Category Archives: Ephemeris
Usually my blog entries, any non-fictional writing on here will encompass what I’m currently feeling or undergoing.
I drafted my first page and a half of my thesis today. There I sat, in the computer lab at the Student Union, and it just hit me to type something — anything would do. Just one word, a start. And then that word turned into a phrase, a phrase into a sentence, a sentence into a paragraph, a paragraph into a page-and-a-half. It actually really excites me, so much so that now that I’ve started, I really, really, really, REALLY want to get through it. Not only has the first page and a half given me motivation to get through it, it has also given me the confidence to get through it. I can do this. I can do this. And I will.
And then, tonight, I cried. It was completely unanticipated, completely unnecessary, but it felt good. It was a good cry, I promise. I’m Skyping with one of my best friends as I write this, and she told me about people who were playing songs they wanted to play at their wedding, and I — yes, I’m about to go there — I have a song. “Marry Me” by Train. It’s beautiful. And it makes me think of my boyfriend, who I’m completely, madly, irrevocably in love with. Now that that’s out of the way…
Time to get to work!
So much has happened since my last post that I find it difficult to know where to begin. I suppose, firstly, I should mention where I’ve been for the past who-knows-how-many weeks. My absence is due partly by negligence and laziness, partly by the chaos caused by school and work. It isn’t so much that I don’t have anything to say; I just lost my desire to continue this online memoir, basically because I feel like nobody reads it, nobody cares about it, so why should I?
Besides, with school having started, creating a semester that’s not only going to kick my ass but reduce me to nothing but oblivion, my time is consumed by… of course, Facebook. I’m kidding (kinda). I’m actually keeping up with my 300ish pages of reading a week, something I’ve never really put myself to doing before. I’m really trying to take initiative this semester and take authority for my education; so far, so good. I hope.
One thing that I’m really trying to do is work intensely on creating a spectacular undergraduate thesis, but, considering my reading amounts for my other two literature classes, the researching for that has been nearly thwarted. I’ll eventually be able to create a balance between reading for class and researching for my thesis. Maybe. As long as I eliminate, or at the very least reduce, my Facebook usage (and, I almost hate to say it, considering I’m doing it right now, blogging). I need this semester to really make me shine. I have a terrific GPA right now, but doing well on my last semester, especially on the thesis, portions of which I’m submitting to grad schools as my writing sample, will really make me feel accomplished. Being my last semester (even though it almost wasn’t my last semester; I’ll get to that in a minute), I need to shine.
Yeah. Graduation. Just a little more than 100 days until I’m officially finished with my undergraduate degree! I’m so excited to rid myself of the wretched university I attend, a university that told me last semester if I took a particular five classes, I’d be set to graduate in December, a university that, for some reason or another, changed its mind sometime between April and August. It took a lot of fighting with two different departments (the English department and the college itself, the College of Arts & Sciences), but everything is finally set. Thank God. I do believe I’m at 106 days. Bring it on.
You might have noticed, too, that I have one more piece of metal in my ear. Yes, another piercing. I went to lunch with Katie Poule at Panera, then stopped in at the piercing and tattoo parlor to have them check my snug (I swear I just wanted them to look at it and make sure it looked to be healing correctly), and strangely, I walked out with another piercing, a cartilage hoop. I love it, though, and can’t wait for my third piercing (and fourth?)! I’m starting to design my right ear. I think I want my rook and tragus done.
Let the weekend begin, right? Happy Labor Day to everyone! Enjoy your cookouts, your drinks, your day off. And think of me, studying laboriously in my room, catching up and trying to get ahead on my reading and thesis.
Let’s pretend for one glorious albeit ephemeral moment that money does not exist. Where would you be? What would you be? Who would you be? I know a world cannot exist without money, as it is the biggest bargaining chip humanity has when bartering with one another, and I know I am not the only person who wishes this, but I really, honestly, truly wish that money did not exist. It’s the cause of countless problems, from innumerable amounts of debt and melancholic homelessness to avaricious greed and ostentatious displays of wealth.
