To T

I dedicate this post to my roommate, Hannah’s, father. His name is Tony but he’s often referred to as “T” and his wife (Hannah’s mom) then becomes “P”. It makes for a nice little ring when Hannah announces that, “…P and T are coming to town!”

I want to thank T for when he helped move Hannah into our old house (or maybe he was just coming up randomly to fix our old house…hmm). During this visit we took a trip to the local Menard’s. If you have never been to a Menard’s please click here because it is incredible and has anything and everything you could ever need…ever. 

Amongst my amazement as I walked through Menard’s I spotted T. He was sitting in an isle claiming we, “Absolutely have to get a new toaster oven because ours is filthy and disgusting…” or something along those lines…and he was right. Our old toaster oven was greased up, dirty, and had crusty burnt food particles everywhere. After a little back and forth about what toaster oven we should purchase (T wanted big and fancy, Hannah wanted simple) everyone had settled on this one particular toaster oven. ImageI want to thank him so much for this toaster oven because as a somewhat (not) wealthy college student I use this toaster oven quite a lot when making my usually dinner of bread and butter.

I will admit that this handy dandy toaster oven was a liiiiittle bit cleaner than it is now (we haven’t necessarily been keeping up with the cleaning, hence the old dirty toaster oven). But nevertheless it is cooking strong and hot. I’ve cooked many meals in this thing. I’ve kept french toast warm, heated up spaghetti, and made the best set of nachos I’ve ever tasted. 

We got rid of our microwave earlier this year and didn’t even think twice about it. The only thing we really even used it for was to heat up water which is just as easily done on the stove. 

At my house back home we have a microwave and a regular toaster and I always find myself missing the “oven” part of the toaster. It’s cool that I can make toast and all but…what about everything else? I know I could turn the toaster on it’s side but then you get unevenly toasted toast and that’s no good either. The toaster oven T bought us would never unevenly cook anything. It’s perfect.

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Look at it…in all of it’s orange glowing goodness.

A word a week photo challenge: Smile

Smiles, to me, are contagious. They mimic each other when laughing with friends and they freeze when someone pulls out a camera.

A lot of things can happen in order to make someone smile. A smile can be sprouted from the sun returning after a cloudy day. A smile can crack at the sight of a cute boy…or girl…or animal or even song.

On the list of “things that make me smile”, however, I would not say “taking a bath”. Unlike, Layne, my friend’s nephew, bubble baths do not make me smile. I’ve narrowed down two things that could contribute to the lack of smiling I do during bubble baths; I often feel even dirtier after I take them so I have to shower afterward, and I don’t get cool toys like little kids do. And plus, I can’t make a bubble beard look as good as this little guy…

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Word A Week: Weather

Weather: a rather…peculiar thing. It changes over seasons. It changes over days. In Michigan, it changes by the hour.

It’s strange to think about how I define a year with four seasons. I can recall specific events and what year they were in just by the season in which it occurred. 365 days broke into a few months of bitter cold followed by blossoming flowers. This phenomenon then somehow fades into “summer”: warm months, tan skin, happy people with adventures lasting all day outside and in swimming pools. Then the tree’s leaves start to mimic the sun’s rays, turning into rich hues of yellow and orange.

Seasons come and go and every year “winter” is different. Three years ago I can remember snow days (in college) filled with climbing banks of plowed snow, multiple inches of fluffy flakes, and long days curled up around a mug of hot chocolate after snow suit covered adventures through the woods.

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Last year, I seem to only be able to recall the end stage of winter. You know, the random piles of slush freckling brown, soggy ground…the ugly stage.

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This year, winter seems to not be starting even though it’s been here for weeks. Frosted tipped blades of snow can still be seen but the bitterness can’t be tolerated. Although there isn’t that many frozen flakes surrounding me, I can’t seem to escape the nose burning, toes numbing, fingers freezing chill that engulfs me every time I walk outside.

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In my 21 years of life I have witnessed enough winters to suffice. I prefer warmer weather: the weather that encourages me to get up and ride my bike, not disappear into a bed full of blankets.

Weather controls my mood…my mindset. When the weather is warm, sunny, bright…that’s when I smile, explore, and laugh.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

ImageThis is Zeus. He’s a mix between a toy and a teacup Chihuahua weighing in around 3.7 pounds. Zeus has been a fellow companion of mine since I’ve gotten back up to school, seeing as he goes everywhere with his “owner”, my good friend, Rhodes. When I invite her over I automatically assume this little guy is coming with. 

