Friday, October 8, 2010

Things I Want in My Next Living Arrangement

I'm having an interesting time living alone. One the one hand, I absolutely adore being the only one here. Whatever mess there is is mine and I am not bothered by someone else's stuff being everywhere without my being able to clean it up. There are rarely dishes in the sink, the couch is always clean, and everything is exactly where I want it. I can burn candles whenever I want and have the smells I like. The fridge is all mine, which is good because it's very full. I do all the chores, so they get done how I like them. I can sleep with the bedroom door open, something I haven't done since high school. It's quiet, for the most part (unless my neighbors are being loud). On the other hand, living alone is kind of scary and kind of lonely. If something happens to me, no one will know for a long time. If I fall and break myself somehow, it's going to be difficult to manage on my own. I have to actively seek out social activities, and it's kind of a hassle. I don't know anyone at my apartment complex, so no one's ever coming by to chat.

All this aside, I do, for the most part, like my apartment. It's far away from campus, which sucks, but it's inexpensive, it was fully furnished, and it's the perfect size for me. However, there are some things I've been thinking about that I definitely want wherever I live next. I realize it might be a few more living arrangements before I get this, but eventually I'll have them all.

- A porch and/or a deck. You have no idea how much I want this. I want someplace to sit outside and read or drink some tea or something. Even a little spot of grass with a park bench in it would be nice. And on my deck I want a barbeque grill. And some lounge chairs so I can entertain guests.

- Lightswitches that go with lights. I have two switches next to my front door. One goes to the outside light. The other, my landlord hasn't figured out which outlet it goes to after 20-some years. Coming home at night means I have to feel around for the lamp next to the door and manually turn it on...who does that?!

- Giant windows. I have a nice size window in my living room right now but I want lots and lots of windows to let it tons of light.

- A garden or window boxes. I guess technically I could do window boxes right now, but I'm afraid people walking by my motel-style apartment would knock them over. Also, it's cold.

- Closets. I have one closet right now. One. It is where lots of my clothes and shoes are along with all my linens, and is doubling as storage space for everything from the fans (I don't have A/C) to my sleeping bag to well, everything. I would like to have a pantry closet, a linen closet, and a front hall closet...

- A/C. It sucks to be without it in the summer. 5 fans just don't cut it.

- Counter space. I have more now that the fans are gone, but it's still not much.

- Cabinets I can reach. There's a significant amount of space I'm wasting right now just because I can't reach those shelves. Sometimes being short is no fun (but usually I like it).

Otherwise, here are things I'd keep from my current apartment:

- Ceiling fan and light. So awesome. And it's connected to a switch, so I don't have to stand on a chair to turn it on.

- Walk in closet. Yeah, it's the only closet, but thank goodness it's a walk in.

- Carpet everywhere except next to the sink in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I like carpet in living areas. If I had a dining room I would want hardwood floor, but for the living room and bedroom carpet is the way to go.

- Nice views out my window. I get to look at the mountains of North Carolina all day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Recap from this week

This was my last week of classes at DePauw. I am not sure when that statement is actually going to hit me (if it ever never did for high school), but it is still strange to think about. We didn't even really do anything in the classes; evaluations take up a good chunk of class, so it doesn't leave much room to actually get into a good discussion. The only coursework I have left is my take-home final (paper) in history. I turned in the final paper for education class this afternoon, and I turned in the other small history paper on Monday. We had our cha-cha test in ballroom, and I think I went out pretty well in that class. I can now foxtrot, jitterbug, waltz, tango, and cha-cha...assuming I remember the steps ;)

Tuesday, Kathy came down to visit from Purdue, and we had a good time doing not much of anything, haha. We went on a walk around campus since she hadn't been here since freshman year for the Guster concert. We sat in the Adirondack chairs for a couple hours just chatting, waiting to see if we would get stormed on, but it turned out to be a pretty nice day, although very windy. Later we watched Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog, which was funny and good except I didn't like the ending.

Thursday (yesterday) was a pretty big day too. In the morning we had our last tutor meeting of the semester, where we go to Marvin's for lunch. It was a lot of fun, but bittersweet since it was the last tutor meeting. After three years, tutoring is so ingrained in me that it'll be very strange to not be doing it anymore. (Tuesday when I didn't have to tutor lab since there was no lab, it was quite odd.) Also Thursday was Amanda M and my senior dinner! It was so much fun. Eric, Ali, and my brother all came in for the event, and lots of other people came to dinner too. We went to Los Martinez where the normally good service was absolutely terrible, but what can you do. We had some good laughs over it (I hope), and we had a great time. Shelby put together our top tens, and those had some pretty good stories, which was awesome.

