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how to be alone…or my summer

The other day, I discovered that you can make hot chocolate with coffee instead of hot water. I feel that this is hands-down the most exciting discovery I have made in 21 years on this planet. I could be exaggerating, but don’t let the simplicity of it fool you! I think its magical.

My new found obsession with cocoa-coffee is pretty representative of my summer experience. The excitement threshold in my life right now is so low that even a hot beverage is enough to send me over the edge. I mean, I literally told my boss about how delicious it was. Then I told my sister, I told my mom, I even tweeted about it. It was the highlight of my week.

The things that I look forward to on any given day are incredibly mundane - but I go CRAZY for them, to the point that I am distracted at my job because I am thinking about drinking hot chocolate and coffee. I’m in a strange place. Other new things I’ve discovered and take inordinate amounts of joy from: eating dinner at Whole Foods and people watching (why haven’t people told me about the hot food bar there?!) or tuning in to NPR on Saturday so I can hear Car Talk (really is that something I’m going to get excited about? YES). That’s where my life is at right now. I’m am consciously and continually noting these things in my inner monologue that I have also decided to title How to Be Alone: My Summer in Portland. (Do we not all title our inner monologues? No?)

Okay that sounds depressing, but it’s not. It’s funny, I promise. The reality is that I have spent the entire summer interacting with a very small circle of people: my sister and her boyfriend, the dogs, my coworkers, and two friends who happen to live in Portland. I don’t think I’ve spent more than three hours with someone my own age in the last month. The fact that I made one entirely new friend of my own volition is almost unbelievable (but still true!) I know, I’m a real extrovert.

But overall, what has essentially been three months of self-induced alone time has been GREAT. I am an excellent loner. Give me a city and I will be entertained for months. I can easily subsist on a diet of social interaction with strangers only. I am overly friendly to baristas and lollygag in the grocery line chatting up the check-out person. I’m just getting my socializing in. I’ve got a low quota to meet and I prefer to fill it by interacting with people I don’t know.

So, besides the newest hot cocoa revelation and relishing my solo-status, these are some other notable entries I’ve made in my mental book How to Be Alone: My Summer in Portland.

If you were to try and judge the seasons based on my legs, you would have a hard time. The tan lines from my shorts say summer, but the amount of leg hair would definitely suggest winter. When you are alone, no one is close enough to tell whether you shaved your legs. Perk!

If you go to the movies alone, you can see all the of Ryan Gosling films you want AND no one will know if you are drinking a hard cider at the 2:30 in the afternoon. In fact if you aren’t having hard cider and popcorn at your solo matinee, you are doing it WRONG.

No one has to know how many times a week you go out for coffee and pastries. There is also no one to dictate at what time of day its appropriate to have such a snack. The ideal responses to those scenarios are “seven” and “anytime,” respectively.

Listening to public radio can solve a myriad of problems. It’s like having a really intelligent person speak to you soothingly about the day’s news or share with you an engaging story they recently heard. They just always have something interesting to say! Public radio is addicting - so watch out. Fortunately, they won’t be annoyed if you’re clingy and want to hang out all the time, but you can also turn them off whenever you are like “okay, yeah, enough Kye Risdall. All this financial doom and gloom is bringing me down.” Essentially public radio is the best friend you didn’t even know you had access to.

When your only activities on a given weekend are people watching, reading the paper, and wandering around the city, sometimes the craziest thing you do all day is not wear sunscreen. You’re entire sense of what constitutes a thrilling risk gets skewed.

You realize you don’t even need your good friends around to tell you that your outfit is looking so CUTE because the gregarious transient population of Portland is ready to fill that void. They LOVE to tell you how great you are looking. Just the other day a woman said to me, “wow those red shoes set that whole outfit off, don’t they?! You know what you look like? The AMERICAN FLAG! Woooooowie!” Now was I really looking like the American flag? That’s up for debate (let the record show I was wearing light pink pants, a gray striped shirt, and some red shoes), but boy nothing makes you feel fantastic like knowing your outfit gets the stamp of approval from the woman sleeping under the overpass.

