I’ve decided to do something to help myself stay motivated to write. It’s just going to be a little life update kind of thing that encompasses things like “What have I been reading lately?” or “What have I been listening to lately?”
Listening: Love My Life – Jay Park
Wow, can you guys believe that I literally haven’t written anything all summer?
I can. I’m kind of awful at not going completely off the grid during the summertime. I spend most of my time either working or sleeping and generally not being motivated to do anything, but this time next week I’ll be back on campus, so I need to find some motivation. I go back so early because I have roughly 2 weeks worth of CA training camp that I have to go through.
Since I’m heading back to school, that means I’ll be more motivated to write (because I’ll be avoiding doing my actual assignments and writing instead). I’m giving myself a little head start by writing something now, even though I just got home from an 8 hour shift and I’m beyond tired and the only thing I’d really like to do right now is sleep for, like, 10 hours straight.
Instead I’m going to steal an idea from my best friend B’s blog and answer a few questions that I found from a tumblr post so my readers can get to know me a little better. All of the questions are named after characters and things from one of my favorite book series, The Raven Cycle (which everyone should check out).
Here we go!
Last week me and my dad went out to dinner together. My soon-to-be step mom, Jill, was in Chicago for work, and my younger brother was at my mom’s house for the week, so it was just me and my old man. We went to a cozy little Italian place right down the street from our neighborhood. While we were waiting for our food, I asked my dad an important question:
“What do you want for father’s day?”
It only took him a moment to respond to me.
“You know if I want something I just go out and get it myself.”
Of course I knew that. My dad is, at his best, independent, and at his worst, hard-headed. He is incredibly self-sufficient, and hardly let’s me (or anyone else, for that matter) do anything for him (which is a trait he most definitely got from my pop pop).
So what do you get for someone who already has everything he wants?
The answer is words.
Words are something I’m good at. Writing is something I can do. But, it’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to use my words to sum up how much my dad means to me.
That doesn’t mean I won’t try.
So here is my father’s day present to you dad: a collection of words that I’ve strung together about how much you mean to me, and some of the little things I love.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve been pretty busy. There’s only one week of classes left followed by finals week, so I’ve got a lot of things due. This is going to be a short post about some silly little life updates in the last few days.
1) I’ve recently rediscovered my love for pineapple.
So, like I said, there’s about two weeks or so left of school and I haven’t gone to the grocery store in a good month because I’ve been trying to spend the extra meal plan/flex money I have and I can only spend it on campus. Also I haven’t gone to the store because I’m broke and can’t afford to buy myself groceries. That means I make frequent trips to the coffeehouse, which is right next door to my apartment. I go most mornings to pick up something for breakfast and I eat lunch there everything Tuesday and Thursday with my Co-Editor/Life Partner/Love of my Life Ali. They have a bunch of different things there, but recently I decided to buy one of the little container of pineapple and I’ve been eating it non-stop since then. As I type this I’m currently eating pineapple for breakfast while at work. There something about that bright, refreshing taste that I can’t get enough of.
Honest to God, I can’t believe I forgot about how good pineapple is.
2) I started a new book (or two)
I’ve recently bought three new books off of Amazon. You may be asking yourself “How does she have money to buy books but none to buy food?” Well, the answer is really simple. I am the Worst™ and spend my money on things I don’t actually need, like these books. Whatever, the way I see it is that I could be spending my money on much worse things.
Anyway, the first book I bought is a political book called The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. I’m only a few pages in to it, but as a Political Science major, these are the types of books that I love to read in my spare time. I’m excited to get a little further in this book, but I’ve been concentrating on different books more as of now.
