Progress Report

Well, we’re almost two-thirds done with June. This summer really is flying by. I’m not so sure if the fast-pace is because I’m at school and the hustle and flow of the city makes me feel like everything is going by faster than it really is or what. Either way, I’ve been keeping busy. But don’t worry, not too busy. I’ve got weekly activities that I participate in and a semi-regular work schedule. On Fridays I go straight from work to play ultimate frisbee with my friends. Then we get dinner and hang out at somebody’s house. On Sundays we regroup and play wiffleball down on the Mall before heading back home for True Blood. Speaking of my predilection for pop culture, I’ve been keeping up on my tv watching and movie goings.

Going to the movies has quickly become a nice little treat for myself this summer. First I rounded up the crew to go see Battleship. Kind of weak, plot-wise, but totally worth it since I got to stare at my boyfriends Eric Northman and Tim Riggins for two hours. Then I got home from work one night and went to see the midnight premiere of Prometheus. Not sure if I’d have liked it more or less if I’d seen Alien, but I enjoyed it regardless. I said “ew” a lot, but I still liked itAfter that, I’ve started my own little tradition. Since I don’t have to work on Mondays, I go across town and hit up the independent movie theater for a matinee. My first time out was to go see Wes Anderson’s new flick Moonrise Kingdom. I had some reservations once I realized that two twelve year olds were supposed to carry the weight, but they managed beautifully. It was a perfect little summer movie. Then today I went and saw Safety Not Guaranteed. Basically it was a love letter written directly to me. I absolutely adored it. All of the actors were amazing (special shout-out to Aubrey Plaza, who continues to blow me away). It was endearing and hopeful but still managed to capture the craziness and uncertainty and loneliness of life. And setting it on the stormy beaches of Washington didn’t lose it any favor.

I’ve been keeping up with my lists, both book and tv. Since the beginning of the month I’ve finished Brave New World and the fourth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide “trilogy.” I’ve started on the fifth, but it’s been slow going. I’ve also managed to finish Dance Academy, much to my friends’ glee. Apparently not all of them were as enthused with my live-tweeting as I was. I’ve also finished with Arrested Development and am keenly awaiting the newest season and cinematic adventure. I’m plugging my way through Friday Night Lights, already in the third season.

Don’t worry, mom, I’m not spending all of my time with my face glued to the tv, just most of it. I’ve been to a couple National’s games now. And it seems like every other week one of my friends wins a happy hour at the local bar, so we go out for drinks every now and again. If only I can get a trivia team together… And it seems like more often than not everyone ends up lounging on my bed to just hang out and chat or watch a few episodes of West Wing, or Dawson’s Creek.

It’s safe to say I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied for the rest of the month. At the end of the week I’ll be back in Ohio, visiting family and friends. It wouldn’t be summer if I don’t at least swing by BVFAC for a broken pretzel. Alas, it’s only a short reprieve from DC, but my mini-vacation is taking place during the hottest days of the year so far, so I can’t complain. Once there I’ll golf with my dad, possibly take my mom to see Avengers (as a belated birthday treat), and pick up a lot of books at the library to breeze through. The summer may seem to be moving quickly, but I’m doing my best to make the most of the time.

Now, for your enjoyment, an original song from Safety Not Guaranteed. It is clutch:

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Normal: What even is that?

I don’t think I’ll ever have the “quintessential college experience” whatever that may be. It just won’t happen. I’ve had the startling realization and have come to terms with it. It’s fine. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe?

I’m into my third year of college. I am now a junior in college. What even is that? When did this happen? Who decided I was old enough / mature enough / smart enough to get this far? I want to go back to elementary school with its coloring, its book reports, its multiplication tables. Instead I have to endure digital media projects, analytical essays, and statistics. Not fair.

But I have noticed, of late, that my college experience isn’t on par with those of most of my friends from home. Is it because I went out of state? I went to a private school? I’m on an urban campus? I didn’t rush? I don’t know if I’ll ever be certain, but I know some of what I’m missing.

