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20 August 2007 @ 09:07 pm
Twelve days from now, I'll be in New Haven.

Hence, I'm starting my college shopping. So far I have socks, underwear, towels, a hedgehog, and a laptop. Not bad, eh?

Next on my list: a laptop/book bag!

I've narrowed it down to about six, whaddya think?

First, the more practical, professional looking ones (which also happen to be more expensive):

So I'm fond of chocolate leather, sue me!

Now for the smaller, uber-girly, candy-ass bags (again, less expensive):

So what do ya'll think? I'm really leaning towards Jade, I just hope I don't regret it when it turns out not to hold as much as I hope it does. Hrm...
in: laptop
feeling: melancholymelancholy
Let's recap the past few days, shall we?

Nine hour drive to Maryland and back to pick up my baby African pygmy hedgehog. After much deliberation, he has been christened Nevsky, after Saint Alexander Nevsky.
Was relieved to see that my period finally came (among the many, many reasons I anxiously await my arrival at Yale is the $4-a-month birth control)
Grad party hopping with Jack, who couldn't eat anything because of his wisdom teeth extraction from the previous day. Showed off pictures of Nevsky. Drank a few beers and got my ass kicked in beer pong. Didn't even get buzzed, however. Lots of mosquito bites.

Hedgie cage cleaning (Nevsky is fond of defecating in his wheel).
Grad party de Feldmann. Depression over weight and social ineptitude. Started drinking vodka around 8. Stopped drinking vodka around 8:30. Started vomiting around 9? Continued to vomit for the rest of the night, followed by dry heaving after my stomach was emptied. Jack took incredibly good care of me. People are really nice to you when you're violently drunk! Spent most of the night writhing in my own vomit on a lawn chair. Eventually Jack got me inside and one of Feldmann's sisters was nice enough to let me borrow a clean shirt (she was shitfaced too). Jack found me a blanket with penguins on it. Apparently I kept trying to talk about calculus.

Day of the Muse concert.
Day before my 18th birthday.
Woke up on a loveseat in Feldmann's basement, found Jack laying on the floor next to me. Such a sweetheart, that boy. I tried to have breakfast (less than half a plain bagel and some orange juice). My digestive system had other plans. I vow never to drink ever, ever again. Jack makes me give Feldmann's sister her shirt back... I refuse to put on my vomit covered one. Jack gives me his. Jack drove me home with no shirt on. I was amused, despite my nauseated state. Jack's mother calls and is having some sort of nervous breakdown. Jack makes me give him his shirt back. I wrap a neon green blanket around myself, call him an asshole and scamper into my house. I thank god that my father is going to be at work all day.
I assess the damage. I'm incredibly dirty. My purse (and its contents) are covered in vomit. My phone rings, but I don't want to touch it. I put on the disposable gloves I got for cleaning the hedge cage and wash it off. Everything else gets thrown into a bag for later inspection. There's a bagel waiting for me on my desk, along with $120 dollars to pay for train tickets and concert souvenirs. My father's awesome. I'm too nauseated to eat, however. I take a nap.
I wake up at 3:55. Our train leaves at 4:46 for the city. I run in the shower and get dressed as quickly as possible. I scramble to find a new bag, throw in my cellphone, some makeup, and the money my father gave me. I don't bring my digital camera because it's still covered in vomit (which, incidentally, is why I haven't posted more pictures of Nevsky). Jack picks me up around 4:25- my hair is still soaking wet. We arrive at the train station at 4:40. I run to a ticket kiosk and purchase tickets. "Peak, off-peak, what the fuck?" I don't know what the difference is and I'm freaking out that we're going to miss the train. I buy two round trip peak tickets. $52. Holy shit. Train isn't there yet- Jack's mad at me for using the machine when we could've just asked a teller. The teller tells us we should've bought off peak tickets- that would've saved me $14. Jack's grumpy because I never listen to him, because people never respect his intelligence, and me stupidly running to the machine even though he said to go to the teller made him feel as though I don't, either.
We board the train with Justin Maas, who's also going to the concert. We pick up a stray Daily Post and do a crossword to completion (Go Team Discovery!). I eat the bagel my father bought for me- slowly. I don't feel ill!
We arrive in Penn Station around 6:30 and grab dinner. I had an amazing panini called "The Russian" from the Europan Cafe (yes, Europan). Roast beef, muenster, caramelized onions, lettuce, plum tomatoes & Russian dressing. Mmm. I buy a magazine for the train ride home- Scientific American. Scientific American Mind is a better publication (or at least, more interesting, especially to me, a neuroscience geek).
We get to Madison Square Garden. I buy a t shirt for myself and for my brother- $60. Jack buys a t shirt too. He's so handsome. We find our seats- 7:30. Opening band, the Cold War Kids comes on shortly after 8. I wasn't familiar with them beforehand, but they were pretty good. They play for 45 minutes. Half an hour later, MUSE COMES ON.

