8

Only Human

This might just be among the weirdest posts I’ve ever made, but I’m wondering what it is that makes you feel human.

Call me materialistic, but for me, there’s something about sensations that makes me feel so much…like me. None of these things are too shameful in and of themselves, rather they’re indulgences, but for some reason, they make me feel like a person. I don’t know how else to explain it, but maybe…that feeling when you do something wrong, but it’s something that doesn’t really matter in the long run (nobody is hurt, no one died), and you shrug and say “I’m only human,” and you’re right. And then you go back to feeling like yourself and wait for the next thing to happen.

For me, it’s my favorite scents:

  • Most anything from Crabtree & Evelyn
  • Nautica Aqua cologne (or whatever it’s called)
  • A brand-new bar of soap (tonight I opened a bar of Waterlily and Jasmine by Asquith & Somerset
  • Lavender
  • Orchids
  • Coffee

It’s certain sounds:

  • Rain falling at night
  • A dryer
  • The clicky sound whenever you download a new app on your iPhone

And certain sensations:

  • Scrubbing with a loofah
  • Getting into a warm bath
  • Picking up a piece of garbage from the ground (this is probably the weirdest one)
  • Putting my nose inside my shirt, counting to ten, and then the cool sensation when I take it out (okay, this might be weirder)
  • Rayon
  • Quilts and duvets that are slightly on the heavy side
  • A fan blowing lightly on my skin
  • Other things I probably shouldn’t share in a forum as public as a blog…

What about you?

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2

Social Media Saturation

So this year’s been off to some kind of start, on the blogging front…anyway, greetings from Milwaukee, where I just went to an APO meeting at Marquette University and am now procrastinating before I have to drive the one and a half hours home.

My parents came into town on Sunday, and since today was my mom’s birthday, we drove 2 hours north to Stevens Point, where one of my mom’s best friends lives, for a birthday lunch. As is traditional these days, I took pictures with my phone, immediately texted them to everyone at the table and posted them on my Facebook with fun captions. And watched the likes and comments roll in. Fun.

Last week, my wonderful friend Kate was in town from Australia, and I got the chance to sit an have a coffee with her for two hours. We had an amazing conversation, about school, life, religion, friends, everything under the sun. As I was walking down the street after we hugged goodbye, I realized that we hadn’t taken a picture together. Part of me wanted to turn around and chase her down to get one, but ultimately, the part of me that was frozen solid and just wanted to get to the library before my fingers fell off won out. Once I was in the library though, I logged onto Facebook, and was going to post something on my page about it, sans photo, but then I realized…

Who am I really posting it for?

Do I care that people know that we had coffee together? Not really. Do I want to make people jealous? No. Was this a crazy, momentous, life-changing event? To me, and hopefully her, it was, but…who else needs to know? And a photo? I know what she looks like and she knows what I look like. Is it like…if it’s not on social media, did it actually happen?

The answer to that one is yes. Remember the days when we didn’t have cameras at the ready 24/7, places to share pictures with everyone in the world, and even cell phones to know if someone was going to be late/cancel or not? In those days, no one cared if every little event in your life was documented. It says so much about our society today that we need to document every little thing, and hashtag it, and link it to every single platform and profile we have. True, I have a blog here, and I have a Facebook, but I mostly use Facebook because I like its interface, I like to use it to communicate with friends who are cities, or states, or countries away, and I have to admit, the way it organizes photos is neat and clean. Even though I feel like I’m always on social media, I still don’t have Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, or even Twitter. It’s like…do I really exist?

The not-so-much-of-a-point-point (aka whatever-don’t-listen-to-me-I-don’t-know) of this story is:s sometimes, it’s OK just to have happy memories of things, without all the documentation and self-paparazzi. Do what you want, but at the end of the day it’s about your experience, and not what you document of it, that makes it worth the memories.

Anyway. I ended up sending Kate a private message, just saying thanks for meeting up with me, I had fun, and I hope you did too, and then logging off and going back to (attempting to avoid) writing.

0

What’s In My Entourage

Yes, I say what, and not who. You’ll understand by the end of this post.

Hello from Memorial Library, by the way. There’s something about blogging from a desktop that is way more satisfying than a laptop or a phone. I should look into doing this more often.

