Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And now I'm blogging...

At the rooftop pool of the Sheraton in Old San Juan. Photos of our view.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Long posts don't deserve sexy titles

Well. I have two papers, one project, and an exam left in my undergraduate career. No classes. That's the weirdest feeling of all.

Last weekend I didn't post because I locked myself in my house all weekend (and off of the internet) so that I could finish writing my thesis. I finished it after 4 solid days of revisions (it's 37 pages long right now, the longest, most detailed and thought-out thing I have ever written). I emailed it to my research mentor after months of her pushing me and me failing to respond like a mature, reasonable individual. I just couldn't send it out until I felt better about it, but it took me months to feel ok with it.

I think she liked it. Anyway, I've had such a good past week because I've finished. On Monday I finished my play. On Tuesday I had a day full of classes, but I applied for 4 jobs during my 2.5 hour-long lecture that afternoon, and I got my final papers back for Women's Studies and the absolutely lousy one that I was sure I would get an F on was only a BC. And that is something I can work with.

Tuesdays are really long, from 8 am until 7 pm, usually. This one was no exception, but I was also crashing violently from pushing myself so hard the weekend before and not getting enough sleep (I'm getting old, I can't pull all-nighters like I used to). So, by the time 6:45 rolled around, I was feeling seriously shitty. But I went to the Union, bought some pain-killers to combat the building migraine, and ran up four flights of stairs to the Chancellor's Undergraduate Academic Awards Ceremony. You see, I was selected as the 2009 graduating woman to receive the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Herfurth-Kubly award. It was a phenomenally competitive and difficult process, and I'm super honored to have won. But honestly (and I am a more competitive person than I would like), after meeting all the other candidates I can honestly say that I was not really concerned about whether or not I would win. Because all the other people in that room were so phenomenal, it was an honor just to be amongst their company.

So anyway, I won, and a friend of mine, Rachel 3, won runner-up, and I had gotten to know the guys that won first place and runner-up (David and John). And I was feeling sort of sad and lonely, being that my two guests didn't show up because they were busy or had emergencies, and that my one in-town family member was studying. And then they made us stand in line to receive our awards, after the several hundred Hilldale and Bookstore scholarship winners. Which means I was in line with my fellow Herfurth-Kubly scholars for a long time, and we got a little goofy, and I wasn't lonely anymore. We managed to get our shit together in time to not make total fools out of ourselves. And at the reception I wasn't with family so I got to chat with Julie and Michael for quite a while about details of their lives. They're very interesting people.

That evening I got a cup of espresso, and sat at ER's out-door patio, sipping espresso and talking on the phone to lots of people that I care for. First my sister, then my other sister, then the Kathy, then Jan, then Erica, then one of the sisters again, then Annie, then Clare, then Julie, then Kelly. Finally, I finished my tiny cup of espresso and went to the Pub for our typical Tuesday night free-foosball extravaganza. If I didn't mention it before, my housemates and I typically go out and drink cheap beer, eat free popcorn, play free foosball, and generally act all divey at this dive bar near our house. It's tons of fun. This time I was chatting with Rachel 3 and I asked her to tell me something I didn't know about her. She told me about her mother's dog, and then Jamie told about the scar he got from his STI test, and then I told a story, and then Kelly and Kevin and Julie and Clare and Don and Ari and Kathleen all joined in and all of us Phoenicians were going around in a circle telling stories or information that we'd never shared with one another before. It might have been the funnest thing I've done in a long, long time. I laughed so hard at Clare's pooping story (although I'd heard it before), and Jamie's incredibly-drunk-hospital-visit story, and I almost cried at Julie's shoe-tying story. It was just so humanizing, to learn all of these things about my housemates, some of whom (like Donald and Kevin), I've lived with for 4 years. That's a long time, yo. It eventually broke up, and we went home, but I will never forget gathering around that tiny table and laughing and laughing as Jamie re-enacted threatening the nurse with the catheter. If I had had a camera I would have already scrapped a picture of it.

Then, on Wednesday I also had a long day. I ran errands and then went to the Social Justice Center Board meeting, where, for the first time in the 3 years I have been on the Board I really felt like an integral member. I said things, folks listened to me, we communicated, work got done, I hinted that I needed a summer job, and left the meeting with some farewells and other kind words. It was sort of surreal. Then I met Kristen and we ordered our plane tickets for the conference in Puerto Rico (hooray! I leave a week from tomorrow!). We got a parking ticket by TWO minutes and I went to work. But there was only work to be avoided, not necessarily completed, so I went to pick up our supplies from A Woman's Touch, and me and a co-worker ended up doing some shopping and hanging out there for a few hours. We ran back for an interview in the afternoon, and then I ran to the Lowell Center (found great, free, street parking...hooray), and went to the McNair graduation ceremony. The twin was there (yeah!) and my mentor showed up. It was the first time I had talked to her in a long time (see above about my thesis), but it ended up working out ok. We talked about the play for a while and then suddenly the ceremony started and there really wasn't time to talk anymore. I gave a 5 minute speech thanking folks (it was supposed to be one minute...whoops, I like to talk). In fact, if you are reading this blog near the publication date, I am sure I thanked you by name in my speech (small world!). And we took some pictures and I got my fancy stole and hugged some other great scholars goodbye, and Pao made us all cry.

