Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All these things that I've done.

I need to write something. I need to write something. You all need to read something. C'mon, brain, don't fail me now.

So, I'm taking a break from gift card celebrating, facebook creeping, and people watching (hi, I'm a creeper) in E-town to present you with a jumbled, discombobulated list of things I've learned in my two weeks at home (it's the longest I've been home in about a year and a half).

I learned that I'm weirdly intimidated by some people in this town. Maybe that's the right word? Oh well. Fun fact: I believe I'm most "intimidated" by high school girls (have you ever been stared down by a 16-year-old wearing too much eyeliner and a bad attitude?). And there is no shortage of them crawling 'round these parts.

Other people that intimidate me are people that drive around with super scary window decals that threaten to jump right off the glass and gnaw off my right arm. Example:

Whoa! Even in photo form it makes me nervous. Don't get too close!

Another less tacky thing I've learned is that my brother makes a very good model for my new camera. 

But don't worry, Whitney here has no problem still making my older, more casual camera feel loved.
In case you were wondering or didn't notice, yes, they are both wearing Santa hats. I roll with cool people like that. 

I learned that if you put your mind to it (or just have some great natural talent), you too can be immortalized forever at Drummond School. i.e. Hannah:

They even laminated her name! 

I also learned that having Christmas at my actual home this year is the best thing that's ever happened to me (my waistline would disagree). Why? Leftovers. I mean really, imagine having a miniature Christmas feast for 3 meals a day going on four days straight. Yes, please.

Hmm... I learned that my crafting habit might be considered an addiction to some. And I hoard cardstock and fabric. You know, for a rainy day, or another blog post.

I learned that my brother gains a lot of ground when he runs. It's those lanky legs.

I learned that I say inappropriate things at too loud a volume. Another post for another time.

I learned that I can't spell "inappropriate" to save my life, so spell check does for me.

I learned that telling stories can get you two slaps on the wrist, or an angry email. Looks like a fun-filled future career I'm choosing, huh?

I learned that pinky swears and promise rings are still held in high regard.

Finally, I learned that Applebee's and Starbucks are wonderful places to blow off some steam with some old friends.

I warned you: disconnected and discombobulated. But hey, I owe you an amusing post doubling as an inadvertent life update. Plus admitting a problem is the first step.

I will leave you with this, dear friends. Now, I'm off to find some dinner before everything closes and they roll up the sidewalks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tis the Season.

Hi.... Remember me? That girl that used to have a blog and post weird stories and youtube videos all the time?

Well, I'm still here. Alive Surviving in the town of Enid, America.

I'll catch you up on several things as we go along, but for now, how about some holiday cheer?

My best friend Hannah and I (along with her sister Darcy and whoever else decides to tag along) have an annual Christmas tradition: Caroling.

Here we are two whole years ago preparing for caroling (I like to rhyme).



No, we aren't those people dressed up like elves that stand in your front yard and refuse to leave, no no no. We typically bake and make platefuls of yummy snacks, then we sneak attack surprise the same several people over the seasons. Mainly our old teachers.







Before you get weirded out, you have to understand that I graduated from a very rural school (what up graduating class of 26 people!), so I've known many of the teachers at my school my entire life...  

And several of those teachers are just too much fun to leave alone. Like Mrs. Hughes, my old Quiz Bowl coach... It's completely normal for her to have random students from years and years ago just drop by her house to hang out on occasion (I have to say Hannah and i do that all the time). 

Or our old science teacher... One time we showed up at his house singing and he slammed the door in our faces. Then opened it again and invited us in as long as we promised we would stop singing. This guy was "that teacher" in high school that refused to decorate his classroom until Hannah and I forced Christmas on him by breaking into sneaking into his room and turning it into a Christmas wonderland. We did it every holiday from then on, too (even arbor day).

This festive tradition is not only a good oppotunity to give back to the teachers that gave to us, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to come together, laugh, catch up.... and other things.

So, here's a glimpse at our Christmas tradition from this year. Cue the warm fuzzy feelings:

video

Even more warm fuzzies:

video

Well, maybe they weren't what you thought, but you've gotta admit they made you giggle a little. 


So with that, have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends that you like, and I will talk to you all later. :)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friendship is a full-time job.

So, as you all can tell, I have failed my challenge miserably. I have missed writing everyday and hearing from you who are brave enough to comment. But let's be real, people, we all have things to do, places to go, and people to see, and we can't just sit in front of a computer screen all day long. (that's bad for your eyes).

But this weekend, the weekend before the apocalypse finals week officially begins, I was looking forward to just being lazy at home, catching up on laundry (which I hadn't done in about 3 weeks. I just wore the same two sweatshirts all week-- yikes), and cleaning my room which so desperately needed to be cleaned. But then my phone buzzed with a text message:

"I really need someone to talk to."

At first, I thought just a call or a message would suffice, but then the severity of my friend's situation became very real to me, so I postponed my room cleaning, invited them over and just listened (I still did laundry, but made sure that I wasn't being rude by doing so). We talked back and forth for some time, then my friend explained to me that they called me because this kind of thing was "a part of my job description."

I met my friend in a program in which I took on the role of a "mentor," and throughout the year(s) I have been that to this friend and others.

But I didn't give up my lazy Friday night alone because of any job, I did it because my friend needed me, and quite frankly, I like to feel needed. We all want to feel needed, and at some point or another, we all need as well.

