Life, love, SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure, Smile, Thoughts

Be a Baby, Not a Rock.

Good morning sunshine!  It’s a stunning day today,  should get well into the 70’s and I’m wearing my hair curly like I said I would!  I like it.  I got a lot of sleep last night, and I actually woke up 30 minutes before my alarm went off so I layed in bed and read and silently noted how soft my skin is.

And I love breakfast… I have miso soup for breakfast every morning, how cute is that?  Miso and yogurt and fruit, just like in Japan.  I believe you knew this already…  I’m going to tell you my bionic-woman morning routine:

I wake up and eat my favorite breakfast, I check the news, the e-mail, then I ride my bike for at least 15 minutes to wake up and get my metabolism going. I like to watch TV with the volume down and listen to music while I do crunchies and stretches and weights, then I bolt upstairs and get myself ready right-quick since mommy doesn’t drag me out the door anymore and I hate to make others late.  It funny how much you can love to do something when no one makes you do it (*ahem: school)

Yesterday I got a conference-call from my sisters after they read my last blog post and it made me cry!  I tried not to, but then I just thought “what the heck” and they sat on the other end giggling with satisfaction.  It always surprises me when I cry– it doesn’t happen very often.  I have a funny childhood memory of a friend who was older than me, at the time she must have been about 10 or so.  We were at a dinner party for mostly adults, and I remember admiring her as she walked around acting so mature, schmoozing with the grown-ups, telling everyone how she doesn’t cry anymore.  After that, for much of my childhood, I thought you became a grown-up when you stopped crying.  I guess we’re all babies, except maybe for the type from the song I am a Rock by Simon & Garfunkel.  You know the one:

A winters day/In a deep and dark December; I am alone, Gazing from my window to the streets below On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. I am a rock, I am an island.
Ive built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, That none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock, I am an island.
I have my books  And my poetry to protect me;  I am shielded in my armor,  Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.  I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock, I am an island.
And a rock feels no pain;  And an island never cries.

 That song is great to walk to, coincidentally.  The beat is perfect for a sunny day.

Tonight I’m seeing Into The Wild, which will probably make me want to go backpacking or something.  And did I mention that my feature story is probably going to be published in the school paper?  My teacher loved it!  So very, very cool…

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Change, Growth, Life, love, Thoughts

Bumble Bees, Whales & Double The Fun

My mouth is still watering after my sociology class… that’s how much I love it.  I feel like I could sit in there and listen to him speak for hours.  Today was especially amazing: I discovered that the way that I think and whatI think align with the Theory of Indexical Particularity, which is a fancy way of saying that all things rely on context.  I’m beginning to get really interested in Garfinkle and Ethnomethodology and I’m just so excited…God I love to learn…

I have to come up with a topic for a research paper and a topic for a speech and I think I’m going to end up writing about bumble bees and whales. More on that to come.

I’ve worked out a perfect ride situation, as of today.  I have a ride to school everyday, as well as a ride home 3 days out of the week.  But never again will I go to school 5 days a week. And I’m stoked on my new friend from my sociology class!

If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I must admit that I miss my sisters to much it makes  me want to cry!  It aches.  I want to hang out with them so badly.  I just want to drive to the city with them and make goofy jokes and bicker and laugh until our heads fall off and wrestle and cuddle and hang out…  I have this really intense longing for them and it’s kind of taken me by surprise.  I don’t think I’ve ever missed anyone or anything so much in my life.  The phone doesn’t satisfy me; I hate talking on the phone.  I need to see eyes and have touch and physical interaction.  When is that going to happen?  The end of March is my birthday, and it’ll be the first birthday away from my sister and its going to be really hard for me.  In my mind, it just doesn’t make sense that most people don’t share a birthday with anyone.  To me, logically, birthdays are meant to be shared.  Not having my sister there is going to me really tough, and few can sympathize.  So I’m just throwing that out there.

I feel nervous now.  Anyways, I’ve decided to start wearing my hair wavy more often because I’m so friggen sick of my boring old hair.  I have the same hair cut in pictures of me as a kid and its a little pathetic!

I have to go read before my 11:30, hope you enjoyed my short ramblings in between classes. Love ya.

