11.30.2009

Fortress


I took this near DreamSchool on a foggy day! It looks like a lone fortress :) (As always, click on it to see the better quality/better color version...)

11.28.2009

Ahhhhhhh.

As you read this, I'm on my way back to DreamSchool. These past three days have been just so amazing...oh, you guys, I cannot tell you how lovely they've been.

I feel so calm and at peace. My heart is so full. I know it's cheesy, but these past three days have literally recharged my soul. I really, really don't want to leave tomorrow.

I only get to see my grandparents once a year in the summer, and as they've both just turned 88 and are not nearly as robust as they once were, every bit of extra time I get to spend with them is a true blessing. Plus to spend time with my aunts and uncles and cousins -- I'm so, so happy.

We're crazy, but this has been wonderful.

Now I'm sitting here and listening to Andrew Bird's hauntingly lovely "The Giant of Illinois (The Handsome Family)," having just said goodbye to my grandparents and an aunt and uncle, just trying to soak up every last bit of time I have left in this house.

I'm so happy. And so sad to leave tomorrow. I already can't wait for next summer to see them all again (though it's been just amazing spending a holiday with them! Usually it's just my immediate family in Texas).

Also, I got to meet the fabulous Kaitlyn!!! We've been blog/twitter/facebook/text/phone call friends for almost a year now, and I got to meet her in person today. She was just as adorable and sweet as she seems online.


(I had to censor because I'm anonymous online and she's not. I know, I'm a dork.)

But oh, you guys: I am so thankful. So very thankful. Thankful for family, friends (both blog friends and friends in real life -- cause believe it or not, I have both!), my health, my school, Sasha le iPhone...I am so very, very blessed.

It's been an amazing Thanksgiving week.

11.26.2009

Thanksgiving



My beautiful Volvo Damien the Wild Stallion's old license plate sits in my dorm room to remind me of home. And while I'm not home in Texas for Thanksgiving, I am with my family — which is more than enough to make this college kid very happy. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

11.24.2009

Break time!

So as of 27 minutes ago, I am OFFICIALLY ON THANKSGIVING BREAK!

WOOOOOOOOOOOT!

What that means is now I'm frantically doing last-minute laundry and packing before I leave for the airport at 5:55 a.m. to fly to Michigan to see my family (thank you to my rich surgeon aunt for flying us up there!!!) and do a lot of homework because hi, being a college student is busy, and play games and eat food and ZOMG MEET Kaitlyn (!!!!!!!!!) and then fly back on Saturday when I'll immediately launch into all the rest of the homework I have due Monday.

PHEW.

The rest of this entry is bullet pointed, because I've lost the brain ability to make even slightly logical transitions:

• I'm applying to be a student supervisor in Admissions at DreamSchool. They're only taking 1 new supervisor for next semester, and I'm pretty low on the totem pole in Admissions, but still -- I've got my fingers crossed!

• I love this school. I really do.

• I've recently discovered a love of raw tomatoes. This pleases my mother infinitely.

• In my hardest class, a journalism law & ethics class, we had one HELL of a take-home midterm due two weeks ago. 50 intense, insane questions that literally had me in tears. But I finished it, submitted it on time, and for the past 2 weeks I've been waiting with baited breath for my grade.

Last week, he told us he'd have the grades to us within a week. Tonight, we went to class found out that his car had been broken into and our exams (and his computer) HAD BEEN STOLEN. Luckily, we submitted our exams online, but he still has to re-grade EVERYTHING.

• If you haven't heard the song "Happiness" by Riceboy Sleeps, you're missing out on life.

• My baby sister turned 18 this past weekend!!!!!!! I bought her a present. I hope she likes it, but I really won't be offended if she doesn't.

• Have I told you guys that for spring break this year, I'm taking a bus to NEW YORK CITY with one of my really good friends!??!?!?!? We're staying in a youth hostel for next to no money at all. Do you know what this means? I GET TO SPEND MY 21st BIRTHDAY IN NEW. YORK. CITY. Which we will celebrate by playing a nice game of Go Fish and falling asleep by 9 p.m., of course.