The night ended with us sharing in champagne (courtesy of my roommates testing for the wedding) and watching the latest episode of Glee. (click here for the best duet ever).


Sometimes that's all you can do for a friend. I couldn't give my friend answers, I couldn't take their pain and sadness away, but I did clink my glass to theirs and we shared a smile as New Directions sang some campy Christmas cover.


I've already said this but it bears repeating-- Friendship is a full-time job. There are no sick days, vacation days, and you don't get paid overtime. But you do get paid with laughter and trust, and I'll toast to that every day of the week.

Cheers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Awk-ward......

"It doesn't matter if you're home-schooled, from a public school or whatever, no one really has great social skills." 

My friend Steven inspired this post by saying that in our PW class last week. Of course, that's a little paraphrased, but you get the general idea.

Readers, this weekend I've realized just how socially awkward I am. Ugh. 

I'm pretty sure it's a dynamic combination of a million different things. 

For one, I'm all over the place with my thoughts. Fun fact? the human brain thinks at 400 words a minute and we speak at around 180 words a minute (but I'm sure with the Oklahoma drawl it's more like 130). So, usually my words don't line up with what I really want to say. Awkward.

Also, one of my favorite things to do is make other people laugh. So in order to do that, I have to say funny things, right? Generally. Usually I'm able to get laughs out of people, but every now and then I get ahead of myself and just start babbling, and rambling, and blah blah blah... No one laughs, but that's because it's not funny! I even know it's not funny, I just keep mindlessly pouring out words EVEN THOUGH I know no one is going to laugh... It's just like.... Word vomit. Reference: 

Awkward. 

Also, my attitude and personality is anchored almost too much on the people around me. For instance, if I'm in a room with people that are more reserved than me, I turn into the loudest and most outspoken in the room, and I usually make people laugh. Like camp, for example.  

 Not [really] awkward.

Other times (much like this weekend), I've been around people that are immediately louder and more in-your-face than I am. When in contact with people like this, something really strange happens: I try my best to maintain enthusiasm and my normal happy self, but the other person's energy sucks me dry like a dementor to my soul, and I end up being that quiet creeper in the corner. 

Really. Awkward. 

I can't figure out what exactly it is about the last one, but it's definitely the one that bothers me the most. Why do I freak out and get weird around people that are, in essence, a lot like me, maybe just more?
Why do I let them suck out all of my enthusiasm? I don't get it! Is it insecurity, intimidation, fear or inadequacy? Shyness, self-consciousness, lack of confidence? I don't know!

Is there just something wrong with me? 

Whatever it is, I'm really trying to find a way around it. Has this ever been you? Have you ever felt really awkward around people and you don't know why? What did you do about it? 

Did I ask enough questions?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The best part, part 2.

Remember this post?

Well... I just wanted to catch you guys up on recent youtube wonderfulness that I absolutely love.

For starters:



Oh, and this one. Shout out to the best friend and macbook effects!!



And finally, I waltzed to this song earlier today. I loved it when I bought the CD in sixth grade and I love it now... What up old school pop music in 3/4 time?!



Goodnight my people! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm makin' a list...(to the tune of the infamous carol)

In you're in my family, listen up...

If you aren't my family, please still read it, I know at least one of you can relate...

How many times (fellow poor college students) have you had a conversation such as this with a family member?

Grammy: "What do you want for Christmas, dearie?"
You: "I don't know Grammy, how about money?"
Grammy: "But, money isn't a very fun gift... It's just not personal. What else do you want?" 
You: ".... I don't know.... I really, money will be fine." 
Grammy: "Oh how silly. I'll just find you something nice myself." 

One week later.

Grammy: "Well, have you figured out what you want?" 
You (barely able to speak out of frustration): "Grandma, seriously money is the best thing for me right now.."
Grammy: "You are too stubborn. I guess I'll just get you coal." 

So, in response to conversations like the one above...... I have no words...  just this: 



I understand that money isn't the cutest or most personal holiday gift, but there are plenty of "insert money here" cards that are definitely cute enough to compensate for the impersonal green paper!

I mean... I'm in college... Money is great... Shoot, you help me pay my rent and you're my new favorite family member! 

So family, if you're reading this...  There will be no love lost if you forego stressful holiday shopping on my behalf. 

I promise I'm not a grinch-- I really have some holiday spirit (but that's another post for another day)!

Happy December, everybody. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In your dreams...

I don't know if it's the after effects of massive turkey intake, the change in weather, or the looming thought of finals.... Whatever it is, it's been messing with my head, more specifically my subconscious.

I'm having some really strange dreams. A lot of them. And I'm remembering them, too.

For the past week (at least) I've been able to remember at least one of the incredibly vivid and bizarre dreams I have each night... Is that normal?

Like I said, some of these dreams are just typical nightmares (if there is such a thing), but others are kind of weird... Regardless, I'd be leading y'all on if I didn't share...

A few days ago, I dreamt that I had missed a deadline on an application I've been waiting on since the beginning of the school year. When I talked to the director of the program I was applying for, he was really mean to me (not like him in real life at all) and told me to forget about it. Oh, it was bad.

The next night, I dreamt that I had enrolled in some art history class, and all the teacher did was walk us students through the Union here on campus and explain the history of all of the pictures on the walls (if you've been there, you know that would take far more than a semester). She was really mean and I got yelled at for bringing my family to class with me (of course i didn't invite them, they just appeared. In dreams you never actually do what you're being accused of). She also assigned us a 40 page paper that was due during the next class. Yikes.

