Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I don't know what tomorrow brings

Thursday's the day. I think of today now as Wednesday, so basically, tomorrow I'll stop being a freeloading high school graduate and start really being a student at Syracuse University. Tomorrow night I'll be packing up my laptop for the first time in its new case.
I turned in my Baby Boomer's shirts and apron. I won't be coming back. I talked for awhile with my best friend at work, Crystal. She'll be leaving too, so I probably won't be missing much at the restaurant.
Everyone else is gone to school, pretty much except for me. I look at their away messages and see things involving school, such as, "Class," or, "Meeting with my advisor," or, "Eating dinner with the girls." I wish I was leaving Wednesday instead.
Thursday morning I'll be getting up quite early, probably around 6 a.m., so that we can pack everything and head out around 7:30, so that we can get there and stand in line forever to get checked in to my residence hall. The earlier we go, maybe the shorter the line will be. I just hope it doesn't end up being like a concert ticket sale, where people camp outside the building, waiting for it to open and to get first dibs on tickets when they first go on sale.
I've been reading Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Yes, the movie was made from the book, and no, I can't tell which is better. They're equally good in my opinion. The movie, however, leaves out some stuff in the book, and it also switches some stuff around. In the two days I've had the book, I've read about 75% of it. Maybe I'll finish tonight. There doesn't seem to be anything better to do, since everyone's gone. My time will come.

I don't know what tomorrow brings.
It's alive with such possibility...

So, thank you, friends, for the time we shared.
My love stays with you like sunlight and air.
How I truly wish I could keep hanging around here.
My joy is covering me. Soon I will disappear...

- Bright Eyes, "Method Acting"

Monday, August 23, 2004

Es wird viel passieren...

In case you're about to commit suicide or something because you can't figure out what the title of this post means, it's German for, "a lot will happen."
Well, it's true. I've been in the midst of packing for days now. On top of my excitement over going away to school (which takes place in T-minus 2.7 days), Olivier's being here, and the discovery of my fall semester schedule on the Internet, I'm also rushing to say goodbye to everyone before heading out. I hung out with Scudder for probably the last time in quite awhile yesterday. We went on a Barnes and Noble run -- always a good time. I'm gonna miss him. Today I went with Aunt Mo to the mall in Syracuse to do a little last-minute shopping. I got some SU memorabilia for hanging around the dorm (some 'Cuse shorts and a baseball tee), a cute "silver spoon" ring and a bra on clearance from American Eagle, some muchly-needed sneakers, and some books from Borders (Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward, to be exact). From Deb's I got this awesome tan faux-leather coat and a set of pjs.
Olivier leaves tomorrow. I probably won't be up to see him off. His plane leaves around 11:30, so that means he'll have to leave our house around 8. Not exactly my time to be up and about. Come to think of it, I'll probably be getting up around 7 to go off to school. No matter. I'll be too excited to sleep by then. It's been an interesting experience with him, though. I finally realized how my host families felt with me in their house.
Which brings me to my next topic: the growing possibility that I will be spending a month next summer back in Germany. I'm overjoyed. I've already started making plans.
Also along those lines, I've been receiving a lot more e-mail from the Vaterland lately. It's very much appreciated. My 4th host father recently sent me a nice, long e-mail, including pictures from the family's trip to Switzerland. He updated me on Rotary doings and what happened to the exchange students who were there after me. They pretty much screwed things up for that club, because this year they're only taking one girl from Canada. We'll see what happens there. Maybe she'll still be there when/if I end up going next summer.
Aaron's back from vacation in North Carolina. There's this kind of depressing casualness between us. I mean, I don't really mind it; it's friendly. Still, I've been kind of hoping for a spark in his voice of the old intimacy we once shared.
As I look over my room, the room I've slept in and spent a large amount of time in for the past 17 years of my life, I see a big clutter of bags and suitcases. Oh, will the monotony never end?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Advice for those entering college

Here's some witty advice I found at the NY Times online today. It's actually from a book review for a book called "Real College", which is kind of like a self-help book having to do with the college experience. The reviewer, Chuck Klosterman, said that you don't have to read the book to figure out how to succeed in college. He made his own list. This is it.
(I just hope I don't get sued by the NY Times for plagarism -- I give Mr. Klosterman full credit for writing this! Besides, it was free on the NY Times webpage, so why can't it be free in my blog as well?)