She carries him in her jacket to protect him from the cold (and don’t let her look fool you, she’s everything but angry about having to do so).

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She lets him snuggle up oddly close to her face for a little nap…

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and it is beyond me how one tiny animal can be so incredibly, awfully…adorable.

ImageIt’s beyond me how he can sit there with a steady shaking that can only make you assume every look he gives you is a little whine accompanied by a “my life is so hard” without his body just going overboard.

It’s beyond me how nature still allows him to have such beady eyes, protruding out of his head. 

It’s beyond me to think that something this small and helpless can actually get up and walk down (and up) stairs. 

I think, out of all the time I’ve spent with him, I’ve seen him on the ground maybe..15% of the time. This little guy is never not touching a human. I’d like to think that this is what the world looks like from his eyes as he rests on anyones lap who will encourage him to burrow his way into the blankets:

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My absolute favorite Zeus moments are when his mother decides to dress him up in a sweater.

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It’s beyond me how Rhodes has learned his language to the point of being able to perfectly (in my opinion) commentate his every move. They spend almost every waking hour together besides when she is working. His favorite question is, “wanna go on a car ride?!” and he prances for joy every time he hears those words. That question drastically increases the percent of time he spends on his own four feet.

As a previous Chihuahua hater (I’ll admit it…I think most of the time they are yippee and annoying) it is beyond me how I can love this little guy so much. His owner is pretty cool too..

 

 

I’m so…hip.

The other night, as I perched myself on a fluffy pink chair within arms distance from a couch and two other chairs, I sat surrounded by six of my closest friends. We had rearranged our furniture to create the perfect circle so we could stare into each other’s eyes and converse with ease.

Five out of six girls in the room were wearing floppy hats, four out of six girls don’t shave their legs, two are vegetarians (one, vegan) and on a Friday night we were all sitting inside talking about deeper meanings of life and how society can be so twisted but yet we all find joy in tree branches and bird chirps as drunk buffoons line up for the bar downstairs.

I’m not sure how it was brought up but a “hipster” joke was made. The five girls who supposedly fit the subject of the joke, including myself, all kind of giggled and said in unison, “I’m not quite sure what a hipster is…”

My friend Sophie took it from there. She went on to explain that our lamp-lit Friday night was the epitome of “hipster”. After all, harsh overhead lighting would hurt our artistic eyes. I was then informed by Sophie that photography is now a “hipster” talent to hold. I was unaware. If this is the case, I have been “hip” since the time I was old enough to click that button on a disposable camera.

I’m not sure why being called a hipster put me on such an edge, but it just didn’t ring right with me. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to be labeled at all. Or maybe it’s because in my head, I think hipsters are people who try way to hard to be something because it’s cool and they call themselves hipsters because they don’t know what other category they fit in. Or maybe I see the majority of “hipsters” and have to think twice about whether they are gay or not, which is fine, but a little confusing at times.

Someone argued, “to be a hipster..you have to not all yourself a hipster…”

Another friend countered with, “the whole meaning of hipster is to try and be something just because it’s hip” and it has nothing to do with whether you call yourself one or not.

I wasn’t quite sure what the meaning of “hipster” was, so I looked it up.

Google says a hipster is “A person that follows the latest trends and fashions.” This would automatically dismiss me from this hipster category because I have no idea what the latest fashions even are. I’ve been steady wearing jeans and t-shirts since middle school and have no desire to change that now.

I wasn’t satisfied with Google’s answer, so I did some further research..

Urban dictionary says, “A hipster is someone who is smart enough to talk about philosophy, music, politics, art, etc. with you all day long, but not smart enough to see how big of a tool s/he is.” The first part? That’s me all day long. I love talking about how things work, philosophy, music, I absolutely love art and I’ve recently gotten into politics, however, I am smart enough to not only see how big of a tool I am, but to actually know I am not a “tool” at all. At least, not by definition. 

Another definition from urban dictionary is this: Someone who listens to bands you’ve never heard of, wears ironic tee-shirts, and believes they are better than you.

I’ve never been one for ironic t-shirts. It’s just not really my thing. On the other hand, I do listen to some bands that the majority of people have never heard of but that is only because I like a type of music that doesn’t get overplayed on the radio for mass amounts of ears to hear. I like bands that I can relate to, that have lyrics that mean something, and last but not least, are pleasant to listen to and don’t make my head feel like it’s going to be bumped right off of my neck from the obnoxiously loud bass and redundant electronic beats. Does that mean I think I’m better than you? Absolutely not. 

