Monday, December 31, 2012

i'll admit that i was glad it was over

today is the last day of this year, and i was originally thinking of putting together one of those big compilation posts of all the big moments of twenty-twelve, but i just really don't have the time or motivation for that anymore. and anyway, this year kind of sucked. i mean, yes, there were a bunch of really great things that happened, but yesterday just reminded me of all the ways that this was perhaps one of the worst years so far, and you know what? i'm glad it's over. i'm not one to celebrate new year's, as i've mentioned on this blog a few times before, and though i don't really think that every new year gives you a fresh start and a clean slate, i kind of wish it did. i think we could all use a do-over.

but next year is going to be awesome i've decided. for me, at least. (that sounds a lot more selfish than i intend it to.) the first day of this year i said i was going to do something productive or get into the phd program. obviously i went down the second route. and though thoughts of dropping out have, at least for the moment, been shelved, i will still do something productive this year. phd or no phd. i have finally gotten sick of my aimless existence, and though my idea of doing something with my life may be completely different from the average idea, i will still do it. whatever it turns out to be. 

i've always felt new year resolutions to be kind of stupid, so i'm not going to post a bunch on here, but i have ideas of things to do with the year, and if i get a couple of them done, i will be a very happy camper. if resolutions are your thing, good luck with them. if you like to stay up and welcome in the new year with confetti and balloons, then have fun with that. as for me, i'll probably be asleep, but i will be just as happy for the clock to strike midnight and end this year as the rest of you. 

*Somebody that I Used to Know -Gotye

Friday, December 28, 2012

i'm so tired, but i can't sleep... standin' on the edge of something much too deep

stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed. that is how i am feeling these days. and tired. oh so tired. i can't remember what a decent night's sleep is, and i'm bitterly starting to hate the people who do. last night, my mind - never one to pass up an opportunity to make me miserable - continued with its three week marathon of providing me with anxiety dreams.

this time i was taking three classes: a math-ish class, a computer-ish class, and an english-ish class. i was also helping some little girl with a speech for sga secretary because her parents sucked and were too busy for her and she wanted friends and people to listen to her and she thought that sga was the perfect solution. only, because i was helping her with her speech, i was late to my math exam. so then i start running across campus and realize that i've forgotten where my math classroom even is, and i keep running into people who stopped to talk despite me telling them that i was late for an exam, and i was trying to study while running because i hadn't gotten a chance to earlier because i had been writing a paper for my english class which i still hadn't finished. and then my books and notes and everything flew out of my hands and i had to waste precious time gathering them all up. anyway, i ended up getting to my exam super late and only filled out only a few questions. i got a 66 out of 38,095,647. i remember the number clearly because it is the lowest grade i've ever gotten. even in my dreams. it was about then that i woke up totally stressed, and couldn't go back to sleep because, even though at that point i knew it was dream, i had still just bombed an exam and my body was acting accordingly. to get myself back to sleep i decided to "fix" it. as i fell back into one of those more daydreaming than actually sleeping things, i went to the professor and begged for a make-up exam. i remember lots of tears, which i think might have transferred over from my dream to real life judging from my puffy eyes when i woke up. anyway, he finally agreed to give me another chance and told me to talk to the TA who made the exam. unfortunately, in my attempts to get a make-up i had blown off helping the girl with her speech and it ended up being totally awful and now she was mad at me and not secretary. so i told her that we would make a club and she would be vice president and i'd get a bunch of other kids to join and she'd have friends. then i went to talk to the TA, and she was telling me what to study for the test and she was throwing in chapters that the book didn't even have and mixing stuff in from other classes. one of the questions was to describe the importance of live response in network forensics and then do a perfect split. i can't do splits to save my life (or my grade) and the gymnastics part of the question was worth more than the other part. and the worst part was that the make-up was the exact same time as my exam for my computer class so i was trying to do both in bathroom breaks. and the two exams took place when i told the little girl to meet me so she was mad at me again. and i missed the deadline for my english paper, and the professor was not taking any late submissions. and it was just awful. one part of my brain would think of someway to fix everything and the other part would just as quickly think of three more ways that it could go wrong again. and then in the midst of all that two of my cousins were my step-sisters who were super obnoxious and "perfect." and i kept missing family dinners because of the school stuff and they would make a big show out of being there which got me grounded and i had to sneak out of the house to go to my exam which got me in more trouble. and at one point i think i might have been a teenage boy with some rash on my face and i was looking everywhere for cortisone but it had all disappeared from the world. and now i am tired and still slightly panicky and facing a day full of studying for things that will make me even more nervous. yay.

