17

Back on the Board

This afternoon, I did something I didn’t think I’d do again.

Yep. Got on a paddle board.

I thought it might be easier the second time, and in a way, it was. The water was very calm, as I suppose it would be, being a lake rather than a harbor. I got there at around 2:30, and headed out at around 2:50. Being on the water was nice; it wasn’t an especially hot day, and thankfully it wasn’t too windy. Paddling out from the shore was easier than I thought. But then, once I got far away from land, I got a little more nervous. My knees locked and buckled, and I focused so much on keeping my eyes straight ahead and paddling and keeping myself upright and making sure that the sweat wasn’t getting into my eyeballs that I probably looked more silly than cool. I was planning on making it to at least the far dock, the one closest to Camp Randall. When I got to about the halfway point, a gentle breeze came and turned me exactly 180 degrees, so I guess it was Mother Nature telling me to go back to the dock. Feeling a bit defeated, I managed to get back without having fallen at all, for the entire…thirty minutes I was out there.

Ugh.

Weak sauce.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m back on the grind. Right now, I’m almost done watching a video for tomorrow, and I’ve still got stuff to read.

This week is going to be so weird, I can already feel it.

Hopefully there will be more normalcy in my future…well, in my real life, so I can get back to silliness here.

10

What Are You Afraid Of?

Today, I realized that there are certain things that I was afraid of when I was younger, that don’t scare me that much anymore, and then some things that used to not bother me, that really get to me now.

Here’s a few of them.

What I’m No Longer Scared Of

  • Showering/changing in public. Yes, I do avoid it when possible, but it’s not such a terrible thing. Growing up, I would always change for gym class in a bathroom stall (as did a few others). I guess I just realized that no one was looking at me. Now, I just sing in the shower at the gym because I can, and who really gives a darn?
  • The dentist. It’s a necessary evil, and dentists can be weird, but it’s temporary and if you’re lucky, you’re good for a year or so.
  • Going to bed late. I don’t know why this used to scare me, but I’d get really uncomfortable if I was awake too late.
  • Toilets that flush automatically. Got used to them.

What Scares Me Now

  • Heights. I was never really a huge fan, but I never had a problem with them. I have noticed lately that I get a little vertigo in high places
  • Riding a bike. Well, that scared me as a kid as well, but when Dan and I went biking on Martha’s Vineyard, I was about to have a heart attack.
  • Being yelled at in public. I used to be able to brush it off, but now it just makes me want to yell back, and make you uncomfortable.
  • Teaching my own classes next week. It’s kind of a mix of nervousness and excitement. I just hope I do well.
0

Summer Odyssey 2.0, T-10 hours

My 2015 summer travel odyssey has really snuck up on me. I’ve been telling everyone about it for so long but in ten hours, it’s actually happening. By this time tomorrow, I will hopefully be at Julie’s place in Salt Lake City.

Freaking. Out. 

Since I have to catch a flight at 9 tomorrow morning, I should probably be packing. However, I am in a pool hall waiting for my nachos to arrive.

Priorities. 

Please don’t let me forget anything essential. 

7

Just Another List, Or Something Like That

Today I didn’t feel like doing too much, and I still don’t, but I should at least make a list of things I should be doing right now, or something.

What I Should Be Doing

  1. Making treats for meeting tomorrow.
  2. Making something nutritious for dinner. Maybe eggs or something.
  3. Writing either of my two papers for next week.
  4. Sending some emails I probably should have sent last week.
  5. Clean apartment.

What I Want to Do Right Now

  1. Nothing.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Read for pleasure.
  4. Watch another episode of Submissions Only.
  5. Watch the last hour of Shall We Dance?

And let it be known that for the first day in May, I got visitors from all 6 continents! North America (Canada, USA), South America (Peru), Europe (UK, Spain, France), Asia (India, Qatar, Hong Kong, Taiwan), Africa (Uganda) and Oceania (Australia)!

10

Thursday Night Sociopaths

My night was just ruined thanks to two separate complete sociopaths who did the same thing to me. 