Then I had to run to a Board meeting. I always love Board meetings because I am a giant dork like that I got to facilitate an item, and I presented one of my items and removed the other because people didn't want to talk about it. Then I ran home, half-assed my art portfolio, and helped Clare with her last math exam ever. It was fun, because I am also a giant dork about math. There was drawing and painting involved. Too much drawing and painting. The next day was class, then work and then sad and nostalgic sandwiches with Lia and Adam. And I tried to finish up some drawings but fell asleep instead, and Mary and Michael (charming, geeky Michael) woke me up. Awkwardness ensued. Working ensued. Me turning in my portfolio and making new friends in my last class ever ensued. Me not knowing what to do and going to bed early ensued. Sleeping a lot ensued. The next day, sending in reimbursements and meeting with Maya and ordering a hotel for Puerto Rico ensued. Running errands ensued.

That evening (we are on Friday now, are you people keeping up?) we tried to grill out on my porch, but we couldn't get the grill lit (for shame). So we ended up cooking the brats in a pan on the stove and then bringing them outside to eat on the porch (relative success! although the next day they got the grill to work...). Later [Editor's note: there was emo-drama-ness here but I deleted it for your benefit. No one really wants to hear that.]

The next day, I had brunch with the twin and we finalized our plans for Puerto Rico (we are intentionally hosteling it for the first time in my life! But we've got a rental car, so who cares?) Then I went to the Bubble Extravaganza, during which I and friends and strangers and that tall, stunning gentleman from the last post blew a lot of bubbles at passersby on Library Mall. It was incredibly fun. Way more fun than I could possibly adequately describe on the blog. It was relaxing, and therapeutic, and silly, and hilarious, and competitive, and cheering, and graceful, and bubble-riffic.

And then the tall, stunning gent from the last post and I went out for coffee. In a pre-planned manner. But Jeff accidentally got invited along, which was a bit awkward, but beautiful and silly. But once Jeff left and the tall, stunning gent from the last post took me to meet some mutual friends, I think it was overall good. I said something dumb. But he still dropped me off, parked the car, turned it off, got out, and hugged me goodbye. And if I could just get over this silly ridiculous reaction I have that makes me act incredibly stupid sometimes, I know I would be charming the pants right back off of him. He wants to see me again.

And THEN (yes, there is more, two more "and thens" to be precise it has been a busy week) I went to this great bar I'd never been to before with Isaac and Natalia. I met their friends Eilee and Matt and we had a screaming good time. Two hours of spontaneous hilarity and when I leaned over to tell Natalia and Isaac that I liked their friends, they informed me that their friends had already announced their plans to kidnap me to Chicago. They were funny; I mean I totally would have not kicked too hard when being forced into the unmarked van. And then, suddenly they all had to go. I had planned my own return transportation and their Community Car was running out of time, so they left and we promised to facebook each other and I hugged these people who mere hours ago had been strangers.

It was surreal. On my return home Julie called me and invited me to the Women's Music Festival, which I had been avoiding like the swine flu. But because I am a sucker for Julie's tiny little bear sound ("mar!") I said yes, and I ended up having a great time. We saw some folks and some other folks, and Magdalene Su-Li, and Rocktapussy, which is a group that sounds like I would hate them, but instead they DJed a mean spontaneous dance party. And I danced for the last 2 hours. At the Rath Skellar at UW's Memorial Union. Of all places to dance-party it up at towards the end of my time here, I can't believe I went dancing at the Union, but I did and it was fun.

And then (last one), when I came home, my snake Mitch was gone again. And this time my cat wouldn't even go looking for him. So I reasoned that the warmest, darkest place he could be hiding in my spring-chilly room was behind the refrigerator. So I unplugged the fridge and instead plugged in and booted up my sister's laptop instead; when it's on and plugged in it gets really warm, and I didn't want to stick my hand inside an electronic. I tried to sleep, and dreamt of snakes (snakes!) and kept waking up to see if he'd moved. Finally, this morning my cat wakes up from a dead slumber and goes bolting across the room to peer behind the couch. I jump out of bed and follow him, and what do you know, Mitch is transferring from the fridge to underneath my computer. Joyous reunions abound.

And that. Is it. For real.