That's me. And in this blog so aptly named, you will find bits and pieces [occasionally whole chunks] of me. I don't have a team of writers of writers at my disposal, I'm definitely not getting paid for this, and I'm not doing this for fame and fortune.

And let me point this out right now.

I do not write for fame and fortune.

I write because I love to, and I share because I want to bring other people the joy that writing brings me. My dream is not to be a bestselling author because of the royalty fees, but because I want to walk into a bookstore [specifically a Barnes&Noble], grab myself some Starbucks coffee, and wander through the shelves until I can find my book sitting on the shelf. That is what I want. Anything after that is extraneous.

I write with my sister over at TTB because we both like to write, and we like to share one part of all that ties our family together - baking. Love and baking.

The Wandering Sagittarius [the blog] exists to give a perspective. A unique, college-stressed, science-major perspective on life, love, family, and anything and everything in between. Occasionally the lines get crossed, blurred, and suddenly sometimes disappear. In the end, everything turns out, sometimes not nicely, exactly, but that's life.

So, with something this attached to me, you're not going to hear news from CNN unless it impacts the person currently tapping away on the keyboard while she should be doing her formal chem lab report. And because I'm kind of computer stupid in a way, if I want you to take a look at something, I'll hand you a link to direct your attention.

Bottom line. Group effort = Group name. Even if you're the one in "charge" and you did "most of the work" it's still a group. You still collaborated. Give credit where credit is due, but please, don't name it after yourself if you get regular advice and other things from other sources. That's just tacky. And by regular I mean you have a list of contributors and they have dashes next to their name with what they provide your blog with.

But, Louise. Your sister appears regularly in your blog. Yeah, but she has her own [which I appear in, as well] but that's from her point of view and with her unique writing style. Mine is from my point of view, and my unique writing style. Occasionally, we blend and write things together. Or, she'll write something and I'll write something in return.

And yes, I'm well aware that this way of doing things does not work for everyone. Everyone has their own ideas on how to run a blog, and how they want it laid out, and what they want in it, but...think for a minute.

Original grass to chew or regurgitated cud to suck on?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things to Know II

I realized that the only thing I really want to hear is "Rhapsody in Blue" and other classical music, which, in some cases, not entirely a good thing.

There are 52 frosted sugar cookies in a Dunkin Donuts box on my floor.

I have spent over 17 hours in the past five days working on Organic Chemistry. And there is still more to do.

It snowed last night.

Someone wrote me a message on my car the other day, in the light snow that was there. It said, "Hola Modesto." [Hello Modest.]

I have, apparently, not been doing a decent enough job of keeping my stress level down because I'm beginning to itch with a rather significant outbreak of psoriasis.

Said outbreak of psoriasis will take at least three weeks to fully return to normal skin.

I signed up for the Penguin Plunge, therefore I must be crazy.

My Focus now has a name. His name is Murphy - the reasons should be fairly obvious.

Believes my head cold is waiting until Saturday to fully come into play because, hey, why not make Louise absolutely miserably during Finals?

Is afraid to drink tea out of her favorite mug because I allowed it to grow mold the last time it had something in it, and it hasn't been run through the dishwasher yet, and my intestines already have enough issues, thanks.

I have a full-blown freakin' crush on one of the guys in my chem class.

I have an almost outrageous amount of fines at Blockbuster from failing to return Evolution and Galaxy Quest on time.

There are still 52 frosted sugar cookies in a Dunkin Donuts box on my floor.

There is no other way to relax my mind before going to sleep than reading something for fun.

Fun reading does not include nor exclude any textbooks, notebooks, or hand-outs, though it is not highly recommended.

I'm impressed that Henry, my houseplant, hasn't died on me because he hasn't gotten water in days.

I'm also impressed that Henry hasn't died because it's so freakin' cold in my room.

I miss my sister.

I have cried more times this semester than I have in the past year.

At this point in my life, I have no doubt that I could drink my way through an entire bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, not give a damn about the consequences, and still be ready and rarin' to go tomorrow.

I'm workin' on takin' things one day at a time, because that is all I can do.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Tweeting Twit (Or Two)

I am well aware than you are able to call someone you don't like a "twit," but that is not what's happening in this post. [Give me some credit and some time, before we make that assumption.]