I’ll never go to a college football game because my school doesn’t have a football team. I won’t get to tailgate outside our stadium, because we don’t have a stadium, let alone cars. I’ll never get to enjoy porch drinking, because there are no houses on campus, excluding the tiny town-houses that have no porches – just stoops. I’ll never attend, at least as an undergrad, a university with a male population of which the majority are heterosexual. (Yes, I’m including my study abroad university in that. That’s one thing they don’t advertise that in the guidebooks, let me tell you.)

But it’s more than that. It’s also the fact that I didn’t get to drink PBR or play beer pong until I was hanging out with my brother over summer vacation. Whether that’s because there doesn’t seem to be room for beer pong at school or kids tend to drink liquor, I can’t be certain. I never shotgunned a beer until hanging out with my summer coworkers because, on the off chance we have beer at school, it sure as hell doesn’t come from a can.

What else am I missing out on? Is it because of where I go, or because of who I am and whom I chose to hang out with? If you have any insights, send ’em my way.

Not that I don’t enjoy my college experience; I do. For the most part. GW has its positives: the DC location, dorms down the street from the White House, school-year internships on the Hill, awesome authors and press secretaries and politicians that speak on campus. It can be wonderful, of course, it just doesn’t strike me as conventional, typical, or dare I say it, normal. Maybe when I get back to GW I’ll found a beer-pong league and sponsored flip-cup tournaments? At the very least I’ll take a road trip to Athens, Ohio to enjoy the Spring festivals. I’ll take normalcy, whatever that may be, wherever I can get it.

No Matter How it Ends, No Matter How it Starts

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve been fairly remiss in not updating my blog much at all this summer. And I truly, humbly apologize. It was just one of those summers where absolutely nothing happened. Okay, that was a fib. But it was another boring summer. This is my fairly Comprehensive List of Summer Accomplishments:

Books Read:

  • Loud in the House of Myself
  • Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Spoiled
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

TV Shows Watched (in their entirety, for the first time):

  • Parks & Rec
  • Modern Family
  • Firefly
  • Castle

Shows I Started Watching, but Haven’t Finished. Yet:

  • Friday Night Lights
  • Party Down
  • Supernatural
  • Everwood

Aside from those amazing feats, I spent my days at BVFAC and my nights… at BVFAC. When I wasn’t working (at BVFAC, if that wasn’t, for some reason, clear) I was probably at a funeral. Because I went to three this summer. One each month I was on break. If that’s not a downer, I don’t know what is.

But now I’m back! I don’t have to work for the next 4 months! This will be the first time since I graduated from high school that I haven’t worked year-round. And what better reason to have my work life on hiatus than the fact that I am no longer in America and that my visa doesn’t allow me to work? At all. Can’t even intern or volunteer. What a crying shame.

So now I’m just hanging out in England. I arrived on the campus of the University of Sussex yesterday after traveling for approximately 24 hours by train, plane, and automobile. The country, from what I’ve seen of it, is gorgeous. Brighton, from what I’ve seen, is gorgeous. Kind of like a more lived-in, less crusty upper-class Georgetown (the area, not the school). My dorm room is nice, but lacking posters. Send me posters! I really don’t have any complaints. At least not just yet.

Okay, well I don’t have any complaints about the accommodations. Campus is lovely, as is everyone I’ve met so far. Also, their public transit is just as wonderful as DC’s. But… from what I’ve tasted of the food so far, not awesome. The food that was university provided, at least. I ate lunch at a cool little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place today down in Brighton and it was wonderful. But the fish and chips the Uni gave us for dinner was… weird. And cold. Is that how it’s supposed to be? I though it was supposed to be served fresh from a cart on the pier wrapped in newspaper. (The fish and chips, not the cart on the pier. Damn dangling modifiers.) And the bowl of what I had assumed to be cheesy rice? Perhaps it was a rice pudding, but I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure and I’m not necessarily that keen to know. I guess it’s a good thing this place is self-catering after all.

