Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Been thinkin' a lot today

I compartmentalize extremely well. I've never been one to burn things in effigy. Songs that remind me of someone who hurt me, things that such people gave me - I can detach the painful memories and enjoy those things for their inherent value. It's the same with the people in my life. I don't miss people very well. It's not that I don't care or that I'm not thinking about them; I'm just really good at mentally separating my school life from my home life.

It's probably not the healthiest way to live, but it works out pretty well for a back-and-forthish sort of life such as mine. But it's about to be a problem.

When your best-ish friend lives two houses down from you, you don't tend to make an effort to branch out. Constantly hanging out with Ben is convenient and environmentally friendly. And while we don't always understand each other, we really GET each other. Does that make any sense? The silences are never awkward. That's the best.

The problem is that he's going to Germany tomorrow for the rest of the summer. I know it's not technically true, but I feel like I'll have no more friends here once he's gone. I haven't seen anyone else in long times varying from months to years.

I'm going back to school soon enough, but I'll have similar problems there too. Most of the people I came in with have graduated. My favorite girl in the world is in Guam for at least three years. I'm afraid we're going to lose touch, mostly because I'm terrible at keeping in touch. As for the rest of my friends, I feel like I'm not an essential part of their lives. They like me and enjoy spending time with me when I'm around, but I'm easy to forget when I'm not there. Especially now that several of them have started dating each other. Nine times out of ten when I'm with another person and someone comes to talk to both of us, they mostly just focus on the other person. It's that one person out of ten that I live for. Lindsey was always one person out of ten.

I know it's hypocritical, but I tend to think of my real friends as the ones who actually make the effort to show that they think of me when I'm not there. I need to return the favor. I'm going to try to start making the effort around here. I lost my phone and therefore all of my numbers, so I'll have to hunt people down on Facebook. That being said, if anyone from the past is reading this and wants to catch up, just Facebook me or something. I'm looking at you, Coleman Wilson. You must be girls! Let's date! (lol@ancientnerdyreferences)

I'm really not as freaked about this as I seem. I'm just tired and can't stop musing. I'm perfectly fine with working, reading, and chilling with my family. My family is the one thing that's hard to compartmentalize. There are plenty of things that bug me about them, but they're always going to be in my life. And I know that one day we'll run out of time.

All in all, I'm probably not be anyone's favorite person in the world, but that's ok. I think I'm pretty kickass.

Edit: Just as I'm about to post this blog, I see that Lindsey has tagged me in a Facebook note. I love her. :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Year One - starring Jack Black, Michael Cera, and ME!!!

Guess. What. GUESS WHAT!!!!

I'm in a movie. A real, NOT-made-for-TV movie.

You know that movie Year One, the one with Jack Black and Michael Cera that just opened a few days ago? Yeah, I'm an extra in it. And you can see me in the movie! Squeeee!!!

I got this gig last spring when the casting directors came to my school's theatre department. They were holding auditions for "the new Jack Black movie." They had me read for the part of Lilith. Omg. The lines were SO awkward. So if you see the movie, pay attention when Jack's character is in Lilith's bed, and imagine me trying to say those lines. You'll rofl, I swear. Obviously, I didn't get the part because I have zero professional acting experience and mediocre acting skillz, but they did call me later and ask if I wanted to be an extra. It was during our spring break, so I said yes.