Oh sweet jesus.

They open with Knights of Cydonia.
It is so good. I am dancing and headbanging and singing along and I feel like the only one in my section who's doing so, although the ENTIRE Garden was standing up for the whole show.
The second song they play is Map of the Problematique, one of my favorite Muse songs of all time.
Next up is Hysteria, from Absolution- I'm relieved that they're playing some of their old stuff. Fucking amazing set list.
1. Knights of Cydonia
2. Map of the Problematique
3. Hysteria
4. Supermassive Black Hole (so much better in person than on the album)
5. City of Delusion
6. Butterflies & Hurricanes (piano, YES YES YES, I fucking love you Matt Bellamy)
7. Hoodoo
8. Apocalypse Please
9. Feeling Good (oh god yes)
10. Sunburn (some old stuff, woot!)
11. Invincible (this song took on a whole new meaning singing it with thousands of other people, swaying in time)
12. Starlight (wooooot! Matt got everyone clapping for this one, so much fun.)
13. Time is Running Out (the crowd got so into this. You could hardly hear Matt singing over everyone screaming, "I won't let you murder it, cos our time is RUNNING OUT!" He let us sing the whole chorus at one point. It was fucking amazing. Even the schlub standing next to me, who'd been pretty deadpan for most of the concert, was screaming along. It felt so good.)
14. New Born (sweet jesus!!! I fucking love Origin of Symmetry. THANK YOU MUSE!)
15. Plug in Baby (New Born followed by Plug in Baby... those men are geniuses. For PiB, they released tons of giant balloons over the mosh pit, it was fucking amazing. Oh my God, it was amazing.)

Then they left the stage! The whole Garden was pitch black, and suddenly everyone starts holding up cellphones and lighters, the whole place is full of these tiny swaying lights, it was amazing. Finally, Muse comes back out.

16. Soldier's Poem (definitely more mellow than anything else they played, but after the excitement and exhaustion of the past few songs, the crowd was ready for it.)
17. Unintended (the highlight of my night. Jack held me and we danced. It was so perfect.)
18. Stockholm Syndrome
19. Take a Bow

Ahhh. They left us all begging and screaming for more. They focused a little too much on Black Holes & Revelations... but then, I loved every song. I was SO happy to hear Unintended, Map of the Problematique, Time is Running Out, New Born, Butterflies & Hurricanes, Feeling Good... I wish they would've played Bliss and Exo-Politics, or Sing for Absolution... Oh, hell, I love all their stuff. Fucking amazing concert.

So then we found a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts and Jack got me a happy birthday smoothie. It was delicious. Best birthday ever. We caught the 12:18 train and were all cutesy and coupley on the ride home, annoying the piss out of anyone nearby, I'm sure. I read some of my magazine.

My 18th birthday!
I took Nevsky out and played with him on my bed, changed his food and water and cleaned his wheel. Had reheated pizza for lunch and wrote in my blog! Will soon see my darling angel Jack, and we will celebrate my big one-eight.
in: laptop
feeling: happyhappy
listening to: Muse
28 July 2007 @ 02:09 pm
So, laptop... had it for about a week... was in a rush one day... stumbled out of my computer chair, as my clumsy self is prone to doing... got my foot caught on a wire... said wire was plugged into the laptop... the laptop was jerked off my desk and onto the floor, where its nascent, unsuspecting hard drive was thrown into ultimately fatal cardiogenic shock...