Today has been pretty chill. We took the CS senior picture, I finished my paper and turned it in, and I've just been hanging out in the apartment for the most part since then. I will start packing up my life tonight in the hopes that when Dad comes on Sunday he can take a bunch of stuff away. I love packing and organizing things so to me it is very fun and relaxing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good things from last night

Because everything should have balance (and I don't want to work on a paper that I should be doing; also I am trying hard to be more positive about everything; also I try hard to find enjoyment in the little things), here are the good things that happened last night:

- I got to get all dressed up, including getting my nails done (which I rarely, rarely, rarely do). I absolutely adore getting dressed up and don't get to do it very often at all.
- I had a fantastic dinner (parmesan chicken in a delicious sauce on top of angel hair pasta; also some very tasty bread and I even ate some salad, which I never do) and a nice glass of wine.
- There were fountains set up for decorations, and I love fountains.
- The smell of roses was everywhere. I did eventually get/take a rose. While roses are not my favorite flower, they do smell quite nice.
- I was asked to dance twice, once by a friend whose date wanted to rest a little bit longer, and once by a friend who was my first ballroom partner last semester before I broke my foot. The first guy is a phenomenal dancer, and I will probably be spoiled forever because of that one dance. Confidence and ability to lead and keep rhythm are key, and he had everything down. It was so much fun! I enjoyed using my ballroom class skills in real life, too.
- Several people said I looked nice.
- There were a million stars visible last night on my walk home.

Some tips for formals

Let's say you're a guy and you have a very good friend who is a girl. Let's also say you are one of those guys who hops around from one girl to another, dating one for a while and then dumping her to pursue another girl, and always are convinced the girl you're not dating wants you back so you go back to her; mostly you are kind of a player, but to be fair, a nice player. But let's say you decide to take your good girl friend to your formal, for any slew of reasons which could include a) you think you'll have a better time with her than one of your hookups; b) you feel bad that she hasn't been to your formal before, although she "should have gone last year" and you're "really sorry about that"; or c) you don't want to go alone. Or maybe all of those reasons, who knows.

Great, you have a date who should be a good time, because trust me, she knows how to have a good time at formal dances. But for the whole evening, you can't stop thinking about last year's formal and how you went with the love of your life who then broke up with you last summer, destroying your heart in the process, and has completely changed and blah blah blah. Your good girl friend knows this whole story; she's been there through the entire thing (remember? the entire thing) so really, you don't need to keep telling her the story. She's a very good listener, her one redeeming quality, and she doesn't forget things easily. So really, stop telling her the story. Especially at dinner. Especially when you are the one who asked her to the formal out of your own free will; she is not one of those girls who goes around begging someone to take her just so she can go to a formal. Especially when she was super excited to be going to this formal and had been looking forward to it for a while. Especially when she has just spent several hours getting ready in order to look really gorgeous to make you look even better.

So here are a few tips that you should follow if you want your date to actually have a good time at the formal. Recognize that I am a traditionalist and not all girls would want all of these things, but these are the things I wanted. It's probably going to sound like I swiped it straight out of a '40s women's magazine. Sorry, that's how I want to be treated. My apologies to all the feminists out there. I hope that most people would be in agreement with many of these things, though.