• Now I'm just trying to think of random things to tell you guys. And I'm trying to remember if I've posted any of this stuff before. I know I've tweeted it. Twitter and blogspot tend to merge in my brain a lot.

• I think this is it. Laundry is calling, and I gots packing to do, yo!

11.22.2009

My view (with heightened color)


My desk! (click to see the better quality/boosted color image)

I love how everything is reflected off of Sasha-my-love.

11.20.2009

Another reason why I love my school...

I got this email today:

DreamSchool has decided to pilot a gender neutral housing option (GNH) for fall 2010 on a limited basis. GNH allows students, in mutual agreement, to share a multiple occupancy room or a multiple occupancy suite, regardless of the students’ sex or gender. It allows students to choose to live with whom they are most comfortable and also provides housing options for students who may identify as transgender, or are questioning their gender identity, or do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications.

Honestly, I giggled at the last line with the "do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications" bit, but deep down I love how accepting my school is.

11.18.2009

No-Shave November!

So I'm not sure if you all know this, but I'm stubborn.

Really stubborn.

Exhibits A-Q: I have not eaten cheese since I was 5 years old. I have no problem with it. I used to like it. One day, out of the blue while eating a grilled cheese sandwich I said I'd never eat cheese again. And I haven't. For over a decade and a half. I could eat it. But I don't.

See? Stubborn.

So when I heard the boys suite next to our girls suite was going to do No-Shave November, I told boytoy Sean that if he was participating (ewww, scruff) than I would too (i.e., no shaving legs). I fully expected him to opt out.

Nope.

He said, and I quote, "Okay."

And I said, "OKAY?!?!?"

And he said, "Okay."

And I said, "Does that not gross you out?!? The thought of me not shaving my legs for a MONTH?!?!?"

And he said, "Not really. Guys don't really pay attention to that."

And I said, "Marry me."

So: it was settled. No-Shave November would be in full swing for me, as well. I lathered up and shaved October 31, and kissed my razor goodbye until December 1. (Except for my underarms. Cause a month of no shaving your underarms? OH HONEY NO.)

It's cold enough up here that I'm either in jeans or tights (under a skirt) every day. So no big with the hairy legs.

A week in, I was a champion! Stubble, no prob! I can handle those little black hairs if he can!

Two weeks in, oy. A week makes a big difference. But still! I'm stubborn! I CAN DO THIS!

Two weeks, two days in: Eeeewwww, the hairs poke out of my tights now. EW. BUT I CAN DO THIS! I WILL EMERGE VICTORIOUS!

Two weeks, four days in: I caved.

Yup, this morning, I cut down the forrest that had moved onto my legs. I effectively ended No-Shave November simply because good lord I could not take it any longer.

18 days with no shaved legs. (I'm rather embarrassed to say that's not the longest I've gone. But still.) OY.

But now I am all silky smooth and purdy. For the record, boytoy Sean's still in. It looks, um, interesting. Rather like a 19-year-old boy's attempt at his first beard. Cause that's what it is.

Is it December 1 yet?

Edit: And no, just because I caved with No-Shave November does NOT mean I'll be trying cheese anytime soon.

11.17.2009

Debt-free's the way to be

Squee! I'm doing it! I'm officially set to graduate in December 2011, debt-free! (I may have to take out a few thousand in loans, but that is SO MUCH BETTER than the number I was looking at before!)

So here's the breakdown:

I'll take 4 classes per semester for the next 4 semesters. I'll take 2 classes this summer, and two classes next summer.

I'm coming home to do the classes -- hopefully I can find nighttime classes that won't interfere with my nanny gig :) I'll either take them at a state school's local campus or at a community college, depending on what I can find.

Y'all: I'm doing this. Debt-free. Honestly, I thought I would be up to $100,000 in debt by the time I left this school. I *almost* didn't come. I can't tell you how glad I am that I did!