The second book I bought and am currently reading is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I also just bought the sequel to it, called Crooked Kingdom, but it’s still on its way here. I’m really invested in this one. If you know me well, you’d know that I’m a sucker for any book series that has interesting, complex characters (like The Raven Cycle series or the All For The Game series). Six of Crows has so many good characters so far. It’s about a group of criminals from this gang who are trying to bust out someone being held hostage in a prison that’s never been broken into before. It also takes place in a whole fantasy world with magic (maybe? they don’t really describe it as magic) and a bunch of other cool made up things. Bardugo does a good job of explaining these made up things, though, so it’s not confusing to read. I started the book on Wednesday and read the first 300 pages and I’m planning on finishing the next 200 today. I might hold off though because Crooked Kingdom won’t be here until next Wednesday at least.
Books are something I’m really passionate about, so I might write up a list of my favorite books as well as do a book recommendation type of thing at some point.
3) I wrote a 14 page paper for my Legislative Process Class.
Listen, this paper honestly wasn’t hard but I didn’t want to do it so much that it felt like it took me an eternity to write it even though I wrote it in about 3/4 days. It was for my Legislative Process class, which deals with all things about the U.S. Congress, and I wrote about Thaddeus Stevens and his time as the chair of the Committee on Ways and Means and how it impacted the Civil War. Yeah, writing it was about as fun as the topic sounds. But I got it done and handed it in, and that’s all that matter. Also, Thaddeus Stevens was a badass and he’s out here reppin Lancaster, so he’s all good in my book.
There are probably other things that have happened that I can’t remember, but that’s all I have for now. I wanted to keep this pretty sure because I haven’t updated my blog in a while and I just wanted something small to put on here to let everyone know I am still alive and kicking.
Look for more posts in the future!
This semester, to satisfy my Art Tradition credit, I’m taking a class called History of American Popular Music. That means I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about songs, artists, and albums throughout the years.
I’m not incredibly music inclined. I don’t play an instrument, although my singing voice is alright. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible either (unless it’s 8 a.m. and I just woke up and I’m trying to sing in the shower).
Despite my lackluster musical abilities, I am obsessed with music. I listen to it when I’m getting ready in the morning. I listen to it on my way to class. I listen to it while I do homework. I listen to it before bed.
I am always listening to music.
I’m not picky about what I listen to, either. The only type of music I don’t particularly like, or have liked in the past, is country. But really, I’ll listen to anything, which means I have a lot of favorite artists, songs, and albums. Today I’d like to write a little about some of the albums that I’ve grown to love over the years. I was originally only going to do 15, but then I got a little carried away and added more. If you look at the artists, they all kind of fall under a few different genres, but I have a few albums that I really appreciate thrown in there from different genres.
So without further ado, here are 25 of my favorite albums (in alphabetical order).
When I get sick, I turn into a miserable baby.
I’ve been sick the past few days and I’ll be the first to say that I am completely insufferable. I’ve kept myself (and probably my roommates) up late for the past 3 nights with my awful coughing and sniffling. I keep asking everyone to make me food. I’ve used all the tissues at work. I am slowly losing my mind.
Last year, during my first semester as a freshman, I was sick for two weeks straight. By the end of the two weeks I wasn’t doing awful, and I ended up having 3 or so good days that I wasn’t sick at all. Immediately after that I got sick again for two more weeks. As you can imagine, I was miserable.
I’ve only been sick since Saturday, but it’s now Tuesday and I’m over it. I hate being sick. I’m running out of tissues and I don’t have time to go buy anymore. I want to be able to breath properly without coughing up a lung.
Yesterday I let myself have a partial sick day. I went to my Research Methods of Communications class at 9:30 because we had a paper due and then I went to work from 10:30-12:30. After that, I decided I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to either of my night classes (19th Century Europe at 5:30 and Digital and Professional Communications at 7, if you were wondering what some of my courseload was like).
I spent the rest of the day lazing around in my pajamas, playing on my phone, and generally just not doing anything. The highlight of my evening was watching the first Star Trek reboot movie (I know what you’re thinking – the reboots? Really? Sorry, the reboots are what made me fall in love with Star Trek in the first place, so Chris Pine and intense lens flare will always have a place in my heart).