I would be the happiest person on the face of the planet without money. I would have everything I need without the problems of finding out how I’m going to pay for gas, insurance, and the payment for my car; school loans would disappear. I would be able to surround myself with the ones I love, the ones who love me, and we could be truly happy, simply enjoying the presence of one another. I wish I could do that, but I have so many incessant financial worries. Will I be able to pay this one month? What about the next?
The power of that damned dollar is beyond fathomable, and I know that my wish is impossible to conceive or even try to make possible; I understand the importance of that damned dollar and why we need it. (They say that it’s love which makes the world go ’round; I think it’s money.) But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. That damned quarter, dime, nickel. That damned…
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are finally starting to come together, and my stress level has gone down considerably. Financial aid is a monster, and if I were to advise any incoming freshman about it (ahem, you might want to pay attention to this, Katie Poule), I’d say make sure you have everything you need figured out before the next semester because financial aid offices, especially ones located in money-hungry universities like mine, like to play the “have you talked to this office yet” game. It’s terrible. Nobody can ever give you a straight answer; they redirect your call or email countless times, and by the time you get an answer, you’ve forgotten the question. All I’m saying is to be prepared for roundabouts and games. It’s the prerogative financial aid offices think they have. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is.
My financial aid is finally in the process of being finalized. I had to apply for a loan by myself (terrifying!), but everything worked out and now it’s being finalized through my university. I should be hearing from them soon, and then the disbursement begins, which means a lot of things. First and foremost, my final semester as an undergrad is covered, the relief of which I can’t even begin to describe.
Second, I can purchase a new laptop, one that I can trust and rely on to actually turn on when I want it to. I’m switching to Mac. I have no good reason for it, but I think they’re a lot more trustworthy, faster, smarter, sleeker… and sexier, which puts a lot of bonus points on their side in my opinion. I’m going Mac, and I ain’t going back.
Third, I’ll be able to have a small financial cushion for my monthly bills. With the Pell Grant that I found out about and the leftover loan amount, I’ll have some money left to cushion myself in case I don’t make what I need while working because of limited availability. I’m actually really looking forward to having this cushion; it’s something I’ve never had before, and I hope I can use it wisely. Keep your fingers crossed.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and now all I need to be completely happy is a more gas-efficient vehicle. That was supposed to be examined today, but that fell through. I randomly got the bug up my butt to look at cars yesterday to trade in my Jeep for a smaller, more gas-efficient vehicle. I found one at a dealership for which my uncle’s friend works, so he and I went to look at it, but it was already gone. It just wasn’t meant to be. Something will come along. I just have to keep my eyes open.
The light is getting larger, brighter, blinding, but I can’t wait to be out of the shadows of the crises of my life. Bring it on. I’ll keep my…
If food be the music of love, eat on. I know, I know; that’s a terrible play on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but damn, I can’t even think about food right now. It’s been a really long week, especially the last few days — what with the death of my horse, Phoenix, on top of the miserable heat — and today in itself was exhausting. If you’ve never served at a restaurant before, don’t take it for granted. It can definitely be excruciating, but the money is usually worth it at the end of the day. Making over $70 in three hours sure made it worth it. The downside, though, was that I did not eat anything from the minute I woke up until the minute I got home except for a small Blizzard at Dairy Queen.
Work was great, but seeing one of my best friends was even better. We had texted last night and made fluid plans to get ice cream today, but I was so excited that they didn’t fall through. A lot of plans I try to make seem to fall through, and it gets really frustrating. But I can always count on her, even if she was feeling pretty sick today. It was, nonetheless, fantastic as always to see her.
And I got my hurs did. Yes, my hurs did. While I was waiting for my friend, I called my grandma, who owns her own hair salon, to see if she was there and free to cut my hair — or, hur, as I like to say when I feebly attempt to speak ghetto. Anyways, I did get my grandma to cut my hair, then I met up with my friend for ice cream, and then I drove home to find out that my dad was taking us to dinner.