ROOMMATES: If you want to get along with your roommates, here are things you should never do -- never ''confront them'' about their behavior, never talk about your feelings if you're sober, never force them to live exactly like you and never sleep with anyone they are sleeping with (or intending to sleep with, even if the likelihood of that event appears implausible). Just be cool. I know that sounds reductionist and simplistic, but it's generally the whole equation; be cool, and this stranger will eventually become the best man at your wedding.

SOCIAL LIFE: Don't join a fraternity or a sorority unless you miss all the things you hated about high school. If you strongly dislike someone and find out someone else dislikes this same person for the same reasons, become that person's friend; you'll always have something to talk about. If you were smart when you were 16 and people thought you were weird, those people will find you fascinating when you're 19. And if something makes you vomit, don't worry about it; everybody vomits sometimes.

ACADEMICS: Your academic adviser will probably tell you to take at least a year to figure out what you want to do with your life, and there is no rush to pick a major. This advice is why everyone now goes to college for six years. Pick a major immediately. If you have no idea what you want to do, major in English; there are no wrong answers, and you can always change the totality of your life next semester. If nothing else, you'll get some reading done.

STUDYING: Someone will convince you, late in your college career, that if you smoke pot while you study you will latently remember everything, and all you need to do is smoke pot again before you take the test, because all the information you unconsciously absorbed will reappear in your conscious mind. This is a half-truth. It is possible you will not recall anything of consequence about the Teapot Dome scandal, but you will totally remember why Neil Young is awesome.

IDENTITY: If you are female and have a one-time sexual experience with another woman, you are probably exploring your physicality, expanding your morality, gaining an understanding of what you will (and will not) desire within the context of a mature, ideologically consensual relationship. If you are male and have a one-time sexual experience with another man, you are probably gay.

RELATIONSHIPS: At some point in college, you will have a platonic friend with whom you will fall deeply in love, and this will be painful. Later, you will have a platonic friend who will fall deeply in love with you, and you will tell others this process is actually worse. You will be lying. You will also spend inordinate energy trying to make other people break up with you, which will almost always have the exact opposite effect.

SEX: It will happen a lot, yet not enough. And it will happen to other people more.

PARENTS: There are only two things you need to know about your parents: (1) they are more reasonable than you think, and (2) they will never, ever understand anything about you (and it is unreasonable for you to expect otherwise). Once you reconcile these two realities, your parental problems will be over -- forever.

MENTAL HEALTH: The symptoms of depression (according to the National Institute of Mental Health) include anxiety, pessimism, loss of interest in sex, insomnia, thoughts of suicide, restlessness and chronic headaches. These are also the symptoms of being smart.

High school is hard. Life is hard. College is easy. Can you hang out and smoke cigarettes you hate for six hours a day? Can you advocate political movements you'd never possibly join? Can you hold polarizing opinions about books you haven't read and can you memorize things you never needed to know in the first place? Of course you can. And you'll be perfect.

Chuck Klosterman is the author of ''Fargo Rock City,'' a memoir, and ''Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto.”

We're still fighting it

Everybody knows it hurts to grow up,
But everybody does. It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what: The years go on
And we're still fighting it,
And you're so much like me.
I'm sorry.

It was pain, sunny days and rain,
I knew you'd feel the same thing.

- Ben Folds, "Still Fighting It"

The question is, what are we still fighting? What is this "it" we speak of?
6 more days until the big change. I wish it was happening tomorrow.
I didn't go to the fair yesterday. I just really didn't feel like it because my family, Olivier, and I went hiking up Panther Mountain, a really steep mountain buried deep in the heart of the Pisecos. I hadn't climbed it in about 10 years. I finally realized what hiking uphill for about half an hour can do to a woman. My legs were like rubber by the time we left. I was dirty and smelly and exhausted. I did, however, go to Briggs' for some Donnie Darko. Three words. Weirdest movie ever. I don't think I'll ever understand it. If anyone has some words of enlightenment on the movie, feel free to comment and tell me all about it.
It's actually sunny today for once. I hope it's like this when I leave on Thursday.
Life goes on. I can't wait to break the monotony and actually do something.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Are you in?

