11.29.2008

Oneee is the loneliest number...

So I'm back at school, and due to a scheduling error on our part, I'm here a day before everybody else. I'm maybe one of two or three people back on the entire floor so it's eerily quiet. So not like how it usually is!

Today was a lo-o-o-o-ong day of traveling. I woke up at 3:25 a.m., left the house at 4:15 a.m., got to the airport by 5 a.m., and got on a 6:15 a.m. flight. WHEW. I finally got into my dorm room around 3:30 p.m. I'm pretty gosh-darn exhausted, but as I tweeted earlier, I'm thoroughly grateful for the complete strangers who helped me lug my 80 lbs of suitcases up and down stairs in the subway. I didn't even have to ask anyone, they just offered. It was amazing. Yeah DreamSchool city!

Tonight I've been thoroughly productive and I've completely unpacked, shaved and lotioned my legs, painted my toenails and cut my fingernails. The roomies get back tomorrow so I want to vacuum and stuff before they get back. Have I mentioned I love cleaning? Cause, really, I do.

I wanted to write tonight about Kathleen. And feeding the homeless people. And emotions and stuff. But. For some reason, that's just not coming tonight. I will say, though: Kathleen? Inspiring. Feeding the homeless? Humbling. Emotions and stuff? Overpowering.

And that's all for me, folks. I'm watching Flip That House and two guys are epic failing at flipping. Where's What Not To Wear when I need it?

OH--and since this post was rather dry, here's a ridiculously adorable pic of pupster Max all decked out in his Thanksgiving finest.

11.28.2008

The day after Thanksgiving

This morning at 6:15 a.m. as my family and I were on the road to the local homeless shelter's food bank, I was grateful that I had the opportunity to feed others in need. I was thankful that I myself had a full belly.

This afternoon at 2:00 p.m. as I said a final tearful goodbye to Kathleen, I was grateful that I had the opportunity to see her one last time. I was thankful for the wonderful influence she's had on my life.

This evening at 8:30 p.m. as I pack my bags again to head back up to school, I am grateful that I have been able to spend the past week surrounded by my family, D., and pupster Max. I am thankful for each and every one of them.

Today my emotions have run the gamut. More than once I've broken down, but each time D., my best friend in the entire world, has been there to hug me until it's better. More than once I've laughed harder than I have in a while, and each time I look around and smile at those who are laughing with me.

Today has been hard. But I am so thankful. I'll try to write more tomorrow, but for now, I'm going to spend time with D. because I think I need to beat her at games just a few more times before I leave. Tomorrow I'll be getting up at 3:15 a.m. (getting up this morning at 5:55 is small potatoes compared to what tomorrow morning will be) headed back to my new city, and while I'm excited to be going back, I'll miss being home. But: amid everything, I know just how lucky I am. And I am so thankful.

11.25.2008

Overdue, overdramatic, and overepic, pts. 2&3

Evidence #2 that I am losing it completely:

My glasses have disappeared. Somewhere between DreamSchool and here, they've POOFED and gone away. And it's not just my glasses that are missing--my contacts case AND my glasses case are gone, and inside my glasses case I had hid several of my favorite pairs of earrings.

I know fo' sho' I packed them. At least I think I did. I called and had my super amazing roomies check all over the dorm room -- one even looked in the laundry room, just in case -- to no avail. I've torn apart both suitcases, my purse, AND my laptop bag, and then had my mom, dad, and sister do the same. Pupster Max also nosed around and didn't find them, either.

This is a mystery to the extreme. And it's driving me crazy. Where could those little boogers have gone?!?**

**In this case, I suppose not only have I lost my marbles, but I've lost my glasses.

Evidence #3:

Yesterday (Monday) I had carefully scheduled four appointments. These were all annual checkups and hair trims that NEEDED TO HAPPEN. It was going to be a crazy day, but I knew I could make it through as long as EVERY DOCTOR was running ON TIME. Tall order, I know.

