stacy was here (and probably spinning....): 09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001
Stacy Was Here :
Back at the Beginning
Sunday, September 30, 2001
Ok, so the mostly awfulness has mostly passed, though my vision seems to have taken a hit. I bought some reading glasses at the grocery store, and they seem to be helping at least until I can get my eyes checked and get perscription lenses.
I went to the symphony last night. It was really awesome, and it happened to be the world premiere of the score for the new Lolita opera. It sounded really awesome, so maybe I'll check it out when the opera opens. Any time I go to a cultural event, it always makes me want to hone that talent. The symphony made me want to play instruments again, and the ballet, opera, and musical theatre always make me want to learn to dance and practice my singing more. I wish I had the tenacity to devote myself wholly to one thing like that, but I just can't seem to do it. I can do a lot of things pretty well... I'm pretty graceful (for the shape I'm in), I can play the flute, the clarinet, some piano, and a few other instruments pretty well, and everyone seems to like my voice, but I never feel like I'm a virtuoso at anything. I can write pretty well, I'm fairly smart, but sometimes I get around people who have studied certain things way more than me, and I feel inferior. I'm not sure which is better... being marginally good at a lot of things, or being truly exceptional at one thing specifically. And if I want to be exceptional at one thing, which would I pick? Is it good to be that narrow in ones focus?
Things are looking up financially. It may be tough, but we'll be able to scrape through this year and I'll be able to stay in school. Hopefully I'll get the RA position, next year if not this one, or if not the RA position, maybe I can be a resident computer consultant, which has the same benefits. I'm extremely relieved that I don't have to scrap this year. I waited 2 years after high school to go to college because I was unclear of what direction I wanted to take in life. Now I know what I want to do, and I'm doing so well, that I really think I'd be devistated if I had to take another break. It would be so much harder to go back. Fortunately I don't have to face that for at least another year. And, added to that, I will be getting to go to London in January. It's going to be an amazing trip! I'm so excited, and extremely lucky to have a family that's willing to help me through this.
Tuesday I have a meeting with the volunteer coordinator at my school regarding a project I want to start. I don't really want to connect the project too much to my school, but I want to work with them in order to get more people involved. I'm hoping to establish it as an entity unto itself so that I can help it to spread to other schools, especially since I have so many friends at UCLA and other schools. I want this idea to go places, not just become a fixture at my college.
Well, I have a paper to write, so I think it's time I stop procrastinating. I can't get any of the comments programs to work at the moment, so if you've got anything to say, contact me or post on the message board.
Well, this week has been a complete and total waste, let me tell you. I've been feeling mostly awful since tuesday, but at least it's starting to pass.
Can I just say that I hate whoever decided to make website-building languages so damn complicated? I mean, HTML is pretty easy, I'll give you that one, and maybe it's just that the tutorials I've found online aren't covering it adequately enough, but sheesh! does it really need to be all this complicated? Not to mention the fact that whatever I'm sick with is making me dizzy, so when I try to read for any extended period of time, it all fuzzes up on me. Maybe my brain is trying to tell me something. Maybe I should just sleep.
The irony, of course, is that I can't read for a half hour stretch at the moment, but I managed to pass a driving test yesterday. I'm now entitled to drive the schools shuttle van for school-sponsored events. Muahahahahahahaha. Tomorrow I'm actually going to be driving to the symphony (well, if someone gets me the directions to the venue... Pittsburgh was not made to be learnable for outsiders.)
Ok, all the words are now starting to blend together. Thats my sign to lay down for a while.
As usual, time seems to be running very quickly for me. You know, it's amazing how time flies when you fill it up with lots of activities. I don't mind it at all, and I haven't really been tired or anything, so maybe it's good for me. I may be getting busier soon, however. An RA (resident assistant) position just opened up at my school, and I'm going to apply for it. First of all, this would give me a chance to get more involved in the happenings at my school, which really appeals to me. It has other benefits too, though, including a room to myself, and room paid for, which would really help right now since I don't know where the rest of the money for school is going to come from. If I get this RA position and my room is paid for for the year, it makes staying here a lot more possible for me, and it's important since I've finally come to the conclusion that I really do belong at this school and no other right now. I'm just prospering so well here, and I really don't want to give that up. Finally, this would look really good on my resume. Besides, I just know that I would be a really damn good RA. I know it. I am very good at dealing with people in that sort of capacity, besides, I just have tons and tons of ideas of programs I could do.