1. Waiting in line, grabbed me by the waist to get around me.

2. Drunkenly walked up to where I was seated and put her drunk head on my back.

Never again am I going to out for a late night slice of pizza again. At the very least, carry out. 

God. 

My back is still tingling. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight. 

7

On Breaking Glass

Last night, the fire alarm went off, and since it was two in the morning and there was no way I was going out in the SNOW (yes, it’s snowing here), I took that as time to wash the giant pile of dishes that has been piling up in the sink. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I had two wine glasses sitting behind the sink, and as I took a clean bowl out of the dishwasher, I knocked one into the sink.

It shattered.

Now I only have nine wine glasses. Wine glasses that came from my grandmother, that survived the moves from Baltimore to Houston to Madison to Madison again, plus countless people (okay, maybe like fifty) who have used them since they have been in my possession.

And just like that, one tipped over and broke, right into the sink, where it was easy to fish out the pieces with a cloth and throw them into the garbage like last week’s beer bottle.

It’s just a glass, and it’s not even that special; my grandmother probably got them at a department store or something. I could probably even find the same pattern online if I tried hard enough. It was just the shattering of the glass that made my heart judder, just a little bit. I’ve been a bit edgy lately, nervous, anxious, ready to go home but not ready for all the work I have to do before then, worried about friends and family, feeling somewhat lonely, and lazy because I’ve only danced twice this week and haven’t been to the gym at all. I’m just living my life.

Oh well, at least I got to do my Florida Evans impression to myself in my apartment.

4

Adios, Mendota

Just a quick update.

The apartment is fully packed (well, 90%) in boxes and bags. Some will go into my car; most of it, though, into storage.

I have about half of my paper down, which I will finish tonight come hell or high water so I can print a copy, then pack up the printer.

I still need to eat the dinner I just cooked, put laundry in the dryer, and take books to the library.

Tonight will be my final night in 620 N. Carroll St., Apartment 409, ever.

Tomorrow morning I will return my Internet box (too stressed to think of what it’s called), get some money from the ATM, retrieve my water bottle from the gym and possibly take a shower if I feel so inclined, pick up some contact solution at Walgreens, shove some stuff in the mail, and get the 1:00 PM bus to Chicago (already paid for!), or, if I play my cards right, the 11:30 AM bus.

I will have no fixed address for the next month.

Adios, Mendota…hola, being a hobo.

5

Twenty Questions for That’s So Jacob

One of the most curious places on the Internet is Yahoo! Answers. Even though Yahoo! has been on a decline since the 1990s, but for some reason, Yahoo! Answers is still there. And people are still asking questions, every day, big and small. I haven’t yet asked any, but I’ve answered a few.

But tonight, I’ve decided to answer a few more.

I’m going to go on the site, answer the first twenty questions that come up, to the best of my ability, and post the responses here.

1. Michael asks:

Hi, I ordered a skateboard deck from amazon and the trackijg info on amazon shows the seller shipped the packaged today and the provided a tracking number. Below the tracking number in the status section it says 
We’re sorry. “We are unable to retrieve more tracking details for this shipment.” So I took the tracking number provided and checked all of the shipping companies and none recognized the tracking number. The company that’s listed on amazon as being used for shipping is FedEx SmartPost. I even called FedEx and they said they can’t see any package in their system. Why is my tracking number not recognized by FedEx tracking system and why doesn’t amazon have any info on its whereabouts?

Dear Michael,

Some things in life are meant to be mysteries.

All kidding aside though, sometimes it takes a day or two for the number to come up in the system. Other times, I’ve received things I’ve ordered online with that same message, and they’ve just shown up anyway.

2. Kayla asks:

I recently bought biotin at target because I heard it helped hair and nail growth. But then I further researched before taking the pills and I heard that it makes you break out in pimples. Are these true?

Dear Kayla,

I have no idea. I would probably rather rely on nature if I had a problem like that.

3. Alysha asks:

I have a membership card for Hot Topic that gives me points when I buy stuff or even visit a store. I was wondering if there are other stores with the same kind of cards? And if there, can anyone tell me? 