Here's what should have happened:
9:15 a.m.: dentist check-up
10:30 a.m.: physical
12:40 p.m.: gynocologist
2:00 p.m. haircut

Here's what really happened:
9:05 a.m.: I arrive at the dentists. I give them my name and they give me a funny look. "Uhh, you're here rather early, Nanny," they say. "You know your appointment's not til 10:15, right?"
UHHhhhhhhh...oh please dear god don't tell me I'm supposed to be at my physical right now. But it couldn't be! I know my physical is at 10:30!
Luckily the dentists are able to work me in at 9:15. Thank you sweet lord jesus.
10:25: I arrive at the physical. Undress, get poked and prodded, answer questions ("Yes of COURSE I take my iron pills!"), re-dress, pay, and leave. Uneventful and quick. (Ahaha. I was going to make a sex joke, but my parents read this blog, so I'll refrain.)
-Go home and scarf down lunch-
12:30 p.m.: Arrive at the gyno. I give them my name and they give me a funny look (sound familiar?). "Uhh, you're here rather early, Nanny," they say. "You know you're appointment's not til 1:40, right?"
Lordhavemercy. I sit in the waiting room for an hour reading Anne of Avonlea. And trying not to 1) fall asleep and 2) look at every woman in the room and know that in a few minutes, they'll have their feet up in stirrups. (HUSH. You do it too. And there was room for another sex joke in there. But again. Refraining.)
1:40 p.m.: Undress, get poked and prodded, answer questions ("Yes of COURSE I use protection!") (uh, juuuuust kidding, parents), re-dress, pay, and leave. Uncomfortable and quick. (REFRAINING.)
Realize that since it's after 2 p.m, I'm not going to make my 2 p.m. hair appointment. I call them and they say, "But Nanny, your appointment's at 3!"

Uh yeah. Noticing a trend, here? Consistently (with the exception of the physical, for whatever reason) an hour early. Whaaa? All I can guess is that my phone (which is what I keep track of my appointments in) automatically adjusted everything for daylight savings? And I didn't know it would do that? But is my phone really that intelligent? Am I really that unintelligent? These are a lot of questions?

ANYWAY. Yes. So maybe the last example wasn't TOTALLY my fault. Since, you know, my phone does hate me and moves my appointment times around just to spite me.

Oh, lord, I need therapy...

11.24.2008

Overdue, overdramatic, and overepic

So I get a big fat EPIC FAILURE in both the posting AND tweeting genre for the past several days. Pardon me, but my brain has temporarily vacated the premises and Aunt Flo has set up residence instead, so I've been rather disjointed the past few days.

Evidence #1:

As I'm packing to go home on Saturday morning (oh yeah, I'm home now), I have my schedule timed out perfectly. Up at 8:55, shower, final packing, leave to be on the subway by 10:30. Get to airport by 11:15. Grab shuttle at airport to another airport in a different state (out of which it's cheaper to fly) about an hour and a half away. Get to airport #2 by 1:30, wait a few hours, board plan at 3:40. Arrive in airport #3 at 5:00. Flight to Texas at 6:40. Arrive in Texas at 10:00. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Unfortch, I forgot to allow time to grab food in the morning. So I didn't. No food for Nanny until approximately 1:45 p.m. after running (and driving) across a significant chunk of the northeast. Mix in dear Auntie Flo and you've just got an extremely pleasant Nanny. I finally get in airport #2, get right up to security, and notice a bagel place not 10 feet from the end of the security line. I spy a yogurt parfait that looks delicious and buy it and a bagel. YUM. The parfait is an outrageous $6, but I NEED FOOD NOW. Immediately get into security line so I can get through and EAT.

Jewelry off shoes off laptop out of bag purse on conveyer belt small suitcase on conveyer belt food on conveyer belt tickets in hand OKAY. Oh wait. Not so fast.

"HEY," shouts TSA female #1. "I NEED A BAG CHECK."
TSA male grabs my bagel/parfait bag. "I'm checking this," he informs me. I nod in agreement, yeah, sure, fine, whatevs.
TSA female #2 grabs my laptop bag. "What are you hiding in here?" she demands. I reply, "Nothing!" to which she smirks and searches my bag anyway. Of course, it's clean.
TSA male holds up my parfait. "HEY. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO TAKE IT THROUGH SECURITY?"
Uhhhh...since when is yogurt a scary substance? Look, I just want my effing parfait...
He and TSA female #2 confer for a minute. My patience is rapidly decreasing because um, hello, I WANT MY PARFAIT. I NEED my parfait. Nanny needs her protein, here.
"I'm confiscating this," TSA male says.
Of course, thank you Aunt Flo, this for some reason makes me want to bawl.
"But...but...I just paid six dollars for that literally ten feet away!" I whisper. In my sleep-deprived, food-deprived, insanely-hormonal brain, this is the ULTIMATE WORST THING EVER.
TSA male don't care, honey, whether I bought this parfait here or in France. I can either re-pack up everything, go back out of security and past the long line of people to eat it, or have him throw it out.
Reason and logic fight viciously in my brain for thirty seconds before I gesture for him to just throw it out. And then burst into tears.