You can tell it’s been a wiiiiiiiiild summer. Just me letting loose, getting friendly with the Portland weirdies, and eating my way through the never-ending list of bakeries. Maybe this sheds some light on how well (or not well) I handled all the excitement of Vegas. And now here I am on a plane going back to school. All I can do is hope that my social skills haven’t entirely atrophied from my stint in solitary (wow that makes it sound like I was in prison, huh? Hardcore). Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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the lamington saga

I’ve just come out of a few hours of hard fought battle in the kitchen. I’ve yet to decide if I won.

My sister is out of town this week. This means I get to leave all of my shoes strewn across the house wherever I decide to take them off, I am in control of the tv and watch The Newsroom on HBO on Demand from the moment I get to home until I go to bed, aaaaaand I eat snack after snack after snack and then dinner and then snack. I love to live alone (sorry Morgan, I do miss you and I do want you to return, I’m just getting the goody out of these precious days).

So anyways here I am living alone, remembering how to feed myself and slowly making my way through literal pounds of vegetables from the CSA. (These are my sisters priorities while away: DO NOT WASTE THE CSA). Before I tell you that I really made the biggest dessert explosion ever, I will say that I easily saved cauliflower, 3 ears of corn, onions, and spring greens from going bad in a single fell swoop. I know, I know, I’m basically a wizard in combining the dregs of the fridge.

After that riotous success of roasted veggies on wilted greens, I was on a roll. I wasn’t gonna settle for just some chocolate chip cookies. Ohhhhhh no, while Morgan is away I will make whatever weird dessert I would never try while anyone else was in the house because MY SISTER IS A BAKER. This is her JOB. Would you paint a canvas in Picasso’s studio while he was lurking around? No. Just as I don’t bake in front of my sister because she will always and forever be better at it. Generally whatever I make is edible, but it is sometimes ugly and usually creates a giant mess. Know your strengths.

Here we are: Morgan is gone, and god help me I am going to make LAMINGTONS. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what these were either until recently, but I’ve spent a lot of time getting exceedingly cozy with some back issues of Saveur magazine. Lamingtons are an Australian dessert: sponge cake covered in chocolate and then dipped in coconut. Obviously that last word was the real clincher. I could eat coconuts for the rest of my life.

Lamingtons are tricky and they present a lot of challenges:

1. Getting cakes out of pans as a whole is hard. Never mind removing it without giant craters missing, AND THEN cutting it into petite cubes and bathing it in chocolate. 

2. A record number of bowls was required for this project: five. One for the dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients, one for the egg yolks, one for the chocolate, one for the melting butter. Normally this is how many bowls I like to use when making things: ONE. 

3. Egg whites must be whipped into “soft peaks”. Ugh. Literally is that something I have to do? That’s annoying. Beaters are involved in that. Separating eggs are involved in that. What is a soft peak even?

But despite all of these hurdles, which would normally have had me heading straight for the Toll House refrigerated dough, I could not be deterred. I was high on the success of that damn cauliflower and reveling in my temporary residential singledom. I was on a lamington mission.

Things started going downhill pretty fast. First my butter overflowed while melting in the microwave. AWESOME, I LOVE CLEANING THAT! Then my egg whites wouldn’t form soft peaks. Maybe because I don’t even know what texture that is. Then I caused the most raucous avalanche of bakeware to retrieve the necessary 8 x 8 baking pan (this was after I spent 10 minutes locating it).

Finally the cake was in the oven. Do you feel tired reading this? I felt tired living this.

Magically fast forward and I’ve taken the cake from the oven. It’s cooling, and I’m chopping some chocolate and trying to boil cream without burning it. Things are going okay. Cake comes out of pan (thumbs up) I cut the cake into 16 kind-of-regular sized squares (double thumbs up). I’m dipping cake chunks into chocolate and rolling it around in a giant dish of coconut flakes. Boy, am I on a roll! Things have really turned around! Morgan would be so proud! Maybe I’ll send her a picture?!

My inner monologue really got away from me. On the fourth piece of cake, we started to run into trouble. Cake chunks were crumbling into the chocolate, the chocolate was cooling down and become seriously viscous, coconut was basically everywhere. I was initially consoling myself with “well, I’ll just eat the ugly pieces”. So here I am, trying to both make these chocolate dipped cake squares while also trying to maintain a semblance of neatness by eating up ugly cake chunks and licking chocolate off my fingers and somehow getting it into my hair. Now chocolate is actually coating my hands and I realize that cake chunks number five through sixteen will, in fact, ALL be ugly pieces.