Its replacement arrives Monday. Till then, I'm back on the desktop.

To be blunt, I am a profound stumblebum. I am in a constant state of mild confusion about my physical environs, and often am ignorant about the location of my own appendages in relation to them. I am constantly breaking, slipping, spilling, pulling, pushing, and knocking over- always inadvertently. I misplace things with an alarming frequency, or subject myself to delusions of having misplaced them. Case in point:

One day in Physics class, I was working on a problem set which required the use of my calculator. "Where's my calculator?" I asked, only to be answered with mocking cackles. I looked down to discover that it was under my palm. For the rest of the year, my "friends" would randomly spout "Where's my calculator!" whenever they wanted to get under my skin. Sigh. Likewise, I'm wont to look for my glasses, when not only are they on my head, but in front of my eyes. So apparently, I can even forget how bloody well blind I am (I am, in fact, legally blind in my right eye, and my left one's none too perceptive, either).

I'm an astonishingly poor specimen of the human race. I'm short and slightly overweight. I can't function without my glasses. My nose runs when I eat. I have anemic tendencies. I bite my nails. My teeth are yellow. I (unwillingly) regurgitate everything I eat (resulting in no small degree of halitosis). My periods aren't regular. I can't orgasm. I've lived with eating disorders, depression, neuroticism, and crippling insecurity.  Not to mention that I'm a selfish cunt with a penchant for tacky jewelry.

At least I have a good complexion (most days) and O negative blood.
feeling: amusedamused
listening to: Muse
So the new laptop my father picked out for my came the other day, and I've spent most of the past 24 (36, 48?) hours fiddling around with it, and finding all kinds of fun things to do, like assigning keyboard shortcuts and downloading gadgets that let me listen to Russian radio. It's nice enough- very big, 17" widescreen, with a very large resolution (I had to go through and find all the blind people settings, like fixing the DPI and default text sizes and getting the extra large icons, 'cos I got a headache from all the squinting- I'm not even farsighted!). For those curious, it's a Dell Latitude D830- I am a diehard PC user, and so far haven't had any issues with Windows Vista, although I've got the business edition. The biggest drawback to that is NO SOLITAIRE. C'est dommage. I'll probably download it later.

The GUI isn't too flashy, I don't think, and I like the gadget toolbar- but then, I'm easily amused. I foresee neck ache and many hours of Pharaoh in bed- my summer's looking up. Ha.

A few months ago my family planned an excursion to Florida (their vacation destination of choice since, oh, my birth) to commemorate my 18th birthday, because, as those of you who know me are aware, I have a very special place in the lives of my family members. I was marginally looking forward to it because of a trip to Sea World where I'd get to hold a penguin, and because (here's the actual present part) they were paying for my boyfriend to come.

Long story short I have a major, major altercation with my mother. My father can't get off from work to go, and everyone's well aware that my mother and I can't be civil enough to each other to take a vacation together, so my mum and brothers will be trotting off to Florida August 1st, and I'll be staying home avec mon pere.

But wait! A herald approaches, bearing good news: my chivalrous, attentive, most romantic, upbeat, and optimistic, "glass half full of rain from a silver-lined cloud" boyfriend heard this and, instead of being upset, chirped, "Well now we can see that Muse concert!"

Yes, mesdames et messieurs, Muse, the arena rock sensation imported from across the pond. I'd gladly bear Matthew Bellamy's children, so much do I adore this band. They're coming to MY STATE, the DAY BEFORE MY 18th BIRTHDAY. I, of course, found out about this a while ago, but was already locked into a week of family-fun-in-the-sun down south, so I reflected on what a witty bastard god is by taunting me thus, and moved on with life.

Before I could so much as consult my parents Jack bought two tickets. I still haven't told my parents, but I can't see how it affects them much. We'll take the train into the city, chill at the concert until all hours of the night, go to a diner until wee hours of the morning, probably have sex a time or two or three... maybe I'll come home before sunrise, maybe I won't. By the end of the affair I'll be 18, so it doesn't matter overmuch. It's not as though I'm going to be all typical and get a tattoo to flaunt my newfound legality or anything. I'm very much excited, although I approach the date (August 6th, the concert, the 7th being my birthday, for those curious, ahem) with no small degree of trepidation, because past birthdays have always been miserable, so I'm waiting to see what's going to come along and muck this all up.