I cried full-fledged sobbing uncontrollably until I got to my gate. That was a good five minutes of hysteric water works, people. And then I called both my father and D. and proceeded to cry some more. Oh, lord, my poor father having to put up with me on that phone conversation...I think it went something like this:

Me: "THOSESTUPIDTSABASTARDSTOOKAWAYMYPARFAIIIIIIIIIIIIT"
Him: "What?!? Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
Me: "IPAIDSIXDOLLARSFORITANDIHAVEN'TEATENALLDAYANDTHEYWEREREALLYMEANANDTHEYTOOKITAWAYYYYYYYYY"

And so on.

My father is a saint for dealing with me. Just for the record. And D. was equally as good, but by the time I had blubbered to her I realized just how redonkulous I was being and started laughing at myself. Which I am still doing.

Cause, really, Nanny? A parfait?

Though I did buy another one once through security. And that thing was damn good.

Okay, this post is really long. And I do have more evidence supporting the fact that I have indeed lost my marbles. To be continued...

11.21.2008

Bittersweet

Last night I got the news that Kathleen's cancer had spread to her brain.

While she has lived miraculously much longer than the doctor's projected, having been boosted by several "one last try" shots of chemo, she has now decided to pursue no further treatment. That treatment would have meant brain surgery or radiation, which, as her husband said, would have caused "much more suffering than healing." Instead, she is now home on hospice, spending her last days with friends and family, and with her beautiful four year old son.

Like I've posted before, I just can't imagine what she must be thinking right now. I am so sad to lose a dear friend, but I am even more sad for her. Knowing that she won't see her so longed-for little boy grow up. Go to college. Get married. Have babies of his own. Knowing that she won't be growing old with her beloved husband. Knowing that an illness so cruel and invasive is taking her away from what she love the most, and there's not a think she can do to stop it. Knowing that she'll have to say a final "I love you" to them, even though they'll (and we'll) keep loving her passionately long after she's left this earth.

Kathleen has now reached a point where her body needs rest. Her spirit remains strong, writes her husband. She asks for visitors. I will see her while I'm home for Thanksgiving...to say goodbye to a woman I love so much. That crushes me to the core but I know my feelings of sadness and anger are trivial to what she herself must be going through. I just keep reminding myself that now is a time to call in whatever reserves of faith I have drudged up in me and hope that one day, somehow and somewhere, she and I will cross paths again.

My deepest appreciation is to those of you who offered up thoughts and prayers for Kathleen and her family when I wrote about them last. I hope that perhaps you can pause for a second or two and just ask for comfort and peace for them yet again. If only you knew her...you all would love her, and she would love you too. From the bottom of her heart, she loves everyone.

She wants you to know that she loves you, writes her husband. Yes, yes she does. She loves me, she loves my family, she loves each and every one of us. Now we will rally our strength behind her and love her even stronger until the very end, and beyond. Because, she's said before, the last word is love.

On another note, today is my little sister's birthday. I hope that through this sadness we are facing she is able to have a wonderful day, and an amazing year. Happy birthday, sis.

11.20.2008

Okay, okay, I GET IT.

So...the Cold Gods.

They are laughing at me.

Rolling on the floor, laughing their a**es off. ROTFLMAO, as the "kids" are saying.

No sooner had I published last night's post and gone to bed...I was woken up in a not-so-nice way. And I'm gonna tell you alllllll about it. See, the Cold Gods were laughing at me just like my roommates. "Nanny needs a good dose of humble pie," they were saying.

Oh, they gave it to me all right.

1.5 hours after I had finally fallen into a dead, exhausted sleep, the roomies and I were awoken by flashes of very bright, spastic light.

And then sirens.

Yup. Fire alarm. 3:15 a.m. We jump up, still dead asleep. Somehow I have the presence of mind to put on my fake Ugg half-boot things. So my feet will be warm. And I grab the thick white sweater mentioned below. And laptop, purse, keys/ID, and phone.

And I'm out of there. Running down 5 flights of stairs with approximately 750 students clamoring behind you while balancing a slippery computer and trying to keep your (very loose) pants from falling down, and you yourself from falling down? NOT EASY. Doing this while half asleep? REALLY, REALLY not easy.

But we make it. We stream out the big doors in the front of the building and across the street to the park. Then the cold hits in. It's 13 degrees and I don't have seventy-two layers like I did on the walk tonight (see below). I've got a thin cotton T-shirt on, thin sweat pants, a sweater, and fake Uggs. That, ladies and gentlemen, combined with 13-degree cold, is TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD VERY BAD COLD.

(Alexander anyone? Reference?)