I now have a wire rack of 4 beautiful specimens of the Lamington, and 12 other lumpy chocolate/coconut/cake blobs.

Did that stop me from eating two of them before they even cooled while standing in the kitchen? No. I couldn’t even be bothered to sit down.

So was this a success? I don’t know. I guess we can just call it a rollercoaster of emotion in the kitchen tonight. These babies are delicious, but hot damn are they an eyesore. Morgan: you can take solace in the fact that you remain the best baker in the family. I will stick to my computers and design and blogging.

Three perfect lamingtons:image

One sad lamington:image

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working woman

Day nine of internship: I left my key at home. Ugh. Really?

This is an appropriate moment to reassure myself that it was only a matter of time until I forgot my keys, but I honestly thought that “a matter of time” would be at least more than two weeks.

In order to get into the building where I work (and to not get locked in staircases between floors) I have to carry around an orange key card. Basically it’s like what I use at school or at a hotel, or you know, any other electronic key ever. But apparently one month away from college is enough for me to break myself of the habit of constantly groping my own back pocket to ensure my keys are exactly where I think they are.

So today I left the hallowed orange key at home. And when I got to work I had to ring the fancy front door buzzer and the really wonderful woman who works at the reception desk said in the intercom, “Hi Delaney!” (because she could see me on the security camera) and I sullenly, shamefully replied, “Hi…I forgot my key”. Then she buzzed me in and I proceeded to have a normal day at work.

When you are me and you are an intern, you labor over everything. Leaving my key at home was a monumental mistake that weighed on me the entire MAX ride to the office. I panicked about how someone might sense my lack of keys and knowingly say, “You left your card at home today, didn’t you?”; that everyone would tell by looking at my guilt-stricken face that I had dropped the ball.

But here is a reality check for myself now that the day is over: zero people knew. Zero people cared. Being an intern means sweating the small stuff internally, and being an amiable, totally efficient working machine externally.

Here’s what else being an intern means for me:

Owning a $100 monthly pass for public transit. Isn’t mass transit supposed to be, I don’t know, CHEAP? That is a lot of dolla-dolla bills for something I don’t even want to have to use! And I have to get one of these every thirty days?! I could double the number of Chacos I own with cash like that! But whatever. I take the MAX to work (aka Portland’s light rail) just like my mother has trained me to do since day one of my life and I read my Kindle like any other hip metro commuter and see a myriad of weird things that you only come to know when you are a regular user of public transportation. People like to say “Keep Portland weird”. I will tell you where they are keeping their weird: ON THE MAX.

Being an intern also means being confused 78% percent of the time people are talking to you. They’re either referring to someone you’ve never met, using an acronym you’ve never heard of, or mentioning a client that you are entirely unfamiliar with. Much of my time is spent simultaneously listening and internally debating whether to ask for clarification or just hope that I can string enough context clues together and figure it out for myself. I’ve yet to run into trouble with this tactic (miraculously).

Being an intern, you also learn how incredibly stinking long an actual 8 hours of work is. Wow let me tell you, sometimes 8 hours feels like I’m reliving all 21 years of my life.

It also means people know you (as the intern), and you might not know them. This is how I came to say “hello!” and ask “how are you?” to a man I had never seen before who greeted me on the street during my lunch break on internship day two.
I was in full-on polite and cheerful greeting mode, and when he nodded and said hi to me I went on my friendliest auto-pilot. After passing him, I considered the fact that I could have just been overly gregarious to a homeless stranger (do designers and homeless people really look that different? Not in Portland. Everyone has a beard and everyone wears a flannel). Here I was, just chumming it up with the transient population of Oregon because I was petrified I might possibly give the brush-off to someone from my office that I had already forgotten meeting.

Good news for me, I saw the questionably homeless/designer man at work the next day (as an employee, not as a squatter) and it turns out I hadn’t already met him. Paranoid-friendly-intern auto-pilot for the win.

Now this is all good and humorous, so I feel the need to clarify that I don’t actually dither away in front of a computer the whole day crying about forgotten keys and getting lost on my way to the IT desk. I do actual work and help with design projects that make it exceedingly clear to me what an incredible opportunity I have been so fortunate to receive.