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love, SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure

I Want To Hold Your Hand

It’s dangerous to write about romance in a blog post. I realize this. And I’ve only done it but a few brief times in the past, so this act alone speaks for itself. I’m totally out of line posting this… getting ahead of myself and whatnot but it’s bubbling up inside of me and a writer has to write!
As a gender, or group or whatever you want to call it… boys are amazing. They are and always will remain somewhat of a mystery to me, and that’s why i love them so much. Their charm and complexities fascinate me! I get so carried away, all the while looking like some sort of confused girl somewhere in the midst of being a tease and a hopeless romantic. There’s a term my friends use called an “Erika-crush”. Its when I fall for the idea of a certain boy, or the desire to get to know him and as quickly as it came, it goes away. Then I’m left with this web of excitement that I’ve spun for nothing.
The thing is, i have no idea what I’m looking for! If you note all the boys I’ve ever liked, none of them have a damn thing in common. I suppose if you asked me to spout off about my “dream” guy I could do it… but a glance at the list would make you laugh! I’ve often thought to myself that such a boy doesn’t exist. Alas, I really think this perfection has taken physical form.
I won’t blame anyone for not believing me when I write that this “Erika-crush” is different. I’m not even sure that it is… but the boy certainly is. He is. And because of that I really hope that the “Erika-crush” is different. I think that it is. So I’m going about it differently, slowly and calmly and if nothing comes of it then that perfectly okay because at least I know that this perfection exists.
The End

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Life, SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure

The Nature of an Erika

Today I’m wearing my bright blue Adidas that I bought in Japan. I love them.  I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not shy to wear them.  If I would have asked I’m sure anyone would have dissuaded me from sporting the loud kicks. But really, I didn’t ask for any ones opinion on the matter and I don’t think anyone feels offended by my decision since I look cute in them since the red stripe matches the red  cardigan I’m wearing.

Its raining!  Good thing I’m getting a ride with my neighbors or else more of my blog today might be devoted to this sorry situation of showers.

I think I’m PMSing right now, and you know how I know?  It pretty unique, and not at all the classic story.  I don’t get moody or hungry for chocolate… I become a blond.  I turn into this ditsy, bumbling, stumbling, forgetful chicken with its head cut off!  Last night I forgot my keys to my house and was locked out for 4 hours.  I overstayed my welcome at all the nearby businesses and eventually resorted to doing plyometrics in a miniskirt on a small patch of grass for warmth until my roommate saved me. Never a dull moment!  Good news is, now I’m great friends with the staff of Subway–thanks for the free sandwich, guys.

After this weekend, I’m a happy girl.  I feel spoiled by life, and mostly spoiled by my dad. Groceries, printer, phone, PIZZA! (for the first time since Japan, can you believe that?)  My phone is an amazing work of art! A beautiful masterpiece of technology.  It Verizon’s response to the iPhone… and because I’m never going to let go of it, my skill at returning calls, charging my phone, and staying connected to the world will greatly improve.   If you don’t already know, I’m probably the least attached a person can be to their cell phone.  And I’m known to go “missing” for days at a time, without leaving anyone a way to gain a hold of me… though, that is the nature of an Erika.

Right now I’m working on my very first feature story.  It’s very exciting, and I think it should be a decent story except for I tend to become too emotionally attached to adjectives.  It’s an intimate, unconditional love…I care deeply and endlessly for a great adjective, and the thought of parting with it can be hard to bare!  This can clutter a story… which is why I’m more of a writer than I am a reporter.  I can be both, but apparently thats being optimistic.  Usually a journalist is good at one or the other “they say”… pssshhh.  I’m damn good at both.

I just want to write about one last important idea. Honestly: I am the happiest that I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.  This is no stretch of the imagination, and I’m not exaggerating my feelings.  I’m wearing colors again, I’ve lost weight without thinking about it, I’ve stopped wearing as much makeup, I love the food that I eat, I take care of myself, hang out with great people, stay busy… and other than that I don’t know what else to say.  I just want to stay right where I am forever.  The thought that the best is yet to come is amazing… I can’t imagine life getting any better.

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SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure

Giggle! Giggle!

Right now I’m still in that giggly, half-drunken, half-asleep stupor that a night of sake-bombs and beer pong will leave you with. (I must admit that my after-party high is beginning to fade and I feel like I could go back to sleep soon!) But no, we’re going to hike up Bishops peak. By “we” I mean Leah, Tyler, and myself. They love it here and it makes me so happy! This town has a tendency to sell itself to people. First visit- I KNEW I wanted to live here… especially after the first time that I hiked Bishops peak. Now, my friends will experience the same thing: sitting there at the top soaking up the sun, the view and the clean air… still panting from the hike… and they’ll both want to live here.