I spent the evening at Scud's at my first poker night. It proved quite interesting. I found out that I'm perfectly capable of losing $5 in the first 45 minutes of play. For the rest of the night I dealt cards and put up with a ruthless barrage of jokes against women and me in general. Sometimes I just don't feel like I fit in, and maybe I didn't. Hell, Joel was there. He sure does a good job of making me feel unwelcome. Whatever. I had a feeling things would turn out like that. But, all in all, it was a good time.
I think I'll call it a night at that. Olivier's still with us -- he's downstairs playing Halo with my brother. We still don't know how long he'll be with us -- at most until the 24th. He went to see a movie tonight...kind of like a date. At least he has something to do. I should have brought him to Tom's.
I'm feeling kind of lonely. I need a sort of companion, I think. Aaron didn't call me when he got to North Carolina, like he said he would. I hope he's ok. I just feel kind of alone right now, and it's kind of sad. Hell, I miss Eric too. He hasn't been around in awhile. And Brant...I haven't seen him all summer, pretty much.
Well, I think that'll be it. Good night.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

As simple as something that nobody knows

Beauty queen of only eighteen
She had some trouble with herself.
He was always there to help her.
She always belonged to someone else.
I drove for miles and miles
And wound up at your door.
I've had you so many times
But somehow I want more.

I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain.
Look for the girl with the broken smile.
Ask her if she'd like to stay awhile
And she will be loved.

Tap on my window, knock on my door,
I wanna make you feel beautiful...
It's not always rainbows and butterflies,
It's compromise that moves us along....

I know where you hide, alone in your car,
Know all of the things that make you who you are.
I know that goodbye means nothing at all.
She comes back and begs me to catch her every time she falls...

Please don't try so hard to say goodbye...

- Excerpts from "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5

Olivier's with us for God knows how long now. It's interesting how this came to be. I was home alone, my dad and brother out at a praise band gig in New Berlin and my mom at a nun performance in Little Falls. Scud was at my house just chilling with me and was about to leave when the doorbell rings. It's one of my brother's friends, wondering if he'll come skateboarding. I told the kid he wasn't home, so he leaves. About two seconds later it rings again. I'm about to go tell the kid to shove it (reminiscent of Theresa Heinz Kerry...;-P) when I realize it's Olivier, the French student my family housed for the first half year I was in Germany. I had only met him the day I came back, because he left the day after that. I knew he was back to visit, because I'd seen him at Savanna's party and he'd come to our house to visit and stayed overnight once while I was in Oswego with Aaron.
I let him come in and he told me his story: he basically got kicked out of the place he's living in now so he figured he'd stop by and ask to use our phone to give them a call to see what was going on. He ended up having no place to stay so I told him that of course he could stay with us, as long as he doesn't mind sleeping on the downstairs pull-out couch. His stuff was brought to him and he made himself comfortable. We watched Tomb Raider on TV until my mom came home. Then we watched a little Who's Line... until I decided to go to bed. We have no idea how long he'll be staying with us. It's interesting, though. It's like finally being there to go through what my family went through while I was gone and Olivier lived with us. He's a funny kid.
11 more days until I go. I really can't wait. I hope I can finish knitting my scarf before I leave!
That Maroon 5 song I basically quoted all of? Great stuff...the video's nice, too. Somehow it seems to go along with basically everything I think's been going on lately.
I really hope I get this Work Study job at the University Press. I found an ad on Syracuse's JobNet website for a Federal Work Study job at the University Press which pays $7 an hour. I'd be working 10-15 hours a week. As a clerical employee there, I would file stuff, type letters, and even get to proofread manuscripts. It sounds like the perfect job for me, because I want to submit my own manuscript sometime. This could be the perfect opportunity for me to obtain connections so that it might be easier for me to finally publish something. I called their office and the employer told me to send in my resume. I typed it up, along with a quite convincing cover letter, and sent it all out the next day. It's amazing how fast something can be done with a little incentive. Hopefully we'll get in touch and set up an interview when I get to school. I really hope I get it before someone else does. I wouldn't rather be doing anything else as a job. To believe I get paid to proofread manuscripts! Amazing. I'll even get to "maintain relations" with editors and writers over the phone and through written correspondence. I'm so anxious for everything to start happening.
I've already started packing. So far I have my towels, a few items of clothing for colder weather, my desk lamp, my dry-erase board, my books, journals, and photo frames packed. This is only the beginning. I figure I should wait until at least Thursday of next week (the 1 week to go mark) to finish the rest. Wish me luck.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Letting the days go by

