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The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

Friday, October 28, 2005

indigent

This is amazing. I am amazing. Elaina is amazing. Phil and Becky and John are all pretty amazing, too. I like the word amazing today. It fits well. It rolls out of my mind and baffles (amazes!) me whenever I think of what I did, why I feel the way I do.

IHOP is amazing. Instead of sitting around waiting for some distracted, uncaring server to refill your coffee cup, the IHOP waitresses gave us a pitcher of coffee each and left us to it. Other groups of college students were there when we showed up, but we were the last ones standing by far. An old man came up and told us a joke. When he left, we laughed and smiled and agreed, “Old people. Oh yes.”

It’s raining outside, right now. My window is streaked with rain, but before the sun came up it looked like patches of ice. When I say the sun came up, I really just mean the clouds got a little lighter and now I can see my way around my dorm room, instead of turning on lights and risking waking up the roommate.

It’s 7:30 now. I’m typing this in Word because I don’t want Firefox to crash and lose it all. I’m going to call Elaina in ten minutes, and then we’ll meet at the shuttle to fill our thermoses with coffee, have one last cram session in our creaky 70’s classroom desks, and maybe ask the professor what the hell is up with Brown vs. Mississippi.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Home Again

It's 8:45, and I'm completely ready to go to class. Class starts at 10. Yeah, this morning went a little faster than I thought it would... Now I can do crazy things like play music until my roommate wakes up, finish my homework, or maybe even give myself a manicure! Oh my oh my, the possibilities. What I really want to do is hit up the grocery store for foodstuffs. Our pantry is running low. And when I say low, I mean the only thing left to eat is ramen. Miles upon miles of ramen. ICK. Ramen is good when it's the first time you've eaten it all week, but every time after that it loses it's charm a little. It's like watching a polished, sophisticated sorority girl get drunk, only instead of watching the destruction, you're eating it.
I keep thinking it's a new week now. I went home Tuesday night and told myself it was the weekend. And basically, it was! Chanel and I bought a pack of cigarettes from the Shell station, then crossed the street to our old stompin' grounds: Denny's. The first thing I noticed made me almost poop my pants with happiness. The old man with the beard who sits and smokes and reads a book was there! His beard was just the same. His black-rimmed reading glasses were just the same. His checkered button-up shirt was still tucked in. My memory tells me he was wearing cowboy boots, but I think I just wish he was. So Chanel and I both went buckwild at Denny's: we laughed and we cried and we ate seasoned fries with BBQ sauce and ranch, and we threw our hands in the air and annoyed the waiter, we drank too much coffee and had to pee constantly for the rest of the night, we ate our shoplifted candy from the Shell station, and we both realized that no one will ever be able to take the place of our sister. I miss Chanel more than anyone. We drove to Steel Lake and reminisced about our summer mornings lazing in the sand before work, I listened to her bitch about work and pretended I had stuff to bitch about still, and we swung on the swings until our stomachs hurt and our eyes were drooping. We called it a night then, but it was just like old times. I fell asleep happier and more satisfied than I've been since I left for school. Yeah, I guess I am homesick after all.
One last story before I leave to go do something else. We went to the Auburn Goodwill to look for surplus army jackets (there weren't any). What we found instead will be my own image of heaven. We found rows and rows upon rows of like-new books for a dollar each. Yes! I came home with 16 new books, and I'm so excited to start reading them that I can barely get myself to finish the one I'm already reading. But honestly, Chanel's auntie put me to shame. She bought out almost every book in that place.

Monday, October 24, 2005

oh, you know. just another generic night at western. i was a little disenchanted with the place when i first got here - things just weren't going the way i planned. don't things always do that? it's a good angry-making machine, that whole plans-going-awry thing. hey now, no worries! everything has cleared up. i have friends across the street who communicate by airhorn and window signs. my cousin and i are on better terms than we've ever been in our entire lives. (she used to hate me, you know. i didn't know that. she only started liking me once we hit junior high. i've adored her forever!) sailing is fantastic. today, again, corey and randy tried to feed bugs to the spiders. jessica is such a laugh to be around, honestly, because of her i rarely do "the right thing" and work on all that schooling stuff. we ate a panini at the rec center today, and it was glorious.

moment of love: watching tv, and they mention plasma in passing. matt, across the room, shouts "plasma! whoo-hoo!"

