Friday, September 23, 2011

Disjointed Thoughts of a College Student Who Recently Ran into a Tree

I had every intention of writing you a totally upbeat post this week. It's been a good week. I've made good food (I made a keish without a recipe, which, really, is as far i aspire in culinary genius anyway), I did well on a test, I talked to people, joined a study group, and went to a terrific lecture. But I got home today and I felt bleh. My body had, apparently, decided that it was done with me.

So I finished Bring Me a Unicorn, which happily has nothing to do with unicorns. I mad myself hash browns and eggs, which were surprisingly delicious. I went to see if the vegetation stand was open, because I felt a desperate urging to eat fruit. Unfortunately it wasn't, and my urging did not extend as far as the grocery store. So I ate my roommate's cantaloupe, because I'm a bad person.

My throat still hurts. I think this has to do with running into a tree yesterday. I believe I swallowed some of its leaves. Nobody believes me. Which is weird, because how is this any less ridiculous than trying to make waffles with an actual iron? This is college. Weird and ridiculous things just happen.

I should be writing an essay right now on Lady Gaga and hegemony. But when I called my mom (somewhere in between the hash browns and the west wing episode i didn't mention because i want you to think i kicked the addiction) she told me to find a good movie, pop some popcorn, make some orange juice and not do any school work tonight. I am nothing if not obedient so I'm neglecting my essay for the time being.
Sorry Lady Gaga. You'll have to wait on my analysis for another day.

When I first got to college I was so homesick it was gut wrenching. Now it's softer. It crawls in bed next to me at midnight and snuggles up to my spine. It makes me want the stretch of road by my old elementary school, the faded gold couch in my living room, and the cast iron pans always on my stove. It's a quiet ach, like growing pains.

I'm going to stop now. I actually do have things I was going to write about on this week's post. I was going to write about how I thought people who lived thousands of years ago would feel, watching me write essays on them. Or my testing center fiasco. I was going to review a book and start a college food study guide. I still might. Tomorrow is looking like a long day.

But for tonight, I'll just say good night.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Moanings and Groanings

WARNING: Look at the title. Good, now you've been warned.

Everyone within a hundred mile radius of me is going to a football game tonight. I see them streaming under my window, a stream of blue shirts. Everyone except one of me and one of my roommates. She is sleeping in the bunk above me right now, utterly exhausted after six and a half hours of serving up pizza. I'm sitting at my desk and not doing homework, going shopping, or doing laundry.

I remember one of my religion teachers telling me once that not a whole lot changes after you die. You don't magically become a good person, strap on angel wings, skim around the stars singing praises. The idea is to be a good person when you go. But somehow we think that big changes in life (like, for example, life ending) make us different. We're usually waiting for them to fix everything.

I hadn't ever really thought about what I would be like after death before. I'm a teenager. I still think I'm invincible. But I do remember thinking that when I got to college everything would magically right itself. In my head there was a whole group of people waiting for me. People who were like me, but not so much like me that it was annoying. People I could call up at any time and say, Hey, I'm bored. People who were cool but not too cool to be my friends.

Kindred spirits is the term. I thought there would be seven or eight soul siblings just waiting on my front porch when I turned up with my suitcases. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I don't have a front porch and I seem to have missed the kindred spirit opening social. Everyone told me I would make life long friends in college, and I kind of feel like I'm missing the boat.

How do you catch a boat? Do you hail it like a cab? I have never successfully hailed a cab. (has anyone else ever noticed how many double letters there are in successfully? it's really fun to type.)

I know it's only three weeks in, and my parents and various other adult relatives assure me that there are lots of other people just like me. We're all insecure teenagers, sitting in our apartments, craving love and affection, doing homework and watching Doctor Who. And while I'm sure they're right (except for tonight when, as previously stated, everyone and their goldfish is going to the big game) I don't find it very comforting. If everyone is just like me then we'll never get anywhere.

Besides, that isn't what I see outside my window. People are jogging together, going to lakes together, getting in their badly parked cars and turning the ignition with a purpose together. They go to each other's apartments and magically have each other's phone number.

That's the part that really confuses me. Where, when, and how are these people getting each other's numbers? It's like it all happens under the table, some black market trade I know nothing about. I turn my back and they all pull out their phones.