The night before last I dreamed that two people (that shall remain nameless) formed a campus group here at OU called "We Hate Frances" and tried to get all of my facebook friends (seriously) to join. The dream ended with my friends and I fighting the club members in the parking lot of Wal Mart.

Last night though, I had two that I can remember. This is the normal less weird one:

I dreamt that I was jumping on a trampoline, and above me were a bunch of flowers and balloons, and I had to jump as high as I could to reach the flowers and balloons.

This is the weird one:

I dreamt I stole someone's baby (I can't make this up).. I was just sitting in the room with the kid one minute, then the next I was standing in my mom's garage holding it. I freaked out and had no idea what possessed me to steal a baby, so I ran into the house to return the kid to it's rightful owner. When they asked me why I stole the baby, I told them I didn't know. They all thought I was crazy and proceeded to lock me in a room by myself. While I was in there, I remembered where I had taken the baby:


Narnia. 

I swear. You know, the lion and the closet and the kids? Yeah. I stole a baby a took it to Narnia. Apparently Narnia needed help fighting off some evil woman and I was their only hope (and the baby had to come too). I fought the evil woman with Aslan the lion, and my weapon of choice was a rotten apple that created a forcefield around her so she was trapped. Epic nerdness.

Yeah... But perhaps the weirdest thing about all of these dreams is that they all have a common element.

Do you guys sometimes have scenes in your dreams that don't necessarily belong in the rest of your dream? I've had that same oddball scene appear in all of these dreams.

I'm looking though my living room toward the kitchen in my mom's house, and there, sitting in a chair, is Captain Hook. 


He looks different depending on the type of dream I'm having. If it was one of the nightmarish ones, he was really scary looking and was creepily staring at me. In the not-so-nightmarish dreams, he looked perfectly normal (you know, normal for a pirate villain), and he would be mindnig his own business or reading the paper.

So for the past week, if I didn't wake up in a cold, anxious sweat, I woke up scratching my head...

Curious beyond belief, I went online and looked around to find meaning to all of these dreams. Turns out a lot of these weird things that have been going on in my head mean something. Here's what I found:

  • Dreaming about battles or fights (like with the evil woman or the "we hate frances" club) suggest that one is overworked or overly stressed.
  • Babies in dreams symbolize innocence and newness... 
  • If you steal something in your dream, that probably means you're deprived of whatever it is your stealing... 
  • Meeting your enemies in a dream suggests you're drealing with opposing ideals or even being in denial about something. 
  • Jumping in dreams (like in the trampomine dream) suggests that you want to take risks and go for something big.
  • Flowers symbolize beauty and happiness.
  • Balloons represent celebrations and happiness as well, or could be a manifestation of your inner child.
  • Fruit in dreams (like the rotten apple) signify abundance and growth (but it was rotten... hopefully that's not bad).
  • Lions in dream suggest agression, leadership, and strength.
  • And finally, friends in dreams (not facebook friends, but actual friends) represent rejected aspects of your personality that you're beginning to accept. 

They didn't have anything on Captain Hook or Narnia, though. Bummer.

Oh well! So readers, do you think I'm going crazy? Have you seen any of these things in your dreams? Do you remember your dreams often? Let me know!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let me paint you a picture.

I'm going to do my best to not ramble. I'm going to go on a itsy bitsy rant instead-- in the form of a short little story...

This happened while I was back at home sitting in the coffee shop or course, when a young boy around 13 came up to where I was sitting, and just started staring at this painting copy behind me on the wall. 



Look familiar?

He didn't seem to notice me, so I looked up from my computer and just watched him. He stared and stared at this painting copy on the wall, looking rather confused. He finally looked down and noticed me awkwardly gawking at him. He took a deep breath:

"D--Does that look familiar to you?" He gestured toward the huge painting. 

I looked from the woman in the painting back to the kid. Ummm, duh? 

I said nothing... He continues...

"I mean... I feel like I've seen it somewhere. Eh, maybe not."

Again, I said nothing. I just did one of these..


At this, the kid gave be a funny look, shrugged, and walked away. 

I don't blame the kid for his inability of recognize perhaps the single most famous work of art known to man...  I blame his surroundings. How in the world does a kid reach the seventh grade and not have a basic knowledge or understanding of art? I wonder if he can read music, or can tell me what a ballet shoes looks like.

Please keep arts in schools. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"God is great, beer is good, and Enid is crazy."

I have a confession: I'm a little blog shy.


If you know me, you know I am a very animated storyteller (and if you don't know me personally, I guess you just learned something new today). Not only that but I have a lot of remarkably ridiculous and or hilarious stories to tell (look the tag line of my blog for goodness sakes). I just cannot get over some weird stigma that come with posting pieces of my life online for the world to see. I mean, it's not like I haven't done that already. 

But tonight I'm sure going to try. 

I went back home for Thanksgiving break (as most of you probably did). If you've never been to Enid, there are several things you should know:

1. We boast one of the largest Wal-Mart Supercenters in the nation.

2. The giant gazebo at Government Springs park is the best place in the world to swing dance. 

3. Enid is not pedestrian friendly unless you're downtown. Try finding a sidewalk, I dare you. 

4. Everything, save Walmart, bars, and IHOP, closes around 9 pm. 

5. Speaking of bars, there is a place very special to Enid called Scooters. 

Scooters is a country/western bar that, according to my mom, houses a very diverse and interesting night crowd. I can recall plenty of two stepping adventures my mom has had at this, until recently, mysterious place. 