My sister likes to bring her readers The Ollie Chronicles - which often include texts between the two of us (which has taught me to remember what exactly I text because it has a tendency to end up on her blog). That, my dear readers, has inspired me to transfer our latest (my latest rediscovery really) Twitter conversation. Which, contrary to popular belief, probably has some major formatting issues in store for me. But hey, I thought it was pretty damn funny.

[However, unlike Twitter, you can read down the page here and it will make sense.]

HaBryerton: My sister (@MollyLouise10) is in a state of panic. She lost her History Notes notebook - her FINAL, FINAL paper is due next Tuesday

HaBryerton: Whew....@MollyLouise10 found it - someone on campus was nice enough to turn it into the College Library help desk. Whew. #crisisadverted.

MollyLouise10: I figured my facebook friends would probably wanna delete me if I started stream-of-consciousness writing.

MollyLouise10: Yup....procrastinating like it's my job on my teacher cert stuff.

MollyLouise10: okay, so a footrest probably isn't what you'd call this, but because my legs are short enough, it works for me.

MollyLouise10: Haha...I think I love this.

HaBryerton: Nice of you to join us here in twitterville @MollyLouise10

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton Is this all the welcome wagon I get? There's not even cookies.

MollyLouise10: Probably needs to put the graham crackers and canned frosting away.

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 you need to pipe down with your cookie requests before you FOCI fly the coop and head for Townsend

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton I know. The little buggers have really good ears. And I don't need mine taking an impromptu road trip at the moment.

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 We should create a twitter account for the FOCI - I think that would be a hoot

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton I'm down with that. Jointly, or one for each?

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 IDK - What do you think?

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton One for you and one for me might work best so A) We don't get confused and B) Neither do the people who might follow it.

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 good point - I will add that to the do list for the week

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton Would that require naming them?

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 Me thinks that would require naming them and that is where I am stuck

MollyLouise10: Have I mentioned lately how much I hate paperwork?

HaBryerton:@MollyLouise10 And, I think that is part of the reason I have yet to do something like that for mine - I can't come up with a name.

MollyLouise10: I'm thinking mine's a Leo. Just....gut feeling.

MollyLouise10:RT @MollyLouise10 I'm thinking mine's a Leo. Just....gut feeling.

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton I was trying to get what I wrote to reply to you and failed epically.

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton In all reality, mine probably should be named "Murphy"......

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton Should I start listing characters from my book and various wanderings and maybe you'll see something you like?

HaBryerton: Yes!!! Yes!!! RT @MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton In all reality, mine probably should be named "Murphy".....

MollyLouise10: Alrighty then...we'll just name my little wandering focus Murphy.

HaBryerton: no! RT @MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton should i start listing characters from my book & various wanderings & mayb U'll C something U like?

MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton Just a suggestion....I like my head where it's at, thanks.

HaBryerton: If I ever have more children, I should name them MURPHY! RT @MollyLouise10 Alrighty then...we'll just name my little wandering focus Murphy.

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton Could always call yours "Bugger"

MollyLouise10:@HaBryerton I thought you weren't going to have anymore children?

HaBryerton: @MollyLouise10 I'm NOT so there will not be any children named Murphy

HaBryerton: @MollyLouise10 Now...That sounds too much like snot RT @MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton Could always call yours "Bugger"

MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton Guess we'll be waitin on the off chance that *I* have kids.

MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton No, that would be "Booger" - which might be appropriate.

HaBryerton: I think we have a better chance of hell freezing over RT @MollyLouise10 Guess we'll be waitin on the off chance that *I* have kids.

HaBryerton: @MollyLouise10 "booger""bugger"......same thing

MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton No. One's the British term for someone who's behaving less than nicely/a British swearword.

MollyLouise10: @HaBryerton And the other is the green stuff that comes out of your nose.

So good to know it takes part of a college education to know the definition of a "booger." Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did, and I was part of the pair that actually had that conversation.

And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled programming [also known as Molly actually gets to work on homework.]

Things to Know

The non-traditional 3-M sticky pad things don't work for shit.

