Archive | July, 2009

Such a Silly Game We Play

31 Jul

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. Quite a few people I know from school have gotten married this sumer (because, let’s face it, it’s wedding season), they’re playing a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress today on TLC, and it’s been a while since I’ve dated anyone or been in love. I think it’s getting to be my turn. For a long time I’ve felt like I was ready to be dating again, especially now that I’m not in school. I think had I dated anyone while in college I would have just gone crazy, because that kind of thing really takes work to make it good and worthwhile. I couldn’t have devoted that much time to both school and academics. So, I feel like I’m at a good point in my life to put myself out there.

The probem is, there aren’t a lot of good places around here to meet people, especially not ones who will turn into quality relationships. I talked to Akinya earlier today, and she said she just broke up with her boyfriend and is getting some of her other friends to get her the hook-up. I don’t really have any friends that could do this (at least, none come to mind immediately). I guess I just need to branch out more around here; most of my friends from high school don’t live here anymore, and the ones that do are very busy with their own lives, whether that be school, working, or families. It’s hard because I don’t really feel like this is home anymore. At least, not the same kind of home that it used to be. My school life and my Tennessee life don’t really intersect, and that’s difficult. I have friends in many places, but I feel like I’m not fully a part of a life up here. It’s definitely going to be an interesting year, trying to find my place again.

I’ll just have to carve it out for myself.

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Dinner Party

30 Jul

Had dinner with Nikki and Amanda at Nikki’s condo tonight. She cooked, and it was a delicious meal. When I first got there, there was a bit of confusion and stress, because Nikki was accidentally burning something both on her stove and in the oven. Something about them both being used at once didn’t quite agree with the appliance. Anyway, I got there and the apartment was filled a little with smoke, and Nikki was in a tizzy. But dinner turned out to be quite good. We had some sort of pasta dish, with penne, tomatoes, breaded chicken, and cheese, as well as roasted asparagus and sweet potato fries. Very delicious dinner, I must say.

After eating we watched the movie Circle of Friends, which neither Amanda nor I had ever heard of. It was pretty good, as movies go. I think one of the characters wins the award for the worst best friend ever. You’ll just have to watch it if you want to see what I mean, because it’s a big spoiler.

Amanda had to leave early to get to bed, because she’s exhausted after a few days of traveling, early mornings babysitting, a week of house-sitting, as well as her regular job. Nikki and I sat around discussing my plans for the future and the funny things about life and movies. I think we could both be movie critics; between the two of us, we’ve seen just about everything out there.

Just got back not too long ago, and am thinking about a late-night dessert snack. Hopefully there is something remotely resembling ice cream downstairs. Am going to assess that situation very soon. I’m copying my mom’s Robin Thicke CDs onto my iTunes, also listening to Flogging Molly, and deciding which movie I’m going to watch tonight. Have been watching Monsoon Wedding all day on Netflix, just got Elizabeth in the mail, and still have a few of James’ movies in here. Hmm, what a dilemma!

The Green Mile Seems So Long…

29 Jul

I’ve raided my brother’s collection of movies the past few days while he’s been out of town. All excellent choices, I must say. I had no idea he had such good taste.

On Sunday I watched The Usual Suspects, which was very good. I never realized just how much of a Kevin Spacey fan I am, but it’s true. He’s really one of my favorites. I’ll definitely have to watch that one again.

Monday was Fight Club, which I admit I watched mostly because men always seem to love it so much. I wasn’t expecting to like it nearly as much as I did. It’s definitely intense, and not a typical movie, but I loved it. I like fighting the man. It’s pretty mind-blowing. I think that’s kind of how everyone feels, like if we could really be ourselves it would kind of be like that. Just let yourself go, not care what anyone around you says or does, defy authority, do whatever you want, be whatever you want. Giving in to that kind of freedom must be nice.

Yesterday I watched The Green Mile. Man. Haven’t cried like that in a movie in a long time. Definitely a tear-jerker, but totally worth watching. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It’s funny how these Stephen King stories can make such fantastic movies. I don’t go for the horror stuff, but between this and The Shawshank Redemption, he’s written two of the greatest stories ever told. I could go on and on about how wonderful this movie is, but you’ll just have to experience it for yourself. There really aren’t words to express it. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

I’m going to be thinking about that one for a really long time. Not sure what I’ll get into tonight, but it will be something for sure. I don’t have anything else to do other than sit around my house and watch movies or read. At least I’m not out spending money. I’m starting to think that perhaps I should be a movie critic, or something. I’ve seen enough recently. Netflix really was the greatest thing to happen to me!