This is not a credit card by the way. It just gives me points so I can get discounts later or access to member events. I do not want credit cards or anything like that lol. Just ones that I get points for and get discounts later.

Dear Alysha,

Absolutely! So many stores have membership or rewards cards program. Starbucks has a membership rewards program as well, where you can download an app to get free drinks. Check your local supermarket to see if they have a club. Look at your favorite stores’ websites for more information.

4. Stephanie asks:

Like, I don’t get the difference between foundation and concealer. Okay, maybe. Foundation I think makes like the skin glow and give a pretty skin color look? And concealer might like cover acne and stuff? I don’t know!! I also don’t get like how people put it on. Makeup, I mean, basically. Like their routine, pretty much. I just put on makeup twice or once a week. I get foundation, smear it on and put on masara, a bit of eyeshadow and face powder. I don’t even know if I even do it right or not. Can someone just tell me how you put various products on, before or after another product? Makeup routines? The right way to put makeup on? Thanks!

Dear Stephanie,

One word: YouTube. Search for “makeup tutorials.” Cheaper than a fashion magazine!

5. James asks:

I feel betrayed and I don’t know what to do. This all happened a few days ago and ever since that day, I became very antisocial and did activities by myself. This is not how I wanted my summer to start -.-

Dear James,

Sounds like rough stuff. If my friends betrayed me, I’d ask myself…did I really want to be friends with them in the first place?

6. Jill asks:

I’ve read many times that regular makeup (oil based and creme makeups like Cover Girl and all those popular commercial brands) will not stick to silicone surfaces and look discolored, I understand that only silicone sticks to silicone. I learned that the best way to color silicone is alcohol-based makeup palettes, however, if silicone sticks to itself than would using silicone based makeup work? Like the Temptu brand or any other brands that use silicone in their foundations? It makes sense to me but I can’t find any information anywhere that it would work. If anyone does know, would this last over silicone all day and keep it’s color? Thanks very much.

Dear Jill,

I’d definitely say a silicone based makeup. Also, I think many spray products (spray tan, etc) use silicone.

7. Kiiashi asks:

My daughter is 6 months old and has been cutting her teeth in recently. Two are fully cut now and she’s cutting 2 more. Is she too young for me to brush her teeth now that she’s getting some in or do they need to be a certain age first?

Dear Kiiashi,

I was at Target recently and saw that in the baby care section, they have training toothbrushes that are small and soft. You could probably look at the age range on the back of them. Also, if she is not eating solid food, I guess that she’s not at risk of staining them with anything. Best of luck with your dental hygiene quest!

8. Naz asks:

Made a hair mask from Coconut oil, 1 egg, and vanilla/banana yogurt. 
Can I leave it in my hair overnight? 
Don’t normally use yogurt.

Dear Naz,

Put a shower cap on it, and in the morning you can pour it in a bowl for breakfast!

9: Holland asks:

Dorothea 

Theodora 

Ilithiya / Eilithia (pronounced, ill-ith-ee-ah & is a real greek girls name) my personal favorite 🙂 

I know Ilithiya is difficult to spell and pronounce but keep in mind we WILL be calling her Thea.

Dear Holland,

All those names are very nice! But remember, she’ll have to use that name on her college applications, credit cards, and when calling US Airways to book tickets to see her grandparents in Athens. I love the name Eleutheria, it’s Greek for “freedom” and she could be called Thea. There’s also Althea, Mathea, or even Cynthia. Whatever name you choose, she’ll still be your adorable daughter.

10. Kevin asks:

Where to get locator chip installed in my child?

Dear Kevin,

North Korea?

11. Colleen asks:

Do i need a work permit in the summer?!?! Im looking for a job (any job suggestions will be fantastic as well. Im a 15 year old girl in georgia)

Dear Colleen,

I had a summer job as a 15-year-old in Maryland. I got a work permit through a woman who was a secretary at my junior high school, who was also a notary. Popular jobs for teenagers include lifeguarding, babysitting, lawn mowing, deck washing, or tutoring kids. Good luck!