In less than two weeks, I'll be heading out to Syracuse, and during this time, I'm just beginning to realize how much I really am liked and didn't notice it. I'm really grateful for all my friends -- online or real life ones, because there's always the possibility that our paths will cross again one day, or for the first time.
Aaron and I have called it quits for awhile. It just wasn't the right time, and now we're both just realizing it. As I'm going into a myriad (no pun intended) of new experiences at college, he's just coming away from them. I'm sure our paths will cross again someday, too. We're still going to be best friends, after all, and he won't be far away come December. In fact, he'll be the closest we've ever been geographically.
My good buddy Scud (Tom Scudder, that is) saw Napoleon Dynamite the other day. Go see that movie. You'll piss your neighbor's pants, you'll be laughing so hard. Tom and I sure did. Well, as far as I know there wasn't any pissing going on, but yeah...He's one of those people I'm gonna miss when I move and wish I could have had more time to spend with him. I think our paths are destined to cross again, too.
13 more days. I can't wait.
Tonight I think I'll swing by Briggs' for a little chat, perhaps a movie. You know, like old times...well, kind of.

Do you has what it takes?!

My desktop. Thought you'd get a kick out of it. ;-)

Friday, August 06, 2004

The seeing of the greatest few

Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. - Morpheus, The Matrix

That seems to be the theme for the week. Just as soon as I've found something wonderful, it's taken away from me, just as I'm beginning to realize how wonderful it really is. I don't know if I'll survive. Only the anticipation of college gets me through these last summer days, and even that hope is waning as the days approach and become somehow less real.
I saw Kate, my mentoree, at the airport as she left for a year in Switzerland. She left from the same area as I did two years ago. I saw a lot of me in her eyes today, except for the fact that her eyes were filled with tears. Mine weren't and hadn't been two years ago. Of course, all her friends had come to see her off as well. None of mine cared to show up, but then again, Syracuse is pretty far for the common Herkimer man (or woman, of course). She's going to have a wonderful time. I'm genuinely happy for all the new exchange students, some of whom I've known for quite a few years, others I've just begun to get to know.
Watch The Notebook. Seriously. You'll cry, like I did, if you have any amount of sensitivity buried within your bones. When I watched it with Aaron, all I could think about was the two of us. I can't even explain it. I don't know what's going on anymore. I'm at a point in my life where I have to make a big decision, and I'm confused. Whenever the subject of total commitment has come up in any relationship, I've kind of shied away from it. Now I'm close to freaking out. All this on our two-month anniversary. Yay, us...I suppose the question really is, Can I make it? Will we survive? I really hope the answer to both questions is, "Yes."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The whole world sharing one big kiss

I can't seem to get David Gray songs out of my head these days...
The Welcome Home Dinner was a success -- I found the place alright (which is saying a lot for a girl who can't find her way through Frankfort, much less Syracuse [Aaron can attest to this]). Dinner and the company was good. It plainly wasn't a night for me, it was a night for the rebounds. Things like that kind of bum me out. When I attend something that obviously isn't meant for me to shine, I feel kind of out of place. But I let them have their moments in the sun. Not that there was anything I could do about it. I know it kind of sounds selfish and all, but that's just how I feel.
22 more days until I start my new life. I'm getting worried about my relationship with Aaron, whether it'll survive my college experiences or not. Actually, I'm getting really worried. I've sensed this distance growing between us lately. I've tried to amend it by paying more attention to him when we're together, but he just doesn't seem to reciprocate it. I'm wondering if he's already starting to get into the "best friends" mode that we talked about before. I don't know if I can stand things being that way. I need that intimacy...not just physically, either. In every sense of the word. I don't know. I just don't like this distance, or this feeling of distance that I've been getting lately. I feel neglected in some way, yet I can't really explain it.

Please forgive me if I act a little strange,
For I know not what I do.
It feels like lightning running through my veins
Every time I look at you.

Help me out here, all my words are falling short,
And there's so much I want to say.
I want to tell you just how good it feels
When you look at me that way...