So, Friday night my friend Leslie, boyfriend Cavner and I were sitting at a restaurant having a dandy time, when we reached a collective epiphany: it only makes sense that we go to Scooters tonight. 

Duh. How did we not think of this sooner?! Imagine the endless fun and enjoyment we could get from taking a stroll over there?

Yeah. Uh huh, right. 

So we piled into the car blasting the Beibz all the way (much to Cavner's dismay) to this mecca for Stetson wearin' dancin' fools. 

We walked in and immediately were greeted by a warm welcome. The man checking IDs (I expected this because we didn't look like bar folk waltzing in with our t-shirts and fleeces on) greeted us and took our cover and opened the register to get our change. This upset an older pair or ladies standing next to us who had arrived before us. 

"Hey!" One of them grunted in a raspy voice, "They can wait! We were here first!"

I told you, warm welcome. 

So we walked through the haze of smoke. There was a bar on the wall closest to where we came in, then a large dance floor took up the center of the place. Barstools, tables, and people lined the edges of the dance floor. On the opposite side of our entrance, there was another bar, and behind that, there were rows of pool tables.

Being the bright eyed, curious explorer I was, I decided that it would be a great idea for us to venture over to the pool tables.... Not so much. 

I glanced around. Nothing incredibly momentous was happening, so I made a declarative statement to the people I was with

"Well, I don't really see anything interesting going on back here, let's walk around some more."

Harmless, right? Think again. 

As the words left my mouth, some guy with a backwards hat and blonde eyebrows was standing a good six feet away from the three of us turned and looked at me like I had just dissed his girl (or SOMETHING). In short, he was offended. 

He looked at me, threw is arms up into that stance that's a mixture of "I don't know" and "Are you talkin' to me?!" He puffed out his chest and finished up his animalistic threat with a big solid "WHAT?!"

I looked at him almost as confused as he was offended, and followed my retaliative instincts by flashing the guy a big smile and two big fat thumbs up. Goodness. I don't know. 

Well, I immediately realized I had done something stupid, so I urged us away from the dude and his group of friends. Lucky for me, the threat of immediate danger was low due in large part to my boyfriend who could rip the guy in half. 

However, the confrontation continued from a distance because the guy kept staring at me, then he began recounting the horrific incident to his cronies. 

Again, the threat of imminent danger was low. Big scary boyfriend and scrappy sassy girl friend had my back. 

It wasn't until I was alone for half a second that this big bad backwards-cap guy made his move. I was walking out of the bathroom, not two steps away from Leslie, and homeboy walks by me, ducks his shoulder, and gives me a good nudge. I wavered in my steps a bit, but the sheer ridiculousness of this guy shoulder ducking to get at me gave me no other choice but to laugh out of pity. 

Does this give me permission to say I've been in a bar fight? Not that I want to...... I'm just..... curious.....

Of course this blonde eyebrow boy was wrong to shove me, but don't you just feel bad for him? I kind of do. But I would have really pitied him if he had done that in Cavner's line of vision. For now he can take his self-satisfying unprovoked baby tantrum home to his momma. Shoot. 

So relatively unscathed, I was hoping to escape from Scooters without any more trouble, but trouble's got a thing for me that just won't quit. 

As we continued this adventure through the bar, I heard Leslie yell a ways away to some friends. I walked up to the circle partially deaf from the loud music, my thoughts elsewhere (I was thinking about how in the world that dude got his eyebrows so bleach blonde). Then as luck would have it, one of the circle folk called out my name over the music. 

"Frances! Oh my gosh it's been soo long! Too long!"

Intoxicated. In front of me. In the flesh. 

"Whoa! Hello my first real boyfriend, better known as my first ever ex-boyfriend."

Well I didn't actually say that, I said his name.... This is more along the lines of what I was thinking while I was speaking. 

He said: "It's been so long! How are you? Who's this?"
I said: "Yeah! Yeah it has... Yeah! I'm good. I'm really good. Uhh... Yeah!"
I thought: "It really hasn't been too long. On the contrary, it hasn't been long enough. I'm uncomfortable. Who is this guy? Uhh.... I have to run away now."

Readers, I don't know about you, but one of my biggest fears, anxieties, awkward behavior catalysts is when my boyfriend meets happens to run in to my ex. Really? Really? 

Well, it was weird for me, but as far as everyone else went, things were fine. I mean, exbf was in a happy place and Cavner can talk to a wall. 

What seemed like ages and several awkward pauses in conversation later, the three of us escaped left the place better people laughing hysterically.. Did it make a good story? I think so, and I hope you did too. Will I go back, that's really still up in the air.

If I do, I'll let you know.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

I just want to say...

(click the link, proudly hold your #1 in the air, and enjoy.)



I don't see a need to say more. Goodnight. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

EVERY-BOD-AY: Shop! Shop! Shop! Shop! Shop-shop! Shop! Shop!

Today, I went where no every man holiday-crazed parent and grandparent has gone before...

Black. Friday. 