12. Lisa asks:

‘She have aids so I didn’t ask her out’ does this sentence make sense? Or should it be she got aids…?

Dear Lisa,

In this case, it’s past tense. “She had AIDS, so I didn’t ask her out.”

13. Sonja asks:

Favorite book?

Dear Sonja,

All of them.

14. Niamh asks:

It’s sunday morning and i have done an all nighter, will this effect my sleeping pattern as i have school tomorrow (monday) and i have to get up at 6;00, please help me out, if you have any tips on what i should do, please dont hesitate to give me advice.

Dear Niamh,

Sleep is important for restoring the body and aiding mental strength. Be careful and try to avoid too much sugar/caffeine lest you “crash” later.

15. Jacob asks:

I don’t really know what it’s called or how to fix it but if I do something stupid and embarrassing like everyone does eventually I will literally obsess over it for days and it drives me crazy…. any idea how to fix this

Dear Jacob,

First of all, awesome name. Second of all, you might have a type of OCD. I’m not a doctor, but remember…people won’t remember the things you did but how you made them feel.

16. Newty asks:

My friend is having problems reading and listen, some time he loose his consciousness for a seconds and comes back to normal. Is this something to do with neuroscience. What diagnosis should i suggest to him. He says that he has to read at least 3-4 times to understand the contents and he doesn’t like reading more lines as he get distracted soon. Also he finds himself distract when somebody is talking to him he misses out many points that were told to him.

Dear Newty,

I’d suggest focusing. No TV, no music, no interesting things in the room or on the walls or out the window. Maya Angelou used to write in a hotel room and request all the paintings be taken off the walls.

17. Jasmine asks:

I absolutely love people and wish I could easily talk to people. I’m 14 years old and had such bad social anxiety I had to be put into homeschool in 7th grade because I was fainting from anxiety attacks everytime I stepped within 60 feet of someone. I still am in homeschool and it’s just depressing to me that I don’t get to have the same experiences with friends and relationships as other teenagers. I’ve talked to people i’ve known since elementary school online and they say things like “we should catch up” and I say “yeah sure” and never get back to them. I’ve even canceled dates. It’s mostly because I feel weird looking and just well, weird in general. I don’t share much interest in things that other people do. I’m short (only 5’2), i’m curvy (not fat I have a flat stomach but a big butt and thighs), I have a weird face shape, I don’t dress very fancy just a tshirt and skinny jeans, I can’t even have small talk or be looked at without choking. It’s just horrible. Is there any advice anyone could give me to try to tackle this whatsoever?

Dear Jasmine,

I’m so sorry you’re suffering. I have had depression and social anxiety all my life, and I’ve tried a lot of things, and honestly, it’s different for every person. For me, it’s been finding out who I am, what I’m good at, and what I like/dislike; a strong sense of self is important, and in learning about yourself you might learn about others. I have good and bad days, but my best days are ones when I go out and do activities I like. Maybe joining a youth group or Girl Scouts would help you meet new friends your own age; don’t rely on the Internet. It’s summer, and I’m sure there are plenty of activities around you…look into taking a class in dance, acting, or public speaking, or audition for a local community theatre production. As far as inside of you, taking meds is not a shameful thing; seeing a psychiatrist might be beneficial. If none of these things feel possible for you yet, just do something small and creative, like a silly YouTube video or a funny blog; I have one. Good luck with things and remember you’re not alone.

18. Olivia asks:

I’m 14 turning 15 in a few months. I am really interested in modeling and acting. I have been for a few years. I have also started running to lose weight and working out. I have blonde medium length curly hair and blue eyes.
I’m about 5.5″ (that was a few months ago) and I’m close to Toronto Area.
I just need advice on how I could “break in” to the world persay. Also, both my parents work so they would not be able to stay on set or a shoot. Would this mean I would have to wait until I am of legal age to model/act? Is there any chance for me if I don’t have community theatre in my town (and the closest one is Musical which I strongly dislike)? And how could I model for companies like Garage, Walmart, etc? How would I find a legit agency? And would I have to pay them money or is it a scam?
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to answer!