The cool thing about dinner both nights was that, not only was it free, we were served alcohol. It was strange. Being served, not the alcohol itself. The beer I had both nights was good. I haven’t been to the pub yet, but I’ll make sure give one a review once I’ve hit that milestone. Instead of heading out last night after dinner, we found the common room and made fun of the weird British commercials played during reruns of Friends. Because I am classy.

Tomorrow is a trip to London! So expect an update. And my class starts on Monday. Yup, class. Just the one. I have one class the entire month of September. And it involves a bunch of field trips. So, updates to come. And pictures. I don’t know how soon, but definitely sometime this month. That’s the best I can do, because I’m also in the midst of planning weekend trips. Because the one class I’m attending? Only meets two days a week. On concurrent days. In the afternoon. For two hours. So. Much. Free time. I’m hoping that by the end of the month I can, at the very least, check Dublin and Scotland off of my to-travel list. Keep your fingers crossed! (Both for me and timely updates!)

Anticlimactic Summer Plans

I’m pulling a Hannah, and there’s no way I will apologize for such behavior, because she is awesome. Anyway, the other day, Hannah posted her summer reading list, and I figured, why not do the same? Especially since the guilt of not posting in over a fortnight is crippling me. But that’s the way it goes, nothing happens in the summer, least of all May. Just me bumming around, waiting for friends to come home, waiting for work to start, making playlists for the imminent hours to be logged at the lovely BVFAC. So, without further ado, my summer reading list:

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt

Loud in the House of Myself by Stacy Pershall

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (because I haven’t read it in 3 years)

The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

The Magus by John Fowles

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (because it’s my dad’s favorite book and I haven’t read it in over a decade)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by various authors, and not insignificantly the BBC

On the Road by Jack Keruac (because, unlike Hannah, my beatnik phase is just dawning)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Portrait of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (despite the fact that mom spoiled it for me)

Hey Rube by Hunter S. Thompson

Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

Believe it or not, that’s only about a third of my real list. But, keeping things in perspective, I probably won’t get more than this read seeing as how they’re almost exclusively literary fiction or non-fiction. Challenge accepted. I already knocked out This Side of Paradise (Fitzgerald) and Unfamiliar Fishes (Sarah Vowell). Aside from these, I also plan on reading the the 5th, 6th, and 7th Harry Potter’s in anticipation of the new film. Expect a couple of book reviews and a few more Harry Potter posts before the end of the summer. If you have any suggestions, throw them at me in the comment section!

Georgetown… or was it Halloweentown?

Every year around Halloween, Georgetown morphs into Halloweentown. I kind of love it. I love it! Because, let’s face it, I’m a Halloween costume champ when I put my mind to it. Some of my best include:

  • Robin, of Batman & Robin (1997?)
  • Y2K bug (1999)
  • Voting Booth (2000)
  • Pillsbury Doughboy (2003)
  • Cheerleader (my ironic statement of 2004)
  • Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger (2007)

This year, I was a genius – I went as a college student. My only real reason for taking the easy way out was that I’ve grown pretty apathetic about Halloween. Candy – eh. This year I had to work during Trick-or-Treating on Embassy Row and was dead tired when it came to Saturday night. See:

Why I was tired on 10/30/10
But, alas, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got in a gung-ho mood. The night was crazy, hectic, and the most fun I can remember having in a long, long time. Highlights include:

  • Playing my first ever game of Kings! I was so excited, y’all. Hannah taught me the rules a couple summers ago at BVFAC, but this was my first opportunity to play. About damn time.
  • Trooping to Georgetown with a bunch of new friends from Maryland.
  • Catching the Circulator Bus to Dupont Circle and annoying some poor lady (accidentally, of course).
  • Attempting to convince a drunk kid that he was Jamaican. He believed that he was a male Russian spy named Salt. His mission: Destroy other Russian spies. Namely me.
  • Taking charge of said drunk boy with a six foot tall penguin named Kevin. Neither Penguin Kevin or myself had any real investment in Drunk Boy’s well being, but we’re just that nice.
  • Hearing from Penguin Kevin that Drunk Boy was hit on in the men’s room of Kramer Books by a gay guitarist.
  • Hauling Drunk Boy the 8 blocks (with the help of Penguin Kevin) before realizing that he could and would walk the remaining 2 blocks of the journey without making a break for it.

