All 5’2″ of me

The light is still on in the far-right room on the second floor of Townhouse 31 because Emily CANNOT sleep. And she just gave away WHERE she sleeps. Whoops. She’d make some potatoes to eat right now if she had any. Unfortunately, she threw her last bag of sprout-covered potatoes in the trash can last weekend during a spring-cleaning binge. New potatoes have yet to be purchased. Tsk tsk. I know.

Enough of this third-person shiite.

I was texting my friend who lives in Iowa, but he seems to have fallen asleep. So that’s fun.

I wrote in my journal already and couldn’t come up with any material for a poem, so there’s that.

Oh, and I updated a few things on this here portfolio blog in case you’d like to take a gander. I finally –– FINALLY! –– added a picture of myself. Seems that’s been on my to-do list for two years.

What else to do but to open my laptop and try to write something? I’ve done my fair share of Facebook and Twitter stalking tonight and have grown a tad bored. Not a lot is happening on Instagram either, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after seeing what hour I’ve reached in the early goddamn morning.

I guess this is what I get for loading myself with sleeping pills every night this week except tonight. I really thought I was tired enough to just roll over and conk out, but I stand, erm, lay, corrected.

I ran tonight. Yes, as in the past verb tense of “run.” Shocking, I know. I had some pent-up energy that needed to be released, and staring at Natty World notes for another second sure as hell wasn’t going to help things. I ran to the gym. I ran around the track a few times. I walked. I ran again. I skipped a song on my iPod. I managed to forego what could have been an awkward encounter and just flipped that group of people the bird instead. I never said I was nice. (They laughed at me, though…people don’t seem to expect shit like that to come from me in all my 5-foot-2-inch glory. Hmph.)

It felt great to experience physical pain instead of the emotional-bullshit kind. It felt great to breathe heavily –– though my lungs are seriously suffering now –– and work up a sweat. I also got what is to me a rare glimpse of gym culture. It’s fascinating, really. Men flooded the basketball courts for intramural games, hogged the weight-lifting equipment and women took up the cardio room. I just kept running. And walking. And skipping songs on my iPod. Oh, and rehydrating.

I’ve said this before, but I really mean it when I say it this time: I’m going to take some time to really focus on myself. 

My roommate doesn’t believe that I will, so I’m going to prove her wrong. I have text messages from friends who agree that it really would/will be beneficial for me:

“Just give it a few days and you’ll be back to feeling like the wonderful person you are all by yourself!” said one.

“You need to get back in touch with you and stop trying to please everyone and stop trying to fix people, hun,” said another.

“You definitely deserve time for yourself,” said a third.

So I’m going to keep running and exercising, in general. I came back home tonight high off endorphins and ready to go. Go do anything.

I got the summer internship I really wanted, have plans to get serious about road biking and, best of all, my parents, brothers and sister-in-law are all in good health.

I’m done stalking social networks and I’m especially done writing this post for the night. Good night/morning.

Catastrophically minute

I am so self-absorbed.

I think that I’ve had a tough life recently because went through a break up and lost a best friend. But, the thing is, I chose my way. I made my decision and had to deal with the consequences. It makes me sad that I lost my best friend, but I had to have seen this coming. Only an idiot would believe that, despite a break up, a friendship can pick right back up where it left off before the dating began. So when I noticed tonight that he removed me from his Facebook friends, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I shouldn’t have called it immature. I ended it. I made the decision. It’s done. Move on.

And oh, I have.

I have recently been made more aware of the people I’m surrounded by. We live in unison. I’m writing this right now, but someone in the world is brushing his/her teeth in preparation for bedtime, someone else is gardening and this other person is up and on his/her way to work.

Maybe this person’s mom just died. Or maybe, just maybe, that man over there is battling a disease that will eventually claim his body in its entirety.

You just never know.

So I need to stop being so self-absorbed. Because, yeah, Emily went through a break up and yeah, Emily left the cross country team and might not be able to pay for college, but these catastrophic details in my life are minute to someone else. The kid who gets picked on for being gay would rather be in my shoes, as would the man who just got jumped on the streets of New York City.

My problems don’t mean anything. I should stop acting like they do.