Sunday, October 23, 2005

rancid - la bamba

alright! today was a real adventure. it was innocent enough - ben, nick and i all wanted to see serenity. but because ben is an RA, he couldn't drive us there (not that he has a car anyway.) no one really wanted to drive us, or loan us their car, so we ended up begging tuey for a ride and hoping we'd catch the bus back. we almost did! but we went to taco bell, things happened, and we walked outside just in time to see the bus driving away. now, in case you don't know, sunset is pretty far from western. like, 4 miles or so. we left at 6:45.. and just now, at 9:30, here i am. home. with aching feet, frizzy hair, not as much time to do homework as i'd hoped, and listening to etta james. and even though i'm completely exhausted, i am so very glad we missed that bus. because now i know more about aliens v. predators, getting out of headlocks, and wookie breeding habits than i ever thought possible. shazzam!
word on the street has it that lemon cake and chocolate frosting don't mix well. i tested that theory, and it's true. don't do it.
yesterday i hung out with frans! that boy is one of my lifelong pals now. it was nice just walking around campus with him, talking about all the things we want to do. our big plan for our future is to smoke a really nice cigar together.
natalie's home now. i liked living on my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

firefox has generated an error

i just want you to know how upset i am right now. i spent a good half hour writing an amusing piece on my adventures in the city today. literally, as i was putting the last finishing touches on it and about to publish, FIREFOX GENERATED AN ERROR AND SHUT DOWN. this makes me very angry. and upset that rj didn't fix that before he left me up here at western. i mean, really, what kind of friend lets firefox continue to generate errors and destroy all unsaved information?! so, just the gist of what i was going to write: i went downtown today, bought things, watched a movie, and came back 4 hours later. i then watched arrested developement with my cool plasma-donating neighbor, and the other plasma-donater from upstairs. yes, we are cool, we donate together.

deep inside of you

I would change myself if I could
I'd walk with my people if I could find them
And I'd say that I'm sorry to you
I'm sorry to you
And I don't wanna call you
but then I wanna call you
I don't wanna crush you
But I feel like crushing you

but what can you do? i spend my days wandering around narrow hallways in search of something to occupy my time. found loads of information on becoming an english teacher. found flyers for teaching english in japan. found the peace corps. found my spanish teacher's office. tomorrow i'll look for a job grading math papers. i finished reading my soc work. explored the library again. applied for that job as a reader for the magazine.
i found a new hobby! bathroom testing. there's a great bathroom in the basement of the library that i like to visit every now and then, just for a moment or two away from sight. today in the humanities building i found a bathroom where the women's handicap stall has a sink, mirror, trash can, and paper towel dispenser all inside.
i need to take vitamins. eat healthy. somehow sort out this mess in my head that doesn't let me sleep at night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

another night out on the town

today was my "day off". i donated plasma for $$!!! and i made new friends to carpool with, we're going back saturday morning sometime. me, elaina, and this boy from her stack all went to open mic night at the viking underground (something my roommate's done, and i was jealous). it was a shindig of musical talent. then we trekked it back to matt's, and piled into the minivan to go see serenity. i can't believe it took me so long to see it! i'm already making plans with my RA to go see it again.
these last few days have been really rocky, by the way. skipping class, waffleing between enthusiasm about sailing and pessimism. i really don't know what i want to do with my time anymore. i'm going to save my parents the money for now, hold off on buying sailing gear. take winter quarter off like i planned. if i miss it so much, i can always roadtrip out to helly hansen. meanwhile, elaina is signing up to be a reader for western's magazine, and i think i'm going to do it, too. right now it's raining, but the room has a musty smell to it. i can't decide whether to leave the window open or close it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Gnarrr

I OVERANALYZE EVERYTHING. Last night I thought I was on the verge of a meltdown. Instead I stayed up all night playing video games with Ben, my RA, and walking around Sehome Hill. Never went to sleep. Ugh. Okay, I lie, I slept all through my Sociology class. I wandered an art exhibit (by myself), went to sailing practice, danced to Third Eye Blind, and finished up the day with two episodes of Firefly. Oh lordy, Firefly. And this time I watched it with my unenthusiastic cousin (who loves the show but is pmsing, so she can't show it) and her incredibly giddishly boyish boyfriend + two roommates. And love, dearest, I could sit around with giddy enthusiastic funny nerd boys every day of my life and never be sad.

i'd ask for help, but who would care?