By no means was I up at the crack of dawn (on the contrary, I walked my turkey-stuffed self to bed just after 10 o'clock-- a first since I was about fifteen and slept until around 9:30). Despite the extra few hours of sleep, mom and I knew we had a big day of some serious Christmas shopping to do.

But it wasn't for us!

Every year my mom's office donates money towards gifts for an Angel family, or a family that doesn't have the means to buy their children many gifts during Christmastime.  And almost every year, my mom is the one that handles the task of shopping for the items on the kids' list. If you've ever shopped with her, you'd understand why. She's the queen of pinching those pennies (a trait I unfortunately didn't inherit)!

It the past, we've shopped for all ages, most being around ten years old. Plus, we usually shop for three, four, or maybe five kids. Maybe.

Not this year!

Our Angel family this year was really special. We were shopping for a woman that is taking care of her handi-capable 21-year-old daughter and nine grandchildren.

Yes. Nine. That's not a typo. NINE GRANDKIDS. Phew.

She's a better woman than me, that's for sure!

Oh, and what's even more fun? They're all under the age of five.

5 years old, 4 years old, 3 years old, 3 years old, 2 years old, 2 years old, 17 months old, 3 months old, and 1 month old.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I WAS.

So we set out with a size list and tons of caffeine happy feelings keeping us excited. The crowds were not terrible, the number of crazy people was surprisingly low (only one woman that was screaming about the jewelry department), and a good five hours later, we knocked out almost everything on our list, staying very well under budget (thank you doorbusters)! So, we're thinking about going out again tomorrow to pick out some toys and gloves for each of them.

Finally! Here are some picture of the serious swag we scored (and my rando family members):

Mom is so excited! 

This is organized, promise. 

All boxed up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

So, after the mass amounts of food I've eaten today and the fatigue/ brain-deadness, I think I'll make this post short, sweet, and to the point. These are several things I'm thankful for:
  • You. Because you read this, and you read this because you care, which makes me very happy. 
  • My brother who is the funniest person in all the land. Wee!
  • Despite all odds, Cavner got to enjoy thanksgiving dinner as opposed to staying on the rig all day by himself.  
  • My bestest friends that keep me sane while I'm home, like my bedlam best friend and those that brave Scooters with me ( I have to tell you all about that).
  • My ballroom dancing class because I actually like being a sandbagger and the cupid shuffle.  
  • OU.... the greatest place in the world. 
  • I'm a pretty big fan of thanksgiving food. sooooo much turkey..... sooooo goooooooood. 
  • My family. They are crazy, but so much fun. I mean, what other family has lottery scratch-off cards at the dinner table? (congrats on winning 30 dollars, Mom!)
  • Football. it wouldn't be thanksgiving (or fall in general) without it.
  • All of the people that text me happy thanksgiving to me... Mass text or not, it brought a smile to my face.
  • I'm thankful for my awesome roommates who are totally the best roommates ever. Really. 
  • I'm thankful for Jesus too, he made it all happen. 

Man, readers, that's one bamboozled list.. there are so many things I am eternally grateful for. I'm just having trouble stringing sentences and thoughts together. And this here internet out in the boonies is not letting me upload any fun pictures (which will be added later) .. But I couldn't leave you out in the cold on challenge day 1!

So, what are you all thankful for? Did you guys stuff yourselves as much as I did? I sure hope so!

But for now friends, I think I will leave you this short list (I plan to add more later), and make my way back to the table to peruse for more pumpkin roll.  Mmmmmmmm pumpkin roll.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Challenge: it's on.

OH MY GOSH. READERS. I HAVEN'T POSTED IN 1000000000 YEARS.

Well, it's been more like 11 days, but to me it feels that long.

The sad thing is that I don't really have a legitamate excuse.. I mean, I wasn't hospitalized, kidnapped, or anything like that.... I just..... didn't know what to write about...

And that excuse is super lame for this reason: I had plenty to write about, in reality... I just.... Didn't know how, when, or where to start. Talk about some writer's block... Sheesh.

BUT! There are interesting things in the works here people! Shout hallelujah!

For now though, I would like to share something eventful that happened to me that is pretty, if not totally relevant to this here blog post.

Does anyone know who this is??


Well, if not.... Sorry boutcha. That's Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman, and she's awesome.

*note... I get star-struck way too easily, and that goofy messy picture of me proves that. Ugh, it doesn't even look like me.... Or I look insane.. It's crazed fan syndrome. 

OKAY! Back to the point.

Well, Ree came to OU to talk about herself as "self-made media.." But before she gave a presentation to hundreds of people, she sat down with my PW class of 15ish students in the auditorium (literally, she just powwowed on the stage) and we all just talked blogging. Nerd's paradise, really.

So after an hour's worth of questions, answers, and a exchange of embarrassing stories, I left the auditoruim with many pieces of advice she left us... Several I put into action immediately, but others have yet to manifest themselves. But, after all of her stories and advice, one thing she said stuck out to me and has be eating at the back of my brain for days..

Blog everyday. Blog everyday. Blog. Every. Day.

Ugh. Yeah, I knew it was coming.... She told us in the lecture, and the same advice coupled with an explanation can be found here.

So, I'm always looking for challenges, and I think this one will be pretty perfect, considering some challenges I take on are just stupid.

Haha.

High school.

Moving on.

So it's on! As of right now there are 23 days until the end of the semester, 31 until Christmas (wooo.) and 37 until 2011 (Gah, where did the year go?!)  I want to try to post something everyday at least until the end of the semester, and if I'm successful I'll try until Christmas, New Years, and even beyond!