So, as far as this hipster topic goes, I have no idea whether someone would categorize me as one. I also have no intentions of researching this topic further. I know that I am me. I dress how I want, say what I want, listen to music I want, and talk about whatever I want to talk about. If that makes me a so-called, “hipster” then so be it…it doesn’t mean I’ll understand this hipster world anymore than I do now. And it certainly won’t change my behaviors.

back to school

With the new semester beginning, a cold brewing, and a to-do list that stretches across a couple of pages, I am finally settling into my new schedule. Since freshman year I have had classes 5 days a week (even when I didn’t have Friday classes, I had observations I had to do). This semester is very different from the past. This semester I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, and one class on Wednesday at 4pm (big wooop)…

I had it in my head that I was going to get up and get going Friday-Monday because I have plenty of free time. So far, that hasn’t exactly happened. In my defense, it was the first week of school and I had to get acquainted…

I’ve spent many mornings flat on my back, waiting in my bed until I mustered up enough energy to sit. Then I had to gather enough energy to simply stand out of bed on my own two feet, step into some pants and be on my way. Lazy isn’t a word I would used to describe myself. Unmotivated? That seems to do a little more justice.

When there is no need for me to do something, when it is simply just a good thought or an idea, it’s hard for me to actually get up and do it. Unless, of course, it’s something that really interests me…like…sitting around with my friends..going out to eat…or even just sitting by myself and listening to music. Rarely do I wake up in the morning and think,

“I can’t wait to do this chapter review!”

When I say rarely…I mean “never”. 

Not once have I woken up psyched about some homework I put off to the last minute (because along with no motivation comes procrastination). If I’m being truly honest, I was not mentally prepared for this semester to start..at all. I bought my books the second day of class, unlike a lot of people who shop online before classes even start. I didn’t even glance at a syllabus until the professor was going over it in class and I also couldn’t tell people what classes I was taking. Registration happens, what to me, seems like months before the semester starts, so with searching through course after course for availability and making sure they meet the credits I need, I tend to forget what I even signed up for in the first place.

Now, all this might make me sound like a terrible student, but I can reassure you, this semester I will be on top of my game.

I currently have only four classes. That makes me a full time student, but it’s nothing as heavy as a few semesters I’ve had in the past. I have ample free time (maybe too much) so I’m going to try my absolute best to fill that time with reading (text)books and doing homework. I would like to try and complete some homework before the day it’s due, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Procrastination is a bitch to tackle.

With my brain still on break and my body craving sleep, I had remembered in my 9:30am class one reason (besides learning, of course) I enjoyed going to class:

The people watching is OUTSTANDING.

I forgot how easy it is to observe when you’re shoved in a classroom that’s filled to capacity with chairs and people and counter space. All of which seem to be the same shade of gray/white under the fluorescent lights that are often too bright for my eyes to adjust.

There were some familiar faces, bored faces, lost faces, and happy faces as I looked around the room. I heard some people talking about the prices of books, their boyfriends, the bar etc. It was only until I really looked around that I realized I sat in the pinkest corner of the room. Now, let me explain…

The room was set up in somewhat of an inconvenient matter. The tables were all facing each other in a circle with the chairs lining the perimeter. There were two or three desks on the inside of the circle that no one wanted to sit in. I sat in a corner closest to the window surrounded by girls that were all wearing some form of hot pink clothing.

One girl, a jacket. Another girl, a sweater. A scarf, a hat, shoes, and even…here’s the best part…PANTS. Pink. Pants. I’ve never seen something like that worn on anyone over the age of 4, but to each his own. Now, yes, I am a girl. But by no means am I one of those girls whose favorite color is pink. I don’t do my hair before class or put on a face full of makeup ever. I don’t like drama and I don’t like unnecessary, petty comments that fling from the mouths of a lot of girls in my classes. Needless to say, this pink freckled corner is going to be avoided during my next class.

Maybe another corner of the room will offer even better people watching. Maybe I will hear some fascinating stories of world travels or something. All I know is anything will be better than that corner I sat in the first day. Finding a good seat in class is crucial for not only my people watching abilities, but for my attention span as well.

Too close to a window and I’ll be daydreaming about being outside all class. Too far back in the room and I’ll be paying attention to ever movement the people in front of me make. 

One time, last year, I sat right by the door. This was a terrible decision because a few classes were dismissed as my class was in full swing. People flooded the hallways and conversations boomed all while I was stuck in class trying to listen to some professor mumble on and on about Buddhism (which is actually really interesting when it doesn’t involve a lecture in a mono-toned voice). I couldn’t handle it. People are the best distraction there is.