It is the wrong end of the morning for me to be attempting to farble my way through this formal lab report that I've already spent a collective 10 hours working on with my group.

Eating more sugar at this point in my life might send me into a sugar coma, and prevent me from getting the solid 4 hours of sleep that it looks like I'm going to get.

I can be really damn dense sometimes - that or I over-analyze the situation and confuse myself even more than I do on a regular basis.

If I didn't know that my chemistry professor was a good person, I would swear up and down that he hated us and wanted to make us miserable right before finals.

I would like nothing better at this moment than to climb into my bed (which, in all honesty, I absolutely love my dorm bed), curl up, and go to sleep for a little while, just to recharge.

Once again, my heater has decided this is the opportune moment to say "FU Louise!" and refuse to put out heat for as high as it's cranked.

Stupid people are stupid and make me mildly angry.

My internal system will most likely be screaming at me in the morning, but I'm kind of over it, already. Unless I can't even get up, in which case there will be some issues.

My father should have written a guide to college, even though he's never been only to visit his girls and watch soccer games.

Owes more credit to her sister than she originally thought because, holy shit, how did she manage to do this for four years?

Reminds self that said self is going abroad next Fall and that everything will, eventually, in the end, turn out all right.

Why must boys be confusing? Why? Why must they make me over-think and over-analyze things I would otherwise be content not knowing?

Damn it, you preppy New England people that I happen to share a dorm with, you don't get to look at me like I'm beneath you just because my car could totally hit yours head on, and mine wouldn't have any more scratches and scrapes than normal, and you can't stand that I'm okay with everything that I am.

I could really use some chocolate right now. Seriously. A Yorkie or a Snickers.

Wishes that I could make some homemade frosting right now, so the Poor Man's cookies would taste a little more like home and a little less like a substitute for something better.

Keeps telling myself that this will be worth it. That it is always worth it. That everything will turn out okay if I follow Mama's advice and take it one day at a time.

I think I've forgotten half of my acting monologue. Which, honestly, took far longer to memorize than it should have and at some points irritates the crap out of me.

Is saying screw this for the moment and going to get some sleep before I attempt to tackle this thing in a number of hours that is smaller than it should be.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Day at a Time

Passing on advice that my mother has passed on to me as I dissolved into a fit of tears in my living room earlier tonight.

Take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moments of Brilliance

Yep. We all have 'em. Unfortunately for me, sometimes my "Moments of Brilliance" aren't quite they should be.

Take Monday for example.

I took my bike to my last class for the day, and when I got out of class, it was doing a funky rain/snow combination. And, silly, brilliant me, forgets that my brakes don't work when they get wet.

Which is why I was more or less careening around the corner of the library, muttering a litany of "shitshitshitshit" and hint to the guy simply standing there, there really was no need to stare from the moment you noticed me putting my left foot down in the grass to try and slow myself down until I had vanished from your sight around the side of the building. Good to know I provide such wonderful entertainment, free of charge.

By the way, the mustache and hairdo combo this guy was sporting....yikes. But we'll save that for another day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Run That By Me Again

Okay, so I thought I was done with blog posts for tonight, but apparently I was wrong. I'm sitting here, doing the last bit of my education homework (seminar tomorrow, bright and early, how many are actually going to be there, I have no idea) and I'm trying to answer a reflection thing about Examples of Responses to Conflict. And I remember this thing, back when I was in middle school, about having three R's or something. I know that two of them were Respect and Responsibility, but I can't, for the life of me (and my wandering Focus) remember what the third thing was.

So, I thought, I'll jump on the middle school website and have a look-see.

And I tell you, holy crow, things have changed since I was in middle school, and I only graduated from high school in 2008. Let me give you some examples.

The first thing that caught my eye from the side panel of options was this thing called MASH. Now, courtesy of my uncle, I'm a decent fan of M.A.S.H, the TV show. I'll watch it anytime I can find it on. After clicking the link, I'm treated to this acronym.