remember that happy post i had a while back? yeah stress made all of that go away super fast. here's hoping that next week will be the last week of the stress for a very long time.

*I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

have yourself a merry little christmas

i spent a good part of yesterday post-it tabbing/outlining three seven hundred page computer text books so that they'll be easier to search through in an open book exam. that's over two thousand pages of tools and networks and incident response and god knows what else (my brain stopped registering what i was skimming about two thirds into the second book as a way to keep sane). and now i still have to go back and study all of that material, plus two other classes worth of stuff. as i sit here with a pile of printed notes and text books taunting me, i can't help but wonder how i - the girl who firmly believed for twenty-two years that vacations and school just do not mix. ever. when all the cool kids were taking summer classes in college, i was letting my brain slowly rot with books and movies and pool and family gossip - found myself voluntarily spending the first three weeks of my winter vacation studying of all things. because in spite of everything, this is all completely voluntary. i can complain about the format of the program and the reasons i applied to it in the first place, but at the end of the day i made a choice to start it and to continue with it. so this torture i am suffering right now? completely self-inflicted. (and why is it that self-inflicted pain is frowned upon unless there is a "good reason" for it? talk about ends justifying the means mentality.)

and how is it already christmas? i haven't had a chance to listen to any christmas music this month (i think i've heard maybe three songs since thanksgiving). i haven't gone on a drive through the neighborhoods to look at christmas lights. i didn't get any holiday themed drinks from starbucks. i haven't seen a single christmas movie. not one. not even harry potter when abc family throws it into their christmas movie line-up. despite not celebrating the holiday, christmas season is one of my most favorite times of the year, and i completely missed it this year. i don't even know what i was doing as it passed by completely unnoticed by me. writing papers? preparing presentations? watching old tv shows on dvd? what kind of excuses are those? pathetic ones.

if you're celebrating anything today, then i hope you have a wonderful day. if you're not celebrating anything today, then i hope you have a wonderful day, too.

*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland

Friday, December 21, 2012

it's not the end of the world now, darling

so the world was supposed to end today. or something. to be honest, i completely forgot about that whole thing until i was flooded with facebook statuses saying that it didn't end. but anyway, in light of the fact that there still is a world, i thought that maybe i should stop being lazy and come write an actual blog post.

i had my last final tuesday, and my qual exams start january seventh. tomorrow is my first qual study group and i decided to stop thinking from tuesday until then because my brain is tired of trying to be smart.

a kid in one of my classes that skipped more often than not missed his final presentation. which was worth twenty percent of his grade. i used to be a big class skipper, but there are just some things that you do not miss. final presentations are one of those things. i don't understand why you would even take a class if you're going to miss everything.

the killers came to mason again on tuesday. last time they were here i had a final presentation and couldn't see them. this time they came (thanks to sandy and her not causing us any damage but still getting our finals pushed back a week) i had a final. i am starting to think that school will always be in the way of me seeing them.

i really wish i had something more exciting to tell you, but end of semester stuff has pretty much taken over my life. after refusing to clean my apartment for weeks because i was "too busy with school" it is finally clean. qual exam prep will start shortly and then hopefully those will be out of the way. i am also working on a few different writing projects (some that may have potential to be shared with the world and some that are only for me), so that hopefulness of writerly things to come that i had earlier is still hanging around.