In [un]related news: I'm at home right now, so I'll get a fantastic running start with zero homework, classes, or work standing in my way. Plus there's never a dull moment with people like these around:


I'm hoping it will be fun for me, but most importantly I hope YOU all enjoy what I have to say as well! I think that's all for tonight.. Check back for Challenge Day 1 TOMORROW! YAY!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I put the "fan" in fanatic.

Readers, I did it.

An accomplishment roughly 4 years in the making, something so momentous and rare in my life yet so habitual and ordinary in the lives of so many I aspire to mimic.

I read a book.

Don't be dumb. I'm in college, people, I've read a fair share of books in the past 2 years and change. But many of those were read out of obligation to a syllabus or the threat of a pop quiz. Not this time, this was my idea, my doing, my fiction.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Oh yes. Here's some background:

I have followed Harry's every move since I was in the fourth grade. I've read many of the books more than once. Oh, and if you have been living in a cave for the past decade, HP is the most enthralling and magical (duh) fiction book series to hit the US and everywhere else.

Yes, better than Twilight. Suck it Edward, you were Cedric Diggory first anyway.

Back to it.

I went to all of the midnight premieres, midnight book releases, I even more than excitedly dressed up for the movies. Guys, I loved love it.

But, for some reason, that affection dissapated when I finally got my hands on the Deathly Hallows. I was so unbelievably curious in what would happen next, but as I read through the first few pages, a terrifying thought hit me:

This is it. After this, it's all over.

At this realization, I hurriedly put the book down. I was so caught up in the lives of these characters and this world that I could, and had so often, disappeared into. So I came the the conclusion that the best thing to do was just to leave the end alone. it sounds stupid I'm sure, but the closest thing I could compare this to is that old saying "if you love them, let them go."

So that's what I did. I let them go. For years..... Until about a week ago.

So, you ALL have to know that HP7 part 1 is due to hit theaters in about 95 hours and 49 minutes from right now. I knew it too, and I wasn't sure what to do about it. Do I watch it without reading the book? Do I ignore it completely? To me both of these were out of the question (really if i watched the movie without reading the book, i would never forgive myself).

So, i did the only thing a girl can do in this situation. I went home, curled up in bed, and started to read.

Readers, I was swept away. Gone from reality, and in my own little world with the character and settings painted vividly in my imagination. I haven't felt that freedom from real life, stress, or getting older in literally years.

I bet it's like drugs, or something. But way better for your vocabulary.

One week. I sucked in every world on every page. I didn't have a chance to read Wednesday or Thursday, so really in five days I read every world, cover to cover.

Now, this brief yet extreme obsessive behavior took a toll on my sleep for the week, but anyone would agree that it was worth it. There is one thing, however, that I learned about myself in finishing this last book..

I realized at about 5:30am, after reading for 4 hours and sobbing for 2 of them, that i might be a little too attached.

And it's not just Harry and his friends! My favorite shows, for example, have driven me into fits of anguish because Kurt got punched again, or that it was George that got hit by that bus (Goodness, readers, I cried for 5 days after he died)!

My point is that I'm wondering if it's good for me to be so invested in stuff like this, or if is this normal?? I mean, I'm an emotional disaster. If you know me, you know that. If you don't, there you go.

I don't know. I guess I'll just have to keep myself from just losing it during this.... 




Until next time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Why Game

Readers, this is Whitney.

If you know me at all, I've mentioned her probably about a thousand times. You might recognize her from the crafting we did the other night (read about that here). She's nine, but I remember the day she was born. She's not related to me by blood or anything, but she's like a little sister. Today's family members can't be solely defined by paternity anyway.

Everything I've learned about kids and dealing with them, I learned from this girl. And with all that experience I could open a daycare, easily. Don't believe me? Try my almost famous grilled cheese and chips and you'll whistle another tune. Diapers, tantrums, the "Why" game, I've got it down.

For those of you that don't know, the "Why" game isn't really a game. It's when young kids (around 4) ask a question, receive an answer, yet persistently ask why. And, to "win" he game, a person has to come up with a sensible answer to all of the child's why's. Whitney was a pro, but I always won.

The summer before I left for college, my job was to be a full-time babysitter for this girl, who was six at the time. We spent every day together. That meant a lot of fits, a obscene amounts of Hannah Montana, and even more people mistaking me for her mom. (Uhm, I was 12 when she was born. Not likely).

I remember the conversations we used to have. This girl is smart. I could carry on a peer-level conversation with her since she was four. She's funny too, and those drives around town throughout the long summer days reminded me of what it was like to be a kid.

Since leaving for school, I of course don't see her near as much as I used to, and I lose sight of that kid like nature. I mean, on a campus of thousands and thousands of students the same age as me, it's easy to lose sight of any nature other than that of a college student's.

But being home this weekend and spending even a minute with that girl took me back to third grade again. I picked her up yesterday afternoon, and she immediately stated to talk me ear off. She told me about school, her birthday party, and anything else she could fit into a sentence between breaths.

Two things she said really stood out to me and are still making me laugh.

First, she shared a little bit of Beiber Fever with me. As a surpise birthday present from mom, Whitney made a trip to OKC to see the teen heartthrob in concert. it was her first concert ever!