Mandatory After School Help

Which, for students in grades 5-8 (our middle school), Monday through Friday, are required to attend if they have one (1) unexcused absence, a missing homework assignment(s), if they are late (tardy) to school. If you don't hand in your homework assignment, you attend MASH that day after school, until it's done. Once you hand it in, 25% will be taken off your grade. If, after attending MASH fail to hand it in, you will receive a zero (0) for the assignment and can not make it up otherwise. I love the second bullet point, in the further explanation after the basic who, what, where, etc. "In order to promote accountability, students that do not attend MASH will be disciplined for insubordination and serve one day of in-school suspension (ISS)." And you will continue to attend MASH until your back work is handed in.

Now, I'm all for accountability and doing homework and turning things in on time - I might procrastinate horribly, but I get my work done and handed in. And I do quite well, if I do say so.

This, however, I'm leery of. This, to me, seems a little excessive. I get that you want to teach kids responsibility and to do things on time and to do them well, but that's kind of what we have parents for. The routine for me, when I was that age (and let me remind you, it was not that long ago) was that when I stepped through the door in the afternoon, I sat down and I did my homework. Course I changed out of my good clothes and into my "everyday" clothes first, but still, I sat down and I did my homework. If I needed help, I asked for it, or struggled through it on my own to be checked over later by a parent/adult. That was just the way things worked.

I was a good kid, but there were a few snags. I served ISS once, got kicked out of a classroom (and really didn't know what to do with myself, because that was the first time that that had happened, and the last, by the way) and, when I was in high school, had a few unexcused absences on my report card that, usually, when mom and I thought about it, we could come up with where I'd been and forgotten to hand in/write a note. And I'll pick now to remind you that I graduated 10th in my class (out of 97, with an grade average of 94.5).

My point, I guess, is where is the wiggle room? You'd think, in trying to teach them good and respectable study habits, that there would at least be a little wiggle room in case it doesn't take well the first time, right? I mean, we don't want to set our kids up for failure, correct? That's what they tell us in the seminar, what students naturally assume about their teachers - They do no want to set you up for failure. Educators want the exact opposite - they want you to succeed. My chemistry professor has said such on multiple occasions - He'd like us all to have an A in the course. Now, that won't happen, but it won't happen for lack of effort, believe me.

What are we teaching our middle schoolers? Better do all my work because it's going to help me learn the material and do well on my test and also when I get into my advance things, like high school and college, or better do all my work so I don't have to stay after school in MASH or during school in ISS and miss valuable class time?

One thing that I found that made me giggle a little: ** parents and students please note: students are not permitted to have caffeinated energy drinks at school **

Makes me wonder if they've gotten rid of the soda machine that was in the cafeteria.

College kids live on that crap. So, for a matter of fact, do high school kids. Hell, I go skating sometimes on the weekends, at open skate, and they'll be middle schoolers in there that have 16oz Amps in their hand, skating hand-in-hand with their pre-teen boyfriend who's toting a 16oz Monster.

Someone going to tell them that they can't have certain things in their packed lunch, too?

Ah. The marvelous age of covering your books.

Just for giggles, I checked out the high school website, too.

Well, NYS has changed how they list their mathematics courses, again. Now, instead of mildly puzzled, I'm slightly confused. They show you sequences for your maths, depending on what you had and if you need more help. Understandable, really. But when I was in school (seriously, not that long ago) we were using Math A, Math B, pre-calc, and calc. Now they've got Algebra in there, and Geometry, and I'm glad that I've gone through the system, as that would most likely confuse the hell out of me.

The sciences are a less-confusing. Gotta have 3 of them to graduate. Gotta pass 1 Regents to graduate with a Regents diploma, 2 Regents for an Advanced Regents Diploma.

Huh. Didn't know there were electives in the sciences. Didn't take any of them. But took all the other science classes offered. Still not entirely sure how I got the grade I got on my Earth Science Regents. It was at the end of the day, mid-afternoon, and you all know how well I do with classes at those times.

I guess you really do learn something new every day. Didn't know the school offered psychology and sociology as electives. Where was this option when I was there?

Found a typo on the website. They're missing a "p" in the word performing so it just looks like "erforming arts." Oh, and make sure you don't sleep in class. That's right on the website as a no-no. Usually is for any class.

