Dramatic Monotony

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My Nan died yesterday. She was the last of my grandparents. I'm having a hard time coping with this news. I can't cry. I can't do anything, really. I'm acting quite normally. I talked to my dad, and he's in a similiar state of "non-grief." Freda was such a difficult woman, especially as she grew older. Alzheimer's, manic depression, bipolarity, asthma, heart problems... she was a mess, both physically and mentally. She didn't recognize anyone, so she refused to talk to people. This fact probably hurts the most. Nan would always talk to everyone and anyone - one time, she went to Egypt and managed to meet some long lost childhood friends in Cairo. I also find people that I know all over the world; my dad attributes this trait to my grandmother. We had a lot in common.

My last moments with Nan rank up there with my worst experiences in life. I've been haunted by my final vision of her for four years now. I wrote about it in high school. I still see her crazed face as she pushed me away, and ran out into the driveway in Westhaughton; her screams still resonate in my ears. I've never spoken to her since then. My father completely cut her off from our life. I was supposed to visit her this summer during my time in England. This was how I was going to mend the past. Now, peace will be more difficult to obtain.

I haven't been forthright with this information. I don't like to talk about my family's darkest moments. It's a lot easier to gloss over the difficult times, but I need to stop acting like a Noble. I have an ancestral history of emotional detachment; we're a cold, tough clan. I'm the last of the Nobles - perhaps this frigidity will end with me. I'm making efforts, but I don't know about my progress. I was just recently called an "ice queen" by a good friend, and that hurt because it hits close to home. I really love my friends and family, but it's difficult for me to show it. Trite sentimentality rings false with me - I can't deal with things that are so cheesy and overdone. But sincerity is just as difficult to achieve. I guess I'm just asking for patience, especially at the end of a year that seemed both tremendously long and horribly short.

I cry so easily at other things. Why can't I cry for my Nana?

Sunday, April 25, 2004

I need to stop saying "needless to say"... it's been in my past two entries. I tend to be a bit repetitive in my writing.

Spring Orientation rocked hard. I just want to take this time to say that I love my New staff for next year. Y'all are crazy cool. I can't wait to work with such a young and motivated group of people. And Parkside? Thanks for the memories. I had a good time at the banquet, despite my reluctance. In honor of the "shout-outs" at the banquet, I'm doing my own version, replete with pictures.

I love my suite-heart, Nitin. We fight like cats and dogs... but we're still best buddies. And Alex? I'll never forget all that you've done for me... from teaching me how to drive a stick-shift to cooking all of that rice for the Hunger Banquet - You're the best "house hubby" ever.

Yael - my busty beauty. Much love.

PIRC South - it's been real. Way to be the "rebels" of the Parkside area. Meesh, you've become more than just my supervisor - you're my friend.

I'm gonna miss Derya, aka "pretty tall girl!"

Evan and Shawn - y'all are TOO DAMN HOT... actually, the whole apartment staff is pretty hot.

BMH - We started off on a bad foot, but we're ending the year in a beautiful waltz.

And the Birnkrant Beauties will always amaze me with their talent and love for life.

The year's almost over, but the memories will never die. Being an RA has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I can't believe all that I've accomplished... and next year will only be better, thanks to all of the things that I've learned. It's bittersweet right now. I've loved Parkside and Ellie and my staff... but not everything has been so rosy or happy. I cope well with change - and I think New will be a wonderful match for me. It's still hard to say goodbye.

I woke up this morning with the sounds of the Nike "Fun Run Wonder" outside my window.

I had another weird dream, but I can't remember the subject matter. I just know that I woke up in a cold sweat. What a start to the day - needless to say, I'm a little off-balance.

Friday night was a lot of fun. I had a good time at SSS, and then I hung out with APO people at Mike Gangl's apartment. We watched the Royal Tenenbaums as Mike took funny long-exposure pictures. I want to get my hands on a few of those. But these pics from SSS should suffice for now.

I'm with the Tahitian dancers from the Hawaii Club. One of them is Jessica Welman's roommate, Jen! Yay!