I usually don’t take too long to get ready to go out. Unless it’s winter, and I need my entourage. Simply put, my entourage is everything that I’d need for the day, and if I’m leaving anytime before noon, I need to make sure I have all of these things with me. Sometimes it requires multiple trips to the car. Most often, I end up not needing the majority of the items, but it’s good knowing that they’re with me, I guess. Here’s the lineup:

Entourage Checklist

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Earbuds
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack (usually the majority of what’s listed below is in the backpack, if it fits)
  • Notebook
  • Journal
  • Hebrew-English dictionary
  • Translation pages
  • Index cards
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Address Labels
  • Scrap paper (to wrap things in)
  • Books for research
  • Books for pleasure reading
  • Books to be finished and swapped
  • Post-it flags
  • Comb
  • Hand cream
  • Tissues
  • Bookmarks
  • Sunscreen (finally removed now that winter has arrived)
  • Change purse
  • Laptop
  • Power cord
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones for laptop
  • Gym bag (usually contains the following items)
    • Shirt
    • Extra shirt
    • Underwear
    • Gym pants
    • Towel
    • Body wash
  • Empty cloth bags for grocery shopping
  • Cloth bag with Latin shoes/extra socks
  • Cloth bag with Standard shoes/extra socks

When I roll, I roll deep.

I might be a pack rat.

 

2

Behind A Car Window No One Can Hear You Scream

Now that I’ve gotten that exciting title out of the way…

I had to walk back from dance class tonight in an insane downpour. When I got into my car, it looked like I had one swimming. I was just so done with the day that all I could do was break out into song.

So I sang.

“Party in the USA.”

AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS

while driving.

It felt great.

I managed to get through “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Single Ladies,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” before I made it home. I was still wet wet wet but at least I got to screw up lyrics and basically scream all the way home, knowing no one could hear my screeches through the wind, the windows, and the rain.

What’s your go-to car sing-a-long song?

2

Some Goals For October

Most of the past week of my life or so has consisted of sleeping (horribly, I might add), staying in bed until the afternoon, feeding myself, thinking about doing work, frantically running around either doing errands or going to dance classes, forgetting to feed myself again, watching YouTube, and going to bed way too late.

While it might seem like the perfect life, it does have its drawbacks, and I need to get.stuff.done.this.month.

So, a goal list is in order.

While I have my thoughts collected here goes my loosely-defined some goals for October.

  1. Read/go through ~4 books a week for research.
  2. Write 3-5 pages a week.
  3. Translate 7 scenes a week (roughly 1 a day; if there is a short one, I can do two in a day)
  4. Go through stuff in my closet/on my desk/in my car.
  5. Read 100-200 pages a day (for pleasure)
  6. Limit: YouTube, Facebook, Words with Friends, Secret Society, constantly checking email, other distractions.
  7. Go to bed by 2 AM.

Come on Jacob, you can do this.

Any encouragement would be appreciated.

4

Staying In and Getting Real: Current Events Roundup, Part One

It seems like I’m always doing “part ones” of series. But anyway, enough about me, so how are you?

I had a pretty productive day, I guess, but instead of going out tonight (it’s a Monday, so it’s par for the course, but whatevs), I decided to stay in, watch TV, and do laundry.

And of course, what is all over the news is pretty shocking. In case you’ve been off the grid for the past few hours, there was an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in England, with 19 people dead, most likely all teenagers or preteens. It’s shocking and troubling, and all over every news and social media platform out there.

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that this week was a gigantic victory elsewhere in the world that no one seems to be celebrating – 82 of the 200+ girls who were kidnapped while taking exams at their school in Nigeria have been found and returned to their parents. When I heard this news yesterday, I was truly elated. I can’t imagine what those families must have been feeling, and the relief that even though the girls endured much horror, they seemed to be happy and healthy to be back with their parents. I couldn’t stop clicking through YouTube videos of the happy reunions. I’ve always thought that if what had happened in Nigeria happened in the USA or Canada or England, the entire world would be up in arms, and not forget after a few days like they did when it happened 3 years ago. I’ve actually been thinking about it since it happened, I even remember where I was when I first found out about it, getting ready to embark on my first Summer Odyssey back in 2014. It was shocking then, and it’s stayed with me consistently ever since. Although I’m really happy that those 82 are back, in addition to the 50 or so others who’ve escaped/been rescued over the years, there are still around 100 unaccounted for, which is way too many people to just forget about.

And just like the parents of the kids who died, were injured, or are MIA in Manchester right now, the parents of the Nigerian girls haven’t forgotten, despite the world seeming to do so.