Ballet is going really well. Miss Audrey worked me hard today, and it's really starting to pay off. Granted I'm not exactly twiggy, and won't be for a long time, but my endurance and flexibility is slowly but surely increasing. I can take it every semester that I'm here, even though I can only get credits for it twice. One credit doesn't make much of a difference anyway. Besides, I really enjoy ballet. I enjoy it so much that when I get back to my room after class, I put on music and dance more in my room. God, I'm such a nerd.
Well, I have to cut this short for now, I have an appointment with one of my writing students. Maybe I'll post more later...
I woke up this morning feeling tired, and just blah... but I drug my lazy ass out of bed and went to ballet anyway, though I decided just to watch. I was being self-indulgent, and thought that I would just let the morning be relaxing. When I got there, a girl told me a plane had crashed into the WTC, and it registered in plane-crash mode, but nothing larger. I had no idea when I woke what the ramifications of consciousness would be today.
By the time ballet was half way through, two more planes had crashed - another into the WTC again, and one into the pentagon. All of a sudden my self-indulgent, lazy morning had shattered into a million pieces, and my mind was 500 miles away from the rest of me, consumed with an unspeakable sense of desperate loss for all the people who were killed as they went about an ordinary morning just like mine. No one expects to die in a plane crash, least of all when they're sitting in an office building. By the end of ballet class, my school was shut down completely. Classes were cancelled. We met in a room where a couple hundred people sat in stunned silence as the news replayed the footage over and over. My god, I thought. This looks just like a movie. I started to cry, but it was the worst bunch of tears that have ever come out of my eyes. How can you grieve when there's no clear person to grieve for? They say the casualties will reach into the tens of thousands. Can I shed that many tears, so that each soul that perished can know how much this tragedy is felt by us all?
In retrospect, the grief I have experienced for the deaths of loved ones seems peaceful to me now, in the wake of such an unmerciful sacrifice. This grief is horrible because for me it has no face, but it is not far away or remote. It carries an astronomical load of fear and apprehension, and it bears the question: What happens now?
The sad thing is, we've all witnessed so many huge catastrophes on TV and movie screens that this day is sort of a surreal testament to our desensitization. Mostly I feel numb, and no matter how much of the news I watch, there is part of me that still keeps saying This Can't Be Real! And then there's the child in me, screaming, wondering how this could happen. These things just aren't supposed to happen. Not now, not here. Not to us. Not to anyone.
There is talk of retaliation, and it makes me want to cry even more. The more we let our anger take over, the more likely we will be to get into a war. 10,000 people is a lot of people. War will only cause more death. Anger will only cause more violence. I am so emotionally tired right now that I can't even think of anything else, but I can't watch TV anymore, and I can't talk about it. It makes my heart heavy to think of the dark days that are ahead of us. Hopefully our government will have the sense not to endanger any more human life. Somehow I doubt it.
Tonight I will curl up in my room and cry. I don't know anyone in New York, or anyone who works in the WTC or the Pentagon. But I know grief. And I will cry for every parent whose children are missing, for every child whose brothers or sisters or aunts or uncle or mothers or fathers will never come home again. And I will cry because I am afraid. And I will cry because I am lucky, that everyone in my family is safe right now, this very moment, even though they're far away. I only wish that everyone in New York could say the same.
Life moves steadily forward here at school. The end of the week knocked me for a loop, I was just too busy and had to flake out of one of the things I was really wanting to do. Being busy is new to me, I guess, and my body needs time to adjust to it all.
The meeting on Friday went well, but the girl who came from Pitt turned out to be creepy and manipulative, so I don't think we'll be seeing her again. Two out of the three good friends from my school who went agreed with me. The third took a little convincing, but I think even she knows it's better for the group this way. We all need to be comfortable with this if it's going to do well, and I really think it will if we take things carefully. And as much as it would be nice to be able to "help" this girl, this group is not a therapy session. We're in this to achieve some rather lofty goals, so it's important that we maintain high standards about who we practice with.