In the meantime I've gotten in touch with all of my suitemates for college, and they seem like a nice enough crop of girls- a decent cross section of the campus, I'm sure, although most of them are Californian, which is a trifle unsettling. I'm thinking college will be good, though. I'd like something to be after this ridiculously lackluster summer.
in: laptop
feeling: contentcontent
listening to: Steve Winwood
My relationship with food is... strange, to say the least. Food is, first and foremost, necessary. It is also tied in very, very closely with my self-perception and self-esteem. Since I was very young I've had a poor body image, and years of insecurity and discomfort in my own skin eventually boiled over into anorexia, which quickly metastasized into bulimia. That all started when I was about 13... nearly five years ago. Lord 'a mercy.

Anyone who's been seriously affected by an eating disorder will tell you that it's all about control- many of those who develop eating disorders feel uncomfortable with their perceived lack of control, and begin to obsessively monitor food intake to establish a sense of power or authority. When I was anorexic I knew the nutritional content of every single thing I put into my body. I was meticulous about what I would allow myself to eat, setting calorie limits for each day: 200 this day, 400 the next, 600 the next, 800 the next, and back to 200, et cetera. I spent unnecessarily long amounts of time preparing and eating my food, dragging out the process to make it seem I was taking in more than I was. Instead of microwaving my TV dinners, I would cook them in the oven. Instead of taking bites, I would pick everything apart with my hands, rolling each bite around in my mouth until it dissolved. I would consciously pause for several minutes in between each bite, letting it settle comfortably into my stomach before moving on. After each meal or snack I would tally how many calories I'd consumed so far that day, and how many I had left. At the end of each day I would plan what I'd eat the next day, and I was unflinchingly rigid in these plans. When my boyfriend and I went to restaurants, often I would have nothing but a glass of water or a diet soda while he ate dinner, because the restaurant couldn't provide the nutritional information of their dishes, and I refused to eat anything without knowing exactly how many calories and grams of fat it contained. I ate very little, but food was always on my mind.

I was so indoctrinated by my own regimen that foods I didn't permit myself to eat became a kind of holy grail. "One day I'll be thin enough to eat this, and this, and that!"

From 2004:
God, I want so badly to be underweight, according to my BMI that's 108 pounds or less, I figure 105 is a good goal, and that's so close to double digits, I don't know what I'd do if I broke 100, probably go out and eat an entire cake, then have some kind of pasta cheese beef thing, with lots of bread, and soda, and then chicken paprikash, I want cheese rice and quesadillas, big, overstuffed quesadillas, I want French onion soup and fried calamari, I want chicken chow fun and lo mein noodles, I want chocolate chip filled crumb cake and pastries, muffins, I want sauteed mushrooms and chicken kiev and beef stroganoff, I want pizza piled to the ceiling with toppings, I want spanakopita, I want Greek food, I want to be under 100 so I can eat all of that and not think for a second that I'm fat, but I'm 118, and so I'll keep on fasting, and dreaming about all of those foods I gave up years ago...
I deified the process of eating, I suppose. Because I strove so hard to deny myself what so many take for granted, I built up the satisfaction gained from eating. Although, every so often, in a moment of weakness, I would eat something wholly incongruous with my regimen, and really, it was in the middle of all that gustatory sensory deprivation that food tasted the best. When eating very little, and especially when fasting, my senses of smell and taste became much more acute. I fasted for six days once, drinking nothing but water, and by the last day even the gelatinous canned mush I gave my dogs smelled appetizing.

Being anorexic also destroyed my sense of hunger. Honestly I don't think it exists. I eat out of habit, now; out of boredom, as a social convention, or for the pleasure of taste; to celebrate something, or to console myself. I can sense when I'm "full" (although, after bulimia and compulsive overeating, full is a very relative term- I can pretty much always fit more food in there, if I so desire), and I can tell when it's been a while since I've eaten (a feeling I still adore)- but that's all that sensation is. Yes, I know i haven't eaten since yesterday or the day before, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to eat now.