When I step outside my anxiety-ridden inner monologue, I realize that I am actually having a lot of fun. And some days, even the MAX can be entertaining (just wait until I tell you about when I was serenaded with Katy Perry).

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Two ladies (plus Betty, so really three ladies) go camping. And we came back. It was the time of our lives. 

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gurl look at that beetle

Great news everyone: we went camping AND we came back. The woods didn’t swallow us two sisters whole, in fact, I would say Morgan and I basically thrive in the wild. We were born for it.

These are the highlights:

1. We ate paella. You didn’t even know paella was something you could make in the woods, did you? I don’t even make paella in the comfort of my own home let alone over some open flame in a fire pit (mainly due to my aversion to recipes with more than six ingredients). Do I even need to tell you it was delicious?

2. I got to wear my socks and Chacos at the same time. My feet love nothing more than the being bundled in some socks and strapped into some Chacs. This is the ultimate in footwear and is 100% camping-approved.

3. Whilst robbing uninhabited campgrounds of firewood, I lifted a log and revealed a bunch of crawly, foresty insects. Morgan’s immediate response to this was “EW, A BEETLE!”

Now let us all imagine how ridiculous this is when a) I’ve just told you we were born for the wild and b) the forest is basically 50% trees and 50% bugs. You can’t be startled by insects when camping, so obviously I gave her a really hard time about it and, less obviously, ended up repeating “gurl, look at that beetle” like LMFAO in “Sexy and I Know It” for the next three days. Please see 00:30 for reference.

4. I came to grips with the fact that my appetite for pancakes is actually and in the most realistic way insatiable. It was halfway through pancake number eight when I realized that no part of my brain was conscious of the rate I was inhaling. The only things happening in my body were tastebuds having the time of their life and all blood flow being diverted to my stomach (is that what happens when you eat a lot?). My breakfast game face was on and I wasn’t messing around. I was ready to do some serious damage to some flapjacks. It took more willpower than I have exerted in my life to physically remove myself from the table and stop eating. I was two bites away from the infamous cookie incident.

But don’t worry, I TOTALLY ate the leftover pancakes the next morning because…

5. Morgan burned the bagels.

This can be prefaced by saying that my sister doesn’t go camping without a culinary plan. She had a printed sheet detailing each meal of each day. That is not a joke. It’s brilliant.

So on the morning of packing out, bagels were on the breakfast schedule and were undoubtedly the least complicated thing she had planned. No more cornmeal pancakes with homemade raspberry jam, no more sausage/egg/potato skillets. Just some bagels, maybe some bananas. But an attempt to heat two tin-foiled breakfast breads on the Coleman stove actually produced partially-heated, but thoroughly-charred hockey pucks that tasted a lot like propane. The girl can cook paella in a pie tin but not a couple of bagels. Ohhhhh the irony, it was not lost on us.

This was when I got to re-eat the pancakes I refused to let her throw out the day before. No one has ever been more pleased than I was in that moment, wearing my socks n’ Chacs and stuffing my face with more pancakes. 

6. I came back home and basically had dreads. It’s one thing to consciously not shower and be entirely aware of your physical appearance as you let yourself waste into socially unacceptable hygiene levels, but it is a different thing entirely to look at yourself for the first time in three days and find that your hair is halfway to dreadsville without your permission. That’s the kind of situation we were looking at guys, and I wasn’t into it.

 7. I ate so many s’mores. Will I ever love anything more than s’mores? Only jam and pancakes, you’re right.

And, I mean, obviously we hiked, we picnicked in the woods, we brought Betty Sparkle who definitely had the time of her life, we slept on the ground, we played some games and read our books, and generally reveled in the fact that Oregon is phenomenally verdant and beautiful. But does any of that need elaboration? No. We only talk about food here.

Other news: I’m also alive after my first week of being an intern. It’s going great but its past my bedtime (a whopping 10:30 p.m.) so we’ll talk about the joys of employment, trying to look busy, and regularly using mass transit later.

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well. it’s summer.