- Bring your car around to pick her up so she doesn't have to walk to your fraternity house in heels. Open her door for her. Shut the door for her (but make sure her dress is out of the way first). When you park, open her door for her and help her out of the car. Shut her door.
- Open any doors for her that you guys will be walking through.
- Offer to take her jacket. Even offer to help her get it off.
- If you actually mean it, compliment her on how nice she looks. Make sure you notice any special things she did, like if she figured out how to put a flower in her hair. Don't wait until it's 1am and she is frustrated with you and has to point out that she has a flower in her hair. Don't say that you didn't mention it because "it's not a rose". You should have given her a rose in the first place. She would have gladly replaced the non-rose with a rose.
- If you don't enjoy getting your picture taken, at least put up with it and humor her. She just spent a lot of time and effort getting ready and she wants there to be good pictures of the event.
- When you go to dinner, pull her chair out for her to sit down. Also offer to take her jacket here.
- Whoever did the inviting to the event should pay. So yes, you should pay for her.
- She should always thank you for everything, including holding the doors, paying, and helping her with the jacket.
- Ask her how her food is. Offer her a bite of yours if she wants. She should ask you the same and offer you a bite as well.
- Engage her in conversation. If she doesn't know someone at the table, introduce her so it's not so awkward. Don't just assume she knows everyone, even if she does.
- When you leave dinner, offer to help her put her jacket on.
- After getting back to your fraternity house, help her out of the ridiculously high van that you went to dinner in. The ground is soft and she is wearing heels.
- Don't take a nap on the way back from dinner unless she is also going to take a nap. It is not as fun for her to stare out the window the whole way back.
- Let her enjoy the decorated, festive walk up to the fraternity house.
- Introduce her to other people she might not know in your fraternity. Introduce her to their dates. Just because she spends a lot of time there doesn't mean she knows everyone, especially not the freshmen.
- Get her a drink.
- Be willing to dance at least one song with her, especially if you know she loves dancing (and you do, because she told you), especially swing and ballroom dancing. Stop being so afraid to look bad. Be willing to accept help from several of your brothers who are quite good dancers. Stop thinking it's always a competition.
- Don't tell her you'll "be right back" and then never come back. If you want her to leave, tell her so.
- Don't leave her by herself for too long. Everyone else is always with their dates, either talking, dancing, etc. She doesn't like constantly being a third or fifth wheel in conversations because you disappeared somewhere. She doesn't like sitting by herself. She doesn't like standing by herself by the food table. She doesn't like that you think because she knows most of the people in the house, that she can entertain herself for hours. You asked her to the formal; you should be willing to spend a good amount of time with her. She is not going to prevent you from going to talk to your other friends and brothers, but she would like to accompany you so she isn't alone the whole night.
- If you're going to sit outside, make sure you pay attention to how cold she is. Remember, you are wearing a lot more clothes than her.
- Stop talking about your ex all night and how much fun last year's formal was and how this formal just doesn't compare. She will feel like a terrible date. It doesn't matter if you try to soften the blow with, "You're a great date, and I wouldn't have wanted to take anybody else but you, but...", because that will actually just make her feel worse. She will think about the fact that actually, you probably did want to take someone else because with someone else you would have the opportunity for a drunken after-formal hookup, and you know you don't have that chance with her. Also, your being so moody and depressed is really killing the night. She really wanted to have an awesome time tonight and you are completely ruining it. She was succeeding, because generally she has a pretty positive, upbeat attitude about things, but you are so negative that it will eventually wear her down and she will get depressed too. Great job.
- If you are going to go off on a "much needed stroll" that's going to last more than 5-10 minutes to clear your mind about all that stuff, freaking tell her. She thought you were coming right back, so she sat outside and had to deal with one of your really drunk brothers for about 15 minutes, where she worried that he was going to either pass out, throw up all over the couch, or fall of the couch and break his head. Then she probably spent another 20 minutes trying to find you in the house, just in case you had simply gone somewhere else, or gone to get another drink, or something. When she finally gave up, went to your room, got her phone and texted you to find out where you were, you probably should have apologized for literally leaving her for over half an hour instead of merely saying you were on a walk. When she replied that she wanted to go home, you should have come back to take her home.
- After the night is over, walk her back to her place. It's 2am, dark, she's in heels and a dress, and who knows who else could be wandering about. Yes, she can take care of herself. Yes, she was completely sober. Yes, she's made that walk a million times before. But it's the principle of the matter. Also, she ran into a group of about 11 guys ranging in age from about 20-50 on the way back, and that could have had bad results. So walk her home.

I'm sure there are other things that need to be mentioned but I can't remember them right now. Most of these things are "the principle of the matter" type stuff, and most of them are just common courtesy and being nice. But she would have appreciated it, trust me.

Sorry this was so long. I'm tired of selfish guys who don't like dancing and who spend what should be a really fun evening just complaining about everything. I am pretty sure I would have fared better back through the 30s-50s.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Really bad at keeping up with this

Haha. So I am terrible at keeping up with what I'm doing daily. Here's a recap of the things I can remember.