Roll On, Play List

So, I'm procrastinating badly, since I got my giant post done (the one before this, where I recap my 19th year) and since I don't really feel in the mood to start my homework yet (who has homework due the day before you officially have off for Thanksgiving break?)

Anyway, since I'm listening to music videos and have my mp3 player plugged in to charge, I thought I'd give you guys a run down of songs that I absolutely can't live without at the moment/I don't get tired of hearing.

"I'm Alive" - Kenny Chesney featuring Dave Matthews

"The Truth" - Jason Aldean

"Cowboy Casanova" - Carrie Underwood

"Sober" - Pink

"Wild At Heart" - Gloriana

"Shoulda Said No" - Taylor Swift

"Love Story" - Taylor Swift

"The Blood of Cuchulainn" - Jeff and Mychael Danna (The Boondock Saints opening theme)

"Her Diamonds" - Rob Thomas

"3 a.m." - Matchbox Twenty

"Last Beautiful Girl" - Matchbox Twenty

"Crash" - Dave Matthews Band

"Mud on the Tires" - Brad Paisley

"Toes" - Zac Brown Band

"La Vie Boheme" - RENT Soundtrack

"If I Had a $1,000,000" - The Barenaked Ladies

"One Week" - The Barenaked Ladies

"Wagon Wheel" - The Old Crow Medicine Show

Friday, November 20, 2009

The 19th Year: Rewind, I'm not sure how many of you valued readers and followers out there are aware, but I turn twenty in two days. Yes, twenty, as much as my sister would like to ignore that (I won't tell you how old she'll be, she might get mad at me for that - but the answer is in this blog somewhere, and I know you people can do math) because to her I'll always be her little sister, big-eyed and small in the front seat of mom's car as we drive to Barnes and Noble.

So, I thought I would take the opportunity and share a little bit of what my nineteenth year on this planet has been like.

At three in the morning on November 25, 2008, my friends barged into my dorm room, decorated in the near-dark while I was still in bed, and at least let me climb out of it before they silly stringed me and my half o the room, also throwing silver star confetti into the air. (If my computer weren't asking for me to upload a flash player, I'd put the video here for you to see. You'll just have to make due with a photo or two.)

Julie baked the cupcakes, and they all decorated the windows of my room in spectacular fashion. Yes, there is no "h" in birthday, and there's a thing about visiting Seneca Castle because I was under the impression that there was a legitimate castle in Seneca Castle and then realized it was false advertising.

The rest of the day, once I'd drank enough sparkling apple cider and eaten cupcakes to be properly sugar high, and eventually gone back to sleep, entailed a calculus review thing that I attended, and then it was time to pack up and wait for dad to come get me.

Pretty sure we celebrated my birthday along with celebrating Thanksgiving, which was cool, since we've done it before. Sometimes (like next year, I've looked at it) it actually falls on Thanksgiving, which just means turkey instead of pizza and pie instead of cake (but there's also usually one floating around.)

Here's not one of my bright moments. Before he was my boyfriend, and, now, more importantly, my ex, he was my best friend. Personally, I would love to know who simply goes to dinner about forty minutes from home, but hey, that's none of my business. So, when I get a call from them - "Can we come visit?" - there was just...I couldn't say no. Let me be more specific - I couldn't say no to him. Which, came back to bite me in the ass like it always does because while I thought I had a lid on this, I clearly didn't. They didn't stay long, him and the new girlfriend (eventually fiance - and please, let's not talk about that) yet the effects were a little more than I had bargained for.

It took the reprise of "I'll Cover You" from RENT after "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" Rehearsal for me to sit there on the floor of the auditorium and simply start to bawl my eyes out. There were only three other people there, and I must have sat there and cried for a good forty minutes. Then my friends that were there, bundled me back to my room and from there to Wegman's to get pints of cookie dough ice cream, because that was really the only thing that you could do in that situation. And she stayed with me, through my pint and a half of ice cream (one of my other friends had bought Hagen-Daaz, wondering if it was as good or better than Ben and Jerry's) and drinking our way through bottles of Izze soda. Yeah, so...not one of my better days.

I think the next order of business, the next big thing, was the trip to NYC that I planned.