Art class is going a little better. I have to draw one more view of my holly stem before tomorrow, but I think that wont be too difficult to accomplish. It still makes me nervous to know that this is being graded, but I think it will be good for me to stretch myself like this.
I went to the first meeting for the London trip I am taking in January, and can I just say that I am dying for January to get here?!?!? I am even really excited about the pre-course. This trip is going to be leagues better than the first one I took for a multitude of reasons. First, one of my good friends is going. Second, we are studying the history of London, and studying architecture before we go, along with a couple of sketching workshops. I think it will give the trip more purpose and depth this way, which I am really excited about because we didn't do ANY of that the last time I went... it was a totally different type of trip last time. Finally, I'll be there nearly twice as long as last time, so I'll be able to dig deeper anyway.
Well, it's off to the drawing board... literally. I wonder if it's cheating to take a picture of it with my digital camera, print that out, and then draw from that?? hmmmmm.....
**Beware! This is not a post for the easily offended!**
There's this girl at my school who, for the sake of argument, I will call FCCL (future creepy cat lady.) FCCL is currently a sophomore in college who can't be assigned a one-page paper without freaking out about it, apparently over-stressed. She lives on campus, but almost never shows up to dinner, and takes every available opportunity to go home (which, apparently, is less than 10 minutes away.) Most of the time, her mother ends up doing her assignments for her. FCCL takes mountains of notes, and tape records lectures, but as far as I can tell, doesn't actually do anything with all of this information. She's unable to make it to class on time, even though there is no percievable reason for her not to. She misses meetings because she forgets or writes down the wrong time. This happens constantly. She almost never turns her assignments in on time, if at all. She scared her roommate away last year when said roommate woke in the middle of the night to find FCCL staring at her. She stares at everybody!!! This girl has something seriously wrong with her, and she really shouldn't be in college as far as I'm concerned. She can't get through the normal functions of college life without someone holding her hand through everything, and even doing her assignments for her. Unless someone comes to get her, she misses important things like room draw and registration. And yet, she's here, being thoroughly creepy to everyone with her wierd stares. She's even going on the London trip, and because she orbits around some of my friends and therefor imagins that we are part of the same social circle, she's probably expecting me to acknowledge her existence while we're there. NOT HAPPENING!!! I am sooooo sick of people making excuses for this girl. If she wigs out at the slightest mention of a paper, and can't even show up to registration, then she shouldn't be in college. She will never be able to hold down a job, and she is thoroughly creepy, so it's no wonder why no one will hire her. My LAST trip to London was seriously tempered by the fact that I was surrounded by immature idiots. I will not have this one made any less than thoroughly enjoyable by her. As far as I'm concerned, the two weeks we are there, she doesn't exist to me. And yes, this probably does make me a bitch, but maybe if people didn't make excuses for her all the time and were a little more up front about her wierdness, she'd adapt and hopefully become at least one smidgen closer to normal.
Tomorrow should be interesting. I have three meetings. Two of them are at 11:30. One is for the writing fellows program, which I am getting grad-level credit for, and the other is for my work study job. This is going to be crazy, I think. Hopefully I'll be able to swing this. I'm still really excited about my pagan shindig on Friday. Mystery person one, whom McQ calls my doppelganger, is almost as excited as me. I get good vibes from her via email, so hopefully the same will be true in person. I finally heard from the last person I invited. Turns out she didn't get my original invitation, so I sent her the details. I hope she can come. If everyone shows, there will be seven of us in all so far. I'm going to make flyers to post on my campus, and those close by, even though I've already dropped links a couple of places on the 'net. I think this thing is gonna fly well.
I'm still agonizing over my one studio art class. I'm determined not to give up, but it's really hard not to be intimidated. I just never feel like my drawings are any good. We're supposed to be using color in this assignment, so hopefully once that happens I'll do better, since I have a little bit better luck, I think, with color. I had to pick up more art supplies, because I didn't have everything I needed, and the new shipment finally came in at the book store. It's all expensive, but it's pretty exciting. I guess I can't expect to start out good at all this, but I'm just worried I won't do real well in the class. But like Mitch Ellykins told me, they can't really grade you down for not having a real knack for all of it. All they can really do is grade by effort, and no one can say I'm not trying.