I was never popular. I never had a ton of friends. I was that girl everyone waved to in the hall, but no one ever thought of when they were thinking of doing something. And that was fine. I always had a few great friends, the kind that always make things better. I'm turning into that girl again--the wave in the hall girl who no one dislikes, but no one particularly likes either. Except this time I'm missing my soul siblings.

What I really would like is a Laurie. I want a best guy friend/older brother. I never had a big brother and I think it's about time I got one. The whole (failed) romantic line of that Little Woman's story isn't what interests me right now. I want a buddy.

And I have no idea how to get one. It doesn't seem to be the kind of thing you put an add in the paper about (laurie wanted. must be funny, fun, mildly annoying, smart (preferably good at explaining astronomy), and extremely comforting. bow tie optional).

...Now I really want to put an add in the paper.

I'm so much cooler in my head. Really.

OK, pity party over. Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What We Like to Call College Cliches

I have to tell you about this because it made me laugh.

A few nights ago I was sitting in my room skyping with my parents. One of my roommates, Kelsey, was there too, doing homework and being generally productive. It was actually dark outside, so it had to be pretty late when we heard this thud against our window.

Kels and me gave each other a look and I said to my parents, "Wait a second, I think someone just through a rock at our window or something."

We headed over to the window and there were six guys standing there. I didn't recognize any of them. They stood there staring at up us and we stared back down at them.

"You have the wrong room, don't you?" I asked.

They all gave vague indications of assent. Then one of them said, "Do you want some black licorice?" That's what they'd been throwing at our window.

"No thanks."

They walked away and we shut our window, looked at each other, and cracked up.

There are just some classic scenes that seem to linger in our cultural and romantic imaginations. Often they become cliches.

Ah, college. We have our own set of cliches.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Failures of Numerous Kinds and Snobbery

I have skin peeling off the ends of my fingers. Little, white, dead cells clinging in interesting formations where the tips meet my nails. I keep forgetting to buy lotion.

I'm not very good at this living on my own thing yet.

Like Friday night, when I decided it was time to do laundry. It was the mounding bag of dirty clothes and the empty hangers in my closet that gave it away. So I grabbed the bag (i felt like santa, which is an unusual sensation for me), grabbed the laundry thing I spent six bucks on earlier in the week, grabbed my keys and walked out the door.

It wasn't until I got to the laundromat that I realized that my laundry stuff wasn't actually soap, like I'd thought, but softener. Which, according to my roommate, who I called after I couldn't get a hold of my mom, is not the same thing.

So I took all the clothes out of the washer, reloaded them into my santa bag, and walked back to my apartment to borrow some actual soap. Two hours and $3.50 later I'd walked back to my apartment for the fifth time and had decided that laundry was evil and I wasn't ever going to do it again.

...Some days I feel not very smart.

The thing about dorms is that they're full of people who are not so smart in the exact same way I am. This is a freshman dorm, which means that most of us have never lived away from home for any extended period of time... which makes things interesting. I was just talking to a guy who almost burned down his apartment two times this week. Once this was caused by an unnoticed sticker at the bottom of a frying pan, the other time smoke just started pouring out of his oven, and he had no clue why.

My roommate from last term was met with some feeling of anxiety when she announced to our apartment that she intended to make cheesecake for her friends party, mostly because we'd seen her cook before. I asked her where she got her recipe and she said, "Oh, I don't use recipes, because things always turn out bad when I do. Maybe 'cause I never follow them." I sat there and watched her pour in various mixes, including cheesecake and lemon bars, with healthy doses of whatever else was in the cupboards. It ended up tasting OK, though nothing like cheesecake and she took it to the party (at my other roommates suggestion) calling it German Cheesecake.

Honestly, though, I'm just impressed that any of us are cooking at all.

I'm stuck in a round of the same foods over and over again. My diet thus far has mainly been composed of eggs. Salads. Pasta. Fruit. Sandwiches. Cereal. And much popcorn. I had a break down a few weeks back and my mom looked at me via skype and said, "You need broccoli and you need meat. Go." Variety, apparently, is not my strong point. Also, protein.

I am making bread though, if that garners me any extra culinary points. And so far I have not burned down my apartment or accidentally made German Cheesecake. Though actually, accidentally making cheesecake of any sort seems like it could be indicative of culinary genius, if only it hadn't involved mixes.

Does it make me a food snob that I sort of look down my nose at mixes? And what are the chances of me living through college and preserving that snobbery?