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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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Waist Sizes

In my most horrendous but much-loved Spanish class, we're reading a book called Cecilia Vald├ęs. It's all about mixed races and societal mores and what goes wrong when people accidentally inbreed (see why I love this class??) But all of the discussion goes on at 8am, so it's very hard to focus on why we care. Our professor goes to extremes to try and wake us up, so today he pantomimed adjusting a corset. (More reasons to love this class!)

Rather than get any of us involved in the discussion, though, it just set off some furious note-writing about the seventeen inch waisted Scarlett O'Hara, and how disgusting that would be in real life. Oh, you don't believe me? Meet Cathie Jung:


Miss Cathie here has worn corsets so frequently, and so tightly, that she has a 15 inch waist. Pretty gross, huh? Let's go up an inch...

Dita Von Teese is very proud that she can starve herself down to a 16 inch waist before her burlesque performances.
I understand that being skinny/ having a small waist is very important by some standards, but look at these women! Their bodies just ARE NOT built to be that small in the middle. So even going up to Scarlett's 17 inches, while generous based on these women's examples, is still pretty horrifying to consider.
Luckily Scarlett is a fictional character, and Vivien Leigh didn't have to starve herself down to the same size for the movie role.

Anyway, after some furious scribbles about how much we LOVE Scarlett O'Hara for being a truly canny survivor and an exceptional feminist role model, Quinn (the girl I was writing to) and I realized that we just have to watch the movie. ASAP, pronto, in all due haste, etc. etc. So tonight, we and another girl from our class are going to sit down with some snacks, tissues, and snuggle up to get:
Gone With the Wind
*squeel* so excited!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Musings

College isn't supposed to be all fun and games, I KNOW, but really? This is just getting ridiculous. I spent 6 hours on campus today and feel like I barely made a dent in my To Do list. (Although I will be honest: it wasn't 6 hours straight of work. I got sidetracked watching videos of elephants painting and looking at photos of Suri Cruise (she is the CUTEST child I have ever seen!!))

Last night my roommates had an absolutely ridiculously huge party. (They tried to clean it up today... Tried being the key word.) Instead of trying to wade through the crowd of sweaty underaged bodies, I headed downtown to drink with the exchange students. It went well! It's hard to go wrong with cheap beer and dancing. But I'd had a busy day, and soon I realized that my energy was sapped. Ana and I were trying to have a drunken heart-to-heart when I realized that I had been yawning continuously for the last 10 minutes. The second I crawled into bed, I passed out and slept like a baby until noon.

And woke up to the prospect of hungover homeworking. Ouch.

Now it's late again - Where does the day go?? - and there's still so much left undone.

Oh whoops, sidetracked! I started this all to say that I am just SO excited for next week! One, two very large stress factors will be done and over with by then. And Two, Irene will be in town! It's been a while since we've had time to just hang out and catch up. We're both pretty swamped with school; she's graduating, and I'm trying to. Already we're getting geared up to sit with our laptops and write papers while chatting and drinking alcoholic hot drinks. It's been a lonely quarter at Western with everyone off in the greater world, and I can't wait for the familiarity of someone who's been around through the years.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A belly full of Yum

Halloween weekend was a pretty big deal at my house, and we all had just overwhelming amounts of fun, but it took its toll. By mid-week nearly half of the 17 living here had been taken down by some sort of debilitating disease. Mine was swine flu- the others ranged anywhere from a sniffly cold to a chronic asthma attack. I'm sure you can imagine how fun it's been.
One benefit to living with all girls, though, is that we know how to take care of each other. It started with a pan of brownies with frosting that said, "Get well soon!" The next thing you know there were freshly baked goods every night of the week. First the brownies. Then the rice krispies treats. I stepped up and made a cake. And then tonight, one girl busted out her family's secret snickerdoodle recipe.
It's wonderful to come home from a busy day and just sit at the table to enjoy some warm homemade cookies and a glass of milk.
So this is my idea: we'll take a cue from our chore list and assign every other night to a different girl. Her job won't be to wash dishes or take out the recycling, but rather to bake something delicious that fills the house with a sweet scent and gives everyone an excuse to come downstairs and take a study break.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good news! I'm 10 years old!

