I'm taking a break from writing my paper that's due on Monday. I've been working nonstop for 4 hours- I deserve one. SO! It's "I'm going to type up random thoughts time!"

On growing:

New goal this year: Learn when to shut my mouth. I wrote last year around this time that my goal was to express my opinion more freely. Objective achieved. Objective OVERachieved at some points. Now I just need to find a good balance between expressing my opinion thinking about what I'm going to say before I say it so that I don't sound like an insensitive jackass to my friends.

It's amazing how much personalities can change so drastically through the years. When I was younger I was a type-A perfectionist through and through...I've softened over the years. Or maybe I just seem much more laid back compared to my classmates. Seriously, I've never seen anybody stress out so much over schoolwork. I constantly have an urge to yell "Calm the hell down" to them when we're stresssing.

People often don't take into account that people change through the years when we don't see them that often. When you meet up with old friends or family members, no matter how you act, your actions willbeinterpreted to fit their original schema of you. Therefore, you find yourself regressing into the person you think you have grown away from and it becomes an annoying/depressing cycle.

School/career worries:

I could never have a home office. Although I love studying in my snuggie (Wes has dubbed it "stuggying") with a lit candle and a hot cup of something on my desk, I am not very productive at home. I think the root of my procrastination is that I have all the time in the world. I REALLY need something else to do these days. Today I got the last email I needed to be officially turned down from working at all the domestic violence shelters in the area, and I keep sending out resumes to postings about part-time social work related positions. I don't NEED a job...but I do need something to do other than schoolwork. I like being busy.

On a related note, I have only 2 other classmates who have not heard any news about their internship placements. These internships last an entire 12 months and have such an impact on which way our careers are going to take us that I'm DYING to know where GVSU's School of Social Work is going to put me. They said to expect to be contacted by March, and not to start worrying until then...but the suspense is killing me. My guess is that I would be harder to place because I emphasized the skills I wanted to learn at my placement on my application rather than what kind of population I would be working with. (Although I did put down populations/agencies that I could not work with eg. CPS, anti-choice organizations.)

I didn't put down that I wanted to work with domestic violence or sexual assault survivors. I figured since I have experience in that field already I should "broaden my horizons" by working with a different population. I'm still not sure if I made the right decision. Working to become a domestic violence counselor has always been the goal thus far, and I have no idea if I'm making a wise career move here by switching gears.

AND with all this accrediation bullshit that GVSU's SSW is going to through this year, I feel like I made the wrong decision by going to GVSU. But I don't know what a better decision would have been. I just feel stuck in a rut right now. The program hasn't been incredilby challenging thus far, and I don't feel like I'm growing much. (My classmates would disagree with me, but I'm not raising children or working a full time job or anything like they are.)

I keep thinking that I'll focus on domestic violence for my dissertation if I ever go back for my Ph.D, since I'm literally writing every paper in grad school about it. (Right now I'm researching financial (in)dependence and its relationship to domestic violence.)

On Freud:

I'm doing an hour long presentation on Ego Psychology next week, which I'm excited about because psychology was what I studied in undergrad. I know that "Freud is dead" and a lot of what he came up with was heteronormative, sexist and unfalsifiable, but he also got a lot of shit right. I mean, can you imagine how anybody tried to explain human behavior without the concepts of the unconscious or defense mechanisms?!

I found this great quote on tumblr the other day:

“The human mind knows itself the least. The human mind may be able to trace the origin of life through billions of years to hydrothermal vents in the ocean’s floor, it may be able to comprehend and replicate the means by which the sun produces energy, it may even be able to describe events that took place at the beginning of the universe, 13.7 billion years ago, but when it comes to exactly how we have made these discoveries, exactly how our thoughts are thought, we know a minuscule amount.”

The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block

Why I'm reading Wilde.

I bought "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" before Patty and I moved into our apartment in Grand Rapids at the end of the summer. The book takes place at the end of WWII on Guernsey Island, which is in the English Chanel. I thought it was lovely because 1. It's a book about how great books are. The characters lives are all transformed because of the book club that extraordinary circumstances force them to create. 2. The book is written entirely in the letters that the characters write to one another. At first I thought that I wouldn't like reading a book in this format but the letters feel so personal and much more intimate than dialogue. Each letter is written in what each writer thinks is total confidence and you feel that you have a real understanding of what each character is thinking and feeling because they do not hold back in their letters to their dear friends.


At one important point in the plot the characters discover that the letters one of their members inherited from her grandmother are actually letters from Oscar Wilde. The story was that while visiting Guernsey Island, Wilde found the grandmother, a child at the time, crying because her cat had just died. He told her that cats had nine lives, and Muffin still had another 6 to live. In fact, she was at that very moment being born as a cat named Solange in France. He knew this because he had psychic cat powers. After asking the girl her name and address, Wilde promised that he would let her know how Solange was doing from time to time.

Wilde wrote her 8 enchanting letters over the years, each one describing a new adventure Solange, who was something of a feline Musketeer, had during her 4th life.

"French Milk" is a drawn journal of a 22 year old's experience living (and eating) in France with her mother for a month. For her birthday, Lucy visit's Oscar Wilde's grave. "Oscar Wilde is the source of much interest, fascination, love and inspiration for me-not to mention tragedy...." "At the hotel, the bar is which Oscar Wilde had his last drink, before going upstairs to the room with ugly wallpaper, and dying with the famous last words: 'Either the wallpapers goes, or I do.'"

How the hell haven't I ever heard of Oscar Wilde? I bought his only novel, (his other works are poems and plays) "The Picture of Dorian Gray" last Friday and am so excited to read it. Especially since after I bought it, Wilde showed up again in something else that I really enjoyed: 500 days of Summer.

Summer: Well, you know, I guess it's 'cause I was sitting in a deli and reading Dorian Gray and a guy comes up to me and asks me about it and... now he's my husband.
Tom: Yeah. And... so?
Summer: So, what if I'd gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I'd gotten there 10 minutes later? It was - it was meant to be. And... I just kept thinking... Tom was right.
Tom: No.
Summer: Yeah, I did.
Summer: I did. It just wasn't me that you were right about.

So, I'm really excited to start reading this!

This all kind of comes back to the quote I originally posted from "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society":

"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive- all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."

In the beginning of 2009 When I had just graduated, moved back home, only worked part time and had an almost nonexistent social life, I had pulled the first version of the Sims out to pass some time. I haven't touched the game since. Tonight I started reading Chuck Klosterman's " Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs" and he talks about the Sims in one of his short stories, so about 3 hours ago I found myself wrapped in my new blue snuggie digging for it again.

When I logged back on I saw that "Meej and Puhtay Bowenessy" were already living in a two story mansion, complete with teleporter, indoor pool and GINORMOUS balconies off each of their master bedroom suites. I decided they needed neighbors.

"WesBob Merrymick" now lives next door. He has a goatee and wears a white dress shirt and tie everyday, which I figured would be proper OfficeMax attire. I think he looks particularly dashing his his tux, but he almost always refuses to change into his formal wear when asked and will often disobey by changing into his swimsuit and swimming in his house's moat. Which I can't really blame him for. I mean, I built the guy a swimming pool moat. He is also fond of dancing in his stripper's cage.

I was particularly please when Meej and Puhtay came over and, after exchanging a few pleasanties with WesBob, helped themselves to his pool and food, as would probably be the case in real life.

"Marquis New-hof" literally lives in a maze. Marquis and his guests must make their way through the narrow, dark, confusing hallways in order to find the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. Their survival depends on their sense of direction.

No matter how hard I try, Marquis and Puhtay just don't seem to hit it off. They loving talking about money symbols and sailboats, but whenever Marquis throws in a bit of tickling or flirting into the mix, it doesn't end well. Neither of them is going to get any action anytime soon. Which is odd, since they're so comfortable with each other. I mean, they don't mind pissing in front of each other for Christ's sakes, which according to Klosterman is "an experience that's light-years more intimate than most kinds of oral sex."

"Lah-Say Pooper", Marquis's other next-door neighbor, lives without any walls. All of her possessions, which are all bright neon colors, lay upon a square piece of bright purple carpet that's decorated with rugs shaped like daisies. One corner of her property has a fir tree forest. Another has a cherry tree forest. A third has a forest made of helium balloons. A romantic stone bench overlooks her giant pond where ducks, frogs and other creatures live.

Lah-Say decided that she wanted to throw a party and invited all of her neighbors over. It was a rip-roaring good time. They all blew bubbles, danced to Lay-Say's stereo, and talked. I took pictures captioned "Lah-Say's first party" and "Who invited this mime?! Seriously, nobody's paying attention to him at all."

Lah-Say had a lot to clean up after all of her friend left. She was just cleaning up the last of the deflated helium balloon forest when her stove caught on fire! She tragically died instantly, and because she did not have any family members living with her, and she didn't have a fire alarm because there was no wall to mount it on, the fire department never came. Everything except the toilet burnt to the ground.

The last picture in Lah-Say's album is of her catching on fire and is captioned "FUCK."

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

I'm a little more than 100 pages into this book, and it's already one of my favorites. Some of my favorite parts:

"I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: 'I changed the course of human history!' 'That's right.' 'I changed the universe!' 'You did.' 'I'm God!' 'You're an atheist.' 'I don't exist!' I feel back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together."

"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."
Normally I never read for fun during the school year, but for some reason I've already gone through two books this semester despite the fact that I have more than 400 textbook pages to read a week. This is one of the quotes I liked from "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", which I just finished.

"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive- all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."

You've Got Mail

I may have already quoted this, but:
Joe Fox: Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts - your arrogance, your spite, your condescension - has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and walking away, you zing them? "Hello, it's Mr Nasty." I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Kathleen Kelly: No, I know exactly what you mean, and I'm completely jealous. What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?
[stops and thinks]
Kathleen Kelly: Nothing. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out.
Joe Fox: Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you? And then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time, and we'd both be happy. But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.
...I'm never going to be able to find a balance between the two, am I?
3 most commonly used phrases said during Caitlin and Megan's Europe trip, 2009:
  • Pretty sweet actually. (Said in a high pitched voice with a lisp)
  • I'm sorry, I only speak English.
  • Is this real life?!

Our trip was beautiful, hilarious and oftentimes incredibly strange and surreal. It was one hell of an adventure. Right now I'm drinking sparkling mineral water and wondering how my friends on the other side of the pond are doing; I feel odd thinking this way, but I miss them and their voices already. Since we finished our 26 hours of traveling on Monday (our flight from Chicago to Detroit was cancelled and we spent a solid 7 or 8 hours in O'Hare exhausted and unshowered; I tried to sleep on a bench and I'm sure I sort of looked and smelled like a hobo) I feel slightly narcoleptic, and therefore completely unmotivated to do anything at all. My family, Darrin and I moved all my furniture and heavy things to school on Tuesday but other than that and trying to sort utilities and my health insurance out, I haven't really done anything on my "get ready for school to-do list" or even called any of my good friends to seriously catch up. I'm too tired to make the effort.

Hopefully I feel more energized and motivated tomorrow. Also, I need to start watching my health habits closer. I gained an impressive amount of weight for only being in Europe for 3 weeks...not that I regret it at all though. I ate and drank to my heart's content over there, as one should when they are having the time of their life. Moose meat, caviar, flat bread, sjokade, chocolates, coffees, kebob, sour cream porridge, a shit ton of different kinds of beers, ciders and liquors...sheep's head (including the tongue and eyes!). You can't hold back when you have any opportunity to try something new.

It's also really weird that I haven't even gotten over the jet-lag and I'm watching Anthony Bourdian's new Thailand episode with a feeling of jealousy and travel lust that is just as strong as it was before I left.