So, Cold Gods, I bow to your power. You have humbled me. I will step off my high horse of thinking I've got cold's number, slim. I recognize that it still could have been so much worse -- I could have gotten outside without the sweater and just in flip flops. Or my pants really could have fallen down. I understand. So now, as soon as the flashing white lights (which are still going off) stop flashing, I'm going back to bed.

(Keep in mind I'm writing this at 3:40 a.m. Nothing much makes sense now. Apologies.)

11.19.2008

How do I stay warm? Let me count the ways...

Temp check: according to weather.com, it "feels like" 13.

Yup.

I thought 20 was bad. AH. I was wrong. 13 is a whole new kind of bad.

Luckily, I prepare myself well for these harsh outdoor conditions.

A.k.a., I've forsaken all signs of vanity for WARMTH.

Who was freezing on the walk tonight? EVERYONE.

Who wasn't? ME.

Mwahaha. My roommates took one look at me and burst out laughing as I dressed to go outside. My dear northern friend Sarah, who was walking with me, saw me, suppressed a giggle (she is far too kind to laugh) and said, "Oh sweetie, you're adorable."

Yeah.

WELL LET'S JUST REMEMBER WHO WASN'T FREEZING ON THE WALK TONIGHT.

Since I feel the need to document these historic times in which I am currently living (Obama's win, me actually venturing outside my bed in 13 degree weather), here's a breakdown of what I wore tonight.


Periwinkle flannel hat, light blue flannel scarf, thick cream sweater (it's huge on me, I stole it from my dad), black long-sleeved sweater over a teal cami (have I mention I've lost all regard for vanity? NOTHING matches), my black ear muffs, and notice the *two* pairs of gloves: one teal, the other periwinkle. I wore the periwinkle ones on top in attempt to kind of sort of match-ish. And thick grey and pink socks.


Again, the black sweater and two pairs of gloves. Also my very thick, heavy black pea coat, and two (count 'em), TWO pairs of blue jeans. One pair was sufficiently big enough that I could pull it on over the other pair. MUST. BUY. LONG UNDERWEAR.


Can't forget the most important part of the ensemble. Yeah, the toesies did get a bit cold in these. But I heart them too much to wear anything else.


Can you spot the nanny in this picture? (I look approximately 20 lbs heavier in all the layers!)

11.18.2008

Buried (under homework, not snow)

So it's getting pretty cold here. Since I'm the resident southerner (if you could call me that), all my northern-born, northern-bred (ha. typed "bread" first) friends are constantly asking me if I'm freezing yet.

Nope!

Well.

Sort of?

I'm generally staying pretty warm here. I'm layering clothes (i.e., a cami under a long-sleeved shirt under a sweater, with a scarf) and bundling up before I go outside. I've asked Santa for a nice pair of thick socks and am seriously considering investing in a pair of long underwear. My big poofy Land's End jacket should be here soon. So I'm doing well.

I still blanche a bit when I see the actual temperature of what weather.com says it feels like outside. We're pretty good about walking a few miles each night (gotta stave off the freshman 15), and last night it was unusually cold, so I checked the temp when we got back. It was 30 degrees, but weather.com said it felt like 20. TWENTY. That rocked my little world, I tell ya. I was outside in the TWENTY DEGREE cold for a good 40 minutes walking and I SURVIVED.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified...

So yes. I'm doing well.

Though I did get a small thrill when I pulled up the weather this morning and it said it feels like 15. FIFTEEN.

We're not in Texas anymore, Toto.

11.16.2008

1 a.m. adventure

Who: Roommate #3, Friend, and me
What: Walking Friend back to her dorm room (her building is approximately 500 feet away from mine, but there are two fairly prominent clubs in between)
Where: My City
When: 1 a.m., Saturday night
Why: RM#3 and I always walk her back when it's late just for "safety in numbers" purposes

The scene: It's a dark and rainy night. As we get downstairs and start to walk outside, we notice flashing lights everywhere. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight police cars. AND a police hold-em vehicle--you know, the one with the metal gate in the back for people having to go to jail.

What happened: We get outside and there are people EVERYWHERE. It's obvious something has happened at one of the clubs. There are also police everywhere. A guy in handcuffs is being put in the back of the hold-em vehicle. We hurry as fast as we can through the crowd of inebriated people and drop Friend off. As RM#3 and I turn to go back to our dorm, we run into two very drunk men, arms around each other.

"Hey. HEY," says one.
"Whaddya wanna do? Whaddya wanna do?" says the other.
"Let's go get some THIGARETTES. Yeah, THIGARETTS," says the first. And then they laugh rather maniacally.

About 100 feet further, a stocky, short guy jumps out at RM#3 and I.