*It's Not the End of the World (But I Can See It From Here) - Lostprophets

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

i'm not sad anymore

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, eleven:twenty-four am.

i wander around blank pages and the nothingness presses down on me until my knees are buckling and my back is breaking and my shouts for help are being shoved down to my toes. i'm overwhelmed by the possibilities that are hiding just out of reach. i know they're here somewhere, but i also know that they are no longer for me to see. i can no longer make something out of nothing, i cannot take the page and make it sing. my words have run dry and my creativity slipped away under the cover of night.

maybe it's an excess of fear or a deficiency in sadness. it could be the pressures of expectation or the weightlessness of content that has me floating above the meanings and filling my hands with vapor instead of substance. all i know is that i had something once, and now i don't.

you're waiting for me to regale you with epic battles and tear stained images, but i have no more stories. i have no more words. i have no more need to pour my mind onto paper and share it with the world. i also have no more tears, and no more nights trying to outrun the monsters in my head.

and if this is the price that i must pay for that, so be it.

*My Last Semester - The Wonder Years

Monday, December 17, 2012

you can't always get what you want

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, twelve:twenty-one pm.

i want to write about the fact that the world is my oyster: that it is cramped, gritty, slimy, and taking way too long to grow a pearl.

i want to write about dead people who aren't here to tell you to live your life better, because they are far more concerned about the way their family has completely moved on without them.

i want to write about grey skies and sucking poetry out of my bone marrow and a boy who saw too little.

i want to write about a black hole named anna and the ticking of the second hand.

but i've always been told that we don't always get what we want, so instead i'll write about nothing.

*You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones

Friday, December 14, 2012

i went down, down, down and the flames went higher

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, twelve:thirty-four pm.

let me burn
let my skin bubble
and my blood boil
let me melt in the heat of the fire

anything but this reflection,
this waiting,
this constant wondering when and how and where

let me skip the judgement
let me pass the scales and instead
be thrown onto the coals
red hot and scorching
let the reek of burning flesh invade my senses
let me not be purified by time but
let my sins be burned from my body
by unforgiving flames

let my apologies be ripped from my soul
and shouted to the heavens
let them not be well-phrased and rehearsed

let me burn, burn, burn,
because purgatory is a fate far worse than hell

(inspired by the author's comments on this poem.)

*Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

Thursday, December 13, 2012

wish you were here with me, wish i was there with you

draft last saved: august fourteenth, two thousand and twelve, eleven:fifty-five am.

i wish you were still around. actually, no, i wish that i wished you were still around. i wish i didn't hate you so much and that the thought of seeing you didn't make me want to jump off the balcony. i wish i wasn't so melodramatic.

it's just that i'm empty now, and i think that you could be my ink. i have no more words, but you always seemed to be spitting them out like they were filling up your closet and you really needed room for your shoes. i could take some off your hands. i have no emotions, but i remember you crying and laughing and shouting three times a day. maybe you could share some with me. it's okay if you only want to give me the bad. they were always my favorite anyway.

because i'm no longer an empty canvas, but i never quite made it to masterpiece. i am covered in scribbles and strike outs and there is no place for me to add anything that has any chance of being seen, of being distinguished from the mess of mistakes i've tried to hide. but i think the brightness of your red would be pretty against my dull grey. i think people would stop to read if it stood out like that. i think i might still have a chance if you were still around.

i wish you weren't the kind of person that's so much better when they're far away.