After a Very Bad Night, I come home at 2 am to find two post-its attached to my door. "Chelsea - if you still don't feel like sleeping, help yourself to the ice cream in the freezer!" "John bought if for me! But I don't want to eat it all. -Natalie" Honestly. We may not be the best of friends like Tuey and her roommate, but I lucked out with Natalie. We're both raised to be polite and friendly, so even if we barely have anything in common, we take care of each other. I tell her to dump her boyfriend, she offers me ice cream when I can't sleep. Aww.
About the Very Bad Night, though. Winter's coming. I didn't realize it before, I was too caught up in all the pretty trees, kicking leaves while walking to class, feeling invigorated while breathing the sharp air and patting my rosy, cold cheeks. But tonight it hit, full force. Winter's coming. And with it comes what I now realize is seasonal depression, something I've been dealing with unknowingly for the last three years. It never feels so bad that I need to do anything about it - until last winter, toward the end, when I begged my dad to help me find a therapist. It didn't work - by the time things came together, it was spring and I'd convinced myself I'd been in a rut, anxious to leave home and start school in Bellingham. Here I am! .. So why is it worse than before? I'm not homesick - I don't miss my old life. I miss friends, naturally. RJ, Chanel, Tom. I wish they could all be here with me, but I'd never give up what I have to be with them again.
No, it's not homesickness. It's solitude. I said earlier I've been reading 100 Years of Solitude, and maybe it's that book that brought it on. I've realized that from day one, ever since I was born into the family my parents made, I was going to struggle with connecting to people. My parents are quiet, reserved people. I am too. But for years and years I've tried to fight it, to get out and enjoy life. To laugh full force and scream with joy, to see someone I know and run and jump and hug them, to do a little dance as I walk because life is so wonderful. I want to do all these things, but apathy and weariness drags me down. When the day starts, the first thing I do is categorize everything that needs to be done, how much time it's going to take me, what I should do when I'm in-between tasks. What kind of day is that? Setting out a schedule that I follow, almost without fail, before I've even brushed my teeth? There are small moments when it's not so bad. Today I walked back from class by a different route - I cut behind Fairhaven and took the backroad, then wandered through "The Wilds", an untamed garden between the dorms. But these little things aren't enough at the end of the day, when I check off that mental list I made in the morning. I'm still overweight, I'm still self-analytical (good luck ever fighting that one off!), I'm still spend the majority of my day alone, I'm not learning how to speak spanish at all, and because I've joined the sailing team and started donating plasma, I don't have time to explore the town/campus until the weekend. That's what I want to do most, really. Walk to Bellingham. Raid the library again, find the art exhibits, the parks, the statues (if there are any?). Jessica and Elaina both have the same interests, but our schedules conflict so much that the best I can usually get is a quick lunch between classes. No, I lied. I see them sporadically. Either all day for a week, or not at all. (Until today, I hadn't seen Jessica since Thursday. At least that's what she says. I honestly don't remember anything past Tuesday.)
(my roommate's fighting with her blankets in her sleep. she's adorable!)
I've reached the point in this post where I don't have any interest in what I'm saying anymore. I've bitched and complained enough. Basically, I worry constantly that I'm spending too much time on my own.
Tonight was a Very Bad Night, sure, but now that I've calmed down more, it doesn't seem so bad. It was earlier, before I fell asleep, that hurt. I crashed at 8 and slept for 4 hours, woke up at midnight groggy but energized at the same time. I walked to Haggen, did some grocery shopping, then crossed the street to IHOP. A crazy guy was singing oldies with the waitresses while I drank coffee and read The Rape of Nanking. Walking home wasn't so hot, but now that I've had time to sit, think, relax a little bit... So what if I did it all by myself? It was fun. I have the memory, even if there's no one to share it with.

Monday, October 10, 2005

this morning is perfect; something's wrong

Tonight, just now, not TWO HOURS ago, I got my sense of taste back! Celebrate! You see, ever since Friday night I haven't had any sense of taste. Granted, Friday night's loss of flavor was because I drank a lot. And you sort of don't taste the vodka and Coke after a glass or two. But Saturday morning was the beginning of the Worst Cold Ever. WCE, for short. You say it like "Wicky!" All Saturday I kept a death grip on Matt's toilet paper Kleenex box. (He ran out of toilet paper Friday afternoon, so any time anyone wanted to use the bathroom, they had to wipe with the World's Softest Kleenex. It wasn't bad at all, trust me.) I accidentally left that box of Kleenex at RJ's house, dumb me, but it was okay because my parent's replaced it with a conveniently smaller box that fits in the space between my dorm bed frame and the wall.
... But back to the tastebuds! I knew something was up when the Burger Hut burger and banana milkshake I had for lunch on Saturday tasted sort of... bland. Naturally I didn't tell Elaina or Matt any of this, or they might have never given the place a chance. Trust me, Burger Hut has never had so much blind faith in their product in a single day than when I took a sip of that banana milkshake and cried "Oh god, it's better than I remember! Elaina, try this!" So the real story goes, I have had chocolate chip pancakes, endless glasses of orange juice, peanut butter bagels, and toasted sandwiches, all without tasting a single bite. Some of the best food ever created and cherished by a college student, and all I could do was imagine how it would taste on a non-stuffy-nosed day. But when I got back from sailing practice this evening (at 7:30! Three and a half hours, three days a week, devoted and spent in blood for these people and their boats... and that's not counting the regatta weekends. But you know what? The hours are better than when I was on crew team.) ... ahem, when I got back from practice tonight, something changed. Not only did I feel hungry (I've mostly been eating when I think I've gone long enough between meals.) but I could imagine exactly what I wanted. I had to wait about 30 minutes for Natalie to finish washing all her dirty dishes (she and friends had a baked potatoe feast), but then I got cooking. Spaghetti, darlings, trust me. It's all about the pasta and the sauce and oh the cheese! I have never had a simpler, more cherished meal in my life. And oh, the flavors! When I tasted that cold spaghetti sauce, I suddenly remembered why Natalie and I keep a constant and essential jar of the stuff in our fridge.
I also started a new grocery list.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