"HEY YOU," he says to us. "YOU CAN HELP ME. YOU SAW THAT MAN ON MY BACK!"

Uhhhhhhhh...no, actually, we didn't. We continue on.

All of a sudden, just steps away from the door to get into our dorm, sixteen million LOUD SIRENS EXPLODE all around us. The popos are taking off with their prisoner. Scares the heebie-jeebies out of us, but we make it safely inside.

And laugh all the way up the elevator to our floor.

Oh, DreamSchoolCity on a Saturday night...

11.14.2008

A weighty issue

In light of Jenny's recent post about weight and stuff, I thought I'd share my own experiences with y'all. You know, in the interest of putting it all out there. Because I am a martyr. And such.

I've always been overly body-conscious. I've always thought of myself as a larger person, and my extremely short stature (4'11) hasn't helped that. Growing up in small private schools, especially my rich kids high school with it's size 0 blonde bimbos bleaching their hair and hiring trainers with daddy's credit cards, I felt like a whale.

Truth be told, I was never all that huge. I know that now looking back on things. It wasn't so bad in middle school, but in high school, my body anxiety reached an all time high. (Whose didn't?) Because I was obsessing with NOT eating as much, I would overeat. And snack. All the time. I would sneak food into my room at night and binge. I was ashamed to let my parents know or see, and I was ashamed to reach out to them for help. In high school, I gained about 35 lbs. For a person as short as I am, that's a HUGE amount.

I went on WeightWatchers a few times, and tried dieting more times than I care to admit. Several times a year I'd be determined to GET ACTIVE and I'd go to the gym a few times and then lose interest. After sitting on my butt for 9 hours a day at school, driving home and sitting on my butt for another 5-6 hours with homework, I'd be exhausted and just want to go to bed. And eat.

I went to see a counselor sometime my freshman year (I believe). I explained my overeating and problems with food (obsessive compulsive eating), but he was absolutely no help. He told me, point blank, that I COULD NOT SNACK. I SHOULD NOT give in to snacking. But in my mind, that backfired and all I wanted was to eat more.

During my sophomore year, I went to see a different counselor at a place that was specifically for eating disorders. I think it's officially called a wellness clinic, but it was really just for people who had problems with food. The woman I saw was pretty good. She helped me a little, but eventually conceded that maybe I needed to go on medication (which I had been lobbying for for some time). So to a doctor I went.

The doctor prescribed a generic form of Prozac. Apparently it helps block something in your brain that makes you crave food and want to eat. I was on it for a while, but it didn't make any real difference, so I went off it again.

In the meantime, I continued to gain weight. I think I put on about 20-25 lbs in my junior and senior year of high school alone. I hated my body.

I gave up.

After I graduated and started nannying full-time, I became a lot more active. Chasing a 2 year old and a 6 year old all day will do that for you. And because I was so busy, I think I ate less. Something, I think, clicked in my brain. I started eating smaller portions without even realizing it. I started losing weight. Slowly, very slowly, but it was happening.

In the little over a year since I graduated and then moved to college, I lost between 25 and 30 lbs pretty much without trying. At my sickest over the summer, I was down a full 30 lbs. That fluxuated, of course, once I got better and gained a little weight back, but still, I was happier.

Even now, I'd love to be 10 or 15 lbs thinner. But I am so much happier with my body now. I embrace my curves. I love my big boobs, and I've got a great ass, if I do say so myself. I wish I could figure out what made my brain jump into action because I'd love to kick that back into overdrive again cause college, well...let's just say I've put on weight again. I don't think it's much (I don't have access to a scale). I'd guess 5-7 lbs. But still. It's okay. There are still times when I look in the mirror and hate what I see, but it's less often now. I still struggle on a daily basis but it's better.

Looking back at pictures on Facebook is embarrassing, and painful. I'd like to delete forever the heavier time in my life, but I know that I could so easily be back there again so I'm keeping the pictures on for now. Because this is me. Fat or thin, it's me. And years from now, I want to remember the good times and the bad.

Just...hopefully years from now I'll be a size 4.

11.12.2008

Un question

I received a jury summons in the mail for the state in which I am going to school. Since I'm registered to vote in Texas (and did), I didn't think this was possible...is there anybody out there who can shed some light on this? I'm confused.

11.11.2008

Two-way road of patriotism

Today as I walked the 10 or so minutes up to H&M to return a pair of tights (bad investment) and buy some hooks to go inside my armoire (good investment), I noticed approximately 50-60 people of various ages in military uniforms. I'm just down the block from a recruitment office so I didn't think anything of it and just continued on my way.