It’s funny because I keep saying that my next post on this blog is going to be about my top albums, but I’m still working on it because I have a lot to say about music. So instead I wrote this little post about being sick.
If any of you are sick right now, I feel you. We’re struggling together. Hopefully we all start feeling better soon.
Listening: Chamber of Reflection – Mac Demarco
Happy Saturday. Depression is kicking my sorry ass today.
Originally my next post was going to be about albums that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, I’m just not feeling it today. Instead, I’ve decided to write… whatever this is. It’s hard for me to write or talk about this, and it’s going to be even harder for me to let other people read about it. But I know I won’t get better if I don’t put it out there.
And one last thing – I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad with this post. This is just a way for me to express how I’m feeling and to let other people who are going through the same thing to know that they’re not alone.
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Last night I went on duty.
If you remember one of my first blog post, I talked a little bit about how next year I’m going to be a Community Assistant (or Resident Assistant) on my campus. There are a lot of things that a CA does, and one of them is to go on duty.
Going on duty consists of sitting at the front desk in your assigned building (If you go to school with me, next year I’ll be in Robertshaw. If you don’t go to school with me, disregard this pointless interjection.) The point of going on duty is generally just making sure things are running smoothly/going alright in the building that night. Every hour for the next 4 hours you go on rounds, which includes walking around the halls of the building to, again, make sure everything is alright. It lasts from 9:00 p.m. (or a little earlier) until 1:00 a.m. (or a little later – the girl I was shadowing told me that her nights usually end between 2-3 a.m.). The CA on duty is different every night. Usually you have one specific night that you do, and every month you have one weekend worth of duty.
Being on duty was, to say the least, an interesting experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve interacted with that many people in one go. There were constantly people surrounding the desk talking to us. The conversations ranged from classes we were taking and how hard this semester was to what online games we used to play as children and even to what my crack smoking policy for next year was going to be (Which was asked by a current resident who would be living there again next year. I jokingly told him “As long as you keep it on the DL, you’re fine” although I’m sure my adviser wouldn’t be too happy with that answer).
Last night I learned a bunch of other things about what it’s like on duty as a CA in Robertshaw, but it’s definitely the interactions that I learned the most from.
My first time on duty (although not actually my official first time) made me realize that I miss dorm life immensely.
Last year I lived in a traditional dorm, although it wasn’t Robertshaw. I had two roommates, no kitchen or living room, and a limited amount of space. The walls were solid brick, so I shouldn’t have been able to hear much in the rooms next to ours, although that didn’t stop my next door neighbor, who was a DJ, from turning his music up all the way at all hours of the day and night. My only saving grace was that we had our own bathroom in our room. I know people who go to colleges with communal bathrooms – just the thought of sharing a bathroom with a number of strangers is downright terrifying to me.
Currently, I live in the apartments on campus that are for academically inclined students. I have three other roommates and each of us has our own bedroom. We have a living room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. Honestly, there’s more space in our apartment then we know what to do with.
While I like having all this space and being able to go to my room and sleep without worrying about somebody waking me up, I can’t help but feel incredibly isolated. When I lived in the traditional dorms, I could walk out of my room into the hallway and see 5 or 6 people in one go. There was always something going on. But in the apartment building I live in now, there’s never anybody around. The fact that we all have our own rooms means that people come home from class, disappear into their apartment, and generally don’t come out to socialize unless they need a stamp for their passport (it’s a long story that I don’t feel like going into detail about, but students in the section of campus I live in need to attend a certain amount of academic events and get stamps for going so they can continue to live there).
Being that isolated kills me.
I, oddly enough, have become incredibly social now that I’m in college. When I was in middle school and high school I had a close group of friends that I liked to interact with, and I wasn’t really interested in making friends with anybody else. I was comfortable where I was. But that changed once I got to college. The constant interaction I received in my old dorm really helped me open up as a person. Now, I’m always yearning to go out and meet people, which is hard when no one ever comes out of their apartment to talk to each other, and there’s only so many clubs I can join to meet new people before it becomes too much.