Today will be a great day filled with friends, fun and groceries! And possibly a new phone :))

I wish I had a profound thought right now. I just walked away from this post to think of one and I couldn’t think of a single cute thing to say besides how much I love the color of the sweater that I ‘m wearing. And that i love my Beatles ring tone. And I’d also like to add that last night Tyler, Leah and myself spooned all night on a teenytiny fold out couch. The thought of that is making me giggle!

Sooo… have a sunny day… profound thoughts later.

No more prednisone 😦

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Life, Obama, politics, SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure

Damn I Look Good

First I’d just like to say… I look freakin’ HOT today. I do, so I’m just saying that– throwin’ it out there because I want it to be settled: I look really cute on Valentines Day.I want to talk about a few things right now. One of which has to do with love, and the next has to do with politics. So… I’m just going to be honest about Valentines Day. Even though I’m totally optimistic about the whole affair, I must admit that Feb. 14th has a tendency to make even the strongest of us singles feel lonely. It’s the nature of the day, and to deny it would be lying to ourselves. It’s OK though, because it remains that this day is not reserved for couples or lovers, but for everyone and anyone in our lives that we love. So for the solo flyer’s out there, our time for Valentines Day delight will come eventually. In the mean time, I love you. So without further adieu, lets eat chocolate.And, in the realm of politics, I’d like to point out that Barack and Michelle Obama are a power duo if there ever was one. I see them leading our nation as a couple with much more solidity and strength than Hillary and Bill have to offer. We all know the plight of BillHill (not to bring up a sore spot) but I just think the Obama family is amazing. Michelle deserves more credit, too. A quote from her Harvard Law professor:“Michelle was a student in my legal profession class in which I ask students how they would react to difficult ethical and professional challenges,” said the professor, David B. Wilkins. “Not surprisingly, many students shy away from putting themselves on the line in this way, preferring to hedge their bets or deploy technical arguments that seem to absolve them from the responsibilities of decision-making. Michelle had no need for such fig leaves. She always stated her position clearly and decisively.”

At almost six feet tall in heels, Mrs. Obama, 44, cuts an athletic and authoritative figure in her tailored pantsuits and skirts. A Harvard-educated lawyer who had been earning $212,000 a year as a hospital executive before she took leave on Jan. 1, she delivers rousing 40-minute speeches — surveying topics as far-ranging as the specific failings of the federal No Child Left Behind education act and problems with the military strategy in Iraq — without the aid of even a notecard.

A doting mother of two, Mrs. Obama has kept crowds waiting with telephone calls to her “little people” — daughters Sasha, 6, and Malia, 9.

Outspoken, strong-willed, funny, gutsy and sometimes sarcastic, Michelle Obama is playing a pivotal role in her husband’s campaign as it builds on a series of successes, including a sweep on Tuesday of contests in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Her personal style — forthright, comfortable in the trenches, and often more blunt than Mr. Obama — plays well with a broad swath of the electorate and has given the campaign a steelier edge while allowing Mr. Obama to stay largely above it all.

“I am trying to be as authentically me as I can be,” Mrs. Obama said in an interview. “My statements are coming from my experiences and my observations and my frustrations.”

MSN- Susan Saulny

This weekend my dad and my great friend Leah are coming to visit mee!! And perhaps Tyler and Reid, too. I’m very excited. Weekend plans include laying on the beach, hiking up Bishops, partying, grocery shopping, homework but most of all I plan on enjoying the company of my dad and my Leah :)) It’s a four day this weekend and I’m gunna make it count baby!

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Growth, SLO-Town & My Academic Adventure, Thoughts

The Goodness of Man, Cookies and Flirting

I feel dazed with a lesson that I just realized… maybe not “realized” but simply came to accept as a possible truth. I hope to shed more light on this matter as the semester continues, but allow me to explain.

I’ve always thought myself to be an eternal optimist. Really, I’ve always believed in the goodness of man, and I’ve always believed in myself. By that I mean I always try to do the right thing. I’ve always stuck up for the kid being bullied, said something when I didn’t feel something was right, spoken up when morally or ethically I sensed something was wrong… and in the case of my mental distress right now, I’m not questioning my own goodness as much as I am the goodness of humans.