My parents and I (my brothers are both in Omaha at the College World Series) had a super-fun let's-go-watch-our-daughter-on-the-big-screen outing Saturday night. First we had dinner at P.F Chang's, although we had to wait an hour for our table. Apparently we missed the memo about them taking reservations now. I swear they didn't used to. The waitress was entirely too perky, and an old man told me I don't look old enough to be in college. I'm glad I look really young for my age if it means I'll still be pretty when I should look old and wrinkly, but at my current age it's inconvenient and opens me up to a lot of patronizing comments from strangers. "My sakes, you're 21?! Aw honey, you look like you should be learning to drive!" And YOU, ma'am, look like you should've stayed out of the sun when you were my age. But of course I'd never say it out loud. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the evening. Our incredibly long wait made us miss the showing we planned to go to, but there was another one in about half an hour. Instead of showing up early, we go home to pee. Then we go to the theater. It's full of annoying pre-teens. My mom NEVER would've let me see this movie when I was 12! Sheesh, parents of America! Anyway, the movie was funny, especially Michael Cera, but it was a little awkward to be watching with my parents. My part wasn't until the end, so they had to sit through almost the whole thing first. If they didn't see my face, boy was I gonna hear some complaining. But then....it's the major crowd fight scene. AND THERE I AM!!! AND THERE I AM AGAIN!!! AND AGAIN!!!!! There were even a few close-up shots where you could see my face. Granted, I was wearing a Biblical-style head covering, but you could so tell it was me. My parents, adorably embarrassing as usual, shouted, "THERE SHE IS!" I had to shush them.

So if you see Year One (and how could you not now??), look for me in Sodom when it starts raining. Jack Black is giving his inspirational speech and we're rejoicing. I'm wearing a tan robe thingy and a white head covering. And if you're not familiar with my face, umm....go look at one of my videos?

So yeah. That was so exciting, see my face on the big screen. Not the little screen of YouTube. My parents are still squeeing about it. "They should've at least given you a credit!" Lol, Dad. They don't credit extras.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Abnormal at Heart

I've been having weird feelings in my chest lately, kind of like a skipped heart beat, so this morning I went to the cardiologist. It wasn't too scary, really. I was more scared of potential outcomes. My 20-year-old friend Jennifer died suddenly earlier this year of an unknown heart condition. I figured my situation wouldn't be serious, but after what happened to Jennifer, I had to get it checked out.

After the usual paper work and obligatory stepping on the scale (apparently I lost a few pounds in Australia?), they brought me to a room and hooked me up to a bunch of EKG wires. Then they did an ultrasound on my boob to look at my heart. It was like an ultrasound you'd get if you were pregnant (icky goo and all), just....on my boob. Yeah.

I happen to have a little problem called I get really nauseous during any sort of medical procedure, and seeing my heart on the screen like that set it in motion. Then I had to run/walk on the treadmill, and I think I pushed myself too hard. I'm pretty out of shape, and I tried to go longer than I normally would. Multiply that by the fact that I didn't eat this morning (I wasn't supposed to eat for two hours before the appointment, which was at 9:45 - I didn't want to get up that early), and you can see why I started to get dizzy.

You know how people say that everything "went black" when they pass out? Well when I get dizzy, everything starts to go white. Hmm. They gave me some water and crackers and let me sit until I felt better.

Then I got to talk to the doctor. Actually, I think he was a physician's assistant; the real doctor was called out on an emergency. The guy I talked to was very nice and knowledgeable, though. After much discussion, he informed me that my situation is probably benign. My results from the treadmill test were perfect, so he concluded that my heart is healthy. He listened to my heart and figured out that I have something called Mitral Valve Prolapse (or "click murmur syndrome", which is hilarious). It just means that my heart valves don't close neatly and/or completely - they sort of flop together and make a clicking sound. It's usually not serious and doesn't increase my risk of any heart problems. He said my heartbeat thing might even go away now that I won't be stressed about it. He did recommend that I cut down on caffeine though. :-( Caffeine actually has no affect on me (I've heard that means I'm ADHD?), but it's a comforting placebo.

Then they took some of my blood. My arm still hurts from that. And I think we might have forgotten to pay. Oops. I'm sure they'll call us.

OMG I'm in the living room and my dad is snoring loudly in the chair and it's driving me CRAZY!!!!

