Home, Let Me Go Home

September 27, 2013

Cheesy lyrics galore are allowed because this weekend is Hillsdale Homecoming. 

I remember when I was in college I hated Homecoming. I can't believe how many times I would protest "but there's nothing for us, it's all about the alums." Well no shit, Sherlock. That's what I would say to my 18-year-old self now. No shit. I didn't understand the appeal of Homecoming until I actually was an alum (also a "no shit" concept). 

I become more and more grateful for my four years there every day, and can't wait to head back for some bonfires, tenet parties, brunches and football games with my lovely friends! 

Is homecoming a big deal at your alma mater?
How often do you go back? 

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On Dopplegangers

September 26, 2013

My graduate school occasionally has these mix-y, mingle-y type events for graduate students. You know, the awkward kind at walkable-distance bars where people don't know each other well enough to really drink together, and the food is far too messy (but too good not to) eat in front of people you don't know. 

I sat next to this real cute girl and she was so sweet and bubbly and social. Turns out we had a class together. So I turn to her and I'm like OH MY GOSH, I know who your doppleganger is. You look EXACTLY like each other. And I proceed to tell her all about how she looks just like that annoying girl who talks too much in class. And she goes who? Oh, you know. The one who sits like right up front. Against the wall. She kind of squirms and goes, "yeah, I think I know who you mean. I guess we do look alike." 

So I walk into class this week with a little extra pep in my step, excited that there's someone I actually know and like in class to talk to--yay balls! 

And then she sits down. 

In the front row. 

Against the wall. 

And that my friends, is how I spent my first graduate school socializer talking to a girl about how annoying her doppleganger was...but there was no doppleganger. It was just her. 

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The Fault In...Me?

September 24, 2013

I've been watching The Fault In Our Stars blow up the book charts for the past few months, like most of America. I've read the countless comments from bloggers about bawling their eyes out etc etc. So I had high expectations. And with it being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I figured now would be the perfect time to read it.

And guys...

...I don't like it. 
(And this makes me feel guilty)

I'm about 2/3 of the way through it, and so far it just reminds me of Romeo and Juliet, plus cancer. It strongly smells of high school old man teachers and sanitary cleaning solutions--I can so clearly see my children having to read this in high school and write five-paragraph essays in Number 2 pencils (because my children will still have to use a notebook, damn it) and answer questions about "What is a legacy?"; "What will be your legacy?"; "What would be your wish?"; "What is the symbolic role of cancer and Augustus' missing leg?"; "What is the role of human connection in life?" Which are all valid questions--they're just so staged. 

I also got to the part where they...you know...and all I could picture was Shailene Woodley having sex with a bunch of tubes coming out of her chest and it was really, really disturbing.

Have you read Fault in our Stars? What did you think?
Do you think going in with high expectations ruins books movies (or life)?

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Resurrecting the Routine

September 23, 2013

Blogtember prompt(s): Describe a moment you'd like to relive and react to "Comfort"

Lately, I've found myself missing St. Louis a lot more than I expected. One of those misses where you just want to throw your hands in the air like SJP in The Family Stone and in pure overwhelmed exasperation scream "I didn't know!" I didn't know I would miss you, Lou. I didn't know I would miss your drinking problem. Your baseball problem. Your "no one remembers us and we don't know if we're part of the North of part of the South" problem. Your sweaty humidity problem. I didn't know! 

So while I was driving one day I decided to put the Pinterest quote into action. You miss who you were at that exact moment in time, and knowing it will never be the same. So I thought really hard about what type of person I was in STL. Which I guess is a blog post for another day. But the point being...I realized that I missed the routines. Don't you love a good routine? You settle into them like a comfy blanket and they make a certain place...a certain place. So this weekend, I tried to recreate some of the routines I missed the most from STL--the realistic ones, since I couldn't ship all my loved ones to me. 