Tuesday: The last CS1 lab I will ever tutor was Tues morning. It was unfortunate, actually, that it had to end on this particular lab. It was the Robot stack lab and I hate that lab more than almost anything except for the other Robot lab. Mostly I just hate the robot labs. They only confuse the students and I never had to do them when I took CS1, so I'm not all that familiar with the code and I end up making stuff up, which isn't always right. Anyway, labs are over forever and that feels very strange. I mean, I've been doing this for 3 solid years. I still have another few hours of project tutoring next week, but then after more tutoring. The rest of Tuesday involved learning some cha-cha in ballroom class, then panicking after forgetting to read a whole bunch of stuff for history, which I got all done during project tutoring hours because no one asked me for help until almost 10:20pm. The kid who asked for help didn't understand for loops, which he should have learned weeks and weeks ago. So I spent a long time taking him through the steps and making him follow the loops on the whiteboard, and I don't know if he got it ever. We leave at 11pm.

Wednesday: I was one of 2.5 people who read the reading that I panicked about for history. I am awesome like that. So that was a fun class. Lunch was great, Nettie joined Amanda and Shelby and me in Julian! It was so nice to see her and catch up. Our social group has tried to stay together since freshman year, but sometimes we have to really try hard. Education class was more scenes, which were fun. Then the rest of Weds was downhill. Mary called to let me know she was coming, and then after getting off the phone with her I started to really feel sick. I ran out of medicine and cough drops so I decided to go to Walmart to get more. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have been driving; I was really not doing too well. But I managed to get medicine and cough drops and I even managed to get carded at Walmart. Cashier lady: "Are you over 18?" Me: "Yes, I'm 22" Cashier lady: "I need to see your ID" ... what? I mean, I probably looked really terrible, but I don't think I looked under-18 terrible. Oh well, someday I will appreciate looking younger than I am. So when I got back to the apartment I thought that I should do some work, but maybe a quick nap would be nice. Yeah right, I laid down at 5pm and woke up at 8. I still felt awful but decided to get up anyway as opposed to just going to bed for real. This ended up being a good decision because I did manage to get some work done on senior project, and then Chuck called and we got to talk for a while. I found out that he went to Wake Forest for law school and lived in NC for almost 20 years, and has a lot of connections in the Winston-Salem and mountain areas in museum work! Awesome. :)

Thursday: I officially committed to Appalachian State, which took a huge load off my mind. We had a tutor meeting (last one ever in Julian 260) where Ron decided to explain some code to us, which he usually does once or twice a semester, so that was funny. Then more cha-cha, where my partner wasn't in class because he had a job interview. Legit, of course, but now we get to practice hard core for the test next Thursday. It should be a good time though. I love dancing.

Today so far: Demoed my senior project this morning, and hopefully it'll work out okay. Other than that, just been bumming around (should be writing papers) waiting for Mary and Nathan to wake up and various other things involving them. It is cloudy but warm (80).

Decided on a school

Most of you probably know this already, but yesterday I officially committed to Appalachian State University! It's located in Boone, NC. The program is Public History.

I did not wait to hear back from West Florida. I figured if they've kept me waiting this long I do not care anymore. For some reason in my gut I feel like I should go to App St, so that is where I'm going. I've always been drawn to the Southeast (in high school I claimed that I wanted to live in North Carolina and thought it would be the perfect place to be, even though I had never been there before), so now I am getting my chance to really spend time there. I will be in the mountains and only a few hours from the ocean. I am looking forward to the program. Looking at the course listings, I pretty much want to take everything, so it'll be hard to narrow it down. I am excited!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recap of last two days

A recap from yesterday and today (Saturday and Sunday):
Saturday was decently boring. I should have done a lot of work and didn't. We practiced for our scene for education class -- we are performing on Monday. It feels great to be back on stage again, even if it isn't really real. We're doing a bit from Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Very funny show. Saturday night I went out with Melissa to H&C before heading over to FIJI Isle. The bar scene is much more fun for me right now. All I wanted to do at FIJI was dance but it was ridiculously hot in their basement, so we only danced for a few minutes. Then I left and went wandering. Those sorts of adventures are my favorite.
Sunday has been also decently boring. I woke up coughing with a slight sore throat, which is incredibly unfortunate for multiple reasons. I went over to Julian to study with Courtney (and as it turned out, Laura) for a couple of hours, then I went to D&D which was fun as usual. I even video tapped some of the action so we can remember how it all went down.

These posts are probably going to be pretty boring, as I really just want to take down what happened on a daily basis. This is what most of my journals from middle and high school are like, and I kind of miss knowing what I was up to... Don't worry, there will be some more interesting stuff coming soon once I figure out what to do with myself.