Here's Beza, attempting to dance. Funniest picture EVER.

And finally, here's a pile of some of my favorite people at PIRC... Tania, Rahul, Molly, and me!

Spirits in Action was a good time. I posted all of the photos online at Imagestation. This is a great site - any time I can keep the original resolution, that makes me a happy girl. And I'm going to ignore Sean, who told me to stop taking photographs... just because he got into trouble with Natalia for a certain APO games picture. The camera does not lie! But thankfully, he took most of these pictures, so he can't blame me for any problems with them.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

So I just had a nightmare involving a lot of Jack Daniels, a party at a hotel, band people, and a talent show. And then Niles, the new dog, ran out of the hotel room, and despite the fact that I was following him, animal control came and took him away. I remember a lot of screaming and crying - I also attacked one of the animal control cars and accosted an officer. Also, Jessica Welman had this Chrysler Sebring convertible with bad brakes- she wanted me to drive her to LAX (which looked suspiciously like the Las Vegas strip.) But she wouldn't let me put the top down, claiming that she'd get sunburned.

Needless to say, I woke up this morning rather confused.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Fuck you, America.

First you kick off my favorite, Amy.

And now Jennifer Hudson? DAMN YOU TO HELL.

LeToya or Fantasia... you better win.

I hate American Idol with a passion.

Seacrest said it the best, "You can't let talent like this slip through this competition."

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I just watched the music video for Hoobastank's song, "The Reason." I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of this song. I have problems with whiny alternative bands, and for some reason, Hoobastank reminds me a lot of the Goo Goo Dolls, one of my least favorite bands of all time. I didn't like "Crawling in the Dark," which is actually a shame, since the Trojan Marching Band plays a pretty decent cover of that song. But anyway, I digress. "The Reason" just seemed like another trite piece of garbage, perfect for angst-ridden livejournal entries of 13 year old girls. For purely illustrative purposes (and because I share a lot more with melodramatic teenagers than I care to admit), let me quote the lyrics.

I'm not a perfect person
as many things I wish I didn't do
but I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
and so I have to say before I go
that I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
to change who I used to be
a reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
it's something I must live with everyday
and all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
and be the one who catches all your tears
that's why I need you to hear

I've found a resaon for me
to change who I used to be
a reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
and so I have to say before I go
that I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
to change who I used to be
a reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
a side of me you didn't know
a reason for all that I do
and the reason is you

Your stereotypical sappy love rock ballad. Pure sentimental trash, really. But I think Hoobastank (or the director of the video) is in on the joke. Despite the fact that this song taps into the vein of popular culture, this band created a perfect music video for this song that totally ridicules the lumbering emotional sincerity of "The Reason." Their music video combines a pretty girl, a melodramatic plotline, and a subversive undertone that totally adds new meaning to the words of the song.

The genius concept? They stage a car accident with a pretty girl in order to rob a bank. They're not a perfect person? Of course not, they stole a ruby! And where are they going? To jail! And why can't they be there for the "you" persona? Because they're idiots and left a bunch of clues that lead the police to them. And they're changing because...? Because they want to reduce their jail sentence. And what's that "side of me you didn't know?" Oh, yup, the side BEHIND BARS. Essentially, this is a song about the repercussions of getting caught in the act. They aren't doing a damned thing for love. They're backtracking in order to dupe someone to pay for the attorney's fees.

Amazing. Kudos to Hoobastank.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

My favorite shots, cropped and adjusted.

MunChul's Fierce Face

Big and Little: Jess and Laura

Boys as they prepare for Tug'o'War

Pledges: take one of wheelbarrow race

Pledges: take two of wheelbarrow race

Mike, Dodgeball King

Intense Sean.

More dodgeball goodness.

Jessica and Natalia: crazy competitors

Kari throwing water balloons

I think this would be a great CD cover.

APO. We love our brothers. Maybe too much.

Pisey after being pummeled.

Jess - she's going to market a new line of "whipped cream hair products"

Critiques? Comments?

Yesterday was an interesting day.