Red Robin… yummm!! It seems to be my parents’ place of choice, and for good reason. We had an excellent server, and my burger was to die for. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything all day, but that BBQ burger tasted amazing (and so did the two raspberry margaritas, haha!). Afterward, though, I felt, as I mentioned on the phone with Katie Poule, like a beached whale. My pooch — or food baby, whatever you want to call it — was very, very content with the evening.
My horse died today. This is my letter to him:
What they say is right: “You don’t really know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” I know the passion I once had for horseback riding faded a long time ago, and I know that I haven’t spent much time with you since I graduated from 4-H, and I know that you probably didn’t even know who I was but rather stupidly let me pet you because you just wanted to feel the attention, but all that aside, Phoenix, I love you. Next to Copper, who I hope meets you in Heaven, you have always been my best friend.
I remember your trip back to our house, which would be your home for thirteen years, and the dilemma with which I was faced in trying to find a name for you. It was fall; the colors were spectacular, as they always are in a Midwestern autumn, but I also remember passing one of the countless cornfields and, in a feeble attempt to name you the first night, I ran the name “Cornstalk” by Mom. “What are you going to call him for short?” she asked, suppressing a laugh. “Corny?”
Scratch “Cornstalk.” I don’t remember how we got to the name “Phoenix,” but I remember the nicknames you were quickly given, and how perfectly they fit your personality. “Feeny,” “Beeny,” and “Beanhead” were ridiculous and dorky, but somehow suited you wonderfully.
We were dorks together, you and I. From the moment you first stepped into the show arena at the fair, you were quirky and stubborn. We never won much of anything, but you won my heart. I was frustrated, but mostly with myself because, even then, I knew I wasn’t putting as much into our relationship as I could. But it was still there. It was small, barely flickering, but it was there. The first time I tried showing you in barrel racing, I remember that even though during practice you could run like the wind, that day you decided to walk the entire pattern. A whopping 72 seconds later, I could do nothing but laugh. You were ridiculous. And I loved you.
I still do, buddy. I may not have shown it until these past couple of days when you were the sickest, but I still do. It’s hard to imagine you not out in the pastures playing with the other horses, despite my not being out there as often as I should have. I always loved you; I still do love you; and, Phoenix, I promise you I always will.
…rest in peace.
I apologize for not having blogged in a few days; it appears that my laptop has decided to only work when it feels like it. In other words: It’s probably acquired some sort of lethal virus that will destroy its three-and-a-half year old hard drive, which I guess is a pretty lengthy age for a Dell. Secretly, though, I am truly hoping it is dying a painful death because I have had nothing but problems with it since the beginning, but more importantly: I really, really, really want to buy a MacBook Pro. I just hope this flimsy old Dell can make it through until I can afford to replace it.
That said, my blogs will now only come when I have access to my laptop. Despite my continuous Internet access via my parents’ desktop, there’s nothing like blogging from one’s own computer. It makes me feel independent, like I’m writing my own words instead with my own medium instead of the ridiculous notion that my parents might censor my words, even though I know they could care less about why I’m on their computer. So until this Dell finally dies (its cause of death more probably being thrown off a bridge than actually going kaput on me), I’m at a loss.
For some reason or another, too, because of the loss of my own computer, I’ve had a lot less motivation for productivity. Maybe it’s the feeling of sheer and utter loss and hopelessness at the prospect of being without a laptop (Dell or otherwise) for my final semester as an undergrad. I haven’t studied for the GRE in two or three — maybe even four! — days, but I have officially registered for it. (There went $80 spiraling down the toilet for a test that’s only required to be required. Fuck high-stakes, standardized testing. Fuck it in the ass. I apologize for my vulgar digression…) In any case, I’m really hoping that I can get a phenomenal writing sample conjured as well as amazing letters of recommendation, that way when I do horribly on the GRE, which is bound to happen as I’m a terrible test-taker, I’ll still have a chance of getting into the school I want.
