Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"let's pretend this never happened." really.

i haven't blogged in a month. is that a crime?

yes, i'm thinking it's a crime. so this will be a long rambling post about my last month and how that's been going. because i still blog about my life.

maybe one day i'll devote my blog to cats, and you'll come through here wanting to read about how i epically ran a red light, and you'll be completely thrown off guard.

but that's absurd, mostly because i hate cats. they're evil and i'm allergic to them. but i decided last week that if i were to get a cat, it would have the disposition of a serial killer and be named stephen king.

so here's what's been happening in the past month of my life.

THEY SUNK THE TITANIC. (i'm not sure who the "they" refers to.)

so, remember last post where i told you how to properly write a ten page paper? well, i turned that paper in on thursday morning, the same day that my brother drove my car three hours back to indiana, where i live. sometimes i forget that i actually live in indiana. but i was very painfully aware that i go to college in michigan and live in indiana when my car drove away and wasn't going to come back until he left for peru in may. this was april 19th. and i had plans to see titanic in 3D.

i hate 3D. i have a rare eye condition (syndrome? disease? ailment?) and can't see 3D, so really, i'm paying extra money to wear plastic glasses OVER my glasses so that the screen isn't blurry. and i hate the idea of bringing back movies in 3D. what happened to original movies like inception?


i absolutely had to see titanic, because i went through a big titanic phase in seventh grade, and then one that lasted my last three years of high school, and i practically had the major cast and crew memorized (and crying woman at stern) and i would be damned if i didn't get to see titanic in 3D. so jacob, the dutiful boyfriend and i, well, we walked three miles to the theatre.

alma's theatre is a straight shoot down wright avenue. so there was no winding. there was also no sidewalk. it was about fifty degrees at the time of our leaving (six) to catch the movie (seven). i tweeted about leaving as we walked.

as we left the neighborhood for the businesses and the stretch of grass for the next two miles, amy, mal, and maggie pulled up. amy had gotten my tweet, and would we like a ride? i told them no for two reasons.

1. the rational reason- if we took a ride, we'd get there in about five seconds, which means we'd be waiting for half an hour for the movie.
2. i wanted to claim that i walked to the theatre and back. irrational.

so we walked.

we got to the theatre ten minutes early. we bought a popcorn and a shared water. waited in the lobby. heard celine deon (i have no idea how i spelled that) belting out NEEEEEEAR FAAAAAAR from the credits, which reminded me a tumblr post about jafar (holla if you've seen it!) and then when those were done rolling, we went in.

it was just us in the middle and an old guy in the back. so we configured the seats into a couch, laid back, and watched titanic.

when my parents saw titanc in theatres in 1997, when i was six and a half, there was an intermission. i knew where it was going to be, because we had titanic on VHS, and it was so long that it was in two tapes. i was just waiting for the captain to look super grave and say, "i think you may get your headlines, mr. issmay" and then there would be an intermission, because that's where the tapes switched. instead, it went straight on to cal looking angry and then bitch slapping rose for being drawn like one of jack's french girls. and then the ship really started to sink and on the big screen, that was pretty powerful.

except i had to pee. like, really badly.

i'm not one to pee in movie theatres in the middle of the movie. i feel like i'm being rude. plus, the titanic was SINKING, and it was almost one hundred years to the day since the actual incident, and i was speechless with emotion like i am every time i watch the lion king. when the ship was finally gone and all those people were screaming in the ocean, i was completely blown away thinking, this happened to real people. real people like me. i'm never going on a cruise.

when the movie was over (i couldn't finish the credits because i was getting a rare bladder disease) we left the theatre and found that it was forty-five degrees and raining. RAINING. i had an umbrella, but it's a big bulky umbrella, and i carried it all the way there, so i wanted jacob to carry it back. he refused, so i just put up my hood.

jacob's logic was we could cut through that scary grass field to the abandoned wal-mart parking lot that was lit, which was good, because i'm afraid of being assaulted in the dark and the dark in general. so we started out across a field of knee high grass that abruptly ended at a decently deep ditch with a creek. it was eleven thirty at night and my jeans were already soaked up to my knees.

of course we jumped the creek/ditch and i fell in the mud.

the rest of the walk passed amiably enough. we talked about the titanic and how for a long time, bruce issmay was the most hated man in the world and how he died of grief, kind of like dimmesdale in the scarlet letter, except bruce issmay was real and actually owned the titanic. we didn't see the dead cat we passed on the way there. we sang the head and the heart and by the time we hiked three miles back to campus, it looked like we'd gone swimming. in our clothes.