People recovering from eating disorders always say it's rougher than recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, because, quite simply, you do not have to drink alcohol or do drugs to live- but there's no escaping food. Everything is a trigger. A fork, a bowl, a mirror, a bathing suit, a toilet bowl, a water bottle, a dressing room, a scale, a box of cereal, a pair of jeans... eating disorders never leave you once you've lived with them. You can gain weight, you can 'eat normally', you can exercise- but the habits are always there, the thoughts are always at the back of your mind, you never quite see yourself the way other people do.

For whatever reason, it's in my nature to shun that which mankind universally perceives as necessary. Food, sleep, family, friends- my existence has been devoid of all these things at one time or another. I compensate by focusing my attentions on that final necessity: shelter. Since I was very young I've been compulsive about certain things: never wearing shorts cut above the knee, never showing my feet or toes in public, never wearing sleeveless t shirts, always having bangs to cover my forehead... Whenever I'm in my room, I must have the door closed. If, during the course of the night, someone opens my door while I'm asleep, I invariably wake up, groggily stomp over to the doorway, and properly reseal it. Whenever I feel insecure or frightened I wear more layers of clothing- a sweatshirt, a hat, a scarf- regardless of the weather. I can't sleep without a blanket of some kind, and I hate walking around without socks.

What does all of this mean? Hell if I know.
feeling: contemplativecontemplative
listening to: Billy Joel
When I was younger, elementary school age, I read "voraciously". I was the only child in my town, I'm sure, who was scolded for reading, because unless my hands were wiping my ass or shoveling food into my mouth, there was a book in them, which, for whatever reason annoyed the piss out of my parents (read: mother). I should've realized way back then that Satan will execute a perfect triple-luxe in his own personal ice rink before my mother will stop finding fault with me- but I digress.

When I was younger, I'd always had it in this little cerebrum of mine that I wanted to be 'a writer'. And why not? According to the propaganda fed to me by my local public school, reading was the absolute best thing you could do, ever! And to further this message, we read, but we also read about those who made those books for us- the writers. Writers came to our school frequently and talked about how great it was, and everything was all exciting and happy! But mostly it was my ego that spurned me onwards in the direction of authorship: a job where all you do is express yourself, your thoughts, your opinion, your own personal genius. I've always secretly thought that I was a genius, don't you know!

Funny thing happened, though- high school. I suddenly had much less free time, having crafted myself into the overachiever. Ranked first in my class, participated in athletics, music, community service, et cetera. So I stopped reading. And suddenly, I stopped wanting to be a writer. And gradually I lost all respect for the humanities, my exposure to the incredibly beautiful science of physics having silenced forever any interest in something so insignificant as reading and writing.

Funny thing happened, though- I started dating a boy whose mother is a professional writer, and reader. So lately I've been reading. And you know what? Now I want to write again.

I developed a disturbing habit some years ago of simply ignoring things that bothered me. I guess the more sensitive lot of you will call it a defense mechanism, and you know, you might be right! But I don't just ignore, say, the abuse of my parents. I ignored the entire question of religion. I ignored the fact that I absolutely cannot hold an argument, and that I have no solid reasoning behind any of my opinions (which is probably why I can't hold my side of an argument!). I'm grossly uneducated about politics, economics, religion, international affairs... I don't remember details very long. I remember, during my AP American History course, that I nurtured a fond hatred of Andrew Jackson, and I remember, vaguely, that it had to do with his anti-intellectual attitude, his murderous hatred of Alex Hamilton's bank, and his introduction of the spoils system into our country... but I have no real, concrete details left in my head. The same goes for novels I've read, particularly long ones. By the time I finished reading The Brothers Karamazov, I'm sure that I couldn't remember most of what happened in the beginning (although to be fair, I was 13 at the time).

My brain feels profoundly empty. I am extremely dissatisfied with myself, and feel wholly undeserving of the institution I'll be studying at in a scant few months.

So that's why I'm writing again. I'm going to face my weaknesses, I'm going to force myself to think about myself, and I'm going to expose my soft underbelly to the soulless, clawing, hungry entity that is the greater livejournal community. </font>
feeling: contemplativecontemplative
listening to: Fiona Apple