Then tonight was members' night at the planetarium/arts and science museum where my mom works, so everything was free. I went and looked at the art exhibit. The whole exhibit was a collection of purses that spanned from the late nineteenth century through today. It was so cool. I wish I could have taken pictures. I'd never thought of purses as art before. I was really neat to see the history of women's lives through their handbags. I also got to see a film (Zula Patrol, an adorable cartoon that teaches kids about weather on other planets) on the planetarium's dome screen. One of my mom's co-workers was my sixth grade reading teacher a million years ago, and she was there. And her son is so old now! He was so little when I last saw him. Now he's in high school. And probably gay. I had fun at the planetarium. Have I told you guys how much I love space? I love space. I'm a huge nerd for space.

Then my mom and I ate sushi at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant on the top floor of an arts building across the street. It was crowded inside, so we got to eat outside on the rooftop terrace. We watched the sun set over the river. It's always nice to see prettyness in my own city.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Underpaid and Overfed

Blockbuster really isn't that bad of a gig, but sometimes it makes me nuts. It's not the company; it's the crazy people. It's the people who assume that I have no goals in life other than working in this blue-collar position. No, I can't possibly be working a summer job between semesters at college. It's safe to assume that I have no drive or work ethic.

Really, a lot of our customers are perfectly nice, but it just takes a few idiots to ruin it for the rest of them. Like the ones who think I don't know how to do my job. Today a woman insisted that we give her boss a receipt every times he returns a movie. No, we don't. We've never done that. Ever. I don't even think that's possible. It certainly wasn't in my training. And then there was the lady who couldn't grasp the concept of a "valid credit card." We told her we had to have one on her account. She tries giving us three different cards, all of which expire this month. It was ridiculous. Her own son started to get annoyed with her.

My job does have its perks, though, such as getting to rent Confessions of a Shopaholic before it's available to the public.

On a random note, we received a shipment of candy today that had a new kind of M&M's - Strawberried Peanut Butter. Not strawberry - strawberrIED. Is that even a verb? "To strawberry?" How does one go about strawberrying?

Speaking of food, I eat too much. I had rice, peas, and broccoli for dinner. Then I fell asleep for about an hour, which did nothing to get my digestive system going. Then I ate a big bowl of ice cream. I wasn't hungry, and I didn't even want ice cream all that much. I just felt like eating it. And THEN I ate a piece of pizza just because it was there. I know I look thin, but I was thinner a year ago. I'm sure I could lose the 5 pounds if I broke up with cheese, but I'm not willing to do that. I love food too much. Yay food!!!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Books for the Summer

It's been my tradition for the past few summers to set a reading goal for myself. This goal-setting extravaganza began the summer after my freshman year of college - the first summer in an insanely long time that I didn't have any school-assigned summer reading. That first summer's goal was simply "read books this summer." That one I achieved. The next summer's goal was to re-read Harry Potters 1-6, as book 7 was coming out that summer. It took me until about October to get through the whole series, though. Then last summer I said I would read 10 books before school started, and, again, I didn't finish all ten until about October. Did I mention I'm a really slow reader? Always have been. Intense love for reading crossed with an inability to read a normal speed - it's just one of the crosses I bear.

THIS YEAR I'm setting the ten-book goal again, but, as usual, don't expect me to finish on time. Here's my tentative list of choices (in a sort-of-but-not-really particular order):

-The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson (check)
-Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (re-read - must prepare for the movie release!)
-Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
-The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
-Paper Towns by John Green (the Australian version that I bought in Australia)
-Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
-The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to a Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
-The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
-Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Yeah.....I'm never gonna finish that. I'll try, though. I want to re-read An Abundance of Katherines too, but alas, I'm currently letting someone borrow it.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

I've Found My Calling

While we were in Australia, my friend Lindsey and I were discussing what we want to do with our lives. She just graduated with a music degree and plans to start working toward her teaching certificate in Guam. I'm a senior music education major. However, I absolutely do not just want to start teaching music right out of college and keep doing it forever, especially not in this state. People always say, "So what do you want to do, then?" I never know. None of the conventional jobs that I've heard of appeal to me. Lindsey and I finally decided that our dream job is "something exciting that I've never heard of."