Jokingly, I said I was thinking of going for an RA position next year... Shy Violet, one of my friends who actually is an RA, told me I should go for it... It's an interesting prospect, I'll give you that one.....
Ok, can I just say that I hate banks and banking?!? These people are just plain daft. My bank from last year mannaged to royally fuck up my account and, purely with fees, drive my account into overdraft, like by a lot (as The Crown would put it.) So I marched my happy ass to another bank and opened a different account since the last one closed it, and lets just say I will do everything I can to warn people from going there. Lousy rat bastards.
My schedule is starting to fill up. The Saturday I am doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity. I'm really looking forward to it. The right after that I have a choir rehearsal, and on Sunday me and the band of wierdos that I call my friends (y'all know thats a compliment coming from me, so I'll hear no complaints from the Peanut Gallery) are talking about going to a pub near Pitt. I'm kind of excited, because Friday is my CSK meeting, and on Thursday I have a meeting to go to about the whole Writing Fellows thing. That, and today I signed up for Amnesty International and Students of Community Service (SOCS.) It looks like this is going to be a busy year. The only classes I'm anxious about are my two art classes, simply because I'm entering new territory with a whole new vocabulary. I am, however, starting to have a new appreciation for modern art. I never thought I'd say that.
I am homesick, but it's not as bad as last year, or the first few days I got back. I feel like a schmuck, though, because every once in a while it gets to me how long it's going to be until I see my sister, and I almost cry. Sigh.
Oh, and just to make Mitch Ellykins happy, Pittsburgh isn't really a bad place, and I don't really hate it here.
I just came across the coolest site. Wil Wheaton, of Stand By Me and ST:TNG has apparently been working semi-religiously on his own web site, with his own blog, into which he pours his daily thoughts and feelings. Maybe it's one of the wonders of the internet that enables someone to reach out like that. In any event, it really got me thinking.
In the absence of a royal family or true aristorcracy, the general populace of the US seems to have this almost morbid fascination with the lives of celebrities. The entire tabloid industry was founded on this concept. So someone is put in a movie or a tv show, and while they're in the spotlight, it seems they're almost deified. Their photo is plastered everywhere, and their name drips from the lips of millions. The downside is that most people fail to realize that they are just as human as they ever were. The way I see it, acting is a job, just like any other. Sure, it has the wicked tendency of catapaulting you into the spotlight, and exposes you to the scrutiny of the masses, but it's still another answer to that annoying little "occupation" line of government forms. I would tend to think that one of the biggest downfalls of it would be Jane Public's tendency to think that the celebrities she idolizes owe her something. Or worse yet, the knack for confusing the character with the actor. I have this wierd aunt who watches soap operas and yells back at the TV like it's another room in her house where people are making horrible decisions. We live in a world where a lot of things are fake. It seems with every passing year people have more trouble differentiating between fantasy and reality. You know what else I think? It takes some serious guts to put yourself out there like that, especially when so many people notice you. Me? I get about 6 hits a day, if that. I'm not exposing myself to the world, really, just a handful of people who insist on spending their time here. It takes guts to voluntarily put yourself in the eye of the public. My goals are far less exposing. I want to be a nice, eccentric English Professor, in some small liberal arts college, or may, if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, at a university in England that's 2 days older than dirt.
Meanwhile, back in my much smaller existence, things are going well. I'm currently planning the first meeting of my pagan study group. I started this project because the pagan club at my school flaked out, and because, for being a pagan group, they were more concerned about the opinions of everyone else but the pagans. To me that seems a little backward. I'm really hoping to make this a group where people can trust and bond with one another, but also where we can pool our collective resources and make a positive impact on the world beyond our spheres. I'm thinking of bringing up my other brain candy to them, but that will remain to be seen. In any event, I'd like to include an element of community service. I've found that actions change peoples opinions of wiccans far faster than a boat load of anti-propaganda. So maybe we'll don t-shirts (I'm Pagan. I'm Human. I'm Trying. ?) and go volunteer at a homeless shelter or something. Something subtle. Something useful. I put up a blog for that group tonight, so there's probably nothing on it yet but here's the link anyway.
In doing so I happened to notice all the new templates blogger is offering. Maybe this will satisfy my yen to reinvent this site, at least until my computer arives from back home. Probably not, but it's just about the best I can do.