For someone whose strength lies in time management and getting many things done in a small amount of time, summer is the ultimate challenge. How does one spend the seemingly endless hours of wakefulness? I DON’T KNOW, DON’T ASK ME. I’ve had 20 summers to learn that I suck at this season. I’m not good at sleeping in late. I’m not good at tanning because that just means I’m burning. There are only so many times I can refresh my Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, and Vine) feed before I feel insane. I know how to make lists and accomplish things. I don’t know how to do summer.

Let me bring you up to speed on the past 13, riveting days of my life.

I took my two fifty-pound bags and left St. Louis. I flew into the capitol of excitement, Boise, Idaho. For the seven days I spent at my grandparents’ house, I had myself convinced I had rediscovered a love of reading. This is because I finished When You Reach Me in a single day. I was on top of the world! Wow, summer wasn’t going to be so bad – I’d just read! It’s so enjoyable!

It was day one of vacation and I was already delusional.

Later, my librarian mother told me that the book I had just finished reading was a prize-winning novel for children. Let me tell you, 200 pages really fly by when they’re at a sixth grade reading level.

But now that I am in Bend, I’ve quickly returned to my regularly programmed summer time wasters including watching the two-hour block of Sex and the City on E! every day and trying to find ever-weirder corners of the internet to explore. Reading? Who does that anymore? It was a nice week I spent in the YA genre of literature but I’ve since reverted to old habits.

A chronic task-accomplisher, I now make pointless schedules for myself to follow. The general timeline I like to stick to is watching Gilmore Girls and making waffles from 9 to 11 after I wake up, followed by two hours of simultaneous internet- and channel-surfing before taking myself for a run around the neighborhood. The afternoon gets really crazy: showering, fridge-raiding, spending quality time with my variety of screens (phone, computer, tv) and waiting around until Jeopardy is on. My summer is OFF THE HOOK.

Now I guess all isn’t really lost because I’m starting a design internship in two weeks in Portland. So yes, I’ve just been complaining about having an entire month off before work, woe is me, I know. Sorry that I’m an excellent whiner. Anyways, if you want to find me, I’ll be in my room packing and repacking my bags to pass the time until we drive to Portland. And looking forward to the next three months of eating whatever delicious things my sister cooks up and complaining about not having any free time (insert ironic winky face here).

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122 days and some boot cut jeans

It has been 122 days since my last blog post and 1 day since I last wore boot cut jeans. This is a startling fact, I know. The boot cut jeans were so startling though that they did manage to bring me out of a four month blogging hiatus.

I am so scarred by my apparel choices yesterday that I felt the need to blog about it. Maybe that’s the trick, whenever there is nothing to write about, just put on one of my uglier pieces of clothing that I inexplicably still own and see how I feel after wearing it around all day in shame. 

It does sound semi-fashion snob of me to be so dramatic about wearing a certain cut of pant, but I just shouldn’t be wearing pants from American Eagle from high school. End of story. (I almost lied and told you middle school. Boot cut jeans are not as far in my past as I would really hope.) For the sake of the story about my boot cut jeans we are all just going to accept that this is basically the faux pas of the century. Not to be dramatic or anything.

Time really flies when you are trying on the oldest and ugliest clothes from your closet. I know for a fact this is something that we all do and so I feel no shame in it. Every once in a while you just get these crazy thoughts like “why don’t I ever wear that crochet poncho anymore? I loved it in 8th grade!” or if you are me “man, I really did think boot cuts jeans were the way to go, why did I ever stop wearing them?” Because they don’t look good, self. That’s why you stopped. And why you persist in owning them is beyond me.

So anyways, here I was just taking a leisurely stroll down my greatest hall of fame fashion looks when suddenly it is TIME TO GO. Like I have to be at a required resume design workshop at the art school at 9am on a Saturday in 3 MINUTES. Do you know how long it takes me to walk to the art school? 13 minutes if I am walking at a speed that induces shin splints. Do you know who is leading this resume workshop? MY PROFESSOR, WHO IS THE BIGGEST STICKLER ON TARDINESS. Do you know who will be at this workshop? DESIGNERS FROM ALL OVER ST. LOUIS.

