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.
“In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert & Ernie to marry or even adding a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives. Please visit our Facebook page.”
All I can say is: I love this. Children are, surprisingly, some of the most accepting of homosexuality because their minds are still pure, untainted by adult bigotries and biases. If such a petition were to pull through, I know that seeing a homosexual marriage on a children’s show like Sesame Street would not seem like a great step forward for the LGBTq community, but I guarantee that it would be. Publicizing the fairness, the equality, and the tolerance of a homosexual marriage would further teach our younger generation the characteristic of acceptance. We can hope that they are able to further our country’s tolerance and acceptance of differences; equality is a TV show away. If our generation is unable to bring acceptance and equality to the LGBTq community, hopefully the next one can. Watching two of their favorite childhood characters marry on public television would help that.
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…
As of midnight, July 24th 2011, homosexual couples can legally marry in New York. See the post on The Gay & Lesbian Task Force Blog here: http://thetaskforceblog.org/2011/07/24/task-force-celebrates-ny-marriage-equality-as-couples-begin-to-wed/
On an emotional level, here’s a YouTube clip of the first gay wedding in New York: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGegTRa5TWk&
Their story: Gaitley and Jim Stevenson-Mathews were married in a religious service before 200 people at St. Paul’s Chapel on the Campus of Colombia University on May 7, 2005. The service was officiated by Rev. Mitties DeChamplain and was followed by a reception and dance held on the campus of St. John the Divine.
On May 7, 2010, the couple joined another gay couple and a lesbian couple and were legally married in Connecticut. Many from Glen Cove, Long Island traveled with the couple to witness the ceremony attended by over 70 family and friends. Couples (gay and straight) were invited to renew their vows as part of the celebration.
On July 24, 2011 at 12:03 am the couple were finally married in their home state of New York by Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi. This was New York State’s first same-sex wedding. Our heartfelt congratulations to the couple and to the many couples who have waited so long for this historic day.
After hearing from senior military leaders that repeal posed no threat to the armed forces, President Obama certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” His signature of the certification sets in motion the open service of lesbian, gay and bisexual troops. The certification step was part of the legislation he signed in December and now after a 60 day period built into the law, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be a relic of the past. View the full story here: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2011/07/president-obama-certifies-dadt-repeal-certification/
This has already started gaining feedback, especially from Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who Friday welcomed the news that President Barack Obama and the Pentagon have certified the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian troops. In a statement, Baldwin said troops that have been discharged under the policy deserve an apology. View the full story here: http://www.gaypolitics.com/2011/07/22/baldwin-discharged-troops-deserve-apology/
I think Rep. Baldwin has a point. To suppress a person’s sexuality just so they appear to fit the typical role of a soldier is not only disrespectful, it tarnishes everything upon which our country was built: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Doesn’t everyone, especially these soldiers, who, gay or straight, risk their lives every day, deserve to live as they choose, the liberties that everyone else enjoys, and to pursue whatever (or specifically in this case, whoever) they want without worrying about bigotry and disrespect? Think about it.
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.