On the way back, hooks in hand, I noticed an inordinate amount of police officers everywhere. Why were they blocking off the streets? Was that a...band I hear? Why are there even MORE people in uniform???

"Nanny," my dear roomie said to me with a large, exasperated sigh, "it's Veteran's Day. We're OUT OF SCHOOL for a reason. Duh."

Oh. Right.

A parade started up right as we were entering our dorm room. It was still going strong 5 minutes later as I came back outside to head to the library. On the way, I stopped and watched the parade for a few minutes.

Hundreds and hundreds of veterans, marching bands, and young cadets (is that the right word?) marched past me. I was brought near to tears as I first looked at the stooped over, tired old men imagining what they had been through in their lives. And then the tears started falling as I then watched the younger ones, just kids, really--my age, by the looks of it--in uniforms walking solemnly by. The image of their faces haunted me as I finally continued to the library. For several minutes I couldn't help but repeat in my mind how lucky I was, and how grateful I was.

I'm sad that people think that just because I'm anti-war I'm also anti-soldier. This couldn't be further from the truth. As I touched upon in the comments of this post, I strongly support our troops. I so appreciate the huge sacrifices that each one is making for our country--leaving behind loved ones, jobs, school, etc. I am so grateful for what they are willing to do for us.

Tonight, on Veteran's Day, I think about the old and young faces I saw today in the parade. Those who have already fought and those who (hopefully) will never have to.

11.09.2008

My BFFaeaeaeaeaeae (and e and e and e)

This weekend with D. positively FLEW by. We didn't do much but eat really good food, sleep, and play a few games. But I will say that she and I OWNED at Taboo. We are pure geniuses at that game. One time, I was trying to figure out how to get her to guess Bill Bradley, so I said "Clinton, first name," and she said "Bill," and I said, "Okay, uhhhhh..." and couldn't figure out what else to say and she just said, "BILL BRADLEY," because we are just that good.

It was a truly magical moment.

Now, though, she's on the plane back to Texas, and for the first time in the 2? 3? (How long has it been?) months that I've been here, when I walked back through the doors of my dorm, I wished that I wasn't coming back here. That I was, instead, going home with her. I've had bouts of homesickness, missing my puppy and bird, being at D.'s lakehouse, being able to play games all the time, and being able to take a bath (or at least properly shave my legs). But having her here and now having her gone has made me ache for my best friend. She's applying to a college about 20 minutes from mine and I'm crossing fingers, toes, and all appendages that she gets in and we'll be in this amazing city together. It's her first choice, but it's practically impossible to get into. I know she can. It's just the stupid random application process with so many applicants, you know?

But now I'm back on my bed in my teeny-tiny little dorm room, preparing to heat up and eat a large bowl of pasta leftover from last night and catch up on blogs. And then it's homework, homework, homework, cause that's the way it goes 'round here.

And counting down the days until I leave for Thanksgiving--two weeks from yesterday--so I can kick her butt at some more games.

11.06.2008

Election night 2008

I want to write all of this down before I forget it, just so I can have this experience, these memories, for always.

So. Without further ado, Election night 2008.

My journalism class ended at 5:45 p.m. My friend and I raced back to our dorm's common room where we immediately grabbed our laptops, turned the TV to CNN, and sat down. We didn't get up again for 5 hours.

Slowly, as more classes got out and people finished dinner, more people filtered in. Our common room is not too big, and people were crammed in. Some stayed in the entire evening, others drifted in and out. The air was filled with anxiety, nerves, and craziness. The excitement was palpable. Some were confident in Obama's win, but others (like me) weren't so sure. But we were glued to the TV. We kept it to CNN most of the time but occasionally switched to FOX and CBS and stuff just to see what they had been predicting. The entire time I was on video chat with my parents back in Texas. They were watching NBC and then PBS, so they kept us updated with what those two stations were predicting.

The updates for major predictions were coming about every hour on the hour, so we'd all get quiet in anticipation of what would come next. After each prediction, with the early few states, we weren't too concerned with what was going on. Each time a new state would come in, we'd shade our election map either red or blue and update the electoral vote counts on each white board. We didn't get really excited until first Pennsylvania went Obama (load cheers and applause), and then Ohio (louder cheers and applause). In between the predictions, we'd joke around and laugh at CNN's intense graphics packages (holograms? really, CNN?). By about 9:45 or 10:00, things were looking good for our guy. We were hopeful, but not certain, what would happen, and the excitement in the room got a bit crazier.

By about 10:40 or so, Obama was just on the verge of the 270 votes needed. The next wave of states, including California, Oregon, and Washington, were almost sure to be Obama's. That would put him over 270. As the clock ticked toward 11 p.m., CNN ran a countdown. We counted down, too.