Swim with Mike turned into a wet t-shirt contest. I learned an important lesson - white shirts + black bras + water = fun times. And I should always invest in waterproof mascara.

I took over 200 photographs of a bunch of APOers running around. You can view them here. My personal favorite is #111. The Gangl looks so intimidating.

My parents reported my "disappearance" to DPS. And after a resident found me and told me I was "missing," I called my parents back. Then, they reamed me out for fronting $500 for a program. Ouch.

I spent over $150 in dining dollars at PIRC in one sitting. I dare ya, BEAT THAT. (That's 17 meals.)

Cirxa has the most amazing food. Our waitress was inefficient... but our meal was fabulous. Yum. The parking lot was a bit scary, though. Thank goodness for small vehicles! And can I mention again how much I love my residents?

I love and adore Mary Rose Rabaja. Her lemon drop shots are to die for; let's not mention that she's extremely considerate and makes sure all of her friends are having a good time.

Natalia is a kick-ass chica. "Beware the midgets!"

Thursday, April 15, 2004

And on another note...

I found this as I was looking back. It was my website from high school. It's really amusing to read. Especially my poetry. And the photos are hilarious. I was always an introspective person. It's fascinating to hear my rants and concerns from my high school world.

And I also found this... it was my school's Anime Club website. I made it back in the day. I wonder if anyone still attends anime club functions. It was a huge deal for us to get chartered, though. I was the VP, and we had a meeting with the principal, then we had to write our constitution and get a teacher to sponsor us. It was a lot of fun.

Don't mind the horrible .jpg images - they're low-quality scans of film.

Okay. Enough down memory lane. Anyone who reads this is probably laughing their socks off.

Back and forth...

Back and forth...

I'm really undecided about my plans for next year. I just went through all of my photos, reminescing about yesteryear. I have so many photos from marching band... I've spent so much time in the marching band. I'll be a senior next year. Four years of 20+ hours a week will be dedicated to football. That's a lot of my life.

I've had a lot of fun. The Orange Bowl was probably my favorite band trip of all time. Miami was hot, and those sweatshirts were truly ridiculous to wear in the heat... but I had a great time. I love that gig at the football players' hotel. It was so windy, I thought I was going to be blown into the pool. The rain was horizontal. I was soaked, and then to top matters off, we rode a bus with the drummers. Brandon pranced around the bus while wearing two bras. I've never laughed so hard.

This past year was difficult for me, bandwise. It's tough to juggle two huge time commitments. Being an RA is so important to me. I've learned organization, empathy, and leadership. My residents have taught me about having a good time. I've dealt with dirty politics - and some great co-workers. I adore this position. But I was really at a disadvantage, especially when I was trying to make it to every single practice. Two organisations expected 100% commitment; I was a split soul.

I don't know how next year will progress. I have doubts about the leadership, but really, that's my own fault. I purposefully distanced myself from any kind of leading role in the Silk section. I took myself out of the running. It was a good decision, but I still wonder, "What would band have been like if I were section leader?" But I can't do everything - I refuse to do a half-assed job at something. But now I'm wondering if I really want to finish out my four years. Every time I look at my photos, I think, "Yeah, it's worth-while." But then every time I look at my schedule, I think, "God, this will be hard."

I'm nowhere near a decision. And to be honest, there are a lot of things I can't know until RA training. So, we'll see. In the meantime, I'll just continue...

Back and forth...

Back and forth...

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

And exactly two hours later... I'm truly done with you.

Presentient Jen strikes again. I think I should be a psychic.

I'm done with you.

Wow. That felt good.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Death Cab for Cutie, "Tranatlanticism"

The Atlantic was born today, and I'll tell you how
The clouds above opened up and let it out
I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
when the water filled every hole
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean
making islands where no islands should go (oh no...)

Most people were overjoyed; they took to their boats
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flatlands to your
door have been silenced forevermore
And the distance is quite simply much to far for me to row;
it seems farther than ever before (oh no...)

I need you so much closer...

So come on; come on...

