Friday, December 8, 2017

My Life in Accordance to Taylor Swift

In honor Reputations recent release, I decided to revisit where I was in my life at the release of all 6 of TS's albums.

Taylor Swift
This was released at the beginning of my seventh grade year. It's funny, because I didn't think I became aware of Taylor until way after she was popular but I actually had "Teardrops On My Guitar" on my brand new ipod nano that same year. When I was in seventh grade I was heavily influenced by my best friend at the time who was all about causing a bit of harmless trouble. It was one of the most fun years of my life but also the year I got bad grades, a few too many detentions and that trusty ipod. My younger sister was way more into TS than me who only had that one single. I remember making fun of her while she watched the "Picture to Burn" music video on our desktop computer. I just wasn't into country and thought Taylor was akin to teeny bopper Miley Cyrus who I scorned.

This one was released in the fall of my ninth grade year. I remember enjoying "You Belong With Me", even the music video and seeing Taylor on the cover of a few of my People Magazines. Aside from thinking she was pretty and reading the back of her concert t-shirt on the girl who sat in front of me in health class, I just didn't think much of her until the summer of 2010. I guess M had bought Fearless on her green ipod nano and began to play some of it for me. Both of my sisters and I became enthralled with "The Best Day" which I still consider one of her most beautiful songs. We belted it out on our plane ride to California and I borrowed M's ipod whenever possible during that trip. Soon, songs like "Hey Stephen" and "That's The Way I Loved You" were among my new favorites.

Speak Now
This came out in the fall of my Junior year. I'm pretty sure M bought it for E for Christmas and we spent the winter listening to it in the car CD player. I think we kept starting it over so we only would really listen to the first 8 songs or so. It was awhile before I finally heard "Long Live" which we later set to a slideshow for my mom's 50th birthday and I consider one of my favorites. I had a great time my junior year, I had a lot of friends and enjoyed my classes to the point of actually liking school for the first time. I wanted to go to the Speak Now tour but the ticket sale day fell while I was in school, I told M to buy them but she couldn't figure out the website and we didn't go. I still regret this because SN is one of my favorite albums of hers.

I think I remember the release of this one more than anything. I was a freshmen in my dorm room and listened to the new album in full on a sunny day between classes. I wrote a track by track review because I was so much in "school mode" that it just felt right. I think this is one of her weaker albums but it still had some gems on it and I played it nonstop for months and months. I had my ipad by this point and it was my main source of music, I would set it up to shuffle Red and make anatomy and physiology flashcards or write papers. My time in that dorm room was a wonderfully focused and simple time. I remember dancing around to "Lucky One". I miss those days. That spring we went to the Red tour and let me tell you, it was one of the best nights. It was so cool to see a star as big as TS in person. And she sang "The Best Day" which was an awesome serendipitous event.

By this point, I was at a new school with M. It was fun to be with my sister and take writing classes but I hated the school. Anyway, when 1989 was released, we sat in these cubicles and listened to it on our respective iPhones We each wrote reviews, which I had deemed tradition. I was really dismayed by this album at first. It was just so different at first and I did not thin I liked it. It grew on me pretty quick even though I still think it has a few too many "throw away' songs. I wanted to go to the tour for this album, partly because I really wanted to see her try and sing some of these songs live. Again, we failed to get tickets.

So anticipated, so waited for. This came out three years after 1989 so it was a pretty big jump. I'm about to graduate and at yet another school! Ah how I imagined what this album would be like for a long time. At first, I was angry and horrified. Where were the poetic lyrics? Where was the pretty stripped down acoustics? I still don't like the autotune and layered vocals but I'm so surprised at how my feelings have changed. After a few weeks of listening on repeat, I now consider this to be among my favorites of hers. It's more mature, sure and yes, it lacks a bit of lyrical complexity on some tracks. But it's fun, it's playful, it can be dark. There are a few songs I could take or leave (End Game, Don't Blame Me) but oh my, New Years Day is the most beautiful she's ever written. I hope she sings it at her concert which M and I will be at! We just bought tickets yesterday and I can't wait for July!

Now is the time where I look to the future and wonder what I'll be up to when TS's next album comes out. I'm honestly a bit more curious as to what she'll be up to. Will she wait two or three or more years? Will she still be dating Joe Alwyn? As a thirty (or older) year old woman, will her focus and sound change even more? Will she ever do that much desired folk album?