Several things helped contribute to the debt-free bit (and I know, I know, I am so lucky!!!):

1) I had enough money saved up to pay for an entire semester
2) My (wonderful and wealthy) aunt and uncle gave me a generous gift when I turned 18 that I'm using to pay for another semester
3) My (wonderful) grandparents are chipping in enough per year so that when you add it all up, essentially, they're paying for a semester.

That's 3 semesters right there--that's how I've been able to be debt-free until now.

Also, DreamSchool is giving me almost enough for one semester per year. On top of that, my parents are contributing generously what they can and I'm working as well. So we're making it work.

We're making it work.

Debt-free.

I seriously am in shock. And awe. Because this? Is amazing.

11.16.2009

Convergence! Convergence!

So the word on the skreet lately is CONVERGENCE.

And if by 'skreet' I mean 'journalism school.'

I have one professor who is bleach-blonde, wears pink lipstick, uses jazz hands like they're going out of style, and insists on being called Bridget instead of Professor LastName. And she is crazy. She teaches me how to use video cameras and edit segments.

I have one professor who's got an New York accent so thick I can hardly understand him. He talks like this: "Sooo, whaddya knaw, ya wanna do some jahnalism? Eh? Jahnalism?" He teaches me Flash, DreamWeaver, and other Internet/design software.

I have one professor who is an NPR rock critic and fairly famous author. He wears tortoise-shell glasses and sweater vests and a blazer with patches on the elbows, but he can drop rap lyrics like nobody's business. He teaches me photography for journalism, and audio segmenting.

And I have one professor who is tiny and old and Greek and likes to yell my last name loudly and ask its origins (Hungarian). I've mentioned on the blog before the strong desire I have to adopt him as a pet and take him for walks daily just to hear what he has to say about the world. His class officially teaches me to cover news, but really it's more like he calls me at 9 p.m. with a story and demands that I have it on his desk by 8 a.m. the next day.

"It's CONVERGENGE! CONVERGENCE JOURNALISM, ladies and gentlemen!" Bridget likes to say, jazz hands going crazy.

At this school, I've learned strong interviewing skills and newsgathering skills. I've learned how to write on a really, really, really small deadline (think 2 hours from assignment of story to getting it on my editor's desk). I've learned to differentiate between newspaper, magazine, online, radio, and broadcast writing.

Even though my major is print journalism, I'm learning/have learned how to put together radio segments, broadcast segments, photojournalism and multimedia online segments. I can do Flash and I'm learning DreamWeaver, I can work Flip cams and edit my own videos to upload. All of this on top of traditional journalism writing classes. I'm working on state-of-the-industry equipment for free (well, with tuition).

I know I am the most marketable kind of journalist. I know I can get a job post-graduation in journalism if I so choose (especially since I have my former professor's cell phone number -- he currently works for one of the major newspapers in the country).

This, this, is why I took the financial plunge to return to DreamSchool. I'm getting the most incredible education, and I'm having fun doing it. I'm so, so, SO busy, but it's good busy. The money is worth it.

But the icing on top of the cake is that I may be able to graduate debt-free.

DEBT.

FREE.

I'm meeting with my advisor tomorrow to talk about me graduating in 3.5 years, not 4. I'd have to take summer classes this summer and next to drop some general education classes out of the way, but that's fine. I'd be completing an out-of-this-world education and graduating debt-free.

I'm seriously giddy! If I were Bridget, I'd be dancing around in sequins.

(Alas, I'm not Bridget, but I am sitting here typing with a smile on my face.)

Wish me luck at my meeting tomorrow! Hopefully I can transfer credits and match everything up so that this is possible!

Remember kids: CONVERGENCE!

11.14.2009

Fog



I took this a few weeks ago, but it was like this again today. LOTS of rain, lots of fog eating up buildings.

11.11.2009

College has taught me one thing...

...and it's not something I'm particularly proud of.

Hi, I'm Nanny, and I've become addicted to crap reality shows.

I'm seriously hanging my head in shame right now.