There's something about this song... the lyrics paint a beautiful metaphor. The song has a narrative quality; I like that in music, especially if the story is subtle. I feel that loss - it's easy to identify with the lyrics, even if I've never been seperated from my lover by the Atlantic. The underlying emotions are universal. That's certainly a characteristic of a good song.

Kim once had a survey that I really liked. She put her playlist on random and recorded the results. I'll conduct the experiment right now.

10 Random Songs on my Playlist:
"Transatlanticism," Death Cab for Cutie
"Caught in the Act," Dylan Drazen (It's a whole album set, so I'm skipping through it)
"Clint Eastwood," Gorillaz
"You're so Great," Blur
"Boys," Britney Spears (I remixed this into the sophomore dance... I'm not normally a big Britney fan)
"Boys Don't Cry," by the Cure
"Sober," Muse
"For Someone I Love," Regina Carter
"New Star in the Sky," Air
"Hallelujah," Rufus Wainwright

Interesting. I think it's pretty indicative of the rest of my playlist. I have a lot of Supergrass and Coldplay on it as well, in addition to a lot more jazz. A huge selection of random techno. A little hip-hop. And a few choral songs. When I'm homesick, I listen to Kings' College Choir to remind me of my dad.

Oooh, Mary J. Blige just came on. She has such a great voice.

I need to make another round. And by the way, I'm putting my livejournal link on the side. It's been kinda on the down low - I've been trying to figure out what to do with that account. I think I might use it for lists and surveys. I would've put the previous entry in the LJ, but the website was down. So, it's on my blogger. I don't know why I haven't been publicising it... but a bunch of people from 'SC discovered it, so now it's out in the open. I might as well link back.

Stomach hurts.

I got a little crazy today at lunch and ate an oreo cream pie. Then, I had to turn in my RA contract... and I passed the frozen yogurt stand, so I had to get a large vanilla fro-yo. And now my tummy can't handle all of this sugar.

Oh, well. I might just have to be on perma-Atkins. But that frozen yogurt tasted WONDERFUL.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I have to be up in less than four hours.

Why the hell am I still awake?

Oh, shit, Yael just called me. She's so funny... it was her 21st today, and she's just getting in from her crazy night as a legal adult.

Yup. Still tired. Three hours until I need to be up now. Wow.

Strange day, but good. I met some nice people... Heather, Yael's friends, etc. And I have the beginning of a hot outfit for the APO initiation. I'm not going very dressy for it... but I'm excited because I'm actually wearing color. I tend to wear lots of black and white and grey.

God. Going to bed might be nice.

Friday, April 09, 2004

This has been an amazing day.

I just got my letter... and I'm now the RA on the Cinema Floor of New! Yay!

And when I called my parents to tell them that news... they told me I have a new dog! We were approved to adopt Niles, so he's now our own little Shih Tzu.

Plus, I found I was approved for Exceptional Funding for Dijon. And now I'm going shopping with Evan and Anita for our English dinner program! Seriously, this has been absolutely fabulous so far.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Favorite moments from this past week:

(Some memories are stolen from Philip)

"Yeah"... and "Yeah"... and "Yeah"... (repeat twenty times)

(In the middle of Woody's BBQ)
Me: Look up.

Beach BBQs rock my socks off.

Marshmallows attack Courtney. Courtney attacks the fire. Gotta love it.

20 people in two rooms? No problem.

Toothpaste is deadly.

DP sucks. But we have fun regardless.

Matt: If your person were a travel destination, what would they be?
Tania: YOUR MOM!

"her ass is a spaceship i want to ride"..."whu da hook gon be, uh oh"... "want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed"..."everybody in the club gettin' tipsy"

The Bonaventure is fun, but watch out for the daiquiris. They're deadly, especially on white skirts.

Sometimes no news is good news. At other times, lots of news is good news. And sometimes news is just news.

Nicole is now hired as my PR representative. If you have any questions about me, just ask her.

American Idol + Smirnovoff Ice + Arash's 21st birthday= Party!

S'mores in the microwave? Watch out for exploding marshmallows.

AG is great, especially under the influence.

You're a hardcore drinker once you have a shotglass engraved with your name.