*30 Minute Boyfriend - Julian Casablancas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on a day like today

as you are all probably already aware (if facebook statuses are any indication of what the majority of the world is aware of) today, 12/12/12, is the last repeating date that we will see for a while. (no, it is not the last repeating date ever, as some people keep insisting. i mean, okay, maybe it's the last one that we'll personally see, but another one will come around eventually. unless the world ends before that, of course.) and while i have a friend that is getting married today which is pretty awesome, i do not think that the day needs to be filled with anything truly spectacular just for the sake of commemorating it. i'll be spending the day studying for a final and making donuts. nothing special.

i have been getting emails about the qual exams that are coming up in less than a month, and that is starting to freak me out a bit. i try to remind myself that they are just tests, and - not to brag or anything, but - i'm pretty good at test taking. i try to tell myself that i'll be fine, but then i get panicky emails saying that we should all meet up every single day to try and learn things and my stomach drops down to make friends with my feet, and i wonder if i'm taking these a little too nonchalantly.

anyway, while going through my drafts yesterday in an attempt to find a note that i know i saved in them (i didn't find it, but with close to two hundred drafts i'm still sure that it's in there somewhere) i found a lot of my writing that i had almost completely forgotten about. a lot of it is the start of pieces that i was supposed to go back and finish but never did. some are the bare bones of things that i never went back to flesh out. and then there are the random thoughts that were supposed to inspire pieces and never did. since the ideas were never actually given life, though, i still find myself writing and rewriting them into other failed pieces, sometimes without even realizing that they are so overused. so i decided to just post them all and get them out of my system. since i'm pretty preoccupied with school and bunnies and family and whatnot, and haven't been blogging regularly anyway, i thought this was a perfect time. plus, hopefully i'll get them all posted by the end of the month, and then i can start fresh next year.

so starting tomorrow i will be bringing drafts back to life. some of them i like and some i don't, but they'll all get a chance. so bear with me as i go through this winter cleaning please.

*On a Day Like Today - Keane

Saturday, December 8, 2012

and she's so confident that she's what everybody wants

last week, which consisted of two presentations, a ten page paper, two homework assignments, etc, is finally over. and thank god for that. now i'm at my favorite part of the semester: finals. when all the work is done (possibly), when everything that could be learned was learned (or not), and all you have left is a test that you either study for or not, but that's it. no more busy work. and i hate busy work.

anyway, school is definitely not what i want to talk about today. i'm planning on planting myself on the couch for the entirety of today and catching up on all the shows that i have been missing to do school stuff. with a few darcy breaks thrown in there.

but before i do that, have you guys heard about how jk rowling is working with bbc to turn the casual vacancy into a tv series? now, i liked the book, i did. but it was extremely slow starting. if any other book took two hundred pages to hook me, i probably would have put it down and never looked at it again. if any other book had that cover or that synopsis, i likely wouldn't have picked it up to begin with. and let's just be frank here and say that if anyone else had tried to publish it they would still be getting rejection letters in the mail. but because it was jk rowling, we all gave it way more of a chance than we would have had she tried to do this pre-potter.

and i hate to admit this, but i'm starting to feel that jk rowling is just like fifty shades of grey. before you get all in a huff, i do not mean that she writes crap. i am a huge potter fan and a few lines up said that i liked her new book, too, remember? i just mean that, things are getting done because she has a guaranteed fan base. why does twilight fanfiction continuously find its way to publishing deals? because it already has a ton of readers and dedicated fans. rowling and her agents and her publishers can talk themselves blue in the face about how her new book is this amazing, earth-shattering, completely new look at life in a small english town, but we all know that it would have never gotten off the ground if they didn't assume that at least eighty percent of the people who read potter would read this just because she wrote it. and the people who didn't read potter would read it because they knew her name and were curious about her writing but never could stomach children's fantasy. and that's okay, because what good is becoming a world famous author if you can't publish that unpublishable book that you wrote just because you wanted to?

however, if she wasn't "the celebrated jk rowling," do you think that that book would have gotten a tv series? absolutely not. but they know that they are guaranteed viewers because she wrote the book and is working on the series. i mean, i'm happy for her, i really am. (or as happy as i can be for someone who i feel has always sort of regarded her fans with a certain measure of disdain. i'm not sure what it is about her, but i always get that feeling whenever i watch her interviews.) i just don't like the idea that books are getting published and then interpreted to screens (big or small) just because they know they'll get money out of it. i mean, i totally get it, but i just don't like it.

and no, this is not just bitterness and jealousy from someone who wants to be published but, having no guaranteed fan base, probably never will be, or maybe it is a little. i'm not sure. either way, i'll probably end up watching the series and then hating myself for playing into their hands and supporting this idea that the only things worth taking a chance on are the things where no chance is needed.