pixies - where is my mind?

i have pretty friends.
elaina cut my hair. we left little pieces on the bathroom floor for the janitors to pick up when they come through tomorrow.
i was shocked by my math teacher today. shocked and abhorred. what? no homework? are you crazy?!
a boy at the fairhaven dining hall loaded his backpack with a plate full of rice krispies treats. his name is joel, and he stocks up every day, every meal.
my roommate and i made cupcakes! it was glorious. the smell wafted down the hall past the elevators, and we cooled them off on the windowsill. then we frosted them. and frosting is good food.

Monday, October 3, 2005

handful of lovin'

cheers to another kickass day at western! elaina and i discussed western's anti-frat policy during our lecture class. i also witnessed someone destroy an ecosystem. gasp! that fish ate everything. seriously, i've never been so fascinated with a dumb computer game in my life. maybe it just says something about my criminal justice professor, but i was rooting for that fish. if a bigger one was coming, i cringed and urged him to the top of the screen. when the littler fish came into view, i shouted "go fish! go and eat those little guppies!"
i made a new friend in spanish. her name is lauren. we bitch about spanish and say hi to each other when we pass between classes.
cole was here all weekend! did i mention that? no way, i forgot to tell you?! chanel and cole were both up here for a visit! oh, lots of weekend stories, much drinking. i want to tell you about shane, though. shane, who i've fallen in love with. shane, who despite only talking to him for 10 minutes, is the closest i've come to meeting the man of my dreams. here's the story:

saturday night, i am drunk. hardcore drunken conversations were going on, one with corey about church factions vs. real religion. rj calls, and i wander over to a truck and sit on the bumper and talk to him. as i'm sitting, i notice a guy taking a piss across the yard from me, 10 feet away from a group of people, yelling over his shoulder at them. he's wearing some kinda cowboy hat and plaid shirt, and i think he's just hilarious but i don't think i told rj about him. which is weird, because most of the conversation i remember was me observing out loud things going on, and him having a bad day. anyway, later i have to pee, so chanel takes the phone and i run upstairs. on my way back down i have to weave around people, and i'm drunk. it's hard. so i get to chanel and steal my phone back, but she'd hung up. i stop to introduce myself to the group, and look! it's my buddy corey! we hug and things are good, then i go back to the truck to call rj back. because that's what i do at night, and on weekends, with my free minutes! and as i'm sitting down this tall, lanky, physically imposing guy sits down right next to me on the bumper and busts out his cell phone. and in my head i'm all "score! i created the drunk cell phone spot!" and things were good. rj told me to leave him alone, but it was okay, because as soon as i hung up the tall blonde boy turns to me and says "hey chelsea!" cue my confusion. i was like "oh there's no way i met you earlier i'd've remembered a face like that" (all mentally though, because i wasn't that ballsy drunk) and he sees my expression and, oh my, this was so sweet. he says "don't think i'm stalking you! but i was walking inside and you walked past me, so i turned around and followed you. i thought you were cute. and i heard you introduce yourself over there. when i saw you coming over here i pulled out my cell phone and pretended to be on it, wasn't that slick?" and we proceeded to have an awesome conversation, with me falling madly in love with him. boys at western! they do things like that! he was charming and sweet and confidant and he quoted the big lebowski when frans asked for water. people crowded around us after a few minutes, though, and he sort of disappeared into the crowd. but oh, my heart. i wish i'd gotten his number. i think it's good, though. because this way i'll have this positive memory of a tall and lanky blonde boy wearing plaid (yeah, he was the boy i saw peeing. by the way.) being ridiculously charming to encourage me to party more.

about this afternoon, though. we had sailing practice, and afterward we went to lafeen's for doughnuts. this boy from san francisco and i decided we'd try to be hardcore at sailing practice on wednesday and take a boat out together. i don't know... he says he's learning to skipper in class tomorrow, but it might be intense. we might flip! all i know for sure is that i'm wearing my bathing suit.