A stalemate of a friendship

Should it bother me? Because it does.

We’ve reached a sort of stalemate in our relationship. I am certainly not making the first move. Not after this.

The first move should have come from my opponent quite a few weeks ago. An informative text would have been nice. I would have planned accordingly. I was incapacitated that weekend, but it still would have been nice to know.

Instead, it was a complete slap in the face to log into Facebook that Sunday evening and see those pictures.

All I am is hurt and pissed every time I think about it and every time I see those happy-go-lucky pictures.

Guess payback’s a bitch, Emily.

The cure

I read a fact on Twitter about a month ago. It concerned Facebook and was something along the lines of: “Women with Facebook profiles tend to have lower self-esteem.”

Needless to say, I deactivated my account later that week.

I’ve been off Facebook for almost a month. It has been a refreshing one. I’m finding that I now spend more time studying, reading and going outside as opposed to logging in to see what my friends are up to. I design more on my computer and blog more. I have more ideas now.

I don’t have low self-esteem, but I wasn’t about to start having it. I built my self-esteem up for years and don’t want anything to bring me down. Facebook brought me down.

The people on Facebook make me angry. One time I clicked on someone I was supposed to have known, via the “People You May Know” tool. Boy, was that an experience. I definitely did not know her, but several of my Facebook friends were friends with her. I decided to check her out. I couldn’t help but screenshot (bet she never thought of someone doing that) one of the statuses this girl posted:

Younger teens like this make me not want to be on Facebook at all. The Facebook profile pictures that popped up on my sidebar showed more tweens than I thought possible, and they’re not mature enough to even have a Facebook account. Kids like this girl on the left are why cyberbullying exists and why thousands of kids commit suicide every year after being harassed on the Internet.

Kids at this girl’s age cannot even spell words or use grammar correctly to get his/her useless point across.

Kids at this girl’s age – including this girl – don’t seem to realize that there are privacy settings on Facebook that he/she might want to look into. Anyone can go in and read what this girl plasters on her wall. If the supposed “dumb bitch” referenced in the status ended up going missing or found dead somewhere, based on Facebook evidence, this girl could be a suspect. The status, not to mention the horrible comments that followed, could be the proof that police need. Yeah, bet she didn’t think of that.

I am disgusted by what people post on a network that was built to help people reconnect. Now it’s just pissing people like me off.

We’re not in high school anymore, fellow members of the Class of 2011, so grow up. What really gets me is when I see photos posted from a party in my hometown in which several college kids are featured. Everyone from my hometown claims that they can’t wait to leave the place and go to college… so why the hell are you going back to party with the high schoolers? It is especially incredulous to me when even older kids still party with kids in high school. Stay at college. Party at a place where you don’t have to think about how you’re going to get home to your parents’ house safely. (Dear Danielle, who the hell are you? Sincerely, Emily.)

Another thing about Facebook: It’s a huge brag fest. Everyone’s trying to one-up everyone else. Parents get involved on Facebook and all they do is brag about their children.

In short, I’m sick of the ever-popular “new hair,” tongue-sticking-out, bathroom pic (oh hey, there’s your toilet!), sky shot (where we can clearly see your arms), “Edited” photos in everyone’s Facebook photo albums. I’m sick of the Iam Anidiot Photography pages, where a kid has instagram on his/her phone and then is suddenly a professional photographer and offers services for senior pictures. I’m sick of living with these people (not necessarily the lovely girls on my floor) and then seeing them in their slutty, “Going Out!” pictures when I log in on Facebook in my bedroom.

I deactivated my Facebook. I’m cured.

Laurel Editors-in-Chief make a statement

My brother graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2009. After the ceremony in the Reilly Center Arena, graduates, families and professors congregated outside on the lawn adjacent to the R.C. Cameras clicked, family members smiled, hands were shaken.

As a freshman at SBU, I am under the impression that this photo-op on the aforementioned lawn is a traditional end to graduation.

Here's an ad my brother created for his senior capstone project, featuring the lawn next to the R.C.

Now the lawn is muddy. Shovels have prodded the land, marking an ‘X’ for the new business building (due here in 2013… yeah right!). By the time 2015 rolls around, post-graduation photos will be shot elsewhere, or feature a modern building as a backdrop (modern is very unlike Bonaventure).