Ten Things Tuesday – July 28

28 Jul

Ten of my life’s biggest regrets:

1. Not saying “I love you” as much as I should. So many times I would have gone back and said it when I didn’t. I might have gotten burned a little more than I already have, but it would have been out there. And maybe not so many missed opportunities.

2. Not being British. Alright, I realize I don’t REALLY have much control over this one. But I really do wish, quite often, that I was British and had a fun accent. I love pretty much everything about British culture, and wish so badly I could be one.

3. Losing touch with friends from high school. It’s inevitable, I suppose. You graduate and move on with your separate lives. Facebook is helping us to keep up with each other via Internet stalking, but that’s just not the same as still talking to these people. Granted, most of them I don’t really miss. But there are some that I wish I had kept in better contact with, even for the sake of having friends still at home when I come back. Life moves on, though, and you can’t remember everyone forever.

4. Not going to Hogwarts. Again, I realize this is completely impossible. I still wish it was real. It would have been far more interesting than my primary and secondary education. Every time I read anything about Harry Potter or watch a movie, I have a burning desire to be part of that universe. It’s just far more interesting than real life.

5. Not keeping up with my French. I took six years of it, enough to still get by a little bit when I travel. Not enough to be fluent. I really wish I was. My goal is that by the next time I got back to Europe, I will be fluent in French. No excuses!

6. Fighting with my brother when we were young. I think this is something that most kids just can’t help. Sibling rivalry exists, and it did in my family in a big way. Luckily, James and I don’t fight nearly as much as we used to. We actually get along most of the time now, when he’s not in a weird, douchey mood. But I do wish that we had been closer growing up. We are just so different, and there’s just enough age in between us that we had very different friends and had our own version of childhood. It’s good that we’re getting to be close now.

7. Not studying abroad for a semester or year. I’m not complaining, because I’ve gotten some amazing travel opportunities. I just wish I’d gotten everything together to be able to study abroad for an extended period of time. I’m lucky to have been able to travel as much as I have, though. I really want to know what it’s like to get dumped off on a completely new continent, only knowing a handful of words and no people, and trying to make it on my own. It’s both scary and thrilling at the same time. I’d love to take on that adventure. 

8. Being so uptight when I was younger. As I get older, I get more and more relaxed and easygoing. I think for a while I’ve been easy to get along with (maybe not so much when I was younger), but I’ve always been the one who follows the rules. Just recently I’ve gotten way more into testing the limits. Not that I’m doing anything illegal, mind you, but life sure is more fun when you’re not always worried about failing at things or what your parents might think. To some extent, the latter still holds true. I don’t like to disappoint my parents, but that’s mostly because I don’t want to be lectured lately. I’d rather go about my business, living my own life, without having to worry about what they’re going to say about things. After all, it’s my turn to be young. I’m not planning on doing anything to get myself thrown in jail, but I have learned to live a little in the past three years or so.

9. Being judgmental. Not that I have made that many enemies over the years, but I think that if I had been less judgmental I would have been able to make some great friends that I otherwise missed out on. Maybe not, who knows. At least I would have taken some opportunities that I didn’t. And at the very least would have met some interesting people and had some great stories.

10. Not being able to fly. If I could have one superpower, this would be it. Or maybe to be invisible. I don’t know. Yeah, flying I guess. I love flying in planes and wish so badly that I could just do it on my own. What an exhilarating feeling!

Footloose

26 Jul

Yesterday my mom and I drove to Boone to see the Kenny Loggins concert. The drive over was so pretty – lots of green trees, good views of Watauga Lake, and pretty steep mountains. It was a very windy road, but nothing we’re not used to here in Tennessee. We had really great weather, too. It was sunny the whole day, with a nice breeze, but not too hot.

We got to downtown in midafternoon and walked around for a while. Of course we hit up Mast General Store, our favorite place to go in small mountain towns. I got these amazing shoes that are made from recycled rice bags! They are woven and look like Mary Janes. So cute! There were some great little shops in Boone. Artsy, but not quite as hippie-ish as Asheville. There was a great bookstore we found, and a bead store. I didn’t get anything in there; as much interesting stuff as they had, they didn’t have the specific things I’m currently hunting, and nothing that just grabbed my attention enough that I had to have it.