Dear Olivia,

First of all, be VERY careful. Have a parent or older relative (aunt/uncle/sister/brother) with you, you never know who wants what.

Second of all, I think a lot modeling/acting “schools” are scams. Self-promotion is so easy in this day and age. Make a website and a resume, and a passport photo place could take a very nice and inexpensive photo; many high fashion models do their first series of headshots au naturel/very little makeup, looking straight at the camera expressionless. A white top makes it extra elegant. Camera phones have also evolved to take great pictures.

Third, I am sure you could act locally with your parents’ permission and possibly a waiver.

Fourth, if you live near a college/university, contact their theatre department; students are always looking for readers/actors.

19. Christina asks:

So I’m visiting my long distance boyfriend soon and I’m staying with him at his parnents house. (Both 18 by the way) anyways I got a blank thank you card with a gift card to his parent’s favorite resturant. How do I express my thankfulness to them? I’m not good at putting words that I express together. Thank you!

Dear Christina,

How about: Dear Mr and Mrs Jones:
Thank you so much for your hospitality. Please accept this gift as a token of appreciation for opening your home and your heart to me.
Yours truly,
Christina

20. D asks:

I’ve been getting a lot of social and mental problems lately and I feel I need to see a psychologist about it. I’m not wanting to meet one in person, I just want to be able to email one and ask for help in that way. Does anyone know any good psychologist sites and ones where I can email? Thanks 🙂

Dear D,

http://www.psychologytoday.com connected me to someone who really helped me a lot. Good luck!

You got questions?

I got answers.

Ask me.

2

My Next Two Weeks, By the Numbers

I’m feeling stressed and sad today; I had brunch and dinner with friends, but for some reason I still feel like I’m in a rut.

Maybe if I write down everything – absolutely everything – that’s going on in the next two weeks for me, I’ll feel better. I’ve been trying to avoid doing stuff like this in this blog, but if it exists somewhere, maybe it’ll help me compartmentalize it.

Courses: 4

Class sessions: 6

Political Science classes: 2 with work

Theatre classes: 1 with work, 1 of presentations

History classes: 2 with presentations

English classes: 0

Book reviews: 1

Final papers: 4

APO events: 2, plus CAPS and Formal

Articles to read for tomorrow: 7

Days until Theatre presentation: 9

Days until History presentation: 10

Days until English final is due: 12 (ish)

Days until Political Science final is due: 15

Days until History final is due: 17

Days until Theatre final is due: 18

This is my life.

9

April 25th

Whoever said that thing about art imitating life was dead right.

As many people know, I do suffer from depression. It gets me down sometimes…well, actually that’s what depression is. I don’t think I need to go much more into detail about what it is. I don’t like to talk, write, or even think about it.

Sometimes I feel sad, sometimes I feel anxious, sometimes I feel heavy feelings, that’s all normal and okay. But every once in a while, I have a day where I feel numbed from the pain in a spooky way, like I’m living in a fugue state. I’m going and going, but my emotions aren’t going in the same direction. I want to smile and laugh and in short bursts I can, and these things sometimes tend to happen when I’m doing something social and normal-person-like, and I’ll want to withdraw into myself, when normally, I’m all about the fun. I fake it until I make it, and most days I even convince myself that everything’s okay, but then there are days like today, not quite lemonade and jelly beans, but more like…April 25th. Not too hot, not too cold. But overall, sluggish in pace. It’s on days like today when I’m the least productive, and where my couch and my bed are the only two places my mind and body want to be, although sleeping, eating and schoolwork are usually not in the plans. It’s watching videos on the Internet, watching TV, playing a game, staring at a book, a wall, or outer space. And by the time I get myself in gear, I’m late, or I forget something, and then I feel it even more.

I wish my apartment with a bathtub.

A hot bubble bath would be nice right now.

Will you massage my scalp?

Oh, and for the record, it was 66 degrees and slightly breezy in Madison today, with plenty of sunshine; a cruel shame that something inside me pulled me inward, keeping me from enjoying it.

But tomorrow is April 26.