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

And then the headline across the bottom of the screen: "CNN Predicts: OBAMA IS PRESIDENT-ELECT." California had come in solid Obama and had put him well over 270.


I can't even tell you how crazy we went. We could hear the screams and cheers from the floors above and below. We all jumped up and went wild, hugging and shouting. Even our normally-quiet R.A. was screaming. We were beyond ecstatic. We watched the TV in wonder as Grant Park erupted. We could hear the streets of Our City going wild, too. Horns were honking, people were yelling--it was incredible.


Once we got word that McCain had called Obama to concede, we broke out the bubbly. Cups of sparkling apple cider and grape juice were passed around to everybody.


When McCain came on for his speech, we all sat and watched. We were quiet, and just appreciated the the grace and respect with which he conceded the race. We all agreed his speech was very, very good, and we felt he left the race with his head held high, and with dignity.

Then the wait for Obama's speech began. It seemed like it took forever for him to come up. A bunch of people wanted to go down to the streets (we're in buildings in the middle of the city) to see all the action, but eventually we all agreed to wait until after his speech. And I'm so glad we did. Most everyone (including the boys) was awestruck and in tears by the time it was over.

Even more incredible, look who stopped by to watch with us:


After the speech, it was time for us to head down to the streets. The elevators were jammed to get downstairs and it took quite a while. But then we were released. Into the streets we ran, joining the hundreds and thousands of college students and adults everywhere. We followed a general crowd a few miles up the road, chanting "OBAMA! OBAMA!" and screaming to everyone who passed. We hugged complete strangers and I think I high-fived about 840 people total.



Sorry for the blurry/dark videos as I only had my cell phone with me, but I think you can get the general idea of the mass pandemonium outside. Also pardon my screaming. I was a little excited.



There were police everywhere, but to me it seemed as if they were just taking an "It's okay, as long as they're not doing anything illegal" approach to the situation. They pretty much just let us be wild and noisy and crazy. We ended up at a pool-type thing outside a building and eventually they shoed us away from there, but other than that, they were totally cool. We finally, in a mood of absolute exhaustion and happiness, straggled back to our dorms around 3 a.m. We ended up watching CNN for a while longer waiting for them to call North Caroline, Missouri and Indiana (which they didn't do for quite a while). A few people pulled all-nighters, but the roomies and I were in bed about 3:30 or 3:45.



Our alarms going off at 6:30 were very, very rude. We all hit snooze a time or two and then dragged our sorry, happy selves out of bed. It felt like my entire body was weighed down. I was one of the few ones who were sober and not high last night (why drink away election night? I want to remember everything that happened) but still I felt like I had a massive hangover in the morning. I barely made it through my 8:30 a.m. class, but I managed to stay awake. Then at 9:45 I came back to my dorm and fell into blissful slumber until 11, when I had to get ready for my next class.



The rest of the day was classes and just generally happy students. Everybody was excited. What an amazing, incredible 24-48 hours we've been living. Though our Obama high was dampered by the SHITTY banning happening in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas, we are still full of HOPE that these decisions will be overturned SOON. Discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple, and there is absolutely NO excuse for that in this day in age. But as I have to keep reminding myself, we've got to take this one day at a time. My father tells me I need patience, but I told him I don't have the patience for patience.



But in the meantime, it's nearly 1 a.m, and I'm utterly exhausted. I'm going to bed to dream of a future under President Obama--what a wonderful dream it is. Plus D.'s rescheduled to come in this Friday and I am positively beside myself with excitement.



P.S. There are so many more pictures of our evening on Facebook. If you're interested in being my friend, e-mail me and I'll tell you my name. (Note: Sorry to be rude, but I'm only approving the bloggers I know really well on Facebook. Please don't be offended if I turn you down!)



This week? The absolute best.

11.05.2008

Si se puede

As I sit and type this, I can hear hundreds of voices shouting, horns honking, just general excitement outside my window.

Tonight, as I sat with dozens of fellow students,
Tonight, as we all sat and watched, eyes on the TV for six straight hours,
Tonight, as we hoped, and hoped, and hoped beyond measure,
Tonight, we elected Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I can only hope I never forget this night. I hope I never forget the happiness, the nervousness, the shouts, the tears, but -- most of all -- I hope I never forget the magnitude of what's happened tonight.

Tonight. Tonight. Someday, in the future, I'll be able to tell my babies, and my babies' babies, about a generation of college students so full of HOPE that together, we helped elect the first African American president. That together, we helped take one step closer to full equality for everyone. That together, we stood up for something we believed in SO STRONGLY that strangers became friends, enemies became friends, friends became closer friends, in a quest to achieve our dream.