I guess it just really comes down to the fact that I feel lonely.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my roommates. They’re some of my best friends in the world. But, if you’ve ever lived with your friends, you know that living with people you really like is generally not a good idea. It makes everything a lot more complicated. You get sick of each other. You fight over who has to take out the trash this time, or who needs to put the dishes in the cupboard. You spend so much time in each other’s back pocket that they start to become the only people you interact with. You start to get annoyed by the little things they do. Day by day, you slowly start to dislike the people you once thought you would have loved to live with.
That is not something that I want. I don’t want to feel like I resent the people who are supposed to be my best friends. I don’t want to feel lonely when there are people right next door to me. I don’t want to feel like they are the only people I can interact with.
That’s why I’m so grateful that I was offered a CA position. A lot of shit went down this year regarding friendships that I don’t think I could have handled another year of being sad all the time. I’m not that sad about things anymore, because it has gotten better, but I was real messed up and alone for a while. Anyway, what I really needed was a change of pace, a fresh start, and that’s exactly what this position is giving me.
But believe me, it’s going to be hard. I could already tell from the 2 hours I sat on duty last night. There were constantly people at the desk, sometimes talking about two different things at once, and it’s hard to concentrate on one person talking with all the background noise, let alone two. There are other things that make being a CA hard, but that’s just one thing I observed yesterday.
Despite the fact that it’ll be difficult, I know I’m up for the challenge. Ever since I came to college I can tell that I’ve grown and developed into a leader that can work well under pressure. Sure, sometimes I have breakdown moments, but they’re not as often as they used to be, and sometimes I don’t have them at all.
I know I’ve said it in previous blog posts, but I’m excited for what next year is going to bring. I’m excited to see how being a CA is going to change and effect me as a person. Until then, I’ll just have to wait and see.
(Also, sorry about writing about this again. It’s kind of a big deal in my life, though, and it’s something I think about a lot. But next time I’ll try and write something different. Pinky promise.)
On Tuesday and Thursday nights, I play Dungeons and Dragons.
We are, for the most part, not a very organized group. Including myself and the DM (Dungeon Master) there are only 4 of us, but we usually have trouble keeping on track. Most of the time our conversations divulge into all of us sharing memes with each other instead of actually getting anything on our quest done.
It can be frustrating at times, but it’s hard not to be amused by the shenanigans.
In my current campaign I play a warlock named Fern, a half-elf hired killer with an affinity for using Eldritch Blast at any given chance. Her backstory is still in the works because I haven’t had much time to write anything, but she’s pretty badass.
My other teammates include a high-elf fighter and a half-elf paladin. I like to call us “Team Hustle and Flow”, but the others haven’t warmed up to it yet.
I’m sure in time they will.
Fern was not my first character. Before Fern, there was Calla – a half-elf (I might have a type) bard with some backstory that I honestly couldn’t tell you to save my life. Unfortunately, Calla only lasted like 4 sessions before being killed by some weird buff zombies or something that I also can’t remember. I try not to think about it.
But before Fern, and even before Calla, there was Theo. He was my first ever D&D character, and probably the closest thing I’ll ever have to the love of my life. Even to this day he’s my pride and joy.
I’ve played the character of Theo in a few campaigns. He was a half-elf (I’m telling you. A type.) bard. For a long time I was really invested in only playing a bard because I thought they were cool. Of course, then Calla died and I decided maybe I should change it up by playing a warlock, but I still prefer characters that can do magic over characters that are melee.
Anyway, back to Theo. Theo was the product of my first time ever playing Dungeons and Dragons. It was the summer before I started college, and my friend’s sister had recently introduced me to the world of Critical Role, a livestreamed show on Geek and Sundry where a bunch of famous voice actors played Dungeons and Dragons. I was instantly invested in the characters, the plot, and the truly amazing storytelling done by the DM, Matthew Mercer. Each episode of Critical Role ranged between 3-5 hours, and when I started watching, there were only 20 some episodes out. I spent the end of the summer watching these episodes when I wasn’t working or doing hoodrat things with my friends. Unfortunately, once I got to college, it was hard for me to sit down every Thursday night to watch the live episodes for 4 hours, especially because I had an 8:30 Intro to Psychology class the next morning that I absolutely hated. Now I’m nowhere near caught up on Critical Role, and I’ll probably never be, but I still regard it as one of the main reasons I started playing D&D.