It all started a few weeks back, when I walked into my living room and my roommates were watching the Rachel Zoe project on Bravo. I sat down, rolling my eyes and chiding them...and got hooked.

It hasn't stopped there. Now, my little reality-show-starved heart beats wildly at the mere thought of turning on Bravo and seeing Tabatha at various hair salons or Madison and his million-dollar real estate listings.

Swoon.

I know it's a problem. I don't have time to watch this stuff (so I don't, usually...but then there are days like yesterday when I watched for 1.5 hours straight -- HOLY CRAP, it was delicious (and a luxury!)....)

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I'm actually going to cut this blog short because Rachel Zoe is back on. And god help me, I LOVE HER.

I know. I know.

I have a problem.

11.09.2009

Thank you.

I just wanted to say...thank you, to all of you, for your support on this post about D. and me.

Honestly, I'm still in a bit of a shock that the secret I hid for so long is now known.

But I am more grateful than I can say for your kind words, tweets, comments, and emails. They literally brought me to tears and I cannot tell you how lucky I felt.

My sister's comment particularly touched me (and so many others' comments said the same thing). It said:

"i found out about you and D. waaaay before you wanted me to and quite honestly, it took me a while to adjust to it.

but you two made me realize how much love can exist between two people... no matter what their genders may be."

It's true. It's so true. A man's love for another man, or a woman's love for another woman, is just as strong, beautiful, and powerful as a heterosexual couple's. The bottom line is: it's love.

It's love.

And that's an amazing thing.

11.07.2009

Buildings


I took this at a spot about 5 minutes from DreamSchool.

11.05.2009

Winner!

The winner of the bracelet giveaway is...



#37 -- Jessi!!!

Congratulations, Jessi! Email me at theonlinenannyATgmailDOTcom and I'll get you hooked up.

Thank you all for entering!

11.04.2009

A secret. And a plea.

Okay. I'm about to let you guys in on a huge secret to segue into something I'm passionate about. I'm leaving the comments open, and you can feel free to voice your opinions -- just do it nicely, please.

Here's my story.

When I was 17, I met D. Any of you old readers of mine will remember me talking about her a LOT. She quickly became my best friend in the entire world. We were closer than close...oh, we had so much fun together.

Nine months into our friendship, it evolved into a friends-with-benefits kind of thing. While I loved it and certainly enjoyed it, it also freaked me out -- because I self-identified as being straight.

After I turned 18, D. and I both realized that there was something more than just the physical part of our relationship. She asked me to be her girlfriend, and I said yes (and freaked out, because this wasn't anything I had ever thought I'd be doing).

Because we lived in Texas, and because the school we went to was ultra-conservative, and because her parents had made it clear that they would NOT approve of a girl-girl relationship (and keep us apart if we were in one -- they had suspected something was going on, but we lied and said nothing was going on), we kept everything secret.

Only our two best friends knew about D. and me. As time went on, I got more and more comfortable with the fact that I was in a relationship with a GIRL. I realized that honestly, I didn't care that she was a girl. I fell for her for who she was, not her gender.

Of course our relationship wasn't perfect. But I honestly can't express how happy we were together. For 2.5 years, we were madly in love. I couldn't believe how lucky I was, to be in a relationship with my best friend, my lover, my partner...we were so, so happy.

When I moved up to college, to DreamSchool -- it was excruciating. I cried so hard, leaving my girl, my best friend. Long distance was hell. Only seeing her every few months, with her in her senior year of high school and me in my freshman year of college, we were both busy beyond belief. But we were determined to stay together, and we were full of hope that she'd get into her own dream school, which was near my school.

She didn't get in.

After that, facing three more years of separation...we lost a bit of our spirit.

D. started pulling (almost undetectably at first) away from me. The long distance relationship had always been harder on her -- she was stuck at home, going through the hell of senior year, and I was in an amazing city far away in college. She just couldn't take the thought of three more years apart. I couldn't blame her.