In Mast General, one of the salespeople recommended a great Thai restaurant for us to try for dinner. She made several recommendations (it seems that Boone is full of nothing but terrific restaurants!), but we decided on Thai because we don’t really have anything like it here. Mom and I both got pineapple fried rice, hers with chicken and mine with scallops, which have been my current obsession.

So after a fun day shopping and walking around downtown, and an excellent Thai dinner at Cha Da Thai, we headed over to the concert. I’m not really familiar with a lot of Kenny Loggins music, but I do like what I’ve heard. My mom was really excited; she really likes him but had never seen him in concert before. But I was still pretty pumped to be there. I love concerts as much as the next guy, and I haven’t been to one in a while. Kenny really didn’t disappoint! He played a great show, and a good mix of his older classic songs as well as some new stuff, too. I tend to judge artists by their live shows, much more than records. Records, of course, are great as an artform, because there’s nothing that compares to putting together a spectacular group of songs as a collective unit. But live shows are where you can really tell how talented a person is. How they choose to present their songs live really defines them as an artist. Kenny was great. He used different arrangements of a lot of his stuff, so it wasn’t just the same song you’ve heard a hundred times, played the exact same way. I imagine musicians sometimes get tired of playing their oldest, best songs (no matter HOW good they are), if they don’t change it up a little bit. Gotta always be doing something new!

Anyway, the concert was so good, one of the best I’ve seen. We were sitting near the soundbooth, and we could see the setlist on the control board. After the concert was over I told my mom to go up and ask the sound tech if we could have the set list, for a souvenir. Of couse he said yes! He was only too happy to make our dreams come true. Mom asked him if he traveled with the band, which he did. She also was curious to know if Kenny is really as nice a guy as he seems from the stage. The sound guy said that he was, that he was just the coolest guy and was so much fun. He really did seem like he would be a great person to hang out with – really down to earth.

On our way out of town we stopped at BeansTalk, a really tiny coffee shop run out of an old house. We got some really good coffee for the road as well as some pastries. We headed back over the mountain toward home. We kept the sunroof open the whole time, and no air conditioning, because it was so cool in the mountains we didn’t need it. The stars up there were so beautiful – I could see them traveling along with us by looking straight up out of the sun roof. All in all, a very, very good day.

TGIF

24 Jul

Today has been a long day. I got up very early this morning to babysit all day. Had to be there at ten til eight, to babysit for a two-year-old for eight hours. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty fun, and I really can use the money! But it’s definitely challenging to keep a toddler entertained for that long, and to get yourself into a child’s mindset to have fun yourself. The little girl I was watching is so smart! Her parents are a speech pathologist and a teacher, so she’s already learning her letters and numbers. She’s really going to keep her teachers on their toes some day! I had a fun day with her, but she wasn’t too thrilled to take a nap. She got really upset when I tried to get her to sleep around 1:30, but finally she did it. I had some peace and quiet for myself for a while. Mostly it was a good babysitting day, nothing too challenging, but still fun and interesting.

For dinner tonight we had Mexican. Haven’t had that in forever, and it was so good! We went to El Matador, which has the best chiles rellenos in town. I always judge Mexican restaurants by their chiles, and these are the best I’ve found so far. They also had some excellent margaritas, which both my mom and I needed after our long days – mine babysitting, hers teaching her wild class of 5 and 6 year olds.

After dinner we went out to Kohl’s, where my grandmother had heard they were having a big sale. They really were – I got three new shirts and a new dress (purple!), as well as some new earrings. I’m getting to have quite the artistic, unique wardrobe. I don’t hate it…

Tomorrow we’re going to Boone! Should be a fun day. We’re going to see Kenny Loggins tomorrow night, so I’m excited! I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass out any minute, because I’m SO tired! I was up late last night because I could not sleep at all. I think it was around 4 before I finally dozed off, only to wake up about every hour after that. Not a good thing when you have to be up at 7! Needless to say, but I’m exhausted. Good night!

Groomer Has It…

23 Jul

Seeing as there’s not much else for me to do around here, I’m spending the day grooming myself. Long shower, shaving legs, plucking eyebrows, trimming fingernails, painting toes. The works. I’m in this never-ending battle against my eyebrows…they tend to get out of control, and I haven’t done much to subdue them lately. They have a mind of their own. I am determined to win.

My toes are in serious need of a fresh coat of paint. Seeing as I’m so lazy, they STILL have gesso on them from my third day at Governor’s School, well over a month ago. It’s about time I did something to correct that. By the time I’m done getting all this done, I won’t recognize myself. It’s high time I did some serious primping.