I was looking at how quickly the summer has flown by, and how little of it remains, and I came to the disappointing realization that this summer was supposed to be about me making money so I could save up and have a financial cushion going into school. It didn’t happen. I see all the ones, fives, tens, and twenties going into my pocket after work and watch as they disappear into either my gas tank or bank account for my plethora of money-sucking bills. It’s just really disappointing knowing that I can never get ahead. It will happen, though, one day, and I will look back on all the financial hardships of watching my bank account be in the negatives more than the positives and watching every dollar I make go toward some sort of bill, and I’ll be thankful that I had to endure it. I’ll be thankful that I did not have someone to pay for everything. Pain and hardship build character, right? This neverending circle of hardships that I’ve become the locus of will, in the end, show me that I can endure anything, that I was…
At the risk of sounding like a fangirl at a premiere of a new Twilight movie, I will admit that I feel as though today will officially end my childhood despite having become a legal adult five years ago. I grew up in the land of Potter, where magic became reality and anything was possible. Harry was my best friend, the one hero I knew I could count on no matter what adversity he was forced to undergo. Hermione was my sister, bushy-haired and buck-toothed, always trying to outweigh instinct with logic; Ron, my brother, the wonderful sidekick-without-being-a-sidekick who could always be depended upon. This world, these characters, became real to not only me but billions of people worldwide.
And it all ends tonight. At midnight tonight, we will step onto Platform 9 3/4 one last time and watch as the magical world of Hogwarts comes to a close. We all know what will happen, especially after having read the book once, twice, if not more, before the movie’s release tonight, but that does not undermine the finality, the closure, the sheer and utter sadness that will be felt by all of us tonight as the credits scroll slowly up the screen. I can guarantee laughter, tears, and chills while I watch tonight’s premiere.
The world of Potter became such a grand part of my life that it will be difficult to watch as it fades to black tonight, especially after spending countless hours on RPG-websites playing one, two, or twelve of my favorite or fabricated characters; after penning millions of words in FanFiction, watching my hand distort their world and create new stories, new romances, and new endings; after finding a stick in the yard the perfect length to be a wand and pretending to be Potter himself venturing into the realm of danger; and after watching these books take the world by storm. It will be difficult to see it end, indeed, but if there’s one thing I learned from this epic saga, it is…
…never tickle a sleeping dragon.
Every day brings me twenty-four hours closer to the deadline. It isn’t anything official, just a deadline I set for myself. It’s a financial deadline, a calendar deadline, an academic deadline. Today brought me another twenty-four hours closer to this deadline, but I feel like I’ve been dragged through a full week. Time speeds by me, and as I look toward what’s to come my way financially and academically, I freeze, stricken by a drowning sense of panic and of being overwhelmed.
My last semester at Bowling Green State University approaches, and I not only have a full course-load in store for me, I will also be writing my undergraduate thesis, working part-time to keep up on my bills, and working on applying to graduate schools… that is, as long as my part-time job as a server at a mom-and-pop restaurant keeps me financially afloat. As of right now, it isn’t.
I’m not the type of person to break down, at least not outwardly. You can usually tell when I’ve reached my wit’s end when I completely shut down and become distant, unmotivated, careless, and cold. I have not yet reached that point, but I’m getting close, especially when I crunched numbers to see what I needed to make between now and when classes resume, and between now and my December graduation. The result: An insane and unfathomable amount of money, and it doesn’t help that I’ve been an undergraduate for so long that most, if not all, of my scholarships and government help decided to disappear this semester.
When I was crunching numbers and becoming increasingly more panicked, my phone rang. His voice was exactly what I needed to hear; it always is. He cures the deepest frown and picks me back up. Even if he’s 1,200 miles away right now, he is everything I need. He reminded me that I will get through this, that the darkness will pass. So, even though today started out with panic, I feel a lot better tonight. And I owe it to him.
Out of the darkness and into the light.