Tonight, after Obama was announced as president-elect, after we toasted each other with cider and hugged everyone around us, after we sat silently, respectfully, during McCain's concession speech and then again during Obama's, we went out. We walked the streets of this incredible city. We screamed ourselves hoarse toward everybody who walked by. We cheered at the passing cars who honked in the rhythm of "yes we can." We slapped high-fives with person after person. Hundreds of us. Thousands of us. Young, old, black, white, tall, short...we were there, we were together. We had done it.

Tonight we took a step toward a healthier America. One full of hope, and change. It's not just about the black and white -- a spark has been ignited in us young college-age students. A passion. And though we certainly can't fully understand the magnitude of what we have accomplished now, or maybe even ever, we understand that we have changed the course of history.

Tomorrow we'll be exhausted. But tomorrow is a new day. We are excited about the future, we impressionable people, and that says so much. I can't convey just how amazing it feels to know that the very first time I've voted, the very first election I've ever really participated in, has turned out this way. We can go nowhere but up from here and I can't wait to see what happens next. Next, a woman in the white house. But for now, we rest easier, knowing that we have hope. That hope, finally, is here.

Yes we did.

Yes we did.

Yes, we did.

11.04.2008

BOOYA.


Tonight was indescribable, but I'll try my best to put it into words later. For now, I go to bed ecstatic, and full of hope.

The Situation Room (i.e., further proof that we are Uberdorks)

Y'all, we are so ready for election night. I'm not even kidding. We've taken over the 5th floor common room and created our very own Situation Room. All we need now is for the results to start pouring in. We're so ready.


Welcome!


Our not-drawn-to-scale-but-sort-of-accurate map of the United States, including the number of electoral votes from each state


We didn't forget Alaska and Hawaii!


A close-up of the Obama and McCain boards. Notice we're using red and blue markers. We're not messing around here.


TV's been on CNN all day (sorry, McCain happened to be on screen when I took the picture)


Aaaaand we've got the official countdown to the 7 o'clock poll closings on someone's computer.

(We're also geared up to play this or this as each state's results come in. I wasn't kidding when I said we were ready.)

Everyone's so excited here. This really is an incredibly amazing day--I'm so happy to be a part of this election! Now we just can't wait to get the ball rolling--COME ON, LET IT BE 7 O'CLOCK ALREADY!!!

Next time you hear from me, it'll either be a loud, blue, "BOOYA" or a sad, red "Lord, help us." Cross your fingers for the former--this is it!

11.03.2008

Grumpy old Nanny

While I love living on the east coast, I'm not lovin' the late start times for all the TV shows I watch. And meetings I go to. And dinners. Etc.

I'm used to eating early, having any meetings I go to start around 7, and watching shows either at 7 or 8. I'm sooooo not loving the 9:00 start time for EVERY. SHOW. I. WATCH. Like the SNL special tonight, for example. It's on from 9-11. Then the Daily Show's on at 11:30. This girlfriend needs some sleep and desperately--especially gearing up for tomorrow night's all-nighter! (The collective 5th floor of my dorm has taken a vow to not sleep until we have a winner. Which could be bad if we have a repeat 2000.)

But though I'm in a perpetual state of sleep exhaustion, when looking back at where I was last year at this time...there's no comparison. I'm so much happier now. I loved the girls to the moon and back but working for their parents was hell on earth. I realize now just how miserable I was. And how much better things are here and now.

And I love it.

11.01.2008

UberDork

For those of you who don't know, my college boasts a whopping 5% athletes. Yeah. And an unofficial 4% of those are Quidditch players.

You know...Quidditch, like from Harry Potter.

Oh yes, my school is one of the approximately 160 colleges across the country who play Quidditch on a regular basis. Can I just tell you how happy this makes me? It's like we're wearing a stamp on our collective head that says, "UBERDORK." And we are. And we're proud.

Here are some pictures of the Quidditch match that was held today. It was a gorgeous day (a bit on the chilly side), but the Quidditch was GOOD!


Setting up...


On your mark...get set...


GO!


Uh oh...someone's down. But all's fair in love and Quidditch!

(P.S. It totally makes my day to have to explain Quidditch to innocent bystanders. "The chasers have to score with the Quaffle, yeah, those white balls, while the beaters are trying to hit them with the Bludgers, yes, they're called Bludgers OH LOOK THERE'S THE SNITCH! And the seekers are chasing after it! Yes, those ARE broomsticks between their legs. Have you not read Harry Potter, people?!?")