I've been very slack in updating my journals this quarter, both the paper one I keep and this one online. So I'm getting both done tonight! As I was writing my more personal thoughts down earlier, I decided to read what else I'd put down since classes started. It didn't take long; there were only two. This was one:

1:30 AM: Drunk, hoping party downstairs will SHUT UP SOON. Eating Goldfish crackers and imagining they're business executives getting swallowed up by giant corporation-hating monster. Looking forward to a weekend without bidness classes! NOM NOM NOM!!

Obviously my business major and I still have some issues we need to work on.

On to the good news!

A few weeks ago I ordered a sleeping bag from REI. Unfortunately it was on backorder, so I've had to wait patiently, hoping one day I'll get a notice that it's waiting for me. And Friday, what a good Friday, it was!


This is REI's Travel Sack. It's only good in 55+, but since I've never been a backpacker in winter weather, trust me, that's fine by me. The product reviews say it's perfect for things like overnights, hostelling, couchsurfing, and camping in warmer weather. Well hello, that's just about ALL I DO. So naturally it's love!
Not to mention, this thing rolls up to the size of a football. I love things that are deceptively small. Just think of all the other things I'll be able to fit into my hiking backpack!
To welcome it into my life, I rolled it out on top of my bed and slept in it last night. It was seriously comfortable. You know what else this thing has? Unzippable arm holes, so if you need to grab something but are too warm and comfy, you can just stick an arm out without unzipping the whole damn thing. You know what else it has? A FOOT ZIP. Literally, on the website, it says: "just unzip it partially at the foot for ventilation or to roam around camp without leaving your bag!"
Can you imagine?? Oh, you better start imagining, because trust me, this is GOING to happen. A giant bare-footed turquoise morning monster, with one arm sticking out the side of the bag, roaming around the campsite, or hostel, or hell even my own house! grumbling things like "whyisitsogoddamncold" and roaring "Stop being hungover guys it's time to HIKE!"
Obviously I am very excited about the direction my life is going.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beginnings of Taste

My house, and the room I live in, was built in 1904.


There are three large windows that extend outward, providing a clear view of the neighbor's wall, and letting all their visitors see into my room uninterrupted. One wall has a raised recessed bookshelf (love this!). The walk-in closet is in the same corner as the door, so that only one can be fully opened at a time.


All of these features give the room charm and a uniqueness I've never encountered before. Unfortunately, shortly after moving in, I realized that all of these quirks also prevent the standard room setup from really, well, working. Putting my bed in a corner threw off the spacing - I would walk into the room and no matter what, each individual piece of furniture was an eyesore in the middle of a beautiful room.


I've been through three different furniture arrangements, and I think I finally found the winner!


Look, I've never even pretended to have a taste for design or feng shui or really any sort of skill that would set me apart from the hoards of other 20-somethings in this world. But lately I've been listening that urge to put in just a little extra effort, see what comes out. And while my wardrobe is still full of sweatshirts and sensible tennis shoes, I think my room is something to be proud of.


(Except the floor. It's covered in clothes and who knows what else?)


A sideways bed! I can't believe I've never tried this before! The bed placement makes it seem more like a couch without a back at times, and meanwhile there are equal amounts of open space in the rest of the room. It's not too close to the heater, and there's room for me to get ready in front of the mirror every morning. It feels easy, open, and welcoming. Also, while I wasn't a fan of the things I'd hung over the windows at first, now I love the different colors and textures. I bought some cheap Fred Meyer curtains (red and blue) but they weren't thick enough, so now on top we have a sari (green), a blanket my cousin bought for me in Tijuana (black and white), and a sarong I bought in Mexico when I was 16 (blue with turtles).

What do you think? Any tips about maintaining clutter? (You can see in the photos, clutter is my #1 problem now!)