"We got there and it was SO loud, and he sang all of the songs... It was SOOO sweet and awesome. We stayed until like TEN O'CLOCK.... AT NIGHT....... ON A SCHOOL NIGHT.... I didn't get home til midnight, but I still got up for school the next day, no problem. I woke up even earlier than normal."


Hotshot.

It still makes me laugh. The second conversation we had really stuck with me though.... And it kind of came out of nowhere. I couldn't help but just laugh as she was talking, to which she rolled her eyes and pled her case more.

"Frances, you don't even know how busy I am. Do you know?"
"Sure don't, Whit."
"Well, I have to get up, go to school ALL day every day. Monday's and Wednesday's I have soccer, then the other days I go with Papa to let the dogs out! And basketball is starting soon! Man!"

I mean, I'm not writing this patronize the girl. She's nine. I think she is busy for being nine. But don't you miss that? Am I the only person that misses the days when the biggest decision I had to make was what flavor jelly I wanted on my sandwich?  Those days were so so so so so simple. Carefree. Fun. Without consequence...... mostly.

I think I'm coming down with a terrible case of growing up. With internships, bills, career fairs, rent, and resum├ęs, it's hard to avoid.

I understand that it's just another part of life. But I'm terrified. Part of me, even if it is a small part, wishes I could go back to being nine. Or heck, if I could stay 21 forever, that would be great.

But the future is staring me in the face.. It's looking all of us dead in the eyes and reminding us that, no matter how hard we try, it's closer each day. I guess it's time to stand up, take a deep breath, and stare right back, remembering one very important fact:

No matter what happens, at least I'm awesome at the "Why" game. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

D.I.Why not?

I'm so close to alone in the desolation that is the coffee shop. It's so sad.

Moving on!

I've talked to you, dear readers, about how crafty [not the mean kind!] I am, or at least aspire to be... So in light of feeling extra artsy this weekend, I decided to fill you in on projects I have filled my time with on my [relaxing?] weekend back home.

These projects were inspired by this, which I follow almost religiously. Seriously, I'm obsessed. If you didn't follow the link just then, do it now, and be amazed.

I will share one the projects now, but the other is still in the works. Fear not, updates will come!

Today, we made our very own cork boards!!

Luckily, i had these two wonderful nine year olds tag along giving me an excuse to run rampant with my love of glitter, sequins, and bright, bright, colors.
We started off with just plain old boards from our neighborhood craft store which you see above.

First, we [I] ironed the girls' initials onto the fab
ric before gluing fabric to the boards (it's important to iron both side of the letters).
Then we just covered them with fabric, secured with good ol' hot glue.
Funny moment! When were were in the store buying the fabric, I commented on the girls' selection being remarkably colorful. To that, one responded, "Frances, we're both nine, what else do you expect?" Fair enough ladies.

Next, I let the girl run wild with flowers, sequins, and ribbon. On an awesome note, the ribbon we [they] chose was reversible, so it was a two-for-one, best-of-both-worlds money saver! Woo!
So, the final products looked like these!

I mean, if you were nine, you would be crazy jealous. I kind of am, and I'm 21. Oh well.

Readers, I think that's all for now. I'm going to continue my wonderful Saturday night with some old-school chick flicks, a nice book and some warm blankets.

Bonne nuit mes amis!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seeing Red

If you like being ignorant, stop reading now. If not, please continue.

I am not a political expert by any means, nor am I really well-versed in platforms, reforms, or any other kinds of forms. On the contrary, I hate talking about politics. Hardly anything boils my blood more.

But I'm going to say this anyway because I have a blog and that's what bloggers do.

If there is one thing I believe in when I comes to voting and politics, it's that people should vote competently.

Nothing infuriates me more than ignorant voting. Like if someone plans to vote red because that's what it mean to be 'MERICAN!, or because they stand for 'MERICA! It goes both ways, if your voting blue just because you live in the reddest state in the union and want to fight "the Man", stay home.

As for me, I'm a modern-day Irving character. No, I didn't sleep through an American revolution or anything, but I do tend to let other trivial things get in the way of issues, people, and things that matter, especially in politcs. I have a lot of opinions, I'm just lazy I guess.

Mid-term elections were held today, and I didn't vote.

I knew who the gubernatorial candidates were, I knew which party they identified with, and I can loosely tell you the ideologies of each political party represented. But as far as platforms, state questions, and congressional candidates, I was less than versed in those matters, so I stayed home.

But that's not the worst of it.. The worst is that I'm at the point now where I feel like my vote wouldn't have mattered.

Take 2008 for example. I was so excited to cast my ballot for the first time in that election, but just as I dropped my ballot in the box, I overheard a young girl my age say to her friend "I'm voting Republican because my dad told me to."

Well, my vote just got cancelled out. Just like that. Boo.

I lean liberal, and I am very outnumbered in this "land of the red people" (best pun ever, i hope you take time to appreciate that). I believe Oklahoma DESPERATELY needs to pay more attention to our education system, I believe in equal rights for all citizens, and I am environmentally conscious (my roommates and I recycle!) These are all social issues, yes, but right now, as a 21-year-old college student, these things are important to me. And yes, my ideologies line up left. Sue me.

Now hold on, I'm not saying that only liberals can be environmentally aware, nor am I saying liberals have to care about these issues. I just know that I agree with much of what they stand for.

I also believe that it is okay to be conservative. I believe that if your values and ideologies line up conservatively, go for it. Shoot, if I was a mega entrepreneur I would be all for laissez-faire and free market too. ka-ching.