So this weekend I:

*Took the entire night off, as if I had a real 8-5 job and not an ambiguous "homework allll the time" job. When I got off of work at 5, I was off. I worked out. Took a walk. And cooked my om-nom-nom-nomiest dinner with copious glasses of wine. And by copious I mean...is there any left?

*Slept in.

*When I did manage to roll out of bed, I made coffee and took it nice and slow while reading my blog roll. Once upon a time, I only read blogs on Saturday mornings with a big cup of coffee. 

*Made cookies at 10:30 pm just because they sounded good.

*Engaged in hours of Netflix watching. 
House of Cards...why have we not met before? 
And why must it be so long until we meet again?

*Took my time working out. 
The slow kind where your muscles actually get warmed up and
the endorphins start flowing during the workout to give you extra energy. 

And that's it. Forgive the lack of pictures. But laying horizontal in a pile of cookie crumbs is more akin to fetish pornography than blogging. Xoxo. 

How was your weekend? 
Do you have a favorite daily or weekly routine you look forward to?

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Life of Late: Thursday Eight

September 19, 2013

1. Remember that post about "it's all how you phrase it"? While this photo looks adorable, here is what you're not seeing: the massive explosion of allergies thanks to that harmless looking kitten in the bottom right corner; my sister mocking me through the screen door that's behind me. Also, I was wearing the most adorable fall outfit only to step outside and have it be 80 degrees. Thanks, Michigan.

2. Turned in my first two papers of grad school yesterday. What what. I just want to sleep all day now...but I have more papers. 

3. Training for my new job is Saturday. This girl gonna be a waitress. 

4. It is raining while I type and that is really just perfection. 

5. Can we all just remember how New Girl's Nick Miller went from zero to sexual desire of half of America in approximately two weeks? Remember when he use to wear a lot of dirty flannel and not shower? And then suddenly it was like....scruff and pure sex appeal. The boy from next door gives three hip hip hoorays for Jack Johnson. 

6. Eight things is a lot more than I originally thought. 

7. Last night the marching band decided to practice outside of our classroom window. At first, I was super convinced it was a train (we couldn't see them, just hear them seven stories up). So breakfast-lover turns to me somewhere around their third song and goes "Huh, pretty long train." We got a sass bucket, ladies and gents (actually I don't think any gents read this). 

8. This. My graduate school made national news yesterday after student protest for removing a wrecking ball statue after some kids decide to do naked parodies of Miley Cyrus' wrecking ball music video. There was even a rally last night, with #reinstalltheball blowing up my twitter. So, there you go. 

What's up with your life of late?
Should they reinstall the ball?
Or do students need to be protected from seeing other students swinging naked? 

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Scariest Movies of All Time

September 17, 2013

The thing about horror films is that the closer they are to actually being able to happen in real life, the scarier they are. If that's the case, then I propose the following potential plots as the scariest horror movies of all time. (All agents, feel free to contact me. Will sell for moderate financial sum and your first born child. Kidding. I don't want a kid.)

1. TomTom goes KillKill

She was just following directions.

At first you think your GPS is just messing up again, like always. You keep following it's directions, all the while muttering swear words under your breath. But still, you keep driving. TomTom directs you to a remote corner of town. You keep driving. TomTom tells you to go the opposite direction. You keep driving. Soon, the TomTom screen goes green and shows that you are now not even on a real road, you're just driving through grass. You keep driving, your car bumping along. But now you really are in a field. Lost and alone. And then TomTom goes KillKill and someone attacks you. 
2. SnapChat Serial Killer

One snap from death...

You receive a terrifying SnapChat of your friend's bloody face. The killer/kidnapper continues to send you SnapChats of clues as to where you can find your friend. You try to take a screenshot so you can take the clue to the police, but the SnapChatter kills off a family member in warning. For every screenshot, one life will be lost. You wildly follow the clues. Worse yet, you can't trust anyone around you because by the very nature of SnapChat, this means that the kidnapper/killer is someone you know and who already had your number. 
3. The Twin from Beyond

What would you write, if you'd never had the chance before?