i wish i had a picture of us in my dorm room, ringing out our pants. my shoes didn't dry for a week.


i've never made it known on my blog that i'm religious. maybe you guessed that i am. maybe you thought i worshipped the devil. well, i don't. i'm church of the brethren. you can look it up, but the wikipedia article makes it sound like we're amish. we're not, trust me. i couldn't blog and be amish. or watch criminal minds. and cook easy mac.

during the break week between winter term and spring term, i stayed on campus, alone in my room, for something called ACCL, (we call that excel) and that's alma college chapel leadership. i go to chapel on a regular basis, i wanted to be more involved, and the shirts looked cool.

the first part of this story is how everybody left except me, i didn't have any food so i ordered a pizza, and then i had a panic attack about being alone in my building, locked my dorm door and my bathroom door, and cried on the phone to my mother. and how the next morning, when making my oatmeal, i found dried vomit all over the lobby. so i had to put on my RA pants and call security to come clean it up, because it's somewhere in my contract that i don't have to touch stuff like that.

then they shut off my heat and my room stayed at about fifty-nine degrees, so i dressed like my grandmother.

there were seventeen of us at ACCL, with three fantastic student leaders. ACCL was intimidating. later, i would describe it as "RA training, except your residents are christians that want to hang out with you." i realized, very quickly, that it was about leading a bible study. my first bible study was on sunday night, and on monday, i was leading one. i jumped in head first.

i'm not overly religious. my family thinks that religion is more of a personal thing. we go to church, and we have a collection of bibles in the basement, but they mostly sit. i've never read the bible or studied it. and here i was, surrounded by wonderful devoted christians who could quote me practically anything from any chapter. (i'm talking to you, phil.)

i don't really want to talk about religion in my blog. not because it's taboo, but i almost feel like it's that whole separation of church and state, and my blog is the state. which is presumptuous, i know.

but during ACCL week, with my sixteen new close friends, we did amazing things. we read scriptures and discussed them. we played soccer. we ate popsicles and helped out at habitat for humanity. we cooked and ate food together. we went to a park and completely lost our college selves and became kindergarteners. we cooked hotdogs. (i cooked a veggie burger on a stick. over a fire pit.) we loved each other and we loved jesus.

i haven't done ACCL justice. i'd have to make my own blog post for this. this post is already too long and i'm giving you mad props for reading. maybe i'll make an ACCL post and put it in our facebook group.

but i swear, we had something special at ACCL, and i think it was truly the work of god.


before i even start, spring term is something that alma does in may. it's a three and a half week class. it's intensive. there are cool ones that go to new zealand (that's you, connor!) and to peru (that's you, aaron!) and ireland (that's you, choir!) and other places. next year i'm going to london.

this year i stayed on campus to study asian american literature and culture with dr. chen, the tiny taiwanese professor that will kill me slowly in critical theory next fall. she's very nice, but she's not kidding when she takes grammar nazi as a compliment. i have a long way to go in my grammar nazi-ism.

the first thing we did was read poems about japanese interment camps. i'd heard of them, but really, they don't teach all of the terrible things that americans do in US history. i mean, i don't like history, and i haven't taken a history class since US history, but i feel like i should've known about internment. it was an awful thing.

besides just reading and writing about literature, we "traveled". we went to the detroit institute of art (which was awesome) and then we went to lansing for dinner, where ava and i found some MSU gamma phi betas. we knocked on the window, pointed vigorously at ourselves and at them, and made crescent signs with our hands. thank god they got it and agreed, not quite as excitedly.

last week we went to saginaw and ate japanese food. elena and i are vegetarians, so we ordered separately while everyone else had family style. miso soup, which is powdered tofu and seaweed, is good. the fried vegetables were yummy. the fried tofu was mushy. the vegetarian sushi, which was rice and avocado wrapped in seaweed, was terrible. i just can't eat seaweed, i guess.

but i ate the entire meal with chopsticks. i took instragram pictures of the entire meal.

oh, i forgot to mention that i kind of sort of not learned how to chinese sword dance. it involves a lot of tai chi and wobbly swords, and i think i was holding it wrong the whole time.

we went to a japanese tea ceremony, and i drank the weirdest green tea (that was totally green) that i've ever had in my life.

i learned the real chinese story of mulan, and where she trains for fifteen years, starves herself in the wilderness, gets oaths and addresses cut into her back, and then she leads an army for twelve years, cuts off a lot of heads, gets married, has a kid, still cuts of people's heads with the baby in her armor, the entire time dressed as a man. most. badass. woman. ever.