Around the same time, the same girl that introduced me to CR suggested that I join a campaign that she already had going. All of the kids in my first group were either people who had graduated with me or people who were a year younger (including myself I think there were like 7 of us). That was when Theo was born.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Critical Role, you can instantly tell that Theo was influenced heavily by Scanlan, a gnome bard played by Sam Riegel. They weren’t exactly the same, but I liked Scanlan’s character and wanted to take some of the personality traits he had and mix them with some of my own to create Theo. Another member of my group created a Dragonborn fighter who was deaf, and we ended up mixing our backstories together and making a story about how they met and performed together on the street, and Theo was her translator. We probably could have done more with that story, but we never really did.
I have documents upon documents devoted to Theo and his backstory. He was a half-elf and his past was some sad story about his elven mother raising him when his human father left them and how the other elves in the city never truly accepted Theo because he was half-human. His mom eventually died and he left the elven city he was raised in and started playing music on the street, committing petty crimes, and charming any woman he came across. He eventually met the Dragonborn fighter and they became instant friends. There’s more to it, but I won’t bore you with the extra details right now.
I honestly can’t remember much of what Theo did during my first campaign, but I do remember that the first monster he ever killed was a wolf, and I rolled a nat 20 to skin it and turn it into a cool cape. We only got to play for a few weeks before my teammates started leaving for college. All I know is that I was determined to find a D&D group on campus so I could continue playing as Theo.
During my first semester I ended up finding a D&D group through a club on campus. We started near the beginning of the semester and lasted until about finals week, before we kind of just stopped playing and all went our separate ways. All that mattered to me was that I got to play Theo again, but this time I had the added bonus of knowing what I wanted and what I didn’t want him to do. His backstory didn’t change much from the campaigns, but I continued to elaborate and expand on him.
Once we stopped playing, I was kind of sad, but things had started to get busy for me so I figured it was better if I stopped playing for a while and focused on school and work.
For a while during the second semester of my freshman year of college I dabbled in DMing, although I never got too far. I had a friend who wanted to start playing (although I don’t think he was ever too serious about it), so I said I would DM if we could find more people to play. While we looked for more people to join, I started writing up my own campaign. I’ve still got a whole Google Docs folder devoted to it, but we weren’t able to find many other people who wanted to play, so I never actually got a chance to DM. I’m not too upset about it, though, because I didn’t own the Dungeon Master’s Guide and I didn’t (and still don’t) have the money to buy one now. Sometime in the future I think I’d like to start DMing for real, but I might save it until the summer.
And that brings me to my current campaign. We started around the beginning of this semester, but at the start we had a different DM and more people in the group. The original DM ended up leaving the group around the same time that Calla died, and a bunch of other players left as well. Like I said, at this point there’s 4 of us including our new DM, although I don’t mind the small number of people playing. I think it’s easier to get things done when there’s only a few involved.
Regardless of how disorganized my current campaign is, I’m having a good time with it. It’s nice to be able to escape from my responsibilities for a few hours twice a week and do something creative like roleplay. When I first joined this campaign, I was in a really dark point in my life and struggling really badly every single day (which maybe I’ll talk about at some point. I’m not entirely sure yet.) Things have gotten marginally better since then, and at that point we only played once a week, but I think having D&D as a way to blow off some steam definitely helped me.
I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing this summer. Maybe I’ll try and find some people to play D&D with, or maybe I’ll take a break. But I guess for the time being, I’ll keep trying to catch up on episodes of Critical Role and The Adventure Zone.
– Kaylee, using the cat brush