In English we’re reading about and discussing this matter through the book “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Connor. Through her fictional short stories she challenge people like me (who think man is inherently good) by trying to prove that man is, in-fact, inherently bad. I realize her stories are made-up, but even so. The discussions in class have prompted my thoughts that maybe man isn’t ever to be fully, if at all, trusted (Note: when I say “man” I mean humans, collectively.)

So this morning in sociology we watched a documentary about the Stanford Prison Experiment in which a group of normal, healthy college males were randomly divided up and placed in specific roles in a mock prison setting. Eventually, all of these smart, good-natured boys totally lost sight of the fact that they were in an experiment. They forgot that they’re not actually a prison guard or a prisoner and each boy took on their role; the guards became extremely cruel and phycologically abusive, and the prisoners became hopeless and totally obedient. The experiment was meant to continue for 2 weeks but had to be stopped after 6 days because it got way to serious and the situation was much too intense for anyone involved. I could go on about the terrible details, about how no visitors reminded the group that it was an experiment. No one said anything about what they were doing may have, perhaps, been all too real.

So today I feel overwhelmed with this terrible thought: if prompted or forced to do so, humans turn into selfish, timid, lonely, pathetic beings. But are we inherently bad? Or can I still take comfort in the idea that our mental state depends directly on our present environment and the role that we take in that environment. If we keep these things positive, good may prevail. A few people slip through the cracks, and it’s usually not their fault. If you tell a child he or she is bad, they’ll believe it and in many cases, they’ll believe it their whole life. So maybe if every child is sweetly loved, the world will thrive in beauty? I just really don’t know.

If I can predict my resulting thought after contemplation on the matter it would be that I remain, forever, an optimist. That if all the world became a dog-eat-dog fight, and if evil prevailed, I would be the last one to stand up to speak my mind and shed positive light. Even if I didn’t succeed, I would have died being inherently good-natured and I would’ve proved that not all people are deeply, disguisingly bad.

Last night I cooked a big dinner for my roommates, the boys across-the-way, Eva and Ken. It was delicious: Teryaki chicken, veggie lasagne, salad, garlic bread and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I did it all single handedly, the cooking that is. Eva drove me to the store to pick up what I needed. But we’re going switch off dinner night and make a weekly tradition out of it. It was fun! And right now I’m totally loving my life.

On Flirting:

1. Flirting is good for you. Studies show that people who flirt have higher white blood-cell counts, which boost their immunity and keep them healthy.2. Think it ends at a little eye batting? Hardly—all told, scientists say there are 52 “flirting signals” used by humans. Of these, the hair flip is the most common.

3. In some places, flirting is illegal. In Little Rock, AR, an antiquated law is still on the books warning that engaging in playful banter may result in a 30-day jail term. In New York City, another outdated law mandates that men may be fined $25 for gazing lasciviously at a female; a second conviction stipulates the offender wear a pair of blinders whenever he goes out for a walk.

5. Flirting need not occur face to face. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of people who look for love online say they can easily flirt with someone via email or IM.6. In the Victorian era, fans were the ultimate playful prop that could communicate all sorts of messages. A fan placed near the heart meant, You have won my love. A half-opened fan pressed to the lips suggested, You may kiss me. Hiding the eyes behind an open fan meant, I love you, while opening and closing the fan several times warned, You are cruel. Given how much a fan could come in handy, it’s a shame they ever invented air conditioning.

7. These days, cell phones do the flirting. In one survey, half of all mobile phone users have texted suggestive messages to keep things interesting while away from their amour.

8. Watch out, you can overdo it. According to the Social Issues Research Centre, the most common mistake people make when flirting is maintaining too much eye contact.

9. Sometimes, flirty gestures aren’t what they seem. Research has shown that men tend to routinely mistake friendly behavior for flirting.

10. Flirting is universal. A woman living in New York City and one in rural Cambodia may not have much in common, but when it comes to attracting a little attention, they both employ the very same move: smiling, arching their eyebrows, then averting their gaze and giggling. Animals flirt, too: Birds, reptiles, and even fish have their own way of strutting their stuff. Moral of the story: If the simple sea bass can act cute to enhance a romantic agenda, you can, too—so give it a go!

By Laura Schaefer, MSN

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