It’s not so much the end of the photo tradition. It’s about the view beyond. The mountain view just beyond the athletic fields is spectacular. So much so that, here on campus, a Save The View! campaign erupted in an attempt to, well, save the view. Petitions were passed. A Facebook page was created. Articles in The Bona Venture and The Intrepid ran. Some people agreed with the petitioners, others believed the Save The View! cause to be futile. The topic resulted in arguments on social networking sites, mainly on Facebook via The BonaMemes page (after someone posted my brother’s “ad” and someone commented about losing that view). Things became heated. People asked for your opinion on the topic like they would about worldwide controversies like abortion.

Students, alumni and board members who support the location of the new business building, and tell opposers to shut up, need to realize the real reasons behind the opposition. For most, it isn’t personal. If you had paid attention in The Intellectual Journey (the class we are all forced to take), you would understand Bonaventure’s deep connection with nature. There’s a whole step in the required $150 textbook titled “Imaginative Perspectives On The Natural World.” But even before that step, Colinvaux’s “The Succession Affair” and Leopold’s “Reading The Forest Landscape” are featured. St. Bonaventure modeled himself after St. Francis, who was known for his love of animals. Francis loved nature, and since so many pieces at St. Bonaventure University are attributed to St. Francis (Clare College, Francis Hall, La Verna [Alverno], Damietta Center), the university should respect those values. It’s insulting to the university to build an edifice that will block what people love most about Bonaventure. Merton’s Heart will no longer be visible from the sidewalk, and the view that soothes students studying in the library on the quiet floor will shift to one that might stress them out more.

I’m not Catholic, but I believe the values of the university should be preserved. When you go to a university that has its own mountain retreat (Mount Irenaeus), a place where students can escape stress by embracing nature, it should be expected that the little breath of fresh air on campus, such as a pleasant mountain view, would be a little more important.

It’s been awhile since I have heard anything about Save The View! on campus. Ground has been broken for the William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center (named after its benefactors, of course) and students just have to sit tight and watch the building rise from the ground and slowly block more and more of the precious view.

The Laurel

That being said, The Laurel, St. Bonaventure’s semesterly published literary magazine, came out yesterday (April 30). I skimmed through it. If words caught my eye or if I recognized an author, I viewed his/her creative work. Long poems scare me, so I steered clear of them. Today I decided to give the longer poems a chance.

The first one completely blew me away.

The poem, titled “Swan Song” is deep, chock full of every poetic device known to man and brings up the Save The View! issue once again, this time in a more sad, defeated way. It begins with two quotes: one from Gerard Manley Hopkins and the other from Thomas Merton; Hopkins’s taken directly from that $150 Intellectual Journey textbook I mentioned before.

The rest of the poem is ballsy. Pat Hosken, the author and a member of SBU’s Class of 2012 (not to mention a personal friend to my brother and me), did his research. Anyone without prior knowledge of St. Bonaventure or the business building issue would have no idea what his poem means.

Right off the bat, the title has a meaning. The business building bears the name “Swan,” named after the couple providing funds for the building. A “swan song” is defined as a person’s final performance. Hosken’s last big performance in The Laurel is with “Swan Song.” It’s a lucky coincidence that the building it’s about will be named “Swan.”

Hosken uses personification for the lawn: “O Hallowed Ground! Your muddy surface tells / of your vast desecration and your pain. / The diggers come with claws to scratch your skin” … “and once you’ve been reduced to soggy mush, / they build a monolith upon your back.” The words “desecration” and “monolith” help set the tone of the poem. Hosken clearly dislikes the soon-to-be business building and its location.

Two of my favorite lines of his entire poem fall in the first stanza, directly after mentioning the monolith, Hosken writes, “vile villains will an urge to steal a view / and lock it in a chamber of commerce.” Hosken’s word choice is impeccable. The chamber of commerce (business) is literally a chamber, holding the view hostage.

Hosken turns the swan into a monster. “The monolith named for a delicate bird / turned mad by greed and violent now, complete / with a beak that pecks and tears out gazers’ eyes.” He calls the money donated “dirty” and reflects on Bonaventure’s past with names of those who came before us and saw inspiration in the view’s beauty. Then he ventures inside the new business building.