And today I figured it out. How? It came to me in a dream. Yes, I'm completely serious.

I dreamed last night that I was going to grad school for something called "international education." I woke up and thought about how cool it sounded, wishing it were real. I decided to Google it, and it IS real! A field I've never heard of comes to me in a dream and happens to really exist. What the hell??? And guess what. There's a masters program in international education at NYU, the grad school of my dreams.

This is so perfect. I mean, think about it. I love music, but teaching music to small-minded kids in Bible Belt, USA is not the life I want. I've been fortunate enough to do a good deal of international travel through my college, and I've found that I love traveling and learning about other cultures nearly as much as I love music. Now I can combine what I already know with what I dream of doing, and I can do it all at my dream school.

I always called bullshit on people who said that epic ideas came to them fully-formed in a dream (i.e. Steven Spielberg and E.T.), but now I have to believe. This is nuts. I can't wait to get started on my life now.

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The jump in numbers is probably due to Hayley mentioning one of my videos in her blog yesterday. Thanks! :-)

Back in the USA

I haven't had this blog for very long, and I've already gotten out of the habit of writing in it. I suppose this is to be expected since I had no (free) internet for nearly two weeks. Also, these past two weeks have been so FANTASTIC that I just don't know how to talk about them. I guess I could just make a bulleted list of the greatest moments:

-Surviving a 12-hour flight from L.A. to Auckland, New Zealand
-Arriving in New Zealand so early in the morning that we get to watch the sun rise
-Avoiding taking pictures of myself the first day in Auckland since we had to go nearly 36 hours without a shower
-Having to dance with a creepy, unattractive guy at a pub so that he wouldn't creep on my super-hot married friend and get her in trouble
-Seeing South Pole penguins at an underground aquarium
-Getting in FREE to the Minus 5 Ice Lounge - a bar made entirely of ice! - which normally has a $35 cover
-Seeing sheep being shorn in Rotorua, NZ
-Seeing ridiculously huge geysers and live kiwi birds
-Christopher and I ditching our group when we landed in Australia and navigating Sydney on our own in search of Kinokuniya bookstore and JOHN GREEN!!!!
-Being the only Americans at John Green's Sydney event other than John and his wife
-Arriving super early and sitting on the second row!
-Meeting communitychannel Natalie Tran!!!
-Seeing/petting/feeding kangaroos and koalas!
-Going on a harbor cruise
-Working with Dr. Eric Nelson of Emory University
-My friend Ashley's boyfriend flew all the way to Sydney to propose to her!
-Being on the same plane as Bernadette Peters for the 13-hour flight from Sydney back to L.A.

It was such an amazing trip. I miss it. I'm still jet-lagged. I can't fall asleep until 5 AM, and sometimes I accidentally sleep all day.

On a sadder note, I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in L.A. My friend Lindsey (whom you may have seen here) moved to Guam to be with her husband. He's in the Navy and was recently stationed there. They'll be in Guam for at least 3 years. I know that long-distance communication is easier now than ever, but she's SO far away! And with this next school year promising to be my busiest ever, I'm afraid I'll never get a chance to talk to her. Either way, I've started saving for a flight to Guam next summer.

On a happier note, I went to my first wizard rock show a few days ago! Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, The Whomping Willows, and The Moaning Myrtles came to the library by my house. I finally met Lauren!!!! We hugged. We took pictures. It was so exciting. The audience was awkward for Ben and me (tons of kids and a few awkward adults), but the show was great!

Finally, this trip helped me to discover my "type." Turns out I like New Zealand-Asian guys with crazy hair who play the guitar and wear thick-framed glasses. It's really very simple.

I'm ending with a few of my favorite pictures:

Heroes re-watching status: Season 1, Disc 5
Currently reading: Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli
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