After two minutes of scrambling around my room, just panicking about how I was going to be late and thus making me even later, I hustled from the dorm dressed in a pair of pants that is the social equivalent of wearing bellbottoms when acid-wash taper-leg was really the way to go. It was an outfit straight out of my 11th grade closet (like I said, not as far in my past as I would prefer). Stupid faded American Eagle jeans (I’m pretty sure the cut was called “The Artist”, I remember that being a huge influence in my purchase) with a dumb, ugly gray sweatshirt and my freaking Vans sneakers. Did I just walk out of a Pac-Sun in 2009? Basically. 

Another awful thing you forget when you don’t don legwear with flare anymore is the noise they make. When the leg openings of your pants are wide enough to brush against each other (a note to my future self that I SHOULD NOT BE WEARING THEM), they make an awful swishing sound with each step. So, It was just me and the sound of my pants reminding me at every stride that I had made a very pivotal error in time management that morning and I was paying for it. With boot cut jeans.

That’s how it happened. That’s how I wore boot cut jeans for a whole entire day in front of a panel of St. Louis creatives who were critiquing my resume based on my sense of design. At least my future hire-ability is based on a single, critically designed sheet of paper and not a photograph of me on that day. 

Now, did anyone really even notice? Probably not.* But it makes a good story, doesn’t it? Where would we be if I didn’t have an extraordinarily well-developed internal conflict about the cut of my pants? Probably on Day 123 of no blogging.

*Except for Julie. Julie definitely noticed because I texted her on my way saying “I am wearing boot cut jeans. It feels like the apocalypse.” (Yes, I am incredibly level-headed and calm at all times). When she saw me, she said “Wow, are you sure those are just boot cut? They look like they could be flare!” I almost passed out on the ground. 

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I don’t even know what I have been doing.

I couldn’t even tell you how long it’s been since I posted without looking back on the blog which is shameful in and of itself, let alone the number of times that I start a post with some sort of acknowledgement about how long its been since I’ve posted. 

What have I been doing while away? A lot of homework. Everything that is the anathema of excitement. For example, just now I finished a 3-page summary of a critical essay on the history of landscape photography. If you think reading that sentence was boring, try reading the whole article.

In more breaking news, I already know where I will be living a year from now. Is that weird to you? It’s weird to me. What’s even weirder is that one week ago I drove to downtown St. Louis with seven other girls and $1,100 dollars in cash on my person to sign a lease at the apartment of my future landlord at 9pm. That is actually true. I mean, I’m a pretty good liar, but that is pure unadulterated fact. And if that sounds incredibly sketchy to you it’s because IT WAS. However, please take solace in the fact that I am writing this blog post meaning I have not been robbed or kidnapped. 

Some advice would be: if you were ever thinking about trying to get housing off campus for your senior year at WashU, don’t. Don’t try, don’t think about it, and avoid it at all costs because it is the most competitive, least transparent process you will ever take part in. Basically, you call a million landlords who force you to make snap decisions about agreeing to rent which you obviously acquiesce to because it seems like everyone else on campus secretly found apartments overnight and you already feel like a future homeless person so you skip class to run to banks and lease-signings like you are a crazy woman. And this all happens in 24 hours.

I can say this with certainty because it’s exactly what happened when me and a group of my friends found an apartment building, hounded a landlord, and then spent an entire day freaking out until the fateful call when he told us we each had to get our hands on a grand and sign a lease in 5 hours. I’m sorry, what? You do know I go to college, right? And the bank closes in 15 minutes? And there is no way we can just do this tomorrow? No? OKAY, GREAT, YEAH I’LL SIGN THAT LEASE.

But we did it. By some huge stroke of luck me and 11 of my friends found a building and signed a leased for every apartment in the place in less than 24 hours later. The stress and terror of potentially losing the apartment to some other group of ruthless apartment-seeking college girls probably took 3 years off my life. 

That’s whats up. I do homework and when that isn’t enough fun, I find new and improved aways methods of self-inflicted stress, like apartment hunting and thinking about how long my walk to art studio will be from off-campus and potentially moving from Tumblr to WordPress. HOORAY FOR SENIOR YEAR. 

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back in action

First, let’s all collectively bid ado to my old laptop, Harold. He is dead. Fortunately, the brand-spanking new MacBook that I have been lusting for since I was in the womb is warming my lap as I type. 

It was almost as if Harold could sense that our time together was coming to a close because he stopped functioning entirely a full week before my new computer was delivered. Awesome, thank you for that Harold. Even in your absence you are the absolute worst piece of machinery I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. GOOD RIDDANCE. 