Well, that my sister and I had planned. Early that semester I had applied for, and been accepted into this career services thing through my colleges called "A Day of Publishing in NYC." It's about as self-explanatory as it looks, no joke. We visited some of the big publishing houses in the industry - McGraw-Hill - they were very amazing to us. One of them is a college alum, and after posing for pictures with him, we heard about how he'd gotten from college to where he was. He explained it was networking. Let me point out right now that the weather outside had been absolutely horrible - a combination snow/rain, downright damn cold, and I was running late. When Heather and I finally found the building, and I got my visitors pass - complete with horrible picture of me in my hat and looking thoroughly bedraggled and like every inch the country child in the big city that I was - I actually shared the elevator with one of the McGraw-Hill Top Dogs. Didn't know it at the time. And of course we're on the fifty-something floor, which means the view out of the floor-length windows of the city skyline is absolutely gorgeous and I'm really tempted to go stand by the window and simply gawk (which, I didn't) and I did my best not to notice that I was wearing my hospital bracelet around my wrist.

Yes, the Day of Publishing was the day before my Surgery.

Not to mention that yes, while I'm wearing my good brown pants with the red pinstripes in them, and my red sweater, I'm also wearing my Converse because when my mother hems pants, she damn well makes sure you won't be walkin' on the bottoms, especially if you're her slightly vertically challenged youngest child.

Which, no joke, the woman (who's also someone very important in the company) and kind of in charge of this whole affair, on their end, notices. And this is the type of woman that if she were to take a "What Animal Are You?" quiz on Facebook it would come back barracuda every time. Somehow, I think she liked me. I think it was the Converse.

From there, it was to Conde Nast.

But the most important one, that was RandomHouse. Now, when I heard that we would be going to RandomHouse, I literally started salivating. I've sent RandomHouse a copy of my coverletter. It's most likely lost in the slush pile that is a commercial publishing house, but a girl can hope, right? And I prepared, too. I took copies of my cover letter with me, and, actually, in the end, it really didn't matter. They guy from the fiction department told me to mail a letter again. And he didn't say that he'd look at it. Which, is understandable, but you'd think you'd at least humor the person in front of you by looking at it. But hey, maybe that's the publishing industry.

On the plus side, I now know what it's like on that side of the letter. I think I'll stick to my side.

Right. So, after having some communication issues about shuttle times back to the hotel, Heather and I finally made it out of the city and back into the Sunfire and headed back toward upstate. That was quite the ride back - we encountered snow and horrible wind up in the Poconos (but you could really see the lights from the ski resort, and the chair lifts, which was cool) and of course I couldn't have anything to eat after midnight, which cut down on the fact that you wanted to fall asleep in the front seat and couldn't even have chocolate to keep yourself awake at one in the morning.

Rolling right into that was the first time in my life that I've ever surgery. I remember laying there in the day surgery ward, and mom was sittin' next to me, holdin' my hand because I was scared. I knew it was supposed to find out what was wrong with me, to see what was making me have pain that I wasn't supposed to have, but how calm can you be when you know someone's going to slice you open and look at your insides?

One of the last things I remember was when they put the first half of the sedative in my IV line, and things kind of blanked out for a minute, and I came to again after they'd somehow gotten me onto the table. And I remember looking up and looking at this guy, who I think was the doctor - I think - and saying, because I could hear Matchbox Twenty playing in the background, "That's Matchbox Twenty" and then the next thing that I remember was that I was waking up a little bit when some of the nurses rolled me on my side and my belly kind of hurt.

I have three scars. Two on the sides, rather near my hips, and one in my belly button where they literally sliced it in two.

I missed the first time that my niece went tubing because I couldn't do anything but walk short distances and sit. I still had internal stitches, by my belly button, and still wasn't allowed to lift anything heavy. Two weeks out of surgery I moved back into my dorm room. Heather had to come with us because I couldn't lift anything. Walking back and forth to class that first week was all that I really could do, and I had to be careful not to slip.

Course at that time, it's the middle of hockey season, so, the Saturday night that first week, two of my good friends and I decided to go to a hockey game. And we're taking the short cut by the BPOE Elks club, down the snowy path, and one of them is in front of me, to catch me, and the other has a death grip on my arm.