All I'm asking, people is that you VOTE SMART!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn what you stand for. Learn who you're voting for, and get a grip!

Oh and one last thing, I still love you, Jari. Mom or not you would have been wonderful!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Costumin' and Carvin'

I love Halloween. Call it pagan, call it "fall festival," call it whatever you want. I love it.

AND IT'S ONLY FIVE DAYS AWAY!

What other day out of all 365 days in a year can you dress however you want and get away with it? Eat inexcusable amounts of candy and be commended on a job well done? Ring the doorbell at complete stranger's home and ask them to smell your feet? It's all fantastic.

Really people, I held on to the chance for trick-or-treating as long as I could. Who says seniors in high school are too old for that?! Not this girl!

However, despite my love for sweets and sugar-induced comas, the candy isn't my favorite part of Halloween. I'm split between two other holiday traditions.

Costume hunting and pumpkin carving.

I love dressing up for Halloween. Some years, I start thinking about my next costume as soon as the current Halloween is over. I also love making costumes. I can't remember the last time I bought a costume-in-a-bag. In my opinion that's just taking the easy way out, plus I need WAY more material to cover my trunk junk than any store bought french maid costume could offer me.

Also, like I've said before, I'm crafty, so this is just another way I can be somewhat creative. I also love the thrill of piecing a costume together. I'll find something here, something else there... To me finding the perfect finishing touch to an original costume is like winning a marathon. (Maybe that's a bad comparison. I can't run. Oh well.)

I'm thinking about costume ideas right now, and I think I'm stuck between two. Looks like you'll have to stay tuned and see what I choose later!

My other favorite thing to do around this time of year is carve pumpkins, and I got to do that with my roommates this past weekend.

We all bought kits and stencils, and picked out the perfect pumpkins, and were ready to go.

We made a gutting station out of kitchen floor, and after cleaning out five decently huge pumpkins, our entire apartment reeked of it. We didn't mind though, it's one of those things you get used to.

So, the pumpkins were gutted and the stencils taped and marked, so we all went to work. Carving and cutting, punching out eye holes and nose holes, cleaning up crooked lines.

Finally, they all came together. For fun's sake, here's a before and after.
Really when you think about it, these traditions of costumes and carving aren't that different. Sure, one of them is a big orange fruit, but it happens. But, look at the difference between all of the pumpkins!
They are all round and orange at first, but with a little work, they beome scences or terror, faces of happiness, or even chilling creatures of the night. It's just like us when we dress up in costume. I could be a brain-munching zombie prom queen, or I could be a disco ball, but in the end i'm still me, just like that jack-o-lantern is still a pumpkin.

That's what Halloween is. It's imagination. It's creativity. It's waking up one day and saying, "You know what, I'm going to put on fake purple eyelashes, color my hair blue, and wear a bright yellow suit today," and be totally confident in your ridiculousness.

It's the chance to be anything you want to be, or to make your jack-o-lantern smile any way you want it to.

Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

pressing flowers

Readers, I have been gone for what seems life forever, and i've missed writing so much. School consumes my life, and what little spare time I've been given over the last week and a half, I have used to sleep.

But isn't that the way it goes? Time is money, so don't waste it. Everything is done right here, right now. Do this, do that, as fast as you can. RSVP ASAP. No late work. Up-to-the-minute reporting. Timeliness. NO! SLEEP! TIL BROOKLYN! (reference here)

Everything we do must be done quickly and as efficiently as possible. Now, I'm not knocking timeliness and productivity for the sake of adequate and needed progress both in school and in everyday life. But...

Every now and then, we need to slow down. We should stop and smell the roses.

If you don't already know, I consider myself a crafty person. Not in a manipulative or sneaky sense, but in a much more literal one. I love arts and crafts. Hobby Lobby is one of my favorite stores, and I jump in excitement over a DIY project.

My roommate shares in this love of creativity, so we are always showing each other fun little projects we've taken on. I make collages, she paints, and so on.

Last week, we were in our kitchen admiring a bouquet of gerber daises (my favorite) that Cavner gave me for our anniversary. They were starting to wilt, so my roommate suggests a crafty alternative to just throwing the bright cheery flowers away.

"You really should press those."


I've heard of pressing flowers before, and like any crafty person, I was all for it.

So my roommate walked me through the process.
First, we cut the stems completely off.

Then we placed them between two sheets of tissue paper.

Finally, we closed the flowers into the largest book we could find in the apartment. After that, we stacked object after object on top of the book, making sure to pancake the heck out of these flowers. The end result of our efforts created a rather comical display of shelves, paint cans, and other heavy things stacked one on tp of the next in our living room.

After we balanced the paint can on top of the shelves on top of the book, I asked my roommate when they would be totally pressed.

"I'd give them about a month."

A month?! An entire month??!!! For flowers, no less! Why in the world would I wait that long for flowers? Why would I wait that long for anything??

Another thing about me is that I am a huge fan of instant gratification. If I want it, I don't really want to wait on it. But with these flowers, I'm understanding that some things are worth waiting for. Some things take time, and sometimes, those are the we remember most.

I don't know how my flowers will turn out yet. They still have to sit under those shelves for another three weeks or so. But every now and then I catch myself thinking about what next project i can use them in once they are ready. It's kind of thrilling, this waiting.