At the beginning of this summer, our relationship ended. It didn't end well. I don't want to get into that here, but there was a lot of hurt and pain involved. This summer was the hardest of my life, losing not only my partner but my only best friend in the entire world. That's part of the reason I was so determined to come back to DreamSchool regardless of the financial implications -- I had to get out of Texas, away from the memories (oh god, there were so many), back up to the city and school I loved that was worlds apart from D.

----------------------------------------------------------

Things are better, now.

I'm in a quasi-relationship-but-it's-not-really-a-relationship with a sweet, funny guy named Sean. I think about D. every day, but the hurt is less, the pain is less, the sadness is less. We haven't spoken in a few months. It was too hard to just be friends with her, without the (everything else) that we had. But oh, I hope she's doing wonderfully at college. And I hope that she's doing well, herself, emotionally.

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I kept this secret from you all for a few reasons. One was that at the beginning of D.'s and my relationship, we were secret. And my parents and sister read my blog. So I couldn't reveal it here.

Also...I didn't want you all judging me. I was so scared that you would just because I happened to be head-over-heels for a person of my sex, even though I still self-identify as straight (I don't know if I'll ever be with a girl again. Right now, I'm happy with Sean).

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I know this seems like it's coming out of left field. But here's where I'm going with this.

When D. and I were together, we did discuss our future together. Houses, kids...marriage.

Marriage.

When I was with D., had we stayed together, I would have wanted to marry her. Not civil union her, not domestic partnership her, marry her.

Marriage is something I've been dreaming about since I was a little girl. Why, just because the person I loved more than anything happened to be a girl, should that not have been allowed? I've said it before: social issues are of the utmost importance to me in politics. I vote for candidates based on social issues.

Same-sex marriage is a social issue. It's a civil right, people. Marriage is a CIVIL RIGHT. There is no difference between an interracial couple wanting to marry 40 years ago and a same-sex couple wanting to marry now.

You can no more choose your sexual orientation than you can choose your skin color.

Period.

It was hard to be in a relationship with a girl. I was almost ashamed of being with a girl, because of the majority of the country's opinions on same-sex relationships. We hid ourselves because of what other people would say.

We couldn't hold hands in public in Texas.
We couldn't put our relationship on Facebook (however trivial that sounds).
We couldn't be open.

I had taken that freedom for granted in the past. Now, I most certainly am not. But that doesn't change the fact that it's one of the worst feelings in the world to be afraid of showing who you love.

Everyone should have the right to be married.

To me, a civil union is a slap in the face. It's saying, "We support you and all, but you just can't have the same rights (or words) we straight people do."

Marriage is a civil right. According to the constitution, ALL MEN (and women) are created equal. We should ALL have the rights to marry who we want whether it's on a beach or in a church* or on the couch in our living room.

*while I support same-sex marriage being legalized everywhere, I also support the rights of religious institutions to decline to preform same-sex marriages if they so choose. That's why I think that regardless of your religious views on same-sex marriage, you should still support it -- you don't have to have same-sex marriages in your church, but you'd be giving basic civil rights to all people. Is that not the Christian thing to do?

I'm rather defeated by Maine's loss of same-sex marriage.

I hate that for all my LGBTQ friends, they can only get married in a handful of states. I hated that when I was with D., we had to talk about whether we preferred Massachusetts or Connecticut, instead of being able to get married in Texas where we both lived and where our families were.

Every little girl (or boy) should be able to grow up and have the wedding of their dreams and get married to whomever they choose.

Please, please, please...support LGBTQ rights and the right for everyone who wants to be married. Please help end sexual orientation discrimination (for the love of god, please, please don't use the word 'gay' as a derogatory slur). Help us get to a time when people aren't ostracized based on the gender of who they love.

Please.

Here's a petition to support same-sex marriages. Please, if you believe in civil rights for everybody, sign it.

11.03.2009

One more day!

Tomorrow is the last day to enter the giveaway! Contest ends at 11:59 p.m., and I'll announce the winner right after in a new post.