Sometimes it's the big boys who're the wimps. But one should always walk around with minimal clothing.

191 is a lot more fun if you're looking forward to dinner with friends. It doesn't hurt if your substitute TA is a hottie either. And wireless internet is a must.

Fog of War is a fascinating documentary. If you can stay awake.

Swinger's. It's the place to find cute hipsters in Los Angeles at odd times of the night.

Sample's class is taking over the world. They must be stopped.

Breakfast at PIRC is really good, especially when you're in good company.

That is all for now.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Picture mania!

I've put a lot of the pictures from this semester on Imagestation, a free hosting site.

Santa Barbara Trip - April 2-3

Superbowl Party - February 1st

Floor Dinner with Ellie - January 25th

Have fun with that! I might talk about Santa Barbara soon... I may not. But I had a really good time. My residents rock. Hard.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I don't know. I may be a cynical person, but I don't understand boys. But moreover, I don't understand girls who are less than honest with their boys. Why bother playing mind games? What does this accomplish? I'm not involved in any of the situations that surround me except as an outside observer, but I have to admit, I'm glad. It's all too confusing. Seriously. How hard is it to be honest and forthcoming? Why do some girls have a compelling urge to wreak havoc with every conversation? Is it some sort of sadistic ritual? As a relatively open person, I really don't understand the intricacies of the manipulative female mind.

Thank goodness I have Tania and Arash around; when you get the three of us together, it's hilarity, especially involving Carla. We're like three old biddies who gossip in our sewing circle. Except we're not old. And no one sews. But we gossip.

It's also a good thing I only have gay boyfriends. I swear, they're the bomb -- emotional fulfillment without the maze of confusion. I appreciate these straightforward relationships purely for the lack of drama.

But now I get to escape everything... and go to Santa Barbara! I'm taking my floor... and our trip will be amazing. Amazing. I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying time with my awesome residents.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Evidently eloquence has become a thing of the past in my blog.

Please accept my profuse apologies. I must admit, the quality of writing has not been my highest priority as of late. I'm surrounded by deadlines, expense reports, responsibilities, and personal turmoil. I think I might be growing up, and my feelings on that subject are a bit ambiguous. Maybe my reversion to juvenile speech patterns reflect my scattered frame of mind. Or perhaps I lack the time required to write epic tomes about my personal viewpoint. No matter the case, profanity has become a regular inhabitant of this web journal.

Cursing fascinates me; in our society, people tend to frown upon the use of certain "taboo" words. Christians quote the Bible in their condemnation of cursing; for example, Matthew 15:11 states, "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'." Christians claim that cursing is an indicator of a person's frame of mind - by using certain "unclean" words, men carry out the will of the Devil, not the will of God. I tend to agree that cursing can demonstrate the state of one's psyche, but I'm a bit wary of saying that all cursing is a form of Devil worship. That argument totally ignores the context of the word usage. For example, a "Hey bitch!" can be construed just as lovingly as "Hey sweetheart." Tone of voice and intentions play a large role in the meaning of a word.

Why do we assign such importance to mere sounds? If you think about it, fuck is just one letter away from duck. However, the historical associations with fuck cause society to classify this word as vulgar. By continuing to treat specific words carefully, do we really just imbue them with special powers? Isn't cursing just a social construction? By using profanity in every day conversation, am I really just behaving like a social rebel? I'm recognizing a stigma as I refuse to adhere to society's standards regarding the "norm." In fact, I should be lauded for using "profane" language in my personal journal. I'm breaking down stereotypes!

In the end, I have one thought: Who the fuck cares?

Wow, this was a rather eventful duty night. First a disciplinary problem, and now a health problem. I've been crazy busy.

That's also why I'm up at 7 in the morning. Egads.

I know that I'm on duty and it's my job to take care of these situations... but I also find it frustrating when I can't get in touch with other RAs. For once, it wasn't my resident who was sick, but her RA (who has a car) was nowhere to be found. I hope he had a good time doing whatever he was doing. I'm probably being overly harsh on him, but still. I'm allowed to be somewhat annoyed in my own journal.