A friend recently told me that leading scientific theory is that every left-handed person at one point had a twin who they killed in the womb. I literally cannot look at left handed people anymore without fear. Do they know they kill someone? In this horror film, a left handed person would be taken over by the right handed twin they killed in the womb. The right handed twin would take over their right hand and leave scribbled, fearful messages. 
What do you think? Scary enough?
Which one do you think I should sell first?

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Lost Miss America Talents

September 16, 2013

If a Miss America competitor did any of the following for her talent round, I would cheer. Opera singing? Come on. You don't really do that. You dust that vocal chord off once a year or so. What about trying your hand at:

Stand up comedy

Singing on key

Shotgunning a beer

Coupon clipping



Speed gift wrapping

Carrying all your groceries from car to counter in just one trip


Hair braiding

What would you want to see as a talent?
Or, what would your talent be? 

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Where It All Began...Part 2

September 13, 2013

Blogtember prompt: Describe a day where your life took a turn.

Let's set the stage. I obviously look ready for a life-changing moment.

Once upon a time, I was a little sophomore walking through the halls of my brand new high school. One girl out of 6,000 students. A teacher who I had never seen before called out to me. And not just called. Physically touched my shoulder and pulled me out of the stream of 6,000 students rushing to class.

"Hey! Yeah, you. Did you vote for Youth Initiative yet?"

And as always when strangers abruptly touch me, I stopped. 
And engaged in a long conversation. 

I told him I didn't know what Youth Initiative was, and he told me it was the student philanthropy club. 
They did all kinds of amazing service projects like food drives and MDA cash drives and everything. 
That day, they were having elections for club officers. 

And for some reason, that I will never know, he looked at me and said 
"You know, we still have one open office. Why don't you put your name down?"

So I did. 

And that day, I became secretary of a club that 24 hours earlier I had known nothing about. 

And that was the day my life changed. 

I fell in love with philanthropy from that moment on. With the buzz of it. With the community of it. With the multi-function hats of it. With the constant change of it. With the way God made Himself so wonderfully apparent in the works of the students to bring so much good to our community. With the writing of it. With the volunteer tracking of it. With the planning of it. 

Oh hey, sophomore year.

And now...eight years later...I am still in love with philanthropy, still studying it, still pursuing it. 

Every day, I feel insanely blessed that out of 6,000 students his hand found my shoulder and pulled me in. That out of 6,000 students, he told me to write my name down. And out of 6,000 students, one found their greatest passion that day. 

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Breakfast Alternative, Where Art Thou?

September 12, 2013

I hate breakfast food. 

There. I said it. The secret is out. I hate it. Pancakes, waffles, sunny side eggs...disgusting. All of it. 

What really grinds my gears the most about breakfast food is this: Who decided that certain foods should only be eaten in the morning? Who decided which foods would qualify for this? And if breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, why are most breakfast foods sugar-based? Why do some people think brinner is the best thing since sliced bread? And why is sliced bread our comparison for greatness?

I get really, really irrationally worked up about this. I remember getting my Big Sister for my sorority and filling out my "Get To Know Me" sheet. For "Favorite Breakfast Food" I wrote in large capitals with lots of underlines I HATE ALL BREAKFAST FOOD. Turns out our family tradition was monthly breakfasts at a diner. Womp womp. 

Sometimes, being a breakfast-hater is a lonely thing. Sometimes, people hold unnecessary grudges against breakfast-haters. For example...

During our first week of class, we had to write an interesting fact about ourselves to give to our professor. The boy next to me and I were struggling. I don't really keep a list of interesting facts about me tucked away, no matter how many times I've played two truths and lie or gone through a sorority recruitment event. So eventually, I wrote "I hate all breakfast food." 

He literally, physically recoiled. He recoiled from my interesting fact. 

So here we are. Three weeks later. Two hours into our three hour class. And we're chatting a little bit about our other mutual class and paper topics and I said something about being done with an assignment he hadn't started and I hear "well at least I like breakfast food."