Well, we missed the game. It was played at earlier that day at 4, and we arrived in what would be at timely manner for the 7 p.m. game. So, while we were there, we stayed and ice skated. Now, at that point, I had never ice skated in my life. And we did it, me included, with the stipulation that A) We wouldn't tell my mother because I still wasn't allowed do anything but walk, eat, sleep, and go to class and B) That they wouldn't let go of me.

And when we hit the ice and my first thought was, I'm not sick anymore.

Which, didn't actually hold true for as long as I wanted it.

The boyfriend in February.

I brought my best friend from college home for Easter. She met most of my crazy, large, happy family and while I think she was a little shell-shocked at first, I'm pretty sure she had fun.

I pulled two all-nighters for my first year of college. The first was for Relay for Life; Freddy came back for that, and after it was done in the morning, we all went for breakfast at a place downtown. It was awesome. The second was when I was procrastinating on my final history paper. (The second probably wasn't an all-nighter, but close enough.)

I started my own blog, which you fabulous people are currently reading.

There was another medical procedure in my future, um, but this was a little less in its recovery time and more important in its preparation, instead. I never want to turn 50, plain and simple, if I have to do this again. And if I never taste anything lemon-lime flavored again in my life it will be too soon. On the bright side, I got to have lunch afterward, brought home doughnuts, and then crashed in my bed once I got home. Because I had been under conscious sedation - basically you're so out of it but still awake - they don't want you to drive for twenty-four hours. And by drive, they generally assume you'll be driving a car. But, lucky me, that afternoon was my safety procedures meeting at my job. And I work on a dinner boat. And I found out then that I'm the lucky one that gets to drive it, should the captain become incapacitated. So here I am, up in the pilot house, literally hands on the wheel, and going to myself, I can't drive a car but I'm expected to park this 200 plus passenger boat without breaking it? My next thought of course, was, Please Greg, don't let me crash your baby. I don't have the money to cover the insurance. But everything turned out okay. And Greg did most of the actual parking of said boat.

I think of my earlier posts this year, back when I started blogging, was about some of my favorite cruises that far into the season. We were only a week or two in, dealing mostly with high school cruises - senior class dinners (both college and high school) and all-night parties. But one Sunday we had a group from Canada, who had played a concert the night before in Corning. Thinking back, I think I can label this one as my favorite cruise from last summer. They were a Welsh choir (which makes me entirely happy, considering where I'm going in less than a year) and they were just absolutely amazing. Sunday dinner has entertainment, but when our music took a break, the choir started. Of course, we're right in the middle of serving dinner, and next thing you know, this choir who, when they first came on board, started either playing the spoons with their soup spoon and dinner spoon or made hats out of their napkins, starts singing the best version of "Sloop John B" that I have ever heard.

My summer passed kind of quick, and in the middle of July my best friend Em, from Massachusetts, says to me, "We're staying in Martha's Vineyard for two weeks, do you want to come out for one of them?"

Hell. Yes.

So, I get the time off from work, buy my plane tickets after much debate how exactly to get there by myself, and before you know it, mom's driving me to the local airport at an ungodly hour of the morning so I can get on a 5:40 flight to Philadelphia to get my other flight to take me to Boston.

I love to travel. I do. There's just this feeling I get in my chest when I leave the place that I've always been to go explore somewhere new. And when we were taxiing down the runway, it was awesome. Except for the part where I got stuck in Philadelphia for 21 hours on the way back. And ended up getting a flight into Ithaca, instead, while my luggage went to Elmira, and I landed at 1:20, got home at 3 after eating dinner, and went to work at 4. It was great, it was one of the most fun experiences, to be out there in the Vineyard, and to see the island, and go to the beach, get smashed by the waves, and generally just have a blast.

I think this picture explains everything.