As for me, I think I know better than to try and predict and make plans. It's not scary for me to not know my future anymore, it's kind of thrilling. In two or three years, I want to be happy and I want to still have the desire to sit and write an album review.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Here's what's coming up for me this holiday season:

December 1st: My friend's Christmas choir concert and out to eat after
December 2nd: Annual wine and cheese Christmas party for my dad's side of the family
December 3rd: Buy and decorate Christmas tree
December 8th: The grand opening of my cousin (El's mom's) new shop
December 9th: Church Christmas dinner
December 14th: My Christmas shopping day with  my mom and dinner with her and her friends
December 15th: My last exam and last day as an undergrad!!!!j
December 19th: Wrapping day!
December 24th: Christmas Eve church services and get together at my cousins house
December 25th: Christmas morning fun and afternoon get together at my uncle's

Have I mentioned that M and I are going to Disneyworld in January to celebrate my graduation? it's happening. More on that later.

Mid (Late)-November Musings

I thought of reversing the publication date on this post as I have in the past but I'll be honest instead.

It has been a BUSY month. I have written and rewritten and finally, written a whole new, statement of purpose for my grad school applications and I finally submitted my first application last week. It felt so thrilling to acknowledge all of my hard work and then pass it off into someone else's hands. Ha. I'm hopeful that I can submit one to two applications per week in the coming month in order to be done before Christmas. What a weight off of my shoulders it will be to have them all complete!

This month was also my sister and dad's birthday. We celebrated M with a shopping trip (I took the day off, woo) and my dad with dinner and a movie (Wonder! A movie I have been waiting to see for years). We also had a lot of family dinners and brunches, went and saw a few other movies and had a nice thanksgiving. On black Friday my sisters and I went doorbusting, to breakfast, the mall and movies as usual. It was a great day even though I was too poor to buy anything exciting! Once I begin full time work in January I will be in much better shape :)

Right now I am listening to Jack Evacho's Christmas album (my favorite) and getting ready to leave for my first class in about half an hour. I can't wait for Christmas and all of the fun that comes with it. It really is the most magical time of year and, add in the fact that I'm graduating in a few weeks, it will be extra exciting! I'm going to do another post outlining all of the holiday events coming up.

Happy Monday and Mid Late-November!

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Definitive Ranking of Halloween Candy

Just for fun and because I met my quota of paper writing for today :)

These go from worst to best. 

25. Tootsie Rolls: no one wants them at parades let alone the best candy night of the year. 
24. Dum-Dum Suckers: I liked these when I was six and my mom fished one out of her purse at the mall or doctors office but...on Halloween? It's like giving a bride a single dandelion as her bouquet. 
23. M&M's: I know I'm in the minority but I these are just so disappointing to me. The candy coating is almost crusty and the chocolate is so minuscule, what's the point?
22. Snickers: I'll eat these when nothing else is there but they're just so lackluster. If there are more nuts than chocolate, I'm out. 
21. Mounds: Same as Snickers.
20. Baby Ruth: See above.
19. Laffy-Taffy: It's fun and all but wait a few days and the wrapper sticks to it so bad that you end up eating bits of plastic. Plus, I feel like Halloween is a chocolate candy holiday. 
18. Whoppers: Years ago these would have been close to number one but they have since changed their recipe and now they're vaguely waxy. Boo.
17. Tootsie Pop: It's like, ok. Better than a dum-dum but the payoff is a tootsie roll? Not impressed. 
16. Starburst: Partly for the same reasons as taffy but they're pretty flavorful and coming upon a package of two pinks is like stumbling o a gold mine. 
15. Crunch: These are good, I like a bit of texture in my chocolate. But, the chocolate itself is not very tasty. Nestle < Hershey's.
14. Skull Suckers: Maybe these existed only in the 90's but they were white on one side and brown on the other and had a wonderful magic flavor. 
13. Blow-Pop: Yes please. All the flavor that Tootsie-Pops lack and an actual reward of chewing gum. 
12. Skittles: They are everything M&M's wish they were. Flavorful and worth it. Plus the color of the shell actually means something. 
11. Milk Duds: Who doesn't love to shove a bunch of these in their mouths and chew for hours? They lose points for being a bit overwhelming though...
10. Milk Chocolate Hershey Bars: Plain, classic, delicious milk chocolate delight. 
9. Three Musketeers/Milkyway: To this day I always forget which is which. I know one is more fluffy but that's about it. They're similar is what I mean. Both tasty but not something you want to eat a lot of. 
8. Butterfinger: A little toffee is always a plus. The Butterfinger loses points for begin wasteful though. You bit into one and the chocolate coating just flakes off everywhere. 
7. Reeeses: A quintessential Halloween treat. I love peanut butter and I love Reeses but they just aren't my favorite, you know?
6. Almond Joy: There is one almond in an Almond Joy bar and THAT is the joy. The simplicity, the careful placement right in the center of all that tasty coconut. 
5. Take 5: Pretzel, caramel, chocolate and peanut butter are a winning combo. 
4. 100 Grand: This beats out Take 5 because it has a cookie part and as you will see, that cookie part means a lot to me. 
3. Cookies and Cream Hershey Bars: How are there not more Oreo candy bars? These are divine and props to them for brining white chocolate to Halloween when Easter usually dominates it. 
2. Kit-Kat: The combo of the chocolate and wafer is top notch, I could eat myself sick with these. 
1. Twix: I told you, it's all about that cookie bottom. Chocolate, caramel and the best tasting foundation around. This has been my favorite candy bar for as long as I can recall. 

Happy Early Halloween all! May your holiday be full of Twix and Kit-Kat's with minimal Tootsie Rolls ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

One Less Thing to Worry About.

The Indians lost to the Yankees last night and I'm pretty heartbroken.

At the same time, it is one less thing for me to stress about...

I'm sad that such an amazing team won't make it to the series like so many had assumed they would but they will always have that record breaking streak. It has really become too much for me to watch their games, I honestly can't take the nerves. Now that I don't have that hanging over my head through the beginning of November, I'm hoping I can focus even more energy on my grad school applications. It is a process but I am getting stuff done and slowly, it feel like a weight is lifted off of my chest. I will be ecstatic in a month or so when I'm actually completely and sending everything in. Once it is in somebody else's hands, I can relax! Even if I don't get in anywhere, this has been a great learning experience.

In other news, I went through the whole month of September without getting sick! That's only the second month in an entire year that I haven't been ill. I am hopeful that this means good things for my immune system in the upcoming winter.

I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but I'm rewatching LOST and it's been a great time. I forgot how enthralling that show is, all of the characters and the beautiful score by the genius Michael Giaccino. I'm currently half way through season 2, I had anticipated being done around Christmas time but we'll see how that goes. I might watch HIMYM again afterward, just a nice familiar show for the winter months :). Oh and in devastating news, Netflix decided to take Friday Night Lights off. Seriously? I had been planning on watching it again this summer and it was going to be awesome. I guess I'll just have to take my business to Amazon Prime!

Despite my life being very stressful right now, I am really looking forward to the upcoming months. This month has Halloween and a fun girls weekend with my sisters and I. Then come's M's birthday, my Dad's birthday and Thanksgiving, then the Christmas season begins! Oh and in January, M and I are going on a celebratory trip to Disneyworld for my graduation! It's really the light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait.

Ok, so I do feel l like crying because of the Indians but time will dull the ache. And it is just a game, they'll play it again in April.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Most Stressful Time of My Life?

I keep thinking that I'm in the thick of it but then I remember the year I was 7 and how paralyzing and awful my fear of being kidnapped was. Or when I was 11 and had to deal with an impending surgery and so much more. Or when I was 17 and SO STRESSED about my senior project working out. Or adjusting to life in the dorms....or switching schools twice.

My point is, it's easy to get caught up in the stress of right now and forget all of the past stress I'm on the other side of. It's easy to long for "the good 'ole days" and forget that no days were all good. Yes, I have a ton to do. Yes, it is stressful and scary to apply to grad schools and face the unknown. Yes, I worry not just about getting everything done, but about getting it all done right. But, this too shall pass. Come Christmas, all of this will be behind me and guess what? I'm betting I'll find something new to stress about. I have to try not to do that.

I'm excited for my future, I really am. I know I don't need to go to grad school right away and I might not even end up wanting to but what I'm striving to do right now is give myself options. I don't want to feel limited or stuck.

And hey, ambition is my boyfriend right now, let's not forget ;)

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I have so much to do. Right now I'm trying to write my first short story for my fiction workshop. The professor has a lot of preferences and it's making the process difficult. I like the story but I'm having trouble rounding it out.

Not to mention two other papers and my portfolio and grad school stuff that I'm having second thoughts about.

Is it December yet?

The bright side, the air conditioning is broken in the library today so for once in my life, I am pleasantly warm. Also, my boys won their 21st game yesterday. How am I possibly going to handle the stress of tonight's potentially record breaking game??

Happy Thursday ya'll, may yours be filled with a lot more productivity than mine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Guys, this is crazy awesome. I was watching the end of last nights game and just marveling at seeing history unfold. I know this team is special and now everyone will always remember them! I know I'll feel differently in November but no matter what happens in the series, we will always have this streak that will go down in the books!

Game 21 will be taking place while I'm in class and then at work. Part of me is glad that I won't be home to nervously watch but it somehow makes me more nervous too. I had a dream last night that we lost horribly. My dreams are known to be psychic BUT I also have "worst case scenario" dreams about things I'm nervous about all the time that never come to fruition. We will see.

Monday, September 11, 2017

16 Years Ago

Here's a repost of what I wrote 6 years ago, let's never forget: 

I was 7 years old. Sitting innocently in my 2nd grade classroom when the first tower was hit. The teachers did not want to scare us so they didn't tell us what was going on. Strange things happened that day though and it's amazing what a kid can pick up on. A lot of my classmates were getting taken out of school, one was pulled right from our line on our way to music class. The teachers held hushed conversations. I knew something was going on.

I just didn't know what.

When my sister and I got home my mom met us at the front door and we sat outside on the front steps. She told us a simplified version of what had happened that day. I did not understand, I don't even think I cared. It was like hearing about a story or movie where a bunch of people I didn't know died. I didn't get the magnitude of it, not for years did it hit me emotionally.

September 11th 2001 was the first major historical event that I lived through. It will be a memory that I will never forget. It's weird to think that the kids that weren't born or were babies at the time (like my little sister) never knew a world without the fear of terrorists or the war. I'm thankful that our country was somewhat peaceful for the first 7 years of my life.

For the past 5 school years in my history classes when the anniversary of the attacks comes around we watch a documentary or a TV special on the subject. When I watch these people talking about their loved ones that died or when I hear these phone conversations, actually recordings of people saying goodbye, it just gets to me. I can't imagine what was going through their minds when the realized that they had no chance, that they were going to die. The fear, the terror, the panic. I'm not brave or strong enough to even think about how I would handle that. I know that I would be praying madly and I know that the fact that I have God watching over me would help but I don't's just so unimaginable.

When I think about those brave passengers that overpowered the terrorists, I'm overcome with pride for the citizens of our country. That we have people that are so willing to sacrifice themselves to save more lives. Their bravery will never be forgotten.

Lets remember, today and always. September 11th 2001

Friday, September 8, 2017

Go Tribe!

I'm an Indians fan, that may give some stuff away but I need to put it out there. GO TRIBE!

My team is currently on a 15 game winning steak, breaking their record from last year and setting a franchise record. I'm a very nervous fan, it's hard for me to watch the games when things get rough and I wanted them to beat their record SO BAD that this last week of games has been stressful for me. My mom kept calling me a "fair-weather fan" because I'll sometimes have to stop watching when we fall behind. It's not that I lose faith in the team, it's that I get sooooo anxious. It's akin to a parent not being able to watch their gymnast daughter compete. I just care too much.

Anyway, my family and I are going to the game tonight and I am praying that we can win this one too! Even if we don't, we still made history but come on, how awesome would it be to be in the stadium for win #16!

And of course, always looking ahead to that World Series which almost killed me last year.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Poor Neglected Blog

Confession: I love having this blog but I also hate it sometimes.

It's hard to make myself write here when I don't feel like it because I'm busy or too tired from writing for school. And then I feel guilty and it's just a big cycle.

But I won't give this space up. New plan is to try and write twice a week when I have a nice block of time at the library at school. I have so much to say and catch up on. Like my six year bloggiversary and how I was sick my entire first week of school and how E only lasted four days at college. Or, about how I left my job after five and a half years.

This year, I am realizing,  has been a year of changes. Many of them outward but I can feel myself changing too and honestly, it feels good to know that I can. A fellow blogger and member of my church family wrote the coolest novella when she turned thirty, explaining what each year of her twenties meant to her. I've decided to do the same and have been keeping track. So far I have...

20-The year I discovered my passion
21-The year that challenged me
22-The year I challenged myself
23-The year I realized I could change

I honestly can't wait (mot for the turning thirty part, I'd rather not go there yet) but for the tiem when I can look back and really reflect on what I think has been the most influential and self discovery filled time of my life.

Life right now is insanely busy, it is hard and scary. But it's chaotically wonderful and I love it.
Back soon :)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Summer Goals Revisted

Summer Goals 2017
(Accomplish at Least Half)

1. Cut my hair (X)
One of the few things I blogged about this summer. Surprisingly, I really didn't end up feeling sad or missing my hair at all. I'm no sure if I'll grow it again, we'll see. 

2. Read 5 books in preparation for the GRE/subject test(X)
This one is sort of true. I decided not to take the subject test so I didn't have to read those types of books. But I far exceeded my goal and read 8 books of varying genres! 
Books read: 
Jane Eyre
The Alchemist 
The Glass Castle
The Westing Game
Courage to Soar
The Old Man and the Sea
I Got This (To Gold and Beyond)
Lord of the Flies 

Take the GRE/subject test (X)
Really stressful, I may be taking it again in a month or so. 

Finish writing my book series, start editing (X)
I finished in the nick of time but did not start editing yet. 

Spend a lot of time outside (X)
The weather wasn't the greatest but I was outside every day that it didn't rain. I read outside before work all the time and on my days off I tried to go in the pool as much as possible. 

Save more, spend less ()
Life is expensive. 

Submit stories for publication ()
I wanted to do this but honestly didn't have time. 

Cook/bake often (X)
I cooked dinner on my days off and made cookies a few times. I'm realizing more and more that I enjoy working in the kitchen. 

Be productive with my time (X)
Yes. I was always conscious of not wasting time. I never watched TV during the day and I was always working on something. It actually got pretty exhausting. 

Continue to foster friendships (X)
It was the busies summer of my life so I didn't hang out with people as much as I would have liked though. 

Continue learning ASL (X)
I practiced what I knew more than anything. 

Enjoy it! (X)
These three and a half months were stressful and chaotic and busy but I did enjoy them. I did SO MUCH that it was hard to find time or desire to blog. However, there have been some big events that I need to document. I hope to be back to posting regularly soon and will be updating my book page today. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It's Just Hair

Today is the day I cut my hair. I've had this appointment set for well over a month so I've had plenty of time to think about it. I want to cut my hair, certainly I'm ready for a new style. And last night, as I brushed it out after a shower, I definitely wanted it gone! But I'm sentimental and as I've been growing my hair for 3 years, it's hard not to think about all that my hair has been through with me.

2 different schools, 2 different majors, thousands of school and work days, trips to NYC, Chicago, Florida, California and Virginia Beach. Beyond that, the ends of my hair have been with me even longer, I'll bet that I've had those ends since I graduated high school and was at my first college. Hair is just...there with you during everything. It's not like a favorite shirt that might tag along a few days of the month or your backpack that you have during school hours. My hair has been there, day and night through absolutely everything. It really is kind of like cutting off a body part.

I've been "that short girl with long blond hair" for a lot of my life. I'm in a constant state of growing and cutting my hair and since it grows so fast, it's usually long. I like having long hair because in some ways it is easier. Not to brush but to throw up in a nice tidy bun or a long braid. It looks good when I don't even do anything with it because the sheer weight wards off frizz and puffiness. The last few times I've had short hair, I've worn it mainly up because I can't wear it  natural down and I've been too lazy to straighten it. This time around, I'm really going to put some effort into styling it and making it look nice. I'm also getting some long bangs that will make my overall appearance look better when I do put my hair into a ponytail or bun.

I guess you could say I'm excited but I know I'll be sad too. I'll probably cry tonight. Having my hair through everything and then just--not, is hard! I don't like saying goodbye to anything but I've gotten better at it lately. I suppose another difficult aspect of the haircut is that I've basically figured I'll never have my hair this long again, ever. I mean it's really long, down to my waist and I just don't see myself ever taking three more years to grow it out like this again. I want to maintain a style. Plus, long hair isn't very adult and I'm trying to be more of an adult and get taken more seriously. Growing up doesn't mean growing out I guess.

So goodbye to my hair. It is currently 32 inches long (well over half my height!) and I'll be chopping off about 12-14 inches of it. I'm donating it too, for the sixth time. Time for new beginnings.

Monday, June 5, 2017

How Ambition Became My Boyfriend

I'm not (naturally) ambitious. I've written about that a lot on here, contrasting how my best friend Claire has so many big plans and dreams and all I want is to have a litter of kids and wear an apron while making dinner. Yeah that's still true.

But see, I don't have a boyfriend or an prospects so what am I supposed to do until my prayers are answered? Sit around and twiddle my thumbs? No ma'am. I realized that I feel lame and kind of like a loser among my friends who have significant others, even among some of my family. But, if I'm actively working toward a higher goal, I feel like I'm being productive and building my own life, even if it is independent of anyone else for now.

I decided somewhere during this past school year that I'm going to pursue grad school and I'm really excited. It's going to be a lot of work to just get in as I have to prepare an updated resume, write a letter of purpose and have a scholarly paper ready to submit, not to mention taking the GRE! It's a lot BUT, I'm working toward a goal and just having that makes me feel better about being single. For once in my 23 years, I really do feel ambitious and ready to take on hard things.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer and So Much To Do

It's taken a long time for it to actually feel like summer here and though today and tomorrow have been a nice glimpse, it doesn't look like the warmth will be here to stay until next weekend.

It was great getting to be out in the sun today though, my mood improves so much when I don't have to worry about being cold! My mom and M and I went to an outdoor art festival and it was just perfect weather for it. I'm excited to work on my tan and get my hair a bit lightened up from the sun before I chop it off in three weeks (!), post to come about that later.

Every day I pray that I'm being productive but I never feel as if I'm doing enough. This summer I have so much to do and it does stress me out. I have books to read and lines to learn for VBS, I'm trying to finish the series I've been writing and learn ASL and work two jobs! It's a lot and for once in my life I often feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. I also still want to relax a little bit because this past semester really tried me and I needed this break.

But there are things that I'm really excited about for my future that I promise to write about soon. For now I think I'm going to hit the couch and reward myself for finishing Jane Eyre by wasting time on my ipad :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Party of FIve, Round Two

Let's talk about TV...

For the past two years I've been watching new (to me) TV series on Netflix. I watched the following in this order starting from Spring 2015 to Spring 2017:

House (I did watch this while it was airing but not in order and I missed huge chunks)
Malcolm In the Middle
Gilmore Girls
Friday Night Lights
How I Met Your Mother
The Office

When I finished The Office, which by the way was great, I was unsure of what to do next. A few days later I was sitting with M and she saw that Netflix had added Party of Five! This is a very big deal. Allow me to explain.

My mom had watch POF when it was originally airing in the 90's. About seven (!!!) years ago we finally decided to all watch it together but the only place it was available was YouTube, in parts and sometimes the endings would be missing. It was frustrating but we watched all 6 seasons on our desktop computer in the living room over the course of 6 months. In fact, when I started this blog we had only just finished it the previous winter.

Since then, in the 7 years since we finished, M and I have talked endlessly of how we wanted to rewatch POF because that show is GREAT. But again, it was nowhere to be found and we didn't want to deal with YouTube again. Then, Amazon put it on prime which was great because we could buy an episode here and there around Thanksgiving or Christmas. M and I were actually about to just bite the bullet and split the cost and buy the entire series on prime. And then...Netflix came through.

So since the middle of April I've been working my way through POF again and it has been glorious. Not only is the show just as good (if not even better) than the first time I watched it, it is bringing back so many great memories. The hours that my mom and sister and I spent watching together that first time are so special to me. And the bulk of which was done in the summer so I feel like things have come full circle as I sit on the same leather couch as the first time, only now watching on my ipad. I look forward to the episode or two I watch every night all day. If you haven't watched Party of Five, do it!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer Goals! (Again)

Summer Goals 2017
(Accomplish at Least Half)

  1. Cut my hair
  2. Read 5 books in preparation for the GRE/subject test
  3. Take the GRE/subject test
  4. Finish writing my book series, start editing
  5. Spend a lot of time outside
  6. Save more, spend less
  7. Submit stories for publication
  8. Cook/bake often
  9. Be productive with my time
  10. Continue to foster friendships
  11. Continue learning ASL
  12. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

3/4 Isn't Too Shabby

Many moons ago, when I was 17 to be exact, the dentist told me that all four of my wisdom teeth were impacted and had no chance of coming up. She showed me the x-ray for further proof and yes, they were laying sideways beneath my gums.

Of course, the dentist then referred me to an oral surgeon and said I needed to get them (the wisdom teeth) removed in a timely manner or risk other complications. Well, me being me, I read up on wisdom teeth extractions and found that they are often unnecessary and can cause other problems. So I never went to see that oral surgeon.

Later that year, when I was 18 and moving into my dorm room, I noticed that my bottom left wisdom tooth was starting to poke through. It took a looong time to come all the way in but when it did, it was a completely normal tooth. I brought this up to my dentist and she still maintained that the other three were impacted and needed to be removed. Once again, I didn't heed her advice.

Two years later, when I was 20 and on vacation in NYC, my top left wisdom tooth all of a sudden came down, rather quickly! It was all the way in by the time I returned home. Another completely normal tooth. Again, I noted this to the dentist but over the next two years she was insistent that the other two needed to come out.

Yeah ok.

But as time went on, my bottom right tooth poked up just a tiny bit and stayed there and the top right one never did anything. Until...

Just before my 23rd birthday, my TOP right tooth came through my gums and is now in the process of coming up. It seems to be going slowly like the first one but definitely right side up.

Now, I do actually think that the bottom right is impacted for good but I'll give it a little time.  Moral of the story, do not get your wisdom teeth out in high school unless they are actually causing you issues right then. I have talked to a lot of people whose teeth came in when they were in their mid-twenties, just give them time! Dentists just want to pull and cut and make commission off of referrals to surgeons, at least mine does. Just wait it out. If I'd listened at 17 and gotten the extraction it would have been for nothing and I would have missed out on 3 extra teeth! I'm glad I did my research and didn't listen.

I'm wiser for it. ;)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I'm Back!

Recap of the last 4 months...

  • Stomach flu on new years day followed by the actual flu directly after D:
  • Go see a BUNCH of movies
  • Attend my friends bridal shower
  • Start my last spring semester as an undergrad
  • Celebrate Mom's birthday
  • Start watching The Office
  • Attend my friends wedding
  • Spend Valentines day with all of my favorite babies at work
  • Get another A on a paper!
  • Crazy unseasonably warm weather prompts outdoor walks
  • Hang with friends
  • Have the best spring break full of cleaning and relaxation and renewal
  • Join Easter choir again
  • Go to the Lumineers concert!
  • Claire comes home for a visit
  • My month of sinus sickness begins
  • Celebrate E's birthday
  • E and I prank the whole family for April Fools
  • Drop my insanely hard Logic class
  • Finish The Office
  • Find out Party of Five has FIALLY been added to Netflix and start immediately
  • Have a lovely Easter
  • My third wisdom tooth starts coming in and I'm ecstatic
  • Develop mysterious cough
  • Celebrate my 23rd (!!!) birthday
  • Start practice for my 3rd year in the VBS skit
  • Win an award for my short story
  • Exam week and mystery cough worsens
Mostly good times! Truly :) and it is good to be back. This is very tentative but I am *hoping* tp post every other day this summer.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Finally Writing About It Right, 11 Years Later


By Grace 

60 Degrees

Not like the sort of mild spring day when

my light blue jacket will do.

But like my rogue vertebrae that twist

and crush bronchial tubes and normalcy.

Not like the sort of weather I can expect on

my upcoming twelfth birthday.

But like the reason my torso abruptly

shifts to the left without warning.

Not like days spent jumping off the swing set

or flipping around on the front lawn.

But like a curve too severe to brace

or watch, or simply let be.

They will not let me be.


I walk out of doctor’s offices

silently, without permission. I plod across short gray carpeting

and squeaky linoleum.

Past reception, to waiting rooms where my sisters look at me

questionably. Then Mom appears, stern and put-out,

grabs the hood of the sweatshirt I’ve been wearing for days

and pulls me back to where I am supposed to be.

And it is easy to ignore questions

and look in the other direction.

To be rude.

To not be me.


He is next to me

           a pale infant

           beneath a cloud patterned blanket.

And Nemo swims into the open sea

          on the television against the wall

          in pre-op.

His family just dropped him off

         the nurses talk

         not quietly enough.

And I listen to them instead

         of the rated PG movie

         I’ve seen too many times.

And I listen to them instead

         of thinking about the needle in my arm

         or my immediate future.

And the machines are beeping

          and Dory gets stung by jellyfish

          as the overused DVD spins on.

Mom and Dad’s voices are seeping

          into my thoughts on how

          I did not pity the baby.

Snuggled beneath his blanket

          with no one to worry about him

          with no one to witness vulnerability


The plunger pushes into the syringe

clear liquid, magic water

zips through the tubing


Gravity pulls it in

my veins. Where O positive blood

and anesthesia mingle

like old friends.

No count down

no goodbye

and then


What do I think when I’m not thinking?

About x-rays

and silence in examining rooms

about things that happened.

Or apathy

and sedentary weeks

with hours of morning talk shows

and high caloric milkshakes

that will come.

My only dreamless sleep,

drug induced


a quick movement

through time.

I am myself when eyes close.

Eyes open and

my bracelet is painfully tight and

my lungs are filled and spongey and

there are tubes everywhere and

I am different in ways I cannot see.

In ways I do not yet understand.


There is a TV in the right hand corner

glowing blue and hazy

in my half-awake state.

There are tubes that twist

and intertwine with artistic


There is Dad

and Mom

and words that are just


When I move rooms,

I call behind the caravan

of poles and people

to make sure Mom is coming too.

The Phlebotomist

Every day appearing

bright and cheery.

Taker, spiller of blood

onto my new purple blanket

that Mom bought me

for my twelfth birthday

that seemed like years ago.

The phlebotomist apologizes

In her strong accent that I cannot place.


she tells me,

will take that right out.

I tell her not to worry

even though

my stained blanket

bugs me more than

the needle sticks.

Even though red

does not show up on purple.

Stephanie, the Nurse

Everyone is nice to me

but she, especially so.

She is clad in brightly patterned scrubs,

a neat French braid

and a smile that reaches her eyes.

“She’s pretty.”

I tell mom after

Stephanie has left.

Next time she pops in

Mom tells her what I said.

Stephanie the nurse smiles, laughs

thanks me.

But I am mortified,

angry at Mom for exposing

another thing I intended

to keep private.

Angrier still at myself

for not just keeping my thoughts

tucked safely in my head.

A skill I will soon perfect.


I will fall.

I will fall apart.

I’m sure.

Spine and

screws and

cadaver bone and


not yet settled.

And pain of any sort may be welcome

compared to this feeling of

being the puppeteer of my own

confused body.

The mix of ingredients sway

inside me and I’m so

certain with each footfall

I will fold.

I will fold in half.

Gift Shop

I note

The number of Amish people

The glass wind chimes that

ding softly

when brushed up


I watch

the space ebb and flow with

nurses getting off shift.

With cheerful visitors.

With a few in wheelchairs like me

Mom buys two glass rings.

And I get,

a scar that I can’t even see,

a month off of school

and candy

that I don’t feel like



The canula in my nose

blows tiny


of oxygen.

Though my passages,

to my hazy lungs.

It scares my sister, who is older

than me.

But I saw a character on a soap opera

wearing one once, while watching

TV with my grandma.

I am not afraid.

Because the little gifts

of air fill and soothe

my poor lungs

that are another casualty

of the bigger war.

I don’t realize how much

I need it until it comes

askew. And the air feels

warm and stagnant.

The respiratory therapists visit

six times a day.

I sit for half an hour with

the nebulizer that pumps air

that tastes like cake frosting

Mom talks to them,

Willy the night guy,

Bethany the one with freckles

and others I don’t bother

to know.

When I speak

I am told to keep my lips

firmly around the mouthpiece.

So I smile a lot

and try so hard

to show everyone that I am

a nice, good girl.

Dr. Armstrong

He lives up to his name

tall as I am tiny.

Calm and gentle,

making it hard for me to hate

him as I had so many others.

And I am lying

in the same spot as yesterday.

In my flannel pajamas

with the cartoon frogs skiing.

Even though it is May.

And he comes in,

talks to Mom. Then

puts his gigantic hand

on my forehead and I realize,

I am an origami.

Weak as paper

strong as the surgeons hands.

Going Home

On a Sunday Dad pulls our new van around to the hospital exit.

I like how the door opens on its own

I like that my sisters have allowed me a coveted seat by the window.

Home means,

my own bed

and regular food

and normal life.

But I am not sure I’m ready to live it again.

But I learn about blood oranges from Martha Stewart

and the war on terror from Good Morning America.

I watch people win dream vacations on Regis and Kelly

and roll my eyes at all of the petty arguments on The View.

And while my spine does the work of fusing and hardening

I reorient myself to the larger world first.


What I Had to Say Again and Again


Please don’t

tell them.

About hours, my hours

on the operating table.

Please don’t,

show them.

The scar, my scar

and how well it is healing.

Please don’t talk about it

like it was some sort of

great bonding experience.

Like we spent a week at

a fun sleep away camp.

Like Rainbow Babies and Children

Is akin to Camp Walden

from Parent Trap

my favorite movie

that I’ve watched over


over since being home.

Yes we bonded

over things I want to keep

in my own mind.

Yes we bonded

in a way I never wanted.

So please,

just keep it to yourself

and I will do the same.


One day in June I am laying on my bed with my older sister.

On top of the purple and blue and green striped blanket

with similarly colored curtains hanging around us.

I do something funny, something “So Grace

as my sister puts it.

And I laugh and

we laugh and

Mom, who is also in the room, cleaning up after the resident 7 year old,

laughs too.

And in days that follow I take walks and

sit on the back deck in the sunshine.

Drink banana milkshakes my grandma makes for me.

Write the kid’s book I’ve been working on for years.

Accompany my sister to the mall.

And like a switch that flipped, things are good again.

The smell of chlorine makes

a home in my hair.

I don’t cringe at every bump

during bike rides.

I swap my sweatshirt for a new beaded tank top,

and high sandals.

Summer is here.

Life goes on.


White etching


my spine.

Numb as if it

does not belong to me.

And the feeling comes back

at the top

and the bottom

but not the middle.

Because some time before

I was not numb

and some time after

I was not numb again.

But in the middle I was


and some nerves

are cut too deep

to ever fully