I'm sorry. What? It has been THREE WEEKS. Can we get past this please? 

And then he proceeded to name every single breakfast option and ask me. No. No. No. Finally, I give in. 

Well, I do like corn beef hash, I say. 

"Of all the breakfast foods, and that's the one you like?"

The end. 

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Hop and Skip!

September 11, 2013

Hop and Skip right over to Jade and Oak where I am guest posting for the day! 
(Please and thank you)

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Habits of a Formerly Studious Person

September 10, 2013

With the return to grad school has brought the return to libraries. The library at my school is...interesting. It only has one "reading room," while the majority of the books are stored in these scary looking plastic crates behind a wall with a big robot arm that I imagine having a Wall-E voice who fetches them for you. 
The library also has some serious....echo issues. Which, you know, is awesome in a campus full of students who are sure to never have colds or trail mix. Or wear flip flops. 

Also, strangers will just sit down at your table. Now you all know that I am a fan of strangers...but strangers who take over your quiet library table and then start talking? No. Get out of town. 
But even more terrifying than the echoing and the table-stealing strangers...my complete and utter lack of attention span. I've only been out of school for a year, and it is seriously gone. I do not know how people can go back to school after years away--if you have gone back to school after years away--TEACH ME YOUR WAYS. 

Here are things that used to motivate me:

This study technique was called "champing." It required hoods. Because you focus better when your hood is up. It required intense focus because after a set time of hood-up champing, you got to have unlimited time of Gossip Girl/ABC Family/Blockbuster (yes, my college town was so small and old we still had a Blockbuster).

We found matching scarves at WalMart and thought that they would make us concentrate more. 
Our study technique was copious amounts of coffee, french fries and focus...followed by Paris Hilton's BFF marathons. 

What are your favorite tips and tricks to help you focus?

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Blogtember: Personality Test

September 9, 2013

Short and sweet post today. As part of Jenni's Blogtember challenge, I took the Jung typology test. My results were ESJF, and here is a short summary of their analysis:

Extrovert Sensitive Judging Feeling
  • Guardians of birthdays, holidays and traditions. I laughed at this one. I am always complaining every time a holiday tradition changes. I am also a sorority girl and a core reason why I enjoy Catholicism is the heavy presence of tradition. 
  • Enjoy being in charge. Yep.
  • Easily wounded. Wear their hearts on their sleeves. Not a surprise. I wrote about my extreme guilt complex a few weeks ago. I wish I was better at letting go of things.
Have you taken the Jung typology test?
What do you think of personality analysis--spot on or worthless generalization?

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Thief is the Comparison of Joy...or Something Like That

September 5, 2013

Comparison. In a world filled with instant access through social media, we are constantly comparing our lives. Are we having as much fun as that person? God, that lo-fi makes her food look so much better than our own dinner. Are our outfits just as put together as that fashion blogger? Her hair is so big because it's filled with secrets...secrets about how to be beautiful and casual and chic in a way that bring all the boys to the yard. 

People spend so much time stressing out by comparing themselves to others. Trust me, I did it the whole first week of grad school. Every time we had to do classroom introductions my palms would sweat and the only thing I was confident of was that I was not as smart, cool or successful as the people around me. And then I remembered something:

It's all how you phrase it. 

Anyone who has written a basic resume knows this. You learned to implement best practices in customer service while delegating tasks and balancing projects? Bullshit. You answered a phone and made sure one pizza didn't burn while putting cheese on the other one. 

I get a lot of crap for being bluntly honest here on the blog, and in real life. I also get a lot of sympathy nods and condolences over my "bad luck in love." Again, it's all in how I choose to phrase it. Let's look at an example. I will write it all out the way I would say it, and then cross off the parts that normal people would leave out. 