Here's another not so fun part of my nineteenth year. I spend two weeks in pre-season soccer, and a few days before the last weekend (school starts on the following Monday) I have this interesting conversation with one of my teammates about the level of play and fitness. Of which, while my heart is undoubtedly there, my body simply isn't. After an almost excruciating talk with the coach, it's decided that I will not play soccer this season, for the first time in fourteen years, and will instead take the season off and work on my fitness, hoping to rejoin the team in January. As soccer has been my life for fourteen straight years, this was not pleasant to handle. My mother, bless her, drove 45 minutes to be here with me that same night because I was not handling it well. And, considering I had a few days to go before I could kind of vanish into the proverbial background, I was not there all-together yet. Despite my first inclination, meals weren't difficult - the team had sort of been informed, and nobody really said anything about it. They went to practice, and I - I took a cycling class and biked all over town, interspersed with running. When school started, I played a little bit with the men's club team, and generally did homework and other things. I still went to games and cheered for the girls, my friends, and it was okay.

Then came the emails where the coaching staff needed to know how many were going to Brazil.

Honestly, I hadn't played that season. I hadn't even been asked to be on the JV sideline, I hadn't been asked to do anything further with the fundraising, and, quite simply, it was more stress than I probably needed. When I really thought about it, I realized that I would gladly trade one week in Brazil for an entire semester somewhere else, specifically somewhere in the UK/continental Europe. Soccer at that level, was simply not an option for me anymore, as painful as it is to recognize and accept. It doesn't mean that I still don't play - I just play for fun, like I've always done. Now it just has a different kind of connotation.

And, now that I have the option of hindsight, I can see that everything worked out in the end. I tried out for the campus production, Eurydice, got cut from that, and then tried out for the community theater show. I made that. I got to be part of the first performance in the new community center's black box theater. I made new friends, had new experiences, and learned something a little different. You might think I'm trying to convince myself that I'm okay, and maybe I am. But this is the direction that I've veered into, and it's working. And intramural soccer is coming up, so I'll have something else to do, too.

It's no secret that I'm in the teaching program. And, actually, I taught my very first lesson last Thursday, November 19th. I taught covalent bonding to 28 impressionable Regents chemistry students, who, were very well-behaved at the time. I was incredibly nervous, but it turned out quite well, in the end. And, I think, they got it. Which is enough to make anybody happy.

This past Sunday (yesterday, actually) my family had my birthday party because we're traveling to my cousin's for Thanksgiving and it was the best day to do it. Which, among the hilarity that ensues whenever we have a family get together, what I come away with, most memorably (other than my niece helping me open my presents) is

"I was so pissed I needed a torch to find my crumpet in the telly." (Which, if you know some phrases/words in British, you should find this quite entertaining)

Which brings me to now. November 23. In two days, at 10:25 p.m., I will turn 20 years old. In a sort of honor to that, I'll do a quick run-down of my favorite memories from my 19th year, in case there was so much text in this one that your head was swimming three paragraphs in (and there may be more photographs, too!):

+My friends bought me the 12-scooper from Friendly's after my no-dairy week when the doctor's were trying to figure out what was wrong with me. They then assisted me in eating it.

+A crazy trip to NYC with my sister - and a badass road mix CD from my brother-in-law that, every time we hear certain songs, think of that trip specifically


+Ice skating for the first time

+Almost making Dean's list first semester of first year

-The trip to Greece (NY) to get sets, also in which Steve tipped his car

+The hilarity that was "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

+Reconnecting with friends while seeing Star Trek for the first time (the new one)

+Traveling to see my best friend and getting stuck somewhere on my own for the first time

+Legitly keeping a journal

+Watching Madaline in the Lake

-The idea that an exboyfriend of mine would be working with me over the summer

+Getting up 5 days a week and working out at 6 in the morning

I think this video, and this song, embodies the idea that life is a journey, a hard one, sometimes, but a journey nonetheless and that, despite what it might try to throw at you, it's still the only place that you'd rather be.

Well, as per usual, I don't really know what the hell I'm doing in terms of trying to put something here, so I'll just put the link. And damn it, Heather, you need to at least listen to it! It's my birthday, humor me. "I'm Alive" - Kenny Chesney, ft Dave Matthews

And here is where I freely admit my love of country music. There, I said it. It should have been obvious, but yes, it's now in print. that we've recapped the 19th year - here's to this new one coming up, and to the next twenty, whatever they may bring.

[I would like to thank everyone in my life and those from whom I borrowed the pictures from (Facebook, most likely) and thanks to my family for simply being as amazing as you are. Thank you.]
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz