Sunday, November 28, 2010

Up, Up and Away

This post is a little all over the place and epic-length; it's taken a few days to pull together. But this is basically my Thanksgiving Break! I hope you've all enjoyed yours :).

33 Saints. 7 cars. 4 days. 2,200 miles round trip.
One goal, and that was to show our support for our Men's and Women's teams at the NCAA DIII Cross-Country Nationals at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

We left St. Lawrence Thursday afternoon after everyone was out of classes and drove Buffalo for the first night. We slept in a ski lodge in sleeping bags, and at 1 AM we awake to this tapping from outside the windows. There were these two men with face masks, a crow bar and giant screw driver outside the lodge window! It was terrifying; a lot of the girls began panicking and wanting to call the police. A few of the guys got up to investigate and of course, it was only two other guys who thought it would be funny to insue chaos. After we all finally calmed down, we left the lodge at 8:30 Friday morning for Iowa.

It's funny... we drove to Iowa. I can't figure out why stating that is so laughable; perhaps because it's basically halfway across the continental United States? Because Iowa is one huge, rolling cornfield? That the desolate highways are straight out of movies that involve cowboys and body-dumping?!
Honestly once we drove through Ohio, the mid-west states seemed fairly close together. Sitting on Interstate-90 we saw things like "The World's Largest Truck Stop" (it's legit-- saw it once on the Travel Channel) and one of our cars accidentally went in to Chicago, rather than around! However, I had never been farther West than Chicago (being in Californian airports as a baby does not count), so this road-tripping was truly one big adventure :). My car was one of the first to reach the hotel in Waverly at 11:30. We fit 11 people in our room.. and there was that many in the rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor as well. There was no room, nor energy, to be a diva about it. Haha, that car did eventually make it-- at 2 AM central time, 3 AM Eastern!
With the team all together, we headed over to Wartburg College the Saturday morning. The bitter wind was whipping across the course, which was basically loops on a field behind a housing development. Our cheering section was one of several who trekked out to Nationals to wear their colors and encourage their teams. The Saints XC tradition is to don capes with the St. Lawrence shield, along with XC insignia and our mottos "Gung-Ho" and "Joust" (for the men's team). What an exhiliarating rush to be there supporting our 14 teammates that were running amongst some of the fastest collegiates in the country!


Our men's team placed 3rd overall, with one of them placing 4th and several others in the top 35. That was their best finish since 1986! On the women's side, my senior captain won the Division III Championship-- again! That was a thrill to watch, she ran so strongly and truly deserved it. The team as a whole didn't do as well as predicted but I was still unbelievably proud of what they've done this season. After the race we switched to their hotel (sneaking in) and celebrated. We were back on the road again at 6:40 AM Sunday, with 16 hours on the road. It really wouldn't have taken that long had one of our cars not sputtered down in Indiana D: ... haha, we think it was a transmission problem and it had to be towed. Luckily we had less people driving back than driving there, so consolidating wasn't an issue. Everyone was back in Buffalo Sunday night by 11. Monday morning all we had to do is drive an hour east on I-90, and there my parents were at a thruway exit 30 minutes from my house to pick me up! I was home by 11 AM :).


Monday returning from the road trip was a nap and settle-in-type day. That night some of my best friends came over to visit! We drank tea and caught up. Tuesday morning I woke myself up at 7:30 to get a head start on my homework so my mother would see my initiative and allow me to go out—which worked, because I spent the afternoon with my friend Megan going to her classes at a community college. It was awesome finally meeting her friends, and now I have faces to put to the names she tells us about! Haha in the school lobby their were clay and feathers for turkeys so I made a St. Lawrence one :P

Wednesday I went out to the Salvation Army with my mom in the morning. I like Wednesdays because all the apparel is half-off except for those with green tags. I held up the dressing room but scored some diverse clothing!! I bought a nautical dress (which I hemmed to make it more mini-dress length), a Forever 21 grey shirt with a leopard (party apparel), a belted beige trench coat (out of season, but will be put to use someday) and this totally legit pale yellow, apr├Ęs ski-esque pullover that is probably straight out of the eighties. I know the phrase “legit” is obnoxious, but honestly that was the first phrase that came to mind when I saw it!

After that we hustled off to Kohl’s for a bit and then she dropped me off at Starbucks, where I met up with two of my other best friends! We gushed over coffee (pumpkin spice latte, Starbucks ‘perfect’ oatmeal) and then went to watch Harry Potter. Now, I am not one who frequents the theatre because I despise spending $8 to sit in an uncomfortable, crowded room watching a movie that I may or may not like. But obviously I knew Harry Potter was worth it, so no second-guessing that.
I found the film a thrill to watch. I enjoyed it much more I think because I haven’t read the book in a few years, and I couldn’t remember certain plot details that were omitted to be critical of. The pace was hurried—I really, really wish they would just make the film an epic-length—and the first half ended a lot later than I predicted. Which was bad because it was hurried, yet good because the second half should be explosive and stunning. Agh, when the movie ended I just moaned because I knew we would all have to wait…until July. All in all, I loved it; each successive movie has improved and the talent is just unbelievable.
Uhh, but did anyone else think Ron’s Horcrux hallucination in the woods was…unnecessary? I didn’t think Harry and Hermione had to be naked to convey the jealousy. Awkwardddd.

Once Harry Potter ended we bummed around the mall. No doubt I enjoy going through clothes at the stores there, but I don’t have the same desire to buy everything off the rack. I have loads more fun investigating the Salvation Army, and I have the moral satisfaction that I am reducing my negative global impact by recycling clothing. It A) prevents waste from accumulating, B) supports charitable efforts in my region, C) does not support increased water, carbon and labor consumption that new clothing does and D) is cheap. Of the clothing I bought that morning, only the grey shirt was half-off, but the total was still under $13!

However, at the mall I never hesitate to hang out in Teavana. I literally just stand there, examining in awe at all the expensive tea pottery that I lust to own, and sample all the tea. It’s love.

Thursday was Thanksgiving!!! No surprise there, it was cool being with my family yet at the same time nothing exciting ever happens. At dinner I urged everyone to seriously state one thing they were thankful for, but everyone was frustratingly uncooperative. That’s the one thing I can’t stand about my brothers and sisters: I never feel like they take me seriously. I’m not sure when or how that will change…In any case, I was still thankful to be with them. And for butternut squash and pumpkin pie. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish? I personally grow weary of turkey after day two, but I found these revamp-your-leftovers type recipes such as turkey cranberry quesadillas and onion soup made with turkey stock. If my mom ends up freezing some of the turkey for winter break, I’ll bust it out then and try it.

Friday I did not participate in wretchedly early shopping madness. Simply was not feeling it this year.
I did homework, hung out with a group of friends, went to Target later in the afternoon with my parents, ate a super-late birthday dinner with them at this amazing steak house, then went to another friend’s house to see more people. I love them all!!! I’m quite pleased with the number of people I was able to spend time with because this break was a whirlwind of plans.
Saturday I did homely things: cleaned the barn, packed my college stuff, sat on the computer, listened to Kid Cudi and my former science teacher’s steel drum band (she’s a very interesting woman), baked cookies and scones and hemmed the dress that I bought. That was the only full day I wasn’t able to get out and see people other than my parents. I was a little stir-crazy.

Now it’s Sunday, and I’m back at school. It was a very satisfying break and I am re-charged for the next three weeks of academic mayhem. I can’t wait to hear how everyone’s vacation was—including yours! :D

Listening: "To Kingdom Come", Passion Pit
Upcoming: pictures of the thrift buys, Border's packages

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Settling In, Going Out & SO MUCH LOVE.

Made it back from Iowa in one piece. Best road trip ever (not that I have much to compare it with, but still)! More on that later*. For now,
I wish everyone an extremely Happy Thanksgiving with their families and friends. It really is the best holiday-- all love, no commercial intent attached. I'm quite eager to stuff my face as well. Charlie Brown always does a splendid job capturing the spirit of the holidays :).




I am planning to do a full post, but one of my global studies books is beckoning to be read. In an uncharacteristically education-proactive fashion, I am going to read it so I can finish my break homework in order to liberate myself for social activities. YES! Eat up everyone and enjoy! Be back soon!!!

*to look foward to: The Road to Nationals, Borders packages, picking right up where we left off, thrifting, Harry Potter, foodfoodfood ♥

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Volatile

Thanksgiving break does not officially begin until Friday, but I'm leaving tomorrow after class is over for a road trip to Waverly, Iowa.


Why would we drive 2,000 miles to Waverly, Iowa you wonder???
To support our Nationally-ranked Cross-Country teams at the NCAA Division III Championships!!! The St. Lawrence women are 2nd in the nation and the men are 5th; my captain is the defending National Champ, and this could be the year!
I am unashamed to admit that I do not contribute athletic prowess to these teams whatsoever, so I pull my slack with positive energy, cheering and act'in a fool :). I am so pumped for this because I have never taken a legitimite road trip, let alone traveled independtly with 32 other kids (adolescents? college students?). It took inexplicable amounts of pleading, begging and convincing to sway my parents into allowing me to go, but yeah, I have to do things on my own; now can start being the time.
Things should be interesting, to say the least. :D

And once I'm home Monday afternoon, it's a full week of relaxation. It will probably pass quickly, but I am twitching with eagerness to see all the people that have been absent from my life for the last 3 months ♥.

I am so eager to get out and have some FUN. As I write our campus Quidditch Team is hosting a Yule Ball and I'm waiting for some friends to arrive and we're going to dress up (not in dress robes, however :P) and dance until we die in the name of Harry freakin' Potter! HAHA one of the seniors on my team suggested we watch it Friday when we're in Iowa!
I'm so happy right now.


Listening: "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry/Tyler Ward/the cast of Glee [check out those versions if you have not heard them yet] It's our team song and I can't get enough of it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Frost


Artic slivers of the air
Our deepest hopes, dreams
Whispr'ing softly in your ear.

Mmm yup, that is the extent of my poetic prowess :). Here at the gym, bright and early on a Friday before my French class. I decided to bike and take off after my legs burned so much Wednesday. Mulan is immensely entertaining in Mandarin, by the way! These actors even try to personify the same vpices as the original ones.
Yesterday after class, Ally and I grabbed our rusty, too-large hockey skates and hit up the arena for open-skate. I'm terrible-- really tense and slow-- but I did not fall once after not being on the ice in several years! I worked up a sweay quickly, it really was a great way to diversify the afternoon. I had a blast, and I'm going to keep practicing through the end of the year :D.
Did you participate in any random activities as of late?

I am exhausted. I need to put a time limit on my computer use; I have spent wayyy too much time on the internet! Haha I may sleep after class is out at one, then off to do concessions at the hockey game tonight. Though for the rest of you, have a terrific start to the weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This is such a painstaking process

My legs started tightening and burning as I was running today. I probably should take a day off and just bike tomorrow.
This is going to be a longgggg process.

On the upside...
We're watching Mulan, in Chinese lab, IN CHINESE! Hahahaha I can't wait to hear "We Are Men"! Have a lovely night everyone!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Always Caught Off Guard

and left stumbling around, coming to terms with the current melodramas then reassessing what happens after the fact and thennn... laugh like mad.
That's really all I can ever do-- laugh at my life.

Psychologically, I believe if we keep insisting to ourselves that we're happy, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I came off such a good week and then Sunday was just plain nuts, and it knocked me down a bit but I soooo want another great week!!!

On a random term of HAPPINESS, I'd like to point out some things that are pleasing me lately:
+ I love how I can say "I love you" and "I am happy" in four different languages now.
+ I love building relationships with people; discovering their quirks, hidden talents and life stories; meeting up and going out, unaware of the potential impermanence or superficiality but still enjoying the moment.
+ I love how I can swathe myself in layers and luscious scarves and not sweat.
+ I love rediscovering music that I had forgotten on my iPod.
+ I love, love Tokyo Police Club for everything they're worth, the Twilight New Moon soundtrack, jamming out to reggae in the most chill manner possible, and the new sound of The Maine.
+ I love that my school has had organized social activites the last two weekends so there was non-stop funfunfun and raucous dancing and behavior. Love it.
+ I love feeling sufficiently full, but not overstuffed.
+ I love raspberries with hot fudge. Or caramel.
+ I love finishing my work in a timely fashion so I don't set myself up for a stress-filled disaster. Currently failling at that, however.
--> What are you loving at the moment, what's making you beam with HAPPINESS? :D

Despite the fact that I have a lot of work to tackle and conquer, directly after lab I persuaded two of my friends to watching a showing of Les Choristes by the French Club. There were only four other people watching it (hey, best kept secret) but I was sooo pumped! If you do not
recall, it ranks as one of my favorite movies and the soundtrack is simply divine. I wish I still had chorale-capable vocal chords to reach pitches like theirs. The movie put me in such bonheur.

My friend Ally accompanied me to the student center so I could buy junk food -- raspberry Milanos and vegan snickerdoodles -- to cope with some emotional upheavals and that reprising parent-derived conflict. I should not be binging to deal with stress of any sort butttt... I didn't have dessert with my dinner tonight, I'll be running and biking tomorrow, and now I'm just binging on tea? Is that excusable?

Ahahaha now back to work,
and to allow myself to drown in tea.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Favourite Food

"Let the sugar melt down your throat, 'cause you know it's sweet getting old."
- "Favourite Food", Tokyo Police Club


I had a spectacular 18th birthday.
I was actually awake the first two hours, finishing a paper on globalization!! No worries though, I was with my best friend here, then my best friend from home called and finishing the paper was my first accomplishment as an adult :D. I went to bed soon there after, to be woken around 7:40 to these odd scratching noises. Then my roommate came over and tapped me, with terror in her eyes and whispered, "What is that noise?!" I didn't know for sure, but I told her it was probably one of my friends taping a sign on the door.
An hour and a half later when I woke up for real, I discovered a lovely drawn card and tons of chocolates on the door. Hahaha and I told that friend the paranoia she inspired. It was a very sweet gesture nonetheless!
So throughout the day I recieved happybirthdays and compliments on my bright dress thag contradicted the dank weather of the day. My friend Ally and I rode our bikes into town after class and she treated me to lunch at the lovely Blackbird Cafe. We had more class but I finished my homework for today early in order to enjoy the day. Practice was annoying because my teammate and I couldn't find any open bikes, yet we had a great time passing around paper hearts in a team circle to give anonymous love. Mine was filled with comments on positvity, smiling and being a generally happy person.
I ate dinner with my team and made a deelicious oreabanananut sundae! Then I reconvened with my friends and we jammed into the crowded student center to watch Inception. I hadn't watched it since the drive-in over the summer and I was STOKED. Haha, trippiest 2 1/2 hours of my life :D.
Ahhhh so to my absentminded dismay, I lost two of the bday cardsmy friend gave me. Left them SOMEWHERE, but I always forget things like that :\. Bahh, it's an adult skill I need to work on.
So I pretty much went to bed at the end of my eighteenth birthday, still floating from all the love. Even though Facebook is superficial and non-commitmal, I truly adored all the wall posts. Thanks to everyone for the wishes!!!

I'm back on the bike this morning, practicing now instead of at 3 because I have to work the hockey game concessions. Life is hectic, it takes a lot of effort, but damn it sure feels good to be an adult. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Witching Hour

First day of November, and a chilly one at that. I knew October would pass quickly, but I finally am going to be 18 this Thursday!!! I have two classes and practice, then I work hockey game concessions Friday and Saturday night, yet I swear I'm going out to do something fun to celebrate! Thankfully at this point I have some amazing friends who are eager to go out as well. We'll see how this week pans out :).

So Friday I spent the night in Syracuse at a XC teammate's house because us and the other girls who aren't in the top echelon of runners went to Hobart & William Smith College to watch our girls race. Besides that both the men and women's teams won the Liberty League by a long shot, my parents came out to watch Saturday because the race course is a mere 45 minutes from home! It's odd seeing my parents and leaving them; my mother still maintains her typical neurotic worrying, while my Dad always emphasizes how much he misses me. I call them pretty much everyday. My mom also gave me a loaf of zuchinni bread and cookies!

It was only 6:15 when we arrived nack at St. Lawrence. Obviously I missed Friday night's Halloween festivities, but I wasn't going to skip Saturday! I was in a dilemma for a costume because I did not do ANY previous preparation, though with the gracious help of various friends, I became.. A lax bro!!!!
Hahahaha yup, I was bro-in' it out as a lacrosse playa as all the girls wore as little as possible; the one night looking like a skank is acceptable!
Here's one of my girl Ally and I: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31850249&l=56b9f9a2a8&id=1290654630

So while everyone around me was pregaming and mixing drinks, I held strong and sober. The cross-country teams make a collective decision for a dry season at the end of September every year, and this is law until Nationals (beginning of Thanksgivig break). Basically if you drink during this period, you're kicked off the team. However, I have not had this much fun in ages! Various clubs sponsored an outdoor tent party and an indoor rave, and I was just able to ley loose with indiscriminate dancing and happiness-- while also being perfectly coherent and used by everyone else's drunken fiascos. I was mostly impressed by the campus wide enthusiasm; I believe I saw every costume imaginable!
[If you're reading this sans photos, check my Facebook! Tonight I'll update the post with images.]

I slept over in my friend Ally's room and Sunday we worked allllllllll day. Now it's Monday evening and I have lab right after my practice here, then three papers to write. But I'm satisfied about the weekend. Here's to all the high feelings that will pull be through the week! :D