Here are my most recent life highlights:

My internship is done. I did it. I designed a fifty-page handbook for university fundraising volunteers and I do not need to do another one for a while…or forever? 

I go to school again now. I am a junior. As part of my major, you get a bunch of shiny new computer things to distract you from the fact that in the near future you will be doing SO MUCH WORK. I remember now that school doesn’t follow the strict 9-to-5 policy of my internship. WHY NOT?

I now live in a suite of 8 people. It has a giant kitchen, and a giant living room, and I sleep in a giant single bedroom, on a bed that is so giant I have to use a step stool. All of this is contrasted by the tiniest and worst shower in the world. If you can imagine a space pod that would take you to Mars in the 1960’s you can imagine our shower. 

On Friday, I start my new internship at Cheree Berry Paper as a production intern. ULTIMATE SCORE! What better way to practice dressing as an ultra-hip design student and flex my public transportation skills?! Except those don’t actually need to be tested because I have a sneaking suspicion I was born on a Portland MAX train and have been learning how to use mass transit since day one.

Is it sad that I only have four new life updates for you? Maybe. Or it’s just a sign that I’m learning how to not eat too many cookies and blog about puke. 

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I am 20

Though I like to think that I am the most alluringly eccentric 20-year-old ever, I am not. 20 is just a weird age. It is a bizarre in between year where I occasionally act like an ultra-mature adult but most of the time it seems like I should still be living under my mom’s supervision. Here is me being 20 today:

Being 20 means you are still young enough to get care packages of the most delicious goods you can imagine from your sister. The contents of this box deserve their own blog post, that’s how phenomenal they were. I refuse to stop talking about my sister because I am her biggest fan.

20 is also still young enough to eat too many care-package-cookies too fast. However, at this age you do have the awareness you are eating too many. It doesn’t matter. Nothing stops you. You eat TOO TOO TOO MANY.

20 does mean you are old enough to have your own gym membership. No more YMCA family passes for this girl (unfortunately you are also too old to qualify for the YMCA teen price, alas a double-edged sword!).

It also means you have the Nike Training Club app on your iPhone, because everyone knows that’s the trendy thing to do. So when you are 20 and have your own gym membership you can conveniently not go to the gym and exercise in your own ugly apartment.

And when you are 20 and all of these things happen within a half hour of each other YOU COME SO CLOSE TO PUKING YOU ARE AFRAID.

Now I am fully aware that this would be a better story if I actually did toss my cookies (literally, pun intended, everything) and I even considered lying to you because all Lundquists love a good story. But Lundquists are not liars, usually.

Regardless, the fact that I had to stop my Nike Training Club workout at 14:38 minutes during my Russian twists because I ate too many cookies and worked out immediately afterward because I have no understanding of digestion and thought I was going to throw up is absurd. I had a lot of time laying next to the vent absorbing the air-conditioning in my bathroom near the toilet to contemplate this. Because I thought I was going to puke. Honest to god. The being afraid of barfing was probably worse than the actual act would have been.

As I was languishing on the bathroom tiles, sweating so much in full work-out gear, breathing very heavily, mentally preparing myself to ralph, I was mainly thinking “is this what happens when you are 20? You wear fancy blazers and pencil skirts to work at an office and then come home and immediately eat so many cookies you think you are going to be sick?” And then the meaner version of myself rolled my eyes and said something scathing, like “I cannot believe this is all you have learned in two full decades of life.”

At this time I would like to apologize to my grandma if she is reading this because I know she will not think it is appropriate to talk about vomit so much to other people. Except you do have to admit I used just about every synonym for puke, which rocks. Except up-chuck. I hate that one.

So I am 20. And when you are 20 it sounds old but you don’t feel like it at all. You do things that make you seem like a fully capable adult, like paying electricity bills (hot damn, those are the worst!) and being an intern at an office for 40 hours a week and cooking your own dinner EVERY NIGHT. But then you do things like eat so many cookies you haven’t been so close to vomiting since you got food poisoning at the ice cream shop freshman year.

You can all take solace in the fact that my is lesson learned. Sort of. I will definitely eat the cookies, maybe lay off the exercise? Plan.