Halloween in DC is never boring, and rightly so. It’s become a way for GW students to unofficially celebrate the end of midterms, since we have no Fall Break. Kids go crazy. Fun gets had. And my night was probably one of the tamer stories that you’ll come across from GW students. (You’re welcome, parents.)

Here’s a pretty perfect and surprisingly accurate description of Halloween in Georgetown:

The tastiest ice cream is the hardest to scoop.

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth, I just had to deal with summer. All those hazy, crazy, not-so-lazy days of summer. Although it’s not really true, it feels like all I did this summer was work. I split my time between the overheated, overcrowded, always humid town pool (more affectionately known as BVFAC [pronounced biv-fac]) and the chilly confines of Dennis Kucinich’s district office. Six days a week I worked – equating to a 40 hour work week. I only got paid for 24 of those hours. But, on the upside, my experiences reinforced the fact that I never wish to work for the food service industry after I have graduated from college (with the obvious exception of Books & Pies) nor do I want to work in a Congressional District office. While I genuinely liked the people I worked with, I learned that the overwhelming amount of casework and the focus on social work is really not for me.

But, alas, now I’m done with my vacation home and have settled, once again, into my collegiate life. I have said goodbye (for now) to BVFAC and the District Staff. But Molly, you may ask, won’t you miss BVFAC? Well, I must confess I will. Not the long, tedious hours or the squelching humidity, but I will miss our bees. That’s right: bees. We would capture them in clear plastic cups, give them a little bit of slushy mix to enjoy, punch a few airholes and KABLAM! BVFAC pets. They even got names. Let’s see: we had the Mowry siblings: Tia, Tamara [sic] and TJ, then we had the cast of Doug: Doug Funny, Patti Mayonaise, and Skeeter, then, to round it out, we had (Hey) Arnold, Helga, Spinelli, Zach Morris and Screech. It was a throwback to the 1990’s heyday of children’s television programming.

But now, at school, I have other, arguably more exciting, things to look forward to. I’m looking forward to seeing Jimmy Carter in September, have already purchased my ticket to see Jimmy Fallon in October, and absolutely cannot wait for Sarah Vowell to come to campus in November. There are lots of things to look forward to, I suppose.

That wasn’t flying, that was falling with style!

My mother assured me when I got home from work tonight that I’d be rich by the time I was twenty. Seeing as how that’s only seven months away, I don’t think that’ll be the case. Twenty-five, maybe. See, it’s just that right now, I’m work’s bitch [and while mom assures me that the grammar there is not correct, the apostrophe is, because “you are the bitch in work’s possession”]. Seriously, I’m putting in 40 hour weeks stretched over six days. Four days a week, I am Molly, concession stand attendant to BVFAC patrons. Two days a week, I am Molly, congressional intern. It’s exhausting, I tell you. And sometimes, downright depressing (especially considering the fact that I only get paid for 24 hours of my work week).

Sometimes, I have to admit, feelings of inadequacy can sneak up – especially when I read news stories about kids climbing Mt. Everest and creating philanthropic organizations. But, though I haven’t done anything profound or really noteworthy, I have big plans. One of those, aside from being co-owner of Spines & Crusts (obviously), is being a White House speechwriter. And, man, if I play my cards right, look at what I could be making: www.whitehouse.gov

What will I do with all the money I intend to amass over the next few decades? Well, get a couple of residences. You know, DC townhouse, manor house in England, and a fishing cabin in either Alabama or Minnesota (I’ve got time to decide, but dad’s pulling for Alabama). But, maybe my real estate purchases will result in something a little more large-scale. Here’s what I’m talking about: an entire freaking village! And yes, you did read that right. I. Can’t. Wait.