David Gray, "Please Forgive Me"
Anyway, I don't know what to say anymore. Words just don't do it justice.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Moons and junes and ferris wheels

Well, I'm back by popular demand. Sorry it's been so long.
August has snuck upon me with the strength of a thousand pounds of excitement. School will start soon. Who knows what this new chapter in my life will bring. Undoubtedly it'll be amazing and life-changing.
I got the housing letter from SU about two weeks early, which surprised me. Normally they're behind on those kinds of things, right? I guess getting your housing and meal plan forms in early serves as an advantage, eh? In this letter was all the information I need about housing, including the name, address, and phone number of my roommate.
First things first: I'll be living in Lawrinson residence hall this year. I got what I'd wanted: a split double room. I also got what I didn't want: a residence hall that is co-ed by floor. I was hoping for one co-ed by room, but whatever. No icky boys sharing bathrooms with us girls. Hey, it might even give me a chance to become more of a "girl" type of chick. I foresee some "girls' nights out" in the near future. "Bleh"? Or, "yay!"?
My roommate seems really cool. Ours will definitely be a "creative" dorm, as she predicted. She's really into art (she'll be attending the College of Art and Design) and drama as well. We both have the same tastes in music, so she passes my tolerance test with flying colors. That's really the only thing I look for in people when I decide if I can tolerate them or not: their taste in music. We're going to get along, she and I; I can tell.
I can't wait until orientation. I got all the information about it and already typed up a little personalized schedule for myself, to figure out what I need to do and on which days it needs to be done. 23 more days!
Skipping back in time a few weeks, my graduation party was a huge success. I made about $1,000 from the whole ordeal (some of my other friends say they made more), but that's not really what mattered to me most. I enjoyed the company of everyone who attended, but toward the end got pretty tired of playing "hostess". What pleasantly surprised me the most was when Shawki showed up with his wife, whom I hadn't seen since Germany, when I came to visit. She told me in German how she remembered when she dropped me off at the train station when I left to go back to Bad Segeberg from their home in Bonn, and how she had forgotten to make me a sandwich to take back -- just how did I survive a 6 hour train ride without anything to eat? I laughed to myself at the thought that she'd remembered that after all this time (over a year now) and still felt bad. It touched me as I remembered those good old days.
I got a lot of useful presents as well. I've been going on little sporadic shopping sprees now and then -- I'm getting so anxious to start school -- for little things I'll need for the dorm room. I bought a new lamp, new alarm clock, new lava lamp(s), bulbs for them...just where does all the money go? Soon I'll need to buy another set of sheets (Mom just bought me one set, but I'm going to need another -- the beds there are Twin XLs, meaning the regular twin sized sheets won't fit on them), as well as other things (a guitar case, laptop carrying case, more clothing for fall) -- it all adds up pretty quickly.
Anyway, my new address/telephone number for school is as follows:

Lawrinson Hall 1510
303 Stadium Place
Syracuse, NY 31210
Phone number: (315) 443-6026

The Rotex picnic at Scott's last Saturday was great -- got to see and meet all the former exchange students. I actually got to his house without having to call to ask for directions. I also got to stay with Aaron until today. The day after the Rotex picnic was the Rebound picnic, also at Scott's. I went there the next day with Aaron. Turns out, a lot of the Rotexers, as well as the Rebounds, are involved or want to be involved with SU. I learned that the Newhouse school, where I'll be attending, is the most prestigious jounalism school in the country, and it's very difficult to get in. I feel proud.
Tomorrow's the Welcome Home Dinner. I'll be driving up to Dibble's Inn and paying $16 to eat, buffet style, and listen to the Rebounders' speeches. Aaron will then officially accept the position as president of Rotex and will make a speech.
I have all this week of work off, since the restaurant's been closed since Sunday and will be until Thursday. Friday I'm on call, so that means I basically have the whole week off. Yay. Saturday I'm hoping to spend the night at Aaron's (just where will I get all the money for gas?!), and Sunday we'll be meeting my family in Sterling for the Renaissance Fair. I'm so excited -- I'll be dressing up this year, and the dress my mom made me is so beautiful! Aaron's psyched about wearing his own costume that she made him, too, though in a more...comical way.
I think that just about covers the past couple of weeks that I've been on sabattical, as you might call it. Welcome home to my Dieffy!