“Nature is but a painting on the wall, / an oil-on-canvas dangling from a string / to decorate a barren office space,” Hosken writes. So, basically, those who work in the building that ruins the view for others on campus have the privilege to sit in their respective offices and enjoy said view. To them, it’ll simply be a painting on the wall that is taken for granted.

Hosken then reflects on his own experience with the view. Maybe his Intellectual Journey professor moved class outside like mine often does and that’s where he first heard the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Maybe the mountains inspired him to write and that’s why he decided to add a major in English on top of his journalism/mass communication one. No matter what the reason, Hosken makes sure the reader knows that crushing the view is a personal letdown to him.

“Father Gerard,” as Hosken refers to Hopkins (whoa, their last names are eerily similar!), makes an appearance in another favorite line of mine: “Or you, solemn foot-fields where numerous / generations have traipsed, have tramped, have trod.” His use of alliteration can be accredited to Hopkins, who used the same sort of alliteration in his poem “God’s Grandeur,” with the same effect. Hosken writes, in his second-to-last stanza: “I won’t forget the seconds I have spent / with all the pied beauty of this fair place, / and though we can’t return to what we know, / and though we’ll long for open fields and lawn / and see atrocious squares of grey instead” … “we take our forest with us in our minds.”

Hosken’s words are beautiful. The first few pages of the Spring 2012 issue of The Laurel should not be overlooked. They will forever be documented in The Laurel‘s extensive archives. Hosken, along with comrade Chris Radey, made sure they went out with a bang for their last issue of The Laurel as Editors-in-Chief.

They took a risk. Hopefully reverberations will be heard for years to come.

Their effort thoroughly impressed me. It should impress you, too.

And now, for your reading pleasure, the first few pages of  The Laurel.

The new school of business claims to be "Bullish on business."

Who gives a rat’s ass?

Mr Griffith: “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. ‘Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.’ Who gives a rat’s ass?” ~Easy A

I used to think so too, Mr. Griffith.

I created my Twitter account when I was 16. I used it to inform my parents of my location on the way to Disney World with a friend and her family. After that, I only texted the “Twitter” contact on my phone when I was shopping on my own. People bugged me. I tweeted.

After my brother told me my tweets were annoying and negative, I went through and deleted almost all of them. For almost two years, I tweeted here and there, but did not make tweeting or checking my Twitter a priority.

I started tweeting more as a sort of new year’s resolution. Thirty days ago, I had 200-something tweets. Thirty days and 300+ thoughts later, I have more than doubled my tweet count.

So, though I don’t necessarily agree with expressing every thought, I feel it’s okay to tweet and let almost all of my family see it at once. It’s easier to text Twitter once with my race time than to text 6 people and receive a plethora of responses.

Not all of my thoughts are gems, but those I follow make up for that at times. Some of what’s tweeted provides me with something interesting to read or ponder. It’s thanks to Twitter that I even knew about Joe Paterno’s mistaken death, and then the real one that followed.

I feel inclined to learn more about social media, hence my involvement with Twitter.

So, who gives a rat’s ass? Everyone who follows me on Twitter is following me for some reason. I’d like to think I have good thoughts here and there.

Biting the Apple

I have dreamed (dreamt? – that one boggles my mind) of this day for months and months. Graduation was a big deal, yes, but what came after graduation was what I needed for this day that I have been looking forward to for a long time.

Right now, I am sitting in my room typing out this blog post. You may recall that I own a little pink Netbook named Eurydice and have owned her for nearly two years now. She’s done a good job with helping me fulfill my duties as a journalist for two different publications. Now, however, I am not using Eury for this post. I love my Netbook, but knew I would need something a little bigger to get me through college and its whopping homework assignments I have heard so much about (especially for my major). That’s why today I purchased an iMac with money from my graduation party.