*The One I'm Waiting For - Relient K

Saturday, December 1, 2012

this is surely not what you thought it would be

when you're little you're supposed to dream about growing up. you still haven't reached double digit ages, and you spend recess playing house with your friends. you use tree branches to sweep the dust from your dirt floor and argue over who gets to be the mom and who has to be the dad, because you just found out that boys have cooties and there's enough for you to clean without inviting cooties into your place. you are the dad again, and you don't really mind because he gets to play on the jungle gym while the mom has to pick wild onions for dinner and make sure the house is clean for when you get back.

Evening is falling, and the room is getting dim. No one gets up to turn on the light. At the dining room table, she watches her two sons dip apple slices into cinnamon. 

when you're little, you don't realize that your most important memories and the biggest milestones of your life rarely overlap. for twelve years you wait for your high school graduation, and you don't realize until afterwards that it was a let down. you felt more excitement and more pride walking across the stage for NHS and winning the science fair in sixth grade than you did for this. no one tells you that choosing wedding songs and picking out a dress and worrying over what the cake will look like results in a night that you can just barely remember. what you do remember is having your friend point out your crush during graduation rehearsal. what you remember is dancing on stage with your family when everyone else has left and trying to brush out all the bobby pins and spray from your hair afterwards.

"Mommy," he asks. "Can I have sixty-nine dollars?"
"Um... well, why?" she responds. 

when you're little, they forget to tell you that not all problems get resolved by the end credits. there are no commercial breaks, and time goes by too fast and too slow all at once. the boys that chase you on the playground say that you're ugly, and they tell you that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. you are rubber, and everything bad will just bounce right off of you. they don't tell you that the wounds from words have kept them up every single night of their life, and that they don't warn you that you'll be facing the same fate. you rub your fingers over your arm and try not to think about the fact that you don't feel like rubber.

"Oh, 'cause I want to buy you a toy," he says.
"What kind of toy?" she asks.

when you're little, you're given a checklist and a stopwatch and told to get everything done before the time runs out. you race around checking off school and college and marriage and kids. by the time the buzzer sounds, their checklist is completed, but yours still hasn't been touched. you're eighteen and dreaming about backpacking across europe and sailing around the world. you're thinking of getting famous and making a difference. if someone tells you that the only places you'll ever go are the places you've already seen, and the only things you'll ever do are things that have already been done, you laugh in their face.

"A barbie," he says.

you're little and the whole class is your friend, except that one girl who made fun of you when you threw up your lunch all over your desk and that other girl who tells everyone that you stole her crayons. you have more people around you than you can talk to in a day, and there are so many games to play that you're afraid you'll never get through them all. they don't tell you that before you know it, you'll be able to count your friends on one hand. they don't say that soon you'll come upon the day where you won't have anything to do but sit around and worry about what you're doing with your life.

The younger boy holds out a handful of cinnamon. "Mommy," he says. "Want some se-a-ma?"

you're little and you have no idea that the future is so lonely. you're little and you can't even imagine how tired you'll grow up to be. you're little and you're full of hope and love and trust, and they don't tell you to hold on to that tighter than you hold on to anything else. they don't tell you that that's the first thing to leave you. you're little and you can't imagine how much one person's fate could mean to you, how you'll wake up at night just to check and make sure they're still breathing. you're little and you will never be as happy as you are right now.

"No thanks, babe. No thanks," she says. 


remember when i used to write things that didn't suck? blah. i cannot write anymore. as is obvious by this. but it's been way too long, and i figure if i push through unpoetic thoughts with little emotion i can eventually find my way back. everything in italics is taken from a facebook status of my sister's.

*Speak Now - Taylor Swift