On Grad School:
I just got done working at a nonprofit job I hated for a year in St. Louis, and have moved back to Grand Rapids to start graduate school while working at a nonprofit child development center, or a fancy word for daycare. Grand Valley was my only top choice for grad school because my ex left me high and dry with no plans after convincing me it would be better to wait to apply to other programs once I got my engagement ring and figured out where we were going to live. Grand Valley was the only school that didn't require the GRE, so I still sent in that application while apartment searching with my boyfriend. Who then faked depression to avoid telling me he was cheating on me. 

See the difference? I went from sounding like a raving, spastic lunatic to someone who thoughtfully and purposefully chose this stage of my life. 

On Love:
I went on a date last night, but holy shit was he batshit crazy. 
He put ketchup on his palm and licked it off. 

Well la di da, just look at me going on all the dates. 

I'm not encouraging you to lie about your life. But in today's culture, I think there's this predominant feeling that you have to share everything about your life...even though we all know that we're only sharing the Instagram-acceptable. There are few people you owe the whole truth to. No one needs to know that Grand Valley was my only option. I can choose to tell them that. Since I am an extrovert who is confident that my jumble of a life will work out, I choose to tell more people the messy details than I think the average human would. 

I guess what I'm saying, is that you're having a day where you're lacking a little confidence, feeling a smudge underdone and like your bra strap just ain't workin' for you that day...live on the normal side. Filter your sentences. Pretend you're at the job interview of life, because in interviews you always sell yourself as nothing but the best. And then when you're done filtering your sentences and putting your best face forward, tell me if you found what I found. That life done like that is boring. And a little bit exhausting. That it's more rewarding and freeing to be confident enough in yourself to spill those extra little messy details. Because you know everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay...it's not the end. 

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Things White Girls Love

September 4, 2013

1. Season changes. 

2. Boys in tight pants. 
Football pants. Country musicians. 

3. "Reconnecting" with an old friend. 

4. Anything with the word "multi" in it.
Multipack, multidevice chargers. 

5. Time saving devices. 

6. Time wasting devices. 

7. Odd-numbered lists. 
Stick it to the man!

8. Even-numbered lists. 

9. Witty lists. 

10. "Token" friends. 
Anyone who isn't as Protestant Caucasian as you are. 

11. Veterans. 
Old, cute ones. Young, hot ones. 

12. Carrie Underwood. 

13. Having "your" barista. 
You know, that one that upgrades you for free...

14. Excuses to have themed parties. 
First day of football season? Party. 
First day of NFL Primetime? Party. 
First day of Sunday Night Football? Party. 
First day of Monday Night Football? Party. 

15. Repurposing things. 
Bread bag tie? Guess again. This shit's gonna label my computer cord. 
Cake display tier? Not on my watch. These days, the only frosting in my life is jewelry. 

Alright kids, what am I forgetting?!?! 
What other things would you add to the list?

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Weekend Shennanigans: Showers and Strangers

September 2, 2013

Weekend by the numbers:
9+ strangers met
2 high school reunions on the streets of GR
1 walking taco inhaled consumed
Prayed over by 2 homeless people after giving them a dollar. 
0 strangers with a deck of cards found to satisfy my sister's craving for 1 euchre game
4 hours in the car
1 wedding shower
2 sleepover nights with my bestie

Weekend by the strangers:
1: Professional golfer
2: Has owned own landscaping business since he was 15. Stranger #1 used to drive him around to landscaping jobs before he got his licence. 
3: Big teddy bear. Prays for man he met on mission trip to South Dakota every night. 
Also has said man's name tattooed on his arm. 
4: Lives in the hood. Likes Red Lobster. 
5: Lives in the hood. Has fancy Sean Paul shirt for nights out. 
(*Together, #4 and #5 taught me that "hood" is considered of a higher social stratosphere 
than "ghetto." #themoreyouknow)
6: Nigerian engineer, convinced me he was a "good boy" 
by reciting Hail Mary's in the parking garage.
7: High school friend, still a drummer.
8: High school friend, still a football player, still hot. 
9: Argued about West Michigan economics.

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