My family owns an iMac, but it’s nearly four years old. It’s the same style as my new one, but mine is just so much better – Apple has made so many improvements to these things over the years and it is just remarkable. For example, my wireless keyboard is quite a bit different than the one connected to our computer downstairs. It’s smaller, sleeker and, though it requires batteries in order to work, is far more efficient. I can move around my room and still have my words appear on my screen as I type them on the keyboard from 6 feet away. The wireless mouse is just as nifty. It too is sleek and easy to use, but what is the absolute best feature of it as far as I can find right now is that the rolly ball in the center for scrolling has been removed. On our computer downstairs, that little ball always causes problems by sticking and making it so we can’t scroll up, down or across. Now, with just a few swipes of my fingers, my eyes can scroll through documents and apps on my computer effortlessly.

My Netbook did the job, but the screen quality is nothing compared to this stunning piece of art right in front of me. I used my Netbook almost strictly for writing for my jobs and didn’t really use it to surf the web (unless I was really lazy and wanted to be in front of the TV). Now, I’m writing tons of new blogs, checking my email, Facebook and taking a funny picture or two on Photo Booth (though I have yet to enjoy that feature – odds are I won’t be too thrilled since we have it on our other computer, too). The screen is absolutely massive and I have to actually move my head to watch these words travel across the giant and beautiful screen.

I’m uploading CDs and starting to rebuild my music library on my own personal and beautiful computer. Nobody else’s music will litter my music library and that thought is exhilarating. The Sims 3 is installing right now (I splurged!) and I’m just plugging away at this post, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my favorite computer game of all time.

I’m excited and ready to enjoy this computer that I have sought after for so long. I’m glad I chose a different road and didn’t purchase a laptop like all three of my brothers did. This desktop iMac is perfect for me and what I plan on doing with my life.

The one with the ball on it

Am I littering the Internet with my teenage rants?

Guess I’d better write a letter apologizing to the poor Internet…not.

I think that what I have to say is semi-worthwhile to any reader. Anyone who reads what I write must care and must be interested. Chances are, they feel the same way about issues as I do.

Here are things that have been on my mind lately:

  • Dyson vacuum cleaners
  • Annoying girls that take pictures of themselves in the bathrooms at school
  • My photography project

This guy, Sir James Dyson (apparently he was knighted? I just checked Wikipedia), puts a ball on his vacuum and voila! He can charge hundreds of dollars for it. Yeah, it has other things going for it, too (it’s bag-less and other such things like that), but holy crap! I don’t know anyone (other than a couple of my relatives… *cough cough*) who would pay close to $500 on a vacuum cleaner! Sure, we have two cats and two dogs that shed like crazy (well, Ollie the cock-a-poo doesn’t really, but that’s beside the point), and our $99 vacuum works just fine. It’s bag-less, but it doesn’t have the fancy ball that pivots. Oh well. I’m not going to be losing any sleep over it. You’re probably wondering: why the hell is she going off about a vacuum cleaner? Well, I saw the snippets of one of his latest commercials, and he says (and it sounded kind of cocky to me) that other vacuums may have the features of the Dyson, but just remember that Dyson was the first. I don’t really know where I’m going with this now. Yeah. On a funnier note: when we went to get our $99 vacuum (which works just fine!), a group of teenage girls came through the aisle at Target and said “ehmagawd let’s find the one with the ball on it!” …Guess I never knew vacuum cleaners were so exciting.

Annoying girls that take pictures of themselves in the bathrooms at school. When I go to the bathroom, I actually go to the bathroom. I find a stall (usually the second one from the left, but I’m not too picky), pull down my pants and do my business (sorry, probably went too far there). I guess other girls just stand in front of the mirror, fluff up their hair and fix their makeup (because apparently, carrying around your makeup bag is essential). I even saw a girl head to the bathroom with her hair straightener in hand once. After she’s done, she must think that she looks too banging to not take a picture of herself, so she takes out her cell phone, makes a face at the mirror and presses the button. (I’ve always wondered how girls have learned to take that kind of a picture and make it look straight…it’s mindboggling). Then, it’s her Facebook profile picture. This is where I groan upon seeing the picture on Facebook. I guess girls think there’s something attractive about the way they look in the dim light our school bathrooms shine onto them. The sink behind them is super attractive, too. As is the obvious line of bathroom stalls.

My photography project. It’s due on Monday. I’ve had all week and haven’t started it yet. Yep. Procrastination at its best, right here.