on thursday we're going to lansing to meet with a korean minister. i hope i like korean food.


this is ungodly long. if you're STILL reading, you are devoted to this blog, probably more so than i am, and i give you mad props.

the first day of spring term, all four of my books were in at the bookstore, so i went to go get them with jacob, and i opened them at breakfast. the one i needed for class that day was camp notes, the japanese internment poems that i hated, but instead, out came this bright red book with a taxidermied mouse on it that said "let's pretend this never happened."

i knew i'd seen the title before and vaguely remembered wanting to read it. it was probably tweeted by roger ebert and i read his review on it. but while i stared at this book in the middle of the cafeteria, all i could think was, "somebody sent me the wrong fuggin' book."

but then camp notes came later that day, and i found the receipt for the mouse book, and it had a nice note from my friend jonathan, who always wants me to blog more.

jonathan, this entire post is dedicated to you. and right now i can't remember if i spelled your name correctly or not, and i'm too lazy to get on facebook to check.

"let's pretend this never happened" is a book by jenny lawson, an avid blogger, but she gets paid to do it. the first thing i thought was, "damn, she blogs like me. except way better."

so. if this blog post is stylistically different, it's because she's rubbing off on me. her book is styled like her blogs. and i've been reading an awful lot of it lately because it's too hilarious to put down. so go read it.

to top this all off, i got an email yesterday from the student life office that asked me if i would like to be their permanent weekly blogger. would i be interested?


in a nutshell, i'm getting paid to blog by the school, and it's considered an internship. so it can go on my resume. and then i can justify quitting my job later in life and blogging like jenny lawson.

but she's a professional blogger. which is something that's so far out of reach for me that i just kind of sit on my bed and night and think about it.


during ACCL week, and all of the week after, and the week after, but mostly during ACCL week, i discovered that dave had lord of the rings extended editions.

i've never read lord of the rings, but i love the movies in kind of but not the same way that i love harry potter.

i watched sam and frodo destroy the ring so many times and i tweeted about it so much that two things happened.

1. i added the word "lordoftherings" to my phone so i could hashtag it on twitter.
2. i was in the top ten #lordoftherings tweeters when i clicked on the hashtag.
3. i lost a lot of followers.
4. mordor followed me on twitter.

finally, a dark lord that followed me back.

that wasn't two things. that was four. good thing i'm an english major.


i didn't know if i could write this. my internet has been awfully strange, and this finally popped up on internet explorer (i tagged the tweet about this as #firstworldproblems) after i refreshed the page about eight times, and now i can finally blog. about the past month. and not really do it justice.

i think i gave titanic justice. and then i just kept going on with my life.

congratulations, you have read the longest blog post of my career, i'm pretty sure. now go read "let's pretend this never happened" or eat a popsicle. you deserve both of those things.


  1. I bought that book for three people.

    You, of course, because I think of you EVERY time I read one of her posts or a chapter in her book because, well, you're right: you two are like sisters when it comes to writing style. Except she uses capitalization. Jenny: 1. Emily: 0.

    Maggie Donley, because I had the pleasure of being her dance partner when she joined the Dance Company. Little did she know I was a slightly insane person who basically told her (in much more witty wording) that I was going to be he rapist in the dance... which was actually about rape. Since then, we've become besties. She's on one of those foreign spring terms (Taiwan), and I miss her dearly. She bought me a light up executive clock when I moved to Chicago that I have on my desk. It tells me the time in Michigan because I can't figure out how to change the damned thing.

    And third, for my mother, because I don't think she completely understands what I find funny and because I think she'll enjoy reading this book. It's phenomenal, and I'm really glad you're enjoying it.

    Creepily from the shadows,


  2. I very much enjoyed your brief description of Church of the Brethren. Some of my friends still don't think I believe in the sun. Also, appreciated your separation of church and state. :) ALSO, just love reading your blogs in general.

    PS I was hoping for the intermission in Titanic, too. We have the VHS at my house.

  3. jonathan, you are wonderful. and maggie and i had fun in our ed psych class discussing the ickiness of boys.

    and heather, i remember the day i went on wikipedia to look up church of the brethren for my then-new boyfriend, because he'd never heard of us. (now he's been to my church several times.) i realized that most of the description was old order brethren, where old men had brethren beards and we all wore solid colors and didn't like electricity. my dad says that now, that mostly translates into us being eco-friendly and how half of my congregation drives a prius.

    where is your church located, if you don't mind me asking? i'm trying to find brethren churches across the country that aren't in indiana, kansas, and pennsylvania. :)