Sorry if you think that my posts are littering the Internet. : )

Love/hate relationship with Facebook

At this point, it seems like nearly everybody has a Facebook. Is it a mandatory part of life now? Kids are popped out and their photos are then posted onto the parents’ Facebook page. They’re already getting an early start to their inevitable life of wasting time on Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook is a good idea. It sure beats MySpace (who uses that anymore?), but the teenagers have invaded. When I joined Facebook during my sophomore year of high school (even though my mom was angry about it), barely any of my classmates were on the site yet. They were still fierce MySpacers updating their statuses and changing their pictures every five minutes, not to mention posting another bulletin quiz thing for all to see. Blech.

Anyway, it’s a good idea for older people. My mom has had the opportunity to reconnect with people she has not seen in years. But us teenagers? We’ve invaded it and made it into another MySpace. We’ve invaded with our inability to type without using ch4t$p3@k and have made it a sucky place full of drama (I’m one of the exceptions).

I mentioned arguments over Facebook between two people (dubbed Facebook Battles in my Facebook neighborhood) to my mom, and she laughed. For her, Facebook is a nice way to check out pictures of babies she’s never met and family photos of our long-lost family on her side. For us, it’s a big competition. The profile pictures have to be edited with the brightness and contrast levels changed. Along the bottom or the side or the top, there is some type of writing (usually the person’s name or something equally as stupid) and in the picture, the person’s tongue is sticking out (if you’re a girl) and their shirt is lifted up to show off their “six pack” (if you’re a guy). Stupid.

What is getting super annoying on my Facebook is the status update that states what the person is up to and then ends in something concerning a cell phone. Example (name is made up, obviously):

Candy Land shower. bed. fair tomorrow with alex then black eyed peas concert. text it up.”

Or “texts are nice”

or “texts are wonderful”

or “texts!”.

Quite frankly, I’m happier when my cell phone isn’t vibrating like crazy. I like having it so that I always have the ability to get a hold of somebody should I need to, but texting more than two people at once is too much for me to handle. Especially when I’m trying to do something.

Next, I DON’T CARE about what you and the wonderful or amazing or incredible @Candy Land thought of the Black Eyed Peas concert. Tagging people in a status update is cool, but not when people overuse it and insert annoying adjectives.

Also, the people that update their statuses with a song everyone knows is annoying because it’s like they expect no one to know it. And then the people that write “good song” beneath it just to let everyone know that they know the song. Yeah, congratufuckinglations. Want a cookie?

What’s with people requesting to be my friend when I barely know them?!?!?!? If I don’t talk to you in real life, I sure as hell am not going to wish you a “Happy Birthday!” on your Facebook wall. If I wouldn’t say it to you in person, I don’t say it on Facebook. It’s as simple as that. Also, the fact that little girls/boys in middle school and even younger have Facebooks is aggravating. Didn’t you read earlier when I wrote that my mom was angry when I got my Facebook during my sophomore year? I was fifteen years old! Some of these kids are ten and even younger. Little kids do not need a Facebook or Twitter account. That’s just ridiculous and I blame their parents.

What I really getting to this whole time I’ve been typing away is the whole chat option on Facebook. I am permanent “offline” after learning the hard way. It’s a pain when someone pops up to chat with you when you’re just taking a second to check your Facebook. Then, you end up staying online a lot longer than you planned. It’s annoying. Especially during the school year. I see you at school and now I’m home so I can be away from you. Leave me alone. Also, if people take too long to reply on the chat thing, I ‘x’ them out and log off. I don’t wait around for people. The other day, out of curiosity I switched it to “online” just to see who was on. Then, someone popped up right away saying “heyyyy.” Yeah, no. I’m done doing that. That’s just annoying.

The other day, I deleted over twenty people from my friends list because I realized they really do not need to have access to my page (if you’re not my friend, you can’t see anything – not even my profile picture). I also have blocked people that I don’t care to see status updates from. I can still see their pages, but I don’t have to read their annoying updates.

For me, my relationship with Facebook is a love/hate one. I like staying in touch with people I don’t see over the summer, but sometimes it’s nice to get away.